Shape-shifting rhythms and melodic guitar lines with intimate, heartfelt vocals: DERDE VERDE are named after Val Verde, a rural valley town of coyotes, rolling hills, and big sky, an hour north of Los Angeles. Their music moves effortlessly from the textured energy of krautrock and the layered intensity of shoegaze, to the introspective intimacy of an acoustic living room performance. The band evolved out of the songwriting partnership between singer/guitarist Dylan McKenzie and bassist Jonathan Schwarz. Their love of earnest songwriters ranging from Neil Young and Nick Drake, to Elliott Smith and Mark Kozelek, as well as the musical interplay and studio experimentation by artists from Kraftwerk to My Bloody Valentine, led the band to craft a style of their own that combined sincere lyrical reflections delivered with a soft vulnerability over intricate instrumental arrangements that swim in atmospheric spontaneity and rhythmic undercurrent. Derde Verde often draw lyrical inspiration from poets like Mary Oliver, or Walt Whitman, and the songs evoke a rich landscape that explores questions of natural, human, and subconscious experience, infused with the textured and stream of consciousness art-rock arrangements crafted by the five-piece.
Derde Verde’s latest release ‘Meander Belt’ EP (Kursaal) was written and developed after the band toured the US and Europe in support of 2013’s ‘Let Me Be a Light.’ The songs were recorded and self-produced throughout 2017 in a warehouse space above a flower shop in Downtown LA. The new record is a collection of songs that draws on themes of loss, fear, love, longing, and transformation. The title, ‘Meander Belt,’ refers to the movement of a river stream, as it shifts its channel from time to time, or in times of flood. Dylan McKenzie, singer and guitarist of Derde Verde, explains: “We are interested in this as a metaphor for the landscape of the self, something that seems constant and permanent, but is also never the same: flowing and changing, contradicting itself, twisting and transforming.” The songs of the EP were initially released in a series of singles, before the band teamed up with German indie-label, Kursaal, to release the EP on CD and digital formats.
Derde Verde's 'Meander Belt' EP was released December 8th on CD, Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp via Kursaal (Germany).
Derde Verde: Dylan McKenzie (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Jonathan Schwarz ( Vocals / Bass), Andrew Lessman (Drums), Evan Montgomery (Guitar), Evan Taylor (Percussion, Keyboard, Vocals)
"[Simone White] gets innovative on her impressive third album [Silver Silver]. An album of cathartic intimacy ...built around electronic textures and sparse percussion, with White's gently yielding, half-spoken vocals pitched, pleasingly, equidistant between Laurie Anderson and Joni Mitchell. It's not all Spartan fare; the title track, an ostensibly folky duet with Andrew Bird, surfs a hum of woozy electronics and makes room for Steve Reich-like interleaved string pizzicatos and heavily treated drums, while Big Dreams And The Headlines summons a sudden, soaring chorus from the pervading spell-like quietude." Four star review, - MOJO
"Soft-voiced L.A. musician Simone White is the only singer-songwriter signed to Damon Albarn's eclectic Honest Jon's label, and her singular talents are evident on her haunting latest album, Silver Silver. […] the lean-in-to-listen compositions is what makes her performances so captivating."
- TIME OUT NEW YORK
"Simone White has a voice like ether. It's sweetly airy and hypnotic. Hearing it can pull you under to a strangely beautiful, glittering world where nothing seems real." -NPR
"The beguiling Los Angeles-based singer Simone White is known as much for her whispered vocals as for her smart songwriting. Her latest video animates "In The Water Where The City Ends," an intentionally disjointed song off her new album Silver Silver, meant to recall the tsunami that submerged Japan's Tohuku region on this day last year."
-THE HUFFINGTON POST
"White's voice is a delicate instrument, more traditional-sounding than Joanna Newsom's but with a similar ability to interpret lyrics with deceptive and revealing ease. The arrangements she favors on record are of the organic, earthy variety, like vintage Lanois..." -LA WEEKLY
"A guitarist to take note of in L.A.'s creative music scene" -LA Weekly
"Uhlmann’s tone evokes an admixture of Bill Frisell and John Scofield as loping grooves coolly collide low-key funk with flashes of rustic Americana... as inviting and warm as any improvised music I experienced last year."
- Chicago Reader (on "Typical Sisters")
"Uhlmann's solo debut is "It's Not Your Fault," a rapturous chamber-pop gem" - Buzzbands LA
“Words and music sometimes feel uncomfortably forced together in art song, but here they are organically joined, with each enhancing the other, and leaving the listener breathless at the haunting beauty of their union.” - Poetry Foundation (of works for chamber ensemble and voice, "Omen" and "Scavenger Loop")
“There are moments of abstract harmonic complexity and beauty that are unmatched, to my ears, by any bands around today." - Jeff Parker (on "Fell Runner")
Gregory Uhlmann is a Los Angeles based guitarist, producer, and composer with an inclination towards mixing the prickly and the beautiful. His debut album, Odd Job, was released in the U.S on Dog Legs Music in 2016 and in Japan on Moorworks in 2017. Chicago Reader described Odd Job as “...a lush brand of chamber pop, eschewing excess and eccentricity in favor of a quest for pure beauty". Having written for various chamber ensembles as well as scored for dance and film, his compositions have been performed at REDCAT, Tutti Festival, and The Poetry Foundation.
As a guitarist, Uhlmann has played and recorded with John Dederich (Deerhoof), Brian Blade (Joni Mitchell), and Jay Bellerose (T Bone Burnett). He has recorded commercials for Vogue and the Netflix TV series, Grace and Frankie. Uhlmann is an active member in several bands, including Fell Runner, Similar Fashion, River Song Quintet, Typical Sisters, Michael Mull Octet, and Andy Clausen's SHUTTER. Uhlmann co-founded Dog Legs Music with Tim Carr (Haim/The Americans) in 2016. Together, they've produced projects with Derde Verde, Dia, Andrew Rowan, Owen Clapp, Evan Uhlmann, and Laura Jean Anderson. Dogs Leg has also contributed to television commercials for music supervision companies Walker and Teenage Diplomat.
Uhlmann's teachers and mentors include Steve Rodby, Bob Palmieri, and Jeff Parker (Tortoise). In 2014 he graduated with a BFA in jazz guitar studies from California Institute of the Arts, where he also studied composition, West African music, Balinese gamelan, and North Indian Classical music. He studied from 2010-2014 with the composer and author, W.A. Mathieu (author, Harmonic Experience). He is originally from Chicago, Illinois.