nostalgist talks remix releases, new music, and “love or lack thereof”

nostalgist talks remix releases, new music, and “love or lack thereof”

Seattle-based shoegaze/post-punk/dream rock collective Nostalgist – comprised of Asa Eisenhardt and his cohorts in music – has been dazzling crowds since 2012 and, with the release of new music and their journey only gets brighter from here. March’s Disaffection gave us even more reason to keep our eyes peeled for live performances, its raw sound and instrumentals often giving us chills.

Check out the new album in its entirety below, as well as a quick interview with frontman Asa Eisenhardt about it all.

While writing music, has there ever been a time where you have experienced a severe case of writer’s block? How did you resolve it?

Yeah, constantly. If I have enough time I’ll just try to play through it as best I can– let my mind wander and hope for the best. I might also try working from a basic theory concept as well, like chord inversions, where relevant. In the bigger picture, as with most songwriters, I just make sure to write down and/or record whatever idea I’m working on as it might click into place at a later point. This question has reminded me to consult Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards more often.

During your time as an artist, have you been able to accomplish your goals or are you still working towards them?

Ideally, in my mind, it’s both: taking stock of and expressing gratitude for one’s opportunities and accomplishments while also keeping steady sights on the proverbial road and goals ahead.

When you are touring and performing on different stages, how do you pass the time?

We’ve only done one tour, which was down the West Coast about 3 years ago. In transit, time was passed with pretty standard stuff like conversation and listening to music. During venue downtime, I’m usually doing vocal warmups and/or trying to get in a good headspace.

Apart from music, what would you say your true passion is?

I have a number of other interests, but music is absolutely my true passion.

What can your current and future fans expect from you before the end of the year? Is there any exciting news that you can share with us?

I’m slowly figuring out a remix release. One of them is finished, a few others are in a nebulous state and some are still yet to be determined. These will be complete reinventions using the componentry of a certain track on our new MLP. I’ve also acquired multitrack audio from our record show for a possible live album of some manner, but haven’t listened back in a proper studio environment yet.

Performance-wise, we’re playing two local shows this summer — a serious goth banger on July 5th with Nox Novacula (Seattle goth ‘n’ roll that’s taken the city by force in just a handful of months) and Twin Tribes (synthy jams, on tour from New Jersey). The other one is August 2nd and we’ll be revealing more about that one as the date approaches.

Is there one thing that inspires your music, or is there a wide variety of things that help you come up with the lyrics and accompanying music?

I’ve taken to the phrase “love and lack thereof” as being the central inspiration/subject matter. Film always plays a role as well, usually in how I mentally envision the imagery I’m trying to capture with words or atmosphere. In the first few years, that always meant classic noir, but I’ve branched out a bit. Really, it’s anything I can aesthetically repurpose. For instance, the cover still of our new record comes from L’Avventura. I stumbled across it on the internet and the vibe I got from it, along with the water imagery capturing an identical and ubiquitous lyrical element I often refer to, was so immediately perfect for these songs. While I enjoyed the film, I found it to be a bit different than what I was expecting. Presented alone, however I still love what the image does.

Additionally, I do have clinical depression, and while I am almost always a happy, goofy individual, things can sometimes be difficult. Once I bounce back from these periods and have time to reflect, I can often lyrically channel those feelings in a healthy way. I’m definitely drawing on my own experiences and filtering them through the aesthetics and influences I hold near and dear, but I also try to keep things just vague enough so other people can relate or maybe project them onto the song to their own cathartic end.

Has there been anyone in particular that has helped get you to where you are today?

Broadly speaking, I’d say a large number of people have, including past and present bandmates, my encouraging parents, and so forth. But to be more specific, in terms of magnitude, Evan Foster’s mentorship from both a musical and production standpoint has been unquantifiably beneficial– without him, this band would be nothing. Similarly, all four members of Agalloch were supportive from the getgo, not least of which Aesop. His guest drumming on the new record put some serious fire underneath the songs, and set a standard for the future.

Keep up with Nostalgist here.

T-Pain @ Bonnaroo 2018

T-Pain @ Bonnaroo 2018

Though we didn’t think much about it during the announcement of the Bonnaroo 2018 lineup, Day 2 of the festival brought us our biggest surprise of the weekend. Our excitement to photograph T-Pain made it so we ran past Adam Devine and Chance The Rapper to get a good spot in the front.

Do not regret.

Keep up with T-Pain here.

iako releases debut ep

iako releases debut ep

IAKO is excited to release his debut EP Queen of Balance. Raised in Venice,  IAKO (also known as Jacopo Rosetto) draws inspiration for his music through memories of canals, poetry, and relaxing soundscapes.  His EP consists of six tracks in total which include his single “Paint” and “Queen of Balance.”  “Paint” is a soulful track with powerful lyrics. “My heart is yours/You can paint it as you want,” sings IAKO.  A love song of hopeless infatuation, the track is almost, in a sense, sad.  “You can play with it as you want,” IAKO  says of his heart.  Combining the sounds of IAKO’s beautiful voice, piano, and lyrical thoughtfulness, “Paint” will take your heart home.

Title track “Queen of Balance,” remains a little more fast paced but keeps a somber mood.  “I’m no king, and you’re the queen of balance,” proclaims IAKO.  Also realizing sadness, IAKO asks “Why would you crush the fortress we built?”  A plead to his queen, IAKO sings of the king he will never be.  My favorite line is “You bring me down, so down,” because while hurt remains, how can you not see the person you love a royalty regardless of actions?  My favorite song on this EP is “Vanishing Point.”  Unlike most of the tracks, “Vanishing Point” starts off with a jazzy upbeat feel.  It remains hopeful and references art in a fascinating way.  “We’re just two parallel lines, so close but so far from the vanishing point, from the vanishing point.”  “Take my silence, and decorate your walls,” the song pleads.

Queen of Balance is an emotive display of indie-folk with lyrical creativity that really makes you want to listen.

Queen of Balance is out now. Keep up with IAKO here.

the rocknroll hifives, “hold on”

the rocknroll hifives, “hold on”

The Centeno’s are more than just a family from New Jersey.  Together, they are rock band The RocknRoll HiFives.  Before fatherhood, Joe Centeno spent his days as a touring musician.  Now he is joined by his daughter Eilee Centeno, his son, and his wife, and their latest single “Hold On” is pretty impressive.

The rock track starts out with sultry female vocals and sounds of very evident guitar, bass and drums.  “Blonde hair, red dress- she got you drooling, you’re such a mess,” the song starts off.  “Hold on, I’ve got something to say to you,” beats the chorus.  Lyrically, “Hold On” is creative and sassy as it tells the tale of a female vixen who literally has a “hold” on you.  “I need another minute with you,” the song muses.  Their debut LP will be out June 29th via Little Dickman Records.

Keep up with the The Rocknroll HiFives here.

phenix, “minor tones of triumph over 808s”

phenix, “minor tones of triumph over 808s”

I like minor keys…actually, I more than “like” them – I’m INFATUATED with them. Something about the raw darkness of the attack & sound just makes me feel like it’s about to get real – that we’re about to fight this war masks off in the mud – OVER our freedom. Whether it be for our freedom to love, our freedom to speak, our freedom to deserve, our freedom to be…..I see life staring up from the deep end, I refuse to dip my feet to play in the shallows. That has just ALWAYS been who I am. It’s either: I DON’T go in the water or I run FULL THROTTLE till I can no longer touch the ocean floor. I fuel my body like I live my life – with MOTIVATION. I used to foul out every ball game because I played that much harder than the rest & my feet stay planted and I wanted that damn ball so bad – no one or no thing could ever get in my way to stop me. I go hard because I love hard, the vulnerability of my capability flies behind me like a cape and I light fires without lighters and own it all because I’m a fighter. These songs encompass the magic of the minors, articulate voices full of angst & swag, not here to mess around. They are triumphant and LOUD & the hip/hop edge is definitely influencing this era of my life & art. I embrace it, I learn from it, & I bend it. To the next generation of sound do I march.

Keep up with Phenix here.