Laser Background

Laser Background

For the better part of the past decade, Andy Molholt has been creating music as Laser Background. With each release, Molholt has come closer and closer to a unified vision, a musical explanation of how he sees the world. With his new LP, he has come closer than ever before, and titled the result Dark Nuclear Bogs. Originally conceptualized while thinking up anagrams of Laser Background in order to play a secret show, Dark Nuclear Bogs is the classic ‘self-titled LP as mission statement’ flipped on its head, seen from the unique, kaleidoscopic perspective that Laser Background is known for.

Dark Nuclear Bogs was recorded in a friend’s house on a man-made reservoir north of Atlanta with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of Ava Luna. The houses’ décor, unchanged since the previous tenant left in the 1970s, provided a perfect environment for the trio to cut the songs live to tape, and the relative seclusion of the lake allowed them to record whenever inspiration struck. As a result, different songs feel attached to different times of day. The opening track “Mostly Water” (written during a period of self-induced sleep deprivation) sounds like an unwelcome, hung-over morning where wanderlust overtakes common sense, and the raucous “Slubberdeguillion” (which takes its name from an Olde English word meaning ‘worthless person’) acts as the sloppy, self-destructive all-nighter that precedes it. In this song, Molholt pitches his vocals up two octaves and wonders out loud. “Why even bother to take a shower if you’re going to get dirty?”

Formed after the demise of Molholt’s band The Armchairs, Laser Background began as an attempt to put the stranger, more psychedelic psychedelic aspects of childhood into music, and as an exploration of what effects childhood has on the rest of human life. 2012’s Laser Background EP and 2013’s Super Future Montage delved into these ideas, and even as the childlike aspects of the band drifted away on 2016’s Correct, the big questions remained. Questions we ask ourselves when we are young, and never quite find the answers to. Questions like “How does one deal with trauma?” and “How does one know when to let someone go?” Dark Nuclear Bogs feels like the logical conclusion to the ideas on which Laser Background has based its foundation.

Celestial Shore

The whispers about Celestial Shore's debut full-length, 10x, began with the release of the balmy I'm-so-done-with-you song "Valerie" on Stereogum earlier this year. Sound traveled: the Brooklyn trio joined Hometapes and 10x will be released September 3rd in partnership with Local Singles (the new label begun by Brad Oberhofer). In nine songs, Celestial Shore deconstructs city life, the history of pop music, and their own jazz educations into something both heartbreakingly raw and mystically timeless. In between the lines, the band exalts the vibrant scene they call home: the album was mixed by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, includes Empress Of's Lorely Rodriguez on vocals, and features cover art by Prince Rama.

“Twin Loss” is a tense yet tempered psych pop song by Brooklyn’s Zula, a band fronted by cousins Henry and Nate Terepka. It deals with a rather dark and emotionally draining theme: twin loss, the feeling of incompleteness and grief someone experiences when their twin dies at birth. The song’s narrator is “longing to transcend life and merge with one’s true counterpart,” the band says. “Twin Loss” will appear on Zula’s first full-length album, out in October via Inflated Records. In the mean time, the band have released three-track Twin Loss EP, which you can stream in its entirety below. - Stereogum
Zula is currently working on a debut LP, set to be released this summer.

Banned Books

Ever-evolving Philadelphia avant-rock trio, Banned Books has been consistently chipping away at the wall dividing punk rock, noise and experimental music since 2008. Their songs are a winding road leaving listeners unsure what to expect around every twist and turn; a city skyline in the distance, a deer in the headlights, a pothole, a brick wall. Guitar, bass and drums provide a familiar sonic palette with which Matt Dermond, April Heliotis, and Zane Kanevsky repeatedly defy expectations and even raise them to new heights. The band recently recorded a new record which will be released early 2016.

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