Tag: Arrowhawk Records

New Video: Arbor Labor Union Releases a Hallucinogenic Animated Visual for “Flowerhead”

Atlanta-based indie rock act Arbor Labor Union, comprised of Bo Orr (vocals, guitar), Ben Salle (drums), Brain Atoms (guitar) and Ryan Evers (bass) features band members have long been members of — and have been influenced by — the ideology and ethos of DIY punk and hardcore, with their work drawing from cosmic country and cosmic Americana, Whitman, an appreciation towards nature and the working-class sympathies of Woody Guthrie. Or in the band’s words “CCR meets The Minute Men.”

Their sophomore album, 2016’s I Hear You was released through Sub Pop Records and building upon a growing profile, the Atlanta-based act toured with the likes of Dinosaur, Jr.,Outer Spaces, Gnarwhal and The Gotobeds among others. It’s been a while since I’ve personally heard from them or have written about them — but as it turns out, the band had been busy working on their highly-anticipated, third album New Petal Instants, which is slated for a February 7, 2019 through Arrowhawk Records. The forthcoming album’s first single is the shaggy and twangy “Flowerhead.” While featuring a buoyant and propulsive CCR meets Sun Records country-like groove, the jam-like track is centered around a loose and expansive song structure paired with mind-melting meditations on nature and cosmos. But unlike their most of their previously released material, “Flowerhead” is arguably the most danceable/boppable they’ve ever released. 

The recently released video for “Flowerhead” features stop motion-animation and collages by the band’s Bo Orr and edited stock footage — and while continuing the band’s long-held DIY ethos, the video is like the Grand Ole Opry on hallucinogens. 

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New Video: Shana Falana Releases a Dazzlingly Gorgeous Visual for “Come and Find Me”

Over the past few years, I’ve written and photographed the California-born, Upstate New York-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay Shana Falana. And as you may recall, Falana can trace the origins of her music career to her involvement in San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene in the 90s, where she also had a stint in a local Bulgarian women’s choir. In the early 00s, she had relocated to New York. And as the story goes, by 2006 Falana had been struggling through drug addiction and financial woes, when she lost part of an index finger in a work-related accident.

Under most normal circumstances, the accident would be considered extremely unlucky and tragic; however, Falana received settlement money, which provided a much-needed period of financial stability — and it also allowed her to get sober and find a new focus in her life and music. Her sophomore album, last year’s Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized and written during two disparate parts of her life — while she was struggling with drug addiction and desperately trying to get sober ad the subsequent years of sobriety. Understandably, much of that album’s material was rewritten and revised with the growing sense of perspective and awareness that comes as you’ve gotten older and a bit a wiser. Thematically, that album touched upon transformation as as a result of emotional and spiritual turmoil; the necessary inner strength, resolve and perseverance to overcome difficulties; the eventual acceptance of aging, time passing and of one’s own impending mortality.

Slated for an October 25, 2019 release through Arrowhawk Records, Falana’s third album Darkest Light has been playfully described by its creator as “druggy music by sober people” but at its core, the album is naturally full of mystery, contract and paradox. The Kingston, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist has worked deep in her own niche in the psych rock, shoegaze and ethereal punk worlds and on the forthcoming album reportedly finds her converting weird, magical and occasionally nasty energy into  authentic messages of personal empowerment, rebirth and redemption. “I’ve been around a while,” Falana says. “I was an addict. I worked on the fringe of the sex industry in New York City for two years. I know that even in the darkest lives, everyone still has their light. People still shine. Darkest Light is an album of mantras.”

The album finds Falana continuing her ongoing collaboration with drummer Mike Amari and producer D. James Goodwin, who has worked with the likes of Kevin Morby, Wand, Heather Woods Broderick and others. Reportedly, the trio build manage to construct a sound that at points is stormy, heavy and harrowing and at other points delicate without overwhelming Falana’s delicate and vocals.  Interestingly, the album’s first single is the sparse and hauntingly gorgeous “Come and Find Me.” Centered around Falana’s delicate vocals and strummed guitar, the song expresses a plaintive and aching longing, making it arguably one of the most heartbreaking songs of her growing catalog. 

“This is the only song on the record that is not ‘new,'” Falana says of the new single. “I wrote it while still living in BK over a decade ago, and at the time (not yet sober) I thought I was waiting for my love, my prince, my savior to come to me. But since then I’ve realized it was a plea to myself. It took me years to get to a place where I felt I could put this song out, and perform it regularly. It’s from the deepest, quietest part of my heart. When we decided to put this on the record I knew it needed to be the first single . . . so it could stand on its own for a while.” The song does what we all do at some point, as we get older — look back at our past selves with a mix of shame, pity and empathy for all the things we somehow didn’t know, all the things we lost, but with the innate understanding that we wouldn’t be who we are now without those younger and more foolish selves. 

Directed and shot by D. James Goodwin, the recently released video is a an appropriately stark and intimate visual featuring Falana, neck deep in water, with a small bit of light on her face, reflected back into the water. It’s a dazzlingly gorgeous visual for a gorgeous and heartfelt song. 

Comprised of founding member singer/songwriter Jack Cherry, Jack Webster (bass), Howard Stewart (drums), Clark Brown (guitar) and Declan Farisse (guitar), the Athens, GA-based indie rock quintet Juan de Fuca can trace their origins back to when Cherry started the band as a solo recording project. And with the release of 2015’s cavern of EP, some of Cherry’s Athens area music friends encouraged Cherry to make something bigger happen with his material. As the story goes, Webster and Stewart opened pushed for Cherry to expand the project into a full-fledged band — and when Brown and Farisee joined the band, the newly constituted quintet because working on developing a sound that drew from shoegaze and early 00s post-punk.

With the January 12, 2018 release of their Drew Vandenberg-produced, full-length debut Solve/Resolve through Arrowhawk Records, the band reportedly attempts to channel the intimacy of early demos with a wide spectrum, layered sound and through the album’s ten tracks, the band’s material focuses on themes of struggle, nihilism, loss and redemption, like a turbulent undertow rumbling across a briefly placid surface; in fact, at the album’s first dates single “All The Time” finds the band pairing layers of jangling and shimmering guitar chords, soaring hooks and a propulsive rhythm section with Cherry’s vocals floating ethereally above the fray. And as you hear the song, it shouldn’t be surprising to see an uncanny resemblance to The Walkmen and others but with a blistering insistence.

 

 

 

New Video: The Gorgeously Expressive and Surreal Visuals for SOFTSPOT’s “Habits”

If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past few months you may recall that the Brooklyn-based indie rock act SOFTSPOT was initially founded in 2009 as a duo featuring its founding members Sarah Kinlaw and Bryan Keller, Jr. And other the past few years, the act has gradually evolved into a quartet featuring some of the NYC’s more accomplished and talented musicians, who have a history of collaborating with each other in a wild, almost unfettered creativity; in fact, as the story goes, Kinlaw and Keller, Jr. recruited long-time friends Blake Bateh, a member of JOVM mainstays Bambara (drums), who joined the band for the recording of MASS and Jonathan Campelo, a member of Pill (synths), who joined the band during the tour to support MASS.

Arrowhawk Records, the label home of Bambara, Cinemechanica and White Laces, released the band’s latest effort Clearing last week, and the album is the first recorded effort featuring the band’s current (and expanded) lineup — and interestingly, the album finds the band refining their sound and songwriting approach. Clearing’s first single “Abalone,” was a spectral yet tense single that featured a tightly syncopated rhythm section, shimmering guitar lines and twinkling synths and Kinlaw’s ethereal and expensive vocals. “Heat Seeker,” Clearing’s second single continues in a similar vein as it possesses an equally haunting and specetal quality while drawing from New Wave as the song features slashing guitar attack with propulsive metronomic-like drumming and Kinlaw’s vocals expressing the difficulties and frustrations in attaining true and lasting connections with others — while revealing a novelistic approach to its narrator psychological makeup. “Habits,” the album’s third and latest single is an atmospheric, slow-burning, and moody track that seems to draw from jazz, psych rock, indie rock, and pop while being roomy enough to allow Kinlaw’s expressive and ethereal vocals room to dance and roam through an equally gorgeous arrangement. And throughout, there’s a visceral ache as the song focuses on loss and memory — but with a dark, uneasy undercurrent.

Produced and filmed by New Media, Ltd, the gorgeously cinematic black and white video has Kinlaw, who interestingly enough is a choreographer, room to expressively dance in empty rooms and negative spaces. At points, her movements are edited like a stop-motion film, and it gives the video a surreal, dream-like logic before showing Kinlaw’s long and seemingly final descent into darkness.

Originally founded in 2009 as a duo by founding members Sarah Kinlaw and Bryan Keller, Jr., the Brooklyn-based indie rock act SOFTSPOT has gradually evolved into a quartet of friends and fellow musicians with a history of collaborating with each other and wild, almost unfettered creativity; in fact in 2012, Kinlaw and Keller recruited long-time friends and renowned musicians Blake Bateh, a member of JOVM mainstays Bambara (drums), who joined the band for the recording of MASS and Jonathan Campelo, a member of Pill (synths), who joined the band during the tour to support MASS.

Slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Arrowhawk Records, the label home of Bambara, Cinemechanica and White LacesClearing is the first recorded effort featuring the band’s current lineup and the album finds the band refining their sound and songwriting approach. Now, if you had been frequenting this site for a while, you may recall that I wrote about Clearing‘s first single “Abalone,” a spectral yet tense and urgent song that featured a tightly syncopated rhythm section, shimmering guitar lines and twinkling synths paired with Kinlaw’s gorgeous and ethereal vocals. The album’s second and latest single “Heat Seeker” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor but manages to sound as though it draws from New Wave, 80s synth pop and prog rock as the band pairs slashing guitar attack with propulsive metronomic-like drumming, Kinlaw’s plaintive and ethereal vocals, twisting, turning and shimmering synths and a soaring hook within a gently morphing song structure. And much like “Abalone,” Clearing‘s latest “Heat Seeker” possesses a hauntingly spectral quality but there’s an underlying tenseness at its core, stemming from the difficulties and frustrations in attaining true and lasting connection with others, while revealing a song with a novelistic approach to its narrator’s psychological makeup.

 

 

New Video: Cinemechanica’s Abrasive, Insistent Sounds and Visuals for “Hang Up The Spurs”

The album’s second single “Hang Up The Spurs” will further cement the trio’s reputation for crafting incredibly abrasive and punishing barn burners consisting of spastic tempo changes, dense layers of slashing, angular guitar chords, rapid fire, staccato drumming that evokes machine guns and furiously howled vocals. It’s frenetic, angry, insistent and full of spastic, whiplash-inducing tempo changes that evoke a furious and pain-filled how into an uncaring, indifferent universe.

Comprised of South Park-like construction paper animation by Travis Betz, the recently released video for “Hang Up The Spurs” possess a surreally nightmarish and grimly violet dream-like logic, in which killer robots roam the Earth and stab everything in their sight, including the soldiers tasked to destroy those killer robots and ends with the moon turned into an angry Medusa that turns everything on the planet into stone.