Dryspell is a rock group out of Austin, Texas, formed by Hunter Thompson (who also plays guitar with White Reaper). The band is set to release their brand new EP “More” on March 1st via Highland Park, a new singles label from Roll Call Records.

They’ve released the EP’s first single, the blaring rocker “You Without Me” which definitely fits in with the garage rock put out by recent groups such as Twin Peaks and even a bit of Thompson’s work with White Reaper. On top of some devilish guitar licks, there are some pop-hooks under all the fuzz that bring it all home in rocking fashion.

Find a stream of “You Without Me” available to hear below and if you dig it, go ahead and find the track available

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The Other End release the new single ‘Far From Home‘. The hypnotic and haunting melody hooked me after the first listen. The single comes off their EP which is set to be released on vinyl in March. The duo from Norway describe themselves as indie slow core, and come from the same pond that brought us artists like Aurora and Sigrid. While you can catch the indie act gigging around Bergen, I see their new EP bringing them to new places.

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Los Angeles based singer songwriter Jesse Jo Stark releases the new video for Deadly Doll. Combining vintage horror with rockabilly, the sensual crooner is turning heads. The latest track was produced by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy, Band of Horses) and co-written with Chris Garcia (Lana Del Rey, Demi Lovato). Moreover, she kicked off the new year opening for Jane’s Addiction at Belly Up in LA.

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Teenage Wrist (Photo by Dan Monick)

“The world is bigger, brighter and more terrifying than you ever imagined,” Teenage Wrist singer-guitarist Marshall Gallagher says. That was as true in the ’90s when the L.A. trio’s sound was all the rage as it is now, when the band is making rolling waves of distorted guitars, feedback and angsty wonder sound like it is, well, currently all the rage. The trio — Gallagher, with bassist-singer Kamtin Mohager and drummer Anthony Salazar — announced back in November that they had signed to Epitaph Records, and today’s bulletin is that their debut album “Chrome Neon Jesus” will be out March 9. “Dweeb” is the latest neck-snapper of a single, a song about which Gallagher says: “That song and the record in general in my mind is about growing up and realizing that the world around you isn’t necessarily the one that you thought it would be.” No kidding.

Haley Heynderickx

Portland, OR’s Haley Heynderickx recently signed to Mama Bird Recording Co who will release her debut album I Need to Start a Garden on March 2nd. Haley co-produced the album with Zak Kimball, and she recorded it with Lily Breshears (electric bass, piano, backing vocals), Tim Sweeney (upright bass, electric bass), Phillip Rogers (drums & percussion, backing vocals), and Denzel Mendoza (trombone, backing vocals).

With two singles out to date, “Untitled God Song” and the doo wop-inspired “Oom Sha La La,” and both are truly excellent songs that have deservedly earned Haley a bit of hype. They sound a bit like Angel Olsen, but more because they likely share some of the same classic influences than because she’s trying to emulate Angel’s music.  Haley has been talking about influences in an interview with Stephen Deusner for Stereogum’s ‘Artist to Watch’

I was definitely fascinated by Jimi Hendrix growing up. It totally could have been the last name, but I love the confidence he exudes when he plays. To be honest, thought, I got way more into the finger style guitar. Once I learned how to play “Blackbird,” I was sold on the Beatles. As a songwriter, I feel like I was more influenced by Dylan than anyone else. And the older I get, the more I find these shy lady songwriters who disappeared for some reason or another and then came back. Like Vashti Bunyan or Connie Converse. They showed me that there are secrets in the way you write and play guitar, when you give listeners just enough. I try to be very secretive and sneaky about what I steal. My favorite type of stealing is when you don’t even know you’re stealing. You just digest your favorite things. If I share something with my band and no one can figure out where it’s from, including me, then we keep going. I just write songs in my bedroom and then throw them at my band the way a little kid throws spaghetti at a wall. I feel very lucky to work with people who are really passionate about music. They kick my butt and teach me a lot.

Haley also recorded one of the new album’s songs, “The Bug Collector,” for an entry to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, which won over NPR’s Bob Boilen.

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Nashville-based singer-songwriter Liza Anne Odachowski, who goes by Liza Anne, has never shied away from exposing her deepest, darkest emotions and even as she treads onto an exploration of a more pop-focused sound, she continues to tackle that melancholy. For “Paranoia”, Odachowski explores the role of her anxiety in her relationship, as it festers her thoughts and insecurities.

The song itself presents the duality of her new pop sound and distorted guitars, illustrating the contrast between how she presents herself and the reality of the obsessive, anxious thoughts that overwhelm her.

In this video, directed by Josh Gilligan and art directed by Brett Warren, they perfectly capture this by the use of two bedroom sets: one features Odachowski in natural lighting wearing a white-colored blouse, while the juxtaposing room features her in ultraviolet lighting wearing opaque makeup and a black outfit. As she dreamily coos in the first room, her dark self plays distorted guitar chords matching the intensity of her emotions, with both sides colliding.

“We wanted to express how the state of our rooms and how we aesthetically present ourselves mirrors, even elaborates on, our internal experience with emotions,” says Odachowski . “It was wild and healing to see so much of my internal world being externally experienced — it gave me a door into myself I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m not sure anything but art lets us look into ourselves in that sort of realized way.”

“Paranoia” is one of the singles off the singer-songwriter’s upcoming album Fine, But Dying, her first release for Arts & Crafts Records, out on March 9th.

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Jesse Marchant is the artist formerly known as JBM,  It could almost be inferred that Jesse Marchant wrote the songs for his new album over a period of months in New York City during which a lot of his world had come out from under him, in what he has described as “a general period of falling outs, absence and abuse, both of self and of what should or could have been surrounding”. But in the process of finding an end to that Marchant feels to have grown. One is not left to wonder why he chose to drop the moniker of his former releases (his initials JBM) for the use of his proper full name, nor why his voice and lyrics, recorded with a mouth-to-ear intimacy, emphasizing his deepening and wearying baritone, sit loud and naked atop the widescreen backdrop of the deep synthesizer and orchestral pads and arrangements, often reminiscent of “I’m on Fire” era Springsteen. There is a sense of wanting to take responsibility and a desire to have things seen and said clearly for what they are, directly.

The production of the record reflects that same growth, balancing a new, vivid sound with matured control and rootedness. The lyrics were written later in that same year, when Marchant toured the country twice alone, on early mornings in motel rooms and for a period that he spent following, in a rented house far into the desert around 29 Palms, CA. The tone and image of this is carried throughout the record – drenched in a blinding white sunlight, in the heat, in a dream.

The songs that make up this eponymous album are menacing, dreamy worlds of their own, each one unique for each listener, instantly relatable and surprisingly therapeutic: Marchant’s revelations are infectious. He is processing internal and external problems that aren’t just personal but feel like signs of our times, and in doing so has created an album that feels particularly important, relevant, and powerful.

Starting with the ambitious 6-minute, lyrically dense album opener “Words Underlined,” Marchant quickly establishes this tone. “Where were you,” he asks, “when all of this was fucked and on it’s side?”

“I am on your side,” he sings in the very next song “All Your Promise”, with a feeling like the dilemma has been resolved. But this is not an album of resolution; it’s an album of disillusion. Even the album’s poppiest song, “The Whip”, contains a biting social commentary: “everybody likes to feel they’re holding the whip.”

But for all its philosophical, world-weary tendencies, the album is really based in themes of lost love and failed relationships. Not in a conventional sense, but in the decidedly 21st century conundrum of looking for love in the age of disconnection. Marchant’s disillusionment is rooted in this disconnection, and ironically, it exists in opposition to his uncanny ability to articulate himself through music and, in turn, connect with listeners. But when focused on an individual, these theoretical ideas become painful realities.

Later in “The Whip” he sings, “I felt the sun…then I lost you…and I never got it back.” In “Every Eye Open,” he continues, “I’ve been living in lies too… and the secret sin that I’ve loved you for more than a little while.” And in “Stay On Your Knees,” “love was real, but the meaning was wrong.”

Whether at odds with the outside world or the world within him, the battles Marchant fights on this record are such that any intuitive, conscientious listener will relate. Perhaps the entire notion is contained in a single couplet from “Snow Chicago,” that feels at once exhausted and revelatory: “I just wanna feel at ease / And that for once I do belong.”

JADE BIRD live photo

The London-based singer-songwriter has been working on Something American for most of her life. When her parents divorced, she settled in South Wales with her mother and grandmother, but she had already absorbed so much of the world, transforming her experiences into lyrics and songs. Barely a teenager, she learned to play guitar and started writing her own lyrics, slowly at first but gradually with more determination, eventually settling into an intense song-a-day pace. Some were good, others better left forgotten, but the process sharpened her chops and shaped her approach to songwriting.

To make her first record, Bird flew across the Atlantic to work with Simone Felice of the Felice Brothers, an admirer of her songwriting and her unique sound. At his studio in the Catskills, just outside Woodstock, New York, the pair corralled an expert crew that included producer/engineer David Baron (Bat for Lashes, Peter Murphy), drummer Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright), and Americana legend Larry Campbell (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan).

Armed with a voice and a sound , Jade Bird is one of the brightest talents the British folk scene has boasted in years.

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With a wink at “Heart of Glass,” references to the Bowery and a heaving sonic drive, Blondie delivered this buzzy bit of dance-rock that looks backwards but sounds modern. Debbie Harry, who co-wrote the tune with Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, still can work her disaffected sex appeal on that breathy lead-in to the chorus: “Take me then lose me / Then tell them I’m yours.” .

Harry co-wrote “Long Time” with Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes. The song appears on the New Wave icons’ recently issued 11th album release, Pollinator. the band released the song’s frenetic video, in which Harry drives a taxi cab chaotically through New York City.

The John Congleton-produced album also features other collaborations with Sia, Charli XCX, Laurie Anderson, Joan Jett, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, the Strokes’ Nick Valensi and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek (who co-wrote lead single “Fun”).

Official video for “Long Time” from the upcoming album “Pollinator” out 5/5/17

 

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King Crimson aren’t so much a band as a series of bands, all featuring and led by idiosyncratic guitarist Robert Fripp. With a demeanour that resembles a University professor more than a rock star, Fripp’s plotted an erratic course for his band. The group formed in London in 1968, but their ninth album, 1982’s Beat, was the first time the band’s lineup remained the same for two consecutive albums.

While the term “progressive rock” has come to mean a specific style of music that’s symphonic and complex, King Crimson’s shifting lineups, fondness for improvisation, and changes of musical direction mark them as truly progressive. This daring approach can make for some difficult listens, but makes them constantly interesting – their discography is a wild ride, especially in the early 1970s as Fripp struggled to replace the mighty lineup that created their stellar 1969 debut, In The Court of The Crimson King.

A look through King Crimson’s studio discography is absolutely huge but here are five favourite albums, but you should bear in mind that a lot of their live material is also universally acclaimed albums like Epitaph from the initial lineup or Absent Lovers from 1984 are considered key parts of their discography.

Starless and Bible Black (1974)
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I actually bought this album at the time because I loved the sleeve artwork, And of all King Crimson’s line-ups, my favourites and because of John Wetton’s vocal,  the mid-1970s iterations of the band, featuring John Wetton on bass and vocals and Bill Bruford on drums. Starless and Bible Black is less coherent than the two albums that bookend it, as it’s largely formed around live improvisations, but it’s still full of highlights like the complex, heavy instrumental ‘Fracture’ and the beautiful ‘The Night Watch’.

Released in March 1974, the bulk of Starless And Bible Black is a live album with all traces of the audience skilfully removed. Coming between the startling inventions of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, and the far-reaching repercussions of Red, Starless And Bible Black is a powerful and experimental album mingling live recordings with stand-alone studio tracks. Brimming with a confidence borne out of the band’s increasing mastery of the concert platform as a basis for inspired improvisations, the sparse, pastoral beauty of Trio, the impressionistic, sombre moods of the title track, and the complex, cross-picking rhythmic brilliance of Fracture all stand testimony to the musical ESP that existed between Cross, Fripp, Wetton and Bruford. A classic and compelling blast of King Crimson as you’re likely to hear.

Discipline (1981)
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After breaking King Crimson up in 1974, Robert Fripp rebooted the band in 1981, retaining Bill Bruford from the previous lineup, and adding guitarist and vocalist Adrian Belew and Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and bass. The new lineup’s extreme virtuosity is impressive, a unique blend of new wave, progressive rock, and world rhythms.

After seven years away from the public King Crimson returned in 1981 with a brand-new incarnation. Joining Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford are ex-Zappa/Bowie guitarist, Adrian Belew and ace session and Peter Gabriel bassist, Tony Levin. Incorporating sounds reminiscent of the resonant chimes of ancient gamelan music and the sleek, clear lines of modern minimalism,this Anglo-American combination forged a startlingly different musical vocabulary. Frame By Frame, Thela Hun Ginjeet and the album’s title track in particular, showcase Belew and Fripp’s dovetailing guitar parts and Levin and Bruford’s cyclical grooves, forming a mesmeric sound unlike anything heard before on any previous King Crimson albums. The shimmering, hypnotic textures of The Sheltering Sky and savagely raucous Indiscipline provide aleatoric counterweights to the album’s tightly-controlled complexity.

Larks Tongues in Aspic (1973)king-crimson-larks-tongues-in-aspic

After a few unconvincing albums in the early 1970s, Fripp replaced his entire band, bringing in Wetton and Bruford along with percussionist Jamie Muir and electric violinist David Cross. The record is split between complex instrumentals, like the two parts of the title track, and strong songs like ‘Exiles’ and ‘Easy Money’, featuring Wetton’s gritty vocals. King Crimson’s 1973 album marked a radical departure from everything they’d previously done. With guitarist Robert Fripp as the only survivor from the original line-up, the new line-up featuring the heat-seeking work of ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford and the virtuoso bass work of ex-Family bassist John Wetton, who also took on vocals here, presented a breath-taking tour of killer riffs, jaw-dropping dynamics, and poignant ballads. Featuring pastoral Vaughan Williams-style interludes from violinist David Cross, this line-up also embraced a spikier sound that was both willing to rock out, as on the unhinged complexities of LTIA Pt2, as well as explore and experiment with unorthodox textures and atmospherics thanks to eccentric percussionist Jamie Muir.

In The Court of the Crimson King (1969)
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King Crimson immediately made an impact with their debut, with Fripp sharing the limelight with Greg Lake on vocals and bass, Michael Giles on drums, and Ian McDonald on woodwinds; McDonald contributed a lot of the song-writing to the album. It’s not perfect, as ‘Moonchild’ drags, but it’s a landmark of progressive rock, effectively defining the symphonic prog genre with highlights like ’21st Century Schizoid Man’ and ‘Epitaph’. This remains King Crimson’s only gold record – they never capitalised on its success, as the initial lineup disintegrated – Lake went on to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Described by The Who’s Pete Townshend as ‘an uncanny masterpiece’, King Crimson’s debut was released in October 1969 becoming an instant chart hit on both sides of the Atlantic – not bad for a band who only got together less than ten months earlier. 21st Century Schizoid Man showcases the band’s ability to blend music that had the brutal attack of a claw hammer yet wielded with the skilled precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Consisting of a visionary blend of gothic ruminations, anthemic Mellotron-laden grandeur, ornate arrangements and introspective folkish abstractions, the album was a huge influence on bands such as Yes and Genesis and countless other acts on the ‘70s rock scene. The albums distinctive sound is as fresh, bold and as startling as when it first appeared.

Red (1974)
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Gradually whittled down to a trio over the previous couple of records, the dominant sound on Red is the hard, complex rock of the title track and ‘One More Red Nightmare’ from Wetton, Fripp, and Bruford. But it’s the majestic closing ‘Starless’ that’s the gem of King Crimson’s oeuvre, a twelve minute epic that builds to a triumphant, unforgettable climax. Starless is one of King Crimson’s most popular songs came when the view counter for the video of the song performed by the Radical Action team tipped over the 3 million mark.

The song which originally closed off the ’70s incarnation of the band was reinstated to the KC setlist in 2014, 40 years after it had last been performed, and has stayed there ever since. The version posted on the King Crimson Youtube Channel is taken from 2016’s Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind. In case you’re not one of the three million people-plus to have watched it,

Recorded at the end of two lengthy tours of the USA in 1974, the final album of the 1970s finds King Crimson in an raw and uncompromising mood. Consisting of Crimson founder guitarist Robert Fripp, bassist and vocalist John Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford, the trio serve up a sound that’s metal-edged, gritty and powerful. Opening with the classic bulldozer instrumental title track, the album contains a typically eclectic mix that includes the jazzy rock of Fallen Angel, the punchy attack of One More Red Nightmare, the unsettling but dazzling near-telepathic improvisation of Providence and the stirring anthem, Starless whose opening ballad section gives way to a moving and emotional climax that is frequently cited as the ultimate King Crimson listening experience.

and here is the album version of “Starless”