We first introduced you to Dan Rico at the end of last year with “Flesh And Bone,” telling you he was one to watch in 2018. Well, we’ll pat ourselves on the back now for being right. The Chicago-based singer/songwriter/producer is back June 22 with Dreamy. His cassette-only sophomore album comes courtesy of private-press label TMB Limited. “Hot To Please” is the first single off the record, and it sounds like Win Butler and Buddy Holly joined forces in the early ’90s with the hopes of inking a deal with Sarah Records. (For those not in the know, that’s a good thing.) “Hot To Please” is out later today, but fear not: We’re premiering it for you right here, right now. Says Rico of the track, “‘Hot To Please’ is about a state of delirious melancholy, halfway between the inevitability of heartbreak and the transcendent excitement of moving on.”
Check it out before your friends do, kids. And if you’re in the Windy City, catch Rico with the Shacks at the Virgin Hotel on Sunday. You can bring your mom if you’re hot to please her on Mother’s Day.
Curse Of Lono formed in London three years ago, and we were fans shortly thereafter. The quintet, led by vocalist/guitarist Felix Bechtolsheimer, is back August 17 with sophomore album As I Fell, and the LP continues the band’s exploration of its patented Amerigothica sound—one that comfortably rides right alongside both Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Drive-By Truckers. Speaking of the road, Curse Of Lono will be on tour all around Europe leading up to the release of As I Fell. (Tour dates below.) But in the meantime have no fear and loathing, as we have the first single from the LP ready for your listening pleasure today.
Says Bechtolsheimer of the track, ”Valentine’ is about the kind of murderous jealousy that twists you up until you don’t recognize yourself anymore. The sort of dejection that will make you do things you know you will regret. I think the vocal harmonies floating over the tribal beat, distorted bass and filthy baritone guitar going through a tiny 1950s Selmer practice amp really capture that feeling.”
We are proud to premiere ”Valentine” today on magnetmagazine.com. If you don’t check it out now, you might do things you know you’ll regret.
May 17 — Alternative Escape (The Mesmerist), Brighton
May 24 — Fat Lil’s, Witney
May 25 — The Lexington, London
May 26 — Dot-To-Dot Festival, Bristol
May 30 — Sheffield Greystones
May 31 — Hug & Pint, Glasgow
June 1 — Gullivers, Manchester
June 2 — The Ent Shed, Bedford
June 22 — Isle Of Wight Festival, Isle Of Wight
July 7 — Maverick Festival, Suffolk
July 12 — Oltrivierenhof, Antwerp
July 14 — Paradiso, Amsterdam
July 18 — Fabrik, Hamburg
July 19 — Kaufleuten, Zürich
July 21 — The Sage, Gateshead
On June 1, S.M. Wolf will release sophomore album Bad Ocean via People In A Position To Know (Joyful Noise’s sister label). Lead by multi-instrumentalist (and elementary-school special-education teacher) Adam Gross, S.M. Wolf is a one-off, one-man project that’s grown into a full-on band. The 11-track Bad Ocean finds the Indianapolis-based outfit mining the same power-pop-leaning territory of its previous releases but adding some Elephant 6-like instrumental touches (theremin, baritone guitar, air organ) that lend the proceedings a familiar ’60s feel. First single “The Station” is one of the LP’s highlights, a groovy, breezy indie-rocker whose subject matter is a little darker than the upbeat instrumentation would lead you to believe. “It’s about depression and trying to overcome it,” says Gross. “It’s about having ups and downs and the fact that we just have to keep on trudging forward in the face of whatever may come.”
S.M. Wolf just released a video for “The Station,” and like the band’s clip for “We All Decided No” (off 2015’s Neon Debris), it involves claymation. “I just kind of started playing with the clay and came up with this character,” says Gross. “At the time, I was pretty inspired by some of Art Clokey’s claymation shorts like Mandala. So I started animating this character walking through a desolate, post-apocalyptic style world, and it began to take shape and meaning almost on its own. I realized he was searching for something, yet that thing was undefined, and that he would keep encountering obstacles along the way that slowed him down or could’ve stopped him, but he always keeps going. It’s a little bit Sisyphus, which ended up relating to the song quite well.”
We are proud to premiere the video for “The Station” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and catch S.M. Wolf live this summer.
6/1 – White Rabbit Cabaret, Indianapolis
6/15 – P H Â R M Â C Y, Philadelphia
6/24 – Surfside 7, Fort Collins, CO
6/25 – Kilby Court, Salt Lake City
6/27 – The Sunset, Seattle
7/2 – El Rio, San Francisco
David Hawkins ran his own personal Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, and all you got is his great new album. When the Venice Beach-based Hawk leader, an abstract painter who also fronts the orchestral-folk-leaning Be, set out to record his band’s fourth LP, Bomb Pop (out tomorrow), little did he and guitarist Aaron Bakker know their backing band would end up being the kind of outfit any musician would kill for: drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Elliott Smith), multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) and vocalist Gary Louris (Jayhawks, Ray Davies, Golden Smog); Stringfellow and Louris also served as engineers for the sessions. While previous Hawk albums I’m On Fire (2014), Rock N Roll (2007) and Princess America (2005) established former Souled American manager Hawkins as a versatile songwriter well-versed in all the good stuff (Dylan, Stones, Velvets, R.E.M., Uncle Tupelo), Bomb Pop—true to its title—shows a power-pop-leaning side of Hawkins not apparent before.
“This album is a blast,” says Hawkins. “It comes from my love of bands like Big Star, the Beatles and the Jam. And of the pristine production sound of ’60s pop gods the Wrecking Crew. Of shiny psychedelia and Velvet angst. All wrapped up around that thing that makes my stories mine. The exuberance in the music is palpable, while the lyrics explore life’s struggles and triumphs, mercurial lovers and magical parades. It seems a fitting blast of pop catharsis for the moment; it’s a summertime record for the end times.”
Well said. And it’s not lost on Hawkins that he was able to achieve this career highpoint in part due to the contributions of pros such as Thomas, Stringfellow and Louris, three men who live to play music. “We had a lot fun making it,” says Hawkins. “With this band, we can finally capture the songs the way I hear them in my head. It’s like a dream.”
See, kids, dreams do come true. We’re proud to premiere Bomb Pop today on magnetmagazine.com. Do yourself a big favor, and check it out right now before it explodes.
2018 marks the 16th year of Berry‘s existence, and to mark the occasion, Joyful Noise has issued the quartet’s third LP, Everything, Compromised. Though the album is the only first from the Chicago-based outfit since 2010’s Blue Sky, Raging Sun, Berry is nonetheless a very prolific band, having already written and recorded more than 100 songs. The gap between albums stemmed from a couple of factors, including band members moving across the country as well as finding the right producer to complete the LP after a whirlwind recording session generated 11 songs. The producer came in the form of Paul Klimson (John Legend, Erykah Badu), and soon after, the nine-track Everything, Compromised was finished. Trust us, it was worth the wait.
“Fragments” is the second single from the album, and it’s a pretty-yet-slightly-spooky slice of indie prog with a killer, laid-back groove. Frontman Joey Lemon shares how the new video for the track came together: “Summer of 2017 marked a full seven years since Berry’s last tour. The tour, which previewed tracks from Everything, Compromised, was as much a chance to reconnect with old friends as anything else. College friend Trae Carson hosted Berry’s final tour rehearsal in the warehouse of his artisan microbrewery, 405 Brewing Co., and old tour buddy Seth McCarroll, founder of acclaimed pedal company Old Blood Noise Endeavors, was on hand to document it. The result is a live video of the apocalypse-by-internet-inspired ‘Fragments.'”
We are proud to premiere “Fragments” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check out it now.