10 Questions For Nashville’s Sonic Pop Daydreamers – Here Are… PALM GHOSTS

Discover up and coming bands in 10 questions

31 October 2018

Nashville based sonic daydreamers PALM GHOSTS touched Turn Up The Volume‘s moony side of his soul some months ago with the release of their third, excellent album, entitled ARCHITECTURE. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most delicate and captivating guitar pop longplayers I heard all year. Formed by Philadelphia native Joseph Lekkas, an experienced singer/songwriter/producer, this 5-headed collective generates that sort of gracious and magical pop melancholy that is able to relieve your moodiest moments,
able to make your mixed thoughts drift away on a cloud, able to forget your reality for
a while. Enough reasons to have a chat with the clan’s chieftain to learn more about his compelling music. Let’s start the acquaintance with one of the group’s fresh beauties…

Hello Joseph!
Welcome, let’s roll

1. What’s the story behind the band’s name and
how would you describe the group’s sonic identity?

“The name Palm Ghosts comes from the idea that darkness can exist in broad daylight, and ghosts can haunt the most unlikely of places. I’ve always been interested in the concept of duality. Perhaps it comes from reading too much Hermann Hesse in my formative years. With Palm Ghosts, I try to create cinematic and dreamy music. I love the sounds of 80s dream pop and many of the early 4AD bands as well as more aggressive post-punk bands like The Chameleons or The Birthday Party. In our early catalog, there’s even some indie folk and indie pop. I like to keep things a bit open, musically.”

Writer Herman Hesse, a Palm Ghost influence

2. You started this project back in 2014, Joseph. How does the band interact with you, as musical maestro & vice versa when it comes to write and record the songs?
“In the past, I used to write songs in a more traditional way, on an acoustic or electric guitar, rehearse them for months with a band, and record them. For the last couple of records, I write in my studio and record as the ideas come, and edit them later. So, I’ll come up with an entire concept, often with the help of Benjamin Douglas (guitars and keyboards) and then bring in the other members to play parts on the final recording,
thus adding their signatures to the songs.”

3. What or who inspired the newest album’s title ‘ARCHITECTURE’?
“On ‘Architecture’ I wanted to celebrate the more esoteric offerings of the 80s. Groups
like Japan, The 4AD catalog, Eno’s work with David Byrne, Peter Gabriel’s Security, even some 80s King Crimson, especially Discipline. So I immersed myself in that stuff and tried to build the songs from the ground up, inspired by those sounds. So, in my mind, the study of what made those songs great to me was, in essence, studying the architecture of that era, hence the name.”

One of the most inspiring labels ever

4. Tell us more about the album’s front cover image.
“That cover was designed by an amazing graphic designer in Philadelphia named Matt Hanemann. I asked him for something inspired by Vaughn Oliver’s work with 4AD or Peter Saville’s work with Factory Records and I think he nailed it. It’s so perfect in it’s geometric minimalism and represents the music on the record so perfectly to me.”

5. To me the duet vocals – you and Erica Whitney Wilkes – give the songs a truly magic pop touch. How/when did the idea of using two voices developed?
“Thanks for that! There are not many groups that combine male and female lead vocals in that way. The Raveonettes is a band that does it to a degree, but not as heavily throughout their catalog. I remember thinking it might be cool to add a female voice to my recordings and then, I thought, what about a male / female co-lead situation. The first time I heard our voices in that way, it clicked for me and I thought it might be a signature sound for us. It’s actually quite difficult to pull off sometimes, as phrasing and pitch have to be near perfect because much of it is in unison. We rehearse quite a bit to make it work.”

6. Which song do you consider as the PALM GHOSTS signature track so far?
“I’d think ‘Love in Winter‘ would be my choice at the moment. It captures the dark dreaminess as well as the pop qualities of the band.”

7. New single TURN THE KNIFE is a beauty.
Was it part of the ARCHITECTURE sessions?

‘Turn The Knife’ was not part of the ‘Architecture‘ sessions, actually. The record had been done for quite some time and I wanted to start writing some new songs and both ‘Turn
The Knife’
and ‘The Golden Age’ came together very quickly. So I released them as singles while I work on the follow up record to Architecture, which is around 50% finished.”

8. Which movie would you pick to visualize the band’s
music on a big screen while playing a concert?

“Interesting question! I think Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
would be a nice visual representation!”

Palm Ghosts in space

9. If you would go back in time on which artist’s front door would
you knock and ask to have a selfie together?

“A toss up between Salvador Dali and David Bowie.”

Cross or coin

10. Your number one artist/band to go on a world tour with?
“Going on tour with Peter Gabriel would surely be something amazing.”

Thank you Joseph Lekkas for this cool chat.
May the road rise with PALM GHOSTS

Stream/purchase ARCHITECTURE here…

PALM GHOSTS: Facebook – Website – Twitter

Be sure to wear some flowers if you’re going to Nashville

Italian Pop Collective THE BANKROBBER Ready To Start ‘MY REVOLUTION’….

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

31 October 2018

After releasing their enthralling album MISSING early this year, a refreshing record of high-quality songwriting with rich orchestrations and wondrous arrangements, Italian
pop collective THE BANKROBBER seems to want to start something new, right now,
on Halloween day. New single ‘MY REVOLUTION‘ is going up and down, forth and back, balancing between confusion and revolution with one and only conclusion… all you need
is love. It’s another example of this band’s versatile musical talent and spirited sonic skills. To hell with the bogeyman here’s some real sensitive trick or treat excitement…

THE BANKROBBER: Website – Facebook – Twitter

New album MISSING – out now – available on iTunes


Yesterday supergroup THE GOOD THE BAD & THE QUEEN, with Blur‘s Damon Albarn,
The Clash’s Paul Simonon, The Verve’s Simon Tong, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen made
its TV comeback to play the title track off their second album, called MERRIE LAND written “during the current period in which the UK is preparing to leave the European Union – creating
a reluctant good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018”.

The new song is a contemplative ballad that brings the
Leonard Cohen‘s story-telling way of singing to mind…


New album MERRIE LAND out 16 November – more info here

TURN UP THE VOLUME’S Knockout OCTOBER Team – Eleven Killer Tracks…

Eleven killer tracks on repeat this past month…

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Eleven killer tracks we played on repeat in October!
An eclectic mix of poppy vibrations and steamy grooves
energizing all of our senses and our limbs this past month!
Here’s Turn Up The Volume‘s Knockout October Team!

1. ‘Faith & Science’ by MODERATE REBELS (London, UK)
With Moderate Rebels it’s all about intoxicating mantra-like psych grooves. Like a mind-expanding mix of Velvet Underground, The Dandy Warhols and Spacemen 3. Far-out stuff!


2. I Don’t Care Anymore by BIG TIME KILL (Boston, US)
This raging electro-duo produces inflammable firework to go berserk to on the dance floor. This cutting cracker comes from debut LP ‘Shock And Awe‘. Read all about it here.


3. ‘Bar Stool Warriors’ by GARETH SAGER & THE HUNGRY GHOSTS (Scotland)
This is what happened when longtime post-punk chameleon Gareth Sager invited the ghosts of Captain Beefheart & Frank Zappa for a cup of tea and a rad jam. Full result here.

4. ‘Turn The Knife’ by PALM GHOSTS (Nashville, US)
A feverish mixed emotions pop pearl build around a stellar melody with layers of sparkling guitars and elevated by the enrapturing effect of duet vocals. Both dazzling and haunting.

5. ‘Money Money’ by RICHARD ASHCROFT (England)
Closing track of the legend’s brand new album. Hottest, hookiest and rockiest cut of all.


6. ‘The Witness’ by HERSELF (Italy)
Most upbeat, most funky and most vibey stroke on new LP by singer/songwriter Gioele Valenti aka Herself. Find out more about the whole album ‘Rigel Playground‘ right here.

7. ‘Pastel Blues’ by THE ATTICS (Melbourne, Australia)
You’ll feel groovy, you’ll look groovy and your swaying hips will make other people go groovy when you’re walking the streets with this earworm on your headphones. Ace!

THE ATTICS: Facebook

8. ‘Beacon’ by THE MIGHTY ORCHID KING (St Albans, UK)
Expect kooky guitars, a pulsating rhythmic tandem, an overall buzzing resonance, echoing vocals and karma-like 60s harmonies. Yesterday is the new today! Time to chill out! Yeah!


9. ‘Secret’ by VAUREEN (Brooklyn, NY, US)
As much decibels as My Bloody Valentine, as dark as Killing Joke and with Lydia Lunch‘s enigmatic spirit on vocals. Outcome? Like a pitch-black Neil Young hurricane. Puzzling!

10. ‘Victoria Park’ by RED TELEPHONE (Cardiff, Wales)
Melancholic melody, starry-eyed vocals and an overall gratifying warmth that makes you long for happy-go-lucky childhood days. Reminds me of romantic popsters Scritti Politti.


11. ‘Dream Apartment’ by OH FOR (Finland)
This humdinger’s jazzy bass warmth, its twinkling orchestration and its intimate vocals will make your thoughts drift away to the room in your mind where you can freely fantasize.

OH FOR: Facebook

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See/hear you next month for another knockout team

DINOSAUR JR. Released Third Album ‘BUG’ 30 Years Ago…

Going back in sonic history looking for memorable albums…

30 October 2018


BUG – the band’s third longplayer

Released: 31 October 1988 – 30 years ago

ALL MUSIC review: “Relatively cleaner-produced and more accessible than ‘You’re Living All Over Me’, ‘Bug’ expanded on the strengths of its predecessor, and established Dinosaur Jr. as a major band in the American underground. Although the majority of the album is firmly situated in the sprawling, noisy metallic fusion of hard rock and avant noise, Bug also demonstrates that J Mascis has a talent for winding folk-rock, particularly on “The Post” and “Pond Song.” Like its predecessor, the songs on Bug are quite uneven, but it does represent a major step forward for Mascis, particularly on the masterpiece of the record, “Freak Scene,” a surprisingly catchy song encapsulating the appeal and pitfalls of indie rock within three minutes.” – Score: 4.5/5

TURN UP THE VOLUME! says: Mastermind J Mascis had the noisy gift to write smooth melodies, build them up and break them down, turn them inside out, inject them with electrifying turmoil, add his wandering vox where needed and finally shape some stirring turbulence with poignant effects out of all his cut and slash work.

TOP TRACKS: Freak Scene / They Always Come / Pond Song / Budge / Keep the Glove

ALBUM in full…

DINOSAUR JR : Website – Facebook –  Twitter – Discography

Main man Mascis

(photo by Otis Bperiod – FB Dinosaur JR)

EVAN DANDO And THE LEMONHEADS Share First Track From Upcoming Covers Album ‘VARSHONS II’…

Brand new sonic impulses

29 October 2018

Almost ten years ago THE LEMONHEADS released their 9th studio album entitled 
Varshons. A record of covers from artists such as GG Allin, Wire, Leonard Cohen, and
Linda Perry with guest performances from actress and Aerosmith frontman’s daughter
Liv Tyler and model Kate Moss and guitarist John Perry of legends The Only Ones playing
on five tracks.

On 8 February 2019 the follow-up covers LP VARSHONS II will be launched with versions by Dando and his band of songs by big names such as the Eagles, Lucinda Williams, Florida Georgia Line, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds and one beauty from New Jersey veterans Yo La Tengo. Here’s the charming and tender CAN’T FORGET

THE LEMONHEADS: Facebook – All Albums

Can’t Forget (Yo La Tengo) / Settled Down Like Rain (Jayhawks) / Old Man Blank (The Bevis Frond) / Things (Paul Westerberg) / Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness (John Prine) / Abandoned (Lucinda Williams) / Now And Then (Natural Child) / Magnet (NRBQ) / Round Here (Florida Georgia Line) / TAQN (The Eyes) / Unfamiliar (The GiveGoods) / Straight To You (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) / Take It Easy (The Eagles)

Harmonious UMA CHINE Orchestra Shines On Brand New Single – Here’s ‘LONELY GIANT’…

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

29 October 2018

(pic by Shervin Sheikh Rezaei)


Who: Belgian band of experienced musicians/voices formed around singer/songwriter Nele De Gussem, producing roots and electronica related vibes colored with marvelous vocals.

Pick: LONELY GIANT – new single from upcoming debut album, out early 2019

Score: After launching lustrous debut single Screens last June UMA CHINE (hUMAn MaCHINE) releases a second track from their upcoming LP this week. LONELY GIANT
is a remarkable stroke of adventurous pop exquisiteness. The ingenious way the playful and cinematic electronics, the propelling drums/bass, frontwoman Nele‘s spirited vox,
the resplendent harmonies and the whole refined orchestration come together and
turn a charming song into a fascinating pop symphony with multiple layers of sonic processing is pretty special. You’ll discover new things with every spin. Capture the
rich right vibe here while enjoying the accompanying artful video clip…

UMA CHINE: Facebook / Label: Starman Records

Human Harmony Machine… (photo: Turn Up The Volume! Ghent 2018)

TODAY’S YESTERDAY ALBUM – ‘Relationship of Command’ Third AT THE DRIVE-IN Album

Remarkable albums from the past…

Relationship of Command‘ by AT THE DRIVE-IN (El Paso, Texas)
Released: 12 September 2000 – The band’s third longplayer

ALL MUSIC wrote back then : “Welcome to the breath-robbing, heart-pounding Relationship of Command, an album many have been waiting for with red-faced anticipation since their last EP, the brilliant Vaya. On this 11-track masterpiece, so full of adrenaline and swarming moods, ATDI has created one of the most infecting and mind-blowing rock albums in a long time… This is not a band that could ever be insincere. You can see it in their eyes and feel it in their music and work ethic. ATDI is one of the saviors of true emotional straight-up rock!”
Full review here – Score: 4/5

TURN UP THE VOLUME! says: A sonic tsunami of explosive emotions and
tumultuous noise rock. Their hellish breakthrough record.

Standout Track: One Armed Scissor

ALBUM in full…

AT THE DRIVE-IN: Website – Facebook – Discography

At the hair-in

(photo: Facebook At The Drive-In / Press)