Five years on from the release of the widely acclaimed Beauty PillDescribes Things As They Are, Beauty Pill have new music on the way in the form of an album. Entitled Please Advise, it is set for release on May 8th through Northern Spy. The title, and as the band’s Chad Clark explains, “was inspired by record producer Teo Macero’s famous/hilarious 1969 memo to Columbia Records about Miles Davis (“Miles just called and said he wants this album to be titled: BITCHES BREW. Please advise.”).” Clark adds:
“What I love about that memo is the insight that even in moments of majestic creative breakthrough, there is uncertainty. Abject uncertainty. Nobody really knows anything. You can only follow where your instincts lead.”
Beauty Pill are previewing the record with the mysterious and mesmerizing lead single ‘Pardon Our Dust’, and an accompanying music video featuring new member Erin Nelson. Clark offered some insight about it:
“Most Beauty Pill songs work by insinuation, but “Pardon Our Dust” is more abstract. It’s about oblivion. The dictionary says oblivion is “the state of being unaware of what is justify.” To me, oblivion seemed an idea worth interrogating in the Trump age when a lot of people feel like disappearing… To me, cumulatively the song feels like science fiction and the voice is some kind of malfunctioning artificial intelligence. What do “so few reasons left” and “willing to burn” mean? Something is happening in this song, but I can’t tell what. I’m not sure.”
Earlier this month, NYC’s Astroturf Noise released their self-titled debut album through 577. An adventurous trio, consisting of Sam Day Harmet (mandolin/fx), Sana Nagano (violin/fx), and Zach Swanson (bass), they describe themselves as “synthetic grass for synthetic times”. Their new record sees them taking American roots music in a wild new direction, merging free improvisation and bluegrass/americana. For a taster of the album, check out the three singles they had previously shared, ‘Orange Blossom Bullet Train’ ft. Billy Martin, ‘Black Berry’ ft. Sarah Bernstein and ‘Morning Zephyr Waltz’. Speaking about ‘Orange Blossom Bullet Train’, Harmet described it as “an attempt to push that concept as far as it will go with the bullet train tearing into effect-laden noise territory and strange new dissonant turns.” Talking about the second single, ‘Black Berry’, he said he likes “to think of this as an evil twin commentary on the twin fiddle tradition, prizing dissonance, texture, and individuality over pleasing harmonic movements and blend.”
‘Black Berry’ and ‘Morning Zephyr Waltz’ come with accompanying videos made by Harmet, the latter filmed a week ago in the now quiet streets of Brooklyn. Take a gander below.
Haley Fohr has embraced again her fictional alter ego Jackie Lynn, now reincarnated as a “lady of the road”, and announced a new album, Jacqueline. After sharing two exciting previews with singles, ‘Casino Queen’ and ‘Shugar Water’, and with the album now nearing release, Jackie Lynn entices us again a new single, ‘Dream St.’. The track has been paired with a video, shot by Tim Breene, who explained that “Jackie Lynn taxis through her past on the corridor of dreams. A vortex rippling on the windshield. A memory sparked in a cloud of smoke. Driven by unseen forces with an armload of flowers. This was shot on a screen and drawn on paper. Flat surfaces in deep space.”
Speaking about the track, Haley Fohr had this to say :
“I first wrote “Dream St.” as an ode to my favorite street in Chicago, Ogden Drive. It is one of the few streets in the city that runs on a diagonal. On a good day you can catch a nice steady flow and shave minutes off of your commute. It also used to be a part of Route 66. I can’t help but wonder if my very distinct attraction to the flow of Ogden isn’t correlated to the deep historic stream that has been going down on that specific stretch of land for decades.
‘In transit’ means to pass through, and often times it’s a situation where my body has no choice but to remain stationary, so my mind picks up the slack. In this moment of in-between-ness is where I am able to find my deepest imagination, my most intimate secrets, and my longest narrative. Everything about the making of ‘Dream St.’ was easy. I wrote it in a breeze, and we tracked it all live in an evening. Julie Pomerleau and Bobby Conn did a fantastic job with the strings, and the session was such a dream in itself…
Right now everything seems hard. In a time when we are all in our own cabins tucked away (yet in transit), I hope that this song can help alleviate any inner concerns one may have in isolation.”
Synth wizard and composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has kept herself busy in recent years, with various projects. Following her 2017 wonderful and kaleidoscopic record The Kid, she founded multidisciplinary imprint Touchtheplants, through which she released Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga, and the first volumes in her instrumental Electronic Series and pocket-sized poetry books. Smith also continued her sonic exploration of electronic instruments and the link between the physical body and sound and colour. Nurtured by these interests and ventures, Smith has a new album on the way, releasing on May 15th through Ghostly International. Titled The Mosaic of Transformation, Smith describes it as her “expression of love and appreciation for electricity”. The press release notes that “she embraced a daily practice of physical movement, passing electricity through her body and into motion, in ways reflecting her audio practice, which sends currents through modular synthesizers and into the air through speakers.” Smith also described her experience:
“The inspiration came to me in a sudden bubble of joy. It was accompanied by a multitude of shapes that were moving seamlessly from one into the other…My movement practice has been a constant transformation piece by piece. I made this album in the same way. Every day I would transform what I did yesterday…into something else. This album has gone through about 12 different versions of itself.”
In anticipation of the album release, Smith has shared the celestial closing track, ‘Expanding Electricity’, clocking in at 10 minutes. Take a listen.
Get ready to dance to the brand new single from NZCA LINES, the project of producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lovett. Entitled ‘Pure Luxury’, the track marks his first single in four years and is inspired by the environmental crisis, in particular his experience of a Manhattan heatwave in February. He had this to say about it:
“It’s a sadistic joyride set in penthouse suites where the gold trim hides a rotting plywood facade, muscle cars are bought with credit cards and barbed wire fences separate luxury resorts from the slums beyond their walls. The fantasy of attainment in a world that has no future.”
‘Pure Luxury’ is an insanely infectious, high-energy track guaranteed to rock the dance floor. The single is out now through Memphis Industries and you can listen to it below.
We’re just a few days away from the release of Music For Film, the new album from Polish contemporary classical composer Michal Jacaszek. For nearly two decades, Jacaszek has composed and contributed to numerous albums and projects, including film music. The forthcoming Music For Film is a collection of tracks spanning a decade and varied films and commissions, including the 2019 documentary He Dreams of Giants, the 2008 project Golgota wrocławska and Rainer Sarnet’s 2017 film November.
Ahead of the album release this Friday March 27th through Ghostly International, Jacaszek has shared a fittingly gorgeous and arresting video featuring excerpts from November. Watch it below.