Tag Archives: Sacred Bones

Amen Dunes Releases Video for Single, Splits Are Parted

Having toured extensively since releasing his album Love earlier this year via Sacred Bones, Amen Dunes shares the new video for album standout track, Splits Are Parted.

Amen Dunes is set to embark on a run of EU tour dates this autumn which includes a show at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia on September 26.

In the words of Amen Dunes himself, aka, Damon McMahon Splits Are Parted is: “…a song about always leaving and always looking back”.

Director Jesse Hlebo then went on to quote Jean Luc Nancy commenting on the thoughts behind the video when he said: “There is no other meaning than the meaning of circulation. But this circulation goes in all directions at once…”

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Moon Duo Announce Tour Dates

After the release of 2012’s Circles LP, Moon Duo’s Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson relocated the band for the second time since its 2009 formation in San Francisco, this time from Blue River, Colorado to Portland, Oregon. Though the band had been initially conceived as an experiment in maximal sonic possibilities with minimal personnel and they had always toured as a duo, before heading to Europe in the summer of 2013, Yamada and Johnson decided to change things up and for the first time ever, try adding a drummer. That drummer ended up being John Jeffrey who was hired sight unseen after meeting Moon Duo’s manager in Berlin.

As it happened, Jeffrey joined the band just in time for a tour that “was defined by sweltering heat,” as described by Yamada. Despite shows every night during the most brutal stretch of summer, Yamada, Johnson and Jeffrey soon realised Moon Duo as a three-piece was gelling through the hot and hazy weather and having a drummer in the mix added a dynamism and flexibility they had never experienced before on stage. They decided to document this new incarnation of the band and asked engineer Mattia Coletti to record the Italian leg of the tour.

Live in Ravenna, due out as a limited, one-time vinyl pressing of 2,000 and digital only on August 18 on Sacred Bones, is the result of one of those nights of recording. It does an incredible job of capturing the emerging sound of Moon Duo as a three-piece. “Ravenna was memorable for a number of reasons, the most prominent being the really very intense heat and the setting — Hanabi has an outdoor stage on the beach, the Adriatic Sea only meters away,” Yamada explains. “The show that night, and the recording of it, sort of encapsulates everything that was happening at the time – the heat wave, the journey and the shift in the energy and composition of the band.”

After soaking in the Moon Duo three-piece live vibes, catch the trio all over North America with The Horrors, the UK and beyond on the dates below:

Tue. Aug. 29 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight [Transfigurations II]
Mon. Sep.1 – Hebden Bridge, UK @ Trades Club
Tue. Sep. 2 – Sheffield, UK @ The Harley
Wed. Sep. 3 – Aberdeen, UK @ The Tunnel
Thu. Sep. 4 – Edinburgh, UK @ The Caves
Fri. Sep. 5 – Vlieland, NL @ Into The Great Wide Open Festival
Sun. Sep. 7 – Moscow, RU @ Teatr
Wed. Sep. 10 – Thessaloniki, GR @ Eightball Club
Thu. Sep. 11 – Athens, GR @ An Club
Sat. Sep. 13 – Valada, PO @ Reverence Festival
Mon. Sep. 15 – Tilburg, NL @ Incubate Festival
Thu. Sep. 18 – Cardiff UK @ Club Ifor Bach
Fri. Sep. 19 – London UK @ Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sun. Sep. 21 – Brussels, BL @ AB with Goat
Mon. Oct. 13 – San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
Tue. Oct. 14 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory *
Wed. Oct. 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theater *
Thu. Oct. 16 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore *
Sat. Oct. 18 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre *
Sun. Oct. 19 – Vancouver, BC @ The Rickshaw Theatre *
Mon. Oct. 20 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre *
Wed. Oct. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe *
Thu. Oct. 23 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theater *
Fri. Oct. 24 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room *
Sat. Oct. 25 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *
Mon. Oct. 27 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
Tue. Oct. 28 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
Thu. Oct 30 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House *
Fri. Oct. 31 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre *
Sat. Nov. 1 – Boston, MA @ Paradise *
Sun. Nov. 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
Wed. Nov. 4 – New York, NY @ Stage 48 *
Thu. Nov. 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
Fri. Nov. 6 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
Sun. Nov. 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse *
Mon. Nov. 10 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s *
Tue. Nov. 11 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *
Wed. Nov. 12 – Austin, TX @ Parish *

* with The Horrors



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Crystal Stilts Release New Single, Delirium Tremendous

Following the success of their album Nature Noir last year, New Yorkers Crystal Stilts are back with an incredible new single Delirium Tremendous which is available digitally now through Sacred Bones Records.

Guitarist JB Townsend of the band explains: “The song is, in my mind, a real quintessential Stilts track. It also acts as a fulcrum from our last record, which is relatively delicate, to our next record that will be more rocking. It’s representative of our style without sounding like a copy of previous songs. It really takes a deeper look into 1970’s New York punk traditions, complete with actual garbage can percussion. The bridge is a near death taking you half way into heaven or hell but then life takes you back to the city.”

Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts

Mysterium tremendum is described in The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley in the following terms: “The literature of religious experience abounds in references to the pains and terrors overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with some manifestation of the mysterium tremendum. In theological language, this fear is due to the incompatibility between man’s egotism and the divine purity, between man’s self-aggravated separateness and the infinity of God.”

Brad Hargett (vocals) further writes: “Delirium Tremendous is not just a play on delirium tremens but Mysterium Tremendum and the song is about basically the fact that those types of unifying, numinous states are usually reached through a delirium of some kind. I have this weird old book/pamphlet of chants and prayers where there’s lots of repetition of whatever/whomever is being addressed. So it’s meant to be just like a chant or prayer. A formula.”

The song comes sees Crystal Stilts, AKA, Brad Hargett (vocals,) JB Townsend (guitar,) Andy Adler (bass,) Keegan Cooke (drums) and Kyle Forester (keys) return with a heart-pounding, invigorating new sound.

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Amen Dunes – Love Album Review

Amen Dunes releases his latest album, Love, today via Sacred Bones.

The new 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.

Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes

Where 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.

White Child is the introductory track to the sound of this record. There are a blend of influences including folk, rock and Blues. The vocals are scratchy and slightly untuneful but they somehow make this song what it is. White Child features a repetitive droning sound in the background making it atmospheric and solemn. The acoustic guitar has a very raw sound to it allowing this song to sound like it’s been recorded in someone’s bedroom on a whim. The music is simple, the song is simple; it’s captivating. This song sets the tone for the rest of the record.

Splits Are Parted is a dramatic, acoustic and atmospheric track with electronics helping to add the soundscape style. The whole track sounds distant, like a far-away, pleasant noise. Vocally, this song is quite experimental showing off McMahon’s strong vocals. They are unusual and unique – vocals that definitely stand out among the crowd. There’s a sense of desperation in his voice when he sings, “Oh I could love you/I could make it easy” which draws the listener in.

Sixteen is steps away from the heavy acoustic guitar used throughout the previous tracks and starts to lean the album towards the use of the piano. Sixteen is more uplifting; it has a fresher sound. This track also allows the vocals to be heard clearly in comparison to the other tracks on the record. It’s an impressively simple and stylish track.

Rocket Flare introduces an entirely different feel to Love. There are Jeff Buckley inspired electric guitar riffs, a soulful melody runs throughout this track while the vocals feel soft and pleasant on the ears.

I Know Myself sounds like it could easily be a Cat Stevens track. Everything about this track makes it sound like it’s stepped straight out of the 70s. It’s soulful, slow and seductive, “It takes a lot babe/I know myself/After this time I’m going to someone else/Feel uncertain…”

Title track Love sees the piano take on a new solo piece with world influences being heard in the drumming. Love features deep drum beats which have a distinctly Indian, almost Tabla like, style. Love blends a mixture of unusual elements together to make a perfectly, peculiar track.

Previous singles Lonely Richard, Lilac In Hand and I Can’t Dig It also feature on this record.

Love is out today via Sacred Bones.

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Amen Dunes’ New Single, I Can’t Dig It, Online Now

Amen Dunes is just off a tour supporting Mac DeMarco and in the midst of a run with Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Damon McMahon’s Amen Dunes offers an entirely different vibe present on forthcoming album, Love, with new song I Can’t Dig It. This follows previously shared tracks, Lonely Richard and Lilac In Hand from the forthcoming LP out May 12 via Sacred Bones.

Featuring Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Efrim Menuck (lead guitar) and Colin Stetson (sax) alongside Parker Kindred (drums, percussion) and Damon (piano, synths, rhythm guitar, vocals) who wrote the song in China, I Can’t Dig It celebrates all the good ways of failing.

Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes, the project of New York-based Damon McMahon, is set to release his third full-length album Love on March 12 via Sacred Bones. The upcoming album is inarguably 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 songwriting of Love, and the spirit of late 60’s/early 70’s spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders and Alice Coltrane channeled 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.

Amen Dunes was born out of a collection of songs made in the autumn of 2006 in upstate New York. They were originally personal recordings not intended for release but after moving to China for a while, the tapes were released to unexpected critical acclaim back in New York. The intimate sentiment shines through on the new album more so than any previous release and the result is simply the most substantial Amen Dunes record to date.

You can catch Amen Dunes live on the following dates:

19 May – The Old Market ( w/Mac de Marco), Brighton UK
21 May – Sound Control (w/ Mac de Marco), Manchester UK
22 May – Koko (w/Mac de Marco), London UK
23 May – OT301, Amsterdam, NL
24 May – Espace B, Paris, FR
28 May – Westgermany , Berlin, DE
29 May – Trix, Antwerp BE
30 May – Salle Rogier Brussels, BE
3 June – Electric Ballroom (w/ Wooden Shjips), London UK
31 July – OFF Festival Poland, PL
08 Aug – Way Out West Festival Sweden, SE
15 Aug – Jabberwocky Festival, London UK
27 Sept – Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia UK

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The Men Release New Video For Pearly Gates

Two days after releasing their fifth record in four years, and with their European tour just days away, The Men have revealed their latest music video for album track, Pearly Gates.

Featuring everything from incompetent doughnut-eating cops to Satanic death cults, The Men’s new video is a pulpy, booze-fueled tribute to muscle cars and fast women. The track is drawn from the band’s new record Tomorrow’s Hits, out now on Sacred Bones, and finds the band playing live and at top speed, backed by a full horn section.

The Men are also about to hit UK shores, playing the following live shows across Europe:
Thu 13 Mar 2014 UK, Sheffield – The Harley
Fri 14 Mar 2014 UK, Brighton – The Haunt
Sun 16 Mar 2014 Holland, Amsterdam – Doka
Mon 17 Mar 2014 Germany, Hamburg – Hafenklang
Tue 18 Mar 2014 Denmark, Copenhagen – Loppen
Fri 21 Mar 2014 Czech Republic Prague 007 .
Sat 22 Mar 2014 Switzerland Zurich La Parenthese
Sun 23 Mar 2014 Italy Milan Rocket
Tue 25 Mar 2014 Germany Cologne MTC
Wed 26 Mar 2014 France Paris Fleche d’Or
Thu 27 Mar 2014 UK London Village Underground
Fri 28 Mar 2014 UK Liverpool East Village Arts Club
Sat 29 Mar 2014 UK Glasgow Broadcast
Sun 30 Mar 2014 UK Leeds Brudenell

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The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits Album Review

After spending much of 2011 and 2012 on the road, including a trip upstate to write and record New Moon, their fourth full-length in as many years, The Men needed a break. They decided to take the winter of 2012 off to work on new material in Brooklyn. All that time spent on tour meant they had no practice space so founding member Mark Perro offered to turn his bedroom into one. All the furniture except the bed was moved out and the band’s gear was moved in — drums, pianos, a dozen or so guitars and amplifiers. They practiced in that bedroom in Bushwick nearly every day for three months, writing new songs and cutting more than 40 demos.

By the end of that winter, The Men had pared that crop of songs down to 13. With their plans to take a break foiled by their own work ethic, they decided to record those songs before New Moon came out. They booked two days at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather studios, clocked in and tracked all 13 songs entirely live. A horn section stopped by as well, contributing to two songs and playing live right along with the band.

The Men

The Men Tomorrow’s Hits artwork

Eight songs from those sessions made the final cut for The Men’s new LP for Sacred Bones, the tongue-in-cheek-but-still-auspiciously-titled Tomorrow’s Hits. This is their first album recorded in a high-end studio and, appropriately, the result is their highest fidelity album to date. That being said, it is still an incredibly straightforward and concise record that is full of genre-bending risks. The end result reinforces the overarching theme that has come to define its makers: The Men are a great rock band.

Opening track Dark Waltz sees The Men’s sometimes chaotic sound rather simplified into a melodic introduction to the album. As usual, the vocals are hard to decipher but this doesn’t matter. The American tones seep through which compliment this blues meets country rock track.

The second track, Get What You Give, carries a 90s pop rock feel to it. It’s a little Del Amitri meets Ocean Colour Scene, somewhere in between. It’s summery – perfect for the brightening spring days the UK is finally getting.

Another Night has a 70s soul and funk feel to it. The song begins with a pleasant piano piece before the guitars and drums kick in. Shortly after, the brass instruments follow in tow giving this track a very The Jam and Paul Weller sound. The vocals are marvelous, “Hey baby/I just can’t stand another fight/And I just can’t stand to stay another night” and are complimented by the bluesy piano and guitar and exploding brass melodies. It’s such an upbeat song despite the saddening lyrics but even so, you can’t help but dance like a loon to this one.

Sleepless continues to present the bluesy tones heard on Tomorrow’s Hits. The piano plays a gentle melody while the drums carry the rhythm and the guitar riffs build on the piano’s melodies. It’s another summery track full of feel good vibes which entices images of sunny beaches, green fields and lazy summer evenings at the pub with your friends. The addition of the harmonica towards the end of the track transports you to the 60s – this song has something bohemian about it.

Pearly Gates explodes through your speakers; it’s a massive blues jam. Having recorded this live, it makes it an even more impressive blues jam. It’s loud, wild and full of energy. It’s just what Tomorrow’s Hits needed to liven the album up. The vocals are raw, gravelly and quite rock star sexy. Pearly Gates has the spirit of the 60s in it. You can’t help but love it.

Pearly Gates is shortly followed by a gentler summer track, Settle Me Down. Settle Me Down introduces muted guitar notes which are complimented by the surfer infused riffs. This track has a do-wop style. The lyrics, “Settle me down my love/I can’t take much more of what you do/Settle me down my love/I can’t sleep the whole night through/Got a piece of my mind/You’re taking plenty of time/Gotta settle me down my love/’Cause I’m afraid we may cross that line” are sung in a soft, enchanting way. This track shows a softer side to the otherwise sometimes chaotic sound of The Men.

Tomorrow’s Hits is a wonderful rock album. It has elements of blues, jazz, folk, pop and rock. It justifies why this band has become known for bending the rules of the rock genre. This is a record everyone should have as the soundtrack to their summer. Tomorrow’s Hits is out now via Sacred Bones.




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