Tag: Los Angeles CA

A few years ago, I had written quite a bit about Los Angeles-based indie rock quintet Line & Circle. Currently comprised of founding trio Brian J. Cohen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Eric Neujahr (guitar), Jon Engelhard and newest member Garret Ray (drums), the band can trace their origins to when they all met in Ohio — before relocating to Southern California. And with the release of a batch of singles and their debut EP — all of which were released to critical praise, the band quickly exploded into the national scene.

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the then-quintet recorded their Lewis Pesacov-produced, debut full-length effort Split Figure, an album that thematically explored “the elusive and daunting task of pursuing self-knowledge in a world, where ironically staring into screens and photographing ourselves incessantly has failed to make the process any easier” while sonically pairing those themes with a music that the band has described as “instantaneous and propulsive.” As the band’s frontman Brian J. Cohen explained in press notes at the time, “We are all split down the middle. There is an inner self that reflects what we think are, and an outer self that is how others really perceive us. True self-knowledge is when you become aware of each, and begin to reconcile both into one.”  Now, as you may recall album single “Like A Statue,”  managed to remind me of  120 Minutes-era MTV alt rock —  early R.E.M. songs like “The One I Love,” “Talk About The Passion” and “So. Central Rain,” The Smiths‘ “This Charming Man” and the  4AD Records sound immediately come to mind.

Recorded and tracked live to tape during one day at Los Angeles’ Box Studios with additional sessions in various warehouses, bedrooms and home studios in the Echo Park section and mixed by the band’s frequent collaborator Jonathan Low, and the EP reportedly explores an old belief popularly held by the Romans: homo homini lupus — man is a wolf to man. Interestingly enough, the EP’s latest single “Man Uncouth” will further cement their growing reputation for crafting a familiar and beloved sound to anyone who listened to college radio/alternative rock back in the 80s able Rd 90s but while focusing on the inner turmoil of someone in love, battling their insecurities and fears — essentially it’s the portrait of a man, slowly tearing himself apart.

 

 

 

New Video: Los Angeles Indie Rock Acts Winter and Trabants Team Up on a Lush and Shimmering New Single

Currently comprised of founding member Brazilian-born,  Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Samira Winter (vocals) along with Justine Brown, Chelsea Brown, and Summer Twins’ Anders LaSource, the indie rock quartet Winter can trace their origins to when the band’s founding member and primary songwriter along with co-founder Nolan Ely started the band while in Boston. And after the release of the band’s debut EP Daydreaming, the band’s frrontwoman relocated to Los Angeles and recruited an entirely different lineup to flesh out the project’s sound. With the band’s second lineup, Winter and company went into the studio to write and record the material, which wound up comprising their 2015 full-length debut Supreme Blue Dream — an album that featured material written and sung in both English and Brazilian Portuguese, while thematically meant to connect the listener back to their inner child. Sonically speaking, the album found the band establishing themselves for a sound that drew influence from 4AD Records’ heyday. 

Now, if you were following this site last year, you may recall that last year, the band was working on what would be their sophomore effort Ethereality. And although album single “Dreaming” was originally written in 2013, the single further cemented the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet’s growing reputation for crafting ethereal and shimmering, guitar-based dream pop. 

Recently, the members of Winter finished a tour opening for Los Angeles-based indie rock and blogosphere darlings Cherry Glazerr, a standalone show with Colleen Green and a set at the Desert Daze Festival earlier this month — but adding to a rather busy period, Winter collaborated with Los Angeles-based surf rock band Trabants, featuring founding member, guitarist and primary songwriter Eric Penna and a rotating cast of musicians and collaborators, including the members of Man Man, Mean Creek, Creaturos, The Shills, World Inferno Friendship Society, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion, Young Hunting, So Many Wizards, Breakestra!, The Dazies, Bury Me Standing, Jaggery, Cracktorch, Riptides and tomemitsu for a standalone single “Just Stay,” is a gorgeous and wistful track that manages to sound inspired by The Smiths, Que Sera and others. 

Speaking of wistful nostalgia, the recently released Lorena Alvarado-produced video features Super 8-based home videos of a family on vacation in a lush and gorgeously verdant summer paradise, capturing a time and way of life that can’t possibly happen ever again. 

Gel Set is the solo recording project of Los Angeles, CA-based multimedia artist, producer and electronic music artist Laura Callier, and with singles “Don’t You Miss Me” and “Bounce” off her soon-to-be released album Body Copy, Collier specializes in a minimalist synth pop that simultaneously nods at the Manchester sound, early house music, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Soft Metals‘ chilly yet sensual Lenses complete with an appropriate dance floor friendly thump — but paired with deeply personal, almost journal-like lyrics, delving into the psyche and psychology of its narrator.

 

With the release of their first two singles, “Loveless” and “This Is It,” the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Lo Moon, comprised off Matt Lowell (vocals, guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass, keys) and Sam Stewart (guitar), quickly became one of their hometown’s most buzzed about bands after receiving early praise from the likes of New York Times, NPR Music, V Magazine, KCRWLos Angeles Times, NPR’s World Cafe and others, and they’ve opened for the likes of Phoenix, Glass Animals, The Lemon Twigs, Air, London Grammar and others. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the band is currently finishing up their Chris Walla and Francois Tetaz-produced full-length debut; but before that, the trio’s latest single “Thorns” is a slow-burning and atmospheric track that sounds indebted to Roxy Music (think of “More Than This” “The Space Between” and “Avalon“), The xx and others.

The band is currently on a lengthy tour that includes a November 6 stop at Rough Trade and a December 15 stop at The Beacon Theatre for WFUV’s Holiday Cheer. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates
October 14: Buffalo, NY @ HRVST Festival (w/ Phoenix)
October 15: New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall (w/ Phoenix)
October 17: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 18: Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 20: Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 21: London, UK @ Eventim Apollo (w/ London Grammar)
October 23: Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy (w/ London Grammar)
October 24: Edinburg, UK @ Usher Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 26: Nottingham, UK @ Rock City (w/ London Grammar)
October 27: Bristol, UK @ Colston Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 29: Newcastle, UK @ City Hall (w/ London Grammar)
October 30: London, UK @ O2 Brixton Academy (w/ London Grammar)
November 1: Dublin, IE @ Olympia Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 2: Belfast, IE @ Waterfront Hall (w/ London Grammar)
November 6: Brooklyn @ Rough Trade (headline)
November 7: Philadelphia @ Boot & Saddle (headline)
November 16: Los Angeles @ The Troubadour (headline)
November 22: Luxembourg @ Rockhal (w/ London Grammar)
November 23: Amsterdam, NL @ AFAS Live (w/ London Grammar)
November 25: Cologne, DE @ Palladium (w/ London Grammar)
November 26: Berlin, DE @ Velodrom (w/ London Grammar)
November 28: Hamburg, DE @ Mehr! Theatre (w/ London Grammar)
November 30: Zurich, CH @ Halle 622 (w/ London Grammar)
December 4: London, UK @ The Lexington (headline)
December 8: Stuttgart, DE @ Liederhalle Hegelsaal (w/ London Grammar)
December 9: Munich, DE @ TonHalle (w/ London Grammar)
December 11: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 12: Antwerp, BE @ Lotto Arena (w/ London Grammar)
December 15: New York City, NY @ WFUV Holiday Cheer at Beacon Theatre (w/ Jeff Tweedy and more)

This past weekend has been a very busy one for me, as I’ve taken part in a Baby Robot Media hosted Mondo.NYC panel titled “Your First PR Campaign” and I’ve managed to cover some of the festival — while squeezing in my beloved New York Yankees, who have managed to get into the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. There will be more on Mondo.NYC in the future; but in the meantime, let’s get to some music, eh?

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. And interestingly enough, Rose has been considered a controversial and restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were beginning to attain some measure of success. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you may recall that Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens. Album single “Dyson Sphere” managed to sound as though it owed a debt to 80s New Wave — in particular A Flock of Seagulls I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’Israel” and “Happy House,” immediately came to my mind.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest.” And if there’s one thing the Frankie Rose cover should do two things: remind contemporary listeners that a great song can truly be timeless and that The Cure should be considered one of the more important bands of the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Bronx Release a Frenetic New Video to Accompany Their Breakneck New Single “Sore Throat”

Currently comprised of founding members Matt Caughtran (vocals, guitar) and Joby J. Ford (guitar), along with Ken Horne (guitar), Brad Magers (bass) and David Hidalgo, Jr. (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based punk rock quintet The Bronx can trace their origins back to 2002 when the band formed with founding members Caughtran and Ford, with James Tweedy (bass) and Jorma Vik (drums)  — and after their first live set, the band quickly caught the attention Jonathan Daniel, who manages American Hi-Fi, and who became their manager. By their second live show, the band had attracted the attention of A&R reps from several major labels — and by their 12th live show ever, they had signed a contract with Island Def Jam Music Group; however, the band felt that they weren’t ready to record for a major label, so they formed their own label to release their own early releases including a 2002 demo Sure Death, their first official single “Bats!” and their Gilby Clarke-produced, self-titled full-length debut. Building upon the early buzz they received, the band promptly followed up with the La Muerte Viva EP as well as tours of the States and Australia.

2006’s self-titled debut was the band’s major label debut and it featured attention-grabbing singles “History’s Stranglers,” “White Guilt” and “Shitty Future.” The Dragons’ Ken Horne contributed some guitar to the album, and he soon joined the band as their second guitarist. And despite the lineup changes, the band has released five full-length albums of blistering and gritty punk, including their most recent album V and interestingly enough three albums of mariachi under the name Mariachi El Bronx.

The Rob Schanpf-produced V, which was released last month, has managed to be their most commercially successful effort to date as it debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200, #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #27 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart. Despite the early commercial success of the album, as the band’s Joby Ford says in press notes “[The album] has the angst and social commentary that has characterized us from the beginning, only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.”  As result, album single “Sore Throat” may arguably be one of the most explosive and furious rock songs I’ve come across this year, as it features blistering power chords, thundering drumming, howled vocals and breakneck, shout and mosh worthy hooks — and perhaps unsurprisingly, the song reminds me of Plague Vendor’s excellent BLOODSWEAT in the sense that every time I’ve played it, I want to hear it as loud as humanly possible and in a room of sweaty friends and strangers losing our minds.

The recently released video is a wild and frenetic take on 80s post apocalyptic sci fi movies, complete with the static and wavering screens but cut with footage of the band playing sweaty and primal sets. 

Founded by its creative mastermind Chris Karman, the Los Angeles, CA-based psych folk act Historian derive their name from an long-held inside joke for the members of the band had developed, based around Karman’s encyclopedic knowledge of music. And as Karman asserts in press notes, his fanatical and obsessive nature spilled into the band’s songwriting process. We like to put down tons of ideas. And then meticulously pull back the layers, pouring over every detail.”

The band’s 2013 debut Shelf Life was supported with a West Coast tour, while Karman moonlighted as a music supervisor. 2015’s sophomore full-length effort, Current was released by The Record Machine to critical praise from Buzzbands L.A., Impose and Austin Town Hall, and as a result of their growing profile, the band opened for the likes of Haunted Summer and Globelamp. Not bad for a songwriter and band that have openly mentioned that they’ve felt “more comfortable when our music is a little out of step with its surroundings.”

Unsurprisingly the members of Historian had gone into the studio during the Current sessions with a number of songs that just didn’t make the cut for the album; however, a number of those songs signaled an interesting new direction that the band felt compelled to pursue towards their natural conclusion — with the end result being the band’s third full-length effort, Expanse. And as you’ll hear off album single “Thrown on the Road,” the band has gone on a decided sonic left turn, with the band pairing  pastoral-like folk music with the sort of lush string arrangements (played by renowned renowned string quartet Quartetto Fantastico) reminiscent of Beck‘s Sea ChangeR.E.M.’s Automatic for the People and the early work of the under-appreciated Scott Walker.

But what sets “Thrown on the Road” apart is that the song is a brooding and melancholy meditation on the passage of time that evokes a lonely man sitting in front of a glass of 12 year old, single malt scotch, contemplating the messiness of human life and relationships, of lingering ghosts that alternately haunt and taunt at the strangest times, of family, friends and lovers departed. Simply put, it’s music meant for those occasions when you’re feeling lost and alone and can’t seem to figure out the meaning of anything anymore.

 

 

 

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles-based, indie electro pop duo and JOVM mainstays Pr0files, and as you may recall, while becoming mainstays of this site, the duo simultaneously developed a national reputation for a slickly produced sound that possesses elements of R&B, contemporary electro pop and electronic dance music as you would have heard on the duo’s debut Jurassic Technologie, which included the sultry, shimmering and show-burning “Get It Up.”

Interestingly enough, the Washington, DC-based electronic production and artist duo Aurean have received attention with remixes of Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries’ Cool Without You,” as well as remixes of Lostboycrow, Linney and Ella on the Run. Along with those remixes, the duo have either opened for or performed with Above and Beyond, Dirty South, ATB and Morgan Page — and in fact, building upon a growing profile, the duo have a number of remixes set for release this year, as well as their debut EP slated for release later this year. But in the meantime, the members of the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays enlisted Aurean to remix “Get It Up,” and while retaining the shimmering and sensual quality of the original, Aurean picks up the pace, turning the song into a propulsive, house music-inspired club banger.

 

 

New Video: Headbang with Rituals of Mine in Intense Live Footage-based Visuals for “Armor”

Comprised of Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez, the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine can trace their origins back to 2009, when they initially formed under the name Sister Crayon. After years of relentless touring up and down the West Coast, playing house shows, DIY venues, basement rooms and other small, local establishments, the duo built up a loyal fanbase, and as a result the duo began to build a growing regional and national profile, touring with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree and others. Adding to a growing profile, the duo’s first two independently released and critically applauded albums 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic helped to further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting cathartic material centering around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, soulful vocals and trip hop-inspired production. 

The Wes Jones-produced, third full-length album Devoted was released in 2015 to critical applause — with the album landing on a number of indie “Top Ten Albums of 2015″ lists; but despite the album’s success, 2015 was a harrowing and difficult year for the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop act’s Terra Lopez, as her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson died in a tragic accident. Reeling from grief, the duo felt the need to put the Sister Crayon name to rest, and landed on their new name Rituals of Mine.”  Terra writes “It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times. Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”

Because of its extremely limited release, Warner Brothers Records decided to re-master and re-release Devoted when the duo signed with the label last February. Re-mastered by Tom Coyne, who has worked with Led Zeppelin and Adele, the 2016 re-release features previously unreleased remixes and B-sides. Recently, the members of Rituals of Mine released a live, stripped down video for album single “Armor,” which features Madame Gandhi, a former drummer in M.I.A.’s backing band. 

Filmed by the Bay Area-based French Press Films with lighting by The Steel Hip (Moonlight), the video features the collaborators headbanging and rocking out intensely to their swaggering and percussive live version. And while swaggering, the live version manages to maintain the original’s cathartic vibe with a “you-are-there” intimacy and immediacy. As the duo’s Terra Lopez explains in press notes, “We’ve been long time fans of Kiran (Madame Ghandi) and we’ve all wanted to do a track together so when the idea came around to do a stripped down, percussive heavy live video for “Armor,” we were all so down. This track is raw, it hits heavy and it’s our version of an electronic/punk track. It’s one of my favorite tracks of ours to perform live and this version with Madame Ghandi is so fun and dynamic plus it’s just badass to see women head banging and having a good time together. French Press Films were so incredible to film with — they wanted to do something different visually for a live video so they set up a track in the Madden football building in the Bay Area and shot it beautifully. Huge thanks to them and the team for this. They kill it every time.”

New Video: The Sweaty Voodoo and Psychedelia Fueled Visuals for “Blood”

Comprised of Rett Smith (guitar, vocals), who is an accomplished solo artist and Daniel Sousa (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based (by way of Nashville, TN) indie rock act SAENTS formed earlier this year as a way for Smith to unpack untapped sonic curiosities — and interestingly, the duo have quickly received attention from American Songwriter, NYLON, Gibson Guitars and NPR among a growing list of others for a power chord-based blues rock sound, similar to The Black Keys. 

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the duo will be releasing their self-titled debut EP on November 10, 2017 and EP single “Blood” will further cement their burgeoning reputation for arena rock friendly, power chord-based blues featuring anthemic hooks and thundering drumming — but the song bristles from bitter, personal experience. As the duo’s Smith explains in press notes the EP’s latest single was penned during a challenging recovery process in the Caribbean and focuses around a metaphorical woman that stands for everything that we all chase — frequently without regard to physical well-being, sanity. “‘Blood’ is very much a first person account of who I was up to that moment, a letter to myself, in ways that I’ve always felt but needed to hear myself say to truly acknowledge.” He adds, “The way the drums hit between the vocal lines really mimics the way life can hit us all. Especially while living the moments being described lyrically.  The manic way the guitar solo builds is very much a representation of how relationships and our extreme feelings can, at times, run out of control.”

Directed by Ricardo Coelho, the recently released video for “Blood” is a highly stylized video that draws from 50s and 60s stock footage to create a sweaty psychedelics and voodoo-style influenced video.