Epic. It’s a huge weekend for us, as we pack in a wealth of music for the weekend. Some brand new, some that we were blissfully ignorant of until this week. For instance, Electro Group. They’ve been churning out compelling music off and on for nearly two decades, and we only heard about them following this new release? That’s our failing. Sacramento’s Electro Group may have their influences clearly stamped, but the songs themselves are purely original and compelling. Unsurprisingly, we’ll go deep with the new LP as well as turn-of-the-century releases. Then there’s Morning Harvey. We remember being early adopters of this Aussie band when they were busting out, but then we lost track. Now we have an opportunity to catch up. But, speaking of new-new, we’d be remiss to miss the new LP from Jay Som (recently covered by Putzfork, but we won’t hold that against Melina & Co.). We’re ridiculously keen on the new double-single from Silver Liz, equally torrid and lilting. And that’s a thing. Plus we’re turned on to the debut from South Texas’ Fun With Ether, perfectly molded and ready to shine. And we’re rich with new singles from Sheer, HYLA, Danxia, Dead Gaze, Lunar Twin, Maheekats, A Thousand Hours, LOZA, LLOLLYANNA, Secret Shine, Prepare My Glider and MUCH more. Plus we’ll catch up with Diet Cig, Lazyeyes, Our Girl and a cast of many. So much stuff to stuff!
That only adds to last weekend’s new freshness, including Fawns of Love, Whimsical, Ride, Babaganouj, No Vacation, Daysee, Slowly, Life on Venus, The Mites, Delay Trees, 93MillionMilesFromTheSun, Sleepwalk, The Wrecking Queens, Excuses for Skipping, VENN, Froth, Novella… all of the songs, all of the time.
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. Remember, you can listen listen via the station page at DKFM, on Shoutcast, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Plus we have our 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. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!
You think you got nothing shiny and new for New Tracks Weekend, then, BOOM. Everything at once. Brand-spanking new singles from Sheer, Kindling and Bleak House headline the weekend. All three bands have a sterling reputation for quality output in these studios, and deserve all the kudos they get. But that’s not all! We go long with the new album from Tape Waves, always sparkling: fall in love with Here To Fade. New music from PNW’s Castles, about to embark on tour. New music from Barlow… we weren’t familiar, but drop the needle anywhere, expect jaws to drop. Castlebeat. Jellyskin. A sneak peak at Fuzz Club Records signing, New Horror: emotive JAMC tones as heard through an air vent (holy crap!). We catch up with VHS Dream, Tiny Fireflies, Velódromo, Emma Ruth Rundle (new single is cripplingly lovely), and Dead Rabbits’ fractured new single. Finally, we top it all off with a healthy dose of Fir Cone Children. New album Fircology takes their engagingly quirky approach, and broadens their appeal with fresh tunefulness.
Don’t forget last weekend’s new jewels, including Youthmemory, The Churchill Garden, Night Shapes, Vibrissae (on stage tonight at Seagaze Festival, with a packed bill!), Sketch Jets, Baby Honey, Kid Foguete, Night Flowers, Lost Film, Great Black Night, Water, Laura Rai, Lilith Cage and much more!
Remember: you get to vote on these tracks via the DKFM app! Thumbs up / thumbs down in the app helps us to know what stays and what goes. You support the station, you shape the sound.
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 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. Keep up with our new Facebook group for real-time discussions of what you’ve heard, and sound off!
NEW TRACKS WEEKEND. We’re ready. We’re premiering the first two singles from Wray’s spectacular Hypatia LP, due in January. We’ll be pushing them for two months, so get used to the awesome. We’re also catching up with The Dagger Complex. New to us, and terribly embarrassed to have missed this. Making up for it now. Plus new music from South Carolina’s exquisitely textured Lightness, worth your attention. New earworms from Japan’s Ether Feels. The new album Uneasy, from staff favorites Sheer, now available from The Native Sound. You’ll finally get why we’ve been buzzing for months now. The shiny new single from Weekender, sure to tickle your soul, but deeply. New tunes from Did You Die, There’s Talk, Bruising, Parsec, Grivo, Lift, Darkly, Omega Vague, and Pankhabilli. Our copy of Ringo Deathstarr’s Pure Mood, not yet arrived. But we’ve got some lesser-known older material to help fill the bill while we wait.
But that’s not all! We’re still pushing The John Candy, Rolemodel, Lighthouse, Pine, Kindling, Brilliant Beast, Versing, Half, Bloom Waves, Lazy Legs, and a whole hella bunch more. Because that’s how we do.
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. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. And still commercial-free everywhere! 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.
If you’ve followed us at all over the past year, you know we’re pretty keen on Sheer, a group of upstarts making a beautiful ruckus from Simi Valley to L.A. One of their several singles, “Skin”, even charted in last year’s “Best Of” tracks list. But it’s a new year, it’s a new day, it’s a new life (or something to that effect), Sheer is readying the release of their debut LP, Uneasy, as well as their first dreamy-looking video. They even corralled producer Michael James (Reverend Horton Heat, Jawbreaker, L7, New Radicals) into a revisioning of their single “Uneasy”, turning quiet insistence into something more beautifully monstrous. We caught up with Gina Almaguer and Sean Sakamoto of Sheer to get the update. SO many questions…
DKFM: First, WELCOME! It’s damn good to catch up with you! Tell us about the LP, Uneasy. What made you take the giant leap from a few well-received singles to a full long-player?
Sean: Hello! Gina: We’ve been working on all of the material since we first starting jamming back in May 2014. We released singles here and there because once we recorded one track, we were so excited to hear it in a digital format that we wanted to share it with everyone. We finally had to sit down and just record all that we had and put it out in bulk. It’s been hard to keep it all to ourselves for this long, but we are so excited to finally share it!
DKFM: How on Earth did you enlist the help of producer Michael James? Surely no small feat getting him on board for the title track?
Sean: He is a mutual friend of mine through my work and he asked to hear our music one day. He told me he liked it and he offered some of his expertise on our title track. It was nice getting a fresh pair of ears on something we have been working on for a better part of the year. Mixing our own album was very mind numbing at times and it was refreshing hearing a mix from another producer.
DKFM: Now that we’ve got rather ahead of ourselves, tell us how Sheer came about? Surely there will be some new fans only just now catching up with you. How did the squad come together?
Sean: Anthony plays guitar in another band (Black Prism) and was telling me he wanted to play bass in a band around the same time that me and Gina started jamming a little over a year ago. At that time me and Gina were trying to write more heavy riff driven music. I have known Jules through mutual friends for a long time and we would mess around on guitar and drums, so once we had Gina, Anthony, and myself, I asked Jules if he wanted to jam with all of us, and one thing led to another and we have been doing it ever since.
DKFM: Your sound is big and bold, but not at all derivative. The new album is filed with texture and color, but it’s not a carbon copy of anything else. Any influences come to mind that helped inspire this sound, this direction for the band?
Sean: I think our sound comes directly from our vastly different but somewhat similar backgrounds in tastes of music. One of my personal main influences would have to be Boris, both sound and direction. I really like that Boris has such a wide array of different music in there catalog and all of it is great. It’s really hard to describe them to anybody and I like that about them. Gina: There’s so many bands that have such a different sound from one another that inspire me a lot when I write, almost too many to mention. I think one of the more prominent ones would be Slowdive, although I try to create my own personal twist on some the styles I admire about them. Rachel’s subtle yet powerful vocal melodies inspired me a lot as well as the overall ambiance of the band in general. Who doesn’t get inspired by Slowdive though, honestly? G.O.A.T.
DKFM: WE’D be hard pressed to describe the ‘Sheer sound’ to a newcomer. It’s part gazey, part indie, and all earnest and open. How would YOU describe the sound?
Sean: I find myself getting asked this question a good amount lately and honestly I can’t really describe it. It’s best for someone just to listen to us or come see us and let them label us as they see fit (haha). I think everyone hears things very differently and some people will listen to our music and compare us to a band while someone else would compare us to a band that is nothing alike . We definitely try to have our own “sound”, but I kind of like that its a challenge to describe us to people who have never heard us. Gina: I agree with Sean. People ask us all the time and I don’t think either of us have ever had a direct answer. We all have adopted so many various styles from different genres/artists that it’s very difficult to pinpoint just one.
DKFM: What can fans expect from the album?
Gina: I think each track has it’s own sound and style. No two tracks sound that same. I even think a few of the songs could have easily been released by a completely different band and no one would know it was us (lol). I think that’s what makes “Sheer” who we are though.
DKFM: From what we know, the album is more about quality songwriting than being reliant of effects. But, for the record, describe your setup?
Sean: Our setup is constantly changing. I’ll try and keep it simple and straightforward: Telecasters, p bass, high wattage heads (for more clean headroom), few speaker cabinets with high wattage speakers (so we don’t get that much speaker break up), boost pedal of some sort, fuzz pedal of some sort (usually some variant of a big muff circuit), overdrive pedal, delay pedal, chorus pedal, and a reverb pedal. Gina: Sean’s the gear nerd of the band, so it seems he has something new every practice. I play a Standard American Tele out of a Music Man 100RD. The pedals I’m using at the moment are a Supernatural Reverb, Akai digital/tape delay/ loop combo, Walrus Audio Jupiter fuzz (honestly my favorite pedal ever) and a boutique clean boost that I got from Sean.
DKFM: Describe the songwriting process. Who brings what to the table, and how are the tracks fleshed out?
Sean: Songwriting is a joint effort. It really helps shape our sound since we all have different writing styles and influences. One of us will write something and bring it to practice and jam it and if we all like it or think we can make it into something we like, then we stick with it. Gina: Basically, someone will present the band with a riff or chord progression they wrote and each of us will add a part onto it that has our own personal twist and we just keep jamming it until we agree to call it finished.
DKFM: As you may know, “Skin” hit our Top 50 songs of the year last year. And it’s a hell of a tune. The churning guitar, nuclear-powered rhythm section, and plaintive (but not weak) vocals laid over the top. What’s it about, how did it come together, what makes it so monumental?
Gina: I was “fan girling” pretty hard when our song came on the Top 50 stream. I was driving and almost crashed hahah. I wrote that song about my mom who passed away from cancer in 2010. She was sick for a long time so when the doctors told us that her time was ending soon, she actually spent that last days of her life in the home our family had just moved into. It’s basically about me being with her on her last days here.
DKFM: Seems like you’ve been “adopted”, not only in the LA scene, but by fans, by US, and by local bands in SoCal trying to make a difference. Tell us about the reception and support you’ve gotten thus far.
Sean: You guys have been very supportive since day one and we are forever grateful for that! We have only been a band for a little over a year and we have made so many great friends through this. Gina: Well we definitely have DKFM to thank for playing our songs ever since the beginning. I think the night you premiered our first release “Orion” we got a lot of response right away. That gave us more motivation to play more shows locally which in return gave us the opportunity to build great friendships with other musicians in the area.
DKFM: There’s a video. We knew about it months ago. And waited. And waited some more. Tell us about translating your audio textures into visuals, the team that’s helping put it together, and when we might finally be able to see the finished product?
Sean: If you’re reading this its too late. . . see what i did there? it was filmed by my good friend Collin McCaffrey. Gina: I see you Sean…
DKFM: Anyone can tell you, it ain’t easy being an independent band in this climate (recording costs, tour expense, etc.). How do you make it work?
Sean: It’s a labor of love. We do most everything ourselves. We track, edit, mix, and produce our own music. It does add up over time but in the end we are doing what we love. Gina: Our drummer Jules is also a very talented producer who has his own studio. We kind of got off pretty lucky being able to produce everything ourselves. As Sean said, it does add up, but it’s an investment into something we love and are passionate about, so every penny is worth it.
DKFM: How did you guys hook up with The Native Sound and how has it been having label representation?
Sean: We have been in constant contact with them since about February this year. they found out about us through some form of social media or a blog and reached out to us. Once the album was done I sent it to them and I guess they liked it (haha). The Native Sound have been very welcoming and very helpful. They have an amazing roster of artists and we are stoked to be a part of it.
DKFM: Now, on the eve of the album’s release, any plans for a wider tour? And what comes next?
Sean: We will be making our way through California in support of the album. hopefully we can take it further in 2016 by touring further. Gina: Kickstarter campaign for a Sheer world tour in 2016!!
DKFM: Finally, what would you like your new fans to know, about the band, about the album?
Sean: Thanks to everyone who has come out to a show, listened to our music, and we hope y’all like what you hear! Gina: We’ve all dedicated so much of our time getting it together (sooooooo many late nights and coffee breaks) and we are just so grateful to see our hard work come to life. We really hope everyone likes it! Honestly, we are pumped if we only have one fan (hahah). We also have a lot of thanks to give for DKFM for supporting us all this time 🙂
So much new music to throw at you. Unsurprisingly, we’re all over the new singles from A Shoreline Dream and SHEER. But we’re also excited to share more new sounds from Wildhoney (released today!), Beach House, Youth Pool, the return of The Julia Sound, whatfunlifewas, Ummagma, Swiimers, Seasurfer, Catholic Easter Colors, The Poetry Book, DIIV, Tender Surgeon, dot Vom, Winter, Oak Coma, Waitress, as well as choice cuts from the compilation “Psychocandy Revisited”, celebrating the thirtieth birthday of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s classic debut LP.
That’s not to ignore last week’s debuts on our air, including Ghost Lake, Water, Girls Names, Modern Railway Exhibition, Shady Elders, Night Flowers, Sykoya, Commuted, Sunflowerheads, Giant Surprise, Drug Train, Cigarettes After Sex, FOREVR, Noir for Rachel, The Electromagnetic, Silversun Pickups and Deerhunter. We doin’ all that.
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. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And still commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.
News hitting hot and heavy this morning surrounding Cre•scen•do, label signing, touring and immediate plans. Here is what’s known, in a nutshell:
1. Cre•scen•do has signed to Italian label We Were Never Being Boring (WWNBB), home of international stars Be Forest. They have planned the follow-up to 2014 Album of the Year Contender Lost Thoughts, expected to be released June 2 of 2015.
2. They’ve organized and promoted the first-ever DreamGaze Festival in Southern California on Friday 6 March, about 30 minutes’ drive outside LA, and featuring Be Forest, Tennis System, Cre•scen•do, Sheer, and Young Lovers, plus local DJs and music luminaries.
4. A West Coast tour planned for late June, supporting and supported by some of the best bands the West Coast has to offer (as well as DJ Heretic of DKFM).
5. A European tour in October.
We sat down with Gregory Cole of Cre•scen•do for more details about SoCal’s first-ever DreamGaze Festival.
DKFM: How did the idea for DreamGaze Fest come about?
Gregory:I’ve always had dreams for years of my favorite genres of dreampop, shoegaze and post punk to have genre-exclusive festivals. I also would do whatever it would take to get my favorite bands to headline it, near and far, so this brand is definitely being built for longevity. I think a lot of people who truly enjoy this music as much as I do would be eager to celebrate it as well. Most importantly we want nothing more than for the genre to flourish & grow. So whatever it will take, we will continue to be working well within our community to develop and support both its artists and fans.
DKFM:What do you hope to accomplish by bringing THIS group of artists together?
Gregory:You know I love everyone on this bill, and I want nothing but the best for everyone I meet. Obviously I’ve been keeping a personal connection with everyone and we’ve all been working together as a team to support each other in every and any aspect. I honestly feel like I’m playing a mega-lineup festival with all of my friends, even though it’s honestly much more than that. I want the world for them, and won’t stop until they have it.
DKFM:Do you see this as a one-off festival, or is it the start of something bigger for the LA area?
Gregory:I’ve been throwing events for years now. Everyone who knows me can expect me to always do my best whether it’s on our level of friendship or when I put together an event for everyone to enjoy. I don’t let people down and I can guarantee this Friday is the start of something very very big, with Friday being incredibly big itself.
Southern California’s DreamGaze Fest is Friday, March 6th, and only those who’ve RSVP’ed can get in. If you’re anywhere NEAR SoCal, you’ll want to reserve your spot. A show THIS massive doesn’t happen every day, or even every year.
Too much good stuff. New Tennis System, in advance of their tour with Be Forest. Asalto Al Parque Zoológico, whose album Hexadecimal is released in two weeks on Japan’s Hands and Moment label. Brand new music from staff favorites Sheer, plus the new Candy Claws’ side project Sound of Ceres drops a debut track. Pre-release joy from Gazar Strips. New music from Best Friend, Skeleton Frames, brilliance from Mumrunner, The Away Days, Hideous Towns, Venera 4, Weary Heads, Vape, The Microdance, Shimmering Stars, Kori, Shimmery Shakes, the return of Bare Pale, and introducing Beko’s new signing Djokovik. New, new, new, new, new. That’s a lot of new. Plus we’re still pushing Night School, in advance of their upcoming Oakland show with Cre•scen•do on Monday night. Maybe we’ll see you there!
Plus we’re still pushing Ludvig Moon, Lost Tapes, El Xicano, Dripping Wet, Bloodhounds on my Trail, Miserable, Noir for Rachel, Sullen Ray, The Harrow, Velveteen, Whimsical, Seventeen Years, You the Living, the brilliance of Evvolves, and Maths on the Moon. Seriously, we’ve got this.
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. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And still commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.
Also, my back hurts from being hunched over a broadcast terminal. – DJ Heretic