Bridge Nine Records
When it comes to Candy Hearts' open-book policy, that book is essentially a diary. Since conceiving the band while attending college in upstate New York in 2010, frontwoman Mariel Loveland has used the band as an outlet to vent her feelings and frustrations in honest and relatable ways by way of familiar imagery and revealing, recognizable failings of short-term romance, empathetic tragedies channeled through '90s alternative-soaked pop-rock. It's a maneuver fully realized on their sophomore full-length,All The Ways You Let Me Down.
"This album really spans the whole spectrum of a relationship," says Loveland, "from being single and looking for somebody, to finding someone and then breaking up." All The Ways You Let Me Downdetails the trek, pinpointing the highs like building emotional bonds during car rides ("The Dream's Not Dead", "Brooklyn Bridge") as well as the lows of unsureness and/or desperation that comes with any escalating relationship ("Michigan", "Coffee With My Friends", "Playing With Fire"). "Coffee With My Friends" and "Playing With Fire" also highlight the relationship one develops with themselves, a theme that subtly inflects "The One To Get Me Out" and other moments on the album.
While coming off emotionally wounded, occasionally downtrodden and heavily introspective, Candy Hearts - currently filled out by bassist John Clifford and drummer Matthew Ferraro - have always bundled these sentiments with hook-filled, bubbly, poppy inclinations. "It's a cool vibe for me," Loveland says of All The Ways. "It definitely has a more alternative and pop vibe than our last EP [2012's The Best Ways To Disappear]. It feels like Taylor Swift meets the Breeders, and that's something we were always going for. It's a lot less pop-punk; it's just like a straight-up pop-rock record."
New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert, who took on the band a couple years ago after overhearing their music from a bandmate on NFG's tour bus, has helped polish these intentions as producer for All The Ways You Let Me Down (as well as The Best Ways). He's also helped expose the band to broader audiences, handpicking them as the first act on his Bridge Nine imprint, Violently Happy Records, and taking them on a couple tours, including the upcoming UK Pop Punk's Not Dead run in the fall.
"It's always really great when we work with him," Loveland says. "We have a good vibe together. He really understands what we're going for, musically. There are no arguments, and he definitely helps bring out the best parts of songs and shape them to be something that is definitely more catchy."
A cameo from Jordan Pundik on "Something's Missing" also provides a pleasant collaboration between the bands, especially with the NFG frontman acting as an influence on Loveland's musical upbringing. "I was psyched," Loveland says of Pundik's vignette. "There are only a couple singersâ€”the Beatles, Alanis Morissetteâ€”when I was younger where I was like, 'Man, that is something amazing.'"
Although Loveland says she would love for millions of people the world over to hear and buy All The Ways You Let Me Down, she does so with a laugh, aware of the struggle it takes to gain as much fame as Candy Hearts' pop-rock predecessors and peers. However many people hear it, though, she'll ensure that the message is still as clear and honest as possibleâ€”to both fans and themselves. "I've always wanted this band to be completely true to ourselves," Loveland says, "That's just what our band has always been about."
The Record Machine
The debut release of Kansas City band Capybara is filled to the brim with jangly synth melodies, light falsetto harmonies, and a syncopated percussive style that perpetually threatens to start a raucous party. Try Brother, self-produced in the Spring of 2009 in the mountains of northern New Mexico, blends earnest eyes-wide-open lyrics with delicate multi-instrumental arrangements. Their style draws on many influences, evoking classical chamber pop, down-home banjo folk rock, and soaring indie riffs in equal measures.
"Capybara won't long be an unknown commodity with its jittery, percussive, freakout folk pop. No xylophone is safe when the foursome takes the stage with at least as much pep as Arcade Fire and with songs that are way more fun than anything on Neon Bible." - The Pitch Weekly, Kansas City
Growing up in the American Heartland with a good old-fashioned Midwestern work ethic, their longtime childhood friendships and tightly-knit brotherhood help drive Capybara and fuel their creative fire. While early press reviews of Try Brother have drawn loose comparisons to the work of Dirty Projectors, Sufjan Stevens, and The Flaming Lips, it is clear that Capybara's new album comes straight from the heart.
"Capybara seem to have tapped into the sharpest fragments of the contemporary alt scene with kaleidoscopic expertise. They master every sound they make and never sound like pretenders, always like musicians; original, diverse, vibrant. Not that I mean to gush. Take a tour for yourself." - Monkton VS. Plankton, UK Blog
Look out for Capybara as they embark on their second national tour in Autumn 2009, touring in support of Try Brother, out now on The Record Machine.
"It's somewhere between cliché and painfully appropriate to call Cardboard Lamb's debut their Singles Going Steady, but like the Buzzcocks collection, Don't Forget to Die never lets up with pop hooks and infectious riffs, almost taunting us with its effortless charm and refusal to let us take a seat. The LA-based quartet makes it sound so easy. Their debt to post-punk foundation stones like Wire, Mission of Burma, and The Sound are obvious seconds into opening track "Bedside Manner" but unlike their influences, they've hit us with a debut that comes on like slapstick black comedy, almost asking us to grin through a series of misfortunes and heartbreaking tales. The man most obviously responsible for this quality, guitarist, vocalist, lyricist, and masochist Colin Ambulance, pens lyrics that betray the tears of a clown or maybe a court jester who realizes the punch line of his next joke is his head in a guillotine basket. So how does a man with such biting wit find his perfect foil in a band that sounds so refreshingly upbeat? Cardboard Lamb rarely lose a sense of optimism, whether subtle or overblown, but always facilitating an undercurrent of simplicity, like listlessly kicking rocks while discovering the silver lining in a horizon out of Something Wicked This Way Comes. It saturates "Bedside Manner", soaking into the space between the erratic melodies criss-crossing and weaving though each other. The messy charm permeates the album and oddly runs on a faithful sense of organization within the design of Cardboard Lamb. The members of Cardboard Lamb strongly adhere to their predestined roles from song to song, never straying far from their purpose, but when it works this well, why would they ever need to? "German Judge", sounding like Joy Division on uppers, features all of the hallmarks of the band's high energy post-punk. The schizophrenic frenzy of Ambulance's serrated guitars swing between controlled tantrums of shredding and unpredictable projectile riffing while Jared Keller's bass lines anchor with a tight rhythm and guttural tone. Of course, this wouldn't be a Colin Ambulance production if the anchor provided much restraint, so Don't Forget to Die often finds Keller bouncing along beside Ambulance, like two hummingbirds on tethers, moving faster than we can process, touching down but never landing. Michelle Reeves is heavily relied on to blanket the jittery melodies in swathes of synth, never compromising the energy, rather defining the soul at the theme of the song while Tom Ackerman's instinctual beats frantically drive the song further beyond its own limit than the song itself realizes, though Cardboard Lamb doesn't keep us around for the inevitable collapse. We only get the energy. Meanwhile, Ambulance narrates the whole affair like a cartoon aghast at his own soul and even more aghast at the lack of soul in those surrounding him. Everyone is sure to have their favorite moment on Cardboard Lamb's debut, with the others not far behind. Of course, this leaves this brilliantly energetic group the unenviable task of creating a follow-up so incredible as to not immortalize Don't Forget to Die as their greatest hits." -Seth Styles
Ghost Town, Inc.
"The Carnivores' keyboardist, Caitlin Lang, is classically trained in piano, but on "If I'm Ancient" (Double Phantom), the group's appealingly messy second album, she sounds equally trained in punk barking. On the breatless "Parent's Attic," she's petulant, and on the riveting garage-rock number "Summer Shades," she's sweetly shrieking. Ms. Lang shares vocal duties with the guitarist Nathaniel Higgins, who sings drily, and the bassist Philip Frobos, whose bright tone anchors the band's songs, which have become more digressive and dirtier since it released it's first album, "All Night Dead U.S.A." (The band also includes the drummer Ross Politi.) That album had a tropical undercurrent in the mode of early Vampire Weekend or Abe Vigoda. It's here, too, on songs like "Cause She Never Stops," which could be the soundtrack for a chase scene on surfboards. "Georgia Power Company" has it, too, but also shows the band's development, drowning it beneath a woozy psychedelic haze." - The New York Times
"...this is as solid as playing it safe gets, and it doesn't actually play it all that safe-- who else in garage rock is doing this sort of breakdown?" - Pitchfork Media
Third Side Music
So many pieces of Savannah, GA three-piece The Casket Girls seemed to happen by accident. From their beginning - when electronic sound-shaper Ryan Graveface (Graveface Records, Dreamend, Black Moth Super Rainbow) found sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene under a tree in one of Savannah's many squares, playing Autoharp and singing bizarre songs - to the night they composed their sophomore album, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, under circumstances that fall somewhere between séance and dream state, nearly everything about The Casket Girls seems to have been inspired by some kind of spooky happenstance. But then again, the Greene sisters don't believe in accidents.
"I dropped off a shit ton of songs to the girls to work on one night," Graveface says of the genesis of True Love, the follow up to Casket Girls' critically acclaimed 2012 debut. "I went back to check on their progress, because they weren't answering their phones. I don't know if they dropped acid or what, but I walked in and Elsa was sobbing and reciting poetry while Phaedra was just staring straight ahead writing it all down, like catatonic. The next day they dropped off a CD and said, 'We don't even know what's on this. You can throw it in the garbage if you want.' I sat down and listened all the way through and cried.
Phaedra and Elsa had filled the disc with lilting, almost whimsical melodies about chemical hazes and love gone sour like a couple of fucked up Shangri-las, to which Graveface added a bevy of grinding, multi-dimensional psych-rock keys that will be familiar to anyone with a Graveface LP in their collection. It's this twisted and comforting charm, which set in motion the Graveface-Greene love affair in the first place, that relieves us from fear.
The Casket Girls have gained momentum and a substantial cult following due to the unflagging catchiness of their songwriting and the compelling development of their live stage show. They spent the last year and a half touring in support of BMSR and The Faint before growing into headliners in their own right. Last year, they released a self-titled EP on Record Store Day, and a "cassingle" cassette store day.
The Greater Goods Co.
Caspian is a rock band from Beverly, Massachusetts, a seaside town 20 minutes north of Boston. Nobody sings. Most of the time we play heavy, other times quite soft. We always try to play with heart. So far we have recorded three albums. The process is always evolving - Thanks for exploring it with us.
Since 2004, CASPIAN have performed over 650 concerts, bringing their music to 40+ countries stretching over 4 continents. They released their fourth studio album, "Waking Season" in 2012, and a companion EP "Hymn For The Greatest Generation" in November 2013.
The band are currently writing their 4th full-length album in Beverly, MA, set for release in 2015.
Third Side Music
With a fresh perspective on indie dreampop, Caveboy roots themselves in the primal and builds to multilayered experiences. Influenced by similar childhood identities, Caveboy is the culmination of the shared life experiences of its three members Michelle Bensimon (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synth), Isabelle Banos (Synth, Bass, Backing Vocals) and Lana Cooney (Drums, Backing Vocals). They revel in ideas of fearlessness, self-sufficiency, the extraordinary, and that which is feral and cannot be tamed.
Connecting through the pop music from their parents’ generation, the band works hard at developing their sound to utilize these respected musical elements while at the same time always trying to create new worlds of sound with their synthesizers, driving percussion, and symbolic lyricism interweaved with their Guitar/Bass/Drums core.
Their debut EP, released in October 2015, immediately began charting on Canadian college radio and broke the top National 25 on Earshot. Their music has been featured in Syfy’s “Killjoys”, MTV’s “Awkward” and Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”.
The band continued to turn heads on a supporting tour with Dear Rouge and Rah Rah, and electrified audiences with showcases at Pop Montreal, CMJ, SXSW and CMW. Caveboy continues to make waves into the summer and fall festivals with performances at Glowfair, Sound of Music, Hillside, Pride Toronto, Osheaga, and Rifflandia.
With a powerful live set not to be missed, Caveboy are the band you'll be talking about the next day.
Silver Side Productions
Chains of Love
All Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Chains Of Love had serendipitous beginnings. The members of Chains of Love were actually all close friends before forming in December of 2010 but all belonging to different projects varied within the garage rock scene. Despite the variation of sound between projects, there was always a common factor, "Little Red Sounds Studios."
Felix Fung being the owner/operator of the studio is usually behind recording most if not all garage/punk bands in Vancouver, Little Red Sounds became somewhat of a haven for young musicians in the city and Clint Lofkrantz being one of them. After many years of working simultaneously with each other, guitarist Clint Lofkrantz brought up the idea of starting a "Girl Group", that radiated Spector sounds, featured motown basslines, and was heavy in percussion. He presented this to Felix and together they sorted the players as such: Steve Ferrrera, who is hands down the busiest drummer on the west coast tapping out at 5 bands; Henry Beckwith on piano reminding us of how beautiful a piano should sound; Rebecca Marie Law Gray who's harmonies and guitar complete almost every song; and lastly Nathalia Pizarro to front what would become Chains Of Love with her unique sense in style and eccentric voice.
With the talent in place, Chains started by referencing certain artists such as Gail Harris, Ike & Tina, The Ronnettes, and The Shangri-la's by using their lo-fi recording styles as a blueprint for what they wanted to hear in music today. Chains of love has effectively bridged the gap between the nostalgic pop sounds of the 60's with a modern and elegant twist.
SONGS Music Publishing
Clementine and The Galaxy
The longing in Julie Hardy’s voice is palpable. It’s a gorgeous voice, filled with warmth and pain, seemingly in contrast with the icy synths and computerized sounds that lurk behind her heartache. But within Clementine & The Galaxy, these two worlds meld together just fine. A retro/futuristic spin on pop, the Brooklyn duo craft evocative electro sounds with a human heart. Hardy may sing “I’ve been programmed not to miss you,” but it’s her soulfulness that propels the whooshing synths and cinematic flourishes of her bandmate/partner Mike MacAllister.
Think the grand drama of St. Vincent, a sprinkle of Bowie’s stardust. Electro-pop gems with a mod sci-fi motif.
Clementine & The Galaxy officially debuted in 2011 with the release of the single “Crying My Whole Heart Out.” Word spread quickly. The duo garnered a feature in Interview (“a pop duo with their hands on synthesizers and heads in the cloud”) and praise fromTime Out New York (“Spacey, playfully proggy art pop in the Bowie lineage”). Since then, they’ve released a self-titled EP, a well-received cover of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" and a popular remix of Big Data's “Dangerous,” among several others.
This year, Clementine & The Galaxy will unveil their second EP,Midnight Machine, released by Jillionaire of Major Lazer's Feel Up Records.