Peel x Y2J

Los Angeles duo Peel have announced their debut album Acid Star, out March 29th via Innovative Leisure, and shared two singles. Y2Jopens with a wash of deceptive dream pop before breaking into psychedelic dance, whereas Acid Star is a hallucinatory blend of acoustic guitars. “Our first sessions were for fun to experiment around, trying to come up with rhythmic patterns from memory of pop songs on the radio from when we were growing up” explain the band, “Looking back, we opened a channel that would become Acid Star, where a large swarm of ideas flowed through in a very short amount of time.”

The two songs are a perfect preview of an album that swirls dance-music paint onto a rock canvas. Inspired in part by genre-bending Creation Records bands like Primal Scream and Madchester groups like Happy Mondays, Acid Star expands on the post-punk and industrial edge of early Peel, adding layers of psychedelia, dance, and even reverb soaked freak folk, as seen on the title track. Watch the video for “Y2J” below, directed by the band’s Sean Cimino.

The creative partnership of Sean Cimino and Isom Innis, their bond was initially formed as touring members of Foster The People (now both official members live & on record). The two developed a musical language all their own over the years, ideas coalescing organically until the eventual birth of Peel. Their 2020 self-titled EP channeled influences from Aphex Twin to New Order, and yielded the “Citizen X,” which garnered the band an audience and appeared in the 2021 edition of EA Sports FIFA. 

For Acid Star, the duo began by tapping into the music that they liked as kids. That is, the music they gravitated toward before they had “any taste or judgment,” as Innis puts it. “If you think too hard, and you try too hard, you can kind of ruin the expression that comes out,” he adds. “But there’s something about trying to recreate a song that was in my DNA before taste came into it that just sounded, listening back, like it had a lot of energy and life.”

The opener, “Y2J,” was one of the results of that childhood-song experiment, and is, appropriately enough, named in reference to Y2K. “Climax,” a song inspired by the 2018 Gaspar Noé movie of the same name, is a rocket-ship ride of a tune, as much within Nile Rodgers’ wheelhouse as Spoon’s. “OMG” renders a psychedelic experience Isom shared with his wife in sonic form, putting the duo's studio proficiency to work in service of the track's rich tapestry. 

Each side of the album is bookmarked by ghostly ballads—“Acid Star” and “The Cloak”—both driven by acoustic guitar and gentle vocals that push home the crucially melodic underbelly of Peel itself. “You’re smiling, laughing there, my acid star,” sings Cimino on the former song, an ode to an idea of a certain ephemeral and untouchable type of rock god. “That lyric is a tribute to the power of words beyond our everyday use,” Cimino says. “I was thinking of a term for someone, something, or an idea that is so meaningful—almost too important.” When it came time to decide what to name the album itself, it was right there in front of them.

Check Northern Transmissions for more info.

Allah-Las x KEXP

 The Los Angeles-based Allah-Las have announced a North American tour that kicks off on April 12 in Nashville, TN.  The band will make a stop at Webster Hall in New York City on April 17 and in Toronto, ON at The Concert Hall on April 23 before concluding the run in Chicago, IL on April 27.  Additionally, the band will co-headline this year’s Atlas Obscura Festival on April 7 in Hot Springs, AR.  All announced shows are listed below and tickets are on-sale Friday, January 19 at 10am local time and will be available here

The band recently visited the studios of Seattle’s KEXP where they performed songs off their recent critically acclaimed album Zuma 85  - “Right On Time,” “The Stuff,” “Jelly,” and “The Fall.”  

This tour will mark Allah-Las first trip to the East Coast since the release of Zuma 85 which was released last fall via their own label, Calico Discos, in partnership with Innovative Leisure.  The band teased the LP with several videos - “Sky Club,”  “The Stuff,” and Dust,” The Fall,” and “Jelly” -  and they saw support from Under The Radar, Brooklyn Vegan, Austin Town Hall, Buzzbands LA, The Big Takeover, MOJO and Ghettoblaster, among others.
Alex Maas x X MAAS (Take Me Away)

Alex Maas (The Black Angels’ vocalist and multi-instrumentalist) released his debut solo album, Luca, in 2020.  After recently focusing on new Black Angels material, he returns with a solo recording that is inspired by the holiday season.  Explains Maas: “I've never written a Christmas song. Christmas has a very dark side that not many people take into account. The holidays are as painful as they are beautiful for most people. This song is for people who fall in love during Christmas and for those who want to escape completely from the holiday." 

Listen to "X MAAS (Take Me Away)."

Iguana Death Cult x KEXP

Iguana Death Cult live on KEXP during the 2023 US tour.

Check their latest release, Echo Palace.

Jonah Yano x concentrate

"an architect of recollection" - Exclaim!

"warm, wistful, and quaint all at once" - HYPEBEAST

"'60s soulful voice that has hints of Smokey Robinson" - NPR

"His voice lilts with every syllable, making the imagery feel crushing and poignant" - Pitchfork

Montreal’s Jonah Yano shares a new single today titled “concentrate." The new song bookends a year that he kicked off with the release of his critically-acclaimed sophomore album portrait of a dog, which was co-produced alongside frequent collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD.

Jonah recorded “concentrate” with his live band (Christopher Edmondson, Benjamin Maclean, Leighton Harrell, Felix Fox-Pappas, and Raiden Louie), the first time they have all recorded a song together in-studio after first coming together to support Clairo on tour in the UK in 2022. The song also includes guest contributions from Clairo herself on clarinet and backup vocals. Fittingly placed to cap off the year, “concentrate” is a song about beginnings, and it also marks the beginning of a confident step into a new musical direction for Jonah Yano, having worked alongside the likes of Mustafa and BADBADNOTGOOD.

In addition to the single, Jonah will embark on his European tour dates later this week. The tour includes a stop at the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, where Jonah will share the stage with acts like Youth Lagoon, Weyes Blood, Crumb, and more. Tickets can be found here. 

This is Jonah’s first solo release since his sophomore album portrait of a dog, which was released earlier this year and received critical acclaim from outlets like RANGEPitchfork, and Exclaim!. Jonah also performed several of the album’s standout songs live for CBC’s The Intro in April.

Read more about the release on Sterogum.

See his upcoming European live dates below and stay tuned for more from Jonah Yano in 2024.

Tour Dates

11/9 - Bruges, Belgium @ Cactus Club

11/10 - Paris, France @ Pitchfork Festival Paris

11/12 - London, England @ Jazz Cafe

11/15 - Istanbul, Turkey @ Zorlu PSM