Categories
New Album Review

ALBUM REVIEW: Elvis Depressedly – Depressedelica

ALBUM REVIEW: Elvis Depressedly – Depressedelica

BEST TRACKS: Who Can Be Loved In This World?, Let’s Break Up The Band, New Love In The Summertime

FCC violations: Who Can Be Loved In This World?, Let’s Break Up The Band

This experimental pop band hails from Asheville, North Carolina! You might have heard of Elvis Depressedly from their most popular song ‘Weird Honey’, from the album Holo Pleasures / California Dreamin’. This band is characterized by their soft, cloudy, sad boy hours aura.

Depressedelica sounds fuzzy, muted, and autotuned. It sounds like grittier, anxious dreampop. Like shoegaze if shoegaze was pushed down a flight of 20 stairs and then told that its dog was being held hostage. That’s okay because I always like my music burnt with a side of dinge. I prefer the less-autotuned, more acoustic-sounding tracks on the album such as ‘Who Can Be Loved In This World’ and ‘Let’s Break Up The Band’ because Mathew Lee Cothran ’s unfettred voice feels so genuine and vulnerable. These non-autotuned songs feel more heartfelt and personal to me than the more autotune-clounded songs on this album such as ‘Jane, Don’t You Know Me?’

I was drawn to this album because I’ve been feeling pretty low lately and wanted some music to wallow with. Depressedelica is perfect because even though I can’t make out the lyrics for half the songs unless I concentrate really hard, the music itself and Cothran’s quavering voice make this album effortlessly heartbreaking. I can, however, understand the lyrics of my favorite track on the album, Let’s Break Up The Band. This song is, obviously, about breaking up the band and moving onto life’s next adventure, but the underlying theme here is how lost you feel after trying so desperately hard to make something important work out and having it crumble apart in your hands anyway.  It resonates so deeply with me.

I reccomended this album to you if you like teen suicide, dandelion hands, Starry Cat, or any other bleak-mood band that sounds like the singer put a sock over the microphone.

Categories
Weekly Charts

WKNC 88.1 FM CHARTS: June 9, 2015

Eskimeaux, Elvis Depressedly, and Hop Along remain in the top 3 for the second week in a row!

WKNC RADIO 200

1. ESKIMEAUX – O.K. – Double Double Whammy
2. ELVIS DEPRESSEDLY – New Alhambra – Run For Cover
3. HOP ALONG – Painted Shut – Saddle Creek
4. JOANNA GRUESOME – Peanut Butter – Slumberland
5. MY MORNING JACKET – The Waterfall – Capitol
6. GIRLPOOL – Before The World Was Big – Wichita
7. METZ – II – Sub Pop
8. UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA – Multi-Love – Jagjaguwar
9. SPEEDY ORTIZ – Foil Deer – Carpark
10. MEW – Plus Minus – Pias
11. TURNOVER – Peripheral Vision – Run For Cover
12. MITSKI – Bury Me At Makeout Creek – Don Giovanni
13. ETERNAL SUMMERS – Gold And Stone – Kanine
14. CEREMONY – The L-Shaped Man – Matador
15. COURTNEY BARNETT – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit – Mom And Pop
16. SURFER BLOOD – 1000 Palms – Joyful Noise
17. HOT CHIP – Why Make Sense? – Domino
18. NOVELLA – Land – Sinderlyn
19. WAXAHATCHEE – Ivy Tripp – Merge
20. THEE OH SEES – Mutilator Defeated At Last – Castle Face
21. MIKAL CRONIN – MCIII – Merge
22. ALEX G – Trick – Lucky Number
23. SHARON VAN ETTEN – I Don’t Want To Let You Down [EP] – Jagjaguwar
24. TORO Y MOI – What For? – Carpark
25. MOUNTAIN GOATS – Beat The Champ – Merge
26. BOMBADIL – Hold On – Ramseur
27. AVA LUNA – Infinite House – Western Vinyl
28. PURITY RING – Another Eternity – 4AD
29. PEACH KELLI POP – III – Burger
30. CHASTITY BELT – Time To Go Home – Hardly Art

WKNC TOP 5 ADDS

1. PINS – Wild Nights – Bella Union
2. CAYUCAS – Dancing At The Blue Lagoon – Secretly Canadian
3. TEEN MEN – Teen Men – Bar None
4. NO JOY – More Faithful – Mexican Summer
5. VAADAT CHARIGIM – Sinking As A Stone – Burger

Categories
Festival Coverage

Reverb Fest: An Interview with Phil Pucci

The next time your friend looks at you and says “Hey, we should make a music festival!” you should maybe consider it before looking at them like they’re crazy.

That was almost exactly how Reverb Fest got started a year ago by Phil Pucci when he and his girlfriend were hanging out by the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte.

“I come up with good ideas all the time but I never follow through with them,“ said Pucci, “My girlfriend was the one who pushed me to start Reverb Fest. We booked a bunch of local bands to play in Charlotte and ended up raising over $2000 for charity.”

The first Reverb Fest benefitted the Chronic Illness Relief Fund (CIRF). It featured local Charlotte bands including Pullman Strike, Late Bloomer, and Hectorina. There was a mini Reverb Fest earlier this year titled “Eskimo Kisses,” also benefitting CIRF.

“The last one we had the first time we got a headliner, Diarrhea Planet. That was pretty special because it clearly indicated we were growing at a fast pace and getting more appreciation.”

This year, for Reverb Fest III: Slamdunks, the festival brought in a regional headliner – Beach Fossils – and expanded from just Charlotte to include other North Carolina acts like Elvis Depressedly, Jackson Scott and Family Bike. The festival this year benefitted the Humane Farming Association.

Pucci, a member of Charlotte bands Aggrocragg, Serfs, and Melt, believes Reverb Fest is unique from other music festivals in the area for multiple reasons.

“We try to get a lot of under the radar acts to play with bigger headliners. We have lots of these smaller bands playing with these big acts that they normally never would be able to perform with,” he explained “We also put a lot of emphasis on younger bands, people in their 20s…bands playing their first shows…some might just get passed up on other festivals. 

“There’s also a pretty big DIY aspect to it. I think a lot of other music festivals lose that DIY feel eventually – which is perfectly fine, they’re still great – but it’s definitely something I want to hold onto with Reverb Fest,” said Pucci.

Pucci hopes the festival will continue to grow in the future – possibly to a 3-day event – but definitely wants it to stay in Charlotte.

“I want Charlotte to have an alternative music festival destination for people in the region…something to help put Charlotte on the map,” said Pucci.

Wherever it’s headed, Reverb Fest has already left a lasting impression on the Charlotte area. 

Categories
New Album Review

ALBUM REVIEW: Elvis Depressedly – New Alhambra // Reverb Fest

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On Saturday, Double Barrel Benefit veterans Elvis Depressedly will play the third installment of Reverb Fest in Charlotte.

Last summer, we covered Elvis Depressedly’s show at a very small art space in the North Davidson district of Charlotte. Tomorrow they’ll play Reverb Fest at the Neighborhood Theatre, a 1000-capacity venue in that same corner of the city. It will be their first show since the release of their new album, New Alhambra. The album marks a departure from the lo-fi-ness of their past releases, while still using older recording equipment. The result is something well-produced, yet with a unique sound. Outlining the album are obscure vocal samples that tie into the loose theme of the Second Coming. These often effect-ridden samples push the album forward until the end of its run time of just over 20 minutes.

Some of my favorite cuts from the album include: “Ease” (a song that takes note on self-consciousness and features a beautifully distant-sounding electric guitar), “Rock n’ Roll” (a song that smartly uses a classic rock & roll beat and has lyrics like “Jesus died on the cross so I could quit my job” that seem purposefully laughable), and “New Alhambra” (which boils down to an audacious belief that one can parry death eternally because pain has been replaced with numbness).

The last song, “Wastes of Times,” begins with a sudden dropout of the electronic ambiance that pervades the entire album. It’s a striking contrast that represents an acceptance of the bad if it means being able to look forward to what’s new and worthwhile. It’s also the least lethargic track on the album, and a quick glance at the lyrics will show hopeful and compassionate words: “Heartbreak can’t phase me. I am crazy, but I’m true.“ The brevity and minimalism of the track is refreshing, and heck, it nearly has me convinced that there actually will be “No More Sad Songs” from Elvis Depressedly.

You can still get tickets to tomorrow’s festival with Elvis Depressedly, Beach Fossils, and several of North Carolina’s most worthwhile bands and you can treat yourself to a copy of New Alhambra.

-DJ Nasty Nate

Categories
Concert Review

DOUBLE BARREL BENEFIT TWELVE NIGHT TWO- Eternal Summers, Elvis Depressedly, Museum Mouth, and Body Games- February 14th at Cat’s Cradle

Eternal Summers

Elvis Depressedly

Museum Mouth

Body Games

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Eternal Summers

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Eternal Summers

Self-proclaimed “dream-punk” outfit Eternal Summers originally formed as a two piece in Roanoke, Virginia in 2009. Since then singer/guitarist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff have come to fill out their wall of sound by adding bassist Jonathan Woods, release three full albums on Brooklyn-based Kanine Records, extensively tour the country (often with Raleigh’s The Love Language), and land their name on several festival billings including the 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival which called them “ … covered in distortion and 80’s era effects, creating a tense juxtaposition between sweet and sharp, inviting and cold.”

The band’s most recent album “The Drop Beneath” was released in March 2014 and produced by Doug Gillard, who has worked with bands such as Guided By Voices and Nada Surf. The album earned the band high praise for nearly perfecting their shoegaze style being, which Pitchfork called “a balance between whisper and roar, messiness and finesse, between articulating Heavenly-style twee bedroom musings versus whipping up walls of roiling melodic noise.”

Eternal Summers will bring their unique brand of fuzz pop to headline Cat’s Cradle on Feb. 14 for the most rock and roll Valentine’s Day you have yet to experience.

– John Kovalchik, WKNC General Manager

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Spider Bags

Spider Bags

Spider Bags are back for their third Double Barrel Benefit.

The band formed in 2005 as front man Dan McGee migrated from Brooklyn to Chapel Hill, coming off a stint in punk band DC Snipers. McGee combined his punk experience with his newfound love for the North Carolina scene’s southern twang for a uniquely sloppy yet fine-tuned sound that would take the area by storm. Nine years later, the group remains one of the Triangle’s flagship bands and an undying local favorite.

In the years since, Double Barrel has grown in size and scope and Spider Bags themselves have met considerable success. 2014 was a huge year for the Chapel Hill garage rockers, as they signed to local indie powerhouse Merge Records and released their fourth studio album. “Frozen Letter,” produced by fellow DBB vet Wesley Wolfe, was met with national acclaim.

Spider Bags took the stage at The Pour House on both Double Barrel VII and Double Barrel X, but this year is the biggest yet. The band will cap off an evening of four great bands at the Lincoln Theatre on Feb. 7, 2015.

– Walt Lilly, WKNC Program Director

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Museum Mouth

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Museum Mouth

Coming straight from the coast of North Carolina, Museum Mouth formed back in 2009 in a town called Southport where they still continue to create the heartfelt punk music that so many listeners can really connect with. The group received its first big recognition back in 2012 when mtvU picked up the title track of their album released that year titled “Sexy But Not Happy.” Since the release of SBNH, Museum Mouth has truly grown as a band in the sense of the material they have produced and fan base that they have gathered.

In May 2014, Museum Mouth put out their next full length album entitled “Alex I am Nothing” that contained more insight into the thoughts of drummer and lead vocalist Karl Kuehn. Following this release, Museum Mouth received an outpouring of support that has made them one of the most liked and supported bands in North Carolina today.

Museum Mouth is no stranger to WKNC, but they will be playing their first ever Double Barrel Benefit on night two at Cat’s Cradle on Feb. 14. Being a band that puts so much emotion into their music, seeing them on Valentine’s Day will be an absolute necessity.

– Clint Bowman, WKNC Local Music Director

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Elvis Depressedly

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Elvis Depressedly

While most artists move on from their solo projects to produce more publicly accepted music, Mat Cothran saw his lo-fi indie pop band Elvis Depressedly as a space to experiment without worry of his audience. Maybe that’s where the undeniable rawness of each release comes from. The songs’ inconsequential lyrics are paired with drum machines and ethereal keyboards that make you forget you’re singing about death.

Originally from South Carolina, Cothran moved to Asheville last summer where he hoped to feel more accepted in what he called the “growing artistic community.” Cothran and his bandmates did multiple tours last year with acts including Alex G of Sandy and Told Slant. The band is releasing their first full length titled “New Alhambra” in early March under Run for Cover Records.

With heart melting lyrics like, “I want to find you, a way out of your head. Snow is falling inside you, let it love you to death,” you’ll definitely want to take your lover to see Elvis Depressedly this Valentine’s Day.

– Kaanchee Gandhi, WKNC Deputy Promotions Director and Graphic Designer

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

DBB12 Artist Profile: Body Games

Now that the full line up for #dbbdozen has been revealed learn some more about all the artists playing! We’ll be posting a profile of each artist throughout the week right here!

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Body Games

On the first night of Hopscotch 2013, a fledgling Body Games garnered some word-of-mouth attention as one of the local acts to catch before moving on to the touring bands later in the night. Being made up of local music veterans, as well as being supported by psychedelic visuals, attracted a dense crowd to The Pour House Music Hall.

Before long, the crowd was entranced by their ambient soundscapes that gave way to simple poppy hooks. The set climaxed in the room clapping and singing along to a Michael Jackson cover that went over so well, frontman Dax Beaton felt obliged to clarify that it was a cover.

The group has grown in the time since, performing at the next year’s Hopscotch, as well as Phuzz Phest and landing an impressive spot at Moogfest. They were also featured on a track on last year’s long-awaited T0W3RS LP on the track “Raise The Gate.”

Body Games will kick off a night of loving on Feb. 14 at Cat’s Cradle. Whether you’re already a fan or experiencing them for the first time, Body Games will be sure to make you their Valentine.

– Walt Lilly, WKNC Program Director