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

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Video: Corner Suns – “The Rattle in the Room”

Brandon Carr of folk-psychedelia band The Earlies and John Dufilho of experimental pop group The Apples In Stereo and indie rockers The Deathray Davies have joined forces to create Corner Suns.

Combining neo-psych and baroque pop, the Dallas-based band released their eponymous debut via Idol Records in January 2017 after Dufilho tempted Carr back into music following a period during which Carr says he’d “given up on it”. Corner Suns’ memorable melodies, catchy hooks, and insightful lyrics, influenced by the likes of The Zombies, Magnetic Fields, and The Shins, are all evident on new single “The Rattle in the Room”, providing ample proof that this is a musical pairing worth coming out of retirement for.

Asked about Corner Suns’ sound, John says “To me, Corner Suns sounds like The Deathray Davies, The Apples in Stereo, The Earlies, John Singer Sergeant, CLIFFFS – all rolled into one record. It’s actually beyond that. Dallas bands I’ve played with and loved, recording engineer friends of mine I’ve learned from… I’m lucky to have people like Brandon to collaborate with, as it’s a million times better than on my own. More fun, too.”

“The Rattle in the Room” is released on Idol Records on 12th May 2017.

“‘The Rattle In The Room’ is the kind of quirky pop-rock that the two originally made their names on, and Sarah Jaffe lends her distinctive voice for some sparkling backing harmonies. The song is literally about how much fun it is to make music, and you can hear it. It’s a reset button for two music veterans.”
— KUTX 98.9

“…the psychedelic stylings of Tame Impala but with a trancier, more hypnotic groove that lingers in your mind long after listening.”
— Glide Magazine

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Check ‘Em Out: LINES

Introducing your next obsession, LINES – a brand new Stockholm-based four-piece who are coming out swinging.

LINES debut song, “Weekends,” is the first taste of their beautifully twisted music, comprised of chaotic synths placed perfectly over pounding bass lines and melodies that rise but never seem to set. To kick things off, they’ve released the ultimate weekend anthem that channels an intensity that will bring dance parties to its knees.

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Newest Love: Argonaut & Wasp

Argonaut & Wasp is an indie dance band from Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by the sounds of the kick drum, the electric guitar, the bass, and the synthesizer, the group creates fashionable music for fashionable crowds.

Check out “Paradise” and fall in love like I did.

“Trey and I were attending lots of DJ sets at the time (which is one of our favorite evening activities). Anyways, we would show up at all of these hip Brooklyn venues and everyone would be glued to the walls, everyone just standing there – lost in a state of confusion. We decided to capitalize on this feeling, this need for a rhythm and the need for a beat. We rushed home one of these evenings – grabbed a cowbell, picked up the guitar, and got to work.” — Argonaut & Wasp

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Listen to Coast Modern’s Newest Track “Pockets Full of No”

credit: Maeghan Donohue

Sometimes the only way to get ahead is to stop following the leader and start running your own race. Coast Modern flies out of the pack with a refreshingly uninhibited sound for disenchanted dreamers everywhere. Building on an admiration for the spirit of misfit alternative bands and the fearless ethos of modern hip hop, the duo creates alternative pop with a wink that aims to push the genre into the future.

The LA duo – comprised of Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas – today release their new song, “Pockets Full of No” – a kicked back and mellowed out track that seeks to have you looking on the lighter side of life.  Speaking of the track, the duo noted; ‘Pockets’ is a song about having fun with no money. When you got pockets full of no u can still have a life full of YESSSS. 

The song comes from the band’s debut record, which is set for release later this year via 300 Entertainment / +1 Records.  Like a trip to Disneyland with each song like a stop in another world, Coast Modern’s debut album is a rollercoaster ride through a musical spectrum that spans from introspective acoustic streams of consciousness to psychedelic jams to relaxed dancehall vibes.  Coast Modern are capable of covering a large swath of musical territory, yet a strong, self-aware voice and a sense of groove tie them all together.

After releasing their debut single, “Hollow Life” in late 2015, the band has had a whirlwind of a year. Releasing a handful of tracks over the next twelve months – the anthemic “Animals,”  summer-tinged “Guru” and jungle cruise jam, “The Way It Was” (all four of which sat at the top of the HypeMachine charts), the band would later receive praise from across the blogosphere and fashion press. Their tracks would creep their way to the airwaves, garnering heavy rotation from the likes of SiriusXM Alt Nation and KCRW. The band made their live debut at SXSW, playing their first shows together as a band, and were subsequently scooped up to tour with BØRNS, The Wombats and The Temper Trap respectively.

The band will be playing the Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour this Spring with Missio, 888 and Sundara Karma, which kicks off next week in New Orleans.

Sirius XM Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement Tour:

4/4 New Orleans LA – Parish Room @ House of Blues *
4/5 Atlanta GA – Masquerade *
4/6 Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge *
4/8 Charlotte NC – Underground *
4/10 New York NY – Gramercy *
4/12 Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall *
4/13 Philadelphia PA – Foundry @ The Fillmore **
4/14 Washington DC @ Songbyrd **
4/15 Cleveland OH – Cambridge Room @ House of Blues **
4/17 Detroit MI – The Shelter *
4/18 Chicago IL – SubT **
4/19 Milwaukee WI – The Rave Bar *
4/21 Denver CO – Marquis Theatre ***
4/22 Salt Lake City UT – Urban Lounge *
4/24 San Francisco CA – Slim’s **
4/25 Sacramento CA – Goldfield Trading Post *
4/27 Los Angeles CA – Troubador **
4/29 San Diego CA – Voodoo Room @ House of Blues *
4/30 Phoenix AZ – Crescent Ballroom *
5/3 Austin TX – The Parish *
5/4 Dallas TX – Cambridge Room @ House of Blues *
5/5 Houston TX – Bronze Peacock @ House of Blues *
* with Missio and 888
** with 888 and Sundara Karma
*** with Missio and Sundara Karma

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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

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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.

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Check Her Out: Julie Elody

After spending three years as a lead vocalist in a funk-rock band, Julie Elody is excited to find her sound as a solo artist, working with several renowned producers. Check out her first solo track, “Sirens”. The indie-electro track is accompanied by Julie’s captivating voice and a subtle yet soothing sound of sirens in the background.

“I don’t like to write about frivolous things, and ‘Sirens’ is no exception,” Julie explains of her new track. “It is about the all-too-often times that we ignore problems in our lives instead of dealing with them head-on, and all of the ways that this affects us.”

With soulful vocals and meaningful lyrics, Julie promises to use her voice to make a statement. She has been the featured vocalist on a few electro-pop tracks, all which gained high success on both Soundcloud and Spotify. She embodies the style of popular music without singing about meaningless partying and how much she wants to be your baby. Conversely, Julie writes songs about issues that are important to her. In her song, “Mountain Lion”, she talks about her struggle with anxiety. “Pennies” is about how the over-commodified society we live in can be detrimental.

 

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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!”
 

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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.

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