All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
Aurora's "Conqueror" comes hurdling out of the gate in advance of the upcoming debut Glassnote album "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend" (out 3/11).
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 19, Aurora has become one of the country's most talked about new artists with sites now firmly set on the States!
"The first time I saw Aurora sing, it appeared so new to her that each note, and each hand gesture accompanying each note, seemed like a discovery and an adventure for the singer...Ever since seeing her at CMJ in 2014, I've been eager for her debut album."--Bob Boilen/NPR Music
After nearly ten years as the creative force behind much-loved New York rock outfit Hooray For Earth, Noel Heroux had lost his way. "I'd been derailed somehow," says Heroux. "So I allowed myself the return to the beginning."
Mass Gothic is the Massachusetts-bred, New York-based singer/songwriter's self-titled debut, and is a stunning reminder of not just Heroux's own remarkable talents, but how unbridled creativity can both sound and feel as well: Before Hooray For Earth had quickly become a fully-functioning band, it began as a solo project.
"Mass Gothic" is an expansive, often exhilarating set of guitar-driven pop that required very little editing when it was done. The self-produced and self-titled upcoming album was mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, TV On The Radio) and mastered by Greg Calbi (Father John Misty, Tame Impala) at Sterling Sound in NYC.
"A jaunty pop track with shades of Dexy's Midnight Runners, the New Pornographers, and the Shins. The song is incredibly winsome on its own, and the effect is only amplified by director Addison Post's video."--Stereogum (on "Every Night..."'s new vid)
Listen: "Every Night You've Got To Save Me" (radio edit)
Two years on from their acclaimed debut "The Shadow Of Heaven", the new MONEY album, "Suicide Songs", takes you deeper into their sound and vision. It feels more advanced and yet simpler, more perfected and yet more open. It is, by turns, a tender, barren, cavernous, smoldering, despairing and inspirational piece of work. It's a long day's journey into night, but it pays huge dividends when you arrive, drawing you in and casting a spell that won't let go.
As for that album title… The band is well aware of the potency of two words such as "Suicide Songs". "It seemed to make sense for the period, since I was dabbling with an unworldly attitude toward life, though that's changed now," Jamie vouches. "But we don't want it to come across just in a negative way. We don't want to glorify mental illness either."
"Above all else, I'm just trying to project and portray a poetic truth. Suicide is about anonymity, to the point where you don't exist, which I definitely feel in my songwriting and as a person. But rather than writing myself out of anonymity, I want to remain there, in this record at least. It's recognizing a kind of sacrificial nature, in making artistic choices. By rummaging around in your feelings and trying to make sense of life, to the detriment of your health, there might be some poetic value to what you have created."
Listen: "I'm Not Here" (radio edit)
And The Wave Has Two Sides
ON AN ON is an American experimental-pop band out of Minneapolis, MN, made up of long-time friends and collaborators, Nate Eiesland (vocals, guitar), Ryne Estwing (bass, vocals) and Alissa Ricci (keys, vocals).
"This is another first record for us in a way." says keyboardist Alissa Ricci of their latest release "And The Wave Has Two Sides". "This time we came into the studio as a band. 'Give In' (our debut) was us learning to think less and trust our instincts. What you hear on that record is a band beginning. It's mysterious, and flawed, and honest."
Formed in 2012, ON AN ON began when the trio congregated in the Toronto studio Stars & Sons with producer Dave Newfeld to start a brand new band. "We didn't plan what we were going to sound like ahead of time. We just had some demos and a blank slate. It felt like selling all of your possessions and starting fresh", states Ricci. Their debut "Give In" captured the origins and exploration of their new sound in real-time.
"We had each been in bands prior to ON AN ON and had day jobs and careers, but we just decided to go for it", says Eiesland, "We gave all that up so we could jump into the deep end of something new. It was a risk, but it felt right, and as an artist if you don't trust your gut you're screwed." Critics confirmed that the risk had paid off. Give In topped many best of 2013 lists and ON AN ON were touted by TIME, NPR and MTV as one of the new bands to watch in the first year of their existence.
After touring across the US and Europe for a year and a half, and at festivals including Bonnaroo, Governor's Ball and Iceland Airwaves, the band returned to their hometown of Minneapolis to begin writing what would become their sophomore follow-up. During this period, the band began to explore live tracking, allowing them to approach the writing process more collaboratively, vocalist Nate Eiesland adds, "By tracking everyone in the same room at one time, we tried to capture the interaction between the parts we were playing. There's a subtle energy to things that get recorded that way; a tension in the sound."
One of the most important factors during this process was to continue to explore new musical territory and to build on the sound they had developed while touring. "Making another Give In would have been the easy thing to do", says bassist Ryne Estwing. "This time we wanted to make something more direct and visceral. We decided to use a more old school recording approach to capture that immediacy." With a fresh collection of songs written, ON AN ON ventured to California to record at the famous Sunset Sound in Los Angeles with legendary producer Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, Spoon, The Shins, My Morning Jacket). The influence of sun-drenched Californian landscape can be clearly heard in the new record, pushing the vibrancy and the energy of their debut to ever-greater heights.
Listen: "Icon Love" (radio edit)
Porches' anticipated debut full-length is "Pool", and it marks a major step forward for frontman Aaron Maine as an evolving singer/songwriter, and as a nascent producer. A sophisticated and fully immersive listening experience, with Maine's voice at its center. "I want them to feel dark, beautiful and strong when they hear this new record," says Maine, "I want them to fall in love."
Written and recorded almost entirely in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his partner and frequent collaborator Greta Kline (aka Frankie Cosmos), "Pool" is an elegantly drawn set of songs and an expansive re-articulation of the melancholy we've come to expect from him.
"Maine's rich voice and striking narrative capture genuine human emotion in just a fistful of words" — Pitchfork on "Be Apart", (BEST NEW TRACK)
"Porches' Aaron Maine is still in his twenties, but he's managed to fit the artistic evolution of a lifetime into a few years." --Stereogum
"profound kaleidoscopic synth-pop"--SPIN
"a throbbing, Arthur Russell-indebted ode to finding your groove in New York City" — FADER on "Be Apart"
Listen: "Be Apart"
The Dirty Nil kick in your front door with first taste (Just See what we mean by Taste via the video below!) off their upcoming Spring release--"No Weaknessess" is Instant, Anthemic and declares the band's debut album in a take no prisoners manner that will shake you awake!
The Dirty Nil's upcoming "Higher Power" (2/26/16) is the band's debut album And first with Dine Alone Records. It follows a handful of 7" singles, mixtapes, EPs and limited edition lathe cut records. Their dedication to short-form releases has helped foster their relentless creative output.
The Dirty Nil live are an unhinged, destructive force. Kyle Fisher ferociously pummels his drums, while guitarist Luke Bentham and bassist Dave Nardi stretch their amp volumes past their breaking point. Bentham and Nardi's vocals range between melodic and frantic, violent and--less violent (with a grin on their faces). Whether live or on record, theirs is a performance based on tension and cathartic release.
Fractured pieces of rabid punk, feral garage rock and uneasy pop hooks--assembled and reassembled. You are going to Love The Dirty Nil!
Listen: "Zombie Eyed"
I Can Live Forever EP
Here come The Wet Secrets, a six-piece that dress up their scrappy, scathing outlook in impeccably tailored pop attire. Leave eyerolls and apathy to the others; The Wet Secrets' buoyant brand of irony turns dysfunction into inspiration. Equal parts punk rock and halftime show, The Wet Secrets' vibe is a fusion of the bass-driven grit of The Stranglers with the lurid surrealism of The B52s.
Get to know The Wet Secrets with "I Can Live Forever", a new EP that includes the single "I Can Swing A Hammer." "I Can Live Forever" showcases their 'frantic pop' sound: brassy, fizzy, high-wattage energy at the edge of hysteria, deftly contained in three-minute packages.
The Wet Secrets' principal vocalist/songwriter Lyle Bell (also of Shout Out Out Out Out) lays swampy basslines through songs that are hilarious and overdramatic, but also convey a great empathy for insecurities and shortcomings. Cravat-wrapped drummer Trevor Anderson, also a Sundance filmmaker, embodies the band's high-art non-conformism. Kim Rackel and Emma Frazier contribute towering, dancing hornstacks on trumpet and trombone, with wildmen Paul Arnusch and Christan Maslyk rounding out the furry-hatted fray on keys, congas, sax. All six Secrets sing along, creating vocal harmonies galore.
Listen: "I Can Swing A Hammer"
Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The Brooklyn trio's debut album "Human Ceremony" emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelica and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colors the aural tapestry of these three musicians--Jacob Faber (drums), Julia Cumming (vocals/bass) and Nick Kivlen (vocals/guitars).
"Three and a half minutes of impossibly jangly guitar bliss and sweet-dreams vocals make this song the best thing we've heard yet from the NY psychedelic-rock trio"--Rolling Stone (also RS' Most Anticipated Albums Of 2016)
"....a mist of dream-pop and sparkly garage dissonance. It sparkles and glitters, only a fleeting glimpse of a very promising record."--Stereogum (on "Easier Said")
"Cumming's voice is airy and sweet as she sings about the slow crawl of the hours, but there's a lingering madness to her delivery. The music is both restrained and aggressive, like someone eyeing an unsavory situation in a club, eager to jump up and fight if necessary."--Pitchfork (on "Wall Watcher")
"The album sees them refining their psych rock ways into something with a bit more of a fuzzy pop edge...Guitars fade in and out, bending like a black hole pulling in metals riffs and spitting them out into a psychedelic universe on the other side."--Consequence Of Sound (on "Wall Watcher")
"mind-bending psych, heavy metal, breezy indie-pop."--FADER (also '10 Songs You Need In Your Life'-"Wall Watcher")
"guttural guitars buzzy like early Stone Temple Pilots, the heady harmonies of the chorus reminiscent of Elastica, and that beat destined to inspire a shimmy and a shake, and if you're in a dark corner, maybe a make out too."--NOISEY (on "Wall Watcher")
"It's an addictive listen, and one that makes me think of a million and one different reference points: from House Of Love to Pink Floyd to Felt to Blondie to John Hughes soundtracks. Without a doubt, it's one of the best debuts I've heard since I started this NME malarkey."--NME
Listen: "Easier Said"
Sheffield, England's The Crookes have always been well well read and versed in tales of love and the space in-between, but with the upcoming "Lucky Ones" they prove they are dreamers who resonate more with a life well lived.
"Lucky Ones" is aesthetically drenched in color, guitarist Daniel Hopewell's lyrics are forever awash with imagery, as bassist George Waite's dulcet, honey-toned vocals open up the emotions that come gushing out. Joined by guitarist Tom Dakin and newcomer Adam Croft on drums, The Crookes embody the adage that true expression only exists in a world of words said, adventures had and change embraced.
"a zingy kind of indie-pop that sounds more surf-ready than Northern England-morose. Basically the perfect pick-me-up for what's likely your first day back at work."--NOISEY/Vice (on new single "The World Is Waiting")
Listen: "The World Is Waiting" (clean edit)
"Hey You" is the first single from The Thermals' upcoming album "We Disappear". Pitchfork recently premiered the track, while Consequence of Sound called it "perfectly crunchy and boppy, a perfect way to welcome The Thermals back in 2016."
Listen: "Hey You"
Days Gone By
Occupying the fertile ground between organic band and an all-electronic production project, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to vividly resonate across both! A duo with an individual name, Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance's musical endeavor plays with this kind of duality all over their debut album "Days Gone By".
Having released a handful of singles, Vancouver's Bob Moses had already established an impressively fervent fan base with an entrancing live show that has seem them playing festivals nationwide for the last two years. The live show seamlessly bridges the gap between dance music and live performance in much the same vein as their recordings. It is this intersection, so rare in a sea of DJs, that connects to a massively growing audience that years for Real songwriting and instrumentation.
"this year's best set of blissed-out yet darkly alluring electro-pop gems."--Entertainment Weekly
"The duo has the authenticity to appease genre-purists, yet the lyrical depth to attract non-electronic fans."--Billboard
"turning out some of the coolest, laid-back electro this year....an ear for ear-wormy pop melodies." --GQ
Listen: "Tearing Me Up" (radio edit)
COLOURS, a duo whose musical vision is all their own.
The Florida-based pair's forthcoming debut, "Ivory" is out February 26th, 2016.
COLOURS is the artistic collaboration of vocalist Kyle Tamo and drummer Morgan Alley. Introduced through associated musical projects, the two bonded over a priority to focus on nothing but art through music. Taking shape in 2012, both would settle on the beaches of Sarasota to create the enchanting musical experience known as COLOURS.
"Having only two members in COLOURS offers us a unique and advantageous opportunity when creating," divulges Tamo. "When too many people are working on a creative project, often personal preferences and risk have to be diluted for compromise."
Entering the studio in January 2015 with producer Shaun Lopez (Crosses, Deftones), COLOURS began to develop "Ivory". On working with Lopez, Alley said, "Shaun has a great ear for tone. He was able to listen to the songs we created, understand the direction and breathe life into them."
"Fusing the sort of dark, electronic undertones of Purity Ring and Crosses with post-modern,
Get to Heaven
Everything Everything's third album "Get To Heaven" feels like the end of an epic trilogy - triumphant and delivered in the guise of arch and ebullient pop. A coarse and colourful collection of songs, "Get To Heaven" retains the same sense of adventure which first established the four-piece as pioneering pop-provocateurs back in 2007 and is their greatest accomplishment yet. This is a band that have spent their career challenging every phoned-in convention of rock and revelling in a disdain for retrogression, all the while touring with the likes of Muse and Foals and scoring three Ivor Novello nominations and a Mercury Prize shortlist nod in the process.
Following their most recent album "Arc", Jonathan Higgs, bassist Jeremy Pritchard, guitarist Alex Robertshaw and drummer Michael Spearman hunkered down in a derelict warehouse in Ancoats, Manchester, to write and record "Get to Heaven". Although completing around 80% of the album independently, they enlisted Stuart Price [Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, the Killers] to stitch together their surprisingly vibrant tapestry of modern horrors. It was a musical marriage which may seem incongruous for a band so entrenched in their leftfield roots, but soon unravelled itself as utterly ideal for their alt-pop ambitions.
"Stuart was the only producer that really got it'" says Robertshaw. "He's very impressive. Both within music and as a person. He filled the room with positive energy, which we needed quite a lot, considering the issues that Jon wanted to tackle lyrically."
While ice-bucket challenges, Great British Bake Offs and Kim Kardashian's arse clogged up the cyber hive in 2014, Everything Everything's frontman absorbed the brutality in the every day, in every part of the world, from ongoing conflicts, to natural disasters, disease and debt. He watched the news, read the internet, seethed. "That's one of the many things that went into me during that year - this sense of blinding rage about what is happening. I can't believe the world right now is so incredibly violent, or that there's a strength of belief in the world in a way that we British, apathetic people can even begin to understand," Higgs explains.
The result is eleven tracks which aim to awaken the desensitised. There are no quiet songs. There is no downtime. Inspired by the cold, bloodthirsty aggression of Kanye West's Yeezus, Young Fathers' fury-fuelled vibrancy and retaining that same madcap pop that was at the core of their debut Man Alive, "Get To Heaven" is an album which shouts over the bland, contemporary music scene. It adopts the voice of both the victim and the conspirator - Higgs like a Jekyll and Hyde, snarling, sneering, hopeful and harmonious.
"Get To Heaven" is Everything Everything at their most instinctive and confident. An intricate snapshot of contemporary culture from one of the most inventive bands in British music, the group return with a fervour which not only confronts the mundanity of the norm and the world's intrinsic evils, but hurls a grenade in the direction of the docile pop and rock scene. "With this new record we wanted to make a bold move," Robertshaw adds. "We don't have to be worried about being a guitar band. We're makers of music now."
Listen: "Distant Past"
Avid Dancer is LA-based Jacob Dillon Summers, former marine corps drummer turned indie rock romantic.
While Summers' initial work garnered comparisons to the likes of Tame Impala and Kurt Vile, his latest single "I Feel It" sheds some of the psychedelic fuzz of his debut album "1st Bath", and offers up a more sun-soaked, synth-kissed kind of pop befitting of his current tourmate, BORNS.
"Last summer I was really focused on the idea of stating true and simple things in my songs. I remember sitting down with my guitar, ready to say something honest. I thought about the girl I was dating and how for the first time I truly could feel the love from someone. Undeniably, I could actually feel it. When I recorded this song, I wanted to sing as opening and honest as I could since the topic was so personally truthful. It's the most I've ever put myself out there in studio. I wouldn't keep any vocal take that didn't make me clench my fists when I sang the chorus."--Avid Dancer's Jacob Dillan Summers
"Bright vocals, swirling guitars and buzzing keys evoke the psychedelic sound of Tame Impala, though somehow sent back to the 80s so all that soulful loveliness can rattle around in the heyday a bit."--SPIN
"One of the best debut albums of the year"--KCRW
Listen: "I Feel It" (radio edit)
Return To The Moon
EL VY (rhymes with 'hell pie') is the musical collaboration between Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National, and Brent Knopf, the Portland musician and producer best known for his work in Menomena and his more recent band, Ramona Falls. Their debut album "Return To The Moon" will be released on October 30th.
The album is a project Berninger and Knopf have been thinking about for years. Their friendship spans nearly a decade, starting back when The National and Menomena played small half-empty clubs along America's west coast. Feeling an immediate musical kinship, the pair kept in touch, Brent sending Matt occasional rough sketches of music and Matt responding with melodies and lyrics. Finally, in the winter and spring of 2014-15, they actually got together to make an album.
"Return To The Moon" sounds exactly like you'd hope a collaboration between these artists would: Berninger's darkly funny, lyrical storytelling and his immediately identifiable sense of melody, offset by Knopf's playful, architectural arrangements and inventive production. Knopf explains, "I never worried about sending Matt something unfinished. He's able to imagine where it can go. He can grab the four bars that will become the core of the track and develop them into something amazing."
The National and Ramona Falls are both currently preparing upcoming releases, so EL VY is not a replacement or side project, but a glimpse into an alternate musical universe: a universe in which Berninger never left Cincinnati, and Midwestern punk Mecca the Jockey Club never closed. A universe in which Mike Watt and the late D. Boon on the punk band Minutemen are every bit as iconic as Mick and Keith, and a teenager's sense of rebellion is fed by the dark social politics of middle America.
Listen: "Return To The Moon" (radio edit)