FLESH & BONE
in the pursuit of artistic passion
ESTEE PREDA - THE MELVINS - KELLY MAKER - LETTERS TO PART
FLESH & BONE M A G A Z I N E
V O L . 2 6
Fl es h & Bo n e M a g a z i n e i s a b i - m o n th ly c rea ti v e a r ts p u b l i c a t i o n p ro d u c e d b y a r tists w ho a re c o n st a n t l y i n sp i re d b y o t h e r a r t ists. O ur g o a l i s to s h a re a n d i n t ro d u c e oth e r pe o pl e w h o a re i n te re s te d i n a r t o r i n th e pu r s u i t o f a r t to o t h e r c re a t i ve i n d i vi d uals. Ea c h i s s u e h i g h l i g h t s a r t i st s o f a n y a r t istic me di u m, w h o t h e y a re , wh a t t h e y d o , an d th e i r v i ew poi n t s o n t h e c o n s i s te n t l y g ro win g a r ti s ti c mo ve m e n t . _____________________________________________ FOUNDER & EDITOR
BRANDYNN L POPE
DESIGN & LAYOUT
BRANDYNN L POPE
ASHLEY ATLUS DONALD KIMBER JAMES LIAM WARD
ASHLEY ATLUS BRANDYNN L POPE BRITTNEY TAMBEAU
W W W. F L E S H B O N E M A G A Z I N E . C O M Al l ri ghts rese r v e d. No pa r ts o f th i s pu bl i c a ti o n m a y be rep roduce d i n wh o l e o r i n pa r t wi th o u t pe r m i s s i o n from the pub l i sh e r. T h e v i e ws ex pre sse d i n t h i s pub l i cati on do n o t re f l e c t F l e sh & B o n e a n d i t â€™s s t a f f but retai n to th e i r re spe c ti v e c o n tr i bu to r s.
F I N D U S ON
Fa c e b o o k f a c e b o o k . c o m / f l e s h a n d b o n e m a g a z i n e Tw i t te r t w i t te r. c o m / f l e s h a n d b o n e m a g I n s t a g ra m @ f l e s h b o n e m a g a z i n e
SU BMI SSI ON S & AD VE RTI SI N G
Well, Summer is coming to a close and itâ€™s been so wonderful to be able to to attend and communiate with so many artists of different varieties. I feel that the most exciting thing that we have now is the new running website for this here zine. Previously we had been running things from our tumblr blog but after further consideration we now run a site that has all of our regular updates as well as specific interviews and galleries. No longer will we be flooding this magazine with the sam galleries but instead have a lot more content in here and fast paced news online. This enables us to reach out to more people and make sure that everyone is represented as best and efficiently as possible. I am so excited for this change and I hope that you are as well! Please check out the new website if you have the chance! It means that there will be even more room for improvement from this moment onwards. Thank you for being with us over these last three years and embrasing all the changes that have come since the beginning! We always want to improve and make sure that the artists we published get the recognition that they deserve. I hope that all of you enjoy the remaining parts of your summer as we embrace the wonderful medium that is autumn. BRANDYNN LP
I______________ N T H I S I S SU E
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10 ARTIST REVISIT ARTS ANIA TOMICKA
62 ALBUMS IN REVIEW WRT JAMES LIAM WARD
14 Paper Monsters
40 Marta Betacqua
18 Jack Moriatary
48 Letters To Part
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26 Heavy Hearts
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30 Kelly Maker WRT
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WRT BRANDYNN L POPE PHTG CLAYTON SMITH
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WRT BRANDYNN L POPE PHTG KAYLA SURICO
52 The Melvins
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56 Estee Preda
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3005 While we are not actually in the year 3005 sometimes going to festival grounds bring us into this strange future where we do not quite feel like we were just a week ago. Instead we are washed away in lights and machinery. MODEL & STYLING MALORIE RUSK
ANIA TOMICKA REVISITING ARTIST
What were your main priorities with your paintings and other imagery over the last two years? The last two years were very hard but also quite positive. I learned a lot about myself and about my art by focusing on my paintings. My main priority was, and still is, to evolve into something more suitable for this particular moment of my life. Also, I wanted to slowly move away from big eyed art that I feel canâ€™t fully represent me anymore.
You have reached out to try different techniques and have shown off more artistic studies. Did you decide to find further formal training or is this journey something that you are taking on your own? I am very passionate when it comes to learning and experiment with art and tecniques. And I also want to show people that in art there is always something to learn and that it will always be. At a certain point I wasnâ€™t very satisfied with some steps in my process and also could not find a flesh tone that will please me. Idecided to finally attend an oil painting workshop with two of my very favorite painters: Roberto Ferri and Giorgio Dante. Their style and tecnique are amazing and I still canâ€™t believe that I was able to see both masters paint in real live, that was a life changing experience.
Have you found yourself to be more or less organized than you previously had been? I am a little bit more organized, but overall still a mess! Working on this aswell.
You have expressed that you find you always wade to the side of melancholia in your work. Do you think that is something that still rings true for you? What else have you tapped into within yourself artistically?
What is something that you have learned to embrace in your artwork that you previously were uncertain of ?
I still love melancholia and still think that I work a lot better when I am in this state. I am able to find more ideas for my artworks.
That evolution is a necessary step in an artist path, life changes from time to time so I think the artworks will follow. You always need to paint and draw what you really want, staying true to youself. Itâ€™s something that a lot of artist can relate to and itâ€™s not so easy as it seems.
At the moment I really donâ€™t know what else, because I am still learning about myself through my paintings but is a long process.
Is there any specific work that you have become more critical of as you matured as an artist? I am very critical about all my works, there is none in particular. As my experience grow I can see some compositional and technical mistakes, but I am happy about my oldest artworks, they always remaind me of the particular moment in which thew were created and what I was feeling.
PAPER MONSTERS papermonstersofficial.com
“ As an artist my mission is mostly to take people out of whatever they’re doing and put them somewhere completely different. Sometimes that means taking somebody out of their every day drull into a fun song that makes them feel like they’re on vacation; or sometimes that means taking three minutes out of their morning commute to talk about real life, and comment on patterns I notice in the universe. ”
When you first constructed yourself as a band did you know that the name Paper Monsters would trickle into the visuals of your band? How was this idea conceived? It certainly wasn’t the goal when naming this project, but it didnt take long for it to become a visual focalpoint. I wanted to demonstrate the feeling of a Paper Monster kind of creeping, constantly following you. I had envisioned some sort of Paper mache monster of sorts, which after much searching for custom mask designers ended up being made by by my ex completely custom for the Riddles video. Once I saw how cool the mask was I decided instead of the mask chasing me around the woods, the video would be one mask chasing another. I kind of stumbled upon the template to build our Jackal mask on a site online, wintercroft.com. We built the Jackal which wasnt terribly difficult but is extremely time consuming - it eventually naturally shifted to be the star of our strange little metaphor.
How much control have you had over your music videos? How have you found that they have evolved since you first put out “Riddles” versus the recent release of “Read Light”? I wouldnt call myself controlling since Im pretty easy to work with but I cant say that I didnt have my hands in most of what I do haha. The video concepts were mostly mine with help developing and whittling the storys by my band and the directors I’ve worked with. Alexa San Roman did the Riddles video, Burke Calinane did the Burning Brighter video. Both did an absolutely fantastic job and were able to take a blurry vision of mine and turn it into captivating content. The Red Light video was a lot less in my hands, I was able to work with a Production company to make that come to life.
The Red Light video perfectly illustrated the feeling I was trying to portray in the song, the concept was a fantastic collaboration with Geoff Gagnon at Misdirected Media. He came up with the idea of a paper room, the paper cubicle and the story line. We whittled everything down to be a really great narrative The songs can vary in meaning and purpose. together, along with various members of Sometimes I like writing songs that address his team; Director of Photography Brennan things I notice about the world, and sometimes Gassek filmed the whole thing, Tom Crenshaw I like writing lighthearted songs people can ran the follow focus and Tyler Ayers did bob their heads and have fun listening to. The assistant production. visual narrative we have is overall a message We built the set together in one day, filmed for positivity and owning your own paper monsters. The song Red Light was very much most of the video the next and finished filming the third day. Thats not including a day spent about Paper Monsters, the ones that hold us back and follow us around, weighing on us to gathering materials and a couple weeks of scheming together; developing storyline, make the right call despite being the wrong planning materials, wardrobe and gear rental. feeling.
Is your music representative of the visual narrative that you have made for your paper monsters or is it something a little more separated? What sort of themes are you most interested in expanding on whether it is musically or visually?
Would you mind sharing a little bit of the narrative that is going on with the monsters in your videos? Who are each of the characters?
Is there a particular reason to the red toned colour pallet that you feature in your videos as well as on the cover of your With Riddles EP? Red was very much the color that I thought best fit the vibe I felt while listening to the mixes of the album after it was recorded. I felt a kind of burning to make music a focal point in my life and I hadnt felt that in a while, so that burning kind of just felt very red to me. The album cover was done by my closest friend, Kyle Normandin. We walked through the woods and rigged a red smoke grenade to go through some rubber tubing to come into the mask from underneath. Found a stump with a cool beam of light during sunset and went to town. For the music video Red was going to be a strong theme if not just because of the name of the song, maybe Iâ€™ll use different colors for the next album.
The Jackal mask is featured both in the cubicle, being berated by the Ram (its boss or coworker), and also outside searching with a red light. Through the video the Jackal is being beat senseless by this Ram who will not leave him alone, forcing him to work harder and harder. The Jackal keeps finding himself searching for something while holding this red light. Eventually stumbling onto himself sleeping on the railroad tracks, and when he wakes himself up he hands himself the Ram mask and disappears in a burst of shredded paper. I dug this concept a ton because it plays well with the song and the meaning of our name. Paper Monsters exist mostly in our head, and in the end it turns out the Jackal gave himself the mask that was berating them throughout the video.
At the moment you keep the masks on display during your live performances. In the future how would you like to have their presence evolve? We like to leave masks at our merch table so people can see them and try them on if they want. When we play we put them on our amps behind us and stick a red light bulb in them so they glow. Im not sure how I would use them in the future, it would be crazy cool to have a light setup and some sort of giant mask involved - who knows!
JACK MORIARTY @jackrmoriarty
“ I’m Jack Moriarty, a photographer based out of California. I am most closely associated with landscapes but intend to continuing my progress in the visual arts and share my work with the world in whatever way possible. ”
How much of your work is using film or analogue format? Which cameras and film do you find yourself wielding most frequently?
Where did your love for photography originate? Are you formally trained? How long have you been practicing?
I would say 30% of my work is film, I’m looking to get that up to 60% and hopefully higher as I learn and adapt to the process. I use a medium format camera, a point and shoot film camera, and mirrorless camera setup mostly. As far as film stock, I use Kodak Ektar 100, Portra 400, Gold 200, and 400TX mostly, but whatever I can get my hands on works.
I started out with graphic design at the age of 16. Over the course of a year I grew familiar with a lot of photography techniques in the work I was doing; that, coupled with my knowledge of the Adobe Creative suite, led me to shelve my focus on graphic design and pick up my iPhone to start shooting. Ever since then I have spent hours of each day learning and shooting what I can. I’m an autodidact with no formal training in photography; that being said, I have interestingly enough taught a brief photography presentation at a local college here in California. It will now be just over 3 years since I picked up my iPhone, I don’t foresee a future where I don’t take photos in some form or another.
How much of the year do you find yourself traveling and how often is it for the purpose of photography versus personal reasons? I travel around the U.S. roughly every other week, I recently got back from a trip to the Middle East with another international trip probable in the coming months.
Is there a time of day or weather that you are most attracted to? Do you find that a lot of this depends on the location or that it can be universal?
I think knowing where you’re going is always the best option, getting a feel for the geography so you know what to expect from the land. It just depends on what you see Photography is pretty personal for me so in your mind’s eye. I have recently started whether the trip is for a job or not I’ll always be shooting midday as opposed to sunrise/sunset documenting something, someway. just for the change up in lighting and color. It’s a constant dance of internal expectation and Your main subjects include landscapes. What is external reality; and fusing the two to create it about the natural land forms that you are whatever it is that you intended, or didn’t particularly attracted to photographing? intend. Having expectations is not bad, but being able to adapt to unforeseen shifts is It’s always been more of a therapeutic thing an important skill to have when shooting any shooting and editing a landscape. Whether it subject. be someplace I know well or not at all, it’s a way for me to get to know the features: i.e. This all being said, I love a nice cool day with colors, shapes, lighting. It’s always a learning blue skies and a partly cloudy sky. experience no matter where I go.
Is there a specific reason as to why you chose to frame your photographs with white borders?
Where are you hoping to travel and explore next that you previously haven’t been able to?
It’s simply because I wanted the focus of my Instagram photos to be on the individual photos as they stand alone, and not as a set. I found myself editing for a specific cohesive look on my page as opposed to editing each photo in the way I wanted, which I don’t care for.
Africa and South America are my big two continents to get to as soon as I can.
How much time do you spend slightly altering the original image, or is most of it straight from the camera? I spend 30% of the time shooting the photo and 70% of the time editing. Editing is a big part of my process and there are no shortage looks that one can achieve using Lightroom. In terms of altering the landscapes geography (moving trees,rocks, etc.) I never do that. I try to stay true to the subject while applying an edit that speaks to how I saw that location in that moment.
HEAVY HEARTS heavyheartsband.com
Out of Niagara On The Lake, Ontario, we have the Emo and Alternative Rock group Heavy Hearts. Since 2013 they have been consistently writing music, touring, and pushing forward as a group. After producing their three EP’s and their full length, Bliss, they are releasing even more music such as their single, “Unravel (Your Love)” We we able to talk to guitarist and singer of Heavy Hearts, Justin Glatt briefly and talk a little bit about what they are doing moving forward.
You are able to produce music relatively consistent, with Bliss being released a little over one year ago. Explain a little bit about your writing process and how you all are able to compile a comfortable amount of songs in such little time? The writing process is a little different with every song but normally starts with a guitar riff that we’ll all build on at practice. With Bliss we’d keep playing an idea until the song was finished or we all stopped talking to each other.
How long have you been sitting on “Unravel (Your Love)” or any other songs in comparison to your previous release? We finished recording Unravel (Your Love) in January. We usually sit on songs for a while until they actually come out. We recorded Bliss in November of 2015 and it came out in the summer of 2016. We all hate the time it takes to release new music but once artwork, and all the promotional stuff is done the wait makes sense.
What themes do you often find yourself putting into the music? Are there narratives that you are attracted to over others? There aren’t really any recurring themes in our music. Writing songs is an outlet for me to say things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in conversation.
When you go into working on a music video do you find that the video will be constructed around similar themes to the song or does it become a piece of artwork on its own? We’ve tried coming up with our own ideas for music videos before but most of the time they end up going nowhere. Usually whoever is filming the video comes up with an idea for us. They’ll get a vibe off of the song and then pitch an idea for the visual to us.
As a band do you find that there is a particular vision that you want people to see when they are looking through your catalogues of music or even social networking? Do you often find yourselves talking about strategies to move forward as a band or is a lot of the work that you do done as opportunities present themselves to you? Whenever we write new music it’s always a priority to make sure it’s better than our previous release. We never want to be a band that writes the same record over and over. Our influences are always changing and we always try to make an effort to try something for us every time we write. We’d hope this would show through our catalogue of music, We also like the idea of rebranding ourselves with each release. A lot of time is spent talking about things we can do to form a vibe around a release to make sure it’s portrayed properly.
How do you find that living in Southern Ontario has helped progress as a band? Niagara on the Lake is a small town that maintains itself off of tourism. It’s a quiet and boring retirement town that exists in its own bubble. Some of our past releases dealt with that it’s been like growing up here and watching our friends move away. When it comes time for us to record we like to distance ourselves from home so that we won’t focus on anything but our music.
With Bliss being released a year ago and you doing tours, such as the one that you are on now, do you find that there has been a better reach to people? Compared to before the release of your full length have you found there has been a better response from show goers in places you have performed before? Every time we’ve toured the shows get better and better. Especially on this tour we went to a lot of places we’ve never been to before and it was cool to see people singing along while we played. There’s definitely been some form of stability added to our touring since releasing Bliss, especially in comparison to our older tours where every night was always kind of a gamble.
What do you anticipate to happen over the rest of the year as a band? What should people expect to hear from you? We’re really excited for what we have planned for the rest of the year. Expect to hear new music very soon!
KELLY MAKER kellymaker.com
â€œ My name is Kelly Maker; I am a 22 year old photographer and digital artist based in Melbourne, Australia.â€?
What motivated you to teach yourself photography? How did you go about learning the process and getting comfortable with your cameras? I began studying SLR Film Cameras when I was about 17, I learnt how to load film into a canister, how to take a decent photo, about lighting etc and even how to develop my own film by hand. Learning this process from start to finish is what really piqued my interest. It was fascinating that I could create this tangible thing from the things I see everyday, and that they could come up so beautifully. It is certainly difficult to become comfortable with a film camera, or even a digital. I used to worry a lot about making a mistake, accidentally exposing my film or damaging something, but after a while you just learn that mistakes are a part of the process, buying a dud camera is inevitable and so is damaging film. I own about 5 different film cameras, some of which I am so comfortable using and some I am still yet to perfect.
What motivated you to teach yourself photography? How did you go about learning the process and getting comfortable with your cameras? Honestly before I had this I was pretty bored all the time. I’ve always been creative, I used to embroider a lot, paint, draw, dance, sing, act, you name it, I’ve tried it. I was probably trying to find what my interest was and luckily I have and I’ve managed to make it my career. Of course before this I had a 9-5 office job, went to school etc, but I’ve always come back to art in some format.
At what point in your journey with photography did you decided to start adding the collage element or working with other artists to create the collage?
You use elements such as glitter, paper, video and general illustrations. What is it about these different elements that you are attracted to using?
It was only about a year ago, I was doing a lot of shoots for different Australian labels, but I got very bored creating what I deemed to be the same type of images my idols would create. I wanted something different and unique to me, something that hadn’t been done yet, and I think I’ve found that. I started doing the paper collages first to my own work, and that extended into found images pretty quickly as my following started to grow and I gained a lot of exposure by creating art for influencers etc. Plus it’s really fun.
It’s all about aesthetics. I have always adored old books, and using the paper was something that happened completely by accident but turned out so great. The glitter was also an accident, I use a special tool when I edit that you have to be really careful with or it can ruin your whole piece. Safe to say I was not careful once and actually created something pretty cool. Overall it’s all just things that I randomly think of, inspired by the things around me, music and the mood I’m in.
Describe a bit of your process a you are creating your images. Do you have an idea of how an image will develop and what media will be mixed into the photography or is it something you decide once you see the photograph on your screen? If I am planning a shoot, I will usually think ahead of time the type of edits I would like to put within the images. Mainly because most editing styles best adhere to a specific image composition, so if I’m doing a studio shoot of mainly portraits I’ll know that glitter will be the best option and so on. If I am searching for an image online, I will usually already know what I feel like making, and will purposely seek out the right image for that, however sometimes I spend days looking for the right image, I don’t like to just edit the first thing I see, I feel like I have to let it come to me.
What collaboration has excited you most in the past? Is there anyone that you would want to collaborate on a project with? Every time I get to work with an amazing model, brand, photographer, stylist etc is pretty cool. Mainly because these people are so creative themselves and I love chatting to them and feeling their excitement come through about the project we have planned. There is one person who I’ve always wanted to work with and funnily enough she was one of the first people to discover my account. We have something currently in the works and so my lips are sealed until it’s released.
Is there another medium that you hope to tackle with your mixed media in the future or are there any new projects that people should be looking out for from you? There is, but at the moment I won’t say what they are ... Top secret! I think the main thing to look out for now is a potential photobook and a very large scale hand made piece somewhere soon…
â€œ Based out of Boston, MA, I/O has been playing together since the Fall of 2012. Blending ambient textures, angular rhythms, and dynamics that range from delicate to cinematic, I/O has crafted a unique brand of melodic post rock while exploring new sonic possibilities and constantly evolving their sound. â€?
Outside of your music, one of the most enticing things you guys have is your album art work. How did you come to find this visual and how do you feel it speaks to your album? We were spending a lot of time agonizing over what the best visual representation of these songs could be when we came across an incredible photographer called May Xiong, who had taken these amazing portraits and incorporated paint strokes over the images. We loved the way the brush strokes lent the portraits a level of anonymity and also a kind of kinetic energy. We immediately got in touch and she helped us brainstorm ways this could play off of our concept of ‘Anyone, Anywhere’. In the end, we came up with this idea of a paint-obscured and deconstructed portrait (anyone), with a double-exposed landscape emerging in the paint (anywhere). We think it all ended up tying together beautifully as an expression of the albums’ themes of infinite possibilities, identities and alternate futures.
Beyond that you also use projection imagery while you are performing. How do you feel this speaks to people experiencing your music live? Do you think that visuals are something that you continue to emphasize in your musical career? We’ve always loved the way that combining music with other art forms can really enhance and elaborate upon it’s message or feeling; whether it be music videos, artwork or live visuals. It also definitely helps create a more sensory experience for the audience, especially as an instrumental band. Having visuals is always something that we have wanted to do, and we are only going to continue to expand upon it. We came across the work of our new friend Kim Chung on Instagram and fell in love with it! She hand painted all of of the visuals onto 16mm leader film, which is pretty awesome (and time consuming!)
What did you want to use specifically for Anyone, Anywhere? Did you find that the music came to be organically written together or was there a particular feeling you wanted to allude to ahead of time? A bit of both to be honest. We recorded our previous album live so really wanted to raise the production value on this one and create something with a larger scope as well as a more uplifting and considered sound than Saudade. We had an idea of what we wanted the album to be about as a whole and from there we would sit in our practice room with a 30-rack of beer and work through it in a very “organic” way.
Do you find yourselves creating a narrative along with the songs that you have created? I think in terms of narrative, we always tend to have an overarching idea that the album as a whole speaks to and feelings and ideas we want to address with certain songs. On a song by song basis though, everyone in the band has their own individual connection to the music and feelings that certain songs evoke for them. There’s also songs that ended up gaining more meaning for us after they were written such as CB, MA and Rte. 89 simply though the act of playing and living with them.
Why the title Anyone, Anywhere for this most recent release? What kind of gear and pedals do you find yourself using for the music? What brought you to use the gear that you have grown attached to? Having tracked this album ourselves we considered every aspect of what we wanted the sound to be. We thought about what gear we were using to really try to capture what we were trying to convey. We’re definitely all gear nerds, so took a lot of pleasure in this process! Our pedalboards have a lot to do with our own personal sounds and we’re constantly trying to use different effects to offer a new perspective on writing and provide inspiration. Specifically we’re huge fans of Walrus pedals, with the ‘Descent’ and ‘Bellwether’ featuring all over the album. We also tracked guitars through a friend’s ‘Science Decolonizer’, which is definitely a dream amp! Jordan sampled his own voice through a Yamaha keyboard from the 80’s called the VSS30 and you can hear a lot of that all over the interlude tracks. We tracked the album mostly in basements and apartments but we did try to get our hands on as much good gear as we could.
Originally we were going to name the album what is now the title of track six, ‘To Everyone I Could Have Loved & All the Places We Could Have Called Home’. We feel like that song is, in many ways, the centrepiece of the record and encapsulates a lot of the themes of the whole album for us us but is obviously way too long and way too post-rock to print on an album cover haha. That being said, we wanted to find a more concise way of expressing the same sentiment and came up with Anyone, Anywhere. We were all entering our final year of college and seeing as how half of our band is international we didn’t really have any solid plans for the future. We all were, and still are, scared as hell of what the future holds and really latched onto the idea of there being so many different alternative paths that your life could take and coming to terms with the fact that who you will eventually become is defined by all the choices you make. We were thinking about how we could be anyone, anywhere or be with anyone, anywhere and as soon as that idea clicked it really became the outline for our writing process.
Between Anyone, Anywhere and your previous release, Saudade, there is about three years of time between. How long were you working on the songs for Anyone, Anywhere? We wrote on and off for about two years. Some of the songs, like 60 // South we have had since just after Saudade. Others, like CB, MA, were written right before Chatchon and Mackenzie moved back home. Between finishing college, moving, and recording the album completely on our own it ended up taking longer than we would have liked but we had a very ambitious vision and we are very glad we gave it the time it deserved to do it right.
Being from Boston, how do you feel the scene there has affected your progression or musicality? The Boston DIY scene has truly been amazing to be a part of. It really is a uniquely special and inclusive environment that we’ve yet to find a comparison to. It has been amazing to have made some of our very best friends here because we were all playing shows together in an Allston basement. It has shaped our ethos to be way more DIY and has pushed us to be better musicians and people.
Now that the album has been released how are you moving forward and what should people expect to look out for? As soon as we can save the money we would like to press a nice gatefold 180 gram vinyl of ‘Anyone, Anywhere.’ We are also planning on doing a couple of music videos as well as another tour in 2018, hopefully including Europe. Having a lot of our members moving back overseas has made us really examine how we define ourselves as a band. Moving forward, we are considering ourselves more of a musical collective and plan on the next release being a massive collaboration between everyone that has ever been a part of our band as well as some new faces. We are hoping to expand out of just post and math rock and incorporate other genres and sounds. Tyler and Jordan are relocating to New York City and we think that this move will help us open of the doors to explore and expand our sound. We’re so excited for what’s ahead!
MARTA BEVACQUA martabevacquaphotography.com
“Photography for me was at the beginning, a passion, until it became a job. Right now it’s even more: I constantly feel the urgency of creating, for the simple act of creation, not for everything implied with it.”
When you first found interest in photography who and where did you pull ideas from? Was there a specific photographer or medium in photography that you loved to look at? I started by chance during high school. I didnâ€™t know what I was doing exactly, it was a game. After school, I just put all of myself into it, and it became my job. I always had ideas, always felt something creative floating in my mind. I just discovered a way to give form to it. I didnâ€™t follow any photographer (even if I have so many I really admire and I take inspiration from, like Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker and many others).
Did you ever pursue formal education in the arts or was it something that you learned on your own? I am self-taught. When I started with fashion, I just attended a one-week short course at the Central Saint Martins school in London, about Fashion Photography.
How did you first approach photography? What sort of photos did you find yourself taking before you built up the impressive portfolio you have to date? How do you find the process of producing a series of images differs from back then? I started with flowers, trees and little plants. Iâ€™ve always been quite obsessed with nature. Then I took portraits of my sisters and friends, as well as self-portraits. I was very far from the style I have today but those first pictures helped me to arrive where I am today. Nature and simplicity was already there, I just developed it.
When you first started working with video productions did you find that the concepts were a collaborative work with whoever you might be working with or did you build these concepts? I built the concepts, but I loved working with other people, and luckily I found people with a vision that perfectly in line with mine.
What is it about producing portraits that you are so attracted to? In reality I never decided to take portraits. I just started since (I guess) I was attracted by faces and expressions. But, honestly, there is no special study behind it. I just follow my instinct and inspiration and find beauty where I can see it.
How much of your process includes postproduction versus pre-production? Do you work with a team of people to create your work or do you find yourself building sets on your own? I normally build my sets, even if sometimes I collaborated with other people. For fashion, itâ€™s normal to work with a team (model, make-up artist, stylist etc). I try to maintain post production as natural as possible (I just work on colors, contrast and saturation, but everything you see in the pictures itâ€™s already there during the shooting).
Do you find that you approach your video work What is one of your favourite narratives that the same way as you do with your photography? you have brought to life so far? In what ways do the production processes So difficult question! Probably my story “Origin”, differ? Absolutely yes. It changes, obviously, because video is video, photography is photography. But, besides that, I have exactly the same approach.
What themes are some of your favourite to dive into? Do you find that you produce a narrative along with most of your imagery? I like thinking I produce narrative, but I think it’s the viewer the one who has to confirm if it’s true or not. For what concerns my themes, I love shooting in nature, especially very natural pure images, possibly storytelling.
a beauty underwater series.
Is there a story or project that you are currently excited about working on? It’s a new video project, but can’t really talk about it now.
Do you feel that you will continue to work collaboratively with both video and photography? Yes, I would love to! And would love to grow up a lot.
LETTERS TO PART letterstopart.bandcamp.com
On July 8th Letters to Part released their first full length, A Human Curse. Not only that but this was their first release since 2014 with their EP Altered Ego. In anticipation revolving around the release the band set off on an East Coast tour of the United States, starting off in Florida and heading up to as northern as New York State. While sitting outside of St. Louis, Missouri, we were able to take a moment to talk to them and discuss the frightening, yet beautiful experiences in human nature that they explored: A Human Curse.
Previously Letters to Part had only ventured as far up as North and South Carolina and now they were heading up to the some of the most northern parts of the United States. After being recognized as Letters to Part for so long they were able to experience people who had previously only seen the name to give them a better understanding of who they are and what they can do sonically. Not only that, but bassist, Chris Ramos, mentioned how the scene in South Florida has had this attitude about it which enables bands to grow together and act as a support group, “There’s a very powerful community of bands who want to see other bands grow and who aren’t about tearing people down and instead building people up. We definitely resonate a lot with that because that’s the type of band we are. We are really looking to be a positive influence and try to promote everybody in our local scene and not just ourselves.” Vocalist, Y’shua Oritz Escobedo, went on to further explain this similar feeling even before Ramos and guitarist, Hunter Gelsen, had joined Letters To Part. He and drummer, Dustyn Murphy, played multiple shows in Central Florida noticing the welcoming and caring environment around them having a positive experience in their own local scene. Originally the group forged together in Southern Florida but in recent years have separated within the state. The separation enabled them to crack down and work hard on getting everything together before settling on where they were going with the record that would be coming A Human Curse. Ramos commenting, “I think we stayed a little dormant while we were really trying to work on the album trying to make the best product that we could. A lot of people in the South Florida area, at least, didn’t know much about us and in the few shows that we played down there we got nothing but positive reaction from them seeing us play, listening to the music.”
For their first full length the group decided to head over to Iceman Studios. Dan of Iceman studios is easily considered a staple to the music scene there and they were excited to go with someone that they knew that they could trust, especially with such a specific vision. “We knew that himself as an engineer and a producer could paint the picture that we saw and had envisioned,” Escobedo explained. Before A Human Curse the group had their Altered Ego EP that had been released in 2014 meaning that it has been around three years since they put out new music to the public. When asked about the length of time in between the van erupted into awkward acknowledging laughter. Escobedo spoke up, “We’re our own worst critics. We want everything to kind of be different and pushing to be different itself and progressive and keeping up ... It’s been about two years. Trying to find and secure a producer at the time was very strenuous. It was also me being very picky and meticulous about who was going to produce and engineer our LP and there’s a lot of people who say they can do and accomplish but I know at the end of the day that’s not the truth sometimes. I was very weary of people and certain individuals who were trying to get a hold of our content because I knew it would either be butchered or beautifully put together. So it was a lot of back and forth for about two years but it gave us time to perfect our sound, our tone, our over all goal, the sound that we’re basically at now and trying to accomplish.”
With the emotional and personal subject matter that makes up A Human Curse it’s understandable to see why it had taken so long for the group to solidify something that they could be certain of. Many of the songs deal with specific battles of vices, stress, and anxiety that should never be taken too lightly. The album artwork itself shows off the image of a figure looking up into the light but stuck in sharper imagery and being held down in their position, an idea that stuck with Escobedo as he crept through different photographers work, “Basically it was like yin and yang. I felt that’s what the album really being portrayed, trying to move forward and not really even moving at all.” Even with a full length of eight tracks you can feel the weight of the musicality and endurance in the lyrics. Ramos states that, “Rather than doing an album with filler songs these songs kind of brought together a whole tory behind the album, the things that [Y’shua] was going through ... I think that each song has it’s own strong standing point.” This album had become a coping mechanism that turned into something powerful when collaborated with everyone else in the process. Opening up about the record Escobedo went on to explain, “A Human Curse is very cut throat because it’s about a lot of inner vices that we use day-to-day. At the time it was more about vices I was using at a point that were slowly but surely ending me. I just wanted to find a playing field where I could relate to other people who are like myself because as many people as you get through the years, further into the 2000s anxiety and stresses is something that is so induced by our surroundings. It’s hard to find some people who can relate because some others cannot relate on that level because they would rather be blinded or masked by everything that’s around them, just be ignorant. I wanted to find a way to relate to people who were suffering the same way that I was.
Overall when the album was done it was very overwhelming to hear it all back. At first it was hard to stomach. I didn’t realize a lot of things that were bothering me underneath surface. Once I heard my lyrics without even really thinking about it portrayed back to me ... It was sort of disturbing. It was a growing point for me because it made me realize a lot about myself, my life so far, where I need to be and where i need to grow from.” Things are looking hopeful for the group now that their Eastern run of the United States has come to an end. They will be getting ready for a tour in October with Atlanta based band, Things Amazing. From there they have other things in mind such as future tours heading out West, possibly festivals, or national tours. There’s even a possibility of a new EP within the next eight months or so. Keep a look out for Letters to Part as they hope to encompass themselves in bigger bills or on bigger tours as they have visions of greater careers that they have set out for themselves.
(the) MELVINS themelvins.net
It goes without a doubt that The Melvins are classified as one of the legacy bands of this century playing around in a noisy undisclosed genre. Comprised of guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, the duo have rotated around members over the years to come up with something new on every record that they have ever done. Most recently with the release of A Walk With Love and Death the two experimented with darker tones and arguably more simplistic instrumentation when compared to the layers of instruments used in previous records. Not only that but along with the “Death” side of the LP they have come up with a score track for Jesse Nieminen’s visual short which will be the title “Love.” We were lucky enough to be able to take the time to talk to Dale about this release and have a little insider on what was going on with them and their bassist, Steve Shane.
ale and Buzz are lucky enough to have a studio of their own to be able to work and construct music consistently. With the amount of work that they two have, whether it is with the Melvins, their solo work or the other projects that they have taken part in, it has become the perfect place to get things done. Previously the band had to come together, rehearse, and then set themselves up in a studio somewhere. Now they are able to have a new luxury of writing things on the spot, recording the tracks, and earning a sense of freedom through the process. Dale even further commented that, “I like it because it’s fresh and I don’t necessarily have parts written up yet and I can be freer. I notice too that if it’s a song that I have rehearsed already when we record it I will probably screw it up where with the new ones I can’t screw it up because there’s nothing to mess up yet.” It’s because of this studio and their ability to jam everything out along with Steve Shane (of Redd Kross) that they have been able to produce things so efficiently. It furthers the creativity that they are known to encourage. On previous albums the duo have had several musicians come in to record albums or EP’s with and then tour on. This could mean having multiple people play bass, guitar, or any other instrument that they could fiddle around with. When it was announced that A Walk With Love and Death would only have themselves and Steve Shane with them it came as a bit of a surprise. “We’ve been playing with Steve for a while and he actually played on the previous record a little bit but this is kind of his first full length [with us]. We like his bass playing a lot, we’ve been a fan of his for a long time. We moved to LA and became friends, got to know him and thought that he would be a good bass player when we needed somebody. It’s kind of incestuous. It started because I as playing with OFF! filling in, in his band. He’s in a band with Keith Morris. Went from that and then from him playing in the Melvins and now I’m playing in the Redd Kross. Some of the stuff I would record with just Buzz and I. We would record by ourselves and Steve’s also a recording engineer so we kind of let him take the tracks and come up with a part.” When they played together running through the first song on the album they had Steve go through and pull out all of the stops as a bassist. Dale even had to comment on the reminiscent of the middle David Bowe period, “Playing with different people kind of gives us ... That.”
Not only did they have Steve go on tour with them and perform on the record but the Melvins also were able to pick up a few other guests as well including Le Butcherettes, Teri Gender Bender, as well as Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. Dale was so excited to have these musicians as a part of the album where they were able to pull from different influences without really sounding anything like what they thought of. Santiago’s part in “Christ Hammer” feeds off of him, Buzz and Dale having a musical back and forth and while Dale recognized that musically it does not sound the same the influence comes from “The End” by the Beetles where they had similar solo switch offs. Though there are fun moments like this there is no doubt that A Walk With Love & Death is one of the darker sounding Melvins records. Not even Dale is certain if there was a direct intention for it to go into this direct but simply stated that when they started writing things just came out this way, “I was kind of playing a little quieter because Buzz was and I don’t know Drum-wise I played with plastic brushes that gave the drums a different quality. Also messing with different tunings on drums which I had kind of done but not really. here’s this record that came out by the Lemon Twigs. They’re these two brothers from Long Island and you can tell they like Queen and the Beetles. They did this kind of thing with the drums where it’s kind of an old trick, almost 70s sounding, where they made everything kind of dead and deep. And i thought that was so cool and that I had never
done anything like that before.” While having a conversation with their engineer, Toshi Kasai, they talked about doing something where the drums were dampened and detuned. It was perfect and fit exactly what Dale had been considering after listening to the Lemon Twigs. While the “Death” section of their album may be an eerie version of their typical Melvins discography the “Love” portion of the record holds a lot of crazy intricacies that people need to pay attention to. Artist and friend, Jesse Nieminen, was asked to set out and create a cinematic short for the music that the Melvins created. Now the record is out and the movie is not quiet done yet and there’s no specific date set for release but it is coming. Dale mentions how they had given Jesse a few different ideas and how Buzz had given him directions on different things for the footage and a lot of different photographs. Essentially the video teaser to A Walk With Love and Death gives an idea of what the movie will come out like. “ The soundtrack is the script for the full thing. There’s a lot of field recordings in there that we took and manipulated as well, even conversations, toys. I even had a bunch of stuff already,” Dale continues to say that Buzz wanted stuff recorded on their phones. No guitars or music simply just conversations or moments with their kids. One of the best moments for Dale was when he was able to grab a sound clip of his son and their friend, “They were playing video games and I slowed it down and they sounded like teenagers. It’s
sort of hilarious because they’re talking about dying and stuff like that ‘I died. I glided to my death.’ That’s perfect!” Among the audio clips there are also a bunch of toys that Dale, Buzz, as well as Toshi had that they were able to through into the mixes. For a while the group got into circuit bending toys, creating something new out of an old toy and embracing that unique culture. “There’s a song called ‘Scooba Doo’ here there’s this old doll from the 60s and it was a Beatnik doll. I have three of them that don’t work but Buzz has one that does work and they would say things like, ‘Hey, dig these crazy black stockings’ or ‘Hey man, what are we going to eat.’ So she’s on there and we made a bunch of songs out of it ... Then i recorded this other thing with this toy where the batteries were dying so it makes it all warped sounding.” There were moments in their recording process that they contemplated that the nature of this half of the record would end up being more Death than Love but ultimately concluded that it fit more as Love in their walk. Dale notes that in life both are essentially inevitable. While one could live without love he cannot imagine a world where someone would want to do that. It is openly an uncomfortable record fitted with some weird stuff but more than anything is an example of how the Melvins embrace art in their music more than anything else, “It’s not something you are supposed to dance to but it is something you let overcome you.”
ESTEE PREDA estherapreda.com
“ My name is Estée Preda and I’m an artist currently dwelling in the heart of Québec city. As a child, I was read Hans Christian Andersen and Brothers Grimm fairy tales every night by my mother who escaped the iron curtain. I lived across the hall from my grandmother who was prone to night terrors. Although, I had wonderful parents, one of my favorite pastimes was to pretend that I was an orphan so I could build, with my brothers and sister, multi-level cardboard houses in the summer and igloo villages in the winter. The world that my art exists in lies somewhere between those ephemeral seasons, night terrors and folk tales.”
How do you describe your art work to people? When did you find that you were starting to hone into the style that you currently are working with? I always have trouble describing my work. I like to think that my work looks pretty and light at first glance but then darker elements surface as you look into the details. The biggest event that influenced my direction was me discovering inks and watercolors. It felt so natural using them. Looking back now, all those years where I was making art on and off was just a grand search for me to figure out which medium agreed with me the best.
Did you attend any formal education for illustration or art? I’m a self-taught artist. I drew a lot as a kid but then completely stopped around age 11 when I started snowboarding. I reconnected with painting a few years ago in 2014. I was going to spend the summer in Alaska and knew I’d have a lot of free time on my hands. So before I left, I bought one brush, a few inks, paper and pretty much never stopped painting since then.
What materials are key for you to us? I like all water-based paints besides acrylic. It feels too plastic for me and I can’t quite get a render that satisfies me. Maybe with time and patience, I’ll learn how to use it properly.
Do you use the same human character in your illustrations throughout? Is there a specific story behind her or the faces? When do you find it is most appropriate to use the human character over animals or other subjects?
While you also use animals and figments of nature that we are familiar with you also have other more mythical characters. Where do a lot of these characters come from for you? What draws you to them?
There is rarely a grand thought process behind my paintings. I like to paint in a visceral way but I do like to think of little stories for my characters as I go. For example, the flowers with girl faces are all a certain group of creatures and I like to think that they are benevolent and fragile. I feel like I’m still unraveling some sort of map and soon I’ll have a better idea of what each character and animal’s role is in my universe.
I think it’s subconscious world-building. It’s mostly likely escapism too in the way that they help me romanticize my everyday life.
Do you find that most of your illustrations lay within a specific narrative? Are there any specific themes that you like to invest yourself in over others? I wouldn’t say that they are part of the same narrative, but I would say that they inhabit the same plain of existence. At this point, I feel more like a builder than a story teller. I do have my own ideas about what my characters do and what they are but that’s as far as it goes. I like to leave a lot of room for interpretation and leave it up to the audience to add their own narratives.
Now that you are older do you find that you have the same sort of fantasies that you had a as a child? In what ways does this bleed into your art work? I don’t feel like my fantasies have changed so much since I was a child. If anything, they’ve enriched themselves and my art now is an attempt at not letting those child fantasies disappear.
Are there any objects that you keep around that you frequently reflect on while creating your work? Well, strangely I have kept me wisdom teeth around for years. I don’t know why. It just felt wrong to dispose of them. Now, I’m happy I did because I have finally found a use for them! I made a shrine and used them in there as a relic. Generally, I like to surround myself with objects that I find pretty and speak to me. Everything I own is carefully picked out and has a reason and a place to be in my house.
How do you find your work differs when you are creating something for a client or even collaborations versus when it comes straight from your mind? Now do you find that you work more on a client-bases or do you create and have people respond to that illustration more? I try not to compromise my vision although of course I am more flexible when I work with clients. I try to pick and choose my contracts as much as I can and so far I’ve been lucky enough to work with very respectful and creative people.
What do you hope to do with your art work in the future? Where would you like to see it being used? In the near future, I would love to keep exploring different medias. Illustration and painting are really at the base of my practice but I want to transpose my universe into the real physical world. For instance, right now I’m learning ceramics and how to integrate my illustrations to them. I would also love to take part in more exhibitions. On the long term, the grand goal is to be able to construct a full encompassing high fantasy world.
Albums In Review C HARTS _________ TOP ALBUM RELEASES 1. Crack Up Fleet Foxes 2. 4:44 Jay-Z 3. Flower Boy Tyler, The Creator 4. Dunkirk OST Hans Zimmer 5. Howling, For the Night Shall Consume Integrity TOP SINGLE RELEASES 1. “Peace of Mind” PARTYNEXTDOOR 2. “Gummy” Brockhampton 3. “Vex”
4. “I Can Tell You About Pain” Converge 5. “Horror Show” ft. Danny Brown DJ Shadow
I loved Katy Perry’s hook on this song as well. If the point of this project is crafting incredible funky and catchy summer songs though, John Legend’s chorus on “Holiday” takes the cake for me. Snoop Dogg sounds so at home on this instrumental and those Migos once again surprised me with Takeoff’s short but sweet verse. It is rare that I want to skip a song based solely on the title, but after listening to 6.9 CALVIN HARRIS “Skrt On Me” featuring only Nicki Minaj, my instincts were confirmed. Although Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 it wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting, Columbia the track is just another lifeless dancehall 30.06.17 beat with some pretty offensive autotune throughout. I do not care much for the Earlier this year, Scottish DJ and ending of this record either; Jessie producer Calvin Harris announced that Reyez’ closer is just a notch above he was working with the “Greatest artists boring and I would’ve preferred “Faking of our generation” in anticipation for his It” if Kehlani had taken up the whole latest project Funk Wav Bounces Vol. track instead of relinquishing the bridge 1. While the track list for this album is to Lil Yachty. There is little room for error undeniably star-studded, I disagreed with on a ten-track album, and unfortunately a number of the artists he had picked there were more than a couple duds to hold such a title. Nevertheless, I was on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. This is not just because he picked some open to what Calvin and friends would completely trash artists for these songs bring to the table, seeing as the lead either, it’s because he didn’t spread out single “Slide” is undeniably one of my favorite summer singles to come out this the talent equally across these singles. I undeniably enjoy a solid amount of this year. Frank Ocean’s hook gets stuck project, and I’m definitely looking forward in my head daily, and I was pleasantly to Volume 2 while hoping the quality surprised at how well Migos fit into this of the songs and artists is a little more track. consistent the second time around. The accurately titled Funk Wav Bounces BEST TRACK: “Holiday (Feat. Snoop Vol. 1 is a collection of upbeat, groovy Dogg, John Legend & Takeoff)” and summery tracks that runs as a compilation of well-crafted singles. The WORST TRACK: “Skrt On Me (Feat. Nicki synth-funk instrumentation is refreshingly Minaj)” organic for Calvin Harris, and it is a lot of fun to see these featured artists come together to either make or break a track. “Cash Out” is the perfect example of an unorthodox group of features coming together to create a fantastic song. I typically only enjoy ScHoolboy Q on dark, gritty tracks but both of his verses on this funky instrumental were surprisingly smooth as butter. PARTYNEXTDOOR sounds great on the hook and I love D.R.A.M.’s lyrics to close out the song “Smoking on Hella 6.0 COLDPLAY trees, Broccoli and Collared Greens” - cleverly referencing both his and Kaleidoscope ScHoolboy Q’s past hit songs. Pharrell Williams makes two appearances on this Parlophone album; the somewhat underwhelming 14.07.17 single “Heatwave” and the undeniably infectious “Feels”. I much prefer his Coldplay is a British pop-rock outfit performance on the latter of the two that has been topping the charts for tracks and I was surprised at how much over fifteen years now. Despite their
critique about 13; its well performed, well produced and a well put together project. Denzel has surpassed the standard I once held him to and I sincerely hope there is a second album on the way because this EP did a fantastic job to whet my appetite.
subjective decline in quality, I find it impressive that the band has been able maintain a consistently significant amount of relevancy since the early 2000s. Kaleidoscope has a fitting name, as this EP seems to be all over the place in terms of style; we have some indie rock, hip-hop and even a live song on here! “All I Can Think About is You” kicks off this EP and I was blown away at how organic the song sounds – Coldplay are going back to their roots on this track and it sounds great. The instrumentation is built masterfully although the descending piano lines towards the end resemble their song “Clocks” a bit too much. I was excited about Kaleidoscope just because of “All I Can Think About Is You” and the possibility that maybe this release will be a triumphant return to form for Coldplay – nope. On the very next track we are treated with a rigid beat and sickeningly sweet motivational lyrics on “Miracles (Someone Special)”. Big Sean is the hilariously out of place cherry on top of this song, but I have to give the man credit for making the most of what he had to work with. The EP does little to win me over with the next song “A L I E N S”, which contains the most uninspired chorus on the record and a bizarre sample that is supposed to sound ‘extraterrestrial’ but actually sounds off time and out of place. “Something Just Like This (Tokyo Remix)” is the live song, whose recorded mix with the Chainsmokers I’m all too familiar with. I’m not crazy about the single but you really get a feel for the grandness of the song, particularly because you can hear the crowd going nuts every time the chorus drops. The ascending pianos on “Hypnotized” coupled with Chris Martin’s vocal performance make for a gorgeous closer, although at six and a half minutes it is a bit long-winded. I was surprised that I came out of this EP enjoying or at least tolerating as much as I did. Coldplay hasn’t put out a good album in many years and while some of the material on Kaleidoscope gave me a frustrating sense of hope, I’m certainly not holding my breath. BEST TRACK: “All I Can Think About Is You” WORST TRACK: “A L I E N S”
BEST TRACK: “Equalizer” WORST TRACK: “Heartless”
8.8 DENZEL CURRY 13
Loma Vista Recordings 25.06.17
Denzel Curry is a Florida rapper and one of the most deadly capable MC’s currently on the come up. His 2016 mixtape Imperial was one of the first projects I ever reviewed, and the tape has done nothing but grow on me since then. On these five new songs, Curry sounds even hungrier than he did on Imperial and consistently delivers sharp hooks, clever lyrics and cutthroat flows. The beats on 13 all have a similarly dark and noisy vibe, but they fit together well as a consistent atmosphere. The atmosphere seems to be mainly influenced by a lot of the aggressive, distorted, grimy trap music that has been so popular in the underground lately. Bloodshed has a great bassline, and I love how disorientating “Hate Government” becomes towards the end of the track. My one issue with the latter is that it’s too damn good to be that damn short – I would’ve loved another verse to really flesh the song out. “Equalizer” is the centerpiece of the EP and definitely the strongest hook on the project. Ronny J produced the track and sings on the second half, which is a welcome change from Denzel’s aggressive voice. Heartless sees Denzel effectively carrying a melody throughout the song – I think its awesome that he’s using this EP to try some new things and I hope he uses this style more in the future. The boom-bap influenced “Zeltron 6 Billion” is the final track and features another artist that I haven’t listened to until this project. Lil Ugly Mane’s verse reminds me of Ghostface Killah with regards to his tone and delivery, which fits perfectly with the vibe of the track and closes out the EP well. Overall I’m having trouble finding things to
Careless is the latest EP from Edmonton rock band Norell. The quintet is striking while the iron is hot, leaving little over a year between this EP and their debut album Overgrown. Careless hooked me right away with the opening track “Circles”. This is definitely one of the best songs I’ve heard from Norell up until this point, and vocalist Ty Elgie comes through with a fantastic chorus. I just love the energy the band delivers on this track, and the pre-chorus mini breakdowns are a lot of fun too. “Never Feel” is equally as energetic with its wild, frantic drum pattern on the chorus, and the intense screams at the end of the song undoubtedly makes for the most badass moment on the EP. I’ve been listening to Ty for years now and it is great that some of his most exciting performances have turned up on Careless. The gang vocals and hardrock riffs in “Wide Open” do come off as cheesy to me, but I believe this song would kill live with the right amount of crowd participation. “Apart” is the slow-burning final track on Careless, whose vocals and instrumentation build in intensity until the song’s explosive apex. While I think the track is quite beautiful, I wish the band gave it more of a solid ending rather than just a fade out. Overall I think this
EP is better than most of the material presented on Overgrown, but the band needs to change things up to make the songwriting a bit more interesting. With the exception of “Apart”, almost every song has three choruses, which is serious overkill. In the future, I hope Norell experiments with more unorthodox song structures and ideas, making for a more eclectic and refreshing sound on their next release BEST TRACK: “Circles” WORST TRACK: “Wide Open”
hilariously simple way that I can’t help but love it. This transition leads straight into my favorite song on the album, “Slow Death”. The 1-2 groove of this riff reminds me fondly of old System of a Down and it sounds fantastic on the grimy bass break. I think this record has a solid last quarter with the exception of “Move”. This track is by far the least energetic and interesting track on the whole record, and doesn’t leave Heatwave off on a high note. Regardless, I have been having a ton of fun with this record and I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys getting spin kicked in the ear. BEST TRACK: “Slow Death” WORST TRACK: “Move”
8.3 TRAPPED UNDER ICE Heatwave
Pop-Wig Records 21.07.17
Trapped Under Ice is a recently reformed hardcore punk outfit from Baltimore, Maryland. It has been six years since the band’s last record, and the reunited members seem to be carefully testing the waters with this new LP. Heatwave is an incredibly brief, but exhilarating album that is full of great energy and killer. This new record clocks in at just under fourteen minutes, and not a single one of the eleven tracks breaks the twominute mark. Initially I thought a lot of these songs would feel underwritten or unfinished, but Trapped Under Ice is excellent at packing tons of great ideas into one minute of music. I love the blistering guitar passages that trade off with the vocal hook on “XL”, as well as the down-tempo instrumental sections on the lead single “No Relief”, which makes for a strong and eclectic opening to the record. Heatwave has a very consistent sound, but it’s easy to tell that they are influenced by multiple styles of heavy music. I can hear serious Turnstile worship with the bouncy riffs on “Do It”, and possibly an old school Kirk Hammet influence in some of the wild guitar solos. The almost ten second hi hat transition at the end of “Oblivion” builds tension in such a
TYLER, THE CREATOR
Columbia / Odd Future 07.21.17
Flower Boy (Stylized as Scum Fuck Flower Boy) is the fourth and latest studio album from California rapper and Odd Future leader Tyler, The Creator. An immediate contrast is established with this title as Tyler is embracing the duality of his music and himself on this LP. The clunky, dark vibes from his previous efforts are significantly contrasted by the elegant arrangements presented on Flower Boy, and Tyler’s verses are much more personal and meaningful compared to the rowdy, offensive lyrics he typically delivers. This album’s title could also be interpreted as Tyler coming into his own and blossoming as an artist, as Flower Boy is a clear display of evolution and maturity on all musical fronts. Tyler handles all of the production on Flower Boy and keeps the instrumentation consistently smooth, jazzy and colorful. I love the lush guitar chords that glide over the ¾ groove of “Garden Shed”. Estelle’s singing carries most of this stunning track until the last minute of the song, where Tyler drops a jaw dropping and revealing
verse about his sexuality. This track flows seamlessly into the beautiful “Boredom”, whose sung hook by Rex Orange County is consistently stuck in my head. There is so much gorgeous singing all over this record, and I love that Tyler’s contributions aren’t awkward, but smooth and catchy. His sung hook on “See You Again” is also a highlight for me, and I love the horn embellishments and wild sub bass laced throughout. The lyrics on this album are definitely some of Tyler’s most clever and personal I’ve heard from him. I like that he still isn’t afraid to piss people off; “Seven figure conversations with Converse finalized ‘cause Vans fucked up!” he just seems a little more elegant about it this time around. Cars and other materialistic items are mention a lot more on this album, which he references in “911/Mr. Lonely”; “I know you sick of me talkin’ ‘bout cars, but what the fuck else do you want from me? That’s the only thing keeping me company”. This also justifies the tiny, expensive car in the background of the album cover. This is easily Tyler’s gentlest and dreamiest album yet, but that’s not to say there are no bangers; the lead single “Who Dat Boy” is an incredibly hard-hitting track with a masterfully tense introduction. Tyler throws some great left hooks when it comes to the production as well. The rambunctious “I Ain’t Got Time!” and icy “November” both have fantastic and unexpected breakdowns halfway through their runtimes, and songs like “Where This Flower Blooms” have lovely instrumental outros to close out the track. While I enjoy how uniquely ‘Tyler’ the instrumental is on “Pothole”, Jaden Smith’s hook sounds pretty off time to me. I also don’t think Tyler entirely sticks the landing with Flower Boy; the instrumental outro is fine send-off but it leaves “Glitter”, arguably the weakest track on the record, as the final goodbye. I think it is no coincidence that Tyler’s best album also happens to be his shortest. His previous projects got so bogged down with filler that they were tough to get through, but I suppose this album avoids that by having the low point at the very end. I have never enjoyed a Tyler, The Creator album until this point, and I didn’t think Tyler was capable of an album this fantastic. His performances and production are miles ahead of any of his previous projects, and so much of Flower Boy sticks with me even when I’m not listening to it. BEST TRACK: “I Ain’t Got Time!” WORST TRACK: “Glitter”
on Summertime’ 06 but this time around I only liked her swagger-heavy appearance on “Love Can Be…”
7.6 VINCE STAPLES Fish Theory
Def Jam Recordings 23.06.17
Vince Staples is a California rapper who I’ve been following since the release of his debut album Summertime ’06 in 2015. I enjoyed the dark and gritty vibe this album presented, but the overwhelming amount of filler tracks made it an arduous listen cover-tocover. Two years and a decent EP later, we now have Big Fish Theory; a significant improvement on the flaws of Summertime ‘06 as well as a new stylistic direction for Vince.
I really appreciate that Vince Staples gave us a leaner and more focused project, but I wish it closed out on a stronger note. Ty Dolla Sign’s hook on “Rain Come Down” is decent, but frustratingly repetitive considering it is by far the longest song on the album. Big Fish Theory is a clear improvement and departure from Summertime’06, but there is still an issue with pacing and unnecessary songs. BEST TRACK: “Big Fish” WORST TRACK: “Alyssa Interlude”
This change in sound was definitely reflected in the singles Vince dropped leading up to this album’s release. “Big Fish” is a fantastic track with a bouncy, ascending bass line and a sticky hook from Juicy J. Vince drops some clever nautical themed bars, “Swimming upstream while I’m trying to keep my bread from the sharks, make me wanna put the hammer to my head” and delivers two very memorable verses. The other hard-hitting single is “BagBak”, whose fast tempo and heavy influence from electronic and dance music resembles most of the material on Big Fish Theory. There are still a few down-tempo tracks on this album however; “745” is more of a traditional nocturnal hip-hop song with a nimble synth bass line as well as the noisy and lumbering “Samo”. The insane sub bass on the bombastic “Yeah Right” made it an instant highlight for me, not to mention Kendrick’s destructive verse to close out the track. My one issue with this song is Kučka’s appearance, which feels incredibly out of place and kills the momentum of the track. I could say the same thing about the low-key “Alyssa Interlude”, whose placement is unnecessarily early in the album and really brings down the energy that was built so well on the previous track. Kilo Kish is also hit and miss on Big Fish Theory, I enjoyed her appearances
FLESH & BONE in the pursuit of artistic passion
Flesh & Bone is an art magazine both online as well as print-on-demand. While we have our bi-monthly publication here we also have a website...
Published on Aug 10, 2017
Flesh & Bone is an art magazine both online as well as print-on-demand. While we have our bi-monthly publication here we also have a website...