Leeds-based Hookworms have been terrorizing headlining bands across northern England and beyond through sheer sonic velocity and emotive intent. The songs feel cathartic, each fresh revolution of the loop a confrontation between the band and themes of depression, loss and anger--subjects close to the heard of the group's vocalist MJ (all the members are known only by their initials).
Hookworms new "Pearl Mystic" is an absolutely thunderous statement of intent. After a portentous couple of years of live shows and limited releases, comes the new album. During the prior span of time the band's live shows continued to increase in intensity, cementing their reputation treading the boards. Live and on record they pointedly subvert the tripped out sound environments of pyschedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J. Spaceman et al, there's no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity.
Indeed the most impressive thing about Hookworms is that, through this torrent of emotion, there's always the sense that they're in control of it all, so committed are they to this catharsis that they refuse to throw any of it to chance.
+ "the trippy swirl of space rock, the drone of shoegaze, and bypassing typical verse-chorus song structure and still remaining eerily catchy." (5 Best New Artists November)--SPIN
+ "One of the most intense acts at CMJ 2013." --NPR
+ "one big, mutable wallop, angry and obsessive and euphoric."--New York Times
+ "a wailing, existentially flailing, melodic psych rock freak-out that was somehow cathartic across all eight-minutes of its run time; it was anything but minimal, but somehow it also hit me like a single mass of sound, the guitar sounds and the vocal sounds distorted to the point that they seem to be made of the same substance."--FADER
+ "...practice a visceral blend of noise, drone, motorik rhythms and impassioned vocals that basically demands to be listened to at top volume"--Brooklyn Vegan
+ 10/10 --Drowned In Sound
+ 8/10 --NME
Listen: "Form And Function"
What a difference a year makes. In 12 short months, Echosmith have gone from little-known Los Angeles alt-pop gem to Warped Tour’s undeniable breakout band. Basking in the glow of a summer spent playing to thousands of fans all over the country, the quartet—which consists of Sierota siblings Jamie (vocals/guitar), Sydney (vocals/keyboard), Noah (vocals/bass), and Graham (drums)—is even more excited to share their music with all the people who weren’t able to see them on the annual punk-rock summer camp.
One song that seems to get the loudest crowd response is first single “Cool Kids,” a dreamy Metric/Sundays-esque strut that encourages people embrace our differences because that’s actually what makes each and every one of us cool. Echosmith’s “in crowd” of outsiders is sure to grow when the band hits the road for more tourdates this fall. So what’s it like for them to look out on-stage and see a sea of smiling young faces staring back? “I think it’s really cool to be the same age as our fans,” explains Sydney, “because when we meet each other and start talking, it’s like we’re friends already.”
+ "Buzzworthy Obsession"--MTV
+ 100 Bands You Need To Know" (3 1/2 stars)--Alternative Press
+ #3 Album on Billboard Heatseekers Chart!
+ "Artist You Should Know"--Entertainment Tonight
+ “Cool Kids” was part of the iTunes Single of the Week campaign week of release and was downloaded 408K times. The song finished the week as the most successful Warner Music Group Single of the Week songs in the last year!
Listen: "Cool Kids"
A little over a year and a half ago, songwriter/composer Keegan DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock stripped down a small Nashville row house to build a custom studio. In this space, and together with friend and drummer/producer Dabney Morris, they would record and eventually form Wild Cub around their debut album "Youth". Initially shared digitally a little over a year ago, the album will now see a wide release through Mom+Pop on December 10th as infectious debut single “Thunder Clatter” sits in rotation on SiriusXM’s AltNation.
The album transitions seamlessly between infectious electro-pop, tropical rhythms, and quiet washes of cinematic new wave reflection. It’s this evocative, cinematic quality that characterizes Wild Cub’s songs, influenced heavily by DeWitt’s extensive work in composing film scores (including 2013’s Academy Award-winning short documentary Inocente; 2013’s Sundance Audience Award for Best of NEXT winner This Is Martin Bonner; and 2010’s Cold Weather).
Since its initial small release, press and touring around "Youth" has mounted steadily and surely. Paste, Consequence Of Sound, MTV Hive, and The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog (’12 Acts to Watch at the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon’) all shortly took notice. Things began to take on a break-neck pace of their own in early 2013, with Wild Cub performing at designer Rebecca Minkoff’s Fall ’13 NY Fashion Week show, snagging NylonMag.com’s ‘Band Crush’ stamp and major support from influential station KEXP (“…[Wild Cub’s] brand of darkly-tinged new wave recalls elements of the youthful abandon of John Hughes soundtracks, the baleful allure of Greg Dulli, and the clockwork electronics of New Order’s middle period”), while “Thunder Clatter” was highlighted in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Singles Swap’ feature.
"Youth" gained notable UK press attention at this time from Clash Music, The Guardian, The Line Of Best Fit, and Top Shop, as Wild Cub’s tracks, remixes, and visually arresting videos continued to premiere in the States on sites including InterviewMagazine.com, RollingStone.com, Noisey, and SPIN.com, among others. The band completed its first two US tours and hit festivals like SXSW (playing eight shows), Hangout Fest, and Lollapalooza (including a sold-out afterparty with UK stand-outs Palma Violets), while Alt Nation began championing Wild Cub as DJ Jeff Regan independently added “Thunder Clatter” to heavy rotation. Roughly 18 months since recording the first rough sketches of Youth in that row house in Nashville, Wild Cub headlined a brimming crowd at New York’s Bowery Ballroom after selling out both the Mercury Lounge and Glasslands a few months prior.
In addition to fall festival dates that include a stop at Austin City Limits, Wild Cub will travel to the UK for two debut London shows in November, where “Thunder Clatter” has made waves on the Spotify Viral and iTunes Top Singles charts after soundtracking a Bose ad. "Youth"’s wide release through Mom+Pop will also include two bonus tracks, “Blacktide” and “Lies.”
Listen: "Thunder Clatter" (radio edit)
"Tiff" was our first taste earlier in the year of Poliça's upcoming "Shulamith", but it's "Chain My Name" that will be the first proper single from the new album and is now taking its first bows at radio (both songs will be included on the full length). Bon Iver's Justin Vernon has called Poliça "the best band I've ever heard."
"Shulamith" (out 10/22!) follows up the band's critically acclaimed last album "Give Up The Ghost". Members of Poliça and Vernon first collaborated in indie rock supergroup Gayngs in 2010.
Poliça re-shape the intersection of pop and digitised R&B via ice cool vocalist Channy Leanagh and Ryan Olson's electronic soundscapes, revealing a tender heart beneath, pulsating with life and raw emotion.
The name Poliça refers to the word ‘policy’, meaning a definite course of action adopted for the sake of expediency, suggesting they were formed out of necessity.
Don't miss the band on tour this Fall!
Listen: "Chain My Name" (radio edit)
Voices In My Head
Having left Chicago for LA, Light FM sonic wizard Josiah Mazzaschi went from finding quick success as a sought after engineer and producer in some of LA's premier recording studios, to starting his Own regularly well-populated studio The Cave, recording the likes of Built To Spill, William Reid (Jesus And Mary Chain), The Sleepy Jackson and Rilo Kiley to name a handful. Not content to remain simply Behind the board, Mazzaschi knew he had to reignite the band that nudged him westward in the first place and who over the years have banked four previous albums while out on tour opening for as eclectic a bunch as The National, Ra Ra Riot, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Grandaddy and Smashing Pumpkins.
Light FM's new "Voices In My Head" embarks on a journey of love lost, existentialism and dreamscapes. Awash in dreamy melodicism, the relentlessly catchy 5th album hits you in the gut, but blissfully so with the band's signature "nugaze" (equal parts new wave and early 90s shoegaze) delivering up the songs And the memorable hooks by the bucketful.
"Centered around layers of fuzzy synthesizers and melodious pop grooves, Light FM juxtaposes the richness of their music with themes that touch upon the most disconsolate of inner dwellings."--KROQ.com
"So many good sticky melodies."--Jason Lytle (Grandaddy)
Listen: "Let Go"
Delorean have stuck together. They started the band as teenagers in the Basque Country town of Zarautz in Spain, informed by a love of hi-hat-frenzied dance music, then moved to Barcelona, where they fully embraced carefree Mediterranean club music on their celebrated 2010 LP, "Subiza". After touring heavily in support of "Subiza" the band built their own studio in their adopted hometown of Barcelona - looking for a semblance of normalcy to record their follow-up, "Apar". Lead singer, lyricist and bassist Ekhi Lopetegi calls Apar simply their "big production album", but through his articulate lens, the record’s emotional undercurrent, and the band's mastery of luxurious, coast-of-Spain beats, Apar is something altogether more illuminating.
Delorean toured for nearly three years after releasing "Subiza", so when the band settled back home in Barcelona it should be no surprise they set out to make their lives as normal as possible. For some much needed structure and control, they built a private studio in El Poblenou, an industrial neighborhood that borders the Mediterranean Sea. "It was a really normal life", Lopetegi says of their time writing and recording "Apar".
Outside of the serenity of the studio however, life was not so normal. A breakup serves as a foundation for reflection on the madness of unconditional commitment. "There are a lot of 'you's' in the lyrics" explains Lopetegi, "but I didn't try to write a plain narrative of what happened". The lyrics explore the contradiction between being a finite person and feeling compelled to pledge infinite, unconditional love - or friendship, or persistence, or even allegiance to the other. The global financial crisis has hammered Delorean's home of Spain, leaving nearly a quarter of the population unemployed while "Apar" was being recorded. The album's story of the impermanence of love undergoes a subtle torque, so the record can also be seen to examine the changing nature of not just love, but hope. Like abiding lovers, people persevere and stand firm while something they thought was strong and true erodes around them.
For "Apar" the band set on a musical journey to get to the core of their songwriting. Leaving behind the ornate and layered production of "Subiza", the chopped up female vocal samples have been replaced by actual singers and the bare minimum of instrumentation is all that remains to support them. This measured approach that the band embraced for "Apar" is what waning relationships sometimes need in order to survive.
"'Destitute Time' is a low but colorful dance-pop track" – Stereogum
"Cooing vocals, ringing guitars, and buoyant synthesizers carry the track as singer Ekhi Lopetegi sounds measured and conversational throughout” – Pitchfork
"An alternately bright and wistful record that both broadens Delorean's palette and presents its sound with a new, crystalline studio sheen that suits the music nicely." – XLR8R
"It’s layered with drums, guitar, piano, synths and vocals in an incredibly harmonious manner.” – FILTER
Listen: "Destitute Time" (radio edit)
With noisy synths, rugged drums and catchy melodics, Gemini Club is fully committed to both electronics and rock and roll. The Chicago four-piece has developed a sound that is both classic and driven towards the future. For Gemini Club it's about stepping out from behind the curtain and expanding the palette of what an electronic project can and should be.
The band is cognizant of the fact that electronic rock must expand it horizons or else audiences will grow tired of the often-detached nature of electronic performances. With this mindset Gemini Club has created a raw experience with a not-so raw instrument so that to provide an experience that you can rock out to. Gemini Club is the rock band reprogrammed.
Gemini Club has shared stages with artists as varied as Metric, AWOLNATION, Two Door Cinema Club, Flosstradamus and Chromeo.
Listen: "By Surprise"
For the past four years, Follow That Bird was one of the most buzzed about bands from their hometown of Austin, Texas. And considering how many bands are packed into that one city, that ain’t faint praise. They were picked by Matador Records to be the lead single on the 2010 Austin-only compilation Casual Victim Pile, and snapped up enough accolades to have Bill Callahan have them support him on tour and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead ask them to be the opening act on their full tour of the Western US last summer.
"...a fuzzy guitar-groove that defies gravity."--SPIN
Sheffield, England quartet The Crookes have signed to Austin, Texas label Modern Outsider, who will release the hyper-literate purveyors of infectious pop-rock's sophomore album, "Hold Fast" on October 1 (the US edition will contain three bonus tracks).
The Crookes made their US debut at this year's SXSW Music Conference after garnering tremendous praise for "Hold Fast" at home, wowing the folks at Mod Out with their energetic live performances.
Influenced by the optimism of early Beatles with the melancholy of The Smiths, The Crookes tap into 50 years of British pop for their sounds, and 100 years of British social history for their words--four English literature graduates whose music is bound with storytelling and tinged with nostalgia.
The Crookes garnered heaps of praise back home, being tipped by BBC Music's Steve Lemacq as one of the 3 best guitar bands in the UK right now. America awaits.
"Bear's Blood"/"Dance In Colour" split single is available digitally now.
"....a band this good are unlikely to remain obscure"--NME
"Lovingly, lavishly layered...the four piece take a big step forward. Not a second of these 33 watertight minutes are wasted."--Q
They're BACK! Sleigh Bells' "Bitter Rivals" is the first single from the album of the same name out October 8th!
"Bitter Rivals" is the follow up to 2012's critically acclaimed "Reign Of Terror" and 2010's smash "Treats"! The upcoming 10 song album finds the band holding fast to their uncompromising sound and aesthetic while searching for badass new ways to make pop music.
Catch Sleigh Bells live soon on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (with more television to follow)!
Listen: "Bitter Rivals"
Lousy With Sylvianbriar
Defining of Montreal is impossible. There are too many perspectives to consider, angles to explore, layers to uncover. Just when you think you have a concept of what kind of creature they are, they transform into something unexpected and new.
On "Lousy With Sylvianbriar," this paradigm holds true once more. The record was created with a new songwriting approach, a different recording method and a fresh group of musicians.
Seeking creative inspiration, Kevin Barnes re-located to San Francisco where he spent days soaking in the strange surroundings and channeling the city's energy into his writing. After a very prolific period there, returned to Athens, GA, and assembled the cast of musicians to begin the sessions.
Barnes eschewed computer recording--with its pitch correction, limitless effects plug-ins and editing possibilities--and instead, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Toro y Moi), he recorded "Lousy With Sylvianbriar" in his home studio on a 24-track tape machine.
Most of the tracking was recorded live with the band in the same room together. They worked quickly, with the band members composing their parts on the fly and with little second guessing. The album was recorded in just three weeks.
"I knew I wanted the process to be more in line with the way people used to make albums in the late 60s and early 70s," reveals Barnes. "I wanted to work fast and to maintain a high level of spontaneity and immediacy. I wanted the songs to be more lyric-driven, and for the instrumental arrangements to be understated and uncluttered."
Opening track and lead single "Fugitive Air" feels like a Stones-y anthem, with sparks of Philip K. Dick's psychedelic prose, Ralph Bakshi's cartoon violence, and William S. Burrough's hyper-paranoia.
"'fugitive air' jives with some sunny slide guitars and a shaggy melody that shares DNA with The Animals, The Stooges, and The Kinks.--Consequence Of Sound
"('fugitive air') harkens back to the band's sunnier days, circa 1997's Cherry Peel, when Barnes focused on channeling the Kinks' princely songcraft rather than Prince's kinky shit. --SPIN
"This time round, Kevin Barnes is touting a glam-ed up variant on country rock...and it really suits them. ...it's possibly the most straightforward and accessible thing they've done since The Sunlandic Twins." --Drowned In Sound
Listen: "Fugitive Air" (clean radio edit)
Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life)'s sophomore solo effort "Adult Film" comes out October 8th and its results are more thematically elastic than any other of his recent albums, spanning songs that reflect on matters such as aging and mortality, growing up and growing older, and how these things impact our relationships--including the way we interact with and view the life around us.
"Adult Film" began life in late 2011, just shortly after Cursive finished recording their seventh album "I Am Gemini". Kasher continued to work on it over the next year before heading to Electrical Audio studio in his adopted hometown of Chicago in Spring of this year.
Kasher's lyrics are as incisive as ever: the album is packed with thoughtful apprehensions, cleverly tuned phrases, and reflections on himself and the world at large, all run through his distinctive filter of dry wit and frequent self-deprecation.
"the swift track posits more wonder than angst: bloopy bass barrels through and fuzzy, escalating synths bounce throughout. At least he's handling the freak-out well."--Rolling Stone
"a zippy, fast, synth-farting ode to the realization that you’re going to die someday."--Stereogum
Listen: "Truly Freaking Out"
Arthur Channel is the melding of newcomer singer/songwriter Jon Greene, Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Eleven, Wallflowers), Greg Richling (Wallflowers, Fiona Apple), and Alain Johannes (Queens Of The Stone Age, Eleven).
Arthur Channel's "Lighten Up" is the first single at radio now, and precursor to their self titled debut out October 15th from The End Records.
Arthur Channel's name arrived out of nowhere, much like unknown, yet masterful singer/songwriter/guitarist Jon Greene appeared in the lives of drummer Jack Irons and bass player Greg Richling. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Jon acquired Jack’s contact info and sent him a three song demo he had been working on; coincidentally, Jack and Greg had been discussing finding an unknown singer/songwriter to start working with. Greg says, rather resigned, “I bet Jon spied us from the tree tops. He knew no matter how good the bass and drums were sounding, it was a lonely affair.”
+ "We love the dreamy, super emotive vocals and the tense riffery..."--ARTISTdirect
Listen: "Lighten Up"