Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.
Today Moogfest announces their last and final additions to the 2017 festival, rounding out an already impressive lineup with DJ Premier, Zola Jesus, King Britt, Jana Hunter, Baltra, IDEO, Modular on the Spot, and Durham music collective The Floor. This announcement builds on Moogfest’s trajectory: balancing Future Sound (performances) and Future Thought (conference) conversations and workshops, with artists and technologists who participate in both sides of the program.
Grammy-award winning producer and half of the legendary hip hop duo Gang Starr, DJ Premier will grace the stage at this year’s festival. Premiere’s prized productions have threaded through the decades, defining the sound of multiple generations of hip-hop. Always evolving yet timeless, celebrated rappers and lyricists from KRS-One to Kanye West, have called on Premier to create the sonic foundation for their voices.
Dark wave electronic artist Zola Jesus is set to perform from her unreleased 5th studio album, TAIGA. Described by the artist herself, “The music on the record is massive, with big brass and beats, crystal clear vocals.” King Britt has prepared a Moogfest exclusive part live part DJ (hybrid set) fusing his mastery in track selection with live hardware electronics including two Mother-32s, while NYC-based producer Baltra will perform a DJ set showcasing his expertise of gritty underground techno productions.
The full list of participants announced today is as follows: DJ Premier, Zola Jesus, King Britt, Jana Hunter, Baltra, IDEO, Modular on the Spot, DJ Bosslady, Andrius, Sound Resurgence, Lady Fingers, 3ZKL, Strider, Virginia Tech ICAT, ONO, Brandon Stosuy, Elliot Inman, Johnny Turpin, Krista Anne, Fannie Mae, Frankie Hutchinson, Hisham Bharoocha, Joseph Murray, Marshall King, Valencia Wood, Elizabeth Traina, Zena Loxton, Jessica Collette, Raj Bhakta, Senator Jaiz, Give a Beat, Armida Ascano, Pierce Freelon, and films Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, Tomorrow: Travel the World of Solutions, SpeakUP: The Power of Lyrics, and SpeakUP: Women of Africa, Transfiguration, and Life in Waves.
LA, don’t miss the West Coast premiere of Björk Digital, an exhibition of inspiring VR video works featuring music from Björk’s latest album, Vulnicura! It will be opened from May 19-June 4th. For more information, click HERE!
French singer songwriter Imany just released her beautiful EP, No Reason No Rhyme out now on Ultra Music. After seeing incredible success with her song “Don’t Be So Shy” (Filatov & Karas Remix), which garnered Gold status in four countries internationally and over 12 million Shazams, making it among the top 10 Shazams of 2016, Imany is excited to share her new original music.
The five-track EP showcases Imany’s immense singing talents, as her raspy and haunting voice anchors the work, layered on top of a rhythmic quartet which serves as the group’s foundations. Each song more soulful than the last, Imany sheds light on heavy topics like coming to terms with a breaking up in “No Reason No Rhyme,” while “Lately” is a pure declaration of love. “I’m Not Sick But I’m Not Well” has hints of influences from Bob Dylan, and a new acoustic version of “Don’t Be So Shy” accompanies the acclaimed Filatov & Karas remix to round out the EP.
Blending elements of soul, folk, blues and pop, Imany has really come into her own sound and carved her own sonic niche. An intense and passionate work, Imany’s No Reason No Rhyme is the kind of empowering music the world needs right now.
Paired with the release of the EP, Imany also released a music video for her song titled “Lately,” which is part of a larger album work coming out later this year. The video stars one of the world’s most famous dancers and choreographers Lil Buck who’s been featured in commercials for Apple, Lexus, Louis Vuitton and as well as on shows like America’s Best Dance Crew.
Marty McLaren is back with new music! The Harrisburg, PA rapper/producer currently residing in Los Angeles is hard at work on his debut project ‘Always Been This Way’ arriving later this year. After giving fans previous releases like “Cut Ties” and “Commas & Decimals” Marty releases the feel good track ‘Trophy (Show Me).’ Produced and written by Marty himself, ‘Trophy’ is guaranteed to kick start ya two step and have you lit in the club as he is showcasing the women who hold it down for their man with a nice touch of culture to the production.
Having been hailed by Iggy Pop as one of his favourite bands of the moment, declared “the future of rock n’ roll” by ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields, signed up by The Libertines drummer Gary Powell to his 25 Hour Convenience Store label, given Pete Townsend’s studio to record in, and named as one of their tips for 2017 by both Fred Perry Subculture and This Feeling, it’s fair to say that there’s a hell of a buzz swirling around the young East London trio False Heads right now.
The Independent, NME, Clash Magazine, Q Magazine, Artrocker, Drowned In Sound, BBC 6Music, Radio X, Kerrang Radio (where the band were playlisted), and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens have also all waded in with support and praise for the trio’s delinquent, punk-driven assault, that finds them caught somewhere between the early grunge of Foo Fighters, the infectious songwriting of Pixies, and the snotty punk attitude of The Buzzcocks.
Following their remarkable ‘Thick Skin’ and ‘Weigh In’ single releases in 2016, False Heads went on to perform at The Roundhouse in London for the Punk Weekender event, played an acclaimed set at Camden Rocks festival, live sessions for BBC Introducing and Radio X, and were even interviewed by The New York Times. Meanwhile their avid fanbase continues to grow as the excitement around the trio builds.
False Heads have just made their return this month with their new ‘Gutter Press’ EP, featuring a string of hard-hitting tracks, including Iggy Pop favourite ‘Slew’, and two stellar new tracks ‘Twenty Nothing’ and ‘Comfort Consumption’.
Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the signing of Danish retro rockers Doublestone and with it the release of their new brand new studio album, Devils Own/Djævlens Egn this May.
Originally formed as a duo in 2011 in Copenhagen by long time friends Michael James Bruun and Bo Blond Daugaard, Doublestone later became the power-trio they are today with the arrival of Bo’s bass playing cousin, Kristian Blond Møller.
Following a brace of impressive releases in 2013 – Set The World Ablaze EP and their self-titled Doublestone – the “cult-boogie” trio joined forces with Mos Generator’s Tony Reed to record their first full-length, Wingmakers, in the basement of an old cheese factory in the heart of Copenhagen. Catapulting themselves onto the international stoner-rock scene Doublestone made sure to leave no rock unturned making an imposing foray into the realms of 70s-influenced hard rock, bewitching psychedelia and southern metal. Now, in 2017 they are back and signed to one of the world’s leading specialists in Rock, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych; Ripple Music. Digging even deeper and going even further underground than ever before, their long awaited second album, Devils Own/Djævlens Egn, was produced and recorded by the band and Andreas Krohn at Wolf Ram Studios – a former World War II bunker – with Tony Reed on mastering duties.
Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn is released worldwide on 5th May 2017 on vinyl, limited-edition/multi-colored vinyl, CD and digital via Ripple Music.
English born, Berlin based artist Mark Fernyhough most recently seen opening for Suede during two sell out tours announces the upcoming release of his single ‘Steal My Love’ – an epic swoon of romance, drama & melancholia. The songs vocals by Mark Fernyhough were recorded in a central Berlin location haunted by the ghosts of Russian army men who march around & sing military chants. Indeed the initial master had to be reworked by producer Steven Horry when an unexplained “Oooh” could be heard before the second chorus.
A musician/ visual artist based between Berlin & London, Mark’s songs have been featured on BBC Radio in the UK & have received heavy rotation on major German stations. He has joined David Bowie’s guitarist Gerry Leonard onstage & opened for Suede whose singer Brett Anderson has publicly championed Mark’s music. Described as ‘Enchanting’ by FluxFm Mark is currently putting the final touches on his debut solo album produced by English guitarist Steven Horry.
Cigarettes After Sex
Today NPR All Songs Considered shared “K.” the first single from Cigarettes After Sex’s self-titled debut LP. “K.” was initially released back in November and was followed by their second single “Apocalypse”. The band’s self-titled debut album will be out June 9th on Partisan Records. You can pre-order the LP here and receive exclusive items including a picture disc, signed lyric booklet, and more.
Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez had a clear vision for his band’s debut album, a gorgeously cinematic work. After the phenomenal online break-out success of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” (which has + 46 Million YouTube views to date), from the early Cigarettes After Sex EP (‘I.’) from 2012, the Brooklyn-based Gonzalez (originally from El Paso, Texas) wanted to project his worldview on to a bigger screen, a broader canvas. As Greg explains, “This is like the novel or feature-length version of Cigarettes. I wanted it to feel like a complete work, where some of the imagery repeats – like it’s all in the same world. It’s very much a fulfillment of the feelings in the short works.”
For some of the band’s early years, Gonzalez studied music at the University of Texas, El Paso. He dropped out but his time there was not wasted. Attracted by the “echo-y” sonic potential of a university stairway, he recorded an EP there which, he says, “ended up being something special”. Indeed, Cigarettes’ 2012 EP was so special Gonzalez struggled to follow it. When his patient perfectionism bore fruit with ‘Affection’, the online response took his breath away, he recalls. “There was this big flood of support over, like, a weekend… It was fairly emotional for me, because I’d been waiting for that since I started writing music.”
Post-university, Gonzalez had moved to Brooklyn, where he bided his time working as a musician and managing a cinema, the Beekman Theatre on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. If his memories of holding private screenings with friends there sound romantic, so do his favorite films. The “strange mystery” and “hazy” romance of Antonioni’s L’Avventura was one influence; so was the “autumnal beauty” of Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique.
To mirror their woozy romanticism in music, Gonzalez rejected conventional studio routes for his band, which numbers Randy Miller on bass, Jacob Tomsky on drums and Tubbs on keyboards. Taking influence from The Cowboy Junkies’ The Trinity Session (recorded in a church, single microphone), Cigarettes recorded most of the album in three days at the Sweatshop rehearsal space, Bushwick. The exception is ‘Each Time You Fall in Love’, which was recorded in the Beekman’s stairway after hours, the ghosts of screen lovers channelled in every warm note. Like the best movie, Cigarettes After Sex holds you in a hell of a spell.
Photo Cred: Shervin Lainez
Blake Morgan’s ongoing sold-out concert series at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall––now at 17 months and counting––has fueled an extraordinary string of headlining performances for the artist around the globe. With nearly 70 concerts across 30,000 miles of touring, Morgan has recently headlined his first large-scale solo tours of Germany, the West Coast of the United States, and the United Kingdom where he made his London debut.
There’s no sign of slowing down in 2017––Morgan’s run at Rockwood has been extended for another full season, and he just completed his second major West Coast solo tour, spanning seven-cities across three states. This Spring, he will return to the U.K., embarking on his first national tours of both England and Scotland.
The Washington Post writes, “He’s got killer pop-rock instincts, something that leaps out at you…a natural when it comes to fashioning sharp melodies and catchy choruses.” Billboard Magazine adds, “Blake Morgan has a voice that was made to be heard on the radio…inspired songwriting and passionate performances.”
Native New Yorker Blake Morgan is a recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and the founder and owner of ECR Music Group, a global music company which operates under an elemental principle unprecedented in the music world: all of its artists and labels own one-hundred percent of their master recordings.
After a rollercoaster twenty-five year career as an artist, curator, and tastemaker, James Lavelle returns with UNKLE’s fifth studio album, The Road Part 1.
The Road Part 1 is a collection of fifteen new UNKLE tracks inspired following his curation of 2014’s Meltdown Festival at Southbank, their most successful festival to date. It is a collective creative venture by musicians including London folk-rock artist and poet Keaton Henson, Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes, The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss, long time UNKLE collaborator Mark Lanegan, and Mercury Prize nominee ESKA.
Lavelle also found new friends and collaborators in Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore and Beck drummer Justin Stanley, who make definitive contributions throughout the record.
Recorded in UK, Europe and Los Angeles’ Pink Duck Studios, The Road Part 1 is the product of a desire to create something fresh and innovative, that also celebrates the rich history of UNKLE, and showcases a new wave of talent such as Elliott Power, Mïnk and YSEÉ. The album also features long-term collaborators Philip Sheppard, Chris Goss, Twiggy and Troy Van Leeuwen.
In the twenty years since UNKLE’s debut album Psyence Fiction, Lavelle has been prolific. He created four studio albums with UNKLE (Psyence Fiction, Never Never Land, War Stories and Where Did The Night Fall), a host of critically acclaimed film scores, and curated a series of art exhibitions through Daydreaming With…, most notably, the hugely successful Daydreaming With Stanley Kubrick exhibition at Somerset House, and his latest exhibition Daydreaming with UNKLE Presents THE ROAD: SOHO at the Lazarides Gallery earlier this year.
The exhibition at the Lazarides Gallery was a celebration of 25 years of UNKLE, and whilst The Road Part 1 may be their fifth studio album, it is in many ways a new beginning.
With shows booked throughout the year and The Road Part 2 already in the making, it feels that even after 25 years, the road for UNKLE has only just begun.
Electro indie-rockers, Cyborg Asylum, release their debut album Never Finished, Only Abandoned today via iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all other major digital retailers. The twelve-track album features songs influenced by the music 80’s as well as a multitude of artists across a wide range of genres ranging from electro to alternative rock.
Cyborg Asylum is, David Varga and John Tumminia, a NYC Producer-Singer duo with roots in the United Kingdom and the United States. An inventive brand of electro post-industrial alt-rock. Sharply crafted beats and grooves blended with beautiful melodies and harmonies make up a rich sonic palette. Listeners are taken on an emotionally charged, alluring, and at times, ominous journey.
All of the writing and arranging for Cyborg Asylum takes place in David’s home studio (The Sky Box). Guitar parts are sent to David’s cousin, Phil Jones in England, where he plays and records them. The process is very much a product of the times we live in, with constant digital transfer of files throughout the writing process. It isn’t until the group heads into the studio to properly record vocals and mix that everyone is in the same room at once.
On March 17, 2017, while on the Chronology tour, we released a remix of the original song ‘Hardcore’, track 3 on the “9 album”, featuring Chronixx.The remixed version can be accessed on all musical platforms.
US WEST COAST TOUR 2017
The mission continues as we prepare to return to the US for the “Unafraid” Tour: Jah9 Live with the Dub Treatment; and a few select Yoga on Dub sessions. Anticipation swells our hearts as we await the opportunity to connect once again with Kings and Queens in the US. On May 28th, we will be sounding up at the California Roots Festival in Monterrey, CA and the vibrations bring us up the west coast into Canada at the Victoria Reggae Ska Fest in British Columbia on June 14th. Further details on dates and locations for the “Unafraid” US Tour are available on www.jah9.com.
Katie Laffan has never been an artist to stand still. From a debut EP of lo-fi bedroom funk pop to last year’s subtle, affecting ‘Trophy’, the Dubliner delights in taking influence from a wealth of genres. Along the way, she and her band played a series of prestigious shows across Ireland – including Cork Jazz, Electric Picnic, K Fest, Canalaphonic, Body & Soul and Townlands Carnival, before finishing the year with two gigs at Other Voices, the acclaimed music gathering that takes place in Kerry every December.
New single ‘Tastemaker’ sees her take another left turn, this time into the world of disco and pop. Produced by Liam Caffery of Music for 18 Machines and mastered by John Flynn, who worked with Björk on her 2015 album Vulnicura, the song is her most polished release to date – while never losing her uncanny skill for a sharp lyric and a memorable melody.
Having been invited by Other Voices producer Aoife Woodlock to play Dublin’s National Concert Hall in Dublin as part of the St Patrick’s Festival Young Blood event (alongside Hare Squead, Rusangano Family, Kojey Radical and a number of Ireland’s most acclaimed spoken word artists), Katie has recorded recent sessions for RTE 2FM and Today FM ahead of the ‘Tastemaker’ release. The track will also see her first ever video, directed by Sean Clancy and starring her 82 year old grandfather.
DYING FETUS once again raise the bar of sonic extremity with their 8th studio album and first new material in over 5 years, Wrong One To Fuck With. The seasoned veterans manage to further stretch their creative and technical boundaries across 10 complex tracks of pulverizing death metal, filled with more dynamic intricacies, brutal breakdowns and varied vocal patterns than ever before. Now over 25 years into their distinguished career, DYING FETUS cement their legacy with Wrong One To Fuck With and uphold their position as the most dominant force in death metal today.
The first press of Wrong One To Fuck With on CD includes an expanded, deluxe packaging and the exclusive bonus track “Induce Terror”!
Additionally, DYING FETUS will embark on a full European tour with Hatebreed starting this week!
Swedish electro-pop band Urban Cone release Old School – Remixes today via all digital platforms. This collection of remixes features interpretations on the original track by a diverse mix of critically acclaimed producers. The Stockholm-based band has enjoyed success with their past releases – their debut album, 2013’s Our Youth, 2015’s Polaroid Memories and collaborations with Tove Lo and Porter Robinson, among others. Urban Cone’s feel good, indie electro-pop vibe has received raves with Noisey saying “Old School” is “an irrepressible cut of skippy synthpop with a bouncing bass line and high fret guitar shimmies.”
With over 13.3M plays on Spotify, “Old School” is a youthful anthem that makes listeners nostalgic for the time when they were less connected technologically and more connected emotionally. The track has resonated with artists and listeners alike allowing for collaborations with top producers on the forefront of mainstream music.
Urban Cone will play the club stage at Bonnaroo. Additional U.S. tour dates will be announced next week!
Lens follows up 2014’s previous record Flux, which helped place the band on the international circuit gathering huge support from both sides of the pond from The Guardian, SPIN, Q Magazine, NPR, Noisey, Clash +++
Originally a four-piece, Close Talker’s last 18 months touring have been spent with just the three members mentioned since losing their bassist in 2015. The guys responded and doubled the workload of each limb. Will took on a synth, Chris a drum pad and Matt, perhaps most impressively of all, organ pedals for humble bass lines, ensuring the show went on. Matt states ‘Although we’re only three people now, the live show always has at least nine limbs working full time to accurately portray the record live.’ In a musical landscape of electronic music and death-by-sampling, it’s a very fitting response to losing a founding member. It’s better than ever now and this new record demonstrates the progression.
Concorde Music Company proudly presents the OHO’s debut “Shakespeares And Waterfalls”. The album will come out in the group’s native Finland on April 14 and will see its international release a few weeks later on May 5, coming out in England, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia and China.
The OHO is a new pop-flavored rock band formed in 2013. One could say that their debut is their own little symphony, the movements of which the group has been perfecting a long time.
The album is produced by the boys in the band in collaboration with Erno Laitinen and Janne Saksa. The songs have been written by the guitarist and lead vocalist Lappe and his brother Tommi Tikka.
The members of OHO have toured the world in such bands as Carmen Gray and the Black League. The tunesmith duo of Lappe and Tommi have written not only the entire catalog of Carmen Gray but also material for quite a few top artists in Finland.
VÉRITÉ will release her highly anticipated debut album Somewhere in Between on Kobalt on June 23, 2017, after her back-to-back acclaimed EPs (Living, Sentiment, Echo) garnered the alt-pop songstress multiple Hype Machine #1 hits, a sold-out headline North American tour and praise from Buzzfeed, Time,Interview, Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, V Magazine, SPIN and more. A Spotify darling, VÉRITÉ’s recent cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” has over 60+ million streams and counting at this time.
LA, don’t miss her at The Troubadour on April 27th!
Sundara Karma is the band to watch in 2017! DIY named them “Breakthrough Band of the Year” of 2016, NME declared them a “Best New Band of 2017,” and they are currently on the cover of Dork Magazine. Clash, BCC Radio 1, Brooklyn Vegan, Under the Radar, Harper’s Bazaar, The 405, etc. raving about their magnetic live presence, lush alt-rock sound, and undeniable style. With debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect released January 6, they are already starting to dominate Alternative Radio with Top 30 hit “Loveblood.”
LA, don’t miss them at The Fonda on May 2nd!
Levy & The Oaks
Formerly known as the Drive-Thru Records-signed Socratic, Levy & The Oaks shifts the reformed group’s towards a warmer, more natural sound. Comprised of Duane Okun (guitar, lead vox) Lou Panico (bass, percussion, backing vox) Chris Colon (lap steel, guitar, backing vox) and Ryan McNulty (drums) the band has made a name for themselves playing out in the reinvigorated Asbury Park music scene and beyond.
Last Fall, Levy & The Oaks released their self-titled debut LP blending elements of folk and Americana with beautiful melodies and pop sensibilities. Wasting no time in keeping their momentum going, the band now announces a five song EP, Out Of The Blue. The EP features selections from Levy & The Oaks reworked to add new wrinkles to the songs while stripping down.
Curse of Lono
A sumptuously cinematic record that combines spaced out, harmony-laden indie-folk with driving, gothic alt-rock, Severed was produced at Gun Factory studio by Oli Bayston (Boxed In).
Founded and fronted by Felix Bechtolsheimer, formerly the singer-guitarist in British roots pioneers Hey Negrita, Curse Of Lono formed in early 2015, though the songs on ‘Severed’ were written over a 14-year period. They range from the perky, Paul Simon-ish new single ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ to the more lugubrious ‘He Takes My Place’, the almost jazzy ‘London Rain’ and the rootsy, rhythmic ‘Send For The Whiskey’. The album belongs as much to the Americana tradition and old faithfuls such as Little Feat as it does to more modern, playful practitioners of the form such as Beck.
Sometimes when examining the whirring machinery that is the monolithic music industry, we lose sight of what got us into the art in the first place. A sense of community from state to state, city to city and beyond are the real ties that bind when devoting yourself to music on some level, and the Montclair, NJ-based group The Porchistas have embodied that spirit from their inception.
As the band’s founder Alan “Sucia” Smith shares, “We see music and art as community building endeavors. When we throw events and shows at the house we try to make them trash free or trash minimal at least. We make food and have pot lucks to try to stoke a sense of community. We try to do things a little differently to show that rock and roll doesn’t have to be a wasteful shit show. Caring about the planet and progressive politics are a part of who we are and I don’t want that to be separate from my music life.”
With that spirit at the heart of everything The Porchistas do, the band is now readying the release of the Axis & Allies EP.
Not unlike Frank Zappa or Ween, The Porchistas operate left of center with their biting lyrics and fusion of genres aimed at getting people moving and thinking simultaneously. Their recent video for the EP’s lead single, “Mister Chump,” finds them resisting # 45 with undeniable grooves without mincing words.
RITUAL filmed 4 new music videos live off the floor at Baltimore House in Hamilton, Ontario Canada recently and we launched the series at the Bullet Tooth YouTube channel. The debut album from RITUAL is out everywhere now! NOISEY/VICE streamed the full album here and the band took control of Revolver Magazine’s Instagram for the day. The album is available on CD and Limited Edition 12” colored vinyl with exclusive tee shirts and zip-up hoodies, flags, and more at the Bullet Tooth webstore. It’s available on CD at Best Buy, FYE, Amazon, MerchNow, Plastichead (UK), and download at iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Google Play, Bandcamp and streaming at Spotify and YouTube.
RITUAL is a band without guidelines or limitations, chalked full of raw and untainted passion; this was the band Matt Tobin (former Dead and Divine vocalist) always set out to create. “We were born from waste. We are the product of broken bands, miles traveled and mistakes made. We are RITUAL”. The band has been busy playing live with Protest The Hero and Silverstein and played Riot Fest in Toronto with Weezer, Motorhead, Thrice, All Time Low and more.