Weekend

Weekend officially formed in 2009 around the nucleus of long-time friends Shaun Durkan (vocalist/bassist/guitarist) and Kevin Johnson (guitarist), along with drummer Taylor Valentino. The trio recorded the album Sports throughout 2009 with long-time friend and producer/engineer Monte Vallier. The textured and challenging post-punk squall of Sports made the band an instant sensation, with great reviews coming from Pitchfork, NME, Vice and more.

Throughout the next two years, the band found itself touring internationally with the Kills (Europe) and Wire (UK and US) and in Japan in support of the 2011's Red EP, which marked a sonic departure from the band's initial signature addiction to noise over clarity. Red (which was also produced by Monte Vallier and featured then-new and current drummer Abe Pedroza) saw the band embrace sweeter melodies that encouraged Shaun to display his vocal abilities free from any distortion overlap.

The band spent most of 2012 writing, recording, and painstakingly mixing the 10 songs that comprise Jinx, once again with Monte Vallier at Ruminator. During this time, Weekend relocated cross-country to the already heavily saturated Brooklyn music scene. The trio had collectively grown weary of the trappings of home. Durkan states, "Feeling at home is evidence of stagnation and so I'm happy to say New York still feels alien to me." Despite the drastic change of scenery, he maintains "Geographically-based music scenes are for the most part defunct due to the internet but I don't think we'll ever be part of any scene. We stand on our own."

When asked to describe the album in three adjectives, Durkan stated: "Volatile. Cathartic. Bittersweet. The record is a collage of inspiration and ideas from each member of the band. Shards of experiences, images, smells, sounds molded into something we can collectively call ours." The album visually represents the music as well, through personal possessions of each band member that "had singular and emotional connections to and democratize it through a physical process. Painting the objects black adds a new, collective ownership over the previous personal meaning. [There is] the coalescence of our individual art to make something new, stark, and powerful."

That stark black visual sheen complements the songs that embody Jinx. Memories and experiences have been reinterpreted and recalled into existence from haunting, beautiful places. Each song on the album charges through a polarizing emotion through an ebb and flow of sounds both ominous and soothing. Lastly, the LP's presumably superstitious title compliments this body of work thematically. Shaun recalls his father's stage name, "Jinks," which played a ghostly role in the creation of this album. That name, like all the inspirations, emotions and experiences has returned to haunt the band – this time delivered with a lustrous and magnificent black sheen.

Five years into their existence as a band Disappears have finally exhaled - following a steady run of singles, ep's, and three full lengths the band retreated to their studio at the end of 2012 to take stock of where they had been and where they wanted to go. Disappears returned fully stretched out into the void with 2013's KONE EP. Abstract and experimental, it erased any expectation's people had about what Disappears sounded like or were capable of, as well as introduced new drummer Noah Leger - a pivotal force in what was to follow.
Era, Disappears fourth album in as many years', was birthed during the bleakness of the Chicago winter 2013 at Electrical Audio by now regular foil John Congleton. Insular and dark, Era sees the band refining their love of dub, minimalism and repetition into their most original and stark set yet. Decision and consequence weigh heavy on the album - both lyrically and through the bands decision to let the studio direct the final forms of the songs. Era is Disappears at their most abrasive, contemplative, and paranoid - it's the sound of the void looking back.

Wymond Miles

On the heels of last years critically acclaimed debut LP, Under the Pale Moon, and Earth Has Doors EP comes the sophomore full length from Wymond Miles, guitarist of San Francisco garage-pop titans The Fresh & Onlys. Cut Yourself Free assembles another convergence of moonlit romantic swagger and post-punk massacred urgency. Again self recorded and produced to tape, Miles’ song-craft has emerged more refined and poignant, benefitting from the avalanche of his frenzied live shows, but also adhering to a more minimalistic fashion with crooning mid-era Nick Cave or Bowie/Roxy Music strains of pop-modernism. But what stands at the forefront is Miles’ command of his textural guitar and vintage-synth sprawl that on his choosing can open dream-like vistas, or pierce with an engine’s snarl. Turning to the narrative, Miles weaves each song with its own vignette of story line, often with a vaguely obscured protagonist/antagonist dialog. Relationships in Miles’ sketches are always tangled, if not licentious affairs, but are presented more as lustrous gateways to mend and revitalize rather than squalor in.

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