For years, Vancouver multi-instrumentalist Jay Arner has teamed up with others to translate the sounds in his head.
He’s fronted an indie rock band, played synthesizers and samplers in a pop duo, manned the drums for a piano-punk songwriter, and held down the bass in a eight-member collective. Along the way, he’s also become a sought-after producer and remix artist, working out of the legendary Hive studios and recording acts like Mount Eerie, Apollo Ghosts, Rose Melberg, No Gold and many more.
Now, finally, he is going it alone. Every sound you hear on his eponymous debut album — due out this summer through Mint Records — was self-recorded by Arner in his 72-square-foot practice space using a precariously perched desktop computer and his home recording gear. The sum of his many talents, these 10 songs sizzle with DIY energy and encompass the scope of the songwriter’s diverse resume.
Opener “Midnight on South Granville” sets a dark tone with its coldly mechanical intro before flourishing into a lush post-punk synthscape that reflects Arner’s love of analogue electronics. Elsewhere, the bass-heavy pulse of “Broken Glass (In the Hall of Shattered Mirrors)” draws on ’70s pseudo-funk, while “Wildest One” is an abrasive surge of distortion and “Don’t Remind Me” is a soaring pop anthem that recalls classic Murderrecords songcraft. The lyrics are filled with self-doubt and wry cynicism, but don’t expect confessional heartbreak — these timeless melodies and intricately wrought arrangements are filled with noisy pop sweetness, and there’s not an acoustic guitar to be found.
Given that Arner wrote, performed, recorded and mixed every note on the album, it’s only fitting that it’s self-titled. The cover artwork is a close-up photographer of the man’s face. This is him at his most unfiltered and uncompromising, with only his musical whims to answer to.
The first single “Confidence” is available for streaming (listen here) and will see a digital release on May 21st. The Dodos, comprised of singer and guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber, are also heading out on a full North American tour following the release of Carrier. Dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
When it came time for The Dodos to begin writing their fifth LP, Carrier, singer/guitarist Meric Long wanted to start over. The uncertainty of the band’s trajectory as well as the unexpected passing of guitarist Chris Reimer (formerly of Women) brought about a reassessment of things within the band, and in particular Long’s songwriting.
“Chris was a huge influence on the way I think about guitar, songwriting, and music in general,” reveals Long. “Seeing how he could transform and shape sound with an electric guitar inspired me to explore more tones and use those tones to begin writing a song.”
In need of a different vantage point, Long began writing words before music for the first time, enveloping himself in silence rather than sound. When it came time to set these lyrics to music, Long started writing with only his electric guitar in hand — another first. The focus on this instrument was due in large part to the time Long spent with Reimer. And so, when he began to formulate the tracks that would ultimately comprise Carrier, Long employed two principles he inherited from Reimer: patience to let a song develop and a judgment-free enthusiasm for sound.
The album was recorded in the band’s hometown of San Francisco, allowing for less time constraints and a more pressure-free experience than past out-of-state sessions had afforded. Although John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone studio was initially selected for its analog-friendly set- up, the duo were happy to find themselves working within a supportive community of like-minded musicians that included engineers Jay and Ian Pellicci, both of whom assisted in the production of Carrier, as well as the Magik Magik Orchestra, which appears on several tracks. As a result, the album The Dodos crafted is refreshingly sincere: no computers, no gimmicks — just eleven songs that are beautiful and solid and true and honest.
For a band briefly in flux, it’s clear now that The Dodos’ outlook on the future has never looked more certain.
No doubt the ‘Song Dissection’ project has been one of our favorite projects, and apparently yours too. It’s always a thrill to introduce you to a well loved song here, and provide the bio of that song to you, from the artist himself, but it’s also amazing to introduce you too new Seattle artists.
Kye isn’t on the tip of everyones tongue yet, but I think that’s all going to change in the not to soon future. Check out his bandcamp and you’ll know what I mean, but listen to this track “Diving Dove”(Below), and read what Kye has to say about the inspiration behind it. This guy is an amazing talent. Read what inspired him to write this song below.
Who knows where songs come from? I certainly don’t. I do know that while writing this song I pictured a lot of oceans and beaches in my head, places I’ve never been. I know I wasn’t trying for an effect when I wrote it. Songwriting is a lot like vomiting for me, I suppose. I take things in and then I throw it up and there it is, some half-digested mixture of my life and thoughts. This song came much the same. For me, it hit a place that felt substantial.
‘Diving Dove’ was almost too delicate to be recorded where it was: in a dark & cold basement of an old house on Hilltop in Tacoma. The world seemed to be attacking us with noise. There would be people walking on the floor above, and the ceiling would creak. A car would pass with subwoofers booming. Someone would get in the shower above us, and water would come surging down the pipes. Each thing tried to impose itself on the track. Waiting for quiet, I sat on a bench that used to belong to some woman with a supposed drug problem. It was a lovely bench. Very classy. All leather and fine finished wood. The mics were incredibly hot. If I shifted so much as an inch the mics picked it up, but we finally got the take.
The song was the last piece of work that night, so I got ready to leave for the evening. I said my goodbyes. Descending the stairs that led to the street, I froze as a SUV came barreling towards some poor bastard on the sidewalk. The SUV slammed on its breaks right next to the fellow. Out of the passenger side came some gentleman who aimed a gun across the car at the man on the sidewalk. I just stood there. The guy with the gun yelled something like, “Die, mother fucker!” and then everyone started laughing. Turns out it was a toy gun.
SEATTLE, WA (May 2, 2013 – 10:30 PM PDT) – Zombies are everywhere at Bumbershoot this year, roving the grounds as part of the Festival’s spectacle programming and popping up in its popular Words & Ideas series. They’ll also be performing as part of the musical lineup – albeit in the form of legendary power-pop band The Zombies.
That legacy act joins hometown heroes like Death Cab for Cutie (playing their seminal album Transatlanticism in its entirety) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Heart, Grammy-winning band fun., rising hip hop star Kendrick Lamar and breakthrough EDM act BASSNECTAR as one of 100-plus musical acts performing at the Seattle Center over Labor Day weekend.
Reflecting the diversity that the Festival cultivates under the umbrella “Art in the Great Northleft,” The Zombies and fellow ‘60s veteran Eric Burdon appear alongside buzzing artists like alt-J, Icona Pop, Deerhunter, and Delta Rae; alt-rock pioneers Bob Mould, The Breeders, Superchunk, and Redd Kross; the hard rocking Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Baroness; soul master Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires; vanguard synth-pop artist Gary Numan; crossover darlings Tegan and Sara; Seattle hip hop standouts Sol and The Physics; breakout rappers Watsky and Joey Bada$$; and Seattle’s own powerhouse soul singer Allen Stone – a Bumbershoot alumnus from 2011.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now in its 43rd year, Bumbershoot has continually distinguished itself by offering one of the most diverse and carefully curated musical lineups in the world, in addition to a full spectrum of arts programming that includes comedy, theatre, film, literary, visual arts, and spectacle elements.
This year, the Festival has partnered with local promoters USC Events and Trinity Nightclub to present an all-ages electronic stage at EMP’s Sky Church. The EDM at EMP stage will begin at 7pm each evening and features both local and national acts.
Confirmed musical acts are listed below by day. Single tickets (day-specific and flexible any-day versions) are now on sale. Additional programming for comedy, film and Youngershoot will be announced later this summer. (Announcement via Bumbershoot)
Saturday, August 31
Heart /Kendrick Lamar/ Crystal Castles/ Gary Numan/ Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience/ Maceo Parker/ !!!/ Icona Pop/ Joey Bada$$/ Washed Out/ Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires/ Thao + The Get Down Stay Down/ Robert Glasper Experiment/ Watsky/ ZZ Ward/ Diamond Rings/ The Physics/ Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside/ Lake Street Drive /Kris Orlowski/ Cookie Monsta/ Nacho Picasso/ Dannic/ Ernie Watts with New Stories/ Grynch/ Gus + Scout/ Hyperfunk/ Davidson Hart Kingsbery/ Total Experience Gospel Choir/ The Flavr Blue/ Sean Majors/ Dave B/ Human Spirit/ Matt Jorgensen +451/ Down North/ Tyler Brown
Sunday, September 1
Death Cab for Cutie plays Transatlanticism/ fun./ Tegan and Sara/ Matt and Kim/ The Breeders/ Ra Ra Riot/ Beats Antique/ Vintage Trouble/ The Zombies/ Vicci Martinez/ Eric Burdon/ Bob Mould/ David Bazan/ The Duke Robillard Band/ Mates of State/ Sol/ Charli XCX/ FIDLAR/ Tamaryn/ Nikki Hill/ Ramona Falls/ Matt Pond/ BRONCHO/ The Redwood Plan/ Ayron Jones & The Way/ The Grizzled Mighty/ Kithkin/ DJ White Shadow/ DJ Girl 6/ The Comettes/ River Giant/ Supreme LaRock/ GUY/ Rise Over Run/ DJ Phase
Monday, September 2
BASSNECTAR/ MGMT/ Allen Stone/ alt-J/ The Joy Formidable/ Trampled by Turtles/ Deerhunter/ Justin Townes Earle/ Kinky/ Baroness/ Delta Rae/ Superchunk/ Bajofondo/ Lissie/ Redd Kross/ The Men/ Ivan & Alyosha/ The Sheepdogs/ The Mowgli’s/ The Lone Bellow/ The Maldives/ Kopecky Family Band/ Aurelio/ BellaMaine/ St. Paul de Vence/ Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands/ Hot Bodies In Motion/ Red Jacket Mine/ Cascadia ‘10
Seismic Q&A With: Adra And Mike of Fly Moon Royalty 5/9 At Columbia City Theater With Theoretics and Hot Bodies in Motion
If you were given a Billboard on a major Highway, what would it say? Probably ” Ooo Ooo Ooo OOOOO… Get up in my kitchen!! -Fly Moon Royalty (.com)”
If you categorized your music as a movie genre, What genre and why? That’s hard… Adult, Mature, Adult Comedy, Action Thriller… New Cult Classic!!
What song do you wish you would have written? Personally, Florence and the Machine Bedroom Hymns, or Any of the Beck Song Reader… also, the classic Stevie records.
If you had one “power”, what would it be? The ability to turn anything into cheese.
If you were to title the most current album based on the overall process of making it, what would the title be? STANK FACE! (See Mikes face above)
Name a cartoon character you always wanted to be or admired, when growing up? Are you kidding? A definite tie between Storm and Cheetara!!! (Adraboo)
- Astroboy. (Mike)
Most bizarre thing thats ever happened to you?
-I don’t think is’t happened yet ( Adra Boo)
- Once, I watched a women “get off” on a metro bus. Yeah. Bizarre. (Mike)
Largest source of inspiration? LIFE.
The last 5 things you would like to do before “THE END”? Now now now… I can’t tell you all that, or I’d have to kill you!
Make sure you check out FLY MOON ROYALTY when they play a Gigs4Good to benefit One Day’s Wages-Clean Water Fund at the Columbia City Theater with Theoretics and Hot Bodies In Motion on May 9th. Get your tickets here!
London duo Cloud Boat is set to release a new album, Book of Hours, on May 28 with Apollo / R&S Records. Watch the video for “Youthern” at Clash now! Featuring Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke amidst stunning choreography fromChantelle Gotobed. Directed by You Ness.
Cloud Boat are slowly but surely carving out a distinctive path for themselves as purveyors of gorgeous, shattered-heart soul bar none. Their new double A-side single, “Youthern” / “Hammerspace” continues that journey, combining majestic, choral soundscapes with alluring, fractured beats to devastating effect, and is yet another reason why their forthcoming album Book of Hours is destined to be one of the most stunningly, exquisitely heart wrenching albums you’ll hear in 2013.
Cloud Boat have also been making rare live outings this year, pulling in captivated audiences in London, Manchester and Birmingham with their compellingly unique strain of electronica. There will be another chance to see the band in all their enthralling glory come May, when they play a special show at the Lexington with their equally ascendant labelmate Nadine Shah.