Just a quickie here, you guys and gals, enter Jenn Wasner doing a pretty awesome Electro/RnB-project with Jon Ehrens. It’s one of those projects that live through mail, so one would send an idea to the other and ping pong it back until something was born out of it. I can’t remember who exactly worked like that as well (maybe Nada Surf? White Denim?). Anyways, although Wye Oak will also be my first Wasner-love, this is a pretty fun sound and has the potential to get really really fudging popular (“Drive you crazy” might be an unexpected summer hit).
This won’t play for German viewers because Youtube and Gema want to drive us insane but the first link leads to a stream, so stream away.
The day I interview Melle Dielesen, singer of the formidable band Mozes and the Firstborn, it is sunny and a soft breeze rolls over the street as we sit down at a quaint cafè in the middle of Berlin. The waiter has a Russian accent and smiles amused when I mispronounce my order – a “Cortado” – and then leaves us to our conversation. We are both relaxed and in a good mood. As I ask my first question, Melle suddenly points behind me. “Oh fuck no”, he says and leans down to get a magnum out of his backpack. I turn around and my heart drops. “Not again”, I sigh and pick up the sharp samurai sword that leans against my chair. “I thought this was a day off!”, a woman screams as the hordes of the undead start to appear, limbs swaying, the stench of decay already wafting towards us. Reluctantly, I turn off my audio recorder and put it in my backpack before I run towards the rotting corpses that want for my flesh. “Let’s better do this via mail!” I shout and Melle nods, already aiming at a giant bluish zombie who has already reached the first table of the cafè…*
After my Sin Fang-post, my fellow blogger jhubner73 introduced me to Tilbury. We are not talking about the big band that started 1919 with railway workers as musicians and who nowadays look like half of them still consist of the founding members (oh, how ageist, Juliane!). We are talking about an Icelandic outfit of fine young men that apparently started like every other Icelandic band – as a solo project that couldn’t contain its awesomeness and spilled over to other people who then formed a band. They put out their debut “Exorcise” in 2012 and it is the kind of mellow, slightly fuzzy indierock that is perfect when you feel existential fears and emotional turmoil looming over your head and just want to take a breath of fresh air to clear your head. Hey, did I just connect the album-title to the cathartic wonder that is Tilbury’s music? I guess, I did. They have some pretty cool synthesisers in their music which always reminds me of dystopian Sci-Fi movies from the 70s (this is not the first time I am writing this, it’s officially a music-genre for me).
I am also deeply in love with their cover-art, everything that reminds me of Charles Burns is fine in my book.
Tilbury “Exorcise”, Cover Art by Hugleikur Dagsson
I drew this after I saw a picture of Mark Wahlberg in a shirt. Look at any shirt of Mark Wahlberg, it will always be the same, this guy doesn’t simply wear a shirt in his size, he picks the one that barely clings on to dear life, like a soulmate that’s about to fall into the pits of hell. In the upper left corner you also see the attempt at the tense mouth of the button in the lower part of the picture. I messed up the first attempt because I drew two buttons which makes no sense because they wouldn’t close anything. I guess, I just liked the imagery of two buttons, like in “Titanic”. So obviously, one would not make it through the red carpet-event that Mark Wahlberg went to and there would be a wooden door involved.
The brave and desperate struggle of a button on Mark Wahlberg’s shirt
To all of Mark Wahlberg’s brave buttons out there:
Sin Fang is the solo project from Sindri Már Sigfússon who initially started the project Seabear as a solo project, then suddenly had a thousand band members and apparently tried again to do the solo thing under yet another moniker. His new album “Flowers” doesn’t sound like a solo project, though, it is a weird, very Icelandic-sounding indie-beauty with – excuse my German – “entrücktem” charm which is a lovely word describing something offbeat but without the negative connotation. Iceland has very flickering, fun music but always through the lens of people who grow up with instruments in their hands (they have quite good music programs at school over there). That means that they construct the kind of intelligent pop that could play on every party and on every festival without bumming out the dancing drunk kids but still manages to have depth. It is also so heartbreakingly beautiful at times that you want to be somewhere beautiful to match all the senses.
And because it is slightly surreal music, I take this as the perfect opportunity to just inform about an entertainement-news-story that actually – for once – was pretty awesome. Benedict Cumberbatch, apparently the new geek-girl’s dreamboat, had a weird stalker that tweeted everything he did right when he did it, which is both unsettling and hilarious (in an unsettling kind of way). He later found out that it was a neighbour and a friend talked her out of this weird hobby and she even baked him an apology-cake. To quote myself on this: This sounds like the next Charlie Kaufman script and I want it now!
I am actually in the mood for light and fluffy indie pop right now to get into the mood of spring (even though, quite honestly, the many people make me want to listen to Mathcore and everything else loud and aggressive). But I make an exception for Kadavar who are more suited for hot and simmering summer months but shouldn’t wait that long.
Kadavar look and sound as if they just stumbled out of a time-traveling VW-bus and if I ever get to my long-time plan of listing the greatest bands in alternative and indie-music, then these guys will rank high. The cool thing about Kadavar and their very 70s sound is the fact that the instrumentals are the weirdo and intricate compositions of an awesome psychedelic ubergroup but that their vocals are metal. Oh…let me rephrase that…70s metal – the best of the best. This mixture is absolutely amazing to get into this weird and giddy zone where you drift in and out of psychedelic wonders but get drawn back to the straight-forward vocals.
Their album “Abra Kadavar” is a heavy thing of grand proportions. It will turn you into a cool cat in no time and you will want to grow a beard even if you (fortunately for dating reasons) don’t possess enough testosterones. Unfortunately, I somehow missed them playing in Berlin* but I can assure you – without ever having seen them live – that there will be heaps of people with long hair, slowly shaking their long and luscious manes up and down in sluggish motions while their eyes are closed. It’s the way of the true 70s rocker.
*Fortunately, though, they come from Berlin, so seeing them again won’t be such a big problem. For once, this city is home to a band that doesn’t create 80% of their music with a Macbook. And yes, that’s polemic but let me be the bitter old Rock’n roll dudette for once, ‘K?
Mia Dyson comes from down under and besides releasing a ton of albums supported the most eclectic bands and artists including Eric Clapton, Ani Di Franco, the Mothers of Invention and Stevie Nicks (it’s like the set-up for a Johnny Carson joke). She has a new (kinda new) album out called “The Moment” and wins it with this gorgeous opener that runs through the street like it’s on a mission. Although her voice carries the blues, the sound of that song has this giddy excitement of bands like Christopher the Conquered or Bruce Springsteen when he sings angsty escapist hymns for the people that want it all. It’s the kind of music you want to hear before you get that girl or boy, before you go on that trip, before you grab that chance or change that thing in your life that eats away at your heart every single day. It’s the kind of music to get a kick-start for great things to happen. It also sets you up for a pretty awesome album, so it’s an allrounder.