“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”.
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
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 Track Listing:
1. Matter of Time
3. Dino Jay
4. Six Flags in F or G
6. Instant Doppelgängers
7. Taking Care of Eddy
8. Carrier Pigeon
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:
Following the success of her “Where Are U Now” by JACK U and “Taken Back” by Twofold remixes, Leah Culver is back with a new, original release – “Slow Motion” – just in time for the autumn season.
“This song is about the hopeless romantic inside all of us – in slow motion. I wanted to write about what it feels like to be in a relationship that takes us and traps us in time. We all know what it’s like to be with someone we know we have to let go. This song is about those stories, and how it affects us as people.” – Leah Culver on her inspiration behind “Slow Motion”
Since 2011, Leah Culver has been a dynamic presence for the dance floor, impressing her fans and peers time and time again with her multi-talents. Singer, songwriter, DJ and producer – Leah is an artist who personally cultivates her music from scratch and gives it a voice. Having performed on the stages of TomorrowWorld, Counterpoint Music Festival and Imagine Music Festival, she has garnered the support from industry heavy-hitters including Adventure Club, The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi, Porter Robinson, Seven Lions and more.
An Atlanta native, Leah Culver carved out a local following under her original moniker, MK Ultra, and has been turning heads ever since. Whether she is playing with a live band or operating from coast to coast, Leah’s main mission is to share her musical message with the world.
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
After the recent release of their latest single “Loser Like You”, Brooklyn-based dance rock crew argonaut&wasp are set to release their new EP Ha! Fiction.
Ha! Fiction’ is a colourful, imaginative EP born out of change, struggle and big ideas. Having relocated to New York City a year ago, the move meant a bigger workspace, more rent and a new perspective on music.
“This transition brought changes greater than we could of predicted…the sight and sounds of NYC changed our perspective on music, why we do it and how we listen to it. This EP is a reaction to all of that. And as we scramble to make sense of it, we realize it’s just what we make it.” – argonaut&wasp
Throughout the EP there are clear nods to greats like Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, The Clash and Daft Punk, as the band takes the listener on a imaginative, lyrical journey. Their disco-infused single “Loser Like You” is a taste of an EP that is guaranteed to be a whirlwind musical journey, free flowing with funk-driven guitars, quirky vocals and thoughtful lyrics.
Opening track “Paisley” features a sun-kissed bassline paired with fun, care-free lyrics that call for dancing. It’s an introductory track that perfectly encapsulates the band’s musical style — gooey and groove-filled sounds given weight by lyrics inspired by big changes and growing pains – and sets the pace for what’s yet to come.
Hot off of his successful collaboration with Galantis, Hook N Sling is maintaining steady momentum with his brand new release. This time, the LA-based producer steps into the spotlight with his remix of The Chainsmokers’ “All We Know,” out now for free download.
Never one to be complacent with his style, Hook N Sling steps out of his relative comfort zone and ditches his signature electro-house style for one with more intensity and appeal. Positive vibes are evoked through a well-balanced combination of deep bass lines, bouncing synths, and a playful melody as he explores sounds outside of his usual style. This release highlights Hook N Sling’s undisputed versatility and introduces a new and improved aesthetic that will charm fans of all demographics.
Hook N’ Sling aka Anthony Maniscalco has a proven history of releasing chart-topping records. His music cuts through the saturated electronic dance music space while showing a constant evolution to his sound, staying two steps ahead of the game at every turn. With an ARIA Music Awards nomination, a DMC Buzz Chart #1, a Beatport #1, and a Hypem #1 under his belt, Hook N’ Sling continues to make a statement as to the versatile appeal of his music. He’s earned tens of millions of spins across Youtube and Spotify, earning support from respected peers like Kaskade, Axwell, Don Diablo, The Chainsmokers, and more.
Navy Gangs is a pop quintet currently residing in the washed out and overly demanding area of New York City. Singer/Guitarist Matthew Tillwick, Guitarist Noah Kohll, and Drummer Gavin Cordaro began orchestrating music together in 2012 at Central High School in the red light district of Omaha where they failed their junior years miserably.
For 2 months they took jobs working in the desert dome at the Henry Doorly zoo until they saved enough of their dismal wages for one way bus passes to New York City, where they moved in temporarily with Kohll’s grandmother Estelle.
After making some new friends in Washington Square park, the 3 boys found themselves in a basement scene in little Italy. It was there that they met their bassist, Wilson Keithline from Providence, Rhode Island. Together they became Navy Gangs, a troupe who’s songs grab influence from dark rooms, hopeless romanticism, table wine, and back page humor.
The EP was recorded in Noah Kohll’s grandmother Estelle’s home by Joey Kimono straight to 2 inch tape and was mixed and mastered by Steve Marion of Delicate Steve. It features vocals and percussion from long-time friend Coley Gold, a nomadic vixen who plays shows with the band often but never rings ahead of time (just shows up).
Derived from heartbreak, endless internet streaming, and the pain that is being social, Navy Gangs debut EP is a pop miracle. Joining the ranks of huge acts like Lady Gaga, Beck and Green Day, they’ve been named one of Newsweek’s “10 October Albums To Look Forward To.”
Check out the 4 tracks from the EP below: