FRANZ NICOLAY will release his new album New River on November 11, 2022. Nicolay is known as a longtime member of The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society as well as for countless featured performances both live and in-studio with other artists including Against Me!, Dresden Dolls, Worriers and more.
Franz Nicolay is a musician and writer living in the Hudson Valley, NY. In addition to records under his own name (most recently 2015’s To Us, The Beautiful!), he has been a member of the Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society, and recorded or performed with dozens of other acts.
Nicolay's first book, The Humorless Ladies of Border Control, was named a “Season’s Best Travel Book” by The New York Times. His second book, the novel Someone Should Pay For Your Pain was called “a knockout fiction debut” by Buzzfeed; and was named one of Rolling Stone “Best Music Books of 2021” (“finally, the great indie-rock novel... like Dostoyevsky in a DIY punk space”).
One would think that between writing and releasing his acclaimed debut novel, recording albums and touring with The Hold Steady, writing journalism about the Ukrainian resistance to Russian invasion, performing session work, and teaching as a professor of music and creative writing at Bard College would keep Franz Nicolay plenty busy. For awhile, it did. But as he reflects on the period of time writing and recording the songs that would make up his forthcoming album - New River - Nicolay stated:
"For several years after my last record, I needed a break, and actively tried to keep from writing songs. But the combination of working on new Hold Steady material, writing my second book, and having unexpected time on my hands like everyone else in spring 2020 eventually primed the pump for a record’s worth (including a co-write with my Hold Steady bandmate Steve Selvidge). The years off had constituted a time in which I thought I was finished as a musician; they were time characterized by the loss of several musician friends to suicide both acute and de-facto, and by consideration of the cost of 'working the art muscle.' I was approaching a familiar sort of life crossroads which I’ve traditionally addressed on the principle of “blow it all up and see if that fixes things.'” The material was assembled in the period of time between April 2020 and spring 2021 and recorded at Atomic Garden in Oakland with drummer Ara Babajian (the Slackers) and bassist Frank Piegaro (Worriers); with help from friends including Jeff Rosenstock and Mike Huguenor (Death Rosenstock), Deanna Belos (Sincere Engineer), Lauren Denitzio (Worriers), Peter Hess (Philip Glass Ensemble), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady), and Todd Beene (Lucero, Chuck Ragan).
The album's coda, "New River, Spring For Me" is out now everywhere. While it is the closing track on the album, it was also the last song of the collection to have been composed, giving both thematic and emotional closure to the record. Of the track Nicolay states,
"It’s a hopeful song in its way, that takes in the past and sees a little room to plant a future. The closing line is from Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho, and I think captures some of the emotional ambivalence of the project. Ara Babajian (the Slackers) played some particularly soulful drums, Peter Hess (Philip Glass Ensemble) wrote a fantastic horn arrangement, and Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady) added the tasty licks."
Michigan punk darlings She/Her/Hers will release their eponymous album on October 14th. Originally leader Emma Grrl's solo creative project, this is the band's first full band record, building a fuller sound from its original acoustic incarnation.
Today, they released the single "To Do Lists (Color Coded)", which harkens back to the project's folk-punk roots while broadening its scope to the Regina Spektor type balladry it's equally indebted to.
She/Her/Hers is the creative project of songwriter Emma Grrrl, beginning in 2015 as a vessel to discuss her coming out as a transgender woman. On her first two releases Emma channeled the experiences of coming out and trans life into raw and personal folk punk, recording mostly at a friend’s studio whenever they had surprise availability. The sudden nature of these sessions meant they often captured stripped down versions of the songs, arranged to be quickly and easily recorded.
On her upcoming self-titled LP Emma recontextualizes these songs through the reflective lens of hindsight. After recording the original versions at impromptu sessions, Emma entered the studio for 2 weeks with the intention of rerecording a selection of tracks with the fullness that they were originally imagined.With support of drummer Cody Kutilla, Emma built out the arrangements for a full band. Having the opportunity to develop these songs with intent and time, they evolved into something new entirely. Tracks like “Internet Ads” and “Family” have pivoted from their original folk punk fury to dynamic chamber pop confessionals. Others like “Sweaters in Summer” are beefed up with trumpets and gang vocals. Pianos, horns and woodwinds fleet in between theatrical vocals and punchy guitars, coming together as a more versatile and expressive version of these songs.
Thematically, the LP closes its focus in on the early days of Emma’s coming out process, telling stories that reflected where she was in her life at the time they were written. In returning to these songs with newfound perspective, Emma infuses them with grandiosity and new life. With so much happening between the writing and rerecording of these songs, it is fitting that these songs have been transformed through the rerecording process. “Transitioning (To a Life Without You)” begins as a traditional power-pop, but explodes into a heavy halftime breakdown complete with fuzzed out bass and guitar heroics. 2018’s “Giving Up is Sooo Last Year” is split into two parts, the Django Reinhardt inspired “(Giving Up Interlude)” and the full band jazz romp “Giving Up”. “Gender is Boring”, which was originally recorded as a folky gender manifesto on 2018’s Grrrl Angst, is transformed and expanded into emotionally maximalist piano pop. Meshed between the keys and horns are crowdsourced gang vocals from dozens of online trans friends and fans. Going all in on revisiting old songs, Emma even pulls out a cover of “Internet Ads”, a song written by her friend Scout Seshimo of the band Bogsey. Having sung backup vocals on the original track, a synthy folk punk tune, Emma reimagines “Internet Ads” as a Vanessa Carlton-esque piano ballad. In re-examining this time of her life through old songs, Emma goes a step beyond increasing the fidelity, adding a sense of reflection, clarity, and pride.
She/Her/Hers Track List 1. To-Do Lists (Color Coded) 2. Hopeful//Scared 3. Internet Ads 4. Sweaters In Summer 5. Giving Up 6. Gender Is Boring 7. Family 8. Transitioning (to a life without you) 9. Nvr Pass 10. I Think I Finally Love Myself
The album is available to stream across all platforms, and to order HERE
The Homeless Gospel Choir started in 2009 as the solo project of Derek Zanetti. He released three albums before the addition of Matt Miller (Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, Wingnut Dishwashers Union) and Megan Schroer (Boys, Kitty Cat Fan Club) for 2020's This Land is Your Landfill. They were joined by Maura Weaver (Mixtapes, Ogikubo Station) and Craig Luckman (Belly Boys, Small Pollen) for their first full band tours in 2019. Now a permanent lineup, The Homeless Gospel Choir's Fourth Dimension Intervention is the first album featuring all five members.
Paranoid and lazy, never knowing who is your friend and who is just watching a screen, never really hungry and never satisfied. Fever Dreams and Daymares of Family Dinners with the network news so loud you can hear the white noise pop like firecrackers. Floating through this dimension on the path of least resistance, unnoticed and unbothered til you’re old enough to die. The pitiful fantasy of having people cry at your funeral, while your spirit watches from the rafters. Feeling lost in your body like a ghost under a bed sheet.
Fourth Dimension Intervention by The Homeless Gospel Choir was recorded over five days in August 2021 at The Lodge KY by John Hoffman. It's the first album to feature all five members of the band, the first self produced album, and the first full length to be released by Don Giovanni, on Sept 2 2022.
The Homeless Gospel Choir are about to embark on a lengthy US tour, including dates with My Chemical Romance and Thursday.
September 2022 11-Cincinnati OH- The Comet 12-Springfield IL- Dumb Records 13- Minneapolis MN- Turf Club 15- St.Paul MN- Xcel Energy Center # 16- Chicago IL- Subterranean & 17- Detroit MI- The sanctuary & 18- Pittsburgh PA- Club Café & 19- Philadelphia PA- kung fu necktie & 20- Newark NJ- Prudential Center # 21- Newark NJ- Prudential Center # 24- sunrise FL- Florida live arena #
#- with My Chemical Romance & - With Short Fictions
October 8- Omaha NE 11- Albuquerque NM $ 14- San Jose CA $ 15- Los Angeles CA $ 18- Vancouver BC $ 19- Seattle WA $ 20- Portland OR $ 22- San Francisco $ 24- San Diego CA $ 26- Ventura Ca $ 27- Los Angeles CA $ 28- The Fest Gainesville FL
The country songwriter and Lavender Country pianist goes full-Nashville on the production of his forthcoming album, out August 26
"Paisley Fields brings a roguish cabaret-style sensibility, describing the often-solitary experience of many gay men with a knowing mixture of humor and sadness." - Rolling Stone
"Paisley Fields is carrying the torch for the next generation of country artists like me; the real deal; a true country badass, and one of my best girlfriends. I was lucky to have him play keyboard for Lavender Country. Put Paisley on your radar." - Lavender Country's Patrick Haggerty
Don Giovanni Records has announced that country singer/songwriter PAISLEY FIELDS will release his new album Limp Wrist on August 26, 2022. Paisley is a touring band member of foundational queer-country icons Lavender Country.
Today, Fields has released the album's first single along with a music video for "Jesus Loving American Guy (Limp Wrist)" a call-out track addressing the hypocrisy of so-called Christians who weaponize their religion to condemn people whose beliefs or identities aren't completely in line with their own. The track is available now across all streaming platforms and Bandcamp now, and the video can be seen HERE.
Active since 2013, PaisleyFields is a singer, songwriter, and bandleader splitting time between Brooklyn, New York and Nashville, Tennessee.
A touring member of the newly reformed queer-country icons Lavender Country, Paisley also played keyboard on their 2022 album Blackberry Rose.
On Limp Wrist,Paisley draws inspiration from queer icon Andy Warhol and a myriad of drag artists with whom he’s collaborated. His years of experience in Manhattan piano bars did not diminish his love for country music, and he has already released two albums that pay homage to the music of his youth.
Limp Wrist is an exploration of where rural queerness intersects religion. Paisley’s family were devout Catholics, and he served as the official church pianist in his parish throughout his teens, playing every Sunday.
Paisley Fields has a message for so-called "Christians" who weaponize their religion to condemn people whose beliefs or identities aren't completely in line with their own. You can hear that message loud and clear in "Jesus Loving American Guy (Limp Wrist)". The video takes aim at right-wing media and political figures. It's light-hearted and poppy, balancing the quite serious subject matter of the lyrical content.
The songs on Limp Wrist are deeply personal, and often touch on what it was like to grow up closeted and queer in rural Iowa in the early 2000s. “Black Hawk County Line” tells the story of Paisley being outed by a former friend his senior year in high school, “Dial Up Lover” is about logging on to gay AOL chat rooms to find other queers in the area, and “Plastic Rosary” recounts the experience of being told he’ll never get into heaven while praying the rosary.
The most personal and biographical moment comes during “Iowa”, which recounts the tragic murder of Matthew Shepard, and the visceral fear he had to wrestle with since he was already aware of how different he was.
The album ends on an uplifting note, sharing a message of friendship and hope with "Tomorrow Finds a Way".
The stories are his, but the feelings they convey – love, loneliness, lust, fear – are still universal.
Excited to announce Don Giovanni is now working with Pittsburgh punks HOMELESS GOSPEL CHOIR! Look out for more album news from them later this year. And, in case you missed it, spin their split single with Teenage Halloween that we released a few months back!