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FullSizeRender(11)Exclusive photos, rare interviews, and surely months of work have gone into the composition and preparation of Thoughtforms, the expertly-presented Lush fan magazine approved by the band itself. Buzz had surrounded Lush’s reissues late last year, and that enthusiasm has extended to the first new music from the band in decades. The release of their Blind Spot EP on 15 April marks an amazing comeback, and a fresh examination of a sound Lush mastered and championed over a quarter century ago. With the release of the Thoughtforms fanzine, Lush gets the royal treatment they deserve. Richly detailed with exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, and observations from those who were there from the outset, this is a labor of love that celebrates the return of one of the genre’s founding bands. We sat down with Thoughtforms‘ creator Richard Lewis, and asked him about the process, and the final product.

DKFM: Tell us a little about the background, the genesis of Thoughtforms?

RL: Interestingly, I had an idea back in ’95 or early ’96 to publish something about Lush but that never got off the ground, for various reasons. So, when the band’s reunion was announced, creating a publication about them came into my mind again; it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate their return. Last September I created two social media fan pages for the band, both of which were received well, but I felt that the band deserved something more special than just a few online posts and tweets and so Thoughtforms began to take shape. I love the social media aspect of what I’m doing but I don’t think you can beat an actual physical product.

DKFM: How did THIS team come together, to tackle THIS project?

RL: I’ve actually done everything by myself apart from creating the final magazine layout templates as that’s one skill I just don’t have. I was lucky to meet a graphic designer called Paul Lambert who really understood my ‘vision’ for the magazine and made some suggestions regarding the layout, colours, etc. Apart from that, everything else was down to me. I work best when left to my own devices generally, and this was very much the case here.

DKFM: Tell us about the finished product?

RL: I’m really happy with how the magazine has turned out. It’s been an incredible amount of work, but I definitely think it was worth it. A lot of detail went into how it was going to look; I had very specific ideas and, as I mentioned before, Paul Lambert made it all come together and work. There are some really interesting interviews in there; I tried to go into as much detail as possible with each interviewee and I think there’s a nice balance there; it’s informative and interesting. I think it’s nice how much of the content refers to the band’s reunion and their new record, so it’s very much looking at the present and future of the band, with the occasional glance back at the past.

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DKFM: There are fanzines, and then there is Thoughtforms. This is no Xerox-copied indie/punk fanzine, but a slick, professional production. Any ‘zine experience in your youth?

RL: Actually, yes! I wrote a couple of fanzines in the 90s. The most popular one was called Germ, a title that I never liked, but it sold really well and featured some great bands like Cardiacs and Levitation. Then there was a punk zine called Subversion that featured lots of underground punk bands from the UK and then another called Headfirst that was handed out at gigs, which featured bands like Huge Baby, Map and Funzig. A cassette compilation titled Automatic Mind Control accompanied that and featured some of the bands I just mentioned plus others like Homage Freaks, Under The Gun, The Skraelings, etc.

DKFM: Did you get the opportunity to see Lush play live, ‘back in the day’? Tell us about the experience?

RL: My first show seeing Lush was at the Old Trout in Windsor with The Sandkings supporting in 1990. Then I saw them a few weeks later at the After Dark club in Reading when, I think, the band were supported by Slowdive. I saw them just two or three more times after that.

DKFM: You got full cooperation from Lush putting this together, and got contributions from all the current band members AND Ivo Watts-Russell, co-founder of the seminal 4AD label. Tell us how you got everyone on board, and about the input they gave?

RL: The band have been amazing, dedicating lots of time to me which I really appreciate as they are all extremely busy with their jobs, families, etc. Miki kindly put me in touch with Ivo; 4AD inspired me so much when I was growing up, and so to have the opportunity to talk with him was very special indeed. His passion for the band as people and their music just shone through. Chris Bigg, who worked in collaboration with Vaughan Oliver at v23 and who worked on much of the artwork and design for Lush (including the band’s new Blind Spot EP), was amazing too. He designed the front and back cover of Thoughtforms, with photography by Martin Masai Andersen, who also co-directed the band’s new ‘Out Of Control’ video. It’s an absolute honour to feature their work.

DKFM: Lush have implied this might not be their only new release. Does that mean Thoughtforms may also be a continuing enterprise?

RL: Absolutely. I’ve never thought of Thoughtforms as being a one-off. In fact. I’ve already begun to think about ideas for the second issue. I’m hoping to have it ready for the band’s North American East Coast dates in September.

DKFM: How can fans get their hands on the premiere issue of Thoughtforms?

RL: You can order the magazine at lushfanofficial.com. The band will also have copies to sell at some of their shows.

DKFM: Where will you be catching Lush on tour this go-’round?

RL: I’m actually on my way to London now for the band’s first gig in twenty years tomorrow evening (April 11th) at the Oslo in Hackney, London. Following that I’ll be at the band’s two Roundhouse shows in London, a show in Berlin where the band are supporting Pixies and I’m also planning a week-long trip to the US in September for the band’s East Coast tour.

Sparkling, limited, and surely a keepsake, grab your copy of Thoughtforms at lushfanofficial.com, and follow the effort on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Headliners: we got ’em! This weekend we’re pushing new music into your ears from Lush, The Joy Formidable, Desario (new EP dropped today on Test Pattern Records!), and the long-awaited return of Major Leagues. PLUS: new music from Grabbel and the Final Cut, whose new LP MMXVI is being released track-by-track NOW on Bandcamp, and there’s some real jewels in the mix. Add to that the new release from Jaguwar, a taste of Fog Lake, Magic Mountain, Glaciers’ shiny new single, Karma Shake, Stream, Shinji, Bloom Waves, Champagne for Radio and much more! And as last weekend was full of chaos surrounding the DreamGaze Festival, we’re a tad behind here at DKFM HQ, so don’t be surprised if we’re shuffling in even more as the weekend progresses.

That’s not to neglect Bloody Knives (on tour through the PNW this weekend, catch ’em if you can!), Miniatures, Nite Fields, The Churchill Garden, Choreography, Lost Film, Mallets, Night Shapes, The Dandelion Graves, Spicy Ground Floor, Hellens and more. Because, we have more music than hours to play it. True story.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Listen via the Radionomy station page at DKFM, on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our new branded apps for Apple’s iOS, Android and Blackberry. Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile, and live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

New release Friday means Pinkshinyultrablast, Miserable, and Holy Esque. It also means sneak peeks of the new LPs from The High Violets and Deardarkhead, as well as the upcoming single from Elephant Stone. Plus we catch up with Colour of Spring, We Keep The City Running, Coaches, Bananafish, and Lush.

But that’s not to neglect last week’s new entries, including Wild Nothing, Crescendo, The Telewire, Walking Misery, Collapse, She Bit Her Lip, Ask For Joy, Rev Rev Rev, Fir Cone Children, Tape Deck Mountain, We Are Temporary, Good Personalities, Jupitamoon, Svankropp, The Veldt and much more.

New Tracks Weekend kicks off 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll flagyl online no prescription spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Listen via the Radionomy station page at DKFM, on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our new branded apps for Apple’s iOS, Android and Blackberry. Or load up the “Internet Radio” tab of your iTunes desktop client, and you’ll find DKFM Shoegaze Radio under ‘Alternative’. You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile, and live-tweeting every track on our sub-Twitter DKFMTracks account. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

And, as always, thanks for listening, and thank you for your support!

LBLcoverBrooklyn, New York’s Let’s Be Loveless dropped their debut self-titled EP several weeks ago, and we’ve been unable to stop listening since. The band name is deceptive: while it hints at a love for MBV-era shoegaze, the sound itself is another matter entirely. Hints of Lush, J-Pop playfulness, Panda Riot, even a dash of Mazzy Star infuse this dreamy, textured sound. Rather than simply rely on jangly guitars and sonic wash, Let’s Be Loveless back it up with songs. Actual songs you find yourself tapping your toes to. Sure, the Britpop and indie influences are there, and fit like a well-worn but indispensable pair of sneakers, but it’s the songs themselves that keep you coming back.

While the EP’s opener, Video Song has gotten the most attention so far, there isn’t a clunker on the disk, start to finish. Four carefully-crafted gems await you, each establishing a different feel. Probably the track Star Matter is the one we most often crank up in studio, just because it’s such an original breath of fresh air, driven by Eric Arikian’s enticing guitar signature. We decided to dig up the dirt on these apparent newcomers, and find out what their further plans for world domination might be.

Let’s Be Loveless is:
Chris Whalen: Bass
Eric Arikian: Guitars/Sequencing
Abby Camaya: Vocals/Keyboards
Gary Elliott: Drums

DKFM: What got this team of musicians together in the first place?

Eric: It goes back a bit… Chris, Gary and I have been playing 3 chord rock (a la Replacements) for about five years together under a different name. It wasn’t really going anywhere, and we were getting sick of begging our friends to come see me scream like a hyena for 30 minutes in shit-hole bars. It ran its course, but we weren’t ready to give up so quickly since we played so tightly together. We started really tapping into our creative side after seeing so much amazing music being made around us, especially in Brooklyn. I think we just wanted to be a part of it. When we met Abby, it felt like she was the missing piece to the LBL puzzle. Her natural pop-sensibility was something that we never had. Hearing those early demos with her singing for the first time was really exciting. It was like, “Wow. There’s nothing like this out here. We have to get into a studio ASAP.” Now we are fully operational 4-piece Dreampop Band. Honestly, I never thought I’d be playing music like this.

DKFM: If I read the press right, 3/4ths of the band are Brooklynites, while your vocalist Abby hails from the SF Bay Area. What brought THAT about, and how are you dealing with the bi-coastal issue?

Abby: I moved to Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. It has been an adventure I’ve wanted to experience for a long time, since I was a child. I was anxious about finding the right band once I moved, but luckily it’s worked out well.

DKFM: What music did you listen to that has helped to color your sound? I can pick up any number of subtle influences, but Let’s Be Loveless is no pale imitation of ANY of them.

Eric: I’m not sure if there is any specific bands that we try to sound like specifically. If you were to look at my record collection, there’s way more Beatles and Stones than dreampop/shoegaze. Our songs do have traditional song structures and those classic songs definitely set the template for our songwriting. When we jam on ideas, we keep asking ourselves: “Is this a song?” I think our influences come out subconsciously when we play. I can name a dozen records that I maniacally obsessed over in the past 5 years, but I don’t think they would set a road map back to what we are doing. We have our own formula that works well for us. We try to reference our favorite bands when writing, but it still sounds like us in the end.
Abby: We all love a lot of the same bands. Vocally, my idols include Bjork, Morrissey, Astrud Gilberto. I definitely love my share of bands with female singers, like Trish Keenan (Broadcast), Harriet Wheeler (Sundays), Nina Persson (Cardigans), and on and on. I can’t get enough of a soft, effortless vocal that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, like you’re being lulled to sleep.

DKFM: Formed in summer 2012, dropped a demo, a single, now an EP. At this rate, you’ve got an album dropping before year’s end, right?

CW: Eventually I’m sure. I’m a big fan of the single and I think you’ll probably hear a few more from us before the year’s end and maybe even another EP. We have no shortage of music, we often record our rehearsals and have a lot of new songs we’re working on. I really hope to get the opportunity to release something on vinyl. In the meantime, we will be releasing a limited edition cassette with a free download of our latest EP this summer. We’ll be selling it on Bandcamp and at our shows.

DKFM: So far it looks like the touring schedule has centered in and around Brooklyn. Are you planning to take this sound further out into the boroughs, and even out of New York state?  

CW: We’re really just starting out. It’s important to us to be part of a local music community and I think we still have to cultivate our hometown support before branching too far out. We do have some roots elsewhere in the Northeast and playing outside the City is something we often talk about. Hoboken, New Brunswick, Philly, Boston, DC are all really just a short trip away. If we hook up with some local bands we would definitely head out of town. I’d love to make the occasional trip out to the west coast or to one of the many festivals.
Abby: It would be really great to go back to CA and play with musician friends in San Francisco.
Eric: Playing in the Brooklyn music community is important to me. I still feel like we are the new kids on the block here even though some of us have been playing for over 6 years together.

DKFM: The music industry has certainly changed, even over the last five years or so. The self-release and distribution model has served you well enough to this point. Have you considered a supportive independent label to help spread the word, or do you simply prefer the DIY aesthetic?

CW: I’ve always wanted to believe that people will recognize and support great music if they get the opportunity to hear it. Unfortunately, there is so much great music out there that will never see the light of day. For me, the initial response to our EP has been truly endearing. I can’t believe the places we’ve been able to reach with very little promotion in such a short period of time. There is a devoted community of dream pop enthusiasts around the world and platforms like Bandcamp have enabled us to connect with supporters from as far as Japan, Germany and Brazil. But bands like us are only half of any music scene. Without an active community setting up shows, releasing records, blogging or hosting internet radio stations like DKFM, many bands would just wither and die on the vine. So yeah, we’d love to collaborate with like-minded labels and promoters that share our vision but we’re not just going to jump at any opportunity just for the sake of putting out a record.

DKFM: What’s your biggest accomplishment as a band so far?

Abby: Rehearsing sober.
Eric: Ha! We are very sober players. Lame, right?
GE: After a few years of playing some pretty demoralizing shows I love the fact that we’ve already been able to share the stage with some inspiring local bands and play to enthusiastic crowds. It’s just so much more motivating.

DKFM: Let’s Be Loveless won’t be a secret outside of Brooklyn for much longer. Ideally, what does the next chapter hold?

Eric: Tough question. I don’t think we are ready for world domination yet like you said (way to set expectations Greg!) As for our future: Who knows. Honestly, we just like to write good music and get it out to the right people. The DIY mentality has done well for us, but sometimes a little help couldn’t hurt. We’d love to record a masterful debut, but it doesn’t seem practical at this moment since we don’t know what the demand is yet. Putting it out ourselves can be daunting so a little label support would be nice. Anyway, we are demoing about four songs now that hint at psych rock, fuzz pop, and some really heavy shoegaze. The songs are awesome and we can’t wait to get back into a real studio again. We are excited about all our summer shows too. It’s going to be a fun summer.

DKFM: Finally, what would you like to share with your new fans, about yourselves, about independent music, about life in general?

Abby:
I will happily dog sit for you! I have an unhealthy obsession with dogs, especially since I have a yellow labrador who is still in California. I may look into getting therapy soon.  On a more serious note, here’s something motivational that was probably written in my high school yearbook, “Be fearless and go for what you want!” It’s healthy to reinvent yourself, whether it’s in a new band or moving 3000 miles across the country.
Eric: Thank you for playing our music Greg. Especially next to artists we admire. We worked really hard making something awesome, and it means so much that you recognized it.
GE: I’m continually amazed by the all the technology that is being leveraged by bands and other people in the music scene these days, even though it’s way too easy to obsess over how many youtube views and bandcamp listens you’re getting. As a musician it’s exciting to know that it’s getting easier and easier to reach the small subset of the world that might be really into what you’re creating. It’s a great time to be involved with independent music.

A great time, indeed. Follow Let’s Be Loveless on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and of course Bandcamp.

teases their upcoming EP this weekend, and it’s a beauty. We were early adopters of this band, and it’s impressive to see them really coming into their own. Call “Welcome” a dreamy summerscape, a shimmery curtain, I don’t give a damn what you call it. Lush, hazy, layered and textured dream pop, this is your summer soundtrack. Likely available “in a matter of weeks” via Bandcamp, take a listen and fall in love.

Find Suā via Bandcamp, Facebook, and SoundCloud. You won’t be sorry.