Categories
Pop/Indie Pop

Minos the Saint: The Lockdown Interview

Minos the Saint are a staple in the southern music scene, as inevitable as king cake at Mardi Gras and crawfish boils in summer. Their eerie, effervescent take on folk and zydeco classics has singled them out as unique amongst local Louisianan festival-circuit bands.

Founded by Ben Herrington in 2013, Minos the Saint is composed of five musicians: Peter Simon (vocals and guitar) Ben Herrington (accordion, keyboards, and trombone) Micah Blouin (percussion and vocals) Joel Willson (violin and mandolin) and Arisia Gilmore (French horn.) 

Totally Wired recently caught up with Ben and Peter to find out what Minos the Saint have been up to during the turmoil of the previous year, when we can expect new music, and what their plans for the future are.

Totally Wired: “Awake and Dream” was such an astonishingly beautiful debut. Any plans for a second album in the works? And as the creators of the album, how would you describe “Awake and Dream”?

Peter: “Awake and Dream” is our first work, and really captures a very special time where our joined collaboration was realized. The album is intended to portray our live performances which are often described as dynamic and whimsical.  We are finishing up our second album, tentatively titled “Atchafalaya Child” set to be released this summer.   

Totally Wired: Like your website bio says, Minos the Saint is definitely not a typical LA folk band. Y’all have such a unique, layered sound, it’s entrancing. How did your different musical backgrounds knit this sound together?

Peter: We started as a duet, then grew to six!  This slow burn, “bit by bit” approach helped us realize the creative mind and input of each member.  

Ben: Yes, also I think a key is that all the musicians in the band have a wide variety of musical interests.  As varied as aspects of our sound can be, I think we really lean heavily on elements which are comfort zones for each of our members.  While we’re always trying to push the envelope as a whole, much of what we do is based on expressive techniques that we’ve each been working our whole musical lives to refine.  Bringing those individual life-long pursuits together to form a whole is what continues to make it enjoyable and exciting for us.

Totally Wired: The pandemic has obviously been an extremely trying time for anyone with a job in the arts. How have you guys been keeping it together?

Peter: We’ve managed to keep moving forward simply because we have an album to make.  So, in a way, the pandemic offered us a time to stop and capture the material we’ve been working through.  

Ben: Also, I think the last year has really brought us on this interesting journey of questioning and learning about what it means to express ourselves as a band.  For a while, it seemed like there was this momentum forcing us to figure out how to express ourselves remotely.  Having gone down that road for a time, I think now we’re maybe at a place where we can see the beauty of small-scale human interaction with new eyes.  Everything old is new again. 

Totally Wired: This is a bit unorthodox, it’s a reverse interview question! What question have you been dying to be asked—and never have been—by a music journalist? And what’s the answer you’d give?

Ben: The question: If your band were a Labyrinth, who would be the Minotaur? The answer: either me or Joel, but for different reasons:  Joel because he’s our chaos agent and myself because I am the most consistent in my demands over a long period of time.  

You can find Minos the Saint on Instagram @minosthesaint, on Bandcamp, and on Spotify.

Photo Credit: Aaron Hogan of Eye Wander Photography

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Reviews

Review: Chase Cohl – Dear Dear: Volume I

As the sun leans in closer for a warm embrace and Mother Earth takes her first steps towards revitalization, the time has come to celebrate spring’s long-awaited arrival. So, what better way to welcome it than with a brand new release that is so beautiful, it’d make even the most gifted of songbirds envious? 

Chase Cohl’s EP Dear Dear: Volume I is absolute euphoria. Consisting of four tracks, it embodies a similar feeling to surrendering your skin to the divinity of sunshine; it is nothing short of pure comfort and invigoration. This is my first proper introduction to the enormously talented singer-songwriter who, also, explores the worlds of fashion and poetry. Hearing these songs for the first time felt like coming home after a long and tiring journey, intoxicated with the pure joy of being right where you want to be. 

Dear Dear begins with “Special Situation,” a song so blissful and pleasing to the ears, it’s only right to stick around for more. The backing harmonies paired with the flawless intertwinement of Cohl’s voice and the dreamlike, vintage instrumentals make this song an undeniable winner in my book. If you’re in search of a song to dance along to with a glass of wine, look no further.

Track two, “Take It Like A Man,” took on the role as the EP’s single, and it did its job phenomenally. It’s what I had first heard from Cohl while aimlessly scrolling through Instagram just mere days ago, and I knew right off the bat that I needed to write about her. After (very quickly) falling entirely entranced by the song’s colorful, 1960s-inspired sound, I genuinely could not get it out of my head. Watch the music video here!

“Still Crying,” despite bearing somber lyrics about the woes of break-ups, carries such a playful and bright tune. The back-and-forth between Cohl and the backing vocals throughout the chorus is truly satisfying and addictive to listen to. On top of that, its bridge dips into an enchanting pool that lulls you into a brief daydream just before getting right back into the song’s upbeat magic once more.  

The fourth and final track, “I Can’t Live Without You,” just might be my favourite. It paints an image in my head so effortlessly, and I could easily see it as the score to a film’s montage scenes. Despite it being the EP’s shortest song, it possesses so much beauty and airiness that you pay no mind to its duration. It strikes something deep within me that is impossible to shake, and to say I adore every single aspect is an understatement. 

In short, this is one masterpiece of an EP. Elegance and perfection can be heard all throughout, and because I am a newer listener, I will most certainly be taking a dive into more of Chase Cohl’s material (and you should, too!). 


To stay in the loop, be sure to follow Chase Cohl on Instagram and Spotify!

(Cover photo by: KRISTIN GALLEGOS)

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Reviews

Review: Hayley Williams – FLOWERS for VASES / descansos

Hayley Williams has delivered us her lockdown baby FLOWERS for VASES / descansos only 9 months after Petals For Armor. Having had her tours cancelled, it was a relief for fans to hear there was a new album coming out instead. Like a lot of artists, Hayley Williams has taken advantage of the time off touring to be able to sit down and write music. She sees her second album as a prequel to her first, a more simplistic laidback affair.

Having come out more than a month ago now, it has taken me a while to get into. Unlike the excitement of the first album release, the second album comes with a slow peaking of intrigue. Beginning with ‘First Thing To Go’, this concept album recounts a journey of loss and coming to terms with absence, which is very relevant to our current climate. Unlike the bitterness seen in ‘Leave it Alone’ on Petals For Armor, this album is more of an open wound, an ode to the process of heartbreak and an exploration of tough themes. The album regains some of its missing groove with ‘Over Those Hills’ that has both a catchy hook and lyrical melody. 

However, for me the album peaks at ‘Inordinary’ with spine-tingling lyrics about escaping her parents’ domestic situation and being able to start afresh. This song presents the relief that she may not have known she needed. There is a sense of beauty in the simplistic as showcased through the stripped back sound of the strumming of the guitar and bare piano chords in the chorus. For me it depicts how the cumulation of all these negative experiences expressed throughout the album have made Hayley Williams who she is now. In a twisted way, we have to be grateful for everything Hayley Williams has been through. As a consequence, she has been able to produce meaningful honest music that manages to appeal to her audience in such a moving way.

Moreover, further momentum is gained with ‘Just A Lover’ and it may well become my next favourite. I cannot stop thinking about the line ‘one more ugly stillborn cry’. The harsh truth of this album will continue to hit me the more times I listen to it. I think it will continue to grow to the point where we will look back at this album with fond nostalgia. If only there were a CD version, how will the pretentious old-timey people like myself cope? 

As is often the case, the second album will never live up to the debut. Yet, this does not mean I am ungrateful for FLOWERS for VASES / descansos. It is undeniably worth a listen and I implore you to. You never know how soon a tour will be announced and you’ll need to belt all the lyrics out. I’m sure Hayley Williams would be grateful.

Categories
New Wave Uncategorized

Why We Love: Zalagasper

The unmissable Slovenian duo known as ‘Zalagasper’ (za-la-gas-pah) are an ambient fueled daydream who weave electronic soundscapes with deadpan vocals to create their uniquely supernatural sound.

In a small city in northern Slovenia, a sudden unexpected partnership occurred after singer Zala Kralj met with songwriter and producer Gašper Šantl via Instagram. Teaming up allowed these two already talented songwriters to interpret each other’s work and craft a sound all of their own.

The two soon became musically inseparable and stood out amongst their local music scene with a sound they simply describe as ‘sensitive story-telling.’ Their explosive popularity led them to represent their country on the world stage at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.

The strong bond between the two is beautifully apparent and their enigmatic performance certainly secured a mass of new followers from around the globe who were similarly held captive by their mysterious yet enchanting nature.

Kralj’s soft, eerie singing style is arguably what first strikes you about this band. Since the memorable performance of their single ‘Sebi’, the band soon went on to release their debut album ‘4’ which received much praise from their growing following, especially across Germany, Poland and other regions across the world who were similarly taken in.

The album is built around much the same charming and detailed instrumentals, quickly becoming the bands signature theme. The album owes a great deal of it’s effect to Gašper Šantl’s own talents as a trained producer, who has certainly taken them from one level to the next.

Storytelling seems to be a popular theme throughout this duos work together. Through intrinsic melodies and soft-spoken lyrics, these two musicians fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. The picture they paint in their collaboration is one that needs to be seen (or felt) to be believed.

The bands most recent single, ‘sto idej’ suggests a promising follow up to their first album with a somewhat change in mood. With more experimentation, their sound is slowly beginning to evolve – I hope you’ll agree that a staple of any great band is to keep on surprising their listeners. With no sign of their success dwindling, these two performers from a small corner of Europe might just take over the world yet.

Listen to Zalagasper on Spotify now.

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Why We Love

Why We Love: Hello Yello

Very recently I was shown a live video session of Hello Yello and immediately I was hooked. If you ask me what music I’ve been addicted to this month it’s just been Hello Yello. Well, them and Harry Styles’ solo albums but that’s a story for another time. Now I’ll be honest right off the bat, I barely know anything about this band, and I’ve been looking online to find out more about them but as of right now I’m at a loss, so I’m going to let the music speak for itself here, and start you off with the track that got me addicted.

Like wow? Like not just really good songwriting, but a completely rounded and well-polished live performance. That was Sins off their 2019 EP Love Wins which is just banger after banger. It’s also a very refreshing sound because you can hear just how much inspiration has gone into making their identity, to the point where it’s not entirely obvious what Hello Yello’s favourite bands are, which again today is a real rarity. Sure you can guess and hear some genre-specific influences, but it’s still all left ambiguous, with a driving force that teases you to listen to more and more.

So attempting to box up their sound somehow, whether you’re a fan of Lil Peep, Steve Lacy, Weston Estate or any of the emo bands you loved back in the ’00s, Hello Yello is an identity that should just automatically be familiar with you. The way they combine evocative vocals, glistening guitar parts, these thicc bass lines and warm drums, it’s almost like each band member wants the music to do different things, and the way it ties together creates this wonderous sound that’s genuinely fresh like I cannot stress how new this sound feels for some reason. It’s really throwing old school rock with modern-day indie to the forefront in the best way possible.

The same year Hello Yello dropped My Life As A Teenage Robot, a double single that just delivers more of what they set out to offer with their first EP. There’s some real talent here, you could pair these tunes with anything from artists such as The Garden or Blac Rabbit and they’d fit in snug.

There’s a toxic trait rock music advocates have these days which can be summed up by, none o’ yall know what you want. It either sounds too much like one band or doesn’t sound enough like the greats of the past (it’s deeper than that but that’s me simplifying it drastically). The idea to save rock music is this backwards idea that started because rock music suddenly left the mainstream. But that has never meant that rock music was dead? (cough Adam Levine cough) Artists now more than ever are fusing the quintessential sounds of rock music with other genres they’ve been brought up on, or that they’re surrounded and inspired by, and Hello Yello is one band that is completely renovating the very DNA of rock music for the 21st century. It’s a genuine blend.

Rock/Indie lovers, eat your hearts out because Hello Yello are here to play loud and proud, and you’re going to absolutely love it.

So don’t be shy. Say Hello…

Check em out on Spotify here.

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Reviews

Looking Back: Submarine EP

10 years ago, Alex Turner’s ‘Submarine’ EP released, featuring songs written for the film of the same name. If you’ve seen Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, then you’ll know how perfect a match Turner’s songwriting was for that film, the jaded atmosphere of Oliver Tate’s empty and almost stunted world, as he goes through the struggles of his parents dwindling marriage and his own love spell with a girl at school.

The matched reverb riddled and stripped-back approach to Turner’s songwriting makes for such an interesting experience with the context of the Arctic Monkeys’ albums that sandwich the EP. Relinquished from the deep desert production of Humbug, and far from the polished production of Suck It And See, Submarine acts as a transition period between the two like a palette cleanse. In fact track ‘Piledriver Waltz’ getting a rework on Suck It And See, with even lyrical references spilled over the album, it’s clear the intrinsic connection between the two records.

Is it any coincidence that Turner’s songs here make you feel desolate and floaty? Like you’re drifting through the sea in a Submarine? I don’t think so. Whether you’re entranced by the opener, ‘Stuck On The Puzzle – Intro’, or whipped away by the deeper cuts of ‘It’s Hard To Get Around In The Wind’, ‘Hiding Tonight’ or ‘Glass In The Park’, you immediately get a feel for what this story is about.

Turner set out to write songs for Oliver Tate, love songs, and how the simple bliss of those feelings especially as a teenager can feel so strong, where tunnel vision makes the rest of the world seem irrelevant for the time being. Submarine really enhances those feelings and makes for such an intimate listening experience, in an almost bittersweet way depending on how you the listener perceive his words.

Although the whole EP is filled with magic through its 6 songs, it’s clear to all that its two ‘singles’ are the ones most favoured and listened to. Of course, I’m talking about the previously mentioned ‘Piledriver Waltz’ and ‘Stuck On The Puzzle’.

I’m not the kind of fool who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars, girl / but last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue, and they’d gone backwards

Turner really pours his heart out here. And I don’t think it matters whether he’s talking from his heart, or through the character of Oliver Tate. He clearly understood Tate to the point where he could construct such a symphonic tone to serenade the film’s story so perfectly, and 10 years later that film and that soundtrack, are still being spoken about today.

If you haven’t come across the film Submarine yet then you really absolutely must, it’s a brilliant motion picture and the best way to experience Turner’s music for the first time. Trust me when I say it’s an experience you really won’t forget.

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Why We Love

Why We Love: Orla Gartland

Irish singer-songwriter Orla Gartland gained traction through her YouTube channel and supporting Dodie on tour. Alongside relatable lyrical content, her songs emphasise her passion for music production and perfecting her style.

Orla Gartland’s YouTube channel has content dating back to 8 years ago although she has been active since 2007. Starting out with covers, she has worked her way up to original content. Although her folk roots have been her primary influence, we have seen a shift towards indie-pop. There has been a transition from more acoustically based songs to synthesised instrumentation. Songs like ‘Why Am I Like This?’ and ‘Overthinking’ explore her struggles with mental health and are compellingly honest and raw. Other themes in her music include falling out of love, which is what her latest EP, Freckle Seasons is centred around, and struggling to come to terms with sexuality which can be heard in her song ‘oh God’.

Most intriguing, Orla Gartland is an entirely independent artist using her Patreon to fund her musical developments. This Patreon gives fans extra demos, updates on what is going on in her life and when to expect new releases and competitions. It creates a basis for fans to be able to interact and make friends. It is also a platform for them to share their own experiences with music amongst themselves and with Orla Gartland directly. Patreon, being one of her favourite parts of the internet, has become somewhere she can openly share the progression of her songs and thoughts and ideas. It is fascinating to see lyrics from drafts falling into new songs that become released for everyone to hear. In her latest song ‘Pretending’, the lyrics “I learnt it from a woman on the internet” have been recycled from one of the demos she released on her Patreon.

During lockdown, musicians took to performing on live streaming platforms to replicate the community feeling of going to concerts. Orla Gartland hosted what she called “covers-a-thon” raising £3454 for NHS charities helping frontline workers with hot meals, transport, accommodation and counselling. There is no divide between herself and her music; she uses it to express herself, for escapism and to help people.

It isn’t always easy to come across with such authenticity in the music industry. Still, the transparency between Orla Gartland and her fans makes it easy to believe that it is possible.

Listen to Orla Gartland on Spotify now.

Categories
Uncategorized

Outerstella Overdrive – Camel Blue (Live)

https://youtu.be/67h4McIOxQI

Outer Stella Overdrive perform ‘Camel Blue’ from their new album, Clout & Self Doubt.

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock

The Vaccines cover Queens of the Stone Age, Buffalo Springfield and more…

Long-awaited has new music by The Vaccines been since their latest album Combat Sports was released back in 2018, but you may soon be in luck…

If you didn’t think this year could get any better after the announcement of the new Wolf Alice album, The Vaccines have gone even further with the promise of a new album and a brand-spanking-new EP to listen to while you wait.

Frontman Justin Hayward-Young announced in December that the band’s official fifth album was complete and would follow up the new EP ‘Cosy Karaoke’, a compilation of six brilliant covers.

Today we were treated to that very EP, an assortment of brilliant renditions of fantastic tunes which have been given that timeless vaccines treatment.

It takes a great band to cover an already excellent song and make it truly their own, but The Vaccines have sure pulled it off on every track.

Tracklist:

  • Funnel of Love – (Wanda Jackson)
  • No One Knows – (Queens of the Stone Age)
  • High Horse – (Kacey Musgraves)
  • Telstar – (The Tornados)
  • For What It’s Worth – (Buffalo Springfield)
  • Fire – (Waxahatchee)

They announced the EP on their Instagram with the promise of more videos to come:

Categories
Uncategorized

CREATORS MONTHLY: FEBRUARY

Welcome back to Creators Monthly, and blimey, what another great month! Thanks to all the artists who submitted their music to us this month – a record-breaking number! Here are just some of our favourites.

So strap in and prepare yourself – let’s take it away!

The Clockworks

Post-punk rock bands from Ireland are something of a favourite here at Totally Wired. The Clockworks hit single ‘Enough is Never Enough’ is another great example of a song we can’t get out of our heads. With nods to The Clash and other legendary bands, The Clockworks are now taking on the world for themselves. We look forward to the band’s new single due for release very soon.👀

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Paul & The Microcosm

This 6-piece psychedelic rock band hailing from Germany create this superb blend of garage-punk with a prominent twist of indie-rock. Something about their cool but fun charm hits home with fans of bands such as The Strokes and The Libertines. A certain experimental approach in the production of their music, their latest single ‘Purgatory Pool Party’ is the perfect tune to put a spring in your step.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Tapwaterlucy

Tapwaterlucy is an indie-pop artist from London who, counter to what her name suggests, is anything BUT bland. ‘Bringing glamour meets satire in both her music and visuals’ is how this 20-year-old singer describes her style, combined with a touch of comedy, this artists concoction of tastes makes for the perfect antidote for lockdown-blues.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Brightest London

A luscious, hopeful tune could be precisely what the world needs right now. Brightest London, from Ohio, describe their ethos as ‘music for a long drive’. The band threw themselves into their projects over the lockdown months, offering a sense of freedom and adventure in a time where neither feels within reach. Their latest single, ‘Try’, has a spectacular escapism quality, with a tear in our eyes and hope in our hearts for getting back to reality soon, Brightest London are here to see us through.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Chloe Berry

Chloe Berry from NYC is an artist who perfectly encapsulates the life of a young person in the big city. Her first single, ‘Fed Up With You,’ is a captivating life lesson, full of continuously uplifting grooves stacked ontop of sorrowfully slow verses – a story of ups and downs and a perfect anecdote for life. An artist who is well worth checking out.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Daphne Browdy

Whilst sat in her childhood bedroom in Chicago, Daphne Browdy found inspiration for her single ‘Bookend’, a song about a year of losing friends, making new ones and wrestling the feeling of being isolated from them. A touching melody that comes right from the heart and one to which we can all relate. This young artist is on a mission of exploring her soul’s inner depths through her enchanting tunes. This is only the start of her musical journey and we hope to see more great music on the horizon. We can’t wait to hear what comes next!

Add to playlist (Spotify)

The Worn Jets

New-wave psych-rock band, The Worn Jets, offer up something of a nostalgic quality to their kick-ass sound, taking us right back to the golden days of garage-rock. Their New EP TWJ takes inspiration from many of their punk-rock predecessors. We can’t wait to see even more music coming soon.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Dylan Innes

While not playing with his band 80 Unlacey, featured in September’s Creators Monthly, Dylan Innes has set about on a solo journey. Collaborating with audio engineer Doug Williams, Dylans’s solo album ‘Taste the Tide’ is set for release this month. After listening to his recent work, it’s an album you should be dead excited for.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Ivan4sure

Ivan4sure is an artist from Hungary set for his first EP to be released later this year. His latest single, ‘Tinder Date’, was inspired by a quarantine date no less and was released as a funky upbeat ‘Valentine’s Day special’. The song and it’s fresh new sound has given us a sneak peek into what’s in store; definitely an artist to have on your radar this year.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

The Scribes

The Scribes are a Hip Hop group from the UK with a brand new single we just can’t get out of our heads. ‘Haunted House’ is a tune created in collaboration with producer J-Boom, a ‘fitting soundtrack to the chaos of 2020.’ The video for Haunted House drops on the 15th of March, so keep your eyes peeled.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Fin Cliff

‘Oo Ah, la La’ is not just an exciting first single from artist Fin Cliff, but a cracking one too, and all from the bedroom of this 17-year-old from Leicester, UK. Finn started releasing music just last year, with all of his current singles written to be played live once music is finally back on stage. A young artist with a lot of talent and one we’re incredibly excited to hear more from.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Vanarin

The latest single from Vanarin, ‘Care’, is a whirlwind of synth sounds and warped guitar melodies, ripe for a tune full of nostalgia and one that gets us incredibly excited for the future. Care is the first single of the ‘Italian Alt-Pop’ groups new album ‘Treading Water’, a highly anticipated follow up from their first album in 2018.

Add to playlist (Spotify)

BEL

BEL’s second feature on Creators Monthly, but we just can’t help ourselves! After capturing wide attention with her single ‘Treading Water,’ the writer behind the synonym, Isabel Whelan, has somehow topped herself with her latest tune. It makes us wonder just how far this young songwriter will go – one to watch out for, that’s for sure!

Add to playlist (Spotify)

Thanks to all the musicians who submitted their music this month! Make sure to keep an eye out for more brilliant artists. We’ll see you next time.

The TWM Team x

Make music? In a band? We want to hear from you! Submit here for a chance to be featured in next month’s Creators Monthly.

Can’t wait for more? Read last month’s issue here.