Woolfy, Blonde Diamond, Gooseberry, Fetch Tiger, Zakoor, Lovechild, Homeschool are the artists among these press releases for March.
Woolfy – “When We Were Kings”: One of the singles shared by Simon James aka Woolfy: a strong and authentic voice that resonates over acoustic guitar and wobbling keys. The song has some anthemic and soothing quality which draws inspiration from David Bowie as it pays tribute to that artist’s gender non-conformity in the 1970s-80s, an enduring inspiration for James since his teens. Recorded guitar in hand in a single take, with subtle accompaniment on a 1972 Fender Rhodes Suitcase by Al Sirpico, it’s one of those songs that delivers unrefined chills listen after listen. On the other single, “Heroine,” James sings “about a dalliance with a bittersweet savior figure over a backing of folksy guitar and glistening toy piano, with bass and kick drum keeping a steady pulse.” ”When We Were Kings” is earmarked for a special limited 7-inch vinyl release in 2022. Woolfy is known around the world as an indie-disco troubadour with an unmistakable English-inflected vocal delivery, usually caught somewhere between a drawl and “mesmerizing falsetto.” Having long traded Los Angeles for the sleepy satellite town of Ojai, Woolfy’s solo material for Ritual Release finds him one foot still on the dancefloor, the other in a more personal space and turning towards traditional songwriting. The result is not just his most authentic and creative work to date, but also his most accomplished.
Blonde Diamond – “Strange Times”: A rich synth sound with a vibrant dance atmosphere for a dreamy, dark pop song. On the track, the band said: “‘Strange Times’ was (somewhat obviously from the title) written mid-pandemic when the world felt like it was at a standstill. The entire idea originated from this feeling of living in a surreal dream, but we took the story away from the reality of what was happening in real life and transported it to an extravagant, fictional tryst that is taking place while the world is ending. It’s a nihilist fantasy of living life as a luxurious lie because it’s all going to end anyway, I suppose, so why not enjoy it while we can!” The Vancouver-based dream-pop band of Alexis Young (lead vocals/keys), Malcolm Holt (drums), Louis Hearn (guitar), and Bruce Ledingham (keys) have graced stages across Canada, Europe, Australia, the US, and India, sharing bills along the way with stalwarts such as Portugal. The Man, Broken Social Scene, Bishop Briggs, Chromeo, Mother Mother, Dear Rouge, and more. Last fall, Blonde Diamond shared a brand-new single entitled “Red Flags,” alongside an accompanying horror-inspired music video, which was directed by Brandon William Fletcher. Look out for the debut album this year.
Gooseberry – “Sleep”: Crisp beats and a melancholic-to-explosive melody for a rollercoaster kind of pop song, which is everything but sleepy. On “Sleep,” the band says, “the story of the song follows one’s train of thought when an idea is just out of reach. You search and prowl and dig and strain and yet nothing comes, even when the answer is right in front of your face.” An electric, constantly evolving track, “Sleep” creatively blends together the juxtapositions of sounds in a veritable feat achieved solely by the talent and chemistry of the group. The single is from Gooseberry’s debut EP, “Broken Dance,” due out May 6th. The 4-piece band from NYC which consists of Asa Daniels (formerly of Baked Goods) on guitar/vocals, Evin Rossington (drums), Sam Rappaport (keys, vocals), and Will Hammond (bass), have managed to put together many different sounds that meld indie rock, jazz, and soul, to create a sonic landscape that is uniquely theirs. The music is genre-bending alchemy of many disparate elements, while the band has often referred to as having “two bands in one.” The single “Sleep,” designed to feel like falling into anxiety, plays heavily with textures, sounds, and genres – starts off calm, but quickly builds up into a bombastic, riff-heavy track that the band aptly describes as “film noir with fangs.”
Fetch Tiger – “Brand New”: A lush sonic landscape, with a monotonous but unique tone, light handclaps, dream-like moments, and some experimental production. The song comes from the Brooklyn/London-based indie-pop duo’s debut EP, “Preparation to Pretend,” which sees the group build upon their dream-pop sound. The 6-track EP sees the group maturing in sound and narratives, as they explore feelings of imposter syndrome, growing up, and moving through life. It is full of melancholic, wistful, and introspective instrumentation and marks a dazzling debut from the duo. Throughout the tracklist, the listener trudges through emotions of inadequacy and anxiety, to eventual metamorphosis. While each song feels distinct sonically, they’re tied into the ‘Fetch Tiger’ universe. All 6 songs on the EP were recorded in London (Strongroom Studios, Battery Studios, and Cowshed Recording Studios) and produced by Music Producers Guild’s 2020 Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year, Grace Banks. Mastering was split between Matt Colton (Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay) and Katie Tavini (Arlo Parks, Emeli Sandé). Although recording nearly every song between the two of them and Grace, they received additional recording support from musicians Adam Gethin-Jones on bass across all tracks, as well as Hanno Fenech (Strings), Shola Powell (Strings), and Sam Ewens (Horns).
Zakoor – “Life Cycle”: A dynamic and infectious guitar-synth indie rock number with an upbeat side that has been compared to Death Cab for Cutie. In the song, singer-songwriter John Zakoor looks at life through the lens of a life-affirming relationship. This is the titled track of Austin-based indie-rock duo Zakoor’s upcoming album, out May 6th, and produced and mixed by Paul Kolderie (Pixie’s Surfer Rosa, Radiohead’s The Bends, Hole’s Live Through This). Zakoor released two back-to-back EPs in 2020, the music becoming a little less depressing and a little more mature over time. The forthcoming album is the culmination of the sounds and feelings that swept over its writers over the last two years of pandemic isolation. The lyrics draw on themes of love and death and accepting nature’s indifference towards our finding happiness (case in point: pandemics). Each track attempts to probe a little deeper into the meaning of Big Things like living, trusting, loving, watching Netflix, scrolling Instagram, joy, despair, dignity, and meaning itself for those endeavoring to be–and feel–alive at this moment in time & space. Trying to make sense of what was happening in the world, Zakoor pays homage to 80s pop, 90s grunge, and a whole lot of modern-day existentialism.
Lovechild – “Hats Off”: A fast high-energy country-rock vibe with crashing piano keys, boisterous guitars, a confident rhythm, and lines delivered with a feisty swagger. This is just one side of NYC-based rock and roll outfit Lovechild whose new music video for “Know That You Love Me,” another song off their recently released debut album, “All You Need Is Lovechild,” is rather soft, poetic, and peaceful like a Lennon-like Beatles’ song. Shot in black and white, the moody music video captures the more vulnerable, sentimental quality of the track, detailing a love story between man and guitar. Their debut album is inspired by frontman Leo Lovechild’s life in and around his native New York City, all the mystique and romance that surrounds that notion, and by the band itself and their journey together in life and in music. It’s music that’s meant to be as hopeful as it is sad, a reflection of the drive and determination it takes to keep going and striving for happiness every day. Leo confides, “Some songs are romantic, some are angry, some are wistful, but in its entirety, the music is an expression of the human drive to keep going and keep striving for the potentially unattainable in the midst of a world that often tries to beat us down with struggle and strife.” The self-produced, nine-track album is the result of years of work delving into the craft of writing, playing, and recording rock and roll music in the modern age. Leo shares, “Our goal for this record was always to make a classic rock and roll album in the modern age, not a “classic rock” album, but a “classic” rock and roll album, one that pushes the genre into the future as much as it represents the sound of a reinterpreted past.”
Homeschool – “Sleeping On The Ground”: A warm alt-folk song echoing the lush sounds of the late ’00s and early ’10s indie rock with big guitars, strong harmonies, and a catchy chorus à la Cage the Elephant. Homeschool is the solo project of musician Tom D’Agustino, who had this to say about the single: “‘Sleeping On The Ground’ captures specific memories of being in a touring band and the nostalgia of a life of travel, mild debauchery, and crashing at strangers’ houses. The mood is one that aches for the simplicity and immediacy of that transient life, then shifts to a reflection on how those moments are truly measured and held. Is the love we feel for a person or a place measured by time or commitment, or is it measured by the weight and depth of shared moments, however brief?” He also recorded a cover of Katy Cover “The One That Got Away,” featuring Annie Blackman. “’The One That Got Away’ was a cover idea that came from a desire to find something ultra-poppy, pull the skeleton out, and dress it in something completely different,” he declared. “Annie Blackman recommended we go with this track and the sense of longing and despair that Katy Perry is revealing seems a bit masked by the original upbeat production. We wanted to calm the song down and introduce sonic elements and vocal production that intimate a closeness and vulnerability, all accompanied by an enveloping feeling of ‘moving on’ served up by Quinn McGovern’s masterful arrangement.” Along with these two tracks, Homeschool also announces his forthcoming EP, Homeschool: Book II, due April 8.
weaving a fairy tale for us to get lost in
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1973 (Volume 5, Number 2)
“I don’t consider David (Bowie) to be even remotely big enough to be any competition.”
an old school New York feel
oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music