Tag: Ulrich Schnauss

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I’ve written about and have photographed the Northeastern Pennsylvania-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstays The Stargazer Lilies quite a bit throughout this site’s nine-plus year history. The act, which is comprised of founding duo and married couple John Cep (guitar, bass, vocals, drums, production) and Kim Field (bass, vocals) and a rotating cast of live drummers can trace its origins to when Cep’s and Field’s previous band Soundpool broke up.

Soundpool had built up a national profile, touring with Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, TOBACCO, and a list of others, but despite the fact that there was growing buzz surrounding them, Cep and Field desired a chance in sonic direction. And with their Stargazer Lillies full-length debut, We Are The Dreamers, the duo quickly established a signature sound, which meshed elements of dream pop and shoegaze — but with a muscular and forceful insistence. Their sophomore album, 2016’s Door to the Sun firmly cemented their sound and approach while expanding upon it.

Since the release of Door to the Sun, Cep and Field have been relentlessly touring as both an opener and headliner, frequently with JOVM mainstay TOBACCO and his Black Moth Super Rainbow, among a list of others.

Now, as you may recall, the JOVM mainstays long-awaited, third full-length album Occabot is slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Rad Cult Records — and the album finds Cep and Field collaborating with their frequent tour mate TOBACCO (a.k.a Tom Fec). Interestingly, this collaboration can be traced back several years ago to a Stargazer Lillies show that TOBACCO had attended. “It just hit me they were way heavier than they seem,” TOBACCO explains in press notes. “And that wasn’t translating in their recordings. Their old stuff is panoramic and smooth; I wanted 3D and bumpy.”

Wanting to help get the duo where they all felt they wanted to be, Fec signed the band to his Rad Cult Records imprint and agreed to work on their third album. But he didn’t start working with the band right away. He let Cep and Field work on the material in their own idiosyncratic image first.  When the members of Stargazer Lilies had completed things on their end with eight raw and primal tracks, Fec then stepped in to distort, bend and burn the material’s overall sound even further.

Cep likens the creative process behind Occabot to what Andy Warhol did with pop art prints and The Velvet Undgeround and Nico. “Lou [Reed] said Andy was the best producer because he basically let the group do whatever the fuck they wanted. Tom did a similar thing with us; he let us have complete creative control, then added splashes of color and made it rough around the edges. Those embellishments make his artistic stamp on the project unmistakable, but leave the essence of our music very much intact.”

Occabot’s first single “Living Work of Art” found TOBACCO scrubbing the material with sandpaper than mangling Field’s and Cep’s work in a blender for a bit, then throwing it into an acid-bath –and while becoming heavily distorted and whirring batch of broken machinery and instruments, with skittering hi-hats, the song manages to retain the gauzy quality of their previously recorded work. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Dizzying Heights” finds Field’s ethereal vocals floating and fight through a viscous haze of heavily distorted guitars, shimmering hi-hat and wobbling drums. It’s a woozy and dizzying swoon of a song that evokes the decay and disorder of the impending end of everything.

 

 

 

 

I’ve written about and have photographed the Northeastern Pennsylvania-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstays The Stargazer Lilies quite a bit over the years. And as you may recall, the act which is comprised of founding and married duo John Cep (guitar, bass, vocals, drums, production) and Kim Field (bass, vocals) and a rotating cast of live drummers can trace its origins to when Cep’s and Field’s previous band Soundpool broke up.

Although Soundpool had built up a national profile, touring with Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, TOBACCO, and a list of others, Cep and Field desired a change in sonic direction. With Stargazer Lilies’ full-length debut, We Are The Dreamers, the duo established a signature sound, which meshed elements of dream pop, shoegaze — but with a muscular forcefulness. Their sophomore album, 2016’s Door to the Sun firmly cemented their sound and approach while expanding upon it. Since the release of Door to the Sun, Cep and Field have been relentlessly touring as both an opener and headliner, frequently with JOVM mainstay TOBACCO and his Black Moth Super Rainbow, and a list of others.

Slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Rad Cult Records, the band’s long-awaited third full-length album Occabot finds the duo collaborating with their frequent tourmate TOBACCO (a.k.a Tom Fec). Interestingly, their collaboration with TOBACCO can be traced to a Stargazer Lilies show a couple of years ago. “It just hit me they were way heavier than they seem,” TOBACCO explains in press notes. “And that wasn’t translating in their recordings. Their old stuff is panoramic and smooth; I wanted 3D and bumpy.”

Wanting to help get the duo where they all felt they wanted to be, Fec signed the band to his Rad Cult Records imprint and agreed to work on their third album. But not right away though. He let Cep and Field work on the material in their own idiosyncratic image first.  When the members of Stargazer Lilies had completed things on their end with eight raw and primal tracks, Fec then stepped in to distort, bend and burn the material’s overall sound even further.

Cep likens the creative process behind Occabot to what Andy Warhol did with pop art prints and The Velvet Undgeround and Nico. “Lou [Reed] said Andy was the best producer because he basically let the group do whatever the fuck they wanted. Tom did a similar thing with us; he let us have complete creative control, then added splashes of color and made it rough around the edges. Those embellishments make his artistic stamp on the project unmistakable, but leave the essence of our music very much intact.”

“Living Work of Art,” Occabot‘s boundary pushing single finds TOBACCO scrubbing the song with sandpaper then mangling Field’s and Cep’s work in a blender and throwing it into an acid bath while still retaining the hazy shoegazer quality of their previous work. Sonically you’ll hear blasts of hi-hat driven drums skittering across a thick wave of heavily distorted guitars that sound like broken and fuzzy synths while Field’s vocals ethereally float over the mix. It’s shoegaze for the impending end of the world.

 

 

Over the course of this site’s seven year history, I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstay act Dead Leaf Echo, and in that same period, the members of the band have built a growing national profile, as the’ve played at some of the country’s biggest and best known festivals, and have opened for a lengthening and impressive array of renowned bands, including The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes. And along with that, over the past few years, the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays have also developed a reputation for being rather prolific — starting with 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language, Dead Leaf Echo promptly followed that up with 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, 2015’s split EP with die you die and a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart“/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which retained their towering, wall of sound-inspired production, while nodding at RIDESwervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive and The Jesus and Mary Chain among others.  Released earlier this year, the band’s Strawberry Skin EP found the band continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer Monte Vallier, who has worked with Weekend and Wax Idols, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jorge Elbrecht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently in  No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band, and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning and plaintive urgency,  the EP’s title track found the band gently expanding upon their sound, adding an abrasive and muscular quality underneath.

Recorded at Mexican Summer’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based studio with Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht, Dead Leaf Echo’s long-anticipated, sophomore full-length effort, Beyond.Desire is slated for an October 13, 2017 release through PaperCup Music, finds the band continuing to refine the sound that they’ve recently dubbed “noveeau wave”, a moody and shimmering mix of shoegaze and layered guitar pop, and as you’ll hear on Beyond.Desire‘s first, official single “Temple,” the single continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, as featured layers of shimmering power chords paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. But interestingly enough, much like their previously released material, the album is a something of a concept album, as the material reportedly is based on themes of maturation and growth beyond pure, animal lust and physical need; in fact “Temple” is an urgent and swooning declaration of love and devotion.

The band will be embarking on a number of tour dates to build up buzz to support the new album, and then to support it and int includes an October 13, 2017 stop at The Knitting Factory.

Tour Dates 
9.15: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9.16: Hattiesburg, MI @ The Thirsty Hippo
10.7: Kingston, NY @ O Positive Festival
10.13: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (record release party)
10.27: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11.2: Barnsville, OH @ Albert S George Youth Center
11.3: Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
11.4: Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Brewery
11.5 Milwaukee, WI
11.7 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
11.8 San Fransisco, CA @ The Knockout
11.9: San Jose, CA @ TBA
11.10: San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
11.12: Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

New Video: The Surreal 120 Minutes-Inspired Visuals for Dead Leaf Echo’s Anthemic “Strawberry.Skin”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its almost seven years of existence, you’ve come across posts featuring the Brooklyn-based shoegazer rock and art collective Dead Leaf Echo. And over that same period of time, the members of the collective have seen a growing profile, as they’ve played at some of the country’s largest and best known festivals, have opened for a lengthy and impressive list of renowned, nationally touring bands including The Wedding Present, A Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Psychedelic Furs, Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, Weekend, Lorelei, The Ocean Blue, The Warlocks, Beach Fossils, and The Telescopes and have made appearances on KEXP‘s John in the Morning and on Nic Harcourt’s KCSN show.

With the release of 2013’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language and 2014’s true.deep.sleeper EP, the band quickly established themselves as one of the preeminent, contemporary shoegazer rock acts while being quite busy — last year, they quietly released a split EP with die you die, as well as a limited cassette run of the “Lemonheart”/”sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” 7 inch, which interestingly retained the well-known and beloved wall of sound and swooning urgency along the lines of RIDE, Swervedriver, The Verve and Slowdive while nodding at Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and others.

Interestingly, the band’s latest effort Strawberry Skin was released last week through PaperCup Music and the EP found the band working with frequent collaborator and producer Monte Vallier, who has also worked with Weekend and Wax Idols — and along with Vallier, the album features contributions from Jorge Elbreht, who was a founding member of Violens and is currently working with No Joy and Ariel Pink’s backing band and Guy Fixsen, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Wire, among a lengthy and impressive list of artists. The EP’s latest single, EP title track “Strawberry Skin” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating shimmering and anthemic shoegaze with a swooning urgency; however, the song possesses a abrasive and muscular quality just underneath the surface — and it reveals a band subtly experimenting with their sound.

Directed by Emmanuella Zachariou, the recently released music video possesses a dream-like logic reminiscent of 120 Minutes-era MTV, complete with action going forward and in slow-motion as though the viewer is in a fever dream. The band is playing two shows to support the EP, so check out live dates below — and be on the lookout for the band’s long-anticipated sophomore effort, slated for release later this year.

New Video: The Gorgeously Mournful Yet Hopeful Sound and Visuals of Daniel Land’s “New York Boogie-Woogie”

Written and recorded in a number of locations including London, Manchester, Devon, California and New York City and featuring over 20 musicians including members of Daniel Land and The Modern Painters, the backing bands of Andrew Saks (a.k.a. ASAKS) and Gerald Hopes (a.k.a Little Nova Sound), members of Land’s current band and ambient composer Bing Satellites, who co-wrote some material, co-produced and played several instruments on the record, Land’s forthcoming sophomore full-length solo album In Love With a Ghost may arguably be one of the more complex and textured efforts he has released.

Interestingly enough, the album’s material was written right after his longest running project Daniel Land and The Modern Painters had broken up, and in a period in which he had been forced to consider giving up music about halfway during the recording of the album, when he had suffered a number of health issues including a painful and chronic inner-ear infection that left him prone to bouts of extreme dizziness and partially deaf for over a year. And as a result, among several things Land had been thinking of during tat period influenced the tone and feel of his forthcoming album’s material. As Land explains in press notes: “This is an album about cities. It is an album about reinvention, and starting your life over. It is an album about growing up, finding love, and settling down. And to a lesser degree, it is about the damage that can be done to a person, or a family, by falling in love with the wrong person. With ‘In Love With A Ghost’, I came full circle for a while by incorporating a whole bunch of influences that pre-date my love of dream-pop and shoegaze. I really wanted to make a colourful, widescreen, detailed record. When I started the album, I didn’t have a live band, and most of the tracks were written on the piano, for my own amusement, rather than for a group with three guitarists.

“Unable to make music, and living in a new city made me feel, at times, powerfully depressed. This became a crisis of confidence that went very deep and it did seem, for a while, that I would never find my way back to making music again, ” Land continues. “Finishing the album was a process that involved re-evaluating my life and overhauling my relationship to music, and coming out of the other side more healthy, more humble, and more grateful. It’s good to be back again.”

And while possessing a mournful air about what was and what can never, be the album’s first single “New York Boogie-Woogie” manages to also simultaneously possess a hopefulness towards the future — with the recognition that things constantly change, and that you better respect and cherish that. Sonically speaking, Land’s plaintive falsetto vocals are paired with dramatic piano chords, propulsive drumming, shimmering guitar chords and a gorgeous sax solo to craft a song that possesses a cinematic yet moody sweep.

The recently released music video for the song features black and white footage in and around New York that captures a sense of endless wonder and possibility and profound loneliness.

Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its six-year history and especially over the past couple of months, you’ve come across posts featuring the Brooklyn-based shoegazer rock and art collective Dead Leaf Echo. And over that period of time the members of the collective have seen a growing national and international profile as they’ve played sets at several of the country’s largest and best known festivals, have opened for a list of renowned and well-regarded bands including The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes and have made appearances on KEXP‘s John in the Morning and on Nic Harcourt’KCSN show.

Since the 2013 release of the band’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language and its follow up true.deep.sleeper EP, the members of the band have been working on their much-anticipated sophomore, full-length effort but in the meantime, they’re releasing a cassette tape edition of the “Lemonheart” 7 inch through Wiener Records on November 4, 2016, as the two original vinyl pressings are completely sold out. Now, you may recall that as I wrote about “Lemonheart,” the single would further cement their reputation for crafting lush, shimmering shoegaze and dream pop in the vein of RIDESwervedriver and Slowdive. The 7 inch’s B-side “sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” reveals a thorough change in direction as layers of swirling and buzzing guitar chords and skittering, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming and boom bap beats to create a swaggering and strutting song that sounds indebted to Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and others, as it may arguably be the most abrasive and scorching song they’ve released to date. But just underneath the abrasiveness is a swooning and passionate declaration of love.

Dead Leaf Echo have embarked on a Fall/Winter tour to support the release of the “Lemonhead” 7 inch cassette tape edition and it includes a two Brooklyn dates. Check out the tour dates below.

Fall/Winter 2016 Dates:
11.06 – New York, NY @ Berlin (Release Party w/ Midnight Hollow, Big Band)
11.09 – Ft Wayne, IN @ The Brass Rail (w/ March On, Comrade)
11.10 – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle (w/ Lightfoils, Ganser)
11.11 – Detroit, MI @ Echo Fest
11.12 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Louis Trophy Room (Kalamashoegazer Festival)
11.19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store (w/ Solilians, Landing)
11.25 – Nashville. TN @ TBD
12.03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortleib’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, as I’ve mentioned last month, if you’ve been frequenting this site at any point throughout its six year history, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts about Brooklyn-based music and art collective Dead Leaf Echo. And over that period of time, the members of the collective have seen a growing national and international profile as they’ve played some of the country’s largest festivals, have opened for the likes of  The Wedding PresentA Place to Bury Strangers, . . . And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadThe Psychedelic FursChapterhouseUlrich SchnaussWeekendLoreleiThe Ocean BlueThe WarlocksBeach Fossils, and The Telescopes, as well as made appears on KEXP‘s John in the Morning and on Nic Harcourt’KCSN show.

Since the 2013 release of the band’s 4AD Records-inspired full-length debut effort Thought and Language and its follow up true.deep.sleeper EP, the members of the band have been working on their much-anticipated sophomore, full-length effort but in the meantime, they’re releasing a cassette tape edition of the “Lemonheart” 7 inch through Wiener Records on November 4, 2016, as the two original vinyl pressings are completely sold out. And as I mentioned about that single, it will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting lush, shimmering shoegaze/dream pop in the vein of RIDESwervedriver and Slowdive.

“I Will Do (anything)” the band’s latest single consists of ethereal boy and girl harmonizing, their trademark lush and gorgeously shimmering guitar work, propulsive four-on-the-floor-based drumming, a sinuous bass line and a rousing hook to craft a song that’s a swooning declaration of devotion that sounds as though it could have been released during 4AD Records heyday as much as it could easily be released today.

Dead Leaf Echo have embarked on a Fall/Winter tour to support the release of the “Lemonhead” 7 inch cassette tape edition and it includes a two Brooklyn dates. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

10.15 – Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (Luscious Heaven: A Night of Shoegaze and Dream Pop)
10.29 – Brooklyn, NY @ ARKHAM: Brooklyn Gothic Party
11.06 – New York, NY @ Berlin (Release Party w/ Midnight Hollow, Big Band)
11.09 – Ft Wayne, IN @ The Brass Rail (w/ March On, Comrade)
11.10 – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle (w/ Lightfoils, Ganser)
11.11 – Detroit, MI @ Echo Fest
11.12 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Louis Trophy Room (Kalamashoegazer Festival)
11.19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store (w/ Solilians, Landing)
11.25 – Nashville. TN @ TBD
12.03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortleib’s

 

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