FLESH & BONE In pursuit of art and music VOL. 17
FLESH & BONE In pursuit of art and music
THE TEA M FOUNDER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Brandynn L. Pope
DESIGN & LAYOUT
Brandynn L. Pope
Sara Almlah Morgan Fraser Logan Grudecki Ashley Houston Donald Kimber Ethan Oviatt Dorian Pintaric Brandynn L. Pope Cale Zebedee
Courtney Cook Christina Kelley Clare Kim Rickie Miller Brandynn L. Pope Brittney Tambeau
INQUIRIES & SUBMISSIONS
F EATURES 06
Illustration | Jason Lambidis
Brandynn L. Pope
62 ALBUM REVIEWS 68 PLAYLIST
MU S IC 12 Guster
Review & Photography | Christina Kelley
The Life Electric
Review & Photography | Ashley Altus Interview | Donald Kimber
Interview | Ashley Housten
Interview | Ethan Oviatt
Interview & Illustration | Brandynn L. Pope
Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Interview | Brandynn L. Pope Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Should artists be paid for all of their work? In the starting portion of an artist’s career they often do a lot of work for free. Once they have established themselves, though, there is a strange line that they must cross as to if they have exceptions of what they will accept pro-bono work for. There is an attitude that artists have an obligation to do some work for freem but should the “work for free” attitude be dropped completely?
please do not reproduce Jason’s work without his personal consent
Yes 75% Yes. This is a slippery slope for a lot of people, but it has become commonplace to get individuals who are CLEARLY more than qualified for the job / task at hand to “work for free”. . . “It’s great exposure! I’ll tell my friends about what you do!” They all say, to which I think is nothing but a load of shit.
In reality, artists should get paid for their work because it cost money to do it. Things happen, it cost money to do what we do and we should get money for doing so (NELSON of DREAMERS)
I truly believe you get what you pay for, and if you want the best, you need to pay for it. While interning is one thing to be unpaid, especially for school credit, (gaining workplace experience, meeting industry professionals, etc.,) something that I realized as I was transitioning from having an unpaid position into a paid one, is to NEVER sell yourself short. If they aren’t willing to pay for your time, hard work, and dedication, find someone else will.
Yeah, I think that any credible artist should be paid for their work! I think that if anyone has the opportunity to do something to benefit someone in need, then they should take it. I think, obviously, there is a limit to how much of this work you accept when you need to be making a living too, but being selfless is never a bad thing. (MAKU)
(PATRICK WALFORD from ROCK THE WALLS)
If my friend asked to use one of our songs, I’d be like, “yeah, sure go ahead,” but if Coca-Cola wanted to use it then I’d ask for money for that. But we should only get paid if it’s good enough work that we deserve to get paid for. (NICK of DREAMERS)
No 25% I am not against pro bono work, although now I don’t do free service. I have done few free works myself in the beginning of my career and that had helped me to get where I am now. I think pro bono works can be useful for beginners.
I think sometimes you need to do a few freebies here and there to expand your artistic approaches and experiences. You need to do things for free to get your foot in the door and to make contacts once and awhile. Just make sure it isn’t a habit, everyone deserves to get paid for hard work and dedication.
In the late winter of 2014 I found myself in a conversation with my mother about my love for wood grain. I told her how I had every intention of getting it tattooed onto myself in future years: that is how much I admire the natural beauty of it all. In this conversation she informed me that she actually owned a wood burner, something that she had been holding onto since the â€˜80s, and it had not been put to use in years. She offered me the tool and it quickly became something that I was addicted to working with. With scrap pieces of wood and pre-cut wood slices, I started working on something.
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One thing I found with woodworking is that it can be a lot like drawing in its simplest forms. That realization made it easier for me to work with the wood. Mostly I found myself creating imagery that would be something that I could see myself getting tattooed or something that worked for a gift for friends. At this point in my life it is something that I focus more to as a fun, freetime filling venture. There are parts of me that wish, as well as those who have suggested, to create an account where I can sell the work that I create. That is not what it is for, though. A lot of it resonates on a personal level for me and I am just happy that in the times that I choose to share the work that people can be the slightest bit excited with me.
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f you ask frontman Ryan Miller what the key ingredient is to keeping fans intrigued after over 20 years of music, “Make sure your songs are great,” is the answer you will get. This winter, Guster surely does not cut any corners on their recipe for yet another astounding run of performances. Prior to their set, the crew assembled the stage by delicately placing an array of colorful afghans and quilts around the instruments to give the occasion the creative and comfortable Guster feel everyone arrived for. From the moment the band entered the stage with their vibrant and animated presence, the sea of people in attendance immediately felt at home. With an opening night permeated with the band’s most beloved songs, opening with the popular xylophone-graced “Long Night” off of their latest album Evermotion, every last Guster craving in the packed house was fed with their bountiful themes of adventurous love, warmhearted humor, and limitless imagination. For myself, a song that has been timeless as a Guster fan reigns to be “Do You Love Me”, a catchy number in which dexterously brings out the hopeless romantic in all of us. Halfway through their set, the band went in for the kill and performed an intimate acoustic version the cherished favorite. It was in that moment as I observed the crowd melt into the charismatic lyrics and playful melody, that I realized just how much Guster’s music so passionately transcended through such a substantial volume of people, and it was a gratifying energy to be entangled into. If a night of nostalgia and notes of everlasting hope is something your soul is chasing, then be sure to get out to a show and grant Ryan, Adam, Brian, and Luke permission to take your breath away.
Alessia Cara C
hicago fans bought out the Know It All Tour at Metro weeks before Alessia Cara ever took the stage. Rising rapper Leaf started out the night with her two backup dancers. Her charismatic stage presence and dance moves made her set time fly by. Switching genres completely, long-haired acoustic guitar playing Craig Stickland took the stage to bring an indie-folk vibe to the room. During his song “Déjà vu,” the crowd held up their phone lights and swayed side-to-side in unison. Stickland said the Chicago crowd’s reaction to the song hadn’t happen on any other date of the tour. While he already had the support of the crowd, they were completely hooked after his cover of Adele’s “Hello.” Changing up the vibes in the room again, indie-pop singer/songwriter Kevin Garett brought along drums and keyboards. Even though he interacted little with the crowd, in order to focus on his music, he took a photograph of them at the end of his set. Finally Alessia Cara came out. The teenager looked like she’d been parading around the stage her entire life. Preaching words of female empowerment, she reached out her hand to fans multiple times during the set. She playing crowd favourites like “I’m Yours,” “Wild Things,” and of course her smash-hit “Here.” No one in the crowd could tell she was getting over being sick. Keeping up with the theme of performing covers just as Stickland had, she played a cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Regardless of her sickness, she was even still able to project her boice beyond the small club venue when she sang the balid, “Stars.” It won’t be much longer until the singer outgrows these cozy spaces and is instead filling arenas.
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The Life Electric FACEBOOK - BANDCAMP Joey: My name is Joey and I’m the singer in the band. I’m born and raised in MA and have spent the past 13 years in Boston and the tail end of that making beautiful music with The Life Electric. Ben: I’m Ben, I play guitar. I was born and grew up in the Midwest, but moved to Boston to pursue music. I’m so lucky to have found these guys, who share a similar vision that I do in music. And in general.
Others have called your music a mixture of modern disco and The Flaming Lips. Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not? Ben: I think that’s fair, or at least that’s where our mind is at. We want to match great songwriting with modern sounds and recording techniques, and, we’re not only deeply influenced by The Flaming Lips, but also what influenced them as well.
I understand your band has an interesting story about how it came to have its current members? Tell us a little about that and how you think it has come to influence the band you are now. Joey: Our coming together is a solid lesson in “you never know what random friend may end up changing your life, so be nice.” Long(ish) story short, my former band was coming to it’s natural end and Ben and Cory, (our fantastic bassist,) had just lost their lead vocals in a slightly less than natural end where they still had a huge amount of music at the ready with no vocalist. I was fortunate to have a mutual friend who had engineered both of our former bands and he made the introduction on both our behalves. After a few tryouts and a couple more for good measure, I joined the band and The Life Electric came to be. It’s crazy to think how different my life would be if not for that one friend. I guess that’s life without many burnt bridges. You never know which person will be that degree of separation between being in an amazing band with great people or nothing at all.
What is the biggest difference between your debut album, The Life Electric, and your upcoming release, The Real You? Ben: To me, the first album was like the guerrilla warfare of record making, recorded all on our own in this massive Cold War era bunker. We threw the kitchen sink into that recording. With The Real You, we recorded absolutely everything in a pro studio, with Brian Charles as our producer. Our songwriting grew since making that first record, and Brian was able to fine tune and elevate the songs even higher. I feel with this record, we’re like big boys and girls now!
Joey: My experience with that first album was extremely intense and quick. I joined the band, was given 13 pieces of music and in just a few weeks wrote, recorded, and finished the album. The great part was that I barely had to time to think and what came out of just a few listens is what is on the album. I think there’s something to be said for not thinking and rethinking every choice you make. The bad part was that I got to think and rethink everything when it was already finished. All in all it came out great. True DIY.
What special significance does the album title, The Real You, hold for the members of your band? Ben: The central theme that ran through most of the songs was a yearning for the true, authentic, self for the character in each song. Joey suggested that the song of the same name be the name of the album, and it seemed to make perfect sense.
What new aspect of The Real You are you most excited for fans to hear? Joey: It’s exciting to make something that you know is good. Working with Brian at Zippah was a great experience. He took our ideas and never stepped on them, but was able to find a defining piece or idea for each song and maintain a through-line for the entire album. The end result is that each song has it’s own very distinct personality, ranging from very modern to throwback 70’s , but the album as a whole still feels like one cohesive thought.
Tell me about your music writing process. What unique methods does the band employ during the music making process? Any special traditions or one-of-akind writing techniques? Joey: I’m alone quite a bit in my dayto-day, and I also drive for much of that alone time. I’ve come to find that I write best in a car, on the highway, with something Ben or Cory wrote playing on the stereo. But, with no real way to jot down or record anything I find myself listening to one piece of music for hours on end until it’s so entrenched in my mind that it won’t disappear. And obviously nine times out of ten the minute I stop the car and think of something else, it’s gone. I love it though. Getting new idea from those guys is like Christmas morning for me. I don’t know what I’m getting, but I know it’ll be good. Ben: A lot of the stuff that we demo, especially songs that Joey tracks vocals over, end up on Google Drive. It’s so useful to just go to one spot, one folder, and all the demos are there. I don’t know how unique that is, but it’s so useful. Does the band have any favourite memories from traveling together on the road? Ben: Hopefully the best has yet to come, but driving up to Maine in a blizzard comes to mind . . . we lived to tell about it, anyway.
Dreamers FACEBOOK - INSTAGRAM
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recently caught up with all of the members of DREAMERS, a poprock trio hailing from Brooklyn, New York. Unfortunately, earlier that morning their van had been broken into. Despite this, they couldn’t have been in better spirits about the whole situation. They were, of course, bummed about losing some of their instruments, (which their tour mates would later help them out with,) and other valuables, but that couldn’t put a damper on their outlook for the night. They told me, “we’ll be in good shape - it happens to so many bands, it was a bum way to start our morning, but it could have been a lot worse.”
The band has three-part vocal harmonies and are always in-sync with their instruments. Their infectious and catchy tunes are enough to make this group your new favourite band. They’re pulling influences from the Beatles, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, (I later learned that the band had briefly toured with them,) and all decades of rock music. The band is hitting the road for the first time as headliners with this most recent string of concerts. With their immense energy and wiliness to bring music to whoever will listen, they seem like seasoned veterans. Although they say that their stage presence isn’t everything, they definitely won over the crowd and had everyone in the room off their feet or nodding along to the songs. They played their recently released track, “Shooting Shadows,”
and a favourite of the band, a song called “DRUGS,” as well. The band also tells me they are working on releasing new music: “we are finishing the new album and I think after that we’re just going to be touring and putting out new music and music videos for the singles. Our new single is just a little taste of what’s to come.” With the year coming to a close, the band has had quite a few commendable accomplishments; their song “Wolves” was featured at #19 on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation #Alt36 Countdown, and being included in the “Best Of Daytrotter Sessions 2015,” just to name a couple. There is a lot in store for DREAMERS in the time to come: with a new album on the horizon and a tour including the Brazilian Girls and the Arkells planned for early next year, don’t let yourself sleep, (pun intended,) on listening to this up-and-coming band.
Grayscale Philadelphia punk band Grayscale are poised to release their debut full length What We’re Missing. Signing to Anchor 84 Records reaching a larger audience urged the band to have “taken a more serious approach” in their own words. The aforementioned is lyrically based mostly around lessons learned from changes in relationships of all sorts. Looking through a reflective standpoint dealing with “what if’s” and “what could have been’s”. With a decidedly pop-punk sound, Grayscale draws from a well of influences but finds common ground in bands such as Nirvana, Brand New and The Starting Line, which has led to their distinct style and is best exemplified on the new album. With lyrics rooted in change and the emotions it stirs in the band as well as the listeners, What We’re Missing will be an interesting look into a young, eastern American bands career and personal lives. FACEBOOK - WEBSITE
What, (if any,) specific event triggered you to write mostly about change?
Collin: It is what stirs the most amount of emotion for me. Feeling uneasy because of something changing is kind of what helps start the writing process for Dallas and I, (lyrically).
Your lyrics seem to be relationship oriented. Do the lyrics motivate you to work on relationships, or are the lyrics a result of the former?
Collin: I would say both. Most of What We’re Missing’s lyrics are relationship oriented, (romantic or not,) from a reflection standpoint. However, I suppose there have been plenty of lessons learned from the experiences that I have tried to apply moving forward. That’s just life, a series of learning lessons.
Given the pool of different genre interests in the band, how was the specific style of music decided upon?
Nick: Even though everyone in the band has a different musical background, and listened to some different bands growing up, we also have rock and punk influences. Bands like Nirvana, Brand New, and The Starting Line were all common ground for us, so we used that general sound as a starting point when we started playing together. Since then, we’ve been able to sort of blend all of our influences into one sound, which I think is exemplified best on the new album.
Are there any major surprises or changes on the upcoming full-length?
Nick: I think the difference in songwriting between our first album and What We’re Missing is really going to catch people’s attention. We wrote our first record
when we were in high school just for fun, but have vastly matured both as people and as musicians since then. We’ve taken a more serious approach to our music and we’re all really proud of the outcome.
What is the relevance of the title What We’re Missing?
Collin: The title, What We’re Missing, is referencing the missed opportunities in life, specifically relating to another person. What We’re Missing is about the “what ifs,” and, “what could have beens” when looking back at a relationship, whether it be with a loved one, friend, or enemy.
Since announcing a new album and signing with Anchor 84, has there been any unexpected reception or gains? Collin: There has definitely been a boost in support. A84 does a great job helping our music reach a larger audience. We love the relationship we have with our label, and cannot wait for this album to drop.
Has the Philadelphia scene influenced you as people or musicians? Nick: I wouldn’t say that it’s influenced our writing or who we are as people, necessarily. We have, however, played a lot of house shows in Philly with tons of talented bands of all different genres, and through them we’ve made some really good friends and learned the value of being part of such a supportive community.
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Patrick Walford idobiHowl
nyone who is familiar with idobi Radio has heard the name Patrick Walford before. The twenty-five year old host and producer of Rock the Walls comes from the small town of Alliston, one hour north of Toronto. Now he resides in the city of Toronto, hosting his show on Thursdays, 8pm EST, Saturdays at 8pm EST, as well as the lunch and afternoon shift from Monday to Friday for idobi Howl. His show consists of pieces of himself, conducting interviews, setting them up with management, working the audio production, editing, mixing, and choosing the playlists for the show. He has been able to create a whole and successful show since February 3rd of 2009, which stands up for who he is, while also broadcasting other artists of influence. For many, college is a time of experimentation, rambunctious activities, and somehow finding the time for studies. For Patrick Walford, attending Niagara College in Welland, Ontario was the beginnings of what would lead him towards creating a broadcast for a plethora of artists. While half-way through his first year of post-secondary education he was presented an opportunity to get his own show on the College Station. It was a project that everyone in the TV, Radio, and Film Majors were aware of, with rules of creating something with 35% Canadian Content, (CanCon,) per hour. Ambitious, and eager to be a part of this, Walford set up a pitch with a proposal that listed over 150 bands he would play on his show: he even created a demo
for good measure, stating, “I wanted to make sure there was no way I wouldn’t be getting that show! I heard of the idea possibly coming up a few months prior, so I had this idea in my head for months. I thought about it every hour or every day.” Originally, Walford had every intention of creating a broadcast that played both heavy and pop punk music that he enjoyed for other people to discover through their time in college. He also knew that he would be able to gain experience and interview different bands through this new venture. During Walford’s final semester in the fall of 2010, he found his intentions altering in form. He found himself dropping just about anything, including assignments and school work, (although he comments that he did do enough to finish and pass his courses,) to go to shows, do interviews, and anything show-related. He explained, “I rarely went to parties or drank in college because I was so enthralled / busy with the show. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect every week. I can also say without-a-doubt my radio show single-handedly became the reason my girlfriend in college decided to dump me that Fall. [laughs] I wouldn’t change anything that has happened. This has all been super surreal and awesome.
A dream come true to say the least.” He was able to hit that moment of “wow,” and “this is something I can actually do after school,” when he had his first show on idobi, January 3rd, 2011. He took that time to research how many people were listening into the broadcast, and found that over five thousand people were tuning in. Previously, Walford had seen something like fifteen to twenty listeners due to being a college radio station. Now, he notes “over 20k+ are listening in live to my show at any time on Saturday. My hometown has a population of 10,000 people. It blows my mind.” He did not fully realize how many people were tuning in until a month or so into his show on idobi, when he started to interview “bigger” guests. Though his intentions were still to have fun and play great music, there was a greater motivation to become a better radio host every day. Even after nearly seven years have passed since his first show aired, he can still say that he gets the same mix of excitement and nervousness that he had in the beginning. He also maintains the same motivation to entertain all of his listeners as well as have interesting bands and interviews on for them all, while still playing the “awesome” music he has all along. Looking back, the first concert that Walford ever attended was Motion City Soundtrack, headlining with support from Sherwood, The Higher, and the Forecast. At that time he was seventeen years old and the experience was completely new to him. He remembers “feeling out of place at first due to the shirt I was wearing, a Hollister shirt . . . welp. While the other bands were great, the second MCS hit the stage my mind was blown. After I saw them and had become such a huge fan while discovering their discography over a stretch of months in 2007 and considering going to school to do Journalism, I began to write for the school newspaper. I decided it might be pretty rad and good experience to interview Motion City soundtrack for the website / paper. So I looked up their press contact and sent them an email. Much to my surprise, and I mean huge surprise, he e-mailed me back and gave
me a time to be at the venue. Nervous, awkward, and shy seventeen year old me interviewed Justin Pierre (Vocalist and Guitarist for the band). It went well. We talked about everything from the new record to other bands and movies he enjoyed, how much he loved Canadian ketchup. Combine that experience with the feelings you get while seeing a live show, and it’s really no doubt why I do this. It was a love-at-first-sight experience and I can say I’m still madly in love at this point.” If it was not for falling in love with music, Walford says that he would still be doing something broadcast related, but instead would be a part of the sports community. When he was growing up he was a sports fanatic. He could tell you just about everything to do with NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL Championships and Finalists between 1960 to 2000 something. He could recite the pads that goalies wore, and at what times, and found himself close to going to a private sports broadcasting school after earning admittance through an entrance exam. Unfortunately, finances were not in his favour, so he opted for Niagara College and their broadcasting program. As it turns out, that decision became a vital stepping stone on the path of his career. When he first moved to Toronto in 2011 after finishing school, Walford found himself working twelve to fifteen hours a day interning for free. While doing that he also worked a few days a week at MTV Canada doing research packages, and on other days he did the same on a sports talk show known as Off The Record on TSN, (which he clarifies is a Canadian version of ESPN). During that time he realized that working as an intern at MTV news gave him the chance to write his own questions for the hosts, as well as for the stories they would be shooting via the researching packages. That enabled him to push his research further, finding out all of the information he could about different artists, the latest
news, and upcoming albums. Working as an intern taught him to never quit on something that he had passion for, regardless of how many hours he was working unpaid. He was able to balance three internships, resulting in 4:00AM – 8PM workdays. He went on to say that, “what really resonated was proving to myself that I could make it in an industry that is so competitive. At times it will truly feel like you are a disposable robot with how many broadcasting students come out of Broadcasting programs in College looking for a job. I think the biggest thing I learned and altered my approach to how I did my show and interviews was learning from the hosts on both the Sports Talk Show and Sports Radio Shows I interned on approached their guests and interviews. Arguably two of the best in the entire country (Michael Landsberg and Mike Richards), they knew how to carry a conversation in a way I had never seen in anyone before. Both Landsberg and Richards were conversational in their delivery and didn’t just run down a list of question to question like I’ve seen many hosts do in the past.” Now, Patrick Walford hosts his show on idobi radio. When getting his start with the station, he approached them with a 55 minute demo cut of a then-recent show he had done on his College Radio Station prior to finishing up his final semester. When he sent an e-mail to Eddie Barella, Program Director of idobi Radio, he was rewarded with an e-mail in return, saying that Barella enjoyed the demo and wanted to bring Rock The Walls on idobi for a three-show trail-run. Walford looks back fondly: “Those three shows ran their course and now it’s nearly five years later, so I guess they thought I was good enough to stick around. A funny story that I don’t think people know unless they were tuned in that night was when Eddie and his co-hosts on his show at that time, (XtremeBitz, now known as Eddie, Jason and Chris Show,) called me unexpectedly while they were live, (I didn’t know I was on the air or it was live,) and
told me to pour my heart out as to why I deserved to be kept on the station. A few sweaty palmed moments later, Eddie revealed it was live and they had a pretty good laugh. In all actuality I was probably pretty close to pooping my pants at that point. I felt like I had been punk’d!” Regardless of the late night prank, Patrick Walford still remains a prominent part of idobi Radio. He has had the opportunity to conduct hundreds of interviews so far in his life. When asked about who he has yet to interview, but would like to, he said, “it would be rad to sit down with Dave Grohl and Corey Taylor. I have so much respect for those guys. If more people in the Rock / Metal world had the same mindset they did, the mentality would be a lot different.” He goes on to say that he would also enjoy touching base with Metallica, Linkin Park, Rise Against, and Avenged Sevenfold if he was given the chance. On the sports side of things, he reveals that he is a fan of wrestling and would love to interview WEE’s Seth Rollins, further stating that Rollins, “seems like one of the coolest dudes and is a big fan of Hardcore / Metalcore / Pop Punk Music. I think we could have a real good discussion on that and the bands he is currently enjoying.” The possibilities for Rock The Walls are endless, even as they find themselves in the midst of a transitional period: their seven-year run of heavy emphasis on the music – interview – music format will now have a greater focus on podcasts and interviews. Walford explains that a lot of that change is because, “a lot of the interviews I air on my show are drastically cut down due to time constraints and the style of interviews I do, (conversational). The idea with this is to have interviews and full podcasts come out three – four times a week, every week.” He continues on to explain that, “There will still be music and I’ll still be doing a lot of other stuff on-air for the station aside from RTW. It’s an exciting time to be involved, no doubt!” With the ambition he has shown to date, there is no doubt that Patrick Walford will maintain his course towards a bright future. Be sure to check in with him and whoever he has on his show on idobi Radio Howl.
Maku To clear up the continuous confusion that people face with my name, it is pronounce “Mark-eww.” So its ‘Makus Art’ simples. My real name is Justina Makurata Bisset, but for various reasons I decided I would rather go by the name Maku at a young age. I grew up in Devonport in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne at the age of 23 after finishing my Bachelor’s degree. I was a Montessori teacher for 6 years before I started to pursue anything in the world of Arts. My work has evolved pretty heavily since starting out in 2013 and I have established a style that I feel is really unique to me. The style of work I do now feels more natural than anything I ever used to do in the past and I think that’s mainly because I am not trying so hard to be like anyone else. WEBSITE
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Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught through exploration? I am Self-taught. I took art at school, but always found it really restricted what I wanted to do.
Most of your work uses geometrics and certain lines. What is it about geometry that you find is important in your work? Is there any reason that you decided to mix it together with the water colours? Initially it was to add definition to my watercolours. I didn’t like the idea of being too precise with the watercolours themselves, as I liked the way that they moved organically and I didn’t want to have to much control over that part. It adds strength to a somewhat wishy-washy material, and I like that about it. I guess if you wanted to dig deeper you could say it relates to the type of people I admire. A free spirit restrained only by the rules they need to abide to in order to live.
How did you come to decide that you wanted to focus on art as a career choice? Its always been a passion of mine, along with teaching. Once I had the freedom to explore it a bit more here in Melbourne, I realized it was something I need to do for myself.
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When do you feel that you found your style that you are most confident with? Only about 2 years ago. For the longest time I relied on being inspired by other artists and their work and so my work wasn’t truly mine and I didn’t feel overly stoked about my pieces because of that. Now I have really come into my own style that is me through and through, and I am so proud of my work. I think that’s part of the reason that people resonate with my work so much more now than they ever did, because you can tell it’s a piece that’s all mine. Having a signature style is a massive deal for me. Some people never get there and I was lucky to identify with mine early on in my career.
Do you find that living in Melbourne has had a lot of influence in the work that you create? Living in Melbourne has influenced my work so much. Melbourne has this amazing sense of creative freedom about it. People embrace ‘difference,’ and so I felt comfortable putting myself out there to a bunch of strangers, which is how I came to finding my niche.
What is your greatest influence and what do you find that you are most inspired by? By my experiences and surroundings. A long walk with a bit of music always gets the creative juices flowing. Do you prefer to work physically on paper rather than transferring your process digitally? What other surfaces do you find yourself enjoying to create work on? What sort of materials do you use? I have zero experience on computers and I love the process of painting, so I will never be a digital artist. Whenever I am feeling stressed or just out of sorts, sitting down and painting makes me feel normal again. It’s soothing. I also LOVE resin. I am planning a show this year and I want to work more with large canvas, which will be coated in resin. It’s such an awesome material it just makes the artwork that much more alluring.
How important is it for you to have your artwork opened in exhibitions rather than just on the internet? I think its super important to have your work on display in an exhibition. Photos and scans don’t do artworks the justice they deserve. When you see the piece in person you really get a feel for it and fall in love with it more than you would when it’s just on a computer screen. Plus for me, I get to see people’s reactions to my work in person, which is always such a humbling experience.
What do you find is the biggest difference between when you have your work on paper versus in a frame? Having a piece framed makes all the difference. It’s hard to put into words why, but the work doesn’t look whole until it’s in a frame. Some work can be amazing unframed, but my pieces are made for frames, they really elevate the piece.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of at this time in your life? Are there any upcoming projects that you are most excited about taking part in? I have done some amazing work in the past. I still pinch myself that I have gotten to work for Rusty and Dakine, that I have made it onto the cover of an art publication, and that I have had work on the show ‘the block,’ but my proudest moment was my solo exhibition back home. To be able to show my work to my friends and family was a massive deal. My parents were so proud, and to see that in person was pretty damn special. Being away from my family for all of those big moments is hard, so to be able to share that was huge.
“ Hello! I’m Irma Kniivila, an illustrator living and working in Toronto, Canada. ” WEBSITE - TUMBLR
Did you attend post-secondary for any formal training? Yep! I studied illustration at Sheridan.
Have you always lived in Toronto? What do you find the experience is like working in this city rather than working elsewhere? Do you feel like it influences your work? I was born and raised in Calgary, and moved to Oakville when I was 18 to go to school. After graduating, I was lucky to be offered a job at Paper Bag Records which brought me to Toronto. I’ve been freelance in some capacity since 2011 or so, and I’ve been at the RAID studio for the last year and a bit, which is equal parts inspiring and intimidating. I feel like – Toronto has this absolutely immense pool of talent but it’s really understated and quite shy. I can’t really speak to working elsewhere because my whole professional life has been spent here, but compared to my hometown, it probably feels a lot less lonely as a creative person. The longer I’m here, the smaller the city and world feels – it’s nice to feel like I belong to a community that understands what I’m trying to accomplish in life.
Do you find yourself working more in animation or still illustration? Do you have a preferred medium to go to? Definitely still illustration.
How do you go about your creative process? Do you find yourself working with the standard pen and paper, or do you work solely on a digital platform? For professional work, I use a lot of digital because it’s a lot more practical. I start to feel like I’m going insane if I do one thing for too long though, so I do a lot of personal work and experiments, which tends to run the gamut of traditional and digital 2D media.
You have worked with a number of admirable clients. How do you come across working with those companies and people? Do you find yourself working with them mostly based off of your illustrative talents or do you have a little more control beyond that? It helps to know people! Most of it seems to be about being in the right place at the right time with appropriate skills. I guess just being around so people know/don’t forget you exist is half the battle, unless you’re so immensely talented that people are falling over themselves to hire you.
When it comes to personal work is there anything in particular that you are drawn to? Are there any themes that you are most passionate about exploring? I think some kind of narrative work is the long game for me. I find a lot of western narrative work for adults is about people making bad decisions or having character flaws and everything spiraling out of control as a result. I guess I’m an idealist and escapist, because I’m much more interested in seeing someone try very hard to discover themselves - to better themselves and the world around them. You know that quote about life being nasty, brutish and short – I tend to agree. I think work that manages to be gentle and empathetic while acknowledging that side of life is what I respond to, and what I’m ultimately trying to achieve. I’m really inspired by travel, nature and fashion lately, and I always like making fast, unplanned and intuitive work. Starting a project with a specific final look in mind is a surefire way to make something that I feel pretty mediocre about.
You are working on an adventure novel by the title of The Sunken Garden. How did this come to be? What inspired it and made you want to pursue creating and releasing it? Where would you like to see it go? Would you like to do more work with graphic novels? The Sunken Garden is the most honest work I’ve made to date. Writing about things that are important in a straightforward way is much harder for me than masking my feelings in metaphor or turns of phrase. I get really shy when people read The Sunken Garden because I feel like I’ve poured so much of my naked and clumsy self into it. The fact that it makes me uncomfortable makes me think that I’m going in the right direction – the problem is that making something truly affecting in a straightforward way is damn difficult. Case in point, Whisper of the Heart is deceptively simple. But there’s so much subtlety to it, so much detail and heart, that at least for me, it stays with me far longer than any art-house film. I love all Ghibli films, but I love Whisper of the Heart best of all because it’s so sincere and well crafted that it makes the mundane details of everyday life impossibly magical. When I started The Sunken Garden I was coming out of a really rough few years
of my life – it was both a way to deal with those things, and it was also a way to really get excited about drawing and writing again. When I started it I didn’t worry about making it good, I just worried about having fun creating. Now I’m trying to finish it while working on improving in terms of art and writing – I’m thinking it’ll end up being about 200 pages all total and I’m almost finished about...100 of those pages. These days I get frustrated with how long comics take to make (especially when you’re making them in your free time outside of professional work), and at my own clumsiness in drawing/writing. I’m always trying to remember that you can’t skip straight to being great so you might as well try to enjoy the process.
Where would you like to see your work in the future? Are there any projects that you are working on, or that are coming up that you are most excited about? I’m trying to be more focused and more ambitious - the ultimate goal would be to reach a much bigger audience with personal work – whether it be in comics, novels, games, etc.
Katherine Karnadi Child of an art school graduate and an architect, Katherine Karnadi fell in love with drawing at a young age. As she got older, she decided that her passion remained in art, but unlike her mother, she decided to skip the formal training. At the age of twenty-five she found herself working the nine-to-five timeline in a cubicle. She thought to herself, â€œfuck this,â€? leading to her quitting her job and starting up her passion for drawing again: a decision she claims was one of the best of her life. Now, Katherine is twenty-nine years old and lives in Jakarta working as an illustrator. INSTAGRAM
consider drawing as quality time with myself. It’s a private time for me,” Katherine Karnadi states as explaining her approach to illustration. Possibly one of her least favourite things is the lingering figure of another person watching her as she works. Having someone hover over her as she is working ruins the tranquility that she prefers. Typically, her work takes place at night and is set up, “in my tiny humble home studio, listening to good music, phone’s off, lit scented candles.” Though she has established this routine, there is still a sketchbook that she carries with her everywhere for the sake of storing different ideas for
future projects, as well as those anxiety-doodles. No matter what, she needs to sketch almost every day. Looking through her collection of work, there are two characteristics you can notice right away. The first being the minimal use of colour within her imagery. When asked about her muted colour, she explains that, “I have never been attracted to colourful tones. I think I have a weak sense of mixing colours or something. But it’s not just in my drawings. Things I own are mostly muted or singular colours, if not black and white. I think maybe because I like things ‘clean,’ I adore simplicity
and effortlessness, it relaxes my mind.” Karnadi makes the comment that she is prone to panic and anxiety attacks. It is the combination of these facts that is reflected in the simplistic aspects of her work, and which is mirrored in her strive towards a cleared mind. The second strong characteristic within Karnadi’s work is her root in portraiture, specifically those of females. She explains her fondness of femininity, how beautiful their portraits, or really any body parts are, “everything can be beautiful and elegant and sensual.” Her work is quite fragile, and she even says that they can be melancholic. It is not that she has a collection of sad imagery, but rather that the images are not particularly happy either. Karnadi continues, “there’s something so beautiful about those gloomy faces, the sensitivity, the emotion.” Recently, she has found herself creating work that is a little more explicit than anything she has publicized so far. It is not necessarily something that she will stick with in the future, but
rather something that she has found herself enjoying for her own sake. To her, the imagery is a lot “darker.” Possibly, in the future, she will be able to share them with others. Though the digital age is upon us and artists often find themselves adapting to the medium, Karnadi still finds therapy in the handson approach. This is evident through the recent use of paper cut-outs within her imagery. When asked about the added texture, she reveals that they were done “recently [as a] part of this series that I am doing – with this series, yes, I want to have a three dimensional feeling to it. So I created thematic paper cut-outs for each work. It was very therapeutic. I made everything from scratch.” She finds herself attracted to the intimate process, preferring to work with materials as limiting as papers, hot pressed papers, X-Acto knife, glue, and doublemounted tape.
Katherine Karnadi has worked with clients such as fashion magazines Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia and Grazia Indonesia, but do not confuse her for working strictly in the fashion illustration industry. She is fashion friendly, but that is not where Karnadi’s passions resonate. When asked about it she states, “I don’t think that is the stream I would like my works heading towards. I actually haven’t a plan yet, though, well as for now I just love what I do and I appreciate it so much when my works are used.” If anything, she would like to complete a book of her illustrations. It is a dream of hers to have that physical representation of the different things she has done compiled together. While she has a lot of exciting clients under her belt, she is most excited about having worked with Reese Witherspoon. Not only that, but her work was
also commissioned for Reese Witherspoon’s daughter. In the future she hopes to work with clients that are international, just as the Witherspoon’s are. Now, Karnadi is focusing on the future, continuing to work on what she has and looking forward to having an exhibition of her work. She states that, “I think it’s time. I am hoping to have it this year, but I don’t know, let’s see.”
Rick Craft “ Hey!
My name is Rick Craft. I am a Los Angeles based Director/ Photographer originally from Virginia. My earliest memory of creating artwork in the digital world began with Microsoft Paint. I would sit there for hours trying to re-create images to make my own stickers. My family even commissioned me to make bumper stickers and greeting cards to which I can attribute a charitable cause. If I could go back in time and tell my nine year-old self that everything would be ok, because one day they would invent a better paint bucket and layers option, I would have avoided a lot of emotional stress. I believe that ultimately led to my interest in photoshop and retouching images to give them a more dramatic look in my teenage years. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I picked up a camera and created the scenes from scratch. Technology has definitely come a long way since MS Paint, but the curiosity of starting with a blank canvas and transforming it still remains. ” WWW.RICKCRAFT.COM | INSTAGRAM
You are able to claim the titles of many artistic ventures, including Director, Cinematographer, Production Designer as well as a photographer. Is there any stream that you find yourself enjoying the most or do you find you need a healthy balance of everything? I feel like i’ve done it all! haha. The different positions I have taken on have all intersected roles at one point or another, and now I feel that it has become one cohesive skill set. I started out as a photographer, shooting portraits of my friends with colorful setups. In doing so, I found myself building these sets because there weren’t any inherently colorful spaces in Virginia. Early on in my photography career, I was asked to shoot behind the scenes for a music video. This was a major turning point, as I was asked to come back and shoot the next video as well. I discovered a love for capturing live emotions of the musicians opposed to the diluted “behind the scenes” vibe. The stills captured were my own visual interpretation of the video. After showing the Director, he asked me to come on as the Director of Photography for the next project. The rest was history Having partaken in each side of production, I have a greater understanding of how each department affects the final image and how to best utilize and communicate with others to accomplish my vision as a Director! 50 | Flesh & Bone
You made the big move from Virginia Beach to Los Angeles for the sake of pursuing your career. What was it like to pick up and start in a new place, especially one that can be as saturated as LA? From my observation, many people believe that the transition comes easily for some based on their successes shortly thereafter. It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made! I knew that the potential for bigger jobs and a full-time venture in this industry was limited in Virginia. After traveling to Los Angeles a few times for music video projects, I realized that this is where I needed to be. I decided to save up some money and worked a few side jobs to scrounge up enough for first and last months rent, a security deposit, and $1,500 cash to float myself while I searched for work. I didn’t know a single person from the area, but knew that I just had to dive in head-first. Prior to moving- if you would listen to the opinions of others on LA- you would believe that it is an over saturated pool of starving artists and fake celebrity type personalities. While a portion this remains true, I believe it is equally valid anywhere else haha. In my opinion, Los Angeles was a very welcoming place. It felt as if someone (unspoken) said: “Welcome to a place that you and many others have come from all over the world to pursue your dreams! Take as long as you need, but work hard and you will be rewarded”. Some people feel their move to Los Angeles will be instantly gratified with fame. The dream takes sacrifice and an undying passion for what you came out here to do, but once you find your style and get steady work the rewards will follow.
What is it about people such as James Wan, Guillermo Del Toro and David Lachapelle that you like to draw from? I’ve always been a huge fan of horror films! James Wan always captures a great story with a unique cinematic look. The same goes for Del Toro. You feel immersed in the world that you are presented with, unlike cheesy horror films that have disconnected characters. The detail extends into the set design far beyond wardrobe, cinematography and acting. It just feels unified. After looking into James’ career path, I also really admired how he started out with a short film and worked his way up to one of the top directors in the industry! Additionally, I had been shooting for 2 years before someone showed me David Lachapelle’s work. They said that the vibrance and settings in my photography reminded them of his work. I checked it out and really enjoyed his use of color and creative take on seemingly simple scenarios. I am drawn to artists that present distinctive styles; someone you can say- “That’s definitely ________’s work.” just based on a glance.
Even in your still captures you find a way to make images feel cinematic, whether it is in the moment or in the dramatics of the light. Do you like to approach photography the same way as film, creating this result? I do like to approach photography in the same way that I do with film. I always create a back story for my characters to give them a little depth in the emotion that they convey. It’s much harder in photography because you only get 1-2 pictures to tell an entire story vs. 90 minutes on screen with people using dialogue ;) I will say that one challenges the other. In photography, I tend to take more chances since it is typically just me, the model and a small team. This allows me to be more explorative in lighting setups and photoshop because it’s not hinging on a huge production team and budget. These experiments usually lead to new cinematography techniques as well, and aids with proof of concept for the bigger projects. At the same time, film inspires me to generate storytelling through the photographs. I even tend to shoot my photos in 16x9 or 2:35 format just like we do with movies. I aim to engage the audience in a world fabricated through one still image, with the hopes of leaving the viewers desiring to witness the inexistent “film’s” entirety.
What is it about working with people that you find most captivating rather than immersing yourself with inanimate objects or landscapes? Iâ€™ve always been more interested in shooting people because you have greater control over creating something unique. An inanimate object looks however its creator intended; there are limited variables present. The same applies to landscapes. With people, I love the challenge of picking out wardrobe, hair, and makeup styles, then giving them an emotion to convey. There is a great power in the human connect, and I believe that translates. Many of my shoots convey an emotion that I have had at some point, whether it is exaggerated, or a more literal representation. It is an opportunity to collaborate to make a vision come alive.
Is there a specific moment that you reflect on, whether it is one that you are fond and proud of, or a negative one that you learned from, that constantly pushes you into doing the work that you are doing? Over the years, there have been many moments that could come to mind. With the positive and negatives, each one has helped shape me into a better artist. Of course we like to work towards the proud moments, but I have come to appreciate the others for growth and learning to overcome obstacles. One of my proudest moments was the day that I decided to put in my 2 weeks notice at my full time job. At the time, it was one of the scariest decisions made because I was giving up stability to chase a dream. I had only been shooting for about 3 months, but I knew that this was something that I really wanted to do. It was also a catalyst for working harder than before because I knew that there was no turning back! Ever since my last day at the sign shop, I have been doing film/photography full time for the past 7 years.
How did you come to create your series “REACTION”? What was possibly the most inspired part of the series? What is your favourite story line of that series of work and what part of it resonates most with you? What is the importance of using women rather than a mix of both men and women? Ahh, REACTION was an amazing experience. It actually happened unintentionally at first! I was working on set as a Props Master for a film called “Coming Through the Rye” in Orange, Virginia. Most of the crew was from Los Angeles, so we had a lot to explore in the vast country-side on our off time. I had become good friends with the lead actress, Stefania Owen. I always bring my camera with me on these shoots because you never know when inspiration will hit! Stefania and I had talked about doing a cinematic photoshoot on one of our days off. I started to recruit a small team of the professionals on set including hair, makeup and wardrobe. We shot 2 photos in front of the old farmhouse that a few of the crew members were staying at. When I edited the photos, I was trying to decide on how to post them on instagram so that people would understand that it was meant to be the same scene, just 2 different angles like a movie. If I posted them 2 days apart, people may not have seen one of them, or they might think it was an editorial style, but not necessarily the same scene. Since Instagram was a squareonly format at the time, I decided to stack the pictures into one so that the connection would be made more clearly. The picture received a great response and people liked the storytelling of 2 images. This would later become “The Arrival”, the first photo in the REACTION book. I sort of ran with the idea, making sure to keep the formula the same, just different settings and background stories. I decided to use women because a lot of the stories featured a vulnerability. Not that men don’t have this, but I felt more strongly connected to the women standing up to their problems in the series.
Narratives are clearly important to you. Are there any themes in the stories you explore that you find yourself most drawn to? Do you leave behind any motifs in your work? I’ve been told that my photos have a darkness to them, despite being extremely vibrant haha. I wouldn’t say that I always intentionally do that, but as I mentioned earlier, I have been drawn to horror/suspense stories since I was a child. I would deprive myself of sleep reading Goosebumps books all night. Then I would contemplate how the book could have ended differently had the characters made one different decision throughout the story. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of alternate scenarios. If just one thing had been different in that characters childhood, how would they have reacted to the antagonist? I have left motifs in certain images and some stories have intertwined with others via small details, but I can’t disclose that at the moment.
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You have previously stressed the importance of editing in your work. How much do you find yourself doing in post-production versus the set-up production? My post-production workflow is where a majority of the “look” comes from! I can’t stress that enough to aspiring photographers. I have people ask daily what kind of camera and lenses I use, but I try to emphasize that is a small factor vs. the pre and post production. Pre-production is important because a lot of the recent photos have been on location. When you shoot like this, you have to do it pretty quick and with minimal lighting setup vs. a studio location. I usually start by (horribly) drawing out a sketch of the idea with a location in mind. Then, I explain to the model what look I want from the shoot, and we practice it while they are in hair and makeup. Once we are on location, I usually take about 15-40 shots and pack up. As long as we get the right feel during the shoot, the rest is enhanced with photoshop. From there I really hone in on the color grade and tweak lighting to make certain things stand out or fade into the background. I would say I spend about 15 minutes shooting, and an hour or so editing each photo.
What is it about a strong colour pallet that you enjoy the most? Why is colour so important for you within your imagery?
Is there any project that you are hoping to explore now that you have finished and published “REACTION”?
Color can become a character just as much as the model in some cases. I like to use color to mark certain things such as “danger”, or “comfort in a surrounding when they blend in a little more”. In a world of thumb scrolling, we often tend to overlook things unless it really stands out amongst the rest. I personally like to see vibrance, so I put that as a focus in my work when the image calls for it! To me, if a viewer decides to stop and look at an image for more than 5 seconds, it has made them think in some way. That is a success in itself!
Now that REACTION has been released, I am working on a feature film project. My ultimate goal in this industry is to direct films with the look and feel of my photography. Being able to tell a full story with twists, jump scares, laughter and provoking thought is the next step. I am always seeking new ideas and constantly streaming inspiration, knowing it will resurrect something greater, just like the REACTION series did- so the next project could be a couple of different things!
ALBUM REVIEWS Before Their Eyes ALBUM: Midwest Modesty RELEASE: 18/12/15
As a previous casual listener of Before Their Eyes I was instantly intrigued by the idea of them making new music. Furthermore, I found myself more prompted to listen to it knowing that Craig Owens had produced it. It was not until the release of the Before Their Eyes track “How It Feels STAND OUT: “We Don’t Need To Make The to be Defeated” that I found myself most taken aback by their releases. After taking Same Mistakes” AUTHOR: Brandynn L. Pope a brief hiatus, it was great to hear the new, refreshed sound. Listening through the album the first time, I could not help but think that the whole thing was short. When it ended I felt like I wanted to hear more. After listening to it again I came to realize that a lot of that was because of how consistent the album is: it feels like it could be played on a loop. It opens up with the strength of the track “It’s Dark Inside You,” leaving you with an eerie feeling for the rest of the album. The album closes with “Adam Was A Cool Dude,” which feels like it could easily lead into the beginning of their first track. The problem I have with the album is that these two songs sound so seamless, but the other tracks all cut off. The songs have enough similarities that they could have all flowed into one another rather than the, at times, dramatic breaks. The record feels like songs are pieced into the puzzle where they do not belong, even though they do belong to the same puzzle. Their instrumental track “Noise” works with its previous track, “We Destroyed All The Evidence,” and the following song “Adam Was A Cool Dude,” making it musically sound, but its placement as the secondlast song on the album is irregular. The structure makes it easier to listen to a single track on shuffle than it is to listen to it as a whole.
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8.5 Though the album is clearly a representation of Before Their Eyes, you can hear the impression left by Craig Owens. There are “creepy” progressions, and moments of musical relief that mirror what Owens did with his project D.R.U.G.S. More specifically, you can hear similar production elements in his tracks “Graveyard Dancing” and “Laminated E.T. Animal.” The band’s decision to go to Owens proved to be productive, especially after their 2012 album release Redemption, which remained consistent with their Post-Hardcore sound. Midwest Modesty shows the great musical maturity that has come from their break. Typically I like to stray away from shining a light on singles when it comes to a new album, but it is safe to say that “We Won’t Need To Make The Same Mistakes” stands out amongst the rest of the album. Bringing in the emotional spokenwords of Hotel Books, the entire song feels like the most tragic and defeated song on the album. The musicality, the desperate vocal strains from all parties, and the choir of vocals towards the end of the song rounds out a well-crafted piece of artwork. It is mirrored by the track following it, “How It Feels To be Defeated,” in which you can actually hear the verbal realizations of the feeling that the previous song left behind. This is the beginning of something beautiful, as Before Their Eyes recreate themselves and their mark on alternative music.
Coasts ALBUM: Coasts RELEASE: 6/11/15
STAND OUT: “Oceans” AUTHOR: Morgan Fraser
Sometimes it only takes one song, and that is definitely the case for Coasts, a UK band who formed after meeting at the University of Bath in 2011. Years later, they had a breakthrough track with “Oceans,” which is their most noteworthy track. It’s an upbeat, “summery” tune with an echoing sound that really makes you want to jump around in the warm sun. There are a few really good hits on this album, however there are also quite a few songs that really seem to fall off my radar completely. Two-dimensional lyrics about love . . . and it just gets boring. Add some anger in there and you’ll totally catch my
Coldplay ALBUM: A Head Full of Dreams RELEASE: 02/10/15
STAND OUT: “Hymn For The Weekend” AUTHOR: Morgan Fraser
A Head Full of Dreams is Coldplay’s seventh, and apparently final album as suggested by frontman Chris Martin in various interviews. This album is lovely, but predictable and a little bit boring. I got a little excited that they were incorporating other artists, even Obama! Unfortunately, even the track “Hymn for the Weekend,” featuring Beyoncé, (Yes BEYONCE,) only includes large appearances in the intro and outro. As great as I find the song, I’m equally disappointed that Beyoncé isn’t given a bigger part of the song. Gwyneth Paltrow, (Martin’s ex-wife,) Noel Gallagher, and Obama have features in songs as well, but nothing that stands out. The only collaborator to really make an impression is singer/songwriter Tove Lo, who’s voice wraps around Martin’s quite pleasantly in the song “Fun.” Two songs that stand out to me are “Adventure of a Lifetime,” and “Hymn
5 attention! Something more than just that love-struck feeling that smooths it’s way over the album. Some of their songs get put me right where I want to be, but more than half the album has me wondering, “Haven’t I already heard this track?” There is so much potential here, there are layers upon layers musically, but there’s just something missing. It’s a pleasant album, but it doesn’t really grasp you. Maybe it’s an album that will really grow on you, but until then, I’ll be here waiting.
5.5 for the Weekend.” For me, those are the two songs that save this album. “Adventure of a Lifetime” is a disco-pop song that puts you in a good mood, even though you’re hungover in your car really wanting more than anything to go back to bed. There is layer upon layer of grooviness that ends with Chris Martin singing “woo-hoo.” Don’t tell me the song doesn’t draw you in at least a little bit. “Hymn for the Weekend” is energetic, but in a different way than the happy-go-lucky “Adventure of a Lifetime” track. The song lets me reminisce about Beyoncé’s “Drunk and in love,” with the lyrics: “Got me feeling drunk and high. So high, so high.” An energetic chorus with some well timed pop stabs, results in bursts of energy that the rest of the album is sadly missing.
Desert Island Classic ALBUM: Desert Island Classic RELEASE: 18/12/15
STAND OUT: “Time Machine” AUTHOR: Cale Zebedee
Desert Island Classic, from Regina, Saskatchewan is not what you would expect after hearing that they are a supergroup, composed of various members from established hardcore bands such as The Holly Springs Disaster, and The Man and His Machine. It’s easy to tell that the group draws from their past experiences with their heavy undertones, yet at the same time, they manage to create beautiful, heartfelt, falsetto fuelled pop-melodies. The Desert Island Classic produces a unique, yet comfortable sound. Tracks like “Victoria” and “Time Machine” hit hard with catchy, fast guitar riffs, booming drums, and hooks that will allow them to have arenas of people
Hands Like Houses ALBUM: Dissonants RELEASE: 02/02/16
STAND OUT: “Perspectives”
AUTHOR: Brandynn L. Pope
My biggest fear going into this album was that Hands Like Houses would fall victim to creating something boring, or recreate one of their previous albums. Their very first release “I Am” gave me hope in the hints of heavier music and the addition of more dynamic vocals. This part of my hope lived throughout the album. Musically, the band has gone into their heavier roots while also maintaining their “pretty” elements. Additions of vocalist, Trenton Woodley’s, harsher vocals come in times that reflect aggression in the lyrics. Tracks such as “Perspectives” and “Colourblind” truly show off Woodley’s ability to control his voice for both the aggressive and the soulful. The greatest change, I came to notice, is the lyrical content created by the band. In the past, and most specifically highlighted in UnImagine, the songs followed very specific narratives that often were kept in metaphors. Their new album, Dissonants, is far more literal in its content. Unfortunately, I feel like this change is what held the album back. With the release of their song “Colourblind” anyone who is familiar with their previous albums can see into the direct relationship of the lyrics.
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8.5 singing along as their following grows. Yet other tracks, such as “Hypnotize” and “Blue Skies” show off their softer, ballad-writing side. Despite the fact that this is their début album, The Desert Island Classic has managed to leave out any filler, making this album an easy listen from start to finish: no need to skip a track. Keep an eye out for this hard working band, I can only expect success from them.
8 “Between the black and white where everything goes grey” is taken from their song “Developments” off of UnImagine, and is revisited in “Colourblind” but rewritten as “Between the black and white, naming every shade of grey has left us colourblind.” Listening to both songs multiple times, I tried to find a link between the two tracks, and only found loose ties rather than what I hoped would be a solid connection. This could have been clever, as I feel it was meant to be, but simply did not have a strong enough connection for me to see. Do not let my critical analysis of their lyrical content stray you from giving the album a chance. There is a lot of strength in the whole of the album. It has a hard-hitting attitude and is consistent with the music you want from Hands Like Houses. Their heavier approach to the instruments feels like they made the best move as a band. The last thing that they have become is boring. It is exactly what I would want out of their third full-length album. From here, it will be interesting to see what elements they change as a band in any future music they produce.
Like Pacific ALBUM: Distant Like You Asked RELEASE: 18/12/15
STAND OUT: “Dim”
AUTHOR: Brandynn L. Pope
The strength in Like Pacific is that they are not straight forward pop-punk music. Many times I have had them referred to me as a band that I would enjoy if I had any interest in The Story So Far. While I understand the links between the two bands I do not find them to be a mere reproduction of another band, but rather a group that stands on their own, finding success in a genre that is littered with sound-alikes. Each of the song from Distant Like You Asked are catchy and fun to listen to. You can hear the narrators critical review on past relationships and the relationship be has with himself, but the music takes you away from the remarks and forces you to pay more attention to the musicality. The first track,
Panic! At The Disco ALBUM: Death Of A Bachelor RELEASE: 30/10/15
STAND OUT: “Victorious”
AUTHOR: Rickie Miller
Panic! At The Disco has definitely adapted throughout the years. With their 5th studio album, Death of a Bachelor, the growth of P!ATD has never been more apparent. Over time, the album unintentionally became a solo album. Brendon Urie’s vocals have undoubtedly been impressive since their start in 2004, but he also plays many different instruments, which allows him to write and record a lot of material by himself. He had some assistance from co-writers and producers, which unfortunately makes it sound a bit too diverse. A few songs on the album sound like a clutter of ideas, such as “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time,” which is the product of the aforementioned outside opinions. This album does stand strong, and certain tracks will stand the test of time. The album keeps you up-and-going, always providing something to move to. “Victorious” showcases this, with singing and screaming to live carefree by in the moment. I can imagine a car full of girls on a road trip
7.5 “Richmond,”sets the tone for the rest of the album, showing off, for the most part, what to expect from the album as a whole. There is a consistency throughout Distant Like You Asked that shows off Like Pacific as a pop-punk band but there is one song that offsets the entire thing beautifully. Towards the end of the album you come across “Dim” which has a greater delicacy, as well as intricacy, than the other tracks. The song fades out with a strong presence of bass and a noise pedal that I almost wish could of been switched with the actual conclusion to the album, “Scarred.”
8 screaming every word as loud as they can. “Hallelujah” is another gospel / rock track to dance to in your bedroom. Overall, you’re either going to love or hate this album. It’s definitely a huge accomplishment for his first solo album in over ten years. I do think it is timeless and we’ll still be hearing these tracks years from now. For Brendon Urie though, he’s just getting started.
Say Anything ALBUM: I Don’t Think It Is RELEASE: 05/02/16
STAND OUT: “17 Coked Up Speeding”
AUTHOR: Rickie Miller
Over the past few months fans have been teased by Say Anything, awaiting an announcement from the band. But at 12AM on February 4th Max Bemis tweeted, “You know what? We’re gonna stream our whole new record tonight and drop it on Friday. Enjoy.” with no previous warning and a full YouTube stream previous to the February 5th release. With a statement on the website saying, “I’ve become a bit weary of doing the same song and dance leading up to the actual endgame, people actually listening to something . It also seems to fit with the core of this record: me destroying any notion of feeling blasé about music.” The new album is more diverse than previous releases, which will cause a huge difference of opinions. But a band who’s stuck together for around 15 years is going to change even with effort to stick to single genre. Most tracks are nearly hardcore based, with raspy screaming courtesy of Max
Within Rust ALBUM: Light And Shadow RELEASE: 23/01/16
STAND OUT: “Firing Squads” AUTHOR: Cale Zebedee
Since their formation in 2012, Within Rust has been a heavyweight contender in the Vancouver music community. Their début EP, Born, showed new and original thoughts, combining heavy posthardcore guitars and drums with haunting melodies and progressions. Frontman Nolen Scott’s voice called out with strong influences from Thom York, (Radiohead) and at the same time was reminiscent of early Morrisey (The Smiths). Their full-length Light and Shadow, shows substantial growth since the 2013 EP. While the band still holds true to their previous sound, it’s easy to see that these new tracks have been tailored to mimic a more modern sound. This go around, the band mixes in a lot more synthesized sounds and ambient guitar “ear candy,”
7.5 Bemis. Lyrically, every track is diverse but it figuratively shouts, “I’m accepting maturing and I’m saying goodbye to all of the anger I’ve held in my youth”. Alex Kent also returned to this album on bass, along with features from Darren King (Mutemath), Cody Votolato (The Blood Brothers), Paul Hinojos (At The Drive-In), Dylan Mathieson (Tiny Moving Parts), Sherri DuPree-Bemis (Eisley) and even many more. Say Anything always manages to accomplish angry and inspirational in the same sound. I admire the band for putting out something new every single time. The downside is that the only “Say Anything” sound comes from the first track “Give A Damn”. Although, Max doesn’t care what we think in the end. Just please, never quit.
8 which gives everything a huge and full sound. Scott’s lyrics manage to touch on the nerves, with every powerful falsetto he hits leaving your bones with chills. Upon its release, their lead single, “Surfacing,” was immediately noticed by renowned music journalist Alan Cross, and became number three on his Top 11 Playlist (Nov. 27th, 2015). The group plans on doing multiple tours in both Canada and the U.S., so keep an eye out for them!
ALBUM RELEASES E lto n Jo h n Foxes W iz Kh a lifa Yo u n g T h u g Gr a y sc a le Pin e g r o v e S im p le Pla n W ild N o th in g L ike Pa c ific Wo lfm o th e r Ca n ’ t S wim The 1975
Wonder ful Cr azy Nig h t All I N eed Khalifa Slime Seas on 3 [Mix ta p e ] What We’ r e Mis s in g Car dinal Tak ing One For Th e Te a m Life Of Paus e D is tant Like You Aske d Victor ious D eath D es er ves A N a m e I Like I t When You S le e p , F o r Yo u Ar e So Beautiful Yet S o U n a wa r e Of I t Zoetic
03/04 03/04 03/04 03/11 03/11 03/18
Mus ic For Lis tenin g To Mu sic D is tance Between Limitles s Standar ds You And I D ar k Matter
La Sera T h e Co r a l To n ig h t A liv e In to It. O v e r It. Je ff B u c kle y T h e Wo r d A liv e
04/01 04/01 04/01 04/01 04/08 04/08 04/08
Welcome The Worm s Atomic The Follower The White Album Gor e Love Str eams City Suner Ever I n T h e Riv e r o f L ig h t
B le a c h e d M o g wa i T h e F ie ld We e z e r D e fto n e s Tim H e c ke r Wo o d s
02/05 02/05 02/05 02/05 02/12 02/12 02/19 02/19 02/19 02/19 02/26 02/26
T h e R o c ke t S u m m e r
Here are some suggested tracks brought to you by the staff.
e as C ss le c th cifi or Pa W ike L
ed iz t rs en ve m O ase B
75 gh 9 U he 1 T
d us lin Ho rb ke ou Li ol s C and H
68 | Flesh & Bone
Talk 4 Pillow Zayn
4 Surfacing Within Rust Long As You Love Me (Cover) 4 As The Maine Friends 4 Old Pinegrove Coked Up Speeding 4 17 Say Anything
4 Resignation Elora Machine 4 Time Desert Island Classic Home 4 Come Canâ€™t Swim Bad Parts 4 The From Indian Lakes
4 River Leon Bridges click on the 4 buttons + images to play the song!
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Cover Artist: Rick Craft Music: Guster, Alessia Cara, The Life Electric, Dreamers, Grayscale Art: Maku, Irma Kniivila, Katherine Kanardi, Ri...
Published on Feb 5, 2016
Cover Artist: Rick Craft Music: Guster, Alessia Cara, The Life Electric, Dreamers, Grayscale Art: Maku, Irma Kniivila, Katherine Kanardi, Ri...