Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chvrches - “Leave A Trace” Lyric video + Pre-Order Link
Jesse Mullen

Scottish Synthpop trio Chvrches have announced their new album, Every Eye Open, and have shared a lyric video for the first single from it, “Leave A Trace.”
It begins with an Icy synth line, and a surprisingly harrowing vocal from Lauren Mayberry, before leading into its chorus, where Mayberry’s traditionally bell-clear, yet frosty voice comes in to play. Lyrically and tonally, I was given a stronger reminder of “Your Silent Face” by New Order from the Power Corruption and Lies album, which coincidentally has quite similar artwork.

Listen here for yourself here:

And Pre-order Every Eye Open, which comes out September 25th on Glassnote records, here:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stream/Download Wilco’s new album,
Star Wars, For Free
Jesse Mullen


I can honestly say that I wasn't expecting much, when I heard that this album would be available free of charge. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

With Star Wars, Wilco have captured the steamy summer evenings of Yo La Tengo, the abstract guitar sounds of Sonic Youth, and the concise pop of latter-day Beatles. All while maintaining true to themselves. Nels Cline is given a chance to shine on the experimental "You Satellite" and the ripping "Random Noise Generator." I'm certain that this album will continue to untangle itself in my head in the coming days, but in the meantime, just sit back and enjoy. What have you got to lose, besides half an hour of your time?

 Listen here:

And Download, in exchange for an email, here:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

4Knots Festival 2015 Review (New York, NY)
Jesse Mullen

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have attended New York City's 4Knots Festival at Pier 84. Here are my short (from one sentence to a paragraph) recollections of the day's performers in the order that they appeared onstage, starting with Happyness, and culminating with Super Furry Animals. I did not include set times or setlists, but both should be easily accessible, and I will link them when they become available, in an amended version of this article marked as such.

Happyness - Versatile Noise Pop trio from London, their sound is in almost equal parts Sonic Youth and Pavement. (The first song reminded me of "The Empty Page," with it's riff and vocal melody being very similar to that song.)

Screaming Females - Marissa  Paternoster is still one of the greatest to ever shred the guitar. And this group is still one of the most engaging live acts you will see. A set filled with tracks from new album "Rose Mountain," an unexpected highlight was "It All Means Nothing" from their 2012 album Ugly.

Mikal Cronin - A nice expansion of the sounds we heard on MCII. The new songs on MCIII had an even more Ty Segall feel live. (Fitting considering he is the bass player for his live group)

Twin Peaks - At first their sound was too brutish for my taste. But they won me over with their tight playing in the end.

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - excellent show. While Malkmus is obviously the star, these veterans sound incredible together, and every member is irreplaceable. A stunning, tear jerking version of "Freeze The Saints" was only given a lighter touch when Malkmus spoke up to Mike Clark during the piano interlude. "You're stepping on me, man. I love you, but you're stepping on my foot."
Ah, Malky. You never disappoint.

Super Furry Animals - stunning set, from the Cardiff group. The new found live effects show that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Though the entire set was a spectacle to behold, things got especially intimate when Gruff Rhys requested that the audience wave to a ship that was passing by. Nearly everyone in attendance complied, and the act gave the spectators a communal feeling; we were no longer individuals. We were a part of something greater than ourselves. Thank you Gruff.
Penultimate track "Mountain People" was an obvious highlight, with an extended sequenced bass loop at the end, as well as “Run Christian, Run,” which was given a trance like status, with it’s lucid backing vocals from guitarist Huw Bunford. The classic "The Man Don't Give A Fuck" was jammed out to nearly fourteen minutes, with an enthusiastic response from the crowd.

*4Knots has been running for five years now. It was previously held for free at South Street Seaport in the financial district, but this was the first paid year of the festival.

**I arrived late and missed the first two acts. This review includes everything after those bands/artists

Happyness (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Screaming Females (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Mikal Cronin (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Twin Peaks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks Pre-Set huddle (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)IMG_4209.JPG
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)

“Mountain People” Super Furry Animals (Photograph © Jesse Mullen 2015)