Currents

  • The Districts

    The Districts

    You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere

    It’s the Triumphant Return of Philadelphia’s The Districts, and Just in time to save us all! Their 4th album in the new year will be “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” (out 3/13/20), with the first share to radio the evocative, slow burn anthem “Hey Jo”.

     

    “This song is about relationships unfurling amidst the dysphoria of the modern world. We are all imperfect products of the natural world, and more specifically products of our own minds. This song was inspired by navigating how to be your best self and detach from what is destructive in you, to be something more perfect, gentle, and beautiful.” –The Districts bandleader Rob Grote

     

    “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” was produced by The Districts and frequent collaborator Keith Abrams, and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT, Tame Impala). The band will embark on a North American headline tour in support of the album early next year (see our tour page).

     

    While “You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere” builds on preceding albums, it takes an ambitious leap to a new level, exhibiting a widened sense of experimentation and expansiveness at its heart. There’s Rhodes, Mellotron, strings, samples, drum machines, tape loops, Wurlitzer, “ambient swells,” piano, synthesizers; heck, bandleader Rob Grote lists 12 instruments next to his name alone. Pulling from the propulsive “Popular Manipulations,” the jagged indie rock of 2015’s “A Flourish and a Spoil,” and the rootsy vibe of their 2012 debut, “Telephone,” The Districts have followed their creative instincts every step of the way, resulting in their most sophisticated and adventurous record to date.

    Listen: The Districts – “Hey Jo” (radio edit)

    The Districts – “Hey Jo” (radio edit)

  • Post Animal

    Post Animal

    Forward Motion Godyssey

    Chicago pop-proggers Post Animal Are Back! Sharing their first new song since 2018’s critically acclaimed “When I Think Of You In A Castle,” and out on tour Now with Twin Peaks (see our Tours page!), “Safe or Not” takes the band’s signature kaleidoscopic, guitar-heavy sound in a radiant, dance-ready direction and hints at more surprising sonic exploration to come.

     

    “We wanted to leave the content more open ended for the listener to navigate, but it’s about self reflection,” ​Post Animal explains. “We played around with more somber, serious lyrical content over a particularly dance-oriented song to juxtapose how one may feel internally versus how they’re outwardly portraying themselves in the moment.”

     

    In addition to the band’s current North American tour with ​Twin Peaks, Post Animal​ will open for C​age The Elephant​ in the UK/EU early next year.

    Listen: Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

    Post Animal – “Safe or Not”

  • The Homesick

    The Homesick

    The Big Exercise

    Sub Pop have wisely snapped up Dutch trio The Homesick, and whose debut for the label “The Big Exercise” will be coming at the start of the new year (2/7/20)!

     

    First single “I Celebrate My Fantasy” “imbues their brand of post-punk with a prog-pop whimsicality in the form of clarinet and piano flourishes.” (Stereogum)!

     

    “The Homesick is allowed to play around in that pop framework, and the goal is to explore what’s possible within it. You can do super radical and weird things, and at the same time convey it all as straightforward pop music. With this album, I hope people will hear things anew after multiple listens.”–Jaap van der Velde of The Homesick

     

    If their debut “Youth Hunt” marked The Homesick’s tryst with faith and pastoral life, the band’s upcoming second album The Big Exercise” (out 2/7/20) brings them to more grounded, tangible pastures. With its title ripped from a passage in the Scott Walker-biography Deep Shade Of Blue, the record is a concentrated effort by Jaap van der Velde, Erik Woudwijk and Elias Elgersma to explore the physicality of their music in fresh ways.

     

    The Big Exercise” finds The Homesick keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet. “It’s the opposite of trying to translate recorded music to the stage,” the band’s Elias Elgersma comments. “We were already playing these songs live for quite some time, so for this album, we wanted to unlock the potential of these songs further in the studio.”

     

    The first single “I Celebrate My Fantasy” summons a mirage of creeping pianos, sylvan clarinet flourishes and cartoonish sprawls with mock-paranoia, as Elgersma documents a macabre vision he had during a mild case of sleep paralysis.

    Listen: The Homesick – “I Celebrate My Fantasy” (radio edit)

    The Homesick – “I Celebrate My Fantasy” (radio edit)

  • Star Parks

    Star Parks

    The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism

    Austin, TX’s Star Parks has grown into a 7 piece mini-orchestra, a far throw from its beginnings as a solo act of the group’s principle songwriter, Andy Bianculli. The band’s Gorgeous sophomore album coming in 2020, is a record about alienation, dissatisfaction and postmodernism.

     

    “I found an old Concord reel to reel in my parent’s attic in New York and when I played the tape it was my father as a 12 year old boy recording the The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show off the television” explains Star Parks’ Bianculli. “There are so many layers to that discovery that affected me and made me contemplate my place in time, my family, America, culture and music. To me it was like discovering the spark that gave man fire, in that it is a first hand account of a moment that propelled me and the whole world in a different direction. I knew I wanted to write about moments like that, that had promise but inevitably lead to disappointment.”

     

    Producer Danny Reisch (Shearwater, Other Lives) played a pivotal role in helping the band shape the sound of the upcoming Star Parks sophomore album “The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism,” which at its heart was an attempt to reproduce a time where studios could employ dozens of musicians and keep orchestras on hand. Without such resources, the band developed what they called “Burt Bacharach on a budget”. The band cites exotica legends Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman as major influences as well as Ethiopian organist Hailu Mergia, Van Dyke Parks, Kevin Ayers and Alice Coltrane.

     

    “The New Sounds Of Late Capitalism” is due for release in February 2020 by Modern Outsider Records.

    Listen: Star Parks – “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City USA)” – (clean radio edit)

    Star Parks – “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City USA)” – (clean radio edit)

  • missyou

    missyou

    "notthatdeep"

    New York City’s missyou pulls inspiration from film and visual arts, and paint a broad aural picture on the instant, and at the same time ominous, sexy and dark New single “notthatdeep”.

     

    “This song is built on the idea that things don’t always work out, but you have to keep pushing. It’s important to try and sometimes even if you don’t succeed, the beauty is in the journey, and the lessons you learn in failing are sometimes the ones that teach you the way to prevail. We have to be better for each other, for the planet, for the ones that come after us.”—Blaise Beyhan of missyou

     

    Growing up in a commune in Alaska might not seem like a fertile breeding ground for music, but missyou front man Blaise Beyhan draws upon that and other experiences of living a nomadic lifestyle from an early age to craft the band’s dark yet sexy Alternative Pop songs.

     

    Born with a restless spirit, Beyhan left Alaska at the age of 14, and moved around continuously, living in 10 cities in 7 states before finally settling in New York.  He began writing music and creating visuals that drew upon his many experiences of living life untethered to any single place. Looking for musicians to write and record with – Blaise’s Time Out New ad grabbed the attention of guitarist Omer Wald, who was born in Los Angeles but raised in Israel.  Wald moved to NYC to pursue his music career, and the two found a karmic connection that led to them playing gigs together around the city. Drummer Vin Quinones came to their shows and became a fan of what they were creating and eventually joined the band. He and Bassist Pete Valentini grew up together in New Jersey, and the current lineup was solidified.

     

    missyou’s “notthatdeep” is the first taste off the band’s forthcoming sophomore EP which will be released in 2020.

     

    “New York-based missyou is one of the more intriguing alternative/indie/pop bands in recent years….an infectious song that showcases their own personal music taste, pulling in a heavy influence from R&B to their pop-tinged alternative music. – Substream Magazine

     

    “combines the moody, vulnerable elements of emo anthems with an electronic backdrop that leaves listeners debating whether they should cry or dance.” – Alternative Press

    Listen: missyou “notthatdeep” (clean radio edit)

    missyou “notthatdeep” (clean radio edit)

  • Counterfeit

    Counterfeit

    "It Gets Better"

    A Soon to be infamous And anthemic chorus set to inspire anyone who’s having a difficult time in their lives, London’s own COUNTERFEIT hit the ground running on our shores, and memorably so, with their unifying protest song “It Gets Better”!

     

    “It Gets Better” is a deeply personal song and its message cuts right to the heart of who we are. Our goal is to bring people together, to dismantle the barriers that divide us as a species and to make a change in the world. We are in a time of need. We need to come together and to learn to love again. Learn to listen again. Learn to talk again. Learn to feel again. Learn to let go and let in. It’s a small start but if we try, I do believe that we can start to change things because I myself have learnt that with these small steps it does indeed get better.”- Jamie Campbell Bower & COUNTERFEIT.

     

    Delivered with relentless urgency, raw power-pop bombast, massive melodies, and grand ambition collide in COUNTERFEIT, a band with a moniker that cleverly subverts their remarkably pure authenticity. There is nothing fake about this transcendent powerhouse of passion and sweat. COUNTERFEIT combine visceral risk-taking groove with a sizeable theatricality, brilliantly stomping through punchy rhythms with grace.

     

    Overflowing with a wit and wonder drawn from a deep well of yearning for genuine connection, the upstart quintet builds community from the bitter ashes of solitude. This band transforms dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety into empowering new anthems. COUNTERFEIT is equal parts emotional exorcism and optimistic celebration.

     

    Having just wrapped a run of North American dates, “It Gets Better” is COUNTERFEIT‘s first song to be released since 2017’s critically acclaimed debut “Together We Are Stronger” (“Best Live Band”—AIM Awards, “Best British Newcomers”—KERRANG! Awards), and it will appear on the follow-up album to be arriving in 2020. They’re only Just Getting Started!

    Listen: Counterfeit – “It Gets Better” (clean radio edit)

    Counterfeit – “It Gets Better” (clean radio edit)

  • Kae Astra

    Kae Astra

    Fortune

    Kae Astra is an Armenian-American artist currently based in Austin, TX, intertwining 80’s nostalgia, haunting melodies, and a lush dream pop soundscape on her debut EP “Fortune” (out 11/1). The upcoming release is a collaboration between Astra and fellow Austin mainstays Walker Lukens and Curtis Roush (of Bright Light Social Hour) who produced the EP.

     

    “’Medicate’ is my wrestling with the strange notion that we can be suddenly ‘fixed’ by one thing, be that a drug, a job, an achievement, etc. As a person, I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, and other difficult mental states—as have many of my friends and idols. Sadly, we are made to feel bad for going through these struggles, which generally just makes it worse…and makes us desperately search for ways to ‘fix’ it.”—Kae Astra

     

    Kae Astra melds her history of music making with a newfound effervescent energy as frontwoman and lead songwriter for this project. The upcoming “Fortune” EP stirs listeners, emotionally and physically. The songs go deep spiritually and are undeniably danceable. You could hear them in the club, a yoga class, or while having a good cry—and be equally satisfied.

     

    Astra says the overarching theme is “resilience”, mirroring both her personal journey and continued artistic pursuits. Expect to move and be moved.

     

    RIYL: Beach House, Kate Bush, Lykke Li, Lana del Rey, Grimes

    Listen: Kae Astra – “Howl” (radio edit)

    Kae Astra – “Howl” (radio edit)

  • Wolf Parade

    Wolf Parade

    Thin Mind

    It’s Indeed a glorious day, and Time To Celebrate as Wolf Parade are Back with their first new music in 3 Years—the synth-driven anthem “Against The Day”.

     

    While most Wolf Parade songs over the years are sung by either Dan Boeckner OR Spencer Krug in the lead role, the brand new “Against The Day” features both frontmen alternating in front of the mic!

     

    The “Against The Day” video for the track follows the release of the acclaimed “Cry Cry Cry” (2016), and is directed by Scorpion Dagger as a post-apocolyptic listening party (dig the opening 16-bit contribution from Doctor Octoroc).

    Listen: Wolf Parade – “Against The Day”

    Wolf Parade – “Against The Day”

  • Corridor

    Corridor

    Junior

    With “Junior” (out 10/18!), Montreal’s Corridor make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiraling vocal harmonies, and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon. The album was produced by Emmanuel Éthier, engineered by Samuel Gemme, mixed by Éthier and Gemme in Montreal at ReelRoad Studios, and mastered by Josh Bonati at Bonati Mastering in New York.

     

    You can now watch the new Monty Python-esque animated video for first single “Topographe”, which stars the band themselves. Corridor’s Jonathan Robert directed the visual, and had this to say, “While I’ve explored and mixed many different techniques in my past music videos, it’s the first time that I took the process this far, blending all of them together in one place. It’s a melting pot of stop motion, green screen, illustration, animation, collage, and live video. It’s the visual equivalent of the progression of the song, a simple idea that takes amplitude through repetition.”

     

    Singers, two guitars, bass, drums: the timelessness of the setup underpins the timelessness of the sound, a rock’n’roll borrowing from each of the past six decades—punk and pop, psych and jangle, daydream and swoon.

     

    Sub Pop have never before, in their 33-year history, signed a Francophone act. Maybe the Carridor‘s magic springs from their ingenious hooks, their topaz-tinted vision. Maybe it’s the panache of Québec’s insurgent underground scene, or the camaraderie of Robert and Berthiaume, who have played together since they were 14. Maybe it’s their name—a hallway crossed with a toreador. Probably it’s all of these, and none of them: “Junior” is a joy, a hasty miracle, because it’s so much damn fun to listen to. This album is 39 minutes; each day has 24 hours; you can listen 36 times before tomorrow.

    Listen: Corridor – “Pow”

    Corridor – “Pow”

  • Marika Hackman

    Marika Hackman

    Any Human Friend

    Displaying an unapologetic attitude and a more liberated sound than ever before, Marika Hackman reveals album standout “blow,”, containing one of the biggest hooks on the album, with it’s “thumping drums, a Strokesean guitar snarl, and a very Italians Do It Better synth part….it suits her coolly unimpressed alto” (Pitchfork).

     

    “It’s that situation when people around you are getting really f*cked up in quite a self-destructive way. And it’s hard to be the person who points that out. So with biting your tongue it’s like, ‘I don’t really know how to say this,’ but I’ll put it in a song, haha! The whole song is kind of like, ‘I’m here, but maybe I’m engaging in this destructive behaviour because I’m not stepping in, but I will hold your hair back.’”—Marika Hackman on “blow”

     

    Marika Hackman is a ‘Rid of Me’-era PJ Harvey for the inclusive generation: unbounded by musical genre, a preternatural lyricist and tunesmith who isn’t afraid to go there. Hackman’s 2015 debut, “We Slept at Last,” was heralded for being nuanced and atmospheric. She really found her footing with her last release, “I’m Not Your Man,” and its exceptional, swaggering International hit “Boyfriend”, which boasts of seducing away a straight guy’s girlfriend.

     

    The newly released “Any Human Friend” is co-produced by David Wrench (The xx, Frank Ocean) and Hackman herself.

    Listen: Marika Hackman – “blow”

    Marika Hackman – “blow”

  • Lion

    Lion

    "Wolf"

    The first time LION (aka Beth Lowen) sang in public, a woman she didn’t know approached her. “You sound like you’ve smoked 20 cigarettes,” she told her, “and drunk a bottle of whisky.” Given that Beth was 10-years-old and unsurprisingly had done nothing of the sort, she started to cry. “I thought that was a bad thing,” she recalls, laughing. “And my parents were like, ‘No, no! That’s good!”

     

    Nowadays, Lowen embraces the ferocious, Janis Joplin-esque rasp of her voice. In fact, it’s one of the reasons she chose to adopt the name LION. “Someone said I sound like a lion,” she explains, “Also, everyone says I have lion hair, and ‘Löwen’ means lions in German.” Still, declaring herself deserving of such a fierce moniker wasn’t something that came easily. “I didn’t mention it to anybody for months,” she admits. “It’s a big statement, it’s pretty extreme. But I was looking at people like Lorde, and I was like, that’s f*cking cool. And then I was like, f*ck it. So now it’s Lion. The stage name never feels more apt than it does when LION performs live.

     

    The new single is “Wolf”, which Lowen says is “about being f*cking scared and not knowing what the hell you’re doing and just rolling with it.” Her husky but powerful voice, already so potent on record, was unleashed Live to its full, roaring potential during some a triumphant Reading/Leeds Festival just last month. Following up some summer tour dates overseas with Band Of Horses, you can expect US tour dates to be announced soon!

    Listen: Lion – “Wolf”

    Lion – “Wolf”