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Indie Rock

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YAWN "Wereworlf"

YAWN returned to the stage last month for a surprise show free show at Empty Bottle, and earlier this month the trio released their first new music, a single called “Werewolf”, since 2015’s Day Trip EP.

The trio, lead by Adam Gil, have been in the studio working on new music and it is clear that this is just first of what is to come.

YAWN will be performing at Berlin NYC on April 3rd with The Gloomies, Spooky and The Bear, and Suncelebs.

Photo: Jim Jam Art and Photo

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New Track: "Foundations" - Downtown Club

An ominous stir paints outlines for the sonic setting of “Foundations,” which appears to be the title track for post-punk outfit Downtown Club's upcoming album. The drums chime in allowing the world to open up. April Harkanson's vocals shine like a flashlight, illuminating small segments under the cover of darkness. Within a menacing, enigmatic space, a dance-inducing track results.

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Lomelda 'M for Empathy' is a candid reflection on communication breakdown

Hannah Read—who goes by the stage name Lomelda—writes intimate songs that elicit big, tender-hearted emotions. Read’s latest album, M for Empathy, is designed in minute-long sketches that detail the pains of loneliness and fraught relationships.  She fingerpicks with a classical guitar—a sole companion through this bittersweet 16-minute musical portrait—which embellishes her inward-looking thoughts. 

M for Empathy is the follow-up to 2017’s breakthrough album Thx, out now via Double whammy Records. You can stream the album in its entirety on all streaming platforms. Catch her opening for Big Thief at The Irenic in San Diego on April 20. Juan Rodríguez

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J.Graves' Record Release & Pressing

J. Graves is currently raising funds to get their record Marathon pressed. While supporting a queer, female-fronted band is always a good cause, J. Graves has the kind of talent and heart you can’t help but root for. Their recently released “A Cabin” is a powerful rock ballad, full of the highs and lows any good emotional rock song should deliver. Lead guitarist and vocalist Jessa Grave’s voice is weighted down with tension and vulnerability. However, she keeps up a high energy level as she blends her voice in with the more animated beat produced by the bass and drums. The song is full of the nuanced technical balance that can only result from great chemistry between the members. Together, they produce the sort of rock we want to see more of in the world. 

You can find a link to the Kickstarter here, and you can see the band live April 18th at the Bit House Saloon. Childspeak and Foxtails Brigade will also be playing sets.

-By Avril Carrillo 

 





Just a Person Doing a Thing | An Interview with Madeline Kenney

Madeline Kenney has had her hand in a lot of projects these last couple of years. Her latest album, Perfect Shapes, is a twang-hazy, dream pop collection with some killer guest stars. Produced in collaboration with Jenn Wasner (of Flock of Dimes, Wye Oak and Dirty Projectors, and with whom Kenney just released the split single The Sisters/Helpless), the album was a “synth-obsessed” production. She’s not interested in always making the same types of albums and sounds. She recognizes, too, what an honor it is to be able to play music as a core piece of her livelihood.

We met at a cafe that was blasting old crooner jams. Madeline was full of smiles, a confident-approachable attitude, and seems like someone who’d be a pleasure to work with. In an industry dominated by male energy and ego, it’s a pretty refreshing idea.

The Deli (TD): Do you think your work has been swayed by what’s going on right now? “Me too” and more women working in music engineering?

Madeline Kenney (MK): When my first record came out, this guy who interviewed me said at one point, ‘it’s a really good time for women in music right now’ and I said, ‘no offense dude, but what the fuck?’ I get where he’s coming from, but women have always been making music. Just because people pat themselves on the back for publishing more of it now doesn’t mean there’s any more or less music being made by women. Just because it’s cool now to write about women it’s just...whatever. But it turned into a great conversation that ended in us just talking about music and I’d much rather talk about that than the fact that I have a vagina.

TD: Amen. Speaking of which, you’ve been exploring new sounds, lots of synth, drum machines: can you share what gear you’ve been using?

MK: I've been using my Minilogue for everything! I also built a Subharmonicon at Moogfest last year that’s super fun. I use FunkBox on my iPhone for drum programming--it's really easy and has samples of tons of classic drum machines.

TD: Have you had any "life-changing" gear discoveries recently?

MK: I can think of several pieces of gear that changed my music! Namely my RC-30 looper pedal, which I use to write a lot. Also having a computer to record stuff with was a game-changer! Right now I'm just really into writing pretty straight-ahead guitar, vocal music, which is a change-up from my synth-obsessed 2018.

TD: So what kind of pedal(s) do you use? Can you describe your pedal set-up?

MK: Yeah, the chain is: tuner, EarthQuaker Dunes distortion, some cheap Chorus pedal, Boss PS-5 Super-Shifter, Memory Boy delay, Boss RC-30 looper, Boss DD7.

TD: What is your interest in production and engineering?

MK: I’ve made my own videos for a while and have directed for others. Before I had a budget I was shooting, directing and editing everything myself....I’d been trying to learn engineering and production--I did a lot of that at Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco.

TD: Did you produce Perfect Shapes?

MK: We engineered the record together. It says it’s produced by her (Jenn Wasner), but it was a really collaborative effort.

TD: What other videos or projects do you have your hand in?

MK: I just produced a record for this woman, A. O Gerber, and then she had me do two music videos for her. I might be doing a music video for Rose Droll. I’m also going to be doing a video for John Vanderslice. So yeah, I’m just trying to get into that world, just a way to do something and as a way of making money. Because well, you gotta!

TD: And you shoot them yourself?

MK: I film them myself, yeah. Whatever gear I can get for the budget, I’ll use, then edit it myself. I’m not an expert--I didn’t go to school for it--but I really like doing it. And with every video project I get, I’m learning more and getting better. It’s really fun. You know what’s funny? When I was a little kid I would put on music in my room and dance around and sing to it and pretend that I was in a video. And in my brain I was like oh, too bad that’s not a real job. You can’t make videos for people, they just do it themselves. That was my idea!

TD: Do you have any advice for other musicians--especially young ones--who are trying to do this? As their job, their dreams, whatever?

MK: Thor Harris wrote this sage piece called, “How to tour in a band or whatever.” He talks about how if you’re an artist you’re essentially a nonprofit organization. You have to do something else to make money because people won’t pay for art. It’s always been that way. He’ll give you a reality check but also be like, still do this.

TD: What motivates you, when you’re really worn out? What’s your endgame?

MK: I think that anyone in this world of music needs to be hyper-aware of the fact that this is (usually) temporary. Never, ever take it for granted. But take LambChop: he’s amazing, has been making records for like 30 years, plays small venues. He’s always making new, insane-sounding things. He’s this 60 year old dude using a Vocoder auto tuner. But he works construction, too! It’s an industry where you’re either a hot hot thing, making tons of money and getting all the gigs, or, you just quietly put out a record, do your tour, and go back to your life. The latter is what I want. My end game is that slow climb: put out quality records, keep exploring new ideas and sounds. I want to always be learning new things, not just doing the same types of sounds over and over...My dream of dreams is to open my own bakery-cafe, so I can have that as my sense of permanence and then have touring or shows as a thing I continue to do, hopefully for my whole life.

-Interview with Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

header image: 
sites/upload-files/imagecache/review_image/kin.jpg
author: 
Michelle Kicherer
Subtitle (brief and awesome): 
An Interview with Madeline Kenney
Excerpt (short interesting quote from the Q&A): 
“I’m just so tired of hearing the phrase ‘bad ass women.’ What the hell is that? It’s demeaning. We’re just people doing a thing--why can’t it just be that?”
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