Calling Cadence, Interesting Hobbies Club, The Furniture, Warpaint, Night Shop, Work Wife, Lily Donat are among these press releases for February.
Calling Cadence – “Just the Way It Goes”: An upbeat hooky song with wobbling keys, bright horns, back-up harmonies, and a determined voice, while finding its inspiration between pop, rock, country, and even soul. It’s old school, even classic-sounding and sunny. Fronted by Oscar Bugarin and Rae Cole, and backed by a wrecking crew of LA musicians, Calling Cadence is a band rooted in harmony — harmony between voices, between songwriters, between genres like rock, country, and Southern soul. The result is a sound that’s as warm and diverse as the duo’s native California, where Oscar and Rae first crossed paths. “Just The Way It Goes” is a revenge song for anyone who has ever been ghosted, in addition to being a lament on modern-day dating. Oscar was listening to a lot of Motown and Sam Cooke when this song came about. “Oscar brought this song to the group and described it as a slap in the face for people who ghost other people,” Rae told Folk n’ Rock magazine. “We only jammed on the song a couple of times before he brought it to the studio. Once he got it going, everyone was super stoked on it, and we had to add it to the album. It was also a new experience watching Oscar in front of a mic without a guitar, but he killed it.” Their self-titled debut album will be out this spring on Hi-Res Records.
Interesting Hobbies Club – “Wednesday”: A drunken tune delivered with plenty of passion and abandon, dreamy layers of guitars peaking to intense solos, and going through a collection of rapid change of emotions and moods. Frontman and songwriter Jules Caspole brings an intense, yet sensitive howl to the chorus of “Wednesday,” a song about drinking and its associated woes, from the band’s new album “Spring Cleaning.” The project marks a transition from the dreamy indie-folk the band explored in their debut album, “The State of Being Here,” to a more riff-heavy, catchy indie rock. “Spring Cleaning” was composed and recorded in Los Angeles over Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Featuring vocals, lyrics, and songs written by frontman Jules Caspole, the album is not afraid to rely on just guitar, piano, and voice. Following in the footsteps of many garage rock artists before them, the album is entirely self-produced by drummer Max Young. Nearly every track was recorded in his garage, using whatever methods were available. Microphones were hung up on bungee cords, blankets were draped over Jules and his microphone for a makeshift vocal booth, and noise complaints were received for loudly mixing the album in Jules’ cramped Eagle Rock apartment. Featuring new lead guitarist Chris Wells in place of Parker Capp, Interesting Hobbies Club is bringing their unforgettable live performances to Los Angeles and beyond, promoting live music, good vibes, and “Spring Cleaning.”
The Furniture – “Set to Quiver“: With gently pulsating percussion, indigenous flutes, drones, ambient synths, slowly added beats, the song builds a cinematic tension that could be the soundtrack of an enigmatic movie. For Michael Kuhl and Matthew Pierce, their new project, The Furniture, celebrates free form spontaneity, yet arrives from a deep-rooted understanding of one another. The Furniture is the pair’s debut album, being released through Cigarettes After Sex’s refreshed label Spanish Prayers and is a meditative trip through amorphous drones, rolling drums and haunting atmospheres. Although it came together in just one two-hour session together, the genesis has a greater history, having played together in various touring bands both in Baltimore and abroad. “Making a record-free form can be a little risky. It’s not guaranteed that the creative forces that are summoned will show up,” said the duo. “But when they do, it can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of recording, in the way that each time you go back and listen, it can take you to a place or an emotion yet to be discovered.” “Really, it was about surrendering to the moment,” the pair say. “We came into this album with open minds. We relied on our history of working together to create spontaneous compositions.” The Furniture is playing a headlining set at Union Pool in New York, NY on February 5, with Midnight Sun (solo) supporting.
Warpaint – “Champion”: Shimmering intertwined vocal harmonies, slow tempo, layered guitars, and a dreamy, glowing soundscape for this new Warpaint song, the single from their first full length in six years. “Being a champion to oneself and for others,” the band says of the new track. “We are all in this together, life is too short not to strive for excellence in all that we do.” In the six years since 2016’s much-lauded Heads Up, Warpaints four members—Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Stella Mozgawa, and Theresa Wayman—have been busy living. Babies, jobs, tours, solo albums, intercontinental and cross country moves all became priorities, presenting mounting logistical challenges to getting the band back together, as they say, and allowing a little space to think “what if we didn’t?” Eventually, though, each of the women found themselves drawn inexorably back together. Warpaint is as much a home for them as a band, having been together for nearly 20 years. They had just completed the foundational tracking sessions with co-producer Sam Petts-Davies (Thom Yorke, Frank Ocean, Skullcrusher) when the pandemic hit, and they were forced to retreat to respective safety. What followed was the making of a wholly different Warpaint album. Physically separated by the pandemic, each musician recorded her parts separately—often in makeshift home studios—before sending on to the next, creating songs layer by layer. Deciding to delay the release until they could tour allowed them to further hone each track, spending more time building and rebuilding than they had in the past. The result is a body of work that is sharper and more focused than any of their previous, each song as tight, beguiling, and proud as a diamond. “I was saying the other day that we should’ve called this album “Exquisite Corpse”, but it was already taken,” jokes Emily Kokal (guitar, vocals), referring to the title of the band’s debut EP. “Radiate Like This” captures what’s always been the magic of Warpaint—the delicate interplay of four separate parts coalescing in motion—while somehow allowing everyone to shine a little brighter. “Radiate Like This” will be out May 6.
Night Shop – “Let Me Let It Go“: A joyful and catchy tune with a foot-tapping tempo, Bright-Eyes-esque horns, and slightly dragging vocals à la Dylan. If this reminds you a bit about Kevin Morby, it’s probably because Justin Sullivan (aka Night Shop) is best known for playing drums for Kevin Morby, in addition to playing with Flat Worms and The Babies. The Divine Comedy-inspired song is an exuberant rave-up that sets its early rock-and-roll rhythms and shining horn arrangements to a “meditation on courtly love”, referencing the moment when Dante saw his muse Beatrice in the town square. “A journey to hell, the pursuit of art, the Shangri-Las, and finding peace in what is, not how we think things should be,” Sullivan says. The track is the third single off the forthcoming LP, “Forever Night,” which features Meg Duffy on guitar (Hand Habits), Jess Williamson, Anna St. Louis + Jarvis Taveniere (Woods/Purple Mountains), and is engineered by Jarvis Taveniere, and co-produced by Justin and Jarvis. And while “Forever Night” is clearly his most realized work and the sound of a songwriter fully coming into his own, it’s this sense of the continuum of working with others that Sullivan says is the through-line that defines all of his endeavors: “This is a special album to me but it is also merely part of the continued joy of making music with my friends. If we’re still here, after all these years, then we’re very, very lucky. So, let’s enjoy it, and let’s do it to honor those who couldn’t make it to this day, for whatever reason. Let’s not take it for granted.”
Work Wife – “Creases”: A delicate and melancholic pop song showcasing pure and vulnerable vocals over a simple fingerpicking guitar building tension. This is the third single by Brooklyn-by-way of Seattle indie-pop artist Work Wife, a track about the tension between prioritizing your partner and yourself. Stripped down and radically honest, “Creases” is a tender bedroom pop track that sees songwriter Meredith Lampe coming to terms with the challenges and distance that come with dating an artist and accepting that their art will always be their priority. “Creases” is a more lo-fi love song, meant to encapsulate the intimacy revealed through its lyrics, unraveling the tension and distance inherent to loving an artist. In the song, Lampe takes the form of a bystander in her partner’s love affair, as she watches from afar and muses “but those creases near your eyes are not for me / If I was your muse, they would be,” realizing that her partner’s art will always be the main love, the main priority, and something that one can never be totally a part of. Taking place in her hometown of Seattle, the music video for “Creases” was filmed on the ferry line that runs to Bainbridge Island in Washington State. On the video, Lampe says, “I spent a lot of time on those ferries growing up in Seattle, going on field trips and weekend vacations from the city, so being on the ferry is really nostalgic for me. It’s also the first place I take people when they visit my hometown, which is how I ended up there with Justin Buschardt when he came to visit. Being a documentarian, he naturally films everything, and spontaneously shot the video on the spot without telling me what it was for. He sent it to me for my birthday a month later before I’d officially started Work Wife, and I’ve been looking forward to releasing it for this project ever since. I actually recorded this song on the same island off the coast of Seattle that the ferry we recorded the music video on runs to, which was a complete coincidence,” she continues. “I’d been quarantining on Bainbridge the summer prior, having just flown in from New York, and was getting ready to move in with a pod of friends in Seattle who kept pretty strict covid precautions. It just so happened that a good friend’s house on Bainbridge was vacant when I flew in, so I lived on the island for a couple of weeks alone in that house to quarantine. Feeling really inspired by the nature of Bainbridge, and having lots of time for introspection, I wrote and recorded ‘Creases’ in one sitting, sitting on my friend’s childhood bed in that island house. I went back and forth with Digo Best (Tessatura Studio) on production for this song for a long time. We got drums recorded and put a bunch of guitars and synths and stuff on it, and re-recorded all of the vocals, but couldn’t get it to have the right feeling, so eventually I decided to put out the original recording I’d made, as it’s the only one that captures the feelings from that time.”
Lily Donat – “How It Feels”: An airy and soaring folk-tinged track centered around Lily’s raw emotion and melodic voice. The whimsical, victorious pop song invites you to open yourself up, look forward, and celebrate the beauty in everyday life, even see the good after once thinking such an outlook was impossible. Written and sung by Lily Donat, the song outlines feelings of hope brought on by day-to-day beauty and the idea that such feelings of uplift can only signify a deeper level of freedom from things that once felt inescapable and permanent. Produced by Stefan Man, “How It Feels” is a shining, folk-pop anthem that promises the best revenge is peace. Lily Donat is a Los Angeles native and long-time songwriter. At age 11, Lily learned to play acoustic guitar and began composing songs instantly. She has always found healing through writing and singing music about her real life. Laden with symbols, images of nature, personal narrative, themes of darkness and hope, her songs are the pages of her diary she’s willing to share. Inspired by pain, growth, nostalgia, love, heartbreak, and all things human, Lily likes to write the messy truth.
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