Eureka California at Flagpole

Eureka California

TITLE: Roadrunners
WHAT TO EXPECT: Athens’ favorite indie-pop duo is planning to release its fourth album in April or May via HHBTM. An early listen reveals that Roadrunners continues the band’s streak of catchy tunes with biting and often funny lyrics. There are several highlights throughout the album’s 30-minute run time, but keep a special eye out for the tracks “Mexican Coke” and “SWDs.”

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Linqua Franqa at Impose

Athens rising hip hop star Linqua Franqa woke up the world today with the Dope Knife directed visuals for “Eight Weeks” featured off the upcoming The Model Minority album available February 23 via Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. Presenting one of the most exciting & incredible voices & talents arising out of the Athens scene right now; Franqa brings a lyrical litany of perspectives & sentiments to shake you out of your complacent comfort zone. In a promotion for the Magnolia Fundorganizations that seeks reproductive equity in the Southeast, Linqua illustrates inconvenient truths & exhibitions of life in real time that breaks the cultures of silence & taboo to truly talk about the pressing issues that matter to all of us in the narratives of humanity.

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Linqua Franqa Video Premiere at Overblown

I’ll make no claim to be an expert in hip-hop, but this track just banged me over the head and grabbed me by the ears. I think it is the warmth and lushness of the music combined with Mariah Parker AKA Linqua Franqa’s dexterous and smooth flow. There’s a lovely bang of Arrested Development or hip hop from the 90s from this. I’m taking the socially conscious and subtle work of Lauryn Hill and Mos Def. Not the nonsense gangsta rap dick measuring tripe.

“Directed by Savannah’s jack-of-all-Hip-Hop-trades DopeKNife, Eight Weeks tells one woman’s story of seasonal depression and internal moral conflict, “says Mariah Parker AKA Linqua Franqa. “In complicating black-and-white framings of a woman’s right to choose and humanizing this choice as not just ethical but spiritual and emotional, KNife and LF aimed for a raw but unassuming aesthetic and to capture a range emotion: defiance, warmth, relief and connection as well as avoidance, fear, loneliness, and anger. The opening shots, filmed at Chase Park Warehouses in Athens, Georgia, pay subtle homage to Magnolia Fund, a reproductive justice nonprofit in Georgia; the “Abortion is a Miracle” sweater is available for sale on their website and proceeds benefit abortion access in the Southeast.”

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Linqua Franqa at Immersive Atlanta

Now, look here, young whippersnapper. I know you’ve got problems. So do I. So does just about everyone in the millennial age range. But you can’t tell me everything, can you? A slight nagging doubt, a sneering imp that tugs at your will to plow through another day—you keep it hidden, don’t you? Balled up, walled up, grinning behind your padded bank account. Sure you do. So does Mariah Parker, aka Linqua Franqa (fka Lingua Franca); the difference between her and you, though, is that she’s not wallowing in shadows, nor hiding behind any tissue paper pity. Naw, this Athens native and linguistics guru mounts every stage like she’s about to mount a diving board—and even when she’s falling fast, you can’t help but throw up 10s at her flair.

Parker told us earlier this year that she jumps out to foster empathy and encourage cooperation. “When people come up to me after a show and say, ‘Hey, I’m really glad you talked about that, I’ve felt the same,’ I feel like we’re starting to get somewhere,” she said over email back in January. Class act “My Civilian Life” is one such dive, which taps two distinct but correlated concerns: the crippling depression that plants suicidal thoughts, and the unfair gap between filthy rich club bangers and the intellectual underground. The connection’s a bit wonky—but then, so is that glitchy intro (courtesy of Savannah rapper and producer Dope KNife, who’s on remixing duties here) before the boom bap kicks in. And such is life, as Parker suggests with the spoiled kid in the first verse who wants to “end it all with razor blades.” But none of that—as pulpy and grim as this may seem, like staring down into a blender that you know you’ve got to wash by hand—deters Parker from advocating action and change, a la Voltaire: “is this truly the coolest world / or, if you did it right, could it be something beautiful?” And that, son, is what ya call guts.

Listen below.

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Kleenex Girl Wonder Video Premiere at Overblown

Click through to check out the video!

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Kleenex Girl Wonder mp3 at 3pm at Magnet

Kleenex Girl Wonder will release its 13th record—a 76-minute, 26-song epic called The Comedy Album—on October 29. Here’s a small piece of the opus: “On Water Hill,” a story told via acoustic strumming and a subtle string section. Check it out below.

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Pia Fraus at Stereo Embers

One of the very very coolest things about writing for Stereo Embers and just being generally plugged in to the indie/shoegaze/post-punk/whatever other insanely energetic and inventive sub-genre you care to mention, is having tracks like this laid at our doorstep with the singularly express request that we broadcast it out to the wider world, a request which, in many instances, is met with some restraint but on rare occasions such as the following, released October 13 on über-cool, righteously solid Portland label Shelflife, we are giddy with the glorious opportunity that has landed in our laps like manna from the promotional heavens. “Sugar High of the Year,” from Estonia’s dreamy dreampop titans Pia Fraus forthcoming album Field Ceremony, is a relentless slab of gorgeous, driving, shoegazed wonder that limns the sublime line between My Bloody Valentine and Pale Saints (a particular favorite around the shoegaze water cooler here at SEM). Sumptuous, powerful, hypnotic, the track speaks its concise volumes about the promise of album proper. We are, as they say, agog with anticipation.

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Pia Fraus at Big Takeover

The dream-pop veterans Pia Fraus are back with their first full-length album in almost a decade. Released on Seksound (Europe), Shelflife (US), and Vinyl Junkie Recordings(Japan), Field Ceremony is a triumphant return for the band, bringing back their signature dream-pop sounds alongside fresh takes on pop structures.

Pia Fraus started in 1998 in Tallinn, Estonia. They released four studio albums: Wonder What It’s Like (2001), In Solarium (2002), Nature Heart Software (2006), and After Summer(2008), plus a handful of EPs and singles. Latest LP Field Ceremony was mixed and mastered on analog desk by Lauri Liilvak.

The band members delve into the details behind the making of their newest album, explaining, “Field Ceremony is not Pia Fraus’ comeback album. It’s our fifth full length album that needed some rest before it could be made; some ripening, inspiration, and thinking things over. This album is an emotional journey along soundscapes and feelings. You’ll surely find hints and quotes from our former albums, something familiar and something to surprise you. The music has been influenced by musical and other events that have happened meanwhile. Maybe you can spot some Imandra Lake and Wolfredthere. We were sad when our good friend and guitarist Tõnis left the band. And then we were happy to have the opportunity to work with Kristel Eplik, who sang on Wonder What It’s Like and on In Solarium. Also our former drummer Joosep Volk is back with us, producing our music videos.”

The Big Takeover is pleased to premiere Field Ceremony in its entirety. Bright and tight folk-pop melodies sparkle amid the delicate, contemplative, harmonic vocal diffusion. A diaphanous haze to briskly driving shoegaze-leaning guitars and robust to subdued drumming sweep to the lowering clouds…

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Pia Fraus at Magnet Magazine

Dream-pop band Pia Fraus will release debut album Field Ceremony on October 13 via Shelflife. We suggest listening to and/or downloading new single “Never Again Land,” a soft, melodic tune filled with counter-punching guitar strums. It’s the perfect introduction to the band’s sound, and needless to say, you’re gonna love it. Check it out below.

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Pia Fraus at Indie 30

Next month Tallinn shoegaze dream pop outfit Pia Fraus are set to release their first album in almost ten years, Field Ceremony. Until re-surfacing in late 2016 with the stunning psych tinged ‘Autumn Winds’, the last recording they’d produced was the 2008 synth pop infused release Summer Sun. As you would expect from the new album boasts all the hypnotically infectious elements that bring the best traditions of the aforementioned together and is a thoroughly thrilling ride. In an interview with Spanish blog The Blog That Celebrates Itself earlier this year, chief songwriter Rein Fuks suggested it would be their best album and nothing on here gives any suggestion he is wrong.

A number of singles have already been released in the lead up and the latest is the space laden album opener ‘It’s Over Now’. A deliberative steady beat and smooth repetitive bass tones are enjoined by atmospheric synths and a mixture of signature effects driven pitch-bends and bright and wiry guitar flourishes while the hazy vocal harmonies of twin vocalists Eve Komp and Fuks have never sounded better. Listen to ‘It’s Over Now’ along with previous singles ‘Never Again Land’ and the album closer ‘That’ Not All’ below. Also appearing on the album is the aforementioned ‘Autumn Winds’, that’s their too. Field Ceremony is out on vinyl on October 16 in Europe and Japan here on Seksound and Vinyl Junkie Records respectively and here three days earlier through Shelflife in North America.

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