The Week's Mixtape: Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle, Claire Rousay, Nous Alpha, TEKE::TEKE, Jaye Jayle, Dead Register, Lushlife

Good evening,

The three-day weekend has ended, promises of a four-day stretch of hellscape await. But, not yet. I've compiled some singles and videos to check out, so give a look, hit up some links, and maybe buy some records. Enjoy your week and thanks for reading. 

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Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle: "Anhedonia"
(via Rarely Unable / Sargent House)



Via Rarely Unable:

Chelsea Wolfe has shared new video for her latest single, “Anhedonia” which features vocals and guitar by labelmate Emma Ruth Rundle. Wolfe joined efforts with stop motion editor and video producer Cressa Beer for a moving creation that reflects grief and loneliness, yet brings hope that with time and support, healing is possible.

Cressa explains, “The core idea of the video came from an artist and mutual friend that Chelsea and I both love - Jess Schnabel (Blood Milk Jewels) - who created a ‘grief moth’ inspired by real moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds. It’s an idea I’ve wanted to animate for a while. So, that became the backbone of the project: the lifecycle of a moth literally born from overwhelming sadness. From there, the video grew into a reflection of what I was experiencing during quarantine, as I found myself confronting my own grief and deeply rooted trauma. I suffer from PTSD that envelops me like a black void. I wanted to visually articulate how that feels, as well as feelings like disassociation and loneliness; the way that trauma can physically alter your body and mentally reshape the world around you. But still, the moth can fight its way out, can fly, can follow the light; just like the comfort in the final verse of the song, I wanted to still show that healing is possible.”

“Anhedonia” was mixed / produced by Ben Chisholm and is available now across all digital retailers via Sargent House. 



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Claire Rousay: "Discrete (The Market)" 
(via Clandestine Label Services / American Dream Records)

Claire Rousay's A Softer Focus releases 4/9/2021

Bandcamp — https://clairerousay.bandcamp.com/album/a-softer-focus

Via Clandestine Label Services:

Experimental musician claire rousay and visual artist Dani Toral have been in each others’ orbit since young adulthood in San Antonio, but it took a decade for them to find
A Softer Focus. Before Rousay had put her compositional gray matter to task for the album’s music, she knew she wanted to work with Toral- being familiar with her past work centering her Mexican heritage. Toral’s vibrant color palette and reinterpretations of comfort in oneself and the natural, vegetative world connected easily with her explorations in communication and intimacy. Historically, Rousay primarily operated in non-melodic experimental music, sculpting compositions from obsessive field recordings, inserting voice-to-text, percussion played via text message sounds, conversations, and daily life. By contrast, the six-song collection and collaborative project a softer focus is lush and almost entirely melodic, even veering into pop at a couple points.

Though rousay created the album’s recordings, Toral created the artwork and visual narrative for the album - the recurring floral motifs and designs, the photography, the video work, and the ceramic whistles that accompany a special edition of the vinyl record. She also assisted in crafting the linguistic framework, assisting with song titles, and coming up with the name of the album - “A Softer Focus” became the album’s central motif, alluding to the meditative or recollective-dream state of creating. Toral, being primarily a painter and ceramicist, took on this challenge of working digitally to create a visual language accompanying the music. She wanted to explore the feelings of present familiarity she felt with Rousay, through warm light and glow while mimicking the flow of the music using her organic soft shapes melding together and creating a portal-like entry to the album. Fittingly, the songs gently amble from one to the next, creating a syrupy, hypnagogic narrative that uses string sections, field recordings, and vocals to touch upon love, friendship, endurance, and transcendence - sounding like what living inside a brain must feel like, oscillating on how far to let its guest in.

Songs like “Peak Chroma” and “Stoned Gesture” are the closest Rousay’s gotten to pop, and are signposts of her growing compositional prowess. It’s on the third track “Peak Chroma” that the first and most wonderful surprise of a softer focus arises. The song begins with an airy drone that cuts out right as Rousay’s tastefully autotuned voice emerges alongside cello from Chicago musician Lia Kohl. “Stoned Gesture” also boasts autotuned vocals, though it is a more overtly melancholy composition, perhaps even dirge-like while Rousay brings in field recordings of percussive fireworks that dart around another of clinking ice in a glass.

a softer focus is an exciting next step for both Rousay’s compositional practice and Toral’s visual work, showcasing both artists venturing into new territories, and coming out the other side with strengthened friendship and impactful creation. It’s a testament to their trust, playfulness, and candor that we’re allowed to come along for the ride.

 


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Nous Alpha: "Fibonacci Failure" 
(Our Silent Canvas)

Nous Alpha's A Walk in the Woods releases 5/7/2021


Via Our Silent Canvas:

Nous Alpha is a collaboration between OSC founder Christopher Bono and noisemaker Gareth Jones (Spiritual Friendship, Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode), a special incarnation of Christopher's NOUS project.

Says Chris & Gareth: “‘Fibonacci Failure’ was built off a rhythm we derived while jamming in the woods with a couple of branches on a large oak tree, which was one of our recorded samples. We began experimenting with a rhythm-based off the Fibonacci mathematical series; however after we had built up the arrangement in the studio from this raw woods groove, we realised we’d made a mistake in the counting of the rhythmic meter, and therefore the rhythm wasn’t a pure Fibonacci series. Thus the title.”

"Fibonacci Failure" is the first single from A Walk In The Woods,’ the second album by Nous Alpha, created at Our Silent Canvas’ converted barn studio in the Catskill mountains during Fall 2019. For Release May 7, 20201.

Naturalistic elements, used as the basis of what could be called organic improvisation, were created by performing with found objects in the dense woods of the nearby Catskill Mountains, and the outbuildings around the studio. These foraged fragments form the seeds from which each track grew.



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TEKE::TEKE: "Meikyu"
(via Kill Rock Stars)

TEKE::TEKE's Shirushi releases 5/7/2021


Via Kill Rock Stars:

The Montreal-based seven-piece band fuse traditional Japanese instrumentation to punk guitar, creating their own universe. And the video made by the band takes you there.

Ferocious and hypnotic guitar and bass. A tribal beat and a distant flute. The trombone is haunting and the mysterious female voice pulls you right into the psychedelic tale.

After taking inspiration from Japanese surf rock to Brazilian psychedelia to Bulgarian folk and tearing those compositions apart, Montreal-based TEKE::TEKE have built a beautiful new beginning out of destruction on debut album Shirushi.

Japan meets Montreal meets psychedelia. We are eager for this record to get to your ears, but we assure you, it's worth the wait.




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Jaye Jayle: "From Louisville"
(via Rarely Unable / Sargent House / FLOOD Magazine)

Jaye Jayle's Prison is available at Sargent House


Via Rarely Unable:

The dynamic album closer from
Prisyn— the 10-song LP released in 2020 on Sargent House— receives an ambitious new video treatment

The prolific and compelling Louisville-based artist Jaye Jayle has, alongside director Bobby Cochran, created a brilliant music video for the closer of his latest album Prisyn. Titled “From Louisville,” the song is equal parts exquisite and evocative as are its new visual components. Evan Patterson [Jaye Jayle] comments,
“I have a friend that refers to Louisville as 'the Kentucky cage.' It’s easy to get trapped and give in to the simple life that it so simply lends. I do love this city, it is my home, but the truth is: I desire more. I desire to see the world and to escape my comforts and have as many new experiences as humanly possible. And when I become tired or need a break or a place to just rest and recoup I return to Louisville with a grand appreciation for all of it’s simplicities.” He continues, “the visuals that Bobby compiled for this music video feel so relatable; they are humanistic and beautifully captured.”

Prisyn, released last August on Sargent House, sees Evan Patterson taking his boldest leap into unknown territories, capturing immediate moments in his ever-shifting surroundings with the most basic tool at his disposal: the GarageBand app on an iPhone. Having partnered with Ben Chisholm (White Horse, Revelator, Chelsea Wolfe) as collaborator and producer, Prisyn was composed while on a massive eleven-week stretch of touring. Consequently, Prisyn’s ten tracks are composites of various snapshots of Patterson’s life then, with the music taking shape on one leg of the journey and the lyrical components coming from some other moment on the road. The record's title— Prisyn— is a play on the idea of a synthetic prison, and alludes to Patterson’s desire for artistic freedom and the album’s conflicted use of addictive technologies. But in the time of the pandemic, he also views it as an example of overcoming adversity in desperate times; this is a record that could have been made under the jail-like confines of quarantine, with Patterson and Chisholm having never been in the same room at the same time.

"From Louisville" video director Bobby Cochran was also never in the same room with Patterson; due to the pandemic, their planning and conceptualizing was done virtually. Cochran comments, “I’ve been a fan and friend of Evan's for a little while, and when Prisyn was nearing its release date, I asked him if I could make a video for one of the tracks. ‘From Louisville’ spoke to me immediately. Evan emailed me a paragraph about the song's origins along with some very loose visual tidbits that came to mind for him, and I used that as a springboard. I'd been hungry to dive into more 'conceptual' music videos, and the imagery began rising up in my head right away.” He continues, “The main theme I worked around was the idea of addiction and the search for redemption. The blind pursuit of an endless cycle of seeking comfort and solace through things that numb us to the world and ourselves, and the little thread of light that can draw us closer to ending that cycle if we want to.”

Patterson laments about Prisyn: “These songs have a totally different energy, and that’s the exciting thing about making art. Things have to progress. I don’t want to draw the same picture for the rest of my life. Maybe that keeps you from being a master at it, but being a master isn’t the key to art. It’s having that constant expression, the constant outlet, the constant change."



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Dead Register: "Don't Fail Me"
(via Earsplit PR / AVR Records / CVLT Nation)

Dead Register's Don't Fail Me EP releases 2/26/2021

Bandcamp — https://deadregister.bandcamp.com

Via Earsplit PR:

Atlanta, Georgia-based post-rock/avant doom trio DEAD REGISTER proudly offers their most intricate visual creation to date with a live-action puppet video for their new single, "Don't Fail Me." The song is nearing official release as an expansive maxi-single/EP at the end of the month, and today, the video sees its public unveiling through an exclusive premiere hosted by CVLT Nation.

DEAD REGISTER's most epic song yet, "Don't Fail Me" comes to life through an intense new live-action mixed-media puppet extravaganza which portrays the emotional depths of the song's lyrical focus as an official music video. Crafted by Avril Che and M. Chvasta, this video marks the band's fifth DIY visual production, and the band's first ever foray into puppetry.

DEAD REGISTER delves into the song, writing, "'Don't Fail Me' is a standalone single recorded in an attempt for us ancients to stay active, much like a nursing home trip to the mall for weekly early AM jazzercise. The song deals with feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, death, compounding soul-crushing depression, mundanity of life, overcompensation, self-reliance, and ghosts."

On the video's creation, they offer,
"We were not allowed to have friends in the year 2020. So, it was decided, since real humans can't be used for the video, fake ones would have to be made instead. How hard can a puppet show be? It turns out, it's a hell of a feat with a mere two-person crew."

CVLT Nation writes in part of DEAD REGISTER, "We've described them as post-rock post-punk and deathrock doom, but none of those labels do this Georgia band justice. They're creating a sound that's their own, and it's a pleasure to listen to."

DEAD REGISTER will self-release the Don't Fail Me maxi-single on CD and cassette as well as all digital providers through their own AVR Records on February 26th. Included with the single are three soundboard songs recorded live in Lafayette, Louisiana on the band's 2019 tour - "Fiber" (Fiber LP), "Ender" (Captive EP), and "Circle Of Lies" from the band's impending 2021 LP - and "Failed," a remix of "Don't Fail Me" reworked by Lament Cityscape.

Find custom character-based merch bundle options and other preorder options RIGHT HERE.

The husband-and-wife team of M. Chvasta and Avril Che burst through the gates forming DEAD REGISTER in late 2013, bringing on a live drummer in early 2014. The DIY-lifers have since produced three critically acclaimed independent releases on their own AVR label (plus a reissue of the Fiber 12" on Throne Records) and have created four music videos fueled by shoestring budgets and the graciousness of their friends and community. They have toured the US and Canada in support of their Fiber LP and Captive EP and intend to cultivate a life on the road. A large selection of new material is steadily being recorded in-house by drummer, R. Garcia, including the band's new LP, which is now complete.



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Lushlife: "Dépaysement (feat. dälek)"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR / Fortune TellersFLOOD Magazine)

Lushlife's Redamancy EP releases 3/12/2021


Via Tell All Your Friends PR:

Today, Lushlife shares "
Depaysement" off of the upcoming Redamancy EP, out on Fortune Tellers, out March 12th. FLOOD premiered the track alongside an exclusive interview.

“Across the 9:09 minutes of Depaysement, you can hear the song slowly transform from a quietly meditative loop to a headnodic jam with a hard-as-nails verse from Dälek to a full-on outre jazz freakout, like you suddenly find yourself in a different place altogether — and that’s very much on purpose," says Raj Haldar, the man behind Lushlife. "Depaysement is a French word that captures the totality of feeling that hits you when you’re in a strange, new place for the first time. When we started working on this song, eighteen months ago, I was just thinking about that vibe in connection to being on the road playing music. Given the current moment, and since we’ve been stuck at home for almost a year now, I’m longing for that synapse-tingling feeling of traveling to new places more than ever.”

Raj Haldar (rapper-producer Lushlife) has had a strange and storied career on the edges of hip-hop and indie music over the last decade. Starting with Cassette City in 2009, he released three critically-acclaimed albums, most recently Ritualize in 2016 on Western Vinyl which featured collaborations with Killer Mike and Ariel Pink amongst many others. Following a Trump-era mixtape, My Idols are Dead and my Enemies are in Power and a criminally-overlooked collaborative album with the producer, Botany under the name The Skull Eclipses in 2018, Raj spent the last few years publishing a #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book P Is For Pterodactyl, which spent 26 weeks on the Times’ bestseller list, and the sequel out this month, No Reading Allowed. This led to a TV development deal for his kids’ book projects, as well as a “social horror” TV series set in India entitled, Cult of the Aghori. All that is to say, he got a little sidetracked on the music front… until now.

REDAMANCY, the new EP from Lushlife recasts classic east coast hip-hop in the context of an astral jazz synth odyssey. The recording features a collaboration with members of the Irreversible Entanglements quartet, who bring moments of sheer free jazz chaos across the recording's six sprawling tracks. Lushlife doubles down as a producer here, creating a universe where gorgeous synth arpeggios and Bomb Squad squeals fit hand-in-hand. With contributions from Dirty Projectors' vocalist, Felicia Douglass , HPrizm (FKA High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium), noise-rap god heads, Dälek and more - Lushlife's Redamancy EP bristles with the energy of an artist willfully deconstructing his sound into something new.

Redamancy is one of the first releases from Fortune Tellers, the new label created by Peter Matthew Bauer of the Walkmen.

Last November, Lushlife (under his given name, Raj Haldar) released, No Reading Allowed - the follow-up to his #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book, P is for Pterodactyl to rave reviews, with the Wall Street Journal noting, “Those who love wordplay are the natural constituency for No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever, a picture book that’s bright with comic scenes… [and] brilliant pairings of picture and word (and word with word).”


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

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