Press Releases From October: Here Are The Artists
A lot of famous artists among these press releases from October, from a cover by Tenacious D, to a duo between Karen O. and Willie Nelson, to a new song from Mike Campbell and new visuals from Public Enemy… but it also includes newcomers Tank and The Bangas.
Angelo De Augustine – ‘Blue’: De Augustine’s fragile and intimate ethereal whisper over delicate guitar fingerpicking and piano. The track features Asthmatic Kitty Records labelmate, Sufjan Stevens on back-up vocals, piano, and guitar, while the video shows sunny and beautiful California in its natural element. ‘’Blue’ speaks of admission in confidence to a friend,’ explains De Augustine. ‘The eternal and symbiotic bond of mother and child, and an inquisition into our inner pain, investigating if we are forever bound by it.’ The track is set to appear alongside De Augustine’s recent single, the contemplative track, ‘Santa Barbara,’ on a double A-side 7” single due later this year on Asthmatic Kitty.
The Dirty Knobs – ‘Fuck That Guy’: A cool foot-tapping country track, with steel guitar and as-direct-as-they-can-be lyrics by guitarist and songwriter Mike Campbell, whose celebrated career doesn’t need any introduction, from his long collaboration with Tom Petty to The Heartbreakers, and Fleetwood Mac. ‘’Fuck That Guy’ is a simple song that could really be about anyone you know. The video is a bizarre and darkly humorous take on 2020. It’s been a hard year. It helps to just laugh. We shot the video in September, just last month. Sometimes life ends up imitating art in almost unimaginable ways,’ Campbell says about his pandemic-inspired clip, featuring Jeff Garlin and Danny Trejo. The song was co-written by Campbell and Chris Stapleton and appears on the debut album from The Dirty Knobs, ‘Wreckless Abandon,’ out November 20 via BMG.
Tenacious D – ‘Time Warp’: Tenacious D is still rocking as if it was 1973, and glam rock fits Jack Black and Kyle Gass like a glove. At the beginning of the year, they announced they would be touring throughout the fall in the Swing States across the country to help encourage a massive voter turnout in this year’s election. Of course, their ‘Purple Nurple Tour – Twisting Hard to the LEFT’ never happened because of the pandemic, but both men were determined to find a way to help get the vote out this fall. This became reality with this raucous, pitch-perfect cover of the Halloween classic ‘Time Warp’ from the legendary camp hit ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ as they assembled an amazing group of pals all doing the Time Warp again, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Silverman, John Waters, Jamie Lee Curtis, Karen O, Reggie Watts, Ezra Miller, Ilana Glazer, Phoebe Bridgers, John Heilemann, George Takei, Eric Andre, King Princess, Michael Peña, and Peaches. If you feel down, watch this rock-the-vote video… Proceeds from all the vinyl sales for the single will be donated to Rock-y The Vote.
Alaina Castillo – ¡párate! : A fuming hot video for this new single blending a Latino traditional flair with modern beats, electronica soundscapes, and Castillo’s fiery personality. The video also includes layering new images matching the rapid beat of each chorus, while Dia De Los Muertos imagery is sprinkled across the clip. ‘’Párate’ is a song that talks about overcoming challenges that you would usually want to avoid so for the music video, I wanted it to have a dark feel to it to as if you’re struggling in those moments of the song but then also incorporate little essences of beauty to remind us that we have to go through those dark moments to really appreciate any small amount of happiness or beauty we can get,’ said Alaina.
Tank and The Bangas – ‘To Be Real’: A unique bouncing and inventing mix of hip hop, reggae, jazz, soul, R&B, and fun… There’s something old-style about this song by Tank and The Bangas, that, at times, sounds like a cut from some forgotten remixed of ‘90s street hip hop and features vocal contributions from Hasizzle, Keedy Black, and Big Choo. The track appears on the band’s new EP, ‘Friend Goals,’ out on November 20 via Verve Forecast. ‘It feels so good to do a song that influences grew right out of our very own backyard in New Orleans. With artists like Hasizzle, Keedy Black, Big Choo, and Peter CottonTale, we cultivated a unique piece of work that feels homegrown because of these artists. Bounce music is so special to the people of New Orleans because we grew up with it. We shake a long day away and twerk like our ex is watching (lol), it’s time for us to bring it back and work with some special artists that only New Orleans can provide. This the one y’all,’ frontwoman and lead vocalist Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball says. Tank and The Bangas were nominated for a 2020 ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy.
Karen O. Willie Nelson – ‘Under Pressure’: An unexpected duo for this cover of the iconic David Bowie and Queen classic ‘Under Pressure.’ The energy of the original is tamed down and Karen O.’s melancholic voice blends with Willie Nelson’s rugged vocals while the music is delivered by Nick Zinner, Imaad Wasif, Johnny Hanson, background vocals by Priscilla Ahn, and the production by Dave Sitek. The release comes two days after the 39th anniversary of the original track’s release and was inspired by the looming presidential election. In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a political urgency in the song’s lyrics: ‘Pressure pushing down on me/Pressing down on you, no man ask for/Under pressure that burns a building down/Splits a family in two/Puts people on streets.’ ‘A friend on the board of NIVA asked if I knew of any country artists who could sign a letter to Congress asking them to help save independent venues from going extinct due to Covid,’ says Karen O. of the collaboration’s origin. ‘I recalled my buddy Johnny Knoxville being friends with Willie so I asked to see if he could check in with Willie about it, and then out of sheer audacity I added ‘and if he ever wants to do a duet I’m ready and willing!’‘Johnny came back with the news that the signature was in the works and Willie’s daughter Amy very supportively said ‘have her send him the song and he’ll sing on it!’ At this point, my mind was melting but I had to focus and pull a song out of the ether that was worthy of a living legend and spoke to the people in troubled times, not an easy assignment. Then like a bolt out of the blue ‘Under Pressure’ came to mind—I’ve heard this song countless times without processing the gravity of what Bowie and Freddie were singing about, maybe because their performances are so exhilarating you get swept away in the high of that duet. Our cover was meant to be more intimate but just as saturated with the power of love. I can’t listen to this song without tearing up every time Willie comes in, one of the purest voices which of course reflects a pure heart, and I get to sing alongside it. I never knew if it was actually going to happen but you must dare to dream. I hope the song brings as much light to the listener as it has to me in dark times.’
TRY, Sam I, Shmuck the Loyal – ‘Hyperspace’: An electronic track by the new project of Grammy-nominated DJ, music producer, composer, and music/film director Sam I (formerly known as Sam Spiegel) with electronic artist Schmuck the Loyal. It recently premiered during Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 12. It’s a repetitive disorienting piece with distorted pop choruses lost in a glitchy soundscape evoking summery giant electronica festival. You will have to listen to it without the crowd. Additionally, Sam I debuted a self-directed short film called ‘Heaven,’ starring acclaimed dancer Nevaeh Meraz and award-winning actress Catherine Keener alongside his latest single ‘Don’t Give Up,’ featuring Sia, Busta Rhymes, and Vic Mensa and can be found on his new album ‘Random Shit from the Internet Era’ (out now via Spectrophonic Sound). You can watch ‘Heaven’ here.
Kino Motel – ‘Waves’: A rough and strange song with dramatic strings, desolated harmonies, and spoken words, sprawling through the desert with the aesthetic of a film noir. This is a new song from the Melbourne-based grit-pop duo and it comes with a Kung fu-inspired video that forms the first of an adventurous series that will see Kino Motel take their action duo dreams around the globe. Shot in Thailand, the video features a rooftop Kung fu master, a villain with strange demands, and a journey through the gritty backstreets of Bangkok. ‘Sneaking around in a friend’s hotel we found an abandoned floor with a stage, and some kind of sex museum with these strange abandoned hallways, and were immediately like ‘this is where we shoot, the kung fu shots were done at 25 stories up with no guard rail, it was just take a wrong step and then it’s straight down so they really took some nerve to shoot. We spent the rest of the filming skulking around the back alleys of Bangkok, and took the entire final night to follow stray cats and dogs around until the sun came up,’ The band explained.
Public Enemy – ‘Public Enemy Number Won’: This is the latest visual for a track from their widely acclaimed new album ‘What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?’ The new lyric video features classic Def Jam-era footage of the artists as well as Beastie Boys’ Mike D and AD-Rock, and Run DMC. This is a return to the basics, the hip hop basics, during a time when we need Public Enemy’s message more than ever. Public Enemy also announced their support of Election Super Centers ‘Make History Here’ initiative. The non-partisan group has been working with local election authorities and more than 70 NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and MLS arenas and teams as well as prominent artists and athletes, to let communities know their local venues are open as polling locations, ensuring access to safe, socially-distanced voting at sports arenas across the country. ‘With less than a week to go before election day, we’re seeing record-breaking early voting numbers across the country, and this effort is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encourage voters to make their voices heard at their favorite sporting venues,’ notes Chuck D. ‘Every American deserves access to a ballot, and every vote counts.’ I could not agree more.
Bakar – ‘1st Time’: A new song from UK singer-songwriter Baker, who brings a laid-back indie rock vibe with plenty of energy and fun. The sound is a bit dreamy, but still very vibrant, while the artist calls his style ‘schizophrenic’ in interviews because of the way he bounces from electro-R&B to indie rock and hip-hop. This genre fluidity illustrates an influence from a melting pot of artists from Aaliyah to Foals to Gorillaz to early James Blake. Instead, to be pigeonhole, he seeks to ‘bridge the gap,’ and to ‘shatter any preconceptions people may have of his music.’