Divino Nino's new album Foam feels like catching up with a lifelong friend. There's undeniable songwriting chemistry between guitarist Camilo Medina and bassist Javier Forero, who met as kids in Bogota, Colombia and years later reconnected by sheer happenstance after their families had both moved to Miami. Both studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where they met guitarist Guillermo Rodriguez and eventually Drummer Pierce Codina. Now Chicagoans, their rhythmic, soulful - and at times bilingual - Latinx punk songs are a reflection of their continent-spanning bond and proof that Divino Nino couldn’t have formed without unlikely but happy coincidences.
The ten tracks on Foam feature wistfully romantic lyrics like the yearning plea on the title track ("I really wanna run away with you"), and sunny, honeyed arrangements. Songs like "Quiero" trade-off between English and Spanish with woozy guitars and harmonies anchoring the sweetness of the lyrics. The quartet's Latin American roots seep in throughout the LP's silky psychedelic flourishes but especially on single "Maria," which is sung entirely in Spanish. Inspired in equal parts by Argentine punk and the narratives of Mexican telenovelas, the personality-filled track is one of the most memorable on the record.
Inclusivity is at the heart of Barrie, the Brooklyn five-piece made of Barrie Lindsay, Dominic Apa, Spurge Carter, Sabine Holler and Noah Prebish. And on their debut LP Happy To Be Here, their multidimensional take on classic pop sounds awake and present, like a group that's daydreaming but firmly there with one another. Barrie, the band, is primarily her project; on the record, which she co-produced with Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear), Lindsay plays guitar, piano, synth and bass. But still, Barrie is distinctly not a solo project, and Happy To Be Here-out May 3, 2019 via Winspear-is very much a full band record.
Happy To Be Here offers snapshots of the band coming together in the city, after having lived all over: Boston, Baltimore, upstate New York, London, SÃ£o Paulo via Berlin. "The scaffolding of this album is moving to New York and finding these people that make up the band," Barrie says. "We're very different, but we cover each other's gaps personally and creatively, and are eager to learn from each other."
Major Murphy follows up their debut long play 'No. 1' with a set of bedroom recordings archiving a time when Jacob Bullard was discovering his voice as a songwriter and the band was finding their footing within that space. Named after the house in Grand Rapids, MI that many of these songs were written and recorded in, the Lafayette EP chronicles a liminal space as the project transitioned from a stripped-down, solo project toward a three-piece rock band. The porches and walls of this house on Lafayette Avenue was a natural space for creativity and collaboration, a space where the band recorded early versions of Major Murphy standards that would eventually be taken into the studio to create their debut album. Listening to these tracks is almost like walking past the Lafayette house on a breezy Fall morning, hearing the songs spilling out the windows and down the street. Venture to peer through a window and you just might catch a glimpse of the magic.
Club Dread is not club music. The production on Majetic's new album alludes to various dance genres but never quite embodies them. Similarly, the characters populating its ten twilit tracks orbit the nightlife without taking to the dance floor. Amorphous and peripheral, it's music for the sidewalks adjacent the club-a score for the bittersweet comedowns. Club Dread marks a transition for Majetic. Formerly configured as a band, the project has exchanged the name CARE for something more emblematic of its singular producer, Justin Majetich. The palette's changed too. Majetic has built Club Dread, his third LP, almost entirely out of electronics. The result is agile and restrained-a sleeker vessel for the songwriter's vivid lyricism and emotive pitch. Club Dread was conceived in Oakland, California, and though Majetic wrote and recorded much of the album upon returning to his home in Queens, New York, the Bay Area provides a setting for its fractured narratives. There's a glimmer of the Bay's natural beauty evoked in its open, gilded moments. There's also an awareness of the racial and economic disparity run rampant against this idyllic backdrop. Majetic's Club Dread will be released November 2, 2018 on Winspear
Barrie, Dom, Noah, Sabine, and Spurge - collectively known as Barrie - began releasing music together in the early months of 2018. Their first single, "Canyons," arrived in February, quickly resonating with fans of ambient, dreamy pop. It wasn't until June that the group shared their second single "Tal Uno," a shimmering tune that recalls 80s synth tones and features haunting vocal melodies. The third and final single in the series, "Michigan," also features a shift in production style, this time opting for the more traditional rock-band instrumentation of drums and guitar.
Collected together for a 12" release with Winspear, the 3 singles make up side A. For the B-Side of the record, the group wanted to involve the work of some friends from the Brooklyn house and techno community. FaltyDL & Shura, who Barrie met through The Lot Radio, handled a downtempo remix of "Canyons," while Brother Michael, a long-time friend and engineer, remixed "Michigan."
Singles 12" is out October 12, 2018 via Winspear.
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.