Currents

  • Marika Hackman
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    Marika Hackman

    I'm Not Your Man

    There’s an open-ended nature to Londoner Marika Hackman‘s upcoming “I’m Not Your Man” (out 6/2): the discussions within, conversations on femininity, sex and sexual identity, millennial ennui, the pressures of living in a social media bubble and the perils of being young in a fast-paced industry. Says Marika, “The record’s all about female relationships, romance and breakdowns, but there’s also a dim worldview going on. I’m Not Your Man can either mean, ‘I’m not your man, I’m your woman’, or it can mean, ‘I’m not a part of this…’,” explains Marika. It’s a fiery statement from a songwriter who no longer wants to be shackled to limiting descriptions.

     

    To help channel this fervid energy, Marika recruited her best mates – London quartet The Big Moon to play as her backing band on “I’m Not Your Man”. “They really captured the soul of what it all meant to me and brought a lot of fun and creativity,” says Hackman. The unspoiled nature of the recording environment has thrown up a truly dynamic, multi-genre sound. It’s all tied together via razor sharp wit and authenticity.

     

    “All rounded, chiming guitars, squealing string-bends and crunchy choruses—she’s witty, sardonic and coming to steal your lover just because she can.”–P4K (on “Boyfriend”)

     

    “contains a variety of themes, including sexual identity, social media anxiety and the angst of youth.”–PASTE (on “Boyfriend”)

     

    “Grungy dream-pop gloom” — The Guardian (UK)

     

    “Lean, mean and really, really funny.”  — NME

     

    “A muscular call to arms..” – CLASH

    Listen: Marika Hackman – “Boyfriend” (radio edit)

    Marika Hackman – “Boyfriend” (radio edit)

  • The Weeks
    the weeks easy

    The Weeks

    Easy

    The Weeks recorded “Easy” over the course of two weeks at Memphis, TN’s legendary Ardent Studios with producer Paul Ebersold. The band left Nashville to record in order to disassociate themselves from their everyday routines in the city, and to find a halfway point between their two homes old and new, Mississippi and Nashville. “Memphis has always been the capital of North Mississippi to us,” says guitarist Sam Williams. “We went there to be at Ardent. We knew Paul had learned everything from John Frye and John Hammond so we figured that was the spot. It’s important to keep those historic studios alive and not let them become museums.”

     

    The Weeks frontman Cyle Barnes says, “We called it ‘Easy’ because every time I make music with these guys, it’s easy. It feels good. But the other side of it is there’s nothing easy about being in a band. There’s nothing easy about staying together for ten years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us.”

     

    Thematically, ‘Easy’ explores new ground for the band. Bassist Damien Bone explains, “We just wanted to make a rock record. We weren’t as concerned making it a southern rock record. The southern thing is always going to part of what we do.”

     

    “powerful guitars and Southern-tinged vocals” —Paste

     

     

    “Driven by rowdiness, and a mix of pride and defiance about their origins.” —The Guardian (UK)

     

     

    “Their music still kicks with the same hard-bitten affirmations that made them better than weekends in the first place.” —American Songwriter

    Listen: The Weeks – “Talk Like That”

    The Weeks – “Talk Like That”

  • Bonzie
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    Bonzie

    How Do You Find Yourself, Love? (radio edit)

    BONZIE‘s new 7″ single “How Do You Find Yourself, Love?”, brings her philosophical musings to a post-rock backdrop both gloriously chaotic and stunningly lucid.

     

    Recorded by the legendary Steve Albini, the abrasive yet graceful title track from BONZIE‘s latest double single mines much inspiration from Renaissance-era author Thomas Moore. BONZIE has manifested into a songwriter that isn’t traditional or confessional, but more of an observer and commentator.

     

    “The song is something of a meditation on meditation,” explains Nina Ferraro, Chicago’s 21-year-old songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who’s created under the moniker of BONZIE since age 17. “I wrote it while reading a lot about the connectedness between the human body and the mind, and about how who you are as a person can be influenced by so many different things.”

     

    BONZIE is set to release her second full-length, the anticipated “Zone On Nine” (due Spring 2017). The album is written and produced by Ferraro herself, and co-produced along with Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Conor Oberst) and Ali Chant (Youth Lagoon, Perfume Genius). Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Bright Eyes’ Nate Walcott also contribute to the upcoming album.

     

    “Delicacy and drama, surrender and anger, made a riveting combination when Bonzie performed”–New York Times

     

    “Wunderkind….like the work of a vet well-versed in whispered catharsis…..evokes a young Chan Marshall.”–SPIN

     

    “The artist we’re most excited to see here is Bonzie….a great voice and is clearly determined to be a memorable performer as well.”–Brooklyn Vegan

     

    “…tapping into her youthful honesty to produce uniquely heartfelt tracks.”–PASTE

     

    “Marvel at the intricacies of her songwriting and individual style.”–Huffington Post

     

    “The album showcases the young artist’s assured talent, its songs ranging from elegant folk with ambient and orchestral touches to more ramshackle country numbers that recall the feisty weariness of Bright Eyes.”–Under The Radar

    Bonzie – “How Do You Find Yourself, Love? (radio edit)”

    Bonzie – “How Do You Find Yourself, Love?” (radio edit)

  • Dirty Projectors
    Dirty Projectors Album Art-thumb-633x633-554933

    Dirty Projectors

    Dirty Projectors

    As a follow up to new music specialty show fave “Swing Lo Magellan”, the new self-titled album does everything we want and expect from Dirty Projectors–but in a way we never could have imagined or anticipated. David Longstreth, the founding member and sole constant Projector, goes where the music is: he builds his band and arrangements around the songs he’s writing in that moment. As with previous Dirty Projectors albums, the newly released latest sees Longstreth lead a group of hugely talented contributors, including Solange Knowles, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D∆WN and Danity Kane), in realizing his creative vision.

     
    Far from remaining idle in the years since the last Dirty Projectors release, Longstreth has spent the intervening years steadily at work with a range of collaborators, contributing to releases from Joanna Newsom, Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney (writing on “FourFiveSeconds” in 2015), and Solange Knowles (writing and production on “A Seat At The Table”).

    Listen: Dirty Projectors – “Cool Your Heart” feat. D∆WN

    Dirty Projectors – “Cool Your Heart” feat. D∆WN

  • The Districts
    ordinary-day-districts

    The Districts

    Ordinary Day

    The Districts are a band that exists in the moment. Described by close friends and girlfriends as a well-oiled machine, filthily cult like, and also “normal dudes.”

     

    The Philadelphia four-piece channels its long-forged bonds into visceral, explosive genre blurring music. Informed equally by arrangements and dynamics, and a focus on lyrics, they take inspiration from a broad range of sounds and places. They are constantly evolving and hard to pin down.

     

    From their self-released  LP “Telephone,” to their 2015 label debut LP “A Flourish and a Spoil,” The Districts keep at work touring and recording. Formed in 2009, they have been going strong for quite a while now. An anonymous insider report claims they have recorded a new album and it is more realized and in your face than ever before. Be on the lookout.

     

    ’Ordinary Day’ deals with a sort of personal alienation and the realization that you and the world you’ve existed in have changed. Sort of the feeling of coming through a tunnel and having no way of relating to things in the same way as before. It was written in late summer/early fall and came together quite naturally….Personal lives were in flux and we were sitting around philly losing our minds.”–Rob Grote/The Districts

     

    “…let me play you this now, new music from a really special band, from Philadelphia called The Districts. I first saw them out at South By South West in Austin, Texas about three years ago, and they blew me away, they were like one of the toasts of the festival that year, they released a brilliant debut album, the follow-up is on the way this year, and this is the first new music from The Districts, it’s called Ordinary Day.–debut from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 (earlier this week!)

    Listen: The Districts – “Ordinary Day” (radio edit)

    The Districts – “Ordinary Day” (radio edit)

  • Walker Lukens
    lukens new

    Walker Lukens

    Ain't Got A Reason EP

    In 2013, Walker Lukens released his first full length record, “Devoted”. It received praise from outlets like NPR’s All Songs Considered, American Songwriter, Austin American Statesman, Austin Chronicle, and Billboard and took Lukens and his backing band, The Side Arms, all over the US.

     

    After meeting Spoon drummer Jim Eno in a bar, Lukens & The Side Arms started recording new music at with him at his studio, Public Hi-Fi. Their first collaboration, “Every Night,” has been streamed over a million times now. Their second collaboration, “Lifted” from the “Never Understood EP” spent 8 weeks on the new music show specialty radio charts and garnered Lukens spots at festivals across the country.

     

    Lukens and Eno’s 3rd collaboration “Ain’t Got A Reason EP” will be released April 7th.

     

    “The singer-songwriter’s voice strikes the perfect balance between soul and sass, riding high above a funky bassline that definitely owes a bit to Spoon’s influence.”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “So, I get this CD in by Walker Lukens, I’ve never heard of him….I listened to it, and it was so good. I listened to it, and I thought, I’ve to to listen to this again. Maybe I’m just in a really good mood. And nope, it holds up. Even on my worst days, this is a fantastic record.”–NPR All Songs Considered (Robin Hilton)

    Listen: Walker Lukens – “Where Is Thunder Road?” (radio edit)

    Walker Lukens – “Where Is Thunder Road?” (radio edit)

  • Craig Finn
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    Craig Finn

    We All Want The Same Things

    Hot on the heels of release news of The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn‘s anticipated new solo album “We All Want The Same Things” (coming 3/24) comes potent first single “Preludes”.

     

    “‘Preludes’ is what I remember 1994 being like coming back to the Twin Cities after being away for college. It’s a time in my life that I felt most adrift, but there was also a feeling of wonder in being out of step and alone. This is the song on the album that is closest to being autobiographical, but I think it fits with these other character studies in that I was trying to figure out my place in a world that didn’t seem to have a lot of room for me.”–Craig Finn

     

    Craig Finn‘s currently out during January with a very special “living room tour” (the final dates of We All Want The Same Things: An Evening Of Music and Conversation with Craig Finn), but Next sets forth as special guest on Japandroids’ upcoming tour beginning next month!

     

    “We All Want The Same Things” follows Finn‘s two previous solo efforts, 2012’s “Clear Heart Full Eyes” and 2015’s “Faith In The Future”. The new album sees Finn exploring themes of love and partnership in the modern world, as ever expressed via finely etched character studies, black humor, and craftily arranged rock ‘n’ roll.

     

    “a grandiose number that intersects Springsteen’s lyrics with The War On Drugs’ wanderlust instrumentation.”–SPIN

     

    “a quasi-autobiographical tune about what it’s like to return home and no longer fit in. And so to find purpose, there are nights spent driving, or drinking, or both, and ending up stuck in a snow ditch.”–PASTE

    Listen: Craig Finn – “Preludes”

    Craig Finn – “Preludes”

  • Hippo Campus
    hippo campus

    Hippo Campus

    landmark

    Hippo Campus“landmark” (coming 2/24) was written and recorded over the past twelve months and produced by the fast-rising BJ Burton (Bon Iver, Francis & The Lights, Low). The record marks a true coming of age for the band, exploring an intimate world of universal concepts; love and loss, family and friendship, hope and self-doubt, amongst many others. It will be supported with an extensive headline tour, kicking off in mid-February, along with a string of high profile festival dates, including the already-locked in Bonnaroo, Bottlerock, and several others still-to-be-announced.

     

    “BEST NEWCOMERS”–Rolling Stone

     

    “Breezy melodies, taut rhythms [and] youthful charisma”–KEXP

     

    “The biggest word-of-mouth frenzy to emerge over the past six months”–NME

     

    “Shimmering pop-rock earworms (…) and blistering sets”–Entertainment Weekly

     

    “The Minneapolis band is wise beyond its years”–AV Club

     

    “Dancing shoes are a must at their live shows”–NYLON

     

    “Most likely to produce the next big earworm”–The Guardian (UK)

    Listen: Hippo Campus – “way it goes” (clean radio edit)

    Hippo Campus – “way it goes” (clean radio edit)

  • Father John Misty
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    Father John Misty

    Pure Comedy

    “Pure Comedy” is the highly anticipated follow-up to Father John Misty‘s internationally acclaimed “I Love You, Honeybear”. Josh Tillman wrote the majority of the album throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) in March 2016 at LA’s United Studios (formerly known as Ocean Way Studios, favored by Sinatra and The Beach Boys).

     

    Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and, at 75 minutes, “Pure Comedy” delivers a ton of it (themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection, and his own role in it all with his usual candor, and in terms as timely as they are timeless).

     

    Since 2012 Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berserk,” or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape–that of real enigma.

    Listen: Father John MIsty – “Ballad Of The Dying Man” (radio edit)

    Father John Misty – “Ballad Of The Dying Man” (radio edit)

  • Hoops
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    Hoops

    Routines

    Hoops’ full-length debut, “Routines” is a bittersweet and honest record that sounds both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. Whereas their previous releases were recorded on four-track tape machines in living rooms and basements, “Routines” marks the band’s first sessions in an actual studio.

     

    After a few months of touring, Hoops returned to Indiana to set up their gear in their parents’ basements and began experimenting with the studio-recorded tracks. Some songs they only tinkered with, others they scrapped completely and rebuilt from the ground up. They were determined to make a record that sounded like Hoops. The result is the sharpest and clearest delineation of the band’s sound thus far, drawing from and emphasizing each members’ distinctive influences and personal styles: four guys making music that is larger than themselves.

     

    Hoops was born in frontman Drew Auscherman’s teenage bedroom as a solo ambient and beat-driven project. Auscherman named the band after the hoop houses at the nursery where he worked (not for his home state’s mania for basketball). Eventually he corralled a few of his friends to flesh out his songs (3 of the 4 members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously), and the music inevitably shifted toward something new: more melodic, more guitar-driven, more extroverted.

     

    “Hoops is on an upwards slope. ‘Rules’ is an expressionist, blissed-out pop song. Airy, uptempo guitars float on the surface, accompanied by bouncy bass and complex drum work.”–TheFADER

     

    “the irresistibly slick ‘Rules,’ which is loaded with the intoxicating guitar lines and murmured melodies we associate with this outfit. The single is a dizzying head rush that clocks in at just over two minutes and will surely have you pressing play several times in a sitting.”–PASTE

     

    “Propelled by ample grooving keys and guitar, ‘Rules’ is a two minute jaunt into the past when synths and subdued vocals were king.”–Stereogum

    Listen: Hoops – “Rules”

    Hoops – “Rules”

  • The Orwells
    orwells-terrible-human-beings

    The Orwells

    Terrible Human Beings

    The Orwells’ describe their new album, “Terrible Human Beings”, as “mutilated pop songs.” Singer Mario Cuomo says, “we wanted to make songs that at their core are catchy and pretty, then slash them up.”

     

    Recorded over the course of a month at Chicago’s Electrical Audio, “Terrible Human Beings” was produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele), with whom The Orwells had worked on a couple of “Disgraceland”’s best tunes. Of the recording process, guitarist Matt O’Keefe says,“We’ve always been a simple band, but this time it was about trying to keep everything straightforward, nothing flashy.”

     

    The Orwells are currently on a tour of intimate venues across the US. Throughout the tour they will be supporting the work of Off The Street Club, Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club. Located in West Garfield Park, more than 3,000 kids participate in afterschool programs, tutoring and mentorship opportunities. A portion of the proceeds from both tickets and merch from the whole tour will go towards Off The Street Club.  For more information about how to get involved with Off The Street find them at www.offthestreetclub.com.

    Listen: The Orwells – “They Put A Body In The Bayou”

    The Orwells – “They Put A Body In The Bayou”

  • Rubblebucket
    rubblebucket

    Rubblebucket

    If U C My Enemies

    The potentially monstrous new single from Brooklyn’s Rubblebucket, and from the newly released EP of the same name, is the immediate sounding indie dance of “If U C My Enemies”. It puts you at the center of a raging party And hits this country at a time when we all need some positivity to launch the year with!

     

    “Rubblebucket took inspiration from a Dali Lama quote for this track ‘our enemies are our greatest teachers’. Looking to replace fear with compassion to create hope for the country, the song is about forgiveness”–NPR (All Songs Considered)

     

    “Rubblebucket could have remained trapped among the morass of Brooklyn dance-rock acts, but this five-piece has won notoriety by coalescing bright hooks with a complete disregard for genre convention.”–SPIN

     

    “It’s baroque pop of the extremely epic variety.”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “joyous jungles of worldly pop-funk, instrumentally rich but catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world)–mega-melodic without

     

    sacrificing an ounce of atmospheric creativity.”–PASTE

    Listen: Rubblebucket – “If U C My Enemies”

    Rubblebucket – “If U C My Enemies”