A swirling fire of new Cool Ghouls!
As the last days of summer fall off the calendar, California – as is custom – has fallen under a great wave of wildfire. We peek over our sunglasses at the looming forest, swept asunder by nature’s fury. We cast our glance to the city; and indeed, the Mission is engulfed in flames. We close our eyes, and lo! Projected onto our meager hungry brains, it is A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, the brand new LP from SF’s Cool Ghouls!
We, you, and I have been waiting a good many months for the boys to pull through with another foot-stomping, tension-melting, inner-eye blinking masterpiece, and it has finally arrived, mixed, re-mixed, mixed again, mastered and ready to find purpose, glistening on your turntable. This new album, recorded by the notorious Sonny Smithand mixed by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), delivers on all the expected levels, and then some. The songwriting has matured, the harmonies have grown tighter, and the songs are imbued with a new sense of sonic adventure. Infectious and utterly compelling, A Swirling Fire will lay waste to mere saplings of the post-digital age. This is real rock and roll!!! Available 11/11 (wish day) on limited (300 copies) deluxe swirling fire-colored vinyl from Empty Cellar and on cassette from Burger Records. Pre-order yours here. And… if you still have doubts, check out lead single “The Mile”, which debuted yesterday over at Noisey (Vice)
“On “The Mile,” the first single from A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye, the SF band touch on classic 60s rock like The Byrds, CSNY, and more, astonishing their way through multi-part harmonies on the Sonny Smith-recorded (Sonny & the Sunsets), Mikey-Young-mixed (Total Control, ECSR) track.” – Noisey (Vice)
Release date: November 11th (Pre-order here)
1. And It Grows
2. The Mile
3. What A Dream I Had
4. Orange Light
6. Get A Feelin’
7. Across The River
9. New Moon
10. Sweet rain
Praise For Cool Ghouls:
“The San Francisco-based quartet blends psychedelic and upbeat into their rhythms and vocals to produce a sound that’s wholly unique. And we love them for it.” – FILTER
“Their Tim Cohen-produced self-titled presents a group who has contributed to San Francisco’s indie rock fabric where the exhaled chord rhythms of yesterday ghost through the great tomorrow that never knows” – Impose Magazine
“Perfectly lo-fi without being a caricature, you can picture how well this song will go over as you look around and actually see green grass.” – KCRW
“Cool Ghouls’ eponymous album hit all the right buttons for spring around here, laying wide open and loose with the kind of breezy pop gems that feel good year after year.” – Raven Sings The Blues
“It is uncontrived and unapologetically filled with joy in the most refreshing way.” – The Bay Bridged
New 7″ single from Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang
Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang are at it again!
Empty Cellar is proud to announce the latest single by Bonnie “Prince” Billy and The Cairo Gang, “We Love Our Hole” b/w “I’ll be Alright”. This latest product of their fruitful collaboration finds Will Oldham and Emmett Kelly sitting barefoot on a sand dune, plucking the last rays of an Australian sunset from the sky. These two songs were recorded for “SPIRIT OF AKASHA”, a film/soundtrack celebrating 40 years of the classic 1971 Australian surf film “Morning of the Earth.”
“We Love Our Hole”, a warm and fuzzular take on the notorious Aussie localism, recalls the carefree back to earth acoustic jams on the original “Morning of the Earth” soundtrack. Twangy leads punctuate the bongo-driven tune (music by Kelly / lyrics by Oldham) exalting their hole… the kind of place you discover by following your bliss, “a cove where love is free”. Unbridled, the duo’s dueling voices find rare, compelling, moments of unison amidst rich harmonizing. The B-side, “I’ll be Alright”, is a stripped-down take of the Terry Hannagan song from the original soundtrack. Equally melancholy and reassuring, Hannagan’s meditation on the drag of modern life is dispensed thoughtfully by Oldham in his fearless, self-assured, voice. The recording as a whole finds Oldham and Kelly stepping confidently across the beach, fully trusting each other in these songs as only seasoned brothers can.
This 7” vinyl record comes packaged in a high-gloss photographic jacket featuring a golden still by “SPIRIT OF AKASHA” filmmaker Andrew Kidman. Limited to a single pressing of 1000 copies, this release is a perfect assurance that summer is coming through the clouds, and its music positively sparkles like a sun-lit sea. Bonus points: Each 7” comes with a special fart-cloud sticker drawn by the great Nathaniel Russell that you can place in the wind of your favorite Surfer pic! Get yours HERE!
Float down the River of Souls on Magic Trick’s new album!
River of Souls is the third enchantment from the hat of Tim Cohen (The Fresh and Onlys) and his band, Magic Trick. Picking up from where he left us with Ruler of the Night (Hardly Art), Cohen brings us ten new intimate tracks, polished as yet unseen. Recorded in The Tree House, his attic studio, River of Souls whirls with parables of change amidst emotional flotsam and jetsam. Insecurities, sarcasm, escapism, optimism, vanity, honesty, and bona fide love… it is all there, but in comforting form. Tim’s well-skewed pop songs remind us that things can always be better, but also that what we have is pretty amazing.
River of Souls signals a new approach for Magic Trick. As in The Fresh and Onlys, Tim has begun to distinguish his muses from those of the foggy San Francisco lo-fi movement that he helped to shape. Mixed at Lucky Cat Studios with Phil Manley and mastered by Paul Oldham, this album exudes presence and confidence. Now, more than ever, the vocals break through the clouds, and the mix champions the artistry in each player’s performance. Tim’s baritone spars with angelic female chants (Noelle Cahill and Alicia Vanden Heuvel) over the crisp unmistakable pulse of James Kim‘s drums, and the melodic drive of Alicia’s bass throughout. San Francisco’s gifted guitar workhorse, Tom Heyman, channels Mark Knopfler; one-man metal mystery, Steve Peacock, brings the right kind of shred; and Marc Cappelle’s horns retort the melodies, as Tim jettisons his woes upriver. It is clear with each downbeat the band has honed its language and tempered its chemistry.
Change permeates this record, but Tim Cohen diehards need not fear. The songs on this album are classic Tim Cohen jams through and through. Still present are the first-thought-best-thought off-the-cuff style and the genre-spanning I-can’t-quite-pinpoint-who-this-reminds-me-of assimilation of influences. Still here are the heartbreaking nonsense and the litany of brilliant guest appearances. River of Souls begins with an invitation to “Come Inside”. The songs stick with you from that point forward, and what’s more… the record ends before you are ready to leave the party. Altogether, this album makes it clear that there is not a man more worthy of thee Muses than Tim Cohen.
Keeping with tradition, the LP version on half-red/half-blue vinyl is presented in a classic tip-on sleeve featuring artwork by Kevin Earl Taylor. Get yours HERE!
Announcing: The Cairo Gang – Tiny Rebels
"That playful dichotomy between big and small turns out to be the anchor for the album’s title track, a pretty, march-like drone drenched in so much reverb the sunny vocal harmonies sound like they’re shining in through a pinhole."
Empty Cellar Records is proud to introduce to you the first single from Tiny Rebels, the forthcoming album by The Cairo Gang (out 7/23). Listen below and watch a video by Angel Olsen for an alternate mix of the track. Pre-order HERE
Side A: Tiny Rebels / Take Your Time / Shake Off
Side B: Shivers / Father Of The Man / Find You With A Song
Tiny Rebels is a new collection of songs by The Cairo Gang. They are about awareness. They show a new economy in the work of The Cairo Gang’s leader Emmett Kelly, conjuring up quick and defined songs un-housed in the shimmering of two burning electric 12-string guitars. the sound of them a swirling desert night sky under which songs call to arms multiple voices that long to be freed from the contraints of song. to be re-blooded in a frenzy of hard hitting drums and bass. all the while set against a wild array of compressed overtones that jangle by the hand of Kelly’s inversly delicate touch.
In The Cairo Gang’s previous efforts The Corner Man and the Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy collaboration The Wondershow of the World, Kelly displayed a heaviness in subtlety. The songs laboured over and performed so that the fire and rage were things to play in tandem with, as a pranaic exercise even. the result is audience for a certain type of in-tuneness, that although powerful and realized, nurture both the playing and the fire and the rage… this can be a dangerous place. this leads to Tiny Rebels. Recorded in a week, it is an epiphany of sorts. it is the boiling point that which Kelly surrendered to in one sense, but obliterated in another. the songs are empowering leaps of faith:
“Say what you want, babe. dont just sit and listen to what you are told. you’ve got what it takes.
Lord knows the only way that can suit you well.”
And from that leap they fall at a speed..
The sound of this record is what distinguishes it the most from previous works. Each song has the same instrumentation. two electric 12-string guitars, bass, and drums, with many voices often double tracked exciting a gorgeous spring reverberation and cut fiercely onto quarter inch tape. always in the red and fighting for space, the layers are deeply compressed and pulsating, creating an un-ease that fluctuates as if the listener is in a vacuum, pushing and pulling. or a wave pool. when cranked, it sounds as if there is music happening beyond the music. in the abstraction of the guitar sound. in the spacial irrecognition of the tape and reverb. the non-presence of the drums.. the jagged tremoloes. The Cairo Gang has armed itself well on this record. turn it up loud and let it wash over you like an ocean. Get yours HERE!