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Monthly Archives: May 2017

My Favourite Things – Fly I Will, Because I Can (14 July 2017)

Brooklyn’s My Favourite Things Announce New Album, Preview ‘A Little Closer’ Single

Brooklyn-based quartet My Favourite Things have announced the new album ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’, which is slated for release on July 14, 2017, but are already teasing the first single ‘A Little Closer, loaded with shoegaze and dreampop goodness.
This is the third album from My Favourite Things, founded in Brooklyn by Dorothea Tachler (formerly of Igloo, The Swirlies, Alles Wie Gross). Fans of Beach House, Broadcast, dreampop and shoegaze should enjoy the album’s melancholic swaying, melody-rich offerings. This album should also appeal to lovers of acoustic folk music artists such as James Yorkston and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
From a young age, her Korean/German/Croatian background has immersed her in a diversity of musical influences, which have shaped her. In 2009, she released “rarara” (Afterhours/Japan), followed by “Tomorrow’s Far Away” in 2013, featuring guest vocals from several friends and former band-mates, including Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna, Damon Tutunjan from The Swirlies, Daru Oda (Norah Jones), Sean Meadows (June of 4, Lungfish), and Doug Scharin (Codeine, HIM, Rex).
Once again, Dorothea wrote and produced all the songs with their many textures, owing to the use of multiple instruments, many of which she also played: violins, flutes and autoharps weave in and out of twinkling glockenspiels, vibraphones and intricate, sometimes shredding guitars, delivered on a solid bed of a grabbing bass and ripping drums, with Dorothea’s balmy voice hovering and twinkling atop.
When performing live, My Favourite Things appear in different formations, ranging from a solo act to a five-piece band, featuring prominent musicians from the buoyant New York scene: Yoshio “Tony” Kobayashi on drums, Yusuke Yamamoto on vibraphone and synthesizers, Michael Figgiani on bass, and various other talents.
The band has played many venues in the unforgiving NYC music circuit, transporting transfixed audiences from their chaotic built-up urban environments to a twilight world of their own favourite things. Last year, My Favourite Things also toured Germany, featuring Notwist frontman Markus Acher on drums, along with other talented and experienced musicians from Germany’s active band scene.
This album marks a new era for Dorothea, who uses songwriting as a medium to deal with difficult situations that life has dealt her. “This album has made me grow as a songwriter, producer and recording engineer. From a different perspective, this record was like my journal in a difficult time, ridden with a lot of changes: a lot of my friends and family had moved away, my relationship ended, I lost my apartment and had to move, and I became sober, which lead to losing specific social contacts I had until then, who I had thought of as friends – it was all hard, but rewarding in the end to go through this process,” explains Dorothea Tachler.
“Music was my anchor and my lighthouse in stormy and dark nights, and putting my inner turmoil into words really helped me process it better. It was kind of my metamorphosis, being disintegrated like a chrysalis, and being shaped into something new.”
LYRICS – A LITTLE CLOSER

Sweet and low and round it goes
Here it comes again
The new year is here
Round and round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
hold it tight, reset it right
nothing is gone
spindle up, spindle down
two Steps up, one back down
ocean waves wash me up
a little bit closer
Keep your eyes on the road
and we’ll take off for flight
Round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
Wash me out
Move me further
On the shore I shall walk
Until tomorrow comes
Two Steps up, one back down
Ocean waves wash me up
A little bit closer
TRACKLIST
01  Sunlight
02  Everything Changes
03  Goodbye Again
04  Still Practicing
05  Some Things Stay the Same
06  Growing Pains
07  Nobody Knows
08  A Little Closer
09  Keep Letting Go
10  Spaceman
11  The Longest Winter
12  I Don’t Know
Keep up with My Favourite Things
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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Shoegaze

 

LUCKYandLOVE – Lucky + Love LP (SRD Music 30 June 2017)

L.A.’s Synth-sexy LUCKYandLOVE Announce Debut LP, Preview Single ‘Digging in the Earth’ 

photo designed by Loren Luck

Los Angeles-based duo LUCKYandLOVE have announced they will release their debut album ‘Lucky + Love’ on June 30. The lead single is ‘Digging in the Earth’, the video for which was directed and edited by cinemaphotographer and animator Steve Barron.
These 8 electrified tracks were written when bandmates Loren Luck (drums, synths) and April Love (vocals, keyboards, guitar) were living next to a noisy construction site in Glendale, California. Here they successfully incorporate synth-heavy bass with polyphonic harmonies and crystalline vocals, propelling the music into trance-inducing territory.

Inspired by artists such as New Order, OMD, Depeche Mode, Washed Out, Tycho, PJ Harvey and Cocteau Twins, their sound falls beautifully into an everyman’s land between electro rock, dream pop, electronica and synth gaze. Justifiably also described as electrowave or indietronica, this music has, in the words of Loren Luck, “lots of LFO, riveting arpeggiations, simultaneous solos via spacey square waves, with April’s smoky vocals”.

This record is an electronic music record, but comes from a more traditional place, where OMD or Kraftwork came from – one of an unsampled, unprogrammed live recording originally at 192kHz/24-bit quality.

“Musically, as much attention was paid sonically to the organic moog instruments as April’s voice, and we offered the analog synths space in the songs to breathe to their true dynamic potential,” says Loren Luck.

This album came to light through recordings at Eagle Rock’s Cave Studio with Josiah Mazzaschi (Light FM), sessions with sound editor Morgen Stary, and Comp-ny Studio with Grammy winner Be Hussey (Guides). The vinyl release was mastered by Kevin Gray, who most recently engineered the reissue of Vangelis’s Blade Runner.

“My hope is that inviting this record into their life gives listeners some strange rose colored glasses to hear through. The lyrics touch many facets of an abstract philosophy of life – from a spark of physical chemistry between two people in a physical room (Sexy) to the intergalactic forces that spark subtle changes in our entire existence (Taureon), to the gratitude of an unobstructed blue sky (Legal Love), and disdain for a future that pulls us further away from each other (Mars),” explains April Love.

Originally from Silver Lake, California, the band formed in 2014, their name inspired by The Good Luck bar where the two had met in 2006. Several mai tai’s later, Loren started a music label and began playing drums for April’s original band. The two later rented out a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, built a personal skate ramp, screen printed glow-in-the-dark wedding posters, and launched www.luckyandlove.com. Graphic designers by day, they decided to trade in ball-and-chain laptops forever in favor of playing dirty lo-fi electronica.

LUCKYandLOVE currently write and record in their music studio in Echo Park, California. The band is looking forward to recording new tracks with producer John Fryer (This Mortal Coil, Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins, Love and Rockets, His Name is Alive) with plans to drop more singles later in 2017.

Slated for release on June 30, 2017 and with support globally from Southern Record Distributors, this album is being issued digitally and on vinyl, to be available from a record store near you.
TRACKLIST
1  Sexy
2  Venus
3  Mars
4  You’ll Never Know
5  Digging In The Earth
6  Legal Love
7  Taureon
8  Full Moon

Keep up with LUCKYandLOVE
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Posted by on May 28, 2017 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

System Corporation – Dismal Universal Hiss (28 April 2017)

New Zealand’s System Corporation Announce Debut Single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’

New Zealand rock outfit System Corporation released their debut single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’ well ahead of their debut album ‘Fiction Dept.’, slated for release in late 2017.
System Corporation began in 2011, based on a conversation between Phil Somervell (The Datsuns) and their long standing engineer Scott Newth about swapping demos. The two were sharing a flat in Stockholm while The Datsuns were working on their fifth album ‘Death Rattle Boogie’.
Scott began work on producing the demos, cutting them up, rearranging them, and adding vocals. They became a trio when they enlisted fellow Datsuns’ bandmate Ben Cole (also from The Joint Chiefs) on drums, and then evolved into a five-piece when Scott started working on his own demos for the project, finally enlisting his brothers and bandmates Andrew and Kent Newth (Rumpus Room) to help flesh them out. However, the original trio ended up collaborating on a number of new songs, giving System Corporation two distinct songwriting avenues.
While most of the band’s production work happens in Hamilton, they hail from Thames (Phil), Hamilton (Andrew, Scott and Kent) and Wellington (Ben).  The members cite numerous influences, including The Rolling Stones, John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Ty Segall, Sonic Youth, The Clash and The Stone Roses, and New Zealand’s The Subliminals. Scott Newth takes particular inspiration from both music that is “beautifully calculated” and, at the opposite end of that, “beautifully uncontrolled”.
The name System Corporation is a vague translation of Systembolaget, a government-owned and operated liquor store chain in Sweden. What is more interesting than the fact that both the project and its name were born in Sweden is that, through Systembolaget, the government is able to effectively control alcohol sales and identify problem areas in order to divert profits back into social services. System Corporation is an ironically corporate name for an organization promoting such a socialist ethos.
The band’s debut single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’ could easily have been written about the rise of Trump or Brexit. But it wasn’t – it was written at the time of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the rise of the so-called 99%, mass protests, and rallying against a broken system that creates ill-gotten wealth and sucks it into a vacuum unattainable by the mere masses.
“The song is about the futility of the situation we are in. That even when you vote for change, when you vote in a non-politician like Trump or John Key in NZ, you end up getting more of the same, or in these cases, things get a lot worse for the poorer end of society,” explains Scott Newth. “It also has hints of hope that, one day, real change might happen, while touching on the futility of protest movements like Occupy Wall St, that in the end, changed very little.”
Dismal Universal Hiss was released on April 28 and is available via usual online platforms, but can also be ordered through the band’s Bandcamp.
CREDITS
Performed by System Corporation
Phil Somervell: Bass, Guitar, Keys
Scott Newth: Vocals
Andrew Newth: Guitar
Kent Newth: Guitar
Ben Cole: Drums
Written and recorded by Scott Newth and Phil Somervell
Produced by Scott Newth
LYRICS
All the little people
holding up their little signs
in their little countries
All the little ideas
floating in the ether
but no one sees the bigger picture
All the little urchins
digging in the piles we make
of things we took for granted
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
To see you
To help you
To wait on you
To feed you
To bring you up
To teach you
To tell you what to do
All the little people
holding up their little hands
for a grasp at power
Making promises
they will never keep
while they pursue their own agenda
Making money go round
while they take their cut
sell back to you what you already own
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
If you put your ear to the ground
you can hear all the
sorry little people
The dismal universal hiss
of the discontented
talking in a whisper
All these little voices
making little noises
its simmers now but will come to the boil
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
To see you
To help you
To wait on you
To feed you
To bring you up
To teach you
To tell you what to do
Keep up with System Corporation

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Alternative

 

Neil – Black Flowers (Seahorse Recordings 26 May 2017)

Seahorse Recordings to Release Neil ‘Black Flowers’ LP, Previews ‘Blank Sheet’ Single

Seahorse Recordings presents the sophomore album from Neil, called ‘Black Flowers’. Recorded on the isle of Sicily in southern Italy with renowned producer Paolo Messere (Blessed Child Opera), these 11 tracks showcase songmanship that mix folk with grunge, and vocals with an uncanny resemblance to Gavin Rossdale (of Bush).

The first single from this album is ‘Blank Sheet’, which deals with writer’s block – that moment when the artist is in front of a white sheet and cannot dial into his muse.

Written and performed by Neil Lucchetta (vocals, guitar, harmonica). This second album offers a more rock-oriented sound than the previous album thanks to the contribution of Andrea Breda on drums and Alessandro “Ake” Donazzon on bass. Now, during live performances, he is accompanied by Andrea Breda and Alex Michielin (bass).

Originating from the Italian city of Pieve di Soligo (Treviso), Neil began his path as a singer-songwriter, having written his first song in English at the age of 14. He’s been composing ever since, his sonic output infused with folk pop, laden with acoustic guitars and dreamy lyrics.

This new album follows up Neil’s debut album ‘Apart’, released in 2013. This new offering takes the listener on an intimate journey through his personal experiences and stories. The unremitting vision permeating his music presents us with great scenery and breathtaking views of the different facets of his life.

The band cite numerous influences, including Sun Kil Moon, Elliott Smith, The Cure, Nick Drake, Puzzle Muteson, Damien Rice, Neil Young, and Rivulets.

‘Black Flowers’ is inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s ‘Les Fleur du Mal’ and more precisely from the collection “Spleen et Idéal”, which is about existential boredom. The 11 pieces that compose it are small stories surrounding this emotion – more precisely, this Spleen.

“Making music is my way of expressing what I live every day, I write about the emotions I live in my life and I would love that the people who listen to me identify themselves in my emotions,” explains Neil Lucchetta. “The idea for ‘Black Flowers’ came from the recordings on my debut album ‘Apart’, which is basically 10 songs about separation. From here came the idea of creating some kind of theme-based album.”

‘Black Flowers’ will be available digitally via key digital music platforms as of May 30 and is already available for pre-order on the band’s Bandcamp.

CREDITS

Neil Lucchetta – Voice,Guitar,Harmonica and other stuff
Alessandro “Ake” Donazzon – Bass and other stuff
Andrea Breda – Drums
Produced by Paolo Messere
‘Blank Sheet’ video directed by Michele Scarpulla
‘Blank Sheet’ filmed by Gian Paolo Serna
Editing / effects / post production by Elephant Film
Makeup Artist – Michele Corrocher

TRACK LIST

1. Spleen
2. Blank Sheet
3. My Tired Heart
4. Chains
5. Promise
6. Clown
7. The Meaning Fades
8. Not a Love Song
9. Moth
10. Awaiting
11. Spleen II

LIVE DATES

APRIL 30  Refrontolo, Italy – Mostra Del Passito
MAY 28     Marostica, Italy – Festa della Ciliegia
JUNE 10   Cartigliano, Italy – Rive Jazz Club
JUNE 21   Venice, Italy – Ai Biliardi
FEB 25, 2017 Treviso, Italy – Dump

Keep up with Neil

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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Alternative

 

Pattern Language – Total Squaresville (Happy Robots Records 16 June 2017)

Pattern Language debuts on London’s Happy Robots Records with ‘Total Squaresville’ Mini-Album, Teases First Single

London’s Happy Robots Records has announced they will be releasing the ‘Total Squaresville’ mini-album from synth-electronic crafter Pattern Language. From this collection of six tracks, they are teasing the lead single ‘By Time We Get There’ with a catchy retro video by Cheyene Grow at 75 Ohms. Created using obsolete corporate video equipment from the 20th century and generating real-time video landscapes and infinite textures.  This is Pattern Language’s debut release, scheduled for release in June 2017.
Pattern Language is the new project of Chris Frain. Currently based in Boulder, Colorado, Frain was previously keyboard player for the indie-pop band The Giranimals (where he developed a love for the staple sounds of the Minimoog and Melotron instruments) and bassist for the power-prog rock trio Tanuki. In 2013, Frain decided to pursue a solo electronic music career after a chance viewing of the BBC4 documentary “Synth Britannia”, which made him fall back in love with the sound of the synthesizer.

“Each one of the pieces on this album were started from some very basic idea about sound or structure or primary influence, and yet I was surpirsed by all the twists and turns they took through the stages of composition, recording, and mixing,” says Chris Frain. “It’s still fun to listen to each piece and how they took on a life of its own to become something new and unexpected, even to me.”

Apart from sounding similar to krautrock legends like Kraftwerk, Cluster, Harmonia, and La Dusseldorf, the tracks found on ‘Total Squaresville’ showcase Frain drawing heavily on influences from his childhood, including The Art of Noise, Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, and the 1980s iteration of King Crimson. Particularly noteworthy is the use of pre-Roland 808 sounds for the drum machine parts, placing this version of synthwave closer to the late 1970s than the mid-to-late 1980s sound currently dominating this sub-genre.
Tracks like ‘By the Time We Get There’ and ‘Squaresville’ sound like lost Conny Plank projects – complete with simple, direct melodies and motorik-beat rhythms. The Mini-Album’s closer ‘Le Chocs des Etoiles’ (named after the original French title of campy science fiction flop ‘Star Crash’) could easily remind the listener of songs by AIR and Stereolab with its liberal use of Melotron strings and bongo-heavy percussion. While almost unheard of in popular electronic music, ‘The Castellers’ glides along in 3/4 waltz time, replete with flamenco hand-claps. Electro and space disco-inspired ‘A Pattern Language’, along with the moody minimalist piece ‘Deeply Recessed Windows’, round out the tracklist for this debut release.
‘Total Squaresville’ follows up Chris Frain’s remix on the most recent EP from fellow Happy Robots artist Rodney Cromwell, described by Louder Than War as “replete with keyboard accompaniments that could easily be by John Carpenter…one of the stand out tracks of the EP.”
‘Total Squaresville’ is the ninth release on Happy Robots Records and is distributed by Cargo Records, mastered for analogue warmth on digital devices. Watch the video to ‘By Time We Get There’ at www.happyrobots.co.uk
TRACK LIST

1. By Time We Get There
2. Deeply Recessed Windows
3. The Castellers
4. Squaresville
5. A Pattern Language
6. Le Choc des Etoiles

CREDITS
Music and design concept by Chris Frain
Cover artwork by Matt Ashton (of Saloon and The Leaf Library)

Video by Cheyene Grow at 75 Ohms (75O)

Keep up with Chris Frain 
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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Alternative

 

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians – Amerikana (Picture In My Ear Records – 9 June 2017)

Psychedelic rock/folk/Americana stalwarts The Stevenson Ranch Davidians Present ‘Holy Life’ from Coming ‘Amerikana’ Album

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians have announced they will release their new album ‘Amerikana’ in June, but are teasing what’s to come with the lead single ‘Holy Life’ and accompanying video. This is The Davidians’ first album since 2009, scheduled for release in June 2017 on Minneapolis-based Picture In My Ear Records.
Steeped in the aura of the perennially mythologized psychedelic culture of Southern California and making music influenced by the enduring essence of ‘60s psych, folk and soul, woven with strands of early American roots music, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians has, since 2006, revealed itself in shifting configurations.

While the lineup has continually coalesced around lead singer and songwriter Dwayne Seagraves, the collective has always had a guiding vision and goal: to create music that seeks to simultaneously demystify and deify the human experience.

‘Amerikana’ represents a new direction for the band, where the dreamy, flowing sound of albums past is infused with a fresh sense of inspiration, energy and purpose. This is an eclectic, yet cohesive, set of songs that glorify the human spirit while condemning those who seek to destroy it.

Seagraves states that Amerikana also celebrates what he views as true magic: human will put to action. Through his songs, he hopes to convey the sense that human beings have been the sole source of all great insights and achievements throughout history, and that power originates from within individuals rather than from gods, governments or other external sources.

“Holy Life is basically a deification of the Human Spirit,” says Dwayne Seagraves. “I view the record and every song on it as a celebration of the human spirit as well as a condemnation of those who seek to destroy it. What inspired it was a period of time in which I was exposed to those who seek to destroy it and the record was written as a direct counter balance to that.”

The band’s new lineup brings a range of talent, experience and inspiration to The Stevenson Ranch Davidians’ sound. In addition to longtime Davidians’ bassist Jessica Latiolait, guitarist Rob Campanella is a member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Quarter After, while his brother – drummer and backing vocalist Andy Campanella – is a veteran of Occult Wisdom, Imogene and Chief Nowhere. Guitarist Misha Bullock, the sole Englishman in the fold, formerly played with Tennis System.

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians “Amerikana” LP will be available on Classic Black 150G Vinyl with Lyric Inner Sleeve, but is already available for pre-order on Picture in My Ear Records ‘ Bandcamp at https://pictureinmyearrecords.bandcamp.com/album/amerikana

On May 4, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians will be headlining Lolipop Records‘ event at Harvard & Stone in Hollywood (5221 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, California).

CREDITS
Written, performed and produced by Dwayne Seagraves
Mixed by Bryan Showalter
Mastered by Isaac Betesh
Video created by Jacob Kedzierski

Keep up with The Stevenson Ranch Davidians 
Keep up with Picture In My Ear Records

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Alternative, Psychedelic