Archive for the ‘New Release’ Category

Trying to write while neck deep in the grind means sometimes good tunes fall through the cracks. Here I’m going to offer my inbox some relief while sharing worthy musical goodness with you lovable clickers. Five tunes not to miss coming right up!

Opeongo – tragedy

Artwork by Patrick Decourcy

Opeongo’s voice is so uniquely clear that it paints “tragedy” in bold colors.  His tone is sweet and vaguely nasal that it feels like Steve Harley, making “tragedy” feel very glam. It nods so good and demands your attention.  The lyrics tell a grim story of Canadian-indigenous genocide, but end in the potential for hope as voices like Opeongo’s try and remember history so it never repeats.  It’s gorgeous and sorrowful, and that voice will stick to you.

Listen to “tragedy”Opeongo FacebookOpeongo Bandcamp

Down With Space – We Were Strangers

“We Were Strangers” has a post-punk drum flavor and an electro agenda.  The chorus has that kind of foot-stomping energy that is completely magnetic.  The result is a pop tension that feels a lot like 1am with four drinks in the gullet, about to make a very exciting bad decision.  Vaguely nostalgic, exacerbated by the video’s visuals as the viewer perpetually leaves everything behind. There’s just something about that combination of tones that is so compelling.

We Were Strangers VideoDown With Space InstagramDown With Space Bandcamp

Lydia Persaud – Good For Us

Soulful, smooth, and cool as hell, Lydia Persaud’s “Good For Us” is the flavor of self-care and new clarity. Simple rhythm and delicate guitar let Persaud’s voice wash over and cleanse the soul as she sings the praises of time away from one’s lover. The video sees Persaud smudging away the bad vibes and spending some much-needed personal time with her besties. Send the other half out for groceries and roll out the bath bombs to melt into this one.

Good For Us VideoLydia Persaud InstagramLydia Persaud Bandcamp

John Orpheus – House of Cards (Radiohead Cover)

It’s hard to top an original, but John Orpheus gives and old favorite new breath in his Afro-pop cover of Radiohead’s “House of Cards.” Capitalizing on the original’s minimalist percussion, Orpheus adds delicate Caribbean rhythm that gives the song a new optimism. His vocals feel a bit like Phil Collins at moments. Refreshingly honest, video director Patrick Hodgson illustrates the tune with images of real couples in love, from the joyful to the mildly erotic, which capture the (often underrepresented) love shared in a long-term relationships.

House Of Cards by John Orpheus VideoJohn Orpheus InstagramJohn Orpheus Bandcamp

Agath Christ – Blood

It starts like a post-punk electro tune until the beat takes on this off-kilter syncopation that rests on the border between darkwave and electro jazz, if there is one. Noisy and tense, “Blood” is trying desperately to break through the weighted chains of our algorithmic technological oppression. “Blood” is visceral, and stressful, and so very easy to connect with if you’ve ever felt overburdened by the world as it has been engineered. Visuals show (what I interpret as) sufferers escaping their homes to find the last vestige of land free from the looming pressures of technocracy, only able to find rest by laying in the woods in snow. I get it – screens can start to feel like prison walls. Engage with this one.

Blood VideoAgath Christ InstagramAgath Christ Bandcamp

Try ’em out! Let me know what you think in the comments or hit us up on Instagram.

The Magus due out March 4th

This mustachioed magician’s new EP has left me spellbound. Peter Cat (Cat Cat) is the mostly solo project of Graham Neil Gillespie, the dapper “sophisti-popster” behind glam-o-rama hit The Saccharine Underground. Peter Cat brings his brand of wry humor and introspection to a new four track EP, entitled The Magus. I was lucky enough to get to listen to the whole shebang before release and it is fan-flipping-tastic.

It starts with “Blue Raspberry,” the second single off the EP. It’s got a dreamy surreal quality over the beat, meant to illustrate the song’s theme of projecting a fantasy and expecting it to be real. The lyrics start with a touch of meta humor and end in a melancholy that I found really easy to connect with. “Blue Raspberry” sets the tone for the rest of the EP in that The Magus balances introspection and darkness with wit and rhythm throughout the four tracks. For every chuckle, there’s an equal tug at the heart. But for every earnest admission, there’s a knife twist, too.

If Peter Cat played Skyrim…

Track two, called “The Magus” (named for the John Fowles novel) is the inspiration for the characterization you’ll hear in this song’s Billie Eilish-adjacent sprechgesang. Here, Gillespie is taking on the role of the magician as he welcomes you to his show, where he plays with both the heads and the hearts of his victims. It grows atmospheric and tense before exploding into delicious baroque pop.

The EP’s biggest star is also its first single – “Melon Dating Simulator.” It is an instant head-bopper with an absurd twist. Again, the speaker is willing to skewer himself for his bad behaviors, but now he has found his other half in the form of fruit, inspired by Gillespie playing (and having high praise for) a dating simulation game called Superstorm Melon Date. Insert a series of puns and a vaguely dystopian atmosphere, and this one is a certified earworm. Listen for the one off-beat Meyers-Briggs joke that makes me cackle every time I hear it. It’s so very sing-able that I have subjected it to dozens of people in my day job who are forced to listen to me (to which I respond “yer welcome.”

Closer “Disappearing Act,” starts with a piano cabaret-type tune that illustrates when the singer is reasoning with a lover versus narrating his actual intentions. It lends itself so beautifully to a theatrical visual (in my mind), complete with 2d urban backdrops backdrops and the depressing glow of a street lamp. The main character is revealed to be just another manipulative bottom-feeder of relationships, who gloats out the side of his mouth about how he patronizes his lovers so he never has to face himself. Behind it reveals the emptiness that causes such a chasm where a decent man would otherwise be. The piano grows moodier as it takes on more finality and the EP is carried to an end.

All in all, it feels like a piece of theater, lends itself to fun mental visuals, and carries an EP-long narrative if you look for it. I keep being struck about my own willingness to empathize with the character speaking in these songs even though it would be misery to be in a relationship with that kind of person. It all makes my brain go tingle, and that makes me happy.

This EP is not to be missed. Peter Cat play shows around Glasgow so definitely check ’em out if you’re lucky enough to be in Europe. I would love to hear how these tunes sound live, but alas, I live across an ocean from where they play, so let’s cross our fingers and hope for a stateside visit one day. The Magus comes out on March 4th – GO GET IT!

I also got the chance to have a brief 1-on-1 with the man himself. We will have that up for you soon!

Peter Cat Cat Cat Instagram

Peter Cat’s Bandcamp

Peter Cat’s Official Website

Altameda, the nom de tune of Edmonton (Alberta) duo Troy Snaterse and Erik Grice, are launching a new album in April entitled Born Losers. From this album comes this driving Springsteen-ey track “Nightmare Town.” This upbeat ditty tells the irrational dreams of an angsty youth that thinks he would do almost anything to get out and start his adulthood. He recounts fantasies and memories that ring of youthful freedom. It’s got that kind of foot-stomping beat that is classically North American rock. For me, it calls up imagery of warm spring nights in the suburbs, corner-store sodas, and dusklight games of hide-and-seek. It’s got a really solid blend of piano and vocal that feels wistful but not quite desperate. Compared to the similar story in Tracy Chapman’s classic “Fast Car,” “Nightmare Town” is less of a plan and more of a wish. I get the sense that the young protagonist does more dreaming than doing, a recipe for unfulfilled wanderlust that feels more like cruising down the highway on a road trip than running away. It has some vague hope underneath, even though it is a reminder of how I used to look at my hometown through brown-colored glasses, as I now shop for houses in that same town. Oh, life. A good listen, check ’em out.

Altameda Instagram 

 Altameda Twitter 

 Altameda’s Website

Les Cooper Himself

Les Cooper a Toronto’ based producer, mixer, multi-instrumentalist, JUNO award winner, and very cool name haver, has released his debut single, “Stranger.” It starts with buzzy tones before Les’s haunting vocal slides into consciousness. Layers upon layers of swirling instrumentation weave through Cooper’s mellow voice. The speaker of the song seems to carry a very intense and public hurt as it tells the pain of feeling left behind after someone else’s success: Everyone will say that you’re the one that shook them up/the one that tore them down. There is a sense of the speaker struggling through this rawness as they encounter this person’s exploits in other places: Everyone may write about the things you did, the lies you told, the hearts you broke. I get the sense that the hurt may be public, but the speaker feels quite invisible, like they’re the one becoming a stranger. It’s a good atmospheric mellow. I wonder what he’ll come up with next.

Listen to “Stranger” on your preferred platform

Les Cooper Instagram

This song makes me woozy and a little tense, in all the ways a really engaging piece of experimental music should. “God Complex,” is the newest release by chamber pop trio Gentle Party. The song starts off with breathy vocal notes that posit a tonal wondering. The song becomes lush and delicate like an edible flower, and it stays in the back of your mind, strumming its inquisition. Then the lyrics come in and ask the most frustrating question every fan of everything has had to ask themselves in the last few years – can you separate art from artist? But it’s no matter – God Complex is less about answering the question and more about pointing a finger at every fake and fraud that begs forgiveness because they got caught. And in that, they may be a “gentle” party, but “please forgive me while you pray at my feet” is a statement wrapped in barbed wire scraping the bleeding arms of the patriarchy. “I hope you diligently pray” is a beautifully veiled threat.

The video expresses the concept in a gorgeously surreal narrative as the “god” and his black hands play paper doll with the otherwise powerless protagonist. She’s caught in the narrative of a figure that admires her beauty but controls her every move when he’s not swallowing her whole in his palm. He adorns her life with symbols of control like crucifixes, instruments of torture, and chess pieces. A couple of moments make me wonder if he thinks himself Zeus, and his doll an amalgamation of his many wives represented by many legs. Either way, it’s gorgeous, start to finish.

Time to rant: Does an artist deserve to be separated from their art? This question has been bugging the funk out of all of feminists for eternity and everyone else since #MeToo. I struggle with this as someone who LOVES a lot of art from men. I’ve been let down by so many artists, ones that I really connected with and whose art has illustrated pivotal moments of my life. I’ve navigated that with all of the same dissonance. I can never forgive some performers, but I can forgive others once I weigh my discomfort with their crimes. I try to forget some songs and consider others guilty pleasures. There are performers who go unscathed despite multiple reports of violence, and I watch them and seethe. And then there are performers now that would deeply hurt me if they ended up #MeToo-ing someone. I force myself to keep remembering to “kill my idols” but it is so hard when the voices that often speak to me belong to to the same half of humanity that commits 97% of sexual violence.

“God Complex” is the second single from the upcoming album God Complex, hitting the ground on February 17th. Check them out!

Gentleparty.com

Gentle Party Youtube

Gentle Party Instagram

Pinc Wafer – New Single “0%”

Posted: January 12, 2022 by Kat Meow in Kat, Music, New Release, pinc wafer, Single
Tags: , ,

Glasgow artist Pinc Wafer’s newest track, his first since his dreamy Needed EP, is a crisp lo-fi constitutional through the struggles of managing a relationship through problematic drinking. Not unlike a good brandy, “0%” wraps you in its smoothness, but finds a moment midway to add a little gravity to the groove. It’s a worthy track for your chillout playlist.

0% by Pinc Wafer on Bandcamp

Pinc Wafer on Soundcloud

Pinc Wafer on Youtube

Happy to share another artist feature, time is hard to come by lately but I couldn’t resist this one. (Sorry to those who have been writing for placement!)

Fred Jeske, a music man who wears many a hat, I have been fortunate enough to get to know a bit over the past few years. We’ve nerded out over some topics, shared some of our art with each other, etc etc. That is one of the beauties of creating is that you get the chance to meet many people you never normally would. So, with this being said, I promised Fred an artist feature and am happy to oblige. He has a lot going on with music and the label, (Rescord), he has been associated with for over 3 decades has just released a 35th anniversary boxset! How rad is that? (And, thanks Fred for the complimentary box.) Anyways, here is what he had to say in his own colorful way… <Thanks for reading>

“Here goes! An in the moment interpretation of… Oh Man Wow!

Oh Man Wow! was released on Halloween. The power prog alternative release encapsulates 35 years of recording from Rescord; a San Francisco and Chicago based label that introduced their journey on Halloween, 1986 with a live show.

Back then, Joe Maydak, Sam Schauer and Fred Jeske had just released their first cassette under the name of The Fabulous Welts. From that point up to present, Rescord has released many cassettes, CDs and a vinyl release. Including bands – 1000 Weeks, AAA Battery and Conduit of Humanity. Oh Man Wow! brings this diverse and eclectic collection full circle, albeit a departure in theme and approach. Oh Man Wow! is also included in the 6-disc 35th Anniversary box set; both available on Bandcamp – https://ohmanwow.bandcamp.com/releases – Oh Man Wow! Is mixed and produced by Joe Maydak and Blinker the Star’s Jordon Zadorozny! Lyrics contain personal stories from Fred and Joe. Bryan Ray from Wicked Fools provides the high powered vocals throughout plus raw and sonic guitar solos. Fred recorded rhythm guitars along with Sam Schauer, original writer. Joe performs all bass tracks with his brand attack and Jerry Pellizzer, Conduit of Humanity drummer, creates a powerful beat to the onslaught. Guest guitars by David Ziegler, Rich and Joy Randall as Rescord kept with the theme of artist inclusion, reminiscent of their current Conduit project.” – Available on Bandcamp, (CD and digital), Apple Music and Spotify.

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))

Anna Azarov Photography

New single, “Simulation” out now!

“Simulation” is the anthem of anti-overnight success to a band that has gone viral – the thing most bands strive for these days. The lead singer Pat left his full-time salaried job at Google (the dream job most hope for) in which he got an expensive degree to which he worked, failed, stumbled, fell, but ultimately achieved because of perseverance and the help of mentors guiding through each pitfall. They quit everything from the advice of a record label that has yet to sign them. 

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))

Sometimes the smallest action can alter an entire existence. That certainly has been the case in the creative life of singer/songwriter WILL VAN DYKE. An established musician in the theatrical world of New York City, VAN DYKE was looking for collaborators when an email from lyricist and playwright Jeff Talbott appeared in his inbox. Like Elton John finding Bernie Taupin at the right moment, these two paths crossing would launch a strong and lasting songwriting partnership that culminates in the release of VAN DYKE’s debut solo EP, THE MAYOR.

Billed as a collection of songs that combine personal stories with folklore-like fables, THE MAYOR accentuates the creative chemistry that VAN DYKE and Talbott have been building for the past eight years. From the first line of “You’ll Never Hear the Sound,” the story of a chance encounter that helps a man take control of his own destiny, you can feel the power of VAN DYKE as an artist finally lending his voice to his music.

In talking about the song VAN DYKE explains, “I really wanted to start the EP off with a musical journey as much as an emotional one. So, this song starts very acoustic, but gradually builds in the power-pop flare that this whole collection really embodies.” The songwriting duo knew the song was the perfect way to start the record off. “A sung story about a person finding the strength of their own voice is the ideal introduction for a singer/songwriter doing the exact same thing,” continues Talbott.

Talbott’s email was not the first such missive to change VAN DYKE’s creative career. Born in Atlanta, GA and moving to Boston around high school (with a very brief stop in Rochester, NY between), VAN DYKE was 18 when he moved to New York to attend NYU. He grew up studying classical piano, but loved theater as well as rock and roll, and was confused and unfocused upon his arrival in the city. “Being gay, and dealing with all the things that come with that, it was not until I got to New York that I realized how the things I loved could intersect,” says VAN DYKE. Then he wrote an email of his own that would change his whole life and help define the path he would take.

He reached out to established composer Andrew Lippa, who, through an internship, shepherded VAN DYKE into the theater industry and gave him the push he needed to start writing. At 22, he hit the road with the first National Tour of Wicked playing the piano. After a brief stint on a National Tour of Grease starring Taylor Hicks, he landed his first Broadway gig, The Addams Family. Jumping from The Addams Family to Rent led him to  Kinky Boots, where he was part of the music team with Cyndi Lauper. The relationships built on Kinky Boots led to the musical version of Pretty Woman and working with Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Currently, VAN DYKE is the music supervisor of Little Shop of Horrors, for which he also served as orchestrator and arranger. He was nominated for a  Grammy® Award in 2020 for his work on the Little Shop of Horrors cast recording…

Quite an adventure that continues to unfold!

STREAM/PURCHASE

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))

HUDSON VALLEY ROOTS ROCKERS LARA HOPE & THE ARK-TONES RETURN TO TEAR IT UP WITH THEIR ROLLICKING THIRD ALBUM,
 HERE TO TELL THE TALE, DUE JUNE 25 VIA SOWER RECORDS (CD/DIGITAL) AND CRAZY LOVE RECORDS (VINYL)

After rocking the road with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Blasters,
the Reverend Horton Heat, and Tiger Army, 
this Catskills quartet has reemerged with their strongest, most rip-roaring release to date.


KINGSTON, N.Y. — Ask anyone who’s caught them live and you’ll hear the same thing: It’s simply impossible to see Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones perform and not have a great time. A smile on the lips, a swivel in the hips, and an earful of snappy tunes are the inevitable takeaways from any Ark-Tones appearance. The band’s singular blend of rock ‘n’ roll, country, blues, surf, Western swing, rockabilly, folk, pop, and jazzy rhythm & blues gets feet a-moving and hands a-clapping no matter the audience. By the end of the night, if they weren’t already, those lucky concertgoers are rabid fans.

From behind her trademark red cat-eye frames, Lara, winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, fills any hall that she and the Ark-Tones play. Her neon-bright, bigger-than-life persona is matched only by the outsized power of her towering voice, an instrument that moves effortlessly between big-stage belting and sexy, sultry crooning. Alongside Lara, the ace Ark-Tones know innately how to complement the leader and singer-songwriter’s dynamic vocal presence, both before an audience and in the studio: Double bassist Matt “The Knife” Goldpaugh, lead guitarist Eddie Rion, and drummer Jeremy Boniello keep the train rocketing down the rails, making moody detours whenever the songs call for them. Want an illustration of an act that knows its craft? Here to Tell the Tale, the band’s red-hot third album, is diamond-hard proof. In spades.

“Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones’ records and live performances capture, and release, the spirit of the original rockabilly and country bands that I have listened to and enjoyed for most of my life,” says Tony Garnier, Bob Dylan’s long-time bassist and a devout devotee of the group. “And my two boys, who are 10 and 13 and are [otherwise] glued to Top 40 radio, are also huge fans.”

Garnier is by no means alone in his praise for the quartet’s sound. “A beguiling chanteuse, Lara swirls with facility from sonorous swinging to purred intimations to powerhouse, knock-down-drag-out rock ’n’ roll,” says No Depression, while PopDose calls their music “a damned fine gathering of real, American rock ’n’ roll — the way it was meant to be played — with fun and passion.”

One listen to the all-originals Here to Tell the Tale shows just how true that is. After blasting out of the box with “Let’s Go,” a high-octane shot of the band’s steadfast sound, the 11-song disc spins further out with new gems like the lush, haunting “It’s a Crime.” The rousing “Some Advice” is a playful poke at the generation gap complete with hilarious voicemails from Lara’s mom, and the simmering sax of Hayden Cummings of the Kings of Nuthin’. (Another album guest is keyboardist Matt Jordan, sideman to Stray Cat Lee Rocker and Reverend Horton Heat.) The raucous title track, an anthem of steadfast determination, came to Lara after a 2019 tour fall that shattered her leg but didn’t stop her — three metal rods, twenty-three screws, and a few weeks later, she and the Ark-Tones were back out again, doing regional shows.

If there’s a theme to Here to Tell the Tale, it’s one of not holding back or being afraid of following your personal path. “It’s about getting out and living your life, creating new memories, for good or for bad, and having experiences that you just couldn’t have had otherwise,” explains Lara. “Having your own tale to tell.”

https://www.larahopeandtheark-tones.com

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))