Hear Bloomsday’s “Jersey Soccer,” The Brooklyn Duo’s Contribution To Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series
You can now listen to Bloomsday’s “Jersey Soccer,” their new song and contribution to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series. Iris James Garrison and Alex Harwood come together as Bloomsday, the Brooklyn-based indie pop duo formed in 2019. The band is fronted by Iris (they/them), who sings from warmth and darkness in the quiet hours where shadows and ghosts rise to the surface. Garrison and Harwood allow their “brotherly” dynamic to come through between the vocals and lead guitar, as they support each other in translating raw feelings to sound. Iris says “‘Jersey Soccer” is “a song in a spiral - letting the anxiety...
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.
You can now listen to Advertisement’s “Material Man” their new song and contribution to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary Singles Series. Advertisement is a six-piece rock band based out of Los Angeles and Seattle. Their 2020 LP American Advertisement received significant critical praise, with NME championing the band’s “Rolling Stones-sized swagger,” and heralding American Advertisement “one of the best debut albums to come out of the US in 2020,” and Pitchfork celebrating the band’s “knack for surrealist vignettes that distort and pervert American fantasies.” Employing a cheeky, not-quite-cerebral blend of krautrock rhythms, pop experimentalism, and evil dandy attitude, Advertisement presents...
Whitmer Thomas announces his new album, The Older I Get The Funnier I Was, out October 21st on Hardly Art, with a video for its raucous lead single “Rigamarole.” The track features contributions from the album’s producer Melina Duterte (Jay Som), Al Menne (Great Grandpa), Christian Lee Hutson, and Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers). “Rigamarole is a song about trying to shake depression with routine, and ultimately accepting I’ve got no choice but to sink into it,” says Thomas. “If I try to just live with it, like a roommate who’s constantly trying to give me a regrettable haircut, it helps...
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...