Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Dave Monks • On a Wave • 2020

Canadian songwriter and long-time Tokyo Police Club frontman Dave Monks has premiered his video for “On A Wave,” the title track from his debut solo album

On A Wave was produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck), whom Monks had worked with twice previously, most recently on Tokyo Police Club’s 2018 album TPC. For On A Wave, Monks needed a comfortable setting to write and record—one where he could survey everything that had gone on in his life the past couple of years—and he found it in Schnapf’s Eagle Rock, LA studio. He wrote dozens of songs that explore various emotional states and are connected by an abiding sense of whimsy, which Monks discovered despite the ebbs and flows of his relationships, moves from New York to Toronto, an album cycle, and over a year of touring. On A Wave ultimately feels a fresh start. Something new. Or, perhaps, simply acceptance.

02/28 – London, ON @ Rum Runners 
02/29 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern 
04/25 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky 
04/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore 
04/28 – Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth 
04/29 – Edmonton, AB @ Temple 
05/01 – Saskatoon, SK @ Alt House 
05/02 – Winnipeg, MB @ Handsome Daughter

Broads & Milly Hirst • 'Happisburgh' • 2020

"Outstanding and enchanting with its positive vibe, original dynamic and clever use of sound textures... calls to mind Sylvian Esso, Plaid, Boards of Canada, Grouper and some other Kranky Records output with elements of Tycho, Bonobo and Telefon-Tel Aviv" – Big Takeover Magazine

"One of the strongest colors on their palette is when they get into electropop mode and bring to it a deeply felt sense of melancholy and a minimalist aesthetic that other producers would fear" – Paste Magazine

"An esoteric hybrid... droning ambience. Broads have delivered an arresting work of sound havens" – We Are Cult

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Thrillhouse • Lesser • 2020

“Thrillhouse delights with the mesmerising and simply irresistible One of These Days” - Elke Nominikat, Glamglare

“Every once in a while a track comes along that has to immediately be listened to again, and then again and then again” - The Revue

Ratboys • Printer's Devil • 2020

Upheaval and change are themes spread throughout the songs on Printer’s Devil, the latest Ratboys LP, out February 28, 2020 via Topshelf Records. But all the while, singer-songwriter Julia Steiner embraces moments of uncertainty as a necessary part of growing. Steiner recalls a David Byrne lyric, “I’m lost, but I’m not afraid” as inspiration for the transformative outlook, considering the line a personal mantra while writing Ratboys’ third full-length record. “There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty about what’s next, but I like to think that, in the midst of creating a lot of vulnerability for ourselves, we’re confident and becoming more self-assured.” 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sign Libra • Sea of Nectar • 2020

Using a fanciful palette of chintzy synths and other new-age-adjacent sounds, the Latvian producer pays tribute to the moon’s seas—and humans’ capacity for wonder. pf

On Sea to Sea, Sign Libra drifts between the cerebral and celestial, arranging, and then rearranging, the complex and magnificent systems of our immediate and greater cosmos into her own graceful and eccentric sound patterns. As the moon appears in different ways on different days, Sign Libra leaves Sea to Sea open like an ocean to listener interpretation and imagination.

Agnes Obel • Camera's Rolling • 2020

 “For me Myopia is an album about trust and doubt. Can you trust yourself or not?
Can you trust your own judgments? Can you trust that you will do the right thing?
Can you trust your instincts and what you are feeling? Or are your feelings skewed?”
–Agnes Obel

Villages • Cremation (Ashes to Ashes) • 2020

In the late aughts, traditional music was the furthest thing from the minds of Matt Ellis, Travis Ellis, Jon Pearo, and Archie Rankin. Having left their Cape Breton homes for the allure of the big city, the musicians formed Mardeen - a group steeped in Halifax's history of melodic pop-rock.

After amassing praise as Mardeen, the band wanted to evoke the sound of home. They found a new appreciation for Celtic and British folk, which transformed the band into the current iteration under the name Villages.

Their new track reimagines Lou Reed's "Cremation (Ashes to Ashes)" as a traditional folk song, pairing themes of mortality and loss with uplifting melodies and sounds.

Christian Cohle • Breathe • 2020

Mixing majestic synthesizers and driving rhythms, ‘Breathe’ explores the emotional struggle of feeling interlinked with something that turns out to be artificial. Discussing the inspiration behind his new record, Cohle says: “Breathe was predominantly informed by experiences I was going through at the time, but also very much influenced by the neo-noir science fiction film, Blade Runner 2049.”

Stereodove • Madonna • 2020

Beginning as the brainchild of vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Jason Ledesma during his college years, the first complete incarnation of the alternative pop-rock band Stereodove was born in 2018 with the addition of lead guitarist and keyboardist Cameron Good and bass guitarist Brian Bello. They began playing local shows in the southern California area, opening for such acts as Matt Embree (of Rx Bandits) and performing with actress and singer Olivia Rodrigo. They later released their first collection of songs, ‘Body Electric’, which Ledesma had recorded and produced in his home. The album, including the track “Madonna”, was mixed by Dan Konopka (drummer of OK Go) and mastered by Joe LaPorta (David Bowie - “Blackstar”, Foo Fighters - “Wasting Light”, The Killers - “Battle Born”). Stereodove, a group of misfits diverse in musical background, race, and gender, writes songs from a place of “otherness” and melancholy, often blending the colorful melodies of pop and electronic music with the raw spirit of indie and emo rock. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Lake Michigan • Dolores • 2020

"Intimate lo-fi transmissions from a land glimmering with fairy lights."

"Sounds like he just got out of bed."

Lanterns On The Lake • Spook The Herd • 2020

The White Buffalo • The Rapture • 2020

Of the half-dozen albums thus far released under The White Buffalo banner, this latest 11-tracker – a loosely linked collection of dark thrills produced by Shooter Jennings, who also provides piano and keys – is the most collaborative and organic, the most sonically round.

Leanne Tennant • Everspin • 2020

“With all of its elements working together towards a single theme, Tennant’s release is looking to be stunningly cohesive, not to mention a killer, head-bobbing work of contemporary indie-blues”
Atwood Magazine

"Right from the haunting acapella intro, Leanne Tennant's commandingly haunting vocals latch on. ‘Gentle Annie’ — the first track lifted from her forthcoming second album, Red Wine, Late Nights — teasingly edges towards complete collapse or euphoric explosion (dependent on your own perspective), as Tennant slowly succumbs to the soulful darkness of her late-night world."
Rolling Stone

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Pop! Fights The Flames (benefit album for the people of Australia) • 2020

A special digital BENEFIT album, whereby every artist on this compilation has donated a song to help support the people of Australia where many have been ravaged by the awful bushfires during the Australian Summer. 90% of sales from this album will go to the RFS NSW (Rural Fire Service) 

Dares • Less Than Love • 2020