Titus Calderbank is an up-and-coming Vancouver, British Columbia-based singer/songwriter and musician, who according to his Facebook fan page is “determined to create songs that inspire and motivate.” Calderbank’s latest single “Mistakes” is an sparsely arranged yet heartfelt and anthemic ballad, centered around twinkling piano, soaring organ, strummed guitar and the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter’s soulful and aching Sam Fender-like vocals.
Recorded at Vancouver’s Echoplant Sound Studio with Ryan Worsley, the song as Calderbank explains in press notes “is a song about failure and regret. A song about missing the mark. It’s also a song of redemption and asking for forgiveness. Humans often fail short. At the end of the day, we have to a accept that we’re tall trying our best.” Calderbank adds, “What I hope to communicate through this song is that mercy and forgiveness are always an option. We can either be slaves to our past mistakes or make peace with them and move on. We can grace our enemies with forgiveness or we can die with bitter hearts.”
Over the course of their decade together, the New York-based indie rock act Big Eyes, which is comprised of Kait Eldridge (vocals, guitar), Paul Ridenour (guitar, backing vocals), Jeff Ridenour (bass) and Scott McPherson (drums), have explored nearly all corners of guitar-based music, eventually landing on a sound that meshes elements of hard rock, punk and grunge paired with introspective lyrics focusing on their shifting residencies between the Pacific Northwest and New York, as well as their own interpretations of current events.
The band’s latest effort Streets of the Lost was released earlier this year through Greenway Records, and the album’s latest single the brooding, grunge rock-like”Nearly Got Away” is centered around fuzzy and distortion pedal-fed power chords, thunderous drumming, a rousingly anthemic hook and Eldridge’s ironically delivered vocals — and while recalling 120 Minutes-era alt rock, the track is imbued with an uneasy tension.
Directed by Kait Eldridge, the recently released video for “Nearly Got Away” stars the band’s Eldridge as a lonely woman, who becomes a serial killer, something that the band’s frontwoman has long been fascinated by and has spent a lot of time studying.
With the release of their debut EP Rubicon and “Make Time,” the up-and-coming Brisbane, Australia-based indie rock quartet Future Haunts quickly emerged into their homeland’s national scene, landing opening slots for Middle Kids and Horror My Friend, a well as a set at Hidden Lanes Festival. Interestingly, besides making a handful of live appearances last year, the members of the Brisbane-based act spent most of last year writing and self-recording new material — including their latest single “Weather Vane.”
Recorded at Plutonium Studios and mixed by Miro Mackie, the up-and-coming Aussie quartet’s latest single finds the band gently pushing the boundaries of their sound and songwriting in a new direction. Now, while the song will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting atmospheric 4AD Records and 120 Minutes-like jangling guitar pop, the track is centered by a rousingly anthemic hook that suggests that the relatively young band has grown more self-assured and ambitious in their songwriting and overall approach. Lyrically, the song as the band’s Ben Speight explains in press notes, “discusses breaking through the endless amount of choices life throws your way and finding a sense of direction. It’s about learning to accept the things you can’t change, becoming comfortable with who you are and placing your energy on the things that you can.”
Shot by the members of the up-and-coming Aussie indie rock band on film and camcorder, the video follows the the band as they self-record the single at Plutonium Studios, play pool and watch Australian Rules Football at a local pub, shoot hoops, goof off and play a gig at a local club. While focusing on the immediate present, the video manages a subtly nostalgic tone — imbued with the recognition that youthful good times don’t last.
JOVM mainstay Mike Deni is a New Jersey-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electro pop artist and producer, best known for his solo recording project Geographer. As the story goes, Deni relocated to San Francisco while living in the aftermath of the sudden and tragic death of his sister — and then the equally unexpected death of his father. While sleeping on a floor of a friend’s Haight-Ashbury apartment, Deni serendipitously found a synthesizer on the street and began to channel his grief and optimism into the songs that would eventually comprise his full-length debut 2008’s Innocent Ghost. And through the release of two more full-length albums 2012’s Myth, 2015’s Ghost Modern and three EPs, 2010’s Animal Shapes EP, 2015’s Endless Motion EP and last year’s Alone Time EP, Deni has received attention across the blogosphere for his unique, textured and soulful blend of analog, electronic and acoustic elements, a sound that he has described as “soulful music from outer space.”
Building upon a growing profile, Deni has toured with the likes of K. Flay, The Flaming Lips, Young The Giant, Tycho, Ratatat, Betty Who and Tokyo Police Club, and he played sets at Outside Lands Festival and Firefly Festival. Interestingly, last year the JOVM mainstay gave up his San Francisco apartment and hopped between tours and friends churches for the next six months, including a month stay back in Jersey and a few weeks in Italy (where both sides of his family are from). And he did that before finally relocating to Los Angeles. During that period of shiftlessness in which he was in limbo between his old life and new life, Deni wound up writing the material, which would eventually comprise his recently released New Jersey EP.
Many of the songs of the New Jersey EP began in his childhood home and were finished at a friend’s Los Angeles home while he was looking for an apartment; in fact, the EP’s first two singles “Love is Wasted in the Dark” and its latest single “Summer of My Discontentment” were part of the first batches of material written during that period. “Summer of My Discontentment” is a perfect example of the JOVM mainstay’s specialty — swooning and earnest 80s-inspired synth pop, centered around a twinkling and arpeggiated piano, thumping beats, a soaring hook and Deni’s plaintive and aching vocals; but unlike some of his previously released material, the song possesses a wistful air that comes from nostalgia for a long-gone, seemingly simpler time that you can’t have ever again — and the dreams your younger self may have given up for the compromises of adulthood.
Directed by Patrick Mattes, the recently released accompanying video follows a group of young people, full of youthful hopes and dreams on a gloriously sunny day while Deni broodingly sings the song from a different vantage point, during sunset. In some way, the video implies that the action are the reflections and reminiscing of the video’s central character — from the perspective of a complicated adulthood.
Little Galaxies is an up-and-coming Venice Beach, CA indie rock quartet, currently comprised of founding members Jeanna Fournier (vocals, guitar) and Amir Eshraghi (guitar, theremin) along with Andreas Kvinge Sandes (bass) and Christian Johnson (drums), and the band can trace its origins to when Fournier and Eshraghi met and fell inn love. With the release of their full-length debut 2013’s Patterns, the quartet quickly established a textured sound that draws from psych rock, pop, folk and soul.
The Venice Beach indie quartet has received praise across a number of renowned sites across the blogosphere including Earmilk, Buzzbands LA , The Bay Bridged and print publications like OC Weekly, and The Deli Magazine; in fact, the band won The Deli Magazine‘s Emerging Los Angeles Artist of the Year Award, which led to a feature in that publication’s SXSW print edition. Building upon a growing profile. the band also won KSCR‘s Best Music Video and Best Feel Good Video award for “Tonight.” Building upon a growing regional and national profile, the band has played shows and festivals across Southern California, toured up and down the West Coast, eventually making their way as far east to Austin, TX. Most recently, the band was commissioned by the Mayor of Salton Sea’s West Shores to compose the closing song for the documentary SOS: The Salton Sea Walk.
After a three year hiatus in which Fournier recovered from incurring injuries in a car accident, the band returned the stage last year with shows at the Townhouse, The Satellite, The Viper Room and others with those shows featured the band’s new rhythm section — Johnson (drums) and Sandnes (bass), both of whom have been instrumental in the band further expanding upon the sound that won them attention.
Little Galaxies are currently working on the finishing touches on their forthcoming sophomore full-length album, and the album’s first official single “It’s Natural” is centered around towering layers of shimmering guitars fed through delay and other effects pedals, a regal horn arrangement, a propulsive rhythm section and Fournier’s sultry and languid vocals. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstay Oddneese, the song as the band explains in press notes, “is about letting nature take its course when thing are out of our control and in dire circumstances, allowing oneself to become enlightened through these experiences. We wrote the song during the band’s hiatus while our singer was healing from injuries from a car accident. After watching our world collapse around us, we learned that we have the power to shift our perspectives and look at these pitfalls in a positive light. We took three years to rebuild what we had lost, and now see that this experience helped us to grow and come back stronger. This song is a call to embrace the natural ebb and flow of life and find the ‘diamonds in despair.'”
Earlier this week, I wrote about the up-and-coming Brighton, UK-based indie rock quartet Penelope Isles, and as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Devon, UK-born, Isle of Man-raised sibling songwriting duo Jack Wolter and Lily Wolter, along with Jack Sowton and Becky Redford is centered by the bond between Wolters, a bond that ironically was strengthened when Jack, who’s six years older moved out of the family home to study art when he was 19. “By the time I moved home, Lil was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon become very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting.”
While Lily Wolter studied in Brighton, she met Jack Sowton and Becky Redford, with whom she formed a band. As the story goes, when Lily Wolter returned home for the holidays, the idea of a forming a new band rapidly developed. Though Jack and Lily have long written separately, they chucked their disparate songs into a shared song pot, their new band was fueled by a passion for DIY alt rock/indie rock — and are influenced by the likes of Deerhunter, Pixies, Tame Impala, Radiohead and The Thrills among others.
The up-and-coming Brighton-based indie rock act recently signed to renowned indie label Bella Union Records, who will be releasing the British act’s full-length debut Until the Tide Creeps In. Slated for a July 12, 2019 release, Penelope Isles’ debut thematically is informed by the Wolters’ shared experience — in particular leaving home, moving away, dealing with the various transitions in life and growing up. “We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing writing music. Family, leaving home, disconnection and connection all ring bells!”
“Chlorine,” Until the Tide Creeps In’s Sleepy Sun-like album opener was centered around an arrangement that subtly bridges shimmering dream pop, shoegaze and fuzz pop — and while buoyant and seemingly ethereal, the song possessed a bracing quality, much like stepping into a cold shower. Interestingly, the song has an underlying emotional push and pull; the sort of complexity brought about by obligation and duty and the need to go out on your own. The forthcoming album’s latest single is the woozy “Round,” a track that sonically seems to mesh 70s AM rock with shoegaze as the track is centered by a looping and shimmering guitar line and a soaring hook. And much like it’s predecessor, the new single will further establish the band’s bracingly wistful take on a familiar and beloved sound — all while evoking the ebb and flow of complicated and ambivalent emotions.
Interestingly, Brooks has a complicated and messy upbringing. She grew up in a cult, and as a child, she found refuge in music.“It was a very chaotic upbringing, full of some pretty colourful and sometimes unsavoury, characters. But when I sang, I felt free and connected. For as long as I can remember, it’s been my way of getting what I need to say out,” she reveals in press notes. She began singing gospel, old spirituals and the songs from the likes of John Lennon and Elvis Presley — but by the time she was a teenager, she entertained her peers with soul renditions.
When she turned 16, the Bristol-based singer/songwriter turned down a spot at the renowned BRIT School. “It would be interesting to know what would have happened if I had gone there, but I try not to dwell on that,”Brooks says in press notes. “I always think that you’re where you’re meant to be. And if I had gone, I probably would have ended up writing slightly less authentically to myself. But who knows, because if all the things that have happened in my life nevertheless happened, maybe I still would have written the way I do.”
When Brooks turned 20, she became extremely ill and her life was on pause as she was convalescing; but as she was convalescing she joined a songwriters group led by her friend, Strangelove’s Patrick Duff. “We would get together and play our songs to each other. It was really therapeutic.” Around this time Brooks was convinced that she had to devote her time to music. “So one day I just put on my own gig at the (Bristol) Folk House,” she laughs. “I sort of became an artist and promoter overnight,” Brooks recalls.
Sadly, shortly after making the decision to focus on her music, the Bristol-based singer/songwriter experienced a turbulent period of heartbreak and tragedy: the year she turned 22, her mother became ill and died — and shortly after that, one of her best friends went missing and died. “That’s definitely had an effect on the course of my life, and my writing,” Brooks says in press notes. “People have come up to me after gigs, particularly after songs I wrote during that time, saying ‘there’s a lot of sadness in your songs’ and it’s like ‘well, yeah.’ But I guess I’m lucky that I have songs that I can write, as a means to deal with things.”
Along with those hardships, Brooks has struggled to come to terms with her own sexuality. “In my most recent work I’ve finally been able to sing directly about women instead of using the mysterious ‘you,’” Brooks mentions in press notes. “I’m a private person in a lot of ways and I never wanted to be a poster girl for anything. But a few years ago I just thought screw it; I want to sing completely honestly. It felt like a weight lifted.”
Brooks latest single is the classic soul-inspired ballad “All of Me.” Centered around a spectral arrangement featuring a looping 12 blues guitar, a gospel-like backing vocal section, a two-step inducing rhythm section and Brooks achingly plaintive and soulful vocals, the new single will further establish the Bristol-based singer/songwriter and guitarist’s ability to mesh craft, earnestness and ambitious songwriting in a thoughtful and natural fashion. But along with that much of Brooks’ material comes from real, lived-in places — in particular, the song’s narrator bitterly calls out a lover on their ambivalence. It was inspired by a personal situation with someone I was prepared to give my world to. They proclaimed deep love, but then proceeded to behave in ways that were completely incongruent with that proclamation”, revealsBrooks. Words can be very powerful and beautiful, but ultimately, when it comes to showing someone you love them, they’re cheap and easy to deliver. Actions tell us everything we need to know about how someone feels about us, and if they respect us – in every kind of relationship.”