The late ’90s called, and they want their music news back. Pram, one of the most original English “Alternative” (when was the last time you saw that word in print!?) bands of yesteryear, have announced their first full-length album since 2007. Across The Meridian will be out through Domino on July 20 and is preceded now by the video for instrumental single “Shimmer and Disappear,” which you can view down below.
Variously classified as post-rock, prog-rock, lounge-core, and “cinematic krautrock,” Pram were an important precursor to Ghost Box’s hauntology: a genre of retro-minded pop music whose sole MO was to conjure the eerie feelings one has when reminiscing about a future that never materialized. Over nine albums and a fifteen-year career, Pram had perfected a wonderfully insular sound that relied on evoking the memories of monsters under the bed, B-movie scores, and vintage synthesizers — a sound that put them in the same league as Stereolab, Broadcast, and this guy.
Sadly re-uniting without founding member and singer Rosie Cuckston, the group now consists of Matt Eaton, Sam Owen, Max Simpson and Harry Dawes. Across The Meridian was recorded in Foel studios in Wales, and, according to Eaton, “It’s slightly more hi-fi than previous albums with digital tech making everything more possible.” Well…at least SOMETHING is better now than it was 11 years ago.
Across the Meridian tracklisting:
01. Shimmer and Disappear
04. Wave of Translation
05. Shadow in Twilight
06. Ladder to the Moon
07. The Midnight Room
08. Footprints Towards Zero
10. Sailing Stones
11. Where the Sea Stops Moving
12. Doll’s Eyes
Vancouver-bred emotive dance auteurs, Tom Howie and Jimmy Valance, better known as Bob Moses, made waves with their debut album, Days Gone By.
Considering the LP’s accessibility, blurring of genres, and the worldwide hit “Tearing Me Up,” it seemed like Days Gone By was next to impossible to one-up. Many were left wondering where the two possibly could go from there.
This seemed like the peak of accessible post-club music, but now Bob Moses is back off their two-year hiatus, and their latest tune is an incendiary slow-burner. The boys kept the coals hot and”Heaven Only Knows” has just re-ignited the flame.
In terms of craft, “Heaven Only Knows” possesses the same mellowness fans have come to love over the years. Cooing vocals are met with brooding, effervescent synths, but this time, they deviate from the formula more than ever before. The track erupts a little past the midway point into an unopposing club-friendly hitter.
Fortunately for fans, it seems “Heaven Only Knows” is just the beginning of what the duo has in store. The track coincides with a full tour announce of which they’ve said they’re taking”loads of new music” on. While a new album is yet to be announced, it might just be what the boys have planned.
Tickets to the North American tour, which are on sale beginning June 8, and more information can be found here.
HEADS UP, fans of cool music, impeccable news reporting, very attractive humans, Johns Hopkins University, and/or the North American continent:
Jon Hopkins — an “electronics guy” from England or someplace who totally knows both David Lynch AND Brian Eno — has announced that he’ll be making a short-but-sweet trip across the pond this fall to see how those old British colonies have been holding up.
Apart from his recently released new album entitled Singularity (which you can purchase right over here), the tour will support Hopkins’ devastating good looks and the rather enormous electric bills that (I assume) result from being an “electronic” musician instead of the much cheaper acoustic kind.
Oh yes: and Hopkins is also playing one show TONIGHT (May 22) in Brooklyn…buuuut it’s way sold-out already…so it’s kinda shitty for me to even tease you by mentioning it. Still, I’m nothing if not a thorough and honest reporter of the news; so I’m going to go ahead and include it in the meticulously organized list of tour dates that follows this convenient sampling of relevant multimedia. Good day, readers. Good day.
My abacus may be slightly off, but it feels like only one year, four months, and two days ago that Dirty Projectors announced their previous album, Dirty Projectors. At any rate: time is just a construct of the mind, and today, Dirty Projectors have announced their brand new album, Lamp Lit Prose.
As a contrast, or perhaps reaction to last year’s self-titled effort, which re-cast Dirty Projectors as a more-or-less Dave Longstreth solo project, Lamp Lit Prose is all about collaborators, collaborators, and — wow Dave Longstreth knows a lot of musical people — more collaborators. Aside from the longtime Dirty Projectors rhythm section of Nat Baldwin and Mike Johnson, Longstreth’s cohorts on this lamp lit endeavor include Syd, Empress Of, Amber Mark, Haim, Rostam, Robin Pecknold, and Dear Nora.
To go along with their album announcement/humble brag of how many friends they have, Dirty Projectors have also shared a video for a new song called “Break-Thru,” as well as a laundry list of tour dates that start next week. If the last album wasn’t your thing, “Break-Thru” is more upbeat and twangy than anything off of that. If the last tour announcement wasn’t your thing…uhh, I hope you think shows in cities like Arcosanti, or at venues called Meow Wolf are cool?
Anyway, scroll on down to check out the artwork for Lamp Lit Prose — featuring the classic Dirty Projectors aesthetic of one blue bubble and one red bubble — watch the bird-heavy video for “Break-Thru,” and see if Dirty Projectors are coming to a town or delightfully named venue near you.
Lamp Lit Prose is out July 13 on Domino and can be pre-ordered here.
Computer screen-lit tracklisting:
01. Right Now (feat. Syd)
03. That’s A Lifestyle
04. I Feel Energy (feat. Amber Mark)
05. Zombie Conqueror (feat. Empress Of)
06. Blue Bird
07. I Found It In U
08. What Is The Time
09. You’re The One (feat. Robin Pecknold & Rostam)
10. (I Wanna) Feel It All (feat. Dear Nora)
Dirty Projectors tour dates:
05.12.18 — San Diego, CA — Music Box
05.13.18 — Arcosanti, AZ — FORM
05.15.18 — Austin, TX — The Mohawk
05.16.18 — New Orleans, LA — Republic
05.18.18 — Birmingham, AL — Saturn
05.19.18 — Nashville, TN — Exit In
05.21.18 — St. Louis, MO — The Ready Room
05.22.18 — Chicago, IL — Thalia Hall
05.23.18 — Detroit, MI — El Club
05.25.18 — Toronto, ON — The Great Hall
05.26.18 — Montreal, QC — Belmont
05.27.18 — Boston, MA — Boston Calling Festival
05.29.18 — Millvale, PA — Mr. Smalls Theatre
05.30.18 — New York, NY — PUBLIC ARTS
06.01.18 — Washington, DC — 9:30 Club
06.02.18 — Philadelphia, PA — The Roots Picnic
06.03.18 — New York, NY — The Governors Ball Music Festival
06.12.18 — Los Angeles, CA — El Rey Theatre
06.13.18 — Los Angeles, CA — El Rey Theatre
06.15.18 — San Francisco, CA — The Chapel
06.16.18 — San Francisco, CA — The Chapel
06.17.18 — San Francisco, CA — The Chapel
06.19.18 — Portland, OR — Wonder Ballroom
06.21.18 — Seattle, WA — The Crocodile
06.22.18 — Vancouver, BC — Vogue (TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival)
06.23.18 — Calgary, AB — Sled Island Music & Arts Festival
06.25.18 — Salt Lake City, UT — Urban Lounge
06.26.18 — Denver, CO — Bluebird Theater
06.28.18 — Santa Fe, NM — Meow Wolf
06.29.18 — Dallas, TX — Trees
06.30.18 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
07.27-29.18 — Niigata Prefecture, Japan — Fuji Rock Festival
08.09-11.18 — Gothenburg, Sweden — Way Out West Festival
08.09.18 — Haldern, Germany — Haldern Pop Festival – Main Stage
08.10.18 — Copenhagen, Denmark — HAVEN Festival – Main Stage
08.14.18 — Berlin, Germany — Heimathafen
08.15.18 — Amsterdam, Netherlands — Paradiso Noord (Tolhuistuin)
08.16.18 — Kiewit-Hasselt, Belgium — Pukkelpop
08.16-19.18 — Brecon Beacons, Wales — Green Man Festival
08.19.18 — Glasgow, Scotland — The Art School
08.20.18 — Leeds, England — Riley Smith Hall (Leeds Uni)
08.21.18 — London, England — Village Underground
08.22.18 — London, England — Village Underground
08.24-26.18 — Boulogne-Billancourt, France — Rock En Seine
So this morning I wake up and my inbox is already stuffed to its gills with my dear buddy going OFF in ALL CAPS about…who is that, The Arctic Monkeys?? Those guys??? You mean the Black Keys? “Nah, I mean the ARCTIC MONKEYS they got a NEW ALBUM,” my buddy says a little louder into the Gchat box. I minimize the tab right as a stream of capital letters saying, “THE WORLD’S FIRST EVER MONSTER TRUCK FLIP,” buzz my way. True story.
But anyhow: waaaaaaaaaay, way back in 2014, the Arctic Monkeys took a bit of hiatus to travel the universe, hang out with Iggy Pop, and drop some side projects. But universal travel didn’t quite cut it for the intrepid ice-flecked simians, and they eventually had to come swinging back down to more earthly trees.
On Friday, May 11, our fell travelers will grace the airwaves with Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a title which my friend did not manage to all-caps type at me this dewy morn, probably only on account of he couldn’t find the ampersand key. But no matter! What matters is that the Artctic Monkeys are back as fuck from hibernation and that one of the songs on their album is called, yes, “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Flip.” Now that I have had my coffee, I am here for that.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is the band’s first album since the pre-hiatus LP AM, and — according to someone who I don’t actually know but who was also in my inbox this morning — it finds the band “intent on continuing to explore new musical terrain.” Maybe that terrain is outer space; who can say?
If you, dear reader, are the sort whose mouth waters at phrases like “gatefold sleeve” and “silver heavyweight vinyl,” then you’re gonna want to take a peep at the pre-order link right here. And EVEN IF your mouth is still parched as the Sahara, I’d take a gander at the tracklist and preview video I stuck below. I mean, you’ve already come this far.
01. Star Treatment
02. One Point Perspective
03. American Sports
04. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
05. Golden Trunks
06. Four Out Of Five
07. The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip
08. Science Fiction
09. She Looks Like Fun
11. The Ultracheese
Remember last year when John Maus announced a 6LP box set — one that would contain an album that didn’t even exist yet? That was very generous and kind of him, right?
Well, good news part one: That benevolent box set is still due to come out via Ribbon Music on April 20 !
Good news part two: If you’re sitting there saying hyper-specific things like, “I don’t own a record player, and I’ve already got all my John Maus albums on CD, set up in this here box; what do I need a 6LP box set for,” Maus’ previously non-existent album (better known as Addendum) is getting its own stand alone release on CD and digitally, via Ribbon Music, on May 18!
That’s not enough for good ol’ John “Philly Mauskeqitz” Maus though, oh no. Not only is he announcing all that, but he’s also sharing a brand f’ing new track from Addendum. It’s called “Episode,” and — after you do your homework, eat all your vegetables, and finish reading this post — you can listen to it down below!
…And oh yes, one more little ADDENDUM to all this Maus-related merriment: on May 4, as part of the excellent-sounding Red Bull Music Festival New York, Maus will be playing at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island. Dubbed “The Sucrose Plane,” Maus will be performing with his band, as well as composing music to play within select rides at the park, as part of the a six hour event. Also — and this hasn’t been confirmed by literally anyone — but rumor has it that instead of fortunes, Zoltar will be reciting his favorite John Maus lyrics. So if you love John Maus, and have always wanted to take the two-hour subway ride out to Coney Island, there’s never been a better night in human history!
That’s a lot of information, so let’s recap: 1) John Maus’ 6LP box set is out April 20. 2) Addendum gets a stand alone release on CD and digitally (it can only be had on vinyl via the box set) on May 18. 3) You can hear a new Maus song called “Episode” down below. 4) Maus will be soundtracking a night of fun, fright, and Ferris wheels at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island on May 4, as a part of Red Bull Music Festival New York.
Got it? Okay, everybody…break!
Oh yeah, here’s the Addendum tracklist too!
01. Outer Space
02. Dumpster Baby
04. Drinking Song
05. Figured It Out
06. Middle Ages
07. Mind The Droves
09. Running Man
10. Second Death
12. I Want To Live
Last month, the celestial dance titan Jon Hopkins returned with new music.
Now, Hopkins reaffirms his stance as an ethereal vanguard with a new album, Singularity, out May 4 through Domino.
Singularity is the follow-up to 2013’s hypnotic breakthrough, Immunity, and promises to be an equally divine voyage. For now, Hopkins has unveiled animated visuals for the LP’s lead single, “Emerald Rush.” A tune of swirling proportions, “Emerald Rush” alludes to a sterling release on the way.
According to a press release, Singularity is shaped by Hopkins’ “experiences with meditation and trance states” and the album’s ebbs and flows “move seamlessly from rugged techno to transcendent choral music, from solo acoustic piano to psychedelic ambient.”
“Its epic musical palette is visceral and emotionally honest: with a destructive opener full of industrial electronics and sonic claustrophobia and a redemptive, pure end on solo piano,” the release continues.
Singularity is set for release on May 4 via Domino.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t get mad. Calm DOWN. It’s okay.
You just gotta act fast and get a little WORLD TOUR together in support of it. And you gotta make it, like, ENTICING, somehow…Hmm. Got any friends in that “Animal Collective” you’re a member of that you can ask to come along with you for some of the dates?
Okay, okay. Fine. Just PICK ONE.
How about that “chill” one that everyone likes? You know, the one who’s all “eco” friendly and green? What’s his name? “Biologist?”
Anyway, Great. Yeah. Perfect. Good enough! Let’s BOOK THIS THING.
Don’t worry, I’ll handle the rest. You just get ready to GET OUT THERE! The first show is coming up soon.
Thanks for being a sport, Noah. And Godspeed.
Oh, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated out there! Here, let’s ALL have a glass together! CHEERS!
…Oh, sorry Geologist. I only had two clean glasses.
Dates with the homies:
04.02.18 – MANCHESTER, UK – Gorilla
04.03.18 – LONDON, UK – Village Underground
04.05.18 – PARIS, FR – Trabendo
04.06.18 – BRUGES, BELGIUM – More Music Festival
04.26.18 – DALLAS, TX – Canton Hall *
04.27.18 – AUSTIN, TX – Levitation @ Mohawk *
04.30.18 – CHICAGO, IL – Thalia Hall *
05.01.18 – DETROIT, MI – Majestic Theatre *
05.02.18 – TORONTO, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre *
05.04.18 – BOSTON, MA – Paradise Rock Club *
05.05.18 – BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn Steel *
05.06.18 – PHILADELPHIA, PA – Union Transfer *
05.07.18 – WASHINGTON DC – 9:30 Club *
05.09.18 – CHAPEL HILL, NC – Cat’s Cradle *
05.10.18 – ATLANTA, GA – Variety Playhouse *
The A Day With the Homies 12-inch tracklisting still goes like this:
A2. Part of the Math
B1. Shepard Tone
B2. Nod to the Folks
Absurdity’s dead, and we, the citizens of the digital sphere, killed it. What good is Pynchon when our president’s penning a postmodern novel in real time, weaving all-caps interjections and sporadic entanglements with B- and C-list celebrities into his fragmented Twitter narrative? Does James Ferraro’s work still spark the imagination like it did in a world before real-time ridesharing startups founded their own cryptocurrencies in order to eliminate tipping in the service industry? Do vaporwave’s neo-classical busts feel that lifeless among the animated emojis we use as virtual masks? Even the most surreal, depraved nooks and crannies of the internet feel like home.
“Looks like I’m in the weird part of YouTube again,” reads a comment I’ve read a hundred times before. Maybe it felt that way to the user who posted that four years ago. I wish I could feel unnerved by hyperrealistic CGI or creepypasta lore. But how can I when I feel like I’ve been a voyeur all my life, peeking into the collective Id of the post-industrial world?
The album artwork that populated year-end lists past has proven prophetic: to fill 2017’s top 20 countdown with PC Music’s CGI-scapes and Babyfather’s pseudo-nationalist iconography would feel like a cruel joke, too reflective of our pessimistic times. Instead, I’ve sought out earthy pinks, blues, and greens — smeared by brushes or scrawled in pen — to sow future-primitive dreams of happier times. I hope you don’t mind some prescriptive color in lieu of the bleak descriptivism I originally planned on listing. We could all use it.
The time is now. Panda Bear a.k.a. Noah Lennox has announced a new EP titled A Day With the Homies. The five-track release is out January 2018 and will be a vinyl-only release via Domino.
In a statement about the EP, Panda Bear speaks somewhat ambiguously about its creation and possible reception. “I hoped to make something without frills or much embellishment, principally because I’ve found more fluff tends to equal less power. Since the juiciest action is entirely focused in the deeper zones of the frequency spectrum (at least from where I’ve sat), power was key.” His full statement can be found below.
A Day With the Homies is out January 12. Pre-order and retail info can be found here.
A Day With the Homies tracklist:
A2. Part of the Math
B1. Shepard Tone
B2. Nod to the Folks
From Panda Bear:
It’s been my perception that these things tend to homogenize experience so I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t outline, in any specific way, the many choices involved in its creation. I appreciate your role as filter or translator, and by withholding my own blueprints for the album, I mean to encourage and cultivate your part in its trip.
The songs aren’t lyrically linear or narrative as such, though I did scatter pieces of longer-chewed themes across the tracks. I find they still work satisfactorily alone, but strengthen each other’s messages when combined.
I hoped to make something without frills or much embellishment, principally because I’ve found more fluff tends to equal less power. Since the juiciest action is entirely focused in the deeper zones of the frequency spectrum (at least from where I’ve sat), power was key.
It’s not often anymore I find something specific to my life that feels worthwhile setting to song for others to consume. It’s a tough sell convincing myself that my own troubles warrant as much attention as those we all share. The strokes of the messages themselves are broad enough, then, that I think anybody can find a familiar face, if they care to look.
The lion’s share of the noise is centered, or nearly, so both speakers get a taste. This is another nod towards power, but it also means HOMIES doesn’t work in the same way through headphones as it does out in the air.
My greatest hope with this stuff is for it to live like my favorite songs do, which is to say like comforts or companions. Thank you very much for listening and I hope A Day With the Homies can mean something to you.