America Jayne, Oliver Sim, Lost Cat, Katy Guillen & The Drive, Katrina Ford, Triathalon, and Danielle Ponder are the artists among these press releases for June.
America Jayne – “Scaredy Cat”: A punchy rock song with bright vocals and loud guitar riffs by this bubble-grunge rising queer artist who is making her own name in the DIY Brooklyn scene. Watch the video for the song here. America Jayne (the moniker for Erica Pierce) is ready to share her debut EP, “Homecoming,” which explores themes of nostalgia, growing up, heartbreak, and loss of innocence. The album relives every step of a relationship with “Open Casket” shamelessly asking a partner to “be ugly” and the desire for vulnerability at the beginning of a relationship, to “Dehisce”, a self-aware portrayal of a destructive break-up. The entire EP, aside from the title track, was written in early 2021 when Erica was bedridden after breaking her foot. She did not leave her apartment for weeks – spending all her time writing and nursing a broken foot and heart. “Homecoming,” out on June 30, was produced by Ronnie DiSimone (Daisy The Great, Del Water Gap, Annika Bennett, Halima, Jukebox the Ghost), and features an all-star cast (most notably, Ned Steves and Nick Cianci of Del Water Gap & Samia’s band),
Oliver Sim – “Hideous”: A crooning electro ballad with strings, and Oliver Sim’s dark and graveling vocals which fill the atmosphere with poignancy, and are completed by Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto. Between Radiohead and Perfume Genius. This is a song from “Hideous Bastard,” (out on September 9 via Young) the debut album from Oliver Sim—best known for his work as a songwriter, bassist, and vocalist of The xx. Produced by bandmate Jamie xx, Hideous Bastard is the culmination of two years of writing and recording, inspired by Sim’s love of horror movies and his own life experience, unpacking themes of shame, fear, and masculinity. These themes are front and center in the new single “Hideous.” Enlisting the help of a lifelong hero and “guardian angel” Jimmy Somerville on guest vocals, the single sets the scene for the forthcoming album and sees Sim speaking publicly for the first time about living with HIV since the age of 17. It debuts with a video by another personal hero, French director Yann Gonzalez, who has also collaborated with Sim on a forthcoming queer horror short film of the same name that premiered yesterday as part of the Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival. Oliver shares: Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realized that I was writing a lot about fear and shame. I imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, “woe is me” sounding album, but in recent years I’ve become a firm believer that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them. I haven’t written the record to dwell, but rather to free myself of some of the shame and fear that I’ve felt for a long time. So, I hear a lot of the music as joyous, because the experience of writing and recording it has been the complete opposite of what fear and shame have been for me. Two-thirds in, having a good idea of what the record was about, I realized I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I’ve been living with HIV since I was 17 and it’s played with how I’ve felt towards myself, and how I’ve assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life. So, quite impulsively, I wrote about it in a song called “Hideous.” I thought I could release it into the world and be done with it. After playing the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is, she gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. She suggested that I spend some time having conversations with people in my life first. Either people I hadn’t told yet, or people I had told but hadn’t wanted to talk much further on it with. Since writing Hideous, I’ve spent the past two years having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with, but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened my relationship with myself and with the people in my life. One of the most special relationships I’ve gained from this has been with Mr. Jimmy Somerville. I knew for Hideous I wanted a guardian angel to appear in the song and sing to me the words I needed to hear. Not only has Jimmy been such a powerful voice around HIV and AIDS for decades, but the man quite literally sounds like an angel. I reached out to him as a complete fan boy, but now consider him a real good friend. He encouraged me to do the song for myself. He taught me “glamour” is a Scottish word. And, most importantly, he reminded me to not take myself too seriously, no good comes from that! “Am I Hideous?” feels far less like a question I’m asking the world now. I know the answer. As scary as it still feels, I’m excited to share this music with you, and I hope you enjoy it. Lots of love, Oliver xx.” Watch the Yann Gonzalez-directed “Hideous” video here.
Lost Cat – “Loser’s Beware”: A very bubble gum sexy sound channeling the ‘60s with psychedelic effects and a big girl-group vibe. Think Barbarella with frenetic riffs. This is another single off their debut EP, recently released via Lolipop Records, establishing the group’s confidently spunky energy in the vein of girl groups of decades past. Watch the video here. Speaking on their brand new track, the band wrote: “‘Losers Beware’ was recorded at Lolipop’s Savannah Studios. Produced by Ignacio Gonzalez, the single was penned as a warning to the losers of the world that the strong always prevail. Accompanying this song is the final installment of the mini video series, bringing the dramatic timeline to an end.” Recorded at Lolipop Records Studios in Los Angeles, CA the album features 10 tracks of raw and raucous girl gang vocals serenading you straight into oblivion. These kittens have been sharpening their skills with good licks and catchy hooks. Their ethos: just create “some good ol’ rock n roll.” The band draws from their life experiences to bring you this album. With the special help of Lolipop Records’ producer & co-owner, Ignacio Gonzalez, this record packs a punch!
Katy Guillen & The Drive – “Set In Stone”: A vigorous and guitar-driven track with commanding vocals and vibrant textures inviting to adventure. Produced by Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Heartless Bastards, Ray LaMontagne) at Invisible Creature Studio in Los Angeles, “Set In Stone” marks the beginning of a major life transition for Katy Guillen. Written shortly after her longtime band announced their final show, she was struggling to find the next step in her career and personal life, while longing for a past sense of stability. “The song conveys that feeling of defeat and darkness, but with a sense of resolution and surrender through the guitar solo – a favorite moment on the record for me,” explains Katy. “While it started on shaky ground, coming out on the other side meant starting over and building something new.” It is a taste of what’s to come on their full-length debut album “Another One Gained” (due August 19), a memoir of growth and reawakening by way of heart-wrenching transition and change – loss of her long-time band, end of a romantic relationship and finding herself amidst it all.
Katrina Ford – “Go Deep”: A cinematic vibe for this new song with soulful vocals soaring above a savant mix of rippling guitar melodies, spacious percussion, and watery synth lines. This is the fourth single off singer-songwriter Katrina Ford (of Celebration and Mt Royal)’s debut solo EP, “Go Deep,” due June 24 via Violin Films. The song comes along with an accompanying collage-like video, made by Ford herself. Speaking on the single, Katrina wrote: “It’s ok to grow roots. I had a dream about speeding down a cliff road, in a borrowed yellow Lamborghini. Roaring to the shore, to visit a fortune teller on the pier. I was told she lies before I saw her. Confused, I left, walking past piles of riches, gold statues, jewels, and cash dumped in the sand littering the beach. A family of beggars in black rags, approached me on the boardwalk. I had nothing, to give. My only valuable was to accept myself without outside influence. Everyone was trying to influence me but I was finding home within, and letting myself be rooted in my own self-belief, despite the cliff-dwelling Lamborgini owner, despite the lying fortune teller, despite the beggars. I could hold on. So self-indulgent in our elementary school fantasy of Beverly Hills Cop — directly energized by Harold Faltermer – ‘Axel F.’ I feel the leather and the steel so ornately and loveably fun. Ends a Howling Roy-Orbisonian cloned bubbles popping into the sunset.”
Triathalon – “Floating In Love”: A sun-drenched track with a nostalgic guitar, dreamy vocals, and an overall hazy pop sound slowly tainted with B&B. “Floating In Love” is the third new single from the New York trio, following the release of “Spin” and “Time.” Forming in Savannah, the band—which began as the solo project of Adam Intrator before Chad Chilton and Hunter Jayne joined in 2011—relocated to New York City after performing together for nearly a decade in Georgia. Their new music is a snapshot of Triathalon’s evolution and growth—tracing a journey of sonic self-reflection, of being lost in your thoughts and watching the world around you change as a result. The band has released three albums and one EP together, “SLEEP CYCLE” (2020), “Online” (2018), “Nothing Bothers Me” (2015), and “Lo-Tide” (2014). Watch the video for “Floating In Love” here.
Danielle Ponder – “The Only Way Out”: A dramatic song with an emotional powerhouse channeling some of the greatest voices of soul and R&B. “This song captures a situation so many people have been in,” says Ponder. “Ignoring red flags and entering into a relationship that you know will end with pain.” Ponder’s debut album is due this summer on Future Classic. The new single comes on the heels of the most recent single, “So Long,” praised for its “vintage-meets-modern soul vibe, kind of in the vein of something like Michael Kiwanuka.” Following her much-lauded performances at SXSW and showcases in New York and Los Angeles, Ponder continues to tour. Upcoming shows include a string of dates with Amos Lee in August. In Ponder’s life, bravery manifested in the decision to leave her successful day job as a public defender to pursue singing and songwriting full time. Ponder had always been musical but chose to pursue a career in law after her brother received a 20-year sentence due to a “three strikes” law. But even as she became a tireless advocate for justice in her community—first as a public defender and later as a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in that same office—the music was never far; she remembers a time when she did a small tour in Europe and was back in court the following Monday. There eventually came a time to choose one, and so she leaped. The sixth of seven children, Ponder was born and raised in Rochester, New York by her father—a musically-inclined pastor—and mother. She gravitated toward the piano on their front porch at a young age and eventually discovered alternative rock and hip-hop artists like Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Lauryn Hill, and The Roots. It wasn’t until she heard blues artists like Big Mama Thornton and Koko Taylor, though, that she knew singing was her true passion. Even as she became a tireless advocate for justice in her community, she found ways to keep music alive in her heart; in 2019, she gave a TEDx talk on what music can teach us about social justice.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!