On Video Age's new album Pop Therapy, longtime friends and songwriting partners Ross Farbe and Ray Micarelli conjure up a thrilling assortment of experimental pop songs. Using a palette of vintage synthesizers and the propulsion of a Sequential Circuits Drumtraks drum machine, the New Orleans-based group's buoyant synth-pop echoes from some imagined vision of the past, leaning on an invented nostalgia to soundtrack an ideal future that never arrived. Video Age brings that future fully to life on Pop Therapy.
Part travelogue, part response to the current, turbulent climate, "Do Right" gives voice to the deeply nested anxiety of modern times attempting to offer a balm. Nature, it seems, is where the band often goes to calibrate it's moral compass so frequently upended by the daily news-cycle. Sugar Candy Mountain invites you to join them on this journey singing "There's a quiet place I go when I need to find my way/ There's a quiet place inside/ Come on in just knock and a door will open". Musically, the band remains rooted in 60's and 70's rock, with their signature honey sweet vocals. "Do Right" leans more heavily on synthesizer than the band's previous records, lending the album a more modern feel. The album pairs the ephemeral orchestral arrangements of The Beach Boys with the pop sensibility of George Harrison on "All Things Must Pass". Oscillating between the hazy psychedelic pop of Mild High Club, the driving energy of Dungen and the danceable familiarity of The Supremes, "Do Right" is a perfect cocktail of old and new, imploring the listener to take a ride into the sunset with Sugar Candy Mountain.
"The Coke Dares are the core trio of Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Co. and Fake Lake is the band's 35-song, 44-minute magnum opus. Equal parts Sparks and Minutemen, Fake Lake is densely packed with smart near-prog arrangements and quirky new wave humor performed at breakneck hardcore punk speed."
Positivity is a rare commodity these days.Mythless is the most aggressively major-key-laden, percussion-heavy, heartwarming experimental music you're likely to hear. The new guitarworshiping project from Fang Island cofounder Jason Bartell is at once heavy, anthemic, pensive, and triumphantly hopeful.The debut EP Patience Hell somehow exists at the intersection of trancemetal and meditativehardcore.Driven by the shredding, dronelike drums of fellow Fang Island expat Marc St. Sauveur, Mythless flirts with the techy music of their peers, but seems to share more DNA with Enya than The Dillinger Escape Plan. The band's unabashed guitar rock exists without ego and without irony. It comes from a place deep inside. Bartell's artistic candor seems to possess a brazen joy and obliviousness to judgement, like watching a stranger in the car next to you belt out a Journey song without a care in the world. It's beautiful, and infectious.
Oneida has been a cornerstone of the Brooklyn underground for nearly two decades. Always evolving, the group has been a beacon of musical exploration and enthralling unpredictability, gaining legendary status among heads that know and expanding the limits of what it means to be a rock band. With a discography spanning over a dozen full-lengths, plus live releases, EPs, singles, and limited one-offs, Oneida has demonstrated a mastery of collective improvisation, off-kilter songwriting, complex composition, and everything in between.
The Low Anthem would beckon you into the salty sea. Formed in 2007 by Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem grew from DIY ethos to semiaccidental success. Having originally self-released "What The Crow Brings" and "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin" , the group signed with Nonesuch, toured the world, and were reluctantly lumped in with the so-called "folk revival". But night after night of performing their early material was not ultimately where they wanted to land: "The moment was losing its mystery. We were scared of becoming robots." In the winter of 2012, the group returned to their hometown of Providence, RI, with an eye toward re-exploring their musical understanding. In a newly restored vaudeville theater-studio, The Low Anthem found their direction. The band began recording in increasingly experimental and meticulous ways, resulting in the complexly experimental Eyeland . The album's release was tragically cut short after four shows due to a crippling car accident, leaving the band hospitalized and the tour cancelled. Through this journey, The Low Anthem have boiled down their musical ideals and found their true voice. The Salt Doll Went ToMeasure The Depth Of The Sea is 12 short songs, at once fragile, nuanced, honest, and delicately purposeful.
Jim White gets around. When he's not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction. His sixth solo studio album, the bizarrely titled Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, is a mind-bending joy ride of sonic influences featuring a bevy of his hometown Athens' roots musicians, plus west coast indie darlings Dead Rock West, and rock and roll maverick Holly Golightly. Prior to Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, White released five eclectic, totally uncatagorisable albums plus another six even stranger side projects. Numerous songs from his back catalog have appeared both in film and television, with his Primus-esque "Word-Mule" being featured in Breaking Bad, and more recently his cautionary rocker "Crash Into The Sun" appearing Ray McKinnon's highly praised Sundance Channel series Rectify. UK fans may recognize White as the narrator and defacto tour guide for the award winning BBC documentary, Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus, a road movie set in the rural South, which the LA Times described as "Decidedly strange, delightfully demented." Prior to becoming a musician White led an aimless, diverse life, working countless menial labor jobs: dishwasher, landscaper, lifeguard, cook, surfboard laminator, road builder, culminating with thirteen long years driving a taxi cab in New York City.White is presently at work completing a memoir, Incidental Contact, based on a series of uncanny coincidences that befell him during his days driving that taxi in New York City. Two chapters of Incidental Contact, The Bottom and Superwhite, have been published in the literary music journal Radio Silence, with Superwhite being awarded a Pushcart Prize for short fiction. White was a pro surfer. He served as literary commentator for the National Endowment of the Arts. He was a European fashion model. Samuel Beckett once played a practical joke on him. There’s lots more non linear information that doesn’t really fit the usual bio format. But that’s Jim - he gets around.
The year is 2003. The place: Seattle, Washington. In a tiny room packed some really nice gear, Jared Warren andCoady Willis recorded the first fulllength Big Business album, Head For The Shallow. Both Jared & Cody had previously recorded with Phil Ek, and really liked him as person, as well as his production sensibilities. Phil had made many records at AVAST! Studios and was right at home, which made the band feel a lot more comfortable. Says Coady, "I remember listening to the rough mixes of the O.G. in the van and getting super excited. It was sounding great, just like a real record! I still feel proud of this album. It made me feel confident that we could do more."
Jared Waren (Karp) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils) formed Big Business in 2003 in Seattle, Washington. Theirfirst fulllength album ( Head For The Shallow ) was released in 2005, followed by Here Come the Waterworks in 2007. The timeline of writing and recording Here Come the Waterworks is intertwined with the band's move to Los Angeles to play with the Melvins. Although Jared and Coady had not yet toured with the Melvins, they were living and practicing in L.A., and had just recorded (a)Senile Animal with the legendary and highly influential doom metal band. At this point, most of the songs on Here Come the Waterworks were fully formed. Big Business headed back up to Seattle to once again record with Phil Ek at AVAST! Studios. David Scott Stone was along to play guitar, with the idea that he would also become a permanent member of the band, but it became clear as recording progressed that he wasn't able to meet the strict demands of being in a touring band. Of the LP, Coady says, "I think we made a good record, the songs were starting to get a little more ambitious."
Mind the Drift is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Big Business. Jared Waren (Karp) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils) formed Big Business in 2003 in Seattle, Washington. They released their first two full length albums in 2005 (Head For The Shallow) and in 2007 (Here Come the Waterworks). At the time of the 2009 Mind the Drift release, producer/engineer extraordinaire Toshi Kasai (Willie Nelson, Foo Fighters) had been playing guitar with Big Business for a while. And in the months before the record was made, Jared and Coady had been touring pretty heavily with the Melvins. "I think we wanted to elevate the songs and make it really grand, like a Queen record," says Coady. "It's definitely thehardest record we've made to this day. The session was plagued with technical glitches from the getgo, so it felt like we never picked up any momentum. To my memory, it always felt like we were under this insane time crunch every step of the way. So as you can imagine the fun factor was pretty low. I think we learned an important lesson about how we best operate in the studio, and what we needed to have fun and feel creative and comfortable."
The mysterious tale of The Twin, the second full-length from Sound of Ceres, exists in myriad permutations: a new album, a mesmerizing live show, videos, and Alastair Reynolds short story... and others in-between. Sound of Ceres' creative cohort of authors, composers, and illusionists traveled from a snowy Alpine retreat to the outer limits of deep space to bring you The Twin. Ryan & Karen Hover, along with bandmate Jacob Graham, arrived at the Reykjavik studio of producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick) with the original mixes of what seemed like more-or-less finished songs. And then they went through a different door. Guitars and harpsichords gave way to more analog synthesizers and melodic percussion. As the music's dynamic range grew wider, timbres chilled; as more layers of vocals were woven into the background, a new twin of The Twin emerged. In concert, The Twin evolves and changes nightly; no two versions of this immersive audio-visual experience are alike. Lasers and fiber optics pierce the darkness and smoke, creating a web of ever-changing constellations. Stars, circles, and double-helixes dance around the band, bouncing off reflective costumes and outstretched hands. Responding fluidly to each unique environment where they perform, Sound of Ceres transport the audience into the heart of the great cosmos via a mystifying display of lights and effects, coupled with hypnotizing sound.
Experiencing one emotion at a time is a luxury of the past. Think back to that moment at the women's march or the pro-science rally, when you spied a small child holding a handmade sign that read "I love naps but I stay woke" or "Boys will be boys good humans" or "May the facts be with you." How adorable! How upsetting! How the hell are they going to make it to adulthood in this toxic environment?
Deerhoof is right there with you. They recognize that we are simultaneously living in two worlds, one a maniacal, mainstream monoculture hell-bent on driving humankind into extinction, the other a churning underground teeming with ideas and dogged optimism and the will to thrive and survive. Mountain Moves refutes the former by ecstatically celebrating the latter.
Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide open. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines. The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn't fit into a single, neatly-defined category - and doesn't wish to.
Originally released in the fall of 2015, Palm's debut album, Trading Basics, challenges the listener's expectations with moments of dissonance that are reigned in and precise. The pretty moments are often where the chaos is. Amid these constant and rapid changes, the band sneaks in an unrelenting, trance-inducing repetition. Recorded and mixed by Eli Crews (Deerhoof, tUnE-yArDs) at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn, the album is a confident statement that this young band has carefully crafted a unique sonic vocabulary and methodology during their short time together. Being somewhat removed from city life, and having access to a 24-hour practice space, has resulted in an unparalleled level of discipline and focus on their craft, as well as a jaw-dropping live show that is not to be missed.
Introducing, the debut solo album from the enigmatic legend that is Dale Crover.Amongst his 30+ year career as one half of the essential Melvins roster, Crover has contributed to countless albums ranging from platinum-plated classics (ahem, Nirvana) to seminal cult LPs. However, up until this point Crover's solo efforts have only appeared once in a blood moon, limited to the Melvins 1992 KISS-themed solo EP, and a couple intermittent 7" releases. The Fickle Finger Of Fate marks Crover's first calculated, full length solo effort.But let's be clear: this is not a drum record. The album features a perplexingly diverse batch of songs that recall the best moments of the Melvins catalog. With 90% of all instruments played by Crover, and recorded by longtime engineer Toshi Kasai, the album is sure to tickle the temporal lobes of Melvins devotees.Sonically, the album ranges from slightly microwaved heaviness, to surprisingly chill Pink Floyd-tinged ballads, to Max Roach-meets-Throbbing-Gristle drum experimentations, to good old fashioned Andy Kaufman-style head-fuckery.Though consistently otherworldly, The Fickle Finger Of Fate is surprisingly approachable— dare we say, catchy. But even at it's most anthemic, you won't be able to shake the feeling that a sinister ambience is hovering just beneath the surface.
Records like Psychic Temple IV aren't made anymore. Maybe they never were. There is a magic present that some mistake for "tubes" or "tape" but it's no more complicated than putting the right musicians together with the right songs.
Produced and composed by band/cult leader Chris Schlarb, Psychic Temple IV was recorded in Los Angeles over a series of eight large scale sessions. In the spirit of the classic Wrecking Crew sessions for Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, the band was often tasked with recording four songs per session. Vocals were added as soon as the rhythm section tracks were cut with British rock legend Terry Reid, Arlene Deradoorian, and Nedelle Torrisi joining Chris in the studio to work out harmony parts and sing live together.
Schlarb's melodies are soulful yet unpredictable, and yet the exploratory spirit of the first Psychic Temple album still abides. The music has been poured over with both care and abandon. There is magic in Psychic Temple IV. It's no more complicated than that.
The legendary Jad Fair has teamed up with Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and Japanese mainstays Tenniscoats to create some of the most endearing content you're likely to experience outside of an internet cat video.
'Raindrops' is fiercely adorable. Containing 85 minutes of music on limited edition 2xLP, this is simple, charming, acoustic pop at it's most feral. Tenniscoats' playful melodies and vocal coos have seemingly harnessed Jad Fair's uninhibited style, resulting in some distinctively special songs that are fragile, and oozing with positivity. Outsider art has never sounded so cute.
Jason Loewenstein has been a major force behind lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh ever since their pivotal 1991 record, "III". Along with fellow partner in crime Lou Barlow, Loewenstein has co-created some of the most influential releases in indie-rock, including the pivotal 90's albums "Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock", "Bubble & Scrape", and "Bakesale".
Way back in 2002 Jason Loewenstein released his first solo album "At Sixes And Sevens" via Sub Pop. Now 15 years later, the follow-up has finally arrived. "Spooky Action" contains 13 new songs of unwavering rock. The self-recorded, self-produced album is as solidly engaging as anything in Loewenstein's formative lineage.
Sleep Party People is the brainchild of Brian Batz, a Danish multi-instrumentalist with a boundless imagination. The one-man home recording project took shape in 2008 when Batz began experimenting with an old battered piano in his apartment. Coupled with a strange electronic alteration of his recorded voice, he created eerie, hypnotic sounds and haunting melodies forming the basis of Sleep Party People's self-titled debut album (2010).
With the release of 2012's 'We Were Drifting On A Sad Song' and 2014's 'Floating', Sleep Party People began touring as a five-piece band, gaining the attention of fans worldwide. Without the support of a U.S. label, the band was able to harness a groundswell of attention from far reaches of the globe. Throughout Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and even parts of the Middle East it's not unusual for SPP shows to draw thousands of spectators.
On June 2nd, Sleep Party People releases their first album on Joyful Noise, titled 'Lingering'. Written, recorded, produced, and performed by Batz, the new album develops beyond the band's more overtly post-rock efforts. With 'Lingering', Batz has found a voice as a unique songwriter, and has captured a singular warmth within his densely layered, futuristically choreographed instrumentation.