Grand Rapids' Major Murphy is set to release their debut full-length No. 1 this year. Brimming with jangly guitar, bright riffs, synth-sheened grooves, and commanding backing vocals, No. 1 reimagines 1970s radio rock with bristling sensitivity for our present era. Not quite pastiche, the lyrics of songwriter Jacob Bullard come from millennials' unique cache of societal anxiety and ego-crises. The album's musical sensibilities catch all this with A-side's sudden velocity and mechanical repetitions, and B side's encouraging grooves and contemplative soft-rock. The sound is rich and evocative, owing in large measure to bassist Jacki Warren's faculty for harmonic structure. Drummer Brian Voortman's keen responsiveness to melodic progressions and emotional shifts make for concert-like, energetic recordings--in fact, most of No. 1 was recorded live, capturing how naturally Major Murphy makes music together. The result is an album that holds the kinetic charge of these three musicians. With precise control and live versatility, they never quite let the tension out. Even their dreamy soft-rock tracks have moments that feel utterly urgent, as if something dear were at stake. And isn't there? Major Murphy's No. 1 releases via Winspear on March 30, 2018.
Duncan Kissinger is a 25-year-old, Indianapolis, IN native that captures moments in time and turns them into songs. Crafting his music with the simplest of instrumentation, Duncan gives his songs room to breathe, to think, without ever indulgently dragging out his arrangements. His new album, Make Time Stop, is a collection of nuanced moments from Duncan's life, replayed and reflected upon in verse.
With this record, Duncan attempts to hold himself accountable for the first time. It's a record about love and how hard it is to know about love. These songs are moments, urges, impulses, reflections on what’s happening as it's happening. Make Time Stop is meant to empower others to place more value on individual moments and embrace emotion and intuition as the truest thing we have.
It's either her second album or her ninth, depending on how you count, which means Amy O is both a new artist and a veteran. Growing up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she taught herself to play guitar and write songs, eventually recording a series of lo-fi albums as she moved around the country for college and work. The endeavor was more about her own experience: the thrill and the discipline of making art. "Songwriting became a way for me to process things and make sense of my life. I got hooked on it emotionally."
Today, Amy's songwriting processes remains the same. 'Elastic' is an album about learning to live in your own inescapable skin- a challenge that defines not just Amy's life, but everybody's existence. Identifying that universal truth has shaped Amy into an exciting and insightful artist, one who is no longer making music for herself but is working to command whatever stage she steps onto. "I always had an aversion to being a girl onstage with a guitar singing quiet songs. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but I always knew I wanted to do something with a bit more volume, a bit more anger. I'm just now figuring out how to represent myself, and I think a lot of that has to do with feminism- learning how to be loud and take over a room, when those are things I've been socialized not to do. It's been a very powerful realization that I can do that."
LUV IN THE RUINS is the third release from CARE and their second with Winspear. The album interrogates the abusive interval of "love" and "struck," posing a critique of self-crucifixion and those whom culture has coronated with the privilege to resurrect. Though much of LUV IN THE RUINS was written and recorded in Grand Rapids, MI, CARE currently resides in Queens, NY. The record has garnered much praise for it's dark and unique sound. Ian Cohen for SPIN says "this kind of melodramatic, genre-absorptive oversharing is probably emo's future," and Stereogum says "Majetich fills that vast space with textures that are as wide-ranging and volatile as the emotions he's attempting to work through, and the way he processes the end of a relationship feels brazen and painful."
On & Off Again is the follow up to Major Murphy's 2015 EP Future Release. The new EP finds lead singer and songwriter, Jacob Bullard, hashing out variations on a familiar theme. The title itself, On & Off Again, implies a repetitive motion, and likewise the EP fixates itself on recycling chord progressions and melodies. The two video singles from the EP, "On & Off" and "Oceans," are both repurposed as instrumental arrangements. The main "On & Off" theme is repeated in "On & Off Again," but this time with a new chilled out tempo & atmosphere. "Oceans" is rehashed as the chaotic & sprawling jam-out "Over Everything."
On & Off Again comes out July 14th via Winspear. Debut full length expected Spring 2018.