Tag: Nashville TN

New Video: Bass Drum of Death Shares Scuzzy and Groovy “Head Change”

Slated for a January 27, 2023 release through Fat Possum Records, Say I Won’t, Bass Drum of Death‘s highly-anticipated fifth album marks three major events for the punk outfit founded and fronted by John Barrett:

  • Barrett relocated from New York, where he had been based for much of the band’s run together, back to his hometown of Oxford, MS. “Moving back to Oxford was a much-needed reset,” Barrett explains. “When I started, I just wanted to play in a punk band and drink beers and travel around. I didn’t really think much past that. And I got really burned out. When I moved back home, I started writing songs again, just for fun. I realized I wanted this record to have more of a hometown feel.”
  • Say I Won’t is the first Bass Drum of Death album that sees Barrett writing, demoing and recording with the touring band, rather than Barrett doing everything completely on his own. Barrett discovered a newfound freedom working with collaborators that just wasn’t available to him before, which opened different aspects of the songwriting: a process that featured live recording, layering on different parts and overdubs and then stripping it all back to the bare bones, keeping the raw, wild heart of the music intact.
  • The album also sees the band returning to their long-time label home Fat Possum, who released their full-length debut, 2011’s GB City. “The switch back to Fat Possum was easy,” Barrett says. “It’s much better working with people I know and love and love everything they do.”

Recorded with The Black KeysPatrick Carney at Audio Eagle Records in Nashville, Say I Won’t is a groove-oriented effort batch of songs indebted to 70s rock songs with scuzzy power chords and cruising tempos. The album seems Barrett and company at their loosest, scuzziest and most tuneful while rooted in a hard-won maturity and swagger that comes from a decade of playing music on the road and surviving to tell the story. “I had to relearn that making music is fucking fun,” says Barrett, “and you should have fun doing it. If it’s miserable, what’s the point?” He laughs. “But man, when a song hits, it’s the best feeling in the world. That’s what this record is about. Getting back to that good place and staying there.”

“Head Change,” Say I Won’t‘s third and latest single is a mid-tempo, cruise-ready ripper centered around scuzzy, power chords and a forceful motorik-like groove that sounds indebted to Led Zeppelin and T. Rex. Play loudly on your car stereo and rock out hard, y’all! “We kind of wanted a mid-tempo psych stomper, and really didn’t change a whole lot from the demo,” Bass Drum of Death’s Barrett explains. “We added the dueling guitar bridge in the studio spur of the moment, and it ended up being one of my favorite parts on the whole record.” 

Directed by Joshua Canon, the accompanying video for “Head Change” is fittingly indebted to 70s horror films: a motorcycle riding bad guy stalks the video’s two female protagonists. as they meet up and get a ride from two dudes they hang out with. The video follows the cues and tropes of horror movies, with the four friends drinking beers and bullshitting in a cemetery when our stalker makes their fearsome appearance. But the video has a bloody and ironic turn.

Texas-born singer/songwriter and musician Katy Rea left Texas 12 years ago for the promise and opportunity of New York. Rea auditioned for several television parts and stage plays, occasionally earning a role in someone else’s story, basking momentarily in the flickering glow of rare, unsteady and infrequent success. However, songwriting was her true love and solace, and for her, the only way she could reliably self-soothe. 

For years, she floated around the city as if in a daze and found herself drawn to those, who couldn’t love well. After closing bar shifts, she’d return home to write and strum along to the voices and sirens outside, often lulling herself to sleep. 

One day during a rehearsal, Rea’s drummer and friend Joshua Jaeger, audibly observed that she’d be happier without her habits, but warned that it would take courage to overcome them. She knew in her heart that Jaeger had been right, so two weeks before recording her full-length debut The Urge That Saves You, Rea quit drinking. 

Slated for a November 11, 2022 release, The Urge That Saves You was recorded at Figure 8 Recording entirely live, including main vocals, all in one go. It was during the album’s recording sessions that Rea realized, for the first time with complete certainty that making music was exactly what she needed — and should — be doing. 

Sonically, the album is reportedly hook-driven empath rock that splits off into cinematic, dark psychedelia in a seamless and effortless fashion. Her backing band, which features members, who have played with Angel OlsenFleet FoxesWidowspeak and a lengthy list of others play with a touching restraint and makes for a collection of Rea calls “premonitions, prayer and warnings.”

The album’s songs reflect Rea’s life journey in a way that’s not exactly autobiographical and isn’t always obvious. As a songwriter, Rea prefers to use characters and metaphors in her stories. But they’re rooted in a gritty, psychological realism that feels novelistic. 

During quarantine, the Texas-born, New York-based artist took it upon herself to learn how to engineer and mix her own album after an inspiring phone call with musician and producer Sam Evian, who urged to make the work her own in every way that she could. She spent countless hours at Phil Weinrobe’s Rivington 66 overdubbing and mixing. Learning to mix wasn’t without difficulty. At times, Rea felt like she was learning a different language. Luckily, she had engineers like Spencer Murphy, Andrew Forman and others around to answer questions and help along the way. 

The post-production process was just as rewarding as the recording sessions because Rea succeeded in making the album sound exactly how she wanted it to, while also proving to herself that she was more than capable of taking the reins. So it’s understandable that Rea celebrates the album’s completion with a well-earned pride. She’s also inspired to continue engineering and producing future albums on her own. 

Earlier this month, I wrote about “Lord Try,” a song that evokes the seemingly inescapable and lingering ghosts of regrets, old selves, bad memories of bad people and bad places, centered around a lush and expansive arrangement and Rea’s gorgeous vocal.

“Happiness,” The Urge That Saves You”s latest single is a shimmering and seamless synthesis of elements of classic Nashville country, troubadour pop, and shoegazer textures paired with Rea’s gorgeous vocal, expressing aching yearning. The song is an urgent plea for a rare, hard-won inner peace and security; the sort that comes as a result of digging out of old habits, bad thinking, trauma and your own bullshit.

“When I was writing ‘Happiness’ I was looking for a kind home within myself. I was one of these people who gave tender guidance to friends but couldn’t follow my own advice,” Rea explains. “I had the idea that living as a songwriter was inherently chaotic, a constant battle with sadness, and mysterious rendezvous. I realized this mindset was built on fear and false heroes; you can only read so much Rimbaud before thinking maybe there’s a healthier way. I realized finding self respect had to do with taking actions that really reflected my values. I began to reroute, to organize, and finally made a plan to record. Getting the songs out of my room was the thing that saved me. Making The Urge that Saves You gave me personal agency and a peace that I had never known. It taught me that my fear of not being good enough really didn’t matter; I’d survive it through doing, through making, through collaborating and slowly the fear would quiet to almost nothing. When I listen to ‘Happiness’ I can hear her digging out of an old and cruel system of belief. ‘If you could know war may be coming from the inside, if you could know love may be hollowed out before her, before him.’ This song is about taking responsibility. And In a way it was a kind of premonition, the message came before I knew what I needed to be happy but now it is very clear.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Palm Ghosts Shares a Dance Floor Friendly Bop

Throughout the course of this site’s 12+ year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Nashville-based indie rock act Palm Ghosts. Led by singer/songwriter and producer and Ice Queen Records founder Joseph Lekkas, Palm Ghosts can trace its origins to when Lekkas lived in Philadelphia: After spending a number of years playing in local bands like Grammar Debate! and Hilliard, Lekkas took a lengthy hiatus from writing, recording and performing music to book shows and festivals in and around the Philadelphia area. 

Lekkas initially started Palm Ghosts as a solo recording project — and as a creative outlet to cope with an incapacitating bout of depression and anxiety. During a long, prototypically Northeastern winter, Lekkas recorded a batch of introspective songs that at the time, he dubbed “sun-damaged American music,” which eventually became the project’s full-length debut. After a short tour in 2013 to support the album, Lekkas packed up his belongings and relocated to Music City, enticed by its growing indie rock scene. 

Palm Ghosts’ third album, 2018’s Architecture was a decided change in sonic direction with Lekkas crafting material influenced by the 80s — in particular, Cocteau TwinsPeter GabrielDead Can DanceNew Order,  The Cure, and others. 

Much like countless musical acts across the globe, Lekkas and his bandmates spent the forced downtime of the pandemic, attempting to be as busy as they possible could: They wrote a ton of new material informed by a year or so of quarantine-related isolation, socioeconomic and financial instability, protests and demonstrations. 

Last year, the JOVM mainstays released two albums, their fourth album, Lifeboat Candidate and their fifth album, Lost FrequencyLifeboat Candidate was a fittingly dark, dystopian effort full of confusion, fear and dread that drew from the events and circumstances of the year preceding its release. Interestingly, Lost Frequency is a much different album: Initially scheduled for a 2020 release, Palm Ghosts’ fifth album harkens back to before the pandemic, when things seemed more or a less normal and carefree — or at least somehow a bit less uneasy and desperately urgent. In some way, the album’s material feels both celebratory, escapist, and perhaps even somewhat nostalgic. But paradoxically, the album’s material lyrically brings confrontation to the forefront, reminding the listener that nothing is normal — and that normalcy and the desire to return to it is extremely destructive. 

The JOVM’s mainstays forthcoming sixth album Post Preservation reveals an entirely different side of the band. The album’s material features love songs — and there’s even a hint of optimism and some light showing through the cracks. But it’s still 2022, and there’s still plenty of darkness and discontent to the proceedings to balance the sunniness of much of the material. Conceived as a sort of soundtrack to a long lost John Hughes film, Post Preservation is full of nostalgic longing for a world that no longer exists, except in our hearts and minds.

Last month, I wrote about “Cross Your Heart,” a swooning, hook-driven power ballad that sonically is one-part Psychedelic Furs‘ “Pretty in Pink,” one-part Simple Minds‘ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and paired with earnest, lived-in lyrics that describe being in — and perhaps out of — love, during the end of the world. 

Post Preservation‘s latest single “Signal” is a New Order-like, dance floor friendly bop featuring wiry guitar bursts, arpeggiated synths and relentless four-on-the-floor that’s rooted in the band’s unerring knack for enormous hooks and incisive social criticism. “Signal,” as the band explains “is about our dependent relationship with technology and the negative effects associated with it. Particularly, the increasing isolation that it eases and allows.”

Directed by Michael Patti, the accompanying video for “Signal” follows a man desperately attempting to escape his own reality in pursuit of a girl from another dimension.

“For ‘Signal,’ I wanted to explore an obsession for love just out of reach. We follow our lead as he attempts to escape his own reality, in pursuit of a girl from another dimension. She sends a signal from the other side that drives him to go to extraordinary lengths to get to her,” Patti explains. “The music video captures something that I believe we all have within ourselves. A longing to love and be loved. That distinct moment, when two people cross paths spark an instant connection, you can’t help but pursue it. That is what the story in the video tells.”

New Video: Palm Ghosts Shares Power Ballad “Cross Your Heart”

Throughout the course of this site’s 12 year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Nashville-based indie rock act Palm Ghosts. Led by singer/songwriter and producer and Ice Queen Records founder Joseph Lekkas, Palm Ghosts can trace its origins to when Lekkas lived in Philadelphia: After spending a number of years playing in local bands like Grammar Debate! and Hilliard, Lekkas took a lengthy hiatus from writing, recording and performing music to book shows and festivals in and around the Philadelphia area. 

Lekkas initially started Palm Ghosts as a solo recording project — and as a creative outlet to cope with an incapacitating bout of depression and anxiety. During a long, prototypically Northeastern winter, Lekkas recorded a batch of introspective songs that at the time, he dubbed “sun-damaged American music,” which eventually became the project’s full-length debut. After a short tour in 2013 to support the album, Lekkas packed up his belongings and relocated to Music City, enticed by its growing indie rock scene.

Palm Ghosts’ third album, 2018’s Architecture was a decided change in sonic direction with Lekkas crafting material influenced by the 80s — in particular, Cocteau TwinsPeter GabrielDead Can DanceNew Order,  The Cure, and others. 

Much like countless musical acts across the globe, Lekkas and his bandmates spent the forced downtime of the pandemic, attempting to be as busy as they possible could: They wrote a ton of new material informed by a year or so of quarantine-related isolation, socioeconomic and financial instability, protests and demonstrations.

Last year, the JOVM mainstays released two albums, their fourth album, Lifeboat Candidate and their fifth album, Lost Frequency. Lifeboat Candidate was a fittingly dark, dystopian effort full of confusion, fear and dread that drew from the events and circumstances of the year preceding its release. Interestingly, Lost Frequency is a much different album: Initially scheduled for a 2020 release, Palm Ghosts’ fifth album harkens back to before the pandemic, when things seemed more or a less normal and carefree — or at least somehow a bit less uneasy and desperately urgent. In some way, the album’s material feels both celebratory, escapist, and perhaps even somewhat nostalgic. But paradoxically, the album’s material lyrically brings confrontation to the forefront, reminding the listener that nothing is normal — and that normalcy and the desire to return to it is extremely destructive.

The JOVM’s mainstays forthcoming sixth album Post Preservation reveals an entirely different side of the band. The album’s material features love songs — and there’s even a hint of optimism and some light showing through the cracks. But it’s still 2022, and there’s still plenty of darkness and discontent to the proceedings to balance the sunniness of much of the material. Conceived as a sort of soundtrack to a long lost John Hughes film, Post Preservation is full of nostalgic longing for a world that no longer exists, except in our hearts and minds.

Post Preservation‘s latest single “Cross Your Heart” is a swooning, hook-driven power ballad that sonically is one-part Psychedelic Furs‘ “Pretty in Pink,” one-part Simple Minds‘ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and paired with earnest, lived-in lyrics that describe being in — and perhaps out of — love, at the end of the world.

The accompanying video is nostalgia-fueled fever dream featuring the band playing the song together at what appears to be either a house party or a rehearsal space, fuzzy nuclear snow, images of sun-dappled forests, adding to the overall dystopian yet hopeful feel.

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy.  Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band. During the summer of 2015, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based artist began posting home-recorded songs as Soccer Mommy and posted them to Bandcamp, just as she was about to attend  New York University (my alma mater, no less!), where she studied music business at the University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

While she was in college, Allison played her first Soccer Mommy show at Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Silent Barn. She caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal — and after spending two years at NYU, she returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music. Upon her return to Nashville, she wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts released through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection released through Fat Possum. 

Allison’s proper, full-length debut 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, she has toured with the likes of  Stephen MalkmusMitskiKacey MusgravesJay Som, SlowdiveFrankie Cosmos, Liz PhairPhoebe BridgersParamoreFoster the PeopleVampire Weekend, and Wilco.

Before the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists was gearing up for a big year: she started off 2020 by playing one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and joined a lengthy and eclectic list of artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. That year also saw the release of her critically applauded sophomore album color theory, which she had planned to support with a headline tour with a number of sold-out dates months in advance that included a stop Glastonbury Festival and her late-night, national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring at a half as a result of the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists recognized that the time off from touring offered a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas and new ways to connect with fans. 

Combining her love of video games and performing, Allison had a digital show on Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend. The show was so popular, that the platform’s servers crashed, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Of course, Allison has also played a number of live-streamed sets, including ones hosted by  NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork‘s IG Live Series. She also released her own Zoom background images for her fans to proudly show off their Soccer Mommy fandom. 

Allison and her backing band embarked on a Bella Clark-directed 8 bit, virtual music video tour that saw Soccer Mommy playing some of the cities she had been scheduled to play if the pandemic didn’t happen — in particular, MinneapolisChicago, SeattleToronto, and Austin. Instead of having the visual shows at a traditional music venue or a familiar tourist spot, the band were mischievously placed in highly unusual places: an abandoned Toronto subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge underpass and the like. The video tour featured color theory single “crawling in my skin,” a song centered around looping and shimming guitars, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming, subtly shifting tempos and an infectious hook.

She closed out 2020 with an  Adam Kolodny-directed, fittingly Halloween-themed visual for “crawling in my skin” that’s full of the creeping and slow-burning dread that reminds me of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe movies with Vincent Price. 

Allison’s newest album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever was released earlier this year through Loma Vista/Concord. The new album sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere. 

Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it. 

The album’s first single, the woozy “Shotgun” is an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming and a throbbing groove. 

“Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a particular love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”

Rising indie electro pop outfit Magdalena Bay recently remixed “Shotgun” turning the track into a futuristic, glittery, club banger featuring glistening synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and wobbling low end paired with Allison’s plaintive vocals fed through gentle amounts of vocoder and other effects. While being a decidedly bold and adventurous, the Magdalena Bay remix retains the core elements of the original — Allison’s penchant for earnest, lived-in lyricism, enormous hooks and the song’s overall woozy feel.

Allison will embarking on a lengthy and extensive international tour that begins with an intimate, sold-out, solo show for the Grammy Museum Los Angeles next Monday. Allison and her backing band will then head to the UK and the European Union for a month-long tour. She’ll close out the year with a lengthy North American tour that includes a November 16, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.


Tour Dates –
Tickets Here

8/22/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ GRAMMY Museum®

8/31/22 – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms *

9/01/22 – Brighton, UK @ Chalk *

9/02/22 – Salisbury, UK @ End of the Road Festival

9/03/22 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity *

9/05/22 – Köln, DE @ Bumann & Sohn *

9/06/22 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow *

9/08/22 – Stockholm, SE @ Slaktkyrkan *

9/09/22 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee *

9/10/22 – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen *

9/12/22 – Berlin, DE @ Frannz Club *

9/13/22 – Bremen, DE @ Lagerhaus *

9/15/22 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet

9/16/22 – Nijmegen, NL @ Merleyn 

9/17/22 – Brussels, BE – Rotonde @ Botanique *

9/18/22 – Paris, FR @ Petit Bain *

9/20/22 – Manchester, UK @ O2 Ritz *

9/21/22 – Cardiff, UK @ Tramshed * 

9/22/22 – London, UK @ O2 Forum *

9/23/22 – Birmingham, UK @ The Castle & Falcon

9/24/22 – Glasgow, UK @ Queen Margaret Union

10/28/22 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi Annex &

10/29/22 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre &

10/30/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue &

11/01/22 – Chicago, IL @ Metro &

11/04/22 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom &

11/05/22 – North Adams, MA @ Mass MOCA &

11/06/22 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues &

11/08/22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ^

11/11/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall ^

11/12/22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^

11/14/22 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom ^

11/16/22 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre ^

11/17/22 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Heaven Stage ^

11/18/22 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn ^

11/19/22 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl ^

11/30/22 – St. Louis, MO @ Pageant #

12/02/22 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Washington’s #

12/03/22 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre #

12/04/22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot #

12/06/22 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre #

12/07/22 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore #

12/08/22 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom #

12/10/22 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater #

12/11/22 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory #

12/13/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern #

12/14/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren #

12/16/22 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s East #

12/17/22 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues #

& with support from Lightning Bug

^ with support from Helena Deland

# with support from TOPS

* with support from Francis Delirium

New Audio: TRY Shares Hazy Rework of “Silence”

TRY is a new music project featuring:

Born during a terrifyingly uncertain and perilous time, the project was formed as a way to provide uplift and optimism, with the project’s members actively choosing the path of light. And while they choose to find the beauty of the human experience, they acknowledge the world’s flaws and ugliness. We wanted to make something that sounded timeless, and we figured that out as we went along – music that provided a visceral energy,” Shmuck the Local explains.

The duo’s full-length debut will be released in three parts, respectively titled Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. The album will feature an impressively varied cast of musical and artistic collaborators, who will further fuel their impossible-to-pin-down sound while bringing positive energy and vibes. The end result is an album that’s sonically diverse with the material spanning 2step, trap, house music and synth pop — among others. “We have very eclectic taste, and the record reflects that,” Spiegel says.  

Last month, the duo released Chapter One of their full-length debut. Chapter One featured guest spots from EARTHGANG, Camden, and Miette Hope. Building upon the buzz of those early tracks, the duo will share a collection of Chapter One remixes including a Couros remix of “End of Times,” the duo’s rework of “Aphrodite Part II,” which features a guest spot from Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Killah Priest — and the remix collection’s latest single “Silence (Redux).”

Chapter One track “Silence” feat. Camden and Miette Hope is an infectious banger centered around a feel good, Larry Levan-meets-Ibiza-like production of glistening synths, wobbling tweeter and woofer rattling low end, skittering beats and an infectious hook serving as a sinuous and silky bed for Camden and Hope’s sultrily vulnerable deliveries. The duo’s rework of “Silence” retains the glistening synths and vulnerability of the original — but their rework turns the song into a hazy, Quiet Storm-infused, lo-fi hip-hop affair, featuring tweeter and woofer rattling thump.

The remix collection is slated for a Friday release, so be on the lookout, y’all.

Cara Louise is an emerging Nashville-based singer/songwriter. Her David Beeman-produced full-length debut, Wholesome Dread is slated for a September 2022 release through Soul Step Records — and is the follow-up to her debut EP, 2019’s Fragile Heart.

Wholesome Dread reportedly sees the Nashville-based artist making a bold sonic push away from her classic country roots and blurring the lines between indie rock, folk and Americana, while also drawing from the Laurel Canyon folk sound and David Lynch among others.

Wholesome Dread‘s first single, “Empty Me” is a heady mix of classic doo wop, Lynchian eerie vibes and 60s psych pop centered around twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, twangy, reverb-drenched guitar, paired with Cara Louise’s plaintive pop belter-like vocals and an enormous hook. “Empty Me” sonically speaking is the sort of song where you’d sway to yourself or cry into your beer while longing for a past you can’t get back.

But interestingly enough, as the Nashville-based artist explains, the song is rooted in lived-in, universal experience — feeling dissociative and drained from the daily struggles of working to survive and pay bills while maintaining relationships.

Live Footage: Soccer Mommy Performs “Shotgun” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy.  Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band.

During the summer of 2015, Allison began posting home-recorded songs as Soccer Mommy and posted them to Bandcamp, just as she was about to attend  New York University (my alma mater, no less!), where she studied music business at the University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

While she was attending NYU, she played her first Soccer Mommy show at beloved, Bushwick-based venue Silent Barn. Allison caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal — and after spending two years at NYU, she returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music. Upon her return to Nashville, she wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts released through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection released through Fat Possum. 

Allison’s proper, full-length debut 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, she has toured with the likes of  Stephen MalkmusMitskiKacey MusgravesJay Som, SlowdiveFrankie Cosmos, Liz PhairPhoebe BridgersParamoreFoster the PeopleVampire Weekend, and Wilco.

Before the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists was gearing up for a big year: she started off 2020 by playing one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and joined a lengthy and eclectic list of artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. That year also saw the release of her critically applauded sophomore album color theory, which she had planned to support with a headline tour with a number of sold-out dates months in advance that included a stop Glastonbury Festival and her late-night, national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring at a halt as a result of the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists recognized that the time off from touring offered a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas and new ways to connect with fans. 

Combining her love of video games and performing, Allison had a digital show on Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend. The show was so popular, that the platform’s servers crashed, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Of course, Allison also played a number of live-streamed sets, including ones hosted by  NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork‘s IG Live Series. She also released her own Zoom background images for her fans to proudly show off their Soccer Mommy fandom. 

Allison and her backing band then embarked on a Bella Clark-directed 8 bit, virtual music video tour that saw Soccer Mommy playing some of the cities she had been scheduled to play that year, if the pandemic didn’t happen — in particular, MinneapolisChicago, SeattleToronto, and Austin. Instead of having the virtual shows at a traditional music venue or a familiar tourist spot, the band were mischievously placed in highly unusual places: an abandoned Toronto subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge underpass and the like. The video tour featured color theory single “crawling in my skin,” a song centered around looping and shimming guitars, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming, subtly shifting tempos and an infectious hook.

She closed out 2020 with an  Adam Kolodny-directed, fittingly Halloween-themed visual for “crawling in my skin” that’s full of creeping and slow-burning dread that reminds me of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe movies with Vincent Price. 

Allison’s newest album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever is slated for a June 24, 2022 release through Loma Vista/Concord. The new album reportedly sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere. 

Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever will be a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it. 

The album’s first single, the woozy “Shotgun” is an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming paired with a throbbing groove. 

“Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a particular love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”

Last night, Allison and her backing band performed “Shotgun” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. After a brief break, Soccer Mommy will be embarking on a couple of Stateside festival dates including a stop at this year’s Governor’s Ball on June 12, 2022.

The band will then embark on a lengthy European tour. For information and tickets, check out the following: https://soccermommyband.com/#tour

Lyric Video: Nashville’s Pauline Andrés Shares Sultry New Bop, “Speed Racer”

Nashville-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and sound engineer Pauline Andrés is a true global citizen: Andrés was born in Eastern Europe, spent her childhood in France — and as an adult, she spent a stint living in Berlin.

Initially known as an Americana artist, Andrés recently decided to shift gears and focus on her other favorite genre of music — electro pop. “Speed Racer,” Andrés latest single continues a run of slickly produced, lush, retro-futuristic bops centered around glistening and oscillating synths, a sinuous bass line paired with the Nashville-based artist’s smoky crooning. Underneath the slick production though is a careful and deliberate attention to craft, revealed through razor sharp hooks and playfully coquettish lyrics.

“I let the intro roll a measure more than your usual EDM template. I put my bridge before the second chorus. I kept those lines that made everything work together. Because that’s what’s allowing the song to be its true self,” Andrés says about the production choices behind her latest single. “I wanted to give it space…I didn’t make this song for any algorithm or radio. I made it for grown ups driving at night and needing the perfect soundtrack for their ride. I think that turned out pretty good.”

The accompanying official, lyric video was shot exclusively at night in Nashville, follows Andrés driving around town in a convertible. Fitting for a late night, drive sort of anthem ain’t it?

New Video: Soccer Mommy Shares a Gorgeous, Behind-the-Scenes Visual for Woozy “Shotgun”

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy.  Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band. During the summer of 2015, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based artist began posting home-recorded songs as Soccer Mommy and posted them to Bandcamp, just as she was about to attend  New York University (my alma mater, no less!), where she studied music business at the University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

While she was in college, Allison played her first Soccer Mommy show at Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Silent Barn. She caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal — and after spending two years at NYU, she returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music. Upon her return to Nashville, she wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts released through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection released through Fat Possum.

Allison’s proper, full-length debut 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, she has toured with the likes of  Stephen MalkmusMitskiKacey MusgravesJay Som, SlowdiveFrankie Cosmos, Liz PhairPhoebe BridgersParamoreFoster the PeopleVampire Weekend, and Wilco.

Before the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists was gearing up for a big year: she started off 2020 by playing one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and joined a lengthy and eclectic list of artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. That year also saw the release of her critically applauded sophomore album color theory, which she had planned to support with a headline tour with a number of sold-out dates months in advance that included a stop Glastonbury Festival and her late-night, national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring at a half as a result of the pandemic, Allison, much like countless other artists recognized that the time off from touring offered a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas and new ways to connect with fans.

Combining her love of video games and performing, Allison had a digital show on Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend. The show was so popular, that the platform’s servers crashed, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Of course, Allison has also played a number of live-streamed sets, including ones hosted by  NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork‘s IG Live Series. She also released her own Zoom background images for her fans to proudly show off their Soccer Mommy fandom. 

Allison and her backing band embarked on a Bella Clark-directed 8 bit, virtual music video tour that saw Soccer Mommy playing some of the cities she had been scheduled to play if the pandemic didn’t happen — in particular, MinneapolisChicago, SeattleToronto, and Austin. Instead of having the visual shows at a traditional music venue or a familiar tourist spot, the band were mischievously placed in highly unusual places: an abandoned Toronto subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge underpass and the like. The video tour featured color theory single “crawling in my skin,” a song centered around looping and shimming guitars, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming, subtly shifting tempos and an infectious hook.

She closed out 2020 with an Adam Kolodny-directed, fittingly Halloween-themed visual for “crawling in my skin” that’s full of creeping and slow-burning dread that reminds me of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe movies with Vincent Price.

Allison’s newest album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever is slated for a June 24, 2022 release through Loma Vista/Concord. The new album reportedly sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere.

Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever will be a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it.

The album’s first single, the woozy “Shotgun” is an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming and a throbbing groove.

“Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a particular love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”

Directed by Kevin Lombardo, the accompanying video catches Allison strumming her guitar in a sunny bedroom — but pulls out to show the workings of a music video set, plus a promotional shoot. The video captures Allison’s own struggles in a way that’s both gorgeous and realistic.