Tag: A Place to Bury Strangers

I’ve written about and have photographed the Northeastern Pennsylvania-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstays The Stargazer Lilies quite a bit over the years. And as you may recall, the act which is comprised of founding and married duo John Cep (guitar, bass, vocals, drums, production) and Kim Field (bass, vocals) and a rotating cast of live drummers can trace its origins to when Cep’s and Field’s previous band Soundpool broke up.

Although Soundpool had built up a national profile, touring with Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, TOBACCO, and a list of others, Cep and Field desired a change in sonic direction. With Stargazer Lilies’ full-length debut, We Are The Dreamers, the duo established a signature sound, which meshed elements of dream pop, shoegaze — but with a muscular forcefulness. Their sophomore album, 2016’s Door to the Sun firmly cemented their sound and approach while expanding upon it. Since the release of Door to the Sun, Cep and Field have been relentlessly touring as both an opener and headliner, frequently with JOVM mainstay TOBACCO and his Black Moth Super Rainbow, and a list of others.

Slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Rad Cult Records, the band’s long-awaited third full-length album Occabot finds the duo collaborating with their frequent tourmate TOBACCO (a.k.a Tom Fec). Interestingly, their collaboration with TOBACCO can be traced to a Stargazer Lilies show a couple of years ago. “It just hit me they were way heavier than they seem,” TOBACCO explains in press notes. “And that wasn’t translating in their recordings. Their old stuff is panoramic and smooth; I wanted 3D and bumpy.”

Wanting to help get the duo where they all felt they wanted to be, Fec signed the band to his Rad Cult Records imprint and agreed to work on their third album. But not right away though. He let Cep and Field work on the material in their own idiosyncratic image first.  When the members of Stargazer Lilies had completed things on their end with eight raw and primal tracks, Fec then stepped in to distort, bend and burn the material’s overall sound even further.

Cep likens the creative process behind Occabot to what Andy Warhol did with pop art prints and The Velvet Undgeround and Nico. “Lou [Reed] said Andy was the best producer because he basically let the group do whatever the fuck they wanted. Tom did a similar thing with us; he let us have complete creative control, then added splashes of color and made it rough around the edges. Those embellishments make his artistic stamp on the project unmistakable, but leave the essence of our music very much intact.”

“Living Work of Art,” Occabot‘s boundary pushing single finds TOBACCO scrubbing the song with sandpaper then mangling Field’s and Cep’s work in a blender and throwing it into an acid bath while still retaining the hazy shoegazer quality of their previous work. Sonically you’ll hear blasts of hi-hat driven drums skittering across a thick wave of heavily distorted guitars that sound like broken and fuzzy synths while Field’s vocals ethereally float over the mix. It’s shoegaze for the impending end of the world.

 

 

Initially began as the solo recording project of Seattle-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natasha El-Sergany that focused on spectral balladry and late-night exploration, the Seattle-based shoegazer project Somesurprises has gradually expanded into a full-fledged band featuring Josh Medina (guitar, synth), Laura Seniow (bass) and Nico Sophiea (drums) since the release of the project’s 2016 debut effort Voice Memos

2017 found El-Sergany collaborating with Josh Medina for the ambient album Serious Dreams, an effort that was released to critical applause from the likes of The Quietus, Bandcamp, The StrangerSeattle Weekly and Tiny Mixtapes. The following year, the project expanded to a full band with the addition of MX-80 Sound’s Nico Sophiea aend Red Ribbon‘s Emma Danner (bass) for that year’s Alt, an effort that Aquarium Drunkard compared to “an imaginary collaboration between Grouper and Spiritualized.” Interestingly, the band started off this year with a collaborative split tape with fellow Seattle-based act Supercandy, some candy that featured contributions from Brenan Chambers, Lori Goldston, Monika Khott and Ambrosia Bardos, who added layers of guitar effects, cello, vocals and trumpet.

The band has built up a strong profile in their hometown, opening for the likes of Circuit Des Yeux, Carla dal Forno, A Place to Bury Strangers and The Cave Singers — and they’ve toured the West Coast. Building upon a growing profile, the band will be releasing their self-titled full-length debut through Drawing Room Records. Slated for a September 20, 2019 release, the Seattle-based sheogazers self-title full-length finds the band exploring a wide range of styles from intensifying meditative drones to songs, where the same moment never quite happens twice. And unlike their previously released material, the vocals and lyrics are much more focused — with the material thematically longing for and seeking knowledge of the self, to guide the way out of one’s own mind.
Clocking in a little over five minutes, “High Rise,” the latest single off the Seattle-based shoegazers forthcoming full-length, self-titled  album is an expansive and shapeshifting song that begins with a pensive and slow-burning, shimmering intro that slowly builds up into an explosive power chord and motorik groove driven middle section. The song then closes out with a pensive and slow-burning, shimmering coda to close off a mind-bending and expansive song that sounds like the perfect accompaniment to experimenting with hallucinogens.

 

 

New Video: Froth Releases a Lysergic Visual for Minimalist “77”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk, Lodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

Directed by Shane McKenzie, the recently released, lysergic visual for “77” is centered around glitchy, neon-colored, VHS glitchiness. “We’ve known Shane McKenzie (Shake Chime Zen) for a long time, he’s always doing analog projections at shows around LA. We liked his VHS vibe and thought it would be fitting for the ’77’ video. He was able to match the analog glitchiness of the song with the way he processed the video. Other than that, it was inspired by scenes from The Eric Andre show and some of R. Stevie Moore’s VHS videos.”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era KraftwerkLodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

The members of Froth are currently on the road, touring to support the new album and the tour includes a July 3, 2019 stop at Elsewhere’s Rooftop with A Place to Bury Strangers doing a DJ set. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

# = w/ Black Marble
* = w/ Versing
% = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers DJs (DJ Set)
$ = Release Show w/ Adult Books

6/7: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room, Desert Daze Presents $
6/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse *
6/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
6/21: El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz *
6/22: San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light *
6/23: Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
6/24: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/25: Houston, TX @ Satellite *
6/26: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe *
6/28: Madison, WI @ UW-Madison *
6/29: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival *
6/30: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
7/2: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong *
7/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop * %
7/5: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom *
7/6: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/7: Toronto, ON @ Baby G *
7/8: Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
7/10: Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag *
7/12: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall *
8/23: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Fuzz Club Festival

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Sextile Release Feverish Visuals for Club Banging “Hazing”

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk act and JOVM mainstay Sextile, and as you may recall the act which was formed back in 2015, earned a devout following as a result of an explosive live show and non-stop touring as an opener and as a headliner with the likes of fellow JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, The Soft Moon, Ought, ADULT., The Chameleons, Modern English and others. Building upon a growing profile, the act has made appearances across the national festival circuit with sets at Bersekertown, Cloak & Dagger and Levitation.

During that same period, the act went through a massive lineup change that found the band writing, recording and performing as a duo featuring founding member Brady Keehn and Melissa Scaduto. And naturally, as a result of those lineup changes, the remaining members radically reinvented their sound — moving towards a synth-based sound with minimal use of guitar; in fact, on EP3, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays last bit of recorded output before their indefinite hiatus, Keehn and Scaduto use a KORG MS-10 sequencer, a Fender Stratocaster, a LinnDrum and various other percussion-based instruments to craft a decidedly 80s industrial synth sound. “Hazing,” EP3’s latest single continues in a similar vein as its predecessors as its centered around a motorik groove, arpeggiated synths and clang and clatter — and while continuing a string of singles that sound indebted to Substance-era New Order.

Directed by Gabriel Francez, the recently released video for “Hazing” is a tense and lysergic fever dream, focused entirely on the subconscious desires of its subjects. “The video is about a dream. The idea was to represent the blurriness of it, where all of the perception is altered and images come one after the other,” Francez explains in press notes. “I imagined the dream being divided into three main levels separated by the red door, representing for the boy character a sign of escape. In each room he finds himself stuck in this surrealistic thriller and look desperately for the exit as the characters try to keep him in this crazy hallucination. It’s an odyssey within the dream where the character is tested by his subconscious.”

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform “Punch Back” for Fuzz Club Live Sessions

I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history and as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of founding member Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have a long-held reputation for an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to an unpredictable live show: they’re known for never writing an actual set list, sometimes spontaneously writing new songs during the middle of sets — and for being arguably one of the loudest bands on the planet.

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online.

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. Now, as you may recall that the live album’s second single was the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure for the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like track was centered around a snarling and throbbing Lunadon bass line, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the song evoking a towering fog of unease and malevolence.

Although I’m writing about this out of order, the live album’s first single is a furious and breakneck version of “Punch Back” that puts Braswell’s feral and snarling vocals and forceful drumming taking center stage while the song is propelled forward by Lunadon’s throbbing bass and Ackerman’s towering peals of feedback-fed guitar. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage captures the band’s current lineup at their fiercest, capturing the band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform a Previously Unreleased Single for Fuzz Club Sessions at Lovebuzz Studios

Over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history, I’ve written quite a bit about  Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, and as you may recall the band, which is currently comprised of Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and its newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have had a long-held reputation for having an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to unpredictable live shows: they’ve been known for never writing an actual set list, for  sometimes spontaneously writing new songs in the middle of the sets — and for arguably being one of the loudest bands on the planet. 

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online. 

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. The live album’s second and latest  latest single is the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like “Chrome Shadow” is centered around a snarling and throbbing bass line played by Lunadon, towering, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the end result being a towering fog of unease and malevolence. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage features the trio huddled around a drum machine and some other hardware that Ackermann uses to manipulate and distort his vocals and everything else. The live footage captures a band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.  

New Video: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Release a Wild Lysergic-Tinged Visual for Album Single “Execution”

I’ve written quite a bit about long-time, Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers throughout its 8 year history, and over that same period of time, the band currently comprised of Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and its newest member Lia Simone Braswell have developed a reputation for an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to unpredictable live shows — and for being one of the loudest bands on the planet. They’re also known for never writing an actual set list, for writing new songs in the middle of their sets and for deliberately provoking and sabotaging sound engineers in a variety of cruel and innovative ways — and as a result, they’re arguably one of the most exciting contemporary live bands you will see.

Dead Oceans will be releasing Re-Pinned, a remixed record featuring re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO. And to support the remix album and their latest effort, Pinned, the Brooklyn-based trio will be embarking on the second leg of their world tour with a NYC area date at the Doc Marten’s Union Square location — and you can check out the tour dates below; but before that, “Execution” is the latest single off Pinned and it finds the band adding subtle elements to their sound: scentered around noisy squalls of feedback,  a motorik groove, Ackermann’s pained, gritted teeth-like vocals and industrial clang and clatter, the song manages to feel much more tense and chillier while still remaining almost defiantly them.

Directed by Black Math’s Evan Fellers, the recently released video for the song is centered around jarring neon-tinged visuals thrown into an equally surreal  backgrounds and reality, creating a wildly lysergic visual mix. As Fellers explains “It was a blast to craft this dark nugget of visual energy for this edgy track by APTBS. Fueled by the contours of potential meaning found in ‘Execution’, a free-form fall into defining this world resulted in 70% confused trip, 26% weird brain juice on the run, 3% humor & 1% whatever the hell you want it to be.”