Echosmith stopped in Austin, Texas, for a show at Emo’s on April 6 with The Score and Jena Rose. Check out photos from the show below.
Conversations with Lostboycrow: Real Name, Album Details
Photo by Teren Mabry.
Words by Jenna Million. Interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Lostboycrow released a music video for “Real Name” this Tuesday, premiering on Billboard. The video follows the lost boy through an enchanting desert scene – a culmination for his past, present and future self.
Lostboycrow gave PopPunkPlease some insight behind the song and the video, and most importantly, his debut album:
“Real Name” is the second release off what will be my first album, and greater story entitled Traveler. The story will be laid out in three maps, referred to as Legends, over the next several months. “Real Name” and “Verona” are the beginning of that journey, and that start of this first Legend.
Read the rest our interview and watch the music video below.
PopPunkPlease: “Real Name” has references to your identity and name. To reference shakespeare – what’s in a name? But more importantly, how does this identity represent who you are versus who people think you are?
Lostboycrow: Naturally “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but I believe each of us must embrace our own path to be known by in this life. You wont find ‘Lostboycrow’ on a birth certificate, or any government document, but the name was given to me by my experiences, my inspirations and aspirations. And that is what I wish to be known for. To create freely underneath the banner of everything dear to me. Who I’ve been, what I love and where I’m going.
PPP: “Verona” and “Real Name” have a similar vibe sonically, and in the imagery you’ve been using. Is this a theme? Can we expect more like this to come?
LBC: You could definitely say that. I am proud to say they are the first piece of an album I have been pouring myself into.
PPP: What is your favorite thing about this video?
LBC: Sam Miller and Joe DeSantis did an incredible job of capturing the magic of what was such a unique and incredible location all around us, but my favorite part was hanging out and dancing with Jaryan. That’s what it’s all about – overlapping mediums, collaboration, inspiring each other. It was just a blast and he’s such a talented human.
PPP: How do you feel this imagery contributes to your image as a person and as an artist, or is it the same?
LBC: I believe it is the same. From the title of the song to visuals that accompany it, I was able to create a world that collided all the aforementioned – who I have been: my past, my beginnings, my story so far; what I love: the art itself I’m honored to share, the music, the dance, the creating, the process of realizing you have all the tools you need.
This story is part of a series of Conversations with Lostboycrow, dedicated to following his path since I first spoke to him in August 2015 (read here) and into the future. Read part one and part two of Conversations with Lostboycrow.
Conversations with Lostboycrow: A Brief History
This story is part of a series of Conversations with Lostboycrow, dedicated to following his path since I first spoke to him in August 2015 (read here) and into the future. Read part one of Conversations with Lostboycrow: Feels Like Home Tour.
Words by Jenna Million. Photo by Melanie Marsman.
“I was this shiny new thing that people hadn’t really heard of or seen,” Lostboycrow says, referencing his popularity in 2015 on Hype Machine, an online chart for new music, based on blog popularity. Lostboycrow’s popularity used to come in the validation of hearts on Hype Machine, which can be a fickle endeavor. “People want to be the first ones writing about a new band. You can get a little too caught up in trying to make something for [blogs] or trying to make a story to keep their interest.”
Now he receives all the love he needs from fans on Spotify. A quick glance at his Spotify page shows nine million plays on “Powers,” with several other songs reaching the millions. “It’s almost like graduating,” he says. “We move from Hype Machine and now it’s Spotify and getting on these cool playlists. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done in the past few years.”
In the summer of 2015, Lostboycrow was a budding artist, distinguishable by his honey sweet vocals and effervescent synth lines. His songs were taking over the Hype Machine charts and were featured on indie blogs such as Hilly Dilly and The Burning Ear. Since then, he’s braved several tours, released his first extended play (EP), and traveled to Amsterdam to talk with a label.
Lostboycrow released his debut EP Sigh for Me, featuring “Powers,” in January 2016. This was the first packaged release for Lostboycrow after a career of singles. “It was exciting for me to finally make something that was supposed to be a group of songs, which is always what I’ve wanted to do and what I want to continue to do,” he says.
Sigh for Me was created in the summer prior as the brain child of Lostboycrow and producers Marø and Brian Morrison, whom he met through collaboration with another artist. “It was very clear that it was a project, a cohesive sort of story as well as sound, which is always great when those two can kind of align,” he says.
The EP itself is a story of passion, emotion and lust in a complicated relationship, driven by electronic soundscapes, fiery synthesizers, and thundering bass. While Lotboycrow’s singles stand very independent from one another, Sigh for Me is a smooth package, and dives farther into the electronic realm than his previous, pop-leaning work.
Sony Europe showed interest in Lostboycrow in the fall of 2016, which landed him in Amsterdam in November for a few showcases. While the trip led to a partnership with Epic Amsterdam for “Where It All Goes” and “Stay a Little Longer,” Lostboycrow says he will remain an independent artist moving forward.
Since the EP, Lostboycrow says he has been fortunate to work with a lot of great people, and now has a core team of producers in the studio who have seen him grow over the past couple years, namely Marø; Real Miilk, producer and sound designer; Dylan William, bassist and producer of flor; and Cody Tarpley, an artist under the same management.
“I only work with people that are going to entertain the complete madness of Lostboycrow and help bring me back down to this planet sometimes, but also just let me fly as high as I can,” he says. It’s inspiring to hear him talk about pushing boundaries in the midst of a music culture that makes it is easy for artists rise to radio popularity with cookie-cutter pop songs.
As a songwriter and storyteller, Lostboycrow is deeply in tune with his creative process. “I consider myself a vessel for all the energy that’s around us and all the stories that are kind of floating around us since the beginning of time,” Lostboycrow says. “And I feel like good songwriting and artmaking is being open enough to hear a song that’s there and wants to be found. I kind of just try to let if flow through me and see what happens.”
It’s hard to stay relevant when people consume music in singles and online streaming, but also demand more depth from artists. Spending hours in the studio over the past year, Lostboycrow is finding that depth in his music. He says, “It’s definitely pushed me into like ‘Okay, I’m an artist. I’m Lostboycrow. How do I show people that even more so?’”
In addition to “Verona,” which will be released on Feb. 10, Lostboycrow says listeners can expect many new releases through 2017. “This next year with the EPs and the album, you’re going to hear me at my most creative,” he says. “You’re still going to have really poppy melodies sometimes. You’re going to have stuff that sounds like rap. You’re going to have really awesome slippery amazing synths, but it’s going to be the most sincere version that anyone has seen of Lostboycrow yet.”
Stay tuned for the next part of Conversations with Lostboycrow.
Fitz and the Tantrums Light Up Austin
Photos by Jenna Million. Words by guest writer Tiffannie Shively.
Fitz and the Tantrums returned to Austin for a sold-out show July 24 at Stubb’s. Opening with “Get Right Back,” pop band Fitz and the Tantrums gave Austin a night full of energy and power, despite the Texas summer heat.
The band started with hits from their debut and sophomore albums. With each song, the audience came alive, cheering, waving and dancing. Early 2010 and 2013 classics “Break the Walls” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” were greeted with excitement and enthusiasm from eager attendees.
Michael Fitzpatrick, lead vocals, worked the crowd like a seasoned veteran. Not a single person in the audience was not moving to the beat of the drums. When songs from their most recent self-titled album, released June 10, were performed the crowd went wild. “Roll Up” lit a fire throughout the audience, with everyone jumping and screaming along.
All attendees, from the die-hard fans to the casual radio listeners, were enthralled. With the show’s heightened energy, saxophonist James King delivered an extended solo before the encore that was greeted with only more cheers from the crowd.
Fitz and the Tantrums closed the encore with “HandClap,” “6AM” and “The Walker,” leaving fans ready for the next time this explosive band graces Austin.
All photos can be seen here.
BØRNS Woos Austin
BØRNS performing at Stubb’s on June 7. All photos by Jenna Million.
On one of the first warm nights of summer last Tuesday, people filed in one after another at Stubb’s outdoor amphitheater to be serenaded and hopefully catch a glimpse of BØRNS, an up-and-coming artist who’s honey vocals and cotton candy music land him on the edge of pop. The sold-out show was moved to Stubb’s after selling out Scoot Inn, a big accomplishment for any artist who played Stubb’s 450-capacity indoor room less than a year ago as one of Austin City Limits Festival’s after shows.
The cool-headed 24-year-old graced the stage with ease that comes from months spent on the road performing nightly. BØRNS floated back and forth across the stage through out the set, eliciting cheers and screams from the many teen boys and girls in the front of the crowd. The idealistic pop music and mostly falsetto vocals create a dream-like sound-scape. Oversaturated lights bathed the singer in blues, greens and reds. The added visual stimulation transformed the musical experience into an stellar wonderland, where BØRNS is an ethereal pop sensation.
As BØRNS made his way through Dopamine, his 2015 debut album, many audience members sang every word in a passionate cry, challenging the volume of the singer himself. As he belted out a David Bowie cover of “Heroes” to end the night, it was obvious he wooed Austin.
Photos: Cry Baby Tour with Melanie Martinez and Mainland
Melanie Martinez brought the Cry Baby Tour to Austin, Texas, on April 7 with support from Mainland. See more photos here.
Across the Pond: The 1975 Time Warp to the 70s with Satirical “Love Me”
(photo credit: The 1975)
Long gone are the days of The 1975’s black and white aesthetic and subversive pop songs. Teenage girls are ditching their black and white 90s grunge wardrobes for something new – pink, blue and 70s pop all over.
The 1975 announced the coming of a new era on June 1, posting a old-style typewritten note online before deleting all social media accounts. (The band is notably named after a date that was hand written in a book given to Healy: 1st June, The 1975.) While the disappearance only lasted 24 hours, the band received enough publicity of the stunt to put them on the radar of larger audiences. Fans have anxiously awaited new music since the band’s 2013 debut album was released. For the second album, it was a certainty that The 1975 was going to reinvent itself, musically and aesthetically.
Four months later, The 1975 was ready to show its new self to the world. Single “Love Me” debuted as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1 earlier this month, and it’s a time warp back to the 70s.
It appears The 1975 have taken their name at face value. It would be an understatement to say the band has been influenced by 70s and 80s pop music – rather, The 1975 are bringing 1975, quite literally, to 2015. “Love Me” features electric guitar hooks, space-age synth and keys, and vocal emphasis, which Matthew Horton for NME notes is oddly reminiscent to those of David Bowie’s “Fame,” also released in 1975.
That’s not half of it. Prior to the single release, The 1975 posted a photo of the band (pictured above) dressed in a red suit, black velvet jacket, leather pants and most notably, blue eye shadow on singer Matthew Healy. Healy had all but turned into Ziggy Stardust. It was no surprise The 1975 was going retro.
“You reinvent yourselves but you make it feel like the natural evolution,” Healy said in an interview with Mac on Radio 1. “We didn’t necessarily get in a room and start putting leather trousers on and makeup.”
It’s a hyper-glamorized vision of the band’s previously all black aesthetic. The music, however, takes a bigger leap. The 1975 was always using pop guitars and alien-sounding synth that fall in line with syncopated drums and bass. “Love Me” sky-rockets to a new level.
The music video for “Love Me,” released Oct. 28, appropriately parallels the satire of pop culture and fame heard in the lyrics. At first watch, the band looks a little bit insane, lead by Healy’s mental antics. The video takes a jab at the agencies of fame. In one scene, Healy stands in a group of cardboard cutouts of Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Charli XCX, among other famous artists, singing lines such as “I’m just with my friends online” and “you look famous, let’s be friends.”
While Healy said in the interview “Love Me” is about narcissism, the way in which Healy sings about the topic of fame communicates a deeper search for truth about the lives they’ve been living for the past two years under the public eye. Healy said the fans have given the band an opportunity to be truthful in their music because “it’s all about pursuit of the truth.”
The 1975 was slowly becoming a pop band, mainly due to media opinions and pressure to be identified by a genre. The music wasn’t just alternative rock, but it wasn’t quite pop. With “Love Me,” The 1975 embrace pop, but in a way that challenges the music industry to evaluate the quality of pop music it is producing. In the Radio 1 interview, Healy said he is sick that there are not enough good pop bands at a time when there is an “amazing lexicon and vocabulary of sounds” for pop music.
Healy said in the interview the 17 track album, precociously entitled “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It” to be released February 2016, is an eclectic “magpie” of pop culture – as with the first album, every song has a unique sound.
Across the Pond: Buzzworthy Bands
Wolf Alice at Holy Mountain in Austin, Texas, on May 19. Ellie Roswell sings to fans during encore. Photo by Jenna Million.
I am starting a new series called Across the Pond, which will examine the music scene of England and the surrounding region. The first three posts in this series are part of a project for my public relations class. As this is a topic that interests me, I may continue the series beyond these three posts.
In the past six months I have become increasingly interested in English artists and what the music scene is like for new artists and new music. I will be posting songs, playlists, artists features and interviews, and other content. To get things started I want to introduce you to several of the undiscovered or upcoming English artists that have my attention right now.
1. Wolf Alice
If you’ve been following me, you know that Wolf Alice is one of my favorite bands right now. The four-piece London-based group is fronted by singer and guitarist Ellie Roswell. Wolf Alice’s sound comprises rock, folk and grunge elements to create songs with a roller coast of emotions from soft whispers and solo guitar to screaming and heavy bass. They released their debut album My Love is Cool on June 22, and have had huge success in England since. My Love is Cool is nominated for the Mercury Prize for Album of the Year along with 11 other U.K. and Irish acts.
2. Sundara Karma
“Vivienne” is the latest single from Reading quartet Sundara Karma. What drew me to Sundara Karma was their rhythmic drums and bass that drives most of their songs with accents of guitar hooks. Singer Oscar Pollock’s vocals bring a new perspective to dreamy lyrics about teenage daydreams and late nights. With every song Sundara Karma has released I’ve been impressed by the writing and production quality of the barely 20-year-old musicians. In the past few months the band has been gaining more traction, opening for The Wombats and Circa Waves on tour and starting their first headlining tour across the U.K. Signed to Chess Club Records, Sundara Karma are set to release their second EP soon, and have an album in the works.
Lapsley has had a slow but steady buzz around her for awhile. The 19-year-old from Liverpool has a sonorous voice that evokes emotions deep within the listener. I reviewed her single “Hurt Me” here. With the direction she’s headed, Lapsley could be a big name in pop in a few years.
4. Rat Boy
Rat Boy is a little bit of rock, a little bit of rap, a little bit of grunge and a lot of crazy. Hailing from Essex, Rat Boy has a distinct accent, and at times sounds like a teenager rapping over early Arctic Monkey garage rock songs. Rat Boy feels very much representative of teen angst, singing about everyday life in a matter-of-fact manner, and calling himself “scum” in his Twitter bio. This list might as well be a list of England’s young talent because Rat Boy also slides in at barely 19-years-old. He was featured in NME’s list of 50 New Bands of 2015, and will be opening the The 1975 on their U.K. later this year.
5. The Japanese House
The Japanese House is the project of 19-year-old Amber Bain, who remained anonymous for six months after releasing the first single “Still” which premier on BBC’s Radio 1 with Zane Lowe proclaiming it his “Hottest Record.” The music is an extreme experimental take on pop with ethereal vocals that surround the listener and layers of synth overtones that drown out the outside world. The Japanese House is produced by The 1975’s singer Matty Healy and drummer George Daniel. The 1975, whose music also brings an experimental edge to traditional pop music, has a clear influence on the production of the music, at times leaving fans to wonder if it was a side project of Healy’s. The Japanese House is undoubtedly unlike any other projects right now, so much so the music is almost alien sounding.
Tunes for Ears: October Playlist
Your October Playlist features many indie artists with fresh sounds from Ofelia K and flor, chill vibes from The Japanese House, and grunge guitar tones from SWMRS.
MS MR Concert Photos
MS MR are touring across the U.S. in support of their sophomore album How Does It Feel. On Spet. 25, they stopped in Austin, Texas to play for more than 1,000 fans at Emo’s. See all photos from the show here.