Video: Johnny Utah – Honeypie

The moment when your wife is telling you to stop listening to something over and over, it is a good time to have a break. I have watched this video (listened to this song) so many times I stopped counting. A total indie banger. it is too good. If you start this track, you will never get it out of your head. And that video! Johhny is the new indie king.

You can find more music at: johnnyutah.bandcamp.com

Single: Ugly Ghost – Hoverboards & Teleportation

Ugly Ghost captures so much energy in his tracks. Aubrey Plaze has been my favorite track on our May Spotify playlist and I am happy there is another sweet lo-fi indie rock track out there. Little bit different, little bit more experimental, but still very “Ugly Ghost-ish.” Excited to hear more from him in future.

You can listen to more music at uglyghost.bandcamp.com

Single: SLEEP RADIO – several days later by

I find it so hard to discover music from Europe I really enjoy, but past weeks there is more and more popping up just to my ears. It feels good. And yes, Britain (UK) is still part of Europe.

Slow, melow lo-fi track from SLEEP RADIO coming out of Bristol is developing more and more after re-listening. If you are fan of Alex G, Hovvdy or Tyler Burkhart or any other lo-fi king, this will get you. Close all social networks, turn the volume up and just enjoy.

You can find more music at sleepradio.bandcamp.com

Single: Blu:m – Shakes Up

This track will make your hibs to move. Love the upbeat melody, love the “Florence And The Machine” style vocal parts. New, fresh band coming out of London scene. Exciting! There is a just short EP out but it is very promising and worth checking out.

You can find the EP on Spotify spotify.com/blu:m

Single: Wes Chiller – Mo Nothin

Do you remember classic rock from 70s, 80s? Remember Police? I remember it very well as my father listened to it over and over when I was younger. He still plays it on vinyl from time to time. I feel the vibe of this in Wes Chiller’s track Mo Nothin and it brings me a lot of memories. A good ones. Nostalgia. Old classic rock.

You can find more at weschiller.com

Single: personhollywise. – arpeggio.

I usually write about new music released in past weeks but this one is little bit older. Discovering of older music can bring the same enjoyment as discover of new music. Who said that blog cannot write about things that were released months ago? We can write about anything we want.

The opening of the track is just killin’ it. Love the pace, love the beats and voice too. A great track.

You can find more music at soundcloud.com/hollywisemedia

Album: Rapt – Within Thrall

I love vocals and instruments in this album, especially the title track “Girl In Black” caught me. I do not know very much about the artist but I am kind of bummed that I have not heard of him before. I will be revisiting these few songs for some time. This album would be a perfect fit for Fox Food Records roster, if they were still active. I am so pleased to find another great folk music project from Britain. Folk scene in Britain amaze me very much. Give this short album try and feel the British land in it.

More music at rapt.bandcamp.com

Album: Goodwill, Good Will – Goodwill, Good Will [EP]

Are you fans of roster on Run For Cover Records or Topshelf Records? I am a huge fan. Goodwill, Good Will would fit there perfectly. This 4-track EP from last year contains great tracks that have to sound awesome live. If you are fan of harder music, you will dig this very much. I just wonder why it is not released on tape…

You can find more music at goodwillgoodwill.bandcamp.com

Single: the deepest sleep – III

James aka the deepest sleep is my friend, we met at Z Tapes Fest in Summer 2018. He has been fan of my label for many years and luckily I was able to see him play live at our Fest. His new project is little bit different from drmgrl music, but I still find it interesting. I do not listen to ambient music on daily music, but when I do I try to take a care when listening to it. Ambient music is always atmosphere. Can you feel it?

You can find more music at thedeepestsleep.bandcamp.com

Album: Covey – Dog& Bone [EP]

Covey is a folk rock project fronted by British multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Tom Freeman, who moved to USA for school, specifically Boston.

It’s cold and rainy May in Slovakia. You want to just wrap yourself in blanket and not to go outside. What you also need is music that will capture this atmosphere. Covey’s music is a perfect fit for this mood. Both tracks are beautiful and I am excited to dig deeper to his collection of music.

You can find it at: soundcloud.com/coveymusic

Single: Simen Mitlid – Trying

How many Norwegian artist do you know? Many? Few? None? You should start digging deeper into this country’s music scene because you can find gems. Simen Mitlid’s music is one of it. You would never thought this was coming from Norway. I love how fresh and well produced this song sounds.

“Hailing from the lush woods of Os, Norway, singer-songwriter Simen Mitlid crafts lush, Nordic indie-folk” – note from his bio. I just wish I could join him in these Nordic woods.

You can find more about artist at simenmitlid.no

Single: Ian Terry – Remember

Aritst described this song as:

a self-recorded, thoughtful, wistful song with strong lyrics and musicality

And he was so right. I love the folkish guitar in this one. I love how the sound is building up and vocals just go perfectly with it. I will listen to this over and over and just enjoy the beauty of music.

You can find more music at ianterry.bandcamp.com

Single: Callum Pitt – Here If You Need

Piano is my favorite instruments. When I was little I tried to teach myself to play, was not successful at all. Therefore I admire songs where piano is used. Callum Pitt’s “Here If You Need” is a perfect example how nicely it can be done. I enjoy the cheerful vibe of the song, love how all instruments are well laid out. I would love to see this track played live. Must be a great experience. Excited to hear more from this promising British artist.

Find more info about artist at: https://www.callumpittmusic.co.uk/

Single: mxmtoon – prom dress

Here is pretty interesting description from PR department of artist:

Now May has arrived and so has the timely single, “prom dress,” where mxmtoon expounds upon the adolescent feelings associated with the high expectations of prom-heightened emotions, daydreams of what could be, and the sinking reality that most of us actually experience. mxmtoon wraps her sentiments in this hushed pop treasure as she sings, “I guess I thought that prom was gonna be fun, but now I’m sitting on the floor and all I want to do is run…” Relatable, she is.

It describes everything that you can find in this little sweet track. I never ever been to any real prom, but I can feel it in this track. I can be teenager once again.

Find more information: mxmtoon.com

Single: Coral Collapse – Never Go

DIIV, Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils. I grew up (musically) listening to them. I love how perfectly they represent summer, surfy vibes. Coral Collapse is another great band contributing to these summerish vibes. It makes me cheerful, it makes me dance, it makes me want to laugh. This is what music should be about too. Have fun. Are you having fun with music?

“Never Go” is from newest album Don’t Wait to See Me Say Goodbye available at coralcollapse.bandcamp.com/album/dont-wait-to-see-me-say-goodbye

Single: Amparo – Memory Tree

I always prefer songs with vocals, but “Memory Tree” is a great one. Today is a great day for some ambient, soothing track as it is rainy and cold outside, it’s Friday and the work week has been very exhausting. Listen to this track makes my mind and soul to rest and just enjoy pure beauty of music. Close your eyes, rise the volume up and just fly away.

Raised in the deserts of southern Arizona, Amparo is the solo project of Lela Amparo. Crafting ambient induced day dreams, Amparo creates guitar loops and minimalistic programming to present instrumental music with a touch of melancholy and a longing for somewhere else. – from website

Find more links at amparosounds.com

Single: Sean Kennedy – Young & Depressed

Have you heard of Sean Kennedy? Not? Really? … Me neither. One track on Soundcloud. No social media. Nothing. But that music! I felt in love with it. I am young too (just 28) and felt many times depressed. I could listen to this track over and over. I love the vocals & lyrics, I love the piano in the back of track and verses. Soft and sweet. Cheerful. Try it with me.

Follow him at soundcloud.com/songsaboutdreams

Single: Superocean – Saturday World

It’s Saturday. A lazy one. And I just want to sing:

Saturday world, oh oh, Saturday world, oh oh
Saturday world, oh oh, Saturday world
Saturday world, oh oh, Saturday world, oh oh
Saturday world, oh oh, Saturday world

No more words. Just sing a long.

You can find more music at superoceanband.bandcamp.com

Video: Rose Hotel – Running Behind

The opening of this track. That’s it. I do not need to hear more. I really enjoy the VHS video too. “Running Behind” is a perfect track for driving around Southern part of America and enjoying long roads with green scenery. I wish I could go now.

Rose Hotel is from Atlanta, Georgia (home of my favorite Deerhunter or Orchid Mantis). There is in plans a new album in May I will be eagerly waiting for.

You can find more music at rosehotel.bandcamp.com

Single: Stevie Zita – Cocoa Ono

The third addition to your summer lazy playlists. I know, I know it’s only May but why we should not feel already great? I am very excited about this one because apparently this artist is known by very tiny amount of people. But definitely it should be listened by much more. The best fact about all this is location where the artist is from – Toronto, Canada. I just love Canadian music. Do you remember Foxes in Fiction, Fog Lake, Molly Drag? All from Canada. I just want to discover more and more music from this beautiful country.

Listen more from artist at soundcloud.com/steviezita

Video: KESMAR – Crushing (Visualiser)

I am preparing summer vibes for my ears and this is a very nice addition. I have always found Australian music very interesting. It is always little bit different, little bit more relaxed. I can forget it is still cold outside even though it’s already May and I can imagine being outside with friends, doing a grill party and playing this song as part of the playlist. Nice.

Find more at iamkesmar.com

Video: Glenn Echo – Overwhelm

American folk music is so inspiring. For me it is like entering a completely different music world. I love it. I love to experience something that everyday life doesn’t bring. Overwhelmed by mainstream sound from radio (my coworkers listen to mainstream Slovák pop radio which playry every single day the same songs over and over) I dive into folk music as it was a safe (music) haven where I can just rest and enjoy the beauty of music. This song is a perfect tool to escape the world and just have good (music) time.

Find more about artist at glennecho.com

Video: NTHNL – Away We Go (feat. John Cushing)

I am finding hardly words to describe what I like about this song, it’s very interesting and each listening is bringing a new angle of discovery. Love how simple and still beautiful are instruments, vocals and sounds in this track. Once you start listening to it, you want to listen again. Writing about music is very hard for me as I always have troubles to find the right words. Therefore I always suggest people to trust my taste and give music I recommend a try. Just start track.

Find more about artist at nthnlsound.com

Video: Donny Electric – You Make Me Oh!

I remember when Jacob aka Johnny Utah (Z Tapes) told me about this new promising artist from Philly – Donny Electric (FKA Dream League Soccer). I listened to some songs and was totally into it. And today there is a new video for his latest single. It is not only a great song, but the video is making it even better. I am in love with it and watched like 10 times already. I find Philly scene very interesting and I am always excited to discover more and more artists from this great city.

Can you feel the vibe?

Fin more music at Bandcamp / Soundcloud /

Single: Kuri – The Great Orator

Kuri is a recording artist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. I read it on his site. I usually do not go through all information on artists’ website, but I went through his bio and found this interesting statement: “Creativity relies on vision in a figurative and literal sense.” Also this description from site sums up his music best: “The foundation remains rooted in organic performances, classically infused orchestration, jazzy freeform spirit, cinematic ambition, and ultimately inspired observation.” I really enjoy listening to this new single. It’s beautifully developed with multiple layers of interesting sounds worth diving deeper in.

“I hope my music brings healing in some way to listeners,” he [Kuri] leaves off. “I want to be candid and hopefully encourage others to do the same. I hope they feel something.”

You can read more about him and find all links on his site kurimusic.com

Video: Safe As Houses – Lucky Lucky

Canada always produce music that is little bit different from the one made in USA and I am always wanting to explore it. This track “Lucky Lucky” is perfect example of it. Love the folkish influence and beautiful violin parts in connection to more pop vocals. And the video with beautiful shots is just a great addition to everything. Excited to hear more from this band.

Video: Ethan Kerr – Eleven

Ethan’s music is so captivating I had to listen to it few times before I was able to write these few words. Very refreshing sound, very chill song. I was always curious about music from Philadelphia and I am glad this scene has produced another new artist worth following. The video for single “Eleven” is very enjoyable too. Love the coloring. You can find his music on Spotify and in our April Playlist too.

Single: Teal Moss – Lewis

indie pop from Denton, TX

A sweet fresh track from Steven Fischer, Texas-based musician, who is just about to move to LA. Thats all info about him I was able to find. “Lewis” is the first single from upcoming album and it is promising a lot. Really enjoying its chilly indie vibes. I am imaging sitting on a porch in sunny day in California, enjoying a cold drink and listening to good muic. Just press play and dive in with me.

Excited for the full album and hopefully bright future for this young musician.

Follow him here:

spotify / soundcloud / bandcamp / facebook / instagram

BLOG WAS DEAD!

The daily blog was dead for a month. I was working more on Z Tapes and United Cassettes and I also needed a break from daily blogging to figure out few things, but from October 4 we are back in business.

Thanks for all the support.

Love you all,

Filip

FILIP ZEMCIK PRESENTING AARON POWELL OF FOG LAKE

Since I discovered Fog Lake, it has been a steady part of my playlist. I admire Aaron’s talent to create the atmospheric vibe coming out of his songs. His music has greatly influenced my taste and will always belong to my favorite musicians. Recently, when I heard that he was releasing a new album, I decided to approach him with few questions via email to ask him about not only his music life in Canada, but also his latest release on Orchid Tapes.

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Aaron, you are not very vocal on any social media. Do you prefer “online solitude”? Do you like communicating over Internet?

Anyone who knows me well knows i’m a bit of an introvert. I’m always afraid i’ll make a fool of myself online. Maybe it’s just an anxiety of mine but most of the time I’d rather let the music speak for itself.

Do you find keeping privacy important?

I do. I value my alone time a lot. If I didn’t, I don’t think I would have been able to have such an extensive output in these last years. I spend most of my time alone, for the better.

Do you remember when you first started getting more attention?

Yeah. I remember when I was delivering pizzas one day and someone told me that my song “Farther Reaches” had been posted on a popular youtube channel called “Majestic Casual”. Made my day. My music gained a very steady following after that. I’m very thankful for what they did for me, and I’m glad that they chose a song which I’m still fond of.

You are part of Orchid Tapes family. How did you met Warren and other guys?

Yeah. I’ve really only known Warren online. We’ve never met in person, yet. I discovered his project “Foxes in Fiction” on a forum and I always let him know how much his music helped push me to do what I do now. I think once I started making music, he realized we were coming from a similar place and I’m really glad he gave me a chance to be on the label. It was by far the best thing that ever happened to me and remains so.

You have released your music on cassettes. Do you prefer this type of media or was it a choice made by label?

I’m a fond believer in analog sound, even though I’ve not yet ventured into that path. I think putting out my music on cassette helps secure a sense of integrity and helps fulfill my own beliefs. Many of people I know laugh off the fact that I’m putting out music on such an “obsolete” device, but I don’t know, I really like the sound of a cassette just like someone would like the scratches on a vinyl record. It’s definitely an acquired taste.

Fog Lake’s songs have special vibe and sound. Was it a long process of creation or did you know from the start what your music should sound like?

Thanks. It took me a long time to realize that I really had a ‘sound’ to begin with, but these days I’m definitely a lot more self-aware. Whenever I’ve tried to branch off from Fog Lake, it’s never really worked out because I struggle to do something I feel is original. I would say it was a long process. I listen to a lot of my older material now and I just feel like I was trying to copy what was already done. Now when I listen to my new record, for instance, I feel like I can hear myself coming through and that’s fulfilling for me, providing something that comes from a real place.

Where do you get inspiration for your songs?

I can name you a lot of things that inspire my songs, but I won’t. Mostly just experience, and the ups and downs of this life.

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In my previous interview with Katie Dey, she talked about unimportance of lyrics in her songs. What are you thoughts on lyrics?

As much as I love, love, love Katie Dey (‘asdfasdf’ is absolutely stunning) I really have to disagree with her stance on lyricism. My favorite music communicates through tone and language, resulting in the euphoria I often get from it. It would make a great debate I think. I spent quite some time on “Victoria Park” making sure the lyrics said what I needed to get out. However, I would never want my lyrics to ever overshadow the music; it’s definitely the more important and complex element.

Do you prefer working on your music alone or have you ever wanted to have a full-size band?

I definitely like the fact that music requires solitude (in my case anyway). I try to keep Fog Lake a solo project. I played my first set with a band in a while tonight and it didn’t go too well at all. However one of best friends Kenney has been a great and loyal bandmate for awhile now and he’s on three tracks of ‘Victoria Park’, which is new because all of my older records were entirely just me. I’ve always thought the idea of a “one-man-band” was really intriguing however and I felt I was the right person for that, so at it’s core Fog Lake remains my solo project. I’ve always wanted to start a band, but my experiences working with conflicting creative control/input has always been an issue for me, unfortunately.

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How long did it take to create the last album?

I spent a year writing and recording on “Victoria Park”. While I was making the record I managed to drop out of school, get into two relationships (neither of which worked out), have my stepfather die and lose two jobs, plus plenty of friendships. The last year of my life has been extremely chaotic and emotionally draining, I’m glad to say that ‘Victoria Park’ expresses and sums up those feelings of loss quite authentically.

What is the toughest part of the writing process?

I think the toughest part of the writing/recording process was really trying to make amends with what was bothering me at the time in a cohesive way, that was yet still relatable. I had a lot of bitterness/resentment when I wrote ‘Virgo Indigo’ and I didn’t want to repeat that again. I find myself very unhappy with that record now, I can say that ‘Victoria Park’ is much better.

Do you think your music is influenced by the place where you live?

Yeah, definitely. I find myself torn apart by how much I wanna get off the island of Newfoundland and how much I wanna stay because it’s such an entirely different scene that has so much potential. I wrote about 50 percent of ‘Victoria Park’ out in my home town of Glovertown (three hours away from where I live now) because I have so many memories attached to that place, and it always gets me inspired to write. All of the songs I wrote while I was in Glovertown reflect that time in my life and relate it to what my life entails now, three years after moving away from there, into a much more populated city

Do you enjoy living in North America?

Yes! I’m hoping to do a tour of the eastern States sometime soon. From my few times in America I’ve really dug it.

What is your daily job?

I was doing dishes at a local bar/restaurant. It pays the bills. I delivered pizzas before that. Got fired for driving too fast though.

Is there any music community in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Yes! It’s a lot like high school. That’s kinda what the song “Renegade” is about. It’s very tight-knit and it’s an everyone knows everyone sort of deal. I can finally say that I’ve gathered some local followers which makes me wanna play shows and try to inspire, whether the set’s good or bad. I think there’s a lot of heart in our local scene, which has yet to be discovered.

Do you miss being able to hang out with guys around Orchid Tapes?

Miss? I’ve never met any of them. I feel pretty distant from the label most of the time to be honest. I’m very privileged to have a part in that scene. I’ve got Warren to thank for that. I’m a big fan of every artist on the label so it definitely cheers me up whenever I’m feeling down and out.

Do you have a place where you would love to live?

I’m thinking about moving to Montreal, or possibly running off to California. I could even try Halifax, maybe. I don’t think I can stay on this island for much longer.

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Do you have any goals or dreams regarding your music project?

I’d just like to be remembered, and have some financial security. Neither of which I’ve had much luck with.

Did you have any music project before?

I had a few joke/novelty bands in high school with friends, but no. Fog Lake was the first thing I took seriously.

Do you remember what the first instrument you ever got was?

I don’t! I think the first instrument I ever played was harmonica.

Have you always wanted to make music? Did you have support from family?

I can’t say that it was my plan to begin with. I always wanted to do something in the arts, but I never felt talented enough to pursue music. It seems it’s becoming less of a hobby and more of a career the longer I stay working at it. I think it’s what I’m gonna keep doing until the end though.

What did you listening as a kid?

The first CD I ever bought was ‘Hybrid Theory’ by Linkin Park I’m pretty sure. Then it might have been that Smash Mouth record with “All Star” on it or something by the Backstreet Boys. It was bad, man.

What important advice would you give to young musicians starting their own music projects?

I would say to keep it as true-to-heart as possible. Stop thinking about what other’s want to hear and start thinking about what you wanna hear. Don’t worry about being technical. Don’t worry what your parents think. Give it your best shot.

What are your current three most favorite bands?

That changes 2 much 2 say.

New album Victoria Park out on Orchid Tapes:

Questions by Filip Zemcik
Answers and photos by Aaron Powell

FILIP ZEMCIK PRESENTING KATIE DEY

The past weeks has been full of Katie Dey’s new album asdfasdf. I remember how I wasn’t giving it my full attention, but after some time I listened to it thoroughly and discovered its beauty. Katie’s music is something new and experimental in the current lo-fi, internet scene. Additionally, my favorite label, Orchid Tapes, decided to release asdfasdf on cassettes, which sold out insanely quickly. Thus, I have decided to approach Katie Dey with few questions regarding her music life.

A few months ago, people did not know about you and your music. How has the recent attention influenced your life? Do you enjoy the exposure?

It hasn’t really influenced my life much at all actually. The only real difference is that a few kind people bought my album on bandcamp and that helped me pay my rent and bills for the last month. That part is cool, I enjoy that. Actually, I guess I made some new friends over the internet which is awesome.

A new Facebook page, twitter account and many questions on Tumblr. Is it hard to manage all of this?

It can be a little overwhelming sometimes, but it’s mostly ok. I tend to put off answering emails a little too long though.

I think that a boom started when Mat Cothran from Elvis Depressedly started to recommend your album on different platforms. Do you know how he found out about you?

Mat apparently saw that I had been liking posts on his Tumblr for a while and decided to check out my blog which I had just recently posted a song on. We started talking and I sent him some demos which he said some cool stuff about and that became the album. It’s really mind blowing that he likes it so much because I’ve been a fan of his work for such a long time.

Do you know why people are so hyped on your music?

Not specifically. A few people have told me that they like it because it feels like something “new” which is a cool thing to hear. People like to hear things that don’t sound like everything else I think. It gets them jazzed!

A few days ago, Orchid Tapes put out pre-orders of your album on cassettes. Did you get lots of label offers? Why did you choose Warren’s label?

I got a few label offers but mostly small stuff which seemed kind of risky or stuff I wasn’t comfortable with. I’ve loved orchid tapes forever so it was kind of a dream come true for Warren to ask me if I wanted to work with them. It actually took me a bit of convincing from Mat Cothran for me to think it was a good idea because I was sure it would be a huge failure and I’d put Orchid Tapes out of business or something.

The first run sold out very quickly and the second one is selling pretty well too. Did you expect that?

Absolutely not.

On your Tumblr blog, a lot of people are asking about lyrics. Why are you not attributing them any importance?

I just wanted to shift the focus to how the music could convey itself as a sort of language in itself. There’s a lot of heavily lyric focused stuff around me at the moment in Melbourne and it’s kind of a reaction to that somewhat. It’s sort of an experiment I guess.

Also, there are various questions regarding your equipment. How did you find out your way of doing music?

It’s just something I’ve always done and have worked on for years and years. I’d gone through many phases before now that have heavily informed my current work. It’s hard to kind of describe how I got here, It’d be like telling my life story.

Do you get questions that bother you?

Very infrequently, most people are respectful. The gear questions can get a little much.

How long did it take to record your first album?

Those songs were done over the course of a 3-4 months at the start of this year.

Did you have a clear image of sound before you started recording songs?

I’m not sure I know what you mean by a clear image of sound, but I think I’ve always seen things in a musical way ever since I was little.

What is the hardest part of doing music?

The whole thing takes a huge amount of effort psychologically. It can really take a toll on your emotions and mental health. Singing is also hard.

I have read on twitter you were planning to record new songs, but it turned out badly. What happened?

I think I know the tweet you’re talking about, that was just a time I got a little overzealous with my recording plans and ended up trying to track 3 songs in a night which is a crazy thing to do for the sort of music I make. I ended up passing out at some ungodly hour and waking up with mysterious bruises all over my legs and arms, like I’d deliriously smacked myself into all of my equipment in a sleep deprived stupor.

Did you make all your songs by yourself? Are you planning to have a full band?

Yeah everything was done by me. No plans for a band at this point.

Who has been the biggest source of inspiration for you?

No one specifically. Maybe the based god.

What important lesson have you learned over past weeks of attention

People who do stuff for musicians get paid way more than musicians.

Where do you exactly live?

I live in my house in Melbourne, Australia.

Do you like living there?

It’s ok. The music scene is a little lacking maybe.

Are you part of any music community?

I’m part of the internet lo-fi illuminati.

Are you planning to start playing shows?

Not any time soon.

Are you getting any attention back home?

1 or 2 show offers every now and then. Essentially no.

What are your plans with this music project?

Just to keep pushing forward. I’ve got another album in the works.

Do you have any music dream?

I’d really like to move to America at some point and meet all the awesome people I’ve met on the internet.

What did you listen to as a kid?

As a kid I listened to a lot of Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Silverchair and Radiohead. A bunch of classic rock too and dumb Australian bands like Eskimo Joe.

Have you always wanted to play music? When and why did you learn to play a music instrument?

I’ve always wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember, yeah. I learned how to play keys from an old Wurlitzer organ our family inherited.

Name three recent albums that has gotten your full attention.

The new Elvis Depressedly, obviously. And the new Eskimeaux and Girlpool albums are both amazing.

Read a short review of asdfasdf by Michael Hansford

Questions by Filip Zemcik
Answers and photos by Katie Dey

Review ~ øjeRum – Fraværsminder ~ by Nate Wagner

Lo-fi music is generally associated either with a fuzzy, haphazard garage rock aesthetic (think Guided by Voices) or the low-budget-but-we-like-it-that-way slacker rock banner carried proudly by Burger Records and friends. However, no small number of others, including Copenhagen-based recording artist Paw Grabowski, utilize the narrow stereo field and auxiliary hiss of tape recorders to fill out the edges of painstakingly arranged minimalist compositions. It is in this particular corner of lo-fi that I find many of my most treasured records.

Mr. Grabowski has been releasing music as øjeRum since 2007’s “There is a Flaw in My Iris,” with output on labels such as Horror Fiction, A Giant Fern, and Cabin Floor Esoterica. Also an artist in the visual realm, Grabowski accompanies his releases with black-and-white and sepia-toned treatments of period portraits. This interdisciplinary approach makes each new øjeRum release a collectors’ treat, with his most recent tape, Fraværsminder (english: Memories of Absence), being no exception. After selling out of the original run on Danish netlabel Phinery, Grabowski has offered up a limited edition second pressing of twelve unique cassette and portrait collage packages on his Bandcamp page.

Fraværsminder collects several years’ worth of øjeRum demos, combining instrumental sketches with more fleshed out songs, and despite their individual incompleteness, they build a compelling whole. True to previous releases, Grabowski builds his tracks on a bed of broken-chord finger picking and the occasional chord organ. Vocals feature on a handful of tracks; however, most lyrics must be left to the imagination, as the tape hiss and reverb conspire against his fragile baritone delivery. Comparisons to Slowdive’s unofficial demo tape, I Saw the Sun are apt, as are nods to albums such as Bohren and the Club of Gore’s “Piano Nights” and The Caretaker’s “Persistent Repetition of Phrases.”

While some compendiums are a chore to sit through (here’s looking at you, Mars Volta), the methodical, repetitive qualities of Fraværsminder work exclusively in the artist’s favor. In listening to this tape, I find it disarmingly easy to completely lose track of time. Only after the tape player clicks off at the end of each side am I startled back to reality. This phenomenon repeats itself quite naturally; even after a few dozen listens, I’m still processing the nuances and depths of the album, trying to anticipate particular instances of fret noise or tape warble.

That there is an eeriness behind methodical progression of Fraværsminder is a statement that needs no elaborate justification. Look no further than the cross-stitched figure on the album’s cover, and you will find the core of minimalist music’s fascination with memory and decay. That to which the stark, anonymous subject of Grabowski’s collage silently bears witness is made explicit in his song craft: no matter how hard you try, you can never relive your memories – you can only hope to preserve them.

Text by Nate Wagner
Photo by øjeRum

Review ~ Elvis Depressedly – New Alhambra ~ by Wilson Corrigan

I met Mat Cothran in late 2013, in Los Angeles, days before the Orchid Tapes Showcase. And within 24 hours of knowing him I was assured that he was not only incredibly kind hearted towards his friends and bandmates, but one of the most intriguing people I had ever met. His drunken, child-like manner got me restlessly interested in the music he had created in his time. Now, two years later, Mat and his band, have released another lo-fi pop record that exemplifies why they are the kings of this bedroom recording/DIY scene that has taken over my music library.

New Alhambra has familiar sound to it, but in the best way possible. There is a certain comfort that you can feel in the melodies on tracks like n.m.s.s. and bruises, a sense of being at home. Cothran’s voice has always been unique, but throughout this project he undoubtably soothes the soul, shaking your muscles to the core with the waviness used to record most of the vocals on the songs. Along with Mat’s vocal brilliance, the album is filled with samples taken from professional wrestling matches (and other sources I couldn’t put my finger on), played in reverse, fading in and out creating a scene in your mind unlike any other songs could. Almost like a movie.

I find myself listening through this record on repeat at least two times, maybe three. Every track flows together in a continuous fashion, making the listening experience on vinyl all the better. This is the brain-child-masterpiece we’ve all been waiting for from Cothran and his gang. Not only can you feel the balance in the band, but a fantastic give and take aesthetic between infinite sadness and peace. Mat’s lyrics play a dark role in the tracks; playing on topics such as religion, an unfulfilled life, and love. They’re supported with tight Casio style drums (and some live drums too), hearty bass lines, endless synth and keyboard sequences. All in all, New Alhambra was everything I had expected and then some. Never have I felt so much love and joy from a Mat Cothran project.

Favorite Track(s): New Alhambra, Ease
Scoop it via Bandcamp:

Text by Wilson Corrigan
Photo by Elvis Depressedly

3 Discoveries of Lukas Foote No. 3

Tonight I had an epiphany. It was as if an enormous, hazy cloud was lifted from my vision and my thoughts were clearer. I instantly felt the need to rush back to my Mac and beginning banging away at yet, another 3 Discoveries. Maybe it was the Hank Moody Blundstone’s I copped that inspired me, or it was taking a break from binge watching Seinfeld, but I finally found some time to type.

Lately, I haven’t been enthused on many musical releases, with the exception of a few-track EP’s. I’ve found myself recently searching through my Father’s old CD collection in hopes of finding old tunes, but new for me. That in it’s self has been pretty amusing. However, between rummaging through old classic Dad-Rock that our parents probably got high to in the 80’s, and the music that’s happening down in Atlanta, without further adieu- here are my 3 Discoveries of this week:

Hell or High Water by David Duchovny

David Duchovny: AKA Hank Moody/Fox Mulder/Denise Bryson/J.P Prewitt. Whether you may know him as an alcoholic novelista federal agent that battles extraterrestrialstransgendered FBI agent or a deranged hand model, you can now add musician to the list because Duchovny now has formed a rather trite Dad-Rock band. David Duchovny’s self-titled band is to release a début LP entitled “Hell or High Water” (a term that I have also heard from my newfie Father use about to participate in a pub-crawl). David Duchovny’s band, which is backed by the Berklee College of Music, could be described as Americana-Classic Rock with the vocal melody similar to one of a Kurt Vile. What I find really appeasing about David Duchovny’s band is that Duchovny isn’t trying to play rock star. And by that I mean David Duchovny admits that he isn’t really a “true musician”, but rather just a guy who can strum a couple chords. It’s pretty cool that he views his newly formed band as just another extension of his artistic creativity and nothing more or nothing less.

Below is the self-titled single of his new record due out this spring.

The L-Shaped Man by Ceremony

When I first heard the singles simultaneously released off The L-Shaped Man – The Separation + The Understanding I was very much intrigued. The simple, yet catchy guitar riff had me captivated. Then once Your Life in France was dropped, I begun to notice the pattern that I hoped the whole L-Shaped Man album would be. That pattern being simplistic drums, deep bass, repetitive guitar riffs and droning vocals. That sentence isn’t meant to be satirical; I honestly hoped the whole album would be similar to the two singles. The L-Shaped man came out May 15th on Matador Records and has been on repeat ever since on my Spotify. Despite the incredibly low Pitchfork Review of 3.3, I believe this album is a tentative release from the Rohnet Park band. What’s really interesting about Ceremony that I particularly like is how each album they release is completely different from the previous. If you take a look at where the band is at today since Violence Violence, its rather note worthy and needs to be acknowledged. I personally think where Ceremony’s new sound is at today is the best it’s ever been.

The Crucifixion of Rapper, Extraordinaire Slug Christ by Slug † Christ

This pick in rap this month is straight from the ATL, and apparently I’ve been sleeping on the rap scene in Atlanta, Georgia. Slug Christ is a white, redneck-looking Southern Georgian rapper. Solely based on appearance, you wouldn’t think so however. Slugga is part of the Atlanta based record label: Awful Records, from whom home such up and coming artists of 2015 like Father, Keith Spacebar and most notably ILoveMakkonnen. Slug Christs’ raps however aren’t for anyone. He has a unique homegrown style. He admits that his style of rap isn’t for most people so you either love it or hate it. Slug Christ’s raps could be described as a guy that takes too much xanax and has some deep-rooted depression issues. Slug’s latest release on May 5th titled: The Crucifixion of Rapper, Extraordinaire Slug Christ is a third follow up to his other mixtapes: IGLESIA: Olde Testament and I feel the Sadness in My Legs and The Happy in My Head. Slug Christ in Rapper, Extraordinaire is finally self-proclaimed “crucified”, where as the other two earlier releases were just preludes leading up to his crucifixion. As you can tell, Slug is a pretty eccentric and dramatic type of dude. But between the visuals that accompany him in his music videos and his original delivered rap flow, Slug Christ is one to convert to.

Text by Lukas Foote

Issue #6 of Discoveries

FILIP ZEMCIK PRESENTING LEW AND HENRY OF NICE LEGS

The best part of doing my music blog is meeting new people, whether in person or here in this virtual world. I have met Lew and Henry through music discoveries of our contributor Lar. I have also discovered that besides their solo projects Henry Demos and Lewtrakimou with a great cassette split on Fox Food Records, they all play in a band called Nice Legs based in Yogiga Gallery in Seoul, Korea. Both Lew and Henry have very interesting personalities and their music is really catchy. I have approached them with few questions to let them reveal a little bit more about their music, life story.

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How did you end up in Seoul, Korea?

Henry: Oh yeah something personal! Lew you go first!

Lew: I had a buddy Joe (Awkward Binoculars), who came here first, and asked me what the hell I was doing and told me to come on over and join the experimental music scene and etc.

Henry: Mine is easier! My wife and I really wanted to leave the US. We looked up what countries had really cool music and South Korea definitely had that going for it. So we chose it!

Your whole band is part of the community around Yogiga gallery. How did you become part of it?

Lew: My buddy Joe was already fully immersed in the Yogiga family, so I was accepted at default and felt that was my home from the first day until today, six years later. I owe a lot to those loveable weirdos and especially the head-weirdo Lee Han Joo, one of my best friends of life.

Henry: I actually went there my FIRST night in Korea. It was so strange and felt like basement shows back home. Beer all over the floor and clogged toilets… it was awesome.

Where are you all originally from?

Lew: This is the twilight zone segment of our story that NO ONE BELIEVES. I didn’t either, at first. A few years ago, Henry and I met, at Yogiga, of course, and at some drunken point we realized we were both from Arkansas. Then last year we realized we were actually born in the same year, about a month apart, in the very same hospital in North Little Rock. Our parents live about five minutes apart from each other.

What is the story behind your band?

Lew: I alllllllllllllllllways answer this one. Henry, it’s your turn, damnit.

Henry: Shit. Okay, so I am usually unemployed. My life partner Mary asked me to go busk for extra cash. It just so happened that Lew was sitting on our couch at the time. I asked her if she wanted to join me. We went out busking in Seoul improv sets for the next two weeks after that. It turned out we liked making music together. That works right?

Lew: Decent.

How did you come up with the name?

Lew: Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a line from a movie of supreme cinematic importance:  I’m sure you’ve heard of the director:  Dr. T. Wiseau.

I know you like DIY, bedroom style of making music. Why do you prefer it?

Lew: Because we’re lazy, for one thing. Also, it’s just the style that appeals to us. I’ve always been way more into fuzzy, slightly-off things, in art, film, and music, and humans in general.

Henry: Yeah, absolutely. We have both recorded in professional studios with great equipment and engineers but it never really felt honest. Like we were never in control of the outcome.  At home we are limited to really basic equipment of kids keyboards, some cheap mics, and guitars but with a little patience you can make really great stuff.

Do you prefer writing music alone or as a band?

Henry: Well, I can’t speak for Lew but absolutely as a band… Lew?

Lew: Definitely together. I still get surprised when what we both bring to the table comes together in a little bit of a magical way. And it’s just fun as shit playing music with your best friend.

What is the toughest part of a writing process?

Henry: Oh, I got this one. Knowing when enough is enough. Because it is home recording we can layer and layer and layer.

Lew: Because typically Henry records the music and then I write lyrics and melodies to it, sometimes it can be tricky. But when it comes together, it’s a great feeling.

Where do you get an inspiration for your lyrics, music?

Lew: As for the lyrics, they usually just come without any purpose. A lot of times they are stories, true and untrue about love lost or never had or unruly shenanigans or made up places and people. A lot of them end up being about my family or imaginary evenings.

Is it hard to write and play music in foreign country with a completely different culture?

Lew: No, not really. It’s been an incredibly friendly and accessible scene from the start.

Henry: I could be wrong here but I have a theory that people want to make loud music everywhere in the world. Plus you have all the outside influences around you that change your music for you.

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Do you speak Korean well?

Lew: I speak well enough that it’s more than just a party trick, but not so much that I could be of great use in a medical or diplomatic emergency. Henry knows how to say the Korean word for “sperm”.

Henry: Gotta keep people on their toes. Plus Lew totally speaks fluently and is just being fucking modest.

What is the toughest part of living in Korea?

Lew: Missing my family. My niece asked her parents the other day, “Does Lew have teeth?”

Henry: Just for context there… Lew’s niece is a toddler and not a crazy person. It is the same for me though. It can be tough not seeing my family whenever I want.

Lew: hahhaha. Thanks for clarifying.

What is your favorite thing about Seoul?

Lew: Our friends, daily unexpected adventures, little parks where everybody drinks, our neighborhood where everybody knows everybody but can’t remember their names and there’s always some reason to celebrate or put off doing whatever it was you were supposed to do.

Henry: Ditto. Those reasons alone should be enough for you to pack your bags and get the fuck over here.

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Are you digging Korean (Asian) culture?

Henry: Holy fuck yes. Every place is so wildly different and unique. Whenever I go back home I get some strange reverse culture shock and want to get right back on the plane and go back to Korea. Also Japan and Taiwan are totally amazing.

Lew: Perfectly stated.

Do you like any local bands?

Henry: Too many.

Lew: Yeah, so many greats: Anakin Project, Genius, Amatuer Amplifier, Third Line Butterfly…

Henry: And Table People, Tierpark, Vidulgi Ooyoo and holy fuck SILICA GEL. They rule way to hard.

What do you think about K-pop?

Henry: I try not to.

Lew: Is that a cereal?

Henry: Smart ass.

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Have you ever thought about moving somewhere else?

Henry: I think we are up for anything. How is Slovakia this time of year?

Lew: Slovakia.

I know your fans are mostly outside of Korea. Do you have an idea why it is like that?

Lew: We really lucked out with some UK exposure right off the bat.

Henry: Man, I wish I knew why but it feels really good.

What is your biggest music dream?

Lew: Just this I guess? Making music I love to play in my ratty old car when I’m back home.

Henry: I’m not that romantic. Touring for life is definitely my dream.

Lew: Oh, yeah. Shit. Yeah, me too me too. Touring forever and ever.

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What did you listen when you were a child?

Lew: Oldies radio. We were scared of the classical station.

Henry: My father listened to a ton of David Bowie so by… uh osmosis..that is probably the wrong word but anyway… I listened to Bowie. I also played Nirvana’s Nevermind until the tape died.

What is your favorite physical media?

Henry: These days tape for sure.

Lew: Vinyl or from like old videotape footage, more warped the better.

Henry: I take it back! VHS is my favorite! They had previews and terrible advertisements and other crap!

Name three last records you have bought.

Lew: Cancertron, Rj Myoto, Lee Han Joo/Sato Yukie, Table People

Henry: That’s four! Well, I got two Good, Good Blood and NEWFOUNDLAND

Lew: We can’t count too much.

——-

Henry: Thank you soo much.

Lew: Yeah, thanks a billion homie!

Questions by Filip Zemcik
Answers by Lew and Henry
Photos by Douglas Vautour

What’s In My Car? ~ Episode 1 ~ by Lukas Foote

What’s In My Car? are series of videos featuring different people talking about music they listen in a car.

First episode by Lukas Foote, a contributor at START-TRACK.

Albums (in order):

Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
Torches by Forster the People
Copperhead Road by Steve Earle
Sad Dreams by Lauren Hutchinson
Lucky Town by Bruce Springsteen

Shot by Ryan Longlade
Edited by Lukas Foote

Review ~ Katie Dey – asdfasdf­ ~ by Michael Charles Hansford

It’s been almost a year since my last album review, so I apologize if any of my writing seems a bit dreamy, misshapen, or short of wanderlust. However, the show must go on: and today, I reviewing my favorite album of the last two weeks. The debut release ”asdfasdf” from underground sensation Katie Dey.

I stumbled upon this album over a massive twitter selected post. From many lo-fi/DIY legends of our time: Sam Ray, Mat Cothran, and a few others. I immediately decided to check it out, and after the first 5 seconds of twinkle acoustic guitars and pitch affected vocals I sunk into the esquire of the wonderful world of Katie Dey. Although these days, the underground happenings of thrust ward “bedroom pop” can be oversaturated, Katie seems to break the surface, her instrumentation is stunning and the immense talent that lies within her writing outstanding. The freshness of this album itself is what always draws me to through it on after a long day at work. I actually listened to it a couple weeks ago on a train ride from Montreal to Toronto, and believe me: not only was it fitting, it was an escape.

When it comes to similar sounding artists or perhaps even influences I can hear sounds from early Krautrock experimental bands from the 1970’s: Can, Cluster, and even Neu! In more recent cases I can hear similar sounds capes to Radiohead, Ricky Eat Acid, Boards of Canada, and Aphex Twin. Thought again, I have to stress how originality is the nail-biting true love that blossoms from this album. I see great things in the future for this artist, and I hope you reading take some time to enjoy something new in this negative calorie world.

You can pick up the album for “pay what you can” on Katie’s Bandcamp.

Favorite track: “you gotta get up to get up”

Text by Michael Charles Hansford
Photo by Katie Dey

3 Discoveries of Lar Eade-Green No. 2

Ripped/ Twisted by Thumbuster

Sheffield now has its very own super-group in the form of Thumbuster, a three-piece comprising of members from Radical Boy (Harry Plomer), Nai Harvest (Lew Currie) and Best Friends (Ed Crisp). Ripped/ Twisted stars on the trio’s debut EP, recorded at Delicious Clam Studios (set up by Thumbuster’s very own Ed Crisp). I have been singing my own mumbly version of the track all day – I think they should release Ripped/ Twisted as their single and have my mumbly version as their b-side. On Friday I braved a downpour to get to Thumbuster’s very first show, alongside Long Limbs and The Orielles. I then drank copious amounts of alcohol and continued to tell main-man Harry about my plan to “kidnap” him from his job at our local convenience store; an idea that was first planted in my head by my dad – a fine artist trapped in a 9 to 5 office job. I will then continue to free other artists/ musicians who have to work dead end jobs and lots of super-groups will be formed!

Amitriptyline by Long Limbs

Next up, is Sheffield’s Long Limbs! I walked in slightly late to their show supporting The Orielles at The Rocking Chair but got instantly excited by them! I also want to note that The Rocking Chair later served me the strongest “single rum and coke” I have ever had at a pub. Long Limbs have released Amitriptyline and b-side Fan Fic via Delicious Clam Records!

Heroines by Free Cake For Every Creature

May5to12songs is a song-a-day project starring Bellows, Eskimeaus, LVL UP, 100%, Told Slant, Small Wonder and Free Cake For Every Creature! With 7 new uploads of musical goodness each day it has been hard to pick a track to feature but I have gone for Heroines by Free Cake For Every Creature (AKA Katie Bennett)! She also has a song called ‘(I Can’t Wait To) Walk Outside After It Rains’ and it features one of my current favourite song lyrics “roast the whole bulb of garlic and plop it in my pasta”. I love garlic.

Text by Lar Eade-Green

Issue #5 of Discoveries

3 Discoveries of Lukas Foote No. 2

As a contributor and avid music lover I try to shed light on various genres of music, especially when it comes to my personal write-ups on the ‘3 Discoveries’ section. My objective in these discoveries is to showcase different bands or artists from a vast amount of different genres, ranging anywhere from our familiarity of lo-fi pop to even trap or other forms of hip-hop. I discover a wide array of music daily, and each 3 Discoveries on my behalf will uphold a very versatile musical taste each contribution. I hope each and every reader may find some sort of attraction to the music on hand, even if it may appear outlandish.

Here are my are my 3 Discoveries this week…

Sad Sack by Milk Teeth

Milk Teeth are a 4-piece punk band from Bristol, UK. Although they self proclaim they are punk, you could call them even grunge in this day and age. Milk Teeth are pretty distinctive and could be compared to the likes of old-school Title Fight. Sad Sack was released this year back in April and has been playing aloud on my Spotify repetitively this past month. What makes Milk Teeth a force to be reckoned with is their prominent vocal chemistry between members Becky (Bass/Vox) and Josh (Guitar/Vox).  I strongly recommend throwing this on your aux cord this summer while driving around in your car.

Lush by Creepers

If you’re not familiar with Shiv Mehra, you may know him from being the guitarist of the black metal/post-shoegaze band Deafheaven. This 7-track EP released from his side project Creepers came out late October and is a really haunting and tentative release. Lush sounds ghostly and has an uncanny atmosphere all throughout the EP. I urge fans of bands like Grave Babies or Night Sins to give Creepers’ Lush a thorough listen to.

Derek Wise

This is perhaps my favourite pick in this section. Derek Wise is a dude straight from Toronto and his soundcloud is packed with a unusual, unique breed of rap/hip-hop unlike what I’ve ever heard before. Wise is an XO affiliate and his style could be described as a relaxed and effortless one, but remains on point with his rapping delivery. Derek Wise has an upcoming project out soon called Moms Basement, but in the mean time scroll through his soundcloud and listen to bangers of a track like my favourites- Kenzo, Lake, Rose Gold.

Text by Lukas Foote

Issue #4 of Discoveries

Review ~ Jimmy Pop – Varsity Blues ~ by Berkley Bragg

It seems as though the independent music community engulfed in the small town of Grand Rapids, Michigan is infinitely expanding, and Jimmy Pop is at the forefront.

Bands like Heaters, Ghost Orchard, Dear Tracks, CARE, SAPPHIC, and so many more. One of the more established musicians from the area, James Allen, has procured a substantial number of music projects in the last few years with Youth Camp, Jade TV, and more recently Jimmy Pop, who recently released the debut record, Varsity Blues. 

With these previous projects in mind, it is easy enough to discern the similarities and aspects of each within Varsity Blues. Without that background, it may just seem like a tasteful jangled album, but it really works either way. Varsity Blues does form it’s own shape apart from these separate projects in the fact that much of the record creates a more ascertainable instrumental atmosphere as opposed to Jade TV, a project that relies more on the inclusion of layered vocals.

A few singles released in the last few months are present here with, “Coca-Cola Crush” as well as, “Hang Around”, both of which co-exist on the same realm of relaxation. “Hang Around” provides a more melodic and airy feeling. If you meditate to spacious layers of reverb then I think you can find your addiction in “Hang Around”. “Coca-Cola Crush” closes the record off with a guitar and vocal melody fit for the credit scene to a really slow and emotional film. Not to say that Varsity Blues is exuberantly emotional as it does linger and soak through your pores in the kind of way you want after a long day.

Essentially, give a listen to the whole of Varsity Blues and drift away.

Text by Berkley Bragg
Photo by Jimmy Pop

3 Discoveries of Berkley Bragg

I feel as though each of these three records work well with the seasons and have certainly done their part in keeping me collected in the last few weeks. They are also some of the more unique pieces that I have stumbled upon in a long while and as such, deserve as much credit as I can give.

Katie Dey’s Asdfasdf is something between a really wonderful dream and an unstable nightmare. In both ways the record works to perfection, providing the most bizarre warped vocals that i’ve ever heard, but still soothing me to sleep at the same time. I am at that point in my life where brooding, depressing sounds have found their way into the “recently added” section of my iTunes library, with “Fear o the Dark” being my most played. The best part about this record, however, is the completely off-the-wall, happy-go-lucky Wes Anderson styled anthem that is “Unkillable”. I couldn’t believe the amazing transition that Dey created between “Fear o the Dark’s” verge of death lament and the treetop screamer in “Unkillable”. That transition alone makes the entire album worth every minute. I really can’t say enough incredible things about Asdfasdf.

Stay Cool Forever’s Among My Slime is another mess of abrasive bliss that i’ve been absolutely enthralled with. On the surface, Among My Slime feels silly, almost childish in a sense, but the eccentric instrumentation is just one layer of the sound. If you strip that away you’ll have something much more endearing. Tracks like, “Fun Wound” and “Cecilia” teeter on the edge between playful and semi-serious, just the way I like it.

I Dont Wanna Die In Here’s self titled effort has been an ever expanding release considering every time I return to their Bandcamp page, the album has another two songs. Right now, I Dont Wanna Die In Here is my go-to for something sweet and serene. Much of the record sounds as if it was recorded on a mid 20th century telephone, giving it the essence of an “ultimate” lo-fi release. “Never Stay but Dont Leave” as well as “Stop Fight” also work with playful emotions (do you notice a trend?) evoking wistful and exuberant energy and at the same time, something so unperturbed.

Text by Berkley Bragg

Issue #3 of Discoveries

LUKAS FOOTE PRESENTING COLE MÉNDEZ OF GRANT ULYSSES

The last time I saw Cole Méndez – who goes under the moniker of Grant Ulysses – was at a birthday bonfire at his buddy’s house in their hometown of Orillia, Ontario. That night was filled with cheap beer, cheap cigarettes and good conversations. Much like how Orillian’s can produce great parties, they can also produce even better music. The first musician that comes to mind when I think of Orillia music is the man himself: Cole Méndez. Cole manages to capture such an unfathomable atmosphere and tone in his music that you be a fool not to pay attention to him. I recently got a chance to talk to Cole Méndez about his other musical projects, the deep meaning behind his moniker and about his song writing process. Enjoy!

Hello Cole, how are you today?

I’m pretty good man. Always pretty good. It’s been a while, we gotta get together this summer and make some shit.

This has to be asked: I always wondered where exactly the name Grant Ulysses came from?

Well, Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States, and happened to be President during the American Civil War. He helped lead the Union Army in defeating the Confederacy. Honestly, it’s a name that’s kind of personal to me now – living as a mixed race kid in perpetually pale Northern Ontario and having to deal with confederate flag-waving redneck assholes. Plus it sounds cool, it’s easy enough to remember and spell – all the important stuff. 

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Where did your Dream-Pop influence derive from? At the time I knew you, you were in a Pop Punk band. Those are two pretty different genres on the end of the spectrum. Did you always have a very versatile music taste?

Growing up I played classical piano, and my dad always had old blues and jazz stuff playing in the house – but then I would go to school with Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in my Walkman – so I grew accustomed to a lot of different stuff. I got into pop-punk and heavier stuff when I started high school. A lot of those genre DIY bands are friends with the new underground shoegaze/dream-pop crowd, and I started gravitating towards that sound and then going backwards in time to see what really influenced it and how it evolved.

It’s impressive to see you play/have a part in tons of other musical projects up there in Orillia. What other musical projects are you a part of and where do you find the time to be in them all?

I play piano in the Cole Mendez Trio, and we just play jazz at corporate gigs and restaurants and stuff. It’s a good time. It is where my real musical passion is – plus it pays better than the Dream-Pop stuff. Other than that I keep forming these bands with friends, a noisy-garage rock group called Obituary Names, the bluegrass band Wildwood Flower – we always manage to get a few practices in before everything falls apart. There’s a lot of talent around but it’s a hard time to try to be dedicated to one thing. That’s why I like solo projects.

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You write, record, produce and play every instrument in this Grant Ulysses project. That’s admirable and talented. Have you ever thought of taking Grant Ulysses as a full band/what do you do if you play live?

I’ve been looking into getting a live band together for a while now. The main issue is what I said above, as well as me either forgetting how to play my own songs on guitar, or being so far away from where I was mentally when I wrote the old stuff that I don’t even want to touch it now. 

I recently saw in a tweet of yours that new Grant Ulysses material is on the way. What could listeners expect from this release compared to earlier work on the Twin Visions EP?

Yeah, I’m working on a new EP. I have a single already done, plus an unreleased cover of a pretty popular song that I might throw up on YouTube. This EP definitely has a fuller, richer sound – and that comes from more interesting chord progressions, as well as getting more electric piano and synthesizer sounds behind everything else.

Do you have a favourite song of yours?

Shadows is my favourite track on the old EP, but I never think about that. My unreleased single called “Treasure Chest” is what I’m really digging at the moment. Those and the old Obituary Names song Selfish still really resonate with me.

Your lyrics are very gloomy and melancholic; I mean that in a good way. Where do you get your lyrical inspiration?

This is a long answer. I get a distorted version of reality really. I’m constantly observing things (objects, emotions, ideas, behaviors, relationships) around me and writing them down – but in more abstract forms or maybe in their most distilled version. Each line starts out as an entire idea first; like I remember earlier today I was walking and saw this tiny apartment complex and started writing about being able to touch all of your possessions at the same time. Then I try to say that in as little words as possible, and that becomes a line. With that, structurally, I think of each line, as it’s own individual idea more than attempting to create good flow line to line. Each one is self-contained. I don’t know if that’s as evident in my earlier work as it is in the forthcoming material. In my songs I try to focus mostly on the melody and timbre of my voice, and the way it sits in the mix. I like to think of my voice as another instrument more than anything else.

Could you walk me through on your thought process and recording of my favourite track of yours, Apathy?

Yeah man. That song’s interesting because there’s no actual rhythm guitar part, only two different leads. I definitely remember starting with the intro bass line, just a cool riff I worked out messing around. The lead guitar parts in the verse are pretty repetitive, forming a bit of a chord structure but that just floats overtop of what the bass is doing. I usually write linearly, coming up with all the instrumentation for one part before moving onto another. But I think bass still came first as I started working on the chorus, it just kinda falls together. I’ll just loop sections and mess around until I find something that works, and then I’ll record it. There’s no bridge as well, I hate bridges. I don’t think any of my songs have one bridge on that EP. And oh, everything’s recorded in Logic Pro X.

What music have you been jamming to lately dude?

Hyperview [Title Fights new record] is absolutely killer. It’s a huge influence on the next EP for sure. Everything on Run For Cover is great, and I’m really digging what Turnover’s new stuff sounds like. I’ve always listened to a lot of DIIV and Mac DeMarco, and I know other stuff on Captured Tracks is great, but I haven’t listened to everything. I also really like the direction Ceremony is taking on their new LP The L-Shaped Man. That’s all new stuff though. Like I said, I got super into the original dreampop and shoegaze stuff. I started listening to a lot of MBV, Slowdive, Ride, Galaxie 500, Jesus and Mary Chain, the Stone Roses, the Sundays, Spacemen 3, the Pastels. Shit like that. I don’t necessarily draw inspiration from that but it’s good to have some context for what people today are doing.

Couldn’t agree more on that new Ceremony LP man. And finally, any bands or albums people should check out that we may not of heard?

Shoutout to my good friends in Shagwagon. Check out what they’ve been putting out. It’s that good DIY psychedelic bedroom pop shit.

Follow Cole on Twitter: @grantulysses
Twin Visions EP available for download here: 
grantulysses.bandcamp.com
Read a review on Twin Visions right here: 
start-track.com/review

Questions by Lukas Foote
Answers and photos by Cole Méndez

3 Discoveries of Lukas Foote

Creepin’ by Sad Actor

In case you were uhh.. ‘preoccupied’ and hazy on April 20th of this year, chances are you probably missed Philadelphia’s own: Sad Actor’s third release entitled Creepin’. Creepin’ is a fuzzy, grungy, emo-esque EP compiled with discontent and despair. This 2track EP is a great follow up from their previously (and my favourite) EP called Try To Remember that came out last November. I suggest ya’ll get in on that Philadelphian music scene; that city has released nothing but great bands and songs.

Outta Control by Acid†Priest

This stoner-rock n’ roll band hailing from Toronto, Canada has been filling my ear buds with intense emotion. It’s no secret this band absolutely rips. Their début EP Outta Control has drawn in some serious attention and not just within the Southern Ontario music scene. Alexisonfire/Gallows member Wade MacNeil -who now DJ’s a rock station in T.O- has even given the deserving band radio airtime. Also, in the words of Wade: “Congrats on finding a kick ass band name in 2015”.

Nightfall (Prod. Lederrick) by Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

If you weren’t aware of this newly founded project by ex- Tigers Jaw member Adam Mcllwee, now you do. Adam in Tigers Jaw was known for his scratchy guitar tones and personal style of his intriguing, droning, unique voice. It seems now he has now taken those abstract vocals to a new location, in the form of an electronica/trap project under the moniker Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. As Adam himself puts it, his music could be described as “Morrissey meets Chief Keef”. That’s a pretty interesting and badass hybrid if you ask me.
His forthcoming album called Abercrombie & Me is releasing soon and this is a single off of it called Nightfall I’ve been jamming to lately. I do recommend scrolling WPSE’s soundcloud and figuring out for yourself- what you should think of it.

Text by Lukas Foote

Issue #2 of Discoveries