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    Artist Spotlight: Ekko Astral

    Credit: John Lee

    Jael Holzman formed Ekko Astral in 2021 with her best friend, guitarist Liam Hughes, and the band eventually expanded to include drummer Miri Tyler, bassist Guinevere Tully, and guitarist Sam Elmore. Dubbing their style – an uncompromising mix of hardcore, noise punk, and no-wave – “mascara mosh pit” music, the Washington, DC-based outfit dropped their debut EP QUARTZ, featuring the singles ‘TRANSDEMIC, BABY’ and ‘EAT OFF MY CHEST (WHILE I STARE AT THE CAMERA)’, in October 2022. This week, they released their debut album, pink balloons, which was produced by Pure Adult’s Jeremy Snyder, via Topshelf. Clocking in at just over half an hour, the record is by turns galvanizing, raucous, and uneasy, but never totally dispiriting – confronting a world of suffering and disillusionment not only by pointing to it, but ceaselessly invoking and subverting what it feels like to inhabit it. As hyper-referential as they are exacting, Holzman’s lyrics are also as riveting as the music that drives them forward. “I can see you shifting in your seat,” she intones at the very beginning, but Ekko Astral ensure you remain strapped in.

    We caught up with Ekko Astral’s Jael Holzman for the latest edition of our Artist Spotlight series to talk about her songwriting approach, lyrical references, the goal of Ekko Astral, and more.

    What’s your headspace like with the release of pink balloons? Do you feel about it differently than you did a couple of days ago?

    We spent a lot of time building Ekko Astral. pink balloons itself is a record that has a lot of me in it, a lot of us in it. I got this question after the record came out of, “Is the voice on that record you, or is it some sort of character?” And I was like, “Well, actually, the character on pink balloons is a far more authentic me than  the me that people   probably see every day in my working life.” So it feels like a relief, an exhale; after a long time, it feels like I’m actually able to express myself through this record being out in a way that I personally have never been able to before. And seeing the reception so far has been a tearjerker of an experience.  I couldn’t imagine it resonating with so many people, and I can’t wait for it to help so many people and change people’s lives. I feel that in my bones.

    Before going into the album itself, how has your own sense of purpose or awareness as a writer evolved since starting Ekko Astral?

    My approach to writing is “show, don’t tell.” I also am a journalist, and I believe in not telling people how to feel. The evolution of Ekko has from the beginning been about consistently telling people how we feel as humans existing – I know it’s a cliche term, but in a society. The focus from a writer’s perspective, what I try and do as a writer, is bring people into a world that is shaped by my own experiences, but is profoundly universal and empathetic to people of all experiences, narratives, and scenes. There’s this band I love from New York, their name is Big Girl. The lead singer, Kait Pelkey, is a friend of mine and likes to describe their songs as scenes, like each song is a one-act play. I like to think about what we do on pink balloons as a similar endeavor. These songs are one-act plays. They are moments in time, sure – I mean, we experience music as a kind of temporal shift, but in that, you have the capacity to access the deepest stretches of who someone is.

    There’s this book that I recommend to anyone every time I’m doing an interview called This Is Your Brain on Music. It’s written by a neuroscientist, so it goes through, in a scientific sense, why music is this incredibly potent human communication device. There’s nothing else that humans really do that is seen replicated in other species. Music is a deeply human thing; we don’t see anything else on Earth do it, at least not that we know. I feel like I’ve leaned into that purpose as much as possible, and I continue to lean into that. That’s what Ekko is all about: finding a way to communicate to people through song, as many people as possible. Because we need that right now. Nobody’s listening to each other.

    Whenever we talk about experimental or hardcore music of any kind, we often start with this caveat that it’s not for everyone. But you’ve made it clear, with this and in other interviews, that Ekko Astral is very much intended for everyone. When making a song or constructing these scenes, are you ever conscious of there being a clash between those things – the intended universality of the music and the style or the language in which it’s presented? Do they ever feel at odds?

    There’s beauty in contrast and in conflict. The goal is not to be everything for everyone at Ekko Headquarters. pink ballons is beautiful, to me at least, because it accurately represents something trying to make people uncomfortable. When the end goal is trying to make people uncomfortable and still want them to come back and feel that way again and again and again – maybe you’re not for everyone in the eyes of all, but in my opinion, the communication is for everyone. We’re putting this signal out and saying, “Let’s try and reach as many people as possible with this unfortunate truth.” And sure, there’s tension there, and you can hear it in the tunes. It’s there in the lyrics even, in the words I choose. But that’s the whole point of it. The whole world is in conflict right now, so why should our music not? Why should the music that’s for everyone not also represent that? I think we’re all getting kind of bored by the same things, right?

    I don’t want to pick out too many individual references and decontextualize them, but I feel like the first one that jumps out – “Is it Bon Eye-ver or Bon Iver” – is indicative of their  role within the album; they can be overwhelming and almost distracting, just as they can be when you encounter them in real life or online. It’s part of the dissonance rather than always directing you to the point of the song.

    Every word that I pick is intentional. I am a formalist. I have an English degree from the University of Vermont, frankly one of the best Liberal Arts institutions in the United States. It’s also where Liam Hughes, the lead guitarist who founded the band with me, and I met. I convinced him to be an English major, and he and I both learned how to write together. We both have a deep appreciation for writers who pick their words wisely. A few influences of mine from an authorial perspective – not songwriters, but just novelists – are Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison. My favorite book is Sula by Toni Morrison, her second novel. What I love about their work, in particular, is you could probably teach a whole seminar on one chapter from one of their great books, because you could pick apart the differences in contrast between each individual word; there’s even beauty in the space between words.

    So, how does that relate to Ekko’s pink balloons? You are correct that each reference is very, very intentional. But in that way, you’re picking up on – and I appreciate that people are noticing this – that these references do not exist to be coy or fucking funny. I’m not making pop culture references to grab a Google headline. The truth is that all of these characters are being sold to people to distract them from the violence and horror in their lives. Like, what the fuck is this Taylor Swift album? What the fuck is this Beyoncé album? Why are these the things that large companies are feeding people at a time of mass disillusionment and feelings of doom about the world? Not just the country, but the world. A lot of people are in a lot of pain right now, especially after the global pandemic began. We have been in a difficult place as a world, but we’re being served slop. So, instead of telling people that very direct statement, which is about as didactic and frustrating as you can be, what I try and do through lyric is give people the feeling, show it to them directly. Here’s a pop culture reference, and, by the way, I have stalkers outside.

    The first lyric of ‘head empty blues’, “Bubblegum vodka/ I will carry a knife/ It’s my right/ Won’t cost ya,” is a reference to a story that a close friend of mine told me. Actually, it was our merch guy, Henry Carlson; after we first met in fall of 2022, he told me the story of a trans friend of his who had a nervous breakdown one night when they were younger and had a knife, just popped out a knife and was freaking out because they felt too uncomfortable and horrified by how difficult it had been to simply exist with all of their non-trans friends. And, like, how do you expand upon that? Well, there are a lot of people who feel marginalized right now who feel the same way. There’s a problem on the horizon all of the time; you’re being followed around in stores, you’re getting harassed online, you have people harassing you, assaulting you in all kinds of ways, in real life and outside. And if you take that and you put it next to Carly Rae Jepsen with a broadsword, you get Ekko Astral. [laughs]

    The La Dispute reference on ‘somewhere at the bottom of the river between l’enfant and eastern market’ feels different in that provides a musical template more than an opportunity for wordplay, and it creates a lot of space that comes into contrast with the songs around it. What inspired you to pull from that at the center of the album?

    The goal has always been disruption. We all loved the idea of giving you incredible bangers, and then suddenly, completely tossing you off-kilter, because that’s the way things are now. That’s it, plain and simple. I’ve been posting about this the last day – the author of the poem [Ari Drennen] at the beginning of that track you’re referencing has also been posting about it, I would recommend you read what she’s been writing. The whole concept that pink balloons is wrapped in is the inevitability of the popping of the balloons. I mean, what is a balloon? It’s air inside of material that ultimately does rupture, no matter what; you leave a balloon alone in a room, and it pops eventually. I love that idea of a cheap pink balloon. So, in the middle of the record, we kind of pop it for you. And then we go to ‘make me young’ and we contemplate the Real of it all – the Lacanian Real. I am not one to let a mystery lie unless it’s intentional. [laughs] Which is true, there are some mysteries on this record that I’m gonna let just sit. But I also think that the stories behind the songs are pretty powerful.

    Did ‘make me young’ and its reflection on mortality grow out of the previous song?

    ‘make me young’ is written by Guinevere, our bassist. She showed me that song when we were still putting together the record, and it affected me because it’s so earnest and honest. The truth is that we’re all gonna die; that’s one of the simplest, broadest human qualities, that things end for all of us. Once again, we’re trying to put the signal out into the universe and have people understand the lives of others that they previously didn’t. It’s about empathy. And what can someone empathize more with than the fact that there’s an end to everything?

    With the album being out, has anything new come to light that has changed your perception of it?

    Are you familiar with the internet conspiracy theory that The Simpsons predicted 9/11? So, when we made this record, we all intentionally sat down before we went to the studio and thought, “What is the thing that we want to accomplish with this record? We know it’s gonna come out in a year, what is the thing that we want to make that makes the world a better place when it comes out?” And part of that genuinely involved predicting what the world would be in about a year, which I don’t think enough artists do, candidly. [laughs] It would probably help people with being more relevant with the times and with the culture in terms of its needs. But anyway, there happened to be a lot of coincidental predictions about this record, some funny and some very sad, that we that we coincidentally wound up predicting in this record. A funny one, I guess, is that a ton of people would just voraciously consume Beyoncé liberal bait; that Beyoncé would come out with more stuff that would placate to, like, people who just want to go to brunch. [laughs]

    But we have an interlude on this track called ‘burning alive on k street’, and the protest by Aaron Bushnell – I mean, when that happened, the self-immolation, I genuinely was so disturbed by the fact that we had that interlude on our record. It wasn’t a reference to this person, and I’ve been asked many times, “Was this an Aaron Bushnell reference?” It was not, we put that there because I was genuinely predicting people would self-immolate in DC. People had self-immolated before in DC, there’s a history of self-immolation as protest. But I have been and will continue to be deeply disquieted by the culture of forgetfulness and of a lack of intellectual curiosity that I find sometimes in the city, amongst some of my peers. So I was just imagining you this thing, it has actually bothered me quite a bit that we put that on that record. I didn’t want to change it because now it’s there and people connect with it. But it definitely freaked me out.

    Is there anything else you’d like to mention or add?

    Jeremy Snyder, our producer, deserves as much praise as humanly possible.  We wrote these songs, and they’re beautiful, but Jeremy not only built the soundscape of this record, he also wrote multiple interludes and the entire instrumental in the middle of the record, with the poem and the recording of my grandfather and I. Jeremy is the most underrated musical producer in the United States, he should be producing the biggest rock bands in the world.  This man is a legend in the making. I feel honored to have been able to work with him and to continue to work with him. I don’t want to work with anyone else right now. [laughs] I’d take offers, but it would be hard to take me away from my communist wizard. I love that man to death. Jeremy heavily influenced our work through both his own music with Pure Adult as well as his influences. Jeremy is a student of modern no-wave, of modern noise rock; he and I have a similar taste and a similar vocabulary terms of what we like in our rock music, so he and I could just reference things and build things without really having to explain it to one another.  We were so in sync and so on the same page that it it just fell like the time that we spent together was this revolutionary experience. I will never forget the days that we spend talking about the world and drinking too much wine in North Carolina, making pink balloons, ever.

    This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

    Ekko Astral’s pink balloons is out now via Topshelf Records.

    Into It. Over It. Announce New Album, Share New Song ‘Bandelier’

    Into It. Over It. Credit: Sam Porter

    Into It. Over It. have announced a new album, Interesting Decisions: Into It. Over It. Songs (2020 – 2023). Due for release on May 3 via Storm Chasers LTD/Big Scary Monsters, the LP collects songs they’ve released on splits or one-off releases, along with three brand new songs, one of which, ‘Bandelier’, is out today. Check it out below.

    ’’Bandelier’ is about visiting Bandelier National State Park in New Mexico. “You can hike through an ancient lost civilization,” Evan Weiss explained in a statement. “You can crawl into the rocks which were formerly people’s homes. Spaces carved through wind and water, surviving through thousands of years, which housed the indigenous people native to the land. It’s beautiful. You can also feel a presence everywhere you walk and explore. We started the new year here shortly after buying our own home. I was thinking about what kind of people will walk through our home after we’re long gone. What will they think of us? Will they feel our presence? Time keeps on slipping.”

    Discussing the new album, Weiss said:

    Coming off the writing and releasing of Figure, Adam and I were able to solidify the current lineup of IIOI – Myself, Adam, Joe George and Matt Frank. The chemistry, trust and creativity had never been so natural or positive in any lineup throughout the years. I felt this was the best time to see how the creative process would work with a group as opposed to just myself and a drummer. We began writing songs – pulling from ideas and fragments that were jotted down during the Figure writing sessions. One song became two. Two became four. Eventually our process had become dialed in.”

    While Adam and I had already defined our creative relationship with IIOI, Matt and Joe really bring a style and perspective to the music which had never existed previously with IIOI writing. You can hear how much fun we are having on these recordings. You can hear each of us bringing our taste to the songs. You can hear all of us experimenting. Trying ideas. Being ourselves. At this point in the lifespan of IIOI I can think of nothing more joyful creatively than being our purest selves while continuing to push ourselves as writers and musicians.

    Interesting Decisions: Into It. Over It. Songs (2020 – 2023) Cover Artwork:

    Interesting Decisions: Into It. Over It. Songs (2020 – 2023) Tracklist:

    1. A Trip Around The Sun
    2. My Goddamn Subconscious
    3. The Focus. The Compass. The Contract In Hand.
    4. Akron, OH
    5. The Car’s Still Running Out Front
    6. Home Is The Gift
    7. New Addictions
    8. The Designated Place At The Designated Time
    9. Miyajima, JP
    10. The Captain Setting Course From Where We Met
    11. Bandelier

    David Byrne Covers Paramore’s ‘Hard Times’

    David Byrne. Credit: Jody Rogac

    David Byrne has shared a cover of Paramore’s ‘Hard Times’, the lead single from the band’s 2017 album After Laughter. It arrives just over a month after Paramore offered their take on Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down the House’ for the A24 compilation Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense. Both covers will feature on an exclusive 12″ set for release on Record Store Day, April 20. Take a listen below.

    “The band told me that their song ‘Hard Times’ was inspired by Talking Heads, so I learned it and recorded my version of their great song with a horn section,” Byrne wrote on social media. “This was fun!”


    Kings of Leon Release New Song ‘Nothing to Do’

    Kings of Leon. Credit: Matthew Followill

    Kings of Leon have released a new single, ‘Nothing to Do’, the latest preview of their forthcoming album Can We Please Have Fun. Following the previously shared ‘Mustang’ and ‘Split Screen’, the track arrives with an accompanying video shot by the band’s Caleb Followill. Check it out below.

    Can We Please Have Fun is due for release on May 10 via Capitol.

    Guide to finding the best hookah shop

    Trying to find the best hookah shop can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to the world of hookah. There are so many different hookah lounges and bars out there, each with their own unique vibe, selection of flavors, and overall experience. It can feel a little overwhelming trying to figure out which one is the perfect fit for you.

    But don’t worry, this handy guide is here to help! We’ll walk you through all the key steps to finding the absolute best hookah spot that matches your personal preferences and style. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be an expert at navigating the hookah scene and uncovering the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy this centuries-old tradition.

    Understanding Your Hookah Preferences

    The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’re looking for in a hookah smoke shop. Do you want a cozy, relaxing vibe, or do you prefer a more lively, social atmosphere? Are you excited to try lots of different hookah tobacco flavors, or do you have a few favorites that you always go back to? Do you want a place that also has food, drinks, or other fun activities?

    Knowing what you like will help you narrow down your search and find the perfect hookah spot. But also be open to trying new things – you might discover a whole new side of hookah that you end up loving!

    Exploring the Local Hookah Scene

    Now that you’ve got a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a hookah shop, it’s time to start exploring the different options in your local area. This is an important step, because it’s going to give you a good first impression of what each place is like.

    The first thing you should do is hop online and start researching. Read through reviews of the various hookah lounges and bars in your city. Check out their social media pages too, to get a feel for the vibe and atmosphere. See what kind of feedback and comments people are leaving – this can give you a really helpful glimpse into the kind of experience you can expect.

    In addition to doing your own online research, don’t forget to ask around and get recommendations from people you know. Talk to your friends, coworkers, or any other hookah enthusiasts in your life. They might be able to point you towards a hidden gem of a hookah spot that you never would have found on your own.

    Personal recommendations can be incredibly valuable, because you’re getting insights straight from people who have actually been to these places and know what they’re like. Your friends will be able to give you the inside scoop on things like the staff, the selection of tobacco flavors, the overall ambiance, and more.

    By combining your own online sleuthing with the wisdom and experiences of people in your life, you’ll start to build a really clear picture of the local hookah scene. This will make it so much easier to identify the specific places that seem to match what you’re looking for, and will set you up for success when it comes time to actually visit them in person.

    So don’t be afraid to get a little investigative! Exploring the hookah options in your area, both online and through personal connections, is a crucial step in finding that perfect spot where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy this centuries-old tradition.

    Visiting Potential Hookah Shops

    When you’ve got a few places in mind, it’s time to go check them out in person. As soon as you walk through the doors, pay attention to the overall vibe and decor – does it feel cozy and welcoming, or a bit like a tourist trap? Watch how the staff prepares the hookah too, to see if they really know what they’re doing.

    Don’t be afraid to ask the employees lots of questions as well. A great hookah shop will have staff who are passionate about hookah and happy to share their expertise with you.

    Key Things to Look For

    Here are some of the most important things to keep an eye out for when visiting potential hookah spots:

    – Cleanliness and organization of the space

    – Friendliness and helpfulness of the staff

    – Wide variety of hookah tobacco flavors

    – Proper technique in preparing the hookah

    – Comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.

    Savoring the Hookah Experience

    Once you’ve found your perfect hookah shop, it’s time to sit back, relax, and really savor the experience. Pay attention to the flavor of the tobacco, how well the hookah works, and whether the whole experience leaves you feeling calm and refreshed.

    Don’t be afraid to try new things either! Exploring different flavors and styles of hookah is all part of the fun.

    Building Relationships with Hookah Shops

    If you really love a particular hookah spot, consider becoming a regular customer. The staff will get to know you and may even offer special perks or exclusive information that regular customers get. It’s a great way to deepen your hookah experience.


    Finding your favorite hookah shop is just the beginning! Once you’ve discovered your go-to spot, embrace the whole hookah lifestyle. Introduce your friends to the joys of hookah, host themed parties, or even plan a hookah-focused vacation.

    Hookah is about so much more than just smoking – it’s a cultural tradition and a way to connect with others. Approach it with an open mind and a sense of adventure, and you’ll be a hookah expert in no time!

    So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your quest to find the perfect hookah spot for you!

    Albums Out Today: Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam, Cloud Nothings, claire rousay, and More

    In this segment, we showcase the most notable albums out each week. Here are the albums out on April 19, 2024:

    Taylor Swift, The Tortured Poets Department

    Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department has arrived. Produced by her frequent collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the 17-track album features guest appearances from Post Malone and Florence + the Machine. “An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time – one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure,” Swift wrote. “This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.” Just two hours after its release, Swift dropped Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, featuring 15 additional tracks.

    Pearl Jam, Dark Matter

    Pearl Jam have released their 12th album, Dark Matter, via Monkeywrench Records. The follow-up to 2020’s Gigaton was recorded over three weeks at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studios in Malibu. It was produced by Andrew Watt, the young super-produced who worked on Eddie Vedder’s 2022 solo album Earthling. “When we were in the studio with him this past year, he really kicked our asses, got us focused and playing, song after song. It took a long time to make Gigaton, but this new one didn’t take long,” guitarist Mike McCready said in an interview with Classic Rock. “Andrew was like: ‘You guys take forever to make records. Let’s do this, right now.’” Read our review of Dark Matter.

    Cloud Nothings, Final Summer

    Cloud Nothings have dropped their latest LP, Final Summer, via Pure Noise Records. The follow-up to 2021’s The Shadow I Remember was previewed by the title track, ‘Running Through the Campus’, ‘I’d Get Along’, and ‘Silence’. It was recorded with Jeff Zeigler, mixed by illuminati hotties’ Sarah Tudzin, and mastered by Jack Callahan. In a statement about the title track, bandleader Dylan Baldi said: “Cloud Nothings has been around for 14 years now, and we wouldn’t have been able to power through the many ups and downs of those years without taking the chorus of ‘Final Summer’ to heart: I have some thoughts, I have some dreams, but I need to be happy with what I’ve got for me.” Read our review of Final Summer.

    claire rousay, sentiment

    claire rousay has issued a new LP, sentiment, her first full-length release for Thrill Jockey. It features contributions from Hand Habits and Lala Lala, as well as the previously unveiled singles ‘head’, ‘ily2’, and ‘lover’s spit plays in the background’. “I have been on a quest to communicate my feelings and ideas as clearly as possible lately,” rousay shared in a statement. “Pop seemed like the way to do that this time.”

    Lucy Rose, This Ain’t The Way You Go Out

    Lucy Rose has released her fifth album, This Ain’t The Way You Go Out, via Communion Records. After welcoming her first child, Otis, in 2021, the singer-songwriter was diagnosed with rare pregnancy-induced osteoporosis and eight fractured vertebrae. “None of the doctors could guarantee I would have the life I used to have back, nor whether my back would heal,” Rose said. “Nobody knew anything, really. Everywhere I looked I saw mothers taking care of their babies and I felt so embarrassed and ashamed to be so weak and broken for mine.” With the help of some hydrotherapy sessions, she eventually was able to “live a life I didn’t think was possible anymore.” She added that “when I sat down at the piano, it’s like music knew that I didn’t have it in me to go deep and dark this time. The escapism I needed was to feel uplifted and reinvigorated, and to feel hope rather than despair.”

    Pillow Queens, Name Your Sorrow

    Pillow Queens have dropped their third album, Name Your Sorrow, via Royal Mountain. The follow-up to 2022’s Leave the Light On includes the advance tracks ‘Suffer’‘Gone’, ‘Like a Lesson’, and ‘Heavy Pour’. The record was produced by Collin Pastore (Lucy Dacus, boygenius) at Analogue Catalogue in Northern Ireland. “It is about stages of love, loss and grief and how they can all exist alongside one another–intertwined, messy, beautiful–how both love and loss can coexist,” vocalist Cathy McGuinness explained in a press release.

    BIG|BRAVE, A Chaos of Flowers

    BIG|BRAVE have put out a new album titled A Chaos of Flowers via Thrill Jockey. Following up last year’s nature more, the 8-track LP was preceded by the singles ‘i felt a funeral’ and ‘canon : in canon’. According to a press release, the album combines “elements of traditional folk techniques and a modern deconstruction of guitar music” while exploring “how marginalizations manifest internally and externally, the inner struggles of isolation, and co-existence in nature.”

    T Bone Burnett, The Other Side

    T Bone Burnett’s first solo album in 18 years, The Other Side, is out now via Verve Forecast. It features collaborations with Weyes Blood, Lucius, Rosanne Cash, and Steven Soles. Burnett co-produced the record with Colin Linden and Mike Piersante, and wrote most of its songs after purchasing a few new guitars. “Every time I picked one up, a song would pour out of it,” he explained. “There were all these songs in these guitars. And they just came out over a three-week period.”

    Blunt Chunks, The Butterfly Myth

    Blunt Chunks – the project of Toronto artist Caitlin Woelfle-O’Brien – has unveiled her debut LP, The Butterfly Myth, through Telephone Explosion. Recorded at David Plowman’s Patchwork Sound and co-produced by Nathan Burley, the album features her bandmates Duncan Hood and Nick Nausbaum (Jaunt), as well as contributions from Ed Squires, Karen Ng, Diego Gaeta, Quinn Bates, J Valerione, and members of Bernice, Mother Tongues, and Queer Songbook Orchestra. “Getting together with people to create something is that much more special because, as you get older, you know what it’s like to be home alone, to be a little lost and isolated, wondering where your friends are,” Woelfle-O’Brien commented. “To have so many people lift me up when I can’t lift myself up is a really beautiful part of the Blunt Chunks project.”

    Cadence Weapon, ROLLERCOASTER

    ROLLERCOASTER is the sixth LP by Rollie Pemberton, the Canadian rapper, producer, and author who records as Cadence Weapon. Following his 2021 Polaris Prize-winning record Parallel World, the album features contributions from Bartees Strange, Jacques Greene, Machinedrum, Cecile Believe, Martyn Bootyspoon, Loraine James, Taydex, Wesley Singerman, myst milano, and Harrison. “I was observing parallels between the fraudulence of certain institutions and the fake news of the internet,” Pemberton explained. “With bots and people being willfully false for profit, the internet has led to a total obfuscation of reality.”

    SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Coup de Grâce

    San Diego post-hardcore outfit SeeYouSpaceCowboy have come out with a new album, Coup de Gráce, via Pure Noise Records. The 12-track LP was previewed by the tracks Respite for a Tragic Tale’, ‘Silhouettes in Motion’, ‘Rhythm and Rapture’, ‘Chewing the Scenery’, ‘To the Dance Floor for Shelter’, and ‘Red Wine and Discontent’. “This album was a chance for us to refine some of the melodic elements we had recently introduced to the band while also playing around with all things and bringing back reinvented version of past parts of our identity,” frontwoman Connie Sgarbossa reflected. “The hope is that we made something that mixes the innate emotion of post-hardcore with the cathartic essence of dancing and allure of cabaret/burlesque in a package reflecting the tale of a city on fire and it’s all to tragic individuals and their indulgence and woes.”

    Local Natives, But I’ll Wait for You

    Local Natives have followed up 2023’s Time Will Wait For No One with their sixth LP, But I’ll Wait for You. “But I’ll Wait For You is the companion piece to our 2023 release Time Will Wait For No One,” the band explained in a press release. “Maybe not an answer to a question but an exhale to an inhale. There is so little that’s in our control but among all this chaos, we can choose to be there for each other.” The album was produced by John Congleton, Michael Harris, and Danny Reisch.

    Other albums out today:

    Melvins, Tarantula Heart; bbymutha, sleep paralysis; Couch Slut, You Could Do It Tonight; Mahogany L. Browne & Sean Mason, Chrome Valley; Chanel Beads, Your Day Will Come; Cavalier, Different Type Time; High on Fire, Cometh the Storm; A Certain Ratio, It All Comes Down to This; Infinite River, Tabula Rasa; Tei Shi, Valerie.

    How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Murrieta’s Summer Heat?

    Crafting a comprehensive article on getting your garage door repair in Murrieta, California for the summer heat, requires a blend of general advice on dealing with heat and specific considerations for the local climate. Murrieta experiences hot summers, with temperatures often rising above 90°F, making it crucial to ensure your garage door is adequately prepared to handle the heat, thereby protecting your garage’s interior and its contents. Here’s how you can prepare your garage door for Murrieta’s summer heat:

    How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Murrieta’s Summer Heat


    As summer approaches in Murrieta, CA, with its soaring temperatures and intense sunlight, it’s essential to prepare your home to withstand the heat. Your garage door, the large, often under-considered facade of your home, plays a crucial role in heat management during these hot months. Proper preparation can help reduce indoor temperatures, protect stored items, and even save on energy costs. Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting your garage door repaired in Murrieta:

    Inspect and Maintain the Garage Door

    • Inspection: Start with a thorough inspection of your garage door. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, gaps, or misalignment. These issues can compromise the door’s insulation, allowing heat to enter more easily.
    • Maintenance: Perform any necessary maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts, tightening bolts and screws, and replacing worn-out seals or weather stripping. A well-maintained door improves efficiency and insulation.

    Upgrade Insulation

    • Materials: Consider upgrading your garage door’s insulation, especially if it’s an older model. Insulation kits are available, or you can opt for a professional upgrade to a higher R-value material, which indicates better insulating properties.
    • Benefits: Improved insulation keeps your garage cooler, protects stored items from heat damage, and can reduce energy costs if your garage is attached to your home.

    Install a Reflective Barrier

    • Reflective Panels: Installing reflective panels or a radiant barrier on the inside of your garage door can significantly reduce heat transfer. These materials reflect the sun’s rays, keeping the garage interior cooler.
    • DIY Installation: Many reflective barriers are designed for easy DIY installation, making this a cost-effective way to improve your garage’s resistance to heat.

    Enhance Ventilation

    • Vent Installation: Consider installing vents or an exhaust fan in your garage to improve airflow. This helps in removing hot air and reducing the overall temperature inside the garage.
    • Natural Ventilation: If possible, create cross-ventilation by opening windows or doors in the garage, but ensure they are secure and screened to prevent unwanted pests.

    Protect the Garage Door from Direct Sunlight

    • Sunshade or Awning: Installing a sunshade or an awning over your garage door can provide shade, reducing the amount of direct sunlight hitting the door and thereby lowering the temperature inside.
    • Landscaping: Planting trees or tall shrubs can also provide natural shade to the garage area, offering a long-term solution to heat reduction.

    Regularly Check the Door’s Balance

    • Balance Test: Periodically check the balance of your garage door. An unbalanced door can strain the opener and reduce its efficiency, leading to potential overheating issues.
    • Professional Assistance: If you’re unsure about how to check the balance, consider hiring a professional to perform a check-up. This ensures your door operates smoothly and efficiently.


    Getting your garage door repaired in Murrieta for the summer heat is an essential step in protecting your garage’s interior, extending the life of the door, and improving your home’s energy efficiency. By following these steps, you can ensure your garage door is well-equipped to handle the summer heat, providing a cooler, more comfortable environment for your home.

    By taking proactive measures to maintain and upgrade your garage door, you’re investing in the longevity of your home and the comfort of its occupants. Get your garage door repaired in Murrieta to get ready for summer and enjoy a cooler, more efficient garage space.

    Taylor Swift Adds 15 Tracks to ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ With ‘The Anthology’

    Taylor Swift. Credit: Beth Garrabrant

    Two hours after the release of The Tortured Poets Department, Taylor Swift has dropped an expanded edition of the album featuring 15 extra songs. “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. ✌️,” Swift wrote online. “I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.” Listen to The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology below.

    Produced by her frequent collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the original 17-track features guest spots from Post Malone and Florence + the Machine. Four of the bonus tracks – ‘The Manuscript’, ‘The Bolter’, ‘The Albatross’, ‘The Black Dog’ – also correspond to different vinyl variants Swift announced ahead of the release.


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    Taylor Swift Releases New Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’: Stream

    Taylor Swift. Credit: Beth Garrabrant

    Taylor Swift has released her eleventh album, The Tortured Poets Department. The pop star announced follow-up to 2022’s Midnights while accepting her 13th Grammy. Produced by her frequent collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the 17-track LP features Post Malone on the opening track, ‘Fortnight’, and Florence + the Machine on ‘Florida!!!’. Stream it below.

    A music video for ‘Fortnight’ is set to premiere at 8 pm EST on Friday, April 19. “I’ve been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever,” Swift wrote on social media. “I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we worked together on Fortnight.”

    Introducing the album, she said:

    An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time – one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure. This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.

    And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.

    Spiritual Cramp Enlist White Reaper for New Song ‘Whatever You Say Man’

    Spiritual Cramp. Credit: Kevin Allen

    Spiritual Cramp and White Reaper have announced a new split-7″ that will be released on May 17 via Blue Grape Music. Today, we get to hear Spiritual Cramp’s ‘Say Whatever You Mean’, which features White Reaper. Check it out below.

    “This is a funny song for me,” Spiritual Cramp’s Mike Bingham said in a statement. “I feel like I should start this blurb off with the disclaimer that I am not usually a depressed person. But, sometimes on a day where I start writing lyrics for a song, I am. Some days I wake up and I look around at all the beauty of the world and I’m moved to tears and overwhelmed with gratitude. Some days I wish I never woke up. This song is about what it feels like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.”

    Spiritual Cramp released their self-titled debut LP last year. White Reaper’s latest album, Asking for a Ride, also came out last year.