ARTIST: HANNAH SCHNEIDER
ALBUM: RED LINES
RELEASE: LOJINX (UK) SONY (DK) – October 27th 2014
“Getting in way over my head is the best thing I know. And the worst.”
Melody fanatic Hannah Schneider isn’t just the result of a colourful family history. She’s also driven by almost frightening courage – from the time she broke with her internationally renowned family’s classical traditions, until she decided to take the stage as a woman alone with a pile of instruments. But she’s also endowed with the delicate soul of an artist. Now, on her third album, she brings all the contrasting threads together for the first time – and that has set her and her music free.
Over and over, people ask Hannah Schneider where she’s from. The short answer is “Denmark”. The longer one is that her grandfather was famed violinist Alexander Schneider, a member of the celebrated Budapest String Quartet. He had Russian-Jewish roots, and the family’s name had been Znaider before they adopted the German spelling to make it easier for them to cross borders.
Alexander found himself in the United States in the 1930s and had a son there, but he was known to have a “woman in every port”, including one who bore him a daughter in Copenhagen. When Alexander’s American son visited his half-sister, he fell in love with her bohemian lifestyle and decided to remain in Denmark. He met a Danish violinist, and the couple had a daughter – Hannah Schneider. As you might expect, Hannah inherited a bit of everything from her family – the street performer’s free thinking, the artist’s sensitivity, a Russian temperament and a good dose of American ingenuity.
“It’s been a huge conflict, and I’ve always been extremely sensitive. I let everything in the room affect me, but I’m not, like, this nice little quiet girl. I’m incredibly temperamental and I’ll go home and smash things. And when it comes to music, I’m always making all these drastic decisions,” she says.
The contrasts inevitably find their way into Hannah’s songs and the way she approaches her career. It all began with a break – a break with her family’s proud classical music traditions. She describes herself as born in the orchestra pit at the Royal Danish Theatre, where her mother was a violinist. Her earliest musical memories are the sound of the violin, but she was seized by the rhythm when she first heard “Lambada” years later. She also toyed around with a keyboard in her room, and discovered it was more fun to write her own songs than to interpret others’. Gradually, she began to give shape to her own type of gauzy electronic pop music.
Hannah’s ability to take her own path musically was first showcased in a project called “Window Sessions”, where she and special guest artists performed songs in her apartment, recorded them, and released the recordings. More recently, a tour where she appeared completely alone on stage earned her a lot of respect for the courage she showed in getting up and singing and playing all the instruments herself. What people didn’t know was that she was lying awake at night, terrified of having to put her latest musical path into practice. But these are contrasts she has to live with, and that actually drive her onward.
“Getting in way over my head is the best thing I know. And the worst,” she says.
On her new album “Red Lines”, Hannah is fully aware for the first time that she’s always balancing between extremes. This realization has given her songs a new sense of clarity and optimism. She’s also investigating – to highlight the contrasts again – more masculine sounds. Her two co-producers, Andreas “The Machine” Summer and Lasse Baunkilde, have pushed her to go places she’d never been, particularly with beats and bass. But the main thrust of her writing is still the same:
“I’m a total melody fanatic. I have favourite songs in every genre, from Robyn’s “Do You Really Love Me” to Joni Mitchells “A Case of You”. A good melody does the right thing at the right time. You have to be able to cover a whole landscape in three or four minutes. Every time a verse finishes, there’s got to be a little lift,” she explains.
Hannah’s own melodies were composed during stays in different cities and in a little rundown shed in the middle of nowhere. A song like “Everything” embraces quite a bit of the theme that pervades the album. It’s a song about “spring cleaning” gloomy moods away, so you can see that good things lie ahead. “Dreaming Kind” was conceived as a battle cry for sensitive dreamers. And the summery single “Life Is Easy” is about the moment you start to trust in your own life.
“This record is about the glimpse you get of yourself when you can observe yourself from the outside. You know, I’m done with navel-gazing. All I want to do now is just open up,” Hannah explains.
Not that she’s reached the end of the line. Or that she’s now on completely firm ground. She’s got too much classical music in her blood for that. In classical music, you never stop improving and growing.
“If there’s anything that annoys me, it’s this idea that pop musicians – especially women – have a certain limited time to shine. After that, you sit around writing about the kids. I plan to keep on finding my way and getting better and better at writing songs. Being a musician is a life-long project. It’s with you from the minute you’re born to the day you die,” she concludes.
Red Lines will be released on CD, digital & vinyl on the 27th of October on Lojinx in the UK.
To date J Mascis is perhaps best known as frontman of abrasive alternative rockers Dinosaur Jr, who alongside the likes of Sebadoh and Pavement helped shape the alternative rock sound of the 90′s, however with the release of the dazzling, mainly acoustic solo album, Tied To A Star that could all be about to change.
J Mascis has stripped everything down to reveal a stunning alternative folk element, whilst still managing to appeal to his previous fan-base with the occasional burst of electric guitar, compelling lyrics and mesmeric song structures.
Me Again opens proceedings and instantly sets out the albums intentions, acoustic guitar blends with delicate piano and a beautiful vocal croon that at times hits a wondrous falsetto, hinting at a previous unheard vocal range. Every Morning follows with a pacy acoustic strum and the odd burst of electric guitar, a gorgeous vocal hook and an instantly memorable melody that’ll have you feet tapping from the opening spin. Heal The Star has a world weary vocal, a hint of feedback and a brilliant, middle section of plucked guitar and pattered percussion that live you could imagine turning into a wonderful elongated jam.
Wide Awake features a rather understated, yet welcome appearance by Chan Marshall (Cat Power) on harmonies, whilst Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus) on piano further peppers the track with a subtle accompaniment.
Other highlights include the shimmering, majestic And Then with again a delightful combination of guitar (both acoustic and electric), piano and bewitching vocal harmonies between J Mascis and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and the acoustic (more that pattered percussion) dessert blues instrumental of Drifter, where Mascis really lets loose on that six string of his.
Tied To A Star could be the beginning of a new and exciting phase of the career of J Mascis, the stripped down, acoustic nature really seems to suit J Mascis, the songs seem to have space to breathe and blossom, whilst his voice has never sounded better.
I could continue to try to convey just how impressive this majestic ten-track affair truly is but I’m fast running out of superlatives, plus I should leave something for you to discover, but I shall sum up by saying whether you like alternative rock, indie, folk or whatever I truly can’t recommend this album enough, like music love J Mascis.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 10
ELLIOTT BROOD TO RELEASE ‘WORK AND LOVE’, THE FOLLOW-UP TO THEIR JUNO AWARD-WINNING ALBUM ‘DAYS INTO YEARS’
‘Work and Love’ be released 21st October 2014 via Paper Bag Records
http://elliottbrood.ca // https://www.facebook.com/ElliottBROOD
On 21st October 2014, Toronto trio Elliott BROOD will release their highly anticipated new album, ‘Work and Love’ (Paper Bag Records), the album is the follow-up to ‘Days Into Years,’ which won a Juno Award in 2013 for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. For ‘Work and Love,’ Elliott BROOD withdrew to a farmhouse in Bath, Ontario where they recorded nine songs in two weeks with producer Ian Blurton (The Weakerthans, Amy Millan) – their first time working with an outside producer. The result is their most personal and urgent album to date, with rock influences that nod as much to Neil Young & Crazy Corse, as much as Richard Buckner and Whiskeytown.
Seattle radio giant, KEXP recently premiered “Jigsaw Heart,” the first new song ‘Work and Love,’ calling it the bands “most adventurous album to date”
On ‘Work and Love,’ Elliott BROOD’s two songwriters Casey Laforet and Mark Sasso decided to mine the bare histories of their own lives: penning verses about the ends of relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror. ‘Work and Love’ also serves as a eulogy for the moments on the doorstep of manhood: first loves, lost loves, and young men’s just desserts.
Select tracks on the album feature Aaron Goldstein (City and Colour) on pedal steel and John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer) on bass. ‘Work and Love’ is Elliott BROOD at their sheerest, facing forward and backward at the same time.
Elliott BROOD have confirmed pre-release shows at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall on 17th September 2014, D.C’s Black Cat Backstage on 18th September 2014, and the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion in Bristol, TN on 20-21st September 2014 (full schedule below). More dates will soon be announced.
Elliott BROOD are:
• Casey Laforet (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass pedals, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, lap steel, vocals)
• Mark Sasso (banjo, guitar, harmonica, vocals)
• Stephen Pitkin (percussion, drums, piano, vocals)
1. Little Ones
2. Nothing Left
5. Mission Bell
6. Jigsaw Heart
7. Each Other’s Kids
8. Better Times
9. End of the Day
Elliott BROOD Tour Dates:
23/08/2014 – Elora, ON @ Riverfest Elora
23/08/2014 – Dundas, ON @ The Greenbelt Harvest Picnic
30/08/2014 – St. John’s, NL @ Harbourage Music Festival
31/08/2014 – Sun Peaks, BC @ Sun Peaks Summer Concert Stage
17/09/2014 – New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
18/09/2014 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage
20/09/2014 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
21/09/2014 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
25/10/2014 – Bilbao (ESP) @ Sala Azkena
27/10/2014 – Madrid (ESP) @ Boite
28/10/2014 – Barcelona (ESP) @ Rocksound
29/10/2014 – Valencia (ESP) @ Loco Club
31/10/2014 – Jerez (ESP) @ Serie Z Festival
04/11/2014 – Hamburg (DE) @ Astra Stube
07/11/2014 – Suffolk (UK) @ The Bank Eye
12/11/2014 – Deventer (NL) @ Burgerweeshuis
13/11/2014 – Amsterdam (NL) @ Paradiso
14/11/2014 – Borger (NL) @ VanSlag
15/11/2014 – Ottersum (NL) @ Roepean
VON HERTZEN BROTHERS SET TO WORK ON STUDIO ALBUM NUMBER SIX WITH “TOP-OF-THE-LINE” TEAM!
Von Hertzen Brothers, will release their sixth studio album early next year via Spinefarm Records.
Following the outstanding critical acclaim afforded their last full-length release, ‘Nine Lives’ (2013), the brothers – Mikko, Kie& Jonne Von Hertzen – are now back in the studio doing pre-production, this time with Grammy-nominated Canadian producer Garth ‘GGGarth’ Richardson (Biffy Clyro, Atreyu, Rage Against The Machine, etc.), plus regular drummer Mikko Kaakkuriniemi and keyboard player Juha Kuoppala.
Once pre-production is complete, VHB will head across to Canada where recording will start in September; the studio chosen for the task at hand is The Farm (owned and operated by Richardson) in Vancouver – previously the world-renowned Little Mountain Sound Studio, past home to acts such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica and The Cult.
Mixing, meanwhile, is set to be handled by Canadian Randy Staub, a Juno Awards-winner whose previous credits include some of the biggest names in rock and metal, the likes of Metallica, Alice In Chains, etc…
Says Garth: “Working with Von Hertzen Brothers is a dream come true. Besides being the coolest people on the planet, they are one of the hardest working bands I know. This is a record that will be on everyone’s iPod, phone and turntable. Turn it up loud and get ready to rock. They are going to tear it up!”
Mikko Von Hertzen adds: “For the past five years, we’ve been working hard on building an international set up, and now, with our sixth album on the way, the collective feeling is that we need to up it a gear and just go for it! From the outset, the idea was to find a producer who knows his stuff, is experienced, has a vision, and thus something concrete to offer our music. With Garth, things clicked from the first meeting, and what was really encouraging was his enthusiasm for our new material. Of course, we’re really looking forward to recording in a studio like The Farm – there’s legendary vibes in that place! But it’s even more thrilling to create our music with a top-of-the-line team. Randy Staub is another world class pro who needs no introducing. The work of Randy & Garth simply speaks for itself!”
Further details of this forthcoming record will be revealed in due course.
ELECTRIC WIZARD REVEAL BRAND NEW TRACK, ‘SADIOWITCH’
HEADLINE UK SHOW ANNOUNCED FOR OCTOBER 23RD IN MANCHESTER
ELECTRIC FUCKIN’ WIZARD have revealed a second track from their forthcoming full-length album, ‘TIME TO DIE’, set for release via Spinefarm Records on September 29th.
Titled ‘SadioWitch’ and featuring the line ‘the black drug took my soul away’, the song will be accompanied by a video, currently being edited. Little is known about the clip, although it is believed to feature (encouragingly) both ‘nudity’ & ‘explosions’.
“Sadiowitch is about death by lust and indulgence. As life becomes disillusioning it is reassuring to turn to ‘lifes luxuries’…sex and drugs. But, of course, over indulgence leads to emaciation, weakness and death. The song is short and sweet just like this particular form of death. There are many choices but only one outcome. Choose wisely…” – Jus Oborn
A limited edition 7” version of ‘SadioWitch’ is also being planned, with a previously unreleased piece of music on the B-side.
‘TIME TO DIE’ is the eighth full-length offering from the masters of aural punishment, and their first album release since signing a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records.
Listen to ‘Sadiowitch’ here: https://soundcloud.com/spinefarmrecords/electric-wizard-sadiowitch
A UK headline show has been announced for October 23rd at The Ritz in Manchester.
Tickets are available here: http://www.seetickets.com/event/electric-wizard/the-ritz/808239
A full supporting bill will be announced in due course.
All official Electric Wizard pre-order bundles are now live at www.ElectricFuckinWizard.com, featuring limited numbers of vinyl, CD, T-shirt, back-patch & pin badge packages.
Electric Wizard, who have recently played headline slots at a number of major European festivals, including Hellfest (France), Roskilde (Denmark) and Sonisphere (UK), have the following appearances lined up for 2014, with more shows to be added:-
Sep 12th Reverence Valada, Portugal (headline with Hawkwind)
Oct 10th Desertfest, Antwerp, Belgium
Oct 23rd The Ritz, Manchester, UK (headline show)
ELECTRIC WIZARD are here for REVENGE…..BE AFRAID…..
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