Thursday, March 23, 2017

Swansea (Loch Lomond, Blue Cranes members) share first single from infectious new album


"Plays up traditional synth rock jams to make something super innovative and ultra catchy. Full of great quippy lyrics that will make you think Flaws is unstoppably fun." -- Impose


Portland trio Swansea premiere the first track from their forthcoming sophomore album, Flaws today via Impose Magazine. Hear and share "Red Mittens" HERE. (Direct Soundcloud.)

Swansea formed in 2011 when Portland, Oregon mainstays, musician/actress/writer, Rebecca Sanborn (Loch Lomond, Blue Cranes) and drummer, Ji Tanzer (Blue Cranes, Rebecca Gates) recruited Kansas City multi-instrumentalist/singer Kyleen King to expand the sound of their long standing duo project. 

As a trio, in 2012 the group released their first full length album Old Blood and completed multiple tours of the United States. Between 2013-2015, Swansea toured Europe and found significant success in scoring and licensing music for a diverse array of films, including the track & field documentary We Grew Wings (2013), the feature length, multi-award winning dramas Light of Mine (2013), A Standing Still (2014) and Death On A Rock (2015). 

With the engineering/production help of John Askew (Neko Case, Wild Flag), Swansea's sophomore album, Flaws is slated for a Spring 2017 release on the Self Group label. Stylistically, Swansea combine artful narrative and atmospheric sweep with a touch of dancey, off-the-cuff toughness, often drawing comparison to LCD Soundsystem, St. Vincent and My Brightest Diamond.

Flaws will be available on LP and download on April 28th, 2017 via Bandcamp



Artist: Swansea
Album: Flaws
Label: Self Group
Release date: April 28th, 2017

01. Red Mittens
02. Gain Their Grace
03. Just Like it Used to Be
04. This Time
05. Samurai
06. Brighter
07. No Power
08. Cincinnati
09. No Blame
10. Blue Sky (digital only bonus)











On The Web:


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Big Walnuts Yonder: Mike Watt (Minutemen), Nels Cline (Wilco), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) share new song from forthcoming debut


Big Walnuts Yonder premiere a new track from their forthcoming debut full length today via Stereogum. Hear and share "Sponge Bath" HERE. (Direct Soundcloud.)

Consequence of Sound recently shared album track "Raise The Drawbridges?" HERE(Direct Soundcloud) See track listing and Raymond Pettibon's cover art below. 

Big Walnuts Yonder is bassist/vocalist Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), drummer Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and guitarist/vocalist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos). It is not a supergroup. "It's worlds colliding," says Mike Watt. 

Four exceptional musicians whose work spans multiple genres and generations, Big Walnuts Yonder is a monumental endeavor that's more than the sum of its parts. The results are a truly epic album defying categorization, where one might hear elements of proto-punk, free jazz, power pop, experimental music, psych-rock and your first teenage acid trip all in one. 

The impetus for Big Walnuts Yonder came about way back in 2008 from a conversation between Watt and Reinhart while their bands toured together in Japan. The two discussed recording together and who they might bring in to the sessions. "Nick gets ahold of my first opera," Watt explains. "Made in 1997 with Nels Cline. He said 'what's it like playing with Nels?'" 

"So Watt says, 'if you want to know the man, play with the man,'" Cline elaborates. Cline agreed to join if Reinhart picked the drummer. Reinhart quickly mentioned Saunier, unaware that Cline had previously brought Watt to see him perform at a Deerhoof show years before. "Greg immediately came to mind," Reinhart says. "His drumming has highly influenced my guitar playing over the years." The lineup solidified in its mutual appreciation and they began making plans to write and record - while circumnavigating the schedules of 4 extremely busy musicians. "We had planned it for so long," Saunier says. "Then several years passed in which nothing occurred due to everyone's schedules. It was 2-3 years of warm, leisurely prep time, then suddenly made in a panic with time and money on the line."

Prior to recording, Watt sent the band demo recordings of 8 song structures of just him playing bass, unaccompanied. (Cline and Saunier also later brought 1 song each to the session, to which the band contributed their parts, making the album 10 songs total.) Reinhart worked out guitar parts to fit Watt's riffs and the two traded files back and forth. "I'm pretty sure the other guys didn't have parts set before going into the studio," Reinhart says. "Maybe we hadn't discussed what we would do. But it's interesting how a lot of the songs began as Mike Watt basslines, and everyone was able to pull songs and melodies out of them."

The album was recorded in just 3 days in summer 2014 in Brooklyn, NY with producer and former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone engineering at his Studio G. "It was this concentrated sort of freakout," Saunier says. "We basically had to invent a new band on the spot. And, people might have a stereotype of what each person does, but we all showed up to do what we're prevented from doing in other groups." The band would play through each song a couple of times to make up parts, then hit record. "Nels can improvise with anything," Watt notes. "It was trippy to watch the huge pedal dance! Both those guys have like 35 pedals each. And, Greg's not just a drummer man, he's incredible." The album's 10 tracks were recorded primarily live with very few overdubs. Although Big Walnuts Yonder was created under somewhat spontaneous circumstances, the group endeavored to ensure the album wouldn't sound like a jam session. "It was very clear among us," Saunier notes: "Let's not overindulge and make it a 'musician's recording'." 

It wasn't until many months later that vocals were added to the songs, with Reinhart recording vocals to 7 songs and Watt singing on 2 tracks at their home studios. "It was actually a surprise that it ended up having vocals on it," Cline admits. "But it added a layer of accessibility that I didn't expect." Saunier, a revered producer in his own right, volunteered to mix the album - a fact that the other 3 musicians each express as a major boon for the album. Saunier was able to take his time to mix each song very differently from the others. This, too, gives the album the unique feel of all rock history condensed into a single explosive, compelling whole. 

As Watt and Reinhart note, the 30-year span between the ages of Big Walnuts Yonder members is also a contributing factor to its magic. And, likely a key to the band's iconoclast sound. "That's insane playing and connecting with someone who's almost 30 years older than me," Reinhart says. "Observing how these dudes are just hammering away so much later is inspiring. They're still learning and exploring." Watt adds, "it's interesting that people are much more open-minded now. We were all just trying to be adventurous with music."

Asked how he might describe Big Walnuts Yonder, Cline succinctly nails it on the head: "It's sick. It has an extreme quality and kicks ass."

Big Walnuts Yonder features a cover illustration by punk art legend Raymond Pettibon. The album will be available on LP, CD and download on May 5th, 2017 via Sargent House. Physical pre-orders are available at bigwalnutsyonder.hellomerch.com and at iTunes HERE



Artist: Big Walnuts Yonder
Album: Big Walnuts Yonder
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 5th, 2017

01. All Against All
02. Sponge Bath
03. Flare Star Phantom
04. I Got Marty Feldman Eyes
05. Raise the Drawbridges?
06. Ready to Pop!
07. Forgot to Brush
08. Rapid Driver Moon Inhaler
09. Pud
10. Heat Melter











On the Web:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Charming Disaster premiere lead track from forthcoming album, folk-noir duo mixes dark lore with melodic sensibility

"Gothic folk murder balladry, not unlike PJ Harvey at her most ornate. But there’s an accessibility and pop sensibility that also nods to the likes of Andrew Bird or Regina Spektor. It’s darkness cut with a melodic immediacy, and it’s a thing of fanciful beauty." -- Treble


Brooklyn, NY duo Charming Disaster premiere the first track from their forthcoming sophomore album Cautionary Tales today at TrebleZine. Hear and share "Sympathetic Magic" HERE. (Direct Soundcloud). 

The band hits the road this week for a handful of East Coast shows, followed by a longer tour in April. Please see complete dates below. 

Charming Disaster is a songwriting and performance duo formed by musicians Ellia Bisker (of Sweet Soubrette and Funkrust Brass Band) and Jeff Morris (of Kotorino) in 2012. Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the stylish aesthetic of French new wave film, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories - exploring themes like love, death, crime, ancient mythology, and the paranormal. 

Their song "Ghost Story" was featured on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and they were awarded "best closing credits music" by the 2016 Garden State Film Festival for their song "Right Words to Say" (featured in the short film Mary and Louise). They released their debut album, Love, Crime & Other Trouble, in 2015, and their second album, Cautionary Tales, will be released in spring 2017. 

Many of the songs on Cautionary Tales were created in February 2015, when the duo spent two weeks holed up in an isolated cabin in the snowy woods of northern Michigan. Cautionary Tales expands on Charming Disaster's spooky, offbeat universe of paranormal romance, circus and carnival characters, con artists, and Egyptian mythology with new songs of espionage, occult practices, supernatural creatures, and the end of the world as we know it. The album's musical influences include traditional murder ballads, the duo collaborations of PJ Harvey and John Parish, and the folkier side of Led Zeppelin. Charming Disaster's literary bent is also in evidence, with references to cult fantasy novels Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and The Golden Compass as well as ancient lore from Greek and Norse mythology.  

Cautionary Tales will be available on CD and download on April 21st, 2017. Preorders are available via Bandcamp


CHARMING DISASTER LIVE:
03/23 Cambridge, MA @ Lost Marbles Salon at the Lizard Lounge
03/24 Burlington, VT @ Radio Bean
03/25 Jamaica Plain, MA @ Magnolia Loft
03/26 Putnam, CT @ The Stomping Ground
03/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store
04/14 Baltimore, MD @ (secret house concert)
04/15 Kingston, NY @ The Anchor
04/16 Becket, MA @ Dream Away Lodge
04/18 Charlottesville, VA @ Blue Moon Diner
04/19 Greensboro, NC @ Common Grounds
04/20 Wilmington, NC @ (secret house concert)
04/21 Hillsborough, NC @ Mystery Brewing Company
04/22 York, PA @ (secret house concert)
04/29 Brooklyn, NY @ Hell Phone



Artist: Charming Disaster
Album: Cautionary Tales
Label: Charming Disaster Music
Release date: April 21st, 2017

01) Sympathetic Magic
02) Snake Bit
03) Selene & Endymion
04) Phosphorescent Lilies
05) Ragnarok
06) Little Black Bird
07) Days Are Numbered
08) Infernal Soiree
09) What Remains
10) String Break Song










On The Web:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ghost Against Ghost share new song from forthcoming album 'still love'

"Evokes a wide array of inspirations to create a vast and intense field of sounds. Christopher Bono constructs a darkly spiritual aura in this post-rock inspired composition." -- Stereogum


Woodstock, NY band Ghost Against Ghost share a new track from their forthcoming epic album still love today via Tiny Mix Tapes. Hear and share "Unarm" HERE. (Direct Soundcloud)

Metal Injection also recently launched the album track "Resume", available to hear and share HERE. (Direct Soundcloud). And, Prog-Sphere premiered "The River of the Intimate, Pt. 1" HERE.

Ghost Against Ghost will release their first full length album on April 14, 2017 via Our Silent Canvas. Pre-orders are available now via Bandcamp. This 65 minute LP weaves themes of love, heartbreak, and betrayal into monolithic synth-driven space-rock, with inspiration as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, Sigur Ros, Vangelis and Pink Floyd

Writer and producer Christopher Bono utilizes his classical background to sculpt this expansive and engaging series of compositions, contrasting heavy walls of sound with ambient passages, contemporary classical and experimental electronic influences.  Bono collaborated with Thomas Pridgen, whose drumming credits include the likes of The Mars Volta, Trash Talk, Suicidal Tendencies and Memorials. The album's enveloping sound also contains special contributions by ambient guitarist Anthony Molina, the multi-instrumentalist famous for playing with Mercury Rev, and otherworldly choral sections featuring vocalists Jamie Rae, Stacie Bono and Michele Kennedy. 

While in the midst of completing the yet unfinished Ghost Against Ghost concept album, Oia, front man Christopher Bono was unexpectedly struck by a psychologically disorienting family tragedy in the spring of 2014 forcing him back into the writing studio to process this new trauma through music. Over the following months, Bono reflected on the confusion and internal conflict that resulted when the life he knew was ripped apart by disturbing revelations of a shocking betrayal and a Pandora's Box of dark, misaligned secrets. To dig further into the heart of the experience, he based the lyrical point of view from that of the female victim, his mother. 

The album also comes in two versions, the audiophile version which is more dynamic and quieter, and a louder master that appeals on a more commercial level. About the production process Bono says, "as a producer, I'm continuously exploring vintage, analogue gear and instruments contrasted with the precise benefits of modern, digital techniques and equipment. Simultaneously, as a composer, I see the pros and cons of the analogue-digital domains similarly to the differences found in writing and arranging for acoustic versus electronic instruments.  In both cases there is a colourful beauty created when the different production styles and sound worlds are blended in unexpected ways." 

VICE's The Creator's Project also recently premiered the short film directed by Craig Murray (Mogwai, Converge) for the remix Ghost Against Ghost song "Checkpoint Charlie." Watch HERE

For full biography on Ghost Against Ghost and Christopher Bono, please CLICK HERE.


Artist: Ghost Against Ghost
Album: still love
Label: Our Silent Canvas
Release Date: April 14th, 2017

01. Son of Cessiphus
02. Still Love
03. A Relapse of Remembrance
04. The River of the Intimate, Pt. 1
05. The River of the Intimate, Pt. 2
06. Resume
07. You Secret Ocean
08. Unarm
09. Guerison











On The Web:


Sand (Cursive, Julia Holter band mbrs) premiere stunning animated video by Joe Presser (Netflix, CNN)


Click image to watch video



"Dylan Ryan is a drummer adept at combining his jazz skills with adventurous rock, resulting in music that maintains the cerebral and visceral qualities of both.” -- JazzTimes 

“With an ass-kicking palate of sonic texture, Ryan, Young and bassist Devin Hoff offer something in between John Zorn's raucous free-jazz and the romantic stylings of Black Sabbath." -- L.A. Weekly 


Los Angeles psychedelic power trio Sand premiere the video for their new single "Haggard Hawk" today via Impose Magazine. The 3-D animated clip was directed by Joe Presser (Netflix, CNN motion graphics designer) and available to watch & share HERE. (Direct YouTube.)

Sand hit the road later this week for shows supporting Minus The Bear. Please see dates below. 

Drummer/singer Dylan Ryan formed Sand in 2012 after writing a batch of songs between tours with Cursive and Rainbow Arabia. He recruited bassist Devin Hoff (Julia Holter, Cibo Matto) and Tim Young (Reggie Watts' Late Late Show band) to fill out the group. What began as a dynamic fusion unit has become a heavy psychedelic power trio lined with nods to porto-metal. They have have two releases on progressive music label Cuneiform Records and are currently plnning the release of another recording in 2017. 

Regarding the video, director Joe Presser says, "The song has a bouncy sort of feel with odd time signatures, so I made all the cameras as close to hand-held as I could and angled them to parallel that rhythmic angularity. Cel-shaded in highly contrasted 3-D animation, and referencing 70s B-movie tones, warriors swing skip-its atop four-horned, overgrown wildebeests like something out of the No Fear folders in your five-star binder. A shaman shakes a Polaroid and a Stretch-Armstrong/Barbie effigy in preparation for a ritual reminiscent of a vintage Nickelodean sliming."


SAND LIVE:
03/10 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Boise *
03/11 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot *
03/12 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall *
03/13 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
03/29 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite

* supporting Minus The Bear



On The Web:


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Like 'Evil Dead' meets 'Office Space': Touched By Ghoul share video for "Immaculate Consumption"

Click image above to watch video

"Mullenhour's vocals rise to heated roars worthy of stardom, which lend themselves perfectly to Touched by Ghoul's brand of rock that is loud and heavy..." -- Gaper's Block

"A thrilling, if at times terrifying, listen." -- Chicagoist


Chicago quartet Touched By Ghoul share a creepy, thrilling new video today for a track from their recently released debut album Murder Circus over at Echoes & Dust. Watch & share "Immaculate Consumption", which the site describes as an "awesome Evil Dead meets Office Space sketch of hallucinatory madness" HERE. (Direct YouTube.)

She Shreds Magazine interviewed singer/guitarist Angela Mullenhour recently with a stream of the full album HERE. Or, Soundcloud and Bandcamp

Raised in a basement and surviving only on sheer will and flamin' hot cheetos, Touched by Ghoul clawed their way to the surface to induce the vomit of your soul. Touched By Ghoul exists in their own post-nostalgic now, rock and roll gravediggers tearing right through their dissonant yet beautiful Earth. Helmed by Angela Mullenhour (Sybris, Coins) along with a broody bunch of rock and roll ruffians of the Chicago scuzz scene, Touched By Ghoul constructs a soundtrack that is equally at home at a dive bar or a séance.

On their debut LP coming out on new Chicago imprint Under Road Records, Mullenhour hollers her way through a filthy, living, breathing, kidnapping, dead body finding love story backed by Paige Sandlin's animal drums kicking through the fog and fury of guitar wars. Recorded by Bill Skibbe (The Kills, Blonde Redhead, The Dead Weather) at the legendary Key Club Recording Company, the Ghouls have found that Eternity is today and blood in the sand is just mud. 

Sounds like: If Stephen King wrote an episode of Columbo scored by the bastard children of The Birthday Party, Babes In Toyland and Echo and the Bunnymen.


Murder Circus was released on LP, CD and download on April 15th, 2016 via Under Road Records



Artist: Touched By Ghoul
Album: Murder Circus
Label: Under Road Records
Release Date: April 15, 2016

01) B.A.C.M.
02) Western Child
03) Whores
04) Rapevan
05) Immaculate Consumption (STREAM)
06) Nice Corpse (STREAM)
07) Murder Circus
08) Adios!













On The Web:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Big Walnuts Yonder: Mike Watt (Minutemen), Nels Cline (Wilco), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos) share song from forthcoming debut


Big Walnuts Yonder premiere the first track from their forthcoming debut full length today via Consequence of Sound. Hear and share "Raise The Drawbridges" HERE(Direct Soundcloud) See track listing and Raymond Pettibon's cover art below. 

Big Walnuts Yonder is bassist/vocalist Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), drummer Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and guitarist/vocalist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos). It is not a supergroup. "It's worlds colliding," says Mike Watt. 

Four exceptional musicians whose work spans multiple genres and generations, Big Walnuts Yonder is a monumental endeavor that's more than the sum of its parts. The results are a truly epic album defying categorization, where one might hear elements of proto-punk, free jazz, power pop, experimental music, psych-rock and your first teenage acid trip all in one. 

The impetus for Big Walnuts Yonder came about way back in 2008 from a conversation between Watt and Reinhart while their bands toured together in Japan. The two discussed recording together and who they might bring in to the sessions. "Nick gets ahold of my first opera," Watt explains. "Made in 1997 with Nels Cline. He said 'what's it like playing with Nels?'" 

"So Watt says, 'if you want to know the man, play with the man,'" Cline elaborates. Cline agreed to join if Reinhart picked the drummer. Reinhart quickly mentioned Saunier, unaware that Cline had previously brought Watt to see him perform at a Deerhoof show years before. "Greg immediately came to mind," Reinhart says. "His drumming has highly influenced my guitar playing over the years." The lineup solidified in its mutual appreciation and they began making plans to write and record - while circumnavigating the schedules of 4 extremely busy musicians. "We had planned it for so long," Saunier says. "Then several years passed in which nothing occurred due to everyone's schedules. It was 2-3 years of warm, leisurely prep time, then suddenly made in a panic with time and money on the line."

Prior to recording, Watt sent the band demo recordings of 8 song structures of just him playing bass, unaccompanied. (Cline and Saunier also later brought 1 song each to the session, to which the band contributed their parts, making the album 10 songs total.) Reinhart worked out guitar parts to fit Watt's riffs and the two traded files back and forth. "I'm pretty sure the other guys didn't have parts set before going into the studio," Reinhart says. "Maybe we hadn't discussed what we would do. But it's interesting how a lot of the songs began as Mike Watt basslines, and everyone was able to pull songs and melodies out of them."

The album was recorded in just 3 days in summer 2014 in Brooklyn, NY with producer and former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone engineering at his Studio G. "It was this concentrated sort of freakout," Saunier says. "We basically had to invent a new band on the spot. And, people might have a stereotype of what each person does, but we all showed up to do what we're prevented from doing in other groups." The band would play through each song a couple of times to make up parts, then hit record. "Nels can improvise with anything," Watt notes. "It was trippy to watch the huge pedal dance! Both those guys have like 35 pedals each. And, Greg's not just a drummer man, he's incredible." The album's 10 tracks were recorded primarily live with very few overdubs. Although Big Walnuts Yonder was created under somewhat spontaneous circumstances, the group endeavored to ensure the album wouldn't sound like a jam session. "It was very clear among us," Saunier notes: "Let's not overindulge and make it a 'musician's recording'." 

It wasn't until many months later that vocals were added to the songs, with Reinhart recording vocals to 7 songs and Watt singing on 2 tracks at their home studios. "It was actually a surprise that it ended up having vocals on it," Cline admits. "But it added a layer of accessibility that I didn't expect." Saunier, a revered producer in his own right, volunteered to mix the album - a fact that the other 3 musicians each express as a major boon for the album. Saunier was able to take his time to mix each song very differently from the others. This, too, gives the album the unique feel of all rock history condensed into a single explosive, compelling whole. 

As Watt and Reinhart note, the 30-year span between the ages of Big Walnuts Yonder members is also a contributing factor to its magic. And, likely a key to the band's iconoclast sound. "That's insane playing and connecting with someone who's almost 30 years older than me," Reinhart says. "Observing how these dudes are just hammering away so much later is inspiring. They're still learning and exploring." Watt adds, "it's interesting that people are much more open-minded now. We were all just trying to be adventurous with music."

Asked how he might describe Big Walnuts Yonder, Cline succinctly nails it on the head: "It's sick. It has an extreme quality and kicks ass."

Big Walnuts Yonder features a cover illustration by punk art legend Raymond Pettibon. The album will be available on LP, CD and download on May 5th, 2017 via Sargent House. Physical pre-orders are available at bigwalnutsyonder.hellomerch.com



Artist: Big Walnuts Yonder
Album: Big Walnuts Yonder
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 5th, 2017

01. All Against All
02. Sponge Bath
03. Flare Star Phantom
04. I Got Marty Feldman Eyes
05. Raise the Drawbridges?
06. Ready to Pop!
07. Forgot to Brush
08. Rapid Driver Moon Inhaler
09. Pud
10. Heat Melter











On the Web: