SUMMERLOVE

Michael's blog for his late-girlfriend, love and partner, Summer Serafin. The scattershot beginnings of a memoir...

BIPOLAR EXPLORER / TREMOSPHERE

Michael's bands - acclaimed NYC-based dreampop trio Bipolar Explorer and celebrated NYC shoegaze duo Tremosphere. News, audio, video and links to their nine albums on Slugg Records.

Bipolar Explorer's page on Wikipedia.

"COLLECTED PLAYS"

The first anthology of Michael's works for the theatre, Collected Plays, published by The Ginger Press, avail via Amazon.

New Bipolar Explorer Album 

On December 1, the band will release their 10th album. A collection of experimental tracks they recorded for the UK's Dark Outside broadcast events between 2019 and 2021, it's called Forests, Voices, Coastlines, Dreams: Recordings for The Dark Outside.

A pre-sale will begin on Bandcamp Friday November 5th.

Michael and the band were honored to have tracks premiered over the last few days by KFJC's Carson Street and WFMU's Irene Trudel, who opened her legendary show this afternoon with one of the album's tracks - "Corridor".

Thanks to all. More news soon!

 

Michael on UK radio  

Michael is the guest today on UK's Radio SLE's "Music in Mind". A far-ranging conversation about music and life with host Frankie Rose, listen live online - 9pm GMT, 10 pm Europe, 4pm New York, 1pm California.

"Deux Anges" review in The Sound Projector (UK) 

The band's 9th album, Deux Anges, has received a lovely review from the UK's legendary music zine, The Sound Projector.

Written by editor Ed Pinsent, published April 3, and headlined "Hark The Herald", an excerpt follows.

Honored and grateful for the very kind words, Michael is particularly thankful for the review's focus on Summer herself and the project's dedication to be of, for and about her. 

"The new double-CD album from Bipolar Explorer is 'Deux Anges' (SLUGG RECORDS Slugg024CD). We heard from this NYC group in 2019 with their album 'Til Morning is Nigh: A Dream Of Christmas', which was unusual for its selection of obscure and little-known Christmas songs and carols from history, sung in both English and French. 

The group continue to deliver their unique brand of very understated guitar-pop with subdued vocals, hazy ambient melodies, and the singing voice of Michael Serafin-Wells kept deliberately quite low in the mix. Sylvia Solanas is here again, supplying spoken (or rather whispered) word vocals. But the (absent) main member of the band is Summer Serafin. This was Michael’s partner who died nine years ago, and since then it’s been Michael’s mission to keep the project (and her memory) alive, mainly by drawing on his personal archive of recordings of Summer’s vocal tracks. 

This particular release is bolstered by the inclusion of a book full of monochrome photos – lonely forests, ruined buildings, empty seascapes – and all the lyrics. Some instrumentals, some tunes enhanced with field recordings, some more like recits - all of 'Deux Anges' is steeped in a very wistful melancholy, a poignant longing. We continue to find allusions in the lyrics to the afterlife, heaven, angels, mortality, ghosts, miracles…and compassion, empathy, and hope. 

At two CDs and three hours, there’s also a lot of it to listen to, but BPX never outstay their welcome with their unassuming tone and the gentle lulling pull of their mesmerizing songs. 

Michael’s lyrics emerge as a form of prayer, personal and humble in tone; while Sylvia’s no-nonsense voicing of the spoken word (narrative poem) recits feel like sermons, delivered in a concise and crystal-clear manner. 

I also like that the record is not “over-produced”, that Serafin-Wells adheres to the true indie spirit of live recording, keeping in the rough edges, using the first take, and then moving on."

The Sound Projector (UK) -Ed Pinsent, editor

More "Best Of" 

Michael and the band would like to express continued gratitude for the lovely reception Deux Anges has garnered in 8 weeks since its release - including being named to four Best Albums of 2020 lists. Thank you!

Deux Anges - More Best of 2020 

Michael and the band are profoundly honored to have their double-album, DEUX ANGES, included in the great Irene Trudel's Best of 2020 show today on WFMU. Longtime listeners, Irene Trudel is an absolute hero of ours and we are deeply grateful for her kind words and advocacy. Listen to the entire show here. Incredible company, peerless host. We're grateful.

 

Michael live on Soho Radio (London) 

Michael was honored to be a guest on the legendary Max Reinhardt's show on London's Soho Radio on Friday January 8th. Speaking with Max live via phone from NYC, his segment aired in the last hour of the three-hour broadcast and can be heard in its entirety on Soho Radio's MixCloud archive here.

More From The Legendary Max Reinhardt 

The band was already beside themselves with the kind words and news that Deux Anges had made the legendary Max Reinhardt (longtime host of BBC Radio 3's Late Junction and Soho Radio's Late Lunch Show)'s "Best Releases of 2020" - indeed, closing that show on Dec 4 with "Infinity Hall" from disc one of the new double album. 

Then, Christmas Day, Mr R returned to the album, featuring "Snowfall" from disc two and adding these words:  

"I just have to say, the more you listen to the album, the double-album, the better it gets! And it's all so different! That one ("Snowfall") is, uh, somehow or other, somewhere between Sonic Youth and "The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus" ! But, anyway, very fine!” 

Wow, just, wow. And thank you! Listen to the broadcast in its entirety at the hyperlink ("Christmas Day") above. 

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Christmas Radio 

So very grateful for such a great week of radio devoted to the band over this Christmas holiday. Some highlights:

Monday Dec 21, Winter Solstice - "Led By The Star" from Til Morning is Nigh featured on the great Irene Trudel's show on WFMU.

Wednesday Dec 23 - Michael & Sylvia give an hour long live interview to Canada's Limbocast.

Thursday Dec 24, Christmas Eve - Til Morning is broadcast in its sequence and entirety on both Germany's TSFC and the UK's SLE Radio.

Friday Dec 25, Christmas Day - "Snowfall" from Deux Anges is featured on the legendary Max's Reinhardt's show on Soho Radio, already hailed among his picks for Best Releases of year, Mr Reinhardt adds of the double-album that "the more you listen to it, the better it gets". Christmas Night - "Led By The Star" closes Julie Dark's third set on WFMU.

Saturday Dec 26 - Jeffrey Davison closes his wonderful show on WFMU, Shrunken Planet, with "Five Eight Eighteen" from Deux Anges, adding that the album is the band's "most beautiful release so far."

Sunday Dec 27 - For the 8th week in a row, KFJC's Dangerous Dan features a track from Deux Anges in the first hour of his show - "Starry Messenger".

Thanks to everyone on both sides of the country and both sides of the Atlantic! Happy Holidays!

Deux Anges - Best Albums of 2020 

In the three weeks since its release (on Summer's birthday), Deux Anges, Bipolar Explorer's 9th album, has received kind words and airplay from New York to California and across Europe from France to The Netherlands to the UK.

In heavy rotation on NorCal's KFJC, closer to home on WFMU, on Dutch post-rock radio innovators, DeMist, and over several different programs on London's great Resonance-FM, one of the radio highlights to date must certainly be having been featured on the legendary Max Reinhardt's show on London's Soho Radio.

Mr. Reinhardt, the venerable longtime host of BBC Radio 3's Late Junction, closed his December 4th show - a three hour look at the best releases of 2020 - with "Infinity Hall", from disc one of Deux Anges and going on to say, with a weighty pause, "and... Bipolar Explorer. Well... there is hauntology at work. Hauntology right in the center of their work".

Longtime fans of all of Max's radio work, this is, indeed, as Michael says on behalf of the band "pretty heady stuff".

Thank you, everyone.

Today - Summer's 41st Birthday  

Today, Michael honors the life, legacy and soul of his beloved True Love, Summer Serafin, on this, her 41st birthday.

New posts may be found on his blog dedicated to her, Summerlove and today marks the release of Bipolar Explorer's 9th album, a double-album, as ever, of, for and about her, entitled Deux Anges - already finding advance critical praise and non-commercial radio play globally. 

Just before midnight, Michael gave an interview to Limbocast's Joe Wilkie broadcast live on the UK's Radio SLE. Later this evening, the station will broadcast the full album, 30 tracks over two discs and 2 1/2 hours, in its entirety and sequence. Deux Anges is immediately available on Bandcamp, iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, and, of course, directly via Slugg Records.

This work, as all of his work and very life, remains dedicated to Ms. Serafin, his sweetheart, soulmate and conscience.