Category Archives: new albums

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

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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.

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“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.

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Video: Crystal Fighters – “Good Girls”

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“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

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Newest Love: Uppermost

uppermost1

French electronic artist and producer Uppermost has been busy preparing for the release of his new album Origins (2011-2016) coming February 2017. In anticipation, he has already released two brand new tracks – “Thousand Colors” and “Constellation”. Today, he releases a never-before-seen live video of his cult single “Reminder” and announces his career-defining track “Beautiful Light” will be available as an immediate download with album pre-order.

In-line with the important conversation that’s taking place currently in the electronic music scene about live performance, the video gives viewers some insight into the various instruments and technologies that are part of making some of our favorite jams come to life.

Uppermost says of the video:

“The live video was shot in the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, located in Paris-Le Bourget airport – a beautiful and inspiring place for space lovers like myself. The guitar player is Mathias Di Gusto. I really love his instinctive creativity when it comes to efficient funky riffs. He’s also the player of famous french rapper Maitre Gims, playing on France’s biggest stages such as Paris Bercy. The bass player is Klem Aubert, a very talented slap bass monster and member of the awesome band Minuit.

The idea of a live performance grew in my mind after I started to feel constrained by the limitations I’d meet in my DJ sets. I wanted to be able to change the structure of my tracks on the fly, to create a beautiful interaction between every part in my mix.

So I’ve decided to build the live performance in a way that I can rearrange my tracks live but most importantly sample, loop and apply effects on what the guitar and bass players are doing at any moment. It took a lot of time to build the right workflow, and a lot of repetitions with the players in order to set up specific effects racks on each instruments according to which section of the track I trigger on the midi controller. For example, the guitar player instantly knows that whenever I trigger an atmospheric section of the track, his guitar will be going through a huge reverb and delay. The creative possibilities are really endless and that’s what makes the performance so exciting!”

The sick track is played using various instruments and controllers, including electronic music tools such as a Behringer BCR-2000 and iRig Keys 37Pro, as well as some more traditional instruments including a Fender Precision bass and a Gibson SG guitar.

“Reminder” will be featured on the new LP along with “Beautiful Light”, available as an instant download with pre-order today, and “Mistakes”. Combined, these songs have over 30 million streams. Also featured will be Uppermost’s recently released singles “Thousand Colors” and “Constellation”.

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New Song: Dragonette – “Darth Vader”

Photo Credit: Gabe Ayala

Photo Credit: Gabe Ayala

The new album (their fourth) from Dragonette, Royal Blues, is due out on Friday! Check out the latest single, “Darth Vader”.

The band is currently on tour — check out the dates below.

Tour Dates:
* = w/ Lowell
^ = w/ Gibbz

11/9: Waterloo, ON @ Maxwell’s*
11/10: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre*
11/11: Montréal, QC @ Théâtre Fairmount*
11/12: Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Centre*
11/16: Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret*
11/17: Saskatoon, SK @ Louis’ Pub*
11/18: Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room*
11/19: Calgary, AB @ The Gateway at SAIT*
11/22: Kelowna, BC @ Sapphire Nightclub*
11/23: Vancouver, BC @ Imperial*
11/24: Victoria, BC @ Sugar Nightclub*
11/26: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge ^
11/27: Seattle, WA @ Neumos ^
11/29: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent ^
11/30: West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre ^
12/2: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar ^
12/3: Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater ^
12/5: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry ^
12/6: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall ^
12/8: Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar ^
12/10: Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw ^
12/11: Boston, MA @ Royale Boston ^

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Video: Communist Daughter – “Hold Back”

 

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE

“The song has notes of The New Pornographers, and the harmonies during the hook are heavenly. A pretty voice over a grimy guitar? Yeah. That’s good.” – USA Today

…soothing on a surface level, like latter-day Yo La Tengo…the subject matter is much deeper and darker” – Stereogum

A few years ago, Johnny Solomon was a fixture in the tight knit Twin Cities music scene, forming the angular indie pop band Friends Like These and touring extensively, receiving critical praise from far-flung sources that looked like the beginning of a promising career. The rising success masked his struggle with addiction and mental health problems and quickly eclipsed his career, landing him in jail and treatment facilities across the country.  By the end of that whirlwind, he retreated to a small town across the border in Wisconsin where he assumed his music days were over.

However, when he moved out of the city, his demons followed him and he spent his nights writing and recording what he thought would be his eulogy: songs about lost love and lost chances, He recruited some friends to come out and put it all to tape. Calling his new band Communist Daughter, they released their debut album Soundtrack to the End in 2010.  As they gained national attention, Johnny once again had to put it all on hold and checked himself in to rehab.

In 2012, Communist Daughter returned with a clear-eyed John, his now-wife Molly Solomon, bassist Adam Switlick, Steven Yasgar on drums, Al Weirs on guitar and Dillon Marchus on keys.  They released an EP, Lions & Lambs, and began touring the country again and gaining national attention.

By 2014, they had entered the studio to spend the next two years crafting their sophomore release. Working with producer Kevin Bowe (Replacements, Meat Puppets), they recorded in and out of studios trying to capture the deeply personal songs in a much more deliberate style.  Going from studio to bedroom to studio again, they created an album with 11 songs running the gambit from high peaks to dark lows. They took the finished tracks to Nashville where Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker) put the final mix together, and had Heba Kadry (Future Islands, And You Will Know Us…) master the final product in NYC.

And now, here we are — celebrating the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album The Cracks That Built the Wall. Check out the video below for their track, “Hold Back”.

 

Tour Dates:

11/7 Lexington KY – The Burl
11/8 Madison – The Frequency
11/9 Iowa City – Yacht Club
11/10 UW Platteville – Platteville, WI
11/11 Minneapolis – First Avenue

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New Music: Surfer Blood – “Six Flags In F Or G”

surferblood

Surfer Blood has announced their fourth studio album, Snowdonia, due out February 3rd via Joyful Noise Recordings. A sonic departure for the band, Snowdonia is Surfer Blood’s first release since the tragic loss of guitarist Thomas Fekete to cancer in May 2016.

Snowdonia was written shortly after the band’s first long tour without Fekete, as lead singer John Paul Pitts struggled with Fekete’s absence and the weight of getting older. Featuring a talented new lineup that sees Michael McCleary on guitar and Lindsey Mills on bass — both high school classmates of Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz — Snowdonia marks the first time since the band’s debut album, 2010’s Astro Coast, that Pitts has written and mixed a Surfer Blood record alone. Though the album features plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, it also incorporates heavier themes. One of the record’s darkest songs, “Six Flags in F or G,” was written as Pitts grappled with Fekete’s illness and his absence on tour.

Shortly after Fekete was diagnosed with cancer, Pitts’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and began undergoing chemotherapy. Her illness inspired him to write “Carrier Pigeon” — Pitts notes it is the most narrative and autobiographical song he’s ever written, and it embodies his attempts to reconcile the love he has for his parents with not always loving how they choose to see the world.

Other tracks on the record attempt to deal with aging in a more playful way. “Matter of Time” is a straightforward pop song that focuses on the decision of when to get married, something Pitts is now considering at age 30. “Taking Care of Eddy” can be taken literally: it was written about Pitts’ girlfriend’s great uncle, Eddy, an 84-year-old who suffered stunted development after a car accident as a child. As a result, he thinks and acts like an eight year old, has Parkinson’s disease, and can’t get around by himself, but maintains a childlike sense of wonder. While taking care of him hasn’t been easy, Pitts tried to inject some of Eddy’s playfulness into the song.

While Snowdonia grapples with heavier material, Pitts likens some of the more complex songs to Astro Coast track “Anchorage,” though the new songs were written specifically with the band’s current lineup and new strengths in mind. Wanting to play up McCleary and Mills’ vocal skills, he wrote layers of vocals into almost every track and added call-and-response parts between himself and Mills throughout the album.

With enormous attention to detail, the eight tracks on Snowdonia make the album Surfer Blood’s most ambitious release yet.

snowdonia

Snowdonia Track Listing:
1. Matter of Time
2. Frozen
3. Dino Jay
4. Six Flags in F or G
5. Snowdonia
6. Instant Doppelgängers 
7. Taking Care of Eddy
8. Carrier Pigeon 

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Check ‘Em Out: The Megaphonic Thrift

megaphonic

On 11/11, Bergen, Norway-based band The Megaphonic Thrift will release their album Få meg til verden i tide via Old Flame Records. The band has premiered their track “Pilene,” which you can check out now:

Last month SPIN Magazine premiered the album’s first track “Hendene,” calling it “pulverizing noise rock.” Earlier this year, the band won a Spellemann Award (equivelant of a Norwegian GRAMMY Award) for best indie album. Få meg til verden i tide is The Megaphonic Thrift’s fourth album, and it’s the band’s first to feature lyrics in Norwegian. Much less guitar orientated than previous albums, Få meg til verden i tide is filled with synthesizers, and it’s their first with new collaborators Njål Paulsberg (neo Tokyo/Young Dreams) and Emil Nikolaisen (Serena-Maneesh).
“The four members in Megaphonic have become more unison for each record we’ve made together,” says guitarist and vocalist Richard Myklebust. “After the third record, making new music felt like giving each other a hug. We wanted to bring in someone who had a more radical approach to making music. We needed disagreement, and boy did we get it.”

A lot has happened since the summer of 2015 when The Megaphonic Thrift filled a car with synths and boxed wine, isolating themselves in a cabin far up in the Norwegian desolate mountains to write what would become Få meg til verden i tide.

“We thought we were just heading into the studio to make the final adjustments and thought it was going to be easy. All the songs were ready. It didn’t turn out easy at all,” says bassist and vocalist Linn Frøkedal.

The band describes the studio process as a long road trip, where a new driver can take the wheel at any moment. “Nikolaisen is based in Oslo (on the other side of the mountains), and guitarist Clementsen was on a Japanese tour with his other band Electric Eye, so sketches and new ideas were thrown back and forth on seemingly endless mail threads,” says guitarist Njål Clementsen. “This record is proof that it is possible to make a really cool record in a really hard way. It doesn’t have to be easy!”

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Byron Nash & Plan B: ” A Band Born Out of Pure Friendship and Love For Making Music”

Photo: afayepr.com

Photo: afayepr.com

Byron Nash, a Pittsburgh based musician, has been doing this music thing for a long time. While playing lead guitar of the band Formula412, he worked on writing and recording some ideas and keeping them on the “back-burner” you could say. This “back-burner” was called ‘Plan B’.

After collecting over 10 years of songs and ideas, Nash took some music production courses and eventually started his own music company, BNDEEPendent Music. He and his friend Evan Thorsen had been jamming and hanging out together for years; when they finally decided to play some of their songs live in 2014. After great reception, they were asked the following year to play at Kayafest, a restaurant that was having it’s 20th Year Anniversary block party. They put together a makeshift band of talented musicians and again were met with great praise…enough that they finally decided to go forth full throttle as a band.

All they had to do was come up with their name. It was suggested that their name simply be ‘Nash’, but Byron felt weird about it being just his name. So — ta-da!!! Byron Nash & Plan B it is!

And they’ve got a little bit of something for everyone, too! The band is  “a well-balanced fusion of rocking dual-guitars, funk-and-soul, straight-forward and emotional vocals, simple songwriting, and a little bit of jam-band and fusion mixed in there.”

The band is having a very special release party for their very first EP, The Late Bloomer, this Friday at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls.

Check out the Facebook event HERE

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Another New One From Miniature Tigers: “Pictures Of You”

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Check out the latest release from Miniature Tigers, “Pictures Of You” from their forthcoming album, I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy, out in two days!

Previous tracks from the new album have been released over the past few weeks. Click below to check those out if you missed it.

Miniature Tigers – “Nobody Else”

Miniature Tigers – “Crying In The Sunshine”

 

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