Month: June 2015

Cool off with The Rooks’ new EP, Wires.

The Rooks are an R&B and soul group based out of New York who have mastered the skill of creating breezy tracks that leave you no choice but to move. They released their second EP Wires yesterday, June 29th just in time for the summer heat to kick in. You can listen and purchase at Bandcamp.

Their summer East coast tour begins July 29th at Penn Plaza in New York and includes many other destinations:

July 29th – 1 Penn Plaza, New York NY
July 30th – Hinge, Northampton MA
July 31st – Empire, Portland ME
August 1st – Copperfield’s Bar, Boston MA
August 2nd – Dusk, Providence RI
August 4th – Nectar’s, Burlington VT
August 6th – Cavern Bar, Toronto, ON
August 7th – Sticky Lips, Rochester NY
August 8th – Snowshoe Lounge, Montgomery VT

Newest single from New York’s, The Afternoon Edition: “I Can’t Stay”

A little over a month ago I posted about “Canyon Lights”, another track by New York-based country/folk group, The Afternoon Edition. Recently they released another single called “I Can’t Stay.” Listen below:

This summer track is off of their upcoming album, Fallow. Keep your ears peeled for more!

How is it Sunday Again?

Why do the summer weeks have to fly by so quickly? Thankfully the music out in the world isn’t slipping away like summer is. Once again, this week’s playlist is 10 artists and 10 songs I’ve never even heard until this very day. It’s so refreshing to hear so many new things happening on the musical front every year, every month, every week, and every day. Oh, and to explain the photo, my dear mom is known in our family for making really incredible cakes of any character you want! Usually she uses a cake pan that is pre-designed but this year for my 27th birthday, she designed an original Yoda cake for me. Pretty amazing if you ask me! OK, get listenin’!

Sizzling song for a hot weekend: “Our Love Falls Out Of” by The Black Sun’s Darling

The Black Sun’s Darling is a trio out of Stockholm and Åre, Sweden composed of Julia (vocals), Sebastian (bass, organs, vocals) and Andreas (drums). Their music video for “Our Love Falls Out Of” is simple and to the point. The three of them are silhouetted through the entire video, the drummer never even takes a seat and that guitar lick makes the guitar literally sound like it’s melting, especially around 0:54.

With three tracks out, this trio is on a roll. Each of their track are unique which bodes well for their sound. I’m crossing my fingers for an EP or a full length soon!

Vinnie Ferra’s much anticipated, ‘arc en ciel’, is out now!

Remember this guy?

God Forbid Still Solo Vin

Remember this song?

The above track, ‘Destroying Me’, is off of Vinnie Ferra’s newest album arc en ciel which he released yesterday, June 23rd. I had the pleasure of chatting over the phone with Vinnie for over an hour and he shared some truly beautiful details about his newest record. Click here for the whole thing. I pasted my favorite part of the interview below because it’s where Vinnie talks about why he named his newest record, arc en ciel.

MFL: One last thing. What was the inspiration for the name of the new album?

VF: Ahhh, good question. A question I really want to answer. It’s definitely a gajillion degrees of separation. Some of the songs are about certain things but most of the record is about a certain individual. I went on a trip to France with them and we stayed in a hotel on a street named Rue Jean-Mermoz and Jean-Mermoz is a French aviator. He designed planes and his first plane that was able to take off and actually fly was called “Arc en Ciel” which is “arc in the sky” as the literal translation but the actual meaning in French is a “rainbow.” The first song on the record is about my brother and I and the record is mostly about innocence and innocent love and just not even considering real life when thinking about your feelings. Impulsive and irrational desires. To me a rainbow, besides its over-gay connation, but way someone feels when they look at a rainbow versus when they were a child, they look at it as being beautiful. People still look at rainbows like they’re 5 year olds. As we get older there are not a lot of things that we look at with that innocence because we’re all so jaded and messed up from growing up. I’ve been waiting for someone to ask that question. To me it is a very big part of the name of the album, it’s not just some name. It’s a very big part of the record to me.

You can stream arc en ciel on Soundcloud. The entire album is below for your listening pleasure.

And if your curious as to why Vinnie is releasing his entire album for free streaming on Soundcloud, that answer is also nested in my interview with him. You can also support him by purchasing the record on Bandcamp by clicking here.

Summer sounds: ‘Phlowers’ by Topher Mohr is OUT!

Topher Mohr’s smokey voice, cool keyboards, and slick guitar picks make his sophomore album , Phlowers, an essential summer album. It sucks you right in with it’s shoulder-shaking opening track, “Red Line Express” and tumbles you through some jazzy tracks like “Little House” and “Look at the Stars.” His vocal range continues to surprise you throughout the album given the smokey start. Some of the tracks on the record are softer and even take on a more folk feel, like “Switzerland.” Every track pulls you in a different direction. Mohr meanders back to jazz in “Moving Right Along” but takes a sharp turn to reggae town in “Let’s Get a Taxi.”

I featured “Keep it Coming” a few weeks ago on Music For Lunch. It’s more on the pop and soul side of his record and is a truly celebratory track. Though, it’s is an excellent example of the diversity in sound and style Mohr accomplishes on this record. The closing track “A Good Indication” is a blues drenched soulful surprise that makes a crisp change in tempo at the halfway mark. It’s the perfect conclusion to Phlowers. You can stream the entire album here but I suggest a purchased copy of your own so you can enjoy it anywhere and everywhere:

Interview: In depth with the Danish dreampoppers, Another Juggle

It was 11am Mountain Standard Time in Bozeman, Montana and 7pm in Copenhagen where Danish-originating dreampop group, Another Juggle lives, when I had the opportunity to Skype with all four of the band members. As both our days in either location are getting longer and longer, Copenhagen days have Bozeman days beat as the sun doesn’t really go down there right now. Ideal conditions for letting band practice go deep into the night, without even knowing it. I was sipping coffee and they were sipping on some brews. I was in the comfort of my home at my dining room table and they were in the comfort of their cozy studio space, surrounded by synthesizers. There was much laughter going on in both locations throughout the interview. It was a very delightful conversation and I hope it’s not our last!

The conversation started with Emil Eggert Scherrebeck (drums, synths) and Anders Cederblad Knudsen (percussion, additional vocals, guitars) but about halfway through, Thomas Haahr (guitars) joined in and finally near the end of our conversation, Nikolaj Dalsgård (vocals) showed up. Emil, Nikolaj and Thomas are all from Jutland but Anders is from a city near Copenhagen. After nearly 10 years in Copenhagen they now call it their home. It is THE place in Denmark to be a musician. Emil and Anders both trained as drummers since their childhood. Thomas learned many instruments including cornet in a brass band and choir but had a true moment of musical realization when he picked up his father’s Spanish guitar. Nikolaj came from a musical family and has been playing the drums for 15 years including time at a musical conservatory, until Anders heard him sing. Now Nikolaj is a singer!

Read and listen below for more:

MFL: How long have you guys been playing together?

AJ: Well, this band has existed for almost 3 years but before that, the four (Another Juggle: Nikolaj, Anders, Thomas and Emil) of us and two other guys had another band called, and don’t get it wrong, From the Foxhole. Yeah foxhole not F#*K hole.

MFL: I heard Foxhole, don’t worry.

AJ: I spoke to another American who thought it was “f#*khole” and he was like you can’t call your band “f*#Khole!” The old band split up after recording an EP and then two of the guys left the band and the four of us just continued in the new band.

MFL: Do you have a similar sound?

AJ: No, not at all! The old sound was quite dark. Really dark. Kind of The National. But we wanted to take it in a different direction.

MFL: Do you miss that all or do you like what you do now better?

AJ: I think we do like the new sound better. It appeals more to us and also to more people in general I think.

Listen below to our chat about the origin of their band name, Another Juggle:

MFL: You told me that From the Foxhole was a little bit darker like The National sound. Where did the inspiration come from for the more electronic sound that Another Juggle has?

AJ: I think we started listening to a lot of bands from the 80s inspired phase like Wild Nothing and Twin Shadow.

Below is a playlist of musicians who are a source of Another Juggle’s musical inspiration:

MFL: Any actual 80s bands?

AJ: Talking Heads, The Smiths, Kate Bush. And also we listen to a lot of new indie music like Youth Lagoon and Cut Copy, Australian band and also Grizzly Bear and Beach house. Also a band like Blood Orange actually. We kind of like the mix of the 80s sound and the indie song writing.  And the special sound from Scandinavia. The melancholic sound from the place we grew up from the dark weather.

MFL: Do you think that actually has an influence?

AJ: Yes, we think so! I guess it’s like the northern part of the US produces a lot of bands with a darker sound and more melancholic and CA produces a lot of bands with light beats and a lighter touch.  Also our song writing has always been very melancholic and dark so we kind of wanted to sort of contrast that against the sound of the music.

AJ (Thomas): Deep down inside somewhere I had been listening to electronic music before I started playing guitar for the band.  Sort of going back to the roots of what I did before I even joined the band

Listen below to hear about working on their new album.

MFL: Is this your practice studio only or where you record, too?

AJ: Both. Every now and then vocals are recorded at Nikolaj’s place but usually everything is done here. A lot of the song writing is done in our different bedrooms where we cry our hearts out onto the paper. The paper is all wet from the tears!

We chatted for awhile about the infamous Morten Bue. A well known producer and mix master who lives in Copenhagen Denmark. Click here to check out his website. Morten Bue mixes for some of Another Juggle’s favorite Danish bands like Mew and Kissaway Trail, both of which were represented in the “In Between Another Juggle’s Ears” playlist. They found Morten through a friend in a band called The Rumor Said Fire, who also had Morten mix their music. The rest is history!

MFL: Do you play live a lot?

AJ: Not together in this project. We’ve been focusing quite a lot on writing and recording. We hope to play a lot more live when we release the album. Before this project, the old band played a lot. Like A LOT. Almost every venue in Copenhagen that I can think of. We’re hoping to visit a lot of Danish festivals next summer and maybe get to do some warm up gigs for Danish bands around Denmark. Maybe this fall as well. Very much depends on if our songs make it to the radio. If you can manage that, it will be very possible. You never know, though.

For a moment, I got to be interviewed! Thomas was very curious about how I found their music. I admitted it was random chance as I was home alone on a Saturday night, creating my weekly playlist. Listen below to our conversation about what they think of Soundcloud and how they find out their music is making it out into the world.

We next discussed what they all do outside of music. All of them, besides Emil who goes to school for comparative literature and writes for a Danish newspaper, are teachers. Anders teaches Danish, history and religion, Thomas teaches mathematics and music and Nikolaj just finished his education to teach gym class, music and mathematics.

I asked them what their game plan was for practice that night and we also talked about how they go about writing songs. This song features a track of theirs called “Cuddle Guy.”

Emil then described the creative process for their new music video for “Dance Sunshine, Dance.”

AJ (Emil): We made the video because we wanted to do something special when we released our first single. My cousin Peter (Scherrebeck Hansen) is a video artist. I’ve known him for my whole life but as we are getting older and are getting more dedicated to making our different kinds of art we started talking a lot and I just figured he would be perfect for the job. So we played the song for him and he came up with a beautiful and intense video.

MFL: How do you incorporate your personal experiences into the lyrics collectively, though since you have different experiences?

AJ (Emil and Anders): We don’t do it collectively actually. It’s mostly me and Anders who are writing songs right now. We just write the lyrics and the melodies. Then we bring it to the studio and we all collectively record the song but the songwriting is individually done. In our different bedrooms! We try to make the sketches or the things we come with as simple as possible. The melody and the text and maybe some guitar chords. Not a lot of things going on so there’s a lot of room to interpret so it can be made into a songs that is ours. That way you’re not already stuck with an arrangement or a way of thinking of that song when the other guys join in. It can be turned into anything.

After speaking for over an hour and a half we realized I needed to get back to work and they needed to rehearse. It was difficult to end the conversation. I felt like I was saying good bye to old friends. They were so endearing and genuine. We chatted about Carlsberg beer for a few minutes before parted ways as they promised that next time I visit Copenhagen, we’ll have to get a beer together. Thank you Nikolaj, Anders, Thomas and Emil for your time and for putting your music on this earth.

 

Burned

Got a little sunburned this past weekend. Required an emergency ice cube facial during the drive back from the adventure. The adventure resulted in a late playlist post. My deepest apologies to anyone who was UTTERLY disappointed without 10 new songs to listen to yesterday. Better late than never:

“Open your ears and tell me what you hear”: Son Lux’s new album ‘Bones’ is out June 23rd

That is a tiny portion of the lyrics from my favorite track,”Your Day Will Come” on the latest Son Lux record, Bones. Like the most recent work of Son Lux, this entire record is absolutely commanding. It commands you to listen with the jarring, jutting and chill-invoking percussion of Ian Chang, withering but powerful vocals of Ryan Lott and the explosive work of guitarist, Rafiq Bhatia.

NPR is streaming Bones in it’s entirety for the next week so people like me can obsess over it until we can buy our own copy. Listen and read more by clicking here. 

If you want to have a taste of the “commanding” nature I speak of, listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/son-lux/you-dont-know-me-1