Asylums, K!lly !dol, Saint Christopher, Joshua Lewis, The White Buffalo, Bret Koontz & Truancy Club, and RONBOY are among these press releases for November.
Asylums – “Signs Of Life”: A loud, in-your-face-delivery rock piece that doesn’t miss any markers of swagger and intense passion. The band entwines the fragile introspection of early Kurt Vile and Cat Power with the late 90’s song smithery of Blur and The Cardigans. The results are uplifting, soul searching and further evidence that Asylums are on top form for their forthcoming album ‘Signs of Life’, due October 28 via Cool Thing Records. ‘Signs of Life’ was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales with genre-bending ‘Manic Street Preachers’ producer Dave Eringa in the driving seat. As well as dialing the rock action up to 10, this record also draws from the likes of R.E.M., The Magnetic Fields, and The Beatles who all arguably made some of their best work during a live hiatus. Other songs of the album have been described as “Late 90’s Albarn meets the great bits of American indie at a classical concert & they all get together for a party!” by producer Dave Eringa.
K!lly !dol – “WANNABE!”: A yearning melody with smoky vocals, a retro feel, and a super hooky chorus reminiscent of the best ‘90s pop. “This song was written quite a few years ago,” says K!lly !dol. “At the time, I was 26 years old and living in an illegally-small 1-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, NY. I’d started a band called The Worst Humans and I was struggling desperately to keep my head above water. At this point I was in the throes of addiction; misdiagnosed and taking the wrong medication to combat my bi-polarity (1), and retaining less and less sleep as the days fell off the calendar. Sometime in April of 2017 my dear friend, Cory, flew into the city from Seattle to do a shoot with me for the Humans. I couldn’t get out of bed. I was ashamedly discourteous to my friend and his time and I wasted the lot of it by feeling insurmountably depressed and self-deprecating. Forever the optimist, Cory wasn’t going to have any of it. He helped rally me from my bed and was sympathetic to my self-loathing, thus sparing me the camera’s eye. Instead, he picked up a guitar and started strumming. He had introduced me to The Dandy Warhols earlier that year and I was listening to them obsessively. So it started, I tried finding something on the guitar that would fall in the realm of the Dandy’s. Cory was prodding me with questions, trying to invoke some semblance of curiosity to get the writing process started. I remember looking through my Notes app on my phone and scouring all the one-liners and would-be lyrics I had taken down in my free time. I landed on what would become the first line of the song, “I wannabe New York City.” The idea behind it is that there is a desperation to reach new heights of fame. There is an immense feeling of validation that comes with it and it’s very rarely satisfying enough to fill someone up for the rest of their life. They always want more. I toyed with the term “wannabe.” I tried to fold it into itself and make it self-referential. I think everyone wants to be as famous as New York City. I also think everyone wants to be as famous as food (thus the line, “I wannabe the food that you eat.”). If it sounds disgusting that’s because it is. Cory helped me get my thoughts in order and even contributed an expertly-written bridge section that didn’t make it into the final product. The guy whom I recorded the song with, Keith Nelson, wrote some new parts and helped make it the song it is. I’m forever grateful to them both and regard them both as dear friends. And I might still be in bed if it weren’t for Cory.”
Saint Christopher – “POP SHIT”: A delicate guitar and R&B-inspired distorted vocals projecting calming emotions while an empowering message shines through. This is the titled track from Saint Christopher’s debut LP, “Pop Shit” released on October 28. Speaking about his new release — on which he honestly and openly discusses the challenges of being involved with such a fickle, yet intense industry, Saint Christopher, the project of Los Angeles musician Christopher Kalil (formerly of Arms Akimbo), wrote: “Whose dream is this? When I first started writing music, it was to survive. I was in pain, and I didn’t know how to talk about it – but I knew how to write music about it. If I could write music about it then I could handle it. As I got older, it stopped being about expression and started becoming about progression. Business people get involved, and tell you what you ‘should’ do to make money and get attention. What you ‘have to’ do in order to be legitimate. So, this song is me saying ‘thank you’ to music for all it’s given me & ‘fuck you’ to business for all it’s taken. I don’t need the version of success that is being offered. There’s more accessible art in the world now then there has ever been by an immense margin but does anyone really feel any better? Does anyone feel like it’s working? We are allowed to demand more and strive to be more. Or maybe it’s all pop shit and I’m part of the problem…”
Joshua Lewis – “Only You”: Jazzy guitars for a key-led fun tune reminiscent of something from a Joe Jackson era, nostalgic but mixing genres and overall difficult to be pigeonholed. This is the second single off Lewis’s LP, “Friction,” released yesterday via Earth Libraries. Joshua said of the track: “‘Only You’ is a song where I just wanted to have fun. It was the second song I recorded for the album. It’s playful but still carries some emotional weight. I found these 4 chords that I liked and re-arranged them in different phrases/rhythms throughout the tune. The chorus ‘only you’ harmonies are probably my favorite moment on the record. I wanted to make something a little dissonant but retain a pop feel. I still look back and think ‘how did I even write that?’ It all came to me within a week.” Early last year, the Boise, ID singer-songwriter shared his self-recorded debut album, “Too Soft,” via Earth Libraries. With its warm gazes back at 1970s pop-rock crooning, the record’s eponymous softness enveloped its tales of heartbreak and longing with halos of inviting melodies and layered instrumentation. The smooth, jazzy crooner “Only You” also comes alongside an accompanying music video, created by Benjamin Violet.
The White Buffalo – “Not Today”: A force of nature with deep, evocative vocals and a personality bursting the screen (as you can see in this video accompanying the song). This is the single off Jake Smith’s (The White Buffalo) new album, “Year Of The Dark Horse” out yesterday via Snakefarm Records. The song immediately draws the listener with its hopeful metaphor of the start of a new year, which fades through a horserace and wanes as the days tick on until another year has passed. Jake sings: “Resolutions set, Life’s a boundless buffet, Find what’s pure and true, Strangulate my wicked ways, The month moves on and out resolutions fade, Can’t recall what they were, Were they ever even made? Pull It together man, back on your horse and in the race, thought you were the favorite boy, In the stretch, I pull up lame; Morning comes and goes I lie in bed awake, Maybe tomorrow, but no, not today; Today… The rise and fall so swift, invite the tired bones of winter to come on in.” Recorded at Neon Cross Studios in Nashville, TN with Jay Joyce, “My forthcoming album is a sonic and lyrical journey of one lunar year in one man’s life” says Jake Smith, aka The White Buffalo. “Four seasons in 12 songs… Loosely based on my twisted truths and adventures. I wanted to show the seasonal effect on the heart and the mind. I also wanted to abandon, sonically, everything. Escape the acoustic clutches and genres I’ve been associated with and shackled to. I wanted to make my headphones album. Every song bleeds into the next.” Smith adds, “I created a visual companion as an art film comprised of vignettes for each of the 12 songs. Part performance art, part cinema, the film The White Buffalo: Year Of The Dark Horse will take you, on the emotional roller coaster of this album Four directors take three song sections of the album and each taking a season into another. Winter to spring, spring into summer, and so on. Made to be consumed in one sitting. Hopefully mildly sedated or elevated.”
Bret Koontz & Truancy Club – “Gloaming, Nightshade”: A smooth song with soothing and emotive vocals and soft-relaxing arrangements which “bring to mind the songcraft of the Carpenters and Prefab Sprout-esque Sophisti-Pop shaken up/down by a touch of the large format boogie of Wings and raw Power Pop of Big Star.” Bret Koontz & Truancy Club (ft. members of Fran, Famous Laughs) have announced a brand new LP, “A Sparkle Road Cult” out on November 18 via Earth Libraries. “Gloaming, Nightshade,” a meditation on grief and loss inspired by a late-night encounter with an accidental mood, is the second single of this forthcoming record, ”A Sparkle Road Cult,” out November 18 via Earth Libraries. Bret wrote: “I was walking to a party very late at night after a show in Louisville when I came across a tiny, dilapidated graveyard. The sprinklers were miscalibrated so that they were missing the grass and mostly spraying the sculptures, which were already tilted and weathered. This incidental diorama set the stage for a glassy sophisti-pop exploration of ‘mono no aware,’ the Japanese concept of a bittersweet awareness of the impermanence of things.” The new track also comes along with an accompanying music video described via the following synopsis: “This music video for ‘Gloaming, Nightshade’ explores a day in the life of a metaphysical grief counselor (Ariel Mejia) and her chauffeur (Zach Hebert) as they help clients deal with loss through unorthodox methods.”
RONBOY – “Your Way”: A meditative and poignant piano ballad with haunting vocals while the atmospheric and raw song inspires heartbreak and desolation. LA-based rising singer-songwriter Ronboy, the musical moniker of Julia Laws, has released her debut studio album “Pity To Love,” an album that emerged first from feelings, rather than specific subject matter, and came together after a few tireless weeks in the studio. “A lot of the album’s concept comes from me grappling with my own mental health. I had a feeling, more than a topic, for the songs and wasn’t sure if they would translate the way I heard them in my head,” Ronboy explains. Speaking about the recording process, Ronboy says, “The recording process began as us chipping away when we could and ended with us altogether for two hardcore weeks tying up each song. We’d record all day then I’d go straight to my studio to track the final vocals, wake up the next day, print the vocals, maybe track some piano or something and head back to the studio to do it all over again for the next song.” The album includes production by Ronboy herself, and Samuel Stewart (Lo Moon, Nightmare and the Cat), along with additional production by Sterling Laws (Lo Moon, Kim Gordon, Matt Berninger, Olivia Rodrigo) who affirmed Ronboy’s initial ideas and helped propel the project further. Over ten tracks, Ronboy turns inward to confront her own fears, transforming her innermost thoughts and spiraling emotions into vivid sonic catharsis, with plenty of space to dance. “Taking the album to Sam and Sterling was really reassuring. They got it instantly and were on board with approaching the production from more of a visual standpoint,” shares Ronboy. “I’d have depictions for songs like “this song is a fever dream” or “that song is an anxiety attack.” And we’d run towards that. ‘Pity To Love’ holds a lot of emotion, some over-awareness, and melancholy feelings. Dancing is welcomed.”
the same sentimental vintage formula
the incomparable daughter of Lagos
I was traveling around and sharing my story in churches
Stella Rose has already played packed-out clubs
“The Beast Inside” Red Carpet Industry Screening, Friday, December 2nd 2022 at Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills Pictorial
Here are red carpet pictures from last Friday…
The attack of Christmas lays waste to everyone
a mini-meet of first rate rap-dance performers