Ultra Q, Noga Erez, Eels, Man or Astro-Man?, Gold & Youth, UPSAHL, Gabriels are among these press releases for October.
Ultra Q – ‘Handheld’: A buoyant pop-rock song mixing melodies and darkness with nervous guitars, and in-your-face vocals by Jakob Armstrong, the youngest son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe). The song will be featured on ultra Q’s upcoming EP ‘Get Yourself a Friend’ dropping November 19th, while the band has announced two headline shows in Los Angeles on November 10th at El Cid and in San Francisco on November 12th at Bottom of the Hill. The Inception-esque new video was directed by Hassan (Curtis Waters, UMI, Yung Gravy) and pays homage to 90s skateboarding culture complete with fish-eye lens shots and old-school camcorder visuals as the band races around the city. Written a few years back, Armstong revisited the song with the full band while in the studio this year. Knowing they wanted to incorporate Enzo’s guitar work on the verse, the band did shape the song, with Chris playing the electronic breakbeat on their live kit and Kevin nailing the final touches on bass. Of ‘Handheld’, Armstrong shares ‘Our producer/engineer Martin Cooke described this as the best example of what our band does. Attempted pop songs with some funky stuff. Everything comes together on this one to bring one of the tighter and neatly packaged Ultra Q songs. It’s short, it’s frantic, and I’m very proud of it.’
Noga Erez – Knockout (Against the Machine): A percussive and infectious beginning with claps, and dark-alley brass horns, it’s a bass-heavy pop with snappy lyricism, and the fun and powerful track will certainly surprise you. The song is featured on Noga Erez’s upcoming release ‘KIDS (Against The Machine)’ – an album that mirrors her highly acclaimed second LP with each track recreated as bold non-electronic big band productions. The record will be released on November 5th through City Slang. Erez comments: ‘The KIDS Against the Machine series that Ori Rousso and I started was something we mainly did for fun; a way to challenge ourselves. We wanted a chance to show each other and our fans that these songs could be reimagined without our signature electronic productions. These versions became instant faves for many – for those who love the more organic, woody, and brassy sound.’ ‘Knockout’ stood out to us because the original version is very brash and bold. It is the one that made the most significant transition, which turned into a more fun and light listen, and actually became the main single of this project.’ The album explores themes of tension and release, anxiety and remedy, and masterly melodic licks in swipes of stomping brass, all wrapped around Noga’s versatile vocals that quick-switch from clipped flow to smoky purr; from stadium chorus to street-ready beats.
Eels – ‘Good Night On Earth’: A single off another album from the very prolific Mr. E whose raucous and familiar vocals are dancing around a bluesy riff. Eels’fourteenth studio album, ‘Extreme Witchcraft’ will be released on January 28th via PIAS and the band’s own E Works Records. Eels leader Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, co-produced the record with PJ Harvey producer and guitarist John Parish, marking the first time the two have recorded together since 2001’s ‘Souljacker’ album. ‘John Parish is one of the most even-tempered, polite people I’ve ever met,’ E says. A true gentleman. Actually, he’s probably THE most polite person I’ve ever met. But when he gets into the studio he becomes a mad scientist. If you make music with John Parish, you get stuff no one else does. He has a really unique toolbox and musical outlook. Perhaps his politeness is a coping mechanism to keep Mr. Hyde under control when he’s out of his laboratory.’ Last year, Eels released the album ‘Earth To Dora,’ but since they were not able to tour, they are now set for a spring 2022 tour of Europe and America, starting March 11 in Belfast.
Man or Astro-Man? – ‘Space 1991’: An epic instrumental track with fast surf guitars, propelling the danceable music into the stratosphere. The song comes from the veteran band’s brand new three-track EP entitled ‘Space 1991/Tenth Planet,’ released via Earth Libraries. ‘Over the last few years, we’ve put together a ton of new recordings, and also we’ve also always had this endlessly bubbling vat of material that has been waiting to be curated and cataloged,’ says the band. ‘This new single is the first bit of all this crap. Much to the detriment of our sanity, we probably toured more than any band in the 1990s and we were constantly on the road for a decade. This was mostly due to us just being punk rock kids from Alabama who wanted to go absolutely anywhere we could. We never imagined we would get to travel to nearly 50 countries and meet so many amazing people over the years. Anyway, while on those travels, we did a ton of studio and radio sessions that we plan on getting out at some point including the 8 BBC Peel Sessions we did. This ‘Space 1991’ single sort of bridges the gap between all the old and new crap. Basically, it’s our very own take on the whole right-before-having-a-mid-life crisis space rock genre that all the kids are so crazy about these days.’
Gold & Youth – ‘Maudlin Days (Robocop)’: A smoothing and dreamy atmospheric song with pulsing synth and glamorous to melancholic intertwined boy and girl vocals. The song is another single off Gold & Youth’s forthcoming album ‘Dream Baby,’ due November 5 via Paper Bag Records. On the track, Gold & Youth say: ‘A substantial part of the lyrics for ‘Robocop’ is a near-verbatim transcript from when I was sucked into a conversation at a party last year with some finance bros who kept insisting they had found the truth (‘about, like, everything man’) after doing ayahuasca together on a boys trip. The entire exchange was one of total earnestness on the part of the bros, oblivious to tact, cultural sensitivities, or fashion sense (one of them was wearing a pink and gold Givenchy tracksuit into the Ayahuasca hut) and I engaged with thinly veiled contempt and entirely in bad faith in a deeply embarrassing battle of wits. It wasn’t until later, when rehashing the story with my girlfriend, a story in which I was so sure I was doing’s God’s work in raining down ridicule and condescension with a half-smirk (and to be clear, this story absolutely deserved ridicule and condescension), that it became obvious that I had slipped into just as much of a caricature as they had: The Lululemon wall street jabronis vs the smug lefty band guy who claims to love humanity above all else but rolls his eyes at actual humans (even finance bros are humans after all right). Low stakes and who cares right? Not exactly profound. But, it was a great jumping-off point for writing about a real sense of alienation I’ve felt in so many social situations in my life and constantly wondering how much of it has been self-imposed. How often am I preemptively detaching myself from potential human connection to preserve some abstracted convictions about what my chosen friend group might say about me? Aren’t these convictions about love, empathy, and understanding just empty high minded rhetoric if I don’t try to actually love, understand and empathize with the actual humans in my life? ‘Aren’t people all we’ve really got man?!’. Deeply solipsistic bullshit. The name of the song is equally self-involved. Any time I go cold and detach my girlfriend calls me ‘Robocop,’ which she stole from my bandmate’s nickname for me on tour. Aloof, ultra stoic, but incredibly capable of driving from Vancouver to San Diego in a single go.’
UPSAHL – ‘Lunatic’: A thumping pop-driven anthem with some bold lyric energy. This is also a highlight of UPSAHL’s upcoming debut album ‘Lady Jesus,’ coming October 8th via Arista Records. The exhilarating video, directed by George Gallardo, sees a bloody vengeful UPSAHL go, full-on psycho, as she reenacts the iconic Hitchcock scene. UPSAHL channels her usual don’t fuck with me attitude as the video follows her at a church confessing her sins. Of the video, UPSAHL shared: ‘Lunatic is all about playing a character, so for the video, we wanted to amplify this character. George Gallardo, who directed it, had this fire idea of recreating the shower murder scene from the movie Psycho. Having the majority of the music video takes place in a church/confession booth basically makes the whole context of the song sound like a confession. Lunatic is really the turning point on my album, in which we get closer and closer to Lady Jesus, so the music video taking place in a church feels like the birth of Lady Jesus and the person I’ve become while making this album.’ In celebration of the rising star’s highly anticipated debut album, ‘Lady Jesus,’ UPSAHL will be hosting a live performance and event at the oldest church in Los Angeles, Pico-Union Project at 9 pm PT on October 7th. The intimate, yet all-encompassing evening will feature UPSAHL and her three-piece band with a full performance of the entire album, the only time UPSAHL will be playing the album from front to back. Fans can tune into the Livestream on UPSAHL’s YouTube channel HERE.
Gabriels– Blame’: Superb aching vocals for a fully orchestrated and swelling song that immediately sounds both timeless and very cinematic. This is a new song from the Elton-John-endorsed trio Gabriels, who have just released a handful of songs to their name. ‘When examining our life’s problems, we hastily assign blame. ‘This happened because of this…’ Our song ‘Blame’ seeks to examine the construct of not only fault and shame but take a deep dive into the world of addiction, decadence and greed,’ notes vocalist Jacob Lusk. Gabriels has confirmed a set of performances at Pitchfork Music Festival in London and Paris on November 12 and November 19, respectively. These dates will follow the group’s three-night run of sold-out residency shows at The Social in London this October. Gabriels is acclaimed gospel singer and choir director Lusk and co-producers Ryan Hope and Ari Balouzian who are, respectively, also established film director and classically trained musician/soundtrack artist. Their music initially garnered attention abroad, leading to a record deal with Atlas Artists/Parlophone and support from Gilles Peterson, Celeste, Paul Weller, Benji B, Virgil Abloh, and Elton John, who branded their title track ‘one of the most seminal records I’ve heard in the last ten years.’ The group first came together in 2016 when Hope and Balouzian were working on a film together. In search of a choir for the project, they met Lusk in the casting sessions and instantly clicked. The trio spent the next five years cohesively redefining their sound while co-writing what ended up becoming Gabriels’ debut EP, ‘Love & Hate In A Different Time.’
essential crossover pop just after disco’s height
a nihilist’s anthem
Do You Believe In the Paranormal?
too on the nose
into rock god land
The venue is deeply symbolic
Rock Star Review – ARO Rose “Tarrant”
The Monkees Micky Dolenz & Mike Nesmith’s Farewell Tour At The Town Hall, Sunday, October 24th, 2021, Reviewed
Micky carried Mike for two hours, paid tribute to the Country Americana pop song writers skills, and made certain Nez looked swell
a lame 94K EAUs
“Hard” begs for a live show