HTRN Vol. 2
By Mixtape Mandi
FLEET FOXES - "THIRD OF MAY / ODAIGAHARA"
On June 16th, Fleet Foxes will release Crack-Up (Nonesuch Records), its long-awaited and highly-anticipated third album. Crack-Up comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut. Fleet Foxes has released the album track “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet, and the group's trademark sparkling harmonies. In addition, the band has announced new tour dates, including their first North American shows since October 2011. All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut made a profound impact on the international musical landscape, earning them Uncut’s first ever Music Award Prize, and topping numerous “Best of” lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s and Pitchfork’s 50 Best Albums of 2008. Fleet Foxes is certified Gold in North America and Platinum in both the UK and Australia. The follow-up album Helplessness Blues was met with the same critical praise as its predecessor; that album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200, went Gold in the UK, and earned the band a GRAMMY nomination.
ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER - "FRENCH PRESS"
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever share the new video to the title track of their upcoming EP The French Press, out March 10th on Sub Pop Records. The band will shortly be making their first landfall in the States as well, presumably after a 4-month journey by ocean freighter. The video, directed by Jamieson Moore, portrays the band performing at what appears to be a sunny and fun pool party wedding, but something more somber seems to be peeking out from underneath the surface.
DION LUNADON - "FIRE"
Dion Lunadon (A Place To Bury Strangers, The D4) shares the brand new track "Fire," from his forthcoming debut solo album. The album was recorded over a three-month period in Brooklyn and features Robi Gonzalez (APTBS) on drums and Blaze Bateh (Bambara) on select tracks, including "Fire". "With ‘Fire’ I wanted wild and heavy guitars with heavy sentiment in the first vocal line to match; something that grabs you and demands attention, not background music," Lunadon explains. From cutting his teeth back home in New Zealand as a member of The D4 to his current role as bassist of Brooklyn-based A Place to Bury Strangers, Lunadon has played in some form of a rock & roll band his entire life. During a short break in touring with APTBS, Lunadon had a rush of inspiration in the form of a creative spasm — a neurotic impulse to make a batch of songs and do it right then and right there. What resulted is quite a jump away from his work in APTBS and draws more influence from bands like Toy Love and The Gun Club, as well as New Zealand unknowns such as Gestalt and Supercar. Lunadon’s debut self-titled album is set for release on June 9th via Agitated Records.
MINKE - "GOLD ANGEL"
Enigmatic London upstart Minke delights with her debut single, “Gold Angel," a unique cocktail of alt-rock-R&B produced by Rory Andrew and co-written by Paul Garred (The Kooks). "Gold Angel" is a siren, inspired by the resilience required by all women in braving the societal pressures for unattainable perfection, stoked further by social media’s omnipresence, painting the scene with nimble guitar riffs and a smoky alto. Cutting her teeth on Hendrix before landing on her own style, Minke's playful, activated guitar parts comb the track’s sparse yet fervent arrangement, recalling the too cool ease and dexterity of Lianne La Havas, Jessie Ware and London Grammar - but it's her poetic sensibilities that make her a true artist to watch, showcased in the tune’s coy hook, which floats on the phrase, “I’ll be your gold angel, if you want me.”
SHE-DEVILS - "THE WORLD LAUGHS"
Montreal duo She-Devils are excited to announce their signing to Secretly Canadian and share a brand new single, “The World Laughs.” Through primitive electronic gear, hypnotist vocals, and an amusement park of sounds, the duo of Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka constructs a fun-house world of beautiful chaos. The music is built from original sonics, inspired by everything from Iggy Pop to Madonna to T-Rex to Can, as well as the romantic longing of ‘60s yé-yé. The pair met four years ago while living at a music rehearsal space in the Mile-Ex neighborhood of Montreal. The duo are inspired by the cinema and art of Gregg Araki, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, John Waters and Quentin Tarantino. They direct their own videos, while Boucher creates the artwork that accompanies the music. Her self-taught style evolved by watching hours of Disney movies, The Simpsons and Powerpuff Girls.
CLOSE TALKER - "OKAY HOLLYWOOD"
Canadian indie rock trio Close Talker is thrilled to announce their new studio album, Lens, to be released on April 21st via Nevado Music. The trio has unveiled their new single, “Okay Hollywood,” which the band explains is a “sarcastic anthem poking fun at people's tendencies to take themselves and their own agenda’s too seriously. Everyone has their own disposition and subconscious strategy to gain self-worth, especially within the music industry. We think the most common mistake is imposing the importance of yourself and your victories onto others.” Lens is a 10-track collection that showcases the band’s maturity and poise, while entering new realms of pop sensibility. Produced by Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Waking Eyes) and mixed by Marcus Paquin (The National, Arcade Fire, Local Natives), Lens unleashes musical talent and precision withoutsacrificing the raw energy, homegrown feel, and vulnerability of the band’s acclaimed live show. In just a few short years, Close Talker has released two full-length albums and toured relentlessly across North America, Europe, and the UK, and received international attention from revered and critically acclaimed blogs and publications. Now, with the release of their third album, Lens has led the band to new depths of creativity while still trusting instincts and simplicity. For Close Talker, Lens marks a new chapter of creating music more authentic than ever before.
THUNDER DREAMER - "CAPTURE"
Thunder Dreamer will release their new album, Capture, on May 26th via 6131 Records. The title track first single is "expansive emotional soundscapes founded in heartland indie rock - which is to say their music churns as much as it shimmers and sighs." Located on an oxbow in the winding Ohio River, Evansville, Indiana doesn't immediately spring to mind as a musical center the way New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C., or Austin does, nor was it the birthplace of a specific scene like Chapel Hill, Omaha, or Athens. It's a city where venues and record stores close up almost as quickly as they open, where pursuing a career in the arts is arguably perceived as a fool's errand, a desire that can easily be starved out due to a lack of resources and support. But for the members of Thunder Dreamer, the city has imbued them with a fierce Midwestern work ethic alongside this sense of Midwestern pragmatism, a steely resolve to put down their heads in dogged pursuit of their dreams. And in this artistic isolation, the band creates expansive, evocative rock music with melodies as sinuous as the river that runs past their hometown. Singer-guitarist Steven Hamilton writes of struggle, heartbreak, destructive tendencies, family, and the inherent selfishness of mankind across the eight heartfelt, searching songs on Capture, which was written throughout late 2014 through 2015, following the release of Thunder Dreamer's debut album, Lonesome Morning. The band tracked live to two-inch tape at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana with engineer Mike Bridavsky.
PALOMA - "TOUCH"
Paloma have shared new track "Touch," the first song released from their upcoming debut EP, Luna, out this April 28th. The band describes “Touch” is about “a diamond in the rough, somewhat of a tramp; a certain someone who didn't quite know how to believe in them self until he meets this princess of sorts that did. When they both turn to real life, he's banking on the idea that we're only half way through the film. That the story isn't finished yet.” Paloma was born of the struggle to navigate the harrowing societal construct typical of suburban Los Angeles. It is the answer for learning to balance the need to make ends meet while expressing the irrepressible creativity brooding inside. The band officially began in a small bedroom studio with several ideas being deconstructed over and over again as every artist can relate to. In a place where one’s inherent value is often picked apart according to attributes of wealth and beauty, Paloma is truly an escapist’s musical paradise. Luna is a Tim Burton meets the Future of the Malibu five-track EP. The second release from Paloma is a Gothic blend consisting of psychedelic dance grooves with swampy, sad and warm melodies. The record was deeply influenced by various sounds born in Southern California. Paloma draws inspiration from artists such as Beach House, Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Tame Impala, Pond, Gum, Dumbo Gets Mad, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Earth Wind & Fire.
BEACH FOSSILS - "THIS YEAR"
Beach Fossils have announced their new album, Somersault, coming out June 2nd on Bayonet Records, and shared the first single, “This Year.” Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur says “This Year” is “about facing mistakes you've made, aiming to work on it and better yourself, but ending up making the same mistakes again. It's kind of an endless loop. People always aim to make New Year's resolutions, get a fresh start, but ultimately fall back into these old bad habits.” The album opener begins as an upbeat, breezy number built on a dynamic mix of guitar, bass and drums. The incorporation of string arrangements after the first chorus takes the song to soaring new heights. With the band’s expanded sonic palette, it’s an exciting preview of the rest of the album. Somersault showcases a band in bloom. Charting into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it’s an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience. The band’s self-titled 2010 debut established a sound that was both minimal and enveloping. With Somersault, the group’s first release since 2013’s Clash the Truth, Beach Fossils have channeled years of experimentation into expansion and reinvention. Augmented with more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and sax, the new songs offer multi-layered pop guided by sharp, poignant, and honest lyrics. Flowing between shimmering compositions and immersive soundscapes, Somersault evokes the laid-back mood of a warm, breezy city night, the air crackling with humidity and excitement. These songs pulse and pull, capturing a blend of promise and heartache. It’s beautiful and layered, a refined, sweeping creation that threads together numerous styles, textures, and themes into a refreshing, singular vision.
CHELSEA CUTLER - "YOUR SHIRT"
A lot has change for Chelsea Cutler in a year: the 20-year-old singer-songwriter and producer represents a new generation of female artists who are taking control of their artistry and dispelling the myth women aren't or can't be producers. This comes at a particularly pertinent time with March being Women's History Month. Cutler herself has come a long way from recording songs in her bedroom as she gets ready to release her debut EP. "Your Shirt" is the first single off her fully self-written and self-produced debut EP, coming later this spring. The track is a bashful confessional anchored on youthful tropes of unrequited love and romantic insecurity, as she coos “I don’t want to miss somebody who’s not missing me, but the city feels so lonely when you leave.” And as the emotive cut skates to its close on glittering synths and chopped vocal samples, Cutler repeats the mantra as a sort of security blanket for her loneliness: “In your shirt that you gave me / I’m half asleep wishing I still had you.” Cutler explains, "The song is about that moment after a breakup when you wake up in an empty bed and it all hits you that it's really over. I’m excited to lead with it because I think it really represents my growth as an artist from both the writing and the production."