Icelandic romantic Axel Flóvent has released his new EP Forest Fires, a back-to-roots stunner that distils the true essence of modern songwriting. Likely to draw comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Guillemots and fellow countryman Ásgeir, Forest Fires withholds an essential charm that characterises central themes in its subject matter and more effervescently the story around the songwriter himself.
Based in the tiny Icelandic town Akureyri, Alex Flóvent was organically discovered when the power and authenticity of his bedroom-produced song Beach swooned Newcastle indie label Trellis Records (now based in London) as it raced to nearly 30,000 streams in a month. The discovery of Alex Flóvent is testament to the genuine and sincere soul of his music, giving it the ability to inspire and enchant listeners worldwide. Flóvent has commented on his pleasure with how Forest Fires illustrates him both sonically and stylistically, revealing that song Beach “talks to everyone who is experiencing such negative emotions that it is affecting those around them, the song is speaking to those frustrated souls who need to emotionally restart their life”.
Despite Iceland’s remote location, Alex Flóvent listeners each possess a deep and ruminating connection to his music, tribute to how the modern world can bring us all closer together and bond us in united emotion. Listening to Alex Flóvent is like experiencing a private performance, such is the power of Flóvent’s music to connect with your inner-self and transport you to his stunning homeland. Embracing itself around the listener, like a warm and loving cocoon against the often emotionless world around us, Forest Fires is as authentic and pure as music can be.
Axel Flóvent’s Forest Fires EP is out now on Trellis Records.
This year we have the 2nd annual BBB, and it seems to be all the buzz. I’m sure all the buzz has to do with the lineup, but I also think its a reason why we love Macefield and Doe Bay so much. Its just like a big show with you and a bunch of your pals hanging out drinking beer and getting to hear great music. Not to mention that proceeds go to Rain City Rock Camp For Girls, which is totally bad-ass.
So I wanted to chat with Pete Jordan and find out how this all started and where he see’s it going, in this day and age of “mom & pop fests”.
So, when did you decide that you were going to start this fest? What was the catalyst?
My band moved into the Big Building a couple years ago. We had come from a typically soulless tiny cave-like situation and just absolutely fell in love with our new space and the entire building. Ben Schauland, Big BLDG Bash co-founder and long time BB resident, mentioned to me that he wanted to throw a music festival in the building. I thought it was a brilliant idea so we made it so.
Were you at all concerned with the over-saturation of festivals in or around the surrounding areas?
When we started this, we just wanted to throw a great party with a bunch of amazing bands and delicious beer. We were learning by doing and didn’t really have the bandwidth to worry about rival events. This issue came up in planning this year’s fest but we quickly realized that this festival is basically an enormous house party. There are plenty of great small festivals around, but ours fits uniquely into the mom & pop fest scene that’s been burgeoning recently.
Is this something that you ultimately want to grow, or would you prefer to keep it indie-driven and local?
This festival will definitely remain DIY but I don’t think having growth and staying ‘indie-driven’ are mutually exclusive. We are limited by the capacity of the building, but we’ve discussed expanding it to a multi-day event or having multiple festivals per year. There are so many great bands that we weren’t able to include, we would love the opportunity to have more play.
For now we’re just focusing on getting better at throwing the damn thing.
What do you think makes for a successful experience?
Last year we maintained a super positive, festive atmosphere. It was a celebration of local music and I think everyone in attendance helped foster the feeling of community.
We hope that everyone falls in love with a band they’ve never seen before. We also hope the beer lasts just long enough and that we don’t throw any circuit breakers.
What do you think the BBB offers, that others may not?
The first thing that comes to mind is the setting. The building itself is very unique. It’s a large industrial building in Sodo with all manner of craftspeople inhabiting it. Everything from metalworking to band practice spaces, glass blowing to machining and auto work.
Another thing we do that isn’t common is having multiple stages in the same space. The Yard and Hanger areas will at all times have a band performing on one stage and one setting up on the other. All you have to do is turn 90 degrees and watch the next band start.
Also, $20 for 50+ bands is ridiculous and it’s all for great causes. Our proceeds are benefitting local non-profits (Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo).
And if you could book any 3 bands to make surprise performances (Living) at the BBB, who would they be?
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, David Bazan, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
I can only speak for myself, but we did decide to send Bazan’s manager an email so I know that one is sanctioned by the other BBB organizers. We, unsurprisingly, never heard back.
Where would you like to see this in 5 years?
We haven’t really talked about the long term plan yet. I think just more bands, more beer, more days, more BBB is the goal. Maybe do seasonal BBBs. Possibly even throw some bashes at intriguing buildings in other cities.
I’m sure you love all the bands, but any in particular you think Seattle needs to check out?
I do love all the bands! It would be impossible for me to catch every act that I want to. Take any 3 bands from this line up and you’d have a solid bill that I would enjoy.
I know Ben and Dane Ueland (who hopped on to help organize this year) would probably have different answers but I’m particularly excited about Fauna Shade, Lemolo, Kithkin, and The Holy Broke.
And lastly….. any tips you can give us, that will make our day the best it can be at BBB? Wet wipes? Flask’s? Lots of weed?
Wet wipes are never a bad idea.
Come early and stay late. We are only selling about half the capacity in presale tickets and everything else is first come first serve. If we hit capacity we will only be guaranteeing bands and presale ticket holders reentry.
Come enjoy yourselves!
For tix: Here
“Delirium” is the second track shared off of Fauna Shade‘s debut full length Baton Rouge, out May 1st. *free download*
Fauna Shade is the music and sounds developed by frontman and Everett, Washington native Scotty Smith. Smith, now 22, combines psychedelica and pop sensibility from years spent experimenting, writing and recording tracks in his parents garage, located between the Puget Sound and Cascade Mountains. Joined live by drummer Richie Owen and bassist Derek Johnston, the band draws inspiration from early MGMT, Coco Rosie and T. Rex, while somehow forming a sound uncorrupted and free of pretense.
Their new full length Baton Rouge was recorded and co-produced by Jeff Southard at SWOON Studios (Night Beats, Tangerine) in Tacoma, Washington. Baton Rouge is out on May 1st, 2015.
Los Angeles based rock group THE JANKS, fronted by brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed along with rhythm section Nate Light and Leon LeDoux, make it their mission to produce music in the same way they live their lives; with both sincerity and irreverence. The Janks create a sound that combines the traditional two-part vocal harmony of The Everly Brothers with the adept musicianship and blues-rock stylings of Led Zeppelin — all with a heavy dose of humorous abandon a la Ween. They have logged over 500 live appearances at venues including The Troubadour, House of Blues, The Echo, and The Echoplex, and have held residencies at two of Los Angeles’ most touted indie rock clubs, The Satellite and the Bootleg Theater. The band has developed a devout local following and has garnered critical praise for their dynamic live shows. The Janks released their debut album Hands of Time in 2012 and followed up recently with the Living in Denial EP in November 2014.
Starting this past January, THE JANKS have been releasing a digital single every last friday of every month in 2015 in addition to EP releases planned for early summer and fall.
Ernest Jenning Record Co. is excited to announce Rejoice! God Loves Wild Yaks, the newest full-length from Brooklyn indie stalwarts Wild Yaks. Rejoice! will see a release on June 2, 2015. To ring in the release, the band has released a new track, titled “Paradise.” The track premiered via Stereogum, who noted that “Wild Yaks’ raucous energy and singalong-inducing lyrics are part of what make them one of Brooklyn’s most beloved indie rock acts.”
In the later half of 2014, Kane Mazlin and Ryan Strathie – ex-Members of the now defunct Hungry Kids of Hungry – formed new project Sans Parents with Sydney-based musician Alex Bennison. Their debut single, ‘Coming Back To You’, received national radio play via Triple J and strong support from worldwide blogs, resulting in a Top 10 debut charting position on Hype Machine.
With Babaganoüj / ex-Yves Klein Blue member Charles Sale added to the line-up, the newly configured four-piece have now released follow-up single ‘Loose People’, which was produced and engineered by Matt Redlich (Ball Park Music, Holy Holy, Emma Louise).
Laced with beautifully arranged vocal melodies and an instrumental fusion of early post-punk rock / snappy garage pop, ‘Loose People’ endeavors to follow up on the success of ‘Coming Back To You’.
Due to rising international pressure, Joanna Gruesome‘s new album Peanut Butter will finally enter the world on June 2 via Slumberland (US) and May 11 via Fortuna POP! (UK) and Turnstile (ROW). Rival groups will be disappointed to learn that the record is a further experiment in combining hyper melodic pop music with sonic violence. Officials have confirmed that the album contains a record number of hooks, traces of nut and elements of jangle pop, British hardcore punk, atonal music, screaming and drone organs. Yet they have issued warnings of “a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread”. Why not listen to the taster track “Last Year”, a song about experiencing tragedy and the occult in a water park.
Like their debut, the new album was recorded by MJ from Hookworms, with the aim of heightening the group’s “pop” and “aggressive” elements to excessive and hitherto unrecorded levels. As songwriter Owen Williams explains: “We tried to make it shorter, more economical and attempted to pack as many hooks and screams in as quickly possible in order to avoid short changing the consumer or wasting her/his/their time. Lyrically it’s more obtuse and surreal but also attempts to mock trad masculine rock themes whenever things do get more lucid. But sometimes musically we embrace them by doing embarrassing guitar solos. I’m not sure how much else I’m at liberty to say but one thing I will disclose is that the record is a response to threats posed by rival groups.”
Comprised of Alanna McArdle (vocals), Owen Williams (guitar), Max Warren (bass), George Nicholls (guitar) and David Sandford (drums), the band all originally met on a wine tasting holiday. Their terrific debut album Weird Sister took the world by storm when it was released in September 2013, going on to win last year’s Welsh Music Prize. Fantastic press support saw glowing press reviews across the board with particular love from Pitchfork and from NME, including a spot on the front cover as part of their Rule Britannia issue, as well as live coverage from The Guardian, Observer and The Independent. At radio their singles have scored a remarkable four out of four on the BBC 6Music playlist and the band have played sessions for both Lauren Laverne on 6Music and for Huw Stephens on Radio One.