Strange Neighbors - Pet Deaths - Alison Sudol - Oceanator
Strange Neighbors first unleashed their jangly power pop onto the New York scene in 2018. Founded by vocalist Aidan and drummer Tracey, they soon brought guitarist Zach into the mix through a Facebook ad. It remains one of the three all-time positive outcomes of social media.
Their new single and video for "Window Watching," is a nostalgic and vibrant track with Indie vibes steadily laced throughout. The video shows the true essence and nature of the band which further brings the song to life.
After a few early singles and some lineup changes, the band brought along bassist Dana to record their debut album “How to Human” in early 2019. Taking influence from the power pop and pop punk of the band’s youth, the album’s eight songs are characterized by sparkling guitars, intricate bass lines, rock solid beats and impassioned vocals, a mix of the old and new.
The band followed up with the “Illuminasti” EP in 2020 and marked their live comeback as a live act with the single "Mystic Piers" in July of 2021. They have continued recording, writing and performing into 2022. Since their formation, Strange Neighbors have played at popular New York City haunts like Piano’s, The Bitter End, Arlene’s Grocery, Mercury Lounge, Knitting Factory, and more.
==========================================================================Pet Deaths - Swingtime.
London based duo Pet Deaths have announced their second album unhappy ending - out 27th May via Silver Mind Records and release new single "swingtime" alongside a stark, surrealist black and white short film. The announcement follows the band's widely acclaimed debut album To the Top of the Hill and Roll... - released in 2019, described by Huw Stephens as “beautiful, understated and special” - noting it as one of his favourite albums of the year.
Inspired, musically, by the spiritual moments of Alice Coltrane, the freeness of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew with a sprinkling of Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden in its colourful unravelling, unhappy ending is an enveloping experience, touching upon universal themes but all shone through the lens of lyricist and vocalist Liam Karima’s signature perspective.
Swirling new single "swingtime" showcases the Pet Deaths' ability to juxtapose this deep dive of discovery with the brightness of the music. A beautiful five minutes, the song feels like a daydream, a memory you can’t quite get a hold of - “Hindsight is true fuckery, it’s our last waltz, and curtains for you and me baby,” Liam sings – while the music paints an almost psychedelic journey, the layering of the instrumentation indicative of the band’s desire to push these songs to their most colourful form.
Speaking on the release of "swingtime", vocalist Liam Karima said: "It’s a bite in the cheek song about irony at its bitter finest, protecting that loved one from the rogues and strapping in for the bumpy ride. When we suddenly see the sun through the clouds and it gets snatched away by a rain cloud; when we buy the milk and it’s sour; just when you think things are about to get better, D:REAM write a song about it - we go back to swingtimes."
|Photo - Federico Nessi|
American singer-songwriter and actress Alison Sudol shares intimate new single ‘Peaches'. Released ahead of her upcoming support dates with Goldfrapp at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 April, and a day before the UK release of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore’, in which Alison reprises her role as Queenie Goldstein, ‘Peaches’ is the first single taken from Alison forthcoming album due later in the year.
Delivered with bare-bones songwriting, hushed vocals, ‘Peaches’ is a deeply personal paean to motherhood. The intricate, yet delicate arrangement - built through sparse guitars, drums, bass and synths - is skilfully constructed around Alison’s vocal harmonies, which carry her autobiographical tales with mature delivery and poetic undertones. The single gives us a first glimpse into Alison's upcoming album, which she wrote, co-produced and recorded with London based multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer Chris Hyson, who is also half of adventurous collective Snowpoet in Wales at Giant Wafer Studios, during Summer 2020.
“We came up with the foundation of ‘Peaches’ in the studio in Wales, sitting in the sun during an insane heat wave, looking out over sheep fields,” says Alison. Opening about the inspiration behind the track, she unveils; “the framework of the song came almost immediately but the words were slow. Several months later, with a nearly finished record, ‘Peaches’ still had no lyrics. My partner and I were talking about trying again for a child after our loss. I kept dreaming of this little baby girl. The dreams were so vivid, so real it was like she was right there, but I had no idea if I could bring a child into the world. The dreams made me long for her so much it was dizzying, but painful too, knowing it might never happen. The lyrics finally came. Three weeks later our daughter was conceived”.
==========================================================================Oceanator - The Last Summer.
Brooklyn artist Oceanator recently announced her sophomore album Nothing's Ever Fine, co-produced by Bartees Strange, due out tomorrow, April 8th via Big Scary Monsters / Polyvinyl. Today, she shares new track 'The Last Summer', with an accompanying video directed by Baby Pony Food. Talking about the video, Baby Pony Food said: "The Last Summer’s lyrics evoke aimless youthful nights in DC, aimless youthful nights that we lived alongside Elise, so we tried to channel those memories and that energy as much as possible. We thought of this video as a love letter to Washington, DC and tried to cram in as many of our favourite places in the city as possible.:
"The cars break. Everything goes slow motion. There’s disaster and fire,” foretells Elise Okusami, describing her cinematic vision of the end of the world. Apocalypse is a subject she mined in acute detail and to critical acclaim on 2020’s Things I Never Said, her debut full-length as Oceanator. But in her most recent cataclysmic telling, she keeps the camera focused on the people who survive and need to keep on living. A couple escapes the wreckage in a classic pickup truck, their dog riding in the back. They find a new home in the woods and consider how to start over. “It could either be hopeful or negative,” Okusami explains of the tale’s ambiguous ending. “You’re either walking off into a nice sunset or going off into a black hole. For me, it depends on the mood; it can be both ways.
Those speculative vignettes inspired polymathic Okusami to begin writing a short film—one she ultimately scrapped in favour of putting those themes to music. These vividly imagined scenes comprise the sunrise-to-sunset arc of her resplendent new record Nothing’s Ever Fine, the first Oceanator has recorded for Big Scary Monsters/ Polyvinyl and the already-shredding project’s heaviest collection yet. This narrative of doom and hope told over the span of a single day is reinforced by a thrice-recurring leitmotif—appearing on the tracks “Morning,” “Post Meridian,” and “Evening”—composed on Okusami’s newly beloved Reverend baritone guitar.
She used it to write several of the songs’ knottiest riffs, lending a gut-punching low register (perhaps indebted to her past experiences playing in thrash and hardcore bands). But like on previous Oceanator recordings, Okusami’s characteristic ease with bright hooks still shines, and the wide-ranging influences of ‘80s power pop, ‘90s melodic punk, Americana, film scores and Civil Rights-era vocal groups lend textured complexity to the collection. Okusami uses these sounds to explore anxious nightmares, nostalgia for late night adventure, the fog of depression, climate catastrophe and cautious optimism for the future. It’s material ripe for an end-of-days flick, sure; but it’s also the reality of living with the noise in your own brain in America’s 2020s.