The video for “Heart of Gold,” the [new] album’s second track, was shot entirely on an iPhone and, like the record, is simultaneously intimate and expansive. Gorgeous, wide open spaces form the backdrop for the band’s camaraderie as they dance and sing along to the shimmering tune.
Level is a new platform providing tools for musicians with a focus on building community with independent artists. Elephant Gym recently teamed up with them for an incredible live performance of their song "Half," taken from their most recent record, Underwater. The Alternative praised the band's performance in a premiere earlier this week, explaining that "no one locks down such intricate instrumentation with more obvious joy than Elephant Gym."
If the live video wasn't news enough for fans, the band also announced this week that they'll be playing Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw festival this fall, after a sweet run of west coast dates with Topshelf labelmates LITE. Tickets are on sale today.
Queen of Jeans // Watch the new Bob Sweeney-directed video for "All the Same"
Premiering today over at FLOOD Magazine is the new music video from Philly's Queen of Jeans. Taken from the upcoming release, If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid, "All the Same" imagines what it might feel like to be in a significant relationship that is unraveling while still tethered to one another on levels beyond romantic. Check out the premiere on FLOOD or smash the play button on the embed below.
Queen of Jeans // If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid Announced
The Philadelphia-based crockpot pop group have announced their forthcoming record, If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid, to be released on August 23, 2019. Check out the Bob Sweeney-directed video for the album's lead single, "Get Lost," below.
On If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid, Queen of Jeans paired with prominent producer Will Yip to enter into a new sonic era. It marks a decided turn to more tightly knit songwriting that emphasizes Queen of Jeans' most alluring strengths. Vocals shine through as the sun through clouds, drenching twangy, western-reminiscent guitar in evocative light, illuminating the album's vast and serene crockpot soundscapes. If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid is an impactful collection of songs that stand for something real; Queen of Jeans' invitation to the listener to embrace their own stories, no matter how scary it may seem.
"The song "Rosebush" is basically about being an artist," explains Oliver Kalb, frontperson and principal songwriter of the project known as Bellows. As with much of Kalb's recent record, The Rose Gardener, "Rosebush" explores the doubled-edges of artmaking, revealing uncomfortable self-truths in pursuit of beauty and happiness. Kalb elaborates on this concept as "a big romantic extended metaphor about pursuing beauty despite the pain it can bring — I'm chasing this rose monster through the woods, trying my hardest to get to it, but it's kind of unattainable. At the end of the video I just become a rose myself, a creature indistinguishable from the inspiration I'm trying to chase."
Directed by Dan Shure of Charly Bliss, the video follows Kalb's portrayal of his album's eponymous character and a sentient rosebush. Inspired in part by the characters of Noel Fielding, the rosebush character is meant to "tread a line between being funny and being sort of horrifying."
Having always admired Charly Bliss for making theatrical, narrative-led music videos, pairing up with Dan Shure was the perfect opportunity to capture this sort of fun, larger-than-life energy that could act as a further extension of the central metaphor of "Rosebush," encapsulating the complicated intersections of inspiration and output. As Kalb confesses, "it can feel that way to be an artist sometimes, like after you fall deeply into art for enough time, there's no essential person you are anymore outside of your relentless pursuit of something beautiful or meaningful."
Ultimately, this pursuit may boil down to a persisting sense of childlike wonderment with the world, chasing sensations as they come and go, growing simply through trial and error. Perhaps this is what Kalb alludes to in the coda of "Rosebush," singing, "like a child I need these roses / though thorns enclose them / I reach out my hand and try to hold."
While on their recent tour through the US, Elephant Gym graced the Audiotree Live studio with an absolutely dizzying performance. The session shows the trio's talents in full bloom, featuring a setlist that spans the band's entire catalog, starting off with the agile and unpredictable title track from their most recent record, Underwater. Watch the whole performance and interview below, or save it for later on your favorite streaming platform.
No Vacation // "Yam Yam" Official Music Video and US Tour with Okey Dokey
No Vacation is ecstatic to share the long-awaited official music video for their song "Yam Yam," directed by BOREDOM. The video is constructed of UHD Digital, Super 8mm Film, and features over 1,000 frames of HandPainted Watercolor Animation. Through a minimally rich color palette, BOREDOM explored the yin and yang of the modern life emotional experience, the happy and the sad.
The group will also be touring extensively this summer, kicking off the season with a full US tour. The group Okey Dokey will be touring along in support. Make sure to stay tuned for more special news from No Vacation in the coming months!
May 22, 2019 - Burlington, VT, US @ ArtsRiot
May 23, 2019 - Allston, MA, US @ Great Scott
May 24, 2019 - Washington, DC, US @ Union Stage
May 25, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ PhilaMOCA
May 26, 2019 - New York, NY, US @ The Bowery Ballroom
May 28, 2019 - Raleigh, NC, US @ Kings
May 29, 2019 - Atlanta, GA, US @ Purgatory at The Masquerade
May 30, 2019 - Orlando, FL, US @ Soundbar
May 31, 2019 - Margate, FL, US @ O'Malley's Sports Bar
June 01, 2019 - Tampa, FL, US @ Crowbar
June 03, 2019 - New Orleans, LA, US @ Gasa Gasa
June 04, 2019 - Houston, TX, US @ Satellite Bar
June 05, 2019 - San Antonio, TX, US @ Paper Tiger
June 06, 2019 - Austin, TX, US @ Barracuda
June 07, 2019 - Dallas, TX, US @ Three Links
June 08, 2019 - Oklahoma City, OK, US @ 89th Street (formerly the Conservatory)
June 09, 2019 - Santa Fe, NM, US @ Meow Wolf
June 11, 2019 - El Paso, TX, US @ Lowbrow Palace
June 13, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Rebel Lounge
June 14, 2019 - San Diego, CA, US @ Irenic
June 15, 2019 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ Constellation Room at the Observatory
June 16, 2019 - San Francisco, CA, US @ Great American Music Hall
June 19, 2019 - Portland, OR, US @ Paris Theatre
June 20, 2019 - Seattle, WA, US @ The Crocodile
June 21, 2019 - Spokane, WA, US @ The Bartlett
June 22, 2019 - Boise, ID, US @ The Shredder
June 25, 2019 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ Kilby Court
June 26, 2019 - Denver, CO, US @ Larimer Lounge
June 27, 2019 - Omaha, NE, US @ Slowdown
June 28, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN, US @ 7th Street Entry
Of the two videos, Oliver Kalb (lead force behind Bellows) explains that, "'Denouement' and 'What Can I Tell You About The World?' are the two center-piece songs of the album — I think of them as representing two opposing emotions the album deals with. The first is a bitter, angry song, obsessed with the past and the misdeeds of others. The other is a song about peace, and about trying to live life without passing judgment on everything you see. They’re a duo because neither tells a full story: the world is neither as messed up as it is in 'Denouement' nor as simple and problem-free as 'What Can I Tell You About The World?' but together they form a worldview: feeling out the anger it takes to acknowledge when you’ve hurt, but not allowing it to overwhelm your ability to find happiness where it comes."
3/1 - Albany, NY @ Chateau
3/2 - Kingston, NY @ BSP
3/3 - Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s #
3/7 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
3/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA #
3/9 - Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong #
3/10 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight*
3/11 - Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR*
3/12 - Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern*
3/13 - Denton, TX @ J&J’s Pizza*
3/14 - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s*
3/16 - Austin, TX @ Topshelf Unofficial SXSW Day Party*
A new episode of "Gig Gab" with very special guest Special Explosion is up on the Topshelf 'Tube today! Press play, sit back, and catch up with the Seattle four-piece as we talk recording the new album, touring, Isaac Brock, and the bands they're listening to these days.
Like what you hear? Listen to their latest release To Infinity.
Topshelf Records and Big Scary Monsters recently announced the signing of London indie rock trio Doe, who will be releasing their second album, Grow into It, on September 28, 2018. Today we're excited to share the upcoming record's second single, "Labour like I Do," with a premiere on NPR.
"'Labour like I Do' is one of those songs that came flowing out like a stream of consciousness," says singer and guitarist Nicola Leel. "For that reason it’s lyrically one of the more straight up songs on the record, but sometimes it’s cool when you blurt out a bunch of words to music and realise you’ve used songwriting as a form of accidental therapy."
Not only is "Labour like I Do" accidentally therapeutic, but it's also infectiously fun and catchy. On this single, Doe experimented a bit beyond their general formula, deftly incorporating synth and slide guitar to accentuate their crafty indie rock hooks that feature clever, polyphonous vocal work. The catchy hooks trade off dynamically before exploding into an anthemic climax that shows a focused band with an ear for powerfully authentic songwriting.
Check out the video, directed by Andrew Northrop, below.