Track Of The Day: SASSY 009 – ‘Thrasher’

“​My music has never been a reflection on happiness​” explains SASSY 009, but her sound is far from melancholy. On new single ‘Thrasher’ she combines enchanting vocals, jagged synth textures and dense beats to create a transient, anti-party anthem.

Accompanied by a beautifully shot video directed by Andreas Bjørseth, SASSY 009 delves in to loneliness and uncertainty on her new track. Speaking about her creative process, she explains: ​”I am allowing myself to explore different directions without making too many decisions on the way. That’s how I find peace in where I’m at in my life right now. My music is absolutely an extension of that.”​

This extension is something quite remarkable, as SASSY 009’s sounds are both introverted and extroverted: they’re hard to ignore on a dance floor, but at the same time, her emotionally driven lyrics mean her tracks will linger for longer in the memory.

Watch the video for ‘Thrasher’ below and follow SASSY 009 on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Andreas Bjørseth

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Jenny Hval – ‘The Practice Of Love’

A confessional, intimate, emotion-spanning work; Jenny Hval‘s new album The Practice Of Love explores the spectrum of love and relationships through swirling synths and revealing lyrics. It’s a marked departure from the darkness of her 2016 album Blood Bitch, but equally as complex and memorable.

Loosely inspired by Valie Export’s 1985 film of the same name, Hval admits she’s “mostly avoided love as a topic” in her work because she views the intimacy that comes with it as “a lifelong journey”. However, it’s her desire to communicate this truth that’s fueled the creation of her new record.

Opening track ‘Lions’ is brought to life by friend & collaborator Vivian Wang’s measured voice. She guides listeners, instructing them to look across a forest landscape for a holy entity, as Hval’s ethereal vocals overlap her. The duality of the voices form separate parts of the same story, which is simultaneously off-putting and exciting.

A shimmering, textured, surreal take on creativity, second track ‘High Alice’ centers around a re-imagined version of the eponymous character from Alice In Wonderland. Here, Hval plays with the clichés surrounding what it means to be a woman who makes art. Her gentle vocals, looped beats and narrative perspective demonstrate her ability to captivate listeners with her intricate musical storytelling.

‘Accident’ (featuring Laura Jean) is a conversation between two women about birth, life, and an indifference to Motherhood. The oddly poetic line “she found stretch-mark cream in and air b&b” adds a lightness to an otherwise heavy topic. The album’s title track ‘The Practice of Love’ features the voices of Hval, Laura Jean & Vivian Wang, discussing the many strands that make up the web of love. It begs multiple listens so that each voice can be appreciated, but the overlapping of multiple different sentiments makes for a captivating listen. Self love, romantic love, platonic love – all are covered and contemplated on this piece of Hval’s puzzle of intimacy.

‘Ashes To Ashes’ is a strangely uplifting electronic affair. Hval blends gentle vocals, startling lyrics and deceptively catchy beats to communicate issues of morality. Following track ‘Thumbsucker’ (featuring Félicia Atkinson) is a pensive, curious listen that sees Hval “withdrawing word by word, back in to the rabbit hole” for safety. It’s not long before she reemerges with penultimate track ‘Six Red Cannas’ (featuring all three of her collaborators), with its catchy beats inspired by 90s trance music.

Hval closes The Practice Of Love with the humbly titled track ‘Ordinary’. It’s a charming celebration of the desire to share universal feelings, which by default makes us all very ordinary. Except, Hval’s “ordinary” isn’t quite so. Even when she strives for it, her wonderful “otherness” sets her apart from other “ordinary” artists who delve in to the same themes. That is truly worth celebrating, and practicing love for.

Jenny Hval’s new album The Practice Of Love will be released via Sacred Bones on 13th September. Pre-order your copy here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Leggy

Having recently shared stages with The Spook School, Personal Best and Pile, angular punks Leggy  have been functioning at full speed. Formed of Véronique (lead vocals/guitar), Kerstin Bladh (bass) and Chris (drummer), the band released their album ‘Let Me Know Your Moon’ via Sheer Luck Records this year, as well as playing a run of shows at SXSW and completing a successful US tour.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Véronique & Chris to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to Leggy’s track ‘Taffy’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Eisley – Marvelous Things
Veronique: Discovering this EP while watching some type of late night Subterranean MTV channel changed my life. I remember it was right before Christmas 2013, and I put this on my Christmas list and my cool Dad, who loves music, got it for me. The vocal melody in Marvelous Things is true art and hearing it the first time ran shivers down my spine! It’s so simple and yet so unique, brilliant and dark . Also, discovering this band which was being led by young womxn, MY AGE (13!!!!) was inspiring. I felt like I could picture myself doing it too. Some of the first tabs I ever learned were super early Eisley songs . I named this EP because it was the first one I discovered, but I delved deep into the back catalogue after that, and all of it was highly influential in my first several years of songwriting.

2. Kesha – Cannibal
Veronique: This album was the anthem of my 21st year. I have so many fun feelings associated with it. I also have a lot of depressing memories tied to it (21, amiright??) The album is amazing – the lyrics were extremely relatable to me at that point in my life, and still continue to be relevant. Kesha is a damn boss bitch. I love pop music and simple but super dope beats, and I especially think it can be super beautiful when a rock band incorporates that sound a bit. I have certainly been influenced by her songwriting style.

I’m also 10000% over “music people” or “punks” or “intellectuals” hating on pop stars. I know it hasn’t been the case recently (thank you LIZZO, Carly Rae, Lana Del Rey) but Kesha was underrated in her first years. Fight me.

3. Joanna Newsom – Milk Eyed Mender
Veronique: Milk Eyed Mender made me feel knock kneed and tongue tied. The fact that she was singing in such a bare bones and peculiar way felt like complete anarchy to me. It kinda felt like she had declared “anything goes” – you didn’t have to be the standard to make music. That mindset totally inspired me to start writing a bunch of weirdo songs when I was in high school. Some of them evolved and eventually made it onto our first two EPs. Her whimsical and narrative heavy style of lyrics (similar to Eisley’s in this way) was really wonderful for someone like me, who was obsessed with fantasy at the time and spent a good deal of my waking day dreaming about random mystical shit (Lord of The Rings, anyone?) Also, Joanna Newsom was definitely a crush of mine before I knew what it meant. That’s just a bonus though.

4. Mika Miko – C.Y.S.L.A.B.F
Chris: True concrete floor dance party anthems. Big rowdy punk heavy hitters with a relentlessly dancey rhythm section, shout along until your out of breath. It has on point bopping guitar, and swing from the chandeliers energy. Still slams in 2019. Remember getting this the day my suburban record shop got it in stock and it’s been on rotation ever since. Soundtrack to a lot of fun times and long late drives. Wall to wall banging fun with undeniable hooks. Fuckin sick. KRS classic imo. Not sure if this has been long enough of a review so I’d also like to add The Blow’s “Paper Television” to this favorite album. Similar reasons I guess, same kinda era etc. Way different but y’know both are influential, make me happy and totally rock!

5. Best Coast – Crazy For You
Chris: Front to back contemporary classic. Every song is a hit. Love everything about it. The guitars and vocals and lyrics and drums and videos and everything. One time like years ago, my roommate and I were tripping in different parts of our place down on 12th Street and when I went to her room to see what was up, she was wearing shades, drinking a cocktail, blasting this record and lounging on her bed under a heat lamp because it was like 4am in the dead of winter. This album is like that y’know, a warm sunny day in summer, or a stoned heat lamp on a cold winter night, whatever you need it to be. Still really heavy hitting emotionally though, not just all fun in the sun. But also yeah. Just great. Love this album!

Thanks to Véronique and Chris for sharing their favourites with us. Follow Leggy on Facebook for more updates.

ALBUM: Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Birth Of Violence’

Poetic, intimate, and exquisitely melancholic; Chelsea Wolfe’s new album Birth Of Violence is a collection of instinctive songs galvanized by exhaustion, loneliness and doubt. Set for release on 13th September via Sargent House, the record is gentler on the ears compared to 2017’s LP Hiss Spun, but it still flows with Wolfe’s trademark macabre darkness.

Written and recorded in the solitude of her home in Northern California, Wolfe worked alongside longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm, and ongoing contributors Jess Gowrie (drums) and Ezra Buchla (viola) to create Birth Of Violence. This simple set-up has given her the freedom to create a record filled with understated, but poignant grandeur.

Vulnerable opener ‘The Mother Road’ centers around Wolfe’s voice and her revalatory lyrics. “Guess I needed someone to break me / Guess I needed someone to shake me up” she muses, prompted by large stretches of time spent on the road touring, which simultaneously bruised and heightened her consciousness as a songwriter. It bleeds in to the toxic yet seductive ‘American Darkness’, on which she broods “All my old ways have started kickin’ in / And my bad days are comin’ round again”. This urge to escape old habits and emerge from the shadows permeates the record.

“I’ve come to know what I need, I visualize while I bleed” reflects Wolfe on eponymous track ‘Birth Of Violence’, proving that clarity can be found even when one is at the peak of suffering. It’s followed by the moody ‘Deranged For Rock & Roll’ which smolders with smooth confidence. Powerful ambition is treated modestly on ‘Be All Things’, with its orchestral elements underscoring Wolfe’s beautiful howl throughout. The pensive ‘Erde’ is laced with fears about our poisoned planet – its final minute rising and falling like an anxious heartbeat.

The deliciously named ‘When Anger Turns To Honey’ dissolves any pre-existing angst or hostility, and is an aural elixir designed to transform states of emotion. Wolfe proves she is the “daughter of sorrow” across ‘Dirt Universe’ and the sparse ‘Little Grave’ which addresses the tragedy in the aftermath of a high school shooting. Her treatment of the social/political themes on Birth Of Violence is all the more devastating because of its subtlety. The contexts of both ‘Erde’ and ‘Little Grave’ only really become clear after repeated listens.

Despite the pensive, morose nature of the majority of the tracks on the album, there is an optimism in Wolfe’s realist approach to an ambiguous grief. On ‘Preface to a Dream Play’ she sings: “Everything is possible / Throw a spear in to the unknown” – displaying enviable bravery when faced with the metaphorical abyss. This continues on penultimate track ‘Highway’, her vocals meandering along an unknown stretch of road, accompanied by ominous, looping guitar.

Closing track ‘The Storm’ is a one minute audio of thunder and rain, perhaps signalling that the thunder clouds that overshadowed Wolfe prior to Birth Of Violence have now finally dispersed. “These songs came to me in a whirlwind” explains Wolfe about her new music, and what a turbulent, devastating whirlwind it must have been. It’s a privilege to be able to weather the storm with her.

Chelsea Wolfe’s Birth of Violence is released via Sargent House on 13th September. Pre-order your copy here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Trentemøller – ‘Try A Little’

Atmospheric synths, catchy beats and entrancing vocals come together to create ‘Try A Little’, the latest track from Danish indie-electronic artist Trentemøller. Featuring Warpaint‘s Jenny Lee Lindberg, the song is a captivating electronic exploration of “inexplicably loving a person who seems incapable of returning that love”.

Accompanied by an equally mesmerizing set of visuals – Produced by Emmy-nominated animator Thomas McMahan & featuring Jenny – ‘Try A Little’ is taken from Trentemøller’s first album in three years, Obverse, which is set for release on 27th September via his own label In My Room. His pre-existing collaborative spirit is celebrated on this record, which features the voices of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Warpaint’s Jenny Lee Lindberg (jennylee), Lina Tullgren and Lisbet Fritze.

“I have always worked with contrasts in my music and in my sound. It’s in the subtle clashes of feelings and tonal contradictions that I often find pure inspiration,” Trentemøller explains. “Obverse was always going to be about exploring the possibilities in my studio, with no consideration of how it could be performed on a stage, and it was completely liberating.”

Listen to ‘Try A Little’ below and follow Trentemøller on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: REYKO – ‘Lose Myself’

Intoxicating, slow beats and hushed, soft vocals permeate ‘Lose Myself’ the latest single from London-based duo REYKO. Originally from Spain, the pair now create their atmospheric, tentative tracks from their home studio here in the UK.

Consisting of vocalist Soleil and producer Igor, the duo began making music together on the final project for Igor’s masters degree in music production. Since then, the pair have been busy creating REYKO’s sultry sounds by mixing numerous styles together, including elements from genres such as electro, indie, and trap.

‘Lose Myself’ is the pair’s second single, following on from their first official release ‘Spinning Over You’, which became a viral hit in 2018 in Spain and resulted in the band receiving a nomination for Best New Spanish Artist at the LOS40 Awards. With tracks as dreamy as this, 2019 looks set to be another successful year for this talented new duo.

Listen to ‘Lose Myself’ below and follow REYKO on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PREMIERE: Moon Palace – ‘Bold’

A brooding, yet hopeful blur of atmospheric guitars and soft vocals; Moon Palace have shared their latest single ‘Bold’. The Seattle indie band – fronted by twin sisters Cat & Carrie Biell – have been busy gearing up for the release of their new album Shadowcast, which is described as “a balance between light and dark”.

‘Bold’ is a gentle, yet urgent track that elegantly showcases this balance. The accompanying video directed by Sierra of Elope Productions, also reflects the band’s outlook. Talking about their new record, the band extrapolate: “Shadow self and trying to be positive through interactions with people you love. Outer world to the innermost personal world. Balancing the sun sign and moon sign. Knowing your inner personal self within the context of the universe.”

Throughout the recording of their new album, the band members would text each other songs from Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, Duran Duran and Big Thief, shaping the sound of what was to come. Twins Cat (guitar, vocals) and Carrie (bass, vocals) began writing songs together as teenagers, cultivating a musical bond made particularly significant as children of two deaf parents. Joined by Jude Miqueli (drums) and Darcey Zoller (cello, synth), the band’s hook-driven yet at times discordant guitars are the perfect soundtrack for late-night desert drives.

When they’re not making music, Carrie works with the blind and deaf to secure employment (as well as taking care of her 5-year-old son), Jude is an elementary school teacher & drum instructor at Queer & Trans Youth Music Program, Cat is a graphic designer and Darcey also works in art direction and film production.

Watch the video for ‘Bold’ below and follow Moon Palace on Facebook for more updates.

Moon Palace US 2019 Tour Dates
9/20: Seattle, WA @ Clockout Lounge (Album Release Show)
9/28: Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
10/12: Seattle, WA @ Screwdriver Bar (Spread)
10/19: Boise, ID @ Neurolux
10/24: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/26: San Francisco, CA @ Amnesia
12/6: Seattle, WA @ Southgate Roller Rink
12/13: Seattle, WA @ Crybaby Artist Showcase

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut