22.05.2020 news

Trixie Mattel Announces ‘Vinyl Experience’ Exclusive Concert

Singer, actor, drag queen and renowned “Skinny Legend” Trixie Mattel presents a “Vinyl Experience,” an exclusive, intimate livestream concert on Saturday, May 30th at 7pm PT for fans who order her new album Barbara on vinyl.

 

PURCHASE YOUR BARBARA VINYL WITH CONCERT ENTRY HERE IN THE ATO SHOP

 

Barbara vinyl purchases made before 11:59pm ET on Thursday 5/28 will grant customer free access to event. All previous orders of Barbara vinyl from ATO Records will be honored!

 

This event is exclusively for vinyl customers. One ticket per order regardless on how many vinyl are purchased. Regular tickets will not be for sale.

 

About Barbara:

 

15.05.2020 news

Nick Hakim Releases New Album ‘WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD’

Today, Nick Hakim releases his sophomore album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD. The new album features a slew of Hakim’s previously released singles including the delicate and melancholic “BOUNCING,” Pitchfork Best New Track selection “QADIR” and the Mac DeMarco assisted “CRUMPY” and arrives after his NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.

 

WATCH “QADIR” (OFFICIAL VIDEO) BELOW
While WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is distinctly Nick Hakim, it does represent a tonal shift from 2017’s Green Twins that reflects the ideas with which he grappled while making the record. To prepare listeners for the experience, Hakim shares the following statement about the record:

“I feel the people simmering, on our way to the boiling point. There’s a lot of madness going on around us and this world can feel so cold. It can get hard to remember what makes it worth it. The people around me and the music I love helps.

 

For a while, I couldn’t write. I worked on new music but couldn’t find the right words. But that time was just a build-up to the three months of expression that led to this album. I hope this music will raise awareness about where we are right now. About how we are living on this planet. About how we treat our neighbors. About community. About depression. About what can heal us and what can’t. About overmedication, overstimulation and manipulation. About respecting and loving the people around us, because one day they won’t be here-or you won’t.

 

But it’s also true that I’m still trying to figure this record out. People have told me that it’s confusing or that it’s messy-that’s fine. There’s so much pressure on artists to commit to being one thing, or to restrict an album to exploring just one subject or sound. But my life isn’t like that, and so my music can’t be like that either. I’m not thinking about this music as a product to be bought and sold, or how I’ll buy your interest. This is my world; a lot of friends touched this record, and that makes me feel lucky and proud. These songs are glimpses into my community. I’m exploring, but I’m not alone. It’s a journey in progress; it’s an experiment, every day.”

 
 

04.05.2020 news

Amyl and The Sniffers Release Live at The Croxton 7″ EP

Amyl and The Sniffers have released Live At The Croxton, a 7-inch featuring explosive live versions of three fan-favorite songs, recorded at the Melbourne punk rockers’ favorite hometown venue last fall. Capturing the band’s notoriously electrifying performances, Live At The Croxton is exactly the kind of record a live music-starved world needs right now. Live At The Croxton is available to buy and stream HERE. All three tracks on the 7-inch – “Control,” “Gacked On Anger,” and “Shake Ya” – are found on Amyl and The Sniffers self-titled debut album, out now on ATO Records.

 

Amyl and The Sniffers are also sharing the accompanying Croxton live videos for “Gacked On Anger” and “Shake Ya” today. The band previously released the live video for “Control,” which had Vice raving, “Melbourne four-piece Amyl & The Sniffers make rock ‘n’ roll ferocity seem effortless… chock-full of muscular, rambunctious riffs and singer Amy Taylor’s wholly anarchic energy.”

01.05.2020 news

Chicano Batman’s New Album ‘Invisible People’ Is Out Today

Chicano Batman’s New Album ‘Invisible People’ Is Out Today

 

Chicano Batman’s highly anticipated new album ‘Invisible People’ is out today. The album channels the kinetic spirit of Los Angeles into a wildly shapeshifting sound, ultimately finding an unstoppable joy in following Chicano Batman’s most outrageous instincts. While ‘Invisible People’ mines inspiration from krautrock acts like Can and Neu! and the Nigerian synth-funk of William Onyeabor, it also embodies elements of hip-hop and R&B—especially in its endless barrage of addictive hooks and hard-hitting beats.

 

Watch Their Performance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert #playathome series

 

Listen/share here: http://smarturl.it/invisiblepeople

 

“This album is an evolution from our last one in that we put much more thought in our approach to the songwriting and production before hitting record,” guitarist of Chicano Batman Carlos Arévalo says. “We went in with a plan that helped guide the musical direction. We demoed songs for over a year before going into the studio as well. In the past, we’d pool some songs together, rehearse them for a few weeks and go in and simply record them. This time we had a much more elaborate MO; replace organs with synthesizers, make the guitars funkier, and have the drums and bass play beats that make your head bob up and down.

 

 

For the album, the band worked with Shawn Everett, the GRAMMY-award winning mixing engineer known for his work with Alabama Shakes, War on Drugs, Kacey Musgraves, and Julian Casablancas. With Leon Michels’ (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Lee Fields & The Expressions) producing and Everett’s mixing steering the record’s direction, the band’s lush sound has become a more pointed, densely layered soundscape. ‘Invisible People’ is an illuminating and encapsulating listen, one that hasn’t lost the essence that put Chicano Batman on the map and makes a stirring point about the times we’re living in.

 

The album’s lead track “Color my life” was lauded by Rolling Stone as a “tropicalia-infused thesis on a utopian world where factors like race, gender and class do not preclude the potential for human connection and solidarity” and garnered support from Rivers Cuomo and Danger Mouse.

 

‘Invisible People’ Tracklisting:

  1. Color my life
  2. Blank Slate
  3. I Know It
  4. Invisible People
  5. Manuel’s Story
  6. Moment of Joy
  7. Pink Elephant
  8. Polymetronomic Harmony
  9. The Way
  10. The Prophet
  11. Bella
  12. Wounds

 

CHICANO BATMAN ON THE WEB:

https://www.instagram.com/chicanobatman/

https://www.facebook.com/chicanobatman/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX_d31bxww8NGANPDV_yuRw

24.04.2020 news

King Gizzard’s “Chunky Shrapnel” Out Now Digitally + LP Pre-Orders Shipping May 1st

CHUNKY SHRAPNEL

VOMIT BOMB EDITION  🤮 💣

PRE-ORDER HERE

DETAILS

2 LP’s in a deluxe gatefold jacket (heavy silver reflective mirrorboard w/spot matte and gloss printing)

Opaque gold colored vinyl with a heavy black splatter

Obi strip w/gold foil

Custom inner-sleeves

All LP pre-orders come w/one of two Chunky Shrapnel movie posters

 

Chunky Shrapnel features 13 live performances hand-picked from the band’s 2019 European tour and includes a musical score written by Stu Mackenzie that adds a ‘magical touch of alien melancholy’ throughout the record. It’s an adrenaline fueled psychedelic trip that captures the energy of a live concert while also creating something tailored and unique to King Gizzard.

 

Chunky Shrapnel track list:
1. Evil Star
2. The River (Live in Luxembourg ’19)
3. Wah Wah (Live in Madrid ’19)
4. Road Train (Live in Manchester ’19)
5. Murder Of The Universe (Live in Utrecht ’19)
6. Quarantine
7. Planet B (Live in London ’19)
8. Parking (Live in Brussels ’19)
9. Venusian 2 (Live in Milan ’19)
10. Hell (Live in Milan ’19)
11. Let Me Mend The Past (Live in Madrid ’19)
12. Anamnesis
13. Inner Cell (Live in Utrecht ’19)
14. Loyalty (Live in Utrecht ’19)
15. Horology (Live in Utrecht ’19)
16. A Brief History Of Planet Earth (Live in London, Berlin, Utrecht and Barcelona ’19)

24.04.2020 news

Other Lives’ New Album “For Their Love” Out Now

Buy on LP / CD / Digital

Other Lives have just released their long-awaited new album For Their Love.  Following 2015’s Rituals, For Their Love is a ten-track collection that finds frontman Jesse Tabish displaying a more candid narrative both in general and on a more personal level.  It’s Other Lives most evocative, awestruck, and intimate record yet, invested with a new vein of poetic thought addressing the individual and society in these turbulent times.  Tabish says of the record…

“the album is a record reflecting human feeling in the current state of affairs. Economy and politics on the individual, while the latter still has to deal with the basic struggles of finding meaning of their existence. Money, love, and death are always real and hard to cope with; what does the individual chose to make these larger themes of life easier to deal with. The record speaks in realness, questions, observing, lamenting and hopefully finding the slightest of hope in themselves; these characters sometimes venturing out into spiritual, religious or institutionalized endeavors. In my personal hope, only finding their self-worth being more important than anything than what has been taught or preached to them”

 

 

The album takes its name from one of the earlier tracks written for the album. “Something about the title feels both inclusive and also of a larger scene,” explains Other Lives’ creative lynchpin and frontman, Jesse Tabish. “The song also embodied the direction we wanted to take.”

 

In terms of Other Lives’ narrative, the direction For Their Love followed is partly a return while embodying a new chapter.  The story began in the town of Stillwater in 2009, with Other Lives’ self-titled debut, produced by Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M, Atoms For Peace), followed by Tamer Animals, broadening their horizons with dazzling orchestration and instrumentation that reflected Tabish’s love of minimalism, neo-classical music and soundtrack genius, Ennio Morricone.

 

The band’s core trio of Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, lead vocals), Jonathon Mooney (piano, violin, guitar, percussion, trumpet) and Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion, guitar, backing vocals) then moved out west to Portland. “Stillwater is a college town and being perpetually surrounded by 21-year-olds eventually got to me,” Tabish recalls. “And we’d always liked Portland and its politics.”

 

In their new north-western base, the band made their third album, Rituals, released in 2015. The exquisitely ornate 54-minute, 14-track opus further pushed the boundaries of the band’s compositional ambitions, infusing a subtle use of electronics. At the same time, “working with a computer means you can layer parts forever,” Tabish reflects. “I’d forgotten how to pick up a guitar and sing a song, to be more physical and primal with the music. On For Their Love, we’re playing again as a band, with a clear definition of parts.”

 

It helped that the band had reconnected again with rural life when Tabish left Portland, renting a friend’s beautiful A-frame house in Oregon’s Cooper Mountain region, surrounded by towering trees and no neighbours in sight. In this bucolic setting, the trio set about making For Their Love.

 

“My wife, Kim, and I moving to this house and making a new life and music together was a huge part of this record,” Tabish says. “I found there was too much distraction in Portland, but here we could dedicate ourselves to work. I found that I returned to my music vocabulary in a natural way, using certain types of chords or keys, and also the way I sing. Living with roommates in Portland, I was too shy to sing in front of them. But here, I felt free.”

 

The sense of freedom and togetherness carried over to the way For Their Love was made: from start to finish, it’s Other Lives’ most collaborative album. This includes the contributions of Rituals drummer, Danny Reisch and of Kim Tabish, whose layered backing vocals amplify the album’s cinematic aura. “We really set out to make a band record,” Tabish says. This extended to self-producing for the first time since 2006 – Mooney also engineered the album.

 

As For Their Love came together, the band avoided re-working and refining tracks (as they had on Rituals), choosing instead to record different arrangements of songs, “to capture the vibe of something more instant,” Tabish explains. “We were adamant that For Their Love would have no tricks, and nothing to hide behind, which we’d been doing psychologically as well as musically. We wanted ten songs that held up by themselves.”

 

Part of Tabish’s personal efforts to emerge from ‘hiding’ was re-engaging with the outside world, “getting real with myself,” as he puts it. A tight band of friends, the band had many conversations about the current state of affairs; to that end, For Their  Love’s lyrics “question, observe, lament and hopefully find the slightest hope in the individual and in ourselves. Characters sometimes venture into spiritual, religious or institutionalised endeavours – though I’ve personally found that self-worth is more important than any teachings or preaching.”

 

‘Sound Of Violence’, the opening track, is one of the album’s most vivid laments, recalling the awestruck Wild West aura of Tamer Animals highlight ‘For 12’ but with a more sobering lyric: “There is no room for an individual outcry in order to exist in the current way of life,” Tabish says. The exquisitely desolate ‘Dead Language’ makes Tabish’s resignation even more palpable. “I feel like I’m an outsider these days,” he admits. “Though that’s not always bad, because you can observe and judge by your own morals.”

 

But by the band’s own morals, the current world feels bereft. ‘Hey Hey I’ is the sound of Other Lives at their most upbeat and liberated but the lyric addresses, “the paradigm of the downtrodden working class. The American Dream is dead. You bought into the system but it does not pan out.”  The emotion driving ‘Who’s Gonna Love Us’ is one of seeking community and security in this increasingly unstable world. ‘Lost Day’ is similarly unmoored, written on tour, “when we were on the road forever, and we didn’t feel human anymore.” As Tabish developed the lyric, more feelings of dislocation merged: “My fear that the intellectual is dying out, and religion is rising.”

 

Yet the album’s darkest hour is the penultimate track. ‘We Wait’ is inspired by a real incident, when 17-year old Jesse was a founder member of emo rockers All-American Rejects, and his best friend was murdered by someone within the band’s inner circle. “It’s been haunting me for the last decade,” Tabish admits. “It’s part of my larger narrative of dealing with troubling stuff in my life.”

 

With Tabish and Other Lives as a whole re-centring their lives and music, For Their Love suitably ends on a note of hope. A serene ballad, ’Sideways’ is an acknowledgement that the world is dark but light exists. “It was the first song we wrote at this house, for Kim, when she was abroad,” says Tabish. “It’s good to leave on something more positive, less cynical.”

 

Out of personal and creative uncertainty and recalibration, Other Lives have re-emerged, a must-have pastoral sensation reborn.

 

Ends

22.04.2020 news

Thad Cockrell Announces Album ‘If in Case You Feel the Same’, Out June 26th & Releases Single “Swingin'”

Thad Cockrell Announces Album If in Case You Feel the Same, out June 26th and Releases Single “Swingin'”

 

Produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), album features contributions from Brittany Howard, Blake Mills, Chris Dave, Matt Chamberlain, Ethan Gruska and Ian Fitchuk

 

Thad Cockrell will release album If in Case You Feel the Same on June 26th. Produced mainly by Tony Berg (an industry veteran who’s worked with everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to the Replacements), If in Case You Feel the Same taps into the tremendous depth of expression Thad has brought to co-writing for such artists as Joy Williams (on her GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album Front Porch), Joseph, Devon Gilfillian and Mathew Caws of Nada Surf, as well as his much beloved band LEAGUES. Buoyed by the support of Brittany Howard, whom he first met over a 4 a.m. pitcher of homemade margaritas, Cockrell set to work on his first solo effort in over a decade: an album that exposes his deepest insecurities and weaknesses, all for the sake of creating a transcendent connection with the audience.

 

WATCH “SWINGIN'” (OFFICIAL AUDIO) BELOW

 

Mixed and engineered by Shawn Everett (Vampire Weekend, Beck, The War on Drugs), the album features an all-star backing band appearing on various songs throughout – Howard (backing vocals on album standout “Higher”), Blake Mills (guitar), Chris Dave (drums), Matt Chamberlain (drums), Ethan Gruska (piano, synths), Ian Fitchuk (multiple instruments). If in Case You Feel the Same pushes beyond the understated country of Cockrell’s earliest work to illuminate his more idiosyncratic impulses. In dreaming up the album’s thrillingly unpredictable sonic palette, Cockrell built off a batch of recordings he’d self-produced in Nashville with the help of some of his closest musician-friends. Upon heading to Berg’s L.A. studio (then to the legendary Sound City) to complete the production process, he then took care to preserve the intimacy of those original recordings, lending the album a raw vitality that exponentially magnifies its emotional power.

 

Throughout If in Case You Feel the Same, Cockrell reveals his rare ability to create songs that instantly hit on a visceral level, yet subtly invite intense contemplation. Cockrell even created an inadvertent anthem for our current pandemic-focused lives with the album’s heavy-hearted yet triumphant lead single “Swingin’,” which features Gruska on synths. The song swells into its wildly defiant chorus, where Cockrell sings “If I’m gonna go down/I wanna go down swingin’.” “What more fitting time than now to bring people together with a sense of feeling the same,” says Cockrell. “And we’re gonna get through this together by fighting for each other. If we’re gonna go down, let’s go down swinging.”

 

There’s a palpable sense of communion that infuses all of If in Case You Feel the Same, including Cockrell’s collaborations with Howard. An ardent fan of the Alabama Shakes frontwoman, Cockrell first linked up with Howard thanks to a wholly unexpected introduction from his dear friend, singer/songwriter Becca Mancari. “I never wanted Becca to feel like a pass-through, so I put it out into the universe that if I was meant to meet Britt, it would just happen someday,” says Cockrell. One very late night while hanging out with Howard, Mancari shared some recordings of Cockrell’s songs, which then prompted Howard to hijack Mancari’s phone and send Cockrell a text professing her love for his music. “Twenty minutes later they’re walking into my house, and I’m making mezcal margaritas and playing Britt songs from the new album,” says Cockrell. “At some point she said me, ‘I never like anything, but I love all of this.’” Soon enough, Howard had sent Cockrell’s demos to ATO Records general manager Jon Salter, thus paving the way for his signing to the label.

 

With its subtle suggestion of emotional risk and possible reward, the album’s title came to Cockrell as a sudden revelation while walking through Nashville’s Shelby Bottoms in the middle of the winter. “I was looking for a concept that was big enough to house all these different songs and ideas, and when that title struck me I got chills,” he says. “I love the inclusivity of it: how it holds space for oneself, but also holds space for others.”

 

 

 

https://www.thisisthad.com/

https://twitter.com/thadcockrell

https://www.facebook.com/ThadCockrellMusic

https://www.instagram.com/thad_cockrell/

http://rekroommedia.com/thadcockrell

 

02.04.2020 news

King Gizzard Announce “Chunky Shrapnel” Album & Feature Length Film

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are excited to announce that their new double-LP live album CHUNKY SHRAPNEL will be released digitally on April 24th and available in US record stores on May 29th!

 

Pre-orders will be available in ATO’s online store at 6pm EST on April 9th, check back and don’t miss out on our “Vomit Bomb” edition! 🤮 💣

 

 

This double-LP live album features 13 live performances hand-picked from the band’s 2019 European tour and includes a musical score written by Stu Mackenzie that adds a ‘magical touch of alien melancholy’ throughout the record. Chunky Shrapnel is an adrenaline fueled psychedelic trip that captures the energy of a live concert while also creating something tailored and unique to King Gizzard.

 

The band has also announced a feature-length motion picture by the same name that follows King Gizzard’s adrenaline-inducing onstage performances from the perspective of the band. The film is accompanied by a double LP featuring the music from the film, which was recorded throughout the band’s 2019 European tour. The film will premiere on Friday, April 17 via an online live-stream — watch the trailer and purchase tickets to the premiere HERE.

“John Stewart (director of Chunky Shrapnel) followed us around for a few weeks through Europe,” says the band’s Stu Mackenzie. “It was fun and funny and wild and weird. Sometimes an inconspicuous fly on the wall, sometimes an intrusive camera man one inch from my face. Always exciting though. Chunky Shrapnel was made for the cinema but as both concerts and films are currently outlawed, it feels poetic to release a concert-film digitally right now.”

 

 

A musical road movie dipped in turpentine, Chunky Shrapnel is a point of view / on stage experience from the perspective of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Once a song begins, just like the band, you’re stuck in the adrenaline-fueled quicksand that there is no escape from. The film’s contention is clear from the outset, it’s going to be a “journey” not a “lecture”, an incurved experience rather than a linear one.

 

The band, nor the film-makers, were interested in making a self congratulatory “behind the scenes expose” film. It was a direct decision to keep the inner workings of the band’s personality at arms length, it is the music they were interested in exploring. The approach was taken that the film’s protagonist should be the “on stage” performances, that was the focus. With this, they abandoned multiple cameras and cross cutting during performances, turning the camera into a vehicle for the audience to experience the show through, rather than placing them in a crowd or side of stage. At 96 minutes, Chunky Shrapnel more than earns its length. At times gently holding your hand and at other times smashing a bottle over your head and dumping your body in a heaving crowd. There is an inevitability to the film, a driving, ever accelerating spiral that climaxes in a 15 minute medley that spans four countries.

Chunky Shrapnel is directed by John Angus Stewart and scored by Stu Mackenzie.

 

Chunky Shrapnel album track list:
1. Evil Star
2. The River (Live in Luxembourg ’19)
3. Wah Wah (Live in Madrid ’19)
4. Road Train (Live in Manchester ’19)
5. Murder Of The Universe (Live in Utrecht ’19)
6. Quarantine
7. Planet B (Live in London ’19)
8. Parking (Live in Brussels ’19)
9. Venusian 2 (Live in Milan ’19)
10. Hell (Live in Milan ’19)
11. Let Me Mend The Past (Live in Madrid ’19)
12. Anamnesis
13. Inner Cell (Live in Utrecht ’19)
14. Loyalty (Live in Utrecht ’19)
15. Horology (Live in Utrecht ’19)
16. A Brief History Of Planet Earth (Live in London, Berlin, Utrecht and Barcelona ’19)

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
LIVE 2020
10/3 – Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA &
10/5 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, WA
10/7 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
10/9 – Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Indio, CA
10/12 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO &
10/13 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO &
10/16 – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA
10/18 – Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA
10/19 – The Anthem – Washington, DC
10/22 – Franklin Music Hall – Philadelphia, PA
10/23 – Kings Theatre – Brooklyn, NY
10/25 – L’Olympia – Montreal, QC
10/27 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Toronto, ON
10/28 – Masonic Temple – Detroit, MI
10/29 – Radius – Chicago, IL
10/30 – The Palace Theatre – St. Paul, MN

& – Marathon Set shows
All headline dates w/ Leah Senior

31.03.2020 news

Nick Hakim Announces New Album ‘WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD’ + Releases Music Video For “QADIR”

NICK HAKIM ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM

 

SHARES NEW SONG AND VIDEO “QADIR”

 

WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD OUT MAY 15TH

 

 

“QADIR”

WATCH: https://youtu.be/PqzFi6PwTGA

LISTEN: https://smarturl.it/NickHakim_QADIR

 

PRE-ORDER: WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD

https://smarturl.it/NickHakim_WTMMG

 

Today, Nick Hakim announces his new album and shares its first single. WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is out May 15th and is the follow up to his critically-acclaimed 2017 debut Green Twins. “QADIR,” releasing today, is a fitting introduction into this new era. The song arrives with a Nelson Nance-directed visual which finds Hakim in moments of solitude in the forest and in solidarity amongst his community.

 

The nearly eight minute cut is the heart of the album and the first song he wrote for the record, made as an ode to his late friend and a reminder to check in on your loved ones. “If I really sink into a recording, I don’t want it to end,” Hakim says. “[‘QADIR’] is repetitive and hypnotizing, like a trance — that’s intentional. The song is my ode to him. It’s my attempt to relate to how he must have been feeling.”

 

 

While WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is distinctly Nick Hakim, it does represent a tonal shift from Green Twins that reflects the ideas with which he grappled while making the record. To prepare listeners for the experience, Hakim shares the following statement about the record:

 

“I feel the people simmering, on our way to the boiling point. There’s a lot of madness going on around us and this world can feel so cold. It can get hard to remember what makes it worth it. The people around me and the music I love helps.

For a while, I couldn’t write. I worked on new music but couldn’t find the right words. But that time was just a build-up to the three months of expression that led to this album. I hope this music will raise awareness about where we are right now. About how we are living on this planet. About how we treat our neighbors. About community. About depression. About what can heal us and what can’t. About overmedication, overstimulation and manipulation. About respecting and loving the people around us, because one day they won’t be here-or you won’t.

 

 

But it’s also true that I’m still trying to figure this record out. People have told me that it’s confusing or that it’s messy-that’s fine. There’s so much pressure on artists to commit to being one thing, or to restrict an album to exploring just one subject or sound. But my life isn’t like that, and so my music can’t be like that either. I’m not thinking about this music as a product to be bought and sold, or how I’ll buy your interest. This is my world; a lot of friends touched this record, and that makes me feel lucky and proud. These songs are glimpses into my community. I’m exploring, but I’m not alone. It’s a journey in progress; it’s an experiment, every day.”

 

About Nick Hakim:

 

Confusion. Repetition. Musical hypnosis and drum patterns. Hope. Cities underwater. Kindness. The texture of a community. Care. For the last couple years this is some of what’s occupied Nick Hakim. The New York-based musician works out of a pleasantly cluttered loft studio in Ridgewood, and like so much of the city, it’s a neighborhood of deep history that’s in flux; if you spend even a little time there you might start to wonder about what the future holds, and what it means to be someone’s neighbor. Hakim’s been wondering about it, and his new album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is something like a response.

 

In 2017, Hakim’s debut album, the critically acclaimed Green Twins, announced the singer-songwriter as an idiosyncratic talent, making music that resists genre classification. You could work a song of his into an HBO original series, as Insecure did; you could smoke to it and wonder about your ego; you could slow dance with the person you love-it’s not versatility, so much as a lack of boundaries and a strong sense of intuition. It drew on the music Hakim listened to growing up in Washington D.C. with his older brother and parents, who emigrated to the States from Peru:  American soul music and political folk from South America; Go-go and hardcore.

 

The time since Green Twins has been complicated; you can hear it in the swirling sprawl of his sophomore release WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD. Hakim lost a notebook of new songs during a trip overseas not long after Green Twins came out. He tried to recall from memory those drafts and the fight to do so resulted in writer’s block. Musical ideas still came and he worked with his peers, some including Onyx Collective, Anderson .Paak, Jesse and Forever, Lianne La Havas, and Slingbaum-but when it came time to write his own songs, lyrics eluded him. Then a childhood friend passed away.

 

“He was a little younger than me, but we had a similar path,” Hakim says. “We both had trouble in school and switched schools a lot. He was the youngest in his family and his older sisters asked me to watch out for him.” Affected deeply by his passing, Hakim struggled to articulate his feelings in the wake of the tragedy.

 

He recalls advice from a close collaborator, Andrew Sarlo, who told him during this difficult period, “Pretend there’s no audience. Don’t think about an outside perspective.” By turning inward, Hakim found a way to express himself and the first song that emerged addressed his departed friend. “QADIR” is the longest song in Hakim’s catalogue; it’s the heart of WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD, originally an 11-minute epic that builds to a shattering vocal performance accompanied by a ten-person chorus. “If I really sink into a recording, I don’t want it to end,” Hakim says. “It’s repetitive and hypnotizing, like a trance-that’s intentional. The song is my ode to him. It’s my attempt to relate to how he must have been feeling.”

 

He sings about how “there’s a complexity to being kind”-to yourself, to your space, to your community. “That’s a direct reflection of the neighborhoods that I’ve experienced across the East Coast, from Washington D.C. to Baltimore to Philadelphia to New York to Boston-all places I have ties to,” he explains. Accepting everyone around you is a daily task; it’s also a reminder to keep close the people you love, because nothing is promised. “When I heard of Qadir’s passing I hadn’t checked in on him in a while,” Hakim admits. “I say ‘we’ in the first verse of ‘QADIR’ but I really feel like I’m talking to myself.”

 

WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is a question Hakim has asked himself since he was young and struggling in school, when he was prescribed medication in an attempt to correct his wayward attention. It’s a question he still wonders about, and if the album sounds messy, it’s because there are no easy answers to its query. “I’m still trying to figure out what the record is about,” he says. One thing’s for certain though-it is a reflection of what’s happening in his head as he sorts through his life and the tumult around the globe that can’t help but seep in. WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD articulates a sense of confusion alongside a desire for hope and clarity. Another bravura epic, “Bouncing” describes sleepless nights spent looking for some calm. “It’s such a dark climate these days,” Hakim says, “with what’s going on politically and how immigrants are being treated here in the US. The travel ban, the camps.”

 

“Sinking down these thoughts at night,” he sings on “BOUNCING” over heavy drums and distortion, his voice a pinched whisper. Across the album, Hakim treats his voice like an instrument to be played in various ways. “All These Instruments,” which was written with his brother, Danny, is a moment where his vocals rings clear. Hakim sings over delicate acoustic guitar about the “strange powers” musical instruments have. “It’s been so damn hard to find some peace/In a world that’s so damn cold and mean,” he sings.

 

If there’s any possibility of reprieve from that coldness and meanness, it’s in fingers on guitar strings, in the voice of someone you love, close to your ear. That’s something that could make any of us good, if only for a spell.

27.03.2020 news

Margaret Glaspy’s New Album ‘Devotion’ Out Today

 

Performing on CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions Tomorrow, March 28

 

 

“Margaret Glaspy has evolved. Devotion… sways with the confidence of knowing that whichever decision you make is the right one, no matter what.” – MTV

 

Devotion is a study in contrasts and cohesion: each song sounds further afield from Emotions and Math, yet every verse fortifies Glaspy’s voice and the vulnerability she chooses to embrace in life, love and a world gone mad.” – BILLBOARD

 

“Margaret Glaspy’s songs are deeply personal, often peppered with humor and heartache.” – NPR MUSIC

 

“Margaret Glaspy stun[s] us with her commanding guitar work and penchant for amorous songwriting.” – STEREOGUM

 

“Building on a well-received debut, and taking a bold step in a new direction… It’s an impressive feat that Glaspy manages to do both at once.” – PASTE

 

“Over the course of 12 songs, Glaspy takes listeners through the full spectrum of heart-centric matter, from in-love to lovelorn, and it’s all connected through consistently excellent vocal work and a bold sonic landscape.” – NO DEPRESSION

 

“Twelve love songs that unflinchingly delve into the tender heart and dark underbelly of relationships, commitment, and romance.” – UPROXX

 

“Under all the new technique… is the same powerful singer-songwriter who won fans over in the first place.” – CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

 

Margaret Glaspy is thrilled to celebrate the release of her sophomore album Devotion, out today. Praised as “starkly beautiful” (Rolling Stone) and an “exhilarating departure from her previous work” (American Songwriter), Devotion finds the New York singer/songwriter daringly exploring new sonic textures while still showcasing the incredible guitar skills and candid songwriting that first endeared her to fans and critics. “The biggest centerpiece for the record is a sense of vulnerability and earnestness,” Glaspy recently told Uproxx in an interview. “My little corner that I found was most interesting was being vulnerable, where you can just say how you feel and not create boundaries around it.”

 

LISTEN TO DEVOTION HERE

 

Today Margaret also shares a new live video of her performing her plaintive single “Stay With Me” at Atomic Studios in Brooklyn’s Red Hook — the same studio where the album was recorded — alongside keyboardist Eric Lane and drummer Tim Kuhl. Watch “Stay With Me (Live)” below and don’t miss the previously released live version of “Devotion” and the official music video for “Killing What Keeps Us Alive.”

 

 

 

Don’t miss Margaret Glaspy performing “Killing What Keeps Us Alive,” “Stay With Me,” and “Devotion” on CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessionstomorrow, March 28 at 7-9am ET. Margaret and her band worked with the CBS crew to record a socially distanced session at The Bridge Studio inBrooklyn.

 

 

MORE ON DEVOTION:

 

 

On Margaret Glaspy’s long-awaited second album, Devotion, this highly acclaimed young artist reaffirms her status as one of the most sharp-eyed singer-songwriters of her generation while managing to fearlessly reinvent her sound. The results are as exhilarating and defy expectations.

 

 

Coming home after nearly three years on the road in support of her 2016 debut album Emotions and Math and the 2018 follow-up EP Born Yesterday, Glaspywas eager to challenge herself as an artist and start to make a new album with a clean aesthetic slate. Her bold experimentation has paid off, with tunes that are her most melodically confident, rhythmically compelling, and often incredibly romantic. The arrangements are unexpectedly lush at times, especially on the torchy “Heartbreak,” and often boast an impressive groove, on such tracks as “You’ve Got My Number” and the title song, “Devotion.” Glaspy announces her radical approach at the very start of Devotion, where digitally altered voices serve as the prelude to “Killing What Keeps Us Alive,” and she fills the album with surprising sonic touches, right up to the haunting electronics-and-voice soundscape of album closer “Consequence.”

 

 

On Devotion, Glaspy has not only transformed but evolved. The distinctive personality that marked Emotions and Math is still very much in evidence here. On her debut, Glaspy could be bracingly direct as she chronicled the trials of being alone or the tribulations of being together. She brought swagger, as well as sensitivity, to her lyrics and her performances. On Devotion, she still does, but her perspective has changed: “This record is very different from the last. It’s not about being righteous or all-knowing, it’s about letting love in even when you don’t know what will happen when you do. It’s about devoting your heart to someone or something, against all odds.“

 

 

Glaspy toured throughout the USA, Europe, China and Australia behind Emotions & Math including dates with Wilco and The Lumineers among others – she also appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk, CBS Saturday Morning and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Finding herself in her Brooklyn apartment after all of her travels, Glaspy admits, “It was such a shift for me that I didn’t know what to do with myself when I closed that chapter. I was feeling pretty shy. I like to be alone and I had constantly been around people for two or three years straight. I took a long breath, reorienting myself, trying to find my in to get inspired and to get excited about making records again.”

 

 

Glaspy enlisted L.A.-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Chester, who has collaborated with Blake Mills and Jackson Browne among many others, to produce Devotion – recorded at Atomic Sound in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where they recorded the bulk of Devotion. “Tyler and I proved to be a very good match in the studio. I love being very hands-on with my records and he was a force of nature without restricting my sense of what the record should be. His instincts and ability are truly inspiring.” They brought in Glaspy’s touring drummer Tim Kuhl to complete the picture with his brilliantly artful and austere sense of the kit paired with Chester’s programming. Brooklyn based engineer, Mark Goodell captured these performances masterfully and James Krausse (Los Angeles) mixed Devotion in a way that Margaret says “she has always envisioned her music sounding like.”

 

 

“It has been amazing to be able to stretch out, to not define myself just by the music I make, but to follow my nose toward all the things that make me happy.” A good example being Glaspy enlisting herself in distance education through Harvard University to fulfill her dream of getting an education outside of music. “Embracing being a student has made me feel like a child again and I think that has helped to propel my music forward so much more. My brain feels happy.”

 

 

Devotion, then, is like a series of hard-earned life lessons. Glaspy’s evolution over the last few years has been both musical and personal, which makes the album that much more compelling: “I’m learning that life is painful but you take the bad with the good; that love is hard but if you love someone, you make yourself available; that life is short and it’s okay to be sincere. I’m starting to be able to write about these things and it’s a feat for myself as an artist and growth for me as a person.”

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