Search Results for "Folk"

Last September Phoenix folk-punks Andrew Jackson Jihad recorded “live” versions of their tracks “All The Dead Kids” and “Vnicorn” at Revolver Records in Phoenix, Arizona and now those tracks are appearing on a special Record Store Day split 7-inch with ROAR.  While doing the recording the band shot a video for the song “All The Dead Kids” and you can check it out below.

The split can be purchased here.

Andrew Jackson Jihad last released Christmas Island on May 6th, 2014 through SideOneDummy Records.

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Stomp Records signs Fire Next Time

Posted by Gina Skidz on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 12:38 PM (PST)

Canadian folk-punks Fire Next Time have signed to the primarily ska-focused Canadian label Stomp Records for the release of their new album, Cold Hands.  The album will drop on May 5th.

Fire Next Time heads out for a tour of their homeland shortly thereafter, finishing up at  Pouzza  in Montreal on May 16th.  You can check out all the tour dates below.

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Music video: Steady Hands – “Skin and Bones”

Posted by Drea on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:16 PM (PST)

Steady Hands (the side project of Sean Huber of Modern Baseball fame) have premiered the music video for their song “Skin and Bones” off their album Brandy of the Damned.

You can check it out below.

Steady Hands’ last release was an EP titled Brandy of the Damned, which came out in 2014 via Lame-O Records.

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Chris Hahn (folk-punk) streams new track “Fight Song”

Posted by Chris hahn on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 2:36 PM (PST)

Folk-punk singer/songwriter Chris Hahn recently recorded and released a brand new song titled “Fight Song,” and you can give it a listen below.

Hahn last released an EP titled The Homesick Sessions in January. That can be heard on his Bandcamp page.

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Full Album Stream: Rocky Votolato – “Hospital Handshakes”

Posted by Bizarro Dustin on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM (PST)

Rocky Votolato has released a stream of his forthcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. You can give it a listen below.

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21, 2015 via No Sleep Records. Pre-orders are available here. In case you missed it, Dying Scene caught up with Rocky late last week for an in-depth interview about the process behind Hospital Handshakes.

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Longtime scene veteran and recent addition to the No Sleep Records roster Rocky Votolato has debuted the album-closing track from his forthcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. It’s called “The Finish Line,” and you can check it out here. The site is in German, but trust us, the song is there.

In case you missed it, Dying Scene caught up with Rocky late last week for an in-depth interview about the process behind Hospital Handshakes. Pretty compelling stuff, if I do say so myself. Check that out here.

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21st. Pre-orders are available here.

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Video: Lee Corey Oswald and Allison Weiss cover Weezer’s “El Scorcho”

Posted by vivalalexy on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 11:51 AM (PST)

Portland’s Lee Corey Oswald have released a live video of themselves covering Weezer’s “El Scorcho,” with the help of pop punk singer-songwriter Allison Weiss.

Check out the video, which was recorded at the No Sleep Records warehouse, below.

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The life of a solo artist trying to make a go of a career as an independent singer/songwriter can be bit of a bipolar (in the non-clinical sense of the word) existence. There’s a certain amount of respect and adulation, particularly in this scene, that comes from being able to make a living in DIY-fashion, based solely on an audiences respect for your words and your energy. The reverse side of that coin, however, is where fear, doubt, and insecurity come in; wondering if people will still care what you have to say, wondering if what you wrote will be good enough to put food on the table both literally and figuratively.

Rewind this tape a few years, and that’s where we’d have found Rocky Votolato. The Texas-born, Seattle-bred singer-songwriter had just released his seventh full-length solo album, Television of Saints, and had been able to scratch out a living selling albums and touring regularly in multiple continents. On the surface at least, things should have been rosy. As is frequently the case with most art, however, the story extends far below the surface.

“I was having a really hard time writing,” Votolato says. “I was feeling really burned out, uninspired creatively. I was in a tough spot, and it’s almost like it didn’t seem like there was a point to even making music anymore.” He had recorded a full album of material, but unhappy with how it had come together, he scrapped the whole thing and went back to work. “With Television of Saints, I just recorded for hours and hours and weeks and months on end, trying to get everything just right,” Votolato laments. “By the end of it, I was totally burned out and had no perspective of whether it was good or not!”

While Television of Saints is generally held in high regard amongst the songwriter set and, more importantly, among Votolato’s fans, its release didn’t necessarily prove to be the cathartic moment that it perhaps should have been. One of the scene’s more prolific songwriters (seven full-length albums in a little over a decade) was on the verge of shutting the whole thing down. “By the fall of 2013…I just had decided that I was going to retire from music. I was just going to have a normal life with my family and get off the road.”

While that idea of giving up and walking away might sound ‘crazy’ to the layperson, when the words aren’t coming, there is no more difficult place for a songwriter. “I’ve always depended on music. It’s always been a healing force in my life. It’s something that has been there for me to have an outlet and to put some of that stuff that I’m dealing with, whether it’s just existential suffering or mental depression,” says Votolato. “It’s always really been comforting to have that as a place to go when I need to express that stuff.”

“I was severely depressed,” Votolato tells me, “and didn’t really realize that I basically just needed a shift in perspective. I was relating to the whole creative process in the wrong way.” There’s a fairly well-known (at least among book nerd circles) speech that was given by the late author David Foster Wallace as a commencement address to graduating seniors at Kenyon College in 2005. Wallace opens with a parable of two young fish, out for a morning swim. They cross paths with an old fish, who nods at them and offers the following greeting: “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” The two young fish continue swimming on before one looks at the other and says “What the hell is water?!?”

The point of his “this is water” speech is to get us to be more conscious of the unconscious way we go through life, opening ourselves up to our surroundings and to letting things happen. It seems that this sort of proverbial awakening is what Votolato needed to open up the dam again. “When I started to get that, it was a hard thing to go through,” Votolato says, “but when I did start having a good time again playing music and playing with words and having some acceptance from myself, I let go of that controlling attitude and needing everything to be perfect.”

The result of those floodgates opening again is 2015’s Hospital Handshakes. Votolato’s eighth studio album (his first for new label home No Sleep Records) is a departure from his normal work. “I really felt like I needed a new direction to keep things fresh and mix it up a little bit and keep it exciting for me,” states Votolato. “And I didn’t really know what I was going to get going in to (it like) that.” What he got was eleven tracks filled with deeper soundscapes and more rock guitar than any of his prior works, perhaps collectively.

“When songs are good,” says Votolato rather passionately,” it feels like I didn’t write them; they write themselves and you’re just kind of a channel for that. You get your ego out of the way and some cool art shows up and you capture it.” While the focal point of Hospital Handshakes very much remains Votolato’s lyrics and songwriting, he surrounded himself with a small stable of bona fide musicians (Chris Walla, ex-Death Cab for Cutie; Cody Votolato, Waxwing, Blood Brothers; Andy Lum of My Goodness; Eric Corson of The Long Winters) and allowed them the freedom to trust their instincts. That the whole process was recorded on tape meant having to make good decisions, and quickly. Rather than the two-year period of uphill skating that was Television of Saints, Hospital Handshakes came together in two weeks.

After Hospital Handshakes release, Votolato will be touring the States with a full band (stay tuned for dates, something he’s grown unaccustomed to in recent years. “More than any record I’ve ever made,” Votolato says, “this one deserves to have a full-band treatment, and it really kinda needs that to bring it fully to life.” He’ll also be taking a full band with him on a tour of Europe that’ll span most of May and June. It’ll be his first full-band tour across the pond, though it’s something he’s been looking forward to for quite some time.

Given Votolato’s history as a solo act, the music on Hospital Handshakes still works well when it’s just him. To give some of his hardcore fans a taste of what’s to come, he recently embarked on a 34-date US tour, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar: no PA system, no lights, no stage. Instead, he’s touring fans’ living rooms across the country: “I have such a loyal group of fans and…this only works if you have a dedicated fanbase of people that care about what you’re doing and want to see it in a really intimate setting.” If you live on the West Coast, you may want to check out the upcoming dates on Rocky’s living room tour here; based on the crossover relatability of Hospital Handshakes, it may be your last time to see him so up close and personal.

Read our full Q&A with Rocky Votolato below. We cover a lot of the above-mentioned ground in far greater detail, and also discuss an upcoming split with Chuck Ragan, some advice given to him by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and a lot more. Hospital Handshakes is due out April 21st on No Sleep Records. Pre-orders are available here.

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Joey Cape has announced that his label One Week Records will release a new full-length from Australian singer/songwriter Laura Mardon next Tuesday (April 14th).  You can give the album’s first track “Hail Hail The Dead Can Dance” a listen right here.

Here’s a not from the Capester himself:

Hey everyone. It’s official, Laura Mardon’s “One Week” record is coming out this Tuesday, April 14th. I’m so proud of this album. She is such a gifted songwriter and I feel very fortunate to have been involved in this session. Joey

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EP Review: Various Artists – “The Wedding Crashers”

Posted by The Torchbearer on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 7:07 PM (PST)

The Wedding Crashers started out as a wedding gift to Unreachable Recordings founder Yannik Jean.  He wasn’t the one getting married, but he did perform the ceremony for two of his good friends.  So as a thank you, some of his other buddies that attended the wedding decided to write some songs for him.  This gift is now being pressed on a 7-inch featuring 3 songs from Jon Snodgrass, Brian Wahlstrom, and Miracles, with a bonus track by Yannik himself on the digital version.

The compilation EP is short, with the whole thing clocking in at just over 5 minutes. The music tends to take a back seat to the lyrics, which is understandable on such a short release made specifically for a friend.  Still, it would be nice if there was a little more to the music behind the lyrics, because there really isn’t much going on here musically.   Each song sees the artists playing simple chord progressions on either acoustic guitar or piano.  If you’ve ever heard a singer-songwriter play a folk song, then you know what to expect.

The lyrical theme for this release seems to be one of friendship and humor.  With each song, you can tell they are buddies who don’t mind making jokes at each other’s expense.  Jon Snodgrass starts out with “Is This Legal?” where his lyrics ask Yannik if he is qualified to perform a marriage, and that he hopes “it’s all legal at the end of day.”  While most of this song sees Jon joking with his friend, he does give Yannik some encouragement and shows that he is proud of him, like in the lines “Perhaps you’re a boat captain / And I’m the one that’s overboard / In that case keep it short and sweet / or go as long as they ask you, you’ll do great.”

Brian Walhstrom takes the next song with “Friends for Life.”  While the lyrics seem to be a bit more serious than the opener, there is still some humor here as well.  Brian references Jon’s song when he says “Snodgrass said he didn’t know if you were qualified / But you sure proved everybody right.”  Later lyrics get downright heartfelt when he tells Yannik that he made everybody’s night and that they are friends for life.

The third song, “Quelqu’un Comme Toi”, is by French speaking Montral folk act Miracles.  While I don’t understand the lyrics, the title translates to “Someone Like You,” and I imagine they follow the same lead as the two preceding songs.

Closing out the EP is Yannik Jean himself playing “Anytime.”  The title kind of sums up his intention with this song.  He is basically saying thanks for the gift and very humbly says he would do this for any of his friends anytime.

All in all, The Wedding Crashers is a nice little EP that any group of close friends can relate to.  If you are a fan of any of the performers’ solo work or past bands (Drag The River, Scorpios), this is probably a release you would be interested in.  Especially the vinyl collectors out there.  However, while these are some nice songs, there just really isn’t a whole lot here to justify this release ending up in regular rotation for the rest of us.

3 / 5 Stars

New Music: Rocky Votolato – “Hospital Handshakes”

Posted by jaystone on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 4:39 PM (PST)

Longtime scene veteran and recent addition to the No Sleep Records roster Rocky Votolato has debuted the title track from his upcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. Check it out here!

Rocky is currently in the midst of a solo tour of living rooms across the country. There are still a handful of dates left; head here to see where you can cross paths with one of our scene’s better singer/songwriters!

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21st. Pre-orders are available here.

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Serenity Now! announce tour dates, stream new song

Posted by The Torchbearer on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 10:50 AM (PST)

Recently reunited Toronto folk-punk act Serenity Now have just announced a string of tour dates next month leading up to their appearance at this years Pouzza Fest.

You can see the full list of dates and locations below, and give their new song “Lac L’Achigan” a listen while you’re there.

“Lac L’Achigan” comes from the bands upcoming EP Facsimile, which will be released May 5th via 112 Records.  Serenity Now last released “Worst Hits” in 2013, shortly before announcing their hiatus.

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Chris Farren (Fake Problems) streaming upcoming EP “Where U Are”

Posted by Lauren Mills on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 9:09 AM (PST)

Florida singer/songwriter and Fake Problems will be releasing a 3 song EP titled “Where U Are” on April 7th and you can stream the whole EP here.

The EP was produced, Recorded and Mixed by Chris Farren mostly at home in Naples, FL – Pullman Square Hotel in Brisbane, Vibe Hotel in Sydney and Casey’s living room in Laurel Canyon, CA.Juicy Tidbit: Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem is a special guest on the track “Permanent For Me”.

Chris Farren’s latest Christmas album was released at the beginning of December last year.

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Album Review: Blackbird Raum – “Destroying”

Posted by The Torchbearer on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 3:18 PM (PST)

Every once in a while an album will come along that seems to completely take over your life.  The anticipation builds and builds until the day you can finally sit down and give it a listen.  After that, your car, home, and work stereo is dominated by the sound of this album for a week straight.    All you can hope at this point is that the hype you have built around the album will actually be backed up by quality music.  Luckily, with Destroying, Santa Cruz folk punk act Blackbird Raum’s fourth full length effort, this is most definitely the case.

Destroying takes listeners on a journey similar to the bands’ past albums.  You will hear dark, fast, and heavy folk music before being treated to more danceable sections.  The lyrics explore the same kind of anarcho-influenced politics the band is known for.  While reading the lyrics, you’ll get angry at the world, only the have the band pull you back up and leave you with a sense of hope.  Hope that while the world we live in may be a dystopian futuristic hell, we can still do something to change it.

Destroying feels bigger and more ambitious than anything the band has ever done before.  This is partly because traditional Irish folk band Lynched plays and sings as guest musicians on just about every song.  There’s also the fact that Blackbird Raum isn’t afraid to push the envelope on what folk music can be.

The album starts out with dissonant accordion as the rest of the instruments slowly join in for a buildup that eventually explodes into a maelstrom of high speed folk in “Whitebled.”  They go on like this for a while until the end of the song when a harmonic chorus of a cappella “Ahs!” slows things down again.  Tempo changes are the name of the game in the next two songs as well with “Last Legs” starting slow and speeding up and “Grist Mill” doing just the opposite.

Those first 3 songs, along with the sludgy, crust-influenced “Cadillac Dessert,” are prime examples of the folk punk style the band has perfected over the years, but it’s the songs where the influence of backing band Lynched can be heard that set this album apart.  “Reveille,” “Hecatombe/Agustin’s,” and “The Man in the Bog” showcase just how well these two bands can work together.  They seamlessly meld the punk style of Blackbird Raum with the traditional Irish influence of Lynched.  One minute you’ll be moshing along to the ferocity and speed of ripping banjo and mandolin, and the next you’ll be dancing an Irish jig along with violin and tin whistle.  You can tell everyone on this album has an appreciation for all types of folk music, and they know how to play it well.

The most surprising songs on the album are the ones where members of Lynched take lead vocal duties. “Adder” is basically a sung poem, while “The Man in the Bog” takes passages from the comic Swamp Thing and is done as spoken word.  Each of these are set to music that evokes a feeling of being in nature as you listen to them.

The lyrical content of Destroying will not surprise long-time fans.  Taking cues from crust and anarcho punk, the lyrics focus on issues like animal rights, environmentalism, free-thinking, and humankind’s tendency to give into the comforts of modern life without thinking about the long term consequences.  The first single, “Last Legs,” perfectly exemplifies the despondent lyrical tendencies, while also demonstrating the bands uncanny ability to put together a catchy sing-along.  Lines like “What’s this dark miasma? / What’s this foul pestilence?” and “Buried in the shore again / Buried in the couch forever” will leave you pessimistic about the state of the world at first, but once everything has time to sink in, you’ll want to get out and do something about it.

Blackbird Raum has always had this magical ability of making the listener see the best of what our planet has to offer, whether that be in nature, or the people and wildlife that inhabit it.  But that’s only after you’ve processed all the filth that they’ve opened your eyes to first.  Destroying is the latest in a line of folk punk albums that see the band continue to push themselves as musicians, while also challenging the system we all make up.

5/5 Stars

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Old Towns (folk-punk) stream upcoming EP “Northey Sessions”

Posted by Ryan.s. on Friday, April 3, 2015 at 10:13 AM (PST)

Canadian folk-punk band Old Towns are streaming their upcoming EP “Northey Sessions”, which came out April 1st, in its entirety.  Give it a listen and check out some of the band’s upcoming Canadian tour dates below.

“Northey Sessions” was recorded in one take with Jesse Northey on Jan. 20. It was written by Robbie Shirriff, and featured additional guitar by Jordan Belanger. Their latest EP ”Leaving Songs” was released on April 11, 2014.

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