Tag Archives: tour dates

Remix: Izzy Bizu – “White Tiger” (Cat Carpenters Remix)

Izzy Bizu is a 22-year-old singer/songwriter from South West London, born to an Ethiopian Mother and English Father. She grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Swan, Betty Wright, and James Brown and draws on these influences alongside newer influences such as Amy Winehouse and Adele, to create a fusion of soul, funk, jazz, and pop that sounds classic and brand spanking new all at once.

Being 2016 Brits Critics Choice finalist, The BBC’s Introducing Artist of the Year 2016 and chosen as the voice of the 2016 Euros with her cover of Edith Piaf’s La Foule, she is quickly proving herself as one of the most exciting breakthrough British artists of the year. Garnering early support from 1Xtra and BBC Radio 1 on her independent six-tracker, Coolbeanz EP, before signing to Sony/RED MUSIC there’s been plenty a new fans in the front row thanks to instant classics like “White Tiger”, now with over 75 million global Spotify streams, the heart-wrenching “Mad Behaviour”, and viral Honne collaboration “Someone That Loves You”.

Drawing on her time moving countries, schools and the relationships that have entailed, Izzy is a cultural explorer, memories, experience and feelings evoking the songs we’re soon to hear and the thought-provoking conversation she already provides. Wearing her thoughts on her sleeve, you’ll be pushed to find many a debut this honest.

Her debut album, A Moment of Madness is out now (which you can stream via Spotify HERE); and the South London born singer/songwriter is debuting the Cat Carpenters remix of her hit “White Tiger,” which you can check out below along with tour dates alongside Coldplay!

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
with Coldplay
8/12 Minneapolis MN – US Bank Stadium
8/14 Omaha NE – Centurylink Center
8/15 Kansas City MO – Spirit Center
8/17 Chicago IL – Soldier Field
8/19 Cleveland OH – Quicken Loans Arena
8/21 Toronto ON – Rogers Centre
8/22 Toronto ON – Rogers Centre
8/25 Houston TX – NRG Stadium
8/28 Miami FL – Hard Rock Stadium

 

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NVDES – “Dancer From New York” + Tour Dates

Last Friday, Los Angeles-based creative collective NVDES released the La NVDITÉ, Vol. 1 EP on Maison Nvdité/Kobalt Music Recordings. An intriguing introduction to the laptop-punk of de-facto frontman Josh Ocean, the five-track collection brimming with his signature frenetic guitars and hones his prowess for crafting compulsive summery jams. In celebration of the release, NVDES shares a new video for “Dancer From New York” featuring his trademark imagery directed by Jenna Josepher & Giulia Marsico.

Ocean comments, “Dancer From New York was inspired by a crazy night my collaborator Sean Van Vleet had after eating at White Castle in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I moved to NYC in 2005 to pursue music. The electricity of the local indie-rock scene during that time was extremely formative for me. A lot of my music is influenced by what I was listening to and experiencing at that time. This song is my homage to that time and those influences.”

Following the release of his glitchy 2016 debut EP Life With Lobsters, NVDES garnered over 10 million streams across platforms, charted on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart, and received acclaim from the likes of FADER, NYLON, and many more. The four-track collection spins through an array of kaleidoscopic sounds that are both levitating and melodic, yet wholly original.

NVDES has also announced a series of tour dates as lead support for RAC. Full date listing is below!

NVDES Tour Dates
8/18: Los Angeles, CA @ Echo Park Rising
8/24: Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
8/26: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
9/15: Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s *
9/16: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
9/17: Vancouver, BC @ The Imperial *
9/19: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent *
9/20: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre *
9/21: San Diego, CA @ Music Box *
* = w/ RAC 

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Video: Alice Merton – “No Roots”

Alice Merton signs with Mom + Pop Music! Her single “No Roots” has already captured an immense amount of attention with millions of global plays on Spotify and YouTube, and has been recently added to Alt/AAA U.S. radio. She has new adds this week including LA, Chicago, Austin, Dallas, SF, Minneapolis + NYC/Sirius Alt Nation. Look out for Alice later this year and early next as she plans to tour both Europe and the U.S..

“I’ve got no roots, but my home was never on the ground.”

One whole sentence seems to sum up the life of the English/Canadian singer and songwriter Alice Merton. Four countries and eleven moves later, she starts to take her first independent steps into the music industry. With success – “No Roots” reached top positions on iTunes, Spotify, Shazam and Hype Machine. In Germany, the song has already reached platinum status and was #1 in the official single charts.

Raised in Canada, finishing high school in Germany, then moving on to England with her family, Alice has gotten quite used to packing and unpacking boxes. With her debut single “No Roots”, she describes the life of having had many different homes but comes to the realization that her home was never in one place.

At the age of five she started taking classical piano lessons, four years later she was introduced to vocal training. After spending many years being classically trained, Alice discovered the art of songwriting through one of her high school courses in Germany. She then went on to study songwriting and pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

During her studies, she started working with various producers. Finding the right producer is like finding a missing puzzle piece, you know it’s there somewhere, but it takes a really long time to find.” However, after being introduced to Nicolas Rebscher, a Berlin-based producer, she knew she had found her match.

Creating a very analog and organic pop sound, going back to the basics of drum and bass driven music, they combined their individual styles to develop a style of their own. Nicolas Rebscher’s arrangements were the perfect addition to Alice’s melodies, combining the depth and softness in her voice, with his energetic and charismatic sounds.

TOUR DATES:

08/04  Appletree Garden Festival – Diepholz, Germany

08/04  Parklichter Festival – Bad Oeynhausen, Germany

08/05  Food For Your Senses Festival – Kirchberg, Luxembourg

08/25  Gamescon – Cologne, Germany

08/26  Laternenfest – Halle, Germany

09/9  Rennbahn Berlin Hoppegarten – Berlin, Germany

09/10  Lollapalooza Berlin – Berlin, Germany

09/14  SWR3 New Pop Festival – Baden Baden, Germany

09/15  NDR 2 Soundcheck Festival – Göttingen, Germany

9/20-23  Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg, Germany

11/17  New Fall Festival – Düsseldorf, Germany

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New Video: Black Kids – “Iffy”

Black Kids have released the psychedelic video for their song, “Iffy.” The video was created by Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio and the track appears on their sophomore album, Rookie, out September 15. The album was recorded and co-produced by Andy LeMaster at Chase Park Transduction.

“Black Kids tell the story of perpetual romantic confusion with a quirky video collage,” says Paper Magazine. “It’s everything they are — fun, upbeat and well in-touch with its own oddity.”

Black Kids say of the track: “IFFY” is representative of what might be considered the closest thing we have to a ‘signature sound’ — wonky, bizarro top 40 from some derpy alternate universe.”

DON’T MISS BLACK KIDS ON TOUR!

Sept 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland Block Party 2017
Sept 20 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Sept 22 – Seattle, WA @ The Sunset
Sept 23 – Bend, OR @ Volcanic Theatre
Sept 24 – San Francisco, CA @ Folsom Street Fair
Sept 25 – Oakland, CA @ New Parish
Sept 26 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Sept 29 – San Diego,CA @ Casbah
Oct 22 – Washington DC @ DC9
Oct 23 – New York City @ Baby’s All Right
Oct 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Oct 26 – Boston @ Sonia’s

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Newest Love: Private Island

Photo credit: Anthony Pham

“For a sound so contagious, I’d bet they’re impressive to see live.”
– What Youth

“So grab your sunglasses and sunscreen and hit the pool with this one on your loudspeakers.” — Earmilk

“L.A.-based Private Island has one foot in the retro-ism of smooth jazz and funk and the other in the gang’s-all-here musical collectivism of modern indie-pop.”
– Buzzbands.LA

After dominating the West Coast music scene and selling out headlining shows in LA, Private Island is heading on their first US Tour with Future Generations, prepared to bring their mix of funky California indie pop-rock to a venue near you. After making a splash on the internet with their Hype Machine approved hit “Drugs,” and over 3 million streams on Spotify, Private Island is excited to promote their third studio project, Night Drivewhich will mark a slight departure from their indie-rock past to a smoother R&B vibe.

The lead single, “Turbulence,” is Private Island’s first step into a world that breaks away from the shimmering indie-rock of their past releases. While maintaining their roots, the new music opens the door into a darker, more polished sound, where lead singer Christian Lum effortlessly denounces his loss of faith in love. The sonic development of the new single mixed with their signature bluesy-rock sound leaves listeners with a taste of the new album, due out fall 2017. The Southern California six-piece band, comprised of Christian Lum, Tommy Nickerson, Cameron Anderson, Michelle Guerrero, Tim Barbour and Roger Mawer, worked with producer Jacob Munk and mastering engineer Joe Lambert for Night Drive.

TOUR DATES

July 28th @ The High Watt in Nashville, TN

July 29th @ The EARL in Atlanta, GA

Aug 1st @ The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC

Aug 2nd @ DC9 in Washington, DC

Aug 4th @ Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, PA

Aug 5th @ Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY

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Check ‘Em Out: Warbly Jets

LA’s Warbly Jets have been building buzz locally and nationally since the release of their debut single “Alive” last November. In addition to being named an Artist to Watch by KCRW and earning praise from both LA Weekly and LA Record, they’ve also racked up spins on Beats1 and KROQ, caught the attention of Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green (who used “Alive” as the official song of its SS17 line), and landed slots opening for acts like The Dandy Warhols, The Mystery Lights, and Night Beats. 

Now, Warbly Jets share their second single, “The Lowdown.” A snarling anthem meant to call out the music industry and its endless games, it’s the band’s way of saying that they’re here, and they’re here to stay. (Check it out below.)

“The Lowdown” was written last year, beginning with a backbeat and bass lick constructed by keyboardist Julien O’Neill. From there, the band added guitars, vocals, and additional melodies, along with a heavy dose of confidence and a playfully brash attitude. Inspired by their own experiences with the music industry at large — specifically the empty promises of stardom and money, all while major labels go bankrupt pumping out heartless music —  “The Lowdown” is Warbly Jets’ way of asserting that they got where they are on their own, and they’re not going to wait for anyone to give them the green light.   


Warbly Jets on Tour:

7/30: Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
8/2: Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
8/3: Rock Island, IL @ RIBCO
8/4 – 8/5: Appleton, WI @ Mile of Music
8/6: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
8/8: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (Pond Magazine Presents)
8/9: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (Pond Magazine Presents)
8/10: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
8/11: Washington, D.C. @ DC9
8/15: Nashville, TN @ The Basement
8/19: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
8/20: San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
9/5: London, ENG @ The Shacklewell Arms
9/12: London, ENG @ The Shacklewell Arms
9/19: London, ENG @ The Shacklewell Arms
9/25: London, ENG @ The Shacklewell Arms

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Coast Modern Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Faye Webster

Off the back of single releases totaling over 30 Million streams, Coast Modern – comprised of Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas – recently announced that their highly anticipated self-titled debut album will be released on July 28th, 2017, via 300 Entertainment / +1 Records. The band is pleased to announce their headlining Fall tour, kicking off this September.

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”, the duo have gone on to release a handful of tracks in their short tenure as a band – 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), and followed up with “Comb My Hair”, “Pockets Full of No” and “Dive” – tracks to kick you out of the most serious of funks.

Garnering attention from every tastemaker under the sun, including Pigeons and Planes, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair and more, their tracks would creep their way to the airwaves, generating heavy rotation from the likes of SiriusXM Alt Nation and KCRW.

Coast Modern made their live debut at SXSW, playing their first shows ever as a band, and just a few weeks later were playing one of New York City’s most coveted venues, Terminal 5, kicking off their support slot touring with BORNS. The duo has since toured with the likes of The Wombats, The Temper Trap and just wrapped up the Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour.

Kicking off in San Francisco and hitting major markets including New York, Chicago and a hometown show in LA, be sure to catch the band on the road this Fall.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Sep-6 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
Sep-7 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
Sep-8 – Seattle, WA – Tractor
Sep-9 – Spokane, WI- Tinnabulation Music Festival
Sep-11 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Sep-12 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall
Sep-14 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar
Sep-16 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Sep-18 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Sep-19 – Detroit, MI – Shelter
Sep-20 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
Sep-22 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
Sep-23 – Albany, NY – The Hollow
Sep-25 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Sep-26 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
Sep-27 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Sep-29 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
Sep-30 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
Oct-2 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Oct-3 – Austin, TX – Stubbs JR
Oct-4 – Dallas, TX – HOB – Cambridge Room
Oct-7 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel
Oct-8 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
Oct-9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Oct-10 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

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The Darkness Is Back With New Track “All The Pretty Girls”

England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods – and one-time saviors of rock’n’roll turned national pleasures – The Darkness are back with their fifth album Pinewood Smile, due for release October 6th through Cooking Vinyl.

Marking the announcement, the band has today unveiled the spectacular album opener “All The Pretty Girls” across all streaming platforms. It’s also available for download with pre-orders of the album for the instant gratification of fans.

“All The Pretty Girls” is a glorious, hard-rockin’, autobiographical anthem intellectually examining the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that.

As Justin Hawkins so eloquently sings with trouser-splitting vocal magnificence; “All the pretty girls, like me for who I am / All the pretty girls, when the record goes platinum / Plenty of action, massive attraction, when you’re selling out stadiums / All the pretty girls… and their mums”. 

Addressing the forthcoming album and The Darkness’ undoubted relevance in 2017, Justin asks, somewhat rhetorically of the world at large, “Why should anybody care? Because if you don’t, we’re fucked!! History will remember us as the apathetic generation who negligently ushered in a dreadful dystopian age that may or may not come to be known as ‘The Rise of the Arseclowns’. We cannot allow this to continue! You may not give a shit about Brexit or Trump, but PLEASE… give a shit about The Darkness otherwise the last bastion of cultural sensibility will fall and our airwaves will be polluted by meaningless pop purveyed by arseholes and morons… Oh wait!”

In addition to the cerebral treatise of “All The Pretty Girls”, the album boasts the swashbuckling “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola”, the expletive-strewn howl of frustration that is “Southern Trains”, the hugely emotional “Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?”, the globally anthemic “Japanese Prisoner Of Love”, and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit “Solid Gold”, which finds The Darkness addressing the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they have enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.

Written in Putney, recorded in Cornwall and produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse), the compositions have all the crucial elements of classic Darkness fare, but with added layers for the ears to peel away at… like a sonic onion but a lot tastier. It also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor, who shares vocal duties with Justin on two of the tracks.

To celebrate the release of their comeback album Pinewood Smile, The Darkness will be touring extensively at the end of this year playing 17 dates in the UK throughout November and December including a headline show at London’s Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on December 10th (see dates below). The shows are part of a wider European tour, full dates can be found at http://www.thedarknesslive.com/tour-dates/

The Darkness has returned revitalized, re-energized and ready to take the world by the balls once again with Pinewood Smile.
PINEWOOD SMILE TRACKLIST

  1. All The Pretty Girls
  2. Buccaneers Of Hispaniola
  3. Solid Gold
  4. Southern Trains
  5. Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?
  6. Japanese Prisoner Of Love
  7. Lay Down With Me, Barbara
  8. I Wish I Was In Heaven
  9. Happiness
  10. Stampede Of Love

The album will be released on CD, limited edition Deluxe CD (featuring four bonus tracks), Gatefold Heavyweight Vinyl, cassette and in both Standard and Deluxe digital versions.

THE DARKNESS UK TOUR DATES
NOVEMBER 
11/23 – Southampton, O2 Guildhall
11/24 – Manchester, Academy
11/25 – Blackburn, King George’s Hall
11/27 – Leeds, O2 Academy
11/28 – Newcastle, O2 Academy
11/29 – Glasgow, O2 Academy

DECEMBER
12/1 – Stoke-On-Trent, Victoria Hall
12/2 – Nottingham, Rock City
12/3  – Norwich, UEA
12/5 – Guildford, G Live
12/6 – Margate, Winter Gardens
12/7 – Southend-On-Sea, Cliffs Pavilion
12/9 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
12/10 – London, Eventim Apollo
12/11 – Brighton, Dome
12/13 – Cardiff, St David’s Hall
12/14 – Bristol, Colston Hall

2003 gave birth to one of the most extraordinary and best-loved bands in the UK. The Darkness released their debut album Permission To Land to overnight success, topping the UK charts, going 5x Platinum and selling over 1.5 MILLION copies in the UK alone. It spawned a series of hit singles including “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, “Growing On Me”, “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and “Love Is Only A Feeling”. It clocked up a series of awards including three BRIT Awards, two Kerrang Awards and an Ivor Novello for ‘Songwriters Of The Year’ amongst many others.

The Darkness played a number of landmark shows, including a headline set at the 2004 Reading & Leeds Festivals, as part of a whirlwind career of global touring as international sensations. The band then built upon the success of their debut with their 2005 follow up One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back, which produced the Top 10 hit “One Way Ticket”.

In 2006 Justin Hawkins left the band, checking into rehab and The Darkness fell apart. Following successful treatment, the band reformed in 2011 touring Europe and South America in 2012 with Lady Gaga. They released their comeback album Hot Cakes that year and Last Of Our Kind in 2015.

The band have now returned in 2017 with Pinewood Smile, their first album to come through Cooking Vinyl. Ahead of the album’s announcement, The Darkness toured Europe in support of Guns N’ Roses and are playing a number of festivals in the UK and Europe during the summer.

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New Music From The Struts – “One Night Only”

Photo credit: Catie Laffoon

Acclaimed UK rock band The Struts release “One Night Only”, the new single out on Polydor/Interscope Records. “One Night Only” is the first piece of music to be revealed from the band’s forthcoming album—the highly anticipated follow up to their 2016 debut Everybody Wants.

Of the track, lead vocalist Luke Spiller says, “This song is mainly about the relationship between a performer and his/her audience. After touring throughout the United States, we’ve developed a strong relationship with our audience and started to feel more responsibility to them—mainly to give a great show every night. The song has many theatrical moments, making the arrangement one of the most ambitious songs we’ve done. It’s definitely over the top and larger than life, but after experiencing our audience and how they react to our music, I think it’s even more fitting.”

The band has been touring nonstop since forming including worldwide headlining shows, prestigious festival plays and support slots for The Rolling Stones, The Who, Guns N’Roses, Mötley Crüe and The Killers.  The Struts will now be opening the first leg of Foo Fighters’ autumn tour across the US – see full dates below.

Formed in Derby, England in 2012, The Struts are Spiller, Adam Slack (guitar), Jed Elliott (bass) and Gethin Davies (drums).

“The guys are on course to be one of the UK’s biggest rock bands. ‘Everybody Wants’ is a real contender”  – Daily Star

“Reviving the glam rock lifestyle but also imbuing it with some downright mature 21st century sensibilities.” – GQ

THE STRUTS LIVE
August 19-20—Osaka/Tokyo, Japan—Summer Sonic
September 2—St. Louis, MO—Ballpark Village
October 7—San Bernardino, CA—Cal Jam 17
October 12—Washington, D.C.—The Anthem*
October 14—Richmond, VA—Richmond Coliseum*
October 15—Greensboro, NC—Greensboro Coliseum Complex*
October 17—Columbia, SC—Colonial Life Arena*
October 18—Knoxville, TN—Thompson-Boling Arena*
October 20—Cincinnati, OH—US Bank Arena*
October 21—Lexington, KY—Rupp Arena*
October 23—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena*
October 24—Memphis, TN—FedEx Forum*
October 26—Birmingham, AL—BJCC*

*opening for Foo Fighters

 

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Highly Anticipated: Sleepy Sun’s New Album

Photo Cred: Amy Harrity

Sleepy Sun have shared the video for their first single “Seaquest” on Relix. Prior to this video, Sleepy Sun also released the single “Crave”. Both tracks will be featured on the forthcoming album Private Tales out 6/9 via Dine Alone Records. In anticipation for the upcoming album, be sure to get in contact with Sleepy Sun and tell them your secrets… your stories… your private tales at +1 415-646-6705. The band also recently had their promo photos taken by Amy Harrity. You can watch a video montage below:

 

When talking about the video for “Seaquest,” Sleepy Sun guitarist Matt Holliman states:

‘Seaquest’ brought the band together with longtime media collaborator Brandon Moore. As with most of our videos, we pretty much give the director free reign and encourage their interpretation of the song. It was a bit of struggle to get the sailboat in the Bay, as bad weather canceled one date, and nearly threatened another. But we held out on the 2nd attempt, and Brandon was able to capture some incredible footage of the Golden Gate, with the Bay nearly completely clear of activity. Secondary shooting would find us nearly freezing to capture the underwater shots. Also: swimming with sunglasses takes a little practice.

Sleepy Sun Tour Dates:
5/25/2017 Santa Cruz, CA @The Catalyst
5/26/2017 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
5/27/2017 Los Angeles, CA @The Hi Hat
7/21/2017 – Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door
7/22/2017 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse w/ Mr. Elevator
7/23/2017 – Tucson, AZ @ Congress
7/25/2017 – Dallas, TX @ Club DaDa
7/26/2017 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
7/27/2017 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow
7/28/2017 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar w/ Froth
7/30/2017 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
8/1/2017 – Boise, ID @ Nuerolux
8/2/2017 – Portland, OR @ Liquor Store
8/3/2017 – Vancouver, BC @ Cobalt
8/4/2017 – Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
8/5/2017 – Klamath Falls, OR @ Gino’s

If there’s one thing we can all agree on in these dark, deeply uncertain days, it’s humanity’s latent desire to unplug from it all—to put our smartphones down, survey our immediate surroundings, and let the sweeter things in life rise to the surface.

Sleepy Sun gets it. Now five albums and more than a decade into making their own elusive brand of bold rock music, the Bay Area band isn’t interested in flooding our synapses with far too many ideas on their new LP, Private Tales. They’d rather let a grander vision unfold over time, rewarding anyone with the willingness to wait it out, to actually listen.

“When I hear Private Tales,” says guitarist Evan Reiss, “I appreciate the spaciousness that is left for the listener. I like music that gives them an opportunity to breathe, as opposed to jamming ideas into someone’s ears at all times.”

That approach is clear from the very beginning, a sustained drone casting a spell of clean synth tones, monk-like melodies, muted flutes, and riffs that ring out in the distance. It’s as if Sleepy Sun’s core quartet (Reiss, fellow guitarist Matt Holliman, frontman Bret Constantino, and drummer Brian Tice) decided to apply the album’s brakes before they even got out of the driveway.

If only things were that simple. The glassy psych grooves of “Prodigal Vampire” eventually give way to the life aquatic licks of “Seaquest,” a song that actually sounds like it’s sailing straight towards the sun. Meanwhile, “When the Morning Comes” and “Crave” take the group down an entirely different path—one that’s lined with thorny hooks and chaotic thunderclaps, as influenced by Swans as it is by Thin Lizzy.

Confused yet? Good.

“I always, always loved how no one knew what to make of us,” says Tice.

“That means we’re doing our job!” adds Reiss.

Or as Constantino puts it, “Creating original work is the most difficult part of writing anything. Often during the process, you think, ‘Oh man, that sounds like The Stones,’ or ‘that lyric is way too literal or cliche’. I’ve found the less you pay attention to that critical voice and concentrate on what you’re hearing in your head, you end up subconsciously reinterpreting everything you’ve ever heard or seen.”

It helps to have a strong supporting cast, of course, including bassists Jack Allen and Owen Kelley, who held the low end down on this LP. The boys were also backed by two incredible singers throughout the album’s two recording sessions: the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder and Whitehorn Singers’ Hannah Moriah. Colin Stewart also reprised the producer/engineering role he played on Sleepy Sun’s breakthrough records, Embrace and Fever.

“Colin is our main man,” says Reiss. “He ate more than 20 burritos while we were recording Private Tales, and believed in us throughout this two-year process. I cannot thank him enough.”

“I am certain this record could not have been made without his support and sacrifices,” adds Constantino. “There were times where he was the only person who believed we had it in us. He has a wonderful ability to bring out the honest truth in the musicians he works with. There’s no one I’d rather record with.”

Well, no one except the rest of Sleepy Sun, a tight-knit crew that kept its creative process going despite Constantino’s decision to move to Texas during the making of Private Tales. (The band exchanged home recordings over email and fleshed songs out in the studio over the course of two trying years.)

“This is the longest relationship I’ve had outside of my family,” says Constantino. “We’ve grown an incredible amount individually over the last 10 years, as has the ‘Sleepy Sun sound’. This record, in particular, was the most difficult to make, by far, mainly for logistical reasons.”

“Playing music with this group is second nature to me,” adds Reiss. “Being in a band for more than a decade allows for an almost telepathic creative relationship. The hard part is finding the time to ‘get in and let go’.”

Mission = accomplished.

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