Week in Pop: Burnt Palms, PURSES, Silent Wave, Western Medication

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With all eyes on Austin right now, Impose’s Week in Pop takes you beyond Texas for a weekly set of artist interactives and media breakthroughs of our very own. In a quick run-through of the big buzz this week, plenty of Record Store Day 2016 release list hype; Kanye West is thinking about not making CDs ever again; Björk revealed that she and Arca are currently working on the follow-up to Vulnicura; Bob Dylan announced the new upcoming album Fallen Angels and North American tour; Sonny and The Sunsets announced the new album, Moods Baby Moods available May 27 via Polyvinyl, shared “Well But Strangely Hung Man”; Garbage announced forthcoming album Strange Little Birds available June 10 and summer tour; MSTRKRFT dropped their first track in forever with “Little Red Hen”; A$AP Ferg said that new album will feature Skrillex, Grimes, Missy Elliott, Future, Ty Dolla $ign, Schoolboy Q, Clams Casino, etc; Darkstar x Empress Of collaborate on the single, “Reformer”; Guided By Voices announced that new album Please Be Honest will be available April 22; Tegan and Sara announced the new album, Love You To Death available June 3; ANOHNI dropped the Nabil directed video for “Drone Bomb Me” starring Naomi Campbell; Xiu Xiu to release Plays The Music of Twin Peaks on RSD via Polyvinyl, dropped “Falling”; Magical Cloudz broke-up; Coachella’s virtual reality app; Run the Jewels dropped the virtual reality video for “Crown”; former Vampire Weekend bro Rostam dropped “Gravity Don’t Pull Me”; help Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know with a little extra PMA; we mourn the loss of Trentavious White, aka Bankroll Fresh, and the loss of the Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin, the loss of rock writer/editor John Morthland; and Morrissey might be the next Mayor of London.

With a big feature to kick off, it is our pleasure and privilege to present the following interviews, exclusives and insights from Brothers in Law, Burnt Palms, Great Pagans, Jesse R. Berlin, Leland Sundries, Ora Cogan, PURSES, Silent Wave, Technical Kidman, Western Medication, Crown Plaza, Ex Norwegian, Krano, Pompeya, Sego, featuring guest selections by Essaie pas, and more—in no particular order.

Burnt Palms

Seaside, CA's Burnt Palms; press photo.
Seaside, CA’s Burnt Palms; press photo.

Keeping up with the proliferation of Pesaro by San Francisco imprint We Were Never Being Boring, we are proud to present the world premiere of Burnt Palms’ video for “Over” from their recently released LP, Back On My Wall. The Seaside, California band of Riley, Clara Nieto, Brian Dela Cruz, & Joshua Vazquez share a commitment to keeping their patch of the Monterey Peninsula accompanied by their neat & succinct songs that rarely pass the three minute mark. Frontwoman Riley’s video illustrates the local splendors seen from coastal windows to the sea, shore-side vegetation, the windy two-lane twists & turns of Highway 1 and more that is something of a living postcard for the 831 area code. A song that ponders the thoughts of starting anew/starting over is delivered with streams of thoughts and Clara’s harmonious assist.

“Over” begins with literal depictions to match Riley’s opening lines, “I cut my hair, because I can’t see through the memories of you…” Memories of the past are seen through vintage camera lens, as we watch Riley packing up her luggage, making cosmetic changes and more in elapsed time. As Burnt Palms thrash ahead with all cylinders firing, we are shown images of the band gazing out at the seascape views that seen while the lyrics plot an escape. The small town nature of the sleepy peninsula can be seen and heard in the lyrics that long to move elsewhere where personal privacy can be guaranteed. “Change my name, move to a better place, somewhere far away where I don’t see you everywhere, everywhere….” These lyrics from Riley are reminiscent of the quaint quality of their home stomping grounds where you can practically run into exes anywhere and everywhere from Alvarado Street, Lighthouse Street, Del Monte Shopping Center, Red’s Donuts (Seaside & Monterey locations), and so forth. To discuss these matters and much more, be sure to read our interview with Riley & Brian featured after the following debut of Burnt Palms’ “Over”.

What’s good right now in Seaside and the Monterey Peninsula at large?

Riley: Honestly not much happens in Seaside except for practice and the beach. There are local bands in Salinas and the area, but honestly we don’t play much around here. There is a gallery in Salinas called SOMOS that has recently started to put on shows. It’s actually a great all ages venue. The owner Will Devoe is really supportive and great!

Burnt Palms live; press photo.
Burnt Palms live; press photo.

Tell us about the making of the coastal based video for “Over”.

Riley: When I set out to make the video, I wanted to show the dramatic, dynamic landscapes around the Monterey peninsula. Those are places where I feel nostalgic and connected. All of the other scenes were shot without a plan really. I just sort of pieced it together based on feelings!

How do the local beaches of the 831 inspire you all?

Riley: Being around the ocean is just so nice. I used to surf everyday but due to an injury, have been out of the water. It will be great to get back in! It really connects me to nature and myself. I think it also provides a certain type of energy I can’t get anywhere else.

Burnt Palms goes all Wayne's World for Halloween; press photo.
Burnt Palms goes all Wayne’s World for Halloween; press photo.

Give us some insights on the making of Back On My Wall.

Riley: The album came together in the same way as the previous albums. I wrote the guitar, lyrics and structure, then Clara (drums) and Brian (bass) came up with their parts at practice, as well as our new member, Josh on second guitar. The lyrics always come to me randomly inspired by personal feelings, conversations with others, things I read, etc. I absorb other peoples emotions easily because I’m so sensitive! We recorded the album in San Francisco at Speak Easy studio owned by Alicia Vanden Heuvel (of The Ailsers Set). Gary Olson (of The Ladybug Transistor) recorded us then mixed the album at his studio in New York.

What are you all listening to/watching/reading obsessively?

Riley: Currently I have been obsessively listening to R.E.M’s first EP, Chronic Town from 1982 and their album, MurMur from 1983. Also, Chastity Belt, Robert Johnson, and The American Analog Set’s album, Know By Heart. Recently, I have been obsessed with watching,“Transparent” and also “Better Call Saul”. I am currently reading a book called, Wise Blood by Flannery O’ Connor. But Anne Sexton is my favorite poet. I relate so much to her!

Brian: I’ve been listening to an album called Mutant by Arca and lately I’ve been reading Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation.

Hanging around with Burnt Palms; press photo.
Hanging around with Burnt Palms; press photo.

Other local bands & artists you all love?

Riley: My favorite local(ish) band is Palmz from Santa Cruz. They are good friends of ours!

Next in the works for Burnt Palms?

Riley: We have four new songs that will go towards our fourth album!

Share with us the Burnt Palms spring/summer preview:

We are so excited to be headed to SxSW to play an official show as well as an unofficial one. We also have a few stops along the way, LA, Phoenix, El Paso! After that we are playing Dream Gaze festival in LA and a show at 1,2,34 Go! Records in Oakland on April 19th. We are also doing a live stream on PressureDrop.tv in SF!

Burnt Palms’ new album Back On My Wall is available now from We Were Never Being Boring.

Brothers in Law

Band of brothers—Brothers In Law.
Band of brothers—Brothers In Law.

The next order of WWNBB collective business we have is news of Brothers in Law’s US tour happening all throughout this month of March (see details on the flyer below), and the world premiere of the Lorenzo Musto video for the band’s glorious anthem “Oh Sweet Song”. In our continued coverage of Giacomo Stolzini, Nicola Lampredi also of Be Forest), Andrea Guagneli, & Lorenzo Musto’s new album Raise; we meditate on one of the most epic, heaven quaking songs found in a cycle of awe-inspring songs.

Brothers in Law deliver the Lorenzo Musto video for “Oh Sweet Song” that works like an abstract & artistic take on the screen test form. Lorenzo’s camera moves at paces to match the roller-coaster movements of the song, utilizing FPS rates to measure the emotive qualities of both the song and the various expressive gestures from the actress featured in the video. While the chords and keyboard hooks ascend to celestial heights, Musto exhibits feelings of euphoria and elation that are executed in the most minimalist, yet effective assembly of interpretive presentation. Our protagonist in the video acts out the various feelings and emotive elements that Brothers in Law paint like sugar coated watercolors brushed against a dulcet audio canvas.

Brothers in Law shared with us the following words on the video for “Oh Sweet Song”:

The basic concept for the video is the transition from one dimension to another through the music. The picture goes along the song’s beat and intertwines with it until dissolving into it, and yet maintaining a focus on the relevance of the repetitive gestures of the actress.

Catch Brothers In Law on their stateside tour.
Catch Brothers In Law on their stateside tour.

Raise is avaialble now via the We Were Never Being Boring collective.

Silent Wave

Tildeh Hjelm of Silent Wave; press photo courtesy of the band.
Tildeh Hjelm of Silent Wave; press photo courtesy of the band.

Gothenburg, Sweden’s sophisticated synth pop artists Silent Wave are made up of Tildeh Hjelm and producer Hans Olsson Brookes (known for his work with I Break Horses, José González, Junip, Westkust, and various Luxury Records artists), and the latest member Martin Öhman whose background in jazz percussion brings to the group what Hans refers to as; “organic, acoustic percussion with a more human groove to the darker, colder electronic beats.” Silent Wave’s forthcoming single “War” will be available later in spring from Luxury imprint offshoot Silence, and we have the pleasure and privilege of premiering their video for “Dancing Away From You”.

“Dancing Away From You” is presented like a dark, foggy night noir piece for contemporary audiences. Cold, muddling & murmuring synths underscores the emotive intensity and displeasure portrayed in the lyrics. Rural smoky village settings begins as we follow Tildeh as she walks about what appears to be a haunted estate filled with enchanted entities. The keyboard notes turn into something of paranormal forces, as we watch Tildeh dancing in front of an elaborate mirror while it appears a shadowy over-sized person in a bunny costume watches intently from the fore ground. Retreating to a dining room table, our heroine’s efforts prove futile as materializing masked specters eerily materialize from out of the the ether to scare Tildeh. From here the vexed mansion becomes a labyrinthine citadel where all hallways lead to dead ends, or meetings of more apparitions that appear out of the air. All the while she sings the song’s title in the chorus, as “Dancing Away From You” becomes the operative thesis and plot to shake off the mystical creatures that play about in dormant estates, paintings, and more. Tildeh Hjelm took the time to chat with us over long distance lines in the interview featured right after the following debut of Silent Wave’s new video.

From Hans’s work with I Break Horses, José González, Junip, Weskust, & various Luxury artists; Tildeh’s work in sound, song, aand film; Martin’s own jazz percussion pursuits; with all of these talents aligned, how to Silent Wave happen?

It started with me as a solo artist. Hans wanted to record me songs and that’s where everything started. Together we built up those songs in Hans’ studio and a new sound took place. After [a year and a half] we wanted to develop and started searching for a drummer and we found Martin!

Describe for us how the three of you go about contributing and creating together in songwriting, practice, and more.

Most of the time we start with my demos. I write the lyrics and melodies and make a simple recording at home. Then I bring it to the studio where Hans and I talk about the song and how they want to create the landscape. We start playing with Hans’ old analog gadgets and search for beautiful, often sad tunes with dark surroundings. And when we go live Martin completes it all with his organic drums.

Tildeh Hjelm of Silent Wave live; press photo.
Tildeh Hjelm of Silent Wave live; press photo.

Interested in hearing about the source of the apprehensions and exit strategies that informed “Dancing Away From You”.

The source is one and the exit another. There’s really nothing to describe. It’s up to each one to make their own interpretation.

Describe what the making of the video for “Dancing Away From You” was like, and how this world from the looking glass and portraits came alive.

Making the video for ”Dancing Away From You” was like stepping into another world. I study film in a small village. I lived in an old mansion where they got permission to make the music video. I spent the entire Halloween weekend accompanied by nine members of my class in the old house. We shared a lot of fun, ideas and awkward moments.. haha.

Since Hans and Martin have families and it was a big holiday, none of them could be present. So they filmed themselves in Gothenburg, sent the file and then we put them in a painting. A bit like “Harry Potter style”. In that way the whole band could be part of the story that the video contains.

Tell us about what you all are working on, and what’s exciting in Gothenburg right now?

Right now we’re working on a remix and preparing for a gig in London. In spring we’ll release another single, “War”, and in the summer when I comes back we’ll start recording new songs. We’re looking forward to that!

Listen to more from Silent Wave via Soundcloud and Spotify.

Catch the band in London, England April 3 at The Lexington.


Getting to know Moscow's Pompeya; press photo courtesy of the band.
Getting to know Moscow’s Pompeya; press photo courtesy of the band.

Presenting video for the ultra-enthusiasm of “Cry About It (OOOOO)” from Moscow quartet Pompeya, taken from their Mishu Records album Real released last year. The footage from the video shows the band members Daniil Brod, Denis Agafonov, Alexander Lipsky, and Dmitrii Vinnikov on a tour stop in the land between Russian and Georgia known as Abkhazia. Creating a fan base there on account of the band’s earlier song “Pitsunda”, a vigorous campaign from fans, bookers, and promoters went all out in Abkhazia to welcome Pompeya. As seen in the video, the band’s likeness was place upon billboards all over the country to advertise the video’s showcase of the band playing the Abkhazian State Philharmonic Hall.

Pompeya takes to the former tourist destination from the soviet era, delivering a treat for their Abkhazian super fans. The band made tour video sees Pompeya exploring the various local markets, discovering an array of exotic and incredible photo opp locales all throughout the nation. The big treat is the group’s performance at the Abkhazian State Philharmonic Hall that feels like a surreal sort of concert film clip, that must have been 10 times as surreal for their loyal fan base in Abkhazia. Join us after the following video for “Cry About It (OOOOO)” as Pompeya took the time to chat and share some of their favorite local Russian artists and more with us.

Tell us about the Abkhazia tour stop that fans petitioned for, that saw you all playing at the Abkhazian State Philharmonic, as featured in the video.

Abkhazia is the place we visited as tourists when we were kids. To me and Sasha (keyboards), we have some good memories. Though we have never been there together. Also one of our songs is named after Abkhazian resort—”Pitsunda”. Black sea, palms, mountain views, lakes—along with the other attractions—has made this land one of most visited tourist destinations in the USSR. Years later the war happened there and since the war a lot of abandoned buildings can still be seen around.

For the type of music we perform, Abkhazia is not a typical touring stop. We were even more excited when we realized that we would be performing at the State Philharmonic Hall. We decided to capture this experience on camera – so we hired local DOPs that spent a few hours with us during the show and the next day

How did that experience performing there effect you all?

Most of our tours we’re playing at the clubs and venues that are more suitable for a dancing audience. This time it was a traditional venue with seats, curtains, things like that… which was unusual for us. The big stage and acoustic hall seemed better suited for an unplugged performance, though we performed a full set and made people get up from their seats.

What is the current state of affairs socioeconomically/politically in Abkhazia and at home for you all in Moscow?

As for Abkhazia—it has problems since most of the world claims them as an Unrecognized Republic. It’s a bad story, a tragedy that happened in the early 90’s between Georgia and Abkhazia—still the scars seem open.

As for Moscow—it’s a nice European city. No matter of crisis and still is a cool place to visit—especially if you are a good looking American with some cash. But the country in general is living through economy problems at the moment. And we feel it in our pockets too —basically because we’re going the other way—from Moscow to LA.

Also tell us about the inspirations behind the song “Cry About It (OOOOO)”.

Lyrically this song (as many of our other songs) doesn’t have a special story behind it. We’ve always positioned ourselves more as groove and melody makers rather than story tellers. So the beat and guitar and bass riff of the demo usually inspire the whole song.

What can you divulge about a possible follow-up to your album Real?

Five shows of our LA March Residency will take places around Los Angeles—all free entrance. The remaining shows are here:

Monday, March 14 at Resident
Friday, March 18 at Origami Vinyl
Wednesday, March 23 at Sofar Sounds
Monday, March 28 at Satellite

Besides that we are working on another video that was filmed in Joshua Tree and also going to film one more video around the El Matador beach soon. Lately we love shooting videos! And putting ourselves in the videos.

What else are you all listening to right now?

We are always listening to lots of music. It’s a huge range from the golds of Genesis to the latest Foals and back. Love to watch Youtube see how other bands perform live – it’s good for self-education and inspiration.

We’d be interested in hearing something like a “Top 10 Russian artists to know right now” for our readers if you all have time.

For sure—there is something good happening right now in Russia!

A lot of great vibes are in the electronic / underground scene—could be another Top 10. Though, here is the list of more traditional bands. Most of these artists sing in English. Most of them have already seen success in Russia on independent level. Enjoy!

Pompeya’s album Real is available now from Mishu Records.

Jesse R. Berlin

The present future's new lounge dilettante-derelict Jesse R. Berlin; photographed by Bryan Bruchman.
The present future’s new lounge dilettante-derelict Jesse R. Berlin; photographed by Bryan Bruchman.

Last year we helped introduce you to NYC’s art pop enigma/wonder/whimsical freak of the industry Jesse R. Berlin who wooed us with the album Glitter Lung, and joined us for an around entertaining discussion when we debuted “Tallulah”, who joins us yet again today for another exciting interview session and the world premiere for “I’ve Really Never Been Prepared For You”. Announcing a co-headlining tour with fellow pop luminary Wolkoff—ready or not, the world is about to be know two of NYC’s own stars of the creative cults.

The video for Jesse R. Berlin’s “I’ve Really Never Been Prepared For You” begins with the glimmer of city lights shining forth from the enveloping shrouded veil of the night’s blanketing black-out curtains. Bruchman’s visuals cast various personalities to lip-sync to Jesse’s romantic song about being caught off guard by someone truly special. With all featured individuals dressed in the suave pink leisure suit worn by the great Berlin himself, we then are following the elusive man of mystery until the video abruptly ends in some kind of basement-bondage shenanigans. Featured right after the following debut for the “I’ve Really Never Been Prepared For You” video, read our latest wild interview romp with none other than Jesse R. Berlin.

Describe for us the Jesse R. Berlin world post-Glitter Lung.

I wrapped up my first batch of touring behind the album in mid-December with this big show at Lincoln Center—that’s right, the Lincoln Center, thank you very much—and by the time that was over, I was so physically and emotionally depleted that I just thought, you know, what the fuck, I’ve earned it, I’m gonna take a little vacation. Vegas is my old stomping ground—my ex-wife Misty and I worked the lounge at the Tropicana for, damn, it must have been eight years? And I still have a lot of friends there, so why not pop my head in? So, look, my heart was in the right place. I really can’t stress that enough.

I checked into my room at the Trop—which you would NOT recognize anymore—fucking full color TVs and fully stocked minibar in every room—grabbed a quick nosh at the Luxor T&T (stands for “tacos and tequila,” if you didn’t know), and then fast forward to right this very second, I literally just got home, I’m still wearing the same clothes I left in, there’s a crust of dry blood on my shoes, and I’ve got all these emails from my bank about something called “identity theft” which I’ve never heard of before but supposedly I did—let me tell you, that sounds like a scam. Who do these Wall Street fat cats think they are? You can not—I repeat, can not, no way Jose—pull that kind of shit on me and get away with it.

How were your holidays?

Like I was saying, it’s really all a blur. Katinka, she’s another one of my exes, she’s one of the acrobats over at Circus Circus, and we’re still essentially on speaking terms. She and her husband Phil, he runs the karaoke night at Vince Neil’s Tatuado Eat Drink Party Restaurant, real stand up guy, anyways they had me over for New Year’s because she “felt bad for me,” whatever that means. But it was nice, we all got blitzed on Moscato and watched “Contact.” That Jodie Foster, man, such a rare talent. Anyway, they called the cops because apparently I set “fire” to “their” house.

How has the new year treated you so far?

I think it was mostly okay? Phil did mention that there might be some sort of legal action forthcoming, but I’m not really sweating it, though. I mean, not to brag, but if bribing judges was tae kwon do I would have a black belt senior in that shit.

But there’s some exciting stuff coming up, you know. A cool tour, and I’m working on another record. Just to make sure we have this firmly established—once I actually get to work. I am seriously the goddamn best at what I do.

jesse r berlin week in pop 2

What else are you looking forward to in 2016?

I just right now got a text message from Geoff, he’s my shaman but he also runs this underground Russian Roulette syndicate, apparently he’s throwing a party tonight where he’s gonna randomly put bullets in this big pile of guns and then everyone’s gonna drink mushroom tea and just see where the night takes us. So, that sounds pretty promising.

Give us the scoop on what the making of the Bryan Bruchman video for “I’ve Really Never Been Prepared For You” with the narrative of the all the various screen tests of folks lip-syncing your song.

Are you seriously telling me there are other fucking people in this video? What the fuck is that shit?

You know, I actually haven’t watched the thing, because he largely made it while I was getting that me time down in Vegas, but now I’m really wishing I had paid closer attention. Well, regardless, I think if you watch it, it’ll be clear who the real rock and roll superstar is. All I can say is that their compensation better not have come out of my budget.

Can you describe for us just what in the hell is happening at the end, and how you feel the video compliments the various intentions and meanings of the song.

Again, I haven’t seen the thing and so I have no clue what you’re referring to. Bryan’s pitch to me was Do you want your own “Black or White”? and naturally I said yes. But I am realizing now that I was actually thinking of “Remember the Time.” Does “Black or White” even have a video? Is that the one with the Elephant Man?

Alright, the rest of the world wants to know so I’m gonna pop the big questions; give us everything we need to know about the anticipated follow-up to Glitter Lung.

It is going to be called The Bitter Tears of Jesse R. Berlin. It’s maybe, I dunno, 60% done? The four albums I’m really looking to as references this time around are Born in the USA, Songs in the Key of Life, Armed Forces, and Odelay, but, you know, succeeding where those all kinda failed. I fully expect it to go double platinum.

What are you looking forward to with your upcoming tour with Wolkoff?

Part of me wants to say the money, but in my heart of hearts I know the real answer is the universal acclaim.

Best regards to you and yours, thanks for your talents and time always, Mr. Berlin.

Look at the manners on this kid! So gracious. But never forget that this business is as cutthroat as it gets, and if someone’s being this nice it’s probably because they’re about to stab you in the back. So I’ll cautiously say “it was a pleasure,” but with the added caveat that you should maybe sleep with one eye open for a little while because if it’s going to be one of us, it’s gonna be you buddy-o.

Jesse R. Berlin’s Glitter Lung is available now, & look for the DIY crooner co-headlining with Wolkoff soon in a town near you.

Technical Kidman

Montréal's own Technical Kidman; press photo courtesy of the artists.
Montréal’s own Technical Kidman; press photo courtesy of the artists.

Montréal, Québec’s Technical Kidman has just released the album Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon via Bandcamp, and we present the state side video debut for “Try”, directed and edited by TK main-man Mathieu Arsenault. The ten cycle album begins with the dark regal riser “King”, digital tribal rumblings heard on “Something Stranger”, to the fearless industrial electronic urges and aches on “Without Fear”. Feelings and emotions get complicated on “Fractions”, to the directional musical dialogues of “Our Ways”, to the serious & mysterious single “A Stranger Voice”, the cavernous call of adventure and danger on “Voyager”, the cryptic analog turning reels of “Tapes & Codes”, leaving you in the keyboard kissed haze of the closing anthem, “A Vision”.

Mathieu Arsenault’s VHS based video for his single “Try” matches the effects and strobing visual distortion with the the rhythmic patterns and momentum. The track’s initial percussive intro matches the strike of the snare to the timed sample of the track’s namesake as the aforementioned video-tape effects take on more colorful and complicated arrays of textures. The found-like video footage becomes fed into a video collage of profiles that are consumed by colors and jagged effects that scroll sideways and vertically. Arsenault’s audio & visual for “Try” takes on the intentions that the road to hell are paved with (or so we’re told at least) in a post-industrial audio embodiment of modern day’s own societal cesspools and wastelands. Mathieu took the time to chat over long distance lines in our interview featured after the following viewing of his video for “Try”.

Tell us about strange things that you all discovered on the horizon during the recording of Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon.

Basically, the album was built around recordings of TV advertisement found on old VHS tapes from our childhood. We wanted to find sounds that had a strong connection to us. Looking through the huge collection of tapes we quickly realized that the commercials triggered a stronger reaction, we felt a stronger sense of attachment to them than the rest of the footage. To realize we could have such a sense of attachment to rather questionable pieces of popular culture (Coke, Ford, Nestlé, McDonald’s…) was a bit troubling. So we started toying with the idea of engineered feelings and how we could escape them. We felt that by using these recordings, we could change their meaning and create something positive out of it all, at least for us that is. The title of the album reflects the feeling we had working with that material. It expresses a potential for change and at the same time has an ominous aura.

Describe the voyage of how “Try” went from being already a very visceral and intense song on it’s own to further flashing light film adornments with your self-made video.

I went with the same approach for the video. I used the same tapes to make it. I wanted to bend these commercials out of shape and create something new. I really liked how colorful the images became once processed, to me it was a way to turn them into a celebration. After I had accumulated all that footage I realized I wanted the band to be part of this celebration. I felt a good way to integrate us was by emptying our silhouettes and filling them up with these now distorted ads. It was a way to acknowledge them as part of ourselves no matter how questionable they might be. Basically, a way to wear them on our sleeves.

technical kidman week in pop 2

Other Montreal artists that you all dig?

It’s hard to pick a few without being unfair, but here goes nothing:


Jerusalem in my Heart

Big Brave

Xarah Dion:


Dernier Sex:


Secret Secret Girl

Caro Diaro:

Fred Woods:



Any humorous or interesting anecdotes you all can share from your recent tour with Suuns and Jerusalem?

Not really, it was a very serious tour. No laughs were permitted. But let’s just say dancing to a song called Victoria in Victoria at 3am is a thing of beauty.

Other items of art we should be listening to, reading, watching, gazing at, etc?

I really like Sabrina Ratté’s video work. She’s done videos for various Montreal artists, she’s the visual half of Le Révélateur (another great band) and also produces art video under her name. I’ve also been into Jenny Hval’s last record since it came out. I also recently had the chance to see Camille Henrot’s “Grosse Fatigue” video at MAC in Montreal and it’s great.

Technical Kidman’s Something Stranger Coming on the Horizon is available now on limited vinyl via Bandcamp.

Leland Sundries

The great Leland Sundries; photographed by Nixxi Blanck.
The great Leland Sundries; photographed by Nixxi Blanck.

Meet Leland Sundries, as they premiere their bus trip from hell & back again with “Grehyound From Reno”. The Brooklyn bunch of Nick Loss-Eaton, Matthew Sklar, Ivan DeYoung-Dominguez, Gregg Tallent, & Curtis Brewer deliver a rocking listen from their album Music For Outcasts available this spring. The band together brings about the feeling of being stuck on the longest, and weirdest Greyhound rides to parts unknown where creatures unknown and more await and lurk.

Leland Sundries invites you to the buy the ticket & take the ride on a midnight bus called “Greyhound From Reno”. The song’s rhythm chords conjure up everything from the coach motor to the glittering lights of gambled dreams, slot-machines, blackjack & poker tables all left behind for a whole other kind of hollow journey home. Confusion and weirdness anchors everything else apart from the song’s steadfast rhythm section (special shout out to Olivia Mancini for supplying bass contributions while battling a vicious winter flu), as the awkward and uncomfortable fable of amphetamine addled travel makes everything feel like it’s part of some sort of scream queen dream. Weird pubs, fire houses on fire, car washes, wrong addresses, and art damaged angels all play out on the stage that the Leland Sundries gang sets up in superb style.

We had a chance to get a few insights from Nick Loss-Eaton on the brand new single from Leland Sundries:

Much of “Greyhound From Reno” was written at the end of my alcoholism and the isolation, fear, chaos, and shame are thick. It’s impressionistic, non-linear, but that sense that you can’t outrun yourself is palpable. I fashioned a chorus rather than a bridge and took it into the studio. The ending rose with a predictable, omnipresent anxiety. This was a song that felt unfinished for the longest time. I had a version of it that I demo’d in east London that will appear as a bonus digital download on the LP. It felt like a very anxious fragment. It felt like an early Mountain Goats song to me. I thought this might be a stripped down, lo-fi song but once producer Quinn McCarthy got a hold of it, he added some layers and it began to feel like something out of an angsty 90s album.

Kicking back with Leland Sundries; photographed by Nixxi Blanck.
Kicking back with Leland Sundries; photographed by Nixxi Blanck.

The synth part is all him and it adds a level of sweetness and palatability to an otherwise panic-stricken song. On the vocals, we must’ve done over 20 takes. We talked about this character and the PCPs he might’ve taken before he got on the bus. We turned out all the lights in the studio and it got weird. I sang and screamed until I got really hoarse and it felt like an exorcism of panic. Olivia Mancini, who fronts her own band, played a wicked bass line on this one. During the week of recording, she had a rough flu and was wrapped in a blanket in a semi-heated studio in the wintertime. The rest of us were continuously bringing her tea. She was a trooper for doing the sessions sick as a dog.

Leland Sundries’ upcoming album Music For Outcasts will be available this spring via Pledge Music.

Great Pagans

Brighton's own Great Pagans; press photo courtesy of the band.
Brighton’s own Great Pagans; press photo courtesy of the band.

Today Bright, UK’s Great Pagans release their brand new single “Call of the Void” via Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, presenting us with the world premiere of the video. The quartet of Alex Painter, Chris Griffin, Jim Morrison, & Ozzy Ellis follow up their album debut Cupid In Error with dalliances in what the French refer to as l’appel du vide (“call of the void”), or as frontman Alex describes it; “Call Of The Void’ is a danceable/bouncing/better word(?) eulogy to the end of the night. Empathy for late-night lost souls.”

To conjure up that nightlife feel, Great Pagans’ visuals for “Call Of The Void” provides a degree of character for the moving and strobing stage lights that further enrich a enchanted evening’s outing of adventures and intrigue. From here we see image flashes of fellow party revelry cutting a rug, as the camera moves the focus to the spinning carousel and kaleidoscope of lights, and how they alter there surroundings. The light designs here steal the show where their illuminations streak across the room like a club that is designed like something between a throwback planetarium observatory and a psychedelic shindig held over from the 60s. All the while Great Pagans pronounce their chords and sincere painting of emotions with chords that goes straight to the hearts of all who have found themselves out on a weekend (or weekday) by themselves, taking to the town and night like there’s nowhere to go, no tomorrow, nothing else to see, and just the night and it’s moment is all that is real and remains. Great Pagans frontman Alex Painter joins us after the following debut look & listen for an interview.

Tell us everything that’s been new with Great Pagans since we last talked around Cupid In Error to now.

Cupid In Error was a cathartic but exhausting process. It took it out of me and I had to decide what I wanted to portray next since it definitely closed a chapter of my life. The new music now being readied for the second album is bolder and comes from a more assured state of mind than Cupid In Error. Hopefully that will come across in the forthcoming singles that we’ll be releasing over the next few months.

I can’t wait to play more shows now that a lot of the music was written with more of a live focus. We’ve been hard at work in our new practice space and we’re having great fun playing together.

Give us insights into what sorts of late evening eulogies for the end of the night and as you all have stated it, “empathy for late-night lost souls,” and more informed “Call of the Void”?

There’s a sense of panic I always got whenever I’d gone out and the impending end of the night was approaching. It meant I hadn’t found the unattainable solution I was searching for by drinking and dancing or whatever else. The warm glow starts to wear off and a sense of reckless abandon easily takes over to encourage bad choices.

great pagans week in pop 2

What else is new with everyone at the Anti-Ghost Moon Ray collective?

We just released our first compilation, Annual General Meeting Record Vol 1. All four key members, Gazelle Twin, Bernholz, Acquaintance and ourselves contributed as well as some amazing artists we asked to add to the release. From established acts like Benge to newer musicians, such as Don’t Look, producing exciting music that we wanted to give a platform to. It’s mostly pretty experimental and totally great (if I do say so myself). All profits are going to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

On top of that Gazelle Twin is just about to release the soundtrack to a film she collaborated on with Carla Mackinnon and Bernholz is working on new solo material as well as an exciting new project called Near Future with Neil Arthur from Blancmange. I’ve also heard some amazing new tracks from Acquaintance which I can’t wait to see released.

Other interesting things worth noting happening around Brighton right now?

Other than a massive phallic observation tower being erected on the seafront http://britishairwaysi360.com/ and the mods generally living in harmony with the rockers Brighton is very much buzzing. There are a lot of local acts receiving attention like Traams, Tigercub and Fear Of Men and loads more too who deserve a ton of success; Merlin Tonto, Foreign Skin (who’s remixed our new single), Lactose, Japanese Sweets, Sea Bed…

Great Pagans new single “Call Of The Void” is available now from Anti-Ghost Moon Ray.

Western Medication

Nashville's Western Medication; photographed by Angelina Castillo.
Nashville’s Western Medication; photographed by Angelina Castillo.

Regular readers and DIY pop culture enthusiasts are aware of the addictive allure of Western Medications oeuvre of music. From releases on imprints such as JeffreyDrag, Lou Reed Records, Thee Funeral Party, and more; word has it on good authority that the Nashville quartet of Justin, Josh, Devin, & Kevin have been working on their forthcoming album debut, The Entertainer’s Secret, premiering the witching wonder of “Witch Parade” (available today on 7″ from Funeral Party). Though the lineup has changed up in the past half-decade of the group’s existence, frontman Justin Landis continues to steer the sound westward toward new continued earworm-hook developments of tonal dimensions, cadences, and creative experimentation.

“Witch Parade” might have some of the boldest and brightest chords not written by Gene Clark. Western Medication paints a picture of the band wagons and pageants that praise the most unsavory of characters on accounts of unearned praise or legitimate accolades. The song makes something of a subtle dig at the shameless and most ruthless characters of the industry that are celebrated on the basis of their own cults of personality, sans substance. The catchy chime of riffs, and passionate harmony of the delivery can barely hide Western Medication’s disdain for the proverbial lemming mentality of the great awful & terrible “Witch Parade” that props up every vacuous television talking head/reality show hero/etc that is in your face everywhere from pushy billboard advertisements, supermarket magazine racks, and so on. Western Medication is here to disrupt the regularly scheduled opiate administration of status quo ordered complacency. Justin Landis took the time to chat with us about the new recordings in an interview session featured immediately after the following listen to “Witch Parade”.

Give us the tale about how Western Medication came to be.

I’ve always grown up playing in hardcore bands but I was trying to play in other groups that were outside of that world. I was getting brushed aside so many times that I figured I would just start working on my own stuff. The line up has changed a lot since the beginning but the way I write has always more or less stayed the same. Write a country song, remove the twang, add 80s pop melody leads. As members come and go we just work to the strengths of the people in the lineup. It’s fun for the band to constantly be evolving as it changes hands.

What sorts of insights about the recording of your debut album can you all share

We wanted the album to flow together as one collective piece of music. Almost like a performance with an intermission in the middle to flip the record over.

“Witch Parade” is a brilliant track, and like the chanting refrain, what sorts of shameless behavior informed this song?

I won’t get into the details of who or what it’s about but it does refer to the type of person that is just so charming and charismatic that everyone around them is blinded by how dark their actions really are. Everyone just wants you to forget about what a crooked person they are and join in on the witch parade with them.

What do you all dig about Nashville right now?

Nashville’s a city were most people grow up with a guitar in their house or their family is involved in the music industry in some way. That means there is so much talent floating around here that you really have to bring your A game if you want to be relevant, but at the same time it has a southern charm to it that I don’t think you can find in other cities where the music and entertainment industry is prevalent.

Other artists you all want to give a shout out to that are doing great things?

There’s a great scene growing right now from high school kids in town and it makes me excited to see what comes in the next five years. I’m talking about Datenight, Jawws, Waxed, Dogs of Oz – they’re all below the age of 19.

Also…Music Band are the best thing that’s happened to Nashville since we got the Tennessee Titans when I was in 5th grade.

Hopes and aspirations for 2016?

Take this show to Europe. Guten tag!

Western Medication’s “Witch Parade” single is available now from Funeral Party.

Western Medication’s new album The Entertainer’s Secret will be available soon, listen to more from the band via Soundcloud.


Getting to know Athens, GA's PURSES; press photo courtesy of the band.
Getting to know Athens, GA’s PURSES; press photo courtesy of the band.

Athens, Georgia band PURSES is made up up of Drew Beskin (of The District Attorneys), who share with us a first listen to their new singles “Clementine/White Wire Handle” available today. The Southern working class sound of the band is fleshed out by Crooked Fingers’ Jeremy Wheatley, Grand Vapids’ McKendrick Bearden, Tedo Stone’s Frank Keith, Modern Skirts’ Phillip Brantley, and Blue Blood’s Hunter Morris who are all also readying their upcoming album Obsess Much for release April 22 via Laser Brains. PURSES build songs organically from rudimental foundations that invites every aspect and instrument of talent to find an infectious contribution that creates the group’s collective sound as a whole.

“White Wire Handle” breaks out of the gates with thoughts on aging, and the happenstance state of occurrences and an upbeat kind of chaos. Catchy chorus lyrics like “house is on fire” completing the lyrical couplet with “tangled in the wire” illustrates something between the surreal and urgent. From here chords rage like the shooting fire of pyrotechnic flames, as “Clementine” turns the focus toward ideas of the self being ripped apart into halves on the breakdown breather. From here the storm picks right up where the histrionics described feel like something out of an alt. version of an “I Love Lucy” rerun that leaves you smiling at the end after all is said and done. Join us after the listen for an interview with PURSES’ main main Drew Beskin.

What are the latest and greatest happenings in Athens, Georgia these days?

Um, everything GREAT in Athens is happening very LATE with the exception of the Pho restaurants. Those always close too damn early. Athens is still one of the best musical communities because there are a dozen great venues to go check out all sorts of bands in a 1 mile radius. Its fantastic, there is always a great show happening or about to happen. There is also this insanely pro band called PURSES that decided to give the world some joy and release some original tunes and it just so happens that 2 new songs were released today!

Tell us about how PURSES was founded, and how did Jeremy Wheatley of Crooked Fingers, Grand Vapids’ McKendrick Bearden, Tedo Stone’s Frank Keith, Modern Skirts’ Phillip Brantley, and Blue Blood’s Hunter Morris join the group?

PURSES was just a personal need/desire to get into a recording studio and make an album. Jeremy, Frank, Hunter, Mckendrick were all friends of mine and musicians who I have toured/played with in the past and knew we could go into the studio and come up with something fun and do it in a short amount of time. Later on Phillip joined the live act and contributed all of our artwork.

How do you describe your collective collaborative style?

When we were in the studio there really wasn’t any particular rule or direction. Each member was invited/asked to play because I trusted and admired their own personal musical choices in the past. They are all very creative. It was really as simple as writing a song then bringing it to the guys to quickly learned. We tried not to spend too much time on any song. I am a big fan of you first instinct being the right one. If you labor over art for something too long you might get in the way of what the music is trying to do on its own.

Describe the making of the singles “Clementine” and “White Wire Handle”.

“Clementine” started off as an acoustic folk song so the finished product was a far cry from how I wrote it which was really refreshing to me. Every band member put their own hooks into that song immediately. The first 5-10 seconds of that song is really rad. That was all Hunter and McKendrick and it really makes the song. “White Wire Handle” is probably the hardest rocking song on the record and its just an energetic song with a cool mid section that has its own tiny world. I had pieces of that song written five years ago but making this album inspired me to finish it because I knew it would work perfectly with this band.

Tell us then further about the making of the new album Obsess Much.

Half of the album was recorded at Chase Park Transductions in Athens, Ga and the other have was made in my apartment in Athens. Drew Vandenberg (engineer, co-producer) would just yell at me until I sung the songs in the right key and then he let me go eat something. That’s pretty much how I remembered the entire process. The whole thing was done very fast in like 6-8 days.

Other local artists and bands we should know about?

The bands that make up PURSES (Blue Blood, Tedo Stone, Grand Vapids, Crooked Fingers and Modern Skirts) are all favorites of mine. Muuy Biien is also a great band that must be experienced. Too many great acts coming out of Athens right now.

Advice and wisdom from PURSES?

Listen to our music and go see us in concert, it will make you smarter and stronger and more attractive. Keep an eye out for our album as well as upcoming Laser Brains (our record label) releases like the Hand Stuff album and many more to be announced.

PURSES’ singles “Clementine / White Wire Handle” are available today, with the upcoming album Obsess Much available April 22 from Laser Brains. Catch the band locally celebrating at Athens’ The World Famous with their buddies Tedo Stone and Hand Stuff Saturday, March 12.

Ora Cogan

Introducing Vancouver's own Ora Cogan; photographed by Serena Shipp.
Introducing Vancouver’s own Ora Cogan; photographed by Serena Shipp.

From the eclectic & creative land of Vancouver, get to know the natural sounds of sincerity and the perpetual search for serenity with the music of Ora Cogan. With word that her new album Shadowland is slated for release this spring via Hidden City Records, it is our pleasure and privilege to present the debut of “Ground and Grave”. Ora’s style of strumming strikes every note in the same way that the tempo and rush of the way a creek sounds when met with the pebbles and stones that are strewn throughout the paths of a watery channel. The acoustic elements of her arrangements will bring to mind and ear the great contemporary troubadours, along with the tune-smiths & Americana album rockers from the twentieth century.

“Ground and Grave” grapples with items of the earthly, mortal, and material order of matters. The subtle and restrained delivery allows every aspect of the song’s intimacy and heart to be heard as moments that are re-kindled and re-imagined before the listener’s ear and the theater of imagination. Through the trickling pitter-patter of string sections and stories unfinished, some unspoken, with affinities and feelings for one another revealed-Ora illustrates all this and more to convey some of the strongest connections and bonds that humans can hold for one another in a universe that we all inhabit.

Ora Cogan shared the following thoughts with us on her upcoming album Shadowland:

Shadowland is an introverted album I think. Personally it has been about metamorphosis, big feelings, autonomy and beautiful landscapes.

I wrote these songs while in southern New Mexico and living on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The landscapes of those places where the biggest inspiration for the melodies and the choices of cover songs.

Ora Cogan’s album Shadowland will be available this spring through Hidden City Records.

Crown Plaza

Echo Park lovelies Crown Plaza; press photo courtesy of the band.
Echo Park lovelies Crown Plaza; press photo courtesy of the band.

Bringing you the latest from Nima Kazerouni, the So Many Wizards frontman shares the latest from his once solo side Crown Plaza with the Noah Dickinson & Max R. Holland video for the moving portrait of life dichotomies on “Staring At The Wall”. The visuals descends with word of the upcoming Crown Plaza Staring at the Wall / LGO 7” available in April from Danger Collective Records. Visuals that encompass the actual life worlds inhabited by Kazerouni as seen as split between time spent in Long Beach and Echo Park where time is split between spending time with his daughter Vera to the fast paced life as an artist.

“Staring At The Wall” is made up of the intimate indicators and signifiers that comprise a Crown Plaza song that depict the endless emotions and notes on the ennui that exists with the passage of time as understood through the inner dialogue of passing thoughts and notions. The guitars echo out into the great infinity, while drum machines and effects work in conjunction to retain a sense of warmth and a pensive cause for pause. The slow motion like effects of the video brings together the title motif of gazing forth into blank or decorated spaces where thoughts on family, friends, responsibilities to loved ones, band dedications, and more are observed through the lens of dreaming in the awakened world. Nima joins us after the following video viewing for another round of discussion.

Describe the balance between family life in Long Beach & your own creative pursuits in Echo Park that inspired “Staring at the Wall”.

Both worlds are so different from one another yet require so much attention and care. Everyone is counting on me to stay on top of it and this could naturally be stressful and frustrating. However, as I get older, I’m able to sift through the bullshit and get to the heart of what is important in order to be both a great father and band leader. This track is a celebration of that and to the theme of always doing what you love regardless of how crazy it appears.

I love all the personal touches of how the video captures the two worlds you inhabit between taking care of your daughter Vera, to the scenes and circuits and your own moments of reflective pause in the midst of everything. What was it like conveying these intimate moments visually?

Would have to say it was pretty surreal to convey and reenact such intimate moments. Felt very natural and easy to do so however. Director Noah Dickinson is to credit for this. He was able to capture moments when I forgot the camera was there. The slow motion touch was also perfect for enhancing the feelings conveyed. Ultimately though I guess it’s easy to convey emotions that are so raw and current to your own life.

Catching up with Nima Kazerouni and Crown Plaza.
Catching up with Nima Kazerouni and Crown Plaza.

Thoughts on how your solo project Crown Plaza has evolved over the years?

Crown Plaza has evolved so much from the one-man Casio act. There are so many people that now collaborate from producing to writing parts as a band. The four piece setup we now with Christina Galliard on drums and backing vocals is a dream come true live and on record. Martin Tomemitsu who also plays guitar in So Many Wizards is quite phenomenal on bass and his low baritone backing vocals are a perfect supplement to my falsettos. Couldn’t be happier with the last addition of James Roehl on lead guitar. He’s the most tasteful and groovy dude I know. On the production end, a lot of different collaborators have come forward to make my bedroom pop sound as big and put together as possible. On “Staring At The Wall, ”my friend Keith Milgaten aka Jamuel Saxon helped with supplementary percussion sounds that really took the song to the next level. My good friend Vincent Mazza co-produced the track with me and further created much needed dynamic changes to certain parts. I’m pretty thankful for everyone working with me on such an intimate project and for Danger Collective Records for putting out the 7’ later this spring/summer.

What other items do you have in the works?

Crown Plaza is in the mixing stages of our debut FULL LENGTH LP! So excite for this. My good friend Scott Barber is mixing and co producing with us and he’s taking the sound and vision to the next level. Nectarine which is my Long Beach doo-wop sad goth project is coming out with an EP later this year as well and So Many Wizard is putting out the sophomore full length on Lolipop on all formats late Summer. Lots of stuff that I need to stagger.

Other Echo Park/LA/everywhere acts that we should be checking out?

So many good echo park bands. Feels, Winter, Franky Flowers, L.A. Takedown to name a few.

The new Crown Plaza 7″ Staring at the Wall / LGO will be available in April from Danger Collective Records.


From Miami Beach, Florida we bring you Ex Norwegian; photographed by Olivia A. Photography.
From Miami Beach, Florida we bring you Ex Norwegian; photographed by Olivia A. Photography.

Last week we featured the Carlos Laylle video for Ex Norwegian’s single “On The Sidelines” and today we bring you our roundtable conversation with Michelle Grand, Roger Houdaille, & Giuseppe Rodriguez to discuss the band’s own perspectives from the proverbial sidelines:

What do you all dig about the Miami scenes right now?

Giuseppe: I love how the Miami scene has grown from a bunch of smaller scenes to a more unified front. And how when one venue closes, another one seems to pop up. Things are poppin right now.

Michelle: It seems to be getting more attention these days, which is great for us! We’re usually kinda cut off from all the action over here.

Describe what sorts of feelings being on the sidelines or margins impacted the song “On The Sidelines”.

Roger: As Michelle said, we’re a bit cut off over here in Miami. We are on the sidelines, so to speak. It can be alienating. And the general frustration of not being able to get your music across to the indifferent, or “Spotified” audiences is what inspired this song. What “Spotified” means, I can’t exactly define, but regardless, I’ll take credit for coining the phrase.

Living that life with Ex Norwegian; press photo courtesy of the band.
Living that life with Ex Norwegian; press photo courtesy of the band.

What was the super lively video adaptation for the single like? Looks like you all had a great time.

Roger: It’s funny because the director and I really analyzed the hell out of the song and its meaning, and we had a more serious video in mind. But when you get the four of us together like that, we can can’t help but have a great time and goon a bit. Still, the idea is there…the idea of alienation, frustration, indifference. But it really pops with color and scenery. One of the ideas was to have all types of emotions and messages coming thru…I think we did achieve that much.

Giuseppe: I like the end when you see “wake up” written on the wall…so perfect!

What are you all excited about for your March tour dates?

Lucas: Fresh air! Some good road time, rocking with some cool bands, meeting new friends, and some sightseeing.

Roger: I’m really looking forward to playing the songs. We haven’t hit the road in a while, and even though we got 6 albums to draw material from, we’ll be previewing some brand new material. That us, always keeping it fresh!
Michelle: Playing cities we haven’t played before and doing some sessions for blogs will be awesome!

Next things in the pipeline from Ex Norwegian?

Roger: There’s a new albums worth of material just ready to be recorded. And hopefully we’ll get more touring opportunities, get our foot in the festival circuit and keep making music, attracting discerning listeners and selling digital songs for 99 cents!

Ex Norwegian’s Pure Gold is available now via Bandcamp.


Colfrancui, Veneto, Italy's Krano; press photo courtesy of the artist.
Colfrancui, Veneto, Italy’s Krano; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Meet Krano, from the Italian region of Veneto, and the community of Colfrancui. the outsider artist lends us a little rustic rural strum along styles with the single “Mi E Ti” from his forthcoming album Requiescat In Plavem available April 8 from Maple Death Records. An artist who is revered by fellow artists like Mike Donovan of Sic Alps & Peacers (who incidentally also do the liner notes), Krano delivers a drawl like the best alt-country rocking cowboy who sings in a local dialect that sounds like spaghetti-westerns crossed with the attitude of cosmic cowboys & cowgirls. For those who love anything with harmonica in a it, and lazy progression strums; “Me E Ti” is here to encourage your weekend of endless indolence.

Maple Death Records boss and His Clancyness frontman Jonathan Clancy said this about Krano:

When I received this record I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It came with no notes, just a letter in broken English. For days I made up lyrics to it trying to crack and uncover the language, dreaming of some Latin American retreat. Little did I know I was actually taking a stroll up the Piave river, plunging through pre-war cascades, seeing feverish trees set mountains in motion and a Veneto valley full of psychedelic beauty naked in front of my eyes. The man was from Prosecco region, in Veneto and the record is all stories based around the Piave river (close to Venice, ends in the Adriatic Sea). Krano recorded R.I.P up in the hills behind Valdobbiadene, armed with a trusty 8-track tape machine. Then he disappeared into silence. As always it took a faithful caring friend to deliver the goods and send me that letter. Four years later here we are, music on wax, a man that deserves to be heard and a river that is still flowing.

The record is sung in Veneto dialect, the region around Venice. It’s a very weird and raw mix of 70s era Neil Young, Meat Puppets, Country Teasers, Morricone, 60s Italian music, Skip Spence and a ton of different things.

Watch the following album teaser for Krano’s Requiescat In Plavem:


Sego's Spencer P. & Thomas C.; press photo courtesy of the duo.
Sego’s Spencer P. & Thomas C.; press photo courtesy of the duo.

LA’s Sego just released the Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around LP via Dine Alone Records and we give you a stream of the latest from Spencer Petersen & Thomas Carroll set to the visual loops from GIF artist Kidmograph (aka Gustavo Torres). Observe and experience how the Provo, Utah by LA duo’s grooves become further illuminated with a collection of images & characters.

Sego’s “Obscene Dream” illustrates comical symbols of the erotic & outright absurd, to the glittering monetary tales of fails on “False Currency”, dealing with lightning bolts & burgers on the youthful reflections of “20 Years Tall”. Gustavo employs galactic graphics for “Stars”, to the face melting and morphing fun about life in the margins on “The Fringe”, compiling the symbols that comprise the nine-to-five glitch train of “Day Job”, before getting jagged and mesmerizing on “Micky Macali”, before taking you to the analog mind twisting “Engineer Amnesia” of manufactured forgetfulness. “Fool Around” finds the levity in life’s cycles, to the photo ripping mobius strip of “Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around”, the distorted faces of gruff laughter on “Proper Noise”, to the psych-cycle romp through the technicolor toy chest of “Wicket Youth”, closing it out with the statement and search for belonging and life pursuits on the uplifting “Where I Belong”. Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around chronicles in total the duo’s departure from Utah for the west coast draw of Pacific beaches and new settings and sounds to explore.

Spencer from Sego shared with us some insights into the journeys and movements that informed the new album:

I draw heavily from my own experiences here. This record, in sequence, essentially chronicles my transition from life in Utah, venturing around the country, landing in Los Angeles, then making sense of things there. A lot happened. Nothing happened. Sums up my 20s. Coming of age, but never quite making age.

Musically, this is the first time in a while that I’ve been creatively sovereign, thus enabling me to work in some more awkward atonal and abstract elements that I’ve always been fond of. It’s also the first time that I’ve really stepped up to the mic as lead singer. This changed my entire outlook on how I approach songwriting and performance. Much more personal.

Sego’s new album Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around is available now from Dine Alone Records.

From the upcoming Hella Personal Film Festival available March 25 from Mello Music Group, check out the new single from Open Mike Eagle & producer Paul White with “Admitting the Endorphin Addiction” that breaks down the feelings to the basic chemical constituents. OME as per always provides listeners with an intimate view of the reasons and rationales of why we do what we do, act the way we act, and feel the way we feel in a way that examines everything under a humanist and honest lyrical microscope. The true spokesman for our generation, if you ask this writer.

Introducing Sacramento’s new power-pop proponents Sunday School that deliver the heavy hooks and licks forged together by a band of childhood chums. The debut single “That’s Reasonable (I’m Not)” breaks the angst of garage penned portraits of inequity and the musical energy that’s prescribed to overcome the obstacles. From here the quiet/loud dichotomy is put into the catchy fist clenched pumps of expression where the emotion swiftly becomes turned up as the song inches toward the three minute mark.

L’Orange & Jeremiah Jae’s The Night Took Us Like Family album is available now from Mello Music Group, and we bring you the MERO directed lyrical video for the track “The Night Took Us Like Family” ft. Homeboy Sandman. Art deco imagery descends and ascends before your eyes to the smooth sounds and life lessons to learn, earn, and abide by.

Bloomington, Indiana’s Hoops began first as a solo project of love, noise, and ambiance by Drew Auscherman who would later expand the band during the summer season of 2014 to include guitarist Keagan Beresford, bassist Kevin Krauter, and percussionist James Allen. Presenting a listen to Tape #3 for us today; the quartet includes the previous two cassettes together with their latest lo-fi home-made masterpieces.Feel the affection on “4UPT.2”, feel the passion that persists on “All My Life”, feel the emerald essence that illuminates beneath the water’s surface on “Underwater Theme”, feel the punky pain on “I’m Hurting”, and feel all the feels on “Feelin’ Fine”. Order your cassette directly from the band when you email them via hoopsband69@gmail.com, and catch Hoops playing on the road between now and April 16.

Playing SxSW March 15-20, watch Julia Jacklin’s romantic video for “Pool Party” from Sam Brumby & Anna Phillips. The Auckland, NZ artist sings out her folk-trad-steeped ballad in the presences of the athletic object of her affection. Jacklin creates a homecoming ballroom anywhere she goes in pursuit of her crush.

The DITC crew dropped the track “4 Da Block” featuring OC, produced by Motif Alumni delivering a new joint from the forthcoming compilation. The NYC pack drops a statement about the mantra of day to day ethics that are acknowledge and operated under on the block. You’re now about to witness the strength of motivation 101.

New York improv artists Sunwatchers’ release their self-titled today via Castle Face where you can experience some of the most expressive free-form (yet guarded) fusion exercises where horns, rhythm, and notes align and collide in the most mind expanding manners. Imagine the the past decades of pan-African jazz facets and forms where epic artifices and monuments are built with sound before your very ears.

Playing shows through April 15 featuring select dates with Porches and Your Friend; watch Alex G’s video for “Mud” off his recent Domino release Beach Music. A video made by Alex Giannascoli himself and Colin Acchione, watch the artist travel about the nature trails to city streets featuring cameos from fellow DIY icon Emily Yacina and more.

Giving us a taste of their follow-up to A.D., Angel Du$t deliver a rolicking listen to their rip-roaring new single “Stay” taken from their forthcoming album Rock The F**k On Forever available May 20 from Pop Wig Records.

North Carolina’s cool cats Kooley High dropped the YOUAINTRYAN & Napoleon Wright II directed video for “Carry On” ft. Sandra Gell (mom of Kooley High member Charlie Smarts) & produced by Eric G from their Heights EP. From here the collective gives you an intimate view to a live Kooley High performance with footage filmed during their release show at Raleigh, NC’s King’s Barcade.

Dowsing dropped the epic emotive power punk pop ballad “Kept Me Around” taken from their new album available April 29 from Asian Man Records (US) and Dog Knights Productions (EU/UK).

The rumors are true. Danny & Daniel of The Veldt are back with the forthcoming The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP available April 8 from Leonard Skully Records, and we have the NYC photographer Ed Marshall celestial visuals for the equally heavenly “Sanctified”. The minimalist but precious blue lit glow and beaming light from the sky. Shoegazers of the first wave and kings of the cult status, The Veldt has returned to show a whole new school of artists and listeners that can barely recall their cloud rap from their seapunk what real transcendental hypnagogic music can be.

Anna Wise of Sonnymoon will release her debut EP this spring and presents her self-made video for “BitchSlut”. Wise reverses the slut shaming judgement semantics for something that pushes toward a more edifying meaning.

Weaves self-titled album will be available June 17 via Kanine (US), Buzz Records (Canada), Memphis Industries (everywhere else), and we have the ultra-energetic fun & frenzy of “One More”. The chords and rhythms together swirl like the vortex eye of a storm all according to Weaves’ own intended design and audio aesthetic.

Konono Noº1 delivered some more rhythms to live by with the body & brain moving “Um Nzonzing”, taken from the anticipated Konono Nº1 meets Batida available April 29 on Crammed Discs.

Glasgow’s Spinning Coin have signed to the Geographic imprint (headed by The Pastels’ Stephen McRobbie), and are slated to record a full-length with Edwyn Collins in April/May, and we have a listen to their single “Albany” available as a 7″ April 15. That timeless Glaswegian sounds of tireless dreams and inner thought zones are heard as channeled through the XLR and amp cables that all lead to the connective chords of the heart.

For those in need of some mellow acoustic picked hymns for the weary working class, then soak your ears and feet in the Epsom salt twinkling bath of “It’s a Job” from Wolfie’s Just Fine upcoming debut album I Remembered but Then I Forgot available April 6 from Normal Guy Records.

With BRÅVES’ self-titled EP available now, check out their massive single “Big Fish” that brings about a passion greater than any big bass catch-off you’ve ever experienced.

Fucko’s Dealing With The Weird album is available now via Black Numbers, and the band announces upcoming tour dates running from April 16-26, and delivers the following listen of pop saturated scuzz from the siblings Sarah and Jacob Desmarais.

Hear the new single of humanist expression with “Human” from Caveman’s upcoming album Otero War available June 17 via Cinematic Music Group. Exchanges of the most primal and sophisticated are played out here in pop dialectics.

Watch the Ben Rispin and Lee Skinner video for The Dirty Nil’s “Wrestle Yü To Hüsker Dü” that thrashes out a host of “I don’t care about your man” disregards captured in all analog action. Luke Bentham from the band said this about the making of the video; “12 broken video cameras + illegal smoke bombs in confined spaces = The Dirty Nil live experience, captured for you in glorious VHS format.” Catch them on tour beginning today, hitting up SxSW with other stateside and European dates that run through May 15 (featuring select dates with Greys, Restorations, and Creepoid).

Keeping the message of “life, growth, elevation” pushing strong, John Robinson takes this message of hip hop culture advancement and more out to the streets with the I.D. 4 Windz (from Scienz of Life) produced joint Water The Plants, lending a listen to the title track. Available April 22, Robinson advocates for thought provoking dialogues illustrating the WTP lifestyle, with a drive aspiring to inspire flavors of all kinds.

Take in the gorgeous Kenaim of very emotional textures, patterns, and red/orange palettes that play about as the visuals for et aliae’s piano lead single “Heaven”. Taken from the artist’s Cascine EP Rose; the Singapore pianist/producer creates clusters of cloud cut melodies inflect new intonations of inspiration.

In more Cascine news, behold Mt. Si’s breathtaking video “Oh” from Garret Curtis from their debut EP Limits. Sarah Chernoff atop a mountain range outside Tel Aviv sings forth from a mountaintop in a hilly range on the outskirts of Tel Aviv to compliment the sound that both Chernoff and Jesse Kivel create together. Kivel described the video adaptation further with the following words:

The concept was to bring to life an image, someone else’s memory of a trip they took to their homeland. That picture and its stillness has come to define Mt. Si and the patient space the group exists in. Sarah stands before a mountain, thousands and thousands of years old. The sun goes up, the sun goes down. Life, death, an existential crisis, floating in the Dead Sea, stuck in limbo, it’s all in there.

For those searching down the boulevards for a bit of boudoir pop, then you need look no further than Brooke Aulani’s sensual steam riser “Bedroom Music” that slows down the tempos and hi-hats that come crashing into the billowing plush cushion of downy cushions and throw pillows.

Hear Sleeping Lion’s heartbreaking electro-romanticism of “Generous” that is guaranteed to crush your heart with lyrics like, “do you love me, or are you just generous.” The devastation resonates in harmonies and restrained production that lets the feelings set in through inexplicable channels.

Berlin quartet Fiordmoss follow up their recent two EPs with the single “Madstone” via Norway’s Diamond Club imprint. The video delves into the late evening situations of low light, and sparse colors that create something of a modern day thriller of witchcraft, mysteries, and madness set to intense electronic arrangements.

In case you missed it, hear Jon Denman’s remix (aka _fang) of Ruby My Dear’s “Flourisher” that flashes stems of bright colorful light that shines and sparkles like a floral garden after the commencing rains that signal the dawn of a new spring.

Remy Banks is about to tour March 24 through May 17 along with Flatbush Zombies, and bring you the video for “n1go” off 2015’s excellent release higher. With visuals courtesy of Be The Gun, John Ford, Joey 2 Bunn & Joel Craigs for Glance Productions; the World’s Fair emcee rolls about London late at night while Black Noi$e’s production turns the vibe into the soundtrack of the 8-bit NES adventure never played.

Michelle Zauner of Little Big League continues to make attention capturing cuts as Japanese Breakfast, dropping this week the devastating yet supremely sophisticated single “The Woman That Loves You” off the forthcoming solo album Pyschopompavailable April 1 from Yellow K Records. An addictive synth-syrup is poured all over the glistening guitars and other keys involved frame the song’s scenes of discourse, dissolution, and dysfunction heard in Zauner’s heart striking refrain, “Don’t you think you should try to do as little harm as you can to the woman that loves you?” Michelle like the greatest of gifted songwriters exhibits the complications involved during all this, the last ditch solution efforts, the ‘couple for the weekend’ paradigm, and more in a way that feels more real and moving with multiple listens.

LA’s Devon Geyer and his band Decorations just dropped the celebratory Ronnie Rose video for “Girls” featured off their debut EP. Watch as Devon gets a crowd all enthralled & enamored over his synth-saturated sounds and big-pop-bop.

Ian Vanek of Japanther continues to support his second LP A Smurf at Land’s End created under the chosen moniker Howardian with a tour in motion that sees a stop in San Francisco stop at Thee Parkside on Friday March 25. In case you haven’t already, get to know Ian’s latest dozen of ditties that just might inspire you to record your own home made opus.

BRONCHO has announced the forthcoming event of a new album titled Double Vanity, sharing the dream DIY pop haze and heralding guitars of the eyelash batting crush of, “Fantasy Boys”.

For those that missed it through the buzz lines and usual channels, meet City Slang’s latest signee sir Was who presents the debut single “a Minor Life” that takes you on a very cold, and lonely personal passageway by bike to some of the most emotional and dreamy music around.

Pure Joy will release their debut album Bang Flower April 1 via Fresh Goods / Republic Of Music and we have the video for “Girl”. The UK group grabs the great book of favorite iconographic cult bands of undergrounds past and turns it over a few more pages to present their own take on elegant & ethereal pop art. Contender for one of the best singles you will have heard all week, as Pure Joy earnestly lives up to the euphoric sentiment implied by the group’s chosen moniker.

Bunki shared the meditative atmospheric hushes on the new single “Daniel” that provides a very eerie yet expansive sound-stage world. The South London artist has been working with VV Brown and Leiik, while fostering his own thriller form of solo work that could be dubbed music for celluloid blockbusters. The 7″ will be available April 8 through squareglass.

With her EP Things We Say available today, check out the neon light bathed for Linney’s “That Night” from Christian Cardona & Eric Soboleski that reminisces about the evening and moments to keep on insant replay set to

an ultra-electric pop production. Baltimore’s Great American Canyon Band lead by Paul and Kristal Jean Masson will bring their debut album Only You Remain into the world April 8 through Six Degrees Records, and we have a listen to the heart haunting single “Undertow”. This is the feeling for anyone who has felt head over heels about anyone or anything, who has ever felt the overwhelming rush of everything all at once, and for anyone who has ever longed to be consumed by a sound that might understand the most cryptic codes of the spirit and self.

In case you haven’t heard, get ready for the absolutely massive Egyptian Lover 1983-1988 Anthology available April 15 from Stones Throw, including recording of a 1985 performance of “Egypt, Egypt” for a concert held at Santa Ana Stadium, including World Class Wrecking Cru (what’s up, Dre) and L.A. Dream Team. An event not to be missed.

Kenton Slash Demon dropped a listen from their new 12″ single available March 11 from Future Classic, dropping the big-bumping hypnotic-hypnagogic beats on “TT”. The duo from Denmark continues to re-invent how we interpret and enjoy the percussion formations of today’s EDM with every new spondaic slice of audio.

Knocking down the door, walls, and formerly closed windows; rock out with Gangs as they either will motivate you to start your own posse or display wild acts of constructive aggression to with the single “Knock The Door”. This is the Glaswegian gang making their presence known to the world, cutting their teeth with some big curious crunchy riffs that make them a group to keep a close ear on.

Naples’ Stella Diana shared the haunting single “Sulphur”, sending shivers to cascade up and down your spine from their forthcoming album Nitocris available April 1 via Vipchoyo Sound Factory. This is the sound of the ending of your favorite cult-Euro romantic action thriller ever.

The TVC dropped the track that moves past the monetary motion on the peppy single “Money” ft. Amir Girgis, taken off the forthcoming Talk About Us EP. The keys and chords move past the currency constraints of weights and exchanges for the heart and soul of it all.

Get grungy and hella heavy with Houston, Texas scuzz-riders Narrow Head, dropping the Layne Staley-era Alice in Chain feels on “Feels Like Sand”. These here are muddy dirges for every lone cowboy who has waded their way through lands o’ sands to find water and something other than the granules of grains that kick beneath the soles of their boots.

Houston’s Chase DeMaster operates under the handle children of pop sharing the electro-glitch muddle & flutter of “Manic” off What Does 69 Mean? available May 6 from Frenchkiss and The Orchard imprint #veryjazzed.

Torn Hawk lent all the frank feels with the chord-resonating single “Feeling is Law” taken off the upcoming album Union and Return available soon from Mexican Summer. Let these legislative sentiments course all throughout your system.

For those in need of an arsenal of good vibes to get your weekend started, then might we recommend the Rayet of Danish artist Nabiha’s “Weapon”. Nabiha x Rayet together prove that beats are indeed louder than bombs.

Ohal is an Israel by NYC artist/activist shared the Nic Hamilton visuals for her experimental vocal scaling single “Wintertime” from her upcoming album Acid Park available May 13 from Styles Upon Styles.

In case you missed it, experience Omodada’s “All My Gods” feat. Tik Tu remixed by Ummagma where suddenly the requests of wishes and wants opens the sky up wide. The Ternopil, Ukraine act finds their stems being treated to a newfound array of sequences and new-realized paths to tread.

Essaie pas’s Week in Pop

Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau, aka Essaie pas, recently gifted us their “Préliminaires Mix“, following on the heels of their much-lauded DFA release, Demain est une autre nuit, and more. Today we gladly give you Essaie pas’s Week in Pop guest selections:

A glimpse of the future

Essaie pas's Pierre & Marie; press photo.
Essaie pas’s Pierre & Marie; press photo.

Intimate music

Marie & Pierre of Essaie pas; press photo.
Marie & Pierre of Essaie pas; press photo.

Les damnés

Essaie pas at Hangar 49, Berlin; photographed by Shub Roy.
Essaie pas at Hangar 49, Berlin; photographed by Shub Roy.

The master

In the mix with Essaie pas; press photo.
In the mix with Essaie pas; press photo.

Favorite DJ!

Marie & Pierre; photographed by Sylvain Séchet, at Espace B Paris.
Marie & Pierre; photographed by Sylvain Séchet, at Espace B Paris.

Jock Club revisits Pelada with this Jeff Mills-esque version of Ten Cuidado

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