Miya Folick, C M Talkington, Daydream Review, Collapsing Scenery, Annabel Lee, Zoon, and Sabina Sciubba are the artists among these press releases for January.
Miya Folick – “Get Out of My House”: A song rocking hard with a nervous drumbeat and triumphant vocals on the aggressive side, and banging their way through the entire song. This is the new single taken from vocalist, songwriter, and producer Miya Folick’s new album, “Roach,” set to be released on May 26 via Nettwerk. It comes alongside a visualizer by Noah Kentis. “‘Get Out of My House’ was one of the first songs I wrote for my second album,” Folick says. “It’s about a person, but it’s also about a certain bad habit and a certain bad feeling. ‘Get them all out of the house,’ is what I’m saying. It is absolutely an exorcism.” “Roach” is Folick’s clearest and most direct work yet, eschewing some of the lyrical and musical obfuscations she layered onto her 2018 debut album, “Premonitions.” With earworm melodies, heart-wrenching poetry, eclectic production, and anchored by Folick’s once-in-a-lifetime voice, “Roach” straddles a line between pop and something more experimental. She enlisted a team of collaborators who she trusted to bring out the grittier side of her artistry, including Gabe Wax (War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes), Mike Malchicoff (King Princess, Bo Burnham), Max Hershenow (MS MR) and team of some of LA’s best players. The result is an album that sounds as honest and intimate as the subject matter at hand, a candid snapshot of where she is now and what it took to get there.
C M Talkington – “Two Steps”: An authentic and old-school (in a very good way) country song delivered with sincerity and featuring Renée Zellweger on vocals. This is taken from C M Talkington’s latest work, an LP entitled “Texas Radio,” due March 17 via Birs Recordings. Speaking on the holistic upcoming record, Renée wrote: “I love this record. From the milestones that led to this moment on the triumphant side of healing.. the songs are an authentic and raw celebration of life and hope made in the great Austin tradition of gathering with friends to make music for the joy of it, and it feels like home. Roll the windows down. Find a long stretch of highway. Turn it up!” A lyric video comes with the song. “This record made me a dragonfly,” C M Talkington conveyed with gripping sincerity. He and his mother used to joke about how they were both dragonflies because they are the insects that take the longest to metamorphose, the greatest stretch of time to come into who they are meant to be. “Texas Radio” is a sacred part of that journey for Talkington, a spiritual art manifesto that acts as a point of arrival and departure. His life for the past three decades has led him to this album release through a series of events, encounters, and mystical synchronicities, but it is also just the beginning, as the album’s final track, “Let It Begin” suggests. The story of “Texas Radio “goes back as far as the 1930s when outlaw radio stations broadcasted revolutionary messages that transcended the border of Texas and Mexico. Groundbreaking music sizzled and sparked from the tops of those radio towers too, the bedrock genres of country, Tejano, soul, rock ’n’ roll, blues, gospel, and rockabilly. Those transmissions made their path through the ether to Jim Morrison, whose Doors song “The WASP (Texas Radio & The Big Beat)” took inspiration from those stations, and that song found its way to the ears of Scott Matthews, former Butthole Surfers drummer and Talkington’s best friend in 1987. With a wild look in his eye, Matthews declared that their band would be named Texas Radio. However, Talkington moved to Los Angeles in the nineties while Matthews remained on the East Coast, and Texas Radio settled into dormancy. Talkington started another band, The Furies, and eventually dove into filmmaking for about ten years. During this period, he wrote and directed the 1994 cult film, “Love and a .45” starring Gil Bellows, Renée Zellweger, and Rory Cochrane. Another thread was woven into the tale of Texas Radio, although that wouldn’t be apparent until years later. In the early 2010s, Talkington began to rise out of his personal desert, getting sober and writing songs on his black electric-acoustic Yamaha named Texcalibur. But a journey is never a straight line, but rather a series of paths we don’t expect to take. In 2019, while Talkington was working on his debut album, Not Exactly Nashville, he was afflicted with pain that only continued to worsen. After discovering he was extremely anemic right before the recording sessions, Talkington fought through the pain and fatigue to record, only to be met on the other side with the diagnosis: stage 3 colon cancer. In the wake of this discovery, threads from earlier in Talkington’s life began resurrecting while he stared death in the face. The night of his diagnosis, he was scheduled to reconnect with Zellweger over dinner. He didn’t discuss the diagnosis. As chemotherapy coursed through his veins, Talkington pursued Paul Leary, who he knew he was destined to collaborate with, connected by a shared drummer in Scott Matthews and a shared ex-girlfriend. And the morning after a major surgery left a cross-shaped scar across Talkington’s entire torso, Not Exactly Nashville was released to a world shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, the record jettisoned into the void. Each second of Talkington’s cancer treatment was intertwined with his music, his history, and the people brought into his life every step of the way. Through these threads, the Texas Radio band as it exists today was reborn, with Douglas Forrest, David Mabry, Kobie Baus, and Talkington convening at Wire Recording in Austin, Texas to record with Paul Leary as producer. Talkington said of his band, “Making this record was like coming home for me. I’m so blessed to be with these angels. Texas Radio wouldn’t exist if Douglas wasn’t my next-door neighbor in Echo Park. And because of this proximity, we’ve been playing together for over a decade. During that time, we’ve formed a really deep bond that manifests in our music. I adore playing and singing with Douglas. I completely lose myself. He’s such an amazing and essential artist. He weaves a unique cinematic aural texture into the songs, that transports them to a new dimension. Working with Douglas has taught me so much. I’ve known David Mabry since 1984 when I met him at Theater Gallery in Deep Ellum. He played in this really cool band called THE END. I thought he was a rock star then and I still do now. Dave’s one of my best friends. He also happens to be one of the most innovative, amazing, and creative artists I’ve known. He can play everything, just like Douglas. He’s pure magic on the drums, ‘spirit harp,’ cardboard box, and everything else too. Kobie’s the latest addition on bass. He’s a stellar young artist with amazing songs of his own. I’m thrilled that he was living in Austin and able to come to make magic with us. Texas Radio is more than a band. We’re a family. We’re all on a mission to improve the garden. I feel so blessed to finally make a record with these guys. It really was like coming home. Coming home to Texas. Coming home to Texas Radio. Coming home to my band of soul brothers.” Each session was blessed by old friends, the first by Philip Whiteman JR, Northern Cheyenne Traditional Chief, and the second by Shane Orthmann, a Galdraman Noadi (Icelandic sacred singer playing the Sami drum), bringing everyone onto the same wavelength so the experience of human magic could be summoned in that space. Zellweger joined the crew for vocals on “Two Steps,” a track described by Talkington as a “love song to my angel.” In these sessions, mostly captured live, Texas Radio’s swirling blend of western psychedelic soul emerged, which manifests as the fiery, electrified, and reverberating opener “Feed Your Soul” and the Love and a .45 inspired “Greenlight,” to the lilting campfire song “Milk Of Kindness” and the honky-tonk ghost waltz “Two Steps.” “It’s like driving through Texas and moving your way across the AM dial,” Talkington says of the Texas Radio sound. Everything that made the original outlaw stations powerful is embedded into the fabric of their music. As the Texas Radio recording sessions wrapped up, Leary said to Talkington, “Carty, you’ve done your state proud, and it doesn’t sound like either coast.” Texas Radio sounds like the state itself, and everything it stands for: finding allies in all places, igniting sparks of human magic, and broadcasting that magic as far as it can go. All that is left is for you to receive the transmission.
Daydream Review – “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?”: An atmospheric pop-psych track with ethereal, trippy, multi-layered instrumentation and vaporous-dreamy vocals. Chicago-based psych-pop multi-instrumentalist Elijah Montez, the frontman and sole songwriter of Daydream Review, has announced his kaleidoscopic debut LP “Leisure” due out April 7. Montez explains, “I had written roughly the first half of the song and was unsure where to take it, and I remember trying different things and talking to myself saying, “Have you figured it out? Have you found it?” Montez adds the theme of the track spoke to the broader themes of the project as a whole, “The overarching theme of the song fits quite well in the context of the album–being dissatisfied with work, dissatisfied with the state of the world, and dissatisfied with capitalism at large, and searching for something that can fill in the void that all that dissatisfaction leaves.” Speaking to the production and cyclical pattern of its rhythm, Montez says, “I think that’s reflected in the sonic quality of the song, this repetition and cycling through your thoughts and having that “a-ha” moment, where you realize you’re looking for something that may not come.” “Leisure,” out this spring, is Daydream Review’s debut full-length studio album featuring his most realized work to date. Over thirteen chromatic, experimental tracks, the artist’s airy production and thoughtful, existential lyricism transport listeners to a fresh sonic universe that pushes the boundaries of modern psychedelic pop. Diving deeper into the album’s meaning, Daydream Review explains, “‘Leisure’ is about the ever-present tension between the desire for free time, for personal enjoyment and leisure, and the demands that capitalistic society places on those desires, and how it restricts the ability to enjoy that free time. Your job and work, to me, seem to be consistent specters that haunt your ability to enjoy your free time, knowing that those demands are always awaiting you when your free time comes to an end.” It is this balancing act that informed much of the album creation and its themes. The artist continues, “Leisure, as a concept, became something almost otherworldly and that much more desirable, something you dream about when you have so much time funneled into work, and the repetitive act of balancing those two ends up being something almost hypnotic, and I tried to channel all of that into the sonic qualities of the album.”
Collapsing Scenery – “Gold Rush”: An exotic and layered composition with an intriguing melody, sweet vocals, and an overall hopeful vibe. This sounds quite different from what I remember of the experimental band Collapsing Scenery, the meeting of two fertile and febrile minds, Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. On March 10, the duo will release their new album “A Desert Called Peace,” following their acclaimed “Stress Positions and the Acid Casual” EP which was released last year. On their first single, “Gold Rush,” the band says, “‘Gold Rush’ approaches the climate and biodiversity crises with gimlet-eyed nihilism. It’s a cri de coeur of apocalyptic joy, borne of hopelessness.” “A Desert Called Peace” is a collection of songs written and recorded over the last three deeply strange and unsettled years. The songs encompass crises both global and personal. The title of the album is adapted from Tacitus’ account of the possibly apocryphal Caledonian chieftain Calgacus and his legendary critique of Roman conquest: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a desert, they call it peace. The album features appearances from Avalon, L’espiral, RugiRugz, and the reggae legend Tippa Lee. Its sound encompasses dancehall, techno, post-punk, brit-pop, darkwave, industrial, free jazz, and funk/soul. The lyrics address topics ranging from Catholic integralism and the so-called ‘New Right’, to the strange interregnum between the death of one era and the birth of the next, to the ways in which our technologies mold us. Collapsing Scenery straddles the gaps between music, art, film, and politics, seamlessly moving between each with the same ease at which they traverse the globe, soaking up experiences and immersing themselves in different cultures. Since they formed in 2013 “under a pall of paranoia and disgust” they haven’t stopped moving. Recent collaborations include Jamaican dancehall legend Ninjaman, Beastie Boys producer/collaborator Money Mark, and no-wave pioneer James Chance. The band also has remixes out or on the way from Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux), Uniform, Youth Code, Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), and more.
Annabel Lee – “Los Angeles”: A devastating track with soaring vocals filling the vast soundscape with larger-than-life emotions. It builds to expose the deepest parts of Annabel where she falls victim to her own weaknesses. “Los Angeles is a song I wrote at my rock bottom,” Annabel reveals. “It’s the true story of leaving an eight-year relationship, living out of my car, escaping all the way into all of my vices, and entering the darkest mental space I’ve ever experienced. I guess it felt easy to blame the city where it all happened, but this place can really feel like it has a personal vendetta against you. It’s the feeling of that Winston Churchill quote–‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’” This is a song taken from Los Angeles-based alt-rocker Annabel Lee’s debut album “Mother’s Hammer,” due out March 8. The most delicate and heart-wrenching song on the forthcoming LP, it is the comfort to which every hopeless creative can empathetically cry along. With a pulsating soundscape like an unstable heartbeat, the track lifts and falls as a trepid exhale. Written mostly while in quarantine in 2020, “Mother’s Hammer” gave Annabel Lee time to reflect on the preceding years which were some of the hardest of her life. After a cross-country move to pursue music, Lee found herself in challenging situations, from struggling with addiction and running out of money to ending an eight-year relationship that left her without a place to live. It was from this profound hardship that an incredibly intimate, expansive body of work emerged. Diving into the subject matter, Lee shares, “Some of the stories on the album relate to being strung along by vampires in the industry. Being mistreated and taken advantage of. Fumbling around trying to fall in love and staying numb at every turn. Grieving the loss of friends, gone much too soon, and trying to see the silver linings but losing hope. Being 3,000 miles from anyone that actually knew me. It was a very dark and informative time.” Over 11 compelling tracks, Annabel paints a realistic portrait of the human experience that never hesitates to confront even the grimmest aspects of her life. Conversely, Annabel matches these darker emotions with joyous moments, shining a bright light on womanhood with gritty, fiery energy as she finds her own strength and begins to fully trust herself. The music meets her where she is, putting both her artistry and humanity on full display like never before. All songs were written by Annabel Lee and produced and recorded by Justin Glasco. It was mixed by Ryan Lipman and mastered by Jett Galindo at Bakery Mastering. All vocals are also by Annabel Lee and instrumentation is by Lee and Glasco.
Zoon – “A Language Disappears”: A fuzzy, hazy psych-pop track with an enchanting vibe à la Panda Bear, reinforced by the colorful video shared with it. The track additionally features Andrew McLeod (Sunnsetter), Zoon’s drummer, on supporting vocals. Zoon (Zoongide’ewin), the musical project fronted by songwriter Daniel Monkman, has announced their triumphant return with a forthcoming sophomore LP entitled “Bekka Ma’iingan,” due April 28 via Paper Bag Records. Zoon’s evolution continues to gather momentum since the release of their universally acclaimed 2020 debut “Bleached Wavves.” “Bekka Ma’iingan” is an astonishing sonic landscape that will surprise and transport listeners. To create the full-length album, Monkman sought Polaris Music Prize inaugural winner Owen Pallett to compose sweeping string arrangements, then performed by the FAMES Orchestra. Grammy-nominated Michael Peter Olsen, a regular in Zoon’s live band, played on the new record as did Zoon’s drummer Andrew McLeod (Sunnsetter). Grammy Award-winning Mark Lawson mixed the album, and in a burst of creative collaboration, after meeting in Montreal, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo played on the album track “Niizh Manidoowig (2 Spirit).” “A Language Disappears” is a mesmerizing journey, teleporting fans into a colorful and immersive 3D animated universe directed by Shawn Chiki, a Tkaronto-based multimedia sculptor and architecture professor at the University at Buffalo known for using virtual reality to sculpt imaginative and complex worlds. The video follows an endearingly lumpy Indigenous character as they transcend through a massively dense and lush VR-sculpted forest atop a giant Turtle Island. Monkman drew the video’s main character in a collaborative session of VR sculpting with Shawn Chiki, allowing them the opportunity to represent themselves and honor their own personal experiences with body dysmorphia, a theme central to the song and Bekka Ma’iingan as a whole. The video’s visual style is both crude and sophisticated, inspired by the early days of CGI while taking cues from Anishinaabe painters like Daphne Odjig, Christi Belcourt, Jim Oskineegish, and Norval Morrisseau, and integrating subtle references in the details present at each scale of the from the macro to the micro. As Monkman wrote on the track itself: “‘A Language Disappears’ touches on a common experience among Indigenous people: the fear of your language is forgotten. This was something I started to fear when I became a Born Again Indian in my late 20s. For a lot of native folks, we’re taught to hide our identity, to keep us safe from the outside world. Somewhere along a native person’s journey, they start to ask questions about their heritage and where they come from.”
Sabina Sciubba – “Adam”: Exotic tempo for a song with some Velvet Underground/Nico accents and sung by Brazilian girl Sabina Sciubba. The track is the first off a new album Sciubba is currently at work on, set for release in Spring, 2023. “This song was the first we recorded,” says Sciubba. “It was meant to be a demo, but we ended up loving it so much that we kept it exactly as it was. One take. All recorded together in one room, even the drums.” “It’s a conversation between Eve and Adam, about ten years after their divorce,” says Sciubba. “There’s still friction, about the story of the apple and all, but there’s also nostalgia about love and romance, of trust and believing that one was made for the other.” The accompanying video features an animation of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1531 painting “Adam and Eve in Paradise (The Fall).” In Sciubba’s reimagining Adam and Eve dance to the beat, embrace, separate, embrace again, and eventually depart Eden. Sciubba found both critical acclaim and a loyal following as founder and lead vocalist/producer of the group Brazilian Girls, a genre-bending, multi-lingual (Sciubba is of German and Italian descent) and internationally beloved outfit that received a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic Record for their 2008 album New York City. Sciubba went on to release two full-length solo records, “Toujours” and “Force Majeure,” in addition to acting alongside Zach Galifianakis in the critically acclaimed series Baskets. “I’m an explorer by nature,” Sciubba says. “So after each record, I’m ready to try something new.”
Single by Single review Of Paul McCartney’s The 7″Singles Box Reviewed
a master of melody and less so a master of genre
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1985 (Volume 17, Number 2)
Bill Holdship’s piece on Prince is excellent
Going Steady: New Singles 3-17-23 – 3-23-23 Reviewed
it is like a change in the drill direction
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1985 (Volume 17, Number 1)
Creem, at this point, seemed to be looking for new feeding hands to bite.
US Top Ten Albums Tracking 3-10-23 – 3-16-23
a potential top album of the year.
Dawes At Beacon Theatre, Saturday, March 18th, 2023, Reviewed
Refreshingly honest and considerate
Sneak Peaks: Upcoming New Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23
can they survive an entire album?