Category: 4AD Page 1 of 3

Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive

Return to Never: Revisiting Early His Name Is Alive

During the past year that took so many things away from us, including the catharsis of live music, I’ve increasingly relied on listening to LPs in their entirety, rather than my iPod on shuffle. 

All the Mirrors in the House: Early Recordings 1986-1990 (Disciples), the first of 3 volumes revisiting His Name Is Alive’s earliest cassette experiments, hit a perfect chord for me during this bizarre stasis-time we’re all trapped in; songs like “Piano Rev” feel unstuck in time and fathomless (a very now feeling). But it’s hopeful, too — it reminds me of standing at the edge of Lake Michigan at night for the first time. I just remember this vast, inky black inland sea with no edges, extending as far as the eye could see. It was awesome and transfixing, like staring into deep space. 

Poster given to VO on his 60th birthday, with tributes from Warren Defever, Tanya Donelly, Simon Larbalestier & others. Design: Timothy O'Donnell

Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019

Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23)

Graphic design legend Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23) passed away on December 29, 2019 at the age of 62.

Early on Sunday, December 29, Adrian Shaughnessy of Unit Editions announced, “My friend and design hero Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019.”

I had a moment of intense disbelief, followed by the ludicrous hope that it was a sick joke of some kind. As the news sank in, I still couldn’t believe it — intense, profane, puckish Vaughan, one of if not THE iconic designer of the 1990s (sorry, Carson, it ain’t you) — was gone far too soon.

Video still (cropped)

‘Cut, Paste, Bleach, Tape + Love’: Designer Chris Bigg Shares His Inspiration for Piroshka

Video still

When Lush called it quits after a brief but successful 2015-16 reunion, the big question was: Would vocalist/guitarist Miki Berenyi keep playing music? (She left music almost completely after Lush drummer Chris Acland’s unexpected suicide in 1997.)

The answer arrived late in September 2018, when the following message appeared on Lush’s Instagram page: “Miki has a new band! Follow @piroshkaband on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!”

The band’s first official Tweet included a photo of 4 familiar faces (provided one is well-versed in the history of 4AD, shoegaze and Britpop) and the text, “Welcome to Piroshka — Mick, Moose, Miki and Justin. We’ve all been in bands before, y’know.” (Roll call: Mick Conroy from Modern English, one of the first bands on Lush’s label 4AD — and a great friend of Acland’s; Moose, aka KJ McKillop from jagged psych-melancholists Moose; and Elastica drummer Justin Welch, who played drums for Lush’s reunion EP and gigs.)

Piroshka press photo (Bella Union)

Piroshka video still (artwork by Mali Andersen)

But don’t call them a supergroup. And don’t pull the inevitable band algebra to try to figure out the resulting sound — you know, “Piroshka equals Band X + Band Y squared – the square root of P…” Given the weight of their collective histories, the new band seems determined to keep the music relaxed, informal and not weighed down by previous critical responses.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén