Features

Interview: Misterwives

Misterwives

The indie pop band Misterwives just released their sophomore full-length album Connect the Dots. It’s a technicolor shot of adrenaline to the music industry and quite simply one of the most fun listens of the year. Just before their explosive set at Firefly Music Festival, we got a chance to sit down with Misterwives’ Mandy Lee, Jesse Blum, Etienne Bowler, Marc Campbell and Will Hehir, to discuss a variety of topics. In our discussion, we touch upon how some politicians have a tendency to hide immoral action under party politics, why the music industry is a tough place to work, and just how many drummers is too many drummers in a band.

American Opera – “Sidewalks” (Song Premiere)

Today we have the premiere of American Opera’s new song “Sidewalks” for you. The track comes from the upcoming album, Small Victories, which is due out on Spartan Records on June 30th. Pre-orders are now up.

Vocalist John Bee, described the song:

“Sidewalks” is about two lost souls fumbling their way through life. Two complete strangers who walk the same streets, looking for the same thing, but they never find it because they are too scared, too lost, too hurt, too far gone. The help they need, the people they need, everything they need is right there in front of them. They just can’t see it because they are blinded by life. They live in their own worlds that are the result of every moment, every interaction, every fleeting thought they have ever had. They are blinded by their own shit. They can’t see each other.

I loved working with Meeko on “Sidewalks.” We’ve worked together in the past and it was a real privilege to work with her again. She’s one of those people who doesn’t seem to understand how truly talented she is and it’s a bit maddening. It’s as if it’s effortless for her. She flew in to Atlanta on no sleep and completely knocked it out of the park. She makes another appearance later on in the album which is probably my favorite part of the record.

Settling All Family Business (Encore Episode 149)

Encore 149

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. This week it’s all about a whole bunch of new music that’s been recently released. We talk about new music from Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers, Rise Against, and All Time Low. We also give some thoughts on Apple’s WWDC and their new products, and answer a question about creating playlists and when and how we listen to them. There’s also some comic book talk, and the usual discussion of there being too much new stuff to consume.

Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend.

Introducing Chorus 2.0

One of the best parts about running my own website again is that I can work on improvements and changes and roll them out when they’re done instead of waiting for the never ending drudge of bureaucracy. Today I’m excited to bring you a collection of changes, improvements, additions, and new features that I am calling Chorus 2.0. Basically, I’ve spent the past year or so learning about what makes this website work, what doesn’t work, what needs to be improved, and how to better organize the information we push into it each day. And of course, how you, the reader, are using it. I’ve taken what I’ve learned and combined that with an optimization obsession to get this website to load as fast and reliably as possible on virtually any device you view it on. You may not see a lot of outward changes, but there were thousands of lines of code tweaked and changed along the way. I want to quickly go through some of the bigger changes, and introduce you to some of the more headlining features.

Makes Me Laugh (Encore Episode 148)

Encore 148

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Drew Beringer. This week we talk all about the new albums from New Found Glory and Paramore. First we catch up a little (Drew got married!), talk a little basketball, Funkos, the usual. Then we dive into the most recent releases from New Found Glory and Paramore and talk about their place in the music scene and their careers as a whole. Mixed within is a talk about Blink-182 and if they should shake it up with a new producer like NFG did (spoiler: probably), and a talk about leaks not mattering much these days, and how we feel about long wait times between album announcements.

Sonnder – “Siren Calling” (Video Premiere)

Last week, we presented our “In The Spotlight” feature and highlighted some of the best under the radar and up-and-coming artists. This week, one of those artists, Sonnder, reached out to us about premiering their new music video for “Siren Calling.” The song is the lead single off their debut album Entanglement, which came out last year and is one of my favorite recent finds. The video was directed by Dan Levitt, who captures the song’s youthful exuberance and the joyousness of Sonnder’s live performance.

Interview: Emarosa (Video)

Emarosa

Emarosa are stronger than ever and lead singer Bradley Walden is as impressive vocally as he is a showman. His vocals bound around almost as much as he does across the stage, on top of the stage, and in the crowd.

Since releasing 131 last year, fans have anxiously been awaiting a rumored EP of remixes. The band are taking a break from the craze of Warped Tour this summer to work on the remixes. In my latest interview the band also mentions they will begin recording in June. They have no preconceived notions going into the studio. Songs could go jazz, gospel, or full-on MJ (more so?).

Interview: Pierce the Veil (Video)

Pierce the Veil have been going strong for ten years now. The band is comprised of singer Vic Fuentes, guitarist Tony Perry, bassist Jaime Preciado, and drummer Mike Fuentes. The band has endured exactly zero line-up changes. This is a testament to the bond this fun-loving four piece has. While some old bands are back doing ten year album anniversary tours, Pierce the Veil are playing songs from their first album A Flair for the Dramatic on its We Will Detonate Tour.

This new interview is a retrospective of sorts. In under twenty minutes the band discusses their inception, their side projects, sources of inspiration, their song writing process, and what’s next.

In the Spotlight Playlist: 50 Songs You Need to Hear

This week we unveiled our “In the Spotlight” feature where we highlighted 50 bands we thought you needed to hear. In the feature we’ve got blurbs and “recommended if you like” hints to try and convince you to listen to the bands, but sometimes just having all the recommended tracks in a playlist to churn through is the way to go.

Our “In the Spotlight Playlist” is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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In the Spotlight: 50 Bands You Need to Hear (Part One)

In the Spotlight (Part 1)

Back on AbsolutePunk.net we would run a feature each year called the “Absolute 100.” The basic idea was to put together a list of bands and artists that we thought needed to get a little more attention. This would range from unsigned, to under-the-radar, to underrated acts that we wanted to highlight. Over the years it ended up being one of my favorite features we compiled (I personally discovered quite a few new bands from it). And, I’ve heard from a lot for readers that you loved it as well.

Today I’m excited to bring this feature back under a new name. We’re calling it “In the Spotlight” and we’ve got the same goal: highlight a bunch of artists we think you should check out. This year we’ve got 50 for you. Over the past month our contributors have been putting together blurbs and pulling out song recommendations, and today we’ve got the first group of 25. We’ll be releasing the next set tomorrow.

A Decade of ‘Anhedonia’ (Encore Episode 147)

Encore 147

The Graduate’s Anhedonia turned ten this week and former lead singer, Corey Warning, joins Encore to talk all about it. We discuss the early stages of the band, recording the album, the stories behind some of the songs, and check in on what Corey has been up to the past few years. We dive into why a reunion probably isn’t in the cards and spend some time waxing nostalgic about the music scene from 10 years ago. If you were a fan of this band and album, I think you’re going to love this one. If you’ve never heard this album before, you should probably get on that, but this episode also has a bunch of great industry insights, tips, and tales that make it worth your while. It’s a fun one.

Note: We recorded this episode live, in person, so the quality is a little different than you may be used to. However, I think that the back and forth of being in person gives it a really fun vibe that’s totally worth it.

Interview: Angelica Garcia (Video)

Angelica Garcia has a voice wise beyond her years. The twenty-two year old was uprooted from her Los Angeles home when her family moved to Accomac, Virginia. The Garcia’s moved into a two hundred year old gothic brick home, whose spirits clearly had an affect on the burgeoning singer-songwriter.

Angelica Garcia embraces the solitude to write and record demos for what would become her debut album Medicine for Birds. The album delicately meshes Americana and blues though tales of bad dating (“Orange Flower”), growing up (“Little Bird”), and dealing with otherworldly spirits (“The Devil Can Get In”). Garcia’s demos featured shoebox drums, harmonica improv, and creaking doors. Her next album will focus more on the singer’s Latin roots.

I had the chance to talk with Angelica for a new video interview.

The Decemberists and Julien Baker in Philadelphia

As The Decemberists took to the stage at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, it became obvious that they could have played a room worlds larger than the largest club venue in Philadelphia if they desired. The rapturous sold out crowd of 3,000 roared back the words to the opening salvo, the three-part odyssey “The Crane Wife”, from the album of the same name that recently turned ten years old. The fact that they booked the “Shuffling Off to Ragnarok” tour at venues such as this, though, speaks to a desire for intimacy; a desire to hear and be heard, a desire to share a smaller space with the people who care most about them.

Lucky Boys Confusion – ‘Stormchasers’ (Album Premiere)

I bought Lucky Boys Confusion’s Throwing the Game on a whim because an online friend told me it had a unique pop-punk meets reggae sound with hooks all over the place. It was my senior year of high-school and that was more than enough to get me to spend my lunch money on an album. I loved it. Now, some 16 years later the band are releasing their first new album in over 10 years and we’ve got an exclusive stream for you to check out. Lead singer, Kaustubh Pandav, describes the album as a concept album that was discovered only after its recording:

Sometimes you just have to reflect back on your art to see what your subconscious mind has been trying to create. It wasn’t until we got to take breath and were able to listen back to this record that we realized that we had just created a concept record. A story of how tragedy and loss lead to strength and courage in hopes to find a little peace of mind. We hope everyone can relate at least to a part of our story.

The album comes out on April 14th and you can pick it up on the band’s webstore. And, if you’re in the Chicago area, the band’s record release show is this Saturday at House of Blues.