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.
One of the sleeper best albums of last year was Mark Pritchard's Under the Sun.The macabre video for“Give It Your Choir” Feat Bibio was just shared. It comes from acclaimed Dutch video director Emmanuel Adjei and was shot as a single take full frame monochrome. The video also features Olegar Fedoro who starred in Andrei Tarkovsky’s cult classic ‘Stalker’. The camera takes us through the dark hallways of a acomplex of hidden lives converging.
This is what Adjei had to say about the video:“The idea for ‘”Give It Your Choir” came from the track as I felt like it was chanting a cry for help in a modern world, losing its humanity. I wanted to show a not too distant reality where storage containers function as personal homes, and materialism seems to have become the new religion.
This, in turn, is a neo industrial church where goods are being idolised; containers function as personal temples, and above all, the only spaces humans have left. As a similar parallel to cities all over the world enduring mass overpopulation and rising house prices, by wrapping our materialism in ribbons, carving tombs for our memories, we fill our fights with fumes, cry for our losses, and give our greed a choir”
Watch: Big Thief “Mythological Beauty” Video
Apr 05, 2017
Big Thief, one of the very big and welcome surprises of 2016 with their debut Masterpiece, just released their video for "Mythological Beauty" from the forthcoming sophomore album Capacity, out June 9th on Saddle Creek. The Band announced the new record today.
A press release describes the new album: "The trails that the band takes us down on Capacity are overgrown with a wilderness of souls. These are carnivorous stories, with pangs of sadness and joy. (Adrianne) Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open, and then recounts the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it all to happen again.
“There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album,” reveals singer and guitarist Adrianne Lenker. “The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a first reaction from inside the pain, and Capacity continues that examination with a wider perspective.”
"Mythological Beast" will be available on Record Store Day as a 7" b/w non-album track "Breathe in My Lungs". Learn more about the song via her interview with NPR Music's Bob Boilen on All Songs Considered.
The video for features a cameo by Lenker's mother (who also graced the cover of Masterpiece) and was directed by Vanessa Haddad and Adam Gundersheimer. "It leaves itself open to interpretation as it follows a resolute woman played by Adrianne carrying a stricken man played by Buck Meek through the woods."
Big Thief also has a bunch of shows coming up:
BIG THIEF TOUR DATES (new dates in bold) Thu. Apr. 27 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd w/ Twain, Infinity Crush Fri. May 5 - Sun. May 7 - Winooski, VT @ Waking Windows Music & Arts Festival Wed. May 31 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre w/ Conor Oberst Thu. June 1 - Nelsonville, OH @ Nelsonville Art & Music Festival Fri. June 2 - Richmond, VA @ Friday Cheers at Brown's Island w/ Conor Oberst Sat. June 3 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa w/ Conor Oberst Sun. June 4 - Wilmington, NC @ The Throne Theater w/ Conor Oberst Tue. June 6 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar Wed. June 7 - Lancaster, PA @ Arcade Lancaster Fri. June 9 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC Thu. June 22 - Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston Fri. June 23 - Sun. June 25 - North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound Festival Tue. June 27 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le "Ritz" P.D.B. Wed. June 28 - Toronto, ON @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern Thu. June 29 - Buffalo, NY @ Traif MusicHall Fri. June 30 - Toledo, OH @ Ottawa Tavern Sat. July 1 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell's Eccentric Cafe Sun. July 2 - Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest Mon. July 3 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon Wed. July 5 - Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center Thu. July 6 - Sun. July 9 - Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Folk Festival Mon. July 10 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium Tue. July 11 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews Wed. July 12 - St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House Thu. July 13 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room - Outside w/ Conor Oberst Fri. July 14 - Springfield, MO @ Gillioz Theatre w/ Conor Oberst Fri. July 14 - Sun. July 16 - Louisville KY @ Forecastle Festival Mon. July 17 - Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park w/ Overcoats Thu. July 20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Celebrate Brooklyn! w/ Conor Oberst, Hop Along Fri. July 21 - Sun. July 23 - Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Festival Fri. July 28 - Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival Sat. July 29 - Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion w/ The Head and the Heart Thu. Aug. 3 - Sun. Aug. 6 - Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon Festival Tue. Aug. 8 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre w/ Belle and Sebastian Sat. Aug. 12 - Gothenburg, SE @ Way Out West Festival Mon. Aug. 14 - Antwerp, BE @ Rivierenhof Theater w/ Conor Oberst, M. Ward Tue. Aug. 15 - Frankfurt, DE @ Batchkapp w/ Conor Oberst Wed. Aug. 16 - Erlangen, DE @ E-Werk w/ Conor Oberst Thu. Aug. 17 - Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg w/ Conor Oberst Fri. Aug. 18 - London, UK @ Koko w/ Conor Oberst Sat. Aug. 19 - Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man Festival Sun. Aug. 20 - Stirling, UK @ Doune the Rabbit Hole Mon. Aug. 21 - Liverpool, UK @ Academy w/ Conor Oberst Tue. Aug. 22 - Glasgow, UK @ ABC w/ Conor Oberst
Listen: Amber Arcades “Can’t Say That We Tried”
Apr 03, 2017
The Dutch songwriter Annelotte De Graaf known as Amber Arcades, shared the celestial progression of "Can't Say That We Tried" today, leading up to the release of her forthcoming Cannonball EP, out June 2nd on Heavenly Recordings. The EP was recorded over a two days short stay in New York during her tour last September and was elected to be released as contained, stand alone session. The frayed innocence of De Graaf's voice rises over slow building organs to a finale of grandeur. It's an absorbing listen. Check it out below.
De Graaf says of the track: "I feel like a lot of times when I am attracted to a certain person or situation, it is not so much the person or situation itself but more my idea of what they represent, and this idea does not necessarily represent reality in any way. Getting to know people is scary because it necessarily requires you to bury your idealised version of a person and thereby bury a little piece of yourself or your childlike dreams maybe. But then again if you run away the moment someone doesn't seem to nicely conform to your idealised vision you can't really say you've tried or given anything a fair shot."