Ratatat has released it's fifth album, "Magnifique". Following up on the experimental sounds of LP3 and LP4, Ratatat return to their core guitar-driven sound on "Magnifique". "I feel like it's our strongest record," Evan says. "We did it in spurts. We made a few trips to different locations where we'd set up a studio and work." Mike and Evan spent time in Port Antonio, Jamaica, upstate New York (at the same studio where LP3 and LP4 were recorded), Long Island, New York and at their own studio in Brooklyn.
The secret weapon on "Magnifique"'s slower tracks is the pedal steel guitar, an instrument most commonly heard in country music, "but it's a really futuristic sounding instrument," Evan explains. While Mike and Evan have long been fans of mid-century instrumental duo Santo & Johnny who famously employed the pedal steel on their timeless hit, "Sleepwalking," they dove much deeper into the world of pedal steel on slower songs like, "Drift", "Supreme" and their first ever cover tune, "I Will Return," originally recorded in 1972 by a one-man-band called Springwater. "We were watching clips from the Lawrence Welk show because he used to have these slide guitar players doing instrumentals live on the show," Evan says. "And some of the guys he had on were just unbelievable, their level of skill is unreal."
"The precise beauty of their production work, specifically the refusal to dump gratuitous instruments into the mix, places Magnifique at the top of Ratatat's catalogue. Stroud and Mast let guitars beat at the album's heart, and their balance of bubbly and peaceful elements ushers a return too fluid to ignore."--Consequence Of Sound
"sleek, propulsive instrumentals using a spare palette of guitars, synthesizers and simple percussion in such a way that the music sounds both triumphant and understated."--NPR
"stuffed with highlights, from the anything-but 'Abrasive' to 'Nightclub Amnesia'"--SPIN
"'Nightclub Amnesia' works itself into a nice groove, complete with one of the album's most memorable riffs"--Pitchfork
Listen: "Nightclub Amnesia"
I Become A Shade
Seoul have never been in a rush. Despite the overwhelming praise of their first online releases and industry chatter that surrounded their first live performance back in 2013 at Pop Montreal, kindergarten classmates Nigel Ward and Julian Flavin, and art school transplant Dexter Garcia remained resolute in fine tuning the dozen songs that would become their official debut: "I Become A Shade"
NOISEY gives a nice reference for Seoul's sonics suggesting one imagine if "Phoenix were really high on some primo pot and went bike riding with Washed Out and you're somewhere close."
Seoul--blue, breathless, gentle, absolute.
"...their music inhabits a groggy, wispy headspace--a dreamland that you can imagine even its creators getting lost in. Evocative at times of the swooning emotions and side-chain compression exercises of of similarly wilting electronic acts like Toro y Moi"--SPIN
"it's a woozy-wonderful melange of pulsing synths and nimble guitars"--NOISEY
"Seoul make featherlight pop that is laid-back but engaging"--Brooklyn Vegan
Listen: "Stay With Us"
Chicago's AyOH (pronounced "A-O") is the sound of traveling the length of the Windy City--by cab, by train or by foot, on a drizzly, desperate evening. With shining guitars, hovering keys, propulsive rhythms and impassioned vocals, "Dangerous Questions" is the new self-released EP (produced by Steven Gillis of Filter).
AyOH have been crafting their unique brand of sweaty, blue-eyed soul since 2011 and are one of the most currently buzzed about (and rightly so!) bands in Chicago!
"'Lion To The Lamb' is about the choices people face everyday," frontman Avi Dell says. "Within each of us is a character to be played in the narrative of life. Every morning we choose which role to embody: winner or loser, aggressor or victor, actor or bystander, Lion or Lamb. What starts out as a song seemingly about relationships blossoms into a tale of self discovery."
Listen: "Lion To The Lamb" (radio edit)
DMA'S ("dee-em-ayes") new self-titled EP is landing on your radio desks this week if not there already....so get ready (the buzz you've been hearing is Fully Warranted and they do Not disappoint)! You can also CLICK HERE for download of first single "Laced" (track #1 on the disc)!
A couple of years ago, three friends started writing and recording music together above a hairdresser on a busy street in Newton, Australia. They'd known each other casually for awhile and had all been in other bands previously, but hadn't found their own individual voices or the proper outlet for the songs percolating in their heads.
The product of three distinct musical personalities, DMA'S songs crackle with classic melodies and a sweet, youthful energy. You'll hear elements of 90s Britpop and shoegaze and American alternative guitar rock woven through arena-ready fist pumpers.
"'Laced' combines that with some of The Verve's stoned ambience and Britpop godfathers XTC's fizzy bubblegum edge."--Entertainment Weekly
"the kind of jangly sonic cadences that recall the Stone Roses or Oasis, right down to the give-a-f*ck jut of singer Tommy O'Dell's jaw."--NOISEY
"Delivering Glastonbury worthy hooks powered by a three-guitar assault"--Rolling Stone
"Truly thrilling, and at the center of it all is Tommy and his voice"--NME
"Artist You Should Know"--KCRW
Running With The Wolves EP
Growing up in the small Norwegian town of Os, Aurora was first drawn to music as a young child and influenced by her sister's piano playing. Coming into her own at but 17 years old, Aurora started performing publicly, first for her schoolmates and then at major Norwegian music festivals and radio stations. Now at 18, Aurora has become one of the country's most talked about new artists with sites now firmly set on the States!
A full length album is coming in September following up the newly released "Running With The Wolves" EP!
"One of the festival's most memorable arrivals...Her voice was vivid and clear in pop arrangements pulsating with synthesizers and kicking in with harder drumbeats on choruses."--New York Times (Jon Pareles at CMJ)
"Aurora's gorgeous vocals and unexpected instrumental harmonies shine..."--NPR
"...her so-called 'dark pop' was explosive, and (Aurora) Aksnes has an x-factor that one can't quite look away from."--PASTE (Best Of CMJ)
"beat-based songs and nature-centric imagery so lush you could almost reach out and touch it"--MTV Iggy
"The soundtrack to your wilderness fantasy"--New York Magazine
Listen: "Running With The Wolves"
7th Direction EP
Anthemic New York City trio theSHIFT rock with vibrant depth and a forceful punch on their newly released "7th Direction" EP.
While the members of theSHIFT are sought-after studio and touring musicians (from Ben Harper and Lauren Hill to Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick), Many will have actually perhaps already heard guitarist/vocalist John Shannon on the hit Louis C.K. series "Louie", which he writes the music for. Now in it's 5th season, Shannon was brought in during the early days of the TV show by pal Reggie Watts.
Despite being in demand for session work, the trio has made theSHIFT their primary focus, determined to inject rock with the rebellious boldness they believe to be lacking in today's climate.
"When you just play a song perfectly from start to finish, there's no danger there," explains Shannon. "When you choose to open it up in a way that's in touch with the moment and the audience, then you can get into some real danger, real transcendence. Our lyrics don't question the government, they question the nature of your reality."
theSHIFT's "7th Direction" was recorded at Brooklyn's Mission Sound and Manhattan's JRock Studios and co-produced by Jamie Siegel (Taking Back Sunday, Smashing Pumpkins).
FIDLAR are Back and Just In Time to save our ears and eyes from boredom! The upcoming "Too" (out 9/4) showcases a band that's on the forefront of modern punk!
Since forming in 2009, FIDLAR quickly became one of the LA music scene's most celebrated live acts thanks to their raucous live shows, which often concluded with the majority of audience members joint the band on stage.
Since formation, the band has toured the world and played with The Pixies, The Orwells, The Hives, Black Lips, OFF!, Jeff The Brotherhood, Wavves and more.
FIDLAR's self-titled debut album was released January 2013 and debuted #5 Billboard Heatseekers Chart, #2 Alt New Artist Chart, was the #1 Most Added release at CMJ and spent multiple Top 5 weeks in a row on the national new music specialty show charts.
FIDLAR's Zac Carper on the accompanying video: "In the late 90s and early 2000s, music videos were such a huge deal. We decided that instead of making one overly slick music video, we would nod to 15 of our favorite music videos that we grew up with. Everyone in the band threw in their ideas."
"the '40oz On Repeat' video is an easy contender for one of the best videos of the year."--Consequence Of Sound
"FIDLAR is back with a badass new song and video to go along with it."--Stereogum
"FIDLAR unleash every goofball trick in the book in '40oz On Repeat' video"--SPIN
"LA skate punks FIDLAR are out with a new video, and it will scratch your nostalgia itch so hard and good you won't need that tattoo choker anymore."--MTV News
Listen: "40 oz On Repeat" (radio edit)
Then Came The Morning
"Then Came the Morning", the second album by the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio The Lone Bellow, opens with a crest of churchly piano, a patter of drums, and a fanfare of voices harmonizing like a sunrise. It's a powerful introduction, enormous and overwhelming, as Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin testify mightily to life's great struggles and joys, heralding the morning that dispels the dark night. Working with producer Aaron Dessner of the National, The Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.
After two hard years of constant touring, the band was exhausted but excited. By 2014, they had written nearly 40 songs on the road and were eager to get them down on tape. After putting together a list of dream producers, they reached out to their first choice, the National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who has helmed albums by the L.A. indie-rock group Local Natives and New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.
"It occurred to me that it would be fun to get together and make music with them," says Aaron. "My main interest in producing records is community and friendship more than making money. I already do a lot of traveling and working with the National, so when I have to time to work with other artists, it should be fun and meaningful."
"Aaron is just so kind," Zach says. "And he has surrounded himself with all these incredibly talented people, like Jonathan Low, the engineer. His brother Bryce [Dessner, also a guitarist for the National] wrote these amazing brass and string arrangements, and he got some of his friends to play with us."
Dessner and the Lone Bellow spent two weeks recording at Dreamland in upstate New York, a nineteenth-century church that had been converted into a homey studio. The singers found the space to inspire the emotional gravity necessary for the material and the acoustics they were looking for. (For Kanene, Dreamland had one other bonus: "I'm a big Muppets fan, and it looks exactly like the church where Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem lived.")
"These are true stories," says Brian. "These aren't things we made up. We tried to write some songs that had nothing to do with our personal stories, but we just didn't respond to them. But we're best buds, so we know each others' personal stuff and trust each other to figure out what needs to be said and how to say it."
Says Brian, "We do this one thing together, and we carry each other. Hopefully that makes the listener want to be a part of it. It becomes a communal thing, which means that there's never a sad song to sing. It's more a celebration of the light and the dark."
Listen: "Take My Love"
Elliot Moss is a 21 year old multi-instrumentalist songwriter and producer from New York who has drawn comparisons as diverse as Alt-J, James Blake, Washed Out and Radiohead, with his soulful vocals, strong songwriting and embrace of electronic, jazz and ambient sounds.
The third generation in a family of musicians and artists, Moss will release his debut album "Highspeeds" April 28th. Recorded at his home studio, Moss performed, produced and mixed the entire album with the exception of a few friends.
"spacious and diverse, Elliot Moss' style is a combination of minimalist, echoed beats layered with acoustic delicacies, veering into grunge and electro-pop."--(Five Artists To Watch In April) SPIN
"Foggy, melancholy fuzzed-out folk with traces of brass and wobly electronics fraying the edges outward."--Stereogum
"All shaded rhythms and soulful vocals."--FADER
Listen: "Big Bad Wolf"
When you arm two wild frontwomen with Detroit-laced hooks, you get Motobunny: Iggy-Pop-meets-Icona-Pop. In short--American rock n' roll.
Led by dual singers Christa Collins and Nicole Laurrene, Motobunny's aesthetic has as much to do with Laurrene's Michigan rock roots as the surf sounds and pounding percussion of LA's punk and garage scenes. Rarely does a rock band present with two such well-matched, intense vocalists, but the rest of Motobunny keep up easily, ripping through songs straight out of a Tarantino film.
Motobunny formed after members of two acclaimed rock bands, The Love Me Nots and The Woolly Bandits got on stage together in 2013. After years of sharing green rooms, tour vans, and seedy motel rooms, it was the first time they had performed as one band and the electricity was undeniable. Together they dashed off songs for a dual-frontwomen rock collaboration, enlisted the help of Love Me Nots drummer Jay Lien, and headed to Detroit to record a full-length album with Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Electric Six, Dirtbombs). Mixed by Bob Hoag (The Format, Deer in The Headlights, Ataris), and mastered by Jason Livermore (Rise Against), the result is 12 tracks of tough rock n' roll topped off with a girls-just-wanna-have-fun attitude.
The band's anthem "Motobunny", released by Rusty Knuckles Music as a teaser single and music video, was featured in Blackheart films' 2015 release Jack and Cocaine, produced by Blackheart Records' Cyn Posner. The band performed its debut concerts in their hometowns of Phoenix and Los Angeles in Spring 2015, along with performing a live-streamed worldwide concert from Six01 Studios.
Listen: "Let's Go Out"
404 Not Found
The Singularity's first single and video, "Wetter", off the upcoming self-produced/released album, is a modern day blast of a good time glam stomper and we're very excited deliver it to you first!
Frontman and multi-instrumentalist Julian Shah Tayler's childlike fascination with science, space and the big questions that trouble the human condition has fueled the creative output of The Singularity's electronic rock and roll since the band's inception in 2012.
"Everything burst out of the center of a supermassive black hole," remarks Julian, "and we are going back there one day, so let's just enjoy it." This sentiment pretty much sums up The Singularity's manifesto and echoes the hedonistic attitude of the band.
A Londoner relocated to LA, Julian's catalog of music prolifically exceeds 300 songs, many of which have been featured in films and hit TV shows including Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Newsroom, while also turning up on broadcasts ranging from UK television's Popstar to NBC Sports.
In 2014, The Singularity (aka singer/producer/writer Julian Shah-Tayler) won a Golden Trailer award for his work with Lana Del Ray on Disney's "Maleficent" trailer. He also performed one of his songs in front of Bill Clinton, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese for the Unite For Humanity charity at the Oscars. Three of his songs were the "hits" for the focus band in the music movie "Plush", directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Lords Of Dogtown). He did all this while co-founding an LA charity called Art Angeles, teaching music to underprivileged kids in Watts.
"'Wetter' is Massive. It will make Julian a star, like a great version of Prince."--Alan McGee (Creation Records)
"Very Impressed!"--David J (Love & Rockets, Bauhaus)