2012Candy - June Edition One

Background: Noah And The MegaFauna's Anthem For A Stateless Nation is a raucous, whiskey-drenched, horn-laden soundtrack to the apocalypse with gypsy jazz for a right hook and big band swing. It's a modern day allegory of Noah's Arc exploring the displacement, wandering, panic, and ultimate redemption of the end times - that you can dance to.

The brainchild of former Oliver Future frontman Noah Lit, Anthems For A Stateless Nation features a 10-piece, carnival-esque acoustic gypsy-jazz ensemble and is produced by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo) with additional production by Joe Rogers (Kelli Scarr, The Shivers), features world-renowned gypsy guitarist Gonzalo Bergara,drummer Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, George Harrison), andguest vocalists Kat Edmonson, Marianne Dissard, Emily St. Amand-Poliakoff and Mindy Gaspar.

The band recently released the song On And On as a free download. The track - which owes its haunting hook to the "Erhu" a traditional Chinese violin with two strings and a snakeskin resonator - is the midpoint of the apocalyptic narrative... Some time has passed and the earth has begun to heal itself with massive floods, as water rises and food becomes scarce the survivors have to make decisions about what to do with loved ones that have been infected by an (unnamed) virus... Can they eat the dead? How long should they wait?

"It's a song about living with awful decisions and being choked by regret," explains Lit. "I've always been really into apocalyptic literature," he continues. "While writing Anthems I was reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood, Max Brooks' World War Z, and Moby Dick - which is the ultimate story of the end of the world, as both Wall Street and the polar ice caps were melting down."

The result is Anthems For A Stateless Nation, a winding musical caravan that takes the listener through moments of torrential downpours and the near-breakdown of humanity ending in a blissful calm. The record finds its influence in Lit's record collection - an eclectic mix of rock bands like The Kinks, Radiohead and The Beatles, jazz artists like Django Reinhardt, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong and genre benders like Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Jacques Brel and Leonard Cohen.

2012Candy Says Listen Up! The featured song drifts along effortlessly, the instruments seemingly fade in and out both challenging and complementing each other. Highly skilled craftsmanship made to seem so easy with vocals that just top the whole thing off.
Listen: On and On. (mp3) Web: Official HERE.
Background: PLM released the new Eliot Lipp album, Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake, recently on May 22, 2012. This release has Lipp breaking new ground with his ever-evolving production style. He has developed a unique sound that is completely its own yet sticks with the PLM axiom of genre bending originality. The album incorporates everything that has recently been in Lipp's sonic world, including hip-hop, drum & bass, funk, techno, jazz, and more, while still remaining a cohesive whole. The album is heavy on analogue synthesis and very tasteful sample collaging. These two elements make it sound as though it is simultaneously ahead of its time, and from the past.

"Eliot has been an inspiration and a friend over the years. We have played more than several shows together and whether there's 5 or 5000 people in the crowd, Eliot knows how to rock the party. The new style on Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake made it obvious that it was time for the two of us to team through PLM. He manages to stick with the style he has developed while leaning more towards classy good feeling electro hip-hop, and that, after all, is what I'm all about"
- Derek Vincent Smith (founder of PLM and producer behind Pretty Lights)

2012Candy Says Listen Up! A little bit like The Avalanches meet Kraftwerk at times within this number! There is enough originality and ideas to carry the whole thing off and it is easy to play again soon enough.
Listen: The Sunset (mp3) Web: Official HERE.
Background: From Paper Garden Records... Ever since October of 2011 we have been blasting I Can Chase Dragons! at high volumes in the PGR office. Our fascination started with the release of the single “Diving For Sunken Treasures” and it snowballed from there. Maybe it was the catchy whistling in this debut track that put our ears on the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting each new release. So it is our pleasure to bring to you yet another amazing new track “Republique.”

ICCD! is the solo project of Julio Gudiño, lead singer of Mexico City’s biggest indie band, The Plastics Revolution. We stumbled upon these guys in the middle of a sidewalk jam session at Barton Springs as SXSW 2011 came to an end. Julio led the band for hours but the crowd would not let them stop, even to the point of them having to play some songs twice. He is no stranger to being the frontman of a band and is now pushing his musical limits to the electronic dream pop side of the spectrum. Drawing influences from Panda Bear and El Guincho as he loops electric textures combining organic and synthesized sounds with lyrics in English and Spanish.

He is currently going to school in Boston and polishing up his live set to include a drummer, bassist and visuals that will blow your mind so be on the lookout for East Coast tour dates in the very near future. He also started a Mexican indie label, Dos Pelícanos, and their first act of awesomeness was to release the I Can Chase Dragons! debut album “Expansión” in January. You can purchase it for just $7.92 on iTunes or name your price on Bandcamp.

2012Candy Says Listen Up! Paper Garden Records really come up with some gems to share, ICCD being the current example. The vocals/chorus are uplifting and the whole arrangement makes wonderful listening. We have avoided the cliche "one to watch out for" as much as possible this year, but maybe, just maybe...
Listen: Republique (mp3) Web: Bandcamp HERE
Background: LUNIC may not be a household name yet, but things are certainly about to change. The all-female electro-pop band which hails from New York City, are about take center stage with their upcoming record, Future Sex Drama, due out September 2012. Just unleashing the first single from the album, “Far Away,” the infectious trio is about to take you on a musical journey like you have never experienced before.  Recommended if you like Phantogram, Lykke Li, Metric, Ladytron or The xx, LUNIC is about to join the lineup of must-hear bands of the year.  The sultry “Far Away,” will entice you with haunting vocals, smooth beats, gorgeous harmonies and an echoing violin, making you fall head over heels.

Consisting of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kaitee Page, electric midi violinist Megan Berson, and live drummer Masha Mayer, the band has been playing countless shows not only in New York, but around the world. LUNIC has a truly unique style when it comes to writing and arranging songs as they use a combination of keyboards, violins, guitars, effects, loops, and midi controllers to skillfully and carefully construct each track from the ground up. Creating a truly beautiful piece of art. Their electrifying creations are the perfect blend of synthpop and electro-indie which makes for an incredible and catchy combination.

The group released their first album, Lovethief, in 2009, which was funded by LUNIC fans around the world. Since then, LUNIC have shared the stage with artists such as Moby, Mindless Self Indulgence, Meiko, Company of Thieves, Dredg and many more.

2012Candy Says Listen Up! This was a nice surprise to say the least, the 'big up' in the promo above set standards high and the song really does deliver. The vocals work well, with some classy electro crafted music giving real dimension to the song.
Listen: Far Away. (mp3) Web: Official HERE
Background: Blind Benny will sweet-talk its way to your heart, rip it out of your chest, pull it on stage, and walk away leaving you reeling with bittersweet agony and wondering why you hadn’t discovered them sooner. This ethereal rock band emits provocative melodies lacquered with cutting lyrics that manage to have that infectious pop appeal while still effectively managing to capture the soul. With the release of their debut EP on September 4, 2012, please prepare to fall victim to Blind Benny’s threatening musical seduction.

Blind Benny’s Jade<3 was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the renowned La Guardia School of Performing Arts. Ironically enough, this ferocious singer / songwriter and vicious performer is the daughter of a pastor. “I’m obsessed with human behavior, I live vicariously through everyone,” says Jade<3. Her fervent intrigue went hand in hand with the intuitive observations that Jade<3was able to make while growing up in the cultural melting pot of New York City. And on Blind Benny’s debut EP, Jade<3’s artistic and emotional journeys are put on display.

Jonathan Carmelli, guitarist and producer, is also a New York City native. Carmelli was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston, yet made the adamant decision to stay in New York City to pursue his musical career with Blind Benny. “We met in a funk band. Jade<3 pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to play and create something different.” All musicians want to create something different, and Jonathan knew he was about to embark on something exceptional.

Before dubbing themselves Blind Benny, the duo performed as Jade<3. In 2010 they decided to revamp Jade<3’s solo image and began representing their collective artistry as a band, and Blind Benny was born. Blind Benny’s debut EP evokes the influence of the same passion and vision that helped Jade<3 create her first critically lauded solo EP “It’s My Heart, Cookie.” With throbbing percussion and riveting electric guitar riffs that unexpectedly drop into a dreamy folktronica interlude, the songs on “It’s My Heart, Cookie” hit with palpable magnitude. The compilation of gut-wrenching rock ‘n’ roll and sparkling pop tracks on Blind Benny’s EP take you on a stimulating sensatory experience that will leave you breathless.

2012Candy Says Listen Up! Ethereal rock whatever that might be works for Beehive Candy. I know we often refer to songs 'that build' I guess this is a fine example, it also 'chills out' along the way and plays even better late at night with the lights down low!
Listen: No Honor. (mp3) Web: Official HERE.
Background: “Since the very beginning we've found a lot of support in the local food movement.  Now that we are ready a cut an album we want to support the community that got us here.”  These were the words of Andrew Brown, guitarist and front-man of The Appleseed Collective, speaking of the soon to be released album Baby to Beast in early 2012. A powerhouse of everything the band has come to symbolize, Beast encapsulates the Ann Arbor band’s first year of trials, tribulations, and growth, assuming the voices of a century’s worth of music with fresh perspective. “The blends of swing, bluegrass, Dixieland ditties and alluring gypsy-folk whirls – is something close to a transcendent listen…you’re there, on some dirtroad, being led on by these songs,” says reviewer Jeff Milo of iSpy magazine. The crowd-funded album has come with a green-thumb pledge of support from the band–they are donating half the profits from the first run of CDs to local non-profit Selma Cafe.

“Selma does wonderful work with local farmers,” said Brandon Smith–violinist, mandolinist and vocalist. “Their work over the last 3 years has resulted in the creation of over 20,000 square feet of year-round growing space.”  The hoop-house spreading 501(c)3 is intricately tied to the band–they got their start playing Friday morning gigs for tips in the crowded Ann Arbor home where the Cafe part of the organization lives.

Formed in November of 2010 by the coincidental meeting of Andrew and Brandon, The Appleseed Collective got a jump on the scene through endless networking and connections with the underground current of house-shows, DIY Fests, and localist enthusiasts. Sophie Tulip added sweet lows and highs with double bass and vocals, and Vince Russo livened the group with his clackering washboard and raw vocal passion.

By the end of December, the band was already headlining at The Blind Pig, and have since shared stages with Steppin In It, The Ragbirds, Cuddle Magic, and Frontier Ruckus.  May of 2011 saw the band embark on their debut tour–a ragged edge east coast gypsy caravan of a month which was amazingly successful through the force of sheer moxy.  The band proved their DIY ethic could float by spending a week in each city of their tour playing on the street and making connections for the coming weekend’s show. 

As summer drew to a close, The Appleseed Collective began making waves on the Michigan scene with appearances at Hollerfest and Earthwork’s Harvest Gathering.  And in August of 2011 the band welcomed Katie Lee to the stage to complete the current lineup with warm vocals and cutting banjo.

2012Candy Says Listen Up! I am seriously liking this song from The Appleseed Collective! Excellent vocals over funky country music, that you can dance around the room too plain cold sober. Much More Please. 
Listen: Mani (mp3) Web: Official HERE.