New singles are coming from CR and the Nones and Elk City.
New Jersey band CR and The Nones present the single 'The Ghosts Are Coming Home', previewing their second album by the same name and, to be released via Montclair-based Magic Door Record Label. This follows the first single from this record 'The Long Game'.
Self-produced by Chris Gennone (CR to his friends), this album was mixed by renowned producer Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Versus, Elk City, Gramercy Arms) at Magic Door Recording Studio in Montclair, NJ and mastered by Nick Bolton at Bolton Sound in Jersey City.
Gennone came of age playing in a variety of different projects in suburban New Jersey, including his former band, CR and The Degenerates, who released five albums from 2016 to 2018. This new project has allowed him to expand the unique hybrid of folk, country, punk, and heartland rock. CR and The Nones retains the Degenerates' core of Chris Gennone, lead/slide guitarist Jim Abbott, and bassist John Dewitt.
Recalling past Garden State guitar music, Gennone’s soulful vocals and his band’s driving hooks invoke roads, journeys, and forward motion in general. Counting Neil Young and Jason Molina among major influences, his sound has always been propulsive. In 2020, CR and The Nones released their debut album 'Living In Fear' via Favorite Friend Records.
'The Ghosts Are Coming Home' is a culmination of the sound and aesthetic that CR Gennone has been building over many years and multiple bands. With an expansiveness and introspection that recalls The War on Drugs or early My Morning Jacket, the ten tracks here showcase an irresistible sincerity and heartfelt delivery.
"This is the oldest song on the record. I wrote it while I was recording 'Living in Fear', but it's gone through a variety of different arrangements. The vibe just didn't really fit with the rest of the songs and it felt like a good direction to go in for the next album," says CR Gennone.
"It's probably one of the most visual songs I've written. I was driving in my car and the lyrics and title came really fast, all at once. I had to pull over and put it in my phone. I had this overwhelming feeling at that moment in my life, that the chickens had come to roost. The ghosts are coming home."
Like many artists, the pandemic and resultant free time allowed Gennone to be more thoughtful, and purposive in his songwriting for this album. Being forced out of his normal songwriting process and comfort zone opened Gennone to new influences, and his resulting growth as a songwriter is evident. While friends from the NYC and NJ music scenes contributed ideas and sounds, some influences are not as obvious. Gennone recalls listening to Brian Eno non-stop while recording 'Ghosts', and the synth sounds and ambient textures that underpin much of the album are certainly a testament to that.
Since August 9, 'The Ghosts Are coming Home' single is available from fine music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. The full album 'The Ghosts Are Coming Home' will be released on September 8 and is now available for pre-order.
New Jersey indie outfit Elk City returns with powerful single 'Strong (You're Not Alone)', heralding his new 'Undertow' album.
New Jersey art-rock collective Elk City announces that they will release their seventh album 'Undertow' on September 22. Ahead of that, they present the voluminous consciousness-building lead track 'Strong (You're Not Alone)' , a swirling neo-psychedelic folk song baked in cult obsessiveness.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by renowned producer Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Gramercy Arms), 'Undertow' will be released via Montclair, NJ-based Magic Door Record Label, co-founded by Guided by Voices' Kevin March with Ketchem and artist Renée LoBue.
Like their latest 'Above the Water' LP, this record is inspired by the band’s love of documentaries like 'The Source Family' and 'Wild, Wild Country' - films that explore the allure of cults and extreme alternative lifestyles. It sure is tempting to join a cult. To drop whatever it is we do over and over and just plain start over, with a fresh sense of community and identity and a new way to love and live and be in this world a whole other way. Cult-life can’t be any crazier than how we’re doing it now, in this backwards, modern world in which we find ourselves.
This is the pull of 'Undertow', sucking you into a different kind of record from the opening title track. Peculiar pop constructs built of rare materials, found only in the wilds behind Magic Door Recording Studio in Montclair, NJ. which legendary studio designer George Augspurger helped transform from a cavernous warehouse into a freeform studio where vintage microphones, modern studio gear, and bespoke sound tuning elevate and inspire.
This is where Elk City’s founding members, Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem, along with Luna’s Sean Eden, Richard Baluyut (Versus) and Chris Robertson (Psychedelic Furs side project Feed, Punch Havana) have meticulously built this record and this band a whole other way. Even after seven albums, Elk City are still deliberately hard to define, still seekers, unafraid to shed this life and lead the listener on a journey to new sounds and feelings... Welcome to Elk City.
“'Strong (You’re Not Alone)' just may be the highest of heights we’ve reached as songwriting collaborators. A ‘non-single’ single, unapologetically present in its dream catcher-waving vibe. The least pop of pop songs on our upcoming Undertow LP, yet here it is, served up first: Sprawling, moody, nonsensical, captivating, and much like Rob Zombie sang: More Human than Human. Baby steps in believing in oneself. “Ooh, you never know what you’re made of till you climb the top.” Let this one guide you, heal you, inspire you, strengthen you. Hacky sacks optional. Also: It’s way cheaper than therapy," says Renee LoBue.
Ray Ketchem adds, “Strong (You’re Not Alone)” is an example, where we let the song forge our path. We observe, listen and follow where it leads, but we relinquish control in order to open the channels within ourselves".
Since July 19, 'Strong (You're Not Alone)' is available across fine digital outlets, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp, where the full 'Undertow' album (out September 22) may also be pre-ordered.