Category Archives: new albums

Listen: Panama – “Hope For Something”

Warmth, nostalgia, and melody: that’s the sound of Panama. Jarrah McLeary marks his long awaited return with the triumphant, “Hope For Something” – premiered by Pigeons & Planes. It’s the first single and title track from Panama’s upcoming EP of the same name, due for release June 23. The five-track EP is full of his richest, most moving work yet and is available for pre-order now.

“It’s about a battle with yourself. This song was a bit like therapy for me as it helped me resolve some things I had been holding on to for a very long time. Writing is, was like self-talk.”  – Panama singer/songwriter, Jarrah McCleary

Jarrah McCleary’s confessional songwriting, the piece was written about his personal demons and features a melody that soars, stadium-sized vocals and Panama’s trademark crescendos. With a blend of both live and electronic sounds, it’s a result that shows McCleary is at his most energizing.

The touch of personal lyrics to Panama’s music has been a common theme since their 2013 breakout with their ALWAYS EP, which to date has accumulated over 30 million streams between Spotify and SoundCloud, earned a place in key Australian tastemaker triple j’s Hottest 100, and received airplay on the UK’s BBC Radio 1. In the years following, Panama released the fan favorites “Stay Forever” and “Jungle”, which added to their success, allowing them to embark on US and European tours (the latter of which included Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and a sold out headline show in London).

Keep your ears open and eyes peeled for more from Panama this year, as it’s shaping up to be a busy one.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, listen, new albums, video

Check ‘Em Out: Airpark

Last month, Nashville-based alternative pop/rock duo Airpark released their debut EP Early Works, Volume 1 via Eugenia Hall Records. The band is on tour now, with upcoming dates in NYC, Boston, New Orleans, Nashville and more (full list below).

The band just premiered their video for “Plenty To Pine For” at Under The Radar, who said “The brothers face off in the manner they typically create, with Michael Ford Jr. on drums and singing with an alley cat rasp similar to Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Ben playing guitar in tight lock with the slugging drum beat and lending falsetto accents.”

Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project The Apache Relay quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, offering songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients. So far the band has been embraced by BaebleAmerican SongwriterLockeland SpringsteenWYEPConan O’Brien’s Team CoCo, and more.

Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City’s jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they’d kick-started back home, finding popularity as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore.

Taking their cues from a wide set of influences — the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel; the tenor vocal range of Big Star’s Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson — the two unveil their new direction with Airpark’s debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1.

It’s a sound that targets the feet and the head. It’s pop music for thinkers. It’s dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band’s growing ambition with musical chops to match.

Tour Dates:
4/24 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
4/25 Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
4/27 Tupelo, MS – Blue Canoe
4/28 Jackson, TN – Barefoots Joe
4/29 Columbia, TN – Variety Records
5/4 Shreveport, LA – Day Old Blues Records
5/6 New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues
5/9 Boston, MA – Middle East Upstairs
5/10 Brooklyn, NY – Gold Sounds
5/11 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
5/13 Albany, NY – Parish Public House
5/14 Providence, RI – Fete Lounge
5/16 Burlington, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop
5/17 Kennett Square, PA – Kennett Flash
5/19 Lexington, KY – Willie’s Locally Known
5/20 Nashville, TN – Capitol District Street Fair
6/9 Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub
6/10 Nashville, TN – Musicians Corner
6/17 Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
7/14 Cincinnati, OH – The Comet
7/15 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
7/20 Durham, NC – The Pinhook
8/19 Omaha, NE – Barley Street Tavern

Leave a comment

Filed under Check 'em Out!, new albums, Shows, video

Check ‘Em Out: Second Still

“can go toe to toe with some of the classic early punk of the 70’s” – Impose

 “a collection of icy post-punk dissonance… agitates and alarms while clinging to the inscrutable beauty of the genre. ” – Buzzbands LA

“Their moody, glimmering sound is evident on their new single…  an exciting song that showcases their vast talents” – PureVolume

Recover, the debut single and lead-off track from Second Still‘s upcoming self-titled LP, leaps straight for the throat and doesn’t let go for nearly five minutes.” – Post-Punk.com

“Second Still offers the menacing sound of bands like Wire or early Cure, modernized through a guitar tone that occasionally borrows from shoegaze, and sweetened by Suki’s Siouxie-esque airy vocals.” – The Deli NYC

Second Still is a three piece band from Los Angeles. Though strongly influenced by No Wave and French Cold Wave, their electronic drum sounds, unconventional bass and guitar lines, and strange vocal melodies still set them apart from any traditional categorization.

Bassist Alex Hughes and guitarist Ryan Walker met in 2007 and spent years combing through 80s underground records, the most memorable being Xmal Deutschland, Asylum Party, Garlands-era Cocteau Twin, and Opera De Nuit. It wasn’t until after moving to New York and meeting Suki San, (a classically trained violinist and former shoegaze vocalist), in late 2014 that they finally became a band.

Early Forms, the band’s debut EP, was released in March 2016 as a limited edition cassette. They recorded those four songs while snowed in, in a barn in upstate New York over three days in the dead of winter. Before re-locating to Los Angeles in January 2016, Second Still hunkered down in the studio and recorded their entire self-titled debut album in just two days.

The album is out now on Paris-based label Manic Depression Records, and in support of the release, the band is hitting the road for their first US tour.

04.16 – Part Time Punks @ The Echo – Los Angeles
05.14 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA

Leave a comment

Filed under Check 'em Out!, new albums

Highly Anticipated: New Album From British Sea Power

Photo credit: Mayumi Hirata

British Sea Power’s first new material since 2013’s Machineries of Joy, Let The Dancers Inherit The Party is a melodic call to arms, direct and brimming with emotional urgency. It’s an album where rock muscularity joins inseparably with pop immediacy like a crate of bubbly exploding inside a Marshall stack.

“Here be poetry…Their best album for years”  – Mojo – ★★★★
“Fittingly surreal – a breakneck montage of Dada-esque fever dream imagery” – NME
“Another terrific British band is returning “ – WNYC
“A smooth and swaggering album” – Artist Direct
“A triumphant return” –  Spectral Nights
 

Featuring lead singles singles “Bad Bohemian” and  “Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)”, this new 12-track collection sees British Sea Power return to the exhilarating, bright-minded guitar music that earned them their breakout nomination for the 2003 Mercury Music Prize as they cover subject matter ranging from the stars in the night sky to the methodology of media manipulation.

The album art, videos, and single art feature typography and imagery influenced by the German Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters, whose work BSP’s two vocalists, Yan and Hamilton Wilkinson, discovered while growing up on the edge of the English Lake District.

Recorded in Sussex, London and on the Isle of Skye, Let The Dancers Inherit The Party follows the band’s five studio albums for the great Rough Trade Records – a catalog of releases that saw BSP become the longest continually-signed band in the label’s history. Rough Trade remains a vital part of the BSP story and will continue to do so, but the new album is being licensed from the band’s own Golden Chariot label to Caroline International. The entire recording of the album was funded by the band’s remarkably dedicated audience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Highly Anticipated, listen, new albums, video

Check ‘Em Out: INVSN

“channeling gothy ‘80s rock…has the ‘80s influence coming in loud and clear”  — BrooklynVegan

“There’s darkness in INVSN that is seemingly spawned by the barren Scandinavian landscapes of their rural base.” Clash Music

“… the bursts of noise and bits of electronica provided by the band give INVSN a punchy edge that keeps us from becoming too comfortable.”  Pop Matters

INVSN releases the newest track for “I Dreamt Music,” a post-punk gem for the band’s forthcoming LP, The Beautiful Stories.

The song’s cadenced groove and dark tones are the perfect balance to the underlying message concerning consumerism and politics. Frontman Dennis Lyxzén is no stranger to incorporating political themes into his work, from his days fronting Refused to (international) Noise Conspiracy to INVSN.

Lyxzén shares his thoughts on how music is being exploited these days.  Music always meant more to me then just entertainment. It has had a profound impact on everything that I am as a person and I see music as art and art as life. We live in a world devoid of meaning where we serve the lowest common denominator at all times. Where politics as an idea has failed us and where art is being reduced to consumerism and clickbait.”

I wanted to write about the longing for resistance to the cultural/political/musical landscape that holds us imprisoned. I wanted to write about the naive, romantic and pretentious notion that music and art should be about ideas that can change and transform and maybe even be the beacon of hope in these dismal times.”

“I Dreamt Music” serves as the fifth track for the band’s sophomore album The Beautiful Stories, set to be released June 9th via Dine Alone Records.

Of The Beautiful Stories, Dennis Lyxzén says,

“Music is in many ways a young person’s game. That first debut record. The youthful exuberance and violence. But there are other things that might matter as much. Experience and hard work. Putting in the miles. The collective effort of this band is beyond anything I’ve witnessed before.

I can’t even begin to fathom the hours we spent record music, playing live and just living this life. Somehow it feels like it lead to this; this glorious piece of music that I have to say is one of the most exciting and experimental and genuine works of art I ever been a part of.

The process of writing and creating is often harder than we would like to admit and it doesn’t really get easier with age. But when the end result comes out as thrilling as this all those hours spent rehearsing and playing, all those hours on the road and all those records that came before, are totally worth it!”
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Check 'em Out!, new albums

Video: Night Drive – “Rise and Fall”

photo credit: Daniel Cavazos

Like a synesthesia-induced landscape found within the vivid worlds of films a la Tron or The Neon Demon, Austin + Houston duo Night Drive are back with scattered and lo-fi visuals for their track “Rise and Fall“. The group is also thrilled to announce their debut self-titled record, due June 16th via Roll Call Records.

The duo – comprised of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon noted, “Rise and Fall is about unexpected change as two people find themselves going in different directions. A sudden and untimely break-up. We wanted the overall sound to be a bit dreamy and distant, which relates to that feeling of your life disintegrating and slipping through your hands like smoke, being unable to hold on to it. But we also wanted an energetic intensity to it, which relates more to the feeling of rushing headlong towards an inevitable tragedy and being unable to avert it, no matter what you do or where you turn.”

Inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes, the duo’s modern synth-pop seeks to explore the darker currents of abstract emotion. With infectious melodies wrapped in thoughtful lyrics, layered over pulsing dance beats, the group creates an ethereal electronic world drenched in noir aesthetics. With the handful of tracks and remixes they’ve released, the duo’s dreamy songs have already garnered attention from the likes of SPIN as well as causing a stir from tastemakers in the blogosphere, including myself — I LOVE them!

Night Drive’s self-titled debut album brings to mind the aesthetics of acts like Interpol or The Knife and is an effort best consumed in its entirety. From the John Carpenter-esque stylings of hazy album opener, “Hyperion” to the urgent synth of “Strange Telepathy” or the slow-burning and subtle “Ghost Craft,” from start to finish, the LP is a textured soundscape and surreal journey through sound.

Having recently toured with the likes of CHVRCHES, Austra, Yacht, Robert DeLong, and Miami Horror, Night Drive has several dates coming up in Houston, New York, and Austin.

Leave a comment

Filed under Highly Anticipated, new albums, video

New Album From The Cranberries!

The Cranberries are set to release Something Else, a new album featuring re-worked renditions of their major hits, as well as brand new material. The album is due out April 28 via BMG on digital and CD formats, and includes seminal Cranberries songs like “Linger,” “Zombie,” “Dreams,” and “Ode To My Family”… re-recorded in orchestral and acoustic arrangements.

Something Else celebrates the 25th anniversary of the band. Their first major U.S. hit “Linger” has been re-done acoustically, and just premiered on Rolling Stone! On the album concept and choice of “Linger” as the first single, The Cranberries’ singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan explains,

“‘Linger’ was the first song The Cranberries ever wrote together. I was 17, and the youngest member of the band was 15 at the time. We never imagined it’d be such a big hit, but soon us teenagers found ourselves on our first flight to the United States to shoot the video in Downtown LA. That video would introduce us to American households, in the good old days of MTV! The bittersweet love song still holds all that sentimentality for us personally, which is why we had to include it on this project. Universally, I think its message remains timeless and relevant, never going out of fashion, yet never quite in fashion. It’s amazing to have a song hold up 25 years later, and I hope this acoustic version allows our fans to hear a Cranberries classic in a new way.”

“Linger ” is available now for download and streaming. The full album is available for pre-order on digital and CD formats.

Over a period of two weeks last year in the University of Limerick, at the home of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the band revisited old times; Dolores laid down vocals as small booths were created to record the instruments as if live. She was no longer a child, singing her mature songs from an inexperienced vantage point but a woman now, with the capacity to throw her life at the music, the benefit of hindsight. “I prefer them like this,” she says of the new recordings of old songs, “with a little bit more experience behind them, with a new lease of life. They sound fresh again.”

As the record began to take full shape, three new songs were added, to stop it from just being a rush of memories lost and found. The first was “The Glory”, which Dolores explains she wrote in The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s rehearsal rooms at the University of Limerick. She then brought out two songs she had been keeping in her personal stash, until she could place them in the right home: “Rupture” (“about depression, about being in that black hole and finding it hard to get out of it”) and the forthcoming single “Why?” (“written just after my father passed, the hardest time”).

It’s testament to Dolores and Noel’s song-writing prowess that the new additions to the Cranberries cannon sit seamlessly next to the old. When they began finalizing details for the record, they decided on Something Else, a nod to the first record’s Everybody Else…, a title neither riven with the promise of future endeavors or locked into the past.

Official Tracklisting
01. Linger **
02. The Glory
03. Dreams
04. When You’re Gone
05. Zombie
06. Ridiculous Thoughts
07. Rupture
08. Ode To My Family
09. Free To Decide
10. Just My Imagination
11. Animal Instinct
12. You & Me
13. Why

UK & Ireland Tour Dates

17 May        Belfast, Waterfront
18 May        Dublin, BordGais Theatre
20 May        London, Palladium
22 May        Bristol, Colston Hall
24 May        Gateshead, The Sage
25 May        Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
27 May        York, Barbican
28 May        Manchester, Bridgewater Hall

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Freaking Crap!, new albums, Shows, Whoa!

Brand New: Thievery Corporation

tc

Thievery Corporation is releasing a new album, The Temple of I & I, on Friday, February 10th —- as a birthday gift to me. Best. Present. Ever.

Here’s a YouTube of the whole thing:

Other notable mentions also being released on my day of birth:

Mother Mother – No Culture

 

Tall Ships – Impressions

Teen Daze – Themes For Dying Earth

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, listen, new albums

Video: Nils Bech – “Glimpse of Hope”

echo

“Intricate instrumentation crashing into electronic flourishes, ambient sweeps” Stereogum
“Absorbing soundscapes and shuddering beats… fragrant vocals” Clash
“Combines the symphonic with the technology & musical currents of today”  Impose

Acclaimed Norwegian avant garde pop performance artist and stage actor Nils Bech reveals an alluring new video for the album single “Glimpse of Hope”. The track has been described as the sound of “soaring, operatic vocals with the sound of cutting edge club music”.

The video was directed by one of Oslo’s most revered artists, Ida Ekblad, whose artistic practices incorporates painting, sculpture, performance, filmmaking, music and poetry. Her bold and vibrant work, often characterized by the use of found materials is celebrated as a unique take on urban folk art.


Shot on location at the director’s home in Ekberg, Oslo, from dusk till dawn, the intriguing and playful video features 21 year old Norwegian fashion photographer and model Jakob Landvik.  Ekblad describes the concept of the video as <<house>> and the elements that make up the film: “There is a household and time to be wasted. Playstation games, a glue-gun, lawn-mowing and ass-selfies, cigarettes, a robe, white wine, make-up, leg shaving, clear eyes and stockings”

The elegant use of natural light and movement within “Glimpse of Hope” is credited to the cinematographer Cecilie Semec, whose work has featured in the Venice Biennale and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Glimpse of Hope” follows the release of the theatrical video “Please Stay” earlier this Autumn, which featured a scene between Lady Anne and Richard, taken from Shakespeare’s’ tragedy ‘Richard III’, as performed at The National Theatre in Oslo earlier this year.

nilsbech

“I wanted to make an album where romantic harmonies meet hard beats, with sudden transitions between the painful and the beautiful. Just like love.”  – Nils Bech

A favorite of the art world, Nils Bech has performed at such venerable venues and events as Venice Biennial, ICA (London), New Museum (New York) and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam). He has also featured in two plays at the Norwegian National Theater, most recently in Shakespeare’s Richard III; where he performed excerpts from his third album Echoout now on DFA Records.

Already a star at home, Echo is Bech’s first album with DFA.  The album explores “echoes” of the people in his life over the past five years; their search for love, how love can deceive and destroy, but also be the key to everything. Sonically, the record infuses urban, contemporary dance music with hip hop roots – hard beats in juxtaposition to Bech’s vulnerable bass-baritone.

Echo is out now via DFA Records.

Leave a comment

Filed under listen, new albums, video, Whoa!

Video: Crystal Fighters – “Good Girls”

cf
“Simply the perfect tropi-pop party soundtrack”  – VICE’s Noisey
“There is nothing more alive or energetic than Crystal Fighters” – Dazed

Following the release of their third studio album Everything Is My Family which garnered acclaim from the likes of NPR and Noisey, London-based Crystal Fighters share the virtual reality inspired, disco-flecked video for “Good Girls.”

Everything Is My Family embodies the band’s ecstatic lust for life and as singer Sebastian ‘Bast’ Pringle says, the album is “more dance-floor, more psychedelic, more tropical, more rave, more sunshine, more pretty much everything” than anything they have done before.

Since the release of acclaimed second album Cave Rave in 2013, Bast has spent time living in the Basque Country, The Canary Islands, and Central America – a field recording of tropical wise-men in conversation from Costa Rica opens the album – and says his time away from the overpowering buzz of modern civilization has given him a new perspective.

Meanwhile, bandmate Graham lived “up a mountain” in Maine before traveling down to Peru in a modern life-provoked quest for otherness. He says that the time they each individually spent exploring the world has helped them come to terms with some of the highs and tragic lows the band has already experienced. Stay tuned for U.S. tour news coming soon!

Everything Is My Family LP Out Now via Play It Again Sam

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, new albums, video