The first thing you notice about Smooth Sailing, Mike Pace and the Child Actors' new LP, is that it gleams. Picture a studio stuffed with synth whizzes, session bassists, forty or fifty world-class audio engineers. Picture some label accountant rubbing his temples, grilling a Child Actor over some outrageous line item ("ten thousand dollars for 'vibe maintenance??'). Picture, of course, the man himself, Mike Pace: stomping around in a speedo and bathrobe, refusing sleep, verbally abusing children, sinking periodically into morose funks, instantaneously emerging from those funks with gnomic yet emotionally lucid career highlights like this album's "Troubleshooting," etc.
The reality is, in its way, even more outlandish. In the years since Pace adopted his Child Actors moniker and released Best Boy, he's had no fewer than two children, acquired a mortgage, and settled fully into a consuming job in production music. Smooth Sailing, then, was written and recorded in the cracks of a full and meaningful life: in those minutes or hours most of us use to watch bad TV, or stare blankly into the middle distance. And yet in terms of scope and lushness of sound, and in the way it updates and personalizes a whole slew of classic rock reference points, it stands with the best of War on Drugs or Father John Misty. Like those guys, Pace is first and foremost a nerd, the good kind: someone who cares passionately and unpretentiously about something most people never think about, specifically progressive rock and big-tent singer-songwriter stuff from the 1970s, and puts that care to productive artistic use.
On some level Smooth Sailing is its own classic rock radio station, diverse enough to appeal to a whole jammed freeway's worth of commuters. Some might prefer the Randy Newman/10cc-style "Senior Statesman" (one of Pace's full-fledged story songs, which some enterprising movie producer should option ASAP), others the perfect power-pop of "Blaster" (think Sugar, or Matthew Sweet). Undoubtedly some will cry right there in their cars to "Disconnected Heart," a ballad so beautiful you could picture a Xanax-addicted SoundCloud rapper sampling it. I personally love "Americana Manhasset"—a pink-sunset ambient-instrumental track which harkens back to at least four imagined pasts, only one of which I lived through. (Credit goes as well to Matt LeMay, the producer/multi-instrumentalist who embellished, shaped and mixed each of the songs on Smooth Sailing.)
If you've ever listened to Pace's music you know this already, but just to be clear: this is no kind of bloodless genre exercise. As always with Pace, the cherished albums are all mixed up with the memories of those cherished albums, and with the memories those albums soundtracked, so that the result—filtered through Pace's well-established interest in nostalgia, time's passing, etc.—is on the one hand new and idiosyncratically Pace-imprinted and, on the other, familiar and comforting and kind of pleasantly sad—pop sad.
This stuff might not sound much like Mike's last band, Oxford Collapse—possibly New York's last great indie rock band, before the whole operation shipped over to Philadelphia—but it definitely feels like Oxford Collapse, because all of Pace's songs yearn in this totally unique way. And as ever these songs are set in places built for yearning: beach towns, high school hallways, commuter trains. The yearning has something to do with growing up, with putting away childish things. A song like "Escape the Noise," with lyrics about giving up on guitars and "ragged nights," has a ton of parallels in Pace's discography, but this one's his best—for many reasons, but especially because we now know for sure that he doesn't actually mean it—that he'll be writing about this stuff for a long while to come. - Daniel Kolitz
Once Upon A Winter is a solo post-rock/post-metal project from Greece, created by Ilias Kakanis. 2017 was the year that the debut album "Selective depression in chase of the Big Bang" was released. One year later, on February 2018, the second album was released.
.existence is the second studio album of the project. Heavier and darker than its predecessor, .existence still aims to create haunting atmospheres, with elements of classical strings, ambient and heavy guitars.
I've seen the skies shatter - 05:25 info
In the chronicles of mediocre egos - 08:02 info
Cognitive dissonance - 03:42 info
Unsettling minds climax in the darkest hours - 06:43 info
Davenport Rex is a Motor City duo focused on progressive compositions that develop themes, explore alternative chord progressions and song forms. They strive for accessible melodies and meaningful lyrics, and they encourage you to listen multiple times to get the most from the songs. The band members are Dave Gillespie and Jim Murphy (featuring vocal work from Danielle Blanchard), and they go back to the Music Program at Michigan State University. They have been writing and playing music for many years - They work slowly with a lot of attention to arrangements, instrumentation and performances.
Progressive pop / rock compositions. Rock band foundation with additional synthetic and symphonic instrumentation. Accessible and complex. These ten tracks are pretty diverse ranging from guitar based rock to cinematic orchestrations to simple acoustic and vocal arrangements.
The Cruelest Animal has been a work in progress for Drummer / Guitarist / Producer Alex Crane since 2009. The band started as a recording project featuring guest performances by members of Intronaut, National Sunday Law, and The Great Wall. The music is inspired by a wide variety of styles including classic prog rock groups like King Crimson and Pink Floyd, as well as Trip Hop acts like Massive Attack, Dj Shadow, and Radiohead. Aspects of technical and spacey influences are blended into a sound rooted in early 90s metal.
The album Soothing Rays of Eternity represents a leap forward creatively. With the addition of Matt Boylan on bass (former Bear Baiting and Cuneiform), and use of Ableton Live looping software, what was once a recording project has developed into a live two-piece band.
The album is structured abnormal rhythmic cycles and features drums and bass as primary elements. The rhythm section is accentuated by heavy, yet spacey guitars, keyboards, and vocals. The song Unleash the Swine features David Timnick of Intronaut on Tablas, and Derek Donley of Bereft and National Sunday Law on Vocals.
Soothing Rays of Eternity was self recorded and mixed in our rehearsal space in 2016 and was released via Bandcamp on April 21, 2017.
Alex Crane: Drums, Guitar, Vocals, MIDI programming, Recording, and Mixing
Matt Boylan: Bass and Vocals
Grant Lewis: Keyboards
Derek Donley: Vocals on tracks 2 and 4
David Timnick: Tablas on track 4
William Paton: Vocals on tracks 5, 6, and 7 (We'll miss you, buddy)
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.