Interviews

Interview

LA LUZ: THIS FILTHY MIRAGE

May 11th, 2018

Los Angeles is a city where good and evil mingle in every golden sunset and beautiful moments seem to shine more brightly as they break through the toxic haze. This setting inspired the songs on La Luz’s third album, Floating Features, written after Shana Cleveland, Marian Li Pino, Alice Sandahl, and Lena Simon moved to L.A. from Seattle. Singer/guitarist Cleveland started having intense dreams—even nightmares where dark figures came out of the wall and pinned her to the bed. As the city seemed to take over her subconscious, the stuff of dreams became a focal point for the lyrics she brought to the band. Floating Features is out now on Hardly Art and La Luz will return to L.A. with a show at the Teragram on Fri., June 22. This interview by Daiana Feuer.

Interview

VAGABON: IT’S HARD, BUT SHARE IT

May 3rd, 2018

The music industry needs more people like Laetitia Tamko. After moving from Cameroon to New York City when she was just a teenager, she left behind her engineering diploma and her full-time job to explore a completely different path and to create something genuine on her own terms. At twenty-five, she built on the encouragement she’d received from the city’s DIY community and began performing as Vagabon in 2014. Her recent debut Infinite Worlds was one of the most heartfelt releases of last year, and speaking with her was a breath of fresh air during an otherwise painful and soul-searching time in music history. Vagabon performs at the Bootleg Theater on Wed., May 9. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

EARTH GIRL HELEN BROWN: I’M A COSMIC OPTIMIST

April 20th, 2018

This month In The Red will release Four Satellites, an LP collecting tracks from each of the EPs that works as a sort of fly-by survey for the Earth Girl Helen Brown universe, with incandescent inspiration from the Raincoats, Dolly Parton, Patti Smith, Sun Ra and more. It’ll show you just enough to make you wanna build a rocket ship of your own. Earth Girl Helen Brown's record release for Four Satellites is Sun., Apr. 22, at Zebulon, and the Earth Girl Helen Brown Center for Planetary Intelligence band also performs on Fri., May 4, at the Natural History Museum. This interview by Chris Ziegler.

Interview

JAPANESE BREAKFAST: THIS THING THAT I LOVE

April 11th, 2018

Formerly the frontwoman of Philadelphia emo band Little Big League, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner began her solo career as an experiment in songwriting and self-expression. Her first record Psychopomp was a response to losing her mother to cancer—an album where making music was a method of healing. Critics responded with great enthusiasm, which helped land Zauner a deal with Dead Oceans, and her 2017 follow-up Soft Sounds from Another Planet is in the running for one of the best indie rock records of last year. She's got a series of sold-out performances soon, with Coachella this weekend as well as the Roxy next week and the Glass House in June. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

KHRUANGBIN: THE UNIVERSE SMILES UPON YOU

March 22nd, 2018

Let’s just get this out of the way: it’s pronounced ‘krung-bin.’ And the word roughly translates to ‘airplane’ in Thai. Formed in Texas over burgers, beers, and mutual appreciation for music and cultures from around the world, Khruangbin might not have anticipated how much their band name would get butchered out loud. The trio’s second full-length, Con Todo El Mundo, was released in January, following their 2015 debut, The Universe Smiles Upon You, with more blissful instrumental-heavy jams honed over hours playing music in a barn. Here, they delve into their writing and recording process, and explain how a croissant is a sort of useful way to understand the never-ending loop of cultural influence in music. They perform Thurs., Mar. 22, Fri., Mar. 23, and Sat., Mar. 24, at the Lodge Room in Highland Park. This interview by Daiana Feuer.

Interview

SHOPPING: YOU CAN DO THIS

March 20th, 2018

I first discovered Shopping when their album Consumer Concerns came out—the artwork caught my eye almost immediately, and the music was the missing piece to fit a void in my new music repertoire that I didn’t even know was there. A queer post-punk dancey band with a political point of view! Their music recalls ESG and Delta 5 but with hints of disco and sharp lyrics that are a call to action—altogether, it's something they're making their own. They successfully balance an exciting dance-able sound while also challenging their audience with commentary on current social issues. Their new The Official Body is out now on Fat Cat and they perform at Resident with French Vanilla and Lithics on Wed., Mar. 21. This interview by Emily Twombly, who was added just before press time to DJ the show as well.