Hrishikesh Hirway, Lizzy McAlpine, Teddy Grossman, Bear’s Den, PLOSIVS, Chayse Porter, Chris Garneau are the artists among these last press releases for January.
Hrishikesh Hirway – “Home”: A quiet, soothing, and delicate ballad with dreamy vocals and a large touch of warm nostalgia featuring plenty of sentimental strings and Jay Som on vocals. The self-directed video shows portraits of real couples who have spent decades together. The track is the second single from Hirway’s forthcoming EP, due later this spring, following the track “Between There and Here” featuring Yo-Yo Ma. Acclaimed musician and Song Exploder host/creator Hrishikesh Hirway produced the song with additional production by Grammy-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Moses Sumney) who also mixed it. “‘Home’ was written a year after the pandemic started, and about 6 months after my mother passed away,” says Hirway. “Except for the week I traveled for her funeral, I had spent the entirety of the previous 13 months with my wife in the small house we’d lived in for the past 8 years. I associate so much of the joy and disappointment and pain and contentment that we experienced with the places where I was at the time, but we carry all of it with us. I wanted to write a song about all of that: an ode to my wife and the life we’ve lived together; to the homes we’ve lived that life in; and to the home we still hope to find someday. I got Jay Som’s recording about 5 months after writing the song initially, and hearing those words through her voice, too, made it finally feel complete.” Hirway is also set to team up with Jenny Owen Youngs this spring for select dates of music and storytelling. They’ll be on stage together, doing one combined set of all their songs, performing as a duo. Jenny and Hrishikesh have collaborated as co-writers on several songs and are both storytellers, as hosts of popular, award-winning podcasts: Hrishikesh with Song Exploder, The West Wing Weekly, and Home Cooking; and Jenny with Buffering the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars Investigations. These special performances will be a mix of songs and stories from two dear friends; find tickets HERE.
Lizzy McAlpine – “all my ghosts”: A catchy mid-tempo pop song with a certain temper and alluring vocal harmonies, released alongside this accompanying and romantic video. Directed by Gus Black (Phoebe Bridgers, Sheryl Crow), the video marks McAlpine’s latest visual entry in what will culminate in a short film incorporating her previously released videos for “erase me” and “doomsday.” This is a song from “five seconds flat” her forthcoming album, set for release on April 8 on Harbour Artists & Music / AWAL Recordings. The new music finds McAlpine stepping into her own as an artist, building on her past while looking toward the future. “I want to give my fans something different with each record because I’m different each record,” notes McAlpine. “I want to always be growing and moving forward as an artist.” Predominantly produced by Philip Etherington and Ehren Ebbage, the 14-track album was recorded in Eugene, OR, and at The Laundry Pile in Los Angeles. “five seconds flat,” which takes a bold new direction thanks to her evocative lyrics, also includes contributions from Grammy-Award winners FINNEAS and Jacob Collier as well as Ben Kessler and Laura Elliot. McAlpine is also set for an extensive run of North American tour dates with dodie, kicking off in early February.
Teddy Grossman – “Giving Up”: A soulful track executed in the tradition of the classics, with gospel backing vocals, a sax solo, quite reminiscent of the melodies of Otis Redding or Bill Withers. The track will be featured on Grossman’s forthcoming debut solo full-length “Soon Come” due out on March 11. “Giving Up” charts a pathway through the heart of American roots and soul music by channeling a universal frustration of unrequited love. “I wrote this song towards the end of a brief, unrequited love affair – poking a little fun at me and my bruised ego,” Grossman told Under the Radar Magazine. “I was listening to Blake Mills’ Dylan cover ‘Heart of Mine’ at nauseam at the time, and Bob’s ethos of avoiding any shred of vulnerability definitely found its way into the song.” With only a handful of songs out to date, Grossman has come out of the gates swinging with over 700K streams on his first few singles. Although a lifelong music lover & maker, pursuing a career in music was put on the back burner for a time for Grossman, but after a cross-country move to Los Angeles Grossman took the leap to embark on that long-gestating journey. “I’m finally feeling like I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” says Teddy Grossman. He is also eager to bring the songs from “Soon Come” to life on stage this year. “For a long time in my life, I felt this low-grade hum in the background that I wasn’t really where I was supposed to be,” he says. The album “is ultimately a record about hope, and a deep knowing that we’re gonna get there… all in good time.”
Bear’s Den – “Spiders”: An electronic-driven track with determined vocals and guitars complementing the layered soundscape while building an intense vibe. The U.K.-based band teamed up with producer Ian Grimble and will release their fourth studio album, “Blue Hours,” on May 13 via Communion Records. “I started writing ‘Spiders’ around the time we left London. In my head, I thought moving would solve lots of problems, like everything will be better—almost like this Neverland vibe,” Andrew Davie laughs. “‘Spiders’ is a song dealing with the fact that this absolutely wasn’t the case. I had this vision in my head that I’d be at one with nature, that I’d be calmer – but all the things that were rattling around in my brain before were still there after the move. The song is about the fact you can’t run away from the things that are bothering you.” “While making the record we wanted to get across a kind of simmering intensity with the song and the idea of someone trying to keep their shit together while wrestling with these darker thoughts and feelings,” furthers Davie. “We wanted to get across a sense of bravery and triumph in saying, ‘sometimes I can’t pull myself out’ of these difficult situations. To celebrate the difficult moments because we all have them. They are a universally shared experience even if it feels sometimes like they’re not and you’re the only one who feels them.” Themes on the album include both self-reflection and mental health after both struggled with the latter in recent years. “It’s the main over-arching theme with this record,” Davie explains. “It probably speaks to our struggles and hopefully many other people’s too. Men are not very good at talking. We’re not really taught how to – men have no idea how to talk about this stuff, certainly to each other.” The group also confirms an extensive run of the U.K., European, and North American tour dates. The set of U.S. tour dates kicks off in early September.
PLOSIVS – “Broken Eyes”: A blistering, propelling track progressing with fire and a fierce execution of math angular guitars, while the vocals reveal a certain melancholy. The punk quartet, featuring John Reis (Hot Snakes / Rocket From The Crypt / Drive Like Jehu), Rob Crow (Pinback), Atom Willard (Against Me!), and Jordan Clark (Mrs. Magician), has announced a self-titled debut album featuring 10 songs. Rob Crow had the following to share about the song: “To me, an obvious universal psychological protocol should be to remember there are as many perspectives to any event or situation as there are sentient beings affected by the experience, as opposed to the apocryphal notion of ‘two sides to every story.’ For a person to claim an absolute based on the one experience and perspective they can ever truly know seems irrational.” Recorded in October 2020 at Singing Serpent Studios with engineer Ben Moore, PLOSIVS is a new sound created in the “distance rock” movement that was born during a year of canceled tours, postponed record releases and a vast horizon of unemployment. “I feel we started this group when we did to push back against an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, confusion, loss and sadness. The bummer needed an opposition,” said John Reis. “For me, the antidote always begins with the electric guitar.” “Broken Eyes” comes with a video. Additionally, PLOSIVS will be hitting the road in March and April in support of the new album.
Chayse Porter – “Penny”: A laid-back, dreamy, sunny song with hazy vocals, playful touches, and large doses of psych-rock. “Penny” is the third single off Porter’s upcoming concept album, “Chay’s Palace,” due March 3 via Earth Libraries. Chayse described the song’s inspiration as “falling for someone from a distance.” It was composed, arranged, and produced by Chayse and recorded/engineered by Brad Timko at Communicating Vessels studio. “‘Penny’ is one of the few straightforward ‘pop rock’ songs on the album,” said Chayse. “It’s a sweet song with an upbeat feel. It’s not about the feeling I wanted from someone; it’s the feeling I got just seeing them out in public – and that being enough.” “Ever had a crush on someone? Ever wait too long and have that door close?” he asks. Much of the album faces Porter’s experience living between the cities of San Francisco and his native Birmingham, Alabama, and the turmoil that introduced. “When I’m going through something traumatic, I lean into this world of distorted whimsy. The ideas that come out are weird, playful, but dissonant at the same time.” Some people choose the pages of a diary to spill their innermost feelings and recount their trials and tribulations. Instead, Chayse Porter has a palace. “It’s this metaphorical place where I can go to express myself and feel safe,” he explains. “Like the Beach Boys ‘In My Room’, it’s this place where you can get all your secrets out in the open and feel at home.”
Chris Garneau – “Stranger”: Garneau’s very emotive vocals over a layered sonic landscape for an intense, poignant, and soul-infused ballad with beautiful horn arrangements. This genre-defying song, which was originally written for the closing credits of a pilot teaser, was recorded in a day at Kingsize Soundlabs in Los Angeles. It features an apt horn arrangement written and performed by CJ Camerieri (Bon Iver, Paul Simon) and recorded later in New York. Garneau wrote the song inspired by a scene from a teleplay about a father/son relationship gone dark — an all too familiar territory for him, and yet the country-soul character of the song, with its meaty bass and almost saccharine brass section, offers a taste of something more approachable and fun. Speaking on the track (which its accompanying video) Garneau wrote: “When a person you’ve known your whole life becomes a stranger in an instant – that’s the energy of this song. It’s a little glimpse into this moment where you find out that the bad took over the good in someone you love. It can be really painful, and how you navigate that doomed relationship is sort of up to you. There is no right way to do it. But the weirder part about it is that once some time goes by, you can start tracing these patterns in their behavior and realize maybe they were never really able to be there for you. That can be even more painful. And recognizing that you were responsible for your own share of that trouble is important, too. I guess the peace is in knowing that you’re ultimately better off without one another.”
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