MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Ruler’s “Get To You” Video

On May 25, Barsuk will issue Winning Star Champion, the debut album from Ruler. A recording/touring veteran (including time with Rocky Votolato and Cataldo), Seattle-based Matt Batey has ventured out on his own with Ruler, armed with more than 120 songs he wrote during his years playing with others. On the 11-track Winning Star Champion, Batey gets by with a little help from his friends—like Michael Lerner (Telekenisis), Eric Howk (Portugal. The Man, Lashes) and Eric Anderson (Cataldo)—but this is Batey’s show, and he proves to be more than up to the challenge.

For Batey, this record is personal; not only did he play most of the instruments on it as well as produce it, his lyrics focus on him facing his demons (addiction, agoraphobia, self-sabotage, uncertainty) head on in order to move past them, to get better, to survive. That these intensely honest and inspirational tales are delivered via the kind of catchy and grown-up indie rock you’ve come to expect from Barusk (like MAGNET faves Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf and the Long Winters) makes Winning Star Champion one you don’t want to lose out on experiencing.

We’re proud to premiere the video for “Get To You” today on Says Batey of the song, “‘Get To You’ is a about feeling unable to connect with others, even when they are doing everything they can to get through. I think a lot of people can relate to feeling alone in a room full of people.” We can definitely relate, especially with the Dan Fromhart-directed video reinforcing that feeling of isolation we all sometimes have even when surrounded by others.

Check out the clip for “Get To You,” and catch Ruler at Seattle’s Upstream Festival in June and Carnation, Wash.’s TIMBER! Summer Music Festival in July. In the meantime, you can pre-order Winning Star Champion right here, right now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Those Who Ride With Giants’ “The Walk Of Thunder”

Vivre is the third release from Those Who Ride With Giants, and it’s out June 22 via Ostereo. The six-track EP is the brainchild of Sydney, Australia-based illustrator/animator/musician MJ Callaghan, and although he may already be sick of the comparison, the instrumental soundscapes he creates exist in the same airy atmosphere as Explosions In The Sky. (Good on ya, mate.) So it’s no wonder that Callaghan’s dynamic, dramatic dirges have already scored films and commercials.

“The Walk Of Thunder” is both the first single off Vivre as well as its opener, and, says Callaghan, “as the main theme of the EP is ‘to live, to be alive and to conquer the darkness,’ ‘The Walk Of Thunder’ is the ideal introduction of what’s to come.” We couldn’t agree more, and the track definitely grabs your attention immediately and leaves you wanting more.

Vivre showcases a harder side of Those Who Ride With Giants, possibly because Callaghan was listening to music by the likes of Deftones, the Contortionist and Tesseract while he was writing these songs as well as building a new studio to work in. But this heavier result wasn’t one that was completely intentional, especially given Callaghan’s struggle with “The Walk Of Thunder.”

“This is probably the longest I’ve ever worked on a song,” he says. “Originally I wrote the guitar parts to be delicate and pretty, but continually fell short when it came to how I wanted the direction of the track to go. In an attempt to salvage it, I tried something different with a big bass line and a solid drum beat, but I was ready to drop the track entirely, when a very close friend heard it by chance, encouraging me to continue, to finish the song. Instead of the original desire to have a soft-and-elegant piece, it became this powerful opener that Those Who Ride With Giants hasn’t done before.”

We’re proud to premiere “The Walk Of Thunder” today on Check it out now, and look for the full-band version of Those Who Ride With Giants to tour after Vivre’s release.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Honey Child’s “Standing In The Shadows” Video

Honey Child is a self-described “heroine-folk” chamber-pop choir spearheaded by opera singer and keyboardist Claire McKeown. The L.A.-based McKeown is a Belfast, Northern Ireland, native who moved to the U.S. to study musicology at UCLA, though she soon became disenfranchised with the privilege and conservatism she found within the classical-music clique. Following a nervous breakdown and an alleged drug-induced conversation with the devil (yeah, we’ve all been there), she instead opted to let her freak flag fly and come to the true dark side: indie music.

After time spent in a handful of bands and doing vocal work for films and commercials, McKeown formed Honey Child as an outlet to assist in mending her broken heart. From there, six other female vocalists helped in the Honey Child rearing, and in February, the ensemble released its self-titled debut (on Aeronaut). The nine-track LP was recorded at the famed EastWest Studios (Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty and countless movie music) and features instrumental contributions from players with credits including Nada Surf, Weezer and the Airborne Toxic Event as well as Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated composer Rolfe Kent (Sideways, Dexter, Wedding Crashers, Up In The Air).

“Standing In The Shadows” is the third single and video from the album, and McKeown says the clip “represents the release of old skin. We witness the death of an old character I used to be and the death of a toxic love harvested in my heart. The director, Maggie McLean, used the beautiful imagery and symbolism of the members of Honey Child cleansing away my past and helping me release my old shadow self. We lost Milos Forman on the day this video was finished. I was floored by how much this man’s movies have crept into my creative unconscious. This character’s aesthetic is part Amadeus and Valmont with a side of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, for good measure.”

“Standing In The Shadows” marks the directorial debut from McLean, who co-runs Cheeky Films. Says McLean of the collaboration, “​When my dear friend Claire asked if I wanted to direct a music video for her gorgeous band Honey Child, I was flattered, anxious and beyond excited. This baby is my directorial debut, so the pressure was on. She sent me some songs to think about, and I was immediately drawn to ‘Standing In The Shadows.’ Instantly, I related to the lyrics—we’ve all had our hearts broken at some point or another and came out on the other side better, stronger, smarter. The journey to the ‘other side’ of a heartbreak is not an easy one. Sometimes it means we need to crawl deep into a cave and disappear while we lick the salt from our wounds. Sometimes that cave is a dreamy bubble bath.”​

In this case, the cave is definitely a dreamy bubble bath. So light some candles, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, put on your powdered wig and relax with the brand-new video for “Standing In The Shadows.” We’re proud to premiere it today on Let it wash over you now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Saint Marilyn’s “Tangle” EP

May 18 is a big day in the life for Brooklyn’s Saint Marilyn: The synth-pop duo of Che Houston (how freaking cool is that name?) and Kevin Marksson will release its debut EP, Tangle (Really Great Gum; pre-order here). The two started playing together toward the end of 2013 as a drums-and-guitar outfit but soon excommunicated the six-strings and began worshipping at the altar of vintage synths. It was then that Saint Marilyn rose from the ashes.

Houston and Marksson will be celebrating the release of the self-produced Tangle on May 19 at their hometown’s Alphaville (get tickets here). So if you want to go and also be familiar with the songs from the EP, we’ve got you covered: We’re streaming Tangle exclusively at Says Houston of the EP, “The songs on Tangle are filled with lyrics about how much we get hurt by the things that we love the most. Whether that’s about the frustrations of writing music on ‘Matchless,’ our homes and the city we live in on ‘Jaws’ or, in the case of ‘Burn Burn Burn,’ the intensity of loving another person. We talk a lot about push-and-pull dynamics, and even the title of the album means two things: Tangle is a fight, but it’s also an embrace. I think we do the same thing instrumentally. It’s big rock ‘n’ roll drums and bass, but it’s also filled with quiet synths and anxious energies that needed to be expressed.”

Let Tangle be your guide to recognizing your patron saints of expression.

MAGNET Premiere: Matt Costa’s “Sharon” Video

It’s been nearly half a decade since Matt Costa‘s last proper album, a self-titled effort he recorded with members of Belle And Sebastian, but the lifelong Californian (who usually puts out a new LP every couple years) wasn’t exactly slacking off during that period. He issued a handful of self-produced EPs, did the soundtrack to acclaimed documentary Orange Sunshine and finished an entire album that remains unreleased. Which brings us to Santa Rosa Fangs, co-produced by Peter Matthew Bauer (Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks) and out May 18 on Dangerbird. The dozen-track LP follows the story of a woman named Sharon and her two brothers, with Costa injecting some of his own adventures growing up in the Golden State into this fictional tale of love, loss and the California landscape.

While not the first single from Santa Rosa Fangs (that would be opener “I Remember It Well”), “Sharon,” the second track, is both pivotal to the album’s somewhat-skewed storyline and, musically, the perfect example of Costa’s knack for writing timeless, accessible pop/rock songs with enough of a bent to keep music snobs from getting their torn-and-tattered T.Rex T-shirts in a bunch.

“‘Sharon’ is the imaginary classic-rock-radio single—and lynchpin—to this strange record that feels like both Matt’s own autobiography and also a kind of dreamy made-up nostalgia,” says Bauer.

“‘Sharon’ is an effortless-sounding song that could have come from any time,” says Stumpf. “Costa’s strength is his ability to create these worlds that feel familiar and easy to sink into but also have threads of the dark and sinister. California noir.”

Though the video for “Sharon” exquisitely captures this surreal California-noir vibe, there’s only one minor problem: It was shot in Great Falls, Mont., at the one-of-a-kind Sip ‘N Dip Lounge (the number-one bar on earth worth flying for, according to GQ), which is located at the O’Haire Motor Inn (home to “the kind of western hospitality that you would expect to find in the heart of Montana”).

“It couldn’t have fit the song more perfect,” says Costa of the clip. “My close friend and veteran photographer Pamela Littky directed the video and was able to bring the vision to life with a gilded suit and signature Blue Hawaiians. In the song, Sharon frequents the aquarium bar with her aquarium friends. In the video, I croon the turquoise corners and dive into the same vices as Sharon.”

“The video is exactly as I always think of Matt,” says Bauer.

After watching “Sharon,” the video is exactly as we will always think of Matt, too. We’re proud to premiere it today on Watch it now, and catch Costa on tour later this month (dates below); no word yet if he’s bringing the mermaids on the road with him.

And as a bonus, check out the teaser trailer for Santa Rosa Fangs:

May 19 — Boot & Saddle, Philadelphia
May 21 — Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA
May 22 — Rough Trade, Brooklyn
May 23 — The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
May 25 — Longboat At Great Hall, Toronto
May 26 — The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
May 27 — Schuba’s, Chicago
May 28 — Shank Hall, Milwaukee
May 30 — The Turf Club, St. Paul, MN
June 5 — The Troubadour, Los Angeles
June 7 — Live in the Vines, Carmel, CA
July 7 — Café du Nord, San Francisco
July 9 — Wild Buffalo, Bellingham, WA
July 10 — Tractor Tavern, Seattle
July 11 — Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver
July 12 — Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
August 16 — Bluff Park At Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, CA

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  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 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 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 Check out it now.