Monthly Archives: September 2013

Nothankyou Release Video For Oyster

Olga Bell and Tom Vek have set the internet alight with their new transatlantic collaborative project, Nothankyou. The two tracks that make up the 7” Know Yourself/Oyster single, available now through Moshi Moshi, have steadily notched up an impressive play count and been praised across the web.

Now Olga makes her directorial debut with the music video for Oyster which sees her dress up in her counterpart’s distinctive horn-rimmed glasses and slicked back hair.

Nothankyou Oyster video

Screen shot from Nothankyou’s Oyster video

She explains: “Something about our transatlantic distance required a Cindy Sherman-esque manifestation of Tom via my own person. I also looked at lots of Avedon portraits (he’s my favourite, especially “In the American West”), along with 90s Calvin Klein ads and the morphing sequence at the end of Michael Jackson’s Black or White video.

“Lots of people on hearing Oyster think that it’s Tom singing the lower parts but it’s actually my voice pitched down. So, it sort of follows that I appear “as Tom” in the video during the moments in the song where “he sings”.”

Olga and Tom first met over mid-aughts Myspace during what Tom refers to as “a window of about a week when I was speaking to people over social media”. They kept in touch seeing each other every few years in Vek’s London or Bell’s New York until eventually and inevitably, they found themselves at the same Creators Project party in Brazil. 

Olga asked if Tom was working on any new tracks. Tom played her a rough instrumental. Thumb drives flashed, flash drives hummed, Myspace rolled over in its grave and back in Brooklyn Olga added topline and keyboard parts before sending the track back to Tom. After a few exchanges they had one finished song. After a few more, they had two. This single represents the duo’s sum works to date but more may come.

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Anna von Hausswolff Releases Documentary and Adds More UK Tour Dates

Returning recently from astonishing crowds at Green Man and End of the Road festivals, Swedish organ-playing enchantress Anna von Hausswolff returns to the UK for a handful of headline shows next month with new Bristol and Lincoln dates added.

Anna von Hausswolff

Anna von Hausswolff

As well as shows at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen and Bristol, Anna will play a special performance at Lincoln Cathedral on October 19 without her usual backing band. For a taste of what to expect, take a look at her recent moving session for NPR.

She has also recently revealed the Making of Ceremony documentary video, documenting the process of creating a record that has and continues to astonish people across the world as they discover this most unassuming, profound and unique of talents.

You can catch Anna von Hausswolff live on the following dates:
Sept 28 Kiel DE – Alte Pumpe
Sept 30 Köln DE – Gebäude 9
Oct 01 Leipzig DE – Werk 2
Oct 02 Nürnberg DE – MUZ
Oct 03 Heidelberg DE – Enjoy Jazz
Oct 04 Basel CH – Parterre
Oct 05 Lyon FR – Le Sonic
Oct 06 Bern CH – Dampfzentrale
Oct 07 Freiburg DE – Cafe Atlantik
Oct 09 Wien AT – Arena
Oct 11 München DE – Feierwerk
Oct 12 Graz AT – Steirischer Herbst Festival
Oct 14 Paris FR – La Fleche D’or
Oct 15 London UK – Hoxton Bar
Oct 16 Bristol UK – Cube
Oct 19  Lincolnshire – Lincoln Cathedral (Solo Show)
Oct 30 Reykjavik IS – Airwaves Festival
Nov 01 Uppsala SE – Sacred Music Festival
Nov 02 Helsinki FI – Tavastia
*with Julia Kent

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Motion City Soundtrack Release New Single, Inside Out

Motion City Soundtrack have released their new single Inside Out available for purchase and download now. This was a previously unreleased track and was premiered on Rolling Stone.com last week. You can purchase the single by visiting iTunes.

Frontman Justin Pierre says: “Inside Out is how we’re feeling these days. We have all this creative energy clawing to get out and a sudden over abundance of material.

“We’ve upped the tempos from our last endeavour a bit and are focusing on having fun and making rock. This song came together incredibly fast from inception to completion and we couldn’t wait to put it on an album. So here it is.”

You can catch Motion City Soundtrack on tour this Autumn in North America on the following dates:

Oct 03 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar *
Oct 04 Rochester, NY – Water Street Music Hall *
Oct 05 Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall *
Oct 06 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place *
Oct 08 Allentown, PA – Maingate Nightclub *
Oct 09 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live *
Oct 11 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s *
Oct 12 Bloomington, IL – The Castle Theatre *
Oct 13 St. Louis, MO – Plush *
Oct 14 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s *
Oct 16 Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap House *
Oct 17 Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection *
Oct 18 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall *
Oct 19 Toledo, OH – Mainstreet *
Nov 01 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom +
Nov 02 Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s Cantina +
Nov 03 Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay Soundstage +
Nov 04 Charleston, SC – Music Farm +
Nov 06 Gainesville, FL – High Dive +
Nov 07 Pensacola, FL – American Legion Hall, Post 33 +
Nov 08 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre +
Nov 09 San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit +
Nov 11 Austin, TX – Emo’s +
Nov 12 Dallas, TX – House of Blues +
Nov 14 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre +
Nov 15 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre +
Nov 16 Pomona, CA – Fox Theater +
Nov 17 Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Café on the Strip +
Nov 19 Ventura, CA – Majestic Ventura Theater +
Nov 20 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst +
Nov 22 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House +
Nov 23 Salt Lake City, UT – The Grand +
Nov 24 Denver, CO – The Summit Music Hall +

* with Bayside
+ with Relient K

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Junip – Live Review (The Fleece, Bristol 17 September 2013)

The support act walks shyly onto the stage in the dark yet atmospheric Fleece in Bristol. She introduces her band, Mariam The Believer. Once all introductions are done, the band start playing and the shy woman that walked onto the stage a minute before transforms into an edgy, confident, psychedelic, progressive rock star. She blew the audience away with her powerful voice and meaningful lyrics. Mariam Wallentin was a fantastic front woman – she is a modern day Patti Smith. She has angst, confidence and showmanship that will carry her a long way. If the support band were anything to go by then this looked to be a breath-taking gig.

Junip finally made their appearance after Mariam The Believer had received their well deserved applause. Kick starting the evening off with popular track Black Refuge taken from the band’s EP released in 2005, Junip instantly pleased the crowd. Their music floated through the air and created an ambience that suited the venue perfectly.

Junip’s meditative rhythms and melodies had such an effect on the listeners that the whole of The Fleece fell silent as Junip played their set list. Covering tracks from Fields and the more recent self-titled album, Junip managed to create the perfect gig. With the lights on the stage set low, all Junip had to do was play those sweet, dreamlike rhythms and they had the audience in the palms of their hands.

Carefully picking songs from their recent album such as Suddenly, So Clear and Villain as well as the single releases, Line Of Fire, Your Life Your Call and the more recent single, Walking Lightly, Junip ensured their fans were satisfied. Gonzalez’ vocals sung so softly into the microphone managed to fill the room with calm and serenity. The band performed with precision helping to create that wonderfully, dreamy music that you instantly fall in love with.

When listening to Junip on CD, you can’t fully appreciate how many different layers of instruments are used  to create the sound Junip have become recognised for. Seeing them live is a whole other ball game. During tracks Suddenly, So Clear and especially Walking Lightly, you had the chance to see how the instruments used integrated with each other. There is a level of complexity and craftsmanship in Junip’s music that will never fail to mesmerise audiences. Walking Lightly is an outstanding track when performed live – Junip gave it their all; energy, enthusiasm and most important of all musicianship.

Ending with the slower number, After All Is Said And Done, allowed Junip to leave the lingering tones flowing around in their listeners’ heads as they exited the room. The lights were switched back on which shot The Fleece into brightness. The lights revealed happy, placid faces.

Junip are a band that please you when you listen to their albums but they are a band that blow you away when you see them perform live. They are comfortable on stage, they make it look so easy as if they could all do it with their eyes closed. They don’t play with effort – they are seamless. If anything this just helps to add to the ambience of their gigs. You can’t help but love this band.

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Saintseneca Debut Video For New Single Uppercutter Via Stereogum

The band Saintseneca unveiled their first video last week via Stereogum. The group’s national debut features a never heard before song Uppercutter from their Anti- full length debut album Dark Arc which arrives in stores March 2014.

Saintseneca

Folk band, Saintseneca

The beautifully impressionistic video utilises an assortment of multicoloured patterns and textures projected across the band as their darkly engaging post punk-folk anthem Uppercutter plays.

Saintseneca is led by singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist Zac Little who originally hails from rural Appalachia. Following in the footsteps of heartland bands who have sought to twist the music of the old weird America into new shapes – from the Violent Femmes to Neutral Milk Hotel – Saintseneca perform songs that sound both familiar and uniquely original. The group utilises a wide range of acoustic instrumentation (balalaika, mandolin, dulcimer, Turkish Baglama, floor percussion) with more contemporary elements such as synthesisers and electric guitars to create a seamless blend of soaring vocals and vibrant post-punk energy.

Saintseneca will be playing a series of North American dates this Autumn. You can catch them live on the following dates:

Oct 15 – Jonny Brenda’s, Philadelphia
Oct 16 – DC9, Washington DC
Oct 17-20 – CMJ, NYC
Oct 21 – Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC
Oct 22 – The Earl, Atlanta
Oct 25 – Hi-Watt, Nashville
Nov 7 – Ace Of Cups, Columbus
Nov 12 – Schuba’s, Chicago
Nov 13 – 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
Nov 14 – Slowdown, Omaha
Nov 15 – Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines
Nov 16 – Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS
Nov 17 – The Bishop, Bloomington IN
Nov 18 – Zanzabar, Louisville

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Survive This! Set To Release Their Debut Album, The Life That You’ve Chosen

Hailing from renowned party city, Las Vegas, Survive This! are finally set to release their debut album, The Life That You’ve Chosen, out on 29 October through Epitaph Records. The close knit band made up of lead vocalist Shawn Zyvoloski, his cousin drummer Billy Sanderson, childhood friend and guitarist Daniel Ingram and bassist Doug Horn, enlisted the help of friend and fan Ronnie Radke to produce their first album. The front man of Falling in Reverse produced the tracks from his Hollywood base helping to create a unique and deeply personal album that is simply not to be missed.

The boys diverse musical inspirations, including such polar opposites as Justin Timberlake and Underoath, have led to the musical merging of two completely different styles. Perhaps it’s this unusual amalgamation that causes vibrant, catchy choruses paired with chaotically melodic verses to somehow work perfectly. Alongside their album release the boys have shared the video for track Where I Belong which features Ronnie Radke jamming with the band as though he belongs. A definite bonus for fans of both Survive This! and Falling in Reverse, just like Ronnie’s vocal contribution to track Wrong Direction (Hey You).

The Life That You’ve Chosen tells the story of the boys struggle to release an album and the sheer hard work and passion that has accompanied their success. Despite their plight, which resounds in every note, the upbeat and punchy tracks reflect the bands clear capability to go further and higher than they’d ever hoped.

By Nicole Pilcher

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Man Man – On Oni Pond Album Review

Man Man recently released their newest album, On Oni Pond. The record is a wonderful mix of world influences, sexy vocals and brilliantly crafted songs that everyone will fall in love with.

And this seems to be the case. Man Man have received more praise for their newest release than they ever have for previous releases.

In a recent Rolling Stone profile, album producer Mike Mogis tells how he noticed frontman Ryan Kattner’s musical growth and artistic determination while making On Oni Pond: “Kattner dialed in his lyrics, honed his vocal takes and created space in their songs for hooks to shine through.”

Man Man On Oni Pond

Man Man On Oni Pond album artwork

On Oni Pond features an arresting reconstruction of Man Man’s visionary sound – stripped to its core and rebuilt as something new and compelling yet still very much Man Man. This marked shift is a direct result of an intensive collaboration between the band’s frontman, Honus Honus (Kattner) and drummer Pow Pow, who has assumed a new-found prominence in the song writing process, bringing an exhilarating array of new rhythmic ideas to the mix. The compositions were further honed by the band members along with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit) into a compelling mash-up of Fear Of Music era Talking Heads, classic soul, psychedelia, hip hop and 50’s rock and roll.

Kattner’s vocals are husky and sexy sounding at times like Rob Thomas has stolen the microphone from him. Man Man’s music is an explosion of colour and vibrancy. They take world influences like in the tracks End Boss, Head On and King Shiv and slot them into their eclectic sound with perfect simplicity. Man Man are definitely a band that can lift your mood within a second of listening to their music.

But On Oni Pond doesn’t just contain upbeat numbers like Pink Wonton, King Shiv and Pyramids with their catchy rhythms and danceable beats, there are some more serious and solemn songs that make their appearance on this record. Deep Cover is a superbly written song with the lyrics, “Deep cover/Is not a place/It’s a state of mind/Have your heart go incognito/And hide away for a while…” sung over a simple Ukele chord sequence. Fangs spices things up again with its eerie beginning and stand alone drum beat before Kattner’s vocals come in. It has a different sound to that of the other songs on the record – it’s solemn like Deep Cover but it showcases a darker, more sinister side to the band. There’s less of the happy, chirpy beats and lyrics in Fangs and more of a sombre tone and disturbing lyrics, “Raised and braced on mysticism/Like Jesus’ flesh/A cataclysmic punishment for following the hunger pleasure creates…”

Curtains is in a world of its own, miles away from any of the other tracks on On Oni Pond. It’s like an old jazz record which is marvellous to hear on such an eclectic record. The piano sets the scene while Kattner’s vocals introduce the Jeeves and Wooster feel. It’s definitely something you can imagine Hugh Laurie singing as Wooster. It’s a short and simple yet quirky number that is a breath of fresh air to hear after all the other explosive tracks.

On Oni Pond is a favourite album this year – there is literally a song for everyone. Man Man have drawn from a huge pond of influences to make this record. They are defying genres. On Oni Pond is simply outstanding.

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