Known for their indie rock scuzz-meets-growling guitar grunge, California X has announced their highly anticipated sophomore album Nights in the Dark. The follow up to their critically acclaimed eponymous debut, the new album will be released January 13, 2015 via Don Giovanni Records. Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr, Speedy Ortiz) once again helms the engineering deck, ensuring the new record retains all the distorted overdrive of the band’s characteristic fuzzed out, hard guitar-driven sound.
Drawing on influences from 70s rock to 90s alternative, Nights in the Dark not only stimulates the senses but it allowed the quartet to delve deeper into more conceptual work, the contrast between light and dark, contentment and longing. Title track “Nights In The Dark” bursts the record open with power pop hooks and euphoric guitar. “Nights in the Dark” premiered with VICE’s Noisey and is available HERE to post and share!
Heavy on distorted guitar hooks and rhythms, Nights in the Dark finds the quartet exploring both mood and texture. “Red Planet” is a slow burning jam, gradually introducing percussion rolling into a wailing guitar peak, eventually leaving the embers burning out. The gravitated jam that opens “Blackrazor (pt. 1)” builds to addictive vocal harmonies and then to the manic power of “Blackrazor (pt. 2)”, followed by the gentle tapping build of instrumental cut “Garlic Road,” punctuated by spare piano chords.
Formed by friends Lemmy Gurtowsky and Dan Jones upon relocating to Amherst, MA, California X have crafted a more mature sophomore record, that find solace in a heavy, lush and melodic home with the addition of Zach Brower on guitar and Cole Lanier on drums. An introspective vision is confronted as the band maneuvers, seamlessly as ever, from fuzzy power chords to conceptual ballads.
Butch Walker has announced his highly anticipated seventh full-length album Afraid Of Ghosts, out February 3 via Dangerbird Records. With his remarkably diverse resume that includes everything from guitar god to GRAMMY and CMA nominated producer, Walker's new LP shows both skill and tenderness. The production was helmed by Ryan Adams at his PAX AM Studios in LA along with friends & special guests Johnny Depp and Bob Mould. With gritty hints of folk, pop and rock, Afraid Of Ghosts weaves a journey through life, love, death and everything in between.
The album opens with title track “Afraid of Ghosts” which finds Walker attempting to come to terms with his demons over spare acoustic guitar notes and accordion chords, while the gentle doo-wop of “How Are Things Love” brings both the artist and the listener back in time. “Bed On Fire” takes things back up a notch as haunting strings and electric guitar build to a chill-inducing distorted crescendo.
First album single “Chrissie Hynde” wistfully recounts the legendary Pretenders frontwoman’s voice coming through the speakers, over a combination of acoustic and electric guitar, piano and a solitary drumbeat, captivating as always with Walker’s effortlessly unique vocals. The track is available to post and share HERE, and on iTunes as an instant-grat MP3 w/ Afraid Of Ghosts pre-order now!
Throughout his career, Butch Walker has always inspired with his infectious yet never over-bearing sense of melody. He joins his friend Ryan Adams on the road this fall for a nationwide tour. Together he & Adams will be one thing: undeniable.
Kate Pierson - iconic voice and founding member of the B52s, punk, new wave, genre-defying band has announced her debut solo record Guitars and Microphones, released February 17 via Lazy Meadow Music/Kobalt Label Services. Produced by Tim Anderson (Ima Robot) and featuring Nick Valensi of The Strokes on several tracks, Kate collaborated on songwriting with Siawho also executive produced the album.
Album opener “Throw Down the Roses” is an empowering humanist anthem, maintaining that one can embrace the world, radiate positivity and still kick butt when necessary. Upbeat title track, “Guitars and Microphones” plays upon a galactic pop groove. The lush “Bring Your Arms” is an immediately infectious synth-pop jam with a move to the groove environmental theme. Kate’s soaring emotive vocals on “Mister Sister“ is a poetic love letter of the power of transformation - - welcoming the freedom to live (and dance) and daring to transcend gender boundaries. “Mister Sister” is available on iTunes as an instant-grat MP3 w/ Guitars and Microphones pre-order now!
On the cusp of celebrating 10 years as a band, Screaming Females announces Rose Mountain, the New Jersey DIY-punk trio’s sixth LP due February 24 on Don Giovanni Records. The band self-produced their previous releases (with Steve Albini engineering their 2012 LP Ugly and the 2014 concert album Live at the Hideout) but overturned the long-standing, self-imposed rule this time by bringing in Matt Bayles (Mastodon, the Sword) as a producer. Setting out with a vision so clear that it almost became a studio mantra, the resulting songs are concise, crisp and melodic, in essence creating at once their most complex and accessible record to date.
Upon listening to the blazing guitar and ecstatic percussion on Rose Mountain, the word “restraint” may not initially come to mind. And while melody has always been a central part of the band’s music, the musicians have often layered them into massive thickets of interlocking sound on previous albums. However, on Rose Mountain the band was ready to try something more streamlined with Paternoster’s vocal melodies and lyrical themes being pushed into the forefront, while never skimping on the raw intensity they have become known for.
Taut album opener “Empty Head” leads with a powerful guitar line that will leave fans enraptured on contact. Lovesick ballad “Hopeless” builds to a lush emotive climax while album closer “Criminal Image” takes on a more powerful stance with ecstatic guitar-driven peaks broken up by moments of melancholy. The infectious bass line and powerful arpeggiated guitar line set the stage for sweetly growling vocals on “Ripe”. "Ripe" was revealed with Pitchfork today and is available to post and share HERE.
Formed in 2005, Screaming Females is singer/guitarist Marisa Paternoster, bassist Michael Abbate and drummer Jarrett Dougherty. The band has performed alongside Dinosaur Jr., The Julie Ruin, Titus Andronicus + more and just wrapped up a national tour with PUJOL. Stay tuned for more info and opportunities to experience the band’s ferocity live on stage.
Directed by Spike and Jones aka Paul Normann and Sebastien Alouf, "Holly" is shot with a 16mm negative camera with more than 600 meters of old fashioned film. Spike and Jones started as behind the scene cameraman for the Coppola family.
It delivers un antique aspect, of true rawness, to keep it's richness, of whatever that used to exist. Like a certain documentary, like a witness of an era focused on a particular subject, but not in this case, in this case Spike and Jones got through with it in perfect and wonderful way. The song, which Noisey describes as like PJ Harvey reworking the "Atlas" by Battles," Holly, takes on all its meaning.
With accolades ranging from FADER to Resident Advisor and beyond, global Melbourne ambassadors Cut Copy recently released Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart via the band’s own dance imprint, Cutters Records. A 19-track continuous DJ-mixed snapshot of new & exclusive music from their hometown’s thriving underground dance music scene & club culture, Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart was mixed by the band themselves and is also available as two vinyl EPs of compilation highlights.
Both a local scene document, which is increasingly rare in this global age, and a bumping 80-minute non-stop dance party, Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart is the product of the band’s observations of its hometown, where it became undeniably apparent that this fertile community was mushrooming. It threads together a cross-section of the different party crews, label rosters & ambitious lone rangers that have been catalysts in making Melbourne vibrant & happening week in, week out- all in the format of a continuous dance mix, which is what the music was made for.
Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart is streaming in full HERE and the band released a 12-minute documentary directed by Thomas Pollard, serving as a visual supplement to the compilation.
Deep in the outer swampland of the electronic music scene dwells novellus who willrelease his debut EP Untitled on January 26 via New Ancestors, the new label created by Jason Friedman (The Hundred In The Hands; Warp Records). From smoke filled gambling dens and an itchy trigger finger pressed to a gun, to the claustrophobia of miscommunication and a room faraway from home, this is mutant-pop futurism, room shuddering beats and snap back melodies.
A modern day hermit, surfacing sporadically when he feels inspired to do so, the mysterious producer revealed two new EP tracks this week: “Tough” and “Felt”. Revealed with NYLON Guys, “Tough” melds R&B beats with danceable disco-infused percussion and is available to post + share HERE. Complex unleashed the distorted vocals and erratic beats of “Felt” which is available to post + share HERE.
novellus writes his story in music, skewing and sampling his own sounds until it cuts sharp as a razor producing six fractured and slanted tracks about love, power and paranoia. Skipping the perfect polish, HDR photos and marketing gimmicks; novellus delivers his unique brand of alternative pop without any care for a pristine aesthetic. What you need to know is in the grooves. The rest is distraction.
Austin-based Joe Pug returns with Windfall, a 10-song indie-folk gem that is poised to cement his reputation as one of America’s most respected young songwriters. After hundreds of shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival Pug set up camp in Lexington, KY to record his third LP.
The first single from the forthcoming release is the album-closing stunner, “If Still It Can’t Be Found” which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on Mellotron and premiered onRolling Stone Country. “I've known Joe for a couple of years now and have been able to see his powerful live show several times,” says Sansone. “Joe has the uncanny ability to write a song that feels like it's been there always...and "If Still It Can't Be Found" is one of those. I was really honored when he asked me to contribute to the recording of this truly beautiful and deeply soulful song.”
The agenda on Windfall was much simpler than previous albums. "The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that's what I love about music, and that's what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world."
The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we've gotten to a road map to Pug's ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it's easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.
The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in "Veteran Fighter" wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. "The Measure", a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner's novel Godric, marvels at "every inch of anguish, laid out side by side" but ultimately finds that "All we've lost is nothing to what we've found."
"I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind," Pug explains. "When you're sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it's probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well."
The duality of the record is on show in this new single and the rest of the songs from the forthcoming release promise to be just as moving. Windfall will be released on March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the United States and Loose Music in Europe.
In the meantime, be sure to catch Joe Pug on tour this winter and spring.