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New Music Friday Chapter 21

Jul 17, 2020

By Tyler Mitchell

Today Narrow Head hit us with their vital new single and video, “Stuttering Stanley”. Vocalist Jacob Duartestates, “Stuttering Stanley is something I was called growing up a few times. Not everyone can keep up with how I talk and what I’m saying. There’s two types of reactions I get when a person hears me stutter for the first time. Sometimes they’ll notice and patiently let me get out my words, and politely not say anything. The other is the person who doesn’t understand what’s happening and chuckles before realizing that I have a stutter. It helps me figure out who’s real and who’s not.” Check out the video here:

Rising from the Texas underground/DIY scene, Narrow Head quickly amassed a devoted following for their standout live performances and open-hearted, emotionally naked songwriting. Their sophomore effort 12th House Rock is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90’s alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, thirteen tracks of Narrow Head’s signature brand of bludgeoning lullabies bursting at the seams with creative ideas, new directions and massive, monolithic riffs.
Delving into deep-seated themes of self loathing, desolation, self-medication, the loss of loved ones and hopeful redemption,12th House Rock is, as the title suggests, a rock-focused LP themed on transition– exploring the vast abyss of darkness just before the sun cracks upon the horizon. “A lot of the record was made in the late hours and early morning,” recalls Duarte. ”Those quiet moments alone when utter silence and my self-medication made it impossible to escape from my own thoughts. It was also from a specific time when I didn’t take care of myself and made bad decisions in all aspects of my life. These songs were a way out, temporarily anyway.”

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Following the release of the animated video for “A Ghost”, frontman Fran Healy has returned to the director’s chair with the video for Travis’ new track, “Valentine”. The track is the third from their eagerly anticipated new album, 10 Songs, which will be released on October 9th on BMG. 
The video is directed by Fran and shot by Newton Thomas Segal, with lighting design by Queens Of The Stone Age’s lighting technician, Gigi Pedron, in Aspect Lighting’s car park in LA. 
Fran said of the video conception, “The idea came from the lyric, “If I lie here, I might die here, I may lay here for a while.” I saw me lying on the ground for the duration using our drone to look down on me and maybe have stuff happen while I lay there.” He continues, “It expanded from here to have lights and a second camera. Again, Covid-19 made this a tricky shoot and not being able to shoot with the band meant getting stunt doubles in who I’ve dressed as ghosts and now in this, they look like urban guerrillas with their balaclavas, shades and black clothes!”

Following the release of the animated video for “A Ghost”, frontman Fran Healy has returned to the director’s chair with the video for Travis’ new track, “Valentine”. The track is the third from their eagerly anticipated new album, 10 Songs, which will be released on October 9th on BMG. 
The video is directed by Fran and shot by Newton Thomas Segal, with lighting design by Queens Of The Stone Age’s lighting technician, Gigi Pedron, in Aspect Lighting’s car park in LA. 
Fran said of the video conception, “The idea came from the lyric, “If I lie here, I might die here, I may lay here for a while.” I saw me lying on the ground for the duration using our drone to look down on me and maybe have stuff happen while I lay there.” He continues, “It expanded from here to have lights and a second camera. Again, Covid-19 made this a tricky shoot and not being able to shoot with the band meant getting stunt doubles in who I’ve dressed as ghosts and now in this, they look like urban guerrillas with their balaclavas, shades and black clothes!”

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Madrid’s Hinds released the video for their track “Burn” off their third album The Prettiest Curse, and celebrated the video release with a Zoom party with fans.
On the video for “Burn,” the band says, “Burn’ is about inner strength, overcoming what’s ugly, making it yours and owning it. this song is the rage you feel after you fall or when you fight against something that feels out of your hands. this song is about cleaning yourself of old habits, of vice and trauma before you stand up and keep fighting again. this song is about making your skin thicker so it doesn’t break that much. cause as musicians, we work with our feelings. and that’s why it hurts so much to have to learn how to feel without a heart.  

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Today UK’s Dream Wife shared the gorgeous video for their song “After The Rain,” off their sophomore album So When You Gonna…, which has debuted in the UK Top 20 as the only non-major label + 100% womxn-produced album on the list.
Regarding the song and its subject matter, singer Rakel Mjöll explains: “The song was originally a voice memo I recorded after having a conversation with my sister, she had just discovered she was pregnant, and she didn’t want to go through with the pregnancy. This was happening at the same time as The Human Life Protection Act/Alabama Abortion Ban last May. Going through these multiple waves of community shame, anger at these systems imposed by the patriarchy to own women bodies, lack of trust and feeling disconnected from your own body. And not being able to articulate those feelings.”

Since the band’s debut, Dream Wife have played support slots with the likes of Garbage, Sleigh Bells and The Kills, sold-out international headline shows, secured syncs in shows like Orange is The New Black, all the while using their platform to lift up other womxn and non-binary creatives with empowering messages and their “girls to the front” ethos. In addition to the new record, Dream Wife also have a new podcast series, entitled So When You Gonna…where each episode is a one-on-one interview with a different industry professional about how exactly they managed to hone their craft. With a gender divide in music production currently estimated at around ninety-five percent male to five percent female, the podcast is part of the band’s continued effort to support womxn and non-binary creatives. Listen to the podcast series HERE

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Baby Queen, a creative tour-de-force born Bella Latham who was raised in Durban, South Africa, and now lives in London, has shared the video for her newest single “Buzzkill.” The track, out via Polydor, distills Baby Queen’s signature soft-grunge guitar-pop with pulsing synths and a sugary chorus that belies the inner darkness she expresses. Shot in an East London studio, the colorful clip was directed by rising filmmaking duo Bedroom (Beabadoobee, The 1975, Sports Team) and styled by Patricia Villirillo, and sees Baby Queen take on a number of guises as she tries and fails to be the life of the party. 

“The song is about being really depressed at a party, but feeling that you are, in a way, being coerced to be positive by friends who think you are a killjoy or a buzzkill,” Baby Queen explains. “I really wanted the concept of the video to mirror that. I think when you’re depressed, you’re very detached from reality and incredibly apathetic, so everything around you is impersonal, which is why I wanted to use people’s hands as opposed to their full bodies or any show any other identifiable parts of them. The concept is built around the manipulation of me by the hands, which are completely choreographed and quite surreal. I really wanted the viewer to feel disconnected from everything but the lyric and the central performance.”

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London-based (by way of Australia) band Tempesst release their new single and video “Mushroom Cloud,” the second track to be lifted from upcoming debut album Must Be A Dreamout September 30 via Pony Recordings. The single explores regret in the heat of the moment, and why those we love can cause us the deepest pain. Serving as a nod to Jeff Lynne and ELO with a chorus of vocal harmonies, hushed keys, lilting guitars and a swelling backdrop of additional instrumentation, the song tells of a story of the pain of love, tracking the consequences and emotional violence it has wrought. 
“‘Mushroom Cloud’ was the first song that we completed on the album and it set the tone for a balance of familiarity, the element of surprise and the weighty dark topics that I wanted to explore,” recalls Toma. “Mushroom Cloud isn’t my story, though. I found it easier to write this song as a confession from the perspective of the antagonist. It’s equal measures apology, justification and threat, the kind of confusing grey area that only exists within intimate relationships. It’s love that becomes all-consuming and suffocating. It’s that destructive primal default buried deep within each of us. The Saboteur present in every moment of regret…that will do or say anything in an attempt at self preservation.” Watch the video, directed by the band’s Andrea Banjanin, below:

Consisting of Sunshine Coast, Australia born twin brothers Toma (vocals, guitars) and Andy Banjanin (drums); Tempesst is rounded out by fellow Australian’s Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass), and Swiss/American guitarist Eric Weber. Now all residing in London where they have created a community around their Pony Studios, Tempesst have become well known for their sweeping, psych-touched indie rock.
With nods to Spiritualized, the Flaming Lips and the Beach Boys, Must Be A Dreamcomprises ten tracks of psychedelic pop grandiosity, combining the classic teachings of Laurel Canyon-esque folk harmonisation with bombastic sensibilities found in the works of artists such as Love, ELO, and Pink Floyd. The album was produced by long standing collaborator Elliot Heinrich, and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts, Temples, Yak, Sorry). It explores themes of longing, love and loss, substance abuse, the death of loved ones and remembering the beauty beneath it all. And though the album is the culmination of four years of work and decades of preparation, it’s only the first step in the evolution that is Tempesst. “This record is the first time that I feel like I’ve had the uninterrupted ability to create and have full control at our own pace,” recalls Toma. “With this LP, we’ve created something we’re really proud of that truly cements our identity as a group. The joy of taking these songs live is something that we’re really excited about.” 

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