Tag: Heavenly Recordings

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Orielles Release a Trippy Visual for Psych Freak Out “Down On Jupiter”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the rapidly rising Halifax, UK-based act The Orielles. And as you may recall, theca which was founded by Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums) her younger sister, Esmé Dee Hand-Halford and their best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) built up a great deal of buzz surrounding them, when Heavenly Recordings‘ head Jeff Barrett signed the band after catching them open for labelmates The Parrots in late 2016.

2017’s full-length debut Silver Dollar Moment found the band further establishing a genre-defying sound that meshed elements of psych rock, pop and disco centered around  surrealistic observations of every day life. After the release of their critically applauded full-length debut, the band expanded into a quartet when they recruited Alex Stephens (keys) — and with their newest member, they went into the studio to record  “Bobbi’s Second World” and a cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane)” that found the band’s sound playfully (and increasingly) leaning in the direction of early 80s Talking Heads, ESG and others while still being centered around rock-based instrumentation.

A year has passed since I’ve last written about the JOVM mainstays and as it turns out they were busy working on their highly-anticipated, forthcoming sophomore album Disco Volador. “Its literal interpretation from Spanish means flying disc but everyone experiences things differently. Disco Volador could be a frisbee, a UFO, an alien nightclub or how you feel when you fly; what happens to your body physically or that euphoric buzz from a great party,” the band’s Esme Dee Halford suggests in press notes. “But it is an album of escape; if I went to space, I might not come back.” Slated for a February 28, 2019 release, Disco Volador continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with producer Marta Salogni while reportedly finding the quartet pushing their sonic horizon to its outer limits, as astral travelers of sort, crating progressive and trippy tunes that sonically draws from and meshes cinematic samba, 70s disco, boogie funk, dance floor grooves and 90s acid house — and expanding the influences further to including the work of Italian film score composers Sandro Brugnolini and Piero Umiliami, as well as contemporary acts like Khruangbin and Altin Gun. “All the influences we had when writing this record were present when we recorded it, so we completely understood what we wanted this album to feel like and could bring that to fruition,” the band’s Sidonie B. Hand-Halford explains in press notes. 

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album also manages to capture the rapidly rising act in the moment of their post debut album success, which included a lengthy and successful summer tour that included festival stops at Green Man and bluedot. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Come Down On Jupiter” will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting seamless and expansive, genre-defying songs — in this case, you have a slow-burning and brooding intro that quickly morphs into breakneck guitar pop with a psychedelic disco freak out. And while retaining the razor sharp and infectious hooks that won the band attention nationally and internationally, the song is a further example of an insanely versatile band with incredibly dexterous musicianship. 

Directed by Rose Hendry, the recently and incredibly cinematic and hallucinogenic video for “Come Down On Jupiter” was filmed — yes, that’s right it was shot on Kodak film — at Arments Pie and Mash shop in Kensington, London. “When I first heard the track I was immediately transported into some sort of mystery melodrama from another era, with a strong dose of something psychedelic,” Rose Hendry says of the video. “This was my starting point, alongside an image by photographer, Ralph Gibson, of a cup of tea sitting on a beige table, bathed in warm sunlight with a plastic spoon resting against the lip. I enjoyed the idea of centering the video around an incident with a cup of tea — that felt dramatic to me — something “mundane” becoming something dramatic. I wanted to encapsulate the playful psychedelia in a psychological and structural way as opposed to the ‘pastiched to death’ VW campervan kind of way. Add to that toast and the rest developed from there.”

Advertisements

New Video: Temples Release a Trippy Performance-based Visual for “Hot Motion”

Earlier this month, I’ve written about the Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples. And as you may recall, the act which is currently comprised of founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) along with Adam Smith (keys, guitar) can trace their origins back to when the act initially began as a home studio-based project back in 2012 featuring two musicians, who had known each other for years from from Kettering’s local music scene.

The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup. Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing national and international profile, the British indie rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets, Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made their Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last year, saw a couple of major changes: Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who released their highly-anticipated, third album Hot Motion. The album finds the band continuing to craft an intricate and nuanced sound — but while digging into a deeper, darker creative well of sorts.  The album’s second single, the shimmering and hook-driven, “You’re Either On Something” manages to possess a lysergic and technicolor quality that brings Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, Tommy-era The Who and Currents-era Tame Impala to mind.

As you can imagine, I receive an overwhelming amount of email — a blessing and a curse, really — and sometimes I manage to miss things. In this case, I managed to miss an email regarding Hot Motion’s first single, album title track “Hot Motion.” Interestingly, the track strikes me as a seamless synthesis of bombastic, arena rock friendly Brit Pop and nuanced and textured psych rock centered around Bagshaw’s ethereal vocals.
The recently released video is centered around the band performing the song in a studio in front of bright yellow and orange light while employing some trippy camera work.

New Video: Temples Release a Trippy and Technicolor Visual for “You’re Either On Something”

Currently comprised of founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) along with Adam Smith (keys, guitar), the Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples initially began as a home studio-based project back in 2012 featuring two musicians, who had known each other for years from Kettering’s local music scene.

The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup.

Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing national and international profile, the British indie rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets,Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made their Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last year, saw a major lineup change for the acclaimed British indie rock act. Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who will be releasing the newly constituted trio’s highly-anticipated third album Hot Motion.

Slated for a September 27, 2019 release, Hot Motion reportedly finds the band continuing to craft an intricate and nuanced sound — but while digging into a deeper, darker creative well of sorts.  The album’s second and latest single, the shimmering and hook-driven “You’re Either On Something.” And while the track  manages to possess a lysergic and technicolor quality that will bring of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, Tommy-era The Who and Currents-era Tame Impala to mind, the track hints at something much darker under the surface — perhaps, the relentless and gnawing desire to escape a world that’s become increasingly disappointing and mad. “I’m really proud of ‘Your’e Either On Something’ lyrically because I feel deeply connected with the words — they’re so truthful,” the band’s James Bagshaw says in press notes. “On that track, I can hear influences of stuff that I listened to when I was growing up. There’s almost a nostalgia to that track, even though it’s very forward-looking.”

“The video for ‘You’re Either On Something’ is semi-surreal depiction of a night out,” Temples’ James Bagshaw says of the recently released video. “Where an irrational fear replaces the fun and joviality, and the familiar becomes unfamiliar.

“But then, the feeling a fear dissipates and seems like a distant memory and the familiar feels comfortable again. Before you know it a guitar solo ensues…”

New Video: Mark Lanegan Releases a Hallucinogenic Visual for “Night Flight to Kabul”

Over the past few years, I’ve spilled a fair share of virtual ink covering Mark Lanegan, the Ellensburg, WA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, known as the frontman and founding member of Seattle-based grunge rock pioneers Screaming Trees, and an acclaimed solo artist, who has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists and bands — including  Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain on an unreleased Lead Belly cover/tribute album recorded before the release of Nevermind; as a member of the renowned grunge All-Star supergroup/side project Mad Season with Alice in Chains‘ Layne Staley and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready; as a member of  Queens of the Stone Age featured on five of the band’s albums — 2000’s Rated R, 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze, 2007’s Era Vulgaris and 2013’s . . . Like Clockwork; with The Afghan Whigs‘ Greg Dulli in The Gutter Twins; as well as former Belle and Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell on three albums. Additionally, Lanegan has contributed or guested on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley-Bird, Creature with the Atom Brain, Moby, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers, Greg Dulli’s The Twilight Singers, UNKLE and others.

As a solo artist, Lanegan has released 10 critically applauded albums that have seen a fair amount of commercial success. (Ironically, his solo work has seen much more commercial success than his work with Screaming Trees.) The Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay’s tenth solo album Gargoyle was a collaboration between him, British-born and-based musician Rob Marshall and longtime collaborator, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Alain Johannes. That album’s material was both an expansion and refinement of the Krautrock-tinged blues of his two preceding albums  2012’s Blues Funeral and 2014’s Phantom Radio.

Somebody’s Knocking, Lanegan’s 11th full-length solo album is slated for an October 18, 2019 release through Heavenly Recordings, and the album’s material finds the acclaimed singer/songwriter turning to some of his most formative musical influences and loves — electronic music. “I’ve always been into electronic music since I was a kid,” Lanegan says in press notes. “I think the reason those elements have become more obvious in my music is that my tastes have changed as I’ve grown older. The bulk of what I listen to now is electronic. Alain Johannes and I had actually written “Penthouse High” for Gargoyle but then it didn’t really fit on that record. I have been a huge fan of New Order and Depeche Mode forever and have wanted to do a song along those lines for a long time – a blatantly catchy, old-school dance-type song.”

Although Somebody’s Knocking came together during an 11 day session in Los Angeles, much of the album’s deepest musical influences are decidedly European, including the album’s two other writing partners Martin Jenkins, who records as Pye Corner Audio and the aforementioned Rob Marshall, who contribute some newer, murkier forms. Reportedly, Lanegan approached working with each of the album’s writing partners from the perspective and lens of a fan and interpreter. 

Lyrically speaking, the album purportedly sets the listener down multiple rabbit holes, as Lanegan paints psychedelic pictures inspired by the music. “I feel like I write lyrics instinctively. I let the melody come first and then it tells me what the words are going to be and I write whatever feels appropriate,” Lanegan says in press notes. “That said, I’m also influenced by everything I’m into. I don’t usually like to talk about what a song means to me; I prefer that the people who connect with a song do so with their own interpretation. It never crossed my mind what Neil Young meant by After The Gold Rush, only the personal movie it created in my head. My entire life, all the music that I’ve connected to has drawn me in like that. Joy Division, Nick Drake, Son House, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Gun Club… all the music that meant the most to me, the music that saved my life was the music that told my own story back to me.”

Naturally, some aspects of the real world can’t help but seep their way into the album’s material. “It seems to me that the entire world is in a weird, precarious place right now,” the Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “I try to not be someone in a constant state of worry and alarm but watching the massive divide that is taking place and the political situations, especially in the US and UK makes me think, ‘what the fuck are these idiots thinking?’ The hatred, racism and all this other fear-driven shit, these ‘adults’ that continually drive the machine that perpetuates this ignorance to their own ends should all be in the prison cells instead of the non-violent drug “offenders” in them now. I can’t specifically say how any of this effects my writing but I know that most of the things that occupy my thoughts have a way of coming back out in a song.”

Now, as you may recall, I wrote about the bluesy-Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen-like “Letter Never Sent.” The album’s latest single “Night Flight to Kabul” may arguably one of  be the album’s more dance floor friendly tracks, as it’s centered around thumping, four-on-the-floor drumming, rumbling bass lines, shimmering and skronky guitars, a tight motorik groove and Lanegan’s imitable croon. In some way, the song will likely remind listeners a bit of a bluesy take on the likes of Gary Numan and New Order. But lyrically, the song evokes a hallucinatory and surrealist fever dream, in which things aren’t quite what they seem. 

Directed by Dean Karr, the recently released video for “Night Flight to Kabul” is a hallucinogenic and feverish dream. ‘“The artistry and genius of Dean Karr is what made this video happen,” Mark Lanegan says in press notes. “5,000 still photographs taken in eight hours were painstakingly put together to give the appearance of a strange wraithlike figure moving weirdly through the desolate landscape of the Salton Sea. My third video with Dean in three different decades and I have to say this was the best. The most artistically challenging and satisfying.”

“We had been talking about doing this video for ‘Night Flight to Kabul’ for a month or two and my only concern was how could I pull this off with such a challenging budget for my friend?” The video’s director, Dean Karr adds in press notes. “Being a photographer before I was ever a director, I decided to use my Nikon D810 still camera for the entire music video and turn it into animation throughout the entire clip. What a simple solution! There’s lots of post work involved, which was done by editor and FX artist Joel Nathaniel Smith. There’s alot to be said for the simplicity of working WITHOUT a crew, it was just Mark, myself and a fan of Mark’s (Jason Hall) who drove 3 hours out of his way to meet us at the The Salton Sea, CA to help us shoot a beyond unique video! I think this is one of the freshest looking things out there today and love the ‘melty’ moments, which remind me of doing hallucinogenics back in the day!”

New Audio: British Psych Rock Act Temples Releases a Shimmering Lysergic New Single

Currently comprised of founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) along with Adam Smith (keys, guitar), the Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples initially began as a home studio-based project back in 2012 featuring two musicians, who had known each other for years from Kettering’s local music scene. 

The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup.

Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing national and international profile, the British indie rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets, Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made their Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last year, saw a major lineup change for the acclaimed British indie rock act. Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who will be releasing the newly constituted trio’s highly-anticipated third album Hot Motion. 

Slated for a September 27, 2019 release, Hot Motion reportedly finds the band continuing to craft an intricate and nuanced sound — but while digging into a deeper, darker creative well of sorts.  The album’s second and latest single, the shimmering and hook-driven “You’re Either On Something.” And while the track  manages to possess a lysergic and technicolor quality that will bring of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, Tommy-era The Who and Currents-era Tame Impala to mind, the track hints at something much darker under the surface — perhaps, the relentless and gnawing desire to escape a world that’s become increasingly disappointing and mad. “I’m really proud of ‘Your’e Either On Something’ lyrically because I feel deeply connected with the words — they’re so truthful,” the band’s James Bagshaw says in press notes. “On that track, I can hear influences of stuff that I listened to when I was growing up. There’s almost a nostalgia to that track, even though it’s very forward-looking.” 

 

I’ve spilled my fair share of virtual ink, covering Mark Lanegan, the Ellensburg, WA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who known as the frontman, and founding member of  Seattle-based grunge rock pioneers Screaming Trees, and an acclaimed solo artist, who has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists and bands — including  Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain on an unreleased Lead Belly cover/tribute album recorded before the release of Nevermind; as a member of the renowned grunge All-Star supergroup/side project Mad Season with Alice in Chains‘ Layne Staley and Pearl Jam’Mike McCready; as a member of  Queens of the Stone Age featured on five of the band’s albums — 2000’s Rated R, 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze, 2007’s Era Vulgaris and 2013’s . . . Like Clockwork; with The Afghan Whigs‘ Greg Dulli in The Gutter Twins; as well as former Belle and Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell on three albums. Additionally, Lanegan has contributed or guested on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley-BirdCreature with the Atom BrainMobyBomb the BassSoulsavers, Greg Dulli’s The Twilight SingersUNKLE and others.

Lanegan’s solo career has seen him release ten, critically applauded albums that have seen a fair amount of commercial success. (Ironically,. his solo work has actually seen more commercial success than any of his work with Screaming Trees.) The Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and guitarist’s tenth solo album Gargoyle found him collaborating with British-born and-based musician Rob Marshall, who’s best known for stints with  Exit Calm and Humanist and his longtime collaborator, multi-instrumentalist and producer Alain Johannes. Interestingly, the album’s material was both an expansion and refinement of the Krautrock-tinged blues of his two previously released albums 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2014’s Phantom Radio.

Now, as you may recall, Lanegan’s 11th full-length album Somebody’s Knocking is slated for an October 18, 2019 release though Heavenly Recordings, and the album reportedly less the tale of a brooding rock veteran and more that of someone consumed by a lifelong love affair with music and words. Interestingly, much of the album’s material finds Lanegan turning to some of his most formative musical influences and loves — electronic music.

“I’ve always been into electronic music since I was a kid,” Lanegan says in press notes. “I think the reason those elements have become more obvious in my music is that my tastes have changed as I’ve grown older. The bulk of what I listen to now is electronic. Alain Johannes and I had actually written “Penthouse High” for Gargoyle but then it didn’t really fit on that record. I have been a huge fan of New Order and Depeche Mode forever and have wanted to do a song along those lines for a long time – a blatantly catchy, old-school dance-type song.”

Although Lanegan’s forthcoming 11th album came together during an eleven day session in Los Angeles, many of the album’s deepest musical influences are decidedly European, including some newer, murkier forms provided by Martin Jenkins. who records as Pye Corner Audio or Rob Marshall, a collaborator on Gargoyle and on his own, forthcoming debut album as Humanist. In each case, Lanegan approached working with each of the writers from the perspective of a fan.

Lyrically speaking, the album purportedly sets the listener down multiple rabbit holes, as Lanegan paints psychedelic pictures inspired by the music. “I feel like I write lyrics instinctively. I let the melody come first and then it tells me what the words are going to be and I write whatever feels appropriate,” Lanegan says in press notes. “That said, I’m also influenced by everything I’m into. I don’t usually like to talk about what a song means to me; I prefer that the people who connect with a song do so with their own interpretation. It never crossed my mind what Neil Young meant by After The Gold Rush, only the personal movie it created in my head. My entire life, all the music that I’ve connected to has drawn me in like that. Joy Division, Nick Drake, Son House, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Gun Club… all the music that meant the most to me, the music that saved my life was the music that told my own story back to me.”

Naturally, some aspects of the real world can’t help but seep their way into the album’s material. “It seems to me that the entire world is in a weird, precarious place right now,” the Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. “I try to not be someone in a constant state of worry and alarm but watching the massive divide that is taking place and the political situations, especially in the US and UK makes me think, ‘what the fuck are these idiots thinking?’ The hatred, racism and all this other fear-driven shit, these “adults” that continually drive the machine that perpetuates this ignorance to their own ends should all be in the prison cells instead of the non-violent drug “offenders” in them now. I can’t specifically say how any of this effects my writing but I know that most of the things that occupy my thoughts have a way of coming back out in a song.”

Centered around a motorik groove, shimmering guitar lines and a tight hook, “Letter Never Sent,” the album’s latest single manages to bear an uncanny resemblance to Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen but imbued with a bluesy tinge.

 

New Video: Watch Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Night Beats Take on The Sonics

Deriving its name from Sam Cooke’s Night Beat album, the Seattle, WA-based psych rock/garage rock act Night Beats was formed by its Dallas, TX-born, Seattle, WA-based founding member and creative mastermind Danny “Lee Blackwell” Rajan Billingsley back in 2009 when Billingsley relocated to Seattle to study comparative religion at the University of Washington. That same year, Billingsley self-recorded the Night Beats debut EP, Street (Atomic), which was released through Holy Twist Records. 

After trying out a couple of different lineups, Billingsley recruited his high school friend and former B.B. Mercy drummer James Traeger to join the band. Traeger relocated from Austin, TX, where he was studying at the time to join Billingsley. The band played for a while as a duo before recruiting Tacoma, WA-born Tarek Wegner (bass), who once played with The Drug Purse and Paris Spleen to join the band. Early in their history, the band toured across North America extensively — and within weeks of releasing the H-Bomb EP the band was signed by Chicago-based label Trouble in Mind Records, who re-released the album in the fall of 2010. The re-released EP wound up topping several college radio while helping the band develop a reputation for a sound that incorporates elements of early R&B, psych rock, blues rock, funk and soul. (Unsurprisingly, the band has toured with the likes of The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, The Zombies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Strange Boys, Black Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Growlers.) 

The following year, the band released a split EP with The UFO Club through Austin-based label The Reverberation Appreciation Society, which they followed up with their self-titled debut album. They also released a 2012 split single with TRMRS, which was released through Volcom Vinyl Club. 2013 saw the release of their sophomore album Sonic Bloom through The Reverberation Appreciation Society. The band supported the album with touring across North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia. 

2014 saw the band go through the first of a series of lineup changes. Tarek Wegner left the band and eventually released an EP What Colors Last, as well as a full-length effort Soul Fuckers, which was supported by a West Coast tour with Tomorrow’s Tulips. Meanwhile, Night Beats signed to London-based label Heavenly Recordings, who released the band’s acclaimed Robert Levon Been co-produced third album Who Sold My Generation in 2016. The album also featured Been, who’s best known for his work with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club contributing bass. Jakob Bowden was recruited to tour in support of the album. 

The last half of 2016 saw the band go on an UK and European Union tour without James Traeger. Throughout 2017, Evan Synder toured with the band. During a 2018 US tour opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jonah Swilley sat in on drums with the band. Last May saw the band touring Spain with Evan Synder playing drums. Bowden wasn’t with the band either. 

This year has been a rather busy year for Billingsley. Night Beats’ Dan Auerbach-produced Myth Of A Man was released in January — and the album found the band’s founder playing with a backing band of session musicians, who had worked with the likes of Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. Perhaps as a way of explaining Traeger’s and Bowden’s absence from the album, the official press release simply said that the album was “written during a particularly destructive period of the band.” Additionally, Billingsley along with an all-star backing cast featuring The Mystery Lights’ Mike Brandon, Black Lips’ Cole Alexander and Warbly Jets’ Julien O’neil recorded and released a Record Store Day album, Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom, an exact track-by-track over of The Sonics classic (and beloved) 1966 album Boom. 

Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom finds Billingsley and an indie rock All-Star backing band treading a line between faithful cover meant to keep the legacy of The Sonics’ classic album alive for contemporary listeners while imbuing the material with a fuzzy  and soulful take. Album single “Let The Good Times Roll” manages to sound almost like it were released sometime between 1966-1968 but with a gritty, mod rock vibe reminiscent of The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who. 

Directed, shot, and edited by James Oswald on what looks like grainy Super 8mm film, the recently released video follows Billingsley and his backing band on tour, split between the yellow and white lines of endless blacktop, the band playing sweaty and passionate  shows in front of rapturous fans, and intimate backstage footage featuring the band getting themselves together before playing. As someone, who has covered and seen thousands of shows, the video captures the spirit and soul of a show in a way that feels warmly familiar. 

   

Now, over the past 12-18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the up-and-coming, attention-grabbing Halifax, UK-based act The Orielles. The act which features founding members  Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums); her younger sister,  Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals); and their best friend, Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals) had a great deal of buzz surrounding them in their native UK when Heavenly Recordings‘ head Jeff Barrett signed the band after catching them open for labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the renowned indie label.

Last year saw the members of The Orielles releasing a series of attention-grabbing singles, including The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference-like “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” the psych rock-like “I Only Bought It For The Bottle,” and the funky, almost dance floor friendly freakout of “Let Your Dogtooth Grow.” Building upon a growing national and international profile, the band released their highly-anticipated full-length debut Silver Dollar Moment earlier this year, and from the likes of album single “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist),” the album found the band continuing in a similar vein as it immediate predecessor as it found the band mischievously meshing elements of psych rock, pop and disco — in particular, as the band notes, Luther Davis Group’s “You Can Be A Star” and Rita Lee’s “Chega Mais,” while centered around an anecdote of someone spotting an unaccompanied blue suitcase on a train platform. Naturally, this was followed by allegorical discussions and theories about what was in the suitcase and why it was left behind.

Interestingly, since the release of Silver Dollar Moment the band’s founding trio recruited their newest member Alex Stephens on keyboards and with their newest member, they went into the studio to record two new tracks “Bobbi’s Second World” and a cover/rework of Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (itgehane)” — and both songs finds the band’s sounding leaning increasingly in the direction of dance floor-friendly New Wave, recalling early 80s Talking Heads, ESG and others while still being centered around rock-based instrumentation. With their releases, the members of The Orielles have revealed themselves to be restlessly expanding, playing with and experimenting with their sound and as a result, I’m excited to see which direction they wind up going next.

As the band writes in press notes, “‘Bobbi’s Second World’ written with the addition of a new member on keys, exhibits an explosion of new sounds and ideas that came to fruition after a long summer of playing festivals and taking inspiration from music that made us dance. It centres around the story of a cat named Bobbi who, in order to become a lady, has to experience the extremities of two complex and differing realities- situated in her front and back gardens respectively. The eccentric instrumentation, influenced by northern soul, post-punk and funk music, matches the quirkiness of the lyrics to create a song that concerns a young cats maturity whilst displaying a certain maturity in the music itself. After noticing a passion for songs that make us emotional; want to dance and quite literally ‘forget’, we decided to cover one of Peggy Gou‘s latest floor fillers, ‘Itgehane aka It Makes You Forget’ hoping that we could evoke the aforementioned qualities of music within other listeners!”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d know that over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Madrid, Spain-based indie rock trio The Parrots, and as you may recall, the band are one of the leading members of a collection of Spanish bands, who write lyrics almost exclusive in English; in fact, with the release of  “I Did Something Wrong”  off their Aden Arabie EP, the Spanish trio received both national and international attention for a boozy and riotous, garage rock/garage psych rock sound that has been compared favorably to Thee Oh Sees Black LipsRaccoon FighterHigh WaistedWhite Mystery and others.

Back in 2015, NME named the Madrid-based trio as one of  SXSW‘s “buzziest bands” and since then the members of The Parrots have been pretty busy: they followed up that year’s SXSW with the release of their critically applauded EP Weed for The Parrots, a critically applauded return to SXSW, which resulted in being signed by renowned indie label Heavenly Recordings, who released their full-length debut Los Ninos Sin Miedos, which featured the shambling and boozy Let’s Do It Again,” and the barn-burning, 60s garage rock-like  “A Thousand Ways.” Since then, the band has been working on their much-anticipated sophomore album but they’ve managed to release a one-off single, a shambling, ramshackle, garage rock cover of Latin trap artist Bad Bunny‘s smash hit “Soy Peor,” and as the band explains “We’ve always been big fans of urban music, trap and hip-hop. Not long ago, these styles started to be everywhere again in Spain, and with it we discovered many interesting new acts, both Spanish and Latin American. One of them was Bad Bunny, from Puerto Rico. The first song of his that we listened to was “Soy Peor” and we loved it. Since we started the band, we’ve always liked to cover songs that we like, usually it’s from bands that are more similar to our style — rock ‘n’ roll, punk . . . It’s the first time we picked a song in another style and tried to make it ours. The idea came up in a rehearsal, talking about choosing a new cover for a forthcoming show. People really dug it and a few weeks later we went to Paco Loco’s studio to record it.”

The Spanish band’s latest single “My Love Is Real” is the second official single from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, and it’s a slow burning, old-timey rock ‘n’ roll ballad that sounds as though it should be played at a high school dance or a high school-era house party; but with a subtly sketchy late night vibe, that evokes the loneliness of of 3am-4am when most of the partiers have gone home, and you are by yourself drinking with your sorrows and regrets. Sonically and thematically, the song suggests the band growing up a bit but while still retaining the scuzz and grit that caught everyone’s attention. “With this in mind, we recorded the song at home and sent it to Tom Furse, he completely got the vibe and helped us create atmosphere we imagined.” Furse adds, “Joe Meek was my point of reference with ‘My Love Is Real’ – I used his guidance via Ouija board for a point of balance between lo-fi scuzz and the naive pop stylings of the song – which ended up with doing things like using the sounds of surf in the drums and doing crazy piano improvisations in the wrong key which I would speed up in the tape machine to get it in tune. My basic tenant was – ‘what would Joe do?”

Directed by Hector Herce, the recently released video for “My Love Is Real” continues an ongoing collaboration between the director and the band, with the video being something of a continuation from the preceding video for “Girl.” As Herce explains “My Love Is Real’ is set in imaginary 90’s. It is a brother video of ‘Girl’, previous single of The Parrots and follows the adventures of a loving trio. It is more metaphorical than narrative and more aesthetic than ethical. Codes that speak of romantic and human relations are hidden on its images.”