Archive for The Auras

New Music — The Auras, P.J. Harvey, Iggy — With Which To Survive A Blizzard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by johnbuckley100

Snowzilla, as it was dubbed, has kept us mostly cooped up, but are we suffering from cabin fever?  Well, sure, yeah. But it would have been so much worse if we hadn’t had new music to listen to:

  • The Auras released their Saturn Day e.p. two weeks ago, and it merely confirms Tulip Frenzy was correct in giving them 2015 Psych Band of The Year honors. The six songs here continue the young Toronto band’s winning streak of Spaceman 3-inflected, Nuggets-inspired garageband excellence.
  • P.J. Harvey has given us a teaser from The Hope Six Demolition Project, which is to be released in April. “The Wheel” sounds like it could have been on 2011’s Let England Shake, if that album had been recorded with a horn section and been a narrative about Southeast DC, not Albion in WW I.  We have a calendar up on the wall with all the days marked between now and when Polly’s new one hits the world.  One fewer day after this one…
  • Iggy Pop has, as the world now knows, teamed up with Josh Homme and members of the Queens Of The Stone Age and the Arctic Monkeys to record a new album, Post Pop Depression.  We’d be excited enough by “Break Into Your Heart” — a far more welcome discovery after having been dropped onto our iPad in the middle of the night Sunday than was the two feet of snow dropped onto our streets Friday-Saturday.  But “Gardenia,” which is available both as a download and, should you be so inclined to seek it out, performed live on Colbert last week, is a revelation — Iggy’s best song since Naughty Little Doggy.  If like me, David Bowie’s death already sent you back to those great Iggy albums, well, let’s just say March can’t get here soon enough.
  • Eleanor Friedberger‘s New View is excellent , the best thing she’s done since her days with brother Matthew in the Fiery Furnaces.
  • Ty Segall‘s Emotional Mugger has not grown on us yet.  We keep trying to like it — and Lord knows we’re inclined to.  So far, it seems a muddle.
  • John Cale likewise has not stayed on the Victrola for long, even as we’ve tried grokking both M:FANS and the reissue of Music For A New Society on which it was based.  We stand second to none in our admiration of the great Welshman, but we’re getting a little concerned that we haven’t liked much that Cale has put out since blackAcetate in 2005.
  • Heaters became known to us via Uncut‘s review of their 2015 Holy Water Pool, which if you like the Cramps and can imagine how a psych band could make optimal use of  Poison Ivy’s infectious riffs, you will love.

Finally, we have to offer a preview of coming Tulip Frenzy mania: through diving into Heaters, pulling on threads until we discovered bands they play with in their midwest stomping grounds, we discovered Heaven’s Gateway Drugs.  Wow.  Go download their 2015 single “Copper Hill,” which sounds like the Warlocks cast a potion on The Auras in Olympic Studios circa 1967.  More on these guys, we promise — especially since a new album (their third) is in the cards for 2016.

And how can we honestly talk about the music we’ve listened to this past week without just declaring All Bowie, All The Time?

 

Tulip Frenzy Exclusive Interview With The Auras, Our Psych Band Of The Year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 5, 2015 by johnbuckley100

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Last week, Tulip Frenzy named The Auras, an amazing young band from Toronto, Psych Band Of The Year.  We did this based on the strength of their three-song maxi-single, Tess Parks & The Auras, which includes one song sung by the cross-Atlantic chanteuse, “I Believe In Everything,” as well as just the boys singing “Island In The Sea”and “Charlton Heston.”  When we saw two new videos get released in recent weeks, and evidence of new output equal to or even better than what’s on their previous two EPs from 2013 — The Auras EP, and EP 2 — we were so moved to reveal that The Auras had been occupying our earbuds pretty much non-stop since mid-summer.  So we sent some questions to the band and guitarist Robb Schaede graciously sent back some answers.

1. When “Saturn Day” comes out in January, it will be, by my count, your fourth EP (including this year’s three-song single.) Is producing EPs, as opposed to creating a full-length album, a function of money, or record company support, or is a 3-6 song collection the way you’re choosing to introduce your music to the wider world?

We’ve always been big on self editing. We’ve never wanted to be a band where one out of every ten songs is great. Average is our enemy, no one likes average. Whether or not we hit the mark is up to each individual listener’s own opinion, but we always strive for doing the very best we can do with whatever we have to work with.

2. The songwriting across your various EPs is strong, and seems varied. Tell us about the songwriting dynamic in the band: everybody pitch in? One or two principal songwriters? How does that work?

Everyone in the band writes songs. Each person is the boss of their own song, more or less. At this point we can pretty much fire into a new tune and everyone will know exactly what to do, but that’s taken years of working together to get to. We have become more and more collaborative as the years go on, especially since we have acquired more and more of our own recording equipment, it makes it a lot easier for us to work on song writing while recording.

3. We can hear certain key influences in your songs — both Spaceman 3 and their The Darkside offshoot come to mind, and so do a number of the Nuggets-era garage bands — but tell us about the bands that had an influence on all of you, especially those bands that gave you a common reference point as six individuals seeking a sound.

Bands like Spacemen 3, Singapore Sling, Asteroid #4, The Pandoras, The Cramps etc really hold a centre reference point for us as a group. On the fringes you can hear that Peter is a huge shoegaze influence, and that Hank got his beginning singing in hardcore bands, Aaron also draws hardcore influence into his drumming from time to time. I sneak in influences from Frank Zappa, Cocorosie and weird stuff like that, I try to get flutes and weird loops into our recordings as much as I can. I also studied Jazz as a kid, which oddly enough does still influence my guitar work with the band. Dallas’s biggest guitar influence is Poison Ivy from The Cramps, David on keys loves the darker heavier psych and you can hear that in his droning.

4. You guys have stayed together for six years and are all roughly 24, if our math is right. Did you go to school together? Come from the same neighborhood? How did you six become The Aura?

I went to school with Dallas and Aaron, and they met David and Pete in Brampton, who went to school together as well. Me and Hank met at an open mic and he ended up joining after we had been playing shows for a couple years. It’s hard to describe what keeps 6 people together for 6 years; it comes down to the love of friendship and the love of music. It’s hard to walk away from the amazing feeling of playing overwhelming psychedelic sounds with your best friends.

5. Did recording a track with Tess Parks open doors for you outside of Toronto? (It certainly put you on the map for us.)

Working with Tess has given us a lot of international fans. We are working on more stuff with her right now, she’s made one of our music videos for an upcoming track from the (forthcoming – ed.) Saturn Day EP, the live shows have been dope too. It’s a blessing for sure, and also feels really natural. She fits in with our group, which is very tight knit so that’s a big deal for us, and she can handle our craziness, which is a relief considering how whacky we can get, it would probably scare a lot of people away. Not Tess though, she’s the real deal.

6. Tell us about other Toronto bands you think the world should know about.

We’d like to give a shout out to Crosss, B17, Sunshine and the Blue Moon, Sun Stone Revolvers, Mexican Slang, Tailbreakers, By Divine Right, Saffron Sect, Flowers of Hell, Bodies That Matter, Mimico, Planet Creature, BB guns and probably many others we are forgetting.

That’s it for now.  We’ll keep people updated on The Auras as time goes on.  Look for the Saturn Day EP in January, and a U.S. tour in 2016.

 

Toronto’s The Auras Are The Psych Band Of The Year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 1, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Near as our detectives can tell, they’ve only released 16 songs since 2013. Their three-song single (featuring Tess Parks on vox on “I Believe In Everything”) was their only purchasable output in 2015. But make no mistake, in Tulip Frenzy World HQ, The Auras were the Psych Band Of The Year.

Formed six years ago when they were all age 18, The Auras have great songwriting, a swirling, sparkling, shimmering guitar sound and the singing — downfall of many a well-conceived psych band — has grit when it’s called for, and lassos the moon when that’s the phase this particular lysergic outing is heading in.

We admit to not having heard of them before they pushed “I Believe In Everything” out there this summer, just in time to ride Parksmania in the weeks following release of her rec with Anton Newcombe.  Thing was, while that song sure was alluring, it was “Islands In The Sea” and  “Charlton Heston”that got spun at all the pool parties we threw.

Which brought us to their two EPs from 2013, imaginatively titled The Auras EP and EP 2.  But trust us: they save the creativity for the sonic explorations that, from the sound of it, ought to keep any Ontario fans of Spaceman 3, Cosmonauts, and The Asteroid #4 tapping their toes ’til the wee hours.  They never stray too far from the melody, have a native instinct for how to structure pop songs, and yet there is always something interesting going on at the edges.  We are intrigued that in 2012, just as we were pining to hear First Communion Afterparty’s suppressed “Earth-Heat-Sound” The Aura’s had a song out on Bandcamp called “Earth, Sky, Love.”  (Could two parallel cultures have arisen, with or without knowledge of each other, across Great Lakes and giant piles of snow?)

On “I Don’t Want To Know You,” which will be out on their Saturn Day EP in January, we hear seeds from The Stems’ “Jumping To Conclusions.” If that tune doesn’t come rushing into your frontal lobes, know this: it is lovely.

While Joe Contreras of By Divine Right produced their last three-song single, The Auras are putting the finishing touches on the new one, which they’ve produced all by themselves.  A U.S. tour is promised (it’s warmer down here, guys).  And from there, world conquest. Psych Band Of The Year.

 

 

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