Tag: John Fryer

New Video: The Acharis Share a Trippy Video for Brooding “False Positive”

Oakland-based shoegazer outfit The Acharis — life partners Shaun Wagner and Mila Puccini — features Bay Area music scene vets, who have played in a number of different bands over the years. Back in 2015, Wagner and Puccini decided to create something together, that was entirely theirs.

2017’s full-length debut, Lost in the Vortex saw the pair sharing vocal and songwriting duties, as well as playing every instrument on the album. The duo’s John Fryer-produced sophomore album Blue Sky/Grey Heaven finds Wagner and Puccini collaborating with a newly recruited live band crafting a much darker sound with a studio polish that stylistically ranges from fragile noise pop to fuzzed out shoeaze. The album’s material also sees the band delivering a wider spectrum of moods.

“False Positive,” Blue Sky/Grey Heaven‘s first single is a brooding and decidedly 120 Minutes MTV era-like anthem centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, ethereal boy-girl harmonies and an alternating quiet verse, loud chorus song structure. Sonically, “False Positive” seems to recall My Bloody Valentine, early Smashing Pumpkins and In Utereo era Nirvana — with a nasty, pissed off vibe.

“I came up with this riff when I was a teenager and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. The inspiration came from the huge sounding guitars on the first 2 Smashing Pumpkins albums. The original title was ‘Elephant’ as a nod to the Pumpkins track ‘Rhinoceros,'” the band explains in press notes. “When It came time to write the lyrics, I was walking around just being fucking bummed and wondering what I could possibly have to say to the world that would matter. I feel like often there is pressure to reveal some great truth or intelligent insight in a 3 minute rock song, which is just kind of ridiculous. I remember Kurt Cobain talking about how ‘Pennyroyal Tea‘ was about just being hopelessly depressed. So I took inspiration from that and just wrote about how I was feeling at the time. It has that kind of slacker 90’s vibe like yeah, everything is fucked, so what? It all comes full circle in the unintelligible screaming at the end of the song “There’s an elephant in the room. A rhinoceros. A hippopotamus. It’s true” 

The accompanying video for “False Positive” sees the duo performing and wandering in a trippy Victorian house, where they encounter surreal and mind-bending decor and backdrops.

New Video: Charlotte’s The Mystery Plan’s Hallucinogenic and Shoegazer-like Tribute to Actor JC Quinn

In the decade since their formation, the Charlotte, NC-based indie act The Mystery Plan — Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes and Patty McLaughlin — have managed to be incredibly productive, releasing 10 EPs and full-length albums, including their John Fryer co-proded fourth album, 2017’s Queensland Ballroom, which featured “Electric Love.” 

The Charlotte-based quintet’s  recently released fifth album, the John Fryer and Jason Herring co-produced Zsa Zsa continues a remarkable and enviable run of prolificacy — and finds the band renewing their successive collaboration with Fryer. Recorded at Catalyst Recording and various local studios over a two-plus year stretch following a number of Southeastern US torus to promote Queensland Ballroom. Featuring guest spots from The Veldt’s and Apollo Heights’ Micah Guagh, Ian Masters, That Guy Smitty and Snap Nation, Zsa Zsa finds the band expanding upon the psych folk-leaning sound that has won them fans across the Southeast, with the material touching upon several different styles, including shoegaze, ambient, trip hop and electronica — sometimes simultaneously in a way that sounds as though the band were drawing influence from Portishead,Zero 7, and early 4AD Records. 

Zsa Zsa’s latest single “JC Quinn” is an shoegazer-like fever dream of song, centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar, propulsive drumming, twinkling synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals and an infectious hook — and while this particular single sounds as though it could have been released during 4AD Records’ golden era. 

The band’s Jason Herring explains in press notes, JC Quinn was a New York-based actor with a tons of film and television credits including Barfly, The Abyss, Visionquest and a lengthy list of others. In the late ’90s, Quinn moved to the Charlotte area to be closer to his grandchildren. And as the story goes, Herring met Quinn at a local bar Cafe 521, which was owned by Quinn’s longtime friend Peter Herrero, who like the actor had relocated to Charlotte. Interestingly, the bar became the go-to spot for actors whenever they were in town including Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernadette Peters and a list of others. 

“JC and I struck up a nice friendship. He was a fan of ours and would come to hosts and stand right up front so we could see him,” Herring fondly recalls. “A very lovely man, indeed. Sadly, JC died in Mexico while shooting a film a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to pay tribute to him, and we have finally done so with his song. The lyrics are a blend of what we would do with him now if he were still here and iconic lines from some of his films.” 

Shot by the band’s Jason Herring and edited by Jay Thomas, the recently released video for “JC Quinn” follows the members of the Charlotte-based indie act on a hallucinogenic night out in Charlotte that includes hanging out at a local bar, catching live music, listening to albums and all the things that the band wishes they could do with their dear friend. 

New Video: The Gorgeously Cinematic and Expressive Visuals for Black Needle Noise and Jennie Vee’s “Heaven”

John Fryer is a London, UK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentalist and producer, who is best known for his work as a producer, shaping the sound of Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, much of the Mute Records, 4AD and Beggars’ Banquet roster, as well as Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets, Cradle of Filth and countless others. Fryer is also known as one-half of the duo This Moral Coil with Ivo Watts-Russell. 

Fryer’s solo recording project Black Needle Noise continues his legacy for crafting lush and moody soundscapes as he collaborates wth a number of different vocalists; in fact, Lost in Reflections, the renowned producer and recording artist’s sophomore Black Needle Noise effort finds him working with Jennie Vee, Andrea Kerr, Chrysta Bell, Sivert Hoyem and others — and interestingly enough, it come-on the heels of Fryer’s collaboration with the aforementioned Chrysta Bell on a Twin Peaks-inspired cover of Julee Cruise, Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch’s “Falling.” Anyway, album single “Heaven” is a strikingly cinematic track which pairs Jennie Vee’s sultry and achingly tender vocals with a lush yet atmospheric production featuring swirling electronics, shimming guitar chords and industrial clang and clatter. And although the track will further cement his legacy for crafting a sound that you would have grown up obsessed with as a child of the 80s, the song also reveals not just his generosity in working with up-and-coming and contemporary artists, but it also reflects the contemplative, introspective nature of the album’s title — while pairing a dark sensuality with an visceral sense of heartbreak. In fact, the song’s narrator is facing the ghosts of a dysfunctional and controlling relationship that has lingered, even as she’s 4,000 thousand miles away. 

Shot in a cinematic and creepy black an white, and directed by Talon McKee and Lloyd Galbraith, edited by Jennie Vee, featuring animation by Mark Francombe and choreographed by Caroline Haydon, the video starts its choreographer writhing and swooning in a combination of pleasure and heartache; but at its core is a protagonist, who expresses desire, vulnerability, and self-asurredness simultaneously.