The Time Between Us is the title of a new 6-song split EP between Sargent House alum Emma Ruth Rundle (Red Sparowes, Marriages) and the label’s newest addition, Louisville’s Jaye Jayle (featuring Evan Patterson of Young Widows). The EP boasts three previously unreleased tracks from each artist.
On the heels of her recently released and widely recognized third album, Marked for Death, Emma Ruth Rundle unveils a follow-up dose of brooding, melancholic rock draped in shimmering guitar and the breathy familiarity of her unmistakable voice. Opening track “The Distance” incorporates the lonely tones and dusty landscapes which are by now a trademark of the Emma Ruth Rundle sound, its lulling swells of reverb punctuated by sparkles of lyrical intensity. “To Fold in England (Hours)”, meanwhile, invokes a stoic kind of restraint, all muted keys and aching strings, a subtle backdrop for Rundle’s delicate fretwork, soon extinguished under the density of her nuanced, layered vocals. The side closes with the original acoustic version of “Hand of God”, a standout track from Marked for Death. Stripped of studio embellishments, Rundle’s haunting voice, accompanied simply by the thrum of her acoustic guitar, takes center stage. A fleeting glint of vulnerability, “Hand of God” exhibits the raw, cathartic nature of Rundle’s art, reduced to its essence.
Though possessing a distinct Southern filter, Jaye Jayle’s stripped-back noir in fact owes more to Krautrock than the blues, while Evan Patterson’s baritone croon brings to mind Angels of Light-era Michael Gira. Jaye Jayle unsurprisingly count Spacemen 3, Neu!, and Lungfish among their varied influences, while arriving at a sound wholly unusual in the American underground. The swampy thump of opener “About Time You Came to Me” is a prime example of what the band describes as its “exercises in tension and restraint”, a slide guitar serenade wallowing in a vaporous sea of otherworldly keyboard sounds and floor tom wallop. The slow-boil grumble of second track “Unnecessarily” finds Patterson channeling his inner Iggy Pop over a rhythm made menacing by its sheer unwillingness to break form. “Hope Faith County”, by comparison, seems as if transmitted from a dream. A timeless meander draped in icy violins, the song concludes Jaye Jayle’s side with Patterson’s reverb-laden voice nonchalantly positing the unexpected query, “Space girl, have you finally found me”? Considering the singular, peculiar nature of the group’s sound, it seems like a reasonable question.
"Her voice sounds otherworldly; there's a mystical quality to her singing that displaces you from wherever you're hearing it. The guitars are understated, strumming sounds that seem to reverberate out into the stars." – CLRVYNT, “The Distance” premiere
“a slow-burner with a creepy vocal delivery from Evan that’s kinda somewhere between Nick Cave and Michael Gira.” – Brooklyn Vegan, “Unnecessarily” premiere
Both are on tour now! Hit us up with any requests!
RIYL: PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Michael Gira
TRY: #1, 3, 4, 5
Son of the Velvet Rat (SotVR) celebrates the release of their sixth album Dorado – a golden treasure of desert-inspired tracks produced by the critically acclaimed songwriter and producer, Joe Henry. The album will debut internationally on February 16th, 2017 with a dual release by Fluff & Gravy (CDs and Vinyl) and Mint 400 (Digital Distribution)
“Dorado was recorded quickly over just a few days, and it had to be. The songs as deft pieces of writing had already been well considered, but their articulation needed to be urgent for the mystery at the heart of them to spark and fizz with real-time revelation... Georg and Heike, the husband and wife duo from Austria who are lock-and-key to Son Of The Velvet Rat – both closing the circle of their shared intention, and springing it open – seem invariably to embody the purest constructs of Americana. The voices you hear from this album hover like strobing waves rising from a ribbon of heated black road, and that is precisely how they entered my world: as an apparition both unmistakable and untouchable; other-worldly, yet utterly familiar. I sometimes believe that as sprawling and confused as our national character has become, it requires a foreigner to actually make sense and whole cloth of its particular alchemy –to see it clearly, as if from the fire tower high above us.“ - Joe Henry, Producer
Alongside this latest album creation, the band catalogue includes collaborations with other luminaries such as Lucinda Williams and former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer. Peter Jesperson, former producer & manager of The Replacements, put it aptly: “... beautiful and somber music, their lyrics are pure poetry.”
After years of finding inspiration in the California desert, Son Of The Velvet Rat chose in 2013 to leave behind their impressive band history in Austria, with 5 albums to their credit, and make their home in Joshua Tree. This new endeavor finds the two commuting between the anonymous wasteland of Los Angeles and the fierce but fragile beauty of the high desert, reinventing their creative sphere in a completely different artistic environment. There’s a certain strangeness in their music and sound, with its origins woven deeply in the cultural heritage of the European folk-noir and chanson traditions, and it certainly strikes a chord in all who know the grounding force of gravity and still like to dance on the tightrope.
“...a landscape that echoes the dark romanticism of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake...stark imagery amid themes of love, loss, and longing.” - Performer
"There is a deep and soulful purity to their music. Georg is not just a lyricist. He is a songwriter’s songwriter. There is a haunting beauty in each and every song that stimulates intrigue." - Coachella Valley Weekly
The Motel Pines is kicking off its full-length debut album A Sad History. With a unique indie/alternative/punk sound and recorded with the help of esteemed Dallas producer Salim Nourallah at Pleasantry Lane in Dallas. Songs from the album are already being played at non-commercial and college radio stations around the world.
Formed in Dallas, TX in 2015, after the long musical hiatus of singer and principal songwriter Michael Carrasco, The Motel Pines have come out of their corner swinging making an immediate impression on the independent music scene.
Their music is noticeably influenced by the punk-rock background of Carrasco but is tempered by the backbone of the rhythm section: bassist John Rowland and drummer Mark Starling. Rowland’s influences cross the gamut of early ‘90s alternative to Texas Country and Roots Rock. Starling also has a wide variety of influences, but his first bands were all in the alternative genre. Guitarist Ben Gaither adds mood and texture to what would otherwise be raw punk songs. This mix of influence really gives The Motel Pines a sound that is all their own.
Gaining momentum from their debut album, The Motel Pines are currently playing the festival circuit - already securing spots at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival in Dallas, as well as Indie Music Fest in Austin during famed SXSW. Look for them to maintain a heavy schedule of local and regional shows, with future plans for an upcoming tour.
RIYL: Lucero, Hot Water Music, Against Me!, Drag The River
TRY: #1, 3, 5
The new album Elwan by Tinariwen could well have been called Exile on Main Street. Others have already thought of that, but the idea is apt. As is the painful paradox, if you consider that while Tinariwen were criss-crossing the globe on their recent triumphant tours, the frontiers that encircle their desert home were closing and forcing them into exile to record their new album Elwan.
In recent years, Tinariwen's homeland, a Saharan mountain range between north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria, has been transformed into a conflict zone. While the songs on the new record evoke those cherished deserts of home, they were recorded a long way away in two distinctive bursts.
In 2014 the band stopped at Rancho de la Luna studios in the desert of California’s Joshua Tree National Park. While location proved particularly propitious in terms of creativity, the human climate was just as favorable, as musicians dropped by to add their own touch. Guitarist Matt Sweeny (Johnny Cash, Bonnie Prince Billy and Cat Power), Kurt Vile, musician Alan Johannes, who produced Queens of the Stone Age, a band with whom Mark Lanegan, the other guest has been a singer. All of it honed by engineer Andrew Schepps, who has worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johny Cash, and Jay Z. Two years later in M’Hamid El Ghizlane, an oasis in southern Morocco, near the Algerian frontier, the band set up their tents to record, accompanied by the local musical youth and a Ganga outfit (a group of Berber ‘gnawa’ trance musicians).
The resulting album is called Elwan (‘The Elephants’), not Exile On Main Street, though it fits nicely into that ‘road record’ category. In American cinema, a road movie always unfolds the same way. Characters travel in search of some truth or revelation. But they always end up reconnecting with their own past. Of course, it’s an impossible return, because that past has been erased. It’s the same for this record, so musically powerful and yet poignant: every song evokes a land that can no longer be found, with all that this implies in terms of emotional range, from nostalgia for a joyous past to the tragic recent loss of a territory, and of the dream that it nourished.
"Right off the bat the first thing that strikes you when hearing “Imitation” is that this is not your typical C.R. and the Degenerates sound. A hypnotic, synchronized drum beat interrupted by dark and passionate organ is our intro here and it is striking. Gennone hits some high notes delivering his rebuke of a love that is not quite real. This is dark, experimental work. Nick Cave territory. A riveting tune that stays with you." - You Don't Know Jersey (Premiere)
Close Encounters, the second full length from C.R. and the Degenerates, takes a sharp left turn from the Neil Young-inspired psychedelic Americana of last year’s great Salt of the Earth LP in to gospel-inspired minimalist electronica. Bandleader Chris Gennone wrote the album on a tiny synthesizer and worked with renowned NJ recording engineer and former Degenerate, Max Rauch, on fleshing it out. Beginning with opener “Numb”, Close Encounters sounds like what would happen if early War on Drugs got heavily in to gospel and Pornography-era The Cure or if Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips embraced the melancholy of Nick Cave’sPush the Sky Away. Gennone’s affecting voice guides us through a hauntingly beautiful landscape of organs, synthesizers, and drum machines. Close Encounters lives in a world of its own design and it’s one you’ll definitely want to bask in. Allow us to extend you an invitation. We hope you enjoy it!
RIYL: War on Drugs, Kurt Vile, Nick Cave
TRY: #3, 1, 5, 6