debut EP

Interview: LA duo, LACEI

LACEI is a musical duo based out of LA. Viktor Ahlgren and Jessica Lombardozzi came together after meeting in business class, both bringing unique musical aspects to their project. Their music merges musical concepts, genres and styles that give LACEI a truly novel sound. Viktor (Vik) and Jessica (Jess) took the time to answer some questions about the origin of LACEI, their debut EP, 11:11, and their concert venue wishlists. Check it out!

 

 

MFL: How did the two of you come together to make LACEI and what is the meaning of your musical project’s name?

Jess and ViK (J&V): First, it’s great to be connecting with Music For Lunch; always amazing to be involved with supporters of the arts and upcoming artists. 

 ViK: We met in a music business class at our university and started to collaborate. I believe the initial origin of the name Lacei may have been inspired from Jessica’s obsession with Flyleaf lol, but then it definitely just fit the persona of the music we were creating.

 

MFL: I love the unique sounds that you have merged in LACEI. There is something gentle and folk-like about the vocals but it is meshed flawlessly with the kind of electronic music that is flooding the music sphere right now, creating something so innovative. I feel like “Cold Moon” is the perfect example of this. What kind of music-listeners are you trying to reach with this new sound?

Jess: Thank you very much. It seems that you understand what it is we are doing. We do not like to create boundaries or categorize, therefore we want to reach anyone and everyone that can relate to our stuff.

 

MFL: What is the overarching story you are telling with 11:11 and what is the significance of the EP title? 11:11 was always the time that I would make a wish when I was growing up!

Jess: We kept on seeing the numbers 11:11 everywhere, and I mean everywhere lol. In fact, the night we were discussing EP titles Viktor randomly looked at his phone and there it was again. So, we figured that was a sign haha. The spiritual meaning of 11:11 is that it is a sign of doing something right and being on the right path. 

 

 

 

MFL: In your opinions, who are the musicians that are making waves today and how do they differ in sound and content compared to the musicians you grew up with?

J&V: Bon Iver. His latest album is a master piece. Vernon was able to create something unique and innovative with all this new sound and texture while at the same time keeping the ‘folky feeling’ as Bon Iver is known for. The album is also very short, only 34 min, which also is not very common, and the songs titles are crazy.

 Another artist that is making waves is DJ Dahi who we have been privileged to work with. Dahi is an amazing producer and his tracks are always very interesting. He can bring out something different and unique in the artists he is working with and his beats always stands out from the rest.

 

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MFL: Are there other songs in your musical treasure chest besides the four that appear on the 11:11 EP? If so, why didn’t they make it onto the EP?

Viktor: Yes! We have a huge repertoire of songs. But we thought these four records were enough to get the listeners an idea of what LACEI is while not revealing too much, leaving them interested in hearing more.

 

MFL: What do each of you bring to LACEI that is unique?

VIktor: Jess is amazing with topline, I’m working the tracks… we meet in the middle on melodies.  Also, I’m a male, she’s a female; that always brings unique perspectives. 

 

MFL: Why is LA your musical hub and how, if at all, does the culture influence your music?

J&V: LA is where we met, live and go to school. We are hitting the road to explore the world. We love to travel!

 

MFL: If you could pick your top 5 cities/venues to play in the world, where/what would they be?

 J&V:

  • Coachella – because it’s Coachella haha.
  • Glastonbury (England) – Looks like a super dope festival.
  • Way Out West (Sweden) – because Viktor is from Sweden and he has always wanted to play back home.
  • Hollywood Bowl – because it is such a chill venue and we saw Bon Iver there and it was absolutely amazing.
  • Red Rocks Amphitheater – it just looks crazy.

 

MFL: If I were to dig through the music you listen to personally, what do you think would be the most surprising find?

Jess: Binary beats. Does that count as music? lol

 ViK: That I am a huge fan of folk music haha. 

 

MFL: Where and when can your fans find you playing live in the next couple of months? 

J&V: Currently in the studio working hard on the album and hitting the road in the new year. 

 

Thank you to Vik and Jess and their lovely PR agent, Theresa Montgomery of 24West for making this interview possible! You can find 11:11 on iTunes now and follow them on Facebook and Soundcloud.

EP Review: “EP One” by Swedish duo, Newtimers

Newtimers is the work of Swedish duo Andreas Britton Cavaco (vocals) and Tim Lundblad (drums, production). The two have honed in on a kind a musical genre they can call their own. They merge elements of R & B, 80s synth pop and I have to say it, Michael Jackson. There is a subtly seductive sound to their debut EP, EP One, which was released June of 2016 on Cosmos Music.

The EP was written at a time of heartbreak for both Andreas and Tim but the guys didn’t want heartbreak to the theme. Despite the melancholic material, the EP is laced with an uplifting sense of power and the human broken heart’s ability to move forward. The opening cut, “The Best of Me” instantly sucked me in. It’s sexy and catchy without the over-production that comes with some mainstream music from the same vein. Andreas’ smooth vocals hover above melodies that hark back to 80’s and 90’s pop R & B. “The Best of Me” is about as amplified as the EP gets. Check out the music video:

 

 

Following is, “Flower on the Moon”, another velvety gem, perfectly produced. The moment the track begins, you can sense the lights going down. It’s the epitome of that subtle seductive sound I mentioned. The closing track is the single, “Perfect Ten”, which received a great deal of attention upon release for obvious reasons. The EP also features two remixes of “Best of Me”, one by the acclaimed Monsierur Adi and another by Sailor & I.

Since the release of their debut EP, they’ve released the new spunky single, “She’s a Gun.” Check it out:

 

New single from up and coming blues boy, Ethan Burns: “22 Knots”

Something about Ethan Burns’ voice speaks more than you would imagine coming from someone the age of 25. There is a maturity and a thick, rich quality to Burns’ vocals that absolutely make his music what it is. As a young boy, he grew up primarily on gospel music but music took on an entirely new meaning to him  when he discovered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. It was then that he discovered his knack for learning music by ear. The rest is history.

Last month he released his latest single, “22 Knots”, a track Burns says is “about a lonely man taking to the emotional high seas to try and escape his worries, then has second thoughts.” The single is off of his upcoming EP which is due out on Fairfax Recordings on September 30th. “22 Knots” is blues, it’s pop, it’s retro and modern all a the same time. The track encompasses a vast spectrum of genres, gluing them together with his one of a kind voice. 

 

 

Lovely piece and sweet music video from Munroe: “Nothing is Funny”

Kathleen Munroe is a brightly talented singer/songwriter and actress originally form Hamilton, ON. Between acting and writing music she has found time to release her debut self-titled EP and first real solo effort. The EP was co-produced by Michael Keire and features friends and fellow musicians Noah Fralick, Ben Munoz, Julie Fader, Billy Holmes, and Steve McKay, among others. The EP came out May 12th on Hidden Pony and is available on iTunes now.

My first taste of Munroe was the track, “Nothing is Funny” and its accompanying music video. The track is simple, supple and beautiful, as is the music video. You can hear the creaking of the piano and its pedals while she plays, adding to the beauty of the track. “Nothing is Funny” is the concluidng piece on her EP. About the song and music video, Kathleen Munroe said:

“We shot this at the natural history museum in LA. Dioramas like those are so strange and sad because the whole point is to make the scenes and the animals in them look as life-like as possible –implying movement, relationships, behaviour, vitality–but the subjects in them are 100% dead. I got stuck on the idea of suggesting life where it doesn’t exist, and holding onto hope in a scenario that is clearly hopeless. That’s not really what the song is about, but it is a song about waiting, so I thought it would be cool to throw the thoughts together and push the idea of waiting to a point of absurd impossibility. Waiting for something that’s already been precluded.”

 

Music video and debut EP from German-Chinese beatmakers, C.O.W. 牛

C.O.W.  牛 is the collaboration of four beatmakers, bridging the geographic and musical gap between Germany and China. Bringing Beijing and Berlin together in sonic symmetry, C.O.W.  牛 creates electronic music that is sexy, surreal, hip and holistic. The quartet releasd their debut EP June 24th of this year. The five track EP captures the essence of C.O.W.  牛 and serves as an excellent introduction to the group’s potential.

Check out the music video for the track, “White” and purchase the EP on iTunes now. You can also find the EP on the group’s webite.

 

Salio of Republic of Georgia to release debut EP July 1st: “Lost World”

Salio was discovered by producer, Quint Davis, at the Black Sea Festival. Shortly after, he delivered a well-earned invitation to Salio to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where she introduced herself to an entirely new set of adoring fans. Her single, “Wayside” and the accompanying music video have received a great deal of attention and her debut EP, Lost World, is due out July 1st. About “Wayside” Salio says:

“This song is about some of the problems we face as humans in this world today.  I think that if you show some kindness where little or none exists, you have the power to change people’s lives and then they, in turn, have the power to help other people too.”

 

The EP captures an incredible amount of diversity that can’t be fathomed by simply listening to her single, “Wayside.” Salio’s voice can shape shift. In one song it holds the power, command and classic quality of Amy Winehouse, in another the potency of Adele. Each track holds it’s own. Salio offers a taste of pop, soul, and R&B, each genre blended in a way unique to her own style.

July 1st, enjoy Salio’s debut EP, Lost World,  in its entirety.

EP Review: Australian R&B electronic duo, Hoodlem

If you need some spicy, quirky, sexy electronic R&B in your life, Hoodlem’s got your back. Their new age interpretation of R&B is already turning heads, gaining them positive attention from the likes of NYLON, MTV and Fader to name a few. The Australian electronic duo recently released their debut self-titled EP via Caroline Australia. The EP holds 5 groovy tracks that dim the lights and set the mood.

A highlight for me on the record is “Kintsugi” a gorgeous, swaying, dizzying track inspired by the Japanese art form from which it got its name. Kintsugi is taking something broken and repairing it with gold and Hoodlem applies this art to human beings. Why can’t we put our heart and soul back together with gold?

“IGOTU” is a gloriously shameless R&B shout out to the 90’s while maintaining what makes Hoodlem’s music fresh and unique. It’s danceable but also bedroom-worthy. Then there are songs like “4 Real” which showcases Hoodlem’s ability to create unique, unpredictable, trippy beats.

The EP wraps up with “Old Friend”, a stunning, smooth as honey finish to the EP. This track highlights their diversity as musicians. To me, it’s a stand alone track. It’s the most even track on the entire EP, the easiest to grasp.The vocals are gorgeous, the lyrics tell a familiar story; it’s irresistible.

You can purchase the EP on iTunes now.