Vök - Carley Arrowood - Spud Cannon - Zoe & Cloyd
Icelandic trio Vök have shared the bold and cinematic video for their dynamic new single Lost in the Weekend, which is out now through Nettwerk Records.
Following the release of their acclaimed 2019 album In the Dark, which was written and recorded by the band in collaboration with producer James Earp (Bipolar Sunshine, Fickle Friends, Lewis Capaldi), Vök have been nestled away in their Reykjavík studios working on new material. The result is some of their most atmospheric work yet and Lost in the Weekend is an early taste of their progressive alt-pop sound.
Based around a semi-autobiographical character, Lost in the Weekend focuses on the ease of over-indulgence when you’re living in the moment and the purposeful loss of a sense of self. Mixed by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, Goldfrapp, The xx), it builds playfully, launching into a bold chorus, which musically echoes the meaning behind the song. The video, directed by Einar Egils, portrays the story of a man who loses himself in the weekend to celebrate who he is and conveys an overall message of everyone accepting who they are and being who they want to be.
Lead singer Margrét says; “With the video for ‘Lost in the Weekend’ we wanted to focus on the importance of showing your true self and letting one’s inner personality come out. Whatever you are on the inside, don’t be afraid to show it. Let’s celebrate our diversities.”
Through their unique and lushly layered sound that blends electro and indie with forward-thinking pop and a self-assured aesthetic, that is just as striking as their sound, Vök continue to cement their position as one of the most exciting alternative bands right now. Following two critically acclaimed albums, Lost in the Weekend is just the first musical moment in an exciting year for Vök, with further new music announced soon. Vök are Margrét Rán (vocals), Einar Stef (bass/guitar) and Bergur (drums).
===================================================Carley Arrowood - My Kind of Nightlife.
Following the demonstration of her fiddle virtuosity on the instrumental “Ducks On The Millpond,” Mountain Home Music Company’s Carley Arrowood returns to form with a strong vocal performance that builds on the success of last year’s “Goin’ Home Comin’ On” by offering a different angle on a similar theme.
Written by producer-bassist Jon Weisberger and Music Row hitmaker Jenn Schott, “My Kind Of Nightlife” gently contrasts crowded downtown streets and “cafes and honky tonks full of sound and light” with the glow of lightning bugs “dancing in the air” and “the call of the nightbirds.” “That’s my kind of nightlife,” Arrowood sings with a self-assurance born of her own experience and preferences, while the song’s relaxed tempo, lush harmonies and subtle instrumental backing all combine to transport the listener to the chorus’s front porch swing and an idyllic night in the country.
"It was a fun day getting to write this with Jon,” recalls Schott, whose long list of credits includes cuts by Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Mickey Guyton, Pam Tillis and the Eli Young Band. “I’m so thrilled Carley recorded it — and her singing and playing are both fantastic!”
Backed by the same crew that recorded “Goin’ Home Comin’ On” with her, including Steve Martin Banjo Prize and five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year recipient Kristin Scott Benson, Wayne Benson on mandolin, Daniel Thrailkill (guitar, harmony vocals) and her sister, Autumn (harmony vocals), Arrowood sings and plays not just skilfully, but with an interpretive sensitivity that belies her youth and suggests that she’s already a fully mature artist.
“‘My Kind of Night Life’ paints such a beautiful picture of simplicity,” she enthuses. “It captures the very essence of nostalgia and, for me, reminds me of my childhood with every line. I grew up on a dirt road in western North Carolina, and my summer evenings were spent barefoot in the backyard, playing endless pretend and catching lightning bugs with my sister and brother with nowhere in particular we had to be.”
“During the pandemic, and especially now that I’m planning my wedding,” she notes of her recently-announced engagement to Thrailkill, “I’ve come to cherish the nights when my whole family is home together, and I look forward, Lord willing, to the days when I can raise a family in the same way: running barefoot in the yard, catching lightning bugs, and just simply loving the life that God gives us.”
===================================================Spud Cannon - Juno.
Today, Poughkeepsie rockers Spud Cannon are sharing "Juno," the first single off of their forthcoming LP, Good Kids Make Bad Apples, out June 25th via Good Eye Records.
Recorded as a part of an all-nighter, one-take, not-campus-approved sessions on a squash court at the band's now alma mater, Vassar College, "Juno" captures the undeniable energy of a night out on the rails with your friends.
"It was the spring of 2019: we were on the verge of breaking up," the band's Jackson Walker Lewis detailed to Consequence of Sound. "I was on the verge of graduating, and we had no budget for a third album. After every legitimate venue on campus was booked up, we opted instead to throw a secret show in the squash courts at the suggestion of Lucy, who thought the court’s location would make it easier to evade security.
The show sounded terrible, but during our ‘soundcheck’, I thought the court sounded magnificent. I’ve always adored the Beach Boys wall-of-sound style, and suddenly the mere thought of recording an entire record in the squash courts consumed our imaginations.
That summer, we’d hang out at Meg’s house in Poughkeepsie, write, party, and on the final day of each ‘mini-vacation’, head to the courts. We’d wedge a door, wait till after closing time, and then sneak in with all of our gear and record from 12am-6am before they opened in the morning. We wanted to capture our live sound, so we recorded together, sans metronome, and decided we’d need to get pure takes of each song.
While some came easy, 'Juno' was arguably the hardest. It took two separate nights, and I think in the end we did something like 70 takes overall to get one we were happy with."
Despite its distinctive flavor, the appeal of bluegrass music is broad enough to have gained fans literally the world over. Still, direct, personal ties to the music and the communities in which it originated can lend an extra dimension to a performance, and just such a connection underpins the latest single from Organic Records’ Zoe & Cloyd.
With its themes of memory and the losses created by suburbanization and rural dislocation, “Chestnut Mountain” is a moving tale that’s all the more compelling for being based on John Cloyd Miller’s family history — one that not only embodies the lyric’s themes, but connects to bluegrass’s earliest days through his grandfather. Jim Shumate was not only the inheritor of the family’s Chestnut Mountain homeplace, but also a one-time fiddler for iconic bluegrass artists Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs — in fact, it was he who brought Monroe and banjo legend Scruggs together in late 1945, paving the way for the explosive musical combination that created bluegrass itself.
"‘Chestnut Mountain’ is a song I wrote about our family homeplace in Wilkes County, NC,” says Miller, who sings lead on the song. “My late grandfather, bluegrass fiddler Jim Shumate, was born there in 1921. There is so much history on that mountain. When I was young, the whole area was relatively remote and undeveloped aside from a few almost impassable roads. Later, a developer came in and tried to get my grandparents to sell their part, but to no avail. To my grandparents, that land was priceless. I'm so thankful that they held out and that my cousins and I have this place to share with the next generation.”
“I remember Grandpa saying he used to hear his Uncle Erbie playing fiddle from across the holler when he was a boy,” he continues. “When I'm up there, I always try to imagine what it was like for him growing up there. I picture the cabin, the farm animals and the garden, and I always listen for the sound of the fiddle wafting on the breeze."
Deeply nostalgic, yet precise in its sentimentality, “Chestnut Mountain” matches the elegant minimalism of its words with a sensitive ebb and flow in the harmonies and instrumental backing from Miller (guitar), Natalya Zoe Weinstein (fiddle, vocals), banjoist Bennett Sullivan and bassist Kevin Kehrberg. With its empathetic solos, delicate touches of dialogue between vocals and instruments, and a finely tuned build-up that culminates in an emotional, alternating repetition of the narrator’s basic wish — “I want to go back in time” — that’s echoed by the rise and fall of unison lines from banjo and fiddle before the final, restrained closing, this is a performance that exemplifies the authenticity that lies at the heart of Zoe & Cloyd’s music.