Tag: The Pretenders

If you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you’ve come across a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/dream pop duo Alyeska, and as you may recall the duo, which is comprised of Montana-born, Los Angeles-based frontwoman Alaska Reid and Ben Spear derive their name from an archaic spelling of the state of Alaska — and of course, Reid’s first name.

With the release of “Tilt A Whirl,” the first single off their John Agnello-produced debut EP, Crush, the duo began to receive attention across the blogosphere — as well as this site — for a sound that draws equally from 80s post-punk and New Wave, as it did from contemporary indie rock. The EP’s second single “Motel State of Mind,” as a moody and dramatic song that while meant to be a “rip off “rip off The Replacements” as Reid explained in an interview with Billboardmanaged to remind me quite a bit of Concrete Blonde‘s “Joey,” complete with a swooning heartache at its core. “Sister Buckskin,” the EP’s third single continued in the 80s post-punk/New Wave/college radio vein, as it managed to remind me of The Pretenders; but underneath the shimmering guitar work and anthemic hooks was a bitter sense of nostalgia over what could have have been — and just didn’t happen.

Since the release of Crush, the duo have gone on to open for the likes of Middle Kids, Frankie Cosmos and Blitzen Trapper but interestingly, the band recently released the EP’s latest single “Stones,” the last bit of music recorded at The Magic Shop, where David Bowie, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Norah Jones, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters once recorded albums. And while further cementing their reputation for crafting hook-laden, anthemic 80s-inspired rock, the “Stones” manages to make a subtle nod to Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as the song features some of the most impressive guitar work on the EP while bristling with a feral sensuality.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Introducing the Classic Soul Channeling Sound of Nottingham UK’s Georgie

Influenced by Fleetwood Mac, Carole King, Janis Joplin, The Pretenders, Crosby Stills and Nash, Carly Simon, The Mamas and the Papas and First Aid Kit, Georgie is a 21 year-old, up-and-coming, Nottingham, UK-based singer/songwriter, who caught the attention of the folks at Spacebomb Records — the label home of Natalie Prass and Julien Baker — for a vocal style that sounds straight out of the mid 1960s and for a lyrical bent that belies her years. Her debut single “Company of Thieves” pairs her husky and soulful vocals with a wah-wah pedaled guitar, a strutting horn arrangement, a sinuous bass line, a steady backbeat and an infectious hook in a carefully crafted song that will remind most listeners of Amy Winehouse, Nancy Sinatra and others.

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

Initially begun as a solo side project from her then-primary projects  Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, singer/songwriter and guitarist Katy Goodman has developed a burgeoning national profile with the release of her first three critically applauded albums with La Sera — including, the project’s self-titled debut, her sophomore effort Sees the Light and her third effort Hour of the Dawn. And with each successive album found Goodman experimenting and expanding upon her sound with Hour of the Down revealing an 80s guitar pop influence, in particular The Smiths, The Pretenders, and others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’d know that Goodman released her fourth La Sera album, Music For Listening To Music To earlier this year, and the material on the album revealed an artist, who has gone through a series of personal and artistic transitions including  Goodman’s newlywed husband Todd Wisenbaker, who may be best known as a member of Music For Listening To Music To‘s producer  Ryan Adams‘ backing band, and as the producer of Goodman’s third album Hour of the Dawn joined his wife’s project as a cowriter, guitarist and collaborator. Sonically, the material continues along the veins of its predecessor — sounding deeply indebted to the aforementioned The Smiths and The Pretenders while at times also nodding at Johnny Cash (in particular, think of “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and countless others.) And lyrically, the material focused on romantic relationships — whether our desire to be and feel loved, the raw and bitter ironies exposed during the breakup of a relationship and more. Of course, adding to the retro feel and tone of album was the fact that the material frequently employed the use of male/female vocals on top of a familiar and beloved sound featuring shimmering guitars played through reverb as you’ll hear on album singles “High Notes,” and “I Need an Angel.”

Beginning in October, Goodman Wisenbaker and company will be embarking on a month-long national tour — and just before the tour, the members of the project will be releasing the digital-only release Queens EP. The EP’s title track is a propulsive and upbeat bit of shimmering guitar pop that 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.” While sonically the song continues to cement the act’s reputation for crafting swooning nd shimmering, 60s and 80s inspired guitar pop, the song lyrically deals with the passing of time and the experience of small yet profound joys with someone you love.

As I mentioned the band will be on tour throughout October and it includes 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