Peruvian artist M. Caye Castagnetto (they/them) has released their hard-to-classify solo debut, Leap Second, on Castle Face Records. The album contains field recordings and effected samples that include organic clicks and tappings, as well as more conventional guitar playing by Beatrice Dillon and vocals from fellow Peruvian Alan Poma and the late Aileen Bryant. Having lived and performed in Lima, London and now Twentynine Palms, CA, Castagnetto has a unique perspective and approach to recording, and the result is a lo-fi collage of found sounds and atmosphere.
Divided Heaven is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Jeff Berman, an introspective punk rock lifer who hails from Lancaster, PA. On the heels of the recently released political single, “They Poisoned Our Fathers” (featuring Lydia Loveless), Divided Heaven returned with a vulnerable track, “Baby In The Band,” which was produced by Tim Van Doorn at Big Dog Studio in Antwerp, Belgium. The song, Berman says, “is about my old bandmates. I was always the baby in the band. Some have passed away. Some resent me for still playing music.”
Born in Kentucky, Aneesa Sheikh is a Pakistani-American, who, at the age of nine, began pursuing competitive figure skating. While captain of the varsity team, she traded skates for a guitar and began writing her own songs. Busy with her non-profit, MusicM.I.R.A.C.L.E. (not to mention winning Miss Michigan Teen USA in 2020), Sheikh aims to inspire and empower fans. Her latest single, “Who’s Gonna Stop Me,” co-written by Corey Lee Barker and Justine Blazer, and recorded at ten7teen studios in Nashville, does just that. As she sings, “Whatever’s coming, bring it on/bring it on.”
Moonroof is an indie rock band based out of Philly, started by college friends Dave Kim, Kevin Randolph, Dan Rendine and Danny Walsh. The group has garnered great traction with radioplay on Tri-State stations, and delivered upbeat energy as opening act on high-profile lineups that include: Death Cab for Cutie, Grouplove, AJR and The Lumineers. Moonroof recently signed with Free Dive Records and is recording a debut EP with engineers Tyler Ripley and Vic Antonio at Little Brother Audio in West Philadelphia. Among their lead singles is “Vanilla,” released in early February.
The Neverlutionaries will release their debut self-titled LP via Polychromatic Records Feb. 12, recorded primarily at Hyde Street Studios C in San Francisco. Bandleader Christopher Harold Wells was forced to reset recording due to the pandemic, and set up a home studio while quarantining in North Carolina. The piecemeal process allowed for Wells to call on his bandmates with eclectic credits from country to funk to hip-hop, including guitarists Kenny Olson and Jonnie Axtell, and drummer-producer Chris McGrew and Gucci Mane's drummer, Nick Baglio.
Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help has released its second album, aptly titled 2 via Rhyme & Reason Records. Morrow, a longtime pop rocker out of Hoboken, NJ, was a foster of the Jersey scene with Yo La Tengo and The Feelies through his still-operating Bar/None Records. Cry For Help features a lineup of drummer Ron Metz, bassist Mike Rosenberg and guitarist Ric Sherman. 2 was recorded in socially distanced installments at the Magic Door studio in Montclair, NJ, and was produced by Ray Ketchum (Guided By Voices).
NYC-via-Paris-based musician, composer and producer TRZTN (Tristan Bechet) has released Royal Dagger Ballet and shared a video for the avant-garde pop single, “Metal Sky,” featuring vocals from Tokyo DJ Eiko Hara and movements from London’s Royal Ballet. Other collaborations include Interpol’s Paul Banks and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O, among others. “The studio is located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris near the African hair and beauty shops. I go every day. There isn’t much hardware…just what I need…” says TRZTN.