Jeb Loy Nichols is the kind of travelled musical soul whose sojourns and encounters could paint the kinds of stories told over a bottle of whisky. Drawing from a life of immersion in whatever music happened to move him as well as a diverse and revolving fraternity of artists, Nichols returns with his new album Country Hustle out in North America on March 31st, via his own label City Country City. Under the Radar is premiering the new single "Come See Me".
It's a funky, low swinging invitation to a record that will assuredly serve to kindle his myriad influences. The announcement of the new album describes Nichols' palate: "A potent, flavorsome gumbo cooked up from southern soul, country, blues, funk and folk, with a soupçon of hip-hop, dub and 80/90s club sounds, Country Hustle is schooled in the past but is resolutely modern in production, featuring collaborations from Andrew Hale, Distance and Nostalgia 77"
Nichols filled us in on how the old familiar voices from his receptive past informed his own on "Come See Me": "I wrote this song after listening to The Stanley Brothers sing "Tis Sweet To Be Remembered". The Stanley Brothers were a big part of my childhood, they were my father's favourite group and he played their records constantly. So, 'Come See Me' was born out of a fog of remembering. I sang it the way I thought Ralph Stanley might have sung it, the way that would have pleased my father, like an old country song. But often, with me anyway, things start off one way and, before you know it, they turn into something else. One day, while driving through the hills listening to Ali Farka Toure, I started singing it in a completely different style. And at some point over the next few weeks, somewhere between Ali Farka Toure and Ralph Stanley, I settled into my own voice. That’s the way it goes sometimes, songs, like memories, have a life of their own." Listen below to "Come See Me".
Mount Eerie: “Ravens” Video
Feb 16, 2017
When you are let into someone’s unthinkable personal tragedy, attention sharpens. Senses are micro focused on the details of substance and the pathways to its understanding open wider. Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie has confided through the sharing of his song and video “Ravens” today, revealing his process of coping with the sudden and particularly sad loss of his wife Geneviève Castrée. Geneviève was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just four months after giving birth to their daughter in 2015 and died a year later. “The video was directed by Elverum and created using footage shot by himself and Castrée in the months and years before her death, reflecting the intimate, candid nature of the music.” Song’s don’t get more on the sleeve than this, or more achingly stunning and the opening imagery of Geneviève running on the beach into a distant fog is the work’s essence.
Elverum wrote his new album A Crow Looked At Me, out March 24th onP.W. Elverum & Sun, during the fall of 2016, after Geneviève’s death. It was created in the very room in which she passed, using her instruments and writing his words on her paper. As described in the press statement:
“The songs are about the brutal details of that experience, from the hospitalizations to the grieving, the specific domestic banalities that become existential in the context of such huge and abrupt loss. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, and they find a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming and real sorrow. It is unlike anything else in the Mount Eerie catalog in its unvarnished expressions of personal grief, metaphor-free.”
Feb 14, 2017
The Indiana four-piece Hoopsannounced their debut album Routines yesterday, out May 5th on Fat Possum, and a tour throughout North America and the U.K., with appearances at SXSW, Sasquatch, Shaky Knees and Noise Pop Festivals. They shared their first single from the album as well. You can check out “Rules” below. “Rules” demonstrates that the muted, pastel sensibility of the group’s first four-track recordings is still intact and still tingles with movement, calling to mind a summer vacation of skate boarding. Routines was recorded in a proper studio for the first time, namely, Rear House Recording in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Jarvis Taveniere (Widowspeak, Quilt).
Hoops is Drew Auscherman (vox, guitar), Kevin Krauter (vox, bass), Keagan Beresford (vox, keys, guitar), and James Harris (drums). Since forming in 2014, Hoops have released three cassette tapes and last year’s self-titled debut EP.
The announcement of Routines came with more background on these newcomers: “Hoops was born in frontman Drew Auscherman’s teenage bedroom as a solo ambient and beat-driven project à la Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica. Auscherman named the band after the hoop houses at the nursery where he worked (not for his home state’s mania for basketball).
“The Indiana band craft hyper-melodic songs, built around power-pop chords, deceptively complex drum patterns, and rock-anthem sentiments that hide some tellingly dark thoughts. Three of the four members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously. During a live show, the bandmates can be seen frequently swapping instruments and positions on stage. The setup isn’t democratic so much as it is simply adaptable and committed: doing what the song demands, getting the sound just right.”
– Charles Steinberg
Hoops Tour Dates
2/18 - Norman, OK @ The Opolis
2/21 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
2/22 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
2/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre *
2/25 - San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop Music Festival *
2/27 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
2/28 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
3/01 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret *
3/03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room *
3/04 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *
3/09 - Nashville, TN @ Freakin Weekend at The End
3/10 - Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Music Festival
3/12-18 - Austin, TX @ SXSW
5/02 - Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
5/03 - Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
5/04 - Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
5/07 - Birmingham, UK Hare & Hounds
5/08 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
5/09 - Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
5/10 - London, UK @ The Lexington
5/12 - 14 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Music Festival
Today, Aquarium Drunkard streamed two gorgeously understated Steve Gunn covers of The Smiths for their acclaimed Lagniappe Sessions. On his renditions of "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle",Gunn emulates Morrissey’s ivory smooth vocal longing and his trademark trill. The crisp staccato guitar notes on the original of “The Night Has Opened My Eyes” must have attracted Gunn to it in the first place. He translates these into gentler spanish folk acoustic picks and it’s the pacifying sound that emanates and echoes from playing under a stone terrace. A simple drum machine track captures the original rhythm in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and floats the lull of Gunn’s lyrical portrayal. Head over to Aquarium Drunkardto stream these covers and for some great background on Gunn's personal connection to The Smiths. Here's some of it:
“A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them. When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus, Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker. I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.” – Steve Gunn
Glitter Veils, formerly YOU, is the Australian duo Michael Whitney and Luke Zahnleiter. Today they released their debut by new name, Figures In Sightvia Flexible records. What becomes apparent in listening is the duo’s embracing of the musical function of catharsis.
These are contemplative fabrications that convey an existential awareness and their creators are conscious of them opening zones one can escape into. Sedated and funneled vocals drift along with processed guitar strokes and moody electronic shading. “Gibberish Talks” is quick-pulsed example.
Glitter Veils’ label paints a better picture for you, going along with today’s announcement of the new album: “Bearing a gift of melancholy, Glitter Veils craft delicate and finely wrought jewels that sparkle even in the dim light in which they were forged. With crystal-clear acuity the songs of Glitter Veils communicate intimate thoughts and reveries formed under streetlight, in isolation, in vulnerable moments. With lashings of ethereal noir, the deep-dream pop of Glitter Veils strike chords – emotional and musical – that you forgot existed.” – Charles Steinberg
Premiere:“Mama Said”: Live Video in NYC
Feb 09, 2017
Cat Clyde has emerged from the woods of Canada, picking up her acoustic guitar that backs her vintage blues song to lovely affect. Growing up in the forests of Ontario, she lived in a kind of time warp and to this day is pretty much blissfully unaware of all modern day pop culture, contouring her songwriting from her family's old vinyl collection. As such, her music has a throwback quality, and at the same time her sweet, palliative voice brings to mind contemporaies like Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Alela Diane, "by retooling old bluesy sounds with a modern urgency and fresh vocalism".
Clyde's debut album Ivory Castanets is due this spring and the first single "Mama Said" is bending ears. Clyde recently traveled to the States for the first time to play "Mama Said" and other songs at Berlin in New York City and Under the Radar is premiering the video, produced by Convicts NYC. Clyde shared her newcomer feelings in an endearing way. "It was all very overwhelming the first time I went to New York. I was extremely nervous, and had never really been interviewed before. It was exciting, but also strange." We're looking forward to Clyde growing more comfortable in the role of sharing her music, because it's good. Check out the premiere of "Mama Said" live at Berlin, NYC, which also includes some of her interview with Convicts. The official video lies below. – Charles Steinberg
Cold Beat: “62 Moons”
Feb 08, 2017
Hannah Lew, the bassist for San Francisco’s Grass Widow, has gone the DIY route in conceiving and releasing her own music since 2013, as Cold Beat. Anchored in low-fi post-punk that somersaults forward, swirling around her Deborah Harry like vocals, she has essentially released an album a year and on April 7th, her third full-length Chaos By Invitation will be released via her own Crime on the Moon label. The first single is called “62 Moons” and was shared today. You can listen to it below.
Lew sites musical inspiration by bands such as NEU! and Tubeway Army on the new album and if her past work is any indication, the mood and aesthetic of Aussie garage punk band Total Control will come through. Mikey Young of Total Control actually worked with Lew on tracking the new album. On “62 Moons”, Lew ascends above the kind of tense detachment felt on her previous albums with a lighter vitality. According to the press release, the song was also influenced by her own burgeoning interest in astronomy. “‘62 Moons’ is a song about love taken for granted, analogous to the 62 moons of Saturn, which are in constant loving orbit around a beautiful siren planet with many satellites.”
Chaos By Invitation is descibed as "much more personal and direct than (2015’s) Into The Air, which was more of a band effort. Collages from Lew’s home environment make up many of the textures of Chaos By, woven in to create an intimate atmosphere, a sort of chaos by necessity and design. The album also features performances by her friends Kyle King, Alex Shen, Jackson Blumgart, and Mikey Young.” – Charles Steinberg
Taking the theme of old-school indulgence to new and exciting places, Microsoft has engaged a team of up-and-coming developers to build a web game experience “Meet Me At Go!” inspired by M83’s 8-bit remix of “Go!” a standout on last year’s outstanding album Junk. This awesome throwback tech project was inspired by Anthony Gonzalez’s love of retro video games. A press release informs that, “The online game experience, “Meet Me At Go!,” takes fans on an unexpected journey through the song as they race through a retro-futuristic cityscape, dodging obstacles and collecting objects in pursuit of their love”. You can check it out here: Play it now
Along with the 8-bit remix of “Go!”, which takes you back to Nintendo soundtracks, the just released Remix EP has versions from J. Laser – the creative moniker of M83’s touring bassist/multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lawlor, Scottish DJ/musician/producer KC Lights, and Animal Collective/Deakin . The EP Also includes a Fabich remix of “Bibi the Dog” and a C. Duncan remix of “Solitude. Listen to M83 band mate J. Laser’s "Go!" remix above. – Charles Steinberg