MUSIC

Waterparks Dive Into a Pool of Emotions On Their Latest Album

Houston native rock band continue to usher in latest era with the release of FANDOM.

Waterparks' latest album, FANDOM, is raw. Raw in its lyricism and its handling of fans, fame, friendship, and love.

FANDOM was worth the wait, delivering 15 tracks that add a new dimension to Waterparks sound. The in-your-face punch of the melodies introduces FANDOM, and it's "sour green" aesthetic in a big way, especially with the album's lead single "Watch What Happens Next," and its follow up "Dream Boy." Vocalist, Knight, who also directed the music videos for this album, is aiming at those who expect too much, reward the trio too little, and the dark side of what life post-"blow up," and post break up, has left him with. "I want fans to feel emotionally wrecked after listening to this album." shared Knight. "There are so many different feelings expressed throughout it, and I don't want to say that it's an emotional rollercoaster, but it's an 'emotional rollercoaster.'"

The band isn't holding back on FANDOM. Emotions are real and served with punching melodic riffs and guitar solos from Geoff Wigington and drummer Otto Wood, maintaining the album's vibe through consistent beats. "Obviously, with time, we've grown and have become better musicians," said Wiginton. "On this album, the guitar lines cut through, and the drums just sound so tight."

It's invigorating to hear someone speak so frankly about the pressures of fame. They, of course, aren't the first band to address those that have wronged them, but the sincere snarl and growl in Knight's vocals make it seem a bit more personal and authentic.

"War Crimes" gives a glimpse into everything that's plagued Knight and the band in the last few years. The lyric, "Behind my forehead's an assortment of things I'd like to forget," kick starts the foot-stomping beat, followed by lyrics like "my death will be the fandom / give back my halo you stole."

Another major theme on FANDOM is heartbreak and the post-relationship way of thinking. The lyrics are somehow blunt yet cryptic, showing vulnerability to Knight, especially on tracks like "High Definition" and "Never Bloom Again." Still, this thread also carries through on the higher energy "Telephone" and "Easy To Hate."

While lumped into the pop-punk category, FANDOM creates a division between Waterparks and the rest of the genre because of experimental melodies – the club classic dance break on "War Crimes" being a definite highlight as well as the electro-pop reminiscent "Telephone" and the folk-esque "IMHSBALIDWD."

Fans may never know what Friendly Reminder might have sounded like, but it seems like Waterparks made the right choice in scrapping it.

Be sure to listen to FANDOM and check out the band's latest music video for their song "Easy to Hate," directed by Knight.


Waterparks - EASY TO HATE (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

MUSIC

HIRIE Talks Addiction, Bipolar Disorder, and Spirituality on her Album "Dreamer"

Tropical-pop singer-songwriter releases third album ahead of headlining her U.S. fall tour.

Tropical pop singer HIRIE's third album, Dreamer, is a sonic journey base-lined by islad beats that celebrate the bold, joyful, and even messy impulses that drive the female experience.

This album marks the first time frontwoman/vocalist Trish Jetton has collaborated with other songwriters. The body of work covers a multitude of topics and themes like self-care, the struggle of dealing with addiction and indulgence, and the "wild woman archetype."

Popdust was able to chat with Jetton about the album and how a present from a fan inspired Dreamer.

I love how vibrant yet simplistic the video is for your song "She Go" and how it features many badass women and beautiful tropical scenes. What was the conception process like?

So for that song, it's interesting because there are so many different messages in it, so I left it open to interpretation. But you know the hook in itself, "she go." It's a term we use a lot in Hawaii; it's like, say, if the waves are pumping, you know the waves are going off. Somebody might be like, "Oh, she go." Like Mother Nature, she go, like she's getting it right now. Or like if there's a beautiful you know girl walking on the street, and she's just totally owning it and paying no mind to anyone: She go. It's an endearing term you see, whether it's about... a human being or just nature in general.

And then the song itself [goes], "Put down the gun," which is meant to mean, "Put your ego down." I co-wrote that song with a couple of guys from The Drive. At one point in the day, we were discussing the gun violence that was going on around the time we wrote the song. I believe there was a mall shooting. So it just blurted out of me like, "Put down the gun, you know, be sensible." Let's cut the drama and let's get it. So when I did the video, I didn't want something that felt egotistical. I just wanted to show or highlight women that were just badass.

I didn't want anything that seemed like we were trying too hard production-wise. We kept everything low-key and minimal. The director, producer, videographer Tim Slusarczyk, he was just so humble. He did everything himself with one camera, one lens, and we got it all done pretty quickly. We wanted to keep it organic.

HIRIE - She Go (OFFICIAL VIDEO) www.youtube.com

As for "I'm Messed Up," it's evident in the lyrics and live performance what the song is about, but how does it fit into the album? What are some of the elements and themes that you hope people pick up on in the project?

I think we introduced some elements that we haven't done before. "I'm Messed Up" is the only song with a mariachi band in it, for example. In others, we added in violins and were able to tie that into songs like, "Message in a Bottle" and "Frida Kahlo." I think, though, when it comes to authenticity, "Messed Up" was one of the easiest to write. There was just so much; it was just so close to home, and I probably could've easily written ten verses. I think the way that it ties into the album is just the honesty and authenticity in the lyrics and the emotion behind it all.

So it's safe to say that that authenticity is consistent throughout the album?

I think that with this album, I allowed myself to express almost everything that I feel...I'm a proud bipolar person, and I go through swings of depression and anxiety and then epic bliss. On this album, I did collaborate with songwriters, and I felt like they helped me convey the emotions I was feeling in a way that I think people will be able to understand. I was guided, and that helped me communicate more clearly. I'm a very metaphorical person, and when I write sometimes, I'm almost too poetic. They'd be like, "Hey, I don't think everybody knows that word or understands that phrase. Maybe we can find something else or use something different." Overall, it was cool to write about all of the highs and lows of the human experience.

I think the last track on Dreamer, "Stay Wild" was one of the songs that spoke to me the most.

Ironically enough, I almost a named the album Stay Wild! That tune kind of started the creation of this album. One of my fans gave me this book called Women Who Run With Wolves, and it's a book about the wild women archetype and how throughout history and different cultures, women have been suppressed and made to believe that if you're wild or eccentric, [then] you're mad, or crazy, and you deserve to die or don't deserve a quality life. You can see the unfairness between male and female promiscuity and how we judge genders. When I read the book, things started flowing out of me, and I felt all of these different emotions that led me to write Dreamer in the way that I did. In the book, I was reading that it was okay to feel these things that other people avoid. "Stay Wild" has a folklore vibe to it, and it's based on all of these women. I'm so proud of those lyrics, and that's one of the few songs that I wrote [solo] on the album. It's the least mainstream in a sense, but it's last because it's the one I love the most.

In the end, why did you end up naming the album Dreamer?

In the book, I read a passage that talked about how there are two types of spiritual people. There is the Dreamer, and there is the Seer. The Seer can see your aura and see the future right in front of them. They're the kind of people that can anticipate the future. For The Dreamer, for example, the Native Americans would ask them a question, or they'll ask themselves a question and have a dream or lucid dream that they would then interpret. I started to think about how my dreams are super lucid and how in the past I'd write them down and understand them too. It came to a point where I was like, "Okay Trish, what is the strongest, most important message? What are you going to call this album?" I woke up the next morning, and literally, the first word that came to mind was "dreamer."

No way!

I didn't even know why! It didn't occur to me what it meant to me, so I wrote it down on a memo on my phone and forgot about it. Later that day, one of my band members was trying to quit. He was one of my oldest band members, and he was saying, "I can't do this anymore. We're not making money, and we're struggling. I'm ready to stop doing it." I was like, 'I can feel that something is right around the corner. Don't worry about it.' He kept on saying how it's just a dream, and all we are are dreamers, and I had this, like, Keanu Reeves 'a ha' moment. I'm supposed to be a dreamer. And that is what we are. He just said it in such a kind of a negative way at the moment; I realized that it wasn't negative. It is what we are. We are dreamers, and we have to keep believing.

Be sure to check out HIRIE's latest album Dreamer below and be sure to catch her on tour!

HIRIE will embark on a headline U.S. tour starting October 13th in Huntington Beach, CA and stopping in cities like Orlando, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Diego, and more.

Dreamer

October 13 – Huntington Beach, CA @ On The Water Fest 2019

October 18 – Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock

October 23 – Orlando, FL @ The Abbey

October 24 – Stuart, FL @ Terra Fermata

October 25 – Melbourne, FL @ Florida Institute of Tech

October 26 – Jacksonville Beach FL @ Surfer the Bar

October 27 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger

October 29 – Virginia Beach, CA @ Elevation 27

October 30 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage

November 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

November 3 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom

November 6 – Detroit, MI @ El Club

November 9 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill

November 10 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown (Front Room)

November 14 – Garden City, ID @ Visual Arts Collective

November 15 – Spokane, WA @ The Big Dipper

November 16 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile

November 17 – Portland, OR @ Holocene

November 20 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver

November 21 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst

November 23 – San Diego CA @ The Observatory

MUSIC

Phebe Starr Explores Loss and Femininity in Her EP, "Ice Tea Liberace"

The Australian singer-songwriter talks about her latest EP and teases her new album for later this year.

She is Aphrodite / @sheisaphrodite

Australian singer-songwriter Phebe Starr has released her highly anticipated four-track EP Ice Tea Liberace.

The EP features rebellious indie-pop and dives into a multitude of themes, including loss of innocence and coming to terms with growing up. The project refuses to hold back with its slick electro-pop production and Starr's empowered vocal delivery. For example, its lead single, "TOUCH X X X," the last of the four-track collection, explores the lost love and the aftermath of a relationship that has come to an end. The song reminds listeners of Starr's ability to bring beauty to even the most painful of life's moments.

Popdust was able to chat with Starr to dive further into her creative process and explore the inspirations behind her work.

How did you come up with the concept for the "Touch X X X" music video? What was it like working with the director and the producer?

Oh well, it's a bit of a funny story...It's my next-door neighbor who shot the video. So we didn't make a plan or anything like that; he's just my neighbor, and it was a crazy time in both of our lives. I was writing all of this music that I'm about to release and I had many people who were dying in my life; it's crazy.

I'm so sorry.

Yeah, it was crazy. I mean it happens, right? That's life. But one of them was my grandma. I hadn't seen her since I was 15, and she used to be very close to us but then some family drama happened, I'm not sure exactly what, but she called me on her deathbed and said, "I want to see you before I die." I walked out of that house and my neighbor was sitting there, no one was around and my partner was using my car. So my neighbor said, "I'll take you," and he jumped in the car and we drove six hours and saw my Nana.

He's obviously a director and photographer and everything, so while we were driving out there he started taking film photos from a hand crank camera. Eventually, he said, "Well I think we have enough for a video clip." So when I went back, this was last October, he took some of the in-between footage, like on a wall with another film camera, and it was so organic and real. He's a really good friend who supported me in a really difficult time in my life, and he tried to show what was really going on. So it's just me, him and then my friend Chris, who I do a bunch of music with. We didn't even plan to do a video for that song.

I noticed that in the "Touch X X X" video it starts in mostly black and white shots and you don't get a flash of color until around a minute and a half in. Then it has this bright red scene, a close up on your eye and half of your face. Is there a specific reason you waited that long to finally show color and those colors specifically?

There are a lot of themes in my art and music and one of them is duality. It's hard for me to say in words what I feel or think about it, but I know that that technique is something that I want to use. I try to create this softness and this harshness, and I think it's like thinking in yin and yang or male and female, so it's a spectrum of things that I'm trying to create. It's almost like most of the feelings that I feel all the time are happy and sad at the same time, or strong and vulnerable. There's a lot of hardcore things that I talk about, but there is also a lot of softness and beauty. The black and white is the history, and then the colors represent the moment of awakening and realizing what's going on.

With the release of Ice Tea Liberace, where does this song fit into the EP, overall?

I wanted this to be the first song because it was the first song that I wrote and I wanted [people] to understand [that] I didn't just come to these new thoughts and feelings. It came from a place of experience. I don't try to speak on anything unless I've felt like I understand it...The next songs that I'm releasing are quite rebellious, and there's a bit of "F*ck you!" in them. I could've come out slamming with that and expressing, "This is how I feel!" and that's fine, but I wanted people to know that this is a well-thought out piece of work and where I'm at in my life now. I did research, and by that I mean I lived life and explored these ideas of femininity and understanding relationships and conventional ways of doing things. I explored those expectations society has for us in multiple ways. So the EP...probably gets a bit angry and unleashes itself to people.

Do you feel like the EP goes on a journey in any way...from that angry place to a place of resolve? Or do you think that it has more of a consistent theme throughout?

It's more so a reflective EP. It's about coming to terms with what part you play in society and me saying I have a different opinion from the way that society sees me and the way that society views other people, and I'm going to express that opinion as my truth. Often, women's opinions are thought of as an emotional thing, whereas men's are viewed as a fact, so I wanted to express my opinions as facts and that's the real theme throughout the EP.

Why did you decide to name the EP Ice Tea Liberace?

I wrote the track "Ice Tea Liberace" through this subconscious writing thing that I do...So "Ice Tea" is kind of commentary on the way that we make things or consume things as a younger generation, which is very disposable. Like, we'll get a new ice tea every day and we'll throw it out; and then Liberace was this crazy artist back in the day who did everything to the extreme. So again, that's a commentary on society, and the way I see things. I'm just trying to communicate the culture in which I see and I exist and my frustrations with older people and how they don't see how things have changed. Especially people who don't foster a more inclusive environment for creativity. The song isn't meant to be a negative song, but like the EP as a whole, it's meant to be a commentary on my experience and what I desire to happen for young creatives.

After this EP comes out, what goals do you have for yourself for both the short-term and long-term?

I'm so excited to release music again. I think by the end of the year I'd like to get out there and do some shows. At the moment I'm just writing for so many other artists. I recently moved to LA,`and I've been doing so many projects for other people, so I hope that those songs will be released soon, too. I just want to get as much music out as possible. With the EP coming out, I'd like to do some touring, and then next year I'd like to release another album. I'm just finishing [it] off right now!

Since the release of the EP, you've released stripped down versions of the tracks. They're these beautiful and slightly eerie videos of you singing acoustically. What motivated you to make a stripped down version of "Ice Tea Liberace?"

I wanted to show people how I write my songs. Usually, I write very stripped back, and I showed a friend of mine the demos, and they said, "Whoa, you should release the demos because they have their own beauty about them." I never really thought of it that way before, because...I write my music acoustically. The fun part for me is adding all the bells and whistles during the production process. I do think, though, that there is something beautiful about capturing the raw honesty of what you're trying to say. For this, I wanted to play more organic instruments and show people the emotion behind the songs more than anything and still capture the vision of what I had in mind for the production with simplicity. So for the "Ice Tea" video, I imagined it as a Western. I wanted whistles and haunting outlaw imagery.

Who did you shoot the video with and where did you do the shoot?

A friend of mine Corey Bienert shot the video at his studio Found Sounds. They wanted me to be in my natural habitat, so the house in the video is actually my house! It was actually quite empty at the time because I had just moved there. I had almost no furniture.

It's interesting that you mention you were going for a Western feel for the video, because the stripped back version of "Ice Tea" reminds me of the Nancy Sinatra cover of Cher's "Bang Bang."

It's been a vibe and a story that women have been telling for so long. We've become a bit like outlaws, or I guess lonely and isolated in our grief.

Check out Phebe Starr's video for "Touch X X X" and "Ice Tea Liberace" and stream Ice Tea Liberace below!

Ice Tea Liberace - EP


Phebe Starr Touch XXX Offical Video www.youtube.com


Phebe Starr // Ice Tea Liberace www.youtube.com

MUSIC

Marianas Trench Extend U.S. Tour for Their Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Album

Canadian pop-rock band extend U.S. tour to promote their latest album.

Canadian pop-rock band Marianas Trench has announced that they will be extending their Suspending Gravity U.S. tour with additional shows in September 2019.

The tour will include material from the band's latest studio album, Phantoms, as well as performances of fan-favorite songs from previous double platinum and gold-selling albums. "The shows should be pretty similar to the last U.S. run that we did. This time there'll be a few new tricks up our sleeves production-wise," shared Marianas Trench drummer Ian Casselman. "We love touring the U.S., and I find that the people are just very nice down here. They're very friendly, and our fans are great. They're very gracious people, so playing for them is always a treat."

This past autumn, Marianas Trench fans got a preview of Phantoms through the energetic first single from the album, "I Knew You When." The song's spirited nature is indicative of the album as a whole, while lyrically it reflects Phantoms' overall theme of dealing with memories of past relationships.

Lead singer Josh Ramsay explains, "I wanted to set an album from the perspective of someone descending into madness as he inhabits a house haunted by the ghost of his former love. I looked to Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration. Strangely, the date he was rushed to the hospital preceding his death was October 3rd, the same day our first album was released, and the same date I was once to be married. Even more strangely, we finished this album on January 19th, his birthday. I'm not one for superstition, but that does feel oddly serendipitous."

The shows are set to be held at venues that will give fans more of an up-close-and-personal live experience. "I hope that our fans get out of our shows what they want to get out of it," Casselman expressed. "Music is such a personal thing, and Josh's lyrics are autobiographical. We work hard on the art and creativity aspect of it, so Josh doesn't like to say what a song is about to fans and I get why. I know people are curious, but if you didn't let them discover it on their own, it could ruin the music and meaning that you can find for yourself."

The tour will make its way up and down the East Coast before heading West and wrapping up on September 29th at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA.

Check out Marianas Trench's music video for "Glimmer" below and be sure to listen to Phantoms, and catch them on tour. Check out the dates below.

Marianas Trench - Glimmer www.youtube.com

Phantoms

Tour Dates

Sep-11 London, ON Western Fair

Sep-13 New Haven, CT Toad's Place

Sep-14 Providence, RI The Strand

Sep-15 Brookville, NY Tilles Center PAC

Sep-17 Cincinnati, OH Madison Theatre

Sep-18 Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom

Sep-20 Joliet, IL The Forge

Sep-21 Milwaukee, WI The Rave

Sep-22 St. Louis, MO Delmar Hall

Sep-24 Dallas, TX Canton Hall

Sep-25 San Antonio, TX The Vibes Event Center Showroom

Sep-27 Phoenix, AZ Van Buren

Sep-28 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl

Sep-29 San Diego, CA House Of Blues

Worn Tin Ends Summer with Double Sided Single Release

LA indie rock artist ends summer on psychedelic note with double single release.

LA lo-fi rocker Worn-Tin, also known as Warner Hiatt, makes their end of summer mark with their latest singles, "Something's Coming" and "Where's My Emmy."


The track is a daydreamy slow jam with a swaying and mesmerizing beat. The warm and pleasing melody is nicely complemented by the arrangement's raw, intimate production style, where every instrument sounds clear and concise. The guitars have a classic and rich tone, giving the track its natural cadence and psychedelic feel.


A faint but gorgeous reverberating piano line follows the melody in the chorus, emphasizing Worn-Tin's talent with and penitent for using analog recording techniques. His vocals are sweet and crooning, creating a nostalgic effect that works well with his straightforward lyricism. This effect is especially visible in alluring lines like, "Watch me as I find a quiet place to hide / Ropes beside my bed will keep me tied." Spacey synths add an element of displacement to the instrumentation, which by the end of the track, culminates into a sort of chaotic, anticipatory mashup of sounds, leaving listeners on the edge of their seat waiting for the whatever is supposed to happen next.


Hiatt has managed to find the balance of being understated but not minimal, which gives it a kind of revelatory intimacy. He's left space for splashes of synthesizer and made lots of room for both the humor and the existential bleakness in his lyrics to grow. When speaking about the a-side of his single, Hiatt shared, "'Something's Coming' is when you walk into Foot Locker and get really nervous because the guy behind the counter looks like a Referee and you feel like the exit is a goal post," he says. "How the hell are you gonna work up the courage to grab those Reebok slippers and make it out that door without making a technical foul? It's important to live in the moment. Whatever the cost may be."


As for "Something's Coming" b-side single, "Where's My Emmy," acts as a slow-moving musical monologue, tranquilizing us as we soak in the last moments before late-night stress dissolves into sleep.

Check out Worn Tin's latest singles below!

Something's Coming


MUSIC

Louis Knight Reflects on Lost Love in "Just Kiss Me" Music Video

Up and coming singer-songwriter takes a look back at past love in his latest music video.

19-year-old singer-songwriter Louis Knight takes a mature and nostalgic look at the past in his latest music video for "Just Kiss Me."

The British native shared that this song and the video were inspired by the memories that resonated when dealing with the aftermath of a long-term relationship. "I started writing this song going into my senior year of high school and I had just gotten out of this very long relationship. I hadn't really hung out or spent time with my friends in a long time so we went down to the beach in Jersey and I really wanted to capture that moment. That's kinda why this video looks back at this past relationship and intercuts with different scenes."

The video begins with Knight looking pensively at a polaroid picture of himself and an absent woman. After breaking out of this daydream, viewers are shown Knight on a stage, playing an intimate show for his friends and fans. His smooth, warm vocals guide us through the story of his previous relationship with intercut scenes of him and the girl in the photo spending their days and nights together at the beach.

The visuals are full of heartwarming moments that coincide with Knight's carefully crafted lyrics, especially poignant lines like, "We've intertwined our souls." This leaves us all the more heartbroken when we see the couple part and all the more relieved when we see their reunion in the "present" at Knight's performance. With its captivating storytelling and alluring instrumentation and vocals, "Just Kiss Me" is a strong indicator of Knight's ability to be an unapologetically vulnerable and honest musician.

This music video marks the beginning of an era for Knight. This fall the singer will be releasing his debut EP, Small Victories, which will touch on topics like relationships, loss, suicide, and hope. His next single, "Change," is due to be released this September before the release of the full EP.

"I first started writing songs when I was fourteen," shared Knight. "I think since then I've made leaps and bounds with my songwriting, and this EP that is coming out in the fall is full of very diverse tracks. I'm really excited for people to hear them all, and I hope that the messages in the tracks resonate with people."

Check out Louis Knight's music video for "Just Kiss Me" below!

Louis Knight - Just Kiss Me www.youtube.com