debut

SERF-ING WITH JONS
June 6, 2016 11:57 am

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Jons is celebrating the May 29th release of their debut album Serfs of Today. It was recorded on iPhone, and led to the band’s signing with Solitaire Recordings. The album was so good, that Solitaire decided to release it as-is.

The Victoria (Canada, not Australia) band is also about to embark on 29-date tour, including a show supporting fellow Canadian Alex Calder. And, believe it or not, Jons is already working on a follow-up album.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with frontman Patrick Rendell on how all of this craziness came to be.

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Congratulations on your new album and your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about your band?

We’ve all been living on Vancouver Island for 5 or 6 years. The band started out with Logan, David, and me making music casually and then the band was fully formed when Logan and Keenan met painting houses.

I’ve heard your album Serfs of Today was recorded on iPhone and cassette. Is that true?

Yeah, that is partly true. There was a period where we didn’t really have the means to record drums (and didn’t really know how to either) and so David would play drums on an app on his iPhone directly into the tape machine. For “Orcachief” I played floor tom and snare while David played ride symbol on his iPhone to get the effect of a full kit.

You’re getting ready for a 29-date tour around Canada. Is this your first tour of that size?

It’s been a lot of work setting up the tour and it makes it harder that we haven’t actually done this before. The longest tour we’ve done so far is to Calgary and back so this is a completely different ballgame.

What are your favorite items to pick up at Tim Horton’s to keep you going?

One good way to prepare is to abstain from Hortons’ until you leave so you have a fresh palette. Keenan’s favourite donut is the Old Fashioned.

You will also be performing a show with Alex Calder on your tour. How did you get involved with him?

Bands in Canada are very interconnected and chances are you always know someone who knows someone. In this case our friends Freak Heat Waves were already playing the show and we were going to be in Montreal at the same time. Logan’s brother also plays in Alex’s band so it just worked out.

You seem like a band that would know a lot about psychedelic music. Are there any albums you’d recommend to someone looking to expand their record collection?

Some albums we’d recommend checking out are A Lovely Sight by Pisces, God Bless Tiny Tim by Tiny Tim, Playback by The Appletree Theatre, July’s self titled album and Release of an Oath by Electric Prunes. Also [Pink Floyd album] The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Friends by The Beach Boys are staples.

Are you working on a followup for Serfs of Today?

We’ve actually been working on our followup to Serfs of Today for coming up on two years now. Dave picked up a Tascam 388 and has become really good with it so it’s a noticeable step up in fidelity. Having Keenan play on the record has been a big deal too. He didn’t play on Serfs of Today and he’s an incredible musician. His playing on the tracks has had a huge effect on our recordings. We’ve been working on it for a very long time and we’ve each grown quite a bit individually as musicians in the process.

Will you be be doing any recording with iPhones, as in Serfs of Today?

No iPhones were used in the making of the record.

I think you’re the first band I’ve interviewed from Victoria. What’s the music scene like there?

It’s really great. It’s a small city but for the size there’s tons of really great bands. Sometimes people pass it by on tour because they don’t want to make the trip to the island but there’s some very cool stuff going on here. I’d highly recommend coming here and checking it out if you get the chance.

Which venues in Victoria are your favorite for seeing live music?

Some of the classic spots to see bands play are Logan’s and the Copper Owl. There’s also a bunch of nightclubs and a thriving scene of DIY spots that are really great to play at.

Are there any local bands you feel deserve more attention?

Some bands you should check out are Privacy, Pinner, Smoke Eaters, Psychosomatic Itch and Fountain. There’s also a small local tape label called Gary Cassettes and everything they’ve put out has been really sweet.

What will you be up to after your tour?

After tour we’re gonna focus on new music. After working on the same songs for so long we’re really stoked to get started on something new.

Will you be performing at any music festivals?

We’re playing at Sled Island in Calgary but thats our only festival this summer.

LIVE FROM BROOKLYN: HINDS RELEASE PARTY REVIEW + PHOTOS
January 8, 2016 6:08 pm

Hinds took over Palisades this past Wednesday for a raucous release party for their highly anticipated debut album, Leave Me Alone, out today via Mom + Pop Music.

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The event was wildly creative and inclusive, featuring $3 tickets, cheap beer, karaoke, and an all-ages option for the youngsters. Fans (myself included) lined up around the block for the chance to catch the album live before the Madrid-based group hops across the pond for a three month European tour. In typical Hinds form, the band showcased their gratitude by joining their waiting audience in the freezing outdoors. The group ran up and down the line, stopping at various points to take photos, sign autographs, and even perform dance numbers to cheer up the grumps.

Once the frost settled and the band started, the wait was nothing but a thing of the past. High-energy tracks like “Trippy Gum” got the crowd dancing and set the free-spirited tone that flowed through the rest of the show. Strict set-lists and smooth transitions were thrown out the window in favor of a more playful style of performance filled with spontaneous action.

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The girls weaved the old with the new, sounding refreshingly down-to-earth yet professional in every moment. Captivating songs like “Bamboo” and “San Diego” rendered a rowdy young crowd silent (if only for a moment) as the power of music prevailed. Crowd-pleasers like “Between Cans” and “Garden” were made all the more special by guest appearances from friends like Public Access TV’s John Eatherly and 2015 breakout star Shamir.

Repeatedly, guitarists/vocalists Carlotta Cosials and Anna García Perrote, told the audience this was not a concert but a party – like the ones your friends threw back home in their parents’ basements. Garage-punk nostalgia and wallflower empowerment manifested in an epic multi-round game of audience karaoke. Cosials, who used to MC a karaoke bar back in Madrid, encouraged fans to jump on stage and scream their hearts out to the Hinds catalog even if they didn’t know the words.

It was in the final moments of the event that you could really see just how special this band is. The performance was over. One band member was bed-ridden from jet lag and only a small group of fans remained. Yet the band kept working: meeting fans, taking pictures, signing merch, giving hugs, and wearing huge smiles on their faces the whole time. This was no ordinary concert. It was an epic party. Those who attended will be grateful they did when this band hits it big in 2016.

Pick up your copy of Leave Me Alone over at iTunes or stream it over at Spotify.

All photos by Julia Drummond (Tumblr/Instagram)

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VICTORIA REED CHARMS BROOKLYN
November 18, 2015 8:00 am

11879282_915512138498784_387818074703786107_oThe weather in New York hasn’t quite made up it’s mind about whether it’s fall or winter yet (Is it even supposed to be this warm?) Luckily for us, Victoria Reed made Baby’s All Right an enchanting evening full of surprises. Detroit-bred Victoria Reed made her NYC debut performance in the heart of Williamsburg, charming the crowd with her calm and soothing voice, very similar to that of Norah Jones. She expresses her heartbroken love stories to the crowd and puts them in a song in the most beautifully sweet and mellow way. She’s basically Brooklyn’s underground Taylor Swift. She emanates the perfect after-work, chill vibe and the crowd seemed more than pleased to encounter this chic musician in fashionable white cowboy boots perform in one of Brooklyn’s most loved venues.
The city is full of surprises when it comes to underground musicians waiting to be discovered. It’s no doubt that Victoria Reed will capture your hearts and reminisce about those past (or current) relationships that you’ve had. Her debut album Chariot being released on February 26th next year will make you want to sit by the fireplace under a blanket with a hot cocoa in hand, which I’m sure will satisfy all of our cravings during that time of year anyway. Go do your ears a favor and give her a listen.

Dave Monks On His Solo Project
September 10, 2015 9:38 pm

Frontman of Ontario based band Tokyo Police Club, Dave Monks decided riding solo was something that’s been on his mind for a while. Channeling his alter-ego and playing a more stripped down version of his usual TPC songs, his debut EP “All Signs Point to Yes” sound so simple, yet well constructed with his delicate voice and deep lyrics. It’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with it if you’ve been a TPC fan from the start. Dave wants to keep his solo project a sanctuary where he can create the song in a natural way, pouring his feelings out however they come out. With less people involved in his song-writing process, he gets to do that. It’s sort of a playground where he can do whatever he wants and I was lucky enough to speak with Dave and tap into that sanctuary a bit.

How/when did you decide that you wanted to go solo?

I just moved to Brooklyn and I was away from my band for the first time. I was writing songs, like always. It was so different, to kind of forget about the Tokyo [Police Club] world and do my own songs.

Yea, I had heard you moved to Brooklyn. Why is that?

My girlfriend’s here and I just finished recording Forcefield in Toronto and I was like “get me out of here!” and wanted to do something different. 

So do you feel like you fit in the Brooklyn music scene?

No, I don’t feel like I’m part of it. There’s a lot of great people working in music in New York and I’ve worked with a lot of great people, but I haven’t ventured in the Brooklyn music scene so much.

Have you discovered any cool bands around here?

This is brutal, I wish I’d been to more shows recently! The one Brooklyn band that I think rocks is Honduras. And also Fort Lean, they opened for one of my shows recently.

Your solo music sounds pretty honest and raw, and your EP cover reflects the simplicity of that. Is that the message you were going for?

I guess I wanted to establish myself as a dude and a character. There’s more dimension to my personality than what you get in a Tokyo Police Club record sometimes. And I wanted to put that out there and to talk about the things and the record. I wanted to explore that territory. Im glad I got it out the door.

Your video for Gasoline was pretty simple too. What was your initial vision for that?

I was talking to Chris who took my album photo, and I was like “lets do the video.” We had actually done a video for the ‘Rules’ already, and that was fun and really went well. We did a whole bunch of vignette montage kind of stuff. I was like “dude, actually ‘Gasoline’’s going to be the first song. Can we do a video for that too?” and he was like yeah, sure. To be honest, we didn’t have any ideas for it. Well, we had no money and we cant do much, so I was like “why don’t we just sing the song?” There’s this video – you know the song “Raft” by The Walken? Oh man that is such a jam. That song had a video that I saw as a kid which was just the band playing, and I thought it was really cool. And so we did it. It’s weird, it took on its own life. It’s not boring. It’s intense, because it’s just my face and the song.

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How was touring by yourself for the first time without the band?

It was weird. There were a lot of positive sides to it, and there were also negative sides to it. When I was making the music for the record it was great having new people, new perspective, and different kinds of strengths. Touring was totally different. Guys are there to 100% to support your vision. I was really in charge. Whether it was the song or even choosing somewhere to go for dinner outside of town or something. I did everything, you know? It was kind of wild. The shows were really fun, people were able to read my body language still and kind of pick up on everything. The Tokyo (Police Club) thing- everything’s more instinctual. It’s like we don’t even think about it as long as it’s rolling.

How did the first show go?

I was nervous for the first show. I didn’t know what the fuck was going to happen. I literally thought I might just crumble and die. I was like “what? Is this even going to work?” It was a totally different show. It was a show where all the words matter where people listen to the words of the song. It doesn’t matter if it sounds like the record exactly, and it was like I was hanging out with the crowd every night having a big conversation with them.

Artist of the Month: Years & Years
July 1, 2015 1:43 pm

Years and Years will be your ultimate band crush of 2015. This British trio composed of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworth, and Emre Turkmen have been rapidly climbing the music charts with their indie-pop sound ever since their song “Real” emerged. It’s quite hard to put a genre on them since they have hints of electronic, pop, soul, and R&B that somehow captures a wide range of young peoples attention. They’ve been given the 2015 Woodie Award for Artist to Watch and have also won BBC Sound of 2015 Award. Within the past year their careers have skyrocketed and have been on tour non-stop.

I first stumbled upon their music last fall when I was browsing through a Spotify playlist and got instantly hooked with “Real.” The more I binged on them, the more I fell in love. When I found out that their U.S. debut show was in January, I immediately jumped on it since I was dying to go to as many shows as possible during the winter season instead of being cooped up in my cozy comforter. I didn’t expect them to wow me since they were a fresh band who only had a few songs released here and there. I also didn’t know how well they would transcribe their electronic sounds in a live setting.

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Their set blew my mind. You could tell that they were genuinely nervous to play in front of an American crowd for the first time. Olly says in one Nylon interview “It’s crazy coming to a place you’ve never been to and people know your songs. I’ll never get over that.”

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Surprisingly Olly is also a talented actor who starred in God Help The Girl, but “it’s always been the dream” (Noisey) for him to become a singer. You’d think that with such talent he’d be confident enough to flaunt his vocal chords, but he always seems to be pretty shy on stage! Their recordings are great as it is, but seeing their raw talent on stage is a whole other magical experience.

Years and Years’ music have been described as ‘dance music with heart’ which the band members seem to agree. “I’m not interested in writing songs about nothing. I’m writing personal songs, which is like therapy in a way. Those are the kind of songs I really loved when I was growing up — singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Bob Dylan — and I’ve always written that way. But I love dance music and I love electronic music; it really affects you physically, so I’ve found a way to marry the two. Dance music is really emotional, but it often gets used in a very banal, middle-of-the-road kind of way, and that’s a shame. I would not be making music if I couldn’t make it personal to me.” (HungerTV)

I was reluctant for their set at Rough Trade to end, since I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d be able to experience them would be. But soon enough, they came back to the U.S. in March and I had a chance to see them in Boston again. They’ve also release some new music and videos, as well as announce their debut album (finally!) which comes out on July 10th in the U.S.! “Thematically, a lot of the songs I’ve written—at least 6 or 8—are breakup songs. It’s going to be a whiny breakup album. I’m most creative when I’m feeling a bit shit and lonely. I use music as therapy. A lot of the songs come from painful rejection [laughs].” (Noisey)

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