Interview with Alicia Bognanno of Bully

Bully has been getting a lot of attention. Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, who wears all the hats of songwriter, guitarist, singer, and producer/engineer, and consisting of Stewart Copeland on drums, Clayton Parker on guitar, and Reece Lazarus on bass, they are friends who came together to work on Bognanno’s songs. And with a grunge rock dynamic that’s the perfect match up to Bognanno’s melodic and direct vocals and lyrics, distorted guitar, and hook-laden songs, it’s easy to see why Bully is being talked about. Their debut album, Feels Like, was recorded at Electrical Audio, the Chicago studio headed by Steve Albini where Bognanno worked for a time developing her engineering skills, which she put to use recording the album. Multi-faceted, Bognanno’s original talent is demonstrated on the great tracks that the band’s been putting out, like “Too Tough”, “Milkman”, and “Brainfreeze.” Taking the risk to leave Minnesota and head to Nashville to focus on her music turns out to have been a very smart move. Northern Transmissions wanted to hear more from Bully, as the band gains fans and critical acclaim. Alice Severin spoke with Alicia Bognanno about writing the songs, recording, and what comes next.

NT: And you gave up the day job at the Stone Fox. How was that, to decide ok, this is going to be full time now, the touring and the music?

AB: It felt good. Because obviously, if I could only just do Bully, I would like to do that. But, at times it’s a little bit stressful because I can’t really say that I’m ever financially stable because of it. And also we spend so much time sitting in the van, I get a little bit nervous that I’m not engineering as much, and I don’t want to become a worse engineer because of it. I don’t know, I’m just trying to find a balance. But it’s definitely good.

More interview tap here…

Terrace album We Fall Together

Terrace Is Ready For Take Off

Simon Lock, Kalani Polson and Alex Cooper make up the band Terrace. Their latest release, We Fall Together, is a breezy and beautiful summertime mash up of dance, trance, electronica, and ambient, with a dash of classic pop. It’s the sort of music that you put on, pour yourself a glass of something cold, and while listening, you start wondering where your bathing suit is, and could you possibly quit your job for the summer, or forever. Entertainment Weekly called their music “dreamy and danceable…with a quality of timelessness.” Although the band is based in Vancouver, their sound owes more to a worldly, European feel. Simon Lock is also an airline pilot, so it looks like landing in all the best places is an idea he’s been able to translate to music. Northern Transmissions had a chance to check in. Alice Severin spoke to Simon Lock about the vision, the band, and the image.

Like it was the soundtrack on a yacht in the south of France. (laughs) I wanted everything to feel like white linen pants, and big sun hats. And it was the result of travelling that put that idea in my head.

Our interview is right this way…

Bardi Johannsson Returns With Bang Gang

Live stream up today and release June 23!

Bardi Johannsson is one of those artists who is in constant motion. From film scores to television commercials, theatrical productions to concerts with orchestras, his creative output is prodigious. Johannsson has worked with Keren Ann on their joint project Lady & Bird, and with Jean-Benoît Dunckel of Air on Starwalker. He wrote the score for the film De toutes nos forces directed by Nils Tavernier, son of Bertrand. He wrote the score for the controversial re-release of Haxan, a Swedish film. He created music for three productions at National Theatre of Iceland and Centre Dramatique d’Orleans in France, and released a compilation album of his work for other media under the title Selected Film & Theater Works Of Bardi Johannsson. But his first band was Bang Gang. It’s been 7 years since the last album under that name, but he is finally ready to release the latest offering. With the evocative title of The Wolves Are Whispering, the album pulls you on a journey of moody intensity, alternately sad and happy. The music has the effect of sweeping you away into an unexpectedly emotional world. Impossible to listen to without feeling the wild and wide horizons of sound soak into your very being, The Wolves Are Whispering leaves the listener somewhat altered, the original mood dissolved in the careful plotting and construction of composition. Beautiful, cinematic, and yet weirdly poppy, Bardi Johannsson has created another atmospheric dreamscape.
Alice Severin was able to speak to the soft-spoken musician/composer/filmmaker/television personality/clothes designer about his latest project and music as a visual and physical experience.

I picked the songs that I liked more (laughing), and I had a lot of unfinished ideas, also. And I went through all the demo ideas that I had, and I decided I was going to wake up in the morning and listen to some ideas, and if I didn’t feel like working on them on that day, it was not worth finishing.

More interview with Bardi Johannsson tap here…

In Colour - Jamie xx

In Colour – Jamie xx Steps into the Spotlight

Jamie xx

Jamie xx

I can’t stop listening to this album.

Artist: Jamie xx
Album: In Colour
Rating: 8.5/10
Label: Young Turks

There’s a word in German – Sehnsucht – that could be said to mean thoughts about areas of life that are imperfect, alongside a yearning for an imagined or dreamed alternative. Sampling doesn’t generally provide such a deep philosophical path towards introspection. Neither does going to a club, usually. But there might be those moments, where you look around in the crowd, and realize you’re looking for someone or something that may or may not be there, or even exist. A certain wistful awareness might seep in with the echoing silence that rings in your ears as the night ends and the streets are empty as you head homewards, feet aching, watching the sun rising.

In Colour manages to trap those uncertain moments, tracing lines musically to samples that stretch back into the mediatized past. It’s an echo chamber where a snippet of sound or a rocksteady infused chorus can be enough to set in motion an entire chain of real or false memories of a life that may or may not exist. You don’t have to like the xx to appreciate the album, although Romy Madley Croft’s vocals on “Loud Places” may be enough to start you thinking about what the next xx album is going to be like. Yet there’s a sense that this release is Jamie’s statement of independence, a confession that his heart is with the soul and dance beats that infuse this record with an unexpectedly expressive beauty. When she sings “I go to loud places/to search for someone/to be quiet with/who will take me home” while the ex is looking for someone who will take them higher than she did, it’s beyond irony – instead it’s an acknowledgment of the lack of connection in the midst of the crowd, the loneliness in the middle of the party, in the middle of the city. The plaintive repeated guitar feels sharp like a pain you can’t erase, even as the chorus gets us up and on our feet again, carrying on through it all, the ‘dancing with tears in my eyes’ of an even earlier decade.

In Colour is an album you could spend hours unpicking, discussing samples and references. Or you could slip on your headphones, and turn down the harsh call of the outside world.

More review right this way…