Kevin Morby

Published by Doug under Alt. Country.

 

Still Life is the second solo album from Kevin Morby. The namesake of the record is an art piece by Maynard Monrow entitled “Still Life with the Rejects from the Land of Misfit Toys.”

The album’s title has several meanings. On the surface, it refers to Morby’s change in lifestyle from moving to Los Angeles from New York in August of 2013.

But he also admits that the title is ironic. The songs from “Still Life” were written during yet another period of tour and travel for Morby, as he spent most all of 2013 on the road with Woods (whom Morby parted ways with amicably last year), The Babies, who are currently on hiatus and as a solo artist.

The album reflects both this time in transit and the quiet confines of his new home in Montecito Heights. Scenes of performers, audience expectations and the paradoxical confines of a roving individual perpetually caught in a crowd percolate the songs, notably in “The Jester, The Tramp, The Acrobat,” and “Parade.” (Morby calls the latter an elegy of sorts for one of his major influences, Lou Reed). Violent fates, wrestling with destiny and the nature of death creep into songs like “The Ballad of Arlo Jones,” “Bloodsucker” and “Amen”. Even Morby’s more obvious love songs like “All of My Life,” “Drowning”  and “Our Moon” are highly bittersweet; the characters in these songs seem to never quite find each other, but perhaps they find themselves.

As with “Harlem River”, “Still Life” is once again produced by Rob Barbato (Cass McCombs, Darker My Love) who adds his signature guitar and bass playing to the album. The album was engineered and mixed by Drew Fischer, who also worked on “Harlem River” and the Babies second full length album “Our House on the Hill” and recorded between March and June of 2014 at Barbato and Fischers new Burbank Recording Studio, Comp’ny.

Morby is also once again joined by Justin Sullivan (The Babies) on drums and percussion. Sullivan is a fixture in Morby’s live band, which completed a full U.S. tour in January of 2014, supporting Cate Le Bon.

Solo artist (and Le Bon guitarist), H. Hawkline handled bass duties for Morby on the tour and contributes bass to three songs on the record that were a live staple. Multi Instrumentalist Will Canzoneri (Cate Le Bon, Cass McCombs, Jessica Pratt), who also performed live with Morby on the Le Bon tour and who was a contributer on “Harlem River”, contributes piano and organ to the album. The album also features a prominent horn section on “Parade” and “Amen”.

Morby plans to spend much of the rest of 2014 and 2015 on the road. Initial plans include East and West Coast runs in August 2014 and Europe in September 2014.

While Morby called his solo debut “Harlem River” a love letter to New York City, the city hasn’t faded as a muse. (readliy evident in the eerie twisting journey of “Dancer”).

This makes sense. Morby says he always interpreted the “land of misfit toys” in the album’s namesake piece to be that of New York.

 

Tour Dates:

08/26 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts Black Box ^
08/27 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel ^
08/28 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
08/30 – Asheville, NC – Transfigurations II
08/31 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter ^
09/06 – Aarhus (DK) – Pop Revo
09/07 – Gothenburg (S) - Pustervik
09/08 – Stockholm (S) – Lilla Hotellbaren
09/09 – Oslo (N) – Pokalen
09/10 – Malmö (S) - Inkost
09/11 – Copenhagen (DK) – Vega @ Ideal Bar
09/12 – Hamburg (D) - Hasenschaukel
09/13 – Gent (B) – Big Next festival @ DOK
09/14 – Groningen (NL) – Vera
09/15 – Amsterdam (NL) – Paradiso
09/16 – Tilburg (NL) - Incubate
09/17 – Paris (F) – Le Point Ephémère
09/18 – Brighton (UK) – The Hope
09/19 – Manchester (UK) – Kraak
09/20 – Leeds (UK) – The Brudenell Social Club
09/21 – Leicester (UK) – The Musician
09/22 – London (UK) – The Shacklewell Arms
09/24 – Caen (F) – Maison de L’étudiant
09/25 – Rennes (F) – 1988 club
09/26 – Strasbourg (F) - Le Troc Café
09/29 – Barcelona (ES) – Heliogabal
09/30 – San Sebastian (ES) – Dabadaba
10/01 – Madrid (ES) – VillaManuela pre-party @ Sirocco
10/02 – Aveiro (PT) – Mercado Negro

^ w/ Steve Gunn
% w/ Small Black

 

Yelle

Published by Doug under Electro Pop.

Complètement fou. If you’ve got even a barely passable grasp on functional French then you’ll know what those two words mean. Bonkers. Bananes. Completely crazy. It’s a phrase that not only goes a long way to describing the gleefully mad electronic pop of Yelle – it also applies to the group’s unusual rise. They have taken their time between neon-streaked albums, sung every fizzy song in their native tongue, poked fun at their peers, and stayed clear of trends. And now, nearly a decade after forming in 2005, they’re releasing an album produced by Dr. Luke and his team. See? Complètement Fou.

Yelle’s third long-player will be released on the hit-maker’s own Kemosabe Records and the team-up makes good sense. Though these Frenchies may not have one of the household names we’re used to seeing next to that man’s handle (Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, Britney Spears) they’ve long possessed an originality of voice and strength in songwriting that transcends whatever their trappings. Of course, they see it a bit differently. “We just do things we love,” says Yelle, née Julie Budet. “This is the only rule we have. At the end of the day this is what makes Yelle: Spontaneity.”

And Yelle once again make an album that is pure Yelle. Complètement Fou is equally wild and wry, celebratory and melancholy, sensual and strange, forceful and full of fun. Cofounder and key composer GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier) laid down the frame for each song. Then Luke and his ace team – Oliver “Oligee” Goldstein, Cirkut, KoOol Kojak, A.C, Billboard, JMIKE, and MadMax – amplified what was already there instead of inventing a new identity. Collaboration was new territory, but it was the perfect path forward to advance the bouncy, synthesizer-rich sound of 2011′s Safari Disco Club.

Look no further than the titular track to hear that growth in action: “Complètement Fou” opens with chopped rave keys, round sequencer blips, a mighty low-end kick, and playful effects à la Basement Jaxx. Then comes Yelle’s voice – a transcendent thing that compliments those lush electronics so well. While “Coca Sans Bulles” tows the dark/light line between ’80s electro oddness and Daft Punk disco, “Jeune Fille Garnement” slinks/surges like the Knife’s freaky outré techno. “Ba$$in” swirls rap with Eurodance; “Dire Qu’on Va Tous Mourir” puts R&B through a Oneohtrix filter.

And then there’s “Moteur Action,” a song whose summer breeziness suggests a top-down highway ride, oversized sunglasses on, scarf trailing behind. Though knowing Yelle, the lyrics aren’t so blithe as those ebullient oohs might have you believe. Our heroine explains the album’s primary themes as “relationships, love, bodies, dance, and sensuality, but also death.” Ecstasy prevails in parts too. We’ll let you seek your own translation of “Nuit de Baise,” but “Florence en Italie” was inspired by Stendhal Syndrome, which causes viewers of particularly moving art to swoon and pass out.

Yelle sought a lyrical partner for Complètement Fou as well: “a French dandy called Jérôme Echenoz,” in her words, though he’s best known as Tacteel (of TTC, for those who remember the details of Yelle’s 2007 debut, Pop Up). “We used to do everything by ourselves,” she says, “but we wanted to open the circle this time around because we love people!” She insists there are no direct dis songs in the vein of “Je Veux Te Voir,” only “some winks here and there… not personal, more about society.” To wit, she counts Votaire’s monumental 1759 satire Candide among the LP’s influences.

At the heart of Yelle today is the same spirit that brought the pair formerly known as Julie and Jean-François together, as great friends, in 2000. They initially called their project YEL – an acronym for “You Enjoy Life” – but the exuberant, feminized, Francofied shout they’ve taken for a moniker suits them perfectly. We yell when we are happy with the world and we yell when we’re pissed off at its ways. But we probably yell our best when we’re complètement fou.

TOUR DATES:

10/9 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
10/10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
10/11 – Washington D.C. – 9:30 Club
10/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10/14 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
10/15 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
10/17 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
10/18 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/19 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
10/21 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/24 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
10/25 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
10/26 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10/29 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10/30 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
10/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
11/2 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
11/3 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
11/6 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
11/7 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/8 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
11/10 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft
11/11 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

 

Emily & The Complexes

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

Emily & The Complexes began on the road. While his peers moved into dorm rooms and attended lectures, singer/songwriter Tyler Verhagen took to the off-ramps, truck stops, and 24-hour diners that are the unseen epicenters of a hitch-hiking sub-culture. For the better part of two years, Verhagen criss-crossed the country with nothing but a backpack and an acoustic guitar. He caught rides in semis, slept on beaches, busked on the streets, and got kicked out of San Diego. It was here on the road that he wrote the songs that would become Emily & The Complexes’ first album, Styrofoam Plate Blues (2012). When passing through Ohio he would stay with future bandmates Jordan Finke, Tom Konitzer, and Brett Gregory who were all attending classes at OSU.

Fast-forward two years and the idea of movement is still an integral part of Emily & The Complexes’ existence. After spending much of 2013 on the road supporting their first record, the band began writing the songs that make up their new EP/7” Dirty Southern Love. Whereas the process for the first record was a rushed, cathartic release of autobiographical emotion and post-road longing, the songs that make up DSL touch on the realties of early adulthood in a more deliberate, well-crafted manner. Dirty Southern Love is lyrically diverse. Verhagen maintains a brutal honesty about life’s struggles while also combining multiple perspectives with a taste for the bizarre. The musicality of the new EP is perhaps the biggest departure from their earlier work. Dirty Southern Love features slightly slower tempos and dynamic song arrangements that allow Verhagen to croon over layers of clever guitar lines and driving bass/drums.

Tracking began in the depths of winter at The Bongo Tree studio in rural Ohio. After a month toiling away in the studio’s cold rooms, the band left for the South to mix with Drew Vandenberg (Of MontrealToro y MoiDrive-by Truckers) at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA. With such an impressive reputation for producing great music, Chase Park and Athens were an ideal fit for the band. Vandenberg’s craft and vision meshed well with the band’s desire to produce a natural sounding record that highlights their strengths as songwriters. For the final touches, Emily & The Complexes once again turned to veteran mastering engineer, Dan Coutant (Into It Over ItLemuriaTouche Amore) at Sun Room Audio in New York.

With the release of Dirty Southern Love, Emily & The Complexes will initially be touring down the East Coast into the South in late August, with more tours and festival appearances to follow. The songs on Dirty Southern Love mark a new stylistic awakening for the band, who have already begun work on their next batch of songs. They will follow in Verhagen’s original footsteps and take to the road to reform and define their work, knowing that long drives, sleepless nights, and the company of strangers will always be integral parts to their songwriting process.

The Death Of Pop

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

‘Key of Three’ follows in the wake of Circles, Whenever and Mirage as the final single from the Death of Pop‘s hard working flexizine release ‘Fifths’ released with Art is Hard records. The track builds from acoustic beginnings through the a familiar harmony rich shoegaze soundscape and into an explosive ending. The accompanying self produced video, draws from the twin influences of 1990′s Safeway adverts and Saved by the Bell era children’s entertainment.The EP Fifths is available physically at all major online record outlets aswell as digitally from Spotify and iTunes

The Death of Pop will be performing live in London on the following dates

 

12th of September – The Finsbury w/ Dignan Porch

13th of October – Old Church, St Pancras w/ GULP

7th of  November – Old Blue Last w/ Habitats

 

New Navy

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

It’s been a busy year for Australian band New Navy, who have made a comeback with the early lauded single Heaven, plus signed to booking agents Windish Agency internationally. Today they continue the buzz with the announce of a first official single release from the forthcoming debut LP, the gorgeous Rosaline.

Rosaline is the twisted love song dedication everybody has been waiting for from this silken-laden, pop-making Sydney outfit.  In true New Navy style though, it becomes clear in just a few listens that Rosaline isn’t quite so straight up or straightforward: “Rosaline is about that moment when you decide to hold onto something or let it go and its power to dictate fate.”

The band continues, “Rosaline, apart from generally being a nice name to sing over and over, is a reference to a silent character in Romeo and Juliet – mentioned as the woman Romeo fleetingly falls for before becoming distracted by Juliet“.

With the now familiar liquid vocals and tropical beats sitting softly behind wild and raring hooks, the single marks yet another step forward for New Navy.

Rosaline follows the group’s comeback single Heaven, which produced a near frenzied response from those awaiting a resurfacing from the band. Heaven has received well over 100 000 plays on soundcloud since its release and the video, all about roller skating and love at first sight.

Shy For Shore

Published by Doug under Electro Pop.

 

Synth duo Shy for Shore have announced the upcoming release of the melodic and 80s-inspired ‘Love, Again’ on June the 16th. The single is set to build upon 2013’s breakthrough EPs ‘Then The Heartbreak’ and ‘1985’, which saw Shy for Shore’s meteoric rise as one of the most up-and-coming acts in Scandinavia.

Forming in 2011 following a chance introduction at Camden’s Roundhouse, Shy for Shore quickly developed a penchant for post-rock and overdriven riffs. Inspired by the local sound of their environment, the band’s original outfit cut their teeth around the London local gig circuit. However, a move to the Netherlands completely reorganised and altered the band, transforming them into dreampop shoegazers reflecting their location with a chameleonic power. Heavy praise followed the organic change of sound, including critical admiration from Crack in the Road, HillyDilly and Under the Radar.

Since establishing themselves in Norway, including national television appearances and having their work on the soundtrack of an independent film, Shy for Shore are setting their sights on the rest of Europe with plans to tour extensively throughout the year. Shy for Shore’s Love, Again is the group’s flagship during this expansion.

With a heart made of ice that melts at the touch, Love, Again is an achingly beautiful track and the listener’s perfect introduction to Shy for Shore. Mari Nordén’s heartfelt vocals are marched perfectly with melodic and ocean-deep synthesisers courtesy of Oz Page, painting a composition that is delightful electronica possessive of the beautiful human spirit. Reminiscent of 80s synth whilst still being wholly originally, Shy for Shore and Love, Again are headstrong and powerful creations, a 21st century spirit dropped into a legwarmer distopia.

 

Foxsmith

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

Off the back of their first single ‘Wake Up’ last year, Brisbane band Foxsmith take a darker twist with their second single Pentimento.

Recorded and mixed by producer Yanto Browning (The Medics, Tara Simmons, The Jungle Giants), this second offering from the four-piece is laden with lush melodies, beginning quite intimately before snapping into catchy guitar and synth hooks. Stirring yet comforting, Pentimento explores existentialism and follows the bands new direction into darker, shimmering soundscapes and grooves.

The track is a greatly anticipated follow up to their first single ‘Wake Up’ which was well-received, gaining airplay on local and online radio stations including Triple J Unearthed, 3RRR and 4ZZZ, where it was added to rotation and remained in 4ZZZ’s Top 10 for over a month in December/January. The video clip for ‘Wake Up’ was premiered online through Groupie Magazine and featured on local and international music blogs including Mess+Noise, City & Sound and Ground Sound LA to name a few.

Accompanying their new track is an animation by local Brisbane artist Seana Seeto, who takes the viewer through many worlds following the journey of a blob-shaped protagonist, a harbinger of mishaps. For the release of this new single and animation clip, Foxsmith are hosting a collaborative arts event, featuring local Brisbane bands and an artshow, on Saturday 16th August at The Zoo in Brisbane.

 

Flora Cash

Published by Doug under Indie Folk.

I have another band for everyone to fall in love with.  They go by the name of Flora Cash.  They put together a really good write up about themselves I thought I would share with you:

We met on SoundCloud in early 2012 (where each of us had been posting music for some time). Our (for lack of a better term) “musical attraction” to one another quickly turned into something more and it wasn’t long before we began a “Skype relationship,” which lasted roughly five months. And by relationship, we really mean “relationship” in the fullest sense of the word… We were on Skype together as often as we possibly could be; morning ’til night and even that… never seemed enough. In June, 2012, Shpresa flew to Cole in Minneapolis, from Stockholm, and stayed until we returned to Sweden in August of the same year. It was in Sweden that Flora Cash; our ‘musical offspring,’ was truly born.

By the end of 2012, we had begun to collaborate with Swedish singer/songwriter and producer Daniel Westerlund (formerly of The Goner) and had, with Daniel as our producer- released our “mighty fine EP,” which contained tracks such as “Mighty Fine” and “Summerset,” and at the same time (to our delight and amazement): had quickly begun to assemble a loyal bunch of listeners in and around Stockholm (and on YouTube.)

While 2012 marked the crucial first steps of our musical journey- 2013 was a particularly big year for us. From several sold out shows in Stockholm (thanks again for coming everyone! we love you) to a three-month ‘mini-tour’ of London- (where we lived in a small room just under 2 miles south of Parliament)- 2013 saw us moving around constantly and playing any tavern, pub or venue we could find time for. 2013 also saw the release of an EP, of which we’re very proud- called “made it for you.” The EP features, among others: “Freakin’ Love” and “When You Came (Oh Oh Oh),” both tracks of which did really well in terms of iTunes sales and views on YouTube.

From mid-2013 to June of 2014 we lived in Minneapolis (plotting our escape back to Sweden… hehe, kidding!) and are currently living in Stockholm, Sweden, working diligently on our first full-length album, “Assemble the Journey,” which we plan to release… in the near future.

 

VÉRITÉ

Published by Doug under Electro Pop.

 

Hailing from New York City, VÉRITÉ offers emotive, hard-hitting alternative pop at the highest quality. Whilst working hard in the studio with the producer Elliot Jacobson on her debut EP, she has made “Strange Enough” available to stream. 

Hear it via her soundcloud now: https://soundcloud.com/veritemusic/strange-enough-1

VÉRITÉ the single’s lyrical content, “Strange Enough is a contemplation of all the questions I’d ask myself about my relationship, and why we bother ourselves to try to make things work sometimes.” 

She continues, “The song goes back and forth between the nostalgia of what was, the reality of how things shift as time moves on, and how ultimately we romanticize moments that are fleeting.”

 

Racing Glaciers

Published by Doug under Indie Rock.

 

“Moths is a song about been drawn to someone. Being so obsessed that you can’t get away even if you know you should.” Explains the band, “Trouble and harm is inevitable but you don’t mind. It was all worth it.”  Having moments of both pure delicacy and unbridled adventure, Moths will keep you guessing until the blistering climax.
Their last offering, New Country, premiered on Neon Gold and was followed on from a large collection of tastemaker blogs which saw the track reach top 5 on Hypem.  Such online admiration was naturally followed by UK radio support, picking up Radio 1 & Xfm plays.  The new single, like with New Country, was mixed by Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club, Peace.)
Racing Glaciers are Tim Monaghan (Lead Singer/Keys/Guitar,) Danny Thorpe (Backing Vocals/Rhythm Guitar,) Matt Scheepers (Backing Vocals/Bass/Trumpet,) Simon Millest (Lead Guitar) and Matt Welch (Drums.)