Tag: Magnet Magazine

Lyric Video: Minor Poet’s Breezy “Tropic of Cancer”

Andrew Carter is a Richmond, VA-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has spent the past few years writing and recording music by himself in various bedrooms and basements with his solo recording project Minor Poet. His full-length debut, 2017’s And How combined Carter’s love of carefully crafted pop with a loose, fun, off-the-cuff production that eventually received press from American Songwriter, Magnet, The Wild Honey Pie, Impose and others, while helping Carter develop a small but devoted fanbase. Naturally, this has allowed Minor Poet to grow from a labor of love into a nationally touring band.

Carter’s sophomore Minor Poet album The Good News is slated for a May 17, 2019 release through Sub Pop Records, and the album, which was recorded over the course of four days at Montrose Recording, reportedly finds Carter expanding the boundaries of the project’s sound over the course of six songs. While previous Minor Poet releases featured Carter playing all the instruments and handling production duties, the material on The Good News was written with the understanding that the Richmond, VA-born and -based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist had to reach outside himself to do justice to the songs. “I couldn’t capture the sounds I heard in my head,” Carter explains. “I wanted something that was vast and expansive but that at the same time could hit you immediately in the gut.”

Paying homage to the classic “wall of sound: techniques made famous by Brian Wilson and Phil Spector, Carter and co-producer, Adrian Olsen overdubbed layer after layer of Carter playing an array of guitars, pianos, organs, synths, and percussion, as well as Carter singing harmonies. The members of the touring band were brought in to perform the core rhythm section parts with handpicked local musicians stopping by to add crucial flourishes to the material. Interestingly, at the center of the album’s material is Carter’s vocals, singing lyrics that mix allusions to religion, mythology, art and philosophy, as each song’s narrator questions himself, his place in the world around him, what he owes to his relationships, and in turn, what he needs to ask others to stay healthy.

“Tropic of Cancer,” The Good News‘ infectious latest single is centered by layers of shimmering and tropicalia-inspired arpeggiated synth lines, shuffling guitar lines, a soaring hook and a lysergic-tinged guitar solo. And while the deliberate crafted track bears a subtle resemblance to Elvis Costello‘s early work, the song manages to be deceptively breezy as the song’s narrator describes a constant and repetitive struggle with depression, delivered with an unvarnished emotional honesty and a tongue-in-cheek awareness.

Portland, ME-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Alejandra O’Leary was born to a Colombian mother and Irish father. Growing up with a different sounding name, and being a person of color in place where they weren’t many people of color both challenged and shaped her, as she grew up listening to old Beatles records; growing up in Portland instilled feelings of simultaneously being a native and an outsider. “I’ve always been at home with messiness, big emotions and uncertainty,” O’Leary reflects in press notes. “I guess that’s why I like rock n roll.”

After moving to Santiago Chile when she was 17 O’Leary became infatuated with the idea of idea of creating music and followed her muse across the world for over a decade, writing, recording and releasing four albums with lyrics in both Spanish and English, which featured an expansive mix of anthemic Top 40 pop melodies, retro soul flourishes and power chord rock that received praise from the likes of No Depression, PopMatters and Magnet. Adding to a growing profile, O’Leary has opened for the likes of Guster and Asobi Seksu.

In 2016, O’Leary returned to Portland with her newborn baby and the intention of recording a new album. Never one to follow formulas, the Portland, ME-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist rounded up a group of hand-picked local musicians and sent them the demos of the material that would eventually comprise her forthcoming album Everest. No other instructions were given, and when they were all arrived in the studio to record the album, it was made clear that they were going to improvise the final arrangement. “This improvisatory spirit keeps things fresh and thrilling. I find it to be the most enchanting way to create music,” O’Leary asserts in press notes.

Seemingly indebted to Liz Phair and 120 Minutes-era alt rock, Everest‘s woozy and anthemic latest single, “Wires” is centered around feedback-fueled power chords, a rousing and enormous hook and sultry, come hither vibes within an easy-going, free-flowing arrangement.

Look for O’Leary’s newest effort to drop on June 7, 2019.

 

 

 

Initially forming under the name Apteka, the Chicago, IL-based psych rock quartet Pink Frost, currently comprised of founding members Adam Lukas (vocals, guitar) and Paige Sandilin (guitar) and newest members Alex Shumard (bass) and Jesse Hozeny (drums), have released 2011’s debut Gargoyle Days  and 2014’s Sundowning to critical praise both locally and nationally from  Pitchfork, SPIN Magazine, Noisey, Magnet Magazine, and Chicago Reader for a sound that had been compared favorably to RIDE, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur, Jr. and Deerhunter. And adding to a growing national profile, the band had material from Sundowning placed in the major motion picture, The Lookalike and TV series such as The Vampire Diaries and CSI: Miami.

If you had been frequenting this site over the past 2 years or so, you may recall that the Chicago-based band released a painstakingly remixed and re-mastered edition of their debut effort, from the original analog masters to better reflect their live sound at the time — and with artwork reflecting the band’s name change, as a both a metaphorical and literal rebirth. And at the time, I wrote about Gargoyle Days’ second single, the seemingly  The Posies’Ontario,” Foo Fighters‘ “This Is A Call” and The Black Angels’Telephone“-inspired “Where Days Go.” However, four years have passed since a full-length album of original material from the Chicago-based psych rockers and in that time, they’ve gone through a series of changes that have influenced the band’s songwriting approach, their overall sound and the material’s thematic concerns. Now, as I hinted at earlier, the band went through a massive lineup change — and as the band’s Adam Lukas explains in press notes, Gargoyle Days addresses a collective sense of abrupt changes. “There is a sentimentality or a sense of loss that permeates most of the songs,” Lukas says. “Whether it’s the loss of truth, the ones you love, your place in the universe, or general sense of meaning in changing landscapes.”

The recently released New Minds, reportedly finds the band’s material at points becoming much more introspective — and while the more straight ahead rock-leaning material manages to be heavier and darker, their more spacey, shoegazer-like material manages to be much more introspective and with more delicate melodies. “Bare Roots,” New Minds’ first single was a power chord-based barn-burner that sounds as though it draws from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. And while continuing in a similar, power chord-based, arena rock vein,  the album’s latest single “Seek and Recover” manages to nod at 90s alt rock — in particular Foo Fighters, as the song manages to pair a polished studio sound, a radio-friendly accessibility and an arena rock swagger, completed with rousing hooks.

Initially forming under the name Apteka, the Chicago, IL-based psych rock quartet Pink Frost, currently comprised of founding members Adam Lukas (vocals, guitar) and Paige Sandilin (guitar) and newest members Alex Shumard (bass) and Jesse Hozeny (drums), have released 2011’s debut Gargoyle Days (under the name Apteka) and 2014’s Sundowning to critical praise both locally and nationally from  Pitchfork, SPIN Magazine, Noisey, Magnet Magazine, and Chicago Reader for a sound that had been compared favorably to RIDE, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur, Jr. and Deerhunter. And adding to a growing national profile, the band had material from Sundowning placed in the major motion picture, The Lookalike and TV series such as The Vampire Diaries and CSI: Miami.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past 2 years or so, you may recall that the Chicago-based band released a painstakingly remixed and re-mastered edition of their debut effort, from the original analog masters to better reflect their live sound at the time — and with artwork reflecting the band’s name change, as a both a metaphorical and literal rebirth. And at the time, I wrote about Gargoyle Days‘s second single, the seemingly  The Posies’Ontario,” Foo Fighters‘ “This Is A Call” and The Black Angels’Telephone“-inspired “Where Days Go.” However, four years have passed since a full-length album of original material from the critically applauded, Chicago-based psych rockers and in that time, they’ve gone through a series of changes that have influenced the band’s songwriting approach, their overall sound and the material’s thematic concerns. As I mentioned earlier, the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band’s newest members Shumard and Hozeny take prominent roles — and as the band’s Adam Lukas explains in press notes, the album overall addresses a collective sense of abrupt changes. “There is a sentimentality or a sense of loss that permeates most of the songs,” Lukas says. “Whether it’s the loss of truth, the ones you love, your place in the universe, or general sense of meaning in changing landscapes.”

New Minds, the band’s latest album is slated for a June 16, 2017 release and the album reportedly finds the band’s material at points becoming much more introspective — and while the more straight ahead rock-leaning material manages to be heavier and darker, their more spacey, shoegazer-like material manages to be much more introspective and with more delicate melodies. “Bare Roots,” New Minds‘ first single is a power chord-based barn-burner that sounds as though it draws from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, complete with an anthemic hook. And interestingly enough, the song may be the most urgent and forceful song they’ve released to date, echoing our most urgent and forceful time.

 

Ward White is a Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who is arguably best known for his work as one-half of the critically applauded chamber pop duo McGinty and White, which features Joe McGinty, a former member of Psychedelic Furs, and the creator of The Loser’s Lounge tribute series; in fact, the duo’s debut effort together received praise from  The New Yorker and The New York Press.  And while a member of McGinty and White, White has quietly developed a reputation as a solo artist of note as 2013’s Bob and 2015’s Ward White is the Matador were released to critical praise from iTunesNew York Magazine, Magnet Magazine and CMJ for a songwriting approach and sound that has been compared favorably to Scott Walker (one of the great and sadly under-appreciated songwriters of the past 50 years or so), 1970s  David Bowie, T. Rex and others.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of 2015, you may recall that I had written about White’s Ward White is the Matador, an album that while clearly drawing from 70s classic rock and AM rock, also possessed an experimental art rock sheen. And while unquestionably, a very New York rock sound, at points the material lyrically and thematically covered things that we become conscious of as we get older — that life is increasingly about a series of loss; that most relationships throughout one’s life will inevitably end; and of a rapidly disappearing New York into eccentrics and lunatics, and improbable situations.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about White, and as it turns out, White has been rather busy. Over the past couple of years, Ward has relocated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles — and his soon-to-be released tenth full-length album As Consolation chronicles his relocation to the West Coast; in fact, the album’s first single “Dude” will further cement his reputation for crafting 70s AM radio friendly rock in the veins of the aforementioned Scott Walker, David Bowie, T. Rex and Roxy Music — with a winking and witty irony; but under the surface is the hazy confusion of being disconnected, of being a stranger in an even stranger place that you can’t quite figure out with people who seem completely alien to you. And as a result, the song evokes the recognition of not fitting in — while wondering if people are looking at you with disapproval and disdain because you can’t quite tell.

 

 

Frequently compared to RIDE, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur, Jr. and Deerhunter, the critically praised Chicago, IL-based quartet Pink Frost originally formed under the name Apteka — and as Apteka, the quartet recorded their debut effort Gargoyle Days on analog tape before releasing the album back in 2011 to critical praise; the album landed on Time Out Chicago‘s Best of 2011 List, as well as several others. After changing their name to Pink Frost, the quartet’s 2014 sophomore effort, Sundowning was released to critical praise from nationally renowned media outlets including Pitchfork, SPIN Magazine, Noisey, Magnet Magazine, and Chicago Reader. And adding to a growing national profile, material from Sundowning appeared in The Lookalike and TV series such as The Vampire Diaries and CSI: Miami, among others.

The Chicago-based quartet will be releasing a painstakingly remixed and remastered update of the original analog masters, which reportedly will not only pack much more punch, but will also be representative of the band’s live sound. Of course, with new artwork reflecting the band’s change of name, the band intends for the re-release of their debut to be a metaphorical and literal rebirth. (Interestingly, the members of Pink Frost have been incredibly busy of late as they’ve also been busily recording the follow-up to Sundowning and Traitors EP with Gregoire Yeche at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios.)

The re-released album’s second and latest single “Where Days Go” is an power-chord based song with enormous, anthemic hooks that sounds as though it were inspired by 90s alt rock and shoegaze. I’m reminded quite a bit of The Posies‘ “Ontario,” Foo FightersThis Is A Call” and The Black Angels‘ “Telephone” as “Where Days Go” possesses a similar forcefulness and mosh-pit ready feel while being incredibly radio friendly.