The whispers about Celestial Shore's debut full-length, 10x, began with the release of the balmy I'm-so-done-with-you song "Valerie" on Stereogum earlier this year. Sound travels: the Brooklyn trio has joined Portland, OR-based label Hometapes (whose sonic family tree includes Bear In Heaven, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, All Tiny Creatures, and Pattern Is Movement) and 10x will be released September 3rd in partnership with Local Singles (the new label begun by Brad Oberhofer). In nine songs, Celestial Shore deconstructs city life, the history of pop music, and their own jazz educations into something both heartbreakingly raw and mystically timeless. In between the lines, the band exalts the vibrant scene they call home: the album was mixed by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, includes Empress Of's Lorely Rodriguez on vocals, and features cover art by Prince Rama.
CYNE are more than one emcee, more than two producers, more than their decade-spanning discography, and, with the announcement of their new album, All My Angles Are Right, more than just hip-hop. Cise Star is a conscience for your headphones. Speck and Enoch dig deep so you don't have to. CYNE rise above their sphere, merging the personal and the political with genre-busting production and silver-tongued rhymes that capture cross-millennia truths. Their beats have been used by Joey Bada$$, they've been remixed by Four Tet, they've collaborated with To Rococo Rot, Daedelus, and Nujabes, and, since 2008, they've been on Hometapes alongside Bear In Heaven, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, and Medicine-founder Brad Laner. CYNE lights up their full spectrum with All My Angles Are Right, their fifth album out March 2014 - and with this winter's tell-tale release of the first single "Tears For Uriah."
Bear in Heaven have trapped echos, tremors, winds, and fading light. They've redefined time, and folded it. They've unbuttoned sound, and realigned it. Within four walls in Brooklyn, Jon Philpot, Adam Wills, Sadek Bazaara, and Joe Stickney mined the democracy of their collaboration, plus the endless hours of stream-of-consciousness recorded documentation of rehearsals over the past years, to conceive the crystalline form of Beast Rest Forth Mouth, their second album, their exaltation.
"Dude, look what I just got." It started with a text. All Tiny Creatures' founder Thomas Wincek was at work on the new album. He'd just found a Rockman, the headphone amp designed by Boston founder Tom Scholz. A guitar DI Box with multiple effects built in, it’s what Def Leppard used all over Hysteria. I had no idea. For those vast radio jams of my youth, my brain had been the effects processor.
A couple months later, I was listening to Drexciya, watching King Crimson live videos, and hearing Beach Boys songs I never knew existed. Wincek was leaving a note for me before I time traveled. I was learning the secrets of Dark Clock. All Tiny Creatures' second album is an ode to the intertwined bodies of music and technology. A familiar, primordial ease is wrapped up in pulsing electricity. In ten songs, the Wisconsin-based four-piece reminds us that our blood-filled frames are responsible for making the tangle of wires around us. We're still inventing fire.
All Tiny Creatures is Wincek, along with Andrew Fitzpatrick, Matt Skemp, and Ben Derickson. Wincek, Skemp, and Fitzpatrick are also part of Volcano Choir, the sonic collision between Justin Vernon and the venerable Collections of Colonies of Bees.
Celestial Shore's second album, Enter Ghost, is a directive, a confession, and a confrontation. It's the reflection of its makers - Sam Owens, Greg Albert, and Max Almario - and the followup to 10x, their 2013 debut. It's a rock record, and one with the power to time travel with its instruments intact: the electric guitar, the electric bass, and the drum kit.
This musical skeleton is sentient. It rattled and rolled us here only sixty years ago. We've danced with it. We've dissected it. Celestial Shore's rock, sometimes appended with words like "art" and "angular" (words that could describe all music), has actually wiggled every which way since birth. It starts and stops with both intention and abandon. Sometimes it's saying three things at once. Sometimes it's saying one. It sounds a lot like love.
Recorded in the band's Brooklyn hometown last winter and road-tested on tour with Deerhoof in the spring, Enter Ghost is out on Hometapes this Fall. It begs to scratch its name into every tree... in a forest planted by the Zombies, Hendrix, and the Pixies.
Oh, and "Gloria" isn't about a girl. It's about New York City.
Shannon Fields (Stars Like Fleas founder/producer) has spent the better part of the past three years recording new, unhinged, narratively-oblique, club-centric, dark kitchen-sink pop music under the name Leverage Models. Following the release of three EPs (digitally, as well as on limited edition cassettes), Leverage Models will release its self-titled debut album on Hometapes this fall. The album features contributions from members of Yeasayer, Sinkane, and LCD Soundsystem, as well as Sharon Van Etten. The Brooklyn-based live band inhabits the warped echoes of ABC, Scritti Politti, The Associates, Happy Mondays, Japan, A Certain Ratio, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, Throbbing Gristle, etc. Leverage Models has performed recently with Sinkane and Escort, and has upcoming shows with Medicine and Indians, plus soon to be announced performances at CMJ and Hopscotch Festival.
Part of the Hometapes family since 2003, The Caribbean has built an invisible neighborhood of words, images, and pop-dismantling sounds: William of Orange, Plastic Explosives, Populations, and Discontinued Perfume soundtrack an entire decade for the Washington, DC-based trio. Enter new album Moon Sickness: a set of songs with many of the recognizable characteristics of previous Caribbean albums — Kentoff’s literary and darkly dreamlike lyrics, the band’s advanced and eccentric compositional sensibility, and the curious, electronically treated surreal found-sounds draped around the songs. There's a newfound and bright light shining on Moon Sickness, but as biographer Chad Clark writes, "The Caribbean are still arcane, introspective weirdo geniuses with a taste for the surreal and a basically melancholic disposition. I mean, come on, they titled it 'Moon Sickness.’ It’s not a party record. You’d be wise not to expect straightforward, jubilant singalong choruses or ordinary chord progressions. But within the band’s canon — a body of work I love profoundly — this is certainly the most congenial entry yet."
You can't get away from the sun. Brad Laner returns with his third solo album, created in the winds swirling around the reuniting of his cult noise-pop band and American shoegaze pioneers, Medicine. Like Neighbor Singing and Natural Selections before it, Nearest Suns was composed, played, and recorded entirely in Laner's Granada Hills, California home by Laner himself. It's an old new universe in twelve songs, shattering what it means to be called a singer-songwriter, messing around with the noticion of getting older, and soundtracking the infinite distortion and infinite harmony of falling in and out of love.
Founded in Philadelphia by Andrew Thiboldeaux and Christopher Ward, Pattern Is Movement map a vast territory of internal exploration and external output. As the band recorded a series of albums over the past decade - The (Im)possibility of Longing, Stowaway, and All Together - they also shifted in membership and in stylistic focus, eventually solidifying into a powerful duo: Thiboldeaux on Rhodes, synth, bass, and vocals, and Ward on drums. Deeply soulful and natively genre-defying, they toured extensively, joining bands like St. Vincent, The Roots, and Shudder to Think, before delving into their fourth album and, along with it, the brightest and darkest corners of composition, orchestration, and collaboration. Years in the making, the release of Pattern Is Movement's new self-titled album is accompanied by a 12" single and is available on a limited edition deluxe colored LP vinyl package, as well as on CD and Digital formats.
“Red Bloom of the Boom” marks the in-between moment of Jon Philpot's solo explosion becoming a full band's orchestra of sound. "We started clean and natural and as time passed we twisted, distorted and tweaked. After all that we're as handsome as ever," says Philpot, in a simple-yet-accurate explanation of the monster of a band that Bear In Heaven, unassumingly walking the streets of Brooklyn, has so suddenly, but deliberately, become.
"This is the part of the song when we come together." Adam Schatz's voice rings out in the flickering candlelight of Manhattan Inn. "There's no before. There's no after. There's only this." Schatz leads Landlady, the Brooklyn five-piece whose beautifully-packaged Hometapes debut boldly disrupts the notion of genre and reveals the soulful work of one of NYC's most prolific group of musicians and producers. "I've never heard music that hit my heart and my brain quite like this," said Hometapes co-founder Sara Padgett Heathcott, who discovered a kindred spirit in Schatz and a gateway to timelessness in Landlady's music. "Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Sly Stone, Frank Black - these are the names that echo around the canyon that Schatz walked me into last year." The release of Upright Behavior - with a colored vinyl LP and a CD that includes a 14"x14" poster insert - is accompanied by national touring, including MusicFest NW, Hopscotch, and dates with Man Man and Rubblebucket.
"the band has an intimate urgency that uncrosses arms and impels involvement, and their sound invokes the Band if they had Dirty Projectors' skewed sense of song structure." - Pitchfork
"There are so many moving partsâ€¦but they come together to make one big, beautiful whole." -Stereogum
The first manifestation of Bear In Heaven's Beast Rest Forth Mouth, the Wholehearted Mess 12" EP is pressed in jewel-like multicolored vinyl. Bear In Heaven curated remixes of the single "Wholehearted Mess" from Pink Skull, Max Brannslokker, and Arclike, resulting in the creation of a unique tributary off Bear In Heaven's own musical flow and in a bona fide banging dance-friendly record. Limited to 1000. Comes with a digital download, so you can take it with you.