Tag: Waves

New Audio: Plaster Cast Shares a Mournful Yet Dance Floor Friendly Bop

Plaster Cast, which currently features members split across the country, can trace their origins back to when producer Alex Esk started the project with vocalist Cameron Wilson back in 2011 — while both were studying video art at UC San Diego. Wilson’s sister Michaela Lustig joined the project as a second vocalist. Then producer/engineer Brah1m, who Esk met when they both worked for The Real Housewives joined.

And with that lineup, the members of Plaster Cast wrote and recorded their debut EP, 2016’s Permanence, which received critical praise from Gorilla vs. Bear, The Fader, Vice, and BBC Radio. Adding to a breakthrough year for the outfit, EP single “Sunless,” a melancholic, downtempo pop song centered around Wilson and Lustig’s uncanny harmonizing and a warped beyond recognition Adele sample, and “Undecided,” which featured Foxes in Fiction appeared on a number of year-end lists.

The project’s sophomore EP Control is slated for an August 12, 2022 release. Understandably, informed by the vast changes of the sociopolitical climate that have occurred since 2016’s Permanence, Control EP thematically is a large, perceptive grown towards modernity with the EP’s material touching on various concepts of individualism vs. collectivism, intimacy vs. alienation, and the self-consciousness of empathy — but in an understated, largely philosophical fashion.

The EP also sees a deeper sense of collaboration between the project’s core members, inspired by the insight that relinquishing one’s own ideas can provide both empowerment and diminishment simultaneously. And as a result, the EP reportedly feels more like a group of friends in a personal therapy session, in which all their collective fears, joys and uncertainties are shared in a way that touches upon a more expansive reflection of the human condition.

The material is rooted within the intersection of warmth and isolation — and the band’s desire to acknowledge their own literal and symbolic closeness and distance, shaped by each member’s own reality. “The songs are connected by themes of remoteness and looking at relationships as a negotiation of what you get and what you give up,” Plaster Cast’s Wilson explains. “Ultimately the work of looking at your place in your relationships is worth the pain it can cause, as we are useless alone.”

But ultimately, the central theme at the heart of Control is the relinquishment of control in one’s life: The control of our thoughts, the control over the circumstances and impermanence of life, the control over a world that’s often confusing, uncertain and mad. And paradoxically through relinquishing control — and the possibility of it — there often comes a sense of great mindfulness and calm.

Control‘s lates single “Waves” begins with an ethereal introduction featuring dreamily cooed vocals and atmospheric synths. Around the 25 second mark, the song quickly ramps up to feature a relentless, disco-tinged, motorik groove paired with dreamily delivered harmonies, mournful synth pads and an infectious hook. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Chromatics and others, the song expresses an aching yearning for understanding and companionship in a desperate, uncertain moment.

 

Saul Rivers is a New York-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and self-taught virtuoso, who began taking piano lessons when he turned three. By the time he was 16, he taught himself trumpet, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax and guitar. And while citing the likes of John Mayer, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and James Taylor as his major influences, Rivers has developed a sound blends elements of the blues, R&B, soul and pop.

2017’s Couldn’t Do It Alone EP featured EP title track “Couldn’t Do It Alone,” which amassed over a million streams. Since the release of that EP, the New York-born and -based singer/songwriter has released the acclaimed live EP, The Pineapple Sessions, collaborated with Gideon King and his band City Blog, and released live performance videos covering Eric Clapton’s “Old Love” and James Bay’s “Let It Go” filmed at Laurel Canyon. Adding to the growing buzz surrounding him, Rivers recently signed to Level.

Saul Rivers (Live Sessions) – “Old Love” cover from Albatross Pros on Vimeo.

Saul Rivers – Let It Go (cover) from Albatross Pros on Vimeo.

Rivers’ latest single, the Scott Jacoby-produced “Waves” is a seemingly effortless, hook-driven and soulful jam centered around atmospheric synths, a shimmering and looping guitar line, a two-step inducing groove that subtly reveals a careful and deliberate attention to craft. And while clearly indebted to neo-soul, the song as Rivers explains in press notes “is about getting out of your head and back into your body. As a native New Yorker, I’ve been surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a city the truly never stops moving. My hope is that this song takes you to a place where you can groove, dance, and forget about everything in your head and just enjoy the music.”

 

 

 

 

New Video: United Ghosts’ Trippy Visuals for Their Shimmering 4AD Records-Inspired New Single

The Los Angeles-based dream pop duo United Ghosts, comprised of Sha Sabi, who came to Southern California after stints in New York and San Francisco; and German-born Axel Ray, who spent a 12 year stint in London before relocating to the States — although on some level, it’s a bit of a misnomer, as they’ve received attention for a classic 4AD Records-like sound centered around boy-girl harmonizing and draws from dream pop, psych rock, shoegaze and krautrock.

The duo’s 2013 full-length, self-titled debut and its follow up, Dear Electric Sun EP received airplay from BBC’s Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne, KCSN’s Nic Harcourt, KLOS’ Mark Sovel and XFM’s John Kennedy and a number of others. And after three successful UK and European Union tours, a number of Stateside dates that included CMJ and SXSW, followed by an L.A. residency, the duo of Ray and Sabi returned to the studio to work on their Mark Rains and Axel Ray co-produced sophomore album, Saturn Days, an album that thematically and lyrically explores modern life, love and disconnect in a world that’s equally dystopian and beautiful, in which hope is laced with paranoia and where dreaming your way out might be the only chance to survive.

Saturn Days’ latest single “Waves,” will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting material 4AD Records-era dream pop, the prerequisite shimmering guitar chords, motorik grooves, enormous power chord-based soloing and dreamy boy-girl harmonies — but with a subtly modern touch,.

The recently released video for “Saturn Days” is comprised of performance footage of the members of United Ghosts with their live band shot by Arian Soheili with superimposed drone footage by Steve Payne, underwater footage by Alex V. and images of Saturn courtesy of NASA and the Saturn Cassini mission.

 

Perhaps best known for stints drumming in several band including Shilpa Ray’s backing band, Robert Preston relocated to Los Angeles for a change of scenery and began his solo recording project Pink Mexico. And while in L.A., Preston wrote, recorded and self-released his solo debut pnik mexico in June 2013. Interestingly, pnik mexico caught the attention of Austin, TX-based indie label Fleeting Youth Records who re-released Preston’s debut effort the following December.

Preston then relocated back to Brooklyn to began writing and recording his sophomore effort while having quite a few things released last year including a split 7 inch with Los Angeles-based band SunLikeDrugs and a 12 inch vinyl pressing of pnik mexico by the Bordeaux, France-based label Big Tomato Records. And with a growing national and international profile, Preston caught the attention of renowned indie label Burger Records, who later signed him. Interestingly, his forthcoming, sophomore effort fool was written in windowless 10×10 rooms between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, reportedly fueled by nasty hangovers, cheap coffee and cigarettes. “Buzz Kill,” fool‘s first single has Preston and company pairing layers of buzzing guitar chords, propulsive drumming, throbbing bass chords and Preston’s ethereal vocals floating through a sludgy mix in a song that compares favorably to contemporary garage rock/fuzz rock/garage fuzz bands like Fuzz, Wavves, Thee Oh Sees and others — but with an underlying and infectious breeziness to the sludge and scum.

fool is slated for a June 24 through Burger Records here in the States and Big Tomato Records in Europe. Along with that Preston and company will be playing a number of local shows, including a big record release show on June 25. Check out the dates below and be on the lookout for a full tour using the fall.
Live Dates:
June 1 – Goldsounds
June 8 – Sunnyvale (Northside Festival)
June 25 – Shea Stadium (Release Show)

 

 

 

 

In 1967 While the States and the rest of the Western world was in the height of “Flower Power,” “The Age of Aquarius,” and people were out protesting against the Vietnam War and for civil rights for people of people of color, women and the LGBTQ community, Nigeria had descended into a brutal and bloody civil war. Interestingly, the rock scene that developed during three years of bloodshed and destruction helped heal and unite the country, propagate a brand new ideal of the “modern” Nigerian and eventually helped propel Fela Kuti to international stardom.

Earlier this year, Now-Again Records released volume one of a two volume compilation Wake Up You!: The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock. A companion book featured research from renowned musicologist Uchenna Ikonne and an incredible array of never-seen photos that will tell the stories of some of Nigeria’s long-forgotten but best rock bands — bands that specialized in a sound that meshed funk, psych rock and rock in a way that was unique and particularly Nigerian, while being remarkably familiar to Western ears. Volume 1’s first single Ify Jerry Krusade’s “Everybody Likes Something Good,” sounded deeply indebted to James BrownJefferson AirplaneBooker T and the MGs and others as heavily wah-wah pedaled guitar, soaring organ chords, sinuous and throbbing bass lines, layers of percussion were paired with call and response vocals in a way that seemed to nod towards Fela Kuti’s earliest releases. Volume 2’s first single Waves’ “Wake You Up” is a shaggy, garage rock and psych rock jam that sounds as though it drew from early Rolling Stones, The Who, The Animals and others while managing sounding as though it were the forebear of Pazy and the Black Hippies psychedelic take on Afrobeat and funk.