Doylestown rock outfit Balance and Composure recently released a half hour documentary on the making of The Things We Think We’re Missing. Featuring interviews with all the band members and Studio 4‘s Will Yip, the video takes you through every aspect of the album creation process. From writing the songs in a remote Pennsylvania cabin to recording them in Conshohocken, Balance and Composure fills us in on how the album was formed alongside their goofing around. According to the doc, guitarist Andrew Slaymaker almost lost his mind, and Bailey Van Ellis couldn’t stand drumming in the morning, but the result was more than worth it. Check out the documentary below, and keep an eye out for an upcoming Doylestown area show. Pick up The Things We Think We’re Missing via No Sleep Records here or stream it below.
La Dispute recently announced their next full length album, Rooms of the House due out March 18th via Better Living. Sure to be another heavy dose of experimental hardcore story telling, we should be expecting something that will “blow people’s minds away,” at least according to album producer Will Yip who posted a picture with La Dispute to Instagram the other day. A
After the countless hit albums Will Yip has produced at Studio 4 over the last year (The Wonder Years’ The Greatest Generation, Balance and Composure’s The Things We Think We’re Missing and Anthony Green’s Young Legs to name a few), it speaks volumes when he says “(this album is) unlike anything I’ve ever done.” Get caught up on La Dispute’s signature style of experimental hardcore with their 2011 release Wildlife below.
Belgrade is a Philadelphia alt-rock band that borrows from space rock and shoegaze. The release of their self-titled full length album back in April has been stirring some attention for the five piece band that turns poppy melodies into reverb-drenched rock hooks. The single “Venice on a Map” is full of these; it’s made up of personal and relatable lyrics, along with the relentless bass line that keeps the song moving along. The song also features an echoing guitar solo and rolling drums that make for a very spaced out ending. Belgrade just released a music video for this track, montaging shots of the band and friends in California and Philly. Get a glimpse into the life of Belgrade below. Pick up their self-titled album physically here, or digitally from Bandcamp.
Title Fight‘s latest release, a four song EP entitled Spring Songs, is another move forward for the Kingston punk band. Some of these songs could fit into their 2012 LP Floral Green, but others like the single “Be a Toy” are fuzzier and more laid-back than older releases. The guitars are as lazy as the vocals, as Jamie Rhoden sings “Being used / I’m used to it” in the most melancholy tone. This EP is definitely a change up for Title Fight, and it is awesome to see them write songs that sound different, but are just as good as their back catalog.
In the video for “Be a Toy,” Title Fight’s friend Susy Cereijo documents the band’s recent trip around Europe: showing show clips, the beauty they saw on their travels, and the band’s everyday life. Check out the retro video, which was shot on Super 8 film, below. Pick up Spring Songs here, or stream it after the jump.
Back in 2011, acoustic singer/songwriter Andrew Koji Shiraki entered Studio 4 with Will Yip to record some initial demos that are finally coming to light. As Koji traveled and toured with numerous artists like Into it. Over it. and Slingshot Dakota, Yip fleshed out these pieces into what we hear on Matters – another release of his punk-influenced acoustic rock that addresses deep topics.
Opening with “Hemlock,” Koji explores the changing of the seasons and himself. With comforting riffs, Koji passionately sings “I don’t know what this new season will bring…I’m a different man that I was one year before.” He continues his travels through his mind in the next song, “Like We Do,” where we hear him come to the realization that they can move on. Going through the turmoil of of an unfixable relationship, Koji completes this track by yearning for an answer, which he softly, and somewhat somberly, answers himself: “We will be fine after this / but the only question now is where are we to go?”
Throughout the entire EP, we hear pleasant riffs that accompany the ideas explored in the lyrics. While there are tough topics, Koji does a fantastic job of keeping the mood upbeat and though provoking. This is most well done in “Matters (of the Heart and Mind),” where he longs for more answers, saying “I want to know and I don’t / Who decides these things / matters of the heart and mind?” This song, and a few others, incorporate violins to create desperate yet hopeful feeling. Koji’s voice is astounding, unique, and leads you though each song in storytelling fashion.
Exploring issues isn’t surprising to hear from Koji, as he has shown a love for traveling everywhere. While his music leads him around the world, it is obvious that he is much more relateable when he travels within himself for lyrical inspiration. Matters is evidence that it is possible to make in-depth music with only a guitar, a voice, and something worth singing about.
Stream the EP below, or download it for $2 via bandcamp.
Philadelphia local and Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green recently announced that he is recording a children’s album. PropertyOfZack quotes Anthony as saying, “Recording demos for this children’s album that I’m trying to put out around Christmas. What makes a song a ‘kids’ song? Just because it’s for kids doesn’t mean it has to be dumb right?” It sounds like the recent birth of Anthony’s two sons may be the inspiration for some awesome sing-along indie rock hits about potty training.
In addition to these recent developments, Anthony is releasing his third solo album Young Legs November 12th. With his voice, songwriting skills, and the help of Will Yip at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, this is an album to look forward to. While Anthony’s other solo stuff is acoustic and influenced by folk, the first single of the new album, “Breaker” is led by piano and sounds spacier, more like Circa Survive.
You can listen to “Breaker” below, and pre-order the album here. Anthony will also be embarking on a month long US tour ending in Philadelphia on December 14th at Union Transfer. Find tickets to that show here.
Their newest single, “Hum,” is the first off of their fourth full length album which will be released in early 2014. Recorded with the staying and leaving members of Tigers Jaw at Studio 4, this song is every bit as lazy and groovy as the band ever was. Brianna Collin’s voice sounds wonderful, and it will not be a bad thing if she takes over more of the singing on the next record. With classic Tigers Jaw harmonies, the chorus bulks up as she and Ben Walsh sing “I’m always talkng in circles / I always think until i cant sleep / you are the leaves at my feet / you are the hum of electric heat / I kept myself away / but I’m starting to like the pain.”
The departing members of the bands will be missed, but this single shows that they can progress even through line up changes.
The act of producer Will Yip opening Conshohoken’s Studio 4 this weekend for a pair of intimate acoustic shows this weekend was like opening the door to his home, and he treated the audience like family.
The Friday night audience were welcomed to 24 chairs set up in the studio’s live room and Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation playing as the house music. Yip invited guests to get comfortable, offering refreshments from the studio’s fridge saying “we’re all family here.” The tracking room acted as a green room for the night’s performers, which included Tigers Jaw’s Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins, and Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green as the headlining act.
Helping to greet guests was Grammy-winning producer and Studio 4 founder Phil Nicolo, who cracked jokes about Will and how clean the space was before settling in to run sound for the night.
“Thanks for supporting this and the process of making awesome music,” Yip said to the crowd before the show began.
“The best part of being here is that we get to have fun and we get to make music,” Nicolo added. “What a great job, you know?”
Walsh and Collins started off their set with “Home” and “Chemicals,” followed by “Nervous Kids,” which they said would appear on a new forthcoming record. The band covered Title Fight’s “Where Am I?” dedicating the song to a friend who had recently passed away.
“I’m sure by now you know Will is putting out a comp,” Walsh joked with the audience before playing “Carry You Over,” the song Tigers Jaw offered up for the compilation (listen to it here), and ending with another new tune.
Yip shuffled around, setting up mics and checking sound before Green’s set. Yip recently recorded Green’s third solo album, Young Legs, which is due out in November.
“I want everyone to turn around and look at this guy right here, Will Yip. He’s the reason everyone’s here,” said Green before starting his set, gaining applause from the audience. He added that the first time he set foot in Studio 4, he thought about how cool it would be to have a show in the space.
“I’m so glad we’re doing it,” Green said. “I’ve spent so many hours in here jamming, sweating and putting songs together.”
Green certainly didn’t hold back in front of the captivated audience, playing songs off Young Legs and running the gamut of older songs as fans sung along. He also threw in a cover of the Fleet Foxes’ “Someone You’d Admire,” needing a few moments to remember how to play the opening chords.
“You guys are so quiet, it’s mega weird,” he said of the intimate setting. “It’s like playing in my bedroom. I just got chills.”
Green thanks the audience for their undivided attention, calling the quiet the “utmost sign of respect.” He ended the set with “James,” while also sharing stories about his family and his son, for whom the song was written.
After extending an invitation to stay and hang out, or even join him for after-party bowling, Yip ended the show and thanked everyone for their support.
It was a great night for all to feel like a part of the Studio 4 family, in the place they call home.
The other day, Conshohocken-based producer Will Yip posted the image you see above to his Instagram. “Something really fun is gonna go down this weekend,” he wrote. Indeed, it’s the first of his Studio 4 Sessions show: tonight and tomorrow, Anthony Green of Circa Survive will perform new material, and members of Tigers Jaw will play an opening set, with some Q&A time in between for a small crowd in the intimate confines of the studio.
Both artists are featured on Yip’s forthcoming release Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation, and both the album and the sessions are intended raise money so the producer – who’s worked with Title Fight, Balance and Composure, Man Overboard and so many others in the regional alt-rock universe – make the studio his permanent home. (Read more in Beth Ann Downey’s interview with Yip here.)
Below, listen to “Carry You Over,” Tigers Jaw’s contribution. Want to check out the Session tomorrow night? Let us know why in the comments. We’ll pick a random winner this afternoon.