Tearing Up, Christian Leave, Mother Sun, Skinshape, Youth In A Roman Field, Bridal Party, and Gates of Light are the artists among these press releases for November.
Tearing Up – “Running“: A fuzzy rocking piece with a badass delivery and a power chord chorus. The catchy tune is accompanied by a high-energy video and comes alongside the announcement of Graham Caldwell’s first EP, “Billy Is Dead,” due October 14. Graham 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. Today, Graham feels as though he doesn’t “have the energy to dress up as anyone besides [himself] anymore,” leading to the “death” of Billy Moon, and the rebirth of Graham Caldwell as Tearing Up. Explained Graham of the name choice: “Growing up, I loved punk bands that sneered in the face of authority, demanding their voice be heard. They made me feel like I was stronger than I was. I was the kind of person who avoided conflict since I’d lose every fight I’d end up in, but there’s still a part of me that itches to get its hands dirty, hence the name: Tearing Up. ‘Running’ is a song that I wrote years ago and is finally seeing the light of day now. Sometimes, you just gotta be willing to embarrass yourself in the act of loving something, or yourself. When I first wrote it, I thought: ‘Man, did I just write a Christian rock song?’”
Christian Leave – “Why Not?”: A luminous piece with strong vocals, keys, soulful backup harmonies, and a powerful ascending tempo. Christian Akridge, best known as Christian Leave, is the definition of a multi-threat — musically talented with an acclaimed bedroom pop career in tow, and skilled with the gift of comedic timing, Christian is a force to be reckoned with, and a force that audiences can’t help but flock toward. After achieving niche Internet fame with a massive following on the now-extinct social media platform Vine, Leave transitioned his focus to music and partnered with Warner Records in 2020. Since then, Christian has been on a steady trajectory upward, having released a handful of EPs and stand-alone singles, with shout-outs by massive publications. “‘Why Not?’ to me is really just a song about finding yourself sunken into complacency, identifying it, and not having the motivation to change it,” said Christian. “Even if it’s detrimental to your well-being. Whether that’s in a relationship or just general habits you’ve developed within your life. It’s a kind of kick at anyone who has found themselves there to say ‘Hey, you’re not alone! We’ll work on this together!’” Last year, Christian shared a brand-new EP entitled Days Like Lost Dogs, featuring singles such as “Maybe” and “10 Steps.” Prior, he shared another critically acclaimed EP entitled Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head, featuring hit tracks “Filth,” “Bedache,” and “Your Life Your Time.”
Mother Sun – “Tangerine Beach”: A beachy track with an upbeat vibe and a convoluted structure working like an epic, effervescent, psychedelic spaghetti western. Speaking on the track, the band wrote: “‘Tangerine Beach’ and its video tell the story of an optimistic vacationer, played by Nathan, whose trip is thwarted by expectations of paradise. Arriving at the beach, with many margaritas in hand, Nathan loses a lens to the sunglasses shading him from the reality of his surroundings.” “Train of Thought,” the third full-length release by Mother Sun, is a 12-song day trip through an overstimulated frame of mind. Using 60’s and 70’s psych-pop, garage rock, jazz, and soul as a jumping-off point, the band refines their modern eclectic storytelling through lush and adventurous arrangements, highlighted by abstract hooks, velvety strings, and triumphant horns. The record was recorded primarily live off the floor at Little Red Sounds Studio in Vancouver BC by producer Felix Fung. On the record, Mother Sun teamed up with a variety of musicians from their hometown of Kamloops BC, notably a string quartet from the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Horn arrangements written by two members of the band were performed by Vancouver-based musicians Anita Eccleston and Mike WT Allen.
Skinshape – “High Tide, Storm Rising”: A nostalgic instrumental, which, thanks to its repetitive structure, builds a hypnotic but intriguing atmosphere, pulling from jazz influences with some soothing horns and a warm foundation of keyboard chords. Will Dorey aka Skinshape has announced his seventh solo album, “Nostalgia,” out October 28 via Lewis Recordings, and “High Tide, Storm Rising” Is the record’s second single. Speaking on the track, Will wrote: “This song was written several years ago, it only came together during the writing of the “Nostalgia” album. The song is simple, and the idea is that of the main theme song for a movie. The sweeping string melody and flugal horn were written by my close friend Jon Moody and were the missing piece that really allowed the track to be completed.” Loosely constructed as an expansion of 2018’s “Filoxiny” LP, Nostalgia finds Dorey continuing to explore sounds, textures, and film set pieces drawing from the works of Quincy Jones and Ennio Morricone, infused with the sights and sounds of his hometown of Swanage in Dorset while adopting a London mindset as per his residence during the recording process. Expanding and returning the classic “Skinshape” sound, Nostalgia looks back and moves forward in the same breath as contemporaries Khruangbin, Quantic, Tame Impala, Bonobo, Morcheeba, and Madlib.
Youth In A Roman Field – “Albatros”: A beautiful and dynamic folk tune with Claire Wellin’s vocals floating above a sparse soundscape of delicately plucked strings and chords. Youth in a Roman Field’s progressive sound, which has been described as a combination of ‘Appalachia, cayenne pepper, and ghosts’ and ‘like Radiohead but also folk music,’ is the work of Claire Wellin, known for being a full-time member of the Brooklyn-based indie rock powerhouse San Fermin and her time touring with Delta Rae and “Once The Musical.” On November 11th, Youth in a Roman Field are sharing their newest offering, ”Get Caught Trying,” out on Better Company Records. On the album, Wellin shares: “I harbor a lot of anger. I always have. Struggling with depression, as defined by Sigmund Freud as anger turned inwards, has complicated my relationship with the feeling. Like many women I know, it’s been difficult to identify what anger is mine and what does not belong to me. Over the last five years, it’s become necessary to figure that out in order to create a path for living with instead of against those feelings. What began as an exercise in self-soothing led to my exploring generational patterns and trauma, and the anger that accompanies it, as a thread between myself and the women who came before me. This record is an attempt to make sense of that while opening up time and space for enjoyment, humor, and healing in the process. The title, ‘Get Caught Trying,’ references living a life inspired, bolstered, and made possible by the women who came before me. I have found that speaking and singing upwards and outwards to them has opened, at the very least, a useful path forward. Over the past months, the need for this space and time has only been amplified, as the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, in which Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were overturned, has changed life for all of us. Listening to and embracing those who have come before us, who have been fighting the fight against so many odds and for so many years, is a reminder that we do not live this life alone – and we will not go into the future alone, either.”
Bridal Party – “Cool Down“: A warm synth dancefloor with a smooth and retro ambiance. “Cool Down,” the first single from art pop quintet Bridal Party since 2019, makes danceable the feelings that come when the party’s over and it’s time to go home. Originally drafted in 2020 when anything resembling group celebration was a fantasy, “Cool Down” is both resistant to the come down after the party and in celebration of the moments when you are feeling so joyful in a community that you don’t ever want to leave. “Cool Down” began as a fragment captured on an iPhone in the band’s rehearsal space. “I was thinking about a Prince riff from “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and how well the chords worked together” explains Keyboardist Jordan Clairmont. “So I started playing them in a different succession and everyone caught on and Joe started recording it.” Guitarist Joseph Leroux continues: “I could tell the chords and beat held something fresh for us, so I hit record and started playing along so the idea didn’t get misplaced.” “Cool Down” luxuriates in the highs of its cymbal crashes and the lows of the bass synth, while ethereal guitars and vocal harmonies add texture to vocalist Suzannah Raudaschl’s intimate yet powerful performance. Raudaschl took the sketch home with her and returned with the anthemic chorus chords and most of the lyrics soon after. “I wanted wide melodies, something cathartic.”
Gates of Light – “Black Summer”: A sexy song with a European retro vibe, a magnificent Spanish trumpet, and Louise Quinn’s sultry vocals, landing “between Nico, Serge Gainsbourg and a lo-fi Saint Etienne.” Louise Quinn said of the music video: “The video was shot in Stereo in Glasgow which was the perfect location for the cool sixties vibe we were aiming for and for Grant to shoot on 16mm again. The song was inspired by Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones as well as female-fronted psychedelic acts like Shocking Blue and Jefferson Airplane. The trumpet solo (by Robert Handerson) was inspired by Alone Again Or by Love. It was great working with Grant again; we watched clips by Sandy Shaw, Marianne Faithful, and Dusty Springfield for inspiration. It’s a nice addition to Grant’s previous work for Gates Of Light on the videos for ‘Next To Me’ and ‘Belleville Sun.'” Earlier this year, Gates of Light shared the vinyl edition of their self-titled debut album on the legendary Shimmy-Disc label. Inspired by the intensity of lockdown, the 10-track project was originally released last year and was the result of a collaboration between the five artists across four cities, three time zones, and two continents: Glaswegian singer-songwriter Louise Quinn, producer Bal Cooke, London-based DJ/producer Scott Fraser, Parisian musician/DJ/producer Kid Loco, and NY film director/photographer Tim Saccenti (who has previously worked with Run The Jewels and Pharell, among others).
The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 12-2-22 – 12-8-22, Yemi Alade’s “African Baddie” Reviewed
One of the best albums of the year
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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1980 (Volume 12, Number 7)
Boy Howdy! did Susan Whitall put together a solid team of writers
its own glammy road not travelled
“This was his best performance ever.”
his best song since “I Will See You In Far Off Places”
expected series of punk veterans
I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser