Tag: 4AD Records

Featuring core duo Ida Maidstone (vocals, Yamaha synths, Casio synths, Beat Finder) and Fizzy (bass, EFX, Beat Finder II) with contributions from Torrie Seager (guitar), the Canadian act Hush Pup, which splits their time between Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is an experimental pop act that describes their music as sounding “a lot like driving at night through the board game Candyland — soft cotton candy trees brush up against the windows of your glass car as you ride towards a friend’s cabin nearby the molasses swamp.”

The band will be releasing the Flower Power EP and Panacea, a romantic film-inspired album on a double cassette through Lone Hand Records in March — and the band’s latest single from that effort is the shimmering and atmospheric “The Hours.” Centered around a shimmering and looping guitar line, propulsive beats, Maidstone’s ethereal vocals, a soaring hook and equally ethereal synths, the track to my ears reminds me quite a bit of JOVM mainstays Beach House and Anemone, as well as the sound of much of the roster of 4AD Records heyday. But as the band explained to me in email “‘The Hours’ is a song about kindness. It’s about being sweet and slow as a practice. It’s inspired by a scene from an Allen Ginsberg documentary, where he conducts a workshop that integrates spirituality into artistic practice.

“Watching this, I felt as if he had created a kindness crew. ‘The Hours’ is written from the perspective of this crew. They’re taking time to gentle and they’re high on that concept.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Audio: Two From Acclaimed Swedish Indie Act Makthaverskan

Comprised of Maja Milner (vocals), Hugo Randulv (bass, guitar), Irma Pussila Krook (bass, guitar), Gusta Data Andersson (guitar) and Andreas Palle Wettmark (drums), the Gothenburg, Sweden-based indie rock quintet Makthaverskan according to the band’s Maja Milner has no real meaning — although the band name came from one of Hugo Randulv’s friends, who made it up. “The meaning is really hard to describe in English, but it’s the female form of someone with a lot of power. ‘Makthavare’ is the male version of ‘makthaverskan’ is the female version,” Milner explained. “We didn’t have any background thoughts about meaning but I think it describes Irma and me pretty well, since we both take charge and are powerful.” 

Interestingly, the acclaimed Swedish indie rock act can trace their origins back to 2008 when they released a mini CD with a collection of demos and their self-titled full-length debut through Luxury Records. Building upon a growing profile, they released “Antabus” in 2011. Since then the band has released the “Something More” 7 inch and their sophomore full-length album Makthaverskan II in 2013 and the “Witness” 7 inch in 2015. After several years away, the acclaimed band returned with the “Demands”/”Onkel” single, which was recently released through Run For Cover Records across North America. The A-side “Demands” features layers of jangling guitars, propulsive drumming and a soaring, rousingly anthemic hook — and while sonically nodding at The Smiths, the song reveals their most focused and ambitious writing in their growing catalog, underpinned by an earnestness of both feeling and purpose. “Onkel,” the faster paced B-single is centered by jangling guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and another soaring and rousing hook and manages to sound as though it were released during 4AD Records heyday. Both tracks lyrically are kind of bleak yet paired with ironically energetic and intense music that broods but also reveals a bit of hope, suggesting that things can and do get better — or at the very least, that you gain a bit of wisdom from the darker days. 

With the release of 2016’s full-length debut Get Home Safe, the Brooklyn-based indie rock act Teen Body, comprised of Shannon Lee (guitar, vocals), Xela French (bass, vocals), Alex Bush (guitar) and Marcus McDonald (drums) quickly developed a reputation for a sound that brought the likes of Yo La Tengo, Slowdive, Galaxie 500 and others to mind.

Slated for an April 12, 2019 release through Broken Circles Records, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s long-awaited sophomore album Dreamo derives its name from a term coined by the band’s close friend Casey Halter, who after a show, wryly said to the band “Your music is like dream pop and emo . . . dreamo music.” Interestingly, the album which was written and recorded in Brooklyn reportedly features some of the most vulnerable, sentimental sincere and hopeful music of their growing catalog. And while the album’s latest single “Validation” manages to retain the gorgeous, shimmering 4AD Records and classic shoegaze inspired sound that first won them attention, the single is both wistful yet comforting, seemingly evoking a lover gently squeezing your hand when you’re at your most desperate and uncertain.

 

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about Corey Cunningham and although he’s best known for being a member of critically acclaimed bands like Magic Bullets and Terry Malts, as well as Smokescreens and Mike Krol’s backing band, his latest musical project, Business of Dreams can trace its origins to when Cunningham took leave from his long-running musical partnerships when his father died. Returning back home to Tennessee to grieve and to confront his past, Cunningham wrote music that would eventually comprise Business of Dreams’ critically applauded, eponymous, full-length debut back in 2017.

Building upon a growing profile, Cunningham along with a live backing band opened for Rogue Wave, and played a number of local shows with the likes of Frankie Rose, Real Estate and others. But for the sake of this post, you really need to know this: Business of Dreams’ sophomore effort, Ripe For Anarchy is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through Slumberland Records, and the album finds Cunningham honing his songwriting both sonically and thematically, with the material touching upon regret, existence and perseverance.”The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into,” Cunningham says in press notes.

Ripe For Anarchy‘s first single was a shimmering guitar pop track “Keep The Blues Away.” Centered around ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, staccato drum machine-like drumming, shimmering guitar lines fed through delay and effect pedals and a soaring hook, the single sounds as though it could have been released during 4AD Records heyday — and while indebted to the sounds of the past, the track is bolstered by an urgent sincerity that comes from lived-in experience. “N.R.E.A.M.,” Ripe for Anarchy‘s second and latest single is a jangling guitar pop track that sounds inspired by New Zealand guitar pop, complete with an infectious hook, arpeggiated keys, a sinuous bass line and an underlying mischievous (and somewhat cynical) air. “This song was my attempt to write something fun for the album. Of course it had to be the one song focusing on negativity but I think a dose of cynicism is quite healthy these days,” Corey Cunningham explains in press notes. “Humanity isn’t exactly passing its classes lately so I decided to poke a little fun at the more coarse side of our nature. It’s my version of “Ring-a-round The Rosies.” Ashes, ashes we all fall down! Wee!”

Business of Dreams are currently on a late January tour, and the tour includes a January 25, 2019 stop at Alphaville. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates:
Jan 25 Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville *
Jan 26 Philadelphia, PA – Super Wimpy HQ *
Jan 27 Baltimore, MD – Joe Squared *
Jan 29 Indianapolis, IN – State Street Pub
Jan 30 Detroit, MI – Outer Limits
May 2 Paris, FR – Mains D’Oeuvres
May 5 Berlin, DE – Internet Explorer

* – with Corduroy

New Video: Former Keep Shelly in Athens Frontwoman Releases a Sensual Take on 4AD Records-era Synth Pop

Perhaps best known as one-half of the internaitonally acclaimed electronic music production and electronic music artist duo Keep Shelly in Athens, the Athens, Greece-based artist and activist Sarah P. released a critically applauded full-length debut album Who Am I back in 2017. Interestingly, the vocalist who has collaborated with Sasha, Mmoths, The New Division, Plastic Flowers, Holly, Hiras, The Bilinda Butchers and a lengthy list of others is releasing the much-anticipated follow up to Who Am I, the Maenads EP, a collection of songs to celebrate both feminine power (particularly its magic, strength and imperfect perfection) and the artist’s Greek heritage. 

Maenads’ latest single, the atmospheric and moody “Lotus Eaters” features four-on-the-floor drumming, shimming synths, a propulsive and sinuous bass line paired with Sarah P.’s ethereal crooning. In some way, sonically speaking the song will bring to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Kate Bush and the early 80s 4AD Records roster while arguably being the most sensual song I’ve come across within the early part of this year. 

Filmed by George Geranios and featuring a concept by Sarah P., the cinematically shot visuals for “Lotus Eaters” stars a gorgeous collection of women appearing in some surreal and dreamlike scenarios. 

New Video: Fawns of Love Return with a Trippy and Bittersweet Rumination of Permanence

Last October, I wrote about the Bakersfield, CA-based indie act Fawns of Love, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of married duo and full-time educations Joseph and Jenny Andreotti have performed together for the past 16 years (and married 13 of those 16), writing, recording and touring under various names with releases through several different labels. Back in 2013, Jenny Andreotti enrolled in a graduate school history program, and as a result the duo went on a lengthy hiatus from music; but by 2017, The Andreottis decided it was time to get back into music, starting anew with a brand new band name. 

The duo’s latest album Permanent was released earlier this week through Test Pattern Records, and the album is the follow-up to their EP documenting their Part Time Punks live session, which featured a cover of The Chills‘ “Rocket Science.” However, the material on Permanent is inspired by deeply personal experience. “For the past year, my life has been in a complete flux,” the duo’s Jenny Andreotti explains in press notes. “People have moved away, relationships have changed, and this has challenged my belief that people’s love for you is permanent.”

Album single “Someday” was a chilly and woozy 4AD Records-like track centered around shimmering synths and guitars, four-on-the-floor beats and a motorik groove paired with Jenny Andreotti’s ethereal falsetto. “Mournful Eyes,” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as the song features arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, shimmering New Order-like guitar chords, while Jenny Andreotti’s vocals float over the icy mix. Sonically, the song is a slick and seamless synthesis of New Wave, psych pop, and goth, but with a bitter recognition — that nothing is permanent, that nothing lasts forever. As Jenny Andreotti explained in an interview on HighClouds, “‘Mournful Eyes’ fits into the LP theme of ‘permanency’ or realizing that nothing really is. To help represent this theme we used the 1970s psychedelic film, Life is Flashing (Before Your Eyes) by Vincent Collins to help illustrate this visually. Nothing is permanent in Collins’ films. Shapes and characters are constantly morphing and warping into new psychedelic shapes and colors throughout his film.”

Perhaps best known for being a member of critically acclaimed bands Magic Bullets and Terry Malts, as well as Smokescreens and Mike Krol‘s backing band, Corey Cunningham’s latest project Business of Dreams can trace its origins to when Cunningham took leave for his long-running musical partnerships when his father died. Returning back home to Tennessee to grieve and confront his past, Cunningham wrote music that would eventually comprise Business of Dreams’ critically applauded, eponymous full-length debut back in 2017.

Building upon a growing profile, Cunningham with a live backing band opened for Rogue Wave, and played a number of local shows with the likes of Frankie Rose, Real Estate and others. Business of Dream’s sophomore effort, Ripe For Anarchy is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through Slumberland Records, and the album finds Cunningham honing his songwriting both sonically and thematically, with the material touching upon regret, existence and perseverance.”The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into,” Cunningham says in press notes.

Ripe For Anarchy‘s first single is the shimmering guitar pop track “Keep The Blues Away.” Centered around ethereal and plaintive vocals, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, staccato drum machine-like drumming, shimmering guitar lines fed through delay and effect pedals and a soaring hook, the single sounds as though it could have been released during 4AD Records heyday — and while indebted to the sounds of the past, the track is bolstered by an urgent sincerity that comes from lived-in experience.

 

 

 

With the release of their debut single “Fourteen,” earlier this year, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Beverly Kills quickly received attention for a decidedly post-punk inspired sound. However, with “Melodrama,” the band’s sound moved towards the shimmering dream pop of 4AD Records with a subtle post-punk take. The up-and-coming Swedish trio end 2018 with “Dreamless,” which continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor — shimmering guitar-led dream pop with enormous, rousing hooks.

 

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming New York Duo Death by Piano Releases Futuristic Visuals for “The Countdown”

Death by Piano is an up-and-coming New York-based dark wave duo comprised of Kalen Lister (vocals, keys) and Greywolf, a multi-instrumentalist and producer. With the release of their latest EP, The Countdown, the duo have established themselves with an atmospheric sound that’s centered around sleek and minimalist electronic production, including skittering beats, chopped up samples, soulful blasts of guitar, moody strings and synths, and Lister’s pop star belter vocals. Interestingly, EP title track “Countdown” is a perfect example of the sound that has begun to win the duo attention, complete with an infectious, radio-friendly hook that reminds me a bit of the classic 4AD Records sound mixed with JOVM mainstay Holy War. However, as the duo explain “‘Countdown’ is the first song we wrote together. It’s about leaving behind what you thought life might be and embracing the now. It’s about embracing change. External and internal. Facing what you fear to find more freedom.”  

Directed by Robert Lester, the recently released video is a decidedly retro-futuristic and New Age-y treatment that features Lister dressed as a cyborg/alien along with her bandmate, performing the song in front of a screen, playing psychedelic imagery. It’s interspersed with a humanoid character, wandering the woods. It’s trippy yet futuristic take on the familiar, much like the duo’s sound. 

New Audio: Weeknight’s Anthemic Take on Post-Punk

Initially formed as a duo featuring founding members, longtime partners an co-frontpeople Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon, the Brooklyn-based dark pop/post-punk act Weeknight received attention with the release of 2014’s full-length debut Post Everything.  And as the story goes, after playing hundreds of shows to support Post Everything including touring with Phantogram, Bear in Heaven, Frankie Rose, Moonface, School of Seven Bells, and Crystal Stilts, the duo returned home and began to write the material that wound up eventually comprising their forthcoming sophomore album Dead Beat Creep, which is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through Dead Stare Records. 
Written at the duo’s Bushwick home studio and recorded during the bleak winter of 2017 at House Under Magic Studios with co-producer and engineer Danny Taylor, the recording sessions for the album found the band expanding into a quartet with the addition of Russell Hymowitz (bass) and Jasper Berg (drums). And while inspired by the disillusionment of the 2016 election and profound loss and grief, the album’s material finds the band imposing limitations as they were writing and recording, as the band’s Andy Simmons explains in press notes: “We would only use analog gear and we would only write parts that we would be able to play live.” 

Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Holes In My Head” manages to bring classic 4AD post-punk to mind as the track is centered around a moody arrangement featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, an angular and propulsive bass line, delay pedal effected guitars, dramatic drumming and a rousingly anthemic hook –with a clean, studio polish. However, the song was written for Holly MacGibbons’ father, who died last year after a decade struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. It was written from his perspective, and says what I imagined he would have wanted to say to me if he was able to,” the band’s Holly MacGibbons explains in press notes.