Lauren Edman was too shy to practice her singing exercises at home, but she grew up to be a woman with the moxie to perform on Apollo Amateur Night where contestants are routinely booed offstage. Lauren’s seductively spare solo debut It’s Always the Quiet One is a prismatic and intimate self-portrait. It’s a starkly vulnerable album that peeks under the veneer of shyness and examines the inner struggles of someone courageously and coyly grappling with the societal and personal manifestations of being soft-spoken.
Lauren is best known for her singing and songwriting on the track “Afterthoughts” from Sleepthief’s 2006 electronic album The Dawnseeker. At the time, she was a relatively unknown talent with a passion for trip-hop featuring ethereal but strong female vocalists. The Connecticut native moved to New York City around that time with the plan of making an album of her own music, but in the years that followed she struggled to find a balance between producing the music that played in her head and paying the rent. “I wrote a lot of these songs at around 3AM while working night jobs and living in a tiny, dingy bedroom in Queens,” she says. She later joined shoegaze band For Every Story Untold, with whom she currently gigs and records. The dual aesthetic trajectories of these disparate influences—the angelic electronic atmospherics of trip-hop and the earthiness of the shoegaze aesthetic inform It’s Always the Quiet One. The album begins with a minimalistic electronic direction that morphs to an organic and rustic sensibility in its second half. The title It’s Always the Quiet One succinctly frames the album’s thematic bend, and throughout the album Lauren examines her experiences and feelings while being thought of as the “quiet one.”
It’s Always the Quiet One is bookended by “Wasting” and “She’s Not Here.” The sonic texts in between chronicle Lauren finding peace within by not letting her natural disposition stifle an expressive life. “’Wasting’ is about questioning yourself,” Lauren explains, “but I think of ‘She’s Not Here’ as a celebration.” It’s a song about someone loving you for who you are and allowing yourself to feel that love and reciprocate it, a tender confessional of someone getting out of their head to feel what’s in their heart. In the song she pens an intimate scene with the following lyric: She knows the sound of the snow on the road/ as the cars drive by when there's no one home/ He gives her shirts that he's worn for a day/so he stays with her/ while she hides away. “It’s all true, about me sitting by myself in my room,” she says. “I can finally accept that this is who I am, and it’s okay.”
Lauren's latest album, It's Always the Quiet One, will be released on March 27th, 2012.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Absolute quality, beautiful vocals and musical arrangements, with songs that take you to different personal places, totally recommend checking her music out.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: Sweet Girl. (mp3).
Super Water Sympathy have released their debut album “Vesper Belle”, a collection of songs blending traditional alternative rock with the band’s self-made genre of “Water Pop”. The genre, described by the Louisiana natives as “a synthesis of classic symphonic ambience with modern ethereal anthems” also pays particular attention to lyrical value and the support of an ethereal synthesis of guitar and keys.
Formed in 2010 and consisting of brothers Billy and Clyde Hargrove (bass and guitar, respectively), Ryan Robinson (drums), Jason Mills (keys), and Ainsley Hughes (vocals), the group clicked from the start, sharing a similar vision of the sound they wanted to create. By fostering and combining their individual strengths, they’ve produced an impressionable and unforgettable music experience like no other.
After traveling and garnering acclaims in the Southwest, Super Water Sympathy is set to hit the road for a nationwide tour in support of the album. In July, they will be performing as part of the coveted Vans Warped Tour after Tour founder, Kevin Lyman “played the record for 30 people this week, to see if [he] was crazy to think they were so good…[he] was not.”
3/17/12 Atlantic City, NJ - St Patty's Day Fest
3/19/12 Savanah, GA - Wormhole
3/20/12 Atlanta, GA - Smith's Olde Bar
3/21/12 Atlanta, GA - Red Light Cafe (Acoustic Show)
3/22/12 Starkville, MS - Dave's Darkhorse
3/23/12 Pineville, LA - The Brewhouse
3/24/12 Natchitoches, LA - Bourbon Creek
3/28/12 Houston, TX - Scout Bar
3/29/12 San Antonio, TX – The Tonic Bar
3/30/12 Gallup, NM - The Juggernaut
3/31/12 Tucson, AZ - Skrappy's
4/2/12 Prescott, AZ - Whiskey Row (Acoustic Show)
4/3/12 Phoenix, AZ - The Rogue Bar
4/4/12 Phoenix, AZ - The Lost Leaf
4/5/12 Los Angeles, CA - Amplify
4/6/12 Los Angeles, CA - Viper Room
4/7/12 Las Vegas, NV - Freakin Frog
4/9/12 San Luis Obispo, CA - Linnaea's Cafe (Acoustic Show)
4/10/12 Atascadero, CA - Last Stage West
4/12/12 Stockton, CA - The Plea for Peace Center
4/13/12 Sacramento, CA - Shine Coffee and Art
4/14/12 San Francisco, CA - Brainwash
4/17/12 Reno, NV - Knucklehead's Bar and Grill
4/18/12 Eugene, OR - Sam Bond's Garage
4/19/12 Seattle, WA - Sky Lark Cafe & Club
4/21/12 Seattle, WA - Rat & Raven
4/22/12 Seattle, WA - King Cat Theatre
4/25/12 Boise, ID - The Shredder
4/26/12 Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House
4/27/12 Jackson Hole, WY - Town Square Tavern
4/28/11 Salt Lake City, UT - The Green Pig Pub
Beehive's Considered Opinion: This song reminded me of Heart to start with (in a good way) however the band positively stamp their own mark on the song, which really is a delight.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: Cherokee. (mp3).
LUFF amp up the support of their forthcoming EP with the release of its lead single, the swervy, spangled gem, "Through Here Like Our Fathers." Shifting from crashing chords to cleanly picked notes in the blink of an eye, the single reveals the quartet skillfully working a tightrope between imagining an avian history of our winged brethren and lamenting where their path has brought us today.
The upcoming EP, Maybe It's Just Sleeping, will be unleashed by the band on their own imprint, Delicious Noise. It’s a grievous love letter to the lost; a clutch of disquieting, powerful tracks that cover the intense and universal post-grief process within an ethereal melodic sensibility. Written in the aftermath of the tragic losses of vocalist / guitarist Sheila Sobolewski's mother to a fire and lead guitarist Robin Pickering's step-mother to suicide, the heavy themes in the record's lyrics are balanced by nimble, thoughtful arrangements and production. LUFF conjure a bleary-eyed sense of hope that stands just out of time, interlocking cascading, shimmering arpeggios with quicksilver guitar chords and a tight, sinewy rhythm section. Muscular guitar interplay and lush atmospherics not only co-exist, but play off each other elegantly.
LUFF will continue to perform in their home base of NYC, while moving toward the release of their EP April 17th.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Over used expressions such as haunting or hypnotic are oh so easy to apply here. Well they apply so lets just accept the fact.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: Through Here Like Our Fathers. (mp3).
Edward Rogers is set to release his fourth solo album, Porcelain, in the UK and Europe on 4/2/2012 via Bucketfull of Brains with distribution by Proper Music Distribution. Porcelain, which was released last November in the US via Zip Records, is comprised of eleven sonically distinctive compositions that were written and recorded within an 18-month period. “The title of the album,” explains Rogers, “directly reflects the emotions represented in the songs and my mood during the writing process – rage, love, broken friendships, good days, bad days…fun days.”
Porcelain was ultimately penned by Rogers, but the album draws upon the talents of notable kindred spirits including: Don Piper, the celebrated songwriter and bandleader (contributed co-production); James Mastro, a founding member of both The Bongos and Health & Happiness Show and who currently records and tours with Ian Hunter (contributed guitar); Don Fleming, the frontman for Velvet Monkeys, B.A.L.L., and Gumball and who has produced Sonic Youth, Teenage Fan Club, and countless others (contributed guitar); Sal Maida, a member of Cracker who also performs with Roxy Music and Sparks (contributed bass); Ira Elliot, drummer for Nada Surf and Bambi Kino (contributed drums); Pete Kennedy, one half of the folk/pop duo The Kennedys who is currently on tour with Nanci Griffith (contributed guitar); Konrad Meissner, who frequently works with The Silos and Graham Parker (contributed drums); Joe McGinty, who has worked with everyone from the Psychedelic Furs to Ronnie Spector and who is also the mastermind behind the Losers Lounge series of all-star tribute shows (contributed keys); and Claudia Chopek, who has toured and recorded with Moby, TV on the Radio, and Bruce Springsteen among others (contributed violin and viola). This unique assortment of disparate talents bring a vibrant musical life to Edward Rogers' creative vision and add another dynamic chapter to an already impressive body of work.
The now New York-based Rogers, who spent the first twelve years of his life in Birmingham, England, says "I'm motivated by the urge to make music and express myself, rather than by some abstract idea of being some kind of pop star, so I feel like I'm making music for the right reasons."
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Having read the above I was expecting something quite retro and yes there are elements on this song that remind me in part of Lou Reed in days gone by, however this song is immediate and modern sounding and pretty fine as well.
Web: Facebook HERE. Listen: Porcelain. (mp3).
The neyBuzz is a collective of some of the most talented musicians in the San Francisco Bay area. The collective is a pool of constantly revolving talented musicians, artists, dancers and visionaries to bring a sound imprint of the Bay Area at the moment.
The neyBuzz family firmly believes in the power of sound to transmit information and engage the mind to nurture the human spirit. We assemble our alternative sound through our shared spirit, history, experiences and laughter.
And the unifying result can be labeled everything from Dub, Soul, funk, Indie to feral Rock.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Turn this one up a bit louder to hear all that is going on. An exceptional piece of music that is stylish, natural and demonstrates top notch musicianship that totally captivates.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: Rhumba International. (player below only).
Ira Lee produces some of the most bizarre and haunting music we have ever heard. Yet, somehow the bizarre produces a result of unexpected beauty and addiction. We first listened to Ira Lee a couple years back in Montreal when the idea for Lovely Hearts Club first came to fruition. Now, years later, we see the evolution of his multi-talented character which has transcended from upbeat piano pop to dark and experimental R&B.
Combining key elements of underground hip hop in the style of Bus driver and MC Chris with the raw and obscure vocal style of rock icon Tom Waits, Ira Lee is onto something – and it’s something we love.
Though we first knew of Ira Lee in Montreal, he is quite the traveller – and it shows in his music. The track we’re featuring here, for example, is titled “Drinking Alone In Paris”.
His latest video is titled “Seven Days in Amsterdam”, and features beautiful cinematography immediately bringing to mind the films of Larry Clark. Ira Lee is an artist across many mediums including film, comedy, visual art, and music…we can’t wait to see what he’s going to come up with next! (courtesy of Paper Garden Records).
Beehive's Considered Opinion: There is something in this song that has had me listening again and again. Part disturbing even threatening and yet it just draws me in as a story over an unfolding instrumental piece.
Web: Facebook HERE. Listen: Drinking Alone in Paris (feat. Scream Dream Baby). (player below only).
The Hussy - I'm writing to tell you about the new Hussy LP, Weed Seizure! Tic Tac Totally is releasing it on 3/20/12. It follows the band's sold out debut LP "Cement Tomb Mind Control" (Released less than a year ago in May 2011), which garnered the band comparisons to many of the finest Goner and In The Red alum (Ty Segall, Oblivians, Jay Reatard). Weed Seizure expands on the debut's sonic carnage, while staying true to the band's unique perspective on bash-em-up-spit-em-out garage-trash for short attention spans. It hinges on hints of psych, noise and pop wreckage. Think the crude force of The Oblivion's meets the pop-centric mind of Ty Segall...with alternating guy/girl vox, and an insane live show (fire, push ups, crowd surfing...). Ben Lyon's artwork channels The Hussy's countless acid trips and blood pressure drops perfectly, like some telepathic visuals from the centre of a blackout dream. Impose recently premiered the first video from the LP for "Undefined". Three more videos from the LP are expected throughout the year. All feature a different look into the band's psyche. The record will be distributed physically and digitally by Revolver/Midheaven in the USA and P.Trash in Europe. The LP comes with a download code.
The band will be embarking on a sizable Midwest and East Coast tour in March and April as well as a trip to the West Coast during May and June. The most exciting dates are with Ty Segall, White Fence, Bare Wires, Night Beats, and the stop at WFMU for the band's second live performance there...this time on Terre T's excellent garage-punk show The Cherry Blossom Clinic!
The Hussy also have two brand new 7"s on Italy's Goddbye Boozy (Home to Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, BBQ, etc...) and Eradicator records available now. These are the band's fourth and fifth 7"s. Two more 7"s will follow the Midwest/East Coast Tour on Evil Weevil Records and Slovenly's subsidiary Black Gladiator. Expect those in May or June.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Time to crank things right up with a touch of Hussy mayhem. Total no nonsense, crazy energy, get leaping about folks!
Web: Bandcamp HERE. Listen: Stab Me. (mp3).
Katalina Kicks have been destroying British stages with their blend of heavy-hitting rock since 2009 and now promise to bring their energy and aggression to stages in Canada for Canadian Music Week.
The self-funded 3-piece are the epitome of the DIY model. With a heyday pointing back to proper British punk, fused with garage rock and grunge, they mean business. They live to play. Hard. And play to live. Harder.
The trio is fronted by Ian George, who belts it out until his throat bleeds while hammering his Telecaster--the man is not messing about! Kam Kappa, blazing beat-maker, provides thunderous rhythm reminiscent of Bonham, Moon & Grohl. J Creswell is the filth merchant, with cowboy boots and a vintage Rickenbacker, a serious party animal--everything you expect in a bass-player.
Well known for their wild on and off stage antics, banned from the World-famous 100 Club for stage destruction (ironically the original "home of punk"), touring extensively across the UK in 2011, headlining a sell-out CLUB NME show at the famous London venue KOKO; and renown for staging crowd pleasing mini soap-operas every time they appear on stage, the band has the music and the swagger to carry it off.
The band's debut album The Return of Montague Rotter was recorded in Baker Street's Air Edel Studios and released in the US in July 2011. The debut single "145" received critical acclaim, was featured as Track of the Day in Clash Magazine, and was play listed across the UK, receiving numerous 5 star ratings, as well as a feature in the Financial Times's howtospendit.com.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Whilst we have the energy switched right up, Katalina Kicks also demonstrate their finesse at the art of rock'n'roll/punk/grunge, prepare to be blown out of your room.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: C Bomb. (mp3).
Javelin has announced the digital release of their two limited edition 12'''s Javelin and Javelin II, out on April 17 with Luaka Bop. Now collector's pieces, Javelin and Javelin II were held to 500 copies each and never made the light of a widespread digital day. Taken together, the EPs contain some live set staples and fan favorites including the ferocious 8-bit homage 'Soda Popinski,' 'Beyondce,' and the sublime statement of intent 'Radio.'
Javelin (cousins George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk) originally released the 12'''s on Thrill Jockey, before signing with Luaka Bop to release their genre-hopping LP No Más and last year's western-inspired Canyon Candy EP. From Providence warehouse parties to Brooklyn warehouse parties to performances at the Whitney Museum, tours with Yeasayer, Girl Talk, Matt & Kim, and sets with Little Dragon and QuestLove, Javelin has carved out a niche uniquely their own. The duo has put its distinctive touch on tracks for Cee-Lo, Warpaint, Future Islands, Darwin Deez and Health and done production work for hip-hop moguls and pop divas.
Beehive's Considered Opinion: Quirky ? You bet, plus different and just such a great song.
Web: Official HERE. Listen: Soda Popinski. (mp3).