The definitive Primus line-up (Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde/guitar and Tim Alexander/drums) is back together and set to release their first full-length studio album in nearly 20 years! "Primus & The Chocolate Factory w/The Fungi Ensemble" is Out 10/21!
Listen: "Golden Ticket " (radio edit)
Fresh on the heels of three sold out shows at London’s Alexandra Palace with The Libertines, Carl Barât and his new band The Jackals unveil their debut single "Glory Days".
"Glory Days", produced by Joby J. Ford (The Bronx) is taken from the Carl Barât and The Jackals much-anticipated, as yet untitled forthcoming album, out on Grand Jury Music in the US and Cooking Vinyl Records in the UK in early 2015.
The single, like the album, was recorded in LA and features guest musicians, such as Beastie Boys percussionist Alfredo Ortiz. "I actually started making this record solo, but the long and short of it is I just didn’t like my own company," says Carl, adding that he soon realized that he wanted to get a new band together.
Rather than call up some old mates to recruit for The Jackals, Carl decided to post a few ads online asking if there were any likeminded souls out there who wanted to try their luck at playing with him. The response was overwhelming, with thousands of people replying. Carl adds "I was lucky, because I found a bunch of people who genuinely fit together as a gang."
"A tribute to the Clash's feral reggae-punk"--Stereogum
"Barât has brought a lot of what made The Libertines so effective in this new project, mostly the endless attitude and slightly ramshackle approach and song structures."--Consequence Of Sound
Listen: "Glory Days"
With the announcement of their new single, Hookworms share the perfect encapsulation of everything that the second studio album "The Hum" is set to be. “On Leaving” takes the blueprint of critically acclaimed debut – proto-punk, garage rock, Washington DC hardcore, 80’s British spacerock – and further stamps it with the band’s seal.
"The Hum" comes eighteen months after the band’s debut album "Pearl Mystic" - a record that steadily went on to become one of 2013′s most impactful breakout statements. Even more ferocious and uncompromising than its predecessor and yet more melodic and focused than the band have ever recorded, "The Hum" further cements the band’s status as a vital force in British independent music.
“We were writing 'Pearl Mystic' to an audience in the same way your diary has an audience”, says guitarist SS. “It’s written to one but if no one ever reads it that’s not a big deal. This time round though we knew we had a really clear audience, so 'The Hum' is really about different freedoms and constraints – with 'Pearl Mystic' the possibilities were almost too vast, this time around we had a much clearer idea of what the record should be like and that became freeing because we didn’t need to worry about its direction so much.”
"Awesome Leeds outfit Hookworms provide psychedelic rock that's heavy, engrossing and euphoric. In a live setting they storm along with a hefty motorik thrust, and play very loud indeed."--Time Out London
Listen: "On Leaving" (radio edit)
When Afternoons burst onto the L.A. scene in 2008, you’d have thought there wasn’t an arena big enough to hold them. An early song, “Say Yes,” hit the radio, and Shepard Fairey designed a poster for it. The seven-piece collective went to work on more music, occasionally gathering to play exhilarating live shows and stoke the fires of anticipation for a proper release.” – Kevin Bronson / LA Weekly
…Then came big name management and publishing, along with the requisite creative meddling and an unnecessary, unheralded name change. And just like that, much of the original mystique and momentum was lost.
Afternoons now returns a six piece, with the songs and shows they had envisioned all along. Sonically expansive yet lyrically concise. Starry-eyed at times, sardonic at others, and ever and always a mass spectacle.
Listen: "Gloria" (Radio Edit)
It took roughly seven years, a teenage instrumental rock band, a debut EP, additions and subtractions, a roller rink and a near death experience to arrive at Francisco The Man. Following a two year hiatus beginning in 2008, the band relocated from Riverside to Los Angeles, bringing along a new addition, guitarist Brock Woolsey. With the help of Small Plates Records, they released two 7"s, "In The Corners" and "Tiger".
"the kind of ripping, radio-ready alt rock song that actually has some bite and staying power. With soaring, arena-filling guitar work and Cantino's formidable fronting abilities, look for Francisco The Man to really turn some heads with their first full-length."--Consequence Of Sound (on "Big Ideas")
Listen: "Big Ideas"
Kansas City's Outsides, toes the line between organic and electronic production, writing guitar parts that were ultimately sampled and woven together with a battery of synthesizers in front man Tim Ellis' home studio. The result is an ambitious collection of huge-sounding pop gems for fans of Foster the People, Toro y Moi, M83 and Passion Pit and that manage to dip their toes in shoe-gaze, psychedelia, and electronica without losing the exuberance of pure, hooky pop.
Listen: "Just Curious" (radio edit)
A stalwart of Austin indie rock and one of the city's most highly regarded songwriters, Aaron Sinclair has teamed up with Dangerbird Records for the national release of the new album "Pretty Girls" under the moniker A. Sinclair. 12 songs are available digitally now and a 6-song 10" vinyl EP arrives October 28. A. Sinclair’s recent releases have drawn the attention of press around the country, intrigued by a sound that the Austin Chronicle described as "tension-driven" with "tight, rough riffs and sharp post-punk lines." SPIN remarked on the underlying feeling of "twitchy paranoia" that permeates Sinclair's songwriting, which Baeble Music described as having a "strung- out urgency."
A. Sinclair’s rock passport has a number of notable stamps: First Houston, his hometown, where he initially picked up a guitar with friends and considered it to be a reasonable enough vehicle by which to leave. Then it was on to Boston, where Sinclair established himself in the mid-aughts first as the drummer for Drexel and then as a member of The Lot Six, the widely-beloved band that grew out of that city’s fertile Tarantulas punk scene, and with whom Sinclair crisscrossed the country for 4 years, steadiy building a loyal following on the East Coast until it was over in 2006.
Meanwhile, Sinclair made a name for himself with his own band Frank Smith, the band through which he explored a rootsier sound while touring, recording, and collaborating with friends like Juliana Hatfield, who released two of the band's albums on her own label.
Later that year, Sinclair made the decision to relocate to Austin in his home state of Texas and rebuild first his band and ultimately, himself. With a fresh start, a new band name and a collection of songs that more than validate the impressive display of resolve, A. Sinclair's 'Pretty Girls' is the sound of an artist crashing ahead, unafraid to dig in even harder on being great, even if it means blowing it all up first.
Paste praised A. Sinclair's ability “let the music speak for itself” with a sound that can only be described as “full-on rock," while the critics at the UK site The Line of Best Fit were drawn to the combination of "massive guitars" and "boozy vocals," with "swagger, melody and timeless drive.”
Listen: "How Many Ways" (clean radio edit)
Soft Swells. Sure it’s a band name (in fact, it’s this band’s name), but it is also a surfing term. Tiny, easy to ride waves that beginners keep an eye out for to build their aquatic confidence up. But what happens when you outgrow those small waves? Do you stop surfing? Or do you step up and try to tackle the biggest waves the ocean has to offer? Tim Williams, the mastermind behind Soft Swells (the band) has been moving towards this moment for years now. Tim started Soft Swells in an effort to reach new heights, and over the course of a full length and an EP, the music has gotten more sophisticated, and the sound of the band has gotten bigger. So if the band’s previous work could be described as soft swells, than their new album "Floodlights" is like an enormous tidal wave from an action movie. Absolutely everything about the band has gotten bigger. Where once there was just Tim with the help of producer/keyboardist Dave Lynch and a lot of studio magic, there is now a fully formed band.
In a (successful) experiment to capture the fun and excitement of their live shows on record, Tim brought a motley group of wildly talented musicians together in the studio to lay down all the tracks. Most of the record was tracked by producer Dave Lynch (the other Dave Lynch) at The Electric Zoo in Eastbourne UK, with Soft Swells’ touring bass player and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Pappas at Tim’s side, and a guest appearance by resident UK drummer Phil Wilkinson (Jake Bugg, Brian Eno). As if that wasn’t enough, Misty Boyce (Sara Bareilles), Jonathan Visger (Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr) and Soft Swells’ touring guitarist Kyle Frederickson all contributed their talents via satellite. Well, via email.
This impressive roster of personnel leaves Soft Swells sounding invigorated, like a whole new band. A big, stadium sized band to be exact. Drums shake, organs swell, guitars rock and vocals soar. This is no longer a band trying to figure out how to replicate the sound of their albums on stage, because they brought the stage to the studio. Tim’s new air of confidence isn’t just due to the stellar lineup, but also because of his recent marriage to the love of his life, Sabrina, who is a constant encouragement to Tim to take chances, and to do what she knows he is capable of.
"Soft Swells channel the Technicolor guitar-pop of Summerteeth-era Wilco, balancing high-flying synthesizer parts against guitars straight from the garage."--MTV Buzzworthy Artist
Last year, Johnny Marr enjoyed a monumental start to his solo career with an abundance of critical acclaim (including the honor of being named NME's 'Godlike Genius') for his Top 10 debut solo album "The Messenger". Meanwhile, the legendary guitarist for The Smiths' shows were celebrated on Both sides of the pond for his ability to combine the best of his new material with select highlights from The Smiths and the rest of the his extensive back catalog with other artists.
Listen: "EASY MONEY" (radio edit)
This Is My Hand
Not many people can front a rock band, sing Górecki’s Third Symphony, lead a marching band processional down the streets of the Sundance film festival and perform in a baroque opera of their own composing all in a month’s time. But Shara Worden can.
Her multi faceted career as My Brightest Diamond, which began with an acclaimed independent rock record, has reflected her journey into the world of performing arts. "This Is My Hand", her fourth album, marks a confident return to rock music, one informed by her mastery of composition and a new exploration into the electronic.
Born in diamond-rich Arkansas and then raised all around the country, Worden came from a musical family of traveling evangelists. She went on to study operatic voice and then classical composition after a move to New York City.
Shara began issuing recordings as My Brightest Diamond in 2006, following a protean period in the band AwRY, and joining Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoisemakers live ensemble. Asthmatic Kitty Records released her debut album, "Bring Me The Workhorse" in 2006, "A Thousand Sharks’ Teeth" in 2008, and 2011’s "All Things Will Unwind", which featured songs written for the chamber ensemble yMusic.
In between My Brightest Diamond, well known fans became collaborators, and collaborative projects amassed. Highlights include singing in Laurie Anderson’s 2008 show “Homeland,” delivering guest vocals on The Decemberists’ 2009 Hazards of Love album and subsequently joining them on tour, performing in Bryce and Aaron Dessner’s multimedia presentation “The Long Count,” singing and recording for Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang and singing in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “Penelope” and “Unremembered.” Shara has also worked with David Byrne (on his concept musical “Here Lies Love”), Fat Boy Slim, Bon Iver and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
"Combining brainy indie-pop with touches of art-rock and classical music, Worden's work radiates brilliance to match her considerable ambition."--NPR
"....extraterrestrial....ethereal, flat-out weird vocal styles more spiritual than human."--Consequence Of Sound
"The arrangements flutter with violins, flutes, winds and horns of all kind and show off Worden's creativiy and remarkable grasp on compositional theory."--PASTE
At Best Cuckold
Embarking upon a sophomore effort can be a daunting task for any young upstart, and there’s no denying Avi Buffalo’s own bar was set quite high with 2010’s celebrated eponymous debut. Fear not, dear fans/family/friends/friends of friends/newcomers, there’s nothing in this tale about The Second Album—a.k.a. "At Best Cuckold", that even remotely resembles a slump; in fact, it would be entirely appropriate to say that this Long Beach, California, enterprise is getting better with age.
Ah, yes, age—much was made of it when Avi Buffalo’s first album hit the ground running, and for good reason: While their Millikan High School classmates were preoccupied with quaint and youthful pursuits, the musicians behind Avi Buffalo were busy making an off-kilter pop gem that eventually bowled over NME, The AV Club,Pitchfork, the BBC, and numerous other outlets on both sides of the Atlantic whose tastes are respected by the general public. Like a lot of kids their age, the Buffaloes celebrated the end of high school in Europe, but instead of visiting the Louvre and Buckingham Palace, their overseas journeys took them to the festival stages of Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury, the Pavement-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, and beyond.
At the ripe old age of 23, Avi Buffalo is ready to take on the world (again), armed with all of the experience he’s compiled over the past few years. And he’s made sure the second time around will be just as memorable as the first.
Listen: "So What"
Newark is a small city in Delaware, home to a little more than 30,000 people, a university and a burgeoning music scene. Most notably, though, it’s the birthplace of Fiancé, a four-piece experimental pop group who are bringing their local vibe to a grander level. The band’s members have been friends since grade school, always playing in and out of bands together over the years as they grew up. In January of 2013, Andrew, Jeff and Tyler got together and started a new project they dubbed Fiancé. The idea behind the group was vague, with the only goal to make music together that they all enjoyed.
The house also doubles as Fiancé’s recording studio. The musicians wrote the five tracks on their debut, titled "EP 1", over the course of last summer and fall. Produced by Andrew and engineered by friend Ryan Williams, the entire EP was recorded to quarter inch tape on a Tascam 388 tape machine. The tape adds to the gauzy, fuzzed out aesthetic that threads throughout the songs.
“Recording in our house gave us the opportunity to experiment with the ways different rooms can effect the sound of a record,” Tyler says. “We have used the design of our house to hone in on our sounds for years and you can hear it on the EP.”
The EP opens with the group’s first single, “Era,” a layered, shimmering pop song Andrew and Jeff had initially written for a possible solo project before Fiancé started. “It wasn’t quite finished,” Jeff says. “And the other band members just made it so much better. We’re really proud of it.” “Climb The Stairs,” is a moody rocker that showcases the glimmer of darkness and melancholy in the group’s sensibility. “The songs are ultimately about change,” Andrew says, “Those moments when you realize that what seemed like such a strong connection to something, has become so fragmented that it may not be mendable.”
The group is currently translating the aesthetic on their EP into a full-length album. For them, the EP is an apt hint at where Fiancé will go next, but not necessarily a complete indication. “Our goal is to write songs that are meaningful to us,” Jeff says. “If our songs can impact other people in a positive way, then that’s great. But our true goals are more selfish than that. We want to write songs that are more honest then anything we’ve done before, ones that resonate with ourselves.”
"A matrimonial mix of Diiv's billowy shoegaze and Delorean's effervescent dreamwave, FIANCÉ might well be the most exciting band to emerge from Delaware in, well, ever."--NME
Listen: "Era" (radio edit)