Billy Uomo

Booking for North America:  TBD

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The full-length debut from Billy Uomo, Nosotrosferatu takes its title from a portmanteau of the Spanish word for “we” and Nosferatu, the German Expressionist vampire movie from 1922. “For a while I was on a reverse schedule where I was staying up all night and sleeping all day, and I felt like I’d become an almost vampiric person,” says the Los Angeles-born singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. “I was in a relationship at the time and it didn’t work out, and I came up with the name Nosotrosferatu as a way of saying how together we created one singular fucked-up creature.”

Self-produced and mostly recorded on his own at home, Nosotrosferatu arrives as a glorious beast in its own right, constantly changing form to accommodate Uomo’s most outlandish impulses and the dazzling scope of his musicality. “The only rule I follow is to push the music as far as I can take it,” he says. “If a song sounds good with me singing in a particular style, I’m going to go ahead and do it without worrying what genre it’s in.” Uomo’s first release for Lepel Records, the 16-song album expands on the untamed imagination and DIY sensibilities he’s brought to a steady stream of EPs in recent years (and to previous projects like the beloved indie-pop band Babes). But whether he’s delivering existential doo-wop or apocalyptic punk or psychedelic dream-pop, Uomo approaches each song with equal parts tender emotionality, daring eccentricity, and fun-loving joie de vivre, wholly fulfilling his vision of “making something sad that also feels like a weird little party.”

A prime showcase for Uomo’s sweetly expressive vocals, Nosotrosferatu opens on the lovestruck daze of “This Could Be Heaven” before drifting into the celestial textures and kaleidoscopic rhythms of “Touched By An Angel”: a sublimely heavy-hearted track inspired by the theme song to Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade. “I wrote that on guitar with all these crazy chords so that I could make it into its own little journey like the light parade song,” says Uomo. “I liked the idea of starting the record with something sweet and nice and then spinning out of control into some sadder concepts.” Next, on “Let’s Go,” Uomo shares a strangely euphoric breakup song built on jangly guitar riffs, bouncy basslines, and lyrics that simultaneously echo his oddball humor and unguarded sincerity (e.g., “You turn me to jelly/A charged-up celly/I’ll love you until I go dead”). “During the breakup my ex and I were stuck living in the same place, and being that close but knowing it was all over was a pretty intense experience,” he says of the song’s inspiration.

Naming shapeshifters like Prince and David Bowie among his most crucial inspirations, Uomo warps and merges genres with undeniable ease all throughout Nosotrosferatu. On “I Need You Now,” his raw meditation on longing and loneliness unfolds as a lilting piece of doo-wop, graced with girl-group-esque harmonies and a gorgeously sprawling guitar solo. Several songs later, on “We’re Going to Die,” Uomo leans into impending doom with absolute abandon, offering up a darkly explosive track powered by furious guitar shredding and wildly thrashing drums. “I wanted to write a rock song where I could sing funny things like ‘ripped up my mail’ or whatever,” he says. “A lot of my lyrics are partly a way for me to tell jokes.” On “Love Slave,” with its Auto-Tuned vocals and hypnotically pounding beats, the album takes on a haunting precision as Uomo reflects on certain self-destructive tendencies. “It’s about how I’m so susceptible to flattery and sweet talk, and how that’s caused a lot of problems for me in the past,” he says. And on “Dreams Come True,” Nosotrosferatu closes out with a slow-burning and starry-eyed track that perfectly encapsulates the album’s unabashed romanticism (“Why can’t we live in a world where dreams come true?/Falling in love because dreams are real/And dreams come true because we’re falling in love”). “I was going through a really tough time when I wrote that song,” says Uomo, who created “Dreams Come True” by reimagining a track he’d discovered on the vocal-effects app Voloco. “I was dealing with my breakup, and my roommate’s friend died, and a friend of mine had died a while back. It was a very sad time in both our worlds, but it ended up being my favorite song on the record.”

A lifelong singer who plays guitar, bass, drums, keys, and synth on Nosotrosferatu, Uomo first began writing songs around the age of 11, soon after getting his hands on a cheap acoustic guitar he picked up at a flea market in downtown L.A. By age 13, he’d joined a punk band and started playing shows all around the city. “I never felt too good about anything, but music always felt good,” he says. “I always had a studio of some kind at home, and I’d make music with whatever guitars I had and whatever equipment I could get for cheap. At some point I got a fake ID and I’d go to bars to meet other musicians and show them my music, and sometimes I’d end up playing in their bands.” After spending much of the past decade playing with Babes and building up his catalog of solo material, Uomo linked up with Lepel Records thanks to a connection from his neighbor Brian Canning (an L.A.-based artist and former member of indie-rock band Irving). “I knew Brian was in a band, so I’d ride my bike over to his apartment and throw my demos through his window,” he recalls. Over the years, Uomo has also made his name as an endearing live performer, continually creating new contexts for the exquisite intimacy of his songs. “Sometimes it’s just me and sometimes it’s as many as eight people up onstage, singing harmonies and all that, depending on which of my musician-friends are around to support me,” he points out.

In the making of his first full-length effort, Uomo brought a profound attention to detail to every aspect of the process while endlessly relying on his intuition—an element indelibly shaped by living a life immersed in music. “I think about every little thing when I’m writing and recording, but at the same time I just try to let go and focus on what feels right,” he says. “You have to be sort of a lunatic to work like this, and all the songs on the album were challenging for me in their own way. But the whole experience taught me that I’m capable of creating something like this many more times. It showed me that I can keep making music exactly the way I want to.”


Billy Uomo - Nosotrosferatu


Billy Uomo - Looking Through Tears


Billy Uomo - All Trash No Love


Billy Uomo - Hello?

Billy Uomo - Wasted


Booking for North America:  TBD

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The debut album from KARIO, Audition is a vessel for the kind of revelatory pop songs that contain a rare constellation of elements: arcane wisdom and unfettered emotion, poetic observation, and wide-eyed philosophy. Named for its mononymous frontman, the collective features some of the most imaginative and idiosyncratic musicians in indie-rock and pop today, including the project’s co-founder/producer Chris Blood; bassist Elijah Thomson and guitarist David Vandervelde (both known for their work with Father John Misty); drummer/percussionist Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms for Peace, R.E.M.); baritone sax player Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs); trombone player Dave Nelson; keyboardists Chris Caswell, Drew Erickson, Ben Darwish, and John Carroll Kirby; string player/arranger Rob Moose (Bon Iver); and violinist/arranger Eric Gorfain. When met with the edifying perspective of Kario’s songwriting, the result is a body of work that distinctly echoes the frenetic energy of the current moment, but ultimately imparts a far more enduring truth about the endless complexities of the human experience.

The journey toward dreaming up KARIO’s prismatic brand of avant-pop began back in 2019, soon after the project’s lead singer crossed paths with Blood at famed L.A. rock club The Troubadour. “Chris and I started to talk about where rock-and-roll was and where it was going, and we quickly developed a kind of camaraderie,” says Kario. “From the beginning there was a mutual feeling of wanting to find a very eclectic way of expressing the songs that kept bubbling up in me: we wanted to discover sounds that we’d never heard before, that weren’t drawn from the same template everyone else is using.” To further that process of discovery, the pair assembled a lineup of musicians primarily selected for their left-of-center sensibilities. “The songs intentionally have a nostalgic undertone that we wanted to celebrate and also bring forward in time, so we opted for creative players who could challenge our concept of what makes a song sound classic,” says Blood, who as producer also contributed arrangements, synth lines, guitars, keys, throughout Audition.

One of the first songs created for KARIO, Audition’s title track established the abundantly generous spirit of collaboration that now defines the project. “More than anything, I wanted to be the emcee of this marvelous circus we were putting together with all these incredibly talented and original musicians,” says Kario. “So instead of trying to control every last particle of the experiment, we gave everyone the freedom to be themselves as much as humanly possible.” Thanks in large part to that creative abandon, “Audition” unfolds in a delicate collision of sonic details (warm saxophone melodies, opulent strings, radiant bursts of synth), all of which form an exquisite setting for Kario’s intensely vulnerable confession of the longing to belong.

As the spellbinding opener to Audition, “Are You in There” presents a perfect introduction to Kario’s singular lyrical approach, an element informed by postmodern novelist Paul Auster in its elegant tangling of the enigmatic and highly specific. “I don’t think I would ever have written this song without having had to confront those people in my life who turned out not to be the people I thought they were—a confrontation we’ve all had to face over the last several years of indecency on a massive scale,” says Kario. “In contemplating this, I assumed the role of a first-person narrator speaking to the boy inside the man, the boy whose future betrayed his youthful dreams: a kind of apologia to the true self.” With its mesmeric rhythms and luminous textures, “Are You in There” features background vocals from singer/songwriter Hailey Collier, who lent her sweetly ethereal voice to nearly all of the album’s tracks. “In the past my voice hasn’t always married well with a breathy, feminine vocal, and finally I realized, ‘That’s because you’re trying to be so goddamn masculine all the time,’” says Kario. “But now I was able to find a real compatibility with Hailey, and her presence brought something completely new to the record.”

One of the most immediately magnetic tracks on Audition, “Captive” speaks to the collective’s extraordinary capacity to surprise even themselves. “‘Captive’ was never intended to be a love song—let alone a carefree dance song—so much as a riff on a kind of Stockholm syndrome: the embrace of the captor by the captive as a way of claiming freedom inside captivity,” says Kario, who co-wrote “Captive” with Blood. In a prime example of the potent contrast that propels the album, “Captive” twists that sentiment into something euphoric, gloriously ornamented in delirious disco grooves, rapturous harmonies, and lyrics that deftly belie a sense of ruinous desperation (“You can lock me in your future/And throw away the key”).

In its layered examination of the human condition, Audition also encompasses such outwardly searching and socially attuned offerings as “A Long Way From Here.” “I lived down the street from the Lorraine Motel years ago and spent hours talking to the late Coretta King, who was very open about the struggles of raising a family of four under constant threat of death,” says Kario. “This song was written as an ode to all the young Black mothers I’ve known, whose sons and daughters I played with as a child without understanding the dangers they faced.” In a particularly stunning turn, “A Long Way From Here” takes on a haunting quality in the hypnotic repetition of its central refrain (“Please don’t try and stop me now/Said the headlights to the deer”). Meanwhile, “Aliyah” emerged as Kario ruminated on two long-beloved songs—Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”—then alchemized his emotional response into a nuanced meditation on the nature of grace. “This is a song about a mistake that cannot be unmade: something grave, irredeemable, criminal,” says Kario. “And yet, the name Aliyah means ‘ascendance’ in Hebrew and Arabic, thus conveying the idea that the narrator is seeking a kind of forgiveness in one last beautiful connection before he’s taken away.”

Even its more blissfully escapist moments, Audition bears a raw emotionality that has much to do with the genesis of KARIO. “At the start the whole idea was to find some of the best players in the world, but only those who reacted to the songs in a profound way,” says Kario. “That was the most critical criteria, and it’s a huge part of why these songs have their own gravitational force.” As he reveals, that shared belief and investment in the project had a dramatic impact on his own creative expression. “When Chris and I first met he asked me, ‘Are you willing to change? Do you have the guts, the energy, the commitment it takes to really evolve?’ And my answer was a resounding yes,” says Kario. “I wanted to be pushed, and that’s exactly what happened as I was reacting to all these wonderful sounds and textures and tonalities that were coming my way. It’s been a true collaboration, and one of the greatest pleasures of my life.”

In reflecting on the unshakable sense of purpose that guided the making of Audition, Kario points to an epiphany he experienced prior to a momentous performance some years ago. “I had a revelation that there’s no reason to ever be nervous when performing, because it’s absolutely not about you,” he says. “You’re here to tell a story for people who are hoping to experience something beautiful, something that will stay with them long after they leave. Once I realized that, it was like sprouting wings.” To that end, he views KARIO as an unpredictable yet entirely natural outcome of years of passionate devotion to his calling. “This whole thing is a kind of love affair,” he says. “It’s a love affair with songs, with the feeling of connection that comes from performance, with the joy of making something beautiful. And if you ever have the opportunity to deliver something beautiful into this world, I can’t imagine why you would ever turn that down.”



KARIO- Audition LP


KARIO- Captive (Your hooks)

KARIO- Aliyah (Against The Sky)

KARIO- A Long Way From Here

KARIO- Are You In There

KARIO- Audition




KARIO - A Piece of Me

KARIO - Captive (Your Hooks)

KARIO - We’re Both In Trouble Now


Booking for North America:  TBD

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Mirrorball, the dream pop duo comprised of Alexandra Johnstone and Scott Watson, have been making waves since the release of their debut single 'This Time' in 2019. The song caught the attention of Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s) who took the pair under his wing and mentored them as they began production on their EP.

Johnstone and Watson had been releasing music and playing shows in Los Angeles separately for years before finally crossing paths in an Uber ride. The duo's unique sound is a blend of their individual musical experiences, with Johnstone having fronted the folk-pop band White Dove and Watson shredding in indie-rock bands in the pre-Facebook era.

Despite an initial disruption to their release schedule, the delay gave way to a silver lining, resulting in a remarkable collection of lyrical dream pop songs produced, and mixed by Coady. Mirrorball's debut EP is set to release in 2024.

“Between Fleetwood Mac's best B-sides and Kate Bush at her most celestial"
– LA Record



Mirrorball - EP

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