It would be a waste of time to enumerate all the reasons why living today is shit: Donald Trump elected; BRExit; Rio de Janeiro declaring bankruptcy, the restaurant next to my house that served the best feijoada at $ 12.90 abruptly closed.
Life nowadays is shit. But to endure, to keep your head upright, the spine erect and the heart quiet, escaping from reality is fundamental. And I believe that you, like me, were raised escaping into music. So, believe in 2016, the best way to get away from the world is to play “Sky High”, the new Fish Magic album.
You must be thinking: “this guy was invited to write about the album, he’s going to laud it” but no. Believe me. “Sky High” transports you. It was the first sensation I had when I listened to the whole record. Because it’s different from what you expect from a brazilian rock band. Because Mario Quinderé, a veteran in Brazil’s independent scene, did not hide his feelings, his moments of solitude to compose “Sky High”.
This is Fish Magic’s 2nd album, its first was released in 2015, “Songs From the Night Shift“. Regis Damasceno, Quinderé’s partner since their pioneer indie bands in Fortaleza in the 1990s (one played in a band called Dead Poets and the latter in Velouria) co-produced both albuns. “Sky High” has 11 tracks, most of it recalls the best of brit rock, made in Rio, but could be London or Manchester. The softness, the ethereal, the details in the guitar lines and the soft vocal of Quinderé.
“Fish Magic is all that I like: music, movies, pictures. So I think Rio is in it, yes. The light and the evenings here… I spend a lot of my free time on my porch, just watching the buildings, the apartments and the people inside it, how light falls on them, traveling in the sky from here. I think the record was made on my balcony and, partly, that’s why I named it ‘Sky High’”, explains Quinderé. “Also, I read an interview with Tim Burguess (Charlatans) saying that today he is sober but before his life was sky high. I thought: that’s it! In my case, not drugs. Creating these songs for Fish Magic is my sky high“.
(freely adapted from Alexandre Petillo’s text about Sky High. Petillo is a brazilian journalist and writer)
“Sky High” is out now on digital format through midsummer madness
“Landscape in the Mist” has a music video out too
Sci Fi isn’t exactly a band, it’s more a one man project. But Bruno home recorded 6 songs for his self titled EP with valuable help from Matheus Fleming, also former Câmera. “I don’t raise high expectations around Sci Fi. It was more for fun and therapy, a very cheap way of home recording songs,“ says Bruno.
The name Sci Fi is inspired on the movie “Primer” (2004): “It’s a low budget movie about friends who build a time machine with few resources and lots of experimentations and travel in time. Our EP is the same, we go back to references in the 80′s and 90′s, from bands we like, and experimented with it in our garages”, Bruno compares. We guess Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, Trail of Dead were some of the bands they visited in the past.
Three out of six songs are instrumentals because Bruno is not a natural singer. “It was defiant because this is a ‘guitar band’ with 13 or 14 layers of guitars on some songs and I’ve always been the bassist on my previous bands. Also, I was never the singer“, explains Bruno. “I tried to use vocals on some songs as an instrument and so, I found out that some of the songs didn’t need it“.
Sci Fi has 6 tracks and has been released on digital only.
Try our bandcamp to listen and buy it.
JNKTR stands for Justine Never Knew the Rules, a brazilian shoegazer band from Sorocaba (a town 100 Km far from São Paulo), formed in 2013 by Maurício, Marcel and Bruno, that is releasing its first album, “Overseas”, with 9 songs.
The band had its name from “1979″, a song by the Smashing Pumpkins, and it’s a very difficult name for a brazilian band to have. Not following the book of musical “to-dos”, they confess that, at first, they didn’t like the name. “It was suggested by a friend, Mario from local band Wry, and we thought that people would think that we are huge fans of Smashing Pumpkins… But then, we realised that it had a lot to do with the way we do things: not the traditional rock band stuff, and our music is simple although noisy, drumming that resembles Velvet Underground simplicity, loud guitars and so the name sticked with us”.
For a while, in the beginning, they didn’t have a proper drummer, they worked live and in the studio by switching places from one song to another. “It was really hard, but as nobody in Sorocaba seemed to understand what we wanted to play, we thought that we’d better do it instead of keep waiting” remembers Maurício Barros.
After few singles and a 3-song EP released in cassete, they found Gabriel, the drummer, and, in 2015, started recording “Overseas”. “This album is what we think we did best since 2013 till today!”, confesses Bruno. And what they do best is a mix of my bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain‘s noise, with a psychadelic touch in guitar textures à la Swirlies and Toy.
On the 24th of september, 1991, Geffen put out Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, the band they bought out from Sub Pop months before. It was sad for us at midsummer madness that a label and a band we admired so much was selling out so easily. But it took us just few minutes to realise how big that record was…
Five years ago, on the 20th aniversary, some bands on midsummer madness recorded versions of Nevermind songs and produced beautiful music videos for those versions. Here’s our homage to Nevermind, again:
more on Churrus
more on Ampslina
After 3 years, brazilian power-pop band Churrus returns with new single “Kingdom of Lords“. The song was written when vocalist and guitarrist Tulio Panzera was living in Bristol, UK (in 2014) finishing his post doctoral studies. The elegant and sophisticated neighborhood of Clifton, as well as the Georgian House where he stayed, says a lot about the gold exploitation that took course in colonial Brazil during the 1800 century.
“Kingdom of Lords is a reflection about greed and ambition for gold during colonial era in Brazil”, explains Tulio, “Gold was extracted from cities in the brazilian state of Minas Gerais, especially from our hometown São João del Rei, caused battles throughout its course, draining our riches to Portugal, Britain and other European cities.”
“Kingdom of Lords” is one of the many singles that Churrus plan to release during 2016 and 2017, when their 4th album, not yet titled, will be released. Since “Transcontinental“, their 3rd álbum (2013) the band is facing its biggest period with the same formation. The tranquility transformed their sound into a more sophisticated and layered power-indie-pop, and also opened space to other composers in the band.
As a result, after 2 years composing, Churrus is going to released an 8 to 10 track album in the beginning of 2017. Meanwhile, they will release bonus singles that will not be featured on the new album.
The upcoming album will be released by labels midsummer madness (Brazil) e Fleeting (USA) and will feature songs from Luís Couto, Matheus Lopes and Tulio Panzera.
The Baudelaires formed in 2009, released 2 albuns and 2 EPs but since 2013 has been on halt. Now they’re back with a new song and a Big Star’s “Thirteen” version.
Since the release of 2013′s second album “Charlie“, The Baudelaires are in halt because vocalist and guitarist Andro went to Texas with his other band, Vinyl Laranja. Now he’s back to Belém, capital of Pará, one of the biggest states in the brazilian Amazon.
Since 2009 they’ve been writing power pop songs and new ones are coming to the surface for a likely 3rd album this year.”Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot” is the first one to come out, and according to Andro “Another love song written in 5 minutes, with mantric lyrics repeating itself. It’s a celebration of girls choosing to be girls when they’re given heavenly option.”
“Congratulaions’” b-side is a version to Big Star’s “Thirteen”, a song they play live for a long time and a delight to those who always wished to listen to an electrified version of it.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=B5magboiaultetmrfvzeawzzplu
Daniel and Gabriel were listening to The Cribs, Strokes e Subways, and decided to form a band, “just to practice and have fun“. Pals Bernardo and Fábio join later, all of them in their teenagers or entering 20´s. Even though they called theirselves Tom Gangue (Tom´s Gang), there´s nobody called Tom in the band. They had their first experience recording the music video “Sempre Espero”.
After the video, first EP “Pra Praticar” (To practice) was released in 2014 – try listening here: https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/pra-praticar-ep.
This EP helped Tom Gangue play some venues in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Through these contacts, they met Gabriel Guerra, from brazilian band Séculos Apaixonados.
“Grande Esperança” (Great Expectation) inserts 80´s new wave in the band previous danceable indie rock. If you were born in the 70´s, you will feel that “Baladinha” or “Pensamento Ruim” could appear in a John Hughes soundtrack. All songs have portuguese lyrics written by Bernardo and Gabriel, talking about absolute thruths from your teenage years, but with a light sarcasm that only suburb kids would use.
The title comes from Charles Dickens´ book, “Great Expectations”. Daniel explains the reference: “The book tells the story of a boy who lives in the middle of nowhere, inherits a fortune, goes to London and turns into a gentleman, starts walking with important people…and that´s us right now! We are from Queimados (a county just outside Rio de Janeiro) and, out of nothing, we received some attention, went to the rich part of the town to record with Guerra, who is from the ´music royalty´ of the city…”
“Grande Esperança” is being released on the 12th of january in digital format only.
You can listen and download it (name your price) here: https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/grande-esperan-a
Following the release of “Real” by Frabin, we decided to put together some music videos of other brazilian bands that recently put out new songs. We named it “new brazilian shoegazer” which is quite pretentious but may guide you through amazing new songs by Loomer, Fish Magic, Lava Divers, My Magical Glowing Lens and others.https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQD0_MESmyoq6E_Vr-77SEw2t3r5P2fSM
Most of these bands are on midsummer madness and, if you like what you see, try listening to their full albuns:
Frabin – Real - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/real
Frabin – Selfish - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/selfish
Lava Divers - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/lava-divers
Churrus – Transcontinental - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/transcontinental
Loomer – You Wouldn’t Anyway - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/you-wouldnt-anyway-2
Fish Magic – Songs From the Night Shift - https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-the-night-shift
Victor Fabri was born in 1994. This same year, we, midsummer madness, were converting ourselves from a fanzine into a record label. In 2013, Victor begun writing his own material outside his friend’s band, Rascal Experience. Living in Florianopolis, a paradise city in an island in the south of Brazil, he chose to build a home studio and lock himself in.
(Well, in 1994, we opted to stay in copying cassetes instead of being in the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro. So, there’s no generation gap here!)
Victor Fabri renamed his solo writings as Frabin and recorded 4 songs to test his home studio. Doing everything alone, the obvious title would be “Selfish”. Released in july 2014, the EP was faceted at Ranch Mastering, same place where “Humbug” by the Arctic Monekys, “King of the Beach by Wavves and “Plastic Beach” by Gorillaz were finished. This is to show that the kid wasn’t playing around.
Adapted to his home studio, Frabin recorded 12 songs between march and july 2015 and those became “Real“, his debut album. With 2 songs in portuguese, Victor wanted a bilingual title and “Real” works both in english and in portuguese. This time he chose to master with Rob Grant, in Poon’s Head Studios, Perth, Australia. Going around the world for final touchs had a reason: “Besides quality, I wanted someone that worked with bands I like such as Tame Impala and Melody’s Echo Chamber”, explains Victor, “and I’ve found that Rob is the finest, easy-going kind of guy I could ever met“.
When Frabin says Tame Impala, we hear Ride. When he mentions Melody’s Echo Chamber, we think of Stone Roses and Chapterhouse. The result is a beautiful, danceable, happy and soulful album called “Real”, that we are proud to put out together with brazilian label Balaclava.
It’s Real, out now in digital and soon in CD.