Single & Lovin' It Vol. 51
By Mixtape Mandi
KHRUANGBIN - “COMO ME QUIERES”
Fresh off an entirely sold-out North American tour, Khruangbin are thrilled share their new video for “Como Me Quieres,” the subtle and slow-building opener to their new album Con Todo El Mundo, out now on Dead Oceans/Night Time Stories. An extension of the album’s dedication to Laura Lee’s Mexican-American grandfather, the video captures the work of numerous videographers, collecting footage shot in many countries around the world - Thailand, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Mexico, Chilé, China, France, South Africa, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ecuador, India, and more - all on September 17th, the birthday of Laura Lee’s grandfather. Formed of Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums, Khruangbin will support Leon Bridges on a massive tour of North America this fall. Kicking off in August with a special show at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the tour sees the band set to perform in some of their biggest rooms to date, including shows at the Greek Theatre in LA, two shows at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, The Anthem in DC, and wrapping up with two shows at Radio City Music Hall in NYC.
THOMAS FEKETE - “MOULDING OVER”
Late Surfer Blood guitarist Thom Fekete's single "Moulding Over" will be featured on his posthumous LP Grow out June 8th via Joyful Noise Recordings. Fekete wrote, recorded and toured with Surfer Blood from 2009 until his diagnosis with cancer in late 2014 after experiencing strange and debilitating pain while on a hike during his honeymoon. Fekete was very open about his illness and every method of treatment that he underwent, detailing almost everything on the gofundme page set up by his wife - which due to an unbelievable outpouring of support, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and allowed him access to multiple experimental treatments and the ability to fly to doctors outside of the US for alternative options. While undergoing the rigorous treatment, Fekete put out his first solo album, Burner, through Joyful Noise. Overwhelmed by its reception, he quickly began work on a second album. He and his wife built bedside rigs and set up travel studios out of suitcases to give him the ability to work regardless of where treatment took him, and despite becoming bound to wheelchairs and walkers. Thom was unable to see his work to its completion, as he became too weak from his illness in April and passed away in Delray Beach, Florida on May 30, 2016. Later that year, Fekete’s wife, Jessica, aware of his work on this next set of songs, went through his computer and pulled every file that seemed a part of this project. She discovered a notebook that included notes for its title and some hints of a tracklisting. With a stroke of pure luck, she was even able to acquire stems from a live performance of the last track “When Death Comes Searching” which Thom had not had the chance to record. She brought these files to Daniel Good (Thom’s dear friend who mastered Burner) at his home in Joshua Tree, and together they pieced together what seemed to be a cohesive and complete record that best reflected Thom’s beautiful, wildly charged spirit.
CAMPDOGZZ - “SOUVENIR”
Chicago’s Campdogzz have signed to 15 Passenger, making them the Cursive-owned label’s first signing. The band will release their new album, In Rounds, on August 3rd and premiered their first single “Souvenir.” Described as “complete with crunchy but crystal clear guitars and some really strong hooks,” the song follows a brief instrumental to open the album, setting the tone with a pulsating melody that’s as compelling as it is disquieting. In Rounds is centered around driving rhythms, insistent dual guitars set in intriguing arrangements, and the haunting, evocative voice of Tulsa, OK-native Jess Price. Her melodies take on the shape of a storm making its way in -- and out just as soon. There’s a feeling of electricity, of winds shifting, a magical mix of both comfort and unease. The album was written partially in Chicago but mostly throughout the Southwest as Price and guitarist-vocalist Mike Russell traveled post-tour. Engulfed by desert, this starkness - like the mercurial storms of Price’s native Oklahoma - couldn’t help but seep into the songs. It was a period of collective change for the band as relationships began and ended, people moved and planted new roots. Everyone experienced some sort of massive life shift and the album serves as a reflection of that period, of growth and patience. Price, who moved to Chicago to become a filmmaker, has spent her life writing songs. She never considered pursuing music, however, until her introduction to Russell and guitar-synthist Nick Enderle while filming a documentary on their previous band, Suns. While Price is the main songwriter, Russell has been equally integral to the band from the start, shaping the sound and contributing a song completely of his own on each album. Campdogzz’s self-released 2015 debut album, Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven, was the brainchild of solely the pair and came together quickly, but In Rounds represents a shift in their creative process. The new album is a more collaborative and intentional effort, written over a couple of years and recorded in 2017 in Chicago. Like its predecessor, In Rounds is self-produced, but this time with production assistance from engineer Nick Papaleo.
LUNA PINES - “SPRING”
Originally formed by three passionate female Leeds-based producers, Luna Pines showcase modern electronica and refined dream pop and mix it with ambient, almost post-rock echoes. Influences ranging from Explosions In The Sky to Beach House can be felt across their debut EP The House We Lived In that is due June 1st. The band have released their new single taken from it, “Spring.” A deeply sensitive tone is felt in “Spring” that serves as a spacious, indulgent moment on the EP, exploring painful issues such as death and loss in a mask of Cocteau Twins-inspired melodies. Luna Pines showcase modern electronica and refined dream pop and mix it with ambient, almost post-rock echoes. Luna Pines’ sound travels through landscapes of 80’s synthwave and eccentric beats, to post-rock inspired, soundtrack–esque atmospheres. Having played sold out local shows at prestigious venues like Belgrave in Leeds last year, the five piece take influence from acts like Daughter, The Japanese House, and James Blake, creating a nostalgic air of ambience, with soaring synths and heavy bass lines, reminding listeners of soundtracks similar to the brilliant Drive score by Cliff Martinez. The band produces and mixes all their own material, making them even more of a force to be reckoned with inside of the brilliant and eclectic Leeds music scene. Having gained attention from various publications and BBC Introducing with their last two singles, they are gearing up to play venues across the UK and use this solid foundation to take their music to new heights this year.
PHORIA - “WHEN EVERYTHING WAS MINE/RROTOR”
Phoria have become known for their colourful, visually evocative soundscapes with the release of their debut LP Volition. The band has supported James Vincent McMorrow, Little Dragon, Poliça, and Active Child on tour, and made festival appearances at Latitude, Soundwave, Blue Dot, Dot To Dot, The Great Escape and SXSW, where they were named one of NPR's standout acts in their "Austin 100" class of 2017. After dropping the early classical-inspired track “Mass (Re-Imagined)” earlier this year, the Brighton five-piece return with the second offering off their forthcoming sophomore LP via a double single release "When Everything Was Mine"/"Rrotor" out via X Novo/Akira Records. "When Everything Was Mine"/"Rrotor" are both deeply emotive, beguiling electronic folk-pop cuts, anchored on a lush, elegant arrangement of softly lulled piano over hypnotic electronics, all layered with ethereal vocals by lead singer/composer Trewin Howard, whose own synesthesia informs the band's multidimensional aesthetic. In "When Everything Was Mine," Howard continues to reject the notion that lyrics have to have conventional narratives. To him, a lyric can be a small self-contained unit of feeling, or a musical texture in the fabric of the song itself. In the track, he takes that concept to its logical extremity, creating a complex emotive musical and thematic idea from a song title alone. In “Rrotor” his aptitude for stacking and mixing vocals like instruments makes for an intriguing and impossible to pin down electronic performances. A voice appears out of a sound: a golden shape, a texture, a mixture of sunlight and sculpture. Music as spectral as this makes you lose yourself in the right way; deep in sound and light. Imagine the music of Sigur Ros, James Blake, or Aphex Twin, but traveling somewhere else instead. As you do, pay attention as your eyes and ears adjust: open up and come alive.
RALPH FEAT. TOBI - “GIRL NEXT DOOR”
Toronto based artist RALPH is an alluring pop enigma. Drawing from her disco and synth-laden roots, as well as her personal musical heroines Sade, Stevie Nicks and Donna Summer, her rose colored alt pop brims with a perennial sense of adolescent love. On the strength of her debut self-titled EP, the budding star (née Raffa Weyman) has tracked over 10 million Spotify streams to date. After delighting with the release of her latest lush, rose-colored anthem "September Fades" earlier this year, the fast rising force continues her ascent with the steamy, summertime heater "Girl Next Door," a duet with fellow Toronto upstart TOBi. The track was inspired by RALPH's own musical ascent, and mirrors the struggle rising artists often face in remaining grounded. When she reached out to the emcee to collaborate, he coincidentally had a song idea of his own that fit the context perfectly. "It was beautiful," she recalls. "Exactly what I imagined the song to be." RALPH's own family and friends inspired the rest. "I keep having them joke around and say 'I hope you don’t forget me when you become famous' or 'one day you’ll be too famous to hang out with me' which is ironic because it’s friends and family who keep you grounded," she adds. "If you ever develop an ego and start acting like an asshole, they’re the ones who remind you of who you really are. That was the idea behind the lyrics, talking about potential change but acknowledging that you’ll always be the same person no matter what."
LANKS - “TWENTYSEVEN”
Australian songwriter and producer Will Cuming aka LANKS shares his new video for "twentyseven," which was directed by Justin Carrig along with Ngaire Griggs and is the title track from his new album out now on THAA Records. Although drawing influences from artists such as MØ, Mura Masa, The xx, Justin Vernon and Radiohead, LANKS doesn’t imitate. His songs are adventurous and exploratory while still earworms - boasting strong hooks, melodies, and danceable beats. LANKS’ debut album, twentyseven, explores a period of growing up, of strengthening relationships and making decisions about priorities in life. “twentyseven is about the anxiety around achievement and how much pressure I had always placed on myself. My heroes — Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and others — had achieved success by the time they were 27 and I was still younger than that and had potential. This birthday had always loomed over me as a crucial deadline that I had to meet and when I finally reached it I realised that life is about much more than achievement and actually everyone achieves their dreams in their own time. I think when I reached 27 I realised it wasn’t such a big deal.” In less than four years, LANKS has released three EPs: Viet Rose (2016), Banquet (2015) and Thousand Piece Puzzle (2014). His work is self-produced, but since Viet Rose, he has worked with Andrei Eremin (Chet Faker, Hiatus Kaiyote, Oscar Key Sung) on additional production.
ALICE MERTON - “LASH OUT”
Alice Merton has shared the video for her new smash single "Lash Out," co-directed by Max Nadolny and Jonas Stark and shot between Berlin and South Africa. "Lash Out" is included on her No Roots EP, which also features the hit title track along with three other brand new tracks. After the phenomenal success of her "No Roots" debut single, Alice Merton gets wordy with "Lash Out". "No Roots" also became a global smash with a catchy hook, as the 24-year-old cosmopolitan revealed her soul as a wanderer between continents. Millions could identify with the question of where their own roots actually lie. "Lash Out" picks up on the theme of songwriting from the first-person perspective and ignites the burning desire to awaken one's own power, one's own voice, at first hearing. With driving beats and an immediately catchy chorus, "Lash Out" is an empowerment song for the many people around the world who think they cannot raise their own voices. But letting go of control and of pent up frustration is not enough. You have to know what you actually want to fight for, and that comes from deep down inside each of us. No longer holding back, but self-confidently answering your own needs - that's what "Lash Out" is all about.