Midweek Muse: You'll Never Get To Heaven - Blank Range - Common Deer - Shadowqueen - Kairon; IRSE! - PowerSolo

You'll Never Get To Heaven - Images.

Background - Canadian ambient-pop duo You'll Never Get To Heaven have announced the release of their third full-length album, 'Images', on March 24th, 2017. With the announcement they have shared the title-track to the album.

Alice Hansen, a classically trained pianist and violinist, and Chuck Blazevic, a studio-obsessed tone-sculptor and monome performer, combine their disparate perspectives to co-curate every element of YNGTH together as equals. After gaining a groundswell of support from fans and critics all over the globe for their 2012 self-titled debut and 2014's 'Adorn', the group caught the attention of indie upstart Yellow K Records (Japanese Breakfast, Eskimeaux) on the strength of their breakout single "Caught In a Time, So Far Away". 

 The band has partnered with Yellow K for the release of 'Images' in a break from their otherwise staunchly independent ethos. While YNGTH has been reclusive in the past playing only a handful of select festival dates, they are currently planning their first European and North American appearances in support of 'Images' for Spring/Summer 2017. 'Images' will be issued worldwide on Vinyl/Digital via Yellow K and on limited-edition cassette via the band's own Mystic Roses imprint. Website here, Facebook here.

'Images' is a wispy melodic song where the vocals gently float above a rich soundtrack, and the hooks just keep on coming. As a taster for the March album release, this sets expectations high.


Blank Range - Circumstances.

Background - Late last year, the Nashville-based five-piece Blank Range released their sophomore EP titled Vista Bent on Sturdy Girls Records distributed via Thirty Tigers. Next month, the band will hit the road with The Wild Reeds for an extensive tour through May 2017. Find a full list of tour dates on our new Tour Dates page.

The band's first official music video is for their song "Circumstances." - "This video started when our friend Kyle came along on a run to Savannah, GA and brought his Hi8 camcorder he grew up shooting skate videos on," explains Jonathan Childers. "We loved the quality of the candid footage he was getting and we loved having him along for the ride. Over the next year, he joined us whenever he could and ended up traveling as far as California, and then to Florida with the camcorder in tow. It just so happened he was in the studio filming on the day we recorded 'Circumstances.' When we looked back over the footage, we thought it formed a perfect companion to this song about a relationship growing distant as both parties' lives churned on. Also, we had a shot of San Francisco to use when I say 'California' and I thought that was pretty cool.""

Blank Range is comprised of Grant Gustafson (guitar & vocals), Jonathan Childers(guitar & vocals), Matt Novotny (drums & vocals), Will Brown (keyboards) and Taylor Zachry (bass & vocals). Website here, Facebook here, Amazon (mp3) here.

Alt Rock meets Americana with 'Circumstances' a fine, gritty and at ease song. The video compliments the song giving a fresh and raw feel, that works a treat.


Common Deer - Confession (I Should Have Known).

Background - Featuring two sets of siblings, several multi-instrumentalists, and a determination to push the boundaries of classical music, Toronto’s Common Deerare not your typical indie pop band. Case in point is their dramatic new single, “Confession (I Should Have Known),”a sweeping orchestral ode to following one’s heart - even if it means leaving someone dear behind. Produced by Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep), Common Deer’s 2017 debut EP I (release date 1/27), is a testament to the band’s striking musical craft.

With band members born and raised in different cities across Ontario, Common Deer came together despite diverse academic and career pursuits.  The band is comprised of Graham McLaughlin (vocals, violin, guitar), Sheila Hart-Owens (vocals, keys), Adam Hart-Owens (cello, guitar, synth), Liam Farrell (percussion, synth, samples) and Connor Farrell (bass), Common Deer aim to honour their traditional musical training by countering the perception of classical instruments as inaccessible.  They do this by carving a place for them amidst synths, drum machines, and modern riffs.

McLaughlin explains: “Classical music can sometimes come across as intense or rigid, but we’ve put an emphasis on letting go and really enjoying being in the moment.” Adam adds that “it would be great to see more classical musicians not using these instruments as a gimmick to gain popularity, but rather to explore and push the genre’s boundaries.”

With both McLaughlin and Sheila Hart-Owens as the primary lyricists, there exists a perfect balance between light and dark, between optimism and realism. Overall, the band members describe themselves as “post-classical with new wave influences, weaving themes of the natural world with broader issues of modern life.”  The band’s original folk sound quickly - and quite consciously, they insist - became more ambitiously progressive, resulting in the stirring wall of sound heard on I. Facebook here.

Musically the song has class and refinement throughout 'Confession (I Should Have Known)'. It's arrangement is top quality and the real icing on the cake are the vocals, taking both the melody and feel of the song up and up.


Shadowqueen - Unconditional.

Background - Melbournian rockers Shadowqueen kick off 2017 with a bang by unveiling a brand new single and video for ‘Unconditional’, a second offering that follows on from first taster 'Waiting On You', taken from their forthcoming sophomore album.

The uncompromising three piece consisting of Robbi Zana (vocals/bass), S i Hopman (guitar) and Alex Deegan (drums) have been garnering the support of punters and industry alike since the release of their self-titled album in 2012.

Robbi says of the new track, "I feel the term 'Unconditional Love' is used way too flippantly in our society, so our video for 'Unconditional' is a fun tongue in cheek look at how people can be so frivolous in believing in affection without any limitations on a relationship."

Opening for much loved artists such as Shihad, The Butterfly Effect and King Parrot while receiving attention across radio formats from Unearthed to Triple M to specialist online stations, Shadowqueen are delivering crushing riffs, seismic choruses and undeniable groove with absolute conviction. Website here, and Facebook here.

'Unconditional' is a no nonsense rocker, complete with some spicy guitar riffs and sultry questioning vocals. The video adds in a quirky element, whilst getting the bands message across albeit with a smile.


Kairon; IRSE! - Sinister Waters II.

Background - Progressive shoegazing? Music of the outer spheres? An irrevocably mentally unstable Gentle Giant and a severely alcoholic Todd Rundgren having a love child which, after being adopted to Russia, finds himself performing a rock opera in the Ural Mountains? It is typical of the human mind to try and classify things, but when confronted with Kairon; IRSE!, many are at a loss for words.

Behind the moniker Kairon; IRSE! there are four inner space travelers from western Finland. Debut album Ujubasajuba already knocked the planet off its orbit, even though it was done as a DIY Bandcamp release. Despite the lack of a physical release the album found itself on many a best albums of the year -list in 2014. Since then the band has performed at various large festivals and meticulously written the new album. Titled ‘Ruination’, the album will be released by Svart Records in February 2017 on CD, double LP and digital.

The band describe their music as an appreciation of the ideas and overall mentality of experimental pop musicians of the 60s and 70s, combined with a modern approach and original musical vision. Whereas the debut album was largely born out of improvisation and jam sessions, Ruination is the fruit of two years of careful composing and arranging work, taking control of the chaos. Though often bundled with the shoegazer movement, Kairon; IRSE!'s music has since the beginning been a rare bird inside the scene: it rings out with a different tone, and already on the first album the influence of classic progressive rock was evident. On Ruination the curiously named quartet heads further, beyond the point of no return, into their own world of sound, where power chords, arpeggios and quirky vocal harmonies flow. Facebook here and Bandcamp here. CD/mp3 Amazon here.

Progressive shoegaze and a thirteen minute track, might not get them much airplay on most FM radio stations however 'Sinister Waters II', is more than welcome here. The promos opening description pretty much covers it, follow that eh?


PowerSolo - Frantic.

Background - PowerSolo may be a power duo, but in this case, the prog-metal acrobatics of Rush are replaced with something they call "donkey punk." Two tremolo-loving chicken-scratch rail-thin guitarists, Kim Kix and the Atomic Child. It would've been well enough had Powersolo hailed from the Land of NASCAR, but the fact that this exercise in B-movie punk-a-billy is coming from Aarhus, Denmark, adds plenty of delicious cognitive dissonance.

What do you think of when you hear the name "PowerSolo"? 'Round Denmark way, the moniker apparently conjures the trash-rock psychobilly legacy of Hasil Adkins, the Cramps, and Southern Culture on the Skids So far they have been the masterminds behind five albums, a soundtrack, a 10”-split with Heavy Trash, two 7”-singles and several contributions to compilations. They are hardworking and dedicated people who wake up every morning just to play music. Maybe that’s why PowerSolo never stop touring but always have a new gig planned somewhere in the world.

PowerSolo are two tremolo-loving chicken-scratch rail-thin guitarists, Kim Kix and the Atomic Child, who hail from the Danish town of Arhus and conjure up the trash-rock psychobilly legacy of Hasil Adkins, the Cramps, and Southern Culture on the Skids, delivering a string of catchy tunes with crazy lyrical hooks that could have been one hit wonder seven-inchers back in the 1950s, ’60s or even the ’70s. They are the type ofype of songs that could be found on the Las Vegas Grind and Nuggets compilations, music you can dance to, prance to, rock and roll (in the biblical sense) to, and get into some serious trouble to, celebrating a time when music had a sense of fun, sex and danger to it. Bandcamp here, Vinyl/CD/mp3 (Amazon) here.

We have some new tour news over on our new page, which makes a fine excuse to feature 'Frantic' from the amazing and quite epic PowerSolo.