Single & Lovin' It Vol. 49
By Mixtape Mandi
SORORITY NOISE - "A BETTER SUN"
Sorority Noise debuted "A Better Sun," the second single off of their upcoming record You're Not As _____ As You Think. The single follows the highly regarded first single "No Halo," which was released in January. You're Not As _____ As You Think is set to be released on March 17th via Big Scary Monsters. Sorority Noise writes important songs; they go to uncomfortable places, unafraid to let the darkness in – but they’re also not shy at kicking back until the sorrow subsides. They’re songs of confusion, anger, life, death, mental health and, most importantly, hope. They’re what it means to be human. That vulnerability has been Sorority Noise’s hallmark since they formed in 2013, but it’s never been as precise as it is on You're Not As _____ As You Think, which follows the Connecticut-based quartet’s It Kindly Stopped For Me 7” (2016), critically acclaimed Joy, Departed (2015) and debut Forgettable (2014) and is the most collaborative, fully realized version of Sorority Noise to date. Sorority Noise recorded You’re Not As _____ As You Think with producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday) over the span of ten days – three times longer than it took to track Joy, Departed – and this increased time allowed the band to hone the songwriting and visceral performances that have launched them onto tours with Modern Baseball, Citizen, Turnover and The Menzingers. Hardships are inevitable, but so is hope. Rather than living in the shadows, Sorority Noise have learned the only way to move past the struggle is by never stopping moving forward into the sun.
CAYETANA - "MESA"
Cayetana has shared "Mesa," the lead single from their new album, New Kind Of Normal, the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, which they are self-releasing on their new label Plum Records on May 5th. When asked about the reason for self-releasing, the band said, "Starting Plum Records was born out of our realization that we thrive when we trust our instincts, and take decision-making and creative control into our own hands. For us, it was the best way to create art without compromise, on our own terms, in our own time, in our own way, and we hope to eventually extend that to other artists. We've always envisioned Cayetana as a project that has the potential to be a vessel for something bigger than just our own work. Plum Records is a look inward, and a look to the future." The follow up to Cayetana's debut LP Nervous Like Me, which gained the band critical acclaim, a dedicated fan following, and tours with bands like The Menzingers, Against Me!, Waxahatchee, and The Bouncing Souls in The US, Canada and Australia, New Kind of Normal retains the pop sensibility and candid songwriting of its predecessor yet exhibits a clear growth in sonic diversity. Although many of the songs were worked out at Koch's barnyard studio in the Poconos, the band returned to Matt Schimelfenig at Philly's Miner Street Studios to record the record. The collaboration resulted in a diverse output of expertly crafted, hooky pop songs, like "Mesa." Musically, the record captures the quiet moments of crushing vulnerability and the hardened highs of personal strength as expertly as Koch's lyrical craft. From the group's inception Cayetana has exemplified the beauty and spirit of perseverance and DIY. They started as three friends who had barely been acquainted with their instruments and in just three years have become one of the most promising bands in indie music. They prove on New Kind of Normal that growth takes self-responsibility, accepting the help of others, and resilience proving that the risk is worth the writhing. Evidently, there is a new kind of normal not only in the mind but also in music and Cayetana is determined to help us find it.
CONOR OBERST - "TILL ST. DYMPHNA KICKS US OUT"
Conor Oberst has shared the music video for "Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out," which was filmed at the very same bar in Manhattan's East Village that inspired the song. Its director, Greg Marinaccio, also directed Oberst's "You Are Your Mother's Child" video. Oberst will release a new album, Salutations, on Nonesuch Records, on March 17th. The album is a companion piece to 2016's lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and created the original, entirely solo versions of the songs on Ruminations he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band, which paired upstate New York's The Felice Brothers with the legendary drummer Jim Keltner, the passionate response Oberst was getting to those original recordings encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form, as his seventh solo album, Ruminations. Salutations was recorded at Shangri-la Studios in Malibu and co-produced with Keltner and long-time musical compadre Andy LeMaster (engineer). Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson. Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs, some from an additional session at Five Star Studios in Echo Park in fall 2016. Oberst, with The Felice Brothers as his backing band, will tour in support of Salutations. Oberst has partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket sold on US headline dates will go to Planned Parenthood and their work delivering vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people in the US and worldwide.
TREMENTINA - "PLEASE, LET'S GO AWAY"
The first single from Chilean shoegaze band Trementina, entitled "Please, Let's Go Away," will be featured on the group's debut album 810 out March 24th on Burger Records. Trementina create music for lucid dreaming. It’s an intense, yet melancholic conjuring by art students and skaters from the damp forests of Valdivia, Chile, where the rainfall creates faded polaroids out of daily life. Valdivian shoegaze emerges from the fissures of their homeland. Isolated from urban static, Trementina has created a dizzying symphony that drowns you with noise, hallucinatory guitars, and beauty among chaos — which can be felt in the ethereal vocals of Vanessa Cea. Their third album, 810, is the evolutionary star-child of their sound, which first made contact with the U.S. in 2013, and then again in 2015 when their song “Hazy Youth” appeared on the now famous Ear to Ear Records’ shoegaze comp. Recorded roughly 810 kilometers south of Santiago, during the cold winter, when the “sky is charcoal gray,” to borrow a line from DIY pioneer Martin Newell, 810 upgrades their sound from My Bloody Valentine-tinged haze on 2013’s Brilliant Noise (Vinyl Junkies), into a meditative experience that’s surreal, the byproduct of Cristobal Ortiz’s modulated guitar and the thick bass of Lucas Martinic. 810 includes nine tracks that flood the musical landscape, including “Please, Let’s Go Away,” which sounds like it was recorded inside a cosmic cathedral, as opposed to a DIY studio from the Chilean countryside. It’s a track the band recorded after the sudden departure of their drummer, which inspired them to augment their sound with influences as broad as Brian Eno and Robin Guthrie. The overall effect is a youthful pilgrimage across the south of Chile, during a waking dream.
GABRIELLA COHEN - "BEACHES"
Australia's Gabriella Cohen stops traffic again in her new video "Beaches," an Australian interpretation of driving around the Grand Canyon in a convertible. The video comes just in time for the announcement of her first full North American tour alongside Foxygen. Cohen's first solo full-length Full Closure And No Details is being reissued by Captured Tracks on March 3rd. The debut is the product of ten days and two microphones. Co-produced alongside close friend, bandmate, and engineer Kate 'Babyshakes' Dillon, the record is the result of what Cohen describes as the "ceremony" of reflecting on a relationship. The album's raw, personal side could be traced back to its place of birth at Dillon's parents' place in the country, or to the Brisbane streets the songs were composed in. The songs are soaked in the kind of aching nostalgia that is tinged with equal measures of sadness and triumph. There are two sides to Cohen's coin though - for every moment of raw, cutting emotion, there's one of otherworldly ethereality. It's what makes the record feel timeless.
JACKSON BOONE - "DON'T"
Jackson Boone shares "Don't" from his upcoming new album Organic Light Factory, out March 10th via Raindust Records. Boone is a songwriter who quietly emerged from the misty magic of Portland, Oregon with his lo-fi folk rock sound comparable to Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile, or Damien Jurado. With the help of producer Riley Geare (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), bassist Randy Bemrose (Radiation City), and violinist Patti King (Radiation City), Boone recorded his first solo album, Starlit, in the basement of a green house in northeast Portland. Immediately after his release, Boone, his five piece live band, The Ocean Ghosts, and Riley Geare, packed up their equipment and took off to the Oregon Coast. They spent two weeks by the beach tracking his sophomore record, Natural Changes (2015). Boone’s third full length studio album, Organic Light Factory, will feature his most realized and mature songwriting to date. Boone and the Ocean Ghosts have honed their performing skills at festivals such as SXSW, Treefort Music Festival, Pickathon, and CMJ. They'll be on tour this March, including a stop in Austin for SXSW.
BLEACHED - "FLIPSIDE"
Los Angeles punk band Bleached – lead by sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin -- are set to release the Can You Deal? EP on March 3rd via Dead Oceans. Recorded quickly in the midst of a break between months of touring, the EP captures the raw energy the band had been experiencing on stage. After sharing the title track "Can You Deal?" which dealt with the band's frustrations with gender being used to define their music and the reductive habit of referring to them and others as "girl bands," Bleached now present “Flipside,” one of their best songs to date. As previously announced, Jennifer Clavin is publishing the limited edition Can You Deal? Zine, a collection of shared experiences on this subject through essay, visual art, poetry, lyrics and more from artists. An additional 500 copies of the zine will be printed as the first 500 sold out in four days. Newly added contributors include JD Samson, Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast), Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls), Suzy Gardner and Donita Sparks (L7), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), Jenny Eliscu, and more. All net proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood.
HAPPYNESS - "THROUGH WINDOWS"
When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with debut single “It’s On You,” their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, Weird Little Birthday, went on to feature in many End of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on the much-loved labels Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US), and millions of Spotify plays later, it is with some anticipation that the band release new single “Through Windows” from second album Write In, part-recorded at the band’s own Jelly Boy Studios, then finished with Adam Lasus in Los Angeles.
GLASSIO - "MORNING HOUSE"
Glassio is reflective alt dance-pop duo consisting of Sam Rad and Charlie P, two producer-songwriters with a mutual love for applying their singer-songwriter state of mind to genre-bending dance music. Growing up in different parts of the world (Sam between Dubai and London and Charlie in Paris) taught them the joys of fusing musical styles and genres, which was a point of bonding after being paired together for a songwriting assignment at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Their latest offering "Morning House," featuring fellow Brooklyn artist-producer Charles Fauna, is an uplifting, indie-pop banger written out of their bedroom studio. The song fuses an electro-pop production along the lines of Flume and Odesza with soulful and melodic vocal arrangements comparable to Bob Moses, Glass Animals and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. When discussing the influence behind the song, Glassio mention that it was fueled by the need to dispel negative energy. “’Morning House’ is an homage to living in the moment, mindfulness, and self-reflection.”
THE WOODEN SKY - "YOU'RE NOT ALONE"
Toronto alt-rock quartet The Wooden Sky have just released a beautiful ode to loneliness and community, aptly titled "You're Not Alone," which serves as the second single from the band's forthcoming album Swimming in Strange Waters, to be released on April 7th via Nevado Music. Drawing its title from a line in Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi novel, Dune - "Survival is the ability to swim in strange water" - The Wooden Sky's fifth full-length record finds frontman and multi-instrumentalist Gavin Gardiner matching personal trauma against the increasingly bleak political climate we find ourselves in. The album sees the band exploring unchartered waters, where textural psychedelia inspired by the Paisley Underground movement melds into quiet, acoustic cyclical guitar melodies, before once again transforming into a bombastic, Johnny Cash-esque rally against the XL Keystone pipeline in Canada. While 2014's Let's Be Ready found The Wooden Sky writing a pure "rock and roll" album, Swimming in Strange Waters sees the band experimenting once again. "I feel like we're back on track," says Gardiner. John Angello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent, Kurt Vile) mixed the album at Water Music in New Jersey. Around 95% of it was recorded to an old tape machine at Gardiner's home studio, and the rest was done at Hotel2Tango in Montreal and at a Toronto church where multi-instrumentalist Walker's father is the Anglican minister. On every album, The Wooden Sky's aim is to somehow capture the band's live performance, to compress that adrenalin and vigor into a collection of songs that'll inevitably be played through headphones and crappy computer speakers. It's a tall order, considering The Wooden Sky has become known for both high-energy, sold-out rock shows and their charming, unconventional pop-up gigs. Swimming in Strange Waters marks the closest the band has ever got to this coveted goal. To achieve that energy, Gardiner had to let go of any insecurities and garner new confidence, part of which he found after speaking with an opera singer friend and working with legendary producer, Angello, and part of which came from encapsulating that energy himself.