This month, Chicago-based duo Hobbyist – comprised of Holly Prindle and Marc Mozga – released a new album titled Sonic Cramps. The album is, admittedly, their take on events that occurred while they took up residence in Barcelona, Spain a year ago, focusing on their vantage point of what was happening politically in the United States at that time. But they didn’t release their gold mine of an album until they shared one last thing… the video for their track “Teeth of The Shark”.
The video itself has a very experimental feel to it, though comprised of what we assume are Holly’s normal, every day visuals. The experience is heightened when it is all thrown into time lapse, clear visuals blurring together and many settings becoming a single experience for the viewer. The song itself also feels very experimental, like beat poetry come to life.
Sonic Cramps is out now. Keep up with Hobbyist here.
While Connecticut-based 20-year-old artist and producer Kevin George prepares to drop his debut release LOVELAND on the world, he’s got some tricks up his sleeve leading up to it. Namely, the release of his new single “High Like This” and its accompanying video. Full of insanely trippy visuals – Seriously, how amazing is the movement in this video?! – the video takes you on a journey with George himself, while he croons some seductive and fun lyrics in different settings, the colors play well to captivate your attention. It’s really a remarkable work of art, an experience of sorts.
WARNING: It will be difficult to accept the fact that Kevin George is this talented out the gate. But he is, and we can’t wait for more.
Today, Amsterdam-based indie folk singer/songwriter VanWyck released her latest, an eleven track gem of an album titled An Average Woman. But, from the very first notes of the title track, the listener is aware that VanWyck does not fit the “average” mold. In fact, it begs the listener to question what “average” is, and allows us the reminder to be cognizant of calling anyone or anything “normal”. After the beautiful trickle-slow intro that is “An Average Woman”, “Red River Girl” provides a little more mellifluous composition instrumentally, really utilizing the strings to pull at your heartstrings.
By “Listen to You Breathe”, it is quite obvious that this album is going to largely exist in a slow soundspace, which we are completely on board with. We have noticed a lot lately that bands have been bringing more upbeat tempos in to more introspective tracks to give them a dimension of feeling fun. What’s beautiful and alluring about VanWyck is that she sings the songs as she means them. There is depth and immense emotion in her vocals, something you certainly can’t teach.
This entire album is a keeper, moreso for a day when you feel like sipping a hot cup of tea and journaling, or you’re looking for a playlist for your family dinner. It brings up key concepts about confidence, freedom, and being a damn badass as a woman, in a smoky and intense way that only VanWyck could accomplish. With the spotlight on so many issues regarding women recently, it feels nice to cocoon inside art that understands the complex nature of the human female.
“Europa Escapes” might be one of our favorites because it is more theatrical and feels like the Wild Wild West, yet with a woman at the forefront on vocals, which you almost never find. In fact, we would compare this track to one of our favorite male vocalists Radiator King, edgy and drawing a different attitude than its predecessors. We are also completely enamored by last track “Whole Again”, which seems to be more about VanWyck’s personal journey, tying the piece together in only a way that she can. It’s uplifting, conscientiously empowered despite the careful, quiet nature of the instrumentals that lead us out and onto another musical journey in our day.
Since the September release of his album Diviners and Shivs, Brooklyn-based outlaw folk musician Ardell Jason Shealy Stutts – more commonly referred to by his stage name Rust Dust – has been creating and releasing visuals to go along with the 13-track collection. His latest? A live recording of the man himself playing his track “Wayfaring Stranger” at Silver Springs Farm. Rustic and simple surroundings bring a humble and relatable feel to the experience, Rust Dust’s vocals reassuring in their delivery.
UK-based musician Ian Parton has developed a new and invigorating sound in this second iteration of The Go! Team, live players Simone Odaranile (drums) and Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak (vocals), as well as two original members, guitarist Sam Dook and rapper Ninja. With the help of a few more friends, the project releases its brand new album Semicircle on Friday. Just ahead of its release, we got a little listen to what’s to come and, boy, were we blown away!
From the very first notes of “Mayday” to the very end of twelfth song “Get Back Up”, you’ll be mesmerized by their energy and affinity for creating a fun and uplifting soundscape for us. Though the vocals in “Chain Link Fence” feel slightly like turn of the century bubble gum pop-meets-Jackson 5, we’re certainly not knocking it. In fact, it’s what drives the song and keeps our ears glued to what’s next. It isn’t until third track “Semicircle” that we notice how intense the musicianship is in the album. (Trust us, you’ll understand when you listen.)
Fourth track “Hey!” exists, for us, behind the montage scene of a chick flick, most likely when a shopping spree is taking place. But, boy, does it bring a vitality to the album that makes us want to play it everywhere! “The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question?” – though one of the more hilarious titles we’ve seen in a while – demonstrates the band’s ability to create depth with an often addicting, sweet-as-candy sound to it. “Chico’s Radical Decade” takes us right back in time, no vocals to be heard to distinguish it as more modern. Close your eyes and picture the brown carpet, the fun hats, people probably saying “Groovy” whether it’s culturally relevant or not…
“All The Way Live” is as sticky sweet as its predecessors, which makes us realize we’re not getting out of this one without dancing. (And we thought we could fool our coworkers into thinking we were being productive!) But doesn’t the island vibe in “If There’s One Thing You Should Know ‘If There’s One Thing You Should Know'” make you wish that it was time for some warm weather around North America at the moment? (That’s OK… this album will still be ripe for the pickin’ once spring rolls around, we guarantee it.)
Though they certainly named a few of our faves in “Tangerine / Satsuma / Clementine”, it has a little more of a mellow tempo to it, bringing our heartbeat down just slightly and adding a head bob into our awkward back and forth dance movement. And with the sentiment of the title alone of “She’s Got Guns”, we’re groovin’ around the room. While we’re on board with both the title and the percussion in “Plans Are Like A Dream U Organise”, “Getting Back Up” is so inspirational in title, instrumentals, and chorus music, that we’d be surprised if a one of you didn’t end the album with a smile on your damn face.
Says Parton of the project:
It’s about reminding yourself of the good things in life. We don’t want to be dumbly optimistic and say, ‘Hey, isn’t everything great!’ but there’s something to be said for just getting on with it, for getting organized and not letting the fuckers get you down. Party for your right to fight!
Be sure to catch The Go! Team on tour soon if you’re in the UK!
01/18 – Kingston, UK @ Banquet Records
01/19 – London, UK @ Rough Trade East
01/22 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade Bristol
01/23 – Nottingham, UK @Rough Trade Nottingham
* with GURR
# with Neon Saints Brass
+ with The Daniel Wakeford Experience
02/09 – Glasgow, UK @ QMU *
02/10 – Leeds, UK @ The Wardrobe *
02/11 – Brighton, UK @ The Haunt *#
02/15 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom *+
02/16 – Newcastle, UK @ Riverside *
02/17 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla * SOLD OUT
02/22 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
02/23 – Dunkirque @ Les 4 Ecluses
02/24 – St Malo @ Route Du Rock Festival
03/02 – Cologne, DE @ Gebäude 9
03/03 – Hamburg, DE @ Nochtspeicher
03/04 – Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
03/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
03/25 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
03/27 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent
03/29 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
03/30 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
03/31 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox
04/03 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
04/04 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
04/05 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
04/06 – Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
04/08 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
04/09 – New York, NY@ Le Poisson Rouge