Author Archives: Clayton Warwick

Benjamin Francis Leftwich talks touring, Kanye, and having wine with Damien Rice [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Ben Leftwich by Pip for Dirty Hit Records

After years of pouring over Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s music, on both sunshine-filled days and blustery winter nights, we finally got what we’ve always wanted. It took six years for us to see him perform, but it was worth every bit of those agonizingly long 2,000+ days.

Before we watched him perform, we, of course, had to spend some time with him to get up to speed with everything that had happened in that lengthy wait. Instead of crafting questions, though, we ended up just talking for a half hour. Nothing was planned, rather just two music nerds talking about life, and everything that comes with it.

TMN: You’re on a tour right now, going through the states, and you’re midway through. How’s the reception been so far?

BFL: It’s been amazing. We did a tour up here in July — a shorter tour. Kind of normal places to play. This time, I’ve played at places I’ve never been to in my life. Mobile, Alabama. San Antonio, Texas. Spent a night in New Mexico. Dallas. Houston. Orlando. Denver, Colorado, where we are now. I really take that stuff very seriously.

Where I’m at as an artist, some nights we’re playing to a lot of people, some nights we’re playing to very, very few. The truth is — I love it all. Even when it’s a few people. Those people have driven so far to be there and I’m so grateful to have them there. It spurs me emotionally as well. I know what it’s like to fall in love with a record.

It’s an amazing feeling and I’m lucky to tour with such a nice group of people. I’ve met some beautiful people. And, so much of the music I’m into is American, or heavily influenced by America in some way. Tom Petty. Springsteen. Even someone like Tallest Man on Earth. He’s one of my favorites. I know he’s Swedish, but he’s influenced by American worlds.
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Greyface – Delilah [TMN PREMIERE]

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Greyface
Delilah

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to start something beautiful. For LA-based Greyface, that was certainly the case, finding their inspiration in a dimly lit rehearsal space before a Blonde Redhead show. Recording on their phones for fun, this seemingly innocent jam session turned into the project you’re about to dive into today.

Their journey didn’t start here, though, staying true to so many other musicians’ stories. Jutty Taylor (vocals, bass, guitar), Ryan Malina (producer, guitar, keys, backing vocals), and Julien Bellin (drums, percussion) had been playing with off an on for quite some time. After years of jamming together, working on separate projects, and honing their craft, Greyface was born.

Their debut album, Greyola, is set to come out on February 10th, but we’re lucky enough to be sharing a sneak peek at one of our favorite selections from the collection. “Delilah” is a delicate, somewhat dreary, and downright addictive jam that calls on associations of the glory days of this genre. You could easily find it nestled neatly into an Indie Rock playlist next to Neutral Milk Hotel, The War on Drugs, and The National. Yet, while it certainly grabs hold of those nostalgic feelings, it has plenty of modern appeal, bringing it nicely into 2017.

Make sure to keep tabs on this trio by following them on Facebook and Soundcloud. After listening to the rest of the album, we can assure you that you’ll want to.

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[Secret Ninja Pass] This Week at Beta – 1/5 – 1/8

beta-super-pass

With old man winter bearing down on the Mile High City, we have one thing and one thing alone on our mind. It’s time to head down to 19th and Blake and get toasty in the best way possible – by dancing to some top notch beats. Per usual, we’re making it incredibly easy for you to get off your couch and head down. Why’s that? Because we’re hooking you up with free entry.

Here’s how:
– Head to the front door and enter the club before 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Get there before 9:00 on Sunday
– Show this post to the cashier (Valid for 21+ only).
– The deal is valid for THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY this week.

Laidback Luke - 1/5
Must Die! - 1/6
NYE Recovery Party - 1/7
Proper Residents - 1/8
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[16 To End 2016] Ninja Clayton’s Best of the Year

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After a full twelve months of sifting through submission emails, IMs and tweets from artists, and pages upon pages of SoundCloud, BandCamp, and Spotify, I’m finally ready to sum up 2016 with my absolute favorite tracks. Some I wrote about, others I simply enjoyed. But, none the less, these 16 tracks filled my headphones, car speakers, and SONOS system over and over again throughout this past year.

Ranging from alternative, to indie dance, to outright dance floor heaters, this year stayed true to my typical tastes. I’m all over the board, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Viola Beach – Boys that Sing

Viola Beach’s debut album was one of my favorite collections of music in a long time, and I wholeheartedly believed that this budding young act was on their way to be the next big thing. As many of you know, all of these young musicians passed away in a tragic car accident on their way to a gig. But, the silver lining in all of this is that their music will live on forever. Throw on “Boys That Sing” and get ready to belt out the chorus.

Viola Beach
Boys that Sing
Argonaut & Wasp – The Sneeze

If you’re not onto these cats just yet, it’s about time you start paying attention. Their inventive, quirky, and highly addictive style is spreading quick. They don’t take themselves too seriously, which is evident in the playfulness of “The Sneeze.” Definitely one of my favs in 2016.

’The Sneeze’
Hidden Charms – Cannonball

I’m a huge fan of the gritty, heavy, and weird. Unfortunately, I don’t typically write up tracks that fit in that wheelhouse, just because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense here on TMN. However, Hidden Charms were a fringe act for me, allowing you to get a glimpse of some of my other musical tastes, while still fitting what we’re all about. It’s dark and hazy, with just a hint of pop, and to be perfectly honest, I still can’t get enough of it.

’Cannonball’
Ethan Burns – Homeward

Ethan Burns is truly an old soul, as evidenced through his smokey, iconic, and downright dreamy voice. I’m usually a fan of artists who call on styles and influences from earlier decades, and this selection definitely has a 60’s soul feel that I just can’t shake.

Ethan Burns
Homeward
Morly – Plucky

Coming in on the calmer side of the equation, this emotive offering from Minnesota-based Morly caught my attention earlier this year. Blending together some future bass elements and traditional singer/songwriter/pop styling, it’s a creative offering that should have you quickly engaged. I know it did for me.

’Plucky’
WEIRDO – Butter

I can’t help but smile when “Butter” comes on. It’s weird and wacky, yet still maintains perfect pop sensibilities, giving listeners an unexpected thrill ride throughout. If you’re into quirky indie pop, look no further than WEIRDO.

’BUTTER’
Gallant – Skipping Stones feat. Jhené Aiko

I couldn’t have a “Best of 2016” recap without giving an emphatic nod to Gallant. Excuse me, I meant the GRAMMY nominated Gallant. He’s spread across the globe faster than one of Donald Trump’s poorly crafted tweets, and it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. He’s the new voice of R&B and there’s nothing else to really say.

’Gallant – Skipping Stones feat. Jhené Aiko’
Tycho – Division

To be perfectly blunt, I just really fucking love Tycho. His spaced-out, indie-infused, electronica comes through my headphones quite regularly, whether I’m working, writing, or just hanging around the house. His albums never get old, and this year’s release certainly showcases that once again.

Tycho
Division
Pierce Fulton – Borrowed Lives

I was a bit thrown off when I first listened to this track. Could this really be Pierce Fulton? The same guy that put out “Kuaga?” It is. It seems like Fulton has had a change of heart, chasing after music he’s truly passionate about. The end result? Definitely one of my favorite tracks and EPs this year. As an added bonus, this particular track features one of my artists to watch in 2017, NVDES.

’Pierce Fulton – Borrowed Lives Feat. NVDES’
Kidnap Kid – Moments

If one track encapsulates an entire year, it’s this one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it, or how many people I’ve introduced to it, or how many Moments I’ve experienced to it. It’s absolutely amazing and deserves the highest of praise.

’Moments ft Leo Stannard’
Justin Jay – What Do You Want

To be perfectly honest, I could list a few tracks from Fantastic Voyage, but since I’m trying to spread the love to some other artists, I’ll just go with my fav. “What Do You Want” has had a heavy place in my regular rotation since the day it came out. I can’t wait to see what Justin Jay does in 2017.

Justin Jay – What Do You Want
Julian Maverick – Move Magic

This one flew under the radar a bit, coming in at just over 50k plays on SoundCloud, but it was fantastic, none-the-less. Silky, smooth, tropical, and perfect for a lazy day by the pool. I definitely blasted this out my windows throughout the last few warm-weather days here in Denver. And, I’ll be holding onto it for future summer playlists.

’Move Magic’
Goldwash – U Wont

I’m in love with Goldwash, and everyone who’s around me knows it. “U Won’t” showcases everything I adore about this up-and-coming act, highlighted by his piano work, funk-laden beats, and gorgeous falsettos. I’m expecting great things out of him in 2017.

’But U Won’t’
The Magician – Shy

I first caught onto The Magician at UMF in 2015, and I haven’t looked back since. From his captivating sets, to his legendary Magic Tapes, to his curated artists on Potion, to his remixes and originals, I just love everything he’s got going on. “Shy” definitely had it’s place in my heart this year, often getting me revved up for a wild night on the town.

The Magician
Shy
Bobby Nourmand – S I S T E R

Being the huge classic rock nerd that I am, Bobby Nourmand always impresses me with his reinterpretations of iconic songs. It takes a confident artist to remix acts like The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle, and Billy Idol. There’s a lot that can go wrong. Fortunately for this LA-based artist, it always comes out right. Tastefully done and quite memorable.

’BOBBY NOURMAND – S I S T E R’
Roby – Waterfalls (Dear David Remix)

This song is so subtle. So delicate. So sensuous. The vocal samples are so meticulously and creatively crafted and placed, creating an otherworldly experience. I could listen to it over and over again. And, I have.

Roby
Waterfalls (Dear David Remix)
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[Secret Ninja Pass] This Week at Beta 12/29 – 1/1

beta-super-pass

With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, we have one thing and one thing alone on our mind. It’s time to head down to 19th and Blake and ring in the new year in the best way possible – by dancing to some top notch beats. Per usual, we’re making it incredibly easy for you to get off your couch and head down. Why’s that? Because we’re hooking you up with free entry.

Here’s how:
– Head to the front door and enter the club before 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Get there before 9:00 on Sunday
– Show this post to the cashier (Valid for 21+ only).
– The deal is valid for SUNDAY this week.

Rusko - 12/29
’Kid Sister – Pro Nails (Rusko Remix)’
Feed Me / No Mana - 12/30
’Premiere: Feed Me ‘Spilt Milk”
Goodnight 2016 NYE Party - 12/31
’Magnetic (Extended Mix)’
Henry Saiz - 1/1
’Unmei (Live At Sonar 2014 Version)’
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SHEAFS – Nobody’s Watching [MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE]

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SHEAFS
Nobody's Watching

After forming just a year ago. Sheffield-based indie act SHEAFS are on the right track. Highlighted by an iconic, guitar-driven sound, they’re quickly turning the collective head of tastemakers, bloggers, and some of our favorite emerging bands alike. And, it doesn’t look like there are any signs of slowing down.

Their style is one that fuses multiple genres and influences together, lead by dark and twisted lead guitar work. At times, it calls on associations of the legendary Surf Rock guitarist Dick Dale, if he were crafting the soundtrack to a sadistic horror movie. And, at other points, we can’t help but think of the Arctic Monkeys, if they were hopped up on too much caffeine and going through a bout of darkness.

Today, we’re bringing you the first look at their debut music video, produced by Sheffield Filmmakers Ben McFarlane and Jordan Carroll. Shot in the basement of Theatre Delicatessen in Sheffield, the story of “Nobody’s Watching” comes to life through a black and white treatment, an industrial background, and quickly shifting shots that keep up with the fast and furious tempo lead by impressive bass and percussion work.

If you’re feeling the haunting vibes from this tune and accompanying music video, we highly recommend visiting the other selections from their 4-track EP.

Photo Credit: Lewis Evans

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[Indie] New Mystics – Sparrows

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New Mystics
Sparrows

Somewhere along Route 66 where decaying service stations quietly rest and rustling tumbleweeds cross regularly, “Sparrows” plays lightly in the background alongside cascading plumes of smoke from a Marlboro Red, the stale smell of old coffee, and rays of sunlight filtering through an aging strip of tint at the top of the windshield.

“Sparrows” brings to mind time-worn images like this.

The funny thing is, it just came out — yesterday, in fact. And already, it’s blanketing me with a delicate sense of nostalgia. I just can’t shake its gripping familiarity in an intriguing new package.

New Mystics and the man behind it are, perhaps appropriately, mysteriously shrouded, so there’s not much to disclose about this artist yet. That said, I’m certain that he has an old soul. The sheer power of these songwriting abilities feels like it would be at home on an old, dusty 45 getting broken out with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for one of those special occasions. The verses call on associations of one of the most iconic folk artists, Neil Young, while the choruses give way to memories of listening to Lennon and McCartney.

Its style beckons on the greats of 50 years ago, and the modern twist of the falsetto that floats in before the last run through the chorus brings this song solidly into 2017.

For both young and old music nerds across the globe, New Mystics is one to watch — open road ahead of you or not.

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