Tag: Crystal Stilts

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. 

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New Video: Brooklyn’s I Am The Polish Army Releases Symbolic Visuals for the Cathartic Single “Throat”

Currently comprised of founding member Emma DeCorsey (vocals, guitar), Turner Stough (bass) and Eric Kuby (drums), the Brooklyn-based indie rock trio I Am The Polish Army can trace its origins to back to the when DeCorsey first considered the strength of her voice and the purpose behind the music floating around in her head back in 2005. And between those early moments in which DeCorsey was trying to figure out what she should be doing musically and when the band finished its full-length debut My Old Man, the band had gone through several different iterations that failed, her home studio equipment was stolen and she scrapped the original ideas and material for what would be their debut and rewrote the bulk of it. But when she befriended Stough and Kuby, the direction of her life seemed permanently altered.

As the story goes, within three months of their first rehearsal together, the trio was in the studio with acclaimed engineer Charles Burst, who has worked with the likes of Neko Case, Psychic Ills and Crystal Stilts were working on the material that would comprise My Old Man. Driven by a desire to reinvent the material that DeCorsey wrote, the members of the band broke down each song to its essential elements and reshaped them in the mold of bands like Veruca Salt and The Breeders — bands that were heroes to a teenaged DeCorsey. 

Thematically and sonically, its material is meant to walk a careful tightrope between an enormous emotional weight and a redemptive catharsis, and unsurprisingly, the album which features songs that growl, punch, tear and ache draws from some of the harrowing, life-shattering experiences of its creator; in fact, My Old Man’s latest single”Throat” while being a 90s alt rock-inspired power chord ripper, draws from a deeply troubling and unexpected physical violation from someone the narrator trusted and cared about very deeply, focusing on the surreal moment when you’ve recognized that the person you’ve cared about wants to kill you — and that you may have to kill them to survive. Naturally, that particular violation will destroy your sense of security and trust in yourself — after all, you trusted and cared about someone, who tried to do you killed you — and in others. And for the rest of your, you find yourself much more deliberate and careful in your involvements and attachments to others; the fears and uncertainties linger. The song is steeped in the adrenaline, the fear and the weird recollections — in particular, the feel of snow on the narrator’s skin. 

As the band’s Emma DeCorsey writes in a personal statement on the song “‘Throat’ takes place on the early morning of December 21, 2008. I was crazy about a guy who refused to have a physical relationship with me, only over text. We’re having a text/sext moment at about 1:00am and I’m about to call it and go to sleep. At the same exact another sometime rock star I’d been vaguely involved with decides to show up in my life again and insists on coming to visit me in Sunset Park, a neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s pretty far away from the main scene. It was 3:00am and I couldn’t say no, something it took me years to be able to do. Turns out he likes to strangle women. It was snowing. I get frostbite easily. I’m not sure how I got rid of him.” 

Directed by Bon Jane, the recently released video for “Throat” is split between footage of DeCorsey walking around and commuting across the Lower East Side and Williamsburg in a ballroom gown, full of both determined and furious intent and desperation and multiple hands that touch her face and neck in a sensual fashion before getting a bit more aggressive. After watching the video multiple times, it struck me that throughout that DeCorsey was desperately escaping the camera, who was stalking her. 

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant  and vital role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Rose had briefly relocated back to her hometown of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest,” but interestingly enough, the cover album’s latest single is a slightly sped up rendition of “At Night,” which retains the original’s moody and foreboding vibe — all while reminding contemporary listeners of how influential and timeless The Cure’s work has been; in fact, you can easily imagine a contemporary band recording something that would have sounded like the material off Seventeen Seconds right now.

 

This past weekend has been a very busy one for me, as I’ve taken part in a Baby Robot Media hosted Mondo.NYC panel titled “Your First PR Campaign” and I’ve managed to cover some of the festival — while squeezing in my beloved New York Yankees, who have managed to get into the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. There will be more on Mondo.NYC in the future; but in the meantime, let’s get to some music, eh?

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. And interestingly enough, Rose has been considered a controversial and restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were beginning to attain some measure of success. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you may recall that Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens. Album single “Dyson Sphere” managed to sound as though it owed a debt to 80s New Wave — in particular A Flock of Seagulls I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’Israel” and “Happy House,” immediately came to my mind.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest.” And if there’s one thing the Frankie Rose cover should do two things: remind contemporary listeners that a great song can truly be timeless and that The Cure should be considered one of the more important bands of the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The 80s New Wave-Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Frankie Rose’s Latest Single “Dyson Sphere”

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s  indie rock scene, both as a solo artist and as an original member of critically applauded and commercially successful acts like Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly; in fact, if you’ve been covering music in this town as long as I have, you may recall that Rose was a largely considered a controversial, restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were about to attain some measure of success. As the story goes, Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, she gradually found herself running short on sleep, money and optimism.  “I moved to LA, drama ensued and I ended up on a catering truck. I was like, how can this be my life after being a touring musician and living off of music. I had really lost my way and I thought I was totally done,” the indie rock artist recalls in press notes.

During those restless nights, Rose spent her time listening to Art Bell’s paranormal-themed archives and her thoughts turned fatalistic — in the sense that she started to feel as though she wasn’t cut out for the music business, and wondering what she was going to do next. “But out of it all, I just decided to keep making music, because it is what I love and what I do — regardless of the outcome,” the indie rock artist says.

Towards the end of her 18 month stint back in Los Angeles, Rose reached out to Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens and began sketching what eventually became the basic outline of what felt like a new album. When Rose returned back to Brooklyn, she had the realization that she had to do it on her own, and naturally it meant working with basically no budget and finding ways to record in-between days; however, Rose credits it as being incredibly useful as it allowed her to experiment with a variety of people, who helped change her creative process and songwriting as a whole. “I got a lot of people from people like Dave Harrington (Darkside), who was helpful in reconstructing the songs, adding dynamics and changing up the rhythms.”

The end result is Rose’s soon-to-be released fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Dyson Sphere,” the material takes on a decidedly spectral yet New Wave-inspired sound, complete with analog synths, an angular and propulsive bass line, angular guitar chords fed through delay and reverb pedals, dramatic percussion and a soaring hook paired with Rose’s ethereally crooned vocals floating over the mix. And although the song is reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’ “Israel” and “Happy House,” it may be the one of the more personal and albums of Rose’s career — and while seemingly dark, there’s an underlying and subtle sense of hope; that the darkest days of one’s creative or personal life certainly aren’t forever.  “It’s all essentially based on what happened to me in Los Angeles and then a return to Brooklyn. Misery turned into something good,” Rose says of the album in press notes. “The whole record to me is a redemption record and it is the most positive one I’ve made.

“I feel like I am finally free from worrying about an outcome. I don’t care. I already lost everything. I already had the worst-case scenario. When that happens, you do become free. In the end, it’s about me rescuing myself via having this record.”

Directed by Daniel Carbone, the recently released video for “Dyson Sphere” is an incredibly 80s New Wave-inspired performance video that features the Brooklyn-based indie artist and her backing band shot in a hazy and moody shadows, complete with trippy fade outs and bursts of color, that should remind anyone who grew up in the 80s of watching warped and over-recorded VHS tape.

Comprised of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitar), Peter Gudim Marberg (bass), Håvard Haga (guitar), Bjørn Marius Kristiansen (touring drummer) and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (studio drummer/live drummer), the Oslo, Norway-based indie rock band Mayflower Madame formed during the winter of 2010-2011. They started rehearsing in a desolate industrial building, where they shared the space with a carwash company. And amidst the lonely and gritty surroundings, the band quickly came upon an appropriately dark, post-punk sound, and then recorded a four song demo, which quickly won them national attention.  By August 2011, the Oslo-based indie rock band won the Unsigned Band of the Week on one of Norway’s biggest radio stations, which then lead to regular airplay on national radio — with the band spending 2012 building upon their growing profile with local and national touring, and writing material for their first official release.

In 2013, Mayflower Madame was selected to play a showcase featuring Scandinavia’s best, up-and-coming band at that year’s Norwegian Wood Festival, which was headlined by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and My Bloody Valentine and they continued a big year by releasing their debut EP Into the Haze, an effort that received attention across the blogosphere. In fact, adding to a growing profile, the Norwegian band opened for renowned neo-psych act Crystal Stilts — and they released an attention-grabbing video for EP title track “Into the Haze” that had been directed by Kenneth Karlstad and was inspired by Expressionist horror films.

In early 2015, the Norwegian indie rock band released “Lovesick” a single that was picked up by Custom Made Music and received Stateside radio airplay and praise from several publications including L.A. Record, who wrote that the single was “powerfully lysergic reverb rock” and The Work Magazine, who wrote that the single was a “loyal homage to the legends of the 60s and a heaping spoonful of UK drone-rock.” The members of the band spent the rest of ’15 writing and recording tracks for their full-length debut Observed in a Dream while touring and playing shows with Disappears, Moon Duo and La Femme — and along with that they toured outside of Scandinavia for the first time.

Mayflower Madame – Lovesick from Mayflower Madame on Vimeo.

The band’s full-length debut, Observed in a Dream was released last year through the band’s own label Night Cult Records throughout the European Union in April and through Custom Made Music throughout North America in June, and the album managed to caught the attention of several internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, Drowned in SoundClash MagazineClassic Rock MagazineLouder Than WarGhettoblaster Magazine, as well as praise in their homeland. Adding to a growing profile, album singles “Lovesick” and “Weightless” received extensive airplay in the US, including several Top 20 and Top 5 rotations on college radio stations.

Mayflower Madame is currently on a North American tour, which includes a stop tonight at Philadelphia‘s Kung Fu Necktie — and you can check out the rest of the tour dates below; however, as they were about to go on tour, the band released a reverb-filled, moody, new single “Drown,” which interestingly enough will further cement their reputation for crafting 80s-inspired post-punk that sounds as though it draws from The Sisters of Mercy, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 while subtly nodding at classic shoegaze and the 4AD Records sound.

TOUR DATES
4/2 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
4/3 – Diabolical Records – Salt Lake City, UT
4/4 – The Manor – Boise, ID
4/5 – Funhouse – Seattle, WA
4/6 – The Cobalt – Vancouver, BC
4/7 – Out From The Shadows Festival @ Tonic – Portland, OR
4/8 – Somos Gallery – Salinas, CA
4/9 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
4/10 – Complex – Los Angeles, CA
4/11 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA

 

Comprised of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitar), Rune Øverby (guitar), Petter Gudim Marberg (bass), Ola Jørgen Kyrkjeeide (drums) and live contributions from Kenneth Ekes (synth), Olso, Norway quartet Mayflower Madame specialize in a moody and dark post-punk/darkwave/chillwave sound that immediately brings to mind 4AD Records heyday along with several contemporary bands, including Interpol, JOVM mainstay artists The Harrow and others. And since the 2013 release of their debut EP Into the Haze, the Norwegian quartet have developed a reputation nationally for their live shows; in fact, they’ve played two of their homelands biggest festivals Norwegian Wood and Oya Festival, as well as opening for a number of renowned acts including Crystal Stilts, Night Beats, Moon Duo and JOVM mainstay acts Disappears, Crocodiles and La Femme.

Mayflower Madame’s full-length debut Observed in a Dream was released earlier this year across Europe through Night Cult Records and was released across North America through Custom Made Music earlier this month and the album’s first latest single “Weightless”  consists of a tight motorik groove paired with shimmering guitar chords and Fagernes’ brooding baritone in a song that will further cement the quartet’s growing reputation for moody 4AD Records era post-punk — but in a remarkably hazy and ethereal song.

 

 

Currently comprised of Drew Citron (vocals, guitar) and Scott Rosenthal, the Brooklyn-based band Beverly was initially formed back in 2013 by Citron and Frankie Rose, best known in New York music scene circles as being in the early lineups of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts, as well as several other projects before releasing material as a solo artist. Now, if you were following this site back in 2014 you may recall coming across  a post on “Planet Birthday,” the third single off the band’s full-length debut Careers was a noisy and propulsive song with swirling and towering feedback and layers of buzzing guitars paired with seductively crooned vocals. Sonically, the song seemed to channel early Dum Dum Girls and The Go-Gos but as though they were covering The Jesus and Mary Chain — but with a loose, boozy feel.

“Contact,” is the latest single form the band’s long-awaited sophomore effort, The Blue Swell, slated for a May 6 release through Kanine Records, and the new effort not only reveals a lineup change but also a decided change in sonic direction as the band pairs shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive and driving rhythm section with gorgeous and ethereal vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though the band drew from Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, My Gold Mask, garage rock and shoegaze.

The band is the middle of an lengthy tour, which will include several sets at SXSW and an NYC area set at Baby’s All Right. Check tour dates below.

Tour Dates
Mar 15 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Spider House
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Valhalla
Mar 17 Austin, TX – Container Bar
Mar 17 Austin, TX – El Sapo
Mar 18 Austin, TX – Maggie Mae’s
Mar 19 Dallas, TX – Spillover Fest
Mar 22 Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall *
Mar 23 Omaha, NE – Milk Run *
Mar 24 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen *
Mar 25 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub *
Mar 26 State College, PA – Chronic Town *
May 5 Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right (Record Release Show)
May 7 Rough Trade Record Store, Brooklyn, NY (2pm free instore)
May 10 Amsterdam, NE – De School
May 13 Paris, FR – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
May 16 Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen +
May 17 Bristol, UK – The Louisiana +
May 18 London, UK – The Victoria Dalston +
June 14 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s %
June 18 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn %
June 20 Memphis, TN – The Hi-Tone %
June 22 Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club %

* w/Lazyeyes
+ w/Box of Light
% w/Flowers

 

 

 

New Video: The Psychedelic and Colorful, New Video for The Auras’ “Sure Shot”

Comprised of long-time friends longtime friends, Aaron McCoy (drums), Hank Van Harten (bass, vocals), David Zboch Alves (keyboards, vocals), Peter Dasilva (guitar, vocals), Robb Schaede (guitar and vocals) and Dallas Wheeler (guitar, vocals), the Toronto,ON-based sextet […]