Tag Archives: Trails and Ways

[Nu-Disco] Trails and Ways – Downright (feat. Harriet Brown) (Falcon Punch Remix)

Trails and Ways ft. Harriet Brown
Downright (Falcon Punch Remix)

Since we first caught wind of Trails and Ways all the way back in 2012, we’ve kept a close eye on the Oakland band. They’ve steadily built their following since then, but this year has truly been a breakout one for them. After signing to Barsuk Records early this year, they released their debut album, Pathology, which both showcases what we love about their radiant, organic sound all the while expanding their sonic scope. The track “Downright” falls into the latter category with a groove that manages to combine their signature, South American-tinted style with an ’80s groove and aesthetic. A verse from Harriet Brown, another Ninja favorite, ties that vibe together with his silky vocals that recall Prince.

A week ago, Denver-based producer Falcon Punch put out a remix of “Downright” that maintains the 80s-revivalist nature of the tune all the while transforming it into a nu-disco jam. Electing to place Brown’s voice first, Falcon Punch utilizes many of the original’s elements–the breezy guitar and the catchy backing piano–but with the help of perfectly placed pads and a BPM boost, breathes new life into the song without losing its charm. Take a trip back to the Neon 80s and grab a free download above.

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[Alternative] Trails and Ways – Say You Will

Trails and Ways
Say You Will

Following up the stellar lead single for their debut album, Trails and Ways are back today with another promising glimpse into their highly anticipated first full length. “Say You Will,” an indie pop ballad, portrays yet another facet of the Oakland band’s sound. Written by bassist Emma Oppen about at love-at-first-sight moment, the track glides with breezy, funky guitar licks backed by steady percussion and a groovy bass line to match the ethereal vocals. Trails and Ways really hit their stride on “Say You Will,” continuing to build on their organic, irresistible style. Read what Emma had to say about the song in the PopMatters premiere below and pre-order Pathology, out June 2nd, here.

Two years ago I met someone very special, and had the experience of falling in love in a matter of hours. In my delirium, I imagined making an ultimatum: Say you will, or don’t say anything at all. A few months later, I wrote the bassline in the back of the van on our first summer tour, and made the first demo recording of the vocal melody against the droning fan of a venue bathroom. Silky four-part harmonies open into a dance between syncopated bass, plucky synths, and an insistent, grounding beat. A biting rhythm guitar kicks in at the chorus for a sassy groove you can choose to love forever, or wherever you are in the moment.
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[Alternative] Trails and Ways – Skeletons

Trails and Ways
Skeletons

Oakland-based band Trails and Ways first found their way into our hearts a few years back starting with their brilliantly organic and original covers. As if their approach to covers wasn’t indicative enough, their 2013 debut EP, Trilingual, solidified T&W as one of our favorite indie acts out. After a relatively quiet period during which they were performing, practicing and working on new material, Trails and Ways were officially signed to Barsuk Records, the label of Death Cab For Cutie, early last month with a debut full-length album on the horizon.

Today, we get the first single, and opening track, from their anticipated debut and it proves more than worth the wait. “Skeletons,” which we first caught live at their hometown show last year, feels like the perfect next step in the talented group’s sound. Following an intro of atmospheric guitar and emphatic cries, the verses recess into gorgeous, breezy vocals before unleashing one of the most infectious, energetic choruses you will hear all year. Trails and Ways’ aesthetic, influenced by the band members’ international travels and outdoor hobbies, has an enchanting, transformative effect that feels best suited for a dance party in the midst of mother nature. We’ll certainly have this on repeat today and until their debut, Pathology, drops on June 2nd–pre-order here.

P.S. If you like what you hear, check out our exclusive interview with Trails and Ways from last year’s Outside Lands Festival.

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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Trails and Ways Talk Influences, Covers and the Bay Area at Outside Lands 2014

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’Trails and Ways – Mtn Tune’

Oakland-based band, Trails and Ways, first surfaced back in 2012 with a string of impressive covers that reinvented some of the year’s strongest pop songs in unexpected and refreshing ways. Unsurprisingly, their subsequent debut EP, Trilingual, proved that their unique style is displayed in an even more powerful way through their original music. The 5-song project, true to its title, features lyrics in English, Spanish and Portuguese–a reflection of the group’s travels in Spain and Brazil. Aside from the evident international influence, Trails and Ways have an incredible take on dreamy California pop, teaming addicting lush acoustic and electronic melodies with the diverse vocals of all 4 band members.

We had a chance to catch up with Keith Brower Brown (guitar, synths) and Ian Quirk (drums) at this year’s Outside Lands to discuss their travels, musical influences and fantastic covers among other topics. Considering the quality of their library thus far, we could not be more excited for what Trails and Ways have in store in the next year.

TMN: First of all, we’re here at Outside Lands. Did you come here when you were at UC Berkeley?

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Ian Quirk of Trails and Ways

Ian: I’m from the East Bay. Hayward, which is a little south of where we live now in Oakland. I went to Outside Lands twice growing up. One of the most memorable experiences was at Radiohead. The sound went out, like the main speakers went out during their set, but they totally just kept playing. Everybody was dead silent—it was crazy at a festival that big—just trying to hear basically the stage monitors and a few little speakers. I’ve never seen that before at a festival where there’s dead silence. And then the sound came back on and after the most quiet I’d ever heard, it was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard immediately afterward.

TMN: Did the whole band live together in college?

Keith: Three of us lived in a building called Lothlorien, not the the Land of the Elves although I’d love to live there. This was a co-op at Berkeley—one of the student bought houses. Hannah, the lead guitarist, lived very briefly there for a summer, but we all went to school at Berkeley. Graduated a few years ago. Continue reading

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Outside Lands 2014: 10 Acts to See Before 3PM [Event Preview + Playlist]

With the inevitable shenanigans that occur during preparation, it can be difficult to get to a music festival in a timely manner. As a result, its fairly common for festival-goers to miss out on acts that play early in the day. While headliners rarely disappoint, there’s something incredible about discovering an artist for the very first time during a live performance–a mutually beneficial exchange between artist and fan. The first few hours of a lineup provide ample opportunity to do so without compromise often producing some of the most energetic shows of an event.

Outside Lands is coming up on Friday, and we’ve decided to do our best to compel all our ninjas to make it to Golden Gate Park early this weekend by highlighting 10 acts worth seeing before 3PM. In creating the list, we found that there is certainly no shortage of artists, both established and up & coming, that we’re excited for during the first few hours of each day. If you can’t make it in early, don’t sweat, because at least a few of these bands will be headlining festivals themselves soon enough. Check out the playlist below and we hope to see some of you at OSL this weekend!

Day 1 (08/08):

Night Terrors of 1927 (Noon, Panhandle Stage)

Sounds like: Brooding, dark pop bringing together powerful emotions on either end of the spectrum.

’Night Terrors of 1927 – Young and Vicious’
’Night Terrors of 1927 – Dust and Bones’

Aer (12:45PM, Twin Peaks Stage)

Sounds like: A sunny blend of hip-hop, alternative rock and a splash of Sublime.

’Aer – Feel I Bring’
’Aer – Won’t Laugh’

Run the Jewels (2:15, Lands End Stage)

Sounds like: Hardcore hip-hop with counter-cultural commentary.

’Run The Jewels – Banana Clipper feat. Big Boi’
’Run The Jewels – Get It’

Continue reading

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