ATO Records

Debut Album: Nick Hakim – Green Twins (2017/05/19) / New Track ‘Bet She Looks Like You ‘

:: Whoop Whoop!


Nick Hakim will release his debut full-length album Green Twins via ATO Records on May 19, and the release will be preceded by a North American & European tour. The anticipated album follows his breakthrough Where Will We Go, Pt. I & II EPs that were self-released on his Earseed Records and praised by the New York Times, NPR Music and more. Green Twins is an experimental step forward with emotional heft gleaned from his experiences in the years since. Intimate first single, “Bet She Looks Like You,” was recorded mostly in the New York-based singer-songwriter’s home bedroom, and was one of the first songs that saw Hakim embrace his new experimental way of songwriting and recording.

Each track on the album peels back a particular aspect of his life. He notes that, “a lot of it is what I was thinking in the moment, very specific songs… many of them are like self-portraits.“ He says of Green Twins, “I also felt the need to push my creativity in a different way than I had on the EPs.” The record draws from influences spanning Robert Wyatt, Marvin Gaye and Shuggie Otis to My Bloody Valentine. “We wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if RZA had produced a Portishead album. We experimented with engineering techniques from Phil Spector and Al Green’s Back Up Train, drum programming from RZA and Outkast, and were listening to a lot of The Impressions, John Lennon, Wu-Tang, Madlib, and Screaming Jay Hawkins.”

The story of Green Twins truly began when, armed with the masters for his EPs, Hakim moved from Boston to Brooklyn, spending his time fleshing out unfinished ideas in his bedroom. He came up with lyrics on the spot, recording sketches and lyrics on voice memos and a four-track cassette recorder. From there, Green Twins came about as a sum of its parts: Hakim took the demo recordings to studios in New York City, Philadelphia and London, and built on them with engineers including Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering, production), keeping the original essence of the songs intact. Sarlo notes that, “for other artists, a demo serves as a potential shape the song could form into. But for Nick, demos are more like creating a temple: a sanctuary that now we have to go into and somehow clean, furnish, and get ready for other people to experience the sermon in.”

Hakim’s debut comes as the culmination of years chiseling his skills as a musician. Hailing from Washington, D.C., he grew up in a musical household—his older brother introduced him to bands like Bad Brains and Nirvana, and his parents exposed him to Nueva canción—while he set out on his own to discover the DC music scene. He didn’t take an interest in learning an instrument until high school, when he taught himself to play the keys. After graduation, he moved to Boston to continue his study of music. In the time since moving to Brooklyn and setting to work for three years on Green Twins, he embraced the live circuit, both as a solo musician and with his band, whom he’s brought together from within his community in Boston and New York.

With Green Twins, Hakim plans to tour through the beginning of the year (see tour dates below), and hopes that folks will connect with the songs he’s written. “I think everybody feels insecure about certain things and everybody has lost people dear to them. I think I’m writing about common things that people feel,” he says. “I think I’m very grateful for anybody that’s listening or wants to be a part of my little world that I’ve created through song.” [Press Release via Bandcamp]

Cover Art:

Artist: Nick Hakim
Title of Debut Album: Green Twins
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Label: ATO Records

Track Listing:
1. Green Twins
2. Bet She Looks Like You
3. Roller Skates
4. Needy Bees
6. Cuffed
7. Miss Chew (feat. Jesse & Forever)
8. Farmissplease
9. Those Days (feat. Onyx Collective)
10. Slowly
11. The Want
12. JP

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Apr 19 The Dome – London, UK (Sold Out)
Apr 20 Le Pop Up du Label – Paris, FR
Apr 21 Brussels, BE – Chez PIAS
Apr 22 Studio 672 – Cologne, DE
Apr 23 Bitterzoet – Amsterdam, NL
Apr 25 Berghain Kantine – Berlin, DE
May 11 The Drake Hotel – Toronto, ON
May 12 Bar Le Ritz PBD – Montréal, QC
May 13 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
May 14 Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
May 17 Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
May 20 Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
Nov 7 The Lantern – Bristol
Nov 8 KOKO – London, UK
Nov 9 The Deaf Institute – Manchester, UK
Nov 10 King Tut’s – Glasgow, UK
Nov 11 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK

Follow ‘Nick Hakim’ on:
Facebook | Soundcloud | TwitterBandcamp

More ‘Nick Hakim’ on Music Pickings:
2014, Oct 27 – Listen: Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 + Pt. 2 [Full Album Streams]



New Album: Stars – No One Is Lost (2014/10/14)

:: Delicious.


The lineup: Torquil Campbell (vocalist), Amy Millan Evan Cranley, Chris Seligman (Chris Seligman) and Patrick McGee

Cover Art:

Artist: Stars
Title of Album: The North
Release Date: Octoberr 14, 2012
Label: ATO Records

1 From the Night
2 This Is the Last Time
3 You Keep Coming Up
4 Turn It Up
5 No Better Place
6 What Is to Be Done?
7 Trap Door
8 Are You OK?
9 The Stranger
10 Look Away
11 No One Is Lost

Upcoming Tour Dates: 
Nov 8 // Port City Music Hall // Portland ME, United States
Nov 9 // Royale // Boston MA, United States
Nov 10 //Music Hall of Williamsburg // Brooklyn NY, United States
Nov 12 // Union Transfer // Philadelphia PA, United States
Nov 13 //9:30 Club // Washington DC, United States
Nov 14 // Lincoln Theatre // Raleigh NC, United States
Nov 15 // The Loft // Atlanta GA, United States
>> The full touring schedule is available here

Follow ‘Stars’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud


New Album: Midlake – Antiphon (2013/11/04) [Full Album Stream] / New Music Video for ‘Antiphon’

:: It’s a joy to listen to this record from first moment to the very last. Again and again and again…. 

Just a couple of days left to bear till the new Midlake album finally hits the shelves: Antiphon is released in the UK and Europe on November 04, 2013 via Bella Union. North American release follows on November 05 via ATO Records. The band wrote, recorded and produced the record in just about six months time after former frontman Tim Smith had left the band in November 2012. Midlake scrapped all material written with Smith before and started fresh, a brave and wise decision. The only song based on an older demo is Vale which had been demoed in a band session without Smith before he departed.

Midlake’s members had to step into new roles and collaborate in ways they had not before when the band was led by Smith, guitarist took over as frontman and with Jesse Chandler and Joey McClellan, two new members joined in.  With Antiphon, Midlake put forward their first record as a new and reinvented band, although it is already their fourth LP in whole. The nine new cuts ( and Vale) take a shift away from the folky dimension of rock that had shaped the predecessor, 2010’s The Courage Of Others. Antiphon opens up towards psychedelia inspired by the 60’s and 70’s, is a more of a rock album but still Midlake-y in sound. Surely the changes of this past year haven’t been the easiest transition for any of the band. But still, Pulido thinks Antiphon to have become “the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate.” [press release]

Antiphon is now streaming in its entirety at Head over and give it a listen, it’s absolutely great! The album is released as digital download (mp3 + flac), CD and LP. In North America, you can order your copy in all versions via ATO’s Webstore. In Europe, you can buy physically via Bella Union’s Webstore and digitally via ATO or iTunes.

A week ago, the band released a music video for the album’s lead single and title track Antiphon. Watch the Georgia Hudson directed clip above and listen to the fantastic second single Provider below. Midlake are currently on the road in Europe with three more shows to follow in Berlin, Brussels and Reykjavík before they head on to North America for a string of 24 shows in November and December. Spring will bring them back to Europe for another 19 concerts, check out the entire touring schedule below.c

Cover Art:
Midlake - Antiphon (2013)

01. Antiphon
02. Provider
03. The Old and the Young
04. It’s Going Down
05. Vale
06. Aurora Gone
07. Ages
08. This Weight
09. Corruption
10. Provider Reprise


Upcoming Tour Dates:
Wed 30 Oct 2013 // Berlin, Germany // Lido
Thu 31 Oct 2013 // Brussels, Belgium // Botanique – Rotonde
Sat 02 Nov 2013 //  Reykjavík, Iceland // Airwaves
Tue 05 Nov 2013 // Allston, MA, USA // Brighton Music Hall
Wed 06 Nov 2013 // New York, NY, USA // Mercury Lounge
Sat 09 Nov 2013 // Washington, DC, USA // Rock And Roll Hotel
>> The full touring schedule is available here.

Follow ‘Midlake’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | YoutubeInstagram

Read more:
The 405 − Review: Midlake – Antiphon


More ‘Midlake’ on Music Pickings:
2013, Sep 27 − New Single: Provider
2013, Aug 12 − New Song: Antiphon [Free Download] / Upcoming Tour Dates
2011, Dec 31 − Acts of Man
2011, Sep 14 − Roscoe

New Single: Midlake – Provider

:: Stand out track!


In August, the Denton, Texas alternative rockers Midlake announced their new record Antiphon after a three-years hiatus and the departure of the band’s frontman and songwriter Tim Smith in late 2012. The band had to pull together anew as a result, and it feels a bit like starting fresh. Midlake already shared the excellent title track Antiphon as a first taste of what’s to come. Now, the band has premiered the first single off the record. It’s entitled Provider, and when Antiphon made me curious for the whole thing, the strong Provider does even more so. Check it out above.

Guitarist (and now also lead vocalist) Eric Pulido told NPR on occasion of the song’s premiere:  “Provider was the first song to take shape on the new album. … It’s where our ideas and growing pains were first flushed-out in forming a communal sound and vision. Although we knew that we weren’t anywhere near seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, that was when we first knew one existed!”

Antiphon is now up for pre-order via the band’s website. It drops in the UK on November 04, 2013 via Bella Union and in the US on November 05 via ATO Records. Midlake will hit the road for touring Europe in October, with a string of US Shows to follow in November. Check out the entire schedule below.

Midlake (2013)

Follow ‘Midlake’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Tue 22 Oct 2013 // Nottingham, UK // Glee Club
Wed 23 Oct 2013 // London, UK // Islington Assembly Hall
Fri 25 Oct 2013 // Sligo, Ireland // Knocknarea Arena – Sligo Live
Sun 27 Oct 2013 // Amsterdam / The Netherlands // Muziekgebouw
Mon 28 Oct 2013 // Paris, France // Fleche D’Or
Wed 30 Oct 2013 // Berlin, Germany // Lido
>> The full touring schedule is available here.

Read more: − Song Premiere: Midlake, ‘Provider’


More ‘Midlake’ on Music Pickings:
2013, Aug 12 − New Song: Antiphon [Free Download] / Upcoming Tour Dates
2011, Dec 31 − Acts of Man
2011, Sep 14 − Roscoe

New Song: Midlake – Antiphon [Free Download] / Upcoming Tour Dates

:: Blown away by this new Midlake sound. Still them, but reinvented…


Some time has passed since Denton’s (Texas, US) alternative rock band Midlake formed in 1999 by a group of jazz students at the University of North Texas College of Music. The original lineup consisted of Tim Smith, McKenzie Smith, Eric Nichelson, Paul Alexander and Evan Jacobs. Already in its early years, the band underwent some lineup changes – Jacobs left and was replaced on keys by Eric Nichelson and Eric Pulido joined in on guitars. The band ultimately released their fabulous debut album Bamnam and Slivercork in 2004 via Bella Union where they are signed to ever since.  But much has changed for Midlake.

After the release of their last (and third) LP The Courage of Others in early 2010, the band had spent much of 2011 and 2012 writing and recording new material in Buffalo, Texas. But the recording process stalled, something was missing. In November 2012, lead vocalist and songwriter Smith announced that was leaving the band to form a new project called Harp – shocking the band’s following. Without an official statement on Smith’s departure, Midlake decided to abandon the existing results of two years of recording instead of dividing it among the two bands. The band rather started again completely fresh, writing and recording a new full-length in just about six months time.

On August 07, the band announced the release of their fourth LP to come on November 05. The record is entitled Antiphon (Greek for opposite voice) and also marks Midlake’s first release in North America on Dave Matthews’ ATO Records label while it will drop in Europe on November 04 via Bella Union. The band also revealed the record’s title-track Antiphon, listen to it above. And they made it available for free download in return for your email on their website. Midlake are currently on the road in Ireland with some festival gigs to follow, find the schedule below.

On Antiphon, guitarist Eric Pulido [vocals/guitar] steps into the role of lead vocalist and Midlake welcomes the two new members Jesse Chandler [keys/piano/flute/backing vocals] and Joey McClellan [guitars/backing vocals] in addition to Paul Alexander [bass/backing vocals] and McKenzie Smith [drums] and Eric Nichelson [guitar/keys]. A change of lineup that required every member to change perspective in order to make up Midlake as a new whole. On their website announcement, the band says that “we’ve pushed ourselves and challenged ourselves and feel that Antiphon represents an ultimate genesis both musically and spiritually.”

Cover Art:
Midlake - Antiphon (2013)

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Mon 12 Aug 2013 // Galway, Ireland // Roisin Dubh
Tue 13 Aug 2013 // Cork, Ireland // Cyprus Avenue
Wed 14 Aug 2013 // Limerick, Ireland // Dolan’s
Thu 15 Aug 103 // Bangor (County Down), UK // The Windsor
Fri 16 Aug 2013 // Crickhowell, UK // Green Man Festival
Sat 17 Aug 2013 // Hasselt, Belgium // Pukkel Pop Festival
>> The full touring schedule is available here.

Follow ‘Midlake’ on:
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram


More ‘Midlake’ on Music Pickings:
2011, Dec 31 – Acts of Man
2011, Sep 14 – Roscoe

Jim James – Know Til Now [Free Download] / Solo Debut Album ‘Regions of Light and Sound of God’ (2013/02/05)

:: This one’s put a smile on my face on a grey and lonely morning…


Know Til Know is the first single to be taken from the solo debut album full-length by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James. The record is entitled ‘Regions of Light and Sound of God’ will be in stores on February 05, 2013 via ATO Records. Download the song for free on Jim’s homepage by entering your email. Jim played every instrument on the record and engineered it himself while he drew major inspiration for his solo endeavour from Lynd Ward’s 1929 graphic novel God’s Man. In a press release, Jim claims that he “wanted the album to sound like it came from a different place in time. Perhaps sounding as if it were the past of the future, if that makes any sense – like a hazy dream that a fully-realized android or humanoid capable of thought might have when it reminisces about the good old days of just being a simple robot.

Cover Art:
Jim James - Regions of Light and God of Sound

01. State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.)
02. Know Til Now
03. Dear One
04. A New Life
05. Exploding
06. Of The Mother Again
07. Actress
08. All Is Forgiven
09. God’s Love To Deliver

Follow ‘Jim James’ on:
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Read more:
Glide Magazine − Jim James Solo Album Due Feb 5

My Morning Jacket – Victory Dance / Album “Circuital”

:: Deep atmosphere is what my ears need right now!

This one’s the opening track of My Morning Jacket’s sixth album “Circuital”, released June 6, 2011 on ATO Records.

Album Cover:

Album Tracklist:

  1. Victory Dance
  2. Circuital
  3. The Day Is Coming
  4. Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
  5. Outta My System
  6. Holdin On to Black Metal
  7. First Light
  8. You Wanna Freak Out
  9. Slow Slow Tune
  10. Movin’ Away

Follow ‘My Morning Jacket’ on:
Official homepage at:
Facebook at:
Myspace at:
Soundcloud at:

Read more:
Pitchfork –
Rolling Stone –