Jóhann Jóhannsson

Listen : Jóhann Jóhannsson “Children of the New Dawn” From Mandy Soundtrack

Jul 14, 2018

The final recording of the great composer Jóhann Jóhansson was his score for upcoming horror-thriller Mandy, starring Nicholas Cage. The single "Children of the New Dawn" was just released via Lakeshore Records. Like Austin's S U R V I V E, it captures perfectly the analog synth music of '80s low budget B-movies. The score was co-produced by Jóhannsson and Randall Dunn (produced Sunn O)))) and features Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley on guitar. 

Here's some context from the press release:

Lakeshore Records in conjunction with Invada Records will release Jóhann Jóhannsson’s final work, his original score to the forthcoming film Mandy.  The film and soundtrack will be released seven months after his heartbreaking and untimely death in February.  Jóhannsson’s manager, Tim Husom, remembers Jóhann and how the project came about:  “My friend and client Jóhann Jóhannsson passed away on February 9, 2018. The last music he created before his death was the score to Mandy. We were working on it right up until the film was delivered to Sundance in early January, 2018.   Back in August of 2016 we received a call from Daniel Noah at SpectreVision about this crazy new horror film they were starting that starred Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roach, and directed by Panos Cosmatos.  Jóhann had just finished his score for Denis Villeneuve’s film, Arrival, when the Mandy mood boards were sent over to us. They were unbelievably cool and scary. Our interest was hooked immediately.  Jóhann’s first email response to me about the project was ‘Seriously, his (Panos) Beyond The Black Rainbow film is a masterpiece! I love it. And the way he uses music.’ To Jóhann, the idea of working on Mandy with Panos and SpectreVision was bringing some much needed balance to his score career and a perfect next step.”


Premiere: Campdogzz “Run Wild” Video

Jul 12, 2018

Chicago-based five-piece Campdogzz sophomore album In Rounds is out 8/3 via 15 Passenger. Under the Radar is happy to show the premiere of the video for single "Run Wild".

“The video is a visual representation of what, to me, is lush, visceral, spiritual Tulsa,OK" comments lead singer-songwriter and Tulsa native Jess Price. "Most of what you see was shot on the Northside and at the historic Colony. Featured is Lydia Cheshewalla (Roots and Ash, Holy Mother Collective) along with several other resident Tulsa artists and musicians, sculpture by Chris Wollard. Those who live or have lived in the area will gladly attempt to describe it. It's sky. The way the winds rip and shift. Green country and how alive it is. Insects. The pull to come back. The heaviness that seems to always be in the air. It's an area that is in part progressing, yet is so acutely preserved. The song itself is more or less a person acknowledging patterns in their life. And the setting holds the heaviness of those patterns and the lightness of their revelations.”

The new album follows Campdogzz’s self-released 2015 debut album Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven and is ”a more collaborative and intentional effort,” centered around the songwriting and voice of Price, whose “melodies take on the shape of a storm making its way in — and out just as soon”. The Oklahoma native moved to Chicago to become a filmmaker and then met now Campdogzz bandmates Mike Russell and Nick Enderle when making a documentary about their previous band, Suns.



Watch: Preoccupations Live on KEXP

Jul 12, 2018

Calgary's Preoccupations had some shit luck in May when all of their gear and van were stolen on tour. They launched a GoFundMe to replace it, which succeeded in allowing them to continue their tour of latest album New Material. This live session for KEXP with host Stevie Zoom was recorded just before the unfortunate event. the set includes "Disarray", "Solace", "Decompose" from New Material and "Zodiac" from their 2016 ST album.


Buck Meek

Watch: Buck Meek In-Studio “Ruby” Video

Jul 10, 2018

Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek just released an in-studio video of "Ruby" for Blue Room, the video series from Thrd Coast, a Brooklyn and San Francisco-based blog. "Ruby" is from Meek's really good folk-country-bluegrass debut self-titled solo album that came out in May. Here's a bit from Meek's site.

Buck Meek’s songs are for the lost dogs of honest mechanics, good guys and girls born into a life of crime, runaways, snow spirits, the ghosts of Central Park, unsung diving-board stars, the affection shared through gambling, and so on. Bred in Texas, more bread in New York City, Meek spins outlaw ballads and quotidian fairy tales into a yarn, with Adam Brisbin on guitar (Jolie Holland, Sam Evian, Katie Von Schleicher), Mat Davidson on bass (Twain, The Low Anthem, Spirit Family Reunion), and Austin Vaughn on drums (Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple, Sam Evian).

Olafur Arnalds

Watch: Ólafur Arnalds “saman” Video

Jul 09, 2018

Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds released the third single "saman" from his forthcoming album re:member, due on August 24th on Mercury KX. The video simply shows Ólafur playing the straightforwardly emotive piece, but he has incorporated innovative software on the new album. The press release explains:

The highly anticipated LP features Arnalds working with the groundbreaking new software Stratus, which transforms the piano into an almost entirely new instrument. The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Arnalds; these new instruments and custom built software are the centerpiece of re:member. Created over a two-year period by composer and audio developer Halldór Eldjárn, the algorithms generated by Stratus were used to create the LP artwork. Arnalds describes the player pianos in a two-part video.

On the LP, Arnalds uses these methods to reinvigorate the compositional process. He explains, “This is my breaking-out-of-a-shell album. It’s me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.”

The new music on re:member uses not only Stratus pianos but also includes a string quartet,  synthesizers, electronics, live drums and a string orchestra recorded at London’s Air Studios. With his friend Halldór Eldjárn, Arnalds set about developing the Stratus system: software that sends instructions to two pianos “and the two become one and play together.” Arnalds sets the values that the software feeds to the pianos – the rhythm, the tempo – and those are triggered by chords or notes he plays. What happened when Arnalds started making music using Stratus was a little unexpected and quickly became the focal point of his new compositions.


Nov 14
Lincoln Theatre
Washington DC
Nov 15
Union Theatre
Philadelphia, PA
Nov 17
Town Hall
New York, NY
Nov 18
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
Jan 26
Moore Theater
Seattle, WA
Jan 28
Commodore Ballroom
Vancouver, BC
Jan 29
Revolution Hall
Portland, OR
Jan 31
Warfield Theatre
San Francisco, CA
Feb 1
Orpheum Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 2
Observatory North Park
San Diego, CA
Feb 4
Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO
Feb 7
Thalia Hall
Chicago, IL
Feb 8
Roy Thomson Hall
Toronto, ON

Big Red Machine

Listen: Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon Release Music as “Big Red Machine”

Jul 06, 2018

Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner have released four singles under the name Big Red Machine. The music comes from the PEOPLE collective, a website platform for unreleased music. Vernon and Dessner said that the four songs are part of a full-length album: “We have a 10-song record that we’ll be spraying out throughout the rest of the summer,” Vernon explained. “We just wanted to put something up in the player for now.”

Richard Swift was one of those musicians who fellow musicians adored and admired, always willing to play along and help them find their way in recording an album. He touched so many, as evidenced by the outpouring of sad recognition today from the music community he blessed. One of them was Walter Martin of The Walkmen. This was what he said about Richard in a recent interview about his solo album Reminisce Bar & Grill:

This new record has an expansiveness to it musically...and there's a wider sound compared to your other solos...

"It was a lot from [singer/instrumentalist/producer] Richard Swift. Not that he worked that much on it. He mixed and recorded a couple of songs for it. But I learned a lot from him in just the two days we were out at his studio. He uses so much reverb with a very simple approach, something that I really believe in but it's easy to forget how much I believe in that stuff. I hear a lot of him just in the way I recorded it."

Walt's current favorite song produced by Swift is Foxygen's "San Francisco" and what a great one it is. RIP Richard. It sounds like you were one special soul.


Avey Tare

Listen: Avey Tare Essence of Eucalyptus EP

Jul 03, 2018

About a year ago, Avey Tare of Animal Collective gave us his mesmerizing and transportative solo album Eucalyptus. Today he gave us the Essence of Eucalyptus EP with remixes by each of his fellow animals, Geologist, Panda Bear, and Deakin. Animal Collective is touring their legendary album Sung Tongs this month.