Friday, February 24, 2017

San Francisco-based 20 Minute Loop celebrates 20 years of music-making with “Songs Praising The Mutant Race,” its first album in eight years, out today.

Two voices “born to sing together” spotlight vocals on stripped-down catalog faves. SEE “Mercury Vapor” via BLURT, HEAR new song “Giftgas” via Atwood.

+++


20 Minute Loop (L-R): Kelly Atkins, Greg Giles. Photo credit: Teresa Miller.

+++

20 Minute Loop – In The Press

“Beautifully morose pop with catchy melodies and tight harmonies.” — NPR / All Songs Considered

“Pop songsmiths of the highest caliber, adept at crafting idea-packed tracks that are clever, catchy and wholly engaging.” — The Bay Bridged

“One of the more refreshing musical experiences I’ve had in months and months.” — Pitchfork

+++

PLAY, POST & SHARE


Hear the brand-new 20 Minute Loop song “Giftgas” via Atwood Magazine or the links below!



+++

See the “delightfully twisted” video for “Mercury Vapor” via BLURT or the link below!



+++


20 Minute Loop album + poster art by Sara Lautman (The New Yorker, The Believer, The Pitchfork Review)

Twenty years of 20 Minute Loop is celebrated today with the release of Songs Praising The Mutant Race, the San Francisco-based band’s first album in over eight years, an achievement marked not only by gray hair, ringing ears and creaky knees, but a shit-ton of songs, stories and shows.

The album features stripped-down re-workings of favorites from the band’s catalog – check out the video for longtime favorite “Mercury Vapor” via BLURT, as well as one brand-new song “Giftgas,” which addresses the Holocaust in the context of a pop song with masterful creativity, sensitivity, and reverence. Atwood Magazine has premiered the track along with an extensive editorial discussing its meaning.

Formed by Greg Giles (vocals, guitar) in 1997, and joined by Kelly Atkins (vocals, keyboards, flute) shortly thereafter, the core duo of 20 Minute Loop follows-up the release of five albums, with this, their sixth, and arguably most passionate, recording yet.  The seemingly permanent shelving of 20 Minute Loop due to impossible scheduling, newborn children, and brain-rotting graduate studies, has now given way to Songs Praising The Mutant Race, which offers up stripped down and reinvented versions of ten favorites from the 20 Minute Loop catalog, one cover song, and one never-before-released tune. The record proves that bands may die, but songs don’t. The collection breathes with both the wisdom of age, and renewal.

Inspired by the reactions of longtime fans at a series of intimate house concerts that 20 Minute Loop performed upon initially reforming in 2014, Songs Praising The Mutant Race finds the group recording as a trio in very similar circumstances: live in the room at Ninth Street Opus studios in Berkeley.

In re-imagining, re-arranging, ironing out, and stitching this material back together, the band wanted the songs to shine without being burdened by too much production. Here we have the songs and singers laid bare, accompanied by overdubs from mostly acoustic instruments, including viola, trumpet, flute, accordion, wineglass organ, and more.  The result is a perfect depiction of the vibe from one of the living room concerts that inspired the record, with the band’s visceral lyrics and accompanying tempos taking on a woozy, syrupy overtone that makes these songs feel fresh. Sonically, these new versions focus on the vocal interplay between Giles and Atkins, who sound more like they were born to sing together than ever before.

“Singing with Greg has been the single most important musical relationship of my life,” Atkins explains. “It truly feels like ‘coming home’ for me. The nimble instinct that you have after singing with someone for 20 years is a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.”

That special vocal combination is especially affecting on the album’s opening number and first single “Mercury Vapor,” about which Atkins explains, “The re-do of this song includes Caitlin Tabancay Austin adding a third harmony, which absolutely brings the song to life. It’s frenetic, neurotic and makes me feel like I have a nervous tic every time I sing it – but in a good way.”

As a band that came about and went away in the age of the Compact Disc, 20 Minute Loop is very excited for Songs Praising The Mutant Race to be its first album issued on vinyl, and they are doing it with style. In addition to the usual formats, fans can purchase a beautiful vinyl edition of the album with a jacket illustrated by Sara Lautman, whose work has previously appeared in The New Yorker, The Believer, The Pitchfork Review, The Awl, and other publications.

Songs Praising The Mutant Race by 20 Minute Loop is out now. Members of 20 Minute Loop are available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

+++

20 Minute Loop
Songs Praising The Human Race
(S/R) – Out Now
  

Track Listing:

01. Mercury Vapor (STREAM | MP3 | VIDEO)
02. English As A Second Language
03. Empire
04. Giftgas (STREAM | MP3)
05. Elephant
06. Hell In A Handbasket
07. Parking Lot
08. Drowning
09. Aquarium
10. Carlos The Jackal
11. Windsor McKay
12. Never My Love

+++

20 Minute Loop Links


+++

Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion


Monday, February 20, 2017

Tabah begins ascending beyond Minneapolis-based buzz with upcoming release of debut album “Symmetry Somewhere,” out March 17th.

Band to launch support tour at Daytrotter Downs festival on March 3rd. New “transportive” single “Curtain Call” streaming now via Impose.

+++


Tabah (L-R): Andrew Seitz, Murphy Janssen, Cecelia Erholtz, Charlie Bruber, Jeff Ley. Photo credit: Peter Jamus.

+++


PLAY, POST & SHARE

Hear “Curtain Call” by Tabah from Symmetry Somewhere now via Impose or 89.3 The Current!




+++

“A mystically groovy sound. A tribal sense of belonging.” — Minneapolis City Pages

The five-piece Minneapolis-based band Tabah is often called out in the local press about its vocalist, Cecelia Erholtz. The word “Earthy” gets used a lot, and while not inaccurate, it leans into a place that is smaller than what is actually required to describe her. As a matter of fact, Erholtz’s “Earthy” vocals communicate something more universal than what could be attributed to any one planet. They could be “Jupitery,” or “Saturny,” and even Heavenly on Tabah’s debut album Symmetry Somewhere, scheduled for release on March 17th, 2017.

Erholtz’s powerful voice – she also contributes on guitar – needs a powerful band to support it. Grounded, if you will. Earthy? Tribal. It comes in the form of the adept playing of her classically-trained bandmates, Jeff Ley (guitar/vocals), Charlie Bruber (bass/vocals), Andrew Seitz (keyboards, vocals), and Murphy Janssen (drums/percussion.)
Together – and Tabah’s musicians really do sound like they are playing together – the band takes this music to a unique place where psych-heaviness and ethereal-wisp combine in a way that hasn’t necessarily been heard like this before. Consider this: Symmetry Somewhere is a head-bobbing, mind-bender of an album that was recorded in Nashville, and could pass for folk in its quieter moments, but is still loud enough to piss off neighbors by blowing off their doors.

Recorded live to tape, with minimal overdubs, the band worked tirelessly during the day at Welcome To 1979 Studios, and then retired to a cattle ranch just outside of Nashville where they would meet at a gazebo near a frog pond. That place soon became a temple where the five would find themselves reflecting, releasing, and crafting closely amongst relaxed moonlight, soft mornings and Southern thunderstorms.

“We became so close on that trip that it sometimes feels like we’re still there,” Bruber recalls. Perhaps Symmetry Somewhere is the sound of trust and distrust combined then, a document of the band’s evolution from five into one. “A balancing act of destruction and perseverance,” as Bruber terms it.

At the end of the day, however, Tabah is pragmatic when it comes to this, encouraging listener interpretations rather than trying to define them. Describing Tabah as a “blank and meaningless canvas,” Bruber continues, saying, “We are eternally grateful for the ways people have perceived us so far, and we believe that this album will finally allow listeners to get a sense of what we are really going for in our music.”

So far, it’s made a lot of sense for the Minneapolis NPR-affiliate, 89.3 The Current, which has consistently supported Tabah since the band’s first EP release in 2015, giving the single heavy rotation and naming it one of the best local tracks of the year. The resultant sell-out crowds at Tabah’s hometown venue, the famed 7th Street Entry, have only further cemented the group as a must-see live act in the city; a mystifying, haunting, soulful experience that will now go national with the release of the new album, and tour to follow.

The first single from Symmetry Somewhere is “Curtain Call,” an ironic choice for a beginning, but one that has actually been a part of the band’s set since the start. An earlier version of the song appeared on Tabah’s debut EP, but owing to the five-headed monster (or many-armed Buddha?) that is Tabah, the song has become something else over time.
Indeed, Janssen explains that “‘Curtain Call’ grew along with us.  Shorter, meatier, yet still lush, it now evokes a beginning that can only come from something else’s end.”
Bruber concurs, giving the song the credit for helping the band become what it is today.

“The reaction we received for that song in our early days of playing Minneapolis gave us the confidence to grow,” he says. “In some ways, ‘Curtain Call’ was the boost we needed for us to feel like we were doing something special.”

Now that Symmetry Somewhere is completed, the members of Tabah continue to seek – personally and also professionally – through their visceral ability to connect in meaningful ways with their rapidly expanding audience. Now they have the tangible result of this pursuit. The new album is already in their hands and ears, and soon, in yours. As for what can’t yet be physically grasped, it’s still waiting for us to discover. It might be Earthy. It’s definitely out there.

The debut album Symmetry Somewhere by Tabah is scheduled for release on March 17th, 2017, preceded by the single “Curtain Call,” streaming now. See Tabah on tour this spring. Members of Tabah are available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

+++

Tabah – On Tour

3/03/2017: Davenport, IA @ Daytrotter Downs Festival | Tickets
3/04/2017: Saint Paul, MN @ The Turf Club (Album Release Show)
3/05/2017: Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s
3/06/2017: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
3/07/2017: Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
3/08/2017: Wichita, KS @ Barleycorn’s
3/09/2017: Norman, OK @ The Red Brick Bar
3/13/2017: Austin, TX @ Cheers Shot Bar Rooftop (SXSW)
3/13/2017: Austin, TX @ The Thirsty Nickel
3/15/2017: Austin, TX @ Handlebar
3/16/2017: Austin, TX @ Cherrywood Coffehouse (SXSW)
3/18/2017: New Orleans, LA @ DMac's
3/19/2017: Jackson, MS @ Soul Wired Cafe
3/21/2017: Jackson, MS @ Offbeat
3/24/2017: Nashville, TN @ The 5 Spot (Album Release Show)

+++

Tabah
Symmetry Somewhere
(S/R)
March 17th, 2017
  

Track Listing:

01. Lucid State
02. Curtain Call (STREAM | MP3)
03. Closer To Colder
04. Bloom
05. Noble
06. The Hive
07. Spine
08. Kuker
09. False Balance
10. TWC
11. Celebrate
12. Villain
13. Central Why?
14. Myth

+++

Tabah Links


+++

Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion


Thursday, February 9, 2017

The March Divide announces series of 80’s covers, with art featuring Jared Putnam “wearing” each covered artist’s iconic, era-compliant hairstyle.

Prolific San Antonio-based songwriter currently working on follow-up to “Bribing Jace,” his fourth EP, in addition to three LPs, in three years.

+++


 Jared Putnam of The March Divide channels Robert Smith of The Cure.  Photo: John Glover. Art: Krist Krueger.

+++


PLAY, POST & SHARE

The March Divide launches a series of 80’s cover songs with “Closedown” by The Cure. Hear it via Verbicide or the links below!




+++

The March Divide – In The Press

“Impressively hooky.” — American Songwriter

“Catchy hooks and memorable lines.” — Innocent Words

“A lovely surprise.” — Independent Clauses

“His work is uniformly intimate and thoroughly emotional.” — Nooga

Big Star-informed, strummy acoustic reverie.” — BLURT

“Completely clever.” — Performer

“Gifted with a serious set of pipes.” — The Aquarian

“Quality pop at its best.” — Popdose

“All about lyrics and melodies.” — Babysue

+++

“I have an ongoing project, to record every song off of Disintegration.” – Jared Putnam, The March Divide

San Antonio-based songwriter, Jared Putnam, leader of the sometimes more, but usually one-man pop-rock band, The March Divide, is a prolific songwriter (three albums and four EPs worth over the last few years), but he’s also a studio hound, in general, who loves to be there recording.

As Putnam preps songs for a new album, he has been having some fun recording cover versions of songs that have inspired him, some that are beloved hits, and some that are both. Most of all, they are songs he grew up with.

“I feel like these are the songs that introduced me to music, around the age that I started to care,” he says.

Working with engineer Mike Major (At The Drive-In, Coheed and Cambria), who also plays keys on the majority of the tracks and has been working with Putnam for years, was a comfortable environment in which to have a good time with these tunes.

Artists including The Cure, The Bangles, Willie Nelson, Culture Club, and ‘Til Tuesday get a treatment from Putnam that isn’t ironic, but truly interpretive in the best way, as he takes his style and applies it with the thoughtful touch that makes it clear why we love these songs, and why he does, too.

“People might write this off as a rehash, but that honestly didn’t even occur to me until I was finished recording. For me, these songs are endearing. I was a little kid and these songs were on MTV. Everyone loves something about these songs.”

Adding to the fun, graphic designer Krist Krueger has taken Putnam’s image and created “covers for the covers,” with each song accompanied by Warholian art depicting Putnam wearing the iconic hairstyle of the artist he’s paying tribute to.

The first track to be released is “Closedown” by The Cure, featuring Mr. Robert Smith’s legendary coif on the jacket.

“That album fits so well in the era it’s from. It defined it. The songs are timeless,” Putnam says.

+++


PLAY, POST & SHARE

Hear “That Song I Wrote For You” via Atwood Magazine and see the video via Impose or at the links below!




+++



+++

“Bittersweet beauty.” — Impose

Putnam’s lyrics are immediately relatable.” — Atwood Magazine

“There’s an untapped type of pop music that I’ve been on a quest to make,” ​​Putnam says, explaining the sound of ​​“Bribing Jace,” he latest EP of originals (following three albums, and another three EPs over the last three years.) “Not redefined, just redesigned,” ​​Putnam continues. “While I’ve never really been willing to sacrifice a song to an experiment, I went as close to all-in as I could this time. Chasing this white whale was a lot of fun!”

“Bribing Jace” contains three songs recorded during the sessions for Saturdays, the current full-length by The March Divide, which Putnam loved, but felt didn’t quite fit the feel of the album. The EP is rounded out by two brand-new tracks, including the single, “That Song I Wrote For You.”

“I don’t typically write my songs in one sitting, but I love it when I do,” Putnam says of the tune. “I wrote it all at once, in a Harlingen, TX hotel room. Lyrically, it’s just about moving on.”

While the core of “That Song I Wrote For You” is folk-based, Putnam explains that he approached the production with pop in mind.

“When I demo my songs, I record all the percussion by slapping my merch tub with a sock on my hand,” he says, giving us a peek behind the curtain. After hearing the demo, Putnam’s producer picked up on the pop cues immediately. “He told me, ‘I’ve got this Katy Perry kick drum sample that’ll really bring it home!’ I never thought I’d share anything with Katy Perry, but we’re both getting all we can out of that kick drum sound,” Putnam jokes.

Of the music video for the track, Putnam says, "What I like most about the video for it is that we were able to make it at all. Because of my tour schedule, I had given up on it, but we had a show cancel, and that gave us a day off in El Paso, where I’m originally from. While driving to Houston for our next show, we shot the video at Dave’s Pawn Shop, a famously eclectic and interesting place in downtown El Paso."

Jared Putnam is available for interviews.  Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

+++

The March Divide – “Bribing Jace” EP
(S/R – Out Now)
  

 Track Listing:

01. That Song I Wrote For You (STREAM | MP3 | VIDEO)
02. It’s Easy
03. Here I Go Again
04. Push My Luck
05. I Might (STREAM | MP3)

+++

The March Divide Links


+++

Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion