"Nothing Needs to Be Right", a track from Grey Fields' forthcoming debut album, chugs on a carnival-like feel with haunting vocals, showing both atmosphere and entrancing melodies.
Midwestern act Grey Fields officially formed in 2016, but their origin goes back much further. Alex (vocals/guitar/keys) first started playing music with John (drums) when they were sophomores in high school in the mid '90s. An immediate chemistry was created over their love for bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Pavement, and other like-minded bands of that era. Years would pass as their parents begrudgingly accepted them playing way too loud in basements, a garage, and even a living room. At the turn of the century they got the opportunity to play a show, but there was a problem — they needed a bassist. Somehow, someway, they convinced Adam (bass/vocals) to learn the set in 24 hours. They pulled it off, then they parted ways to pursue college.
Alex would go on to study composition, theory, and eventually become obsessed with production and engineering. Meanwhile, Alex and John would continue to sporadically play whenever they had the opportunity — even forming a novel two-piece band that was meant for wine and dinner parties. It was around fifteen years later when John and Alex both found themselves playing at a rehearsal studio in Chicago and got an itch to make an album. After a quick recommendation from John to reach out to Adam on social media, the old one-time band was back together and ready to hit the studio.
All three members were born in the early '80s, and grew up on '90s rock. The influence is apparent, acting as the foundation for the music, but hardly the only noticeable factor when considering the structure and atmospheric elements to the songs. In college, Alex started to appreciate orchestral/ambient and experimental composers. Years later his discovery of contemporary composers like Ben Lukas Boysen, Jon Hopkins, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Fennesz and Keith Fullerton Whitman would have just as much influence in the presentation of the songs as the '90s bands which initiated the spark to write music in the first place.
The band's new album focuses on a person’s drive to create change (spiritual, financial, familial, romantic, etc.) while battling myriad obstacles that can come from within. Throughout the album there are questions presented which in some way revolve around the ability to change and the struggles that follow.
On “Transitions of The Truth,” the central question is How did I wander so far away, while “Empty Eyes” asks Will I know when I’m there? “Miracle” and “Nothing Needs to be Right” even repeat the same question: Do you want to leave? These somewhat basic, yet vital existential questions are scattered throughout the songs which are connected to other concepts such as loss, salvation, surrender, escape, and hope.
PILLARS is an American four piece, primarily instrumental, post-rock band from Indianapolis, Indiana. PILLARS has played alongside established instrumental bands such as Pelican, and indie juggernauts, The Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids, The World Is A Beautiful Place And I am No Longer Afraid to Die, We Are Scientists and more.
PILLARS is an American four piece, primarily instrumental, post-rock band from Indianapolis, Indiana. Each member comes from various musical pasts, and this diversity has fostered a unique sound that blends indie-rock and post-rock.
On their latest full-length, _of Salt and Sea_, PILLARS' distinct mesh of musical colors is on full display, as the band takes listeners on an aural voyage full of thoughtfully crafted peaks and plunges.
Due out on Indianapolis label In Store Recordings on Dec. 15, _of Salt and Sea_ marks the bands most complete release to date, while also marking their first entirely instrumental collection of songs. From the towering "Salt" to the succinct yet stunning "Subtract/Submerge," the album delivers a rejuvenated post-rock sound that pushes the boundaries of the genre to stratospheric new levels.
PILLARS has played alongside established instrumental bands such as Pelican, and indie juggernauts The Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids, The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, and more.
The Belgian post-metal/drone band Charnia consists of Diederik Van Eetvelde (bass) , J.J. Pieterse (vocals, guitar), Seppe Batens (drums), Thibaud Meiresone-Keppens (vocals, guitar).
After the release of ‘Dageraad’ in 2014, the band didn’t exactly sit still. They have started to write on a whole new piece, which would crystalize into ‘Het Laatste Licht’. Departing from their post-metal debut, the band has been working on subtler droney and ambient layers of music. Charnia has brought this piece of music as a work in progress on several occasions, perfecting the album every step along the way. The time is finally here to unveil this remarkable piece of music. The music unravels organically, interweaving hauntingly beautiful melodies and soundscapes, aided by the expert musicianship of Jens Debacker (violin) and Innerwoud (double bass).
Californian By An Ion is a duo composed of Ray Aguilar and Alex Gonzales. Merging the worlds of ambient synth and contemporary music, creating a stunning sound that echoes their melody driven vocals. Dreamy and cinematic, the music speaks of personal and relative topics to the listener. Both members have a similar yet distinct sound to their vocals, which makes the music that more interesting.
Aguilar and Gonzales discovered the power of their chemistry whilst in the studio and playing in different electronic acts. They describe themselves as best friends and brothers and compare this chemistry to literally finishing each others sentences. By An Ion’s heavy use of synth pads and reverb give the music a euphoric and angelic ambiance without shying away from the sometimes abrasive electronic drums. Their layered, lush synthscapes fill every inch of the spectrum, whilst maintaining a balance that keeps listeners rooted in their empathetic songwriting.
Leading single ‘Autre Vie’, highlights the bands signature style of beautiful, ethereal melodies which emit a sense of tranquility. Fusing nostalgic electronica, atmospheric aesthetics and building anthemic drum beats, the band have succeeded in producing a dynamic song to portray a sense of peace and understanding. 'Autre Vie', meaning “another life” in French, was written in a time of need during Aguilar’s struggle with a temporary illness. The illness consequently forced him to be house bound. Aguilar reveals, “they say that a man's character is best defined when they are alone, my journey led me to discover a specific musical sound that brings peace and freedom to whatever someone is going through”. The single expresses how love is the most powerful thing to conquer ones personal moral state of being.
‘Fenestra’ is a shimmering serene song, which takes listeners to a place of utopia. Immersed in ambient melodic hooks over celestial backdrops and 80’s drum machine beats, By An Ion have created a unique sound reminiscent of vintage M83 fused with Depeche Mode.
By An Ion’s eagerly awaited upcoming EP, Violet Sky has already had the stamp of approval from industry professionals, being mastered by Pete Maher (Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Rolling Stones, The Killers). They have also worked in the studio along side with The New Division's John Kunkel, TimeCop1983's Jordy Leenearts and Spanish Synth Pop artist Sergio Palacios from Puerto Aereo. Aguilar and Gonzales continue to collaborate with various artists and are quickly propelling into the next chapter of their musical journey.
Nicole Rodriguez is a singer/songwriter always drawing inspiration from the road ahead. Recording and performing under the name Pearla, the young artist recently released a debut EP, If You’re Not Alright Now, which had tastemakers comparing her stylings to Alanis Morisette and Ani DiFranco.
Now, Pearla is getting ready to unveil a standalone single, “Somewhere,” a bold new step forward that blends the more natural sounds of her previous statement with Sylvan Esso-style beats and electronics. The song, a collaboration with producer Jon Buscema, finds Pearla grappling with a sense of self that seems lost as it continues to develop.
Since the EP drop, Pearla has begun to establish herself in the NYC scene including a spotlight performance at The Wild Honey Pie’s The Beehive at Northside Festival.
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.