May certain things missed not go unrecognized. Without much publicity or fanfare, OG's of instrumental 'post-rock', Do Make Say Think, released Stubborn Persistent Illusions, their seventh full length album, and first in eight years, last Friday. Apologies are in order on this end for not giving this release its deserved shine. But hey, you can stream it here now (or run out and get the vinyl/cd) and let it carry you through the weekend.

The Toronto band has been self-sufficiently recording, producing, and performing some of the most fearlessly inventive instrumental rock for over two decades and their newest effort is as substantial and gratifying a listen as ever. The band members continue to be Ohad Benchetrit, David Mitchell, James Payment, Justin Small and Charles Spearin.

Their bio description so consicely frames the group: "Do Make Say Think have consistently released superlative and critically acclaimed instrumental rock albums that feature highly original hybrids of psych, jazz, punk, prog and electronica. They shatter the all-too-familiar confines of generic post-rock with every album, and forge compelling instrumental rock with just the right balance of noise, melody, narrative depth, compositional acumen and inventive mixing and editing." 

 

Pantha du Prince

Listen - Pantha Du Prince: “Islands in the Sky (Recondite Remix)”

May 24, 2017

Wizard of electro-ambience Hendrik Weber, a.k.a. Pantha Du Prince, is about to rain down gems from his perch in the clouds. On June 9th, both an ambient and remix version of The Triad will drop on Rough Trade. The Triad was last year's release of Pantha's first studio album in 6 years and extpanded his canon of silky electronic brilliance. These ambient and remixed variations open back doors and channels into alternative, yet familiar spaces. The sparse and pulsing Recondite remix of "Islands in the Sky" was shared today. Check it out.

If you're not yet hip to it, The Triad and its reworkings were described in the press release:

Created in collaboration with two like-minded musicians, NYC’s Scott Mou (Queens) and Norway’s Bendik Kjeldsberg (of Bell Laboratory), The Triad was both a return to, and a significant leap forward from, the form and style Pantha Du Prince had become known for.

 But The Triad had more to offer, and Weber has created a totally reworked ambient re-envisioning of The Triad album, which leaves behind the pulsating beats and most of the vocals of the original, creating something new, delicate, dreamy, and unutterably gorgeous.

In addition to Weber’s ambient recreations, a handful of fellow-travelers in the world of thoughtful electronic genres have contributed remixes of The Triad’s songs to an EP of Remixes, which will be released alongside the Ambient Versions LP. The Remixes EP features deep-house royalty Solomun, eclectic minimalist Efdemin, Amsterdam-via-Nigeria house innovator Shinedoe, experimental polymath Alva Noto, and more. Berlin acid house adventurer Recondite has done a remix of "Islands in the Sky"

Pantha du Prince is currently on tour, stealthily dropping down on Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. Here are a few remaining west coast dates:

Tour Dates:

May 25 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA
May 27 - Great Northern - San Francisco, CA
May 28 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

Brightness

Watch: “Talk To Me” Video

May 23, 2017

The New project from Australian artist Alex Knight called Brightness shared another 8mm cast video today for "Talk To Me", a song from his forthcoming debut album Teething, due June 30th worldwide on I Oh You records. The vintage style video, directed, edited and shot once more by Mclean Stephenson, follows a similar one for lead single "Oblivion". Under the Radar premiered the instructional lyric and guitar tabs version of the great, driving indie pop track back in March. Check out the video for "Talk To Me" here.

"The message in 'Talk To Me' is that rawness and inexperience aren't things to be ashamed of, especially for young people, and that it can be hazardous to affect composure and poise when in fact you feel totally lost," explains Brightness. "It carries a similar sentiment to 'Everybody Hurts' by R.E.M, but in this case it's: 'Everybody's Green.'"

About the project, Brightness continues:  "Teething was written and recorded over a period of time in which my internal compass was on the fritz and I was feeling particularly disoriented...The songs on the album correlate with the spectrum of mind-states I was in during this time - states of panic, frustration and dread, but also of love, excitement and euphoria." So far, the visual aesthetic Brightness employs in his videos follows the tone of his music, gritty and exhilerating. Looking forward to more.


Angelo De Augustine

Watch: “Crazy, Soned, & Gone” Sufjan Stevens Animated Video

May 22, 2017

Thousand Oaks, CA's Angelo De Augustine will release his new album Swim Inside The Moon on August 25th via Asthmatic Kitty Records. The enchanting mixed media animated video for album track "Crazy, Stoned, and Gone" was released today. The warmly welcoming animation is courtesy of Sufjan Stevens, incorporating several original drawings by De Augustine. It showcases yet another artistic gift of Sufjan Stevens and the song is delightful, with Angelo's light as a feather vocals recalling those of Stevens himself. All the while the lulling vibe is as quiet as a Devendra Banhart song. Check it out below.

The press release provides some fascinating background of Angelo's recording process:

Swim Inside the Moon is the second full-length from the 24-year-old, and captures a sound he's been looking for since he started playing music a decade ago. "A sound behind the voice," says Angelo, who recorded all of this record in his home's bathtub using a reel-to-reel machine and a single Shure SM57 microphone. "I noticed that when you sing off a reflective surface you hear two voices. I was compelled to isolate that voice and bring it more to the front of the songs because in many ways I feel more connected to and comforted by that voice following me."

He'd hit record, then run quickly to sit on the edge of the tub with his guitar and play and sing. For some songs, he played the 100-year-old piano in the living room, and on others he added synth and electric guitar. He kept it spare. Recording the nine songs on Swim Inside the Moon took several months: because De Augustine was using an analog reel-to-reel machine with very little overdubbing, he was always recording live. If something didn't go as planned, he'd start from scratch each time. 

The reverb, analog as it is, gives De Augustine's music a strong sense of place: this music existed as a soundwave that bounced off walls in his bathroom and then traveled over wires to the listener. The reverb amplifies his songwriting, echoing a sense of heartache, loss, but also of joy and hope, and the comfort of home.

Swim Inside The Moon track listing:
1. Truly Gone (YouTube/SoundCloud)
2. Haze
3. More Than You Thought To Use
4. Crazy, Stoned, and Gone (Video)
5. Fade
6. On My Way Home
7. I'll Wait For The Others
8. Dreaming of The Moon
9. I Hope That All Of Your Dreams Come True

Nick Hakim

Listen: “Roller Skates”

May 19, 2017

This is Nick Hakim's week. After an amazing homecoming performance at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, both razor sharp and wide open, his debut album Green Twins dropped today on ATO Records (check out the album review today). Throw it on and it might just carry you straight through the weekend. "Roller Skates" is the joyously smooth park jam that moves this great debut right along. Listen Below and also check out its rad, tripped out animated video. Many good things to come from Mr. Hakim. 

Chris Cornell

“Seasons” Chris Cornell (R.I.P)

May 18, 2017

Goodbye Chris Cornell. The melancholy fire of your voice was a guide in the dark. You will be missed. "Seasons" embodied his musical spirit perhaps more than any other...Remember.

Blonde Redhead

Watch: Blonde Redhead - “3 O’Clock” Live Video

May 17, 2017

In March, alternative rock pioneers Blonde Redhead unassumingly dropped their 3 O'Clock EP and today released a live performance video from the title track, along with an announcement of summer tour dates. You can watch it below and check in on Blonde Redhead's summer moves.

The video was directed by Alex Caroppi and filmed by c and filmed live in Amsterdam at Paradiso Noord on March 10th, 2017, during a stop on their most recent European tour. It's great to see the relaxed savvy of singer Kazu Makino and the Pace brothers on stage and definitely piques interest in catching one of their upcoming shows.

The announcement fills you in on their latest release: "3 O'CLOCK was released March 10th, 2017 on the band's own label, Asa Wa Kuru Records. This melancholic EP, with an aromantic graft, follows the tour that, in 2016, saw Blonde Redhead reinvent their cult album Misery Is A Butterfly with a string quartet. The new atmospheres developed during this tour emerge occasionally in the pieces of 3 O’CLOCK, as the band pushes even more in the direction of a massive presence of strings and wind instruments such as the viola, cello, violin, clarinet, oboe, flute and trumpet. The EP was made with the help of, among others, the string quartet ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and Eyvind Kang, an American composer and violinist who collaborated with Blonde Redhead on Misery Is A Butterfly and the latest tour in support of the album.

Blonde Redhead will be playing in New York the next two nights before resuming in July on a European festival circuit and a 4-stop tour of the United States West Coast. The European tour sees them performing at BBK Festival in Bilbao (ES), Festival les George in Fribourg (CH) and Dour Festival in Dour (BE), among others. The full list of tour dates is below. 

05.18.2017 / The Kitchen (Simone & Amedo Pace live score experimental films / NY, NY
05.19.2017 / The Kitchen (Simone & Amedo Pace live score experimental films / NY, NY
07.08.2017 / BBK Festival / Bilbao, Spain
07.09.2017 / Arti Vive Festival / Soliera, Italy
07.11.2017 / Erarta Stage / St. Petersburg, Russia
07.12.2017 / Flacon Design Factory / Moscow, Russia
07.13.2017 / Festival les Georges / Fribourg, Switzerland
07.14.2017 / Dour Festival / Dour, Belgium
07.22.2017 / Regency Ballroom / San Francisco, California
07.23.2017 / FYF Fest / Los Angeles, California
07.25.2017 / Wonder Ballroom / Portland, Oregon
07.26.2017 / Neumos / Seattle, Washington

Mogwai

Listen: Mogwai “Coolverine”

May 16, 2017

The lords of instrumental post rock are returning. Mogwai's new album Every Country's Sun will arrive September 1st on Temporary Residence Ltd. They've shared the first single "Coolverine". Listen to it below.

The new album marks the first recording without guitarist and original member John Cummings as well as a reuniting with producer and friend Dave Fridmann, who was instrumental in his work on early albums Come On Die Young and Rock Action. A press release describes the new work in this way: "In October 2016 they took their glimmering bounty to Dave Fridmann and his Tarbox Road Studios in Chautauqua County, New York State, surrounded by little more than woods, wild hounds and marauding deer hunters..The new album takes two decades of the band's signature, contrasting sounds - towering intensity, pastoral introspection, synth-rock minimalism, DNA-detonating volume - and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria."

Mogwai co-founder Stuart Braithwaite offered a view into the inspirational background of Every Country's Sun, which formed during a time of frightening global unrest and change: "What's going on in the world politically and socially has to affect you," muses Braithwaite. "It was very much on our minds, especially in America. We were vaguely getting over the Scottish referendum, then the death of David Bowie, along comes Brexit, and then Trump. The album was written in a very turbulent, intense period so I think it maybe feels like some kind of shield from that? That's maybe just my take. Because it literally was for me."  

EVERY COUNTRY'S SUN TRACK LISTING
 
1. Coolverine
2. Party In The Dark
3. Brain Sweeties
4. Crossing The Road Material
5. aka 47
6. 20 Size
7. 1000 Foot Face
8. Don't Believe The Fife
9. Battered At The Scramble
10. Old Poisons
11. Every Country's Sun
 
MOGWAI US TOUR DATES
 
11/20 - Observatory N. Park - San Diego, CA
11/21 - Belasco Theater - Los Angeles, CA
11/22 - Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
11/23 - Roseland Theater - Portland, OR
11/24 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
11/25 - Commodore Ballroom. Vancouver
11/28 - Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
11/30 - The Waiting Room Omaha, NE
12/1 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
12/2 - House of Blues Chicago, IL
12/3 - Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
12/5 - Danforth Music Hall - Toronto, ON
12/6 - Corona Theatre - Montreal, QC
12/7 - Royale Nightclub - Boston, MA
12/8 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
12/9 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
12/10 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC