Pond, Elias Bendix, Kunzite, Coma Culture, Claire George, Eloise, HAUS BAND ( an Art Brut side project) are among these last press releases for May
Pond – ‘America’s Cup’: A funky disco-ball for this slow but infectious dancefloor by Pond who are announcing their new studio album ‘9’ available October 1 via Spinning Top Records / Secretly Distribution. ‘The beat makes me think of a New York street strut, Sesame Street-style,’ says frontman Nick Allbrook of the single. ‘But it’s about Fremantle before Alan Bond gave the big ball of gentrification its final shove when it was cheap and harsh and the broken relics of the pre-87 port city were young, groovy cats in a secret idyll wedged between the river and the sea. It’s also about blokes being different versions of whatever the hell we’ve been taught we’re supposed to be.’ The glam cool video, that accompanies the track, was directed by longtime collaborator Kristofski. ’I’m from NZ and the big Sail race was here, the whole country was glued to their TV’s and I don’t even wanna know how much they spent on that thing’ says Kristofski. ‘So I thought it would be funny if the captain of the racing team won the cup and auctioned it off to a bunch of people who love that kinda thing. Then he celebrates by dancing. Pretty twisted idea but I think it works,’ he adds. ‘We sort of gave ourselves permission to make something stuffed this time. We’d settled into a pretty tight routine with the last few albums and wanted to shake a boat with this so we started off with filling a few tape reels with some absolutely heinous improvised sonic babble which, after much sifting, became the first few songs of the album. We also wanted to up the tempo. The last few albums have a neat little mantra or repetitive theme. If I was forced to find something like that in 9, I guess it would be ‘biography’ or ‘observation’ – a lot of the lyrics seem to focus on single people’s lives, or the lives of small moments or small things when you zoom real close up and they reveal something deeper. Stuff like my cheap Chinese slippers, or a soiled teddy bear, or Agnes Martin (not to put them in the same category, although maybe Agnes would’ve appreciated it). In the Rorschach test of re-reading lyrics, one thing that sticks out is a fixation on leaving behind a time of golden optimism and uncynical abandon. We can’t look at ourselves the same anymore, and the world we’ve built provides a scary lens for viewing our past,’ muses Allbrook on the album.
Elias Bendix –‘Superheroes’: A R&B-infused pop song by Danish songwriter and guitarist Elias Bendix who has a knack for drawing in audiences from far and wide with his captivating lyrics and catchy hooks. The uplifting song evolves into an easy listening jazz-y-soulful soundscape, bringing vintage and modernity together while talking about surrendering to love and celebrating the joy it brings. ’My mission is to unite people through my music,’ Bendix says. ‘It’s magical when it succeeds and I dream of the audience getting closer to each other and meeting someone they do not know based on the musical feelings they have felt, whether it is because they are into pop, funk, soul, rock, or jazz. secondarily as long as they have felt something that made them let go for a brief moment and become a part of something bigger.’ Bendix’s full-length new album, ‘Puzz,’ will be out this June 30th.
Kunzite – ‘Frosty’: Sun-soaked beats and a euphoric California psychedelia with a touch of electronic-fueled tension and an invitation to adventure. The track is very cinematic and the video that comes with it (filmed on Venice Beach and featuring local female surfers and skaters including members from the all-female-identifying crew GRLSWIRL) makes you want to start the summer on the right track. New York-based Mike Stroud (RATATAT) and Hawaii & Oregon-based Agustin White wrote and recorded their debut album ‘Birds Don’t Fly’ while communicating via email, and their upcoming album, ‘VISUALS,’ is set for release this summer via Lowly./Wilder Records. ‘‘FROSTY’ always felt like it flowed with surfing and skating… It’s all about grabbing your board or wheels and just having fun,’ notes Agustin. ‘All of the athletes featured in the video were super supportive and encouraging of one another. You see their different skills on display throughout the video, including roller skaters who have made such a big comeback over the last few years yet, for Black Culture, it’s always been there. The roots of roller skating lie within the Black community and we wanted to honor that.’
Coma Culture – ‘Martha’: Vulnerable vocals above swirls of keys, guitars, and beats while the track slowly progresses through a haze of instruments and a soothing soaring dreamland. ‘Martha’ is the new song by Coma Culture (featuring Young the Giant’s Eric Cannata and Francois Comtois with producer/songwriter Jon O’Brien) and the final single from their upcoming LP ‘Camouflage,’ out June 25th on The Repost Network. ‘Camouflage’ combines vintage instruments, modern recording techniques, and classic songwriting for a sound that’s immediately distinct yet warmly familiar. Each song was crafted together, combining personal lyrics and layered production to communicate what it’s like to be alive today. The result is a sound that is sometimes unstable and warbly as if overwhelmed and interrupted by new technology, sometimes quiet and unsure about what comes next, and sometimes clear and confident.
Claire George – ‘Pink elephants’: A newcomer in the ethereal electro-pop world. Claire George sings with aerial vocals over percussion and ominous synth tones that can expand into icy dance-pop beat like a new Grimes composition. She has released her long-awaited debut album ‘The Land Beyond The Light’ via Cascine, following her self-produced and self-written debut EP ‘Bodies of Water.’ The album was initially inspired by a 2019 heartbreak, but the tone and tenor of the writing process changed when George suddenly lost her friend, an ex-boyfriend, to substance abuse. The loss of such a significant person in her life left George to reckon with questions of addiction and grief while exploring new sonic vocabularies in which to house them. The result is an achingly human document of life; an album in turns ecstatic and elegiac.
Eloise –‘Who’s She’: A delicate romantic tune with a love for a sunset rooftop beautifully choreographed dance. ‘Who’s She’ is the new song from emerging U.K. artist Eloise; it comes with a video and it will appear on her forthcoming mini-album, ‘Somewhere In-Between,’ which is set for release June 18 via AWAL. ‘This song, of all the songs on this project, makes me ache,’ says Eloise. ‘I think because it’s the only song of mine where love for someone else is a secondary element. I wrote this song after I came back from a tour having broken up with my first boyfriend and my whole world felt crazy and I had no control. I felt disorientated because I came home to find that my life, the way I knew it, had gone and I had to carve myself a new one. And in that pursuit, I realized the reason I felt lost was less to do with what had changed around me, and more to do with what had changed within me. This song is for the people who feel they’ve lost touch with themselves. The hopeful thing is that the acknowledgment of that means you’re one step closer to finding yourself again.’ ‘This mini-album is my love letter to love and its woes. It’s mainly a collection of songs that I wrote from a place of hindsight, reflection, and acceptance,’ she adds. ‘A lot of the themes of this body of work are of longing and aching for yesterday and its possibilities, which, I reckon, is relatable to most people. I think that the different shades and angles of romance aren’t often enough explored. We so often hear songs about the hurt or the lust, and I know when I’ve been heartbroken in the past I didn’t feel like there was enough music that represented the specific types of things I was feeling. That’s why I wanted to write these songs. I want people who hear them to feel heard. I want people to know that love is so messy, and we don’t always get it right and that’s okay.’ Eloise describes the experience of writing the eight-track project as ‘emotional and cathartic,’ while emphasizing the importance of maintaining boldness throughout the creative process.
HAUS BAND – ‘She Belongs to Me’: An unapologetic and triumphant cover of ‘She Belongs to Me,’ delivered with reverb guitars and vintage dark sunglasses. Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos has launched a Bob Dylan Covers side project, HAUS BAND with fellow Berlin artists Olga Karatzioti-B. and Leonard Kaage (of ‘Errorr’ and ‘The Underground Youth’ fame), and to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, they have released this cover of ‘She Belongs to Me’ with a video. The track is the first to be taken from a forthcoming album of Dylan covers to be released later in the year via Alcopop! Records and newly-minted German label Anomic Records—the by-product of hearing band practices through the wall, feeding the neighbors’ cats, and lucky circumstance thrown together by the pandemic. ‘I’ve always wanted to make a Dylan covers album,’ says an enthusiastic Argos, ’but the opportunity really came up when, during Lockdown, I heard my neighbors practicing their songs through the floor, and thought to myself ‘they sound like they need a singing partner’. I’d heard them practicing Pixies the week before so I knew they were awesome dudes. We’d also been looking after each other’s cats. We started playing Dylan songs for fun in the evening because we had nothing else to do. Leo and I love Dylan (Olga is a recent convert). Olga is a photographer and filmmaker and was learning the bass. Leo has a band called ‘Errorr’ and Olga plays in a band called The Underground Youth, and they both have a new record label together, so the idea of turning our fun into an album and doing everything ourselves came together very quickly. We called ourselves Haus Band because, besides the trip to Leo’s studio, everything was done in the house where we live. I can be quite lazy so just having to go up a flight of stairs to rehearse has been great for me. People seem to be surprised that I love Dylan so much,’ adds Argos quizzically. ’I’m not sure why…? He’s not just an amazing lyricist, he’s also a hilarious dude. A lo-fi punk rock motherfucker that seems to do whatever he pleases, which are all qualities that I look for in new friends. I’m sure there are lots of Bob Dylan covers albums about to come out. We didn’t even know it was going to be his 80th birthday when we started, so I hope ours reclaims him a bit from the AOR he sometimes gets mistaken for and reminds people he’s a lot more mischievous than that. I was just really lucky that I got locked down underneath the exact people I needed to be with to make this record,’ enthuses Argos. ’I’m glad they spurred me on to record it with them, it’s been a blast. With my solo album coming out later this year, I guess I am now entering my Bryan Ferry period.’ Olga from Haus Band adds: ’Whenever Leo, Eddie and I were having drinks we would talk about the idea of forming a covers house band. It just made so much sense. We all play music, live in the same house, and we were locked in that house because of COVID. Leo is a recording engineer, Eddie paints and writes, I make videos and photos, we didn’t need anyone else! Eddie wanted to start with Bob Dylan as he always wanted to do a Bob Dylan covers album. It happened to be his 80th birthday this year so I thought ‘OK, whatever…’
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