Tag: Wharf Cat Records

New Video: Public Practice Releases a Glittering Dance Floor Banger

With the release of their critically acclaimed EP, 2018’s Distance is a Mirror, the New York-based New Wave/post-punk quartet Public Practice — founding duo Sam York (vocals), Vince McClelland (guitar) with Drew Citron (bass, vocals, synths) and Scott Rosenthal (drums, production) — received attention nationally and across the blogosphere for a reviving the spirit and vibe of the late 70s New York scenes with a sound that draws from No Wave and disco centered around punk, avant-garde flourishes, pop song structures, slinky rhythms and groove-driven hooks. 

York and McClelland have been creative partners for several years before the formation of Public Practice and through their long collaboration, they’ve developed an anarchic perspective that challenges the traditional notion of what a traditional song should do and what it could be. Citron and Rosenthal have a decidedly pop leaning sensibility. But instead of the contrasting styles and approaches clashing, they’ve found a way to challenge and complement each other — and the end result, the New York-based act’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut Gentle Grip is built around spiraling tensions. 

Slated for a May 15, 2020 digital relate and a June 26, 2020 physical release through Wharf Cat Records, Gentle Grip thematically explores ideas about navigating through the acts of creation, relationships and capitalism. And as we all know, in our daily lives, each of those things are at uncomfortable conflict, but at the end of the day, we have to figure out a way to be true to ourselves.  Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single, the slinky, disco banger “My Head.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, a soaring string arrangement, four-on-the floor drumming and an infectious hook the song manages to recall Blondie, Talking Heads and Donna Summer — and because the world at the moment is so bleak, it’s an even more of an escapist fantasy of strobe light and dancing fear and pain away. 

Directed by the band’s Sam York, the recently released video features a collection of dancers, who are isolated in their own little world, dancing to the song’s sultry, dance floor friendly grooves. “The video shoot for ‘My Head’ was Public Practice’s last social activity before we went into quarantine here in NYC — the final dance!” the band’s Sam York recalls in press notes. “Josie and Jon, who edited the video, were the last two people I saw, passing off the hard rive with the footage and walking home, listening to the news, not knowing that I would be spending the next month and then some inside my apartment in social isolation. With lyrics ‘I don’t want to waste my time / I don’t want to fade away’ combined with the visual of the dancers, each isolated in their own little world, the song and video feel strikingly relevant for these strange times. This video was created on the eve of isolation, edited entirely in isolation and is now coming to you while many of us are still stuck at home, but hopefully now we’re all dancing. ” 

New Video: Bambara Teams Up with Palberta’s Ani Ivry-Block and Public Practice’s Drew Citron on the Brooding and Atmospheric “Sing Me to the Street”

Throughout the course of this nine-plus year history of this site, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering long-time JOVM mainstays Bambara. Last year, the Brooklyn-based trio — brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire — released their critically applauded third, full-length album Shadow on Everything. Sonically, the album’s material was a decisive and new direction for the band: the material found the band moving away from the noise rock and punk rock of their previously released material — 2013’s DREAMVIOLENCE and 2017’s Swarm — to incorporate a more Western Gothic-inspired take on punk rock and while still centered on their tight and forceful rhythm section, the album had the band place Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics on center stage. And in some way, it captures something wholly and uniquely American.

While Shadow on Everything was constructed around one central narrative with each of its songs sort of functioning like chapters in a novel, the band’s fourth album Stray, which is slated for a February 14, 2020 release through Wharf Cat Records, plays more like a short story collection, featuring a group of inter-related characters, set in the band’s native Georgia. Interestingly, Stray’s second and latest single is the slow-burning  David Lynch soundtrack-like “Sing Me to the Street.” The brooding and meditative song features an atmospheric arrangement of shimmering and swirling synths, a sinuous baseline, Blaze Bateh’s metronomic drumming. Interestingly, while continuing a run of material centered around Reid Bateh’s moody and dramatic baritone, Palberta’s Ani Ivry-Block and Public Practice’s Drew Citron’s harmonies serve as an ethereal counterpart, giving a brief glimpse of gorgeousness through the gloom. Many of the Stray’s characters are named, like the album’s hard charging and explosive “Serafina” but as the band’s Reid Bateh explains in press notes, he used a different approach for “Sing Me to the Street,” ‘”Sing me to the Street’ is about loneliness, isolation, and the dreamy allure of chaos. The song follows an unnamed character wandering the streets of a vast city that feels both alive and abandoned, as he attempts to silence the persistent song of oblivion singing in his head.”

Co-directed by Will Hart and Bambara, the recently released video for “Sing Me to the Street” was filmed by Will Hart, and the video captures and evokes the loneliness and unease of an enormous city at night — and it does in a way that feels indebted to film noir and French New Wave cinema. 

 

Currently featuring founding members Cynthia Sley (vocals), Pat Place (guitar) and Dee Pop (drums) along with newest recruit Val Opielski, the New York-based act Bush Tetras can trace their origins back to when Sley, Place, Pop and Laura Kennedy (bass) formed the band back in 1979.  Interestingly, their full-length debut Too Many Creeps was considered one of their scene’s defining moments as it accurately captured the vibe, feel and ethos of that scene’s particular moment.

Building upon a growing profile, the members of Bush Tetras were an opening act during The Clash’s legendary, spring 1981 17 show run at Bond International Casino. After the release of their Topper Headon-produced Rituals EP, which featured the chart-placing “Can’t Be Funky,” Laura Kennedy and Dee Pop left the band and were replaced by Bob Albertson (bass) and Don Christensen (drums); however, the band broke up.

For the better part of the next three decades, the members of the band were fairly elusive, although interestingly enough, the band’s original lineup reunited on a couple of occasions — in 1995, which resulted in 1997’s Beauty Lies and recording sessions the following year, which resulted in a Don Fleming-produced album that was shelved when Mercury Records was sold. That album was finally released in 2012.

In 2005, Julia Murphy replaced Kennedy and they resumed playing and touring across New York. The band toured across Europe the following year. Sadly, Laura Kennedy died in 2011 after a long battle with liver disease. In 2013, Cindy Rickmond, a former member of Cheap Perfume, Grayson Hugh, Church of Betty and Unknown Gender briefly replaced Murphy. And in 2016, Val Opielski, a former member of Krakatoa, Walking Hellos, PSXO and 1000 Yard Stare joined the band.

Last year saw the release of Take The Fall EP through Wharf Cat Records, the first batch of new music from the band in over 10 years. Over the winter, Third Man Records cleared their Cass Corridor showroom floor, invited the band down to Detroit — and enlisted the help of Third Man Mastering’s Bill Skibbe and Warren Defever to record their recently released “There is a Hum”/”Seven Years” 7 inch. A side single “There is a Hum” is a slashing bit of post punk, reminiscent of Entertainment-era Gang of Four and Sonic Youth — but seething with a neurotic anxiousness. B side single “Seven Years” manages to be a mischievously anachronistic track that sounds as though it could have been released at any point within the past 30 years. The glitchy and spastic track features some blistering and energetic guitar work centered around cowbell-led percussion and a sinuous bass line. Both tracks find the legendary post punk/No Wave act boldly reminding the listener that although it’s been a while, they play with a fury, passion and purpose that many younger acts lack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Bambara Release Darkly Surreal Visuals for “Monument”

Now throughout the eight-plus year history of this site, I’ve written a lot about the JOVM mainstays Bambara, and as you may recall, the trio, comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire released their Andy Chugg-produced third, full-length album Shadow on Everything through Wharf Cat Records earlier this year, and the album is a decisive new, sonic direction for the Brooklyn-based band as they moved away from the noisy punk and post-punk of their previous two albums 2013’s DREAMVIOLENCE and last year’s Swarm to incorporate a Western Gothic-inspired take on punk rock. And while the music center remains the trio’s tight and forceful rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet incredibly metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s propulsive bass lines, unlike their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds the band placing Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics at center stage, and in some way it captures something wholly and uniquely — well, American.

With album single  “Jose Tries to Leave,” the members of Bambara managed to retain the forceful yet nightmarish dynamism, while focusing on the lives and thoughts of desperate, fucked up, seedy sorts — with a humanistic and novelistic attention to psychological detail and empathy.  “Doe-Eyed Girl,” continued in a similar vein but was imbued with a sweaty and furious urgency, fueled by a seemingly manic, desperate obsession.  “Sunbleached Skulls” may arguably be among the murkiest and bleakest songs of the Brooklyn band’s growing catalog  as Reid Bateh’s dark imagery centers around buzzing flies around sun-bleached bones, rotting flesh, dirt and grime paired with Brookshire’s propulsive bass, Blaze Bateh’s mathematically precise, metronomic drumming and shimmering bursts of Western guitar figures, and while the song evokes writhing about in dirt, grit and grime, underneath the bleak air and foul stenches, there’s a strange sort of peace  — the sort that comes when strangers have found brief moments of companionship, tenderness and comfort in someone else, even when fleeting.

“Monument,” Shadows on Everything’s latest single is a forceful, unrelenting and malevolent thrasher of a track, that’s centered around pent up and unfulfilled tension, obsession and questionable intent. Of course, much like album’s preceding singles Reid Bateh’s Georgia drawl sings stream of consciousness-like lyrics that at points possess a surreal and nightmarish beauty.  Directed by the members of the band and filmed by Tim Ciavara, the recently released video is shot in a lush and cinematic black and white that brings Anton Corbijn to mind while emphasizing the song’s malevolent, fucked up air.

Throughout the almost eight year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Bambara, and as you may recall, the trio, comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire will be releasing their Andy Chugg-produced third, full length album Shadow on Everything later this week — and the album, which is their first for renowned indie label, Wharf Cat Records, reportedly represents a decisive step in a  new direction for the band, with their sound moving from the noise rock and post-punk of their first two albums to incorporating a Western Gothic-inspired sound. And while the music center remains the trio’s tight and forceful rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet incredibly metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s propulsive bass lines, unlike their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds the band placing Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics at center stage.

With the album’s first single ““Jose Tries to Leave,” the band retains the forceful and nightmarish dynamism that has won them attention here and elsewhere, but with a cinematic air, as it focuses on the lives and thoughts of desperate, fucked up and incredibly seedy sorts with a humanist’s sense of empathy and a novelist’s attention to psychological detail. “Doe-Eyed Girl,” the album’s second while continuing in a similar vein is imbued with a sweaty and furious urgency, fueled by manic and desperate obsession. Interestingly, Shadow on Everything‘s third and latest single “Sunbleached Skulls” is arguably one of the murkiest and bleakest songs of their growing catalog as Reid Bateh’s dark imagery centers around buzzing flies around sun-bleached bones, rotting flesh, dirt and grime paired with Brookshire’s propulsive bass and Blaze Bateh’s mathematically precise, metronomic drumming and shimmering bursts of Western guitar figures, seemingly writhing about in the dirt and grime; but underneath the bleak vibes and foul stenches of the song, there’s a strange sense of finding comfort and companionship in someone else, even if it’s fleeting. And much like its predecessor, the album’s single is incredibly cinematic track, that evokes a feverish and lingering nightmare.

 

 

Over much of the almost 8 year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Bambara, comprised of founding, core trio twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire, and as you may recall the trio’s soon-to-be released Andy Chugg-produced third, full-length album Shadow on Everything is their first for Wharf Cat Records, and it reportedly represents a decisive step forward with the band moving from the early noise rock and post-punk that inspired their first two albums with the new album being  a Western Gothic concept album. And while the musical center remains the trio’s tight and forceful rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet incredibly metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s propulsive bass lines, which manage to be roomy enough for for Reid Bateh’s howled vocals and squalling, feedback heavy guitar.

Unlike their previously recorded output in which Reid Bateh’s vocals were deeply buried in the mix, Shadow on Everything finds the band placing Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics at center stage — and while the overall sound is cleaner, as you’ll hear on “Jose Tries to Leave,” the album’s first single, the band has retained the forceful and nightmarish dynamism that has won them attention; but interestingly enough, the album finds the band experimenting with their sound as some of the material features violin and cornet arrangements, as well as ambient noise loops distilled down from hours of manipulated vocal collages the band shifted through to find the perfect texture.

“Doe-Eyed Girl” Shadow on Everything‘s second and latest single continues in a similar vein as it features Spaghetti Western-like guitar work, explosive bursts of feedback and a punk rock-like propulsive rhythm section that gives the song a cinematic yet menacing quality paired with an unusually empathetic portrayal of the damaged characters and nightmarish scenarios that have long inhabited their material imbued with a sweaty and furious urgency, fueled by a desperate and manic obsession.

 

 

Comprised of founding trio, twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire, JOVM mainstays Bambara initially formed in Athens, GA and as you may recall, after they relocated to Brooklyn, where they recorded their full-length debut DREAMVIOLENCE, the trio exploded into the national scene, thanks in part to a punishing, shoegaze and noise rock-inspired sound that drew comparisons to A Place to Bury StrangersWeekend, and others. However, with 2016’s sophomore effort, Swarm, the trio’s sound increasingly incorporated elements of stark, New York hardcore punk and thrash punk centered around Reid Bateh’s lyrics describing life in a stark, grimy, merciless city, full of neurotic, unhinged and deeply unstable characters trying to survive with whatever dignity, decency and shred of their own sanity they have remaining. And as a result, the album’s material possessed a tense, bristling fury.

Slated for an April 6, 2018 release, the Brooklyn-based trio’s forthcoming, third, full-length  Andy Chugg-produced Shadow on Everything is their first for Wharf Cat Records, and it reportedly represents a decisive step forward with the band transcending the early noise rock and post-punk that has long inspired them — with the new album being a Western Gothic concept album. And while the musical center still remains the trio’s tight rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s sinuous bass lines, which allow space for Reid Bateh’s squalling, feedback tinged guitar and howled vocals; however, where Reid Bateh’s vocals were buried in the mix for their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds his vocals pulled towards the front, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics directly on the proverbial center stage. Additionally, the album finds the members of Bambara expanding upon their sound and instrumentation as it features violin and cornet arrangements with the material interspersed with ambient noise loops distilled down from hours of manipulated vocal collages the band shifted through to find the perfect texture.

Although “Jose Tries to Leave,” Shadow on Everything‘s first single features shimmering, almost Spaghetti Western-like guitar work paired with a propulsive and forceful rhythm section consisting of Blaze Bateh’s metronomic and thunderous drumming and Brookshire’s angular bass chords but unlike any of their previous work, the new single has a cinematic (and dramatic) air, capturing the lives and thoughts of desperate and seedy souls with both a novelist’s attention to psychological detail and empathy — but just underpinning the whole affair is a murky sense of menace and murder just around the corner.

Deriving their name from Leos Carax’s hallucinatory 2012 film Holy Motors the Tallinn, Estonia-based quintet, Holy Motors, have cloaked much of their operation and backstory in mystery — but from what has been made publicly available, the band which features Ellian Tulve (vocals), Lauri Raus and Kaspar Kiinvald, formed in 2013 and soon after their formation began playing shows, including that year’s Tallinn Music Week Festival. And as the story goes, Merchandise’s Carson Cox saw the band and then introduced them to Florida-based label Hidden Eye, which along with renowned indie label Wharf Cat Records released the band’s debut single “Heavenly Creatures”/”Running Water” in 2015.

“Sleepydr,” the Estonian band’s breakthrough 7 inch was released to critical praise early last year from Stereogum, who described it as “psychedelic rock that hits like a dream despite undoubtedly seeking to soundtrack nightmares.” Building upon their growing international profile, the Tallinn-based quintet’s full-length debut effort Slow Sundown is slated for release this week, and from the album’s latest single “Signs,” is a slow-burning and moody bit of cinematic shoegaze that evokes long, late night drives: white lines, blacktop, highway signs, taillights and headlights, music blaring and your distracted thoughts. Interestingly, the album thematically speaking centers around motion — the celestial motions of satellites orbiting a planet, the motion of passengers in a car and so on, as it relates to larger, universal scale, while pointing out the existential isolation within all moving bodies, particularly people.