Tag: Husker Du

New Video: No Joy’s Jasamine White-Gluz and Sonic Boom (a.k.a. Spacemen 3’s, Spectrum’s. and E.A.R.’s Pete Kember) Team Up For a Disco-Inspired Psych Pop Track

he band quickly signed to renowned indie label Mexican Summer, who released their debut 7 inch single “No Summer”/”No Joy,” an effort that allowed them to book their own national headlining tour with Katy Goodman and her project, La Sera. The 7 inch quickly sold out, and by November 2010, the duo released their full-length debut Ghost Blonde to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, AllMusic.com, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian and others. Building upon a growing profile, the duo released the “Hawaii” 7 inch in the UK,  a release that featured a remix of “Indigo Child” done by Stereolab’s Time Gane — and unsurprisingly, the members of No Joy toured the UK with Surfer Blood, which was promptly followed with a London show opening for Wire, and an appearance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.
The rest of 2011 saw the band touring North America — and it included a busy SXSW appearance schedule, a tour with Vivian Girls and a co-headlining tour with Marnie Stern with whom they released a split single, which featured No Joy’s cover of the Shangri-La’s “He Cried.”
Since then, the band has released 2012’s Negaverse EP and Wait to Pleasure, 2013’s Pastel and Pass Out EP, 2015’s More Faithful, 2016’s Drool Sucker, the first of a planned series of EPs and last year’s Creep, which was released through the band’s new label Grey Market Records.  Interestingly, 2018 founds No Joy’s primary songwriter and founding member Jasamine White-Gluze collaborating with Pete Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom. who’s best known for his work with Spacemen 3, Spectrum and E.A.R. And although White-Gluz and Kember can’t accurately remember how they met, what the duo does recall that they first brought up the idea of working together in an email exchange in 2015. At the time, No writJoy had just finishing touring to support their third, full-length effort More Faithful, one of their hardest efforts to date, and White-Gluz was eager to try new ideas and do something different. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” White-Gluz explains in press notes. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

Initially, the collaboration began as a bit of exploration between two friends, who admired each other’s work with each one passing songs back and and forth with White-Gluz writing and producing songs in her hometown of Montreal and Kember writing, arranging and producing in Portugal. The end result was their collaborative EP together — four tracks that reportedly walk the tightrope between electronica, trip hop and experimental noise.  As White-Gluz says in press notes, “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP’s first single “Obsession” pairs White-Gluz’s ethereal vocals with layers of Giorgio Moroder meets Evil Heat-era Primal Scream -like undulating synths in an expansive song structure that allows the duo to display their uncanny ability to craft a mesmerizing, trance-like groove. The recently released video filmed by Nuno Jardim, featuring video synthesis by Sonic Boom ad starring Samantha Tyson manages to further emphasize the trippy and trance-like vibes of the song as it features wobbling visuals, neon bright colors, flashing lights and colors in the background and so on.

Currently comprised of founding members Willy Vlautin (vocals, acoustic guitar and electric guitar) and Dave Harding (bass, backing vocals), along with Sean Oldham (drums, percussion, vibes and backing vocals), Dan Eccles (guitar) and Paul Brainard (pedal steel, piano, acoustic guitar, trumpet, backing vocals), the Portland, OR-based alt country quintet Richmond Fontaine can trace its origins back to 1994 when the band’s founding duo met at  Portland Meadows Racetrack, where they bonded over betting on the ponies and their mutual love of Husker Du, Willie Nelson, X, The Blasters and The Replacements, and they quickly decided to collaborate together. After a lineup change with the band expanding to a quintet, they developed  reputation for a sounda that frequently meshed elements of rock, country, punk, folk and Americana paired with Vlautin’s narrative-like songwriting, which resulted in praise from the likes of nationally and internationally recognized media outlets including UncutQ MagazineMojoThe IndependentThe Sun and others.

Interestingly, over the past decade, the band’s Vlautin has developed a reputation as a critically applauded and commercially successful novelist with his debut novel The Motel Life winning a Silver Pen Award from the State of Nevada and landed on the The Washington Post’s Top 25 Books of 2007 — and later, the book was adapted into the critically acclaimed motion picture, The Motel Life which starred Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson.  Vlautin’s 2008 sophomore novel, Northline was a San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Bestseller. 2010’s Lean on Pete won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and was named Hot Press’ book of the year. 2014’s The Free continued an incredible run of prolificacy which included the band’s 9 preceding full-length albums, an instrumental soundtrack for Northline, two live albums and an EP.

After a three year hiatus from recording, the  members of Richmond Fontaine returned to the studio with their long-time producer and collaborator John Askew to write and record, 2016’s You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To, which was released by one of my favorite labels, Fluff and Gravy Records across North America and Decor Records across Europe. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that I wrote about album single “Wake Up Ray,” a jangling bit of old school country-influenced alt country with Vlautin’s novelistic attention to detail, which managed to created a very real, lived in world in which the song’s characters wake up every single day to a lonely life and an even lonelier house that they’ve learned to hate — and yet they’re aware that because of the choices they made, that their position (if not, their very fate) is largely inescapable. But underneath the surface, is a wistful and mournful recognition of life and love’s impermanence.

Following the release of You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To, the members of the band formally announced that it would be their final traditional album and tour; however, as the band’s Vlautin was putting the finishing touches on his fifth novel, Don’t Skip Out on Me which is slated for a February 13, 2018 release through HarperCollins, he was able to round up the band to record an instrumental, companion soundtrack, and while a digital download of the soundtrack will be bundled with the book, Richmond Fontaine’s long-time label home felt that it deserved it’s own release — February 16, 2018 with an extremely limited vinyl release both in the States and in Europe, through Decor Records.

Soundtrack single “Horace And The Trophy” while clearly nodding to classic, 60s and 70s Renegade Country, 70s AM rock possesses an obvious cinematic quality, as though it should be part of the soundtrack of a deliberate, thoughtful road trip movies, featuring rugged, heartbroken and rootless loners crisscrossing the continent, fleeing a troubled past or an uncertain future.

 

Comprised of founding members Marvin Nygaard (bass) and Vidar Landa (guitar), along with Børild Haughom (vocals) and Espen Kvaløy (drums), the Oslo and Stavanger, Norway-based indie rock quartet Beachheads can trace their origins to when its founding members Nygaard and Landa were members of renowned heavy rock Norwegian band Kverlertak. As the story goes, Beachheads’ founding duo had dreamt of playing anthemic power pop based around fuzzy guitars and a strong sense of melody, along the lines of Husker Du, Teenage Fanclub and others; however, because of their primary project’s busy touring schedule, Beachheads endured as a dream reserved for their limited free time — and not their ideal situation.

Nygaard and Landa recruited the Stavanger, Norway-based duo of Espen Kvaløy, a local metal drummer and  Børild Haughom, a locally-based synth pop singer to record three tracks, which were playlisted by Norwegian and British national radio, much to the surprise of the band, who didn’t have immediate plans for the project, besides maybe recording an album sometime in the future; however, the members of the band discovered that Haughom had a drawer full of lyrics based around his own personal experiences, including the death of his father. And building upon the growing buzz that the Norwegian quartet had been receiving, they went into the studio to record the material, which would comprise their highly-awaited, self-titled, full-length debut, slated for a February 3, 2017 release.

 

“Your Highness,” the Norwegian quartet’s third and latest single off the album is a ragged and anthemic single in which Haughom’s plaintive and achingly earnest vocals are paired with jangling and fuzzy power chords and propulsive drumming — and while drawing from 80s power pop and 90s alt rock, the song lyrically focuses on a relationship that’s somewhat unrequited and full of highly charged, yet unfulfilling emotional games that has the song’s narrator spinning.

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of Willy Vlautin (vocals, acoustic guitar and electric guitar), Dave Harding (bass, backing vocals), Sean Oldham (drums, percussion, vibes and backing vocals). Dan Eccles (guitar) and Paul Brainard (pedal steel, piano, vibes, acoustic guitar, trumpet and backing vocals), the Portland, OR-based alt country quintet Richmond Fontaine can trace its origins back to 1994 when the founding duo of Vlautin and Harding met at Portland Meadows Racetrack and pored over the racing form and talked about music. Bonding over their mutual love of Husker Du, Willie Nelson, X, The Blasters and The Replacements, the duo decided to write and play music together. After expanding to a quartet, Richmond Fontaine developed a reputation for a sound that meshed elements of rock, country, punk and folk and paired them with Vlautin’s narrative-based songwriting (which has interestingly enough have been compared favorably to the short stories of Raymond Carver and Larry Brown). And as a result, the band has been praised by a number of nationally recognized and internationally recognized outlets including UncutQ MagazineMojoThe IndependentThe Sun and others.

Interestingly, over the past 8 years or so Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin has also developed a reputation as a critically acclaimed novelist. His debut novel The Motel Life won a Silver Pen Award from the state of Nevada and landed on the The Washington Post‘s Top 25 Books of 2007 — and it was later adapted into the critically acclaimed movie, The Motel Life which starred Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson. Northline, Vlautin’s second novel was published in 2008 and was a San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Bestseller. His third novel, Lean on Pete was published in 2010 and won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and was Hot Press’ book of the year. And his last novel, The Free was published two years ago. Along with nine full-length albums, an instrumental soundtrack for Northline, two live albums and an EP,  Vlautin and company have been incredibly (and exhaustingly) prolific.

After a three year hiatus from recording, the members of Richmond Fontaine returned to the studio with their long-time producer John Askew to write and then record their forthcoming tenth full-length effort, You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To, which is slated for a March 18 release through Fluff and Gravy Records across North America and Decor Records across Europe.  The album’s first single “Wake Up Ray,” is a jangling bit of alt country that tells a story with such exquisite narrative details that it creates a very real, lived in world in which the song’s characters wake up every day to a life and a house that they hate and yet feels largely inescapable — all while reminiscing over the time that’s passed and a love that’s long been over. And although wistful and mournful over the things that can’t be, there’s an acceptance of things being impermanent and a quiet joy in once knowing those things.