Jude Flannery, San Fermin, lund, Charlie Reed, Miya Folick, Up Is The Down Is The, and Plastic Harpoons are among these press releases for August.
Jude Flannery – “Don’t mind you asking”: A beautiful folk song slowly sprawling with breezy vocals and spacious harmonies, reminiscent of any ‘70s old classics. This is the second single off Philadelphia-based artist Flannery’s upcoming solo debut, “Quiet by your side” out on September 20. The album explores the themes of connection and expectation. Joined by primary collaborators Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Muzz) on drums/percussion and Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin, Light Heat) on bass and guitar, the record has a psychedelic folk-rock vibe. Additional collaborators include Robbie Bennett (The War on Drugs) on keyboards, Keir Neuringer (The Irreversible Entanglements) on saxophone, Zena Kay on pedal steel, and Annie Nero on backing vocals. The overall mix is warm and dynamic, a credit to the craft and production contributions of Barrick, who recorded and mixed the record, and Stoltzfus, who mastered the record at Philadelphia’s Silent Partner recording studio. Speaking on the track, Flannery wrote: “This is the first song I recorded with Matt and Quentin at Silent Partner studio. This song explores the idea that sometimes we can only hear and feel our way through moments. That feels very relevant to the times we are living through right now. This song expands on the palette of natural and warm sounds featured on other parts of the record. From Matt’s gentle and distinctive percussion to Quentin’s laid-back but uplifting bass groove, it creates space for a mix of other sounds, such as reflective piano notes by Robbie, calming vocal harmonies by Annie, and my occasional distorted baritone guitar.” On the track’s accompanying video, director Marc Zajack wrote: “The video for “Don’t mind you asking” explores the special feeling of going on a journey. Based on documentation from a time when our phones were less prominent in our lives, the video aims to reflect upon the moments where the natural connection is accentuated and embraced.”
San Fermin – “Someone You Call Baby”: Clear and melancholic vocals above beats, keys, and vibrating guitars for a quiet but poignant ballad, slowly building up into a powerful sonic moment. This is a song off San Fermin’s upcoming EP, “Your Ghost,” out on September 9 via Better Company Records. Speaking on their new track, bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone wrote: “Since Allen took over producing, my writing process has really changed. I wrote this one at the piano and it came out almost like a ballad, which I never usually write. The song had three distinct sections we really liked, but we couldn’t figure out how to piece it all together, till we finally landed on a version where the first half of the song is a relaxed acoustic guitar groove, which sets up this big cathartic build at the end. Allen and I argued about this one a lot, but often those end up being the best songs.” Vocalist Claire Wellin laments the distance that comes between friends over time: “Your friends moved to LA / I knew you’d never stay / And you became the made-for-TV version of yourself.” Her delivery is less accusatory than matter-of-fact; these desertions accumulate over the years, though it doesn’t make them any less painful. Only at the end of the song is there a moment of catharsis: “When you call him baby / I just can’t explain / You used to call me baby / Never be the same,” she repeats as guitars rise and swell behind her. The song comes with a lyric video Better Company Records, which songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone and vocalist Allen Tate formed in 2020, has since seen releases from Wye Oak, Wild Pink, Sorcha Richardson, Pure Bathing Culture, Daisy the Great, and more.
Lund- “Right This Time”: An Americana-inspired tune with lovely, soulful vocals, wobbling keys, and plaintive to punchy guitars. This is the titled track off Asheville-based singer/songwriter Nicole Lund’s forthcoming debut album, out on September 9. “I don’t know if you believe in this crap,” says lund, who recently had her tarot read. “But I drew the Hermit card, representing exploration and personal growth. He’s shining a light: Come on out of the shadows!” After a decade in the music business on the management and booking sides, the classically-trained singer has finally moved toward the light. “It was time,” she reveals. “Right This Time” was recorded with producer Tyler “The Falcon” Greenwell (Tedeschi Trucks Band) at Echo Mountain Studios and Sedgwick Studios in her adoptive hometown of Asheville. The album features original songs honed over her decades-long stint in New York City as a working musician, promoter, and manager. Written in collaboration with local artist Brandon Townsend — and additional contributions from guitarist Paul Olsen (Scrapomatic, Susan Tedeschi, Kristina Train) — lund’s soulful brand of Americana runs the gamut from punchy blues to plaintive weepers. Her band is a reflection of her eclectic tastes: Dave Yoke on guitar (Dr. John, Susan Tedeschi), Brandon Boone on bass (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Col. Bruce Hampton), and New Orleanian Isaac Eady (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Rhiannon Giddens) on drums. Lund’s musical journey actually started with a Music Industries Studies degree — with a concentration in vocal performance — from Appalachian State University. Suffice to say, she “knows her shit.” “My voice professor was an opera singer,” says lund with a grin. “I sang every spiritual I could to avoid opera.” Her passion and training are evident in the Nina Simone-derived psych-soul of “Don’t You Leave Me,” the grungy swirl of “Paper Tiger,” and her subtle self-harmonizing on the title track. On this eclectic stroll through American musical styles, lund’s clarion voice is the tie that binds. In the summer of 2020, with the pandemic on the rise and an album’s worth of rock-solid material in the tank, she realized how she could optimize her quarantine. The tricky dance of socially-distanced recording was well worth it. “I always felt like a late bloomer in life,” she reflects. “But now I know it’s all about timing.”
Charlie Reed – ‘Holding On’: A very Beatles-que tune: it’s difficult to ignore these George Harrison’s guitars and sweet vocals reminiscent of the Beatles’ most psychedelic era, although the song circles on itself without any real progression. Charlie Reed, a Chicago indie-rock supergroup composed of members Luke Trimble (Uh Bones), Colin Croom (Twin Peaks), Nick Beaudoin (Spread Joy), Nora Chin, Nolan Chin, Tyler Bixby (Spread Joy), and Justin Vittori (Diviño Niño), have released their debut album, “Eddy” via Earth Libraries. Trimble’s sterling falsetto and warm washes of guitar are bolstered in the latest iteration of the lineup by Twin Peaks’ Colin Croom on guitar and pedal steel, Divino Niño’s Justin Vittori on guitar, Nick Beaudoin on bass, Nolan Chin on piano and organ, Tyler Bixby on drums, and Nora Chin on backing vocals. To further expand the universe, the group added more drumming, violin, and viola in the studio, with engineer Andrew Humphrey assisting in the self-produced sessions. Throughout, the album thrives in that sweet spot of nostalgia for something that never existed, a paradox made strangely comfortable. Speaking on their new album and the inspirations behind it, Luke Trimble wrote: “I didn’t sit down with any particular theme in mind, but rather, I wrote the songs intuitively based on what I was feeling and experiencing over several years. But after putting the album together, I saw big themes of love, loss, and fear, all with this underlying anxiety that I feel all the time. I guess I’m trying to tell the story of what that’s like. The album title, Eddy, summarizes this feeling; getting stuck in cyclical thoughts and habits, but still participating and being an element in the vast ocean of life. I didn’t sit down with any particular theme in mind, but rather, I want it to feel somewhat classic or familiar but refreshing. I think the melodies are smart and will get stuck in your head but in a more melancholy way. I want it to feel honest and believable. The album was produced by a number of people. I had a lot of vision for the album and gave general guidance but allowed people a lot of freedom. We tracked the rhythm section first, bass, drums, and acoustic guitar with Andrew Humphrey. Then we pieced everything together. Some at my home and some in the studio, like strings and pedal steel.”
Miya Folick – “Nothing to See”: Lovely and acrobatic vocals over an elastic guitar swelling into a layered chorus. “This song is about falling in love with someone emotionally unavailable,” Folick says. “Someone whose feelings and desires were so obscured to me and themselves, that I had to become a detective. I studied their life for clues and tried to fit the role of the person I thought they’d like. Eventually, we broke up, and I realized that I’d lost the plot in my own life. My body and personality and life were so populated by the interests of this person, that once they were gone, there was nothing left to see. But, to me, this song isn’t bleak. I think there’s power in being brave enough to say, ‘I was made a fool by you.’” Her new EP, produced by Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Madi Diaz), is slated for release on September 9 via Nettwerk. The new track, with a video, follows initial offerings “Ordinary” and “Oh God,” her first new music in three years. Miya just played shows with Sir Chloe in L.A. and Years & Years in New York, following up recent dates with Lucy Dacus, Band of Horses, Ian Sweet, and more. Folick has also appeared twice recently at Los Angeles’ Largo, performing with both Meg Stalter and Friends and Fred Armisen and Friends in the last month. Additionally, Folick has confirmed a run of U.S. shows this fall, with stops in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco as well as an extensive tour across the UK/EU with Tove Lo in October and November. Folick will also teach a five-session songwriting workshop through School of Song, an online music school that has featured workshops by several acclaimed musicians including Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic), and more.
Up Is The Down Is The – “Memento”: A hazy song with disorienting jazzy guitars and touches of the Smiths, producing floating and dreamy soundscapes. This is a track off Boise-based alt-rock 4-piece’s upcoming album “Pulling The Wool,“ due on August 12 via Earth Libraries. As described by Andrew Martin: “This is a song where the title and conversation surrounding the song highly influenced the direction and lyrics. We are all huge Christopher Nolan fans and what started out as a joke became the song. We started with a groove in 6/4 and a dissonant chord progression based on Goldlink’s “U Say. This was a good example of all of us working together to arrange parts that have each person’s personality. It’s a hopeful song for being so dissonant. I love the synth bass in the chorus and the ending came out of improvising a transition into the next song on the record. The character in the song is looking at themselves (“a different pair of eyes staring back”) and talking to themselves and processing (“tables have turned” and “the more you try. The grip will tighten around you”). The end (“sooner or later you’ll find your way back to the start”) is directly referencing Nolan’s ‘Memento'”. The band will be playing an album release show at The Olympic in Boise, ID on August 13. Up Is The Down Is The was started in 2015 as a looping project inspired by Andrew Bird, Thom Yorke, Moses Sumney, and James Blake. After inviting more and more musicians to collaborate and expanding instrumentation, the project evolved into a 4-piece teetering on the edge between art rock, R&B, and electronic minimalism. In 2020, the group started writing music as a way of processing the isolation from the covid pandemic, and they’ve created their most innovative driving sound yet. Their upcoming album Pulling The Wool will be released in August 2022. Up Is The Down Is The is made up of Andrew Martin, Zach Sherwood (western daughter), Cameron Brizzee (western daughter), and Casey Cathy (Transistor Send).
Plastic Harpoons – “Gettysburg”: The power-pop sensibilities of the Black Lips, and a very catchy chorus wrapped in an Americana-style track with polished guitars. This is a track from their upcoming album, “Modern World” out on October 21 via Lolipop Records. On their new track, drummer Bij Firouzan wrote: “‘Gettysburg’ is one of those songs that over time became something other than what it was meant to be. Originally a folk song, I wrote it as a birthday gift for two twin brothers who were some of my closest friends that I met in college. It was our first year out and I was missing my life and friends of the last 4 years. I was living at home in Pittsburgh, and that day, the rain was coming down hard through the cold air. Fast forward a few years and their mother, who was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, unexpectedly passed away from a rare disease. In her memory, I dug the song back up and brought it to the band, who helped rework and update the musical arrangement and lyrics into what it is now. We wanted the energy to not be sad, but celebratory – that we are grateful for the memories of those no longer with us. Instrumentation-wise, it feels like this is where we are heading as a band. We would call it Indie Rock, with Americana and Pop influences.” Plastic Harpoons are a band from Santa Barbara, CA whose unique styling of Indie Rock incorporates elements of Classic Rock, Americana, and Pop. The 4-piece band was started when lead vocalist and songwriter, Taylor Casey, moved back home to Santa Barbara after 3 years of bouncing around Austin and NYC. He met up with lead guitarist Daniel Vasquez and the group was rounded out in 2019 with the addition of Sean Renken (Bass) and Bijan Firouzan (Drums). The laid-back So-Cal Indie Rock band has a variety of influences, including Dr. Dog, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Houndmouth. Bear Erickson, who mixed and mastered the band’s forthcoming album, said: “In times when people think the world is ending, Plastic Harpoons demonstrate that the story is just getting interesting. With vocals front and center that have something clear to say, this band brings me back to the feeling I experienced from the ’60s and ’70s rock bands. A genuine, honest, and artful take on life and all we go through. Blending the dual guitar, keys, bass, and drum kit sound of American Rock & Roll, Plastic Harpoons doesn’t just hint at places we’ve been but transports me straight back to when music sounded like humans in a room together, jamming riffs that they all enjoy. Somewhere between the no-frills, don’t bore us get to the chorus sound of Tom Petty, the thoughtful arrangements and wild solos of Queen, Plastic Harpoons have made one thing clear to me. My favorite thing about bands is following their journey as they grow and explore their art, and this first release from plastic harpoons has me hooked.”
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