Category: indie rock

Comprised of Jake Smallwood (vocals), Jacob Newman (guitar/backing vocals), Tristan Sava (guitar/organ), Henry Sava (drums) and James Bryman (bass/backing vocals), Brighton, UK-based psych rock quintet White Room have developed a reputation across the UK for a sound that’s been described as “a serrated blend of sky-gaze psychedelia and raucous distortion” as you’ll hear on “Think Too Much,” a swaggering and anthemic  A Northern Soul-era The Verve and Sleepy Sun channeling new single. Sonically, the band pairs fuzzy and bluesy guitar chords played through gentle amounts of reverb and delay pedal, an enormous, psychedelic-tinged hook with a driving groove.

 

 

 

 

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Perhaps best known as a touring and session guitarist for Charli XCX and BØRNS, Los Angeles, CA-based guitarist and vocalist Cecilia Della Peruti is also the creative mastermind behind up-and-coming act Gothic Tropic, a band whose New Wave-leaning sound is indebted to the likes of the Go-Gos The B52s and others as angular and punchy guitar chords are paired with a propulsive rhythm section, Peruti’s sultry vocals and an infectious hook as you’ll hear on their latest single “Stronger.”

 

 

 

 

Perhaps best known for stints drumming in several band including Shilpa Ray’s backing band, Robert Preston relocated to Los Angeles for a change of scenery and began his solo recording project Pink Mexico. And while in L.A., Preston wrote, recorded and self-released his solo debut pnik mexico in June 2013. Interestingly, pnik mexico caught the attention of Austin, TX-based indie label Fleeting Youth Records who re-released Preston’s debut effort the following December.

Preston then relocated back to Brooklyn to began writing and recording his sophomore effort while having quite a few things released last year including a split 7 inch with Los Angeles-based band SunLikeDrugs and a 12 inch vinyl pressing of pnik mexico by the Bordeaux, France-based label Big Tomato Records. And with a growing national and international profile, Preston caught the attention of renowned indie label Burger Records, who later signed him. Interestingly, his forthcoming, sophomore effort fool was written in windowless 10×10 rooms between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, reportedly fueled by nasty hangovers, cheap coffee and cigarettes. “Buzz Kill,” fool‘s first single has Preston and company pairing layers of buzzing guitar chords, propulsive drumming, throbbing bass chords and Preston’s ethereal vocals floating through a sludgy mix in a song that compares favorably to contemporary garage rock/fuzz rock/garage fuzz bands like Fuzz, Wavves, Thee Oh Sees and others — but with an underlying and infectious breeziness to the sludge and scum.

fool is slated for a June 24 through Burger Records here in the States and Big Tomato Records in Europe. Along with that Preston and company will be playing a number of local shows, including a big record release show on June 25. Check out the dates below and be on the lookout for a full tour using the fall.
Live Dates:
June 1 – Goldsounds
June 8 – Sunnyvale (Northside Festival)
June 25 – Shea Stadium (Release Show)

 

 

 

Alt country/folk-rock/blues-rock artist Lee Miles, best known Chief Ghoul has quickly become a JOVM mainstay artist for a sound that channels and owes a major debt to the Delta Blues — in particular, the blues of Lightnin’ HopkinsBlind Willie JohnsonRobert JohnsonMuddy Waters‘ acoustic blues and John Lee Hooker as Miles’ work had a tendency to be sparse, most self-accompanied and concerned itself with some prototypical blues themes and motifs. Seeking to expand the project’s sound, Miles recruited Chase Coryell (bass) and Justin Brown (drums) to flesh out the project’s sound, expanding the project to a full-time trio.

Damned is Miles’ fourth Chief Ghoul album, and the album’s latest single “Let Me In” is a twangy ballad that sonically draws from outlaw country and the blues — and that shouldn’t be surprising as the song’s narrator sings ruefully about a lover with whom he had a conflicting and confusing relationship; in typical blues fashion, the narrator recognizes that the love interest is dangerous to him and yet he can’t pull himself away.

 

 

 

Publicly claiming Arcade Fire and Talking Heads as major influences and with each member having musical backgrounds in a number of different genres including rock, country, jazz and electronica, New York-based indie rock quintet AMFM — comprised of David Caruso (vocals, guitar), Harper James (guitar, synth, keys), Gian Stone (drums), Dan Shuman (bass) and Steve DeVito (guitar) — have started to receive attention for a sound that draws equally from contemporary indie rock and classic rock as you’ll hear on the band’s latest single “Heroes,” a rousing and anthemic single about the desire to live life your way and only your way, with no regrets.

Sonically, the New York-based quintet pair anthemic and infectious hooks with shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive Station to Station-era Bowie-like rhythm section, an uncanny sense of melody and harmony and punchily delivered lyrics, which remind me quite a bit of New Radicals‘ “You Get What You Give” but while subtly evoking the desperate desire to change the course of one’s life — and of hitting the road with intention of leaving everything behind.

Holy Bouncer is a Barcelona, Spain-based indie rock quintet, who will be releasing their full-length debut later this year, and from the album’s second and latest single “Hippie Girl Lover,” the band specializes in a sound that clearly draws from early era The Doors (their self-titled album in particular), Steppenwolf‘s “Magic Carpet Ride” and the incredible Brown Acid proto-metal/proto-stoner rock compilations released by the folks at RidingEasy Records, complete with a gritty, primal, and grungy self-assuredness. Certainly, if it wasn’t for the subtle, contemporary production sheen — you’ll notice it with a pair of good headphones or a good speaker — the song sounds as though it could have been released in 1966, and some devoted record collector or blogger stumbled upon this one in a dusty, used record store in Milwaukee or Albany. But perhaps much more important, is that Holy Bouncer along with Madrid‘s The Parrots should prove that Spain has a vital and burgeoning indie rock scene that’s worthy of international attention.

Currently comprised of primary members Tres Warren (vocals, guitar) and Elizabeth Hart (bass) along with a rotating cast of collaborators and friends, New York-based psych rock act Psychic Ills have developed a reputation over the past decade for following wherever their muses takes them. Interestingly, the band’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated fifth full-length effort Inner Journey Out stems from the culmination of three years of playing shows, touring, writing and recording — and reportedly, the album finds the band expanding upon the sound and aesthetic that first caught the attention of the blogosphere as the album’s material possesses elements of country, blues, gospel and jazz. In fact, whereas the previous records found Warren overdubbing himself to create a blown-out, widescreen sound, Inner Journey Out focuses on Warren and Hart’s collaborations with an array of highly-accomplished guests including Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, touring keyboardist Brent Cordero, Chris Millstein, Endless Boogie’s Harry Druzd, The Entrance Band’s Derek James, Charles Burst and a host of friends and associates, who also provide pedal steel guitar, horns, strings and backing vocals. Thematically speaking, the new album explores the interior and exterior and the pathway between the two — and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Baby,” the album’s sound manages to be much more intimate and plaintive, while drawing from The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter” and Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky” but with a subtle yet gorgeous country twang underneath the moody psychdelia.

At the core of the song is a narrator, who has spent a long time seeking love and recognizing that he’s stumbled upon the love he’s always needed while quietly suggesting that when we love others and share ourselves with others, that we find our true, essential selves. And as a result, the sentiment gives the song a quiet contemplative nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With the 2012 release of the “Ribbons” 7 inch and the 2013 critically applauded release of their full-length debut, A Constant Sea, Brooklyn-based indie rock/psych rock act Heliotropes — comprised of frontwoman, founding member and primary songwriter Jessica Numsuwankijkul along with a rotating cast of collaborators that include Gregg Giuffre (drums), Richard Thomas (bass) and Ricci Swift (guitar)  — have quickly exploded on to the national scene; in fact, A Constant Sea landed on the top ten of Mother Jones’ Best of 2013 list, and as a result, the band has opened for (and toured with)a  diverse array of artists including Esben and The Witch, Thurston Moore, The Geto Boys, Matt and Kim, Kurt Vile, Parquet Courts, The Black Angels and The Raveonettes —  and they’ve played sets at SXSW, Firefly and Culture Collide.

Building upon that buzz, the Brooklyn-based indie rock band will be releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Over There That Way on July 15, 2016 through The End Records. And the album’s latest single “Normandy” is sweetly, old-fashioned garage rock that pairs shimmering and jangling guitar chords, and a propulsive rhythm section with Numsuwankijkul’s plaintive and ethereal vocals. And as soon as you hear the song it shouldn’t be surprising that the band’s sound has been described as Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval doing jangling psych rock.

 

 

With the release of critically applauded singles “Women’s Business” and “Here We Go,” Melbourne, Australia-based quintet Canary have won both national and international attention as the former charted on Hype Machine and the latter received airplay through triple J — and as a result, the band has opened for the likes of Saskwatch, Ainslie Willis, Hein Cooper and LANKS.

Building upon the buzz that they’ve already received, the Australian quintet’s sophomore effort I Am Lion is slated for a July 8, 2016 release and the album’s first single “Fickle Heart” was largely inspired by frontman Matthew Kennealy’s  breakup — and as a result, the song focuses on the bitterly self-righteous feelings of self-destruction and hatred in the aftermath of a relationship’s violent explosion.  Sonically,the band employs sludgy power chords in a song structurally sounds as though it owes a debt to 90s alt rock — as the song alternates between anthemic hooks and quieter, more contemplative sections. And throughout the song’s narrator spends his time reflecting on the nature of a relationship that’s left him heartbroken, bitter and wishing that he never met this person in the first place. Certainly, it’s a sentiment that should feel universally familiar to anyone who’s been through a nasty breakup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past decade or so, Gothenburg, Sweden’s music scene has development a reputation for a particular brand of pop that has received international attention across both Scandinavia and elsewhere — and interestingly enough, a number of the city’s up-and-coming artists have been attempting to redefine the city’s renowned sound as they’ve begun to see the Gothenburg sound as a smothering restriction. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you may be familiar with Gothenburg-based quartet School 94 — formerly known as School — has built a reputation across the blogosphere for a sound consisting of shimmering guitars, swirling synths, sinuous bass lines and propulsive drumming with ethereal vocals as you would have heard on “So Long,” a single, which I wrote about back in December 2014.

“Common Sense,” the Swedish quartet’s latest single and first single off their forthcoming EP Bound is an urgent and swooning track that has the band pairing four-on-the-floor drumming with layers of jangling guitars, shimmering and chiming synths, propulsive bass lines with frontwoman Alice Boteus’ clear and plaintive pop belter vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though it draws from both The Smiths, New Order and Haerts simultaneously — in other words while possessing a gorgeous melody, the song manages to evoke the urgency, passion and awkwardness of young love.

 

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