December 9, 2016

Touring: The Field

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THE FIELD TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Friday March 10 @ Oxford Art Factory with special guest Lucy Cliche. Late night show, only Australian club show. Limited early bird tickets on sale now.
  • VICTORIA: March 11-13 @ Pitch Music & Arts. Lineup and tickets info here.

Legendary Swedish instrumentalist and producer The Field returns to Australia for the new, all ages Pitch Music Festival, March 10-13 2017. Sign up here for full lineup and limited tickets.

Back in Australia to showcase his brilliant new album THE FOLLOWER, The Field’s fifth full-length offering after “From Here We Go Sublime” (KOMPAKT RSD 02 CD 57), “Yesterday And Today” (KOMPAKT 193 CD 72), “Looping State Of Mind” (KOMPAKT 241 CD 94) and “Cupid’s Head” (KOMPAKT 290 CD 110). Swedish soundsmith Axel Willner is well-known for his mastery when it comes to the allusive layering of loops, but it was with his last album “Cupid’s Head” that a newly-found, somewhat pressing snappishness started to replace the soft-hued sonics of his ambient-infused techno, imbued with a darker mood and stronger footing than before. A carefully gauged balance of stoic motorik and gloomy drones was key here – just as it is for THE FOLLOWER which goes even further in blurring the lines between concrete experimentation, body music and precisely laid-out arrangement, leading to one of the most rhythmically and texturally engaging listening experiences in Willner’s catalogue.

“As always when starting a new album, I wanted to do something that sounds fresh, but doesn’t stray too far from what I have so far done as THE FIELD – and that’s always the tricky part”, says Willner, adding that “the whole album came around through experimenting with a lot of new recording equipment and gear”. That source of inspiration seems to have worked rather well, with title track THE FOLLOWER opening on a surprisingly muscular groove and setting the tone for what could be considered THE FIELD’s most floor-attuned work yet – a raw bounce dripping with foggy acid and marching percussion catches long-standing fans off-guard while providing a perfect entry point for curious newcomers. Pulling no punches, Willner’s knack for entwined drones and mutating loops is very much in place, but finds powerful support in an excitingly sturdy bassline and guitar-like screeches. It’s been a few years since THE FIELD’s band dissolved, which led to more club-oriented live gigs – an experience that definitely informed THE FOLLOWER’s sound without interrupting this very personal continuum of expressive means. This is ambient techno on steroids, with a dose of metal machine music for good measure.

Follow-up cut PINK SUN quickly finds its pace with one of these perpetually rotating hooks Willner is known for, while MONTE VERIT specializes in tunefully glitched vocal samples with accompanying bass workout – a powerful and propelling album build-up that finds its first moment of introspection with the mountainous SOFT STREAMS, an exciting synth journey that emits both ethereal and kinetic propensities. RAISE THE DEAD presents THE FIELD’s focussed sonic storytelling at its minimalist best, gyrating around a basic motive for a while before joining an earthy beat and opening up the sunshine roof. It’s a winding, hypnotic track that also works particularly well as transition to the album’s remarkable closing chapter: the slow-paced REFLECTING LIGHTS shows Willner at his most refined, evoking his often-quoted appreciation of Wolfgang Voigt’s ambient project GAS as well as an obvious fondness for kraut synthesists and their trance-inducing exploits. “‘The Follower’ is about old myths, finding utopia and how mankind repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over”, explains Willner, but he remains an artist who prefers keeping things uncommented and the mistery intact – his latest full-length certainly doesn’t need more introductions: it evidently shows a maturity and consistent evolution of THE FIELD’s trademark style of creation, but may very well be considered one of his most vibrant and visceral outings yet.

 

November 17, 2016

Touring: The Bats

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Artwork by Robert Scott; design by Alex Fregon

THE BATS TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Saturday 28 January @ Northcote Social Club. The Deep Set album launch with special guests Loose Tooth + School Damage. Tickets on sale now from NSC.
  • SYDNEY: Sunday 29 January @ Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival. The Bats perform The Deep Set in full, followed by a “greatest hits” set. Tickets on sale now from Sydney Festival.

“Four decades into their career, The Bats continue to produce sparkling and chiming pop that sounds as fresh now as it does when David Lange was New Zealand’s Prime Minister” – NOISEY

Legendary Flying Nun flag-bearers The Bats prove their everlasting songfulness with a brilliant new album, The Deep Set (out January 27 on Flying Nun). The band has shared the soaring first single, “Antlers”, and announced an Australian tour, performing The Deep Set in full at Sydney Festival with a string section, plus a Melbourne album launch at Northcote Social Club.

Listen to “Antlers”:

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Five years after the release of their last critically acclaimed album, The Bats return with album number nine, The Deep Set. With the title conveying the long established and firmly embedded, it’s notable that it’s 30 years since The Bats began recording their debut album in the living room studio of a friend of a friend in Glasgow. This time around they recorded in The Sitting Room, the studio-sleep out-garage next to Ben Edward’s house in Lyttelton, New Zealand; following in the footsteps of Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid and many others.

With Ben Edward’s help, The Deep Set continues The Bats’ 21st century resurgence. Yes, this is The Bats so the chords still chug, the guitars chime, ring, and jangle, the melodies are clear and memorable, the rhythm section is unstoppable. But the band mines the darker, deeper sound that 2011’s Free All the Monsters revealed.

The songs remain reflective but that oft-expected sweet folksiness pops up less frequently. As the title suggests the music is richer, expansive, deeper. In their fourth decade as a band familiarity has come to mean a more careful treatment of each song. Is it maturity? It definitely translates into more depth and complexity but hey the songs are still as catchy as all hell. And as a lyricist, Robert Scott continues his mastery of the personal and pastoral, the landscape and longing.

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As always the key to The Bats is the emotion that their (seemingly) simple songs carry. They continue to mine that Mainland melancholy; the kind that somehow never risks being depressing. But of course that means there is lament and nostalgia, even if it’s only for last night. Taking us from the sun of Otago’s Taieri River to darkest Durkestan and apparently ending in the midst of contemporary New Zealand politics, The Deep Set continues the composed confidence of their recent albums with one of The Bats’ strongest sets of songs, fueled by ever-more powerful guitars.

If you grew up with The Bats their early recordings will always pull at your emotions but while less vulnerable and immediate than on their classic debut album, The Bats of the 21st century somehow manage to be more intimate and urgent.

October 25, 2016

Touring: Toro y Moi

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Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

Mistletone proudly presents the return of Toro y Moi.

TORO Y MOI TOUR DATES:

  • ADELAIDE: Friday, March 3 @ Adelaide Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • PERTH: Sunday, March 5 @ Perth Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • SYDNEY: Thursday, March 9 @ Oxford Art Factory with Felix Lush + SKULL AND DAGGER. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • BRISBANE: Friday, March 10 @ The Zoo with S>c>r>a>p>s + Spirit Bunny. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • SYDNEY: Saturday, March 11 @ Days Like This Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • VICTORIA: March 10-13 @ Pitch Music & Arts. Lineup and tickets info here.

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Chaz Bundick unveiled his Toro y Moi guise in 2001, channeling a wide swath of stylistic influences from indie rock and ‘60s baroque pop to ‘80s R&B, French house and underground hip-hop. By the time he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2009 in graphic design, Chaz had refined Toro y Moi into a captivating project, his hazy recordings touted as the sound of summer. His Mistletone-released debut album, Causers of This, followed in 2010 and garnered high praise from NME and Pitchfork. Chaz has proven to be as prolific as he is diverse, always pointing Toro y Moi in new directions while never sacrificing his melodic sensibility or keen ear for arrangements and texture. With 2011’s Underneath the Pine, he delivered a set of motorik space-age funk; his Freaking Out EP brought ‘80s-inspired R&B, freestyle, and quiet storm soul, and 2013’s Anything in Return effortlessly glided between smoky 4/4 house-tinged pop, electro-funk and late-night electronic soul. What For? captured the feel of a rock band playing together in the same room with members of his touring group as well as guest musicians like Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson.

Last year Toro y Moi released Live From Trona, filmed in the middle of the Mojave desert; an entire concert album recorded live beneath the geological wonders known as the Trona Pinnacles. With a spectacular natural environment that feels otherworldly, the film pays homage to rock films of a previous era. As the sun sets behind the pinnacles, which formed thousands of years ago in what used to be a prehistoric lake, the supernatural setting weaves seamlessly together with 13 psychedelic tracks. Live From Trona offers viewers a surreal concert experience, placing them front row at a private Toro y Moi show.

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Toro y Moi pic by Jordan Blackmon

Given the state of modern music and its fabricated pop icons, what Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 achieves is a collective music victory in a new era of progressive soundscapes. Chaz has teamed up with the psychedelic-jazz grooves of The Mattson 2 for an album that unifies a trio’s creativity into a refreshing project of unhinged sonic originality.

Oddly enough, this collaboration may not have happened if The Mattson 2 hadn’t forgotten a drum throne at an Oakland performance in 2014. The twin’s longtime friend and photographer, Andrew Paynter, came to the rescue and called his friend Chaz to ask about borrowing the throne. Jonathan, the Mattson drummer (who’d also never met Chaz), accompanied Andrew to Chaz’s home in Berkeley where they were greeted by Chaz with a warm smile, a drum stool in hand, and Michael, Chaz’s dog (which his Les Sins record Michael is named after).

The next day Andrew and the twins met Chaz at a cafe in Berkeley to return the gear. Over coffee they waxed about music, design, furniture, and skateboarding. After a series of hangs with Chaz in the Bay Area, the crew decided to join forces and schedule studio time for their newfound trio. And the rest, as they say, is intergalactic, mega-creative history.

In February of 2016 the relationship was officially christened the night they finished tracking their new record. And to tie the knot with flare, they scheduled a secret show at the Battery and a historical public show at the Starline Social Club in Oakland, where the trio performed all new music from the project for the first time live.

The group and the album, Chaz Bundick Meets Mattson 2, explores psychedelic, jazz, and improvisatory influences ranging from Afrofuturistic Sun Ra, to electric Miles Davis, to groove-fueled Serge Gainsbourg and The Zombies. Grounding the album are break-beats, synthesizers, acoustic strums, and guitar fuzz reminiscent of David Axelrod and Arthur Verocai. With cosmic structures, timeless influences, rich harmonies, and melodic interplays, the trio brings an intergalactic edge to both their live shows and an album worthy of repeated visits.


Toro Y Moi: Live From Trona from Primary Colors on Vimeo.

October 19, 2016

Touring: Kurt Vile solo

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Artwork by Ben Montero, layout by Carl Breitkreuz

Mistletone very proudly presents Kurt Vile, returning to Australia for a supreme solo tour.

KURT VILE SOLO TOUR DATES:

  • PERTH: Monday February 27 @ Perth Festival. Tickets on sale now*SELLING FAST!
  • PERTH: Tuesday February 28 @ Perth Festival * SOLD OUT!
  • SYDNEY: Friday 3rd March @ Taronga Zoo. Supported by Mick Turner. Tickets via Taronga Zoo*SELLING FAST!
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday 4th March @ Melbourne Zoo. Supported by Mick Turner. *SOLD OUT!
  • MEENIYAN: Sunday 5th March @ Meeniyan Town Hall. Supported by Jess Ribeiro. * SOLD OUT!
  • BRISBANE: Thursday 9th March @ Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Supported by Mick Turner. Tickets via Qpac.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday 10th March @ Northcote Social Club. Supported by Lost Animal + Tammy Haider. * SOLD OUT!
  • MEREDITH: Saturday 11th March @ Golden Plains Festival. * SOLD OUT!
  • TASMANIA: Sunday 12th March @ A Festival Called Panama. *SOLD OUT!
  • ADELAIDE: Tuesday 14th March + Thursday 16th March @ Adelaide Festival. Ticket info via website.
  • “The music is quiet and the melody, like a hymn, folds in on itself, and embraces full strength in a sexy, floating forcelessness that slowly gathers into a wave that doesn’t go where you think it will” – KIM GORDON
  • “The former forklift driver is now one of the most adored artists around. He has a canon of cool songs: feelgood, insightful, reflective, comforting, jubilant tunes. It’s been a slow burn, but he hasn’t put a foot wrong – he’s one of only a few that you’d trust to still be making cool music decades from now. Give Kurt Vile’s music some little chunks of your life and you will be rewarded. Handsomely” – AUNTY MEREDITH

Since releasing his debut solo album Constant Hitmaker in 2008, Kurt Vile has ascended to an elevated stature as one of the most accomplished and charismatic songwriters of our time. A firm favourite with Australian audiences, KV has packed out rooms across Australia (including Sydney Opera House earlier this year, with his band The Violators).

Kurt’s latest album b’lieve i’m goin down…, released last year via Matador / Remote Control, won universal acclaim; The AV Club called “the purest distillation of Vile’s idiosyncratic style to date”, and Pitchfork bestowed it Best New Music, noting: “Kurt Vile has a persona, and you know him by now: He is the weird quiet kid in the corner, the one who seems at first lost in his own world and disconnected from everything around him, but turns out to be smart, observant, and low-key hilarious. So while his albums draw you in with the vibe—the impeccably recorded and mixed songs that shuffle bits of folk, new wave, or country in the mix but are always squarely down-the-middle rock—you return to them for their human qualities, the way they offer a manner of seeing the world, a glimpse at a perspective that feels both voyeuristic and easy to connect to your own life.”

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Last year, Kurt told Rolling Stone that he wanted b’lieve i’m goin down… “to sound like it’s on my couch”, citing Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush as a reference point. “Not in a lo-fi way,” he explained, “just more unguarded and vulnerable. I wanted it to feel like I was on a couch in a familiar living room even if I was somewhere else. To me, it’s sort of that home vibe that I had to capture somehow…to make it sound like it was played there in the room.

This intimate and immediate power that Kurt Vile’s songs possess is one of the qualities that KV fans hold dear to their hearts, and it will be in generous supply on this rare and auspicious occasion of a Kurt Vile solo tour.

Kurt’s friend Mick Turner will be opening for him at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Melbourne Zooand Queensland Performing Arts Centre, performing his highly acclaimed solo work. Mick Turner has had a dynamic and celebrated career as founding member of Dirty Three and simultaneously with his solo project, releasing four LPs on the iconic US label Drag City (Bill Callahan, Joanna Newsom, Ty Segall) with The Australian labelling him “one of Australia’s most distinctive guitarists.

October 19, 2016

Touring: El Guincho

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EL GUINCHO TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Wednesday February 15 @ Oxford Art Factory with special guest Donny Benet. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Thursday February 16 @ Howler with special guests Sui Zhen + NO ZU DJs. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday February 17 @ NGV Friday Nights. Tickets & info available from NGV.
  • PERTH: Saturday February 18 @ Perth Festival with Skinnyfish Sound System. Tickets on sale now.

A favourite with Australian audiences, El Guincho has transformed huge crowds into ecstatic tropical dance parties at Meredith Music Festival and Laneway. Emerging from a five year break, Canary Islands-born Pablo Díaz-Reixa — or El Guincho, as he is known and loved — shared a new album, HiperAsia, earlier this year.

Released locally via Mistletone, HiperAsia is another enormous musical leap for El Guincho, inspired by a chain of Chinese bazaars in the outskirts of Madrid where Pablo now lives, having written, recorded and produced the album in studios and spaces throughout Spain; in the Canary Islands, Barcelona and finally Madrid, in a chaotic period for Southern Europe. The music that has emerged is immediately disconcerting; prickly, bright and uncompromising and demanding, it has resonated with a whole new audience of El Guincho fans.

Ever the innovator, El Guincho is reinventing music distribution, having launched his HiperAsia collection with wearable tech which comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and an animated Vaporwave short film. El Guincho changed the face of music videos with his viral hit “Bombay” (over 2.3 million hits), which echoes in his wild new videos for “Comix” and “Pizza” (see bel0w). He has recently been nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video for “Comix”.

  •  “El Guincho’s most resolutely electronic work yet, Hiperasia buzzes like an ice-cream headache (and) reaches frequencies most indie-electronic fusions never knew existed” – PITCHFORK
  •  “A vivid, feverish soundworld of Auto-Tuned vocals, idyllic electronics and machine beats solid enough to stand alongside the best US R&B currently has to offer” – THE WIRE

EL GUINCHO ‘Comix’ Feat. La Mala Rodríguez from CANADA on Vimeo.

October 19, 2016

Touring: Moses Sumney

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Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

MOSES SUMNEY TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Saturday January 14 @ St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney Festival. SOLD OUT
  • SYDNEY: Sunday January 15 @ Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival. SOLD OUT
  • MELBOURNE: Wednesday January 18 @ The Toff with Leah Senior. Tickets on sale now. SOLD OUT
  • HOBART: Friday January 20 @ MONA FOMA Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday January 21 @ Sugar Mountain Festival. Tickets on sale now.

Mistletone very proudly presents the debut Australian tour by rising folk/soul auteur Moses Sumney.

  • “Moses Sumney knows lonely. For the past couple of years, he’s been serenading our alien impulses one track at a time, giving voice to the part of our psyche that would rather burrow inside a tree stump in a forgotten forest than face the outside world. He takes the elastic phrasing of Nina Simone and the purple-black undertones of Nick Drake and invites us to a place of eerie calm… His songs sound like lullabies for the self, hymns of fragile persistence” – PITCHFORK BEST NEW MUSIC

Born in San Bernadino, California, Moses Sumney moved to Ghana with his Ghanian-born parents at the age of ten. While studying creative writing at UCLA, he taught himself how to play guitar and began performing at age 20. At 26 years old, Moses currently lives in Los Angeles and, since 2013, has been gaining attention for his soulful folk music, though he has not yet signed with a record label or released a debut album.

With famous fans such as Solange, Sufjan and Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear, Moses Sumney has shared stages with forebears such as James Blake, St. Vincent, Erykah Badu, Karen O and Beck. His new EP, Lamentations, was released in October 2016 and has won unanimous praise, including “Best New Track” from Pitchfork.

Moses Sumney first emerged as an independent artist to watch with the self-release of his debut EP, “Mid-City Island,” and followed by 2015’s Terrible Records 7″, “Seeds/Pleas”. Since then he has been riding a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances.

2016 has seen Moses widening the sonic spectrum of his intimate music, releasing songs that feature fleshed-out production and focused song-writing. In-between stops at festivals around the globe — Primavera Sound, Pitchfork Music Festival, Eaux Claires — he has been locked down putting the finishing touches on his debut full length.

Moses recently contributed vocals to Solange‘s new album A Seat at The Table, listen out for his layers on “Mad” (with Lil’ Wayne), and “Dad Was Mad”; his lead vocals also graced The Cinematic Orchestra‘s brand new single, “To Believe”.

October 19, 2016

Touring: Weyes Blood

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Artwork by Alex Fregon

WEYES BLOOD TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday January 19 @ Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival. Tickets & info here.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday January 20 @ Northcote Social Club with Lost Animal + Poppongene. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday January 21 @ Sugar Mountain Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • BRISBANE: Sunday January 22 @ Junk Bar (solo show). Tickets on sale from Oztix. * SELLING FAST!

Mistletone is delighted to present the great Weyes Blood, touring Australia for the first time in January in full band formation.

Though Natalie Mering, who performs and records as Weyes Blood, chose to distort her project’s name (giving “Wise” an appropriately outré, olde feel) with a nod to the ocular (w’eyes), her entire output thus far has been an exercise in exploring the atemporal. She is a musician, a singer, after all, but the particular process of Weyes Blood’s development, and her experimentation with everything from early 2000s local-noise-scene strangeness to her present mastery of timeless balladry, highlight her as an meticulous sonic alchemist.

Active in underground music since 2006, Natalie Mering has collaborated with a slew of strange birds including Jackie-O Motherfucker and Ariel Pink. She’s released four records as Weyes Blood. The Innocents, Weyes Blood’s Mexican Summer debut, deepened and broadened the shimmering murkiness of her earlier album, The Outside Room (attributed to Weyes Blood and The Dark Juices), shaving away the fuzziness of that album’s lo-fi production and revealing a songwriting ability at once classic and singular. Cardamom Times, the EP that followed, went further down the folky, lyrically evocative river that The Innocents travelled so deftly. The influence of classical and Early music can be felt throughout these two works, rivaling the ostensible folk music lineage within which one may like to situate Weyes Blood’s songs.

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Weyes Blood’s new album, Front Row Seat To Earth, captivates immediately with its frank clarity in both sound and word. Though still retaining a deep influence of the classical often felt in her songs as a sense of ancient resonance, Natalie Mering is at her most intimate and vulnerable here, due in large part to her stunning vocals and simple, essential lyrical phrasing.

Produced by Natalie with Chris Cohen (who also contributes his deft, subtle drums to many tracks), the album is warm and close with a pop sensibility that sends it soaring into the atmosphere. The closeness of this record – how personal, alone, and frank it feels – conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the “Earth” of its title.

Natalie Mering wants to lead us through the microcosm of the personal to the macrocosm of the transpersonal. Her witness harbors devastating weight (“… and now you can’t stay, please baby don’t go away”) while also universalizing the strange ways of identity and relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs — they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love.

Weyes Blood affirms the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world — she illuminates and mythologizes it, projecting it back over the whole of Earth. The inner ecology leads outward, bridging “us” with our obscure inheritance of nature.

  • “She crafts emotional epics that masquerade as psych-folk ballads, subtly symphonic songs that are informed by yesterday but live and breathe right now” – PITCHFORK BEST NEW MUSIC
  • The exceptional voice of Natalie Mering never ceases to sweep us off our feet” – THE FADER

October 19, 2016

Touring: Circuit des Yeux

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Artwork by Celeste Potter

CIRCUIT DES YEUX TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Sunday January 15 @ St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney Festival. Tickets & info here.
  • MELBOURNE: Thursday January 19 @ The Toff with Two Steps on the Water. Tickets on sale now.
  • HOBART: Saturday January 21 @ MONA FOMA Festival. Tickets on sale now.

Mistletone very proudly presents Circuit des Yeux, aka Chicago artist Haley Fohr, touring as an ultra dynamic duo for her first ever Australian tour.

  • “Since she was a teenager, Haley Fohr, now 27, has been a kind of one-woman post-cabaret movement, using finger-picked folk-guitar mesmerisation, synthesizer ripples, aggressive drone chords and a severe, semi-operatic low voice. She’s hard to contain” – NEW YORK TIMES

Haley Fohr’s music strikes a unique balance between the personal and universal. As Circuit des Yeux she creates music that embodies the complexity of human emotions, juxtaposing tenderness and grief, ecstasy and horror, using sounds as representations of the emotional spectrum that we all experience.

Haley’s striking voice, an impassioned baritone, is the music’s centerpiece and guiding force. For her most recent Circuit des Yeux album In Plain Speech, Haley was joined by some of the most progressive musicians in the Chicago music community; Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas), Whitney Johnson (Verma), Rob Frye (Bitchin Bajas), Adam Luksetich (Little Scream), and Kathleen Baird (Spires That In The Sunset Rise). Haley cements her reputation as a fearless songwriter and inventive arranger with this stirring collection of songs that are both gorgeous and emotionally potent.

In Plain Speech represented the start of a new, more collaborative chapter for Circuit des Yeux. While previous works were solo affairs, not only in performance, but emotionally tied to a sense of confinement and place, these new songs were composed after a move to a collective living space, giving Haley an opportunity to break free of the isolation that informed her previous albums. Haley brought her community, literally, to the recording. In Plain Speech was her first recording with a full band, who are all leaders in Chicago’s new wave of creative musicians. Her songs, while always potent when delivered solo, shine in this new band context. Companionship and solidarity are themes woven throughout the album. “Do The Dishes” is a meditation on sisterhood, and a message to other women to take risks, follow their passions deeply and to love themselves. “Fantasize the Scene” explores the idea of eternal friendship.

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Extensive touring influenced the making of the album in several ways. Having toured solo for months throughout Europe and the US, no band, no tour manager, no driver, Haley in that solitude learned to commune with the audience in a way that she hadn’t ever before. That connection sparked in her mind a conversation with the audience, and many of the lyrics on In Plain Speech are directed at “you,” the listener. She also became acutely aware of disquiet, a pervasive anxiety, which permeated society in almost every city she visited. “I felt an uneasiness that superseded phonetic communication,” she writes. “Something dim is in the air, and it is looming large.” This anxiety creeped into songs like “A Story Of This World,” which is a call for change of priorities and values among the world’s leadership.

Haley’s latest release on Thrill Jockey is credited to her alter ego, Jackie Lynn…

Jackie Lynn: The Chicago Chronicle

Jackie Lynn was born in Franklin, TN on June 1st, 1990: “I’ve always been the source of action. My mom didn’t even make it to the hospital before I decided to come into this world. She had to lie right down on the sidewalk in front of Rolling Hills Hospital as doctors hovered around to help. It was storming that morning, and right as I was coming into the world a bolt of lighting fell from the sky, striking my mother right in the belly. They say I shot out of her like a bullet from a gun, right into oncoming traffic.”

Jackie, now a 25-­year-­old Gemini residing somewhere unknown, has mysteriously disappeared after leaving a chronological musical artifact that the city of Chicago is now using to try to trace her whereabouts.

This is what we know: Born and raised in Franklin, TN, in May of 2010, Jackie took a Greyhound bus from Franklin, TN to Chicago, IL. Upon her arrival in the city of Chicago, Jackie found a cheap sublet on the south side. She soon became acquainted with Tom Strong (real name unknown) on a short CTA bus trip to the Chicago Loop. We believe that Tom & Jackie together ran a multi­million dollar business distributing the illegal substance of cocaine around Chicago & the Chicago tri­state area for over four years. Authorities believe that a local automobile shop was used as the main distributions headquarter.

Over the years, Tom & Jackie have become well known for their large and lavish parties thrown at an apartment located on Sacramento & 26th street. Police have been hot on their trail, but have found no probable cause to make an arrest. A domestic dispute was reported on February 18th of 2015. When police arrived, the apartment was found deserted. Traces of cocaine were found on a red and gold LP jacket with the following recording enclosed.

Listen to Jackie Lynn’s “Alien Love” below:

 

October 19, 2016

Touring: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

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KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday January 12 @ St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney Festival. Tickets & info here.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday January 20 @ NGV Friday Nights. Tickets & info available from NGV.
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday January 21 @ Sugar Mountain Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • HOBART: Sunday January 22 @ MONA FOMA Festival. Tickets on sale now.

Mistletone is proud to present the debut Australian tour by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. American composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is cresting a new wave of electronic music, with dazzlingly beautiful compositions to open up our consciousness of the natural world, inner and outer space. Her pioneering work with the rare Buchla 100 synthesiser is rebirthing a forgotten technology to create an auditory world that is at once deeply human, spiritual, futuristic and present.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s formative years were spent communing with nature on Orcas Island in the northwest region of Washington state, a place she describes as “one of the most magical and peaceful places I have ever been.” Though she wouldn’t begin experimenting with modular synthesis until many years later, her creative work continues to be infused with and inspired by the vitality and serenity of Orcas.

Kaitlyn left the island to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied composition and sound engineering, initially focusing on her voice as her primary instrument, before switching to classical guitar and piano. She employed many of the skills she refined in college in her indie-folk band Ever Isles, but a fateful encounter with a neighbor who lent her a Buchla 100 synthesizer, had a profound effect on her. Mesmerized by the Buchla’s potential, she explains “I got so distracted and enamored with the process of making sounds with it that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album.” Starting with rhythmic patterns and melodic pulses, she soon began sculpting lush and exciting worlds of sound.

  • “Sheer poetry: charming, playful, evocative, and showing mastery of her medium” – SUZANNE CIANI
  • “It’s a difficult balance, pulling in pieces from the fringes of electronic culture and framing them in something so delightfully breezy. Smith triggers sounds that bounce around like hyperactive jellybeans, making it feel like her electronic bleeps and bloops are lost in joyous conversation with one another” – PITCHFORK
  • “Adventurous, mesmerizing sonic compositions which cause me to remember my love of music in the early days of electronic sound making machines” – REGGIE WATTS
  • “Gorgeous, droning ambience” – BROOKLYN VEGAN
  • “Mind-expanding suites of melody and unhurried curiosity” – DECODER MAGAZINE

Watch Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith demonstrate her signature Buchla Music Easel and arsenal of modular synths at her LA studio for FACT:

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August 23, 2016

Touring: Parquet Courts

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Artwork by James Vinciguerra

Mistletone presents the return of Parquet Courts, touring nationally for Falls Festival plus a Sydney headline show and a very special Melbourne show at the Shimmerlands Outdoor Auditorium at The University of Melbourne.

PARQUET COURTS TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Wednesday January 4 @ The Factory Theatre. Tickets on sale now. Presented by Mistletone, FBi Radio and Fasterlouder.
  • MELBOURNE: Thursday January 5 @ Shimmerlands Outdoor Auditorium, The University of Melbourne with TyrannamenAusmuteantsTerry + DJs Etta & Tilly. Presented by Mistletone and Shadow Electric. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • Also playing Falls Festival nationally.

PARQUET COURTS return to Australia fresh off the release of their critically acclaimed new record, Human Performance, out now on Rough Trade Records / Remote Control, and recent television performances on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The Brooklyn band has steadily achieved universal props as one of the best rock bands of their generation whilst staying firmly rooted in the DIY punk aesthetic and philosophy.

Parquet Courts began their 2014 release Content Nausea with the repeated refrain, “everyday it starts – anxiety!” And while that track left off at just its start, 2016’s Human Performance dives in, picking apart the anxieties of modern life with the band’s most innovative and emotional collection of songs to date. Human Performance brings expansive sonic experimentation and shining melodic introspection onto matters of the heart, matters of humanity, of identity. It’s also their most pop-oriented collection yet.

Across six years, four full-length albums, and two EPs, Parquet Courts have always littered their lyric sheets with question marks, interrogating the outside world to varying degrees. Light Up Gold considered peanuts versus Swedish Fish, an introduction of their sharp, young wit and language of mundane, everyday NYC imagery. Sunbathing Animal channeled that language into noisy punk philosophy, raising wide-view questions about agency versus captivity, choice versus freewill. Content Nausea wondered about anxiety and emotional deterioration under the age of big data, in an aptly self-aware way: “And am I under some spell? And do my thoughts belong to me? Or just some slogan I ingested to save time?”  And with Human Performance, the question marks get turned on themselves more than ever. Andrew Savage cites existential crises as the catalyst for the band’s new direction. “I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance,” says Savage.

To quote The 405: “Socrates died in the fucking gutter,” Andrew Savage memorably exclaimed on Parquet Courts’ debut LP. In that inciting phrase, he went a fair way to encapsulating the band’s character; a nod to both their amusing intelligence and an image of the strains and disappointments of city dwelling, which have become more pronounced as they’ve progressed. This post-punk collective are cutting, both in their musical style and in their lyrics, coupling them with dynamics and understanding that show off both these strengths.”

Below, watch Parquet Courts perform “Captive Of The Sun” with rapper Bun B on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, receiving a standing ovation from the studio audience. “Captive Of The Sun” is taken from Human Performance, out now on Rough Trade Records.

“The final product of this album is Exhibit A that we made it through the shit, solved the problem, had the chuckle, took the piss, made up with the other guy, and got home in one piece,” laughs bassist Sean Yeaton.

Whereas other Parquets Courts albums were recorded in a matter of days or weeks, for Human Performance the band took an entire year; it’s the first LP that finds all four band members contributing songs.

Human Performance brings expansive sonic experimentation and shining melodic introspection onto matters of the heart, matters of humanity, of identity. “I told you I loved you, did I even deserve it when you returned it?” singer/guitarist Andrew Savage wonders on the title track. It’s also their most pop-oriented collection yet, coming only months after the release of the largely instrumental Monastic Living EP; a record that was actually made at the same time.

“In a way, Monastic Living was like a palate cleanser for us as a band,” explains singer/guitarist Austin Brown, who produced the entire record, and mixed it in Austin at Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi, “maybe a return to our roots of improvising together, and being a bit more free, and seeing what kind of new sounds we could make.”

The recording sessions started at Justin Pizzoferrato’s Sonelab in Western Massachusetts. Some of it was also made with Tom Schick and Jeff Tweedy at The Loft, Wilco’s visionary studio in Chicago, but the majority of Human Performance was made at Dreamland Studios, a massive upstate NY pentecostal church where records have been made by The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr, and the B-52s (including “Love Shack”). They spent three weeks straight there, writing by day and recording with Pizzoferrato by night.

The result is a record with a palpable sense of fragility. “The process of writing and recording Human Performance, for me, was a fairly uncomfortable confrontation with my emotions,” Andrew says. “Emotions I don’t think I’ve fully explored in my life, artistic or otherwise.”

Human Performance is fittingly laced with as much static as softness, with tight-wound percussion pushing along meandering, wistful melodies. There are dazed and disoriented earworms, echoing group chants, downtempo ballads with wired riffs. Lovers leave, existential confusion replaces them, weeks pass, the J train rolls by.

The record leads with “Dust”, a 4-minute opener that takes the mundane daily duty of sweeping the floor and turns it into a frantic, obsessive call for action. “Dust is everywhere … Sweep!” they drolly repeat, before their cyclic back beat gives way to explosive, everyday city sound of car horns.

Andrew says “Human Performance” is his most personal song on the record, a solemn musing on love drifting away, a picture-perfect memory of the beginning of things and a hazier recollection of the ending. “It didn’t feel right to be shouting, barking,” he says, reflecting on his tendency to really sing for this first time on this album. “I think a lot of people are attracted to a sort of cerebral side of Parquet Courts, in the lyricism. There has always been the emotional side of our band, which I think has always been an important balance, but Human Performance marks a point where the scales have tipped. I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance. I felt like a malfunctioning apparatus. Like a machine programmed to be human showing signs of defect.”

“There is a lot of darkness, and general anguish being worked out on this record,” Austin adds. “But it ends kind of peacefully, kind of accepting that you can’t do much about it.”

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