Old Smokey: Wester Easter
Old Smokey is a unique five piece ensemble featuring Jim Willingham on banjo, Jason Trahan on lap steel, John Fernandes on violin/clarinet/bass clarinet, Jacob Morris on cello, and Rob Lomax on drums. Their quixotic and sometimes haunting sound has developed organically; the way the instrumentation of the band blends is both complementary and evocative. This distinctive unit began playing together over two years ago. Old Smokey's first full-length album, "Wester Easter" will be released on Cloud Recordings, April 29, 2014.
Despite a wide adventurous berth, "Wester Easter" is not the soundtrack of a flippant genre-jumping band. Throughout the album, their strong, sonorous mark is consistently there, as the instruments blend, swirl, and crescendo, then break down, from time to time, into the spidery banjo, drums, and plucked-cello skeletal substructure. Led by Jim's reedy lead vocal, spinning narratives or spilling out constellations of imagery, the whole band often joins, in chorus, to create layered harmonies or group chants.
Old Smokey is compiled of veterans of the Athens music scene. Members have played with bands such as The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, Vic Chesnutt, Ham1, Moths, Madeline, The Good Ship, and The New Sound of Numbers, to name just a few of their past and current projects. Their previous 7 inch and ep can be purchased at gypsyfarm.net.
The New Sound of Numbers: Invisible Magnetic
The New Sound of Numbers is an experimental post-punk band based in Athens, GA. It is fronted by Hannah Jones on 12-string electric guitar and features members of Pylon and The Olivia Tremor Control. Their album “Invisible Magnetic” is the follow up to their debut album “Liberty Seeds” which was released in 2006 by Cloud Recordings. The new album has a more celebratory feel than the first, and the driving rhythms and layered percussion lend themselves to both a sense of urgency and instant danceability Violin, clarinet, melodica, synth, and trumpet beautifully interplay throughout the songs, and occasionally take a turn towards musique concrete while also bolstering the upbeat feel of the songs. The rhythms of “Invisible Magnetic” are even more tribal, with an African influence, than those of “Liberty Seeds”, whose songs were described by Electrelane’s Mia Clarke in a review for Wire Magazine as “giving a nod to the Slits and Lizzie Mercier Descloux” The New Sound of Numbers can be placed categorically next to fellow Athenians Pylon and the B-52s. Recommended if you like The Raincoats, Deerhoof, Neu!, and Electrelane.
Faster Circuits: Tunes of Glory
Dream Boat: Eclipsing
Dream Boat is the music of Page Campbell and Dan Donahue, two artists, musicians and longtime participators in the Athens, GA psychedelic underground. Page (Hope For Agoldensummer, Creepy, Dark Meat) and Dan (Elephant 6 collaborator, who has contributed lyrics for Elf Power, Of Montreal, and most recently Bear in Heaven), have spent years writing and recording music together.
Jacob Morris: Moths
Jacob Morris is from Athens, Georgia. He started playing cello in Austin, TX at the age of four, and played with his musical family until he left home. The unique music community that is Athens attracted him years back. and since then he has supported some of its finest musicians and songwriters playing cello, guitar, bass, and keys with artists such as Ham 1, Vic Chesnutt, Liz Durrett, Madeline, and currently Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. Taking cues from the psychedelic pop and folk of this robust scene, Jacob has crafted a stellar debut with his Moths album. A beautiful voice--reminiscent of Elliott Smith, Love is Overtaking Me-era Arthur Russell, and John Cale--paired with a timeless songwriting sense that evokes reflection and meditation akin to a late 60's Nick Drake or Roy Harper track, Morris seams it all together with a roster of eclectic musicians that have played with everyone from The Olivia Tremor Control, Silver Jews, Clem Snide, and many others. Madeline added some chilling harmonies that give some songs a Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac feel. A good post-breakup listen, Moths was recorded over three sessions throughout the past two years in Nashville with the amazingly patient and talented producer/engineer Loney John Hutchins. The result of all this patience is a lush sonic landscape that is breathtaking at its most beautiful moments and unassumingly charming at its most humble.
The Olivia Tremor Control: Black Foliage: Animation Music (Remastered & Expanded)
Remastered and expanded re-issue of The Olivia Tremor Control's ambitious, highly influential second album from 1999, which originally sold 40,000 copies. Comes with a bonus disc featuring over and hour of unreleased, compilation, b-side, and live material. Perfect symphonic pop songs in an elaborate tapestry of tape manipulation, free jazz, and electronics. Guest appearances by The Apples (in Stereo) and Neutral Milk Hotel. Reissue to coincide with the band's tour of America and Europe, including an appearance at the Jeff Mangum curated ATP in December. "Pop at its most playful and the avant-garde at its cuddliest - a 27 song trip in which structure and chaos keep leap-frogging each other. Dedicated headphone junkies should be thrilled with the deep focus production and tidal wave of melody. Even the most elaborate concept albums can be fun." - Rolling Stone
The Olivia Tremor Control: The Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3
A trilogy of new songs by The Olivia Tremor Control. Soulful and psychedelic. The Olivia Tremor Control are back, finishing a new album, and touring America and Europe this year.
Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't: Lost in the Pancakes
Lost in the Pancakes was recorded at home over the last few years by Peter Erchick of The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, The Instruments, The Wedding Band, among others. It is the follow up to his albums Individualized Shirts and Special Fanfare for Anything.
Largely a solo effort (Erchick plays most of the instruments including piano, other keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion etc.), there are also contributions from Elephant 6 cohorts John Fernandes, Eric Harris, Bill Doss, Heather McIntosh, Derek Almstead, Robbie Cucchiaro, Heather Heyn, and Emily Growden.
Supercluster: Paris Effect / Neat in the Street
"Paris Effect"-a dreamy haze both wistful and yearning anchored by a wall of sound and pristine guitar previously only available on a very limited record day compilation from Wuxtry records. This recording by Supercluster, from Athens, Georgia features a "dream team"of musicians including Vanessa Hay (Pylon), Hannah Jones (The New Sound Of Numbers), Bob Hay (Squalls/Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars), Bill David (North Georgia Bluegrass, Monkey), Kay Stanton and Jason NeSmith (Casper & The Cookies),Bryan Poole (of Montreal/The Late BP Helium) and John Fernandes (Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System and many others).
Supercluster: I Got The Answer b/w Sunflower Clock
In a world where some people prefer the crisp sound of digital recording, while others prefer the warmer sound of vinyl, Athens, Georgia super-group SUPERCLUSTER offers its audience the opportunity to experience the best of both genres. Supercluster’s ï??rst CD, Waves, was released in 2009 to critical acclaim.
In a nod to the old school, Supercluster has now released two of its most popular songs, “I Got the Answer” and “Sunï??ower Clock” as a 45 on heavy mixed color vinyl, sure to become a collector’s item. The seven inch single comes with a hand-screened mini-poster, signed and numbered by Athens artist Amanda Burk. The mini-poster and record are limited to an edition of three hundred. Jason Nesmith of Bel Air Studios produced the 45, and Rodney Mills at Masterhouse mastered the recording. Hannah Jones (THE NEW SOUND OF NUMBERS, SUPERCLUSTER) designed the label. This is from Studio Mouse Productions, distributed by Cloud Recordings. Features members of PYLON, THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL, CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, THE NEW SOUND OF NUMBERS, CASPER AND THE COOKIES, etc. Limited Edition, hand-numbered. Recently opened for the B-52’s.
Circulatory System: Signal Morning
Seven and a half years in the making, culled from hours of recorded material sculpted in at least seven different studios, the new Circulatory System album is an absolutely stellar document of song and sound. Still concerned with matters of the inner / the outer, the incomprehensibly huge and the very, very small. An imperative blast of kinetic motion, composed by W. Cullen Hart while in the midst of battling Multiple Sclerosis within his own system - broadcasting his urgent pleas to the world(s) to evolve into a higher dimension, or for existing patterns to reveal themselves at peace within the natural order of the universe. Featuring all the members of The Olivia Tremor Control, as well as Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel. Thick with textures, layered percussion, angular guitars, vibrating strings, woodwinds, and brass. Eagerly anticipated since the first record, with mounting excitement enhanced by tours with the Elephant 6 Orchestra, the Instruments, Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't, the New Sound of Numbers, Need New Body, and the Sea & Cake. The new tracks that were posted on the Circulatory System myspace page were immediately reviewed positively by Pitchfork. The band plans on major touring when the album comes out.
Nesey Gallons: Eyes & Eyes & Eyes Ago
Eyes & Eyes & Eyes Ago was recorded by Nesey Gallons (The Music Tapes, Circulatory System), and includes Julian Koster of The Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel. The soft and gentle songs feature pump organs, acoustic guitars, banjos, singing saws, minimal drums, xylophones, sounds of nature, and delicate, childlike vocals. It was recorded from October 27th, 1906 to January 8th, 1907 in Old Bennington, Vermont, except "Aurora Borealis" which was recorded around Easter 1907 on an island in Maine. Gallons used an 8-track tape recorder, tube preamps, tube compressors, and a lot of RCA ribbon microphones. He recorded and produced the album, singing most of the vocals through a phonograph flower. The record is about the pursuit of friends not yet found/lost souls?the idea of childhood sorrow as if it were nothing more than coming into awareness of these missing souls?the difficulty of human life causing one to long even more deeply for the absent to be here, everywhere... Highlights include "Forest-Lit Dinners" with duet vocals by Sarah Moran and a fantastically booming bass drum, and the haunting pop anthem “Aurora Borealis”. Recommended if you like Elliott Smith, The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Microphones.1
SUPERCLUSTER is an Athens super-group featuring members of PYLON, THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL, CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, DEERHUNTER, CASPER & THE COOKIES, THE NEW SOUND OF NUMBERS / SOUND HOUSES, INSTRUMENTS, BOB HAY & THE JOLLY BEGGARS, and THE SQUALLS. It has been described as “Appalachian Wave” because of the combination of an eclectic mix of elements - three female vocalists, upbeat rhythms, violin, cello, mandolin, clarinets, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and angular electric guitar. Bringing together many generations of Athens music, they have been developing their sound over the last couple of years through consistent practicing and live shows. They are going to be doing more shows in support of the album including a show opening up for the B-52s. This is also one of the last documents of the guitar skills of Randy Bewley (PYLON), who passed away earlier this year. Bradford Cox of DEERHUNTER, a longtime fan of PYLON, stepped in to help SUPERCLUSTER in the studio after Randy passed away. Heather McIntosh of INSTRUMENTS / GNARLS BARKLEY / LIL’ WAYNE also appears on the record and is playing live with the group now as well.