Watch: Amber Arcades “Cant’ Say That We Tried” Video
Apr 26, 2017
Today, ahead of the forthcoming release of her Cannonball EP, out June 2nd on Heavenly Recordings, Dutch musician Amber Arcades shared the dreamy video for one of the tracks - "Can't Say That We Tried", directed by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan. The frayed innocence of De Graaf's voice rises over slow building organs to a finale of grandeur. It's an absorbing listen and video. Check it out below.
It's interesting how the video of "Can't Say That We Tried" is aquatic in imagery, since the underwater organs that bend through the tune call to mind Brian Eno's "Deep Blue Day" the incredible ambient piece forever linked to Ewan McGreggor diving into a toilet bowl to retrieve his suppositories in Trainspotting and winding up in a seaworld. Just an observation…
Songwriter Annelotte De Graaf explains the serendipitous way their collaboration came together for this video: “Sometimes when I’m bored I just randomly click when I get a notification that someone likes my page. Like a kind of market research I tell myself cos I can’t accept that maybe I’m just a creepy internet stalker yet. This one day I clicked and I came on the Facebook profile of this guy Don and he had a link to his Vimeo page and since I was really bored I clicked further on that and then I saw he made some pretty amazing stuff. I especially liked this video he had made of an aquarium with dreamy fish. The week after my label guy told me it would be good to have a video for this song and I just thought about this fishy video. Like how the fish just float around, not knowing that there is this whole world outside of this aquarium, it’s beautiful but also kind of sad, which is how I feel about this song. So I asked Don if he’d be into making an edit of his material to fit the song and shot some extra footage of me singing the tune to mix up with it. Like Sinead O’Connor vids kinda. I love how it all turned out and I love how the whole thing was kind of born out of a coincidence, like me clicking that notification that time. The magic of this internet world.”
A press statement describes the upcoming Cannonball EP: "The Cannonball EP opens with Amber Arcades’ reworking of the classic Nick Drake cut “Which Will” (from his seminal 1972 album Pink Moon) highlighting the band’s characteristic Krautrock-infused haze and – furthermore – Annelotte de Graaf’s reverence for an artist she truly admires. “It Changes” follows, possibly Amber Arcades’ most irresistible and compelling pop single to date. Furthermore, the EP will feature three brand new tracks in the form of “Can’t Say That We Tried”, “Wouldn’t Even Know’”(featuring Bill Ryder-Jones on vocals) and the title track, “Cannonball”.
About the EP as a whole de Graaf beams: “I'm so happy to be releasing these tunes. We had two days off in New York on our tour last September and we recorded them in that time. I've thought about postponing their release and waiting till I have more songs to make it into a full record, but I actually feel like they fit together wonderfully as an EP and am glad they get to be out there in this form.”
Watch: Shabazz Palaces: “Shine a Light” (feat. Thaddillac) Lyric Video
Apr 25, 2017
Shabazz Palaces continue to be torch carriers for underground hip-hop, and thank goodness for that. The Seattle hip-hop duo's third album, Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star is set for release worldwide on July 14th through Sub Pop and they shared the first single, "Shine a Light", today. Check the lyric video below.
If you didn't know already, Shabazz Palaces is Ishmael Butler a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro and multi-instrumentalist Tendai "Baba" Maraire, son of mbira master Dumisani Maraire. Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star was produced by Knife Knights, which is Ishmael and producer Erik Blood and recorded and mixed by Blood at Protect and Exalt Labs: A Black Space in Seattle. It's the follow-up and first batch of new material since 2014's critically acclaimed Lese Majesty.
The new album appears to serve as a denunciation of the current state of America, spotted in its announcement:
"Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star serves as both an introduction and tells the tale of Quazarz, a sentient being from somewhere else, an observer sent here to Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary. What he finds in our world is a cutthroat place, a landscape where someone like him could never quite feel comfortable amidst all the brutality and alternative facts and death masquerading as connectivity."
Definitely check for the new Shabazz Palaces, they have things to say and sound sound damn good saying them. Until then..
Shabazz Palaces will support Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Starwith North American tour dates that currently span May 13th through September 17th. The tour will include stops in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Montreal, Boston, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C. Philadelphia and more. Additionally, festival appearances include Upstream Music Fest (May 13th), and Chicago’s Riot Fest (15th-17th). May 13 - Seattle, WA - Upstream Music Fest + Summit 2017 Aug. 16 - Portland, OR - The Star Theater Aug. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall Aug. 19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theatre Aug. 20 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom Aug. 23 - Austin, TX - Mohawk (Outdoor Stage) Aug. 24 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada Aug. 25 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon Aug. 26 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West Aug. 27 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm Aug. 28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle Aug. 30 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups Aug. 31 - Detroit, MI - El Club Sep. 02 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount Sep. 05 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair Sep. 06 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw Sep. 07 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer Sep. 08 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Sep. 11 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Sep. 15 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest at Douglas Park Sep. 16 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest at Douglas Park Sep. 17 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest at Douglas Park
Watch: Ty Segall “Break A Guitar” Video
Apr 24, 2017
You can always count on Ty Segall for finding the fun in guitar thrashing. Today, Segall shared the video for "Break a Guitar", the lead single from his second self-titled album that dropped in January. It's another chord ripping trip into Segall's methodical madness as he and band members Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart and Ben Boye are superimposed into a funneling kaleidoscopic design. The video is literally kicked off by Fred Armisen doing martial arts and also features Jack Black, and Henry Rollins. Check it out below, followed by Segall's upcoming tour dates.
Ty Segall Tour Dates:
Sat. May 6—Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s Mon. May 8 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar Wed. May 10 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom Thu. May 11 – Indianapolis, IN @ Irving Theater Sat. May 13 – Chicago, IL @ Metro Sun. May 14 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall Wed. May 17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw Thu. May 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw Fri. May 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw Sat. May 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theater Sun. May 21 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theater Mon. May 22 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall Thu. May 25 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge Fri. May 26 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s Sat. May 27 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre Sun. May 28—El Paso, TX @ Neon Desert Festival Mon. May 29 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Pressroom Tues. June 2—Thu. June 4—San Francisco, CA @ Colossal Clusterfest Fri. July 21—Sun. July—Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest Fri. Aug. 4 - Sun. Aug. 6 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon Thu. Aug. 3—Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theatre Thu. Aug. 17—Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival Fri. Aug. 18 -- Biddinghuizen, NL @ Lowlands Festival Sat. Aug. 19—Paredes de Coura, PT @ Festival Paredes de Coura Sun. Aug. 20—Saint Malo, FR @ La Route du Rock Festival Wed. Aug. 23 – Copenhagen, DK @ Den Grå Hal Thu. Aug. 24 – Berlin, DE @ Astra Fri. Aug. 25—Mezieres, FR @ Le Cabaret Vert Charleville Sun. Aug. 27—Paris, FR @ Rock En Seine Tues. Aug. 29—Biarritz, FR @ Atabal Wed. Aug. 30—Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini Thu. Aug. 31 – Miranda De Ebro, ES @ Ebrovisión Festival Fri. Sep. 1—London, UK @ The Coronet Sat. Sep. 2.—Larmer Tree Gardens UK @ End of The Road Festival
Premiere: Laucan “Symptom” Video
Apr 21, 2017
London based singer/songwriter Laurence Galpin composes sprawling folk rock with undercurrent as Laucan(pronounced Lor-can). Today, Laucan shared the new track "Symptom" from the forthcoming debut full-length LP Frames Per Second that will see release on July 21st through Sunday Best. Under the Radar has the exclusive video. Get caught up in it below.
Early signs are that the bright young lad's debut will be a stirring and contemporary piece of work. The deep amber, dramatic melancholy to the cello and guitar composition of "Symptom" is matched by cinematic gravitas of filming in the firm grasp of London based director/cinematographer James Heaphy. Heaphy spoke of his relationship to Laucan's music, which lifts and carries like a feather the imagery of a confined man with a VR headset as his only outlet to the world:
"For me, I really related to the lyrics and emotions behind this track. I think we all make prisons for ourselves, and often it’s our own thoughts that restrict our liberty the most, when really our outlook is the only thing we can have total control over in any given situation. Like the stories we tell ourselves the video can be interpreted in many different ways. The track has such cinematic sound and I wanted to try and match that with the visuals."
Laucan says of the song: "Symptom was really just the result of not knowing what else to do. Where to put frustrations and grievances. We build our own realities, consciously and subconsciously, and I wanted to find something beautiful in this particular one"
With Andrew Phillips of Ninja Tune’s post-rock duo Grasscut as Galpin's collaborator, Laucan has already quietly made its impact felt, with the recently-released and beautiful Up Tomorrow EP and performances at SXSW. In a press release, we get a sense of what Laucan is about:
"When Lewes-raised newcomer Laucan began singing in falsetto after the break-up of his old band, he had his reasons. 'I didn’t want anyone hearing my songs through the door of my room,' recalls Laurence Galpin..The falsetto holds firm but the reluctance to be heard is changing with the arrival of the 27-year-old’s debut album, Frames Per Second. Building on the promise of his debut EP, Up Tomorrow, Frames sets impressionist lyrical images and heart-in-mouth reveries on innocence lost to sublime music: poised between spectral folk and immersive soundscapes, it’s the sound of a singer who found something special in his attic-based isolation..His sense of counterpoint sharp, Galpin makes splendid isolation sound inviting. With Andrew Phillips, Galpin composes with a cinematic auteur’s sense of shading and world-building and a flair for sound art that evokes a sense of environment."
Airpark are brothers Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford and make "deconstructed pop music...focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients." The Nashville based duo formed as Airpark last year, scaling back the musical approach from their former 6 piece band, The Apache Relay. The essence of that new sound is captured in "Plenty To Pine For" off their EP Early Works Volume 1,which dropped in March on their own label, Eugenia Hall Records. Under the Radar has the premiere of the video below.
The brothers face off in the manner in which they typically create, with Michael Ford Jr. on drums and singing with an alley cat rasp similiar to Spoon's Britt Daniel and Ben playing guitar in tight lock with the slugging drum beat and lending falcetto accents.
Says Ben, "We wanted to do a tasteful performance based video that showed how we work through tunes: Michael on drums, myself on guitar. At the the center is the entirely oversized mirror ball that we felt set the right vibe for a New Year's Eve heartbreak ballad. We obsessively searched for and found the largest one we could as we both gravitate towards art that plays with scale. It provided a surreal element to an otherwise straightforward melancholic performance video. It almost killed us trying to hang it as well.”
With influences ranging from Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters, Air, Damon Albarn, Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel; Big Star's Alex Chilton, Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Harry Nilsson, to name a few, Airpark has emerged with a studied and instinctive style of pop forged from tasteful and eclectic roots. Airpark will be touring the eastern U.S. this spring. Check the dates below.
4/19 Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s
4/24 Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi
4/25 Columbus, OH - Rumba Cafe
4/27 Tupelo, MS - Blue Canoe
4/28 Jackson, TN - Barefoots Joe
4/29 Columbia, TN - Variety Records
5/4 Shreveport, LA - Day Old Blues Records
5/6 New Orleans, LA - House Of Blues
5/9 Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs
5/10 Brooklyn, NY - Gold Sounds
5/11 New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall
5/16 Burlington, VT - Light Club Lamp Shop
5/17 Kennett Square, PA - Kennett Flash
6/9 Knoxville, TN - Preservation Pub
6/10 Nashville, TN - Musicians Corner
7/14 Cincinnati, OH - The Comet
Watch: Trummors “Spanish Peaks” Video
Apr 17, 2017
There are all sorts of great artists surrounding Trummors' third LP, Headlands, out May 12th via Ernest Jennings Recording Co. Headlands was recorded and mixed by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Real Estate), and produced by Kevin Barker (Vetiver, Fruit Bats). Additional musicians include Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Circles Around the Sun) on pedal steel, Kyle Forester (Crystal Stilts, Woods) on piano and saxophone, with Chad Laird & Steve McGuirl (Prince Rupert's Drops) on bass and drums, respectively. Judging by the album opener "Spanish Peaks", the combined effort reflects the talent of all. The video was released today. Check it out below.
With "earthy songs and slightly psychedelic filter on country-rock", the easy riding balladry of Trummors has been rightly compared to "the gentler moments of the Grateful Dead's American Beauty". "Spanish Peaks" cradles you slowly into submission.
Some background of the band was offered in the press release: "Begun in 2010 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Trummors is a duo formed by songwriters Anne Cunningham and David Lerner. Dave, known to some for his years of work with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, plays acoustic guitar and sings. Anne, who holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, sings and plays harmonium-a hand-pumped reed organ primarily used in drone music. With a revolving cast of musicians, the two songwriters have forged a lush sound that has been called "raga country, country as inner voyage."
Originally from Saugerties, NY, the duo moved to Brooklyn and then to Taos, NM in 2014 where they currently live. In Taos, they soon began work on new songs that would become Headlands. "Fittingly, Headlands draws inspiration from enduring archetypes of the American West. Songs of rambling misadventure and fleeting freedom are shot through with the occasional bracing dose of reality. Sonically, the record traffics in Trummors' signature easy 70s rural grooves and sweet close-harmony vocals, but also features more expansive and dynamic musical interplay."
Listen: “On the Level”
Apr 11, 2017
The King of Shab, Mac DeMarco threw out the third tease from his forthcoming album This Old Dog today, out May 5th via Captured Tracks. "On the Level" is a minimalist synth glider and by the sound of things so far, thie new album will be right on time for springtime outings and backyard lounging. Check it out below.
"Following the more acoustic-minded “This Old Dog” and “My Old Man,” Mac “revels in the high-gloss synth-pop of ‘On The Level’ (Uncut) showing once again that he’s at his best with the slower jams. It’s another contemplative number giving a further glimpse into his relationships with his kin. “This record has a lot to do with my family and my life right now and the way I’m feeling,” he says. “One of the main goals for this record was trying to make sure I retained some kind of realness. That’s the bottom line.”
Toro y Moi
Watch: “Omaha” Video from Our First 100 Days
Apr 10, 2017
If you haven't already heard, Bandcamp has joined with 100 artists to release a song a day for the first 100 days of the Trump administration, as a collective voice of resistance. Bandcamp describes the Our First 100 Days project: "With Trump's first 100 days in office upon us, action must be taken to protect the causes that will come under threat from this administration. Our First 100 Days seeks to aid in that protection. Joining together with artists and labels we will be releasing one rare, unreleased or exclusive song per day to you via Bandcamp...All profits raised from Our First 100 Days will go directly to organizations working on the front lines of climate, women's rights, immigration and fairness."
Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi has taken part, giving us "Omaha" on day thirteen and the video was released today. His label Carpark introduced it:
“Omaha” is Toro Y Moi’s contribution to the “Our First 100 Days” compilation, which aims to raise funds and awareness for organizations supporting causes that are under threat by the proposed policies of the current US government. The track is being released alongside a music video featuring a Rube Goldberg machine, directed by Justin Morris and starring Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi." Check it out below, and while your at it, have a look at Under the Radar's new weekly Music & Politics column announced Friday, Soundtracking the Resistance.