Tag: Alvvays

New Video: North Carolina’s Tracy Shedd Releases a Playful Stop Animation Visual for “Kissing and Romancing”

With the release of her five previous albums through labels like Teen Beat, New Granada Records and Devil In The Woods and stints in Band & The Beat, the Jacksonville, FL-born, Wilmington, NC-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Tracy Shedd has developed a reputation for being a musician’s musician, whose sound and approach has been compared to the likes of Alvvays, Belle & Sebastian, Liz Phair, My Bloody Valentine, Snail Mail, Sonic Youth and countless others.  

After Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley sit in on drums during her last US tour, Shedd began writing the material, which would comprise her forthcoming album The Carolinas in her new home of North Carolina. The album reportedly finds Shedd drawing upon her indie rock roots with some of her electro pop experiences with Band & The Beat — and is arguably some of the most playful material she’s written and recorded to date. The album’s first single is the coquettish fuzz pop anthem “Kissing and Romancing.” Centered around fuzzy power chords, a big infectious hook and a decidedly lo-fi production, the song manages to recall 90s grunge and fuzz pop — Liz Phair’s “Supernova” immediately comes to mind; but with a playful, coquettish air. 

The recently released video features stop-motion animation of a wooden robot dancing and courting a blue alien. And while drawing some influence from The White Stripes “Fell in Love with a Girl,” the video, much like the song has a playful air. 

Shedd’s latest album, The Carolinas is slated for a September 20, 2019 digitally through Fort Lowell Records and on vinyl through Science Project Records. 

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Fronted by primary songwriter and creative mastermind, Camella Agabalyan, the London-based, up-and-coming shoegaze quintet Cosmic Strip have described their work as “music to watch girls by, music to move the stars,” and “Heavenly,” the latest single from the band’s debut EP is a mesmerizing and anthemic track, centered by dexterous and shimmering power chords and soaring hook — and although some have compared the band and their sound to the likes of Beach House and Alvvays, to my ears, the band’s sound reminds me a bit of Wolf Alice and Lightfoils, but as the band says, the song is “. . . dedicated to the addictive feeling of your first love.”

The band has started to receive a attention from the blogosphere and as a result of a growing profile, the members of the band have made an appearance at The Great Escape  and are in the middle of a UK tour that includes a Wildness Festival set tonight. If you’re in the UK, check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates
03 Aug – Wilderness Festival
24 Aug – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
25 Aug – Night & Day Café, Manchester
27 Aug – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds (This Must Be The Place Festival)
31 Aug – Sebright Arms, London (EP launch party)

 

 

 

New Video: Beliefs Dark and Moody Cabaret-Inspired Visuals for “1994”

Although they’ve gone through a series of lineup changes and are currently constituted as a duo featuring its founding members and primary songwriters Jesse Crowe and Josh Korody, the Toronto, ON-based indie rock duo Beliefs have released two well-regarded full-length albums over the course of their seven years together — 2013’s self-titled debut and 2015’s Leaper; but the band can trace their origins to a shared love of late 80s and early 90s noise pop and shoegaze. Interestingly, the Canadian duo’s forthcoming third full, length effort Habitat was produced and engineered by the band’s Josh Korody and mixed by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh, who’s also mixed albums by Preoccupations, Alvvays and METZ, and features Leon Tahenny, who’s played with Austra, Death From Above 1979 and Owen Pallet on drums, finds the band completely destructing, remaking and remodeling their self-conscious shoegazer-like origins in pursuit of an uncompromising new sound in which the duo has stopped being defined by the sum of its influences and finds their own unique voice and sound — and that period can often be one of most exciting and pivotal periods for a band. “I hope that’s the case,” says Crowe. “That’s always how I feel about bands, too – when you listen to something and it seems like it’s leading to a whole other element of a band, when you feel like you’re in the hallway about to open the door to a whole other space that this band is creating. And I hope that that’s what happens with us. We have no real plans at this point. We don’t want to be a ‘shoegaze’ band anymore.”

Interestingly, Habitat was the first time that the band’s founding duo had written an album together, and as Crowe continues, “and we wrote 80% of it in a room in four days wth no previous material. It’s as spontaneous as can possibly be” — with material being derived from extensive jam sessions. Adding to the spontaneous nature of the material, the album was recorded and tracked in 16 days and was recorded with no grand design or plan at play; however, interestingly enough the material manages to be influenced by each individual member’s unique interests and obsessions while gravitating towards unfamiliar instruments and instrumentation. Lately, Korody has had an increasing interest in modular synths and avant industrial  sounds, partially influenced by his solo recording project Nailbiter while Crowe had been listening to a great deal of 90s hip-hop — in particular, Portishead’s Third.  “It’s a dark record, for sure,”  Crowe says of their new album. “I feel like we were drawing a lot more from, like, me being a Goth teenager and Josh only wanting to listen to Aphex Twin and me only wanting to listen to Portishead’s Third for the last year and stuff like that. But also it was time to embody the elements of being a ‘wall-of-sound’ band with some space and the idea of being able to be quiet when you should be quiet, and you can’t do that with three guitars. There’s no space. It just becomes all push and no pull.”

Habitat, the band’s third full-length effort is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Hand Drawn Dracula Records and Outside Music and the album’s latest single “1994” is reportedly a sort of sequel to Leaper’s “1992” and is a sleek and atmospheric track featuring ominously cascading synths, shimmering and angular guitar chords and propulsive drumming — and while allowing enough room for Crowe’s husky vocals to float and dart around the mix, the track sonically reminds me of Xiu Xiu, Antics-era Interpol, and others but with an eerily spectral vibe; as though the track was possessed by the lingering ghosts of one’s life. And they manage to do so within a song that eschews discernible or traditional song structures; in fact, much like Antics, the song is focused on creating and sustaining a particular mood than whether a chorus should be placed in a particular part of the song or not. 

Produced and edited by Christopher Mills, the video features Crowe and Korody performing in a dark room cabaret style –but the video manages to bear the appearance of old VHS tape, as it possesses a grainy quality in between cuts, nodding at the quality of the video for “1992.”

Comprised of founding members Erin Jenkins and Mathieu Blanchard and recent recruits Chris Dadge (bass), who has had stints in Lab Coast, Alvvays and Chad VanGaalen‘s backing band; and renowned singer/songwriter and guitarist Samantha Savage Smith joining a guitarist, Canadian band Crystal Eyes can trace their origins to the melancholic dream pop the duo wrote while nomadically bouncing back and forth between Tofino, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia — dream pop that the band’s founding duo has claimed has drawn from Francoise Hardy, Guided by Voices.  As a relatively constituted quartet, the band has continued to tour across their native Canada, including consecutive appearances at Pop Montreal.

The band’s latest effort The Female Imagination was written while the band spent time on a lake island in rural Ontario and was recorded on a Tascam 388. And according to the band, the album thematically focuses on and explores the other side of ourselves that we can never quite seem tor reach. The album’s latest single “Already Gone” consists dreamy and ethereal harmonies with layers of shimmering guitars played through copious amounts of reverb and delay pedal and a persistent, driving rhythm and in some way, the song sounds as though it were equally influenced by 60s garage psych — i.e., much like contemporary acts like Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels, early Dum Dum Girls, Death Valley Girls and countless others but with a moody and sensual feel.