Rose Quartz Sits Down With TMN To Discuss New Album, Record Stores & More [Exclusive Interview]


Denver based Rose Quartz has long been a staple in many of The Music Ninja staff’s music diets. Back in December, the now four-piece released their re-tooled, textured and evolved debut EP as a full four-piece, Leaving Now, which we fell head over heels for and most recently dropped a collaborative ‘TMN Premiere’ single with Brothertiger, “Pleasure & Pain”. Last weekend we had the chance to take in one of our favorite music festivals, The Underground Music Showcase, in Rose Quartz’s backyard of Denver, which this year featured headliners like DIIV, STRFKR, Tennis and of course, Rose Quartz themselves for one of the busiest three-day stretches we have the pleasure of consuming all year.  After taking in their Saturday performance on the Main Stage, we caught up with Ethan, Alex, Clay and Matt after an intimate and enthralling set on Sunday at the Hi-Dive to discuss the important things in life. Like disco, Schlitz Malt Liquor and loads more. Read our entire interview below.

TMN: First off, thanks guys for sitting down with us, we’ve been huge fans since it was just Ethan & Alex as FLASH/LIGHTS, and then of course to the debut Flashlights EP from Rose Quartz. We’re just going to keep it super casual, so let’s just get right into it.

So, now that you’re a full live quartet with the addition of Clay on bass and Matt on drums, there seems to have been a shift in sonic temperament from the Flashlights EP  to your most recent EP Leaving Now, which we loved. Can you talk a little bit about how that shift has affected the songwriting and recording process for you guys.

Alex: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of different things now that we’re a four-piece. We’ve been writing for the entire band now, and shifting our influences much more to a funky, disco kind of influence. We’ve been listening to a lot of the BeeGee’s, Hall & Oates, and Michael Jackson…

Clay: …The Gap Band

Alex: …Yeah The Gap Band, and a bunch of good 70’s funk and disco. And I think that just that has really helped out, and then having four people, whether it’s on stage or in the studio, just having three other people to smile at has made us want to play I guess, happier and more upbeat in regards to the music.

Ethan: And now that we’re a four-piece band, the writing style has changed. When it was just the two of us we had to write stuff that could be performed by two people and didn’t look shitty. *Laughs from the room* Which limits the kind of writing we could do in terms of our live performances. So now that we can do it as a four-piece we can write much more complex stuff with more layers, and more tasteful ways we could actually recreate live. So that was a big shift for us definitely. Just.. finding the groove.

Read the rest of our interview with Rose Quartz after the jump….

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[Indie Pop] IYES – No Wonder

IYES - No Wonder
No Wonder

Following “So Crazy”, pop duo IYES released another lovely tune as a sneak peek of their upcoming album Part One. “No Wonder” gives a whole different vibe in comparison to their previous track, largely due to the joyful and uplifting melodies. The vocals are soothing and addictive to the ear. Subtle piano chords and light drums also accentuate the poppy vocals. As a surprise, there is a guitar solo in the middle of the song, followed by a series of bass synth to highlight the outro.

This delightful tune will definitely get you through the mid-week struggle, or make your day that much better. Keep IYES on your radar, you don’t want to miss out on more cool tunes as Part One nears its release.

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[Indie-Dance/Nu-Disco] Midnight Pool Party – Disease (Eau Claire Remix)

Midnight Pool Party
Disease (Eau Claire Remix)

D.C. based indie-dance and disco bender Eau Claire just might be one of the hardest working producers in the dance game right now. It seems like not another week passes without another gem bubbling up from her, and after most recently appearing with us behind a shiny take on Saint Motel’s “Just My Type”, Eau Claire’s back with another window into an ever-evolving production psyche on a remix of Midnight Pool Party’s “Disease”.  While the original fits squarely into that shapeshifting indie-dance niche, Eau Claire showers a glossy revision with ample disco synths, subdued percussion and some mid-track vocal filtering that would make Imogen Heap quiver with delight.  While this writer might be a sucker for sunny dance beats which hearken visions of rooftops, beaches and pools; Eau Claire stands above much of the pack with her tightly wound production and crisply composed dance structures. If Eau Claire keeps rolling on like this, we have a feeling it won’t be long before she’s being mentioned in the same breath as some of the underground dance scene’s biggest names. We’ve already been doing exactly that. Stream Eau Claire’s remix for Midnight Pool Party above and for our friends in the U.S., take a peek at Eau Claire’s next slate of performances below.

Eau Claire Upcoming Shows:

July 31st – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
August 8th-9th – Palm Springs, CA @ Splash House
August 22nd – Brooklyn, NY @ Elements Music Festival
August 29th – Los Angeles, CA @ Skybar at Mondrian

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Mr. Kitty – In Your Blood [TMN Premiere]

Mr Kitty
In Your Blood

Austin’s Mr. Kitty is sharing his new single off his upcoming album, Fragments, which will be released late in August. For now, we have “In Your Blood,” an 80’s style synth pop track that the internet gets for the first time here with this ninja premiere.

Not many tracks can make you feel as though you went back in time, in a good way. “In Your Blood” does just that with a nostalgic sound headed by soft synths and cloudy soundscapes. Like to sing? With this song you can sing along, but first, you’re gonna have to pop it on repeat and learn. That shouldn’t be an issue, as “In Your Blood” is a record with a ton of character behind it. If you like what you hear, then maybe pop on over to Bandcamp and pre-order the Mr. Kitty album.

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[Synth-Pop] ROOM8 – This Place Again ft. Polina

This Place Again (feat. Polina)
L.A. based electro-pop duo ROOM8 have steadily been on what Vegas gamblers like to call a “heater”. Recently the pair have been dropping single tasty morsels in the lead up to the release of an EP later this fall, namely “No Hard Feelings” last month,  and now “This Place Again”. The pair aren’t skimping on guest star power either, utilizing the incredibly fitting vocal stylings of Russian-bred Polina who has strewn those breathy reverberations for the likes of Tiësto, Eminem, Steve Aoki and one of our favorite electro staples: Felix Cartal’s “Don’t Turn On The Lights”. Without a doubt, the pairing of ROOM8 and Polina has resulted in a pure, 80’s washed pop single that’s been hooked on this writer’s office monitors since first listen. ROOM8’s deft use of loopy acid synths against Polina’s incantations and what sounds to be an analog set of drums works together beautifully, and has us throwing around that weighty “Summer Anthem” tag pretty freely. Let us know if we were right, and stream “This Place Again” above.
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[TMN Premiere] Brothertiger X Rose Quartz – Pleasure & Pain

Brothertiger X Rose Quartz
Pleasure & Pain

Two of our absolute favorite indie and pop blurring entities, Brooklyn’s Brothertiger and Denver’s Rose Quartz, have come crashing together this morning, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. “Pleasure & Pain”, our joint effort in examination, has actually had quite the lengthy path before seeing a full release this morning. Rose Quartz lead vocalist and songwriter Ethan Converse, and Brothertiger’s heart and soul John Jagos first layed down their saccharine sweet synth-pop collaboration during last year’s Underground Music Showcase in Denver, CO before either of the two had begun recording with their current, full band iterations. As for the tune itself, Converse’s delicate yet direct refrain leads things off atop a wiggling piano lead and what is unmistakably a heavy dose of Jagos’ analog synth work before reeling on vocal duties himself for “Pleasure & Pain”‘s sticky chorus. While this one may reflect an earlier glimpse of the pair’s musical psyche as opposed to the more dynamic and involved directions we’ve seen things arc with both bands, we’ve been absolutely hooked and reminded why we fell so hard for both groups in the first place.  And, as if we could be any more excited about this year’s UMS (read our preview and check out our playlist here!), in anticipation of both Rose Quartz and Brothertiger’s performances they’re giving away “Pleasure & Pain” completely on the house from Rose Quartz’s Soundcloud page here. Stream “Pleasure & Pain” in the form a brand new and shiny ‘TMN Premiere’ above, and for our friends joining us at UMS 2015, be sure to jot down both set times for Brothertiger and Rose Quartz listed below.

UMS Performances:
Brothertiger – Thursday, July 23rd – Eslinger Gallery @ 11pm
Rose Quartz – Saturday, July 25th – Main Stage at SSFCU @ 5:30pm
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[Future/Deep-House] Class Actress – GFE (SNBRN Remix)

Class Actress

It’s been far too long since we checked in with one of dance music’s fastest rising commodities (well… May really but who’s keeping track?), SNBRN.  During the time we’ve been covering the burgeoning producer, we’ve seen him spread nearly every facet of the underground house game to a rapidly expanding fanbase, whom may have never had the pleasure of experiencing such an intoxicating sound without him. From SNBRN’s deeper iterations, to those housiest of indie-dance originals, and some funkified G-House in between, we’ve only seen a steady rise in both consistency and quality while tackling the Southern Californian’s addictive catalog.

Today we got our hands err… ears, on SNBRN’s latest offering, a dark and groovy remix of Class Actress’ “GFE”  and were yet again hooked on another earworm. While the original, which was produced by one of electronic indie music’s most respected artists Alan Palomo (of Neon Indian and VEGA acclaim), plays a little more buoyantly, the tune here takes a murkier turn under the guise of a dark, commanding bassline, weighted drums and flitting chords; which, set against Class Actress’ soaring lush falsetto and Palomo’s malleable stems plays like a melting pad of butter on a thick stack of hotcakes. We’re hoping to hear this one in the midst of a late-night club bender very soon, but for now, stream SNBRN’s “GFE” remix above.

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