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.
Los Angeles' quartet Smallpools will release their debut album LOVETAP! on March 24th through RCA Records. “Karaoke”, the first single off the album is currently available at all digital retails and streaming providers. “Karaoke” was produced by Ricky Reed and John Ryan, listen HERE.
Press is already praising “Karaoke” with Hilly Dilly saying ““Karaoke” follows up some of the best new pop we’ve heard in a while, and the band has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the song’s actual sound. Baeble Music noted “The energetic new track is lighthearted, lots of fun, and makes you want to grab a mic and sing along”. Earmilk said “Like a breath of fresh air, Smallpools build on their style with the momentum behind "Karaoke".
After bursting onto the scene with their 4 song self-titled EP, Smallpools has toured to all corners of North America opening for WALK THE MOON, Neon Trees, Grouplove, MS MR, Twenty One Pilots, and Two Door Cinema Club, played Lollapalooza and Firefly Festivals, and closed the year with a sold out Live Nation “Ones To Watch '14” headline tour.
The release of their self-titled debut EP gained them critical acclaim and brought them their national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing their debut single "Dreaming" which was produced by Captain Cuts. You can hear “Dreaming” HERE and see the video HERE, which has 4.5 million views.
Supporters like Vogue, Interview Magazine, Idolator, BuzzFeed etc all praised the band’s catchy songs and invigoration live shows. Neon Gold called “Mason Jar” “a sepia splash of power-pop that crystallizes into a starscraping smash before the verse even kicks in, as stadium-sized Of Monsters And Men gang vocals ride high on the buoyant flair of Smallpools' youthful, Two Door-esque ebullience.” In addition, NYLON Magazine premiered the Charli XCX vs Twin Idol Remix of “Dreaming”. Check out more from their Billboard interview.
Smallpools consists of Sean (vocals/keys), Mike (guitar), Joe (bass) and Beau (drums).
Artisan Loyalist, the solo pursuit of Edmonton multi-instrumentalist Rob Batke, premiered the first single and title track of their upcoming album Lonely Ghost set to release on February 24. The six-minute track was featured on American Apparel’s Viva Radio and offers a taste of Artisan Loyalist’s fundamental style—an effortless combination of synth wave textures, melodic vocals, and experimental beats.
A unique homage to 1980’s synth pop with modern day textures, Lonely Ghost delivers on the emotions built up through Rob Batke’s prior solo pursuits. The music evoke the failure, sadness, isolation, and ultimate triumph. Lonely Ghost is likely to resonate deeply when all the fans eagerly awaiting its arrival in February 2015.
In October 2014, Artisan Loyalist set the stage for the release of Lonely Ghost with their first four-song EP, The Ace. The EP featured two tracks from their upcoming full-length album that stirred up a great deal of curiosity among fans. It offered a preview of emotional intensity that can be expected on Artisan Loyalist’s upcoming full-length album.
Music goes through many ups and downs...Moments when artists are inspiring and innovative, and moments when the industry is creatively stagnant. NIKO IS is one of those musicians that restores your faith in the artistry of music. In an age where everyone is 'trying' to be different; Niko isn't trying at all, he just IS.
In “Tito Crack That Dutch” NIKO IS uses seriously smooth and shimmery melodies to pay homage tohis favorite pastimes. The video is a great visual representation of his aesthetic and is now available to watch on SPIN.
Meanwhile, NIKO IS’ “Cherry Beamer Dreaming” is a slick and soulful ode to himself, with brilliant lines like “so full of myself like Russian dolls.” The video is currently part of a round of MTVU’s Freshmen so be sure to vote for “Cherry Beamer Dreaming” on MTVU here. Each video stands on its own, but both show off NIKO IS’ magnetic personality.
Nikolai Paiva (NIKO IS) was born in Rio de Janeiro and moved to Florida at the age of 7. Niko has managed to create a distinctive sound and style that gained him recognition as a notable songwriter, witty lyricist, hip-hop visionary, and exceptional freestyler. NIKO IS, is a conceptual idiom symbolizing the many personas and identities one experiences. This point of view is concisely reflected through his albums. NIKO IS' recently released his first compilation of 2014 called "Good Blood", a precursor to his long awaited BRUTUS LP.
The title is the literal English translation of the Brazilian term, 'Sangue Bom'. Good Blood is mostly produced by Thanks Joey apart from a cut by Krikos and a self-produced NIKO IS record. Thanks Joey invokes the continuously evolving Brazilian sample-heavy style of hip-hop production, for which he has become known for.
This up and coming wordsmith is fresh off forging an alliance with industry veteran Talib Kweli and his Javotti Media label. With this sort of backing and a relentless work ethic to get better with every release, 2015 will be nothing short of spectacular for the big haired Brazilian.
Be sure to check out NIKO IS on his tour with Talib Kweli and Immortal Technique this spring.
Having toured over the globe, Israeli singer-songwriter and musician Asaf Avidan has built up a devoted following as well as a reputation for a legendary live show.
The newest single from his forthcoming album is “The Jail That Sets You Free” which premiered on Entertainment Weekly. EW described the track by saying it “boasts a clever combination of bluesy garage rock, poppy New Wave synths, and a chorus that’s infectious enough to cause an epidemic.” Be sure to listen and share Asaf’s second single, “The Jail That Sets You Free.”
His sophomore full-length album is entitled Gold Shadow and is slated for a worldwide release on February 3. The record is a perfect combination of Asaf’s pop sensibility, complex melodic arrangements, captivating lyrics, and signature voice.
The first single was “Over My Head” which was written during a sleepless night in Paris and premiered on All Songs Considered. Asaf explains that it was inspired by the relationship he has with his life partner. "It was the night when I put my old demons to sleep, and decided to choose life. ‘Till this day I'm amazed that she had the patience for my stupidity, and this is my way to say thank you ... thank you for leaving the door open."
Avidan was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1980 to diplomat parents who both worked for Israel’s Foreign Office. He spent four years of his childhood in Jamaica followed by a stint of mandatory army service in Israel before studying animation at Jerusalem’s Academy of Arts and Design.
First entering the music industry through his group Asaf Avidan & The Mojos, he proved himself to be an incredibly adept front man, destined for the largest stages. The band’s recordings achieved platinum status across Europe as well as topping Best of the Year lists in various countries. As a solo artist he has proved himself to be just as capable a performer and writer.
Thanks to the breakout success of his track “One Day / Reckoning Song” he has been able to propel his solo career to new heights. The single hit number one in fourteen countries as a remix by a Berlin DJ called DJ Wankelmut. The DJ took the delicate acoustic lament and dressed it up for the dance floor with synthetic beats and voice distortion. So far it’s ranked up nearly 145 million views on YouTube.
In 2012 Asaf released his debut solo album entitled Different Pulses. Gaining huge amounts of acclaim overseas, but never being officially released in the United States, he toured constantly throughout the next few years. Having performed in some of the biggest venues worldwide, Asaf took a break and penned his newest release.
Gold Shadow will be released on February 3 and Asaf will be embarking on a nationwide tour in the beginning of that month.
Kate Pierson - iconic voice and founding member of the B52s, punk, new wave, genre-defying band will release her debut solo record Guitars and Microphones, February 17via Lazy Meadow Music/Kobalt Label Services. Revered for her anthemic pop chops, Kate’s songs are rife with girl group wit, drama, and rejection of sterotypes, and her solo offerings so far are big songs with bigger meanings.
“Mister Sister” is a poetic love letter of the power of transformation, for which a portion of proceeds will go to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, while the lush “Bring Your Arms,” is an immediately infectious synth-pop jam with an environmental theme and a portion of proceeds donated to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The latest from Guitars and Microphones is “Bottoms Up,” co-written by Pierson, Sia and Nick Valensi, whose infectious melodic instincts and legendary guitar tones join in the cocktail of indescribable energy contained in Kate’s voice to create an instant jam worth repeating.
“Bottoms Up” premiered with VICE’s Noisey and is available as an instant-grat MP3 w/Guitars and Microphones iTunes pre-order now! CD digipak is also available for pre-order atAmazon. Please post & share!
Guitars and Microphones was produced by Tim Anderson (Ima Robot) and features Nick Valensi (The Strokes) on several tracks, with songs co-written by Pierson and Sia who also exec produced the album. Along with being her 4-decade career as a B52, Pierson has collaborated with The Ramones, Iggy Pop, David Byrne and REM. Guitars and Microphones marries party rock, psychedelia and socio-political punk. This is humanism and feminism out for a real good time.
Performing LIVE This February
2/24: Kingston, NY @ BSP, 8pm
2/25: New York, NY @ City Winery