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.
Psycho Las Vegas
Psycho Las Vegas 2017 has shared the final lineup additions for this year’s four day festival. Full lineup includes Relapse Artists & Alumni: Neurosis, Windhand, Myrkur, Inter Arma, Gatecreeper, Cough, Black Anbil, Usnea, Minsk, Royal Thunder and Pentagram!
To get tix, HERE!
Mary J. Blige
Nine-time GRAMMY® Award-winner, Golden Globe® Award nominee and multiplatinum R&B legend Mary J. Blige will release her 13th studio album, STRENGTH OF A WOMAN, on April 28 via Capitol Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Produced by DJ Camper, Bam, Hit-Boy, and KAYTRANADA, the highly anticipated release will feature collaborations with Kanye West, Quavo (of Migos), DJ Khaled and Missy Elliot amongst others.
Available today, the album’s latest single, “Love Yourself”, features vocals from Kanye West and production by DJ Camper. The single proves Blige remains at the top of her game, displaying the soulful songstress’ signature R&B sound, delivered with yet another powerful vocal performance. “Love Yourself” follows the successful tracks “U + Me (Love Lesson)” and “Thick of it”. The latter marks a career milestone for Blige. Co-written by MJB along with Jazmine Sullivan, the song earned global recognition when it topped the Urban AC charts for over 15 weeks.
Multi-platinum alt-rock icons Incubus, celebrating in 2017 the 20th anniversary of their major label debut album, go live today on iTunes and Shop.IncubusHQ.com with exclusive music bundle pre-orders of 8, their aptly-titled eighth studio album, arriving April 21 on Island Records / Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. 8 includes tracks that were co-produced and mixed by Skrillex, (see below for full album breakdown). On April 25, four nights after the album release, Incubus will appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
iTunes pre-orders of 8 will include two instant grat tracks: “Nimble Bastard”, the new single from Incubus, and “Glitterbomb”. “Nimble Bastard” was launched with an iHeart Radio world premiere and live appearance on KROQ’s Kevin and Bean program in Incubus’ hometown, Los Angeles. “State Of The Art” will go up as the next instant grat track on March 31; “Undefeated” will follow on April 7. “Nimble Bastard” and “Glitterbomb” will also be available as standalone tracks for streaming partners.
The final track listing of 8 is as follows: 1. No Fun * 2. Nimble Bastard * 3. State Of The Art * 4. Glitterbomb * 5. Undefeated * 6. Loneliest * 7. When I Became A Man * 8. Familiar Faces * 9. Love In A Time Of Surveillance * 10. Make No Sound In The Digital Forest * 11. Throw Out The Map.
Tickets are now on sale for Incubus’ first major headline North American summer tour since 2015, with support by Arizona-based Jimmy Eat World and Nashville’s Judah & the Lion. The 30-city tour will open July 6 in West Palm Beach, and will make one stop in Canada at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on July 22.
On April 3, Incubus will join Daya, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore, Skrillex, Tinashe, and Zedd at WELCOME!, a special fundraising concert for the ACLU at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The event, which started as a call-to-action on Twitter in response to the recent immigration ban, was organized by artist/DJ/producer Zedd.
“Nimble Bastard” is the first new single from Incubus since “Absolution Calling”, from their Island debut EP, Trust Fall (Side A). Prior to that, Incubus – Brandon Boyd (lead vocals), Mike Einziger (lead guitar), Chris Kilmore (turntables, keyboards), Ben Kenney (bass), and José Pasillas II (drums) – played two weeks of shows in Australia (including the Soundwave Music Festival with Faith No More and Soundgarden), Japan, and Singapore.
Incubus emerged from Calabasas, California, with their indie debut album Fungus Amongus in 1995. Starting with 1997’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E., they went on to release six studio albums on the Epic/Immortal label (the last three produced by Brendan O’Brien), achieving RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum success; as well as five live albums. Four of their songs have hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, including “Drive” (2000, also Top 10 Pop), “Megalomaniac” (2003), “Anna-Molly” (2006), and “Love Hurts” (2008).
Splendour In The Grass
Check out the lineup above for Australia’s Splendour In The Grass! To get tix, click HERE!
Hip hop legends Positive K & Greg Nice have teamed up to form Gr8te Mindz! Check out the video for
their first single, “Bring It” (video directed by Lionel Martin with a Charlie Murphy cameo; song produced by Bink!)
Low Cut Connie
Dubbed by NPR’s Sound Opinions as “the essence of what rock and roll should be,” Low Cut Connie’s music undresses America. On Dirty Pictures (part 1), the Philadelphia band moves beyond its characteristic drunken bar boogie and dives into deeper, darker, grittier American life. Its fourth LP will be available worldwide on May 19 (Contender Records).
The Connie boys conceived Dirty Pictures (part 1) inside Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios (Big Star, ZZ Top). The first single “Revolution Rock n Roll” is a sludgy, soulful wake-up call and debuted with a loveably seedy video shot at the band’s recent sold-out Philadelphia show. Shot by DC street photographer Chris Suspect, the flashes of black and white, pie-eyed images capture the band’s explosive night of unconditional love and after-party debauchery.
The video stars members of the Low Cut Connie family —salty lunatics of every persuasion.
From the Stones-y swagger of “Dirty Water”, to the politically charged garage punk of “Death and Destruction”, the record runs deep; equal parts raunchy and tender. “Forever” laments the recent passing of musical icons, and the LP even features Low Cut Connie’s blistering take on Prince’s “Controversy.” Dirty Pictures (part 1) follows Get Out The Lotion (2011), Hi Honey (2015) and Call Me Sylvia (2012), which featured “Boozophilia”, a highlight on former President Barack Obama’s Summer 2015 Spotify Playlist.
Eccentric, wild-eyed, piano-pounding front man Adam Weiner is at the helm, bravely leading the five-piece and its beloved 400 lb. piano Shondra from concert halls and festivals, to frat houses and dive bars, and earning the band an obsessive nationwide cult following. The New York Times calls its raucous live show a “phenomenon.”
Low Cut Connie is kicking off a year’s worth of tour dates at Austin’s SXSW 2017. A full run of confirmed shows is below with more opportunities for wild and dirty times to be announced soon.
Dirty Pictures (part 2) is slated to be released in 2018.
Spearheaded by four New York death metal veterans involved in venerable acts including Skinless, Held Under, Armor Column, Dry Heave and Burial, Incontinence proudly reveal details for the release of their debut album, Prey For Us. Scheduled for release on May 15th 2017 via Ultimate Massacre Productions, Incontinence have came up with a record intent on bringing brutality to the metal-minded masses, within a package of strong songs that hook the listener in and don’t let go.
“The biggest underlying theme of the album is the theme of being under control, losing control and misery in lower-to-middle-class America”, comments the band. “For example, ‘Capitalist Martyr’ deals with a lower-level employee of a large corporation being shamed and forced into working longer hours. ‘Phantom Heart,’ ‘The Outrage Machine’ and ‘Inner Psychopath (Believe the Lie)’ all tie into the theme of being under control, being manipulated and losing one’s mind. Elsewhere, ‘Escape to the Slaughter’ is a song loosely about a real-life event in which a herd of bison escaped from a Buffalo meat farm just south of the Capital Region. They eventually got cornered and slaughtered by marksmen. This was written from the perspective of the bison herd. ‘Cryptofascist’ is without question about the rise of Trumpism/nationalism in the USA, but you could also apply it to other parts of the globe, as nationalism has seemingly become trendy. The song was written in the middle of the ridiculous US presidential campaign, prior to the election, and was never meant to be a prophecy. Several of the songs on the album were written structurally in the vein of what Chuck Shuldinder did on the last four Death albums as well as on the Control Denied album. Death was a big time influence on Prey For Us.”
Rising Detroit rap phenom Tee Grizzley shares his new single and video for “No Effort” today. Tee’s forthcoming mixtape My Moment drops on April 7th via 300 Entertainment. The new video for “No Effort” features renowned comedian Mike Epps and depicts Tee showing out on the town in luxury cars and clubs with ease. Check out the video now, share up, and stay tuned for My Moment coming soon.
LA electronic duo Phantoms have released their anticipated debut album, available everywhere today via Casablanca / Republic Records. Following their Broken Halo EP, a remix of Rihanna & Drake’s “Work” with over 8 million plays, a remix for Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj’s “Side To Side”, and a modern rendition of Eric Clapton’s classic “Cocaine”, Kyle Kaplan and Vinnie Pergola’s self-titled Phantoms LP is poised to be their breakout. The 11-track album evokes some of dance-pop’s icons like Justice and Daft Punk while bringing together a new generation of young singers like Grace Mitchell, Hayley Kiyoko, VÉRITÉ, Harlie and Phantoms’ own Kyle Kaplan. It’s the result of perfecting their craft and learning to not take themselves too seriously over the past few years, which in turn made their music effortless and fulfilling.
LA-based future-jazz vocalist & classically trained pianist NIIA has her debut album coming May 5th via Atlantic Records and here is the second single from it “Sideline”. Produced by Robin Hannibal (Rhye, Quadron, Kendrick Lamar, Chairlift, THE INTERNET), the track is like if Sade had a cell phone in the days of rotary dial. Confident and technically stunning the track follows “Hurt You First.” Check it below and let me know if you want to hear the full thing.
Zimbabwe-born Londoner KWAYE today revealed his stunning debut single “Cool Kids” alongside its effortlessly stylish visual accompaniment. Drawing on sleek neosoul and pioneering funk influences, KWAYE’s “Cool Kids” marks the beginning of a new chapter on his exciting journey with LA tastemaker label Mind of a Genius. The FADER described it as, “totally transfixing.” It may have been fate that put globetrotting 22 year old singer-songwriter KWAYE in the back of the Uber that ended up delivering him to his first record deal, but it was a lifetime of preparation that made him ready for it.
The Zimbabwe-born, London-raised student was in the midst of study abroad at UCLA, taking classes in African-American studies and the music industry. Within a week of landing he met a producer and the first thing they created together was a demo for what would become his breakout single “Cool Kids.” While still figuring out his way around the city, KWAYE was picked up in Downtown LA by an Uber driven by a former A&R executive, and after hearing “Cool Kids” he arranged to pass it along to Mind of a Genius label head David Dann. MOAG provided KWAYE with a place to work and record, and within just a couple weeks he was the label’s first UK signing.
He’s quite the catch. A student of not only the Zimbabwean music his family brought with them to England, but neosoul icons like D’Angelo and John Legend and funky boundary-pushers like Thundercat – not to mention unexpected influences like Tracy Chapman and the Eagles – KWAYE uses flourishes of pop and classic house music to juice up a breezy, funky version of modern soul miles apart from dour alt-R&B. A multi-instrumentalist who plays viola, sax, and guitar, he’s been performing on stage since childhood in venues ranging from open mic nights to the West End. And then there’s the style: Zimbabwean color and swagger matched with the clean, smart lines of London fashion. Even in his first videos, his sense of style extends seamlessly into his sonic identity, blending into one complete aesthetic whole with the effortless grace of a veteran pop star.
KWAYE is a new kind of artist, a utopian global citizen, bouncing from city to city, continent to continent, picking up influences and energy along the way. In a world that can sometime feel like it’s falling to pieces, KWAYE may not only be the pop artist we want right now-he might be the one we need.
Photo credit: John Munro
Nightwave teases her upcoming Wavejumper EP on Fool’s Gold (out 4/14) with the appropriately titled “Awesome” featuring Rye Rye, which premiered on Complex. These ladies aren’t playing around… Rye Rye’s laid-back party bars are merely prelude to a double-time, distorted 808 freakout like none other. Turn up and jump in!
After releasing critically acclaimed album Wilderness last year, German electro-pop duo Hundreds are back with visuals for the stunning “Un-Unify”. Deeply submerged in the electronic sound world, the HUNDREDS siblings replace conventional pop music structures with flowing arrangements and unusual beats. Un-Unify is a word created by the band, embodying a call for freedom in musical form. Danceable, lightfooted, and energy laden, the video for Un-Unify was shot by Gotta Love (the production team behind Small Sessions) in the legendary Funkhaus Berlin, the former seat of the DDR (East German) state radio.
The lyrics in UN-UNIFY encapsulate the singer’s longing to learn how to fight, and untie from her union with one man. The video maps her journey of learning to fight – from meeting the dancers, who integrate her and help her grow stronger, to them helping her shift from one place to another, where the man she is longing for is waiting. After the successful album release and sold out release tour, the band will be back on tour in March 2017.
After much excitement following the release of their single ‘Waves’, Lunar Twin are releasing their new ‘Night Tides’ EP through iconic Texas-based dreampop-shoegaze label Moon Sounds Records. This release is sure to appeal to fans of Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, David Sylvian, and Massive Attack.
This is the band’s third significant release, following their debut ‘Lunar Twin EP’ (2014) on Lunar Industry Records, the duo’s own imprint, and ‘Champagne Remixes’ (2015) through German boutique label Emerald & Doreen Records.
The EP literally flows from beginning to end, taking listeners on a journey through lush downtempo, synth and chill wave, and ultimately to the ocean at night. Tracks ‘Waves’, ‘Coral Sea’ and ‘Blood Moon’ seamlessly blend indie electronica and tropical noir, while synth and chill-wave are at their best on ‘Prayers of Smoke’, ‘Birds of Paradise’, and ‘Night Tides’.
Boudreau, vocalist and songwriter and also a Los Angeles native, currently resides in Hawaii, while multi-instrumentalist producer Chris Murphy lives in Salt Lake City. In recent years, he has shared the stage with numerous renowned artists, such as Grimes, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Peaches, through other projects he’s involved with.
“For this EP, we wanted to to channel the spirit of the primordial world and a lost island in the equatorial night feeling. The dense warm air smelling of flowers beneath a canopy of banyan trees,” says Bryce Boudreau. “’Waves’ is about drifting between two worlds – the primeval and the technological, and between Earth and Water spirits.”
‘Night Tides’ will be offered on limited edition lathe-cut vinyl via Lunar Industry Records, the duo’s own imprint. The vinyl pre-order is up now via Bandcamp, where the album is also available digitally. Already a very limited run of cassettes is available through Moon Sounds Records.
My new album Love Versus is my closest to a fully realized record to date. It’s also a milestone for me being the first recording made at my home studio in Alberta. It was an amazing experience being totally immersed in what I was doing and it allowed me to set a new standard for my music and return re-energized. I was fortunate to have Pete Thomas from The Attractions play on the album and Colin Stewart (The New Pornographers, Black Mountain, Dan Mangan), produce it.
There is a lot of darkness and maybe a bit of cynicism on this album, but there is also more hope and joy on it than anything I’ve done in the past. This is exemplified in the first single “I Want It All” which I just released a video for.
The inspiration for “I Want It All” came about after meditating on the idea of being grateful for what I have as opposed to the things I want or feel I need. It also acts as a call to action for artists today to speak truthfully or create truthful art.
Love Versus will be released on April 7, 2017 via True North Records
The Kraken Quartet
A massive force of percussion and electronics, The Kraken Quartet is a genre-crossing group known for its highly energetic and engaging performances. Since their formation in 2012, the Austin-based group has been heralded for merging elements of math rock, minimalism, indie, post-rock, electronica, and the avant-garde.
The Kraken Quartet has been featured on festivals and broadcasts including Fast Forward Austin, Audiotree Live, Austin Instrumental Music Festival, WNYC, KUTX, SoundSpace, and more. Their debut full-length album, Separate | Migrate, will be released this Spring.
The Kraken Quartet is Chris Demetriou, Andrew Dobos, Taylor Eddinger, and Sean Harvey. The group is proud to use Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Grover Pro Percussion and Hammerax instruments.
NYC-based, guitar-driven singer and songwriter, Katie Buchanan, shares “Floating” – the first single from her new LP – today via She Shreds. She is gearing up to release her sophomore album, Who We Are When We’re Standing, on June 9, 2017. The record is written and produced by Buchanan, mixed by Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers, Wet, Emmy the Great) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Neon Indian, The Sea and Cake, The Mars Volta, Trust).
The indie pop troubadour “deserves a prime spot on your daily playlist,” praises City Of Tenants, and they aren’t alone in their admiration. No Depression says, “it’s these under the radar artists like Katie Buchanan that renew my belief that in the right hands rock is not dead.” Buchanan’s music is guitar-driven pop with Americana roots and a slight electro spin. Honing her production skills while studying at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and combining them with those homegrown roots, her music is “presented on a plate of spicy true blues tradition with just the right garnish of folk, roots, country and yes – a little electronica,” No Depression continues, “The Americana will follow and it will embellish it beautifully.”
The Kansas-native grew up surrounded by music, having been born into a long line of musicians. With childhood memories of learning the blues around a campfire, you could say that songwriting is in Buchanan’s blood and comes almost as a second nature.
2014’s EP Go received praise from Surf Rock Music (“you will never get tired of hearing it”) and Guitar World (“power vocal delivery conjures up an entrancing and magical experience.”) In 2015, Buchanan released her debut album, GLOW, which earned her comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Fiona Apple from The Revue. Elmore Magazine draws comparison to “a lost peak-Tears For Fears track” in regards to the album’s stunning track “Gold.” GLOW’s shimmering lead single “Honey, Don’t” was premiered by The Vinyl District, who say they found themselves “in the arms of a wide-open pop song equipped with a stuttering electronic beat and moody chorus.” No Depression says the single “has the power to draw a listener into a vacuum of colorful melody.”
Fans of Katie Buchanan’s ability to seamlessly combine her signature blues-rock style with modern production techniques will not be disappointed by her forthcoming effort, Who We Are When We’re Standing. Her unique style of music also shines through in her live performances.
While listeners are being swept up in the album’s guitar driven pop anthems with that signature electro spin, they can find a message at the core: to stand still and stand tall.
Photo Cred: Lexi Lambro
Other finds Alison at the top of her game, making exactly the adventurous electronic pop music she wants to at this moment in time, with her voice and songwriting both intense, poetic and thought provoking. Other was catalyzed by Alison’s fruitful dalliance with producer and song writing collaborator Guy Sigsworth, who (as well as having worked with Björk, Goldie and Madonna), co-created her last album the minutes, which debuted at # 5 in the national charts and won critical acclaim.
The new longplayer features backing vocals from Alison’s daughter on “The English U”, which was preceded by her guest appearance on stage at Alison’s Royal Albert Hall show, and an appearance in the video for “When I Was Your Girl” (from the minutes).
In addition to Alison studying sculpture at college whilst also creating this new release, other happenings of note since the minutes include receiving an Icon Award at Nordoff Robbins Silver Clef Awards, a hot ticket performance with a 32-piece orchestra at Burberry’s London Fashion Week womenswear show, and her involvement in the RSC’s celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary where Alison composed and performed a new arrangement of “Sigh No More Ladies “(from Much Ado About Nothing) in their BBC 2 live special.
Desert Suns and Chiefs
Serving as an ongoing showcase for some of the best and heaviest bands emerging from the underground, each installment shines a light on those worthy of your attention. Consisting of one, 12” slab of multicolored vinyl with full color sleeves and inserts, the series is designed to be saved and treasured, like a fine anthology of books. So much so when the albums are filed next to each other, the complete collection of aligned spines form a mind-blowing image direct from the underground.
DESERT SUNS – In that space where psychedelia, blues-rock and doom coalesce, it’s there you’ll likely find Desert Suns. Formed in late 2013, from the outset the Californian quartet demonstrated a versatility rarely seen amongst their contemporaries. In no time at all they wrote, recorded and released their debut single ‘Burning Temples’ and by that same summer had already started to unload an arsenal of new sounds. Released in 2014, their self-titled debut reassured fans that they were far from one hit wonders. Containing haunting lyrics of alienation with compelling hooks, Desert Suns peddle an addictive and atmospheric energy of heavy rock familiar to fans of early ’70s proto-metal acts such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Blue Cheer.
CHIEFS – Having originally begun life as a two-piece back in January of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, after years of releasing demos, touring and playing around Phoenix Valley the duo made the decision to relocate to San Diego, CA. Shortly after, they released a four-song demo entitled Buffalo Roam, and did numerous short West Coast tours to support it. Eventually the group became a three-piece with the permanent addition of bassist Jeff Podeszwik, who filled out the low-end of the band and transformed their sound. Hot off the heels of releasing a split 7″ with Fuzz Evil through Battleground Records, Chiefs released their debut full-length album Tomorrow’s Over and are now the latest addition to Ripple Music’s much coveted SCoH’s “Hall of Fame”.
Kentucky-based rockers Moonbow began in 2011 when vocalist/BMX legend Matt Bischoff and Hank 3 guitarist Davey McElfresh met at McElfresh’s Covington apartment to outline the details of a new project. What started out as a simple partnership quickly gained momentum and turned into something considerably more when Steve Earle (Afghan Whigs, Hermano) stepped in on drums and former Valley Of The Sun bassist Ryan McAllister was invited to service the low end. After only a few weeks it was obvious that something pretty badass was happening and since setting off on that one-way track, Moonbow have become a serious force to be reckoned.
With their line-up complete they immediately got to work on their debut album, The End Of Time. Due to McElfresh’s constant touring and Bischoff’s stint on reality TV show Survivor: Caramoan, the album was eventually released in 2013 and immediately gained traction both at home and abroad, securing international distribution after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Giving a nod to countrified roots and arid desert jams, The End of Time not only featured some of the meatiest riffs to ever come out of Kentucky, but also guest vocals by the legend John Garcia. Informed by McElfresh’s fuzz-savvy guitar playing, Earle’s deft skin work, McAllister’s distorted Rickenbacker groove and Bischoff’s unique take on songwriting and storytelling, the album showcased a band that were only just getting started.
In 2015, the quartet went on to release an acoustic follow up entitled Volto del Demone and with new album War Bear – their first outing for the California-based record label Ripple Music – it’s safe to say that their time is most definitely upon us.
War Bear will be given an official worldwide release on 21st April 2017 via Ripple Music
Aria-nominated, Melbourne rockers KINGSWOOD, today release their bold and daring, second album After Hours, Close To Dawn into the world via Dew Process. After selling out their hometown headline show, the band have just announced a second date for 170 Russell on Sunday, March 26, plus added an additional date for Brisbane on Saturday, April 8 at The Triffid.
The After Hours, Close To Dawn tour kicks off this month, March 23 and tickets are selling fast. Go to kingswoodband.com for tickets and info.
KINGSWOOD also announce that they will be heading to your favourite record stores; Red Eye Records in Sydney, Jet Black Cat in Brisbane; Record Paradise in Melbourne this week for a series of in-store signings, meet and greet their friends and fans, and perform some sneaky pop-up acoustic sessions of new music from the record.
KINGSWOOD released the first taste of this new music in October last year. ‘Creepin” – their first since the release of their 2014 top 10 ARIA debut album Microscopic Wars. The song was described by triple j as, “a smoky bait-and-switch that draws you in with moody guitar and vocalist Fergus Linacre’s soulful growl before broadsiding you with dirty, leather-scuffing riffage” and was added straight to the station’s playlist, and went on to place #48 in the triple j Hottest 100 2016.
The band’s second official single, ‘Golden’, which again premiered on triple j’s Goodnights with Linda show, exposed a completely new side of their music in a move that both surprised and delighted critics and fans. The song saw the band trade in their trademark big riffs and vocals, and in their lay down a grooving bassline, beautiful falsetto harmonies, and a tinge of Wurlitzer that all combine into a sound that will lead you to see KINGSWOOD in a whole new light.
After Hours, Close To Dawn was named in Rolling Stone Australia’s 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017, as well as The Herald Sun’s Biggest New Albums in 2017, and sees KINGSWOOD move to the frontline of innovators in Australian music. It mixes compelling R’n’B grooves with soaring rock & roll, garage soul and space-age experimentation. It’s an eclectic collection of music, but it’s all connected by the defining element that is the trio’s creative DNA. No matter what shape they take, these songs are still instantly recognisable as pure KINGSWOOD.
The band has also announced local supports for their fifteen-date, triple j supported, national headline album tour. Joining KINGSWOOD on the road will be Brisbane vibe-punks WAAX, Tasmanian artist Maddy Jane, with her rollicking, indie-pop as well as Melbourne trash-punk quintet Batz.
Today Slothrust have shared their Audiotree Live in-studio session. The band’s most recent album ‘Everyone Else’ is out now on Dangerbird Records and the band has released a wealth of visual material to accompany it. Music videos for “Sleep Eater”, “Horseshoe Crab”, “Rotten Pumpkin” and “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”, as well as live videos for “Rotten Pumpkin”, “Horseshoe Crab”, “Pigpen”, and in celebration of the just passed holiday season, the Louie Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World”. They will be doing a handful of headline dates and shows supporting Highly Suspect this Spring.
4/13/17 Fayetteville AR @ Georges w-Highly Suspect
4/14/17 Dallas TX @ South Side Music Hall w-Highly Suspect
4/15/17 Austin, TX @ Barracuda Slothrust Headline
4/18/17 Hunstville TX @ Sammy T’s Music Hall w-Highly Suspect
4/19/17 Louisville,KY @ Zanzabar Slothrust Headline
4/20/17 Lexington KY @ Manchester Music Hall w-Highly Suspect
4/21/17 St. Louis MO @ The Pageant w-Highly Suspect
4/22/17 Cumberland Caverns TN @ Cumberland Cavern w-Highly Suspect
4/24/17 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Purgatory Slothrust Headline
4/25/17 Mobile AL @ Soul Kitchen w-Highly Suspect
4/26/17 Destin FL @ Club LA w-Highly Suspect
4/28/2017 Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder Slothrust Headline
With their long-awaited third album, Slothrust deliver ten riveting anthems that reward repeated listens. The songs grab the ear and pierce the psyche with complex arrangements and lyrical depth intensified by guitarist/vocalist Leah Wellbaum’s penetrating vocal delivery.
Slothrust is Wellbaum, Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums). The trio first staked out their unique strain of jazz- and blues-afflicted rock as students at Sarah Lawrence College. The band’s 2012 debut Feels Your Pain, and its successor 2014’s Of Course You Do, established the band as a breed apart, serving up deceptively clever epics that veer satisfyingly between incandescent riffing and pop hooks, winsome anxiety and powerful heft.
“People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that,” says Wellbaum. Even the band’s name inspires a beat of thoughtful consideration as the eyes take in the letters and the brain makes its snap judgement: Slo Thrust? Slot Rust? Slo Trust? Sloth-Rust.
We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock,” she continues. “Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing. I am drawn to musicians a bit further outside of the rock tradition, such as John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotten, D’Angelo, and Portishead. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B and classical music. And musicals.”
While Everyone Else clearly shows Wellbaum fulfilling her early promise as a singer, it’s where she hits her stride as a lyricist: Pulling the listener under the surface to explore a submerged world brimming with exotic creatures. Water motifs abound, detailing oddly off-kilter observations about floating, submerging and drowning that are anything but morose. Instead, they contort and reflect worldly truths about life on dry land.
“Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone” opens like some bizzarro world lullaby dispensing sage advice: “Drink seltzer, smoke weed when you can’t sleep. Think about shooting birds, everyone has got a violent streak.” Then, as the guitars explode, the rhythm section dials into stylish, disciplined groove to set up an expansive instrumental break that gently floats to a close with Wellbaum, at peace: “Hold me under the water. My lungs are filling with plankton. But the lake is not lonely. No need for you to come with me.”
Above all the overriding ethos of Everyone Else is its sense of inclusiveness: all people, every feeling, quiet, loud, any time signature. With a snap of the neck the band launches into the hyper-adrenalized “Rotten Pumpkin” with Wellbaum singing in a rapid-fire vomit burst, “I’ll make you sick because I’m soft water. Reach inside of me, and scoop out my seeds.” This midpoint between grunge and art rock is the aesthetic Slothrust elevates: sharp-eyed individualism, serious musicianship, humble intelligence, controlled abandon.
Photo Cred: C.J. Riehl
Adult Mom began as the solo project of Stephanie Knipe in a Purchase College dorm room in 2012. Adult Mom now falls between the playful spectrum of solo project and collaborative band with beloved friends and musicians Olivia Battell, Mike Dvorscak, and Bruce Hamilton. Through reflections and explorations of the personal and hidden, the crux of the writing produced by Knipe is focused on excavation. The dredging out of secrets, putting it all in a pan, waiting for the gold to rise. Honesty and intimacy form as Knipe writes clever pop songs that offer a glimpse into the journey of a gender-weird queer navigating through heartache, trauma and subsequent growth.
With their debut LP, Momentary Lapse of Happily, Adult Mom bravely shined a light on the darkness and allowed the listener to experience and feel those moments along with them. Soft Spots, the project’s sophomore LP, is an exploration into the physical and emotional acts of opening up, the vulnerability that produces love, and then ache. With this record, Knipe proclaims that everybody has soft spots. Spots that get cared for and tended to, that grow and fade, that produce feeling that can linger for years and years. Knipe shares with us their process of learning how to cradle and understand their own softness without finality, a story without an end.
“To The Light”, which was also featured on OVO Radio and currently with over 87k plays on SoundCloud, is a collaborative production by Phil Good Music and A.CHAL. The song is a continuation in A.CHAL’s soul searching journey, that he introduced on his debut album ‘Welcome To GAZI’ which has reaped over 30 million plays and gained A.CHAL over 500k monthly listeners on Spotify alone. “To The Light” he conveys, is reflective of discovering self-love and purpose.
After a successful debut at SXSW earlier this month with three showcases, Noisey x Belvedere: Behind the Scenes, Remezcla: Shattering Stereotypes, and Pigeons & Planes x Staple: No Ceilings, A.CHAL continues solidifying his career with the support and coverage of major media such as a behind the scenes on Noisey alongside RnB songstress Jhené Aiko, features on The Fader, Complex, XXL and USA Today as well as adds to Spotify playlists such as Signed XOXO and Gender Bender among others.
This bad, old world will get exponentially better May 19 when HONEY WEST releases Bad Old World (Readout Records), an explosive new collection that introduces a remarkable songwriting collaboration between unassuming British rock titan Ian McDonald, founding member of both Foreigner and King Crimson, and noted Shakespearean actor Ted Zurkowski, a pillar of New York’s theater community by way of world-renowned method acting haven The Actors Studio.
Though constructed on the fundamental foundation of two guitars, bass and drums, the mirthful music on Bad Old World ― which multi-instrumentalist McDonald also produced ― is sophisticated and multi-textured, thanks to the indispensable instrumental and compositional talents of McDonald, and the sly, knowing word craft of lead singer-guitarist Zurkowski.
McDonald maintains that his songwriting partner’s cunning way with words was his raison d’etre for joining HONEY WEST in the first place.
“Ted’s lyrics are very smart,” says McDonald. “I like smart lyrics, I like smart music. This ended up being a really good partnership.”
Aiding and abetting McDonald and Zurkowski in HONEY WEST is a troupe of top-shelf musicians including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include, among other notable artists, Paul McCartney & Wings, and McDonald’s son Maxwell on bass. Bad Old World also boasts a special guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants), who plays bass on several tracks.
The self-deprecating first single, “Dementia,” due April 14, is a perfect portal into the off-kilter world of HONEY WEST, so named after the groundbreaking 1960s TV series about a sexy female secret agent. “Dementia,” the album’s closing track, is a tightly wound, foot-stomping, Saturday-night rocker highlighted by McDonald’s baritone sax – which originally left a memorable imprint on T. Rex’s iconic “Get It On (Bang A Gong).” But Zurkowski’s typically droll, self-deprecating lyrics elevate the song far beyond the typical party-hearty blueprint, and identify its creators as a rock ’n’ force.
Since their debut full-length, 2014’s ”Omnimalevolence of Man”, Enragement has taken ever further leaps into the darkness. Honing skills, technique and atmosphere, and above all, their myriad visions of evil, the band’s new opus “Burned, Barren, Bloodstained” paints the bands most abysmal portrait of man to date.
Enragement presents a unique blend of three equal-footed growlers adding twisted nuances into the sea of brutality, to seamlessly highlight each step of their disgusting stories. And whether it be musical elements blackened, brutal or technical, Enragement knows that what matters in the end is the twisted end-product; a true soundtrack to a virgin’s last view in a serial-killers basement, or the red rain of bodyparts when a passenger plane is shot down, or the sick grin of a husband about to throw acid on his wife’s face…
No sound, no idea is beyond Enragement’s quest to create the ultimate song to capture the human condition at its darkest. This is Extreme Death Metal, this is Enragement!
As with all great and engaging music, the generational waves in which each genre evolves retroactively measures its widespread impact. Combining four distinct backgrounds, newly minted Brooklyn-based band Stay Inside refracts its own urgent style on the emo/post-hardcore landscape. Now, the quartet is readying the release of their debut EP, As You Were, out April 21st via self-release.
Comprised of four transplants, Bartees Cox, Jr. (guitar, vox) of Yukon, OK, Chris Johns (guitar, vox) of Hockessin, DE, Vishnu Anantha (drums) of Wayne, PE and Bryn Nieboer (bass, vox) of Los Angeles, CA, Stay Inside seeks to tell stories about fighting back and bringing more people into the fold of their impassioned scene.
On Stay Inside’s mission, Cox, Jr. shares it’s, “To show folks all over that whether it’s about significant others, family, cops, misogyny, racism, or anything else, they have four friends in Brooklyn yelling and screaming for them.”
Emotional crescendos meet melodic instrumentations as the band spreads their wings and explores their full range for the first time on As You Were. There’s a natural chemistry at play with Stay Inside as they stare at their collective reflection, internalize it and use that imagery to paint new progressive pictures.
“I grew up listening to so many hardcore and emo bands wondering why they didn’t have more black kids in them,” continues Cox, Jr. who goes on to describe Nieober’s background. “While she, at times, turned to bands like Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill for music made by people with similar issues on her mind, it wasn’t until college until she discovered Carissa’s Wierd. But even still, the amount of women in emo/post-hardcore was disappointing.”
In these increasingly uncertain times we all are living in, Stay Inside is here to embrace and engage with the marginalized, the depressed and anyone looking to challenge the rituals of conformity.
Look for more from Stay Inside leading up to the drop of their debut EP with a record release show planned at The Gateway on April 20th.
The Unlikely Candidates
Today, VEVO is world premiering the new music video from Fort Worth, TX alternative rock band, The Unlikely Candidates for their song “Ringer.” Watch it HERE! “Ringer” is currently #31 on the Mediabase Alternative Chart and climbing, #3 on the Mediabase “Rate The Music” Male 18-34 Alternative ranking, and has almost 450,000 listens on Spotify.
The video represents a massive global effort by the band who wanted to have people from all over the world participate in playing out all their interesting and weird ideas. With the help of Fiverr, the world’s largest marketplace for creative and digital services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, they helped the band achieve a first of its kind creation. “We didn’t want to make typical music video, we wanted it to be different and to see our crazy ideas come to life,” said Kyle Morris, lead singer of The Unlikely Candidates. “When we heard about Fiverr, we reached out to them. They loved the idea so much that they wanted to be a part of it. We could not have turned our vision into reality without Fiverr.”
Since Fiverr’s community is global and consists of a diverse talent pool from 190 countries, the band could tap into those resources resulting in submissions from over 27 countries, including some as far reaching as Macedonia, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Mozambique. Other submissions that made it into the video were from the US, France, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Australia, Germany, Philippines, Ukraine, Serbia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Venezuela, Haiti, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Argentina, and Greece. “Most of these people went to great lengths to be a part of the project. I would go back and forth for weeks with some of them trying to get the right shot. Sometimes this was difficult because of the language barrier, but everyone was extremely understanding and we were pretty much always able to get what we needed across,” said Morris.
The video took Morris over 200 hours over two and a half months piecing it together with director Adam VillaSenor. “It’s incredible to see what the guys have created by taking a unique vision and really exploring it creatively,” said Chris Lane, Global Head of Digital and Brand Marketing for Fiverr. “As a community that celebrates the unconventional routes to success and lives the “do it differently” mentality, we love how The Unlikely Candidates took on a creative challenge and made a one of a kind anthem.”
The Unlikely Candidates are currently playing throughout the US on their “The People’s Choice” headline tour as well as playing other select dates and radio shows in support of their Bed Of Liars EP that was released on February 17, 2017. They continue to build their growing fan base and the accolades have been rolling in. MySpace recently named The Unlikely Candidates the “…number one pick for who you must see at SXSW this year.” In the past, they there they were mentioned in The New York Times and Esquire as a must-see band to see at SXSW as well. About the band and EP, Fort Worth Weekly says, “The sonics range from Led Zeppelin to The Strokes, with sleek, infectious riffage and smart, catchy vocals.” The Aspen Times says “…It’s indie rock made for stadium-sized crowds… moving from the Mumford-esque acoustic anthem ‘Just Breathe’ to the electro-pop of ‘Ringer.’” While Alternative Addiction says, “’Ringer’ could be the most fun alternative rock song of the year…The Unlikely Candidates should be household names right now, the band’s always been that good. With their new EP, they get to prove it. Here’s hoping that in 2017 they earn the rep they deserve.”