CONTEST: Win a Copy of “Daughter of Cloud” from Of Montreal


ImageIt has been a busy year for the indie-glam explosion (and longtime Modern Mystery favorites!), Of Montreal. Just releasing a stunning collection of rarities and b-sides in the form of Daughter of Cloud, Modern Mystery is giving away a CD copy to one lucky winner! Like all Of Montreal releases, this is one you do NOT want to miss out on. Follow the details below to enter:

Enter the contest by midnight EST November 9th. Please send your name and address to Winner will be chosen at random.


Aunt Ange Gets Dark with “Black Funeral Dress”

Aunt Ange began is a group that began with childhood friends Patrick O’Brien and Jack Kearney, that has evolved into something much more. The art-rock collective has seen varying line-ups and instrumentation, and has incorportated stunning visual arts and storytelling into their live performance and studio recordings. Sultry instrumentation and enticing harmonies blend hypnotic sounds to create a sound like no other. Slated to releases their newest effort in late Fall, Olga Walks Away, the recording spanned 22 months in the band’s home studio, and involved an array of instruments from violin to ukulele and beyond.

Listen: Aunt Ange “Black Funeral Dress”

Drowning with Ghost Wave!

Over the CMJ week, Modern Mystery got to catch up to the pulsating 60’s sounds of Ghost Wave.Based out of Auckland, New Zealand, the band projects unconcealed and organic reverberations, while administering room for pioneering layers of new age rock-n- roll. With this being their first-time tour in the states, Ghost Wave discuss the fluidity of their sound, getting hassled by panhandlers in Venice Beach, and continuously expanding their musical grounds.
***Due to an immense amount of city noise and static during the initial interview, the recording underwent a few transcribing errors. This article has been modified and re-edited since it’s first published version. ***

How did you initially come up with your band’s name?

Matt: We don’t actually know how it came up or what’s behind it, it kind of just eventuated.  It has not specific meaning, maybe just holds a vibe.We came up with one song first, and then we needed a name, and then we needed a band after that!

How was your project formed? Were you all friends prior to the formation of Ghost Wave? 
Matt: Well Eammon is from Wellington,, and he was making a ton of music, so he decided to move up to Auckland.I’d seen him play a couple times, and I was interested if we could collaborate and create similar sounds to the music that I was familiar and interested in. We had about four bass players before Mike came along.
Mike: I lived in the south part of New Zealand, and I used to be friends with another bandmate of Ghost Wave. I then ended up taking his place, and started playing with these guys.I didn’t really know them before I joined, we became friends after we started creating together.
Eammon: Yeah, I didn’t know Matt at all. We were just always going to each other’s shows.
Matt: I bugged Eammon quiete a lot to be my friend, haha!
When did you first begin writing music?
Matt: I was always interested in developing my own sound, and with our band we put our vibes together, mixing different intros and creating from that base. Mike’s parents are very musical. My Dad introduced me to records at a young age
Mike: I’ve been playing bass since I was about 11. My first band was called The Weeds.
Where did you get that idea from?
It was a band that was put together by our music teacher, when I was about 12 years old. I followed through and played in bands while I attended high school, and just kept kicking at it.
Eammon: I didn’t actually play drums until I came to be a part of Ghost Wave, and started jamming with Matt at his house. I’ve been playing instruments since I was really young.My first instrument was a keyboard, I jammed on casiotone quiet a lot.
This is your first time performing in America, have any of you visited New York before?
Mike:This is our first time performing outside of New Zealand.Eammon  visited the states a few times before, but this is my first time being here!
Matt:I’ve never left New Zealand, this is my first time exploring.
How long was your flight and what did you mostly jam to on the plane? 
Mike: It was a pretty exhausting because we had to fly through Melvin,and then back over New Zealand, and then finally to Los Angeles. It was about a 16-hour flight. I watched a bunch of movies.
Matt: I downloaded a pile of psychedic sitar rock jams, just something to keep me interested for such a long way.
Eammon: I got into this new age meditational music. There was this thing on the plane with a video and music, that helped you go to sleep. It kept repeating, just take a deep  breath, just relax! I guess sometimes being on a plane can get pretty gnarly.
Mike: They also had skycam on the tail of the plane, and I watched the flight for a lot of the time.
Judging from your recent shows and first impressions, how would you say the NYC music scene differs  from that of Auckland?
Matt: Haha, well the difference is that in New York there IS a scene.
Mike: Also, when we play in New Zealand there’s not a huge communication between us and the crowd.A lot of times it’s bands playing to each other.
Eammon:It’s nice to have a different audience here, and have people be a lot more forthcoming. It’s refreshing to be here.
So how does most of the promoting for bands work back home?
Matt:We’ve always taken the responsibility for the way our band is perceived and putting ourselves outwards.There are not a whole lot of outlets. There is a couple of websites where you can put your band’s poster up.It’s a lot more limited and restricted.
Prior to your arrival to New York City, you played two shows in Los Angeles, how did your first U.S. show with The Golden Awesome turn out? 
Mike: Those guys are also from New Zealand.The show felt really natural and organic, it was really fun playing together, we truly enjoyed it.
Matt: A stage is a stage, haha!
Did you have enough time to venture out around Los Angeles?
Mike: We got hassled by some guy down in Venice Beach. He just started asking me to check out his music and buy his albums. He kept telling me “Check it out man, I’ll give it to you. Just give me a donation”. And then another guy came along, and I don’t even know how I ended up talking to all of them in the first place. I guess I can’t always be a nice guy.
Can you expand on central processes of making recently released self-titled debut EP?
Matt: There’s no formula to it, we come together and it sort of just evolves naturally. We can write parts with one-piece, two-piece, three-pieces fragments and then combine everything. It’s all very unstructured, but that’s what we’re going for. We also practiced a ton in this space which used to be a huge weed plantation. There were fake walls in the building when we initially arrived there. I’m pretty sure those people got raided by the police, and then the spot was converted for practice purposes.We have a new rehearsal space now though, we usually practice a couple of times a week. It’s at a place that was prior used for brewing whiskey.
Eammon: It’s nice not to have any noise restrictions, we can play as loud as we want, which is awesome.
What is the most exciting part about playing CMJ?
Matt: Well, we’ve always wanted to come to New York, whether it was for CMJ or not, so having the chance to play our music in the city has been great. We wanted to go explore festivals like SXSW and CMJ, and we’re glad to be a part of it.We’ve done shows before, but not for such a prolonged period as with this festival. New Zealand is so small, it’s refreshing to be able to check out different music scenes and get out of the comfort zone.
You can check out Ghost Wave’s tunes below
Interview by: Viktorsha Uliyanova
Photos: Skyler Smith

Interview: GOSPELS Prep for CMJ

Made up of Alex Frenkel, Mike Gordon, Alex Marans and Owen Murphy, New York based band GOSPELS are ready to take over CMJ this year. We caught up with the band pre-CMJ to have a quick chat about what Gospels is all about.

Catch the band TONIGHT at CMJ! Tuesday, October 16th, 9pm at Webster Hall.

Gospels will be taking the stage for the Ooh La La Records Official Part with Starlight Girls, The Last Royals, Ambassadors and more!
What is the story behind Gospels’ name?
Gospels was the first we felt was a keeper.

How did the project come about?
A few of us were playing with groups in the bushwick, bk area…playing in basements and equally cramped spaces. At some point we decided to make the move to a stand-alone house in Queens. From there, we built up a sound we were excited about and started working on an EP.

It’s been stated that you recorded your EP “Animal Feelings” in your home in Forest Hills. How would you describe your creative writing process? Is it mostly a fluid stream of consciousness for the whole group or more organized?
One benefit of living in the same place is being able to work in different configurations, at different paces and with different production approaches. A vocal melody will sell us on bringing a song to completion.

How would you describe your music to a new listener?

Tough question to answer..our drummer just said “fierce, but stable”, so we’ll go with that.

Describe a regular day in Gospels’ house.

When we’re in rehearsal mode, we run the set together in our basement a few days a week. We also have our own recording rigs, so a lot of time is spent on new sounds and demos for the next record. During recording and writing periods, we’re working at all hours. We have this amazing attic that’s incredibly warm-sounding, so we head up there for some guitar stuff. The floor boards aren’t very well nailed down, it’s sort of like being in the bowels of an old ship.

What is the best part about participating in the CMJ this year?
Seeing a reaction to this thing we’ve put a lot of time into, for sure. Our friends have been scratching their heads wondering what the hell we’ve been up to in Queens the past few months.

What’s next for Gospels?
We start writing for the first full-length after CMJ, really looking forward to that.