When it feels like the entire world has gone erratic and wild, Impose’s Week in Pop is here to offer some respite as we begin our holiday weekend with breaking exclusives of excitement and intrigue. But we first bring you to a few of the week’s biggest and buzziest of headlines, with word that Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! announced her memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout available November 15 through Hachette; Homeboy Sandman announced the new album, Kindness For Weakness available May 6 from Stones Throw, sharing “Talking (Bleep)”; Young Thug announced the Hy!£UN35 Tour, Slime Season 3 mixtape announced via a funeral procession at SXSW; Mourn dropped the single “Evil Dead” off their upcoming new album Ha, Ha, He. available June 3 from Captured Tracks; A.R. Kane re-forms, scheduled to play Primavera Festival and tour; Questlove scored the movie Vincent N Roxxy; Mogwai dropped “Bitterness Centrifuge” off the upcoming album Atomic available April 1; 2 Chainz explained brokered conventions; The Range released Potential today via Domino, sharing “Copper Wire”, playing tonight with Empress of at Bowery Ballroom; Animal Collective tour expands for the two-day Big Sur, Fernwood Resort festival event “A N I M A L C O L L E C T I V E Camping Weekend”; Santigold dropped the official linear version of her “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” video ft. Jay Z, Pharrell, Olivia Wilde, etc; Rae Sremmurd dropped the “Over Here” video; AlunaGeorge headlining a concert inside the Minecraft game universe; RiFF RAFF made his wrestling debut; Mark Pritchard dropped “Beautiful People” ft. Thom Yorke; Radiohead formed the company Dawnnchoruss Ltd.; A$AP Ferg and Schoolboy Q dropped the “Let It Bang” video; SBTRKT presents the new project Save Yourself; former Smith Westerns members Max Kakacek & Julien Ehrlich are Whitney, who dropped the “Golden Days” video; Trentemøller remixed jennylee, oka Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint’s “boom boom”; Kesha appealed the injunction; our hero Nardwuar is back on the beat with his epic DJ Khaled interview; Kickstarter acquired Drip; War on Drugs covered the Dead’s “Touch of Grey” for Day of the Dead Grateful Dead tribute; Drake makes SXSW cameo, announces tour after the release of his next album; SXSW chaos on Sixth St (but no injuries reported); Gene Simmons’ incendiary thoughts on hip hop, Talib Kweli weighed in; lament the loss of Garry Shandling; and we continue to mourn the passing of A Tribe Called Quest’s Malik I. Taylor, aka Phife Dawg.
Turning now to today’s greatest creative merchants of inspiration, it is a genuine pleasure and privilege to present the following insights, exclusives, interviews, and more from ETA, Foxtails Brigade, Rich Jones, Roidz, VUM, Emerson Star, Lisa Prank, Scully, Traaps, featuring guest selections by Open Mike Eagle, and more—in no particular order.
You more likely than not already know LA artist ETA from his plethora of video work made with an eclectic cross section of west coast talents. The Vietnamese-American artist has made video for Eddington Again, Friendzone, Post Life, Seaweed Salad and more; and today presents a look at his musical side with the premiere of the sparse, echo-laden lo-fi singles, “Swoon” & “Exuberant Demise”. Once denied admission to USC’s Cinematic Arts program, ETA got his BA in communication that lead him to find a multitude of creative channels from film, poetry, to music. His works are sparse but hold meaning as electric guitar engraved love notes that are penned from the heart’s instruction.
ETA’s “Swoon” begins with watery chords that slowly fade into the frame that are followed by choral howling overdubs that emerge from the background. Lessons and messages of “only time will tell” are uttered as the song’s principle chorus as the recitations of “only” begin to resemble “lonely” which fits the song’s claustrophobic closet recorded quality that feels very isolated, yet warm, but exhibits the cold aspects that loneliness brings. But even still, “swoon” is preoccupied with a striking experience where vintage riffs are ruffled all around the heart of the matter like a hazier, minimalist take on 50s rock & roll.
On “Exuberant Demise”, this trajectory on experiences with heavy impacts continues. ETA applies a subtle echo on his vocals, with sparse rhythm guitar guiding the entire movement of the song outside of the atmospheric resonances that shape the song. Songs about people who wanted it all, and tape recorded samples that speak of subjective perceptions of reality allude to created alternate realms of interest. The spoken tapes that speak of memory find ETA reaching toward recollections of first dates that are described as being cinematic experiences. All this too provides some insight into ETA’s own cinematographic process, as the chords begin to cascade around the cassette sampled cuts. Read our following interview with ETA featured after the following listen.
How have your video direction projects and opps impacted your entire creative sensibilities?
Being around all that musical talent probably at least subconsciously reinvigorated a desire to make music. It’s also helped me exorcise a lot of ideas outta my system and experiment with different styles and technique. That probably helped give me a more crystallized vision of what my own aesthetic is, what works for me, what doesn’t—which also made me wanna start pursuing my own work again. When I conceptualize and direct a vid for someone, it’s me adapting and adhering to their vibe, to the beat of another drummer or whatever. It’s finite in that way. This project enables me to be more visceral, start tabula rasa, and create more freely.
Tell us about what sorts of faint worthy sentiments inspired “Swoon”.
I’ve been going through a lot of things lately—a difficult breakup, being jobless, my mom and a close friend getting in major car crashes, my dog almost getting killed—all in a short span of time too. It forced me to become more enlightened. Basically, I died and was just reborn not too long ago. Even in a single lifetime, we continually change and transform because of circumstances. Sometimes, you feel nostalgic or too ironic, or defeated by the things you can’t change. It can feel overwhelming in the smallest moment and also infinitely beautiful and romantic in the long run. That’s how a swoon feels.
Describe the exquisite discontinuities behind “Exuberant Demise”.
I never feel satisfied, man. Especially with my work. I think I’m always fighting this fear of failure, or inevitable uncertainty, and I’m always dissatisfied that I haven’t stepped into this ideal version of my self I see. So I’ll get stuck in the past or the future, and kinda feel disembodied because of that. Sometimes we want too much, or everything at once, and it’s a recipe for unhappiness. We live, we try to embody something greater, then our bodies give and we fade away. This song’s about feeling the weight of that.
Tell us about how Tomemitsu and Jazzbo contributions impacted the album.
Tomemitsu and I have kinda come full circle. The Discover music vid for his band “Seaweed Salad” was my first music vid just over a year ago, and now he’s been generous enough to give me an assist on this project. It’s probably the water sign connection, but it’s been a seamless collabo. He’s got so much music in the works—prepping his sophomore Tomemitsu release, rounding out Crown Plaza and So Many Wizards albums, a tape label—I’m thankful he’s found time for this thing.
Jazzbo and I had a band called Buffaloes. We stumbled through the dark together with that band and this was the aesthetic that came out intuitively from our nascent collabos. He’s my artistic yin / yang kindred spirit. “Swoon” and “Exuberant Demise” were his original productions, which I used for my first feature, Stockton 2 Malone, and another short I did. He’s focusing on novels now, but I definitely hope he revisits making music again soon.
What else are you working on?
I directed a few vids last year for Joey Dosik, Pegasus Warning, and Tomemitsu that I’m really encouraged by. Each one has a distinct vibe. Hopefully they’ll be coming out soon. Other than that, been riffing with So Many Wizards, Eddington Again, and some other friends about possible vid concepts, but nothing concrete. I’d like to scale back on doing music vids though… unless Drake or Frank Ocean hollers at me with something from Views From The 6 or Boys Don’t Cry. Or Kobe comes outta hip hop retirement. Otherwise, narrative’s calling me back. I’d like to refocus my energies on my next feature soon.
Further thoughts on the LA scenes?
It’s happening man. I truly see LA being on the cusp of something special. There’s this stigma that surrounds the LA music scene, that it’s full of artifice or pastiche, but I think there’s a renaissance in progress. Real sincere, emotive, soul-enriching music. That hedonistic, nihilistic pomo vibe is so passe to me, so I’m ready for it.
Not unlike the moment that Melbourne, Australia has been enjoying right now; Auckland remains one of New Zealand’s counter-culture hubs for some of pop music’s most progressive, artful, and edgy artists found around the world [Princess Chelsea provided us last year with a view into the eclectic Auckland scenes with her guest selection feature]. Roidz are no exception, a group that first splashed onto the radars with the Break-Up Songs Vol. 1, followed by a MIDI version, and now prepare to release their new album S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-EM available April 8 from Danger Collective Records. Fronted by Daniel Smith who has taken his project from a solo-sad-bastard in the tub drinking Jack and letting the eyeliner run to a full-fledged band, taking the bathroom/bedroom blues to a larger stage.
Presenting the world premiere of the video for “Do U Wanna Make Out With Me”, Roidz take the sentimental pop to new levels of emotion and carnal lust in the video off chaos, caresses, and a romance to last for all time (or at the very least the song’s run-time of three minutes and eighteen seconds). Watching analog VHS video of dudes making out in a bath-tub under a pinkish-red glow surrounded by Valentine’s Day light decorations, Daniel mixes a kind of emotional manic humor with his passion. Watch and listen as the bathtub canoodling sequence is interrupted by a visual collage sequence of performance footage, manic moments, images of flames, films, all to compliment Daniel’s frenetic outburst of shouts and yelps where the song’s breakdown is literally something of a random aesthetic nervous breakdown that unfolds before your ears and eyes. But fear not, as Roidz bring back all those gooey guitar strings that wail the song’s title plea accentuated by affectionate melodic scuzz, with closing images that return to the bro-love fest already in progress. Following the video for debut “Do U Wanna Make Out With Me”, read our interview with Daniel Smith.
What prompted you to start Roidz, how did it expand to a four piece, and what’s the story behind the name?
Roidz was started the day after I saw the movie School of Rock starring Jack Black. The name is a homage to the energy and vigor Jack brings to the role of Ned Schneebly the substitute music teacher who not only teaches the kids about rock music, but also about themselves.
Take us through the progressions and growth experience from Breakup Songs Vol. 1 to S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M.
I moved out of my parents house, dropped out of university, broke up with my partner, read more books, made new friends, wrote new songs and made a much better album because of it. Ruben Winter really helped make sure that this growth was reflected musically. Also having the actual band do all of their own parts allowed the album to sound a lot better as they are better than me in many different ways.
Break Up Songs is one lonely boy in his room and S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M is Roidz as a fully fledged idea and band.
Can you tell us what the deal is with all the hyphens in the the title of S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M?
Have you heard of Nirvana?
Give us also some anecdotes from the summer of 2015 when you recorded S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M with Reuben Winter in various lounges, bedrooms, etc.
Reuben Winter had to deal with a monstrous diva the summer that record was made. That diva was me. We discovered a golden combination of poppy tea, coffee, and GTA 4. Reuben literally would have killed me if he wasn’t able to take breaks between takes and kill virtual people in GTA. Also s/o to mine and Reuben’s flatmates for putting up with so much noise and bullshit that summer—favorite moments was watching my friend Carla (who shot the album cover) smash it on Mario Galaxy. Also our drummer Cam did all the drum takes in one go after the biggest hangover of his life, he had to throw up at the end but I don’t know if that was the alcohol or the rock music destroying his system.
Give us the story on the super analog film collage form that makes up the visuals for the single “Do You Wanna Make Out With Me?”.
Like the title and the album cover, the concept for the video had been around a long time. The director and editor of it is my best friend the enigmatic Springstein. The three scenes were filmed over the course of 24 hours. With the make out first, then the vomiting and then the punches to my face in the morning after. The other footage comes from my favourite childhood movie Dinosaurs: Adventures in Saur City. I was such a freak for that movie when i was a kid that my parents had to hide it from me and my brother Lachlan (who plays bass in Roidz). We took a long time editing it making sure that the emotion and the gross intensity balances out.
Auckland seems like a haven for new arts and media, what artists locally are you really excited about right now?
There is so much going on in this city that anyone who tries to make a list ends up forgetting something golden, Also this city is so small that if you forget someone they can drag your name through the dirt. But IDGAF here we go.
All of these acts are amazing and I highly recommend checking each one of them out;
P.H.F. – TOTEMS – GREENFOG – DAVID ADISON – ALEC – ALEC – ALEC – LACH LAN – MILK – YUKON ERA – LVJ – HUGO JAY – MR AMISH – THE PLEASURE – THE NAE NAE EXPRESS – ALL OF KEROSENE COMIC BOOK
What else are Roidz working on post-S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M?
S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-E-M comes out on cassette via Danger Collective on the 8th of April.
We have a USA west coast tour coming up in July with PHF + TOTEMS + SLOW HOLLOWS – which will be fun as hell – dragging thru the dirt in a town near U
New album coming out later this year called Fight Night.
Also just trying to fall in love and have fun 🙂
Roidz’ new album S-E-L-F-E-S-T-E-EM will be available April 8 from Danger Collective Records.
Peep Rich Jones’ Katie Levine video for “Call First” that encourages you to quit your day job but always be sure to ring ahead of time. Spilling sequence sets of words over some Jack the Wolf production, Rich moves the conversation to the next level boasting new occupations, new wages, while still lamenting and reminiscing over old ways and other nostalgic pangs all the while.
Featured off the Chicago emcee’s just released Pink Slips album that was inspired after being canned from a job, Rich opens up a new treasure trove of possibilities in the face of closed doors and uneventful opportunities. Jonesy reminds us that “it won’t be like this always”, as the artist provides juxtaposition visuals of himself as a metropolitan minded businessman to feeling himself, sporting his fave beanie (or Cubbies hat), sweater, parka, and in general Rich Jones just doing Rich Jones. Rich dishes out the ancient wisdom that implores you to cast off the burdens of the phone & pager world for a new freedom and autonomy of the self. The city & suit life is contrasted with the urban and down home surroundings that are presented as being more organic, humbler counterparts to the urban lit skyscraper-dwelling life (that also features cameo appearances from RJ affiliates Jordan Looney and Swords The Ronin). Rich Jones sends out a message today straight from the Pink Slips testaments to redefine the life you want to life and then proceed to embark upon that life for all the leisure and discovery that it’s worth. Rich was as kind as to divulge some insights into the inspirations behind the creation of “Call First”:
The “Call First” video was shot by Staten Island photographer Katie Levine with the idea of showcasing Rich’s personality and letting the song speak for itself. Pink Slips, the album featuring the track, chronicles a period of self-discovery and hustle after Rich was fired from is job a few years ago. While that can be a difficult process to deal with, it can also be fun and exciting when you’re challenged to make something of yourself. The video reflects that aspect of this period and shows Rich in some of the dingy corners of the city that made him who he is.
Bay Area group Foxtails Brigade readies their self-titled album for release April 8 via OIM Records, presenting us with the world premiere of their single & video for “No Fate” directed by the band’s arranger featuring animated artwork from the Bridgade’s lead vocalist Laura Weinbach. A group rounded out by Josh Pollock (a multi-instrumentalist), Joe Lewis (bassist extraordinaire), & Dominic Mercurio (film maker & percussionist); the group has become a staple of the Bay’s musical fabric as a group of artists with many talents and rich local roots. For their third proper album, the band pulls out all of the stops employing the esteemed Jeff Saltzman on production to bring Foxtails Brigade’s ecstatic visions of that run the continuum between adversity and absolute hysteric euphoria.
The band’s video for “No Fate” balances b/w performance visuals of Foxtails Brigade playing in front of a blank while with Laura’s animated drawings from Laura. “No Fate” is one of the more tense and motorik moments on the group’s self-titled, where things begin to unravel rapidly in a sequence of events that allude to this idea that our own collective of futures are histories that have yet to be written. Wisdom from the moon and lyrics like “watch your back, you got only one” are delivered by Weinbach in tales of apprehension, the onset of fears, int and all kind of cryptic messages relayed through acts of nature—and the supernatural. Between the chord strums of river brook running notes that play out alongside the rhythm guitar, we witness the active energy of the band in between Laura’s drawings that spring to life. Cris-crossed design patterns, frightening faces, various characters, and the odd adventures of a woman who is a heavy smoker are introduced throughout the course of “No Fate”. The intensity of Laura’s delivery here can be seen by the band’s big presence, along with the added ink & paper animations that contribute to the song’s frantic jog of jumbled emotions.
Director Anton Patzner said this on the making of the video for “No Fate”:
We love making videos and we try not to ever do the same thing twice. Our last video was shot in a mansion with the camera from Jurassic World. This one was shot in a bedroom with my mom’s old phone. Laura hand-drew all of the animations herself.
Hear the audio for Foxtails Brigade’s single “No Fate”:
We had the chance to catch up with Foxtails Brigade’s Laura Weinbach to talk about their self-titled third album and more in the following interview transcription:
Describe how the planning, arranging, and writing first began for Foxtail Brigades’ new self-titled album:
Some of these songs had been in the works for years. A lot were spawned from my experiences as a substitute teacher in the deep East Oakland and South Central LA scenes. Others were more just reactions to failure, rejection, and disappointment in general. Anyway, whenever a complete song would emerged out of my two instruments—nylon guitar and voice—I’d take it to Anton and he’d begin the arranging process. There was no real formula for how we went about the arrangements for each individual song on the record. Every track is pretty different and had it’s own set of needs and direction. Mostly we just messed around with all the fun toys at the studio where we recorded ’til we found stuff that sounded cool and made the song more enjoyable to listen to.
Tell us about the band dynamics, how you all find a communicative forum for sharing everyone’s respective contributions?
Anton is the designated boss of the arrangements department, and writes all the strings, horns, and synth parts. If we let everyone be in charge of the arrangements equally, we’d be like five blood stained albino pitbulls in a Russian headlock—a sweaty mess. He also helps the rest of the band members write their parts which are generally designed to support my completed guitar and vocal parts. I guess it’s a little weird, because a lot of bands will often start with drums particularly in the recording process but when we recorded this album, we recorded my guitar parts first.
Interested in hearing too how Jeff Saltzman helped you all shape the new record.
Jeff was great producer and an absolute pleasure to work with. He really encouraged us to feel free to try every option for finding tones we loved and instruments that we may never have thought to include otherwise. He genuinely wanted us to just love the completed tracks and was willing to work until we did while also serving as a much needed guide for keeping things moving and helping us realize when we were actually done with a track or part.
Love that OIM has risen up as a much needed Bay Area imprint force for good, how did you all come into the OIM fold?
The label put out their first release last year which was a compilation of all their favorite bay Area bands and luckily (for us) included us. Jeff recorded/produced one track with each band they chose and put that on the compilation. I think that was their way of figuring out who they’d like to work with for a full album. Eventually they approached us to record our LP to be released on their new label and we said yes.
Describe the altered fates and alternate roads less traveled that informed songs like “No Fate” & “Long Route”.
I’ve been told by people whose opinions mattered much to me that Foxtails Brigade was “a slow burn”. I guess at the time I didn’t quite know how to take that or what it meant. Eventually I equated it to the qualities of an American Spirit cigarette: long-lasting, “natural”, un-satisfying, “acquired taste” that eventually you’ll want to put out before it’s even done and reach for the much more fun and instantly amusing Marlborough 72 in place of.
But I guess that’s not all that’s true about us. More recently Josh (our guitar player) was talking about that show The Leftovers and referred to it as an amazing slow burn. I said “slow burn? So I guess it sucks…” But he then explained that slow burn was really a great thing. It meant that it takes a minute to get into, but once you do give it enough of a chance, the rewards will be much greater, deeper and more meaningful than a Marlborough 72. I guess that could be us too.
I reckon the song “Long Route” was written out of a kind of ingrained idea that Foxtails Brigade would never amount to anything more than a long lasting un-fun, non-addictive “natural” ember that would maybe appeal to a very small odd handful of other losers who were basically in the same boat. See we’ve never really been given any breaks. Every thing we’ve ever gotten we’ve gotten because of vastly more hard work than the reward was maybe worth and often times those rewards are cancelled out by whatever. Anyway, I forgot what the question was. It’s all good though.
Other incredible things happening in the Bay Area these days?
I guess it’s pretty incredible that a bunch of my friends are getting evicted from their SF homes all at the same time. But it’s cool, we’ll all just party in the East bay now.
Parting words of learned wisdom from the Foxtails Brigade camp?
Why must we part?
Catch Foxtails Brigade on the following dates:
25 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American hall
31 Reno, NV – The Morris Burner Hotel
01 SLC, UT – The Underground 3
02 SLC, UT – The Nomad Network
03 Denver, CO – 7th Circle
04 Omahah, NE – Oleavers
06 Minneapolis, MN – TBA
10 Tulsa, OK – Soundpony
11 Dallas, TX – Liquid Lounge
12 Austin, TX – Cheer Up Charlie’s
13 Lubbock, TX – LHUCA
14 Truth or Consequences, NM – Grape’s Gallery
15 Scottsdale, AZ – Pho Cao
16 Tucson, AZ – Hotel Congress
18 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
20 Los Angeles, CA – The Hyperion Lounge
VUM releases the anticipated album Cryptocrystalline today on digital via Secret Lodge Recordings with vinyl pressings available May 3, and we give you a debut listen with a world premiere look at the b/w video for “Sudden Night”. Edited and produced by bandleader Jennifer Pearl, featuring tour footage by the group’s Scott Spaulding, and textural shots by Chris Badger; catch views of VUM bringing their paranormal synth world to Europe, LA’s The Echo, and more with live footage from Christopher Wormald, Matt Neilson, and Joel Woodman. Like the VUM catalog of music for midday nocturnes, Cryptocrystalline creates something of an open (yet somehow shrouded in a clandestine veil like a secret society in congress) meeting between the outside and inside worlds. Jennifer and Christopher continue to create melodic mood progressions that respond as thoughts, feelings, and perceptions to the events of the environment-punctuated by the pulse of Scott’s percussive engineering.
The video for “Sudden Night” begins with the camera’s lens fixated on a full moon that then descends to a grove where mystical fog moves like wafts of smoke. We see VUM in performance, sight-seeing around the EU, gazing at a gothic cathedral, to images of ink slowly mixing in with water while errant images of a flying bird soars about. With desires and needs to find new places and spaces in the face of life’s surprises, we observe hands hurdling toward the cosmos, projected moving images that compliment VUM’s live show, hi-dives, chic apartments filling up with smoke and footage of life in transit make up the visual narrative for “Sudden Night”. VUM presents what happens when life gets taken off the shelf and where you find yourself in the play of events that are even greater than you can comprehend. VUM illustrates this topic of urgent suddenness in a way where everything seems to be moving in slo-mo while events move at an accelerated pace in both the audio and visual frames.
Jennifer shared some behind-the-scenes thoughts on the video for “Sudden Night”:
We immediately set forth making a video collage for “Sudden Night” of deep space, near space, found footage, original footage, bleak apartment footage, and live footage from our 2014 European tour, 2013 Echo residency in Los Angeles, and 2016 show at LA Mother. The live footage was shot by Director Joel Woodman, fans, and fellow musician Christopher Wormald (Intimatchine). This disco ball is from a very special show we played at the Side Door in Dresden, Germany. The smokey light and shadow overlays were all made by Christopher Badger using glasses of water and a flashlight. He has a real talent for making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Cryptocrystalline is the VUM album you have waited years for. Jennifer, Chistopher, & Scott take you to their Secret Lodge lair from the deep within the basins & bungalows of Topanga Canyon. “Red Flag” issues the album’s opening warning and invitation to “get lost on new ground”, taking you beyond the valley of the dolls and plastic people with the eerie odyssey of “New Girls”, to the addictive ode “Katrine” that depicts the glamorous life of a heroine dreaming big in life’s fast lane, while “Centimeters: 15M” moves toward a kind of Euro-expressionism that gradually moves toward dizzying new heights. VUM then switch into top gear on “This is The Witch” that finds Jennifer and the gang paying tribute to their punk-y counter-culture idols in an electro-clash-esque mash of classic r & r and no wave anarchy. The command & conquering “You Have Gold” finds Jennifer completing that couplet with “but I have power”, as she takes a fast-forward charge to “The Other Side” that if you listen to it and are not carefully paying attention there is a chance VUM will snare you into their outer-galactic trap/trip. The previously lauded “Sudden Night” explores what happens when the lights of our days are suddenly changed to an instant evening, as these notions of alternate zones brought about by abrupt interruptions continues along with the vision quest drifting “Dream Life / Doors Locked”, right before going out with a big beat centered closing ceremony called “Full Chroma” where slowly yet surely colorful sounds of illumination pour through the lo-fi percussion base that finds VUM throwing themselves a party by the album’s end.
VUM’s Jennifer was also so generous as to share with us the following exclusive companion piece for their most ambitious release to date, Cryptocrystalline:
Cryptocrystalline is a collection of ruminations on protest, war, love and isolation.
Cryptocrystalline is a bipolar collage.
Cryptocrystalline is Jennifer Pearl and Christopher Badger contesting and negotiating every note on the record. Scott Spaulding plays drums and puts up with two really pushy people. We make every record as if it were going to be our last. Cryptocrystalline is no different. I’ll take you on a brief tour around the album. It might feel like we are taking a Rorscharch test together.
Cryptocrystalline is meant to be presented just as music not female-fronted music. Most of the characters that are center to the lyrical stories in VUM songs are women and I write from my perspective as a female, but I hope we can all continue to transition into an era when music made by women isn’t niche and does not need a special categorization.
“Centimeters: 15M”—”Kicking down our father’s door. We will be lady matador.”
As a teenager I saw The Cramps perform on Halloween in San Fransisco. I saw Poison Ivy playing guitar and thought Yes. That. “This is the Witch” is about the ferociously rebellious, punk, teenage me of the past and going forward it tells us that there is no spell, no witchy-woman magic—just a capable person here realizing her ideas.
The first track in the Cryptocrystalline playlist is entitled “Red Flag”. The red flag in the song is the foreboding portent of war or personal turn into darkness. I think the recent tragedy in Brussels and the nonstop, random violence we see in the U.S. illustrates how war is all around us now. There are no more frontlines. The lyrical phrase, “this time I close my eyes, it’s golden” describes an attempt to turn away from external chaos and instead focus inward towards bliss. It’s what works for me. This track is equal parts crowded plaza and empty landscape. Our Director, Andreas Attai, is currently in Europe filming a video for “Red Flag” on Super8.
I would like to dedicate “You Have Gold” to the Wall Street thieves Bernie Sanders is trying to defeat.
“Sudden Night” was an unexpected contender for one of the stand-out tracks. Chris and I didn’t really hear it until we listened to the vinyl test-pressings. It is a story of possession—the feeling that life just happens to us until the very space we occupy within our bodies and minds is challenged. All of a sudden “your life comes off the shelf.” The lyric “this dream home has its goals” is inspired by the Roxy Music track “In Every Dream Home A Heartache”. If you watch the 1973 German Musikladen performance of this track, you will faint.
Going forward, the Cryptocrystalline vinyl will be out May 3 and is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp.
If you are in Los Angeles, we are playing HM157 with Pleasure 2, MRK, and DJ Jimi Hey on Friday, May 20.
VUM’s Cryptocrystalline is available today on digital and will be available on vinyl May 3 via Secret Lodge Recordings.
Lisa Prank has been one of the rising Seattle phenomenons in recent years, collaborating and inspiring many of your favorite northwest favorites. Fronted by the minimalist pop art DIY-icon in her own right Robin Edwards was heard contributing vocals on the recent Childbirth album Women’s Rights, sharing stages with almost everyone on the Hardly Art roster—her guitar/vocal/drum-machine chemistry magic has had many from the local Seattle scenes talking and anticipating Robin’s next move. We now are pleased to announce that the forthcoming Lisa Prank album Adult Teen will be available June 24 via Father/Daughter on vinyl and Miscreant Records for cassette that will inspire you to take crush on you off repeat.
The opening single “Starting Again” is a shining example of the perfect Lisa Prank song that plays off of memory anecdotes and picking up yesterday’s habits and more without living in the actual moment. With the combination of Robin’s wry and earnest delivery and a very clever timing of drum machine sequences and punk riffs that you can hear for an eternity. The Lisa Prank world takes your fairy tale, neon dipped dreams and bursts them with the terse wake up of reality in hyperdrive.
For those outside of the Seattle scene, describe the origins and rise of Lisa Prank.
Lisa Prank began in the basement bedroom of my old house in Denver, Colorado at a time in my life when I was pretty bummed out. I was in a few bands that had broken up and I had also been in a few romantic relationships that had broken up, and I didn’t really have much else to do besides write emotional songs and teach myself to use this old Roland MC-505 drum machine I bought off of Craigslist. From there, the band Tacocat pretty much kidnapped me and brought me to their enchanted Seattle punk mansion where I now live and write songs about my feelings in an upstairs bedroom.
Tell us about the expansion in terms of your live show with recruiting more members on stage, and how you feel that has effected the live presence and overall performance of the live Lisa Prank experience.
The live show is still usually just me and my drum machine, but for the last tour I went on the members of Childbirth were kind enough to back me up on a few songs. It’s a welcome change from how lonely the stage usually is and Tacocat is going to do a few songs with me when we’re on our tour together, too. It’s very comforting to look forward to my friends coming up on stage at the end of a set.
Describe the sort of 90s nostalgic elements that inspired you to take on such an iconic and brighter than Rainbow Brite moniker.
When I started playing these songs I guess it just felt safer to put an alter ego pun name on my solo project about my vulnerable feelings rather than use Robin Edwards. I’m also absolutely a fan of the great American trapper keeper artist Lisa Frank and all those psychedelic dolphins jumping over rainbows and brightly colored kittens wearing crowns. Have you seen the Lisa Frank tarot deck that artist Ariel Hart just made? It’s really a beautiful combination of my interests, and I felt very understood the day it came out when all of my friends sent me links to it on social media.
What types of growing up and adolescent inspiration informed the making of Adult Teen for you?
I guess I feel more like a teenager now than I ever felt when I was actually a teenager, and the songs I wrote for this record were mostly a tool for me to process my adult emotions while still not quite feeling like a grown up. I never went to the prom or dated anyone when I was in high school, and the way my life is now is closer to the way high school movies made me feel like it was supposed to be when I was 16. I feel wild feelings and stay up late and live in a house with my best friends and feel like I’m still growing. I hope I’m always still growing. The divide between the sort of never-never land my life is in right now and the life of what I would consider a real adult feels so vast.
As one of Seattle’s most beloved, inspirational, and influential artists around; what do the rest of us outsiders need to know about the various Seattle scenes and sectors right now?
Aw, shucks. Seattle is a really special place for music right now that’s always inspiring me. Some of my favorite Seattle bands are Childbirth, Tacocat, Pony Time, Chastity Belt, Dogbreth, So Pitted, Big Bite, Dude York, Mommy Long Legs, Sick Sad World, Michael Abeyta, Hoop, Iji, Briana Marela, and Nirvana.
The Lisa Prank summer plan?
I want to tour the world and also go night swimming with my friends in Lake Washington next to Kurt Cobain’s old house.
Can you impart any advice of interest for fans, aspiring artists, etc?
In the words of Dolly Rebecca Parton, “The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.”
Catch Lisa Prank on the following tour dates with Tacocat:
31 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
03 – Missoula, MT @ TBD
06 – Madison, WI @ University of Wisconsin at Madison
07 – St Paul, MN @ Turf Club
08 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
09 – Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades
Emerson Star dropped a listen to their new song “Great Escaper” that is the perfect item for your next road trip playlist that entertains the notion and action of truly getting the hell away from it all. Made up of LA based brothers Shannon and Taylor Inouye with their old school chum Sean Thomas, they move to follow up their debut album Let It Burn with an upcoming EP in the pipeline. The following escapist listen finds the three taking the psych rock tropes to the hil to create a psychotropic listening experience that is perfect for your next desert freak-out/getaway.
The band reflected on channeling escapist values into the sonic jet stream of “Great Escaper” for us with the following words:
I think it’s fitting that the birth of this song took place while driving in my car. There’s a voice memo of me tapping on my steering wheel and singing the first line while my turn signal clicked out of time. Having a car in Los Angeles is essential if you’re the type that needs to get away at a moment’s notice. This song is about climbing out the back window of a relationship and running until your legs give out. I’d like to think that the theme is reflected in the melody and rhythm.
Calum Robb—formerly of Black City Lights—returns as Traaps, continuing the big pluming subterranean spelunking of sounds that reverberates deep through tunnels, wells, and cisterns. The track “JCP” moves in ways that that leaves traces like the outlines of apparitions seen or maybe even heard like a lost, and familiar old friend. The New Zealand artist sets the focus of his audio lens on conveying the most cryptic and sacred of emotive and abstract aspects of being, illustrating the various facets of feelings. Calum shared some thoughts with us the other day about the transition from Black City Lights to Traaps, with a few inights on “JCP”:
Ending Black City Lights was hard as it was such an adventure and a great learning curve from the years of producing, touring and live shows. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with some great people and be inspired to make music for the joy and fun of it, and.not for the possibility of fame, money or some weird recognition. I really just make music now for myself and to possibly pursue a career in it, but end of the day if people like it that’s cool, if the don’t then that’s cool too.
Former members of Oakland’s The Splinters Caroline Partamian, Courtney Gray, and Lauren Stern founded Scully with Burgers Rana on percussion, announcing their forthcoming No Sense EP scheduled for arrival this summer via Fire Talk. Featured on recent splits with La Luz & Las Rosas—Scully breaks the rules of conventional and common sense to create music that defies the chronological clocks of time.
“Wave” coasts on it’s own roaring rocker of riffs and rolling, crunchy chords. Scully scuttles on the surf sound momentum found in the works of their contemporaries (i.e. La Luz) where they take 2016 and roll back the clock to 1966 and then back forward again. It’s that anarchic sound that shakes up the squares and instills beach-bound desires for all wild & hungry at heart. Join us after the jump for our recent interview session with the band.
Describe the genesis of how Scully was first founded.
Caroline, Courtney, and Lauren played in a band in the Bay Area called the Splinters with our best friend Ashley. We first met Burgers and his bandmates in The Numerators in a parking lot behind an Ethiopian restaurant after a SXSW show in 2009. Our friendship was solidified a few months later when our respective bands at the time played a weird warehouse show together in Bushwick at Party Expo. Burgers had contacted us through the Numerators’ MySpace a year before when his band was playing San Francisco but the Splinters made the excuse up that we were too busy practicing—which was true!—and couldn’t come see their band play. Burgers moved to NYC and that was that.
How do you set about finding that particular tonal frequency that feels fresh out of the 60s or a bedroom closet 4-track/8-track setup?
The first tracks we recorded as a band were on an 8-track with our first drummer Kyle Carlson, before Burgers joined the band. Having a band member who understood our sound transfer to recording on an 8-track was really elemental in portraying our dynamic. So when we recorded the songs for our album, which will see the light in the Fire Talk EP and Burger Records Cassette, we knew this analog sound was something we wanted to bring to these recordings. We were so fortunate to record with Ben Greenberg from the Men, Uniform and Hubble at Figure 8 studios in Prospect Heights. He really understood the sound we were going for and was able to capture our essence. We recorded and mixed 10 songs over 3 intense days.
Describe the sorts of sea set thoughts and feelings behind the super sonic pop single, “Wave”.
There’s a fine line between the undulation inherent with tides and the cosmos and our daily lives. All of us grew up close to the ocean and desert so this imagery makes a lot of sense to us. At its core this is a song about a relationship that didn’t work out and the realization that it was over and the slow fade out that can all of the sudden crash over you.
What sorts of sense and nonsense should we be expecting on the forthcoming summer slated No Sense EP?
The songs on the EP are songs about depression and dealing with unexpected outcomes of situations and relationships. So in a way that’s applicable and makes sense to a lot of people’s lives. The lyrics are nonsensical in a lot of ways because there’s a level of comfort in writing lyrics that only make sense to you and not anyone else—lyrics that come to you in dreams or in periods of spacing out.
Further insights, additions, shout outs, and the like?
We loves you moms.
Scully’s EP No Sense will be available in summer via Fire Talk Records.
Fat Tony is back with the three track EP Look produced by P. Morris (of Le1f, Kelela, production fame), tiding over all the hardcore fans until forthcoming news of an another project in the works drops (details of which we are not privy to at this moment in time). Morris flips TLC in a boom-bap lo-fi blender that features our reflective emcee rising from lakes of “Waterfalls”, right before cranking it up to something that is sure to piss off your neighbors but you will keep it on repeat in the party popping “Fast Life” that slaps forward into the dashboard foot rest coasting “Confessions”. Once again, as always; Fat Tony is on the rise.
Wolkoff’s new album Without Shame will be available April 15, sharing the Era Ora & Ivana Gloria video for “The Homecoming”. Exhibiting the human form as part of the natural and animal order of artistic expression, “The Homecoming” brings together human forms with animal heads to environments that extends from the city to the mermaid occupied gateway rocks that frame the entrance to the seemingly infinite great wide seas.
Maki’s We Will Not Lead We Will Only Detonate is available today from Endemik Music and we give you the following stream. Made on the artist’s 1202 board with mastering from J. LaPointe at Archive Mastering in Halifax; the hip hop producer shared his following thoughts on the inspirations behind the title cut:
This is the title track and the drums are the fiercest I’ve ever laid down.The title references a slogan that was spread during the 1968 uprising in Paris. The song has an unconventional time signature and metering. A mono synth runs nearly the whole way through on a single note at a low octave. It gives an incredible weight and contracts against the tension of the violin.
Oddisee has a big and bright 2016 already mapped out. Having just released the Alwasta EP this week via Mello Music Group, the Brooklyn emcee has a whole new instrumental album available this May, plus a March through July tour with his band Good Compny, and last but certain not least the world will receive the awaited follow-up to The Good Fight dropping later this fall. Inquiries begin with “Asked About”, the can I get a witness requests and wide open worlds and roads on “No Reservations”, moral weights of scales & scenarios on “Strength & Weakness”, moving foggy-yet sparkling production into the glowing and glittering expected expectations of “Wouldn’t Be Surprise”. Light is cast into the obfuscation of shade with conscious queries on “Lifting Shadows”, rolling with the warm vibrations and snazzy production of “Catching Vibes”, right before breaking it all with the piano and orgran groove about taking your time on “Slow Groove”. The EP’s Arabic title AlWasta that refers to middle/middleman that found Oddisee drawing from his Sudanese-American heritage in developing the lyrical narratives of lives in transitions, and the people who are caught in the middle of various crossroads of potential, fate, and consequences.
Slow Dakota’s PJ Sauerteig and friends return with the single “I Am Held Together” that depicts the things that bind us and separate us in our shared lifetimes. The slow piano harmonizing build up blooms into a full rapture complete with more keys, strings, and woodwinds that sound as if they were blown in by the wings of the breeze from a magical land or island of sorts far, far away from here. Hear this and more on the upcoming Slow Dakota album The Ascension of Slow Dakota available later this spring from Massif Records.
Catch some of those down tempo ambient vibes from Noo-Bap via “Variegate” off the upcoming Pomo Presents Tempo Dreams Vol. 4 (that features some future leaning producers like FVLCRVM, GEOTHEORY, Exmag, 10.4 Rog, Aloka, & more) available March 25 from Bastard Jazz. It’s those worlds where d&b and the next level of Montreal production and synthesis all come together for one heckuva celebration. Must hear to believe.
Give it up for our Raleigh, NC hero Boulevards who just dropped his latest future funk single “Move and Shout” featured on the hotly anticipated debut Groove! available April 1 on Captured Tracks. Jamil Rashad continues to make some of the best nu-funk around eastward of Dâm-Funk that is etched out of pure electrified inspiration.
Andrew from Chalk And Numbers and Stephanie from Souvenir Stand present their new collaborative project, Fascinations Grand Chorus, that illustrates the band’s poppier attributes collided together. In what is a sign of more fun poppy fusions between Andrew & Stephanie soon to follow, boogie down & cut a rug to their happening new single “Welcome”.
Australia’s Cambio Sun have begun a residency at London’s Waiting Room with word of their first headline show happening April 12; the duo of Charlie Tait (in charge of the composition end of things) and John Cleworth (percussionist in chief) introduce the world to their grandiose sound with the nearly seven minute epic “Animal Sense”. Taking on the canons of all dream warrios present and past; Cambio Sun set the controls for a sonic kind of rock sorcery that reminds you of those moments where power chord clusters met the more dreamier aspects of audio architecture.
DAIS shared the statement of autonomy and individuality with the single “Individual”, from the Blight. Makes Right compilation available now via Blight. Records. Adriana-Lucia Cotes (of Loi-Loi) and Johnny Fantastic (from Stronger Sex, fka Paperhaus) roll in ways that work outside the lines of gender, culture, and other trappings of genre from an electrified Latina feminist perspective that encourages a greater discussion about our own self-esteem constitutions and our perspectives of others.
Our hero from Vancouver returns as Jay Arner dazzles us with the spectacular pop hooked speckled “Crystal Ball” from his hotly anticipated second album Jay II available June 17 from Mint Records. Recording with Jessica Delisle (of Energy Slime), Arner is able to allow the listener to enter some of the most carefully created timeless music that makes 70s era junkshop singles feel as fresh now as they were then.
Austin’s Ask For Joy return with the new album New Private Window available now from Infinitely Recursive Records, and we provide you a listen to “Lovers Interred”. Aaron Rossetto casts love letter from yesterday into a cyclone of a storm of sound that looms majestic like a towering, whirling, spinning, vortex of emotion and held over feelings.
Jessy Lanza dropped the single “VV Violence” full of snazzy electrical expressions that underscore and highlight Jessy’s feelings. Find this and more off her forthcoming album Oh No available May 13 from Hyperdub.
Wishing you a happy springtime, Yung Life announces the forthcoming of their new third album Soft/Divide self-released by the band this forthcoming April 20. What you have here are sights and sounds from Gabriel and the gang to get very excited about. More news on this to follow soon.
Feast your senses on the collaboration between Canada’s Meter Bridge and London’s Rodney Cromwell joining collaborative forces on the space pop single “It Was Nothing”. The Canadian duo of Jill Beaulieu and Richard Kleef together take on the classic electronic canons of the familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The contributions from Cromwell continues the trajectory of the beat being beckoned different sequences of digital drum designs.
Behold the Anika Mottershaw video for Benedict Benjamin’s “I Wish Your Lies Were Better” from the new album Night Songs available today from Sugarcoat Records. From here we observe Mr. Benjamin taking off on an odyssey of honesty in a morality play that sees Benedict going through the nine to five grind and to the awkward dinner exchanges and dinners of shared mutual distrust.
Babeheaven are proud to present the world the breathtaking, sentiment striking video for “Heaven” directed by Tegen Williams & Raf Felner found on the upcoming 7″ available April 8 from Handsome Dad (EU) & B3SCI (US) b/w “Friday Sky”. Featuring hometown views and local feels; the London group of friends Nancy, Jamie, Harry, Hugo, & Milo brings us the sounds of Ladbroke Grove dreams that now can be heard and seen the world forward. Babeheaven are indeed a band to keep a close ear on this year.
Currently on tour en route to Boise for Treefort Fest; LA’s TUFT dropped the anthem/festival geared single “Spool” taken from their forthcoming debut album Look Look available April 8. This is that number to bring the house down that is a road musician’s ace in the hole as they maintain the focused, y-eyed vision of troubadours committed to taking their tunes to the heavily worn roads.
Dance with devils and angels as Dan Smith gathers an entire gospel ensemble together for the new T.O.L.D. single “There’s No Truth” that rattles the heavens, hells, and earth with the message of relativity and concious doubt.
Watch the prismatic magic of Natalie Cleveland’s kaleidoscope-glamour video for CHAPPO’s “Mad Magic” taken off their new album, Future Former Self.
Hurry’s new album Guided Meditation will be available April 29 from Lame-O Record, and we got the video for “Nothing To Say” where the great American novel is tackled via a vintage Mac. The following will give you inspiration from out in the world to draft your next opus to before you either give up or hit the lofty & elusive big-time.
Paris’s Wall of Death presents the Dimitri Coste “For a Lover” video off their album Loveland available now via Innovative Leisure. The Parisian band’s romantic sentiments expressed in lush psych pop tones are given a glamorous lease on life with the surreal, and world altering visuals from the French director/photographer.
Check out Christopher Michael Beer’s video for Victoria Reed’s “All My Power” off her debut Chariot available now via Botanica Records. Reed pens pop ballads written straight from the heart and a strong minded head that finds the rising pop star flexing her own powers of presence, vision, and pure unaltered confidence (featuring plenty of confetti and bubbles).
The Loom ready their album Here In The Deadlights for April 22 from Crossbill Records/Stereocilia, and we have their new elemental sticks & stones single “Fire Makes”. Recorded, produced, and mixed by Kevin McMahon at Marcata Recording, hear the thunderous galloping rhythm guitars that ride out to the lost lands that lay far beyond the lands where the sun has set.
Get into that summer spirit in the full swing here in the merry time of spring with the panning insta-vacation visuals for “Wine Won’t Wash Away” off Summer Flake’s forthcoming album Hello Friends available April 8 from Rice Is Nice Records. These are for those memories that don’t wash away like the spoils of Bordeaux spent on an ivory silk table runner.
Word has it through press channels that Houston producer children of pop had penned his latest track for Drake to croon over but instead dropped out of the Austin blur to keep the crowds dancing. Stay kinetic everybody and get into the rhythm & motion track with “Manic”.
And in case you missed it, Negative Gemini returns with news of the forthcoming album Body Work available mid year from 100% Electronica Records. Lindsey French taps into those similar post-physical realms found in Travis Egedy Post-Physical era where thoughts on the body-mécanique is expressed and explored in a sound that pushes past our own a limitations of the fragile and frail mortal condition for something of a super-immortal state of being that lays between the spirited synths bio-structured beats.
Known for his work with Electric Wire Hustle, Julien Dyne, Iva Lamkum, and more; New Zealand’s Benny Tones has signed to Airdrop Records and we present you with the gorgeous six and a half minute suite, “Time” ft. Ablby Love. From here the sentiments go from lo-fi surface noise rhythm & blues to a second section where recitations of “in time we’re all where we’re meant to be” that fades into the eternity.
Hear the heartfelt moods and emotions on the sweet single, “Surrender” from the Bristol based band Why We Love who are currently celebrating the release of their EP The Boy You Knew available today via My Little Empire. The siblings follow up Fake a Death where they sing out passions of love, loss, and those irreconcilable feelings that bubble up from within.
Catalan producer Sau Poler prepares the Memorabilia EP for the Amsterdam imprint Atomnation available April 29, where the artist bridges together what he refers to as the “link between past and present.” Feast your ears upon what links you can find between the keys and the beat that abide by their own cascading sequences and volition with beguiling cut, “Espirits”.
The High Violets dropped the heaven sent sparkle of “Bells” that rings forth from the further dreams that await on their upcoming April 1 album Heroes & Halos available via Saint Marie Records.
From the lesser known sectors of Salt Lake City, introduce yourself to the salt-sugar-sweet magic of The Magickal comprised of friends since middle school—Kami & Dorian create electronic environments of their own for building new pop narratives. Singles like “Surrender” and “The Ticket” are conjoined with a plethora of remixes on their recent EP that signals the limitless potential from this SLC group.
Helsinki’s Feels are Sofi Meronen, Mikael Myrskog & Jooel Jons who deliver the Jori Hulkkonen remix of their single “If You’d Meet Me Tonight”. Juri’s remix expands upon the Balearic template to move with new percussive motion, and key progressions where the sustains from one set of synths are met with further melodic sequences, and rhythm trails.
Angel Du$t just dropped the inverted shred fest of “Upside Down” taken off their new album Rock The Fuck On Forever available May 20 from Pop Wig Records. Rock out to the high wave roll & crash riffs that will help you to ride out even the most difficult of days and weeks (not to mention years, decades, centuries, millennia…).
Kitsuné will release the Atlas Remix EP featuring the new single from French producer Les Gordon chopped up every which way, and today we give you “Atlas” reworked by the Finnish artist Roisto that discovers new disco highlights and movements. This is for that special after hours club mix made for an event that is exclusively invitation only.
Big Wild takes you to the big bright digital forest of bounce-bopping progressions and vibes on “Aftergold” feat. Tove Styrke available today via Foreign Family Collective and Ministry of Sound. This is that single that shines like 20kt rare and precious pop stones made for kinetic living.
ARMS is the project of Todd Goldstein, who you might remember from Harlem Shakes, sharing some pop bright beams of “Keep It Light” taken from the upcoming album Patterns available this spring from Paper Garden Records. Goldenstein deals in illuminated electrical and amplified instruments to create for an uplifting experience that even houses a subtle Bowie tribute with the “Sound and Vision” synth slide that makes a few appearances on the track.
Wolfie’s Just Fine, the sentimental labor of love and passion from Jon Lajoie, shared his self-directed video for “It’s a Job” that shows you what happens when a kid discovers an army of ancient warriors in the forest, and the bmx gang-cain that they raise in suburbia. Find this and more on the debut WJF album I Remembered but Then I Forgot available April 8.
France’s Débruit dropped the single “Above The Bosphorus” off the upcoming Débruit & Istanbul album available May 27 from ICI. The artist otherwise known as Xavier Thomas recorded this cycle while in Istanbul, drafting sounds to reflect his adventures and experiences. “I wanted this album to be driven by the feelings I got from Istanbul and my encounters,” Xavier explained, “The city’s enthusiasm and majestic urban and topographic flows inspired light but deep moods: there is a darkness in there but a proud one. A roughness in control. Istanbul has such an inspiring mix of tradition and forward thinking vision. It has a pulse of its very own. Its impossible to put into words the excitement, surprises and magic of making this album. Of the experiences of trying to find these people, walking up unknown streets or taking the boat to the Asian side. Discovering the city at the same time as being on the album journey, going to neighborhoods I wouldn’t have been to if it wasn’t for recording. All that influence, infusing my imagination and creativity at the same time.”
Oslo, Norway’s Anna of the North delivered some sentimental slow-dancing pop with “Baby” that feels like that special awkward prom dance you missed out on growing up.
Philly artist CAPPA, aka Carla Cappa, saw her single Goddess remixed by new school pop dazzler Eau Claire who turns tracks into new audio auras for all tomorrow’s dance floors.
Dave Harrington (of DARKSIDE) presents the video for “White Heat” directed from Artem Aisagaliev that provides views from around Hudson Valley, found off the upcoming Dave Harrington Group debut, Become Alive available April 15 from Other People. Let this 10 minute plus short absorb all of your senses now.
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White
Open Mike Eagle releases his collaboration with Paul White today titled Hella Personal Film Festival for Mello Music that helps us to make sense of our selves and our surrounding environments. The internal inquisitive look begins with “Admitting the Endorphin Addiction”, the illustrious new day is embarked upon with eye opening interests on “I Went Outside Today” ft. Aesop Rock, entertaining the imagination of invulnerability (and some of that spaced-out Paul proudction) on “Dang Is Invincible”, poking fun at the month to month rent schemes of scraping by in the modern age on “Check To Check”, as Mike continues to shift through the personal paradigms with a host of human humors on “The Curse of Hypervigilance (In Politics, Romance & Cohabitation)”.
Inequities and inconsistencies observed with all the awkward honesty on “Insecurity” that concludes with a sample clip of some classic Lenny Bruce stand-up banter (revisited later in the album with the intimate “Insecurity Pt. II (The Moor The Marry Her)”), right before OME provides some pedagogical knowledge about inequalities, unrest, and the universal importance for all people to be a proper person to one another despite ethnicity on “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)”. And that’s when Mike takes the conversation to the next level on “Leave People Alone” about today’s hostilities and unwarranted, ignorant/uninformed judgements, to the fantasy life cycles on “A Short About A Guy That Dies Everynight”, vision quests and mantras on “Protectors of the Heat” ft. Hemlock Ernst, to the pub-perched problem escapism of “Dive Bar Support Group”, to the stream of consciousness of “Drunk Dreaming”, right before concluding with “Reprieve” that concludes OME’s latest personal cycle of observational verses and examination of our collective & individual cultures, along with the many states of our unions. Right after the following listen, get ready for Open Mike Eagle’s Week in Pop takeover.
Open Mike Eagle’s Week in Pop
Open Mike Eagle’s collaboration with Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival is available today from Mello Music Group, and we are honored and privilege to present OME’s following Week in Pop guest selections:
Anyone looked outside lately?
Are we still fucked?
Sitting here floating in the haze of Phife, Garry Shandling, Boko Haram and Brussels. Having to find some way to justify using my platform to shill for my rap record thats out today. Fortunately my album is powered by a fuck ton of personal darkness so it’s not that much of a stretch.
You actually probably won’t get that from the first listen though and part of the reason is that the music Paul White made for this project is mostly uplifting and warm. I gravitated toward the darker elements in them though. And I found space to develop premises based on real life situations I’ve been involved in and ideas about vulnerability, insecurity, and addiction. In my mind they were little movies. As a collection they are my Hella Personal Film Festival.
The tone of the songs, with their emotionally inverted nature, was influenced by a lot of the music I was listening to while we were creating it. I’ve decided to share some with you dear Impose readers. Listen to these then listen to me and Paul’s new rap record and see if you can hear the ghosts.
Jeffrey Lewis, “Time Trades”
They Might Be Giants, “Let Me Tell You About My Operation”
Eugene McDaniels, “Freedom Death Dance”
The Beatles, “Rocky Raccoon”
Breeders, “No Aloha”
Frank Zappa, “Draft Again”
Metric, “Combat Baby”
Busdriver, “Unsafe Sextet/Gilded Hearts of Booklovers”
The Pyramids, “Train Tour To Rainbow City”
Follow Open Mike Eagle via Twitter.