P.E. - Jenny Berkel - Pillow Queens - Greenness

Photo - Vince McClelland
P.E. - Contradiction of Wants.

P.E.'s sophomore album, The Leather Lemon (Wharf Cat Records, out March 25, 2022), ushers in a new era for the New York band. A wild ride through chewy bubblegum pop, sweeping synthetic orchestrations, and mutant club beats, the album slides ever closer to the fully-realized pop sensibility only winked at with their debut album Person (2020) and subsequent releases.

Digging into mystery, romance, and sex appeal with The Leather Lemon, the group — composed of members of Pill (Mexican Summer/Dull Tools) and Eaters (Dull Tools/Driftless) — centers its sound within a Bermuda Triangle of dance music, electronic composition, and experimental rock. Members Jonathan Schenke, Bob Jones, and Jonny Campolo play within pop parameters, building upon free-form collaboration to create a fluorescent groove machine that harnesses the energy of their frenetic live shows. 

Singer Veronica Torres explores her softer side, expanding her vocal repertoire from spoken word and jagged growls to cherubic and sensuous psalms. Sax virtuoso Benjamin Jaffe’s chiseled experimental tone is heard in an extended solo of true romance in “Tears in the Rain,” a somber surrealist duet penned by Torres and Andrew Savage, singer/guitarist of Parquet Courts.

Recorded primarily at Schenke’s Studio Windows in Brooklyn, NY, The Leather Lemon was cultivated from a fertile creative period between spring 2020 and summer 2021, which also yielded 2021’s acclaimed The Reason For My Love E.P.


Jenny Berkel - Kaleidoscope.

The internet with its rabbit holes, slipperiness, and propensity for mis- and disinformation inspired me to write "Kaleidoscope." 

I wanted parts of this song to evoke the same tense, frantic feeling that the internet can sometimes give, paired with a chorus that lifts its way out of that mood. The accompanying "Kaleidoscope" music video was filmed at Halifax's indoor theatre for Shakespeare 

By The Sea. Director Meg Hubley (they/she) of Phyllis Rising Productions came up with the idea of setting it in a steadily shrinking room. The strange and surreal figure in the video is played by Mads Higgins (they/them), a circus performer, who moves around the room in a series of graceful and eerie poses.

The lyrics of "Kaleidoscope" evolved extensively as time went on. Given that this song considers the importance of care and precision in language, I felt even more attentive to the lyrics than usual.


Pillow Queens - No Good Woman.

Dublin's Pillow Queens are getting set to release their sophomore album Leave The Light On, their first release on Royal Mountain Records (Wild Pink, Alvvays, US Girls), which is due out on April 1st, and today the band are sharing the album's final pre-release single, a track called "No Good Woman."

Preceded by the singles "Hearts & Minds" and "Be By Your Side", which have seen praise from outlets like The Guardian, NPR, Stereogum, Consequence, BrooklynVegan, Uproxx, DIY and Clash who described "Hearts & Minds" as "Pillow Queens at their most out-going," the single arrives at an exciting moment for the band who are about to make their debut on American shores. Their first shows will take place at SXSW (full details can be found below), before they trace their way across the continent, with their New York debut at Mercury Lounge recently selling out over a month in advance.

This song is one which is very narrative based, though not in a linear way. It’s written more from the perspective of someone looking upon the scenarios of those around them," explains singer Pam Connolly. "It tries to convey a perpetual hopelessness of debt and striving for an ideal that can never be achieved. It’s pretty much a song about Sisyphus."


Photo: Justyna Neryng & Tobias Slater-Hunt
Greenness - Destroy/Enjoy.

Brighton-based Anglo-French duo Greenness, (Cécile Frangi and Graham Pratt), announce the release of their debut album Sunrooms on 20th May 2022 via Frangi’s label One Fern Records, and share first single ‘Destroy/Enjoy’.

‘Destroy/Enjoy’ is a playful indie-pop song celebrating Earth’s re-birth, inspired by a dream Frangi had about the apocalypse. As Frangi expands:  “Earth was rebooting itself on a giant computer screen. It was a strange, but joyous occasion, as if humanity was being given a second chance. There was something very ominous about it, this electricity in the air, but it was also exhilarating.”

‘Destroy/Enjoy’ accompanying video explores themes of escaping the 9-5 and enjoying life and nature whilst you can which is a theme that peppers their debut album. It’s an apt first taster for the album Sunrooms, a record in part a product of the environment in which it was created (in lockdown) and one inspired heavily by the duo’s lifelong love of nature. Greenness describes the title, Sunrooms, as:

 “A place that provides shelter from the elements while offering a clear view of surrounding landscapes, a space to reflect, breathe and feel, so that we can go back out with more strength to embrace the weather.”

Inspired by looking out at the world from their home studio in lockdown and the paradox of humanity in chaos whilst nature bloomed, the album also explores wanderlust versus the need to anchor oneself to a home, as French-born Cess Frangi explains: “Sunrooms (in part) follows our personal story travelling across France and the UK on a quest for a place to call home, trying to find the spark of everyday magic and hoping for human progress.”