Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Milk Carton Kids To Appear On CBS This Morning: Saturday

The acclaimed Los Angeles based duo The Milk Carton Kids will be appearing on the national morning show CBS This Morning: Saturday this February 22. The group will be performing songs from their Grammy Nominated album, The Ash & Clay.

In the past months, The Milk Carton Kids have generated some well deserved attention with notable appearances on both Austin City Limits and Prairie Home Companion. The duo were also featured in the Showtime documentary Another Day / Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis, a film documenting a benefit concert held last September celebrating the music of the Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis.

The New York Times Magazine recently reviewed their sold out performance at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series in The Allen Room writing, “There is something almost unnatural about the mellifluous harmonies of The Milk Carton Kids, something freakish. It’s hard to believe that two people can sync to each other like that” and proclaiming that the duo’s “guitar virtuosity” and “gentle blended voice and their puckish banter” “projected a kind of old-fashion authenticity in an Auto-Tune world.”

The Milk Carton Kids will be touring North American this Spring in support of their album The Ash & Clay.

You can catch them live on the following dates:
April 14 – Nashville, TN – Belcourt Theater
April 15 – St. Louis, MO – Sheldon Ballroom
April 16 – Memphis, TN – Buckman Performing Arts Center
April 17 – Birmingham, AL – TBD
April 18 – Atlanta, GA – The Buckhead Theatre
April 19 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
April 21 – Vienna, VA – The Barns at Wolf Trap
April 22 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
April 24 – Brownfield, ME – Stone Mountain Arts Center
April 30 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
May 1 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
May 2 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
May 3 – Toronto, ON – The Great Hall
May 5 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
May 6 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
May 7 – Grand Rapids, MI – Ladies Literary Club
May 9 – Chicago, IL – TBD
May 10 – Stoughton, WI – Stoughton Opera House
May 11 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club
May 12 – Winnipeg, MB – TBD
May 14 – Calgary, AB – Festival Hall
May 15 – Edmonton, AB – McDougall United Church
May 29 – Houston, TX – Mucky Duck
May 30 – Austin, TX – Stateside Theater
May 31 – Dallas, TX – Poor David’s Pub
June 1 – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Door
June 3 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
June 5 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
June 6 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
June 11 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
June 12 – Vancouver, BC – St. James Hall
June 14 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
June 16 – Napa, CA – City Winery
June 17 – Santa Cruz, CA – Kuumbwa Jazz
June 18 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
June 19 – Santa Barbara, CA – TBD
June 21 – Los Angeles, CA – Japan America Theater
June 22 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up
June 23 – Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instrument Museum

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Tycho Releases New Single, Spectre

With only a few weeks until the release of new album Awake, Tycho has revealed a superb new track, Spectre, from the forthcoming record which is set for release on March 17 via Ghostly International. Tycho is set to play a series of European tour dates this Spring including an almost sold out show in London on March 26 at Oval Space.

Tycho Spectre

Tycho Spectre single artwork

The pulsating new single Spectre shows Tycho at the most accessible yet. For nearly a decade, Tycho has been known as the musical alias of Scott Hansen but with the release of Awake – his second LP for Ghostly International – the solo project has evolved into a three-piece band. Reaching an entirely new realm of sonic possibilities recording with a live band, Awake is situated in the present, reaching Hansen’s vision of Tycho like never before. The rolling drums and cascading tones of this new single show exactly that.

“This is, in many ways, the first true Tycho record” according to Hansen. Following 2011’s Dive LP, the San Francisco, California based designer toured extensively, accompanied by a full band on stage, his sound coalesced into a percussive, organic whole. Zac Brown (guitars, bass) continued to join Scott on the road but it was the particular addition of Rory O’Connor’s (Com Truise, Nitemoves) live drumming that ultimately sent Hansen back to the studio with a more precise vision for the future Tycho. “After the tour, I decided that I wanted to capture the more energetic, driven sound of the live show on the next album,” Hansen recalls. Bringing musicians into Tycho’s creative process was a step towards expanding his own song writing and advancing the project beyond its current incarnation.

Also known for his design work as ISO50, Hansen’s visual and sonic efforts have dovetailed throughout the course of his career. “This is the first time in my life I’ve dropped everything to focus on one artistic pursuit,” notes Hansen. Previous Tycho releases came to fruition from Hansen’s delicate solo approach to constructing a song, tweaking each peak and valley but Awake is three like-minded people coming together where music becomes the sole purpose and true expression becomes the result.

You can catch Tycho live on the following dates:
March 26 – Oval Space, London UK
March 27 – Trabendo, Paris FR
March 28 – M4 Music Festival, Zurich CH
March 29 – The Tunne, Milan IT
March 30 – Bi Nuu, Berlin, DE

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Naomi Yang And Fashion Designer Gary Graham Collaborate On Music Video For Molly Drake’s, Dream Your Dreams

Earlier last year Ba Da Bing co-released with Squirrel Things Recording’s an LP of Molly Drake’s home recordings, Molly Drake Lost Recordings. With the help of her husband, Rodney, Molly utilised tape and direct-to-disk recorders in her Warwickshire, England home. Molly’s music was reserved for gatherings of her family and friends only.

Molly Drake

Molly Drake

But when these songs were released as an LP, the 1950’s parlour songs were lauded by fans and critics for their incredible level of intimacy and poetry while showing the great influence it had on her son, Nick Drake.

Molly’s track Dream Your Dreams served as inspiration for both fashion designer Gary Graham and Naomi Yang (of Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi) to create a music video where they dive into an abstract interpretation of the song. They were driven by the ideas that hope and dreaming are potentially destructive forces and, though opposites, they are complementary to one another. It also masterfully previews patterns from Gary’s upcoming Fall 2014 collection.

You can watch the video here.

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PEP Releases Colourful Video For New Single, I Met A Boy

PEP’s My Baby And Me EP was recently released a few days before Valentine’s Day and the timing couldn’t have been better. PEP have also recently released their techni-colour, hyper-stylised video for I Met a Boy which premiered with BlackBook and can be seen on Vimeo here.

Karys Rhea (who also drums for Brooklyn band Starlight Girls) began recording the EP in early 2012 while she was on a three-month tour of the heartland with her other project. When she returned to the east coast, she switched her focus to PEP which has settled into a tight knit act that includes Morgan Lynch and Ilana Webber on backing vocals and percussion, Eric Jackowitz on drums, Teddy Williams on bass and David Origlieri on guitar. In a live setting, the six piece set up truly breathes a vintage wind into PEP’s unique brand of indie doo-wop. The EP features Emil Hewitt (Emil & Friends) on bass and was mixed by Jake Aron (Jamie Lidell, Grizzly Bear, Chairlift, Yeasayer).

In the fall of 2011, after hearing Runaround Sue playing in a clothing store, Rhea became nostalgic for the music from the ’50s and early ’60s and soon consumed countless of full length albums of artists from the era, both classic and obsure. Soon after that, she couldn’t stop humming those infectious doo-wop style melodies indicative of the era. 

PEP completes the picture with an army of back-up singers and choreographed moves reminiscent of 1960s girl groups who all clearly provide an inspirational spring board.

My Baby And Me EP is out now on digital/cd/7″ vinyl.

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Ava Luna Release New Track, PRPL

With just a couple of weeks until Ava Luna’s new album is released, the Brooklyn five-piece have shared their new track PRPL. Their new album Electric Balloon is set for release on March 10 through Western Vinyl.

The new track, PRPL, sees a more stripped-back sound to the band with Becca Kauffman taking the lead with her beautifully delicate vocals. Ava Luna have a diversity within their songs that is hard to come across these days presenting something bold and defiant in today’s indie music climate.

Ava Luna

Ava Luna

Electric Balloon was recorded by Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader, both of whom, apart from being in Ava Luna, have gained further recognition as go-to recording engineers within the Brooklyn music community.  The album was later mixed by Jimmy Douglass whose lengthy credits include the likes of Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah, Timbaland, Television, Gang of Four, etc.  The mix of grit and shine perfectly captures and accentuates their unique blend of doo-wop soul, no wave and art-pop.

After years of writing and performing, Ava Luna has refined their doo-wop soul meets punk-as-fuck aesthetic into something bold and glaringly defiant in today’s indie music landscape. Following the release of their critically lauded first proper full-length Ice Level, the band spent an intense two-week period writing and recording in up-state New York. Unlike previous efforts that were meticulously mapped out, the songs that would become Electric Balloon were “a family effort” according to front-man Carlos Hernandez. For the new album, former Columbia composition student Hernandez relinquished the reins a bit, opting for a more organic approach to writing the material for what would become Electric Balloon. As Hernandez explains, it was a “…birth of confidence. I grew closer to my band mates, began to see the roles of a family playing out. Ethan cooks dinner for all of us, we make lewd jokes, and then ‘after-dinner storytelling’ takes the form of playing music.”

In the wake of Ice Level, Ava Luna’s sharp edges have melted away just enough, making it easier to connect with their no-wave grooves and soaring harmonies. Distilling everything from James Chance and ESG to contemporaries like Dirty Projectors and Of Montreal, Ava Luna have landed on an aggressively unique sound that still manages to be accessible.

Electric Balloon will be released on March 10 via Western Vinyl.

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Introducing…Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes, the project of New York-based Damon McMahon, is set to release his third full-length album, Love, this May on Sacred Bones.

Lonely Richard is the first track to be unveiled from the forthcoming release, featuring guest vocals from Elias Bender Ronnenfelt of Iceage and Vår, and is also available on the Sacred Bones’ Record Store Day complilation, Todo Muere Vol. 4 which is out April 19.

Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes

The upcoming album is McMahon’s most focused and ambitious work yet. Amen Dunes has always been rooted in traditional song and sound but Love is his first work in which this so clearly shines through. The guiding influence of Astral Weeks, Sam Cooke, Tim Hardin, Marvin Gaye, Hector Lavoe and the cosmic non-verbal mediations of Leon Thomas, all kept vigil over the song writing of Love and the spirit of late 60’s/early 70’s spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders and Alice Coltrane channelled the sound. These are elemental songs about time, love and memory, as much about the listener as they are about the writer: pure, open and beautiful.

Whereas the previous Amen Dunes records – D.I.A. (Locust Music, 2009), Murder Dull Mind EP (Sacred Bones, July 2010) and Through Donkey Jaw (Sacred Bones, August 2011) – had all been largely improvisational first-take affairs, recorded in a matter of weeks at most, Love is the product of close to a year and a half of continuous work. As McMahon began to flesh out the new material, he found himself guided by the aforementioned work of classic American singers and songs more strongly than on any previous Amen Dunes record. And unlike the earlier recordings of McMahon’s, which were almost always a solo affair, the music on Love was performed by a variety of musicians, centred around the core trio and symbiotic interplay of McMahon and his long standing collaborators, Jordi Wheeler (guitar and piano) and Parker Kindred (drums).

Eager to capture a musical feeling outside the confines of New York City, McMahon chose to hold the main recording sessions in Montreal with Dave Bryant and Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In addition to recording the sessions that McMahon produced, members of Godspeed also played on several of the songs, along with Colin Stetson on saxophone and several other Montreal musicians. The remainder of the recordings took place back in Brooklyn at Strange Weather and Trout Recording and featured additional performances by a handful of musicians, including Elias Bender Ronnenfelt of Iceage and Vår, who duets with McMahon on Green Eyes and is featured on first single, Lonely Richard.

Amen Dunes’ new album will be released on May 12 via Sacred Bones.

Live dates are to be announced soon.

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Introducing…Dimond Saints

Meet Dimond Saints – West Coast artists An-ten-nae and Releece. They have recently released the first chapter of their upcoming album, Shingetsu, which you can listen to here.

After hitting number four on HypeM with their futuristic lead single We Diamonds, they then one-upped themselves by reaching number three for their remix of Lorde’s, Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

They released the first chapter of their upcoming album, Shingetsu, this week for free and were premiered on Vibe, BPM, The Untz, DJ List and beyond.

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