Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne has come a long way since his 2008 debut, and right now, he says, “Life is great.” He’s released two well-received full-length albums, had songs licensed for film and television, and toured the world with Bruno Mars, Foster The People, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, and the late Amy Winehouse. His latest, Where Does This Door Go, features a host of top-flight production work from Pharrell Williams, Greg Wells, Jack Splash, John Hill, and Oak (of Oak & Pop), who contributes the smooth and powerful single “Her Favorite Song.”

The single premiered in May of 2013 and became an instant hit. Billboard called it “expansive,” and New York Magazine said “…sounds like seventies smooth-rock kings Steely Dan.” The track is the follow up to the first teaser for the album, “Designer Drug,” which topped the Hype Machine charts and gave Mayer the title of “Most Blogged Artist” on the site. The full album will be released on July 16th on Republic Records.

Mayer grew up just outside of Detroit in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and remembers, as a child, driving through the Motor City with his father and tuning the car radio I n to the region’s rich musical tapestry. He has produced music and played multiple instruments for much of his life and uses skills honed as a club DJ to create his own original dance floor fillers. Throughout the years he’s cited Soul legends Barry White and Curtis Mayfield as inspiration, along with late hip-hop producer J Dilla.

But comfortably relocated in Los Angeles, the hat he now wears is that of a yachtsman in the mold of Hall and Oates, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald. The old influences remain—the creative vision of Dilla, the urban elegance of Mayfield and White—but today’s Hawthorne is a smiling sophisticate. Some have described the vibe of Where Does This Door Go as “Steely Dan meets the Beastie Boys,” which suggests both a studio seriousness and playfully irreverent approach.

“The only rule I had when I went in to make this album was that it had to be fun,” he says.

In the last five years, Mayer has grown as a singer, songwriter and in his desire for collaboration. Working with touring partners like Winehouse and Badu bolstered his vocal chops by teaching him how to use his voice as an instrument. Lyrically, he’s moved away from the bitter break-up tone of his first two albums toward more diverse storytelling and personal coming-of-age content, and he’s relaxed his DIY ethos of crafting every song from start to finish.

Now, he’s motivated to create soul music that can win—win on the radio, win on the charts, win over clubs and win over hearts. With Where Does This Door Go, Mayer is back to his soul foundation and hip-hop roots, and is making the most enjoyable and youthful music of his career.

“This record for me is really about a journey into the unknown,” he says. “As a musician, you’re only as good as your next record, and you never know what’s through that next door.”

On the heels of a series of much-adored singles, EPs, and video sessions, transcendent pop band Superhumanoids returns with its debut full-length, Exhibitionists. On the album the Los Angeles three-piece shows off a sound that’s ambitious and awesomely precise. Brilliant harmonies and arrangements abound, as the group showcases its trademark blend of diverse instrumentation and driving electronics. It is otherworldly pop at its finest.

Sarah Chernoff, Cameron Parkins, and Max St. John prize meticulousness—every sound you hear on these recordings is the result of deliberate, nearly obsessive dedication to their craft. Recorded and produced by the band itself, the album was mixed by Ariel Rechtshaid (Charli XCX, Blood Orange, Major Lazer, Active Child) and Doug Boehm (GIRLS, Guided By Voices).

Superhmanoids’ studio ethic is matched by its devotion to dynamic and inspiring live performance. The band has gained a steadfast fan-base across the U.S. and Europe on tours with Local Natives, Active Child, Balam Acab, Cold War Kids, Class Actress, Cults, and Wild Beasts. The group will hit the road again soon to share their latest creation with old fans and new friends.

L.A.'s Superhumanoids are actually more supernatural, and not just because of their songs, which float along like ghosts while vocalist Sarah Chernoff sings things like, "Time won't wait for either of us."

They've also got an unearthly command of the powers necessary to put together a beautiful little pop song—economy, diversity, spontaneity and of course heart, if you were wondering. Their newest "Too Young For Love" single displays both boundless love for and limitless knowledge of all the different ways to sing something sad, stretching from delightfully outré melodic flourishes right out of a Siouxsie and the Banshees single to pixel-dripping digitized rhythm tracks that'd give any
subwoofer a work out. Companion track "Geri" bounces off that space-y Moog-y left-field pop sound the Rentals perfected on "Friends of P," and if you wanna hear how they make sure less is more, you can examine the way they dissolve the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" into primordial soup. When people talk about "dream pop," this is the exact thing they hope they fall asleep with.

The more you prowl through their discography, which is currently a stack of EPs and singles pointing the way to their just-about-out debut full-length Exhibitionists, the more you'll discover. Really, there's a whole world in there—from the harmonies all the way to the horizon line where everything just melts into a white light. So go toward the light.

Trust us on this one.

$20.00 - $22.00


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Mayer Hawthorne with Superhumanoids

Tuesday, September 10 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Union Transfer