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Alternative/Rock

Track-by-Track: Frightful Places Details the Debut EP ‘Frightful Places’

Kevin Tiernan of the Connecticut-based Mighty Tortuga delivers a track-by-track overview of his debut, self-titled Frightful Places EP, produced with Chris Teti at Silver Bullet Studios.

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It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and judging by the results, the effort to get here was oh-so worth it. Frightful Places is the alternative rock and emo project of musician Kevin Tiernan of the Connecticut-based Mighty Tortuga. Released this past Friday, January 13th, the self-titled debut is the result of the passion and heart that Tiernan has put into this album, put together slowly but surely, over the course of eight years. Written and conceived in bedrooms, cafes, and even hiking trails, Tiernan worked with producer Chris Teti (The World Is A Beautiful Place…) at Silver Bullet Studios, assembling an accessible, radio-friendly take on modern emo.

Tiernan really began to get serious about the album during the pandemic lockdown when he felt inspired to do something new and unfamiliar. Intended to be expressive, Tiernan has focused on intricate guitar work and confessional lyricism to take himself creatively to “frightful places.” For a debut, it’s quite an elaborate sound, which speaks to the years of hard work that went into crafting it.

Joining us today is Tiernan himself for a special track-by-track rundown of the album, in which he discusses the origins and context behind each song on Frightful Places.

1. “Old Frame”

“The oldest song that kicked off this entire project. Eight years ago, I woke up from a deep sleep and could’ve sworn I saw a ghost by my bed. The experience formed the basis of ‘Old Frame,’ which lived as ‘Cast’ for many years. I couldn’t come up with melodies for the longest time. Over the years, I messed around with writing lyrics during hikes or car rides. Eventually, the song transformed from a literal ghost story into a reflection on getting older in your hometown.

“‘Old Frame’ changed the most during the recording process. Chris Teti added much-needed contrast between the sections of the song, and Ant Mastroianni’s drumming also really helped bring things to life.”

2. “Frightful Places”

“I’ve been in bands for most of my life, and ‘Frightful Places’ was one of my favourite tracks to create. My goal was for this track to feel like a loop, so everything dances around the same note structure, and the phrasing changes with each chorus and verse. Lyrically, the song is about navigating different highs and lows, knowing you’ll come through on the other side. It was so much fun to work on the first verse; there are a ton of layers hidden in the background; flute, sub-bass, piano, acoustic, etc. The song title came before the band name. I liked the idea of doing things that challenge and frighten you.”

Artwork for the EP ‘Frightful Places’ by Frightful Places

3. “Still”

“‘Still’ was inspired by Sound of Metal, an excellent movie directed by Darius Marder. In the film, the main character tries to find solace in silence without the noise from everyday life. Youthful summers and moments of peace pass by without us noticing. I’m a big fan of ‘Flowerchild’ by Citizen, so I had that in mind while writing this stripped-back song. In the studio, Teti was a massive help with the guitars. He layered the effects, especially in the last chorus, where we used Minus The Bear as a reference point.”

4. “Eklund Garden”

“I wrote this one in quarantine during the early pandemic and sent the guitar demo to some friends, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the song. The EP track list is sequenced to build up to the two heavy hitters at the end. I wanted ‘Eklund Garden’ to feel as raw as possible, so I avoided self-editing my lyrics. The actual garden is on the Paugussett Trail in Shelton, where I used to take winter hikes.”

5. “Stuck”

“‘Stuck’ is almost like a sequel to ‘Eklund;’ it’s the end of the journey when you realize you’ve circled back to where you started. Once I got to the studio, I think the song naturally became more of a rocker than the original demo. I have fond memories of tracking the guitar on a Chris Shiflett Telecaster. Another Teti trick: the guitar effects on the lead in the choruses. I think that added some weight to back up the hook.”

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Alternative/Rock

SOiL Announce November UK Headline Tour Dates

Chicago’s SOiL has announced a run of special “All Scars” UK dates for November 2024. Find out more including who will be joining them…

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SOiL, photo by Tricia Starr (TStarr Photography)
SOiL, photo by Tricia Starr

Chicago rockers SOiL will return to the UK for the first time since 2019 this coming November 2024. The band will be joined on the tour by (Hed)PE, Nonpoint, and the return of Texas nu-metal pioneers The Union Underground.

This fully packed “Era” package will see SOiL performing songs exclusively from their 2001 hit album Scars with tracks such as “Halo,” “Unreal,” “Breaking Me Down,” and including deep cuts like “Two Skins” and “Understanding Me.” This marks the first time since the release of the album Scars that SOIL has played an “All Scars” set.

Speaking about the tour, guitarist Adam Zadel remarked:

“This will be an epic return to the UK for us. The album Scars was an instant hit in the UK and has maintained its status for over 20 years. It’s going to be exciting to play an exclusive set for the UK fans.”

SOiL bassist Tim King added:

“To share this “Scars Only” event with our wonderful UK fans is going to be super exciting. On top of that, to also be alongside all our dear friends in (Hed)PE, Nonpoint, and The Union Underground is going to make this a tour to remember for many years to come.”

Catch the four bands on the following dates in November 2024.

Tour Dates:

11/05 – Bristol – O2 Academy
11/06 – London – Electric Ballroom
11/08 – Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
11/09 – Manchester – Academy 2
11/10 – Nottingham – Rock City
11/12 – Glasgow – SWG3
11/13 – Newcastle – Riverside
11/15 – Swansea – Patti Pavillion
11/16 – Southampton – The 1865

For more information and ticket details, head over to the Official SOil Website here.

SOiL UK Tour 2024 Poster Artwork

SOiL UK Tour 2024 Poster Artwork

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Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Album News

Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’

Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.

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Slightest Clue
Slightest Clue

Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.

Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.

Commenting on the album, the band states:

“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”

Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

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