LISTEN // Ben Abraham Shares Covers Of Bjrk’s “Hyperballad”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bjrks release of her classic Hyperballad single, Australian artist Ben Abraham is premiering two interpretations of the song today, his coveras well as a remix by longtime collaborator Tim Shiellisten here.

I approached some friends of mine to help me work on a cover of Hyperballad to celebrate the anniversarycomposer Luke Howard and producer Tim Shiel. We emerged with two very beautiful versions, says Abraham.I love how Lukes lush string arrangement, with his subtle electronic instrumentation, highlights the timelessness of Bjrks writing and that Tims remix shows how compelling and fresh the song feels in todays musical landscape.Its daunting to cover such a celebrated work, but here we are with the utmost respect, and we hope you like it.

Abrahams debut album, Sirens, is out March 4 on Secretly Canadian. Preorder the album on all physical formats here and digitally via iTunes here. Zane Lowe recently premiered the debut single You And Me on Beats 1, praising his Beautiful songs from a debut album [written] whilst working in a hospital. Watch the Oh Yeah Wow-directed video for the track here.

Abraham recorded and produced Sirens in Melbourne with the help of friends and longtime collaborators Jono Steer and Leigh Fisher. The album also features a collaboration with Sara Bareilles, who Abraham connected online and struck up a friendship with several years ago, on This Is On Me as well as additional production from Gotyes Wally De Backer on Speak.

SECRETLY INTERVIEW SERIES // Elise Tyler: Director of Damien Jurado’s “Exit 353″ Video

Multi-talented, Nashville native Elise Tyler recently directed the new video for Damien Jurados single “Exit 353″ (from the forthcoming Visions of Us on the Land). Were such big fans of her work that we wanted to touch base with Elise to discuss her video, her work and whats shes into these days.

Hi! So, to start off, I see youre based out of Nashville, TN. Could you tell us how you ended up there?

Ive lived in Nashville my entire life, and I have never lived outside of the South. Nashville has been very good to me, it is home to some of the most creative and genuine humans imaginable. My parents are both from Mississippi, which I consider a second home, and they moved to Nashville in the 70s to pursue music.

What is your professional work space like?

One of the joys of freelance and creative work is that you get to choose your own work space. I had an office job once for about six months, and realized I could never be happy on that schedule. When I’m not shooting, I am usually working from home, and have a really rad desk my friend Seth Murray built me that I do just about everything at- edit, write, sew, draw. He has a rad band called Natural Child that you should check out. Heres a picture:

Elise tyler work space

You work in many mediums, such as photography, videography, directing, DJing and production. Can you talk about how you juggle these various pursuits and how you decided where to spend your creative energy?

There is a simple rule of thumb that I live by: do things that make you happy. Its pretty easy once you choose to do it. My professional life is pretty much split between film/photography work and running a music venue in Nashville that I own with my brother, William. When you love your work, it doesnt exhaust you the same way other work does. I am pretty obsessed with what I get to do with life everyday, and that excitement gives me a lot of energy to continue pursuing whatever idea or interest I can come up with.

A lot of my photography acts as scouting for video ideas. I try to spend at least two days a week just driving around, looking for interesting people and places. Those photographs will then help me develop ideas for videos, it all plays into each other. Oh, and my DJ name is Queen Sativa and I am available for all your grown and sexy events.

A lot of your videos have a similar style of direction and production, a sort of shaky camera, vintage, dream-like sort of vibe, though the artists you have worked with vary immensely. Can you elaborate on how these two dynamics tie together for you and your work?

I dont think that music has to look a certain way. Some of my favorite videos are visually or narratively very different from the expected image- for example, I love Danny Browns video for 25 Bucks, which is in no way a typical hip-hop video. For me, it is all about the beat of the song- the rhythms pace will effect my ideas more than the type of song it is.

You directed the new video, Exit 353, for Damien Jurado, which is fantastic. How did you develop the treatment for the video? Did the lyrics of the song have any influence in how you directed the video?

Well, first, I have loved Damiens music for a long time and was pretty darn excited that I got to do a video for him. His past videos are great, and he clearly has a lot of respect for film and image. Knowing this, I felt confident that we could play with the narrative. Twins Peaks was one of the first shows I remember being totally entranced and fascinated by, and it definitely informed my first thoughts when we decided to shoot near Damien’s home in Seattle. My cinematographer, Dustin Lane, and I agreed that the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest should inform the story. I wanted something spooky, which I think the locations definitely possess.

I also knew that I wanted to work with Lindsey Valitchka, a Seattle based actress who plays the older girl in the video. I think she has a striking look and I knew we could do something fun with her role. Exploring gender dynamics is something Im interested in, and I decided that having Damien be the victim would be curious. The song continues a theme he has explored for three albums, the idea of a man leaving society. In my mind, the video is him right before he is going to leave- sitting in his car, meditating. He sees the woman and girl walking down the road, and he is pulled back- he is a good man and wants to help. I loved the song, and was especially influenced by the line Are we all not stars here on the ground- there is something hopeful but tragic in that thought. And, obviously, the final line- I was alone again- dictated the ending of the video for me.

In your treatment for Exit 353, you wrote:

“The locations will highlight the weird new America that my eye is always drawn to- slightly grotesque but honest and beautiful. We will find the eccentric faces and moments to help define our story.

The Damien video captures this quote beautifully in the way in which the characters interact and the present story line. Is this something that inspires you in all of the work that you do?

I am mostly interested in documentary work, capturing the beauty of what exists around us constantly but that somehow you grow numb to or just overlook. I am always looking for space to allow the real world- like the woman smoking the cigarette at the beginning, or the little girl waving at the end- to inform the shot and therefore the entire piece. Those are often the moments that are the most interesting and powerful in the end.

Who are some of your contemporary and peer influences (in photography, videography, etc)? Anyone you’re particularly stoked about at the moment?

My friends are my biggest inspiration, whether they are also photographers, filmmakers, musicians or visual artists. Also, thanks to Instagram, it is so easy to find other visual artists to connect with. Having said that, my favorite current photographers are Alec Soth, Bryan Schutmaat and Stacy Kranitz. Adam Curtis is my favorite current filmmaker, his most recent documentary Bitter Lake is so good that the first time I saw it, I immediately re-watched it from start to end a second time. Though not a contemporary, Les Blank is probably my favorite filmmaker.

Favorite local band right now?

Thrashaholics are taking the Nashville scene by storm (http://thrashaholics.com/).

Finally, We have a Secretly Indie Spotify playlist where we list our favorite independent songs. Would you add your current favorite song that youre listening to and why you chose to add it to our playlist?

Yup you got it- I added Weyes Blood In the Beginning. I have really been digging the new Weyes Blood EP “Cardamon Times,” this song particularly. The lyrics just gut me- I would try and choose my favorite line but the entire piece is a poem, touching on the concepts of time, growth, being a “queen,” and how sometimes things just don’t work out. The video for the song is really cool too, shot on Super 8 film.

 

 

 

TOUR // Ben Abraham Announces UK Tour Dates

 
“A remarkable new singer songwriter who definitely understands the craft – Zane Lowe

 

Newly signed to the Secretly Canadian, Ben Abraham releases his debut album, Sirens, on 4th March. The album is preceded by a single, You & Me, which was debuted by Beats 1’s Zane Lowe last week, and will be accompanied by newly announced UK tour dates that include his first London headline show, at Servants Jazz Quarter on Monday 7th March.

Since he began writing songs while working in a childrens hospital, Abraham has collaborated with Ta-ku, Wafia, Gotye and more and recorded this debut album. He has risen to prominence in his hometown of Melbourne and throughout Australia through much lauded live performances, where his voice and talent has consistently blown audiences away.

His parents’ previous careers as Indonesian folk-pop stars had an influence – “They were huge in Asia! They had such strong harmonies and melodies, and cheesy, literal lyrics. They don’t do irony there, but once you’ve surrendered, it’s quite beautiful. I write earnest lyrics too, but that’s where I was when I wrote these songs. And maybe people are responding because they want something honest and spiritual, because so much pop culture explores destruction.”

Abraham recorded and produced Sirens in Melbourne with the help of friends and longtime collaborators Jono Steer and Leigh Fisher. The album features a collaboration with Sara Bareilles, who Abraham connected online and struck up a friendship with several years ago, on “This Is On Me”, as well as additional production from Gotye’s Wally De Backer on “Speak.”

Abraham brought his live show, which Tone Deaf calls”disarming” and “truly stunning,” to the UK for the first time for a clutch of shows last autumn, and to the U.S. at last yearss CMJ. In live performance, Abraham backs up his voice with only guitar and harmonium, in the vein of “Cat Stevens, If Donny Hathaway and Cat had a baby and he hung out with Sufjan Stevens and Feist,” he says. Abraham was recently featured in an installment of the acclaimed Mahogany Sessions series:watch him perform”Speak” here.

 

Preorder Sirens Now:
via Secretly Canadian//iTunes//Amazon//Support your local independent record store

Ben Abraham Tour Dates:
(more info and tix here)

Mon 7th MARCH London, Servants Jazz Quarter
Tue 8th BRISTOL, The Old Bookshop (instore show)
Tue 8th BRISTOL, The Gallimaufry
Wed 9th GLASGOW, The Hug & Pint
Thu 10th MANCHESTER, The Castle Hotel
Fri 11th BRIGHTON, The Latest Music Bar

WATCH // Suuns Announce ‘Hold/Still’ For Release April 15th, Video + Dark Sky Psych Remix For First Single “Translate,” Share Worldwide Tour Dates


 

Hold/Still, the third studio album from Suuns, is an enigmatic thing: an eerily beautiful, meticulously played suite of music that embracesopposites and makes a virtue of cognitive dissonance. It is a record that does not give up its secrets easily. A natural step on from theirtwo previous albums, 2011s Zeroes QC & 2013s Images du Futur, and yet a marked departure,Hold/Stillis a cerebral exploration ofhow to take live and analogue instruments and create a deeply textured electronic record. In May 2015, they decamped to Dallas,Texas to work with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton and for three intense weeks they recorded by day and stewed in theircramped apartment by night. It felt like we were on a mission – looking for something to take us out of our element, or that might seepinto our music, say the band. Hold/Still will be released 15 April, 2016.

Thefirst single, “Translate”, is one of the defining songs of the album – the sound of a band working in mental lockstep, crafting guitarmusic that feels unbeholden to clear traditions or genre brackets. It is a song that the band have been reworking for years, and wasone of the last songs to be finished for the album, and yet, perhaps, defines the record perfectly. The synthesizers are the work of MaxHenry, an obsessive who builds his own patches and confesses to using cranky or budget equipment – [good gear] does all the work foryou, and thats not always fun.

Accompanying the song is the first of a trilogy of videos for the album (the second and third installments will be launched ahead of therecord release). Shot by Charles-Andr Coderre, a long term collaborator of the band, he says Translate’, the first music video of atriptych series, is an incandescent vision. It was shot with thermal imagery. The concept was simple: film the band in their rehearsalspace and transfigure the footage into something unusual and gorgeous. We experimented the different meanings of the word”translate” and explored a new film language by shooting what the human eye can’t see.”

Also released today is the Dark Sky Psych remix of Translate”– the first of a number of remixes that will be launched alongside tracksfrom the album. This one takes”Translates” repetitive, krautrock-like rhythms and squeezes them into a tighter, mesmeric arrangement..Says Dark SkyWe really liked the psyched out sounds and sonics from the original track which sounded vintage but also forwardthinking. We were inspired to build on this vibe.”


Preorder Hold/Still now:
via

 

Tracklisting:

Fall
Instrument
UN-NO
Resistance
Mortise and Tenon
Translate
Brainwash
Careful
Paralyzer
Nobody Can Save Me Now
Infinity

Suuns Tour Dates:
(more info and tix here)

07-Apr – Bar le Cha-Cha, Ste-Therese QC, CA
09-Apr – La Taverne, St-Casimir QC, CA
15-Apr – L’Anti, Quebec City QC, CA
16-Apr – Le Naufrageur, Carleton QC, CA
20-Apr – La Tulipe, Montreal QC, CA
21-Apr – St Alban’s Church, Ottawa ON, CA
22-Apr – Adelaide Hall, Toronto ON, CA
19-May – Berghain, Berlin, DE
20-May – Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL
21-May – Grand Mix, Lille, FR
22-May – La Nuit De Botanique Festival, Brussels, BE
24-May – ICA, London, UK – Tickets
27-May – Immergut Festival, Neustrelitz, DE – Tickets
28-May – Seewiesen Festival, KleinReifling, AT
30-May – TBA, Paris, FR
01-June – PrimaveraSound, Barcelona, ES
05-June – Maifield Derby Festival, Mannheim, DE
08-June – Monk, Rome, IT
09-June – Beaches Brew Festival, Ravenna, IT

WATCH // Ben Abraham Shares Video For “You And Me,” Album To Be Released March 4th

Australian artist Ben Abraham, whom the Sydney Morning Herald calls one of the best new male voices, debuts a new Oh Yeah Wow-directed video for You And Me today.You And Me is the first track from Abrahams debut album Sirens, set for release March 4 on Secretly Canadian.

Zane Lowe premiered You And Me today on Beats 1, Beautiful songs from a debut album. This is a remarkable new singer songwriter who definitely understands the craft.

“I jumped at the chance to work with Oh Yeah Wow because Darcy, Josh and the OYW team have consistently released some of the most visually inventive and beautiful Australian music videos I’ve seen,” says Abraham of making the video. “I knew working with this crazy team of visionaries would produce something truly special which feels important as our lives become more saturated with mindless video content. They somehow managed to capture the intimacy, scope and melancholy of the song and I’m really excited for people to see that breathtaking final shot.”

Abraham recorded and produced Sirens in Melbourne with the help of friends and longtime collaborators Jono Steer and Leigh Fisher. The album also features a collaboration with Sara Bareilles, who Abraham connected online and struck up a friendship with several years ago, on This Is On Me as well as additional production from Gotyes Wally De Backer on Speak.

Abraham brought his live show, which Tone Deaf calls disarming and truly stunning, to the U.S. for the first time at last years CMJ. Abraham backs up his voice with only guitar and harmonium, in the vein of Cat Stevens, If Donny Hathaway and Cat had a baby and he hung out with Sufjan Stevens and Feist, Abraham says. Abraham was recently featured in an installment of the acclaimed British Mahogany Sessions serieswatch him perform Speak here.

Abraham is set to return to the U.S. this year for a full tour to celebrate the release of his album.

Since he began writing songs while working in a hospital, Abraham has collaborated with Ta-ku, Wafia, Gotye and more and recorded an album. The son of Indonesian folk-pop stars, he has risen to prominence in his hometown of Melbourne and throughout Australia through his much lauded live performances, where his voice and talent has consistently blown audiences away.

Preorder Sirens Now:
via Secretly Canadian//iTunes//Amazon//Support your local independent record store

Sirens Tracklist

Sirens
Time
I Belong To You
She
You And Me
Collide
To Love Someone
Home
This Is On Me (feat. Sara Bareilles)
Speak
Somebodys Mother
Songbird
A Quiet Prayer

AUDIO

No Woman by Whitney
Exit 353 by Damien Jurado
Falling by Here We Go Magic
Ordinary Feeling by Here We Go Magic
Tokyo London US Korea by Here We Go Magic
Not You by Steven A. Clark

VIDEOS

Translate by Suuns

You And Me by Ben Abraham

Exit 353 by Damien Jurado

Big Winter Jacket by Cayucas

COMING SOON

Damien Jurado
Visions of Us on the Land
CD / 2xLP
Ben Abraham
Sirens
CD / 2xLP
Suuns
Hold/Still
CD / LP

SHOWS TODAY

There are no shows at this time.

See all upcoming shows