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  • Dienstag, 18/01/2011

    If you’re a fan of guitar noise, read on. If you’re a fan of lady guitar noise, better sit down now, because Erika M. Anderson (EMA) is about to blow you away. Combining dirty guitar riffs with an epic vocal line and darkly clever lyrics, 'The Grey Ship' is a mindblowing first single from one of the most exciting new artists of 2011.

    Download: EMA - The Grey Ship

    If you’re a fan of avant garde guitar and pretty noises, Erika M. Anderson (EMA) may already be familiar to you. A South Dakota native, she moved to LA when she was just 18, because she really liked ‘Welcome to the Jungle’. There she played a mean guitar in legendary folk/noise outfit Amps for Christ before forming the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla. Gowns' 2007 album Red State was an electronic folk and feedback drenched masterpiece that left critics both raving and bewildered. Foxy Digitalis compared them to Godspeed! You Black Emperor while Pitchfork compared them to the Mountain Goats. One could make the case that both were right.

    There were also Gowns’ explosive live shows, often revolving around EMA’s spellbinding vocal delivery and stage presence. After seeing them at a New York showcase, the Village Voice was left to succinctly declare: “Holy fucking fuck!”

    In the wake of Gowns’ demise, EMA has struck out on her own. Her debut single is the seven minute ‘Grey Ship’, backed with a glorious seventeen minute cover of the Robert Johnson blues staple, ‘Kind Hearted Woman’, where she claims to channel the entire history of rock and roll, from “birth to destruction”. Stand back people, lady making a grand statement, coming through…

    “I love really long songs, really long pieces, and I wanted to see if I could make an engaging piece using primarily just voice and guitar,” EMA explains. “And I love the sound of guitar feedback. Tonal guitar feedback is one of my all-time favourite sounds.”

    ‘Grey Ship’ is a nod to the Viking funeral ships of her ancestors, and while pop logic dictates the tune is divided into two parts, one sunny and strummy and the other low-lit and dramatic, the recording also switches up from lo-fi to hi-fi. WARNING: If you are listening to this on laptop speakers, you are not going to hear the bass drop!

    As EMA explains, “I wanted ‘Grey Ship’ to change fidelity in the middle of the song. I imagined it being like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and the whole world turns from black and white to technicolour.” That change in fidelity also serves as a “sonic signifier” for transferring from the earthly plane to one beyond.

    Regarding the monumental ‘Kind Heart’, it is not only epic, but spellbindingly, heart-stoppingly so. To make seventeen minutes this engaging is ‘really fucking hard’ EMA admits, but EMA, she’s not your average indie guitar dabbler and makes this seem like a casual stroll in the park.

    As a completely self-taught musician and home-recording engineer, EMA obsessed with an intensity that led to heartbreak as often as breakthrough.

    “Recording this piece was probably the hardest thing I have even done. So many things went wrong that I began to think that there was actually a curse on this song. I was like, ‘Is Robert Johnson fucking with me? Maybe I'm not worthy to do this song! Maybe this is somehow completely sacrilegious!’.

    “I then spent months trying to mix about 20 tracks of guitar feedback on headphones in my bedroom. The vision of this was beyond my capabilities and budget and it almost broke my heart. Also I’m such a perfectionist I didn't want to put it out into the world unless it fucking slayed.”

    In the end, it’s her voice that makes any debate about the credibility of her musical musings pretty much irrelevant. Evoking the whisper-to-yell dynamics of early Cat Power but without the oft-copied melancholy, or early Liz Phair’s intimate and visceral expression, it is a voice completely compels the listener. Her songs are filled with harmonies and hooks that exist right in those sweet spots between melody and dissonance. It is a knowing voice, the sound of a drunken laugh while crying.

    Shortcuts: EMA, The Grey Ship, 'The Grey Ship' b/w 'Kind Heart', The Grey Ship

  • Montag, 03/01/2011
    Tweak Bird

    The brothers Bird had just had their tour van broken into but were still on hand to perform this exclusive acoustic version of ‘The Future’ from their amazing self titled debut on manchesterscenewipe.co.uk.

  • Donnerstag, 07/10/2010

    Sacramento’s psych-stoner-surf rock outfit Ganglians will be back in Europe in November with a run of shows including a UK/Ireland stint with Eat Skull, and concluding with no less than 4 shows at this years Winter Primavera Club. Tourdates here – don’t miss it!

  • Dienstag, 05/10/2010
    Tweak Bird

    The 2 brothers from Illinois just kicked off their big european tour through France, Germany, Croatia, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK - Make sure not to miss them in your city!!

    Find All Tourdates HERE

    And watch the video for Tweak Bird's new single "Lights In Lines" HERE


    06.10.10 NL Amsterdam Paradiso w/ Black Mountain

    07.10.10 DE Hamburg Club Mondial @ Indra

    08.10.10 DE Berlin West Germany

    09.10.10 DE Leipzig Ilses Erika

    10.10.10 DE Munich Feierwerk

    13.10.10 HR Zagreb KSEt

    14.10.10 CS Belgrad Streljana

    15.10.10 SI Ljublijana Channel Zero

    16.10.10 SI Crnomelj MKK

    17.10.10 IT Trieste Tetris

    20.10.10 FR Limoges La Fourmi

    21.10.10 FR Bordeaux Le Saint Ex

    22.10.10 FR Paris Flèche D'Or

    23.10.10 GB Birmingham Supersonic Festival

    24.10.10 GB Leeds Brainwash Festival

    25.10.10 GB Manchster Ruby Lounge

    26.10.10 GB Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's

    27.10.10 GB Glasgow Captains Rest

    29.10.10 GB Brighton Hectors House

    30.10.10 GB London Forum

    25.11.10 ES Barcelona Primavera Club Festival

    26.11.10 ES Madrid Primavera Club Festival

    Shortcuts: Tweak Bird

  • Dienstag, 14/09/2010
    Zola Jesus

    Zola Jesus, fresh from her first UK and European shows, will release a double A-sided single, Poor Animal / I Can't Stand, through Souterrain Transmissions on November 1st.

    Prelisten Poor Animal here:

    The single will be accompanied by a stand-alone London show at XOYO on the day of the single’s release. Poor Animal / I Can’t Stand follows Zola Jesus’ current single, Sea Talk, itself set for release on September 27th.

    I Can’t Stand is taken from Zola Jesus’ acclaimed album Stridulum II, while Poor Animal is a brand new song which will also feature on the upcoming US-only EP, Valusia, which features the additional three tracks added to the previous Stridulum US EP release to make the UK-released Stridulum II album. The single will be released on 7” only as a limited edition of 500 and with special, hand-printed gatefold packaging. A digital download will be included with each copy.

    Zola Jesus is the endeavor of a solitary girl named Nika Roza Danilova. After a decade of opera study and a musical awakening involving such varied inspiration as Billboard bubblegum, classical arias, no-wave, and avant industrial, she was able to thread her influences into a sound uniquely her own.

    Born and raised in the countryside of mid-western USA (Wisconsin), Nika Roza was literally raised by wolves (proximally, anyway). Beginning her musical output at the age of 16, she released: two 7"s, an EP, a live recording from WNYU, and a split with neighboring Madison head-trip, Burial Hex, on Sacred Bones, Troubleman, Die Stasi, and Aurora Borealis respectively. It was her debut full length for Sacred Bones last summer, however, that suddenly grew Zola Jesus’ profile exponentially. The release of the Stridulum II album last month, along with Zola Jesus’ first UK and European shows, led to an upsurge in awareness for this most exciting of new talents, with tour dates selling out and NME heralding the album “a dark masterpiece”.

    Shortcuts: Poor Animal / I Can't Stand