Newest Love: Sleep Party People

“(The Sun Will Open Its Core) marries the psychedelic weirdness of MGMT with the Euro-y sonic tenets of early 80s Mitteleuropa synth-pop. It’s both grandiose and intimate, eerie but inviting. It also has a point to make.” – BlackBook

“‘Lingering’, which will be released on June 2nd through Joyful Noise Recordings, is poised to be one of the year’s best records. With a deft and intoxicating brand of dreamy pop, as well as collaborations from the likes of Peter Silberman from The Antlers and Beth Hirsch (best known for providing vocals on Air’s masterpiece Moon Safari), Lingering has all the ingredients to be a smash success.” – The 405

BlackBook has shared Sleep Party People’s “The Sun Will Open Its Core”, the third single from the forthcoming album Lingering. “The Sun Will Open…” follows two previously released singles, “Fainting Spell” & “The Missing Steps”. Written, recorded, produced and performed entirely by Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz, Lingering – featuring collaborations with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman & Air vocalist Beth Hirsch – is Sleep Party People’s fourth studio album and the first release since 2014’s Floating. Watch the video for “The Missing Steps” here. Lingering is due out June 2nd, 2017 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

When talking about the track Batz says, “I got really frustrated and emotionally upset when the whole refugee debate in Denmark was at its highest. I felt extremely indignant in terms of how society dealt with this problem. Normally I don’t go into politics, especially not in my music, but this was kind of inevitable.”

“I don’t get how people can reject human beings, who are fleeing from their destroyed homes and cities. What if it happened to us? Wouldn’t we do the same and ask for help and do whatever we felt necessary? We should be able to help each other even if we don’t agree on religion, politics or what we eat and wear. It puzzles me that some people out there can’t see the reason in helping. I had to write a song about this. Period.”

Though Copenhagen-based Batz & his 5-piece live band have become synonymous with the rabbit masks they wear during Sleep Party People live performances, Lingering finds Batz shedding his guard to create some of the most personal and accessible material of his career. Whilst “The Missing Steps” and other moments on Lingering engage demonstrably with bliss (also the woozy, unhurried not-quite title track, “Lingering Eyes”), it is nonetheless a record also concerned with anxiety and doubt, and the ways in which we cope with those insecurities that can persist through adulthood.

A personal high-water mark for Batz from Lingering is the appearance of Air-collaborator Beth Hirsch, who guests on “We Are There Together”. A longstanding fan of classic album Moon Safari, he was left tongue-tied when Hirsch contacted him out of the blue, seeking out a collaboration. Whilst Lingering is enriched by several such artistic collaborations – with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman also providing choir arrangements on “Dissensions” – it is equally shaped by Batz’s famously eccentric collection of instruments. “Salix And His Soil” came about when Batz bought an old organ; “When I turned the organ on for the first time, it started playing this crazy fast Super Mario Brothers-ish beat and loop by itself. I got hooked straight away and started jamming along”.  Elsewhere, “Fainting Spell” rests entirely on a piano loop played out on the snapped wires of his battered old studio piano.

On Lingering’s album-closer “Vivid Dream”, Batz sings of ‘Beating down my own door. Aiming to be flawless and without any mistakes’. Flawed or otherwise, in Lingering, he has unmistakably created a thing of stark beauty.

Tracklisting:

1. Figures
2. The Missing Steps
3. Fainting Spell
4. Salix And His Soil
5. Lingering Eyes
6. Dissensions (Feat. Luster)
7. Limitations
8. The Sound Of His Daughter
9. The Sun Will Open Its Core
10. We Are There Together (Feat. Beth Hirsch)
11. Odd Forms
12. Vivid Dream

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Video: The Legends – “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)”

This vintage 80’s inspired animated clip for The Legends’ “Summer In The City” (Living Is For Somebody Else)” will transport you back to those (preferably air-conditioned) Atari-style days of yesteryear.

The video, which premiered as part of an in-depth interview with Paste Magazine, is the perfect antidote to pre-summer blues.

The track is taken from The Legends Nightshift, LP out now on Labrador Records: Spotify / iTunes / Bandcamp

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Lineup Revealed for 2017 Thrival!

The Thrival Innovation + Music Festival has announced its music lineup, featuring a blend of 19 national and local artists. Headliners Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Carnage, GRiZ, and Two Door Cinema Club and over a dozen more acts will perform at the historic Carrie Furnaces on September 29-30.

Two-day general admission and VIP festival passes go on sale Friday, May 19 at 10:00 AM EST.

Capping an extensive 2017 festival touring season — including performances at Lollapalooza and Okeechobee Music Festival — multi-platinum selling and Grammy-nominated recording artist, Wiz Khalifa, will make his only appearance in Pittsburgh in 2017 as one of Thrival’s headliners.

Logic, the 27-year-old Maryland-based rapper, will also headline Thrival, building off of a packed 28-date U.S. summer tour. His critically acclaimed, “Everybody,” sold 247,000 equivalent album units last week, earning Logic his first #1 album. The album touches on an array of societal issues that affect us all on a daily basis.

Irish alt-indie darlings, Two Door Cinema Club, are also touring the U.S., having just announced dozens of new dates across the country.

Detroit electronic funk outfit, GRiZ, and Los Angeles-based Guatemalan American DJ, Carnage, will both headline their own stages.

SuperDuperKyle will make his first-ever Pittsburgh performance after the release of his Billboard Top 10 hit, “iSpy” (currently #8). Chart-topper and multi-platinum artist, Kiiara, veteran DJ, TokiMonsta, Sirius Alt Nation mainstays, Missio, and Grammy-nominated DJ, Steve James, are all first-time Thrival artists, joined by Harts, Echos, Circa Waves, Welshly Arms, Michigander, The Garment District, Byron Nash & Plan B, Rachel B., and JRod.

“We started this initiative five years ago. To watch its growth has been pretty remarkable,” says Bobby Zappala, founder of Thrival and CEO of Ascender. “Thrival 2017 is set up to be a special experience. We’re proud to have a Pittsburgh artist headline the bill for the first time in the festival’s history.”

“Thrival Music continues to grow, and this year’s lineup is the biggest and most prolific to date. We welcome an eclectic mix of multi-platinum and chart-topping artists who will compliment a host site that has the potential to be one of the best live music venues in the entire U.S.,” says Dan Law, Director of Thrival and VP of Business Development at Ascender, the nonprofit organization that presents and produces Thrival every year.

The festival kicks off with Thrival Innovation (featuring a new partnership with San Francisco-based event and media company, NewCo) on September 27-28, a conference focused on “Intelligence: Humans X Tech” — a theme that leverages Pittsburgh’s strengths in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

After Thrival Innovation, festival-goers will transition from Pittsburgh’s East End to the historic Carrie Furnaces in nearby Swissvale, Pennsylvania for a “one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh venue” that “features a stark contrast of new sound and rustic industrial setting” minutes away from Pittsburgh city limits.

For a unique local flair, Wiz Khalifa filmed the music video for his 2012 double platinum single, “Work Hard, Play Hard” at the Carrie Furnaces.

“With the right vision, leadership, and investment, the Carrie Furnaces are primed to be a premier destination for live music fans. By doing this together, we’re turning a mill back on. But instead of producing steel, we’re producing culture,” says Law. “A show at Carrie is unique. You can’t get it anywhere else.”

The festival is the flagship initiative of Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving early-stage startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

To help manage this growth in 2017, Thrival has partnered with Live Nation Entertainment for venue operations, talent buying, and marketing efforts.

“Ascender’s partnership with Live Nation to deliver Thrival Music allows our core team to both invest more energy in scaling Thrival Innovation and more effectively engage our dynamic local audience, with Live Nation adding significantly to the festival’s expanding national reach. We’re very excited for the opportunities this presents,” says Zappala.

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Listen: Hounded – “On My Side”

Sydney producer HOUNDED is back on the grid with a sunshine-filled track called “On My Side” and it arrives just in time to defrost us from all those winter chills.

Right from the first chime you’ll be grooving and your shoulders will be bopping while the fluttery voice of Brisbane artist Savoi makes this track all the more uplifting, and all you wanna do is dance and smile.

“I had a difficult time finding vocals that matched the energy of the song. I was fortunate enough to be in the studio with Savoi late last year and his voice just seems to fit perfectly with the instrumental. I find that Savoi’s voice really compliments my style and gives it that extra sense of movement and energy” – HOUNDED

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Check ‘Em Out: PACE

In the spring of 2016, old friends Jamie Ley and Philip Morris spent a day in a pub on top of Muswell Hill in north London chatting about their love of great pop music. After going back to Phil’s house to play piano, something clicked and they decided to create a new musical project that focused solely on melodies. When they met drummer Aaron Colton at a New Year’s Eve party, the group was finally complete and Pace was born. A stint recording with renowned producer Bernard Butler soon followed. Having been featured on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and a Spotify Top 50 Viral Artist this year, the future looks bright for the alt-pop three piece.

‘Through Your Fingers’ is a Motown inspired melody ready for the summer. It’s a song about meeting someone you really like, but not having the courage to ask them out. Or when you meet a person who turns your world upside down, but you decide to act cool and risk losing them. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. The song is a kind of mantra – you’ve got to act quickly on things before they slip away. Don’t be scared to tell someone how you feel, otherwise you could lose them forever. — Pace

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Check ‘Em Out: LuvAbstract – “Risk”

 

Photo: The Video Boy

Ohio native LuvAbstract has released a track that in one way or another speaks to all of us. We’ve all got that little voice in the back of our head saying ‘go for it!’ Well, in this case, it’s saying, You’re only young once, so let’s take a chance.”

It’s easy to create music when you write about what you see or experience, and LuvAbstract has done just that by making a song that is ballsy, unapologetic and real.

“Risk” is about promiscuity and how readily available hot sex is. In a way, this track explores the ego within us all; a notion, which can often be mistaken for cockiness, but here, it’s all about swag.

“This song is about two strangers who meet at a bar just before going home together for a one night stand. The first verse is a conversation between the two strangers. The guy flirtatiously challenges the girl by telling her that he can go home with any girl he wants so, what makes her so special. The girl playfully replies by telling him that’s not really impressive because she can have any guy she wants so, what makes him so special. The verse is supposed to show that the two strangers have met their match for the night,”  he said.

LuvAbstract has worked closely with producer and good friend Jordan Roman over the last few years, and it’s clear that their musical-mojo makes for steamy productions to get you all hot & heavy. The laid-back rap-vocals paired with vinyl cracklings certainly show that new and old school hip-hop sounds play a part in today’s musical exploration.

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Remix Galore! La Felix + That’s Nice – “Delicious”

Just recently we were all treated to an infectious disco-pop track called “Delicious”, which came from Mexican producer That’s Nice and New Zealand producer La Felix, and this week they are giving us four very awesome remixes by four of their favorite people right now: Patawawa, July ChildREFLEX  and Dino Soccio.

Patawawa Remix
“These guys actually reached out to me through my facebook page, not saying much but showing me their work. I thought they were pretty funky. I talked about doing something together which hasn’t happened but I thought having their vibe on ‘Delicious’ would be a good start.” – That’s Nice

July Child Remix

“July Child and I got to remix the same song for Le Youth last year. I thought their remix was actually really good and I wanted them to have a go at ‘Delicious’. I was pretty sure they would do a great job and I wasn’t wrong”  – That’s Nice

REFLEX Remix
“Been following REFLEX for quite some time now. I love their sound and their tracks are very DJ friendly. Whenever I get to play a DJ set, I often drop some of their tunes in there. Now, it’s even better I’ll  be able to drop their remix version of one of my tunes! ”

Dino Soccio Remix
“Been a fan of both That’s Nice and La Felix for awhile now, was excited to do a Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis 80s take on Delicious, bring out that breakbeat funk.” – Dino SoccioCheck out all of the tracks below:

That’s Nice and La Felix discovered each other online, initially sending emails of rough ideas and different beats. Ultimately, “Delicious” was the result.

“When we first started it, I sort of got the Daft Punk vibe, which is one of our main influences. We wanted to keep it very simple just like that Daft Punk song ‘Get Lucky’; small instrumentation but every instrument playing its part, having its moment throughout the song, and not overdoing it with production. By the time we were almost done, I was in Los Angeles doing some production work and seeing a lot of my producer friends adding real live drums to their disco-dance tunes. We needed to try that. So, last minute we completely changed the drum sound from electronic to a more organic natural sound instead using a real kick drum, a real snare, and real hi-hats.” – That’s Nice

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Latest Track From Juiceboxxx, “Freaking Out”


Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Out of my mind but I’m a hell of a guy, I got the PMA, that’s just an FYI / I got a J-O-B and that’s to stay alive, 24/7 not 9 to 5… So begins “Freaking Out” on Freaked Out American Loser, the latest album from Juiceboxxx, the Milwaukee-bred punk rap artist who is quite simply the first and last of his kind all at once. Juiceboxxx grew up in the ‘2000s within the noise, punk rock, and underground rap communities of Wisconsin, and while those banners still fly high independently today, there are very few other artists who not only understand that Venn diagram but who are also actively attempting to merge those sounds cohesively.

Juiceboxxx might be out of his mind, but in all the best ways—he owns it and commits to this unstoppable onslaught of creative ideas and outbursts. Freaked Out American Loser is a punk rap blast that captures the anarchic, aggressive spirit of Juiceboxxx’s live show while also adding a new level of polish, focus, and dare we say, professionalism.

When talking about the track, Juiceboxxx explained, “”Freaking Out” is about hitting brick walls and fucking everything up but despite it all staying the course and trying to change your life in a positive way. It is also just my attempt to make a high energy rap song with some real nerve. Musically, it is influenced by everyone from The Breeders to Wu-Tang Clan. I’ve been doing music my whole life. The real ones are in this regardless of trends or the internet attention economy or really anything. We do this because we have no choice. Scope a Juiceboxxx show and tell me otherwise.”

“I’m putting together these pieces in a way I find interesting as a contemporary record, and not conforming to any trends of the moment,” Juiceboxxx says. “I’m looking at Beastie Boys as the Ramones or something, and trying to build on that language; looking at Public Enemy within the lens of punk rock.” 

Freaked Out American Loser will be out 7/28 on Dangerbird Records.

 JUICEBOXXX TOUR DATES

04/29 Queens, NY @ Trans Pecos
5/4 New York, NY @ Webster Hall Emo Night LA NYC Takeover
5/24 Brooklyn NY @ The New Secret Project Robot Space
6/17 Huntsville @ TBA
6/18 Chattanooga TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
6/19 Athens GA @ Georgia Theatre Rooftop
6/20 Nashville @ DRKMTTR
6/21 Cincinnati @ House Show
6/22 Chicago @ Empty Bottle
6/23 Madison @ Mickey’s

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Introducing CHIMNEY

Producer and musician Dan Molad is CHIMNEY, long-time drummer/producer for Lucius and producer (Pavo Pavo, San Fermin, Luke Temple, JD McPherson, Here We Go Magic). He self-recorded and produced this breakout solo effort. His penchant for sonically adventurous melodies and harmonically complex layers, combined with a stark pop sensibility shine through the breadth of the album.

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Video: Highly Suspect – “Little One”

Highly Suspect have released the official video for their new single, “Little One,” available via 300 Entertainment. “Little One” is the second single from the band’s critically praised sophomore album, The Boy Who Died Wolf, which debuted at #1 on the Current Alternative Album and at #2 Rock Album on the Billboard Charts.  To date, the album has spent over 22 weeks on the Billboard charts.

“Little One” is the follow-up to “My Name Is Human” which spent 9 weeks at #1 at Active, reached Top 15 at Alternative Radio and was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Rock Song category among legends like David Bowie, Metallica, Radiohead, and also Twenty One Pilots.

Set in the mid-1980’s, the “Little One” video stars band frontman Johnny Stevens as a thrift store manager who is at breaking point, and bandmates Rich and Ryan Meyer as policemen who are hot on his tail.  The video was co-directed by DJay Brawner and Johnny Stevens.

Highly Suspect are currently on a sold-out U.S. headlining tour which wraps up on June 3 in Los Angeles. In addition, Highly Suspect will also be performing at a number of festivals this Spring, including Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Bottlerock, Bumbershoot the Milwaukee Summer Fest and more to be announced shortly.

“‘Little One’ is about love slipping through the cracks. It’s the feeling you have when you know you just lost your lover, your right hand, your best friend.  Our videos try to capture emotion. Standing in an empty room pretending to play instruments is something you’ll never see us do.  I grew up watching real music videos. Stories. ‘Thriller’ comes to mind. You already know we’re a band. Why do you need to see a guitar? As artists, we need to continue making art in all aspects. The actual ‘Little One’ in this video is played by the real-life woman the song was written about, Madison Parker…and that was the last time I saw her. The irony here is that the band pulls me away from love. It’s very true to life. ” – Highly Suspect frontman, Johnny Stevens

Upcoming U.S. & International 
Tour Dates:
4/26 – Destin, FL – Club LA
4/29 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome to Rockville
4/30 – Fort Myers, FL – Fort Rock
5/4 – Washington, DC – 9:30– SOLD OUT
5/5 – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion
5/6 – Memphis, TN – Beal Street / Memphis in May
5/9 – New Orleans, LA – Republic NOLA
5/10 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn
5/12 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
5/14 – Washington, DC – DC101 Show
5/18 – New York, NY – Webster Hall- SOLD OUT
5/20 – Chicago, IL – WKQZ piquing
5/24 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom- SOLD OUT
5/25 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom- SOLD OUT
5/28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock
6/1 – San Diego, CA – Music Box- SOLD OUT
6/2 – Pomona, CA – Glass House
6/3 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre
6/9 – Bakersfield, CA – Radio Shot
6/10 – San Francisco, CA – Live 105 Radio Show
6/23 – Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany – Southside Festival
6/24 – Munich, Germany – Strom
6/25 – Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
6/27 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Effenaar
6/29 – Norrkoping, Sweden – Bravalla Festival
7/2 – Arras, France – Main Square Festival
7/8- Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest

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