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by PopMatters Staff

15 Sep 2016


Norway’s Apoptygma Berzerk have made a name for themselves throughout Europe for their somewhat gothic synthpop that they describe as “futurepop”. The group formed back in 1989 at the very tail end of the new wave musical movement, which perhaps explains the darker turn in their music from earlier bands more inherently poppy. As the Cure and Depeche Mode evolved into heavier sounds, so too did Apoptygma Berzerk embrace the underside of the often bright and chipper synthpop of earlier ‘80s. Apoptygma Berzerk also have deep and ambitious goals as “The Genesis 6 Experiment” shows.

The band tells PopMatters that the track “unlocks understanding of mythology, legends, ancient history, and religious belief. The supernatural in the natural. The analogue roots of the digital tree.” It’s a stirring song laden with atmosphere and deep grooves. The song will appear on the band’s upcoming compilation, Exit Popularity Contest, due October 7th via the End Records. The album contains the group’s EP trilogy that only previously was available on vinyl.

by Jedd Beaudoin

15 Sep 2016


Musician Gayle Skidmore presents “The Golden West”, the title tune from her upcoming LP. The Golden West is release Number 20 for Skidmore and her first full-length in the vinyl format. The album also arrives with her third adult coloring book.

“The Golden West” marks a return to happiness for the singer-songwriter. She penned the tune during the same 2015 tour that introduced her to her husband. “The last five years of my life were a tumultuous time of loss and hardship,” she says. “My mother went through stage four cancer and a long-term relationship ended traumatically. I was able to wrestle through that time and sought healing in many places and fashions, including through songwriting and art.”

by PopMatters Staff

15 Sep 2016


Photo: Andy Cotterill

Band of Skulls always keep it real and true to the roots of rock and roll with their heavily blues-influenced sound that’s thoroughly modern. This year saw the release of the band’s fourth album, By Default. Drummer Matt Hayward says that they “went back to square one… The first three records were like a trilogy, a piece of work in of themselves. We wanted to do those things, and we did them all. We took a breath, took a look at what we’d done, and started from scratch again.” It’s always good for the creative process to start with a fresh canvas from time to time and Band of Skulls clearly benefitted from the approach.

by Evan Sawdey

14 Sep 2016


Photo: Simon Cardoza

Not a lot of people know of the Marches, but the select people that know of Richard Conti’s found-instrument experiment know that as he compiles his songs one single take at a time, he eventually turns simple, funky melodies into something that sounds both old-school and modern at the same time, his albums walking a fine line between the familiar and the new, creating for a visceral, exciting listening experience.

Indeed, the Marches’ 2008 full-length, 4.a.m. Is the New Midnight and the covers-driven Director of Photography EP in 2010 helped establish Conti as a reliable savant of styles both old and new, his hammering horn-attack cover of Adele’s “Cold Shoulder” bringing actual adrenaline to the original while original works like the too-funky “Bad Touch” could very well have been masterminded by the kind folks at Daptone Records. (Full disclosure: The Marches even contributed a song to this writer’s own free compilation album Good With Words, adapting a cover song which then lead off the Director of Photography EP.)

by Sarah Zupko

12 Sep 2016


Caleb Klauder has been a singular force in the alt-country/string band scene in Portland, Oregon for many years with his influential band Foghorn Stringband as well as his storied solo career. Now, he is teaming with musical partner Reeb Willms, who he met back in 2009 at the National Old-Time Fiddle Contest, for a new album of 14 original songs, Innocent Road releasing September 30th, rooted deep in the world’s of bluegrass and country. The title tune “Innocent Road” is a super catchy, mandolin lead number with some jaunty riffs and gorgeous harmonies. Klauder and Willms meld together as a duo with the same naturalness as Chris and Morgane Stapleton.

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20 Questions: Rachael Yamagata

// Sound Affects

"After a four year break since her last album, Rachael Yamagata reveals a love of spreadsheets, a love for Streisand, and why it's totally OK to suck at playing guitar.

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