Art d’Ecco, Eric Schroeder, Catcher, EELS, David Byrne & Yo La Tengo, Guy Blue, Moonchild are among these press releases for January.
Art d’Ecco – “Good Looks”: A driving rhythm section, ‘80s new wave synths with a touch of ‘70s glam, confident vocals all together build a punchy song with a swagger vibe. The track comes with a video, explained by the band: “I was thinking of how the analog way of dating — ‘I’ll introduce you to my friend, I think you’ll like each other!’—or how certain ways of engaging in entertainment need not apply in the future. We’ve got technology that we can offload all of those things to — like, I can see whatever I want, whenever I want, and if I want to go on a date with someone who’s got black hair and brown eyes and is 5’10, I can find that in this little app. And I just feel that you’re leaving so much of the human experience on the table when you do that. I find the whole modern way of dating and meeting people to be a bit vapid and superficial, so I wanted to take a shot at that.” Their new LP, “In Standard Definition,” released via Paper Bag Records, is a concept album about entertainment. Like channels on an old television set – each song presents an episodic look into this world, our obsession with celebrities, and the power they hold over us. Joining forces with producer/engineer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, New Pornographers, Destroyer) in ocean-side studio The Hive, “In Standard Definition” sees d’Ecco packing his heftiest punch yet. Through Stewart’s vintage set up, a decoupage of authentic sounds was recorded to 2-inch tape on a 50- year-old console, forming a musical reflection of the era it evokes.
Eric Schroeder – “Be Alone”: A hooky and hard-rocking track which effortlessly blends psychedelia-infused alt-rock and classic country-folk while talking about the fear of loneliness. The song comes from “The Crucifixion of Eric Schroeder” released via Earth Libraries. On his third album, Schroeder shows his expanded songwriter abilities, exploring the roots of country, folk, and rock and roll, while taking on the role of the bandleader during the recording process vs his more singular role as a solo artist on previous albums. “Half of the songs were written on a month-long writing spree, while the others were picked from a back catalog of three months’ worth of music.,” he says. “This album is intended to be as deep in its country and folk roots just as it is deep in rock and roll music, while still never completely one or the other. These are some of the best character narratives I have written and also some of my most personal and transparent songs. This album was inspired by my addition of an electric band to my songs. It had an influence on me to try and write songs that sounded more suitable for a band and to write songs that were simpler in terms of the music itself. My biggest inspiration is the self-doubt and self-depreciation that forces me to write more songs and to a higher and different quality.”
Catcher – “Comparing Saviors and Friends”: A strong fuzz behind aggressive guitars, sludge-y bass, and angry-morose vocals by Austin Eichler. The song is as dramatic as it is somber, drawing on New York’s rich post-punk heritage along with echoes of UK peers like the Fall. The song comes with a video, and the band should release its debut album in 2022. Catcher is a Brooklyn-based post-punk band with a reputation for visceral and powerful live performances, as they have drawn comparisons to Iceage and Protomartyr. They deliver music with driving and inundating low-end, provided by childhood friends Cameron McRae and Wilson Chestney, on bass and drums respectively. Guitarists Jack Young and Christian Reech interweave melodies and noise to create an environment that manages to be at once both bleak and moving, desolate but hopeful, violent but tender. Vocalist Austin Eichler commands listeners with a domineering and chaotic presence. From drawling croons to powerful screams, Austin’s narrative lyrics invoke a wide spectrum of emotion while creating a world of their own. Through endless hours of practice and work, the band has crafted a gripping and tight live performance and a growing international fanbase.
EELS – Amateur Hour”: Another straight rocker that barely lets the peculiar sound of the EELS filter through the bluesy guitars and the driving tempo. They used to be quite melancholic, but the tone is very upbeat and fun here. The track is from the band’s upcoming 14th full-length album “Extreme Witchcraft,” due January 28 via PIAS/E Works Records. E (a.k.a. Mark Oliver Everett) co-produced “Extreme Witchcraft” with PJ Harvey producer and guitarist John Parish, marking the first time the two have recorded together since 2001’s “Souljacker” album. “Amateur Hour” follows the singles “The Magic,” “Good Night On Earth” and “Steam Engine,” which have received extensive critical praise from The New York Times and many press outlets.
David Byrne & Yo La Tengo – “Who Has Seen the Wind?”: David Byrne’s beautiful vocals with Yo La Tengo’s magical backing vocals and soothing instrumentation. The cover has fleshed up the original with a whimsical vibe and a peaceful ambiance. The cover is part of a compilation, “Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono,” also featuring covers by Death Cab For Cutie, Sudan Archives, We Are KING, Amber Coffman, Japanese Breakfast, Sharon Van Etten, Deerhoof, US Girls, Jay Som, Thao, The Flaming Lips, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields). Imagined and curated by Benjamin Gibbard (lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Death Cab for Cutie), the album features 14 all-new versions of Ono’s tracks, celebrating the extraordinary work of multimedia artist-singer-songwriter-activist Yoko Ono. The album will arrive on Friday, February 18, via Canvasback Music/Atlantic Records/Chimera Music, coinciding with the artist’s 89th birthday. A portion of the proceeds from this album will be donated to WhyHunger, a non-profit organization Yoko Ono has supported for decades in their efforts to transform our food system by building social justice and striking at the root causes of hunger and poverty. Of her legacy, project curator Benjamin Gibbard exclaims: “Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible.” ‘Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono’ was born out of both love and frustration,” Gibbard continues. “The ‘love’ part is pretty obvious; It is the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration and enjoyment Yoko Ono’s music has provided me and I must assume everyone else present here on this compilation. The ‘frustration’ part, on the other hand, goes back decades. As an advocate, the tallest hurdle to clear has always been the public’s ignorance as to the breadth of Yoko’s work. To put it into context; This is an artist whose output has run the gamut from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often across a single album. For years, it has been my position that her songwriting has been criminally overlooked. She has consistently created melodies as memorable as those of best pop writers. As a lyricist, she has always written with poignance, sophistication, and deep introspection. Some of her best songs have been covered and compiled here by a generation-spanning group of musicians for whom her work has meant so much. It is my sincere hope that a new crop of Yoko Ono fans fall in love with her songwriting due in some small part to this album we have put together.” Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono will be accompanied by an exclusive podcast, hosted by Gibbard and veteran music journalist Jenny Eliscu and featuring in-depth discussions of Ono’s music and legacy with many of the artists featured on the new album.
Guy Blue – “No Vision”: A strange soundscape, oscillating between the glitchy electronic visions of EDM and flashes of indie rock, while the blurry vocals are almost translating a malaise. This is the new single of Guy Blue’s forthcoming debut EP, “Arms Wide,” to be released June 3. Guy Blue is the music project of Brooklyn-based songwriter and producer Jack Ladd, who, in this single, creates a character tormented by self-destructive urges, somewhere between Stephen Malkmus and Tony Soprano. This tension is reflected in the sonic texture, an incongruous patchwork of guitars, drums, and samples, haphazardly stitched together and fraying. Ghostly International’s Chester Raj Anand (aka Lord Raja) lends production, making this beat-driven track feel like the most fun panic attack you’ll ever have. Speaking on the track, Ladd wrote: “I wrote ‘No Vision’ when I was knowingly making a lot of bad decisions in my life. I was trapped in a self-destructive loop, and that spiraling momentum definitely found its way into the track. I think it’s a story a lot of people will relate to. We’re all compelled by destructive urges that have real consequences for those around us. There’s a reference to Tony and Carmela Soprano in the track. In the Sopranos, we see the horrifying consequences of Tony’s impulses, and yet he’s still an incredibly compelling and relatable character. I think it’s because seeing those darkest desires played out allows us to reflect on our own urges and actions. I hope the track accomplishes something similar.”
Moonchild – “Tell Him”: A smooth soundscape featuring Lalah Hathaway’s sultry vocals over beats and a relaxing R&B ambiance. This is the latest single from Moonchild’s (Amber Navran, Andris Mattson, and Max Bryk) upcoming album, “Starfruit,” out on February 11. The song explores the point in a relationship where words become lost on a partner. With the lyrics “a kiss takes the power from your lips”, Amber and Lalah muse over the way words lose their impact when you get close to someone; “sometimes you just have to call their friend and say, ‘hey, you tell them’” Amber adds. Alongside the extensive list of featured artists on ‘Starfruit’, (Rapsody, Tank and The Bangas, Ill Camille, Mumu Fresh, Chantae Cann, and Josh Johnson) the release sees Moonchild experimenting with new synths and sounds. While still rooted in their trademark tones, these textures and sound palettes elevate ‘Starfruit’ to new and impressive Moonchild musical territory. “Max has this arpeggiator synth patch that makes me so happy, Amber incorporated this cool octave pedal patch on her vocals, and I made a keyboard patch I’m obsessed with,” Andris remarks. Moonchild have collaborated and toured with highly respected names from across music including Kamasi Washington, Stevie Wonder, The Internet, Jill Scott, have been compared to the likes of Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei and built up a host of iconic supporters from Robert Glasper (who has collaborated with Amber on his own projects) and Laura Mvula to James Poyser, Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, and Tyler, The Creator.
took another iteration away from the hippies before young America caught up with him again
the legendary movie composer and sometimes popster
Several prominent rappers have signed a letter
.“Never Gonna Say Goodbye” is as touching as brushing against the wings of an Angel.
sure we are well sick of “Easy On Me”
finest sustained moments
looks like a crazy intense day
Gunna: 150,300, Abel: 148,000: it amounts to a statistical error
the police owe us an explanation.
sex and skills level the playing field