We return to Rock n’ Recipes features with one of my absolute favorite musicians, Emma Kupa. I first stated my fandom with Standard Fare, but she’s gone on to her current projects Mammoth Penguins, Hayman Kupa Band…and, this month she’ll release her new solo LP. We caught up with her via email to chat about her songwriting process, the new LP, and she shares her go recipe for Vegan Banana Pancakes! It Will Come Easier is out Friday via Palo Santo Records and Fika Recordings.
Make no mistake about it…Emma Kupa is one of my absolute favorite songwriters; I loved Standard Fare; I love Hayman Kupa Band and Mammoth Penguins (that MP LP last year is still great!). So, when she announced her new solo effort, It Will Come Easier, I nearly knocked over my chair to get a listen. It’s interesting to hear this track, as it seems to draw on bits and pieces of her musical career, from the folkier moments with the banjo to that ripping guitar line you can hear in the distance…but of course, its always about that distinctively powerful voice. It’s hard to not see this song’s lyrics through the lens of the last few weeks, however, as the protagonist seems fed up with facing the same dilemma time and time again…so even our art is starting to call us out. A beautiful tune, and one we’ll look forward to picking up when It Will Come Easier drops via Palo Santo Records and Fika Recordings this Fall!
Needless to say, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, was one of my favorite records of last year. One song that didn’t make the final cut for Mammoth Penguins was this gem they’re sharing titled “Sorry I Hurt Your Feelings.” It’s a special b-side tune that they’ve run up especially for today so that they can donate those funds to Trussel Trust, who support food banks…which I imagine becomes even more important in the current climate. Plus, the song makes up for the fact that we’d be seeing the band here in Austin for SXSW.
When Standard Fare called it a day, Emma Kupa moved on to from Mammoth Penguins. I’ve been a huge fan from day one, and There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win was one of my favorite LPs last year. All that said, I’ve never caught the band live, so I’m more than excited to finally get to see them at SXSW this year. We caught up with the group real quick to grab some answers to our little interview.
Oh…and if you’re so inclined…it’s tough to get bands from the UK to the US, so you can help by buying some Mammoth Penguins merch HERE.
This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on here, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy those albums. I loved Purple Mountains just as much as the next person, same with Weyes Blood, but in a pickle, would I choose it over that Martha LP? Uh, absolutely not. Plus, I ran a lot this year because I got tired of being fat, so the majority of this stuff is pretty upbeat and “runnable.” There’s no order because all are equal under my ears.
As we’re all looking back on the year 2019, I tend to gravitate towards lists with little agenda, other than to shine a light back on the year in the areas I adore. For one, the indiepop scene. Now, there’s always a great big debate about what indie pop is, so for all intents and purposes, I admit that I just don’t care, so the genre’s purists can yell at me later. Now, this may read as a best of, but merely this is the stuff that stuck out in my brain, so if I missed something, I love you and I’m sorry. Honestly, it just gave me a chance to make a fun playlist (2+ hours!) full of hits for all you pop fans.
It’s super-hard to really nail down your favorite albums, especially when its only July and the whole thing seems pretty arbitrary, to put it lightly. But, like all your favorite sites, hits matter; they make you feel cool. So, I have concocted my own list of the Best Albums of 2019…so far. This in no way is a representation of the whole of the site contributors, and merely exists as poor commentary by a blogger with too much time on his hands. Enjoy!
By now, if you’re one of the 8 people reading these pages, you know how much I’ve been looking forward to hearing the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, the new LP from Mammoth Penguins. Today’s the day that it drops, giving us further insight into the band’s return to a slimmed down 3 piece (after the John Doe release). While there are some definite pop rocking numbers, my early time with the LP has me falling for “There is So Much More;” it’s a really soft tune, giving the album some diversity so it doesn’t wear on you…not to mention there’s no such thing as a bad Kupa performance. If you love your pop music, you’ll love this album, so go grab it from Fika Recordings, or stream it below!
I think if Mammoth Penguins had the US press behind them, they would be able to win over every indie rock fan with a penchant for pop sensibility; they remind me of my own top rated bands like Bad Moves, Weakened Friends or a louder Rosie Tucker. The riffs in their latest single are heavy and sharp; there’s a few moments when they have this jagged stutter that added an extra layer of hook during the verses while the rhythm section intoxicates you in their own spot-on fashion. Plus, at the helm is one of the most powerfully distinctive voices from Emma Kupa; I think this is my favorite performance from her in the three singles we’ve heard so far, especially with the playful “oohs.” So, who needs the US press…I know this band rules and I’m stoked to hear the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, out on Fika Recordings on April 26th.
My Mammoth Penguins fandom knows no bounds, but that’s only emboldened when the group unleash great tracks. They’ve slimmed back down to a three piece after releasing the ambitious John Doe LP; this seems to have given them this boundless energy that bleeds through your speakers. Emma definitely has a spectacular vocal performance on this new number; her voice is given lots of space to soar atop the instrumentation, driving home the lyrical content. And, as much credit as I want to give Kupa here, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how spot on the rhythm section is on this track; the drumming alone is standout work…driving the track forward. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win will be out April 26th via Fika Recordings.