Currents

  • of Montreal
    of-montreal-innocence

    of Montreal

    Innocence Reaches

    of Montreal‘s newly released “Innocence Reaches” features darker moments to be sure-isolation, anger, indifference, and the feeling that, like a Truffaut film, madness lurks just outside the frame. As of Montreal‘s Kevin Barnes explains, “Epiphany comes from breakdown. If you can stay open and vulnerable, the nebulous becomes transparent. That’s one of the magical aspects of writing from personal life.”

     

    The most immediate surprise on of Montreal‘s 14th LP is the sound. “Innocence Reaches” is touched by contemporary electronica, indie pop, and EDM. For the first time in his career, Barnes tuned into now. “Forever I’ve been detached from current music,” he says. “I got into this bubble of only being in some other time period. I came up picking apart the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and symphonic pieces. But last year, I was hearing Jack Ü, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on.”

     

    “Through all the genre splicing and experimentation, Barnes’ classic pop songcraft shines through….indelible melody, as well as his love of pomp, melodrama and lavish flourishes of texture and verse, have made of Montreal one of the most consistently captivating bands of the past 20 years.”–NPR

    Listen: of Montreal – “let’s relate”

    of Montreal – “let’s relate”

  • Ladyhawke
    wild-things-530x530

    Ladyhawke

    Wild Things

    Ladyhawke‘s new single to radio off the new “Wild Things”, is the driving “Let It Roll.”. “This one is sort about letting stuff wash over you, don’t let stuff get to you. Life can be hard, but just let it roll, don’t sweat the small stuff basically…”–Pip Brown (aka Ladyhawke)

     

    “People wonder why there’s always a massive gap between my albums,” says Brown (better known as Ladyhawke), the one-woman synth-pop act from New Zealand. “I’ve never released anything I’m not proud of. That’s important to me. I don’t want to release anything that I have a weird feeling about.”

     

    Brown worked on the album on and off over the course of a year–“day here, a day there”–with producer Tommy English (Børns, Robert DeLong), whom she met through her L.A. neighbor, tattoo artist/musician Kat Von D.

     

     

    “Ladyhawke is a superhero. From her shimmering tunes to her equally as magnetic style, she stands apart from the crowd. And a lot of that comes down to one thing, and that’s authenticity.”–PASTE

     

    “irresistible”–The FADER

     

    “marries power-pop hooks, stuttering synths and 80s sparkle.” –NOISEY/Vice

     

    “wonderfully upbeat and infectious” –NYLON

     

    “As tight and catchy as a baseball mitt.” –BBC MUSIC

    Listen: Ladyhawke – “Let It Roll”

    Ladyhawke – Let It Roll

  • Wild Beasts
    wildbeasts-boyking

    Wild Beasts

    Boy King

    Wild Beasts announce their forthcoming new album “Boy King” (out 8/5) containing the band’s most direct and vital collection of songs to date!

     

    Where 2014’s “Present Tense” found Wild Beasts in a reflective mood, absorbing a fascination with online culture and electronic music, the upcoming “Boy King” has them, as Tom Fleming puts it, “back to being pissed off”. The quartet’s ever-present knack for sensual melody via Hayden Thorpe and Fleming’s dueting vocals, Ben Little’s sinuous guitar groove and Chris Talbot’s potent rhythm section carries in “Boy King” an aggressive, snarling and priapic beast that delves into the dark side of masculinity and Thorpe’s own psyche.

     

    Wild Beasts’ “Boy King” took the East London band to Dallas with a collection of songs for sessions with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, The War On Drugs). Both Thorpe and Fleming credit that trip to Texas with teasing out the raw power of “Boy King.”

     

    “a swaggering cut laced with Thorpe’s sleek falsetto”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “raw, industrial funk”–Pitchfork

     

    “a vibrant, pulsating dance track”–Stereogum

     

    “sparse drums, angrily fuzzed synths…It offers raunch, but a grit and angst too.”–NOISEY/Vice

    Listen: Wild Beasts – “Tough Guy” (radio edit)

    Wild Beasts – “Tough Guy” (radio edit)

  • LVL UP
    lvl up

    LVL UP

    Return To Love

    “Pain” is the first taste from New York’s LVL UP (yup–“Level Up”)–a lo-fi indie rock jammer from the band’s forthcoming third album “Return To Love” (out 9/23)!

     

    LVL UP – guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin – is a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. The four members write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive.

     

    The music itself grows from a shared melodic and experimental sensibility, as well as a nod to iconic influences like Neutral Milk Hotel and Mount Eerie. But each songwriter has a different vision every step of the way, and there isn’t always alignment–it shouldn’t make sense, but in the end it does.

     

    “New York’s LVL UP are experts in reworking ’90s-sounding indie rock gems for the modern age…channeling both the rock brawn and playful charm of Pavement, Built To Spill, and Weezer.”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “The four-piece uses that time wisely, building up to one of the best payoffs I’ve heard all year. …the group’s most ambitious work to date.”–Stereogum (on “Pain”)

     

    “Lead single ‘Pain’ is really promising. It’s a sad story told with wobbly guitars, all drifting towards a J Mascis-style college-rock breakdown.”–TheFADER

     

    “Prickly guitars creep into the margins, but the band remains surprisingly cheery-eyed in spite of them, embracing the uplifting elasticity of the same Built To Spill records they’ve been looking toward since their formation five years ago.”–Pitchfork

    Listen: LVL UP – “Pain” (radio edit)

    LVL UP – “Pain” (radio edit)

  • Big Jesus
    big jesus cover

    Big Jesus

    Oneiric

    Atlanta, GA’s BIG JESUS‘ first single “SP” contrasts loud and heavy fuzz-laden tones with soft, melodic vocals, “SP” kicks open the door energetically with big guitars and a heavy beat, while the singing gives it an almost psychedelic attraction. “Oneiric” (out 9/30) was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Matt Hyde (Deftones, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio).

     

    BIG JESUS has already garnered comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and early Smashing Pumpkins. “Ussery’s voice sits somewhere between Billy Corgan and Silversun Pickups’ Brian Aubert,” says NOISEY/Vice, “but he’s more relaxed than either, happy to sit on top of the mix and drive it home rather than battle the concrete guitars around him.”

     

    BIG JESUS‘ eclectic sound stems from their surroundings and upbringing in the Atlanta, GA music scene. “We grew up on the popular rock music of the 90s, and were greatly impacted by everything from metal, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, hip hop, and even classical piano music,” says lead singer Spencer Ussery.

     

    “Big Riffs” and “Pop-Heavy Melodies”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “(Big Jesus) tear up the rulebook on the genre and boast one of the very best names in rock to boot.”–Alternative Press (“Artist To Watch”)

    Listen: Big Jesus – “SP”

    Big Jesus – “SP”

  • Hoops

    Bloomington, IN four-piece Hoops deliver the breezy “Cool 2”, their first song to radio off their forthcoming self-titled debut EP (out 8/26). The single has already cracked the Spotify’s Top 5 Most Viral Tracks chart (both globally And in the U.S.) as well as garnered them a #1 Artist slot on Hype Machine.

     

    What began as frontman Drew Auscherman’s solo ambient project, Hoops ultimately became a quartet in 2014. Named for hoop houses in the greenhouses which Auscherman used to work in high school, Hoops recall the idea of breezy afternoons and sticky summer nights in both name and sound. The fuzzy, summer-primed Hoops EP follows the band’s first releases, Tapes #1-3, which earned Hoops early praise from The FADER, NME, Gorilla vs. Bear, My Old Kentucky Blog and more.

     

    The self-titled EP which Hoops self-recorded, produced and mixed will be about 8/26 and over this past year the band have toured with and opened for the likes of Twin Peaks, Porches, Whitney and more.

     

    “…an aural capsule of summer; it’s built on speedy, luminous guitar work and some murky melodies – the latter a little bit reminiscent of Real Estate’s groggy earliest output.” – The FADER

     

    “’Cool 2’ is a shimmering melodic mirage that will likely keep sounding better and better as the heat continues to rise.” – Stereogum

     

    “hazy, daydreamy guitar-pop, topped with homespun, tin-can vocals.”

     

    “One of our favorite new bands of 2016”

     

    “’Cool 2′ is a cool, two-minute song that gets better after every listen.”

    Listen: Hoops – “Cool 2”

    Hoops – “Cool 2”

  • Bleeker
    bleeker

    Bleeker

    Bleeker

    Dance and Sing Along and Forget about your everyday lives for a while! This first single off their new, self-titled EP is the perfect introduction to Bleeker and won’t leave your brain anytime soon.

     

    Four-piece Toronto-based Bleeker has been steadily building a loyal legion of fans – touring their native Canada. But they have sights firmly set now on something more global. In short, they live to play and play to live.

     

    + Produced by Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco)

    Listen: Bleeker – “Highway”

    Bleeker – “Highway”

  • Hockey Dad
    hockey dad boronia

    Hockey Dad

    Boronia

    Hockey Dad‘s mantra–best mates 1st, band 2nd and music that flows from the Australians’ surroundings: sunny and jangly guitar driven rock complete with anthemic choruses. Yet please don’t mistake their laid back vibes for anything but tight execution and a drive to share their good times with the world!

     

    Zach Stephenson (guitars/vocals) and Billy Fleming (drums) have been best friends since age 4. Living two doors down on on Boronia Street in the small Australian coastal town of Windang, it was around 13 when they discovered Zach’s Dad’s old instruments in his garage and about 15 when they started sneaking into local music venue RAD BAR and playing other bands’ instruments while they weren’t around. By 18 they were touring Australia under the name Hockey Dad, which was gleaned from a Simpsons episode.

     

    “It’s easy to see the appeal of Hockey Dad’s laid back, coastal garage rock”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “a surf-rock duo out of Australia that embodies surf-rock so hard that listening to them or even just looking at them might make you think you’re on a beach, skating down the boardwalk, trying not to fall off the edge”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “Overdriven earworm pop”–Brooklyn Vegan
    “Gritty but melodic brand of surf influenced rock”–Triple J Radio

    Listen: Hockey Dad – “A Night Out With”

    Hockey Dad – “A Night Out With”

  • Weaves
    Weaves-Weaves-Album-Cover-640x640

    In a little over two short years, Weaves has gone from a collection of voice memos on Jasmyn Burke’s iPhone, to establishing themselves as one of the most stridently individual acts to emerge from Toronto’s multifaceted DIY scene. Led by the collaborative efforts of Burke and Morgan Waters, Weaves has built a devoted audience while capturing the attention of international media with a brain of ebullient, art-damaged pop music, as difficult to categorize as it is to ignore.

     

    Weaves has been working on their debut album almost since forming in late 2013, and the self-titled result (out 6/17)  is an album that traverses the band’s history, exploring every facet of their always adventurous approach to pop music and leaving no idea unexplored. Filled beyond bursting with hooks and possibilities, Weaves is the sound of a band propelled forward by the thrill of discovering the limits of their sound and gleefully pushing past them.

     

    “‘One More’ is a harebrained avalanche of guitars that intensify with every new part of the song”–Pitchfork

     

    “Weaves are f*cking wild”–Stereogum (Band To Watch)

     

    “A Toronto-based foursome who bend pop tropes as if they’re made of Silly Putty”–Rolling Stone

     

    “Quirky, loud and mysterious, four amazing a downright fascinating players”–NPR

     

    “The construction is cerebral, but the songs come across as uproarious.”–NY Times

     

    “somewhere between Pixies and Pavement. They have the fierce power of the former and the quirky singularity of the latter. Arch and angular, their music has a crazed energy”–The Guardian (UK)

     

    “Rarely does a band excite us the way Toronto’s Weaves have in recent years”–NME

    Listen: Weaves – “One More”

    Weaves – “One More”

  • The Kills
    kills

    The Kills

    Ash & Ice

    The Kills Are BACK, and at their emotionally charged, arresting best on their 5th album “Ash & Ice” (out June 3rd).

     

    The follow up to 2011’s critically lauded “Blood Pressures” and was five years in the making in part due to Jamie Hince’s five hand surgeries, which resulted in him having to re-learn how to play guitar with a permanently damaged finger.

     

    It was during Hince’s recuperation from surgery that he first started sketching out what would become songs for the new album. To shake up the writing process, Hince booked a solo trip on the infamous Trans-Siberian Express for inspiration, while Alison Mosshart, now residing in Nashville, wrote some of the most affecting, poetically candid lyrics that she ever has, painting word pictures that mine the dangerous terrain between romantic obsession, prophecy and tough love.

     

    “a slick-but-spartan throb with some chattering synths and a big, elemental riff”–Stereogum

     

    “a slinking, popping blues rocker that pulsates along thumping bass and bubbling mellotron notes.”–Consequence Of Sound

    Listen: “Doing It To Death” (radio edit)

    The Kills – “Doing It To Death” (radio edit)

  • White Lung
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    White Lung

    Paradise

    Boasting their smartest, brightest songwriting yet, White Lung return with “Paradise”!

     

    For the making of “Paradise”, vocalist Mish Barber-Way, guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou reconnected in Los Angeles to work with producer Lars Stalfors (HEALTH, Cold War Kids). In October of 2015, White Lung spent a month in the studio, working closely with Stalfors to challenge what could be done with their songs.

     

    Bringing all the energy, unique guitar work and lyrical prowess the band are known for to the studio, White Lung curated their songs with a new pop sensibility, focusing in on making a record for the present – “I wanted a record that sounded like it was made in 2016”, said William.

     

    “I can’t think of another band that sounds like you guys….I can’t wait to be in the pit.”–St. Vincent’s Annie Clark

     

    “exquisite layers of guitar perfectly colliding over punishing drums and plenty of crashing cymbals…Hell yes. Welcome back, White Lung!”–Stereogum

     

    “one of their most purely pop choruses yet…always-thrilling guitar parts have a bit of shoegaze tinge this time around, and Mish Way shouts a little less but has as much charisma as ever.”–Brooklyn Vegan

    Listen: “Hungry”

    White Lung – “Hungry”

  • The Claypool Lennon Delirium
    delirium_album

    The Claypool Lennon Delirium

    Monolith Of Phobos

    Two worlds have collided, and what glorious and odd worlds they are! From the minds of Les Claypool and Sean Lennon comes The Claypool Lennon Delirium, whose “Cricket and the Genie” is the first slice off the upcoming “Monolith Of Phobos” (out 6/3)!

     

    After Primus and The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger completed a successful summer tour, Messrs Claypool and Lennon decided to combine their abstract talents into a project called The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Their efforts thus far have spawned the upcoming full-length “Monolith Of Phobos”. Out June 3rd, the album takes listeners on a stimulating psychedelic journey through the cosmos.

     

    “Sean is a music mutant after my own heart,” says Claypool. “He definitely reflects his genetics–not just the sensibilities of his dad but also the abstract perspective and unique approach of his mother. It makes for a glorious freak stew.”

     

    In astronomical terms, the Monolith Of Phobos is a large rock on Mars’ Phobos moon. As the phrase implies, this album is a psychedelic space rock record. The Claypool Lennon Delirium will begin their summer tour on 6/4, including dates at Bonnaroo and Outside Lands. In addition to Les and Sean, the touring band includes Mark “Money Mark” Ramos Nishita of Beastie Boys (keys) and Paul Baldi of the Fungi Band (drums).

    Listen: The Claypool Lennon Delirium – “The Cricket and The Genie” (Movement I, The Delirium)

    The Claypool Lennon Delirium – “The Cricket and The Genie” (Movement I, The Delirium)

  • Caveman
    cover-otero-war-1

    Caveman

    Otero War

    Caveman‘s upcoming summer release “Otero War” is the band’s third album and delivers the most mature And at the same time Fun music from the the New Yorkers to date.

     

    You can only go so far on cool points alone. Since Caveman first formed in 2010 they’ve claimed a spot for themselves at the center of the New York music scene, become in-demand DJs, toured the world (sharing stages with Weezer, The War On Drugs, Jeff Tweedy) and gotten love from everyone from Pitchfork to the New York Times. Now the band is aiming higher.

     

    Caveman is done being an indie rock band playing for indie rock fans alone. They have their sights set on bigger goals, so on their third time around they made their biggest-sounding album yet.

     

    This is a whole new Caveman: The songs are stronger and more spacious, with carefully constructed melodies and a more judicious use of four-part harmonies and washes of synthesizer, leaving more room for frontman Matthew Iwanusa’s instantly memorable vocals and lyrics.

     

    “bright synths and rhythmic guitar strums elevate a melodic vocal and hook that will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. It seems Caveman are coming into their own; I think we are in for a treat with ‘Otero War'”–Stereogum

     

    “an optimistic, anthemic jam called ‘Never Going Back’ that contains shades of Springsteen”–FADER

     

    “The heady, emotional song tugs at nostalgia while also asserting itself as a clear tour de force for the group.”–Billboard

    Listen: “Never Going Back”

    Caveman – “Never Going Back”

  • Twin Peaks
    twin peaks down in heaven

    Twin Peaks

    Down In Heaven

    “Walk To The One You Love” is the First single off the highly anticipated third album from from Chicago garage rock wunderkinds Twin Peaks. A brash reminder of what made their 2014 release so charming, and brave.

     

    “definitely more professional….easily the cleanest Twin Peaks record yet, courtesy of veteran mixer John Agnello, whose previous work with laid-back indie shredders Kurt Vile and Dino Jr. make him a natural fit for the band.”–SPIN

     

    “acts like Twin Peaks are a revelation….an outfit in it for all the right reasons….They continuously manage to evoke the spirit of youthful innocence”–NME

     

    “honed in on some of the poppier elements of their sound…scratchy vocals and dusty grooving rock”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “an approachable piece of nowtimes garage pop….the band currently at the peak of their powers and popularity, this should be a Top 10 of the year nominee.”–CMJ

    Listen: “Butterfly”

    Twin Peaks – “Butterfly”

  • Seratones
    SeratonesAlbumCover_grande

    Seratones

    Get Gone

    Led by powerhouse frontwoman A.J. Haynes, whose thunderous vocals recall the grit of Janis Joplin and the gospel of Mavis Staples. Seratones’ debut “Get Gone” is out May 6th, and one of the best rock records you will hear this year.

     

    Haynes’ powerful voice, first honed at Brownsville Baptist Church in Columbia, LA at age 6, rings across every track. Adam Davis’ bass and Jesse Gabriel’s drums propel every song with the grit, energy and rawness of punk, the feeling of soul and occasionally a little jazz swing. While Connor Davis offers a clinic in guitar riffs, from swaggering blues to searing interstellar leads.

     

    “‘Chandelier’ is a southern gothic garage rock jam that will have you buying a leather jacket and dreaming of the summer…Everything’s coming up Seratones.”–NOISEY

     

    “Shreveport, LA’s Seratones is a kick-ass rock band that has all the stage presence in the world.”–NPR

     

    “…tears at the soul with sharp teeth.”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “…right in the Southern rock wheelhouse…equal parts swagger and aggression.”–Stereogum

    Listen: Seratones – “Chandelier”

    Seratones – “Chandelier”

  • Yung
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    Yung

    A Youthful Dream

    For Yung frontman Mikkel Holm Silkjær, a Danish DIY figurehead who has left a catalog of cassettes and self-produced songs in his wake, the goal seemed to be recording, and living, as fast as possible.

     

    Since a teenager writing and performing songs filled with gritty guitar and driving rhythms that snap like a live wire, Silkjær has been busy channeling the electric drive of youth, creating brief, flashing sonic portraits of his life in Aarhus, Denmark’s gritty, industrial second city.

     

    That makes the music on the reflective “A Youthful Dream“, the debut album from Yung, such a revelation. Angst makes space for wisdom, youthful exuberance begins channeling road-tested experience, and a blur of basement shows and self-produced bromides becomes something more. DIY doesn’t mean unrefined in this case, it just means personal.

     

     

    “incessantly catchy, furious, and melodic punk”–Stereogum

     

    “one of the most catchy, yet furious groups we’ve come across since discovering music made with guitars could be as infectious as the pop songs we heard on the radio as small, innocent, wide-eyed children.”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “Yung’s music is a space of duality: innocence & experience, beauty & pain, darkness & light”–NPR

     

    “A dreamy pop-punk lament of a heavily Rx-ed lifestyle.”–THE FADER

    Listen: Yung – “Pills”

    Yung – “Pills”

  • Minor Victories
    Print

    Minor Victories

    Minor Victories

    Minor Victories – the indie supergroup comprised of Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, EditorsJustin Lockey and his brother James – will release their self-titled debut this summer. “Scattered Ashes (Song For Richard)” takes the band in a brighter direction and features James Graham of The Twilight Sad.

     

    Produced and engineered by Justin, and also featuring the likes of Mark Kozelek, “Minor Victories” began as Justin’s desire to create an extreme noise EP topped off by a delicate female vocals, which then became a cinematic 10-track LP, masterfully crafted by four band members who had somehow never even all been in the same room together until after the album was completed.

     

    Far more than a side project for its members, this record unveils the real essence of what a group of talented individuals unshackled by convention can attain. Brought together by brief meetings, mutual acquaintances and overall serendipity, Minor Victories created this album together by swapping ideas, songs, fragments and finished recordings via broadband connections. This unusual process, combined with the members’ wide spectrum of musical tastes and experiences converging, ultimately led to something beyond the original vision of any of the contributors that pushes new boundaries and new sounds into uncharted waters.

     

    “a track that weaves together the atmospheric, shoegazing sound of the band members’ other outfits.”–Rolling Stone

     

    “Minor Victories is an album to anticipate breathlessly.”–Stereogum

     

    “The tired old ‘supergroup’ concept finally has more potential to be super…Minor Victories synth-pop is stylishly dusky, with lush orchestral touches, motorik persistence, and a closing guitar cacophony.”–Pitchfork

     

    “moody and atmospheric and entirely beautiful.”–NPR (All Songs Considered)

    Listen: Minor Victories – “Scattered Ashes” (Song For Richard)

    Minor Victories – “Scattered Ashes” (Song For Richard)