Last month The Horrors unveiled “So Now You Know”, the lead single from their ‘weirder, wilder and more colourful’ fourth album ‘Luminous‘, out May 5th. The track is an otherworldly widescreen affair with the commanding vocals of Faris Badwan leading the way.
The ‘So Now You Know’ video is a short surreal film about the loneliness of teenage life, and the world we create with our friends at that age.
Filmed on the outskirts of LA in an empty desert town which matches the hazy synths of the track in question, the treatment weaves between multiple protagonists each experiencing a moment of realisation about their life, discovering a beauty in the mundane world and expressing this through interpretive dance. Faris also features in the video.
When heading into Texas for the hipster conference (and now geek) known as SXSW in Austin, for the first time. I had a list of shows to go see and no badge in hand. I was told from quite a few veterans that a badge wasn’t needed, and indeed they were right, but there are so many shows going on, thats its virtually impossible for a music lover like me to make it from one venue to the next in a timely manner. Sure I could stay at Fader Fort, or Hype Hotel, Spotify, or the Van’s stage all day, but I was there to see the smaller bands, and that was my goal. Yes I did see a couple bands I had never seen like at the Hype party, such as Sylvan Esso, or Coin at TastemakerX. But the one goal I had was to try and snap head-shots of some of those performers that I was lucky enough to see. I want to thank all the artists who gave me a bit of their time. I hope this will be ongoing.
Christopher Prudhomme (Painted Palms)
Chris Michael (Guantanamo Baywatch)
Steve Sparrow (Morning Parade)
Amelia Randall Meath (Sylvan Esso)
Ryan Granger & Whitney Petty (Grizzled Mighty)
Cameron Crowe (Audacity)
Kyle Peters (The Pass)
Casey Call (Enemy Planes)
PJ Wolf (Thief)
Josh Von Mink (Step Rockets)
Emily Nokes (TacoCat)
Chase Lawrence (Coin)
Born under a cloudless Californian sky and bled into leftover tape, Wunder Wunder is the rolling amnesia of a Los Angeles summer, the deathless West Coast, and drinking in the dreams of its young. The debut creation of Melbourne producers Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant, Everything Infinite is an album that captures lost moments spent in the pair’s adopted city of LA and a unique exploration of their unspent ideas.
“Los Angeles is a dreamy place, almost surreal,” notes Shanahan, of the duo’s drastic decision to uproot nearly 8000 miles from their native Australia. “It has continuous unspoilt skies and pastel sunsets, a backdrop of palm trees, and interesting people and houses stemming from many backgrounds in a wash of variety.”
Viewed through the windows on all three sides of the duo’s lofty home studio, endless sunshine and idyllic views of the surrounding Hollywood hills and a silhouetted horizon offered the perfect setting for Everything Infinite’s recordings to take place. “We even have visits from our little hummingbird friends which makes the space a very vibing area to create,” they say, “instead of being locked in a dungeon like studio”. Much like Wunder Wunder’s own summit observatory onto the world, the pair’s relocation offered a unique perspective from which to explore new musical styles and artistic methods by shifting from the ‘indietronica’ sound of their previous Miami Horror project and focusing their attention towards skilled song writing and content.
“You’re a product of your surroundings,” admits Shanahan, whose new dwellings offered the pair a chance to indulge in some quality time with Mother Nature. During the recording process meditation, hikes in the hills and listening to audio books all provided clarity in mind paving the way for Everything Infinite’s distinct themes; nostalgia, beauty, and universal connection. “Wunder Wunder feels like being reborn – we have learnt a lot during the making of this record,” they say.
Recalling the innocence of moments when you were a kid ‘Summers Day’, growing up as a teenager and spending a special time with that certain someone ‘Midnight Hours’, the vapour of childhood memories ‘Coastline’ or dreaming of a place where everything will be alright ‘Dreams of the Fall’, each song touches on the ease of romanticising situations and having sentimental moments. “It almost reminds me of how shows like ‘The Wonder Years’ or the movie ‘Stand By Me’ reflect on special times. It’s important to remember the positive things in life, especially when the world can seem grim,” explains Shanahan.
Whether you put it down to the West Coast’s elevated vitamin D levels or a more positive outlook, it’s clear that Wunder Wunder are karma chameleons blending seamlessly into their new habitat. ‘Midnight Hours’ offers a smooth dose of cool Cliff Martinez night-time retro nostalgia, ‘Trouble in Utopia’ sounds like an Animal Collective and Temples exchanging their own campfire stories, and the album’s big pop moment comes via ‘Hail The Madmen’s funky Prince-like groove. Melding swaying, dappled guitars, rasping layers of harmony, dreamy delays and a warm tangle of vintage synthesizers and drums, Everything Infinite is a brilliantly executed concoction of mellow 70s lo-fi chords, the sonic and progressive sounds of 60s psychedelia, a distillation of sun-bleached yearning and the undulating 90s pop sounds of Shanahan’s teenage years; each track its own kaleidoscopic motif that tessellates and reflects light like a shower of sun-kissed sequins.
“Wunder Wunder is a project of positivity, dreaming, exploration and connection,” they clarify. “We want people to feel something uplifting from what we do. Whether it’s a backdrop for happy memories on a road trip or another nostalgic occasion it’d be great to be part of those moments in people’s lives.”
Do you remember what influenced you to start a band?
In 6th grade, there was this group of kids who said they had a band and all this bull shit. They had a free webpage with a bunch of mumbo jumbo about the supposed shows they were playing and all these songs that they had. They were full of it and it just pissed me off. I was just starting to play guitar and knew that they didn’t know the first thing about it so I started claiming I was in a band, as well. Not long after that I started playing with a different group of kids and all we’d do was play Hotel California (not very well), but it was the shit. Started climbing the ladder from there..
And let’s get a cliche question out of the way. Why “Made Violent”?
The joke is are we made good or made violent? We’re really just a bunch of pussies at the end of the day.
If people were to ask you what you sounded like, what would it be? I certainly seem to hear some Strokes in your music.
Everyone loves to say it sounds like something else… There are definitely bands that have inspired the way we think and write songs, but at the end of the day it is still our own sound. That’s how I look it when it’s all said and done. I tell people it’s guitar music. Rock and roll. Fuck anyone who says it’s dead. Not true.
The idea behind the “Dirty” video, can you explain the concept?
The song is a sarcastic look at our inner desires and the video piggy backs on that idea. It’s just human nature to want to do bad things. It sounds way deeper than it is, but the video is supposed to represent that idea that everything is tainted; everything in it’s own way is “Dirty”. Including you.
Is this a part of the creative process that you enjoy? or just a necessary evil?
I don’t know why it would ever be a necessary evil..? Video allows you to peel back another layer that you wouldn’t stumble upon by just listening to it. It’s definitely not a necessary evil; it makes it easier for the listener to see our thought process and connect with us.
Is there a certain bands videos that you admire?
FIDLAR has a video of Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson) pissing on everything, that’s pretty funny. The new Cage the Elephant video was really heady, as well.
So where from here? EP? LP? tour?
Tour Tour Tour Tour Tour. We have plenty more music to release as time goes on but the biggest thing for us is playing shows and getting to everyone who has been waiting to see us. Dates are being booked for late spring and summer so be on the lookout for that.
Have you done any extensive touring in the past?
We did a full east coast run this past June. We did some regional stuff this winter. To be honest, the ball just started rolling for us so there’s a lot more to come.
Ultimate indulgence for you guys in the game of rock and roll? The truth! Why get into it? Can’t just be for arts sake. What worldly spoils do you look forward too?
The obvious reasons… I want to party a bit and see the world yada yada. The genuine soft boy reason is we just want to give whatever’s to be made back to our family and friends. They’ve given us everything so it would be mad to just keep it all to ourselves.
“NYC’s Skaters have ably thrashed their way from the sweat-soaked moshpits of FUZZ into the national spotlight over the past 18 months, and new single “Miss Teen Massachusetts” is arguably their best offering to date.” Said the outlet upon the remix’s release. “Enter Magic Man, who weave gold into gold as they lend their silky remix touch to the Skaters original…It’s like Mr. Brightside on MDMA as Magic Man whip ‘Miss Teen’ into a hormone-crazed frenzy.”
With the release of debut album Manhattan in the not to distant pass, the band has played their NYC Record Release Show at Bowery Ballroom, then took off for a handful of dates in the UK. SKATERS just did a run at SXSW and are ensuing a bi-coastal spring headlining tour featuring Team Spirit. For a full list of upcoming dates, see below.
03/19 Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
03/20 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
03/21 Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
03/22 Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
03/25 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
03/26 Czar Bar – Kansas City, MO
03/27 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
03/28 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
03/29 CD101 Show – Columbus, OH
03/31 Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
04/01 Revival Room – Cincinnati, OH
04/02 Altar Bar – Pittsburg, PA
04/03 Rock and Roll – Washington, DC
04/04 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
Inspired heavily by science fiction and an obsession with old photography books, The Mary Onettes release the grand Portico: on March 4. If their two first albums were dramas, last year’s Hit The Waves was an adventure film then Portico: is their own space odyssey.
Those who waited four years from Islands ’til the follow up, Hit The Waves from last year probably didn’t expect a new album so soon, even if it’s a rather short one. But The Mary Onettes are in a creative flow, unafraid to change.
“I’m in love with the idea of a constant flow of albums where you never know what’s going to come next. The Mary Onettes move in that direction. Next album could be an ambient CD box or a 7″ with two jangly pop tunes,” says singer Philip. “It’s a part of the longing to escape myself and dive into a void and the unknown.”
“Besides this little space crush, this year has also been a lot about photographs. Endless pages in photo books has been a major influence for us. The pictures have served as portals into colors and emotions. I even sleep with the books in my bed”says Ekström.
The Mary Onettes are doing their first US tour in six years in March. Both volcanos and flight anxiety have stopped them past attempts to cross the Atlantic. This time it’s really happening.
March 3 – Montreal, QC @ Under The Snow Festival
March 5 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
March 6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
March 7 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
March 8 – Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover
March 10th – Baton Rouge, LA @ Venue: Mud and Water
March 11 – 16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 17 – Scottsdale, AZ @ The Western
March 18 – San Diego, CA @ Bootleg Theathre
March 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ BoMarch 21 – San Francisco, CA @ Neck of The Woods