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Marc Whitmore, photo by Jordan van der Weyden (Equal Parts) Marc Whitmore, photo by Jordan van der Weyden (Equal Parts)

Indie

Marc Whitmore: “If someone wants to record in a big creepy church, we should really probably go record in a big creepy church…”

In our latest Cover Story, engineer/producer Marc Whitmore talks about Grammy nominations, and why he likes recording in big creepy churches.

Marc Whitmore, photo by Jordan van der Weyden (Equal Parts)

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The name Marc Whitmore may not be one that is too familiar to some of our readers. However, a couple of weeks after this conversation took place, the engineer/producer/mixer was due to fly out to Los Angeles where he was nominated for his second Grammy award. Already 2022 winner of the prestigious Album of the Year award for his contribution to Jon Batiste’s
2021 album We Are, Whitmore is back in LA again for his engineering efforts on Batiste’s latest album, 2023’s World Music Radio.

As if working on Grammy-nominated albums wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Marc also recently released his solo album, Mirages (read all about that here).

In our latest cover story, we spoke to Marc about the importance of being recognised for his work, his love of recording in creepy old churches, and how he loves to keep things authentic.

Thanks for your time, Marc. Now, a lot is going on with you at the moment so before we get onto the album, there’s the Grammy nomination coming up. It’s not a bad way to start the year, is it?

“I’m more focused on the Grammy thing right now, honestly. My solo work is… it was just time to do it. I’m getting stoked to go out to LA for the Grammys and going to NAMM and making it a whole big couple of weeks.”

It’s a great way to start the year. I wanted to ask take a different approach to your work. This is now the second nomination you’ve had with Jon. How does it feel to work with an artist that you’re clearly on the same wavelength with and, not only that but the way you get recognized across the wider industry? That must be rewarding.

“It’s work that I’m proud got noticed. There’s something about the stuff we’ve done in both albums, they’re conceptual, all-over-the-place albums with a bunch of different genres and stuff. Jon has always chosen the right place, and the right people for what he’s trying to get. There’s a lot of more modern R&B type of vibes on his albums that I’m not as involved with whereas the stuff that’s a little more distorted or vintage sounding or a little more rock and roll is where I come in so it’s cool to be on an album like that which has the contrast even more so than just a straight rock record.”

Working on an album that’s maybe outside your comfort zone for parts of it, what, what do you learn from that?

“I don’t know that it’s outside of my comfort zone because I don’t think about the genre too much or necessarily like where it fits or what it is while I’m working on it. It’s just using the energy of the artist, the space, and everything to create whatever is going on that day is how I see it a lot. I also really like doing new things. I’ve never really worked on five rock albums in a row. I don’t hear the genre as much as the soundscape and I don’t seem to have a problem with adapting to it.”

What’s the approach you take when you’re working on a record with Jon?

“I keep it pretty analogue and sometimes that’s been weird at first, but it always ends up cool with more modern producers or people who are a little more used to working in a laptop-type situation. If I work on a rock album, for example, everybody’s down to use the tape machine and do live takes. Everybody’s hip to that so it’s interesting to mesh with producers who don’t work that way. They also make hip-hop, my guys don’t. I tend to not use the tape machine, but like still sort of force an analog flow with all the sessions I do with Jon. I keep everything on the console and keep it live and fresh. I think that’s cool as it ends up sounding like older hip hop.”

When you work with somebody new that’s maybe not worked the way you’ve worked before, what’s the reaction like?

“It’s always different. I’ve had some hesitation from people, but, like I said, almost always the people who hesitate at the end of the day, they’re like, “Whoa…” If you use the console and all these compressors and dial it in. it can be next level.”

You’ve been inspired by recording techniques of the 70s. When you were growing up, were there records that resonated with you, where you listened to the sound or the production and just thought, wow, that’s something different?

“When I was really little, my parents listened to a lot of disco or oldies, so I had a better understanding at least of older-sounding things. Honestly, when I was a teenager, I found a big box of records in my parent’s basement and the Jimi Hendrix Experience was the first one that I listened to. That just sent me into like the late sixties, early seventies, that sort of sound. To me also, it’s about a lot of the limitations that they had in the studio.

If the band had a budget, you still have to be rehearsed and know in the studio what the hell you’re doing, record it, decide on a take, and then mix it or come back later and still pay to mix it in a room together. I think that even more than the equipment or the tape, is what makes a lot of those records so inspiring there was no way to overpick it.”

“I found a big box of records in my parent’s basement and, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was the first one that I listened to. That just sent me into like the late sixties, early seventies, that sort of sound”

We have a photographer friend that runs a photography studio near us in the UK and going back to the 70s when they recorded all the TV shows on film, it’s where they used to go and edit the films, it’s got all the old it’s got all the old cinema cameras in where they’d sit in the viewing room and chop the film as they were editing it. It’s just mind-blowing to think how things have changed. In terms of modern techniques, is that something you incorporate into your work?

“Honestly, I do a lot of editing in Pro Tools. When I’m in the studio or a space with a band, I’m really about the live capture thing but, if I come back to the record later and they want it to be more polished sounding, like I’m cool with that. If it was super vibey, but maybe only like 85% there, I like fixing it up to make it a perfect take instead of making them do it again.

That’s the way I am. I don’t like to do things more than two or three times. I feel like a lot of bands just lose it after that many times. I’m versed in Pro Tools and editing and cleaning stuff up like that. It’s not even so much the 60s, 70s sound for me anymore as it is more the vibe but I like things to sound polished.”

I’m interested to hear about your choice of different locations. I read you’ve recorded everywhere from 19th-century barns to old churches, which sounds incredible. What do you look for in a location? Do you always have something in mind, or do you just come across places?

“It depends. Sometimes you start to have the conversation about what you like, you can always use reverb plugins or whatever to fake it, but I like it if somebody comes to me and says they want this to sound like it was recorded in a big creepy church, okay, we should, really, really probably go record it in a big creepy church.

Jon, he’s a guy who understands that. Like when we were recording in old barns, that was more just improvising and writing every night. The one setup was like a 250-year-old barn and the door wouldn’t stay closed. It was November, it was cold and we would record all night, basically in this barn. We just had limited resources and just forced to sit in this room where you hear animals and wind and stuff. All we had was a guitar amp and a piano and some microphones.”

V13 - Cover Story - Issue 49 - Marc Whitmore

V13 – Cover Story – Issue 49 – Marc Whitmore

That’s taking it back to basics, isn’t it?

“Yeah. We were in no rush to do anything so we tried to use the space like using a guitar amp to add reverb to the piano and stuff like that. Trying different weird mic things, changing the mics around each night and maybe rotating the piano or something to go for something new.”

You said you didn’t need to rush but, I believe, on Jon’s new record, you banged out 40 tracks in a week?

“That was at a more proper Shangri La session in Malibu. I think we used the tape machine a little bit but, other than that I found that, when I went to Shangri La, a few people told me that it’s an awesome studio, but it was a little more set up to be like a demo studio. I got the vibe that a lot of people go there to record without necessarily planning on using all of it. It’s more of a demo writing space but it’s an amazing studio. The engineers, they’re great.

We had a week or so and, each day, each six hours, we had a different person coming in, a different producer, a top-line writer or a drummer, the room was pretty full the whole time. It was like a big collaborative thing which was what I discussed with Jon beforehand. This could go down a real rabbit hole, there are a lot of people, and he has never done that before and I had never really done that too much before. Shangri La is truly a 1970s recording studio. They have a seventies console. It’s a little fucked up. We were like pounding on it a lot to get it to work, but it sounds amazing. They have the gear so if you want to do a fully analogue session there, it feels like you are transported back to 1972.”

That must have been like a home from home for you.

“Yeah. We have access to this like a cool room. We should just force everybody to jam and record it all. We’ll just get experimental with it. We can record just jams for 40 minutes then you choose your favorite parts and turn that into a song. That’s what he did for most of the tracks that I did on this album. There were a few days where everybody was in the control room and we just had like a vocalist and those were the vocals that ended up on the album.”

“Shangri La is truly a 1970s recording studio. They have a seventies console. It’s a little fucked up. If you want to do a fully analogue session there, it feels like you are transported back to 1972.”

That sounds that, even though it was a one-week session with so many songs and so many people, it still sounds quite laid back…

“That was part of it too. For me, doing the analogue workflow, I don’t want to burn out and I do like the pace. It makes everybody in the room have to be at the same pace, doing the same thing. It always sucks to me when, if I’m doing a record track by track and I have like six musicians in the room, as soon as the guitar player is done, now it’s at the bass player’s turn. Then you’re, just sitting there in Pro Tools all day. Nobody is even hanging out. I like working on a console and not fucking with the computer too much, it just forces everybody to be on the same page, you know?

Then, honestly, that’s like what we were saying earlier, where some people are not into that, that was usually where it was like “let’s do another… no, the tape machine’s rewinding. You have to wait..””

Is that approach a similar approach you took when you were working on your solo work?

“Sort of. On my solo stuff, I’m playing everything so it’s a little more on the computer while I’m playing. Mixwise, I set aside a week to just do analogue mixes of all the songs and then I spend more time on mastering it than mixing it because, even with mixes, I still like that energy of doing it in a couple of hours. The mixes from the time that you’re working on the song and creating are always the coolest to me because you’re creating it based on what you’re hearing.

If that changes, like I’ve done stuff where the vocals sound amazing then, later on, they decided to turn the guitar down and now the vocals don’t sound as good because like, now you can hear all the little pitchy details in the vocals. Like the Rolling Stones, the guitar means Mick Jagger doesn’t have to be super in pitch if the guitar is the loudest thing in the mix, you know what I mean? If the guitar was turned down and smooth in a Rolling Stones song, his voice wouldn’t sound as cool.”

Marc Whitmore ‘mirages’ album artwork

Marc Whitmore ‘mirages’ album artwork

Going back to what we talked about, recording in creepy old churches and bars and things like that. Is that an approach you took on this record, or was it purely studio?

“This record was almost all at Shangri La. There was one song that Jon and I recorded six years ago in New York called “Boom For Real”. That was just one that, whenever we’d see each other, we’d listen to a couple of tracks that we’d done over the years and that one was on the list of man, what was this? It was just some crazy hip-hop. A lot of the stuff that we did in the really old barn situation was during COVID, the height of COVID, and he was working on the Colbert show at the time.

He got out of the city and he was doing it remotely in rural Pennsylvania so I went out there for a month and we just quarantined and it was just me, him and his manager for a month. They would film during the day for his job, and then we would record at night. For about a month straight, we just did that. He barely sleeps.”

When you write your solo material, do you have to put yourself in a certain mindset and do you think there’s a perfect setting to listen to your music?

“It was a few things. I was ready to make an album and I wanted to make something a little like scrappier. I live out in New Mexico, it’s just really trippy. Most of the time I’ll just like go for drives out here where there are dried-up oceans that are like 50 million years old or white dunes like Tatooine in Star Wars. That was filmed in New Mexico. So you can just go there and walk around that.

There’s a whole lot of really crazy shit out here to see like old cowboy Western scenery things. I was inspired by that and I wanted to make an album that had this washed-out deserty, country Western thing, even though I’m not a country guy. I don’t play guitar like that. I’m more of a rock guitar player, I guess. It was more of that type of vibe.

I was just going to make something that was guitar-driven. My last record was mostly drums and the drums were heavy but I just didn’t want to do that again. I wanted to just start with an acoustic guitar track and then lay percussion on it and stuff.”

It’s been described as a guitar-driven concept album. Could you talk to us about the concept? Is there a particular concept to the album? You’ve talked about being inspired by your surroundings and going out driving into the desert for example…

“Overall it has a theme, but also I wanted to make it a little bit mysterious around when it was recorded. How I would like it to sound like, I don’t know, a bunch of cowboys in an old 60s recording studio fucking around. I just wanted cool grooves and stuff but not much more than that in some cases. I can’t stop listening to one of my favourite albums John Frusciante’s album from 2001. It’s so loud and bright and intense and most of the album is like a nice living room record, but it’s a drum machine, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and like really distorted vocals.

I’ll put it up next to EDM and it’s still like louder and bigger and it doesn’t have a lot of low end. When you put it on, nobody in the room says anything because they can’t, it just takes up all the space in the room and you like are forced to listen to it more than if it was chill, because the songwriting’s pretty chill.”

Is that the reaction you’d like with this record?

“Yeah. I have a thing where, if I’m going to make a record that’s trying to replicate a thing, I don’t want it to just sound like every other one. I don’t want it to sound like a Spaghetti Western necessarily because that is already there. If people wanted to listen, they were going to listen to the classics. So, I wanted to go for that blown-out approach, more chill, open Western songs with very distorted guitar and elements that you don’t usually hear in that stuff. ”

Just wrapping up, we’ve talked a lot about you the churches and things like that. We’ve talked about you wanting to make something that didn’t sound like anything else. Looking forward, is there somewhere where you would like to go and have a try at recording there, to see what you could come up with?

“It just depends on what the music is. That new studio in France looks rad, Damien Quintard and Brad Pitt’s studio. Honestly, though, Shangrila was up there for me. It’s such a fantastic space. I have a slight aversion to a very proper studio, but I like it there. Your shit always sounds better and it’s amazing to fully be able to hear what you’re doing like fully. It’s also really cool to have the windows open, everybody’s smoking and it’s just chill…”

For more information on Marc and his work head over here to his official Website.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.

Indie

George Alley Shares Single & Video for “Just Leave Me Dreaming”

George Alley shares his latest single, “Just Leave Me Dreaming,” and it is accompanied by a stunning music video to support.

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George Alley, photo by Adam Peditto
George Alley, photo by Adam Peditto

George Alley is a Philadelphia-based multi-media artist whose music has been the center of his work as a composer, performer, professor, journalist podcaster, choreographer and curator. He is sharing his latest drop single, “Just Leave Me Dreaming,” and it is accompanied by a stunning music video.

First forming a band in high school with Frank Musarra of Hearts of Darknesses, whom he continues to collaborate with on this upcoming album, Alley has been releasing singles, performing and using his original music for performance and dance pieces as part of his company Alley Ink. Performance has informed his work either in his music video collaborations with Adam Peditto or as a curator for 5 years of the Philadelphia Multimedia Arts Festival Collage.

He is a frequent music contributor for the UK-based LGBT pop culture Loverboy Magazine. Interviewing a variety of notable musicians. As well as a podcaster for the top-ten iTunes comedy podcast “I’m Going to Kill You!” And The pandemic cast “Queerona.”

As a professor, he teaches courses on punk and creativity. This work informs his music through an emphasis on the DIY ethos and the philosophies of chance, spontaneity and assemblage.

After the release of a digital-only remade version of his 2017 single, Just Leave Me Dreaming, this February. Alley will be releasing his self-titled debut album, George Alley, this spring. Produced by Ian Romer with additional production from Frank Musarra, it also features musical contributions from Norma Alley (vocals), Eric Coyne (cello), Sasha Ki (violin, viola), Russel Kotchner (violin), Jack Reilly (drums), Alec Spiegelman (saxophone), and Branson Yeast (cello).

To accompany this release, a 5-song concert has been filmed and will be released along with 3 promotional music videos. A collectible run of 500 albums will be available on “transparent root beer” vinyl pressed by Gottagroove Records. Find more information and performance dates on George’s official website.

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Alternative/Rock

The V13 Fix #004 w/ Darkest Hour, Glitterer, LowLives and more

From pop to metalcore, experimental grindcore to indie, each week The V13 Fix will bring you a roundup of all the new music worth hearing…

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The V13 Fix

Welcome to the latest The V13 Fix our weekly round-up of some of the best albums, singles and EPs to drop in our laps/inboxes this week. From pop to black metal to experimental pop to punk rock, there is something for everyone in this mix of new music. Check out and support all the bands and labels if you like what you hear and if there is a particular album you like, make sure you head over to Spotify and check out one of our specially curated playlists where there is more great new music added daily.

Alternatively, if you’re in a band or want one of your bands considered for inclusion get in touch. While we can’t guarantee every album or EP we receive will be included, there are still plenty of other ways we can support you.

So, without further ado, sit back, plug in your headphones and get this week’s V13 Fix of new music…

Crossfaith
Zero’ [Single]

When Japanese genre-smashers Crossfaith exploded onto the scene with their brutal, electronic-laced metalcore, the world sat up and paid attention. Well, after twelve months regrouping, the band are back with this new single, a massive statement that they’re ready to pick up where they left off but with a new energy. This new slice of heaviness from the band is packed dangerously full of pulsating electronics and pummelling metalcore. Equally as explosive as it is anthemic, “Zero” heralds a new chapter from the band who, after hitting the reset button twelve months ago, have returned with a vengeance.

Pick up your copy of “Zero” from here.

Darkest Hour
Perpetual | Terminal
MNRK Heavy

It’s incredible when you realise that Perpetual | Termainal is the tenth album in the rollercoaster career of US metalcore/metallic hardcore mob Darkest Hour. Spirit and dogged determination has kept the band going to this point and it is a theme which provides the heartbeat of this savage collection. Guitarist Mike Schleibaum explains: “The record’s theme centers around the duality of survival while embracing rebirth,” and, hearing the band hurtle through each of the eleven tracks, Perpetual | Terminal certainly feels like the sound of a band who have been reborn. An uncompromising, unrelenting metal assault, Perpetual | Terminal highlights exactly why heavy music would be worse off without Darkest Hour in it.

Pick up your copy of Perpetual | Terminal from here.

Morta Skuld
Creation Undone
Peaceville Records

Now, even though the new wave of modern death metal bands is doing a sterling job in keeping the flag flying high for the genre, sometimes it’s nice just to take a trip back into some of the old-school bands. Having formed in Milwaukee in 1990, Morta Skuld are still battering away with their latest offering from the death metal stalwarts indicating no sign of slowing down. For fans of the likes of Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide, the band expertly combine groovy moshy sections, blastbeats with swamp born vocals. Creation Undone isn’t metalcore, it’s not deathcore, there are no symphonies, this is just straight between the eyes brutality.

Pick up your copy of Creation Undone from here.

M.U.T.T.
Dirty Deeds
Quiet Panic

M.U.T.T. are a trashy punk rock band straight from the gutters of the San Fransisco punk rock scene. There isn’t much you need to know about the kind of punk rock M.U.T.T. peddle except that it comes devoid of airs and graces. Taking a route one approach, M.U.T.T’s punk noise is covered in snot and packed with attitude. Formed from the ashes of Culture Abuse, the project has moved on from the more rock and roll stylings of their debut album, Bad To The Bone, into more trashy waters. Offerings like “Downtown Boy” come with a suitably unpleasant sneer plastered across their face and, while this EP might a fairly brief listen, M.U.T.T pack plenty of bite into those eighteen or so raucous minutes.

Pick up your copy of Dirty Deeds from here.

Gen & The Degenerates
ANTI-FUN Propaganda
Marshall Records

Alt-punk collective Gen & The Degenerates tattoo their principals proudly onto their debut album. Written to a backdrop of disaster, tragedy and misfortune, ANTI-FUN Propaganda comes from a world of late nights and early mornings, sexuality, gender politics and mortality. It’s a punk rock album at its beating heart but, as vocalist Gen puts it, comes with a humourous approach and a love of dirty disco pop. Lyrically, tracks like “Famous” may come from a dark, bleak place but, as the video for “Big Hit Single” highlights, there is a wry smile and a sense of sarcasm nipping away at the subject matter to make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that, while a quick look outside your window will show a world imploding on itself, it’s important to enjoy what time we have while we’re here.

Pick up your copy of ANTI-FUN Propaganda from here.

Glitterer
Rationale
ANTI-

Following his previous band Title Fight ceased touring, lead singer and songwriter Ned Russin needed a creative outlet. The creative outlet soon manifested into what originally started out as solo project but, six years later, has blossomed into a fully-fledged band and the release of their fourth album, but debut as a full band, Rationale. An album with a sound deeply entrenched in the DC hardcore and indie rock scenes, Rationale is a rowdy listen packed with jarring indie guitars and slick pop melodies with the cohesiveness paying testament to the fact that Russin has found bandmates who share his creative vision.

Pick up your copy of Rationale from here.

Hands of Kalliach
Corryvreckan
Prosthetic Records

Spawned from the minds of Edinburgh, Scotland husband and wife duo have blended together melodic death metal melded with Scottish folk music to create an album that is a work of art. The title of the album is inspired by enormous whirlpool, Corryvreckan, which lies between some of the western isles of Scotland. As harsh yet as beautiful as the inspiration behind it, Corryvreckan is a jaw-dropping piece of work. Soaring passages of melancholic Scottish folk music crash into brutal death metal, like two perfectly matched components. Through the folk music, the pair capture a drama and the emotion that can only come from being truly living and breathing it. When matched up with the extremities of the death metal scene, the end result is utterly majestic.

Pick up your copy of Corryvreckan from here.

Job For A Cowboy
Moon Healer
Metal Blade

For fans of iconic progressive death metal outfit Job For A Cowboy, it’s been almost a decade since new music was last heard from the band. Having teased for a number of years, the band are now back with their follow-up to 2014’s Sun Eater pretty much picking up where the 2014 album dropped off. Unsurprisingly, Moon Healer is the kind of album you really need to invest your time and effort into to really appreciate. Skim over it and you’ll find another incredible album in the Glendale’s musical armoury. Dig under the surface and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world which thematically picks up the story from Sun Eater while musically delivers it in a tightly woven package of complex, experimental, progressive death metal.

Pick up your copy of Moon Healer from here.

Austrian Death Machine
Quad Brutal
Napalm Records

Ten years since their last outing, Austrian Death Machine are back with Quad Brutal, their first album for new home Napalm Records. Formed fifteen years ago by As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, the Arnie-inspired neck-wrecking death machine is back reinspired and reinvigorated. Joined by a bunch of friends from across the metalcore scene including members of Ov Sulfur and Wolves At The Gate, Lambesis is back with another full-throttle, adrenaline-fueled metal feast. With more muscle than your typical weights room, Quad Brutal is just pumped-to-fuck, beefed-up metal. There’s nothing fancy about this. No need to put your brain into gear, Quad Brutal is just here for when another couple of plates on the end of that bar just doesn’t seem enough.

Pick up your copy of Quad Brutal from here.

Royal Tusk
Altruistic
MNRK Heavy

To date, Alberta, Canada three-piece Royal Tusk have gigged with a veritable Who’s Who of Rock from Slash to Halestorm while, during the pandemic, frontman Daniel sang on viral at-home collabs with Stone Sour, In Flames, and Mastodon. Listening to the hard rockers third album and you can probably pinpoint all of those inspirations seeping through the thumping anthems. Full of hard rock bangers like “Fire In Your Veins” and “The Death of Common Sense” to “Hated”, Altruistic has the perfect blend of melody, singalong choruses and power. Of the album, bassist Sandy MacKinnon says “I really hope you want to blast it in your car and headbang” and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy Altruistic than that.

Pick up your copy of Altruistic from here.

Borkanagar
Fall
Century Media

Honouring commitments delayed by the pandemic means that it has been almost five years since we have heard a new full-length album from Norwegian progressive folk/black metal band Borknagar. Reading into the whole process the band go through to write an album though, you do get the feeling Fall would have taken as long pandemic or not. An unrushed, flawlessly-crafted peice of work, Fall sounds like Borknagar frontman Øystein G. Brun has worked tirelessly to ensure that every moment of this album plays out like a story. Blast of grim, violent black metal weave through epic passages of progressive rock and folk to tell a tale of survival. Heading towards their third decade, Fall feels like the Norwegians are still riding at the top of their game.

Pick up your copy of Fall from here.

Mother Mother
Grief Chapter
Warner Music / Parlophone

It’s fair to say that 2021’s album INSIDE catapulted Canadian indie rock troop Mother Mother to new heights. Piling up an incredible 300 million streams for said album Grief Chapter has some task ahead of it. The ninth album of their career finds the band at their most energized despite it focusing, lyrically at least, on themes of death and mourning. This is an album that transcends genres not only over the course of the twelve tracks but, as demonstrated on the brilliant opener “Nobody Escapes” or the stomping “Normalize”, many times within songs. An album which may come from a morbid place lyrically, by the end, will have you well and truly hooked.

Pick up your copy of Grief Chapter from here.

Lowlives
Loser’ [Single]
Spinefarm Records

It’s the year 2000 and Wheatus earworm “Teenage Dirtbag” is rapidly becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. An anthem for misfits, outcasts and losers, it’s a song we hold close to our hearts even 24 years later. Now, West Coast alt-rockers have gone and written their own version. A wonderfully hopeful slice of slacker rock, “Loser” has an almost pleading air to the chorus while the melody is lifted straight from the grunge/alt-rock 2000s. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming debut album, Freaking Out, so don’t worry if you’re going through that misfit phase because Lowlives have got your back.

Pick up your copy of Freaking Out from here.

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Indie

A Short Walk to Pluto Releases “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” Music Video

Indie rockers A Short Walk to Pluto have released the music video for their cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

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A Short Walk to Pluto, photo by Ryan Brough
A Short Walk to Pluto, photo by Ryan Brough

Formed in 2018, A Short Walk to Pluto has developed a tremendous social media presence through TikTok and Instagram, where they regularly debut original music and covers of well-known classics. The band features Emma Armstrong (lead vocals), Max Kaiser (lead guitar, keys, synths), Danny Moriana (bass guitar, backing vocals, synths), and Jake Biggs (drums and percussion).

It was through that online presence that the band was discovered and recently endorsed by Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show. Though much of their success is owed to their social media engagement, it is their genre-defying original music and energetic live performances that have generated a loyal, consistent, and far-reaching following. This young and professional foursome is prepared to deliver a show that concertgoers will remember forever.

A Short Walk to Pluto have reimagined Tears For Fears’ classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in their own style while highlighting the musical elements that make the sound special; powerful female pop vocals, rich guitars, dynamic bass, and driving drums. The original song continues to demand respect for its perennially relevant lyrics that encapsulate Gen Z’s attention-seeking mindset. A Short Walk to Pluto’s arrangement is inspired by the original’s ability to propel synth-pop to the forefront of pop culture in the mid-1980s, and they hope the same can be true of rock in the modern era.

Commenting on their remake, the band states:

“We wanted to reimagine this classic Tears For Fears song in our style while highlighting the musical elements that make our sound special: powerful female pop vocals, rich guitars, dynamic bass, and driving drums. The original song continues to demand respect for its perennially relevant lyrics that encapsulate our generation’s attention-seeking mindset. Our arrangement is inspired by the original’s ability to propel synth-pop to the forefront of pop culture in the mid-1980s, and we hope the same can be true of rock in the modern era.”

A Short Walk to Pluto “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” single artwork

A Short Walk to Pluto “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” single artwork

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