Brooklyn’s My Favourite Things Announce New Album, Preview ‘A Little Closer’ Single
Category Archives: Shoegaze
Psych-Gaze Outfit Clustersun Announces Sophomore Album, Previews First Single ‘Raw Nerve’
Three years after their debut album ‘Out Of Your Ego’, this 4-piece outfit from Catania (Siciliy) have raised the sonic bar, delivering a more complex and layered mixture of gazey reverberations, a massive walls of sound, psychedelic soundscapes and dreamy melodies.
Formed in 2013, Clustersun is Marco Chisari (vocals & bass), Mario Lo Faro (guitars), Piergiorgio Campione (synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals), and Andrea Conti (drums).
Featuring eight tracks, ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ was produced by Clustersun and Alessio Pindinelli (La Casa Al Mare). Combining shoegaze, psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop, the band’s signature cosmic/spacey dark vibe is still intact with lyrics invoking a dreamlike sense of melancholy and emotional fragility.
“The sophomore album is a very tough step for every band, especially if it comes after a strong debut, as our ‘Out of Your Ego’ was,” says Marco Chisari. “We are so much happy and proud of how ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ came out, mainly because we’ve managed to capture how the band sounds live.”
These new offerings are influenced by shoegaze giants Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized, as well as Ringo Deathstarr, A Place To Bury Strangers, Cheatahs, Minor Victories, and Flyying Colours.
“This album is way fuzzier, more powerful, dynamic, edgy than the debut. Sounds were layered to build a dense, but articulated, sonic wall,” explains Mario Lo Faro. “Also we recorded the songs from ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ while we were touring so they retain that “live” vibe and power, while ‘Out of Your Ego’ had more ethereal and “light” tracks.
Clustersun released their first single ‘Be Vegetal’ on US indie label Custom Made Music and Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings, who released the band’s debut album ‘Out of Your Ego’. The band toured the Eastern USA in support of that album. They have contributed to compilations released via Patetico Records (USA), Raphalite Records UK), Gerpfast Kolektif (Indonesia), Shoegazin’ Your Waves (Italy), and most recently participated in Slowdive and Echo & The Bunnymen tributes issued by The Blog That Celebrates Itself.
Having been awarded the GLOBUS prize for Sicilian artistic excellence, Clustersun has established themselves as one of the most promising acts in the new international shoegaze scene.
“This is an honor and a responsibility, as Italy is delivering some of the most interesting music in the shoegaze-psych-dreampop-postpunk-wave sphere,” Piergiorgio Campione. “Being cited alongside bands that we love and admire is great motivation to constantly push forward our limits,” Andrea Conti.
The ‘Surfacing To Breathe’ LP releases on May 19 via Seahorse Recordings and will be available on vinyl, as well as CD and digital formats.
Marco Chisari (Vocals & Bass)
Mario Lo Faro (Guitars)
Piergiorgio Campione (Synthesizers, Keyboards & Backing Vocals)
Andrea Conti (Drums)
Produced by Clustersun and Alessio Pindinelli (La Casa Al Mare)
Recorded by Piergiorgio Campione at Studio12 in Catania
Mixed by Alessio Pindinelli and Fabio Galeone at Wax Recording Studio in Rome
Mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago
Artwork by Ilaria Facci in London
‘Raw Nerve’ video directed and edited by Visualazer
Actress: Mariaurelia Viscuso
1. Raw Nerve
2. Antagonize Me
3. Lonely Moon
4. The Whirling Dervish
5. Don’t Let The Weigh of Your Soul Drag You Down
6. Surfacing To Breathe
7. Emotional Painkiller
8. Event Horizon
Keep up with Seahorse Recordings
Phantogram and The Veldt to Embark on East Coast Tour, March 11-17
Alternative pop icons Phantogram and shoegaze alternative soul pioneers The Veldt have announced they will play six exclusive U.S. East Coast cities before the former departs for their European tour. The duo will again return to the U.S.A. in mid-April for two separate appearances at Coachella.
Phantogram is touring in support of their recently released their third studio album ‘Three’ (Republic Records). Consisting of Josh Carter (guitars) and Sarah Barthel (keyboards), the duo formed in 2007. On ‘Three’, they take their sound in an enthralling, darker direction, adding new textures to their signature style. This album represents a new creative peak they’ve been building towards for nearly a decade. The latest chapter in the duo’s impressive ascent to the forefront of alternative pop, this iridescent record glows with warmth even as it explores the desolation of personal pain. This is also proof that nothing, at this point, can hold them back.
This six-date joint tour kicks off on Saturday, March 11 at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, followed by dates in St. Paul, MN (Palace Theatre), Madison, WI (Orpheum Theater), Urbana, IL (Canopy Club), Cincinnati, OH (Bogart’s), and Atlanta, GA (The Tabernacle).
The Veldt are touring in support of their EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation’ – the band’s first new recording in fifteen years, which will be released worldwide on June 2 via Schoolkids Records, home to artists such as Adam Franklin & Swervedriver, Tommy Keene and Bettie Serveert with a history of collaboration with artists such as New Model Army, Daniel Lanois and Emm Gryner.
The Veldt formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh amongst the royalty of the legendary North Carolina music scene, including bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, The Connells, Dillon Fence, The dBs, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Ryan Adams. Pitchfork recently included their album ‘Afrodisiac’ in the top 50 shoegaze albums eve released. Today their musical output is in the same ballpark as A.R.Kane, Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack, and Jesus & Mary Chain.
Signed to Capitol Records in 1989 and eventually Mercury Records, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. The soon found themselves in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, touring America with Cocteau Twins and the UK with The Jesus and Mary Chain and working with leading producers Lincoln Fong of Moose on their debut album ‘Marigolds’ and Ray Schulman (Bjork, Sugarcubes, The Sundays) on ‘Afrodisiac’. The Veldt were a sensation from the start and part of a movement of innovators, who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
The Veldt have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and most recently with A.R.Kane, and have shared the stage with the likes of The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis and Living Colour.
The band reformed in 2016 and their new EP started to make the rounds with a 2016 vinyl release via Manchester’s Leonard Skully Records. Their return was met with incredible enthusiasm and significant press attention, including from The Guardian (UK), who say “the new songs invite paradoxical praise: serenely assaultive and vertiginously soothing.” In the past year, the band did a mini-tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, embarked on two Canadian tours, toured and played multiple festivals across Europe.
Saturday, March 11: Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
Sunday, March 12: St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre
Monday, March 13: Madison, WI – Orpheum Theatre
Tuesday, March 14: Urbana, IL – Canopy Club
Thursday, March 16: Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Friday, March 17: Atlanta GA – The Tabernacle
Shoegaze Pioneers The Veldt Release ‘In a Quiet Room’ with New Video from Tokyo
NYC-Raleigh four-piece The Veldt have released a new video for ‘In a Quiet Room’, created by Tokyo-based videographer Toshikazu Kaneiwa. This track comes from their five-track EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’, released via Manchester label Leonard Skully Records.
With 4AD legendary recording artist A.R.Kane contributing production on this EP, it effectively merges the alternative bliss rock sound The Veldt has become known for with the hallmark dreamy electronica that led to A.R.Kane becoming famed as ‘father of dreampop’. These tracks combine intense energy, layers of atmosphere and guitar with beautiful falsetto vocals.
The Veldt are identical twins Daniel (guitar, vocals) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass) and Marvin Levi (drums). Upon signing to Capitol Records in 1989, they recorded a debut album with Cocteau Twins dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, which was never released, and then recorded a new once, called ‘Marigolds’, with Lincoln Fong (Moose).
After switching labels, Mercury Records released ‘Afrodisiac’ in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes), before changing their name to Apollo Heights (they have since changed it back to The Veldt). Earlier this month, Pitchfork included this album in their top 50 shoegaze albums of all time, calling this “the great lost American shoegaze classic, with influences from Prince to Cocteau Twins to A.R. Kane to the Jesus and Mary Chain (who contributed a remix) fused into something beautiful and unique”.
Video producer Toshikazu Kaneiwa is an indie filmmaker hailing from Tokyo, Japan. A long-time friend of the band, their support for each other’s art has been mutually complementary. Veldt bassist Hayato Nakao composed music for some of Toshikazu’s short films, including “Believe” and “Surface”, while he would offer his skills in photography and creating videos for the band (then Apollo Heights). “They guided my soul when I was in NYC in 2001-2014,” explains Toshikazu.
“I was truly inspired when I heard ‘In a Quiet Room’. This sound is so beautiful and sad, and I felt compelled to do the visual work for this song,” explains Toshikazu Kaneiwa. “At the same time, I met k.a.n.a., who is an artist with so much talent – she can dance, act, paint and sing… and I got an idea for the video and I told her my directional plan. She said yes. I really appreciate that she brought a very strong performance into this video.”
The Veldt were part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired many alternative artists, including TV On the Radio, and led to them working together. They’ve also collaborated with Mos Defand Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have toured and played with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour, and most recently with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’ EP marks the band’s re-emergence after a notable hiatus, going down in history as one of the most memorable shoegaze comebacks in 2016, as demonstrated by their recent North American and European tours. In early 2017, The Veldt will release new music through SonaBLAST! Records. The new EP is available on vinyl from Manchester-based Leonard Skully Records and on CD and digitally at http://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com.
The Veldt – European Tour / ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’ EP (Leonard Skully Records 2016)
Legendary Alternative Soul Shoegazers The Veldt Kick Off European Tour.
Just days after completing their Central Canadian tour, The Veldt have just kicked off their European tour with Reverence Festival Valada in Portugal. This tour will also take them to Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Sweden and Denmark.
The Veldt are perhaps the most renowned protégés of Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), apart from Lush, and contemporaries of A.R.Kane. Apart from collaborating with those two artist, they have also worked with TV On The Radio, Mos Def and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have toured and played with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour and TV on the Radio, among others. Most recently they toured East coast dates with The Brian Jonestown Massacre for their U.S. tour.
This will be the first official tour of mainland Europe for the The Veldt in promotion of their new EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’. During the Italian leg of the tour, they will tour with Rome-based three-piece WEIRD., one of the foremost shoegaze artists from southern Europe, with support from Lady Sometimes Records. Highlights of this tour include the Reverence Valada Festival, Liverpool Psych Festival, and GataFest Sweden.
The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
09/16 Viareggio, Italy – GOB – Ganz of Bicchio – Circolo ARCI (with Weird)
09/21 Paris, France – Supersonic (with Electric Eye)
09/22 London, UK – Shacklewell Arms (with Electric Eye, Camera)
09/23 Liverpool, UK – Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia
09/24 Malmo, Sweden – Gatufest // Norra Grängesbergsgatan
09/25 Copenhagen, Denmark – TBC
The album release was preceded by two singles – the first is Sulphur, a dark and sad ballad, like a numbing homeopathic remedy, that is a beautiful slow-burner, beginning quite slowly and then seemingly exploding into infinite space. The second is Dedu’n, which presents a darker sound than usual for the band.
Each song on the new album is heavily rhythmic and fuses shoegaze stylings with 80’s new wave, similar to the sound of Echo and the Bunnymen or The Chameleons, taking the listener to obscure and atmospheric territory. In Dedu’n, the voice is drowned in reverb with a low bass and psychedelic guitars… the effect is a long and exciting spatial sound wave.
Dedu’n (or Dedwen) was a Nubian god worshipped during ancient times, documented as early as 2400 BC. The earliest Egyptian writings about Dedu’n indicates that he was the god of incense, an extremely expensive luxury commodity, largely produced in Nubia.The album name itself is named for Nitocris, an ancient Egyptian queen and the last Pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty. According to the chronicles, she was very beautiful but it’s not particularly mentioned. The album artwork defines the album’s title – an abandoned woman, who is beautiful, but sad and suffering. Ethereal and elusive, without a face.
“It’s likely that “she” did not exist in native Egyptian inscriptions,” comments Stella Diana frontman Dario Torre. “This ‘not existing’ thing is very interesting and fascinating. Often you do something, you live, you breathe, you work hardly, you love. Nevertheless, for the people you don’t exist.”
The new single and forthcoming LP follows up the band’s recent Alhena EP, released in 2015 by both British and Italian labels and ranked among the ‘Best of 2015’ on numerous blogger lists.
In comparison to Alhena and the band’s previous albums, ‘Nitocris’ is somewhat more introspective. “We now have three members, which has brought about a change in our sound as we’ve become a lot more focused on the atmosphere, as well as changes in intensity within the music,” explains Dario Torre.
3. F.U. Orionis
6. Psychedelic Furs
8. Aya Ray
9. J. Carpenter
Dario Torre – vocals/lyrics/guitars
Giacomo Salzano – bass/synth
Davide Fusco – drums
Recorded and mixed at Vipchoyo Sound Factory in Naples by Giacomo Salzano and Stella Diana