Simon and The Astronauts
Featuring Rachel Haden
Simon and the Astronauts is the generational songwriting team of Simon Wells, Ben Hewerdine and Chris Pepper. While seeking a female vocalist for specific tracks, the three met their match in musician Rachel Haden (The Haden Triplets, That Dog, The Rentals), whose resumé also includes collaborations with Beck, Weezer, Todd Rungren, and others. Impressed by what they heard, the focus of the project changed: an album of material ensued.
Wells, Hewerdine and Pepper would incubate ideas, seeking new sonic landscapes for Rachel’s voice to glide through. The quartet quickly adapted, exchanging ideas and music between Chris Pepper’s Saltwell Studio in Cambridge, UK and Rachel’s hometown in Los Angeles, California. Singles “Parallel World” and “Oxygen” lyrically reflect Wells’ reaction to the current state of affairs. The wistful, spectral piano ballad and closer, “Lost in London”, evokes the memory of The Beatles, Sex Pistols and other UK rock and roll icons.
Simon and the Astronauts featuring Rachel Haden is an unequivocally charged love letter to time, rock and roll, and space travel through the human experience. The album and its journey guide us through every complex emotion, finding a home and peace in the end, with strings, piano, and Rachel’s pristine vocal delivery.
Simon and the Astronauts, the generational songwriting team of Simon Wells, Ben Hewerdine, and Chris Pepper wanted a backing vocalist for a couple of tracks and found the talented Rachel Haden (That Dog, The Haden Triplets). Completely knocked out by what they heard, the focus of what they wanted to do as a musical project changed. The trio asked Rachel if they could write her an album of material. As stated by lyricist and performance poet, Simon Wells, “We were overjoyed when she said yes.”
The team originally planned to record their forthcoming album in England, while Rachel was between dates on the Haden Triplets European Tour, until the world was struck by COVID-19. The quartet quickly adapted, writing remotely, and exchanging ideas and music between the UK and Los Angeles where Rachel resides. Wells, reacting to what was going on in the world, crafted the lyrics to create a lyrical masterpiece that speaks volumes on the world today, as heard in the songs “Parallel World” and “Oxygen,” to name a few. Hewerdine and Pepper would incubate the ideas as the trio searched for new sonic landscapes for Rachel to fly over. As a result, Simon and the Astronauts have seamlessly crafted together an exciting power-pop record with elements of grunge and punk.
What started as an experimental studio collaboration is now gearing up for a new album release via Ring Records, and hopes for a future tour. Produced by Chris Pepper at Saltwell Studios, Simon & The Astronauts’ upcoming album sees four exciting new voices coming together to make something extraordinary and out of this world. The quartet collectively states, “It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”
Mystic Seers is a pop/rock, avant-garde musical project fronted by the American producer & multi-instrumentalist Derek White.
White spent over half a decade writing, recording, and meticulously refining the work from various home studios and workspaces in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. An outgrowth of his diverse influences, Mystic Seers sees White's memorable songwriting weaving in and out of a wall of atmospheric psychedelia, with recurring elements of early '70s progressive rock, '60s symphonic pop, and hints of free jazz. Of the ambitious nature of the project, and attention to detail that is so evident throughout.
The full-length self-titled debut album will be released on a double LP May 2021 on Ring Records. The upcoming album has been recorded & produced by Derek White and co-produced by Adam Fischman, and mastered by Brian Zieske of Off-Axis Mastering & Bob Weston @ Chicago Mastering Service.
Acoustic Hippie Punk
That Summer’s “acoustic hippie punk” feels like a lost mixtape filled with a late 90’s charm. The album is a sprawling canvas that ranges from sunny fingerpicking folk gems to classic Cali Pop-Punk.
Many of the albums tracks reflect moods that vary from longing to tongue-in-cheek forms of self deprecation. Hippie Punk is a new brand of power pop that eloquently pins the listener somewhere in between the walls of Counting Crows and NOFX.
The production is a pot-pourri ranging from The Eels to The Get Up Kids, occasionally leaving room for Frusciante-esque smokey dive bar guitar jams. Singer/Songwriter Charles Rocha is of Brazilian dissent but has moved all around the United States the past decades which allowed him to acquire his unique modern Americana blend. There is a hometown vibe that is present on this album that specifically feels like small town Pennsylvania. Oakmont, PA to be exact; where hippie punks were a real thing! Imagine a mob of late 90’s pop punk kids walking the tracks along the rivers with mouthfuls of chewing tobacco.
Fans of Saves the Day and Fountains of Wayne will find this album to be the kind of treat to keep coming back to. Is it fireside folk? throwback pop punk? Nah.. just good old acoustic hippie punk.
That Summer is a genre defining band, mixing elements of singer/songwriter and pop/rock musings with alternative and punk rock ethos. The band is fronted by songwriter/producer Charles Rocha. That Summer produced and released its first full-length album, Acoustic Hippie Punk, in December 2017. Charles Rocha presents an autobiographical collection of songs about loss, time, travel, and struggles with addiction and alcoholism. The band hopes to reach anyone who feels misunderstood, or like they just don't fit in.
Charles Rocha started playing the supporting role for many friends in a diverse lineup of rock outfits including The Berlin Project, Craig’s Brother, Bear Cub and most recently, Askultura. In 2016, Rocha was dubbed chief engineer/producer for The Kitchen Studio in Oakland Park, Florida. Along his musical journey, Rocha has toured with some of his favorite bands including Bad Religion, Nofx, Yellowcard and more. Born in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles Rocha has lived and created music all over the world. After a brief spell in Nashville, Rocha moved to Florida to work for his grandfather and finish his Bachelor’s degree. At this time Rocha used the skills he had learned from Buddy Hall at Beacon Hill Recording Studio in Pittsburgh and began recording his own songs from his bedroom. This evolved into That Summer. Brad Evanovich, also formerly of The Berlin Project, inspired Rocha to record and release his own songs. The two would convene in Florida to complete The Hearth EP Vol. 1. The record was finished with Roger Lima (Less Than Jake, Rehasher) at The Moathouse Recording Studio in Gainesville, Florida in 2013.
2021 finds Rocha feeling “right at home”; living in Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley) and working with Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Bad Religion) at Hetson Sound. Most recently, That Summer celebrated its first major radio airplay, when Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Eric Clapton, George Harrison) added their lush, lap-steel laden cover of “Wildflowers” to his playlist on Tom Petty Radio. Currently, the 4-piece band are working with Ian Cross (Janet Jackson, Anthrax, Gwen Stefani, Dishwalla) to combine their patchwork of styles for what will be a highly anticipated full length album on LA indie-label, Ring Records. Rocha credits the Musicares organization for helping him get settled in Los Angeles, and for saving his life in 2019.