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French Style Furs

A Very Transverso Holiday: 50 Songs for the Season

Music ListTransverso MediaComment

The holidays are a magical time of year, a time often evoked through the use of song. We at Transverso have decided to collect some of our favorite festive tunes into a playlist for you and yours to enjoy in the coming days, beginning with the original Christmas song, Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."

These 50 seasonal tracks are sure to be the perfect soundtrack as you hang ornaments on your tree, bake cookies, or leave your young son at home without supervision in a crime-ridden Chicago suburb for an extended period of time.

Members of The Shins, Cold War Kids, and Tijuana Panthers Form New Supergroup, Coromandelles

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment
Photo by Sean Flynn

Photo by Sean Flynn

Meet the newest supergroup on the scene, Coromandelles, a self-described "faux-French contemporary punk" trio fronted by Tijuana Panthers' Daniel Michicoff with Cold War Kids members Matt Maust (his second side-project in barely a year, after French Style Furs) and Joe Plummer on bass/artwork and drums, respectively. (Plummer, who also plays the role of engineer for the group, has apparently started a quest to become a member of every band ever after his eight-year stint with Modest Mouse ended in 2012, and is also a member of The Shins and yet another supergroup, Mister Heavenly.)

Their debut album Late Bloomers' Bloomers will be released October 20 on vinyl via Porch Party Records and tape cassette via Burger Records, and has been mixed by Plummer's Shins bandmate Yukki Matthews. According to a press release, the album "is about finding the enjoyment in being derailed [and] rolls through moments of anxiety, doubt, and hope." Oddly enough, the lyrics are also largely in French.

Only an incredibly brief teaser has been released officially, though a twitter exchange between Michikcoff and comedian Cameron Esposito last December reveals the first track, "Cameronrhea" (or "Cameronria," depending where you look), was written about Esposito and her fiancee Rhea Butcher, and links to a playlist on Michicoff's Soundcloud page that appears to contain all 10 tracks plus an 11th non-album track, "Précision." Check them both out, along with the official album artwork and tracklist, below.

Late Bloomers' Bloomers

  1. Cameronria – 4:07
  2. New Ordain – 2:30
  3. The Project – 3:39
  4. Mon Chemin – 4:25
  5. Jaq – 4:09
  6. Late Bloomers – 2:06
  7. Bumble Bee – 3:20
  8. Le Revev – 3:30
  9. End Of Mad Men – 3:58
  10. Seaudeaux – 4:32

Cold War Kids Are in a Giving Mood: Announce New Album & Tour, Drop Single "All This Could Be Yours"

New Music, Music NewsWeston PaganoComment

It seems Cold War Kids are in a giving mood; not even a month after frontman Nathan Willett and bassist Matt Maust released Is Exotic Bait, the debut album from their side-project French Style Furs, the Kids have revealed new single “All This Could Be Yours” to the world along with the announcement of new tour dates and an as-of-yet unnamed LP on Downtown Records this October.

The forthcoming record will be a surprisingly early addition to what has been a period of high productivity for the LA artists, with the full band’s last LP, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, coming out only little over a year ago, followed by the EP Tuxedos last fall, and one-off single “A Million Eyes” in March.

The new album will be Cold War Kids’ fifth overall, but the first with what appears to be a new lineup following reports that drummer Matthew Aviero has been replaced by Joe Plummer, who, along with guitarist Dann Gallucci, is best known for his tenure with indie rock classics Modest Mouse, in addition to work with The Shins, Mister Heavenly, and more.

The single itself kicks off with a piano riff just as last summer’s “Miracle Mile” did, followed by Willett’s signature vocals at their most piercing and a marching pulse of percussion from Plummer. A catchy track, “All This” further pushes the boundary of anthemic pop-ness for the band, leaving fans to wonder just would could be theirs come October.

Tour Dates:

07/20 – Chicago, IL @ Rock N Roll Half Marathon
07/26 – Tulsa, OK @ The Center Of The Universe
08/29-31 – Columbus, OH @ Fashion Meets Music Festival
10/20 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
10/24 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/18 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/19 – Solona Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
11/22 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst

Originally published on The Music Ninja

You Are Going to Be Pleasantly Surprised by This: French Style Furs' Debut 'Is Exotic Bait'

Music ReviewWeston PaganoComment

“You are going to be pleasantly surprised by this,” seduces Nathan Willett in the opening line of “Miami U R About 2 B Surprised,” and he couldn’t have been more right.

It was indeed quite a surprise when it was announced that the Cold War Kids frontman and bandmate Matt Maust were teaming up with We Barbarians drummer Nathan Warkentin (with Haley Dekle of Dirty Projectors featuring as well) to form side-project turned supergroup French Style Furs, and now it’s finally here, with the trio releasing their debut LP Is Exotic Bait on Frenchkiss Records today.

Named after a storefront in Brooklyn and cultivated in spontaneity, French Style Furs is abstract and pulsing with the kind of creative urgency that comes with writing and recording in between shows, with Willett’s signature howls, barks, and wails giving restless life to lyrics inspired by Trappist monk and mystic Thomas Merton’s poetry.

Opening with the quasi-autobiographical “3 Friends,” Is Exotic Bait exudes this vivacity, confidently declaring “Damn it / We are here” after chronicling the musicians’ decision to “Live together and know nothing of it,” with “No plans / No benefits,” and asking “Could we just fly in space / And forget to exist?” If that isn’t the description of playing in a band then I don’t know what is.

Taking the dance-inspiring synth vibes explored in Cold War Kids’ last album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts and running with them, Willett and co. get downright frantic in “All The Way Down,” before transitioning into the fuzzy, vaguely U2-esque riffs of “(World In My) Bloodstream.”

Standout track “Solitary Life” opens with one of the best bass grooves of Maust’s discography so far (you can almost see him jerkily swaying on stage as you hear it) before swinging horns, Dekle’s vocalizations, and even some cowbell are layered on.

Produced by Nick Launay, whose past projects include Nick Cave (one of the Cold War Kids duo’s main influences) and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Is Exotic Bait is steeped in the brooding of the former and the sharpness of the latter; “Miami” and “Turn or Burn” display some of the darkest and deepest vocals ever recorded by Willett, while the beat and pulse of “Christmas Card” could just as easily be filled with Karen O’s shrieks and shouts.

Complete with another beautiful specimen of cover art from Maust, Is Exotic Bait is good on its promise of being one of this year’s most pleasant surprises. Oh, and only Willett could write a song called “Ambassadors Of General Electric” and make it sexy as hell. Check it out in its full glory below:

Originally published on The Music Ninja

Members of Cold War Kids and We Barbarians Form New Side-Project, French Style Furs

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment
french style furs press photo.jpeg

The newest addition to the long list of supergroup side-projects forming in recent years is here: LA-based French Style Furs, made up of Nathan Willett and Matt Maust of Cold War Kids and We Barbarians’ Nathan Warkentin, has announced Is Exotic Bait, a debut LP due out July 8th via Frenchkiss Records.

Named after a storefront in Brooklyn and cultivated in spontaneity, French Style Furs pulses with the kind of creative urgency that comes with writing and recording in between shows, with Willett’s signature howls, barks, and wails giving restless life to lyrics inspired by Trappist monk and mystic Thomas Merton’s poetry.

As he does with Cold War Kids, Maust doubles as graphic designer and videographer, and has created a moving collage lyric video for ‘Solitary Life.’ The track itself opens with a bass groove of his (you can almost see him jerkily swaying on stage as you hear it) before swinging horns, Haley Dekle (Dirty Projectors) vocalizations, and even some cowbell are layered on. Check out the three singles available already and the current tour dates below.

Tour Dates:

6/2 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
6/9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
6/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
6/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
7/7 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
7/9 – New York, NY @ Rough Trade

Originally published on The Music Ninja.