Caroline Rose returned in February with her well-received sophomore album, LONER. Today, she’s back with a music video for one of its singles, “Bikini”.
“It’s my riot grrl feminist surf punk anthem,” Rose previously told Consequence of Sound in a Track by Track breakdown of the LP. “It’s about so many things, but mostly about being female-identifying in the entertainment industry and the standard we’re supposed to live up to. This one’s best listened to with middle fingers up.”
With the help of Rose’s colorful wit and directorial vision, the accompanying music video brings these themes to life in a very cheeky way. Rose, who in the clip stars as the cheesy host of a bikini competition, explained her visual aesthetic in a press statement:
“A lot of my aesthetic tends to be very tongue-in-cheek, so I wanted to take a serious subject, in this case misogyny, and just sort of turn it around to laugh at it. I think satire can be used as an incredible tool to take the power away from the powerful when necessary. It was important to me to make sure the video was body positive. When we think of ‘girls in bikinis,’ the tendency is to see tall white models with perfect bodies. I knew that would be missing the point of the song.
I take a lot of influences from films, and you can see a lot of Almodovar’s influence here. I had a pretty concrete idea to make the video bright and cheerful, kind of like a mix between old TV performances in the ’60s and ’70s and The Price Is Right-esque game shows. Almodovar is a master at using visuals to enhance a serious story. The colors he used are a lot like the characters–vibrant and flamboyant. Here, I utilize something similar as a creative device to enhance the absurdism of a realistic situation.”
Along with the video, Rose has added more tour dates to her already busy schedule. Following a US stint in June, she’ll head to Europe for most of July. She’ll then return to North America for a lengthy fall run, which includes opening dates for Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
Caroline Rose 2018 Tour Dates: 05/18 – Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Music Festival 05/20 – Birmingham, AL @ The Saturn 05/21 – Knoxville, TN @ Open Chord Music 05/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ^ 05/30 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage ^ 06/01 – Nelsonville, OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival 06/02 – Toledo, OH @ Maple and Main Festival 06/04 – Davenport, IA @ Redstone Room 06/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry 06/07 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge 06/08 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge 06/09 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge 06/12 – Seattle, WA @ The Sunset 06/13 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge 06/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop 06/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge 06/21 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Jr. 06/22 – Dallas, TX @ The Rustic 06/23 – Houston, TX @ The White Oak Music Hall 06/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads 06/26 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House 06/27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest 06/30 – Woodstock, NY @ The Colony $ 07/05 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso 07/06 – Paris, FR @ Espace B 07/07 – Belfort, FR @ Eurockeness Festival 07/09 – Brighton, UK @ The Prince Albert 07/11 – Manchester, UK @ Gullivers 07/12 – London, UK @ The Victoria 07/14 – Bern, CH @ Gurtenfestival 07/19 – Benicassim, ES @ Benicassim Festival 07/20 – San Sebastian, ES @ Dabadaba 07/21 – Fitero, ES @ Barranco Festival 08/02 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsehwere 08/03 – Portland, ME @ State Theater % 09/15-16 – Burlington, VT @ Grand Point North Festival 09/19 – Rochester, NY @ Abilene Bar and Lounge 09/20 – Lancaster, PA @ Tello 360 09/21 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle 09/22-23 – Franklin, TN @ Pilgrimage Festival 09/24 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Jefferson * 09/25 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva Theater * 09/27 – Richmond, VA @ The National * 09/28 – Port Chester, NY @ The Capitol Theatre * 09/29 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head * 10/01 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom * 10/02 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre * 10/06 – Providence, RI @ The Strand * 10/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls * 10/11 – Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall * 10/12 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s * 10/13 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at Old National Centre * 10/15 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection * 10/17 – Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theater * 10/20 – Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge * 10/21 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom * 10/23 – Oxford, MS @ Lyric Theatre *
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 Creek. I 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.
“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.
“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.”
When we sat down to kick off this year’s summer movie preview, it felt just a little bit off. After all, Avengers: Infinity War has already opened, in April at that, and it may well be the biggest movie of the summer. But it’s also hardly the only one desperately hoping to earn that title.
As always, summer 2018 is rife with a mix of mega-budget studio tentpoles custom-built to put investors at ease while thrilling audiences the world over and would-be breakout indie hopefuls. Already-acclaimed material sits aside unproven entities, and as always, there’s at least one movie on the docket that we’re not sure will actually come out on time.
But there’s something for everybody, and it’s already getting warm, so why not let us walk you through the hottest stuff you’ll be checking out for the sake of keeping cool? See you at the movies.
At a brisk 77 minutes, Stuart Little 2 is a tiny miracle. It’s a fuzzy, feel-good family film for all ages. The 2002 adventure comedy (with then-state-of-the-art computer animation) holds up like you wouldn’t believe. And this mouse was no louse. Michael J. Fox is the titular hero in the far-from-ratty sequel …
Wait, I was supposed to write about Deadpool 2?
Wow, I was really off on this one. We have got to fix Google Sheets!
Anyway, Deadpool 2 opens May 18th. Production troubles. Juvenile meta humor. First one was a runaway hit. YMMV. —Blake Goble
Paul Schrader’s recent filmography might include its share of inexplicable curiosities (The Canyons), but he’s back in peak form with First Reformed, a fanged character study about a struggling, grief-struck preacher (Ethan Hawke) whose life is changed irreparably when he comes into contact with a radical environmentalist and his terrified wife. This is Schrader in full Taxi Driver form, examining faith and salvation in worlds full of savagery. It’s hardly the kind of escapist stuff some moviegoers seek in the summer months, but it’s the kind of movie that’s going to stay with you when so much popcorn fare has come and gone. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Calm down, incels. If you’re looking for dating advice, find another site. We’re talking groovy movies! About aliens and punk boys! This one’s the grand, glittery, galactic return of John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). It’s a welcome showing from one of our favorite cult figures, and working off a script based on a short from Neil Gaiman, How to Talk to Girls at Parties has real teen cult potential. We’re talking Repo Man meets Can’t Hardly Wait meets My Stepmother is an Alien. Okay, that’s a tad much, but we’re interested in this offbeat romance all the same. —Blake Goble
Now that we’ve seen a full trailer, some television spots, and a full meal from Denny’s, the hype machine for Solo: A Star Wars Story has gone into hyperspace. Although past reports suggested Disney had a total piece of garbage on their hands, all signs point to a genuine adventure from Willow director Ron Howard, whose candid social media presence ahead of the film makes it all that much easier to forget this ever belonged to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. And the more and more we see Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover as Han Solo and Lando Calrissean, respectively, the more we’re willing to “punch it” to May 25th ourselves. Here’s hoping Chewie gets some great lines. –Michael Roffman
Last September, Protomartyr dropped their fourth studio album, Relatives in Descent. Now, less than a year later, the Detroit-bred post-punk outfit back with a new EP of songs. Dubbed Consolation, it’s due out June 15th through Domino and features Kelley Deal of The Breeders.
The upcoming EP spans four tracks: “Wait”, “Same Face in a Difference Mirror”, “Wheel of Fortune”, and “You Win Again”. Deal guests on the latter two cuts. The entire project was recorded by Deal’s R.Ring bandmate Mike Montgomery.
“For Mike and I, working on this EP with Protomartyr was a re-kindling of the tender spark that was struck upon our first encounter with them years ago in Texas,” Deal noted in a press statement. “They were graciously tolerant and receptive to my production ideas on the songs and the project quickly grew beyond our private orb.”
As a first taste of Consolation, Protomartyr have shared the ominous “Wheel of Fortune” and its accompanying music video, directed by past collaborator Yoonha Park. Check it out below.
Read full statements from Protomartyr’s Joe Casey and Deal:
Early 2017 proved to be a productive time for the band. We were writing songs right up to recording Relatives In Descent and wanted to keep that momentum going right after. Making 2015’s split single “A Half Of Seven” with R. Ring was one of our favorite recording experiences, so the decision to head down to Dayton, Kentucky and spend a weekend in May recording the four songs that became the “Consolation E.P.” was an easy one. – Joe Casey
For Mike and I, working on this EP with Protomartyr was a re-kindling of the tender spark that was struck upon our first encounter with them years ago in Texas. They were graciously tolerant and receptive to my production ideas on the songs and the project quickly grew beyond our private orb. We have cello from Lori Goldston, viola from Jocelyn Hach and even bass clarinet from Evan Ziporyn, and I do some singing with Joe. There’s a lot of trust involved when an artist places their songs in your hands, and we were very mindful of that while intentionally trying to take the songs in new directions. Candyland in Dayton, KY is home-base for R.Ring recording, and it’s close enough that the Proto-men could make it down to lay the tracks down. This is the second project like this we’ve done with them, so we’re ready to flip the tables and have them produce and record some of our songs! – Kelley Deal
Consolation EP Artwork:
Consolation EP Tracklist: 01. Wait 02. Same Face In A Different Mirror 03. Wheel Of Fortune (feat. Kelley Deal) 04. You Win Again (feat. Kelley Deal)
Wavves are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their self-titled debut with a special vinyl reissue. Due out tomorrow for Record Store Day (April 21st), it will be available in a unique black-and-white splatter colorway and come packaged with all-new artwork.
To coincide with this release, the Nathan Williams-led punk outfit has unearthed a demo left over from the recording sessions for the 2008 full-length. The song is called “All Star Goth” and exudes the kind of raw and noisy adrenaline associated with that first album.
Check it out below, followed by the 10th anniversary LP artwork.
Wavves’ last full-length came in 2017 with You’re Welcome. They recently put out “The Lung” as part of Adult Swim’s Singles Program back in September.
Sweet Valley, the electronic project also featuring Williams, dropped a new album today titled Eternal Champ II.
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.
“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
Jim James has announced his third solo album. It’s called Uniform Distortion and set for a June 29th release date through ATO Records. The project comes just months after Tribute to 2, his covers LP from December, and follows 2016’s Eternally Even, his last solo release of original material.
As a press statement notes, Uniform Distortion was inspired by The Last Whole Earth Catalog, a ’70s-era magazine focused on the environment, sustainable living, and DIY culture. Specifically, the My Morning Jacket frontman was drawn to a photograph titled “Illuminated Man” by Duane Michals. For James, the image made him reflect on society’s near addiction to technology and the way in which we consume information (and misinformation).
James wrote to Michals asking if he could use “Illuminated Man” as the album cover for Uniform Distortion. He was initially rejected, but his second letter finally earned him permission. Here’s a portion of that convincing message he penned to Michals, which also offers some insight into the album’s underlying themes:
“… It [“Illuminated Man”] spoke to me so deeply of how my head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth. the name of my new record is “UNIFORM DISTORTION” because i feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our “news” and important information…and more and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth…and finding hope in places like the desert where i write this email to you now…finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.”
The forthcoming LP was self-produced by James and Kevin Ratterman at Louisville’s La La Land studio. James was backed by bassist Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) and longtime touring drummer Dave Givan. Additional vocals were provided throughout by Dear Lemon Trees’ Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace.
James is previewing the record with lead single “Just A Fool”, as well as its corresponding music video helmed by Ellis Bahl. Check it out abelow.
Uniform Distortion Artwork:
Uniform Distortion Tracklist: 01. Just A Fool 02. You Get To Rome 03. Out of Time 04. Throwback 05. No Secrets 06. Yes To Everything 07. No Use Waiting 08. All In Your Head 09. Better Late Than Never 10. Over and Over 11. Too Good To Be True
Read James’ full letter to Michals:
hello duane- your piece “the illuminated man” was used in “the last whole earth catalogue” in 1971. i wasnt even born yet. i was born in 1978…but i found my copy of “the last whole earth catalogue” about 6 months ago in a thrift store and it blew my mind. i have been feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the speed of technology and its place in our lives and here was this beautiful book/catalogue from the past showing me me all these beautiful things and amazing images to help one learn different ways to look at the world… or “get off the grid?” funny they had no idea back then just how crazy “the grid” would get. or did they?
so i am trying to put down my phone… use the computer and social media less… and just focus on real life and the people i love and my art. of course i am not fully “off the grid” because i am sending you this email in hopes of you changing your mind about letting me use your image as it appeared in “the last whole earth catalogue” in 1971 because when i saw it on the page there it spoke to me so deeply of how my head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth. the name of my new record is “UNIFORM DISTORTION” because i feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our “news” and important information…and more and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth…and finding hope in places like the desert where i write this email to you now…finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.
i feel like there was a reason i found “the last whole earth catalogue” and there was a reason your art spoke to me… and i really think it would speak to others who would see it exploding out at them illuminating from the record store shelf or the glow of their phone or computer screen and feel its organic mind blowing distortion connect with this new music.
i also like the natural “distortion” that time and the pulp of the paper meeting the ink from “the last whole earth catalogue” add to your original image and that is why i am asking your permission to use this “distorted” version of your original beautiful image.
Origins is a recurring new music feature in which a musician breaks down the various influences of their latest track.
With his 2017 debut EP, Hopeless Romantic, San Francisco’s Justin Cheromiah offered a peek into his world of young love and heartache. Now, the 18-year-old indie songwriter known as High Sunn will expanded on that release with his full-length debut album, Missed Connections.
Due out May 4th through PNKSLM, the album picks up where High Sunn’s EP left off. The record touches on all the uncertainty and fears associated with growing up — the unrequited crushes, fluctuating feelings, and a sense of being without direction. It also sees the multi-cultural Cheromiah (he’s of Native American, Chinese, German, and Filipino descent) teaming up again with producer Dylan Wall (Craft Spells, Naomi Punk).
Today, Consequence of Sound is premiering a new song off the LP, “I Thought You Were”. Here, Cheromiah channels his love of ’90s indie rock — think the whimsy and chunky, angular guitars of Built to Spill or Modest Mouse. “I thought you were there/ But when I opened my eyes I saw nothing but air/ Was it a disguise?” he asks in search of a loved one. “Where are you?”
Take a listen to the track below.
For more insight into the new offering, Cheromiah has detailed the various inspirations that helped bring “I Thought You Were There” to fruition. In addition to the music of Coldhart and Richie Jen, boba tea and skateboarding played an important role.
This film really inspired me to create a lot of the songs on the album. The whole scenario that the character was in seemed to be very cute and innocent. I rewatched this about 5-6 times. It’s one of Ghibli’s underappreciated films that deserves far more recognition. Anime in general really influenced the making of “Missed Connections”. I spent a lot of time watching several series/movies. Haha ew huh. In particular, the song, “Kokuhaku”, is the most significant product that came from watching the anime. The cliches in anime are perfect.
Coldhart — “I Don’t Wanna Die In California”:
Coldhart has always seeped into my playlists. He is one of my favorite artists actually. I had the opportunity to work with him and release his tapes, which is something I never would have imagined. Well, at the time I recorded the album, this specific song was on repeat. The depressive and emotional nature of the song comforted me in a way and played some influence in the writing process.
Everyday I used to get boba (milk tea). Instead of eating a meal for lunch, it would be boba. I would skip a meal to get my fix after school. It’s super unhealthy, but soooo good. Hahaha. I remember that I would have either Jasmine Milk Tea or WinterMelon Tea next to me whenever I wrote a song. I even had my drummer, Joe, go on a boba run when we recorded in studio.
When I wasn’t writing or watching anime, I was outside skating. It’s a form of therapy that either helped clear my mind or think more deeply. It’s good to take a break from writing music and doing something else you really like. If I didn’t get outside and skate, I would have probably lost my mind.
Richie Jen — “Too Softhearted”:
This song is a must listen. I occasionally revisit this song because of how cheesy (but good cheesy) it is. It’s a classic. This is the OG of emo music hahaha. I can feel Jen’s heartache through his soft cries. It definitely accompanied me when I was writing the album.
Origins is a recurring new music feature providing artists a platform to dig into the influences of their latest single.
Considering the odds, it’s understandable that some folks aren’t completely on board with the idea of chasing the rock and roll dream. Passion and even talent can only take you so far, they may argue, and this whole music business thing is such a crapshoot anyway. If you started your career playing naked parties in a Boone, North Carolina college house like The Nude Party did, the prospects may seem even more dubious. But as the garage psych sextet make clear in their new song “Chevrolet Van”, they’d rather enjoy themselves playing tunes and traveling in a van than wearing a suit and tie.
The lead single from the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut (out July 6th via New West Records), “Chevrolet Van” captures all the pleasures of performing music with your best buds in its easygoing, barroom twang. In the accompanying band-directed video, The Nude Party give a tongue-in-cheek response to anyone who would tell them to pursue any other occupation. Interspersed with scenes of the six-piece imagining slacking off in a boring office life are clips of them playing in a dusky dive. It may not be the most glamorous life, but flash forward a few decades and The Nude Party — now played by their actual fathers — are still completely content to be rocking out in the same rundown bar.
Check out the clip below.
For more on what inspired “Chevrolet Van”, The Nude Party’s Patton Magee and Connor Mikita have broken down a few of the track’s real-life Origins. Check those out below.
At the onset of our first big tour, we were gifted a Ford Econoline E350 Van from bassist Alec’s family. It’s a hulking Army Green 16-passenger workhorse that they used to take on family vacations. With some modifications like creating a combo bed / gear storage space, burglar-proofing the back door, and adding an external luggage box on top, we’ve made Aubustus Gibbons into a mobile headquarters. And it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that we spend half of our lives in that van.
We would’ve called the song “Ford Econoline Van” but that just doesn’t have the same ring that “Chevrolet Van” has. Maybe someday when Aubustus retires, Chevrolet will give us one of theirs in exchange for the free advertising. — Patton Magee
Letter from Pops:
My brother spent a while in Asia backpacking around, and had loose plans to move to Korea for a while and teach English. Essentially he just wanted to go on an adventure. Upon hearing this, our grandfather sent him a letter detailing how he aught to amend his plans and start focusing on narrowing down his career options and select one to stick with forever. “You are a juncture at which I think you should be focusing on setting goals… and beginning to narrow the choices of a career… I wonder if the plan to teach English to Koreans would further your career path.”
The letter was absolutely meant in good faith, and definitely came from a place of love, but it demonstrates that rift in reality between us and the old school traditionalists. Our song is a tongue-in-cheek response to that letter. It’s a counterpoint to the idea that your life should just be constant preparation for the future. — PM
In the spring of 2016, near the beginning of our touring days, a relentless email attack paid off with an offer to open a few shows for The Growlers on their Chinese Fountain tour in Florida. Immediately we agreed to the tour understanding that we’d have to book quite a few dates through Florida ourselves to fill in the gaps around The Growlers shows. We arrived in Orlando for our first show together, and parked our trash filled, steamy air condition-less van next to The Growlers massive tour bus. The place was sold out, one of the biggest crowds we’d ever played for. People were asking for our autographs and buying tons of our merch, we felt like little celebrities.
Riding high on this wave of good fortune, we began our self-booked leg of the tour in St. Augustine at Shanghai Knobbys. Immediately we noticed something awry when the aged, flickering marquee outside the bar simply read “Patton”. Our confusion quickly faded as we realized the bar’s tragic mistake in assuming Patton’s name when signing off emails was actually our band name. As we were shrugging off this minor miscommunication, from the dark wooded edge of the parking lot appeared an ork-like man in an ankle length leather trench coat who claimed to be filling in for the normal bartender. Upon telling him that the bar was locked, he told us he didn’t have a key and quickly began breaking in to the bar through a side window and climbed in over the jukebox. The show we played ended up being double booked with an open mic night which favored us because the two other performers were the only audience members. No one else showed up.
To wash off the shame of this humbling show we decided that an inebriated midnight skinny dip in the Atlantic was in order. This went successfully, but when we returned to the spot we had left our clothes we realized someone had taken everything. Inside of these clothes were most of our wallets and cell phones which were never recovered and naturally complicated the rest of the tour. Thankfully, Patton was able to throw up on most of the inside of the van which was then steam broiled in the Florida heat.
This tale is a snippet of the memories created when living nomadically almost year round. Times like those make us wonder if good stories are worth many of the sacrifices made to chase that neon rainbow. They usually are. — Connor Mikita
Pre-orders for The Nude Party are going on here. You can also catch the band on tour with Sunflower Bean and Ron Gallo at the dates below.
The Nude Party 2018 Tour Dates: 04/11 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room * 04/12 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge * 04/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court 04/15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent * 04/17 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium * 04/18 – VIsalia, CA @ The Cellar Door * 04/19 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room * 04/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater 04/22 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah * 04/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar * 04/24 – El Paso , TX @ Lowbrow Palace * 04/26 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger 04/27 – Austin, TX @ Levitation Music Festival 04/28 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada 04/29 – Houston , TX @ Satellite Bar 05/01 – Memphis, TN @ Growlers 05/03 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East 05/04 – Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light 05/05 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern 06/01 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery ^ 06/02 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel ^ 06/03 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – Back Room ^ 06/05 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor ^ 06/06 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 ^ 07/05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Gang of Four are planning to drop a new studio album this summer, their first since 2015’s What Happens Next. As a lead-up to the full-length release, the post-punk veterans will issue an EP comprised of three all-new songs and one remix.
The forthcoming EP is dubbed Complicit and due to arrive April 20th. It was produced by the group’s own founding member Andy Gill with assistance from Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode) and Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys). As both the title and artwork (seen below) suggest, this new collection sees Gang of Four commenting on Donald Trump’s sad excuse for a presidency. The English outfit also touch on today’s capitalist society and the role of media and truth.
As an early preview of the EP, Gang of Four have shared the opening track, “Lucky”, which addresses the volatile nature of stock market trading. In a statement, Gill explained further:
“This track itself is a product of chance. I’d been watching a serious debate on one of those financial news channels – six white men in suits arguing about the stock markets – and it set me thinking about how limited luck can be. A lot of trading is anyway now done by algorithms to try to eliminate the element of chance, but luck isn’t capable of fundamentally changing the system. Even if you believe market crashes are the result of bad luck rather than layer upon layer of human and machine error, the system shudders, restarts and goes on as before.”
Take a listen below.
Complicit EP Artwork:
Complicit EP Tracklist: 01. Lucky 02. Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have) 03. I’m a Liar 04. Lucky (10 O’Clock Chemical Remix)
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PUNX.UK was formed by a Manchester anarcho punk collective in 2013 as a webzine sharing info on local gigs and bands.
Originally focusing on creating a DIY gig guide for our city we then expanded to cover the whole of the UK scene in 2014.
Since then we've faithfully tried to promote all the events, blogs, websites and sounds of resistance throughout the country and beyond.
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