Category: New Audio

Although she’s the daughter of Alan Menken, the pianist and musical theater and film composer famously known for composing the scores of several beloved Disney animated films — including Beauty and the BeastAladdinThe Little MermaidThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas and others, the New York-based singer/songwriter and JOVM mainstay artist Anna Rose has developed a growing national profile with the release of her self-titled EP, her full-length debut effort Nomad and her sophomore effort, Behold A Pale Horse. Whereas both her self-titled EP and Nomad were mostly acoustic-leaning singer/songwriter efforts with conversational and confessional lyrics, Behold A Pale Horse was a both a change of sonic direction and a bold, brassy announcement of an artist who finally found her most natural and singular voice. But if there’s one thing that holds all three of those efforts together, it’s the fact that all of them reveal that New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist as a complicated and interesting woman who kicks ass and takes names, who is strong yet vulnerable, seductive yet innocent, wizened through experience and yet youthful.

Slated for release in 2016, Strays In The Cut EP is the long awaited follow-up  to Behold A Pale Horse and the EP reportedly has the New York-based singer/songwriter pushing her musical and songwriting boundaries. As Anna Rose explains in press notes  “I am very much an album artist and a storyteller, so the idea of scaling it all back to the size of an EP was a challenge in itself. It forced me to look at the songs in a different way, the production, everything. These six songs needed to tell the whole story. The limitations I placed on the length made the process so much more imaginative in every other aspect.” “Start A War,” Strays In The Cut‘s first single possesses a somewhat stripped down, country and blues-leaning arrangement that’s roomy enough for Rose’s unhurried and expressive vocals. It’s a slow-burning and spectral ballad full of lingering ghosts of past relationships and lovers, past resentments and a past that routinely finds a way to poke its way through your present at a random moment. But the song does so with a quiet and understanding acceptance a a subtle sense of regret.

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With the release of his 2013 full-length debut effort to critical acclaim, Ghosts In The Attic, Austin, TX-based indie folk singer/songwriter Reed Turner exploded on to the national map. As a result of the attention on the album, Turner wound up sharing stages with an impressive list of acclaimed artists including Gary Clark, Jr., Mark Broussard, Will Hoge and Jessica Lea Mayfield, among many others — and the album wound up on several “Best Of” lists that year.

After a year of solitude marked by health issues, Turner turned his backyard shed into a makeshift workspace and studio, compelled to create rather than wallow. Along with his backing band, Turner and company wrote and recorded material that would wind up comprising his forthcoming Native Tongue EP live to tape on an old Studer A827, much like  how they did during the Sun Records days.

As you’ll hear on Native Tongue‘s first single and EP opening track “I Got Love” possesses a bluesy, shuffling stomp and swing reminiscent of Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf   — in particular I think of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Get Rhythm,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Poor Boy (The London Sessions version),” Muddy Waters’ “Mean Ol’ Frisco Blues,” and Bo Diddley‘s “Who Do You Love” (although George Thorogood‘s version is infinitely better). And much like those songs, it feels as though it could have been recorded around that period, as it possesses the looseness of a band playing at a dirty whiskey bar or an old fashioned honky tonk. But interestingly enough the song balances an old-timey sweetness beneath the stomp and braggadocio; it’s the sort of song you’d can picture couples line dancing, swing dancing or blues dancing late into the night.

 

 

Currently comprised of Brigid Dawson (vocals and tambourine), Petey Damnit (a.k.a. Petey Damnit!) Mike Shoun (drums) and led by the band’s founder member and creative mastermind, John Dwyer (vocals and guitar),  San Francisco-based quarter Thee Oh Sees have developed a reputation both regionally and nationally for being incredibly prolific, as they’ve released over a dozen albums since their official formation back in 2004 — and for being relentlessly experimental, as each album they’ve released has been decidedly different, while remaining true to their garage rock/psych rock origins. And naturally, as result of their prolificacy, their reputation for sweaty, raucous, and punishing live set and their ability to craft mind-melting power chord-based rock, the Bay Area-based outfit has become a JOVM mainstay and blogosphere darlings.

 

2015 has been a big year for Dwyer and associates as they released the critically acclaimed Mutilator Defeated At Last, arguably one of the heaviest and hardest hitting efforts the band has released in recent memory. And they’ll close out the year playing a number of live shows — including a two night benefit concert for L.A. Kitchen, a Los Angeles-based charity, whose mission is to provide healthy meals to the area’s homeless and help unemployed and unskilled men and women for jobs and more. But they also will close out the year with the announcement of the release of the “Fortress”/”Man In A Suitcase” 7 inch, slated for a February 12 release through Dwyer’s renowned Castle Face Records.

The material for the new 7 inch is culled from the Mutilator Defeated sessions and acts as an addendum of sorts to the album, as well as a teaser for a full-length slated for release sometime in 2016. A Side single “Fortress” is probably the most prog rock-leaning song Dwyer and associates have released in some time, as the song consists of propulsive and forceful, motorik-like groove, a throbbing bass line, breakneck, mind-melting guitar chords and falsetto vocals — all of which give the song an anxious, buzzing and nightmarish feel that evokes the sensation of restless tossing and turning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates 

Wednesday 12/16 Los Angeles, CA (L.A. Kitchen benefit) – Buy Tickets
Thursday 12/17 Los Angeles, CA (L.A. Kitchen benefit) – Buy Tickets
Thursday 12/31 Palm Springs CA, The Commune at Ace Hotel
Friday 1/8 Brisbane, Crow Bar
Saturday 1/9 Gold Coast, Shark Bar
Sunday 1/10 Byron Bay, The Northern
Wednesday 1/13 Newcastle, The Small Ballroom
Friday 1/15 Sydney, Newtown Social Club
Saturday 1/16 Wollongong, Wollongong Uni Bar
Tuesday 1/19 Geelong, Barwon Club
Wednesday 1/20 Melbourne, Howler
Saturday 1/23 Fremantle, Mojo’s Bar
Friday 2/12 Solana Beach, Belly Up Tavern
Wednesday 3/23 – Sunday 3/27 – Boise ID, Treefort Music Festival

 

 

Echo Courts is a Greensboro, NC-based quartet, who specialize in a jangling guitar-based psych pop that sonically seems as though it owed a great debt to the sounds of the 60s and 80s while subtly nodding at New Wave as you’ll hear on “Fairview Place,” the anthemic hook-laden new single off the band’s forthcoming No Damage EP, which is slated for a January 18 release through Already Dead Tapes and Records. It’s a warmly familiar sound that will likely remind many of 120 Minutes-era MTV.

You can catch the North Carolina-based quartet on tour throughout the Southeast to start 2016. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates

 

1/2/2016 – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
1/3/2016 – Atlanta, GA – Mammal Gallery
1/4/2016 – Birmingham, AL – Trim Tab Brewery
1/5/2016 – Jackson, MS – Big Sleepy’s
1/62016 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
1/7/2016 – Tallahassee, FL – Midtown Speakeasy
1/8/2016 – Savannah, GA – The Sentient Bean
1/9/2016 – Charleston, SC – The Royal American

 

Most Americans would be familiar with Stockholm, Sweden‘s capital and largest city; however, over the last decade or so, Umea, Sweden’s third (and most Northern) and Malmo, Sweden’s twelfth (and most Southern)  that have emerged with reputations for being some of Scandinavia’s most exciting creative hotbeds as an increasing number of artists and bands from Umea and Malmo have started to receive international recognition. Some of those acts have been profiled here — including the Malmo, Sweden-based lo-fi rock quintet YAST.

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you might recall that I’ve written about the Southern Swedish quintet before. The band can trace its origins to when its founding members Carl Kolbaek-Jensen, Tobias Widman and Marcus Norberg met in the steel town Sandviken in 2007 and started writing and playing music  as a way to escape a dreary life in even drearier environs. By the following year, Jensen, Widman and Norberg relocated to Malmo which has developed a reputation for a growing dream pop and indie rock scene. Some time later, Markus Johansson and Niklas Wennerstrand, who were both members of Aerial were recruited to flesh out the band’s sound.

With the release of their self-titled debut released in 2013, the Swedish quintet started to receive attention both in their native Sweden and internationally, and as a result they’ve opened for renowned psych rock acts including TOYThe DrumsTame ImpalaDIIV,  and they’ve made appearances at several large festivals, along with a UK tour, which suggests that the band’s international profile is growing — and rapidly.

The band’s sophomore album, My Dreams Did Finally Come True was released earlier this year through Adrian Recordings to international attention with the release of the album’s first two singles — in particular, “Together Forever,” a shimmering guitar-based pop song that managed to channel  120 Minutes era alternative rock. Building on the buzz they’ve received from their first two singles, My Dreams Did Finally Come True‘s third single “I Don’t Think She Knows” and its B-side “My Dreams” will further cement the band’s reputation for shimmering and slow-burning shoegaze-leaning guitar pop with anthemic hooks and an earnest, aching heart at its core — all while being remarkably buoyant and ebullient.

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over roughly the last 15-18 months or so, you may have come across a couple of posts on Scott Reitherman, the creative mastermind behind indie electro pop sensation, Pillar Point and the former frontman of pop act, Throw Me The Statue. With Pillar Point, Reitherman has received national attention for a melancholy yet bouncy electro pop sound primarily comprised of vintage, analog synthesizers, drum kits and sleek bass lines. It’s a sound that’s been compared favorably to several blogosphere darling acts including Washed Out, LCD Soundsystem and others.

While touring to support his solo debut with of Montreal , Reitherman was planning to write and record his sophomore full-length effort, Marble Mouth in his Seattle home when Kevin Barnes unexpectedly invited him to record the album in his home studio. As soon as the tour wrapped up, Reitherman spent several months crafting demos and went to Barnes’ home to flesh out, refine and then record Marble Mouth‘s material with contributions from Washed Out’s drummer Cameron Gardener and Kishi Bashi‘s percussionist Philip Mayer. Reitherman then spent a six month sent in New Orleans writing and refining both the album’s lyrics and vocals. And as Reitherman explained in press notes, New Orleans managed to influence the album’s lyrical direction.“New Orleans was the most meditative and mysterious part of making the record,” Reitherman explained. “I wanted to sink into that city and scrutinize the romantic southern sojourn.”

Marble Mouth’s first single, album opening track “Part Time Love” paired layers of twitchy and cascading synths with propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming and Reitherman’s ethereal cooing to craft a sound that’s reminiscent of Talking HeadsTobacco and others, while it subtly nodded at Top 40 pop; in other words, the sound is tense, neurotic and incredibly danceable and accessible pop with infectious hooks. The album’s latests single “Dove” pairs confessional R&B/pop-leaning lyrics sung with Reitherman’s achingly plaintive and emotive vocals with house music-leaning production comprised of layers of cascading synths, skittering drum programming, a glitchy and dramatic string sample and swirling electronics in what may be arguably the most club-friendly song of the entire album.


Classically trained, Toronto, ON-born, Los Angeles-based soul/pop singer/songwriter Crystyna Marie has had a lengthy music career, which can be traced to when she was teenager — she has been in and played with a number of Ontario-based acts and had been featured as a demo singer for a number of locally-based indie labels. After relocating to Los Angeles, the Canadian-born singer/songwriter had a stint in a pop act, Greencat; however, writing and releasing her own music with her own voice was where her real passion was.

As a result of her own experience as an artist, who has been with a number of labels, Marie decided that in order to shape her sound the way the she felt fit, that releasing music completely on her own was necessary. “Loaded Gun,” is the first single off the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s forthcoming EP, slated for a February 29, 2016 release pairs Chrystyna Marie’s sultry and soulful vocals with a classic bluesy and soulful sound — propulsive yet simple rhythms, soaring hooks and 12 bar blues-based guitar chords and bursts of keyboards in a song that has its narrator describes the heady first days of a new love to a loaded gun — something that could quickly be combustible and unpredictable.

Unlike many of her soul, pop and blues-inspired contemporaries,  Chrystyna Marie’s debut single possesses an underlying sense of danger along with the prerequisite sultry seductiveness.

 

With the release of their first two albums, the Seaside, CA-based quartet Burnt Palms, comprised of  Riley (guitar and vocals), Clara Nieto (drums and vocals), Brian Dela Cruz (bass) and Joshua Vasquez, have been compared favorably to the likes of Dum Dum Girls, All Girl Summer Fun Band and Heavenly as their sound paired garage rock guitar chords with Riley’s ethereal vocals. However, with the forthcoming release of the band’s third full-length effort, Back on My Way, the Seaside, CA-based quartet has gone through a decided change of sonic direction with the band pairing indie pop melodies with thrash punk-like rhythms as you’ll hear on “Fold,” the brash and and snotty new single off the band the album.

Listening to the song reminds me of catching punk bands at the old Acme Underground, the Continental, Coney Island High, Brownies and countless other small, dank rooms across the city — but interestingly enough, the song possesses a bittersweetness that gives the song a snarling bite.

 

 

 

 

 

The up-and-coming Winnipeg, MB-based quartet Living Hour can trace their origins to basement jam sessions, writing dreamy songs inspired by the cinematic sky of their hometown. And as a result their sound, which possesses elements of shimmering guitar pop, swirling synths and ethereal vocals draws equally from classic shoegaze, dream pop and chillwave is both stunningly gorgeous and dramatic, as you’ll hear on their  latest single “Seagull,” a single that sounds as though it could have been released during 120 Minutes-era MTV — in particular think of Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You” and you’ll see exactly what I’m getting at.  (In other words, it’s the sort of song that would have been the soundtrack of an intense and fervent make out session — or would have been the soundtrack of a teenaged breakup.)

It’s been a busy year or so for the Canadian quartet. They contributed two songs to Family Portrait II, a vinyl compilation released by the London/Bristol-based label Art is Hard Records back in April and released a limited run cassette tape of their self titled debut effort through Bloomington, IN-based Tree Machine Records. But 2016 looks to be a breakout year for the band as they signed with Lefse Records, and will be releasing their full-length debut on February 19, 2016, which will be followed by a tour to support the effort. Check out some of the early tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES:


March 3    Winnipeg, MB    The Good Will Social Club
March 4    Fargo, ND    The Aquarium
March 6    Des Moines, IA    Des Moines Social Club
March 7    Rock Island, IL    Rozz Tox
March 9    St Louis, MO    Foam
March 11    Denver, CO    Lion’s Lair
March 13    Phoenix, AZ     Trunk Space
March 18    Santa Barbara    CA    FUNZONE
March 19    Fresno    CA    Peeves Pub
March 22    Santa Cruz    CA    Bocci’s Cellar
March 25    Davis    CA    Third Art Space Collective
March 29    Portland    OR    The Analog Cafe
March 31    Bellingham    WA    Loudhouse
April 2    Rossland    BC    The Flying Steamshovel
April 3    Kamloops    BC    Zacks Coffee