Thursday, June 25, 2009

Forest Fire

Hailing from Brooklyn, Forest Fire are responsible for a fine brew of lofi folk that unabashedly nods to the world of punk. Their tracks are littered with out of tune horns, vibrant bursts of guitar and layers of screeching electronics. 'Survival' - their forthcoming album, is a moment-to-moment kind of recording. Songs of total grit will part to reveal blue sky, before dissolving once again into disorder. Recorded over an eight month period in both Brooklyn and Portland, many of Survival's tracks were recorded live in less than five takes, then maniacally overdubbed by a variety of players. Sometimes there was only one microphone for the entire band. Sometimes they pulled out a few more. The result is an album which was rated as Le Blogotheque's album of the year, over the likes of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, before it had even been officially released. Broken Sound is hugely proud to be bringing this album to your ears this summer.

“Survival” is the striking debut album from Forest Fire, four talented individuals who met in New York over the past few years and began making music together in 2008. Survival was recorded over an eight month period in two locations - Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon. To record Survival the band set up a microphone in the centre of the studio and arranged themselves around it. Survival is a moment-to-moment kind of recording. Songs of total grit will suddenly part to reveal blue sky, before dissolving once again into disorder. On tracks such as “Slow Motion” and “Sunshine City”, sparse arrangements creep along then grow as thick and tangled as jungle brush. On “Through My Gloves”, Thresher spits in waves, threatening and concise, and ditches the restrained lyrical approach for a moment. By contrast, “I Make Windows” aches along delicately and the catchy and imaginative “Fortune Teller” demonstrates an outright pop sensibility. Survival is a modern album, built with enough fortitude and spirit to warrant repeated listens. Highly Recommended!

Forest Fire - I Make Windows
Forest Fire - Fortune Teller
Forest Fire @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Twin Of Myself (The Go! Team Remix)
(Twin Of Myself is featured on the new BMSR's album Eating Us)


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Soft Black

Soft Black are four piece garage rock band hailing from NYC. The band members are Vincent Cacchione (Vox, Guitar, Fearless Leader), Michael Stefanov (Drums), Brian Amsterdam (Guitar) and Matthew Molnar (Bass).

On the heels of successful releases from Brooklyn's Vivian Girls and The Royal Chains, Plays With Dolls Records got a hold of these recordings and helped the band to complete the album by putting them in the studio with engineer Charles Burst at Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge (Neko Case, Crystal Stilts, Psychic Ills). During one crazed session, the band recorded the remainder of the album live in under two takes. Those recordings were then maniacally overdubbed and crafted over a further week of recording. The album is formed by equal parts of these sessions.

"The Earth is Black," Soft Black's second LP, was recorded to analog tape over an eight month period. Vincent Cacchione, the bands principle songwriter, began tracking in the New Jersey basement of a dear friend, Nick Coleman, on modest 8 track home recording gear. Most of the basics carved out in just a few takes, the duo of Cacchione and Coleman meticulously crafted each track, orchestrating the album with bursts of noise and melody. Recommended!

Soft Black - The Lions
Soft Black - I Am An Animal
Soft Black @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: The Skygreen Leopards - Dixie Cups In The Dead Grass
(from Gorgeous Johnny, out July 21st on Jagjaguwar)


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Ropes

NYC based duo The Ropes are vocalist/bassist Sharon Shy and multi-instrumentalist Toppy (known for playing drums with the guitar hanging around his neck). Notorious for their engaging lyrics, The Ropes have toured extensively throughout the US and UK, opening for acts such as The Used, Innerpartysystem, The Matches, and others.

The Ropes have released an EP titled “Cry to the Beat” and a full length album “What They Do For Fun”, both produced by Nic Hard (The Bravery, The Church) and Toppy. The Ropes are set to release new EP titled 'Clubs In Europe Forever'. The Clubs in Europe Forever EP is shipping from June 2, 2009. Recommended!

The Ropes - Clubs In Europe Forever
The Ropes - Robot Now, Human Later
The Ropes @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Patterson Hood - I Understand Now
(from Murdering Oscar (and other love songs), out June 23rd on Thirty Tigers)


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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Royal City

Royal City were formed in in 1999 at Jim Guthrie's house in downtown Guelph Ontario. The band was fronted by Aaron Riches, well known in the local all ages punk scene for having booked and opening up for Fugazi, his releases on DROG Records, and for being the subject of a Robert Munsch book as a child.

Originally called The Royal City All Stars, the band had moved to Toronto after signing with Three Gut Records. At Three Gut, Royal City joined label mates Cuff The Duke and The Constantines in Toronto's early 2000s music scene. While working with many collaborators, the core of Royal City consisted of Aaron Riches, Lonnie James, Simon Osborne and Jim Guthrie. James replaced original drummer Nathan Lawr in 2002.

During their time as a band, Royal City toured across Canada, playing places such as Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territories, and opening for such musicians as Sarah Harmer. In 2002, a then-unknown Arcade Fire open for the band on a series of tour dates, and in 2003 the band played in Sufjan Stevens' living room as their first show in New York City.

The band was also host to a number of notable collaborations, including Leslie Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Final Fantasy, Gentleman Reg and Bob Wiseman.

After disbanding in 2004, Aaron Riches went on to study Radical Orthodoxy under John Milbank at the University of Nottingham. Nathan Lawr continues to release music as a solo artist, and Jim Guthrie is an active member in Human Highway, and as a touring member of Islands.

In early 2009, Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty records released "A Belly Was Made for Wine", a song from the band's upcoming b-sides release "Royal City". Recommended!

Royal City - Can't You Hear Me Calling
Royal City - A Belly Was Made For Wine


SONG OF THE DAY: Jeff Hanson - This Time It Will (RIP)


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Monday, June 08, 2009

The Morakestra

Nothing qualifies the sound and essence of Morakestra more than El Paso. Founders and key creative minds David and Will Mora are twin brothers who were proudly born and raised in the West Texas border city. Fellow El Pasoan Jim Ward contributed to the rebirth of Morakestra via production and recording of the band’s latest album, Witness to Connection, out June 2nd on indie label Stratking Records. A musical legend in El Paso, Ward founded post-hardcore innovators At the Drive-In, rock quintet Sparta and alt-country act Sleepercar. Witness to Connection is the first for Ward’s new producing partnership with jack-of-all-trades musician and sound engineer Gabe Gonzalez, who is getting greater acclaim for his production work with bands like San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma.

The twins took guitar lessons as children from local guitar legends Mario Otero and Charles Teitsworth, who pushed the boys towards honing original compositions into solid tunes. In early 2007, the Moras began recording their debut album Live from Moraq in Austin. An acclaimed line-up of session musicians contributed to the project, including Robert Palmer drummer Donnie Wynn,Eric Johnson’s bass player Chris Maresh and the Tosca String Quartet. The brothers did all the guitar work and vocals themselves, also producing it on their own. Live from Moraq was released in Summer 2007,while the brothers continued to assemble an ever-revolving cast of musicians around them for live gigs. Word of mouth built up about “the twins who were dueling guitar players.” Success with recording Morakestra’s, Witness to Connection, was Gonzalez and Ward’s expertise. “The guidance we gave them I don’t think I can put into words—that’s the intimate part of making a record with someone,” says Ward. “I’ve had that experience as an artist with producers that I look up to. It’s so much more than just music; you end up spending so much time together in close confines that it extends to a personal life…I want to leave younger bands with a more positive experience, be a positive role model…it’s fun to be around that energy, that push of, “I’ll do anything to get my music heard” thing, because that inspires.”

For while the subject matter of their songs is universal, the Morakestra sound is very much their own. Ward felt a felt a greater connection to the Moras’ music beyond the city kinship.” They have interesting chords, which I like, and even though their voices are similar they’re distinct enough to complement each other really well,” he explains. Witness to Connection displays interesting guitar signatures, thunderous drums, and effective melodies. Drummer Daniel Gomez and Bassist Guillermo Vargas joined the Morakestra in postproduction. They have played together in bands in the past and have a similar connection with the twins in time signature and musical structuring. Recommended!

The Morakestra - Tell You Something
The Morakestra @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Bellini - Numbers
(from The Precious Prize Of Gravity, released May 19th on Temporary Residence)


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Friday, June 05, 2009

The Turf

The Turf is an indie/rock/pop band from Nashville, TN. Guitar-player/keyboardist Slade Utley and singer/guitar-player Brendan Mayer are sons of musicians themselves (Mike Utley and Peter Mayer, both of whom play with Jimmy Buffet). Combined with bassist Nigel Hood and drummer Nick Carter, their creativity helps construct a genuinely intricate and imaginative sound, combing a rough, edgy side with more spacious, softer, and melodic elements.

The band was started in the summer of 2006 by close high school friends who have been writing, performing, and recording ever since. The band has been compared to The Strokes, Artic Monkeys, or The Rapture, however their influences come from artists such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Talking Heads, as well as many others.

The band has finished the work on their debut album, entitled “Fascination of a Sort”, available for streaming on WEDNESDAY JUNE 10th. The guys spent all of last summer recording the record in Lala Land Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and then finished up in our hometown. It is produced, recorded, engineered, and mixed by Jason Hall, with additional production and mixing by Jim Mayer and mastering by Jim Demain. The album will be offered for free via The Turf MySpace page. Recommended!

The Turf - The Sexing
The Turf - Prey
The Turf @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: The Radio Dept. - David
(from Clinging To a Scheme, out June 2009 on Labrador)


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