More Weekend Wonders: Hajk - Adam & Elvis - ACES - Eric Frisch - Imaginary People

Hajk - Magazine.

Background - With ‘Magazine’, Hajk have emerged with an off-beat, honest, creation that clicks into place and somehow combines the smooth and the sharp into a perfectly complete electro-pop song that casts a mischievous glance at influences such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Dirty Projectors and ANIMA!.

This single is guided by the swirling yet magnetic vocals of Preben Sælid Andersen and Sigrid Aase, and kept tight by the tight rhythms and musicality of Preben Andersen. An infectious melody with glimpses of bands such as Phoenix, ‘Magazine’ is a song that simply won’t slip out of your head easily.

Songwriter Preben Andersen (also a member of Norwegian label mates Death By Unga Bunga) describes the track himself as “a quirky and dreamy love song about frustration and how that will ultimately lead to procrastination. There are a lot of different sounds and textures coming in and out throughout the track, and we hope that it will make people want to listen to it over and over again to try to ‘figure it out’. It’s like a simple painting that becomes something else when you are standing really close to it…" ‘Magazine’ is the first single from Hajk’s highly anticipated debut album out early spring 2017. Facebook here. Amazon Magazine  

With delightful vocals and harmonies and a crisp and lush soundtrack 'Magazine' is a dreamy electro pop song. It's also one catchy and hook laden track.


Adam & Elvis - Hanging Tree.

Background - About ‘Hanging Tree’ The sorry tale of a young intellectual who, despite his rationalism, loses his mind over unrequited love, ‘Hanging Tree’ conforms to Adam & Elvis’s tragi-comic inclinations. Sonically, however, the song is all vivacious alt-pop, charging along a crookedly mellifluous path as the Malone brothers’ vocals veer from moody baritone to full-throttle tenor. Sawtoothed guitars sear and the rhythm section thunders while ‘Hanging Tree’ revolves around its Grandaddy-meets-Pixies chorus that provides a soaring indie-disco chant-along belying the morbid moral.

The stylish video (shot by Balla Kingston, Craig Rogers and Antonio Pineda) captures the band in ebullient mood at UK Live Sound studios in Reading, where ‘Hanging Tree’ was produced.

About Adam & Elvis. Bonded not only by blood but a taste for finding humour in the macabre, Patrick and Tom Malone are brothers whose sibling intuition extends to a penchant for songs as melodic as they are bizarre. Cut-throat guitars, dirty basslines and contorted synthesisers are their tools as the brothers pen hook-filled numbers with strange, poetic lyrics, often influenced by the stark realism in the wordplay of Patrick’s heroes Leonard Cohen and Charles Bukowski.

This thought-provoking, pull-no-punches prose is set to a musical backdrop of exhilarating wall-of-sound pop and primitive punk energy, unleashed by Patrick on guitar/vocals and Tom on bass/vocals respectively, with the aid of Juliet Styles (synths/saxophone), Steve Wraight (vocals/percussion) and Dan Robershaw (guitar). The Berkshire band have been championed by regional radio and performed their gripping live shows on the same bill as Fat White Family, The Zombies and The Correspondents, as well as numerous festivals across the south of England. Not before time, given the blistering impact of ‘Hanging Tree’, the wider world is about to get a feel for the Adam & Elvis oeuvre, culminating in a debut album release proposed for early 2017. Facebook here.

See Adam & Elvis live
Fri 25 November: Royal Oak, Bath
Sat 6 January 2017: Sebright Arms, London E2. 

The video for 'Hanging Tree' is a vibrant and lively affair, and the perfect fit for a song like this. The vocals switch gear, whilst the rhythm section thumps along and the band invite you to join in, either banging your foot or singing along or both. Wonderful stuff!


ACES - If I Could Be Your Girl.

Background - New single “If I Could Be Your Girl” is officially out everywhere worldwide. Following on the heels of her critically-acclaimed singles, the new single conveys her cinematic tone more evocatively than anything she’s done before.

The music of ACES isn’t a collection of tracks; it’s a gateway to a worldview, one face of a meticulously defined aesthetic. When we listen to it, we find ourselves living for a few minutes with the creator, Alex Stewart, in the world she’s built for us.

ACES can be described in musical terms, of course. It’s hazy, downtempo; it’s pop music on muscle relaxers. It’s a bassy backing track and sparse beats that take a back seat to Stewart’s daydreaming vocals on a song like “If I Could Be Your Girl,” the lead single from ACES’ debut EP, Stranger. But to really define ACES, we need to go outside the idiom. ACES is a muted light. A French new wave film projected at half speed. A night in with a few friends and heady cocktails.

ACES, too, is defined as Alex: The Canadian born, Brooklyn artist is the voice and direction of the project, which takes its name from her initials. A film editor who often works alongside her filmmaker husband, Stewart borrows as much from the vocabulary and structure of that art as she does traditional songwriting. Facebook here.

The distinct and haunting vocals of ACES are striking on 'If I Could Be Your Girl'. The music is synthy and dreamy, whilst remaining quite stripped back. For me, it's late night, low light music, and that's just fine.


Eric Frisch - The Light Ahead.

Background - Eric Frisch is an indie pop musician living in New York City. Eric’s main influences range everywhere from the Beatles and the Beach Boys to Sam Cooke and the Four Tops to Bob Dylan and Jackie Wilson. Originally from Toronto, Eric is the second of four children. Eric began learning piano at an early age and always enjoyed the task of composing on his own. He credits his parents with introducing him to the right music, playing “Here, There and Everywhere” off of Revolver for him when he was 15. Residing in New York for two years, Eric has performed at venues like Rockwood Music Hall, the Bowery Electric, the Living Room, and the Studio at Webster Hall, as well as various venues in his hometown of Toronto, including the Rivoli and Dundas Square.

Eric’s sound combines elements of 50s and 60s pop music with a more modern sound, creating a unique call to the past while still pushing forward into unchartered territory. Eric has just released his first self-produced full-length entitled Goodbye Birdcage. The album showcases his diverse range as a writer and singer, and displays his unique ability to capture the essence of his influences in his music. A talented artist and performer, Eric writes songs that are original, catchy, and memorable. Facebook here.

Need to shed a few pounds? Whilst it may not be an exercise video 'The Light Ahead' dance routine could well support a fitness programme. Musically it's a wonderful piece that could be described as surf pop and really has a timeless feel and good vibes throughout. More please!


Imaginary People - Snapshot.

Background - Following 2014’s critically acclaimed opening volley EP, composed of espionage-themed singles, and their 2015 politically tinged full-length debut Dead Letterbox,  New York’s Imaginary People return with their second full-length release, entitled October Alice, due in March 2017. The album was again produced by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate), reprising his role from their debut LP.

The band swings for the fences on their sophomore LP, recorded in a barn in upstate NY, via a grittier approach, with an eerie, reverb-laden wall of sound abundant throughout, cannily crafted via the use of a second drum kit inside a silo. It mirrors the morbid subject manner of the album, easily their most disarmingly personal material to date.

Mournful yet anthemic, the album resonates with a simmering intensity. Dark visions abound, of horrific events that can’t be undone—yet the sorrow is sublimated into an unsurpassable catharsis. It’s evident on the likes of the smoldering “Snapshot,” the racing-pulse rave-up “Seven Days,” and the cacophonous serpentine groove of “Fresh Kill.” But this isn’t an album of easily digestible singles. It’s best swallowed whole, as a piece, one that candidly encompasses anguish, the bleakness of humanity, but ultimately a sense of hope that music in some small way can heal the deepest of emotional wounds. Imaginary People is Dylan Von Wagner (vocals), Mark Roth (guitar), Justin Repasky (keys), Kolby Wade (drums) and Bryan Percivall (bass). Facebook here.

A nice crunchy riff opens 'Snapshot' laying the foundations for Dylan Von Wagner's vocals to pour out emotionally charged lyrics, as the band take things up a notch. This is a fabulous song that does rock'n'roll a real service, bring on the new album!!