Give Twin Peaks an inch and they'll take a stretch of the road. Having careened across America and beyond, sharing their staggering energy, the band made their third album the best way they know how: by themselves. The same group that pro-duced the scuzzy squalor of their debut "Sunken," had legions of fans screaming along to their anthemic sophomore effort, "Wild Onion," now swings and serenades with "Down In Heaven" (out on Grand Jury on May 13th).
Co-produced by the band and longtime collaborator R. Andrew Humphrey, and mixed by new confidant John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth), the rec-ord is by turns raw, polished and wise beyond its years. The diverse new songs beg the listener to sway slowly, bang their head wildly and question what they were do-ing wasting emotional time on anything less. It is a marked, and some may say ma-ture, development for a band that doesn't know how to play it safe. They aren't here to tell you what youth is like or what being a little older now means, though; they want to join you in a conversation about why we hurt, love and tug at each other.
While Twin Peaks is a bit older, they're not necessarily calmer; their restlessness endures. Born of Chicago's league-leading DIY scene and with several of them re-maining friends since elementary school, Cadien Lake James, Clay Frankel, Connor Brodner, Jack Dolan, and most recent addition Colin Croom share an enthusiasm, authenticity and passion their audiences have found contagious. In the three years since dropping out of college to support their debut album "Sunken," the band has covered a lot of ground. They've played to ever-increasing crowds, bigger and row-dier each time they come barreling into a city; they were anointed "Best New Band" by NME and countless other blogs, and they have performed for (and partied with) more than hospitable masses at festivals in the states and Europe, including Pitch-fork, Lollapalooza, Reading & Leeds, and Roskilde. In between all this action, the group set up camp in the summer of 2015 amidst the solitude of a murky lake in Western Massachusetts, where they could experiment and record on their own terms in the warm living room of a good friend's house.
Recording on reel-to-reel with the band learning studio tricks on the fly, Twin Peaks set out to a make an LP that reflects how far they've come and how much of life is left, trusting themselves to make a record they'd want to hear. James explains, "I've been particularly drawn to records that have a more personal feel, not necessarily lyrically, but in sonic aesthetic, like The Kinks Village Green Society, Beatles White Album, and Rolling Stones Beggar's Banquet. We wanted to make a record that em-ployed the restraints of our favorite artists from yesteryear. It was about trying to simplify and hone in on the things that are important to our music and ethos." In considering the development of the band's sound from "Sunken" to "Wild Onion" and now to "Down in Heaven," Frankel adds, "The bands we admire are the ones who change drastically over the course of their span, like The Velvet Underground, where no two records of theirs sound the same."
Whether sneering or pleading, aggressive or impatient, the thirteen tracks of "Down In Heaven" are a continuation of the bands path and an eschewing of previous com-parisons. It is a record all about feel: heartbreak, forgiveness, anger, jubilation, re-invention, growth. Album opener "Walk To The One You Love," written by James about letting someone close to you go is immediately followed by Frankel's song "Wanted You," with lyrics about not getting the one that you yearn for. With "Stain," perhaps the biggest departure for the band on the record, Frankel says, "I didn't want another love song, so after a while I got what it is, how you suffer for your art but you put up with it because you don't wanna do anything else. It's a song about the love of music." Even though four of the five members contribute lyrics, there are obvious connections both thematically and musically across the record and the band's voice rises unified.
"Down in Heaven" will bring old fans and new Twin Peaks most complex record to date, encompassing elements only teased on their previous efforts. Frankel says, "I don't know yet what kind of band we are, since we keep changing with every year. I guess we are a band unafraid of new influences and changes." Put simply, "Down In Heaven" makes it increasingly hard to call their sound "classic." It's rock new and old, it's a little bit of country, it's a whole lot of punk attitude, and it's something to get excited about. Twin Peaks is here to stay, and they aren't going to get pinned down.
Madrid-based garage rockers Hinds started as a duo of Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote. Shortly before releasing their first single "Demo" in 2014 the duo became a four piece, with close friend, ex guitar player and singer Ade Martín on bass and one of their first fans, Amber Grimbergen on drums. During the rest of the year and throughout 2015 they embarked on their first world tour, playing everywhere from Thailand, Vietnam and Australia to the United States to the worldwide festival circuit, including SXSW (in which they played 16 concerts in just 4 days), Glastonbury and Burgerama. They have received very positive reviews in Pitchfork, Pigeons and Planes, Gorilla vs. Bear, Paste, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly and NME.
Their debut album, Leave Me Alone, made its way into the world on Friday, January 8, 2016 via Mom + Pop Music.
Fresh off their release, Hinds is receiving praise for their work. "This great garage-rock crew from Madrid folds decades of naïf-rock history into its craftily shambling tunes," said Rolling Stone. Pitchfork suggests its "[Carlotta] Cosials and [Ana] Perrote's shared vocal responsibilities, which fit perfectly together" that "truly set Hinds apart." Entertainment Weekly calls Hinds "...the year's buzziest indie breakout," while SPIN asks "Whether seeing Hinds live, or listening to their debut album, Leave Me Alone, one question always comes to mind: Can I join?"
The Memories formed in the Belmont/Hawthorne district of Southeast Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 2010 by White Fang bandmates and childhood friends Rikky Gage and Kyle Handley. They recorded their first album in one of the upstairs bedrooms at what was called the 40th house, a big three story home on a busy street that was a hangout for local stoners and artists. Their self-titled debut was released on their own Gnar Tapes label as a cassette. 200 were pressed in the Winter of 2010/2011. The tape soon attracted the ears of labels like Underwater Peoples and Burger Records, the former pressing the album to LP and the latter reissuing it on cassette with the Underwater People's sanctioned art, which was expertly rendered by Lexington, Kentucky based sound and visual artist Robert Beatty. Burger Records soon became their champion, releasing 4 cassettes and LP by 2013. In the Winter of 2014 Chicago based Randy Records pressed the band's first 7", a 6-song EP named "American Summer". This was followed by a handful of cassette releases on Gnar Tapes, including a split release with Rad Records; a label founded and fronted by Kyle Field, whose band Little Wings had long been an inspiration for the band. The band also attracted the ears of like-minded musician Zach Phillips, a former member of the same wildly creative scene in Brattleboro, Vermont that birthed such high-quality bands as King Tuff, Happy Jawbone Family Band, Chris Weisman, and his own band, Blanche Blanche Blanche, among many others. Mr. Phillips issued the 4-song "Crash On My Heart" as a cassingle on his Brooklyn, NY based OSR Tapes label. The Memories third album, an 8-song LP called "Touch By An Angel", was pressed by Lolipop Records, a label based in Los Angeles (the city that had by that point become the adopted home of The Memories). In October 2014 their 4th album "Hot Afternoon" will be released on LP/CD/CS by Burger Records. It is the first album by The Memories recorded with a producer (Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets) and was tracked in San Rafael, California.