Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Kicking Bird

[Repost from 3Hive; by Todd Simmons, April 17, 2023]

We are stoked to bring you the premier of Wilmington, North Carolina quintet Kicking Bird’s latest single “Just To Be Here With You”; a 4 minute dreamy pop track, packed with infectious guitar melodies and vocal harmonies from Shaylah Paul and her husband Shaun Paul.

Kicking Bird’s debut LP Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out in May via Fort Lowell Records. Enjoy.

Monday, April 24, 2023

PRE-ORDER NOW: James Sardone 'Colors' [12inch EP]

For more than a generation, James Sardone has put his own unique spin on indie rock. Hailing from the Appalachians, the musical magpie has dabbled in an expanding number of genres on a journey that stretched up the eastern seaboard. What started in the late 80s as the irreverent noise of seminal post-punk trio Brickbat -- who toured with Jawbox, The Jesus Lizard, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion -- has given way now to electronica-infused, 80s pop-inflected solo work. In between, Sardone honed his craft, evolving in an array of projects from the country-tinged hard rock Burnley Brothers to the rockabilly sensibilities of The Jimmy Nations Combo to Loose Jets’ glammier hard rock. Like music itself, Sardone never rests, never stays in one musical space too long before branching out to his next cacoethes.

Now working as a solo artist, Sardone's EP Colors presents us with an opportunity to witness the Wilmington, North Carolina guitar virtuoso's mastery as a pop songwriter. The titled track "Colors Of Your Brain" is a captivating guitar-driven dance hit layered with an abundant amount of compelling influence that spans four decades of Alternative music. Indie R'n'B duo De La Noche (Robert Rogan, Brian Weeks) contribute two versions of their solid four-on-the-floor remix for "Colors Of Your Brain"; one short edit geared toward radio disc jockeys, and another that clocks in over eleven minutes primed to keep you on the dance floor. To round out the EP, Sardone delivers a captivating rendition of Blondie's "Dreaming" featuring Tracy Shedd on piano, along with "Life of Love" — an upbeat original song chock-full of sophisticated, optimistic hooks.

James Sardone Colors will be release on Friday, July 21, 2023.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

What's In Our Inbox! Brian Lopez ft. KT Tunstall

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; April 18, 2023]

Band Name:  Brian Lopez (Ft. KT Tunstall)
BMN Score: 9.2/10

What the band says they sound like: Alternative indie-rock artist Brian Lopez (Calexico, XIXA) shares his latest single “Road To Avalon,” with a special guest feature and longtime friend KT Tunstall. Tapping into the memory of shared exploration and experiences between the friends around Glastonbury Festival many moons ago, the waltz-leaning single narrates an escape into the unknown corners of your mind in the name of trust and the procurement of curiosity. It is less a love song and more of one that celebrates the power of companionship as you trek on towards greater unknowns hand in hand with the trust of a friend.

What we say they sound like: It's weird when you mostly review lo-fi stuff to come across something so hi-fi and perfect. It's cinematic in it's approach, a slow build into a very classic sounding song. It reminds me of something written by Burt Bacharach for a 70's cowboy film starring Paul Newman. The guitar lead when the drums kick in give it that whole Sergio Leone feel. What's interesting is I can only think of movie music to compare it to as musically it's in that vein of 70's pop and the full orchestration only helps it to feel like a soundtrack piece. KT Tunstall's vocals are a perfect fit but are hardly a centerpiece. Beautiful video to accompany it as well. It's not often that I lock onto lyrics either but the opening line “night is a savage bird of prey” just shows that all aspects of this song are great. 

Song to add to your playlist: Road To Avalon

Friday, April 21, 2023

OUT NOW: Kicking Bird "Just to Be Here with You" [Digital Single]

The third and final single from Wilmington, North Carolina's own Kicking Bird, titled "Just to Be Here with You", from their debut album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available now on all music platforms.

  • "A four minute dreamy pop track, packed with infectious guitar melodies and vocal harmonies" ~ 3hive, Todd Simmons


Friday, April 14, 2023

OUT NOW: MindsOne / RizzyBeats "Overlord (Thoughts of a Madman)" [Digital Signal]

The second single from the brand new album The Time Space Continuum Redux, by MindsOne / RizzyBeats, titled "Overlord (Thoughts of a Madman)" is available now on all music platforms.

The Time Space Continuum Redux is not only RizzyBeats's revival of MindsOne's debut album, but it's his own personal gift for MindsOne to celebrate the two emcees, KON Sci and Tronic, as they both embark on their fourth decade around the sun and embrace the seventeenth anniversary of their first official release. For the Redux, RizzyBeats used the original vocal tracks from 2006's The Time Space Continuum and produced an up-to-date version reflective of the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

PS: Happy Birthday, RizzyBeats!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Premiere: Brian Lopez's new single 'Road to Avalon,' featuring KT Tunstall

[Repost from Arizona Daily Star; by Cathalena Burch, April 4, 2023]

Tucson singer-songwriter Brian Lopez reunites with Scottish singer KT Tunstall on "Road to Avalon," a song he recorded during the pandemic. It's the second single off his forthcoming solo album "Tidal," due out this summer on the Los Angeles-based Cosmic Records. The single is available on most major download platforms on Tuesday, April 4. Lopez, who also is part of the popular Tucson cumbia rock band XIXA, toured North America and the UK with Tunstall in 2013 as part of her "Invisible Empire Crescent Moon" tour. He sang backing vocals on that studio album, which Tunstall recorded at Tucson's WaveLab Studios with Howe Gelb. Lopez said he and Tunstall worked remotely on the single during the COVID-19 pandemic, exchanging digital files as he made the record at home and from his downtown Dust & Stone Recording Studio. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Single Premiere + interview – Eclipse by Desario (2023) (Fort Lowell Records)

[Repost from Janglepophub; by Darrin Lee, April 3, 2023]

Despite an increasingly age addled grumpiness of personality, regular readers of our blog will know that I can gush like a teenager speaking awkwardly with their first ‘too hot for them’ crush the moment I find myself enamoured with a piece of music.

Thus it was so that I pledged my everlasting love for the Signal and Noise album that Sacramento foursome Desario released back in July 2022 on Sunday Records and Fort Lowell Records).

This double track single is their first release since that glorious album (you see, there I go again !?) and JanglePopHub are absolutely honoured to be asked to Premiere the initial Eclipse track today before both tracks are officially released on 07 April 2023.

If Signal and Noise saw the band jump more concertedly into a more jangle-pop based sound that often frequented previous releases without ever dominating, Eclipse sees a return to their more bruised, burnished and emotionally charged sound that simultaneously cavorts with the dank, industrial jangle-rock of The Wends / RGV aesthetic whilst managing to clutch onto the fringes of mid 80s post-punk oppression and anxiety.

The band were kind enough to grant us a short interview discussing their thoughts around the release.

The “Eclipse” A-Side and Indeed Desario’s aesthetic in general is notoriously hard to pigeon-hole to a genre. Various blogs describe it as shoegaze at one end of the spectrum to jangle-rock at the other end with all manner of indie rock, alternative rock, post-punk terms used in between…how do Desario describe their own sound, why is it so hard to describe and what influences simmer through on “Eclipse”?

John Conley:
That’s a huge compliment, I’m glad our sound is a little difficult to define. We are influenced by all of those genres. I would say this particular song was inspired by 80s post-punk and alternative bands like the Echo and the Bunnymen and The Church.

There is also some early 2000s influence from bands like Editors and maybe British Sea Power. Mike (Yoas) and I both love the BSP album “Open Season”

Michael Yoas:
Desario’s sound has always been tough to describe. The four of us have identical and at the same time, very dissimilar musical tastes and influences that we pull from. We are not afraid to wear our influences on our sleeves on any song, the influences just vary greatly from song to song.

Regarding “Eclipse”, I agree with John in that I hear E&TB, BSP as well as early 90’s Brit-Pop…and I don’t know why, but it also reminds me of Fleetwood Mac.

Mike Carr:
Speaking of notorious, Desario takes a notoriously long time between albums. Due to this, we usually have the core ideas that form the basis of the majority of the songs for the next album by the time the current album comes out. But we don’t rush anything.

Some songs start from 1 member’s ideas, but the majority are written and evolve together as a band. The longer we work on them, the more they take shape and mature, and the more each member’s ideas and influences come out. I believe this is what gives our songs their uniqueness and character. And sometimes an idea isn’t quite right for where we currently are as a band. “Eclipse” is no different – I’ve found practice recordings of what eventually would become “:Eclipse” from as far back as the end of 2014!

What was the songwriting and recording process for both tracks on the single? Was anything different to how Desario usually arrives at their music?

This song was recorded during the “Signal and Noise” sessions. When we were arranging the tracks for the album, we felt at the time it didn’t quite fit with the other songs on the album.

The recording process was especially interesting for me as this was the first album which I recorded and mixed from start to finish.

I have always had a hand in our previous records, but not the complete process. The end result of the sessions versus what I heard in my head going in was very close for the most of the songs…one of the exceptions being “Eclipse”. It ended up with a different vibe than the rest of Signal and Noise, therefore it made sense to release as a stand-alone single.

What is the lyrical context of both tracks? Are they repeated themes from previous releases?

We started recording the songs for “Signal and Noise” just before the pandemic. I ended up writing most of the lyrics during the pandemic. I think that had an influence on the lyrical tone, especially both of these songs. I would say an overarching theme is feelings of loss, separation and anxiety.

How did the pairing with Lavender Blush’s Ryan Leisure arise in relation to his “The Things We Left Behind” re-mix?

I’ve been friends with Ryan (Lescure) for a number of years. I have also designed the album covers for Lavender Blush, along with a 10″ EP and 7″ single. Mike (Yoas) did a remix for a B-side from the first Lavender Blush LP.

When we shared an early version of our album with Ryan, he had expressed some interest in remixing “Things We Left Behind”. What he did with the songs is really cool, it’s more of a reinterpretation. He added some new guitar parts and gave the song a heavier feel.

For me, it was a completely unexpected, but satisfying reimagination of “Things We Left Behind”. I would definitely love to continue trading remixes with Ryan in the future.

Desario; photo by Owen Carr

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

BMN Spotlight: infinitikiss (Fort Lowell Records) by Nic Ken

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; March 29, 2023]

infinitikiss is an ever-evolving musical and visual recording project conceptualized by Nic Jenkins, and ambient music is his latest full length album, as well as first release with Fort Lowell Records. The core material for ambient music came from live improvisations that were recorded to cassette tapes, which originally served as backing tracks for live solo performances. It was an interest in sound healing, vibrational therapy, and chakras / energy systems that helped Jenkins realize this album. The song titles reflect the moods & colors (aka spectral wave) of the blending and bending of colors in a rainbow (ROYGBIV), as well as to the energy fields of our bodies; corresponding to the “roygbiv” sequence and play with imagery of said colors. Considering the nature of tape (magnetic film), Jenkins seized the opportunity to explore a range of microtonal frequencies which ultimately helped him to decide to tune down or up to 432, 440, and 444 an attempt to explore, to enjoy, and to hopefully gain an expanded awareness of shifting frequencies. infinitikiss is available to buy on translucent chartreuse green vinyl here [], or you can stream the complete album on any digital music platform here []. The following is a somewhat free-association writing exercise provided by Nic Jenkins of infinitikiss, prompted by the imagery of the titles of the pieces, not so much a transcription of instruments or composition and production techniques utilized in the album: 

Track 1 | Key: A major | Frequency: 432 hz | Title: "drinking cherry hibiscus tea at a stop light at sunset" As you start your day, do you ever find it helpful to consider that a version of you is also going to sleep, another version of you is being born, and another of you is also dying? I’m interested in how we as humans make discoveries as tiny bits of an entire, whole, living, breathing, evolving thing. How can we give less energy to things that keep us from feeling incomplete, separate and/or in states-of-lack mindsets? How can we give more energy to remembering that right now we’re actually on a giant rock floating through endless time & infinite space? 

Track 2 | Key: B minor | Frequency: 432 hz | Title: "the smell of burnt turmeric"
 Isn’t it kind of comical that whatever practices we rely on for manifestation of what we define as “happiness” or “normalcy” can also become points of liberation? Through the whole scope of this music becoming an album, I was learning to let those practices just BE and not try to turn them into something MORE than what they are fundamentally. For example: physical intimacy can be this way, as it is a mix between searching blindly and also trusting in the soul’s ability to navigate purely based on energetic intensity (aka passion collaboration) and intuition. It can feel weightless, and certain kinds of weightlessness can be terrifying. Sometimes it gives more grounding to our sense of being.  

Track 3 | Key: B minor | Frequency: 432 hz | Title: "floating through holographic desert waves" I don’t usually remember many of my dreams. However, in dreams it seems that the roles we play are much less concrete that those we embody from day to day. In a way they are all so much more poetic in narrative and symbolism. Aren’t those symbols and narratives just as real? How does it contribute to our overall sense of being? What voices are telling us that we’re not enough? Explore those thoughts. If we die in dreams, do we not feel more grateful to be on this side of the living experience and waking life? How much of our private worlds are dictated by external inputs? If time and temperature are important factors in the culinary realms / sciences (and in nature), how much of our physical experience is influenced in this way? After all, our bodies are mostly made of water. 

Track 4 | Key: C major | Frequency: 432 hz | Title: "and a wish for chamomile pillows after a lemon bath" 
Look up! Nice job. You’re doing great. This music doesn’t really demand very much, does it? It doesn’t really try to dominate anyone’s attention spans. It simply exists best as a full spectrum sonic hug, like a box full of letters from your dearest friends and family. It’s there. It can serve as a compliment to whatever beautifully real things are happening in your world at any given moment. Thanks for the time you have given to be curious and to enjoy any dimension of this music. Thank yourself! A cup of tea can provide numerous healing bene_frequencies, just as herbs are always around to reward you if you know how to identify them, I suppose? They can encourage a deeper awareness of what is; a more expansive awareness of now. The newness wants you, too.  

Track 5 | Key: D major, part 1 | Frequency: 432 hz | Title: "in the same vibration that pothos green grows" I have had such a complicated relationship with pothos plants, actually. Is it me? What do I need to learn to keep these green babies alive? Do you have a similar conundrum? Do I care too much or not enough? Is there enough light; enough water? Am I holding enough light / space / time as I can today? For myself? For others? Which version of me is most like the pothos plants in my life? How slow. So real. Very vibrational.  

Track 6 | Key: D major, part 2 | Frequency: 440 hz | Title: "or the minty jade of ginkos" Have you ever… let your face be gently and quietly caressed by the fresh flaky leaves of a gingko tree? Maybe you have one in your neighborhood or yard –– maybe a neighbor’s yard? It feels like one thousand tiny hugs and kisses on your cheeks. Thanks, Gaia. Ginkgo tree trunks are also very satisfying to hug, should you find yourself surrounded by them and in need of an embrace. Better yet, just go hug a tree –– any tree. It is a gift you can give yourself at any time you want.   

Track 7 | Key: D major, part 3 | Frequency: 444 hz | Title: "while matcha clouds are raining" Have you ever… tried googling: “What is the harmonic frequency (or vibrational frequency) of ________ “ ? [ Fill in the blank with your deepest inquiries. ] For example, I like to search various ingredients of foods. I’m curious how my body converts the energy of things like caffeine. Is it fuel? Is it food? What does it do? Recently, I’ve noticed that teas are more gentle to my body & mind. To each their own.  

Track 8 | Key: Eb minor | Frequency: 444 hz | Title: "tears of happy mermaids" In another life, I am most likely that which dwells among the deep, dark creatures of the sea. The idea of mer-beings fascinates me because the Earth is mostly water, and it seems like a totally peaceful way to exist (unless you’re always almost someone else’s meal). It also seems quite frightening. I have had a handful of dream vignettes of myself and former lovers as half-human, half-fishlike beings… just treading water, and other times venturing into deep, dark unknown mysteries. Have you ever… been there?   

Track 9 | Key: F major | Frequency: 444 hz | Title: "in the same shade of what blue jeans are made" Hands plus water plus dye. Is indigo more purple or blue or neither? Either way, don’t forget to breathe (on purpose). What a magical thing air is. 

Track 10 | Key: G major | Frequency: 444 hz | Title: "from a lavender halo we are projecting ourselves"
How many different ways can one enjoy lavender? For valuable insight & feedback, consult an herbalist friend.  

Monday, April 10, 2023

Brian Lopez feat. KT Tunstall - “Road to Avalon”

[Repost from Remezcla; by Juan J. Arroyo, April 7, 2023]

Indie rock singer-songwriter Brian Lopez has spent the past few years recording and touring with bands Calexico and XIXA. However, he has now focused on releasing his newest full-length album, TIDAL, dropping June 23. In its latest single, “Road to Avalon,” he teams up with KT Tunstall for a precarious traipse down a shadow-brick road filled with melodies that border on the mystical. For the music video, visual artist 10 Years to Live leans into the track’s psychedelic waltz sound and concocts images that bring the lyrics to magical realist life.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

An Interview with Kicking Bird (And a premier of "238!")

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, March 31, 2023]

When you have a music blog, you sometimes get to hear new music early. I got to hear Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the upcoming new album from Wilmington, NC's Kicking Bird, and was instantly smitten. Some albums just seem perfectly made for my specific tastes, and that's how this one feels. The songs on Original Motion Picture Soundtrack have that perfect mid-90's power pop sound with a little retro 60's cool. It's like a less ironic version of Fountains of Wayne and Weezer. I got the chance to interview three members of Kicking Bird (Shaun and Shaylah Paul as well as Robin Cooksley) over email, so we discussed North Carolina, their upcoming album, and the song we're premiering, "238."

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is due out May 19 on Fort Lowell Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Kicking Bird, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram. You can listen to "238" below the interview.

Your sound seems to invoke the early 60's and late 90's/early 00's. What are your favorite bands from those time periods?
  • Shaun: I definitely think we take a lot of inspiration from garage rock. The Kinks are one band specifically that has been a major influence on our songwriting energy. They are also a band that made it ok to write any type of a song, and not be limited by any one "sound". I know that for me personally, Bob Dylan is the mountaintop for lyrical work so that is definitely a mile marker for quality. I also love his ability to only have a flirtatious relationship with melody, he can cram three extra words in any time he needs and no one is the wiser. When Shaylah and I first started playing together Arcade Fire was making really amazing records, so I think that kind of vocal interplay over really fun instrumentation became something we always worked towards. One of the most life changing concerts I ever went to was when some friends took me to see The Walkmen and I was able to watch Hamilton Leithauser sing in person.

  • ShaylahThe Beatles and Weezer. The two greatest bands ever!

  • Robin: I'm glad you can hear that, as my go-to music is 60's garage music and mid 90's indie. I love Bends/OK Computer era Radiohead, their guitarist, Jonny Greenwood is a genius, I lay awake at night dreaming of being able to make the insane sounds that he makes on the guitar ha! I used to play in a 60's mod band, so my love of 60's garage rock bands is strong, the Kinks probably most influenced me from that period. I can only imagine what it must have been like to first hear the rawness of the guitar sound and vocal swagger of You've Really Got Me, when most everyone else was doing bubble-gum pop in 1964. I love Ray Davies' storytelling, he can really set a scene and take you there, I think Shaun can pull that off in his lyrics, but instead of a 1960's rural England village scene, he's trying to take you to the moon on a rocket ship or riding on the shoulders of a bear, or some other crazy shit.
A lot of bands with your sound seem to cloak their songs in irony, but as fun as your songs are, they sound completely earnest. Is it tough playing songs that are so heartfelt?
  • Shaun: We do feel it. At the end of the day we write fiction. We get to tell fun stories over jangly pop music and I truly love it. I really do connect with every member of the audience when we play live. It's great to feel like we are all at a party just dancing together. If something we've written resonates then that's amazing but I really want those narratives to be the soundtrack to someone's night, not something for reflective introspection.

  • ShaylahThat's really interesting that that's the impression the songs give off, because literally not a word in any of Shaun's songs is true. Except maybe the distance to the moon. I think that's at least an accurate estimation. All of my songs are very specific and it is tough sometimes because people figure things out. All I can about Tom is he's a hopeless romantic.
What's the Wilmington, NC music scene like these days?
  • Shaun: Building constantly. Post covid there was a real explosion of rock bands in this town. Up until that, it was starting to feel like if you weren't a punk band or alt-country there was no place for you. That has totally changed. A ton of different sounds are coming from the bands in this town now. There is some really great heavy garage stuff from bands like Narah and Cancel. Pleasure Island is consistently one of the best bands I've seen recently. I think the songwriters are getting better too. Mark Jackson of morning news is a phenomenal lyricist and has the best voice. The greatest part is the DIY feel that the music community has embraced. James at Fort Lowell records is a perfect example of that. He's totally been a really important part of the support structure that's allowed local music to get so good.

  • Shaylah:  It's great and you know what would make it better? More venues with bigger stages and full sound!

  • Robin: It's really cool, there's a decent number of venues and more keep coming up. I love being able to play outside shows at Tiki Bar at the beach and downtown at Satellite/Palate. There's a ton of bands, and they're all really good, which means everyone keeps striving to be better, it's a very healthy scene.
Any plans to tour for this album?
  • Shaun: Not yet, but we'd love to find ourselves at some of the awesome street festivals that happen this summer.  We're also open to trying to make it up to Raleigh and or the mountains, do some long weekends.

  • Shaylah: No. We would love to do a mini regional tour out to Asheville and back or something, but it's hard because we have kids and jobs and whatnot. It would be so great though. Maybe one day.
Your songs invoke a joy that sounds like it's a blast to hear live. What's the Kicking Bird live show like?
  • Shaun: Loud. Sweaty, Lots of eye contact.

  • Shaylah: Chaotic and barely held together. Shaun has always been anti-senseless banter. Like, he hates when songwriters do the thing where they tell you what the song's about instead of letting the song speak for itself. I agree. His sense of pacing drives a lot of the momentum of each set, and the rest of us try to keep up. It's exciting. It's definitely a dance party.

  • Robin: I think everyone's main reason for being in the band is to play shows, that's definitely where the band are at their happiest. It sounds a bit corny but we really do try and make our shows a bit of a party, there's always good energy that typically gets people up and dancing. Shaun and Tom are always giving it all they have, Tom can usually be found dancing in the audience playing his bass. 
What's the first album you bought?
  • Shaun: Weird Al-Even Worse.

  • Shaylah: With my own money? Probably something off one of the listening stations at Borders.

  • Robin: I think when I was about 9 or 10 I bought Run DMC's "Raising Hell" with my own money. Shortly after, my brother played me the "Help" album by the Beatles, and then I immediately started to buy every Beatles album. I bought them pretty much in order of release date and I just remember being blown away every time I got a new one, and the feeling of really discovering and falling in love with great music, that was such a great time.
How do songwriting duties work with having three vocalists?
  • ShaunThere are some occasions when one of us will show up with a completed song, beginning to end, all the parts, ready to go. More frequently one of us will show up something that is incomplete to some degree and we will work it out all together. Each of the five of us have different tendencies and skills that make for a really wonderful outcome. Lauren is a really great example of that. Robin showed up to practice with this really fun riff, Shaylah and I banged out the basic chords and words, and then once Greg and Tom threw in the rhythm dynamics the whole thing turned into a complete jam. We are very collective and I really couldn't feel luckier that I get to be part of a team that works together so well.

  • Shaylah: Historically: Shaun will write most of a song, and then show it to me and I'll help write a hook or a bridge if I'm singing on it. If not, I'll come up with something on the piano. When I write, I'll knock it all out and then Shaun takes over on guitar. A few times, I've written the progression and turns out it was better suited for him to sing. When it's one of those great times where we all collaborate on a skeleton in the practice spot, I feel like it's usually Shaun, Robin, and Tom working out the chords, structure, and dynamic. We'll argue about whether a certain chord should be minor or major. Robin will often lead the process with a cool guitar riff.

  • Robin: Pretty much everyone comes up with their own ideas and brings them to practice and we just jam around on the idea/song, sometimes it's a fully formed song and sometimes it's just a bit that we all try to add too to make something cool. I love playing in a band with three very distinct songwriters, Shaun's lyrics are abstract and often weird in a fantastic way, Shaylah's are heartfelt or beautifully melancholy, and Tom's are about young love and just having fun, it gives us a well-rounded mix!  
We're premiering the song "238." What's the story behind the song?
  • Shaun: I was watching a skate video at work and a song by Joel Alme that just floored me. I went home and just straight up started ripping off the chords and melody. The words came pretty quickly one night just thinking about how far away and beautiful the moon is. The sounds of words together is the first thing I start working with, and then any narrative or meaning kind of gets discovered after the thing is done. 

  • Shaylah: I guess it's a love song to the moon. Or our dog, whose name is Moon. It's one of my favorite songs to play.


Saturday, April 8, 2023

Brian Lopez Premieres “Road to Avalon” (ft. KT Tunstall) from Upcoming Album ‘Tidal’

[Repost from V13; by Christopher Gonda, March 23, 2023]

Due out on June 23rd via both Cosmica Artists (digital) and Fort Lowell Records (Bandcamp, vinyl), Calexico guitarist Brian Lopez continues to promote his upcoming solo recording, Tidal, digitally and on 12-inch vinyl. Well, today, ahead of its public release on Friday, we’re thrilled to premiere the album’s smashing second single, “Road to Avalon,” featuring none other than KT Tunstall.

The indie rocker, well-known for his cinematic melodies and soaring vocals, was born and is based in Tucson. His debut solo recording, Ultra, dropped in 2012 to international acclaim and followed it up with Static Noise in 2014. Fast forward four more years, and Prelude, a ten-track lo-fi album written and recorded in his makeshift home studio in two weeks, was independently released in 2018.

Commenting on the song and the inspiration behind its creation, Lopez shared:

“KT visited my house sometime during the pandemic and told me to send her some music to sing to. I was in the middle of demoing songs for TIDAL and thought it might be a cool idea to write a duet with KTs voice in mind. So I got started on composing ‘Road To Avalon’ –– I sent her the music and she recorded her voice in LA, and added beautiful harmonies…oohs and ahhs that I would never be able to conceive of on my own.”

He adds:

“It was just nice to work together again. Especially during the solitude of a pandemic. I really enjoyed the challenge of writing a song that would fit into, not only a storyline of KT and I, but also a song that gave KT some creative license to do what she does best. And she delivered those beautiful vocal arrangements you hear.”

With Tidal, Lopez not only builds upon his mad songwriting skills but also returns to his indie rock origins. Aside from his solo project, Lopez is also the frontman of the psych/cumbia band XIXA and has worked with an expansive range of artists, including Calexico, Amos Lee, Nouvelle Vague, KT Tunstall, Giant Sand, and Mexican Institute of Sound

Tidal Track Listing:
  1. 3000 Stories
  2. Like a Virus
  3. Road to Avalon (ft. KT Tunstall)
  4. Black Mountain
  5. Margot Kidder
  6. Looking Glass
  7. Face to Face
  8. Magic
  9. All Souls
  10. Psilocybin Dream

Friday, April 7, 2023

OUT NOW: Desario "Eclipse" [Digital Single]

"Eclipse" is the latest single from Desario of Sacramento, California, following their critically acclaimed fourth studio album Signal and Noise — "an absolute must for fans of the early days of alt-rock, shoegaze-tinted indie-rock and blurry post-punk" [Daily Vault]. An outtake from the same recording sessions that made Signal and Noise, "Eclipse" continues to satisfy fans with its atmospheric textures, hypnotic melodies, and crisp percussion. Gentle, yet confident vocals provide a friendly reminder of how sometimes we are all our own worst enemy. The single is paired with a remix of "Things We Left Behind" from Signal and Noise as a virtual B-Side, reinterpreted by Ryan Leasure of Lavender Blush. Anticipate more from Desario in the near future, as they maintain a welcomed focus on songwriting and production that demonstrates their strength as a band, maturity as artists, and wisdom as composers.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

New music from Wilmington artists includes work with Grammy-winning star

[Repost from StarNews; by John Staton, March 31, 2023]

Lots of new music coming out of Wilmington these days, and Port City artists have been embracing collaboration, sometimes with big names.

New singles from folk/Americana artist Travis Shallow and pop/R&B singer Annie Tracy drop Friday, and there's an epic collaboration between two Wilmington hip-hop acts, one old school, the other new school.

RizzyBeats & MindsOne
Old-school meets new-school hip-hop on an upcoming album release from Wilmington's Fort Lowell Records, which dropped its first single earlier this month.

The Wilmington DJ and producer RizzyBeats, a member of the Beats & Coffee hip-hop collective who can often be seen around town at one venue or another, recently decided to rework "The Time Space Continuum," a 2006 album from veteran Wilmington hip-hop combo MindsOne.

The first reworked track, "Exit Velocity (End of the Line)," dropped March 10 and the full album, dubbed "The Time Space Continuum Redux," comes out May 12 on Fort Lowell.

At once an homage to the verbal dexterity of MindsOne MCs KON Sci and Tronic, which still holds up 17 years later, the "Redux" album also pays tribute to the traditional "boom bap" style of hip-hop by offering a fresh take on the genre.


Kicking Bird
Another band on Wilmington's Fort Lowell Records, Wilmington power-pop act Kicking Bird,has been releasing singles from its upcoming album "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" out May 19. "Stuck," which dropped on March 17, is a delicious, manic-romantic slice of summer-vibe energy, and the band's new single, "238," dropped today. A Wilmington gem for sure.

[L-R] KON Sci & Tronic of MindsOne, and RizzyBeats; photo by RYAN ELLiS

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

New album: Kim Ware || Homely

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, March 31, 2023]

Last fall, Shelby (North Carolina) singer/songwriter/guitarist Kim Ware left a big impression with her beautiful Ready LP. She has the best explanation ever for coming up with a successor so quickly: “I liked the idea of having two new albums available at my merch table, one that showed off my full-band, indie-rock side, and the other that showed my more folky, acoustic, coffeehouse/listening room side.” And so we can already enjoy Homely – nine new or re-recorded, more stripped down songs, reflecting how the artist sounds live these days. In my opinion, the originals are all more interesting than the cover of Some Guys Have All the Luck (written by Jeff Fortgang, popularized by The Persuaders in 1973 and by Rod Stewart in 1984). They may not be perfect (Kim’s words), but they are so authentic, heartfelt and pure (my words) that this intimate indie pop gets under your skin. Check the overview of upcoming shows to discover where you can get this one as well as the previous release.

Homely is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records. Featuring Noah Zacharin (dobro, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keys), John McNicholas (acoustic guitar), Mark Johnson (slide guitar) and Jonny Daly (pedal steel) on different tracks. The album is not available on the streaming services.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fort Lowell