France's Indiemusic , who called the band's new album, DREAM TOGETHER "Magical and majestic - an ultimate tour-de-force" last month upon its release, have followed up with a Q&A feature today. Link here. It's in French (duh) but click on the link once there or simply scroll down for the English translation/version. Thank you Raphael and everyone at Indiemusic!
Just a quick word to say that the band's highly acclaimed new album, their sixth, Dream Together, enjoyed its sixth week on the charts of California's freeform station KDVS, 90.3fm. It's also up on Bandcamp, where you can purchase either the digital or CD versions of the album. A link to all buying options - including directly from the band's label, Slugg Records - can be found on the "Buy" page. Clips of each track and full lyrics can be found on the "Music" page. Check it out!
As reported, the band's new album Dream Together was a top new add at #4 on KDVS, the first week of January. The following week it entered Top Albums overall at #30. And this week it has risen to #18. Thank you everyone at KDVS freeform radio Davis, CA 90.3FM.
French music magazine, Indiemusic, has published a terrifically kind review of the band's new album on their site here. Below is the Google Translation into the English. Thank you, Raphael and everyone at Indiemusic.
BIPOLAR EXPLORER- DREAM TOGETHER
Review by Raphael Duprez
January 17, 2017
Bipolar Explorer offers a new album that is as much a reverie in a nature fertile and reassuring as a dream burning and crawling gently under our bare skins. In perpetual search for the discovery of the unknown, the trio delivers a work as simple as majestic and purified.
It is quite difficult at first to understand the music of the New York trio Bipolar Explorer when one is not used to it; What the author of these lines can testify when it came to penetrating the meanders of "Dream Together". Chords of guitars sober and charged with reverb and delay, voices and choruses distant but warm, all in an atmosphere as moist as light, like a refreshing breeze before the storm. The disc is adorned with long tracks brushing the six minutes when they do not surpass them, developing his riffs like so many mantras that we like to repeat to infinity, in a sensory and sound meditation of all beauty. No doubt this opus will destabilize more than one; But above all we must yield to the temptation, the inexorable attraction of these magical and nostalgic, deep and milky songs.
Alternating dark and placid instruments ("Thirteen", "View") and angelic and aerial songs ("Dream 3"), Bipolar Explorer plays with us hide-and- seek, concealing its assets and attires under six strings at the same time bitter and Crystalline, whose purity of interpretation, sounding like live, is not limited to a simple performance. It is indeed an experiment in the metaphysical sense of the term; "Fireflies" seems out of time and space, the lack of battery reinforcing this strange and penetrating feeling of a radical and fluffy comfort. The urgent brevity of "Along Those Lines" calls for a flight that will ultimately not come, if not through the painful and urgent song of "She Hears You Calling", catching and cathartic. Completing his epic ten-minute epic "To The Other Half Of The Sky", loaded with palpable electricity as well as an ultimate tour de force in softness, the group relaxes its muscles and leaves notes hovering, Long after its ultimate resonances.
"Dream Together" dares harmonic nudity without worrying about the eyes of others; And this is what makes it a less evident work than it seems, but especially devilishly endearing. It has rarely been possible for us to traverse such vast lands, leaving so primordial a place for our imagination, all by means of instruments and stamps that are literally enveloping and vibrating. A LP that is drunk, slowly, to better quench thirst. A walk through the clouds, without worrying about the next day.
"Dream Together" from Bipolar Explorer has been available since 1 January 2017 at Slugg Records.
Bipolar Explorer is Summer Serafin, Michael Serafin-Wells and Jason Sutherland.
The first European review of the band's new album DREAM TOGETHER was brought to our attention yesterday- thanks Indiemusic! It's in French, so we only have Google Translate to go by. We think it's okay. "Wandering rock" isn't too far afield from WFMU's Irene Trudel famously dubbing ANGELS "great drifty pop" a few years back. And we certainly like the idea that our Gallic friends felt "comforted and cradled" by the sounds. Thanks guys! Or if we may, merci beaucoup!
Dream Together is #4 this week on KDVS (freeform radio Davis, California)'s list of top new releases. Thanks to Station Manager Olivia Henderson, Music Director Sean Johnson and everyone at 90.3 FM.
Super honored to have had Liz Berg play "Thirteen" - the opening track of our new album, DREAM TOGETHER - at the top of her show on WFMU yesterday and to hear her say that "it is just a GREAT album for winter". Thank you, Liz! Check out link below - her entire show is great (as always!): Jan 3 - Liz Berg WFMU
Waking this morning to very kind words about the new album, Dream Together, from USC filmmaker Alexandra Dennis-Renner on her blog - out today:
"I think with unanimous consensus, 2016 was trying. However, frustration, loss of confidence, and despair are not organic. They're born of hope. As much as we liked to paint the overarching climate of the year since passed with the theme of despondency and resignation, for all of us, in one way or another, 2016 was a beacon of hope. It alluded to prospect. There was expectation for change. We faced wins and we survived losses. Sometimes it felt like the universe was abandoning us, but here most of us are...on our feet and moving forward. I think there's no better way to forge ahead than with a new record from my friends @bipolarexplorer. Every song on Dream Together is a reminder that the end of one thing is not necessarily the beginning of something new--not a hard reset--but the continuation of what was through the lens of what could be. What will be. And proof that there is always love, hope, and strength in that journey. Happy New Year, everyone. You made it to the next chapter. There's something here for you and you are loved."
The band's new album, their sixth - Dream Together - is released today, January 1, 2017, on Slugg Records. Avail both digitally (iTunes, etc) and in a limited-edition CD with a 20-page booklet of vintage photos, lyrics and poems, in the style of a Victorian book of verses (written and conceived by Michael and designed by Audun Grimstad - cover by Natalia Drepina). You can preview and/or purchase the new album via Amazon, iTunes and elsewhere (including directly from the band's website) but we also want to provide a link to our partners at CD Baby. They carry both the digital and CD versions and are super supportive of indie artists. Happy New Year, everyone.
The band's new album, Dream Together, is slated for release on New Year's Day. Featuring twelve new tunes in the group's signature dreampop, shoegaze, post-rock sound, it was recorded, mixed and produced by the band at The Shrine in NYC. Sweeping and sonically rich, Dream Together will be avail both digitally and in a beautiful CD package that includes Natalia Drepina's gorgeous cover and a 20-page booklet conceived by Michael in the style of a Victorian book of verses, under the art direction of The New York School of Visual Design's Audun Grimstad. A special pre-sale offer begins on December 18 - when you order the album in advance, an immediate download of the album's first single, Radioside, is available. Much more news soon. Watch this space!
We honor the life and memory of our beloved bandmate, Michael's true love, soulmate and partner, Summer Serafin, today on her 37th birthday. Michael publishes - Summerlove - a blog dedicated to her and we'd like to share his post from this morning. It follows herein:
Little sweetheart... Happy Birthday! It's your 37th and I wake with thoughts of you, prayers for you and your name and spirit in every room.
I'm so very grateful for you, my darling. You found and saved me and brought such blindingly brilliant light and love into my life, the kind that could knock a man down. You felled me. You are my miracle girl.
I'm so very grateful, too, that we spent each of your birthdays together once we had become one. I remember the first in Boston when you were on the road doing "Rock n Roll" at The Huntington. It was brisk and wintry there already and I walked you to the stage door every night, watching the show from the orchestra almost every performance. On your birthday, after walking you there, I went grocery shopping, then back to the sweet little apartment where we were staying and made dinner and baked a cake for you to come home to.
The next year found us in San Francisco on the day. I'd been gathering lots of little presents for you with a plan to surprise and shower you with all the many gifts, securing and secreting them for you to find at last. I had most everything but while we were browsing at the great little punkrock bookstore, Needles and Pens, in The Mission, I saw how taken you were with a pretty set of feathered earrings. I quietly sneaked back later and bought them for you.
On your 31st, we decided to go up to Calistoga to the hot springs. We wended our way through the hills in your battered blue Prius and got there in the late afternoon. We checked in to a charming little room and then changed into our swimsuits to go visit the pools. You weren't crazy about the super hot one but the warm one was, Goldilocks-like, just right. You were, as ever, unbelievably stunning to every passerby, in your black one-piece, your perfect ivory skin, long red hair cascading over your porcelain shoulders and with your ever-present and enormous black sunhat perched on your head. Like a bathing beauty Zorro.
You wanted to wade across the pool into deeper waters but you didn't want to get submerged, so you wrapped yourself around me and I walked us across, a stately, striking procession. Carrying my giggling little mermaid. I can't think of too many times I was ever happier.
Little sweetheart, you are in my every thought, today and every day. I love you with all my heart and soul. And I'm sending all my love to you. May it fly to where you - closer than I can imagine. I know you're watching and guiding me safely toward you. You are my lookout, wrapped around my soul just like you wrapped yourself around me in Calistoga, taking me through the waters of the journey I must complete and then to be reunited with you so very soon and forever.
Thank you, my angel. My true love, my best friend, my soulmate, my partner, my gingersnap, my gorgeous gorgeous girl. Happy Birthday, Summer. Soon with you, my love, yes? Soon. So very soon. All my love... m
The band is in New York in sessions working on final mixes of their new album, Dream Together. The album will be released both digitally (possibly first) and on CD, which will include artwork by Natalia Drepina and a 16-page booklet. More news soon!
The band will preview their upcoming new album Dream Together with a special private performance on Saturday September 24th in New York. Message for details!
The band is currently at work on their next album, Dream Together, recording at The Shrine in New York City. Basic tracks are completed as sessions continue. Dream Together will be released on Slugg Records and avail both digitally (iTunes, et al) and on CD everywhere. Expected release date, late-September. Stay tuned!
New School and USC filmmaker, Alexandra Dennis-Renner, shares her thoughts on the band's new album, Electric Hymnal, on her blog this morning. Below is an excerpt:
"A big thank you to Michaelouis Serafin-Wells and Jason Van Sutherland of Bipolar Explorer for another beautiful record.
The world seems to be a fairly sad place as of late. Plenty has happened that makes me rescind a little faith in my fellow man; plenty has happened to bathe the global climate with an air of fatigue and apathy...cutting us all off from one another and making us numb to anything from the outside wanting in. I put on this record expecting it to wash over me, cleanse some of the sadness, ease some of the pain. Instead, it got deep, deep inside and all of that pain, that angst, the exhaustion with the human race and all of its difficulties echoed in every song. But that's not awful. What resonates in this record is the grief of loss, the impatience of waiting for "it" (whatever "it" may be) to get better. And what the music represents is not what struggle has been heaped upon our shoulders and burdens us; not an auxiliary thing that's been added, but what's been taken away and how will we ever know if that missing stitch that seems to be unraveling the whole planet will be mended or if that missing piece of us will ever be found. The pain is in not knowing, but the consolation is in hoping so. If you're mourning the loss of someone you love or the loss of peace and human decency or the dwindling hope and faith in your neighbors, put on a sad record and know that there is someone else out there trudging through the fog with you. @bipolarexplorer #electrichymnal"
Excerpt from Ground Control Magazine review of our new album, ELECTRIC HYMNAL, by Publisher & Contributing Editor Daryl Darko Barnett:
"...Get ready to be swept up and away by a prayerful reverie of melodies. I listened to the CD for the first time on a drive into San Francisco – careening above the bay on the San Mateo bridge and I began to feel like I was flying. These songs could be considered prayers. The lyrics are not shouted, for the most part, but are breathed and whispered with reverential respect. There is something else happening with these melodies. Don’t forget that Bipolar Explorer is a post-rock band. Low growling vocals, gnarly grinding tempos, rhythmic looping strands that escape and rise above the weight of this world. That these lyrics are esoteric and spiritual is how they are able to soothe us and raise up our consciousness. I think that there is a lot of healing that can come from listening to this music. It also reminds me of the works of Nikos Kazantzakis; "The Last Temptation of Christ", and "Saint Francis" – a non secular approach was taken to deliver the message of their saintly lives without it being ordained by the religious order. This music feels like that, a post-rock interpretation of worship music for the modern age, and typical non-believers. “Electric Hymnal” is released (for free!) as a limited edition CD (no digital) and is not being mass-marketed - the band has stated very clearly that this music is offered up “as a meditation and sonic prayer for our fallen bandmate, Michael’s true love and partner, Summer Serafin.” I highly respect this because it makes the music real in a different way. It makes it feel live. Being limited to a very special audience makes it feel, rare. It goes straight to heaven where the angels are listening, and connects us here on the earthly plane to this private listening room where angels and the living mingle..."
Many of you are asking about the gorgeous image that graces the cover of the new album. It is a painting, as we've said, by the fantastic Michael Creese and is called "Angel". All of his work is gorgeous. Go check him out. Here's a link, a post on his site where you can find him with the cover and if you're on Tumblr, immediately follow him. Do! He's aces! http://michaelcreese.com/post/146237861005/bipolar-explorer-electric-hymnal-new-release
Ahead of full review, Ground Control Magazine calls the band's new album, Electric Hymnal "... a most amazing and prayerful reverie of melodies. Bipolar Explorer have knocked this one out of the park." - Daryl Darko Barnett (Publisher and Contributing Editor)
Our new album, Electric Hymnal, with beautiful artwork featuring the gorgeous cover by Michael Creese and layout by Tony Astone, a sixteen track collection of devotional songs and spoken word - a meditation and sonic prayer for our fallen bandmate, Michael's truelove and partner, Summer Serafin - is released today, Tuesday June 21st on Slugg Records. And we're giving it away. That's right. Released in a limited edition CD only (no digital) in a one-time only pressing and for free. As gifts are meant to be imparted. Contact us directly (free copies are avail only via the band, not our distribution partners or label) and send SASE to address provided. We can also tell you that the band is already at work on another full length album - Dream Together - to be released in early September in both CD and digital formats on Slugg Records avail everywhere and we will let you pay for that one. (smile) With love & faith - BPX
Our new album, Electric Hymnal, with beautiful artwork featuring the gorgeous cover by Michael Creese and layout by Tony Astone, a sixteen track collection of devotional songs and spoken word - a meditation and sonic prayer for our fallen bandmate, Michael's truelove and partner, Summer Serafin - will be released next Tuesday, June 21st. And we're giving it away. That's right. Released in a limited edition CD only (no digital) in a one-time only pressing and for free. As gifts are meant to be imparted. Contact us directly (free copies are avail only via the band, not our distribution partners or label) and send SASE to address provided. We can also tell you that the band is already at work on another full length album - Dream Together - to be released in early September in both CD and digital formats avail everywhere and we will let you pay for that one. (smile) With love & faith - BPX
Awaiting final art for their new record Electric Hymnal (which will be released as a limited-edition CD only - not digitally... more on that later...), the band are already at work on the second of two full-length albums they plan to release this year. Growing out of the collaboration with arts photographer Jacs Fishburne and a project called "Double Exposures", the new record has grown into something bigger than originally imagined. The new album will be called Dream Together and will fold in both the ambient pieces from the Double Exposures sessions with the new songs Michael is writing and recording with the band. Dream Together will be released on both CD and digitally everywhere on Slugg Records sometime after Labor Day. Stay tuned!
Named to Ground Control Magazine's Critics Poll of Best Albums of the Year in both 2013 (Of Love and Loss) and 2015 (Angels), minimalist indie, NYC-based trio Bipolar Explorer will release their new full length, Electric Hymnal next month on Slugg Records. The 16 track album is a collection of devotional songs based in part on/adapted from traditional Taize (French monastic) chants in the group's signature dreampop style, interweaving spoken word (both secular and sacred) in a meditation and sonic prayer for their fallen bandmate, Michael's true love and partner, Summer Serafin.
We've gotten so many messages for this track - recorded, mixed, assembled to video and uploaded to YouTube on Friday to honor Summer on the bitter anniversary of her passing - that we've just put it up in high res on Bandcamp where you can listen (or even purchase) - check the "Music" and/or "Buy" pages for links or click here. Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes. It's all for her. Forever. Love & faith -m
The band's latest video - for their dreampop arrangement of the traditional Scottish folk song "We'll All Go Together" (Wild Mountain Thyme) has been released. The track was recorded, mixed and produced on March 18th, 2016 in memory of the group's fallen bandmate, Michael's true love and partner, Summer Lindsay Serafin, who passed away after a tragic accident on this day in 2011. We know she is with us. Love you forever, little sweetheart.
The band has begun recording the first of two new albums to be released on Slugg Records later this year. Electric Hymnal is in basic tracks. Stay tuned for more info!
Ground Control Magazine's interview with Michael is up on their site. Conducted by Publisher and Contributing Editor Daryl Darko Barnett, the two discuss the band's live Of Love and Loss project, the Angels album, upcoming BPX releases, affordable housing, their favorite radio station and more. Video and transcript on the Ground Control site, here.
The band's record, Angels, has just been named to Ground Control Magazine's Critics Poll of Best Albums of the year, topping Publisher and Contributing Editor Daryl Darko Barnett's list at the number one slot. Excerpt below. Full feature here.
"01.) Bipolar Explorer – Angels – (Slugg Records): The New York City minimalist indie rock band continues to capture my attention with their ongoing stream of super-consciousness musical tributes to their fallen band member, Summer Serafin. Angels feels and sounds like a visitation of angels has descended upon, and electrified these men as they express their emotions of memory and loss. This is what music fueled by raw love and emotions sounds like. The single, “Angels,” is definitely my very favorite song of the entire year! Bipolar Explorer remain my number one small label indie band to keep an eye on for future greatness..."
WFMU's legendary Irene Trudel opened her penultimate set of the night with the band's moody dreamcore version of Silent Night from their celebrated holiday album, BPXmas. It marks the group's 12th time on the station this year and 7th on Ms. Trudel's highly-praised show. Hear entire program here.
All ten (to date) of the band's music videos can now be seen on a new page on this site specifically designed for that purpose. Just click on Bipolar Explorer MTV from the navigation menu at the top of the page and check it out!
WFMU's Liz Berg opened her show this morning with a track from Bipolar Explorer's holiday record, BPXmas. The track, Michael's moody dreampop arrangement of In The Bleak Midwinter, is the second song in her opening set. It's the band's 11th time this year on WFMU and their 2nd time on Liz's great show. You can hear the program in its entirety here.
More radio play. "Sunset Crush" from our album ANGELS on "Dark Night of the Soul" w/DJ Julie on WFMU. Second tune in second set in company with Bjork, Veruca Salt, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, The Velvet Underground. Our 10 time on station this year, 1st on this show. Link to listen on archive/playlist below: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/64050
DJ Tamar played No Answer from the band's double-album Of Love and Loss on her show, "Are We There Yet?" on WFMU last night. You can listen at archive link here. We're midway through the last set after Band of Outsiders. Pretty great hearing Summer's soaring descant come over the airwaves. You're on the radio, little sweetheart! Our 9th time on the station this year and first time on this show. Grateful and proud. Thank you, Irene, Liz and Tamar.
The band's new digital-only single - their moody, dreampop cover of the Tom Waits classic, Downtown Train - is up on iTunes. (link below). Also avail at CD Baby and Bandcamp. And, of course, right here from the "Buy" page...
The band will be releasing their moody dreampop cover of "Downtown Train" as a digital-single later this month on Slugg Records. More info soon!
In August, the art photographer Jacs Fishburne shot Michael in the band's NYC studio for a series of photos that, with an original score composed by the band, will be the beginnings of a new art/music collaboration. Ms. Fishburne has been traveling since that time but just resurfaced to send the first preview of photos from that session. More to come...
The initial concert performance of the alt-theatre adaptation of the band's critically-acclaimed double-album, Of Love and Loss was met with a standing ovation on Thursday night at Brooklyn's R&D Studios. Working with veteran Broadway producer, Nina Keneally, the team has an eye to bringing the work to a full-realized staging in a found, possibly sacred space, sometime later in 2016. Pictured below left to right are Michael, narrator Kim Donovan, and Jason.
The legendary Irene Trudel played "You Are" - the opening track from the band's album, Angels, last night on WFMU. It led off her last set of the night. It's the band's sixth time on her show this year and, as ever, they are excited and grateful. Thank you, Ms. T! The show can be heard in its entirety on the WFMU archive here.
In association with veteran Broadway producer, Nina Keneally, Michael's alt-theatre adaptation of the band's critically acclaimed double-album Of Love and Loss will have a concert performance on Thursday October 29th as part of R&D Studio's salon series in Bushwick. Michael and Jason will play the work live in its entirety with voice artist Kim Donovan adding spoken word narration. R&D Studio is 345 Eldert Street, #117, Brooklyn. Doors 7pm, show 8pm.
All nine (to date) of the band's official music videos can now be found in one convenient place on YouTube. Bipolar Explorer Television or The BPX Channel, if you will: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2NsHH1y5VYIgmGWQmuKNalMBUHQpQR2
The 4th video from the Angels album and the 7th in all from the band has just been released. It's for Sunset Crush - the album's closer. (c/p 2015 Slugg Records)
Video for Letter (to the Darkest Star) - the opening track from the band's critically-acclaimed double-record, Of Love and Loss (c/p 2012, 2015 Slugg Records.)
The band are working with veteran Broadway producer Nina Keneally ("Good Vibrations", "Last Night at Ballyhoo", "Driving Miss Daisy") to bring Michael's live art/alt-theatre/music adaptation of the group's critically-acclaimed double-album, Of Love and Loss - the tribute and testament to their fallen bandmate, Michael's love and partner, Summer Serafin - to production. With an eye to a fully-realized staging in a non-traditional (possibly sacred) and intimate venue sometime in late 2016, an initial developmental "concert performance" of the work with the band and a spoken word narrator will be presented on October 29th, as part of the R & D Salon series in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Tickets and more info to follow.
The celebrated Jacs Fishburne - recently cited in Volo Magazine's "Top Art Photographers - 2015" profile - stopped by the studio today to shoot Michael. Sneak peak soon and full session pix to come (expected October).
New merch! Bipolar Explorer t-shirts begin shipping this Monday, July 27th. The BPX logo in black on black American Apparel unisex tees. American Apparel shirts run a little smaller/slim fit than norm, so do note. Sizes: small, medium, large, XL. Select from pull down menu below, hit "add to cart" button, and link will take you to PayPal. $20 - free shipping.
A new video for the instrumental track, ...and at that hour, above (perigee-syzygy) from Of Love and Loss is up on YouTube. And (hopefully!) embedded here below. (c.p. 2012, 2015 Slugg Records).
The band's latest video, their third from the new album, is up now on YouTube and can also be seen here below and/or on the "Video" page of this site. The new video is for Can't I Be With Now - the penultimate track on Angels.
New video for "Ocean", the third track from the band's acclaimed double-record Of Love and Loss ...
The terrific Liz Berg played your Bipolar Explorer on her amazing show on WFMU today. Liz spun Sunset Crush - the closing tune from the band's new record, Angels- in her first set this afternoon. Liz's show is every Tuesday from noon to 3pm on WFMU (who Rolling Stone call "America's Best Radio Station") and required listening - we're huge fans, so very honored. Thanks, Liz! Listen and see playlist here: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/60781
The band got a huge influx of new followers on the music site Reverb Nation overnight. So, thank you! And welcome.
The band has a brace of private and/or "secret" shows over the next several months. Shoot an email via the Contact page for details...
Angels - the new Bipolar Explorer EP, released digitally on New Year's Day - is released today on CD. Avail immediately via CD Baby and at Amazon, et al end of week...
Angels - our new EP, released digitally on New Year's Day - will be released and avail on disc this coming Tuesday, February 24th. Comes in a beautiful six-panel digi-pack with Elizabeth Gadd's breathtaking cover, art direction by Sean Lahey, graphics by Meredith Zinner and photos by Scott Bezsylko...
For the third week out of four, Bipolar Explorer was back on the great Irene Trudel's Tuesday night show on WFMU. We adore the station and Ms. T in particular, we've been huge fans for years, so it's quite an honor. Irene opened her third set with "You Are" - the very first track of our new album Angels. You can listen here. Thank you, Ms. T!
Link to the archive of the great Irene Trudel's show on WFMU. We were so delighted and honored (and a little bit giddy, to be honest) to hear her play "It's Christmas, Sweetheart" - the opening track of our new holiday album, "BPXmas" - in her very first set last night. The entire show, as ever, is a must-listen. Thank you, Irene!
Holy cow! Irene Trudel played our opening track It's Christmas, Sweetheart in her first set between The Byrds and Big Star! Should be up on the WFMU archive later tonight. Thank you, Ms T! Hey, sweetheart, you're on the radio... xM
The great Irene Trudel is going to play one of the tracks from our new Christmas record, BPXmas, on her show on WFMU (91.1 FM in Greater NYC, streaming worldwide wfmu.org) tonight. In the immortal words of Timothy Leary, drop out, tune in...
Wonderful review of BPXmas and feature on Michael and the band in Ground Control Magazine by Daryl Darko Barnett. Excerpt followed by link to full article:
"New York’s minimalist indie rockers Bipolar Explorer are poised to release two new EPs this month: Angels, the follow-up to their celebrated double-record Of Love and Loss (Slugg Records) as well as a Christmas EP entitled BPXmas (out now digitally and as a CD on December 17). Indeed, I have it on as I write this. I’m not entirely certain what I expected but it’s kind of brilliant. And voluntarily having selected “repeat all,” I have to say it’s getting under my skin.
Christmas music. It’s a dodgy prospect. I’m not sure I can take another holiday season hearing Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” as I stamp about Trader Joe’s looking for some decent French Roast. But I wouldn’t mind at all coming across BPX’s moody “Emmanuel”, haunting “In The Bleak Midwinter” or their downright raucous “The First Noel” (yeah, they went there…) in any grocery aisle. There’s even a kind of joy in their ghostly half-German, half-English cover of “Silent Night.” It may be more Joy Division than Joy to the World, but that might actually be a good thing.
BPXmas (a mash-up play on words of the band’s acronym, BPX, and that of Christmas itself) is comprised of those four traditional carols - in new arrangements ranging from moody shoegaze to jangly dreampop with a sturdy bit of the ruins of CBGB’s undergirding the lot – plus one new original composition, “It’s Christmas, Sweetheart,” penned by frontman, lead guitarist and singer, Michael Serafin-Wells.
Inevitably, The Ghosts of Christmases Past attend and inform the proceedings – like every Bipolar Explorer record, this one is dedicated to the memory of their fallen bandmate, Michael’s late-girlfriend and partner, Summer Serafin, who died in a tragic accident in 2011 at the age of 31. But somehow that very gravitas only adds to the shimmer of this collection of tracks – it anchors them, still finding the very holiday-appropriate voicing of gratitude for ever having found “a life of love, so better led”, as Serafin-Wells sings to her on “It’s Christmas, Sweetheart,” the EP’s opening track.
Interest piqued, I caught up with Michael via Skype from the band’s studio in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen…”
BPXmas is up on iTunes. Here's the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bpxmas-ep/id947136498
The band's Christmas EP - "BPXmas" - is released today in digital form via CD Baby and should be up on iTunes and everywhere by the end of the week. The CD follows shortly hereafter. With art by Sean Lahey and photos by Scott Bezsylko, it features new arrangements of four traditional carols and one new original holiday composition. Quickly on the heels of this release is a second EP, "Angels" - the follow-up to "Of Love and Loss". Both on Slugg Records. Happy Holidays...
The band are at work on the follow-up to Of Love and Loss - their celebrated double-record of, for and about their fallen bandmate, Michael's love and partner, Summer Serafin (Critic's Pick "Best Albums of the Year" - Ground Control Magazine). The new record, entitled, Angels, will be a five-song EP with cover art by Elizabeth Gadd and is expected to be released on New Year's Day.
Michael and Jason will play songs from Of Love and Loss at Brooklyn's Rock Shop this Saturday April 19th, 8:30pm. A rare club date ("an experiment", says Michael) with friends The Thigh Highs.
Noted indie rock group The National were one of Michael & Summer's favorite and inspirational bands. For Valentine's Day, The National took to their website asking anyone interested to cover their song "I Need My Girl" and upload a live video of the performance to YouTube. Here's Bipolar Explorer's version, arranged by Michael and dedicated to Summer, as ever (just click on link, be sure to pause our audio player at bottom of screen before starting video, so YouTube audio, once begun isn't "competing"):
Of Love and Loss has been honored in Ground Control Magazine's 2013 Critics Poll, hailed by staff writer Daryl Darko Bennett as "winning my vote for most heart-stirring album of the year, it feels and sounds like music that is really from inside someone's own skin, skeleton, bloodstream, and remains the most significantly stirring and addictive musical accomplishment I've come across in some time..."
Of Love and Loss is now up full-stream on Bandcamp.
We hope you'll give a listen and maybe grab a track or two or the full download or even the limited edition double-CD. Proceeds go, as always, to Summer's memorial fund. So, thanks. We just wanna get this out there... love n faith -BPX
Hey, "secret show" tonight in NYC. Message for an invite/info. Last US gig til November as we sort out UK/Europe dates...
The band will be playing a private show after the NYC fireworks on the Westside. Message us for an invite and details...
Due to a family emergency, the band has had to postpone the June 1 El Taller gig. Stay tuned for a re-schedule.
Ground Control Magazine has followed up their lovely review of Of Love and Loss with a feature article about the band.
Here's an excerpt: "...the story of how (Of Love and Loss) came to life, where the band has been, who they are, what they have done, and specifically, what this new album represents - a bridge of memory from life and love in the real and present world into a tribute to memorialize their tragically lost friend, band member Summer Serafin, well, it’s sound is now something that has gotten under my skin. Michael and Summer were soul-mates. They met each other as cast members of a play and became inseparable. Summer joined the band and is present singing inside many of the tracks, but then she is also a presence inside the CD. Seemingly inconsequential captures of the giggling of a mermaid or the humming of an angel, bits of dialogue caught in the studio, even a phone message she left Michael capture her spirit in an almost haunting way. You have to listen to it to see what I mean..."
Link to full article here: http://groundcontrolmag.com/detail/1/3387/
Ground Control Magazine has just published a great review of Of Love and Loss, calling the record "eclectic and spare and altogether haunting. Taut, emotional and urgent. A testament of love. Alive, infused with spirit and resurrection in a magical way." Full article here: http://groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/3386/1/
Just a quick shout to say that we have a bunch of amazing pix from the show with Todd Carter and friends to post asap. Also, an upcoming feature/review in the Bay Area zine, Ground Control. Meantime, if you're in NYC, give a shout to get an invite for this month's "secret show" on Thursday April 25th. See the "Calendar" page...
The band will be playing an April 6th show in New York with Todd Carter & The Looking at El Taller Latino Americano - 2710 Broadway (btw) 103rd & 104th st), 3rd floor. 7:30 pm. It's a cool, funky little art gallery space that reminds us enormously of the kind of gem of a space one might find in SF's Mission District. Also on the bill is Reverend Television and Ender Wins. We usually say come on down but in this case come on up. Indeed, calling all Upper West Siders - we're in your hood...
The band is pleased to announce that the first 1K donation to Summer's memorial fund at The University of Minnesota Medical Foundation of record proceeds from Of Love and Loss has been delivered, received and recorded. The first of many we hope and thanks to you all. xo-bpx
The band is excited to be playing a show in early April with Todd Carter of The Looking. Details TBA. Also, continuing the monthly "secret show" at The Shrine. Invitation via text only, so if interested, message us your digits... xo-BPX
Of Love and Loss is now also avail via Amazon. The full double-CD with artwork and the mp3 version. ("Go Negative" is up too..).
As it's Valentines Day, we're adding another preview track from Of Love and Loss. It's "Comin' Home", Track 6 on Disc 2. Lyrics and some info on its writing included on Music page. All for our our girl. Our gorgeous, brilliant girl, Summer. Love you forever, Little Sweetheart.
Just added a buncha shots from the Of Love and Loss premeire taken by the totally awesome Scott Bezsylko. Check them out on the photo page!
Thanks to everybody who turned out last night at Zirzamin in lower Manhattan to see us debut Of Love and Loss live. We played two sets at 8pm and 10 pm, performing the new double-record in its entirety and sequence. Great turnout! Thank you so much. It was a really special night. We'll have pix up from the gig soon and info about more dates. Meantime, again - thank you!
Starting today our new double-record Of Love and Loss is available from CD Baby. Just follow the link on our "Buy" page.
Of Love and Loss was released on Tuesday. We're so pleased with the response. Thank you! Big hometown gig here in NYC (at Zirzamin - check the "Calendar" page) on Friday with the new lineup. We'll be up at CD Baby and iTunes days from now but you can grab a copy anytime from this site. And to thank you (there will be more specials, too, True Ones - bookmark, check back!) we're posting another track. Disc One, Track 3 - OCEAN. Thank you...
We're happy to announce the release today of our new double-CD, Of Love and Loss, available now on Slugg Records. Of Love and Loss is a two-disc (15 tracks) double-record with a special limited-edition poster and proceeds from the record are marked for Summer's memorial fund.
Immediately, you can order a copy here on the website via PayPal or by sending a cheque for $20 (postage paid) made out to Slugg Records (be sure to include your shipping address!) and send it to:
Slugg Records/Bipolar Explorer
747 9th Ave, #5-S
New York, NY 10019
In the days ahead, Of Love and Loss will also be available via CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and others. More on that soon...
As we (still) await finals from printer in advance of the release of OF LOVE & LOSS, we're pleased to preview another track (already many listeners favorite) - the Disc 2, Track 7, penultimate - LOST LIFE. As always, please leave your thoughts, if you care to, in our "Guestbook". More, much more, soon... xo-BPX
Still awaiting print finals on poster before release of new double-record, OF LOVE & LOSS, but adding another streamable track- NO ANSWER, disc 1, track 4. Big Summer vocal. Check it. More, natch, to come... xo-bpx
The band is delighted to announce that the altogether awesome Ms. Eva Potter has just joined the band as our new bassist.
We've just uploaded a special preview of the new double-album, "Of Love & Loss", scheduled to be released later this year. The preview is the Disc One, Track One opener, "Letter (to the Darkest Star)". Enjoy!
With the fantastic Ms. Serafin in town, we're getting a quick set out to preview the new record, back at The Night Room. PopMatters called us "eclectic, steadfast and powerful - making new and truthful music". The soul of that truth is Summer. Seriously, wait until you hear these tracks. Oh, right - you don't have to. You can see us on Tuesday!
Summer and Michael, in advance of their longed-longed for holiday (that's Brit-speak, dudes) in Ireland are doing a one-off electric guitar and double-vocal show this Sunday Oct 3rd, 8pm at The Garden in West London. Can someone please get a mic on this? xo-bpx
BPX premiered two new tunes last night during their set at Brooklyn's Bar Reis. And pix of the gig, sadly Summer-less, are up on the photo page...
Recording continues in Brooklyn as Michael adds vocals to basic tracks on Monday. Summer has ideas. Always the best ones. Get here, sweetheart!
Back with full vocals (take a bow, Ms. S) at the Night Room. "Secret show", so message for invite.
Summer Serafin is joining the band in the studio today to record dual vocals on four of the new tracks. Finally!!!
Michael, Sean & Elizabeth laid down tracks for the new record last weekend in Brooklyn with Alan Foreman engineering. Very pleased with the results thus far. Summer in transit and upon her arrival, this really gets going! More news and a single to emerge soon. Meantime, check out pix on the photo page...
Michael, Sean & Elizabeth will be laying down tracks in Brooklyn this weekend for the new record. Summer is working in SF but headed here forthwith. We'll do our best awaiting your arrival, gorgeous girl. More news soon...
First time live (at last!) with full vocals (take a bow, Ms. S) at the Night Room. "Secret show", so message for invite.
Welcome to the new website! We'll be keeping our Tumblr, Facebook & My Space pages (see the links page) but are excited to have this expanded cyber platform to bring you more info, pix and music. So, have a look around! And... thanks!
xo- Michael, Summer, Sean & Elizabeth...