About normanweatheredmusic

I listen to music.

Stars Will Light The Way by Parabola West

 

Parabola West is the name of a band that I am currently enjoying the musical offerings thereof. Apple Music lists Parabola West as traditional Celtic, but I take that with a bit of Celtic sea salt tossed over my shoulder. There are elements of traditional Celtic, but Parabola West add a twist of their own to that. The press sheet says there is a blend electronica and folk. The music has been called folktronic, Celtic, Nordic folk and electronica.

Throw all those genre words away and listen to the damn music for crying aloud. What I hear is beautiful music. I could stop right there, add no more explanation, and feel that I have described the music well. Beautiful music, yeah, that fits just right.

The beautiful music we hear is pulled, pushed and teased in from various sources, refined, blended and finally coalescing as Stars Will Light The Way. The new musical offering from Parabola West, the artistic persona of singer and songwriter Amy Tucker West, a nomadic free spirit artist who started her journey in Springfield, Massachusetts. As an aside, I am particularly fond of the song Massachusetts by the Bee Gees.

Amy Tucker West began songwriting on piano as a teenager, and, at age 21, she was recruited into the London-based trip-hop band Dreamfield. With two critically acclaimed releases to their credit. Take Me With You was released in 1999, and Christopher’s Dream in 2002. Dreamfield dissolved in 2003.

After Dreamfield, Amy Tucker West relocated to New Zealand, taking a 10-year break from music to work in IT and engineering recruitment. That career shift doesn’t surprise me; music and numbers complement each other beautifully.

Amy Tucker West returned to her musical quest in 2013 under the moniker Parabola West. Living off-grid in an eco-home up a misty mountain near Raglan, New Zealand, she crafted her debut, Did You Hear? EP in 2014, followed by her Purity of Weakness EP in 2017 and now Stars Will Light The Way. Her music is entirely self and fan-funded as a 100% independent artist with no label affiliation. I’ve got to respect that.

But wait, it gets better! It took Parabola West five years to craft the 13 tracks into the album Stars Will Light The Way. Five Years is also a great song from the discography of David Bowie. Parabola West has some significant touchstones.

“This album has been collecting inside of me for a long time and across a lot of different emotions. I didn’t realize it as I was writing the songs, but there is a theme that emerges about the night sky and trying to find your way in the dark,”. says Amy Tucker West.

Amy Tucker West has previously teased us with the tracks No One Can Get Me HereCalling Your NameWorld of Ours, and HannahHannah is an ethereal tale of the thin veil between the physical and spiritual worlds, heightened by the use of the medieval hurdy-gurdy and the haunting Swedish folk instrument Nyckelharpa.

The ‘Stars Will Light the Way‘ LP is out now on CD or digitally everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. 

A deluxe CD package with a 48-page hardcover fantasy book of lyrics and images is also available, limited to 100 copies. A fantastic team of creatives transforms the exclusive CD package into a different character for each song. It is available exclusively through the artist’s Paraboland store. https://shop.parabolawest.com/pages/about

Keep up with Parabola West at http://www.parabolawest.com

http://www.facebook.com/parabola.west http://www.youtube.com/c/parabolawesthttps://twitter.com/ParabolaWest https://www.instagram.com/parabolawest https://parabolawest.bandcamp.com https://open.spotify.com/artist/2gT8TsfEV1uoLQhFOFNMaX https://soundcloud.com/parabola-west https://music.apple.com/us/artist/parabola-west/833859208 

FOR SHARING

Order the album (digital/physical) https://bit.ly/38wxXFh

Bandcamp https://parabolawest.bandcamp.com/album/stars-will-light-the-way

Order or stream the album  https://bit.ly/3Kqzs66

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/5KWmQJhIDUsCRW15WlHlr6

‘Hannah’  https://youtu.be/kIG_iUCjiTc

‘No One Can Get Me Here’  https://youtu.be/izZ8fPz-pzs

‘Calling Your Name’ https://youtu.be/3tCVxsNIZCE

‘World of Ours’  https://youtu.be/vN1j6O5CTkM

If you have any questions, contact Shauna from Shameless Promotion PR at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com 

Othered Vol. 1

Vol. 1, I appreciate the optimism that there will be Vol. 2. The album is from the musical pairing of Henry Austin Lannan and Emily Palen. Through Specimen Box, Lannan’s collaborative music project with Larry Boothroyd (Jello Biafra and GSM, Victim’s Family, Triclops!), Henry Austin Lannan and Emily Palen met by chance. Upon hearing one of Austin’s demos, Larry introduced him to Emily, who created a vocal composition that led to this fruitful collaboration based on songs written amid the 2020 lockdown.

After recording numerous demos at Austin’s home studio, they eventually recorded this long-player at El Studio in San Francisco with Phil Becker (drummer of Triclops!, Terry Gross, Pins of Light and Lower Forty-Eight) serving as producer and engineer.

The album opens with a gentle synth washing over birds sweetly singing that lasts for 22 seconds, and then a drum marches over the birds and eventually displaces them. That transitions into track two, Planets on the Rise, a melodic evolution away from the birds. A heavily distorted guitar moves the piece into a more metal than a pop song at about the middle of the song. We are primed for the Journey to the Edge by the time Planets on the Rise ends, which settles the album into the heavier metal zone that feels right for Othered.

Lyrically the band leans towards living in fear of Big Brother and conspiracy by the government, big pharma and conventional journalism. Covid has been a massive catalyst for music and the arts. Othered have not been immune to the opportunity to get on the Covid bandwagon. When they get on they charge head-on at full throttle.

“‘Othered Vol. 1‘ was born out of sheer necessity to create amidst a complete disruption to normality as a result of the 2020 pandemic and lockdowns. Lyrically, the album is a call for independent thought, soul maintenance and critical discernment in a time when a war on human consciousness is being waged.”

“This album was a synchronistic opportunity for me to dive into myself as a vocalist and also to bring a voice to the traumatic experience everyone was plunged into. As we traversed the mind-bending manipulation of the last two years, the lyrics and melodies of Othered served as a channel to express views that were challenging to many to hear. Many of us who have always questioned what our government tells us have been afraid to speak up for fear of life-altering consequences. I do not pretend to know the core facts of the story we are playing out now; however, there is longstanding and irrefutable evidence that these false authority figures have never cared about us. I maintain that it is critical that we be able to question and think for ourselves,” says Emily Palen.

“When we are being attacked so viciously for doing so, it is a horrible red flag. Austin Lannan gave me his unlimited blessing to explore my own ideas uncensored, and I am very grateful for that landscape. My hope is that this music is both a clarion call to others who have felt alone during this time, a fortifying song for those who are on the front lines of consciousness evolution and a reminder to those who have fallen victim to mass engineered manipulation tactics, to come home to who they truly are. Our true nature is to care for each other and celebrate and support our vast differences. Our strength is in our diversity, not in aligning to one single thought sent down upon us from above”.

“2020 was a fucked up year. A profound sense of isolation permeated daily life along with rampant fear and a consistent general feeling of unease. The sounds, words and tone of this record are both inspired by those negative emotions and an attempt to counter the despair and hopelessness many of us felt throughout the year,” says Henry Austin Landan.

While the album’s music, primarily heavy rock and lyrical content, may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is a good album when all is considered. “Our true nature is to care for each other and celebrate and support our vast differences. Our strength is in our diversity..” says Emily Palen; I think that is an excellent way to listen to this album. When I listened to the album with that agenda, celebrating and supporting our diversity, I gained a new and deeper appreciation for what Othered has offered us through the medium of music on Vol. 1

As a closing remark, I will add that this is one of those albums that gets better with age and repeated plays. I can’t count how many times I’ve listened to Vol. 1, but I can tell you that I enjoy it more with each listen, which is what I am listening to as I write this. Othered Vol. 1 is destined to be a stranded on a deserted island album. Good stuff.

I look forward to Othered Vol. 2.

Othered Vol. 1‘ is now available digitally and on gold-coloured vinyl in a limited edition of 150 copies, pressed with a heavy-weight gloss stock jacket and black card stock insert printed in silver and gold ink. The album can be ordered directly from the artist via Bandcamp.

Keep up with Othered
Bandcamp | Instagram | Soundcloud | Twitter |Press contact

Keep up with KnightressM1
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Bandcamp https://otheredoak.bandcamp.com/track/journey-to-the-edge
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/6h7CwPCbDpgt8wxMyMpasX
Album pre-order https://otheredoak.bandcamp.com/album/vol-1
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/74jVeCffBUkiG2nMtj4ehR
Album release show https://bit.ly/3tsouah

Friendmaker Weird

I’m a sucker for a good story song, so I was happy with what I have been listening to over the last few days. I have been streaming Weird by the band Friendmaker. They have a new EP out on House of Strange Vinyl with three tracks, WeirdLeaky Mick and Vinny P The Talker and You, Me And Everything Else.

Weird is the second single from their forthcoming debut album.

You, Me And Everything Else was released earlier this year to warm reviews.

Friendmaker, from Carrickmacross, IrishCarraig Mhachaire Rois, meaning ‘rock of the wooded plain,’ is a five-piece band fronted by singer, songwriter, and guitar player and producer David Marron Marron (vocals.) Joining David Marron are Maolíosa McMahon (vocals and keys), Paul Finn (guitar and vocals, Paul Markey (bass) and Fintan Marron (drums.)

The accompanying video takes its cues from the artwork of the De Stijl movement. Like the works of Mondrian and Van Doesburg, the video attempts to distill its subject matter to the very most uncomplicated form. The minimalistic primary colours of DeStijl are gone. Refined further to a monochromatic palette that basks in its absurdity. Fragmented surrealism unfolds to the song’s rhythmic patterns attempting to smother the viewer in what could and should be a straightforward performance video. A suffocating truncation of half shots and obscured movements creates any perceptual discomfort. 

It seems appropriate that Friendmaker makes rock music on a wooded plain, Carrickmacross. I’m not sure how to fit the wooded plain into this blog, but give me enough time, and I am sure one will come to me. Speaking on the new release ‘Weird’, songwriter David Marron says, “Lyrically, the song searches for meaning in a recurring dream, examining the semi-consciousness experienced between waking and sleeping, specifically the changeover between abstraction and lucidity and asks why the events of a dream often stay with us beyond slumber, dictating our conscious mood as if rooted in reality? Do we pay enough attention to the foreshadowing presented in our recurring dreams? And can we afford to ignore a subconscious that consistently throws up a repeated storyline?”

After Marron’s previous band, Sanzkrit, ground to a halt, Marron found himself trying to fill a void by playing guitar in a few bands DJing, doing graphic design for bands and running an Arts Festival. Even though he was busy in creative fields, he felt he was still ignoring a significant and essential part of himself. He notes, “Music was solely personal therapy for dealing with difficulty. It wasn’t something I really felt like sharing at that time.” 

I am grateful that Marron came to a place and time where he was ready to deal with the difficulties. What came out of that experience is this collection of three songs that wet my appetite for more deeply personal pieces in the upcoming full-length album. It will undoubtedly be equally tricky, but I surmise it will be similarly exciting and listenable.

Weird was released on April 21st via the band’s imprint House of Strange Vinyl and will be available everywhere digitally, including Bandcamp.

You can keep up with Friendmaker via these links.

https://www.friendmakermusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/friendmakermusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/friendmakerIRL

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/FriendmakerMusic

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@friendmaker_music

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGKcxhoOk6l7zbD7Zk4Yhzw

Bandcamp: https://friendmaker.bandcamp.com/releases

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/friendmaker

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6eE80iEGoLKujWy0Ba2VK3

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/friendmaker/1593059624

PR is via Shameless Promotions, which can be contacted at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com

Opus Three

‘Opus Three’, the second single taken from the recently-released ‘Memory Box’ album by London’s Rodney Cromwell gets an enhanced version with a new 5-track maxi-single, released on April 20 via Happy Robots Records.

Rodney Cromwell (the nom de plume Adam Cresswell) was founding member of indie-folktronica band Saloon (who had four entries in John Peel’s Festive 50 & recorded three Peel Sessions) and also one half of acclaimed electronic duo Arthur & Martha,

‘Opus Three’ was conceived as a love-letter to a lost synthesizer – the Moog Opus Three. At its heart, the song is a simple dance number. A full-fat 120bpm beat, layered with a chunky Moog Opus 3 synth line, is overlaid with percussion and the primitive buzzing tones of a 1960’s pocket Stylophone. Inspired by the haunting and surreal novel ‘Ice’ by Anna Kavan, the song is about two lovers on the brink of apocalypse, separated by distance, lost in time, trying to find positivity in a world where there is little. “Don’t let it be, catastrophe” repeats the chorus, trying to conjure optimism from somewhere.

Leading the maxi single is a 12” extended dance mix from ‘Memory Box’ album producer Richard Bennett under his Roman Angelos moniker. The track is extended and pumped up – with the synth bass line pushed to the forefront, the track is as ready for your daily workout as it is ready for the dancefloor.  The extended mix had its radio premiere on BBC Radio 6 Music thanks to Gideon Coe.

The next remix is from Dublin synthpop artist Circuit3, who brings an 80’s spin to the track, inspired by the darker end of the musical spectrum inhabited classic 80’s artists such as Yazoo, Depeche Mode and early Human League.

The final remix is a radical re-imagining of the song by the latest signing to the Happy Robots label, brothers Dan and Jacob Mayfield, a.k.a. Field Glass, who re-shape the track as a glorious ambient number, with wheezing organs, twinkling arpeggios and crystalline synths.

The final track on the single, ‘Perception Management’ is an atmospheric dystopian synth instrumental that might be described as ‘post-truth pop’, sitting sonically somewhere between Pye Corner Audio and early New Order B-sides.

Keep up with Rodney Cromwell
Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Amazing Radio | Booking contact | Press contact

Keep up with Happy Robots Records
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Telefís, tell it to me again.

I will sound like a broken record, forever skipping and replaying the same line repeatedly. But I am going to do it nonetheless. Telefís is the subject of this musical loop tape. I have been listening to Telefís in many different ways and means. I refer to the mediums we get music in our ears, streaming, buying tracks online, records, etc.

Initially, I streamed a hAon as a four-track EP that includes the album version plus three bonus remixed versions, DubThe Fetch Remix and the Jape Remix. I gave this EP a favourable review, and I really did enjoy the listening experience. That was on November 8, 2021.

The new year started on the right foot when Telefís and Jah Wobble released the ‘Falun Gong Dancer’ EP and new video—teasing us about the Telefís album ‘a hAon,’ which will arrive on March 4. I was close to speechless, which is not a good place to be for a music writer. Fortunately, I was able to string together some platitudes which I hoped would convey my enthusiasm for this recording, a hAon.

April 10 of this year brought us Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics. Five blistering tracks to augment a hAon and keep me glued to them. And I still don’t know what’s up with the hats, vintage mosquito nets? Good music no matter what is on the cover.

So, up to the present time, April 21, I received an album in the mail, you guessed it. Right? It is a hAon on a vinyl slab. Ain’t that a beauty?

Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to Telefís, whether it’s streaming an EP through my earbuds or streaming a whole album on Apple Music. Call me old-fashioned, but I still love to hear the way music comes at me through a record. The big speakers give the music some room to expand, breathe, and arrive at me with new energy. Gosh darn it all, I plain love listening to Telefís. Even when the lyrics don’t ring a bell, I relisten and get a bit more. Repeat. Repeat. Great music but some whacked-out lyrics that leave me wondering what that is all about. I’ll go back and listen again to see if I can sift a bit more meaning from these cryptic words.

With as many folks out there following the work of Ireland’s stellar maverick songwriter/lyricist CATHAL COUGHLAN (Microdisney, Fatima Mansions) and electronic music production JACKNIFE LEE (U2, REM, Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol, The Wombats), you should know about the latest EP from their duo TELEFIS. ‘Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics’ EP finds the duo collaborating with revered electro-pop pioneer THOMAS LEER and creating unique versions of four tracks from their recently-released ‘a hAon’ album.

Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics (Thomas Leer Remix)’  https://youtu.be/Gu6ZeN-oqEg

It just keeps coming, they are creative geniuses. I haven’t tired of their music. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Follow the links below to relish their new music, and feel free to check out their back discography. The ‘Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics‘ EP is out now digitally from such platforms as Spotify and Apple Music, and it can be ordered directly from the artist via Bandcamp.The resultant album ‘a hAon’, released by Dimple Discs on March 4, 2022.

FOR SHARING

Bandcamp https://telefis.bandcamp.com/album/archbishop-beardmouth-at-the-chemolympics-ep

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/1BRBM5JdtOwJSA6uqXFHxG

‘Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics’ https://youtu.be/DpNVvFS9hTk 

‘Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics (Thomas Leer Remix)’ https://youtu.be/Gu6ZeN-oqEg

‘a hAon’ LP order (CD and Vinyl) https://ffm.to/telefisahaon 

‘a hAon’ LP order (download) https://orcd.co/telefisahaon 

U.S. album order http://ffm.to/telefisusa 

Keep up with Telefís

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

Keep up with Dimple Discs

Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Discogs | Proper Music | Press contact

Keep up with Shameless Promotion PR

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Slow Down, Molasses

It’s a running gag in the frozen hinterland of Canada that _________(fill in the blank) moves slower than molasses in January. I would fill that blank with: the memo.

The memo to inform me of this great band, Slow Down, Molasses. I spent a good chunk of my day getting familiar with Slow Down, Molasses through their library on Apple Music. The irony is that I will be telling you that they are going to be touring in the UK this May. I live practically next door to them, and I was blissfully unaware of this band and their music. They toured here in January, and I MISSED IT!!! The Starlite Room is a favourite venue to rub salt into the wound.

https://slowdownmolasses.com/shows.html

I have them on my radar now and will hopefully be aware the next time they pass through town. Hell, I would even go to Saskatoon to see them. A little road trip isn’t a big deal to me. I’m going to Vancouver in May to see mewithYou. I flew to the UK to see King Crimson. We drove to Calgary to see King Crimson. And another trip to Calgary to see Bob Dylan was a waste of good petrol.

If you have Slow Down, Molasses playing a gig even remotely close, go and enjoy the show. In the meantime, enjoy this video.

May 6th   – Oxford – Florence Park Community Centre

May 7th   – Reading – Are You Listening? Festival

May 8th   – Bristol – The Lanes

May 9th   – London – The Sebright Arms

May 10th – Hull – The New Adelphi Room

May 11th – Glasgow – BLOC+

May 12th – Manchester – The Peer Hat

May 13th – Brighton, The Great Escape Festival

May 14th – Brighton, The Great Escape Festival

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | SOUNDCLOUD | SPOTIFY BANDCAMP

For all press enquiries, please contact james@mysticsons.com

London Plane is Bright Black

I don’t usually do blogs on single tracks or standalone videos. Still, I will make an exception for this NYC-based post-punk/alternative rock collective; London Plane. They have announced that they will soon unleash their ‘Bright Black’ album via the Declared Goods label – a collection of electrified tracks pulsing relentlessly.

April 20 releases the title track ‘Bright Black,’ an anti-war song and a simple, hopeful sentiment or little prayer to whoever is listening (the universe, the gods, you). Bright Black is a glimpse of brightness amongst the invasion of darkness, both internal and external, imminent and eventual. This track sets the tone for the album as a whole.

London Plane’s earlier single ‘Watch That Madman Go’ is highly relevant given current world events. A rebuke of propaganda, this targets the grand tradition of political dictatorship. The video is directed by Greg Vegas and features some of the 20th century’s most despised despots – from the Nazis to Ceaușescu.

London Plane also presents ‘Francesco (Italiano),’ a haunting goth-dance anthem that channels the original ‘Francesco’ single through a Latin prism. Equally inspired by a cloth-covered 1970s diary by an immigrant found among personal belongings discarded on a New York curb and the hospitalization of Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy on the eve of his NYC performance. ‘Francesco’ spins the tale of Catholic Saint, stigmatist, levitator and mystic Padre Pio as a young man.

London Plane is a juggernaut of a band made up of David Mosey (guitar and vocals), Jessica Cole (vocals), Bryan Garbe (drums), Grant Parker (bass), Julian Tulip (synths) and Kristofer Widholm (guitar). Their roots trace back to 2014 backstage at a tribute show to the recently deceased Lou Reed when Psychedelic Furs’ Joe McGinty introduced David to Jessica, both of whom were performing.

https://londonplane.bandcamp.com/album/bright-black

Following the success of their debut album, ‘New York Howl,’ released in 2018, the band methodically worked on new material in 2019 and early 2020. ‘Bright Black,’ an album packed with hope amidst cultural, sociopolitical, and ecological devastation, screams a passionate battle cry back to the pop music spectrum. In effect, a hook-filled Avant-rock study in context and contradictions.

As of April 20, the single will be available digitally everywhere, including Apple Music and Spotify. The entire ‘Bright Black album will be released on June 17 and can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Album pre-order / pre-save https://found.ee/yM0q4

Bandcamp https://londonplane.bandcamp.com/album/bright-black

‘Francesco (Italiano)’ https://youtu.be/g0PQQvJVJLk

‘Watch That Madman Go’ https://youtu.be/ODXMrKP0Uyc

‘Francesco’ (original version) https://youtu.be/UT6Ct3jUlBw

Keep up with London Plane

Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube Soundcloud | Apple Music | Spotify | Booking contact | Press contact

Keep up with Declared Goods

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube | Deezer | Spotify

Keep up with Shameless Promotion PR

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Amoeba Teen

Amoeba Teen. Is it Britpop? It might be. In fact, I think it would be safe to say ‘Yes’ to Britpop. New Wave? For sure. I’m talking about England’s Amoeba Teen and their self-titled album that will arrive on April 22, 2022, via Big Stir Records. I also feel that there is a healthy dose of New Wave influenced music and writing going on in Amoeba Teen.

Amoeba Teen is singer/guitarist Mark Britton. Mike Turner on guitar and vocals. On percussion, we have Carl Bayliss. Laying down some sweet bass lines is Simon Muttitt. Lead vocals are split between Britton and Turner, with both of them having excellent voices and complicating each other in harmony.

Amoeba Teen: “This album is the first one where we’ve recorded live as a four-piece, capturing the energy of the band performance Amoeba Teen are famed for.” That raw energy on the album was captured by producer Sean Lloyd at Claptrap the StudioAmoeba Teen cites Sean Lloyd as instrumental in developing the Amoeba Teen sound into new sonic territories at Claptrap Studios in Stourbridge and mastered by George Shilling (Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream). 

Amoeba Teen avoid locking their sound into a genre, and I am totally on board with that. They sound like a band that has taken the good bits from the various bands, eras, and genres they admire, gave it a couple of good solid shakes, and recorded what came out.

What came out is their sophomore album, a follow-up to their well-received album Medium Wave, which I think had a good healthy dose of New Wave and to my ears, that wave is lapping the shores of Amoeba Teen, the album.

The single “New Material World,” which was released April 8, 2022, just a bit ahead of the album, is as New Wave as a song can get. It bristles with guitar lines that would have been at home in a New Wave playlist nestled between Brinsley Schwarz and Rockpile.

“It was a deliberately self-titled album because it was a real band effort to capture the live performance and shape the subsequent arrangements and vocal harmonies,” the band Amoeba Teen explains. “It has been a labour of love over two disrupted years – trying to rehearse the songs and then being forced to wait due to COVID lockdowns.” 

The spontaneity and band chemistry evident in the new recordings extends even to the writing of the single “New Material World.” Mark Britton found inspiration for the single in the middle of a text message with Carl Bayliss, Amoeba Teens percussionist. Thinking about George Harrison’s film, Living In the Material World, and how short life is for all of us. Mark Britton was creating a new life for himself beyond his unhappy marriage. Mark used Living In the Material World as a springboard to write ‘New Material World’ in under fifteen minutes. That same night, the band got together to arrange the tune and create Amoeba Teen’s next single.” Impressive? Hell ya!

New Material World” takes inspiration from every direction of the compass. There is a passing reference to Donald Trump, “Whatever walls they build, we’ll knock them down.”

A dark nod to Hiroshima in the lines, “For this may be our last day on this earth, I love your silhouette – for all it’s worth.” Maybe a little Buffalo Springfield in there, “For What It’s Worth.”?

The rest of the album is chockfull of good music with equally good lyrics. I won’t bore you with a playlist of every song and what I hear in them. What I will do is encourage you to do is have a listen to Amoeba Teen for yourself. I don’t think you will be disappointed. From the cryptic lyrics of Monica Wake Up to the tongue-in-cheek of Putting the Kids Through College, there is something for everyone and more than enough good music to keep me going back for another helping.

The album Amoeba Teen will be released on April 22 via Big Stir Records.

BIG STIR RECORDS 

2140 N. Hollywood Way #6607, Burbank CA 91505 bigstrrecords@gmail.com – rexbroome@gmail.com 

www.bigstirrecords.com1https://bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com/album/amoeba-teen

Apple Music

From Rural Tapes to Rural Alberta Advantage

My formative years were spent in rural areas, so I have a soft spot for all things rural. That includes Rural Tapes and Rural Alberta Advantage, two bands with new albums that are getting some air time in my office.

Besides the word rural, there are some similarities to these two musical entities; Rural Tapes and Rural Alberta Advantage.

The Scandinavian connection, Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen is a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, composer and the entity behind Rural TapesNils Edenloff, the frontman in Rural Alberta Advantage, has a name that sounds Scandanavian. I didn’t dig up his family tree to find where the roots came from but it sounds like it would be at home in the Baltic.

The Rise, the new album from Rural Alberta Advantage, has six songs. Outtakes from Rural Tapes has eight tracks. The number of tracks on each album is one digit away from the lucky number seven. Coincidence? I think not! Plus, if you add the track totals, 6+8=14. 14 is 7 times two. That number seven again! There is 43 minutes of playing time when the two albums are added together, four plus three equals seven, spooky isn’t it. Enough of that nonsense.

As to the music on these newly crafted albums, Outtakes and The Rise, I will let the artists speak for themselves and then attempt to tie it all together at the end.

 Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen  “This is a collection of experiments, songs, reworks and field recordings that were recorded during the same period as Rural Tapes L.P., and which I think deserved to be released. Right now, I am recording a brand new Rural Tapes album scheduled for release this fall, and I wanted to start this process with blank sheets. That way, the release of Outtakes is a great way to “clean out the closet” before starting on the new album.”

Discussing this first installment of new music and The RAA’s return, Nils Edenloff notes, “We just go only based on heart and gut and try to let our minds get out of the way, because more often than not those just trip us up.” Cole adds, “We’re so intrigued by the idea of different perspectives and memories in these songs, and then this ultimate view of ‘Is any of it anything? The past two years have upended all that we thought to be concrete. The Rise, like this period, is a complication of what we assume to be familiar and true and unchanging. It’s the start of something new.”

The Rise is the beginning of a new era for RAA. It is the first of three separate releases. “We’re so intrigued by the idea of different perspectives and memories in these songs, and then this ultimate view of ‘Is any of it anything?'” says Amy Cole, keyboards, bass, percussion and vocals. “The harder you stare at something, the more interesting it gets,” says Paul Banwatt, who plays percussion, “even something that seems really mundane.”

These two albums are far from mundane; they are a breath of fresh air as we throw open our doors and welcome spring into our homes after a long winter. The songs take us from the melancholy of Late September Snow by Rural Alberta Advantage to the equally melancholic piano on the starkly beautiful Melody For Sinking Ships by Rural Tapes.

I found it fascinating how these two recordings worked their way through my being and left me smiling at the result, a warm place on a cold Good Friday. Check them out 

Rural Tapes: 

Press inquiries: josefin@smugglermusic.com

Smuggler Music

Götgatan 27, 116 21 Stockholm

https://www.smugglermusic.com

https://ruraltapes.bandcamp.com

Apple Music

https://www.facebook.com/ruraltapes/

Rural Alberta Advantage:

https://www.facebook.com/ruralalberta

https://www.theraa.com

Apple Music

https://ruralalbertaadvantage.bandcamp.com/album/the-rise

Manager: Dara Kartz

Go Kartz Management Inc.

darakartz@gmail.com

Another Self by Sara-Danielle

“The thrill of productivity

Like a drug inside of me

I can feel the rush flowing in my veins

It keeps me going”

This profound insight comes from Sara-Danielle‘s sophomore recording, “Another Self.” Sara-Danielle keeps everything balanced and working together. She never does too much or too little. Between delicate precision and vivid emotionality, Sara-Danielle glides comfortably along with the thoughts that come to her mind and materialize through the words she utters, making them highly relatable. 

Highly relatable is a bit of an understatement. I love the thrill of listening to new music. I can feel the rush flowing like a drug as I listen. The rush is amazing and with keen insight, Sara-Danielle opens up that rush of always wanting more.”. Others have explored this refrain, but Sara-Danielle puts a new spin on the concept of “wanting everything now,” to quote Arcade Fire, fellow Montrealers.

In the song Lost Myself, I got stuck on this refrain.

“I was too busy trying

Trying to be like somebody else”

I feel there are a lot of us trying to be somebody else. I was trying to live like somebody else instead of getting comfortable in my own skin. I confess I have walked this road, and it leads nowhere good. Be who you are; if your friends don’t like it, they probably aren’t friends.

I like what Sara-Danielle created on this EP. The lyrics and music complement each other and are greater than the sum of their parts. It doesn’t matter how good the lyrics are if they can’t be delivered appropriately. Fortunately for us, Sara-Danielle serves up the lyrics on a silver platter. Her voice is smooth and has ethereal qualities at times, and she conveys the stories in a manner that takes me into the parallel universe where they dwell. And once there, I become a part of the songs, carried along by her engaging and delightful voice. Through the medium of music, Sara-Danielle can both embrace and soothe.

Sara-Danielle has performed as an opening act for artists such as Pomme, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Clay & Friends and Heartstreets. As well as concerts presented by Festival Diapason, POP Montreal, Osheaga, the Fashion & Design Festival, and Sofar Sounds Montreal. Another Self, Sara-Danielle’s sophomore EP, Another Self, is due out on April 1st, 2022, via Simone Records.

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