NEW MUSIC: Blue Canopy – St. Albans

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Here’s a really nice slice of 60s-tinged, indie guitar pop from Portland-based artist Alex Schiff who records under the name Blue Canopy. The vocal layering in particular grabbed our attention with their tripped-out Beach Boys vibe. ‘St. Albans‘ comes from his debut EP Mild Anxiety which is out now.

“St. Albans is about an old friend who I lost touch with, but consistently visits me in dreams. It’s probably my only falling out (outside of romantic relationships) that felt like a breakup. The relationship was a little toxic, but we were very, very close. We were also songwriting partners through college, and when I decided to end our band, he decided he didn’t want to ever speak with me again. The song is part reminiscent/memory lane and part my feelings about it now after all these years. I showed him the record (we communicate a little bit now) and that was his favorite song! It’s also a little bit Beatles-esque which is his favorite band, so that’s a little bit of a nod to him.”

NEW MUSIC: Elephant Castle – I’m A Loser

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UK psych and baggy indie combine with 60s melodies and 21st century psych-pop explorations on this new catchy and expansive track from Los Angeles-based singer and multi-instrumentalist ​Phil Danyew who played in Foster The People for six years before leaving to focus on his own music as Elephant Castle.

Danyew calls the song “A tongue-in-cheek anthem for the underdog.”

NEW MUSIC: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Steady Heart / Carrying Gravity

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Composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has recently released her new album The Mosaic of Transformation, featuring these two exceptional tracks ‘The Steady Heart’ and ‘Carrying Gravity’. Over a push/pull rhythm track, Smith weaves dream fragments of vocals amid a wafting, gossamer haze of twinkling synths and textural pads on ‘The Steady Heart’.

‘Carrying Gravity’ begins with strings before taking an almost Oriental sound and filtering it through delicate  arpeggios that hang like warm pulses in the air.

“I guess in one sentence, this album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity,” says Smith. While writing and recording, she embraced a daily practice of physical movement, passing electricity through her body and into motion, in ways reflecting her audio practice, which sends currents through modular synthesizers and into the air through speakers. Not a dancer by any traditional definition, she taught herself improvisatory movement realizing flexibility, strength, and unexpectedly, what Smith calls “a visual language” (the term was introduced to her by filmmaker Sean Hellfritsch) stemming from the human body and comprised of vibrational shapes. Understood as cymatics, as she says, “as a reference for how frequencies can be visualized,” much like a mosaic.

NEW MUSIC: NOUS – Blush

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NOUS have conjured up a swirling sonic miasma of musical nerves and tension, winding martial rhythms around droning, spiralling textures that add up to quite a glorious and immersive kosmiche post-rock sound.

New York experimental music project NOUS – led by producer and composer Christopher Bono – is an experimental music project with a fluctuating group of artists exploring ritual and spontaneity within music. NOUS III (May 29th) is the third from the project’s opening trilogy of releases, culled from a five-day musical retreat & social experiment wherein 13 musicians were invited to join Christopher at the legendary converted church Dreamland Studios, with producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus) on an intensive seven-day immersion — recording for five days, with two live performances at the conclusion.

NOUS band members on this recording:

Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost)
Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, ex-Liturgy)
Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Prince Billy)
Thor Harris (Swans, Angels of Light, Amanda Palmer, Shearwater)
Grey Mcmurray (itsnotyouitsme, So Percussion, Tyondai Braxton)

 

NEW MUSIC: Sugar Factory – Birdie

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Sugar Factory (Greece) is the solo project of Stelios Gagaris, who has been releasing 7″, cassette and digital recordings for the last decade. ‘Birdie’ comes from the new seven song cassette release Home and finds him digging into some propulsive and angular instrumental psych rock sounds. It’s heavy but the dynamics give it weight and relief in all the right places. Elsewhere the release contains some really nice post-rock/indie rock guitar workouts with similar energy and twists and turns.

All official releases, as well as live recordings, demos etc. are free to download through Sugar Factory’s Bandcamp page – http://sugarfactory.bandcamp.com

The project’s live performances are accompanied by visual material, which harmonically complements the industrialized sounds and ‘sweet’ melodies, creating a complete atmosphere. Sugar Factory has opened concerts for God Is An Astronaut, Wovenhand, Piano Magic, Hidden Orchestra and The Underground Youth among others. In 2014, Sugar Factory opened for the international music documentary film festival ‘In Edit’, projecting original visual material. Later on, Sugar Factory played the Loop Festival in Lefkosia, CY in March 2017 and the Let Me Know Fest. in Athens, GR in September 2018.

NEW MUSIC: George Gaudy – Mother (Reprise)

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London based Greek singer/songwriter George Gaudy has released this new track of dark, bluesy alt-rock that also draws on North Africa desert-rock and Greek folk in it’s wandering psych grooves. The song comes from his new album Little Pieces, released in April 2020.

Mother (Reprise)‘ is a loose-limbed smoky affair, brimming with sonic diversions into horn-fuelled hypnosis and blank-eyed vocal mantras, twisting and writing over seven minutes.

NEW MUSIC: Strange Things – I Feel Fine

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Strange Things from Vancouver, British Columbia recently released their Sunshine EP and one of its highlights is ‘I Feel Fine’, a tumbling cascade of distorted guitars and howled vocals that flies along on sustained notes of electricity and an endless groove. The heavier psych end of shoegaze is the order of the day here.

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).