Sunglasses For Jaws - Miesha & The Spanks - Mara Simpson
London based outfit Sunglasses For Jaws today release their new single "What Does It Look Like" - the third track to be shared from upcoming album Everybody's Made Of Bones, out June 3rd via Pony Recordings. Widescreen, psych-rock with a penchant for the dramatic, David Bardon and Oscar Robertson along with recently recruited vocalist Oliver Huband recorded Everybody's Made Of Bones at Sean Ono Lennon's studio in upstate New York.
Produced by Lennon's partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl and mixed by Elliot Heinrich (Temples, Sorry, Parquet Courts) - the album examines the story and struggles of Huband's character 'Frank', with Huband's hushed singing and spoken word narratives impeccably delivered across the sprawling, kaleidoscopic instrumentals. A cacophony of horns, driving guitars and lilting xylophone runs, new single "What Does It Look Like" provides a cinematic insight into the band's new album.
Speaking on the new single, Huband said: "We ask questions for the purpose of getting answers, and if your question remains unanswered, you’ll just keep asking the question. Over and over. And we, humans, love to ask questions as much as we like to find answers. ‘What does it look like’ is a broad, vague, all-encompassing question that has a million different answers. Everything can be everything, anything can be anything. It’s a question that speeds into the highway eternally, picking up information and passengers and ideas and thoughts along the way. It’s everything that appears on your tv screen, on billboards, in your dreams, behind your eyes, the incessant overload of visual and psychological stimuli. It’s the coke can and the wet soil, and everything in between. Don’t try and answer this particular question. Trust me. The pursuit is a hell of a lot more fulfilling than the destination."
Sunglasses For Jaws at its core is the project of drummer and bassist Oscar Robertson and David Bardon. A rhythm section session pair, touring the world together playing for acts including Sinead O'Brien, Geowulf, Nick Waterhouse, Yak and This Is The Deep - the creative duo explain: "Sunglasses For Jaws is our vessel to experiment and make any kind of music we want to. This time we've given it a lot more intention and thought, and we wanted to create an entire little world.”
Adding more context to the full project, the trio added: "Everyone has versions of themselves – exteriors, barriers, walls, personalities, facades, fronts and so on. They separate people and make them unique. But everyone is made of blood, bone and skin. And bone is the most breakable. The hardest. The weakest. The softest. The most beautiful, smoothest component of the body, holding the entire artifice together. And whatever experience you live or embody, it’s your bones that get the beast in motion. This record is about the different experiences lived. The various forms and iterations of a person – where they place themselves, who they exist with, how they behave, how they recover. Frank does all of these things throughout the record, taking on the personage of the narrator, the protagonist, the psyche and, to some extent, all three at the same time. He doesn’t fear jumping in at the deep end and allowing himself to really feel. He feels so much that he feels in in his bones. When we get wet, we get soaked to the bone. When we feel adrenaline, we feel it in our bones. And when we write music and lyrics and throw art and romance and human complexity into the world… we do it with our bones."
===================================================Miesha & The Spanks - Singles (E.P).
Miesha & The Spanks offer a dynamic mixture of punk, garage and hard rock embellished with straightforward lyrics, gritty production and hard hitting performances. Inspired by proto punk classics like The Runaways, MC5 and The Stooges, and 90s riot grrrl/grunge like L7 and The Gits, M&TS conjure an energy that hits you in the face, throwing you into a world of killer riffs and sweaty gig venues.
Originally a punk rock kid from the East Kootenays, front-woman Miesha Louie started this project a decade ago after moving to big city Calgary, AB. She toured and released like crazy, building momentum and a reputation for her DIY approach, with any drummer up for the challenge. Joined by Sean Hamilton five years ago, he brought big Bonham style that’s intuitive like John Freese, always creating the right feel for the song.
Recorded in Brighton UK, their 2018 release Girls Girls Girls was produced by Danny Farrant of punk legends The Buzzcocks. The album reached #1 on Earshot!’s National Loud charts, and had singles hit #7 on CBC 3’s R3-30, and #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown. It received multiple adds on SiriusXM Canada, and was even given attention from Rodney Bingenheimer’s Sirius XM show in the US. At the YYC Music Awards, Girls Girls Girls brought home Rock Recording Of The Year and Single Of The Year (“Summer Love”), as well as securing Miesha as Female Artist Of The Year.
Girls Girls Girls saw Miesha & The Spanks on their second cover of Beatroute Magazine, and was accompanied by 30 dates across Canada, with festival appearances at Blizzard Music Fest (Rossland BC), Canadian Music Week (Toronto), Sled Island (Calgary), Rifflandia (Victoria BC), Halifax Pop Explosion (Halifax), Big Winter Classic (Calgary), The Great Escape (Brighton UK), FOCUS Wales (Wrexham UK), and Breakout West (Whitehorse YK).
Taking a brief hiatus while Miesha birthed twins, M&TS are back with their next release, Singles EP. While the Covid-19 pandemic did slow down production, the duo have put their full weight behind first singles “Unstoppable” and “Wanna Feel Good” – a juggernaut garage rock banger and a gritty fuzzed out anthem, respectively – reminding us that sometimes head first, full throttle, is the only way to get it done. Both songs received adds to SiriusXM Canada’s CBC Radio 3 and Indigenous Peoples’ Radio, with features on The Verge and Rodney Bingenheimer Show. Wanna Feel Good charted Top 10 on the Indigenous Music Countdown.
What was meant to be a mixed tape of self-serving, standalone tracks for radio and licensing, Singles EP instead became a collection of songs influenced by the immediate life-changing effects of life during lockdown. Working with Western Canadian Music Award winning artist/producer Leeroy Stagger was meant to reign in Miesha & The Spanks, to clean up the noise for crisp, polished songs – but visited from the ghost of punk rock past, Stagger instead turned it up (way up) and imbued their crunchy mono-guitar sound with extra doses of fuzz and feedback, guaranteed to get the blood pumping.
===================================================Mara Simpson - Reason.
UK multiinstrumentalist and story-teller Mara Simpson has shared new single ‘Reason’, a heady blend of alt-folk, analogue synth and classical composition. Serving as the first taste of her third studio album, ‘Reason’ is a tale of quiet rebellion and taking back control, a theme that is central to her upcoming release.
Whilst the struggles of 2020 will go down in history, for Mara it was 2019 that was the tough one. A year spent consumed by worry, whilst in and out of hospital with her one-year-old daughter, had left Mara feeling like she was playing a constant game of catch up with a world that wouldn’t slow down. With songs ready to be recorded for her new album, she headed into the studio to record with her producer. “I stepped into the studio not needing my hand held, just my voice heard” explains Mara, who quickly came to the realisation that she was working in a toxic environment with a producer whose moods everyone had started to dread. “Ironically, at the end of a year spent managing my daughter’s breathing issues, I had an asthma attack induced by the studio’s hypoallergenic cat” she laughs. “Enough was enough.”
It was whilst waiting for a train that she had the sudden realisation that the album she was recording would never see the light of day. Struck by an overwhelming feeling of failure, Mara began to ruminate on the time and money she had wasted but then something clicked. “Perhaps it’s something about train stations, the coming and the going that allows one’s stagnating frame of mind the grace and space to clear” she says. “The funny thing is, upon realising failure, the despair I’d been feeling was now replaced with something else...Relief”.
Feeling re-energised, Mara called her dream producer Ellie Mason, of Voka Gentle, and together the pair began working on a new record. “I’ve been more hands on with this album than I’ve ever been, taking a much more active role in production. Through the whole process Ellie has heard my voice, and been open to any possibility” explains Mara. “We’ve stumbled across golden moments, recording four-part harmonies in Brighton’s oldest church, using every drum there is in Brighton Electric, layering New Zealand bird song with tape-delayed piano, all thanks to her nurture, playfulness and grace” she continues.
With her new material, Mara Simpson hopes to promote a gentle, yet radical shift toward kindness and it’s this warmth that can be both heard and felt across her new record. ‘Reason’ is available to stream and download now, with the new album to follow in Autumn 2021.