Magnetic Magazine is very proud to present "Little Lions," the debut single from NØISE, a collaborative musical project helmed by renowned street artist and Obey Giant Founder Shepard Fairey. The collective also features veteran electronic music producer John Goff, musician Joe Cassidy, and vocalist Merritt Lear. NØISE takes their official bow today with the wide release of a titular Little Lions EP, previously only available as an extremely limited 7-inch single.
For Fairey, music and art have always been hand in glove, so it was natural that about 13 years ago he started DJing and curating sets composed of his catholic music taste and collection. The advent of vinyl emulation software Serato made mixing otherwise DJ-unfriendly tracks much more fluid and, soon, Fairey imagined custom remixes of certain unexpected Rock and New Wave songs he wanted to play out.
“My first music production endeavors were simple re-edits of songs for improved mixing,” he recalls. Enter longtime friend Goff, a studio wiz who assisted with the editing. After numerous sessions, Goff suggested they work on some original music together and the seed for NØISE was planted. "We put some instrumental compositions together, and then serendipitously met Merritt Lear and her former bandmate Joe Cassidy," Fairey continues. "Merritt added incredible vocals and melody ideas, and Joe added guitar, production, and arrangement."
Scroll forward to 2014: The original sides "Little Lions," a shimmering pop shuffle, and "Automatic," a dubby shoegazer, were rush-released on 7-inch for Fairey's "50 Shades of Black" art show. A limited run of 500 copies was pressed and Fairey created art for the screen-printed sleeves that were hand-glued. So a select number of ears have heard these songs before.
Today's proper release, however, adds eight spanking-new remixes from some heavy hitters, including Moby, Phil Hartnoll (one half of Orbital), Tim Armstrong, Z-Trip, Nico and Touch, SSI, John Goff - and our favorite from The Crystal Method, which we're excited to premiere for you today.
Speaking on behalf of the acclaimed "rocktronic" duo, The Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland gushed a bit over the chance to collaborate with a contemporary art icon: "Ken [Jordan] and I have been massive fans of Shepard's art for years," he said. "Personally, you won't meet a nicer guy, but we decided to remix "Little Lions" simply because it's a great song. We had a lot of fun with it and the artwork for the 12-inch remix package is stunning!"
Indeed it is – and you would expect nothing less from a Shepard Fairey release – but, in his words, "This is not an art project with music included, it is a music project with art included." What's more, you can own it! Limited edition posters are available on the band's website.
The Little Lions EP by NØISE is available now on iTunes.
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