John MacPhee of Paper Lions delves into the past for their latest album “My Friends”


The story of Paper Lions is one of those small town, feel good capers – a tale of four boys who made it to the big city.  Brothers John and Rob MacPhee, their neighbor Colin Buchanan and high school friend David Macdonald grew up in a tiny town of just 150 people.

They practiced their respective instruments throughout high school and officially formed in 2004. Since then, they’ve been recording and playing crowds larger than the city they grew up in. The band  churned their memories into music on their latest record “My Friends” and the entire album carries this nostalgia, reminiscing on the purity of their past.

Paper Lions have been touring for nearly ten years, still their music doesn’t feel jagged. They possess a raw hunger that comes when you know life is bigger than just what surrounds you.

We spoke to front-man John MacPhee and learned about the challenges of working with family, his most joyous moments as an artist and how he’s adopted living with presence.

 

“Be creating for the sake of creating”

-John MacPhee

The Screen Girls & Chippy Nonstop

Chippy Nonstop bears all the hallmarks of someone who has led a nomadic existence. Born in Dubai, she’s spent time in Canada, Oakland, New York and is working on new music in Los Angeles. She’s easily adapted to different genres of music, and has blended together a new sound for herself. She’s an identifiable part of the body-baring, smack-talking, ratchet movement that’s become a mainstream craze. The difference is that Chippy was twerking long before you and your mother tried it.

The whole bay area/ hyphy/ ratchet movement is ingrained in Chippy, as she moves into a newer, softer sound. Her latest song Alone, is a dreamy electro-pop record in which she shuns her usual loud raps for soft, wanton singing. She’s allegedly wrapped up her rap game for the time being, and is trying her hand in the EDM world.

We caught up with her earlier this year, and were taken with her cute personality, but even more-so with her work ethic. In the last two years she’s been creating music, touring, styling, shooting videos, getting turnt up on the regular and managed to get her degree – not bad for someone who turned 21 last year. No matter which direction she heads in sonically, Chippy’s constant perseverance, her presence on the internet and in pop culture, will ensure that she lasts beyond any trend. Chippy Nonstop is an ideal of someone who carves a path for herself, she takes what is not easily given.

Our interview with her was definitely the most fun we’d had in a long time. She spoke with us about her love of performing, taking chances and breaking moulds.

“believe in your project, and just fucking go for it, you just have to go for it”

-Chippy Nonstop

Check out Chippy’s latest track, Alone  and this really good remix

Talking Beats and Big Boi with Sarah Barthel of Phantogram

 

 

Beat making is one of the unadulterated pleasures of music. One sample can provide umpteen hours on the Ableton, tweaking and tuning, until it’s a completely new sound. Making new music can be a laborious process, from lyrics to composition, it’s a lot to sort out and many artists dutifully rely on producers to churn out a hot beat they can write to.

Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel of Phantogram do it all in-house (well, in a few barns actually), and the sound they produce is unlike anything else right now. It’s always tough to describe someone’s music – is it part-trip-hop? Alt-rock? Psych-pop? The brilliant thing about Phantogram’s sound is that it is contains so many layers. Perhaps then, it would be best to label Phantogram’s music, simply, as the future.

Josh, the beat maker, seems to be dipping into a plethora of genres and the result is something heavy, yet dreamy. Their album “Eyelid Movies” is a sonic homage to Yes, Bowie and J.Dilla. Hip hop has had a big influence on the band and their three tracks on Big Boi’s “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors” has further solidified the fact that their sound is trans-genre.

We interviewed Sarah about the collaboration between Phantogram and Big Boi and her whole being lit up, as she described meeting and working with one of her idols. Big Boi also described the experience to MTV Hive.

Soon, Phantogram will be launched further into the consciousness of the masses, as their song “Lights” will be featured in Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games trilogy, released on November 22nd which people are probably already lined up to see.

No matter the level of success they reach, it seems the duo’s feet will remain firmly attached to the ground. Currently on tour, Sarah remembers driving all day to gigs, and sleeping in their car after the show. It’s this kind of dedication and hard work that brings reward and Phantogram is still working hard.

When your idol says how much they love your music, that’s a big realization, wow, we’re doing something right.