We’ve been obsessing over the synth-pop of Bogan Via back since waaay back and “When You Fall in Love” helped reaffirm that love. The new single from the L.A. (by way of Phoenix) duo is a breath of fresh electric air. In fact, all those bands seeking to shape out a retro-vibe with the 80s synths would be wise to take note from Bogan Via: make it yours and make it modern. The official release of “When You Fall in Love” includes two remixes in addition to the original; one from Back Ted N-Ted and the other from Spiritual Warfare. How cool is that? Super cool – in case you don’t know.
Experimental electropop duo Sofi Tukker joined forces with Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears and Evermore’s Jon Hume to give shape to this sassy new single. “Fuck They” is catchy to the nth degree and has a positive message about learning to evaluate your own self-worth hidden beneath the Millennial ensnaring hooks. Sofi Tukker is a hit-maker in the making so you might want to hit the follow/like to keep up. Take “Fuck They” for a spin below and then head here to check out the music video Sofi Tukker dropped last week for hew new single, “Best Friend”.
Black Fly is somewhat of a mystery for us. He records beautiful, dark, meditative music from a bedroom in Vermont. And that’s all we know. No named mastermind behind the project, no website, no interviews granted. That being said, we dig his slow-burning “gothic synth” sound and the way he pairs musing lyrics with gently-moving orchestrations to create a pensive, if not somewhat anxious, atmosphere. Nevertheless, there is a surprising calm that overtakes “Dipped” once the vocals kick in that I find truly captivating. Listen for yourself below…
FYOHNA combines the vocal talents of Katarina Gleicher and producer Elliot Glasser. The art pop duo offers a unique ebb and flow as you move through their single, “Believe You”. As the song kicks off, Gleicher takes the forefront with her powerful vocal prowess while the production remains smart yet subtle, but as we approach the hook, the vocals sink into a sea of sound wherein Glasser gets to flex his unique skillset. Check out “Believe You” from FYOHNA below…
Okay, so usually we don’t feature cover songs, but this rendition of Hole’s “Violet” really hit me in the 90s grunge soft spot. A brooding electropop kicks things off on Neo Noir’s version, complete with breath-heavy vocals, but things take a Trap turn without ever sacrificing the chill vibe that keeps us clear of Club territory. Brooke Williams joins Neo Noir’s Greg Ogan & Bradley Allan as the featured vocalist on “Violet”. Check out the single below &/or you can head here to check out the complete collection of Neo Noir’s 2017 releases all conveniently compiled into one playlist.
Lumberjerk Records is putting out its first compilation, Strait Outta Comp, and it combines two of our favorite things: good music and a good cause.
The label, and its forthcoming compilation, are the brainchild of Justin Weir (of Celebrations Guns fame) and features a smorgasbord of Arizona alt- and indie- artists, including Citrus Clouds, Twin Ponies, dent, The Lonesome Wilderness, Instructions, Sun System, Paper Foxes, Holy Fawn, and many others. All the proceeds are going to a program that helps fund “teachers that need school supplies or other classroom projects.” How rad is that?
So, we’re super excited to premiere this new compilation. And, we also got the chance to ask Justin about the release and Lumberjerk Records. Check out the premiere of Straight Outta Comp from Lumberjerk Records right here and check out our Q&A with Justin Weir below. AND don’t forget to head out to the release party this Friday at The Rebel Lounge!
YabYum: So, tell me what led to the formation of Lumberjerk Records?
Justin Weir: Lumberjerk Records was an idea I had a little over 5 years ago when a friend of mine jokingly referred to me as a “Lumberjerk”. It could be the beard, the plaid shirts, or maybe I’m a little jerky. I thought it was a great name for a record label but logistically I didn’t know if I would ever follow through with it.
Fast forward to 2015 and the formation of “Wet Lab” at the Rock Lottery. Jim Adkins was featured on vocals and there was a slight buzz about it, so my friend Josh Rodriguez (SELECT shows) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to start a label to release a cassingle featuring two of Wet Lab’s songs. The cassingle was released for charity to benefit Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children (the same charity The Rock Lottery donates to). Josh and I decided on the name “Saint Joseph” because so many people we know in AZ (ourselves included) were born at Saint Joseph hospitals. Since we were releasing music born in Arizona, it seemed like the perfect name…and my idea for Lumberjerk Records was pushed to the side.
After releasing a few more tapes and CDs through Saint Joseph, I began to lose interest in the concept of the label and didn’t feel a strong direction for it. I decided to create a new identity and style for the label and bring it back to my roots: Lumberjerk Records. Around the same time we were planning a compilation featuring Arizona bands and decided that the release of the compilation would perfectly coincide with the launch of the label. And like the beginning of Saint Joseph, this label is starting off with a release that will benefit a good cause.
Can you tell us about the organization you choose to support and why?
The organization our compilation is supporting is donorschoose.org. Donors Choose exists to support teachers and classrooms with supplies and projects. Similar to a “Go Fund Me”, classrooms will create a page listing specific needs they have and pick a specific dollar amount needed to meet their goal. Projects can range from funding basic school supplies to educational field trips.
Since we live in a state that has been listed as the worst state in the nation for teacher pay and seemingly places little to no value in supporting education, it felt important to me to join this cause. My sister is a teacher in Eloy and I work at a local University, so education is a big part of my life and I hope one day Arizona will begin to provide more support and take education seriously.
Some super cool bands appear on this compilation. Is it unfair to ask if you have any personal favorites? Either way, any personal favorites?
It is completely unfair but I’ll take the bait. Twin Ponies are long time friends of mine so I was really excited to have them be a part of it. I really dig the songs that Holy Fawn and Instructions contributed. Sun System were one of the first bands to sign on to the comp and they’re fantastic. In conclusion, all of the bands are talented and total sweethearts and I love all of them equally.
To kick off the release of the compilation, Lumberjerk Records has arranged a pretty sweet show at The Rebel Lounge later this week. Care to tell folx what they can expect at the release show on the 3rd?
First of all, I feel really good about the way you spelled folx. The release show at Rebel will feature Celebration Guns (full disclosure: this is also a band that I play in), Holy Fawn, Instructions & The Lonesome Wilderness. It’s $5 advance/$7 at the door so we’re trying to keep it reasonably priced with a pretty solid lineup of bands.
Any extra money we make from the show will go to DonorsChoose.org. We will have CDs and tapes for sale and 100% of what we make will go to Donors Choose as well. We will have free stickers available that we hope will be placed all over town. It’s going to be a fun night!
Now did you curate the list of artists that appear on the comp or did you put out a call for participants?
The compilation actually started out as an idea for a split release between Celebration Guns and LUAU. We then started talking about making it a 3 or 4 band split including Sun System. Then the whole thing got out of control and there are now 12 bands on the split. We decided to only feature songs that are considered new releases.
We looked to bands that were released on Saint Joseph and are still active so Paper Foxes and The Lonesome Wilderness joined up with us and Charles’ (from Saddles) side project “Actual Baby” is our opening track (LUAU will have a new song on vol.2 of the comp…yup, there’s going to be a volume 2!).
I then started talking to friends or bands that we play with often (Twin Ponies/Holy Fawn/Dent/Instructions) and finally I started thinking about local bands that I’ve had an eye on and really enjoy what they’ve been doing (Strelitzia/Citrus Clouds/Good Ol Joel). I’m hoping volume 2 will feature a ton of other bands we haven’t worked with yet and possibly even have twice as many songs?
The L.A. garage rockers known as Ecstatic Union have an easygoing attitude and a brand-new s/t album out through Lolipop Records. You can purchase the new album here or preview additional tracks through Soundcloud first.
The Bittersweet Way released this cool collage video in prelude to their forthcoming album, Presents, which comes out on November 3rd. And you can also catch The Bittersweet Way chatting with our editors (and picking the playlist) on Radio Phoenix just a couple days before that release on November 1st from 7-8PM. Tune in on Wednesday here.
Sydney singer-songwriter Danielle Deckard attended Berklee College of Music in Boston before returning to her native Australia. Her single “Happy” comes to us from Deckard’s impending new album which is due out next year. “Happy” offers listeners gentle indie pop layers as the lyrics explore looming generational issues.
This Tucson-via-Phoenix band has all the makings of a mellow afternoon. Reggae-infused indie rock offers a laid-back atmosphere for listeners to help listeners unfurl all those tightly wound spots inside. This track comes to us from the band’s new EP, It’s Gonna Be a Peaceful Night.
Singer-songwriter Tim Freitag is ready to rip open some old wounds with his new single, “Bruises”, so brace yourself. And the accompanying music video pairs the surging emotions of the vocals with an equally powerful visual performance… you know, just in case you weren’t feeling it.
L.A.’s Twin Seas brings us a Halloween-inspired music video for their latest single, “Machine Gun”. Twin Seas fuses dream pop and New Wave for a very NOW indie sound with a noticeable nod to 80s synth acts that came before them.
This dream pop act from Venice Beach sounds a little more brooding than beachy, but we dig that. “Safe in the Storm” makes bold promises of protection, but the somber delivery of singer/guitarist Jeanna Fournier makes me feel that promise is for real.
My name is Nigel Clouse and I am a multidisciplinary artist who has lived in the valley for 13 years. I was born and raised in Winchester, Indiana; a rural community located in the Rust Belt. I completed my undergraduate degree in digital design at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and worked in the graphic design industry for over a decade. I am best known for my pop surrealist work incorporating femme fatales, pop culture references, and dystopian themes.
How did you get your start?
I spent many childhood summers enrolled in community art and computer courses intended for adults. These programs constructed a foundation in both traditional art and computer programming—fields which eventually merged within my work. I pursued art through high school, completed all available courses during my junior year, and began taking college courses at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I was one of the first students to graduate with a degree in digital design from the Art Academy of Cincinnati—a fledgling program introduced as computers began to replace traditional media in the design industry.
Relocating to Phoenix to launch my graphic design career, while simultaneously developing a successful website showcasing my performance and street art, I never felt comfortable mixing my artistic persona with my corporate identity—I ended the project after five years.
A career in the design industry provided me with an opportunity to refine my technical skills, but the Great Recession forced me to change tactics. I moved to California to pursue my doctorate degree in psychology, worked for the University of California: San Diego, and spent time examining my identity and purpose.
My father passed away from cancer in 2012 and I moved back from California to help him for the last month of his life. I witnessed a man slowly wasting away after sacrificing everything for his family while working at a job he hated for over 30 years. The disorienting dilemma I confronted after his passing allowed me to envision the future I wanted for my family. I conceived my Dystopian Delights series shortly after his death and have been working on the project for five years.
Never have I considered myself an artist until recently; I believe the title of artist is earned through the melding of skill and aesthetic, which combine to form a personal style—continually honed through experience. The series has allowed me to define my style, acknowledge myself as an artist, and develop an understanding of the world and my place within it.
What inspires you?
A variety of subjects, including art, history, music, literature, and technology; but my favorite is film. I was introverted as a child and spent much of my time with my maternal grandmother; a bootlegger from the time of prohibition with ties stretching back to the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud. My grandfather passed away when I was young, which allowed us to spend copious amounts of time together.
She loved to watch the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and other silver screen classics; introducing me to film noir, Citizen Kane, and Psycho. She sparked my interest in cinema and I find this love of film continues to inspire and influence my work.
I believe the life and work of Andy Warhol to be highly inspirational. Discovering Warhol through a chance encounter at the library early in life immediately changed how I experienced art. Warhol is the “American Dream” personified; a socially awkward child coming from a destitute immigrant family who was able to achieve his goals despite the limitations of his background. Not only was he able to achieve his dream, but he did so with such conviction it forever altered the course of art history.
What do you like about AZ?
I enjoy the tenacity of Arizona as a state, both in historical terms and the ability of communities to adapt to change. This is a state where the Hohokam thrived as a culture, the Spanish sought cities of gold, desperados roamed the Wild West, and miners eked out an existence underground. I especially adore the old mining towns, which have reimagined themselves as artist communities and continue to thrive.
The Arizona sky at dusk is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen—vivid colors contrasted against desolate and foreboding landscapes. The Sonoran Desert has always reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting with warm hues and expansive vistas. Who doesn’t want to wake-up in a Dali painting on a daily basis?
Where can we see you(r) work?
My website is the best place to see pieces as I keep it updated with current work; available in my online store. I keep my Instagram account active by sharing work and tidbits of my life—social media has been an interesting experiment for a self-proclaimed recluse. I haven’t shown my work in a gallery since I graduated college, but I am actively seeking space in the valley if any curators are interested in an emerging artist.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Immortality. I believe art affords the artist the possibility to defy death; creating works which outlive the physical being, while continuing to communicate complex concepts, experiences, and visions beyond the grave. This is how we intimately understand the sorrow of Van Gogh, the madness of Munch, and the whimsy of Warhol. Artwork can readily survive the passage of time and provide a glimpse into an artist’s understanding of the world.
What is your mantra?
“The night time is the right time.” I have been a night owl since I was born; the early morning hours are when my creativity and productivity are at their peak. I am the primary caretaker of my son, which means nap times, nights, and weekends are when I am able to devout my full attention to art.
The YabYum Hour on RadioPhoenix.org has gone weekly! Now, every second and fourth Wednesday catch the YabYum Eds play their current choice favs, including songs from our very own site! As always, the complete playlist can be found below.
Check out the YabYum Hour live every Wednesday at 7:00 PM only on RadioPhoenix.org.
AJJ “American Body Rentals”
Soy Christmas “Oh No”
Herbert Walker “Paycheck Song”
JJCnV “Abra Cadaver”
Red Tank! “Things Fall Apart”
Flower Festival “daddy”
Human Behavior “The Spirit Is Upon Me, Because He Has Ordered Me To Preach That Singing Saves The Poor Of Heart”
Marc Oxborrow is a dapper gentleman with a penchant for punkgrass. In addition to his musical mainstay, The Haymarket Squares, you might have caught him performing with other local acts like The Shivereens or The Blood Feud Family Singers. Despite his numerous commitments, musical and otherwise, Oxborrow set some time aside to select ten songs he thinks everyone should hear for our Tastemaker’s Ten series. Check out his picks below…
A Note from Marc Oxborrow: Almost all of these artists have a raucous (or at least upbeat) side. But when you make lists late at night, a little melancholy is bound to seep in. I like songs that are accessible but interesting, that invite harmonies, and are delivered with a little yearning.
Margaret Glaspy “No Matter Who”
Her recent debut album, “Emotions and Math,” is great. This live version has an appealing soul vibe.
Rickie Lee Jones “We Belong Together”
The music of Ms. Jones is my go-to blue-mood soundtrack. Her first two albums are classics.
Oliver Nelson “Stolen Moments”
A beautifully composed melody with thoughtful solos from an all-star band.
Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones “I Thought That We Said Goodbye”
Their duet album, “Little Windows,” is a charming survey of classic country styles.
Robbie Fulks “Alabama at Night”
One of my all-time favorite songwriters, sometimes funny, occasionally bleak, generally unmistakeable.
Look Park “Get On Home”
This is the solo project of Chris Collingwood, former frontman for the criminally underrated Fountains of Wayne.
Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal “Chamber Music”
A kora player from Mali and a French cellist create a delicate but insistent soundtrack.
Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes “Everyday I Write the Book”
A clever pop song feels richer and deeper in this rearranged live version from one my musical heroes.
Madeleine Peyroux “Damn the Circumstances”
Hard to go wrong with an opening line like “my heart is like a hand-me-down, made soft by older brothers…”
The Eagles “Take It to the Limit”
One of my go-to tunes when there are a few minutes to kill, whether I’m behind the wheel or standing curbside at the airport. The Eagles are a harmony school for vocalists, and I have been an eager pupil. (Don’t ask me to hit those high notes at the end, though.)
And, of course, we had to include a video from Marc Oxborrow’s own musical endeavors…
I know that a lot of us threatened to move to Canada after the 2016 election, but Sterling Fox, the musician behind Baby FuzZ, actually went ahead and did just that. Fox moved to Montreal, Canada shortly before launching Baby FuzZ “in cultural protest of the misogynistic, racist, and anti-environmental policies of the US government.” The indie-folk singer-songwriter gives “Cig” a soft-spoken and subtly brooding feel that turns up the angst for that final minute in order to push the underlying nihilism to center stage before the gentle outro restores the calm. Check out “Cig” from Baby FuzZ below or head here to score the digi-download.
London-based artist Matt Belmont creates music under the moniker Belle Mt. For two years, Belmont stopped performing publicly to embark on an introspective songwriting journey. “Hollow” is just one part of the collection that emerged from that experience. Contemplative lyrics are cast to aerial heights with the help of the vibrantly layered instrumentation. Listening to “Hollow” I definitely want to continue further on Belmont’s path of self-discovery. You can score the digital download of “Hollow” from Belle Mt here, but you can sample first below…
At only twenty years old, Chelsea Cutler has started establishing a name for herself as a singer, songwriter, and producer. “Snow in October” is the title track from Cutler’s self-produced debut EP which came out earlier this month. Chill indie pop supports contemplative lyrics as Cutler explores mental health issues against the stark early-arriving snow. Check out the single below and then check out Snow in October, the complete EP by Chelsea Cutler.
There’s a bit of a island feel on this new single from Tipling Rock that will put you in a kickback mood no matter how stressful your day. The Boston-based quartet usually has a more electric sound, but they stripped down for this acoustic number, tinged with just the right amount of nostalgia. You can check out a live performance of “Love Without Reason” by Tipling Rock here or give the single a spin below…
Kevin McWha Steele’s new single, “Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples”, might sound like it’s coming to you straight from a Parisian cafe, but channels Serge Gainsbourg straight into Brooklyn. Don’t worry if French isn’t your native tongue; the emotional appeal of Kevin McWha Steele’s croon transcends the limitations of language. “Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples” appears on Steele’s three-track single, The Clamorous Owl That Nightly Howls and Wonders At Our Quaint Spirits, which dropped earlier this year. Head here to score the digi-download from Kevin McWha Steele.