Category: New Audio

Formed by its founding and primary member Christopher Crisi, the Lawrence, KS-based indie rock act The Appleseed Cast has over the course of 20 years and 7 full-length efforts developed a reputation for constantly changing lineups — while subtly refining and honing the sound that won the band major acclaim in the early 2000s and onward; in fact, the band’s seminal work Low Level Owl, Vol I and Vol II received a 9.0 from Pitchfork and it was followed by the critically applauded release of Two ConversationsPeregrineIllumination Ritual and several others for a sound that at one point or another had been compared to the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral and others as their material has meshed post-punk, emo rock, punk rock, shoegaze  with anthemic hooks, as the band’s current lineup featuring touring musicians Ben Kimball, Nick Fredrickson and several others.

Throughout October and November, the members of The Appleseed Cast will be on tour with the Beverly, MA-based sextet Caspian, who to only are making their last tour stops to support their 2015 release Dust and Disquiet; but the Beverly, MA-based band has also publicly cited Crisi and The Appleseed Cast as a major influence on their sound. And with the announcement of the tour, the Lawrence, KS-based project released their latest single “Great Lake Derelict,” a propulsive track that pairs shimmering guitar chords, played through gentle amounts of reverb, soaring synths, plaintive vocals and arena rock friendly anthemic hooks in a song that manages to possess intimate and earnest emotion while being cinematic.

As for the tour, check out the tour dates below. You’ll see that it’ll include a mid-November stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Caspian + The Appleseed Cast 2016 tour dates
10.22 · Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel (tickets)
10.23 · Raleigh, NC – Kings (tickets)
10.24 · Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (tickets)
10.25 · Nashville, TN – Exit/In (tickets)
10.27 · Houston, TX – Studio @ Warehouse Live (tickets)
10.28 · Austin, TX – Sidewinder (tickets)
10.30 · Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge (tickets)
11.01 · Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom (tickets)
11.02 · San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall (tickets)
11.04 · Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios (tickets)
11.05 · Seattle, WA – Neumo’s (tickets)
11.08 · Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge (tickets)
11.09 · Denver, CO – Marquis Theater (tickets)
11.11 · Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room (tickets)
11.12 · St. Louis, MO – Firebird (tickets)
11.13 · Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall (tickets)
11.14 · Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme (tickets)
11.15 · Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace (tickets)
11.16 · Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (tickets)
11.17 · Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets)
11.18 · Boston, MA – Royale (tickets)
11.19 · Montreal, QC – Le Ritz (tickets)



Initially began under the name Viet Cong, the Calgary, Alberta-based quartet Preoccupations can trace their origins to an extremely complicated six degrees of musical and personal separation as the band is comprised of two childhood friends, Matt Flegel (bass, vocals) and Mike Wallace (bass), who also were once members of Women;  Scott Munro (guitar) and Flegel were once members of Chad VanGaalen’s backing band — and while on tour with VanGaalen they had frequently discussed collaborating on a project together; and lastly, Daniel Christiansen (guitar) had once played in a Black Sabbath cover band with Siegel, Wallace,  and other members of Women.

Throughout 2015, as the band was still named Viet Cong, the members of the band unwittingly found themselves in the midst of an ongoing conversation about cultural appropriate and questions about associating oneself with names that evoke the horrors of fascism, terrorism, brutality, war, etc.  And naturally, as a result of the surrounding controversy, the members of the band decided that a name change was absolutely necessary and after some reflection and consideration, they announced that they would now be known as Preoccupations. Interestingly, as the band mentioned in press notes, when they reconvened to write the material that would eventually comprise their self-titled effort as Preoccupations, they had found themselves in a rather unsteady and uncertain state. Years-long relationships had ended and the members of the band all relocated to different cities, which made their long-held creative process of using the experiences of the road to inspire their writing extremely difficult. And when the band entered the studio without a having a central idea to consider or to guide their writing process, each member of the Calgary-based quartet recognized that for this effort, they were all about to take a collective leap of faith in which they at least had each other — and in many ways the material on the album captures the band in profound transition and feeling their way out of it as best as they could.

Interestingly, as the band’s frontman Matt Flegel explained in press notes, the album’s material draws from very specific things — the sort of things that has most people up all night, fraught with anxiety and despair. The album’s first single “Anxiety,” is as Flegel explained about the the process of natural and forced change upon the band, while on another level, the song captures the uncertain and uneasy push and pull of human relationships, including the bitterness, regret, ambivalence, frustration and self-doubt they engender. Sonically, the song possesses a subtly atmospheric sheen while further cementing their reputation for crafting tense and angular post punk that draws from Joy Division and others.

The self-titled album’s second single “Degraded” pairs their tense and angular song with what may arguably be the possess the most straightforward and hook-friendly song structure they’ve written to date; however, the song lyrically reveals itself to be full of bilious accusation and recrimination, ill-feeling and seems to evoke a relationship slowly splintering at its core, complete with the realization that as a result the relationship will be irrevocably altered; but simultaneously being a plaintive and urgent plea for understanding, for forgiveness, for the dysfunctional train ride to just stop.  Sonically, the band employs synths to give their already tense material a subtle atmospheric feel much like “Anxiety;” however, the album’s latest single pushes that feeling of anxiety outward so that it becomes an enveloping fog.


The band is in the middle of a lengthy world tour, which includes a second New York area stop at Warsaw in October. Check out the tour dates below.

World Tour Dates

08.21.16 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX *

08.22.16 – Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX *

08.24.16 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX *

08.28.16 – FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA

08.29.16 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA *

08.30.16 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA *

09.01.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.02.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.28.16 – The Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

10.01.16 – Mac Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB ^

10.03.16 – WECC – Winnipeg, MB ^

10.04.16 – Fine Line Music Cafe – Minneapolis, Mn ^

10.05.16 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, Il ^

10.07.16 – Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, Mi ^

10.08.16 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON ^

10.11.16   Virgin Mobile Corona Theater   Montreal, QC ^

10.12.16 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, Ma ^

10.14.16 – Warsaw – Brooklyn NY ^

10.15.16 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, Pa ^

10.16.16 – Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington DC ^

10.18.16 – Masquerade – Atlanta, Ga ^

10.19.16 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, La ^

10.21.16 – The Mohawk – Austin, Tx ^

10.25.16 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, Az ^

10.26.16 – The Irenic – San Diego, Ca ^

10.28.16 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, Ca ^

10.29.16 – The Independent – San Francisco, Ca

11.02.16 – Neumos – Seattle, Wa ^

11.05.15 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK

11.06.16 – Gorilla – Manchester, UK

11.07.16 – Oval Space – London, UK

11.08.16 – Exchange – Bristol, UK

11.09.16 – The Haunt – Brighton, UK

11.10.16 – Le Guess Who Festival – Utrecht, NL

11.12.16 – Botanique – Brussels, BE

11.14.16 – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, DK

11.15.16 – Molotow – Hamburg, DE

11.18.16 – Musiques Volantes Festival – Metz, FR

11.21.16 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg, FR

11.22.16 – Klaus – Zurich, CH

11.23.16 – Magnolia – Milan, IT

11.24.16 – Quirinetta – Rome, IT

11.25.16 – Locomotiv –  Bologna, IT

11.26.16 – Suprette Festival – Neuchatel, CH

11.28.16 – Luxor – Cologne, DE

^ w/ Methyl Ethel

* w/ Explosions In The Sky



As I’ve mentioned a number of times throughout the history of this site, I’m often multitasking while working on blog posts and as a result I frequently wind up serendipitously discovering new things to write about for the site; in this case, I stumbled across a young, up-and-coming DJ and producer, DJ Mestizo‘s contemporary funk, disco and boogie mixtape Unfadable MF (Modern Funk) and make no mistake, the mixtape is a collection of funk that would make The Whispers, George ClintonDam-Funk and others extremely proud.

Initially comprised of Dan Klein (vocals), Chuck Patel (organ, piano), Rich Terrana (drums, vocals) and Preet (bass, vocals), along with Norihiro Kikuta (guitar) and Mike Torres (percussion), Queens-based act The Frightnrs have developed a reputation across the city’s DIY and soundsystem scenes for an aesthetic that draws from Jamaican Rocksteady, a revered genre that took over Jamaican airwaves in 1967 and yielding some of the country’s most beloved and popular songs before petering out by the end of 1968, 80s Rub A Dub, punk rock, ska and reggae in a way that’s a subtle redefinition of what a contemporary reggae act can sound like. In fact, the act’s debut effort received airplay from reggae and radio legend David “Ram Jam” Roddigan and Mad Decent’s Diplo, who later released the band’s EP last year.

After the release of their EP, renowned New York-based funk and soul label Daptone Records released the band’s critically acclaimed cover of Etta James‘ “I’d Rather Go Blind” before officially signing the band as their first reggae signing based on two things — the strength of their local reputation and on the fact that they stumbled on to the perfect band to a long desired Rocksteady album, with Victor Axelrod, best known as Ticklah behind the dials and knobs. As the band’s Chuck Patel explains in press notes “Rocksteady was the first style of Jamaican music that Dan [Klein] and me fell in love with, and the idea of making a classic album for a classic label like Daptone was a dream come true.”  As soon as the band was officially signed, the members of the band immediately went to work with the understanding that they had to work within Daptone Records’ tight frame and constraints — mainly they had to write only Rocksteady songs, which forced the band to display a singular focus. In fact, as Axelrod adds “The fact that the direction of the album was determined by it being a Daptone record was crucial.  We wanted to make a solid and cohesive record and so chose songs that most fit the Daptone aesthetic and the result was the best music that Dan and the Frightnrs had ever made with truly expanded levels of creativity.”

Sadly as the band was recording their full-length debut effort Nothing Left to Say, which is slated for a September 2, 2016 release, the band’s frontman and co-founding member Dan Klein was diagnosed with ALS in last November and although he was able to finish the major work during the recording sessions, Klein tragically died last month making the recorded effort a testament to their friend and founder. As for the album’s first single, album title track “Nothing More To Say,” the track reminds me of the sort of stuff I’d hear during Dahved Levy‘s WBLS radio show. And although the song possesses an upbeat, bouncy riddim, the song is actually a bitter and aching lament from the song’s narrator about being devoted to a fickle and difficult lover, who may not have even loved him anyway — and as you can imagine the song’s narrator quickly recognizes that his relationship with this person was a lie. So he vows to pack up his stuff and go — and go as quickly as possible. Certainly, I’ve been there a couple of times as you have, and the song voices the bitter sense of confusion, heartache, regret and foolishness we’ve all felt at some point or another because of love.




With the release of their previous singles “Patterns” and “Kitsune,” South Devon, UK-based shoegaze/indie rock duo Matthew and Me, comprised of Matthew Board (vocals, guitar) and Lucy Fawcett (drums) hve developed a reputation across the UK for a sound that draws from the delicate soundscapes of Sigur Ros, Mogwai and others; in fact, received airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, XFM — and as a result, they’ve played some of Britain’s largest festivals including Field Day, Somersault, Port Eliot, and Glastonbury.

The duo’s latest single “Joy” is a slow-burning and expansive song that begins with a lengthy yet delicate and hazy introduction in which Board’s aching falsetto is paired with shimmering and swirling guitar chords and gently padded drumming in a hauntingly gorgeous arrangement that reveals a deliberate and deeply conscientious nature — with each individual note feeling as though it were a painter’s brushstroke adding color and texture to the entire soundscape before concluding with a thundering cacophony (that peters out into a slow fade out). While sonically bearing a resemblance to Sigur Ros and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, the song manages to posses an aching and woozy spiritual yearning for something much larger at its core.





If you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d know that over the past 18-24 months or so, New York-based electro pop duo Sofi Tukker have become blogosphere darlings, as well as JOVM mainstay artists. And over the course of that time, the electro pop duo comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern have developed a national profile for crafting accessible, pop-leaning world music, meant to reach as wide of an audience as humanly possible. 

The duo’s released much-anticipated debut EP Soft Animals was released last week and several singles off the EP have been written about here and elsewhere; in fact, if you had stumbled across this site towards the end of last month, you may have seen a post on “Awoo” is a mischievous collaboration with vocalist Betta Lemme that pairs propulsive and tribal drum samples with samba-styled keys. Lemme and Hawley-Weld’s contribute sultry vocals and gleeful, child-like shouting — as though they were losing their minds to the song in the club. The EP’s latest single “Moon Tattoo” is a breezy song that possesses elements of classic house music and tribal house in a slow-burning and sensual song that also sounds as though it owes a debt to Quiet Storm-era R&B while playfully hinting at salsa.

Sofi Tukker is embarking on a lengthy series of tour dates — some opening for M83 and a number of headlining shows, including a hometown set at Baby’s All Right  at the end of July. Catch them at a music venue near you.

Tour Dates:

Supporting M83*

July 15 – Salacgriva, Latvia @ Positivus Festival (TICKETS)

July 17 – One Love Festival Istanbul (TICKETS)

July 20 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre (w/ Chairlift) (TICKETS)*

July 21 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (w/ Chairlift) (TICKETS)

July 25 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant (TICKETS)*

July 27 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove (TICKETS)*

July 28 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre* (SOLD OUT)

July 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (TICKETS)

August 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Popscene at Rickshaw Stop (TICKETS)

August 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Pershing Square (w/ Todd Rundgren) (FREE SHOW)

Comprised of founding member and frontman Jon Wirtz (keys),  Eric Imbrosciano (drums), Taylor Scott (guitar) and Todd Edmunds (bass), both of whom have worked with Otis Taylor, Gabriel Mervine (trumpet) and The Motet‘s Matt Pitts (tenor sax), the Denver, CO-based psychedelic funk sextet Space Orphan can trace their origins to early 2015 the act’s founding member had been hitting creative roadblocks with various solo projects when he was reminded of what made him excited about music and creating music — deep funky grooves. After writing a few compositions, he rushed into the studio with the aforementioned group of collaborators and dear friends to finish the songs and record them before Wirtz could overanalyze them.

As a result of the Denver-based sextet’s growing profile, they’ve opened for the likes of legendary bassist George Porter, Jr. and Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship — and adding to that, the band will be releasing their full-length debut Shut Up About The Sun is slated for September 30, 2016 release. “Free Swag,” the album’s first single is a strutting and swaggering bit of futuristic funk that owes a sonic debt to Mothership Connection-era Parliament, Expensive Shit/He Miss Road-era Fela and contemporary acts such as Lettuce and Soulive as the song possesses a trippy yet funky groove — but with a drum ‘n’ bass-leaning bridge. It’s the beloved old school funk sound but with a modern take.





With the 2013 release of Forget Your Future and its follow-up Real Virtual Unison Richmond, VA-born, Ridgewood, NY-based electronic music artist and producer Lindsey French and her solo recording project Negative Gemini exploded on to the national scene as she received critical praise from the likes of Gorilla vs Bear, Pigeons and Planes, KEXP and others, and she even gained recognition from FACT Magazine‘s 20 Best Bandcamp Releases of 2015. Adding to a growing profile, French released “You Never Knew,” which was was the Best Songs of 2015 lists of Pigeons and Planes and Gorilla vs. Bear and “Body Work,” which was released earlier this year received praise from NYLON, The 405, Earmilk and was adding to NPR’s “Songs We Love” playlist.

“Nu Hope,” the latest single off her forthcoming sophomore full-length release Body Work is the first completely instrumental track French has ever released and the track may arguably be the most straight-forward, club-friendly track she’s ever released as cascading layers of shimmering synths are paired with propulsive drum programming and ambient electronics to craft a sound that’s reminiscent of Octo Octa‘s Between Both Sides — or in other words, carefully crafted and moody house music that sounds as though it could have been released in 1988 as well as now.





If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past couple of months, you may recall coming across a post or two about Tucson, AZ-based multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer Dmitri Manos, whose solo recording project American Monoxide has quietly built a profile for specializing in analog electronic instrumentals that manage to be somewhat abrasive, trashy and funky as hell such as on “Hot Lava Express,” the first single off his sophomore full-length Web Content. Sonically speaking, Manos paired industrial clang and clatter, boom-bap beats, tumbling electronic bloops, beeps and bleeps, scorching synths and Nile Rodgers-inspired funk guitar chords in an offbeat funky song that reminded me quite a bit of Tobacco.

Web Content‘s latest single “Get Into My Way” is a wobbling, shuffling and buzzing song with the sort of twangy alt-country, alt-folk, experimental pop sound reminiscent of Odelay-era Beck — but in this case, as though Beck had recorded the album on old, warped cassette tape, with a breezily narcoleptic feel and an incredibly catchy hook.