screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: December 2015

Introducing… Lawrence Rothman

Lawrence Rothman a.k.a. Kevin Ginger

Lawrence Rothman a.k.a. Kevin Ginger

I got an awful lot more than I bargained for when I dipped my toes into the strange waters of Los Angeles conceptual/performance artist and musician Lawrence Rothman. I was sent his stunning and disturbing video for “California Paranoia,” a song from his forthcoming debut album. The song is a breathtaking Gothic chamber music composition, and along with the melancholy piano, strings and Rothman’s somber singing, it Angel Olsen contributes eerily beautiful backing vocals. The video, a gorgeously filmed has something possibly to do with the dark subconscious, fatalism, artifice and illusion, love, madness, the Los Angeles underbelly, copious amounts of medication, dancing girls, mental illness, the search for salvation, a mad psychiatrist, a satanic ritual, and I won’t tell you how it ends but let’s just say it turns the sacrificial lamb metaphor on its head.

As magnificent as it is, don’t get too comfortable with this piece of music. Rothman’s mad psychologist, pill dispenser and Master of Ceremonies is but one of his alters, as he calls them. It’s not only his characters that change; it’s his music as well. “Oz Vs. Eden” is a slice of chaotic R&B electronica, with a vocal cameo by Charli XCX. In the video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, his alter ego is named Kevin and the scene plays out in a haunted house.

These doppelgangers and wild variations in musical styles might remind me of David Bowie, except for the fact that this guy makes The Thin White Duke (even with his Aleister Crowley obsession, cocaine-fueled fascist ambitions and bodily liquids stored in the fridge to ward off evil spirits) look like Mr. Rogers.

If you’d like to learn more about this fascinating artist and get a glimpse inside his mad scientist brain, read an interview he just did with The Beat. On his debut album, Rothman is collaborating with Justin Raisen, who previously worked with Sky Ferreira on Night Time, My Time and with Charli XCX on True Romance (and he’s in Raw Deal with Ariel Pink). The recording will feature special guests Kim Gordon, Ariel Pink, Charli XCX and no doubt a complete cast of alters, and it is due out early next year. In the meantime, don’t worry, it’ll be ok. Just surround yourself with white light.

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Introducing… Lou Sinergy

Yes, I’ll admit it. On the rare occasions that we cover a rapper here, you can count on it being someone special. What I find impressive about 22-year-old Lou Sinergy is the hyper-literacy of his edgy alternative rap and the incredibly smooth phrasing around the slow burn of the music. What blew me away was “Wandering The Digital Age Ft Ali Ingle.” His poetry is interspersed with the soulful sounds of London-based singer-songwriter Ali Ingle, quite impressive in his own right. Together they conjure a bit of musical magic. They’re an inspired pairing, with Sinergy’s social commentary and stories of personal struggle in the modern age and Ingle’s emotional narrative of life and love, hope and despair.

“Supernova winters, Bipolar rainstorms making grey sweatshirts distinguished, Leaving slipper marks on arses redder than fire extinguishers, And burning like your left ear when somebody is doing behind the back linguistics, Sign language is my mother tongue, what is this? Mein Kampf is my toilet paper when my fit list is diminished, Louis Connor Gregory, occupation, relinquished, And I have unfinished business with businesses who need to mind their own business, ‘Cause I can turn into recession in an instant, And give the bone idol CEO’s a gargantuan dose of tickets, LIFE, isn’t rich dinners, LIFE, Is shin splinters and split sphincter’s, Analytical of the timber, That provides my lungs and helps my lion heart beat the blood around my reincarnation of Simba.

So sit with me, And I will spill all the stories of the nomad, Who connected wifi to his notepad, And wrote rumours about the digital age, Planting the paranoia seed and ruining the romance, Roberto Duran’s stone hands got thrown when I sat with him, And redrew his road map.”
– Wandering The Digital Age

Just released is a video for a new track, “Destabilised.” It was filmed by Ian Lewis and edited by Killer Robot Productions, with beat produced by Blizzard.

Lou Sinergy’s latest EP is A Late AfternoonFind it on Spotify. Ali Ingle’s EP is called The Great Romantic Drought. It’s due for release this month.

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Introducing… L U M E N, from Liverpool

It’s quite apropos that at the end of the official video for L U M E N’s debut single “What Will Life Make Of You?” a VHS tape is ejected from one of those old TV/VCR combo units. This 17-year-old Liverpudlian Liam Brown who goes by the name of L U M E N is strongly influenced by seminal UK bands who gained mass appeal in the 1980’s such as The Cure and The Smiths (though I hear a bit of The Jam in there as well). His music has also been compared to more recent British bands like Bombay Bicycle Club.

This debut single was released on Great Beyond Records back in October, and his first ever “proper gig” was just recently, on November 27, so be proud that you’re getting in on the ground floor here, folks. Since then, he has released three more songs on his Facebook titled “Fine By You,” “Favorite Shoes” and “Bright Lights.” So dreamy!

He was already writing and recording for a few years as Liam Sean Brown. His bedroom songwriting and recording process begins with the melody on a guitar, which he then plugs into his laptop and MIDI keyboard, adding improvised lyrics and then working it all into a song. This seasoned veteran of the music scene is now L U M E N, and I foresee great things.

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Introducing… all boy/all girl

photo by Ali Brant Photography

photo by Ali Brant Photography

Such a pretty start to the day this morning with all boy/all girl. This mixed-gender septet built their headquarters in a Lower East Side, New York City basement beneath a pawn shop, yet they have the vibe of a lush and elaborate Broadway musical. The sweet and glorious dual female vocals of Danielle Lovier and Jessie Rogowski burst forth from a lush string ensemble and percussive backdrop for a truly dramatic and charmingly retro presentation. Their music speaks of a simpler, gentler time. And can’t we all use that right about now?

Here’s the band performing their newest single “Andrea Amati” at the Mercury Lounge, back in July.

all boy/all girl began with the duo of vocalist/ukulelist, Danielle Lovier and double bassist, Nicholas Rahn. They performed covers on the streets of their native Philadelphia, and upon moving to New York City in 2012, assembled the rest of their ensemble, releasing their debut EP later that year. The members of all boy/all girl are as follows: Danielle Lovier (vocals/ukulele), Jessie Rogowski (vocals, guitar), Joshua Curry (guitars), Hannah Levinson (viola), Susan Mandel (cello), Nicholas Rahn (double bass) and Joey Campanella (drums).

Upon delving in deeper to their music, one hears elements of musical theater, sprinklings of jazz and something more experimental that takes them into more mysterious waters. This makes perfect sense, since Lovier’s background was as a musical theater major with punk and hardcore pedigree (strange though that seems), and Rahn’s inclination is toward the more experimental and free-form. Together and with the rest of the group, they have a spirited and quirky feel that keeps the level of intrigue high.

After releasing their debut album Tiny Inglesia in October 2013, they toured throughout the U.S. and Europe. In March of 2015, they released their Trophy EP. The recording was mixed by Machines With Magnets.

Definitely keep this experimental and vivacious ensemble on your radar!

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Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys – Kickstarter for New Album! Come Black Magic!

Call it good timing, but as I write this to tell you about Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys’ new Kickstarter campaign, tardy as always, I now see that they’ve just reached their goal. Never mind though; let’s just boldly continue on, as I’m sure they could always use more support, right? Right.

These guys are old friends of ours here at ‘musings’, and once again, they’re up to big doings. They’re about to embark on a new studio album entitled Come Black Magic. Here’s a tantalizing taste in the form of the official video for “Where’s Your Ghost.” The music is dramatic, epic and otherworldly, but then again, by now they have us well and truly spoiled. The visuals are of Mr. Walter Sickert bringing to life his infamous Inkdrips.

“Where’s your ghost, when you need her most?”

Kickstart It!

So here we are then. Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys welcomes you to the Kickstarter for their new studio album COME BLACK MAGIC! (#ComeBlackMagic)

If you’re a Kickstarter virgin, this is basically like pre-ordering the new album, along with your choice of goodies depending on what level you choose for your pledged support. This cash will cover the band’s expenses so they can create a bouncing baby album for you. And here’s how they set the scene for their new musical progeny.

“On the night the dead return to mingle with the living, lost connections are made,
wolf packs mingle, coffins are shared and cold sticky love permeates the night air as Where’s Your Ghost spins on a forgotten Vicktagraph in a tucked away corner of the haunted house.”

Let’s get to it, people — just 13 days to go!


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