Matt Kivel’s albums are like homes made in miniature — seemingly simple pieces of art that, upon closer examination, reveal exquisitely crafted worlds of their own. You can get lost in the details up close, or marvel from afar, but the intricate beauty of something so modest and expertly rendered is plain to see.
Matt has been releasing music under his own name since 2012. The brilliance of his songwriting has never translated into a massive audience, but then again, that was never his intention. He has build a strong cult following that came for the lo-fi indie-pop and stayed for the minimalist soundscapes and the heartbreaking nostalgia. Along the way, he has collaborated with renowned artists such as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes; and performed shows with Angel Olsen and Steve Gunn, among others.
The first collaboration between Pedro Y El Lobo and Matt Kivel was an acoustic concert in Mexico City in 2017. An almost instant friendship stemmed from our mutual love of Leonard Cohen and a similar understanding of music. Last Night In America –the first of Matt’s albums that we have released– is a step further in our connection. It is a masterpiece in which every word, sound and silence is carefully placed with a purpose, but most importantly, it is a record that we truly love and are proud to be a part of.
Lázaro Cristóbal Comala ya era nuestro cantautor mexicano favorito desde antes de trabajar con él. Sus canciones nos recuerdan por qué nos enamoramos del folk en primer lugar. Tiene que ver con la simpleza de sus melodías y la profundidad de sus letras; pero sobre todo con la capacidad de romperte el corazón y hacerte reír en un mismo verso.
Desde su nombre –inspirado por el concepto de la orfandad– crea una identidad que suena a paisajes desérticos poblados por soledad, tolvaneras y espinas. Ese mundo está tan moldeado por el realismo mágico de Juan Rulfo y la música de Johnny Cash, como por el gallo cantor de Robin Hood o los personajes cotidianos de su ciudad natal, Durango. El resultado son historias que te enfrentan de lleno con una realidad inescapable, en la que los malos ratos son bastante más comunes (pero no menos importantes) que los buenos.
Samuel (2019) es el primer disco en español jamás lanzado por Pedro Y El Lobo. No es que no hubiéramos querido antes, sino que no habíamos encontrado el proyecto correcto hasta que un día, por suerte, escuchamos una canción llamada “Clara y Ancla”. La voz de Lázaro es completamente de este tiempo y lugar. Tiene un humor muy mexicano para lidiar con la tragedia y hasta canciones dedicadas a sustancias farmacéuticas. Lo asombroso es cómo logra abordar temas universales con la misma honestidad y claridad con las que habla de cantinas y minibares.
We first invited Low Roar to play in Mexico City back in 2015. Less than a year later, Ryan was back for two intimate acoustic concerts. And just a month after that we were in the studio recording part of his third album, Once In A Long, Long While. It was a deep musical connection and a true friendship that made things happen so fast. It still feels like a dream to be working side by side with one of our favorite artists as their label for Mexico and Latin America.
Even though the project had its origins in Reykjavik, Low Roar is way past that “Made In Iceland” label. Ryan wrote his lastest album moving between Warsaw, Mexico City, California and London, where he finished recording and mixing with world renowned producer Andrew Schepps. The result was the same: Honest songs that can sooth your soul or break your heart depending on the time of day. Ultimately, it is deeply personal music that emerges, not out of an external landscape, but from within the most basic human emotions.
In 2018 we released The Sky Is Falling (B-Side). It consists of two unreleased tracks that show, once again, Low Roar’s brilliant mixture of folk, dream-pop and electronica. It was a way for the band to close a cycle, before immersing in the creation of a new album.
In between Chicago and Detroit there’s a college town named Kalamazoo. In it, there’s an interestingly rich scene led by Graham Parsons and The Go Rounds. A collective that is as focused in making good music, as it is in creating a community that grows through art.
Paste Magazine called them “a band that kills cynicism” and one listen to their album ‘dont go not changin’ is enough to understand what they mean. With all the american spirit of folk, psychedelia and blues, these guys –without a manager or fear of succumbing to the pressures of conventional adulthood– play better and deeper rock n’ roll than most of the groups that parade in the big festivals and music blogs.
We first met The Go Rounds when we invited them to play a concert at Foro Indie Rocks. It’s not exaggerated to say that it was one of the best indie shows of 2015 in Mexico City. By the time they left the stage, two hundred people knew that they had just witnessed something special; and we knew it was the beginning of a great collaboration.
The Go Rounds = Graham Parsons (guitar and vocals), Mike Savina (guitar), Drew Tyner (bass) and Adam Danis (drums).
My Empty Phantom is the main musical project of Jesse Beaman, an Austin, TX based multi-instrumentalist and composer. Using guitar, piano, drums and a series of loop and effect pedals, he creates songs that start with simple melodies and grow –layer after layer– into beautiful epic atmospheres.
As My Empty Phantom, Jesse has toured extensively across The United States, Europe and Australia. He has shared the stage with relevant artists like CocoRosie, This Will Destroy You, White Denim and Julianna Barwick. Recently he has found a second creative home in Mexico City, where he plays and records regularly.
After years of performing, earning a cult following and perfecting his sound, My Empty Phantom released his long awaited debut album Collection Of Memories Vol. 1 in 2016. Having worked in other impressive projects, such as composing music for National Geographic, Jesse doesn’t hesitate to say: “This album is my best work as an artist, period”. That’s true but it’s also an understatement. He is creating music than can dissolve thoughts and transport you to a place where there is nothing more than sound and space.
Hanging Valleys flourished from the creative genius of Thom Byles, who for several years wrote beautiful songs using a guitar and his voice. As his style developed and began exploring with layers and atmospheres, more instruments and minds were needed to take the music where it needed to be. That’s when Mike Phillips came in. Mike’s guitar and backing vocals turned a green patch of land into an awe-inspiring forest of soothing harmonies, raw percussions and subtle emotional peaks.
Based in London, the band has acquired a cult following after being praised by important specialized media, such as BBC Introducing. They have played internationally, including festivals in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and UK, as well as a series of concerts and sessions presented by PYL in Mexico City, where they supported Patrick Watson and Low Roar.
In 2018 Hanging Valleys released Fortaleza, an EP so perfectly thought out it’ll make you want to drop everything and play it on repeat. Thom’s mesmerizing vocals mixed with Mike’s guitar swells combine to create unforgettable soundscapes in every song.
Joaquin Garcia will tell you he writes pop music. To us, each verse has the feeling of a long-lost folk song, but the genre is not important. What matters is that it is brutally honest, it speaks in a truthful way, and within three minutes it has you hooked and wanting more.
In 2012, we recorded his first EP, Over The Last Few Years, as a solo acoustic show live in a garden with a quiet audience of close friends. A year later he was playing with a full band in front of 700 people, supporting Balmorhea at Lunario. He feels as comfortable in either situation because it is always his howling voice, intelligent lyrics and heartwarming delivery that connect the listener with the song.
His latest album The Riverman is Joaquin’s best work to date. It combines his raw songwriting with a thorough production and clever arrangements. Songs like “Tidal” and “Lovers” maintain a perfect balance between organic and experimental sounds. While “Open” or “Heading West” have an alt-folk and country influence with catchy melodies and clean guitars. The album was highly praised by important outlets such as Paste Magazine in the US, Noisey in Mexico, and Jornal do Brasil in Brazil.
Page Sounds is Carlos Metta’s main musical project. He is a multi-instrumentist, composer and producer based in Mexico City. His sound has always been able to erase the line between catchy and experimental music, this has helped him create a brilliant mix of rock, folk, pop, world music and electronic.
The collaboration between Page Sounds and Pedro y El Lobo began with the launch of their debut album Burning Feet in 2014. After that, Carlos faced the challenge of taking such an eclectic record to live presentations. A band strengthen by Teddy Nanes (guitar and voice), Luis Sokol (bass), Daniel Sissa (wind instruments) and Andrés Kahan (drums and percussions) transformed the sound of the original recordings in shows filled with obscure tones and intensive jams. That dynamic has permeated when the band entered the studio in 2018 and molded what we can hear today on their new Ep, titled Better Days.
There is a clear search for movement and sound discovery in Page Sounds songs, their music is under continuous renewal of styles and instrumentation. In Better Days we can see the reflection of an EP that is a lot more psychedelic with heavy hooks, epic distortions, and abstract lyrics. The influences that originated the project are still there, but they are arranged now in an elegant and subtle way under a more mature and free sound.
Moonatic is a band that is not out just to play well, but to express things that go way beyond the limits of a pop song. Their music is unpredictable and challenges the short attention span of modern day consumption. Just when you think you know where a song is headed, in comes a silence, chord or time change that throws you to a completely new landscape and leaves you with the feeling that anything can happen from then on.
Their debut album Another Sky is an intricate masterpiece in which rock riffs, folk melodies, jazz grooves and experimental noises blend in perfectly to create a beautiful atmospheric sound. It has been praised by several music publications in Mexico, United States and Brazil. While reviewing the album, Warp Magazine called Moonatic “one of the most promising bands in the Mexican scene”.
Moonatic took a chance to release Another Sky as a One Track Album so the public could experiment the production on a complete and different level. Once it achieved prestige in the media, they decided to release each song separately, now available in every platform. Another Sky will make you struggle to catch breath one moment and achieve absolute peace the next.