Tell All Your Friends CMJ Party
Peter Matthew Bauer, Bo Ningen, Happyness, Money, Spires, Slothrust, Strange Names (album release party)
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Peter Matthew Bauer
Peter Matthew Bauer is a rock & roll singer and musician with a debut record called “Liberation!” out everywhere now on Mexican Summer and Memphis Industries. It’s been called a “cult classic in waiting” by UNCUT magazine and has been universally embraced in the press. As an album, Bauer uses Liberation! as an opportunity to welcome the rest of the world into his personal history of a childhood spent living in ashrams, and a life shaped by the constant presence of religion and mythology amidst uncertainty. What Peter has learned, and what he imparts both on the title track and across the eleven songs that make up Liberation!, is a riot of experiential notions. “Liberation, as the idea of the record, relates to belief in its various incarnations. In a way I’m trying to poke fun at it; this Western idea of heaven, this Eastern idea that it will take a hundred lifetimes, or a thousand lifetimes to get somewhere better. You can be mad about these things, but you can also arrive at some sort of strange, joyful experience right now without believing anything.”
At whatever level you choose to listen, the record stands proudly on its own, a roundabout life story couched in a dynamic blend of soulful balladry, folk-tinged meditations, and full-bore rock & roll. Written and realized in Utrecht during a bout of insomniac wanderlust, a song like “Latin American Ficciones,” the album’s first single, could take on any number of interpretations, with lyrics that become more descriptively vicious by turns as its two-chord riff grows in intensity, all dimed amps and deafening mantra. The first song on the record, “I Was Born In An Ashram,” addresses his teenage years, summers spent in an Ashram in upstate New York, set to a shambolic percussion, acoustic guitar, and choral background vocals, which culminate in a spiritual euphoria. “After awhile, a lot of unsavory business rose up around the ashram. So some of the songs relate to that, these whispers you’d hear as a teenager, of all these dark shadows and characters hanging around. I think it’s very unusual that all this negative stuff arises, and yet, so many of these people are having these very strange, authentic spiritual experiences,” Peter recalls. “That’s the sort of energy I was trying to get at – that paradox, which as you investigate it more, really seems to make more and more sense. Life is jubilant and joyous even through the shadows.” Album closer “You Are The Chapel” builds off a heart-soaring piano melody, skipping across an even wider array of life lived, from conversations about Richard Dawkins and genetics with strangers in the Basque countryside, to the absurdity of lad behavior from inside the facilities at a Savages concert in Leeds, to the life of a shoeless French hippie in Barcelona.
The constant changes in scenery that inspired Peter Bauer to write this record highlight a greater truth about the songs on Liberation! – that they exist on multiple levels, they take on meanings other than their intention the moment they left the studio, joined by what he’s phrased in the record’s finale as “the mystery of of it all.” Conceived largely on a sojourn all across Europe, Liberation! was recorded at a factory space in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia with friends Quentin Stoltzfus, Christopher Colbert, Matt Oliver, and Matthew Barrick taking part in the recording and mixing. All of this work accounts for Liberation’s saturated, homemade feel, as Peter’s music fuses a wide swath of influences and technique into an assured, anthemic statement in the palette of rock ‘n’ roll. Liberation! is the soundtrack of one man’s journey inside himself, in preparation for the rest of the world to follow.
After blitzing SXSW and a phenomenal tour earlier this year including appearances at Coachella and Austin Pysch Fest, Bo Ningen are returning to the USA this fall. They'll be supporting Kasabian on a run of dates alongside playing Voodoo Experience in New Orleans.
Bo Ningen 'III' is a rich and accomplished album that has seen Bo Ningen evolve musically. Jehnny Beth of Savages also guests on the album and they've sung partly in English on this album for the first time. It was recorded over several months with the band able to spend more time on the production and development of the songs then ever before. 'III' illustrates Bo Ningen as a group with a singular vision, reaching for what they define as "pure music", by turns esoteric and a no holds barred sensory assault.
Happyness release their self-produced debut album - “Weird Little Birthday” – in June. The album follows their eponymous debut EP released at the beginning of this year, to great critical acclaim. The album is not quite a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and eventually is driven insane with jealousy. It was largely recorded in the band’s own Jelly Boy Studios, after a brief session recording first track “Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)” in an abandoned church was cut short by the bitter cold and an unconvinced congregation of the dead. The record was mixed by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston) and features Ed Harcourt with vocals on “Pumpkin Noir”.
The EP drew comparisons with bands synonymous with college slacker rock – the album, while putting the band at the forefront of, wait for it, ‘jangle-gaze’ displays a more melancholic, introspective nature. The youthful exuberance of “It’s On You” is still there, but the album expands on that sound, as if dealing with the morning after as well as the night before, and how, alas, not everything can invoke a dream house party soundtracked by Pavement.
Having signed to Bella Union after two limited edition 7" singles last year, Manchester-based quartet MONEY are currently putting the finishing touches to their much-anticipated debut album, due for release late summer. In the meantime, Bella Union are thrilled to reveal the mesmerising video to Bluebell Fields, the majestic first single from the album. The video represents a loving collaboration between the band and young animator Dan W. Jacobs.
MONEY is comprised of Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman. They formed in Manchester and embody the passion, creativity and optimism of a new generation of artists and musicians from there. "It’s an extraordinary, poetic city," frontman Jamie says, "You feel like you can do anything here".
Spires are a psychedelic rock band formed in November 2012 by singer/guitarist Matt Stevenson. Initially started as a home recording project, the group now includes Jack Collins (bass), Jack Manley (guitar), Carter McNeil (drums), and Michael Goodman (synths/guitar). Drawing influences from Creation Records artists and 60s psych, Spires were dubbed by NME as the "US counterparts" to Temples, and have played over 40 gigs in New York in the past year. Their debut single "Candy Flip" was self released in the US in October and will be available for purchase in the UK via Too Pure on March 3rd, 2014.
"...slings pleasingly distorted guitars accompanied by thoughtful lyrics." – THE NEW YORKER
“Paired with powerful heft similar to Nirvana but winsomely matched with Weezer's anxiety, "Crockpot" is for nostalgists as well as intellectuals.” - IMPOSE MAGAZINE
“If I had to compare Slothrust to other bands, I’d say that I don’t have to do that.” - OH MY ROCKNESS
“They take the Pixies loud/quiet/loud template and push it to extremes, with the songs tending to veer violently between passages of sweet pop and coruscating Nirvana-esque riffing… a kind of midpoint between grunge and thoughtful indie rock, deftly skirting the two genres with unpatronising intelligence and sharp-eyed individualism” - NORMAN RECORDS
“Lead singer Leah Wellbaum has a made-for-mosh-pit-shout-along voice, and the lyrics provide nonstop ins for the socially awkward and alienated to commiserate… A perfect reminder of the power grunge music has to reach common ground glossier genres wouldn't be caught dead in. But who ever needed gloss?” - BITCH MAGAZINE
“Their unique blend of grunge, punk, blues, and jazz has just been that perfect blend of styles I didn’t even know I needed, but I am quite thankful I found it.” - THE REVUE (CANADA)
Strange Names (album release party)
It’s only been a few months since Strange Names landed in New York City, but the time for this daring pop trio has most definitely come. On May 19, 2015, this triumvirate of twenty-somethings—Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and Liam Benzvi—is releasing Use Your Time Wisely, a firecracker debut LP jammed with energetic, angular, romantic songs that sound at once ageless and completely contemporary.
The band recorded Use Your Time Wisely at The End in Brooklyn, New York, with producer Andrew Maury, and found the sort of sound they think best fits their music. What they ended up with was a collection of TK driving songs that are deceptively simple, raucously compelling and defiantly youthful.
The album’s first single, “Ricochet,” is a prime example. “There are some songs on the record with profound lyrics that come from a place of great pain,” explains Ximenez, “but this song’s lyrics are just about trying to get with someone at a party.”
Other tracks, like the unforgettable “Neighborhood,” use a similarly easy-to-swallow delivery to take on the idea of finding your place in the world. But nothing ever gets too heavy. Indeed, the guys strive to echo the inclusive vibe of the New Wave bands they love, groups like the B-52s, Human League and the Talking Heads that didn’t leave anyone out of their party.
Now, with the release of Use Your Time Wisely, Strange Names has made an album that not only holds on to the dynamism that’s been apparent since those early tracks but also displays their progress and undeniable forward momentum.