Put Your Records On: American Darlings

American Darlings

At The Great Record Chase we strive to get inside the heads of prominent new artists, and what makes their musical nerves tick. Over the course of several months we have been putting together a project in which a selection of new artists on our radar have put together an editorial. This consists of musical influences that formed, shaped, and brought to life their sound. There has been an impressive amount of new talent that has come our way since starting this website back in the Fall, and we want to take everything to a whole new level.

Today we sit down with Jason Maksymilian, frontman of New York based American Darlings; a psych-rock dream. Currently their latest EP, Rubber Tracks, has been making waves. Stellar for Summer? You bet!

Dive in!

Name three albums or artists that influenced your musical styling you play today and why they are important to you.

Jason Maksymilian: Three albums that initially come to mind are You’re Living All Over Me by Dinosaur Jr for it’s raw in-your-face guitar sound, You Made Me Realize by My Bloody Valentine for it’s sonic gritty textures combined with ethereal lush vocal melodies and A Hard Day’s Night for being my first “textbook” on how to write a song; songwriting 101.

What made them so influential to you?

Jason: All of those albums really showed me different ways to write songs and play guitar at different times in my life.
 
When did you first discover them? How did they help form the music you play today?

Jason: I heard A Hard Days Night when I was maybe 6 or 7. My Dad would play mixed tapes of music from the 60s on road trips and that album stood out in my mind-so catchy and memorable. It was also the first guitar chord/music transcription book I got while learning how to play. You’re Living All Over Me and You Made Me Realize came later on. J Mascis taught me new ways to solo while Kevin Shields (ironically) showed me how to sing delicately and made no apologies when using the tremolo bar on a Fender Jazzmaster.
American Darlings Bandcamp: americandarlings.bandcamp.com

Well-Known Strangers – “Another Sun”

WellKnown Strangers is Joe Adamek (guitar/songwriting), Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Jon Wolf (guitars), and John Kulas (bass guitar, guitars). Joe is the band’s creative spark, introducing songs and guiding band’s overall artistic direction, though Betsy is an essential creative foil. Her songwriting and rich lyric gifts are essential in the band’s overall sound and direction, and her vocal delivery is unmatched. Members of the alt-pop collaboration have collectively played well over 250 shows around the Midwest, including Chicago-Metro, Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford, and Minneapolis. The group mines a sophisticated but accessible sound that recalls Goo Goo Dolls, Mumford & Sons, 10,000 Maniacs, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Rusted Root, and Matchbox 20.  Distinguishing WellKnownStrangers from those bands are the one-two punch of Betsy’s vocal power, sass, and swagger, and Sacia’s classically trained cello playing. Together the band creates a powerful sound that will keep drawing you back in.

WellKnown Strangers – “Another Sun”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyAQfTHkOMo

Put Your Records On: The Autumn Stone

theas

At The Great Record Chase we strive to get inside the heads of prominent new artists, and what makes their musical nerves tick. Over the course of several months we have been putting together a project in which a selection of new artists on our radar have put together an editorial. This consists of musical influences that formed, shaped, and brought to life their sound. There has been an impressive amount of new talent that has come our way since starting this website back in the Fall, and we want to take everything to a whole new level.

Today we sit down with James Cassidy, who makes up half of New York’s The Autumn Stone; a psych-rock dream. Currently their debut record, Beautiful Freaks, is an enticing introduction to the band, with a hazy new video in tow for “Vampires.”

Dive in!

Watch Now: The Autumn Stone “Vampires”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09JkYDBAPz0

Name three albums or artists that influenced your musical styling you play today and why they are important to you.
 
James- Syd Barrett, Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), Brian Wilson –  To me lyrically and musically three of the best songwriters of all time. They were all so incredibly inventive and innovative with their instruments, and words
 
What made them so influential to you?
 
Brian’s arrangements are some of the best ever recorded. All of these artists evoke a certain melancholy which I guess I sort of struggle with myself. Also, the way they sing. They were unconventional singers (not counting Brian of course) and I felt maybe I could sing too,  even if I didn’t sound like Brian Wilson or Robert Plant.
 
 When did you first discover them? How did they help form the music you play today?
 
My father got me into The Beach Boys when I was a kid,  I heard Sparklehorse on amazon.com when I used to buy CDs a million years ago. They recommended Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot based on what albums I was looking at which were mostly The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Home. I got into Syd through being a Pink Floyd fan,  you know, the ignorant kind who only likes or is aware of The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. I read an article somewhere about Piper at The Gates of Dawn and went out to Tower Records and bought it. It blew my mind. From there I bought his solo stuff which to me is even more impressive. All of these bands seep through and influence my music all the time.

http://facebook.com/theautumnstone

BRAIDS Announce Headlining Fall Tour Dates

braids

Braids are a three-piece experimental pop band from Montreal.

To record their third album, Deep In The Iris, Braids decamped to a series of retreats in the mountains of Arizona, Vermont, and upstate New York.  Surrounded by nature in all its warm vitality, the longtime bandmates strove to shed the fabric of their day to day relationships, being bare and vulnerable before one another.  What resulted is Deep In The Iris, their strongest record to date – powerful, yet fragile; immaculately sculpted, but deeply human.

Driven by roomy acoustic instrumentation and tasteful electronics, Deep In The Iris is easily Braids’ sunniest and most immediate record. While the icy, airless production of their second album Flourish // Perish suited the songs’ inward gaze, the widescreen warmth and full-bodied punch of Deep In The Iris are the perfect complement to its unflinching lyricism. 

Raphaelle Standell has always had a formidable voice but rarely has it sounded as vital, focused, and powerful as it does here.  True to the process that birthed it, the record explores a number of heavy subjects, including pornography, abuse, and slutshaming. Standell’s emotional vulnerability becomes a triumphant weapon in its own right: scything through wrongdoing and shame with equal aplomb, and clearing the way for the many others who will find resonance in the bravery of these lyrics. Written from a place of inspiring strength and unblinking lucidity, the lyricism of this record is a cathartic gift.

Tour Dates

7/25 Guelph, ON – HIllside Festival
8/01 Detroit, MI – Tires
8/21 Ottawa, ON – Arboretum Festival
9/17 Montreal, QC – Pop Montreal
9/22  Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
9/24  Chicago, IL – Subterranean
9/25 Champaign, IL – Pygmalion Festival
9/26  Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club
9/27  Winnipeg, MB – The Good Will
9/29  Calgary, AB – Commonwealth
9/30  Edmonton, AB – Denizen Hall
10/2  Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
10/3  Seattle, WA – Lo Fi
10/4  Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
10/6  San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
10/8  San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
10/9  Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
10/12  Dallas, TX – Club Dada
10/13 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
10/16  Atlanta, GA – 529
10/17  Raleigh, NC – Kings
10/19 Washington, DC – DC9
10/20  Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
10/21  Boston, MA – Great Scott
10/22  Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right

Up Close and Personal with PRAVADA; The Band Takes on Brooklyn Tonight 7/27

pravada new

Indy-born PRAVADA are slated to play their second NYC area show tonight, with a performance at Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery. The three piece made up of Jesse Lee, Hubert Glover and Casey Tennis will certainly enliven the stage with their raw and catchy indie pop that has been making waves the past several years. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with drummer and founding member, Casey Tennis, from the band regarding their live experiences.

New York City is glad to have Pravada back. What’s your favorite part of playing in New York / Brooklyn?

The people definitely. Every time we meet amazingly interesting people. Oh, and the food!! New York and Brooklyn may be the only places on tour were we can afford real food. We have had wonderful meals for $4!!

How did you hone your live stage skills?

I did a lot of theater growing up and started playing drum set live around fifth grade. We all toured endlessly when we were in Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. but I think the thing that helps the most is picturing Prince digging our music and giving me the thumbs up.

What are your favorite songs to play live. What piece feels most like home, especially in a live stage setting?

“Someone Else” has been so locked in lately. People seem to love it from the first note. For me it’s a sexy swinging aggressive dance fight. It’s great. Other stand outs for me are “Teacher” and a new song called “3/4.” We get to do fun harmonies and use dramatic dynamics.

Being a well-traveled band, what is your favorite part of being on stage? Playing in front of audiences?

When you can change someone’s mood in two and a half minutes. Let’s say- we load in sound check and I’ll notice someone at the bar looking depressed. Then we play and they’re up dancing and yelling. I like making people feel better.

How do you take the songs from your records and mold them for your live set?

Sometimes it takes quite a bit of effort. We usually have to rearrange the orchestration a little. Pick the parts that are the most important to the song. Sample the miscellaneous keyboard or sound effects and just find a way to pull it off. It is one of my favorite parts of playing live.

PRAVADA
Monday, July 27
Cameo Gallery
Brooklyn, New York
Doors: 7:00pm
Ages 21+

Put Your Records On: CRAIG GREENBERG

Craig Greenberg

At The Great Record Chase we strive to get inside the heads of prominent new artists, and what makes their musical nerves tick. Over the course of several months we have been putting together a project in which a selection of new artists on our radar have put together an editorial. This consists of musical influences that formed, shaped, and brought to life their sound. There has been an impressive amount of new talent that has come our way since starting this website back in the Fall, and we want to take everything to a whole new level.

Today we sit down with singer-songwriter-indie-pop-mastermind, CRAIG GREENBERG, straight out of Brooklyn, New York. His brilliant new video for “That Girl is Wrong for You,” has been making the rounds in the blogosphere, creating quite an impression among listeners  and viewers alike. Dive in and check it out!

Watch Now: Craig Greenberg “That Girl is Wrong for You”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjS4WOFplXU

Name three albums or artists that influenced your musical styling you play today and why they are important to you.

Albums
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Led Zeppelin 2
Dark Side Of the Moon

Sgt Pepper‘s was just a perfect selection of songs from top to bottom, with the melodies and production and arrangements like nothing I’d ever heard. A great introduction to what would become a lifetime obsession with the Beatles.

Led Zeppelin riffs were what made me want to play guitar (which is my first instrument incidentally). I spent hours with that record, learning the riffs, playing along to “Heartbreaker” and “Whole Lotta Love.” Zeppelin 2 was like an atomic bomb going off in my ear!

Dark Side of the Moon just floored me.. and literally – my friends and I in high school would smoke a joint, turn off the lights and lie on the floor and listen to that record and just totally freak out! It was just so heavy and dark, and all absorbing. To this day no album transports me to another dimension like that record. I’m proud that some Floyd comes through listening to my new album. there’s actually three points on my record I can think of (hint: one is on the opening track)

These were actually among my first CDs ever purchased, when I was about 14.

What made them so influential to you?

Influence:
Beatles – Their use of melody and arrangement.
Zeppelin – It was bad ass guitar riffs and rock attitude.
Pink Floyd – It was their use of darkness and space.

When did you first discover them? How did they help form the music you play today?

I’m proud that some Floyd comes through listening to my new album. There’s actually three points on my record I can think of (hint: one is on the opening track)

Rebel House Radio “Can’t Say No” Video

rhr

Rebel House Radio’s “Can’t Say No,” is a perfect first glimpse of the band for newcomers. The song is the current single off of their new record, “One More Dayl.” The video acts as a mini-movie with an unfolding, and intriguing story line. Channeling influences such as the Black Keys, the group combine an array of genres from rock, blues, funk and more to create an interesting palate in the rock scene. Based in Los Angeles, Rebel House Radio’s sound truly fits the West Coast, and their video for “Can’t Say No,” is one that will be on your favorites list for the summer. It’s on mine for sure!