Bruno Capinan is a Salvador, Brazil-born, Toronto-based queer, non-binary singer/songwriter and performer, who released their third album Tara Rara earlier this year through Lulaworld Records in Canada. Tara Rara, which translates to “rare desire” in English sees Capinan drawing from and highlighting their Brazilian roots with a strong focus on gender and racial justice, rooted in the Brazilian-born, Toronto-based artist’s experiences as a Black, non-binary person. The album features an orchestra of seven string musicians, 90% of whom are BIPOC and LGQBTIA+, including some of different generations and different cultural backgrounds.
Tara Rara‘s latest single, the breathtaking and effortlessly beautiful “Meu Preto” is arguably the most quintessential and classic samba song on the album. Featuring strummed acoustic guitar, shuffling Latin rhythms, a gorgeous and cinematic string section paired with Capinan’s expressive vocal delivery, full of aching and desperate longing.
Translated into English as “A Song About Two Black Lovers,” the song’s narrator laments the distance between them and their lover, while hoping for a reunion.
I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the legendary and influential Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate. Now, as you may recall, the band, which originally formed way back in the early 80s — currently featuring founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) —has managed to split up and reunite a few times throughout their extensive history, including their most recent one in 2017.
Since 2017, The Dream Syndicate have released a run critically applauded albums that have seen the acclaimed psych outfit at their most uncompromising — while boldly pushing their sound in radically new directions.
2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular:
Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock
Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation
Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion.
The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.
The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns reportedly sees the band adding British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs.
So far I’ve written about two of the album’s singles:
“Where I’ll Stand,” the album’s expansive fist single, which begins with a twinkling, synth-led prog rock intro that nods at Trans Europe Express before morphing into a circular chord progression centered around twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning groove. “It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn explained in press notes.
“Damian,” a brooding and slow-burning song that may arguably be their most AM Rock-inspired song of their extensive — and still growing — catalog: Centered around a shuffling groove, the song has a California beach sheen but with a gritty and lurking sense of evil and unease. Fleetwood Mac meets Steely Dan, perhaps?
The Emil Nikolaisen co-written “Every Time You Come Around” is a melodic and crafted bit of psych pop that feels like a subtle refinement of The Dream Syndicate’s classic era sound but paired with fuzzy, feedback laden guitars and achingly wistful lyrics. The new single has “a sense of arrogance and fragility in the lyrics which Jason [Victor] had the good sense to fully obliterate with a tsunami of fuzz guitar”the band’s Steve Wynn says.
The JOVM mainstays will be embarking on a lengthy international tour to support the album. The tour includes a September 17, 2022 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
11 Jun: Loaded Festival, Oslo, Norway
27 Jul: Soda Bar, San Diego, CA, US 28 Jul: Lodge Room, Los Angeles, CA, US 29 Jul: Harlow’s, Sacramento, CA, US 30 Jul: Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA, US 15 Sep: City Winery, Philadelphia, PA, US 16 Sep: City Winery, Washington D.C., DC, US 17 Sep: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, US 18 Sep: Crystal Ballroom, Boston, MA, US
07 Oct: Auditorio, Murcia, Spain 08 Oct: Loco Club, Valencia, Spain 10 Oct: Universidad, Cadiz, Spain 11 Oct: El Sol, Madrid, Spain 12 Oct: Sala BBK, Bilbao, Spain 14 Oct: SPAZIO 211, Rivoli, Italy 15 Oct: Locomotiv, Bologna, Italy 16 Oct: Magnolia, Milan, Italy 18 Oct: Lafayette, London, UK 19 Oct: Petit Bain, Paris, France 20 Oct: Het Depot, Leuven, Belgium 21 Oct: De Zwerver, Leffinge, Belgium 22 Oct: Ekko, Utrecht, Netherlands 10 Nov: Turf Club, Minneapolis, MN, US 11 Nov: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL, US
London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Danny Green started his professional career as the frontman of acclaimed British folk pop act Laish. As a member of Laish, Green wrote and recorded four critically applauded albums, which were released through French indie label Tailors and supported with extensive touring across the UK, the European Union and the States.
Back in 2019, Green went through a series of major life changes: That March, he met Leanna “LG” Green — and by the end of the year, they got married. For their honeymoon, the Greens decided to spend six months traveling across South America with a simple recording setup that they carried with them in a backpack. During that trip, the couple won dup and recording a series of demos that would eventually become the earliest DG Solaris songs. “In between swimming with sea-lions, exploring sacred plant medicines and climbing mountains, we had been searching for beautiful spaces to set up our backpack studio,” the Greens explained in press notes. “All of our recordings feature the sounds of birds, cicadas and crickets.”
Returning home to London after their honeymoon, Danny and Leanna recruited Tom Chadd, Matt Canty and Matt Hardy to help flesh out the material they demoed during their honeymoon. The end result was 2020’s full-length debut Spirit Glow, which drew from and meshed elements of 70s psych pop, synth pop, krautrock and prog rock in a unique and playful fashion — with the album’s material written as a textural journey through emotional realms. “We wanted to explore the idea of two voices, two spirits, two creative minds and see where this dynamic could take us,” DG Solaris’ Leanna Green says in press notes. Danny Green adds, “It has been an incredibly inspiring trip. We came back with over forty songs and it has been a challenge to chose our favourites for this first album.”
With the release of his full-length debut 2017’s I Dreamt I Was an Astronaut Tuplin’s sound and approach gradually evolved with the Somerset-born, London-based singer/songwriter incorporating indie rock and psych music into what he has semi-ironically dubbed “space folk.” 2019’s Pink Mirror was released to critical acclaim with the album receiving praise from The Line of Best Fit,Loud & Quiet Magazine,BBC Radio 6 and Rumore Magazine. As a result of Pink Mirror‘s success, Tuplin received funding from PRS’ Open Fund to record 2020’s Violet Waves.
The pair’s collaboration can trace their origins through some unusual circumstances: Although Green and Tuplin have been writing and recording albums over the course of the past decade, they’ve only been vaguely aware of each other’s existence. One night in Peru, following an intense shamanic ceremony, Green had a vivid dream that he and Tuplin were floating high above the ocean. The next morning, Green contacted Tuplin to share his strange, astral encounter. And as as a result, the pair began a correspondence, which lead to their first EP together, Crashing In The Waves.
The EP was released late last week, but if you had been frequenting this site over the course of the past year, you might recall that I’ve written about three of the EP’s previously released singles:
“Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?,” a haunting The Church and Nick Drake-like song that Green explains thematically explores both the oneness and weirdness of people within a collective whole.
“In The Name of Love,” a meditative song centered around some gorgeous harmonizing and an atmospheric arrangement that thematically tackles chaos theory, the nature of the cosmos and our tendency to distort the truth — in the name of love. But the song also has a delicately wry and ironic sense of humor, pointing out that everything in the cosmos may ultimately be up to chance.
“Idle” is a bittersweet yet mischievous song that’s one part aching and earnest love song, one part ironic meditation on being an artist, one-part mournful meditation on the passing of time.
The EP’s fourth and latest single, title track “Crashing In The Waves” continues a run of meditative songs centered around haunting and atmospheric arrangements featuring twinkling keys, shimmering synths and strummed guitar paired with their sonorous harmonizing. Interestingly, much like “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?,” “Crashing In The Waves” is inspired by the tumultuous nature of water, with the song capturing the complicated and conflicting emotions of a breakup — and what it means to both parties involved.