Month: November 2015

Beautiful, beautiful Cross Record gives us a bizarrely beautiful video

Cross Records is the work of Emily Cross and husband, Dan Duszynski. The two created this video for the track “High Rise” one morning before Emily left for work. Covered in a tight nude garb, face distorted by a stocking, Emily curves, bends and blends with the landscape that is the couple’s home, Moon Phase Ranch in Texas. To me the visuals that accompany “High Rise” represent how we as humans or other living beings morph, shape and adapt to our environments no matter how strange and awkward it may seem, it’s evolution.


Wabi-Sabi is out January 29th on Ba Da Bing Records.

Music video from Welsh band, ESTRONS

ESTRONS is Taliesyn Källström (vocals) and Rhodri Daniel (guitar) along with a series of musicians who have their time with ESTRONS then move on, causing a constant evolution within the band. ESTRONS means “aliens” or “strangers” in Welsh and sums up how the band might feel in a room full of the average band. ESTRONS capitalizes on their ability to remain strange and alien, creating heterogeneous musical works with lyrics in both English and Welsh.

They recently released the music video for the opening cut off of their upcoming Whoever She Was EP (due out this December), “Make a Man” which takes off quick and dirty and doesn’t look back. With no regret or care for profanity, the track gets straight to the point lyric-wise with speeding and raging guitars and drums and raw vocals. The music video features moments with the female character who has two men at her beck n’ call interspersed with videos of explosions, fist fights, band practice and wild concerts.

New video from Brooklyn band, Wilder Maker

Remember Katie Von Schleicher? I recently reviewed her newest record, Bleaksploitation, which came last week. Katie is also part of a band called Wilder Maker which is made up of Gabriel Birnbaum, Will Graefe, Sean Mullins, and Nick Jost.

Wilder Maker has released three EPs each named Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Devotion Vol I, Vol II and Vol III between November of 2014 and October of 2015 which you can find on iTunes and Bandcamp now. Lovely, thoughtful and eclectic, each EP is beautiful in its own way.

Recently, Wilder Maker released a video of Katie Von Schleicher singing the track “Relief” off of Vol II of the EP trilogy. Katie’s voice is richer than ever and carries the track, pleading:

How far is relief?

a question likely on everyone’s mind at one time or another, or in particular right now given the current events on our planet. The video was shot in one take in Wilder Maker’s bassist and drummer’s apartment in Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. The editing done by Alex Munro. Please enjoy:

Interview: Jon Bellinger of NYC’s rock-pop band, Controller

NYC-original band, Controller, just released their second and most profound EP, No Future. Five high energy rock songs with just the right amount of pop were sifted out from 40 demos the band recorded in a matter of 3 months. I emailed Jon Bellinger, Controller’s frontman, some questions regarding the writing and releasing process of No Future, how the band came together and what’s in store! Read on for the details!

 

MFL: Congrats on the release of your latest EP! I hear a lot of energy in EVERY single track. I’m sure it’s safe to assume an equal if not greater amount of energy went into writing and recording each track. What were some of the ups and downs of writing, recording and releasing the No Future EP?

Controller: Thanks so much! For sure, we worked so fucking hard on this record. And not just over the last year. What a lot of people don’t know is that this band has been around, in some form, for 10 years now. And in that time, we’ve been through so much and experimented with so many different sounds that it feels like it’s all been building to this EP. It’s like a switch flipped on late last year, and all of a sudden, we were ready to put out a summation of what we’ve been living and experiencing over the past decade in New York City and the pieces fell into place really quickly. We wrote about 40 demos in 3 months, went in with a plan and smashed out the EP in the studio over 3 marathon days. So yeah, this record technically took a decade to make, but I’m glad we took our time and stayed focused.

 

MFL: There’s also a lot of diversity on this EP. “No Future” and “Bright Lights” are on different wave lengths! In fact, each song really holds its own. As a band, what are the common threads between each track that made them an EP?

Controller: It’s funny, we weren’t deliberately trying to make an eclectic record, but that’s just what ends up coming out. Our influences are so diverse and we get inspired by so many different things, we tend to let the songs just grow into themselves without overthinking it or judging them until they’re done, and as a result we end up in some really unexpected places. It’s all very postmodern and zen-like!  I think people like that about us, though, and honestly it’s kind of how we all listen to music now, anyway, right? On perpetual shuffle? But there definitely is a common thread, and it’s the place the songs came from. This record is about being young in NYC, and it sounds like for us what it’s actually been like to come of age here, so the record embodies the city’s many contradictions all at once: it’s a beautiful, aggressive, ugly, creepy, louche, pervy and dreamy place, and you can’t separate one from the other.

 

MFL: What are some of the biggest changes Controller has gone through since the release of your self-titled debut EP in 2013?

Controller: Wow, so much has changed, and all of it is amazing. We’ve got a killer team behind us now and all of a sudden playing to very full rooms, so it feels like we’re seeing how the songs impact people for the first time because for the first time, it’s like, we can see how a sold out room responds to us, and it’s not just all of our friends, and we’re getting so much feedback from fans. So it’s super empowering….we’ve always known what we want this band to become, and we’ve just been loitering out the back waiting for the doors to open, and now they are open a crack and we’re just charging in. It’s so rad to see a response forming to what we’ve been working on for the last 10 years basically just for ourselves. We made exactly the record we wanted to make, and the incredible response has given us the confidence to trust ourselves and our fans and keep running down this path to god knows what!

 

MFL: I notice a difference in sound between the release in 2013 and No Future. No Future seems a little less rock and more dance-oriented. Was this intentional and what inspired this?

Controller: Yeah, for sure it was deliberate–we grew up listening to punk and hardcore and grunge so we will never fully abandon guitars, but we also love pop music and songs people can dance to live, so the challenge that agonized over for this EP was how to mash up sparkling pop with really ugly sounds and still create something that could get played on the radio.

So we spent weeks and weeks and weeks experimenting with ways to combine programmed drums with fucked up, ugly guitar and synth tones, and did things in the studio like string together six distortion pedals for guitar solos (No Future) and live-mic programmed drums playing through a broken amp (Flame). And it’s all because we wanted to make a record that sounded like New York–incredibly fancy and posh and scuzzy and filthy all at the same time. It’s like how when you’re in Times Square, there are Elmos everywhere taking photos with families, but when you get up close the costume is all filthy and matted, and the guy inside is drunk.

But this is also creates a challenge. The tastemakers don’t really get us coz we don’t fit neatly into one category.  We’re not a pop band, but we’re also not Wavves or DIIV. A lot of people don’t know what to make of us.

 

MFL: Let’s rewind a bit! How did you four fellas come together to make music?

Controller: Josh and I have been playing music together since 2004–we met at a party here in NYC, through our girlfriends at the time. We got together like, the very next day, and in an hour had come up with 4 – 5 really weird songs. We’ve been writing together ever since, sometimes with other people, sometimes over email, and (this is kinda lame) met everyone else in the band at our day jobs at ad agencies. Kyle used to sit next to me at work and we creeped on each others Spotify, and we basically bullied Brian into being in the band when we found out he played bass. Keith used to be Josh’s boss, at his first job. Now Josh bosses Keith around.

 

MFL: Pretend none of you are in Controller and you heard Controller’s music. What influences would you hear and what musicians past and/or present would you make comparisons with?

Controller:I think I’d hear some unholy combination of Van Halen, INXS, T. Rex, Boston and Black Sabbath. I think what stands out in our songs (and live) is the pure exuberance….when we play, we go all in. We’re big fans of 80s hair metal and pop music from all eras, because there’s something so attractive and cathartic about being so earnestly over the top and really committing to a song or a performance. You don’t get much irony or subtlety with Controller.

 

MFL: Finally, what’s Controller’s future after No Future? Touring, a full length? Please share!

Controller: We are just hungry  and SO ready for the whatever is next. We want get our music out there in as many places as we can and keep building our weird little army of misfits. But we also want to do it right, so we’re being very deliberate about our next steps. We’ve taken some meetings with some labels and publishers, but we know bands who rushed into deals too soon so we’re happy to wait for the perfect partner to help us realize our vision. Until then, though, we’re just really focused on writing (we’ve already got another 20 or so demos), putting out another EP early next year, and we’re in the process of lining up dates in Boston, Philly, DC and some other places on the East Coast, so stay tuned for those!

 

You can purchase Controller’s No Future EP on iTunes and keep an eye out for tour dates and an ear for new music!

 

New album coming from Nap Eyes!

This coming February of 2016, the 5th of February to be exact, Nova Scotian band, Nap Eyes is due to release their newest piece of musical work titled, Thought Rock Fish Scale.

This band takes their thoughtful garage (sometimes surf) rock and records it live directly to tape with no overdubbing, which gives them their characteristic sound. They released a track off of that upcoming record called “Mixer.” A surf rock lullaby with an insistent metronomic beat, “Mixer” is a track that starts with sorting through the thoughts of a wall flower at a mixer on a Friday night. It’s almost as if song writer and rhythm guitarist Nigel Chapman is reading the lyrics straight from a book, but it works. It gives the lyricism a sense of simplicity without being superficial.

Featured Image by Colin Medley

Pre-order Thought Rock Fish Scale on iTunes!

 

 

Edelweiss’ “Philadelphia EP” is out NOW!

Originally from Stroudsburg, PA alternative post punk group, Edelweiss, released their latest EP last Friday, November 13th via Mad Dragon Records. Edelweiss is Niko Porlier (singer/guitarist), Tony Young (Bass), and Lexi Campion (drums).

The Philadelphia EP is comprised of four solid, high speed tracks. Each is significantly different from the other but all have common features including interesting time and tempo changes, attention-commanding guitars and vocals and overall sound that packs a punch.

The opening cut, “Winston”, introduces itself subtly but breaks out into a full out punk rock thrasher.

“Species” is a fast paced quick n’ dirty track that doesn’t waste any time. The song is immediately in your face and maintains a high level of energy for all two glorious minutes. “Cookies & Brownies” flip flops between high energy and more restrained moments but averages out to be equally as uptempo as every other track on the EP. Philadelphia closes with “Goblin” a fantastically complex track with a guitar lick (or possibly a keyboard? the notes are cycling around so quick it’s hard to tell) that serves as the base of the track, with everything else weaving in and around it.

You can buy the Philadelphia EP on iTunes now.

New single from Melbourne’s Vinten: “You Don’t Know Me”

Vinten is a solo singer/songwriter out of Melbourne. Vinten is not new to the music scene in Melbourne but he has taken a few year hiatus from writing and releasing. He’s back now with new inspirations, new sounds and new and beautiful melodies. His most recent single “You Don’t Know Me” was released last week.

“You Don’t Know Me” introduces itself as a folk song with lamenting strings but blooms into a truly shimmering piece. This song explores the way we reflect upon who we use to be as children and how we have to let that go because that’snot necessarily how we are now. It’s as if he’s telling his childhood self,

You don’t know me.

 

Music video for “Salt Shaker” by Jaala

When Cosima of Melbourne 4-piece, Jaala, opened her mouth to sing out the lyrics of “Salt Shaker”, it was not the voice I expected to come out. Her rough-punk attire does not merge predictably with her sweet child-like singing voice.

Jaala is soon to be releasing their debut full length Hard Hold on November 20th via Wondercore Island. The record was recorded in one week  in Coburg and engineered and produced by the band’s friend, Paul Bender. The record is a means to express and share thoughts of loss, flickers of dreams and offer a window into the minds of the characters Jalaa creates.

Following the release of their initial single, “Hard Hold”, Jaala released “Salt Shaker” and a dark, introspective music video to accompany it. Clutching a teddy bear throughout the video, Cosima trudges and wanders through a desolate graveyard of a desert, symbolizing the act of saying goodbye to your childhood.

 

 

New track and album announcement from Your Friend

Your Friend is solo singer/songwriter/creator of music, Taryn Miller’s musical alias. After a highly successful and massively exciting year following the release of Your Friend’s debut EP, Jekyll/Hyde, Miller is announcing that she’ll be releasing her very first full length titled Gumption this coming January 29th of 2016 via Domino.

Coinciding with the announcement of her new album, Your Friend released the first truly tantalizing single from Gumption, “Heathering.”

The first few seconds of this song are my favorite few seconds. They’re my favorite because they’re misleading, they sound like an accident. They sound like they’ve been cut and paste from a completely different song by a completely different artist’s completely different album. From these strange first 5 seconds, the real song blossoms and soars high above. You think you have “Heathering” figured out when you’re almost three minutes in and then the time changes in the least jarring most seamless way.

I can hardly wait to hear what more Your Friend has hidden on Gumption.  You can pre-order the album on iTunes or Domino Mart.