Describing themselves as Craft Batch Indie Rock, Brooklyn’s Andre Salvador and the Von Kings are built around the songs of Tim Cheplick. Their debut album takes inspiration from the likes of Elliot Smith, Camper Van Beethoven and Big Star and delivers something fresh, new and yet altogether comfortable and reassuring. Born in Wisconsin but raised on the East Coast, Cheplick has largely spent his time with a singular focus on making music wherever he is. Recording and putting out music under different monikers, Cheplick adopted the current band name and self-released Rock and Roll Springtime in 2016. A follow-up, This Is Play, came in 2017, the first to include Paul Provenzano who answered a “Drummer Wanted” flier in a record store for a gig on his birthday. For their debut LP on label Last Night From Glasgow, Cheplick and Provenzano headed to Nashville to record with producer Robin Eaton (Lionlimb, the Spinto Band) at Club Roar Studios. Here they laid the foundation for a new batch of songs, recording rhythm guitar and drums which Cheplick took home to build on and craft a close approximation of what he heard in his head.
Their Mixtape: While staying home during the pandemic, I’ve (Tim, n.d.r.) been playing catch-up with mostly new and new-ish music, so this playlist reflects that. So while some of these were playing during the long gestation time of our recently released self-titled album, mostly they’re recent finds that are pushing the boundaries of my own songwriting. When I’m looking for good new music, I know what I like and I’m looking for something specific that will elicit an emotional response. These do the trick. Thank you to the artists that somehow wrote these.
Weyes Blood – Andromeda
This flawless track has become an all-time favorite. It’s rare and exciting when a current release gets relegated to that status. She’s a master of chord changes. Her most recent album Titanic Rising is something I’ve been constantly recommending since it came out. I wish she had 50 albums.
BC Camplight – Shortly After Takeoff
Some of BC Camplight’s work sounds like the best material from Harry Nilsson, but the comparison doesn’t go far enough in describing his singular sound. This track is from this year’s album of the same title, really a wild ride that’s consistently great to the end. My favorite records are ones where the artist sounds like they’ve lost it, and this one doesn’t disappoint. My neighbors are sick of hearing it. When the chorus comes I usually get up and put my hands in the air.
Jarv Is – Am I Missing Something?
It’s hard to pick a favorite off Beyond the Pale, but I did.
Lionlimb – Turnstile
I would have been thrilled to have written this. It sounds familiar but new. I love the arrangement, great drumming and subtle rhythm changes. Certainly has a mood that is hard to create (and hard to describe). We loved their album Shoo so much that we went to Nashville to record with their producer Robin Eaton.
Badly Drawn Boy – Another Pearl
This mix of old and new is something I am often drawn to. This is off his album The Hour of Bewilderbeast which is an ideal of an album I am always trying to reach. There’s a song for everyone on it and I’ve been listening to it since 2001.I just think it sounds cool, ok?
Angel Olsen – New Love Cassette
When I last saw her live, she opened her set with this and it was the perfect choice. It sounds like a very positive song to me. She has a talent for building up incredible songs out of simple foundations. And her vocals are so dynamic. Feels like sometimes she’s more breathing a melody than singing it.
Mitski – Washing Machine Heart
When I hear this, I am totally arrested. The synths are undeniably badass. It’s way too short so it’s infinitely listenable. She has mastered the art of leaving you wanting more.
Super Furry Animals – Juxtaposed with U
If everyone knew this song we would have world peace.