While the phrase “renaissance individual” gets tossed around freely these days, for Racquel Jones - a professional rapper and singer, a skilled painter, an accomplished model, and a poet, bestowing the term on her is not only authentic but well-earned.
For the past several years, Jones has been building her career through tireless performances as part of Thievery Corporation’s touring band, which has exposed her to tens of thousands of fans throughout Europe, South America and the US from coast to coast. As the star of the first single and video from their 2017 release, The Temple of I & I, the track "Letter to the Editor" introduced her unique singing/rapping style to their legions of fans and brought her a bonafide audience of her own around the world.
Throughout those years, her individual multi-faceted mediums of art have influenced each other, synergizing to sculpt a sound and vision completely her own. “To apply my visual art concepts to my musical creative process affords freedom and knowledge to an idea that is uniquely me,” says Jones.
"Sacrilege" available on Spotify now
Crafted with love in a basement studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trauna brings you a Psychedelic dream-like experience combined with the danceable rhythms of 70's R&B and honest lyricism. The duo, consisting of songwriter/instrumentalist couple Liz Freel and Connor Robertson (of indie rock band Leland Blue), released their debut single "Feel A Little" in the Fall of 2020.
The single layers airy vocals and dreamy instrumentals to create an effortless blend of funky alternative and evoking Indie-Pop that makes you question what matters in the scheme of life and what doesn't.
IG & Twitter: @traunatheband
Formed in 1992, Boris boldly explores their own vision of heavy music, where words like “explosive” and “thunderous” barely do justice. Using overpowering soundscapes embellished with copious amounts of lighting and billow smoke, Boris has shared with audiences across the planet an experience for all five senses in their concerts, earning legions of zealous fans along the way. Boris is Takeshi - Vocals, Bass & Guitar, Wata - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard, Accordion & Echo, Atsuo - Vocals, Drums, Percussion & Electronics. Boris has released more than twenty studio albums on various labels around the world, as well as a wide variety of live albums, compilations, EPs, singles, and collaborative albums.
Micaela Rebelo recently spoke with Boris during the anticipation of their latest re-issue releases, Absolutego and Amplifier Worship [out now].
Micaela: What does this remaster / release mean to you guys and is there anything particular you want your audience to take away from it?
Takeshi: Absolutego was our first single, Amplifier Worship was our first album, so both works are markers for the beginning of our careers, and hold important meanings. At the time when we made these works, we lacked recording knowledge and skills, and we hadn’t focused as much on the process of mastering. The Absolutego that was previously released as a US version had a lowered pitch and with heavy mastering, so this time, the band was involved, and carefully remastered it based on the original work. It’s a completely new sound image, so we hope you listen to it.
In the past, we were only interested in constantly creating new work, but in recent years, we’ve realized that properly archiving our past work, and showing / having people listen to them is meaningful.
I hope that long-time fans and fans who’ve recently come to know Boris can both enjoy them.
Micaela: How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music before?
Takeshi: In one word, it could be described as “Heavy.” Within, as some examples, there’s beauty, the ugly, pleasure, pain, life and death… there’s various forms of “Heavy” included. When listening to Boris’ work, it’d be great if the listener themself can share the constantly updated “Heavy” with us by circling the various sensations and emotions that emerge within their minds.
M: When listening to Absolutego, I notice that there are many layers of sound and fury that all come together to create an almost hypnotic listening experience. Is this how you would describe the sound of Absolutego is this the experience you want your audience to have?
T: Playing or listening to heavy, slow songs at high volumes brings you an extraordinary experience. Your hearing reaches its limits and your eyes and skin quiver. Pleasure is born from the one riff that relentlessly repeats. It could be called paralysis. There's many things that you can also hear by not listening. I want you to enjoy each method of feeling, listening with your entire body and not just your ears.
M: You guys have been challenging the boundaries of heavy music since the 90’s, are there any current bands or trends in the scene that you are impressed / inspired by?
T: It’s not that we’ve been challenging - it just gets boring if you don’t constantly do new things. I feel inspiration from things that aren’t music. In fact, the situation we’ve been placed in (with the coronavirus) - we’ve been impacted by that as well. The way we continue to be creatively active, express ourselves, and keep updating our music can only be found from what we feel and experience.
M: What are you missing the most about touring? Is there any particular song you can’t wait to perform live again?
T: The motivation for our creativity comes from inputs we gain through touring. We gained power by sharing musical experiences and interacting with audiences from various countries. Now that we can’t do that, we continue to record, which is fun in other ways than touring is, but I feel like there’s emptiness somewhere in my heart. I want to play the latest work “NO” live. We want to have a show where we mosh along with the audience and get messed up, throw up all the frustration and stress we’ve felt up until this point, and when it’s over, we could laugh together.
M: If at all, how does the updated artwork of the album add to the release and what was the inspiration behind it?
T: This updated design was based on the original design. That version’s design leaned more towards the versions that had been distributed overseas.
But rather than keeping the design at the time, we updated it so it strengthened the universality.
There have been updates aesthetically and with knowledge we lacked, so it felt dishonest towards the listeners to release as is (as the original version).
Translated by Kasumi Billington
Absolutego is a trek over a staggering mountain of sound. The tension builds with wave after wave of massive feedback, drums leading into a crushing crescendo of full-band repetition and clarity before descending deeper until finally reaching a surreal divebomb purring drone finale. This song takes notes out of the Melvins playbook and pushes the sound to its absolute logical and visceral extreme. It sets a solid foundation for why Boris is considered to be one of the most important metal bands of the 21st century
Amplifier Worship is Boris’s most intense and unrelenting album to date. Not for the faint of heart, the group incorporates mythic Doom-drones, up-tempo Psych-Sludge and even a refreshing ribbit into their signature concoction of celestial and heavy music. Amplifier Worship is a critical chapter in the Boris canon. The album is a testament to the group's bullishness in pushing metal to its uncomfortable and unfamiliar edges. And it is also undoubtedly one of their best.
There was a time when it looked like Seahaven might never make music again, but today, the band has released their first full-length album in six years, Halo of Hurt via Pure Noise Records.
On the new record, lead vocalist Kyle Soto shares, "Halo Of Hurt has been a long time in the making and we feel it accurately reflects a lot of the emotions that were present between Reverie and now. This is the proper next installment in our catalog."
Halo of Hurt is a riveting new chapter for Seahaven in their ongoing evolution. Astral and eerie, moonlit and menacing, it reignites the magic dust that made Seahaven’s early 2010s run so special. It’s an adventurous rock album that urges you to grapple with your self doubt and innermost demons, then cast them into oblivion. “In Halo of Hurt, there’s some underlying anxiety from coming up short after 2014,” lead vocalist Kyle Soto admits. “I wanted to bring it back to the beginning of the band -- a revived version of our younger selves in my garage in 2009. No timelines, no pressure. No need to fit a certain mold.”
Seahaven completed the self-produced LP at the Omaha, Nebraska studio Another Recording Company in early 2020, mere days before much of the country found itself in indefinite lockdown. While the details of how Seahaven will be ultimately be able to perform Halo of Hurt to fans remain obscured, the band’s intent is anything but.
In September, Mamalarky announced their debut full length with the single "Schism Trek," a buoyant first cut from an album of "Indie Rock that summons an easy and pure joy" (NYLON), that Uproxx claimed "is definitely not a record to sleep on as the leaves turn and the fall sets in" in a feature timed to the album's announce. The band, who have recently re-located to Atlanta after stints in Austin and LA, have been the subject of a rare mid-pandemic buzz on the back of two one off singles for their new label Fire Talk (Dehd, Pure X, Corey Flood), "Fury" and May's "How To Say," earning early praise from outlets like NPR, Billboard, Bandcamp, The Grey Estates, Pond Magazine, Refinery29, Alt Citizen, and The Line of Best Fit. Today Mamalarky are sharing the album stand out "You Make Me Smile" following a premiere on Matt Wilkinson's Apple Music 1 show.
A change of pace from the punky edge of their earlier singles, "You Make Me Smile" brings Mamalarky's inventive and exploratory energies into a dreamier space, establishing a lilting groove before bursting into a kaleidoscope of layered electronics in its euphoric chorus.
Mamalarky's self-titled debut will be released on Fire Talk on November 20th. It is available for preorder here!
Los Angeles-based rock band, Frankie and The Studs, are unleashing their killer new single/video "(Not Your) Victim." The new single is out everywhere today via their newly inked deal with Australian label Punktured Media.
To put it simply, Frankie and The Studs rock like hell. They’re a mix of dirty converse, and messy black hair, slender hips and big kohl eyes, sexual tension and youthful verve. Already scoring opening slots for the iconic B-52’s, Billie Joe Armstrong’s The Longshot, and The Struts, Frankie and The Studs are defining rock n’ roll for a whole new generation of kids ready to smash culture to bits.
Frankie Clarke is the effervescent singer, songwriter, and guitarist who fronts the band, and with a prolific family history in the music and fashion industries, it’s hardly a surprise that she has star power coursing through her veins. As the daughter of Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, she took her first steps on a tour bus and was playing in a band by the age of eleven. An electric force with a badass stage presence, killer style, and a sophisticated musicality, Frankie is paving the path for a new era of rock chicks.
“’(Not Your) Victim’ is a song inspired by the inherent strength women possess. “Through the challenges of living in a patriarchal society, we can never have enough reminders of our innate superpowers as women," Frankie writes. "Women supporting women is a powerful force to be reckoned with and this song reminds us to do just that." Written by Frankie Clarke and Anthony Stasi, and produced by Paul Miner at Buzzbomb Studios CA, "(Not Your) Victim" makes a strong statement, lyrically and musically. - Via Tallulah Management
Images by Ben Cope
Rikki Valentina is known for her angelic vocals and melodic writing style. The Indie-Pop singer started gaining attention on her single "April Fool" which she wrote, composed, and produced herself. April Fool started to gain traction in the TikTok world and helped her build her slowly building fan base.
Rikki has been featured on playlists such as MADA's Indie Pop, Tunes Go Hard, Crack In The Road, Buzz Music, The Edge Of Indie Poptimism, Punch Block Baby, and Sleepy Wolf.
She has also been featured on blogs such as Voyage LA and Buzz Music Blog.
Rikki Valentina's new song, "Dollar $igns" strikes up the conversation we all fear to talk about.. and that's addiction. Social media addiction is a very serious issue which causes depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and etc.. Dollar $igns talks about being free and being who you really are. We all hide behind some sort of image we think is more likable, in fear of feeling accepted in this day and age.
Arianna May is a Los Angeles Photographer, specializing in editorial and concert photography. She is a full time freelance Artist.
"Los Angeles’ The Paranoyds continue their streak of reminiscent Sci-Fi boogie with “Memory Foam!" On this unearthed outtake from their Carnage Bargain recording session, the band ruminates on the tedium and loss of innocence that comes with adulthood. “Memory Foam” is a playful track with a rhythm that encourages you to do a dance and evoke the spirits to ward off all the guys without jobs still living off of their parents." Via riotactmedia.com
“Memory Foam is a playful track for us, about the loss of innocence and transition into adulthood, about both the pride and sadness that can come from making an “adult” purchase.” – The Paranoyds
Photo by Renee Parkhurst
THE PARANOYDS SXSW 2020 SCHEDULE:
Desert Daze at Hotel Vegas - 5:45pm
Third Man Records at Volcom Garden - 2:50pm
Levitation at Hotel Vegas - 11:25pm
The Grey Estates at Hole in the Wall - 2:10pm
Vans at Barracuda
Thrasher at Better Half - 2:15pm
Burgermania at Hotel Vegas - 4:15pm
Siren Sounds/Har Mar Superstar at Cheer Up Charlie’s - 10:00pm
EUROPEAN SPRING TOUR
4/22 Berlin, DE, @ Urban Spree
4/23 Hamburg, DE, @ Molotow Skybar
4/25 Le Havre, FR, Musee D’Histoire Naturelle
4/27 Antwerp, BE, Cabron
4/28 Paris, FR, Espace B
4/29 Lyon, FR, Le Sonic
4/30 Luzern, CH, Neubad-Keller
5/02 London, UK, Shacklewell Arms
5/30 Riverside, CA @ MTL Concert Venue & Lounge
KiNG MALA is an alternative trio from Los Angeles. A soulful blend of Alternative Rock and sultry vocals, KiNG MALA takes an unlikely combination of influences and turns it into an emotional release. With ripping Blues influenced guitar, drummer Drew Esselstromm and a classically trained soul vocalist and bassist Areli Castro, the band uses their precision, and lack there of to deliver the cascading stories of heartbreak, redemption and trying to fill the shoes life hands you. We are happy to announce that KiNG MALA's brand new single is available now for your listening pleasure and are grateful they're sharing their brand new and electrifying single, Shadows with us.
"When I wrote this song, I had been feeling this weird pressure to post everything I'm doing, front for the gram and convince everyone I'm 'coming up'. You know, the classic studio pic on the story with a ?, the 'yall aint ready' tweet. Classic bullshit. So I wrote a song about working underground, keeping your moves to yourself, then coming out when you actually have something to show for it. There is something to be said for the people that work in the on themselves and don't have to prove it. This song is about working hard, surpassing people's expectations, and trying to make something you are proud of while overcoming the fear of putting yourself out there."
IG + Twitter: @kingmalamusic
TK Taylor is a multimedia artist and photographer in Portland, OR. They are drawn to intense performers and intimate venues where the artists truly connect with their listeners. Influenced by bold colors, raw emotion and candid personalities, they strive to capture the humanity of the moment. TK may be a rookie in the concert photography world, but they aren’t wasting any time waiting for opportunities to come along - they take the shots.
Cohort, Without Words, Kali Flanagan and WolfWoodcock At Pinstriped Zine's 3rd Anniversary @ The Smell by Arianna May
Joslin Keim is a student and aspiring Journalist currently studying at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA. When not doing homework, she can often be found attending concerts, searching for the perfect local, independent coffee shop, or working to dismantle the patriarchy.
TK Taylor is a multimedia artist and photographer in Portland OR. They are drawn to intense performers and intimate venues where the artists truly connect with their listeners. Influenced by bold colors, raw emotion and candid personalities, they strive to capture the humanity of the moment. TK may be a rookie in the concert photography world, but they aren’t wasting any time waiting for opportunities to come along - they take the shots.
Sabrina is Not in This Chat
(Sandy) ALex G
IG: @ chilytony
IG: @ chilytony
"Brutus blew me away, their new album "Nest" is explosive start to finish. Every time I listen to Django, I'm transported back to the intense yet melodic energy of their live show." - Shelby