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'Slowcore' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Slowcore
416 Bands
American Music Club

American Music Club

American Music Club was an American, San Francisco-based indie rock band, led by singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel. Formed in 1983, the band released seven albums before splitting up in 1995. They reformed in 2003 and released two further albums.

History

Although born in California, Eitzel spent his formative years in Okinawa (Japan), Taiwan, Southampton (the United Kingdom) and Ohio (United States) before returning to the Bay Area in 1981. After a brief stint with the bands The Cowboys (one single: "Supermarket"/"Teenage Life") and The Naked Skinnies (one single) he founded American Music Club in San Francisco in 1983 with guitarist Scott Alexander, drummer Greg Bonnell and bass player Brad Johnson. The band went through many personnel changes before arriving at a stable line up of guitarist Vudi (Mark Pankler), bassist Danny Pearson, keyboardist Brad Johnson and drummer Matt Norelli. This lineup would change over the next several years, but Eitzel always remained the core of the band in terms of its vocals, lyrics and thematic focus, with Vudi and Pearson accompanying him on guitar and bass.

Their 1985 debut, The Restless Stranger, released on Grifter Records, is widely considered as the first slowcore release, establishing the band as major pioneers of slowcore and an early influence on post-rock. It was later followed by 1987's Engine which saw record producer Tom Mallon as a full-time member.

American Music Club earned a solid cult following in Europe on the strength of 1988's California. Their next LP, 1989's United Kingdom, was a UK-only release comprising new material, some of which was recorded live at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco. These two albums were described by Ian Canadine in Rock: The Rough Guide as "the band's two unequivocal masterpieces".

In 1991 American Music Club released Everclear, which has been described as "more polished and radio-friendly" compared to the previous albums, with David Sprague, writing for Trouser Press stating the "slickened production works against the band", but as the band's masterpiece by Allmusic writer Jason Ankeny. Critical acclaim attracted the attention of several major labels. Rolling Stone called it the Album of the Year and named Eitzel Songwriter of the Year for 1991. Eventually, AMC—now consisting of Eitzel, Vudi, Pearson, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Kaphan and drummer Tim Mooney—signed with Reprise in the US and Virgin throughout the rest of the world.

The band contributed the track "All Your Jeans Were Too Tight" to the 1993 AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization. The album Mercury, produced by Mitchell Froom, followed in 1993 and, despite positive reviews (although Canadine considered it over-produced), the album only reached number 41 on the UK Albums Chart and got little radio and television exposure. In 1994, AMC issued San Francisco, which balanced confessional tunes like "Fearless" and "The Thorn in My Side Is Gone" alongside more accessible offerings such as "Wish the World Away".

The band disbanded in 1995, with Eitzel concentrating on his solo career, having already released a solo live album and en EP as side projects. Vudi subsequently formed Clovis de la Floret while working as a bus driver in Los Angeles.

The band reunited in 2003, with Eitzel joined by Pearson and Mooney, and later Vudi and keyboard player Marc Capelle, to record a new album, Love Songs for Patriots (released in 2004), which is described by Allmusic reviewer Mark Deming as "a stronger and more coherent effort than the group's last set, 1994's San Francisco, and while it's too early to tell if this is a new start or a last hurrah for AMC, it at least shows that their formula still yields potent results. Here's hoping Eitzel and Vudi have more where this came from."

A performance in Pittsburgh on November 10, 2004, was released as a live CD, A Toast To You, on January 1, 2005. The band then consisted of Eitzel, Vudi, Pearson, Mooney, with Jason Borger on keyboards.

On June 20, 2007, AMC announced a new lineup connected to the band's base of operations moving to Los Angeles. Eitzel and Vudi remained, while Mooney and Pearson stayed behind in San Francisco. They were replaced by bassist Sean Hoffman and drummer Steve Didelot from the band the Larks. AMC's next record, entitled The Golden Age, was released in the UK on February 4, 2008, on Cooking Vinyl and in the US on February 19 on Merge Records.

The band split up again around 2010.

Tim Mooney died of a blood clot in June 2012; he was 53.

Tom Mallon died after a long battle with brain cancer on January 9, 2014; he was 57.

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 'I've Been a Mess'

'I've Been a Mess'
Thursday, May 27, 2021

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Cigarettes After Sex

Cigarettes After Sex

Cigarettes After Sex is an American ambient pop band formed in El Paso, Texas, in 2008, founded by Greg Gonzalez. The band is known for their ethereal, limerent and often dream-like musical style, lyrics often based on the themes of romance and love, as well as Gonzalez's voice, described as "androgynous". While marketed as an ambient pop band, Cigarettes After Sex are also considered to be shoegaze, dream pop and slowcore.

The band's debut extended play (EP), I., was released in 2012, with the song "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby" eventually becoming a sleeper hit through commercial licensing. After the release of the standalone single "Affection" in 2015, the band released their self-titled debut studio album in June 2017 to positive reviews.

In August 2019, the band announced their second studio album, titled Cry, along with the single "Heavenly". The album was released on October 25, 2019.

History
Cigarettes After Sex was formed in El Paso, Texas, in 2008. Gonzalez recorded the first EP, I., in a four-story stairway at his alma mater, University of Texas at El Paso, calling the experience "basically an accident; kind of an experiment".

Gonzalez relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where the band's single "Affection" was recorded and released in 2015 along with a cover of REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Loving You".

Through music recommendations, Cigarettes After Sex became popular on YouTube, leading to live performances across Europe, Asia, and the United States. The band then released their self-titled debut studio album on June 9, 2017.

Musical style and influences
In a feature for Noisey by Vice, Christina Cacouris describes Cigarettes After Sex as "elemental, hazy and romantic, but with a noir edge underneath Gonzalez's androgynous voice" as well as "sweet and sentimental". "As the band’s name suggests, it’s reminiscent of lying in bed, but its ambient qualities don’t prevent it from being music you can dance to." Gonzalez cites Françoise Hardy as his favorite singer and Miles Davis as having great impact. In an interview with Sound of Boston, he also noted films such as L'Avventura and The Double Life of Veronique were influential to the feel and sound of the music in "Affection" and their LP. The band also includes The Cowboy Junkies' album The Trinity Session, Julee Cruise, and Cocteau Twins as influences. The music blog Eardrums Music describes the band as "slow, dreamy and beautiful with gorgeous, tender vocals and very good lyrics." and compares it to Mazzy Star Music bloggers behind Swell Tone describe Cigarettes After Sex as a band producing "melancholy, slow pop that will sweetly rock any listener into a listless stupor."

Reviewing Affection for Independentmusicnews.com, Jae Pyl concludes that "there’s just such an intimacy to Cigarettes After Sex's sound that it’s impossible to not let it into the pit of your belly."

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Mark Kozelek

Mark Kozelek

Mark Edward Kozelek (born January 24, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and occasional actor. He is best known as the vocalist and primary recording artist of the indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, with whom he has recorded eight studio albums, and as the vocalist, guitarist and founding member of the indie rock band Red House Painters, with whom he recorded six studio albums from 1989 until 2001.

Born and raised in Massillon, Ohio, Kozelek developed an interest in music as a child. Upon meeting drummer Anthony Koutsos in Atlanta, Georgia, the pair moved to San Francisco, California and formed Red House Painters alongside guitarist Gorden Mack and bass guitarist Jerry Vessel. Signing with record label 4AD, the band released four studio albums to critical acclaim. In 1996, Kozelek recorded the band's fifth studio album, Songs for a Blue Guitar, mostly alone. The release of the band's final studio album, Old Ramon (2001), was delayed for three years. In the interim, Kozelek recorded both an album and an EP of AC/DC cover songs.

Reconvening with Koutsos and Vessel, the trio continued performing under the new name of Sun Kil Moon, releasing their debut album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, in 2003. Inspired by classical guitar music, Kozelek recorded Sun Kil Moon's fourth studio album, Admiral Fell Promises (2010), as a solo act, and continued to record mostly alone on its follow-up, Among the Leaves (2012). The album introduced a deeply personal lyrical perspective, which continued on the collaborative solo releases, Perils from the Sea and Mark Kozelek & Desertshore, both released in 2013.

In 2014, Sun Kil Moon's sixth studio album, Benji, was released to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure, with its follow-up, Universal Themes, featuring lengthy compositions and stream-of-consciousness lyrics. In 2016, Kozelek released a collaborative studio album with Jesu, titled Jesu/Sun Kil Moon.

Across his work in Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters and his own solo material, Kozelek has released twenty-seven studio albums.

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 'Bad Boy Boogie'

'Bad Boy Boogie'
Thursday, March 26, 2020

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 'Something Stupid'

'Something Stupid'
Sunday, January 20, 2019

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Red House Painters

Red House Painters

Red House Painters were an American rock band, formed in San Francisco, California in 1988. They were one of the most prominent acts associated with the slowcore/sadcore subgenre. Fronted by primary songwriter Mark Kozelek (vocals, guitar), the band also included drummer Anthony Koutsos and bass guitarist Jerry Vessel. Guitarists Gorden Mack and Phil Carney both performed with the band during separate six-year tenures.

In 2001, Red House Painters quietly dissolved, with Koutsos, Vessel and Carney continuing to record and perform with Kozelek under his new guise Sun Kil Moon until 2010.

While in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio-born Kozelek became friends with Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. He then moved to San Francisco, California, adding guitarist Gorden Mack and bassist Jerry Vessel to complete the line-up for Red House Painters. After forming, the group played the San Francisco scene extensively, and recorded demos from 1989 to 1992. The band were signed to 4AD in 1992, on the strength of a demo tape passed to 4AD boss Ivo Watts-Russell by American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel.

Journalist Martin Aston passed on a tape that Mark Eitzel had given to him. Never before or since had I received a demo that was 90 minutes long! In fact, it was quite some time before I actually listened to the whole thing all the way through. Every morning and evening, driving to and from work, I would start at the beginning, "24" (I know, I know, what more do you need to hear, right? What a song.), but only get about half way through that and whatever the second song on the tape was before arriving home/at 4AD. When I finally did listen to the full 90 minutes I called young Mark K. and left him a message. I learned later he was sitting in the bath listening to me talk. It was a perfect time for me to hear that brilliant band. — Ivo Watts-Russell

Between September 1992 and March 1995, the band released three LPs, one double LP, and one EP. Their first 4AD release was an album made up of demos entitled Down Colorful Hill. In 1993, the group came out with two self-titled records (now commonly referred to as Rollercoaster and Bridge because of their cover artwork).

In early 1994, they released an EP entitled Shock Me, featuring two cover versions of an Ace Frehley-written KISS song. The introspective Ocean Beach followed in spring 1995. Founding guitarist Gorden Mack left shortly after the album's release, and he was replaced shortly thereafter by Phil Carney.

While Kozelek was beginning work on a solo project, he parted ways with 4AD after a tumultuous relationship, so Songs for a Blue Guitar was eventually released on Island Records subsidiary Supreme Recordings/Polygram in summer 1996. The album featured lengthy guitar jams and cover songs, and was the band's biggest seller in the U.S. By early 1998, their sixth album was completed. However, the band was beginning to dissolve, and major label mergers during the late 1990s would leave the record in limbo; it was not until 2001 that Old Ramon was issued on the Sub Pop label. 

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 'Trailways'

'Trailways'
Saturday, December 7, 2019

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 'Smokey'

'Smokey'
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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 'Cruiser'

'Cruiser'
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

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 'Song For A Blue Guitar'

'Song For A Blue Guitar'
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon is an American folk rock act from San Francisco, California, founded in 2002. Initially a continuation of the defunct indie rock band Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon is now the primary recording moniker of vocalist and guitarist Mark Kozelek. The project is named after the Korean super flyweight boxer Sung-Kil Moon.

Following the delayed release of Red House Painters' final studio album, Old Ramon (2001), vocalist and guitarist Kozelek began recording new material under the name Sun Kil Moon with bandmates Anthony Koutsos (drums) and Jerry Vessel (bass), alongside Geoff Stanfield and Tim Mooney. The resulting album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, was released in 2003 to widespread critical acclaim. The project's second studio album, Tiny Cities (2005), was composed entirely of Modest Mouse cover songs.

In 2008, the band released its third studio album, April. Recorded as a three-piece by Kozelek, Koutsos and Stanfield, the album was well received and featured guest vocal appearances from noted indie rock musicians Will Oldham and Ben Gibbard.

Inspired by classical guitar music, Kozelek recorded Sun Kil Moon's fourth studio album, Admiral Fell Promises (2010), as a solo act, and continued to record mostly alone on its follow-up, Among the Leaves (2012). In 2013, Kozelek released three studio albums under his own name before releasing Sun Kil Moon's sixth studio album, Benji, in February 2014, to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure, with the band releasing their seventh studio effort, Universal Themes, in 2015. Sun Kil Moon's eighth studio album, Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood, was released in February 2017, which was followed by their ninth studio album, This Is My Dinner, in November 2018.

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 'Somewhere'

'Somewhere'
Friday, February 28, 2020

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 'Young Love'

'Young Love'
Thursday, October 31, 2019

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 'Truckers Atlas'

'Truckers Atlas'
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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 'Ocean Breathes Salty'

'Ocean Breathes Salty'
Saturday, August 24, 2019

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 'Duk Koo Kim'

'Duk Koo Kim'
Monday, June 24, 2019

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 'Song For Richard Collopy'

'Song For Richard Collopy'
Saturday, October 20, 2018

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 'Tonight In Bilbao'

'Tonight In Bilbao'
Sunday, October 7, 2018

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