Interview: Lewis Del Mar Want To Share Their Vision With The World

Lewis Del Mar at Hangout Festival for ThisNewBand

When I first heard Lewis Del Mar’s single “Loud(y)” on Spotify, it stuck out among the influx of indie pop releases that had been filling up my playlists. The duo’s jarring combination of acoustic-driven indie with  tribal influences and glitchy samples left me addicted, yet confused. I didn’t fully understand it, all I knew was that it was refreshingly innovative, and they were showing crazy growth on Spotify. (In fact, we hailed them as one of the top 10 emerging artists to watch at SXSW 2016.)

At the time, Danny Miller and Max Harwood were best friends, trying to translate the influences of their childhood into a musical project that they could hang their hat on. This is reflected perfectly in the name they chose for the project, Lewis Del Mar, which is “a play off the fact that their father’s share the name Lewis, and family roots in Spanish-speaking countries (‘del mar’ means ‘from the sea’),” according to the blog Respect Your Youngers. Columbia Records realized their vision, signing them to a record deal, and the rest has been history.

Painting (Masterpiece)

Lewis Del Mar

After releasing their debut album ‘Lewis Del Mar’ in 2016, they have been touring aggressively and gaining fans across the world. We caught up with them at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama to talk about their growth:

INTERVIEW

You have seen such huge growth in only two years. You were featured at SXSW in March 2016 and were starting to emerge, and since then y’all have really blew up. Looking back on when you were writing those songs, did you ever think that you would hit this much success this fast?

Danny: I don’t think so, no. I don’t think you ever prepare or envision something like that happening. We always had a lot of confidence in what we were doing. We certainly believe in each other and our abilities to create the music that we want to create, and that feels right to us. But that was sorta like where we drew the line, we didn’t really think about it much outside of the little world that we created for ourselves.

And I think that that’s sort of what this year has been about for us, learning how to transfer the intimate nature of our relationship and our creative process to a larger scale, where people understand who we are and what we do and care about. Because it’s a very personal thing, and before this experience it was something that we were living off in our own corner of the universe, and it’s really just that the corner’s grown, you know?

Max: Trying to figure out how to share our corner with the world.

Danny: In a way that feels genuine and right to us.

You put a lot of thought and creativity into your staging. On this tour, you have a huge screen behind you with videos projected onto it during your set. I met your lighting director last night and he was talking about how involved you were in the creative process. How important is it for your vision to translate in a live setting?

Max: At this point we are about building a world, so the live thing is just an extension of our music and of ourselves. We put a lot of effort into making sure it visually represents what we’re trying to say with our music.

We very meticulously chose a lot of videos for the projector that’s behind us that we think blend the various influences, whether that’s the Latin American influence, or the industrial city influence, it’s just all representing that visually.

Danny: Yeah, we found some really amazing clips from foreign films, like this film Black Orpheus, and we have an old Comme des Garçons commercial in there.

Via @victoriatags on Twitter: Is there any particular album or song that you haven’t been able to stop listening to recently?

Max: You know what I had [stuck in my head]? That Y La Bamba track.

Danny: “Ojos Del Sol”

Max: They’re from Portland, Oregon, and they’ve got this beautiful song. It’s just the most gorgeous song, I just got goosebumps thinking about it. And it’s recorded so beautifully, it’s a beautiful feeling.

Danny: I’ve been listing to a good amount of Bryson Tiller lately. Also this new record by Rex Orange County, he’s from the UK, I love that record, it’s called Apricot Princess I believe [Listen on Spotify].

Anyone else that y’all are working with or writing with?

Danny: We’re sort of expanding into that recently.

Max: We’re touring with Anna Wise, and she is just a beautiful person and a beautiful artist. Having her on the road has been so inspiring and a pleasure. I would just encourage everybody to check out her music and what she’s doing.

Danny: She’s a collaborator of Kendrick Lamar, and a really close friend of ours, and everything that Max said.

What have been the highlights of this tour?

Danny: I think on the most basic level, the shows have just gotten a lot bigger. We just played our biggest headline show in Chicago, there were like 900 people there. That felt to us like entering into a different level and layer of what we are doing, where the message and the things that are important to us and the things we are creating are beginning to translate into other people’s worlds.

That’s certainly a very humbling feeling, but it’s also just a very interesting dynamic, you know? We really feel like what we do is such a reflection of who we are as individuals… We have some fans, I would say the people who are making up 75% of the audience, that are really really really dedicated to what we do, and that’s been an amazing thing to witness. To witness people that have really connected in a personal way to your music.

I mean it’s funny, because in a sense that’s the goal, right? I shouldn’t be so surprised by it. But we are and it’s empowering. When you get off the road and you’re at home or in the studio, you can spend so much time imagining and projecting these ideas of what you want your career to be and how you want to be perceived, but at the end of the day, when you’re on stage in front of people, all that stuff is just residual nonsense. It’s like that is the basis of the essence of the connection that you can have with another person. So we try to each night just take a minute and completely clear our consciences and respect that space as being very sacred. That interaction with other people.

Catch Lewis Del Mar on Tour:

May 24 – Trees – Dallas, TX
May 28 – BottleRock Festival – Napa, CA
May 30 – Chop Suey – Seattle, WA
May 31 – Star Theater – Portland, OR
Jun 02 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Jun 03 – Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
Jun 06 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 08 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 09 – Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO
Jun 11 – Del Mar Hall – Saint Louis, MO
Jun 15 – Firefly Festival – Dover, DE

 

Find Lewis Del Mar on the internet:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Spotify

White Reaper Channel The Guitar Gods In Third Record, ‘The World’s Best American Band’

White Reaper

In Kentucky, there is an abundance of two things: cheap beer and time.

Bring in four young men who have a nostalgic obsession with American arena-rockers of the seventies and eighties, who possess an electric energy and drive to become the next in line, and you collectively create White Reaper.

If the band is new to you, you have the unique joy of experiencing their previous two records, ‘White Reaper’ and ‘White Reaper Does It Again’ (very witty), with fresh ears. Both were highly acclaimed by critics and stalwarts of the guitar-led garage rock genre, yet did not find much mainstream success outside of the niche. That’s a shame, too, because the band is one of the most exciting bands I have ever seen live. They absolutely destroy the small rooms they have played in to date, treating them as if it were the main stage at Lollapalooza, or more appropriately, Woodstock. To put it in perspective, in 2015 they were booted from their opening slot on tour with indie darlings Alvvays because they rocked so fucking hard that they couldn’t be followed.

Now the group is back yet again to rock our worlds with their third full-length ‘The World’s Best American Band’, released on Friday, April 7th (listen on Spotify). From the very first song, opening with crowd cheers and an infectious drum beat, Kentucky natives White Reaper establish in tongue-in-cheek fashion that their name is one of the greats the rock ‘n roll world.

'The World's Best American Band' Album Artwork

From the heavy guitar and supersonic drums to their more polished lyrics, the album is a cohesive monster, with strong hints of garage punk heavily influencing their work. Working with producer Kevin Ratterman, who boasts a resume of working with artists like My Morning Jacket and Young Widows, the band’s third effort is one that simply must be heard.

Judy French

White Reaper

Lead single “Judy French” is incredibly catchy, making the listener want to drop everything and start dancing, no matter where they are (this may or may not be from personal experience of listening as I sit in crowded spaces). As lead singer Tony Esposito sings, “Now stop / Read my message and tell me what you think / Let me lean close listen to your heartbeat,” it is easy to tell that the band is not only incredibly polished musically, but lyrically as well.

From “The Stack,” all the way to the final track, “Another Day,” the album keeps the listener’s full and undivided attention, each song having some unique aspect that necessitates a second listen. From inventive synth lines to irresistible melodies that stay stuck in your head for the rest of the day, the diversity across the album leaves everyone feeling satisfied. When listening, I urge that fans listen cover to cover for the full experience, as listening in order provides quite an amazing experience in hearing the band’s multitude of sounds.

The Stack

White Reaper

Following the release of the album, White Reaper are hitting the road. They aim for every person attending to leave their show satisfied, no matter where they are in the crowd. Given their music, it is no surprise that Esposito suggests that attendees “be nice to everybody, cause you’re gonna get close.” The tour kicks off on April 23rd in Houston, and they will be hitting plenty of cities over the next months, including festival stops at Hangout, Bunbury, and Bonnaroo.

Grab ‘The World’s Best American Band’ on Bandcamp for $8-17, with options ranging from digital download to limited edition 180-gram red vinyl.

Check out White Reaper’s website for all tour dates, as well as their music and social media links.

LA indie pop group ARMORS talk about their latest single “Overdose”

ARMORS

Orange County natives ARMORS are a force to be reckoned with in the next year. They have become local favorites on KROQ in the Los Angeles area due to their innovative, alternative sound and high-quality production. Fresh off the release of two new singles (“Overdose” and “Genesis”), they’re about to hit the tour circuit with Safetysuit in January 2017. We had the chance to speak with them about their new music, what’s next for them, and what they really want fans to know. Check it out below!

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Overdose

ARMORS

Describe your latest single “Overdose”.

“Overdose” came together in a very spontaneous manner; the song was completely written and recorded in demo quality all within a few hours. Overall the catalyst for the track was a reflection of  the countless extra hours we were putting in, trying to succeed in life anyway possible. The greater meaning of what poured out of our subconscious that day would only come to light in the final stages of production, when we had a chance to actually review the song. Honestly we all face challenges in life, we are all subjected to trials and hardships as we pace forward. Whether it be your dead end job, or the bad relationship that you can’t forget, or even the overarching feeling of existing yet, still not truly feeling alive. A vast majority of us find coping mechanisms to push through and strive for something real, something greater, sometimes to the point of excess. In short, we have found that the very crutch in which we escape from the real world can very often consume our entire lives as we try to avoid it.

Genesis

ARMORS

Do you feel as though“Overdose” and “Genesis” are signifying a shift in your music? If so, why?

Absolutely. Since the beginning of 2016 we have written somewhere around 50 songs or so. Our writing has been refined and our identity has been carved out via the outpouring of our personal lives into finished compositions. We find ourselves growing older and older, and our life experiences are becoming more saturated day in and day out. You can most assuredly hear how we have matured since previous releases, into what we feel is more along the lines of our personal vision for the group.

You mentioned how the writing of “Overdose” was the first time you’d ever had to write a clean/explicit version of one of your songs. What was that like?

To be honest, we try and avoid using explicit lyrics for the most part, it usually just tends to bring a track down overall. Relying on expletives to fill out lyrics is typically the easy way out. In the case of “Overdose” though we couldn’t see a way around saying it how we felt it. That line rings more true nowadays than ever and I believe being brutally honest in the context of that line is something a lot of people can agree with.

What drove you to create multiple acoustic versions of “Genesis”?

When we released the acoustic video, the response was far more positive than we ever anticipated. The arrangement was changed up in the stripped down version and we fell in love with it just as much as our listeners. Because we couldn’t see just stripping audio from the video shoot and posting online, we decided to take it into the studio and fully record the arrangement.

Genesis (Acoustic)

ARMORS

How do the visuals (album covers, preview videos, etc.) for your new singles tie into the music? Did you come up with them yourselves or did you collaborate with someone?

Most of them are done in house by our bassist Kody Buxton. Oftentimes, they are just visuals that we feel represent the tracks in various ways. We like to leave it up to the listener to interpret them however they see fit.

Are there any more treatments for these songs coming out?

We are currently trying to throw around music video concepts and hope to begin filming in the next few months. As with anything else, it can often be a challenge to portray the imagery we want to accompany with the music. You can expect to see something come through very soon.

ARMORS (Photo Credit: Lhoycel Teope)
ARMORS / Photo Credit: Lhoycel Teope

You have received some spins on radio, most notably on LA’s KROQ, which is known for breaking new bands. How does hearing your songs on the radio feel, and do you think it’s affected you as band?

It has most assuredly affected us as a band. We never get tired of hearing our music on the radio, it never feels like it’s really happening. Growing up in Southern California our whole lives, listening to Kat Corbett on KROQ playing awesome bands has been such a great influence. To finally hear her talk about us and how much she likes the music is absolutely surreal. We’re honored to consider her a friend!

What kind of plans do you have for 2017?

We are announcing our first national tour [with Safetysuit]! It has been such a grind trying to get touring opportunities across the US. It feels incredible to have something big lined up at the top of 2017. There is literally no better way to start the year for us!

Will you be premiering any more new music on your upcoming tour with Safetysuit in 2017?

Yep! We always try to give listeners sneak peeks here and there of the new tracks!

Is there anything else you want your fans to know?

We’d like to emphasize to all of our fans around the world that we truly appreciate all of the love and support you have given us over the years. Without your encouragement at times, we may have not made it through some of the low points that we’ve gone through. Without a doubt we can assure you all that we are trying tirelessly to make it out to every city that wants us, as well as every city that will have us. There will be more music on the way, and more shows!

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You can catch ARMORS on tour in support of Safetysuit in 2017. Make sure to follow their social media to keep up to date on what they’re doing.

http://armorsmusic.com/
http://soundcloud.com/armorsmusic
https://facebook.com/armorsmusic/
https://twitter.com/armorsmusic]

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This article was edited by Haley Yates.

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Vérité finds the sweet spot between electro and pop in ‘Living’

Being an electropop artist in 2016 is not an easy feat. With the massive popularity of both EDM and indie pop, the space between the two has become quite interesting.

And it’s crowded in there, like a packed bar on a weekend night. It’s hot as hell, everyone is drenched in sweat, having the time of their lives. Yet each artist walks a fine tightrope between being the homegirl who is way too cool to dance, sitting on the couch tapping her foot, and the fist-pumping man-bro who uses the word “rage” in every other sentence.

Vérité seems to have found the sweet spot in her third EP, ‘Living’. She immediately captures you with catchy yet introspective hooks, which sound like what might come from Tinkerbell, if she were an angsty and rebellious teenager. Featuring the breakout single “Underdressed” (which currently boasts over 3.3 million streams on Spotify), and emerging hit “Constant Crush”, the release allows you to walk into a world where the cobwebs of painful past relationships and struggles are camouflaged underneath a thick layer of pop polish.

Underdressed

Verite

“Everything means everything, and nothing means nothing / so why hide your expletives under your breath?”
[“Underdressed”]

Constant Crush

Verite

Understated beats leave plenty of room for her to showcase her impressive vocal range, but will still have you grooving. In “Living”, she seems to hit the high notes effortlessly, and in “Rest” and “Gesture” you can feel the emotion travel from your ears directly into your blood, electrifying its way to your heart.

Rest

Verite

She seems to have found the right formula. Her past releases saw her garner fame amongst the indie blogosphere, and her most recent tour boasted a streak of sold-out shows. Another measure of viral success: she is currently accumulating a staggering 958,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. That momentum could launch her up the charts, and it’s only a matter of time before we hear her hitting high notes on mainstream radio. And hopefully there’s a full length record somewhere on the horizon.

Rest

Verite

Want to learn more about Vérité? Read her interview with Nylon from 2014, after she put out her first single “Weekend”, or check out a more recent interview with Harpers Bazaar from this April.

Find Vérité on the internet: Snapchat: VeriteOfficial | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

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Whitney celebrates with melancholic exuberance on debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake - Album Artwork

‘Light Upon The Lake’ proves to be a cave in which you are free to explore, or just sit and hide from it all in quiet introspection. Whatever you are looking for, a walk with Whitney will help you get there.

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake - Album Artwork
Album artwork for Whitney’s debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’, out June 3 on Secretly Canadian.

It’s a strange thing to take solace in your own sadness. To be at a point in your life where you’ve sunk so low, the only thing left to do is appreciate the fact that you were ever allowed to be happy, and find serenity in the idea that the tide has ebbed and it can only get better now. It’s a feat in and of itself to recognize that, much less articulate it in such a way that the same emotions are elicited in another person. That’s exactly what Whitney does in their debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’.

Whitney is comprised of a musical dynamic duo of sorts, with Julien Ehrlich, formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, on both drums and vocals, and Max Kakacek, of Smith Westerns, on guitar. Ehrlich played alongside Kakacek briefly in Smith Westerns, but the group disbanded in 2014. Left to wander the musical landscape alone, the pair found themselves living and working together once again. The glorious, chronically distraught byproduct is Whitney. This is the culmination of musings bred by the navigation of impregnable emotions, and the impossible decisions you are forced to make in the face of them.

No Woman

Whitney

The album opens with the lead single “No Woman”, an ominous and hopeful track, serving not just to wrap you up in their emotions, but also yours. Once it begins, the emotional onslaught refuses to cease, carrying you through triumph and nostalgia on “Golden Days”, the burden of letting down a friend with “Dave’s Song”, and then a brief respite to reflect on the instrumental track “Red Moon”. Catharsis is achieved on the final song “Follow”, an exuberant and serene denouement to what feels like the musical equivalent of locking yourself in a closet and crying until you laugh.

Golden Days

Whitney

Still, despite the clear emotional direction from creators, Whitney manages to transcend itself. It becomes almost prismatic in nature, distorting and changing and refracting as the user holds it to the light, and turns it at all angles. With every new angle, a new idea is formed, providing infinite ways to explore each and every detail. Each song fills the negative space around the notes with deft and resonance. Guitars croon and ache, while a crescendo of horns creeps into the background. The harmonies on the vocals protect you from yourself, serving to keep you afloat in the constant stream of emotion. ‘Light Upon The Lake’ proves to be a cave in which you are free to explore, or just sit and hide from it all in quiet introspection. Whatever you are looking for, a walk with Whitney will help you get there.

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Whitney’s highly-anticipated debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’ is available Friday, June 3 on Secretly Canadian. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp and iTunes.

Follow Whitney on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

3 Style Tips For Nailing Festival Fashion from Great Good Fine Ok

Great Good Fine OK at Audiotree [Photo credit: Audiotree]

It’s the summer, and that means festivals, where nailing that perfect outfit is essential. Great Good Fine Ok are known for their great, outlandish thrift-find get-ups, so we enlisted their good-natured help to help you create a fine festival wardrobe ahead of their performance at the Bulladora Music Experience happening next weekend in Dallas, ok!

The band was happy to share their top fashion tips and answer a few questions from community member and GGFOK superfan Heather Obermiller (@theheatherobie).

Great Good Fine Ok’s top 3 festival fashion tips:

1. Fashion over comfort.

If you look good, you feel good!

Great Good Fine OK at Bucknell University [Photo credit: CJ Moy]
Great Good Fine OK at Bucknell University [Photo credit: CJ Moy]

2. Embrace the thrift life.

Fellas, don’t be afraid of the ladies section. Ladies, don’t be afraid of the fella’s section.

Great Good Fine OK at Audiotree [Photo credit: Audiotree]
Great Good Fine OK at Audiotree [Photo credit: Audiotree]

3. Be yourself!

If you wanna wear full army fatigues while you lean and dab – SIR YES SIR! Do you!

Great Good Fine OK at Firefly Festival [Photo credit: CJ Moy]
Great Good Fine OK at Firefly Festival [Photo credit: CJ Moy]
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Where do you get all your amazing clothes?

Most of my wardrobe is from thrift shops. I’ve become somewhat of a “thrift whisperer”.

Do you have a couple favorite pieces?

I have a gold sequin kimono that I had custom made. It was the first time I picked out material, and designed a piece from scratch – definitely the start of what will end up being a very expensive, but amazing habit. Another unique piece is this long green choir/matrix looking robe. It goes all the way to the floor and weighs about 20 pounds. I bought it at a thrift shop in Portland, wore it that night, and will probably never wear it again.

What inspires your fashion on stage and in life?

When we perform I like to wear clothing that feels like the visual representation of the music. It’s important to me that I feel inspired and passionate about what I wear, and every night I try to wear something different. While creating a song is all about the music, I like when a performance is an experience that incorporates all senses. Fashion has always been a way I’ve expressed myself. Even as a kid, I would wear slightly “weirder” things than other kids. In “non-stage” life I don’t wear kimonos and capes, because my intention is not to stand out, but I do try to wear unique items that make me feel good.

You’re performing in Dallas at the Bulladora Music Experience on Saturday, alongside Paperwhite, Powers, Shamir, Cheat Codes, and AlunaGeorge. How pumped are you?

VERY PUMPED!!! Festivals and Texas are pretty much our favorite things.

You just put out an amazing brand new single called “Always”. How did that come together?

We actually started writing “Always” about 2 years ago. We felt fondly of it, but never felt satisfied enough to release it. The music kept changing and we kept chipping away at it until it finally felt right. Lyrically, it’s one of the most meaningful to me. As you get older, the concept of “always” becomes more and more real.

Always

Great Good Fine OK

Are there plans for a new EP/LP release coming soon, or more singles? 

We will definitely continue to release music! If we’re inspired to put together an EP or LP, we will, but in the meantime, it’s been fun to release singles. They each get their own life!

Will we be hearing any new material at the festival?

You can count on it!

Do you ever get tired of “Great Good Fine Ok” jokes, like people asking “how are you feeling”… ?

Naw, we welcome it! Lately we’ve been enjoying things like “Great Good Fine Okale” for our favorite kale breakfast, or “Great Good Fine Ahoy” for our upcoming NYC show on a boat. We often throw around the idea of opening a seafood restaurant called “Skate Squid Brine Filet”…a little bit of a stretch.

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You can catch Great Good Fine Ok at the Bulladora Music Experience, which takes place on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 at Reverchon Park in Dallas. Single day passes run $49, and weekend passes are $99; grab yours here.

Follow the band on Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Facebook. Purchase their latest single “Always” on iTunes, or stream it on Spotify.

Tweet us your best Great Good Fine Ok puns for a band-related surprise. We’re on Twitter @ThisNewBand.

Fuente’s Debut EP ‘The Water’ Is All About Reinvention [ThisNewBand Premiere]

FuenteWe all struggle to find our identity and our voice, and Brian Fuente knows this firsthand. After years of trying to find his place in an up-and-coming band within Nashville’s saturated music scene, he was frustrated. “I found myself asking ‘what is my plan B?,'” he stated. That’s when he made a decision that would change the path of his career, auditioning for NBC’s vocalist contest The Voice. After laying down a rousing performance of the Grace Potter hit “Paris (Oh La La)”, Blake Shelton turned his chair around. And thus began what looked to be a new life for Fuente.

“Being on The Voice changed my life dramatically,” he said. “It took me to a completely different level and the opportunities have been bigger than I ever imagined. I went from being unknown with 120 followers on Twitter, to 5,000 followers in less than 24 hours.” But the airtime was short-lived. He was knocked out in the first round after being assigned an almost impossible song choice in Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”, to which Shelton, who assigned the song, voiced his displeasure. It was after that moment that Fuente realized he was yet again going down a path that was less fulfilling than it seemed.

“I learned really quickly that I’m not built for overnight success,” he told The 405. “I need time and space to build my sound organically. Freedom in creativity is everything, and being on The Voice only verified that for me. As soon as my time was done there, I knew I had to finally do this for myself… Music should be written for the heart and soul, not for the business.”

Out of this frustration emerges Fuente, a brand new alt-pop project which finds its roots in 70’s R&B and 80’s synthpop, and strives to be both heartfelt and authentic. “All new beginnings” are the first words you hear when you hit play on Fuente’s new EP, ‘The Water’, and none could be more fitting, as the project is an opportunity for the singer-songwriter to start anew and find his true self.

The Water EP

Fuente

When creating the record, Brian put his head together with band members Ben Azzi, Daniel Johnson, and Mike McDonald with the hopes of creating something fresh, remarking “when writing and making this EP, I think it was more of a meeting of the minds situation. We all came from different backgrounds and, in turn, that created a unique sound for the record. From R&B grooves to heavy 80’s synth, we hinted at different childhood influences.”

The result, produced by Brian himself and engineered by Joshua V. Smith (Jack White, The Dead Weather, Beck), is a sonic landscape of alternative goodness. Undeniably catchy pop hooks and slick synth production are paired with raw, dynamic vocals and real deal instrumentation that create a unique blend of old-school homage and modern sound. But behind the polish, one finds the words of a songwriter who is not shy about sharing his struggles and path to self-discovery.

“I never knew who I really was,” he croons midway through the love-tinged “Mystery” (listen here), yet in ‘The Water’ and in his bandmates, he seems to have found his true self. “I’ve learned to stay true to myself more than anything,” he tells us, “and for the first time, I can say that this project is just that… one-hundred-percent me… Now that’s something to be proud of.”

We are proud to premiere this first effort ahead of it’s full release tomorrow (Friday, April 29), which you can stream on SoundCloud or find in the player above. The four tracks are the first half of a forthcoming release, of which the second half will be released in the future.

Regarding what’s next for the act, Fuente tells us, “we are focused on finishing the 2nd EP as well as continuing to write right now. No current plans to tour, but we’re looking into building a schedule for the Fall.” We look forward to watching these guys grow.

You can follow Fuente on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and find more on their website, fuentemusic.com.

First Look: Kid Wave

Kid Wave Polaroid

Kid Wave Polaroid

Have you ever had the experience of listening to a band for the first time on record (or via streaming if we are going to be 21st century about it) and knowing instantly that they probably kick some serious ass live? You can almost imagine the way each song will bleed into another through a wash of feedback as the drummer counts out the next song. You can smell the sweat and stale beer through each track as they emanate from your speakers and you close your eyes to sense the experience to be held.

This was my first impression of ‘Wonderlust’, the debut album by Kid Wave, a four piece band from England by way of Sweden [Buy it on iTunes]. This is a band that was meant to be experienced live to fully embrace their sound. Sure, they wear their Indie Rock badges on their guitar straps, but what they have created is a collection of songs that fit perfectly together into a cohesive statement of a band to be beheld. The opening notes of the first song, the crackling “Wonderlust”, leap out at you before lead singer Lea Emmery slides up to the mic to seduce us with her husky, slightly lived in vocals. The restlessness of the lyrics mirrors the driving nature of the guitars and bass as Emmery details her visions of being anywhere but in the place she is. “Always have to run class for them kids, Because my mind was not at still, Stuck emotion running ’round, Yeah we all drift and come soon to be saved,” she intones and you can’t help but want to jump into a beat-up old car and run away with her. “Wonderlust” highlights what the band’s formula is at the heart; big thumping anthems that are meant to be shouted out at the top of your lungs.

Wonderlust

Kid Wave

The rest of the record plays a bit with the same dynamic. “Gloom” is a pop song that dissolves into a barrage of feedback at the end. “Honey” slinks its way into your subconscious before landing on a buttery chorus. There are hints of Pavement, Veruca Salt and Elastica all over this album, with all three influences crashing together in the beautifully anarchic “I’m Trying to Break Your Heart”. Even the slower moments work, as evidenced by the lighter in the air ready “Walk on Fire” and acoustically sweet “Dreaming On”. I defy anyone not to melt into a pool of jello just hearing the first 15 seconds of “All I Want” and not want to instantly follow this band on tour for the next 6 months. It would certainly be worth the cover charge to see how much better they can be giving how impressive the start is.

Gloom

Kid Wave

Honey

Kid Wave

Listen to this when: You’re driving in a car with your best friend, tapping the steering wheel and singing along off key, but with gusto.

Follow Kid Wave: TwitterInstagramFacebook • Website
Listen: SoundCloudSpotifyiTunesYouTube
Live Dates: SongKick

FAVES: Mainland Kick Off Their US Tour & Give Us 5 New Bands To Listen To

Mainland Polaroid

I’ll cut straight to the chase, Mainland is a band that you need to be listening to. I don’t really know how to describe their sound without using the word “excellent” in every sentence, so I’ll leave you with this blurb from Rovi that does a much better job:

“Combining New York grit with Californian pop sensibilities, Mainland crafted catchy garage and post-punk ditties with a clever eye toward ’80s new wave, ’90s alternative, and the sonic aesthetic of the early aughts ‘The’ bands.” Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

In December, they dropped a 4-track ‘Outcast EP’, built around their strongest performing track to date, “Outcast”.

Outcast

Mainland

They just released an awesome music video to another song off that EP, “Not As Cool As Me”. I can’t get enough.

Not As Cool As Me

Mainland

But my favorite track off the release is the slightly more chilled “A Bit Out Of Time”.

A Bit Out Of Time

Mainland

I asked the guys to give me five up-and-coming bands that they think we should listen to, here is what they came up with, with my commentary added in:

“There are so many rad new bands that we’ve been digging, it’s hard to list them all, but here’s what we’ve been into.”

1.  BRONCHO

“A band from Oklahoma who’s lo-fi weird freak out garage rock we’ve been digging over the last year, especially their latest album ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’.”

I absolutely love BRONCHO. They used to come through Dallas often before they got their big break with the song “Class Historian”, which currently has 9.7 million plays on Spotify, strong numbers which have propelled them into a national touring force.

Class Historian

BRONCHO

Personally, I prefer their first album ‘Can’t Get Past The Lips’, which dropped in 2013. It’s more angsty and sweaty than the stuff on the new album. The perfect example of this comes in the song “Insert Coin”, but that whole album is refined garage pop at its best and worth a listen from front to back.

Insert Coin

BRONCHO

The band currently has no announced dates until their March showcase at SXSW and Dallas’ post-SXSW Spillover MF.

Follow BRONCHO: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Website
Listen: SoundCloud / Spotify

2. Sunflower Bean

“We played a CMJ showcase with them a while back for NPR and it ruled. They’re going to the top, Nick is a killer guitarist, and Julia Cumming is a really great performer. Their album ‘Human Ceremony’ is coming out on Fat Possum Records.”

These guys are really buzzing right now. Check out their newest single, “Easier Said”, which dropped just a few days ago and will be on their aforementioned new album ‘Human Ceremony’.

Easier Said

Sunflower Bean

Follow Sunflower Bean: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
Listen: SoundCloud / Spotify / BandCamp / iTunes

3. Cosmonaut

“Our good pal Jack Manley is the ringleader of this shoegaze/garage influenced band with his close comrades that write angular pop songs. They just recorded some new songs which we can’t wait to hear.”

This band is new to me and I love ’em. Their 2014 track “Radio Silence” is essential listening.

Radio Silence

Cosmonaut

Follow Cosmonaut: Twitter / Facebook / YouTube
Listen: Bandcamp

4. Threats

“This is Jack Ridley III’s thrashy blues punk band. He’s a local NYC hero and pourer of whiskey shots at our favorite local watering hole Welcome To The Johnsons. They put on some of the wildest shows in New York and also play in the band Drowners.”

Just straight-up head-bashing, mosh-inducing, wild punk rock.

I Wanna Get High

Threats

http://threatsnyc.tumblr.com

5. Controller

“A great pop band out of NYC. They just released an EP titled ‘No Future’ in November that’s loaded with catchy hooks and and synth lines.”

And it’s got sax-iness too, which you can hear toward the end of “Midnight Man”.

Midnight Man

Controller

I’m also loving “Separator”, it’s a total jam.

Separator

Controller

Follow Controller: Twitter / Facebook / InstagramWebsite
Listen: SoundCloud / Spotify

Find Mainland touring throughout the US in support of Marianas Trench over the next month:

1/13 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
1/15 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
1/16 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Las Vegas
1/17 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
1/19 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Dallas
1/20 – Houston TX – House of Blues Houston
1/22 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
​1/24 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fl – Revolution Live
1/26 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm
1/27 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
1/29 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
1/30 – Portland, ME – Asylum
1/31 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
2/02 – Boston, MA – House of Blues Boston
2/04 – Silverspring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring
2/05 – Philadelphia, PA – The TLA
2/06 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls
2/08 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
2/09 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
2/10 – Chicago, IL, – House of Blues Chicago
2/12 – Detroit, MI – Fillmore Detroit
2/13 – Indianapolis, IN – Old National Centre (Deluxe)
2/14 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Orbit Room
3/03 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza w/ The Struts
3/15 – 3/20 – Austin, TX – SXSW

 

Follow Mainland across the internet:

Snapchat: Mainland

We Talked To Emily Wolfe About Rock ‘N’ Roll And Her Brand New Single “Atta Blues”

Emily Wolfe Polaroid

Emily Wolfe Polaroid

Austin’s Emily Wolfe is a hurricane of rock ‘n’ roll, a true force to be reckoned with. Sometimes you need some loud, in-your-face electric guitar to slap you out of the indie pop trance that you live in, and for that she is highly recommended.

After exploring her sound through a variety of genres in past releases, from singer-songwriter and folk in 2012’s ‘Directors Notes’ and 2013’s ‘Night & Day’, to gritty, crooning rock ‘n’ roll in 2014’s “Swoon” and ‘Roulette’, to a more indie rock sounding single in last year’s “Cigarette Burns”, she has finally found where she feels most comfortable, in guitar-driven, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. “I’ve been playing [guitar] for 20 years, so I figured I should tap into that part of myself,” Wolfe jests. She has certainly done so in her brand new single “Atta Blues”, the first single to be released off a forthcoming record, which dropped this past Friday.

Atta Blues

Emily Wolfe

She traveled through Dallas on January 8, playing with one of my favorite discoveries of last year, Black Pistol Fire. Before her show, we talked about deep thoughts, the music industry, and most importantly, rock ‘n’ roll:

Harley Barnes: Especially just coming off of the New Year, is there anything that you have been thinking really deeply about?

Emily Wolfe: Oh yeah, all the time. It’s kind of weird, because I normally think in big picture, like my goals and where I want to go. So a lot of what has been on my mind lately are the steps to get to where I want to go, and it seems like this huge feat that I have to accomplish.

You’re talking about the steps that you want to take as an artist?

Yeah, because there’s no clear path, you know?

There’s not? I thought that there was. (Sarcasm)

No, not anymore. Labels are dead. Anyone has their own path and it’s just trial and error. It’s a little overwhelming.

Yes, it’s so crazy, you might have a young kid who will upload a song on YouTube, and then a month later it has over a million views and labels are knocking down their door to sign them.

Yeah!

And then you have, I guess, the opposite, which is working your way up slowly and organically.

Slummin’ it, yeah.

It’s pretty crazy, I have to agree. I heard that you used to do stand-up comedy.

Yeah, it’s true. I did.

Have you experienced anything worthy of a bit lately?

(Laughs) Well we drove up here in a minivan, which is kinda funny cause it’s like we’re all rock ‘n’ roll and then we step out of a Dodge Grand Caravan. (Laughs) I still need to work that one out.

http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/dodge/grand-caravan/2001/oem/2001_dodge_grand-caravan_passenger-minivan_es_fq_oem_1_500.jpg

(Laughs) It’s all good, you’re not doing comedy tonight.

I was talking to the door guy about this earlier. Do you think that there are any true rockstars anymore, like from this generation?

Like the long hair, tight jeans, sock in the pants kind?

I think it’s more about the “don’t give a fuck,” larger than life attitude, just super punk…

I do! They’re rare though. Black Pistol Fire is one. I do think that Courtney Barnett is one of those people, from what I’ve seen. I don’t know her personally, but based on her interviews and her style of music, she just doesn’t seem to give a fuck. She’s just like, “I don’t care, I’ll wear this stripey Where’s Waldo shirt and I don’t have to show my tits or anything,” so she just doesn’t care.

Courtney Barnett is pretty fucking cool. What are some of the most influential live performances that you’ve seen?

Dang, well I saw Jack White at Austin Music Hall. That was pretty inspiring. He really doesn’t give a fuck, he just plays for himself, and it’s amazing to watch him. I think he’s a real rockstar, too.

Lord Huron puts on a great live show that’s really inspiring. Hmm, who else… Sharon Von Etten, I can’t stop watching her.

Speaking of Jack White, I saw in an interview that after you had your surgery [brain surgery], a long time ago, you listened to a lot of his music.

Sure. I did.

Did you see him after that, or before?

Before. I always had kind-of an obsession with him. Like, not in a weird way, he’s like an idol for me, a big guitar hero for me I guess. Yeah, I saw him after that and I think that you have to listen to him over and over to grasp what he’s trying to put out there. Initially, his music can be confusing, but then you really get down deep into the lyrics and his guitar playing, and you just feel a lot of emotion coming out of him. And it’s really interesting emotion, too. It’s not really anything that I’ve seen another person have emit from themselves. It’s cool.

He’s definitely a rockstar.

Do you feel like there are any artists that everyone is trying to copy right now?

I mean, the whole girl in a jumpsuit with a computer thing is really in. Like electronic musicI’m not hating on itit just seems like it’s such a trend right now.

Ringo Starr Sketchers Ad
“Fuck yo couch.” — Ringo Starr

I just saw a Sketcher’s ad with Ringo Starr on it, and I was just thinking, “Is everyone selling out now?”. The Beatles are on Spotify now; it’s just a weird time.

It is a weird time in music, the industry has changed so much. I mean, that came from a licensing thing, I’m assuming. It’s weird for The Beatles, but for an upcoming artist, that’s where they get their money, and I don’t see a problem with it. But for The Beatles to be on a Sketchers ad, it’s like, “C’mon man, you don’t need that money. Keep your brand where you want it.”

So let’s talk more about your music. In “Cigarette Burns”, the last track you released before “Atta Blues”, you say “you never fall in love unless it’s broken from the start.” What did that come from?

That song is actually about a friend of mine who is super great, but she tends to get into relationships that are kind-of fucked from the beginning, and she like subconsciously seeks them out. I think a lot of people are like that, you try relationship after relationship and you figure that out eventually. So that’s about her, but she doesn’t know that. (Laughs). I don’t want to tell her that.

Cigarette Burns

Emily Wolfe

You’ve got a new single coming out on January 14 called “Atta Blues”, what can you tell us about it?

It’s the first song that’s super guitar-driven for me. I’ve been playing for 20 years, so I figured I should tap into that part of myself. And I’ve since condensed my band to a three-piece. I used to play with four other people, and my guitar and my vocals didn’t stand out as much as I wanted them to. So that’s where that song really originated from, I really wanted to rock, you know?

Atta Blues

Emily Wolfe

Yeah! So it’s the first song from a forthcoming record or EP?

Yes, once I get some of the logistics figured out for this next album, it will be the first single on that.

What do you feel like is going to be or has been the inspiration for the songs on the new album?

A lot has happened to me in the past two years, so I think those songs are inspired by the emotion that I’ve gone through in that time. I mean, I had brain surgery, I got sober, like a lot of things happened. So I’m still experiencing those emotions and that’s where a lot of those songs are coming from. Even though they’re not about those situations yet, they’re about previous relationships and previous hardships that I haven’t really dealt with yet, so that’s my way of dealing with it, writing about it. But I think the lag time between my emotional grasp of what’s happened to me in the last two years will come to me in like the next five months in other songs that I write.

Be on the lookout for more from Emily Wolfe in the future, and if she comes to your town, I highly recommend seeing her live. She will rock you to the core.

Her new single “Atta Blues” is available now on iTunes.

Follow Emily Wolfe: TwitterInstagramFacebookSoundCloudSpotifyYouTubeWebsite

If you’d like to listen to more of her music, I’ve put together a playlist for you of my favorites. Listen to it on SoundCloud or Spotify.