It’s been a while. To say that 2023 has been pretty much a disaster for me so far would be a massive understatement. Thankfully there’s plenty of amazing music floating around to help me get by. I wanted to get this out for the holiday weekend here in the US, and the extended track list should fit the bill nicely.
Without realizing it, this mix is devoid of vocals. Just instrumentals. It’s most likely a reaction to my anxiety around the upcoming election here in the states and the general state of the corona virus, but really I just want to zone out for a bit.
Pulled from the latest offering from A Year In The Country – a compilation entitled The Layering – Pulselovers invites us into the world of “Brodsworth” (0:00), an English coal mining town that has returned formerly derelict industrial land into beautiful natural landscapes contoured by the wastelands that lie beneath.
The compilation “is a reflection on how these, and other varied strata, are layered on top of one another, and/or sit side-by-side, with some being recorded, while others are forgotten or unknown, becoming part of a hidden or semi-hidden history.”
It’s hard to believe that buying a split seven-inch in the summer of 1995 would lead me to meet bands and musicians that I’d still be following to this day. Such is the case with Sean Byrne, who first showed up in my record collection while in the band Lenola back in the mid-90s. He’s been creating music under a number of guises and projects since then – appearances with Mazarin, Azusa Plane, Matt Pond PA; as well as his own brands The Twin Atlas (with Lucas Zaleski) and Lazy Salon.
Earlier this year, he released an album of a project, called Camino Sound, that he has been working on with a local musician along with a longtime friend from college. This “band” got me excited again about the prospects of neighborhood garage bands and how there are always opportunities to connect with fellow musicians to make something awesome.
A refreshing sound emanates from the notes of Western Excuses, filled with myriad styles swirling together and played in a band environment. There are no genre boundaries here – the songs span multiple styles, even within the same song. The members of the ensemble – Sean Byrne on drums, Van Kapeghian on guitar and Keith Allen on bass – represent many years of playing in and out of scenes, listening to and absorbing a variety of influences along the way.
During this time of self-isolation and ever-evolving news, get lost in an expansive mix of dreampop, ambient, spacerock and other outersounds.
The current pandemic and associated social distancing repercussions have devastated the short-term prospects of the musician and entertainment communities, so I’ve put the focus on some bands and artists that should be familiar with both Sonixcursions as well as Masstransfer readers from over the years. Please give your support where you can.
Landing “Rhythm Form” – a preview off their upcoming split 12” with New Haven band Headroom.
Takamu “Alt 71” – an unreleased demo from a collaboration with Adrien Capozzi (Adrien75), Tim Koch and Jet Jaguar.
As always thanks for listening, and sign up for the email newsletter to get monthly updates on these all the bands covered in the podcasts.
Stay safe out there…
As we make another trip around the wheel of life, let me take a moment to look back at some of the releases that made the year a little more bearable. Drumroll please (rimshot where necessary)…
- Landing – Bells In New Towns
This band continues to amaze with each release, progressively fine tuning their own unique soundscapes. Well done.
- Ulrika Spacek – Suggestive Listening EP
Probably my favorite new band of the moment – hoping for another full-length in the near future
- My Autumn Empire – Oh, Leaking Universe
- The Asteroid #4 – Collide
- Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
- Adrien75 – The Deep State
Although Mr. 75 has released several albums last year, this is my fave of the bunch
The Advisory Circle – Ways Of Seeing
- Chatham Rise – Meadowsweet
- Lazy Salon – Boot Magna
- A Year In The Country – The Quietened Mechanisms (Various)
- Lowtide – Southern Mind
- I Am Robot And Proud – Lucky Static
Swartz Et – A Living Thing
You’ll hear some of these artists on the next Sonixcursions podcast episode – on its way shortly. Subscribe to the Podcast or the Email Newsletter to get updates when new episodes are published.
Welcome to the inaugural episode of Sonixcursions – for our first trip, I’ve selected a number of bands who have been consistently producing stellar outersounds for over 20 years. Many of the bands on this episode can be traced back to the very early issues of the Masstransfer zine – starting with the opener Adrien75 (who Is Still Alive) and the lunar/tropical vibe of “Hawaiian Ring Drum Rum”; plus a throwback track from the band Seely; the dreamy electronics of Lazy Salon (Sean Byrne of Lenola/Twin Atlas); and the California-via-Philly psycountry rockers The Asteroid #4.