Fire Note Staff

Cut Worms – “Castle In The Clouds” [Video]

Cut Worms, moniker of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Max Clarke, has returned with “Castle in the Clouds,” and an accompanying video. Clarke wrote “Castle in the Clouds” in April 2019 after tours supporting his 2017 EP Alien Sunset and 2018’s Hollow Ground. The songs came quick, then, too many to count. Eschewing demos for in-studio spontaneity, he finished “Castle in the Clouds” on a flight to Memphis, TN, and then recorded it the next day at Sam Phillips Studio with Matt Ross-Spang (John Prine, Jason Isbell, Margo Price). The resulting track is somewhere between a lonesome cowboy lullaby for the restless, and a doo-wop sci-fi elegy for the daydreaming teenagers of Mars. Its video, homemade by Clarke, pulls together luminous animations and mid-20th century stock footage.

“‘Castle in the Clouds’ was the first one we did,” says Clarke. “I remember being in the studio, thinking the control room looked like the bridge on a spaceship. It reminded me of the old Carl Sagan Cosmos, where he’s kind of hovering above, transporting you across the universe. I always really liked the theme song. I think that spirit found its way onto the recording.”

You can find the single HERE. As of right now there is no information on a new LP but stay tuned.

Beans – “Stride” [Video]

Formally Baked the now just Beans are back with a sophomore record titled All Together Now via Flightless Records on June 26th. Recorded in Wallington, Victoria (on an old apple and pear farm cool room that has been converted into a home studio) All Together Now is a 9-track offering that captures the energy of a band who have made their name through the intensity of their live performances, including festival appearances at the psych fest; Gizzfest, New Year’s Evie and Loch Hart festivals, as well as King Gizzard tour support.

“Stride” is the first single and I think you can hear the Beans inspiration by the likes of Electric Light Orchestra, Slade and Skyhooks. They have the late 60s and early 70s groove for sure!

The Beths – “I’m Not Getting Excited” [Video]

The Beths share a fervent new single/video, “I’m Not Getting Excited,” from their second album, Jump Rope Gazers, out July 10th on Carpark Records. Following the lead single, “Dying to Believe,” “I’m Not Getting Excited” is an urgent track about imposter syndrome. The track opens with driving guitar and a jockeying melody before bursting with a crashing rhythm section. The band performed the single on their “Live From House 2” live stream earlier this morning.

“People always ask ‘are you excited!?’ and it’s a fair question, because exciting things do happen to us sometimes,” says Elizabeth Stokes. “Support slots, overseas tours, music releases. Stuff we’ve dreamed about for years. So the correct answer is always ‘yes.’ But the truth is that deep down there’s a tiny Liz saying, ‘don’t get excited.’ She is certain that anything good that could happen will most likely not happen, because of a freak accident. Or because somebody finally realises that we aren’t worthy, shouts ‘phony!’ and takes everything away. I wrote ‘I’m Not Getting Excited’ last year, well before everything really did get taken away. From everyone. It feels like the song has a new context, but we don’t know what it is yet. And now we all share a blurry, uncertain future.”

The official video was filmed during the first month of lockdown in New Zealand. It’s a spooky more-is-more collage of animated night terrors. The directors Sports Team “turned our laundry into a film studio and spent our inside time mastering the art of stop-motion animation. We animated old towels, all the cardboard in the house and The Beths themselves… frame by bloody frame. There’s a lot of scary imagery in the song that we wanted to play on. There’s a madness too, in the contradiction between what the song is about and its frenetic energy. It has defined the lockdown for us—being locked indoors but furiously busy.”

You can pre-order the new Beths album HERE.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Pure Cinema” [Video]

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will released their new album Temple this Friday May 15th. “Pure Cinema,” is a new single and the video was made remotely while sheltering in place, because that is my new music video love language. The video was directed by Justin Mitchell.

From Thao on the track: “Pure Cinema” is such full band song, and it has so much to do with our years of touring as a roving family constellation, that I really wanted this video to highlight and celebrate The Get Down Stay Down. However much of a fraction I have been out there over the years, our band and crew kept me as safe and sane as was possible. They have been my stabilizing force for so long. As it goes with family I don’t know if I’ve ever truly thanked them or told them. It was so sweet and also quite bittersweet to see everyone at home, projected into our home. I don’t know when we can play shows together again, I don’t know what touring will look like. I miss the band.

“Pure Cinema” is about taking stock of how adrift I’ve been, in every sense of the word. It’s very easy to feel lost and alone even as you are surrounded by people. I’ve had a very compromised relationship to touring over the years.. if you’re not right with yourself it is only going to be exaggerated as you cast yourself out into the world. I’ve floated above my life for a long time; I’ve landed now. It makes me so happy to see my bandmates settled and happy in their own homes and lives, as I am in mine. “Pure Cinema” is a cautionary tale and also an encouragement to keep faith and keep building home and family.”

You can pre-order the new album HERE.

Primo! – “Machine” [Video]

Primo! just released of their second full length album, Sogni, on April 17, via Upset The Rhythm. Sogni is the follow up to 2018’s Amici and now you can check out the video and single “Machine.”

“Machine” is a propulsive jangle of a track dealing with notions of work-hierarchy struggle and the video sees the Melbourne quartet putting in some serious elbow grease down the auto-shop to convey this message.

Suzanne Walker from Primo! explains further “it’s the feeling of being like a machine inside the machine but as well the fact that sometimes great ideas, thoughts & observations come to you during the working day, in unexpected ways. Rhythmically the pacing is like that of a machine, speeding up and slowing down, at times frantically chugging, spattering vivid bursts of greasy colour before halting to a stop and slipping the key from the ignition.”

Spanning just under 30 minutes, Sogni’s twelve songs were conceived collectively in the rehearsal room and perfected in a live setting, before being recorded to an 8-track with Al Montfort across a number of home studios in Melbourne.

You can order a copy of Sogni HERE.

Muzz – “Red Western Sky” [Video]

Muzz, the new project of Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (producer/multi-instrumentalist and one third of Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (drummer of Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen, and Fleet Foxes’ touring band), announce their self-titled, debut album, out June 5th on Matador, with this new single/video, “Red Western Sky.” The album, written, arranged and performed by all three.
 
Muzz was born out of longstanding friendship and collaboration. Banks and Kaufman have known each other since childhood, attending high school together in Spain before separately moving to New York. There, they independently crossed paths with Barrick while running in similar music circles. They kept in touch in the following years: Barrick drummed in Banks + Steelz and on some of Kaufman’s production sessions; Kaufman helped on Banks’ early Julian Plenti solo endeavour; various demos were collaborated on, and a studio was co-bought.
 
Taking shape at a simmer, the first Muzz recordings date back to 2015. A typical session incorporated demos Banks or Kaufman brought to the table with room for any member to build upon, or with a new skeleton composed during a jam in the live room. All three contributed lyrics and helped shape things vocally (a first for Banks who is usually the sole lyricist). “Josh has more training as a theory musician while Paul comes from a different perspective,” Barrick says. “You never know how Paul’s gonna approach a song, lyrically and melodically, so it’s always unusual and exciting. Everyone is open to everyone else’s ideas. I think three is a great number of people for a band. We all had a big hand in everything.”
 
Sonically, “the music has this weird, super removed vibe but is also personal and emotional at the same time,” Kaufman says. “If something felt natural in a simple way, we left it. I’d never heard Paul’s voice framed like that—a string section, horns, guitars—we know none of that is visionary but it felt classic and kind of classy.” In fact, the band’s name holds a meaning that serves to describe that very feeling – Kaufman used the word “muzz” to describe the music’s subtle, analog quality and texture.
 
In conjunction with today’s announcement, Muzz present the galloping “Red Western Sky” with a video, directed and produced by the band. It’s the first video to ever be shot at the immersive, psychedelic American Treasure Tour Museum, a location chosen after a Barrick family visit. The single follows two previously released songs—the sparse and rustic “Broken Tambourine” and “Bad Feeling,” which chimes with melodic introspection. No matter the sonic direction Muzz go, they go there as if effortlessly and with maximum emotional charge.

Pre-order Muzz
https://muzz.ffm.to/muzz
 
Muzz Tracklist:
1. Bad Feeling
2. Evergreen
3. Red Western Sky
4. Patchouli
5. Everything Like It Used To Be
6. Broken Tambourine
7. Knuckleduster
8. Chubby Checker
9. How Many Days
10. Summer Love
11. All Is Dead To Me
12. Trinidad

Brendan Benson – “Richest Man” [Video]

The Raconteurs frontman, Brendan Benson, has shared the Wartella-directed video for “Richest Man,” the newest single from his first solo LP in almost seven years, DEAR LIFE and first album for Third Man Records which is out April 24. You can pre-order the album HERE.

“This was a very different video making experience,” Benson said. “I had to pantomime the whole thing with notes from Wartella (who lives in another city), about the different scenes. I had to hold an imaginary umbrella and arrange an imaginary vase with flowers. It was all very mysterious and I had no idea if I was doing a good job or anything until it came back after being animated. Turns out I’m a pretty good mime!”

Benson finds himself in an enviable spot as he enters the third decade of a remarkably creative, consistently idiosyncratic career – an accomplished frontman, musician, songwriter, producer, band member, husband, and dad. DEAR LIFE marks this consummate polymath’s most inventive and upbeat work thus far, an 11-track song cycle about life, love, family, fatherhood, and the pure joy of making music. Produced and almost entirely performed by Benson at his own Readymade Studio in Nashville, the album sees the Michigan-born, Nashville-based artist – and co-founder, with Jack White, of The Raconteurs – reveling in a more modernist approach than ever before, fueled by a heady brew of cannabis, hip-hop, and a newly discovered interest in software drum programming.

Benson has been live-streaming a song from his Instagram every day as part of his “Boy In A Bubble” series — tune in at 4:20pm CT every day HERE.

Phoebe Bridgers – “Kyoto” [Video]

25-year old singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has confirmed details of her sophomore solo album, Punisher, to be released on Dead Oceans on June 19th. Today’s announcement comes with a new video – for brand new single “Kyoto” – a song she wrote following her first trip to Japan in February 2019. Bridgers will perform “Kyoto” on tonight’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! – live from her Los Angeles’ bathroom.

You can pre-order the new album HERE.

The Beths – “Dying To Believe” [Video]

The Beths announce their new album, Jump Rope Gazers, out July 10th via Carpark Records, and share its lead single/video, “Dying to Believe.” Jump Rope Gazers is the follow-up to Future Me Hates Me.

After touring non-stop for a year and a half, playing to crowds of devoted fans and opening for acts like Pixies and Death Cab for Cutie, The Beths regrouped to write and record Jump Rope Gazers. The band – composed of Elizabeth Stokes (vocals/guitar), Jonathan Pearce (guitar), Benjamin Sinclair (bass), and Tristan Deck (drums) – settled down at Pearce’s Auckland studio, where he recorded and produced the album.

Stokes’s writing on Jump Rope Gazers grapples with the uneasy proposition of leaving everything and everyone you know behind on another continent, chasing your dreams while struggling to stay close with loved ones back home. Rambunctious lead single “Dying to Believe” reckons with the distance that life necessarily drives between people over time: “I’m sorry for the way that I can’t hold conversations // They’re such a fragile thing to try to support the weight of,” Stokes sings. The accompanying visual is an eccentric four-step “How to be the Beths” instructional video featuring the band.

Touring far from home, The Beths committed to taking care of each other while simultaneously trying to take care of friends living thousands of miles away. That care and attention shines through on Jump Rope Gazers, where the quartet sounds more locked in than ever. Jump Rope Gazers stares down all the hard parts of living in communion with other people, even at a distance, while celebrating the ferocious joy that makes it all worth it.

Pre-Order Jump Rope Gazers: HERE

Jump Rope Gazers Tracklist:

  1. I’m Not Getting Excited
  2. Dying to Believe
  3. Jump Rope Gazers
  4. Acrid
  5. Do You Want Me Now
  6. Out of Sight
  7. Don’t Go Away
  8. Mars, the God of War
  9. You Are a Beam of Light
  10. Just Shy of Sure

The Beths Tour Dates:
Sun. Nov 8 – Perth, WA @ HBF Park*
Wed. Nov. 11 – Melbourne, VIC @ Marvel Stadium*
Sat. Nov. 14 – Sydney, NSW @ Bankwest Stadium*
Tue. Nov. 17 – Brisbane, QLD @ QSAC Stadium*
Fri. Nov. 20 – Dunedin, NZ @ Forsyth Barr Stadium*
Sun. Nov. 22 – Auckland, NZ @ Mt Smart Stadium*

*w/ Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “She’s There” [Video]

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever announce their second record, Sideways to New Italy, out June 5th on Sub Pop, and today present a new single, “She’s There.” For the five-piece, returning to Melbourne after long stretches looking out at the world through the windows of airplanes and tour vans lead to a dislocation, like being the knot in the middle of a game of tug-o-war. Sideways to New Italy sees the band interrogate their individual pasts and the places that inform them.  In clicking the scattered pieces back into place, they have crafted for themselves a new totem of home to carry with them no matter where they end up.

Lead by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom RussoJoe WhiteFran Keaney, and rounded out by bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie, the band began grasping for something reliable after emerging from relentlessly touring their critically regarded debut Hope Downs. Rather than dwell in the displacement, Keaney was determined to channel how he was feeling into something optimistic. The album is inspired by New Italy – a village near New South Wales’s Northern Rivers – the area Tussie is from. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pit-stop of a place with fewer than 200 residents, it was founded by Venetian immigrants in the late-1800s and now serves as something of a living monument to Italians’ contribution to Australia, with replica Roman statues dotted like souvenirs on the otherwise rural landscape.

I wanted to write songs that I could use as some sort of bedrock of hopefulness to stand on, something to be proud of,” says Keaney. “A lot of the songs on the new record are reaching forward and trying to imagine an idyll of home and love.” This is the bulk of Sideways to New Italy, which boasts love songs, and familiar voices and characters, grounding the band’s stories in their personal histories.

“She’s There” is about love and heavy delusions. Over pummeling guitar and fundamental percussion, White sings: “I should’ve done better but the time rolls on // Open the window, in the air, in a mirror, she’s there // Every time I speak her name there’s a cold shiver in my veins.” The accompanying video was directed by Nick McKinlay at Melbourne’s Coburg Motor Inn. “We tried to convey that feeling in a dream where you need to be somewhere, and you don’t really know why, but you are determined to overcome every obstacle to get there,” says the band.

“We tried to make these little nods to our friends and loved ones, to stay loyal to our old selves,” Russo explains. There’s something comforting, too, in knowing the next time they’re buffeted from stage to stage around the world, they’ll be taking the voices of their loved ones with them, following cues from their neighbours and ancestors and anyone else who responded to their newfound displacement by crafting a utopia in their own backyard.

Sideways to New Italy is now available for preorder from Sub Pop. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the U.K., and Europe, will receive the limited Loser edition (while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available. 


Sideways to New Italy Tracklist:
1.The Second Of The First
2. Falling Thunder
3. She’s There
4. Beautiful Steven
5. The Only One
6. Cars In Space
7. Cameo
8. Not Tonight
9. Sunglasses At The Wedding
10. The Cool Change

Video Premiere: Rick Rude – “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”

TFN is excited today to premiere this new video from New Hampshire’s Rick Rude. The track is their version of Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” which can be found on the new release Look Out For My Love: A Neil Young Covers Album to Benefit RAICES. Their track is a highlight from the compilation and should also get you geared up to hear some more new music from the band!

The compilation features 18 tracks from different indie musicians, that not only includes Rick Rude but Lung, Halfsour and Adult Mom (which contributed an excellent version of “Harvest Moon.”) All funds raised by this compilation will be donated to RAICES which is a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal and social services for immigrants.

You can find more information on RAICES at their website: www.raicestexas.org If you like what you see and hear make sure you skip over to Bandcamp and grab this compilation.

Rick Rude Website
Rick Rude Facebook

the black watch – “Brilliant Failures” [Video]

John Andrew Fredrick has written and released seventeen the black watch albums of quality indie rock since the LA band’s inception in 1988. For this record Fredrick had the idea of letting producer-friends Scott Campbell, Rob Campanella, and Andy Creighton be his band and record the album. “I have had, I think, too much control, musically speaking, in the past.’ Fredrick says, “And the thought of experimenting this way was really thrilling.” The result may have yielded TBW’s best album in years.

Brilliant Failures is the title of the new record and it is out this Friday, March 27th 2020 on A Turntable Friend Records. Highly recommend checking this one out!

the black watch Facebook
A Turntable Friend Records

Shasta – “Roaming Hearts” [Video]

San Francisco’s Shasta supports an indie all-star cast featuring Micayla Grace (Albert Hammond Jr, Bleached), Jennifer Duardo, Jon Sortland (The Shins) and Cecilia Della Perruti (Gothic Tropic, Beck). You can hear this well skilled ensemble in their new single and video “Roaming Hearts.”

The song is from their new EP on Dowd Records and will be released on March 13th. “Roaming Hearts” gives you the full laid back West Coast experience with its catchy slow groove and floating harmonies that hook you in quickly as its story is about the up and down emotions of relationships.

There is a nice limited white vinyl copy 7″ of the single that contains two of the tracks and will you give you a digital download of the entire 3 song EP. You can pick up a copy HERE.