Singer-songwriter Emily Beanblossom played in about a million bands and released one LP under the name Ruby Fray while she was living in indie-rock mecca Olympia, Washington. Then, she packed up and moved to the more southerly hipster hotspot of Austin, Texas. Her move, her new hometown’s suffocating weather, and its local fauna all had a direct influence on the second Ruby Fray album, Grackle, which comes out on the illustrious Olympia label K Records on Sept. 30.
Tag: Indie Rock (31-40 of 668)
Recent pop history has been notably light on the kind of epically-scaled rock anthems built for fist-pumping, arena-shaking singalongs that dominated the radio throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Portland duo Priory is singlehandedly reversing that trend with their song “Weekend,” which for the past month has been slowly gaining momentum on radio and seems destined to go onto even bigger things.
Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears met at shows around Portland, but the idea to collaborate musically didn’t come until Rush moved into a punk house that Sears was living in. “We just sat down for the first time with acoustic guitars and it was kind of instantaneous,” Sears says. “Literally I think the first time we sat down we wrote the foundations for like two songs.”
The frontman of the beloved Austin indie-rockers—who’ve just returned with their eighth album, They Want My Soul, and recently hit the road with Arcade Fire—talks girl groups, long hiatuses, and literary heroes. (If you missed them this summer don’t worry; they’ve got a ton of dates left, including multiple festivals.)
EW: It’s been four years since Spoon last made a record. I know you’ve been working on other projects, but what’s been happening for you life-wise in the meantime?
Britt Daniel: Life wise? That’s a tough question. You’d think it’d be the easiest one, right? When we finished that last tour in November of 2011—it was at some festival in Germany—we kind of just said, “Well that’s the last show for awhile, and who knows what’s going to happen.” And we were all a little ground down at that point. It had just been too long that we were touring that record. So we went our separate ways without really saying anything. And I took three or four months of doing nothing really. I got a girlfriend and I just chilled. Which is the first I’ve done that in…I don’t know, it might have been the first time I’ve done that by choice. And then I met up with Dan [Boeckner], who’s an old friend of mine. He was doing a show in Portland and he was there for a few days. We talked about starting a band and we…started a band. READ FULL STORY
The eighth season of the DirectTV-based concert series Guitar Center Sessions has leaned heavily on ’90s acts like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Damon Albarn, and Snoop Dogg, but for its penultimate episode they’ve brought in a group that’s only just started to bloom. This Sunday, Aug. 10, the show will feature Scottish trio CHVRCHES, whose debut LP, The Bones of What You Believe, has been steadily accumulating fans since it was released last fall, making them one of the more popular acts in the electropop revolution that’s leapt up from the indie underground and started taking over the pop charts.
Here’s a first look at their performance of “Mother We Share,” one of the standout songs from a catalog that’s full of exceptional pop hooks and delicious electronic production.
Record Shopping with Jack Antonoff -- the fun. guitarist talks Bleachers, Bruce, and the bands that inspired him
“I could probably name thousands of albums that I want,” Jack Antonoff muses, sifting through the stacks at Permanent Records in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (just blocks, coincidentally, from Café Grumpy, where his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, pretends to work on HBO’s Girls).
Lucky for us, the 30-year-old fun. guitarist and vinyl junkie kept his focus on a select few, including vintage punk favorites and a Boss classic, and reflected on the role they’ve played in his musical education. One title Antonoff couldn’t find? His own band Bleachers’ debut, Strange Desire, released July 15 and featuring the lead single “I Wanna Get Better,” which currently sits at the top of the Alternative Songs chart. “That, I desperately want,” he says. “It’s coming!”
Below, the results of his haul after spending sunny Saturday perusing vinyl with EW. —Ray Rahman READ FULL STORY
Hundred Waters started making waves in the music industry two years ago when a self-titled album they recorded for a small independent label in their hometown of Gainesville, Florida, ended up getting them spots on tours with the xx, Skrillex, and Alt-J and a deal with Skrillex’s then-new OWSLA label. It was a remarkably successful record for one the band hadn’t even set out to make.
“We didn’t really know we were doing an album until we were a bunch of songs in,” says multi-instrumentalist Trayer Tryon. “We didn’t know what it was going to be. We were just making songs. After the 11 songs on the album were done, that was the album.”
The band–Tryon, keyboardist-vocalist Nicole Miglis, multi-instrumentalist Paul Giese, and drummer Zach Tetreault–ended up staying on the road after Hundred Waters was released, touring and hanging out in different cities across the country. That included a stint at the live-in studio Skrillex built in downtown L.A., where they’ve since relocated. Despite the peripatetic circumstances, the album they wrote and recorded in this period, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, feels incredibly grounded, blending pop hooks, glitchy electronics, and indie earnestness into a coherent whole that could justifiably be compared to everything from Kate Bush to Massive Attack to FKA Twigs.
“This time around we knew who we were more, and what we were after a little more,” Tryon says. “That made it a lot harder to get to the final thing, but it also made the final thing more of a full piece of work rather than kind of stumbling into it.”
With its muted tones and dreamy vocals, Moon is a deeply mellow record that unfolds patiently rather than hurrying to impress an audience right out of the gates. Fittingly, it’s been building a fan base slowly but steadily. “We wanna say something as precisely as we can,” says Giese, “and hope as many people understand it as they can instead of saying something that can reach as many people as possible.”
Still, their momentum continues to grow: They recently played the Pitchfork Music Festival, and they’ll spend November on the road with a newly reanimated Interpol. If things keep progressing at the same rate, breaking out with a mainstream pop audience isn’t out of the question. Hundred Waters aren’t rushing to fame, but they seem to be headed there all the same.
For the first video from her forthcoming sophomore album, The Other Person Is You, singer-songwriter Lara Meyerratken, aka El May, took to the streets of New York City with director Yaara Sumeruk. The Australian musician brought along a pair of headphones and an iPhone loaded with her bouncy, dancehall-infused single “I Played a Role” and captured the reactions of people on the street hearing the track for the first time. Like Meyerratken, the song and the video’s conceit are fun and more than a little cutesy without crossing over into full-blown twee quirkiness.
“The train scene was our dream come true,” Meyerratken, who resides in L.A., writes in an email. “We had imagined a best-case scenario, where our journey around the city over the two days coincided with some amazing subway dancers. At the end of the day, headed to our final locations, exhausted on the J train, we heard the famous call: ‘SHOW TIME!’ So we approached them… it turned out to be a real highlight!”
The Other Person Is You, which features contributions from indie rock royalty like the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly and Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham from Luna, is out Aug. 26.
Yawn is an electronics-heavy pop band who has spent the past five years building up a reputation in the Chicago DIY scene, and the band is starting to ease its way up aboveground. Last year, they played Lollapalooza, and this year they’re releasing their second album, Love Chills, with an immediately catchy lead single.
Like the rest of the LP, “Flytrap” was recorded in the band’s live-in studio, which was formerly occupied by the bro-metal band Disturbed (of “Down With the Sickness” fame), and its combination of swaggering fuzztone riffs and trippy electronic flourishes sound like something that will land them a nice spot on the festival circuit.
Love Chills is out September 9 on Old Flame.
Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.
Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.
Los Angeles quintet White Arrows are indie rockers with big pop ambitions and a whole bunch of synthesizers. This combination has earned them spots on tours with taste-making bands like Cults and White Denim and slots at big festivals like Coachella and Sasquatch. After several years of touring behind their debut album, Dry Land Is Not A Myth, they’ve finally followed it up with In Bardo, out Sept. 16 on Votiv. On the lead single, “We Can’t Ever Die,” funky, disco-inflected verses segue smoothly into arena-worthy hooks that sound like a modern, not-annoying reincarnation of U2, with the whole thing decorated with burbling 8-bit-style synths. They’re on tour with the Neighbourhood and Danny Brown through the end of the month.
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