Featured Band: Zelienople

If you‘ve been reading the blog for a bit you’ll notice a pattern in most of the bands covered here – they’ve been around for awhile and they continue to create evolutionary sounds and music. This month’s featured band, Zelienople, is no exception.

They emerged from a scene in Chicago in the late 1990’s roughly centered around the Loose Thread record label, headed by Melochrome frontman Pramod Tummala. He introduced me to many new bands and artists, but the first few Zelienople albums, along with Western Automatic (a solo project from the band’s singer and guitarist Matt Christensen) especially stood out. The band released 12 full-length albums up until 2015’s Show Us the Fire, after which they took a 5-year hiatus.

The New Album

A few weeks ago, Zelienople released their latest album, Hold You Up which continues their exploration of sparse soundscapes and hypnotic bleakness which began almost 20 years ago. I had the chance recently to talk with Matt, just as this coronavirus quarantine was starting to take shape. The emotions that the current situation evokes, those of loneliness and isolation – the ill-effects of social distancing – drive the sparseness of their sound and form a basis for lyrical content. “I’m also working in mental health. I’ve been dealing with a lot of communities that are impoverished”, says Matt, “a lot of the stuff that I write about deals with poverty and marginalized people. I also, you know, I have anxiety. Depression. Got a pretty messed up family. I write from that perspective a fair bit.”

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Meet the Adrien Behind Adrien75

“I think every human needs a creative outlet, some means of self expression. Music happens to be mine.” Meet Adrien Capozzi, the musical mastermind behind some of the most inventive indielectronic music of the past 2 decades. “But really what keeps me going is the nagging feeling that I can make something more interesting than last time. I just have to try again!”

Adrien75, circa 1999

Originally part of the NYC-based Carpetbomb records crew, he has recently picked up the mantle again after a few years in the wilderness, and hasn’t skipped a beat, so to speak – in 2018, he released no fewer than 4 full-length albums, with another album and EP so far in 2019.

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Featured Band: Lorelle Meets the Obsolete

From the moment I first heard them on the “Psych For Sore Eyes” compilation EP 6 years ago, and up to today – Lorelle Meets the Obsolete remain one of my favorite bands of the decade. The songs they produce are so genuinely unique, there are no direct comparisons or sonic competitors. 

After hearing the track, I had to look for more – and I found Corruptible Faces, a swirly amalgam of guitar-noise-drone mixed with hypnotic beats and acoustic treats, layered with the hazy alternating male and female vocals of Lorena and Beto. It took a few months for that album to really sink in, with each passing week revealing a new favorite track.

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