Mother Sun, Katrina Ford, Peter Matthew Bauer, Mad Anthony, Cole Anyway, Wesley, and One South Lark are the artists in these press releases for September.
Mother Sun – “Orange Colossus”: A chaotic and bouncy track with vibrant-strident guitar lines and campy vocals, morphing into a psychedelic pop tune with strings. The track could be described as several songs in one. “Orange Colossus” is the second single off Mother Sun’s upcoming album, “Train of Thought,” out on October 28 via Earth Libraries as well as the band’s own small label, Kamloops BC-based Divine Bovine Records. On “Orange Colossus,” “Mother Sun skip-hop from garage rock jagged edges to swirling string arrangements and back again like Ty Segall sitting in with ELO, or King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard after downing a gallon of lemonade,” wrote storied music journalist Lior Phillips of the band’s newest single. Speaking on the track, guitarist Jared Doherty wrote: “‘Orange Colossus’ is about the way ignorance can grab ahold of an ugly thought and mutate it into resentment and hate. Angry fuzzed out verses describe the narrator’s unchecked frustrations, which are countered by melodic choruses urging the pursuit of understanding and empathy as ways to combat falling into cycles of negativity and instead promote an openness to learn and grow.” In addition to the track, they have released an accompanying music video. “Train of Thought,” their third full length release, 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.
Katrina Ford (mem. Celebration) – “I’m Found”: Sensual but strong vocals over a buzzing organ and light percussion swelling into a powerful retro-soul pop song. Singer-songwriter Katrina Ford (of Celebration and Mt. Royal) has shared a brand-new live video for the song which is the final single off her recently released debut solo self-titled EP, released last June via Violin Films. As vivacious as they are vulnerable, songs on the EP such like “I’m Found,” “Peach,” and “Peace Out” are as close as Ford has ever come to writing a pop record. Albeit with a clear avant-garde undercurrent and strains of heady experimental hooks. In a live arena, “I’m Found” transforms into something (somehow even more) mesmerizing. Speaking on the live video, which features herself and her longtime partner Sean Antanaitis performing the track live for the first time, Katrina wrote: “Grateful in the dusty electric fuchsia room. Here’s us doing what we love to do. Our first attempt to play these as a two piece live to others. Filmed at Wrightway studios Baltimore.” Over the past 30 years, including starring and supporting roles for TV on the Radio, UNKLE, Future Islands, and Foals, not to mention the many bands she’s led into battle, starting with the spastic wrecking crew Jaks. (Think: Latter-day Daughters, with hold-nothing-back hints of The Jesus Lizard and Drive Like Jehu.) Between then and now, there’s also been the Gothic, art-punk grandeur of Love Life, the soulful melodies of Mt. Royal, and the many elusive shades of Celebration and its short-lived predecessor Birdland. The only connective tissue between most of them has been Ford’s longtime creative partner Sean Antanaitis, the singer’s other half ever since they met in art class during high school. “Those two things — art and music — bleed together quite a bit,” explains Ford, who also makes art with collage and paper-based pieces. “Sean has always intrigued me. It’s pretty amazing — how he’s continued to surprise me for 30 years. I think it’s because we’re such different people.” Ford describes Antanaitis as “a really quiet person, with a great deal of patience. I’m not patient or quiet at all.” That side of Ford’s songwriting will finally come to the fore this year, largely thanks to the long overdue arrival of her first solo effort. Like everything that’s come before it, Ford’s latest batch of bold material shacks off the shackles of the past and pens its own peculiar narrative.
Peter Matthew Bauer – “21st Century Station”: A banging sound with half screamed lyrics and an inviting reggae-ish melodic line that you want to blast through an old radio transistor. “21st Century Station” is the final single from Peter Matthew Bauer’s forthcoming record “Flowers” out on September 23 via Fortune Tellers Music. The track was conceived as an early 60s ska hit, playing through a radio tower as panic takes the streets in our present day. It sounds just like that — with broken pianos and guitars, congas, bombastic drums, a bunch of otherworldly backup singers, and a reverberating lead vocal by Peter, leading the way through a wild and joyous 3 and a half minutes. The track was produced and mixed by Peter Matthew Bauer & Matt Barrick. Speaking on his newest single, Peter wrote: “This song is supposed to be the last song you’ll ever hear on the radio. It has a strange feeling to it, like a joyous, chaotic ending. I imagined everyone running for the woods, packing up their cars and heading north. This is the last song the DJ plays before going off the air.” Peter was a founder NYC art rock band the Walkmen, and the album was produced in partnership with his old bandmate Matt Barrick. “Flowers” is his first full length record in almost five years. Taking from both his own personal experience alongside the stories of several others; a feeling of chasing what’s hidden at the edge of things inhabits the album. “It’s filled with a kind of dread but also I think a little joy remains,” says Peter. “It’s this weird continuum of losing people from your past, some close and some just characters I knew who were somehow important. That and this feeling of a kind of terror that we are all experiencing together, this cult like feeling I have from my own childhood (he grew up in ashrams in both Upstate New York and Ganeshpuri, India), chasing down specific images and moments that feel alive within that kind of feeling, and then chasing that childhood feeling itself- that sense of home that feels lost sometimes, those are the things that make up this record. It’s like searching for an undercurrent hidden in everything – like an electric charge.” The album was made in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, working late at night mostly for the last year and a half. Begun entirely alone in his office in Laurel Canyon, “Flowers” became a far more collaborative project with the entrance of Matt Barrick, Peter’s old bandmate in the Walkmen and the drummer and co-producer on all but one track.
Mad Anthony – “Rina”: A vintage piano ballad sounding like a lost tape of your favorite ‘70s band, crackling like a two-track recording and propelling you in another era of music. The upcoming album from Cincinnati, OH-based rock band Mad Anthony — the musical project of John K. Schwab, Larry Doston, and Carl “Mad Anthony” Richards — is precisely entitled “The Lost Tapes” and is due spring 2023 via Earth Libraries. Speaking on the single, Ben wrote the following: “The inspiration behind ‘Rina’ is a romance my dad with a girl named Rina when he was visiting Israel in the 70s. My dad wrote the song and plays piano/sings harmonies and my uncle Carl sings the lead vocal. ‘Rina’ is my favorite song off the Mad Anthony album. Really excited the world finally gets to hear this.” Mad Anthony made a name for themselves in their local scene in the 70s, and in 1975, the group sat down and recorded a handful of tracks which proceeded to sit untouched for over forty years. Eventually, the recording did reach the ears of an important listener: Schwab’s son, Benjamin Schwab, now a musician himself with the bands Drugdealer and Sylvie, the latter of which takes direct influence from his father’s band. And after seven or so years of Ben’s convincing, the elder Schwab and his bandmates decided it was time to return to the project, thus, introducing the release of those previously unearthed ‘75 demos. “I used to tell my son, ‘You can play all the hot licks, be the Eddie Van Halen of your neighborhood, but nothing will last as long as a good song,” Schwab says. “We didn’t have the ability to properly record in 1975, but Ben reminded me that it’s the quality of the songs that matters, not the recording.”
Cole Anyway – “On Hold”: A smooth and lazy vintage sound with lush washes of synths and a laid-back vibe working like the perfect soundtrack of a ‘70s movie or for a day at the lounge next to the beach. Cole Anyway is the stage name Los Angeles resident Cole Emoff employs for his cinematic, convention-defying pop. As Cole Anyway, he creates an enveloping trance, drawing equally on lush old lounge records and the smooth, soft sounds of the 1970s, then breaking his chill with appealingly disorienting effects. Speaking on “On Hold,” Emoff wrote: “‘On Hold’ also has double meaning for me. Gives off the feeling of relaxing smooth hold music (the kind of stuff I grew up loving on video game soundtracks, and have dove more into since moving to LA). But also the feeling of life feeling on hold as I autopilot through the days waiting for something to happen, a reminder to myself not to just stay on hold my whole life.” “On Hold” captures the feeling of floating in ecstatic limbo — a place where nothing really happens and that’s totally fine. Little electronic flourishes and flair keep the song from following a straight line, accents that reflect Cole Emoff’s regular work as an audio special effects and sound designer. Emoff’s work as a sound designer can be heard throughout today’s landscape of adult-oriented television animation — notably, he added sound effects to Netflix’s The Midnight Gospel, complementing the score of Joe Wong. With Cole Anyway, Emoff marries these dramatic instincts with a quirky sense of humor gleaned from a deep love of video game music, influences that were evident on his first major project, “Sitting with Stillness.”
Wesley – “Glows in the Dark”: A ’70-’80s influence on this psychedelic pop song filled with beautiful echoing harmonies and delicate arrangements. This is the title track of the upcoming LP of Louisville-based singer-songwriter Wesley (the alias of Jacob Weaver) due on November 11 via Earth Libraries; it comes alongside an accompanying music video. Speaking on his newest single, Weaver wrote: “There’s a Mike Ditka quote that says, ‘If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade.’ I usually don’t do either, but I’d like to. I enjoy parades. The song is about wanting to be a parade, and also, for the parade. About wanting to be for the people, and with them as well.” Fitting for a project refound in the midst of pandemic lockdowns, “Glows in the Dark” is a document of Weaver’s loving interrogation of himself. Questions and self-reflection abound, poetic images peppered throughout like serene daydream. Home videos of Jacob Weaver’s childhood often feature the Louisville singer-songwriter playing a favorite character: Wesley, the sleepiest man on earth. “My brothers, cousins, and I were constantly making videos with our camcorder, and I was a sleepy kid, so the character was born,” he retells the story with a smile. “I always enjoyed being Wesley.” Years later, there’s still a certain comfort to Weaver’s voice, a floating pillowy ease. Weaver’s new album utilizes those soft tones to deliver disorienting dreams, languid memories, and dusky contemplations in the tones of honeyed tea. Weaver embraces the depths of that comforting mixture from the titular lead single, a wash of metallic glow and Weaver’s warmly resonant voice warping into an acoustic dreamland take off of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere.” The six-minute track unfolds in blissful leaps and bounds, Weaver joined in harmony by his wife, Kelli White Weaver. The song lyrically bounces between hazily surreal images before striking upon a moment that reveals everything preceding it was a dream. “One day upon first meeting/ We’ll know what we’re seeing/ Is love at first sight/ And I can’t wait for permanent healing/ To find I’ve been sleeping for all of my life,” they sing, the twinkling stars once again centered in the mix.
One South Lark – “Pop Star”: A familiar pop and sunny melody which sounds a bit like a poppier and youthful version of something from the Cure or the Smiths. One South Lark is an indie pop trio from New Orleans consisting of singer Robert Freeman, guitarist Grayson Worley, and drummer Tabor Brewster and their upcoming EP “Till September” is due on September 23. “Our upcoming EP captures the fleeting nostalgia of a summer gone too soon,” the band says. “Our inspiration on this project ranged from the new wave music of The Cure to the pop-poetry of Taylor Swift, creating a unique retro-yet-modern sound. We wrote it while in our junior year of college, but all at separate universities. Songwriting sessions full of lyrical brainstorming were held over Zoom and voice memos containing jangly guitar riffs and Beach Boys-inspired harmonies were iMessaged back and forth. In our few breaks from school, we hustled to Bogalusa, Louisiana, and recorded the five tracks at Studio In The Country. We spent hours in the secluded swamp studio with our sound engineer Ben Mumphrey perfecting the indie pop sound we were going for. With only three members, we created and produced every sound heard on the record, often playing more than one instrument each. The result is a project we’re proud to say is our best work yet, from the atmospheric power of the overdriven guitar in “Malibu” to the danceable Motown beat of “Wasting My TIme.” Their upcoming EP will be the next step in a busy year for the band, as they just finished their first U.S. tour in August 2022.
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