Line & Circle
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Line & Circle

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Indie

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Jun
13
Line & Circle @ The Echo

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"LINE & CIRCLE CHANNEL EARLY R.E.M. IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE ON THEIR NEW EP STREAM"

You know who never gets enough credit? R.E.M. No, I'm not talking about the R.E.M. of 2000-whatever, I'm more interested in the early days of R.E.M., their pre-Green days. When you could still say their name in the same breath as The Replacements or Husker Du.

Line & Circle reminds me of those early records on their new three song EP, streaming in full below. Vaguely punk, with a driving baseline, clean and emotive vocals with unparalleled melodic touches. It's fun and pretty damn repeatable. Order yours. - Noisey (Vice)


"Line & Circle - "Mine Is Mine""

If you went to college in the mid-1980s and are wondering about the deleterious effect of smartphones and stuffy, US News-ranking obsessed deans on campus culture, there are a couple of things that remain eternal: it's incredibly likely that you'll be able to get a pitcher of beer for the same price you paid in the Reagan era, kids will never stop going to class dressed bummy as shit, and "college rock" still sounds like the sort of thing Line & Circle are doing right this moment. Appropriately enough, Brian J. Cohen and Brian Egan met as undergrads in Ohio before heading towards Los Angeles and expanding to a quintet.
On the heels of the promising "Roman Ruins" single, "Mine is Mine" is Line & Circle's most striking and forthright track to date, crisply produced by Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast's Crazy For You) and the Philadelphia duo of Brian McTear and Jonathan Low (the War on Drugs). With Mozz-y theatricality, Cohen moans "All of my friends are falling in love" in a way that suggests their happiness is his sadness, while the guitars wring out dour notes and the rhythm section pushes forward in a wakeful daze. Regardless of the certainty of its title, "Mine is Mine" is defined by its mixed feelings, both familiar and implacable, evoking an enviable experience Cohen could never have: skipping class to hit the record store and spending whatever he found in the couch cushions on the latest I.R.S. or 4AD release. - Pitchfork


"Line & Circle - "Wounded Desire" (Stereogum Premiere)"

Line & Circle have always attracted comparisons to early R.E.M. “Wounded Desire,” from the LA band’s new self-titled EP, affirms those comparisons not just in terms of style but quality. On the other hand, There’s a certain point where a band becomes so good at what they do that merely comparing them to older bands simply won’t do anymore. This song is jangly, dreamy guitar-pop of the highest caliber. It suggests the EP, recorded live in LA with Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast’s Crazy For You), will be the best thing Line & Circle have released so far — which, considering how promising their early singles have been, is really saying something. Hear it below. - Stereogum


"Line & Circle – “Mine Is Mine” Video (Stereogum Premiere)"

Line & Circle’s “Mine Is Mine” already sounded plenty melancholy when we first heard it this winter, and their new video for the song provides just the right visual accompaniment now that it’s spring. Director Jordan Satmary follows the silent female protagonist as she walks around an alienating city. There’s a longing and loneliness throughout; even when she wakes up next to someone (whose face we never see) the distance is always present. Gradually the video becomes uplifting as she begins to walk and observe nature in a park, moments repeat with new feeling (laying on a hotel room floor vs. laying in the grass) and what was once cold becomes warm. Watch it below and catch them soon on a few dates with Papercuts. - Stereogum


"Line & Circle - Interview & Performance"

LINE & CIRCLE
Formed by Ohio-born Brian J. Cohen (vocals/guitar) and Brian Egan (keyboards) while both at the University of Michigan, Line & Circle has since moved to LA and picked up Eric Neujahr (guitar), Jon Engelhard (bass), and Nick Cisik (drums). Working with producer Louis Pesacov of White Iris, the band has released their 2012 debut album “Roman Ruins / Carelessness,” a 7”, and 2014’s “Line & Circle EP.” They are currently at work on an upcoming full-length album.

JOSEPH ARTHUR
Born in Akron, Ohio, Joseph Arthur is a rock musician known for his solo work and as a member of Fistful of Mercy and RNDM. He was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-1990s, released his first album “Big City Secrets” in 1997, and has been recording since. Also a visual artist, Arthur owns a gallery in Brooklyn – the Museum of Modern Arthur, or MOMAR.

Brian J. Cohen and Joseph Arthur were born across the street from one another in Akron, Ohio – a place so steeped in the conventional it drove them to just the opposite. Both got out and set their sights on music, Arthur since the mid 1990s when he was discovered by Peter Gabriel, and (a decade or so later) Cohen post-college when he moved to LA with his band Line & Circle.

Still close friends, Joseph Arthur and Brian Cohen chat about the progress of Line & Circle, how Ohio still shapes them, and the power of minimalism. And, in an Issue exclusive House Arrest, Line & Circle plays a live version of “Wounded Desire” for us at their Echo Park home.

Joseph Arthur: My first question is why did you choose me to interview you? Is it like an admiration thing? You don’t have to go on too long, but I thought it’d be a good place to start. (laughs)

Brian J. Cohen: Definitely an admiration thing.

JA: We talk so much, it’s hard to know what to discuss. I think your approach with what you’re doing is pretty interesting. You’re also coming from a very different time, in a way, so it’s interesting watching you sort of maneuver through the music industry. What’s been happening over the past couple years is your stuff has gotten stronger and stronger and it looks like you knew what you were doing the whole time. I feel inspired and like I can actually learn from you. Like the student is now the teacher!

So I guess my first question is, did you know what you were doing the whole time or are you baffled at how well it’s turning out?

BJC: The short answer is yes. I knew I was getting better and I was starting to like what I was making more. I didn’t want to be in a hurry to put stuff out that I wasn’t in love with. When we made our first single “Roman Ruins,” for the first time I was really happy with something and excited to get it out, and after that things have sort of started to fall into place creatively.

JA: It’s better if you actually like what you release! Does any part of you still listen to “Roman Ruins”? I know it’s going to be on your first album, which isn’t out yet, but it’s already out as a single. Are you still totally in love with it? Are you self-critical?

BJC: I’m very self-critical but I’m 100% comfortable with that song being out there the way it is. There are always little sonic things or production things, but I’m okay with it. Proud of it.

JA: Are you going to remix it for the record? I think it’s great.

BJC: We have remixed it already actually. It’s ready to go. Subtle changes.

JA: See, your process is super fluid – you’re releasing parts of your first record and at the same time still working on it, and that’s really great, because you can bring all your inspiration and current mojo to the process. I feel like it’s more seamless.

BJC: It’s true, we’re fortunate in that way – that we have that chance. It’s not lost on me. I’m excited to still be able to affect the outcome of the record creatively.

JA: The other part of your story that I like, and that I like to vicariously live through, is your sort of LA-ness – there’s part of me in an alternate universe that’s totally LA-based. But you’re LA-based pretty strongly I’d say. How do you think that affects what you do?

BJC: It’s been a process. When I first arrived, I felt really far away from what was happening here.


“THERE WAS A LOT OF LEARNING
WHAT NOT TO DO.”
— BRIAN J. COHEN

JA: You were an alien.

BJC: Super alien. There were only two bands I liked in town. The bands have since broken up but I’ve remained friends with the people. There was a lot of learning what not to do.

JA: Give me an example of what not to do.

BJC: Well you’d see these ultra stylish bands that were in a real hurry to ‘make it’ and would play like two shows, or do a residency, then get a booking agent and go on tour without really having any songs. And none of them are around anymore.

JA: So part of your approach, of taking time and allowing yourself a chance to evolve, came from observation from living in LA. And another part of it is the relationships that manifested out there?

BJC: Yeah, that’s true. We’d write and demo songs, play them for people, and that would sort of lead us to new people, and then the next opportunity to record something would come out of that. It was sort of slow and organic.

LEWIS PESACOV
Composer, musician, producer, Lewis Pesacov is a founding member of the LA afro-pop band Fool’s Gold, and a former member of Los Angeles-based Foreign Born (now on hiatus). As a producer, Pesacov made Best Coast’s debut album “Crazy for You,” and has worked with a range of other White Iris label artists.

JA: Let’s talk about some of those people. Who is Lewis?

BJC: Lewis Pesacov is a friend who was in a band called Foreign Born out here that I really liked. They were on Startime and eventually on Secretly Canadian. He wound up producing “Roman Ruins” and then put the 7” out on the label he co-owned called White Iris. He also produced the new EP that we just put out at the end of October, and he has produced another 8 or so tracks for the full length as well.

JA: Was he the guy that said you should use tape?

BJC: Yeah, he had been working on tape for a while and I had been watching him and my then-roommate Ariel use it to great effect, and I began to develop a preference for it.

JA: I remember you saying about a year ago “I’m never gonna make a record on digital again, I’m just gonna use tape.” Do you still have the same strong feeling or have you lightened up on that a little bit?

BJC: No, I still feel that way!

JA: Alright, I’m gonna remember that. Next time I see you making a record on Pro Tools, I’m gonna be like remember when you said…

BJC: That’s right! I mean, I’d like to take it even further and be in a situation where we could do it with as much solely analog processing as possible, but I think we’re a ways off from that. It would be fun to do.

JA: What are some other bands Lewis produces?

BJC: The thing that first got him attention as a producer was the first Best Coast record.

JA: And then Ariel, what’s his full name? He’s a big producer too right?

BJC: Ariel Rechtshaid, yeah he does all kinds of stuff like the last Vampire Weekend record, Haim, Cass McCombs, Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira, Usher, Madonna. He was nominated for Producer of the Year last year at the Grammys.

JA: Have you asked him to produce anything for you?

BJC: No, we can’t afford him! But he’s given us some good advice on stuff, and it’s always fun to bounce ideas off each other, which was easy to do when we lived together.

JA: That’s pretty interesting. I’m not trying to be name-droppy, but I think your scene there is part of what’s helped you grow in the way that you have. Also, sort of your love of – for lack of better word – I don’t know if you call it hipster culture or what, but adventurous people making adventurous music that they believe in.

BJC: When we got to LA, we were living in a part of town that was very much not like that. And every night I was driving to Echo Park and Silverlake to see bands, and quickly realized that’s where the interesting stuff seemed to be happening and where the people I seemed to enjoy spending time with all lived. I was spending all my time over here anyway, so it made sense to be here. And when I finally moved, I felt like I got to LA for the first time.

JA: I remember visiting you when you lived in the not cool part of town. So what about Akron, Ohio. Has that influenced you at all? You’re born and raised there and we grew up across the street from each other there, which is bananas.

BJC: I think it’s been extremely influential, probably the most influential thing of all.

JA: Why?

BJC: Well, as we’ve discussed many times, and as you’ve written many great songs about, when you grow up in that part of the country, you don’t really have much to do except dream about getting out of there. And your inspiration tends to come from everywhere else.

JA: Conventional life used to drive me insane. I couldn’t stand the idea of doing mundane things and it seemed like that was the energy there. I feel like Akron for me was fertile ground to build a rebellious spirit in that way. Because there weren’t a lot of examples of people living off of art or in unconventional ways. The ironic part is that so many freaks come from Akron. It is interesting.

DEVO
Rock band from Ohio, formed in 1972 and known for their 1980 single “Whip It.” One of the first pioneers of the music video, and a tastemaker in new wave and alternative rock, Devo still maintains a cult following.

CHRISSIE HYNDE
Born in Akron, Ohio, Chrissie Hynde is lead singer of rock band The Pretenders and its only permanent member from their debut album in 1980 to their most recent in 2008.

BJC: Yeah, and you know, we know of some of those people, like the DEVOs and the Chrissie Hyndes of the world, but my experience growing up seemed so far away from them. I’m sure there were people there doing creative things and making things, but for whatever reason I was just not surrounded by them growing up and certainly felt no inspiration from the city in that vein, like you’re saying.

JA: So you went to college. Did you graduate? Where’d you go to college?

BJC: Yeah I went to school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I did graduate.

JA: In what?

BJC: I was pre-med but I studied politics.


“CONVENTIONAL LIFE USED TO DRIVE ME INSANE.
I COULDN’T STAND THE IDEA OF DOING MUNDANE THINGS.
I FEEL LIKE AKRON FOR ME WAS FERTILE GROUND
TO BUILD A REBELLIOUS SPIRIT IN THAT WAY.”
— JOSEPH ARTHUR

JA. That’s interesting. Did you know that you wanted to do this then, what you’re doing now? Did you have an inkling?

BJC: Yeah, I remember thinking when I got to Ann Arbor that I really wanted to find some people and do it, but I didn’t know how and I didn’t know who. At that time, I didn’t even know how to play guitar. I just had a desire. I didn’t know what it could be. But I wanted to do something about it, and eventually the last couple years there, I met people and started playing.

JA: And when did you discover your voice, which is a really great and interesting singing voice. Did you have that as a kid or what?

BJC: I don’t know. It was never something I considered. I was in choirs in high school and things like that, but it was never something that I thought about.

JA: That’s funny, cause me neither, and I’m also considered one of the greatest singers in the world – I don’t know if you’re aware of that? (laughs)

BJC: I am very aware! There must be something in the water on Wiltshire Rd.

JA: I see you coming for my throne, I see you coming! I’m only doing this interview to sabotage you… (laughs) When was the time you started writing songs and when did the seriousness of this pursuit really start?

BJC: The seeds were in Ann Arbor. That was the first time I started writing songs and actually being in a band that was playing shows. Certainly, by the time we got to LA it became a little bit more real, and we were thrown into industry stuff and had to learn what was going on.

JA: Ann Arbor, what a traitor thing to say!

BJC: I know. Growing up, we were a divided home because my mom went to Michigan, so did her sister and her sister’s husband, but my dad went to Ohio State.

JA: I knew I liked your dad for some reason. So why did you move to LA?

BJC: It was sort of accidental. The industry got involved.

JA: Are you uncomfortable talking about that? What did you think we were gonna talk about, Plato? Ok, so what are your primary influences?

BJC: In terms of music?

JA: Yeah.

ERIK SATIE
(1866 – 1925) French composer, pianist, and part of the 20th century Parisian avant-garde whose work was a precursor to later movements such as minimalism, repetition and Theater of the Absurd.

PHILIP GLASS
One of the most influential and renowned modern American composers (born 1937), known for his repetitive song structures, classicism, and minimalism – a label he attempts to distance himself from.

STEVE REICH
An American composer (born 1936) and pioneer of minimal music in the mid to late 1960s, Steve Reich’s innovations include using tape loops, repetitive structures and slow harmonic rhythm – influencing much of contemporary music.

BJC: People like Erik Satie and Philip Glass and Steve Reich, learning about those guys and the power of minimalism, that’s sort of been the biggest breakthrough for me over the past several years. That has helped inform the foundational arrangements for what our band builds songwise.

My mom’s cousin was married to Steve Reich for a while in New York, very briefly, years ago. I remember his name would come up occasionally because my brother was getting into him, and I was always curious about who he was, so I investigated.

JA: So how are you applying that to a more rock n roll format?

BJC: Just by being less chord-based, less strumming chords I mean. Letting the instrumental arrangement be more about melody itself, with its own movement. Creating a pattern that you can kind of go numb to by the way it repeats, but for it to still be emotional and form the basis which everything else plays off of and is built around.

JA: That’s interesting. Does the new EP have that philosophy within it?

BJC: I think so, very much.

JA: What you do have is super strong emotional, melodic choruses and songs in general. Where are you pulling that emotion from? Where does your sensibility come from?

BJC: I have no clue… My grandmother was a vaudeville performer when she was kid. She was scouted by someone from New York who wanted her to move there and start doing it professionally, but her mom refused and wouldn’t let her go. She had a great voice.

JA: That’s wild. So what did she ultimately do?

BJC: She got married and had two kids.

JA: That’s what they did back in those days. What about your biggest rock n roll influences?

THE SMITHS
British rock band formed in Manchester in 1982 by Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce. One of the most influential bands of the 80s, The Smiths are known for their fusion of 60s rock and post-punk, their lyrics, and their cult status.

BJC: In high school I got exposed to The Smiths. I would be teased viciously by my friends if they ever heard it playing in my car.

JA: What is it that thrills you and inspires you about that stuff?

BJC: I remember my brother and I would just laugh out loud listening to Morrissey. We thought he was hilarious. That’s certainly what drew us to him initially. The music was also not aggressive, like grunge, it had a different emotional quality.


“LEARNING ABOUT THE POWER OF MINIMALISM,
THAT’S SORT OF BEEN THE BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH
FOR ME OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. ”
— BRIAN J. COHEN

JA: It was more intellectually aggressive.

BJC: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. I couldn’t have articulated that at the time though. And melodically also, my ear goes towards song more than anything. Maybe it’s fondness for a more British sensibility as well.

THE STROKES
New York indie rock band formed in 1998 and critically acclaimed for their debut album “Is This It.” Members include Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti, all of whom have embarked on side and solo projects in recent years.

JA: One of the things I think is really interesting about what you’re doing is you’re sort of picking up a certain mantle. It reminds me of the way The Strokes picked up a certain aesthetic that no one else was really tapping into and made it their own. And sort of re-contextualized it for a new generation. I feel like that’s what could maybe happen with Line & Circle.

BJC: That’s interesting. I’ve never thought about it like that.

JA: So what about now?

BJC: We released our first EP at the end of October and went on tour, and developed a few more songs while we were out there, which we finished over the holidays. This time we’re going to Philadelphia to record them from the ground up, in a couple weeks with Brian McTear and Jon Low, the guys who have been mixing all our stuff.

JA: And then the full length comes out when?

BJC: Sometime this summer.

JA: What’s the album going to be called?

BJC: I had a title but I’m not sure I’ll use it. I’m not sure I’ll know until everything has been recorded.

JA: What is the title you had?

BJC: I won’t say. I’m still writing words, so we shall see.

JA: And you’re fitting the lyrics into melody, rather than the melody into the lyrics? Which as we’ve discussed, is more difficult to do.

BJC: Yeah, for the past several days just finishing these last three songs.

JA: Well cool man, I wish you all the best with it.

BJC: Thank you man, thanks for doing this. - Issue Magazine


"Stream: Line & Circle, ‘Wounded Desire’"

The new EP from Line & Circle shimmers like a mirage from the distant 1980s – although not the new wave ’80s currently being plundered by anybody who can plug in a synth. The L.A. quintet, founded by Midwesterners Brian Cohen and Brian Egan and including Eric Neujahr, Jon Engelhard and Nick Cisik, recalls the weighty ’80s (and beyond) of college radio and the enigmatic sophistication of bands like R.E.M. Recorded With Lewis Pesacov (the Fool’s Gold guitarist whose production credits include Best Coast, FIDLAR and Incan Abraham, among others), the quintet’s three new songs seem propelled by the anxiety that comes with feeling, alternately, spiritually grounded and emotionally detached. With their whorl of guitars and insistent rhythms, they’re beautiful puzzles, waiting to be solved. - BUZZBANDS.LA


"Video Premiere: Line & Circle, “Mesolithic”"

All of the things that make California’s Line & Circle so marvelous are in full display in “Mesolithic”: the tense spiral of guitars, Brian J. Cohen’s slowly-weaving, conversational vocals and the kind of radiant, transcendent chorus that opens up like the late-afternoon sky. There are obvious nods to ’80s jangle-pop throughout — 30 years ago, this might have come out on I.R.S. — but there’s a careful, sculpted beauty to Line & Circle’s songs that gives them a character all their own. Paired with what look like a string of clips from educational films in the video only accentuates the song’s beauty, glory and rapture peeking out from underneath the every day. The group is wrapping up their debut LP with with Brian McTear (The War On Drugs), Jonathan Low (The National) and Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast’s Crazy For You) in Philadelphia, and will play the Echo on February 15. - Wondering Sound


"SXSW 2014, Day 1: Line & Circle and More"

A room loaded with label reps is the secret dream of most bands that play South by Southwest, and on Tuesday that dream came true for Line & Circle, a Los Angeles band with just a single to its name but a steady, whisper-level buzz. Their show came early in the evening, on the festival’s pokey first night, but it delivered the kind of high-wattage promise that stands as a firm rebuke to those who think South by Southwest has been lost forever to crass corporatization and big ticket stunt casting. That their music is decidedly unfashionable only makes the covert industry curiosity that much more intriguing.

The group delivers a gorgeous, crystalline reworking of the kind of unabashedly melodic jangle-pop that characterized the college rock of the mid ’80s. The closest comparison is R.E.M. circa Reckoning. Their songs are suspended in a delicate latticework of Rickenbackers, sharp enough to feel like tiny icicle palaces, elastic enough to contain vocalist Brian Cohen’s rich, weighty baritone. Unlike early R.E.M., they’re more giving with their melodic payoffs: Songs that opened stubbornly, with a tangled braid of guitar, eventually yielded to choruses that were almost heart-stoppingly beautiful, melodies taking flight cautiously but gracefully, eventually working up enough confidence to soar. The group arrived in Austin with professionals’ polish: Their set never lagged or dawdled, just cruised forward on its own easy momentum. For them to become truly popular would require a dramatic shift in indie rock’s prevailing aesthetic; there was nothing proudly haphazard nor overbearingly anthemic about their songs. It was instead eerily gorgeous guitar-pop, defined by a subtle but undeniable sense of wonder. - Wondering Sound


"The Mix: The Austin 100"

It says a lot about SXSW's size and scope that this "sampler" of the annual music festival spans six and a half hours, but here we are: 100 songs by 100 artists worth discovering at this year's big event.

Handpicked from among thousands of artists, this genre-traversing playlist picks highlights, discoveries and future thrills from this year's festival — and, for the next 30 days, it's available for free download in its entirety, as one 813 MB zip file, right here. Of course, for those without that much hard-drive space, you can download each song individually, as well as stream The Austin 100 on this page and through NPR Music's various mobile devices.

Come back to NPR.org/SXSW for live showcases, photos, videos and podcasts from this year's festival. On March 13, starting at 8:45 p.m. ET, we'll present a live broadcast from Stubb's in Austin, featuring Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Cafe Tacvba, Alt-J, Youth Lagoon, Waxahatchee and Le1f. Information on how to enter for tickets is at SXSW.com. On March 14, watch Dave Grohl's SXSW Keynote speech live at noon ET and enjoy NPR's Alt.Latino free SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores with Cafe Tacvba, Molotov and Bajofondo. Doors are at 5 p.m. ET. We'll be recording the show, so check for highlights later.

We still have more SXSW coverage to announce. Follow @nprmusic for details and updates.

THE AUSTIN 100

Air Review, "America's Son"
Air Traffic Controller, "You Know Me"
Alt-J, "Tessellate"
Andy Stott, "Numb"
The Away Days, "Dressing Room"
Bajofondo, "Pide Piso"
Big K.R.I.T., "Shine On (Feat. Bun B)"
Blaudzun, "Elephants"
Boy, "Little Numbers"
Bronze Radio Return, "Shake, Shake, Shake"
Brown Shoe, "Late Nights"
The Calm Blue Sea, "Mary Ann Nichols"
Caveman, "In The City"
Cayucas, "High School Lover"
Cheyenne Mize, "Among The Grey"
Chic Gamine, "Days And Days"
The Coup, "Magic Clap"
Dana Falconberry, "Lake Charlevoix"
Daniel Bachman, "With Signs Following"
Dessa, "The Beekeeper"
DIIV, "How Long Have You Known"
Dusted, "Property Lines"
The Eastern Sea, "The Match"
Elephant Stone, "Heavy Moon"
Emma Louise, "Boy"
Empress Of, "Don't Tell Me"
Ex Cops, "James"
Field Report, "I Am Not Waiting Anymore"
Fierce Bad Rabbit, "Matter Of Time"
Foxygen, "San Francisco"
Frightened Rabbit, "State Hospital"
Gaby Moreno, "Que Voy A Hacer"
Guards, "Silver Lining"
Haley Bonar, "Bad Reputation"
Hannah Georgas, "Ode To Mom"
Hey Marseilles, "Bright Stars Burning"
Hundred Waters, "Boreal"
Hurray For The Riff Raff, "Born To Win (Part One)"
Imam Baildi, "De Thelo Pia Na Xanarthis"
Indians, "I Am Haunted"
Ivan & Alyosha, "Running For Cover"
Jenny Owen Youngs, "Love For Long"
Jesca Hoop, "Born To"
Joe Banfi, "Nomads"
Jonathan Boulet, "You're A Animal"
Josh Ritter, "Joy To You Baby"
Josh Rouse, "Julie (Come Out Of The Rain)"
The Joy Formidable, "This Ladder Is Ours"
Kelly Hogan, "Plant White Roses"
Ken Stringfellow, "You're The Gold"
Killer Mike, "Untitled (feat. Scar)"
Kopecky Family Band, "Heartbeat"
La Santa Cecilia, "La Negra"
Le1f, "Coins (produced by Drippin & Souldrop)"
Lianne La Havas, "Is Your Love Big Enough?"
Line & Circle, "Roman Ruins"
The Lone Bellow, "Two Sides Of Lonely"
Lucius, "Turn It Around"
Lydia Loveless, "Can't Change Me"
Marnie Stern, "Year Of The Glad"
Metz, "Headache"
Micah P. Hinson, "Take Off That Dress For Me"
Mikal Cronin, "Shout It Out"
The Milk Carton Kids, "Snake Eyes"
Mother Falcon, "Dirty Summer"
The Mowgli's, "San Francisco (Remix)"
My Education, "Roboter Hohlenbewohner"
Night Beds, "Ramona"
NO, "What's Your Name"
Olafur Arnalds, "Old Skin"
ON AN ON, "Ghosts"
Parquet Courts, "Stoned And Starving"
Phosphorescent, "Song For Zula"
The Polyphonic Spree, "You Don't Know Me"
Quiet Company, "The Emasculated Man And The City That Swallowed Him"
Red Baraat, "Shruggy Ji"
Rhye, "Open"
Robert Raimon Roy, "Robert Raimon Roy"
Said The Whale, "Loveless"
Sean Rowe, "Joe's Cult"
Shout Out Louds, "Illusions"
Sinkane, "Warm Spell"
Skeletonwitch, "This Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill)"
Skinny Lister, "Rollin' Over"
The Soil & The Sun, "I Know It (I Feel It, Too)"
Spirit Family Reunion, "I Want To Be Relieved"
The Staves, "Mexico"
Telekinesis, "Ghosts And Creatures"
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, "Holy Roller"
The Thermals, "Born To Kill"
Thomas Dybdahl, "But We Did"
Tyagaraja, "We Will Meet Again"
The Very Best, "Yoshua Alikuti"
Waxahatchee, "Peace And Quiet"
Whirr, "Sandy"
Widowspeak, "Ballad Of The Golden Hour"
Wild Child, "Tale Of You & Me"
You Won't, "Three Car Garage"
Youth Lagoon, "Dropla"
!!!, "Slyd" - NPR


"Playlist: December: Our favorite songs, albums and videos right now"

The nostalgia-heavy lyrics are well-suited to the soaring jangle of this L.A. indie band’s new single – a throwback to the Eighties which sounds kind of like Michael Stipe jamming with Johnny Marr and is every bit as lovely as that suggests. - Rolling Stone


"KEXP at CMJ, Day 3: Line & Circle"

Line & Circle have had a busy week! Touted as the next best thing from Los Angeles their infectious sound will definitely leave an impression. The vocals and lyrics of Brian J Cohen are rich and warbling. The combination of these two elements makes Line & Circle out to be an Americana post-punk mashup, like Modern English written for aimless drives through midwestern countryside. So far, they’ve got one single to their name, “Roman Ruins” and the b-side “Carelessness” both are available via White Iris (stream them here).

This year’s CMJ Music Marathon @ Union Square Ballroom during KEXP’s live broadcast is coming to a close but not slowing down-at least not if Line & Circle have anything to do with it. Eager to play for the audience that braved the rainy weather to get out early they ripped through a set of “Discontents”, “Roman Ruins” and introduced listeners to a new song,”Mine is Mine.” Lead singer Brian J Cohen originally hails from Akron, Ohio and his midwestern-hometown vibe radiates with a warmth that has gained them comparisons from everyone from Athen’s R.E.M to New York’s The National. The ease with which Brian Egan (keys), Eric Neujahr (guitar), Nathan Gammill (bass guitar) and Nick Cisik (drums) come together makes their songs even stronger. Make sure to catch them as they head out from their shows this week and continue on their takeover of North America and continue to attract new listeners with each unveiling of their upcoming debut release. - KEXP


Discography

- Line & Circle "Roman Ruins"/ "Carelessness" 7" Single (White Iris, July 2012)
- Line & Circle "Mine Is Mine" Single (Self-Released, February 2014)
- Line & Circle "Line & Circle" EP (Self Released, October 2014)
- Line & Circle "Split Figure" LP (Grand Gallop, October 2nd 2015)

Photos

Bio

The idea that it is possible to truly know yourself is not new. The Ancient Greeks were into it, after all. But in society today, ‘coming of self’—the act of willingly and proactively confronting who you are, while you are still becoming it—seems an elusive and daunting task.

Ironically, staring into screens all day and photographing ourselves incessantly hasn’t made the process any easier. Part of this undertaking involves acknowledging and growing comfortable with the uncomfortable: the insecurities, self-doubts, fears, and disappointments that inevitably come with being human.

Line & Circle’s debut album Split Figure, due October 2nd on Grand Gallop, explores the pursuit of self-knowledge in deeply self-aware and intimate detail. Its songs are based on the examination of personal relationships closest to the individual—not only with the self (“Mine Is Mine”) or with others (“Wounded Desire,” “Tunnel Joy”), but also with society, specifically its institutions (“Complicated Heart,” “Mesolithic”), its belief systems (“Split Figure”), and its attempts to address the problems of the day (“Like A Statue,” “Shade Of Pride”). Emotional revelations explode (“Out Of Metaphors”) and foundations collapse (“Roman Ruins”) along the way.

Combining music that is instantaneous and propulsive with weightier, emotional themes, the album is above all unafraid to stand apart without being inaccessible or esoteric. With nods to early 4AD dream pop and chiming I.R.S. Records and Factory Records-era guitar rock, it is rhythmically urgent, melodically rich, and intellectually curious, embodied by the firm belief that the pop record is still a great art form.

Much like the 'coming of self' process itself, the band’s path to this point has been gradual, but natural. Before Line & Circle even existed, singer and rhythm guitarist Brian J. Cohen, an Akron, Ohio native, had begun demoing material in the guest house of the Echo Park property he shared with friend Ariel Rechtshaid. Subsequent writing sessions in the guest house ultimately yielded the foundations for five of the album’s eventual ten tracks.

Cohen and longtime Ohio friend Brian Egan (keyboards) soon joined forces with Eric Neujahr (guitar), Nick Cisik (drums), and Jon Engelhard (bass guitar), and the band released “Roman Ruins/ Carelessness” as its debut 7” on White Iris Records to critical acclaim. Together, they developed the rest of the songs for Split Figure on the tours that followed, eventually recording the album live to tape in three separate sessions over the following year.  These included two stretches in Los Angeles with producer Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast’s Crazy For You), and one in Philadelphia with producers Jonathan Low (The National) and Brian McTear (The War on Drugs), who also mixed the album. As the band’s lineup cohered, both on the road and in the studio, the songs opened up, allowing for a greater focus on negative space and atmosphere, and leaving plenty of time to experiment with sonic nuances, including cutting and layering tape loops.

The handful of tracks the band has released to date have received acclaim from Rolling Stone, NPR Music, Pitchfork, KEXP, and Stereogum, among others, topping several critics’ Best Song of The Year polls on both sides of the Atlantic in consecutive years. The group has completed four U.S. tours, including an appearance at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas and two stops at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, the first of which was highlighted by a live radio broadcast for KEXP when the band was merely months old. More recently, The War On Drugs handpicked the band to support them at a sold-out show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.

“We are all split down the middle,” says Cohen. “There is an inner self that reflects what we think we are, and an outer self that is how others really perceive us. True self-knowledge is when you become aware of each, and begin to reconcile both into one.”

The album’s cover art—Paul Klee’s 1927 watercolor Phsyiogonomic Lightning—further underscores this idea. While teaching at the Bauhaus, Klee gave his students the assignment to somehow make two discrete shapes—a line & circle—occupy the same space so as to form a new identity altogether. This was Klee’s own attempt at the assignment. Does the great black zig zag that splits the figure symbolize the self commenting on itself through its own shadow?

You tell me.

Band Members