Category: New Video

New Video: Catalan Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist Magalí Sare Releases a Gorgeous and Intimate Visual

Magalí Sare is a rising 23 year-old, Vallès, Spain-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Growing up in a family of musicians, Sare learned how to play piano, flute and percussion at an early age. Back in 2013, the Vallès-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, enrolled at the Superior Conservatory of the Liceu, where she studied jazz.

Since graduating, Sare quickly developed a unique sound and approach that features elements of jazz, classical music, pop, alt-pop and experimental music with lyrics written and sung in her native Catalan and English. She’s also been rather busy: Sare regularly performs with a quarter that features Marta Pons (cello), Vic Moliner (double bass) and Arnau Figueres (percussion) and with a duo featuring a dear friend, who has accompanied her since the beginning. Over the past year, she’s been further honing a genre-fluid sound:

She collaborated with Sebastiaà Gris on A Boy and a Girl, an album that found the duo reworking classical and folk tunes in a way that incorporated electronics. The album was nominated for Best World Music album on the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE).
Sare contributed her vocals to Clara Peya’s Estomac.
The Catalan-born artist was nominated for an Emerging Artist Award by the Catalan Music Academy and Best New Artist at the ARC Awards.
Magalí Sara was nominated for the first International Award of Suns Europe Festival, which she won.
She also toured with with Quartet Mèlt, an act that won TV3’s Oh happy day’s third season.

Sare’s latest single “Beber de ti” is a slow-burning track and atmospheric featuring twinkling piano, stuttering trap beats, the rising Catalan artist’s ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering synth arpeggios and an enormous hook. Sonically, the track will further establish her sound as it’s a slickly produced mesh of classical music, electro pop and trap, centered around earnest songwriting. “Stagnant water rots. To be clean and transparent it needs to flow. The same goes for feelings; Communicating fully is not easy at all,” Sare explains. “Sometimes opening up as people can be painful, but it is something that frees us. Showing fears, letting out crying, as well as empathizing and giving thanks when appropriate, are things that make human relationships flow.”

The recently released and intimately shot video follows a couple, who struggle to truly connect with each other — but when they follow the philosophy of the song, they find themselves much closer, and much more at peace with each other.

New Video: Montreal’s Thaïs Releases a Surreal and Feverish Visual for Atmospheric “Sushi Solitude”

Thaïs is an emerging Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who specializes in an atmospheric and delicate pop centered around the French Canadian singer/songwriter’s ethereal vocals. Thematically her work focuses on melancholy, loneliness and dysfunctional and confusing love.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Boreal.” Inspired by a trip that the French Canadian artist took to Iceland, the third single off her recently released Paradis Artificiels EP was centered around shimmering synths, thumping and skittering beats, warm blasts of looping electric guitar, a soaring hook and Thaïs’ ethereal and plaintive vocals meant to evoke the awe-inspiring sense of being in a gorgeous, natural space and taking it all in deeply.

Paradis Artificiels’ fourth and latest single “Sushi Solitude” is an atmospheric and delicate pop song centered around the rising Montreal artist’s ethereal and breathy cooing, shimmering synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched, angular bursts of guitar, stuttering drumming and a soaring hook. Sonically, the track brings Washed Out to mind, complete with a similar achingly melancholic air.

The recently released video for “Sushi Solitude” is a probing — yet mischievous — look at solitude and self-examination, seemingly inspired by pandemic-related lockdowns: we see the rising French Canadian artist, bored and disaffected, at points reflecting on her life and past, at points attempting to better herself and her life and other points actively not caring one way or the other. In some way, the video feels like an examination of a woman on the brink of profound realizations or psychotic break.

New Video: Athens, GA’s Easter Island Releases a Gorgeous and Cinematically Shot Visual for Soaring “Always Room For Another”

Rising Athens, GA-based dream pop act Easter Island — sibling’s Ethan (guitar) and Asher Payne (keys), Ryan Monahan (guitar), John Swint (drums) and Justin Ellis (bass) have developed and honed a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Explosions in The Sky, My Bloody Valentine, DIIV, Pedro the Lion and others. Their full-length debut, 2012’s Frightened featured material, which appeared in a number of TV show including ABC’s Off The Map, MTV’s Awkward and an live appearance on a 2019 episode of the CW’s Dynasty.

Adding to a growing profile, the act has shared stages with a number of acclaimed acts including David Bazan, The B52’s Cindy Wilson, The Low Anthem, Bully, Wild Nothing, White Rabbits, Valley Maker and a lengthy list of others. Over the past six years or so, the members of the Athens-based act have been working on new material in various studios across the country while touring and making stops across the national circuit touring — with stops at SXSW, CMJ, Treefort, Underground Music Showcase, Secret Stages and AthFest. They’ve even traveled to Japan to work on material — and to shoot the video for Take All The Time You Think You Need’s single “Island Nation.”

Speaking of Take All The Time You Think You Need, the Ryan Monahan-produced album which is slated for a December 2020 release draws from a diverse and eclectic array of influences including Sufjan Stevens, Max Richter and The Never Ending Story. The album’s latest single, the cinematic “Always Room For Another” originally premiered on Billboard back in 2018. The single is an incredibly cinematic track, centered around shimmering guitars, ethereal textures, a propulsive groove led by thunderous drumming, plaintive falsetto vocals and euphoric hooks paired with earnest songwriting packed with an emotional wallop.

Directed by the band’s Ethan Payne, the gorgeously shot, cinematic visual for “Always Room For Another” follows the band’s Ryan Monahan on an epic journey through Denver and eventually through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Throughout the video, the viewer is supposed to get a sense that its protagonist is on a quest to ultimately find himself.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Clipping. Release a Cinematically Shot, Menacing, Fever Dream

Over the past six years or so, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio and JOVM mainstay act Clipping.– production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson and frontperson Daveed Diggs. Interestingly, last year’s critically applauded There Existed and Addiction to Blood found the acclaimed hip-hop trio interpreting a hip-hop splinter sect through their own singular lens — horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and significant sub-genre that flourished for a handful of years around the mid 1990s. Additionally, the album is also partially inspired by Ganja & Hess, the 1973 vampire cult classic, regarded as one of the highlights of the Blaxploitation era — with the title derived from the film.

With horror films, sequels are perfunctory and perhaps even obligatory. As the insufferable film bro Randy explains in Scream 2, “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate—more blood, more gore. Carnage candy. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.” Clipping.’s highly-anticipated follow-up to There Existed an Addition to Blood, Visions of Bodies Getting Burned officially dropped today. And although many may see VoBGB as a sequel, in reality, it’s a the second half of a planned diptych. But hewing closely to the sequel tradition, the album finds the acclaimed JOVM mainstays returning with an even higher body count, bloodier, more elaborate, gorier kills and as always, unrelenting monsters that just won’t ever stay dead.

Interestingly enough, in the years following ffSplendor & Misery, the trio wound up being incredibly prolific, writing and recording too may songs for just one album. Before the release of There Existed an Addition to Blood, Clipping. and Sub Pop divided the material into two albums, specifically designed to be released only months apart. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic managed to forced the cancellation of multiple tours and sadly, the delayed release of the act’s latest album. The 16 song album draws from an eclectic array of sources including Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker and Shirley Jackson as much as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Developing their own abrasive, angular and messy interpretation of horrorcore, the members of Clipping. have fully intended to lovingly twist familiar tropes to fit their own politics and thematic concerns — in particular: fear, the absurd, the uncanny and the struggle for an antiracist, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonialist world.

So far, I’ve written about three of VoBBB‘s singles:

“Say The Name:.” Featuring a heavily chopped up and screwed sample of Scarface’s evocative lyric from “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” — “Candlesticks in the dark, visions of bodies being burned,” the song is centered around wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low-end, industrial clang and clatter, arpeggiated synths and Diggs’ tongue twisting flow, full of surrealistically gore-filled lyrics full of imagery demons and hell spawn in the flames, bullet hole ridden bodies and more. To me, the song evokes the slow-burning horror of watching a man being snuffed out in public with replays form different angles and commentary as if it were a key play in deciding a big ball game.
“96 Neve Campbell:” Written as a tribute to the self-aware “final girl” character of the post-slasher film cycle that features a vicious and swaggering guest spot from Inglewood’s Cam & China, The trio of ridiculously talented emcees envisions the movie’s final girl — or inn this case final girls — preemptively striking the slasher and fucking his ass up before he could get them. Simply put, the track is fire. featuring criminally under-appreciated talent that you should know. “We’ve been fans of theirs for a long time, going back to the days when they were in the group Pink Dollaz,” Clipping.’s Daveed Diggs says of their collaboration with Cam & China. “Cam and China continue to be some of the most consistent and under-appreciated lyricists on the West Coast. We’ve been trying to do a song with them for a while now, and this one felt like a perfect fit. They bodied it.”
“Pain Everyday:” Centered around a menacingly glitchy production featuring industrial clang and clatter, stuttering beats, atmospheric synths and electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recordings said to be the voices of restless spirits — presumably those who maybe have died horrifyingly brutal deaths. Thematically, the song envisions a call-to-arms for the dead victims of lynching and extrajudicial police killings to haunt and torture the descendants of their murderers both here and in the afterlife. “This song was one of the most challenging to write because it’s the first time we’ve done a track entirely in ⅞, which, it turns out, is kind of a mind fuck,” Clipping.’s Daveed Diggs explains. “I love how it came out because it’s in this odd time signature but the flow still feels natural, like rap is supposed to.”

Visions of Bodies Being Burned fourth and latest single “Enlacing” is a menacing take on trap featuring the prerequisite stuttering beats, distorted vocals that seem to come out from the opened gates of Hell., brief bursts of twinkling synths, droning electronics and tweeter and woofer rocking end paired with Diggs’ alternating between his imitable rapid-fire flow, a spoken word flow and sung choruses. Let this track be a reminder of how Clipping. is actively pushing the sound of hip-hop in new and weirder directions while remaining remarkably accessible.

Clipping. recently released a C Prinz-produced double video for “Enlacing and “Pain Everyday.” featuring frontman Daveed Diggs, the visual is a gorgeously shot and incredibly vivid fever dream that pulsates with menace and unease. “This piece explores bodies and impact and gravity and sensation in a way that aims to overwhelm you as viscerally as our current world reality does mentally, but through the lens of the embodied experience,” C Prinz explains. “We are surrounded by surface level, fake realities through social media and politics. I just wanted to create a piece that serves as a momentary break from the superficial culture we live in and fantasize on a more genuine, honest reality in the effort it takes to survive right now.”

Live Footage: Palace Winter’s Tennis Court Sessions

The Copenhagen, Denmark-based pop duo and JOVM mainstays Palace Winter — Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish-born, Copenhagen-based producer and classically trained pianist Caspar Hesselager — built upon a rapidly growing profile regionally and internationally, with the release of their sophomore album 2018’s Nowadays.

Nowadays found the Danish pop duo expanding around the sound that had already won them praise: breezy and melodic, radio friendly pop centered around heavy thematic concerns and lived-in songwriting. Thematically, the album touched upon adulthood and the loss of innocence; the accompanying tough and sobering life lessons as you get older; the freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their life and destiny and so on.

Palace Winter’s highly anticipated third album . . . Keep Dreaming, Buddy dropped today, and unlike their previously released material, the album was written through a long distance correspondence as Carl Coleman was residing in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. “Caspar was sending me these synth hooks and drum loops from Denmark, so I started coming up with melodies and lyrical ideas to record into my phone,” Coleman says of the writing sessions. While Coleman’s lyrics were inspired by Tenerife’s unique landscape, they also draw metaphorical parallels between Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano, which also is one of Spain’s tallest peaks, and the looming fear of a relationship disintegrating, Hesselager’s instrumental parts were inspired by Copenhagen’s landscape. And as a result, the album’s material is literally a tale of two cities and two completely different emotional states.

Over the past handful of months, I’ve written about four of the album’s released singles:

Top of the Hill,” was a great example of the album’s overall tale of two cities and two completely different emotional states. Featuring shimmering and icy synths, thumping beats and an enormous, arena rock friendly hook paired with Coleman’s volcanic imagery-based lyrics, the song captures the bubbling dissatisfaction, boredom, frustration and distrust of a relationship about to boil over and explode.
“Won’t Be Long,” . . . .Keep Dreaming Buddy‘s second single was an expansive song that featured elements of arena rock, glam rock and synth pop, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook, a crunchy power chord-driven riff, shimmering synth arpeggios and strummed guitar. But interestingly enough, the song is actually deceptively and ironically upbeat as it tackles the anxiety of anticipatory grief, as it focuses on a narrator, who is preparing for the inevitable loss of a dear, loved one. Loss and despair are always around the corner, indeed.
“Deeper End,” the album’s third single was a decidedly genre-defying affair that found the duo pushing their sound in a new direction without changing the essentially elements of the sound that has won them attention internationally. Featuring an infectious hook, shimmering synth arpeggios and strummed guitar, the breezy song is one part synth pop. one part 70s AM rock, one part country — but while centered around an unusual juxtaposition: the song as the band’s Carl Coleman explains is “a story about a bad trip at a weird house party I went to with my sister.” Granddaddy’s Jason Lytle contributes a guest verse to the song, a verse in which his character dispenses harsh yet very trippy truths to the song’s hallucinating and anxious narrator.
“Richard (Says Yes),” a playful, thematic left turn that finds the duo writing a big, upbeat party them — but while pushing their sound in a new direction. Centered around their unerring knack for crafting an anthemic hook, “Richard (Says Yes)” is a remarkably proggy take on their sound.

Earlier this year, the duo — with their backing band — filmed a live session from a Copenhagen tennis court. The session featured live versions of two of my favorite songs off the new album: “Top of the Hill” and “Won’t Be Long.”

New Video: New York-based Artist Kinlaw Releases a Cinematic and Dramatic Visual for Slow-burning “Blindspot”

Kinlaw is a New York-based composer, choreographer, multimedia artist and singer/songwriter who is known locally for her solo work and multimedia productions that feature as many as two-hundred performers and contributions from Devonte Hynes (a.k.a Blood Orange), Caroline Polacheck, SOPHIE, Dan Deacon and others, as well as a number of renowned dancers and performance artists.

The New York-based artist’s full-length debut The Tipping Scale reportedly finds her showcasing her work in a new light. The album’s lyrically bridges the deeply personal with universal themes revealing a songwriter bravely exploring loss, regret, confusion, strength, identity and change. She explains that The Tipping Scale is an ideal metaphor for the record, the idea of an ever-present slipping in and out of change, and an acceptance of this kind of change.

The Tipping Scale finds her unifying her multidisciplinary practice. Writing with the goal for finding entry points for storytelling that felt honest and authentic to her practice, she often saw her music relating to motion. “I would start with a gesture and let it build into something until a memory attached itself to it,” the New York-based artist says. “The memory would become a story and the story would reveal itself as something important that needed to be expressed in this album.”

Sonically speaking, the album’s material features ornate flourishes, dance floor ruminations and slick production with a refined, compositional sensibility. The album’s first single “Blindspot” is a slow-burning, tense, and dramatic track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, stuttering beats and Kinlaw’s ethereal crooning that reminds me of a atmospheric, synth-based take on Softspot’s dreamy Clearing — with a dark and brooding air.

Director by Kathleen Dycaico, the recently released cinematically shot video shows the adult Kinlaw in a futuristic enclosure, reckoning with her much younger self through an incredible series of dramatic choreographed moves — with the initial interaction being aggressive and forceful before going through a tender acceptance and acknowledgement between the adult and child.

“‘Blindspot’ is an excavation of the psychological mind that analyzes the link between our relationships with the people around us and our acceptance of self,” the New York-based artist explains in press notes. “I started doing a really cool therapy called EMDR while in process of developing this video with director Kathleen Dycaico and was able to recognize that the refusal to accept time, mainly myself during some of those times, was reflected in the way I was speaking about relationships. Our child selves are so brilliant — they are resilient, tricky, explosive, expressive. I needed to start off this album by giving a nod to the dynamic ways we perceive not only the people around us, but our integrated self.”


New Video: Acclaimed Canadian Indie Act Besnard Lakes Release a Surreal and Feverish Video for Slow-Burning “Raindrops”

Deriving their name Besnard Lake in North Central Saskatchewan, the acclaimed, multi-Polaris Music Prize-nominated Montreal-based indie rock act The Besnard Lakes — currently, husband and wife duo Jace Lasek (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys) and Olga Goreas (vocals, bass), along with Kevin Laing (drums), Richard White (guitar), Sheenah Ko (keys) and Robbie MacArthuer (guitar) — formed back in 2003. And since their formation, the Canadian indie rock sextet have released five albums of atmospheric and textured shoegaze that some critics have described as magisterial and cinematic.

After the release of their fifth album, 2016’s A Coliseum Complex Museum, the members of The Besnard Lakes and Jagjaguwar, their longtime label home, decided it was time to part and go their separate ways. Naturally, that lead to the band to question whether or not it made sense to even continue together. But fueled by their love for each other and for playing music together, the members of acclaimed Montreal-based act wound up writing and recording what may arguably be their most uncompromising album of their catalog, The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings.

Dispensing with a timeline, the members of The Besnard Lakes took all the time they needed to conceive, write, record and mix the album’s material. Interestingly, some of the songs are old, tracing their origins back to resurrected demos left on the shelf years ago. Others were woodshedded in the cabin behind Lasek and Goreas Riguad Ranch — with the band relishing a rougher, grittier sound. Thematically, the album finds the band contemplating the darkness of dying , the light on the other side, and coming back from the brink: while it touches upon the band’s own story, it’s also remembrance of dear loved ones — particularly Lasek’s father, who died last year. (On vinyl, the album will be a four-side double LP: Side 1 is titled “Near Death.” Side 2 is titled “Death.” Side 3 is titled “After Death.” and Side 4 is titled “Life.”)

From what Lasek observed of his father’s experience, being on one’s deathbed may be the most intense psychedelic trip of anyone’s life: at one point, Lasek’s father surfaced from a morphine-induced dream, talking about how he saw a “window” on his blanket, with “a carpenter inside of it, making objects.” Interestingly, as I read that, I thought of what were Steve Jobs’ last words before dying — him looking past his loved ones and simply saying repeatedly “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” And as a result that surreal and ethereal quality pervades the album’s sound and aesthetic.

“Raindrops,” the album’s first single is a slow-burning song and patient song with a painterly-like attention to graduation and texture, centered around shimmering reverb-drenched guitars, twinkling and arpeggiated keys, thunderous drumming, ethereal boy-girl harmonies and a euphoric hook. Along with the release of The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warning’s cinematic first single, the band announced that the album is slated for a January 29, 2021 release through Fat Cat Records here in the States and through Flemish Eye in their native Canada. Additionally, they released a surreal, fever-dream of a video directed by Joseph Yarrmush.

“This song and video details a psychedelic flight through the mind while deep in an altered state,” The Besnard Lakes explain. “The song lyrically references the death of Mark Hollis from Talk Talk (‘Garden of Eden spirited’) and also describes the idea of evolution determining the story of the Garden of Eden.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Joe Wong Teams Up With Fred Armisen on a Lyrical and Trippy Visual for “Nite Creatures”

Throughout the course of this past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the rising Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Joe Wong. Wong has had a lengthy career as a drummer — but he has made a name for himself for his scores for a number of acclaimed TV series, including Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being the host of The Trap Set podcast.

Earlier this year Wong released his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, and so far I’ve written about four of the album’s previously released singles — including: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away,” the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow,” the Scott Walker-like “Minor,” and “Day After Day,” a sobering exploration of free will versus fate that doesn’t have easy answers. Continuing an incredible run of stunningly lush yet brooding material, the album’s latest single, album title track “Nite Creatures” is a slow-burning and deliberately crafted track focuses on existential dread with a rapturous and swooning psychedelia. If Wong wasn’t a contemporary artist, you might mistakenly think that “Nite Creatures” was released sometime between 1966-1970.

Directed by Fred Armisen, the recently released video follows a brooding Wong as he enters a vaguely Eastern-styled house. As he wanders through the house, we see some deeply kaleidoscopic and psychedelic effects happen to him and to his surroundings, suggesting that Wong was going through a deeply spiritual awakening of some sort. Much like the song itself, it’s a slow-burning and gorgeously shot fever dream — but with something dark and murky on the fringes.

Interestingly, the collaboration between the duo can trace some of its origins back to the 1990s: Armisen was the dummer for Trenchmouth and Wong was a high-school kid in a math rock band named after an extremely obscure Dune reference. Wong wound up reconnecting with Armisen in 2013: Wong was drumming for Marine Stern. A few years later, Armisen asked Wong to help produce his first comedy special Standup For Drummers.

“It was inspiring to witness how he’d evolved from the drummer I met over twenty years ago to the singular talent he is today,” Wong says. “When I decided to make a video for ‘Nite Creatures,’ I thought Fred would be the ideal person to direct. Because of his sense of narrative rhythm (we’re both drummers, after all), surrealist aesthetic, and ability to make creative decisions on the fly, he proved himself the perfect director, indeed.”

“I love Joe’s album,” Armisen adds, “so when he asked me to work on the video, I was like, ‘YES!’ The song is so sonically rich, I think it makes dreamy videos in everyone’s mind. I just wanted to try to match that feeling.”

New Video: Montreal’s Eyesha Teams up with Nigeria’s Slimcase on a Sultry Banger

Montreal-born DJ, producer, singer/songwriter, choreographer, dancer and model Soph-eye Richard has spent the past 15 years either living in or performing in several dozen countries across five continents. The Montreal-based artist radically reinvents herself and her career with her latest solo recording project Eyesha.

Richard’s debut single as Eyesha, the Fancy Beats-produced “Dámelo” is centered around a minimalist production consisting of stuttering and thumping staccato beats, atmospheric synth arpeggios, and an infectious club banger meets Top 40 hook. Featuring a guest verse from emerging Nigerian artist Slimcase, “Dámelo” is a globalist, border blurring song with elements of Afro pop, electro pop, house music and Latin pop — with Spanish, French and English lyrics delivered in a sultry, come-hither coo by Eyesha and a swaggering reggae-inspired verse by Slimcase in English and Yoruba. And at its core is an irresistible yearning and desire that will have you coming back for more. In fact, so far, the track has been gaining a lot of attention: as of this writing, the track has amassed over 100,000 Spotify streams since its release.

Shot last year, the recently released. incredibly sexy video for “Dámelo” features the Montreal-based act and a diverse array of beautiful people dancing at a backyard party and a club — and while emphasizing the sensual quality of the song, the video also reveals some of the Montreal-born artist’s immense talents.

New Video: French Emcee Nedelko Teams Up with Lapwass on a Club Banger

Nedelko is an emerging French emcee, author and performer — and a member of the L’Animalerie collective. His latest single, the Lapwass-produced “Or What” is a swaggering, Sofi Tukker-like club banger, centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, thumping tweeter and woofer rocking beats, an infectious hook and the French emcee’s punchy delivery.

The recently released video for “Or What” features live concert footage shot by Romain Battini and a group of young French people partying, goofing off and roughhousing, shot by Miskine Squad. And goddamn it, it makes me miss shows and parting and bullshitting with new friends and old friends. Sigh.