with KALBELLS and LIP TALK
Chrome Sparks is the solo project of Jeremy Malvin, a Brooklyn transplant from Pittsburgh by way of Ann Arbor. In 2014, after having self released a small handful of singles and two EPs on Bandcamp, Malvin signed to the taste making Sydney based label Future Classic. Under the new label, he rereleased Sparks EP and released the Goddess EP. His next EP, Parallelism is slated to be released with Future Classic on November 6.
Inspired by a background in classical percussion and an obsession with synthesizers, Malvin creates dazed, melodic beat-centric tunes that loosely hang between down-tempo head nodders and up-tempo club bangers. FADER has described his music as ‘form-shifting beats [that] seem to resonate with spaced-out chillers and hyperactive party kids alike’.
In 2012, while on Warped Tour as the drummer for Stepdad, Malvin released the slow burning, bass heavy single “Marijuana” on a Bandcamp compilation highlighting music from he and his friends in Ann Arbor. It quickly rocketed to #1 on Hype Machine and has since become an internet-stoner anthem. It has subsequently been rereleased by Future Classic and Kitsuné.
Malvin’s next EP, ‘Parallelism’, will be released with Future Classic on 11/13. It was made using three synthesizers, vocal samples from friends, and a tambourine.
NNA is overjoyed to unveil ‘Ten Flowers,’ the debut album from Kalmia Traver’s solo
venture Kalbells. Nearly a decade of tireless and dedicated work on writing, vocal, and
saxophone duty with her euphoric art-pop band Rubblebucket has given Traver a wealth of
musical strength and experience, inspiring fans across the world to be proud of who they are
and let their individualism shine through. In recent years after coming face-to-face with some
strenuous life hurdles, including an experience surviving cancer, Traver decided to engage
in a period of creative personal retreat in order to focus on writing new music. Instantly
finding the process to be deeply cathartic and healing, she emerged with not only an
important sense of self-discovery, but an abundance of new songs as well – and the genesis
of ‘Ten Flowers.’
By opening up the floodgates for inspiration and personal expression, Kalmia found a voice
for her music that largely reflects her unique personality – a colorful world filled with
imagination, wonder, honesty, light, and no shortage of gorgeous melody and harmony.
After assembling a self-recorded demo of songs using voice, electronics, pocket
synthesizer, and other musical odds and ends, Traver teamed up with singer, songwriter,
producer and fellow Vermonter (and NNA Tapes artist) Ryan Power to enter the studio and
make ‘Ten Flowers’ a beautiful reality.
A largely electronic record, ‘Ten Flowers’ creates an environment that is lush and vivid with
warm, purring synthesizers, arpeggiated embellishments, and deep palpable bass tones.
However the organic touch of humanity is still very present, integrating plenty of
environmental recordings, percussion, woodwinds, tapping, clapping, and whistling that
bestows the songs with a unique playfulness. These predominantly metronomic
compositions are conducive to finding one’s personal groove, encouraging dancing
throughout a variety of tempos and instilling the album with invigorating momentum, aided
by the contributions of drummer Ian Chang (Son Lux, Landlady) on several occasions. The
backbone of these songs is of course Kalmia’s distinctive voice, one that is delicate,
vulnerable, and tender, yet at the same time self-assured, dynamic, and powerful in spirit.
The intricate layering of vocals unleashes cascades of glorious harmony that coexist
comfortably with the rich instrumental melodies that envelop each song. Her lyrics are able
to communicate the diverse emotional currents of the human experience through a genuine
poetic sentiment. Circling around themes of self discovery, empowerment, and the quest for
unity inside & out, the lyrics acknowledge and face hardships by finding the light and beauty
inside of them, and they rejoice in the freedom that comes with acceptance of mystery.
‘Ten Flowers’ stands out not only in the NNA discography, but amongst the current droves
of contemporary music as well. Traver’s natural talent, in conjunction with her seasoned
experience, exude musical confidence and demonstrate a willingness to embrace a
multitude of influences. The result is an individualized style that refuses to be
compartmentalized, and transcends modern day genre corrals. The spirited collaboration
between Traver’s imagination and Power’s detailed production talents has birthed an album
that invites one not just to listen to it, but to spend time inside of it, be enveloped by it, and
find something new with each repeated visit. You just may end up learning something about
yourself. Kalbells’ debut is a testament to the power of music to heal, and to achieve
personal liberation. It is also an ode to the courage to explore oneself, to plant sweet,
healing seeds that might blossom into fully unique work, a pure expression of self that is
open, accepting, and bound by love.
LIP TALK is the project and alternate identity of frontwoman Sarah K. Pedinotti, and D A Y S is her debut album. Throughout, Pedinotti’s production mixes singsong simplicity with ambitious art rock, charming and challenging her audience in equal measure. The past couple years have found Pedinotti performing with musicians as diverse as Okkervil River, avant-pop band Kalbells, and R&B artist Cautious Clay; on D A Y S, she draws
from all those influences and more to craft something distinctly her own.