On March 9, Echo Bloom will release Green, the final entry in a trilogy that also includes 2013’s Blue and 2016’s Red. The idea for a three-part series of albums came to frontman/founder Kyle Evans after realizing his three favorite songs from Echo Bloom’s 2008 Jamboree debut were each in a different style. So he decided to do an entire LP in each track’s “genre”: folk (Blue), rock (Red) and pop (Green). Evans is a bit of a “roads scholar,” having lived in the South, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City (currently), as well as a time in Berlin, and these different locales have provided much inspiration into his songwriting. One of Green‘s standouts is “Song For Steven,” which we’re proud to premiere today on magnetmagazine.com.
Says Evans of both the origins of “Song For Steven” and Echo Bloom in general, “I lived in D.C. for a few years, in a commune in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. It was filled with these brilliant, highly ambitious people—very unlike the people I grew up with in small-town Florida. I remember talking with a housemate once about being interested in music, but not really knowing what to do with the interest. That kind of confusion didn’t really register with them: If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a painter, paint. They encouraged me to just do it, so I built a primitive recording studio in our basement and recorded my first album. Steven lived in that house, and we both had similar experiences. He was from a small town in Texas, and we both felt equal parts intimidated and empowered by the atmosphere of the house, and the city—and being 22 and trying to be adults. We grew up a lot in four years, and that’s what this song is about.” Well, you can’t argue with the results. Check it out now, and check Echo Bloom out live on the East Cost in March.
On February 23, 3hattrio will issue Lord Of The Desert, a 13-track album of what the Utah trio has come to call “American desert music.” Well, they hit the nail right on the head with that description, a Southwest-inspired fusion of folk, psych and chamber-esque music that’s both timeless and timely. Lord Of The Desert is the third LP from the band—seasoned vets Hal Cannon (banjo) and Greg Istock (bass) and youngster Eli Wrankle (violin)—and its noir-ish sounds are made even more trancey and otherworldy with the addition of some adventurous Autotuned vocals. We’re proud to premiere album track “War” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says the somewhat-mysterious Istock of the track, “Is it inevitable that the human species talk about, think about or prepare for and engage in war.” Well, we’ll pretend to understand exactly what he’s talking about if he and his bandmates keep making music this fascinatingly original. Download and/or stream “War” below, and catch 3hattrio live around the Southwest next month.
Juiceboxxx is kinda like that cool jukebox in your favorite dive bar, the one that’s heavy on hip hop but also has a mixture of all of the other different kinds of music you love to listen to while drinking your face off. The 31-year-old Milwaukee-bred/Brooklyn-based rapper/singer has been somewhat of an underground sensation for the better part of half his life, but now with the recent release of the stellar Freaked Out American Loser (Dangerbird), it appears that Mr. Boxxx is ready for his closeup. “I conceptualized Freaked Out American Loser to be a true, raw punk/rap blast,” he says. “Something like Jesus Lizard meets Cypress Hill. Wu-Tang meets the Breeders. Public Enemy meets Boredoms. You get the picture.”
The latest single off the nine-track album is the closing title track, which shows off Juiceboxxx’s post-punk inclinations. “I wanted to write an anthem that all of us losers can believe in,” he says. “So it only made sense to get Dave Sardy to do a new mix and really blow it out into the fist-pump zone. We are all just trying to take it one day at a time and, hopefully, change our lives for the better. Every single day is a struggle, but I’m trying really hard to keep going. I think Sardy’s mix really takes this song to the place it was always supposed to go. I couldn’t be more psyched. We’re all losers.”
We losers are proud to premiere the “Freaked Out American Loser” remix by musician/producer extraordinaire Sardy (if his name isn’t on at least 20 records in your collection, you aren’t a fan of good music) today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and catch Juiceboxxx on tour (dates below). You can win for losing.
March 7 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
March 8 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Brass Rail
March 9 – Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant Street
March 10 – Norfolk, VA @ Charlie’s American Cafe
March 11 – Wilmington, NC @ The Reel Cafe
March 16 – Austin, TX SXSW
March 17 – Hot Springs, AR @ Valley of the Vapors Festival
March 19 – Springfield, IL @ Black Sheep Cafe
March 20 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
If you’re not yet familiar with Dick Stusso yet, well, shame on you. But don’t fret, you still have a little time to get in on the ground-ish floor to impress your friends with the Oakland troubadour’s countrified-glam nuggets. Don’t believe us, ask fellow outlaw-esque singer/songwriter Kyle Craft, who recently had this to say to MAGNET about the Man In White: “I’m excited about this guy. He has a new record on Hardly Art, and the single has some groovy Bolan vibes. His first album, Nashville Dreams/Sings The Blues, is great, too.” The new record of which Craft speaks is the 10-song In Heaven, out March 2 and produced by analog mastermind Greg Ashley. We’re proud to premiere album track “Getting Loose” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says Stusso of the song, “Here we have a little postmodern, barroom jingle with a bit of a nod and a wink to the great Hoagy Carmichael. It started off as some kind of existential ‘tear in my beer’-type number, but inevitably devolved into a dumb, drunken jamboree of a thing. Which in the end is more fun to listen to, anyway. Also, advertising and marketing folk: Keep the chorus in mind for your next beer or car commercial.” A little self-promotion never hurt anyone, and you’ll see what Stusso means when you check out “Getting Loose.” And if you’re on the West Coast, see Dick live in March.
On April 27, Mobley will release Fresh Lies, Vol. I, the first in what he terms a career-long project. Through his songs, the Austin-based one-man band hopes to create an ongoing song cycle that explores his relationship with the United States. “Torch” is the second single from Fresh Lies, and it’s indicative of his catchy, melodic, genre-jumping pop. Says Mobley of the track, “One of my favorite things to do as a songwriter is to play with the tension between sonic moods and lyrical content. ‘Torch’ was really fun to make in that way. It’s probably one of the happiest-sounding things I’ve ever written. But it came to me at an incredibly low point in my personal life, so the lyrics are about as unabashedly melancholy as I’ve ever written. It deals with the mind-warping effects that result when passion burns hot and is extinguished abruptly.” We are proud to premiere “Torch” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and be sure to catch Mobley live (dates below).
Feb 24 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
Mar 2 – True/False Film Fest – Columbia, MO
Mar 3 – Rose Music Hall – Columbia, MO
Mar 9-18 – SXSW
Mar 20 – The Perch – El Paso, TX
Mar 22 – The Loading Dock – Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 23-24 – Treefort Music Festival – Boise, ID
Mar 27 – Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
Mar 28 – The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
Mar 30 – Shipping and Receiving – Ft. Worth, TX
Mar 31 – Axelrad – Houston, TX
It’s a tough lot, being the flagship band on a willfully obscure record label (in this case, indie-rock institution Shrimper), but Refrigerator’s never taken the easy path. The group has rarely toured, its albums are hard to find, and its jangly, off-kilter sound is more of a slow-burn obsession than love at first listen. Built around Allen Callaci’s blue-collar soulful voice, 11th album High Desert Lows (produced by Simon Joyner, who also plays and sings on the LP) shows the band in a blue period. These songs are mournful and searching, a withering waltz here, a cock-eyed folk ballad there. Swooning strings and twinkly pianos abound, but the general vibe is idiosyncratic Americana.
“I look at the album as a dog-eared, dime-store paperback short-story collection where the stories are not all directly connected but are loosely tied,” says Callaci. “The shadows of Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, who were all lost as High Desert Lows was being put together, loom on the record like a storm cloud quietly wandering from horizon to horizon. Although High Desert Lows is one of the darker things we have done in our 27-plus years as a band, collaborating with Simon and the amazing musicians that call Omaha their home was one of the most mystic and joyous recording experiences I’ve ever been part of.”
High Desert Lows is out on Friday (you can preorder it here), and Refrigerator will celebrate its release on March 3 at the dA Center For The Performing Arts in Pomona, Calif., with a two-hour performance and an music-related art exhibit by guitarist (and Shrimper CEO) Dennis Callaci. In the meantime, you can stream High Desert Lows exclusively right here at magnetmagazine.com. Do so right now.
On March 16, Alive Naturalsound will release the fourth studio album from the Bonnevilles. Dirty Photographs is the follow-up to the Northern Ireland power duo’s 2016 LP, Arrow Pierce My Heart, and while it retains the garage/blues flair of past efforts, the 11-track album is more upbeat both musically and lyrically. The title track is actually a love song, albeit one that lives up to its adults-only title. Says frontman Andrew McGibbon Jr., “I’ve always wanted to do a song for my wife, but the thought of some cheesy ballad, well, I would hate it and she’d see through it immediately for being paltry and fake. So I thought writing her a song that would make her dance is a pretty cool way of doing it. I met her when she was working in a local pub as a bar maid. I went in there to have a beer with my father, and there she was wearing skin-tight jeans and a crop top. I keep asking her to get me drinks from the bottom shelf so I could watch her bend over and, well, you know, not my most chivalrous moment, but it began a long love affair between me and her bum. And for the record, she has since admitted she knew what I was doing and was flirting with me. I’ve said too much already. I’m going to shut up now.” We’re proud to premiere “Dirty Photographs” today on magnetmagazine.com. So shut up now, and check it out.
Minor Characters return April 6 with sophomore album We Can’t Be Wrong. The follow-up to 2014’s Voir Dire, the nine-track LP finds the Chicago trio—guitarist/vocalist Andrew Pelletier, guitarist Shelby Pollard and drummer Thomas Benko, plus number of other musicians, including pianist/string arranger Joe Meland—back after a period of self-imposed downtime due to band burnout. The time away from one another led to Minor Characters deciding to not rush things in the studio. “It took us a year and a half to make this album,” says Pelletier. “During the middle of recording, America took a turn for the worst, and we had to write about it. What was originally going to be an EP about the difficulties of being in a band then turned into an LP about the difficulties of being an American in 2018—’Pimps Of Freedom (Whores Of DC)’ being about the daily updates we get about this administration and its cronies deregulating the shit out of the American government and handing it over to their filthy rich friends. Vulnerable people’s lives are in their hands, and they’re passing handouts to the wealthiest of us rather than the neediest. It’s whorish and abhorrent. But at the end of the day, it’s all so fucking entertaining. I can’t stop tuning in. All day long. Everyone I know can’t stop watching this madness. And what am I actually doing about it? Nothing. But this generation is turned up, and so we have to push back any way we can. It’s a monstrous, captivating live television show, and it’s in full fucking high-definition.” We are proud to premiere “Pimps Of Freedom (Whores Of DC)” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now.
Any time a band cites psychedelic-folk godfathers Pearls Before Swine and film-composer legend Ennio Morricone as influences, let’s just say our curiosity gets the best of us. Quicksilver Daydream is a Brooklyn-based outfit led by Adam Lytle that’s an extension of longer-running band Wild Leaves. After forming in 2016 and releasing debut LP Echoing Halls last June, Quicksilver Daydream is back February 9 with a new EP, the five-song A Thousand Shadows, A Single Flame. Adding keyboardist Glenn Forsythe (Dark North) to the lineup of guitarist Joey Deady, bassist Brett Banks and drummer Cole Emoff, Lytle cut the EP live to tape on his Tascam 388, with TW Walsh (Foxygen, Damien Jurado) handling mastering duties after the recording sessions were done. We are proud to premiere A Thousand Shadows track “Raven’s Eye” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says Lytle of the song, “‘Raven’s Eye’ came together during an acoustic practice at Cole’s old apartment in Greenpoint. We were at the point, as a band, where we could let collective intuition lead. I played a riff that was more aggressive than anything we’d done up to that point. Upon hearing it, the group jumped in, and the structure rode in on the resulting wave of energy. Lyrically, it’s a Bergman-like tale of an encounter with the personification of death. Ever since I can remember, my dreams have been haunted by thoughts of mortality. Nothing too morbid, but moving nonetheless. They serve as a reminder of the brevity of life and the virtue of living every day as if it’s the last. ‘Raven’s Eye’ attempts to bring that chase to life.” Check out “Raven’s Eye” below.
We first introduced you to the music of Ampline’s Mike Montgomery last year with our profile on R.Ring, his duo with the Breeders’ Kelley Deal. Ampline—Montgomery, Kevin Schmidt and Rick McCarty—has been together since 2001 and will release its fifth album, Passion Relapse (Sofaburn), on January 26. You can pre-order the vinyl here, but today you’re in for a treat: We have the premiere of LP track “Captions” for your listening pleasure. Says Montgomery of the track, “We wanted to write a song that just worked and churned away at a riff with just brief moments of melodic bloom. I had to write a eulogy once, so lyrically it grapples with the notion that you could sum up an entire lifetime with a few thoughts or captions.” Check out “Captions” below.