Like most things here – in fact, like this whole thing here – this started on a whim. Around 3 weeks ago I said something on the internet about mix tapes, and put out a semi-open call for tracks for a compilation. I had no idea what would come back for TRR Mix Vol. 1.
Well, what came back was 28 great tracks, that I proudly present to you for yet another Bandcamp Friday release! The compilation is available digitally, and in an extremely limited edition of 10 (yes, only 10), real time-dubbed 90 minute cassette tapes with cover art by my good friend Ana Becker. Proceeds from digital sales on release day are going towards the GoFundMe for my friend Wade.
Shall we talk about the songs?
This thing starts with “Radioactive,” a brand new track by my friend Brian Sendrowitz, aka Beat Radio. I’ve been a huge fan (and occasional collaborator in various ways) of his over the past decade+, and am so excited to get to play a part in sharing new music from the project – it was immediately obvious that this would have to kick the record off.
Rosie Slater is known as an amazing drummer, playing in NYC bands like New Myths, CATTY, Delicate Steve, and so so many more, but her own music is great, with a bit of a 90’s alt flavor, and we love it. This track, “Whatever,” is technically an upcoming single, but we’ve got it here so those who buy the full digital album or tape can get a first listen!
Like Beat Radio, The Unsacred Hearts are old friends and a band that I consider myself a huge fan of. I’ve often called them the best rock band in NYC and I mean it. It’s an honor to get to help put a new stompy garage rockin’ jam from them into the world with “Look Cool!” It’s hard to look cool when you’re crying inside.
WE ARE JOINERS have become one of the label’s flagship bands, if there ever was one – a Dutch band that I found on Bandcamp, the artist behind the first tape we released, and a constant source of inspiration. Here, they cover another TRR artist, Sock Jock, with a bashy lo-fi take on her earworm of a single, “Know.”
YFJESSE is somebody I met a long time ago – back when I was working at a venue in Maine and he was a teenager opening a show for Dan Deacon. These days, he’s living in LA, making incredible tripped-out music and making mind-bending videos. This may be the first official release he’s put out there under this project, and it’s a doozy. Featuring vocals by SuperCoze, it’s a catchy, dream, jangly jam and a half.
A Day Without Love’s Brian Walker has such a great way of genuinely offering so much of himself and connecting with people through music and various social media content – and this song speaks directly to that. It’s a super short one but delivers its message super effectively.
Another key artist on the label – for those who have been following along at home – is Richmond, VA’s Miranda Elliott, aka old man of the woods. With a gorgeous 2020 debut EP/tape and some incredible things in the works for 2021, expect to hear quite a bit more from this project. “8 Glasses” is a glimpse at what might be coming next from the producer and songwriter.
TheJLM is in some ways a new project, but privately I happen to know it’s been brewing for… quite some time. You may have only seen the collaborative song project so far, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing many more sonic experiments from this project.
The Planes are Brooklyn guitar rock heroes. Straight from the Barlow and Mascis school of melodies and shredding, they’ve been at it for a while (in various forms) and just keep getting better. Without saying much more… this track is from an upcoming record which will be released by a friendly neighborhood record label in the near future.
Venray are a DC-based duo with a huge sound, so it’s ironic that their contribution here is super subdued and sweet, but it totally works for them!
The Real Sea from Pittsburgh make some pretty sweet dream pop – you know I’m a sucker for that stuff – and this new song is a first taste of what the band is working on for their next release.
Gracie Mansion. A Brooklyn supergroup of Manny (Ilithios), Gavin, and Benji in their most epic, howling, rockin’ dream state. “Breed” is all caterwhauls, drum rolls, and shrieking guitars from the first gnarly bass riff.
Jane Migraine is turning out to be sort of the quiet wunderkind of the label. Super prolific and consistent in her style, but mostly flying under the radar, just dropping tunes out of the ether every so often. This one is on the super sweet side and melancholy, a bit of a calming breath as we head to the midpoint of the record.
For those paying close attention, VT-based band Nine Zillion is a new act featuring Max Heinz on drums (aka the drummer from Superorder). This particular track is an apt introduction to the project, as it was recorded before their upcoming debut (and features primary songwriter Zane Gunderson’s former Villanelles bandmate, Tristan Baribeau, on bass and backing vocals – remember that name for later).
It’s purely a coincidence that there are two Dutch bands on here. However, the funny thing is that Bleach Pizza was probably the first band I asked to do something with the label – before it really even existed. While on vacation in Amsterdam, we went to a little music festival in a DIY punk venue located in a bunker under a bridge. Mostly because I saw a listing for a band called Bleach Pizza playing there, and because it was free and near where we were staying. The band had a fun vibe, and I liked that there was an unexpected trumpet. Horns are always best when unexpected. Well, over a year later, I got them to do something with this little label, with their track “Paint Dry,” which isn’t nearly as boring as it sounds.
Jon The Guilt is a friend of the label who makes huge rock jams for late nights. Maybe I’m just saying that because the song is called “Night Prowler,” but I happen to know that Jon’s songwriting draws very intentionally – and smartly – on a wealth of rock music references from classic rock to punk and indie rock to make a perfect blend that makes every song feel like a hit. They also tend to sound like the perfect soundtrack to some late night mischief in the city.
I learned about Josaleigh Pollett’s music recently from social media, and was drawing to her straightforward sort of songwriting and sweet, powerful vocals. This very raw, minimalistic tune is a great example of that, as she questions the fates of her heroes – namedropping a couple of favorites that are bound to draw a knowing smile.
SASHATHEM. OMG. They dropped this THEMHORSES track (a collab with Mike The Yellow Horse) on us for this and of course we’re still buzzing from the release of Glass House, but this is even harder, and such a damn jam!
It’s time for another escape – and Peaches In Honey is here to provide just that. A hazy, dreamy trip with this single – previously released but with a record label that no longer exists – we have it on good authority that this project has some really cool stuff in the works.
Kyle Richard McCarthy is a Long Beach, NY-based musician and brilliant filmmaker who I got to know through my friend Calicoco (hang on for that one…) and recently seemed to open some sort of Pandora’s box of music between his projects Sleeping Loops and Honey Yard in recent months. “Only Float” is a peaceful, wavy sort of tune with a hint of Flaming Lips-esque psychedelia.
The Laughing Hearts are a rootsy indie rock band from Chicago who share their live show staple of a cover of the Deer Tick-tangential band Middle Brother’s song “Middle Brother” with us here – look for something original and VERY exciting coming from this band in the coming months!
The New Restaurants have been quiet since the release of their perfectly dystopic post punk party album Wrong Place At Wrong Time last year, but I had to get them to send SOMETHING in. Luckily, they had this previously under-love remix of their song “Weird Website” from a few years back, by Mammoth Sam – currently of Portland, ME band Bully Mammoth (the past bands triangulation gets real wild here, but we’ll leave that for another time).
The next track is one that I think a lot of people are going to be a bit blown away by. Calicoco is an incredible artist (also in Long Beach, NY). For some backstory – when I first learned about their music, it also turned me on the the great Rochester-based label, Dadstache Records. That led to Dadstache releasing the Mount Sharp record. Well, apparently Calicoco has been working on A LOT of music, and experimenting with some covers, including this mind-blowing cover of the modern classic, “Wrecking Ball.” This is not a tossed off quick cover – this is a huge, fully produced sonic adventure and well-worth the trip.
Back to the Maine connections again, this time with an artist who only came onto my radar in the past couple of months, but whose sound is just something I so instantly liked. Plus, they’ve got a cool name. Snake Lips does rock in that sort of hazy, chunky, slacker way with slightly distant but knowing reverbed-out vocals. It’s a sound I closely associate with a crop of bands that were around when I lived in Maine, so I guess something in the salty water is keeping the sound alive.
From the lackadaisical to the cheery feel-good vibes, Long Island’s Medicine Fish has a sort of shimmery, jammy rock sound that keeps things light and upbeat, without treading too deeply into Dead territory.
While we’re feeling positive, Aurora Aura step in with somewhat of a departure from their self-titled tape. Tremolo guitars set a heightened tone that anchor the drifting vocals and ambient sounds throughout the spaced-out track.
Doctor Sailor (aka the solo project of VT’s Tristan Baribeau) grabs some of that airy vibe and adds a groove, hinting a melodies and movements throughout the song’s sonic playfulness, almost settling into a conventional pop song but abandoning it before we get too comfortable.
Finally, “Night Canoe” by Mount Sharp. This was recorded with Brian Sendrowitz during the sessions for That Shadow, but didn’t quite fit the vibe of the record. Now seemed like a fine time to finally share it.
TRR Mix Vol. 1 is out today (Bandcamp Friday, April 2, 2021) and available on a limited edition (10) of 90-minute Maxell tapes.