rivals, “top favorite 5 songs right now”

rivals, “top favorite 5 songs right now”

As easy as it is to access music now, the on going change of favorite songs is such a fun one to us, we thought for a while about what theme we wanted to choose and ended up with this “Top 5 favorite songs we are listening to right now.” It kinda leans in a lot of very different directions, from pop to rap to post hardcore to metal. We all have very different music tastes which is actually a lot of fun when it comes to touring cause depending on who is driving, the music style changes. Never gets boring in the van!

Hope you enjoy Kalie, Seb, Micket and Josh’s favorite tunes as of 12/4/2017!

Damned Soul is due out February 2, 2018. Keep up with RIVALS here.

hearthpr 2017 spotify playlist

hearthpr 2017 spotify playlist

We did up this playlist with one track from each of the albums from the artists we were lucky enough to get to work with this year and wanted to share it with you. If you wanted to go check out the full streams and downloads of all these artists you can head over here to find any of those!

But without further ado here’s the playlist!

HEARTHPR 2017 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
1. Dori Freeman – “If I Could Make You My Own”
2. Brother Roy – “Mary”
3. Sera Cahoone – “Dusty Lungs”
4. Rayna Gellert – “Workin’s Too Hard”
5. Silver Torches – “Let It Be A Dream”
6. Boubacar Traoré – “Je chanterai pour toi”
7. Joshua James – “Coyote Caller”
8. Pierce Edens – “Body”
9. Rev. Sekou – “Burnin’ and Lootin'”
10. Rachel Baiman – “Shame”
11. Jim Byrnes – “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City”
12. The Hooten Hallers – “Dig”
13. Mr. Lif & Brass Menažeri – Crypt of Lost Styles”
14. John Craigie – “Broken”
15. Matt Patershuk – “Blank Pages & Lost Wages’
16. Zephaniah OHora – “High Class City Girl from the Country”
17. Billy Strings – “Living Like An Animal”
18. The Resonant Rogues – “Hands in the Dirt”
19. Modern Mal – “Wild Heart
20. Haley Heynderickx – “Oom Sha La La”
21. Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton – “You Are Not Needed Now”
22. Bill & Joel Plaskett – “The Next Blue Sky”
23. Amber Cross – “Savage on the Downhill”
24. Sarah Jane Scouten – “Acre of Shells”
25. Anna Tivel – “Illinois”
26. Charlie Whitten – “Balance”
27. Zoe & Cloyd – “Jewel of the Caspian Sea”
28. Jeffrey Martin – “Thrift Store Dress”
29. Humbird – “Fresh Water”
30. Kyle Alden – “Sail Away Ladies”
31. John Reischman & The Jaybirds – “Today Has Been a Lonesome Day”
32. Lindsay Straw – “Geordie”
33. Dori Freeman – “Over There”

**Curated and written by the badasses at HEARTHPR

sonali, “winter sundays”

sonali, “winter sundays”

Fall and winter are hands down my favorite seasons of the year. There’s something really comforting about the thought of cozying up by the fireplace drinking a cup of coffee, with white blanketed trees and sheets of snow falling outside…or maybe that’s just the romantic notions of a native Floridian like me. Nevertheless, I’ve always interpreted certain songs very visually, I associate them with certain colors and images. Here’s a few of my favorite chill songs that I love listening to in the wintertime, including a bunch from my fellow NYU alums! These are all jams in any season, to be honest. Enjoy!

“Forever” is out now. Keep up with Sonali on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at her website.

**Contributed in full by the artist

spirit award shares track by track alongside new album neverending

spirit award shares track by track alongside new album neverending

Seattle-based psych-pop trio Spirit Award is in the throes of introducing their debut album to the world. The ten track full-length – Neverending – is quite clever in the way it was constructed, as a majority of the titles would fit comfortably into a phrase with the term “neverending” itself (i.e. “Summer”, “Women”, etc.). And the album was constructed during a time of loss for the band (the end of a relationship, the loss of a family member, a robbery, and struggle with anxiety), which has lent itself to the lyrics in a very real and extraordinary way. Check out the album below, then read what the band had to say about each song as they lead you through a track-by-track feature exclusively for Imperfect Fifth!

“Summer”
 
This was a song that came out of the chords from a old song we had scrapped called “Summer Comedown”. Chris (Bass, Keys) and I sat down and I put a lot of reverse delay and reverb on my guitar, and Chris started playing the beginning bass line. 
 
The idea for the feeling behind Summer was to have this kinda floating slow motion feeling. Like if you smoked a bunch of indica weed, or haven’t slept and are feeling kind of in a daze. It was right after the “presidential” election happened, and it was hard for us not to be feeling like we were floating and concerned for our futures. That’s really what stemmed on the lyrics as well. It was a plea to keep pushing, to keep doing good, to keep making art, that this really does ‘all comes down to all of us’ to not give up, and push back.
 
 
“Fields”
 
It was a sort of spontaneous thing. We had a couple weeks before we were going back into the studio, and kind of stumbled upon writing this song. We like to switch instruments sometimes when we write, so I hopped on bass and started playing the riff and Chris hopped on the Juno. We got the basics of the song down and recorded drums and bass. We later wrote a lot of the synth parts in the studio. This was really fun to craft something so minimal and simple, and try to make it interesting along the way.
 
Like most songs we write, the lyrics came last. We we’re dealing with a lot of shitty life issues, and things that were a little confusing. The idea was kind of a mantra for me to let go of trying to have a “normal” or “perfect” life and enjoy being poor and all the randomness that life has to offer and do what makes you and others happy.
 
“Diving”
 
We wrote Diving in kind of the dead of winter I believe. Like I said, it was a super bleak and shitty time for all of us. I think that really comes through in this song, and the yearning for something good to happen, some glimmer of hope to go towards. 
 
“Heavy Fog”
 
This was one of the earliest songs we wrote that we still play. We recorded it for an EP, but we went a little too crazy with it, adding strings and a ton of shimmery stuff. With this version we wanted to strip it down and streamline it a bit. 
 
The basis for this song was written I (Daniel) while going through some depression and confusion that felt like a ‘Heavy Fog’ over me constantly. I was in a relationship that I felt like I couldn’t fully be myself in without judgement. I remember one day when I was waiting for a ferry to go to the San Juan Island and was feeling at peace and had this moment of knowing that if I kept confronting my fears and feelings and was honest with myself, I was going to be in a good place again, and that’s when the lyrics came to me.

 

“Las Vegas”
 
Kind of a turning point in our writing, and maybe the second song we wrote for the record. We were wanting to start writing with a more open and linear approach than we had been. This was one of the first songs we recorded for the record, and put out as a single. I remember after playing this song at a show a friend said “I could feel that man. That felt real. I like when you get aggressive”. We liked it too. I was focused too much on making something perfect before and writing melody and not just feeling it out and being authentic. 
 
I was going through a lot of self doubt and an existential crisis while writing this song. This song is essentially about saying “fuck you” to anyone who try’s to paint you out to be something you’re not. You can’t control when people tell lies about you. All you can do is examine yourself and ask if you are being honest with yourself or if your ego is getting in the way. So the story for this became a mix of those feelings and a story I heard from a friend who was on a blackjack card counting team.
 
“All Desire”
 
We were selected by Converse’s Rubber Tracks contest, which meant that we got a free day at Avast Studio in Seattle with legendary Engineer/Producer Jack Endino (Nirvana). Usually it can take a half a day or more just to get the drum sounds you want, but we got to the studio in the morning and Jack had them all dialed in and sounding great in less than an hour. It was a really great feeling to be working with someone who’s been doing it as long as Jack and to hear all his stories about Nirvana, Hot Hot Heat, and other records he’s worked on. 
 
One of the best feelings was when we got out a Fender Rhodes that we ran through some delay pedals to do some overdubs (which Jack was hesitant about, probably thinking we were just gonna dink around with it). When we started tracking Jack gave a big thumbs up and an approving nod. 
 
We had reached the end of our session, so I said “Well, I guess our time is up” to which Jack replied “Fuck em, they’re not gonna kick me out, let’s keep tracking!”. So we did.
 
“Women”
 
This was a song that was really built around the idea of the lyrics I had in mind. I was tired of seeing men feeling like they own women. Like they can touch them, slap their asses, grope, and talk over them without any consent and without consequences. It made me incredibly sad to have friends and partners experience this. All I could do was feel this deep sadness for their experience and wish I could do something.
 
All I could do was write this song saying “we hear you, men are the worst, and I hope we can change that”. I want to encourage people to not tolerate this behavior from anyone. If someone doesn’t understand that what they are doing is sexist or hurtful, they never will unless you tell them. Sometimes it’s awkward but we need to change this norm that is hurtful and toxic. Everyone deserves love and respect.
 
“Running”
 
When we wrote this song it really felt like some sort of metaphorical baptism for me (Daniel) (hence the album cover). We had been through a lot over the last couple years and this was kind of an anthem to any negativity or backwards thinking to watch out Because I’m fucking pumped and I will destroy you (hopefully with peace, love and kindness?).
 
The idea for this song was to write another linear song like we did with Las Vegas. Not worrying about structure and just feeling out what’s next.
 
“Lost and Stoned”
 
When we wrote this song we we’re looking to write something big, loud and a little disorienting at times. For over a year the working title was just “Psych Jam”, which always felt appropriate.The idea for lyrics came about when I (Daniel) was angry and not a in a good place for a week and was getting stoned to escape the shit storm I had created.
 
I still enjoy getting stoned, but I think for me it’s important to make sure it’s not escapism. 
 
“Yesterday”
 
This was the last song we wrote for ‘Neverending’. Most of the songs for the record we had parts to and were mostly organized. Yesterday was put together super last minute. I have this old Wurlitzer Omni 6000 organ/synth in my house. I wrote the song on it, Chris came over and wrote a bass part, and we just started tracking it. Chris borrowed a Neve Sidecar to run mic’s through that we set up in a big room in our rehearsal space. We basically gave Terence some direction but told him to do whatever felt natural. I had to leave so I didn’t hear the full song until later that week,. When I heard it I remember laying on the floor of my house with headphones and feeling like we got exactly what we wanted, a big drum sound with some nice warm tones.
 
The song was ultimately about all the change that had been happening in my (Daniel) life, and ours as a band. It was the last song in this series of writing and we felt like it gave us, and the record, some closure and a optimistic look into the future.
**Material submitted by the band
Neverending is out now via Union Zero. Keep up with Spirit Award here.
sunset neon talks starlight and 80’s style with release of new lyric video

sunset neon talks starlight and 80’s style with release of new lyric video

On December 1st, the debut full-length from Sunset Neon – the nostalgia pop music project from multi-genre musician and producer Bret Autrey – will be released. His intention with this project was to hone in on 80’s inspired pop sound, a far cry from his work as Blue Stahli. In honor of the release of his new lyric video for “You Are The Sun” – which makes us wish it were about to be summer instead of winter – we spent a few minutes with the artist to get the low down on his process and the eighties.

What is the first song or album you ever remember hearing, and who introduced it to you?
There’s two that stick out.  Once was the small window of time that my mom had a record player and would put the soundtrack to Top Gun on.  I’d get so amped up on stuff like Dangerzone, I’d just bounce around the entire living room.  The other was visiting family on a farm in Oregon and I was running around in a Max Headroom mask.  My cousin had just started driving, so she would drive me into town and play Front 242 extremely loud.  I’ve been in love with drum machines, synths and samplers ever since.
Was there a moment that it struck you and you realized you were going to pursue music, or did it kind of slowly evolve?
This is really the only thing I know how to do.  I’m just lucky enough that I can make a living doing it.  The first recording I ever made was when I got ahold of a tape player and blank tape and recorded myself humming the theme to the A-Team.  We had a piano in the house that was saved from being taken to the dump by some church.  I would plink around and work out melodies on that beat up old thing.  Later on I discovered programming music and sequencing chopped up one-shot samples in DOS in the glorious mono 8bit of Scream Tracker.  After getting better sound quality in Impulse Tracker I started sampling that old piano, and loading in synth loops I sequenced on a Roland keyboard to warp and twist in weird ways.  I absolutely lived for the times I could be messing with programming music in hexadecimal in a DOS tracker or chopping out atmospheres and sound FX recorded in from VHS movies.  It’s what I lived for then, and what I have to do now.
Historically, you’ve been a rock musician. When you chose to go into this 80s music project, did you already have an idea for what you were doing or did it kind of develop organically?
With my main project, Blue Stahli, I genre-hop all the way from upbeat funky breakbeat stuff to purely electronic sound design to riff-heavy electronic rock.  While doing all this genre-flailing, I would kick out a few nu disco-esque tracks or start leaning towards a more indie pop type of sound.  Once the itch for this started lining up even more, it became clear that a lot of these tracks that didn’t really have a home before could all exist under a dedicated project for exploring all the more colorful lo-fi 80s influenced stuff.  So I’d say it all reached a point where Sunset Neon *had* to exist.
You were quoted saying “I’m freakishly excited to create some weirdo VHS music.” Could you elaborate on what “weirdo VHS music” is, at least in your opinion?
Some of my favorite things are lost movies or straight to video fare on VHS.  The memories of a room lit only by the small screen (in this case, I was watching everything on one of those small portable TV’s hooked up to a clunker of a VCR), and the feeling of the synth scores and lesser known songs that would accompany some of these movies just washed over me.  I see the “weirdo VHS music” as Sunset Neonbeing part of the soundtrack to a strange forgotten VHS from 1986 who’s music you love so much you record it to cassette and listen to it until the tape snaps.  You’ll hear bits of these songs warp and glitch, sometimes like you’re hearing the process of them being sampled from VHS to an old sampler while the power is flickering.
How was the writing/production process different this time around, creating this “weirdo VHS music?”
This was really all about going back to my roots with tracker music.  So just destroying the audio and one shot synth sounds (some of which were made by stacking single cycle waveforms on top of each other and getting all wonky with the layers and filters) and exploring warping stuff with the effects you have to enter in hexadecimal and revel in the fact that all those little bits of information are coming together to form a beat that makes you want to move and evokes emotions.  It’s a more stripped down approach, while somehow also being a bit more complicated in other ways.
Everything we’ve heard from your debut album feels like it could be used in a kitchy 80s “throwback” movie (a la Hot Rod) or a fun musical. If you could create anything with this music, what would it be and who would you collaborate with?
Oh hell yes, that is absolutely the intent.  It *should* feel like a pure fun jolt of video haze from a guilty pleasure movie you’ve seen 87 times.  I would love for this to show up in a movie or tv show (even something animated!) built on the same love for that glow.  Stranger Things, Ready Player One, anything that is fully in love with this atmosphere.  I have a feeling there are some astounding people who will be creating in this realm that we still have yet to see, and I can’t wait for all of it.
If you could be any character in an 80s movie, who would you choose and why?
A cross between Wolff from Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone for the way he always seemed to know what to do, and Fletch or Axel Foley for always having the perfect string of jokes to accompany getting out of situations in the most hilariously badass way possible.
What are you most looking forward to about this release?
I’m really just excited for this to be out there and connect with people.  I do this because I adore it and try to create songs that have an atmosphere you can get lost in, so I hope that these songs serve their emotional purpose for someone out there whether they’re connecting with the more dance-oriented fun material, or the dreamy lo-fi love songs.
___
Starlight is available for preorder now. Keep up with Sunset Neon here.