Nov 29, 2015

Nice Legs - Lullaby Land - 2015

Our eighth cassette release is a powerful EP by Nice Legs coming out of Seoul, Korea. You expect they would be Korean, but they are not. And definitely they are not boring. Read here: After the interview we talked a little bit about releasing their latest EP and we made it through. I hope you will enjoy the cassettes as much as I will. I am so happy to have them in our Z Tapes family.

EP - Ashland - 2015

There aren’t too many records that can be described in a single word. Ashland from Montreal’s EP (Eric Penney) is just one of those albums. The word isn’t incredible. The word isn’t beautiful or some other overused term. The word is fuck. It may seem like a crude and vague descriptor but FUCK it is a great album. FUCK.

I’m a fool for a stripped down sound and Ashland is just that. The album’s opener “Over Our Graves, After We’ve Died” is by no means minimalist but still feels bare and lonely. Transistor organs, guitars, choral backing vocals and just the smallest percussion make this song tender and delicate. It is an absolute pleasure with headphones. Thick, lush, and just psychedelic enough to keep you wondering what happens next. FUCK.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the vocalist. Who is this this Eric Penney guy anyway? Tender yet masculine he sings like he means it. He has the monotone charm of Magnetic Fields, the wooziness of The Czars, and the restrained aggression of Burning Airlines. This could be way off but this guy has to have consumed shitloads of 90’s college rock. His delivery is both confident and apathetic at once. You can’t really beat that either. You know how people are always better singers in the shower? Well, he sounds like he takes the shower with him everywhere he goes. It doesn’t hurt that he puts And well, FUCK.

Do yourself a favor: buy it. The fact is, it is a fucking great record so I don’t want to over analyze it here. Buy it for yourself, your friends, and your elderly relatives that still have their turntables hooked up to the Magnavox hifi system. Everyone will come out happy. Ashland is medicine for your ears and they need it right now. In the mean time, listen to my favorite track from the record, “Sans Eyes, Sans Teeth, Sans Hair.” Fuck unitedcassette

Lunch Ladies - Demos - 2015

If I could buy stock in a band, New Jersey-based beach poppers Lunch Ladies would be up there on my list. Though they don’t have any recordings outside of lo-fi demos, the foursome (half still in high school) are all in other bands that have each released solid music. Guitarist Matt Whitley is from Loser Year, Vocalist and bassist Cynthia Rittenbach is from Glycerine Queens, drummer and vocalist Brian DeSeno is apart of The Uncommonly Good, and Matt Ramiz who plays guitar and sings fronts the band Tommy and the Kooks. Stream their demo below.

I’m really looking forward to this band’s first release as I already hear a ton of potential in their demos. They have a knack for capturing a lot of nostalgia in their slacked out tunes, especially considering how young they are. nosmoking

Featherfin - The Crimson Spill / Nananarama - 2015

Featherfin is an art and music project from Norway. The music is based on electronics, but has an organic pop-flavoured feel. Melody and harmonies are close to Featherfin's heart. He is inspired by everything from indiepop and noisy pop via folk and 60s pop to synth pop, electronica and modern experimental music. Sometimes his music is sweet, simple and cute, other times dark and complex.

Jeremy Jensen Superb synth-y pop with organic elements, so dense and lush you can get lost in it, and it was all done on an iPad! Amazing.

Elizabeth Morris - Athens - 2015

This EP is something of an attempt to write political songs. 
Historic Times was written after a night at a festival in Padova in July. 
Athens was inspired by the events in Greece in the summer of 2015. 
Australia was written in 10 minutes in response to Australia's refugee policy. 
The Season is a song about trying to be a better friend at Christmas.

Duchess - SATAN - 2015

Simply wild freak folk with experimental edges coming out of Gainesville.

Nov 24, 2015

Creature Speak - SHADOW SONGS - 2015

CREATURE SPEAK will sing you lullabies with haunting vocals and shimmering banjo. Crooning stories of ghosts and imagined memories, with a nostalgic sound. 

ings - Slaughterhouse​-​Five - 2014

I wonder about time travel 
about living my life in a line 
the arc of my intention 
the contour of my time 

I wonder about my wandering 
and who I shall meet only once 
I could move backwards towards them 
I don't have to go forward running 
Billy, I'm so sorry 
Echolalia & tears 
Billy, I'm so sorry 
I don't know what happened to your years 
Living can be lonely 
you've only got your line 
you follow it with vigor 
and sweetly, briefly, criss-cross sometimes 

There are many lives unfolding 
and nothing is left undone 
a ladybug in the amber 
a planet in the sunshine 
Billy, I'm so sorry 
Echolalia & tears 
Billy, I'm so sorry 
I don't know what happened to your years

Nov 23, 2015

Advance Base/Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Christmas Mixtape - 2015

and so it begins…

This mixtape compiles every Christmas song I released between 2006 & 2015. Please consider it my gift to you, a stranger. I hope you have a nice holiday. 
-Owen Ashworth


0:00-2:02 CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE- “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (Traditional) 
from Peace on Earth: A Charity Holiday Album, 2007 

2:02-4:51 ADVANCE BASE- “Christmas in Dearborn” 
from Nephew in the Wild, 2015 

4:51-7:28 CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE- “Traveling Salesman's Young Wife Home Alone On Christmas In Montpelier, VT” 
from Vs. Children, 2009 

7:28-11:31 ADVANCE BASE- “Christmas in Oakland” 
from A Shut-In’s Prayer, 2012 

11:31-13:53 ADVANCE BASE- “Frank Capra” 
from The Holidays Don't Have to Be so Rotten: Volume Three 

13:53-18:25 CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE- “Cold White Christmas” 
from Etiquette, 2006 

18:25-21:44 ADVANCE BASE- “Christmas in Milwaukee” 
from Nephew in the Wild, 2015 

21:44-25:25 ADVANCE BASE- “Christmas in Prison” (John Prine cover) 
from Our Cat EP, 2013 

Nov 22, 2015

Amy Bruce Spaceship - explore your world and let wonder speak - 2015

These songs are the result of writing and recording music in my bedroom for the last few years. In other words; it's free for a reason.

Paper Trail Records Presents: Thanks for Listening - 2015

We're lucky to have such nice friends, both in Ireland and across the globe. To help raise awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th, some of these wonderful people donated previously unheard songs to help us raise money for Console - Ireland's National Suicide Charity. 

All proceeds from this compilation will go directly to Console, so please help by donating what you can. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved. We can't express how grateful we are for the tracks we have gotten.

Kishi Bashi - String Quartet Live! - 2015

Recorded live with string quartet, the new album (appropriately titled "String Quartet Live!") consists of nine songs from both “151a” and “Lighght” (and one Talking Heads cover!), performed live by K and an accompanying string ensemble. Where his first two releases featured an array of percussion and electronic elements, the new live album finds K’s familiar songs reimagined, allowing his soaring vocals to take center stage above a foundation of interweaving strings. 

The string ensemble gives new life to these tracks, with updated arrangements and the infectious energy that can only come from Kishi Bashi's amazing live performances.

Bryan John Appleby - The Narrow Valley - 2015

Randy Jones I've been following Bryan's music for years and the immense amount of detail and craftsmanship put into this record is monumental. It's like a beautiful china doll that you marvel at until Bryan comes in to smash it, and with that your perception of what you expect him to do. Definitely Album Of The Year material right here.

ESCAPISTS - Pyramid Scheme - 2015

Displaying all the intensely melodic power riffs, bold rhythmic interplay and colossal chorus hooks that we’ve come to expect from London’s most thrilling indie rock foursome, ‘Pyramid Scheme’ also marks out its own space with its distinctively visceral momentum. On this third single from Escapists’ in 2015, high-pitched vocal harmonies spar with sparks of pealing guitar before crescendoing to a heady climax. Simon Glancy’s lyrics stem from a childhood disillusionment with the rigmarole of Sunday church worship: “to me it felt like a pyramid scheme, where you get in at the bottom and hope you’re not the last.” ‘Pyramid Scheme’ is a self contained four minutes of paranoid protean beats and intricate verses which perfectly articulate the schism between archaic beliefs and Generation Y discontent. ‘Restless’, ‘euphoric’ and ‘impassioned’ are just three words that almost do it justice. The reality is that Escapists are one of the most thrillingly conscious rock and roll bands to emerge from London in a while.

Crown Larks - Blood Dancer - 2015

“… exists at the intersection of the free rock, avant-garde jazz, and outre improvisation scenes which have long been a hallmark of the city’s music culture. “Blood Mirage” is the first taste of their upcoming debut Blood Dancer. A lumbering, slow-burn intro is worth the wait as Crown Larks launch into an unexpectedly tight groove, smearing healthy dollops of saxophone over an energetic percussion attack that reframes the preceding skronk as a storm-before-the-calm palate cleanser. in an admirable display of patience they have waited until now to unleash their debut long-player. The authentic chemistry that results from hours upon hours of gigging is heard throughout Blood Dancer.” - AdHoc 

“…a coed unit of electro-jazz shapeshifters with a penchant for blending the schizophrenic and radical musical movements its hometown is notorious for producing.” – The Village Voice 

“… an avant-garde melting pot that depicts what happens when musicians on the same wavelength fuse mind, energy, and talents together as a unified communal-like force. ‘Overgrown’ is not your parent’s side b singular jam band track, but Crown Larks’ experimentation in creating plant and tree like textures that grow before your ears and eyes upon listening. Jack’s voice guides you through the evergreen tall grass, wild grown hedges, the thick of the woods until the Larks transform the entire soundscape into a jungle of amplified orations. Guitars grind against the droning meditation, as synths make circles like a dizzying swarm of birds, buzzards, and scuzzed out fuzz that blares and beats like scuffed up trainers stomping on a yoga mat. In under eight minutes you will have felt as if an entire natural habitat bloomed before you.” - Impose

Nov 21, 2015

Senpai - Hell In My Head / Mind Honey - 2015

Alex Ketner A friend of mine showed me your stuff, saying it felt "nostalgic." I feel it too. It kind of brought me back to music I'd listen to in early high school. Good times if you're excluding the times that weren't. "Hell In My Head" has a hypnotic guitar riff that stays in yours for days, and interesting lyrics to match. 11/10 would recommend. Favorite track: Hell In My Head.

Jack Ramage This song has been stuck in my head for days, love it. Fuzzy, rocky and catchy - absolute banger. Favorite track: Hell In My Head.

Kevin Hernandez Saw this because Will Yip retweeted them and kinda chuckled because their name is Senpai. Around 6 minutes later I'm short $2 because I like this so much.

Aj LaGambina Big Pity Sex fan, so anything even remotely related to that band instantly gains my interest. Can't wait to see where they take this. Favorite track: Hell In My Head.

The Forest Fires - Brother Nature - 2015

The Forest Fires are an Indie Rock 4-piece hailing from the up and
coming Elmhurst scene. After a brief haitus the band has released a
string of groovy singles which are sure to make you move. With their
ambient synths, soaring leads, and rocking melodies they are sure to
impress ears of all sizes.

Cozy Catastrophes - Have You Ever Heard Of Cozy Catastrophes? - 2015

This is the cd debut for Bloomington's Cozy Catastrophes (after a digital-only album and a cassette on February Records), and it is quite possibly the best bedroom indiepop album I've heard all year, and the year's nearly finished! This one-man project reminds me a lot of the highly underrated James And The Express (whose album we released last year) - I mean, you know it's just one guy, but the sound and production are so full that you could easily mistake it for a full band. Plus Greg exhibits enough charm and general friendliness to give Colin Clary a run for his money! The songs and lyrics are innocent and endearing (just pick out "Go Steady With Me" and "Every Girl Deserves A Song" for perfect examples), but not overly twee. This album is sure to brighten your day, as you'd sure have a hard time not smiling and tapping along to it!

tonight? - Louvre single - 2015

Let's Say We Did - Such A Shame EP - 2014

Equal parts inspired by "the sound of young Scotland" and the DIY aesthetics of Postcard Records as well as by the american underground scene in the 90's with acts like Pavement, Sebadoh, Silver Jews. Let's Say We Did have been making music since 2008. They have released 2 albums and 4 EP's on their own label Nesna Records

Globelamp - Covers Album - 2014

bedroom covers album

Mothers - It Hurts Until It Doesn't - 2015

Mothers’ debut single, “No Crying In Baseball,” is less of a confession than it is a concise, targeted purging. “I guess my tongue was softer then, but no one’s trying and I’m sick of it!” Kristine Leschper sings. “There’s no crying in baseball / Try and understand / Their chapped lips begging me over and over again.” She delivers this sermon in what some would call talk-singing, expelling her stream-of-consciousness lyrics with neither a smile nor a sneer, her voice builds and breaks down as she shouts “again.” When “No Crying In Baseball” was released, Leschper said that it was a song about being willfully vulnerable, about showing your offender where it hurts without resorting to hysterics, about realizing that weaknesses can be shouted and celebrated and owned without embarrassment. It’s crafted like an argument, albeit an internal one, and its declarative, abrasive, unrestrained delivery introduced us to Leschper’s powerful presence and the heart she wears on a tattered sleeve. stereo gum

Nov 18, 2015

Beliefs - Leaper - 2015

Beliefs "Leaper" available November 13th 2015. Produced & Mixed by Josh Korody. Recorded at Candle Recording Studio, Toronto. Mastered by Mikko Gordon at Mannequin House.

It's been a while since Toronto dream-pop outfit Beliefs coughed up any info on their sophomore set, Leaper, but the band have now gone ahead and confirmed that the long-promised collection is about to drop. The record touches down November 13 via Hand Drawn Dracula. 

A press release notes that the group's follow-up collection to 2013 debut Beliefs features 10 tunes, which apparently finds the core duo of Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe further exploring their My Bloody Valentine-meets-Sonic Youth approach to indie pop. exclaim!

Plum - Black Doris - 2015

Plum is the bedroom recording project of Caleb Jacobs. Known for his catchy, melodic guitar work in Sydney outfit The Cathys, Plum sees Caleb tap deeper into his pop influences to create a unique take on heady electronic pop.

Frog - Dandelion Radio Sessions - 2015

These sessions were self-recorded by Frog to promote their "Kind of Blah" LP and were broadcast on Lee Adcock's Dandelion Radio show in September 2015. 

For Keeps - The People We Let In - 2015

BFF Pop!
Frantic Twee Pop!
Indie Pop!
Songs about love and stuff.

Andrew Johnston - "Take The Highway" - 2015

I wanted to make something fun and spontaneous that would capture the creative energy I felt coming off a tour of Ontario last May.  Being on the road can feel magical because you connect with real people face-to-face in a really special way and if you are tuned-in just right there is some cosmic energy out there - for example, when we drove into Orillia, Ontario, Gord Lightfoot came on the radio (Orillia is Lightfoot’s home town), and taking exit 64 to Hamilton, the Beatles “When I’m 64” came on...explain that!
Ah, regardless of if you believe in magic, “Take the Highway” explores that often living a fulfilling life requires taking chances, and getting outside of your comfort zone.
Meeting the road for me was that chance. For you it may be something different. Regardless, I wrote "Take The Highway" to encourage you to take those chances, go see those places, write a song or simply do what you need to do to expand your horizons. 

F O R C E D R A N D O M - 'Go Get It' - 2015

Over the past couple of years Forced Random - the London collective built around multi-instrumentalist and producer Oliver Girdler - have quietly built up a faithful following amongst music fans and critics alike, releasing two EP's of elegantly twisted and sparse music since autumn 2013. Described by NME as "a somnolent and heavily anaesthetised trip down the sinkhole of introspection...thrilling", the earlier works of Girdler were stripped-back bedroom gems, full of lyrical longing and restrained homemade beauty; Forced Random in 2015 is a different beast entirely...but no less intriguing.

Freja - ‘Empire’ - 2015

Freja is a young singer-songwriter who creates delicately minimalist music with a beautiful story behind it. Her debut EP Ghosts is a celebration of Freja’s youth, covering themes of love, loss and life mixed with folklore and elements of gothic romance.

Freja’s vocals feel effortless, authentic and completely controlled throughout with a hint of her London accent coming through, particularly on songs such as ‘Foggy Days’ and ‘Without You’, not unlike artists such as Lauren Aquilina. With delicate vocals and beautiful piano led melodies entwined, the EP gives listeners an intimate insight into Freja’s inner workings and stunning ability as a songwriter.

Nov 6, 2015

Cazadero - Domestic Refugee - 2015

Crossing the Mississippi from East for the first time, Joe Jones proceeds to pass through 48 states. Domestic Refugee is a coming-of-age travelogue through the barren farmland of northern New England (Bigger Life) to the desolate mass of Wyoming (Rest Area), underneath Florida's gaping sink holes (Hold Still), resolving in the uninhabited log-jammed beaches of the Northwest (AM Blues) after an ephemeral romance with California (Been A Long Time). Escaping cults (Heaven's Bus), natural disaster (Remains of Day), and family tragedy (Oklahoma), the songs trace a diaspora of the domestic US rural community, as experienced by Jones. 

Equally inspired by Neil Young's On the Beach and John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley.

Cazadero is a western pop band from Northern California. They enjoy long walks in the Redwoods.

DenMother - 2015

Inspired by: warrior drums, haunting chants, distorted synths.

Nov 3, 2015

Michael Feuerstack & Associates - Singer Songer - 2015

Headless Owl is very proud, and excited to present: Singer Songer, by Michael Feuerstack & Associates

Singer and songwriter, gentleman and liar, gadfly and firefly and fall guy, indispensable, Michael Feuerstack is a man who lives and makes music in Montreal. Long one of the Canadian scene's most revered songwriters, Feuerstack has turned his craft inside-out for his first collaborative release: Singer Songer gathers nine of Feuerstack's friends and admirers - including members of the Weakerthans, Constantines, and Little Scream - to perform songs he wrote for each of their voices.

Songs and Singers: 
1.Along The Way (Mathias Kom) 
2.Out Of Season (Devon Sproule) 
3.Did I? (Bry Webb) 
4.When I Pay You Back Someday (Leif Vollebekk) 
5.Friday Night Guard (John K. Samson) 
6.Stories (Jessie Stein) 
7.Lost & Found (Jim Bryson) 
8.Sure Enough II (Angela Desveaux) 
9.Don't Wait Up (Little Scream)

shores - precedents - 2015

G M Slater By far their best release to date. A "must have" for all fans of Red House Painters, Codeine, Claim Culture, etc.

Nov 1, 2015

Ghostly Discovery

Color Theory

In Discovery, the seven colors of the natural spectrum correspond to musical moods exhibited throughout Ghostly's catalogue.

Using mood-color information from the MOOD slider along with the values from the DIGITAL/ORGANIC and FASTER/SLOWER sliders, Discovery creates a playlist of songs that reflect exactly how you're feeling, right now.

Time-lapse Gifs

One full revolution of the Moon around the Earth takes about 29.53 days

Here are some theories about how glass breaks.

The Un-Herd Covers Project Vol. XIII

1. Ken Stringfe11ow Kids Don't Follow (The Replacements)
2. Per Gess1e Sheena is a Punk Rocker (Ramones)
3. Oh Mercy Someday (The Strokes)
4. Nico1e Atkins Under the Milky Way (The Church)
5. Michae1 Carpenter Wonderful World (Sam Cooke)
6. S1obberbone To Love Somebody (The BeeGees)
7. Naked Prey Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell)
8. Missy Higgins Don't Believe Anymore (Icehouse)
9. Jesse Ma1in Stay Free (The Clash)
10. Ezra Furman Androgynous (The Replacements)
11. Boz Scaggs Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl (Mink Deville)
12. Mote1 Beds I've Been Waiting (Matthew Sweet)
13. Aimie Mann Too Many People (Paul McCartney)
14. Bob Forrest Melt With You (Modern English)
15. The Ki11s Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
16. Jose Gonza1es #9 Dream (John Lennon)
17. Linus of Ho11ywood Beth (Kiss)
18. Richard Buckner Candy-O (The Cars)
19. Lydia Love1ess I Would Die 4 U (Prince)
20. Jamie T Bastards of Young (The Replacements)