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New Music Friday Chapter 32

Oct 2, 2020

By ALICE

After introducing the groovy “Awake” and the mesmerizing “Silver Lining”New Bleach once again reveals another facet of its personality with its new single “HIGH”

New Bleach’s Raphaël Potvin explains, “The visceral need to escape is at the heart of the creation of HIGH. This desire that sometimes translates into a road trip or the consumption of reality-transfiguring substances gave birth to this song that sounds like a collage of modern and vintage influences.”

To reinforce this transcendent state of mind, the band invites us on a trip through the synthetic sounds of the present combined with the organic textures of 70s rock. Over the aerial melodies of Yamaha’s legendary PS-20, moving rhythm and uplifting electric guitar tones, New Bleach shapes an expressionist love story against a psychedelic road-movie backdrop.New Bleach comprises of two members of the renowned francophone rock band Caravane, Dominic Pelletier and Raphaël Potvin. The pair have adopted a “home studio” approach to explore new sonic territory and create music that is contemporary yet intimate.Their debut single ‘Awake’, released in April 2020, quickly garnered thousands of streams and was featured on Spotify’s prestigious ‘Indie All Stars’ playlist alongside Tame Impala, Childish Gambino and Bon Iver. A few weeks later, the duo did it again with a second piece, “Silver Lining”, which also made its way onto digital platforms thanks to an original mix of various influences.  More new music is expected from the pair later this year. 

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Nashville singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lydia Luce recently released a new album, Dark River. Produced by Jordan Lehining (Andrew Combs, Caitlin Rose) it showcases Luce’s multi-instrumental vision with her performing viola prominently throughout and pulling from musical references that span her orchestral background to contemporary classical and indie rock. It is an intimate record of spellbinding strings, warm guitar tones and hypnotic vocals that share heart-rending stories of Luce’s growth in the past year. 

For Luce, work on Dark River, co-written by Raven Katz, began in the summer of 2019 after the break up of a tumultuous relationship. She decided to take a solo trip to the Pacific Northwest, hoping that the space would inspire the creative process for her next album. Between attempting a risky summit hike on Mount Saint Helen and even falling ill in the Colorado mountains, Luce did not do much writing, but she was able to face her feelings. Luce believes this isolation helped create the space for her personal stories of growth, heartache, and hope to appear clear in her mind. 

“Dark River,” the album’s title track and lead single, is about not letting others take your light and recognizing codependent relationships. Luce released the title track and it’s accompanying psychedelic animated video (created and animated by Grouch Bucket.) The video premiered with The Tennessean, who described the track as, “swimming in orchestral layers and kaleidoscopic storytelling.” The video showcases Luce traveling through different interdimensional plains, fighting off a herd of monsters and discovering her inner light. Luce explained the inspiration for the song itself who stated, “This song is about not letting people take away my energy. I know that when I give myself alone time, especially in nature, I am able to recharge and fill up my cup. This is something that works for me because it forces me to listen to what’s really going on in myself without the external noises from around me.”

Recorded at the historic Southern Ground Nashville, the album was in its final stages of creation when her Nashville home was hit by the March 2020 tornado. It proved to be a nearly fatal encounter for Luce, who happened to vacate her second-floor bedroom on the timely advice of a local weatherman just before a piling came through the wall, landing on the spot where she was laying moments before. For weeks after, Luce suffered panic attacks as she did everything she could in Nashville to help others who were affected. 

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New Los Angeles-based indie rock duo DARK SIDE OF LIGHT–comprised of singer/songwriter/DJ Nik Frost (The Bangkok Five, Air Liquide) and Emmy Award-winning producer/engineer Grant Conway on drums–have called out to the lost and strange summer of 2020 with a cover of the Seals and Crofts‘ “yacht rock” classic, “Summer Breeze.” The single, which has seen airplay on KCRW via DJ Liza Richardson, was released digitally on September 18 and will be released on vinyl in the coming weeks in addition to being featured on their debut EP due later this fall.

“Since mid-March, some lost jobs, some lost love, and tragically some lost this precious thing we call life,” recalls Nik Frost–a singer/songwriter/DJ who’s worked with everyone from Malcolm McLaren to Photek. “Somewhere in this endless summer loop of loss, me and a good friend found a classic track that while it might not be more than a band-aid in these times, we hope it can give everyone 3:49 back on this lost summer.”
“No graduations, no vacations, just lots of “NO’s,” says Grant Conway–a drummer by nature and a producer/engineer by trade. “No one got to do the usual things of summer.  But I did find a little piece of nostalgia that seemed to offer a little bit of light, hope and love. Let’s close out the unusual summer of 2020 with some positive vibes, ‘Summer Breeze.'” DARK SIDE OF LIGHT is a soundchild of the nouveau California scene created to counteract the anxiety-filled hours of our new normal. Conceived over the last four months as a distraction from the timeless nature of the New Normal; the duo was looking for new artists to listen to but found a landscape of music that repeated itself. Tired of searching for something fresh and new, they burrowed into a deep, sonic exploration to make a sound of their own.

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Today, the Ohio trio CAAMP release their latest recorded single and companion video for “Officer Of Love,” via their label home, Mom + Pop. The band notes of the track: “We recorded this song on the road in the summer of 2019. It’s a tune that’s close to our hearts and one of our favorites to play live. We hope it brings a little joy to your life. Let’s all choose love.”

Caamp formed when Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall met and bonded over a shared love of music and a shared love of home, specifically the inspiration they culled from the Midwest lives they grew up in. The two began writing and performing and quickly grew a rabid fan base. A self-titled 2016 debut album took flight, quickly gaining over 318 million streams, with a staggering 136 million streams for their single “ Vagabond ” alone. Evan and Taylor brought on a third member and longtime friend, Matt Vinson, to join on bass just before recording By and By.
In week one of the release of their full length, By and Byon Mom + Pop, Caamp made multiple chart debuts. By and By entered the Billboard Top 200, was the #1 Heatseeker, #1 on the New Artist Alternative Albums, top 5 vinyl album sales for the week and entered the Alternative and Emerging Artist charts. Caamp then scored their first #1 at radio with their single “Peach Fuzz,” made their late night television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and followed that up with a killer performance on CBS This Morning Saturday. After a victorious 2019 festival season playing Firefly, Shaky Knees, Forecastle, Outside Lands, Austin City Limits, Great Escape and many more, Caamp kicked off a major US headlining tour in September of 2019 and sold out show after show.

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Tawny Newsome and Bethany Thomas’ friendship was born in the Chicago music scene and has transcended 15 years of singing together. On October 9, they will share their debut(ish) album Material Flatswith the world. Their self-described “windy, Black girl desert-punk record” was a completely DIY project, written this summer amidst protest, fire and unrest. The album will be the first release on Tawny’s imprint Fine Alpinist Records, and was recently announced with the lead single “White Balloon.” Today, the pair release the powerful “Juneteenth 2020,” which follows Tawny and Bethany on journeys of self-realization.

The track is a sonic exploration of their post-punk influences that aren’t always translated with their bigger vocal styles (think Gang of Four, Devo, etc), and the lyrical inspiration came ripped from the national headlines. 
“‘Juneteenth 2020’ started with the title. Trump was initially going to hold his rally in Tulsa, OK on June 19, and I remember thinking that it was so insidious,” notes Bethany. “Then I was sobered by the fact that most people have never heard of Juneteenth and I, myself, had barely ever acknowledged it. Lyrically, the song turned into a reclamation of my country as a Black bi-racial woman. Many lines were jotted down as I drove across the country from Chicago to Los Angeles for the first time, astounded by the different colors and textures of the landscape, mountains that resembled my own flesh, and just the vastness you can’t comprehend until you leave your own bubble.” 

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