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Middle Kids break down their debut album, Lost Friends, Track by Track


Track by Track is our new music feature that finds an artists going deep into the origins of each song on their new album.

Australian indie trio Middle Kids today deliver their debut full-length effort, Lost Kids. Stream the whole thing below via Apple Music and Spotify.

None of singer/guitarist Hannah Joy, bassist Tim Fitz, nor drummer Harry Day come from a background of rock music. Joy started out singing four-part harmonies in churches before exploring dance pop, Fitz grew up surrounded by the rhythms of the Papua New Guinea jungle, and Day studied jazz at the Sydney Conservative of Music. Instead of a disadvantage, however, this distance from guitar-based indie allows them to approach their songs without the burden of preconceived notions. Thus, Lost Kids is loaded with booming rockers that effortlessly bridge a gap between Americana and indie in a way that seems completely natural.

“In a time where a lot of division is growing, we want to be part of the conversation that unites people around certain ideals that are universal, like hope and love,” Joy says in a press release. “That’s so much a thread throughout this album: Even though things are tough, it’s worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from what’s going on.”

Take a listen:

For more on Lost Friends, Middle Kids sat down with Consequence of Sound to break down the album Track by Track.

“Bought It”:
Hannah Joy: This song came together probably unlike a lot of the others on the album, because basically we bought a guitar pedal when we were in LA, and it’s called an M9, and it’s a mellotron pedal for your guitar and it can create all these different sounds. And I had it on like a cello sound, and I created this drone, which is the opening cello sound on “Bought It”. I just let it go for so long and built the whole song basically around this drone. So it was kind of cool because I think the sound inspired this song which is not a usual way for me to write songs, but I think what ended up happening was creating this atmosphere that kind of holds you for the whole song.

Tim Fitz: The thing I like about that song was the opening bit sounds nostalgic. It sounds like an old orchestra in a movie, and then there’s those weird bells, and you don’t really know what’s going on. And then it’s a song about seeing someone at a party, and it’s quite intimate and nostalgic and feels cool.

HJ: I think that it’s a good song lyrically for being the opener on the album, because it really sets a certain tone. I think that the strong message of the song is that constant thing we can do being like, “I’m fine,” and underneath it all we’re so not fine. A lot of the themes in this album are trying to work through the inner makings of a person, and their emotions and their framework and their belief system. “Bought It” is a cool way of starting off that premise of walking around trying to feel like we’re ok but actually we’re not sure if we are.

“Mistake”:
TF: Hannah, you were watching a lot of old TV shows when you wrote “Mistake”.

HJ: Actually, I think I was watching Dawson’s CreekI think a lot of the emotions can be that nostalgic, even teenage coming of age experiences. So that’s a throwback. It goes back musically, probably Fleetwood Mac-y, even that era was big for us in terms of what we listened to. I remember when I was writing the song I was wanting it to be quite nostalgic, because when I was 14, 15 listening to songs that really kind of hit you in the gut, and you’re starting to go, “What is this world spectrum of emotion that I’m feeling?” You start getting surprised by the highs and the lows that you feel as a young person and so music really can have the ability to accentuate that. I was kind of wanting to explore that in my songwriting for this song.

TF: Because it came from that nostalgic, maybe adolescent innocent place, things aren’t so nuanced and you’re not so cynical then I think. So it is actually quite unashamedly emotional and doesn’t protect itself. And I like the drums.

Harry Day: It’s probably one of the more roomy sounds on the record. Everything else is a little more close marked. On this one we were kind of harkening back to more of a ’90s drum sound in some ways. Also, I think this song is typical of the tendency of Hannah’s lyrics to be quite observational and relatable, because I think everybody’s had an experience like that. I think some songwriters can share their experiences in an alienating way, but I think Hannah does it in a very inviting way.

HJ: It is kind of like putting it all out there, so I think it was important to then keep the guitars quite distorted, and even referencing that Sonic Youth sound, same with the drums. Keep that a little bit more dirty and grungy to offset, so it’s not just like here are my emotions, like insipid pop. To have those really driving drums and kind of grungy guitars you can also go into that places where they’re kind of working together but also in tension with each other to create an energy as well.

“Edge of Town”:
TF: I actually think that it is a really special song to us and we still love playing it and sometimes I wonder why do we still love playing this? But I just think there’s something special about it and every time I feel like we get to enter into the song when we play live as opposed to carrying the song.

HD: It’s also special because we recorded that song before we were even really a band.  We were all doing different things. Then it was kind of there for awhile, even before we released it. It actually sort of set everything else in motion, the beginning of us finding our sound and of Hannah finding her writing voice for the band. Eventually it kind of lead to us being a band. I think it’s kind of special to play that. It is very much our origin.

TF: It’s so funny because in Australia we don’t have the country baggage. You guys have so much country music, like some really bad pop country stuff.  We just don’t have that in Australia. So I think slide guitar is not as much of a cultural no-no or something, but at the same time, I’m not very good at slide guitar.  So it’s a very simple part. So it had to be simple.

HJ: Also because Tim didn’t really grow up in country music it means that he’s used the instrument to the way his ear wants to hear it for the songs. He likes the sound, and we like the sound, then he’s adding it to a song that already exists. So that’s why I think it’s really cool because it’s not necessarily used in such a traditional way, but you’re kind of weaving around a song in a way that feels natural to you.

HD: Yeah, because if you’re entrenched in a tradition you can sometimes be limited by that. But you come to it from a different place there’s like a freedom.

“Maryland”:
HJ: When I was 17, I ended up moving with a family who was living there and I finished high school in Maryland. The song was actually more about where is home after I was living in Maryland. I was due to go back to Sydney and I felt like I had this really formative experience in Maryland. I felt a little bit like I didn’t know where I belonged at home in Sydney, that’s partly why I left. So then it was this feeling of not knowing where to go next, or what was home. Sydney was kind of home but I think I had this experience where I felt like Maryland felt more like home than I had in Sydney. It was trying to capture that where do I belong kind of thing.

It’s the people, I think. Often you feel at home depending on where you are in your relationships with people. If you feel a sense of understanding and belonging with a group of people, almost regardless of where you are, it can feel like home.

TF: That song was fun to record as well because it was a little bit different in pace, it’s a less intense song so you can relax into it a little bit more. We made these drumsticks that were like brushes but they were made out of a broom. We bought a broom, bunched together the straw, so the drums in the verses you can hear a rusty, straw sound on the drums which I think is kind of cool.

HJ: There’s another cool percussion thing in the second verse. Tim literally put a microphone on the table and got a guitar pick, and was just going tap tap tap. And in the second verse it kind of lifted a bit.

TF: Yeah, there is [a lot of that stuff in the album]. It’s kind of depressing how subtle a lot of it is, because there’s cool stuff.

“On My Knees”:
TF: There’s one line that has a certain effect on it, it’s called a micro shift. It’s kind of like a chorus. It’s on a few lines, we multilayered it. So all those out of phase frequencies could sound like a bell. But then there’s another guitar sound in the big choruses. It’s actually a clean sound that has a big reverb on it and a distortion pedal, so that’s why it doesn’t sound like a guitar, it sounds maybe more like a synth because by the time that it hits the distortion it’s just like a reverb echo and then the distortion adds this, it just fuzzed out to the max. 

HJ: [So what you’re hearing is somewhere between that bass and that guitar] and all the sounds in between. It’s a very cathartic song. Just putting it all out there. It’s a very physical song to play, to sing. And then, of course, the big hits, all of us are going gung gung gung. It’s fun doing that altogether. It’s rare when you have moments where the rhythm sections and the guitars and just everyone is on the same rhythm.

TF: It was stolen from Broken Social Scene, kind of that grand guitar line.

HJ: It’s an image of when life can bring you to your knees or when you feel like your legs have been chopped out underneath you. The overarching thing is the experience of trying to submit your life to something that’s bigger than your individuality, and that can mean so many different things when you’re part of a group or a cause or whatever. When you bring what you have and pool it with what other people have, you create something that’s beautiful and bigger. It’s not just you anymore, it’s something. I think we’re all trying to figure out what we can be apart of and what we can get behind. 

“Don’t Be Hiding”:
HJ: So much of the feeling of this song is probably from our marriage. We’ve been married two years. When you start sharing all of your stuff, you start seeing the gold but you also start seeing the garbage, the ugliness in each other, and it’s quite confronting. Moreso, the ugliness that you see in yourself that a person so close can bring out in you, to a point where you can’t actually hide it anymore. That was confronting for me, having that experience where Tim was like, “I still love you and I still choose you,” and then me for him, is like pretty incredible.

You can go out from that. The first verse is very clearly body image, and feeling like that’s a really big thing for young women, even men, wanting to speak into that, for all of us to find freedom beyond and acceptance in who we are in our beautiful bodies, regardless of things that we are still working on. The other verse is money; we’re in the West, and it’s always on our minds and it’s always this measuring thing of how we feel we fit in the picking order. Even if we try not to be like that, the society we live in is so like that.

HD: There’s a very strong impulse to hide when there’s something you don’t like about yourself, or are embarrassed or ashamed of, and as soon as you bring that into a safe place with someone or some people that you trust, it often disarms that thing and helps you overcome it, or just accept it. I feel like this is one of the songs that speaks about a wider n issue, more than a personal one, which is cool because it’s hard to do that in song form sometimes.

Middle Kids -- Lost Friends

“Hole”:
HJ: I wrote it and we just recorded it in a large room, [on] my childhood piano I grew up playing.

TF: Yeah, in our house. It’s old, it’s dark.

HJ: We were kind of tossing up even for a while whether we should put it on or not, but I think that it helped tie — well a lot of the songs help tie each other in. I think that that one helps “So Long, Farewell, I’m Gone”.

TF: It’s a depressing song, in lots of ways, but when I heard Hannah playing it, I was like, this is an absolutely beautiful song. It’s like a canyon, but you’re following the emotion or that idea of loneliness and loss to the endpoint, and that’s what that song feels like. That’s alluded to on lots of the songs on the album, but this is just that emotion, for one and a half minutes.

“Please”:
HJ: Yeah, it’s about death.

TF: Oh yeah?

HD: So weird, because I thought it was like “Hole”, that you can’t fill it up with another soul, like you can’t fill your heart up with another person. That’s one of the cool things about music is that meaning of its own for everyone who listens to it.

HJ: A lot of psychologists say that at the bottom of every fear is the fear that we’re going to die, so all of the anxieties that we have, it’s all wrapped up in our lives, and existing. It’s such a big song because it’s such a big thing, death. And I think that in many ways the album is a real fight for life over death, and even though we always have the presence of death, kind of nipping at our heels, it’s like how do we find life even though there’s that threat all the time? 

HD: And you know, it almost feels like a dirge, because it’s just so stated, everything is on the beat, and it’s really, it’s almost like sluggish, almost like this funeral march. It’s like a slog, fighting against the fear, and it’s hard.

“Lost Friends”:
TF: 
I think the “Lost” is about angst and the pain on the album, and the “Friends” is about the relational aspect of the album. It wasn’t like, “This is the song that’s the distillation of the entire album,” because it’s kind of a weird song, but the theme of the song kind of felt like it fit the whole album.

HD: Yeah, it was actually really delicate to put this one together. A lot of the other songs came together naturally, like this is the logical groove. But there were parts of this where we were like, how do we play this?

TF: It’s funny, Hannah recorded the bass for this song but she was kind of behind the beat, because she plays upside down, because she’s left handed, and she also plucks it in a really big movement. It’s like clumsy slap bass, but that’s what sounds good on the track, so I had to copy her playing and then I was overdubbing the parts.. I thought it was really cool. I like the chorus because it’s got this rawness to some of the guitars that come in and that’s a really cool sound in the instrumental after the chorus. It starts as a folk song, but then morphs into something kind of weirder and cool.

HJ: And it’s got the ¾ feel, so it’s quite different.

“Never Start”:
TF:
It’s kind of embarrassing to say, but I was trying to think about The Strokes in the chorus of it, like “I need to think about The Strokes and it won’t sound like The Strokes but it’ll land somewhere between this folky thing and The Strokes.” There was a thing where it was important for the drums to be really straight, but the guitars to be swung, so straight indie rock drums and more of a waltz-y swing-y thing with the guitar so they clash in together. It was just guitars and snare drum when [Hannah] gave it to me, and it was like I need to make this chorus super energetic, otherwise it will just lose steam in how it all fits together.

HD: It’s just there’s a lot of different influences, and there sometimes be different influences and not sound like a complete song, but I think it’s all how they fit together. When I was playing that drum part, I was thinking sort of an up-tempo, really fuzzy hi-hat, which is very different to the energy of the verse, which when Hannah was playing that snare drum on the demo, she was playing with her hands.

HJ: With my fingers.

HD: It was really quiet, like a cat running on a snare drum.

HJ: It was at a time where I just started writing on the guitar when I hadn’t before, and we have this old nylon at our house and I just wrote it on that. I remember I was making the song, feeling like, “Oh I’m doing a little folk number”, but you could already feel the energy from the melody and the chords along with the strumming pattern

TF: A lot of the bands that we love, they’re all American bands, and all American rock bands are influenced by country music, so that’s kind of just how it comes out. I think it’s more unconscious. I feel like we wish it was less unconscious sometimes, so I guess it’s just going to sound how it’s going to sound.

“Tell Me Something”:
HJ:
 There’s so much I love about this song. The dynamic range is awesome, there’s more space which is so cool. I love Harry’s drumming so much because the way it builds alone on the drums is so exciting to me. I think it’s very emotional for me to sing too because of the theme, it feels good to sing. I think it’s because there’s less going on it does feel a little bit vulnerable, because you know, when there’s so much going on when you’re playing through these big jams, it’s all out there, everything’s exposed, so there’s a little bit of, I don’t know what the word is… feels like a risk or something.

HD: This song is a good example of how the songwriting process happens, because you’ve got the raw initial parts and the bones of some of the song, and Tim started fleshing it out, producing it, and then came up with a lot of the initial drum parts. Then I would listen to the demo and expand on them a bit. Sometimes when we get in the studio things can be pretty ready to go but this one, in particular the drum part, we spent a while, we tried a lot of things because there were some things we thought were detracting, taking a lot of land. That was a really fun thing to record because it’s not really a lot of things in the chorus, it’s a little more technical and took a lot of takes.

TF: I’ve got two obscure things in there that no one will notice. One of them is a keyboard that we had in the ‘90s, there’s a little drum thing that goes underneath the real drums, and you won’t even hear it but I’m just going to mention it. Then there’s also a guitar line, and in the session you have like Guitar 1, Guitar 2 — this one was called “Smash Mouth Guitar”. It was kind of like the Smash Mouth DJ scratches.

Middle Kids, photo by Maclay Heriot

“So Long, Farewell, I’m Gone”:
HJ: It’s a bit more like punk rock-y with a big rock ending, more big jam-out. It’s a little journey within the song, and I think that it’s really reflective in some ways which is also cool for being the end of the album. It’s realizing that I’ve been on the run from certain things, but then you realize that if you’ve been running you just have to keep running, which is not always a very practical way to live, or it doesn’t yield great fruit in your life necessarily. So I think at the end, it’s actually like it’s letting go of that fear and saying I’m not going to run any more.

TF: You know those movie scenes where there’s a character who has to fly his plane into a bomb? I feel that’s what the song is about because they’re like, “Let me tell you my life story before I’m long gone.” It’s like “So Long, Farewell”, and you’re like shooting off into the sunset, it’s kind of like a metaphorical image. It’s like, I was a kid once, everyone who does something brave was a kid once and now I’m doing something brave.

HJ: That’s so cool too, because we feel like we’re not cool people, because we’re not brave, but brave people are just people who are afraid but still choose to stand up against it and be courageous. It’s not the absence of fear, it’s saying, “I’m still going to do this thing.”



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PEEL give a Track by Track breakdown of their new EP, Never Not Dead


Track by Track is our recurring new music feature giving an artist the opportunity to dig into the details of every song on their latest offering.

There are plenty of scenes thriving in the streets of Chicago. Those looking for lyrical hip-hop or psychedelic indie rock alike can find gratification any night of the week in the city’s various venues. Anyone seeking out a sweaty, riff-heavy party vibe in the 773 has likely come across PEEL, the area’s latest rising punk act. The quartet first revealed themselves with 2016’s Marlboro Country, but really came into their own with last year’s Goes Bananas. Now, PEEL are back with a new EP that builds on their undeniably hooky blend of classic rock sounds and poppy punk thrills.

Entitled Never Not Dead, the five-track effort was recorded by Dave Vettraino at Chicago’s Jamdek Studios before heading to Brooklyn for mixing and mastering by Bobby Lord. Opener “Wet Work” is the perfect intro for fans new and old, its pounding drums and fiery guitar licks driving a heavy ’70s thrust underneath the gang screams of, “Fuck yeah!” Pete Mueller takes lead on the song, as he does on the punk-pop follow-up, “Give Up Your Ghost”, and the lamenting “Broken Down” . His fellow guitarist Kyle Hickey, meanwhile, delivers his crackling rock-a-billy vocals on tracks like the barn-burning “Teenage Rock & Roll Sinner” and the dark doo-wop of closer “High Til I Die”.

Never Not Dead will be self-released this Friday, April 27th. Ahead of the street date, you can stream the entire thing below.

For more insight into the EP, Mueller and Hickey have broken down the whole thing Track by Track.

“Wet Work”:
Pete Mueller: This is like a Gun Club song that got put through the Peeler. It grew out of a random riff we were jamming at our space. Love songs that don’t suck are hard to write, and they’re boring, so I usually write the opposite — just to keep myself interested long enough to finish writing it. Hence, a song about a hitman going around blowing people away. It keeps with the tradition of horrifying PEEL lyrical content.

“Give Up Your Ghost”:
PM: This song is about the afterlife. Take from it what you will.

PEEL -- Never Not Dead

“Teenage Rock & Roll Sinner”:
Kyle Hickey: Around 1930 Robert Leroy Johnson went to a rural Mississippi country crossroads at midnight to make a pact with the devil. In exchange for his soul the devil tuned Johnson’s guitar played a little and handed it back. Johnson went on to father the blues. In 1951 Rock n roll was just a euphemism for the horizontal shuffle until Ohio Disc Jockey Moondog Alan Freed branded his eclectic gathering of rhythm and blues music featuring elements of sex, danger, deviance, quick kicks and cheap thrills exciting teenagers and outcasts everywhere. New York in 1974 bore the birth of what would become punk rock desperately reviving music from near paralysis. Last month I wrote this song on a napkin during lunch and we recorded it a week later.

“Broken Down”:
PM: This might be the most honest song I’ve ever written. I have no idea what it’s about. Relationships? Did I write a song about relationships? Shit. Maybe I did. This is considered a “ballad” for us. So take out your hankies and throw up your lighters when we play it. There’s at least one minor chord in it.

“High Til I Die”:
KH: It’s a candy-coated doo-wop song about depression and addiction. We live in Chicago, it’s cold and grey. You go bowling or you stay in bed and get high. The end!



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Melvins share new album Pinkus Abortion Technician: Stream


Today marks the release of the Melvins Pinkus Abortion Technician via Ipecac Recordings. Subscribers of  Apple Music and Spotify can listen to it below.

The album, the 27th studio effort from the Washington sludge rockers, follows last year’s double album A Walk with Love and Death, and is the first to feature two bass players in OFF!’s Steven McDonald Butthole Surfers’ Jeff Pinkus. “We’ve never had two bass players,” Buzz Osborne said of the decision. “We’ve had two drummers and two guitar players so it makes total sense to now have two bass players.”

In a recent interview with Revolver, Osbourne adds, “These guys are world-class players. They’re as good as anybody out there. They’re better, because they have better sensibilities. All the stuff that I can get from Jeff’s involvement in the Butthole Surfers and Steven’s involvement in Redd Kross, I want that in my band. I want all that weirdness and all that sickness and all that insanity.”

We’ve already heard the pair’s impact in singles like “Stop Moving to Florida”, a mashup medley of Butthole Surfers’ “Moving to Florida” and James Gang’s “Stop”. There’s also “Embrace the Rub”, a “Steven McDonald penned, punker tune throwback to his days as a young Hawthorne, CA punk hanging out with Black Flag,” according to the band’s Dale Crover.

Pinkus Abortion Technician Artwork:


melvins pinkus abortion technician Melvins share new album Pinkus Abortion Technician: Stream

Pinkus Abortion Technician Tracklist:
01. Stop Moving To Florida
02. Embrace The Rub
03. Don’t Forget To Breathe
04. Flamboyant Duck
05. Break Bread
06. I Want To Hold Your Hand
07. Prenup Butter
08. Graveyard

In support of the album’s release, the Melvins will embark on a US tour starting later this month.

Melvins 2018 Tour Dates:
04/26 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
04/29 – Dallas, TX @ Tree’s
04/30 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
05/01 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
05/03 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
05/04 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
05/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theater
05/07 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
05/09 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
05/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
05/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
05/12 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
05/13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
05/14 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
05/18 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
05/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
05/20 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
05/22 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Linsley
05/23 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
05/24 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
05/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
05/31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
07/12 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
07/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
07/14 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s
07/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
07/17 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
07/19 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
07/20 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
07/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
07/24 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
07/25 – Calgary, AB @ Marquee Room
07/27 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
07/28 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
07/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
07/30 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
07/31 – Chicago, IL @ Park West
08/02 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
08/03 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
08/04 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
08/05 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue Theatre
08/06 – Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
08/07 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
08/08 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
08/10 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
08/11 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
08/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
08/14 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon
08/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo



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Post Animal break down their debut album Track by Track: Stream


Track by Track is a new music feature in which we invite our favorite new artists to break down each song on their latest album.

Years of sweaty DIY shows, career shifts, and jam sessions will come to fruition for Chicago neo-psycho rockers Post Animal this week. Tomorrow, the band will embark on a massive headlining tour of North America in support of their debut album, When I Think of You in a Castle. It’s not due out until Friday, but Consequence of Sound is premiering it in full below.

When I Think of You in a Castle began to coalesce during a 2016 retreat in a haunted Michigan lake house where the band began recording in the midst of what drummer Wesley describes as “an uncertain time for us as a band.” In a press statement, he adds, “Before this album, we weren’t sure what the future of the band was going to look like. I was considering moving to Los Angeles and [guitarist] Joe [Keery] was off filming Stranger Things. We didn’t know where we were all going but we knew we wanted to make an album with all of us in the same room.”

Those sessions, which the band describe as “magical,” served to solidify Post Animal’s future as a unit. The band toured extensively in 2017 while bassist Dalton Allison perfected the album’s mix and Jared Hirshland, brother of guitarist/keyboardist Jake, handled mastering. What you hear on the final effort is the sound of a band of brothers, including drummer Wesley Toledo and guitarists Matt Williams and Javi Reyes, connecting over a shared passion for psychedelic, poppy rock. Lead vocals are shared by all — even Keery, who despite not joining the band on the road sings on the peppy “Ralphie” and the sludgier “Gelatin Mode” — a testament to the fact that this is the work of a truly collaborative group of musicians.

Check out the album below:

When I Think of You in a Castle is due out on this Friday, April 20th via Polyvinyl. Pre-order it here. For more on what went into the creation of the record, the band has broken down the album Track by Track.

“Everything All At Once”:
This song didn’t start as an instrumental intro; our early demos had vocal harmonies moving throughout. We recorded it first of the bunch, and set up a few mics on an acoustic guitar and a Casiotone portable keyboard. It started to rain outside, so we opened the window and tracked two takes straight through. In post production, our friend Adam mixed some pads and synth bass in. The instrumental version reminded us of our time at the lake, so we left the vocals off.

“Gelatin Mode”:
The first song we finished for the album. We took segments from the original demo, which we recorded in our basement in Chicago, and organized the intro, verses, and choruses. It needed a climax, so we workshopped riffs until we found one dramatic enough. Before we decided on the lyrics, “Javelin Throw” was the main phrase, then “Gelatin Mold”, and finally “Gelatin Mode”. Don’t be shocked if you hear something else live.

“Tire Eyes”:
This one’s been in the oven for at least three years. The first version was much less frantic with a melodic, meandering guitar riff playing through the verses, which are now very rhythmic. It probably wouldn’t have made the cut for the record, but just before we left to track, we rehabbed it in a jam and fell back in love. We had our friends Mr. Cadien and Mr. Malcom join us for some harmonious joy at the end; Malcom’s responsible for that angelic yell in the finale.

“Ralphie”:
This was the first song we recorded with a live guitar ensemble. Javi had just arrived to start guitars and Dalton was dehydrated and noise-fatigued after recording drum — lying on the porch in woe. We set up the mics in a circle in the living room and decided to start with something difficult. After about 20 tries we had the take of the Ralphie intro that made the record, and with this take we established the way we’d police ourselves for the next tracks to get live takes we’d be proud of.

“Heart Made of Metal”:
Life, in this song, is a person named Lorelei. It’s lyrically about convincing oneself to not fear the change around them, and eventually succumbing to the answerless way we’re all tossed through existence.

Post Animal -- When I Think of You in a Castle

“The Castle”:
When I Think of You in a Castle was originally the title of this song. The short vocal verse is about love, and longing, and using imagination to create a feeling of togetherness. It’s placed at the beginning of Side B as a mostly instrumental breath; some peace before the deep dive that follows.

“Special Moment”:
This song is a response to the pop tunes in the album’s first half, using a quirky half-step progression to create something both off-kilter and digestible. We didn’t have enough headphone inputs or good amps to accommodate all four guitars recording at once, so Jake recorded “Special Moment” headphone-less and through a 10-inch Fender starter amp.

“Victory Lap:Danger Zone”:
Our rowdiest track. It’s about playing through a conflict in your head and building it up until you hit rage, aka the “danger zone.” The meditative end acts like a partial resolution to that inner conflict. Falling in line, but not completely satisfied. For when you’re stuck in a metal box.

“One Thing”:
This song is the slow cooking burner on the record. In the same suit as the end of Victory Lap, it’s about coping with something that you can never get away from. The song arrived at the lake house as only bass and synth. All of the guitar harmonies were written just before recording.

“Dirtpicker”:
Dirtpicker was the last song we tracked drums for. Immediately after finishing we had to take a break because a cup of coffee spilled all over Dalton’s computer. We had no back up of the two days of work and played a disparaged game of catch in the front yard as the computer dried out. Three hours later, we fired it up and it worked. Everything could’ve ended right there. The computer is fine.

“Susie (Bonus)”:
When you’re done with the record, crack a cold one and take Susie for a spin.

Post Animal 2018 Tour Dates:
04/18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
04/19 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
04/20 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
04/21 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
04/27 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
04/28 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
05/02 – Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin
05/03 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
05/04 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
05/06 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
05/24 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
05/25 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
05/26 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
05/29 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
05/30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
05/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
06/02 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
06/04 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
06/05 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
06/06 – Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
06/09 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/14 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
06/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
06/16 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
06/17 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
06/18 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
06/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord
06/21 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
06/22 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
06/23 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
06/26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
06/28 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
06/29 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Front Room
06/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry



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Preoccupations share a Track by Track breakdown of their new album, New Material: Stream


Our recurring new music feature, Track by Track, sees an artist breaking down each and every song on their latest record.

On the last lyrics on the band’s third album, New MaterialPreoccupations lead singer Matt Flegel snarls over and over again, “And we can’t help ourselves.” Sure, he describes the album as an “ode to depression” and some of the songs deal with the inevitability of death and the possibility of nuclear holocaust, but there’s a chance that the line actually means something else – the post-punk band’s obsession with tinkering in the studio.

Several times throughout our lengthy, beer-fueled conversation in Flegel’s quaint, new apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, multi-instrumentalist Scott “Monty” Munro seemed like he was speaking a different language. He talked at lengths about the various gadgets he used to create the band’s behemoth of a new record, their first since 2016’s self-titled effort. Recorded entirely by Munro, New Material was built on a steady diet of psychedelics, very late nights, sci-fi movies on mute, and lots of beer. There was also constant travel, as the band recorded in a 100-year-old schoolhouse in a small town in British Columbia, an Airbnb in Los Angeles, a hotel room in Rosarito, Mexico, a cabin in Montana, and Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Perry’s Montreal studio.

But throughout all of those intoxicated middle of the night recording sessions, the band maintained their constant mission to experiment. “My perfect goal for a record would be to have something that you know is rock music but you can’t tell what any of the instruments are,” Monty explains. Multiple times throughout our interview, I mistook guitars for synths and vice verse, which only goes to show Monty largely succeeded in his goal.

Hear it for yourself by listening to New Material below via Spotify or Apple Music.

With the debate over their former band name finally in the rear-view mirror, the Canadian band was more than happy to explain the influences and stories behind each of New Material’s eight tracks, a bleak – but occasionally beautiful – listen. Find their Track by Track breakdown below.

“Espionage”:
Scott “Monty” Munro:
I think this was the first one we did. We recorded it in a lot of different pieces. All of the drums in that whole intro, [drummer Mike] Wallace did in one take and I processed the Christ out of them a month later. We recorded the drums that day having no idea that’s how they were going to sound later. We didn’t even get to the sound until we got to Ymer, BC for the second session. For a month, we had just the raw drums and the bass.

MF: Once we got that initial sound, we kind of knew that was going to be the first song on the record. It definitely has a first song vibe. That was one of the first ones we finished and one of the first ones I ended up finishing vocals on, which I usually save until the very, very last second. It’s also one of the most punked out songs, I feel like.

SMM: That one also was when Justin [Meldel-Johnson (M83, Wolf Alice)] approached us about mixing the record. That was the track that was done at the time, so that’s the one that he did the test mix for, which was essentially the mix on the record. They did a few tweaks to it, but the test mix came back pretty much how it is on the record and that’s what led us to deciding to get him to mix the record after that. Plus, starting with rad, weird-sounding drums is a good way to start a record.

“Decompose”:
SMM:
No guitars on that song. It’s actually all synth. There’s a sample of Matt playing guitar though.

MF: Here’s the thing: I wrote the guitar parts and we were like, “Let’s do it on synth, but it’s too fast to play on synth, so we’ll slow shit down and then play along with the slowed down thing and then speed it up,” which we did. When we sped it back up, it ended up sounding like guitar anyways. It was a very convoluted way to get to that.

SMM: That was the last song that we did for the record. Also, that one is almost entirely loops. The keyboards and stuff are all played over the top of it, but the rhythm track is just a loop I think for the whole song.

MF: I’m playing some congas on that song! That was a last minute vocal one too. I was kind of scrambling to finalize all of the lyrics and we tried to record some shit when we were in Mexico in a hotel room.

SMM: We used the choruses from the Mexico hotel room. Me, [guitarist] Danny [Christianson] and Flegel were like, “We’re going to finish this song today,” and then we went out and got a giant thing of margarita mix and two bottles of tequila and were just in our hotel room at a resort in Mexico. We just drank all of the tequila.

MF: On the halftime breakdown, we were trying to ape Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy”. I just wanted the bridge to be very Bronski Beat. It’s one of my favorite songs ever. It’s the highest I can sing too, which isn’t very high. When I wrote the melodies, I very much was thinking about the David Byrne/Brian Eno shit, the major key harmonies over minor stuff. We’ve always got something in mind that we’re trying to create. We might get there in a different way so it ends up sounding like us, but we’re definitely looking to that kind of shit for inspiration.

Preoccupations -- New Material

“Disarray”:
MF:
The New Order fist pump chorus!

SMM: The bass and drums on that song is a live take to tape, which is the only one on the record that’s like that.

MF: I had a guitar riff that sounded like OMD or something for so long. That one took awhile to break down to the basics.

SMM: We did a full other version of that song when we were in Montana that was fully electronic.

MF: We decided in the end that it was better as just a bass line with some pumping drums. I couldn’t figure out what else it needed and then finally, one night, we had a breakthrough at the studio [in Montreal]. I just picked up a guitar, played that riff – I didn’t put any thought into it at all – and it just kind of came out. That song ended up being the most stripped down of all. Again, lyrics were last minute. That vocal take was almost a scratch vocal take that I did in the studio in Montreal that no one had heard. You can kind of tell that I’m alone in the studio messing around with weird vulnerability in my voice. I was scared it was going to sound too weak, but I liked the way it sounded. The lyrics are bleak, but in my mind, they’re the most positive ones on the record. It made me feel good, which for the rest of them, not necessarily. Those lyrics for me were kind of cathartic and made me feel good by the end of it. That’s our version of positive, a song called “Disarray.” [laughs]

“Manipulation”:
MF: We had the concept of doing these uncomfortable swells. It ended up relating to the lyrics in that one pretty well. That was kind of a full band effort more than any of the other ones.

SMM: We kind of got the loop going and talked about what we wanted to do, but then threw on a couple of sci-fi movies on silent on the TVs in that house and Wallace just jammed along to those loops for a long time and I just recorded it all. We went back in and built the drum part out of the jam. We were trying to get the Iggy Pop “Mass Production” bass sound and I think we did OK.

MF: Everyone’s always asking about the, “Please don’t remember me like I’ll always remember you” shit and everyone wants to know what that means, but I’m not going to tell anyone. I don’t know [if I like talking about lyrics]. You’re laying yourself bare in front of everyone – you’re throwing your diary out into the world for everyone to read, but it’s fine. This one especially was fairly personal, I guess. I had to write out all of the lyrics and I was like, “ooh” – I didn’t realize how bleak it was. I tend to always go in that direction with writing anyways, which is getting all of the terrible feelings out of me so I can remain happy and able to laugh. It’s my outlet for stuff like that.

“Antidote”:
SMM:
That song was just bass and drums until the day before it got mixed. We were trying to rip off Health and Efficiency [by This Heat], but then we just never did really.

MF: One of their songs ends in this drum loop and it builds off of this loop – that’s kind of what we were drawing from.

SMM: I had my friend’s sampler and Flegel had a bunch of recordings of him and me just drunkenly jamming on these pianos. We made a bunch of samples and that’s pretty much all the stuff at the end.

MF: Those drums, you processed the shit out of. We realized as a loop, you could kind of tighten it up in a weird way and give it this weird swing that’s really hard to do live – it’s not quite in time. These guys were on mushrooms just fucking around. That rhythm has been kicking around for a while.

SMM: [At the very end], that’s just a voice memo that Flegel had of Danny jamming on synth when we were in Montana. We were in LA trying to finish this song and we were going through both of all of our voice memos to see what we had for sounds. I’ve always liked records where the fidelities are quite different are patched together out of a bunch of recordings. I always like it when it’s a little different, like digging through voice memos. I often make samples out of field recordings that I have because then you can manipulate it into something.

MF: Things that people think are guitars are synths. We get this weird satisfaction when we’ve done something in a completely ridiculous, convoluted way that we wouldn’t get if we just plugged a guitar into an amp and threw a microphone on it. It keeps it fun.

“Solace”:
MF:
This one came out of nowhere, honestly. It was the quickest we’ve written and recorded a song out of any of the rest of the songs on this. Which is funny because it’s the one that sounds like it’s the most technically complicated one, but it was definitely the fastest. We did that in a couple of days.

SMM: That one was a bit of a blur – we did that whole song in like maybe two days. Matt wrote that really technical guitar part at the beginning one day and then I split it up into two guitar parts and played it. That lead guitar part, I’ve had that kicking around for like eight years. I’ve had that riff for a fucking long time.

MF: The song’s about nuclear holocaust, just a little positive song. [laughs] There are similar vibes on “Solace” and “Decompose”. “Solace” is about the inevitability of death and finding someone you can enjoy that with while you can. That’s where the solace comes from. It’s uplifting I think.

preoccupations photo by pooneh ghana Preoccupations share a Track by Track breakdown of their new album, New Material: Stream

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

“Doubt”:
SMM: This is a goth jammer. This song is sort of interesting from a production standpoint because when we were in Montana, Flegel came up with that drumbeat and the rough chord progression and then I programmed the drums and just ran them through an amp. Me, Matt, and Danny jammed on the thing on three keyboards live for like 15 minutes. We just cut it down and that’s the song.

MF: That’s us live in a room.

SMM: I did two takes when I was drunk in the studio by myself late at night in Montreal where I just listened to my keyboard part and tried to jam along to it and then listened to Danny’s keyboard part and tried to jam along to that, but those are blended in the back of it. It’s literally just us jamming along to a drum machine. We did the vocals right at the end in the Airbnb in LA.

MF: I was completely sick with a head cold and it was the last one we did vocals for. It’s absolutely the slowest song on the record. Sometimes, you’ve got to grind shit down to a dirge I think. It also wasn’t somewhere where we’d gone with the other songs and I kind of liked that arc.

SMM: I feel like it’s kind of like a tip of the hat to ’80s and ’90s goth shit, which is music that we all love. It’s definitely just Danny, Matt, and I just drunk in Montana jamming late at night. Danny played some really nice stuff there that sounds nothing like keyboards – I don’t know what the fuck he was doing.

“Compliance”:
MF: I like ending it on that note without any words. I also feel like as far as the lyrics go, they’re very weighty on this record and very lengthy. I really liked the idea of stripping everything down to two fucking chords and that’s it.

SMM: In Richie’s studio, he had this VCS3, the Eno synth. I knew that I was going to use it on the record at some point, I just didn’t know what for; it was one of those pieces of gear where you knew it was going to make its way on there somehow. Anytime there was a lull when we were working on whatever, we’d just dick around on the VCS for a minute. I really overdid it on purpose – there are maybe 15 or 20 tracks of VCS on there and probably 30 or 40 tracks of guitar and bass. All of the keyboards are back and forth.

MF: There’s just so many layers of noise that you sort of start hearing things. We’re not playing any lines at any given point at all. It’s one note of shit, but it’s sound playing with your ears.



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Acid Dad share a Track by Track breakdown of their self-titled debut album: Stream


Our recurring new music feature Track by Track finds an artist breaking down the entirety of their latest record.

Brooklyn psych punks Acid Dad are set to deliver their highly anticipated debut full-length this Friday, March 9th, via Greenway Records. Ahead of the official release, the entire thing is streaming in full below.

Acid Dad spent the first three years of their career building towards this 11-track moment. After gaining attention for their live shows around their hometown, they dropped their first EP, Let’s Plan A Robbery, in 2016. That lead them to bigger tours with the likes of Thee Oh Sees and Diarrhea Planet, picking up more acclaim as they brought their rock across the country. Each step on the journey has found them honing their ringing, catchy punk style, even going so far as to toss out their first attempt at their album to ensure the songs reached their fullest potential.

The 11-tracks that finally made it onto Acid Dad are well worth the wait and effort. The band turns to influences as far ranging as Bob Dylan (“Die Hard”) and Archers of Loaf (“2Ci”) in surprising ways, creating songs that are as lyrically intriguing as they are musically enthralling. Whether they’re droning into the haze of “Mow My Lawn” or storming towards freedom on “Mistress”, Acid Dad balance dynamic melodies and unhinged punk with such precision that you’ll never find yourself bored.

Take a listen to Acid Dad below.

For their Track by Track breakdown of their debut, Acid Dad cut right to the heart of each song.

“Die Hard”:
Don’t like New Years resolutions, backroom politics, or drunken orangutans.

“Mr. Major”:
Inspired by our indecipherable Russian delay unit and propaganda.

“Child”:
A companion piece to anyone having just moved into a metropolis prison.

“2Ci”:
Post 6AM rave on a accidental synthetic overdose.

“Come Outside”:
Arguably the most dad rock by way of Nassau Coliseum song on the record.

“Marine”:
A sharp stoned march to the emergency room.

“Mistress”:
Below freezing lab rat in a constricting relationship with another frozen lab rat twice its age.

“Bada Bing”:
Hard hat striking, bull riding, sweaty little peach fuzzing teenage anthem.

Acid Dad -- Acid Dad

“Mow My Lawn”:
Being forced to mow your lawn on a Sunday.

“No Answer”:
Cops!

“Dissin’”:
Is this alternative country? I think so.

Acid Dad will support their debut with a large spring tour, including newly announced European dates for May. Find their complete docket below.

Acid Dad 2018 Tour Dates:
03/07 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
03/08 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
03/09 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
03/10 – Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover
03/12 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
03/13 – Houston, TX @ Walters
03/14-18 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/20 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
03/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
03/22 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
03/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill *
03/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hi-Hat *
03/25 – Reno, NV @ Loving Cup
03/28 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
03/29 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
03/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ Pioneer *
03/31 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub *
04/01 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern *
04/04 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone *
04/05 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement *
04/06 – Louisville, KY @ Kaiju *
04/07 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel *
04/13 – Asbury, NJ @ The Saint *
04/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Sound Hole *
04/20 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge *
05/11 – Amsterdam, NL @ Q Factory
05/14 – Manchester, UK @ Jimmy’s
05/15 – Glasgow, UK @ Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
05/16 – Liverpool, UK @ Sound Basement
05/17 – London, UK @ The Shacklewell Arms
05/17 – Brighton, UK @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
05/18 – Le Havre, FR @ Le McDaid’s
05/19 – Paris, FR @ E’sapce B

* = w/ No Parents



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Guided by Voices break down their new album, Space Gun, Track by Track: Stream


Track by Track is a recurring new music feature that finds an artist breaking down the entirety of their latest album.

Robert Pollard is well-known for redefining what it means to be prolific. The 60-year-old rocker’s career has consisted of over 100 albums, a number he hit just last year with Guided By Voices’ first double LP, August By Cake. The indie alternative outfit also dropped How Do You Spell Heaven in 2017, but 2018 will see Pollard and the group deliver only one full-length. It’s called Space Gun and is out March 23rd. Well ahead of the street date, you can stream it in full below.

Pollard recored Space Gun with GBV’s most recent lineup, a mix of veterans (Doug Gillard and Kevin March) and newcomers (Mark Shue and Bobby Bare Jr.). The band mastermind has said he feels invigorated by the current mix of musicians, and that their “adroit talents pushes him to more daring and dizzying heights.”

Take a listen to Space Gun below to see just where those new heights take Guided By Voices.

For more insight into GBV’s latest offering, guitarist Doug Gillard has broken down the album track by track. See what he has to say below.

“Space Gun”:
A powerful opener, layered guitars & analog synth white noise. I think this is what’s meant by “tour de force,” musically speaking.

“Colonel Paper”:
Adventures in late-night trash can grazing. Tried to have a super thin guitar sound & still make the song muscly. Bob’s vocals, Mark’s bass, Kevin’s drums and Travis Harrison at the board all helped to achieve that.

“King Flute”:
Song about King Flute, an “ill-fate squire.” Some great drum fills by Mr. March, and I added a mellotron flute part by way of my smartphone.

“Ark Technician”:
Third consecutive number featuring a character named in the title. But unlike fantastical protagonists Col. Paper and King Flute, this Ark Technician may be more autobiographical, though veiled in its conveyance. And if you couldn’t give a rip about all that, you can just enjoy the beautiful damn song.

“See My Field”:
A great Pollard melody inside of a yearning, pretty rock song. Bob wanted strings on this so it features a combination of mellotron with strings.

“Liar’s Box”:
A song kerning towards prog but still flowing and catchy, culminating in the refrain, “Summons of a glass/ To a sad, sad heaven.”

“Blink Blank”:
A hyperbolic post-punk observation on the current state of the world to end side A.

“Daily Get Ups”:
A song you could get up to daily, meaning wake up to. It’s peppy and cool.

guided by voices space gun Guided by Voices break down their new album, Space Gun, Track by Track: Stream

“Hudson Rake”:
“Its funky on the Avalon.” You are implored to “Do the Hudson Rake,” which may be an imaginary dance, but whether it is or not, it denotes a giant yard tool that would dredge up all the bodies dumped in the Hudson by the rat smashers.

“Sport Component National”:
A multi-part song about SCN, a TV sports channel, tied together by the intro/re-intro brought to you by sinister Beach Boys. “There’s a night game breaking out”.

“I Love Kangaroos”:
Kids of all ages will love “I Love Kangaroos”, a song about traveling and sailing. A power-pop song you can slow dance to. I would say its super-catchy, but so are most of the songs on Space Gun.

“Grey Spat Matters”:
Short heavy scorcher with incredible vocals. Infectious. One of several we tracked to two-inch tape.

“That’s Good”:
A ballad that Bob had written some years ago. A melancholy song with an amazing melody that builds. This is another one that called for strings, and I was honored to arrange them for this song, which includes more mixing feats by Travis Harrison.

“Flight Advantage”:
We had fun recording this one together as a band. “Birds will fly, the spiders will dance,” but it’s a heavy rock song, like something from Tommy-era Who, sped up.

“Evolution Circus”:
Heavy album closer dealing with history, explorers and Biblical ghettos, featuring some Bare Jr. harmonies near the end.



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Superorganism release their self-titled debut album: Stream


Superorganism become fully realized today with the release of their self-titled debut record. Out via Domino Record Co., Apple Music and Spotify users can stream the effort below.

The quirky octet formed out of far-spread friendships across Japan, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Maine. Originally creating music and visuals over the Internet, the art pop collective really took shape when they moved into an East London house in 2017. There, they put together a DIY studio and recorded what would become their self-titled debut. Produced, engineered, and designed entirely by members of the band, Superorganism is idiosyncratic pop that feels like something completely new yet fittingly 2018.

Speaking to Consequence of Sound for our January Artist of the Month feature on the band, Superorganism’s guitarist/songwriter/producer Harry described the underlying drive of their debut:

“I kind of realized retrospectively after we finished the record that the central theme of it all is the way that things connect in the world. We obviously have stuff like ‘Everybody Wants to Be Famous’, which has got a focus on the Internet. We’ve got all of these various songs about working together and things like that.

‘Prawn Song’ is kind of a similar thing – it’s a reflection from nature of human nature, but through the guise of prawns. I guess it’s trying to make a serious point through a reasonably whimsical sound. I think that that in essence is what we try to do all of the time, just sometimes, whimsy is more pronounced than other times, like in the ‘Prawn Song’.”

Take a listen below.

Superorganism Artwork:

s l1000 Superorganism release their self titled debut album: Stream

Superorganism Tracklist:
01. It’s All Good
02. Everybody Wants to be Famous
03. Nobody Cares
04. Reflections on the Screen
05. SPRORGNSM
06. Something for Your M.I.N.D.
07. Nai’s March
08. The Prawn Song
09. Relax
10. Night Time



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Titus Andronicus release new album A Productive Cough: Stream


Titus Andronicus return today with their new album, A Productive Cough. Apple Music and Spotify users can stream it in full below.

The band’s fifth overall serves as the follow-up to 2015’s expansive The Most Lamentable TragedyIt was recorded at Marcata Recordings in New Paltz, New York with producer Kevin McMahon and sees the New Jersey natives focusing more on spacious balladry rather than the signature “punk rock anthems” of their past. An additional 21 musicians were brought in to help assist with this new sound, including pianist Rick Steph (Cat Power, Hank Williams Jr.), cellist Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Lou Reed), and Brooklyn singer Megg Farrell.

(Read: The 10 Most Anticipated Punk Albums of 2018)

Ahead of the album’s release, two early singles were released: “Number One (In New York)” and “Above the Bodega (Local Business)”. Frontman Patrick Stickles spoke at length on the former and how it connects to the rest of the LP’s larger themes:

“All the songs on [A Productive Cough] deal with the realities of life, as I understand them, in my adopted hometown of New York City, and one quality that does much to define New York City life is the access to 24-hour consumption. The first floor of the apartment building in which I live is occupied by a deli-grocery, to which I give my patronage several times a day. As a result, I have developed a particular understanding with the staff there which I have not so far heard articulated in song. Thusly, I took it upon myself to write the ‘ultimate’ song explicating the bodega clerk-patron relationship.

More and more, we are defined by the things which we consume, and those who facilitate that consumption may glimpse a more truthful view of ourselves than the carefully curated image we share with our loved ones. No one knows the depths of my vice better than they who oversee the transactions which make it possible — in this way, the deli clerk knows me better than my own mother.”

In support of the new record, Stickles will embark on an intimate, two-person tour later this month.

A Productive Cough Artwork:


a productive cough Titus Andronicus let loose new album A Productive Cough: Stream

A Productive Cough Tracklist:
01. Number One (In New York)
02. Real Talk
03. Above the Bodega (Local Business)
04. Crass Tattoo
05. (I’m) Like a Rolling Stone
06. Home Alone
07. Mass Transit Madness (Goin’ Loco’)



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Surprise: Nicolas Jaar released a pretty great album under his A.A.L. pseudonym last week


Electronica prodigy Nicolas Jaar dropped a new album, 2012-2017, last week and you probably had no idea. That’s because it was released with little fanfare under his A.A.L. (Against All Logic) moniker via the artist’s own Other People label. Pitchfork brought the record to everyone’s attention, and lest you think it’s quiet rollout was due to a lack of confidence in the material, fear not—2012-2017 is really, really good.

More upbeat than his standard brand of stormy, fractured dance music, 2012-2017 feels firmly rooted in house, with many of the songs being built around infectious soul and funk samples, though “Such a Bad Way” draws upon Kanye West’s “I Am a God”. A mix of original material and previously released songs, 2012-2017 dropped last Saturday, February 17th.

(Read: 10 Artists Who Need to Curate a Music Festival)

A.A.L. isn’t Jaar’s only pseudonym. He also makes music under the alias Iva Gocheva, and performs alongside Dave Harrington as Darkside (and, if they’re remixing Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Daftside). Jaar’s last release under his own name was 2016’s Sirens.

“I see things like Against All Logic as a continuation of that,” he told Crack Magazine in a recent interview. “I always find it funny when announcements say something is ‘the first Nicolas Jaar single in three years,’ as I’ve put out work under many different names.”

Listen to it in full below, and pick up your own copy on the Other People website.



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