“I teeter on the in-betweens of shock and glam,” says Alli Logout, the vocalist of New Orleans post-punk group Special Interest. “My body has always been a source of spectacle, because I’m fat and hot and people just don’t know what to make of it. I like to challenge the perceptions of what a frontperson can be. And yes, it can be outrageous and simultaneously profound and powerful. I’m seeking visions and futures that can hold all those things, and I’m seeking those things within myself. It’s incredible to watch how those feelings have manifested in my performance.”
Special Interest are all queer, and half of them are POC; that fact is central to who they are, and to the music they make. Their rousing new album, The Passion Of, which follows 2018’s fast, short, and loud Spiraling, offers 11 tracks of controlled, anthemic chaos. Searing industrial soundscapes are paired with hypnotic dance rhythms and Logout’s gutsy, no-holds-barred vocal delivery; their lyrics are part narrative, and part call to action. The band delights in twisting subgenre signifiers together in dramatic ways, as on “Head,” where they take a throttling broken beat and play siren-like squeals on top. On the slow-burning “All Tomorrow’s Carry,” Logout puts socio-political angst front and center. “Are we going out/ I watch the city crumble/ Yeah they were pushed out/ Soon evacuated/ House was near dilapidated,” Logout sings, perfectly balancing disco and discourse.
Lifelong friends and deep-north natives, Michigan Rattlers play heavy-hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice. Graham Young (lead vocals/guitar), Adam Reed (vocals/upright bass), Christian Wilder (vocals/piano) and Tony Audia (drums) began writing music and performing together in their Northern Michigan high school. They regularly played every bar, cafe, and stage in town, developing a musical chemistry informed by the likes of AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, and more. After a few years apart, Reed and Young settled down in Los Angeles, recorded a short demo, and began playing locally. The demo found its way in the hands of super-producer Johnny K, and they cut the bulk of their first EP at NRG studios in just one day. This self-titled Michigan Rattlers EP attracted glowing reviews from No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, Relix, Glide, Grammy.com and more. Rolling Stone named the band one of their “Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know.” In 2018, following a massive summer tour that included stops at Bonnaroo, Firefly and Electric Forest; the band released their highly anticipated debut full length album, Evergreen, and added pianist Christian Wilder and drummer Tony Audia to their lineup. The Michigan Rattlers are currently in the studio recording their second full length album in between tour dates.
Visit www.michiganrattlers.com [michiganrattlers.com] for updates and more information!
Over the course of five years and five LP’s, L.A. veterans, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, have been mutating and perfecting their high-powered rock n’ roll sound. After savagely touring the USA and Europe, this four-headed beast has shown no signs of relenting—appearing like summoned daemons and dosing crowds with cerebral party fuel.
The main attraction of Frankie and the Witch Fingers is their explosive performance. With their rowdy and visceral approach to live shows, each member brings their own devilry to induce an experience of bacchanal proportions.
Using absurd lyrical imagery—soaked in hallucination, paranoia, and lust—the band’s M.O. strikes into dark yet playful territory. This sense of radical duality is astir at every turn, in every time signature change. Airy vocal harmonies over heavily-serrated riffs. Low-key shamanic roots under vivid high-strangeness. Rambling stretches and punctuated licks. Cutting heads and kissing lips. All this revealing a stereophonic schizophrenia that has flowed throughout their body of work: an ebb & flow of flowery-poppy horror.
The band’s latest incarnation is primed to break new sonic ground, edging into the funky and preternatural. Just when you think the trip couldn’t get any weirder, Frankie and the Witch Fingers cranks up the dial, shatters the mundane, and summons new visions.
In a time where positivity is hard to come by, the Happy Fits are here with their transportive, sunny second album, What Could Be Better.
Turning a love for the Killers and Violent Femmes into their own compact pop songwriting, the New Jersey-based trio started as a casual summer project for high school friends Calvin Langman, Ross Monteith, and Luke Davis before going off to college. After their debut EP, 2016’s Awfully Apeelin’, took off on Spotify during their first semester, school stopped looking like the natural next step.
“Honestly, we didn't know we were going to be a band,” guitarist Monteith says. “We came up with the title to record those four songs on our EP, and we thought that was going to be it, but once the songs got picked up and we really started questioning it, that's when we decided to go for it and record the first album. When we left school was when we officially became a band.”
Following their 2018 full-length Concentrate, the Happy Fits have further honed their ambition for What Could Be Better’s collection of crowd-pleasers.
“Growing up, I was either in school, at home practicing, or at music school, and there was always this pressure to be really productive,” says primary songwriter Langman, who dropped out of conservatory to pursue the band. “When I decided that I wanted to do this for a living, being productive meant a totally different thing, because now I have to create things that are just in my head and make them real. Measuring how productive that is in my life, it's hard to do that. There's a lot of dissatisfaction I feel. I write that into the songs, all of the guilt that I feel for not sticking with a normal plan.”
From the stomping “No Instructions” to the album-closing title track, What Could Be Better channels youthful malaise into songs that demand to be sung along to. “Moving” deploys Beach Boys-inspired harmonies for a classically feel-good sound, and the integration of Langman’s classical cello training will appeal to fans of early Vampire Weekend. Far from cloying, the band’s upbeat nature is rooted in a real desire to connect with a world that sometimes seems distant.
On "What Could Be Better" Langman sings, "There's a hole in my consciousness where I feel I belong," a line inspired by his isolation as one of the few Asian-Americans in his hometown.
“I don't have crippling social anxiety, but I have always felt like I'm a bit different,” Langman says. “I grew up in rural New Jersey and was one of three Asian kids in my high school...Also, growing up, with Hollywood and TV shows, I didn't see many people like me, especially half-Filipinos.”
As the band’s stages get bigger, Langman knows he gets to be the role model he didn’t have, saying, “It feels really good to be someone that Filipino kids growing up in America could look up to.”
Pioneers of alt hip-hop, Dälek (pronounced "die-a-lek") features Rapper/Producer MC Dälek, Producer/Live Electronics Mike Manteca, and Turntabilist DJ rEk . With roots in the mid-90's DIY scene, Dälek has been delivering ground breaking albums for over 20 years. They have encapsulated fans and critics across all genres, garnering fans and accolades from the Hip-Hop, Electronic, Indie, Metal, Shoegaze, Jazz and experimental communities.
After releasing 7 studio albums, numerous collaborations, EP's, and remixes, they are known for their large body of work and pushing boundaries with every release. Debut album 'Negro Necro Nekros' was released in 1998 on Gern Blandsten, 2002 saw Ipecac Recordings release the game- changing 'From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots' which was followed with 3 more releases on Ipecac Recordings- 'Absence' in 2005, 'Abandoned Language' in 2007, & 'Gutter Tactics' in 2009.
In 2010, Dälek went on a 5 year hiatus to recoup from a decade of relentless touring, and to focus on new musical projects. In January of 2015 MC Dälek said he "missed the noise," and a tour and new single quickly followed. 2016 saw the release of the critically acclaimed 'Asphalt for Eden' on Profound Lore Records, once again showing the music world their constant evolution sonically and lyrically.
FOTOCRIME is R ∞
A shadow simultaneously is and is not, a presence and an absence staking claim on the world. Fotocrime not only survives, but thrives in the shadows—beneath a heaviness that cannot be escaped, within melodies that defy light and dark. With South Of Heaven, the second full-length chapter in the project’s narrative, Fotocrime has found comfort on the fringe.
“It’s been a journey of persistence and obsession, more character actor than leading man,” R., the singer, songwriter, musician, and producer behind Fotocrime, says. “South of Heaven is deeply personal, an honest fiction, an exposed nerve pulsing in a blanket of fog.”
South of Heaven is the backlit highway slithering from 2018’s Principle of Pain, which bowed at the altar of post-street punks Blitz while nodding at the megawatt gleam of Depeche Mode and churn of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. The stories comprising South of Heaven are winding and boundless, unfolding with unexpected paths and hairpin turns. Touching the myths of Saturn and Phaethon and mining the lives of Bruno Ganz and Francis Bacon, the album carves a landscape that spans both earthly and astral planes.
“This is a record for late night drives, a soundtrack for headlights illuminating the horizon,” R. says. “I’ll make music until the end of my days, with or without a listener, but I’m happy to have a passenger for the ride into the dark.”
The drive begins with “Invisible,” a probe into destructive compulsions and the unwanted attention that is yoked with recovery. A taut beat commandeered by Hayden Menzies of Metz marches in tandem with slack-jawed and syncopated guitar, laying a bedrock for R.’s staccato ruminations. Hitting like a hammer to the temple at one moment and soothing like a hand on the shoulder the next, “Invisible” keenly examines two sides of a coin that we’ve all wagered.
Twin Tribes are a darkwave post-punk band from Brownsville, Texas. They formed the band in the summer of 2017 and released their debut album Shadows in January 2018.
Twin Tribes has been described as “chilly romanticism with rare clarity” by I:Die:You Die, and “dark, dramatic, atmospheric, hypnotic, and, while 80’s nostalgic, starkly unique” by Oscura Undead. They are post-punk at heart, weaving dark melodic basslines, synthezisers, with lyrics about the undead and parallel universes.
This Texas Twosome has turned heads with their second album “Ceremony,” released on Negative Gain in December of 2019.
Human Impact’s first recordings are a dark mirror held up to the band’s collective pre-history – the sound and story of Unsane, Swans, Cop Shoot Cop, and New York City itself. It's sound is cinematic post-industrial filth rock, a dozen run down subway stops away from recognizable civilization, as futuristic as it is grounded in its sordid heritage. The result is a potent, hard-boiled distillation of this sonic ethos.
Chris Spencer’s infamous Telecaster assault cuts a more nuanced path (though no less intense), downplaying distortion for razor edged chording and note choices - a heaviness more implied than hammered home. Jim Coleman’s electronics and sampling provides an overarching dystopian soundscape, an uneasy, agitated framework for Spencer’s more earthbound guitar and vocals, here more wary than antagonistic, more considered than accusatory. Anchoring this shifting territory in place, the surgical punctuations of drummer Phil Puleo (Cop Shoot Cop, Swans) and the dead-on bass contortions of Chris Pravdica (Swans), Puleo and Pravdica toying with rhythm, circling it like sharks, and at other times, driving it home with lockstep precision.
Recorded at BC Studios by veteran New York noise sculptor Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop) and recorded and mixed by Alan Camlet at Hoboken Recorders. Human Impact are a four-man hit squad controlling, gainfully, a musical genre they helped build. As much a nod to a pre-Giuliani, unsterilized New York as a soundtrack to a dystopian Ballard book, Human Impact is the score to a challenging future fast approaching.
Chicago-based electro pop mainstay duo WINGTIPS comprises Vincent Segretario & Hannah Avalon, and was officially formed in 2015 by Vincent after having informally used the moniker for a number of previous experimental solo performances.
Their debut record, “EXPOSURE THERAPY”, was released in 2019 on seasoned Canadian alternative label Artoffact Records, and is best described as an androgynous sound of transition. Interpolating darkly shimmering layers of angular guitar and pulsating darkwave, WINGTIPS sharpen their anthemic rush with an increasing penchant for melody and an atmosphere equally informed by post-punk as sweeping electronica. "EXPOSURE THERAPY" is a contextualization of new romantic for post-millennial end times, and a refreshing mix of synthpop and darkwave with hooks so compelling they are cinematic in scope.
In late 2020, the duo teased a stylistic shift towards a more bombastic pop sound with their cover of the Savage Garden single “TEARS OF PEARLS”. The track garnered excited press acclaim, and was lauded by none other than Darren Hayes himself.