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Listen to Shybaby's Pop-Punk Cover of Mandy Moore's "Candy"

Listen to Shybaby's Pop-Punk Cover of Mandy Moore's Photography by Kendall George

Brooklyn-based Shybaby made their debut last year with the hilariously titled PBR Tallbetch. The four-song EP married lyrics about skipping school and botched Tinder dates with the band’s carefree, pop-punk sound. Today, we're excited to debut Shybaby's pop-punk inspired cover of Mandy Moore’s 1999 pop hit, “Candy.” We also talked with singer and guitarist Grace Eire about the music scene in Brooklyn, the group's upcoming debut album, and finding inspiration in Maggie Nelson and Third Eye Blind. You can catch them live at Baby’s All Right on May 9.
 
AdHoc: Your lyrics take a lot of inspiration from your experiences as a young person in your early twenties. Is it difficult to write from a personal lens?
 
Grace Eire: Well, I’m leaning more towards 30 than 20, but I appreciate the mix-up. It’s never been difficult for me to write from a personal lens, because what can I possibly know better than my own self? I’ve also always been pretty introspective/introverted, so I spend a lot of time tossing over events and interactions with people. In fact, in school, my thesis was a 70-page first-person body narrative. What’s interesting to me about the switch to songwriting is that I’m more used to going on and on with long, painstakingly over-thought sentences. These songs, on the other hand, come to me quickly, and I tend to go with my first instinct rather than editing them incessantly. I like to think that keeps them honest and fun. 

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Ben Katzman’s Degreaser Talks Originality in a Time When “Every Solo’s Been Shredded”

Ben Katzman’s Degreaser Talks Originality in a Time When “Every Solo’s Been Shredded” Photography by Abby Weems

When you’re in your early twenties, it feels like everyone is putting up a front. “Kindness Is Hot,” Ben Katzman’s Degreaser new single off of their forthcoming EP, deals with the difficulties of contemporary early adulthood like relating with one another in an age of obsessive self image, inflated egos, online dating. 
 
The song is a fast paced, theatrical ode to courtesy. Over a glam rock guitar riff, frontman Ben Katzman sings, “be cool / be nice / be chill / that’s tight!” The theatrical Kiss-inspired track contains a spoken word break, appropriately followed by a wailing guitar solo. In advance of the single’s release, we talked with Ben Katzman about astrology, authenticity, and working with Colleen Green. 
 
AdHoc: When did you start making music?
 
Ben Katzman: I’ve always been playing. The truth is I’ve always been playing music. My mom, who’s an astrologer, did my zodiac charts and saw that I lacked communications in my Ninth House. And, after that, she started sending me to piano lessons. Ever since I started playing music, I stopped having rage outbursts. I was like, 8 or 9.

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Bad Moves Proves Four Heads Are Better Than One

Bad Moves Proves Four Heads Are Better Than One Photography by: Tess Cagle

Open collaboration between four members can be difficult to cultivate, but Bad Moves make it look effortless. Featuring members of The Max Levine Ensemble, Hemlines, Art Sorority for Girls, and Booby Trap, Bad Moves is a DC indie punk/power-pop powerhouse. All of its members contribute equally to songwriting duties, making tunes that are more than the sum of their parts. “One of the founding tenets of this band was to compose, arrange and perform such that it’s not clear who wrote what, and at times it’s not even clear who’s singing what,” says drummer and songwriter Daoud Tyler-Ameen, also of Art Sorority. Their latest single, "One Thing,” which we're debuting below, is exemplary of this doctrine: vocals from all members are delicately layered, their owners made an ambiguous part of the whole. While collaborative songwriting isn’t exactly a new concept, Bad Moves’ approach is fresh and purposeful. Catch them tonight at Warsaw with Jeff Rosenstock and Martha.

 

 

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Big White's "How Did You Find Out" is a Hilarious Ode to the 80s

Big White's Photography by Jordanne Chant

Australian indie outfit Big White’s “How Did You Find Out” is a humorous ode to the 80s complete with thick-framed glasses, awkward mullets, and mom jeans. The video’s grainy, VHS aesthetics are a perfect pair with the upbeat, synth-driven, New Wave-inspired track. 
 
The band got their start after they were spotted by Burger Records scouts at a pub in Sydney. Following their debut album On + On, the band went on a nine-week tour across their native Australia, Europe, and North America. Their newest video, ”How Do You Find Out,” reflects the band’s DIY ethos. Using inexpensive materials and the help of their friends, Big White explores themes of misconception and failure. 
 
"Our approach to everything is to do it yourself. With a little help from friends along the way, we tend to take things into our own hands,” Big White’s Jack T. Wotton tells AdHoc over email. “We are playing with the idea that it doesn't matter what you say, it's what you do. There's no truth in stories, and that's all the more reason to tell them."
 
The band is currently gearing up for their sophomore album, Street Talk, out via Modern Sky on March 30. They play Berlin on March 9 and Alphaville on March 10. Watch “How Did You Find Out” below. 
 

Joanne Pollock of Poemss Discusses Collaborating with Aaron Funk, Dreams, and Poetry

Joanne Pollock of Poemss Discusses Collaborating with Aaron Funk, Dreams, and Poetry

With its meticulously arranged and aggressive rhythmic patterns, Aaron Funk's work as Venetian Snares is occasionally nightmarish, but too lucid to describe as dreamlike. Poemss, however, his new collaboration on Planet Mu with Toronto-based producer Joanne Pollock, feels like the perfect soundtrack to your late-night, closed-eye adventures. The tracks proceed nonlinearly, sometimes meandering and sometimes static. The voices of both Pollock and Funk appear frequently on their self-titled debut record-- wordlessly and ephemerally in some moments, lyrically in others. The record is imbued with the sort of sedate surrealism (and a similiar vocabulary of synth tones) that characterized the second half of Brian Eno's Before and After Science. Album cut "Moviescapes," which you can listen to below, is one of the more conventionally structured tracks. A waltz without a rhythm, it song lurches back and forth woozily, anchored by Joanne's harmonized vocals. We spoke with Pollock over email about the project-- how it came about, the collaborative process, and the effects of making music at night.

Ad Hoc: How did you first become involved in making electronic music?

Joanne Pollock: I first started making electronic music by myself about three years ago. I didn't really know how to go about it at first, but a few of my friends used different kinds of programs, so I checked some of them out. My first songs were just little experiments, mostly using just the preset instruments that came with whatever I was using. Just finding my way around software, making little baby steps. Eventually, I ended up quitting school, which freed up a lot more time for making music. After a while, I bought some recording equipment and that really advanced my songs a lot!

Ad Hoc: How did you come into contact with Aaron Funk and Planet Mu, and how did you decide to collaborate?

JP: I met Aaron originally at one of his shows in Belgium. We were both Canadian so I guess we started speaking because of that. Two Canadians in a foreign land! It was funny, at that show, whenever someone found out I was from Canada, they would assume that I was friends with Aaron already, because we were from the same country. I guess it would be hard for someone from Belguim to appreciate how far Toronto and Winnipeg are from each other! I ended up going to a few more shows he played, we hung out, shared some music, and he invited me to come visit him in Winnipeg. There wasn't ever a conversation like, "We should collaborate!" It was really just that we were both musicians, and he had a studio in his house, and he was showing me around, and he laid something down and then I did, and then we just kept doing that. It was a natural thing, for two musicians to be making music.

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