Tag: Vampire Weekend

With the release of recent singles “Holding On” and “Let’s Go Outside” receiving attention across the blogosphere, opening slots with Her’s, Indoor Pets, and whenyoung, and a forthcoming set this month’s Leeds Festival, the up-and-coming Leeds, UK-based trio Far Caspian, comprised of Irish-born, Leeds-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Joel Johnson, Leeds-born and-based drummer and backing vocalist Jof Cabedeo and Leeds-born and-based bassist and backing vocalist Alessio Scozarro have developed a reputation for crafting material centered around Johnson’s transition to life in a new country and the upheavals that ensue paired with their unique take on atmospheric pop, influenced by Real Estate, Grizzly Bear and Band of Horses.

“The Place” off the up-and-coming Leeds-based trio’s forthcoming debut EP slated for release this fall through Dance To The Radio is a jangling and atmospheric track, rooted to percussive and angular drumming, shimmering guitar chords and sinuous hooks — and in some way, the song sounds as though it draws from Vampire Weekend and others but with a breezier, summertime vibe. As the band says in press notes, “We wanted to have a track on the EP that was based more on intricate rhythms but instead we went for a pretty stripped back arrangement so it made sense alongside our other tracks. The song itself is about overthinking things in social situations and feeling like you aren’t contributing enough to conversation because you’re feeling awkward.”

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Currently comprised of founding member Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Matt Geravis, Charity Rose Thielen (violin, guitar, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (keys) and Tyler Williams (drums), the Seattle, WA-based indie folk/indie rock act The Head and the Heart can trace their origins to a series of open mic nights at Ballard, WA-based Conor Byrne Pub back in 2009. At the time Russell, who had relocated from Richmond, VA and the band’s other founding member Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), who had relocated from Southern California were relatively recent transplants. Russell and Johnson met Hensley, who also was a relatively recent transplant, who had relocated the previous year to pursue film score writing. Thielen, was the next member to join, and she had recently returned from a year abroad studying in Paris. Williams had been a member of Richmond, VA-based band Prabir and The Substitutes, but after Russell sent him a demo of “Down In The Valley,” Williams quickly relocated to Seattle to join the new band. The last member of the original line, Zasche was a bartender at the Conor Byrne and was member of Seattle-based bands The Maldives and Grand Hallway. Interestingly enough, as Johnson explained the band’s name came from an relatable situation in which “Your head is telling you to be stable and find a good job, you know in your heart that this [the band] is what you’re supposed to do, even if it’s crazy.”

Since their formation the band has released three full-length albums — 2010’s self-titled and initially self-released debut (which later caught the attention of Sub Pop Records, who re-issued it), 2013’s Let’s Be Still and 2016’s major label debut, Signs of Light with each record seeing greater attention and the band building a growing profile; they’ve opened for Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers among a lengthening list of acclaimed acts. Along with that, the band has seen quite a bit of critical and commercial success — their self-tiled debut reached #110 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks with  Let’s Be Still landed at #10 on the Billboard 200 and each album has been well received, to boot.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you may recall that I mentioned that this year may arguably be one of the bigger years in the band’s history, as they’ve played the historic Newport Folk Festival and Coachella, and are in the middle of an extensive tour that includes stops at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lollapalooza and Central Park SummerStage last night.

Tonight the band is taking part in an Audience Network Concert Special, which will air at 9:00 ET/PT on DIRECTV (Channel 239) and U-verse (Channel 1114) and DIRECTV Now, and  to build up buzz for the special, as well as to celebrate what has been a successful tour so far, the band has just released a gorgeous and fairly straightforward cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” one of my favorite Crowded House songs, and arguably one of the best songs of the 1980s; of course, there are subtle differences — The Head and the Heart rendition has a slightly folky twang, Charity Rose Thielen sings the song’s second verse, which adds a slightly different perspective; and the organ solo at the song’s bridge is truncated by a number of measures; but considering the band’s history, covering Crowded House’s breakthrough hit here in the States is fitting, as the song focuses on persisting in the face of all odds. More important, their cover should remind everyone that Neil Finn is an exceptionally gifted songwriter, who has written a handful of songs that have held up 30+ years after their initial release.

As I mentioned the band is in the middle of a lengthy tour, check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
9.22.17 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA *
9.23.17 – Thompson’s Point – Portland, ME *
9.24.17 – Green at Shelburne Museum – South Burlington, VT *
9.26.17 – Massey Hall – Toronto, ON *
9.28.17 – Iroquois Amphitheater – Louisville, KY *
9.29.17 – Ascend Amphitheater – Nashville, TN *~
9.30.17 – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium – Asheville, NC *
10.1.17 – The National – Richmond, VA *
10.2.17 – Red Hat Amphitheater – Raleigh, NC *
10.4.17 – Alabama Theatre – Birmingham, AL *
10.5.17 – Coca Cola Roxy Theatre – Atlanta, GA *
10.8.17 – Austin City Limits – Austin, TX
10.10.17 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK *
10.11.17 – Orpheum Theatre – Memphis, TN *
10.12.17 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO *
10.13.17 – The Blue Note Outdoors – Columbia, MO *
10.15.17 – Austin City Limits – Austin, TX
10.27.17 – The Anthem – Washington, D.C. *+
10.27 – 10.29.17 – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience – New Orleans, LA
1.31 – 2.4.18 – Hard Rock Hotel – Riviera Maya, MX

 

*w/ The Shelters
^w/ The Lone Bellow
~w/ Dr. Dog
+w/Phosphorescent

New Video: An Intimate Portrait of Life on the Road with The Head and the Heart in New Visuals for “City of Angels”

Currently comprised of founding member Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Matt Geravis, Charity Rose Thielen (violin, guitar, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (keys) and Tyler Williams (drums), the Seattle, WA-based indie folk/indie rock act The Head and the Heart can trace their origins to a series of open mic nights at Conor Byrne Pub back in 2009. At the time Russell, who had relocated from Richmond, VA and the band’s other founding member Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), who had relocated from Southern California were relatively recent transplants. Russell and Johnson met Hensley, who also was a relatively recent transplant, who had relocated the previous year to pursue film score writing. Thielen, was the next member to join, and she had recently returned from a year abroad studying in Paris. Williams had been a member of Richmond, VA-based band Prabir and The Substitutes, but after Russell sent him a demo of “Down In The Valley,” Williams quickly relocated to Seattle to join the new band. The last member of the original line, Zasche was a bartender at the Conor Byrne and was member of Seattle-based bands The Maldives and Grand Hallway. Interestingly enough, as Johnson explained the band’s name came from an relatable situation in which “Your head is telling you to be stable and find a good job, you know in your heart that this [the band] is what you’re supposed to do, even if it’s crazy.” 

Since their formation the band has released three full-length albums — 2010’s self-titled and initially self-released debut (which later caught the attention of Sub Pop Records, who re-issued it), 2013’s Let’s Be Still and 2016’s major label debut, Signs of Light with each record seeing greater attention and the band building a growing profile; they’ve opened for Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers among a lengthening list of acclaimed acts. Along with that, the band has seen quite a bit of critical and commercial success — their self-tiled debut reached #110 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks with  Let’s Be Still landed at #10 on the Billboard 200 and each album has been well received to boot. 

2017 may be arguably be one of the bigger years in the band’s history as they’ve played the historic Newport Folk Festival and Coachella, and are in the middle of an extensive tour that includes stops at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lollapalooza and a bunch of other stops. (Check out the tour dates below.)  In the meantime, the band’s latest single “City of Angels” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for a sound that  simultaneously nods at 70s era Fleetwood Mac, 60s psych folk and pop, arena rock and contemporary indie rock, but with a swooning earnestness; after all, their latest single like all of the preceding singles is written from a sincere place; in this case, a bittersweet longing for a home you’ve left some time ago — but underneath there’s a growing sense that you may never be able to come home again. 

The recently released video was directed by Claire Marie Vogel, and its an charming and  intimate, fly-on-the-wall like portrait of the band that captures them in a variety of moments both big and small. As the director says in press notes, “When The Head And The Heart asked me to join them on the road to make a video for ‘City of Angels,’ there were many moments, big and small, that made it a trip of a lifetime. Record store shopping in a thunderstorm, backstage birthday parties, a summer ski lift through Catskills mountains, all night bonfires on a California beach, surprise songs in a Charlottesville bar, mini golf beside a river. It was a thrill to be a welcomed fly on the wall and treated as one of the gang. I knew ending the trip at the Monterey Pop Festival would be special, but when we found ourselves in a charmingly odd practice room – the band rehearsing with Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and Lou Adler, a founder of the festival throwing his two cents in on their arrangement — it felt utterly surreal.”

Perhaps best known as a founding member, vocalist, pianist and primary songwriter of Los Angeles, CA-based indie quintet Local Natives, an act that’s received attention nationally for a sound that has been compared favorably to the likes Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear, Kelcey Ayer steps out from behind the auspices of a band for his solo side project, Jaws of Love. Unsurprisingly, Ayer’s new project reportedly sees Ayer honing in on what he’s best known for — sparse yet emotive piano ballads, as highlighted on his primary gig’s critically applauded sophomore effort Hummingbird.

 

Tasha Sits Close to the Piano, Ayer’s Jews of Love. debut takes was named by Ayer’s wife, who named the album after the their dog, Tasha — and the album is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through House Arrest Records, and Ayer’s Jaws of Love. debut single, the eponymous “Jaws of Love,” begins with a spectral arrangement in which he accompanies his plaintive and aching vocals with a gorgeous and mournful pianos before turing into a moody, and ambient synth pop track seemingly inspired by Narrow Stairs-era Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service and Brian Eno; but at its core is a sweetly swooning love song that reveals a visceral vulnerability as the song, much like the rest of the album’s material, focuses on love’s trials and tribulations, with the recognition that love may arguably be one of the more difficult, insane and absolutely necessary things in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Joseph Cook is an up-and-coming London, UK-based indie pop/indie electro pop artist and producer who can trace the origins of his career to when he began crafting earnest and off-kilter pop tunes inspired by Talking Heads, MGMT, LCD Soundsystem and Vampire Weekend among others.  And at a relatively young age, the British producer and electronic music artist quickly received national and international attention with the release of his debut EP,  You Jump I Run through Duly Noted Records; in fact with EP single “Message,” which landed at number 1 on Hype Machine‘s charts and number 2 on Global Spotify Viral Chart. 

Proof Enough, Cook’s much anticipated follow-up Proof Enough further cemented Cook’s growing reputation for crafting material with enormous, rousing and crowd pleasing hooks, while going through a decided electronic approach, an approach that continues on his Jack Steadman, Hugh Worskett and self-produced full-length debut, Sweet Dreamer which is slated for an April 14, 2017 release through Atlantic UK.

“Plastic,” the album’s latest, infectious single features a boldly confident and brash production consisting of twinkling arpeggio keys, enormous, stomping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with Cook’s achingly soulful and easygoing vocals and a rousing, anthemic hook; but underneath, the song possesses an anxious uncertainty — the sort that comes about when a potential love may be unrequited or when a current love may be unceremoniously ending. And from the release of his latest single, Cook reveals himself to be one of the more interesting and unique electronic artists in an incredibly crowded field.

 

 

 

New Video: The Ironic Visuals for Honeymilk’s “The Nothing New”

Currently, Admund and Nyberg are working on the much-anticipated follow-up to Lean on the Sun — but in the meantime, the duo’s latest single “The Nothing New” is as the band says “could be about finding yourself in an age and situation where the demands that hunt you are increasing; the same that it takes more alcohol to get drunk, it takes great and greater everyday explosions for the static line that life has graduated turned into to be moved. It could also be a pretentious and unclear salute to both Samuel Beckett’s book Murphy or Spacemen 3. Or it could be a very good pop song that means nothing.” Sonically, the song is a breezy and jangling bit of pop that meshes elements of 60s psych pop with Brit Pop (thanks to angular guitars and undulating synths) with an infectious and anthemic hook and ironic lyrics while being both radio and arena rock-friendly.

The recently released music video features the duo of Admund and Nyberg as though they were on a cooking show — but a cooking show in which they spend a great deal of time hanging out and goofing off, before inviting a couple of studio-manufactured, casting call guests to their place. It’s an unusual take on the song but it still manages to capture the irony within the song; however, in this case, the irony seems to be that in a post-modern world everything that possesses earnestness may also be manufactured for you.

Initially comprised of founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), the Stockholm, Sweden-based quartet Honeymilk can trace their origins to the formation and eventual breakup of Urmas Planet, a band that featured several members of Honeymilk. And with the release of the Linus Larsson-produced single “It Might Be,” the band quickly received both praise across the blogosphere and radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. However, after “It Might Be,” the members of Honeymilk decided to go the DIY route, recording their critically applauded full-length debut effort Lean on the Sun.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you may recall that I’ve written about the band on a couple of occasions including their Brit pop and psych rock-channeling single “A Scene in Between.” Sometime after that single and its subsequent recorded efforts, the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band went from a quartet to a duo featuring the band’s co-founder Marcus Admund (vocals) and Nikki Nyberg (guitar). And with such a massive lineup change, the band went through a radical change of sonic direction as you would hear on their breezy, Vampire Weekend-like synth-based single “Time Will Kill You,” a single that received quite a bit of buzz across the blogosphere and over 140,000 streams on Spotify.

Currently, Admund and Nyberg are working on the much-anticipated follow-up to Lean on the Sun — but in the meantime, the duo’s latest single “The Nothing New” is as the band says “could be about finding yourself in an age and situation where the demands that hunt you are increasing; the same that it takes more alcohol to get drunk, it takes great and greater everyday explosions for the static line that life has graduated turned into to be moved. It could also be a pretentious and unclear salute to both Samuel Beckett’s book Murphy or Spacemen 3. Or it could be a very good pop song that means nothing.” Sonically, the song is a breezy and jangling bit of pop that meshes elements of 60s psych pop with  Brit Pop (thanks to angular guitars and undulating synths) with an infectious and anthemic hook and ironic lyrics while being both radio and arena rock-friendly.

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Radiohead “Paranoid Android”-like Visuals for Coastgaard’s “A Well Adjusted Man”

“A Well Adjusted Man,” the first single off Coastgaard’s forthcoming sophomore full-length Devil on the Balcony pairs upbeat jangling guitar pop with lyrics that follow the psychological makeup and inner monologue of a decidedly average man, who frequently vacillates between brooding self-reflection and self-doubt and self-assured potency — often simultaneously, ultimately revealing that the kingdoms of heaven and hell are actually within.

The recently released, animated video follows the daily exploits of a decidedly average man, struggling to survive through the indignities of working a corporate job, stopping at a local shitty bar before presumably dying in a car accident that quickly sends him to his own hell. Visually speaking, the video reminds me quite a bit of the visuals for Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.”

Although initially comprised of founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), Stockholm, Sweden-based quartet Honeymilk formed back in 2012, the band could actually trace their origins to the formation and eventually breakup of Urmas Plant, a band which featured several of the members of Honeymilk. With the release of “It Might Be,” a single produced by Linus Larsson, best known for his work with Peter, Bjorn and JohnMercury Rev and Anna Ternheim, the band quickly received praise across the blogosphere and received radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. Interestingly, after the release of “It Might Be,” the band decided to go to the DIY route, recording and producing their own work, including their critically applauded, full-length debut Lean on the Sun.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting over the past couple of years, you may recall that I wrote about Honeymilk and their single “A Scene in Between,” a single that sonically sounded as though it were indebted to Brit pop and British psych rock – in particular, The Stone RosesThe Jesus and Mary ChainThe Verve, and Oasis. Over that time, the renowned Swedish act has gone through yet another lineup change with the band turning into a duo featuring the band’s co-founding member Edmund, along with Nyberg — and understandably with such a massive lineup change, the band has gone through a major change of sonic direction as you’ll hear on their latest single “Time Will Kill You.” With the latest single, the duo sounds as though they were subtly channeling Vampire Weekend and others as ambient synths are paired with a loose, looping guitar line played through reverb and delay pedal, a slinky bass line, an ethereal yet catchy melody and harmony and Admund’s plaintive vocals. And while being incredibly breezy, the song thematically speaking focuses on a profound metaphysical truth that we’re all aware — that time will relentlessly continue onward with or without us.

 

 

 

Comprised of Matt Miller (guitar, lead vocals), Sean Glassman (guitar, vocals and keys), Brian d’Alessandro (drums, vocals and keys) and Paolo Codega (bass, vocals), the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Coastgaard can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members d’Alessandro and Miller first began playing together in Sons of Huns back in 2009. Sons of Huns eventually split up but d’Alessandro and Miller continued playing with other.  d’Alessandro and Miller recruited Glassman and Codega to flesh out the band’s sound.

Over the past couple of years, the Brooklyn-based quartet has seen increasing attention across the blogosphere and on this site for a jangling, guitar pop sound that draws heavily from 60s surfer rock and 90s alt rock — and in a way that’s reminiscent of Raccoon Fighter and Vampire Weekend, The Smiths and others.

“A Well Adjusted Man,” the first single off Coastgaard’s forthcoming sophomore full-length Devil on the Balcony pairs upbeat jangling guitar pop with lyrics that follow the inner monologue of a man who vacillates between brooding self-reflection and self-assured potency which gives the song a subtle noir-ish feel. Interestingly enough, the song is arguably the most cinematic song the band has released to date; in fact, I can envision the song as part of the soundtrack of an art film that focuses on alienation and the difficulty of connecting with another.