Tag: Oakland CA

New Audio: Jay Som Releases Previously Unreleased Single from Her Critically Applauded Debut

Melina Duterte is an Oakland, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose solo recording project Jay Som received national and international attention last year from the likes of NPR Music, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Stereogum, Paste, Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Spin, Newsweek, Exclaim!, Under the Radar and a number of others elsewhere.

Building upon a growing profile, Duterte, recently announced the release of two previously unreleased songs that were recorded during the Everybody Works sessions as a 7 inch single titled “Pirouette”/”OK Meet Me Underwater,” that will be officially released both on vinyl and digitally on January 26, 2018 through Polyvinyl Records. Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 – the first demo stages  for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I’m really grateful they’re finally out in the world,” Duterte explains press notes about her soon-to-be released 7 inch single. And as you’ll hear on A side single “Pirouette,” Duterte specializes in a jangling, hook driven, 90s alt rock inspired sound, reminiscent of The Breeders but with an incredibly bold yet breezy self-assuredness.  

New Video: Soto Voce Returns with a Sensual and Anthemic bit of Industrial Electronica Paired with Feverish Visuals

Late last year, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Soto Voce. Comprised of Oakland, CA-born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Miguel De Vivo, now known as Mia De Vivo and Colombia-born, Los Angles-based producer Kenny Soto, the electro pop duo can trace its origins to a mutual love of electronic much and industrial music, and to the duo having similar experiences as outsiders — De Vivo, who was born male, grew up gender non-conforming and was relentlessly teased and beaten up “for being like a girl,” and who recently transitioned. Soto on the other hand, fled his native Colombia with his family as a teenager in the 90s, after his port official father refused to collaborate with Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel. When he and his family arrived in the US, they were extremely poor.

Now, as you may recall the duo’s debut single “Better” was quietly released but within a few weeks of is release, the track grabbed the attention of the blogosphere for a brooding, cinematic and difficult to pigeonhole sound that some described with Sade-fronting Radiohead comparison; however, in my opinion that song possessed a deeply personal and aching plea for acceptance both within and without paired with a club-banging yet atmospheric production. And the video specifically focused on the tensions around the Black Lives Matter, Trans Rights Matter and LGBTQ rights movements, how politically and socially things are much more fearful and uncertain for many minority groups across the world.

The duo’s latest single “Pop” will further cement their reputation for crafting propulsive and forceful industrial-leaning electro pop that manages to be sensual yet rousingly anthemic and club-banging. But arguably it may be the darkest, most unhinged and urgent track they’ve released to date.

Directed by Jon Danovic, the recently released music video for “Pop” possesses a surreal, feverish, dream-like logic.

Chris Prythm is a producer, beatmaker and emcee, who’s best known as a member of ILL-Literacy, a hip-hop, spoken word and art collective with members, who split time between Oakland, Sacramento and Brooklyn. Prythm’s latest instrumental/beat-driven track “Gimme My Cash” is a swaggering, J. Dilla and Oddisee-inspired production consisting of hard-hitting, boom bap beats, a looped twinkling piano sample and a looped vocal sample that comprises the song’s infectious hook. And from listening to the track, it’s the sort of song that could easily get you in the mood to get your grind on and take over an industry or two.



New Audio: The Anxious and Ambient Sounds and Visuals of Dire Wolves “Fogged Out (Two)”

Currently comprised of Sheila Bosco (drums), Brian Lucas (bass), Kelly Ann Nelson (vocals, wooden flute), Jeffrey Alexander (guitar, wooden sax), Arjun Mendiratta (violin), Laura Naukkarinen (vocals) and Michael Whitaker (flute, sax), the San Francisco, CA/Oakland, CA-based septet Dire Wolves have developed a reputation for crating deeply hypnotic folk-leaning indie rock and for being remarkably prolific, as they’ve released 12 full-length, studio albums since their formation in 2008.

Last month, I wrote about “Cerebration Day,” an expansive, slow-burning, trance-inducing dirge of a single off the Bay Area-based septet’s soon-to-be released 13th full-length effort, Excursions to Cloudland. “Fogged Out (Two),” Excursions to Cloudland’s latest single, will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting trance-inducing and expansive material; in fact, with this single, the band eschews recognizable song structures — i.e. hooks, choruses, bridges, etc. — to focus on establishing a deeply tense yet meditative and enveloping air, primarily based around an arrangement featuring blistering psych rock guitar, played through copious guitar, angular violin stabs, and a propulsive rhythm section. And much like its preceding single, “Fogged Out (Two)” manages to build up to a howling and dizzy churn, while holding back and withholding the anticipated release the listener would expect.

The recently released VHS-based video, created by Caitlin Denny features heavily distorted footage and undulating blasts of color, all of which both further emphasize the song’s dreamy and distracted yet meditative nature, while also suggesting a creeping, anxious dread.

New Video: Live Footage of Wax Idols Performing Brooding and Anthemic “Deborah”

American Tragic’s single “Deborah” is a brooding, New Wave-leaning sound that much like “Lonely You” sounds like it’s been influenced by the likes of Concrete Blonde and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as the song is a brooding and atmospheric song in which Fortune’s plaintive vocals are paired with shimmering guitar chords, four-on-the-floor drumming, gentle layers of buzzing and ethereal synths and a sinuous bass line, and a spoken word-like bridge, while Fortune’s lyrics focuses on character, who is reeling from heartache and can’t figure out what to do next or how to move on — directly from the perspective of the song’s Deborah.

Filmed by producer Omar Acosta of Stretch and Bobbito fame, the recently released video for “Deborah” features footage of the band performing “Deborah” and other songs during sets in Oakland, CA and Los Angeles CA.

Currently comprised of Sheila Bosco (drums), Brian Lucas (bass), Kelly Ann Nelson (vocals, wooden flute), Jeffrey Alexander (guitar, wooden sax), Arjun Mendiratta (violin), Laura Naukkarinen (vocals) and Michael Whitaker (flute, sax), the San Francisco, CA/Oakland, CA-based septet Dire Wolves have developed a reputation for crating deeply hypnotic folk-leaning indie rock — and for being incredibly prolific, as they’ve released 12 full-length albums since their formation 2008.

The Bay Area-based band’s forthcoming, 13th release Excursions to Cloudland will reportedly further cement the band’s reputation for crafting hypotonic, trance-inducing music — but on the album’s second and latest single, the expansive and slow-burning “Cerebration Day,” the single while slowly building up steam, manages to evoke the sensation of spinning without getting too dizzy; it also simultaneously manages to be ethereal yet grounded within the earthly realm, celebratory but with a bit of menace just under the surface.




Comprised of Joel Robinow (keys, guitars, vocals), Raj Ojha (drums, percussion and recording engineer), Eli Eckert (bass, guitar, vocals) and Raze Regal (guitar), the Oakland, CA-based quartet Once and Future Band specialize in a dreamy and wistful psych pop sound that simultaneously draws from Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals-era Pink FloydThe Yes Album-era Yes, and the jazz fusion of the likes of Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra as you’ll hear on “Tell Me Those Are Tears of Joy,” the latest single off the Bay Area-based quartet’s mostly self-produced full-length debut, slated for a  January 27, 2017 release through Castle Face Records. But just under the dreamy and psychedelic-leaning prog rock surface, is a song with a blues-filled heart as the song’s narrator tries to trick himself out of a devastating sorrow — and somehow considering the difficulties that many of our dearest and closest may soon face, tricking yourself out of devastating and hopeless sitaution may be the only way to get survive.


New Video: The Politically Charged Visuals for Soto Voce’s “Better”

The duo’s debut single “Better” was quietly released and within a few weeks of its release, the track grabbed the attention of the blogosphere for a brooding, cinematic difficult to pigeonhole track that many of my colleagues have described with Sade-fronting Radiohead comparisons. And while being a bit reductionist, I think that what a lot of my colleagues have missed is that the song possesses a deeply personal and aching plea for acceptance, both within and without, in which De Vivo’s vocals manage to be sensual and aggressive within a turn of a phrase are paired with a production that alternate between moody atmospherics and club-banging, propulsive cascades of shimmering synths.

Although the video was specifically made as a comment on the deeply troubling and unsettling times we live in, complete around tensions around Black Lives Matter, Transgender and LGBTQ rights and fears of greater global unrest have reached boiling points, the video manages to not just be timely but serves as a fitting description of how uncertain things seem for minority groups around the world and how close to our destruction we actually are. As the duo’s Kenny Soto explains of the video ” In the video, I’m visualizing [sic] some really dark images, or maybe they’re being broadcasted to me. It depends on your perception. I’m watching people being desecrated and killed, crosses being burned. There comes a point when the car stops and Miguel steps out to open the door. I’m handcuffed, and he pushes me into a grave, and I come out on the other side another version of myself. For us the Black Lives Matter stuff, of course that’s something that becomes relevant [now], and it wasn’t necessarily we made it for that in any way. But it obviously is relevant to the current , and culture in general. Then the gender stuff as well, and both of those things kind of tie in and maybe being seen as worthless.”