The Fold, Paul Leary, Bret Koontz & Truancy Club, Jude Flannery, Marcus Paquin, Uji, and 5 Billion in Diamonds are among these press releases for October.
The Fold – “World Gone Mad”: A symphonic beginning turning into an anthemic pop song with a rap delivery twist but always served by giant hooks. The song comes from the new and sixth album, “Stereo Fire” by Chicago-based rock band The Fold. “This album describes life in the present where everything is coming at us from all angles. The good, the bad, and the scary all have the spotlight,” says Dan Castady. “Stereo Fire is about finding yourself amidst the chaos and healing.” Founded in 2010 by brothers Dan and George Castady, the band has amassed an audience of faithful listeners through their heartfelt music and ability to write undeniable anthems for LEGO Ninjago, Chicago Cubs, and the NFL. The new collection of songs features pop anthems alongside fast punk and ballads and is lyrically driven as much as it is a nostalgic exploration of the band’s roots and where they’ve come from.
Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers) – “How Much Longer”: A trippy and weird tune with an unstoppable rhythmic section, and an irresistible T. Rex vibe, accompanied by a mischievous video inspired by Looney Tunes cartoons and the vintage TV show The Time Tunnel. The Butthole Surfers guitarist is a prolific artist who has been called a modern-day Captain Beefheart and has built a world blending psychedelic, proto-punk, and mystical mayhem. Speaking on the track, Paul wrote: “I grew up in a time when school children were drilled to hide under desks in the event of a nuclear strike. ‘How Much Longer’ was written in 1991. Here, over thirty years later, the question still nags at my brain. Mike Maryniuk’s creepy hypnotic imagery touches on the effect of waiting for the end time.” The track is taken off the brand new reissue of his debut LP, “The History of Dogs” (originally shared in 1992), out now via Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise. Paul Leary’s latest solo LP, “Born Stupid,” came out last year via Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise. Both records — “Born Stupid” and the newly reissued “The History of Dogs “— are available to purchase as a 2xLP bundle.
Bret Koontz & Truancy Club – “Strange New Love”: A melancholic ballad centered around Bret Koontz’s bright vocals and vintage arrangements using acoustic guitar, keys, flute, and strings, somewhat reminiscent of ‘70s artists such as the Carpenters. This is a track off Bret Koontz & Truancy Club’s new LP, “A Sparkle Road Cult,” out November 18 via Earth Libraries. Speaking on their newest single, the band wrote: “‘Strange New Love’ is a song about endings and beginnings: it reflects on that moment at the end of a relationship or important phase when something wider comes into focus– your relationship with the world and life itself. Have you been keeping up with the world? Been a stranger to life? Impressionistic vocals, classical guitar, flute, and strings paint a lush portrait of the exhilaration and risk of this moment that hints at Gilberto & Getz and the Left Banke in equal parts.” They have also released an animated video to accompany the song. After thinking hard about how to best share this album with the world, BK&TC arrived at the concept of releasing A Sparkle Road Cult as an Art Book Album. The book includes the entire album in sheet music form, a full-color art page for each song, and a CD. It’s a timely innovation and a meditation on how we consume music, or as Koontz elaborates: “I kept thinking about releasing and archiving music beyond recorded versions—the songs themselves. I got excited about doing the physical album in a way that was thematically relevant to the material and highlighted the cinematic and narrative aspects—so a book made sense, art pages as visual environments made sense—sheet music made sense. . . buying fake books and sheet music singles from the record shop was how I first started learning to play. And I like that it adds an open-source element— the formula is laid out for anyone to access, so it glances back to the give-and-take that’s so ingrained in pop music—all music, really.”
Jude Flannery – “Not so Ready”: A luminous and soulful melody on keys and strings with Flannery’s beautiful vocals elegantly soaring like a ’70s rockstar’s croon. The result is classic, even superb, and the third single of his new album, “Quiet by your Side,” out on October 28. Speaking on his newest single, he wrote: “Sometimes, small things have bigger impacts on our lives but I think this song gets at something more. You often don’t realize the small moments that will have the most meaning until long after you have experienced them. Matt found a soft groove that builds throughout the song while Robbie matched an old Italian synth sound with a piano that finds a balance of majestic melancholy. We ended up changing the original mix so the acoustic guitar sounds like someone playing off to the side of the stage and it helps the anthemic chorus, especially when Quentin’s soaring slide guitar arrives.” On its accompanying video, he continued: “Directed by Marc Zajack and filmed by Alexandra Golden Flannery, the video for ‘Not so Ready’ tells a story that reflects upon a time and place, while embracing the comfort and expectations of those memories.” The album explores the themes of connection and expectation. Joined by primary collaborators Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Muzz) on drums and percussion and Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin, Light Heat) on bass and guitar, the record has a psychedelic folk-rock vibe. Additional collaborators include Robbie Bennett (The War on Drugs) on keyboards, Keir Neuringer (The Irreversible Entanglements) on saxophone, Zena Kay on pedal steel, and Annie Nero on backing vocals. The overall mix is warm and dynamic, a credit to the craft and production contributions of Barrick, who recorded and mixed the record, and Stoltzfus, who mastered the record at Philadelphia’s Silent Partner recording studio.
Marcus Paquin – “The Way Forward”: Muted and vulnerable vocals over slow-build instrumentation of keys punctuated by sparse beats and exulting a range of emotions. Speaking on the track, Marcus wrote: “After years of personal struggle, I found myself considering whether staying on my chosen path was ultimately for the best. I questioned my understanding of unconditional love and sought to find a sense of self-love that was missing in my life. This song speaks of that search and of my decision to let go, find compassion and regain a love of life and self.” This is the new single off Marcus Paquin’s new album ” Our Love,” out on November 25 via Birthday Cake Records. “The Way Forward” is accompanied by a music video. “Our Love” was written, arranged, played, produced, and mixed by Marcus with drumming from friend and former bandmate Liam O’Neill of the band Suuns. It combines Marcus’ raw and intimate songwriting with his veteran production chops, blending traditional indie rock sounds with lush layers of electronics and synths. Speaking on his new LP, Marcus continued: “Love is infinite. The more we share, the more we receive. Love is the common thread that weaves us all together. It is selfless, it is fearless and it is kind. Love is a luminescence in each of us. It is an energy and a strength that radiates and projects on the people and the world around us. That energy is amplified by the compassion and generosity of those we hold dear and by the mindful practice of gratitude, openness, and forgiveness. The catharsis that came from writing the songs on this album helped me process the pain of my separation from my partner of 18 years and recognize the beauty and healing power of my own self-love. En route to accepting my new path, I saw clearly that love is everywhere and that we need only extend an open hand to receive it and an open heart to give it. Our Love is an exploration of my relationship with love and an ode to love in its many forms.”
Uji – “QuemaQuema”: An ultra-percussive track with bold female-male vocals (Sudanese singer Nyaruach assures the female part), and a music video that manages to translate the kinetic experience of the strange song composed by Argentinian electronic music producer Uji. This is the latest single of his forthcoming album, “TIMEBEING,” due on October 21 via ZZK Records. The track comes alongside an accompanying music video, part of the record’s 8-part film, directed by Jazmin Calcarami. Speaking on the newest video, Calcarami wrote: “Asuka submerged in the depths of being, awakens in the labyrinth of mirrors, where she recognizes her deepest fears, from which she tries to flee, but Niax ‘The being of time’ appears, who through dance and song comes to transform it. Asuka initially defends herself, protecting herself from her with masks, but eventually gives in and faces her deepest fears. As ASUKA returns to her human body she finds herself amidst a labyrinth of mirrors. She is able to escape only to encounter NIAX, a mercurial androgynous entity. ASUKA and NIAX face off, but Asuka is afraid of what she sees. This battle between darkness and light, between the past and the future, between hope and despair ends Asuka passed out on the floor, her ego dissolved, her soul finally liberated.”
5 Billion in Diamonds – “A Thin Line”: A vintage psychedelic pop lightness with a cinematic dimension caught between different eras and styles while immediately translating a certain familiarity. 5 Billion in Diamonds — the legendary trio of Butch Vig, Andy Jenks, and DJ James Grillo — have only shared the music video for their brand new single featuring drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. It’s not on Spotify and it is available exclusively with the purchase of the vinyl edition of their 2020 LP, “Divine Accidents,” out now via MAKE Records. Butch explains about their new vinyl-exclusive single: “We wrote ‘A Thin Line’ about the difficult choices people make, the paths we choose to walk. We recorded the choir-like mantra over Jimmy Chamberlin’s groovy drums, and channeled some Pink Floyd, John Barry, and ELP into a trippy, sonic serenade.” Featured drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins) continued: “Butch knows my drumming very well and when he asked me to do this track I knew it would be a good fit. And it was! Great tune with a thought-provoking message.” Fusing influences from the 80s with their signature genre-bending sound, “Divine Accidents” is stacked with an exciting set of renowned collaborators and delivers on the anticipation that such a star-studded group promises. Watch the song on Youtube here.
dance pop, gooey confection
75K EAUs is abysmal
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contenders for the best punk rock around
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