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Evan Gipson is a musician originally from Jackson, Michigan who currently lives in Austin, Texas. Evan graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011, with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Math. He is constantly on the lookout for ways to merge his two main interests in life: music and programming. The result is a gorgeous blend of pop melody and digital preciseness that will appeal to fans of classic IDM and ambient electronic music. He composes music using Ableton, Pure Data, Synplant, an Alesis Q49, a Maschine, and anything else he can get his hands on; he is always looking for new ways to compose music. His portfolio includes music for four video games: Mines of Mars, Hammerbomb, The Deer God, and he is working currently on the soundtrack for Morphite, a video game created by Carpark’s own Marumari.

Palm plays rock music backwards. Their songs bear a certain methodology, though there is a tendency towards impulse which seems almost violently opposed to it. The band deals willfully in contradictions like this. The elements of any given song fit together like slightly melted puzzle pieces, serving up rigidity and looseness in equal measure. Palm songs imply architecture, but their compositional structures are somehow bound by different rules of physics than the ones we know. Lattices of guitar language (provided by Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt) intersect the rhythmic organism characterized by the twitchy throb of Gerasimos Livitsanos’ bass and the careless tumble of Hugo Stanley’s drums, with a layer of disembodied vocals draped atop the whole thing. Emotional yet clinical, wild yet contained, the sounds they offer are equally bizarre as they are pleasantly pretty.

Palm formed around 2011, shortly after its members met in college in Upstate New York. The years they spent writing and playing when not in school culminated into the release of Trading Basics in 2015, around which time they relocated to Philadelphia. Since then they’ve been playing shows throughout the country while they continue to hammer out their sound to be as refined as it is outlandish. More to come.

It’s very strange (“Or not strange at all! Hi!” says feminism) that most of the music we funnel into little girls’ ears—even music written by former little girls—is about how women are petty, pretty garbage whose only valuable function is to hold perfectly still in men’s boudoirs and wait for intercourse. “I wanted to make songs that were the opposite of ‘Genie in A Bottle’ or ‘The Boy Is Mine,’” Sadie Dupuis says of Slugger, her new solo album under the name Sad13. “Songs that put affirmative consent at the heart of the subject matter and emphasize friendship among women and try to deescalate the toxic jealousy and ownership that are often centered in romantic pop songs.” What!? Songs for women that actually champion women’s autonomy, reflect women’s desires, listen to women when they talk, and let women be funny and normal and cool, like women actually are?

After being born, which she totally nailed, Sadie grew up in New York City, toured internationally with a professional children’s choir, then bounced around Massachusetts before eventually landing in Philadelphia “like every other feminist punk.” She has an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, likes comics WITH AN ALL-CAPS PASSION, has written for Nylon and Spin, and is mega-beloved for her rock band Speedy Ortiz. Most recently, finding herself disillusioned with a lifetime of misogynist radio pop and yearning for the megalomaniacal autonomy of a solo project, Sadie/Sad13 churned out Slugger in a two-week fury.

Slugger is a pure solo effort. Sadie didn’t just write and sing and play guitar, she recorded and produced the record herself in a subletted bedroom in Fishtown—a not insignificant act of feminist defiance. Despite millennia of evidence to the contrary, women in music are still relentlessly pigeonholed as, essentially, decorative. Sure, you can be a girl singer, or a girl tambourine player, or, once in a while (the height of novelty!), a girl drummer, but a girl producer? A girl engineer? Cool X-File, Mulder! Sadie steers Slugger with a serene sure-footedness, vaporizing that old lie better than any howling polemic ever could. The best revenge is to do your work.

Slugger’s musical touchstones are vast and varied: contemporary pop à la Charli XCX, Santigold, Kelela, Grimes; folk songwriters Karen Dalton and Connie Converse; ‘90s trip-hop; riot grrrl (duh); plus Sad13’s feminist indie and punk contemporaries like Tacocat, Waxahatchee, Mitski, and Bully. Slugger shouldn’t feel like a revolution, but it does—in both content and execution. This is fun music about real shit.

Dent May – self-described hotel bar lounge singer and aspiring daytime TV talk show host – has been charming his way into the hearts of music fans since the release of his debut album The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label in 2009. The Mississippi-born, Los Angeles-based songwriter, performer, and Dolly Parton enthusiast has since released two more acclaimed records, Do Things (2012) and Warm Blanket (2013), dropped the holiday smash “I’ll Be Stoned For Christmas”, and played hundreds of shows from Shanghai to Chicago. His latest album, Across the Multiverse, is an interstellar voyage of mythic proportions.

MADEIRA is Kim Pflaum, a multi-hyphenate if there ever was one. Aside from songwriting, singing, and playing a variety of instruments, Pflaum is a graphic designer, music video director, writer, illustrator, and animal activist. Music became a major part of her life growing up in Christchurch, New Zealand. “As an introverted kid, music helped me express my emotions and frustrations when I didn’t know how else to cope,” Pflaum says. In 2013, she co-founded Yumi Zouma as lead singer and co-songwriter. Before leaving the band at the end of 2014, the group would tour the world and play concerts with artists including Lorde, Chet Faker, and TOPS. Now as a solo act with full creative control over her art, Pflaum has taken the opportunity to grow in new directions and experiment.
 
MADEIRA began before Yumi Zouma as an outlet for escapist songs about fantastical vacations and holidays. After years of globe-trotting and starting over again with a move to Auckland in 2014, returning to MADEIRA was restorative. “I saw music as an escape,” Pflaum says, “a way to take a break from my hectic life and just relax, to let music soothe and heal me.”
 
Bad Humors, her debut EP with Carpark Records, is her first new music since collaborations with Boycrush, Brett, and Cyril Hahn. With grace and melody, these five songs tackle heartbreak and betrayal, and offer a critique of performance artifice. These are songs of elevated synth-pop, of growth and change, of letting go and not holding back.