So Many Wizards - JFDR - Garrett Pierce - Hayride Casualties

So Many Wizards - Before She Runs.

Background - So Many Wizards is the dreamy, jangly dream-punk project led by Nima Kazerouni. The band have shared "Before She Runs", the third track off their upcoming album. 'Heavy Vision' is due April 14 on Lolipop Records. 

What began as a solo bedroom project indebted to Syd Barrett evolved into a fully-formed band that has garnered attention from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Aquarium Drunkard, and Impose Magazine; spins on BBC 1, KCRW, and SiriusXM (courtesy of Lou Reed); festival stops at SXSW and CMJ; and US and UK tours. A week after the release of their debut album, Warm Nothing, Kazerouni’s daughter was born causing his sudden move to Tucson, Arizona, taking him 500 miles away from his bandmates. Despite the distance, the band managed to release their “Night Chills”/”Daydream” 7”, a single with Converse Rubber Tracks, and shared the stage with Thee Oh Sees, No Age, Colleen Green, Audacity, Feels, Terry Malts, Lovely Bad Things, and more.

Now as a father, the delusion of adulthood began to set in. A new collection of fears and anxieties began to creep into his psyche. This was exacerbated by a series of deaths – a family member, a best friend, and the end of an 8-year long relationship. The experience left Kazerouni spiritually exhausted, culminating in a nervous breakdown, or “nervous breakthrough.” Kazerouni was finally able to lose a grip of himself and let all the problems and anxieties that he tried so hard to ignore wash over him. It was here where Kazerouni found refuge in the idea of mortality, instilling in him a newfound determination to make the most of the present, because everyone’s life ultimately ends the same way. This emotional journey, from its dark hues to its liberated epiphany, is chronicled in Heavy Vision. Facebook here.

The vocals are buried deep within the mix and to a degree almost resonate as an additional musical instrument on 'Before She Runs' a delicious dream punk song. With refined musicianship and excellent production this is an additive song.


JFDR - Destiny Is Upon Us.

Background - The newest video from JFDR entitled "Destiny Is Upon Us". It is the fifth track to get a video off of JFDR's recently released debut album 'Brazil'.

JFDR, the latest project from Iceland's Jófríður Ákadóttir (Samaris, Pascal Pinon, Gangly), is a blend of cyclical guitar parts, soft minimal soundscapes, and poetic wanderings of a journey that ends where it began. Drawing from classical, folk, and electronic backgrounds, JFDR amalgamates the sounds of changing seasons, her voice a current that moves through rough seas to smooth waters. But perhaps JFDR shines the most in her capacity as a wordsmith, employing rich imagery to evoke the subtle emotions embedded in each song.

“I got obsessed with her band Samaris a few years ago,” says Björk, “and then it was amazing to see her do her own stuff. She’s surrounded herself with a really authentic community of friends. There are probably about 150 musicians in Reykjavik, and groups there sort of become the opposite of each other, like, ‘Oh, that singer’s dressed like that, I better dress the opposite.’ Such is the tight-knit scene in Iceland, she continues, that “you naturally develop individuality. Also, you’ll be in a classical band and an electronic band and a metal band, and that’s okay. Everything blurs into each other, which I’m sure you can hear in Icelandic music.” - Björk, (The Guardian) ‘Björk On Her Inspirations’. Facebook here.

Our second feature for JFDR and the new video for 'Destiny Is Upon Us'. Once again we are treated to some fine imagery that allows the music to take centre stage. Original, alternative, creative and gorgeous music and just one dimension of a fabulous album.


Garrett Pierce - These Wounds/Enough.

Background -  SF artist Garrett Pierce shares two new tracks from his forthcoming album, Dusk. Both songs deal with different kinds of heartbreak, "These Wounds" the traditional kind felt after a romantic breakup and "Enough" tackles problems Pierce faced growing up that were beyond his control - he wrote this about "Enough": "This song explores the problems people face in the Tenderloin through a first-person account.  I grew up with a mother with mental health and drug problems, and I was nearly homeless myself during my senior year of high school, so I’ve channeled my experiences to paint a picture of life on the streets.  We recorded around forty tracks of instrumentation (with multiple tracks of keyboards and guitars) to make this song the most lush on the album.”

Garrett Pierce began writing for magazines and playing in rock bands as a teen in Los Angeles before permanently relocating to the Bay Area in the early 2000’s. His first full-length album Like A Moth was a stripped down acoustic affair with guest appearances by notable songwriters Jolie Holland and Matt Bauer. Garrett then traveled and toured Europe where he was honored to support Nick Cave in Greece. With a pocketful of songs, he returned to make All Masks (Crossbill Records) - a lush album recorded in the gold rush town of Columbia, CA featuring strings, wind instruments and a cast of over ten musicians.

Garrett's 2012 record City of Sand (Narnack Records) was largely biographical, commenting on his dizzying relationship with the city and growing desire to leave for more natural settings. During this period, Garrett began splitting his time between Sonoma County and San Francisco - playing clubs throughout the bay area at night and working in the wine industry during the day.

Garrett has completed his fourth record titled Dusk which was released on April 14, 2017 in partnership with Crossbill Records (here), Facebook here.

'These Wounds' and 'Enough' are two superb songs from Garrett Pierce, an artist we first featured in early February. I was pretty certain I wanted the album on the strength of just one song, these two have sealed the deal. Exceptional songs in my opinion.


Hayride Casualties - The Catskills Aint For Sale.

Background - Everyone would agree that we live in strange, uncertain times, yet too much of the music we listen to fails to reflect this sense back to us. Hayride Casualties is one band defined and driven by the political and ecological crises of our age.

Started in 2013 by songwriter and activist Daniel DeWald and bluegrass musician Jack Marshall, Hayride Casualties released Live at 226 Madison, a gritty, live EP of an apartment concert attended mostly by young folks working on campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns in NYC. A few months later, the band released single A Hundred Thousand Dollars a Day, a satirical ode to then Exxon Mobil CEO, Rex Tillerson.

In the summer of 2014, Marshall left the band, taking much (but not all) of the bluegrass influence with him. DeWald spent the next three years meticulously reimagining the band’s sound. Hayride’s debut full length album, Fossil Fuel Kid, is the culmination of that vision: a blend of the band’s earlier folk and bluegrass-inspired licks with DeWald’s love of hard-hitting underground and indie rock.

With a lineup including drummer Tim McCoy (Darwin Deez, formerly Savoire Adore), bassist/composer Chris Bordeaux (formerly The Aisles and Raheem), guitarist Mike Abuiso (formerly The Gay Blades, The Venetia Fair) and singer/songwriters Alex Pastuhov and Lesley Barth, Hayride Casualties are masters at creating both barebones acoustic arrangements and rock numbers that seriously rock. Lyrically, DeWald has found a home on the razor’s edge: speaking simply and definitively to the environmental and other existential crises of our time, while managing to escape the cringeworthy directness, or, overly cryptic messaging too often observed in protest music. Hayride Casualties' upcoming album is titled Fossil Fuel Kid, Facebook here, Bandcamp here.

One of ten songs from the forthcoming album release is 'The Catskills Ain't For Sale'. It's an album that can be folk and acoustic one moment, and polished indie rock the next. Musicianship is tight and of a high standard, vocals are just right whatever direction each song might take.