Tag: The Stargazer Lillies

Led by founder and creative mastermind L.G. Galleon, the Brooklyn-based music and art collective, and longtime JOVM mainstays Dead Leaf Echo emerged into the shoegaze scene with their full-length debut, 2013’s Thought and Language, an album deeply influenced by 4AD Records — with the album mixed by John Fryer, and artwork by 4AD’s legendary designer, V23’s Vaughan Oliver.

Since the release of their debut effort, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays have developed and maintained a distinctive ethos in which they embrace their influences while forging ahead with their own sound. 

Back in 2019, the members of Dead Leaf Echo had wrapped up a West Coast tour, which featured a performance on on KEXP’s John in the Morning. They returned home to New York to begin recording their highly-anticipated — and long-awaited — third album The Mercy of Women. As Dead Leaf Echo were preparing the album for release last year, with plans for a European tour that fall to support it, L.G. Galleon went on tour with his other project Clone, just before COVID-19 pandemic struck across the world. 

Galleon wound up retreating to the Poconos, where his friends The Stargazer Lilies have a compound. While staying with The Stargazer Lillies, Galleon began writing new material, which eventually would comprise their forthcoming EP Milk.Blue.Kisses.and Whalebone.Wishes. Much like countless other acts across the globe, the members of the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays recorded the EP’s material virtually — with material recorded at home and the practice studio. James Arapacio mixed the EP’s title track while Galleon produced the remaining five EP tracks. Charles Neiland mastered the EP. 

Slated for a January 21, 2022 digital and vinyl release through Moon Sound RecordsMilk.Blue.Kisses and Whalebone.Wishes will feature artwork from V23’s Timothy O’Donnell. Thematically, the album touches upon anxiety, sex and never selling your worth for less than its true value. “Overloading your body with sex is both a physical act and a drug that can simultaneously stimulate and depredate your physical and mental well being,” Dead Leaf Echo’s Galleon says in press notes. “The over sexualization of America can often be an unconscious struggle in the dream of everlasting beauty that is sold to the youth in this world. This is a call to realization of our role as consumers and how it could possibly ruin our place in society.”

Sonically, the EP is a bit of a departure from the JOVM mainstays’ previously released material with the effort being much more ambient and relaxed. Each song title is a play on words of the EP’s title with themes of winter, ice and the female form represented in some form. 

Late last year, I wrote about the EP,’s first single, the slow-burning “Milk.Blue.Kisses,” a song that brought Garlands era Cocteau Twins but with an uneasy and desperate yearning at its core. The EP’s second and latest single “And.Projecting.Windows.Of.Ice.And.Misconduct” is a slow-burning and brooding instrumental centered around shimmering and swirling, reverb-drenched guitars, thunderous drumming, industrial clang and clatter and delicate percussion. The end result is a song that — to me, at least — evokes brisk wintry days and nights with the gentle crunch of snow at your feet. But just under the surface, a hint of recrimination and accusation.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay TOBACCO Returns with a Gauzy Pop Hook-Driven Single

Over the course of this site’s ten-plus year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Pittsburgh-born and based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Thomas Fec, best known as TOBACCO. During his two-plus decade music career, Fec has used analog synthesizers and tape machines to create a boundary-pushing sound that evokes a woozy and uneasy intertwining of tension, anxiety, bemusement, pleasure, and menace as the frontman and creative mastermind of JOVM mainstays Black Moth Super Rainbow, as a solo artist and through his production work with other like-minded artists.

Since the 2016 release of Fec’s fourth TOBACCO album Sweatbox Dynasty, the JOVM mainstay has been incredibly busy: Fec reconvened with the members of Black Moth Super Rainbow to write and record the gauzy fwhich was supported with tours with The Stargazer Lilies and Nine Inch Nails. Last year, Fec produced The Stargazer Lilies’ abrasive and trippy Occabot — and he collaborated with Aesop Rock in Malibu Ken, a project that released their critically applauded debut album. Additionally, TOBACCO penned the theme song to HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Earlier this year, the JOVM mainstay released his first batch of solo material since Sweatbox Dynasty, the “Hungry Eyes”/”Can’t Count On Her” 7 inch which featured Fec’s woozy and scuzzy take on Eric Carmen‘s Franke Previte and John DeNicola co-written smash hit “Hungry Eyes.” But as it turned out, the “Hungry Eyes”/”Can’t Count On Her” 7 inch may have been a bit of a preview of the JOVM mainstay’s forthcoming full-length Hot Wet & Sassy.

Slated for an October 30, 2020 release through Ghostly International, Hot Wet & Sassy reportedly oozes with anti-love, self-hate and disappointment in others — while further refining the pop impulses that have underpinned his unique sound — blown out, bass, fuzzy analog synths, drum machines and Fec’s analog gurgle and hiss. “I feel like it’s the most I’ve been able to refine what I’m doing,” says Fec. “For the past decade I’ve had this motherfxcker on my shoulder that makes me pick away at structure and melody. Purposely covering up moments because I can. That really came to a peak on Sweatbox. So I wanted the opposite this time. Write the songs without ripping them in half. I went from ‘what would the Butthole Surfers do?’ to ‘what would Cyndi Lauper do?’”

I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s first three singles so far: Hot Wet & Sassy’s second single, “Babysitter,” a collaboration with Nine Inch Nails’ mastermind and fellow Pennsylvanian Trent Reznor, which was a deranged and unsettling lurch between a menacingly saccharine bridge and what sounds like someone gleefully running a rusty manual lawnmower through someone’s carpet paired with laser hot hi-hats, thumping tumps, scorching synths, gurgling and bubbling hiss and distortion and the most accessible, pop-leaning hooks of Fec’s recorded output. The album’s third single “Jinmeknen,” was a slow-burning and atmospheric Quiet Storm-like ballad of sorts centered around glistening synth arpeggios, bouncy beats, Fec’s heavily vocoder’ed vocals and some of the most earnest songwriting of his lengthy — and often extremely weird — career.

“Headless to Headless,” Hot Wet & Sassy’s fourth and latest single clocks in at a little under three minutes and is centered around glistening synth arpeggios,. blown out stuttering beats, brief staccato bursts of forcefully buzzing guitar, Fec’s heavily vocoder’d vocals and some infectious hooks. And while arguably being one of the album’s more gauzier songs, it sounds a bit like a mm murky and downright swampy take on 80s R&B — the drumbeats at point remind me of Cherelle’s “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” for some reason. Much like the previously released singles, the track sees the JOVM mainstay playfully refining his overall sound without scrubbing or altering the weird elements that have won him attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay TOBACCO Teams Up With Trent Reznor on the Menacing and Infectious “Babysitter”

Thomas Fec, a.k.a TOBACCO is a Pittsburgh-born and based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, and throughout his two decade-plus music career, Fec has used analog synthesizers and tape machines to create a boundary-pushing sound that evokes a woozy and uneasy intertwining of tension, anxiety, bemusement and pleasure as the frontman and creative mastermind of Black Moth Super Rainbow, as a solo artist and through his production work. 

2016 saw the release of Fec’s fourth TOBACCO album Sweatbox Dynasty — and since then the JOVM mainstay has been incredibly busy. TOBACCO reconvened Black Moth Super Rainbow to write and record 2018’s Panic Blooms, which was supported with tours with The Stargazer Lilies and Nine Inch Nails. Last year saw the JOVM mainstay producing The Stargazer Lilies’ abrasive and trippy Occabot — and he collaborated with Aesop Rock in Malibu Ken, a project that released their critically applauded debut album. And additionally, TOBACCO penned the theme song to HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Earlier this year, the JOVM mainstay released his first batch of solo material since Sweatbox Dynasty, the “Hungry Eyes”/”Can’t Count On Her” 7 inch which featured the Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s woozy and scuzzy take on Eric Carmen’s Franke Previte and John DeNicola co-written smash hit “Hungry Eyes.” But as it turned out, the “Hungry Eyes”/”Can’t Count On Her” 7 inch may have been a bit of a preview of the JOVM mainstay’s forthcoming full-length Hot Wet & Sassy,

Slated for an October 30, 2020 release through Ghostly International, Hot Wet & Sassy reportedly oozes with anti-love, self-hate and disappointment in others — while further refining the pop impulses that have underpinned his unique sound — blown out, bass, fuzzy analog synths, drum machines and Fec’s analog gurgle and hiss. “I feel like it’s the most I’ve been able to refine what I’m doing,” says Fec. “For the past decade I’ve had this motherfxcker on my shoulder that makes me pick away at structure and melody. Purposely covering up moments because I can. That really came to a peak on Sweatbox. So I wanted the opposite this time. Write the songs without ripping them in half. I went from ‘what would the Butthole Surfers do?’ to ‘what would Cyndi Lauper do?’”

Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Babysitter” finds Fec teaming up with Nine Inch Nails’ mastermind Trent Reznor — and the end result is a deranged and unsettling lurch between a menacingly saccharine bridge and what sounds like someone gleefully running a  rusty manual lawnmower through someone’s carpet. In other words:  hot hi-hats, thumping toms battle against scorched synths and gurgling and bubbling hiss and distortion. And yet, the song strangely enough manages to have some of the most accessible, pop-leaning hooks of Fec’s career. “This was new for me, but I wanted to write a song that was everything I am and have been, and then like one notch further. Trent was the notch further,” adds Fec.