Tag: Atlanta GA

David Haynes Holding, Sr. (bass, guitar) has had a lengthy music career that includes playing in several different projects during the legendary late 70s-early 80s Athens, GA music scene, a scene made famous by R.E.M. and The B52s. As a member of Dorothy’s Dream, Holding, Sr. recorded and released two albums.

Inspired by his father, David Haynes Holding, Jr. (vocals. guitar) grew up in Atlanta with dreams of rock stardom. Back in 2006, a 16 year-old Holding, Jr. founded and fronted The Last Relapse. After a six-year run. a couple of hundred shows across the Southeastern US and their full-length debut Machine, the band went on an indefinite hiatus.

In 2020, Sr. and Jr. began working on music again — first separately and then collaborating on material together. The older Holding has been wildly busy and prolific: Since 2020, Sr. has released five solo albums that see him working in an eclectic variety of musical styles and genres. He has also released two albums under the moniker Soci3ty. The younger Holder has been busy writing and recording material with a couple of former members of The Last Relapse on a new project yet to be announced.

Interestingly. Jr. and Sr. collaborate together on a family musical project that they’ve dubbed The Holdings. The duo’s debut EP Father & Son was released earlier this year. The EP’s lead single, the slow-burning and trippy “Stay Home” is centered around swirling guitar textures and vocals that drift and soar over the song’s arrangement. While sonically bringing Strays-era Jane’s Addiction to mind — at least to my ears — the song thematically touches upon love, life and surviving this brave new world we’re currently in.

“It was really awesome collaborating with my Dad on this album,” the younger Holding says. “He got me interested in music from a young age and we’ve always had similar music taste so it was cool to work on some original music together for the first time.”

New Audio: Paper Pools’ Ethereal and Mesmerizing “Portraits”

Allen Orr is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the psych pop/synth pop project Paper Pools, which he started back in 2019. Orr’s Paper Pools debut EP It’s in Our Mind is slated for a Friday release, and the EP thematically is a visionary travelogue charting Orr’s life.

Born and raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, music provided refuge from the constant uprootedness he felt growing up: he moved around the globe a lot with stops in Atlanta, Ireland and Prague before returning back to Atlanta. As a young man, Orr landed in New York, where he broke free of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and fully dove into his two main loves — music and visual art. Visual art took precedent for several years, helping him land a job in design in Los Angeles, where he has resided since 2013.

Music lured him back. And Orr’s music project derives its name as an allusion to artist David Hockney, best known for his shimmering paintings of Los Angeles area pools. Unsurprisingly, Orr considers Los Angeles a muse. “I’m lucky to live on a hill overlooking the city,” he says. “I wrote the music while staring across the skyline, which felt psychedelic.”

For Orr, it’s been a long, strange trip — but it’s all right there in the music: the peaks, the valleys and the years of soulful longing. Orr knew It’s in Our Mind needed to express — and convey — the highs and lows of his journey. “A key theme is the contrast between light and dark,” he says. “From a spiritual standpoint, the first half of my life thus far was completely opposite from the second half. There were many struggles to get to a more positive place.”

Setting up shop at Los Angeles-based 64 Sound with a cache of vintage gear, Orr wove the theme of contrast into the EP’s six songs while sonically the EP meshes elements of dance floor friendly indie pop, singer/songwriter introspection, contemporary psych pop like Tame Impala and Jim James, as well as Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Floyd. “Music from the 70s and 80s has so much sonic depth,” he explains. “I used that same kind of depth to draw listeners into my life and all the things I’ve gone through.”

Orr handled nearly everything himself: Doubling as producer, he sang and played almost every note, riff and synth part with the exception of some occasional backing vocals from The Amazombies‘ and Mal de Mer’s Kim Kelly and the material’s mesmerizing grooves, which were performed by Adam Christgau, who has worked with Troye Sivan, Sia, and Miley Cyrus.

It’s in Our Minds‘ latest single “Portraits” is a hypnotic bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering boom bap-driven groove paired with Orr’s plaintive falsetto and a well-placed, infectious hook. Sonically, the song evokes the sensation of tripping on hallucinogens — and the intense observations and feelings inspired by them.

“This song was inspired by a psychedelic experience I had during the COVID lockdown,” Orr explains. “The title ‘Portraits,’ alludes to a friend of mine. She’s a wonderful painter, and we did mushrooms together. It was one of the more visionary experiences I’ve had. It wasn’t like anything I encountered during my childhood. So much organized religion, and especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, is formal and structured. What my friend and I experienced was more like a journey. There was a moment when I thought the two of us were twins in a womb. It felt like we had traveled from birth to death. Then there were other times when I was basically looking down upon myself. It was intense. I know I didn’t actually experience these things, yet they felt very real and turned out to be deeply meaningful.”

It’s in Our Minds EP is slated for a Friday release. Be on the lookout for it.

Neil Sethi is a rising, Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based, Indian-American electronic music producer and DJ, best known as AIR APPARENT. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic array of artists and genres including Bollywood, hip-hop, pop punk and the likes of James Blake, Japanese Breakfast, Vampire Weekend, CHVRCHES and Purity Ring among others, the rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based artist has developed and honed a critically applauded sound and approach that sees him effortlessly meshing a myriad of genres and styles. Beyond braking down musical barriers, Sethi hopes to inspire other marginalized young people to pursue their creative endeavors.

Sethi released his sophomore AIR APPARENT EP, Color Dreams in 2019. He followed that up with his biggest single to date, 2020’s “three strikes” feat. DAVVN, a track that has since amassed over 119,000 Spotify streams.

The rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based electronic music artist’s full-length debut, Chromatic is slated for a September 16, 2022 release. Sonically, the album’s material reportedly will be a splashy and vibrant fusion of 80s funk and electronic dance music paired with soaring, R&B and pop-leaning hooks — while thematically, the album chronicles the highs and lows of a romantic relationship. Along with that, the album will display Sethi’s range as a musician on full display: he wrote more melodies and lyrics than ever before. Reportedly, the end result is dynamic, dreamy fantasy that imagines summer lasting all year long while busting traditional genre boundaries.

“I wanted to play on the idea that electronic music doesn’t have to be one thing. It can be stretched and smeared in different directions,” Sethi says of Chromatic. “The title refers to me expressing my vision of electronic music in a range of different colors, just how you can take a human experience and find 25 different angles and narratives within it.”

Chromatic‘s latest single, “Leave Me” is a sultry, infectious bop that sonically is a slick synthesis of New Jack Swing, 80s synth funk, contemporary electro pop and R&B centered around glistening synth arpeggios. wobbling bass synths, skittering and thumping beats, a chopped up and distorted vocal sample paired with Megan Ashworth‘s sultry yet contemplative delivery and a soaring, infectious hook. But underneath the breezy and infectious hookiness of the song, is a narrator, who’s desperate to move forward with her life, and is begging her partner to leave her and find someone else that might be a better fit.

Interestingly, the track emerged from Sethi’s desire to pay homage to electronic influences like KAYTRANADA and Disclosure, and took shape after he discovered a vocal sample on Splice that he played around with, eventually chopping it up and distorting it. “As I listened to it more and more,” Sethi explains, “I realized the melody was really hooky so I went back and wrote an initial pass of lyrics based on the vocal sample and tune.”

Inspired by Flying Lotus and J. Dilla, pantology added an electric bass line that took the production further — but it still lacked a vocalist. “When it came to figuring out a topline vocal,”says Sethi, “I was lucky to discover Megan Ashworth online and work with her team on getting an impeccable vocal that sat nicely in the mix with a powerful, yet reflective energy.” 

Live Footage: Atlanta’s CDSM Performs “666” at Yellow Studio

Atlanta-based collective Celebrity Death Slot Machine (CDSM) — Ben Presley, Tyler Jundt and John Restivo, Jr. along with live accompaniment from Jack Blauvelt, Drew Kirby and Vinny Restivo — features current and former members of local acts like Material GirlsNeighbor LadyMothers, and Rose Hotel.

CDSM is a decided sonic departure from its members previous and current projects: The Atlanta-based collective’s sound blends elements of dark wave, psych rock and post punk in an edgy, genre-bending fashion. The act’s debut EP Hell Stairs was released late last week through Mothland and EXAG Records.

Hell Stairs which features the LCD Soundsystem from hell meets No Wave-like “GFH” finds the members of CDSM crafting material that’s simultaneously glamorous and bleak, swanky and derelict, uplifting and crushing. The EP’s latest single “666” is a dance punk song that’s one-part dark wave, one-part no wave featuring relentlessly tight four-on-the-floor, buzzing synth arpeggios and swirling sax lines paired with crooner-esque laments fittingly delivered with a Vincent Price-like campiness while detailing evil, murderous deeds over the course of a bloody, moonlit night.

Sure there’s murder and mayhem but that doesn’t mean you can’t dance the night away. Just make sure you don’t slip on the blood, eh?

The accompanying video features the band playing at the soon-to-be opened Yellow Studios.

New Video: Atlanta’s CDSM Shares Menacing and Feverish “GFH”

Atlanta-based collective Celebrity Death Slot Machine (CDSM) — Ben Presley, Tyler Jundt and John Restivo, Jr. along with live accompaniment from Jack Blauvelt, Drew Kirby and Vinny Restivo — features current and former members of local acts like Material Girls, Neighbor Lady, Mothers, and Rose Hotel.

CDSM is a decided sonic departure from its members previous and current projects: The Atlanta-based collective’s sound blends elements of dark wave, psych rock and post punk in an edgy, genre-bending fashion.

Their latest single, the LCD Soundsystem from hell meets No Wave-like “GFH” is centered around swirling synths, wobbling disco-like bass lines, driving four-on-the-floor, copious cowbell, swirling synths and saxophone skronk paired with irony drenched baritone vocals. Underneath the dance floor rocking thump is a menace and paranoia-fueled fever dream of a tale that follows a troubled young man, who gets busted by the cops and makes a deal to reduce his sentence. The troubled young man agrees to become an undercover agent and wear a wire. During an operation, his cover is busted and he’s brutally killed. But through a weird bit of fate, he’s fittingly reincarnated as a rat.

The accompanying animated video by Anna Firth is fittingly a hallucinogenic and uneasy fever dream that follows the song’s story in an immersive fashion.

New Video: Acclaimed and Rising Soul Artist Curtis Harding Releases a Slow-Burning and Trippy Single

Atlanta-based psychedelic soul artist Curtis Harding broke out Stateside with the release of 2017’s Sam Cohen and Danger Mouse co-produced Face Your Fear. The album amassed over 60 million Spotify steams while receiving praise from NPR, who declared that it was one of the year’s best R&B release, while calling Harding, a “gifted, gospel-bred shooter and deep digger in the Curtis Mayfield/Stevie Wonder crates” Complex who hailed the album as “vintage, classic soul music” with “psychedelic splashes and a touch of garage rock fuzz” and New York Magazine, who raved that “with a scorching voice like his, the funk is eternal.” And with the buzz surrounding him, Harding wound up playing dates with everyone from Jack White to Lenny Kravtiz while playing festival sets at Newport Folk, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and others.

Harding’s sophomore album If Words Were Flowers is slated for a Friday releaser through Anti- Records. Written and recorded over the past two tumultuous years, the album’s material is draws from vintage soul, R&B, hip-hop, garage rock and psychedelia and centered around airtight grooves, punchy horns and Cohen’s adventurous production. “Nina Simone said that it’s an artist’s job to reflect the times,” Harding explains. “I think it’s important to live in the moment. If you do that and you’re honest and vulnerable, you can reach the people that need to be reached.”

“Explore” If Words Were Flowers‘ fifth and latest single is a slow-burning song that’s one-part, trippy psych soul with horns and twinkling keys drenched in reverb and delay and one-part classic, Quiet Storm-like soul serving as a silky and sumptuous bed for Harding’s plaintive falsetto croon. But at its core “Explore” sees its narrator diving headfirst into a sea of new experiences — romantically and sensually — with a new partner.

New Video: Watch Rising Artist Faye Webster Hangs Out with Real Bike Life Only Crew in Visual for “Cheers”

Faye Webster is a rapidly rising 23 year-old, Atlanta-based multidisciplinary artist: Webster is an acclaimed photographer, who has shot campaigns for the likes of Killer Mike, Offset, D.R.A.M., Nike and several other brands. She’s a sometimes model — and known for being a full-time yo-yo enthusiast. Of course for our purposes, the Atlanta-based Webster is an acclaimed singer/songwriter and self-taught guitarist, who grew up in a highly musical family: her family has a long-held tradition of bluegrass and country.

Webster released her full-length debut Run & Tell when she was 16. Despite her relative youth, the album revealed a self-assured and stunning lyrical and artistic clarity. While her Southern roots were obvious, Webster was inspired by a number of things outside of country music: she was deeply embedded in the city’s hip-hop scene. Lil’ Yachty was one of her classmates. She was sneaking out to see underground shows. And she managed to befriend rapper and producer Ethereal while she was in high school. The rising Atlanta-based artist eventually signed with Awful Records, the label home of Father, Playboy Carti and Ethereal. Although superficially it seemed like an odd fit, Webster shared the weirdo art-kid ethos of her labelmates — impossible to peg, endlessly experimenting, making cool shit, doing stuff and being genre-fluid.

2017’s self-titled album caught the attention of Secretly Canadian, who then signed her and released her third album, 2019’s Atlanta Millionaires Club to widespread critical acclaim. Webster’s fourth album, the Drew Vandenberg-produced I Know I’m Funny haha is slated for a June 25, 2021 release through Secretly Canadian. Reportedly, I Know I’m Funny haha is her most fully-realized and honest effort to date. Though she has previously recorded material through a song-by-song approach, 2020 necessitated a much more intensive process than before with a hand-picked collection of Athens best players including Harold Brown (drums), Bryan Howard (bass), Nic Rosen (keys) and Matt “Pistol” Stossel (pedal steel).

So far, Webster has released two singles off the album: “Better Distractions,” which was included on President Obama’s playlist of his favorite songs and “In A Good Way.” The album’s third and latest single “Cheers” is a slow-burning, New Wave-like track featuring buzzing and shimmering guitars, an angular bass line, propulsive drumming and Webster’s intimate and expressive vocals. While seemingly neurotic and confessional, the song lyrically is rooted around a central irony — a relationship that’s uncertain and confusing that could be something but maybe isn’t. “Cheers to whatever this is!”

“Right after the first take it felt different to me and it made it feel like I was entering a new era and chapter for myself,” the Atlanta-based multi-disciplinary artist says of the album’s third and latest single. “It’s kind of the outlier on the record but at the same time is still so original and identifying to myself. Also it just makes me feel like a badass for once.”

Directed by Matt Swinksy, the recently released video has Faye hanging out with Atlanta bike scene king SIG and the Real Bike Life Only riders. Throughout the video, we see the self-professed yo-yo enthusiast doing some of her favorite tricks while SIG and the Real Bike Only crew tear up the pavement all across Atlanta. “I’ve known SIG and the Bike Life guys for many years now,” Swinsky says in press notes. “People love what they do and ye there are still many people, who are so quick to judge and label them in a hateful way. Everyone of them that I’ve met has been kind, welcoming and hospitable to us, so that inspires me to continue documenting them the best I can.”

Patrick Kapp is a Chicago-based signer/songwriter, guitarist and creative mastermind behind the solo recording project Midwestern Dirt. Since the project’s formation in 2017, the Chicago-based Kapp has written, recorded and self-released three full-length albums including his most recent, this year’s Sayonara.

Midwestern Dirt’s sound is informed by Radiohead, Deerhunter, Wilco, and Pavement: reverb-drenched guitars paired with propulsive drumming and lyrics that thematically concern themselves with both personal experiences and the world at large.

Sayonara was recorded last May in Atlanta’s Sleeping Partner Studios on 16-track tape machine. The album finds Kapp continuing to make Midwestern Dirt a family affair: “We recorded over four steamy days in Georgia on a 16-track tape machine with two of my wife’s other brothers playing bass and drums. This has essentially been our recording setup for all three Midwestern Dirt LPs to date,” Kapp says in press notes. Additionally, the studio was run by Kapp’s brother-in-law.

The album’s latest single “Black Lotus” is a slow-burning track centered around reverb-drenched guitars, propulsive drumming, Kapp’s plaintive falsetto and an alternating quiet-loud-quiet structure and slowly builds up in intensity until the song’s euphoric coda. Sonically, “Black Lotus” reminds me The Bends-era Radiohead with a shoegazer-like quality to it. “The chords to this track were written the day after David Bowie died and sat around for awhile sans lyrics as a voice memo on my phone,” Kapp recalls. “Years later the words started to take shape. Musically, the verses have a meditative energy while the drums slowly build in expression, intricacy, and power as the song grows, with the final chorus being a burst of sonic euphoria.”