Brando’s Lair, Sugarplum Fairies, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Liz Cooper, Wormy, Liily, Kacy Hill are among the press releases for September.
Brando’s Lair – ‘Say What You Want:’ The song is the latest single from Brando’s Lair, self-described as the ‘hippest, coolest, most with-it garage band in Michigan that you’re ever going to hear.’ ‘Say What You Want’ is a very upbeat power pop-rock tune with a catchy melody, and it is executed with great bravado, bringing a strong ‘70s vibe thanks to these Van Morrison horns and Barry Holdship’s strong vocals. While listening to the song, I could almost see someone sprawling the stage with some Morrissey’s swagger. The band is made of old friends, and I don’t know if their moniker is a reference to Apocalypse Now, but what else could it be?
Sugarplum Fairies – ‘Heart Hell 2021’: A very melancholic song slowly sprawling with warm vocal harmonies, wrapped around a sweet haze and an intimate noise. LA-based Viennese dream-pop project Sugarplum Fairies have announced their new collection ‘Altar Songs 1998-2021,’ and the lead single, ‘Heart Hell 2021’ is accompanied by a music video directed by Lael Neale. A poignant track with Nico-esque vocals and cinematic production, ‘Heart Hell’ is a stunning collaboration between Sugarplum Fairies frontwoman Silvia Ryder and Sid Simons of Girl Skin. The video juxtaposes their living and working environments by projecting VHS footage on a screen and filming it side by side, creating an ethereal, vintage feel. ‘Altar Songs 1998-2021’ is a snapshot of Sugarplum Fairies’ evolution from its 1998 origins as a Vienna-raised/California-based husband and wife duo, which – after a personal and creative breakup in 2013 – resulted in the moniker for a rotating artistic collective spearheaded by vocalist/songwriter Silvia Ryder.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – ‘Gemini’: A fuzz fest with dreamy-hazy whispered vocals and shimmering guitars building a melancholic journey. ‘Gemini’, the new single by Austin-based shoegaze outfit Letting Up Despite Great Faults, is centered around the idea of forever. Friendships and love can generate this enormous space, yet it can be such a small feeling on a day-to-day basis that we easily, and often, forget how almost impossible it is to find someone that fits us forever. The song immediately creates an almost chaotic world of fuzzed noise, but when the patient, whispering vocals cut through, we see our different worlds can thrive together, hopefully forever. Their new LP, ‘IV,’ set for a release in 2022, is their first full length in 8 years and is pouring with stories of growth, nurture, loss, and regret. With all the fuzzed and washed instruments and the album even mastered by Simon Scott of Slowdive, it’s hard not to label it shoegaze. But from deep storytelling to catchy pop melodies, it really is so much more. Letting Up Despite Great Faults shows their full maturation and patience on ‘IV.’
Liz Cooper – ‘Feeling Good’: With sweet vocals and subtle arrangements, the song slowly grows into an interesting sonic journey, with poppy hooks and beautiful vocals. Of the song, Cooper shares, ‘‘Feeling Good’ is one of the first songs I wrote for this record. It’s the recognition of a deep and nagging existential sadness that’s nearly impossible to shake.’ The track is the latest unveiled from Cooper’s anticipated new album, ‘Hot Sass,’ which was just released via Thirty Tigers. Produced by Benny Yurco (Michael Nau, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals), mixed by Dan Molad (Lucius, Emily King) and recorded live at Little Jamaica Recordings in Burlington, VT, ‘Hot Sass’ marks multiple departures for Cooper—from her nine-year home of Nashville, from her band addendum of the Stampede, and from the genre-based expectations she’s accumulated throughout her career. With these twelve new songs, including the previously released tracks ‘Hot Sass,’ ‘Slice of Life’ and ‘Getting Closer,’ Cooper comes into her own—both musically and as a person—embracing a newfound sense of independence, honesty, maturity, and creativity. Reflecting on the album, Cooper shares, ‘It’s me learning about what kind of woman I am and it’s not pretty all the time…I’m still processing these songs. Still reflecting. And I think that’s the thing— ‘Hot Sass’ is just a stamp in time of what was happening in my life. I just want to continue making art that displays myself, the moments, and the people around me.’
Wormy – ’Big Mountain’: An Americana-pop track with serene arrangements and inspired by the beauty of nature and large open spaces. If the heartfelt vocals are barely sung at the beginning, the song explodes with confidence and warmth a bit later. ’Big Mountain,’ the second single from Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Noah Rauchwerk’s solo project Wormy, was produced by Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus and Baby Boys. The track romanticizes nature as a pure silver-bullet escape from any problem. ‘I wrote ‘Big Mountain’ at a point where I felt incredibly uninspired about living in New York,’ says Rauchwerk. ‘I had this overpowering fear of time passing, knowing I couldn’t control it, and had this intense longing to escape to find any way out of my own head… Even though I don’t think ditching your normal life and going off the grid all alone is going to fix anything, I think the idea of the possibility of that escape is enough to help me through a lot.’ The video for the song continues with this same idea: ’The song paints a picture of leaving everything behind, embracing themes of nature and exploration. Leading with atmospheric fuzz, Rauchwerk’s tenderhearted vocals creep in to take a grounded approach to escapism.’
Liily- ‘Early Bopper’: Another angry abrasive track by LA young band Liily, fed by an adrenaline rush at the image of their live shows. Using nervous guitar riffs, morose, sharp to raging vocals, the high-energy song is as caustic as it is raw. As the track’s title suggests, it’s a certified bop. Carved out with a blistering guitar-heavy background and rage-filled vocal swells, the track begs to be met by the roar of a raucous crowd. With Liily’s strong history in the practice of writing songs that can get stuck in your head for days, this is just another to add to the list. The track’s accompanying music video (directed by guitarist Sam De La Torre) is as wild as you might expect — it zeroes in on members of the band as they make their way through a multi-tiered building, brimming with an eerie web of activity. It’s definitely a video you have to watch for yourself, maybe even multiple times, so you can dissect every small detail buried beneath the surface. In combination, the mind-melting visual pairs well with the track, as both leave you breathless, and possibly a bit confused, but eager to know more. Their new LP is set for a release on October 22 on Flush Records, and they have a series of dates across the US this fall.
Kacy Hill – ‘Seasons Bloom’: Delicate and ethereal vocals over a subtle soundscape, clicking with percussive beats and layers of sounds. This is Kacy Hill’s first new music since last year’s LP ‘Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again.’ ‘Seasons Bloom’ was co-written and produced with John Carroll Kirby (Frank Ocean, Solange), Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Vampire Weekend, Charli XCX), and Jim-E Stack (Caroline Polachek, HAIM, Dominic Fike). More music from Hill is imminent. ‘’Seasons Bloom’ is about finding refuge and moments of calm in the person I love,’ says Hill. ‘Over the course of the pandemic I had gotten used to writing exclusively at home on my own—a big creative departure for me—so when John and I worked together he would come up with a few piano or synth ideas that I could take to go. Jim-E came to a session with us one day and plucked a few notes on the bass that started a weird lil jam called ‘Seasons Bloom.’ I took the session apart at home and turned it into something entirely different but kept the name.’ She has confirmed the ‘Simple, Sweet and Selfish’ tour this fall.
her best since “Milionària”
dip yourself deep in sonic hellaciousness and disquiet
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1982 (Volume 14, Number 7)
“If you’re black you have to play a certain type of music”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend my 90th birthday”
What better gift for a Baby Boomer loved one?
caught the world’s attention
Big Loud Rock With Levi Evans, Letdown. And Blame My Youth At Winston House, Sunday, January 22nd, 2023
Levi could actually make us completely forget about his famous dad
an eloquence at its highest level
He will transport his audience
SZA starts aiming for the record books