Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Thursday, March 31, 2022

New EP: Lauds || II

[Repost from Add To Wantlist; by Dennis, March 29, 2022]

After their self-titled debut EP last summer, North Carolina 5-piece Lauds are back with a second 4-track EP, logically called II. James McKay Glasgow (guitars, lead vocals), J Holt Evans III (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Gavin Campbell (bass), Boyce Evans (keyboards, additional guitars), and Ross Page (drums) play melodic jangle pop with chiming guitar hooks and dreamy vocals, with a biting undertone that will also appeal to fans of noisy shoegaze. The lyrics of closing track Weekend clearly show what this band is about: “Hazy summer lines // What are we doing // The days are careening by // The old 9 to 5 // Who could invent a // Better way to waste a life?” – enchanting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

OUT NOW: Lauds 'II' [Digital EP]

Hailing from the beaches of Wilmington, NC, Lauds are five friends (two of whom are brothers) united by a love of the water and chiming guitar hooks. The quintet composed of McKay Glasgow (lead vocals, guitar), J Holt Evans (vocals, lead guitar), younger brother Boyce Evans (keyboards, third guitar), Gavin Campbell (bass), and Ross Page (drums, vocals) play a pulsing take on indie rock with lush intertwining guitar melodies that draw on everything from C86 jangle pop to British titans like Ride and The Cure.

On II, Lauds trade some of the more languid structures of their debut EP (Lauds, Fort Lowell Records) for hard hitting motorik-inspired pop. Now, the bass and drums are given equal footing with the guitars, which while catchy as ever, vacillate between moments of chorused-out bliss and searing noise-rock catharsis. The final product remains distinctly Lauds, with Glasgow’s vocals beckoning the listener to get lost alongside him in the sprawling guitarscapes.

Having become a staple of Wilmington’s thriving guitar-rock scene–playing packed sets at places like the Palm Room, Satellite Bar and Lounge, and, most notably, a sold-out Bourgie Nights slot opening for Athens, GA’s Futurebirds–look for Lauds to continue to make noise in their native the Carolinas and beyond. Next up: a 4/2 release show at Modern Legend, the first in-store show hosted by the record store and scene luminary in over two years. Featuring opening sets by local legends Color Temperature and Louis, this set promises to be the show of the year and a (noisy) celebration of all that live music has to offer in the Port City.

Lauds II is now available on all digital music platforms.

Friday, March 25, 2022

OUT NOW: Tracy Shedd "Going Somewhere" [Digital Single]

Available on all digital audio platforms, Tracy Shedd's latest single "Going Somewhere" is out today -- Friday, March 25th -- featuring James Sardone (Brickbat, Loose Jets).  For fans of Alvvays, Stereolab, and Wilco.

Photo by Scott Madgett

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Lauds | Interview | “We’re a guitar band first and foremost”

[Repost from It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine; Klemen Breznikar, March 18, 2022]

Lauds is part of the dream pop-shoegaze-post-punk continuum, but carries an unpredictable edge.

Lauds are a band from Wilmington, NC that was formed in the spring of 2019 by songwriters McKay Glasgow and J. Holt Evans III. Bonding over their love of Slowdive and Neil Young, the band plays in the style of the former while channeling some of latter’s more untamed guitarscapes. Glasgow and Evans were both craving an outlet to make guitar-oriented rock music, and Lauds is the result. Glasgow is also a member of Tumbleweed, a folk-rock group, but had songwriting ideas that didn’t fit within their confines. Teaming up with Evans, who has spent a lot of his free time in recent years recording reverbed-out bedroom pop songs, the two founded Lauds as a project to unleash their Jazzmaster ambitions.

How did you get together to form Lauds?

Evans: My dad does a lot of music production work in Wilmington, North Carolina which is where we’re all from and grew up. McKay and I met while he was finishing up his folk band Tumbleweed’s first record at my dad’s studio. We kind of just immediately became pals, starting jamming, grabbing beers and the rest is history I guess. We were both sitting on piles of old demos that neither of us had found a home for and realized we were on to something when we started playing them for each other and rearranging them together to be all about the guitars. We added my brother Boyce on drums and our friend Rett on bass after that and started playing shows.

What inspires your music?

Evans: We’re a guitar band first and foremost. I think when you look under the Lauds hood we’re really just striving to capture feelings from different frames of mind and experiences that are meaningful to us and turn those into memorable guitar melodies. I’m a huge reverb and chorus guy because my dad played that U2 album ‘October’ too many times in the car when I was a kid. I feel like those sounds are almost integral to how I approach the guitar for better or for worse. We kind of started Lauds on this half joke premise of what if there was a band that sounded like Neil Young and Crazy Horse covering Slowdive. We really don’t sound like that at all, which I guess is probably a good thing, but we did try to cover ‘Cortez the Killer’ at our first show. Very grateful there doesn’t seem to be footage of that anywhere.

Glasgow: We want to write songs that we like and that are interesting sonically and hopefully that at least our friends will like. For me, a lot of the appeal in performing and writing now comes from the ways the guitar riffs interlock and the generally very affected sounds that are a bit off center. Lately we’ve been putting more emphasis on trying to make songs really groove with the backing drums and bass so that people can move around more at shows. It’s just more fun for everybody to want to bounce around.

What can you tell us about the 4-track EP that you released via Fort Lowell Records?

Glasgow: I think it’s safe to say we feel it’s our strongest work to date. The recording process was less about trying to come up with perfect parts and more about getting the sounds right. We tried to limit adding additional guitars in the mix and keep the arrangements replicable for live shows. It’s a bit more distorted and aggressive at moments than any of our other stuff but it has the familiar melodic breaks and bouncy baselines that will always be a part of our songs. There is also more singing in lower registers to fit the mood of some of the tracks.

Evans: We took months and months between putting out our first batch of singles and releasing the EP. The pandemic definitely slowed us down but in hindsight I’m really glad we took our time with these songs and the writing process in general. Like McKay said, we spent a lot of time trying to hone in on a unified vibe for the record that fit the mood of the songs and I think that extra time really helped pull everything together in the end.

What about the single, ‘Are You There All Alone’?

Glasgow: Holt 3 and I had a couple weeks where we sat down and tried writing in post-surf stupors. Basically we sat there with an acoustic guitar and bass, not overthinking and came up with a couple songs we felt good about at the time. But as every songwriter knows, it’s the days after that determine whether or not you were being delusional. We listened later and were like, “That was okay.” ‘Are You There All Alone’ was one of those songs. We started thinking, maybe this is a better way to write songs than laboring over them. We have enough songs now where we can let a song go for a while and come back to it so that has kept us from agonizing over trying to make a song work that just isn’t there yet.

Evans: That one was written quickly. We both locked in on a chord progression and 5 minutes later we were giggling like little kids. We knew that we had just written a great song. Can’t recommend the post-surf stupor enough.

Are you planning to release an album in the near future?

Glasgow: We’ve got about 12 songs ready to go after EP 2. The plan is to get a full album done and out this summer before some of the guys head off for school. We have felt really inspired to write music so we aren’t wanting to take the next six months for granted.

How are you coping with the current situation as a new band? Are you excited about being on stage?

Evans: We love playing live. It’s probably at least 90% of the reason we started the band, to share our music with our friends in a common space and have a great time doing it. Obviously we wish the state of the world wasn’t what it currently is but we’re trying to make the most out of it while striving to be as safe as possible for all involved. We’re stoked to have added our good friends and great musicians Ross Page and Gavin Campbell to the band. I feel like we’re probably the best we have ever been as a live unit in terms of tightness and musicianship.

Glasgow: We are trying to be responsible and not overly fearful. We have canceled some shows out of town in February but we are planning shows for the Spring and hoping for the best. We would be very excited to get back to playing consistently through the spring and summer if it’s possible. And if we can’t then it’s just more time to record.

Let’s end this interview with some of your favorite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?

Evans: I know ‘Twin Plagues’ by the band Wednesday is a new album that’s been on heavy rotation for all of the guys recently. Great heavy shoegaze with an almost country bent out of Asheville, NC. Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘Tinderbox’ and ‘Script of the Bridge’ by the Chameleons are classics that are big for us. We also all liked the newest Deafheaven album a lot as well. I feel like I tell everybody I know to listen to that record. It’s amazing. Other than that, been bumping this bootleg copy of Mobb Deep’s ‘The Infamous’ that I got on CD for $2 at a gas station a lot in the car.

Thank you. Last word is yours.

Evans: Thanks! We feel really privileged to be a part of an incredible music scene in our hometown. Lots of melodic and fun guitar music in all sorts of flavors. Our drummer Ross is the king of Wilmington and in about 18 bands and all of them are great. Check out Seeking Madras (jangletown), AZZA (chorused out political punk), Nice Derek (the only band on this list Ross is not in), and Color Temperature (like Guided by Voices covering Talk Talk).
Photo by Mary Hannah

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Meet Heather Ivins | Graphic Designer & Fine Artist

Heather Ivins is the artist who created the illustration for Tracy Shedd's new single "Going Somewhere", due our Friday, March 25th.  Here is a photograph of the original art Ivins drew, along with the final cover art for the release.  Below is a recent interview Ivins did with ShoutOut Miami.

We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Ivins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?

There was never going to be another choice for me—I’ve always known that I would work as a creative, in some capacity or another. I’ve been creative/artistic since as far back as I can remember, and I’m fortunate to have a family that encouraged and supported my creative expression.

As a young kid, I would design stickers and sell them at family yard sales. I would cut up newspapers, rearrange the pieces, and write new text to create my own publications. As a teenager, I hand painted t-shirts and gifted them to friends and family, which eventually led to painted t-shirt commissions (remember the days of puffy paint?). I would sculpt trinkets for friends to hang on their rear-view mirrors and paint my friends’ portraits as flowers, giving them petals instead of hair. It has always brought me joy to make others happy with my artwork.

In my senior year of high school, I participated in the school’s work experience program, where you would leave school for most of the day to go to work. I remember being in search of a job and flipping through the yellow pages to find something suitable. I was determined to find a position that would make good use of my creative skills. I came across the sign-making industry and quickly found myself working at a little sign shop in Stuart, where I began learning graphic design on the job. In my spare time, I continued to teach myself graphic design applications and principles in order to pursue a career in it.

I’ve since worked as a designer for over 20 years for a number of companies, including AOL and Fast Company Magazine. Most recently, I’ve joined forces with my husband, John Ciambriello, to officially form HEATHER & JOHN, a creative studio specializing in brand design, post-production photo editing, and illustration. Our most recent project was the re-branding of our local arts council, MartinArts. This was a very rewarding project for us, as my husband and I are both members of the local arts community.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

In addition to being a graphic designer, I’m also a fine artist and illustrator. I love to experiment and to explore different media, techniques, and subjects. I don’t just do one thing—which is kind of a theme running through my whole life (I’ve also dabbled in music and health coaching!). I don’t like comparing myself to other artists, but perhaps this is what sets me apart—you never know what you’ll get from me! I’m best known for my photorealistic colored pencil pet portrait commissions. But, I also paint with watercolor and gouache. And ink. And Posca paint pens. And my fingers! And cat whiskers! The one thing that I think remains consistent, though, is that I like the finished artwork to convey a sense of beauty and wonder.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

THE BEACH! The beach is a must, obviously, when visiting Florida (I’m in Stuart). On our way back, we would stop at Ital Bowls for a healthy treat. We would take bike rides around town and enjoy the beautiful local environment. Anyone visiting me has to come with me to my favorite little cafe and storefront, Hani Honey Company. They have awesome bubble tea, coffee drinks, and really yummy food. We would also head to Gilbert’s Coffee Bar to enjoy a tasty beverage while taking in the gorgeous sunset—they have the perfect view of the sunset over the marina. We would walk along the water and over to Downtown Stuart. After that, we would definitely hop in the car and go eat at my favorite restaurant, South Fork Kitchen and Bar. And then we’d come home and relax in my back yard looking at the stars. That’s just the first day of the visit—the rest of the week, just hit repeat.

Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?

I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my family. My mom, April Newswander, has always been super-supportive of my artistic pursuits. My husband, John Ciambriello, is my rock. He’s also my sounding board and has no qualms about telling me something isn’t working or needs re-thinking (or sucks!). And my son, Lee, is incredibly creative, artistic, and unafraid to be himself—he’s an inspiration to me.

Photo by John Ciambriello

Monday, March 14, 2022

WL//WH Premiere: LAUDS “Rust” single

[Repost from White Light // White Heat; by Fabrizio Lusso, May 10, 2022]

Lauds are a band from Wilmington, North Carolina started in the spring of 2019 by songwriters McKay Glasgow and J. Holt Evans III, bonding over their common love of Slowdive and Neil Young, and nurtured by further inspirations such as Creation Records and Captured Tracks, as well as British alt-rock legends like Ride, Chapterhouse, and The Cure.

With the addition of Boyce S. Evans, Gavin Campbell and Ross Page, the 5-piece released last summer’s promising self-titled debut 4-tracker followed by a transitional single, “Are You There All Alone”, in November, while preparing for the sophomore EP, entitled “II”, due for March 29, 2022, via fellow DIY label Fort Lowell Records, anticipated by the single “Rust”, WL//WH is very pleased to premiere.

And mainly the springlike, sparkling and nostalgic arpeggiated 6-string leanings to bands such as Beach Fossils and Real Estate, enriched with airy and dreamy 60s harmonic sensibilities, mostly define “Rust”, that lyric-wise captures the ambivalent push, pull, and ultimately corrosion that foolish mind games and toxic manipulations inflict on a relationship.

“Rust” manages to sound fresh, deceptively simple and enthralling, gliding through sun-dappled glares rippled with wandering crystalline refractions from obsessively tangled jangly guitar lines, built on velvety churning, serpentine bass pulses and lively drum beats, to twist twinkling wistful melodies around euphoric angsty vocal longings, restless hums, and regretful daydreams to slip hopelessly into a fading sunset of wasted fate.

A sheer and emotional outpouring of timeless intoxicating pop melodies as regained from the blurry mists of memories for some, contemporary and exciting for others, which for 3 minutes makes you dream and deceive yourself of living in a never-ending reverie.

Lauds‘ new single “Rust” will be released tomorrow March 11, 2022, while the upcoming sophomore EP, “II”, is scheduled for March 29, 2022, both on Digital, through Wilmington, NC‘s independent label Fort Lowell Records‘ Bandcamp and the main sharing platforms,

Photo by Mary Hannah

Friday, March 11, 2022

OUT NOW: Lauds "Rust" [Digital Single]

Available on all digital music platforms today (March 11), "Rust" is a brand new song by the boys from Wilmington, North Carolina -- Lauds -- that is part of their second Digital EP II, due out at the end of March.  Pre-order II now on Bandcamp, and receive a copy of Laud's new single "Rust" in advance.