Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bird By Snow, Suuns, In Grenada

Recording as Bird By Snow, Fletcher Tucker has been releasing deep, genre-refracting sounds for the past five years with his output varying from dreamy drones to eccentric lo-fi pop to mountainous dub. His latest effort Common Wealth finds Tucker masterfully refining his songcraft with powerful arrangements, graceful melodies, and moving poetic imagery. Today, The FADER premieres one of the upcoming album's many highlights "There Is A Marriage". The songs on Common Wealth feel harvested (rather than written) from somewhere ancient, mysterious, and otherworldly. Recorded with Tim Green and arranged in collaboration with percussionist Spencer Owen, the album embraces the West African and dub influences hinted at on Bird By Snow's previous work.

Bird By Snow - There Is A Marriage
Bird By Snow - Friends In the City
Bird By Snow@MySpace


Suuns were born during the summer of 2006 when vocalist/guitarist Ben Shemie and guitarist/bassist Joe Yarmush got together to make some beats which quickly evolved into a few songs. The duo were soon joined by drummer Liam O'Neill and bassist/keyboardist Max Henry to complete the line-up. Last year, Suuns entered Breakglass Studios with Jace Lasek of the Besnard Lakes co-producing and engineering, and recorded their first album. The group wanted to create something that couldn't be pigeonholed as simply indie rock. he resulting Zeroes QC is a warm yet dark, propulsive collusion of pop, post-punk and experimental rock – one that allows the group to musically shapeshift without losing any of the sense of tension and unease that runs throughout the record.

Suuns - Up Past The Nursery
Suuns - Arena


In Grenada was born from the ashes of Philadelphia’s premier ukulele indie-rock band, Movable Type, during the summer of 2007. Now, they make their presence felt with their debut release, Break, coming out nationally tomorrow, September 28th. Stuck with a few left over songs and an environmental conscience, songwriter/instrumentalist Jesse Leyh plucked the tunes from the trash and saved them for his compost heap. Over the next two years those first few songs grew in the fertile environs of a home studio, watered by a monsoon of shifting and breaking relationships and the pressures of finding a new place in the world and life. Beginning in 2008 a fleshy incarnation of In Grenada was assembled for playing shows and being seen on the street. Ranging from four to seven people depending on the season and the show, In Grenada continued to grow into “one of the most tuneful, fired-up pop groups Philly currently has.” In the fall of 2009, the recorded song count began to approach 20 strong, and it became clear that the ripest fruits needed to be picked. The self-released Break is labor of all those fruits. The 10 songs that comprise Break draw inspiration equally from the pain of country, the joy of pop and the attitude of rock 'n' roll, and those inspirations are represented musically in layers of cowboy-harmonicas, shimmering guitars and thundering toms.

In Grenada - Hills (Flooded Valleys)
In Grenada - Distance And Temptation
In Grenada@MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: The Concretes - Good Evening
(from WYWH, out November 8th at Friendly Fire Recordings)


Check Comments for Bonus!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A cheap Kmart guitar with its guts ripped out, a two-piece drum kit and a keyboard with a mind of its own would all be alone if they weren't all thrown in the mess that PARLOVR got them in when they stumbled together in the wintry months of 2006. Reacting against the multi-instrumental, many-membered orchestral bands that crowded the local Montreal scene at the time, PARLOVR was started with the intention of blowing amps and streamlining pop melodies, bringing back the power-trio of the 90s with an off-the-wall twist.

PARLOVR's self-titled debut LP (Independent, 2008) was produced and recorded by Martin Horn at Digital Bird Studios over the course of six weeks and has brought into focus each of the three members' unique personalities while not losing sight of their pell-mell live show.

At October 19th PARLOVR is to release Heaven/Hell/Big/Love EP. The songs on the EP were formed around 'Hell, Heaven', a tune the band started playing a little over a year ago at shows. The idea was to craft 3-4 other additional songs in the studio without any rehearsals or premeditated parts. We also wanted create 4-5 pieces that had no direct thematic connection to one another. While 'Hell, Heaven' has me abstractly meandering through the thoughts of a childhood spent in the middle east, 'Big Love' invokes a more sarcastic, cheeky side of the band with Louis crooning about an ex-girlfriend who has the 'look of a man'. 'Where Is The Sun' and 'Tehching Hsieh' each show a more surreal side of Parlovr's epic reach: 'Where Is The Sun' has a dreamy romantic punch and 'Tehching Hsieh' is a twisted bio-tune (biographical tune!?) of an obsure 70s performance artist.

The result is a collection of songs that feel like flipping through cable t.v. channels in a roadside motel while half asleep. It's an epic meets tongue-in-cheek set of songs, with melodies that contrast quickly from catchy to twisted, and guitars and drums that go from pell mell to streamlined, sometimes several times within song. Even the bass synth can't settle down into one kind of emotional pattern. It's all amused chaos from afar, but pretty thick and holistic when listened to up close.

Like Parlovr's self-titled debut, the EP was recorded with Martin Horn at Digital Bird Studios in Montreal, intermittently while the band found breaks from various tours. A lot of Roland Space Echo was used, as well as an old analog snythesizer called a Yamaha CS-5. Recommended!

Parlovr - Heaven, Hell
Parlovr - Pen To The Paper
Parlovr - Archy & Mehitabel



Another surprise from a Dead Oceans artist! John Vanderslice recently completed an EP that he's giving away to his fans on his website. From JV himself:

Happy fall everyone. I've had a good year of recording, working at Tiny Telephone, buying all kinds of crazy heirloom tomatoes at the Alemany farmer's market, and living the domestic life. Let's celebrate by downloading my new EP, Green Grow The Rushes.

John Vanderslice - Green Grown The Rushes (EP)


SONG OF THE DAY: Red Sparowes - Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors
(from The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer, out April 6th on Sargent House)


Check Comments for Bonus!