Bad Cop – Wish You Well… And Goodbye EP (Jeffery Drag)

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Listen Now: “Wish You Well”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

Firmly planted outside of any political spectrum, loud, unabashed and fluent in DIY principles, Bad Cop formed in 2009 and immediately caught interest of one of America’s oldest punk labels—ROIR, home to Bad Brains and releases from MC5, Beastie Boys, Television and others. Frontman Adam Moult and co left the buckle of the Bible Belt for the Big Apple and inked a record deal just four months after starting the band.  

Since the debut LP, Harvest the Beast (ROIR, 2010), Bad Cop has run the gamut of American rock ‘n’ roll, from seemingly endless lineup changes, to becoming a CMJ and SXSW favorite alongside indie breakouts like Foxygen and Local Natives. The group even toured as direct support to break-out acts like Cage the Elephant, meanwhile establishing a successful indie label—Jeffery Drag Records—amidst a music industry in decline. 

It’s now been over a year since Bad Cop’s critically acclaimed The Light On EP. Since then, Nashville’s former hellions were invited by Converse to record at their Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn. With the help of engineer Hector Castillo (Lou Reed, David Bowie, Bjork, Roger Waters), the band recorded and self-produced a handful of tracks during a short stay in NYC.  They later paired with Converse again to produce a video for their pivotal track “Wish You Well” with critically lauded director Tim Nackashi (TV on the Radio, Neon Indian, The Faint).

The resulting product, the Wish You Well … and Goodbye EP, shows a new side of Bad Cop. The band who were once no stranger to the wilder times of rock n roll have managed to channel that rambunctious energy into three seamlessly-crafted songs. They haven’t lost their edge; they’ve just harnessed it. In a lot of ways, the band has grown up, but they haven’t grown out of making great music. More is on the way as they plot to release another EP as well as their long-awaited second LP, but for now, they begin with Wish You Well … and Goodbye.

Focus Tracks: All
FCC: Clean

Emma Donovan & The PutBacks – Dawn (HopeStreet Recordings)

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Listen Now: “Daddy”

GOING FOR AAA AND TOP 200 ADDS

Acclaimed indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and Melbourne rhythm combo The PutBacks come together to bring you Dawn, an LP of hard hitting and heartfelt soul songs telling stories of grief, struggle and redemption. Dawn is a gritty, uniquely Australian record, simultaneously classic and contemporary. The songwriting is in turns optimistic, angry and melancholic, and on occasions bruisingly honest. The music is fluid, live and raw, recorded in one room on eight channels of analog tape and the electric connection between Emma and the band comes through in every beat.

Dawn takes some cues from the burgeoning soul revival, but it’s a far looser interpretation than many releases in the style. This is no attempt at reviving a bygone era. There’s no horn section. There’s more rock in there. There’s more country in there. There’s more, in Emma’s words, “blackfella music” in there. The songwriting is more akin to classic Aboriginal bands like Coloured Stone than it is to Sharon Jones. The sentiment is personal, for both Emma and the band, and forward looking, rather than revivalist. Shades of every soul record you ever liked sneak through: Al Green’s Hi Records era? Check. Aretha’s Classic Atlantic recordings? Check. Stacks of Stax? Check. It’s all there, but all different. Dawn is it’s own thing, indigenous Australian soul. From the ferocious opening salvo of “Black Woman” to the sweet and gentle comedown of “Over Under Away”, Dawn is above all a journey through Emma’s life written in song.

Emma grew up singing church songs with her maternal grandparents on the North coast of New South Wales. Her first secular gigs were singing in The Donovans, a band comprised of her mother and five uncles. With her mother, Emma sang country for years, and in her youth was a fixture at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, but she always yearned for the bluesier tones of her Father’s record collection, full of American artists like Laverne Baker and Etta James and Indigenous Australian artists like No Fixed Address and Archie Roach.

Years later, after touring and recording with many of the mainstays of Indigenous music and developing as a solo artist in her own right, Emma met members of The PutBacks, and finally she found a band with the gritty blues soaked tones she had been looking for. She also found, in PutBacks bassist Mick Meagher, a co-writer and collaborator on the the soul songs she had been waiting a lifetime to write and sing. The results are well worth the wait and hopefully, only mark the beginning of this oh-so-right collaboration.

Focus Tracks: 5, 1, 8
FCC: Clean

Fox and the Law – Stoned to Death (Self-Released)

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Listen Now: “Hot Water”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“Shredding guitars tethered to thunderous bass lines sound like they could have been plucked from Jay Reatard’s Blood Visions, until they pause for a hazy, psychedelic solo.” – Wondering Sound

“Sometimes you just want to rock, late ’70s style with big in-your-face riffs — the kind that sound best blaring out of a car stereo on a long strip of highway.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“There was a time when every band in Seattle was as brash and ragged as Fox and the Law,” writes City Arts Magazine. It’s true: during a period where the Emerald city has become better known for its shoe-gazers, its singer/songwriters, and its new-age cowboys, this hard-rocking quartet harkens back to a louder, more energetic era. Pulling their sound straight out of the garage and drawing heavily on blues and classic rock influences, Fox and the Law have made a name for themselves since their 2010 formation as the go-to band in Seattle for a raucous, beer-soaked party.

Founder Guy Keltner (guitar, vocals) has worked with Dan O’Neil (drums), Patrick Dougherty (bass), and Peter Williams (guitar) to fulfill his vision of what a rock and roll act should be: heavy, rhythmic, and loud. Strong influences include T Rex, The Stooges and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The band has recorded albums with Martin Feveyear (Mudhoney, Queens of the Stone Age, Modest Mouse) and Graig Markel (Band of Horses, Nada Surf) and has performed at everything from packed clubs to the rowdiest house parties.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Having spent more than a quarter of 2013 touring the West Coast and the Southwest, they closed the year out by headlining Seattle’s Psychedelic Holiday Freak Out festival and performing a live in-studio session on the legendary KEXP. For more Seattle love, look no further then the Stranger, who says: “Fox and The Law’s work is split down the middle –on one side an homage to the heaviness of early 70’s Black Sabbath, on the other, fresh faced west coast punk. Keltner and crew have the audacity of youth on their side and both guitarists make the riffs they peel off look effortless while bouncing off one another, and bounding off the drummers kit, but I think it was the rattle-your-teeth-loose, thunderous bass work that got the people dancing.”

Focus Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9
FCC: Clean

Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal – Songs of Time Lost (Six Degrees)

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Listen Now: “Cradle to the Grave”

GOING FOR AAA, TOP 200 AND WORLD ADDS

Piers Faccini and Vincent Segal met in Paris in the late 1980s and have been friends ever since. Songs of Time Lost is their first joint album. Using voice, guitar and cello and a variety of languages (including English, Neapolitan dialect and Creole), the album brings together original compositions, traditional songs and some covers. “It feels like a reunion,” says Vincent, “even though we never really lost touch over the years.”

At the time of their original meeting, Piers was a painter and student at the Paris Beaux-Arts and Vincent had just left the Conservatoire. Vincent was immediately taken by Piers’ vocals: “I wanted to find ways to support his voice, to envelop his words.” Piers later went on to launch his first solo album in 2004, Leave No Trace, which Vincent produced. His many subsequent solo releases have drawn rave reviews from critics around the world, including his most recent album, Between Dogs and Wolves, which was released in North America by Six Degrees Records in 2013. Meanwhile, Vincent started to develop his band Bumcello, as well as a myriad of other projects, including the popular album, Chamber Music, recorded with kora master Ballaké Sissoko.

Songs of Time Lost weaves together many musical strands, made up of both artists’ diverse influences. There is the blues that Piers first heard from Mississippi John Hurt (“Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor”), a composition by Alain Peters from the island of La Réunion (“Mangé pou le coeur”), a country waltz by Townes Van Zandt (“Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria”) and an instrumental theme by the Berlin composer Friedrich Holländer (“Wenn ich mir, was wünschen dürfte”). There are also the melodies of the traditional Neapolitan repertoire, which are favorites of Piers, who is of Anglo-Italian lineage (“Jesce sole,” “Villanella di cenerentola,” “Dicitencello vuje,” “Cicerenella” and the contemporary “Cammina cammina” by Pino Daniele).

Both musicians also draw from their own repertoires for the album. This includes two songs dating back to 1996, which Piers originally wrote for a film soundtrack (“A Half of Me” and “The Closing of Our Eyes”). There are also two recent compositions by Vincent (“Cradle to the Grave” and “Everyday Away from You”), which Piers added lyrics to. The first has a New Orleans-style riff that would not feel out of place on an old Allen Toussaint record and the latter seems to conjure up the soft refrains of Brazilian guitarist Luiz Bonfá.

In short, Songs of Time Lost is a fine balance between inspiration and influence. It is the meeting point of the music one inherits from the great masters and the music one writes oneself.

Focus Tracks: 4, 13, 6, 8
FCC: Clean

Stars – No One Is Lost (ATO)

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Listen Now: “No One Is Lost”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

Stars have confirmed the October 14 release of their new album No One Is Lost (ATO Records) and a headlining North American tour. The follow-up to 2012’s The North, No One is Lost is comprised of 11 original songs and was produced by Stars and Liam O’Neil (Metric, The Stills).

For No One Is Lost, Stars craved autonomy, and serendipitously inherited the Mile End rehearsal space last December above the now defunct, Royal Phoenix nightclub in Montreal. Stars built a functional studio out of the former space of then-disbanding Handsome Furs (and site of Arcade Fire’s first rehearsals); Mile End became a home away from home. Then the nightclub (and life) crept in, resulting in Stars’ most urgent record to date. Drummer Pat McGee explains, “The sub-bass throb coming from the club below our studio was undeniably and unavoidably influential. It motivated us to out-throb the throb.”

“This record’s called No One Is Lost because that is a fucking lie,” says Torquil. “We are all lost, we are all going to lose this game and, as you get older, you lose people more and more. I just wanted to close my eyes and jump and hope that was true. Life is loss, love is loss. And loving people is about accepting that you’re going to have to say goodbye to them. And that’s why it’s fucking brave. That’s Stars ethos: this life is very heartbreaking and sad… so let’s get completely fucking arseholed and listen to some Dionne Warwick.”

Focus Tracks: 12, 1
FCC: 7

ADDS for 10.21.2014

Fly Golden Eagle – Quartz Bijou (ATO)

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Listen Now: “Stepping Stone”

GOING FOR AAA ADDS

“Ramshackle Garage-Psych muscle” – Rolling Stone

After 3 years of dedication and good work, Fly Golden Eagle is proud to announce their forthcoming album, Quartz, to be released October 14th. The album was recorded in Tennessee and Texas and was a Herculean effort by a number of beautiful people. The album lines up with the groundbreaking 1973 film The Holy Mountain. These combined efforts are certainly evident in the overall power of the record that also translates to Quartz Bijou, a 12-song abbreviated version of its originally intended 26-track version, Quartz. Bijou ebbs and flows seamlessly; it’s a deeply satisfying stand-alone musical effort, with the bonus realization that there’s more to be heard and experienced. The Nashville quartet has also worked extensively with Andrija Tokic, cut music in the Bomb Shelter, and played on some of the most significant albums representing the new Nashville sound, including Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Majestico and Alabama Shakes.

Focus Tracks: 13
FCC: 3

Stars – No One Is Lost (ATO)

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Listen Now: “No One Is Lost”

GOING FOR AAA AND MODERN ROCK SPECIALTY ADDS

Stars have confirmed the October 14 release of their new album No One Is Lost (ATO Records) and a headlining North American tour. The follow-up to 2012’s The North, No One is Lost is comprised of 11 original songs and was produced by Stars and Liam O’Neil (Metric, The Stills).

For No One Is Lost, Stars craved autonomy, and serendipitously inherited the Mile End rehearsal space last December above the now defunct, Royal Phoenix nightclub in Montreal. Stars built a functional studio out of the former space of then-disbanding Handsome Furs (and site of Arcade Fire’s first rehearsals); Mile End became a home away from home. Then the nightclub (and life) crept in, resulting in Stars’ most urgent record to date. Drummer Pat McGee explains, “The sub-bass throb coming from the club below our studio was undeniably and unavoidably influential. It motivated us to out-throb the throb.”

“This record’s called No One Is Lost because that is a fucking lie,” says Torquil. “We are all lost, we are all going to lose this game and, as you get older, you lose people more and more. I just wanted to close my eyes and jump and hope that was true. Life is loss, love is loss. And loving people is about accepting that you’re going to have to say goodbye to them. And that’s why it’s fucking brave. That’s Stars ethos: this life is very heartbreaking and sad… so let’s get completely fucking arseholed and listen to some Dionne Warwick.”

Focus Tracks: 12, 1
FCC: 7

ADDS for 10.14.2014

Balmorhea – Balmorhea + HEIR (Western Vinyl)

Click to download – **DIGITAL ONLY**

Listen Now: “Attesa”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“…gorgeous, dynamic, and emotive, a bit like Sigur Rós with an interest in understatement. … Balmorhea flashes brilliance only to highlight a slow-burning constancy that’s at the core of one of the year’s early slow wonders” – PITCHFORK

“…listening will unravel hidden seams of loveliness. …this work will reveal its shimmering tributaries that break from the main body of water like precious secrets, stretching for the sky.” – BBC

“It is an exemplary experiment in restraint, lush with a slow-burning, wordless, and ambient Americana that manages to captivate while avoiding the histrionics of its post-rock forebears.” – THE NEW YORKER

For the past eight years the duo of Rob Lowe and Michael Muller have nurtured and refined their creative partnership as the core members of the band Balmorhea. Though their first album on Western Vinyl Rivers Arms (2008) garnered some remarkable press, their self-titled debut, recorded in 2006 and released in 2007 best captures the duo’s unique magic as it first blossomed. With no label, distributor, manager, publicist, or booking agent the duo quietly self-released their first recordings and started playing live shows.

For these two Texans the release of their self-titled album was the beginning of a new trajectory in their lives. They were young enough that their prefrontal cortexes were still developing, but old enough to tap into the ancient stories that coursed through their veins. Though crudely recorded at home, those early songs display all of the key characteristics and emotional scope that continue to define the duo’s sound. Now, seven years later Western Vinyl is honored to have the opportunity reissue the band’s self-titled album, and make it available on vinyl for the first time ever.

In honor of this special reissue, the audio has been lovingly remastered, drawing out even more of the nuances… magnifying the sounds of Muller and Lowe’s fingers on the instruments, and teasing out the textures that set these recordings apart from the rest of their catalog. Simple and sincere, these songs and ambient sounds the duo captured in these recordings are strangely inviting. Throughout the album the distant sounds of Texas grackles, the warm summer rain, the steady rhythm of crickets chirping, and creaking wooden stools, all seeping in to cradle the notes in a restrained din of primordial wonder.

Balmorhea is happy to present two new songs on a limited edition 7″ record titled HEIR. With the songs created for the 7”, the band brings everything full circle, returning to the simple structures and melancholic tone that colored their first recordings. “HEIR I” starts things off slowly with a Wurlitzer’s somber tremolo and some gently propulsive electric bass, soon joined by vibes and a soaring violin melody. “HEIR II” opens with a gorgeous ukulele melody, which is slowly engulfed in Kendall Clark’s expressive drumming, eventually giving way to a frenetic wall of strings.

Balmorhea Focus Tracks: 7, 3 // HEIR Focus Tracks: All
FCC: Clean

Hudson Mohawke – Chimes EP (Warp)

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Listen Now: “Chimes”

GOING FOR TOP 200, RPM, MODERN ROCK SPECIALTY AND HIP HOP ADDS

“Straight fire” – Consequence of Sound

“A widely revered anthem” – EARMILK

“Equally dangerous on rap, trap and dance tracks” – Washington Post

A monster moment in Hudson Mohawke sets, “Chimes” has become a highly anticipated fan favorite. Mastered and louder than ever the tune is part of a 4-track EP that also features a hardstyle re-edit from Gammer, and two completely new tracks that showcase the producer’s great versatility. A range of songs that continues to demonstrate that there is no such thing as the “Hudson Mohawke sound,” Ross Birchard continues to defy expectations and reshape the boundaries of hip hop and electronic music, the underground & the mainstream. Making up one half of TNGHT, and having previously worked with Kanye West, Drake, and Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis, as well as Antony Hegarty (lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons), it’s no surprise that the Chimes EP masters a wide a variety of sounds.

Focus Track: 1
FCC: Clean

Primus – Primus & The Chocolate Factory with The Fungi Ensemble (ATO)

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Listen Now: “Pure Imagination”

GOING FOR AAA AND TOP 200 ADDS

The definitive Primus line-up – Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde, and drummer Tim Alexander – is back together and set to release their first full-length studio set in nearly 20 years, Primus & the Chocolate Factory, due out on ATO Records on October 21. “The idea was to combine the Frog Brigade and Primus, and do this record,’ says Claypool. I think like a good portion of the planet, we were all pretty put off by the remake of the ‘Willy Wonka’ movie – the Tim Burton version. I really wanted to pay homage to a film [1971's 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,' starring Gene Wilder] that was very important to me as a kid and very influential to me musically. So that’s what we did. And as opposed to just going in and recording the songs and playing them the way they are in the film, we twisted them up a bit…twisted them up a lot.”

It felt so good, in fact, that he decided to take Primus into the studio to prepare the soundtrack for an album release. Claypool admits that he’s always, “in some way, wanted to be Willy Wonka,” and, also, that he’s always wanted to work a cover of “The Candyman” — a memorable number from the film’s soundtrack — into Primus sets. “Hell, I’ve been doing the line from the boat ride on stage since the ‘80’s,” then Les sings, ”There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going…”

“The thought was that I wanted to take on some kind of sacred cow, and the whole Wonka thing was a massive part of my childhood,” Claypool explains. “It just seemed like the perfect project to take on, in part because those tunes are all so strong.”

“The recording is about my early perception of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film,” says Claypool. “The notion wasn’t so much to go in and redo the soundtrack note for note as much as it was to utilize the classic elements of the music yet try to reflect some of the darker undertones of the Roald Dahl books, because when you read those books, there is an eerie and somewhat menacing aspect implied.”

With the album drop scheduled for October 21, Primus plans to tour the Chocolate Factory beginning the very next day. “We’re going to do some touring with it and we put together this pretty abstract stage production,” says Claypool, “We’re going to take it out there, around the planet, and see what happens. And, in light of the record business being gutted by the internet, we’ve made some PRIMUS brand chocolate bars to peddle as well.”

Of course, Claypool realized that it was risky business to adapt a cinematic classic that is so close to so many people’s hearts. And, naturally, he realized that it was dangerous waters to swim in the wake of Gene Wilder, who portrays Willy Wonka in the original film. The band pulls it off by making something that is truly their own, without taking anything away from the movie. When asked about the fairly recent Tim Burton attempt at bringing the Roald Dahl story to the screen Claypool comments, “Look, I love me some Tim Burton, when he writes his own stuff, and I respect what Johnny Depp has done over the years. Hell, Ed Wood is one of my favorite films, but that (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is just unwatchable and believe me I’ve tried…twice as a matter of fact,” Les continues, “Even my kids hated it”.

“Our project is an homage to Gene Wilder and David L. Wolper’s, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the effect it had on me in my youth,” spouts Les, “Now we get to sell PRIMUS bars and hang out with demented Oompa Loompas. Plus to top it off, it gives me an excuse to wear a purple, velvet waistcoat and brown top hat for the next 18 months.”

Focus Tracks: 2, 3, 6, 7
FCC: Clean

Sallie Ford – Slap Back (Vanguard)

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Listen Now: “Coulda Been”

GOING FOR AAA ADDS

Plenty a future has been pondered in a French café, and so it was for Sallie Ford. During a tiring tour of Europe last winter Ford’s then-bandmate Jeff Munger mentioned he was ready for a break from the tours Ford and her band, The Sound Outside, had logged. She said she too was ready for something new. “And I said, ‘I wish I could have an all-girl band,’” Ford says.

She could.

Ford calls Slap Back, her Vanguard Records debut an “ode to all the babe rockers.” To Pat Benatar and PJ Harvey, Xene Cervenka, and Joan Jett, and Heart. But it’s also her first album without guitarist Munger, bassist Tyler Tornfelt and drummer Ford Tennis, so Slap Back is just as much an ode to herself, to her accomplishments and her ambitions.

She wanted to play more guitar, so she made herself the guitar player. She wanted to play in a band with keyboards, so she signed up Cristina Cano (Albatross, Siren & the Sea) on keys. She added Anita Lee Elliott, who’s been in Viva Voce and Blue Giant, on bass, and Amanda Spring (Point Juncture, WA.) on drums. Like that, Ford had the band she hoped for.

Ford wanted to distance herself some from the rockabilly tag she and the Sound Outside picked up over the course of two albums bookended by two EPs. So she wrote garage rock, surf rock, and straight up rock songs. “I wanted to blend different eras of music—the 80s, 90s, 60s, 70s—maybe some 50s,” she said, before pausing. “I was kind of over the 50s.”

She turned her room into a studio and sat for hours with a notebook, her guitar, a friend’s Nord Electro keyboard, and a four-track recorder. She downloaded drum loop apps with basically named rhythms like Rock Beat 1 and wrote to those. She tracked vocals on top of vocals. Slap Back’s opening song, the appropriately titled “Intro,” finds Ford alone in that room, building an a capella gospel tune that ends with the assertion, “I’m happy, I’m spoiled, I’m fine.”

“When I was coming up with the idea of having a new band, I knew I wanted Chris involved,” Ford says. “He was kind of the silent collaborator I knew was going to come into the picture.”

That’d be Chris Funk, who’s produced albums by Red Fang and Langhorne Slim. Funk is best known for his multi-instrumental work in the Decemberists and Black Prairie. If you play music in Portland and you’re any good, you know Funk. Ford and the Sound Outside had opened for the Decemberists, and Tornfelt’s sister, Annalisa, sings in Black Prairie. The group also worked with Funk on projects for Walker, the music supervision company where he is also employed.

In February of 2014, Ford and her new group went into a Portland, OR studio called Destination: Universe! and went to work on all the songs Ford had ready–a collection full of “simple lyrics about raw emotions,” Ford says, played with the urgency exemplified in the fuzzed-out, missed-love-by-just-that-much lead single, “Coulda Been.”

What interested her on the last Sound Outside record, Untamed Beast, interests her here—relationships. “Lucky to Miss” is about being in one and on the road. “Gimme Your Lovin’” and “You Bet Your Ass” are pick-up lines, and not exactly subtle. But then, why should they be? As she sings on “So Damn Low”: “Gonna start up fresh, gonna start up clean, gonna learn to say what I really mean.”

Slap Back is that, too—a new start for a singer and songwriter who had plenty of success after moving from her native North Carolina to Portland.

“Oregon” is a power-riff ode to her affinity for her adopted home state. “An Ending” covers the relationship with her former band mates, and it makes two things clear: “I hope this friendship never ends,” and, “I think this is how things are supposed to be.”

In 2010, Ford and the Sound Outside were voted Portland’s best new band by Willamette Week. Even in a town where everything old is stylized there was something classic in her voice, something no one else had. Comparisons came back: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald. NPR would throw Cat Power into the mix. Ford could purr and howl and even managed to hold her own in awkward banter about glasses with David Letterman after blistering his stage.

Slap Back has a new sound on purpose,” states Ford “’cause music should be about taking risks, doing something new and being inspired to change it up.”

Focus Track: 2
FCC: Clean

Stars – “No One Is Lost” (ATO)

Click to download

Listen Now: “No One Is Lost”

GOING FOR AAA SPINS

Stars have confirmed the October 14 release of their new album No One Is Lost (ATO Records) and a headlining North American tour. The follow-up to 2012’s The North, No One is Lost is comprised of 11 original songs and was produced by Stars and Liam O’Neil (Metric, The Stills).

For No One Is Lost, Stars craved autonomy, and serendipitously inherited the Mile End rehearsal space last December above the now defunct, Royal Phoenix nightclub in Montreal. Stars built a functional studio out of the former space of then-disbanding Handsome Furs (and site of Arcade Fire’s first rehearsals); Mile End became a home away from home. Then the nightclub (and life) crept in, resulting in Stars’ most urgent record to date. Drummer Pat McGee explains, “The sub-bass throb coming from the club below our studio was undeniably and unavoidably influential. It motivated us to out-throb the throb.”

“This record’s called No One Is Lost because that is a fucking lie,” says Torquil. “We are all lost, we are all going to lose this game and, as you get older, you lose people more and more. I just wanted to close my eyes and jump and hope that was true. Life is loss, love is loss. And loving people is about accepting that you’re going to have to say goodbye to them. And that’s why it’s fucking brave. That’s Stars ethos: this life is very heartbreaking and sad… so let’s get completely fucking arseholed and listen to some Dionne Warwick.”

Focus Track: 1
FCC: Clean

Streets of Laredo – Volume I & II (Dine Alone)

Click to download

Listen Now: “Slow Train”

GOING FOR AAA, TOP 200 AND MODERN ROCK SPECIALTY ADDS

Brooklyn-based, New Zealanders’ Streets of Laredo have announced their first full-length album, Volume I & II on Dine Alone Records, out October 7th. Destined to be a soundtrack for all things Fall, this album is a sing-a-long collision of jangling harmonies, stomping percussion, horns and guitars.

Founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarahjane Gibson and inspired by the fervour and madness of the 70’s folk-rock circuit, Streets of Laredo was born out of trying to escape the mundane everyday working life. Older brother Dave tells the story, “Both Dan and I had done the hard yards in bands in New Zealand but we were worn out and a little lost by it all. And broke. I was running this t-shirt company and Dan walks in one day to tell me that he’s finished with music and he’s gonna go get a real job. All of a sudden my ‘big brother’ instinct kicks in and rather than see this young songwriter throw it all away, I gave him a job doing t-shirt orders, and we started working on demos and writing songs together, pretty much day and night from then on in.”

Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic madness. With just one home-town show under their belt, a handful of demos and a whole lot of hope, they took the plunge and decided to move halfway around the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Streets of Laredo in a rehearsal space in Brooklyn NY with a guitar, a drum-machine and no money, trying to figure out what comes next.

Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own – building a firm reputation in the music halls of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side for playing danceable, crazy songs that kept fans coming back for more – not to mention seeing the band feted as a must-see act at both CMJ and SXSW.

A quick trip back to New Zealand saw the band record the bones of Volume I & II – ten songs inspired by their old life in NZ and their new life in NYC – in an old converted Auckland theatre where, courtesy of friendships and favors, they locked down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound.

Like Bob Dylan running late to a Ramones concert or Paul Simon getting blind drunk with Grizzly Bear, however you describe them the resulting songs and sound have had an instant effect on fans and critics alike. Stay tuned for an upcoming US tour announcement!

Focus Tracks: 7, 3
FCC: Clean