Single & Lovin' It Vol. 42
By Mixtape Mandi
STRANGE LOT - "GODS & CLODS"
Strange Lot premiere "Gods & Clods," the title track from their forthcoming LP out March 3rd. Strange Lot's psychedelic sound channels the desert backdrop of their native Arizona. What began in the summer of 2014 as a bedroom solo project for guitarist-vocalist Dominic Mena evolved into a full band, fleshed out by Tim Lormor on drums and David Dennis on bass guitar. Last year, the band supported international acts The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Tijuana Panthers, Night Beats, and Kikagaku Moyo. Their first full-length Another Mind reached #73 in the CMJ TOP 200, while The Phoenix New Times named it one of the 20 Best Records of the year. "Hints of early Tame Impala and Mac DeMarco’s nonchalance, the record encapsulates a young band discovering their sound in a pressure-free environment," praised Consequence of Sound. Drawing upon influences from the bands affinity for Ennio Morricone soundtracks, their upcoming LP, Gods & Clods, touches on the disappearance of middle class in this society. Recorded on an Otari 8-track tape machine, the tracks were mastered by Joe Lambert (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Washed Out).
RUBY EMPRESS - "ESCAPISM DELUXE"
Ruby Empress, from Sweden's Gothenburg, sometimes call their music "Debussy Disco". They revealed a third track “Escapism Deluxe” ahead of their debut EP called Empressionism out February 10th. The group began an adventurous journey in May 2016 with the release of the laidback dreamy psyche-pop tune "Deluca". The song was meant to be a messy break-up song, but ended up being a metaphor instead for the unpredictable Scandinavian weather with a musical build up and chaos to match it. Despite the odd format, "Deluca" instantly became #11 on top viral tracks in the world on Spotify. Their second track, "Strung Out," is also part of their debut Empressionism. The unofficial start began a whole year earlier in Paris, where four 20-year old Swedish guys rumbled around, playing experimental disco in abandoned warehouses and small clubs to a decadent crowd of drop-outs and libertines. They met a somewhat mysterious muse, called the "Ruby Empress" and named their band after her to make sure she was always there to lead them; often towards some kind of unexpected edge. They finally managed to escape Paris together with their new joint girlfriend and got home to Gothenburg to record "Deluca." The recording was sent down to their friends at Yunizon in Paris, who released it. A few weeks after the release, the premier tastemaker label in Scandinavia, Woah Dad! signed them to their label as well.
VANDANA - "VICIOUS"
Fusing elements of disquieting electronica with alternative pop, Vandana’s angular, intense music embraces womanhood and otherness as if from inside the mouth of a cave. Her multicultural lifestyle, from India to London to Brooklyn, has influenced her wildly eclectic and self-assured material, which arrives steeped in the knowledge of ancient Indian traditions and fables as well as in assorted vehicles of abstract art and thought. Inspired by musical pioneers like Aphex Twin, Thom Yorke, and Miles Davis, as well as the vibrancy of Bollywood, the Gothicism of The Cure and the evocativeness of Fever Ray, Vandana also takes her cues from purveyors of subversion like Edgar Allan Poe, Lars Von Trier and Henry Miller. In this latest material, the naturally introverted singer brings her insular and mysterious writing process to life via slow-dripping, throbbing synths, creating an atmosphere that’s arcane, exotic and brooding. Lead single “Vicious” was inspired by watching a lot of nature documentaries and is dedicated to the majesty of a creature in pursuit and what it’s like having an unobtainable subject of affection –a fixation over something without being able to physically or tangibly possess it. The whole EP twists about on a mixture of abstract and visceral themes, building you up before submerging you in swirls of throbbing sound that threaten to unsettle your very core. The Nox Anima EP comes out April 21st.
PORSHYNE - "EXIT"
orshyne are an atmospheric rock five-piece hailing from Brighton. Formed in 2014, early releases from the band such as “Residue” and “Warp” have helped to cement their name within the Brighton music scene, leading to them playing shows alongside the likes of Black Peaks, Valerian Swing, Town Portal and many more. Now, after having burrowed away to record their debut EP Environmental Music with Mark Roberts (Black Peaks, Broker, The Physics House Band), Porshyne are set to return with their most heavy, emotive and accomplished material to date. The contexture of the EP is a sound that sits somewhere between prog, alt-rock, electronic music and post rock. Environmental Music is a masterfully dynamic and heavily textured collection of tracks combining melodic vocals with intricate and carefully refined guitar work, which alternates between cinematic and darker, heavier phrases that are intertwined amongst complex rhythms and subtle electronic moments. New single “Exit” shows an understated ambient melancholy to the record, which at times calls to mind the sounds of Radiohead, meanwhile guitar sequences at times lean towards the darker end of the prog-rock spectrum conjure up the sounds of Tool, Dredg or Karnivool. Environmental Music is an intensely structured body of work, which is as meticulous as it is powerful. Albums that manage to merge such a wide variety of styles and exhibit such a multitude of musical landscapes in such an unabridged manner are rare. This debut EP from Porshyne is a statement of intent and is not one that should be ignored.
ANNA WISE - "COCONUTS"
Grammy Award-winning musician Anna Wise (who was awarded the golden gramophone for her collaboration work on Kendrick Lamar's "These Walls") has announced her second EP, The Feminine: Act II, will be self-released on February 17th. In support of the new project, Wise has premiered the EP's lead, alt-R&B single "Coconuts." The Feminine Act: II is the follow up to the singer's much acclaimed 2016 debut EP, The Feminine: Act I. Both projects have a spiritual core and production richness, coupled with lyrics that celebrate womanhood with a powerful feminist stance. Where The Feminine: Act I leaned more to showcasing carefully crafted pop elements, The Feminine Act: II boasts many tracks that have an airy, soulful R&B groove. Wise will perform new songs from the upcoming EP for a residency in Brooklyn at C'Mon Everybody this month. She will then take her memorable live show on the road in March and April 2017 with performances scheduled at this year's SXSW in Austin, plus shows happening in St. Louis, Memphis, Boston and more.
AMBER RUN - "PERFECT"
Amber Run are proud to announce their signing to Dine Alone Records, who will release their new album For A Moment, I Was Lost in the US and Canada, on February 10th digitally, and on CD and vinyl March 17th. The record is the follow-up to their debut 5AM, which has been streamed over 40 million times in North America. The band premieres their new single "Perfect," which is the center-point to their new album For A Moment, I Was Lost, and finds the band at their most brooding and abrasive, as crunching guitars swirl around Joe Keogh’s looming refrain “Karma, karma, you reap what you sow.” For A Moment, I Was Lost was produced by Ben Allen (Bombay Bicycle Club, Deerhunter, Washed Out, Cee Lo Green). "We are extremely excited to be joining the Dine Alone family!" shared the band "They have an amazing roster of talented musicians and an obvious track record of showing that talent to the rest of the continent. We believe that we have an opportunity to do some great things in the US and Canada and we believe that Dine Alone are the label to help us realize our ambitions.”
RUDIE EDWARDS - "LOVER LIKE YOU"
Hailing from Kent, UK, rising singer-songwriter and producer Rudie Edwards' wild hair and sultry ensemble attest to her strikingly soulful voice and magnetic music. Equally obsessed with disco delicacies and post-punk palettes, yet raised on a cross-section of indie and gospel music ranging from Joy Division to Ray Charles, Edwards developed an affinity for songs that make you move and an appreciation for a wide spectrum of music. In London, Edwards attended the renowned BRIT School, alma mater to Adele, Amy Winehouse and Imogen Heap. By 2012, she started splitting her time between Los Angeles and London, writing for CeeLo Green, Erik Hassle, Beatrice Eli, and more. Simultaneously, her signature sound took shape fueled by sexy attitude, sly sass, and a penchant for holding nothing back, evident in her latest single "Lover Like You." “The mission is to wake people up,” she exclaims. “I want to make some bloody noise that doesn’t sound like all of the other bloody noise out there and 'Lover Like You' is about knowing what you want from a lover and not being afraid to express it or ask for it.”
BLEACHED - "CAN YOU DEAL?"
Los Angeles band Bleached - the punk band lead by sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin - are set to release their new EP, Can You Deal?, on March 3rd via Dead Oceans. The EP follows the release of their most recent album, Welcome The Worms, for which the band played Late Night With Seth Meyers. In conjunction with the EP, Bleached are touring this spring, including an upcoming tour supporting The Damned. Additionally, Jennifer Clavin has compiled and will be publishing a limited edition zine also titled “Can You Deal?” with contributions from Hayley Williams (Paramore), Tegan Quin (Tegan and Sara), Jane Wiedlin (The Go Go’s), Liz Phair, EMA, Alice Glass and more. All net proceeds from the zine will go to Planned Parenthood and it is also available March 3rd.
NOGA EREZ - "PITY"
Emerging Tel Aviv-based producer and singer-songwriter Noga Erez announced her debut album, Off the Radar, will be released on June 2nd via City Slang worldwide, and premiered her new music video for the album's second track, "Pity." For Erez, there was never any doubt that, whatever music she chose to make, and whatever she felt about her homeland, she could never ignore her surroundings. After all, even escapism acknowledges there's something to escape from, and at times - like many who've grown up in Tel Aviv -she has wanted to shut herself off from a world rendered beyond comprehension by forces beyond her control. But if there's one thing Erez isn't - and sometimes it's easier to say what artists as complex and fresh as her aren't than are - it's naïve. And what this means is simple: her work reflects the manner in which she's learned to live. As she puts it, "I have this idea of giving people moments of thought and inspiration, and at the same time offering escapism and fun." Uncompromising and unpredictable, sophisticated and bold, Noga Erez is clear about her ambitions. "Our way of trying to keep in contact with our feelings and fears, and of avoiding emotional detachment about everything, is music. Human beings can come from completely different places but share a fundamental basis of emotions. In my opinion, music is the form of art or communication that expresses that most accurately." The conversation starts now.