Spring is here, SxSW is over, and Impose's Week in Pop is here to give you a sample of some of the week's top hitters. But just in case you missed it, GZA this week gave a TED Talk on “The Genius of Science“, with murmurs of some conflicted thoughts surfacing from within the Wu-Tang Clan over their new album A Better Tomorrow, as Kate Bush announced her first live performances in nearly 35 years, followed by news of the Chipotle versus Frank Ocean lawsuit being settled, Kurt Cobain's death re-examined by Seattle police to new eerie pictures but no new findings, Kevin Shield and Brian Reitzell collaborated together on “Last Summer”, with word spreading about Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring's alter-rap-ego, Hemlock Ernst, as seen in this DIY video from Time Spent, and we're mourning the passing of Stooges' drummer Scott Asheton. But stay with us, because we got a big week with exclusives and extensive interviews from The Everymen, Humfree Bug Art, Model Clocks, Secretary, Wunder Wunder, and more in no particular order.
Tuckerton, New Jersey's The Everymen announces their upcoming album, Givin' Up The Free Jazz today with a world premiere of their epic single, “Spain”. A band for every woman and man, the good peoples of Michael Venutolo-Mantovani, Scott Zillitto, Stephen Chopek, Geoff Morrissey, Catherine Herrick, Jamie Zillitto, Jake Fiedler, Thomas Barrett bring on the action of every live show you ever wanted to see in recorded form. Helping to accomplish this on the new album is the great John Agnello, mixing the evocative sound of The Everymen to resonate with everyone with ears to hear.
The song hangs off an allegory Michael V came up with while in Rome post-grad. Revolving around a news story he read about an unsolved murder in the foyer of a derelict building in the slums of Spain that got torn down before an investigation could take place became the grounds for the personification featured in the song, “Spain”. “I imagined this love story between the building and the sidewalk and how these external forces came between them and tore them apart,” Michael explained to us in the following interview, describing the song's emotional and constructive detail. “I was a high rise in Spain, and you were the concrete licking the mud from passers in the rain, I needed foundation, needed a friend, you held my roots in place, all seven stories of mortar and concrete, doorways and window panes, glances in hallways from lovers inside.” From this introductory moment in the song, everything erupts with maximum passion.
Catherine Herrick calls out the cries of, “but you didn't have to go”, as Michael takes on the role of the doomed building with, “then bulldozers came and took me away” after describing an account of the grisly incident. Everything happening in “Spain” explodes with an outpouring of everything The Everyman have at their disposal, concentrating on spending two-thirds of the song throwing everything from shimmering chord progressions to blasts of the brass at you from every channel and corner. The wild imagination of Michael taking on the role of the building with reiterations that tell of those, “doorways, windows and panes, glances in hallways from lovers inside,” and the au revoir wishes from Catherine as she sings, “now I'm never going to see you, I guess we'll never know.” The Everymen transform a foreign mysterious cold case into the love drift and interrupted rift between the former tenement towers and the concrete and the clay that exists beneath the busy paths of Spanish feet.
Michael Venutolo-Mantovani of The Everymen joins us with a preview of their upcoming album, Givin' Up On Free Jazz, the intense story behind their fresh new single, “Spain”, and reports from the Tuckerton, NJ bunch.
Tell us about how you made, Givin' Up On Free Jazz.
In short, very collaboratively.
This was our first release (I think it's our seventh overall? Second full length) that was truly made as a band. Everything we've done in the past has been some combination of myself and different members in the band making music. It's never been all of us attacking at the same time. And because of that, the process was always very solitary. I prefer to work that way if only for efficiency's sake. See, I hate recording. I hate being in the studio. I hate tinkering and talking and NOT playing. It's so tedious to me. You talk for an hour and play for five minutes. So in the past, everything was very wham bam. I mean, our debut LP New Jersey Hardcore was tracked entirely in a single night. Free Jazz I resolved to take my time with and — more importantly — to have everyone in the band as involved in the process as possible. It took us something like four or five months to track. Bear in mind that's one session every other week, on average. Had we been in the studio every night for five months I would have killed someone. But really the thought process was just to stretch it out and see if I felt the same way about the tunes at the end of the process as I did at the beginning and to see how the tunes would evolve in their own little lifespans, ya know? I really wanted to let them breath and I think a lot of the sound and the expanse of our record has a lot to do with that, ya know? Had we tracked like I always have, we never would have been able to get the Columbia University Gospel Choir or A.C. Newman on the record. Those cameos were just products of having time to really think and really figure things out and talk to people and get people on board. But then of course we reverted back to our old ways and mixed the entire son of a bitch in three days with John Agnello. But it's a rock record. And it's fucking John Agnello. He only needed three days. And he knocked it the fuck out of the park.
Why the title, Givin' Up On Free Jazz?
It's kind of allegorical to the essence of this band. I think a lot of us come from a far more experimental — or simply weird, for lack of a better term — background when it comes to playing music. When I started this band it was because I had been playing in this wildly heady art rock band called American Watercolor Movement. And while I loved my time in that band, I always yearned to make simpler music. I just wanted to write fuzzy pop tunes. So when I left that band and started making music as The Everymen, it was kind of this reversion to my youth. I grew up on so many different styles of music but my main hallmarks were punk rock, early indie rock, 50s and 60s girl groups and doo wop shit and of course Bruce Springsteen. And I think everyone goes through this process to some extent. When we're kids we listen to our parents music. Whatever is on in the house. And then we grow up a bit and we develop our own tastes. But we're still babies so those tastes are generally very very simple. For me it was The Queers and early Green Day and Dinosaur Jr and Op Ivy shit. And then we get a little bit older and our tastes refine a bit. That's when I started getting into Big Black and Archers Of Loaf and Pavement and stuff that was a little more challenging. Then you get into college. And then you start taking a bunch of drugs. And for some reason, maybe you think that if you listen to outsider music, you get deep. So it started with Karate and Cap'n Jazz and Mark Lanegan and June Of 44. And then you eventually start staying up all night listening to Sun Ra and taking mushrooms. And then FREE JAZZ! But then eventually you get older and eventually you become the man you're going to be for the rest of your life and eventually you just go back to all that early shit that you grew up on. And for me that was just simple, catchy pop rock tunes. For me it was just about having fun. So in a way, we're givin' up on free jazz and we're getting back to our roots. We're getting back to the rock.
Are you all truly, really giving up on, Free Jazz?
Never. I still love all of that shit. I still love experimental, outsider shit. And I always will. I still love The Silver Apples and Jandek and I LOVE Oneohtrix Point Never and Pharmakon. Not that any of that is free jazz. But you know what I'm saying. We find our strengths as we grow up and my strength is in a guitar and a three minute pop tune. That doesn't mean I'll ever stop listening to or making weird fucking music.
If so, why? And also, how did all nine plus of you all come together as The Everymen?
The same way most bands do. We just all kind of knew each other from around the different scenes we've always run around in. The funny thing about us being a nine-piece is that for the first year or so we were actually a two piece. Me and Stephen Chopek on drums. Making a LOT of noise. Touring around. Bashing away. Volume was our attitude. And then slowly but surely we added a bass. And a lead guitar. And Scotty on the horns. And then I saw Catherine singing at a karaoke bar after work (she and I are coworkers) and it was like being shot through the fucking heart, man. I had to write tunes for that voice, ya know? And then Stephen had some other touring commitments so we had another drummer filling in when he couldn't. Blah blah blah one by one, one step at a time we multiplied like Gremlins. And now we're like a goddamned minor league baseball team. Only with a bunch more beers.
With this literal and title stated 'everyman' attitude, what prompts you all to make the largest sound but remaining grounded and visceral all the while?
I think that's the Jersey Shore in us, ya know? I mean, Jersey does have some of the wealthiest suburbs around but where I'm from, that ain't the case. Down the Shore — at least my part of the Shore — it's very blue collar. We make our livings off the Bennies (Google that term) ya know so there's this sense of servitude and this sense of us being here to make you comfortable, in a way. It's a split knuckle, work all day in the hot, hot sun, keep your nose as hard to the fucking grindstone as possible mindset. But when we punch that clock out and when it's our time to party, nobody parties like we do down the Shore. We've earned that right. We've worked for it. And goddamnit we're gonna drink and we're gonna dance and we're gonna party all fucking night. And we're gonna sing until our voices are hoarse. And we're gonna dance until the sun comes up. But tomorrow we're gonna wake up and get back to work. Because somebody's gotta take care of the Bennies.
“Spain” is amazing, the whole back and forth vocals, and then you all just hit us with everything you got. How many takes was that, and what were the steps to it's inception?
Wow, 'amazing?!' Damn dude. You got me blushing. Thanks so much. It really means a lot, man. For real. Gosh I don't remember how many takes but I do remember how it came to pass. It's actually kind of a true story. After college I moved to Rome to fuck off for a bit. Put off life. Drink. Make friends. Get laid. You know. So anyway I remember reading in the paper about this big controversy somewhere in Spain. There was some dilapidated building in some slum and some young handsome fellow was murdered in the foyer. I mean, this dude definitely should not have been there. But he was. And then for some reason the building was torn down before any sort of investigation was complete and there was this whole hubub over it. Cover ups. Conspiracies. Who knows. But all I remember thinking was how unfair it was to that building. He had nothing to do with that. He was just standing there, minding his own business, ya know? So I imagined this love story between the building and the sidewalk and how these external forces came between them and tore them apart. Another allegory I guess. It's a pretty emo sentiment but it's one of my favorite songs I've ever written. Man, really I'm so psyched that you enjoy it! Thanks.
(Michael Venutolo-Mantovani, captured by Rodney Boles Photography.)
Springtime plans and summer wishes for The Everymen?
Tour our little Jersey asses off. Now's our time, ya know? If the past five years have taught me anything it's that we're not the kind of band who can put up a song on Soundcloud, get fifty thousand plays and launch a career off of it. We're the kind of band that needs to go out there, knocking over tables and knocking out teeth one town at a time. And that's great. That's the kind of band I want to be. So yea I'm currently booking us a seven week tour for June and July. We'll do another two weeks in August and then more in September and October. My goal is to play at least 250 shows between album release and next June. So chances are likely we're coming to a town near you.
The Everymen will be playing live May 19 at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right.
Givin' Up On Free Jazz will be available May 20 on Ernest Jenning Record Co.
Upon receiving news of the 7” single Hawaii / Mirrors coming April 23 from Strangers Candy, along with an April 20 release party happening in Falun, Sweden; we give you a look at Humfree Bug Art performing “Hawaii” live as part of the Bredäng Sessions, from Stockholm. The performance video was filmed by Viktor Alexandersson & Adrian Faber, and edited by the band's Andreas Sandberg, presenting a teaser edition of the official soon to be finished and released (and further discussed in today's following interview with the band).
Images of the Stockholm draped with snow begin the Bredäng session, bringing the keyboard cascading avalanche into the full sport of the Humfree sound. Progressions cannot be predicted, where the infectious chants of, “lonely hearts we are” become joined by the plods of drums and guitars that are later conjoined by the synthesizer and modern beat-machine pads. The chill jam session is shown over images of a sporting good tennis match, inhales and exhales of lyrics and cigarette smoke underneath crystal pop chandeliers. “Hawaii” embraces the singular love of the self, and inspires the afternoon events of competitive and collaborative activities. After this song and session video, you will either want to pick up a few rackets, go on a Hawaiian vacation to bust some surf boards, or join as the newest member of Humfree Bug Art's band of beautiful, nature and art believers.
From cables shared across coasts and waters, we reconnected once again with our friends since our premiere of “Flowers”, Humfree Bug Art, in the following transcript of our latest discussion, with a surprise Spotify playlist of Swedish favorites linked in exclusively from the band.
As a large group with a wealth of studious musical backgrounds from various Swedish towns and academic institutions, describe how you communicate and apply the band's plethora of ideas and directions.
Ouph, that's an awesome and complex question! We think our dialogue have been pretty much fluent from scratch. We discuss every major decision in group and we tend to think alike and agree in most. Its great to have such wide range of musical inputs in the collective, and we're probably very lucky to have it like this, but everything we do kind of just comes together by itself!
How do you Humfrees bridge your upbringings from rural parts of Sweden to the more urban and city-grounded aspects of your sound? It's like you guys create musical bio-communities.
A very important aspect of our sound is the reflection of our rural past and the urban present. Whenever we’re in Stockholm too long we miss the forests and the mountains and vice versa. It’s always quite an emotional experience to rediscover your “real home” whether it’s rural or the urban one, a mix of euphoria and existential angst. I guess the bio-communities you speak of is where we preserve those feelings.
From the recent EPs, Chairlene and Collema, walk us through the stair steps of progressions for the band that lead to your upcoming single, Hawaii.
Our previous music was the result of the merging of our individual preferences and ideas of what the collective should express. As we develop these ideas become more synchronized and we start to turn into a unit. Recently we’ve found new ways to integrate samplings into our music as well as new concepts and techniques to blend electronic sound into the acoustic drums and use effect pedals in new ways for both guitars and vocals. Hawaii is kind of a shift in paradigm for the expression of Humfree. We don’t expect to have our sound compared to Band Of Horses, Sigur Ros or Bruce Springsteen anymore (not that we would disapprove).
Why the name, “Hawaii”? Have you all been there? Big surfing fans? What inspires you all about those Pacific Islands?
Being Swedish, Hawaii seems like an exotic place far away without the long, cold and dark winters. As we've never been there, it's easy to imagine it as sort of a paradise. With these dreamy images in our heads, we get some kind of access to that paradise, through the music and our minds.
Every Humfree Bug Art video is a fun experience, tell us about making the upcoming video for “Hawaii”.
We shot the video this past weekend, three days in Falun, Dalarna (for some of us our home town) with director Johan Stolpe who also did the video for “Flowers”. It’s hard to tell how the video will come out exactly. We got to borrow huge amounts of props from the local theater plus there will be a lot of makeup and body art.
As a collective of artists that work with musical that is also so visual and vivid, how do you marry the two mediums of sound and vision?
I guess there is an ongoing dialog about how feel that sounds are connected or associated to shapes and patterns. Sometimes the threshold between the two mediums is hard for us to conceive.
What other artists from around and outside of Sweden are you all enjoying?
Here’s a playlist with our favorite Swedish tracks right now:
What are you all listening to right now?
The War On Drugs, Warpaint, John Wizards, Cocteau Twins. Anything with a “W” in it.
Is there a Humfree Bug Art full-length in the works? Give us details!
We have been quite productive recently. There is definitely enough material so if we feel the circumstances are right we could release a full-length by the end of the summer.
Spring and summer plans, tours in the works, collaborations on the burner?
A tour of the Americas is happening this coming fall. We are very excited to visit your imposing continent!
Humfree Bug Art's new 7” single Hawaii / Mirrors will be available April 23 from Strangers Candy, with a release party happening in Falun, Sweden together with Francis on April 20.
Vancouver dilettante Simon Lock has been busying himself between his work in Terrace, Concord Drumm, jet-setting around the world, and fostering his imprint, TechnoFunk Enterprises. Having talked to us on various videos, tracks, remixes and so forth; Lock has been making a name for not just TechnoFunk but breaking the ground with the versatility of the Northwest's latest and most lavish varieties of electronic music evolutions. It is our honor and privilege to present one of the first listens and hot looks at Lock's new project with Chad McLeod called, Model Clocks, with the video for, “Scribblers”.
The “Scribblers” visuals begins with Lock's passion for presenting images for music of transit and motion for the world's masses. The suspenseful synth structures create company for the narrow alleys, people movers, public transportation, to the claustrophobic contents of dumpster diving endeavors. The digitized notes dance around the misadventures of a transient beauty in situations that compromise the integrities of societal codes of normality for necessitated stretches made in the name of survival. The keyboards continue onto new selected presets and patterns, as we follow our hard luck heroine down a snowy path to seek out further provisions. The keyboards cruise into the desperate dimensions of hazel eyes that charge through the corner store to pull a quick 'runner' for a humble loaf of bread. We can only look forward to more Model Clocks visuals from their Mabel release.
Keeping with tradition, we had to see what else Model Clocks' Simon Lock had going on in our following catch-up one on one. We were able to get a few cables in to Mr. Lock's private resort down south as detailed in our following conversation:
When did you start this recent solo instrumental, Model Clocks?
Here weeee goooo. From my balcony in Cancun. And totally sober.
About two years ago, a best mate of mine and I had been chatting about collaborating on some songs for a while, it finally came to fruition when he came out to Vancouver for a rainy weekend and holed ourselves up in the studio with a nice collection of great wine and some wild boar ragout. Somehow this yielded a fruitful session that produced the songs “The Prisoner” and “Tribunal”, which both wound up on the album. I think the wine made us infatuated with the late night mellow vibe that we always loved and the wild boar ragout just made it heavy. It's a very rich dish and mobility is a tad difficult after, so the music was moving about as fast as we were. Slow.
What inspired the name? Clocks specially designed for supermodels or something?
Picking names for anything is a futile task these days. You come up with a great name that you're convinced will assist, if not lead your project in world domination, to find out that some psy-trance, chillwave, trap, dub-step, indie band from Charlotte, NC has beaten you to the punch and perhaps thwarted your chance of world domination. F*ckers. So with Chad being the smarty-pants that he is, jumbled the letters of our last names and ta-dah. Model Clocks. Seemed suiting for the project since we focus heavily on time for our themes. Mainly of course the hours of the late night when the clock is not your friend.
What have you found to be different in your own creative process between your work in Terrace versus Model Clocks?
Making music in Terrace is a completely different process than in Model Clocks. In Terrace I usually get the ball rolling, dribble it down the court and see it into the basket. Along the way I get great assists from my teamates, Jodi and Chris and the play works out great. With Model Clocks, Chad the mad scientist will develop an opus of sounds. He has a lot of musical training and likes the sounds to be big and proper. From that, I jump in and form the song. Change some sounds, lay it out, write some drums and percussions, change levels and add a few bits and bobs. Then we fly to meet each other, have some wine and wild boar ragout, lay on the floor and argue about a steel drum sound or two and wrap it up. It's an interesting process that so far has worked out great.
I like the traveling adventure as you follow around the jet setting model in the video. What kind of modes and moods did you have in mind while making both the track and video for, “Scribblers”?
The whole album is quite dark, and “Scribblers” is no exception, wanted to capture a Chris Isaak / Richard Hawley feel to the guitar melody to compliment the dark bass line, taking inspiration from french deep tech house. Visually, as with most of the tracks on the album, we wanted to create a movie soundtrack mood. A song that may play during a scene with no dialogue, and tension builds within.
As far as the video goes, once Marc Alcover came to the table with this concept and hit it out of the park. He is such a gem. I feel the video matches the mood of the song so well.The heavy yet beautiful mood of the song needed the same juxtaposition for the video. A beautiful girl wanders around, so many things could lay ahead of her, at face value she seems in charge of her situation. Yet, she has no where to go, feels alone, isolated, can't find her place. No one pays attention to her. She could be an urban angel. And she just fades. Always leaving you to wonder. I think it says it all. Chad kept wanting to film a scene with her doing something horrible like O.D. or something. But I put Requiem For a Dream on, it always cheers him up, and took his mind off of it. He gets pretty dramatic at times. I can hear him yelling at me already for saying this because I think it was actually my idea. Anyway, she didn't O.D. and it worked out great.
What can you tell us about the upcoming Model Clocks release, Mabel for your TechnoFunk Enterprises imprint?
It is an eight song full length album that spans over forty minutes and it plays in a continuous mix format so there aren't breaks it between the songs. They flow into each. But conceptually Mabel is a post-club soundtrack. It is meant to be played late, in a darkened room, with great people who aren't worried about when the sun is going to rise. It was a lot of fun to make this record, and I hope, after we get our cholesterol checked that we can soon make another one.
What else is Terrace up to this spring and summer?
We are just putting the finishing touches on the our next album, you know the nit picky stuff, a lot of arguing over maracas and saxophone parts. Usually ends up in a leg wrestling match, can't tell you the scores because I will probably embellish them slightly in my favor. The record itself is currently untitled and sits at 14 songs and sounds much different than our last album, it's groovier yet mellower more refined. It's coming along nicely. the South of France summer theme that we are currently in love with played a heavy role on the sound of this album. It will be out in Canada/USA in August, and UK and Europe in September. We play Canadian Music Week in May in Toronto and have a few secret shows coming up in our home town in Vancouver. We have a few tricks up our sleeves this time around. We will be touring the new record in the fall and hope to cover more ground this time around. Listen, I would love to stay and chat but I need to iron a shirt for work and get downstairs for the shuttle van to the airport. It's going to be a long flight home. It's always a pleasure to chat.
Model Clocks' Mabel is available via iTunes for TechnoFunk Enterprises.
Birthed from the same Melbourne, Australia sound pot as Tame Impala and Jagwar MA, meet Wunder Wunder, the duo of Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant. Coordinating their summertime in springtime vibes from Melbourne to LA, they shared a listen to their upcoming single “Coastline” from Dovecote / Shock with the world this week while we got a chance to chat it up with Aaron and Benjamin about their sound that feels like ten thousand consecutive days of holidays enjoyed in a row.
“Coastline” is that song that shines and sparkles like one of those tops that light up as a result of being set in motion. The result is a sound that shines like the sunrise along the Eastern facing shorelines the world over, where Melbourne smiles are spread to dance and play upon faces of fans and believers from the world over. Still few things can really convey what the Australia by LA group accomplish on a track that oozes with an electricity that cannot be contained within circuit breakers or tidal waves that rage for the land that later are tagged with the title of whichever hurricane is the new nature bully on the block. Wunder Wunder continue to keep their own wonder shining in rays that are meant for beaches near, far, and close to the cool springs and elements of water that bring out the most suggestive fashion, and the fun of a serenity that old vacation film rolls relate.
So tell us about how this whole LA by Melbourne thing impacted not just the inception of Wunder Wunder but the influences these two particular places have had on your sound.
Melbourne has a pretty strong cultural vibe with music and style so i’m sure that’s had an effect on the music. We are exposed to American and English music, amongst others, in Australia so that has influenced what we have done, but I would say that the biggest influence has been moving to Los Angeles. The laid back energy and sunny vibe has had a big affect on our psyche and infiltrated Wunder Wunder’s music. It’s such an exciting place that is full of color and variety that you can’t help but be mesmerized by.
What was the wondrous event of WW's formation?
I’d like to say it was a magical moment under the milky way when we were 'wundering' together about the universe and it’s many questions but it came from our love of sonic sounds that range from new projects to lost 70’s albums. Anything that sounds like a world or that it has character is very appealing to us. Along with my urge to sing and write again we found ourselves making an album that was less dance orientated than our previous projects and more focused on song writing.
(Wunder Wunder's Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant photographed by Yoshi Sodeoka.)
So “Coastline”, I don't know where to begin, but what coastlines the world over do you guys love the most?
I have been very fortunate to travel around and see the sun disappear into the seas in some amazing places. Back in Australia the beaches surrounding Perth are very beautiful, but one experience that was most memorable was when we played in Thailand and the sun turned to fiery red at dawn.
I just recently drove to Malibu to get have some relax time and really enjoyed driving along the coast listening to music. Nothing beats the feeling of being on the road with your favorite music on a beautiful day.
How did this song begin in production?
This song started with Ben coming up with the arpegiator synth and opening chords. I sung a few rough lines over it in my hotel room and then it blossomed from there. It took a long time to compose this song as we were learning a lot about modes, song structures and experimenting with different sounds. We’d have mini 'break throughs” but it was a slow process. This song taught us a lot. It’s interesting how music can constantly challenge and teach you new things. It always makes life new.
The whole synth to guitar relationship is well forged, and the vocals invite that whole warped, and tripped out production element. What was the artistic directing of all these arrangements like for “Coastline”?
I’m not sure. We just allowed the song to take it’s own direction by throwing a lot of ideas and elements at it until something formed. We definitely like the idea of combining synths and guitars together to make sounds with character and have a palette we like to use for this project but it’s also about keeping things open so you can invite new combinations and ideas as those are the things that make life interesting for us.
What other songs about beaches do you all dig?
Check out the album Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson. That’s an album of Californian beach vibes.
Thoughts on surfing, do you guys follow it, do you partake in the sport at all?
If I wasn’t busy making music I would be very keen to learn to surf. There seems to be a very zen and nature connecting activity which sounds very appealing to me. Check in with me in ten years to see if I’ve mastered it then.
What other Wunder Wunder recordings are in the works?
We have a full length album finished that we are very proud and excited to get out there. We’ve made it so it has a flow and songs join up to make a continual listen as opposed to a song by song album. We love when an album takes you away to another place or world for that duration and you forget about your problems and enjoy being in that moment. We hope to be apart of that for someone during their road trip or work day.
What else does the world need to know about the wonder worlds presented by Wunder Wunder?
We are playing shows in Los Angeles and are very excited to energize what we do in a live setting so keep a look out via our Facebook page. I am really pumped to do some fun things with Wunder Wunder at shows and see what new ideas we can come up with.
As part of Seattle's current creative 'moment', introduce yourselves to Secretary, the quintet of Craig Ellison Wolf, Em Maslich, Max McSimov, Jil Zirkle, and Chuck Kerr that make music that reaches to places beyond the inbox and outbox worlds of the nine to five life. On their self-titled EP, the Northwest five take their thoughts, feelings and secrets to be shared in the personal spaces and after dark hours.
“Words” has the mind reading, psyche-soaring vocals of Craig, Em, and Jill falling into the Chuck's percussive rumble and the group's slow grinding glare of guitar metal-moans. The single “The Only Ones” imagines metaphors like the tides that meet the shores, in a song for the star staring misfits and outcasts that run wild like the rambling oceanic waters. Moving beyond the constructs of “gravity and time”, the chorus recitations of the title's song of, “we are the only ones looking up at the stars” point to the song's vast textural howls like winds swallowing up Secretary's sounds that sail from the dreams of stars to shining seas.
The Seattle five concludes their EP with “I Know It's Wrong”, with a smoky and atmospheric echo of rights and wrongs within the games of love. Like the rest of the EP, the guitars and voices from Secretary all materialize from a mist created in the harmonic glow of their chords and chamber of shared voices pushing toward notes and frequencies of unison.
Craig Ellison Wolf and Em Maslich from Secretary got together with us to talk about their single “The Only Ones”, their beginnings, and Seattle's current 'moment.'
From everyone we're talking to around Seattle, there is word about 'Seattle's moment' right now. Give us Secretary's report from the scenes.
There's a great music community here with a ton of excellent bands/rappers/musicians. Great local radio stations, great venues…it's really fun going to shows. Even the bookers/bartenders/door people are cool and friendly. Not to mention that the Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, it's easy to get a good taco here, there's a pinball museum in Chinatown…Seattle has a lot to be proud of.
How and when did Secretary first begin?
We made an impetuous and fateful decision in 2006 and moved to a mountain in the middle of nowhere. We were there for 6 years and wrote some songs, created the vision for Secretary, and started to go batty at 5,600 feet, which prompted the move to Seattle in 2012. We met the rest of the band members then.
How do you all go about your song writing composition?
Mountain living provided plenty of inspiration and time, as well as the need to create for self stimulation, yielding many blueprints for songs. With additional creative minds thrown in the mix, those blueprints turned into…better blueprints.
What was the star-gazing story behind, “The Only Ones”?
It's less a star-gazing story and more of a, 'What the hell are we going to do?!' story, which is what happens when you stop looking up t the stars and actually see what is front of you. There's also a little hope and optimism thrown in the mix.
Insights into the making of your EP?
Be open to the process, but also know what you want to get out of it. Have good blueprints going in.
Game plan for spring/summer 2014?
Work on video/s, record full length, tour, avoid mountains.
The Secretary EP is available now via Bandcamp.
Set your watch for some you time with you, friends, significant whatevers, and more on, “Time For Us”, the fourth in the Vibe Haus series from Brooklyn's AIMES. What you find here is an example of some of the upward reaching cuts from the East Coast's echelon of some of the saviest ears for electrically etched sounds made the world over, and championed in various patches and pockets. Aimes takes a time out for themselves, with in-house vibes fit for clubs, after, and pre-parties anywhere.
Azar Swan takes on Marianne Faithfull's “Broken English”, with Zohra's voice breaking through the smart synth-penned perfect storm, yelling recitations of, “what are you fighting for?” She described the adaptation in this following press statement: “The song is about a warped kind of kinship between addicts and terrorists, an anger or frustration, but one focuses the anger outward, and the other turns the anger onto themselves…it just got into my marrow.” The single will be available March 20.
Off of 2013's hottest EP Tip Top Shape released on No Shame from Seasick Mama, model/pop idol Marial Maher again turns the world into her own personal and private runway in the Teddy Greenburg & Ian Perlman video for, “Gimme Something More To Work With”. The coolest thing about the multi-scene and multi-frame aesthetic happening here is that Marial takes over all surroundings from blown-out basements, dank hallways, and snowy settings in a manner that owns it all, not unlike the recent recordings and videos from U.S. Girls' Meg Remy.
Taken from their debut EP Position I, check out the evening rides in Night Drive's Lobo Sucio Creative video for, “After Dark”. Watch out for the night prowlers with the clear and shining eyes that send out reflective beams like a full moon lording over the chilly evening air.
Smoke Fairies are seeing stars, high skies, and birds, with the video for, “We've Seen Birds” off their forthcoming self-titled album available May 6 from Full Time Hobby. Think of it as an inventive version of “This Old House”, or something like that, or not at all. Wright Brothers eat your hearts out.
Dana Falconberry presents the phone vibrating urgency on the listen to “Palmless”, the A-side from her upcoming Public Hi-Fi Sessions 02 12″ from Jim Eno's imprint, Public Hi-Fi. The messages and meanings between phone calls get left with the ringer off leaving the next slate of narratives yet to be told and retold through other alternate forms of social media.
Ahead of her April 8 slated Chipped EP for Racecar, Ellie Herring drops her ghosted out beats from the disc with, “Dynasty”. These beats spell out the generations and generations of grooves handed down to make one that reaches between the sub-bass levels and the weightless vapors of rising air.
After getting the behind the EP scoop from the band, Chains of Love sent us a limited time listen to Misery Makers vol. 2 available March 25 from MANIMAL / Light Organ. Misery never felt so comforting before now.
Directed by Stephen Bevan, Pandr Eyez released the video for “Cinematic” off their self-released, Present EP. Ferren Gipson brings the song's dramatic and tragic testimonial from the production's digital degrees and into the chapel. Weirdo priests and pagan spinning imagery collect and combine beneath one steeple. Read our recent interview here.
Secret Colours are keeping their sound, “Heavy & Steady”, off the upcoming Positive Distractions Part II EP available April 29.
Mike Fiore, aka Faces on Film, dropped the heart-beat-speeding cut, “Heartspeed” off the upcoming album, Elite Lines, available March 25.
Becky Filip and Jacob Wick are The Honey Trees, and we have your listen to the feet sweeping sound of, “Nightingale”, from their forthcoming Bright Fire album available April 8.
Patrick Park strummed the song about moving on and along the empty highways on, “My Holding Hand Is Empty”, taken from his upcoming album, Love Like Swords, available April 22. Ride along as Park looks for that something, in the wagon trail songs that sing heavy hearted sighs in the choruses of, 'oh my.'
With their LP NOW + 4EVA available April 1 from their own label, Casual Workout, catch Architecture In Helsinki's new single “Echo” that continues to reverberate ever after.
Faux Real, presents the following Record Store Day exclusive available April 19, with covers of fake bands by real bands. The following sampler gives you listens to Bent Shapes covering Daria's “Ow! My Face”, Potty Mouth taking on Freaky Friday's “Take Me Away”, Levek versus Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem's “Don't Blame The Dynamite”, and Sadie Dupuis' versus Josie and The Pussycats on,”Pretend to Be Nice”. Fake never sounded so real, or so rad.
Brooklyn's Stargazy are playing in NYC April 11 at Pianos with WC Lindsay, The Furies and more, and we got their high fashionable single, “The Fashion”, from their forthcoming EP available this summer. These star-gazers could bring us all the anthems we need for the upcoming sunny solstice, to keep those beams of light shining on until then.
Hot Nerds, comprised of Alia Jyawook, Nathan Joyner, with with Justin Pearson to puncture your ear drums with squealing electronics and other auditory drilling devices on, “Ear Slugs” from their digital EP available May 13 from Three One G. You can read our various interviews with the Justin, Nathan and company here, and here. And now with lyrics fired at you in the following litany; it's hard to go wrong here.
Half the truth
Now I’m limpy
Now I’m leaning towards just falling over
Voted one of our favorite bands seen at this year's Noise Pop fest, The Donkeys released the single, “Scissor Me Cigs”, from their debut album, Ride The Black Wave available June 3 from Easy Sound Recording Company. This is a song that is good for one of those early AM accidental wake ups where you huddle up on the cold and rusty fire escape with a security blanket and a re-lit cigarette.
Canada's Gabriel Akinrinmade is Box of Wolves, who lets us listen to the title track, “Let's Start Again”, from his EP of the same name full of those Northern indie dance grooves that lets the wolves run wild and start all over once again.
Off the EELS' upcoming The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett album, available April 22; check out this live from the Basement video for, “Millicent Don't Blame Yourself”.
CHAPPO's new album, Future Former Self is coming this May, and we got the flashing lights and shadows video from Simon Cleveland for the single, “I'm Not Ready”. Different lives and lifestyles collide, with memorable hooks like, “You're living so fast, and that's a luxury”.
Joakim's On The Beach EP will be available March 31 from Because Music, sharing a slick listen to the electric vocoded digital ways and waves of the title track. Wait for the moment where Joakim's electronically altered vocals get met with that smooth, and seductive sax.
DWNTWN moves their pop sounds and sentiments into the pop lands of tomorrow on the Lenny Beckerman video for, “Til Tomorrow”. Music, and romantic melodies for the downtown vibes of tomorrow's big hearted dreamers.
The Anthony Valadez album In Search Of… is available now from Plug Research, and we got the title cut video featuring MIles Bonny, directed by Roarkyd. Watch Anthony go on life's marathon to look for something he hasn't found before out in the great wilderness.
Cody Critcheloe of SSION and VFILES just made this ridiculous video for Kylie Minogue's “Sexercize”. Work it out here with Kylie and more.
Old buddies Aaron, Bryson, Ryan and Landon Baggaley, aka Brown Shoe, dropped the cut, “Nightwalker” that recounts some of their wilder adventures spent here in SF that we are probably not at liberty to divulge. Brown Shoe's new album Lonely Beast Part I will be available April 8 with parts II and III coming later this year.
Tigers Jaw dropped the nerve end fracking track, “Nervous Kids”, off their forthcoming album, Charmer, available June 3 from Run For Cover Records. Flannel fun times ahead here.
Hip yourself to Generation Blues coming June 2 from LA's rising sons, Terraplane Sun and get solid with this following hand clapping, piano clanging rocker, “The Stone”.
Our old friend Yonatan Gat from Monotonix dropped the shredding cut, “Kotonou”, off the upcoming Iberian Passage EP avaialble May 27 from Joyful Noise. For head banging folks from the old and new world traditions, this is some of the best news in a long time. Read our old school interview with Yonatan and the merry band of Monotonix here.
The Mercy Beat's debut album is coming in June, and we got the newest, in their new-new-new romantic sound on, “Sweet”.
Peep the Alex Theodoropulos video for Thee Oh Sees' new track, “The Lens”, full of cosmic afternoon fun from their upcoming album Drop, available April 19 from the one and only Castle Face Records.
The Shilohs get angular, and get on that endearing and appealing indie jangle pop on, “Palm Readers”, ripped fresh from their upcoming self-title available May 13 from Light Organ Records.
Getting ready for a 70 plus date tour beginning in early April, Funk Volume's own Jarren Benton wants it all on the video for, “Gimmie The Loot,” produced by M-16 and direction courtesy of Jakob Owens. Get up in it, and get paid, folks.
The Singles duo of Vince Frederick and Nicky Veltman dropped the cold and warm hearted ode, “(She's Got) A Heart Of Stone”, from their album Look How Fast A Heart Can Break available April 1.
Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman remixed Sivu's “Can't Stop Now”, with some foot stomping, tambourine clapping, high and warped keys. The single will be available April 8 from Canvasclub.
Lasse Martinussen directs WhoMadeWho's title track, “Dreams”, off their new album, that features aquatic bodies of beauty and ripples in the water.
Trust's Joyland has dropped already on Arts & Crafts, and you have to hear a remix from one of our nu-house favorites, Avalon Emerson and her “Cybernetic Edit” of “Rescue, Mister”. Catch one of Emerson's classic Week in Pop features here. We're talking deep juke with attitude.
With an album release show happening April 18 at Berkeley's The Starry Plough, feel the slow organ drifting toil and, “Burn”, from Oakland troubadour Scarth Locke. More heartbreak ballads and more can be found on his upcoming album Can't Not available April 17 from Earthville Records.
Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes is back with the “have yourself a good time” refrains and more cool chords on, “Lonely Richard”, off the upcoming album, Love, available May 13 from Sacred Bones. Working with folks from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Colin Stetson, and Iceage's Elias Bender Rønnenfelt; listen as the good times roll on with good company for the lonely at heart.
Dub Thompson's Matt Pulos, and Evan Laffer recorded their debut album, 9 Songs, last August while residing in the same house as Foxygen's Jonathan Rado in Bloomington, Indiana. Not concerned with sounds or shapes that resemble time and place, Pulos and friends collapse the yesterday and today preconceived notions in your mind by pancaking them into a flattened trip of big, bouncing beats. See and hear what we mean in the Robert Beatty video for, “Dograces”, that upgrades the rat race running games ahead of their album, 9 Songs, available June 10 from Dead Oceans. In the same way that Rado and cohorts have been obfuscated attitudes about era and audio; Dub Thompson furthers the blurring of all lines and designated areas of time related reasoning.