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.
In 1997 legendary Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna released a solo album under the name‚ “Julie Ruin” with the intention of forming a band to perform the songs live. In 2010 she built her dream team who quickly learned the songs and then recorded their own debut album titled Run Fast. Fans rejoiced as the band dominated stages around the world from NYC to Australia in support of Run Fast. Following Kathleen’s collaboration on Mykki Blanco presents Gay Dog Food this fall, they can celebrate once again with the news that The Julie Ruin is back in the studio working on new material.
The band has released the song “Blueberry Island”, a track featured on the forthcoming digital release of the soundtrack for the IFC bio pic about Kathleen called The Punk Singer. It will also be made available as a limited edition 7” single featuring the “Right Home” (YACHT Remix) b-side via the Federal Prism Pop Up Store.
A celebrated, outspoken figure at the forefront of feminist punk, Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre generously donated her zines collection to the Fales Library Riot Grrrl Collection and the Museum Of Modern Art. An issue of Kathleen’s Bikini Kill zines is currently on view in the exhibition Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye, in the 3rd floor Philip Johnson Architecture and Design galleries at MoMA. The exhibition is on view from November 15, 2014 - November 1 of 2015.
Kathleen also stars in a short film titled Myrna The Monster, playing the voice of Myrna, a heartbroken alien dreamer from the moon transitions into young adult life in Los Angeles just like any other 20-something. Written and directed by Ian Samuels and made with love by MTV(Other) the film will premiere at Sundance. Watch the trailer for Myrna The Monster HERE.
The Julie Ruin is Kathleen Hanna on vocals (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre), Kathi Wilcox on bass (Bikini Kill, Frumpies, Casual Dots), Kenny Mellman on keys (Kiki and Herb),Carmine Covelli on drums (Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments) & Sara Landeau on guitar (The Slips, The Chickletts). Head over to The Julie Ruin web store for records, tote bags and a new limited edition t-shirt made in collaboration with Seth Bogart from Wacky Wacko.