Our friends in Night Drive have covered Perfume Genius and Radiohead previously, tagged as summer covers. They also do “Psycho Killer” live, but if you haven’t heard it, that Radiohead is one of the best things to get you all swirly-eyed-lost-in-the-moment at any Night Drive show.
The latest release is a not-quite-summer cover has us reimagining The National’s “Anyone’s Ghost”. It goes slightly uptempo to disco levels and adds a pile of synthy harmony with more movement in the phrasing of the lyrical delivery versus the original. The song builds and diverts from the source material the further along you listen.
Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!
A Festival, A Parade are a four piece out of Newcastle Upon Tyne who have got a Frightened Rabbit meets Preoccupations vibe with their heavy dark rock. This new single below, “If Dogs Could Talk,” has all the elements you’d expect from an alt-rock song: cutting riffs of electric guitar that duel throughout, furious drums with lots of cymbal crashes, and the deep vocals of Joe Allen that keep the song in that grumbling, low tone. This band has only been at it for about a year, so you can expect a bright future from these gents.
Bonus points if you can guess which track by The National that it appears this band has generated their name from.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin is a long ways a way from Austin, but not too far away in terms of mindset: here, we call our city the Live Music Capital of the world, and in the Eau Claire is the Music Capital of the North. Nestled in the Chippewa Valley and overlooking the the river, we were treated to three days in the woods with 22,000 of our newly formed friends celebrating music, arts, and the spirit of the river valley. At the center of it all was the man who dreamed up such a festival: Justin Vernon, who, alongside Aaron Dessner, brought all of us together in essentially his backyard to experience something greater.
Read on for our recap of the inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival and see some pictures from the fest.
**Feature Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert
Sometimes the ATH crew ventures beyond the Live Music Capital and gets to experience rad festivals. Last summer, I had the pleasure of traveling to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, and while Spain may not be on the horizon for me this summer, Wisconsin is. In a few short weeks, we’ll be hitting the grounds of the first ever Eaux Claires festival, the love child project of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver/Volcano Choir) and Aaron Dessner (The National). While we’ll give you updates live from the festival so you can live vicariously through us and figure out which acts you need to see when they make their way through our neck of the woods, you can read on for the top five things we’re looking forward to about the inaugural festival.
Hey man, we’re always just looking out for y’all here at ATH, so I wanted to let you know that the lovely folks at Jurrasic Pop records are letting you stream the new Pfarmers LP, Gunnera, for free for a limited time. Pfarmers is the project of The National’s Bryan Devendorf, Danny Seim of Menomena, and Dave Nelson of St. Vincent…so really with all that talent you should probably give it a listen. Everyone likes free, legal music, right?
This is not a drill, nor a late April Fools joke as I first suspected. Everyone’s favorite broody sad dad rock band The National have dropped an out-of-left-field new track called “Sunshine On My Back,” which is probably the closest this band has ever been to an upbeat dance track, although the lyrics would have you believe otherwise. While the first part of this track sounds like the classic track from these gentlemen, as you progress the sound is a lighter kind of somber than we’re used to hearing with Matt Berninger’s vocals higher and airier than usual, but I’m digging it. My day has been made by this surprise track, and I hope yours will be too.
Sometimes a band needs a little bit of help to get off the ground, or rather with the case of The Lone Bellow, where to go once they have. On Then Came The Morning, they brought in The National’s Aaron Dessner to produce their sound, which makes for some interesting tracks and a bit of progress from their first effort they put out a few years ago.
The Lone Bellow have a bit of a mild alternative rock sound—one you would expect to hear from a band on the radio. This quality isn’t intrinsically negative, but it is apt; their folksy blend of acoustic guitar and harmonies doesn’t push a lot of boundaries sonically. In this baseness, they’ve found their niche—within this genre they’ve got some good numbers you’ll want to give a second or third listen. On the whole, however, the sound isn’t exciting enough to set them strongly apart from what others have already done.
Opener and title track, “Then Came The Morning” is about as boundary-pushing as you’ll find here. It’s a bluesy waking up track—the tempo is slow and rolling, as lead singer Zach Williams’ raspy vocals chime in with their emotive quality. The backing group vocals provide an interesting sweeping effect to the tune, the “oohs” and “ahhs” as well as the repetition of the chorus gives the whole number a balloon-like sound, giving the album a positive start. Other good songs seem to come when the band is doing bluesy sounding rock—take snappy number, “Cold As It Is” as an example. This song holds the vocals in the limelight, which freshens up the sound that The Lone Bellow have already developed. This number is a stomper and a catchy one at that, and one of the standout bright moments of the album.
By the end of the album, there is a feeling as if the songs are repeating themselves, within this genre it seems difficult to craft boldly different songs, and with thirteen altogether, the band doesn’t do themselves a lot of favors. Then Came The Morning is far from a bad record technically—the production is clear and there’s intricate craftsmanship abundantly placed all over—but I’m left wanting more edge and bite from this group. Maybe you’ll find you enjoy the mildness of The Lone Bellow, but I can’t seem to get fully behind what they’re putting out.
I’ve had a few days to recuperate from the fest that doesn’t sleep and have gathered my thoughts on the sets from Friday and Saturday of Primavera. Read on for highlights and some comments about Parc Del Forúm and the festival itself in case you’re thinking Barcelona is on your music festival horizon.
After last year’s RainCL debacle, many fans of these gentlemen from Brooklyn were disappointed to miss out on their set, which was scheduled for a brief slot on Sunday. To counter this missed show, The National came back in full force, booking two sold out nights and a third added in the aftermath of popular demand. Riding high off of their sixth full-length album, which has steepened their rise of popularity initiated by High Violet to a new level. They brought along the ladies of LA’s Warpaint to open, and the crowd was amped up to hear their new favorites off of 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me.
Click through for more on the show and plenty of pics from the honorable B.Gray…