Tag: The Breeders

New Audio: Jay Som Releases Previously Unreleased Single from Her Critically Applauded Debut

Melina Duterte is an Oakland, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose solo recording project Jay Som received national and international attention last year from the likes of NPR Music, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Stereogum, Paste, Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Spin, Newsweek, Exclaim!, Under the Radar and a number of others elsewhere.

Building upon a growing profile, Duterte, recently announced the release of two previously unreleased songs that were recorded during the Everybody Works sessions as a 7 inch single titled “Pirouette”/”OK Meet Me Underwater,” that will be officially released both on vinyl and digitally on January 26, 2018 through Polyvinyl Records. Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 – the first demo stages  for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I’m really grateful they’re finally out in the world,” Duterte explains press notes about her soon-to-be released 7 inch single. And as you’ll hear on A side single “Pirouette,” Duterte specializes in a jangling, hook driven, 90s alt rock inspired sound, reminiscent of The Breeders but with an incredibly bold yet breezy self-assuredness.  

Currently comprised of founding members Joey Lemon (guitar, vocals) and Paul Goodenough (drums) with their college friend Matt Aufrecht (keys) and close friend Shane Bordeau (bass), the indie rock quarter Berry can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met at an intensive, four-month, music program in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, back in 2002. When the band’s founding members returned to the Midwest, they recruited Aufrecht before writing and recording their debut effort Marriage, which was released by Right Place Records in 2003 to critical applause. Building on a growing profile, the band toured extensively across the country, with a number of touring bassists before relocating to Chicago with the hopes that their idiosyncratic and quirky sound would fit into that city’s scene.

While in Chicago, the members of the band had an incredibly prolific year between 2007 and 2008, in which they wrote, recorded and released six EPs — and to promote the releases, the band embarked on a novel tour: forgoing the typical cargo van or bus, the members of the band purchased a 30-day Amtrak pass and booked shows from Chicago to Seattle, relying entirely on public transport, traveling with a rather minimalist setup that included a tiny tube amp in a rolling suitcase, a children’s drum set in a single kick drum case and a full-sized keyboard on rollers. Exhausted by the tour, the band Bordeau, and eventually wrote and recorded their 2010 full-length Blue Sky, Raging Sun, which was inspired by their Amtrak tour — with the material juxtaposing scenes of epic, natural beauty with ennui of endless train rides in which micro societies were formed by handfuls of strangers.

However, despite the band developing a long-held devoted following, their 2010 effort saw limited commercial success and after its release, the individual members of the band spread out across the country to pursue separate professional opportunities; but in 2014, the band reconvened in rural Kansas to write and record without much expectations as to what the end result would be. Unfortunately, after writing and recording 11 songs in a breakneck 4 day period, the album fell into production limbo for several years until Paul Klimson offered his services to complete the album, which will finally be released through Joyful Noise Recordings next week. Everything, Compromised will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting  forward-thinking indie pop that’s complex and yet delicate.

Interestingly, Everything, Compromised‘s latest single “Civil Disobedience” finds the band’s sound possessing elements of shoegaze, dream pop and indie rock reminiscent of The Shins, The Breeders and hanging 70s AM radio rock — but with an offbeat and mischievous air.

 

 

 

Deeply influenced by The Breeders, T-Rex, punk rock, psych rock and New Wave, the Wilmington, DE-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, Grace Vonderkuhn has received attention for a sound that meshes elements of psych rock, garage rock and guitar pop; in fact, back in 2015, I wrote about Vonderkuhn’s slow-burning, brooding, and lysergic cover of The Psychedelic Furs‘ “Love My Way.” Adding to a growing profile, over the past year, the Wilmington, DE-based singer/songwriter and her backing band, which features Brian Bartling (bass) and Dave Mcgrory (drums) has opened for the likes of Titus Andronicus, Lower Dens and blogosphere darlings Sheer Mag among others.

“Worry,” the first single off Vonderkuhn’s forthcoming full-length album, slated for a February release through Egghunt Records features some muscular and self-assured power chords paired with angular and driving bass chords, forceful drumming within a 90s alt rock song structure —  alternating quiet verses and loud choruses, arena rock friendly hooks, an explosive and cathartic bridge and a fade out into the song’s coda.  Though it clearly owes debts to the aforementioned Breeders, Veruca Salt and others in the 120 Minutes-era MTV universe, the song, as Vonderkuhn explained to the folks at GoldFlakePaint is an “anthem for over-thinkers” with the song’s narrator attempting to  act as a calming counterweight, as she constantly reminds herself that maybe she shouldn’t be worrying as much as she does about everything, that some things are just beyond your control. And as a result, Vonderkuhn’s latest is a deceptive and mischievously modern take on a beloved and familiar song and aesthetic.

 

 

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Sounds and Visuals for Ramonda Hammer’s “Destroyers”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of  founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters, and with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Whatever That Means, the act quickly received attention both locally an nationally, as the album was released to praise from the likes of  Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and others. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine. The quartet released the Destroyers EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet chaotic and cathartic coda; but at the core of the song is a bitter, emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet ironic, triumphant and ass-kicking yet yearning for more — without quite knowing how to get there. 

Directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring the members of Ramonda Hammer along with Elizer Rios, Dylan Karate, Jessie Payo, Gayly Singletary, Addison Murphy, Caleb Hammond, and Justin Jackson, the recently released video draws from 120 Minutes-era visuals — but with a decidedly hazy, feverish vibe, as it features two toga wearing men, drinking wine until one drops dead presumably from poison, a series of Ancient Greek-like characters on the fringes, much like a Greek tragedy before splitting into focusing on the band performing the song, as though it’s the soundtrack to the proceedings. 

New Video: The Lysergic Sounds and Visuals of Beaches’ “Arrow”

Comprised of Antonia Sellbach (guitar, vocals), Alison Bolger (guitar, vocals), Ali McCann (guitar vocals), Gil Tucker (bass, vocals) and Karla Way (drums, vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock quintet Beaches formed in 2007, and since their formation the quintet have developed an international profile for their critically applauded 2008 self-titled debut and 2013’s sophomore effort She Beats both of which drew from psych rock, shoegaze, prog rock and krautrock — with both albums being shortlisted for their respective years’ Australian Music Prize. 

Second of Spring, the Aussie psych quintet’s third full-length album is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Chapter Music — and interestingly enough, the album is the first double LP released by an individual artist/band in the label’s history. Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne with producer/engineer John Lee, who has worked with Totally Mild and Lost Animal, and mastered by David Walker, the Melbourne-based psych rockers third album reportedly finds the band expanding upon the sound that won them international praise and attention but with material that emphasizes a jam-like feel.  Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this summer, you may recall that I wrote about Second of Spring’s first single “Void,” which featured buzzing power chords with a motorik groove and anthemic hook. And interestingly enough, the track reminded me quite a bit of The Breeders “Last Splash,” Liz Phair‘s “Supernova” and others but with a swirling, lysergic feel; but as the band’s Ali McCann explained to Vice Noisey “‘Void’ is a conversation between two people, who discuss a prolonged absence, a temporary disappearance into a space of emptiness. We wrote ‘Void’ in our rehearsal space in Reservoir (Melbourne) during a prolific period of songwriting. It was produced by John Lee (Phaedra Studios), who also plays synthesiser on this track. Karla and I are on vocals. There is a restrained interaction between them, tempered by the motorik drive of the instrumentation.”

The album’s second and latest single “Arrow” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it features buzzing power chords and a chugging, motorik groove and an anthemic hook under-pinned by a breezy, ethereal melody — and while clearly nodding at 90s alt rock, the song subtly nods at 60s psych rock. And fittingly, the recently released music video for the song features some incredibly trippy, psychedelic imagery — including an extended section in which shapes explode and change color and rearrange themselves in front of the viewer, in exact beat to the song, before briefly panning out to show one of the band members standing in front of projection screen or a hand manipulating things. 

Over the past month or so, I’ve written a bit about the  Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Umm. Comprised of Stefanie Drootin, best known for stints in The Good LifeBig Harp and in the backing bands of She & Him and Bright Eyes, and her Big Harp bandmate (and her spouse), Chris Senseney, the Southern California duo specialize in a decidedly 90s, alt-rockinspired sound, full of fuzzy power chords, plaintive and swooning harmonizing and anthemic hooks reminiscent of The BreedersThe Posies and others. And in that same month or so period, you may recall the 120 Minutes-like “I’m in Love,” and the dark yet breezy “Black Summer” off the duo’s soon-to-be released debut together, Double Worshipper.

Double Worshipper‘s third and latest single is the slow-burning and moody ballad “Yeah I Want It,” and while further cementing their growing reputation for crafting anthemic, 90s alt rock-inspired tracks with rousing hooks; but what makes this particular track different is its emphasis on swooning boy-girl harmonies and a dreamily wistful melody, which makes the song the most summery, if not most dream pop-leaning song they’ve released to date.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Antonia Sellbach (guitar, vocals), Alison Bolger (guitar, vocals), Ali McCann (guitar vocals), Gil Tucker (bass, vocals) and Karla Way (drums, vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock quintet Beaches formed in 2007, and since their formation the band has toured extensively both across Australia and the US, developing a reputation for trancelike live shows and critically applauded recordings that found the band’s sound drawing from psych rock, shoegaze, prog rock and krautrock and others; in fact, the quintet’s 2008 self-titled debut and 2013’s sophomore effort She Beats were shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. Their self-titled debut was included in John O’Donnell’s, Toby Creswell’s and Craig Mathieson’s 100 Best Australian Albums and received praise from internationally recognized outlets including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Gorilla Vs BearSpin Magazine, and others.

The band’s forthcoming full-length effort, Second of Spring is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Chapter Records and the album is a double LP, the first double LP released by an individual artist/band in the renowned Australian label’s history.  Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne with producer/engineer John Lee, who has worked with Totally Mild and Lost Animal, mastered by David Walker and features artwork from the band’s Ali McCann and design by artist Darren Sylvester.

Reportedly, the band’s forthcoming full-length effort finds the band expanding upon the sound that won them international attention while focusing on an extensive, jam-like feel. Second of Spring‘s first single features layers of buzzing power chords paired with a forceful a motorik groove, and anthemic hook — creating a song that sounds as though it drew influence by The Breeders Last Splash,” Liz Phair‘s “Supernova” and others but with a swirling, lysergic feel; but as the band’s Ali McCann explains to the folks at Vice Noisey “‘Void’ is a conversation between two people, who discuss a prolonged absence, a temporary disappearance into a space of emptiness. We wrote ‘Void’ in our rehearsal space in Reservoir (Melbourne) during a prolific period of songwriting. It was produced by John Lee (Phaedra Studios), who also plays synthesiser on this track. Karla and I are on vocals. There is a restrained interaction between them, tempered by the motorik drive of the instrumentation.”

 

Last month, I wrote about the  Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock duo Umm. Comprised of Stefanie Drootin, best known for stints in The Good Life, Big Harp and in the backing bands of She & Him and Bright Eyes, and her Big Harp bandmate Chris Senseney, the duo specialize in an alt rock-inspired sound, complete with fuzzy power chords, plaintive and swooning harmonizing and anthemic hooks reminiscent of The Breeders, The Posies and others; in fact, as a child of the 80s, who started to come of age in the 90s, “I’m in Love,” off the duo’s soon-to-be released full-length Double Worshipper instantly reminded me of countless hours watching 120 Minutes, making mixtapes of my favorite songs off the radio, spending even more hours in record stores and trading cassette tapes with friends.  Interestingly enough, the album’s latest single “Black Summer” will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for crafting 90s alt rock inspired material; but in the case of their latest single, the song possesses a breeziness that underlies both the dark lyricism and anthemic nature of the song.

 

 

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was once featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters. Their self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical applause from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolumeFuse TV and elsewhere, and as a result of a rapidly growing local and national profile, the band signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn VeganShe Shreds MagazineBlurred Culture and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Ramonda Hammer’s forthcoming EP Destroyers is slated for an August 4, 2017 release, and the effort’s jagged and off-kilter title track “Destroyers” received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that channeled  The BreedersVeruca SaltThe MallardBleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

The EP’s latest single “Bender” as Davis explains was written while she was binge-watching Shameless for two weeks straight and she just couldn’t get off the couch to anything remotely productive. “In retrospect, I guess I could call it ‘research’ or whatever, because I ended up writing this song. But yeah, the lyrics are really just a conversation between two opposing sides in one’s brain. The verses ask questions from the more sane, healthy part of one’s psyche, and the choruses respond from the anxiety-ridden, depressed, and very frustrated side. And the reason this person (okay, it’s me!) is so effing frustrated is because they care so so so much, but when crippling depression sets in from time to time, when they get caught in a bender of some sort, it’s so hard to do the things that make you happy. In a final cry, I end the song with, ‘I swear that I deserve good things’ because I think I do and I know other people feel the same.” And while arguably being the most personal song Davis has written, it may be one of the more melodic and anthemic tunes they’ve released to date, sounding as though it could have been released between 1992 and 1996.

Comprised of founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters.

The quartet’s self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical praise from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and elsewhere. Building upon the growing attention they’ve received, the quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Interestingly, 2017 looks to be a big year for the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based quartet as they’ll be releasing their new EP, Destroyers on August 4, 2017 — and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.