Tag: New Audio

Comprised of founding members Bonnie Bloomgarden (lead vocals) and Larry Schemel (guitar), along with Nicole Smith (bass) and Laura Kelsey (drums),  Los Angeles, CA-based quartet of Death Valley Girls have deliberately shrouded themselves in mystery. Besides the fact that they’re incredibly photogenic, very little is known about them, except that their aesthetic is deeply influenced by old-school B movies and biker movies — in fact, at one point, the members of the band had developed a reputation for appearing at gigs wearing all leather and parking their beaten up bikes in old-school biker club formations. Now, over the years I’ve written about the band on a number of occasions — including “Gettin’ Hard,” a single that sonically owes a debt to The StoogesThe TroggsThe Ramones and contemporary acts including Lantern, while “Summertime” had the band taking up shimmering reverb-filled garage psych rock.

“I’m A Man, Too” off the Southern California-based quartet’s soon-to-be-released effort Glow In The Dark will further cement their reputation for crafting old-school-leaning rock — but in this case, in a bratty song that indirectly channels Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” The Go-Gos, The B52s, Nancy Sinatra  and others after a night of vodka, gin and cigarettes as a bratty and infectious hook and chorus are paired with simple and propulsive percussion and loose and bluesy guitar chords while revealing an in your face self-assuredness.


With the release of A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye last year, San Francisco-based quartet Cool Ghouls received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that’s heavily indebted to the classic 60s and 70s rock sounds of the likes of The ByrdsCrosby, Stills, and NashNeil YoungCreedence Clearwater Revival and classic psych rock as their material is generally comprised of jangling guitar chords, simple yet propulsive percussion and layered, multi-part harmonies. “Sundial,” the first single off the Bay Area quartet’s forthcoming third full-length effort Animal Races, slated for an August 19, 2016 will further cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for classic psych rock and classic rock leaning sounds. Much like their previously released material, the song sonically evokes the sensation of tripping on hallucinogens with friends as you were meandering through a cemetery or a meadow on a bright sunny day while simultaneously sounding as though it could have been released in 1966.


Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month or so, you may recall that I’ve perviously written about London-based producer and electronic music artist Promise Keeper. And with the release of “Side Decide” and other singles, the British producer and electronic music artist has received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that’s indebted to classic Chicago house, blue-eyed soul and electro pop; in fact, “Side Decide” has Promise Keeper pairing breathily cooed vocals with a mid-tempo, dance floor friendly production consisting of twinkling and shimmering synths, staccato drum programming and swirling and ambient electronics. Interestingly, the British producer and electronic music artist’s latest single “Porous Silk” will further cement his already burgeoning reputation for crafting slick, dance-floor friendly pop as androgynous yet sultry cooed vocals are paired with a production consisting of a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar chords propulsive and stuttering drum programming, twinkling keys and shimmering synths. Sonically, the new single evokes the sensation of silk running across naked skin — cool yet pliant.

Swedish indie rock duo Pink Milk have quickly received buzz from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, Drunken Werewolf and others for a reverb-heavy and dreamy sound that personally reminds me of My Gold Mask‘s Leave Me Midnight and The Raveonettes as you’ll hear on their reverb drenched, new single “Detroit” which also pairs those guitar chords with earnest and plaintive pop belter vocals and propulsive drumming. The duo manage to create a sound that feels towering yet swooning, intimate and moody.


Over the past 12-18 months your’e likely come across posts about Grand Rapids, MI-based psych rock trio HEATERS. Comprised of Andrew Tamlyn, Nolan Krebs and Joshua Korf, the band can trace their origins to when founding members Tamilyn and Krebs relocated to Grand Rapids to start a music project together. Korf, who was coincidentally Tamilyn’s and Kreb’s next door neighbor was later recruited to flesh out the band’s sound. With the release of the “Mean Green”/”Levitate Thigh” 7 inch, their full-length debut Holy Water Pool last year, along with a series of singles, the Grand Rapids-based trio became JOVM mainstays while also receiving a growing national profile.

The psych rock trio’s highly-anticipated sophomore follow-up effort Baptistina is slated for an August 5, 2016 release through Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, and the album’s first single “Centennial” continues a bit on the path of Holy Water Pool as the band pairs dense layers of shimmering guitar chords played through tons of reverb and effects pedal, ethereal vocals, propulsive drumming and a throbbing bass line in a towering and anthemic psych rock song that feels as though it may descend into cacophonous chaos — but unlike their previously released material, “Centennial” possesses a towering swagger that gives the song an effortless, larger-than-life feel while sounding a though it could have been released in 1967.


Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop artist Adam Finkel, best known as Alek Fin has worked with a number of Los Angeles-based producers and artists including Robot Koch while Moscow, Russia-based producer Sergei Galunenko, best known as Galun initially crafted a career collaborating with a variety of Russian artists as a renowned beatboxer — and interestingly enough Finkel and Galunenko’s collaboration can trace its origin to when the duo were individually included on the same blog’s Top 100 Tracks of 2013. As Galunenko explains in press notes, geographical distance wasn’t an issue, “I found him and I knew I wanted to work with him. I thought we could really add something to each other’s music, despite us leaving 6,000 miles apart. Finkel was equally impressed by the Moscow-based producer’s “manipulation of vocal percussion and inspiring melodies.”

The duo’s previous collaboration together Golden, Blinding was critically applauded and with the recently released Strannik EP, which will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting a sound that effortlessly blended electro pop/electronica and chillwave; in fact, the duo’s sound has been favorably compared by some of my colleagues to the likes of Bonobo, James Blake, Future Trend and Deco Child. And when you hear Strannik‘s latest single “Ionosphere” you’ll see why as Finkel’s plaintive and ethereal vocals are paired with an atmospheric production consisting of shimmering synths, stuttering drum programming, wobbling low end and ambient electronics in a song that’s eerily spectral while gently nodding at Portishead and others.







Comprised of Brisbane, Australia-born and Houston, TX-based Andrew Bower (vocals, guitar), Bower’s Brisbane, Australia-born and based brother Sean Bower (bass), along with Dan McNaulty (drums), The Valery Trails are a Trans-Pacific trio that over the past couple of years have received national attention for a sound that owes a major debt to early 90s/120 Minutes-era MTV rock, as previously released singles have managed to channel the likes of R.E.M., The Church, The Psychedelic Furs and others.

Now, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve actually written about them; however, the Trans-Pacific trio’s forthcoming album Chameleon Bones is slated for an August 5, 2016 release and the new album was recorded in a similar fashion to their two previous releases — with Andrew Bower recording demos in his home studio in Houston, then sending along his demos to bandmates Sean Bower and Dan McNaulty, who would then track bass and drums before returning the files to Andrew, who would then record guitars and vocals in a local commercial studio. As you can imagine, each song went back and forth to Brisbane for final overdubs, which created a variety of issues in the recording process. And as Andrew Bower explains in press notes, “The major obstacle, or more of a disadvantage, really, is that we don’t get the benefit of everyone being in the room together to agree on decisions that come up during recording.” Sean, Dan and the recording engineer had to commit to bass and drums sounds and arrangements without Andrew being able to weigh in — and without having a budget to re-record if he didn’t like it either. However, interestingly enough, this process also helps a band avoid the temptation of overanalyzing and obsessing to death over a minor issue at the expense of the overall freshness of the songs.


Chameleon Bones‘ first single “OK” is comprised of an anthemic hook paired with a jangling alt country/alt rock sound — in other words, slightly fuzzy guitars fed through subtle effects pedals, thunderous and propulsive drumming along with a throbbing bass line in a song that sounds as though it was channeling Big Star, The Smithereens, Murmur-era R.E.M., Dinosaur, Jr., The Church and others, complete with a radio-friendly, arena rock friendly air. But what distinguishes The Valery Trails from those familiar sources is that this particular single also manages to channel shoegazer rock and 90s Brit Pop in a way that puts a subtle new twist on a beloved sound.
















Comprised of Leo Paparella (vocals, synths) and brothers Eric Promani (drums, synths) and Greg Promani (guitar), Los Angeles-based electro pop trio Iconique have quickly exploded across the blogosphere and elsewhere as their previous single “Step Into The Mood” was praised by Gawker and Surviving the Golden Age, was featured on Hype Machine and received radio airplay on KUCI and KCHUNG. And honestly, that shouldn’t be surprising as the band’s sound has been described by some of my colleague as a “synthesis of influences like Prince, David Bowie and Chic.” Interestingly, the trio’s latest single “Sitting Pretty” sonically seems as though it draws from Roxy Music, The Human League, Howard Jones and others as Paparella’s sultry speak-song and crooning is paired with a sinuous bass line, shimmering synths and propulsive drumming; in other words, it sounds as though it could have been released sometime between 1980 and 1983.

As the band’s Leo Paparella explained in press notes “‘Sitting Pretty’ is both a celebration and critique of vanity. There’s very much an innate cruelty to glamor. It operates out of exclusivity, which keeps its scope woefully narrow and out of touch. And I bet that’s why people want it so badly.” And as a result, the song possess a subtle yet palpable sense of menace and anxiousness under the clean, hyper-modern and danceable sheen.


Comprised of Natalie Closner and her two younger twin sisters Meegan and Allison, Portland, OR-based pop trio Joseph derive their name from their grandfather Jo and the tiny Oregon town in which he lived, Joseph, OR. And although the Closners grew up in a musical household, the sibling trio hadn’t sung together until a few years ago when Natalie Closner, seeking a creative jolt asked her twin sisters if they’d like to form a band together — and they quickly discovered that they had an immediate simpatico and began writing songs together, based around a use of three part harmony.

“White Flag,” the first single off the trio’s forthcoming full-length debut I’m Alone, No You’re Not employs the use of the Closner’s gorgeous harmonies, swirling and ambient electronics and handclap-led percussion in a song that quickly builds up to an anthemic and cathartic hook while pairing them with a powerful message — that one should never give up to attain what they desire. Sonically, the Portland-based sibling trio’s sound reminds me quite a bit of Pearl and the Beard and Lucius as the Closners’ latest single possesses a swooning and forceful urgency.

The Closner sisters will be embarking on a lengthy tour that includes a September stop at Radio City Music Hall. Check out tour dates below.


6.9 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo

6.22 – Bristol, UK – Summer Series – Harbourside *

6.24 – Somerset, UK – Glastonbury Festival

6.27 – Luxembourg, LUX – Rackhal *

6.29 – Munich, GE – Toll wood Festival *

7.1 – Nr. Brandon, Suffolk, UK – Thetford Forest (Forest Live) *

7.6 – Manchester, UK – Castle Field Bowl *

7.8 – Cannock, UK – Cannock Chase Forest *

7.12 – Scarborough, UK – Scarborough Open Air Theater *

7.14-17 – Beccles, UK – Latitude Festival

7.17 – Dublin, IE – Longtitude Festival

7.18 – London, UK – St. Pancras Old Church

7.20 – Hamburg, GE – Knust Acoustic Session

7.22 – Berlin, GE – Berghain Kantine

7.23 – Haldern, GE – Haldern Pop Bar

7.24 – Nurnberg, GE – Fold Im Park

7.29 – Los Angeles, CA – FIG at 7th // Arts Brookfield Series

8.5-7 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon

8.10 – Boulder, CO – The Fox – Triple A Summit

9.19 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live *

9.21 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore Miami at Gleason Theater *

9.23-24 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium *

9.25 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte *

9.27 – Richmond, VA – The National *

9.28 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE *

9.30 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall *

10.1 – Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion *

10.3 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater *

10.4 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit *

10.6 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave / Eagles Ballroom *

10.7 – Saint Louis, MO – The Pageant *

10.8 – Kansas City, MO – Arrest Bank Theatre at The Midland *

11.3 – Antwerp, BE – Trix Hall #

11.5 – Copenhagen, DK – DR Koncerthuset #

11.6 – Oslo, NO – Folketeateret #

11.9 – Berlin, DE – Postbahnhof #

11.10 – Munich, DE – Technikum #

11.11 – Zurich, CH – Kaufleuten #

11.13 – Milan, IT – Fabrique Milano #

11.14 – Montpellier, FR – Le Rockstore #

11.16 – Barcelona, ES – Bikini Barcelona #

11.18 – Bardeaux, FR – Rock School Barbey #

11.20 – Lyon, FR – Epicerie Moderne #

11.21 – Stasbourg, FR – La Laiterie #

11.22 – Cologne, DE – Kantine #

* Supporting James Bay

# Supporting Michael Kiwanuka






Primarily comprised of its creative masterminds and founding members Daniel and Jenna Watters, Austin, TX-based indie soul act The Watters can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met as children. As the story goes, they first met while playing on the same pee wee football team in Sedona, AZ that Jenna’s father coached — although they did attend rival grade schools. The duo eventually went to high school together and at that point, began a collaboration that can trace its origins to when the duo performed together at their high school graduation and then fell in love; in fact, they’ve performed together for over 12 years, written together for over 8 and have recorded 6 albums together while in the Denver, CO then Nashville, TN-based nationally touring act The Oak Creek Band.

Now writing and performing together as The Watters, the duo’s forthcoming debut effort Great Unknown was influenced by Daniel and Jenna’s own personal experience. As Daniel Watters explains in press notes: “The concept of the Great Unknown came to us while we were in transition between Nashville and Austin. We were living in Sedona, AZ with my folks for three months having left Nashville and had no idea where we were moving to. Our bassist was going to move to California and so were we, but we happened to stop in Austin on our way back and fell in love. We were so torn on what to do, but we trusted our instincts and made the hard decision to leave our musical brother and start a new life in Austin. The Great Unknown is [about] the power of intuition and the beauty in uncertainty. Instead of finding fear in the unknown, I find it easier to see the beauty and opportunity in the unknown. Our move to Austin was a complete leap of faith, but a year later we are very happy here and feel an overwhelming support system here.”

Recorded at Cacophony Recorders, Great Unknown features some of the Austin, TX area’s best and most renowned musicians including Band of Heathens‘ Trevor Nealon, Golden Dawn Arkestra‘s Joe Woullard and Zumbi Richards and Erik Hokkanan and was recorded live to tape to best capture the band’s live sound.  Album title track and first single “Great Unknown” has the band pairing Muscle Shoals soul with 70s AM rock — a soulful horn arrangement and Jenna Watters’ effortlessly soulful vocals are paired with jangling guitars and gently propulsive drumming, along with a careful and deliberate attention to craft. Lyrically, the song focuses on two very different things -taking a big chance on your dreams with the hope that things will come out in your favor but also on something that people often forget, sometimes you can’t fight the tide; things will sort themselves out in their own time and in their own way even your own dreams.