With a little help and encouragement from musician Joseph Arthur, LA based model/photographer, Cerise found a natural stride with writing songs and making music. What started as a casual friendship with Arthur led to her hanging around his studio and recording background vocals for whatever he was working on. Watching the process of recording music unfold captured Cerise’s fascination and ultimately led to her buying a guitar, writing her own songs, and making her own album (which Arthur produced). Cerise’s songs do a great job of melding her influences of The Cure, Bauhaus and Siouxsie And The Banshees to create her own sound that nets out closer to Cat Power but with more drone and fuzz. From her debut album, Smoke Screen Dreams (Self-Released) we bring you the video for the track ‘To Go Away’ which, from the first frame, plunges us right into Cerise’s lo-fi kaleidoscope of emotions, visuals and sound. Directed by, Tina Rivera, the video is shot entirely underwater to give the feeling of what the song is really all about.
“The song ‘To Go Away’ is about wanting to leave a situation or person and the feeling at that moment. The excitement and need to leave but the fear of leaving what you know so well and feeling pulled back in. [The song] is also about wanting to lose yourself in a moment or feeling whether its good for you or not.” – Cerise
Picture it. New York City. The Lower East Side. 1994. A time when The NY Times described downtown as a “drug netherworld” where pure heroin like “China Cat” was being sold on sordid corners and the streets “smelled worse than an open air fish market in Chinatown.” This was New York life Pre-Giuliani where grit and garbage was caking the city and music was being made to reflect the situation. You had bands like Helmet up the street in the East Village leading the post-metal genre with their heavy distortion and (the then unknown) Blonde Redhead taking to a shitty rehearsal space on Rivington St. to record the 4-track demos that would establish them as the noise rock scene staple.
Long out of print, these early recordings will be soon be released in box set form (4LP/2CD) by Numero Group on September 30th. Boasting 37 tracks, Blonde Redhead’s Masculin Féminin compiles the band’s first two albums (self-titled and La Mia Via Violenta), their period singles, extant demos, and radio performances. The release also features dozens of previously unpublished photographs illustrating the band’s formative years in the city.
BlackBook premieres the first lost demo, “This is the Number of Times I Said I Will and I Didn’t.”
There are some songs you hear once and forget about and then there are songs that stay on repeat all day. Swedish singer, Janice gives us just the track. The 22-year-old songstress has a voice powered with depth and emotional richness beyond her years. She’s easily reminiscent of (and compared to) the R&B greats of the 80s and 90s. Her debut song “Don’t Need To” received indie blog acclaim earlier this year, but it’s Janice’s newest collaboration with Danish producer, True Panther’s Taragana Pyjarama that takes the song to addictive status. With infectious loops and atmospheric additions, this remix is nothing short of a glistening electro-pop gem sure to make your midsummer playlist.
Having formed just last year, Austin trio, Pale Dian‘s supreme take on shoegaze has their sound rooted in the influences of Cocteau Twins, Lush and My Bloody Valentine. Their first single, “In A Day,” (released earlier this year) stacked layers on layers of swirling, fuzzed out guitars, architecting the perfect wall of sound. With their new track, “Pas De Deux,” the band strips down the pedals, brings forth their synth and creates an echoing atmosphere for lead singer Ruth Ellen Smith to vamp her vocals that are one part Liz Frazier and one part Asobi Seksu’s Yuki Chikudate.
“This song was my experiment with dub,” Ruth said. “The recording was all an idea that I had from a demo that just needed to be fine tuned with studio love. With the help of our amazing producer Alex Bhore (This Will Destroy You), we hashed it out. The recording has guitar only at the end, so we learned to play the song live later. [The live version] comes across much darker, which I’m pleased with. I often write [songs] that are dissonant but somehow work out in a way that make your ears have to think. This is that song.”
Listen, below, to the BlackBook exclusive premiere of “Pas De Deux:”
Pale Dian’s, debut album Narrow Birth comes out June 3rd on Manifesto Records. (Pre-order, here).