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Mister Lies

Mowgli

    Mister Lies is the product of dorm-room insomnia, the development of a family of friends in a city of strangers under altered states and the feeling of homesickness for places where one only feels homesick. It is also the operational alias for a 20-year-old producer, multi-instrumentalist and feral child who was raised by wolves in the forests of a Connecticut suburb. Somewhere down the road, those winds whisked him away and dropped him off in Chicago.

    Eventually, he formed a fresh pack of lone wolves all aiming to create something greater. In the harshest parts of winter in the Windy City; equipped with a laptop, several controllers and whatever instruments were lying around his congested dorm-room; he released his first EP anonymously before eventually revealing his identity as Nick Zanca.

    Before long these atmospheric, nocturnal tracks started making rounds. After many months away, Zanca revisited his New England roots with a collection of Rudyard Kipling's written work and a carload of microphones, synthesizers and samplers and camped out at a cabin on a lake in Vermont. Zanca's debut full-length MOWGLI,out on Lefse in March 2013 is the eight-track result of that meditation and soul-searching – an aggressive hunt for self-awareness and feral youth.

    Mister Lies

    Dionysian

      Mister Lies is the product of dorm-room insomnia, the development of a family of friends in a city of strangers under altered states and the feeling of homesickness for places where one only feels homesick. It is also the operational alias for a 20-year-old producer, multi-instrumentalist and feral child who was raised by wolves in the forests of a Connecticut suburb. Somewhere down the road, those winds whisked him away and dropped him off in Chicago. Eventually, he formed a fresh pack of lone wolves all aiming to create something greater. In the harshest parts of winter in the Windy City; equipped with a laptop, several controllers and whatever instruments were lying around his congested dorm-room; he released his first EP anonymously before eventually revealing his identity as Nick Zanca.

      Before long these atmospheric, nocturnal tracks started making rounds. After many months away, Zanca revisited his New England roots with a collection of Rudyard Kipling's written work and a carload of microphones, synthesizers and samplers and camped out at a cabin on a lake in Vermont.

      Teen Daze

      The Inner Mansions

        The Inner Mansions is the second full length record from Teen Daze, and also his second of 2012. The album is a collection of songs that were written between the months of May and June 2012, and they are his most introspective and moving to date.

        Where his debut, All Of Us, Together, evoked feelings of a futuristic, electronic utopia, The Inner Mansions focuses inward, both thematically and sonically. This is an album of spiritualand musical journey, and features some of Teen Daze's most captivating songs.

        The album also features collaborations with Frankie Rose and Hrishikesh Hirway (The One AM Radio).

        Field Mouse

        How Do You Know

          Field Mouse is what some might call a dream-pop band from Brooklyn, NY. Seamlessly interweaving influences from shoegaze, indie, and power pop, Field Mouse offers lush sonic textures and expansive soundscapes to complement the airy, wistful vocals of singer/guitarist Rachel Browne.

          Through complex and delicate harmonies, the songwriting of Browne and guitarist Andrew Futral breathes new life into common themes of lost love and renewal.


          Shelf Life

          Everyone Make Happy

          Shelf Life is longtime Philadelphia sideman / recording engineer Scotty Leitch, recently seen drumming for Alex G. He’s stepping out front to release his first album of solo material, ‘Everyone Make Happy’, on the venerable Lefse label.

          Album opener ‘The Curse’ is a homespun 1990sstyle indie rock chestnut delivered with warmth and idiosyncrasy. Lazy acoustic strums and trippy keyboards serve as the basis for Leitch’s charmingly twee narration, filtering memories of early Modest Mouse and Built To Spill through his own distinct musical perspective. It’s one of those introductions that leaves a huge impression without making a big show of it.

          “The first leak from Shelf Life’s debut full-length, ‘The Curse’, is about facing your demons. Its somber acoustic melodies and deadpan, occasionally grim poetry (‘Talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom / About nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut’) reminds me of something David Berman might have dreamed up with his great, probably-not-reuniting indie-rock band, Silver Jews.” - Fader

          A Grave With No Name

          Feathers Wet, Under The Moon

          A Grave With No Name is the recording project of London’s Alexander Shields. The follow up to 2013’s ‘Whirlpool’, Shields’ first foray into a recording studio, eschewing the bedroom recordings of his previous releases, ‘Feathers Wet, Under The Moon’ sees him returning to a studio, this time trading the foggy confines of London for the rolling hills of Nashville, TN. Says Shields, “I travelled to Nashville on my own in April 2014 to record with Mark Nevers at his Beech House studio. Mark has produced loads of artists I admire such as Bonnie Prince Billy, Silver Jews, William Tyler, Lambchop (whom he is a member of ) and Vic Chesnutt. Mark and I worked on our own for a while and then we started calling in local Nashville musicians for overdubs such as guitarist William Tyler (who made one of my favourite albums of the past few years) and Tony Crow (who is from Lambchop, and the most amazing piano player I’ve ever seen). My best friend Daniel Blumberg (who now records under the name Hebronix and used to play in Yuck) came out to visit in the second week and helped out with some guitar and piano as well. The whole record took two weeks to track and then I travelled back to London and we spent a month sending mixes back and forth via email. It felt a long, long way away from recording alone in my bedroom.”

          The approach to recording on ‘Feathers Wet, Under The Moon’ was an entirely new method of recording for Shields. In the past, he had been used to writing every note of each song and then performing and recording everything himself, or carefully instructing the players how he wanted it to sound. For this record, he presented the bare bones of a song to the group, then Mark would hit the record button and they would just play, often creating the arrangements on the fly. The resulting record however is an exercise in precision and restraint that belies its creation.

          With slowly unfolding melodies, atypical song structures and a sense of meandering melancholy, ‘Feathers Wet, Under The Moon’ takes us on a personal journey that somehow feels universal.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Hailing from New Zealand, haunting dream-pop duo French For Rabbits have been quietly building a reputation around the world for their growing collection of songs clouded in eerie instrumentation and sea-misted lyricism, courtesy of the venerable Lefse Records imprint.

          Alongside their ‘Claimed By The Sea’ EP and dreamy live shows, they have garnered support from New Zealand alternative radio and were subsequently nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards. That year they also headed to the UK for the first time to test the waters after promising radio play by 6Music’s Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft, The Shed’s Mark Coles and Amazing Radio. They have since toured through Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK, with festival appearances at Secret Garden Party and the Wilderness Festival along the way.

          Brooke Singer, the fragile voiced songstress and writer for the duo, began performing with guitarist John Fitzgerald in 2011.

          Charlotte Oleena began writing simple soundscapes as Sea Oleena in early 2010, shaped by melancholy and never wanting to leave her bedroom. With an initial focus on recording, she began playing shows by herself regularly a year after the release of her first EP. Since then she’s played shows with a handful of musicians but has recently been playing alone again, moving pointedly in the direction of wide and open ambient worlds.

          At the end of 2012, following two self-released EPs, Oleena began writing what would become her first label-released album, ‘Shallow’. The album was finished in the fall of 2013, having been recorded and mixed in various bedrooms and studios, with unrelenting and indispensable help from her brother, Luke Loseth.

          ‘Shallow’ finds Oleena at her most focused, compelling state yet. Her tactful use of textures and instrumentation make for a blissful, cinematic listen that’s centred on what matters most: her captivating voice.

          Lyrically, she’s unafraid to dive into heartbreaking experiences, which are riddled throughout the album but feelings of hope and optimism blossom in their wake. ‘Shallow’ is music to drive to, music to daydream to, music to become immersed in. Because once you let go, these are the songs you can’t help but cling to.

          Dana Buoy has spent the better part of the last decade as the percussionist for Akron/Family.

          Dana Buoy’s debut album, Summer Bodies, is a rhythmic and vibrant dedication to the joyous feelings of summer love.

          What started as hopeful love notes left on an answering machine in Oregon were later crafted into an album in a bungalow near a jungle lagoon in Thailand. Armed with nothing more than a laptop, an MPC1000, and the enchantment of the paradise found there, the songs began to take shape, mimicking the tropic forms that surrounded them.

          The record was completed months later in Brooklyn and was fleshed out almost solely by Buoy with live drumming, guitar, thumb piano, and samples built from omnichords, analog synthesizers and iPad apps. During the recording, Buoy and his engineer weathered an earthquake, followed by Hurricane Irene - neglecting to evacuate and maintaining days of isolation brought on by the tropical storm.

          The result is Summer Bodies, the culmination of over a year of songwriting and travelling. A dream pop record combining elements of Afro beats, synth pop, and what Buoy refers to as “Tropicore”. The songs connect the dots between Paul Simon and Drake, providing a sonic spaceship ride from the beach party to the after party.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Ryan says: As the percussionist for Akron/Family, you can expect many similar melodies & harmonies from Dana Bouy, overall this is a stunning release. Akron/Family fans, give it a try!

          “...adorably dreamy synth-pop sound, with lots of reverb and plenty of room to dance.” – NPR.
          “Dominant Legs, has a strange, immediately appealing sound that’s part funky Belle & Sebastian/part late-night Arthur Russell/part something uniquely his own.” – Stereogum.
          “swaying, dim-lit disco-duets and tremulous 70s slow jam numbers” - Altered Zones.
          “They make fragile pop songs that sound like Arthur Russell covering Aztec Camera’s back catalogue.” – Vice.

          Let yourself love what you love: the idea is simple and yet the act is deceivingly hard. Nevertheless, when you are in the presence of Ryan William Lynch, songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist for San Francisco’s Dominant Legs, you know without question that he has done just that. And he’s asking you to join him.

          To judge by Dominant Legs’ sound—pop songs culled from the textures of past decades, but with a classic songwriting approach—this man has many loves. Shot through with addictive synth melodies and vocal harmonies, crossed with a chic shimmer of Nile Rogers style guitar, and flecked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and, yes, Tracy Chapman, Dominant Legs songs are as difficult to describe as they are to resist.

          The story begins in 2008, when, after being laid off from his job as a mail clerk, Lynch, began to compose the first Dominant Legs songs in his suddenly abundant free time. He recalls, “one day I finished a new song. It was different from any song I had written before. I knew I had something.” With his newfound sound as Dominant Legs, Lynch, who had played for years in SF band Magic Bullets and was currently lending his playing to GIRLS, began catching ears and eyes while performing around San Francisco and eventually across the country.

          In 2009 vocalist/keyboardist Hannah Hunt joined. With interweaving male and female vocals, the duo breathed life into songs about the perils and excitements that endlessly rise from the commingling of boy and girl. In 2010 Dominant Legs released the Young at Love and Life EP to critical praise. After a year of performing internationally, the songs had grown and so did the band: bassist Andrew Connors, guitarist Garett Goddard and drummer Rene Solomon joined to expand Dominant Legs’ sound as the group geared up to record its first full-length LP.

          With a handful of songs already written, Lynch encountered a quote by the Boss himself speaking of his masterpiece, Thunder Road: “It's an invitation. It was my big invitation. We invite you to something. Not sure what yet. Something is opening up. A sense of larger life, greater experience. . . . sense of more fun. Sense of personal exploration, the idea that it was all laying there somewhere inside of you.” He chose to run with these themes, and in late May, Dominant Leg’s first full-length was completed.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Ryan says: Bouncy and full of energy, lots of hints towards a synth-pop sound with loads of little bursts of delightful guitar riffs. I'm not sure whether I should be dancing but I am!

          Formed in Columbus, Ohio in early 2010, Way Yes is the musical collaboration of Glenn Davis & Travis Hall. With the addition of multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer Max Lewis, the band set out to make music about good times, or at least making it through the bad ones.

          Their latest EP, Walkability (being released via Lefse Records 26/03/12) hides heavy lyrical content under positive tropical vibes. The album addresses everything from death of loved ones to the daily grind. They make masterful use of sonic space, keeping the instrumentation sparse and the reverb heavy to provide a deceivingly introspective experience. With layered Afro-Latin rhythms, whimsical guitar lines and dreamy electronic touches, Way Yes makes sure you’ll never think of Ohio the same way again.


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