MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Dan Rico’s “Hot To Please”

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.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Curse Of Lono’s “Valentine”

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

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of S.M. Wolf’s “The Station” Video

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

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Hawk’s “Bomb Pop”

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.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Berry’s “Fragments” Video

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.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Cheer-Accident’s “Done”

If you want to impress your friends by saying you got in on the ground floor with Cheer-Accident via the band’s stellar new album, well, you’re only about 37 years too late. Yes, this virtually uncategorizable Chicago ensemble formed around the time the members of Animal Collective were still learning how to form full sentences about panda bears and strawberry jam. Impressively named multi-instrumentalist Thymme Jones has been Cheer-Accident’s mainstay since day one, with a revolving cast of numerous members and guests in and out over the years, though the band has had a solid core lineup for a while now.

On May 25, Skin Graft will issue Fades, which, by our guess, is Cheer-Accident’s 19th album. (This would put Jones and Co. one behind Guided By Voices in the LP department; what’s with the Midwest and hyper productivity?) Like the band’s previous albums, Fades is a dizzying and evolving array of disparate styles—psych, prog, pop, punk, post-punk (and those are just the “p”s)—that Cheer-Accident somehow continually manages to cohere into a sound that’s unmistakably its own.

The 10-track Fades kicks off with “Done,” a mini motorik masterpiece that your Stereolab-loving older sister will be singing along with at the gym. Jones calls “Done” the “most kraut-poppy song on the record. It’s great to jog in place to—or jazzercise. And the dual trombone/mouthbone solo equals the dorkiest moment on the album.”

We music dorks couldn’t agree more, so we’re proud to premiere “Done” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and catch Cheer-Accident on tour (dates below).

5/21 – Midland, TX, The Scorpions Nest
5/22 – Albuqurque, NM, TBA
5/23 – Tucson, AR, TBA
5/24 – Los Angeles, Hi Hat
5/25 – Sacramento, CA, Blue Lamp
5/26 – San Francisco, Cafe Du Nord
5/27 – Santa Cruz, CA, Crepe Place
5/31 – Petrolia, CA, Mattole Valley Community Center
6/1 – Portland, Mississippi Studios
6/2 – Seattle, Columbia City Theater (Seaprog Festival)
6/4 – Salt Lake City, Metro
6/5 – Denver, Larimer
6/6 – Kansas City, MO. Record Bar
6/7 – Minneapolis, 7th Street Entry
6/8 – Madison, WI. The Frequency
6/9 – Chicago, Beat Kitchen

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of US, Today’s “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)”

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Us Weekly and USA Today merged? Well, the result would decidedly not be Us, Today, an experimental-leaning instrumental trio from Cincinnati. Vibraphonist Kristen Agee, guitarist Joel Griggs and drummer Jeff Mellot formed eight years after meeting at a coffee shop (how totally 2010) and immediately went to work, releasing three albums: 2011’s RH Sessions, 2012’s Beneath The Floorboards and 2015’s Tenenemies. The LPs were the result of weekly improvisational jam sessions that the band then used as the basis for completed songs.

On new album Computant (out June 15), Us, Today pushes things ever further, adding synths and electronic-drum elements to its sophisticated sonic stew. Perhaps most impressive is that the trio recorded the entire record over the course of one weekend, with most of the tracks only needing three or four takes. New single “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit),” however, “we did it in one take,” says Agee. “After we did one pass of this song, we all agreed that it was exactly what we wanted—no need to do another pass. The song was done. That is a huge win in my book.”

“‘Spellcaster’ is very different from a lot of other tunes on the album,” says Mellot. “It seems to be more straightforward from a time-signature standpoint, and it relies on relentless energy from the band. This was a tune we felt we needed our attention in the studio. One of our crowning achievements is only doing one take.”

“The middle section was designed to kind of act like being in space after taking off in the first section,” says Griggs. “The guitar and vibes drift lightly before descending into full, rock-out cacophony assault on the senses. We wanted to come back down to drone to end the song like an airplane landing.”

Mission accomplished, Queen City cosmonauts.

We’re proud to premiere “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and let these spirit doctors cast their spell on you.

MAGNET Exclusive: Stream The Uranium Club’s “Live For The Very First Time (In Italy)”

“It’s everything you asked for: sardonic humor, guitars and the type of energy normally only found in the type of invitation that lands you in a cult. The ‘Club and pertinent board members are overjoyed to present the Minneapolis Uranium Club as you’ve never seen them before—in Italy!”

So says Brendan Wells of the Twin Cities-based Uranium Club, a four-year-old outfit that sounds and looks like it’s been around a hell of a lot longer than that. (Speaking of looks: These guys certainly wouldn’t seem out of place at a Conflict-subscriber reunion bash.)

Following releases on labels you’re nowhere near cool enough to know about (Lumpy, Fashionable Idiots, Static Shock), the Uranium Club has joined forces with the relatively higher-profile Castle Face label (Thee Oh Sees, Kelley Stoltz, Ty Segall, Coachwhips) for Uranium Club: Live For The Very First Time (In Italy), an eight-track LP for those of you who couldn’t get on the guest list for the show. The Uranium Club’s brand of sarcastic, spazzy post-punk would’ve fit perfectly on a triple bill between Death Of Samantha and Phantom Tollbooth circa 1988 at 7th Street Entry, which around these parts is high praise indeed.

Live is out Friday the 13th, but lucky for you, you can stream it at magnetmagazine.com right now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Western Centuries’ “Time Does The Rest”

Western Centuries is a bi-coastal honky-tonk outfit whose members have played with the likes of Donna The Buffalo, Zoe Muth, the Lost High Rollers and Eli West. Given its three songwriters are urban cowboys (Jim Miller lives in and around NYC, while Ethan Lawton and Cahalen Morrison call Seattle home) with a healthy respect for old-school rural influences, the band’s sound is the new, real “countrypolitan.” Traces of all the good stuff (classic C&W and R&B, cowboy songs, Delta blues, three-part harmonies, stellar lyricism) find their way onto the dozen-track Songs From The Deluge (out today on the Free Dirt label), the follow-up to 2016’s Weight Of The World.

One of the album’s standouts is the Miller-penned “Time Does The Rest,” a song “about those scary and beautiful moments when you know your life is about to change in huge and unpredictable ways,” says the songwriter. “But as scary as those life-consuming moments can be, I try to convey what I personally believe—that whenever change follows the heart, nothing but good will result. I also wanted to create an aggressive waltz mood, to explore what an edgy waltz might sound like.”

You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Mr. Miller. We’re proud to premiere “Time Does The Rest” today on magnetmagazine.com. Stream and/or download it below.

“Time Does The Rest” (download):

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Yonatan Gat’s “Medicine”

On May 4, Joyful Noise will release Universalists, the sophomore album from NYC-based guitarist/producer Yonatan Gat. The 10-track LP follows 2015’s Director and two EPs, continuing the former Monotonix founder’s exploration of melding improvisation, world music, punk and avant-garde into a vital new music form. The centerpiece of Universalists is “Medicine,” a collaboration with Rhode Island drum ensemble the Eastern Medicine Singers and Swans’ Thor Harris.

“The first time I saw the Eastern Medicine Singers, they were playing outside the venue just before we went on,” says Gat. “I loved their music and asked if they wanted to improvise with us during our concert. We had never met before, and they immediately replied, ‘No.’ But by the second song, they were hauling their gigantic drum inside, and we started playing together in the middle of the room—two bands forming two circles, with the crowd around us, dancing, trancing, many in tears.”

The recording session for “Medicine” featured 20 musicians playing live in the studio. We’re proud to premiere the five-minute track today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it now, and also check out legendary live performer Gat and band on tour in May (dates below).

May 6 Winooski, VT (Waking Windows Festival)
May 9 Montreal, QC (Distorsion Psych Fest at La Sala Rossa)
May 10 Toronto, ON (CMW Festival)
May 11 Cleveland, OH (Happy Dog West)
May 13 Indianapolis, IN (State Street Pub)
May 14 Chicago, IL (The Hideout)
May 15 Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
May 16 Los Angeles, CA (Resident)
May 18 San Francisco, CA (The Chapel)
May 19 Portland, OR (Bunk Bar)
May 22 Vancouver, B.C. (Astoria)