Categories
MUSIC DIARY

19/01/15 ~ Dying Adolescence – in their feelings

lo-fi from Sydney, Australia

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

Review ~ Fox Academy – Luxury Beverage ~ by Rob Arcand

What it sounds like: Julia Brown, Adore, 1996, flatsound

Cutesy music in 2015 is nauseating; as ukulele youtubers and casiopop bandcampers consistently churn out different shades of the same regurgitated twee novelty, the Internet often feels incredibly over-saturated with a feigned claim to cuteness. With every scan through new releases, the amount of simply weak attempts at ‘indie’ endear we’re continually inundated with as listeners is overwhelming.

Luxury Beverage, the new album from Portland duo Michael Todd Berland and Christian Novelli, understands this; beneath this thinly veiled cuteness, the duo merges a self-aware nuance of this DIY twee aesthetic with eerie, deeply melancholy undertones. The album is continually seeped in a shameless cuteness; with track titles like ‘i see yr cute decor,’ ‘perrywinkle murder mystery,’ and ‘lavender blood’ and continual references to softer colors, stun guns and grape soda, the pair continually return to youthful cuteness and nostalgia thematically. But unlike others that use clichés of cuteness to compensate for a feigned authenticity, Fox Academy seem obsessed with using a clearly transparent cuteness to thinly veil deeper mental health issues. Much like Julia Brown’s first album, to be close to you, Fox Academy use indulgent twee melodies and arrangements from cheap keyboards, jangly guitars and skittering drum machines to craft an endearingly sweet album musically, further adding to the almost uncanny valley effect of the lyrics. Like a cuteness stretched so far that it’s slightly frightening, the album indulges in both the sappy and the sinister; on ‘lavender blood,’ the duo write, “turn into dust it’s dripping from my gums/ its not enough/ stay neat and healthy/ you need to help me.” Lines like this ooze simultaneously sweet and sinister undertones and give the overall feeling of the album the rough equivalent of looking at a discarded doll, one-time occupying a place of love and affection, but now resigned to a dusty and broken place in the bottom of a dumpster far from home.

Where many of the Internet’s pseudo-cute clichés seem to force-feed themselves through cute vibes in an attempt to compensate for a lack of originality, Fox Academy has internalized this cuteness and attempt to use elements of this wide-eyed youthfulness to speak to the more troubling elements of adolescence.  At times, the lyrics seem to recurrently return to troubling, alienating moments of middle class youth. On ‘vampire banquet,’ the duo write, “ivory ceilings burgundy walls, theres blood i can feel it, as we float through the halls/ and as I start to spin the whole room gets dim,” contrasting images of the comforts of a middle class youth (ivory ceilings and burgundy halls as means of wealth and ‘image’ of the suburban middle class) with ambiguously eerie images of blood (could this be a stand-in for self-harm?) and spinning, a clear image of dysphoric disorientation. Ultimately, Luxury Beverage impressively moves beyond many twee clichés to become a deeply nuanced album, oscillating between a self-aware embrace of DIY clichés and the eerie, darker tones of a jaded middle class youth.

Text by Rob Arcand
Photo by Fox Academy

https://twitter.com/sleeptiltomorow/
http://je-ne-sais-qu0i.tumblr.com/

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

18/01/15 ~ devon thomas – i shouldn’t, i did

bedroom pop from Montreál, Québec, Canada

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

17/01/15 ~ mrs. hopewell – dementia pugilistica.

lo-fi from Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

16/01/15 ~ Smooth Church – Hotel Domingo

experimental pop from Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

15/01/15 ~ burlap – under my bed

americana from Utah, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

14/01/15 ~ fake blood – nothing

bedroom pop from Forked River, New Jersey, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

13/01/15 ~ wood wayward – to november

folk from Los Angeles, California, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

12/01/15 ~ Double Denim – Double Denim

dream pop from Bristol, United Kingdom

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

11/01/15 ~ Afraid of Wolves – Get Me Out of Here

acoustic pop from Grayson, Georgia, USA

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

Review ~ Deeply Flawed by MOLLY DRAG ~ by Lukas Foote

Residing from the same small town as Molly Drag’s founder: Michael Hansford of Midland, Ontario- that has the population of 10,000 people all snuggled right into the shores Georgian Bay is where I was first introduced with Hansford’s musical projects. I was aware of Michael’s music since the other band he’s currently in: The Raspberry Heaven, was just a solo acoustic act, and if you wanted to travel further back into time of the Midland music scene, I would even bring up the first band I ever saw Michael perform in, which would of been the Post-Hardcore band: Demi Cassanova. Whom from what my 13-year-old mind can remember rocked the walls (literally) of Native Friendship Center’s in northern Ontario.

ghost

Molly Drag is Michael Hansford’s newest project however. An emo, experimental, shoegaze one. Majority of this LP was recorded in an apartment building in London, Ontario as well as a place known as Satans Cove also in London. Michael himself produced this LP alongside with Jake Jackman and was entirely mastered by David Newell.

To fully understand and grasp this LP I feel you need to know a bit about where it comes from. Deeply Flawed is derived from stories about Michael himself, stories of his friends/peers and his hometown of bittersweet Midland. A thing that I enjoyed about this LP were that the lyrics in it were not entirely about his own self-struggles and situations, but rather a combination of other stories he has heard through others. The lyrics contained depressing content and a lot to do with emotions, love, drugs and relationships. What I really dug in this LP was the spoken word segments in throughout the album too in such songs as “Upbringing” and “Sacrifices Speak”.

The really creative thing I found notable in Deeply Flawed was the track layout. The track layout of this LP was organized in my opinion to feel as if I were hearing a theatrical performance. The track “Sacrifices Speak” gave me the impression of the song being a reflection/a look back thus far on the record. It served as an intermission break if you would and I found this really artistic.

Another noteworthy thing I found in Deeply Flawed was not only the significant dynamics between the acoustic and electric guitars heard throughout, but also the synergy between Michael and every person featured in this album. Such tracks as “Deflowered” with Ryan Sweet or my personal favourite “Bleeding Out” with Emily Hathaway exemplify this.

Molly Drag’s Deeply Flawed will have you waving around in a sonic ocean of ambience. Rocking you back and forth with the feeling of despair, heartbreak and homesickness…in the greatest way imaginable.

You can buy cassettes and CDs via Hellur Records.

Read interview with Michael Hansford here.

Text by Lukas Foote
Photo by Molly Drag

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

10/01/15 ~ The Bleaders – Beach Pizza

lo-fi from London, Ohio, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

09/01/15 ~ faint hypnosis – Closet Music

acoustic pop from Los Angeles, California, USA

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

FILIP ZEMCIK PRESENTING MOLLY DRAG AND THEIR ALBUM DEEPLY FLAWED

Molly Drag is new sad-pop project of Michael Hansford from London, Ontario, Canada. I have known Michael for a long time. We worked together on a cassette release on our label Z Tapes under his other moniker The Raspberry Heaven. He also did two reviews for START-TRACK and we talked a lot about music. Now, his new project Molly Drag has recorded a new 76 minutes long LP, and I have decide to ask him some questions.

michael hansford

The first time I came across your name it was connected to your previous project, The Raspberry Heaven. Why have you decided to start a new one under different name? Does it mean that your old moniker is dead?

The Raspberry Heaven is a band only now. We only write and play shows together. So it’s not a moniker of any sort. Molly Drag, however, is only me. I write it, and sometimes will have a backing band.

Your new album is finished and you posted on your facebook that it depicts your last 4 years. Have you been writing these songs for a longer period of time?

Basically these songs have been kicking around either on paper or in the back of my mind. I kept them messy for a while, and then my good friend Jake Jackman came over and helped me come up with the idea to record a double album. I already had the “molly drag” title in mind for a solo project. The songs poured out very naturally after we started. And for basically two months, I would work, walk an hour home, record all night. It was quite cathartic.

ghost

Is it hard to write and sing about topics that are connected to your life?

Yeah, it’s difficult sometimes.  But also relieving. It feels good after a while.

Most of the songs have sad, emo vibes. Is it coming from your personal feelings or it is a music style you feel good in?

Most of it is storytelling of things that have happened. Some of the stories aren’t even mine, but from friends of mine. It feels good being able to be honest through you art or whatever.

You live now in London, but you grew up in Midland. Do you miss your hometown?

I actually got to visit Midland over the holidays after two years without being back. It was crazy. Living in London is cool, but I will always have a deep love for where I grew up and how beautiful it is in the winter.

molly drag

When you moved to different town, did you try to fit in? Have you became part of a music community?

No. I just went to college. Started meeting people. Went to shows. And then I found myself opening for Bif Naked at Call The Office here in London, and then the music thing turned into a weekly thing. It happened very fast actually.

What are some of your favorite bands in the area you live?

There’s so much good music in London right now. Currently, I’m really into Raised By Swans, Single Mothers, Drew Thomson’s solo stuff, Heart Attack Kids, Hindsight, First Ghost… there’s so much I’m forgetting I think, but yeah, the scene is strong here right now.

Did you ever consider moving somewhere else? To another country?

I would love to move to Boston, or even Philadelphia so I could get to see all my favorite bands, but I’ve always wanted to move to France for the food.

molly drag 2

You work closely with Fog Lake from other part of Canada. How did you become friends with him?

Aaron from Fog Lake and I have been talking for a long time, around 2 years almost. We collaborated on an old Raspberry Heaven song. Then this past summer, we did a short tour together and I filled in as an extra guitarist for his live act. It was so cool because I think his music is absolutely stunning.

Do you have any dreams connected to your music?

I just want to be able to keep recording my own albums and playing shows with other cool people. I really want to start touring more with friends and make new friends.

What are your plans with this new project?

I am hoping to play some shows out in Seattle with the Hellur Records family. Zayn and the guys from the band Mixtape Minus have helped me so much in order to release this album properly. It means so much to me. I really want to go party with those guys.

Have you consider touring USA or other countries?

A tour in the east coast of the states would be cool. I’ve always wanted to play a show in Philadelphia, or New Jersey or something. I really want to travel a lot more this year and would love to tour after I release this album.

Molly Drag’s new album is coming out tomorrow (10/1/2015) on Hellur Records, listen to it here:

Read a review of Deeply Flawed written by Lukas Foote here.

Questions by Filip Zemcik

Answers and photos by Michael Hansford from Molly Drag

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

08/01/15 ~ nearr – DEAD RAGE

new wave from Kharkiv, Ukraine

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

07/01/15 ~ Tapes – Tapes

chillwave from Austin, Texas, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

06/01/15 ~ Eddy Dillon – Sunday

jangle pop from Melbourne, Australia

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

05/01/15 ~ Future Echoes – Sound Waves

dream pop from London, United Kingdom

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

04/01/15 ~ Ghost Dads – how many whales there are in this world

folk from New Hamburg, New York, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

03/01/15 ~ Kneedlez – Fill

shoegaze from Healdsburg, California, USA

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

Review ~ After Talons’ Demos – Talons’ by Rob Arcand

Growing up on the Internet is hard. With every NPR First Listen or Pitchfork Advance, we’re forced to briefly forget how disposable our music is in 2014 and bury our attention into hopelessly transient SoundCloud clips. For every musician attempting to make it today, it’s especially daunting. Even after the first hit, the first thousand listens, or the first [insert success-quantifying statistic of choice], there’s no guarantee of longevity. For every mildly famous Internet buzz band, there’s always a million who never follow it up with anything and a million who never get such an opportunity.

Buried under years of html compost and digital indifference, one such musician, Mike Tolan, formerly of the modestly-famous post-rock band The Six Parts Seven, has been quietly recording earnest folk songs for close to a decade. The songs, under the name Talons’, are pathetic in the purest sense of the word; steeped in pathos of paying off college debt, working for minimum wage with employees who’ve never heard of the Microphones, and spending late nights on the Internet, Tolan tragically embraces the realities of growing old, lamenting the loss of his twenties and the wide-eyed idealism of his earlier releases, like Songs for Babes and Love in the Time of Panera. On “Tired of IPAs” from his After Talons’ demos, Tolan, once a sneering ‘indie’ elitist, speaks to feeling old in his thirties and shamelessly embracing his own sincerity, singing,

“I got tired of irony when I was twenty/ making fun of everything/ I realized that I actually thought Fleetwood Mac were great/ but when I stopped laughing and tried to grow up/ I just saw the stupid and the sad”

Much like Sun Kil Moon’s recent everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, stream of conscious release Benji, Talons’ crafts songs with frank, plain, and deeply sincere language often unfamiliar in folk music, which regularly has come, to me at least, to feel absorbed in lofty metaphor and seemingly-daunting pseudointellectual absurdity. Each release from the aging Mike Talon wholeheartedly embraces that absurd, almost dysphoric feeling of the division between wanting so badly to relive your twenties as carelessly and recklessly as you once did, now paired with the wisdom and awareness of how awful things turned out living that way.

At the same time, Tolan seems obsessed with aging gracefully, becoming a grandfatherly sage only just beginning his thirties in a world that has been deeply unkind and unforgiving. Lyrically, the songs continually return to resignation with age, as Tolan (and an industry itself which seems to thrive on perpetuating and reinventing youth) asks, “How is it possible for an artist pushing thirty to stay relevant? Is it even worth it to even struggle through the PR hype cycle again?”

This all begs the question, “How do we know when we’ve peaked?” When we’re all pushing thirty, an eternity in years spent scrolling through Tumblr gifs and Facebook engagement photos, is it really possible to continually press onward with the wide-eyed sincerity necessary to make every album seem like our best? Are we forced to churn out hopeless mediocrity in hopes of touching someone? Or does growing up mean resigning to this middle-class purgatory, sitting at work and daydreaming of buying houses in the good part of town or sleeping in on a Saturday. If anything, Talons’ makes me feel a lot less alone with this plunge into an unknown age. This album (and Talons’ music as a whole) is music to grow old to, offering an enormous comfort when we’re all struggling to make sense of things.

Text by Rob Arcand
Photo by Talons’

https://twitter.com/sleeptiltomorow/
http://je-ne-sais-qu0i.tumblr.com/

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

02/01/15 ~ lost coastlines – blood / something close

bedroom pop from Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

01/01/15 ~ Wnter – Dorm

indie from United Kingdom

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

31/12/14 ~ the Washboard Abs – laughing glass

jangle pop from Anchorage, Alaska, / Denver, Colorado, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

30/12/14 ~ Neon Comet – Daydream Traveler

dream pop from Tokio, Japan

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

29/12/14 ~ Candy – Wrapped In Plastic

bedroom pop from Melbourne, Australia

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

28/12/14 ~ Loser Year – Bummed EP

image

bedroom from Long Branch, New Jersey, USA

Categories
MUSIC DIARY

27/12/14 ~ The Telephone Projects – last one

dark pop from San Diego, California, USA

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

Review ~ Twin Visions EP – Grant Ulysses by Lukas Foote

Ulysses S. Grant? That was the 18th President of the United States in 1869-1877. Grant Ulysses? That is Canadian-Orillia Teenager Cole Mendez’s solo project, written, recorded and produced from his bedroom.

Grant Ulysses has two music videos out entitled “Wealth” and my personal favourite track by him: “Selfish”. These two songs aren’t exactly happy, rather depressing actually but they are his two most alternative, catchy and up-beat songs. The Twin Visions EP that I’m reviewing however, is as Cole himself puts it “A more cohesive and fleshed out musical project”. This EP is unlike his previously released songs. I find this EP to be more Indie and Dream Pop with a haunting aspect throughout each of the four tracks. All songs sound hopeless with lonely lyrical content and amazing guitar tone to accompany the theme all throughout this EP.

Every song on Twin Visions had a catchy, quirky guitar intro to it, except on the track “Apathy” in which case had a groovy-ass bass intro to it. The guitar intro’s reminded me of a Peter Sagar from Homeshake like feel to them and it’s safe to say I dug it. The instruments, in particular guitar and bass are stimulating and the vocals on Twin

Visions are really lo-fi and daunting.

FAVOURITE TRACK: Apathy

FOR FANS OF: Night Sins, (early) Homeshake

Text by Lukas Foote

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

FILIP ZEMCIK PRESENTING SKYMNING AND HIS ALBUM REKINDLE

Recently I had chance to ask Skymning coming out of beautiful lands of New Zealand few questions and also premiere his new album Rekindle. You can listen to his beautiful ambient music on bandcamp.

rekindle

I grew up in Slovakia which has always been on music (cultural) periphery. New Zealand seems to be in similar position. How the music has been growing there and how it was able to spread to other countries?

I guess New Zealand is the same to an extent – we’re pretty far away from everywhere and although in more recent years we’ve seen a lot more international artists touring it still seems ignored to some extent. The New Zealand music scene itself is pretty great. There are a whole bunch of artists doing awesome things and plenty of local shows to go to which is great. I guess without the internet I’d have pretty much no chance of spreading my music internationally or even within New Zealand for that matter. But things like Soundcloud and Bandcamp really give you the best platform to promote your music to an international audience.

Do you like creating music in New Zealand?

New Zealand is the only country I’ve ever lived in so I’ve not got anything to compare it to so I guess my answer would have to be yes. It’s a really beautiful country. I live in the capital and I’m still surrounded by nature most of the time which is great. I guess I draw a lot of inspiration with my music from nature just in terms of creating environmental soundscapes. It’s really important for me to not be trapped in a windowless apartment in the middle of a massive city so I’m very fortunate.

Have you ever considered moving somewhere else? Where it would be?

I’d like to travel but I have no idea where I’d choose to move. The world is such a massive place. I guess Scandinavia seems pretty untouched and beautiful much like New Zealand. I mean the name Skymning is Swedish so I guess I have some kind of attraction to that part of the world. We don’t get much snow here either I think I’d like that.

Are you part of a music community or has your music been produced in solitude? Also past months many artists from New Zealand have been getting worldwide recognition. Why not sooner?

I began making music in solitude but the New Zealand music community is pretty small so I guess it wasn’t too long till I felt like I was a part of something bigger. I work with a collective called Kerosene Comic Book and it’s been great working with them to put together remixes or mixtapes. I haven’t been following her music too closely but I guess Lorde is probably behind recent international recognition of New Zealand music. Having a #1 single on the American chats and winning Grammys is pretty amazing for a girl her age regardless of location.

skymning

What are your favorite artists from New Zealand?

To be honest most of my favourite New Zealand artists are just friends I’ve met through music. People like Race Banyon Eskimo Eyes Yvnalesca. There seems to be a growing electronic beat scene within young New Zealanders and it’s really exciting to see it evolve. Bands like Caroles Cheats and Sheep Dog&Wolf are awesome too. I went to some festivals over the summer – some of which had international artists but some just local and it was great to see just how much is going on in such a small country.

You have been working on new album. Will it be different to previous stuff you have made?

Right now I’m working towards another mixtape with the collective I was talking about before Kerosene Comic Book. There are a bunch of us (Race Banyon Yvnalesca Totems Career Girls – the list goes on) who all have the same goals with our music I guess. We’ve put out a couple of mixtapes so far and it’s just really nice being able to support each other and kind of pool whatever buzz we have as individual artists into hyping up compilations we’re all really happy with. We’re releasing the tape on 4/20/2014 keep an eye out. kerosenecomicbook.com

What was your biggest inspiration when writing new songs? What is the toughest part of doing music?

As I said before my biggest inspiration is probably my environment. It’s great working with a collective too I feel like hearing how amazing everyone elses’ music is has really pushed me to try and do better and I think everyone else feels the same. The toughest part for me is probably just trying to stay original and developing my music. Creating my own sound which is consistent with my other releases and doesn’t sound like I’m ripping off another artist’s sound.

And lastly list three top artists right now?

Oh man that’s a hard one. First I’d have to say Ricky Eat Acid. Three Love Songs is absolutely incredible I’m so gutted I missed the 12″” of that. Hmm second maybe I’ll say Race Banyon. The dude’s only 17 and is by far one of the most talented dudes in the country. I just want the best for him I really hope he starts to get some massive international recognition because he really deserves it. Lastly I’ll say Lil Wayne. If you haven’t given him a chance now’s the time download Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3 and get buck!

And as bonus here is a premiere of new beautiful album Rekindle:

Questions by Filip Zemcik

Answers and photos by Skymning

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

VIRGO INDIGO IN EARS OF MICHAEL HANSFORD

I have been aware of the A. Powell / Fog Lake for almost a year now. I stumbled upon his music within an email I received from “birdtapes” after asking if they ever planned to do a release with Canadian artists – they replied with a FL’s Bandcamp link. However, asking me to keep quiet about it; I just couldn’t – Instantly; within minutes, I emailed Fog Lake and asked to do a collaborated effort from a song I wrote recorded after breaking a window in my apartment. He said yes. We finished the song, and ever since then have remained very connected with each other, for this: I am very thankful.

glovertown2

Well now – let’s get to what is really important here – The newest work by Fog Lake, Virgo Indigo the 2nd 2014 release from the ever-growing label: Orchid Tapes (born in Toronto, now located in Brooklyn, NY).

Side note: Orchid Tapes are a heaven-sent label in sad state that is: the music industry.

As mentioned. I have had my fair share of alcohol induced nights staying awake till 5am screaming and shouting to the Holy Cross EP, but this new piece of work – really is, quite the magnum opus for a young musician like Aaron. Every time I listen to a song from this gent I think to myself “fuck, this guy is a prophet for everything in music I have ever needed.” – However, VI can really speak through translations to anyone avid open eared listener. With VI comes an advantageous effort to really stay true to yourself, and what you want to do with the sounds you enjoy. Flawlessly, Aaron triumphs his efforts with VI.

I am not entirely sure if there is a conceptual meaningfulness to Virgo Indigo, but I can’t help but picture the grayness’ that is the East Coast of Canada. I feel waves. I sense motion whilst deep within a heart capsizing itself. Drifting in from folk pop driven song like “nocturnal blues” – then wending itself outside with an ambient track like “transcanada” – but again, Aaron’s accomplishments blush with brilliance – almost effortlessly this man knows what he’s doing – and exactly how he is going to finish it. The track the personally whims my soul – is “erik”. From beginning to end I hear whispers of the Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, but with a dark twist. This is a brand new sound, all alone – Aaron has accomplished something unique. There’s so much more I can say about Virgo Indigo, but now I have to go and pre-order the cassette before they are all gone.
And shit dude, be proud of yourself – because so many of people around the world are.

Thank you, Orchid Tapes

Thank you, Fog Lake/Aaron Powell

Thank you, Filip

Michael Charles Hansford

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

WILDERNESS YEARS IN EARS OF FILIP ZEMCIK

Introducing Michael Bringardner aka Michael Parallax from the heart of Florida is not necessary for many of you. It has been a while since I have discovered Michael’s music. I still remember listening to Vicious People over and over again in the summer of 2012 while I was working at my father’s company. During that time I never thought that I would have a chance to meet Michael in person and see his live performance.

It was last summer when I visited Orlando for the musical festival Total Bummer 4ever –  the best festival I have ever gone to – that I was able to experience Michael’s music live. Seeing Michael’s live set was definitely one of the best moments of the festival. A crowd dancing wildly bodies covered with sweat singing together on every song and feeling the enormous energy flowing through Michael. It was a collective spiritual and musical experience. Moreover for his set’s finale we followed Michael to a building under construction to sing with him ending our musical séance. It would not be the last time I saw him live.

I had the great honor of touring with Michael and his amazing sister Malee aka MoonLasso for a few weeks. I was travelling with them from Florida up to Philadelphia and experiencing their live sets over and over. I danced every single night and never did I feel bored. Michael playing his music live is something you want to see and hear again and again. Somehow you are always connected to him and you feel the music flowing through your body especially your heart. You have to experience the feeling to understand.

When I heard Michael was working on a new album I was excited because I knew it was going to be great. I expected that some songs that I heard at shows would be included. I knew the album versions would be different but I was sure I would not be disappointed. I am not.

Wilderness Years (Spirit Cat) as a whole has no weak point every song stands on its own merit. Each song carries some message hidden in the text wrapped in beautiful music and melodies. The intro Two Years along with Growing Splendid has the ambient folk fusion found on Michael’s previous record Vicious People but rest of the new album is highly built upon samples catchy beats different sparkling sounds and the pop-y styling of Michael’s voice.

The album has so many fine musical details which are only discovered after many repeated listens. Michael paid a lot of attention to make everything sound perfect. Simple dance beats combined with galactic noises and catchy lyrics makes you want to dance and sing along with him.

Michael uses his lyrics to tell stories about love and so strong is the imagery that you feel like you have experienced it too. Michael in his songs often invokes nostalgia with references to older hits which most of us remember from our childhood and from our parent’s playlists. When both aspects are combined the songs are so easy to sing along with; therefore everyone eventually ends up doing just that.

A simple description of this type of music is provided by Michael himself when he labels his music as “Celebratory Electronic Spiritual Revival Tent Music”. The spiritual feeling in the songs is especially strong and it gradually creates a bond between you and your musical priest Michael Parallax. It is harder to do it while listening to the album on your iPod but once you experience it live you will feel it forever. If you ever have a chance to see him do not miss that opportunity. I know I will go to Michael’s shows as many times as I can and I know it will never be enough. It is similar with this album which is currently being looped in my ears for many hours.

Go and grab Michael’s album whether a digital copy or a cassette from my great friends at the label Spirit Cat from Tallahassee. They are all great people and I will support them forever because they deserve that and much more. If you have met them you would understand why. And finally an excerpt from song Growing Splendid to demonstrate Michael’s amazing songwriting skills:

“I don’t talk to ghosts
I can still see them
i can hear them laugh at me
when i’m talking to the ceiling
i don’t believe it’s cold
i don’t believe it’s winter
you can’t hear the branches breaking
i can’t hear them either
do you believe in love
do you believe i’m loving
do you believe in anything
is there anything worth believing
do you believe in trust
do you believe i’m trusting
won’t you tell me anything
well i don’t believe you.”

Text by Filip Zemcik

Photo by James Dechert

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

JUDE NOEL INTRODUCING PILL FRIENDS

Having upgraded from trio to quintet with the addition of Abi Reimold (guitar/vocals) and Erin Patricia (synths/vocals) Philadelphia’s Pill Friends look to improve upon their stellar sophomore Birdtapes offering Blessed Suffering. Check out my interview with frontman Ryan Wilson as well as a brand-new track below!

Jude: I really dug that Modest Mouse cover you did for the Maggot House session. I take it you’re a fan? Is Lonesome Crowded West your favorite LP of theirs?

ryan: everything isaac brock released up until 2005 is incredible and each of those releases holds different prominent forms for certain periods ive worshiped them all throughout middle and high school. ive been listening to building something out of nothing lately and i love every song except for medication thats the only song previous to good news that sucks lk the ending is good but the first part is annoying as shit i hate it.

One song on the album you put out over the summer Blessed Suffering that really stood out to me was “”Mall Goth””. It’s easy to overlook but I think it’s really powerful and minimal and also includes some of my favorite lyrics of the release. How do you feel about the track? What’s the story behind the lyrics?

mall goth is one of my favorites it’s pretty much about learning to kill an old self for another destructive self and the longing for death. Its mainly a song about wanting to kill yrself but having other personal obligations. Mall goth refers to the oxford valley mall which is a museum of the early 2000s it’s all just nothing really

Is there a particular song that you’ve done that stands out as your personal favorite?

wearing my dead dog’s skin and murder me for my sins.

A ton of great Philadelphia bands have cropped up lately Mumblr Roof Doctor you guys. What’s going on up there?

nothing except for mumblr Alex g and cough cool.

What’s the best band you’ve seen that hasn’t released any recorded music yet?

cold foamers and eleby. both are from philly and have eps or demos out now but both bands are killing it so far from what ive seen of them. Cold foamers just released their first full length and it’s the shit

For your next full album are you going to go as lo-fi as you went on Blessed Suffering?

the next album is going to be recorded and produced by scott stitzer (mumblr) who recorded blessed suffering and i cant say how the production quality will be determined because i honestly dont know. i mean i think it will be generally lofi but scott as a producer and pill friends have developed together from the beginning. he recorded our first demos when he had really just started to record other bands and in this last year scott has developed into a great producer and he continually just keeps getting better. we recorded some tracks at a studio here in philly on and off the past few months and everything fell into perspective for me i dont want anyone else to record the next pill friends lp except scott.

Favorite Birdtapes release?

there isnt one bad birdtapes release in my bullshit opinion but all the splits that just came out (starry cat/boy crush porches./lvl up and alex g/rl kelly) are all incredible. my favorite song off any of them would be townie blunt guts by porches. at the moment though. Also new olive drab is about tocome out and Reid is pretty and it sounds great.

Worst album you own?

hymns w/ johnny desmond i found a bunch of dumb records and this one was the worst i love traditional hymns but i dont why this record just sucked like i hate his voice and makes me not like the songs which is bullshit

What’s a suburban white trash christ?

suburban white trash christ is the emptiness of societal structure that one experiences growing up in a Christian dominated youth and finding no substance within it all

Text by Jude Noel

Originally published here

 

Categories
MUSIC BLOG

THREE LOVE SONGS IN EARS OF MICHAEL HANSFORD

This is the first album review I have ever done. It will be short.

So I decided to walk around in this Southern Ontario snowstorm in the east end (no sidewalks in sight) whilst listening to Ricky Eat Acid’s newest LP for the very first time. I will also record my efforts when I get home. The time is 9:47pm.

As I walk down King Street in London Ontario during the heaviest snowfall of the winter I am completely swallowed by Ricky Eat Acid’s newest release “”Three Love Songs”” from the emerging Brooklyn based label: Orchid Tapes from Warren in Foxes In Fiction – I am connected. Sam Ray (also from Julia Brown and other jam acts from the area) has been known from myself as quite the limbed artist in our world. He can go from every angle from surreal and abstract – to literal and crisp to make it completely his own; seemingly effortless this man has undeniable talent.

Once in a while in the deep midst of this dark and ill world; something arises from the ashes in debris of the minimum wage life – something is born from the pain. And this album rises from surface of this benign void. This album does this to me. You can’t help but correlate your own sadness and what you think your worth within it.

Personally what I get from his newest release is something sadder and more excavated than any ambient release I’ve heard since some of Eno’s “”Apollo”” releases or even bleeding from the same veins from Ambient Krautrock releases from the 70’s (Cluster Neu and Bowie’s “”Low”” album that was inspired by the Krautrock mania).

There is something untowardly bare in “”Three Love Songs”” catharsizes of melancholic noise.

The album also features another Orchid Tapes beauty; Infinity Crush in the track “”It will draw me over like it always does”” which sounds like something you could mesh together on a walk in the streets of Mumbai when all the street musicians original merge together to create something entirely your own. Sam really has aligned so many genres into one with Three Love songs and the work and self-evaluation from his previous releases is finite and clear. The track “”Inside your house it; will swallow us too””  is the heaviest hitting composition in this great piece. It brings me to high school on the mornings after waking up from doing a new drug for the very first time or having lost your virginity to the wrong individual. It illuminates the regrets from my past while at the same time showing us a door or window on how to carry on with perseverance. The noise has a pulse on the hard-working DIY individuals that will admit they write for themselves to help themselves. It is beautiful.

Sam Ray is someone to look out for.

& Three Love Songs will find you. You have no choice.

Text by Michael Hansford

Photos by Ricky Eat Acid