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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: All Of The Lights Announce Self-Titled Debut, Drop Soaring First Single, "Fading"

Music News, New Music, Exclusive PremiereWeston PaganoComment
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London-based pop outfit All Of The Lights have finally announced themselves with debut track, “Fading,” the lead single from a forthcoming self-titled EP three years in the making.

With members hailing from the UK, Sweden, and Estonia, the group combined to self-produce, mix, and master all of All Of The Lights, allowing for complete creative control. “Fading” layers a hopeful synth melody over an atmospheric soar, guided by a lyrical reconciliation between regret and acceptance. “Why waste our time / Running for our lives?” vocalist Raven Alexander asks. With “Fading,” we’re given more than enough reason to pause for something more.

Alexander explains,

It’s about acknowledging the darkness in yourself through a never-ending battle in your mind, and a false sense of victory over your emotions, while actually coming to terms with what you are and accepting it to be able to move on. ‘We’re fading’ refers to the duality of the protagonist. The two verses are a conversation between the negative and positive sides and the chorus is an agreement between them.

Transverso is proud to premiere the music video for All Of The Lights' debut single, "Fading." Watch and listen below.

The National Explores the Beautiful and Wild Inside On ‘Sleep Well Beast'

Music ReviewAarik DanielsenComment
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Some bands can’t help but sound like a place.

Whether it is in guitars that sound like the Sunset Strip five minutes before trouble, harmonies that feel like a damp Pacific Northwest, or grooves that drip like the faucets in a dirty Delta bar, these acts always take you somewhere, avoiding the tourist traps and surrounding you with setting.

Another type of band is just as evocative, yet the places it occupies and pre-occupies exist within a body, not outside it.

These artists, typified by a band like Radiohead, sound like the scrambled thoughts of an anxious mind, the rhythms of a quickened pulse, the weight of life as it sits squarely within the chest. These interior settings are immediately recognizable to listeners who regularly visit them, often with reservations.

The National belongs to that second company of artists. The Brooklyn band’s songs sound like a mind turned inside-out, a soul yearning for relief — sometimes in screams, sometimes in sighs. Sleep Well Beast, The National’s seventh record, continues in that vein, yet accesses refreshingly acute angles on what might be its most beautiful work yet.

Album opener “Nobody Else Will Be There” joins a gentle pulse and plaintive piano. Its atmospheric rock feels like a modern take on Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain” until frontman Matt Berninger’s baritone enters the mix to remind you who you’re dealing with. “Day I Die,” another backlit standout, follows. Drummer Bryan Devendorf thunders along while the band around him brings the electric lightning to the storm. Berninger still is coping with existential matters, but clearly he has taken a few steps forward.

He delivers a compelling bridge lyric: “Let’s just get high enough to see our problems / Let’s just get high enough to see our fathers’ houses.” Set this against the sentiments of one of The National’s signature songs, “Afraid of Everyone,” from 2010’s High Violet; There he sank into the mantra “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out.” By comparison, it sounds like Berninger is doing more than just getting by or high with a little help from his friends.

From there, The National deepens and widens its sound. Rather than reside in a rut or attempt to jolt itself into mid-career reinvention, the band shifts by degrees, surprising faithful listeners by finding very different ways to stave off the same problem. The band inches further and further from orthodoxy on tunes like “Walk it Back” and “I’ll Still Destroy You.” The former uses electronic sounds in a stimulating way, creating a sort of pulsating sonic light. The latter is more percussive, leaning into the new-music interests of guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner, achieving a sort of modal, exotic peal.

The band makes use of a more standard deviation on single “The System Only Sleeps in Darkness,” wearing the clothes of a more straight-ahead rock band. Glitchy riffing gives way to a proper guitar solo, a sort of novelty on the band’s records. The track does start with a few bars of madrigal cooing, so it’s not like The National suddenly have sacrificed to the gods of stadium rock.

Late in the tracklist, the band lands a 1-2 punch that is as quietly devastating as anything it has ever recorded. “Guilty Party” is the sound of trying to connect. Over booming drum sounds, the band’s jagged instrumentals even resemble the static of trying to dial up and dial in.

The song gives way to “Carin at the Liquor Store,” one of a few songs to grow from waltzing piano. Here the sound of the instrument contains both shadow and light. Both songs have the power to cut deep; stacked together, the sweet ache is unavoidable.

None of this — Berninger’s sad-eyed ecstasies, the Dessner Brothers’ cinematic visions — works without Bryan Devendorf’s drumming. One of the most reliable, underrated players of his generation, Devendorf truly provides the band’s heartbeat, whether in a melancholy waltz meter or a desperate crash of rock and roll.

The only thing keeping “Sleep Well Beast” from contending for the class of the band’s catalog is middling rocker “Turtleneck.” The National has proved it can growl and thrash when it gets the itch — “Mr. November” is the band at its loudest and best. The ill-conceived “Turtleneck,” however, comes up short on both style and substance.

It seems ridiculous to cast The National as some sort of rock oracle, but in 2017 it seems the rest of us are just now catching up to the sort of low-grade paranoia and restlessness the band’s songs have incarnated. Here it taps into even more shades of tension. The National wrestles with the personal, with needing landmarks, even crumbling ones, to find your way in the world. Weather patterns, fuzzy memories — these things anchor Berninger’s lyrics and help him make sense of things.

They wriggle around in the grip of the political, questioning how to act for the common good when you’re barely keeping your own house in order. The songs here seem to ask “How do you prepare for the end of the world when you just keep coming to the end of your rope?”

The band’s inward gaze still is a welcome one, even now. In the work of lesser bands, it might sound self-involved, too precious for this moment. Not so with The National. On Sleep Well Beast, the band continues to map out, then walk carefully into the beautiful wilds of the human heart. If we can’t wrestle with and know ourselves, how will we ever honestly deal with someone else?

Berninger and his bandmates offer up lullabies to soothe the savage within, soaking the heart in wine and softening it to exist in a world bigger than itself.

St. Vincent Announces 'MASSEDUCTION' LP, Drops Second Single "Los Ageless"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment
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"Before we go further, a brief tutorial on the title: It's 'Mass Seduction,' not 'Mass Education,' St. Vincent informed at the start of the mock press conference that announced her forthcoming album on Facebook Live this morning. "You're probably wondering, and the answer is yes, I did toy with calling the record 'Ass Education,' but it seemed to me that was much better suited to be the title of the sequel."

Teased through a series of clever bits co-produced with Carrie Brownstein, Annie Clark's 5th solo record under her holy moniker is due out October 13th via Loma Vista Recordings. (There are more than a few gems in that announcement video if you watch all the way through, including an penalty saving anecdote from her soccer days and something about a giantism fetish.)

With the news comes new song "Los Ageless." Debuted live in Tokyo a few weeks ago, this companion track and bicoastal foil to stunning lead single "New York" dispels any concerns fans may have had with the previous lack of guitar. Wildly distorted, St. Vincent's signature Ernie Ball axe slinks devilishly over an electronic beat more unabashedly dancey that anything she's done before. Lyrically, a liquid chorus of "How can anybody have you and lose you / And not lose their minds?" shows a rare glimpse of vulnerability as the hushed outro "I try to write you a love song but it comes out a lament" explains its origins.

Clark finished her Facebook Live speech with about as straight forward of a conclusion as one could expect: "The record's about love. At its best and at its core, it's about love. That's it. That's all. That is literally the only point. And I do mean literally to mean literally." In the press release she elaborates, “Every record I make has an archetype. Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. MASSEDUCTION is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.”

St. Vincent seemingly aims for pop power with the loudly neon rollout backed by production from Jack Antonoff (Bleachers, fun.), who's recently worked with Lorde and Taylor Swift. Notable features include saxophonist Kamasi Washington (John Legend, Kendrick Lamar), singer Jenny Lewis, pianist Thomas Bartlett (The National, Sufjan Stevens), and even vocals from ex and likely lyrical subject Cara Delevingne (credited as Kid Monkey).

Listen to "Los Ageless" below and scroll down to see MASSEDUCTION's cover art, tracklist, and tour dates (which will be "dominatrix at the mental institution kind of bonkers").

MASSEDUCTION

  1. Hang On Me
  2. Pills
  3. Masseduction
  4. Sugarboy
  5. Los Ageless
  6. Happy Birthday, Johnny
  7. Savior
  8. New York
  9. Fear The Future
  10. Young Lover
  11. Dancing with a Ghost
  12. Slow Disco
  13. Smoking Section

Mister Heavenly Returns with New LP and Tour, Listen to First Single "Beat Down"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

6 long years after their "doom-wop" debut, supergroup Mister Heavenly has reared its three heads once again. Consisting of Honus Honus (Man Man), Nick Diamonds (The Unicorns, Islands), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, The Shins, Cold War Kids, Coromandelles), and at one point even Michael Cera as a touring member, the group has announced a forthcoming follow-up, Boxing the Moonlight, due out October 6 via Polyvinyl.

Lead single "Beat Down" explores the breaking point of restlessness conflicting with self-preservation as Diamond and Honus trade verses over a jaunty tune set to the crackling VHS of a classic bar brawl.

“I don’t know if it’s cliché or not these days to have an L.A. record, but this feels like an L.A. record,” Plummer explains in the press release. Coming off a Cold War Kids album cycle for L.A. Divine and after assisting with Honus' "apocalyptic L.A. pop” solo record last year, the SoCal identity seems more embedded in their sound than ever.

Check out the official lyrics video for "Beat Down" below, as well as dates for their North American tour and Boxing the Moonlight's album art and tracklist. You can also read our interview with Honus of Mister Heavenly here.

Boxing the Moonlight:

  1. Beat Down
  2. Blue Lines
  3. Makin’ Excuses
  4. Hammer Drop
  5. George’s Garden
  6. No Floor
  7. Magic Is Gone
  8. Pink Cloud Compression
  9. Crazy Love, Vol. III
  10. Dead Duck
  11. Out Of Time

St. Vincent Signals Return with Melancholic Single "New York," New Tour Dates

New Music, Music NewsWeston PaganoComment

Following St. Vincent taking the music world (and a Grammy) by storm three years ago, the queen herself has returned with a tour and new single, more than hinting at a 5th LP to come later this year.

On "New York" she trades out her signature shock-inducing shredding with some melancholic ivory keys, showing a vulnerable side that feels more Annie Clark than St. Vincent. Despite (at least momentarily) shedding the larger than life persona from 2014's self-titled cycle to show a more delicate, vulnerable side, the bite is still there: "And if I call you from First Avenue / Where you're the only motherfucker in the city / Who can handle me."

Listen and see tour dates below.

Arcade Fire Are Back with a New Album & Tour: Watch the Music Video for Title Track "Everything Now"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Arcade Fire have announced their major label debut with “Everything Now,” the title track from their forthcoming 5th record due out July 28 via Columbia Records.

Everything Now follows their one-off with Mavis Staples earlier this year and 2013’s Reflektor as Arcade Fire joins LCD Soundsystem and Grizzly Bear in announcing a debut album for Sony Music this year as the major seems intent to absorb every 2000s indie darling. All of this was, naturally, rolled out through a Twitter account disguised as a Russian bot.

Immediately launching into an ABBA style swing and sway, the piano led single is relatively straightforward pop for an Arcade Fire song accented by a crowd-sung chorus from their VooDoo Festival set last year and production from Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter.

Lyrically “Everything Now” targets the obsessive hyperactivity of modern life. “There’s sort of an everything-nowness to life. I feel like almost every event and everything that happens surrounds you on all sides,” Win Butler explained to BBC Radio 1. “It’s trying to capture some of the experiences of being alive now in all its flaws and all its glory.

The cover art, which you can see below, will have 20 different variants in 20 different languages over the LP's vinyl, CD, and cassette sales. The 13 track record is accompanied by an extensive tour, the details of which you can see below as well.

Wavves Create the Soundtrack for a Weird Summer with 'You're Welcome'

Music ReviewAarik DanielsenComment
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Go ahead — make a list of the weirdest, wildest things you’d like to do over the next few months. Southern California outfit Wavves has created a sure-fire soundtrack for a strange summer with its latest, You’re Welcome.

Nathan Williams and Co. often get pigeonholed with a trio of terms starting with the letter “s.” In front of the word “rock,” people place “surf,” “skate,” and/or “stoner.” There are trace elements of all those pastimes — and the sort of music that tends to accompany them — in the Wavves sound. But failing to elaborate does the band a disservice.

Williams has a serious sense of songcraft that can be traced all the way back to rock’s founding fathers. But he and his bandmates also have honed a bloodhound’s instinct, sniffing out fresh ways to deconstruct, scuff up, and altogether shred all that melodic loveliness.

On its sixth album — not counting No Life for Me, its 2015 co-op with Cloud Nothings — Wavves reunites with stalwart producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Counting Crows). Herring worked with the band on 2010’s King of the Beach and 2015’s V, and seems willing to put a microphone up close to the band’s personality and capture all the feedback.

With its oscillating guitar riff and rolling drums, opener “Daisy” sets the tone for everything to come; Wavves sounds like the house band at a twisted luau that’s getting more debauched by the minute. As is often the case, the band somehow finds a way to write a huge chorus without calling much attention to it. All the extracurriculars distract from the hook until you realize you’re singing along by the second or third time through.

You can cling to your pop bangers or cruise to country tailgating anthems, but by the time the band gets to “No Shade,” you’ll swear it’s the song of the summer. In a mere 106 seconds, Wavves delivers a knockout punch of fuzzed-out guitar, sing-song vocals and huge drums. For as short as it is, “No Shade” evokes many images. It sounds like a Pulp Fiction pool party. It will remind children of the ‘90s of wasting their summer break on the couch, trying to sneak some MTV while their parents weren’t looking.

Other early highlights include “Million Enemies,” with its deceptively cool chorus harmonies, and “Come to the Valley.” With its whirligig organ and smiley vocals, the latter sounds like a tripped-out TV theme song. The cut contains a doo-wop breakdown that would make Bruno Mars feel... well, Bruno Mars wouldn’t be fazed, but it’s a fine touch.

Late in the set, “Dreams of Grandeur” is a hazy pop-punk confessional, the sound of someone navigating the tension between twin desires: to be emotionally available and to be left alone. Closer “I Love You” sounds like it’s being beamed in on some distant AM radio signal. The tune finds a sweet spot between Buddy Holly the legend and “Buddy Holly,” the signature Weezer song.

You’re Welcome is a record stocked with earworms, but it also lives along an emotional razor’s edge. Williams prizes melody above all, but seasons his songs with misanthropy. He comes off like the kind of guy who would gladly drive you out for a day at the beach, then slap your sunburn on the way home. He has more than a little Frank Black — or Black Francis, depending on your preference — to his personality. There are more than a few Pixies touchstones here, actually. On tracks like “Animal,” Stephen Pope sounds as if he took a few courses at the Kim Deal School for Snazzy Basslines.

The band’s previous record, V, was made for Warner Bros. This time out, the band is on Williams’ Ghost Ramp label. At times, You’re Welcome sounds like a band having fun with its newfound freedom. At others, it’s the sound of gleefully flipping off the major-label bosses.

Whatever Wavves is doing, You’re Welcome is a blast of fresh air tailor-made for the start of summer, sunset fades and moments of escape in whatever season they come.

Watch Fallow Land's New Music Video for First 'Pinscher' Single, "Faux"

New MusicWeston PaganoComment

"There is no god waiting for us," warns Fallow Land's Whitaker Fineberg over "Faux"'s reverb bed. "We're all alone and we're all corrupt."

The lead single is quite a dark harbinger for Pinscher, the Ann Arbor-based duo's debut EP due to be self-released June 30, especially following the comparatively sunny "Are All My Bad Decisions Rock And Roll?", which Transverso premiered back in 2015.

What inspired this heavier turn? As Fineberg tells Transverso, "Faux" was born out of a desire to strip oneself down and rebuild in someone else's image and the subsequent realization such a tactic was failed from the start. 


I wrote ‘Pinscher’ while making sense of a recent breakup. “Faux” was a failed last-ditch effort to make the relationship work. As we drifted apart, the term “incompatible” was frequently used as we discussed the relationship. “Faux” expresses my desperate desire to conform to someone else’s needs and the realization that the only way to do that was to change some of the characteristics that made me “me.” This, of course, proved to be impossible. Relationships that are predicated on a false understanding of self are ultimately doomed.

"Faux" sees Fineberg's haunting vocals deftly combined with bandmate Evan Veasey's searching guitar, set to a droning haze, and interspersed math rock-tinged bass and percussion fits and starts. 

Check out the accompanying grim video directed by Stephen Levy and Jordan Anstatt, as well as Pinscher's cover art shot by Andrea Calvetti, below.

Grizzly Bear Detail New LP 'Painted Ruins,' Release "Mourning Sound" Single, Tour Dates

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

"I made a mistake / I should have never tried," opens Ed Droste on Grizzly Bear's "Mourning Sound." Accompanied by the announcement of an extensive tour and their fifth full-length album, Painted Ruins, for which this new track is the second single after "Three Rings," that lamentation is oddly juxtaposed with long-awaited excitement.

"Mourning Sound" is a rollicking exploration of each member's contribution to the whole; Christopher Bear and Chris Taylor's drum and bass steadily guide Droste's croons before Daniel Rossen brings it home with the chorus and some trumpeted electric guitar, all over a steady buzz of synth for a very on-brand level of cohesive complexity.

Their major label debut, Grizzly Bear's Painted Ruins is due out August 18 via RCA Records. Their forthcoming tour kicks off this October, for what will be the band's first shows since performing in support of Bernie Sanders last year. The lack of a Chicago date suggests a future festival appearance.

"Mourning Sound," the album art, tracklist, and tour dates are all below. Enjoy it all while you can, because if the new press photo is any indication, poor Dan seems to be fading off into space at an alarming rate. Either that or the printer started running out of ink.

Painted Ruins

  1. Wasted Acres
  2. Mourning Sound
  3. Four Cypresses
  4. Three Rings
  5. Losing All Sense
  6. Aquarian
  7. Cut-Out
  8. Glass Hillside
  9. Neighbors
  10. Systole
  11. Sky Took Hold

Beach House Announce New 'B-Sides and Rarities' Album, Release New Track "Chariot"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Following 2015's surprising one-two punch of Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, Beach House have announced a B-Sides and Rarities album featuring different versions of past releases including "Norway" as well as new songs "Chariot" and "Baseball Diamond," the former of which you can hear below.

Just in time for summer, the Baltimore duo opens their latest track with "A sunny day in their chariot" as their synthscapes take on the feeling of a gentle cascade of warm light. Notably, the collection of tracks also features a cover of Queen's "The Game."

B-Sides and Rarities is due out June 30 on Sub Pop (US) and Bella Union (UK/EU), and you can see the tracklist and updated tour below.

B-Sides and Rarities

  1. Chariot
  2. Baby
  3. Equal Mind
  4. Used to Be (2008 Single Version)
  5. White Moon (iTunes Session Remix)
  6. Baseball Diamond
  7. Norway (iTunes Session Remix)
  8. Play the Game (Queen Cover)
  9. The Arrangement
  10. Saturn Song
  11. Rain in Numbers
  12. I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun
  13. 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
  14. Wherever You Go