Tag Archive: Pop


Don’t know Tunabunny? The band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. The album captured us. Taken as a whole (twenty-eight tracks) or on a track-by-track basis, the journey is well worthwhile. Fortunately, Tunabunny found time to talk with us. This is a great band having seemingly unbounded creativity accompanied by a welcome sense of humor!

HVUM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us! We’ve read a bit about the background of the band and it sounds like a good story, so tell us how Tunabunny happened and how you came up with the band’s name!

TB: Just some friends getting together to make some noise. None of us were proficient on our instruments, or had ever played in a band before. Scott and Brigette had moved in together and their house, in addition to kind of falling apart, had a lot of space. Her dad played music and brought over a bunch of stuff for them to play around with.

After a couple of months of this, songs started to emerge out of the ether and we began to dream of maybe one day playing a show. The original idea was to have a different name every time we played, but Scott saw a sign on a rural highway that said BUNNYTUNA. We flipped it around because it sounded better and all our friends just kept calling us Tunabunny. Some people hate it, but we think it sounds kind of cute and kind of disturbing, which makes it perfect. Anyway, it’s a better band name than Def Leppard. Or Ed Sheeran.

HVUM: Many of our followers are D.Y.I. musicians, so they are always interested in knowing if band members have formal musical backgrounds or if they are self-taught.

TB: Entirely self-taught. We were totally inspired by all that Raincoats, Kleenex, early Slits stuff. Plus Velvet Undeground, and The Shaggs, and Pere Ubu, and The Clean. All those bands showed what you could do with a couple of chords and a lot of imagination. More locally, bands like Pylon and The B-52’s made us thing you could be weirdo art kids with more inspiration than chops and have fun playing music.

HVUM: Fantastic! We’re absolutely into The Slits (Cut), The Raincoats, Kleenex/Liliput…Knocking on to the last question, we’d like to know how you found your HHBTM or was it that HHBTM found Tunabunny?

TB: After a couple of shows, word got around town that there was this band called Tunabunny that was a cool fucking mess and someone told Mike (owner/ceo/whatever of HHBTM) that he needed to check it out. It took him a couple of tries because he kept showing up after we’d already finished playing (we pride ourselves on punctuality—plus the sooner the show’s over the sooner you can relax and party). Anyway, he signed us right there on the spot. Said he’d never make us stars but he’d let us record whatever we wanted, which is all we could’ve asked for. And we kind of got to become stars anyway—distant stars that you can only see when the planets and atmosphere are properly aligned, but still stars nonetheless. We’ve certainly gone further than we ever expected or dreamed when we started playing together.

HVUM: Your music covers a very large bandwidth of genres from pop to blazing rock and it seems just to say that much of what you do is experimental. Do you have any influences that motivate you or is it more about an independent convergence of creative minds?

TB: The music usually emerges from us playing in a room. Because we listen to and love all kinds of music—from Abba to Sun Ra, from Swell Maps to The Beatles, we don’t put up boundaries around what we can or can’t play. Someone in the band shouts That’s great! Play that again! And a song comes out of it. Given that we live in an age when we have practically the entire history of recorded music at our fingertips, it seems dishonest for a band in 2017 to sound like they’ve only ever heard one record in their entire collective lives. Maybe that’s a good marketing strategy, but it makes for really boring records. And as a band, the only goal we’ve ever had is to not being boring — to ourselves or to our audience.

HVUM: Your new release “PCP Alice in Wonderland Jr” is our pick out of new releases for 23 June. We had a hard time describing the album in the sense of “pinning it down”. We’d really like to know your thoughts on the twenty-eight track album as far as its being topical or thematic?

TB: It’s a concept album about how great we are (I’m half channeling Noel Gallagher and half serious when I say that). There seems to be a lot of politics on this one, personal and otherwise, and a lot of struggling to keep one’s emotional head above water. I hear a lot of ostracism, a sense of loneliness and loss and isolation in the lyrics, with the music kind of pushing back against that. Like the best music, it’s about dancing on the graves of your problems and fears.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for a look and listen to “Incinerate”, the second track on “PCP Alice in Wonderland”.

HVUM: We first learned about the band with the release of “Genius Fatigue” and we like that album…”Duchess For Nothing” gets put on repeat! Has there been any change in direction between “Genius Fatigue” and the new release?

TB: We recorded Genius Fatigue back when we were touring all the time, so it has that kind of attack you get from standing in front of an audience. Being at home more, you tend to pick up different instruments, play around with drum machines, electronics, recording techniques, etc. Plus, the first two albums were us learning to play. Genius Fatigue (third album) was us kind of mastering the form. The only thing to do at that point was unlearn—switching instruments, switching approaches, etc.

HVUM: If Tunabunny was a book, what would it be and why?

TB: That is such a great question…It’s probably going to take longer to answer than all the others combined. Maybe Guy Debord’s autobiography Panegyric. We’ll defer to the publisher’s description of it as a “tongue-in-cheek autobiography [that] mixes precision and pastiche in a whirlwind account of philosophy, exploit, and inebriation. Plus it was original bound in sandpaper so it would erode the covers of the books next to it and most people haven’t heard of it—just like Tunabunny.

HVUM: Finally, what is on the horizon for Tunabunny? Any tours ahead?

TB: We’ve toured a lot over the years—low-budget shoestring DIY touring, but there’s more obstacles now than there used to be. Brigette’s about a year away from finishing her PhD (if all goes according to plan), and there’s a 3-year-old baby bouncing around, and Mary Jane has a real grown-up job and mortgage. That’s not to say we’ll never tour again, but we’d probably need more money than we did in the past, which would mean we’d need to be more popular, something we have no control over. Most likely we’ll be a cult band that gets criminally ignored during our lifetime only to be besieged with offers 20 years from now when we’re cited as incredibly influential, etc. etc. assuming human life exists 20 years from now in any recognizable form of course.

HVUM: Hey! Thanks a lot for spending time to share your experience and thoughts about Tunabunny. We really hope that you can find the time (and the money) to keep going. Don’t hesitate to call on us if we can lend a hand going forward!


Tunabunny
PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr
HHBTM

Visit Tunabunny at Facebook and iTunes

For those who don’t know Tunabunny, the band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. It’s tough getting one’s head around the twenty-eight track album and that’s okay, it’s worth setting aside the 1:14:25 to take the journey. You’ll get pop – “Incinerate” (video below), and trip folk (maybe that’s not the right description, but just think in terms an acid trip experience that’s so weird you can’t describe it) – “Seek Consequence”, and punk rock – “Noise Problems”(track below). It’s recommended that you have listen to the album as a whole, which might leave you feeling a bit dazed, but after letting it all register, you can return to take it in bite-sized pieces. Tunabunny is positively avant garde and “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr” originally unorthodox.


Hey Violet
From the Outside
Capitol / Virgin EM

Visit Hey Violet at Facebook and iTunes

Hey Violet, the American rock band from Los Angeles, California, is the spin-out from the hard rock band Cherry Bomb (“This Is the End of Control”, 2012). Cherry Bomb changed it’s name and direction in 2015, becoming Hey Violet and moving from hard rock to pop. The band members are Rena Lovelis (lead vocals), Miranda Miller (rhythm guitar, keyboard, vocals), Nia Lovelis (drums, vocals), Casey Moreta (lead guitar, vocals), and Iain Shipp (bass). The album has some catchy hooks that are likely to catch your ear (“Break My Heart”, “Hoodie”), but if its a rougher sound your looking for jump into “Me Breaking Up With You”.


Lexy1Lexy Cassell is a singer/songwriter from Long Island, NY. She mixes pop, rock and punk into her music style. Songs she sings reflect her life philosophy which are to break the norms. Her song Original is about being yourself and is currently played in rotation on several radio stations. It won the people’s choice for most votes in Newsday’s Battle of the Bands contest. Lexy has performed at Jones Beach and local events, fairs, concerts and TV shows. She also enjoys skateboarding and is a sponsored skateboarder, team rider and model for sPACYcLOUd and Skate Girls Tribe. She visits high schools as a teen mentor and has spoken at school assemblies for anti-bullying awareness.

HVUM: How do you describe yourself? What are your key strengths, and generally, where might you like to improve personally?

LC: I’d describe myself as a hard working and resilient. I’ve broken 4 bones skateboarding and I don’t give up easily, I love a challenge. I also enjoy being able to entertain people. I’m always working on improving myself and moving forward, whether it’s olling a 4 step on my board or a new song on the piano. If it’s nice outside I can forget the time and skate all day so trying to manage my time can be hard if I have a few things going on in one day.

HVUM How do you view your family in relation to your wanting a career in music?

LC: Without the support from my family this wouldn’t be possible. My parents drive me to events, coordinate my schedule and pay for Lexy2expenses. They also let the band practice in my basement.

HVUM: Tell us about your background and development in music. When and why did you start playing music? Did you have any formal training?

LC: When I was around 8 I would go into my room and dance around, make music videos and post them on You Tube. When my mother found out I was doing it I thought I might be in trouble but she watched the videos and liked them. She told me she would get me singing lessons if that’s what I wanted to do and she also enrolled me in a local music school.

HVUM: Are there any particular musicians or bands that have influenced you?

LC: Yes, when I was 8 I saw Lady Gaga perform a News Eve show in Miami. I watched her from the hotel balcony and it was that moment I knew I wanted to have a career in music. There are so many artists I enjoy. I love Avril, Britney Alanis, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Evanescence and Paramore just to name a few.

HVUM: Do you think being a female in a rock band is any different than being male? If you think that there are differences, what are they?

Lexy4LC: I don’t look at it that way. I like to be known as myself. Just like when I skateboard I don’t like people to say I’m a good skateboarder for a girl. I’d like to be known as a good skater period. Most of the contest I skate at I’m usually the only girl so I’m use to competing with the guys.

HVUM: When it comes to building your individual brand as an artist or as a band how do you set your objectives and priorities? What are the toughest objectives to achieve?

LC: Part of building my brand is being true to who I am. So it’s pretty easy. I basically just do random Lexy stuff. I believe it’s me just being me. I enjoy making videos goofing around and letting people just get to know me as a person and see who I am, I do what I like and that’s how I feel I can really connect.

HVUM: Thinking about the key elements for your success how you rank Talent, Team support, Technology, Networks and markets, financial support.

LC: Talent is number one and number two is having committed people supporting you. The rest are all equally important.

HVUM: Given that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…) are so important how do you deal with the demands of networking online? What do you consider to be the pros and cons of social media as a means for driving success?

LC: I love to use social media as a tool to network.. I recently started going LIVE on Face book *Lexy Cassell and Instagram *Lexyy Cassell. I don’t see too many downfalls so far social media has been very helpful for me. I can book shows and share information and make new friends.
Lexy5
HVUM: Are you ever concerned about your public image or do you expect people to accept you as you are and forget about changing to meet public approval?

LC: Something that’s important to me is to be who you are. I’m happy with being myself. I’m not perfect and I don’t feel pressure to be that way because I try to keep it real. Part of being a skater means my sneakers are a mess my jean have holes and my hair is all over the place. I feel I’m pretty authentic to who I am and it would be hard to change that. I’d look pretty silly in high heels and a dress on a skateboard.

HVUM: Given that you are young, are you ever concerned that your efforts to build a music career will “disconnect” you from your closest peer group (schoolmates, for example)?

LC: Absolutely not. I get what I have to get done during the week. For example school, lessons and band practice. On the weekends if I’m not performing, I have sleepovers, eat out and go to the mall with my squad. During the summer I spend a few weeks at Woodward which is an extreme sports camp for skateboarders, BMX bikers, and cheer.

HVUM: Do you get nervous before you perform in public or does it just come naturally to you?

LC:When I was younger I did. Not now, it’s just what I do and I look forward to doing it.

HVUM: What is your most memorable moment as a musician? Do you have an experience you’d like to forget? Can you tell us about it?

LC: My most memorable moments are when someone special surprises me and comes to one of my shows.

HVUM: What are your primary social causes or interests?

Lexy3
LC: I’m very involved in Autism Awareness and have spent several Sundays playing at a local Café the employs young adults with developmental disabilities. I support Paws of A Cause and Long Island Domestic Violence Awareness. I also helped raise money for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital here on Long Island.

HVUM: Is there anything you’d like to add to the interview? Anything we’ve missed?

LC: Yes. Recently I’ve started a band called ELISA. It stands for East Long Island Skate Agenda. I have an amazing guitarist Andrew Friedman, cool David Wolfsohn on bass and hitting the drums is Peter Leonardo. We all immediately clicked from our first time we played together I think it’s because we’re all skaters.. We have a great vibe and energy and we’re starting to record our own songs, have booked several shows and a TV interview and just love to hang together and be real.
This month I started a job as a DJ on Radio Buzz 101 Real Alternative. I’m on Sunday from12am-2am and my goal is to bring some attention to the hardworking local bands out there.

Lexy, thanks so much for taking time with us! You’ve got a lot of talent and energy to make things happen. We wish you all the very best of luck and success. Let’s stay in contact going forward. Again, thank you.

Visit Lexy at Facebook and YouTube


Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor
In the Next Life
Flower Moon

The Birmingham Alabama-born singer-songwriter has released her sixth solo album. The tracks are generally mellow and warm. Taylor’s dreamy voice makes this album well worth the time.

Visit Maria Taylor at Facebook and iTunes

Emily Jane White

Emily Jane White
They Moved in Shadow All Together
Talitres

California indie rock, folk-rock, indie acoustic artist has released her fifth album. The album is hypnotizing and even eerie at times. She addresses social battles and injustices faced by women. In addition to the lead tract, “Frozen Garden”, special recognition goes to “Pallid Eyes” and “Nigtmares on Repeat”.

Visit Emily Jane White at Facebook and iTunes

Alice Bag_200x200Alice Bag

Alice Bag

Don Giovanni

Punk rock verteran Alice Bag has released her first solo album on the Don Giovanni label. She is a noted musician, author and feminist. The album offers up plenty of rock (“Little Hypocrite”), but there’s also some intelligent pop (“Suburban Home”) and Latin folk-rock (“Incorporeal Life”).

Visit Alice Bag at Facebook and iTunes.

Helen Love

Helen Love
Smash Hits
Alcopop!

Helen Love is back with their eight album since their formation in 1992. This Ramones-loving band from Wales made up of members Helen, Sheena and Ricardo Autobahn offers up their combination of punk rock, pop and dance. This album is nothing short of great fun!

Visit Helen Love at Facebook and iTunes


“You just need to believe in yourself. Anyone can sing. Anyone can play the guitar. It’s not that people can say that “I’m not good at that”. It’s not true. You have to not let fear hold you back.” Heather Boo, Beau

On 1 April, HorizonVU Music’s Phil Cartwright met up in Paris with Beau – Heather Boo and Emma Rose – for an informal conversation about the duo’s background, development and points-of-view toward music and expression. Many thanks to Viviane Bres, Kitsuné Records, for making the meet-up possible.

HVMU: This afternoon we have the opportunity to visit with Emma Rose and Heather Boo – together known as Beau. It’s a real pleasure for HorizonVU Music to have the chance to hear your live performance and meet you for a visit today. We can talk a bit about your background, what’s been going on with Beau and talk a bit about the future.

We’ve done our homework reading your profile and interviews that you have done (The Village Voice and Numéro, for example). We understand that you are from New York City, you met through family connections and you have been friends for a long time. You are basically self-taught as far as your musical background is concerned which is quite incredible. Developing on your own is quite amazing.
Can you tell us a bit of the backstory? We have a following of young female emerging musicians and they like to hear from success stories. Surely, you didn’t decide just to have a band one day and all of a sudden you had a manager, a label and went on tour. Can you tell us how your story evolved?

Beau2HB: Well, we were always writing music. We started writing songs. This was after we knew how to play the guitar. This is before I started singing. I thought I was going to be a guitar player. We were writing songs, we got inspired by other musicians who are songwriters and we just knew that is what we wanted to do. We started writing and playing guitar together and that’s when things came full-circle. We realized that we have a lot to say. Not only that, but were not going to be self-conscious and be held back. We were going to write, write, write and produce until we thought we had something we felt good about. We made a lot of music. We recorded music on our iPhone and someone heard it.

I started singing and Emma started playing the guitar heavily. She got really involved. She started when she was twelve years old. She just grew. I started singing and became more confident. There’s a thing about music. You do not need to take lessons. You just need to believe in yourself. Anyone can sing. Anyone can play the guitar. It’s not that people can say that “I’m not good at that”. It’s not true. You have to not let fear hold you back. We are human beings in a society where we have been chanting and singing melodies for years, so that is natural.

So, a friend of a friend heard our music and introduced us to the head of our record label. He popped the question whether or not we had a record label and whether we would like one. We said “yes”.

HVUM: That’s fabulous; a great story. When you look back from where you re today and thinking about people that are starting out, were there any real bumps in the road that you hit and you haven’t forgotten them? How did you get over the bumps?

ER: There are bumps in every road. I don’t think it was one big thing that happened. It was a bunch of little things that happened
Beau3 all the time. That’s where the magic happens, too.

I think the attacks in Paris were really crazy for us. We were on tour in Europe at the time. We were in The Hague at the time. We had the day off the day after the attacks. We started asking ourselves what we should do. That’s one time we questioned whether or not we should take a break. It was scary and it first seemed like musicians were targeted, but of course, it was everyone. That was a big eye-opening event for us in the world. Other than that no real problems.

HVUM: That’s great. So far, so, good. One thing that we’ve noted about your music is that you have a very cool eclectic sound. As we listen to the album we hear rock, folk/rock, a little blues, folk, and some punk and even some jazz. The punk came through more in your live performance last night than it does on the album. The album is beautiful. There is some more “mellow” sounding music. Many musicians have a hard time being eclectic. They hit on a genre and stay with it. They never get outside the borders. How did you pull it off?

ER: We never thought about it. That’s how we pulled it off. When you start thinking about things, nitpicking and judging your music that’s when it all goes wrong.

HB: We are inspired by a lot of people growing up in New York. Every day we wanted to write. I feel like performance-wise making a genre for a band can be a big mistake. Either the band makes the genre or the people make the genre. If the band makes the genre they stick to one thing. If the people make the genre they need to put a label on each song.

BeauOur style and the style of our producer shows through on our Beau album. This gives the album a more specific genre than the live performance, but each song is so different that it should be put under its own genre like “open” or “worldly” or “confusing”. What makes a really good performance is the range a person can give to the audience. You’re expressing yourself. You are expressing the truth of the song, the emotion of the song. You have to be honest with the song and if you are honest each song will be different.

ER: On our set list we also try to put different kinds of songs.

HVUM: You mix it up very well. Can you help us tie together the title, ”That Thing Reality” with the tracks.

HB: Since all of the songs are so different, “That Thing Reality “ is a really good title. For me it felt right. Emma came up with the title and I felt very comfortable with it.

HVUM: What’s the story behind “Animal Kingdom”?

HB: It’s a funny story. Originally we didn’t know what to do with it. It sounded great; great melody, great hook. We weren’t sure if we wanted to talk about the relationship between man and beast or politics…

We had a crazy drummer and we produced a different version of it. It was crazy pop-punk. We all struggled with it. Writing with three people s difficult. We decided to put it on the album. Emma came with final lyrics that were solidified. Emma put it together. It was almost like a book; so detailed. We still didn’t feel comfortable. In the studio it was the last song we worked.

ER: It’s fun to play live.

HVUM: We’ve posted the video and it gets a positive response. Keep it up! Other than music, what do you do for fun?

Beau Photo Credit: Amber Byrne Mahoney Photography

Photo Credit: Amber Byrne Mahoney Photography



ER: Walk a lot.

HB: We like to walk and write and draw. In New York anything can happen; a naked guy walking down the street and somebody gives him a pair of socks and a shirt.

ER: I like Chinatown.

HB: We never get tired of New York. It’s always changing. No store stays there for more than five years. It still feels like home.

ER: And we have ridiculously creative and talented friends from New York. Sometimes I’ll call one of them. If they’re in a move I’m with them just because they’re so “out there”.

HVUM: Thanks for your time and we hope you’ll keep us up to date. Hopefully you’ll come back to Paris and have a night to yourself so you can play all twelve tracks. It’s been a pleasure talking with you and we wish you all the best!

Visit Beau on Facebook and Twitter


Buzz_002

What’s The Buzz ?


1. Maura Kennedy “Beneath The Misteltoe”

2. Emily Zuzik and Scrote “This Season Makes Me Want To Cry”

season_art1

http://muzoic.net/release/album/emily-zuzik-this-season-makes-me-cry-single

3. Sagarika “Last Christmas” (Taylor Swift Cover)

Best Holiday Wishes from HorizonVU Music!!!


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