NEW SONG: Hi-Fi Cali - Ocean Love

The newest Hi-Fi Cali track is a fat, synth-and-sample-heavy, washed out slow jam.  Or something like that.  Here's what people are saying about it:

"Inherently carefree and optimistic, this song exhibits the best traits of what synth-driven pop can accomplish." - The Music Ninja

"This back-to-basics seduction is peppered with enticing breaks and pulsing grooves, adding to that personal club playlist." - All Things Go

"Their new single Ocean Love pulls me into a dreamy shifting world of chillwavey intoxication. This ocean is alive." - I Heart Moosiq

iTunes   |   Spotify



VIDEO: Hi-Fi Cali - Ocean Love Live at Honey

"Ocean Love" is Hi-Fi Cali's latest single, releasing June 10.  Here's a live video from our set at Honey in Minneapolis.

Behind the lenses:  Jordan Nimlos, Ben Woodis, Connor McLevish, Cassandra Woodis, Vienna Lewin.
Cameras:  Canon 6D, GoPro
Edit: Chris Bartels, Joseph McMahon



Drop Flip

A couple of my original tracks are featured on an upcoming iOS game called Drop Flip.  I also created sound effects for it.  I've been playing with the beta version.  I'm not getting any work done.

Check out the trailer, and below that are the two featured tracks.

Visit Drop Flip's website for more info on the release.



NEW SONG: Hi-Fi Cali | Soulmates

Hi-Fi Cali's latest is "Soulmates," a tight electro-funk number led by a Rhodes piano foundation and falsetto hopeless romantic vocals.  The Music Ninja says it creates a "perfect symphony of retro synths throughout, all building upon one another with patience and purpose," while Chart Shaker describes it as led by "intoxicating vocals."




Bora York Talks New Album, 80s Music Insults, and Chillwave Obsessions with Rift Magazine

We caught up with local writer Kelsey Simpkins for a Rift Magazine interview, talking about Secret Youth and 80s and chillwave...

They’ve been teasing us for a while now, releasing singles here and there – as far back as a year ago, with “Let Loose,” and “Leagues.” Minneapolis-based five-piece Bora York (Rebekah Bartels [vocals], Chris Bartels [vocals, guitars, keys], Brian Seidel [guitars], Bjorn Nilsen [drums], Jamie Kauppi [bass]) has finally released their second full-length album, Secret Youth, following their 2013 release of Dreaming Free. Collaborating with talented names such as Matthew Call, Josiah Kosier, Charlie Wirth, and Cory Wong, this brainchild project of Chris Bartels radiates the energy of many. It’s unabashedly a pop album, with the heart of an indie rock geek; which makes for a stellar party-playlist pick, road trip mix, or live performance. Although Secret Youth is already out in the world (released July 21, 2015), this Friday, Bora York takes to the stage for a real-time debut of their best material yet.
It’s kind of a funny story, but I met Bora York at their first show. I had just moved to Minneapolis in 2012, and was at 7th Street Entry for possibly the third or fourth time ever. (I’ve since lost count. Fifty, sixty, maybe?) Forever remembered for the moment’s combined novelty, I gushed to Chris and Rebekah about how wonderful they were live, how I planned to work in the Minneapolis music scene, and promised to keep in touch. Sometimes it’s fun how things turn out.
A few weeks ago, I got to catch up with Chris and Rebekah Bartels of Bora York, over beef and lamb gyros, quinoa salad, and garlic mashed potatoes, and hummus and pita at Zakia Deli in NE. Besides the food, we discussed everything from where Secret Youth got its inspiration, and the pros and cons of playing lots of lives shows, to managing a musician’s life with a young kid at home (their son Elliott now just around one year old).
These two juggle much in their lives, but seem no worse for the wear. In fact, Bora York’s second full length was produced and released independently on Chris’ own Anthem Falls Music. Rebekah herself is on the cover, making the most of what they thought was a bad series of photos at a press shoot. And she won’t admit it outright, but her fantastic voice isn’t her only talent – she also plays drums (although not on this album). They’re a pair, and five-piece, overflowing with skill and creative ideas, but a humble bunch at that. So since they won’t come out and proclaim how fantastic their new record is, I’ll hail back to that excited young woman of 2012 to help them do it.
KS: When did Secret Youth start happening? Was there a lot of left over material from Dreaming Free or was there some kind of break in between before something new?
CB: It was such a fun process with Dreaming Free, I don’t think we ever considered not making another album, so it was just a matter of what kind of style. We wanted to grow, but also have that same essence to it.
RB: After we released Dreaming Free, we played a bunch live. After a while, we were like, we need a couple new ones. Once we started brainstorming, and getting creative with where we felt like we were moving to, we’d add a couple of those in. There was a single we’d play live, and thought ‘we should put that on the album!’ Because it didn’t fit with the other one.
CB: “Midnight Glow” was a song for fun, that was before any of the Dreaming Free stuff. It matched the new style more… thought ‘that’s a fun one to do… let’s do that one.’ But playing live definitely influenced where we went with the album.
KS: “It sounds like the 80’s” isn’t an insult in my book unless it’s the only descriptor you have for a band. But Dreaming Free does have the shoegazey side of the 80’s, and Secret Youth is more the dancey side of the 80’s. There’s more of a mellow sound in the previous release, and now it’s more of a peppy feel.
CB: The first one is more ambient… but the few dance elements we had, are so fun live, and we get the most reaction out of that, and we were listening to more of that. Dreaming Free was more exploration, was supposed to be a folk album. I knew Rebekah would sing on it, but then was like ‘no, you need to sing this chorus’ and then… we needed another front person. The new album, you know, let’s make some heavy hitting pop songs, intentionally from the start. “Secret Youth” and “Forever Ocean” come to mind.
RB: The second album has a lot more power behind my vocals. This one is groovy, funky, powerful songs, for me especially.

Read the interview in full here.



Hi-Fi Cali | Never Too Late | Single Premiere

Newest Anthem Falls project Hi-Fi Cali released a second single today, called "Never Too Late."

All Things Go premiered the track, saying, "'Never Too Late' combines the sweetness of [Bora York] with a fun, experimental electro-pop sound."

Download on iTunes, or stream on Spotify.

And be sure to follow Hi-Fi Cali on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hi-Fi Cali's next show is coming up - August 27th at Aster Cafe, supporting The Prams for their album release show!




Today is the official release day of Bora York's sophomore LP Secret Youth!  


First off, we want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your support - every Soundcloud listen, every Facebook share, every retweet, every time you show up at a gig, and every time you hit pause on T. Swift and blast our dream-pop sounds from your car instead... we're so grateful.  Having you all as part of this creative family is one of the most exciting and rewarding things for us as musicians.

D O W N L O A D / S T R E A M

Bandcamp (CDs available here)

R E L E A S E   S H O W

Friday, August 21, Varsity Theater
Facebook Event

S T A Y   C O N N E C T E D   T O   B O R A   Y O R K




What people are saying about the new Bora York album 'Secret Youth'

Tomorrow is the official release day for our sophomore Bora York album Secret Youth.  We've put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into this thing, and cannot wait to share with you.  We're always grateful to anyone who cares enough to listen... here's a sampling of what writers have been saying about the album and the singles we released prior:

Pop Matters, album stream premiere
"The Minneapolis band's effervescent second album joyously brings the 1980's into the present day." 

Drunken Werewolf, album review
"First and foremost, Bora York, if anything, does pop music very well. Pop music has this amazing ability to include its listeners in on 'the experience'. More often than not, pop tunes consist of singalong choruses and feet-tapping beats, relieving any preoccupations its listeners might have had before. Bora York's music fulfills all of the aforementioned and this is all quite apparent, beginning with “Arrest Me”, the opening track off Secret Youth. The Bartels' vocal harmonies in the chorus are reminiscent of The Naked and Famous. The mesmerizing instrumental break in the last third of the song sets the mood for the rest of the album while hinting that this record was made with the intention of having its audience let loose – which brings me to one of the strongest tracks on this album.

From start to finish, “Let Loose” is the jam. The funk hits you the moment it comes on and you're struck by this urge to have fun. If that isn't enough, wait until you find yourself singing, “Never say never, when we've been waiting forever, forever” with an attitude that you won't believe is yours during the chorus. Just when you think there's no way this song can get any better, you're introduced to this feel-good, groovy guitar solo during the bridge and that's when you know, you've fallen in love with Bora York."

The Music Ninja, "Arrest Me" premiere
"Featuring a very danceable bassline, upbeat guitar work, sonic layering, and alternating vocals from husband-wife duo Chris and Rebekah Bartels. It’s soulfully crafted, funk-inspired, and an absolute blast to groove to."

Earmilk, "The Way You Groove" premiere
"Uplifting and catchy, "The Way You Groove" is both a grand introduction to Bora York and a spot on addition to their catalog of music for long-time fans."

Neon Gold Records, "Let Loose" premiere
"Summertime radness coming in hot today."

Indie Shuffle, "Let Loose" feature
"...infectious melodies and even catchier chorus."

Blushing Panda, "Arrest Me" feature
"There's so many layers to it, it's a real roller coaster, one that will bring you such happiness and eagerness to dance."

Right Chord Music, "The Way You Groove" feature and Band of the Week feature

Best way to catch all the press for Bora York is to keep tabs with us on Facebook and Twitter!