Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Saturday, May 25, 2024

Out of the Crowd (Festival) back with a bang for 20th edition

Red Dwarf Star; photos by Hughes Vanhoucke

[Repost from RTL Today; by Charlie Stone, May 13, 2024]

Having truly curated a lineup that incorporated artists from all four corners of the globe, the day kicked off with the Americans Red Dwarf Star, who are the brainchild of Coley Dennis of Maserati (who performed later) providing a wide sonic landscape.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

PREMIERE | Female Gaze, 'Tender Futures'

Art and existence in our current era (and arguably other time periods) is not an inherently linear ordeal. While cycles and patterns can be observed in terms of how trends ebb and flow, earth science sequences analyzed, societal and civic fashions and fads parade in and out of style and so forth; nothing abides by a static algorithm. Our experiences are erratic, the best laid itineraries and plans are often met with diversions and interruptions that whisk us away from our otherwise regularly scheduled programming. We are beholden to the timelines that are outside of our own unique operations, and while we may be experiencing the slow steps of time in our own lives there are often cyclones of social circuses that buzz around our hives in a maelstrom of movements that are too innumerable to count. We witness these motions according to our time, the lulls of night and the lights of day as our consciousness absorbs the information and stimuli that arrives at our senses (while the unconscious grapples with the overwhelming deluge of external activities that exceeds the limits of our comprehension).

These non-linear sequences abound on the new record Tender Futures from Tucson, AZ trio Female Gaze. Bandleader Nelene DeGuzman, Kevin Conklin and Nicky David Cobham-Morgese create a 5 song cycle designed to be experienced like a Möbius film loop. The band prefaces it with the following:

…[Tender Futures] is a cycle meant to be listened to on a loop, starting anywhere but listening in order until you reach your starting point again…

A record that rose out of DeGuzman’s own health struggles where days and nights blended together into the arbitrary atmospheres of ambiguity, Tender Futures offers tangible textures that enrobe the constructs of time and spaces as we embark upon them. Female Gaze gives room for how we perceive our lives, minute by minute, moment to moment. Honoring these aspects of reality, DeGuzman surveys where we are, how we feel and how we are engaging in that very instance. Tender Gaze invites you to experience time not as a simplified flat line but as a circle, where the the rises and falls of solar and lunar intervals are heard and felt according to a planetary alignment that is outside of our own immediate purview.

Chronologically "Ghosts" begins the album with a journey through the paranormal where Nelene's voice echoes through chambers and is met by the found sounds of daylight where the ambience of wind and the chirps and cheeps of birdsongs fills the air. The voyage to the edges of night and the dams of daybreak collapses the conventions of calendars on "Broadcast" that transmits like a psychotropic journey to the places where time takes on new forms and new meanings. The title track runs shy of 10 minutes, an instrumental where the conventions of clocks, hours, minutes and seconds dissolves into a heady jam that entrances all who are brave enough to take the trip. "In the Mezzanine" employs lo-fi piano keys and field recorded sounds of evening where crickets and the rushing whooshes of traffic swim about the mix (replete with percussive car turn signal clicks and clacks).

Tender Futures is completed with "Severance" that transcends the pains of mortality. Transcends the trappings of 24 hour systems and cycles of bookkeeping. Transcends the movement of the planets. Transcends the trivialities of everything that we place meaning upon that are but chaff in the breeze as the wind adheres to its own wild code and convection trajectory that carries a compass of its own design and choosing. Nelene takes the listener on an out of body experience where everything and nothingness, day and night and other corresponding opposites find a cosmic and complimentary coupling like compatible constellations cruising up together in concert high above the sky.

Nelene DeGuzman of Female Gaze shared the following meditations on the new album:

Tender Futures is an experimental concept album that tracks an endless day/night cycle. I’ve struggled most of my adult life with pain stemming from chronic health issues.

Tender Futures was created while suffering through a particularly difficult health year, waiting 5 months in a painful limbo for a much needed surgery. Time seemed to slow to an intolerable pace but I also felt like everything was moving fast around me and I was unable to keep up.

My perception during this time became a fever dream of cycles, inhale/exhale, night/day, always a bit disoriented, like waking up from a nap that’s gone too long and now it’s dark and you’re not sure if it’s late at night or early in the morning.

Female Gaze’s Tender Futures arrives May 17 on vinyl via Fort Lowell Records and cassette courtesy of Totally Real Records. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tercel - "Tiny Towns"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Spears, May 14, 2024]

Hailing from the Cape Fear region of North Carolina, Tercel are going to make you nostalgic for a slice of indie rock you may have forgotten a but. Their debut single, "Tiny Towns," is filled with power pop and melodies, but it also has a bit of the quirkier side of indie rock and plenty of dissonance. It's the kind of track that both repels you and draws you in, often at the exact same time. At various points I'm hearing influences ranging from Archers of Loaf to Sebadoh to Superchunk, with some Wussy thrown in. "Tiny Towns" is a great debut single from a band we're looking forward to hearing more from.

You can listen to "Tiny Towns" below. The single is out now via Fort Lowell Records, and is available for download over on Bandcamp. For more on Tercel, check out the band on Instagram.

Friday, May 17, 2024

OUT NOW: Female Gaze 'Tender Futures' [Debut Album]

Female Gaze makes immersive art to get lost in. Their debut album, Tender Futures, is an experimental concept record that tracks an endless day/night cycle, exploring meditations on mindless-ness as a coping mechanism.

Songwriter and guitarist Nelene DeGuzman and bassist Kevin Conklin met drummer Nicky David Cobham-Morgese in Tucson, Arizona where the band is based. DeGuzman, who has struggled most of her adult life with pain stemming from chronic health issues, created Tender Futures while suffering through a particularly difficult health year, when she was left waiting 5 months in a painful limbo for a much needed surgery.

“Time seemed to slow to an intolerable pace but I also felt like everything was moving fast around me and I was unable to keep up. My perception during this time became a fever dream of cycles, inhale/exhale, night/day, always a bit disoriented, like waking up from a nap that’s gone too long and now it’s dark and you’re not sure if it’s late in the night or early in the morning” says DeGuzman.

The new album is meant to be experienced on a loop, starting from any song but then listening until reaching your starting point. Tender Futures is now available on vinyl via Fort Lowell Records and tape via Totally Real Records, as well as on all digital music platforms.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

OUT NOW: Tercel "Tiny Towns" [Digital Single]

The first official debut release — a digital single titled "Tiny Towns" — for Wilmington, North Carolina's own Tercel is out today on all digital music platforms.  For fans of Archers of Loaf, Blab School, Broken Social Scene, Built to Spill, Cursive, Desaparecidos, Fucked Up, Horsegirl, Japandroids, Jawbox, JEFF the Brotherhood, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Lifeguard, Pavement, Pissed Jeans, Sebadoh, Ty Segall, Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Superchunk, The Thermals, Titus Andronicus, Unwound, Wavves, Wolf Parade, Yuck.  

Monday, May 13, 2024

La Cerca 'Summer Tour'

May 24 - San Antonio TX - The Mix
May 25 - Austin TX - Chess Club 
May 26 - Wichita KS - Kirby’s Beer Store
May 29 - Minneapolis MN- Cloudland
May 30 - Milwaukee WI - High Dive 
May 31 - Chicago IL - Marz Brewing Community
June 1 - Lafayette IN - The Spot
June 2- - Akron OH -[tbd
June 4 - Cleveland OH - Happy Dog
June 5 - Pittsburgh PA - [tbd]
June 6 - Brooklyn NY - Mama Tried
June 9 - Winston Salem NC - Monstercade
June 10 - Cincinnati OH - MOTR 
June 11 - Louisville KY - B Sides
June 12 - St. Louis MO - The Sinkhole
June 13 - Lawrence KS - Replay
June 14 - Kansas City MO - miniBar

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Female Gaze 'Tender Futures' Tour

May 17 - Tucson AZ - MOCA  - *Tender Futures Record Release Show*
May 24 - Tucson AZ - Blondie's - *Tender Futures Film Screening*
May 31 - Las Cruces NM - The Lighthouse
June 1 - Lamy NM - Lamy Taproom
June 2 - Silver City NM - Whiskey Creek Zocalo
June 5- Phoenix AZ - Linger Longer
June 6 - San Diego CA - The Comet Theater
June 7 - Ojai CA - Greater Goods
June 8 - San Francisco CA - The Make Out Room
June 9 - Los Angeles CA - Healing Force Records
June 15 - Tucson AZ - Che's Lounge

Friday, May 10, 2024

OUT NOW: Blab School "Small Simple Ways" [Digital Single]

The third single "Small Simple Ways" from Blab School’s self-titled debut album is available now on all digital music platforms. For fans of Bad Religion, Buzzcocks, Descendants, Drive Like Jehu, The Faction, The Fucking Champs, Gang of Four, Green Day, The Hives, Hot Snakes, Jawbox, The Jesus Lizard, Les Savy Fav, Lightning Bolt, Meatbodies, Melt-Banana, Metz, Osees, Pipe, Pissed Jeans, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Superchunk, The Thermals.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

What Rules Wednesday / TRK: Forest Fallows-Hotel Radisson

[Repost from Small Albums; May 7, 2024]

Sometimes I find a project that sounds like the creators know me and know EXACTLY what I want to hear, and Forest Fallows is one of those instances.

The warmth but never overheat of summer air blows gently as Mike Barnett and Alex Morton strum soft chords, and sing like the fur of a rabbit in a straw hat.

Flute flutters that break up the quiet undercurrents layer just enough, but don't pull from the slow blinking eyes of car windows passing something monumental on the side of the road.

This new single follows up "Saturday Rose," with yet another splash in the same cooling pool. A tiny bicycle bell rings out off time, and falls back to sleep. Saxophone ends the track like a frosted pastry in an open window.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Red Dwarf Star 'European Tour' starts today in Lausanne, Switzerland!

Red Dwarf Star

  • 05/07 Lausanne, Switzerland @ Le Bleu Lezard
  • 05/08 Besançon, France @ Antonnoir
  • 05/09 Strasbourg, Franc @ La Grenze
  • 05/10 Gent, Belgium @ Dunk! Festival
  • 05/11 Luxembourg, Luxembourg @ Out of the Crowd Festival
  • 05/12 Utrecht, Netherlands @ De Helling 
    All dates with Maserati

Friday, May 3, 2024

OUT NOW: Forest Fallows "Hotel Radisson" [Digital Single]

The second single "Hotel Radisson" from Forest Fallow's sophomore album Palisades is available now on all digital music platforms.  —— For fans of Animal Collective, Ariel Pink, Atlas Sound, The American Analog Set, Beach Boys, Broadcast, Mac DeMarco, Destroyer, Drugdealer, Ducktails, Esquivel, Goth Babe, Richard Hawley, JPW, Lauds, The Ocean Blue, Peel Dream Magazine, The Radio Dept., Radiohead, Real Estate, The Sea & Cake, Stereolab, Sugar Candy Mountain, The Sundays, Kurt Vile, Yo La Tengo, Wild Nothing, and Woods.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

80s Dance Night in Wilmington NC - Friday, May 3rd at The Underfront Co.

LET'S DANCE is a Vinyl DJ Night hosted by Fort Lowell Records around various venues in Wilmington, North Carolina.  This coming Friday, May 3rd, we are partnering with deejay / hip-hop producer RizzyBeats to bring you a very special 80s Night edition of our LET'S DANCE event at The Underfront Co. bar on Front Street in Downtown Wilmington NC.  James Tritten, owner of Fort Lowell Records, will be swappin' joints with RizzyBeats on the ol' 1s and 2s from 8:00pm until midnight, spinnin' everything from 80s boogie, freestyle, hip-hop, new wave, pop, post-punk, R&B, rock-n-roll, synthpop, name it!  Plus, the dynamic duo is going to be rockin' it Egyptian Lover style with a real Roland 808 Analog Drum Machine from the 1980s on stage, live beat matching and remixing the vinyl records they'll be playing.  So join us at The Underfront Co. this coming Friday, May 3rd... and LET'S DANCE!


Monday, April 29, 2024

Red Dwarf Star: Lady Aurora Borealis

Maserati guitarist Coley Dennis flies solo with his Red Dwarf Star project. He doesn't stray all that much for the psychedelic post-rock that he has been creating with the Athens, GA band. His new single Lady Aurora Borealis - the Espresso Machine Mix to be precise - is a slow moving trip through outer space, with Dennis never revealing if it is a real or imaginary journey. He stacked the guitar parts way up high, with Kellii Scott from Los Angeles alt-rock band Failure playing up a storm on drums. It left him two ways to make himself heard: scream at the top of lungs or going for an almost spoken word part draped over the mayhem. He chose wisely, and picked the latter.

The B-side is a harsh reimagining of the Pink Floyd classic Fearless, turning it into a slowed down metal tune as if the Sisters of Mercy were picking a fight with Black Sabbath. Allen Epley from Kansas City indie rock band The Life and Times stepped up to the mike for this one. He got buried deep in the mix, but that is intentional.

Lady Aurora Borealis is released via Fort Lowell Records.

Live dates (with Maserati):
  • 05/07 Lausanne, Switzerland @ Le Bleu Lezard
  • 05/08 Besançon, France @ Antonnoir
  • 05/09 Strasbourg, Franc @ La Grenze
  • 05/10 Gent, Belgium @ Dunk! Festival
  • 05/11 Luxembourg, Luxembourg @ Out of the Crowd Festival
  • 05/12 Utrecht, Netherlands @ De Helling

» Red Dwarf Star on Instagram

Friday, April 26, 2024

OUT NOW: Naïm Amor "Freeway Race" [Digital Single]

The second single "Freeway Race" from Naïm Amor's twelfth studio album Stories is out today on all digital music platforms. For fans of The Black Keys, Black Midi, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Nels Cline, Edwyn Collins, The Cramps, The Fleshtones, Richard Hawley, King Krule, La Luz, Los Straightjackets, Man or Astro-man?, JD McPherson, Messer Chups, The Meteors, Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Shannon & The Clams, The Sonics, The Surfrajettes, Surprise Chef, Tijuana Panthers,The Tremolo Beer Gut, Whatitdo Archive Group, Jack White, and Link Wray.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Female Gaze "Severance"

[Repost from Stereobar; April 7, 2024]

Before even a single word is sung, “Severance” by Female Gaze casts its spell. The track, an enchanting blend of psychedelia and shoegaze, starts with a compelling bass line that immediately grabs your attention. By the time Nelene DeGuzman’s vocals drift in, you’re already deeply immersed in its sonic world. This song manages to take what sounds like an oxymoron – “trippy shoegaze” – and turns it into an alluring, cohesive sound that’s hard to resist. With its six-minute runtime, “Severance” teases its conclusion several times, only to dive deeper into its mesmerizing soundscape, inviting listeners to lose themselves in its depth. Each continuation feels like a gift, prolonging the warm, captivating experience Female Gaze has crafted. This track is a standout from their upcoming album Tender Futures, set for release on May 17 via Fort Lowell Records, showcasing the band’s ability to blend genres and create music that’s both innovative and deeply affecting.

Friday, April 19, 2024

OUT NOW: Red Dwarf Star "Lady Aurora Borealis" [Digital Single]

Red Dwarf Star is the brainchild of guitarist Coley Dennis of the long running Athens, GA Post Rock/Kraut band Maserati.

Located now in Lausanne, Switzerland — Red Dwarf Star that’s taken Dennis back to his roots in the early 90’s. Tapping into Creation Records bands like Slowdive, Swervedriver as well the Cure and Cocteau Twins, it has served as a sonic pallet for his first ever solo output.

Adding as well mid-90’s U.S. “Midwest Core” influences like HUM, Failure, Quicksand and Shiner, Dennis is creating beautiful but powerful sonic landscapes reminiscent of the lush shoegaze sounds aforementioned.

Drawing inspiration from leaving his home country in 2015 for a new life, starting a family, and a new career has inspired Dennis to write his most personal material to date.

For the recording Dennis enlisted the drumming duties of Kellii Scott (Failure) on his first solo Red Dwarf Star release.

In the live arena he enlisted the help of Leipzig, Germany post-rockers JeffK composed of Steffen Ziemann behind the kit as well as Matthias Poese (guitar) and Börge Meyn (bass) to round out the group.

The debut release for Red Dwarf Star — a digital single for the song "Lady Aurora Borealis", paired with a cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless" — is out now on all digital music platforms.

Catch Red Dwarf Star live in concert: 
  • May 7: Lausanne, CH @ Le Bleu Lezard
  • May 8: Besançon, FR @ Antonnoir 
  • May 9: Strasbourg, FR @ La Grenze 
  • May 10: Gent, BE @ Dunk! Festival 
  • May 11: Luxembourg, LX @ Out of the Crowd Festival
  • May 12: Utrecht, NL @ De Helling
    All dates supporting Maserati

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Suitcase Full of Emotions

[Repost from Aldora Britain Records; b Tom Hilton, April 10, 2024]

Tucson, Arizona is the home to post-rock experimentalists LA CERCA.  Combining the disparate worlds of ambient avant-garde, shoegaze, and spacey psychedelic rock, this Southwestern sonic collective deliver something undeniably fresh and completely reinvigorating.  Their original compositions are brooding and unfolding soundscapes, pushing boundaries and gloriously disrespecting borders.  Records such as 2018’s Night Bloom and 2020’s A Nice Sweet Getaway are archetypal snapshots of La Cerca’s delightful approach, stellar adventures through creative worlds, a never-ending journey of discovery.  With the fourth anniversary of A Nice Sweet Getaway fast approaching, key bandmember Andrew Gardner agreed to chat with Aldora Britain Records about La Cerca’s experimentations so far.  We discuss the coming together of the group, a selection of their recorded output, their approach to songcraft, and much, much more.  That exclusive in-depth conversation is published here in full for the very first time.  

La Cerca have previously contributed their track ‘Free of Expectation’ to our independent, underground music sampler ‘We Didn’t Start the Fight’.  Listen or download HERE.

If you enjoy this content, please consider making a small, magazine-sized donation at the following link:  Thank you!

Aldora Britain Records: Hello Andrew, how are you?  I am excited to be talking with such an experimental musician.  I am a big fan of what you do!  Let’s start off by rewinding the clocks.  What are some of your earliest musical memories and what was it that first pushed you towards pursuing this passion of yours?

Andrew Gardner: Hello Tom, I just got back from a thirteenday West Coast tour with La Cerca.  It was eight shows.  It rained a lot in Southern California, where it’s not supposed to rain.  We had a lot of winter weather.  In Tucson, spring is starting, but not so much for the West Coast.  We jokingly called the tour ‘Prolonging the Winter 2024’.

I grew up in a small town in Ohio before we moved to Tucson, Arizona.  Our neighbours had a guest living in their basement who had an organ.  I would be over at their house asking to go downstairs to watch the player, but I was denied, so I would put my ear to the floor.  Music was always a constant.  My mom had a good record collection and I was taught how to carefully handle albums and turn them over on the turntable at a young age.  Everybody knew that music was the direction for me.  I had opinions on Jimi Hendrix records, Dark Side of the Moon, and Sgt. Pepper.  I loved the 1980s Top 40, at least up until 1987.  The first album I purchased with my paper route money was David Bowie’s Let’s Dance.  The Fixx, Reach the Beach was my second album.  I was lucky enough to have guitar lessons.  Within a couple of years, I was drafting the neighbour kids to start a band.

Aldora Britain Records: And now, let’s take a leap forward to the beginnings of the brilliant La Cerca.  The early days of the group must have been such an invigorating time.  How did it come to be?  How did you meet the other members and what was the initial spark that brought you all together on a musical level?

Andrew Gardner: La Cerca evolved from my band called Wise Folk Malcontent, which played the underground rock scene in Tucson from 1992 to early 2000.  The musicians wanted a name change because we had felt that we had arrived on a musical level and they were aspiring to be permanent musicians.  We were fans of 1970s punk rock and art rock, New Order, The Cure, and 90s American indie rock.  Within a year and a half, those musicians had moved on to other projects only a few months after the release of our first album Goodbye Phantom Engineer, 2001 on Unlike Label.  It was again a revolving member band surrounding my songwriting.

Miguel Villarreal was my neighbour who loved La Cerca’s music so much that he decided to play bass from 2002 to 2012.  I decided to be in a band with my neighbours as much as possible, but that limited us to not being able to tour.  That was okay for a while, but touring aspirations kicked in and I would go out by myself and then grab a friend or two along the way and we would go play shows sporadically across the States, then pairing down to just me playing solo shows.  Bill Oberdick came onboard as guitarist in 2005.  He is still a big part of La Cerca’s sound.  By the time he had joined, I felt like the real band had started.

Aldora Britain Records: In 2020, you released a fantastic record in the form of A Nice Sweet Getaway.  This was my introduction to your work, so I look back on it very fondly.  What are your memories from composing, recording and releasing this set, and is there anything that you would edit or change with the benefit of hindsight?

Andrew Gardner: In 2013 and early 2014, the band was in a kind of limbo waiting for mastering and pressing of our third album, Sunrise for Everyone.  I was working at a guitar shop and acquiring better gear.  I was learning how to use a Tascam handheld two-track recorder.  I just got a monster delay pedal, the TC Electronic Flashback X4 Delay, with a decent fortysecond looper.  I was obsessed with pedals.  It used to be that I had a chorus, fuzz, and delay.  Now there was much more on my palette.

After La Cerca band rehearsals, I started these recording experiments.  I would place the recorder in different places to see how the room would sound.  I started making these ambient mood jams.  I didn’t think that much of it, but in the back of my mind, I thought that some of the recordings were listenable.  I started treating them like ‘songs’, but I would improvise.

Sometimes, I had ideas in advance, like ‘Ice Cubes’, other times, it was made up on the spot, like ‘Walking the Underbelly’.  I would have my neighbours over to listen on our porch while I was in the process.  I would go to our nearby venue, The Flycatcher, RIP, and record the jams in the lounge, like ‘Gloomy Vista Way’.  Sometimes, the songs were sculpted for an hour before I hit record, like ‘Shimmering Peacock’.

At the time, I was just trying out ideas and creating new ideas.  I wanted to be spontaneous and keep a performance feel.  There were no overdubs.  I gave a burned CD to a couple of friends and that was about as far as it went.  I liked it, but I didn’t think it was good enough to release.  It was just some ideas for later.  By April of 2020, we had to cancel a tour and the rest of the music world was on pause.  I started listening to these lo-fi recordings.  It felt very fresh and it still had a lot of melody to the noise.  It was interesting to see how I was nowhere near the state of mind, but that state of mind was perfect for our pandemic world.

It became a soundtrack to strange times.  I felt like it wasn’t too far off from the noise and melody that La Cerca made.  It just wasn’t made with any bandmates.  We already had a project in the works, but I had many more actual songs and there wasn’t a studio open for us to record.  I had not yet set up my living room with the studio that I have today.  I had Jim Waters do some sonic treatments and EQing.  It has a new life and I wanted to share it with the world.

Aldora Britain Records: I am fascinated by the way you make these intense, immersive soundscapes.  There is just something about La Cerca’s songcraft!  How do you approach this part of your creative process?  Is it a case of jamming away and striking gold, or is it a more methodical and repeatable approach?

Andrew Gardner: For A Nice Sweet Getaway, about one-third of the tunes were improvised on the spot with very little or zero planning.  One-third were sculpted in advance with a loop or two already crafted beforehand or had some editing, post-recording.  The remaining were a little bit of both.  Sometimes, I would come up with a title first and go with how I was feeling.  Other times, I thought about a feeling and was seeing if I could recreate a sonic version of that feeling.  The goal was to keep it ‘live’ as possible.  I had a lot of jams that didn’t go anywhere, or so I was thinking at the time.  By performing them and pressing the record button, it gave me the pressure to figure out how to finish them.

Aldora Britain Records: Previously, if we travel back to 2018, you unveiled another stellar LP called Night Bloom.  This is a brilliant earlier snapshot of the band and your artistry.  How do you reflect on this set as a whole now, and how would you say you have grown and evolved as a band since its initial release?

Andrew Gardner: Night Bloom is a widescreen version of the band.  We started writing those tunes as early as 2012 or before.  We were able to play them at our shows earlier in the songs’ existence.  We still play many of those songs in our live performance.  ‘Echolocation’ and ‘Tumbling Boulder’ have a bit of an ambient feel.  As for the new material we have been working on, there is a bit more of an ambient feel.  However, the new material also has older songs or ideas that have been around since the beginning of the band.

Aldora Britain Records: As you well know, I am a big fan of the La Cerca sound and your approach to making music.  That psychedelic shoegaze wall of sound.  Brilliance!  How would you say this style of yours came about, what goes into it for you, and who are some of your biggest influences and inspirations as a band?

Andrew Gardner: In the late 80s, Top 40 music was becoming boring for me, so I turned the dial left to the college radio stations and watched MTV’s 120 Minutes.  I discovered bands like Ride, Pale Saints, Spacemen 3, Dinosaur Jr.  I am still listening to those bands today.  I can’t speak for the other guitarist, Bill Oberdick, but I know he had a similar experience with college radio and discovering bands like Fugazi, R.E.M., and Minutemen.  As music went in and out of fashion, I was still into bands with loud noisy guitars and I made my own versions of that music.  We tend to go for vintage 60s guitar and amps, but we use modern pedals.  We like our fuzz pedals, chorus and whammy or vibrotos.

Aldora Britain Records: A broad question to finish.  We have been through such a unique time in history over the last few years.  Both politically and within society, and that is before you throw in the pandemic.  How have the last several years impacted on you personally and as an artist?  How do you think this time has changed the music industry, both for the good and the bad?

Andrew Gardner: When the pandemic hit, I had a bunch of musical projects to explore.  I had a bunch of half songs that I wanted to finish because I felt they were worth finishing.  Going through a backlog of material was frustrating and yet informing me as a reminder of where I’ve been as a person and where I wanted to go.  I also felt that I was a lazy songwriter.  In the past, I would start songs but not finish them and then the song would get placed on tapes for later.  2020 was the time to finish songs, and so I finished forty songs during the summer.  And then twenty more a year later.  Some of the songs were mostly written, some were just ideas, others needed new lyrics.

The other issue was that I did not have a way to record the songs properly.  I had my handheld recorder which worked for the time being.  I saved money and purchased some great mics and the rest of the recording gear, so I didn’t have to go to an expensive recording studio for all of my songs.  Having a session in the living room actually works well for my lifestyle and the songs are more realised.  I am more focussed than I have ever been.  I have been able to create a life where I can go on tour more often.

As for changes in the music industry, I feel as though music is not as appreciated as it once was.  There is an idea that musicians should release more frequently.  I agree to that, but I find that if we release something without promoting it properly or not releasing it on vinyl, it may become lost in a digital haystack.  I’m not the best at social media and self-promoting is not my favourite thing to do, but it has to be a big part of the promoting platform.  So, now I have to be good at social media and make better artwork for shows, make more videos, and learn how to edit.  La Cerca is a touring band, we can’t only release music, but there might be a future of not touring with the way gas, food, and hospitality have gone up.  It seems there are less show venues and not enough people supporting live music.  Some of that might also be generational.  Young adults spend more time on their phone at home with a much shorter attention span.  Same can be said about people my age.

Quickfire Round

AB Records: Favourite artist?  Andrew: Too many favourites.  I am still a big fan of The Cure.  AB Records: Favourite album?  Andrew: Too many favourites!  Big Star, Radio City; American Music Club, Mercury; Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde; The Cure, Disintegration.  AB Records: Last album you listened to from start to finish?  Andrew: The Go-Betweens, Before Hollywood.

AB Records: First gig as an audience member?  Andrew: The Commodores or Cheap Trick.  AB Records: Loudest gig as an audience member?  Andrew: Tucker B’s.  AB Records: Style icon?  Andrew: Skate shoes, flannel, Mark Gonzales.

AB Records: Favourite film?  Andrew: River’s Edge.  Not the best, but hilarious and creepy. 

AB Records: Favourite TV show?  Andrew: The Young OnesAB Records: Favourite up and coming artist?  Andrew: Null State. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Blab School - "Scrolls"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, April 10, 2024]

We were huge fans of Teens in Trouble's album What's Mine when it was released earlier this year. That led me to discover Blab School, which shares Lizzie Killian on guitar and vocals. The North Carolina band just released a new single, "Scrolls," and chances are if you liked Teens in Trouble, you're going to love Blab School. The press release for Blab School's upcoming debut album compares them to bands such as Jawbox, The Jesus Lizard, Drive Like Jehu, Superchunk, and Bad Religion, among others. I can't argue with any of those, but I hear the tuneful early indie rock/emo of Superchunk mixed with the primal power of The Jesus Lizard. If that even remotely interests you (and how could it not?), you're going to need to check out "Scrolls."

You can listen to "Scrolls" above. Blab School's self-titled debut album is due out June 6 on Fort Lowell Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Blab School, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Female Gaze - "Severance"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, April 4, 2024]

Usually I wait for the vocals to kick in before deciding I love a song, but I fell in love with "Severance" from Female Gaze about twenty seconds before Nelene DeGuzman's vocals started. The song starts off with this killer bass line, and then at roughly the seventeen second mark the guitar kicks in, and I was completely won over. The song has this gorgeous blend of psychedelia meets shoegaze that is irresistible. I know I would have balked at "trippy shoegaze," but Female Gaze make it work. All of "Severance" has this warm quality that just draws you in, and you just never want this sound to end. With it's six minute length, there are plenty of times it feels like it's just about to end, and then it just keeps going, and going, and each time you become more and more invested in its beauty.

You can listen to "Severance" below. Tender Futures is due out May 17 on Fort Lowell Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Female Gaze, check out the band's website.

Friday, April 12, 2024

OUT NOW: Blab School "Never Enough" [Digital Single]

The second single from Blab School’s self-titled debut album is available now on all digital music platforms. "Early indie rock/emo of Superchunk mixed with the primal power of The Jesus Lizard" ~ If It's Too Loud