“Like many important bands, Seattle quartet Versing got their start in college radio—Tacoma’s KUPS. The group’s main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Salas served as alternative music director there, where he met guitarist Graham Baker, drummer Max Keyes, and bassist Kirby Lochner. Now Versing are poised to spread their coolly combustible brand of rock on those said airwaves…and beyond if the world knows what’s good for it.
Baker, Keyes, Lochner, and Salas have risen through Seattle’s competitive rock ecosphere with nonchalant élan. They cheekily titled a previous album Nirvana, but never mind the bleach: Versing isn’t emulating Sub Pop’s most famous artist. Rather, these four twentysomething aesthetes are forging an exciting sound that finds a golden mean between lustrous noise and ebullient melody.
Emerging from a stint as a drummer in a stoner-metal band, Salas formed Versing as a vehicle to vent obliquely about his political and social views with irony and humor. Populated with strange characters, his songs often double as “critiques of centrism and conservatism, from a leftist perspective. That’s a theme: committing to something or doing something that may be hard but is the better option. However, when I write politically, it’s more allegorical and can be interpreted beyond the political realm. I find that more interesting to write about than my personal life.”
That being said, the pell-mell, ostinato-laced “Renew,” which Salas says is his most hopeful song, has a personal message. “It’s about taking time to care for yourself—even when things are all weird and fucked up.” Meanwhile, the immersive, pummeling “Offering” evokes those twin pillars of 1988 rock: My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anythingand Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. “I just really enjoy that droning line of guitar feedback,” Salas says. “We use a lot of feedback on our songs, but I think that’s one of the more deliberately musical uses we’ve found for it. It’s sort of a fantastical song about traveling through a mystical portal to stop an encroaching force of evil, and the feedback is like the whirring sound the portal makes.”
Radiant Dawn‘s nine tracks meld raw analog hardware with frontman Dan Boeckner‘s distinctive voice to create an immersive cinematic sound. Interspersed between the tracks are instrumental inter-titles that amplify the album’s 1970s sci-fi dystopian feel.
For fans of Boeckner’s catalogue (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) Radiant Dawn feels like the next logical step in the artist’s two decade career, while maintaining a completely fresh energy.
Ride return with the 6th studio album of their career and their second since reforming in 2014 and signing to Wichita.
As with their previous album, Weather Diaries, Erol Alkan was in the producer’s chair, and Alan Moulder (with Caesar Edmunds) took care of the mixing (making this the fourth Ride album he has worked on).
Gathering influences from sources such as the Jean Michel Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican, and the post punk sound of The Fall and Sonic Youth, Ride have made an album which contains echoes of their earliest days as a band, while bringing these elements into 2019.
Both musically and lyrically, this is clearly an album made by a band who love being back together and who are at the very top of their game.
Double LP on limited edition green/blue vinyl (1000 copies) or black, includes a download code for album MP3s. This 2LP is released on Friday 16th August.
Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut “Careless”, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album “The Demonstration”the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.
Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror.
Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own self-identity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side”, possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment.
The first single, “Ellipsis”, romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division”, Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin”, a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence.
Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.
Produced by Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and mastered by Dave Cooley, with appearances by Jasamine White-Gluz (No Joy) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (NIN, Beck, M83, Air). Packaging and design by Juan Mendez of Jealous God/Silent Servant. Photography by Nedda Afsari (Muted Fawn).
First edition pressing on 45 RPM hi-fi double LP, packaged in 24pt sturdy wide spine reverse board jacket with two reverse board euro sleeve lyric inserts. CD comes packaged in classic clear jewelcase inside a spined reverse board slip-case with lyric booklet.
Mercury-nominated Northampton composer/producer Maps is set to release his fourth album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ on the 10th May 2019 through Mute, and today shares a new track from the album called ‘Just Reflecting’.
Maps (James Chapman) had this to say about the new release:
“I wanted to push everything to the limit with this record, and explore new territory for Maps. The orchestral instrumentation and addition of other musicians and singers played a huge part in finding the purer and more human emotion I was searching for. I learnt the violin as I was growing up, so I’m glad it finally came in useful!”
In only one week, Bob Mould returns with an entirely new catalogue of music on his full-length album Sunshine Rock, available February 8th via Merge Records. The record features the recently released tracks ‘What Do You Want Me To Do‘ and title-track ‘Sunshine Rock‘. Today, Mould shares his latest single ‘Lost Faith‘: a socially conscious song that sheds light on the mental friction caused from a mixture of facts, fiction, and biased opinions dispersed in the media.
Mould explains of the ‘Lost Faith’ concept:
“The video follows the protagonist who is trying to find solace and anonymity in an increasingly corrupt world filled with paranoia and misinformation. We see him being questioned about his real intent, apprehended by a fictitious yet familiar looking border security, then interrogated about the life he left behind.
Shot in Berlin, the video switches into dream sequences filled with chases, captures, and escapes. There’s a mosh pit of half-naked dancers, an accordionist in a church square, and the climax being a wild pursuit through the surrealistic ruins of a decommissioned CIA listening station.”
Oxford indie/math rock band Foals have announced a new 2-part album called Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. Part 1 is available for now here.
Part 1 will be released on March 8th. Part 2 will be released Autumn 2019.
The announcement states:
We couldn’t be more excited for you to hear all the work we’ve poured ourselves into over the past 18 months. The albums which will be coming out are two halves of the same locket. They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.
Musically, we pushed ourselves to the furthest limit. Lyrically, the songs resonate with what’s going on in the world at the moment. These songs are white flags, or mirrors, or attempts to work through the confusing times we live in… each in a different way.
They are offering a special Collector’s Edition which includes the following:
24 page hardcover book
Album on 12” violet coloured 180g vinyl
Exits 7” vinyl single – exclusive to this set
FLAC + MP3 download card of the album
2 exclusive art prints, 1 of which will be individually numbered and signed by a member of the band
Foals 2019 tour dates
3/16 – Mexico City, Mexico – Vive Latino 2019 3/18 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theater 3/19 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater 3/20 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre 3/22 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater 3/23 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park 3/24 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium 3/27 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl 3/30 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Lollapalooza 2019 3/31 – Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza 2019 4/2 – Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza Sideshow @ Teatro La Cúpula 4/5 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Lollapalooza 2019 4/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel 4/16 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club 4/19 – Boston, MA – House of Blues 4/20 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore 4/22 – Toronto, Ontario – Rebel 4/24 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant 4/26 – Detroit, MI – Saint Andrews Hall 4/27 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre 4/28 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave 4/30 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue 5/3-5 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival 2019 5/12 – Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique 5/13 – Paris, France – Bataclan 5/15 – Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks 5/16 – Milan, Italy – Fabrique 5/17 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Den Atelier 5/19 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso 5/20 – Berlin, Germany – Huxleys 5/24 – Newcastle, England – This Is Tomorrow 2019 6/5 – Hamburg, Germany – Grosse Freiheit 6/6 – Aaarhus, Denmark – Northside Festival 6/7-9 – Nürburg, Germany – Rock Am Ring 2019 6/11 – Manchester, England – O2 Victoria Warehouse 6/14 – Tunbridge Wells, England – Bedgebury Pinetum 6/15 – Birmingham, England – Digbeth Arena 6/18 – Glasgow, Scotland – SWG3 Galvanizers Yard 6/20 – Thetford, England – Thetford Forest 6/21 – London, England – Alexandra Palace 6/24-26 – Zagreb, Croatia – Inmusic Festival 6/26 – Bournemouth, England – International Centre 7/2 – Dublin, Ireland – Trinity College 7/5 – Barcelona, Spain – Festival Cruïlla 2019 7/5-7 – Ewijk, Netherlands – Down The Rabbit Hole 7/26-28 – Benidorm, Spain – Low Festival 2019 8/1-3 – Lustenau, Austria – Szene Open Air
Presale begins tomorrow, 22 January at 10 AM local.
Alternapop favs The Twilight Sad are releasing their new album, the band’s 5th full-length, It Won’t Be Like This All The Time, on January 19th. It was announced last fall and they’ve been slowly releasing tracks from the upcoming album.
This will be their first album on Mogwai’s Rock Action Records out of Glasgow.
Guitarist Andy MacFarlane stated, via an NME interview, “It all came together really well. To me, it’s like a different band almost. I did a stupid thing of writing loads of music, then giving it to James to write stuff over, then I deleted all the music. So then I wrote another album under it… I think we just needed to shake up the routine. One of our mates bought us those Brian Eno Oblique Strategy cards. I picked one out and it was like ‘delete everything, must try harder, don’t tell James’. The aim was to try and do stuff that we’d enjoy playing live, to make it more interesting for ourselves as well as everyone else.”
Singer James Graham says, “It’s all pretty full on but there’s some lighter shades and some hope on there. The first song that we’re going to come back with epitomizes the record. It’s got really noisy guitars but it’s pretty melodic. I think it’s the next stage of who we’re meant to be.”
The album is a welcome progression. It’s definitely a TSS album but they obviously experiment enough to keep it fresh. It’s a little more keyboard heavy than previous albums while maintaining a rock feel. Andy utilizes an E-Bow (electronic string driver) which moves the sound a bit away from the shoegaze sound of prior albums and the result, along with the overall production, is likely a somewhat more accessible sound.
The album’s strong computer generated, fractured artwork is “to represent fractured memories”, per Graham.
The have consistently been one of our more favorite bands to see live due to their genuine passion and appreciation for both music and their fans.
1. [10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs] 2. Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting 3. The Arbor 4. VTr 5. Sunday Day13 6. I/m Not Here [missing face] 7. Auge_Maschine 8. Keep It All to Myself 9. Girl Chewing Gum 10. Let/s Get Lost 11. Videograms
How do you describe an album out of time, concerned with the disappearance of culture, of humanity, of nature, of logic and emotion? Why make this album in an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing, and the tactile grains of making music have been further reduced to algorithms and projected playlist placement. Why wake up in the morning? Why hasn’t everything already disappeared?
Deerhunter’s eighth LP forgets the questions and makes up unrelated answers. It gets up, walks around, it records itself in several strategic geographic points across North America. It comes home, restructures itself and goes back to bed to avoid the bad news.
From the opening harpsichord and piano figures of ‘Death in Midsummer’, it is impossible to tell where the record came from. Is ‘No One’s Sleeping’ an outtake of an aborted Kinks recording session in 1977 Berlin with Eno producing? No. That is nostalgia. If there is one thing Deerhunter are making clear it is that they have exhausted themselves with that toxic concept.
What they spend their time doing instead is reinventing their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth.
The result is as thrilling, haunting, and unpredictable as anything in their roughly 15-year career.
Deerhunter have made a science fiction album about the present. Is it needed right now? Is it relevant? Perhaps only to a small audience. DADA was a reaction to the horrors of war. Punk was a reaction to the slow and vacant 70’s. Hip Hop was a liberated musical culture that challenged the notions presented wholesale about the African-American experience. What is popular music today a reaction to?
Holy is a Stockholm based project of Hannes Ferm from Umeå, Sweden. The new album, All These Worlds Are Yours, is out January 26, 2018 via PNKSLM Recordings.
It reminds one of modern psychedelic influenced bands like Tame Impala, Foxygen, and Deerhunter.
Some songs can run a bit long but I think it’s a solid release all the way through. It’s easy to just leave on and get lost in the music, and then before you know it you’ve listened to the entire thing.
After four acclaimed albums with Doves (two No. 1s, two Platinum, two Gold, two Mercury nominations), Jimi Goodwin is releasing his first solo album on Heavenly Recordings.
After their last release in 2010, Doves all agreed they needed a break. “We never said we’d split,” clarifies Jimi, “but we all needed some time to go off and do our own thing for a while. I’d never rule out us coming back together again either. Never say never. But this is what I’m concentrating on at the moment… and I’m loving it”.
A wonderful, deeply personal album that is impossible to pigeonhole and will surprise a few people, Odludek is the first record great record of 2014. It boasts brilliant, panoramic, visceral, soul-searching tracks that are true siblings to Doves’ oeuvre, especially lead single ‘Oh! Whisky’; a few magnificent curveballs like ‘Man vs Dingo’, which sounds like Tom Waits and Black Grape-era Shaun Ryder trapped in a lift with Talking Heads, Gorillaz and The Roots; and a few that segue between the two.
If there was a starting point for the record, it was the idea of an old school mixtape. Anyone lucky enough to receive a handcrafted tape from Jimi over the years will testify to his diverse, catholic tastes and Odludek is a heady mystic brew steeped in Northern Soul, Southern gospel, hip-hop, psychedelica, ambient, krautrock, dub, funk and acid house. “I wanted it to be like that crazy mixtape you’d make your mate which had everything from Duke Ellington to some mad hip-hop track you’d just heard, and back again,” says Jimi. “That’s how I listen to music, and I wanted to make an album that reflected that. The last thing I wanted it to sound like was some geezer who was in a band. I don’t like being pegged.”
Odludek is a Polish word, meaning loner or pilgrim. It fits the album, and fits where Jimi is at the moment. “I’m no hermit, but I can be on that loner vibe at times. Odludek just sounded like a crazy, loner pilgrim to me, and it reflects that I did this record all on my own, I’m not in a band now.”
Jimi wrote and played almost everything on Odludek himself. “Initially I wanted to have loads of guests on it. Maybe I wasn’t trusting my own instincts because I’d collaborated in a band for such a long time, but that idea soon went out the window. Very quickly I decided I wanted to get my Prince head on and play everything. I became very protective of it. There was no-one steering me. I made it myself and paid for it myself, and that was very free and liberating.”
Recorded over 18 months in a friend’s studio in The Forest of Dean, co-produced by Dan Austin (who co-produced Kingdom of Rust) with guest slots from Guy Garvey, Fredrik Bjorling (ex-Dungen), Jake Evans, Joe Roberts, and a brass section, Odulek, like the best Doves albums, is a complex record which reveals another layer on each listen. The opening blast of ‘Terracotta Warrior’ is a statement of intent that this may not be the album you expected. The sublime ‘Didsbury Girl’ Jimi has had since 2004, “It just kept knocking at my door, and wouldn’t leave me alone”. ‘Live Like A River’ is “Queens of the Stone Age meets rave, it could have been the single for me, as it sums up the record”. ‘Man vs Dingo’ is a stream of consciousness rant which is new territory for Jimi, “I wanted to do a shouty Johnny Clarke meets Shaun Ryder rant, as I’ve never done one. The closest thing I ever did in Doves was the disorientated middle bit in Black and White Town”. Lead single ‘Oh! Whisky’ is reminiscent of ‘There Goes The Fear’ in Jimi’s imitable skill of underpinning a euphoric, anthemic track with wistful, melancholia, this time wrestling the demons of drink. ‘Lonely At The Drop’ is another melancholic anthem that could be the older, weather-beaten brother of ‘Caught By The River’.
After years of promising each other, Jimi also finally managed to collaborate with old friend Guy Garvey on ‘Panic Tree’, a heart touching ode to father-son relationships, inspired by 1920s Texan gospel singer Washington Philips. “Guy and I always vowed to work together and I played him an old Washington Philips track called ‘Lift Him Up, That’s All’ and we said, ‘When we finally get a chance to do something together, that will be the springboard.’” When they did eventually get in the studio, they clicked immediately and ended up with three songs drafted in an afternoon. “I played Guy the demos, which had the rough melodies and first lyric drafts, and within two hours they were more or less finished. That’s how quick it was. We’re just dead simpatico. We really connect, and he just got where I wanted to go.”
Jimi is currently putting together a band to tour Odludek and joins Elbow on their forthcoming UK arena tour in April. “I feel like I’ve been in hibernation, and now I’m emerging out in to the sunlight again, and it feels great.”