The Big Easy

The Big Easy is a solo project from underground North Jersey artist Stephen Berthomieux, done with the help of musicians Jesse Minikes, Zak Ali, and TJ Alamo. Previously frontman of another local band, Politics As Usual, he formed this project to bring a classic rock ‘n’ roll sound to the alternative rock he’s been playing for years. Influences for this project have been artists like The Replacements, Spoon, Pavement, The Strokes, and Elvis Costello. Having released his debut EP A Handful Of Friends, the group has been playing local shows relentlessly in support. We sat down with Stephen to talk about his music, his party-loving attitude, and his adventures on the road, all tackled by his personal motto: “women let you down. drugs let you down. rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t.”

 

Fameless Quarterly: What is the meaning behind your band name?

Stephen Bethomieux: When I first started playing shows with these songs, I just used my name, cuz’ I’m not a fan of stage names if you’re by yourself. But using my name on stage was too long and people could never remember it, so by the second show I came up with the Big Easy.

 

FQ: I ask because it really seemed to fit with your sound. There’s something about A Handful Of Friends that is infectiously laid back and energetic, even on songs with more serious themes. What is the meaning behind it?

SB: I guess I figured that’s what the basis of rock’n’roll is about. You can whine about a girl all you want, but at the end of the day, rock ’n’ roll is really party music. When it came to my songs, I wanted to put out that vibe, but I still wanted to convey the feeling of themes I could relate to.

The lyrics are more “stuff to get off your chest,” but the music still has that feel-good vibe.

 

FQ: You have been playing nearly a week since the album dropped. How many shows have you performed in the last few months?

SB: I’ve done two, three shows a month. Most of these shows have been around the city, between Manhattan or Brooklyn, but we throw a few shows in Jersey as well. It’s the only way to really get out there. Even if today you can market your music through the Internet, live shows are still the only way to reach fans on a personal level, nothing really does it like that.

 

FQ: How have people been responding?

SB: Generally good, people seem to love us.

 

FQ: What kind of energy do like to bring to your performances?
SB: I try to bring as much energy as I can.  If the band is dancing around, the crowd is going to start dancing around. If it looks like I’m genuinely having fun on stage, and I’ve been told that a lot, then people get into it as well.

 

FQ: How do you prepare for a show?
SB: I like to drink a lot before I play (laughs). I never played a show completely sober. It’s a slippery slope — you don’t wanna get too messed up — but I always end up second guessing myself if I don’t loosen up a bit.

 

FQ: You seem to be completely in love with playing the local scene, from cramped bars to sweaty basement shows. How did this love story develop, and what is the most enjoyable aspect of it?

SB: My favorite gigs are the DIY basement shows, it’s where you really get fans. I feel that’s the best way to go for any upcoming artists. The people that go there are those that are really there to listen. I play more shows with promoters in random bars and shit, but you really have to understand that they don’t really give a shit about you, and sometimes you’re more likely to bring people yourself rather than picking up new fans. Plus, DIY shows are so much more fun, and people are probably going to be drunker than they’d be at a bar. People are going to start dancing, grab your mike and start singing randomly. They’re really fun to play.

 

FQ: What have been some of your favorite venues to play at in NYC and the area?
SB: Like I said, I really prefer the basement scene. But as far as venues go, we recently played Arlene’s Grocery, and that was pretty good. I really liked playing Cake Shop and Trash Bar in the Lower East side. Soon we’ll be playing Bowery Electric for a second time. That was a lot fun, one of the bigger venues we’ve played at.

 

FQ: Well, then how do you have a good time while shuffling around the challenging and chaotic music scene of New York?
SB: I’m not saying playing in a bar is not fun, but its hard to capture it. I try to rock out as hard as I can. If I jump around at a basement show, I do the same gig over there.

People definitely respond differently though, you’re playing to a different crowd. The connection is more distant, but that’s the goal — to the get them riled up.

 

FQ: Future plans?
SB: Good question. I just dropped the EP in June, but only in digital form; I’m trying to get a physical release. After that I want to take to the Northeast, and play shows around Connecticut and Boston. I want to get connected with people there, and play as many small basement shows over there as I do here. We’re going to try releasing a split album with a couple friends, like my friend Tom Warren who plays bass for the Front Bottoms and has a solo project called Big Neil.

I have a whole album’s worth of material, but I’m waiting for the right time. I’m waiting to get picked up by a label.

 

FQ: So you wouldn’t want to remain independent?

SB: If I could do without a label, I totally would. But the support provided by a label is tough to match. I’m going to start recording in a few months, get another EP out, and see if I can get more exposure.

In The Middle Of Nowhere, Good Times Are Happening

Oakland, NJ- “The first couple of bands haven’t shown up yet, so Victor is going to play a couple of songs on his guitar.” Not the most promising of beginnings for any concert or festival, but in the case of ‘Lawndry Fest,’ it’s almost a consecration of this obscure gathering’s care-free atmosphere.

“Fest” seems a bit strong to describe the event — backyard summer show is more fitting. The best outdoor furniture was reserved for the occasion. A few rows of lawn chairs give their back to a small trail of scattered woods, where a few people are in the distance. On a table in the corner, a box is placed selling a few cassettes made by some of the bands, and in the center, an improvised stage protected by a picnic gazebo showcases the artistic expression of young souls stuck in the boondock’s of New Jersey.

“It was so much bigger last year,” you hear a few people say, “they had to use that whole lot across the street, and it was packed with people.” Funds apparently ran short this year, because it ended up finding a venue behind someone’s house.

Among the crowd are mostly local college students at home for the summer. Looks and glances abound, as people examine their former classmates in a sort of early high school reunion. But there’s no adolescent drama resurging; everyone seems to be with friends here. And so, as the the first group take to the stage, Lawndry Fest kicks off sending the vibes of a day dedicated to music, summer, and taking it easy.

Perhaps a bit too easy. “The first couple of bands aren’t as strong, they just play for fun. We have bands later on that actually do shows and record,” says one of the event’s organizers and performers.

As the first band takes to the stage, a pleasantly nostalgic fit of indulgence takes over of memories of those awkward high school days. The elements are all there to send the audience spiraling down memory lane, from the carefully selected, department store clearance attire to the nervous stares at the ground– and of course, the material selected. A Nirvana cover? Sure, why not two? And why not follow it with some Hendrix? Ah, to be young. Not exactly the kind of set that lands a record deal.

From the crowd’s response however, no one seems to care because at Lawndry Fest, if you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re missing the point. Every band steps down with applause, every song is a reason to dance, skank around in a circle, and enjoy the splendor of the summer together with people you’ve known for years. Frisbees are thrown, group pictures are taken, people continuously greet and embrace someone they haven’t seen in a while.

As later groups step up with a much more impressive set, no one seems to be focused on rating this or that band, and the bands least of all. Even the most experienced band gets to the stage with the same laid-back attitude, goofing around before plowing into frenetic performances.

At Lawndry Fest, there’s no room for critics or elitists. Even though quality musicianship is not lacking, it is not a prerogative, and those who possess it are only concerned with using it to have fun with others. Somewhere between one band finishing up and the next one going through a quick soundcheck, music ceases to be a business, an unnecessarily complex effort to impress or a way to convey self-righteous messages, but instead reverts to one of its deepest and most primal states– the soundtrack to a good time.

*

FQ’s Guide to Northside Festival

Photography courtesy of Northside Media Group

 

On June 8th, the Northside Festival will kick off in Williamsburg, promising a week of art, music, film and innovation. The excitement is R E A L.

Featuring 450 bands, more than 150 speakers, and over 50 film screenings, it’ll be difficult to manage your time at Northside. With all these events to go to, we know that it can get a little overwhelming, but don’t worry! We’ve written up this practical guide to give you a hand.

 

FILM

Northside has expanded this year’s competition exploring new territory by adding music videos and episodics (web series and pilots) to the lineup of features and shorts the festival usually hosts. This years festival includes a handful of talented, and fresh, filmmakers like Sophia Takal, an actress most recently seen in Wild Canaries and writer/director who took home 2011’s Chicken and Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director prize at SXSW for her big screen debut, Green; Crystal Moselle is the director behind The Wolfpack which debuted at Sundance this year; Alex Ross Perry is the director of Impolex, The Color Wheel (named the best undistributed film of 2011 by Indiewire and Village Voice) and last year’s Listen Up Philip.

Here are three indie features you should be sure to keep an eye (or both, preferably) on:

Eden
An affecting trip into the ’90s Parisian electronic dance movement through the eyes of the DJ credited with inventing French house music, and whose friends, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, went on to become Daft Punk. Complete with sex, drugs, and a killer soundtrack.

 

 

Aspie Seeks Love
Heartwarming doc about artist David Matthews, who has spent the past 20 years posting quirky personal ad-fliers to telephone poles in an attempt to find love. The twist: Matthews finds out at age 41 that he has Asperger’s, the diagnosis of which changes his entire life.

MUSIC

Northside is known for its celebration of music discovery, creativity and culture, and this year they’ve added over 150 bands to the lineup. Attendees will have access to 400 of the hottest and emerging bands, curated to provide a unique festival experience for the avid music fan.

Consequently, Northside is about the BK experience. It spreads across 20 local music venues and three outdoor spaces within a walkable radius: McCarren Park, an annual staple of the festival for its free shows; Brooklyn Live at the Inlet, at 50 Kent Avenue; and a pop-up stage on main drag, Bedford Avenue. This year, Northside is expanding free programming at McCarren Park to all four days of Northside Music.

Entry to all McCarren shows is guaranteed with a Music or Premium festival badge. Non badge-holders must RSVP. Admission is first-come, first-served. Free RSVPs for select McCarren show is open via northsidefestival.com.

Here are five acts you should carve some time out of your summer schedule for — individual show tickets are available, but if you’re planning on catching a few, you might want to grab a badge:

Run the Jewels
This heart-stopping combo of NYC producer El-P and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike deliver aggressive bars like a modern-day Rage Against the Machine (which is why Zach de la Rocha came out from hiding to guest on their latest LP).
Sunday, June 14th
50 Kent Ave.

 

Rhye 
When Rhye released the appropriately named Woman, it was hard to imagine that the vocalist, Milosh, is a dude. But he, alongside his musical partner Robin Hannibal, have crafted an R&B debut masterpiece with an agenda, appropriately titled Woman. This duo is way too “smoove.”
Friday, June 12th
50 Kent Ave.

 

Against Me!
From self aware folk-punks to wary arena rockers (opening for the likes of Silversun Pickups and Foo Fighters) to their current, best state: as rockers who deliver scorching sing-along anthems that unite more than divide. You will clap along and start class warfare.
Saturday, June 13th
McCarren Park

 

Best Coast
Singer Bethany Cosentino spends most of her new album exploring the dark side of Los Angeles, but filling her dourness with hooky pop and huge guitars straight out of the alt-rock ’90s playbook.
Saturday, June 13th
50 Kent Ave.

 

Ryan Hemsworth
Is it hip-hop? Electro? House? These are questions you will ask yourself — in vain — while listening to Hemsworth, who has remixed everyone from Cat Power to Frank Ocean. Heed not concerns over genre, but rather your feet, which will move instinctively and with great vigor for the duration of his bass-heavy set.
Friday, June 12th
Palisades
906 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY

 

Also, in keeping with Northside tradition of shining light on Brooklyn-bred talent, they’ve added acts like Beach Fossils, Frankie Cosmos, Nude Beach, YVETTE, Beverly, and Sannhet.

Grab your tickets as soon as you can.

 

On The Road: An Interview With John Gold

John Gold, Florida native, has been making music since he was 17. Though a California-based counterpart of his has seen more “mainstream” successes, he’s persisted to become a very notable folk artist, in spite of trials, tribulations, and the weight that comes with believing your dreams can happen. As a touring musician, he’s seen much of North America and England, and has developed an intimate and personal connection with his fans.  The two “rivals” are actually good friends, and reflect two sides of the same coin; great stories and moving tunes that define individuals and set a soundtrack for the lives of young people. What’s important to them, what inspires and drives them, are different on an individual basis. So we sat down with the Floridian to talk about what that means to him.

 

Fameless Quarterly: There are two really deep tracks that I found astoundingly personal – “Completely At Ease,” and “Thirty Kids A Year For Life.” Were those real stories from your life, or just something metaphorical to play on with the central theme?

John Gold: One evening in early 2011, I surprised my friends who were having a party a few miles from my house with a laptop and a USB mic. I cornered a few of them and asked them to speak about their most life changing realizations. I was not prepared for what they had to say. The entire album is a work that I hope individuals will feel extremely personal about– that is the reason I requested that they introduce themselves as John Gold. I wanted to make it clear to those who listen to this album that they have the full right to make themselves the main character; these are your songs, and your ideas, this is your album, and your pathway to follow.

 

FQ: Over the course of listening to this album, I felt like you have a real connection to young people, and that drive to inspire isn’t uncommon among musicians, but if there was one important thing you could tell your audience that they would take away from the whole span of your career, what would it be?  

JG: You just have to keep going if you ever want to arrive at your destination, and some of the furthest points are often the most desirable to be at. You’re going to get overwhelmed though, I was freaking out about my career tonight, but my father gave me wise words. He told me that Amazon was founded in 1995 and remained in the red for eight years before they began to turn a profit.  This really spoke to me, because as of this year I have been performing and working towards my dreams for seven years. I am going to walk this path with all of the strength and vigor I posses, and it will be worth all the time and effort I have put into it, if just one person’s life is changed irreparably for the better in the process. In the end, you must be satisfied with your life. Often you will by necessity have to take a detour, but perhaps it will lead you to an even better vantage point.  Believe that you will receive it, and you will. It’s just that simple.

 

FQ: For the sake of argument, you could say you’re in the realm of folk music. That culture of road worn life is sort of inherent with that genre, would you say touring is a big part of what you do?  

JG: The reason that I usually identify myself as a folk artist is because the definition of folk is as follows: ‘of or relating to the traditional art or culture of a community or nation.’ To me, my community or my nation is essentially just myself.  Folk music is the songs of my heart, in my native tongue, brought about by my experiences.  If I could place a genre unto myself I think I’d go with “nonfiction,” because that is what folk music is to me– truthful, raw, straightforward and expressive music. Last year I toured for 140 days covering both coasts, including over 20 states and two Canadian provinces. I traveled alone the entire time, and I can say that it was the most defining experience of my entire life.  It felt like something I had been waiting to do since my birth.  I decided to do the whole thing by myself, and when you are alone for hours and days, often not speaking to anyone for extended periods of time you begin to understand who you really are.

 

FQ: Having seen all you’ve seen since you started playing and touring, how do you feel about where the music industry, and by extension the bands who make up both the mainstream and the underground, are heading and how they’ve been faring?

JG: I would love to secure a record deal. Being able to provide for myself and my family through music has always been my goal, and I have nothing against those who have tried to do the same and have accomplished more than me. I do not however enjoy a lot of the mainstream music I hear because it propagates a mindset and lifestyle that is frankly detrimental to anyone who abides by it. These people are exalted and all they do with their power and influence is convince people to focus on and emulate all the things in life that don’t matter. It’s a shame.

 

FQ: What would you say, if you had to pick one, would be your favorite song off this album?

JG: “Bluebird (~670–610 THz)!”  Arthur Unknown was recorded in two parts between May-November 2011 and May-November 2012, and is a piece about birth and death within a life.  Each half of the record details a way of life in and of itself.  “Bluebird” recounts much of what caused my old life to cease to exist, in the perspective of hindsight. I’m overall very pleased with how genuine and dynamically diverse the piece is. Also, it’s seven minutes long, and I’m sucker for taking my time.

 

FQ: Did the amount of energy and intensity you give on each track come easy to you, or was it something you sort of had to develop as time went on from your first album to this one?

JG: I’m glad you asked!  Over the past couple of years my life has changed drastically, and I am no longer burdened by so many things that I once was.  I used to be very discouraged, but as I eliminated the fear out of my life, my burden became lighter. I think that’s the chief reason for my energy and intensity. I’m not weighed down by this world any more, and I am so thankful for the life I live today that I will expend every amount of strength and vigor I posses for what gave it to me, you dig?

 

We dig, John. You can check out more of John Gold’s music at johngoldflorida.bigcartel.com, johngoldflorida.bandcamp.com, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/johngoldflorida. Or follow him on instagram and twitter: @johngoldflorida

 

Photos from #FQsocial

We had a great time at our first #FQsocial event on 2/27/15 – here’s what you may have missed!

Here were the one’s tagged by you!

At the #FQSocial for @readfameless creepin 🛁 #OOTN #latergram

A photo posted by mysmoonysun (@mysmoonysun) on

@readfameless #FQsocial !!! Come through if you’re in NYC.

A photo posted by Brian Felix (@idislikebrian) on

#FQSocial A @readfameless supa cool production 📰📖📰 Cc: @idislikebrian #FamelessQuarterly #art #magazine

A photo posted by mysmoonysun (@mysmoonysun) on

come check my boy @jaeskim_ photos and show him love at creations gallery on AVE C

A photo posted by ALEXANDRA BERNABEI (@emotionallie) on

“Making It”

How the Pursuit of a Label is no Longer Relevant to Longevity and Success

For many artists, “making it” is the validation of their life’s work. Finally moving up from smokey bars to big stadiums, having their music promoted on the radio, and above all, having that record label tied to their name gives them the sense that they’ve finally gotten to the peak of their career, or at least achieved a milestone in their pursuit of success.

But is a record label really necessary for success anymore?  In 2013, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making it the first single to do so since 1994 without the support of a major record label. Astonishingly, they did it again with “Can’t Hold Us,” making them the first duo in the chart’s history to have their first two singles both reach number 1 without a label.

On top of that, the pair was nominated for seven Grammys, and took home four for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance (“Thrift Shop”) — all without the representation.

So is going for the gold to impress labels still “worth it?” Probably not. The most recent shows I’ve been to featured three bands back-to-back that all sounded like Hot Chelle Rae. And why? Because a lot of groups think their sounds need to be saleable in order to get noticed. Instinctively, they listen to the bands that have made a name for themselves doing largely the same thing, and follow suit with it.

Not only does this stagnate the music industry, but it kills creativity, and drowns out what should be a diverse and passionate underground music scene. This year, Macklemore alone has proven that you don’t need that level of representation to “make it,” and more importantly, that you should follow your dreams because your personal goals are to reach out to an audience, not to win awards and become a followed celebrity on TMZ.

In another related success story, you can examine the career (or lack thereof) of Bomb The Music Industry. While BTMI never took any offers to get signed, or even took themselves seriously for that matter, they represented independent musicians by inviting anyone in the audience who could play to join them on stage, generally showing indifference in naming their tracks, and above all, making music that got the crowds roaring and getting out there whenever they could just for the hell of it.

There are countless artists out there that are completely underrated and likely to remain unsigned for a long time,  but that’s okay! Underground expansion is a higher-minded goal than fighting for corporate attention. Moving your name across state lines and overseas has never been easier with the tools on social media sites, and developing an ever-growing community out of a handful of fans who “liked,” “shared,” and supported your art, is a far greater thing to have than to be part of an image. Being able to reach your fans and connect with them one-on-one as regular people, far overshadows the prospect of  “rockstar fandom.”

In short, the underground music scene, especially in the NJ/NY area, is alive and well. While major and independent labels can help shape a stable career, independent studios and standalone producers not tied to a business contract are plentiful, and the online community has only bolstered that fact.

Here’s to another decade of great and underrated artists. The world may never know your name, but at least in your fan’s eyes, you’ve “made it” pretty far.

Not Thrown Together

Made In America is the sophomore record of the national touring pop-rock group Reverse Order, and it’s familiarity is really what sells it forward. Opening track “Waiting” gives a good first impression right out of the gate, introducing a sound that’s been cleanly refined and easy to get into.

Like most talented pop artists, the band gives a lot of drive and passion behind a radio-worthy style that would surely illuminate some of the duller stations in the NJ/NY area, but it’s nothing so spectacular that we really haven’t heard before. That being said, Made In America is certainly not just another thrown together production.

    While I was sort of hoping for a Fall Out Boy-esque approach to pop-rock with both fun danceable music, combined with a heavy, fast, and hard texture and lyrics with real meaning, what the release hits back with it is melancholic movement with a great deal of transparency, lack of subtext, and smoothed out digital effects.

Biggest issue with this record– lack of variety. Every song plays like a breakup ballad; there’s nothing spectacular or fun to entertain and entice the listener. If we’re going to stay for your set, try to make it fun

    While Made In America is in all respects a decent album to check out, stream, and even buy in support of independent artists, the Russo brothers – who make up 2/4’s of the band, still have a ways to go before they find a sound that really impresses upon the senses how much fun and originality can go into pop music, especially when blended with the versatile and always favorable rock genre.

Constantly on a Journey

WRITING BY EMANUELE CALIANNO

Aways Away is a four-piece alternative rock outfit hailing from Bergen County, New Jersey. The sound they’re hoping to make impact with is as unique as it is obvious. With a musical upbringing in the shadows of New York’s club scene, the band mixes the most conventional foundations of rock ‘n’ roll with the tone of alternative acts such as The Pixies, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Public Image Ltd, The Strokes, Television, and the like. Sitting down with frontman/guitarist and main songwriter Evan DeAgustinis, we look at the experiences and aspirations of a band striving to make it among a million challenges.

Fameless Quarterly: What’s the hardest part of being an aspiring artist? 
Evan DeAgustinis: Right now, it’s all about getting our music past that white noise factor. The hardest part is being able to fit everyone’s life in such an uncertain project. It’s all a sacrifice at first, there’s no salary or benefits to keep you going; and you really have to figure it all out for yourself, there’s no guide or college major for aspiring rockstars. Everyone has to be on the same page if you want to make it as a group, and it can get frustrating. Also, I sometimes struggle between playing what I want and what the kids want. Do I keep on doing what I love, or give in to what has appeal? I don’t even know what people want to hear these days, but I feel if I did give in to mainstream demand, the crowd will be wanting something else by that time. 

And yet your music has solid foundations in rock ‘n’ roll. Why stick with it then?
There’s something about blasting rock ’n’ roll that gives you feelings no other kind of music can get. Good rock’n’roll has soul to it, no matter how edgy or refined you play it. 

What’s most  discouraging about being an underground act?
Sometimes you see musical guests on late night shows or with a lot of backing and they’re not even good. It makes you think “what am I doing wrong?”. The local scene is also really not an accommodating place for artists to perform. Booking agents today will charge ten bucks to have a band play at a crappy venue with a terrible sound system, and then when they’re done their fans disappear. In the old days, people would go out to CBGB’s or Max’s Kansas City just to hang out and listen to bands, nowadays people go out to watch their friends’ band and then leave, and it’s discouraging as a musician.

What can the industry do to accommodate young artists? 
There’s nothing in the industry really promoting alternative music. Most people don’t even know what college radio is when I ask them. And modern music sharing makes it all more difficult, I always say being on Spotify or iTunes is like being on a cable TV show and trying to stand out. 

What is your ideal gig?
We’ve been playing support slots for some famous local bands like Wyldlife and Sponge, or this band Big Red from Australia, and we really like it. It gives us the opportunity to play to someone other than  friends and family. There’s usually more people at those shows too, so it’s always more fun. It gives you a chance to prove yourself. 

If the band doesn’t become successful in a few years, when do you think you’d start drawing the line? 
I don’t know if I have an answer for that yet, but if ten years have gone by and I still haven’t made it, I’m going to have to ask myself “how long can I wait to become famous while I live in a crappy apartment and work two part-time jobs?”

What is it like to share in this dream with a group of friends and bandmates?
Well, I’d like to say that everyone has the same amount of commitment, but you just don’t always know. We’re all just getting out of college and trying to figure out our lives, and we can’t always meet regularly. Sometimes we won’t play a show for a while, and then when we get back to practice you feel like strangers at first. 

What’s the best thing about aspiring for success? 
You’re constantly on a journey. I’ve heard many bands that have made it big, and they’d like to go back to the old days, they feel they’ve got nothing left to accomplish. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. I hate the struggles right now because I’m stuck with them, but if I did get famous I’d probably miss all of it. 

Aways Away full-length debut Some Things We’ll Never Know is out online, with two EP’s scheduled for release later this year. 

*

Available in print with
FQ’s DEDICATION Issue


SUGGESTED

RECENTLY

POPULAR

MINIMAL COMMENTARY: No Mythologies to Follow

As early as 2012, Danish songwriter Mø had been leaving traces of her electronic soul to indie audiences around the globe with a series of singles and Bikini Daze, an EP that has made her debut LP one of the most anticipated records of the year.
    No Mythologies to Follow is a perfect example of her artistry. Equally divided between new material and previous releases, the album is a reflection of her idiosyncrasy and boldness as a musician. The entire record borders between astonishingly beautiful and somewhat peculiar, fluctuating to different extremes to chronicle the insecurity and romantic complications of young adulthood.

The first thing anyone is bound to notice is Orsted’s voice; partly due to spot-on vocal mixing, it stands out as the highlight of the record. Beautiful even when it ventures oddly into its higher register, its inability to sit still is its most remarkable feature. It swirls and scintillates, laments and longs for, and makes itself the master of any sound it has to adapt to.

As the album winds forward, fans will find themselves invariably split between the previously released material and the new songs. It seems, at times, that she is lacking the drive that earned her the considerable following gathered in such a short time, or that she gets stuck in trying to craft a complex song and ends up losing the direct impact she has shown such talent for. Despite this, the record as a whole still shows all her abilities and artistic insights. With the eccentricity of a modern day Nico and a set of musical abilities that is entirely her own, Mø makes her official debut as one of synth pop’s most promising stars.

iTunesAmazon – RdioSpotify

– –

Part of our Dedication issue.

Subscribe to Fameless Quarterly to go further downs the rabbit hole.

Slow Mantled Love: Conversation

An unassuming trio from London, Ontario, Snow Mantled Love describes their music as “bedroom pop,” and it is easy to see why. Resonant production, perfectly blended guitar and keyboards, and the stunning delivery of vocalist Danielle Fricke make for some of the dreamiest indie in the scene. 

Their songs are warm, wistful, private, and serene. Constantly evoking a sense of longing or projecting soundscapes of delightful depth, it’s music for staying in, watching a storm out the window, and feeling pretty. 

Since their formation in mid-2012, they have released an EP titled Romance 126, and later released it in remix form under the name Remix 126.  After the release of this EP last fall, the band continues to delve into their melancholic haze with even more inspiration and mellow tones.

Songs like “Drift Down” and “Dream Talk” are beautiful midnight ballads that will make you fall in love with Fricke’s voice, while “All In The Name Of Good Dancing” stands out as a two-minute piece with more electronic elements and greater drive.

While the songs can also tend to carry on further than is necessary for them to create impact, and combined with a placid mood to induce some drowsiness, it is not a heavy or lagging work to take in, and has all the potential to become a favorite among fans of Beach House or the quieter side of Modest Mouse’s repertoire.