Starting today, you can enjoy all eleven tracks off of Weirdo Shrine, the second album from Seattle “surf noir” outfit La Luz, via NPR Music’s exclusive First Listen album stream. Recorded earlier this year with producer/engineer Ty Segall in a San Dimas surf shop-cum-studio (where else?), Weirdo Shrine finds La Luz’s sound at its most saturated and cinematic. Weirdo Shrine will be available on CD, LP, and digital formats Friday, August 7th. The band celebrates with a $5, all-ages release show at hometown venue The Showbox that evening. They will also perform a live in-studio for KEXP Thursday, August 6th at 12:00 PM.
Today sees the release of Holographic Violence, Grave Babies’ third full-length and second for Hardly Art, available on CD, LP, and digital formats. Recorded with drummer Mark Gajadhar (Blood Brothers) at his Orcas Island studio, the new record is the band’s most complex and accomplished work to date, on which lead singer/guitarist Danny Wahlfeldt “stares headlong into the seemingly infinite cycle of human ambivalence and destruction from a distance” (Seattle Weekly).
Today, the band celebrates with a free, all-ages in-store at Everyday Music in their native Seattle, followed by a late night performance at the Capitol Hill Block Party. Grave Babies will also host an exclusive Holographic Violence listening party Saturday (RSVP here).
Next month, the band embarks on a string of West Coast tour dates with So Pitted. See below for a full list of tour dates.
With “Braid,” Boston’s Gem Club adds another captivating, enigmatic video to their catalog. As seen earlier today on Noisey, the Christian Palmer-directed video is rife with surreal, disturbing, and enchanting visuals which correspond perfectly with the ennui-soaked composition by Gem Club songwriter Christopher Barnes. Watch here or at the link above, and keep you eyes peeled for the S/Jenn Champion cameo. “Braid” can be found on Gem Club’s most recent release, In Roses.
This October marks the release of Protomartyr’s third and finest work to date, The Agent Intellect. Named after an ancient philosophical questioning of how the mind operates in relation to the self, it’s an elegant and often devastating display of all that makes Protomartyr—composed of singer Joe Casey, guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard, and bassist Scott Davidson—so vital and singularly visceral an outfit.
Over the course of several months, Ahee waded through more than a hundred song fragments until he reached the bottomless melodies of “I Forgive You” and “Clandestine Time”, the inky depths of “Pontiac 87” and titanic churn of “Why Does It Shake?” Lyrically, Casey is at his most confident and haunting. He humanizes evil on “The Devil in His Youth,” and, amid the charred pop of “Dope Cloud,” he reassures us that nothing—not God, not money—can or will prevent our minds from unraveling until we finally fade away. We are no one and nothing, he claims, without our thoughts. It’s a theme that echoes through the entirety of the record, but never as beautifully as it does on “Ellen.” Named after his mother and written from the perspective of his late father, it’s as romantic a song as you’re likely to hear this or any year, Casey promising to wait for her on the other side, with the memories she’s lost safely in hand.
Protomartyr’s third record in three years (following 2013’s No Passion All Technique & 2014’s Under Color of Official Right), the Detroit four-piece is operating with a clear sense of urgency and focus. Today, they share the first single off The Agent Intellect, “Why Does It Shake?” Casey says of the song title, “It’s a back-handed ode to humanity’s resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” The Agent Intellect is out 10/9 on Hardly Art.
Today, Impose debuted the latest music video from Hardly Art recording artist S (aka Jenn Champion) for the song “Like Gangbusters!”, a standout track from Ghetto’s Chris Walla-produced 2014 album Cool Choices. The video, from director Stacy Peck (Childbirth), depicts Champion resilient in the face of scenester snark and parodic faux-tabloid headlines. Starting tomorrow in Spokane, WA, S will embark on a short run of West Coast tour dates with Jim Adkins, frontman for Jimmy Eat World. See the tour page for a full list of tour dates.
As heard at Rookie Magazine, “Don’t Wanna Be Anywhere” is the latest new music from Seattle surf noir band La Luz, whose Ty Segall-produced sophomore LP Weirdo Shrine drops August 7th. Brimming with throbbing bass, tricky stickwork, haunted organs, slinky surf guitar, and angelic four-part harmonies, the track showcases La Luz at their very best.
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