NEW MUSIC: Blue Canopy – Keys to The Garden

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Blue Canopy, the moniker of Portland Oregon musician Alex Schiff, has recently released his debut EP called Mild Anxiety, featuring this track – ‘Keys To The Garden’, a shimmering slice of psychedelia with a hazy tropical bent.

According to Schiff, ‘Keys to the Garden’ was written about the New York Knicks, cloaked with fantasy lore imagery.

“At that point in my life, I knew that my wife and I wanted to start a family, but we had no idea where we were going to live. That was causing a lot of anxiety and feelings of being unsettled. Everything was up in the air. I started writing lyrics about that, but was struggling. The Knicks were kind of similar in the sense that they too were directionless with an uncertain future. I think emotionally it was easier to write about the Knicks, and as soon as I made that the decision the lyrics came together quickly.”

Formerly the keyboardist and co-writer for indie band, Modern Rivals, Alex has shared the stage with bands such as Ra Ra Riot, Stars, and The Black Keys. The EP’s lead single, “656” enlists the four other members of Modern Rivals (performing drums, guitar, bass, synth and backup vocals) as an official send-off to a relationship that was a formative part of Alex’s youth and time living in New York City.

‘Mild Anxiety’ was produced by Alex Schiff & Patrick J Smith (A Beacon School/Modern Rivals).

 

NEW MUSIC: Alex Henry Foster – The Hunter (By The Seaside Window)

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Alex Henry Foster recently released the video for his single ‘The Hunter (By The Seaside Window)‘, the centrepiece of his new album Windows In The Sky. The song is an epic 14 minute piece of post-rock, with an ebb and flow of tension, poetry and ascent into grand, sprawling and expansive electric guitar playing that at times reminds us of Lift To Experience. Interwoven with Foster’s (mostly) spoken word are indecipherable recordings of a female voice – in another language, which adds to the mystery and intrigue.

“The Hunter (By the Seaside Window) emerged from a 30-minute jam of a noisy, out-of-breath and tortured kind of dark, spiritual, emotive, and redemptive sonic journey. It reflects on the symbiotic notion of inner struggles feeding the growing illness of the relationship between the different entities we kept on feeding within oneself, as a sort of an out-of-step addiction to pain and resignation, but also to hopelessness and mercy, as much as to salvation and grace. The cycle only ends once we decide to let go, whatever it may mean for anyone’s beliefs… as we are both the hunter and the prey” – Alex Henry Foster

Alex Henry Foster (AHF) is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, author, producer, and composer, best known as the frontman of Juno Awards nominee Post-Rock / Noise band Your Favorite Enemies. The impressive and gripping short film for The Hunter was produced and written by Alex Henry Foster’s longtime collaborator, French filmmaker Jessie Nottola.

NEW MUSIC: André Uhl – I Care About You, Just Not Right Now

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There are some serious sci-fi dark sonic forces at work on this new track from Berlin-based German musician André Uhl, who holds a master’s degree in futures studies and works as a futures researcher during the day. He dials into  an ominous and forbidding sound that pulses, throbs and pushes and pulls against the speaker cones. Everything is rhythmic, like the heartbeat of a city, the bass like a subterranean world of digital interconnectivity while the synth melodies teem above like a busy yet alienated metropolitan organism.

‘I Care About You, Just Not Right Now’ is the first single from Uhl’s upcoming album Relax and Implode, to be released on Berlin-based label Martin Hossbach on October 16th 2020.

According to Uhl: “The song deals with emotional confusion in a complicated relationship. It’s about proximity and distance, push and pull, and the struggle with toxic communication behavior. It tells about the kind of relationship you can’t escape from although you know you should.”

NEW MUSIC: Holy Wave – Escapism

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Hazy, rolling sonic waves are the order of the day on this blissed-out new psychedelic track from El Paso TX band Holy Wave. It slowly builds, layer upon layer of chiming, effects-laden guitars and astral voices, droning and intoning as it heads skyward.

‘Escapism’ is the 2nd single off Interloper, Holy Wave’s fifth album, out July 3, 2020. You can also listen to the title track and ‘I’m Not Living In The Past Anymore‘.

NEW MUSIC: War Strings – Tragedy (Lovesong)

 

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Bittersweet swerving guitars and sonic verve are two of the defining aspects of War Strings‘ single ‘Tragedy (Lovesong)’. Think New Order, The Cure, Girls and the dense static and fuzz of Swervedriver all combine to form a transatlantic blend of angst and shoegaze. Tough and tender, the song is a gem of the kind that inhabits that sweet spot where melody meets melancholy.

War Strings is the work of LA musician Andrew Stogel who, after suffering a major head injury, began channelling his creativity, from his recovery bed, into a batch of songs that make up his debut LP, due out in 2020. You can also check out his other single, released earlier this year – ‘My Alien Heart’.

 

PLAYLIST: Doubtful Sounds for Uncertain Times Vol. 1

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We love a good playlist – that joy of finding a good angle or obtuse theme to indulge in and discover new or new old music. Here then is the first in a new playlist series called Doubtful Sounds for Uncertain Times.

An eclectic journey through impulsive listening, both reactionary and complimentary. Ears, memories and instinct leading the way through a playlist selection for these strange times.

NEW MUSIC: Protomartyr Release New Single/Video And Push Back New Album

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Protomartyr announced their forthcoming new LP Ultimate Success Today with its first single ‘Processed By The Boys‘ . Now they’ve got a new track for you to wrap your ears and eyes around in ‘Worm In Heaven’. A slow burner that gradually swells into a warm wave of distortion with singer Joe Casey chanting repeatedly. You’ll need to wait a bit longer to hear the full album though. They’ve pushed back the release date to July 17th.

ALBUM REVIEW: New War – Trouble In The Air

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Heavy Machinery Records

Last year Sarah Mary Chadwick released an album that she’d recorded on the Melbourne Town Hall Organ – the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. New War had already ticked that box in 2017 when they recorded this new live album.

While Chadwick created a grand widescreen soundtrack to her songs, her Melbourne contemporaries use the instrument in a much more varied way by utilising drones, pulsing rhythms and haunting melodies. Played by Jesse Shepherd, the instrument conjures up images of gothic churches, demented carousels, horror soundtracks and shadowy circuses. Those moods are enhanced by the cold electronic drums of Steve Masterson and Melissa Lock’s post-punk bass playing. Topped off by Chris Pugmire’s sinister incantations, the overall effect is one that draws a line back through Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire to Suicide, Nico and the dark side of Krautrock.

Nearly all the songs include a colour in their title, the exception being the accessible opener Bang On. I Am Position Yellow is a highpoint, wonderfully combining atmosphere, rhythm and melody, while Cocaine Blue is a beautiful piece of Joy Division-esque melancholy. 

The album no doubt had immeasurably more impact and resonance when experienced live, with the imposing Grand Organ imposing but never overwhelming the rest of the musicians. This recording serves as a fine document of the occasion.

Chris Familton