Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Model Miranda Kerr continues to focus on skin care with her new Kora Organics pop-up at the Grove

Miranda Kerr, a mother of two young sons, supermodel and entrepreneur, has long mastered the art of balancing parenthood and career. So tending to her teething baby, Hart (whom she welcomed earlier this year with her husband, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel), and unveiling a pop-up shop for her skin-care brand, Kora Organics, during the same week comes as second nature to the Brentwood resident. Her certified organic line had its pop-up debut at the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles last month.


How Grapetooth Caught Synth-Pop Lightning in a Bottle 

artist you need to know ayntk More When indie-pop singer Knox Fortune asked his friends Chris Bailoni and Clay Frankel to open for him at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall last November, they were a little hesitant. “We were like, ‘We’re not even really a band!'” Frankel recalls. “But he was like, ‘Aw, c’mon. We’ll get drunk. It’ll be fun.'” A year later, Bailoni and Frankel’s rollicking synth-pop duo, Grapetooth, is still going, with an electrifying debut LP and a reputation as one of Chicago’s wildest live acts . “It feels bizarre,” says Bailoni, 25. Prior to that first show, he and Frankel — a founding member of garage-rock outfit Twin Peaks — were roommates who had been making music together for a few years with no real plan to release it. They came up with the name Grapetooth hours before the Lincoln Hall show, basing it on an inside-joke term for someone who’s overly fond of wine. The instant local buzz that followed surprised them both. “It’s certainly strange,” says Frankel, 24. “But I guess you gotta just trust the music.” Directly inspired by seminal synth-punk duo Suicide, Grapetooth’s 10-track debut splits the difference between rah-rah Replacements-style punk eccentricity (“Violent”) and Eighties synth atmospherics (“Death”). Add in the fact that Grapetooth’s live shows are a chaotic choose your-own-adventure saga, sliding between giddy dance party and full mosh pit at a moment’s notice, and it’s no wonder this duo is so intoxicating. The two band members took very different paths to where they are now. Frankel grew up steps from Wrigley Field, took up guitar as a preteen and, after meeting his bandmates in Twin Peaks during high school, became a full-time touring musician before he could vote. Over the last eight years, he’s made three full-length albums with Twin Peaks and played A-list gigs from Lollapalooza to Coachella. Bailoni, by contrast, had never played a live show before Grapetooth. While he majored in music production at local Columbia College and recorded music for years in his bedroom under the name Home-Sick, he says he always figured he’d wind up as more of behind-the-scenes player in the music industry. He was so nervous before their first gig that he chugged an entire bottle of wine before stepping onstage. “I shut my eyes and just started dancing,” Bailoni recalls. He and Frankel are sitting at a wooden table at their Logan Square walk-up apartment when we meet. Jazz music hums in the background; Frankel scours the Internet hoping to replace a lost pair of shoes (“It’s like walking on clouds with these, but I left them in Indonesia”) and Bailoni explains how he overcame his stage fright. “I was just whaling my arms around, and then I opened my eyes and saw people freaking out,” he says. “I realized if you dance, they’ll dance. It’s a simple thing. A feedback loop.” Knox Fortune, born Kevin Rhomberg, went to high school with Bailoni and got to know Frankel and the rest of Twin Peaks through the local scene. When he asked them to open for him, he didn’t much care if they were serious about being a band: “I think they only had four songs at the time,” he says with a laugh, “but their four songs were so good and so up my alley that I had to ask them.” Fortune says watching them perform that night — Frankel flailing around the stage like an overserved raver and at one point even falling into the crowd — convinced him Grapetooth were for real. “Honestly, they could go up there and sing karaoke and it would still be really entertaining,” he adds. Seven months after that first show, Grapetooth headlined Lincoln Hall as headliners and sold out the venue. It was just their fifth show. Grapetooth’s genesis is as happenstance as their overnight success. The two musicians vaguely knew each other through Bailoni’s ex-girlfriend, but it wasn’t until they bonded at a bar one evening in late 2015 that the acquaintances decided to make music together. “I was just like, ‘I’m gonna go to this fucking kid’s house that I barely even know,'” Frankel remembers. “I knew he had some sort of studio in his bedroom. But that’s all I really knew.” Bailoni says their early recordings were “a little awkward,” but over the ensuing months the two formed a close friendship, moved into the first of three apartments they’d share together, and steadily began assembling songs. For the first few years, creating music was simply their preferred way to hang out. “Honestly, we would just smoke a lot and talk,” Frankel says. After their first gig, however, Grapetooth began taking their music more seriously. The pair bonded over obscure Japanese synth-pop bands like Yellow Magic Orchestra and, more specifically, its drummer-composer Yukihiro Takashi’s solo track “Drip Dry Eyes.”  “That’s enough sometimes,” Frankel says, noting that a single song can inspire a band’s entire sonic palette. “Weird music can come from anywhere.” For a guitar-rock lifer like Frankel, Grapetooth’s creative process is a new one. Most Twin Peaks songs, he says, begin with him or one of his bandmates bringing in a chord progression or melody. A Grapetooth song, by contrast, always leads with Bailoni firing up the Logic Pro software on his computer and creating an electronic drum beat before Frankel adds guitar lines and vocals to the mix. “Right there, that already puts you in a world of music that’s a lot different than rock and roll,” Frankel says. With Frankel about to start working seriously on Twin Peaks’ next album, Grapetooth’s future is up in the air. Both members agree they’d like to tour this spring, and Bailoni says he already has ideas for a second album: “Lord knows when that will be though,” he says. Not that they’re worried. “People have been asking us, ‘So what’s next?'” Frankel adds. “It’s like, ‘Man, we just got to the top of the damn mountain and put the album out!'” He turns to Bailoni and the bandmates simultaneously burst into whooping laughter. “We’re just figuring it out as we go.”


Dylan Brady is Making Vital Pop Music That’s Both Accessible and Delightfully Weird 

St. Louis-raised producer and songwriter Dylan Brady constantly inspires curiosity. “An artist I was working with played me a snippet of a song they made with Dylan,” Kenny Beats, the L.A.-based producer behind the impressive production on Vince Staples’ FM!, explains. “For the next three days I did everything I could to get in contact with him because I had so many questions.” With a choker hugging his neck and lengthy, surfer-bum hair, the unassuming Dylan Brady has made a name for himself as one of the most exciting and inventive songwriters the internet has produced. The inviting, fast-working producer is among the best out right now, and a wider audience is starting to catch on. Back in 2015, Dylan Brady released a stunning debut album, seemingly ripped straight from an alternate dimension where gothic romanticism and 808s & Heartbreak exist in harmony. All I Ever Wanted is just as striking today as it was over three years ago, and sounded completely unique on release. Dylan’s first release screamed confidence, but to say that it was an indication of where he would head next wouldn’t be totally accurate. All I Ever Wanted started Dylan’s rise and featured collaborators both close to home and far removed, among them Ottawa’s Night Lovell and a then 19-year-old pre-breakthrough Kevin Abstract. Birthed from the scraps of an abandoned project titled Party At My Château, the record represented his restless creativity. A keen pop sensibility complimented the wilder aspects of his sound, and the album struck a balance between stark beauty and utter chaos. Even when he indulges in outright bombast, he still sneaks in gorgeous melodies and sticky hooks. POST CONTINUES BELOW 
 By the time like-minded producers had figured out how to replicate his colossal bass and off-kilter song structures, he’d already moved on. The arrival of his latest project Peace & Love, released on Diplo-founded label Mad Decent, represents yet another shift. “I was trying to do these serious guitar songs, like a whole album of that kind of vibe,” Dylan explains over Skype from Los Angeles. “These [Peace & Love tracks] were sort of the songs I made between those serious songs, just having fun. So, this project kind of manifested itself out of in-between projects, but turned into a project itself. The guitar stuff wasn’t really happening how I wanted it do, so this is just me having fun.” Of all the words to describe his earlier output, fun is not the first that springs to mind. Peace & Love, however, is delivered with an ear-to-ear grin. “I’ve been trying a lot of new things,” he remarks, pushing aside his lengthy hair with a smile on his face. Peace & Love is very much the product of experimentation, but what makes it so immediate is how he reigns in his Pet Sounds approach to pushing the envelope. Pop, but weird, isn’t a particularly fresh concept, but his approach to it is. POST CONTINUES BELOW 
 Brady’s earlier output veered more towards rap, and Night Lovell brought out the best in him early on. “His unique and versatile sound was what drew me to him at first,” Lovell says of Brady. “He didn’t sound like anything I ever heard from anyone before when I first discovered him. He’s always willing to work with new people and try new shit.” Since moving to Los Angeles, Dylan’s list of collaborators has grown considerably. Expanding from his St. Louis day ones Pritty, Ravenna Golden, and Lewis Grant, to include the likes of the Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford, Delaware rapper Lil West, and the promising upstart Tony Velour, he’s fostered an impressive roster of musicians eager to work with him. POST CONTINUES BELOW Los Angeles-based, Grammy award-winning mixer Jeff Ellis, who has worked on projects like Injury Reserve’s Drive It Like It’s Stolen and Frank Ocean’s Blonde, speaks particularly highly of Dylan. “He is willing to break every single rule while at the same time following the ones that count,” he says. “I can recognize a song made by Dylan in seconds just because of how unique his sound is. Dylan’s music is simple and complex all at once. There is never an extra sound or a moment that is lacking in intention. His range is crazy and he’s able to bring out the best in every artist he works with. He is my favorite producer and artist.” 
 “He is willing to break every single rule while at the same time following the ones that count." - Jeff Ellis 
 Producing a smorgasbord of sounds for himself and others, the adventurousness that brought him to these collaborators has seeped into his own music. “I was just making all-over-the-place sounds but never really putting them into the same project,” he explains. “I always felt like you can’t do a project with a bunch of sonic palettes. Now I think it doesn’t really fucking matter, it still sounds like I made all of them.” Peace & Love is a project wholly his own, but it wouldn’t exist in the gleefully strange way it does if Dylan wasn’t always looking to move forward and work with new musicians relentlessly. These experiences inform his approach, inspiring him to sprinkle more variety into his own music. “Moving to L.A., working with people that have been doing this for so long, I definitely picked up a lot of things,” he says. “It has been cool to be able to grow in real life instead of doing things back and forth [online].” POST CONTINUES BELOW A magnetic and inviting personality both on record and off, there’s a reason his production discography has blossomed into what it is today. “My manager Kirk had Dylan come through a Neighbourhood show when we were in St. Louis and the minute I saw him I knew I wanted to be friends,” The Neighbourhood’s lead singer Jesse Rutherford tells me. “Dylan can make music all day every day whether anyone else is contributing or not. It is just what he does. He can’t help himself. When we were making my record there would be times when he would make beat after beat after beat until something caught me. I feel like it’s really easy to create with him and we have a special sound together so I want to continue to push that as far as we can.” POST CONTINUES BELOW Dylan brings a laid-back familiarity to everyone in his life. “As soon as I entered his space I was hooked, I couldn’t believe how fearless he was as a creative and how much knowledge he had on the technical end of it all too,” Dylan’s manager Cody Verdecias explains. “I think what makes Dylan so intriguing and so desirable to work with is the level of unpredictability one knows comes with his collaboration. His ability to challenge each and every individual with an approach of boldness and kindness brings a unique layer of comfort for artists to tap into the most otherworldly sides of themselves. His imagination is immeasurable, and that inspires and influences everyone around him.” Dylan approaches his music the same way, whether he’s working with an established name or an old friend. “He is the first person that made me fully realize how far I could take my dreams,” explains close collaborator Ravenna Golden. “Dylan knows how to bring out the creativity in others just by expressing himself. Being in the studio with Dylan is one of the few times where I don’t really feel like I have to explain where I’m coming from. Having a close friend who you know how to work and grow with is a special thing, and cultivating that is very important to me. That’s why [our] synergy has grown into what it has.” POST CONTINUES BELOW “I’ve met some new people out here who are super sick and I’m gonna work with them more closely, I think, but it’s hard to balance working so closely with so many people,” Dylan explains. “That’s been an interesting change, because in St. Louis it’s really easy to keep up with everyone, but here there are so many people that I wanna work with. It’s kinda hard to do it all, and my own shit at the same time.” 
 "I always enjoy stuff with extreme dynamics and autotune, but Dylan’s voice and songwriting is weirdly pure and very pop, maybe even wholesome." - A.G. Cook 
 His efforts haven’t gone to waste, and his admirers in the music world steadily increase. “Dylan is pretty much on fire,” says PC Music’s A.G. Cook. “His music combines so many styles in such a genuine way, and his personality shines through all the layers of digital distortion. I always enjoy stuff with extreme dynamics and autotune, but Dylan’s voice and songwriting is weirdly pure and very pop, maybe even wholesome.” POST CONTINUES BELOW The most exciting aspect of Dylan Brady, besides his unpredictability, is that he’s still learning. His career would already make for a fantastic montage sequence, and but he's committed to evolving. The sense of community he’s built around his music is extraordinary, and while Peace & Love may not be a breakout record for him, everyone in the know is rightfully paying attention. He’s not following the traditional path of a rising star, but his expanding track record has landed him in the position to push music forward, even if he's not always directly in the spotlight.

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