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.
The BPM Fest
The BPM Festival is proud to partner with and welcome back Be-At.TV for the fifth consecutive year as it will be bringing select parties direct from the beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico to global audiences. Over the course of the 10 day festival, Be-At.TV will be streaming live video and audio from 17 day and night events and broadcasting over 90 artists sets from the world’s biggest underground DJs, label showcases, party brands and next breakout stars. Worldwide dance music fans will be able to enjoy the best music and experiences live and on-demand from wherever they are in the world in High Definition and across any mobile, desktop or internet enabled TV device. Be-At.TV brings the fiesta to you! For live stream broadcast schedule, visit Be-At.TV.
This year it’ll be even easier for fans to watch their favorite artists because, in addition to streaming sets on The BPM Festival’s Facebook Live, YouTube, Daily Motion and BE-AT.TV, all artists will be broadcasting their sets to their own Facebook pages. The massive scope of this year’s distribution will ensure that music lovers all over the world who can’t physically attend will still be able to enjoy the festival’s massive 10 year anniversary.
BPM is always a big celebration and annual industry get together where DJs and artists really bring their A game. Highlights from the first weekend include the January 7th’s Mixmag Presents Ya’ah Muul party with Carl Cox (who famously closed down Space Ibiza with an historic BE-AT.TV broadcast back in summer) as well as Steve Lawler, Shaun Reeves, Acid Mondays and Victor Calderone.
The full schedule is attached but expect nothing less than the best from the likes of Solomun, The Martinez Brothers, Lee Burridge, Apollonia, Technasia, Chris Liebing, Lee Foss, Hector, Santé, Sidney Charles, De La Swing, Andrea Oliva, Carl Craig, Daniel Bell, Stacey Pullen, Kenny Larkin, Joris Voorn, Matthias Tanzmann, Davide Squillace, Richy Ahmed, wAFF, Adriatique, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Lee Foss, Kidnap Kid, Ellen Allien and many many more.
The final day will feature unforgettable closing parties from elrow and BPM’s own signature event This Is The End on January 15th with Lauren Lane, Jesse Calosso and the Lisbona Sisters.
Also returning for its fifth consecutive year, Ibiza Sonica Radio joins The BPM Festival as an official media partner with 24-hour dedicated coverage for the duration of the festival, listen at IbizaSonica.com. Live audio streaming will also be aired from select parties through Ibiza Global Radio, listen at IbizaGlobalRadio.com.
Chilo and B.O.K.
Chilo and B.O.K. release the “Faces of the Meek and Fearless” album in homage to those struggling against the odds. Peep it below!
New York City’s BLACK ANVIL has premiered the closing track off their forthcoming full-length, ‘As Was’, out Jan 13th. Listen to “Ultra” below!
Washington State quintet THE DRIP has premiered a new music video for the opening track off The Haunting Fear of Inevitability as release day approaches. Watch the chaotic live action video for “Blackest Evocation” below!
The psychedelic beast of a band that is Super Snake is gearing up to constrict the life out of listeners everywhere with the release of their debut, LP Leap Of Love. However before that fateful day arrives the band is excited to introduce themselves to the world by way of a video teaser that is sure to peak the interest of anyone who loves insanely heavy guitars, grungy vocals and hard-hitting attitude. Fronted by the forked-tongue vocals of Jerry Jones, Super Snake’s music is an aggressive aural onslaught that is both sexy and violent.
Conceptually the songs on the album are linked by grotesque stories of love (hence the album title), but the lyrics are cryptic and distorted and leave a lot of room for personal interpretation. Leap Of Love sounds like an album that was created by a group of musicians trapped in purgatory dancing around a wildly burning funeral pyre, and personal taste aside, this is a party that you will feel compelled to attend.
The album which was produced by Kevin Antreassian from the Dillinger Escape Plan officially drops on February 3rd and the band will be playing an album release show at Mexicali Live (Event link HERE) in Teaneck, NJ with local friends Will Wood & The Tapeworms, Don’t Upset The Bear, Trü, and DJDLJ. So check out the teaser video below and get ready to the take the Leap Of Love on 2/14/17!
Detroit dance rockers ELECTRIC SIX are getting ready to hit the road in support of their latest album Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres, which was released last Fall via Metropolis Records. Consistently releasing mind-bending albums annually since 2005, they’ve spiced things up with a heavier dose of atmosphere and textures on their twelfth studio album which All Music Guide heralds, “Electric Six can still make albums that show they have life left in them, and as someone once said, partying well is the best revenge.” And party is what Electric Six does best with their raucous and often highly entertaining live shows.
Kicking off in Palatine, IL in mid-March and traveling out to the West Coast, Electric Six will be playing tracks from their new album Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres as well as their tried and true best, including “Danger! High Voltage”, “Gay Bar”, “Down at McDonnelzzz” among may others. Their critically acclaimed debut album FIRE peaked at #5 on the U.S. Dance chart and would later reach gold certification in the UK. Since then, the band has gone on to release twelve albums including Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres, a live album/DVD that was funded via Kickstarter and continues to tour both nationally and globally.
Mar 16 – Durty Nellies – Palatine, IL
Mar 17 – Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI
Mar 18 – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe – Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 19 – Blueberry Hill Duck Room – University City, MO
Mar 21 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
Mar 22 – Opolis – Norman, OK
Mar 23 – Stubb’s – Austin, TX
Mar 24 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
Mar 25 – Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX
Mar 27 – FLYCATCHER – Tucson, AZ
Mar 28 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Mar 29 – Green Room – Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 30 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
Mar 31 – Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA
Apr 01 – Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Apr 02 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
Apr 11 – Mad Planet – Milwaukee, WI
Fresh off the release of their new album Into The Night World, Swedish alternative metal band MACHINAE SUPREMACY kicked off their very first tour of the United States at MAGFest (Music and Gaming Festival) in Washington, DC! The band will be joined by Urizen and Danimal Cannon for several dates hitting eastern and central portions of the country through January 21. Psychostick, Secret of Boris and Knight of the Round will join select dates.
MACHINAE SUPREMACY US Tour Dates:
January 10, 2017: Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA*
January 11, 2017: The Ritz – Warren, MI*
January 12, 2017: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL* (with Psychostick)
January 13, 2017: Big Shots – Valparaiso, IN* (with Psychostick)
January 14, 2017: Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH*
January 16, 2017: The Warehouse – Clarksville, TN
January 17, 2017: The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
January 18, 2017: Southport Hall – Jefferson, LA
January 19, 2017: BFE Rock Club – Houston, TX (with Secret of Boris)
January 20, 2017: Grizzly Hall – Austin, TX (with Secret of Boris)
January 21, 2017: Trees – Dallas, TX (with Secret of Boris)
*with Knight of the Round
Chino XL, Pacewon and Spider Da God
ChinoXL, PaceWon & Spider Da God put on a display of nostalgic lyrical prowess that many do not possess anymore. Targeting the odd gimmicks of a lot of new artist, this track serves as as reminder about what hip hop should be. The smooth talent on display plus the fierce production by E. Smitty is sure to serve as a notice for new rappers.
Swedish post punk artist, NICOLE SABOUNÉ has released her new album Miman today!
Nicole is already being celebrated as an underground post-punk icon in her native Sweden – having headlined several shows as well as appearing at festivals like Way Out West with like-minded spirits such as PJ Harvey, Chelsea Wolfe, Anna Von Hausswolff on the bill and recently performing at an Anton Corbijn exhibition opening in Stockholm.
Chrysalis has been a staple of the underground indie-metal/rock community for over a decade. In that time, they’ve toured the entire U.S. & have been featured in numerous media outlets (ESPN X-Games, Metal Hammer, Revolver Magazine, among others). The bands’ diverse sound has allowed them to tour with a wide array of established acts including Letlive, A Day to Remember, Agent Orange, As Blood Runs Black, Ill Nino, Orgy, & Otep. With the release of new single “My Eternity”, the band is poised for unprecedented growth. The Barstow, CA. based band self-released their first full length album, “Chrysalis” while members of the band were still in high school – it became one of CDBaby.com’s all-time best selling in its genre, & landed them a stint on the Vans Warped Tour.
The bands’ second album, “Focus On The Center”, was praised by critics & received heavy rotation on college radio across the country. (The album was the 3rd most added in the Loud Rock category nationwide in its 1st week of availability.) Supported by fans via a successful crowd funding campaign, Chrysalis toured the entire United States in 2014 & continued on in 2015/16 playing 175+ dates nationwide. In early 2016, the band headed into the studio with Grammy nominated producer Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Pantera, Incubus) to begin work on new material. The resulting album is due out on January 13th, 2017.
Brian Puspos has premiered the vibey new focus track, “Be Ready.” Written and recorded with Grammy-nominated artist Anderson .Paak and produced by rising OWSLA beatmaker josh pan, “Be Ready” is one of the first listens from Brian’s upcoming debut solo EP, Slow Love and Bangin’, set to drop on January 11 via CXSHXNLY. Slow Love and Bangin’ is available for preorder now via iTunes, with an instant download of “Murder She Wrote.” The EP features 6 tracks and enlists the talents of Grammy-winning producer collective The Stereotypes (Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, EXO) and producers Nez & Rio (Schoolboy Q, Tinashe, Vic Mensa). Slow Love and Bangin’ is an intimate affair, with Brian’s smooth vocals singing lyrics of love and heartbreak over thumping beats and atmospheric synths.
With a following reaching over 1.3 million people, Brian has showcased himself as a passionate individual with a strong vision. Having gained national fame after competing twice on America’s Best Dance Crew with two separate teams, Brian has become one of the world’s most sought after choreographers, teaching and performing in 43 different countries over four years and going on to choreograph videos for and work with the likes of Chris Brown, Marques Houston, Justin Bieber and K-Pop stars SHINee and EXO, as well as creating his own videos on his YouTube channel, gaining over 55 million views. Brian has also become a recognized fashion trendsetter, launching his clothing line Vanguard Originals with fellow dancer Pat Lam. And with this upcoming EP and a recent feature in rapper GoldLink’s music video for “Spectrum,” Brian is proving himself as an artist that’s proving to be difficult to ignore in 2017.
It’s been a hardscrabble climb for Nashville modern rockers Skytown Riot, and while the ladder to success seems to stretch into an infinite sky sometimes, vocalist/guitarist Van Gallik, bassist Jason Fruchey, and drummer Sebastian Dunkel have settled in for the long haul.
The band launches into 2017 with Alive in the Fire, a 13-song album of rock ‘n’ roll urgency that defy easy categorization, a point on the map where modern rock juggernauts like 10 Years and Shinedown commingle with the darker tones of acts like My Chemical Romance and Evanescence. It’s the band’s most personal body of work to date, and that’s saying a lot, given that the group’s 2013 EP, Soul Or System, earned accolades in Alternative Press, a video premiere by Substream Magazine, and propelled the band on tour across the country.
“You can’t save this,” Gallik pleads on “In Dissolution,”Skytown Riot’s new single — but the trio isn’t trying to save modern rock. They’re the sentries on the wall, lighting signal pyres to let all those who see it burn know that it’s very much alive. From the funky staccato bravado of “Devil’s Masquerade” to the gossamer melodies of “Paint Me The Sky”, from the foreboding dreamscapes of “One Day” to the upbeat, heavily grooving “In The Grey” –– Alive In The Fire is a record that demands the volume knob be turned up and broken off.
As sonically powerful as their new record is, it’s a whole different level to experience the band live. Gallik, Fruchey, and Dunkel still feel it every time they get on stage – the energy from a seething crowd of screaming fans. “That’s where the release is,” Gallik adds. “We find comfort in very few places that we would really call home, and being on the stage, big or small, is definitely one of those places. We love playing to people who come out to escape their realities, because that’s exactly what we’re doing as well.”
AOE (Ambassadors of Earth) are a super-group comprised of acclaimed Grammy-Winning producer Dawaun Parker and multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and visual artist Phil Beaudreau, who have just announced they will be releasing their debut EP entitled Homecoming. The duo are also releasing their stunning animated video created by Phil Beaudreau for “I’m Right This Time”, the first single off of the EP. Dawaun Parker, whose resume includes production credits stacked with the likes of Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and more now adds AOE to his lengthy discography. Parker and Beaudreau have leaned on their experiences to create something conceptual, unique unto itself. AOE doesn’t separate sight from sound. Everything comes from the same source. The same creative spirit. AOE arrives now.
“We are ambassadors for the artists. The creators. The storytellers. We are ambassadors for those who seek meaning in experience. We make music for the heart and visuals for the mind’s eye. We are AOE.”
Stereo Off share second single from EP III, due out February 3, 2017
Stereo Off formed in late 2012, around what began as a solo project by lead singer Sebastian Marciano, and evolved initially into a five-piece band that combined indie rock, classical and electronic influences. In 2013, the band played some of New York’s top venues such as Knitting Factory and Glasslands and had music featured in various short films that made festivals around the US. They released their debut EP New York in 2014.
This was followed up in late 2015 with their 2nd EP The Long Hot Winter which helped them secure spots at various venues in NYC and the Northeast, including the CMJ festival. After some lineup changes in the past year, 2016 brought on a new sound, which is clear on lead single “Sunsetting” from their upcoming third EP.
Southern Rock Artist CHRISTOPHER SHAYNE Announces Winter NAMM Show 2017 Performances
Performing Acoustic at ideaBench Booth #1695, Hall E
January 20 & 21, 3:00pm @ NAMM Show 2017
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
New Album Turning Stones Out Now
Produced by Chuck Alkazian (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger)
Bold, whiskey-seeped southern rocker Christopher Shayne – well known throughout the American southwest as the former frontman of country blues-rock band Whiskey Six – released his debut solo album of dusty rock, Turning Stones, in late 2016. With influences including blues artist R.L. Burnside, the Black Crowes, country rockers Blackberry Smoke and the ultimate in country boogie, ZZ Top, Shayne has written an album that proves itself as both an exciting new “desert-country-rock” discovery and familiar ring for classic southern rock fans. Watch the official music video for the lead single “Give A Damn” here.
Backed by his equally-gritty band (also featuring Whiskey Six guitarist Dave Lansing),Christopher Shayne is pleased to announce two upcoming Winter NAMM Show 2017 acousticperformances, taking place January 20 & 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Shayne & Co. will perform at the ideaBench booth, #1695 Hall E, at 3:00pm each day.
The band will be using ideaBench’s Fastback LT Pedalboards during their performance. Born out of frustration from boxy, boring pedalboards, the Fastback provides ease of use with cutting edge style. The semi-circle shape of the Fastback makes it easy to step on any pedal comfortably and focus on what’s most important – your music. The Fastback™ Pedalboard line provides custom shop level design coupled with amazing functionality. The line includes three sizes of the board: The largest, measuring 38.5″ across, is the Fastback GT, followed by the 29.5″ model, the Fastback LT. For more information on Fastback pedalboards, visit www.ideabench.com.
The Dropkick Murphys
The Dropkick Murphys’ 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory is released today through their label Born & Bred Records. The album has gone straight to No. 1 on the iTunes charts. The band has also shared the official video for its foot-stomping, anthemic song “Paying My Way”. ’11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory’ has been garnering some of the best reviews in the band’s history.
There’s a feeling of purpose throughout the album, influenced by the band’s work with The Claddagh Fund, a charity the band established in 2009 to help support addiction recovery as well as children’s and veterans’ organizations. The band is hands-on in raising funds, mentoring, and lending a helping hand in the fight. Many of the songs reflect these experiences, and the band’s sadness, anger and dismay at the opiate epidemic ravaging the country – in particular, Boston and New England. “Paying My Way” is about the way up and out of addiction and the dream of bigger and better things in life.
“’Paying My Way’ is not just about paying your bills,” explains Dropkick Murphys founder/lead singer Ken Casey. “It’s about doing what you have to do in order to be a good person. But at the end of the day, never losing sight of the fact that doing the next right thing may lead to great things one day.”
It’s rare to be reaching new heights nine albums into a band’s career, but that’s exactly what Dropkick Murphys have done with 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory. Tickets are on sale now for Dropkick Murphys’11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory tour, which kicks off February 21 in Bethlehem, PA, and culminates with the band’s annual hometown run of Boston shows St. Patrick’s Day Week (March 15-19).
Long Branch Records newest signing GHOST IRIS have released the first single “Pinnacle” from their upcoming album Blind World, which will be released on February 17th. The single is available as instant-grat track on iTunes and Amazon and as stand-alone single on all other digital platforms.
Blind World is the follow-up to the debut album Anecdotes Of Science & Soul and comes with 10 brand new tracks full of heavy riffs and memorable melodies with a “djenty” edge. The band will tour extensively through Europe in 2017 and will mesmerize everyone with their energetic and vibrant live show. Dates coming soon…
Today, New Jersey post-hardcore rock outfit Chasing Safety released their sophomore album, NOMAD, with Outerloop Records. Co-written and produced, mixed and mastered by Kile O’Dell and Curtis Martin, NOMAD is an 11-song album filled with a slew of pulverizing rock tracks surrounding the theme of being left on your own. To celebrate the release today, the band is partnering exclusively with idobi Radio to share a visual stream of the album in full and will be going live on idobi Radio’s Instagram to discuss the album and their time on the road with Ice Nine Kills. This is what Johnny Galivan had to say about the release of NOMAD:
“Nomad is a genuine album about life. A lot of the songs on this album are about the thoughts I have about growing up and seeing how fast life goes by. The album is called Nomad because the overarching theme comes down to the idea that you are on your own to figure life out and make your own decisions. It was a blast to create – we wrote this album collectively in the same room with one another and it goes to show that writing together not only makes us better musicians but we’ve also come up with an album that is our best to date and one we’re extremely proud of. ” – Johnny Galivan
Hailing from Cherry Hill, NJ, Chasing Safety is a captivating band best known for delivering a barrage of ferociously intricate guitar riffs, explosive choruses, and hauntingly cinematic flares. Bringing their brand of theatrical brutality to life, the band flawlessly transitions their melodies from the stereo to the stage, taking their live show to the next level with high-energy on-stage antics. Comprised of Johnny Galivan (vocals), Kenny Davis (vocals, bass), Patrick Hall (guitar), and Luke Chizek (drums), the pulverizing five piece has stamped out a corner in the post-hardcore genre. After dominating their local scene, Chasing Safety self-released an EP, The Machine, in 2013, organically growing a rabid fan-base before penning a deal with Outerloop Records. Their debut full-length, Season of the Dead, was released in 2013 in collaboration with famed producers Dan Korneff (Pierce The Veil, Crown The Empire) and Nick Sampson (Asking Alexandria, Born Of Osiris).
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, the British punk outfit helmed by former Gallows’ singer Frank Carter, debut the video for “Wild Flowers”, from the band’s forthcoming album, Modern Ruin (Jan. 20, International Death Cult/Kobalt Music Services).
Critically acclaimed artist Jake Chapman created the video. Primarily known for his provocative work with his brother Dinos as part of the Turner Prize winning Chapman Brothers, for “Wild Flowers,” Chapman presents a furious, rapid fire mashup of seemingly random clips that bring to vivid life the beating heart of Carter’s lyrics.
“Jake Chapman is one of my favorite artists of all time,” said Carter. “Somehow in this mad world we also became quite good friends. Foolishly I jeopardized all of that by asking him to make us a music video for our song ‘Wild Flowers.’ Luckily for me, Jake Is further into the abyss of madness than I am and he has made something completely captivating and utterly insane… but best of all, we are still friends!”
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have confirmed a trio of U.S. performances, a Feb. 24 slot at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (with Crystal Fairy), and festival performances at Welcome to Rockville and Carolina Rebellion. More dates will be announced soon.
U.S. tour dates:
February 24 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour (w/Crystal Fairy)
April 29 Jacksonville, FL Welcome to Rockville
May 6 Charlotte, NC Carolina Rebellion
European tour dates:
January 12 Kingston, UK New Slang at The Hipperdrome with Banquet Records
January 18 Nottingham, UK Rough Trade East
January 19 London, UK Rough Trade East
January 22 Watford, UK LP Café
January 22 St. Albans, UK Empire Records
January 25 Barcelona, Spain St. Jordi Club (w/Biffy Clyro)
January 26 Madrid, Spain Barclaycard Center (w/Biffy Clyro)
January 27 Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon Coliseum (w/Biffy Clyro)
January 29 Toulouse, France Le Bikini (w/ Biffy Clyro)
January 30 Paris, France Olympia (w/ Biffy Clyro)
January 31 Lyon, France Radiant (w/ Biffy Clyro)
February 1 Geneva, Switzerland Usine
February 2 Milan, Italy Fabrique (w/ Biffy Clyro)
February 3 Stuttgart, Germany Porsche Arena (w/ Biffy Clyro)
February 5 Bologna, Italy Kindergarten –
February 6 Rome, Italy Atlantico (w/ Biffy Clyro)
February 7 Padova, Italy Gran Teatro Geox (w/Biffy Clyro)
February 8 Strasbourg, France La Laiterie
February 9 Hasselt, Belgium MOD
March 16 Norwich, UK Waterfront
March 17 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2 SOLD OUT
March 18 Newcaste, UK Riverside
March 19 Glasgow, UK St. Luke’s
March 21 Belfast, UK Oh Yeah Music Centre
March 22 Dublin, Ireland Academy 2
March 24 Leeds, UK Stylus
March 25 Birmingham, UK The Asylum SOLD OUT
March 26 Cardiff, UK The Globe SOLD OUT
March 27 Exeter, UK Exeter Phoenix
March 29 Southsea, UK Wedgewood Rooms
March 30 London, UK Koko SOLD OUT
Atlanta’s most influential trio, Migos, follows up the news of their eagerly anticipated C U L T U R E album coming January 27th on 300 Entertainment / Quality Control Music with a brand-new video for their previously unreleased single “T-Shirt.” The group also announces C U L T U R E is now available for pre-order which includes the “T-Shirt” track as an instant-grat available for free download upon purchase of the album. Directed by Daps, the video is set on a snow-covered mountain top and finds Migos head to toe in furs as Eskimos fully equipped with all the necessities for survival in the wilderness; bows, arrows, snow-bunnies, and snowmobiles. It is also the second visual Migos has released in 2017 and comes on the heels of the “Casting Call” visual shot in Nigeria out now.
Migos capped off 2016 with the massive first single from C U L T U R E in “Bad and Boujee” feat. Lil Uzi Vert. The song has since exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 2017 already via memes and fan videos and clinched the #1 position on iTunes/AppleMusic for all genres as well as Spotify’s Top 50 playlist. This week “Bad and Boujee” has jumped into the #2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and the video is currently at over 82 million views on YouTube and counting. Be sure to check out the new video for “T-Shirt” and stay tuned for C U L T U R E.
If ‘Just Drop On by’ announced the arrival of a promising new talent, ‘Restless’ delivers on that potential and then some. Recorded under the guidance of engineer/producer Karl Derfler (Tom Waits, Dave Matthews) and with Luning’s longtime live bandmates-Ben Dubin (bass & harmonica), Linden Reed (drums), and Dave Sampson (guitar & mandolin)-the album marks a major step forward, both sonically and emotionally.
“With the first record, I produced and engineered everything myself,” explains Luning. “I’d never worked with an outside producer before, so it was nerve-racking going into the studio with Karl for the first time, but it was just a perfect fit. It was like he knew what I wanted in my music before I even did, and he could push my performances where they needed to go and really take my music to another level.”
Luning and his band set up shop at the stunning Panoramic Studios in Stinson, California, crafting a darker, grittier vibe for the music and exploring a wider palette than ever before. While many of Luning’s songs are inspired by the lives and stories of the men and women he’s grown up with in California or met on the road, the lyrics are all filtered through his own unique perspective and reflect his remarkable personal journey. Perhaps no track fits that bill more directly than “Driftin,'” an infectious road warrior’s anthem that find’s Luning singing, “I wanna keep on drifting like a rambling man.”
Much of the album is uptempo and exuberant-“Almost Sounds Like Laughing” is a foot-stomping folk tune with the energy of a runaway train-but Luning shows off his remarkable depth and range on some of the record’s more restrained tracks, like the slow-burning “Brother In Chains” and delicate “Gonna Forget About You,” which finds him pulling his vocals back to an intimate near-whisper that conveys a world of heartache and regret. “In Hell I Am” started life as an acoustic blues on a resonator guitar before morphing into a fiery, electric rocker, while “Bet It All On Black” takes on a harder, Southern edge, with Luning repeating the mantra, “Ain’t no use in holding back.”
“It’s essentially about a person who’s kind of carefree,” he says, “and they know that something might not be the best thing to do, but they’re going all in with it anyway. They’re just going for it, regardless of the outcome and any repercussions they might face.”
If that sounds familiar, perhaps like the attitude of a man who might risk everything to drop out of school and move across the country to pursue a dream, it’s no coincidence. With songs this good, it’s a safe bet that a restless soul like David Luning is going to keep on traveling for a long time to come.