“Come to Me,” a New Video from Lily & Madeleine

October 11th, 2013 , by

In Lily & Madeleine’s newest video, which debuts the song “Come to Me,” L&M traveled south from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee to work with 1504 Pictures. Filmed in the streets and living rooms of suburbs and in nearby forests, the video evokes scenes from Donnie Darko and E.T. Plus: what’s in the box? And what’s with that pebble?

Lily & Madeleine releases October 29th, 2013 and you can preorder it here.

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Lily & Madeleine on CBS This Morning

October 3rd, 2013 , by

On Saturday, Oct. 5, CBS This Morning rewarded early birds with a chance to see Lily & Madeleine making their first appearance on national network television.

Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, the Indianapolis-based sister duo who were first discovered singing world-weary harmonies on YouTube, will be making the transition to morning TV as part of This Morning’s Second Cup Cafe series, for an interview and performance of two songs yet to be determined.

With their songwriting partner, bassist Kenny Childers (Gentleman Caller), Lily & Madeleine have already recorded a substantial repertoire of original material, starting earlier with this year with a five-song EP, The Weight of the Globe. That disc’s combination of heavy emotions and light, delicate arrangements had the Guardian praising their “shocking” musical talent and “mountain air–pure” voices.

Now the countdown has begun to this month’s release of the duo’s first full-length, a self-titled disc of a dozen all-new songs. Out October 29, Lily & Madeleine finds the duo moving confidently forward from that EP—both as a musical jumping-off point, and as a personal coming of age.

Land of a Thousand Rappers Arrives

September 24th, 2013 , by

The latest dispatches are coming in from the front lines.

We are taking prisoners of war, reports Future Rapper (@futurerapper), stripping them of biotech enhancements and honor. The victory is anticlimactic. Then: Redistributing the spoils to their appropriate decade, millennium, epoch. Buck$ is on the run.

These transmissions could only mean one thing: that the latest chapter in the Land of a Thousand Rappers saga is drawing to a close, and a new one is beginning, with the release of a five-volume, self-titled album chronicling the entire hip-hop time travel epic. Future Rapper, the eternal warrior, has beaten back sinister suit Warhol Buck$. For now, at least.

On Sept. 24, the Land of a Thousand Rappers audio can be downloaded as digital files or played back from a set of five cassette tapes. Surreal, comic, complex and madly ambitious, the Land of a Thousand Rappers took seven years and the combined talents of Michael Kaufmann, Wayne Feldman, Ero Gray, and more to create, telling the story of Future Rapper’s struggle against the forces of avarice and destruction.

The set will be made available with or without the accompanying novella/prose poem, Zero Seed by Michael Kaufmann, Future Rapper’s ally and correspondent in this timeline. and to celebrate his victory, Future Rapper will hold a reading, Q&A and signing for Kaufmann’s book at Indy Reads in Indianapolis, at 6pm on Tuesday the 24th, heralding our new era of peace.

This just in:

The sky pixelates. The waters pause. The ground sighs. And we reset the system.

Light It Up: New Son Lux Forthcoming on Joyful Noise Records

September 4th, 2013 , by

Son Lux’s marriage of rich, composerly arrangements and brittle electronic beats earned him the title “Best New Artist” from NPR for his sprawling debut album, At War with Walls & Mazes, but the sound of his second full-length, We Are Rising, a chamber piece written and recorded entirely in the span of four weeks, was somehow even more refined. Now he has announced the completion of a third LP, Lanterns, on Joyful Noise Recordings, set for release October 29.

Also known as a member of trio s / s / s with Sufjan Stevens and rapper Serengeti, Son Lux (a.k.a. Ryan Lott) showcases on Lanterns not only his own bulletproof beats and deeply human vocals but also a range of equally versatile collaborators, including Punch Brothers mandolinist/composer Chris Thile, indie auteur DM Stith, and sister singing prodigies Lily & Madeleine.

Lanterns will be a 1200-copy “Split Color Edition” on black and clear vinyl, plus a “Deluxe VIP Edition” of 500 hand-numbered “color-in-color” vinyl copies that literally bear Son Lux’s thumbprint in silver paint. Also available as a CD or digital download, Lanterns’ release will be celebrated with a concert at Joe’s Pub in New York City on November 4th.

“Lost It to Trying,” the first single, features Lily & Madeleine singing backup vocals to Ryan Lott.

LISTEN to “Lost It to Trying” @ Pitchfork PURCHASE Lanterns @ Joyful Noise

Explore Helado Negro’s New EP

August 27th, 2013 , by

Island Universe Story Two, out now, is the second in an ongoing series of EPs from Roberto Lange, a.k.a. Helado Negro. Not designed to “tease” or “build up to” or kill time between the Helado Negro albums, these releases shadow the LPs, moving darkly alongside them—and, like a shadow, may be more easily described by what they aren’t than what they are.

They aren’t outtakes or afterthoughts or byproducts or B-sides. These are fully filtered, distilled, unified recordings, chapters in a continuous narrative. They’re less like the flipside of a record than they are like the dark side of the moon: always present but (until now) just out of sight. “It’s a parallel to the continuum of the album,” explains Lange. They’re “something next to the albums, on kind of their own timeline,” a second stream, offering an alternate glimpse into Helado Negro’s ongoing process. Says Lange, “This is more of what I do. I’m really making music every day.”

But they aren’t exactly about that process, either. Two is underpinned by collaborations—the orchestral sound on the opening “Stop Living Dead,” for instance, was created with composer Trey Pollard and a double string quartet, and “Mitad del Mundo” features the talents of Wilco’s Mikael Jorgenson—but the Helado Negro project has never operated in a vacuum. From his headquarters in Brooklyn, Lange has always quick to point out the importance of other people, sometimes in other places, who have contributed to his music, and of the collaborative dynamic itself: some aspects of his process, says Lange, “are wildly free, and some of them are very structured and have a large amount of direction. It’s widely variable in terms of what freedoms are given and what control is taken.”

Ultimately, “I like the idea of process,” says Lange, “and then what happens on the other side, too. Both are important to me”—aesthetically satisfying product, as well as experimental process—and like any Helado Negro release, this latest chapter in the Island Universe Story delivers on both counts.

Preorder the cassette, due in late September, here.


New Album Coming From Lily & Madeleine

August 12th, 2013 , by

Earlier this year, we had the honor of releasing The Weight of the Globe EP from Midwestern sister duet Lily & Madeleine. And come this fall, we’ll be releasing their debut full-length, the self-titled Lily & Madeleine.

T Magazine, the lifestyle arm of the New York Times debuted “Devil We Know,” the first single from the album. You can hear it here.

This is what rock critic Anthony DeCurtis wrote about the record when he heard it:

“Most wonderfully, their songs are exactly an expression of their youth. That does not mean they are naïve – far from it. Nor, thankfully, are they merely precocious – young people performing the parlor trick of mimicking their elders. It is the sound of innocence on its inevitable search for experience. The themes of this album – the passing of time and the seasons, the ache of desire, the quest for identity, the wonder of what’s ahead – are not just the concerns of youth. They matter to everyone at every age. But as “maturity” sets in and all too often yields to cynicism, we lose the willingness, the fearlessness, to explore them. Rather than hopeful, we become afraid of what we will find. These songs occupy the space we live in before that fear descends and we succumb to its limitations.”

Read more of Anthony’s writings on the album here.

We’re now taking preorders for the album, available on CD, LP, and limited edition white vinyl, here.

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Land Of A Thousand Rappers To Arrive in September

August 5th, 2013 , by

If humankind, at some point in the distant future, were to invent a time machine, wouldn’t we have heard about it by now? Unless, of course, the evidence were right in front of us, and we just didn’t see it. What if, for instance, there’s an entire genre of music, completely saturating popular culture, in which fragments of the past were constantly being served up in juxtaposition with the aesthetics of musical futurism, zipping backwards and forwards in time through the technologies of rhyme and rhythm? What if hip-hop is a form of time travel, and nobody ever noticed?

Well, someone finally did notice, and compiled a five-volume dossier of proof. Michael Kaufmann, Wayne Feldman, Ero Gray and their team of musical mad scientists are now accepting preorders for Land of a Thousand Rappers, a massive new concept album that excavates the secret surrealist sci-fi collage project that hip-hop has always been, explodes it, and devours it again.

A narrative in verse, replete with sword-wielding heroes, ancient battles, mythic archetypes and emblems, and a huge cast of characters, Land of a Thousand Rappers is literally epic and baffingly complex. Future Rapper, our tentacled Aztec hero, struggles to save the space-time continuum from the sinister forces of art dealer/warlord Warhol Buck$, in a rap odyssey held together by the sort of the sprawling, all-encompassing logic usually symptomatic of either genius or madness.

Seven (7) years in the making, Land of a Thousand Rappers will finally become available for purchase in an edition of 49 (7 x 7) for $49 (7 x 7) and comes in the form of a 140-page (7 x 20) novella illustrated by Jonathan Dueck, plus five (7 – 2) cassette tapes and a download code, in order to ensure compatibility with playback devices from both past and future.

Listen to a sample below, or by clicking here. Read more info about the set here.

Fol Chen Release New Video to “False Alarms”

August 3rd, 2013 , by

In March, Fol Chen released their third LP, The False Alarmspure pop on the surface, witty and appealing, but all the more satisfying for the dark and uncanny sensibility lurking just beneath. Now, Keith Musil has released a video, accompanying the album’s title track, that acutely captures the wry and ambiguous tone of Fol Chen’s eerie pop project.

Almost like a horror movie, Musil’s “The False Alarms” starts out at a spooky teenaged slumber party, but when a game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” takes an unexpected turn, it’s not quite clear whether the audience should be frightened or elated. When the main character, played by Fol Chen vocalist Sinosa, rises from the floor, has she become liberated from gravity, or trapped in the air? Is she suspended by dark forces beyond her control, or is she levitating under her own power? The video, and Sinosa’s unsettingly serene performance, refuse to give us any simple answers.

Composer Jules Gimbrone just sent in a remix of “False Alarms,” which you can listen to here or below.

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Denison Keeps Moving With A New Video

August 1st, 2013 , by

Honest, personal, and deeply intimate, the music of Denison Witmer’s self-titled album for Asthmatic Kitty is nevertheless as much about the listener as it is about himself. The messages of the disc—to rest, to trust, to let go of a heavy burden—may come out of Witmer’s own experience, but they aim outwards, towards a universal experience.

Phil Jacoby’s video for “Keep Moving Brother, Keep Moving Sister” takes these themes and makes them literal, intercutting footage of Witmer’s confessional vocal performance with scenes following a man and woman as they each carry a small, secret, physical burden through their respective day-to-day lives. A rough-edged stone in the palm of the hand, the ripples lapping calmly at the water’s edge, the video’s almost tangibly concrete symbols are as spare and unaffected as the single itself—and like the song, the quiet melancholy of Jacoby’s accompanying clip ultimately offers up a message of hope.

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Shannon Stephens Covers Depeche Mode

July 24th, 2013 , by

“I had to get creative.”

According to Shannon Stephens, her new single was born not out of artistic caprice, but of personal necessity. After upheavals in her personal life, she responded by immersing herself deeper in the stability and productivity of her musical work.

She started by recording “World in My Eyes,” a cover that remakes the icy Depeche Mode classic as a defiantly soulful and sultry rock number. The new single, now being released to Seattle-area press and radio, was recorded for what’s planned as a four-song EP, featuring one more cover and two new versions of songs from her 2000 debut.

“I didn’t feel ready to record an album” so soon after 2012′s Pull It Together, Stephens explains, but instead told herself, “I’m going through some major life changes, and I need to keep busy—what’s something that we could do as a group that we could have fun with?”

She’s quick to credit her “dudes,” the five-piece band she’s toured with for the last half-decade, with many of the choices that are going into the creation of the EP. From the decision to cover Depeche Mode—although “World in My Eyes,” specifically, was Stephens’ pick—to the technical aspects of recording, Stephens and this small circle of collaborators were responsible for every ingredient of her new project, which is being recorded without any additional musicians and engineered by bassist Terry Mattson.

“I have the final say” in the recording process, “but we’re all kind of throwing our opinions in there,” says Stephens. “There were a lot of strong opinions,” she adds wryly, “when we were mixing ‘World in My Eyes.’”

Along with Dearborn and Daniel Blue of Motopony, Stephens and her band will be promoting the new single with a release show on August 2 at 7pm, at Seattle’s new Ballard Sanctuary.

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