Category Archives: Track premiere

Video Premiere: Raging Fire “Free to Be”

New album from Nashville rockers out this week!

By Blurt Staff

So – what could be better than a Raging Fire retrospective release? How about a NEW Raging Fire release? A year and a half ago we wrote, in this space:

They were called Raging Fire, and they were a bright spot on the otherwise moribund Nashville rock scene in the ‘80s. As the saying goes, while likeminded Nashville insurgents Jason and the Scorchers merged the Sex Pistols with Hank Williams, Raging Fire merged the Clash with Tennessee Williams. Voted “one of America’s best unsigned bands” (along with the Pixies) in 1988 in the annual CMJ readers’ poll, they burned brightly, but by the end of the decade they were done. Now, though, the members have collaborated in order to release a 30th anniversary celebration, Everything Is Roses 1985-1989

That was then, track premiere-wise, but this is now, and NOW we are stoked to offer up a premiere from the revived band. Check out the video for “Free to Be”:

The song is from the new album These Teeth are Sharp, out May 12, and the video is by Robert Johnson (no, not that Robert Johnson).

Explains the band’s Mark Medley, “Interestingly my friend, original Raging Fire guitarist Michael Godsey wrote ‘Free to Be’ in early 2012 as a techno-pop song. He and RF vocalist Melora Zaner were living in Shanghai and they cut what sounded to me like an unfinished demo with Melora and singer Monica Chen on vocals. A few months later, in May 2012, Michael was taken by a heart attack. He was 47. Three years after that, Raging Fire released an anthology LP entitled Everything is Roses 1985 -1989 and played their first show in 25 years to a packed house at Nashville’s Exit/In.

“In the wake of that project we began making recordings for a brand new record. These Teeth are Sharp will be released May 12th and is dedicated to Michael Godsey. The LP features a new version of ‘Free to be’ expanding on its themes of self-responsibility and free will. In reference to the song’s Asian origins most of the third verse in Chinese by Melora. The band was knocked out when we realized ‘Free to Be’ represents a departure –a new twenty-first century sound for Raging FIre.

“We asked a dear friend to make a video of the song –photographer and original Jason and the Scorchers bassist Robert Johnson, also known as Jeff Johnson. Jeff was also the producer of Raging Fire’s first full length LP in 1986 and we’ve enjoyed a sense of homecoming working with him on this project. Using Chinese footage and stills from Melora’s friends in Shanghai, as well as imagery submitted by the band and himself, Jeff said he wanted to capture the spirit of Michael Godsey. We believe he did.”

Indeed he did. The resulting These Teeth are Sharp is a culmination, then—and a beginning. Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates this summer, too.

 

Track Premiere: Sunshine & the Rain “Let’s Go”

Ace track culled from forthcoming album on the Ernest Jenning Record Company label—a TMOQ, natch.

By Blurt Staff

Sunshine & The Rain — husband and wife team Ashley Morey (vocals, bass) and Justin Morey (guitar), both formerly of critically acclaimed psych rockers The Black Hollies — formed around the same time as the 2014 dissolution of their former band, subsequently releasing the single “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” b/w “Pale Blue Skies” in late 2015. Now their debut full-length, In The Darkness Of My Night, is set to drop May 12 via the Ernest Jenning Record Company, and we are hereby authorized to give you, the gentle BLURT readership, an advance look (listen). Check out “Let’s Go”:

Thoughts, readers? How about “garage-punk with the four-on-the-floor drive of the Ramones, but cut with the grit of Big Black, the snarl of Joan Jett and the melodic sensibility of the Shirelles. Throw in some Jesus & Mary Chain and you’re almost there.”

Well, alright then! About the album:

In early 2016 the band headed into Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West studio with Jon Spencer to begin work on the album. Eschewing some of the lengthier psych leanings of their earliest days, Spencer coaxed the band towards a more immediate sound, cutting down track lengths and, according to the band, “leaving nothing but pointed pop gems with sugary hooks and a dirty Ramones grit cutting throughout.”

Among those “pop gems”: a Fugazi cover—yes, you read that correctly—in which the Moreys turn “Merchandise” into a personal statement.

On the web for tour dates and more:

https://sunshineandtherain.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sunshineandtherain/

Track Premiere: Chris Price “Hi Lo”

“Weird chords” abound in key track from new album, due in May.

By Blurt Staff

It’s called Stop Talking but anyone who’s been privy to a preview of LA songwriter and producer Chris Price’s forthcoming album is probably urging him to keep going. As good as Price’s 2012 solo debut Homesick  was, the expansive, luminous pop and rock dotting Stop Talking (due May 19 via  Omnivore marks a quantum leap in songwriting and arranging for the musician. We’re privileged to unveil the first single from the album, “Hi Lo,” so please check it out:

Price talks about the song, noting, “I wrote this in Berlin half asleep, immediately after many hours of travel to get there. I was sitting in a hotel room, it was late, but I couldn’t fall asleep and I was more than a little delirious. And these chords just came. It kinda felt like I was channeling something from a place I don’t always have access to, but that could definitely just be the insomnia talking.

“The acoustic guitar I wrote it on broke immediately after I played it through for the first time, which is…something? It’s got a lot of ‘weird’ chords in it, which is always a great thing to get to say about a song.”

The product of several years’ worth of on-and-off work and representing the cream of nearly 50 songs that were recorded during those years, Stop Talking was also influenced by Price’s outside work: producing comebacks by Linda Perhacs and Emitt Rhodes, playing in Tal Wilkenfeld’s band and opening for The Who, and writing with Jellyfish/Beck mainstay Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. Those experiences clearly assisted Price in forming a holistic perspective for his own work—although, as Price is quick to quip, “I really should stop talking and let the music speak for itself.”

 

Track Premiere: Seth Glier “For What It’s Worth”

Yes, indeed, the Buffalo Springfield classic… officially released tomorrow, April 21.

By Blurt Staff

If you’re a regular BLURT reader, you’ll be familiar with the name Seth Glier, a Grammy® Nominee and Independent Music Award-winner who we’ve featured a number of times in the past, including a video premiere not long ago and a number of album reviews, including one of his killer Things I Should Let You Know. Returning to the Glier well once again—and for reasons that will become immediately obvious—we want to unveil a new recording he’s done of Steven Stills’ eternally-relevant “For What It’s Worth,” which of course the Buffalo Springfield originally did in ’66, the tune going on to be revived numerous times in the years that followed. Check it out:

Glier, commenting on his version of the song, notes, “We have found ourselves, our values, & our leadership in a time of cognitive dissonance. Our age of information has been turned into an age of entertainment. I believe that people everywhere are beginning to say: there’s something happening here.” 

That’s for sure. It’s a remarkably powerful—primal, even—take on the tune, a bluesy and genuinely relevant anthem for these troubled times. And the artist is no stranger to activism—he’s served as a spokesperson for ChildFund International, Rock The Vote, Autism Speaks, and has been a TEDx speaker.

Glier will have a new album titled Birds (MPress) out this summer, the follow-up to 2015’s exquisite If I Could Change One Thing. You can catch him on tour right now and throughout the summer—tour dates at his official website. (You can also nab the track at his website.) He’s currently one of the top trending sessions on Daytrotter and his song, “The Next Right Thing” was just used in Nescafé’s International Women’s Day video commercial, “Meninas Fortes“.

Video Premiere: Cait Brennan “Bad At Apologies”

Track appears on songwriter’s third album, out this week, April 21.

By Blurt Staff

Indie rocker Cait Brennan got soul—so naturally she went to Memphis, to the ever-estimable Ardent Studios, to cut her third album, which she subsequently titled Third. Yeah, we know, we know—cheeky of her. But it’s appropriate, as Brennan and her collaborator Fernando Perdomo brewed up a cheeky blend as well, combining straight-up pop rock and edgy R&B befitting of the record’s origins. It’s released April 21 on Omnivore Recordings and we’re rather pleased to unveil a new video for the BLURT readership, album track “Bad at Apologies.” Check it out:

Explains Brennan, of the tune, “‘Bad At Apologies’ was the second song we recorded on our first day at Ardent. Fernando and I had basically just walked through the doors of this space that is so sacred to both of us, where so many of the records that changed both our lives had been made, and then Jody Stephens came in and said hi and gave us this amazingly encouraging talk. [Engineer] Adam Hill rolled in the actual Big Star Mellotron, and Alex Chilton’s Hi-Watt amp, and Chris Bell’s cherry red Gibson, and then we had to get to work like this was just another day at the office.

“I used to take pains to tell people all the songs were fictional, but it’s ridiculous, of course they’re not, and nobody else’s are either. This pretty much happened as written, and was intended as an actual apology until I very quickly realized it sounded like anything but, which is why it’s called what it’s called. When I sing “yeah, I’m the asshole who stile your boyfriend” it’s not me being proud of myself, I felt really bad about it despite the rationalizations that follow. Love makes you do crazy things, as Lindsey and Stevie can tell you. Many of the songs on the album are about the relationship that ensued, so you can tell how that all worked out. “It’s all fodder for more songs” as the line goes.”

The record includes the talents of no less than Memphis stalwart (and Big Star pal) Van Duren and Robert Mache from the Continental Drifters, with multiinstrumentalist Perdomo handling the lion’s share of the playing and Brennan weighing in instrumentally as well while serving up expressive lead vox and plenty of harmonies (she’s got a four-octave voice). Brennan, from Los Angeles by way of Phoenix, is transgender with experience in acting and journalism, but was eventually coaxed back into music, releasing her first album in 2012. A chance meeting with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens at Ardent during a Grammy Museum celebration of the facility’s 50th anniversary led to an invitation to record there, and the rest is history.

Brennan will have an album release show this weekend, and on May 9 she’ll do a special show in Memphis featuring Jody Stephens, Adam Hill, Van Duren, Vicki Loveland, Candace Mache and more. Full details at her website: http://www.planetcait.com/#third

 

Track Premiere: Matthew Edwards “When We Arrived at the Mountain”

Matthew Edwards

Tune from forthcoming June album by the California-by-way-of-Birmingham (England) rocker.

By Michael Toland

Do you remember what it’s like to discover an artist that you had been waiting for your entire life but didn’t realize it? An artist who may have been around for a while but somehow eluded your notice, and makes you wonder how that could have ever happened? An artist who answers all the questions you didn’t know you had about music?

We had that revelation about British singer and songwriter Matthew Edwards a few years ago. The late, great Nikki Sudden published a review of The Words We Say Before We Sleep, the debut full-length album by Edwards’ then-band the Music Lovers, in Bucketful of Brains, and we had to track it down. It was love at first spin, and it felt like a love that had been there all along, just waiting to be awoken from its unknown slumber. The San Francisco band’s lovingly constructed blend of British guitar pop, pre-rock balladry, sardonic wit and emotional impact felt tailor-made for anyone looking for that perfect rock & roll balance of craft and heart.

The Music Lovers split after three albums, and Edwards formed his current band the Unfortunates, releasing that combo’s debut The Fates in 2012. We covered that album here, noting that it had “a new emotional urgency” that “elevates it into the sphere of an artist’s greatest statements.” Now we at last have Folklore, the long-awaited follow-up, written and recorded after Edwards left California for his hometown of Birmingham, England. As with The Fates, Folklore hews closely to Edwards’ established m.o., while expanding on its sonic possibilities. The rockers rock harder, the ballads dig deeper and the production pushes the music nearly into the realm of the psychedelic. Folklore is that rare album that keeps to tradition while also presenting a step forward, a diamond in the sea of coal.

Blurt is proud to bring you “When We Arrived at the Mountain,” a track equally representative of Edwards’ songcrafting excellence and the Unfortunates’ evolving sonic palette. Check it out:

Folklore comes out June 2 via Gare du Nord. The band has the following dates lined up, with UK festival dates and U.S. dates coming soon. Catch ’em online as well: http://www.matthewedwardsandtheunfortunates.com/

Sunday 14th May @ Come Down & Meet the Folks, The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell

Saturday 3rd June @ Centrala, Digbeth, Birmingham

Saturday 2nd September @ Moseley Folk Festival (2PM)

 

Track Premiere: Cowbell “Haunted Heart”

COWBELL-2017-2-(7126)

London outfit preps kickass new album for early June release.

By Fred Mills

Take a little bit of Eddie Cochran-as-filtered-through-The-Cramps, stir in some vintage girl group harmonies, then douse liberally with the classic British Invasion/Nuggets ‘tude and you’ve got… Cowbell! The London-based duo of Jack Sandham and Wednesday Lyle serve up a nigh-on unimpeachable brew of high-energy R&B, soulful garage, and dirt-road psychobilly, and these rock ‘n’ roll miscreants have no problem with holding a double barrel shotgun to BLURT’s head until we unveil this new track for the readership, the title track to their forthcoming album Haunted Heart. Everyone get ready—duck!

“There’s a bit of a Hammer Horror atmosphere to this one,” explains Sandham, of the track. “We love The Cramps and both got really excited when we got that rumbling psychobilly groove happening, we thought it set the tone for the album.  I can’t decide whether I’m pitying, comforting or lambasting the protagonist, maybe all at the same time. I particularly like the way it jumps into a girl group groove for the bridge.”

Bloody well right, mate. The album, which arrives June 2 via the estimable Damaged Goods label, offers everything from dark West Coast psychedelia to Memphis gospel soul, in addition to the aforementioned influences. It’s simultaneously primal and percolating, testimony to the two musicians’ eight-year tenure, which has seen two albums, numerous singles, and mucho roadwork. Recommended: 2012 debut Stampede and 2014’s Skeleton Soul. Also recommended: catching the group live, as they have consistently wowed the critics, deejays (BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins hailed them as “one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a long time.”) and punters alike.

Cowbell CD

More details, tour dates (they play April 21 in London), etc. at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cowbelltheband/ Or at their official website: http://www.cowbelltheband.co.uk/Cowbell/page.html

As the saying goes, “More, Cowbell.

Track Premiere: Les Discrets “Rue Octavio Mey”

LESDISCRETS_photo-by-Andy-Julia_008

Track culled from new album, out later this month.

By Michael Toland

Though it has connections to infamous French shoegaze/black metal act Alcest, Les Discrets is its own entity. Composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Fursy Teyssier and singer Audrey Hadorn paint beautiful landscapes out of shimmering guitars, warm synths, languid beats and creamy harmonies, as found on its upcoming LP Prédateurs, due on April 21 via Prophecy Productions. It’s a cliché to play mix ‘n’ match with influences, but consider a blend of Pink Floyd and Massive Attack and you’re swimming in the right part of the ocean. Hear for yourself on the track “Rue Octavio Mey,” which we’re excited to premiere here at BLURT:

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Teyssier had this to say about the track: “A song can hardly be as personal and intimate as this one. Translated as “Octavio Mey Street”, the title refers to the street we lived in with Audrey for 8 years in Lyon. A lot happened in our life and this song – which is very romantic – is a declaration of love to the Vieux-Lyon (old town) and to my wife. It is certainly the song on the album that connects the most to the previous works of the band as it has a very naive feeling with a strong melancholic atmosphere. We introduced synths layers which give a very outdated mood from the ’80s and the acoustic drums have been sampled to recreate a drum machine feel with the vibe of an real playing. This song is a good bridge between the old Les Discrets and the new one as even the influences that led to that song (Dominique A, Depeche Mode, Slowdive, etc) are the same ones as I had a few years back.”

Les Discrets - Prédateurs

Les Discrets is playing the main stage at Roadburn this year. More tour dates tba. Also, Teyssier will be featured with an exclusive art exhibition, showing his drawings and art! More here. And check out Prédateurs on April 21 – the preorder info is here.

Photo Credit: Andy Julia

 

Video Premiere: Steve Poltz “Born In a Band”

Poltz

Something about Donald Trump, too….

By Blurt Staff

One imagines that anyone associated with gonzo-rockers The Rugburns would have at least a couple of screws loose—lucky for us, Steve Poltz keeps his tool belt strapped on firm. This is, after all, a guy who, according to Wikipedia, “is known to name his various guitars. They include Smokey Joe, which he saved from being destroyed, Clackety-Clack, Flowerpot, and Trailer-Trash.”

Um, yeah. So we are just charged up about the guy’s kickass new song, “Born In a Band.” Need we mention we are positively revved up to be able to unveil the video for the track? Check it out:

The song was written by Poltz and his Nashville neighbor Scot Sax, the video itself being directed by Sax. According to Poltz, “I’m havin’ this crazy burst of spontaneous creativity since movin’ to Nashville. I’ve been writin’ and co-writin’ and comin’ up with heaps of songs. I wrote this one with Scot. He has a little studio in his garage. So we recorded it and then he said, ‘Let’s shoot a video!’
“I said, ‘oh heck yes.’
“He said, ‘whaddya wanna do?’
“I said ‘ummm. I’ll go to the market and get a buncha stuff and you guys just throw it in my face and I’ll keep singin’.’
“Next thing ya know we were scrubbin’ the walls and cleanin’ up the mess we made. Then Scot Sax put it all together. Here it is. Turn it up loud. I love it here!”

Well, Sax can say goodbye to that deposit he put down on his place when he rented it, but the rest of us can enjoy the colorful fruits of the pair’s labor. Incidentally, Poltz has another video that’s a must-see. The title tells you all you need to know: “Hey God I’ll Trade You Donald Trump For Leonard Cohen.”

Catch Poltz online and on tour:

Website with tour dates: http://poltz.com/words/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stevepoltz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevepoltz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevepoltz/

 

 

 

Track Premiere: Parson Red Heads’ “Coming Down”

parsons_12

Tune culled from upcoming album due in June.

By Blurt Staff

Over the years we’ve sung the praises of Portland rockers The Parson Red Heads, including a review of 2013’s Orb Weaver and a profile, also in 2013, of the band. So we were pretty stoked to get the news that there’s a new album from the band, due June 9 via Fluff & Gravy Records (US) / You Are The Cosmos Records (EUR). Now we’ve got an exclusive early look at Blurred Harmony—the first single is “Coming Down,” so check it out:

Blurred Harmony is a musically diverse record – it is a distillation of the sounds and styles that the Parsons, as a band, love. It is the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s “Dunedin Sound” movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes.

BlurredHarmony_Cover

A full roster of tour dates will be announced late, but they have scheduled several already in and around their home territory:

June 7 – Old St Francis School – Bend, OR
June 8 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
June 10 – Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA

You can find out more about the band at the official website, and you can also pre-order the album on LP / CD:
US:  http://www.theparsonredheads.bandcamp.com
EUR: http://www.youarethecosmos.com/artist/the-parson-red-heads