03 Jul 2014 — Lukas Dubro
In most of his songs, the voice of Berlin-based folk musician Allie is hardly more than a whisper. Of course, folk musicians prefer quiet over loud. And yet, a singer who does the same with such persistency as Allie is hard to find. On all three albums that the singer has released via bandcamp over the past years, he constantly explored the different ways of whispering in your ear, always giving his music a special aura.
But what's that all about? The whisper could be understood as an invitation to come closer. Or maybe a response to modern media, where everyone and everything is shouting at you all the time. The true reason, however, seems to be a lot simpler then that: Allie just likes to sing quietly. This is what the musician used to say about himself on his Facebook page. Another proof for his love for pulled back sounds is given on his bandcamp account where he names Easter being one if his "greatest influences". The music of their last album The Softest Hard, one might say, is the musical synonyme for ultimate softness.
In the new video for his song "Speed Boat Ride", you'll find a Easter reference, too. The fur dog being the main character of the video is listening to their track "Pillo" in his car in the beginning of the clip. Even though the style of the video is fitting to the melancholy that is very present in Allie's work, the song "Speed Boat Ride" taken by itself is an unusual piece: You hear a loud rock guitar and drums. And more than that, a voice which is a little more then only a whisper.
Allie's latest album Uncanny Valley is available via bandcamp.
He's playing some festivals this summer:
07/11/14 Waldstock Festival, Pegnitz
07/19/14 Woody Bash @ Knust, Hamburg
08/01/14 Küchwaldrauschen Festival, Chemnitz
09/13/14 10 Jahre Quartett Booking Festival, Berlin
10/09/14 Aaltra, Chemnitz
10/18/14 King Georg, Cologne
11/22/14 Café NUN, Karlsruhe
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01 Jul 2014 — Johanne Swanson
It seems the last couple years have been marked not only by awkward celebrity cultural appropriation and racist consequence, but also a public calling-out of their problematic nature. Thanks to Swedish dream pop duo JJ--no longer lower-cased jj--and the release of their newest single and music video “All White Everything”, we have apt demonstration of vexed racial implications outside of the mainstream sphere.
“All White Everything” takes place beyond reality in a sterile psych ward. Religious themes are heavy. “Let us pray,” singer Elin Kastlander opens, but what follows is nothing stale or ritual. The world is one of monochrome creep filled with white bodies who are even injected by needle with white goop that leaks out of their ears. The chorus, "All white everything, from my face to my wings…from my face to my sins," is epic and expelled like a warning. In structure and melody the song is compelling, perhaps JJ’s best work to date.
Still, the creepiest facet lies in their rendering of whiteness as pureness, a trope that perpetuates white supremacy. Placed in the context of JJ’s R&B influence and collaborators like Ne-Yo, whiteness from face to wings and the construct of a world without brown bodies is uncomfortable and misguided at best. Find the video for “All White Everything” and a horrific trailer for their new album V below. V is out August 19th on Secretly Canadian/Sincerely Yours.
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01 Jul 2014 — Tonje Thilesen
We're excited to be releasing the debut EP of Atlanta based, solo pop project Suno Deko, aka one-man wonder David Courtright, over at our NFOP curated imprint Stratosfear. Thrown Color EP is out July 22, with "Bluets" and the title track, "Thrown Color" on 7" LTD colored vinyl. "Bluets" just premiered with our friends over at The Fader earlier today — a subtle, yet undeniably catchy pop song, spawned from Courtright's pellucid ability to make everyone around him feel loved and unique: or maybe that's just my own, slightly naïve image of his music, seen from the perspective as a friend. Either way, we're pretty sure you will enjoy this.
David Courtright recently performed at Hundred Waters' mini festival and record release weekend in the desert community of Arcosanti, Arizona, alongside Majical Cloudz, How To Dress Well, Kodak To Graph and Julie Byrne, and is set to tour with Mutual Benefit in the fall, plus additional shows with Hundred Waters and How To Dress Well. Check out the tour dates below, and don't forget to pre-order the EP/vinyl over at our bandcamp page. No pressure, though we would very much appreciate it (cough).
7/01/14- Atlanta – The Earl *
9/8/14 – Atlanta – Terminal West ^
10/18/14 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress %
10/19/14 – Albuquerque, NM – House show %
10/21/14 – Austin, TX – Red 7 %
10/22/14 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada %
10/23/14 – Norman, OK – Opolis %
10/24/14 – Fayetteville, AR – House show %
10/25/14 – Kansas City, MI – Czar %
10/26/14 – Columbia, MO – House show %
10/27 /14 – St. Louis, MO – Luminary Arts %
10/28/14 Louisville, KY Zanzabar
10/30/14 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
* = w/ Hundred Waters, GEMS
^ = w/ How To Dress Well
% = w/ Mutual Benefit
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29 Jun 2014 — Henry Schiller
Gabe Holcombe is the founder of Chicago-by-way-of-Kansas tape label Lillerne Tapes and makes blissful bedroom pop as Vehicle Blues. Earlier this month Holcombe released his first 7" record - "Luke Song" - on Lake Paradise Records. "Luke Song" is a warbling bluster of soothing guitars and ambiguous, enveloping vocals. The perfect companion for a long weekend in the countryside or being stuck in traffic on the FDR, "Luke Song" contorts to fit the moment it needs to support. I spoke with Gabe over email about the theraputic qualities of music, best friendships, and what it means to be a bedroom artist.
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25 Jun 2014 — Henning Lahmann
A forthcoming release of the music by Stockholm-based one-woman project Quiltland was first announced by London-based imprint Astro:Dynamics well more than a year ago, and while we cannot say what took all involved parties so long, the passage of time has definitely not deminished the appeal of Frida Li Lövgren muffled synth pop. The ten-track LP collects three older tunes by the artist, the best most well-known being "Days", accompanied by six new arrangements and a remix by acclaimed fellow Swedish artist (and friend) 1991. Watch the premiere of the visuals for album track "A Billion Know" below, a video that fittingly complements the track's wistfully dreamy atmosphere with some standard elements of the North (aurora borealis!) – plus wild horses, and quite a few of them.
Quiltland's self-titled debut LP is out via Astro:Dynamics on June 30. It's preceded by a likewise recommended limited cassette named Sisto, which is available now over here.
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24 Jun 2014 — Henry Schiller
“Ceremonial” is a brief (but stunning) showcase of Celtic melodies, delivered as mystic gospel by the significant singing voice of Nandi Rose Plunkett, who records music as Half Waif. The Brooklyn singer seems to hang her coat on some rung between the lulling grace of a new age artist like Enya and the jarring discomfitures of academic composition.
An ancient folk song from an era when aurochs charged through subway, “Ceremonial” is awash in a stunning blend of neolithic imagery and postmodern anguish. Plunkett’s lyrics track the small, almost ceremonial repetitions associated with the everyday failings of everyday relationships. “Ceremonia"l presents a longing for a mystic, sea-drenched cove in which one may finally rid oneself of such petty little cycles of failure.
Half Waif is currently working on her debut full-length album KOTEKAN with producer Devin Greenwood.
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23 Jun 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski
Getting excited about Ellie Herring, who is proving to be quite prolific, is not a new thing for us. Check out this new track, complete with showy and fun artwork. Could just be me, but I think there's something both awesome and playful afoot here.
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23 Jun 2014 — Henning Lahmann
Emerging out of Montreal's apparently inexhaustible pool of interesting synth pop acts, duo Ambrose aka Sonia Thomson and JB Valiquette strike a sweeter and more vivid tone than some of their local contemporaries, most conspiciously labelmates Gold Zebra. Ambrose's debut EP Spanish Boomerang follows their hometown scene's trajectory of minimalist synth pop that could have been written some 30 years ago. Listen to EP track "Citadel Passage" below, a wistful, meticulously arranged gem that serves as an alluring introduction to the duo's music.
Spanish Boomerang is out June 30 via Visage Musique.
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