Author Archives: Clayton Warwick

Boy Bjorn – Anchorage (Foreign Fields Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

Boy Bjorn
Anchorage (Foreign Fields Remix)

Sometimes it takes the most intense moments in our lives to set us on a different path. I’m sure all of you can identify a singular point in your past that sparked a significant change. Whether it was wonderful, painful, or somewhere in-between, it’s a common thread through the human experience.

For Brian Holl (aka Boy Bjorn), that life-altering moment came at SXSW in 2015. As a member from the previously heralded electronica-folk duo Foreign Fields at the time, Holl experienced a panic attack that would alter his course, both in life, and in music, after experiencing early successes of national touring, festival appearances, and a critically-acclaimed debut album.

Now, 18 months later, Holl is ready to delve back into the musical world, and in addition to returning to Foreign Fields, he’s also doing so under the moniker of Boy Bjorn. The debut release, “Anchorage,” dropped not too long ago. It’s enveloping, with a buzz that calls on associations of Postal Service, Owl City, and of course, elements of Foreign Fields. While I strongly suggest adding it to your playlist, we’re actually here today to bring you a glimpse at the first remix of this single, coming via none other than Holl’s partner in Foreign Fields, Eric Hillman.

Beautifully composed, this take is a long-building and emotional ride, focusing heavily on Holl’s heartfelt lyrics for the majority of the ride. It’s slow, and intentionally so, utilizing soft keys and strings from the original and layered, vocoder-treated vocal harmonies. It has a depth to it that one would guess, could only stem from a deep, personal connection between the two.

Music aside, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are a common thing, and something that we don’t need to battle alone. If you’re in the dark, please know that others, some of which who have been in your exact same place, are there and willing to help. Please reach out to a friend, a family member, or a complete stranger.

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Madge – Alice [TMN PREMIERE]

“Alice” is one hell of a trip. Punchy, quirky, unique, and deliciously poppy, it’s my first experience with LA-based, D-I-Y producer Madge, and it’s one I couldn’t easily shake after only one listen through.

Opening with what sounds like a sample from an classic suspense movie, it’s impossible to peg where the track is going to end up. Even beyond that, you’ll still be guessing after the crunchy guitar riff and childlike voices kick in. In fact, you might expect someone to come in and lay down a hot hip hop verse. Instead though, you’re welcomed into softly-sung, ethereal vocals. It’s such a jarring juxtaposition, and one that works beautifully.

Those alternating sections, of both her and and the children’s playful chatter, are a purposeful representative of the destructive voices in Madge’s head. Seemingly normalized by the playful, funky bassline, and flute-like synths, it’s an intent-based structure that has layers beyond what you’ve come to expect from your run-of-the-mill pop.

“Alice” explores themes of trauma, pleasure, and shame as experienced in the form of a personal poltergeist. Almost all the lyrics have double entendre and the narrative is both literal and metaphorical. Alice is dangerous even though she’s dead – the nature of trauma itself.

Madge just recently broke into the scene, with “Alice” being her third release. Make sure to keep tabs on her and more intriguing releases in moving forward.

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The Compensators – Love Drags [TMN PREMIERE]

The Compensators
Love Drags

God damnit, I love it when I can bring you a debut track. There are few things that get me more excited to bust out my laptop and start writing. Today’s offering is perfect for Friday’s soundtrack too, coming at you fresh and direct via Brooklyn-based The Compensators.

Comprised of Curtis Strange (lead vocals/guitar), Chaz Mitchells (drums/backup vocals), Stevie Blunder (bass), and Kip Wicked (guitar), this eccentric four-piece met at a full-moon party on the roof of Loft 45 Bushwick, and immediately bonded over fast cars and their favorite guitars. While I can’t personally confirm that ice cold beers were had, I feel pretty confident peppering that into this origin story.

“Love Drags” is their first release, and simply put, it’s an anthem for the unruly and obstreperous, inciting all who listen to go out and imbibe. Whether your form of indulgence is just some emphatic finger drumming on your car’s steering wheel, or going out for a night of drunken shenanigans, it’s your jam. Don’t take it from me, though. Check out this epic quote that surfaced up:

Like witnessing spectacular gear shifting as your hands grab that “oh shit” bar hanging above the passenger window, The Compensators throw you right into the stampede, driving down the highway in dirty underwear, with a case of Lion’s Head pilsner sitting next to you, looking for the next show”

If you’re into twangy lead riffs, psychedelic vibes, and sing-along lyrics, you can stop right here. Press play and get on with your epic weekend, complete with an epic new artist and track.

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The Solarists – Wait For It [TMN PREMIERE]

The Solarists
Wait For It

As summer comes rolling in, I always seem to find myself hunting down a solid collection of indie rock tunes to soundtrack all the adventures that are sure to come. Luckily for me, and all of you, I was offered the opportunity to bring you a first listen of “Wait For It,” the latest offering from Provo-based four-piece The Solarists.

A perfectly intertwined duo of dreamy, wandering verses and a rowdy-as-hell chorus, this tune catches your attention early and grips it throughout the whole ride. The lyrics are approachable and quite memorable, giving you the opportunity to sing along after only a few spins. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up belting this out on your drive home from work today.

“The intro to ‘Wait for It’ had been twinkling in my ear for weeks before we finally took it into the studio. The song evolved into something way bigger than we were ever expecting and we are stoked to finally release it.” – Clint

The Solarists are comprised of childhood friends Clint Purser (bass/sax/lead vocals), Nate Wall (lead guitar/vocals) and Justin Dunkley (drums), with Kaua Sprout (rhythm guitar/vocals) added into the mix a few months after inception. I strongly suggest keeping an eye on them over the next year. With a sound as infectious as theirs, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when these guys really starting picking up steam.

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The Indigo Project – As Always [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]

The Indigo Project
As Always

Coming hot off a string of successful shows, including Live at Leeds, Yorkshire-based The Indigo Project have something to tide fans over until their next tour.

“As Always,” their first single of 2018, has been making waves for the past month or so, leading the way to cheering fans across the UK this spring. Anthemic in nature, it sizzles with eccentric guitar work, equal parts booming and splashy percussion, and a delightfully raucous chorus. It’s energetic and infectious — the type of tune you can picture yourself screaming at the top of your lungs in a rowdy, humid venue.

The accompanying video, which we’re premiering here today, showcases a Day in the Life-style story, interspersed with live-action shots of Joe Spink (Frontman), Oliver Barry (guitar), Alex Crow (bass), Tony Francis (guitar) and Jack Manktelow (drums). It’s the perfect visualization, according to the band:

A teenage tale of love and loss, “As Always” is about knowing that someone will always come back to you even if it really isn’t good for you

Check out the music video below, then head over and support these lads online.

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[Rock] Mosaic – Home / Playing With Fire

Before I was slinging up the latest-n-greatest indie rock, deep house cuts, and soulful folk gems here on TMN, you would have found me throwing my head back and forth to punk, emo, metalcore, and pretty much anything and everything that centered around top-notch, intricate guitar work. That music has somewhat fallen into the shadows of the music industry, but there are a few bands who are hoping to spark that flame that so many of us enjoyed.

Obvious acts aside, one group I’ve been digging into lately is Denver-based Mosaic, who’s demos made me pop up both brows with surprise. Simply put, these guys rip. Their lyrics and song structure remind me of one of my favorite throwbacks, Circa Survive, coupled with a degree of heaviness that tugs on my late-teen/early-twenties heart.

It’s not often you catch wind of someone who’s fusing pop-sensibility into their songwriting, alongside of beautiful complexity in instrumentation, but that’s exactly what Carl (bass), Erik (drums), Phillip (vox), Nema (guitar), and Zachary (guitar) are pulling off with ease. Below are my two favorites, with “Home” leading the way. Have a listen and then head out and support these cats.

’Playing with Fire’
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The Glorious Sons discuss touring, their origin story, and sobriety [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Photo Credit: Greeblehaus

Nestled into the tiny stage at Globeville’s half BBQ joint, half music venue, Kingston, Ontario-based rock and rollers The Glorious Sons seized my attention with authority. I wasn’t alone, either. The entire crowd was entranced throughout. This didn’t come as much of a surprise, though, given the nature of their music.

I had previously spent some time with their latest album Young Beauties and Fools, finding solace in the down home instrumentals and Brett’s anthemic lyrics. It’s easy to get addicted to it. The blue-collar vibes, crunchy riffs, and expert story telling create an atmospheric listening experience that’s hard to come by.

But, Jay Emmons, Chris Koster, Adam Paquette, Chris Huot & Brett Emmons seemingly make it easy. Which, is why I wanted to chat with them ahead of their fourth trip through Denver.

TMN: Welcome to Denver! Is this your first time in the Mile High City?

Jay: Fourth! We opened for a band called Ten Years three years ago. We came back twice to Marquis Theater after that. We headlined for like five people. Tonight is going to be a real show.

How has the tour been going so far?

Jay: It’s been good — busy. I think this is the most distance we’ve traveled in such a short span. We did 15 days in Europe. 14 of them had shows attached to them. The last three dates of the tour we were flying from Norway to Sweden, then to Denmark. That just adds a whole other element — being up at 7:00 or 8:00AM every day. It’s the first we’ve experienced something like that.

Here, we started in Chicago. Then to Minneapolis, North Carolina, New Orleans, Kansas City.

TMN: Any cities rise above the rest as far as highlights go?

Jay: Minneapolis was cool. We did 7th Street Entry. It’s attached to the club First Avenue where ‘Purple Rain’ was shot. It’s a really legit venue, kind of a rite of passage, I guess.

New Orleans was interesting. We had our AirBNB broken into by a crackhead. I had to chase him out shirtless. I had been completely naked, jumped into a pair of jean shorts.

TMN: What?!

Jay: We heard this booming, and I woke up. Me and my girlfriend were like “what the fuck is going on?” Our drummer thought it was gunshots. So, he pushed his girlfriend off the bed and dove on her. It was actually some crackhead kicking the door in. The guy walks in and is stand over them.

TMN: Jesus. That’s terrifying.

Jay: The look in her eyes — she was speechless with fear — made him (our drummer) realize there was a guy who busted in. Everyone was in shock. He got up and pushes him back. I jump into my jean shorts, rip off my belt, and start screaming at the top of my lungs at this guy. We both managed to get him out. It was scary.
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