News — hardly art

Hear Raavi’s “No Bodies” The Brooklyn Band’s Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

Hear Raavi’s “No Bodies” The Brooklyn Band’s Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

You can now listen to Raavi’s “No Bodies,” their new song and contribution to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series.

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Whitmer Thomas Shares Video for New Single, "Most Likely"

Whitmer Thomas Shares Video for New Single, "Most Likely"

Whitmer Thomas shares a wistful video for “Most Likely,” the latest from his recently announced new album, The Older I Get The Funnier I Was, out October 21st on Hardly Art. The track features guest vocals from comedian Mitra Jouhari and Great Grandpa’s Al Menne

TOUR DATES with Al Menne:

10/24 - Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club

10/25 - Arcata, CA @ The Miniplex

10/27 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

10/28 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos

10/29 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre

11/2 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club

11/3 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

11/4 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups

11/5 - Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hollywood

11/6 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le ‘Ritz’ P.D.B.

11/8 - Allston, MA @ O’Briens Pub

11/9 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere

11/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

11/12 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar

11/14 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

11/15 - Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewery

11/16 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa

11/18 - Austin, TX @ The Ballroom

11/19 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links 

12/3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Highland Park Ebell Club

Whitmer Thomas will admit that when he traveled home to small town Gulf Shores, Alabama to record his HBO stand-up special, The Golden One, he expected to be greeted as a returning hero, a conquering king, or at minimum, a guy with a moderately successful career as an entertainer in Los Angeles. “I expected a big welcome home, open arms, but when I went back I realized: nobody fucking knows me. Nobody remembers me,” Thomas says. “In the years I’d been performing that show, I’d been romanticizing my childhood in this mythologized place, but the visit made me see that I’m not really from there anymore.” 

The sense of alienation compounded when Thomas recognized how few people in town remembered his mom, to whom The Golden One is dedicated and largely about. Thomas grew up watching her perform with her twin sister at the legendary Flora-Bama Lounge, where he set the special, and still counts her as one of his musical influences. His new album, The Older I Get the Funnier I Was, isn’t overtly about his mom, her presence is deeply felt throughout. While in Gulf Shores, Thomas discovered dozens of her old recordings, all of which had been wrecked by Katrina, but upon returning to LA, Thomas paid “a fancy place in Hollywood” to fix the tapes and hired Melina Duterte (Jay Som, Bachelor, Routine) to mix them. The two struck up a collaborative friendship, and as the pandemic forced everyone indoors, Thomas had the sound of his mom’s voice back. “I was listening to songs she recorded when she was about my age, just these heartfelt, sweet Americana songs,” he says. “I decided then that I wanted to lose the Ian Curtis voice I always sing with; I wanted to do what came naturally, because my mom always sounded like herself, even when she was singing some cheesy reggae song about, like, Jamaica.”

If you’ve heard Songs from the Golden One, released by Hardly Art to acclaim after the special premiered, or seen Thomas’ viral lockdown hit “Big Baby,” then you know the voice to which he’s referring: it’s deep, British, melancholic, and a far cry from Thomas’ chirpy speaking voice which he describes as being “like a 12-year-olds.” Nevertheless, he committed throughout the process of writing and recording The Older I Get the Funnier I Was, knowing it was time to retire his darkwave persona, at least for the time being. It makes sense: much of the album chronicles what Thomas calls “being a kid and feeling like you have no control and overcompensating by being annoying.” 

“So much of the album is about witnessing drug and alcohol addiction as a kid and seeing what it does to people, but also realizing that there's nothing you can do about it,” Thomas says. It’s familiar territory (see: “Partied to Death”) but the methodology feels totally different this time around; true to its title, The Older I Get the Funnier I Was isn’t always looking for laughs.

Soon, Thomas will take these songs on the road as part of a new comedy show, but for now they exist simply as a product of a particularly confusing moment in his life, when home started to feel less like Alabama and more like Los Angeles, and yet he still couldn’t shake the hardwired desire to resurrect childhood, make it somehow cinematic. Thomas might’ve left his hometown behind, but his kid self is still tagging along, a Peter Pan shadow he can’t untether himself from. The first line he sings on The Older I Get the Funnier I Was is: “There should be a room at every party where you can just sit and watch a movie.” Find a 12-year-old who wouldn’t say the same. 

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Hear Chong The Nomad and Maiah Manser’s “Wrote A Lil Song” Their New Collaborative Single And Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

Hear Chong The Nomad and Maiah Manser’s “Wrote A Lil Song” Their New Collaborative Single And Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

You can now listen to Chong The Nomad and Maiah Manser’s “Wrote A Lil Song,” their ebullient new collaboration and contribution to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series. Maiah says of the collaboration, “I was also so excited to work with Chong The Nomad. I knew that if we put our minds together we would come up with a super unique bop!” Equally effusive, Chong The Nomad concurs, “I have been dying to work with Maiah Manser for a while, and both of our sounds combined created a truly special song filled with fun and experimentation.” As for the lyrical theme of “Wrote A Lil...

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Hear tofusmell’s “Shower Song,” Their New Single And Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

Hear tofusmell’s “Shower Song,” Their New Single And Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series

You can now listen to tofusmell’s “Shower Song,” their new single and contribution to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series.tofusmell is the project from the bedroom of 22 year-old musician Rae Chen (he/they). Inspired by 90s indie-folk music and Rae's own 2012 emo phase, the artsy acoustic sounds of tofusmell originals speak to Rae's life as a trans, queer POC. Rae uses poetry influences in his emotive lyricism to comment on themes like gender, religion, and love. Each stirring track is written, recorded, and produced in Rae's Orlando bedroom solely by him (with a MacBook and a single microphone). Rae says “‘Shower Song’...

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Listen to La Luz's "San Fernando Shadow Blues," the B-side to “Endless Afternoon” 7” Available Physically on July 7th via Hardly Art

Listen to La Luz's  "San Fernando Shadow Blues," the B-side to “Endless Afternoon” 7” Available Physically on July 7th via Hardly Art

On the heels of their critically acclaimed self-titled record, La Luz has announced the release of a new single entitled “San Fernando Shadow Blues,” available today worldwide on all DSPs.

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