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Conversations // Post-rock with Oh Hiroshima

Introduce Oh Hiroshima to our readers!

I would say Oh Hiroshima is a modest band from the depths of the woods in Värmland, Sweden. The woods of Småland as well, since Simon joined. There’s a lot of trees in Sweden. We’re 4 good friends who like to make music together. 4 very different individuals.

In your own words, what distinguishes post-rock from other rock genres?

Post-rock for me is that it’s mostly instrumental music. Instrumental music has always made me feel like I can relate so much more to the music, since it’s the association/story that I make myself that matters; there are no lyrics there to tell me what this song is about. I’m free to feel what I feel and make my own connection with the song.

Could you describe the process of creating post-rock music? What inspires its unique sound, and how would you go about producing it?

Our process has changed through the years, but since Simon joined and we became a full band for the first time, I think it’s gone in the right direction. We usually meet at our own rehearsal place, and someone might have an idea for a song. We play with it for a while, just to get a feel for the song, then we go more in depth of what needs changing; how we can make it better. It’s a really organic process, and can’t be described entirely.

The thing with our music is that we’ve never said “we’re a post-rock band”. Me and Jakob leaned towards that kind of music in the beginning, but now it’s more like a mixture of all kinds of different genres that each person has brought to the band and is inspired by. Sure, we know we’re categorized as a post-rock band, but I think you might hear different kinds of inspirations if you listen closely. We’ve always strived to make post-rock more accessible for the average listener.

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Tell us about the post-rock scene in Sweden. How has it grown, and where do you think it will go from here?

The post-rock scene in Sweden is basically non-existant. There are a lot of great post-rock bands from Sweden like EF, pg.lost and Immanu El, but the scene in itself has never flourished. Post-rock is a difficult genre to describe, you basically have to experience it for yourself. So when you see a no-name-band playing at a club you don’t know what to expect, so you usually don’t go.

-Leif Eliasson, Oh Hiroshima

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Conversations // Shoegaze with Bloodhounds On My Trail

Firstly, introduce yourselves! 

We are Bloodhounds On My Trail from Melbourne Australia. Born out of the music scene here and hoping to add to it. Johnny has vocal duties along with guitar, Chris on bass, Nik on drums & Chris (aka Donnie) on guitar.

 

In your own words, what is shoegaze? How does it stand apart from other music genres? 

To me it’s going deaf to beautiful music. To a friend of mind it is “It’s good stretching music”. I think that is complementary.. Something to take you away.  It stands out because of the meticulous care given to the sonic sound of the band playing. Listening to it can take you on a journey. A good way to take you mind off of what it is you’re doing. I also think there is this bond with it. Cause it’s perhaps a niche genre, there is an element to it that when you are listening away you are somehow connecting with others who are into it for the same reasons you love it.

 

 

What are some of the different sub-genres of shoegaze? 

Roogaze my friends… Get on that. Coined by a great Melbourne shoegaze band Lowtide, it covers all the shoegaze coming out of Australia at the moment. I could probably just list of some usual suspects like noise rock, space rock etc but I think most bands would like to think that they are a mix of a few things and therefore some kind of their own genre. Some bands are out and out shoegaze, but best ones of recent times are where shoegaze is a element (probably an obvious one) but they blend it with other things well. So in a way each band has is own sub-genre.

 

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What is the Aussie shoegaze scene like? Who are your inspirations?

Fantastic. Really there are too many good bands doing many great things & I reckon we all inspire each other in a good way. Honestly I could list 20 awesome bands and many of them friends but I’m gonna go with the last bands we played with from Melbourne & Sydney shows who are awesome – Parading, Seasloth, Lapse, Sounds Like Sunset.
 

In your opinion, how do you see shoegaze evolving in the future? Or will it always be a throwback to the retro 90s?

I don’t really believe that anything is a throwback to anything. Bands get influenced, bands write songs based on their influences & to me it comes out a little different each time depending on the year, era or bands style & other influences outside of shoegaze. The only real difference is that shoegazers tend to be more upfront of bands they like and have this community not many others have.
I guess maybe sometimes guitarists can get too caught up in replication of sounds rather than trying to go in a new direction which can draw the “they sound like X or Y or Z” criticism but if you have a deeper understanding I think there are different subtleties with mostly anyone. Still though like any music, there cant just be a “sound”. Good songs still need to be written & constructed well. Here in lies the difference between a good shoegaze band and an average one. 

 

-Chris Donnie, Bloodhounds On My Trail

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Story Behind The Song – In Time by Lake Jons

Like almost all the songs we’ve done, I started recoding some ideas with the guitar in the Lake Jons Garage. The song “In Time” came quite quickly together but the lyrics waited for almost one year to be finished.

 *photo credits to Arttu Kokkonen


It was the song that was born just after we had mastered our two EP’s so it was in some kind of an empty space between the old and new. We had no hurry to finish it and it stayed in the demo folder for a year or so. When we started planning on releasing the second EP and we got an idea to put “In Time” on it even though it was still on the demo stage.

We put it together and finished the lyrics. I listened to my old demo guitars and wondered even though they were recorded kind of carelessly I loved them cause of the sound and the feel. The only thing that we kept having a problem with was the beat. To have it or not to have it. Just couple of days before mastering the song we ended up finding the right minimal beat for the song. But in the end we kept basically every track from the demo session and replaced only a few instruments like for example the vocals.

 

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The key message of the song “I take my chances” is pretty straight forward so I don’t think it needs more unwrapping.

The way the song came together was pretty unusual for us. It was a slow process of one year.

 

-Jooel Jons, Lake Jons

www.facebook.com/lakejonsmusic

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SBTS – Cash 4 Gold by Rachel Mallin & The Wild Type

I wrote Cash 4 Gold in 15 minutes. I have to start at the beginning to give you context for the song’s inspiration:

 

“For aesthetically disenfranchised furnishings, we are like the families that adopt troubled children and refugees from around the world – we see beauty within and cannot say no.” - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
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For the majority of my life, my mom has owned a larger-than-average, depreciating house at the bottom of a cul-de-sac on Easy Street in Gladstone, MO. I’m not saying Easy Street to be ironic, it’s literally called Easy St.

 

Over the years, the house has collected antiques and miscellaneous items of sentimental value that grow in number corresponding to the inconceivable amount of life my mom, two brothers, and myself have experienced there. After you live anywhere long enough, you begin to realize how much the place you call home reflects the characteristics of the people who inhabit it. It’s not pretty, nor is it like any other house I’ve visited, but it looks like it was lived in, and it’s seen every inch that we have. Divorce, birthday parties, mom’s home-cooked holiday dinners, loud arguments, loud music, brother’s leaving for college, me leaving for college, relatives we take care of, relatives we plan funerals for. If the memories aren’t tangible enough to leave a presence in the house, I’m sure we could dig through the stacks of bullshit to prove they happened.

 

 

I think most people of my generation, including myself at times, have a disposable mentality about the world. How things are made today for the sake of mass-quantity rather than quality leaves us with little objection against tossing something when it no longer fulfills its purpose for us anymore. My mom was raised on a farm by parents who lived through The Depression Era, so our ideas of preservation are a little bit different. The house is essentially furnished with family heirlooms manufactured in the eras spanning between Civil War – present day, and I’m sure they would be worth a pretty substantial amount on craigslist… yet she struggles to dismiss what that particular object means or has meant to her.

 

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It took all of about fifteen minutes to write Cash4Gold, because I’ve seen the medical bills, bank statements, and documents of life expenses that collect on top of the boxes – we live in a big house, but we’ve never been wealthy.

 

I know what it’s like to watch someone you love caught in circumstances which force them to assign a monetary value to an object that bares a priceless personal and historical value.

 

A value of memories that reflect the way this object has fulfilled its intended purpose for the children you’ve raised and the human beings you’ve loved and cared for in years passed. Objects that have endured and existed through the years, like we have and we continue to. No matter what these items that cover the tables and line the walls are sold for to someone else; that person will never know how much it meant to us.

-Rachel Mallin, lead vocals

www.facebook.com/RachMalisSass

 

Cash 4 Gold Lyrics:

 

We just toss our troubles on the shelves with all the rest of our bullshit
I just hope for peace when I come home
You won’t know me like you thought you did

 

Boxes of posterity
Stacked up to our ears
I don’t care for what it’s worth in ten or twenty years
Cause money comes and money goes
And everybody claims to know
Let’s trade our baby, get rich fast
Spin our gold back into cash
Just so long as it lasts

 

We love our house, we settle down
We fantasize it burning down
We’re placing bets
On who comes to take it first
Mother nature, or the men from the IRS
Cause it’s all trash

 

Boxes of posterity
Stacked up to our ears
It’s not worth the trouble in ten or twenty years
Cause money comes and money goes
And everybody claims to know
Let’s sell our child, get rich fast
Spin our gold back into cash
Just so long as it lastsJust so long as it lasts
Darlin’ nothing ever lasts

 

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Story Behind The Song – Love U More by DANI

Love U More was written at my first writing session with my now best friend Omar Khan. We literally had the song finished within an hour.

 

Usually when you write a song one of two things will happen; you will either sit there for hours banging your head against the wall trying to come up with ideas, or things flow naturally. Gratefully, on this particular day, it was one of those easy sessions that just flowed naturally.  I realize there is this deep dark place inside me when i’m writing songs.

 

I always feel like I’m doing well in life or like I’m okay, but as soon as these songs come out, they are so emotional and full of pain; I start to question my mental state. LOL.  It’s like I’ve got this sadness about me I can’t really describe.

 

I’ve had people ask me to write more “upbeat” and “happy” songs but the more I come into my own and figure out who I am as an artist, I more I realize the “happy go lucky” songwriter is just not me.

 

My songs are emotional and have a sense of loneliness in them because i suppose I like singing about the pain. When I listen to other artists I’m also drawn to low tempo emotional music.

 

 

Some of my favourite artists are BANKS, Spooky Black and James Blake.  I love artists who draw from experience and I love it to reflect the music.

 

DANI

www.danimusicofficial.com
www.facebook.com/danimusicofficial
www.soundcloud.com/danimusicofficial

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Story Behind The Song – Boy by Bleachbear

 

The song Boy actually began as a soft, acoustic song. I was messing around transitioning between two chords and vocally riffing over them when I came up with the melody. I played the song for my bandmates and they suggested we replace the acoustic guitar with the overdriven bass line that you now hear on the track.

 

 

Lyrically, Boy is the simplest song I have ever written.  I transitioned to songwriting from writing poetry and thus I love intricate lyrics. However, I wanted to try something new with Boy by using aloof lyrics and letting the instrumentation convey the story. The emotion I wanted to capture was desperation. The track starts off sparse with just the bass and slowly builds as the other instruments are added in, climaxing with the guitar solo before simmering back down.

The chorus lyric “Can you feel the wind” was a line I cut out from a poem.

In fact, all the songs from the album Cowboy Movie Star are snippets from poems. 

It was part of a project I did last summer where I created a collages from vintage postcards intermixed with phrases from cut-apart poems, in what amounted to an ode to western deserts, 1950´s slow dances, and old Hollywood.  One of the postcards portrayed a lone cowboy and it conjured in my mind this heartbreaker cowboy protagonist who never stays long in one place, hence the verse lyric “that boy he goes like a bird like a ship like a plane.”

 

“I wrote the song from the prospective of one of his mistresses begging him to stay, her building desperation mirroring the crescendo of the song’s instrumentation as she implores if he can feel anything at all anymore.”

 

Our debut album Lost Parade was extremely personal, and this upcoming album is no less personal. However, this time around I projected the emotions I was feeling at the time through these cinematic lenses which I think added some depth to the lyrics.  I’ll admit I’m a sucker for love songs, but with this album I wanted the listener to have to work harder to discover meaning behind the lyrics rather than being able to label the tracks as “just another love song” or such.

Although I’ve already solved the puzzle for this track, there’s nine more you can dissect when the album comes out July 30th!

Tigerlily Cooley,

main vocals/songwriter/guitarist

www.bleachbear.com

Bleachbearband@gmail.com

www.instagram.com/bleachbearband

www.facebook.com/bleach.bear.10

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Cicadas in the Sun by Cali Blake

The bittersweet innocence of country meets sultry nightclub jazz to create the singing persona of Cali Blake’s Cicadas in the Sun.

Cali Blake’s debut, 10-track album showcases her many styles and talents. No matter the occasion, you’ll find that Cicadas in the Sun is rarely out of place, whether you’re settling down for a quiet dinner for two or getting ready for a night around town.

A journey for the senses, Cicadas in the Sun takes you on a feelings trip, from melancholic ballads and ambient dream pop, to calming New Orleans blues. Absolutely amazing.

-Mark

Check out more about Cali Blake below

http://www.caliblake.com

https://www.facebook.com/Cali-Blake-496631920393140

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SBTS – Don’t Be Strange by Doppler

A random turn of events on Soundcloud led me to discover and befriend Jamie Mulrooney of Doppler, a small outfit from Ireland looking to spread its wings out to the wider music industry. I spoke to Jamie on one of their songs, “Don’t Be Strange”

-Calvyn

When I’m low I find it very easy to reflect. I draw solace from the process of writing lyrics or simple melodies and piecing them together. Its like therapy. In reality I was pretty depressed at the time of writing this song and it is only now when I look back at these lyrics it seems strange to think that I felt so low. Its a track that I don’t like listening to as it bring up memories that I have no interest in revisiting.

“Don’t Be Strange” is a by product of my state of mind around that time. I ended up writing several songs on the same subject but this seems to be the most poignant. Suitably, it was written in the depth of an Irish winter which itself can be pretty depressing. The sky is always grey and there are 16 hours of total darkness and the light which shines in between is weak and has to battle through dense cloud and rain. As you can imagine most of the time is spent indoors and as I spent two thirds of my time alone because of work, it was only a matter of time before I reflected on personal experiences that had not gone the way in which i envisaged that year.

I had come out of a serious relationship and cursed the time that I felt I wasted. I was bitter and self loathing. It very hard to convey how I felt but it wasn’t good. Several of my best friends had all emigrated to Australia for years and I was one of the only ones that remained in Ireland. I felt like I missed the opportunity of a lifetime and it was now too late to join the party.

On the mornings during this time I often spent hours reflecting. I’d be looking back romantically at the past when in reality I knew that this exercise would be fruitless. That I was looking back into the past with rose tinted glasses and confusing the past with fantasy. I found it hard to let go.

 

Jamie Mulrooney

As usual I just wrote about what was in my mind. I wrote the lyrics over the course of 2-3 hours on a dreary morning in my kitchen. The chords changes were simple just going back and forth like a wave between a variation on A major and E Major. I then added the sound of the Ocean crashing in the background and put it very low in the mix but I think it fitted metaphorically with what the content as well as it being therapeutic, which fitted neatly into ideology that the process of making music was a release to me. I recorded it with my makeshift studio on the kitchen table and had the lions share recorded before midday.

The lyrical content was honest and I didn’t question the words as much as I usually do. I later found that lots of better writers do some of their best work first thing in the morning as they’re less self conscious about what they are saying and they haven’t had enough time to question and belittle their own subconscious.

“You need time to make you feel better,
You need sound to clear your mind,
Sat alone with your regret thinking about how you can change.
For your memories deceive you, nostalgia makes you strange.”

“You need life, surrounding us to keep you warm.
You need women to heal the cracks that you have torn
And I know you’re healing, you’re getting better everyday.
I just hope that you cope with nostalgia when you’re grieving,
Don’t Let it Make you strange.”

The chorus was slightly more uplifting. I was listening to a lot of Bill Withers at the time and Lean On Me was uplifting and honest voice to draw upon as well as Use Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Receiving and sharing help was something that I was lucky enough to understand and I knew that in future times I would hope to be the voice of reason or be somebody to confide in. But for now I had to realise that I was the one who needed help.

“I’m only around the corner.
I’m only around the corner when you need a friend.
I’m not going to change,
I still think about you now and then.”

The outro was a darker image that passed through my mind at my cousins funeral earlier that year. He had suffered with a long illness and I thought about his wife and children and what they were going through. I was listening to On Raglan Road a poem written by Patrick Kavanagh and performed by Luke Kelly which covers the same topics. Trying to accept loss is difficult and its just something I wanted to convey with the imagery.

“When you died in the Spring, I could have died with you too.
Throwing soil over your body, can I go down with you.
If I could be buried tomorrow would it be next to you?
I don’t want the truth.”

Many people say that they don’t care if people like their songs and its “All about the music”. I never bought into that idea at all and in fact I think that the people who say that are just lying. Getting vindication or being complimented for your music is amazing and the fact that people are listening to this song and drawing their own conclusions from it makes me feel great. It gave me a sense of purpose. And it couldn’t have came at a better time.

-Jamie Mulrooney, Doppler

facebook.com/dopplerireland

soundcloud.com/dopplerireland

jamiemulrooneydoppler.bandcamp.com/