Single & Lovin' It Vol. 17

KLLO - "BOLIDE"
Ascendant Melbourne duo Kllo has announced Well Worn, their exciting debut EP for Ghostly International due out August 5th. To align with the announcement, they’ve shared the first taste of new music in the form of lead single “Bolide.” Things happen so fast these days that Kllo barely had a Facebook page or a proper song before a wave of interest began to build around their breakthrough EP Cusp. What a telling record title; in the year since its release, cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul have played sold-out shows and festival slots throughout Australia, racked up millions of plays on Spotify, and landed on several Artists to Watch lists. Now they're about to chase steely pop singles like "False Calls" and "Make Me Wonder" with the next logical step: Well Worn, an EP that enhances Kllo's high-gloss hooks even further. Guided by the ghosts of UK garage and like-minded strains of underground dance music, lead single "Bolide" sets a skittish beat against a clipped chorus. Catchy, yes, but also compelling enough to leave us all longing for the pair's inevitable LP.

ANDY SHAUF - "THE WORST IN YOU"
The newest track from Andy Shauf’s forthcoming album The Party which comes out May 20th is called The Worst In You,” and it blends elements of Bert Jansch-like baroque folk with a highly melodic sixties pop. The Guardian recently called Shauf an “Indie Burt Bacharach” with the “appeal of the hippest mainstream 70s songwriters, up to and including Nilsson.” And yet the gifted young singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan has managed to craft it all into an evocative sound that is both captivating and an ideal accompaniment to his immense literary gifts. Shauf says the song “came together really late in the recording of the album. I wrote it in about ten minutes while I was stuck on another song. It's about a guy trying to find his girlfriend at a party, and about how easy it is to jump to negative conclusions." In 2015 Shauf gained attention with an album called The Bearer of Bad News, which he wrote and recorded in his parents' basement, and which NPR called one of “2015's most breathtaking albums.” The new album The Party is not exactly a concept record, but it was a way for Shauf to get out of his own head. More like an after-party record for the next day’s hangover, when only Shauf’s songs can make sense of the emotionally-charged scenarios which played out the night before.

TWIN PEAKS - "HOLDING ROSES"
Twin Peaks
share the song "Holding Roses" off their new record, Down in Heaven out May 13th on Grand Jury, which premiered on NPR Music as a "Songs We Love” feature. While Clay Frankel wrote and sings this song, Cadien Lake James spoke about the band's first impressions and how it came together: ”Something I appreciate about ‘Holding Roses’ is that while it clearly seems to be about the end of a relationship, whomever it's with isn't ever specified; I didn't first think of it as a girlfriend leaving, but of the exit of a friend, the passing of someone close. When we were recording it, I remember everybody getting giddy riffing on the percussion grooves entering in the second verse, where the live kit drops out for a couple measures, replaced with a number of tambourines, claps, and shakers we ran through our space echo with the addition of some “ooh's" and “ah’s." Things came alive with overdubs back in Chicago: the piano part really cemented some melodies between vocals and our friend Will Miller laid down a muted trumpet that completed the process.” 

CRUEL YOUTH - "DIAMOND DAYS"
Teddy Sinclair
recently announced a new collaborative project entitled Cruel Youth, an all-girl three-piece band fronted by Sinclair and co-produced by her husband, Willy Moon. Following the release of their intoxicating debut single "Mr. Watson," Cruel Youth shares a new track called "Diamond Days." Sinclair recently co-wrote songs for Rihanna ("Kiss It Better" on newly-released ANTI), Madonna, and more - but now Cruel Youth takes the spotlight. Sinclair on "Diamond Days": "There is something more terrifying than heartbreak, and that is not feeling anything at all. 'Diamond Days' is the musical elixir of the loss of innocence in true love and the beautiful ruins of the future crushed into a thousand shimmering pieces. This is the very first Cruel Youth song we wrote, made in the summer at our home studio in New York with our dear friend, writer and producer Paro."

THE STARGAZER LILIES - "WHEN WITH YOU"
On June 3rd, The Stargazer Lilies will release Door To The Sun on Graveface Records. This is their second album and the follow-up to their 2013 debut LP, We Are The Dreamers, which earned acclaim from Interview Magazine, SPIN, and All Music, among others. Directed by The Stargazer Lilies, the music video for new single “When With You” features a live performance filmed in NYC drenched with psychedelic visuals. The brainchild of husband and wife team John Cep (guitar) and Kim Field (bass/vocals), who are pioneers of shoegaze's new wave with their former band Soundpool, The Stargazer Lilies have evolved to include LA-based drummer Tammy Hirata. With Field's dreamy vocals and droney bass lines, Cep's heavy effects-driven guitars, and Hirata's minimalist approach, the eight-song LP Door To The Sun explores the intersection of 70's psychedelia and 90's shoegaze, or dreamy psych-gaze, as they like to call it (think My Bloody Valentine meets Pink Floyd). On "When With You," Cep explained that the song is "set to the unusual time signature of 5/4, has a modulating psychedelic blues riff verse, a Celtic sounding bridge and chorus composed entirely of 6/9 chords, rarely used in pop music. Lyrically, Kim explains, it's a simple love song which we tend to avoid but opted for against all the other complicated elements. Love is complicated and shouldn't be. Music should be but generally isn't."

BLAAK HEAT - "MOLA MAMAD DJAN"
Blaak Heat
, the Parisian-American psych/stoner/eastern rock trio, has shared their new track “Mola Mamad Djan.” Out May 13th on Svart, the track is the second single from the Shifting Mirrors album. Originally performed as a traditional Middle Eastern folk song throughout the years (with versions by Farida Mahwash, Abdul Rahim Sarban and many others), this track celebrates its Afghan and Persian origins in a heavier, modernist fashion. The track is ritualistic, drone infused, and laden with groove; it seamlessly merges fuzz drenched stoner-rock riffs whilst resting upon a rich history of musical tradition, drawing from the Middle East as naturally as from California’s deserts and beaches. The end-result is a timeless, vivid blend of thundering psychedelic rock and Arabian tonalities, an altar to heavy riffage, mind expansion, and social insurgencies.

KIKAGAKU MOYO - "MELTED CRYSTAL"
Kikagaku Moyo
 (translation: "geometric patterns") was formed in Tokyo in the summer of 2012 by Go Kurosawa and Tomo Katsurada. Their music incorporates elements of classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional folk, and 70s rock. Kikagaku Moyo call their sound psychedelic because it encompasses a broad spectrum of influence, but 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. The band released their first self-titled album in 2013 on Cosmic Eye Records / Sound Effect Records before touring Australia with the native Aussie band Dreamtime. By April 2014 Kikagaku Moyo had released Mammatus Clouds on cassette via Sky Lantern Records and recorded their second LP Forest of Lost Children which was released in May 2014 by Beyond Beyond is Beyond records. Their self-titled record and Mammatus Clouds were later re-released on 12” vinyl by Captcha records in the U.S. and Cardinal Fuzz Records in the UK. In 2015 Kikagaku Moyo released several split 7” records, the first with Kinski on God Unknown Records and a self-released split with Moon Duo. Now, Kikagaku Moyo has premiered their track "Melted Crystal" from their forthcoming new album House In The Tall Grass to be released on May 13th via Guruguru Brain.

ARI - "PRETTY LITTLE VILLIANS"
Indie songstress ARI sets the tone as a force to be reckoned with as she unveils her official music video for "Pretty Little Villains," which begins with a heartbeat synth that picks up in tandem with her cadence as she takes aim at "beautiful douche bags" before exploding on a shuddering refrain that's impossible to shake.  The track, written in anger after reading of a horrifying human trafficking incident, will be featured on ARI's upcoming debut EP Tunnel Vision out June 3rd
On ARI's debut EP Tunnel Vision she continues to break down the walls of conformity offering a beautiful collection of songs with the right amount of grit that enables her to make statements she hopes will help others.  Musically, the Toronto songstress deftly dances in and out of genre lines, moving from entrancing alternative pop to gritty hip-hop production under a cover of electronic elegance.  At the same time, the visceral lyrics transmit messages of hope as often as they ponder tragedy.  Her sound comes to life in the middle.

XENIA RUBINOS - "LONELY LOVER"
The Anti- debut album from visionary musician and singer Xenia Rubinos entitled Black Terry Cat arrives in stores June 3rd. With a unique and soulful sound that The New Yorker described as a “rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre,” Rubinos uses her powerful voice to traverse an array of genres from R&B to Hip-Hop to jazz and beyond, all of it delivered with a New York punk-funk abandon. The new record finds Rubinos assisted by longtime drummer Marco Buccelli, who produced the album, and Jeremy Loucas as engineer. The three worked an average of 16-17 hours a day for five months to complete the record. “With the vocals I got into this spooky romantic zone thinking of singers like Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and the funk of Chaka Khan,” she explains, “I was channeling all those singers but then ended up redoing the vocals on my own in my kitchen because they just weren't feeling honest. So I took a bottle of Aguardiente and started doing vocal takes. I lit papers on fire to get a smoky smell around me and thought that instead of emulating these other high priestesses I should create my own voice and find my own way to say my piece. I'm really proud of the result.”

NICO YARYAN - "JUST TELL ME"
LA-based and NoCal-bred artist
Nico Yaryan is thrilled to announce that he will be releasing his debut album, What A Tease, on June 3rd via Partisan Records. The intimate, 11-song collection tells the uncomplicated tale of complicated transcontinental love, and is the perfect introduction to this exciting new voice. In conjunction with this news, Yaryan has also released the brand new video for his heartfelt lead single "Just Tell Me." Yaryan, who was raised by Northern California hippies, took a leap of faith when his close friend from high school, Hanni El Khatib, asked him if he'd join him on the road as his touring drummer. He set off and spent two years traveling the world with El Khatib and his bandmates. This experience would bring into his world two of his greatest loves: the first was the guitar, an instrument he'd been too intimidated to learn as a teen. He eventually began writing and recording his own music, which ultimately led to him outgrowing the touring gig. The second, was an unlikely romance with a student from Amsterdam that he met while on tour. The two remained in touch, and when he parted ways with the band, Yaryan decided to take a chance and returned to Amsterdam for a visit - that ended up lasting for a month. Once he got back to Los Angeles, he immediately embarked on a quest to find work that could help fund a return to his new found love. With mostly experience in retail, an industry that doesn't take kindly to inconsistent schedules, Nico ended up securing a job trimming at a marijuana farm in Humboldt County, which enabled him to continue the long-distance courtship. As their relationship began to crumble in the face of geographical and financial adversity, the songs that would become What A Tease began to blossom, but throughout, there's an undercurrent of perseverance and determined tenderness.

 

Single & Lovin' It Vol. 18

Single & Lovin' It Vol. 16