Friday, October 19, 2018

Dreampop trio Sleepspent, led by 22-year-old Austin North, shares first music video from Chris Common (Minus The Bear)-produced EP.

El Paso trio presents its “perfect soundtrack” (All Things Go) single “Come Smile With Me” as inevitable demise of a house party at Popdust.

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Sleepspent (L-R): Grant Gonzalez, Austin North, Josh Mendoza. Photo credit: Jesse Maynes.

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Check out “Come Smile With Me” by Sleepspent at All Things Go and see the video at Popdust (or at the links below!)



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Sleepspent – In The Press

“Hypnotically bittersweet.” — The Big Takeover

“Deep, focused vocals seem to glide effortlessly through a dense fog. This may be the perfect soundtrack to the morning.” — All Things Go

“The young Texans walk a difficult tightrope between technical craft and earnest emotionality.” — The Joy of Violent Movement

“Full to the brim with musical talent, great production and tons of emotion.” — Higher Plain Music

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‘Come Smile With Me’ started out being written while I was in still in San Diego,” says 22-year-old songwriter and guitarist, Austin North of the song (hear it at All Things Go), the latest single from his band Sleepspent’s debut EP, out now via El Paso-based Slow Start Records. “It’s mostly about miscommunication and how people don’t think before they speak, or don’t care about the impact their words have.”

Sleepspent recently shared the music video for the song with Popdust (see it here). North explains, “The video involves me kicking people out of a party. It kind of replicates the contrast that the song has. Sonically, it makes sense to soundtrack a house party, but lyrically it is much more introspective and contemplative than a stereotypical party track. The lyrics involve sleep and silence, and so it feels appropriate to showcase the song with the end of a party, when one is exhausted and just wants to rest.”

North began performing as a UC San Diego student before eventually returning to his hometown of El Paso to form Sleepspent. The band, now a trio including Grant Gonzalez on bass and Josh Mendoza on drums, released its Chris Common (Minus The Bear, Chelsea Wolfe, Le Butcherettes)-produced debut “It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think earlier this year.  

North’s knack for creating music that is bathed in atmosphere (think Slowdive mixed with a more reverb-y Radiohead, led by a guitarist with an effects pedal fetish) that doesn’t lean away from authentic lyricism and captivating vocal performances (think Jeff Buckley) is proven on “It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think”.

“We’re also definitely inspired by shoegaze and dreampop,” North says, elaborating on Sleepspent’s sound. “That can be heard in the alternate tunings used throughout our music as well as the melodic chord progressions and melodies.”

And though he’s young, North also takes influence from future hall-of-famers like The Cure and The Smiths – two more acts with definitive “sounds” that have never sacrificed art for artifice. North’s formative years studying jazz guitar wraps it all up in a solid technical foundation, too, but ultimately, Sleepspent songs exist to make you feel.

Sleepspent has already been nominated as a ‘Best Band in the City’ by The City Magazine in El Paso, who called the trio “completely captivating, live and through your speakers.” As Sleepspent’s local following has grown, the group has become a go-to local act to support nationally touring artists, in addition to beginning to hit the road itself.

“It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think,” the debut EP by Sleepspent, is out now via Slow Start Records. Austin North is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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Sleepspent – Live

10/21/2018: El Paso, TX @ The Lowbrow Palace
10/22/2018: El Paso, TX @ Neon Rose Bar
10/27/2018: Sunland Park, NM @ Ardovinos Desert Crossing (Tribute to Jeff Buckley, performing Grace in its entirety)
11/02/2018: Marfa, TX @ Lost Horse Saloon
11/03/2018: Austin, TX @ Hole In The Wall (w/ Mylets)

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Sleepspent
“It’s Better If You Don’t Speak Or Think” EP
(Slow Start Records)
Out Now
  

Track Listing:

01. Something (LISTEN | MP3)         
02. Roots
03. Come Smile With Me (LISTEN | MP3 | VIDEO)
04. Stars
05. Cracking
06. What's The Rush?

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Sleepspent Links


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Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion



J Hacha De Zola takes detour from urban junkyard sound with new synth-driven, all-Spanish language EP, “Syn Illusión,” out Nov. 16th.

“I got in touch with my inner broken-hearted 17-year-old girl from 90’s,” Hacha De Zola says of title track, streaming now via PopMatters.

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J Hacha De Zola as photographed by Robin Souma

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“J Hacha De Zola sings a song of unrequited love with ‘Syn Illusión’. As songs on the matter go, this is one that’s bound to light the way forward and inspire a legion of imitators.” — PopMatters | Listen to J Hacha de Zola’s “Syn Illusión” at PopMatters or via the links below!





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As the Rahway, New Jersey-based artist J Hacha De Zola preps his fourth album of “urban junkyard” tunes, prompting Paste to proclaim him “a wild man in the vein of such fire breathing artists like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Captain Beefheart,” he is taking an unexpected detour.

“Syn Illusión” an original, all-Spanish language EP that Hacha De Zola will release on Nov. 16th, could very well open the man that UTNE described as “the kind of alluring character found in old children’s books” to an audience as unexpected as this release is itself.


 “A dear friend challenged me to step outside of this ‘J Hacha’ guy,” Hacha De Zola says. “Maybe ‘J Hacha’ had a more sensitive side; maybe that guy would write a record in Spanish, my first language. I originally went into this idea of a record in Spanish telling myself, ‘I’m just going to do a stripped down Hacha record, but it didn’t turn out that way at all!’”

‘Syn Illusión’ means ‘without delusion’ in Spanish,” Hacha De Zola continues, “but it also refers to the heavy synth sounds on this EP.” The “stripped down” J Hacha De Zola sound that he says he was going for has actually turned out to be his most produced effort to date. “My producer had all these really cool vintage synths, keyboards, Mellotrons, farfisas and retro synth emulators in the studio, so I thought, “well hell, let’s go heavy with these! I love retro 80’s synth sounds.”

 Where J Hacha De Zola albums (including his upcoming 2019 full-length, produced by Dinosaur Jr, Waxahatchee visionary, John Agnello) tend to pull from various musical bags, Blurt Magazine described “a compelling all-over-the-map collision of jazz, blues, show tunes, garage rock, and Latino flavors. At points, hypnotic, cinematic, lush, and dissonant,” the four songs on “Syn Illusión” are none of that.

 “Despite the lyrics and vocals being in Spanish, the music is essentially just one thing,” Hacha De Zola says, “it’s not Latin by any stretch; it’s some kind of dreamy emo synth pop.” One may be reminded of the opening strains of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” or Irene Cara’s film theme “Flashdance… What A Feeling,” a brilliant stroke that someone needed to make happen sooner or later.

 “I got in touch with my inner ‘broken-hearted 17-year-old girl from 90’s,” Hacha De Zola jokes. “I think of this as some kind of ‘undead Romeo vampire-like dude crooning about love, power, and magic.”

 “Syn Illusión,” the upcoming four-song all-Spanish language EP by J Hacha De Zola, is scheduled for release on Nov. 16th via the artist’s Caballo Negro label. Hacha De Zola’s fourth full-length album is scheduled for release in early 2019.

Hacha de Zola is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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J Hacha De Zola
‘Syn Illusión’ EP
(Caballo Negro)
Nov. 16th, 2016
  

Track Listing:

01. Syn Illusión (SOUNDCLOUD | YOUTUBE | MP3)
02. Otro Lado
03. Lejos De Mi
04. El Mago Negro

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J Hacha De Zola Links


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Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion


Friday, October 12, 2018

Multi-talented musician, songwriter, producer Alex Lilly brings “sexy psychological thriller” sounds to debut album, arriving Jan. 11th.


L.A.-based artist, currently on arena tour as part of Beck’s band, previews 2% Milk full-length with “Distracting Me” single, out today.  

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Alex Lilly as photographed by David Black.

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“Lead single ‘Distracting Me’ is a light (but not slight) pop song with a punchy beat and engaging twisty-turny melodies,” says L.A. Record about the first single from the debut Alex Lilly album 2% Milk, arriving Jan. 11th, 2019. Check out the premiere coverage and song here or at the link below!



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Alex Lilly (Obi Best, The Living Sisters) – In The Press

“About as original as they come.” — LA Weekly

“Radiant harmonies and catchy tunes.” — KCRW (Los Angeles)

“Emotes an extra layer of darkness that contrasts her sunshiny arrangements pretty perfectly.” — American Songwriter

“No shortage of youthful quirk.” — NYLON

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Los Angeles-based artist Alex Lilly is a renaissance female.

In addition to the writing, arranging, producing, and playing of her own music, Lilly has established a notable career out on the road as a part of the touring bands of such esteemed musicians Beck, Lorde, Ry Cooder, and the bird and the bee. When Lilly’s in L.A, she has stayed busy throughout the years with her own projects such as Obi Best, The Living Sisters, Touché, and Zero DeZire.

Now Lilly is bringing all of her talents, ideas, and her singular voice to the table in the form of 2% Milk, her debut full-length album, out Jan. 11th, 2019 via newly-formed Release Me Records.

Lilly’s ability to take a song out of the realm of merely entertaining to intriguing is all over the album’s first single “Distracting Me,” a tune dedicated to the idea of enjoying the annoying. “Distracting Me” is available on all major streaming platforms today.

“Most of the time, I don’t like distractions, they get in my way,” Lilly sings on the song. “What made you the exception? Showing up and all I can think of to say: I love it when you are distracting me from what I think I need to do.”

“What better testament to loving someone than when you enjoy their interruptions?” Lilly explains of the tune.

Lilly’s songs – she describes her sound as “sexy psychological thriller” – are synthy, syrupy, and suspicious i.e. there’s something going on here that’s not only pop, but actually pops. The intrigue that abounds on 2% Milk moves the listener beyond toe-tapping and finger-snapping, straight to brain-mapping.

2% Milk is the first release for the newly-formed Release Me Records, founded by musician Inara George, both friend and bandmate to Lilly via their previous work together as part of The Living Sisters, Zero DeZire, and when Lilly plays live in the bird and the bee.

“I met a very young Alex around 2006 when the bird and the bee was putting together a live band,” George explains. I started Release Me to shine a light on Alex, and all the other insanely gifted musicians I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”

2% Milk, the debut album from Alex Lilly, is scheduled for release on Jan. 11th, 2019, preceded by the single and “Distracting Me,” out now.

Alex Lilly is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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Alex Lilly
2% Milk
Jan. 11th, 2019
(Release Me)


Track Listing:

01. Confucius Says
02. 2% Milk
03. Distracting Me (STREAM | MP3)
04. Pornographic Mind
05. Boomerang
06. Night Drive
07. Infantile
08. Cold Snap
09. Hypothetical
10. Firefly

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Alex Lilly Links


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Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion