Lots o’ Leather: Benny Leather, Digital Leather announce fall releases…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:02 pm July 17, 2020
Digital Leather’s Shawn Foree enjoys a cold beverage in what looks like either a market in Bangkok or a taco stand in Tekamah, NE.

The last time we heard from Benny Leather was last fall when the mysterious digital-fueled punk act with links to Omaha and Antwerp released a couple singles destined for a full-length release later that year that never materialized. Well, the wait is over.

Temporary Insanity, an 8-song LP, is slated for release Oct. 1 on Philly label FDH Records, though you can pre-order it now right here (the full digital release drops Oct. 1 while the vinyl release won’t ship until last December).

Recorded in bedrooms and basements in Portland, Omaha, Bentonville, OR, Raleigh/Durham, NC, and Phuket and Krabi Southern Thailand between 2018 and 2020, the album was mixed by Omaha’s Benny Leather and Antwerp’s Modus Ponens, and features guest vocals from Modern Love’s Chandra Moskowitz (yes, the world famous chef!), and Thick Paint’s Sarah Bohling.

The album was mastered by sound engineer/genius Ian Aeillo at ADSR (A Dark Sun Room) studios.

Says Mr. Leather: All non vocal instrumentation created from scratch on the following analog synthesizers:
Moog Spectravox Vocoder hand built by Benny Leather at MoogFest 2019 (Raleigh/Durham, NC)
— Moog Sub Phatty (a personal gift from Digital Leather’s Shawn Foree and Todd Fink back in 2014)
— ARP Odyssey
— Sequential (fka DSI) Prophet Rev 2
— DSI Tempest analog drum machine (all drums/percussion made from scratch from raw white, pink and green noise signals processed through various analog filters, VCAs, envelopes and augmented by pitched analog oscillators).
— Reverb/delays: Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run

Got all that?

Check out the first two singles below and order it post haste.

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Also announced this week: Digital Leather’s new 18-track LP, New Wave Gold, will drop Sept. 15 on No Coast Records. Digital Leather is Shawn Foree, who’s been creating some of the country’s most intriguing modern rock under the Digital Leather moniker for 20 years.

From the press release:

Recorded in Foree’s apartment in Nebraska over the last couple of years, during which time Shawn also travelled the country doing environmental work, New Wave Gold is its own genre; something uniquely wonderful. Lyrically, each song is crafted of deceivingly simple lines, but the words soon reveal their true identities: culprits to a dazzlingly moody manifesto. It’s a mid-life crisis and a global crisis smashed together and thrown onto tape. Scattered with analog synths, acoustic guitars and a fully operational DIY approach, New Wave Gold is also reminiscent of work from groups like Sebadoh and Psychic TV.”

Check out the video for first single, “A Cut Above,” directed by Mat Badura. You can pre-order the vinyl or CD right here from the No Coast Bandcamp page.


Looks like the video got pulled by YouTube! Methinks someone didn’t get permission to use those vintage film clips. Well, here’s the track at bandcamp:

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Drop Day: Desaparecidos’ Payola, Digital Leather’s All Faded…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:59 pm June 23, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Desaparecidos, Payola (2015, Epitaph)

Desaparecidos, Payola (2015, Epitaph)

You read all the reviews yesterday, buy the album today. Desaparecidos’ Payola drops via Epitaph and is available at all the usual locations and online at iTunes, Amazon and on Spotify, where I’m currently listening to it. Bombastic? Yes.

Desa’s album, as you already know, is a social and political comment. Conor Oberst raging against the machine as only he can. He does as good a job as I suppose anyone could simplifying some of the most challenging issues of our time in less than three minutes per topic. Any more than three minutes would be overkill, both for these topics and these melodies. Because, let’s face it, all the best punk songs are less than three minutes long, right? Anyone following the band has already heard the best tracks (since they were released as singles over the past few years). Taken as a whole, the record is a solid collection of fist-pumping anthems, whether you understand what the songs are about or not.

Digital Leather, All Faded (2015, FDH Records)

Digital Leather, All Faded (2015, FDH Records)

On the other hand, Digital Leather’s All Faded, out today via FDH Records, is purely personal, as all Digital Leather records are. Do we really want to hear what frontman Shawn Foree thinks about immigration reform, social media or problems in the Middle East? No, we don’t (and I’m sure there’s some of you who don’t want to know what Conor thinks about those issues, either).

My thoughts on the record and the story behind the making of the album are online here. Quite simply, this is the best Digital Leather record since Warm BrotherAll Faded is available as a download or CD from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The vinyl version doesn’t come out until this fall, but you can order it now from the label right here.

Sonically and lyrically, these two records couldn’t be more different, and yet they have one thing in common: You can understand every word of every lyric sung on both records.

It seems like a little thing — like a basic thing — but the majority of indie rock records these days sport vocals that are nothing more than indecipherable nuanced tone poems. To a lot of music fans, the words don’t matter, and that’s fine. They’re in it for the energy or the noise or the attitude, or in the case of “vibe” music or next-gen shoegaze, it’s all about the mood, the chord progressions, the drone. Fine.

But I’m at the point where if I can’t understand what the singer’s singing I blank out on the song. Maybe it’s a throwback attitude, or the fact that I grew up on songs that forced you to sing along. These days, there’s not much on Sirius XM (the only “radio” station I listen to that plays new music) that’s begs you to join in. Both of these records do. Go buy them.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.