Weekend Wonders: Hollow Everdaze - Tashaki Miyaki - Gayle Skidmore - Kathryn Claire - Henke Wermelin & His New Love - The Man From Managra - The Holiday Crowd

Hollow Everdaze - Catastrophe.

Background - Hollow Everdaze have thrust back into gear for 2017 with new single "Catastrophe", an infectious slice of psychedelic-pop carved from their forthcoming album Cartoons (due for release later this year via Deaf Ambitions). Featuring a rollicking, garage-indebted hook, "Catastrophe" trades swirls of violin present in previous single "Still Ticking" for flourishes of keys and guitar-fuzz -- at times recalling moments of Dutch shoegazer Jacco Gardner.

Drenched in reverbed lushness, Hollow Everdaze have been reimagining psychedelic pop since they began in 2007 by lead vocalist, Dan Baulch and bassist, Jackson Kay in their small town hometown of Bacchus Marsh in Western Victoria.

Having spent the last year working on the release of their debut full length album, recorded by rising Melbourne producer, John Lee (known for his work with Beaches, Lost Animal, The Ocean Party), mastered by David Walker (NUN, Beaches, GOAT, Jen Cloher) at Stepford Audio, and with video and art collaborations from James Thomson, Niv Bavarsky and Micheal Olivo, the band are set to unveil their newest work to the world.

Hollow Everdaze capture the urgency of a band who have traced their own weird, divergent path through the haunted backwoods of songwriting.  It shows through in their stunning debut EP, released in 2013 which received rave reviews from Australia’s most highly respected journalists and earned them support spots for international artists including The War On Drugs (US), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (NZ), and Wavves (US), plus saw them join American Football (US) on their East Coast tour of Australia in 2015. Facebook here.

The is no shortage of bands enjoying psychedelic pop influences from years gone by and Hollow Daze clearly have a knack for this as 'Catastrophe' demonstrates. With that said there is enough of a modern slant and production to give the song a fresh feel.


Tashaki Miyaki- City.

Background - The Los Angeles-based duo Tashaki Miyaki will release their highly anticipated debut album 'The Dream' on April 7 via Metropolis Records. This week the band shares the album's second single "City."  The cinematic video for the track was directed by Kelsey McNamee. "The song brought to mind the image of a woman who feels disconnected, someone who floats through spaces and life," McNamee explains. "I was inspired by the portrayal of a lonely woman in Barbara Loden's film Wanda and the dynamic in Paper Moon. As well as Los Angeles and the way it can make you feel isolated."

Tashaki Miyaki have toured and played festivals across North America, Europe and the UK. The band has also performed at art museums around the world, including The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and MoMA, New York. 

Tashaki Miyaki has spent the past couple years writing and recording their debut LP, The Dream, produced by Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Paige Stark and engineered by Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Allah Las). As a writer for The Fader once observed of the band’s hypnotic sound, “It's so pretty I’m afraid saying anything else might diminish it". Facebook here.

Our second feature for Tashaki Miyaki this year with the second single from the soon to be released album.  'City' is a dreamy and lush song with intricate layers of sweeping sound. The video catches the mood and feeling, the album is awaited with interest.


Gayle Skidmore - Pale Ghosts.

Background - Amsterdam-by way of San Diego, CA-based singer-songwriter Gayle Skidmore is excited to announce the release of her latest full-length, The Golden West.  The album will be available nationally on Friday, April 7, 2017. She'll also be touring in support of the album.  The tour, and the album release, are the culmination of nearly two years of both heartache and mind-clearing revelations.  The Golden West would test her perseverance, but ultimately help her grow as an artist.

"The week before my wedding I was still finishing vocals for the album, which was pretty insane," says Skidmore, discussing The Golden West, her twentieth independent release overall, and her third to feature an adult coloring book with the album, each picture depicting a different song. But, with an impending wedding and a new album on the horizon, Skidmore was able to purge some of her past ghosts and let go of a lot of stuff she was still holding on to.  Throughout the ten-track collection, The Golden West details Skidmore's personal journey to leave the past where it belongs, a journey that took much longer than planned.

"I have spent the last several years touring the country in my tiny car, cramming in up to five instruments just for me, making coloring books, baking cookies, and knitting hats for fans.  I’ve driven to New York and back several times by myself and have had countless adventures.  I was once an opener for a Juggalo show in Buffalo.  I played a house show in a basement in Boise and on the same tour played the EMP museum in Seattle for Ninkasi Brewing’s Ground Control Launch.  Once I drove fourteen hours from Chicago to Denver to play a show and was certain I had poisoned myself with energy drinks.  I’ve slept in my car, been in accidents, been harassed in the South for looking ‘alternative,’ had a few stalkers, and have had all kinds of funny adventures with tour mates.  I’ve opened for my musical heroes, performed in a castle in Denver, toured in Europe, recorded twenty independent releases, and been sponsored by a fantastic brewing company [Ninkasi].  The last few years of performing have been an intense and incredible journey and I can’t wait to see where this new album takes me." Website here, Facebook here, tour details on our tour page.

The first of ten tracks on the album due for release next month, 'Pale Ghosts' is a beautiful song where melodic music and vocals equally seek out your attention. 'The Golden West' drifts into differing moods and styles, the constant reference is refined and beautiful vocals alongside considered and intelligent musical arrangements.


Kathryn Claire - The Fugue.

Background - Portland, Oregon's Kathryn Claire is gearing up to celebrate the release of her fourth full-length album, Bones Will Last, a ten-track collection of chamber/folk music encompassing her classical music upbringing with her formative folk influences.  With five instrumentals and five vocal tracks, Bones Will Last places Claire’s violin and voice at the forefront of the album.

Claire spent years cultivating her own style and approach to music as a violinist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter.  The result is an album that features arrangements that are sparse, with the lyrics residing confidently in the music; the violin weaving seamlessly through the album, bringing the instrumental and lyrical compositions together.  She will release Bones Will Last nationally on March 24, 2017.

“When I decided to put instrumentals and lyrical songs on the album, I knew finding a cohesive sound could be problematic," admits Claire.  “That interweaving was so profound.  I have played violin on many albums, and have worked as a side person with incredible performers.  Each artist and genre I worked in taught me something.  One of the most important gifts I learned as a side person was how to listen.  When I made this album I applied that gift to myself.  I wanted to capture what I heard in my head with the violin.  I went deep within myself to find those melodic or lyrical lines that I kept hearing.” Facebook here, website here.

'Bones Will Last' is a mixture of  instrumental and vocal tracks evenly split. I thought sharing 'The Fugue' one of the instrumental pieces would give some idea of the musical quality which underpins the entire collection. Kathryn Claire has a very melodic voice ensuring that the entire collection is one of refined quality.


Henke Wermelin & His New Love - When We Move Back Home.

Background - Swedish americana artist Henke Wermelin dreams of moving out in the countryside and releases the gospel sounding When We Move Back Home as the second single from his forthcoming album Accolades!

When We Move Back Home praises the countryside. A song about yearning to find one’s place in life and strike root. Or to express it as Henke Wermelin puts it in the song itself: “When you walk through towns where people know who you are even if you don’t, that's how it will be when we move back home”.

In the video of the song Wermelin takes help from a psychologist in order to come to terms with his craze and longing for the countryside – of little use however… Is it just an illusion that the countryside is better!? Is it all just a naïve dream that will fall together as a house of cards? Henke Wermelin ignores all of the objections made and sings the lead motive of the song as a mantra and continues his hunt for a rural life.

Henke Wermelin from Gothenburg, Sweden made his debut in 2013 with the album The New Black Is Blue which received fine reviews and was mentioned as rootsy indie, americana and 70s inspired pop. Henke Wermelin performs live with His New Love - a band occasionally including as many as nine musicians! When We Move Back Home is the second single off of forthcoming album Accolades due out later this spring. Facebook here.

I think I might have run out of original things to say regarding Swedish Americana. Perhaps it's a case of stating that once again just how good these artists are at making such fine music and songs this time the case in point is 'When We Move Back Home', or maybe I just say it's Scandinavian Americana, and everyone knows that means very good.


The Man From Managra - Saviours Of This World.

Background - The Man From Managra is the Athens based Alternative/Folk project of  Greek musician, composer, sound engineer and music producer Coti K. He began his career in the mid-80s and he has played with various bands such as Film Noir, In Trance 95, RAW, Mohammad and as a producer he has worked, among others, with: Raining Pleasure and Tuxedomoon. As a film and theater composer, he has worked with directors such as: Dimitris Papaioannou, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Three years have passed since the release of the first album "The Man From Managra". During this time Coti turned fifty (half a century of life), became a father, haven’t managed to learn surfing yet and continued to write songs, this time with a more extrovert attitude and with an expanded number of guest musicians.

The album was written and recorded over a period of two years (2015, 2016) somewhere between Tinos island and Athens. Besides his close collaborator, Panos Galanis, on drums, the album features: Jim R. White (Dirty Three, Peaches) on drums, Blaine L. Reininger (Tuxedomoon) on viola and vocals, Hristos Lainas on bass and guitar, Rena Rasouli (Venus Volcanism) on vocals, James Whylie and George Avramidis (G.Aggelakas and 100º) on wind instruments.

"The Man came a long time ago from Managra island. It was a small forgotten isle in the backwaters of the Mediterranean, or was it somewhere in the Indian sea? No one seems to remember, or care. Some say a nearby volcanic eruption wiped all traces of the Man's homeland." Website here, Facebook here.

'Saviours Of This World' is taken from the latest album 'Half A Century Sun' and what an album it is.The featured song, is just a small taste of something very special, alt folk at it's finest with original, moving and melodic songs throughout.


The Holiday Crowd - Cheer Up.

Background - The Holiday Crowd debut second video "Cheer Up" from their current LP "The Holiday Crowd" (Shelflife). Following the debut of the record's first single "Cheer Up," Shelflife is proud to release The Holiday Crowd's self-titled full length -- the sophomore offering from the finest indie-pop band north of the border. The past few years kept the group occupied with various projects ranging from gigs like Berlin Pop Fest in 2012 and a European tour in 2013 to covering Duran Duran's 1981 track "Friends of Mine" for the charity tribute album Making Patterns Rhyme.

Now, at last ready to follow up their debut Over the Bluffs, you'll soon be reminded that The Holiday Crowd is carrying on the jangle-pop torch of the eighties' premier bands better than anybody else. Their new album will be released this fall on limited clear vinyl and classic black vinyl with download code, and won't fail to both win over new fans while making longtime listeners fall only deeper in love.

The Holiday Crowd finds singer Imran Haniff embracing a cool swagger that highlights just how tight the band's songwriting is from cover to cover. Tracks like "Cheer Up" and "Of All Places" feature some of Roberts' most fun and punchy basslines to date, while "Rosy Lies"- which pays clear homage to Johnny Marr -- has some of the most memorable guitar work written on this side of the eighties.

It's rare that a band sounds this comfortable in and in tune with its sound so early in their discography, but upon hearing The Holiday Crowd's origin story it begins to make more sense: "Lead singer Imran Haniff first met Colin Bowers in high school, where a conversation about Colin's Stone Roses t-shirt developed into a strong bonding friendship and songwriting partnership." It seems that from the very inception of the group there was a shared vision for where their sound would explore, and now, six years after the band's formation, it's paying off in the biggest of ways. Facebook here.

A fascinating video deserves at least a good song and 'Cheer Up' goes beyond the call of duty. Distinct vocals and punchy rhythmic music run alongside intriguing lyrics, what else do we need for a song!