Lila Rose – We.Animals. | April 20th – Lila Rose Music
Grumbling synths, the hulking death-waltz of percussion and electro-gothic strings all align to create something beautifully harrowing. – The Line of Best Fit
The Toronto-born, California-based singer-songwriter has grown up with two great passions in her life: music, and an interest in protecting our planet and the millions of creatures big and small that call it home. But with those loves have come pains as well. She was born with a form of hyperacusis, a sensitivity that makes some natural sounds unbearable, and some music even more intense to listen to. Too, there was the seeming indifference of a great many people to the plight of our environment.
Rose has already found a way to push back against her discomfort with sound to make some beautiful and challenging music. But she has long wanted to use that same fighting spirit to dare us humans to be better stewards of our planet with an album that vents her frustration and expresses her affection. What she wasn’t sure of was whether she could, which is why she sought the services of a clairvoyant, seeking the answer to whether it was time to bring this album to life.
“She said, ‘No, you have another album in you before the animal album,’” remembers Rose. “Well…she was wrong.”
It’s a tidy metaphor for Rose’s drive to make WE.ANIMALS. in the first place: rather than listen to the voice of a human, she decided to listen to the cries of our home planet and the countless number of animal species that are endangered or extinct due to mans’ mistreatment and disregard. And what came out as a result are 11 songs which matche her dismay and distress with music that is loud, brash, and unavoidable.
Recorded at both a small studio in the woods outside Santa Cruz and at world famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, WE.ANIMALS. uses the music to reflect its thematic concerns as well. Rose and her producer/bandmate Daniel Garcia moved away from the electronic-based sound that marked her acclaimed 2012 albumHeart Machine, using mostly live instrumentation to complement the tone of the lyrics.
“Daniel helped me understand that I had some dark rock in my soul,” Rose says. “He definitely brought that out in me. That dark organic weird heavy sound like Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Radiohead. We also definitely wanted to hold instruments in our hands as opposed to sitting in front of a computer.”
There are plenty of electronic elements – the thrumming drone of synths and some programmed beats – threaded throughout WE.ANIMALS. but what you’ll hear foremost are those big booming drums, the horns and strings, and Rose’s versatile, impassioned vocals.
Of course, Rose has been getting attention for her pointed lyrics and stirring voice since she started making music back in Toronto in the late ‘00s. But the majority of the raves have come since she relocated to California. It’s there that she was able to record her first EP (Osmos Your Sonica) and Heart Machine, as well as being named Best Bay Area Musician in 2014 by the East Bay Express.
As great as all this attention has been, Rose has bigger aims in mind, especially when WE.ANIMALS. is brought into the world this spring, and she is able to bring them to audiences on her upcoming tour, which kicks off in May.
“I want people to see the interconnectedness of all life,” she says. “I want the music to allow people to feel the expansiveness of their emotions, and to feel passionate and angry and inspired to make change in our lives for the greater scope of things.”
“clinical yet inviting, synth-pop tinged with a hard metallic edge and a sci-fi gaze” Clash
Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer Dom Morley presents his debut single, ‘In and Out’, under the moniker of V Pages, set for release on 13th April 2015.
Featuring the vocals of producer and singer Saint Saviour (Becky Jones), of Groove Armada fame, the track is an atmospheric and uplifting slice of electronica that allows her delicate timbre to shine through. Morley previously collaborated with Saint Saviour on her debut album – producing the track ‘Fallen Trees’, which was well-received in publications such as The Quietus and The Line of Best Fit.
A product that stemmed from his desire to recapture the feeling of hearing The Verve’s debut ‘Storm in Heaven’ for the first time, ‘In and Out’ is brimming with spacey synths and ethereal harmonies that are complemented by a dream-like accompanying video, soon to be revealed.
Dom says: “I wanted to hear something new that made me feel like ‘Storm In Heaven’. Unable to find it, I decided “it’s time to make my own record.””
Inspired in name by Victoria Page, a character from the 1948 film ‘The Red Shoes’, V Pages (actually pronounced ‘Five Pages’) draws inspiration in sound from M83,Chvrches, Smashing Pumpkins’ first album, and Alessandro Cortini (a touring member of Nine Inch Nails).
Morley’s credentials can’t be doubted: as a producer and engineer, he has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, The Police, Scott Walker and Mark Ronson, as well as with Amy Winehouse on ‘Back to Black’ – for which he was awarded his Grammy.
As well as working on a full album as V Pages, Morley also has collaborations in the pipeline with Solomon Grey, whose album ‘Selected Works’ was released last month, andINK, the electro-pop baby of Colin MacIntyre (of The Reindeer Section and Mull Historical Society fame), who Morley regularly produces tracks for. Already celebrated in his field and now set to make new waves, Morley’s talents seemingly know no bounds.
LISTEN TO NEW DU BLONDE TRACK ‘MIND IS ON MY MIND’ FEATURING FUTURE ISLANDS’ SAMUEL T HERRING
TAKEN FROM THE NEW ALBUM ‘WELCOME BACK TO MILK’ OUT ON 18 MAY 2015 ON MUTE
JUNE UK TOUR INCLUDES 100 CLUB ON 4 JUNE
Photo by David Chavennes
Du Blonde has unveiled the latest track to be taken from her forthcoming album, Welcome Back To Milk, out on 18 May.
Listen to Mind Is On My Mind, featuring Samuel T Herring (Future Islands) here: http://po.st/DuBlondeMIOMMSC
Du Blonde explains, “I wrote ‘Mind Is On My Mind’ on the back of a motorbike riding down the Pacific Coast Highway in LA and had to remember it all the way from Topanga to Malibu. I was interested at the time in writing songs with no repeating sections, but rather a succession of acts. A couple of months later, Sam and I took a trip out to the desert and came back to LA to make some music. I played him the track and he got in the booth and ad-libbed his lyrics over the instrumentation. He was done in like one or two takes. When I was back in London I’d become obsessed with these Middle Eastern and Greek guitar scales and I added the lead guitar in the outro as a contrast to Sam’s vocals.”
Du Blonde is not a persona or a character, it’s Beth Jeans Houghton ripping it up and starting again. Welcome Back To Milk is the Newcastle-born and sometimes Californian based singer’s second album, but her debut as Du Blonde, and it’s a complete reinvention: new name, new sound, new band, new attitude – and attitude is the key word.
Where 2012’s debut Yours Truly Cellophane Nose threw everything at a song, Welcome Back To Milk strips everything back and is one massive release of pent up aggression, captured perfectly by producer and Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos. Heavy riffs, loud drums and vocal snarls contrast beautifully with poignant balladry and tenderness that fans of Houghton’s previous work will recognise.
DU BLONDE – UK TOUR
3 Jun – BRIGHTON GREEN DOOR STORE – http://po.st/DuBlondeBton
4 Jun – LONDON 100 CLUB – http://po.st/DuBlondeLondon
5 Jun – LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB – http://po.st/DuBlondeLeeds
6 Jun – BRISTOL LOUISIANA – http://po.st/DuBlondeBristol
7 Jun – NOTTINGHAM THE BODEGA – http://po.st/DuBlondeNHMan
9 Jun – MANCHESTER DEAF INSTITUTE – http://po.st/DuBlondeNHMan
10 Jun – GLASGOW BROADCAST – http://po.st/DuBlondeGlas
11 Jun – NEWCASTLE THE CLUNY – http://po.st/DuBlondeNC
24 Jul – THIRSK, DEER SHED FESTIVAL – http://po.st/DuBlondeDeerShedFest
Tickets for all shows are on sale now.
Welcome Back To Milk is released 18 May on vinyl, CD, download and cassette. Special pre-order packages are available which include signed copies, various different artworks and Beth will even design you a tattoo for you if you want. Full list here:http://po.st/DuBlondeStore
Listen to My Mind Is On My Mind here:
- Radkey Return With Brand New Track
- Lila Rose Releases New Album This Month
- Quiet Lions To Release New No Illusions EP
- V Pages Deliver Debut Single
- Du Blonde Unveil New Track With Samuel T Herring (Future Islands)
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