Marian Hill at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Neo-soul jazzsters Marian Hill performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.

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You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

Samantha: “We expect it to be hot, dusty, and wild. We’ve heard great things about Bonnaroo from artists who’ve performed and people who’ve gone, so we’re super excited to play. It’s also awesome to play at night at these big festivals and we have a perfect set time. So that’s an added bonus.”

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What can we expect from your set?

Samantha: “You’re going to hear a mix of old songs from our Sway EP and new ones from ACT ONE –both released and unreleased. We want the audience to be transported. To forget about everything else and vibe and dance with us. One of the best things about writing music is getting to perform it for people. So we hope they love it.”

Jeremy: “We want them to lose themselves in the music –shoutout Eminem! We want them to see how live electronic music can be.

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What’s the story behind the title of your forthcoming album, ACT ONE, which drops on June 24th?

Jeremy: “The thing this album is, more than anything else, is the beginning of Marian Hill. We pushed ourselves to explore all the facets of our style and in doing so establish the first chapter of our sound. Our name is also derived from when we met doing theater in middle school and there is a theatricality to our songwriting style. This is its first act.”

Its first leaked single, “Mistaken,” features jazz musician Steve Davit who you frequently collaborate with. How did you find him?

Jeremy: “Steve is another friend that dates back to middle school. We’d already incorporated sax into our music but didn’t know how and if we would use it live. It just so happens that Steve is a damn sexy and talented sax fiend so for our first live show we asked if he would play with us. It was pretty clear after the first performance that he would become an integral part of our live show.”

You’re playing a slew of music festivals this summer. Any survival tips?

Samantha: “Always bring a change of clothes. I’ve now lost clothes to rain and dirt. Stay hydrated and take it all in. Not just the music, but the setting and the weather and the rides and the crowd. When it downpours at Governors Ball and water is collecting in your pockets and mascara is stinging your eyes: just lean into it and love it. That and bring a snack. Something candy-ish. I find I crave candy at like 2:00 AM only after shows. Very bizarre.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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“Come Home” by Ghost Lit Kingdom (Premiere)

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Ghost Lit Kingdom returns by leaking another track, “Come Home,” off their sophomore EP, We Were Once Alive, which drops June 24th. Produced by Andrew Furze, the song continues their signature sound by channeling majestic folk-pop fervor (à la Milo Greene) infused with indie rock riffs.

“Who left’s going to love me now?”

Ghost Lit Kingdom‘s EP release show is on June 24th at Hotel Cafe.

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And they will soon tour.

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Ghost Lit Kingdom: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, BandcampSoundcloud

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“Let Me Run” by Highland Kites (Premiere)

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Marissa Lamar’s project, Highland Kites, returns as a duo (with the addition of drummer Neil Briggs) and by leaking the title track off her forthcoming sophomore EP, Let Me Run, which drops July 22nd. With help again from producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives, Avid Dancer), the mellow track embraces a somber, haunting opening yet eventually crescendoes into their signature folk-laced, majestic indie rock.

“I refuse to be in any pain anymore…”

Highland Kites‘ EP release show is on July 22nd at Hotel Cafe.

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Highland Kites: WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

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“The End” Music Video by The Pocket Rockets

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The Pocket Rockets return from hibernation just in time to start the summer off with a music video for their latest single “The End.” Produced by Jon Seibels (of Eve 6), the song is a jolt of jangly indie rock and their most accessible release yet via catchy guitar riffs and upbeat rhythms which conjure The Strokes‘ seminal years.

“For now, turn off the lights.”

And here’s its music video which was directed by Rudik Osorio and gives off an art studio party vibe.

The Pocket Rockets will perform on July 2nd at Lot 1.

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The Pocket Rockets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp

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“You Got Me” by The Eiffels (Premiere)

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The Eiffels is a trio of rad dudes obsessed with making synth-laced indie rock à la The Killers‘ seminal years. They recently finished recording their sophomore EP with Ethan Kaufmann and Will Brierre (American Authors, Walk The Moon) and its first leaked single, “You Got Me,” carries a new wave revival vibe with punches of post-punk power pop via danceable beats and a British lilt. Now The Mercy Beat has some new best friends.

“I can’t tear you from my mind.”

The Eiffels will perform at Surf Is Dead at The Standard Downtown LA on July 31st.

The Eiffels: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud

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“Inconsiderate Dreams” by The Pretty Flowers (Premiere)

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The Pretty Flowers formed when Noah Green (formerly of The Henry Clay People), Eli Reyes (formerly of Rademacher), and Sam Tiger decided to blend proto-punk alacrity with popish melodies at an Atwater Village practice space. Their latest leaked single, “Inconsiderate Dreams,” is off a forthcoming split 7″ (along with Last Good Sleep) which was recorded at Awesome Possum Studio by Jake Gideon who has since decided to join the band. The song is as gnarly as it is catchy.

“How could you ever want to live downtown?”

The Pretty Flowers will perform at The Hi-Hat on June 18th.

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The Pretty Flowers: Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp

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“Let It Slide” Music Video by The Maybe Somedays (Premiere)

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On June 23rd The Maybe Somedays will drop their sophomore EP City Of Hope. It’s first leaked single, “Let It Slide,” is a another testament to the Echo Park band’s mission statement to “save rock n roll” one melodic indie rock song at a time. And the track’s rad music video mimics the set of a local late-night cable show while the band performs in front of a montage of vintage war footage. Feel free to let the ambience envelope and sing along.

The Maybe Somedays will host their EP release show at The Satellite on June 23rd.

The Maybe Somedays: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube

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Judah & the Lion at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Folk-hop rockers Judah & the Lion performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some live pics while Free Bike Valet asked drummer Spencer Cross some questions.

You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

“Judah [Akers], Nate [Zuercher], and Brian [Macdonald] have all been before as volunteers and attendees and have talked to me nonstop about what an incredible experience it is –the sweat, the mud, the long hours, the new music you discover. It’s such a bonding experience. As a first-timer, I’m stoked to be able to experience both as an attendee: camping and seeing as many shows as possible. And as an artist, playing Bonnaroo is definitely on our band’s bucket list. So it’s incredibly humbling to see this dream come into fruition.”

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As a Nashville-based band, how does it feel to represent Tennessee at Bonnaroo?

“We’re always proud to represent Tennessee wherever we go and Bonnaroo is no exception. Knowing that there’s so many people here that have traveled far and wide to get a taste of Tennessee and hear some music that is influenced by living and growing up here, it’s an honor that we get to represent that to people.”

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What do you want your audience to experience during your set?

“We just want people to let go and have a blast. We feel like this is the perfect place to let loose so get ready to go crazy. We’re playing songs from our new album and older songs as well but all focused around the audience having the best time possible. Be ready for some surprises too!”

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What’s the story behind the title of your new album Folk Hop N’ Roll?

“The four of us have a myriad of influences. We draw inspiration from hip-hop, bluegrass, and punk rock. You name it, we listen to it. So we just didn’t want to hide our influences on this album. We wanted to break down any limitations and barriers we or anyone else had set on our music. We think the title does a good job of explaining this quest.”

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How did you find your producer Dave Cobb?

“We first met Dave when he mixed our Sweet Tennessee EP and then decided to do a whole album with him for our debut Kids These Days. We love the way Dave pushes us and his work flow. It can be challenging but he ultimately pushes to be our best possible self. We wanted to work with him again on FH&R because we knew he would be able to help us achieve the vision we had and we love working with him. He’s a beast.”

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You’ve toured with talented artists such as Mat Kearney and Parachute. What makes a good tourmate?

“Being able to hang well honestly. There’s only a short amount of time you’re actually on stage but there’s 23 other hours in the day so being able to get along with people is key. We’ve been fortunate to tour with not only talented artists but incredible people. People like Mat Kearney and Ben Rector who will take the time to get to know us, take us under their wing, and also attempt to take us on in a game of Spikeball!”

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What can you tell us about your next release?

“We’re in the very, very early stages right now. We have some down time this summer so we’ll spend some time writing and dreaming. I don’t know exactly what the next album holds but I can promise that we won’t ever stop pushing ourselves so we’re excited to see what songs arise as we continue on this journey.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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POWERS at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Popster duo POWERS performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.

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You’ve never been to Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

Mike: “Bonnaroo is one of those iconic festivals that we’ve always dreamed about playing. There’s this sense like it’s a reincarnation of Woodstock or at least the spirit of it in some way. We expect it to be hot, dirty, and kinda wild –a beacon of good vibes. What else could you ask for in a festival?”

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What’s your go-to outfit for music festivals?

Crista: “When it’s 90 plus degrees out the only suitable option for me is a bikini and a massive brimmed sun hat. I did however just pick up this glittery Donna Summer-esque kimono that I plan on rocking for the weekend.”

Mike: “I’ve been really into jumpsuits lately and have found them incredibly comfortable to play in. Maybe I’m just living out my childhood Ghostbusters fantasy but there’s something about putting them on that makes me feel like I’m wearing my superhero gear.”

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Do you make a special set list for music festivals?

Crista: “Absolutely! We’ve been finishing up our album in between playing these summer festivals so it’s been great to try out all this new material before it’s released in the fall. There is in fact a special guest collaboration on one of the new tracks and we’re hoping to perform it together in the very near future. Might have to wait till it’s out to tell you who it is or maybe not. We’ll see.”

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What can you tell us about your tour peeps?

Mike: “The two other people we tour with, Sarab and Luke, are like family to us. Luke is our road warrior, tour manager, and front of house wizard. Sarab, our drummer, is one of the most gifted and creative spirits we’ve ever met. We never wanted this band to be a revolving door of faces and energies so when we met them through a mutual friends it felt like the universe had meant it to happen. We adore them.”

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Your music is very energetic and danceable. What’s the secret to get a crowd moving?

Crista: “When the two of us are writing we’re always conscious of how a song is going to feel and translate live. We pay a lot of attention to different tempos and how they make us move. We have to love it before anyone else can. It’s been helpful to try out new material before it gets released to see how a crowd a reacts. There’s no better way to know.”

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You’ve been on tour with talented artists such as X Ambassadors and Seinabo Sey. What makes a good tourmate?

Mike: “A good hang, good vibes, and good music make for a great tour. It’s a lot of work without much sleep traveling around in a van for months so having everyone on the same positive wavelength is key. We’ve known the XA guys for years so it was just an amazing experience to be out with friends and to witness their success happening. We couldn’t be happier for them or more grateful to have been a part of it.”

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What made you decide to release a remix version of your recent EP Legendary?

Crista: “We always feel like a good song can stand on its own without relying on a production to define it. So with the prospect of a remix EP we were so excited at the idea of someone else’s take and perspective on what we had written.”

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How did you recruit the DJs?

Mike: “Some reached out to us and our A&R [representative] Jared at Republic [Records] –who has an amazing understanding of the DJ/remix universe– reached out to some of his favorites. We were fans of Lincoln Jesser and Lenno for a while.”

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You’ve helped write songs for pop stars such as Kylie Minogue and Selena Gomez. Are they fans? They better be!

Crista: “(Laughs) We haven’t asked! But we’d have to assume that some of the artists on our credit list would dig the band if they felt so compelled to sing other songs we’ve written.”

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Your music video for “Hot” is rad and rapturing. What can you tell us about the next one?

Mike: “That is a very secretive question. Can’t give you too much info but we have a lot of ideas in the works and aren’t sure which will come out first. We’re very excited to show people the visual counterparts in our heads that go with all the new music.”

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What can you tell us about your next release?

“We’re wrapping up our debut album that will be released in September and it’s shaping up to be what we believe is the best music we’ve ever made. For the most part it’s been self-produced in our studio in Hollywood but we recently started tracking with Rich Costey at the legendary Sunset Sound to finish it. It’s full of color and life. We couldn’t be more excited about it.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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