SPAIN, Skinshape, Eli 07, Milan McAlevey, Cooper Kenward, Megan Slankard, and Izzy Spears are among these press releases for September.
SPAIN – ” WORLD OF BLUE “: A very slow and desolated guitar with echoing-throbbing vocals and poignant strings. The 12-minute slowcore piece progresses very slowly with a majestic and sad approach, reminiscent of ancient melodies. LA-based 90s slowcore pioneers SPAIN – led by musician Josh Haden, son of jazz bass legend Charlie Haden – is kickstarting their long-awaited return with the release of a brand-new LP of recently unearthed tracks, re-mixed and re-imagined by storied producer/musician Kramer in 2021 at his Noise Miami Studio for his label, Shimmy-Disc. “WORLD OF BLUE” (out September 30 via Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise) is the first ever vinyl release of five previously unreleased tracks, including “I LIED” and “HER USED – TO – BEEN,” taken from a historic 1994 16-track recording session (led by producer Tom Grimley at Poop Alley Studios in LA) that predates the band’s 1995 landmark album, The Blue Moods Of Spain. “WORLD OF BLUE,” featuring Josh’s sister Petra Haden on violin, is the LP’s first single, the original studio version of signature SPAIN tune. “‘WORLD OF BLUE’ was the end result of much experimentation with slow-tempo drones in different keys,” says Haden. “There are several previous prototypes for this song under different titles. We stuck with this one because it worked the best and provided the most suitable canvas for Petra’s beautiful violin work. The song’s supposed to convey a sense of a world in sadness, which I was feeling personally at the time and translates well for our current era.”
Skinshape – “Theme For Lazarus”: A light and playful instrumentation of strings, bells, and echoing vocals floating over a swelling production. The track has a cinematic wide-eyed vibe with plenty of surprises of orchestral plucks, wobbly percussive beats, wordless vocalizations, and slivers of wiry guitar lines. London-based, Dorset-born musician Will Dorey aka Skinshape has returned with this brand new single. Will explains, “You often get themes for characters in film soundtracks, perhaps this is our protagonist. For the music, I wanted to create something that had elements of classic ‘Skinshape,’ but also to add some new ideas that I hadn’t used before such as the pizzicato strings.” The single also comes alongside a gorgeous collage-esque music video, directed by Kendra Morris. Taking his place alongside the likes of Khruangbin, Quantic, Tame Impala, Bonobo, and Madlib, Skinshape’s global kaleidoscopes are loaded with warmth and wisdom created on vintage analog equipment applying a perfectionist’s touch. As a member of indie band Palace, he has played everywhere from Glastonbury and BBC Maida Vale to headlining Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Conversely, as a solo artist Skinshape has never played live preferring to record, releasing an album a year (two in 2020’s lockdown) and keeping away from the trappings of stardom. More New Music Coming Soon via Lewis Recordings
Eli 07 – “Holiday”: A new and young artist mixing a hip hop approach with an indie pop and R&B sensibility. The song brings together different flavors and an overall melancholic vibe. This is what Eli 07 had to say:” I’m an 18-year-old artist from Berrien Springs, Michigan. When growing up, you could find 6-year-old me sitting next to the radio flipping through channels and listening to everything that I possibly could. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say “A Superstar”. It wasn’t until late into my junior year of high school that I started making music. It all started when my friends and I were bored and tried to make a song for fun. I realized I really enjoyed doing this and continued with the best dude in all of Berrien Springs. My friend Felipe Navia! I would record a track and then send it to Felipe to edit the vocals. 6 months into making music people were feelin’ the music and we got addicted to just creating. I started posting on TikTok regularly and gained the attention of many different people. In my senior year of high school, I accepted that music was what drove me and what I wanted to do with my life. Just recently I signed a record deal with a great indie label and I’m excited to see what comes next. Look out for more music this fall.
Milan McAlevey – “You Can Get It”: A gentle, nostalgic, downtempo acoustic strumming guitar, with dreamy boy-girl harmonies and a light indie-Americana flavor. This is a song from the brand new EP entitled “Islands of Milans” by Milan McAlevey (of Maine rock band Coke Weed), due September 30 via Fortune Tellers. The song features vocals by Nina Donghia and is accompanied by a video. Speaking on the record’s first single, McAlevey wrote: “In 2016, my band Coke Weed ended, then Nina and I broke up after 10 years, and I had a significant breakdown. I was in a dark place for a few years and landed in a historically crummy tenement on Congress Street in Portland, ME, where I proceeded to slowly put my life back together. ‘You Can Get It’ is written from a place of abject loneliness, an outsider dreaming and yearning to be accepted back into some kind of mainstream life. Fittingly, the song features Nina’s lovely duet vocal, so in a way, it closes one of the circles.” Earlier this summer, McAlevey also shared his lost 2008 debut record entitled “Admiral of the State of Maine,” out via Fortune Tellers. The record is a gem of folky, acoustic bliss, recorded 15 years ago on an old 4-track cassette machine and shipped back and forth from Maine to Brooklyn, where producer Walter Martin (of The Walkmen) gave notes and helped the album along.
Cooper Kenward – “Make Me Blue”: A strong indie rock song with powerful guitar lines and melancholic, vulnerable vocals. It even gave me a Ryan Adams vibe, in a very good way – not sure how people feel these days when they are compared to Adams. This is a track from indie-folk singer-songwriter Cooper Kenward’s forthcoming self-titled debut LP, due August 22 via Dogwood Dog Records. The song comes with an accompanying music video. On this track, Kenward (guitar/vox) collaborated with Andrew Maguire (drums), Jason Abraham Roberts (additional guitar), and Robert Shelton (Moog bass). Speaking on his new track and its video, Kenward wrote: “I made the ‘Make Me Blue’ music video as an experiment in self-acceptance. Some of my inspirations were the unique warm humanity captured in the films of Les Blank and the surreal comedy that Leos Carax creates. We shot on 16mm to evoke a kind of lost-in-time feeling and cast friends to keep everything loose and carefree. Sometimes I can get in my head about the act of performance and this video was me telling myself to snap out of it and have a good time.” While Kenward prefers not to go into detail about where the depths of his depression led him in the summer of 2019, his subsequent mental health recovery led him to begin writing songs in earnest, creating an album littered with references to the darkness which nearly consumed him, as well as the love that ultimately brought him back into the light. This tension between these two forces makes for a vibrant and — fittingly given his filmmaking work — a cinematic experience of 12 songs that carry the thoughtful tones and casual ease of something like a trusted confidante. Through it all, Kenward serves as a considerate guide on the journey; not shying away from the darkest stops on the road but not prolonging our stay there any longer than is necessary. Humor and a sense of healing percolate amidst the pain, “It’s not a record of straight up optimism, it’s a record about accepting reality, warts and all. There’s a universality to just trying things and seeing what comes out on the other side. Being present and being ok with not everything being perfect,” he says.
Megan Slankard – “California”: A strong and almost angry indie rock song that projects some Melissa Etheridge vibes at times. This is the first release from Megan Slankard’s forthcoming album “California & Other Stories” due October 28, 2022. Co-produced by Alex Wong (Vienna Teng, Delta Rae) it showcases new sides of Megan’s music, balancing delightfully belligerent rock and roll with lush cinematic soundscapes of orchestra instruments and robot harmonies. The searing breakup song comes with an accompanying video which is a “gentle reminder of why it might not be the best idea to date a songwriter,” explains Megan, a San Francisco indie rock singer and guitarist. Megan Slankard and her band The Wreckage have independently sold over 40,000 copies of five self-released albums. Before the pandemic brought everything to a halt, Megan performed 100-150 shows a year across the country including, more recently, a 50-show Guitar Center tour with BOSE, a bio-coastal songwriter tour with Alex Wong, and a 30-date, cross-country tour with Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Izzy Spears -“FIST”: An icy and menacing tone with a chaotic hip hop energy mixing horror and humor (you can hear “redrum, redrum” and “suck a little dick” in the layered vocals among claps). The very short track is packed with a lot of action, just like the video that accompanies it. This is a song from Izzy Spears’s forthcoming debut EP entitled “Monstar,” due November 11 via KRO Records. Speaking on the new single, Izzy writes that it is “sealed with a kiss.” The highly-anticipated six-song debut is a sort of encrypted diary entry, inspired by his own life, while each song is very personal, telling a different story about an experience he has had. But with coded lyrics, the songs leave much up to interpretation for the listeners. Spears collaborated with Duskdriven, Yves Tumor, and Grammy-nominated producer Chris Greatti on “Monstar,” which blends genres of pop, rock, hip hop, and punk. Other collaborators on the project include Nation, Nicholas Weiss, and Pablo Meléndez. Yves Rothman mixed the EP. Spears, who is now based in Los Angeles, is coming off a European tour with Yves Tumor, where he gave fans a taste of his upcoming EP and received an enthusiastic response in return. He’s worked with other prominent artists including LEECH and Grammy-nominated producer Chris Greatti, and recently performed at the Boiler Room in New York City. Spears has upcoming shows in Portland and Vancouver, and will be featured in magazines such as Office, Autre, and HYPEBEAST later this year.
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