Currents

  • Enter Shikari
    entershikarisparkcd

    Enter Shikari

    The Spark

    Enter Shikari‘s upcoming “The Spark” (out 9/22) is an ambitious, inspiring piece of work that poignantly reflects their legendary career rise to have become one of the biggest and most exciting bands the UK has ever seen.

     

    Following four seminal albums of which three have been Top 10 overseas, “The Spark” is produced by David Kosten (Everything Everything, Bat For Lashes), and is Shikari’s most melodic and personal album to date; a soundtrack to our tumultuous world, a record for everyone who’s filled with frustration but hasn’t lost the capacity for hope.

     

    In 2015, the ground started to fall from under Enter Shikari leader Rou Reynolds’ feet. He had been having occasional panic attacks for years, but hadn’t put a name to the problem until that brutal summer. Frayed by touring and heavy professional expectations, he started self-medicating, which backfired massively.

     

    The world was also spinning on its axis. Brexit. Trump. Terrorism. The steady dismantling of the NHS. The biting effects of austerity. The kind of social issues that have been Enter Shikari’s lifeblood for almost a decade now.

     

    “The spark is a new connection, a new beginning,” says maverick frontman Rou Reynolds. “It can be short and insignificant, but it can create something so significant. The spark is that light at the end of the tunnel – when everything seems to be falling apart, but you’re able to see some sort of path out of the dark.”

    Listen: Enter Shikari – “Live Outside” (radio edit)

    Enter Shikari – “Live Outside” (radio edit)

  • Pom Poms
    0006327878_350

    Pom Poms

    Turn You Out

    LA’s Pom Poms are Marlene Gold and Billy Mohler. She’s equal parts smoldering, glamorous and tough. He’s a musician/producer extraordinaire.

     
    The first single the band’s unboxing at radio off the newly released “Turn You Out” is “Live Before I Die” and it’s a full on Blast of a good time!

     

    “like watching ‘Grease’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ at the same time”–NOISEY/Vice

    Listen: Pom Poms – “Live Before I Die”

    Pom Poms – “Live Before I Die”

  • lovelytheband
    lovelytheband art

    lovelytheband

    Broken

    lovelytheband‘s habit-former of a debut single “Broken” came together on a drunken night in West Hollywood, and focuses its aim on themes of depression, anxiety, relationships and late nights spent with friends. Billboard premiered the single and it has since Already even garnered some early play on Sirius/XM’s AltNation

     

    On the inspiration behind their new single, lovelytheband frontman Mitchy Collins said, “This song is about finding someone who is just as f—d up and lost as you are, but somehow you make it work together. Everyone is a little bit broken inside, nobody’s perfect. This song is an ode to the broken ones.”

    Listen: lovelytheband – “Broken”

    lovelytheband – “Broken”

  • The Districts
    districts art

    The Districts

    Popular Manipulations

    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

    Listen: The Districts – “Violet”

    The Districts – “Violet”

  • The Heirs
    heirs art

    The Heirs

    Suburban Wonderland

    Los Angeles band The Heirs have just dropped their dazzlingly feel-good first single And video “Suburban Wonderland” which accents today’s suburban normality and coming of age haze.

     

    Effortlessly crafted songs steeped in a blend of 70s glam, 80s new wave and 90s synth-pop, LA’s The Heirs join that same indie-pop world inhabited by Walk The Moon and The XX.

     

    The Heirs are siblings Savannah (vocals) and Brandon (vocals, guitar) Hudson, Alex Flagstad (guitar), Eian McNeely (bass/keys) and Brennan Benko (drums), and their new single “Suburban Wonderland” marks their first release prior to an upcoming EP slated for later in the year.

     

    “The Heirs are set to dominate the electro-pop world.”–PASTE

     

    “If you want to dance, then The Heirs is right up your alley….makes for a great mood booster.”–Magnet

     

    “the heir apparents to the pop-rock/dance-pop/electro-pop throne that Foster The People and Walk The Moon have vacated.”–Baeble

     

    “….it’s all kinds of awesome….invokes a positive, energetic youthful experience…”–Huffington Post

     

    “With songs that embrace both radio-pop fizziness and the big-sounding stuff….Frontwoman Savannah Hudson exudes bold confidence….while her bandmates conjure the grooves that are equal turns bold and breezy.”–Alternative Press

     

    “definitely one to watch…your ultimate feel-good pop song for the summer.”–Teen Vogue

     

    “12 Bands You Need To See On The 2016 Vans Warped Tour”–MTV News

     

    “The Austin 100: A SXSW 2016 Mix”–NPR Music

    Listen: The Heirs – “Suburban Wonderland”

    The Heirs – “Suburban Wonderland”

  • Mister Heavenly
    mister heavenly

    Mister Heavenly

    Boxing The Moonlight

    Mister Heavenly‘s addictively concise and hammering first single is “Beat Down” And the indie rock supergroup features members of Man Man, Islands and Cold War Kids!

     

    Mister Heavenly dabbled in love and affection on their first record, “Out Of Love” (2011). This time, however, Ryan Kattner, Nicholas Thorburn and Joe Plummer are in a scrappy mood as they embrace a tougher sound on the band’s upcoming, “Boxing The Moonlight” (out 10/6).

     

    “It seemed like it was a good idea to pivot from the subject matter of the first record,” Thorburn says. “That was maybe a more emotional thing, and I think this record is much more physical.”

     

    The physicality is evident right from the start, in the hammering piano and terse rhythm that fuel opener “Beat Down,” or in the buzzing chaos on “Dead Duck,” a psych-heavy freakout that evokes the Monks. The experimental ’60s garage-rockers aren’t the only musical reference point on “Boxing The Moonlight”. Seventies Krautrock band Faust was a big influence while the songs were being written, as was the sound of hip-hop production in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

     

    Kattner and Thorburn started Mister Heavenly in 2010 as a chance to collaborate for the sheer fun of it, and they soon invited Plummer to join them. After releasing “Out of Love” in 2011, the band started work on their second album, snatching a few days at a time whenever their cluttered schedules allowed: Kattner is also known as Man Man visionary Honus Honus, Thorburn was busy with his bands Islands and the Unicorns (both now dormant), and Plummer plays with Cold War Kids and has worked with Modest Mouse and the Shins.

    Listen: Mister Heavenly – “Beat Down”

    Mister Heavenly – “Beat Down”

  • matt pond PA
    matt pond summer

    matt pond PA

    Still Summer

    All year round, it’s still summer. And indie rocker Matt Pond’s adventure continues. The brakes are shot, the pickup truck is rusted through and overheating. Everyone is out of their minds.

     

    On August 11, matt pond PA will release “Still Summer“, their twelfth full-length album and the second Pond is releasing under his independent label, 131 Records. “It’s not about reliving the past,” says Pond. “It’s about allowing the present to breathe. It’s about holding hands with ghosts and then letting go.”

     

    Along with “Winter Lives”, released in December 2016 by 131 Records, “Still Summer” will be the last album Pond releases as matt pond PA. Over time, a new track or take will be added to each — this is the never-ending conclusion of matt pond PA’s strange musical tour.

     

    There will be more music. Yet the serious ones say summer only lasts so long. Soon there will be different titles, unfamiliar names, unforeseen sounds associated with Matt Pond. As if the beginning and the end were one and the same.

     

    “Pond was already a master of couching wistful reflection in rousing anthems, and “Still Summer” demonstrates that skill to wondrous effect: Playfully retro synths and chant-along choruses (“I won’t let go / I won’t let go / I won’t”) all contribute to a hook-packed snapshot of late-summer love and its bittersweet aftermath. If “Still Summer” had been recorded by The Cars in 1984, it’d already be a classic.”–NPR All Songs Considered

    Listen: matt pond PA -The Ballad of Laura and Mike (feat. Laura Stevenson)

    matt pond PA -The Ballad of Laura and Mike (feat. Laura Stevenson)

  • Bully
    bully losing art

    Bully

    Losing

    Bully burst onto the scene in 2015 with their critically acclaimed album “Feels Like”. “Feel the Same” is the first share of new material as they announce their new album “Losing” (out 10/20). The album was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno in Chicago at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio.

     

    Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, Bully was born in 2013. Bognanno was an engineer who had cut her teeth working at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Together with guitarist Clayton Parker and Reece Lazarus on bass, they made a debut album, received unanimous critical acclaim and Bognanno became a point of intrigue. A rock icon in the making, with her signature scream, messy blonde hair hanging in her face, with formidable skills as both a player and a engineer who prefers recording to tape. The success propelled the band into an exhaustive touring cycle with spots on huge festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapallooza, Pitchfork Music Festival and ACL and a late night appearance on Conan.

     

    While “Feels Like” tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Bognanno’s young adult life, “Losing” is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to run away from your troubles but to face them no matter how messy they may be. The debut single, “Feel the Same’ is the album opener. Like an electric-shock Bognanno is back in your face tackling the angst of a young person feeling their way through the world. The song describes the prison of a manic mind-set, being trapped in your own head.

    Listen: Bully – “Feel The Same”

    Bully – “Feel The Same”

  • The Brinks
    brinks art

    The Brinks

    Honey

    LA duo The Brinks‘ magnetizing and melodic new single is “Honey”, and only out a month now, has Already hit a million streams!

     

    The Brinks (producer/keyboards Matt Friedman and Australian singer Scott Mellis) have spent the last year recording, culminating in the release of their new single “Honey”. This follows up their last breakout single, “Temporary Love”, which apart from spins at KYSR/LA and KITS/San Francisco, amassed 35 Million Streams, as well as snagged #1’s on both Hype Machine’s Popular Chart and Spotify’s 2016 Ultimate Indie Playlist!

     

    “It really started as a reaction to all the dark stuff going on in the world and just wanting to make a song that felt good. The lyrics are a little abstract and psychedelic, but loosely its about going on a journey and searching for something.”–singer Scott Mellis on “Honey”

     

    “The Brinks have been making a name for themselves since the release of their title tack ‘Temporary Love.’ Like Father John Misty coiling into the west coast vibe of early Neighbourhood releases.” – Complex

     

    “Something special” – Clash

     

    “The Brinks are taking alt-pop to a new level” – Bullett

     

    “Promising newcomers” – Popdust

     

    “Instantly grabs” – Indie Shuffle

    Listen: The Brinks – “Honey”

    The Brinks – “Honey”

  • METZ
    METZ_StrangePeace_COVER

    METZ

    Strange Peace

    Toronto’s METZ Are Back to rattle us awake with their highly-anticipated third album “Strange Peace”–an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo recorded live off the floor to tape with mastermind Steve Albini (out 9/22)!!!

     

    Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) recorded at Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago and the result is a distinct artistic maturation for METZ who move into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) back at home in Toronto, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh.

     

    “The songs on ‘Strange Peace‘ are about uncertainty,” Edkins explains. “They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

     

    “a bruiser that, in the tradition of so many of Albini recordings, lets the Toronto band work through their feelings with baseball bats. The lyrics paint a picture of utter defeat, yet somehow none of that dejection carries through Metz’s performance, which is defiant as anything the band’s put to tape.”–Pitchfork

     

    “an absolute ass-stomper of a new single…big and juicy and punishing, just like every METZ track, but it’s also a bit more melodic and structured than most of the band’s work.”–Stereogum

     

    “a hard-hitting number that combines their affections for noise-addled with sweaty rock ‘n’ roll.”–Consequence Of Sound

    Listen: METZ – “Cellophane”

    METZ – “Cellophane”

  • Wolf Parade
    wolfparade-crycrycry-3000

    Wolf Parade

    Cry Cry Cry

    Wolf Parade’s unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—is a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010.

     

    “Cry Cry Cry” (out 10/6) is their first album to be produced by Pacific Northwest legend John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound) at Robert Lang Studios outside of Seattle, and is accompanied by a renewed focus and the creativity of a band that took their time getting exactly where they needed to be.

     

    “The band itself is almost a fifth member of the band, something more or at least different than the sum of its parts,” says Spencer Krug. “We don’t know who or what is responsible for our sound, it’s just something that naturally and consistently comes from this particular combo of musicians.”

     

    “Once we got back together, I was playing guitar, writing and singing in a way that I only do while I’m in Wolf Parade,” says Dan Boeckner, who shares primary lyrical and singing duties with Spencer. “It’s just something that I can’t access without the other three people in the room.”

     

    “I think we’re actually a better band than we were when we stopped playing music together,” says Arlen. “A little bit more life experience for everybody, and people having made a bunch of records on their own.”

     

    “It’s a grand, searching, theatrical rocker, exactly the sort of song on which this band made its name.” — Stereogum

     

    “A dramatic Spencer-Krug-driven rocker with an anthemic group chorus and an unusually smooth section for dueling guitars.” — SPIN

     

    “…Sweet lordy does it slap.” — NOISEY/Vice

     

    “Valley Boy” exemplifies Wolf Parade’s unique combination of energetic, textural sounds with complex, emotional lyrics and—if anything—proves the band is definitely back and ready to make up for lost time.” — PASTE

     

    “This song really says ‘we’re back’ more than anything on last year’s EP did. It’s got not one but two of those classic singalong Krug hooks.” — Brooklyn Vegan

    Listen: Wolf Parade – “Valley Boy”

    Wolf Parade – “Valley Boy”

  • Tender
    tender art

    Tender

    Modern Addiction

    London duo TENDER‘s upcoming debut album “Modern Addiction” (out 9/1) is an intrinsically modern look at the irrepressible desire to maintain a love, be it destined or doomed. It sounds like catharsis. From orgasm, to break-up, to silence, the record breaths closure to a relationship that has intensified, shattered, and healed.  James Cullen and Dan Cobb’s debut full length, explores the phenomenon of comfort and compulsion that is addiction, via a pop record about a relationship.

     

    Cullen frames familiar feelings for us to relate to and digest, but simultaneously undermines their presence, leaving the listener holding the same hollow heart that he carried through his addiction. Cobb’s soaring synths and progressive percussion are waxed and shined by the album’s sleek club mix, and the juxtaposition with Cullen’s lyrics is heartbreaking.

     

    Cullen and Cobb formed TENDER in 2015, as the bedroom project of two flatmates tired of the design-by-committee nature of larger musical groups. Due to their intimate personal geography, Cobb was privy to the “toxic” relationship that gestated Cullen’s lyrics, and this record. Gladly enough, in regards to music-making with Cobb, “Nothing seemed like a struggle. We never fought anything,” Cullen remembers. They self-released a few songs and “Armour” wound up on the front page of Reddit a few hours later (with several hundred thousand plays on Soundcloud). Two years and three EPs later, TENDER now have tens of millions of streams across Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube and have enjoyed Hype Machine’s #1 spot several times with several different tracks.

     

    TENDER’s “Modern Addiction” provides fresh perspective to the idea of addiction, through the lens of love. It is unafraid to admit or to accuse, eager to confide and to provide, in direct, shimmering confessionals. The irony is that Cullen seems to have not been afforded these luxuries in his personal relationship, and observing his self-portrait leaves the listener feeling similarly ephemeral and isolated. All save for that of his musical relationship with Cobb, who’s dynamic and punctual dark-pop flavor echoes his bandmate’s struggle with audible landscapes appropriately smooth in their tones and jagged in their turns. Modern Addiction is a window to overdose, intervention, relapse, and sobriety. For the listener, it’s the experience of being on both sides of the glass.

     

    “melodically heavy electro-pop… vibrant and entrancing” – Stereogum

     

    “Sparse, imaginative pop music laced with electronics” – CLASH

     

    “Obsession with modern technology/media/status. Participation pulling you from reality into an artificial world and in a way being controlled by the powers that be. Turning real feeling things into machines to serve a purpose.”–TENDER (on lead single “Machine”)

    Listen: Tender – “Machine”

    Tender – “Machine”

  • Marika Hackman
    Print

    Marika Hackman

    I'm Not Your Man

    There’s an open-ended nature to Londoner Marika Hackman‘s “I’m Not Your Man”: 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 – “Time’s Been Reckless” (radio edit)

    Marika Hackman – “Time’s Been Reckless” (radio edit)

  • Protomartyr
    protomartyr album art

    Protomartyr

    Relatives In Descent

    Detroit post-punk four piece Protomartyr Are Back with “A Private Understanding”, the ‘opening statement’ off their upcoming fourth album (and first for new home Domino Records)!

     

    “Relatives in Descent” offers new layers and new insights, without sanding any of the edges born from Protomartyr‘s days as a Detroit bar band. Ahee’s guitar still crackles and spits electricity. Casey’s voice continues to shift naturally between dead-eyed croon and fevered bark. Drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson remain sharp and propulsive, a rhythm section that’s as agile as it is adventurous. But this is also Protomartyr at their most impressive.

     

    After months of rehearsal, Protomartyr decamped to Los Angeles, California for two weeks in March of 2017, to record at 64Sound in Highland Park. Co-produced and recorded with Sonny DiPerri (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors), who helped capture the band’s long-simmering vision for something more complex, but no less visceral.

     

    “This is the narrative lane where Protomartyr thrive, where euphoric moments are bulldozed by unromantic demise….another Protomartyr song that rewards repeat listens–to sit with its poetry and tease out its generous hooks, possibly while Googling Elvis stories.”–Pitchfork

     

    “No one captures existential dread quite like Protomartyr, and we currently find ourselves in an era rife with existential dread to be captured….a five-minute slow-simmer that captures Protomartyr at their most unsettling and their most accessible.”–Stereogum

     

    “frontman Joe Casey’s brand of dour, erudite charisma has never been more engaging….well-timed rock and roll that tries to make sense of the ever-changing nature of the present”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “the dark, but driving lead single”–Consequence Of Sound

     

    “Over an off-kilter drumbeat, bellower-in-chief Joe Casey gives a vision of America in 2017”–SPIN

    Listen: Protomartyr – “A Private Understanding”

    Protomartyr – “A Private Understanding”

  • Tristen
    91hwIVvLVLL._SY355_

    Tristen

    Sneaker Waves

    Tristen‘s upcoming “Sneaker Waves” is full of songs that function like little portraits of the human experience framed with her exceptional melodies and singularly poetic lyrics.

     

    “Sneaker Waves” finds the middle ground between the “pop hooks and pure inspiration” (NPR’s All Things Considered) of Tristen‘s debut and the intricacy of its follow-up. Her third album is smart but accessible, meticulously constructed but undeniably infectious.

     

    Tristen‘s “Sneaker Waves” takes its name from a natural phenomenon–the sneaker wave, an unanticipated and powerful coastal wave–and serves as a metaphor for death. “All the good poetry is about death. Death, like a sneaker wave, can come at any moment. And so the truest currency for a human becomes time,” says the mononymous singer.

     

    “Some artists are interested in being complicated. They’re speaking another language to the connoisseur of the art. I have no interest in that. I want to be inclusive. I’ve always been interested in the purest form of the idea, so that it can communicate.”–Tristen

     

    “speaks to more weight than the song’s overall airy vibe suggests. Synths and guitars overlay the idea of being trapped and on display in something more like a prison than a home.”–Stereogum (on “Glass Jar”)

    Listen: Tristen – “Glass Jar” feat. Jenny Lewis

    Tristen – “Glass Jar” feat. Jenny Lewis

  • The Aces
    aces new art

    The Aces

    I Don't Like Being Honest EP

    Anyone who caught Utah’s The Aces during SXSW earlier in the year were treated to a Clearly Talented band on the way Up. One careening from teens into adulthood And Really you need only hear “Stuck”, their slinky and memorable lead single about toxic relationships, to grasp their appeal. Like all the best pop songs, it transcends specifics enough too to apply to Everyone. In Short–File Under: Going Places.

     

    The Aces cut their teeth as a live band early, using the teetotal, all-ages venue The Velour as their testing ground from age 13 onwards. It was in this environment that they gained confidence and thrived, their lineup solidifying a year later when McKenna met Katie in junior high, who, thanks to her older brother’s love of music, had a whole rehearsal space in her parent’s basement. The newly formed quartet would now blend McKenna and Katie’s alternative tastes (they grew up on The Cure, The Beatles and Depeche Mode) with those of Alisa and Cristal to truly find their sound.

     

    Now feels like an especially canny moment to make an entrance—not just because The Aces are ready, but because now more than ever, inclusivity and individualism is celebrated and outspokenness encouraged. “It’s great to feel like there are no limits,” says Katie. “We’re not bound by some stereotype, we can just come out and say what we want to say, however we want to say it—just like guys have always been able to. It’s a more even playing field than it ever has been and that feels amazing.”

     

    “Slinky pop that traces the missing link between Haim, The 1975, and Muna.”–NOISEY/Vice

     

    “Four girls about to rule the world emblazons the homepage for The Aces. That declaration sounds about right.”–The FADER

     

    “all the markings of a stellar debut…it’s fun–unpretentious, dreamy fun”–NYLON (on “Stuck”)

     

    “More honest than most pop songs.”–NPR

    Listen: The Aces – “Stuck”

    The Aces – “Stuck”

  • Songhoy Blues
    SONGHOY RESISTANCE

    Songhoy Blues

    Résistance

    “Résistance” was recorded at The Pool studio in London with producer Neil Comber (Django Django, MIA) and lyrically and sonically, is a huge leap forward for Songhoy Blues. A musical snapshot of a band at the top of their game. Richer, more eclectic and musically adventurous, it captures a band who, for the last three years, have toured the world and soaked up music far beyond the borders of their native Mali.

     

    The band released their debut album, “Music In Exile”, in early 2015 receiving across the board praise, including a 5/5 rating in The Guardian who claimed, “they have all the makings of African-rock crossover heroes.” Rolling Stone named the band one of their 10 Artists You Need to Know, calling the album “a churning, loose-limbed garage-rock take on traditional Malian music.

     

    The band has appeared on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ and NPR Tiny Desk, and has been featured by radio tastemakers worldwide including BBC 6Music, KEXP and KCRW. They have also received a wave of acclaim for They Will Have To Kill Us First, an award-winning film which told the story of Songhoy Blues and the struggle faced by musicians in Mali.

     

    With ‘Bamako’ we just wanted to write something fun and positive about where we come from. So much of what people hear about Africa is negative; bad news stories about war and famine just dominate the common image of Africa. But this track is about dispelling that image by describing something everyone can relate to – going out on a Saturday night – to show that Africa isn’t just what people see in the news, there’s so much more to it than that.”Aliou Touré

     

    “A skittering disco-tinged guitar vamp slinks through the track alongside spaced-out synth lines and brassy horn blasts.”–Rolling Stone

     

    “a sheer blast of positive energy.”–Clash

    Listen: Songhoy Blues – “Sahara” (feat. Iggy Pop)

    Songhoy Blues – “Sahara” (feat. Iggy Pop)

  • All We Are
    sunny hills all we are

    All We Are

    Sunny Hills

    Coming together as students at Liverpool’s Institute For Performing Arts in 2011, and remaining on the road honing their sound following up a self-titled release in 2015, All We Are started writing new material with a sense of urgency and power. Where “All We Are” was funky, liquid and seamless, “Sunny Hills” has a wobble to it, a human heartbeat and a grit that reflects the energy of the band’s thrilling live shows.

     

    Though based in England, the trio hail individually from Norway, Brazil and Ireland and as they put it: “All We Are is a Liverpool band. We have been formed by and have absorbed the spirit of the city. Liverpool is an immigrant city and has a proud history of welcoming everyone, drawing from the culture of the people who choose to live here and making that part of its own unique vibe.”

     

    It hasn’t escaped All We Are that the world seems to be spiraling into a period of darkness and through their music they want to say it’s okay to feel different. The resulting “Sunny Hills” is an irresistibly danceable, dark yet uplifting record about what it means to be alive right now and the power of friendship and togetherness in a world intent on driving us apart.

     

    “another fascinating vignette from a very special group.”–Clash (on “Human”)

     

    “‘Human’ sees All We Are veer into post-punk and krauty rhythms”–Line Of Best Fit

    Listen: All We Are – “Human” (radio edit)

    All We Are – “Human” (radio edit)

  • Father John Misty
    papajoh

    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 – “Total Entertainment Forever”

    Father John Misty – “Total Entertainment Forever”