Dive into the summer with some of our new music for your road trips, commutes, daily life or just hanging in the summer sun. We have two new album releases by VLMV and Year of the Kite and a new single from Reliant Tom, which have also been featured in several Spotify and Apple Playlists... check them out below. In this issue we also cover some of our recent reviews, the new and glitchy Reliant Tom video for "SOS", and an interview with the indie-folk/Americana artist Chris J Connolly on the making of his most recent album, Moving Maps. Thanks again for supporting all of our artists and have a great summer.
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The new avant-pop, trip-hop single from the NY based audio, visual, and dance duo.
The sophomore LP from the post-rock/ambient UK based band VLMV (pronounced Alma).
Debut dream-pop/slowcore LP from the UK based chamber meets electronic band.
PLAYLISTS FEATURING ARTISTS
Prog Radar - VLMV "Stranded, Not Lost"
"It’s atmospheric stark soundscapes, mixed with the steel guitar picking and some emotive lyrics bring this ballad to life, and it’s this juxtaposition of music as big as the universe, and lyrics as close as your deepest thoughts that are part of what makes this album so effective."
American Pancake - Year of the Kite "With Sparks Flying"
"While part of the sound feels so immediate and organic, the almost detached ambiance filled guitar sounds in the back feel like haunted memories. Truly dreamy stuff of Pink Floy-ian proportions. The vocal performance is somber and commanding."
Clash Magazine - Wooden Arms "Trick of the Light"
"Taking influence from seemingly disparate styles before merging them together isn’t a particularly new way of doing things, however. The difference with ‘Trick Of The Light’ is that it manages to pull it off with aplomb."
Chris J Connolly on Making "Moving Maps"
What is your process on putting an album together? How do your songs come together?
It feels a little disjointed sometimes. Not bad, but sporadic. But then when I look back, there appears a familiar strand that links everything together. Its strange... I usually try to play/write whatever feels right at the exact moment, rather than trying to subscribe to a pre-determined genre/subject etc. I usually focus on melody and harmony, and the words come and will fill the song with clarity and meaning.
What life events or people in your life have inspired this album?
Everything you could imagine [inspire this album]. Social observations, personal experiences. However, my family, being a husband and father is the biggest part of my life, so that dominates my heart and mind.
How does this album differ from the last? In what ways have you grown since?
This album is more developed from a tonal standpoint. When talking about how the second album would sound, Scott Simon (my producer) wondered whether more instrumentation would be a option, since up to that point my recordings had been minimalist. We talked about logistics, and figured out a recording schedule that involved three different studios between Long Island, Brooklyn, and Chicago. It also incorporated the talents of many individuals including some good friends of mine from New York, Pete Mancini and Anthony Pravata, to give a more diverse sound. I'm really delighted with all the work everyone put into this record.
How do your albums showcase who you are as a person and as a musician?
I just write what I feel. I try not to filter. I have a lot of love in my life, and I think that comes out. But along with that, I have concerns about certain aspects of the world in general, which also come to the fore on occasion. As a musician, my focus is on melody and harmony, and making songs that ultimately are enjoyable and rich, with an element of familiarity mixed with the unusual.
What would you like listeners to take away from your album?
I'd like if people found themselves humming something from the album.
Interview by Lilly Wellen
BIO: Lily Wellen is a freelance journalist and graduate of Marquette University's Diederich College of Communication. She currently writes for Chirp Radio, OnMilwaukee, Chicago Music Guide and Diversion Records.