Brightness

Watch: “Talk To Me” Video

May 23, 2017

The New project from Australian artist Alex Knight called Brightness shared another 8mm cast video today for "Talk To Me", a song from his forthcoming debut album Teething, due June 30th worldwide on I Oh You records. The vintage style video, directed, edited and shot once more by Mclean Stephenson, follows a similar one for lead single "Oblivion". Under the Radar premiered the instructional lyric and guitar tabs version of the great, driving indie pop track back in March. Check out the video for "Talk To Me" here.

"The message in 'Talk To Me' is that rawness and inexperience aren't things to be ashamed of, especially for young people, and that it can be hazardous to affect composure and poise when in fact you feel totally lost," explains Brightness. "It carries a similar sentiment to 'Everybody Hurts' by R.E.M, but in this case it's: 'Everybody's Green.'"

About the project, Brightness continues:  "Teething was written and recorded over a period of time in which my internal compass was on the fritz and I was feeling particularly disoriented...The songs on the album correlate with the spectrum of mind-states I was in during this time - states of panic, frustration and dread, but also of love, excitement and euphoria." So far, the visual aesthetic Brightness employs in his videos follows the tone of his music, gritty and exhilerating. Looking forward to more.


Angelo De Augustine

Watch: “Crazy, Soned, & Gone” Sufjan Stevens Animated Video

May 22, 2017

Thousand Oaks, CA's Angelo De Augustine will release his new album Swim Inside The Moon on August 25th via Asthmatic Kitty Records. The enchanting mixed media animated video for album track "Crazy, Stoned, and Gone" was released today. The warmly welcoming animation is courtesy of Sufjan Stevens, incorporating several original drawings by De Augustine. It showcases yet another artistic gift of Sufjan Stevens and the song is delightful, with Angelo's light as a feather vocals recalling those of Stevens himself. All the while the lulling vibe is as quiet as a Devendra Banhart song. Check it out below.

The press release provides some fascinating background of Angelo's recording process:

Swim Inside the Moon is the second full-length from the 24-year-old, and captures a sound he's been looking for since he started playing music a decade ago. "A sound behind the voice," says Angelo, who recorded all of this record in his home's bathtub using a reel-to-reel machine and a single Shure SM57 microphone. "I noticed that when you sing off a reflective surface you hear two voices. I was compelled to isolate that voice and bring it more to the front of the songs because in many ways I feel more connected to and comforted by that voice following me."

He'd hit record, then run quickly to sit on the edge of the tub with his guitar and play and sing. For some songs, he played the 100-year-old piano in the living room, and on others he added synth and electric guitar. He kept it spare. Recording the nine songs on Swim Inside the Moon took several months: because De Augustine was using an analog reel-to-reel machine with very little overdubbing, he was always recording live. If something didn't go as planned, he'd start from scratch each time. 

The reverb, analog as it is, gives De Augustine's music a strong sense of place: this music existed as a soundwave that bounced off walls in his bathroom and then traveled over wires to the listener. The reverb amplifies his songwriting, echoing a sense of heartache, loss, but also of joy and hope, and the comfort of home.

Swim Inside The Moon track listing:
1. Truly Gone (YouTube/SoundCloud)
2. Haze
3. More Than You Thought To Use
4. Crazy, Stoned, and Gone (Video)
5. Fade
6. On My Way Home
7. I'll Wait For The Others
8. Dreaming of The Moon
9. I Hope That All Of Your Dreams Come True

Nick Hakim

Listen: “Roller Skates”

May 19, 2017

This is Nick Hakim's week. After an amazing homecoming performance at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, both razor sharp and wide open, his debut album Green Twins dropped today on ATO Records (check out the album review today). Throw it on and it might just carry you straight through the weekend. "Roller Skates" is the joyously smooth park jam that moves this great debut right along. Listen Below and also check out its rad, tripped out animated video. Many good things to come from Mr. Hakim. 

Chris Cornell

“Seasons” Chris Cornell (R.I.P)

May 18, 2017

Goodbye Chris Cornell. The melancholy fire of your voice was a guide in the dark. You will be missed. "Seasons" embodied his musical spirit perhaps more than any other...Remember.

Blonde Redhead

Watch: Blonde Redhead - “3 O’Clock” Live Video

May 17, 2017

In March, alternative rock pioneers Blonde Redhead unassumingly dropped their 3 O'Clock EP and today released a live performance video from the title track, along with an announcement of summer tour dates. You can watch it below and check in on Blonde Redhead's summer moves.

The video was directed by Alex Caroppi and filmed by c and filmed live in Amsterdam at Paradiso Noord on March 10th, 2017, during a stop on their most recent European tour. It's great to see the relaxed savvy of singer Kazu Makino and the Pace brothers on stage and definitely piques interest in catching one of their upcoming shows.

The announcement fills you in on their latest release: "3 O'CLOCK was released March 10th, 2017 on the band's own label, Asa Wa Kuru Records. This melancholic EP, with an aromantic graft, follows the tour that, in 2016, saw Blonde Redhead reinvent their cult album Misery Is A Butterfly with a string quartet. The new atmospheres developed during this tour emerge occasionally in the pieces of 3 O’CLOCK, as the band pushes even more in the direction of a massive presence of strings and wind instruments such as the viola, cello, violin, clarinet, oboe, flute and trumpet. The EP was made with the help of, among others, the string quartet ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and Eyvind Kang, an American composer and violinist who collaborated with Blonde Redhead on Misery Is A Butterfly and the latest tour in support of the album.

Blonde Redhead will be playing in New York the next two nights before resuming in July on a European festival circuit and a 4-stop tour of the United States West Coast. The European tour sees them performing at BBK Festival in Bilbao (ES), Festival les George in Fribourg (CH) and Dour Festival in Dour (BE), among others. The full list of tour dates is below. 

05.18.2017 / The Kitchen (Simone & Amedo Pace live score experimental films / NY, NY
05.19.2017 / The Kitchen (Simone & Amedo Pace live score experimental films / NY, NY
07.08.2017 / BBK Festival / Bilbao, Spain
07.09.2017 / Arti Vive Festival / Soliera, Italy
07.11.2017 / Erarta Stage / St. Petersburg, Russia
07.12.2017 / Flacon Design Factory / Moscow, Russia
07.13.2017 / Festival les Georges / Fribourg, Switzerland
07.14.2017 / Dour Festival / Dour, Belgium
07.22.2017 / Regency Ballroom / San Francisco, California
07.23.2017 / FYF Fest / Los Angeles, California
07.25.2017 / Wonder Ballroom / Portland, Oregon
07.26.2017 / Neumos / Seattle, Washington

Mogwai

Listen: Mogwai “Coolverine”

May 16, 2017

The lords of instrumental post rock are returning. Mogwai's new album Every Country's Sun will arrive September 1st on Temporary Residence Ltd. They've shared the first single "Coolverine". Listen to it below.

The new album marks the first recording without guitarist and original member John Cummings as well as a reuniting with producer and friend Dave Fridmann, who was instrumental in his work on early albums Come On Die Young and Rock Action. A press release describes the new work in this way: "In October 2016 they took their glimmering bounty to Dave Fridmann and his Tarbox Road Studios in Chautauqua County, New York State, surrounded by little more than woods, wild hounds and marauding deer hunters..The new album takes two decades of the band's signature, contrasting sounds - towering intensity, pastoral introspection, synth-rock minimalism, DNA-detonating volume - and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria."

Mogwai co-founder Stuart Braithwaite offered a view into the inspirational background of Every Country's Sun, which formed during a time of frightening global unrest and change: "What's going on in the world politically and socially has to affect you," muses Braithwaite. "It was very much on our minds, especially in America. We were vaguely getting over the Scottish referendum, then the death of David Bowie, along comes Brexit, and then Trump. The album was written in a very turbulent, intense period so I think it maybe feels like some kind of shield from that? That's maybe just my take. Because it literally was for me."  

EVERY COUNTRY'S SUN TRACK LISTING
 
1. Coolverine
2. Party In The Dark
3. Brain Sweeties
4. Crossing The Road Material
5. aka 47
6. 20 Size
7. 1000 Foot Face
8. Don't Believe The Fife
9. Battered At The Scramble
10. Old Poisons
11. Every Country's Sun
 
MOGWAI US TOUR DATES
 
11/20 - Observatory N. Park - San Diego, CA
11/21 - Belasco Theater - Los Angeles, CA
11/22 - Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
11/23 - Roseland Theater - Portland, OR
11/24 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
11/25 - Commodore Ballroom. Vancouver
11/28 - Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
11/30 - The Waiting Room Omaha, NE
12/1 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
12/2 - House of Blues Chicago, IL
12/3 - Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
12/5 - Danforth Music Hall - Toronto, ON
12/6 - Corona Theatre - Montreal, QC
12/7 - Royale Nightclub - Boston, MA
12/8 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
12/9 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
12/10 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC

Blank Range

Premiere: Blank Range “No Aim” Video

May 11, 2017

Is there some sort of Neo-Country music emergence going on? Ok, that might not be a thing, but Nashville's Blank Range, who just released their sophomore EP Vista Bent, rolls in deep rooted americana rock that enlivens the fabric of the genre. The band met and formed with some happenstance back in 2012 and have since found sweet harmony, overcoming some demons on the shoulder along the way. Under the Radar is premiering a video for a b-side from the EP called "No Aim". Light footed picking from a custom made baritone guitar and soft organs carry you down a back country road, with a pleasant reminder of Dr. Dog. Enjoy it.


Holder of that guitar, and vocalist Grant Gustafson says of the hidden gem, 'No Aim' is a pessimistic poem written in a time of fresh societal tension. Maybe there was an engrained suspicion that was bursting at the seams, needing to be unpacked; Maybe just a blurry, lukewarm reality finally coming into focus. It's day one of a new epoch of self-sworn, eyes open, raised awareness. No blinking. Though my eyes may dry I took an oath...to never try your love as a rich man. Recommended reading: A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.” 

 

Blank Range's bio provides background of the varied influences to their traditionally textured music:

"Jonathon Childers’ songs are raw, they read like attacks on himself and his circumstances. His voice bears the imprint of more years living than he has been alive, getting gritty when he reaches: “Just take me back,” he pleads, in vain, as “Circumstances” approaches its refrains.

Gustafson’s questions of intent are communicated partially through a lens that was developed during his music studies at North Central College in Chicago, particularly improvisational jazz..Gustafson plays a baritone guitar, custom built by his brother, Alex Gustafson at Chicago Fret Works. An obsession with 1960’s Italian Spaghetti Westerns and soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone led Grant and Alex to collaborate on a baritone guitar that would become part of the foundation of the Blank Range sound.

Matt Novotny also studied music in college. Novotny gravitated toward the complexity of Latin rhythms. “Matt had a lot of ideas for subtle percussion additions that had been floating around in his head,” Childers indicates. “Seeing him get to realize some of those on Vista Bent was a real joy.” Taylor Zachry’s (bass/vocals) persistence for pursuing The Byrds’ four-part harmonies and Brown’s draw to Duke Ellington’s composition style, round out the Blank Range sound that is ever evolving..Their shared study of music gives Blank Range a wide sonic palette to draw from, and therefore, the ability to craft more refined portraits of feeling."

 

New Rose

Premiere: New Rose - “Waiting On Me”

May 10, 2017

New Rose is a new alt-country-rock quintet from Brooklyn with a nice name and the sultry familiarity of old sound. As is stated in their bio, "True country music is rare in modern independent music...the solitary sort, heartbroken, kicking around in dirty boots." Damn straight, and secretly, I've been wondering when I could move on from listening to Dwight Yoakam records. Thankfully, Under The Radar got their hands on "Waiting On Me", New Rose's first song released from their debut album Morning Hazedue out in June on Broken Circles Records.

The charmingly impressive Morning Haze was recorded with producer Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Ariel Pink). Including members of indie rock bands Big Eyes and RIPS, Morning Haze has the sound of slowly dripping tree sap, subdued in the same earthly sweetness. It ialso ssues the fresh breeze of country air found on Psychic Ills' brilliant record from last year, Inner Journey Out.

According to the bio, "The record contains 3 original tracks featuring the legendary JayDee Maness on pedal steel, best known for his emotive leads on Eric Clapton’s 'Tears in Heaven,' Gram Parson’s 'The International Submarine Band,' and The Byrd’s 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo', which is widely considered to be the first country-rock album recorded."  

Says vocalist/guitarist Daniel Wagner, "Waiting On Me was the first song we ever tracked to tape, which we were all really excited about. It was done live in the studio and then June West recorded harmonies remotely from Montana. I think the record and in particular this song is about getting to the next step in your life and everything that kind of comes with that – also a lot of daydreaming about being somewhere else while walking to work in Midtown."