Ex Cops, Heat, My Midnight Heart, Heaven
150 Greenpoint Ave.
Brooklyn, NY, 11222
Out October 2014 via Downtown Records
Ex Cops, a nomadic duo featuring Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding, brings the hook-heavy blast of '90s alt-rock into a new era on their second album Daggers. Executive produced by icon-of-form Billy Corgan and produced by Justin Raisen (Sky Ferriera, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue), the record rescues guitar-pop from the bedroom, returning it to the stage it deserves.
Formed in 2011, the group's first album True Hallucinations, released in early 2013, was a critically-acclaimed collection of sprawling indie-pop. From the exuberant "Spring Break (Birthday Song)" to the band's dreamy debut "You Are A Lion, I Am A Lamb," the John Siket-produced record (Blonde Redhead, Yo La Tengo) was a genre-jumping opening salvo and its wall-to-wall guitars set the tone for their new album.
Daggers is a musical about-face, though. "We are not afraid of our favorite music anymore," says Harding. "It's pop."
Billy Corgan, in addition to sharing the band's love of ABBA and taking them to their first wrestling match, provided form and texture to the new tracks over a two-week period in Chicago. The band then took the material to LA for tracking with Raisen and continued collaborating with artists like Ariel Pink, who co-wrote "Burnt Out Love" and features on "Tragically Alright."
The result reinvents modern rock. "White Noise," with its addictive chorus, merges guitars that could make your teeth ache and a motorik electronic pop pulse. The impeccably-produced "Teenagers" brings club-ready downtown pop to an anthemic peak, while "Black Soap" shifts shoegaze textures to stadium status and "Rooms," one of the album's emotionally-resonant ballads, packs a substantial punch.
1. Black Soap
2. White Noise
5. Pretty Shitty
6. Burnt Out Love
7. Modern World
8. Wanna Be (feat. L.P.)
9. Tragically Alright (feat. Ariel Pink)
11. Weird With You
The Sound of Heat is the sound of confusion. Tuneful but tone-deaf; beat-down and blown out of proportion. It's a neat scotch and a mess of a life. You can find it scrawled on bathroom walls, hastily jotted down on cocktail napkins, deleted from your browsing history, lacing your designer drugs. It's a couple bedroom demos turned into a Montreal 5-piece rock band, Now here's the sixty-four thousand dollar question: "Do you remember rock n roll radio?"
Drawing equally from acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Strokes, Heat streamline their influences into a mercurial 3 guitar sound. The result is a stream of catchy, dense rock and roll.
My Midnight Heart
MY MIDNIGHT HEART is a sonic exploration of constantly shifting landscapes. The music of Puerto Rican/American singer and songwriter Angélica Allen describes her dreams and nightmares with haunting realism. Through intensely vivid lyrics, lush arrangements, and the ever-changing lilt of her voice, Angélica weaves tales of wandering hearts, and whispered secrets. Though her dreamscapes have drawn comparisons with Kate Bush, Radiohead, Bat For Lashes, and Bjork; My Midnight Heart stands a world apart.
"There was never a 'beginning' for My Midnight Heart", Angélica says, "I had been gigging and writing songs as long as I can remember, but eventually I noticed them shifting and taking a more defined shape--so I decided to let go of the acoustic singer/songwriter thing and start a band." Following the direction of her music, the group--then a trio , began playing under Angélica's first name at NYC's rock bars in 2010 with a massive Noise Pop sound. However, the project came to a halt, when Angélica began touring with the Trans Siberian Orchestra in 2011. "Singing with TSO was difficult honestly", she says, "It was such an intense schedule that I really had to put my music completely aside; let it die for a while."
Although the band started performing again after she returned to New York months later, the project didn't fully resurrect until almost a year after a period of concentrated song writing and experimentation. Previously heavily guitar based and strongly influenced by PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" and The Kills' "No Wow"; Angélica now turned to echoing pianos, dreamy synths, and parred down, washy vocals. "I began to realize that the songs and the sound weren't really about 'me' anymore." Angélica comments, "They had taken the shape of something darker inside me. I knew couldn't call the band 'Angélica' anymore."
My Midnight Heart takes it's name from the first single "Midnight Heart". "It was the first thing I thought of when someone asked me what I was calling the project--and probably just because it's in the first line of the lyrics." Angélica says, "But now it seems perfect to me." My Midnight Heart is about the dreams and fears hidden deep inside us. Things we hide even from ourselves. "And when you say "My Midnight Heart", it becomes 'yours'. The name forces you to identify with the music. That's what it's all about", Angélica adds, "Empathy."
The first official release from My Midnight Heart, the 4-track EP entitled "Chest of Hearts" is due out November 2012.
A romantic clash between your Dad's long lost favorite psych record and the soundtrack to a John Hughes film, Heaven ride a massive sonic wave in delivering their dear and dreamy tracks. Matt Sumrow and Mikey Jones created Heaven in the wake of touring and recording with artists such as DEAN and BRITTA, SWERVEDRIVER, AMBULANCE LTD, the COMAS, SNOWDEN, THE BIG SLEEP and others. After supporting and touring with other artists for years, they have finally arrived at making their own albums in their own band, Heaven.
In July of 2013, Heaven released their debut LP Telepathic Love on Goodnight Records. The live lineup came together on the touring of Telepathic Love with the addition of bassist Yoi Fujita (SNOWDEN) and Ian Fenger (AMBULANCE LTD) who have since become permanent members.
During an adventurous summer/fall of 2013 (where drummer Jones was involved in a car accident, suffered temporary but severe memory loss, and literally went missing for three months- only to be found working the marijuana fields of Northern California) the band made tour stops at SXSW, two east coast tours, many in studio/in store performances, as well as numerous online and print reviews.