Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Globetrotting: Ipanema Cosmonauts - Lewis Fieldhouse - The Person & The People - Crocodiles - Tropical Nasty

Ipanema Cosmonauts - Kites.

Background promo - Ipanema Cosmonauts is the dream-pop, post-rock, nu-gaze, you-name-it duo formed by Alice and Serge in the cold, cold city of Saransk, Russia. Blending ambient guitar textures and pop laden progressions against effortless, serine and soaring vocal melodies, the band's thoughtfully crafted songs have a maturity and spaciousness that both hooks you in and lets you drift.

Influenced only in part by newer Russian bands, Ipanema Cosmonauts reach past cultural barriers to incorporate American jazz progressions, shoegaze lushness, pop melodies, and international collaborations with other US, European, and Japanese based artists.

Their debut release, Adrift starts with their most accessible and pop driven tracks, "Kites" and "Return", followed by their more well known tracks, "Black Helicopters" and "Washed", that originally propelled their success on music streaming services. Adrift will be released on all major digital music distributors on October 18th. Facebook here.

First of four tracks on the EP, 'Kites' demonstrates the more rockier side of the duo, they are capable of much softer and dreamy material. All is of a very high standard as they mix up the styles and consistently provide fine melodies and vocals.


Lewis Fieldhouse - He Hath Made You Rich.

Background  - About ‘He Hath Made You Rich’ Caramelised R&B melodies and a Jeff Buckley approach to sparse, minimal, but wide open arrangements, ‘He Hath Made You Rich’ is Lewis bending the well-worn love song genre to his own experience and crafting something unmistakably fresh. His tender falsetto sounds like an alto sax as the arrangement expands into something that holds a candle to Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’.

About Lewis Fieldhouse. In 2013, Lewis Fieldhouse’s unswerving dedication to his craft led him through California’s Central Valley on a journey to absorb the musical heritage of his heroes. Like many things in life, it didn’t go to plan. Instead, he found himself exploring the topology of abject depression: feeling the weight of his mortality in the basement of a rundown Hollywood hostel, the sting of isolation in LA’s baking suburban sprawl. News of a personal tragedy at home and the burden of his own expectations had almost crushed the artist in him, but from the depths he began to write again. He created the persona of Theodor Washington for himself to deflect the debilitating anxiety and render the world around him through a more romantic lens. 

Each new song fed into his creativity, marking the stages of an artistic rebirth. Utterly apart from his peers in his rejection of the stale choreography of today’s media landscape, Fieldhouse presents to us his firebrand wit with a troubadour’s knack for both lyrical sincerity and absurdity. Offering snippets of life and coupling humour with calculating insight, his work evokes the sound of Eagles and Father John Misty. On his debut album Theodor Washington and the Central Valley, his ear for irresistible pop songwriting is undeniable. Three years and five thousand miles later, Lewis is making the music he has always wanted to make. Now he’s causing a positive stir amongst music blogs like The 405 and The Vinyl District, with It’s All Indie crowning him “one of the most exciting singer-songwriters in London at the moment”. Lewis’s expert take on Americana and the great american pop song comes from a place of humbled authenticity, and that alone makes Theodor Washington and the Central Valley something special. Website here.

See Lewis Fieldhouse live:
Thursday 24 November: RS Bar, Sheffield, 156 St Mary's Rd, Sheffield S2 4AX
Friday 2 December: The Ivy House, London SE15 3BE - Official Album Launch Party

'He Hath Made You Rich' builds from a slower melodic start into something quite powerful. The vocals add emotional intensity, as the song grows musically with the falsetto vocals driving it on.


The Person & The People - Unemployment Blues.

Background - For nearly a decade, The Person & The People have been a staple in the Twin Cities music scene. After the band recorded their 2016 album Dark & Low, their long time drummer Adam Mallory moved across the country. At the same time, singer Nick Costa found himself jobless and unsure of his band’s future. 

He sat down to write an a new album and impulsively recorded the new album, Unemployment Blues. Recorded primarily in one take on a 4-Track cassette recorder in producer Dan Mariska’s basement, it is Costa’s most stripped down, honest, and soul-crushingly personal record to date.

The Person & The People will be releasing Unemployment Blues with two shows at The Warming House on October 28th and October 29th. It will be the second full length album by the band this year. Bandcamp pre order here.

'Unemployment Blues' is the first of ten well constructed songs on the new album. There is a very personal and genuine feel running throughout the album, with acoustic guitar and Nick Costa's pleasing vocals taking centre stage. It may be stripped back, however rather than feeling raw, the warmth is pretty much there in every song.


Crocodiles - Not Even In Your Dreams.

Background - The second single "Not Even In Your Dreams" from Crocodiles upcoming album 'Dreamless'. "Not Even..." is the finale on 'Dreamless' which is do out 10/21 on Zoo Music.
Comprised of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles have earned their place as one of the United States’ most engaging, hardworking and consistent rock and roll bands of the past few years. Dreamless is the pair’s sixth LP, and is, at once, their most exploratory and focused release.

Whereas Crocodiles’ first two albums made their home amongst a stew of fuzzed-out psychedelia, and the following three albums explored Welchez and Rowell’s penchant for placing pop sensibilities against whirring guitars and barbed production, Dreamless sees the duo endeavoring on an artistic departure that positions their guitars in the backseat in favor of a more spacious, synthesizer and piano-driven sound.

The pair recorded the 10-track Dreamless in Mexico City over the course of 6 weeks. Having become something of a spiritual (and in the case of Welchez, literal) home to the duo, choosing D.F. as the location for recording allowed them to again hook-up with friend and occasional bandmate Martin Thulin (also a member of post-punks Exploded View). Between them, the trio shared instrument duties, with Welchez and Rowell handling the lion’s share of guitar and bass, Thulin and Welchez the live drum work, and Thulin focusing largely on keys. Facebook here.

The tenth and final track on the forthcoming album 'Not Even In Your Dreams' has a bright indie pop feel, with the piano adding to the tempo and overall upbeat musical vibe within the song.


Tropical Nasty - Slipped Away.

Background from Amanda Alderman who made sure we heard of Tropical Nasty! - Ever see the classic, Looney-Tunes short where a snoozing cartoon was elevated into the air by an enticing, visible vapour, so powerful and alluring it often formed actual hands and sailed the sleeping soul like a magic carpet, toward the source of the deliciousness?

That’s what I experienced when Tropical Nasty’s audible effusion grazed my ears along with the Venice Beach breeze one, recent Sunday afternoon.  I was headed the other way on the boardwalk when their enchanting emanation stopped me in my tracks.  Encapsulated by their sound, I drifted right to them, just like in our treasured, vintage animation. 

Drenched with this Superband’s psychedelic funky rhythms and celestial strings, my pace quickened, my chest swelled and I swear I grew an inch taller as I neared them. When I reached the nucleus of this Pacific oasis, I joined an ungovernable myriad of beach goers who celebrated this rustic bunch of brilliant Enchanters.

This trifecta had launched an outdoor discotheque and inspired these spectators, donned in worn flip-flops and sun-kissed skin, to hop around like they were high and silly on Willy Wonka’s soda fizz. 

Who are these guys?!” I proclaimed aloud, and caught faces around me break into smiles because they were thinking the same thing.  Onlookers with mesmerised permagrins surrounded this shirtless trinity who rocked as if to win the vote of the universe’s god assembly on whether to eliminate or keep Earth. Their infectious, eclectic sound- all their very-own, original, spontaneous tunes relative to Jimi Hendrix, early, funky Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Led Zeppelin, The Meters and Bob Marley- touched everyone in proximity, overpowering them to dance and yawp. 

Meet the Wizards of Tropical Nasty:  Wondrous Drummer and lead vocalist, Myke Anthony, Bass Dynamo, Collin Bunch and Guitar- Master, Dave Tepper. 

They look like what would happen if Gwen Stefani and the original Tarzan got together and made kids.  I was surprised to discover they were from South Jersey when I had the privilege of purchasing their CD.  I was certain they were from a faraway continent, or Jupiter, and only spoke the language of music.  But they are, in fact, American buddies from Pennsville, New Jersey and they’ve been gracing L.A. with their mystic sound for a little over a year. See Tropical Nasty close-up while you still can, busking on the Venice Beach boardwalk and on the Santa Monica Pier, and follow them on Facebook here.

'Slipped Away' has some classic blues rock vibes mixed with powerful vocals and harmonies. The band add an extra funky dimension and create a very catchy and honest sound. Locals to Venice Beach would do well to keep an eye (and ears) out for these guys, the music really is full of hooks and feeling.


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