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We had the chance to speak to Nick Van Horn of Chicago punk-rock band The Liqs. The band formed in the wake of Van Horn and collaborative partner Esteban Miranda’s project called The Mirandas. In late 2013, The Mirandas began to fade, so put Nick and Esteban reignited their garage-rock fuzziness as The Liqs.

Together, the band picked up bassist Sergio Stryker and continued to record and perform. Although Van Horn tends to write almost all the songs by himself, jamming is where the collaborative process flourishes. “Esteban has a great style, very fast fills and is one of the most creative drummers I have ever played with,” he told us. “Sergio has a very simple yet creative style with the bass. His playing always makes the band sound heavier and we try to be as heavy as possible.”

The band depends on one another for a song to take fruition. “When you get a bunch of people collaborating sometimes it doesn’t work so good and sometimes it’s fucking amazing,” he said “and everyone that is jamming gets into it and it just feels great.”

The Liq’s have some big things on the way, but for now checkout their bandcamp and facebook. The band is in between records labels at the moment, but you can bet you’ll be hearing them again soon.

We had the chance to speak to Nick Van Horn of Chicago punk-rock band The Liqs. The band formed in the wake of Van Horn and collaborative partner Esteban Miranda’s project called The Mirandas. In late 2013, The Mirandas began to fade, so put Nick and Esteban reignited their garage-rock fuzziness as The Liqs.

Together, the band picked up bassist Sergio Stryker and continued to record and perform. Although Van Horn tends to write almost all the songs by himself, jamming is where the collaborative process flourishes. “Esteban has a great style, very fast fills and is one of the most creative drummers I have ever played with,” he told us. “Sergio has a very simple yet creative style with the bass. His playing always makes the band sound heavier and we try to be as heavy as possible.”

The band depends on one another for a song to take fruition. “When you get a bunch of people collaborating sometimes it doesn’t work so good and sometimes it’s fucking amazing,” he said “and everyone that is jamming gets into it and it just feels great.”

The Liq’s have some big things on the way, but for now checkout their bandcamp and facebook. The band is in between records labels at the moment, but you can bet you’ll be hearing them again soon.

     Guess who’s back out on the scene? Blake Harnage and Sierra Kay, both previous members of the alternative-rock band VersaEmerge (Fueled By Ramen), have re-emerged as VERSA, a newer project with a darker, electronic sound. Their debut EP release Neon just dropped in January, and features three brand new tracks from the duo. Blake offered us some insight into their creative processes and focus on artist collaboration!

     Blake and Sierra have been working together for seven years now, beginning with the project of VersaEmerge, in which Sierra sang and Blake mainly played guitar and sang for. Throughout the years, collaboration has been a major part of the success of their projects; Blake explained to us that “music without collaboration is usually music that could be improved upon,” since it’s so easy to get lost in the details of something you’ve heard over and over again. In order to finish a piece, he finds it to be vital to share with others.

     The duo begins their creative process with everything from fun rhythms to chord changes, to odd noises produced with Blake’s gear. In the case of their VERSA single “Neon,” the two originally had much of the song in place working independently from Blake’s studio in their home state of Florida, but ultimately invited a couple of friends to collaborate. They were fortunate enough to collaborate with two other writers in London, but mentioned that Skype sessions had been resorted to when necessary.

     The challenge of collaboration has been prevalent in the life of VERSA. Blake admitted to us that because of scheduling conflicts and geography, it’s been tough to produce Neon. From the day they began to work on “Neon,” at least a year and a half passed before its official release because of the difficult nature of collaboration. He explained that the best work comes when you can forget about the process and shift more focus into the actual product. In the past, Blake has even incorporated original iPhone voice memo ideas into finished mixes; the weight and vibe of the original idea outweighs the sonic quality for VERSA, where sometimes expensive gear can get in the way of a song’s integrity.

     Sierra and Blake’s new style incorporates analog synths, cheap keyboards from the 80’s, guitars, vocals, among other sounds and samples created in Pro Tools. Make sure you check out these new musical ideas, and keep up to date with them via Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

PICKASOUND UPDATE!

Hello to all of our lovely blog followers!

So lately we’ve been sharing a bunch of news in the music scene regarding the collaboration of artists. We are doing this because we believe that collaboration is essential in today’s industry. However, we also don’t want to lose focus on what Pickasound actually is: a music tech company in Boston with big dreams of simplifying online music collaboration. We quickly found at the conception of our company that designing our Pickasound Music Player would be a bit of a difficult process. So it is with great excitement that we announce that the player is currently in the process of being built and we should have a prototype available for beta testing in the coming months!

Thank you to all of our followers for sticking by us. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how Pickasound unfolds in the future! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at pickasound.co and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

 

            There are few bands in the Boston indie music scene right now as abuzz as Dinoczar. The trio of garage-punk rockers recently signed to Northeastern University’s Green Line Records and released their debut EP Ghouls.

            The band started out in Laguna Beach, hometown to members Aaron Swartz and Paul Dunne. While attending high school together, they drifted into the same circle of jam sessions and realized that the two had some great musical chemistry between them. In 2011, the two moved to Boston to attend Northeastern, all the while recording demos with basic music equipment. It wasn’t until a student organization was putting on a local artist showcase in October 2013 that the duo decided to actually perform the songs they had written. The only issue was that they were one member short so they scooped up bassist Jake Cardinal and had officially become Dinoczar. One week after performing at the artist showcase on campus, the trio signed to Green Line.

            Throughout college, however, Aaron and Paul traveled often, interning in various cities. Aaron spent a semester in London, then LA, now San Francisco and Paul spent a few months working in Austin, TX.  All the moving around has made it difficult for the three to stay cohesive. Their method of recording and sharing ideas is basically recording beats and riffs on an iPhone voice recorder and sending the files back on forth, evolving the idea with each send. They believe that most software is too complicated to record with, especially when thousands of miles away from one another. However, when playing in the same room, Dinoczar has been able to officially complete entire songs in just a few days.

            The band will be together again in Boston later this year so expect some fun and fuzzy songs coming your way.  Until then, check out Ghouls on iTunes, Spotify or Bandcamp, as well as the freshly uploaded “Phonic Disaster”.

 

            There are few bands in the Boston indie music scene right now as abuzz as Dinoczar. The trio of garage-punk rockers recently signed to Northeastern University’s Green Line Records and released their debut EP Ghouls.

            The band started out in Laguna Beach, hometown to members Aaron Swartz and Paul Dunne. While attending high school together, they drifted into the same circle of jam sessions and realized that the two had some great musical chemistry between them. In 2011, the two moved to Boston to attend Northeastern, all the while recording demos with basic music equipment. It wasn’t until a student organization was putting on a local artist showcase in October 2013 that the duo decided to actually perform the songs they had written. The only issue was that they were one member short so they scooped up bassist Jake Cardinal and had officially become Dinoczar. One week after performing at the artist showcase on campus, the trio signed to Green Line.

            Throughout college, however, Aaron and Paul traveled often, interning in various cities. Aaron spent a semester in London, then LA, now San Francisco and Paul spent a few months working in Austin, TX.  All the moving around has made it difficult for the three to stay cohesive. Their method of recording and sharing ideas is basically recording beats and riffs on an iPhone voice recorder and sending the files back on forth, evolving the idea with each send. They believe that most software is too complicated to record with, especially when thousands of miles away from one another. However, when playing in the same room, Dinoczar has been able to officially complete entire songs in just a few days.

            The band will be together again in Boston later this year so expect some fun and fuzzy songs coming your way.  Until then, check out Ghouls on iTunes, Spotify or Bandcamp, as well as the freshly uploaded “Phonic Disaster”.

Brandon Flowers, Father John Misty and Local Natives came together “Out Among The Stars”, a tribute to the late Johnny Cash. All performances are equally fantastic and definitely deserve a watch.

Australian producer Flume released a rap mixtape last year along with his debut album. The mixtape features a bunch of collaborations including Killer Mike, Twin Shadow, How To Dress Well and Freddie Gibbs, among others. Check out this video that features Autre Ne Veut and Ghostface Killah.

      Upcoming hip hop artist Shawn Thomas has just dropped his debut EP Few and Far Between after over two years in the making, working with a variety of musicians through various collaboration processes. Being a rapper, collaboration has always been important to Shawn in order to work closely with his producer as well as other musicians on the record. Shawn considers music collaboration to be an integral part of music creating in general, and has certainly put an emphasis on this in his new release.
      Shawn’s influences include Atmosphere, Sage Francis, Mac Lethal and Grieves. Creating this album presented a challenge for Shawn, since the studio he recorded in is in Hyannis, MA, while he balances a life of school and work in Boston. Through many emails and lengthy commutes, Few and Far Between finally came to full fruition for its March 11th debut.
      During the creation of Few and Far Between, Shawn Thomas released a video for the last track on the EP, “Here Come The Drums,” which you can see here. He calls this song the “first instrumental of the batch that caught [his] ear immediately and [he] started to write right away.”
      Download Few and Far Between HERE for free and be sure to keep up to date with Shawn Thomas via Twitter and Facebook.

      Upcoming hip hop artist Shawn Thomas has just dropped his debut EP Few and Far Between after over two years in the making, working with a variety of musicians through various collaboration processes. Being a rapper, collaboration has always been important to Shawn in order to work closely with his producer as well as other musicians on the record. Shawn considers music collaboration to be an integral part of music creating in general, and has certainly put an emphasis on this in his new release.

      Shawn’s influences include Atmosphere, Sage Francis, Mac Lethal and Grieves. Creating this album presented a challenge for Shawn, since the studio he recorded in is in Hyannis, MA, while he balances a life of school and work in Boston. Through many emails and lengthy commutes, Few and Far Between finally came to full fruition for its March 11th debut.

      During the creation of Few and Far Between, Shawn Thomas released a video for the last track on the EP, “Here Come The Drums,” which you can see here. He calls this song the “first instrumental of the batch that caught [his] ear immediately and [he] started to write right away.”

      Download Few and Far Between HERE for free and be sure to keep up to date with Shawn Thomas via Twitter and Facebook.

Stop everything you’re doing and listen to this Jay-Z+Daft Punk collab… 

The soundtrack for the the new film Divergent is one of the most collaborative collections we’ve seen in a while. It features quite a bit of unexpected tracks, specifically a Tame Impala/Kendrick Lamar song “Backwards”. The whole this is streaming on Pitchfork right now, give it a listen.

The soundtrack for the the new film Divergent is one of the most collaborative collections we’ve seen in a while. It features quite a bit of unexpected tracks, specifically a Tame Impala/Kendrick Lamar song “Backwards”. The whole this is streaming on Pitchfork right now, give it a listen.

            One night at Northeastern University in Boston, Lee Schuna got a phonecall from Anjimile Chithambo who said she had found her musical soulmate, Drew Wilcox. Lee grabbed her guitar and the three headed over to a practice room on campus that night and started jamming. The trio soon decided that they wanted to officially work together in their own band: Modes.            Although Modes is a cohesive project, each member distinctly draws influences from their own sources. A quick glance at their facebook page would tell you that Anjimile hails from Texas, while Drew from Chicago and Lee from Wisconsin. Even their influences vary from bandmember to bandmember, Drew drawing inspiration from Radiohead and Sonic Youth, whereas Anjimile grew with Brand New and Emily with Warpaint. Before that night, each musician had been working individually on separate projects - Drew working as Eskimo Rangers, Lee working as The Vacuum Party and Anjimile releasing solo music that she continues to record.            Luckily for the three, they had met and formed at school, so collaborating together in person wasn’t too difficult. Shortly after forming, however, Lee temporarily moved to Brooklyn to work at indie label Captured Tracks. Therefore, the band’s creativity was inhibited and recording was halted. During this time, Lee commented on MP3s sent to her by her band members, but was unable to contribute to them in a simple manner for over half a year. After returning to Boston, Modes had started working on a forthcoming EP.            When asked about the interaction during the songwriting process, Lee explained, “Music doesn’t care if you know each other or not. All you need is creative energy that works well with someone else’s, and that’s how it happened.”            Modes doesn’t have any recorded material out just yet, but check out each band member’s individual work at the links below. We certainly look forward to hearing more from them.
The Vacuum PartyAnjimile YvonneEskimo Rangers
Modes

            One night at Northeastern University in Boston, Lee Schuna got a phonecall from Anjimile Chithambo who said she had found her musical soulmate, Drew Wilcox. Lee grabbed her guitar and the three headed over to a practice room on campus that night and started jamming. The trio soon decided that they wanted to officially work together in their own band: Modes.

            Although Modes is a cohesive project, each member distinctly draws influences from their own sources. A quick glance at their facebook page would tell you that Anjimile hails from Texas, while Drew from Chicago and Lee from Wisconsin. Even their influences vary from bandmember to bandmember, Drew drawing inspiration from Radiohead and Sonic Youth, whereas Anjimile grew with Brand New and Emily with Warpaint. Before that night, each musician had been working individually on separate projects - Drew working as Eskimo Rangers, Lee working as The Vacuum Party and Anjimile releasing solo music that she continues to record.

            Luckily for the three, they had met and formed at school, so collaborating together in person wasn’t too difficult. Shortly after forming, however, Lee temporarily moved to Brooklyn to work at indie label Captured Tracks. Therefore, the band’s creativity was inhibited and recording was halted. During this time, Lee commented on MP3s sent to her by her band members, but was unable to contribute to them in a simple manner for over half a year. After returning to Boston, Modes had started working on a forthcoming EP.

            When asked about the interaction during the songwriting process, Lee explained, “Music doesn’t care if you know each other or not. All you need is creative energy that works well with someone else’s, and that’s how it happened.”

            Modes doesn’t have any recorded material out just yet, but check out each band member’s individual work at the links below. We certainly look forward to hearing more from them.

The Vacuum Party
Anjimile Yvonne
Eskimo Rangers

Modes