New Selections — Kal Marks, Rosa Bordallo, NOUS, Casanova, Anne Müller, Red Spells Red, FITTED

Apologies for the quiet September. My time was needed everywhere but here. That said, I'm happy to end the month with some good singles that I hope you'll enjoy. Autumn has begun to bring comfort to the air following the oppressive Summer heat. I do love this time of year.



Kal Marks: "Heads Been Ringing"
(via Force Field PR / Exploding In Sound Records / YouTube)

Album Preorder

Via Force Field PR:

Kal Marks' 'Let The Shit House Burn Down' EP is out today via Exploding in Sound Records; watch the new "Heads Been Ringing" video

STREAM: Let The Shit House Burn Down

WATCH: "Heads Been Ringing" -

Kal Marks' Let The Shit House Burn Down EP is out today via Exploding in Sound Records. Stream the EP here and watch the new "Heads Been Ringing" video.

"the band have never sounded this good, as they unleash an aggressive assault on both the climate catastrophe and personal demons. Kal Marks' ability to find the sweet spot where folk and metal intertwine — a demilitarized zone most of us thought didn't exist — will leave you screaming and crying in the same chorus. ... Kal Marks' decade-long career has had many peaks, but Let the Shit House Burn Down could be the highest — so far" (8/10) - Exclaim!

There’s nothing pretty about Kal Marks’ new record, an album rooted in feelings of failure and a decline of faith in humanity. What it lacks in positive sentiments it makes up for in honesty and a hope for change. The themes of Let The Shit House Burn Down carry beyond the album’s exceptional title and into the music itself; a batch of songs that band weren’t always sold on prior to recording. It was only after the Boston based trio hit the studio that they realized they had created a strong and cohesive set of new music, capturing what could be considered their best performances and their best sounding recording to date. It’s another triumphant collision of sludge, folk, and art punk – deliberately unhinged and primal in a way that has become unique to Kal Marks.

Considered veterans of the Boston DIY scene, Kal Marks has been going for over a decade, constantly pushing themselves and growing along the way. Their tireless work ethic keeps them out on the road, throughout the US and most recently their first tour of Europe and the UK. While many bands settle into a comfortable place, Kal Marks take pride in expanding their sound, contorting and reshaping the formula with every album they’ve released. They’ve challenged their audience over the years and its been met with adoration and critical acclaim from outlets like NPR, Pitchfork, Fader, and Stereogum. Known for being one of the loudest and heaviest “indie rock” bands out there, they’ve shared bills with Big Business, Black Midi, The Messthetics, METZ, True Widow, and more. Their explosive live show is built on feedback and cathartic aggression, an outlet to exorcise the weight of the world around us.

Continuing on from the sonically adventurous Universal Care LP, Kal Marks drew inspiration for their latest from the dark and dusty folk of Nick Cave and Tom Waits to the bludgeoning art metal of Sumac, finding the unique common ground that resides in-between. Heavy and insightful, brilliantly composed, and brutally free, Let The Shit House Burn Down is dense and emotionally crippling. Everyone feels like a failure from time to time, and for Carl Shane, the only way out is to fight your way out, with a set of songs that are both aware of his mental sabotage while clawing towards change. The anxiety comes in both personal detachment and for the world at large as we slink ever deeper toward climate change’s oncoming destruction. It’s a record that surveys all it sees and doesn’t like the results, that sinking feeling of despair and decay. Kal Marks are pushing back against it all however, one colossal riff and one intricate rhythmic stampede at a time.

Tour Dates
9/26 Northampton, MA @ Red Cross
9/27 Rochester, NY @ The Bug Jar
9/28 Toronto @ Duffy’s
9/29 Kalamazoo, MI @ Candy Cane Lane
9/30 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean downstairs
10/1 St. Louis, MO @ Nu Craig
10/2 Fayetteville, AR @ Backspace
10/3 Denton, TX @ J&Js
10/4 Austin, TX @ Mohawk
10/5 New Orleans, LA @ Bank St Bar
10/6 Nashville, TN @ Drrkmttr*
10/8 Asheville, NC @ Static Age
10/9 Raleigh, NC @ Neptune’s
10/10 DC @ Rhizome
10/11 Philadelphia, PA @ Dumpster Out Back
10/12 NYC @ Chili’s

Kal Marks
Let The Shit House Burn Down
(Exploding In Sound Records)
Street Date: September 27, 2019

Track List:
1. Nu Legs
2. Kimmy
3. Heads Been Ringing
4. It’s So Hard To Know How To Say Goodbye
5. Science Is Science



Rosa Bordallo: "Citadel"
(via Clandestine Label Services / Ears To FeedTime Castle / YouTube)

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Via Clandestine Label Services:

What does it mean to belong? To find a home, whether in a building or within a community? Is it ever possible to find it all in one place?

Rosa Bordallo has been seeking these answers all her life. Before moving to New York for film school as a young adult, she grew up in Guam, the island natives know as Guåhan. Her family are CHamoru, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in Micronesia, who have been subjected to the vicious whims and brutalities of occupations by the Spanish, the Japanese, and the United States over the past five centuries. Since moving halfway across the globe, she's grappled with feeling disconnected from her birthplace while trying to build a life for herself. The recent loss of her grandmother compounded the grief spurned by the deaths of her father, grandfather, and numerous aunts and uncles in the time since she left Guåhan. These were the elders who spoke CHamoru to her. Her guilt from never mastering the indigenous tongue added to her despair. To cope, she turned to music, which gave her a way to process these feelings with grace and detachment.

Reef Walker is a result of this pursuit. It's Bordallo's first full-length solo album under her own name, following nearly a decade of work with the post-punk revival band cholo and then a trio of EP's under the solo moniker, Manett. It's a prickly, fuzzy batch of songs. Poignant lyrics shed light on buried traumas and a prevailing sense of loss and devastation. But the underlying themes are hope, transcendence, and liberation.

To develop
Reef Walker's knotty, crepuscular arrangements, Bordallo turned to multi-instrumentalist and engineer Duane Lauginiger. She first encountered Lauginiger's work in the psych-rock band BIRDS, and considers his production and lo-fi sensibility a key aspect of her album. She also credits the guitarist Donn Denniston and the musician Felipe Flores for backing her in the nascent stages of the album's songwriting.

The title for
Reef Walker is a nod to Bordallo's Pacific Islander heritage and a childhood spent surrounded by Oceania’s natural beauty, from limestone forests to tranquil lagoons and volcanic sand beaches. Bordallo remembers endless days watching her father traverse the coral reef. The boundary between the shoreline's safety and the vast ocean can be unclear; the tides and currents are perilous. In navigating her own feelings about being CHamoru or American (or neither, or both), she recalls her father and other CHamorus who explored the sea as fearlessly as they fought for their own sovereignty.

Reef Walker is her confident statement of self as she enters a new chapter of clarity and creative vision. In the past year she helped found a collective of urban indigenous artists and activists who gather monthly in Lenapehoking. Through music, activism, and solidarity with other indigenous peoples, she hopes to weave CHamoru cultural values into her life as a New Yorker. The principle of harmony (known to CHamorus as inafa'maolek), as well as the sacredness of nature and the respect for ancestral wisdom, are central to her indigenous experience. By deepening her camaraderie to urban indigenous communities, she reclaims her CHamoru identity on her own terms, aloft from the spectres of colonialism, cultural genocide, and displacement. Thus perhaps, for the next generation, a sense of home might not be so hard to find.

01 - To Mariana
02 - Sleight of Hand
03 - Lost on the Coast
04 - Dust Bowl
05 - I Am Pupa
06 - M.O.S.S.
07 - Hoarders of New York
08 - Citadel
09 - Trust Territory
10 - See You in the Afterlife (No Longer Set Apart by Language)


NOUS: "Here In My Chest It Is What It Is"
(via Us-Them Group / Heavy Blog Is Heavy / Our Silent Canvas / YouTube)

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Via Us-Them Group:

NOUS II project of all-star experimentalists shares second single
Christopher Bono w/ Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy), Thor Harris (Swans), Shahzad Ismally (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson), ACME strings, yMusic members

"A half-airy, half-aggressive interdisciplinary happening organized by the young and enterprising composer Christopher Bono, who brought together a wise, postcategory, electric and acoustic 12-person crew." -- New York Times

"You couldn't pigeonhole it into one genre if you tried -- it goes from eerie David Lynchian soundscapes to Eastern melodies to avant-garde jazz drum freakouts to a million other places, all while remaining strangely accessible." -- Brooklyn Vegan

"(Sometimes) it is clear from the get-go that you're handling something potent, that the music you're about to hear is going to leap out of the digital format and grab you by heart... A captivating and moving piece of music." -- Heavy Blog Is Heavy

New York experimental music project NOUS, led by producer and composer Christopher Bono, shares a new track from
NOUS II, the followup to their 2018 eponymous debut album. The group shares "Here In My Chest It Is What It Is" today from this more melodic leaning recording that its predecessor via Heavy Blog Is Heavy HERE.

PopMatters recently shared lead track "Nighten Gale" HERE.

Nous is an experimental music project with a fluctuating group of artists exploring ritual and spontaneity within music. NOUS II features the same lineup as the debut: multi-instrumentalists Christopher Bono (keyboards/electronics/percussion/vocals), Greg Fox (drums/percussion/electronics), Thor Harris (drums/percussion), Shahzad Ismaily (electronics/guitar/bass) and Grey Mcmurray (guitar), with special guests.

On this album, NOUS founder and curator Christopher Bono takes the project and the musicians on a deeper dive into the post-rock, and ambient genres. The project maintains the spirit of spontaneity, but the musical experiments are conducted within a framework of more melodic exploration alongside cellular motif and groove oriented experiments.

"Nighten Gale" is the first single release from the new album. This piano and strings driven piece was presented in the studio to the the talented group of experimental musicians as a basic lead sheet featuring a simple progression and no dynamic suggestions. The 9 musicians received this minimalist input and together recorded a sweeping new-classical sonic Ark that journeys through contrasting peaks of heavy and gentle dramatic moments.

Woodstock, NY label Our Silent Canvas is preparing to release the second of 3 albums culled from sessions the group recorded in an intensive 7-day immersion at legendary Dreamland Studios with
producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate).

Each recording, and performance will center around a different focal concept, always seeking alternative ways of creating art. The name Nous was chosen for its double meaning. 'Nous' in the French language is the plural personal pronoun in the first person, meaning 'we' or 'us'. However, within the philosophical tradition it is a word, sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, used to describe the faculty of the human mind which is described in classical philosophy as necessary for understanding what is true or real, similar in meaning to intuition.

Nous band members on this recording:
~ Christopher Bono (Composer, Ghost Against Ghost)
~ Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, Ben Frost, ex-Liturgy)
~ Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Prince Billy)
~ Thor Harris (Swans, Angels of Light, Amanda Palmer, Shearwater)
~ Grey Mcmurray (itsnotyouitsme, So Percussion, Tyondai Braxton)

Special guests:
~ Clarice Jensen (Cello, ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble, yMusic, Ra Ra Riot
~ Caleb Burhans (Composer, itsnotyouitsme, ACME)
~ Laura Lutzke (Violin, ACME)
~ Alex Sopp (Flutes, ACME, yMusic)
~ Imago (Cello, Vocals, Múm)
~ Laraaji & Arji (Zither, Ambient Sounds)
~ Akil Davis and Loud Sol Productions

NOUS II will be available on LP and download on December 6th, 2018 via Our Silent Canvas. Pre-orders are available HERE.

Artist: NOUS
Album: NOUS II
Record Label: Our Silent Canvas
Release Date: December 6, 2019

01. Look Again at That Dot
02. Formless
03. Here In My Chest It Is What It Is
04. Yoj! Yoj!
05. Nighten Gale
06. World Map One
07. Uthando
08. Formless Too
09. Assume a Sunbeam

On the Web:


Casanova: "Live (feat. Giggs)"
(via Republic Records / Roc Nation / YouTube)

Via Republic Records:


The Roc Nation/Republic Artist Expresses Gratitude for the Everyday Struggle in the Latest Video from the Upcoming Behind These Scars

"Unlike most current New Yorker rappers, Casanova opts to body tracks akin to the days of G-Unit or Dipset, brandishing rapid-fire flows and throaty growls full of malice that are equally as menacing as his 6’4” frame."HipHopDX

"Thanks to Casanova’s strapping voice, charismatic personality, and unyielding confidence, “Don’t Run” set New York’s music scene ablaze...With an already convincing résumé, Casanova isn’t slowing down anytime soon."Billboard

"Move over fake rappers because Casanova is out to prove he's the real deal. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native (Flatbush to be exact) isn't faking the funk when it comes to his reality; he prides himself on being authentic and serving lyrics based on real life events rather than fabrication."XXL

Incisively and aggressively painting a portrait of NYC street life, Casanova shows no signs of slowing down. Coming through with a subdued and introspective new video single, the Brooklyn rapper shares "Live." Rhyming with raw emotion over a collage of mournful horns and chopped-up snares, Casanova digs deep inside the problems that can't be solved by fortune and fame: "Cops wanna frisk me, homies wanna diss me/You sendin' shots, hope you miss me, RIP Nipsey/I think my baby momma tryna turn my son against me/So I mix the D'us with the juice 'til it's empty." The track features a guest verse from UK rapper Giggs, who draws parallels between his troubled youth in London and Casanova's in NY.

Filmed in crisp black-and-white by director Mollana Burke, the video follows a young family in Peckham, a rough neighborhood in South London, as they try to make ends meet against all odds: "I don't wanna die broke/I don't wanna die rich...I'm just tryna live." "Live" is the latest video from Behind These Scars, Casanova's upcoming album.

Comprised of a breathless 10-tracks, Behind These Scars traces Casanova's path from poverty to prison to prominence, carefully examining every aspect of the rising star's life. Expanding on the turbulent East Flatbush narrative that began with 2018's Commissary, the upcoming album bursts with radio-ready bops, reflective ruminations on post-prison life, and the confrontational bangers on which Casanova made his name. Featuring appearances from Young Thug, Chris Brown, Jeremih, Gunna, Fabolous, and more, Behind These Scars drops October 11th via Roc Nation, in partnership with Republic Records.

Behind These Scars boasts two successful pre-release singles: "Coming Home" and "So Brooklyn." Featuring an appearance from Chris Brown, "Coming Home" is a radio-ready, romantic jam with a butter-smooth hook, earning over 1 million Spotify streams in its first two weeks of release. The Fabolous-featuring "So Brooklyn" inspired over 35,000 submissions to the #SoBrooklynChallenge in which thousands of fans, and several famous faces posted their best bars about what their hometown means to them atop the "So Brooklyn" instrumental. Over the past few weeks, the #SoBrooklyn challenge received entries from the likes of Brooklyn natives like Young M.A., Papoose, Memphis Bleek, Maino, Rob Markman, and game out-of-towners like DMX, G Herbo, Wyclef Jean, Trae Tha Truth, Freeway, Cassidy, Bandhunta Izzy, Houston Rockets guard Iman Shumpert, and Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram

Pre-order Behind These Scars:

Behind These Scars tracklist:
1. Jail Call
2. Knock Knock
3. So Brooklyn (feat. Fabolous)
4. So Drippy (feat. Gunna & Young Thug)
5. Woah (feat. Jeremih)
6. Coming Home (feat. Chris Brown)
7. In My Hood
8. Stay With It
9. Could’ve Been Something (feat. KayCyy Pluto)
10. Live (feat. Giggs)

Casanova 2X elbowed his way into rap’s competitive coliseum. Armed with the infectious warning shot “Don’t Run,” the Brooklyn rhyme rookie simultaneously made a name for himself and scored early success at radio and streaming platforms. His robust energy and primal charisma consumed the entire New York City tri-state area, convincing hip-hop heads to adopt his signature salute, “Boom Boom Boom!” Certified by the years he spent incarcerated, Casanova's debut EP Commissary—featuring guest appearances from Chris Brown, Fabolous, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, and G-Eazy—established him as one of hip-hop’s hottest rising stars. Off parole and ready to see the world, Casanova let his artistry fly first class with the recent release of his aptly titled Free At Last EP, released in 2019.


Anne Müller: "Nummer 2"
(via Julian T. Schoen / Erased Tapes / Bandcamp)

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Anne Müller is a cellist and composer based in Berlin. While you may not know the name, you more likely have heard her on various releases in the Erased Tapes universe, such as Nils Frahm's All Melody, Victoria, and the collaborative 7fingers; as well as Ólafur Arnalds & Frahm's Collaborative Works, and Lubomyr Melnyk's Fallen Trees. Indeed, Müller has over 60 credits since 2007.

On November 22, Müller will release her long awaited debut album, Heliopause, on Erased Tapes.

A solo record in every sense of the word, Müller wrote, recorded, arranged and produced Heliopause. The album is named after the boundary where the sun's wind ceases to have influence. It is ultimately, the border of our solar system. The name struck a chord with Müller since the two voyagers sent on an exploratory mission 42 years ago, recently crossed the Heliopause, entering into interstellar space and losing power from our own sun. Müller recognized herself in this moment, not only approaching the same age, but also breaking new ground; having relied on collaborating with so many other stars and now venturing into the unknown with her first solo statement; "Heliopause marks the end of a long journey but also the start of voyages to explore strange new worlds".

Boldly opening the album with "Being Anne", it sees Müller embrace her new found freedom with the most experimental piece on the record, placing the cello in a completely new context. Playing the strings of a broken down piano with a plectrum and scratching parts of the key mechanism to produce a rhythm, the once lost instrument is given a new lease of life among looped cello drones and drums. 

"I used the sounds of a tiny piano I got from my mother that she bought when she was a student and didn't have any money. Later it stood for years in our little summer garden house, where I practiced on it constantly for my piano lessons. Even though it's old and not in the best shape, I love the way it sounds and call it my little circus piano".

The atmospheric swells of noise on "Being Anne" are juxtaposed beautifully with the most stripped back and exposed song, "Solo? Repeat!". The J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassadó influenced piece sees Müller go solo in its purest form: unaccompanied cello. Lead single "Nummer 2" is so titled as it's the second piece Anne ever wrote. A mixture of old sounds and newer structures, its repeated arpeggio conjures drama and displays Müller's dexterous production abilities. "Drifting Circles" meanwhile provides the album's climax, amid an orchestra of looped cellos and vocals. Referencing the minimalism of contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, it builds to a crescendo of harmonics, allowing the cello to sore as it crosses the border from minor to major.

Anna Müller - Heliopause LP
(Erased Tapes, out November 22)

Track Listing
1. Being Anne
2. Solo? Repeat!
3. Nummer 2
4. Aarhus / Reminiscences
5. Drifting Circles
6. Heliopause

Anne Müller

Erased Tapes


Red Spells Red: "Secret Sounds"
(via Verses Records / YouTube)

Via Verses Records:

Born in 2010 when two old friends decided to ditch rock bands in favor of improvised ambient soundscapes, Red Spells Red has been experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of their take on moody, experimental music.

Their latest release, “Secret Sounds”, finds them exploring a dark, psychedelic world of decidedly lo-fi textures. Departing from the smoother sounds of their 2015 release, “Listener”, “Secret Sounds” is full of messy guitars, mangled loops, analogue synths and vintage effect units all recorded to tape.


FITTED: "The Legend of Lydmar Lucia"
(via Stereo Sanctity / ORG Music / Soundcloud)

Album Preorder

Via Stereo Sanctity:

Debut album ‘First Fits’ out November 8th on ORG Music

FITTED is a new project from Wire members Graham Lewis and Matthew Simms, with Mike Watt (Minutemen, Stooges, fIREHOSE) and drummer Bob Lee (Fearless Leader, The Freeks). They release their debut LP, First Fits on November 8th via ORG Music and today they’ve shared a new track "The Legend of Lydmar Lucia".

FITTED first convened after just one practice to perform at Wire’s DRILL festival in 2017 at The Echo in Los Angeles. On their debut album,
First Fits, the free-wheelin' psych powerhouse ploughs through six numbers over the course of 38 minutes, with Lewis and Watt trading lead vocal duties.

The Legend of Lydmar Lucia” is the second single from the record, following the brawling “Training Pitbulls for the Navy”. On this latest cut, Lewis takes the lead for a brooding, poetic recital.

“The vocal was recorded in one shot at Sean Douglas’ studio in Seven Sisters” he explains. “Funnily enough I wrote this ‘report' about 25 years previous, the day after an extraordinary 24 hour art event at the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm to celebrate the Festival of Santa Lucia. There were 40 International artists, representing the disciplines of literature, sculpture, performance, a wide range of music and photography. It was a non-stop unprogrammed ticketless delight, including sumo snow wrestling, the dance of the Seven Veils with a vacuum cleaner, a glitch strewn Gilbert stitch up of Victor Sylvester, Mika Vanio beamed as a loon as he dropped a DUB set, Chris Watson conjured hyena’s devouring zebra in the restaurant… you get the idea? An artist who was unable to attend was Jim O’Rourke, hence the name check “Is Jim coming? No….”

“Before FITTED’s only practice I’d suggested Dome’s “Jasz” as a jump off point to Mike and Bob, they cooked a groove, I voiced it, Matthew built a world and I threw in some punctuation and galactic time shift. It’s a fave of mine, it flew together.”

Guitarist Matthew Simms adds: “Lydmar is one of my favourites from the record, the mood, the textures in the mix and the effortless way it came together all playing some combined influence. This was started in our as yet only practice and performed at our as yet only gig the next day but underwent severe transformation when Graham added his words, recorded in one / first take (we tried for another, wasn’t as good, of course!)”

First Fits track list:
1. Plug The Jug
2. Training Pit Bulls For The Navy
3. The Legend of Lydmar Lucia
4. Magically Blessed
5. The Chunk That Got Chewed
6. The First Fit

Press shots

Letters From A Tapehead


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