Sacramento, YOASOBI, Jordan Lewis, Jungle, Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine, Jordana, and Kunzite are among the press releases for July.
Sacramento- ‘Fooding’: A laid-back, lo-fi bedroom pop about the love of food, turning into a joke-y dreamy karaoke, while the video (featuring Chickpee) navigates between retro kitsch and TV series. Italian artist Sacramento (solo project of Steve Fileti) praises the song for being ‘gloriously tongue-in-cheek’ and suggests, ‘If you’ve ever been out at a restaurant with a date who can’t keep their hands away from your food, this song is for you.’ ‘The message behind the song ‘Fooding’ is that if you’re my guest at my house and I cook for you, you can take and taste as much as you want, I will always provide and share food. And if needed, I can give my portion away. But if we are at the restaurant, there’s no chance I can share my order with anyone. You get to choose what you want to eat and you get your chance to order as much as you want. Me and Chiara A.K.A. ‘Chickpee’ (and Ron Gallo who wrote the lyrics with her) we are absolutely in agreement with this matter.’ The song is featured on his sophomore album, ‘Latte / The Italian Breakfast’ which rejoices in these simple habits and daily routines with an easy-breezy summery vibe. The whole album is a hint of the Sicilian heritage Steve Fileti carries with him and delivers to the world on a daily basis. Steve plays, records, and mixes in his flat in Milan without taking too much into consideration sophisticated studio equipment. The whole process kicks off and gets wrapped in a small bedroom, in a very genuinely lo-fi mode. Key features on the album include Luca Bergomi (from Dumbo Gets Mad) on ‘MAMA’ and ‘A Dinner Out,’ adding his typical psychedelic, esoteric touch to the sound. And Chiara D’Anzieri (A.K.A. Chickpee) sings Ron Gallo’s words along with Steve in the ironic lo-funk ‘Fooding.’
YOASOBI – ‘三原色(Sangenshoku)’: A song by a J-Pop duo who already had a hit single (‘Into The Night’). The song is fast, cheerful, and as festive as a Latino combo, except this is sung in Japanese. The duo, Ayase and Ikura, create ‘music from novels,’ meaning that each of their songs is based on the plots from short stories published on the popular creative writing website monogatary.com. Their first single ‘夜に駆ける(Yoru ni Kakeru)’ became a smash hit as soon as it was released in November 2019. ‘Yoru ni Kakeru topped multiple streaming charts in Japan and has also ranked in various viral charts around the world. The track placed No.1 on both the Billboard Japan Total Song Chart and Billboard Japan Streaming Song Chart in 2020. YOASOBI also performed at the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen (NHK Red & White Song Battle). Earlier this year YOASOBI released their debut album, ‘THE BOOK.’ The group released two singles, ‘怪物(Kaibutsu)’ and ‘優しい彗星(Yasashii Suisei),’ both of which were chosen to be the opening and closing theme songs, respectively, for the TV animation ‘BEASTARS’ and ranked No.1 on various music charts. In February 2021 YOASOBI performed their first solo concert ‘KEEP OUT THEATER’ at a construction site in Kabukicho, Shinjuku which used to be the Milano Theater; more than 40,000 viewers tuned in for the Livestream. In June 2021, Billboard Japan announced their music chart for the first half of the year and YOASOBI ranked No.1 on the Billboard Japan Top Artists Chart.
Jordan Lewis – ‘Desolation Shores’: Strings and keys for an emotional and grand introduction, while the very long ballad (it is almost 10 minute-long) takes some epic turns with inspiring vocals and almost Pink Floyd-esque guitars. Upon moving to LA in 2013, Lewis began engineering for the legendary production team of The Dream and Tricky Stewart (Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Rihanna). Not long after that, he was introduced to Travis Scott and Jordan quickly became the rapper’s personal engineer. He would go on to record Scott’s first two albums, ‘Rodeo’ and ‘Birds In The Trap’ where he would contribute guitars. He mixed Scott’s breakout track ‘Antidote’ and worked on a string of hits with artists such as Drake, Miguel, Kanye West, and many more. He recorded Scott’s ‘Goosebumps’ in the rapper’s bedroom, worked on albums for DJ Khaled, Juicy J, Wale, and Tinashe, and even accompanied Scott on Rihanna’s Anti Tour. After leaving engineering, Jordan went on to work with producer Brendan O’Brien and signed a deal with Opposition Records, where he released his latest single, ‘Scared New World.’ Lewis explains: ‘’Desolation Shores’ describes a way of living and being that I aspire to. It is about compassion for oneself and for others while still being fully aware of the depths of pain and suffering. It is a philosophy of surrender that washes over you in your darkest moments and reminds you of the impermanence of life, death, lovers, friends, and emotions.
Jungle – ‘Romeo’: An exuberant almost euphoric glitchy collage with a rap delivery, falsetto soulful harmonies, retro dance grooves, and doo-wop electropop textures. ‘Romeo’ is the latest track from British songwriting and production duo Jungle, accompanied by a fun freestyle video. This old-school hip-hop track features vocal contributions from New York rapper and Dreamville artist Bas, marking the duo’s first feature collaboration. ‘Romeo’ appears on the duo’s highly anticipated new album, Loving In Stereo, which is set for release on August 13 via AWAL. ‘We’d never had a featured artist on a record before but Bas is part of the journey of this album and so it just had to make the cut,’ notes Jungle co-founder Josh Lloyd-Watson. Bas furthers, ‘I’ve always been on a mission to work with artists whose sounds, and worlds inspire me beyond rap’s sonic landscape. Jungle has been high on that list since a recommendation from a friend when I was in London bout 7 years ago. I was and still am completely blown away by their music. Fast forward to the Greatest Day Ever Festival a few years back, our dressing rooms were down the hall from each other, and I was BIG LIT off tequila so the voice in my head was like ‘GO IN THERE N TELL THEM HOW DOPE THEY ARE.’ I burst in there like the Kool-Aid man and did just that. We linked back up in London and now we got a tune. I guess the moral of the story is listen to the tequila voice in your head?’
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine – ‘Reach Out’: Two fragile vocals softly harmonizing over fingerpicking guitar and other delicate textures, while the video is a homemade movie with simple scenes of dogs in nature: it was shot earlier this year by Sufjan and Angelo on VHS-C cameras from their respective coasts, New York and California, starring their beloved dogs Joku (a Jindo) and Charlie (a Havanese) and edited by Jess Calleiro. Stevens and De Augustine have teamed up to release a collaborative album, ‘A Beginner’s Mind’ on September 24 on Asthmatic Kitty Records. The album began when the two musicians and Asthmatic Kitty labelmates decamped to a friend’s cabin in upstate New York for a month-long songwriting sabbatical. Watching a movie to unwind after each day’s work, they soon found their songs reflecting the films and began investigating this connection in earnest. The resulting album is 14 songs (loosely) based on (mostly) popular films—highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between. They wrote in tandem—one person writing a verse, the other a chorus, churning out chord progressions and lyrics willy-nilly, often finishing each other’s sentences in the process. Rigorous editing and rewriting ensued. The results are less a ‘cinematic exegesis’ and more a ‘rambling philosophical inquiry’ that allows the songs to free-associate at will. Plot-points, scene summaries, and leading characters are often displaced by esoteric interpolations that ask the bigger question: what does it mean to be human in a broken world? Stevens and De Augustine wrote everything with a deliberate sense of shoshin—the Zen Buddhist concept for which the record is named and an idea that empowered the pair to look for and write about unlikely inspiration without preconceived notions of what a film had to say (The I-Ching and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies also served as incentives along the way). The movies became rhetorical prompts, with the songwriters letting their distinct reactions and creative instincts govern their process. The underlying objective was empathy and openness, absent of judgment: to observe with the eyes of a child.
Jordana – ‘Hungry Ghost’: A sensitive cover of a song by Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Wormy, executed with a sweet voice and gentle instrumentation. Originally released in April, ‘Hungry Ghost’ featured vocal contributions from beloved artist Samia and was produced by Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus. Jordana has also shared the accompanying video. ‘Now that I have some distance from the frustrating feelings that became ‘Hungry Ghost,’ it’s really special to hear another voice sing it. Jordana captured an element that didn’t exist when I wrote the song: a softer, calmer approach to accepting the end of a romantic experience,’ says Wormy. ‘I like the idea that Jordana is taking on my perspective and reflecting on those experiences while adding a playful and profound element she brings to everything she does. Most of the Wormy project was done remotely, even pre-covid, and this was the first thing we got to do in person so it felt really incredible. My great friend and collaborator, Johnny Frohman, and I wanted to make a video that reflected the nature of the song but also the experience that comes from someone else taking something already written and making it their own.’
Kunzite – ‘Lemon Swayze’: A joyful track with an irresistible groove, hypnotic beats, and exhilarating vocal harmonies that will make you move from your chair. ‘Lemon Swayze’ was created with the mission of bringing listeners to their feet, dancing in exaltation while on a crazy joyride,’ note KUNZITE. ‘The track’s title was inspired by a vision Agustin had of lemons as spaceships, induced by the consumption of a favorite cannabis strain, Lemon Cake.’ The track was recorded between Stroud’s upstate New York barn studio and White’s Oregon dome-shaped studio — a place that resembles an adobe dwelling like where Luke Skywalker grew up on Tatooine. Agustin stood in the middle of the dome and felt the channel of energy via the light coming in through and sang the first thing that came out of his mouth, which is what you hear on the final track today… including a nod to a Cyndi Lauper megahit. And you can definitively hear ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ somewhere in the mix. The duo – Mike Stroud (Ratatat) and Agustin White (Abuela) – have announced the release of the album ‘Visuals’ on August 20 via Lowly. / Wilder Records. The new album found Mike and Agustin writing and recording together, unlike their debut album Birds Don’t Fly which was recorded mostly via electronic teleportation (aka email). Many of the tracks on VISUALS started while at White’s stripped-back studio in Hawaii, inspired by the island vibes (and perhaps some microdosing), and finished at Mike’s barn studio. The guys found that their best vocals are when their voices come together in the atmosphere and meet in harmony, and the album features a variety of instrumentation found in their studios including acoustic, electric and lap steel guitars, organ, synthesizers, and the charango.
Sneak Peaks: Upcoming New Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23
can they survive an entire album?
L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 20th To 26Th
Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)
highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable
UK Top 10 Albums 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?
A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way
On his way to save the day… and the night
Robert Smith Is Fighting The Good Fight: Will Scalpers Always Find A Way?
How is Vividseats able to get around this technical problem?
Taylor Swift Began Her Latest World Tour Yesterday in Arizona… Here is the setlist
she really underrepresented her first ten years
UK Top 10 Singles 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
double double toil and Miley
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1985 (Volume 16, Number 11)
Everything I do is in ADDITION to, not INSTEAD of
The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-17-23 – 3-23-23 Reviewed
the single worse recording of all time