Moon Walker, Kelsey Magnuson, Zoon, TVOD, Tearing Up, Ging, and Theon Cross are the artists among these press releases for November.
Moon Walker – “Turn Off This Song (Before It Takes Your Soul)”: An angry and funny ’70s-inspired rock song with politically charged lyrics (critiquing everything from capitalism, to the distrust of media, to the hyper-surveilled, hyper-policed place the U.S. has become), and delivered with swagger; the result lands between The White Stripes and The Talking Heads. This is a single from Brooklyn-based alt-rocker Moon Walker’s electrifying sophomore LP “The Attack Of Mirrors,” released last month. Its accompanying video portrays a matching dystopia, depicting a man in a room alone watching an old television set as Moon Walker appears on the screen performing the track in a red-lit room that, while performing, soon begins taunting the viewer, and rattles off new laws in place. The alt-rocker is then seen behind a computer, coding what plays on the TV as the government bans are announced and secretly communicates with the police officer, together, manipulating the viewer. The man is soon met with the police officer who enforces the laws inside his home, banning books and listening to the radio, then periodically places Uncle Sam propaganda-style posters that read “Moon Walker is watching you” signifying the heavily controlled, manipulated media. Explaining the video’s inspiration, director Madison McConnell explains, “The song felt dystopian to me, so I took heavy inspiration from [1924 Russian novel] ‘We’ and [George Orwell’s] ‘1984’ when writing the video. I drew from those book’s themes of lack of privacy and control.” With his second LP, Moon Walker reflects on the various effects the pandemic had on his life, and took a hard look in the mirror. Moon Walker explains, “Making this record was really my way of navigating through the pandemic. In addition to the emotional havoc that was wreaked on the vast majority of human beings, I felt like my career was reaching a dead end. My band was breaking up, jobs weren’t easy to come by, my first solo record hadn’t yet seen any success, and my future felt more uncertain than it ever had before. When so little in life is going your way, it’s easy to start hating what you see in the mirror. And when you hate what you see in the mirror, you tend to put a lot of hatred into the world.” Beginning to grow increasingly disillusioned, Moon Walker continues, “Plus, the political climate was unbelievably volatile. I think that the mixture of being deprived of social interaction for several years and watching so many absolutely vile ideologies rise to the surface left me feeling extremely alienated. It’s difficult to have any desire to rejoin a society that is genuinely divided on issues like anti-LGBT legislation, and misogynistic Supreme Court Rulings. I wonder if so many people would so proudly advocate for hatred, segregation, and oppression if they learned to stop hating what they saw in the mirror.”
Kelsey Magnuson – “Anna’s Song”: The jangling guitars have a Courtney Barnett vibe while the vocals are sweet but deliver heartfelt lyrics with plenty of energy, character, and a playful bounce. The catchy and summery result is a single off Magnuson’s debut LP, “Don’t Budge,” just released via Earth Libraries. “I was so drawn to her range of sound, from plucky guitar songs to heavier riffs, and how it flowed so well through one album,” Magnuson explains, again needing to share another heartfelt detail. “But I’d also be a phony if I didn’t mention my real life inspo from idea man-confidant-and total lyrical genius Anna McClellan.” With her band, Kelsey Magnuson creates lyric-heavy songs with catchy licks that convey her feelings on making out, growing out of your twenties, and sports as a metaphor for polyamory. Throughout her debut LP, Magnuson draws inspiration from other femme rock musicians such as Julie Doiron, Haley Heynderickx, and Hannah Mohan (And the Kids). On her debut full-length album, Magnuson parses lines through radiant bedroom pop equally matched in that witty, crackling intimacy. The songs feel like a chat with a best friend, inside jokes you didn’t even know you had, and knowing asides fitting together like perfect puzzle pieces. “The songs span over a handful of years, so they come together like a map of transitions and growing pains through my twenties,” Magnuson says. “There’s so much about living in small towns, un-returned adoration, and the urgent need to spend my time ‘right’ and hold everything together.”
Zoon – “Giizhig”: An immersive shoegazing track with a symphonic and powerful sound of dream pop melodies and ethereal folk. Zoon, the musical project fronted by songwriter Daniel Monkman, has recently released a surprise 4-track EP entitled “A Sterling Murmuration” via Paper Bag Records, and the final track “Giizhig” comes with a music video. Speaking on the track, Daniel wrote: “Giizhig is a shorter word for the phrase ‘Ingii-pawaadaan babaamaashiyaan giizhigong’ which means ‘I dreamed I was soaring around in the sky.’ Giizhig alone means ‘sky.’ As a young person, I’d find ways to escape my reality, sometimes I’d lay in a field and watch the clouds shapeshift in the sky, just like wasakeechuk, an old mythical creature that lived with the first indigenous people of turtle island.” On his new EP, he continued: “A Sterling Murmuration as a body of work is material from ten-plus years ago. I then recorded these songs with my high school friends in Winnipeg but broke the record into a few different movements. Big Pharma was the first movement and this is the second. The title ‘A Sterling Murmuration’ comes from the movement that a flock of birds does for safety from predators. They use this technique for other reasons such as warmth at night, and also to exchange information about feeding areas. I feel very connected to this concept, I see it in humans and how we need a strong community to protect each other. isolation played a role in this body of work and is supposed to display the danger in isolating. while in this state we set ourselves up to be in harm’s way by outside forces but by breaking out and embracing humility and community you can finally transcend into a healthy trajectory.”
TVOD – “Alien”: A mysterious darkness with catchy and relentless riffs lurking underneath waves of synth-punk and rattled garage rock. The song is a complete banger mixing lots of different elements together in an interesting and rewarding chaos. Brooklyn-based experimental disco-punk outfit TVOD (Television Overdose) kicks off a trifecta of new singles with the release of the first track, “Alien.” A jangly, intergalactic ripper, “Alien” lurches forward with entrancing synths, distorted vocal stylings, and tight drum sequences. A la Post Animal, it’s a vaguely psychedelic trip into the vortex. Lead vocalist and songwriter Tyler Wright said of the release: “This was a song I came up with while sitting on the floor of my practice space feeling sorry for myself. I was having a lot of feelings of self-doubt and jealousy at the time and for some reason, I could not stop painting this mental image that there was a little envious Martian man slowly eating my brain and trying to take over my life. It’s amazing what some painful emotions and a couple of catchy guitar riffs can become.” TVOD will release another two new singles before the end of the year. Stay tuned for more.
Tearing Up – “Highway Bandits”: Strong rocking guitars, punk energy, and bold delivery for a song reminiscent of the ‘90s alt-rock scene, going from Oasis to the Dandy Warhols. “Highway Bandits” is a track off Graham Caldwell’s debut EP “Billy Is Dead” and it comes with a music video. Caldwell is a longstanding creative force whose previous musical endeavor, Billy Moon — aka Christopher Robin’s nickname as accounted in A. A. Milne’s Now We Are Six (or When We Were Very Young) — saw him release a number of acclaimed, multi-genre singles and eclectic full-length LPs such as Punk Songs (2018). Over the years, he additionally shared the stage with acts such as Nada Surf, Day Wave, Will Butler, Born Ruffians, July Talk, and Ty Segall, among others. Graham explained the single: “This song is for my brother. The year he graduated from university, I flew out to Kelowna, BC to help him drive his truck and all his other belongings back to Ontario. It was a 5-day drive where we talked about his experience in Uni and waxed poetic about what the future held. At that time, we knew that our Dad was dying and that the home we were returning to was a far more complicated place than it was when he had left. We don’t really look like brothers. People will meet us and they’ll be genuinely shocked that we’re related. In some ways, our personalities are polar opposites. I usually describe it by saying I was in my high school musical, while he was co-captain of the rugby team.I think about that drive as a moment when I realized that we were bound together by something, maybe it was the weight of what we knew was to come: that we would spend the next two years carrying our father’s life on our backs, trying to discover what our own lives would look like once we found a place to set it down. Now that the years have passed I think he’s done a pretty good job, and I don’t know why but for some reason, I think he’d probably say the same thing about me.”
Ging – “Never Want To Leave”: A heartfelt tune with original vocal harmonies and a retro vibe, at times, reminiscent of Arthur Lee’s Love. The track is taken from Ging’s (the solo project of the artist formerly known as Frank Dukes) debut album “We’re Here, My Dear,” just released this past week. “I wrote ‘Never Want To Leave’ about falling in love,” says Ging. “It happened at a time in my life when I least expected it. It was a love that burnt quickly and intensely but even in its brevity transformed me and how I saw the world. It’s about that initial feeling of falling for someone that feels like a dream that you wish you could stay in forever.” A wildly acclaimed producer since his teen years in Toronto for artists including Drake, Rihanna, SZA, Kanye West, The Weeknd, and many more, Ging began to ponder what his own art might sound like. Turning inward, he started to create songs purely for his own enjoyment—taking a hard turn away from his hip hop and pop productions and experimenting with ambient and avant-garde instrumentals before landing on the album’s folkier structures. At the same time, great changes were happening in his personal life—a split from his longtime partner and the mother of his children. We’re Here, My Dear is a document of this time and a love letter to his family, particularly his young children, as they navigate(d) these shifts together. Growing up in Toronto, Ging was always known by his middle name—King, pronounced Ging—returning to his childhood identity felt most fitting for this new phase of his life and career.
Theon Cross – “Wings”: A cinematic and exhilarating instrumental that brings new energy to the tuba which rattles its way through this very percussive jazzy piece. Theon Cross – the gifted musician, composer, and core member of Sons Of Kemet – is expanding the sonic possibilities of tuba playing, and is at the forefront of the thriving London jazz scene. He released his critically acclaimed album Intra-I (New Soil / Marathon Artists) last fall and has returned with a soaring single, “Wings.” “Conceptually, the song speaks of the metaphorical wings needed to take flight and embrace new changes and directions in life,” notes Cross. “It captures a feeling of freedom and symbolizes a sense of progressive movement which feels significant as I move into a new chapter in my career.” “Wings” comes with a second track: an easy-going, bass-heavy cover version of Aswad’s “Back To Africa.” Cross is an award-winning tuba player and composer who not only redefines what can be done with his instrument but also transcends traditional genre conventions with his heady brew of low-end theory combined with strains of jazz, dub, hip-hop, soca, grime, and other sounds from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. In 2019, he released his acclaimed debut solo album, Fyah, and has collaborated with Little Simz, Stormzy, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Kano, and others. Intra-I, his most recent album, is an exploratory and upful celebration of Afro-Diaspora music, featuring songs that examine self-development, the importance of history and heritage, and the strength in adversity shown by the first generations of post-war Caribbean migrants to the UK. Since the October 2021 release of Intra-I, the South Londoner has been busy with a successful UK solo tour and the final round of Sons Of Kemet dates before the band’s indefinite hiatus. Also, Cross recently reimagined Thelonius Monk’s “Epistrophy” for the “Blue Note Re: imagined II” compilation released a few weeks ago.
the song is a vulnerable and lovelorn admittance of struggles
If you are a teen or twenty-something woman give it a go
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1980 (Volume 12, Number 5)
I haven’t had sex with half the guys I’ve been out with
“owning your own dysfunction and the people who benefit from it”
The White Buffalo is at the Regent Theater
from Dermot to Nickelback is a highway to hell
seven days later she falls to earth
emotional vocals crooning over a gently plucked acoustic guitar
nostalgia as the last exit to oblivion
The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 11-25-22 – 12-1-22, Jimi Hendrix And Zayn’s “Angel” Reviewed
I can’t see how it can be a hit but it sure deserves to be