Hot Flash Heat Wave, Laddio Bolocko, SUNMI, Frog Eyes, NAKAYA, The Mary Veils, Layla Tucker are among these press releases for March.
Hot Flash Heat Wave – “Vampires”: A pop song with jangly guitars, catchy vocals above captivating synth lines, and a slight Strokes-like dissonance here and there. This is a song from their latest album “Sportswear,” just released last week. Speaking on their new album, Ted Davis wrote: “Sportswear is a world of its own, a vision that encompasses not just music, but art, storytelling, and fashion as well. Sonically we felt drawn to elements from early goth, new wave, and house, taking them through our filter of indie, psychedelia, r&b, and modern pop. We were also inspired by the style and hyper-individualism of late 90s club culture and anime. The name Sportswear is a cheeky nod to this tapestry of influences and the disambiguation of trends and subculture, as they become commodified for mass appeal and lose their deeper meaning. Lyrically the record speaks to our personal life struggles and soul searchings as well as existential sensations and narrations.” Hot Flash Heat Wave are currently on the Sportswear World Tour, including shows across North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe (their shows in the UK/EU were postponed to August and September 2022). They will stop in Los Angeles on March 20 and in NYC on April 7.
Laddio Bolocko – “Nurser”: A loud groovy noise track, turning into mad distorted psychedelia or a math rock overwhelming chaos. And it lasts for 10 minutes! Castle Face Records is releasing a brand new 3XLP boxset from Laddio Bolocko (mem. Dazzling Killmen, Panicsville, the Psychic Paramount, and Mars Volta), featuring the band’s official discography. ’97-’99 is out May 20 via Castle Face Records, and “Nurser” is the first teaser track. Speaking on the forthcoming collection, John Dwyer wrote: “The following story might be bullshit (drug use and memory enhancements). Years ago, I was sitting at home staring into the middle distance and the phone on the wall rang (that should denote how long ago this was). On the other end was the booker from The Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, who had never called me before. She was excited about the show they had that night and was calling people to invite them. Apparently, the night before a band called Laddio Bolocko had played and were so mesmerizing, so strong that they had offered them the next night, which was open. I was intrigued as no band had ever warranted this invite previously to my knowledge. This was new and exciting territory. I had my ass & ears handed to me that evening. Scorching, pummeling, deep waters ran over me as I stood, beer in hand, mouth open. My memory may be embellishing but I remember a sax as big as me, drums that were physically hanging on by a thread, and twin electric strings that reeled sinister sprites over my head in outwardly circular patterns. Aggressive, far-out fractals burned in my brain. I had never seen anything like this band and never have again. That’s why it’s so shocking to wait around all these years for someone to pick up the thread and re-release these 3 perfect recordings on LP for the first time…and still be waiting. So, I’m happy to announce, Castle Face is here with a 3xLP remedy. We’ve been working with all the original members of Laddio Bolocko and sifting through to put together this concise LP box set of what is arguably their strongest home studio recorded material. Included here (for the first time on wax) are ‘Strange Warmings of Laddio Bolocko,’ ‘In Real Time,’ and ‘As If By Remote.’ For fans of Can, This Heat, The Residents, and straightforward improvisation.
SUNMI – “Oh Sorry Ya”: A synth-pop song with heavy, rhythmic baseline, dark vocals turning into an alluring and empowering dance track with a strong hook. The K-pop megastar partnered with Spotify to share this first new single of 2022. This comes as part of Spotify’s EQUAL initiative, which was instilled as a measure to uplift women in the music industry. SUNMI is the Asian representative of the new series of Spotify Singles to be released in celebration of Spotify’s EQUAL initiative this year and as part of their celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. This is also SUNMI’s first track created with a team composed solely of women, including a female team of producers from England, LYRE. SUNMI, who debuted in the music industry as a member of girl group, Wonder Girls, in 2007, stood out as a solo artist in 2014 when she released her two songs “24 Hours” and “Full Moon.” SUNMI has also proved herself an extraordinary artist in performance as she successfully held her first solo world tour, ‘2019 SUNMI THE 1ST WORLD TOUR [WARNING].’ All the tickets for her first world tour, which took place in 19 regions around the world, including Asia, North/South America, and Europe, were sold out.
Frog Eyes – “I Was An Oligarch”: A very strange and messy soundscape, built on minimal sounds, a plucky bass, simplistic drums while ambient tones, sideways guitar shapes cascading down and Carey Mercer chews his vocals. The ambiance is claustrophobic and almost nightmare-like. Speaking on the new single, Carey Mercer (vocals/guitar) wrote: “The song comes from considering a very specific and rarified moment in my life. I was 19, 20, 21. I wasn’t playing much music, maybe a little drums. I didn’t care about music—I might have had ten tapes that I would listen to while painting, mostly recordings of Brave New Waves that I had taped to listen to in the day. Everyone else had music, they were always playing it. I did love to go to little concerts at the sports bar, in part to mess with the band, to tear them down from their 8” stage in the corner of the sports bar, to swill pitchers and disrupt their set and somehow, in my thinking, become one with them, to ascend like a little oligarch. Then I bought an Aria Pro II hollowbody guitar from my best friend’s uncle Denny and, regrettably, became one of them.” This is the second track off their forthcoming comeback album (their first album in four years), “The Bees,” due April 29 via Paper Bag Records. The lyric video‘s director Derek Janzen wrote: “The main thing I wanted for this video was to try to juxtapose the driving rhythm of the song by holding on shots a bit longer and keeping the motion in frame to a minimum. I was fortunate enough to film in an old house near Deer Lake in Burnaby that my friend and fellow musician, Nicholas Krgovich, was staying in that looked perfect for what I was after. The hope is that these ghostly wafts of smoke within this empty home represent a sort of haze of memory that I think Carey’s lyrics so wonderfully portray in the song.”
NAKAYA – “Fire Becomes Me”: A quiet R&B track slowing waking up with NAKAYA’s soaring vocals and majestic drums. Speaking on the track, NAKAYA wrote: “‘Fire Becomes Me’ is a back and forth perspective between my current and past selves. I wrote this as part of a series I ran in 2020 when I felt galvanized by the world’s eyes on Black issues. I attended protests several times a week and wrote what arose within me. I shared the demos on Bandcamp and picked causes to donate proceeds to. To me, this song is about the resilience of the Black community and how in constant adversity, we take the fire and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.” “Fire Becomes Me,” is the second single and title track off her upcoming EP, “Fire Becomes Me,” due April 1 via Better Company Records. The song comes with a music video. NAKAYA is an alternative artist based in Los Angeles, blending electronic, R&B, and folk textures to create a unique and ethereal sound. Her truthful and poignant lyrics speak to her experiences traversing multiple marginalized identities and she works to provide a voice for those who lack representation in the alternative music sphere. She released her debut EP Out of Breath in 2015, and that EP as well as her follow-up singles “Lose It Too,” “Jump,” “Ballet Shoes/Goodbye,” and more have been featured on major publications.
The Mary Veils – “Esoteric Hex”: A fuzzy exploration with touches of punk, a hypnotic groove, raging distortion as the rock song strongly pierces through the frenetic riffs, and reverb-drenched chords. Speaking on the track, frontman Brian Von Uff wrote: “The band and I moved to my old studio space in these historic mills from the 1600’s that the Swedes built. The idea for the album and name came to me while in this space. When I was younger my friend lived on Mill Street and there was an older woman who would collect animal bones and claimed to be a witch. She told us she put a hex on us for climbing in her tree. Since our music isn’t for everyone and we are forever cursed…or not, we named the song and album esoteric hex. This song came together to us on Mill Street in this space. It has a very hypnotic spell-like vibe and it fits perfectly.” Alongside the release of their new track, they have shared a visualizer for their LP’s first single, “Bone Blossom Green.” The video was created by Josh “Sketti Jesus” Bruce. What began as the solo project of frontman Brian Von Uff is now a fully-fledged, incendiary punk four-piece, with drummer Evan Wall, guitarist Drew Mann and bassist Justin Mansor rounding out the new lineup.
Layla Tucker – “Misery and Gin”: A classic country (this is Merle Haggard’s classic ballad) shining with this expressive rendition by Layla Tucker who pays tribute to her hero and friend. The video, produced by country music veteran Keith Thomas, showcases the rising 22-year-old singer-songwriter’s exquisite vocal ability and remarkable interpretation skills. As the daughter of legendary country music icon Tanya Tucker and renowned songwriter Jerry Lasseter, Layla’s connection to Merle Haggard is a deeply personal one. The country music giant was a close family friend who inspired Layla to work hard, find her voice, and blaze her own musical trail. “It’s shocking how many people I’ve met throughout the years who don’t know who Merle Haggard is,” Layla said. “It’s been a really cool experience getting to record this song, like so many others, his music changed my life.” “Misery and Gin” is a stunning introduction for the Tennessee native. Layla’s gorgeous bourbon ‘n honey vocals inform Haggard’s melancholy 1980 hit with equal parts reverence and attitude, a restrained, entrancing performance that reveals an artistic sophistication well beyond her years. The accompanying music video, directed by Casey Pierce and shot at The Underdog bar in Nashville, beautifully captures the song’s essential loneliness as the camera encircles Layla at the same table, singing the song night after night. Expressing conviction and heartache, Layla’s performance flips the song’s rugged, western male archetype to a women’s perspective. As a teenager, Layla remembers how she rebelled against country music and pushed it out of her life. But when she was around 15 years old, the family moved to a new house in tiny Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, and country music served as a solace for her loneliness. “I didn’t have any friends because we just moved out there, so all I really had was my dog, my record player, and my guitar,” she remembers. “I could hook my phone up and I would sit in my room next to my window with my ear up to the speaker. That’s where I fell in love with country music again because it was kind of my only friend at the time. One of the first songs that really changed how I felt about country music was one of Merle’s.” Layla promises to carry on his story while forging her own. Look for more music from Layla later this year; her journey is just beginning.
the best song on Harry’s third album
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his sweetness bleeds over
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I WISH I HADN’T GONE