Category: New Single

Earlier this month, I had written about California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Shana Falana. Before relocating to New York in 2006, Falana had spent time in San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene in a number of projects and and in a Bulgarian women’s choir. By the time Falana had relocated, the California-born singer/songwriter and guitarist had been struggling through both debilitating drug addiction and money woes, when she had lost part of her index finger in a work-related accident.  And while under most normal circumstances such an event may be considered extremely unlucky, the settlement money the California-born, New York-based singer/songwriter received actually provided her a period of financial stability that allowed her the much needed time and space she needed to overcome her addictions and find a new focus in her life and music.

Reportedly, much of the music on Falana’s much-anticipated sophomore full-length effort Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized both during one of the most difficult periods of her life and in the subsequent years that followed, and has been continually refined over the the years. And as result the album thematically is centered around one of the most common dualities of all of our lives, “then and now” or better yet, who we thought we were then and who we were then, who we think we are now and who we are now — and how emotional turmoil can influence our continuous transformation. Interestingly, as Falana has mentioned in press notes on the new album, “Somehow, I knew those songs would serve me well later,” and at least one of Here Comes the Wave‘s songs reportedly foreshadows its creator’s eventual sobriety while other songs reportedly accept the passing of youth, the death of her father and other themes that come up as one gets older.

Interestingly, Here Comes the Wave also manages to be the second collaboration with producer D. James Goodwin, best known for his work with Bob WeirWhitney and Kevin Morby and with her long-time partner, collaborator and drummer Mike Amari. And the album has Goodwin and Amari playing much larger roles than on Falana’s debut as the collaborative trio went for audacious sounds and heightened moments — and for being bold as possible.  Last month, I wrote about the album’s first single “Lie 2 Me,” a single that had Falana and Amari pairing enormous and buzzing power chord-heavy riffs and thunderous drumming with Falana’s anguished howls before ending with an explosive blast of feedback before slowly fading out. Lyrically, the song is full of bitter recrimination, accusation, self-doubt, self-flagellation and dysfunction -–and as a result, the song feels bilious and fucked up while sonically nodding at L7PJ Harvey and others.

Here Comes The Wave‘s second and latest single “Cloudbeats,” is a gauzy and hopeful bit of shoegaze that sonically nods at A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, as underneath its shimmering surface is an array of conflicting emotion: the song’s narrator has the wherewithal to look at a future in which she’s sober and has her life together, while openly suggesting to herself, “it’ll get better, trust me — but with the acknowledgement that in order to get there, sometimes one has to go through the sturm und rang of life first. By far, the song manages to be the most viscerally honest and heartfelt portrayal of booth addition and recovery I’ve heard in some time.

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d likely be familiar with La Sera, the recording project of Vivian Girls‘ and All Saints Day‘s Katy Goodman. Initially begun as a solo side project, Goodman’s La Sera found an increasingly growing national profile with the release of her first three critically applauded albums — the project’s self-titled debut, her sophomore effort, Sees the Light and her third effort, Hour of the Dawn. Each subsequent album found Goodman experimenting and expanding upon her sound with Hour of the Down revealing an 80s guitar pop influence, clearly drawing from The SmithsThe Pretenders, and others.

Goodman released her fourth La Sera album, Music For Listening To Music To earlier this year and at its core, the material revealed an artist who has gone through a series of personal and artistic transitions that heavily influenced the material’s lyrical themes and concerns — while further cementing Goodman’s burgeoning reputation for crafting shimmering guitar pop paired with infectious hooks and Goodman’s plaintive, ethereal vocals. One of the biggest personal and creative transitions was that Goodman’s husband Todd Wisenbaker, who may best be known as a member of Music For Listening‘s producer, Ryan Adams‘ backing band and Hour of the Dawn‘s producer, officially joined as a cowriter, guitarist and collaborator. And for a song like “I Need an Angel,” the material manages to nod both at The Smiths’ “This Charming Man,” and Johnny Cash‘s and June Carter Cash‘s “Jackson” thanks in part to the alternating boy-girl verses, and their harmonizing on the song’s hook and chorus.

Goodman and Wisenbaker will be releasing Music For Listening to Music To‘s follow-up and continuation of sorts, Queens EP today and you might remember that earlier this month I wrote about the upbeat, propulsive and shimmering EP title track, which was written while Wisenbaker was on a leisurely stroll through East Hollywood at dusk one night. And as Goodman adds, “To me, the song stands for being an important, passionate, loving person in your own life, every day.” The EP’s second and latest single changes things up quite a bit — mainly because it’s a strutting and swaggering homage/cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love.” And while being a somewhat straightforward cover sonically, Goodman’s vocals add a completely different interpretation and feel to a beloved and familiar song; in fact, her vocals add a feminine sultriness. Interestingly, the La Sera cuts the end section of the original, presumably to be gender neutral — and that decision also adds its own series of interpretations to a familiar and beloved song.

Goodman, Wisenbaker and the members of their backing band will be on tour throughout October to support both Music For Listening Music To and to the Queens EP and it’ll include two NYC area dates  — October 22, 2016 at the Mercury Lounge and an early October 23, 2016 at Baby’s All Right. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES: 

10/07 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
10/08 San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
10/09 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/10 Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
10/12 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
10/13 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
10/14 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
10/15 St Louis, MO @ Firebird
10/16 Nashville, TN @ High Watt
10/18 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/19 Chapel Hill, NC @ Pinhook
10/20 Washington, DC @ Song Byrd
10/22 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
10/23 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (early)
10/25 Boston, MA @ Brookline Teen Center
10/26 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
10/28 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
10/29 Detroit, MI @ El Club
10/30 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/01 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
11/02 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
11/03 Reno, NV @ Holland Project
11/04 San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
11/05 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater

Comprised of Aaron Lloyd Barr (vocals, guitar), who doubles as a visual artist by day; Eric Arikian (bass), a member of Let’s Be Loveless and Ben Reynolds (drums), a member of Slang King, Del Caesar is a New York-based indie rock trio that specializes in a power chord riff and anthemic hook-driven, swaggering garage rock sound, adding themselves to a growing list of both locally and nationally known acts, including the likes of High Waisted, Raccoon Fighter, White Mystery and others. And while possessing the necessary swagger that the genre requires, the band’s material is rooted not in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle but in ordinary, everyday experiences — relationship problems, having big ambitions and dreams, the working for the man doldrums, etc. paired with gritty and grungy riffs, a driving backbeat and howled lyrics, recorded in mono and straight to tape, as you’ll hear on “Like They Always Say,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming EP, EP 2 slated for a November 11, 2016 release through the band’s own label Reheated Spaghetti Records.

What I personally love about the single is the fact that much like their contemporaries, their material sounds as though it could have been recorded and released in 1965, down to its “nah, nah, nah” hook. And while drawing from the same youthful exuberance and spirit, the single manages to evoke the very basics of what rock ‘n’ roll always has been about — a bunch of cats hanging around, stumbling onto something that sounds kind of cool and pairing them with lyrics based on their own frustrations and observations.

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past couple of years, you may have come across a handful of posts on punk rock trio Terry Malts. Comprised of Corey Cunningham (guitar vocals), Phil Benson (bass, vocals) and Nathan Sweatt (drums), the members of the trio have developed a reputation for doing things in prototypical fashion;  in fact, the trio self-produced and self-recorded their first two albums in their rehearsal space. Since the 2013 release of their critically applauded effort, Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere, the members of the punk rock band have been pretty busy. After a busy schedule that included playing a number of local shows and national touring, Cunningham and Benson had spent the better part of the following year writing, re-writing and revising the material that would eventually comprise their long-awaited third full-length effort, Last At The Party in Los Angeles, where Cunningham had relocated.

Now, as you may remember, earlier this month I wrote about “Seen Everything,” Last At The Party‘s first single, and that single revealed a decided change in sonic direction. Reportedly, during the writing sessions for PartyCunningham and Benson had decided that for their third album, that they wanted to broaden the band’s sound by creating a kaleidoscopic pop album that had a mixture of moods, with each song turning  to a different sound inspired by the albums that influenced and inspired the band over the years. And as a result, the album’s material manages to retain the something of the gritty and grimy punk rock that first caught the attention of the blogosphere, while equally drawing from jangling and shimmering indie pop and power pop.  Once they were finished writing and felt they were ready to record, the members of the band then enlisted Monte Vallier, best known for his work with Soft Moon and Weekend Swell to co-produce the band’s first album actually recorded in a professional studio.

The album’s second single “Used To Be” much like its predecessor possesses a professional studio sheen while retaining the band’s uncanny penchant for crafting catchy hooks but where “Seen Everything” was a bit scuzzier, “Used To Be” has the band pairing a bittersweet and wistful nostalgia over the things that have and will continue to irrevocably change — i.e. relationships that come and go, complete with their lingering ghosts, resentments and unfinished business — while at the same time, possessing an almost Zen-like acceptance of impermanence. And they do so with a radio-friendly, power pop feel.

The band will be touring to support the new effort, check out the tour dates below. And it includes an October 24 stop at Shea Stadium.

 

Tour Dates

Oct 8 – Carmel, CA The Rumpus
Oct 9 – Los Angeles, CA –  The Hi Hat,(Release show w/ Devon Williams & Susan)
Oct 10 – San Francisco, CA – Hemlock (Release show w/ Chook Race & Lovebirds)
Oct 22 – Baltimore, MD – U+N Fest
Oct 23 –  Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Oct 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Shea Stadium
Oct 25 – Allston, MA – O’Brien’s Pub
Oct 27 – Detroit, MI – UFO Factory
Oct 28 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
Oct 29  – St Louis, MO – San Loo
Nov 18 – Seattle, WA – Vera Project
Nov 19 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar

 

While most Westerners are most likely familiar with Afrobeat, Malian blues and several other genres that have hit European and American shores since the early 1970s, there’s actually a lesser known genre primarily based in the Western African nations of Togo and Benin called vaudou, named after both the culture and rituals that birthed it; in fact, part of vaudou rituals reportedly involve the use of characteristic lines sung to various divinities that differ wildly from everything one may hear in neighboring cultures. Sadly, many of the genre’s key figures including Poly-Rythmo of Cotonou, Dama Damawuzan, or El Rego have had their popularity confined to crate-digging and groove-obsessed Afro-groove and Afro-funk fans.

 

Lome, Togo-born and Lyon, France– based Peter Solo (lead vocals and guitar) stumbled upon this energetic Afro-funk and found a natural extension between vaudou and the blues, funk and R&B of James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and others. Solo then recruited Vicente Fritis (keys, backing vocals), Ghislain Paillard (sax, percussion and backing vocals), Guillhem Parguel (trombone, percussion, backing vocals), Jeremy Garcia (bass, backing vocals) and Hafid Zouaoui (drums, backing vocals) to complete his band Vaudou Game.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d know that I’m frequently multi-tasking while working on posts and it has lead to the serendipitous discovery of a handful of acts that I’ve written about — including the aforementioned Vaudou Game. Check out “Revolution,” the opening track off the band’s latest effort Kidayu, a single with an infectious and deep groove reminiscent of early 70s James Brown (think of “The Payback”), and Open and Close/Afrodesiac-era Fela Kuti and Pazy and the Black Hippies’ Wa Ho Ha with lyrics sung both in English and one of the local dialects spoken in Togo — while being equally politically charged.

 

Led by its founding member Toby Pazner, a member of Lee Fields and The Expressions and El Michels Affair; and featuring Dave Guy, a member of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Band and The Dap-Kings; Leon Michels, a member of The Arcs, Lee Fields and The Expressions and El Michels Affair; Nicholas Movshon, a member of The Arcs, Lee Fields and The Expressions and El Michels Affair; Homer Steinweiss, a member of The Dap-Kings and The Arcs; Michael Leonheart, Steely Dan‘s musical director and a member of David Byrne‘s backing band; Neal Sugarman, a member of The Dap-Kings and The Sugarman 3; Aaron Johnson, a member of Antibalas and El Michels Affair; Evan Pazner, a member of Lee Fields and The Expressions, The Olympians are a Daptone Records All-Star band who can trace their origins to when founding member Toby Pazner recruited a bunch of New York’s finest soul musicians during the 2008 Summer Olympics to record material that would comprise the collective’s first 45, which was released through Truth and Soul Records.

However, as the story goes, it wasn’t until a few years later, when Pazner was touring Greece and the Greek Islands when his true vision for the project materialized. After playing the Acropolis and swimming in the Aegean Sea, Pazner had a series of recurring dreams in which he was visited by an ancient, toga-clad, curly-haired Greek man, who told him to return home and build a “Temple of Sound.” And in that temple, Pazner was to retell the tales of Ancient Greece through music. Of course, considering the strangeness of those dreams, Pazner initially ignored them but since they were recurring and so vividly forceful, Pazner began to feel a decided urgency. When Pazner finished the tour, he returned to New York with a singular focus on completing The Olympians’ full-length debut and he immediately went to work acquiring the best studio equipment he could get his hands on. He then promptly followed that up by recruiting his Daptone Records friends  to help him flesh out the material that would comprise the collective’s self-titled album, slated for an October 28, 2016 release.

The self-titled album’s latest single “Apollo’s Mood” is a smooth, old-school soul inspired composition featuring the Daptone horn players, some of the best, contemporary horn players in the entire world paired with a twinkling, twisting and turning organ chords, a slow-burning and sinuous bass line, and a steady back beat. And although contemporary — in the sense that the musicians who composed and recorded the song are contemporary — the song sounds and feels as though it could have been recorded in 1963.

 

 

 

 

DANGERS is a Los Angeles, CA-based hardcore punk trio, comprised of Alfred Brown IV (vocals), Justin Smith (guitar), Anthony Rivera (drums), Chris Conde (bass) and since their formation in 2005, the trio have developed a reputation for doing things in true DIY fashion — including playing basements, garages, living rooms, squats, banquet halls, high school auditoriums and countless other unusual set ups across the US, UK, Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia. Adding to that reputation, the trio released their first two, critically applauded full-length efforts through their own label, Vitriol Records; however, the band’s forthcoming third full-length effort, The Bend in the Break finds the band releasing the album through Topshelf Records, and with the album’s first single “Kiss With Spit,” finds the band expanding upon their sound while retaining the elements that first caught the blogosphere’s attention. Interestingly, “Kiss With Spit,” had the trio pairing layers of scuzzy and acidic guitar chords, thundering drumming, a persistent bass line and howled vocals in a way that sounds reminiscent of MelvinsMetz and Nirvana — in particular, think of “Dive,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Breed,” complete with a tense, mosh pit worthy fury.

The album’s second and latest single, album title track “The Bend In The Break” continues along the vein of its predecessor — tense, angular power chord-based dirged in which  thundering drumming, furiously howled vocals are paired with a shouted and anthemic hook in a song that structurally consists of loud and even louder sections. Interestingly, the song reminds me a bit of Sugar Army‘s 2009 release, The Parallels Amongst Ourselves but with an equally mosh pit worthy fury.

If you’re out on the West Coast throughout late October, check out the tour dates below. In the meantime, we’ll be awaiting some East Coast dates for the band.

 

TOUR DATES
* = w/ with Super Unison

OCT 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
OCT 21 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! Records *
OCT 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ TBD
OCT 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ All-Star Lanes *
NOV 10 – Portland, OR @ Blackwater
NOV 11 – Tacoma, WA @ Real Art
NOV 12 – Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge (w/ The Exquisites)
NOV 13 – Bremerton, WA @ The Tiki House (matinee show)

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may have come across a couple of posts on the somewhat mysterious Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Sibling. Now you may recall that the duo received quite a bit of buzz with the release of their debut single “Easy,” and they followed it up with “Westside,” a single that had the duo paired a sparse production consisting of shimmering cascades of synths, an anthemic hook and pop belter vocals in a radio friendly song that swooned with a bittersweet longing. “Revolve,” which quickly followed may arguably be the most dramatic and cinematic song they’ve released as they paired a production featuring twinkling piano keys, undulating synths and swirling electronics with sultry pop star vocals.

The duo’s latest single “Rearview” will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting earnest songs with anthemic, larger-than-life hooks and while sonically bearing an uncanny resemblance to the likes of Katy Perry, Sia and others as the song’s radio-friendly production features swirling electronics, stomping boom-bap drums and neon bright synths; however, despite the radio-friendly sound, the song possesses a bittersweet ache at its core, as the song’s narrator focuses on an desperate and unrequited love with a close friend — the sort in which the narrator is torn between the hurt of a love that can never be, the closeness that they have and the cherished memories they’ve made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beat Escape is a rather mysterious Montreal-based DJ and production duo and their latest single “Seeing Is Forgetting” is an atmospheric and moody track in which cascading layers of shimmering synths, swirling electronics, shimmering guitar chords and hauntingly ethereal vocals and harmonies are paired with a motorik groove consisting of propulsive bass lines and persistent drum programming. And while evoking waking from a particularly vivid dream — the sort in which you can’t quite tell what was a dream or what was real; the song sonically owes a debt to 80s synth pop and contemporary dream pop.

 

 

Unless you’ve been living under a cave for the better part of the past 15 years, if you’re a hip hop head, you’d be familiar with New York-based emcee Jadakiss both as a member of The LOX and DMX’s Ruff Ryders crew and for recording four solo albums — with the most recent being 2015’s Top 5 Dead or Alive. RRose RRome is New York-based emcee and founder of Real Right Empire, and the two New York-based emcees recently teamed up for
“Ziploc,” a swaggering, boom-bap street anthem using a sample from Nas‘ and Lauryn Hill’sIf I Ruled The World” that’s recently been taking over the airwaves at my hometown’s two super conglomerate hip hop and bullshit dispensaries. And although I don’t have a ton of respect for my cities’ local hip hop stations, this particular single brings it all back to basics — emcees spitting and bragging over dope beats and scratching.