KIKAGAKU MOYO - "KOGARASHI"
Following their split 7” with Moon Duo late last year, Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo have announced details of their forthcoming new album House In The Tall Grass for release on May 13th via Guruguru Brain. The album’s fresh & elemental first single “Kogarashi” (the autumn wind) is streaming online now. Kikagaku Moyo started in the summer of 2012 while busking on the streets of Tokyo. Though the band started as a free music collective, it quickly evolved into a tight group of multi-instrumentalists. Kikagaku Moyo call their sound psychedelic because it encompasses a broad spectrum of influence & elements of classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional folk, and 70s Rock. Most importantly their music is about freedom of the mind and body, and building a bridge between the supernatural and the present. Improvisation is a key element to their sound. House in the Tall Grass, recorded between October and December of 2015 at Tsubame Studio where it was mixed, mastered, and produced by Yui Kimijima, takes the listener by the hand on a satisfying quest through destinations both familiar and unknown. It is a natural step forward for the band and perhaps the most refined example of their style to date.
WOLFIE'S JUST FINE - "IT'S A JOB"
Singer-songwriter Jon Lajoie is thrilled to introduce his latest project Wolfie's Just Fine and the release of his debut album I Remembered but Then I Forgot via Normal Guy Records on April 8th. He premiered the first track and accompanying video for "It's a Job," which embraces nostalgia, youthful curiosity, and fantastical imagination. Lajoie is a Canadian comedian, actor, and musician best known for his role as Taco in the FXX series The League, as well as his YouTube persona "Everyday Normal Guy." Wolfie's Just Fine is the first endeavor to showcase his music independent of the comedy. Without the punchlines, but with the same sort of punchy lyrics and catchy hooks that Lajoie's fans have to come expect, Wolfie's Just Fine introduces a new-yet-familiar side of the Montreal-born artist. In I Remembered But Then I Forgot, Lajoie's raw vocal ability and his penchant for weaving together harmony-heavy melodies with nostalgic sensibilities positions him in a unique world between alternative and indie folk. I Remembered but Then I Forgot features ten original songs whose inspirations range from the perils of young love to the strange ways in which B-movies and summer blockbusters can leave an imprint on our lives. The album is a collage of memories-many inspired by Lajoie's experiences growing up with eight brothers and sisters-exploring not only the fickle nature of recollection, but also how our memories evolve over time.
HOWARD - "PLASTIC"
Brooklyn-based folktronica quartert Howard are set to release their forthcoming EP Please Recycle on March 25th on Fashion People. After previously sharing the lead single “Glass," they present the opening track to the EP “Plastic.” Perhaps the most sonically straight-forward track on Please Recycle, “Plastic” is an invitation into the collage of myriad repurposed, or “recycled,” sounds that comprise the EP. Opening with a sample that ends the title track of their debut full-length, Religion, “Plastic” is pushed forward by the beat from Religion standout “Money Can’t Buy,” with the backing guitar groove from “Song About Something” sitting nicely on top. Composed of Howard Feibusch, Myles Heffernan, Chris Holdridge, and Alex Chakour, Howard are in the midst of a North American tour now, supporting Bronze Radio Return, which includes SXSW. They’ll return to NYC for a hometown show to celebrate the release of “Please Recycle” on March 24th at Mercury Lounge.
WHAT MOON THINGS - "PARTY DOWN THE STREET"
NYC-by-way-of-New Paltz duo What Moon Things released "Party Down the Street," the first proper follow-up studio single to their 2014 self-titled debut album, which Pitchfork heralded as a collection of "anti-romantic horror stories [that] find a band who's fanged, emaciated and out for blood." The hard-hitting track was self-produced by multi-instrumentalists John Morisi and Jake Harms and mixed by Scott Nicholas at Stereocillia and is the first in a series of singles. Recently named the Best New Band of 2015 by Village Voice, What Moon Things have also announced a 2016 tour with Dirty Dishes and their initial dates at SXSW, including performances at The Onion/AV Club's 'Just Another Manic Monday' SXSW party and more. More news will soon be announced.
HAELOS - "SEPARATE LIVES"
UK trio HÆLOS have unveiled the video for new single “Separate Lives” from their darkly shaded and radiant debut album, Full Circle, out March 18th on Matador. As described by the band, “’Separate Lives’ was one of the last songs we wrote for the record. We wanted it to be a nod towards some of our more gospel and Delta blues influences. It’s a reflection on the moment when you are choosing between staying or leaving and the underlying love that keeps you there. We liked that, it was simple and human and something we could all share experience in.” Made entirely by the band and filmed during their first west coast tour, the “Separate Lives” video gives insight into HÆLOS’ Lotti Benardout, Arthur Delaney and Dom Goldsmith’s lives on the road. HÆLOS have quickly proven themselves equally impressive on record and in a live setting, indicated by their recent KEXP performance. Being recognized as a standout act to watch out for at SXSW by NPR Music, the band kicks off a North American tour at SXSW, and then will proceed to play shows all over the country for the first time leading into Coachella.
BIG THIEF - "REAL LOVE"
Brooklyn's Big Thief announced their debut record, Masterpiece, produced by Andrew Sarlo, which will be released May 27th via Saddle Creek. Big Thief’s music, rooted in the songs of Adrianne Lenker, paints in vivid tones “the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting them go, looking into your own eyes through someone else’s, and being okay with the inevitability of death,” says Lenker. Big Thief elevates Lenker’s songwriting with rock and roll music. She met her longtime musical partner, guitarist and singer, Buck Meek, in Brooklyn a few years ago, and they quickly formed a creative bond tempered by the shared experience of traveling down long highways and performing for months on end in old dive bars, barns, and basements together. Now a full band, with Max Oleartchik on bass and James Krivchenia on drums (drummer Jason Burger appears on Masterpiece) brings a heavy, steady wildness, giving the music an even deeper layer of nostalgia. The band shared their second single "Real Love."
THE THERMALS - "THINKING OF YOU"
Portland-based trio The Thermals premiered their new single "Thinking Of You" the third song released off their forthcoming album We Disappear, which will be released on March 25th via Saddle Creek. We Disappear was produced by Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab For Cutie) and recorded in Portland at Kung Fu Bakery (The Shins, Tegan and Sara) and in Seattle, WA at The Hall of Justice (Nirvana, Mudhoney). The album is dark and deeply personal, examining technology, love, and death throughout: how separation in humanity can come through any of these avenues; how people try to outrun the demise of lives and relationships; how technology can isolate us and impact our relationships even as we completely - and willingly - assimilate ourselves into it; and how we've begun to forego privacy for a feeling of immortality in order to not be ignored or forgotten.
OXENFREE - "CAPTAIN"
Brooklyn group OxenFree has just shared the first single, "Captain," from their upcoming debut LP, Beacons, on PopMatters. The full-length will drop May 13th via Sneaky Bear Records. OxenFree is the poppy, earnest, and only slightly despairing brainchild of Jeff Doyle. In 2013, Doyle sat down with drummer Christopher Burns and guitarist Sam Ghitelman to rework some of his old songs and sketch out new material. After six months of operating nightly out of an hourly rehearsal room, the trio called in bassist Sean Padden and vocalist Emily Olson to complete the sound. The band released their first EP Fire, If We're Anything in 2014. The resulting tracks were poppy, with chunky guitars; energetic, with body; earnest, with a bit of desperation. Subtle textures and contained melodies combined with distorted guitars and biting horns. Since the EP’s release, the band has drawn nods to the pop sensibilities of The New Pornographers, the elevated vibes of Broken Social Scene, and the raw energy of The Replacements. After spending time on the road from New York to New Orleans and all the way back up to Montreal in the summer of 2015, OxenFree put the final touches on its first full length album.
LISBON KID - "SUNBURST"
Electronica duo Lisbon Kid premiered their new single “Sunburst,” the first track to be shared from Lisbon Kid's forthcoming self-titled debut album, due out on April 29th via the eclectic Wall of Sound label. Comprised of the estimable Soho-based, Portuguese musicians, producers and TV ad composers Danny de Matos and Rui da Silva, Lisbon Kid are now gearing up to release their debut album. Made from a beguiling mix of electronica and acoustic instruments, often with ambient landscaping and elements of sound design added to a huge song-based pop sensibility and emotional lyrical content, Lisbon Kid have created a consummate debut record, which is as diverse as it is adventurous. Tracks such as the “Sunburst” show the duo’s song craft by merging effortlessly infectious textured bassline and synth melodies with hazy and laidback ambient beats. The debut also features a number of estimable guest appearances from the likes of Sarah Cracknell (St. Etienne), Lisa Billson (Orbital, Loose Salute), James Craise (featured Professor Green singer), electronic diva Queen of Hearts and Icelandic songstress Hafdis Huld. Each guest appearance contributes further personality and uniqueness to each song adding even more diversity to the album.
MOTEL RADIO - "GIMME YOUR LOVE"
Formed in 2014, Motel Radio has approached songwriting with a reverence for past influences coupled with an enthusiasm for contemporary artists. As a result, the band has developed a sound that is rooted in Americana, yet constantly evolving. Texas natives Ian Wellman (guitar/vocals) and Winston Triolo (guitar/vocals) began their songwriting collaboration while attending college in Baton Rouge, where they would meet fellow musicians Eric Lloyd (drums) and Andrew Pancamo (bass). The band cut its teeth in the college bar circuit, all the while continuing to be heavily influenced by independent songwriters in the area. In 2015, Motel Radio moved to New Orleans and immersed itself in the vibrant music scene. They recorded their debut EP, Days and Nights, at Listen Up! Studios with local musician and producer, Mike Seaman. David Hart, New Orleans-based musician and engineer at Bear America Records, joined the group shortly thereafter on keys. The band is currently working on their debut album; more news on the forthcoming LP will be announced soon; but for now, enjoy Motel Radio’ new single "Gimme Your Love."