Photography By: Regina Nicolardi | Ambassador of Photography | Pennsylvania | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC
Yesterday was a big day for fans of The Front Bottoms.
On March 28, the band gave a hint via twitter that something would be coming the following day. The band’s twitter page ask “Soooo what are you guys/gals up to tomorrow?” gathering a lot of interest from fans awaiting some news from the band who hasn’t released an album since their debut in September of 2011 but whose fanbase continues to grow rapidly.
The New Jersey based band released a new music video yesterday for a new song from their upcoming album, Talon of the Hawk, which they also announced a release date for, May 21st. The new song, “Twin Size Mattress”, has everything that we love about The Front Bottoms and more. The lyrics are obscure and smart, captivating listeners like they did on their first album. Brian Sella’s imperfect and endearing voice screams the poetic lines while Mat Uychich as always delivers on the drums. The excitement building around this song from the loyal fans shows a very promising outcome for their new album.
The song is sure to be a new anthem the crowd will scream in unison in their upcoming shows on their new headlining tour, which was also announced yesterday. After a few weeks touring in the UK/Europe in April, the band will embark on a new US tour June 1st and ending on July 13th. Considering how loyal the following of the band is and how much excitement will surround their album release, tickets are sure to go quickly. As someone who already has purchased their presale tickets, I suggest getting them as soon as possible as not to miss out on what is sure to be a great tour.
Erin Bradley | Ambassador of Philadelphia, PA | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC
Yesterday Johnny Brenda’s played host to a well-matched pair of critically acclaimed artists working at the growing confluence of electronic music and R&B. No faux-rave radio cheese here, though—Autre Ne Veut and Majical Cloudz are significantly more experimental than that. Majical Cloudz began the evening as if emerging from their namesake, two men on stage coaxing everyone closer from within a mist so thick that frontman Devon Welsh asked if he could be seen several times before requesting additional lighting. No matter how much dry ice clouded the room, however, his voice cut through the dark directly into the listeners’ hearts, supported by a bed of pulsating ambient synthesizers courtesy of bandmate Matthew Otto. As he belted out lyrics of longing, romantic and otherwise, through an impressive vocal range while convulsing in a manner more reminiscent of the impassioned paroxysms of a fan in the front row of the 10 year reunion of his favorite emo band than the calculated showmanship of a rockstar, Welsh’s passion for his music was palpable. In a time where all too many musicians hide behind irony, tongues firmly planted in cheeks, this lack of artifice invites each one into a world that is indeed magical.
Video screens lowered from the ceiling as Autre Ne Veut took the stage: first the drummer, then the programmer/backing vocalist, and finally the harem-pants clad Arthur Ashin, their heavy beats accompanying images of a painting being carried around city streets. Painting is a well-chosen metaphor for Ashin’s music, an impressionistic take on R&B that includes all the falsetto acrobatics and guttural wails without the rest of the song structure. The propulsive downtempo instrumentals are not the only aspect of Autre Ne Veut that resembles so-called ‘trap music’—it has a similar relationship to its source material, stripping it down to basics for maximum effect. The results are moving, literally. There was not a single body in the place that did not rock to these rhythms, despite—or even because of—the virtual impossibility of understanding what precisely was giving Ashin the blues. Just before the last song the frontman climbed down into the audience and watched the backing vocalist and drummer jam out the ending of the song they were performing with a smile of satisfaction on his face, embracing Devon Welsh before returning to the stage. He seemed truly happy to watch his music being performed, even by others.
Autre Ne Veut’s new album Anxiety was released yesterday to a ‘Best New Music’ nod from Pitchfork, and this show was the opening night of a tour that will take these two artists through their respective hometowns of New York and Montreal and down the west coast before ending at SXSW. If their success continues to grow, perhaps sincerity is not dead in the 21st century.
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC