KBGA is a College-Community based radio station located in the University Center on the University of Montana campus in Missoula.
They recently reviewed Lily & Madeleine’s album Keep It Together! Read below:
The third album from this Bloomington, Indiana based sister duo, who have come a long way since making their start recording their songs on Youtube. The duo skews the singer-songwriter approach slightly with simple but lush instrumentation over which they weave their interlocking vocal lines.
Give tracks 2 and 5 a try!
Lily & Madeleine recently preformed at Paste Studio! Watch here and read what they had to say below!
Lily & Madeleine follow a long tradition of musical acts that share a bloodline. The duo is made up of sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, melding harmonies in that special way only simpatico siblings can (see: the Wilsons, Everlys).
The Indiana-based sisters have released two albums on Asthmatic Kitty Records – best known as the home of co-founder Sufjan Stevens – and have a new release on the way titled Keep It Together. The album is out February 26 on New West Records and brings back producer and mentor Paul Mahern.
Past offerings from the Jurkiewicz sisters have had a definite folk influence, but if their newest single, “Hotel Pool,” is any indication of the upcoming album’s sound, audiences will be treated to a poppier, polished vibe sure to grow Lily & Madeleine’s fan base and possibly even generate a radio hit.
The Jurkiewicz sisters stopped by the Paste Studio recently for a performance of their tracks “Westfield,” “Chicago” and “Nothing.
‘Keep It Together’ is available now via New West
Radio K-KUOM is the student-run station at the University of Minnesota. They broadcast an eclectic variety of independent music, both new and old to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Coldair is the solo endeavor of Tobiasz Bilinski, a 25-year-old producer, composer, singer and classically-trained instrumentalist. Born in Norway, raised near the Baltic Sea in Poland and currently based in-between Warsaw and anywhere else he might be at the moment, he has been following the DIY philosophy since the age of 16, releasing a total of 5 critically acclaimed full length albums up to date (2 with his now-dead band Kyst). He has recently signed a worldwide publishing and digital distribution deal with Sub Pop Records. Although Coldair shys away from trends and fashion, choosing to follow his own path instead, he has managed to score appearances at such festivals as Primavera Sound, POP Montreal, Canadian Music Week, CMJ, Open’er Festival, OFF Festival and SXSW, has embarked on numerous tours across Europe and United States, and has appeared on television and radio as well as plenty of online publications (such as MTV Iggy and Under The Radar).
Coldair was also reviewed over on Pitchfork. They describe the way he carefully crafts songs, “he builds big hooks out of scraps and shards, skilfully layering and arranging his minimal elements to maximize their dramatic impact.”
The Provider (Twelves Records) released on January 15,2016
KJHK 90.7 FM is the student-run radio station at the University of Kansas. Since 1975, the station has been the voice of independent radio in Lawrence.
They recently reviews Julien Baker’s album Sprained Ankle!! Read below!
Julien Baker’s first attempt sounds like she’s alone in a dark room spilling out her problems with substance abuse, her fears about leaving her friends behind, and her worst break-ups; while the listener stands just outside, rooted to the spot.
With songwriting influences like Benjamin Gibbard and Elliot Smith, Baker jumps right into a sort of earnest truth-telling that I could tell was good because it started to make me feel a sweet sort of sad upon first listen. This album sounds like something Sharon Van Etten would have made when she was nineteen, which is to say it’s quite good, shockingly mature, and shows great future potential. This album is beautiful, soft, and it’ll make you feel things – all the makings of a good rainy day album or something to put on and make your listeners cry on the highway.
Recommended Tracks: 6 (Something), 2 (Sprained Ankle), 1 (Blacktop), 4 (Everybody Does), 3 (Brittle Boned), 9 (Go Home)
Sprained Ankle was also reviewed on Stereogum, read below!!
In the single most quotable moment of her debut album Sprained Ankle, the 19-year-old Tennessee singer-songwriter Julien Baker plaintively and matter-of-factly mutter-coos, “Wish I could write songs about anything other than death.” That’s the closest she ever comes to a statement of intent, a this-is-who-I-am moment. But she’s selling herself short. Baker writes songs about so many other things. She writes songs about lying in a hospital bed and waiting for consciousness to fade away, listening to the beeps and whirrs of the machines around her and feeling the cold invasiveness of an IV needle in her skin. She writes songs about wandering around a public park, strung out in the dead of the night, trying to figure out if she should complain to God or rejoice in her own squalor. She writes songs about the moment of a devastating breakup, seeing it coming a mile away and being unable to stop it: “I knew I should have said something, but I couldn’t find anything to say, so I just said nothing, sat and watched you drive away.” She sings, over and over again, about seeing her veins turn different colors. Compared to all that, songs about death are easy. Here’s a song about death: I’m a fucking skeleton, whoa whoa whoa, I’ll bite your head off. See how easy that was? I just wrote that. It was nothing. Baker writes songs about living, about staring at the darkness at the core of your being and deciding to struggle on anyway. So no, she doesn’t only write songs about death. Her songs are way heavier than that.
Baker’s origin story goes something like this: When she left her Memphis home and went away to college outside Nashville, she left behind her band Forrister. She started recording songs on her own because she missed her friends, but her friends told her that her demos were good, and that she should record them for real. And so here we have a fully-formed album full of these songs about fucked-up despair, about feeling close to death when you’re not even old enough to legally drink yet. Baker has some kind of substance abuse in her past, and while she hasn’t been very specific about that substance abuse in interviews, she sings unflinchingly about the feelings and sensations she remembers: “There’s more whiskey than blood in my veins, more tar than air in my lungs. The strung out call that I make, burned down on the edge of the highway: ‘I’m sorry for asking, but please come take me home.‘” These days, she refers to herself as a grandma, and in this great Vulture interview, she even takes some issue with the idea that she’s a singer of sad songs: “I don’t say that it’s sad. I always say ambient, because I have four reverb pedals and three delays that I don’t need.” And sure, she’s not shy about using effects pedals. But she’s actively brave in singing about the feelings she sings about, about being raw and sucked-out and utterly devoid of hope. On Sprained Ankle, she makes a whole aesthetic about it.
Spacebomb Studios is in Richmond, Virginia, and it’s the sort of place you go when you’re making orchestral pop and you want to make sure you’re not halfassing anything on the “orchestral” side of that genre tag. It’s Matthew E. White’s studio, and it’s the place where he developed his shambling auteurist hippie-soul, learning exactly where to pile the strings and how high to pile them. It’s also where Natalie Prass made her astonishing self-titled debut, a ray of sunshine that came out in the dead of winter, at the top of the year. But Spacebomb is also where Julien Baker recorded Sprained Ankle. There ain’t a damn thing orchestral about this album, and she’s nobody’s ray of sunshine. Instead, it’s a spare and personal affair. Baker is the only musician credited in the liner notes (only songwriter, too), and that hard intimacy is important to the album. It feels like she’s singing directly to you, with no filter and nobody standing between you. But recording at Spacebomb was still a great idea, since the album piles on layers in subtle ways, ways that always enhance what you’re hearing. That’s where those effects pedals come in. As a song builds, we’ll hear a few different Julien Bakers singing in multi-tracked harmony, or we’ll hear another guitar chord humming and chiming underneath the main figure. There’s a widescreen clarity to the way the album is recorded; for all its unflinching intensity, it sounds big. In a weird way, the album’s sound treats Baker’s feelings with the respect they deserve.
And Baker delivers those feelings, too. On every song, her voice starts out quiet and inward. It’s conversational, but it’s conversational in that pulling-teeth way, where you can tell she’s only talking because she’s forcing herself to do it. As the songs progress, though, that voice gets louder, as if it’s building confidence. And by the end, she’s gone into a full-on wail. She comes from emo, and you can hear that in her voice, in the way she uses vocal fry for its full heart-ripping effect. But there’s also enough twang in her delivery that it can’t help but connect itself to country and soul and gospel. And when that voice finally rises up, it grabs you and shakes you around and does things to your soul. “I can’t think of anyone, anyone else,” she howls on “Something,” and off top, I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone express that “how am I going to get over this person?” post-breakup feeling that forcefully or cathartically.
Force and catharsis are big themes here. This is an album that takes an S.O.S. pad to your feelings. It’s harsh, and it’s cleansing. The feelings are universal in the most cringing and desperate ways: “Whenever I’m alone with you can’t talk, but ‘Isn’t this weather nice? Are you Okay?’ Should I go somewhere else and hide my face?” Or: “You’re gonna run when you find out who I am. I’m a pile of filthy wreckage you will wish you’d never touched.” And Baker’s voice is so wounded and expressive that those sentiments come through with excruciating plainness. She lays it all out, again and again. By the end of the album, she’s finally singing about the death that she can’t stop writing songs about, or at least she’s singing about an escape that sounds like death: “I know my body is just dirty clothes. I’m tired of washing my hands. God, I wanna go home.” But that moment doesn’t feel like an expression if weakness. Instead, the mere fact that it exists says a whole lot about Baker’s inner strength; these can’t be easy things to sing. And by rendering these feelings in these plain and spare melodies, she’s passing that strength onto the rest of us. There is every chance that you need an album like this in your life, even if you don’t know it yet.
Sprained Ankle is out now via 6131 Records.