On her first full length album, Patterns, Whoa Dakota (Jesse Ott) spins a web of lush indie pop, graceful melodies and ardent lyrics. Building on 2015’s debut EP, I’m a Liar, the Nashville-based artist expands the sonic landscape on her new LP to an amalgam of electropop and R&B. Rife with raw lyrical honesty and enchanting textures, Whoa Dakota’s sophomore effort, August 17, 2018, is destined to captivate listeners everywhere.
Patterns bounces from 80s-influenced-pop reminiscent of HAIM to indie folk ala Jenny Lewis while artfully maintaining consistency. The debut single “Patterns” serves as a thesis for the entire album: a brazen examination of “self” that grapples with toxic cycles and emotional accountability through layers of pop melodies and powerhouse vocals. The record is as much about self-discovery as it is about creation of self.
Of all the breakups in Mike Krolâ€™s songs, the most harrowing story is about his breakup with music.
In 2015, coming off his best record yet and the ensuing world tour, Krol found himself in the midst of a full-blown existential crisis. Heâ€™d invested everything to create the rock-and-roll life heâ€™d always wanted, but he wasnâ€™t sure the life wanted him back.
Power Chords, Krolâ€™s new Merge release, picks up where 2015â€™s Turkey left off. It traces Krolâ€™s journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in its title. To rediscover the power in those chords, Krol recorded for two-plus years in three separate locations (Nashville, Los Angeles, and Krolâ€™s native Wisconsin). The record opens in a howling maelstrom of feedback: welcome to Krolâ€™s crucible. After a stage-setting spoken-word intro (â€œI used to never understand the blues, until the night I met you. And every day since, Iâ€™ve gotten better at guitarâ€), we find ourselves back in familiar Krol territoryâ€”aggressive and assertive, scratchy and raw, catchy as hellâ€”but something has changed. The sounds have a new densityâ€”and so do the stories. Krolâ€™s lyrics have always walked a fine line between self-acceptance and self-destruction, but throughout Power Chords, they reveal a new sense of self-awareness. â€œWithout a little drama I grow bored and sick of all my days,â€ he sings on â€œLittle Drama,â€ and itâ€™s just one revelatory moment on a record full of them.
Of course, none of this is to say that Krol has mellowed. You might find a mea culpa or two, but Mike Krol will never be chastened. If anything, heâ€™s out more for revenge than forgiveness, and if heâ€™s grown, itâ€™s because heâ€™s grown bolder. Heâ€™s wielding the same influencesâ€”Misfits, The Strokes, early Weezer, Ramonesâ€”but turning up the gravity and the gain. Indeed, Krol has gone somewhere new; yes, he bludgeoned himself with over-analysis and self-loathing, but along the way he stumbled upon a trove of intricate guitar lines and artfully mutating melodies. Itâ€™s there in the chorus of â€œBlue and Pink,â€ the bridge in â€œI Wonder,â€ the entirety of the deliriously infectious first single, â€œAn Ambulance.â€
Music ruined Krolâ€™s life. And then saved it. In chronicling that process, Krol has made his best recordâ€”painful, voyeuristic, and angry, but ultimately transcendent and timeless. It is the sound of Krol giving in to a force greater than himself, as though the chords are playing him rather than the other way around.
With Special Guests: BRIN
With Special Guests: Ex Acrobat, Search & Seizure
Over the last few months Australian artist Golden Vessel has shared four outstanding collaborative releases and accompanying music videos, while also revealing that there was an album on the way called â€œSLOWSHINEâ€ which is being released on May 17 via Exist Recordings & Ultra Music.
This week Golden Vessel is very excited to share the news of his debut North American headline tour that will be happening throughout July 2019. The â€œSLOWSHINE TOURâ€ will see him travelling across most parts of North American playing 21 cities over 34 nights and joining him as main support for the entire tour is one of his good friends, a NYC producer known as Instupendo.
â€œExtremely excited to be doing my first headline shows around America and seeing some cities I havenâ€™t seen before. Gonna be bringing Instupendo along as main support which will be really special.â€ â€“ Golden Vessel
With Special Guests: I The Storm, Sarkoptic, Johnny & The Riff Raff