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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Discolor Blind – Long Vivid Dream (Republic of Music 1 September 2017)

Montreal’s Discolor Blind Previews ‘Black and Grey’ from Debut EP ‘Long Vivid Dream’

If a musician’s creative output is intrinsically linked to the journey that brought them to that point then it is hardly surprising that Discolor Blind’s debut EP ‘Long Vivid Dream’ is a mercurial blend of flavours and genres. The journey taken by frontman Askhan Malayeri has been one that has taken him from his native Tehran to Cambridge and London and then across the Atlantic to Canada, where he established his own studio and began pulling together all of the ideas that would weave together as his first significant release.

This is as much a show case for Ashkan’s musical skills, from composition to lyric writing to multi-instrumentalism to production, as it is a suite of songs in its own right. This EP not only connects the dots of his musical learning, but also connects the flavours of the cultures he has lived in and the styles that have influenced him.

‘Long Vivid Dream’ was recorded in Montreal between April 2013 and October 2015. It features vocalist Alexis Nadeau, who Malayeri met through a mutual friend in September 2013. The EP also involves Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer Jeff Bass, best known for his long-term work with Eminem.

The first single from the EP is ‘Black and Grey’, a song shot through with the melancholia and angst that crept in from the cold Canadian winters he now found himself acclimatising to. But it also sums up the myriad textures found on the record, a mix of chilled and measured washes, which are used as platforms for more intricate sounds from raw guitars and plaintive pianos to pop beats and even sultry jazz grooves.

Building up the songs involved a long and dedicated process, where Askhan plays the core sounds across a variety of instruments and digital methods, many of which are then replaced by other players for the final recording, and vocals added above the tracks. He likened the process to “rebuilding a large cathedral brick by brick”.

Anyone listening to the five songs that make up this debut will see that the attention to detail is worth the effort as this generically shifting collection is not only difficult to categorise but may actually need new genres created to describe it. It takes in dreamy soundscapes, rock aggression, pop aware melodicism, progressive attitudes, sonorous gothic edges and quirky nu-jazz and everything in between, yet somehow maintains a cohesiveness, always sounding like a complimentary collection of songs rather than a scatter gun of musical ideas. Eclecticism, it would seem, is back on the menu.

CREDITS

Ashkan Malayeri – electric guitar, bass guitar, drum and synthesizer programming, lyrics

Alexis Nadeau – vocals
Daniel Dobleu – album cover artwork
All songs composed, arranged and produced by Ashkan Malayeri
Jeff Bass – rhodes, analog synth, drums (3)
Michael Spleit – cello (1,3,5)
Eric Maillet – drums (3,4,5)
Arthur Zoch – bass guitar (2)
Kelly Craig – trumpet (3)
Mixed by Boris Wilsdorf (1), Jon Caffery (2,3,4,5)

TRACKLIST

1. Migraine
2. The Life of Lily
3. What Pain Brings
4. Black and Grey
5. Poor Receipts
Keep up with Discolor Blind 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Alternative

 

Tulipomania – On The Outside / Don’t Be So Sure (Seahawks Remix) Sursumcorda Recordings 15 September 2017

Tulipomania Presents Seahawks Remix of ‘Don’t Be So Sure’

Philadelphia-based Tulipomania has announced they will release a new single, which includes three tracks. The first single from this collection is the Seahawks Remix of ‘Don’t Be So Sure’.

Seahawks is a duo made up of Jon Tye, founder of the legendary Lo Recordings (whose roster includes Grimes, Aphex Twin, Four Tet, Thurston Moore and Astronauts) and Pete Fowler, creator of Monsterism vinyl toys and perhaps most famed as illustrator of oh so many Super Furry Animals album sleeves. The duo are self-described purveyors of “psychedelic yacht rock, deck shoegaze, hazy beach pop vibrations, and marina drone”.

The original version of ‘Don’t Be So Sure’ featured on the band’s fourth album ‘This Gilded Age’ (2016), described by Byron Coley of WIRE Magazine (May 2017 edition) as “…pretty whacked – something akin to a battle of the bands between Crazy Horse and The Kronos Quartet”.

Tulipomania, whose name was inspired by the 1637 Dutch tulip market collapse, has been categorized as ‘cult synth punks’, ‘glam-leaning’, ‘postpunk’, ‘art rock’, and ‘muscular chamber pop’. Band members Tom Murray (lead vocals, bass, drums, guitar-organ) and Cheryl Gelover(synthesizer, background vocals) were joined by Mitch Smith (guitar, glockenspiel), who also contributed to the band’s eponymous first album, Richard Hartline (piano, percussion, engineering and mastering), and Howard Thompson (executive producer).

This release features intriguing new artwork by legendary artist Vaughan Oliver, whose work they have long admired.  Oliver give distinct visual identities for 4AD releases by many bands, including Mojave 3, Lush, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, The Breeders, This Mortal Coil, Pale Saints, Pixies, and Throwing Muses, in addition to numerous non-4AD artists such as David Sylvian.

This release will also be accompanied by two new music videos, animated by Tulipomania themselves. The band’s meticulous, mesmerizing videos augment the group’s artistry, involving painstaking frame-by-frame stop-motion animation techniques.

Gelover and Murray first met in Art school, and found themselves collaborating on projects for their Experimental Film and Animation classes. Tulipomania essentially grew along with these experiences. They were influenced by Talk Talk,  the solo work by Mark Hollis andTim Friese-Greene, and many early 4AD bands, including Cocteau TwinsLush, Throwing Muses, and The Pixies.

Described as “artistic and inventive”, the music videos created by Tulipomania have been featured in film festivals worldwide, the most recent of which include the London Short Film Festival (England), Leeds International Film Festival (England), Aesthetica Short Film Festival (York, England), Encounters (Bristol, England), Zubroffka (Poland), and StopTrik (Croatia, Poland).

‘Don’t Be So Sure’ was the band’s first hand-painted animation, featuring multiple passes of brushwork shot on thousands of individual sheets of black paper, thereby allowing singing self-portraits to morph and dissolve in an atmospheric exploration of ambiguity. For the video made for the Seahawks Remix, the band re-photographed the original artwork, frame by frame, matching the new tempo and softer mood, which they felt also called for a more painterly, layered approach to the imagery.

The new three-track single will be available via Sursumcorda Recordings on September 15, 2017. It is already available for pre-order from Tulipomania’s Bandcamp page.

TRACKLIST
1.         On the Outside
2.         Don’t Be So Sure (Seahawks Remix)
3.         Don’t Be So Sure

CREDITS

Tom Murray (lead vocals, drums, bass, guitar-organ)
Cheryl Gelover (background vocals, synthesizer)
Mitch Smith (background vocals, guitar, glockenspiel)
Richard Hartline (piano, percussion, engineering and mastering)
Howard Thompson (executive production)
Keep up with Tulipomania
Website | Facebook Twitter | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Vimeo | YouTubeKeep up with Seahawks
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Alternative

 

Crash City Saints – Are You Free? (St. Marie Records 11th August 2017)

Crash City Saints are back with the long awaited follow up to Glow In The Dark Music, which inspired rave reviews back in 2010, with single “Out From The Storm” winning Song of the Day honors from KEXP.

Highlighted by the contribution of Cocteau Twins‘ Simon Raymonde, Are You Free? might be the best shoegaze-influenced album released all year, and yet it’s so much more than that.

It’s something of a shoegaze “Quadrophenia”, telling the autobiographical story of a teenager growing up in a dead-end small town in the early 90s.

Each song, other than being a lyrical outlook at teenage melancholia in a small-town wasteland, represents also an homage to the bands from that period: My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Galaxie 500, and the whole Madchester scene (Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, The Dylans, The High, Soup Dragons, Northside, Charlatans UK, Jesus Jones and EMF).

Music can “save your life” as The Smiths once put it, and those bands become actual torches to move forward in the darkness.

Every band has a history, and the history of Crash City Saints is a litany of missed connections and infidelity, a series of false starts and crushing disappointments.

In this sense, Crash City Saints are just like the rest of us—you’d think they were cursed if their music didn’t sound like it was touched by the gods. And yet they haven’t given up.

In that sense, they are special.

They’re from Kalamazoo, Michigan. This means they sing about going to 7-11, not going to brunch. Are You Free? gallops from strength to strength—songs of ice cream and car crashes, the end of school and the end of existence—before ending with the elegiac ‘Harbour Lights.’

Although anglophile enough to reference an iconic UK sitcom, the album title is American enough to wonder if freedom still exists.

Tracklist
1. Ice Cream Headache
2. Smile Lines
3. Weirdos Need Love Too
4. There’s No School Tomorrow
5. Use Once Then Dispose
6. Spirit Photography
7. Act 2
8. Dawn Of A Bright New Nothing
9. Annabella
10. It’s Not A Party Until Someone Breaks Your Heart
11. The Hour Of The Wolf

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Shoegaze

 

The Heavy Blinkers – The Night And I Are Still So Young (Label Obscura 1 August 2017)

Label Obscura Announces Classic Re-Release for Nova Scotia’s The Heavy Blinkers First Vinyl Release of The Heavy Blinkers ‘The Night and I Are Still So Young’ 
Canada’s Label Obscura is proud to announce the upcoming reissue of one of the best independent pop albums of the early 2000s – ‘The Night And I Are Still So Young’ by The Heavy Blinkers. This is the first time this classic album will be released on vinyl.
Described by Spin magazine as “one of the greatest bands you’ve (probably) never heard”, The Heavy Blinkers is a five-piece formed in 1998 by Jason Michael MacIsaac and a group of friends, including keyboardist and songwriter Andrew Watt and ethereal vocalist Ruth Minnikin. They are based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

By 2004, the intricate and tightly constructed chamber pop of The Heavy Blinkers had become well known, winning them widespread acclaim, albeit without corresponding commercial success for their self-titled debut release in 2000 and the ‘Better Weather’ LP in 2002. The band reached a remarkable breakthrough with their fourth album ‘The Night and I Are Still So Young’ (2004), exhibiting a new maturity in this stunningly orchestrated pop masterpiece.

At the time that ‘The Night and I Are Still Young’ was recorded, The Heavy Blinkers were comprised of Andrew Watt, Greg Fry, Jason MacIsaac, Ruth Minnikin, and Trevor Forbes. MacIsaac is currently the only remaining original member of the band.

Two years in the making, this album consolidates the nocturnal orchestrations of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev and grafts them onto material akin to 70’s era Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman. This has led to the group gathering fans wide and afar, including Sondre Lerche, Van Dyke Parks and The High Llamas.

The luscious pop songmanship of this album has earned The Heavy Blinkers comparisons with Brian Wilson’s best work at his peak, as well as international acclaim and devoted fans. The band’s sonic landscape is rich with multi-tracked vocals featuring an affecting interplay between Minnikin, Watt and MacIsaac, combined with a virtual enchanted forest of arrangements.
Noisey recently included The Heavy Blinkers in their Completely Biased Ranking of the 60 Best Canadian Indie Rock Songs of the 00s, with the band also ranking Number 1 in View 902‘s The Top 20 Albums by Nova Scotians.
Label Obscura is giving this classic album the vinyl release it deserves. With brand new artwork by Yorodeo, detailed liner notes by Brian Chidester and pressed on 180-gram vinyl with a limited edition pressing of 300 copies, this release will bring plenty of smiles to fans new and old alike. It is now available for pre-order via Bandcamp.
TRACKLIST

1. Filtered Light
2. In the Morning
3. Mother Dear
4. Try Telling That to My Baby
5. Gentle Strength
6. The Night and I Are Still So Young
7. He Heard His Song
8. Silver Crown
9. Veranda Celeste
10. Fall On My Sword
11. Unreasonably Sad
12. Don’t Get Me Wrong

Keep up with The Heavy Blinkers
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Keep up with Label Obscura
Website | Facebook | Twitter |Bandcamp

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Alternative

 

Stream ‘Kristin Hersh Live on KEXP’. Kristin Hersh returns to Dublin for special one-off concert

Stream ‘Kristin Hersh Live on KEXP’. Kristin Hersh returns to Dublin for special one-off concert

During her recent U.S. tour, indie rock music legend Kristin Hersh stopped in to the KEXP studios for a special session. The resultant video is out now in streaming https://youtu.be/G0ssg27e04I

Kristin will also be returning to Dublin for an exclusive one-off concert, to take place on Sunday, July 23 at the National Concert Hall.
From life as the reluctant front person for renowned alternative group Throwing Muses, to her long career as a solo singer-songwriter, her lead in the power trio 50FootWave and her new career as an author of ‘Paradoxical Undressing’ and ‘Don’t Suck, Don’t Die’, Kristin never stops creating.
Her most recent solo release, the double album-book combo ‘Wyatt At The Coyote Palace’ (Listen on BandcampSpotify or iTunes) coincided with an extensive tour of Ireland and the UK, playing to many sold-out audiences and wide critical acclaim. Once again she will perform songs from this latest release, as well as other offerings.

Kristin Hersh is most recognized as the front person for the influential art-punk band Throwing Muses. She has also found a surprisingly successful career as an author, she has published the critically acclaimed “Paradoxical Undressing” in the UK (released as “Rat Girl” in the USA), a children’s book “Toby Snax, and “Don’t Suck, Don’t Die,” a highly acclaimed personal account of her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt.

‘Wyatt At The Coyote Palace’ is the third release in the ground-breaking book-CD format that Hersh began with her previous solo album “Crooked” and Throwing Muses’ 2013 release “Purgatory/Paradise”. 

“Wyatt” is a collection of true stories and songs of love and loss, combining Kristin’s humor with the pains and travails of a life spent constantly in motion. Defined by potent guitars, addictive melodies and poignant lyrics, this release is a serious sign of strength and depth, bringing the listener into what the BBC calls Kristin’s “dark and dizzy world.”

“The stories are all true. They happened over the last few decades. The songs were written in the last five years. They’re true, too, in a much more oblique way,” explains Kristin Hersh. “But it’s always felt to me that songs were pushing my life around so they could be born: I live the stories and then the song lives. Very much like children. A baby isn’t born because you got pregnant, you got pregnant because a baby was going to be born.”

Kristin plays all instruments on this 24-track opus, including guitar, bass, drums, piano, horns, cello and even field recordings.  Recorded in Rhode Island with engineer Steve Rizzo, the songs were written in the last 5 years over a turbulent period in her life, the prose was inspired by her son Wyatt, who is on the autism spectrum.  His fascination with an abandoned apartment building behind the studio inhabited by coyotes inspired this record’s title.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Alternative

 

New Zero God/Nexus/Flowers Of Romance (Μια Συζήτηση Με Τον Μιχάλη Πούγουνα)

This interview is in Greek and it took place on 23/06/2017. It was originally posted by the blog Ελευθερία ή Τίποτα

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2017 in Interviews