All posts by Mara Robinson

Mara Robinson is a music photographer based in the rock 'n' roll capital of the world. Her work has been featured in Paste Magazine, I Rock Cleveland, the Cleveland Free Press, the Space Rock Gallery and more. She plays in bands and is available for hire/assignment/travel.

Photo recap: Howard at Musica

Akron was the first stop for Brooklyn-based Howard Saturday February 20 at Musica.

Fronted by Howard Feibusch, we saw the band last year at Nelsonville Music Festival. He and bassist Myles Heff performed a stripped-down acoustic set, as their drummer hadn’t yet joined the tour. Here’s our set of photos.

Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson

Slow Wave by It Hugs Back

When you love a band, you’re blissfully happy when every new album is as good if not better than the last. In that regard, Slow Wave by London quartet It Hugs Back signals a band that keeps getting better while holding onto what makes them great.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

Slow Wave boasts alluring half-spoken baritone lead vocals and hypnotic guitars courtesy of songwriter Matthew Simms, also known for his work in Wire since 2010. Graceful keyboards and lush vocal harmonies, echos and responses are provided by Jack Theedom. Paul Michael delivers gentle basslines and drummer Will Blackaby rounds out the relaxed rhythm section. All combine to create layered, dreamy songs you can fall in love with. Or to.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

It Hugs Back albums are recorded in Simms’ studio The Record Room, and sound just as good as any studio recording. In their early days, having formed in 2006, It Hugs Back was on Too Pure and 4AD record labels, but their last few albums have been released on their Safe & Sound imprint.

Slow Wave was first recorded live by the full band, then Matthew and Jack added 12-string guitars, mellotron strings, analog synthesizers and vocal overdubs. The songs were then sent through an old copi-cat tape delay.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

Whereas past IHB albums like 2013’s Recommended Record featured up-tempo songs you can get a speeding ticket to — with plenty of noise-pop and psychedelic moments and heavy effects — Slow Wave is the prettiest release, more along the lines of Remember off their Inside Your Guitar release. It still sounds like the same band, just more hushed and halcyon.

Slow Wave comes out June 15. Pre-order today on iTunes and get an immediate download of Everything’s OK:

Sneak Peek: Nelsonville Music Festival 2015

photo by Mara Robinson (The Flaming Lips at Nelsonville Music Festival 2011)

This Thursday morning, Jason and I will be getting into the packed Prius and heading out to Robbin’s Crossing for Nelsonville Music Festival 2015 (May 28-31). Jason will be tweeting, posting, Instagramming and writing, and I’ll be shooting FreezeFrame from the pit. Here’s a sneak peek of who we’ll be covering.

Thursday:

Dead Hand of Man (Athens, OH)

Howard (Brooklyn, NY)

Ezra Furman (Chicago, IL)

Friday:

The Summoners (Athens, OH)

Clarke and the Himselfs (Boise, ID)

Weird Science (Athens, OH)

Good English (Dayton, OH)

Mavis Staples (Chicago, IL)

Built to Spill (Boise, ID)

The Flaming Lips (Oklahoma City, OK)

Wooden Indian Burial Ground (Portland, OR)

Saturday:

The D-Rays (Athens, OH)

Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire — Montreal, Canada)

Soddy Daisy (Chicago, IL)

Bummers (Columbus, OH)

Bassholes (Asheville, NC)

Budos Band (Staten Island, NY)

Natural Child (Nashville, TN)

The Black Lips (Atlanta, GA)

Oblivians (Memphis, TN)

St. Vincent (Manhattan, NY)

Moon Hooch (Brooklyn, NY)

New Rutabega 7 inch out today

The new Rutabega 7″ Shiny Destination comes out today on Triple Eye Industries. The two-track album is pressed on white standard-weight vinyl at 45 RPM and features a hand-screen-printed cover. Includes digital download card. Only 300 available. The Rutabega is a two-piece indie rock band from South Bend, IN featuring Joshua Hensley and Garth Mason.

Photo by Mr. King

 

Tecuciztecatl by His Name Is Alive

Photo by Mara Robinson.

The new His Name Is Alive album Tecuciztecatl “is a rock opera depicting an epic struggle between identical twins, reflective in nature, and mirrored in twin science, secret language, and mythology.” That’s what they tell you in the album description.

Fourteen albums in, and you haven’t heard His Name Is Alive quite like this before. HNIA has always been hooky, but this time it’s progged out, psychedelic, and very, very riff-tacular. Wishing Ring (off Ft. Lake) with its fuzz guitar and wah solos is the closest they’ve come to rocking this hard on an official release, while Summer Left Your Heart Behind (AKA Get Your Curse, Detrola) and Can’t Always Be Loved (Ft. Lake) offered up-tempo, poppier anthems.

Continue reading Tecuciztecatl by His Name Is Alive