Week in Pop: Crows, Jay Som, Pastel Ghost, RA, Spritzer

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While waiting for winter to end, Impose’s Week in Pop is here to keep you supplied with enough entertainment to last through next spring. With a host of big discussions and premieres to present, we first give you a quick rundown of a few of this week’s top stories. First up, Kanye revealed the title and cover of his new album (an image also used by Christian Mistress back in 2010); Strange Boy(s) Ryan Sambol signed to Punctum Records; Chance the Rapper beatboxed while Alec Baldwin spilled some rhymes, Chance also collaborated with Action Bronson on the Mark Ronson-produced cut, “Baby Blue”; Animal Collective will be recording new music this year, Noah ‘Panda Bear’ Lennox told Lauren Levarne; FKA twigs to make short films in front of audiences at Old Granada Studios for Manchester International Festival; Chrissie Hynde has a memoir dropping this year; Viet Cong’s moniker problem / PR nightmare; Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse’s UFO sighting inspiration; Method Man is not down with the 88 year release hiatus clause for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin; Tanlines to follow-up 2012’s Mixed Emotions with the upcoming new album, Highlights; Kurt Cobain’s Aberdeen, Washington childhood home has returned to the housing market; 50 Cent claimed that Suge Knight wanted to kill Dr. Dre back in the 90s; and Metallica’s new album is “close” to being composed according to Lars Ulrich.

Moving ahead and bringing you the future of now, we are thrilled to present the following exclusives and interviews from Crows, Jay Som, Pastel Ghost, RA, Spritzer, Bohkeh, Buffalo Rodeo, MÆNIFESTO, Penicillin Baby, Seaweed Salad, Meredith GravesLove Letter to Mania co-curation, & more — in no particular order.

Jay Som

Meet Jay Som, aka Melina Duterte, of Summer Peaks, photographed by  Austin Cook.
Meet Jay Som, aka Melina Duterte, of Summer Peaks, photographed by Austin Cook.

California along with its further Pacific northwest siblings of Oregon and Washington have long been harboring some of the greatest, and obscure sounds and scenes from a diverse and disparate array of communities. Heralding from the sleepy Contra Costa County based town of Brentwood in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay rises the solo project known as — Jay Som — taking everything you know and love about rich, neo-romantic pop and changing it forever. Featured as the lead-in opener to the chic London imprint Beech Coma‘s upcoming Vol. 3 compilation available March 9 — we give you one of the first listens to the Jay Som single, “Forget About It Kid”, that mixes missed connections, star-crossed perspectives, and some of the most DIY ultra pop you may have heard all year. The brainchild of Melina Duterte, the Bay Area’s inspired dream weapon machines of mass musical distraction are at work as the listeners are called to open their eyes to a tricky, and careful arrangement that sounds like one of the greatest long lost beloved, and treasured songs you will swear you have known forever — but are in reality just hearing it for the first time.

Some folks might already know Melina Duterte’s work from the Brentwood band, Summer Peaks, who released Saturday back in March of 2014, a group that consists of Melina and her high school buddies, Daniel Mandrychenko and Zachary Elsasser. And like the prevalent influences carried over from secondary school, Duterte’s solo moniker Jay Som (inspired by a baby name generator site search we are told in our following interview), remains to be her principle solo handle of abstractions that appropriately rhymes somewhat with the word awesome. An artist that also entertains and experiments in creating instrumentals alongside creating pure indie pop song diamonds; Duterte’s musical vision expands into an a variety of divergent directions.

And on “Forget About It Kid”, the millennial gold rush to recreate former pop productions and styles succeeds in turning the page toward near perfect mixes of genuine expression where guitars, electronic instruments, and sciences of the sincere all work hand in hand. Melina makes sure every single sound, and devices of harmonies and melodies are right where they need to be at all times that underline the lyrical, “hummingbird inside my brain” allusion. The treated guitar and sparse drum machine echo, sustained synths, and chords creates sensations normally reserved for those moments where you hear a favorite obscure song playing on the radio, where life seems to slow down for a moment as you are struck by the composition of care that speaks to you in ways that words themselves cannot fully describe. After the following listen, join us for our discussion with Melina Duterte to learn all about her Jay Som project, Summer Peaks, Brentwood, and more.

What first introduced you to the world of music and performance?

I was surrounded by music at a young age. My dad used to be a DJ so he was always spinning his old funk/r&b tapes and records; my mom just loves singing (mostly karaoke). They were always supportive with my endeavors even when I sounded terrible on the cheap instruments I had, especially when I played “Smoke on the Water” for weeks on the guitar. Playing trumpet in band was a big part of my life because I had great teachers who helped shape my musical abilities. I started off listening to pop punk and whatever was on the radio at the time until I saw a Natalie Portman interview for Garden State where she mentioned The Shins, and that somehow lead me to a new world of music. My inspiration also came from the strong influence of female fronted artists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Donnas, Beyonce etc.

How did Summer Peaks all come together?

I met Daniel and Zach in high school through band and mutual friends — they’re talented dudes. We were in a jazz combo called Cool Beans, and we would always jam and show each other music after school. We officially formed in 2012 after I graduated high school and I remember spending like two months of the summer practicing for one show that we played for 20 minutes… But we’ve definitely grown and I’m excited for our live shows and musical projects coming up.

Brentwood's Summer Peaks, featuring Daniel Mandrychenko, Zachary Elsasser, & Melina Duterte, photographed by Maxine Garcia.
Brentwood’s Summer Peaks, featuring Daniel Mandrychenko, Zachary Elsasser, & Melina Duterte, photographed by Maxine Garcia.

Tell us about your solo work, under the moniker Jay Som, and what inspired that particular name?

Jay Som is a moniker I came up with in high school. I went on a baby name generator site because I was reading about artists that used generators when they were out of ideas and I was curious. I chose a random language and it came out as Jai Sohm or something which translated to ‘Victory Moon.’ I doubt that’s the actual translation but I changed the spelling and I like the way it sounds. Also, there are a few people out there named Jay Som — so sorry to all the Jay’s out there!

Your instrumentals are awesome, and I can’t stop listening to “Forget About it Kid”. What sorts of events, chances, and dreams inspired this song?

The Cure and Madonna were on repeat when I wrote “Forget About It Kid”. I wanted it to have a dreamy atmosphere and emotionally driven instruments. The song is about a conversation I had with someone about unrequited love/crushes and how it can drive you crazy. It was written after I went on a mini tour of the Pacific Northwest with Summer Peaks. Daniel’s brother Nikita constantly did this bad 1940’s New York movie accent and his go to phrase, forget about it kid, turned into fahget abaht eet keed — now it seems appropriate as a title. “Forget About It Kid” will be on UK label Beech Coma‘s vol. 3 compilation with other amazing artists. It’s a growing label and I think that Harry (the founder) is doing an amazing job!

Tell us about other projects, songs, collaborations, etc you are working on.

I just finished a five song EP that was recorded in my bedroom and it will be released sometime soon. I try to write and record every week for good practice because I know I’m a different musician than I was six months ago. There were about 10 songs that didn’t make it into the EP but I will probably save them for later…I already have ideas for songs I want to do for a future release but I need to be patient because I tend to get an itch to do something new. I’ve also been really interested in instrumental work and one of my dreams is to make a song for a commercial (inspirational car commercial probably).

Give us the full Brentwood report. We’re very interested on what the scenes are like out there, and in the surrounding areas.

Brentwood is a nice, small city full of corn and old people. A lot of people hate living here because it’s pretty quiet and there isn’t much to do. I personally like it because there’s time to focus on music, and the weather is great (sometimes). The only downside is that there isn’t a huge music scene, venues, and people you can connect with on a professional level, but it’s a good place to commute from. The Bay Area is always churning out new talent, from experimental to beat music.

summer peaks week in pop 3

Describe how Brentwood has inspired or informed your sound, and a perhaps tell us a bit about your own creative composition and recording processes. You have quite a dynamic sound.

Living here has inspired me to work on being a tighter musician. There’s no competition with other musicians, so I’d say it’s a supportive but small community. When I started recording I used this awful webcam mic and a free program called Audacity — I still have old cover recordings of The Shin’s “New Slang” and Outkast’s “Ms Jackson”. Unfortunately I was 13 so of course they don’t sound that great. Now my composition process is still basic, I’ll come up with a riff or melody, record it on a tape recorder or my phone, then I build around it. I’d love to be in a real studio but I do prefer bedroom recording with my laptop because there is something raw and frustrating about it.

Other artists and bands that the world needs to listen to, but isn’t?

1. Bobey from SF — he’s the coolest dude and he makes the best math-loop music.

2. Joel Jerome from LA — I saw him as an opener a few months ago and he stole the show.

3. Lazy Day from London — She makes me swoon with her genuinely crafted tunes, I also wish I was in a band with her…

4. People Person Collective – Tight collective where all the songs on the albums are each member’s response to a set of rules and artwork.

The Jay Som EP will be available soon. Listen to more from Melina via Soundcloud.

“Forget About It Kid” will be available from the London label Beech Coma‘s upcoming Vol. 3 compilation, available March 9.


Introducing, Spritzer. The new project from Friend Roulette's Matthew Meade. (press photos courtesy of the artist)
Introducing, Spritzer. The new project from Friend Roulette’s Matthew Meade. (press photos courtesy of the artist)

Remaining to be an endearing (and enduring) force of nature, Friend Roulette might as well be their own indie musical institution at this point. Keeping up with frontman Matthew Meade, we recently discovered his new project, Spritzer, an effervescent vehicle for catchy riffs, melodies, smart arrangements (not unlike the audio de force of Friend Roulette, but different still), and Meade’s own eclectic, and idiosyncratic approach where anything and everything can happen, and all things are possible. Presenting one of the first listens from this project of possibilities, we bring you the fresh off the mastering boards world premiere of Spritzer’s “Melt”, that pours the catchy pop wax gloss on in an effort to both win, and melt your heart.

Taken from a recent spate of recordings for the upcoming self-titled Spritzer EP; Matthew parlays penchants for elaborate and exciting audio composition reserved for Friend Roulette songs into loud, punchy, electrically charged pop in the key of chill. Meade remains nonplussed while guitars screech and shred around him, electronic loops do understated psych type of things, drums run like stampeding rhinos in four quarters time, — all whirling around a stoned, sappy, sad, but sentimental slacker valentine. The hooked out organ to guitar to drum music bursts into the ear’s frame of sight first, followed by the Meade’s introductory lyrics, “oh no you left me on again, and let these old flames burn right through, all I want to do is melt right through, and simmer down until all is cool.” Metaphors of melting, simmering, and chilling all constantly work together in the fashion of amorous kitchen convection cycle allegories that describe states of being, and coupling like a course in measuring viscosity, and all things pertaining to air, gases, and liquids. To get deeper into the fizzy chemistry of his new project Spritzer, we caught up with Matthew Meade in what became a Taylor Swift themed interview, immediately after the following debut of, “Melt”.

From Friend Roulette, to Spritzer; how did this side project begin?

I write a lot of songs and Sometimes they’re not quite roulette friendly….also… I really wanted to cover shake it off by Taylor swift and knew Jules would never go for that. Covering that song is a really dumb idea but I’m going to perform it at rough trade in BK on Friday around 9:00pm … if anyone out there reading impose knows Taylor, please invite her! She seems like a very nice girl.

What led you to choose the name, Spritzer? Seltzer fanaticism? Wine spritzer connoisseurship?

Well, ya know how they say you should have a glass of water to every drink you have? The spritzer kills 2 birds with one stone — you get an equal amount of water to wine. I hope to enjoy one with Taylor Swift one day.

spritzer week in pop 2

Give us the recipe on how you make tracks like “Melt”.

I think i was hopelessly trying to write something in the Friend Roulette style, not succeeding and ended up doing the exact opposite… using three chords and simple melodies… also, I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and The Toadies lately. That’s really all this is… a blend of Taylor Swift and the Toadies.

Like Friend Roulette, what brings you to orchestrate these really cool, and intriguing vast arrangements?

So… I cant take credit for that. My philosophy is that if you’re working with the people you trust, respect and chill with, then you should give as little direction as possible. I’m spoiled in a way because all the musicians I get to work with are fantastic. Ryan Weiner from the band Tiny Hazard is the one ripping all the guitar solos on this shit and I have to keep reiterating to him that I don’t give a fuck what he does as long as he does what he thinks is good. Also, Taylor Swift has been a huge influence.

Other Spritzer recordings, and releases in the works?

Yea totally! If people like this shit I’ll make more of it. I could get the LP together by summer if you’ll really want it. I really would like to collaborate with Taylor Swift on a few songs… I think we’re like minded composers.

spritzer week in pop 3

Other side projects in the making?

I was about to say, ‘hell no!’ Because between Friend Roulette and Spritzer, I’m a bit spent… But then I remembered last night I was at the bar with my great friend, Akiva Zamcheck, and we agreed to start a duo project. His old band, DTROTBOT, used to be my favorite. He’s brilliant. . . But really, i just want to do a song cycle collaboration with Taylor Swift. I think I have some melodies that would really be a great fit for her voice.

Also, what’s next for Friend Roulette?

New album in June — month long tour in April — and were half way done with yet another record of songs written by our friend, Matt Scheffer who by the way has a fantastic new band in Austin, Texas called Zettajoule — Friend Roulette will not be covering any Taylor Swift songs in the near future.

Listen to more from Spritzer via Soundcloud.

Catch Spritzer playing Rough Trade NYC tonight, March 6 with The Big Sleep, Isadora, and Slothrust. More details via Facebook.

Pastel Ghost

The rise off Oakland's Pastel Ghost, aka Vivian Moon.
The rise off Oakland’s Pastel Ghost, aka Vivian Moon.

Arising from these post-industrial landscapes is the electro synth-pop goth-ish artist, Pastel Ghost, lorded by the Oakland artist, Vivian Moon. Establishing witch house sympathies through the electronic streaks of dark mascara on 2013’s Dark Beach EP; the title track, “Silhouette”, and “Slow Gaze” proved to be not only some of the best electronic indie pop audio arts in the Bay, but perhaps the entire west coast. Flash forward a few years into the future, where the track “Clouds” brought upward rising vapor spirits that told of the formidable recent movements over the past decade that brought a bedroom production aesthetic to some of the main fronts of new radio wave interests, informing all big name artists who worked with beat and rhythm centered music.

Providing further dream rave morsels for the ear, mind, and soul — Pastel Ghost premieres the track, “Pulse”, taken from her forthcoming 80s Ladies album debut, Abyss, available March 10. Turning up all the levels, heightening the stakes, revamping the definition, and firing up the incessant drive of turbine-like percussion engines — Vivian brings “Pulse” to full throttled life and pointed to a future point of no return. A melody of keyboards initiates the song before the unbeatable, and indestructible body music beats take over, as Moon’s vocals emerge here and there from synthesizer hooks that fire from the track’s nuclear reactor core. In a way, “Pulse” provides a nearly visual representation of the Pastel Ghost moniker in the way Vivian summons a blizzard of synth progressions that fire with the ferocity of a thousand feelings, while her vocals make reigning cameos that break between the overcast filter of eternal fog. Following the debut of “Pulse”, we had an opportunity to cross over to new electronic realms in our interview with Vivian.

What’s the latest from the Oakland scenes as of late?

Rap, starving artists, underground parties in DIY spaces.

Walk us through the making of the Dark Beach EP that has then lead to your album Abyss for 80s Ladies Records.

“Dark Beach” formed the entire direction of PASTEL GHOST. Dreamy, dark, emotional dance music. That’s always been my intention and you can hear all of that in ABYSS.

What for you inspired these evocative audio essences that you have summoned forth from the void?

The color lilac, Love’s Easy Tears, Macross Plus, Robert Smith.

How do you approach this kind of haunted electronic, post-witch house or whatever you choose to call it collection of hyper-balladry, and ghost silk styles?

My approach is always different. It starts with an image, a melody, or a synth sound I want to construct a song around. Sometimes I want to write something hopeless or destructive.

pastel ghost week in pop 2

We have been vibing heavily to “Clouds” and the mind, body, and soul trance of “Pulse”. Tell us about how you blend everything from the ephemeral nature of things to the elements and aspects that comprise the human touch.

There’s a strange harmony there, this contrast between aggression/vulnerability. I don’t care about making music that isn’t emotional. If the melodies don’t force me to feel something or if the lyrics aren’t honest, the music is meaningless.

Other obscure Oakland artists we need to know about and listen to right now?

Metal Mother, Powwoww, Witowmaker.

What’s in the future for Pastel Ghost?

Shows, touring.

Pastel Ghost’s ABYSS will be available March 10 from 80s Ladies Records.

Buffalo Rodeo

Introducing Buffalo Rodeo, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. (press photo courtesy of the band)
Introducing Buffalo Rodeo, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. (press photo courtesy of the band)

Sneaking up on us this week, we must admit that Buffalo Rodeo’s new 123 Water EP sort of caught us by pleasant surprise, providing a little audio slice of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Seeing release today by the great minds and palates over at Jeffrey Drag Records; the sweet, southern psych styles that never get enough coverage or respect emerge from the lush, lesser known parts.

The world of 123 Water rises slowly like the morning sun, with the icon identity musing opener, “Lana Del Rey”, as “Butterfly Knife” gets the super-70s songwriter album-rock super-show started with arms extended to the sky. Raising the bar one more time, the rocket propelled “Blue Sky” takes you to the breaking point in the blue skies where you are sprung a few light years from home, before dropping you in the water-slide in slow motion ride of the super suave and smooth, “Always Want It Back”. But the trip keeps on, where “All Ears” finds the Buffalo Rodeo enjoying in rounds of duets, and a pretty sweet arrangement of super power chord coordination and sing a long inspiring reiterations of, “…my head, in my head, in my head…” As things gets real weird after the song softly melts into cosmic sludge, Buffalo Rodeo bids you adieu with “Love In A Garden”, that transforms ethereal earth music reminiscent from the UK’s trad rock scenes from the late 60s/early 70s with joyous family band style anthems, with unusual key shifts, and one of the greatest walls of pure sound that has to be heard to be believed. We talked with the band’s own Jordan Reynolds, in our interview feature that runs after the following listen to, 123 Water.

First up, how did you meet, and then realize that you were, Buffalo Rodeo?

Ryan, Nate, and Zach basically grew up together in Bowling Green. They attended the same high school in Bowling Green and started playing music together during that time. They tried the music band thing out for a little while, rotating friends in and out of open positions, and writing band names on our matching white converse until we came up with one that really flowed. They managed to win consecutive school talent show titles, then immediately knew because of their accolades that they had to start taking things a bit more serious, ha ha. A couple years of jamming in Nate’s mom’s attic went by, and in 2012 I came down from Michigan for a summer to fill in on keys and then never went back. Lastly but not least, our former bass player decided he wanted to go to college and not pursue the band thing, and we added Patrick on the bass. Once the five of us came together, the chemistry was perfect and it’s been the same Buffalo Rodeo ever since. Hopefully that never changes.

Describe for us your stomping grounds of Bowling Green, Kentucky. What’s it like out there? What are some of the local scenes like?

Bowling Green has a pretty tight knit music scene considering the lack of true ‘music venues.’ A lot of the music scene starts and develops from house shows. The house show scene here really thrives because of the lack of all ages venues. Since we started playing shows when we were all around 18 or 19, we weren’t allowed to play in the bars. Playing house shows is where we fell in love with playing music. People in BG really understand the lack of venues, and there’s a community of dedicated partiers [sic], music lovers and home owners that continually surrender their homes for house shows and let kids develop their sound in a really comfortable environment. We would often times throw huge house parties at our old band house, Casa de Buffalo, with upwards of 200 people just to play to our friends who couldn’t make it out to the bars.

Best places in Bowling Green to hang out, kick it, play live music, or otherwise?

As far as playing music, Bowling Green does have a couple of solid bar venues that always keep a crowd: Tidball’s and Rocky’s. There are some larger venues in Bowling Green for theatrical performances and things like that, but the bar scene, and house show scene is where the cool local music resides. It’s a college town, so there’s some cool places downtown to hang out. I’m a regular at Spencer’s Coffee, Nate and I work at the Mellow Mushroom when we’re not on tour, and if we’re not hanging out around there we’re normally at friends’ houses listening to records or something like that. Realistically, there’s not a whole lot going on in Bowling Green, so we just fill our time with music and friends.

buffalo rodeo week in pop 2

Describe for us what the jump was like between 2013’s Home Videos, to the ambitious, and ethereal, and mind expanding, 123 Water?

When we were sitting down to write for 123 Water, we knew we wanted to create something altogether different. We gained a lot of perspective from being on the road, listening to more bands, meeting people, and generally gaining more knowledge about music. We were listening to a lot of the classics: Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, etc. We knew that we wanted to focus more on the songs this time around. Home Videos, for us, was our first real effort at making a ‘legitimate’ album/EP. We wrote it when we were all 19-ish, Pat is a little older, he was around 23 at the time, so it’s not as mature of an effort as 123 Water. With Home Videos, we didn’t focus so much on the songwriting and rather what just made us dance and jump around and what made for fun live shows. We’d have huge outros or Ryan would just thrash on the drums and people would go nuts at house shows, but the songs weren’t really strong. With 123 Water, we focused more on what was actually being written and created and making it really interesting before it even got to the live show. We knew we were going for more of a psychedelic sound — but mostly we just wanted to focus on making really great, simply-structured songs that could be built from the ground up.

Give us some insights on how this multi-tiered EP was made.

When we finished Home Videos in April 2013 we toured on it for a little over a year, off and on. In May 2015, we decided to take a break from the extensive touring and really focus on writing for our next release — which we were hoping would be a full length. Around the same time, we kind of luckily had this writing space fall into our laps. Nate’s dad owns this empty warehouse in Horse Cave, KY, which is about an hour north of where we live, and we decided to turn it into our writing/rehearsing/creative space, and it ended up being the most influential component of the process of making 123 Water. We took a ton of rugs, couches, lamps, and all our gear, and we’d just ostracize ourselves for days at a time up there at the warehouse. We’d call them “Warehouse Sessions.” In that summer we probably demo-ed out 35 songs. We had intended on making a full-length record, but in the end we settled on making an EP instead. Originally we had wanted to record this EP at a studio in Nashville or Chicago, but when that didn’t work out, we decided to record it at the warehouse where we had written the EP. Our friend, Trey Rosenkampff, came up from Athens, GA to record the EP, and we spent a week in December recording. The warehouse had no heat, so we all got real cozy in a tiny space in the warehouse with about five space heaters, tons of blankets, and our love to keep us warm! From there, we finished the tracking and went down to Athens to mix at Trey’s mixing studio, “The Panther Den”. After alllllll of that, here we are. 123 Water. Named for the address of the warehouse where it was created.

What else are you all planning in the creative works, tours, recordings, etc?

For the next few months we’re going to be doing a lot of touring and traveling, which we are so excited about because it’s been a while since we’ve been on the road. After that, we’ll probably try to organize our thoughts on what will eventually be our debut full length. Hopefully this time around we can record somewhere that has heat! Over the summer we demo-ed about two albums worth of songs, and we constantly are writing, so we’ll just have to do some sifting through and decide where we want to go from there. For the time being, we want to tour, make cool videos, meet interesting people, and get our music heard.

Buffalo Rodeo’s 123 Water EP is available now from Jeffrey Drag Records.


crows week in pop 1

Off their upcoming Pray 7″ for Meat Wave’s imprint, Brace Yourself Records; London’s new tough gentry alliance, Crows premiere “Crawling”, that drops it’s counterpart single “Pray” down a basement of many levels. The band’s rock hymnal sings odes to the hypnotism of hooligan characters and exploits, sharing tales of youths in rebellion amidst a backdrop of working class British council houses ordered in rows. “Crawling” finds the quartet of Cox, Goddard, Amara, and Rushworth on a hell bent mission that plunges beneath the underbelly of the earth’s surface, and deep beneath the networks of gopher tunnels, and ancient artifacts.

“Crawling” begins first with that strike of amplified chords, that then cues the appropriately fuzzy axe grinders of doom that quest for a unilateral dominance. The brooding beat-down is done from the slithering straits of a snake, lizard, to insert your favorite belly-crawling reptile that is on the move to catch it’s prized morsel of prey. The London band strikes the gloomiest of notes, giving slight tips of the hat to a type of country western style of desolation, where the feeling of destitution and isolation is done by way of abandoning the listener in an endless, and arid desert soundscape design. Tributes are made on “Crawling” to the international metal arenas, where a heralded gospel of hopelessness is heard in the heavy weighted doom chords that make these four lads sound like the scariest, fuggin’ things in the entire world. So of course we had to have an interview session, featured right after the following premiere of, “Crawling”.

What is the latest from the London scenes?

There’s a lot going on over here at the moment always has been. Bad Vibrations are doing London a blessing with the amount of amazing bands they’re putting on, especially from the US with people like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Growlers, Night Beats and loads more playing Keith’s nights at The Shacklewell Arms.

How did the four of you all meet up? What drew you to the name Crows above all other bird name sorts?

None of us liked each other when we met, we know that much – how we even ended up playing in a band together, we’ll never know. That one was pretty easy, a group of Crows is called a Murder.

crows week in pop 2

Describe the inspiration and making of the doom and gloom cataclysm of “Crawling”.

James’ lyrics were written around the time of Thatcher’s funeral. We’re not a political band as such, but at that time there was a split of public opinion over her funeral and how much it was broadcast everywhere. Our opinion on that is captured in the lyric, “leave her in the road.”

What are some of the prescribed writing and recording methods that Crows employ?

We like to keep things to how they should be in a band – we definitely do not want to be that band that employs a track to run across the back of our songs because that is lazy. When we’re in the studio, one of the most important things for us, is to try and replicate how we sound live as much as possible.

Other favorite local London acts that the world needs to hear?

Claw Marks, Bad Breeding, Yak, and this band from Brighton called Abattoir Blues.

What is next for Crows?

We’re off on tour with Wolf Alice playing far bigger venues than we ever have, which we’re really looking forward to.. Whether or not their fans will actually like us is a different matter though…

Crows’ upcoming Pray 7″ will be available soon from Brace Yourself Records.


Get harshed with Sweden's RA, photographed by Tredje.
Get harshed with Sweden’s RA, photographed by Tredje.

Sweden’s RA just released their new album, Scandinavia, courtesy of Adrian Recordings (Alice Boman, Boeoes Kaelstigen, Hey Elbow, etc.) packing the punch of a loud, abrasive, self-described, “psychotic, noisy sound.” Diverging from Adrian’s output of songstresses, electronic artists, and the like — RA go on the attack with the dark wave-y dances, with the sound like a performance given from a strictly metallic, recording chamber. Premiering “In My Veins”, the brute intensity and mean blood boils over into a high pressured and tense session of terse words, and gnashed teeth.

The clamor of guitars introduce “In My Veins”, as the following thunder of more guitars, and iron clad percussion hits the blood stream. Thoughts of wanting to go back, go somewhere else are sung-shouted in a serious commands with an intrusive insistence that are given an addictive, and ominous environment from the grinding slashes of guitars. Everything rides on intensity, where mad minor chord melodies deliver new room for ambivalence with life and(or) death high stakes of dutiful (and perhaps dubious) devotion, illustrated in lyrics like, “we’re in this together, ’til the end…” After the following listen, join us for our interview with Sweden’s RA.

What’s the latest haps from the underground channels and networks of indie Sweden?

Our release party march 13th, we’ve got artists from Malmö, Hamburg and Stockholm joining this evening.

How did RA originally band together?

Three of us lived together in the fall off 2012 and decided to create RA, all of us had been in different music constellations before and knew each other.

Give us the behind the board stories on the making of Scandinavia.

We got signed on Adrian Recordings and the opportunity to create a full length album came through.

We’ve been working on the album for 1 year including making the songs etc.

The result is a messy dark soundscape with underlying well thought songs.
It’s youthful but mature.

RA, photographed by Första.
RA, photographed by Första.

What is the story behind the blood, guts, and bones went into the clamor, chaos, charred earth of, “In My Veins”.

Erik came up with this outrageous guitar riff and in the studio we made it into what it is.

When we recorded it we tried to create the most psychotic/noisy sound.

It’s one of the most modern songs we’ve written so far.

What are you all listening to right now?

Erick Enocksson, Night Manager, Dipset, Hellvete, Mark Sixma, Crim3s, Salem.

What Swedish bands should the rest of the world be listening to but we aren’t?

Hey Elbow, IBV, WTRFA…

What else do you guys have in the works for 2015, 2016, and beyond?

We just started working on our second album and we’re planning a tour around Europe.

RA’s Scandinavia is available now from Adrian Recordings.

Seaweed Salad

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You might know Martin Roark under the name Tomemitsu (solo project and his middle name), or his new band, Seaweed Salad (that features members from Nima Kazerouni’s So Many Wizards and Crown Plaza), who recently released their debut album, Gym Gemz, full of head lifting, swirling whirlpools of blissful sound. Premiering their video for, “Discover”, realized by director ETA with the help of producer Summer Slim, cinematographer Seth Wessel-Estes, and wardrobe fashion courtesy of Amanda Galli. The intimate and natural expressions of love, and the exchanges that bring people closer are exhibited in couples old, and young, continuing the waltz of love and adventure in time to Seaweed Salad’s “Discover”.

“Discover” is visualized in a sweet, sensitive, and sincere manner dedicated to respecting the process of discovery between romantic pairs in romantic settings from late night swims, museum tours, walks on the beach, and more. The feeling of weightlessness is observed from the featured lovers of all ages and heritages, where the sunny day sound of Seaweed Salad loops in layers of guitars, Martin’s half conscious vocals, creating the feeling of spending an entire afternoon watching the waves meet in congress with the sand. Here couples walk together, run together, swim together, and run out toward the breakers together. We caught up with Martin Tomemitsu Roark to get the whole scoop on Seaweed Salad, and how the So Many Wizards, Crown Plaza alliances came into formation.

How did Seaweed Salad begin for you?

I make dreamy acoustic music under my middle name, Tomemitsu, and fun swirly pop music as Seaweed Salad. I also play guitar and bass in some other fun bands called So Many Wizards, Crown Plaza, Trabants, and Basement Babies.

How did your collaborative work with members from So Many Wizards and Crown Plaza come about?

I met Nima from So Many Wizards about a year and a half ago when Basement Babies first played with his other band Crown Plaza. At the time Crown Plaza was a two-peice and I instantly fell in love. Nima asked me to play bass for Crown Plaza before he even saw me perform. There is an anniversary for that show on March 12 at Harvard and Stone with Black Apples – the exact same lineup and venue lol. There was an immediate mutual appreciation and inspiration between us, and it was not long before i finagled my way into So Many Wizards as their lead guitarist.

Playing guitar in SMW reignited my passion for fast music. In June 2014 I wrote the first Seaweed Salad song called “All to You (Tina)” for DJ Cristina at KXLU. My idea was to write a song based around horror movie situations, where Tina is torturing or killing me in various fashions, but all I want to do is show my love. After the first song I could not stop writing until i finished the album, GYM GEMZ, about two months later. I looked to the best musicians i know and love to join me for the live band- I asked Devin Ratliff from So Many Wizards to play drums, James Roehl from Crown Plaza to play bass, and my good friends Emily Beyda and Justin Pittman on keyboards and guitar respectively. We’ve all developed a deep musical conversation through the other projects we’ve shared so collaborating was really fun and intuitive.

Seaweed Salad, pausing for a pose during practice.
Seaweed Salad, pausing for a pose during practice.

Give us the whole making of the video for “Discover” from LA’s ETA.

The vision behind the video for discover is from ETA. He and I both went to USC together, but didn’t really know each other. He had been a fan of Tomemitsu and reached out last year to say he connected with those songs. I think he may have heard “In Dreams” on the web series High Maintenance. I sent him the Seaweed Salad project and he was drawn to Discover and proposed doing a video. At that time, my only condition was that i didn’t want to be filmed, so he came up with a concept without me on camera. He created this beautiful short film extracting all the emotion and buoyancy of the song with no budget, guerrilla style. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

What else are you all working on right now, recording, releasing and the like?

Right now I’m in the progress of finishing the second Tomemitsu album, “Loaf Eye”, which I’m super excited about. Loaf Eye and the GYM GEMZ album will be officially released on a new label that KXLU’s Cristina and I started called Sucks About Dinosaurs (S.A.D.). That’s all I’m allowed to say about S.A.D. right now, but I’m really excited to take matters into my own hands. Basement Babies and Crown Plaza are in the middle of recording debut albums which are going to be brilliant. Both bands are playing Saturday, March 12 at Harvard and Stone for our anniversary show. Seaweed Salad is going to play KCHUNG Fest at The Smell on Friday March 28 with Post-Life, Erik the drummer of So Many Wizards other band. Yes, we are an incestuous bunch of musicians that cannot make enough music together.


Augusto from MÆNIFESTO, photographed by Flavia Eleonora Tullio.
Augusto from MÆNIFESTO, photographed by Flavia Eleonora Tullio.

Prepping his EP debut for later this spring, meet Italy’s future fighting, MÆNIFESTO who premieres the M U T E video for the title track, “Pantheon”. Drawing from the Italo industrial dance denominations with a vocal delivery that owes more to the surf and turf dwelling west coast lo-fi enthusiasts. The “Pantheon” video combines images of massive oil tanks, a nature sanctuary, animations, and dramatic proselytizing over the hard hitting Euro tech beat. Augusto depicts the stark contrasts of resource hungry greed, and a world of green that exists on it’s own accord without the interference of global petrol commerce, diplomacy models, and so forth.

MÆNIFESTO seeks a world of harmony in the face of adversarial elements that crash together at the foot of the gods in the hypothetical mythos that permeates throughout, “Pantheon”. The keys and rhythms ride along the emergency mode of grueling drums, and super dramatic key progressions as Augusto takes the world’s laundry list of unsustainable decline of discontinuity to an ancient, mythological dimension. With the pixelation beginning and ending the “Pantheon” video, MÆNIFESTO aka Augusto shared a mini-manifesto on the pixelated clash of nature & nurture that comprises the song and video for, “Pantheon”, with a few thoughts on the forthcoming EP:

“Pantheon” has been inspired by the resignation of previous Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church. We could not underrate this event, ’cause if the leader of a religion stop feeling the ‘call to Faith’ that intense or above all, doing so he makes clear there’s nothing more real and true than real life itself.

This event made me wonder about the role of Religions and Faith (not only the Catholic or Protestant but all of them — Buddhism, Islam, Shinto, etc. — and that’s why song’s called “Pantheon” — the temple of ALL gods —) in this new century and millennium. It seems to me that, in the twenty first Century, believing is becoming harder, mainly ’cause now there’s so much information available out there these days, we tend toward rationalization. The consequence is an evolution of the human race but, at the same time, it will lead us to a soul loss….our souls are essential (soul makes us special and unique).

The “Pantheon” video shooting took place nearby an oil refinery. Oil is the ‘modern symbol’ for global power nowadays, also oil is the main reason of the ecosystem pollution of our Planet.

We just wanted to match the spiritual side of life with one of the main power/resource that it will be remained forever in the history of humans for what it gave us and, especially, for what it made us do…

Penicillin Baby

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Touring through March 23, Nashville’s Penicillin Baby dropped their new single, “Stick It Out”, that prevails with an attitude of perseverance put to catchy pop rock tones. It’s everything you have loved about the enduring appeal (for better or for worse)  of slogans like, “keep on truckin’,” “hang in there,” and more where the keep on keeping at it march is put to the luster of an indie pop track. We talked with Penicillin Baby’s Jon Conant on the topic of “Stick It Out” and in inside look at your new favorite Nashville band.

How did you all form?

The band formed about 3 years ago almost by chance. I was playing in a few bands, but started writing different types of songs. I started looking for new people to play with and got hooked up with Charlie, our current guitar player. A friend of mine brought him to a jam session where we were vaguely working on some songs, but mostly just getting drunk and making noise. He fit right in immediately and that’s kind of where we started working towards this band. Along the way we picked up Taylor on bass. Wes was playing drums in about five bands at the time and I always thought he was the best drummer around. Eventually the timing was right and he hopped on board. The current lineup has been operating for just over a year.

What’s the story behind the name, Penicillin Baby?

It basically comes from an old sketch from the show ‘Mr. Show’ in which David Cross and Bob Odenkirk have to write old timey songs about inventions and then sing them in front of an audience in a showdown type scenario. I was singing ‘penicillin, baby!’ for weeks so we just ran with it. Some people try and read into and assume it has some deeper meaning. I just let them believe that.

Tell us about the “Stick it Out” sound, styles, and events behind the song.

The song is basically about the world ending, or at least the feeling that it is. There is so much bullshit these days between social media, 24 hour news cycles and our never ending need to consume the most exciting thing imaginable. Sometimes it’s just too much and you need to ignore it and get on with your life. The music itself is pure pop. There’s something very appealing to me about the ability to communicate a strong message through an age old format that doesn’t waste a second of the listener’s time. It’s a bit of a departure form our previous psychedelic leanings, but I think we are now synthesizing more influences rather than relying on a single one.

What else are you all working on?

Right now we are trying to stay as busy as possible writing, touring and being creative in any way we can. We’ve got a lot more songs that should be out soon and we’re excited to share them with the world and see where they take us.

What are all the latest happenings from Nashville?

Nashville is a city in the midst of an undoubted renaissance, whether that is a good or bad thing is yet to be fully determined. If the real estate developers and fancy restaurant owners have their way, we’ll be just another boring metropolis covered in shotgun condos. My hope is that the community of Nashville will not let that happen. There is obviously a vibrant music scene for all genres and there’s definitely a sense that Nashville is kind of a small town that happens to be growing really fast. I absolutely love living there. There are a million reasons why. I just hope people at fancy magazines stop writing articles about how hip it is.

What other indie Nashville bands should we be hipped to?

There are almost too many to name. Blank Range is a favorite of ours. Quichenight is possibly the most undersung songwriter/guitar player I’ve ever heard. Western Medication make beautifully sun dripped post punk that gets stuck in my head all the time. Faux Ferocious is a band that I never miss live.


bohkeh week in pop 2

We were the first to introduce you to the world of Bohkeh with the new-cloud-cut single, “Girl I’m in Love”, and now we bring you the LA artist’s new EP, Bright. Born Rj Lim, the artist/producer begins the occasion with a summoning of favorite synthesizers arranged like a menagerie of living sound, taking off on the “relax” reiterations of “Down” that takes the tropes of EDM beat drops to new levels of feeling and echelons of ecstatic experiences. “Girl, I’m In Love” brings you to back to the single that ignited our initial attention on Bohkeh, followed by the electronic rhythm and blue odyssey, “Me And You”, before you are left with the nu-club ultra deluxe moves where rhythm and keys run across parallel existences on, “We Beat it Up”. After a series of recent conversations, rooftop chats, and so forth; Rj described the Bright EP to us with the following exclusive thoughts:

This album is very important to me not only because it’s the very first set list that I’ve created, but it really showed me what it’s like to follow my dreams and do what I really love. Creating this album, I kinda secluded myself in my room only because I feel like that was the only way I can capture my inner feelings. Even though times would be kinda rough outside of this project, every time I would continue producing a track everything changes in a positive way. It’s funny because I have a habit of color coding my tracks on my program and everything would be bright neon colors (one of the reasons why I LOVE Ableton) haha! That’s one of the reasons why the title of my album is called Bright. The main reason is the feeling I want to share with everyone. Every time I worked on this album, I was in such a brighter and happier place. I hope people can just relax when times are tough and just dance the stress out. I really hope my album will be able to assist with that.

Potatohead People

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Available this week from Bastard Jazz, check out Vancouver/Montreal duo Potatohead People’s Big Luxury, streaming here for a limited time in full. The intro coasts into the chill of “Blue Charms”, the laid back firecracker, “Explosives” feat. Illa J & Moka Only, the daytime oracle, “Messenger” ft. Sorceress & Mosaic, to the psychic magic of, “Palmreader”, kicking back on, “Snapbax”, or the luxury liner of, “Luxury” ft. Moka Only. The electric vibes gets turnt up on, “Luv Ya” ft. Amalia, messing with the fidelity levels on, “Broke The Pen ft. Mosaic”, sending you out on a high note with, “Seeds” ft. Illa J. Your weekend, spring break soundtrack has arrived. Digging deeper into the groove, we talked to the duo of Nick Wisdom and AstroLogical in our interview featured after the jump:

What’s the latest from Montreal these days, and how’s it been treating you all?

Nick: A nice change of scenery. These last 18 months have been a truly inspiring time to be involved in music in Montreal, and living here has definitely had a positive impact on the album. A new scene has helped me develop a wider taste in music and being surrounded by artists like Illa J, Pomo, Kaytranada, Noo-Bap and countless others has been a driving force in the evolution of our sound.

Give us the story on the movement from the Kosmichemusik EP to the Big Luxury.

AstroLogical: The Kosmichemusik EP was made during the spring/summer of 2012 in Vancouver, in the solarium home-studio at Nick’s house. Nightmares on Wax came across the EP (which we originally released through local Vancouver label Jellyfish Recordings) and suggested us to the NY label Bastard Jazz. Soon after, we got hit up by Aaron from the label; they re-released the EP digitally and printed a 7″ of Love Hz / Back To My Shit. In mid-2013, Nick moved to Montreal, and around that time we were asked to make a full-length LP for the label — we happily said YES. So I flew out to Montreal in spring 2014 and we made the Big Luxury LP in one month, in between recording sessions with Illa J.

What motivates your approaches to production styles, sensations, and senses of atmosphere?

AstroLogical: What motivates us is simple; we want to make music that we love, and that’s the basic premise every time we sit down to create. Our sound is really just a smorgasbord of all of our favorite music. We love the ambiance of jazz and lush colorful moods, uplifting sounds. We’re largely inspired by the Soulquarian movement, and the hip hop/triphop scene of the late 90s, early 2000s — also ’70s jazz fusion & prog rock plays a part in our sound. As an instrumentalist I get inspired by improvising on the keyboard, so naturally we use live instrumentation paired with samples / electronic drum programming. There’s always a heavy focus on the groove which is definitely the backbone of our productions.

What sort of lesser known artists and producers are you all listening to these days?

AstroLogical: Ruth Koleva, Kirkis, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kan Sano, Prefab Sprout, Diggs Duke, Eric Tagg, Ulver, Kevin McCord, Knower, Edward Artemiev, Buttering Trio, Sven Grünberg, Slakah The Beatchild, Azymuth.

Nick: Flako, The Internet, Max Graef, Temu, Seven Davis Jr, Tall Black Guy, El Train, Goldlink, Luke Vibert, Harris Cole, Moka Only, Ekali, Ivan Ave, GEOTHEORY, Project Pablo. Also, check out Walla P’s radio show, ‘Voyage Funktastique’. He has really dope taste and I always discover new music through his show.

Like previous collabs with Frank Nitty, and working with Dilla’s brother Illa J, MC Moka Only, New Zealand’s Sorceress, and Amalia; who else are you all currently working with?

Nick: We’re part of a crew of producers and MCs called Torchlight Commission. Besides Moka Only who you already know, two other members we are always working with are Jon Rogers and the homie Mosaic, who co-produced a couple tracks on the album! Both those guys are masters at their own craft and we have so much respect for them. Some other people we worked with lately… Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, a dope singer named Allie from Toronto and rapper Ivan Ave from Norway.

The secret to the Nick Wisdom and AstroLogical synergy?

Nick: We have different taste in women, so nothing ever comes between us. It’s great.

Luxury is available now from Bastard Jazz.

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NYC’s Kerry Kennedy released her doom folk vignettes on the album, Storm Winds, under the moniker Ghostwise feature songs that sound like the beckon and roar of mighty breezes, and investigative impressionism into the intimate arenas of empathetic observation. Featuring an epic James Jackson Toth (of Wooden Wand) collaboration on the sun, sand, and sea storm, “Golden Calves” — weather patterns cycles of songs circle and spiral around a pivotal piece that pushes the Americana troubadour heart into vast pastures of pop.

Also hear Storm Winds via Spotify:

Eden Sela brought some sentimental ESP vibes that meditate, hover and levitate about on the single, “I Know You Got a Woman”, taken from her forthcoming album, Purgatory available March 24 from Thin Wrist Recordings. The earthly and otherworldly essence converge together like planets colliding into one another like wayward lovers or bumper cars spinning beautifully out of control.

With a North American tour happening now through April 14, Mega Bog’s Erin Birgy presented us with her self-directed video for “Wet Moss” off her album debut, Gone Banana, available now from Couple Skate. For the intimate essence and cadence of “Wet Moss”, Erin presents home movies that combine night pictures of Seattle, stick and poke tattoo processes, fun with focus, and all the things that you might think of when you hear a Mega Bog cut.

Having release The Nest EP last year, Luka presents the breakage and stress points of rhythmically enriched worlds on the single, “Fault Line”. This ambient production is a sign and sound of further tracks, remixes, and collabs that are already in the works from the 23 year old artist, and expected to drop later this year. Keep listening, dear readers.

Stockton by LA artist producer pictochat has been keeping himself busy dropping album, EPs, singles, remixes and more, and we just learned about his the blueberry EP, that presents three songs to help transition the cold, long winter into the new splashes of spring sentiments. The opening track “rainboots” distills conversations taken from animes and mangas and puts it into the framework of a living representation of feeling fleshed out by audio techniques. The next cut “aslongasyrhere” continues the EP’s romantic theme, along with “SOMF” kicking it with some of that fuzzed up electric bass, and cool, and serene key patterns. The artist wrote this regarding blueberry‘s inspiration:

Some luv songs written over winter break while in Arizona. Written for sum1 who lives vry far away lol kbye.

Available March 9 from epic45’s imprint Wayside and Woodland, Mike Rowley, aka Component#4 will release his album, Into Memory, giving the world a look at the b/w Angela Slater directed video for “The Call Centre”. Pensive and internal interrogations mull over again and again, as Slater captured Mike interacting around the places, corners, brick stone buildings, and trainspotting stoops that dot the landscape of his West Midlands upbringing that provides further views into the post-industrial landscape of environments, and the places that have informed a sound built from the routines and, and minutiae that have contributed to the artist’s own personal composite. Listen as the sparse production interacts with the various musings of surroundings of the somber, morose, tedious, and repetitive routines of modern life.

Enter the ambient atmospheres and head-spaces created by Sahm Zalta, aka Nola Gras, on the just released album, Paraiso Terrenal. Face melting landscapes dot the scorched earth that marks, “For You (Stephens)” through “Today”, where drone streams found on “The Day After Yesterday”, bleed into the third eye awakened pop of guitar geared vignettes, like “Animal Balloon”. Your psychedelic spring has already arrived, dear listeners.

Errors released the Rachel Maclean starring and directed video for “Slow Rotor”, off the upcoming album, Lease of Life, available March 23 from Rock Action Records. It’s like martian lives meet the world we know, and the decadence of Errors cool electronic pop.

Dropping a little something for current, modern times from the archives; LA’s Gabfest delivered this new video for “Shelter” off their 2007 album, The Refinement (re-released in 2013); where the signs of the times collide together in a modern reality where police states govern by technocratic rule, and the same lame duck policies continue to erode the domestic infrastructure. Relevant as it ever was when it was made back in 2007, and even more so for today’s heated, and troubled climates of authority abuse, and worse.

Northampton MA’s Wishbone Zoë will be playing Brooklyn’s Palisades March 21, and we present you with the video, “All of These Oddities” music video directed by Paul Preston. Also a visual artist with works featured on her Sunbeams and Turpentine site, Saera wrote the following blurb to us about her unique approaches to style, sound, and instrumentation:

Wishbone Zoë usually consists of myself fronting songs with a banjo, guitar or bass, and building vocal/sound/percussive loops onstage. A lot of the sounds I use come from found objects, recyclables and appliances.

Our Oakland friends follow up their 2014 EP with a new 7″ titled Criminal Code, available March 31 from Vacant Stare, and we bring you a listen to the A-side here. Recorded by Monte Vallier at good ol’ Ruminator Audio out of SF; Daniel Brown, Nicholas Clark, and Rob I. Miller return with a code of conduct that is one of the coolest things you’ll hear emanating from the Bay Area, or anywhere these days.

Peep the visuals for the electro beat thumping title cut from Imaginary War’s upcoming album, The Way We Feel available March 6. Natural images, easels, ink blots make up the depiction of feeling in both sound and visuals.

Sweden by Berlin five piece Tula released the powerful rush of fist pumping dominance on the single, “River”, available March 13 from Telegram Records.

Maya Jane Coles released her single, “Take Me There”, from her upcoming self-titled debut under the moniker, Nocturnal Sunshine, available May 26 from her own imprint I/AM/ME. From recently being sampled on Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” track,;the British by Japan producer continues to make cuts that stem from the next levels of pop production that have yet to be fully explored, let alone understood.

Vetiver’s new album Complete Strangers will be available through Easy Sound on March 24, and we have a listen to the power chord-apooloza feast for the power pop senses on, “Loose Ends”.

With a world tour running through May 2, peep the George Salisbury video for BRONCHO’s “NC-17”. The BRONCHO sound gets put to home videos chocked full of pixelated digitizations.

From Micah Weisberg & Bill Dvorak of Young Heart Productions; peep Brooklyn’s Lazyeyes in the video for “Mindseye” that depicts the band in futuristic frames to match the band’s manifested projections of dream-dystopian destinies. Catch them on tour from March 19 through April 24 (which of course will include SxSW appearances).

Life Size Maps’ self-titled debut LP is available April 7 from Old Flame Records, with the band touring from April 22 through Mary 1; dropping some of that neon soaked video chic for their bright light satured synth symphony, “All Been Spent”.

More fun from Toro Y Moi, with the slick swagger and charm of, “Buffalo”, featured on the forthcoming album, What For?, available April 7 from Carpark Records. The cosmic cool universe curated by frontman Chaz Bundick continues on it’s galactic path.

From their We Are Undone album from ATO, peep Two Gallants’ video for “Incidental” that features animated images from Alexander Safdie and Kangmin Kim to pair with Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel’s power duo dam break of sound.

With Apocalypse, girl available June 9 on Sacred Bones, Jenny Hval presents the post-war silk-fringe folk ballad, “That Battle Is Over”. With a world tour running through June 24, the Norwegian vocal wunderkind provides a kind of appealing apocalypse where Armageddon is just something to wrap your arms tightly around in a loving embrace.

Eden Sela enlisted Kenny Gilmore from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti to master her upcoming album, Purgatory, available March 24 from Thin Wrist Recordings, and we present you with the ghost piano comforts of, “I Know You Got a Woman”. The connections and complications between couples, and third wheels is portrayed in such emotive and earnest expressions that sound as if they are a channeled through pipe organs fed through air vent viaducts.

Peep the The Right Brothers and Andrew Miller video for Jamaican Queens’ “Bored + Lazy” single done up like a French new wave cinema short featuring femme fatales galore.

Jamaican Queens ‘Bored + Lazy’ [Official] from The Right Brothers on Vimeo.

Sam Dust, aka LA Priest got his brother Isaac Eastgate to direct his desert tripping video, “Oino”, giving us a taste of further things to come from the artist, via Domino Recordings.

LA’s Filligar dropped the track, “Truth & Anger” off their album, Keepsakes of the Interior, available April 21 that keeps with the inspirations from their worldly experience as serving as the US State Department’s cultural ambassadors. Like “Motor Shine”< “White Light Rose”, and “Photos of Madrid”; the scenes observed overseas and in parts unknown is heralded in songs that stem from Venice Beach, and pouring out to the world at learge.

San Francisco duo Tidelands brought some down home comforts with their just released Old Mill Park, and you are invited to take part in the jubilant dance of “Dog Named Bart” that brings instant happiness upon initial audio impact. out today.

Watch the Ryan Zackaria, Erich Vogel, and Zack Spiger video for Stone Jack Jones’ “Circumstance”, spinning stories of tough tales, survival and more, off the upcoming, Love & Torture available March 17 from Western Vinyl.

Oceanside multi-instrumentalist Stefan Christov, aka Miles Bandit has been making some mellow west coast vibes to qualm the your ever-quaking endless stream of stress triggered panic attacks. On his recently released Soft Dreams EP, Stefan busts out the soft and smooth jams, on the sentiment studded, “Feels”, the lush/plush textures of “Soft Lips”, romantic wave-faring touch of “Girl ft. Jack Irwin”, the smooth sailing, “She’s So Smooth”, before dipping you down to the hammock hung closer, “Soft Dreams”. These are the San Diego slow jams your over taxed nerves have been waiting for all week. Stefan provided us the following thoughts about the smooth styles and creative synthesis that went into Soft Dreams:

Soft Dreams came about while I was working on Jazz and RnB influenced writing. I’ve always been really into RnB, Old School, Funk, and Soul. I like how smooth, warm and crisp it sounds. Recently I’ve tried to experiment with those genres. To my surprise the ideas came very naturally and I ended coming up with a lot songs that could be used for an album or an EP. The songs on Soft Dreams are sweet and easy going, just basic pop love songs but a little sexier and groovier. Up to this point I’ve been writing and recording everything myself but I’m currently working with a few friends to try and play some of these songs live. I’m definitely feeling good energy from Soft Dreams.

With Föllakzoid’s III now available on Sacred Bones Records, peep the b/w video for the Chilean prophets of drone-y doom and cosmic moons’ “Electric”, directed by Domingo Garcia-Huidobro, Ion Rakhmatulina, featuring lighting by Felipe Zegers, production from Área Santiago, and stage design by Rodrigo Bravo.

This week also saw a previously unreleased instrumental from NYC producer sergioisdead called, “funny sweet heartbreaking mess”, that brings to mind the works from his formal colleagues that count Lil B, Tink, BJ The Chicago Kid, and more that fulfills your cloud-cut appetite—while leaving you thirsty for another tall glass.

Catch the celebratory breeze and bleepy synth buzz high off the Hands remix of Afternoons’ “Say Yes”, from their album of the same name from Eenie Meenie Records. It’s everything you love about the pre-party and afterparty condensed into one sweet remix cut from LA’s own Goeffrey Haliday (aka Hands). Haliday described the remix in the following blurb:

When I first heard the song I had no clue what I was going to put together for a remix. The song was so solid and confident that it was hard to imagine as anything but the lilting, swinging romp that the original encapsulates. It was when I finally started chopping up the tracks and sampling various pieces that I was able to find a new feel to match the vocals to. I fell in love with the claps they recorded and so I used those as a guide to build a new groove around. I didn’t quantize anything in the remix to try and retain some of the loose feel of the original that I loved. Almost all of the synths are made out of samples from the original stems, though some are so effected that their origin may not be apparent. That’s one of the most enjoyable parts honestly.

Hear “Menocause” squelching out the major scuzz and blown amplifier felt and fuzz on the cool cut, “Menocause”, taken from the forthcoming , Know America album.

Maribou States just dropped a rework of the MS Edit for “Rituals”, full of rising synthesizer rays that run like rain on the land in a reverse order. Find more of this moody house beat action on the Counter Records, Ninjatune shop.

Now bringing you something direct from the Greek underground psych scene; check out Alien Mustangs’ River EP, from Hand in Sand Records. The extended gets eerie and odd off the title lead off track that sails strange crystal ships down tributaries of the damned. “Animal Future” fights the weirdness even outer into the frayed fringes, before “Alone” takes a stoned tour across deserts, and derelict mountains alike.

Hear the retro to future oscillating electronique perfect methods from Marie Davidson, on the cut, “Excès De Vitesse”, from, Un Autre Voyage, available April 14 from Holodeck Records. Marie continues to entertain the exquisite approach to all things that abound in the electronic scenes of Montreal, forever expanding upon her work with Les Momies de Palerme, Hotel Monochrome, DKMD, and Essaie Pas, etc.

With her album debut, Sivutie available in June from Japanese tastemakers, flau; check out Noah’s third mixtape, MOOD that brings you a bit of what the title alludes towards and promises. Taking it down a few pitches and paces, get a load of the vibes that steam off of “Take it Down”, to the tranquil experimentation of “Plerumque”, the title cut of vague air jazz, the ascending transcendence of “Ascension feat. Siddiq”, closing out with the vocal echo trailing cut, “Face”. The producer packages together in sound an impressionist rendering of her Hokkaido Prefecture island upbringing in the snowy regions of Chitose that provide a cabin feel to guide your winter to the dawn of a new spring.

Meredith Graves’ Week in Pop

(Meredith Graves with Perfect Pussy at The Buccaneer, photographed by Impose’s Josh Miller)
Meredith Graves is one of the busiest people fighting the good fight in the indie business. You know her as the frontwoman of Perfect Pussy, her recently launched label, Honor Press, and her sharp witted writing deserving of her own syndicated column that should be featured in every last relevant journalist hub left in the world. Amid her constant whirlwind of activity, we are honored and privileged to present Meredith’s co-curation of Impose’s Week in Pop, in the following piece she has titled:

Love Letter to Mania:

If you’re up, stay up. Consider this an offering at the altar of that magic state that combines increased productivity and heightened awareness, honest curiosity about life, and a genuine desire to socialize with constant creeping panic, shaky hands and the inability to sleep. If Jim Jarmusch was shooting Permanent Vacation now, and I was the star, this might be the soundtrack (sorry, John Lurie).

With a couple obvious exceptions, most of these songs came out this week: Deerhoof covering Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately” (which I’m hoping they play live when we’re on tour with them in March), Heems’ “Sometimes” (from Eat Pray Thug,” which I’ve listened to all the way through about 10 times this week— ‘Get low/Now I’m fuckin’ sad again,’ like… ugh, well, yeah), and of course, So Stressed’s “Merv King & The Phantoms”— included because working hard on the label [Honor Press] is the main source of my creative anxiety, and the subject matter more than fits the theme (the whole record does, really, but you’ll have to wait until May 26th to hear the whole thing).

Talking Heads, “Girlfriend Is Better” (Live, from Stop Making Sense)

Heems, “Sometimes”

Stream Heems’ Eat Pray Thug via NPR.


Deerhoof, “What Have You Done For Me Lately” (Janet Jackson Demo)

Ratking feat. King Krule, “So Sick Stories”


So Stressed, “Merv King & The Phantoms”

Cloud Castle Lake, “Turn Your Head”

Check out Meredith Graves’ new imprint, Honor Press, & follow her on Twitter.