Posts Tagged ‘California’

The Los Angeles singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson has shared a new single, “Northsiders,” taken from his forthcoming, currently untitled album. The LP was produced by none other than Phoebe Bridgers, a frequent collaborator of Hutson’s. “Northsiders” features Hutson’s kindhearted vocal melodies, light acoustic guitar plucks and rousing strings that linger in the background. In his lyrics, Hutson masterfully mixes witty, dark humor with observational sentimentality.  Hutson began his musical career as a member of The Driftwood Singers, he is a current member of Jenny Lewis’s Band.

Lyrical highlights include “We were so pretentious then / Didn’t trust the government / Said that we were communists / And thought that we invented it,” “Tried cocaine at my cousin’s house / I’m probably addicted now” and “Morrissey apologists / Amateur psychologists / Serial monogamists / We went to different colleges.” Underlying all the droll comedy is a sobering reality—the kind of realization that makes you pull over your car to shed a few tears before pulling yourself back together (“Nothing’s going to change it now”). Hutson is the kind of songwriter that you’ll want to root for—painfully relatable lyrics, comforting melodies and a sharp-witted personality that money can’t buy

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Dreaming The Dark”; the long anticipated follow up to 2017’s “Cranekiss” isn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but that might be a good thing. Tamaryn has continued to change her sound throughout her career, exploring new territory as she goes; which has made her an artist to stay connected with and to watch. I tend to get bored with artists who don’t somehow grow and change. Some listeners want that “standard” band sound, but I appreciate never quite knowing what to expect.

This album is even more firmly synthpop than “Cranekiss” was; which teetered on the genre as well as dreampop. There are still many dreamy elements presents in “Dreaming The Dark” but it has an overall more 80’s throwback and dance vibe. This album also seems much more personal, delving into Tamaryn’s psyche with different topics for each song. “Cranekiss” seemed to be a sexy, romantic album overall; at times seeming like a very steamy love letter. “Dreaming The Dark” covers more territory and is done in a very calculated way, making those different threads still weave themselves into a cohesive complete set; a solid album in it’s entirety.

The early released singles, “Fits of Rage” and “Angels of Sweat” seem to have lots of nods to strong female indie rock vocalists who came before. I got impressions of Tori AmosKate Bush, and even Bjork upon listening, given the certain ways in which Tamaryn chose to deliver her vocals. Regardless of if you hear those echoes or not, there is a fierceness and tenacity that has not been as present in Tamaryn’s prior work. There are some great collaborative moments here as well, as The Horrors worked with her on “Path to Love”; as well as provided a remix to that song, and Jorge Elbrecht is still very much involved and helped to produce the album.

Other stand-out tracks include “You’re Adored” which Tamaryn shared via her Instagram page is an ode to her beloved dog, Tennessee; who had been struggling with cancer and sadly now has passed away. It’s a forelorn lovesong asking someone to stay when you know that they are fading away. The closing title track also stands strong and is the perfect summary of “Dreaming The Dark” as a whole.
As I mentioned above, this album wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, and upon initial listening, didn’t strike me a hard as “Cranekiss” did. However, I am finding the more time I spent listening, the more I appreciate it and it’s absolutely growing on me. Maybe I’m not quite ready to move away from those beautiful, yet frivolous love songs and dig a little deeper.

A swirly cocktail of new wave and dreampop. Tamaryn’s new album pushes her into the kinds of territory I’d like to hear more artists exploring.  A perfect album to kick off spring! Love the New Wave vibe it’s got. Catchy songs, crafty songwriting with hypnotic vocals.

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“Dreaming The Dark” by Tamaryn. 
Dedicated to Matt Irwin.
Released March 22nd, 2019

L.a. witch octubre clean version

Produced by Gregg Foreman (Cat Power, Delta 72). L.A. Witch’s eponymous debut album tapped into the allure of warm nights on the West Coast while hinting at the loneliness and lawlessness of living on the periphery of a country founded on a dark past. The three-piece composed of Sade Sanchez, Irita Pai, and Ellie English culled sounds from the outlaws of warmer climes, whether it was 13th Floor Elevators’ lysergic rock n’ roll or the cool hand fatalism by The Doors on songs like The End. It’s an album transmitting subdued revelry while also smirking at the inevitable consequences of the night.

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There is no better season for these kinds of songs than the autumn, when the promises of summer have abated and the nights of reckoning grow longer. L.A. Witch seized the moment by revisiting some of their early tracks and reshaping them into Octubre, a five-song EP that delves deeper into their darker side.

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With only two EPs and some stray singles, grungy LA four-piece Goon have garnered a devoted fanbase and compelling sound. They released Happy Omen back in 2017, following their debut EP Dusk Of Punk the previous year. Goon have now shared a new single, “Datura” and a glitched out, saturated Vinyl Williams-directed music video.

“Datura” is heavier than Goon’s classic ’90s-indebted rock, but preserves their lo-fi fuzz. “This song isn’t really about any one thing. It touches a lot of different weird ideas,” singer and guitarist Kenny Becker says in a statement.

The original melodic idea for the song was just to make a tune that had a chorus with a bass line that revolved around three notes, only half-steps apart. The rest of the song moves around quite a bit and I’ve always really liked that contrast.

I wanted to have the chorus never use any repeating phrases, which led to stream-of-consciousness style lyrics. Because of that, this song isn’t really about any one thing. It touches a lot of different weird ideas. Like datura flowers that grew in the canyon near the house that I grew up in, or questioning the effectiveness of praying for god to take away stomach pain of an old friend.

“The original melodic idea for the song was just to make a tune that had a chorus with a bass line that revolved around three notes, only half-steps apart. The rest of the song moves around quite a bit and I’ve always really liked that contrast.

I wanted to have the chorus never use any repeating phrases, which led to sorta stream-of-consciousness style lyrics. Because of that, this song isn’t really about any one thing. It sorta touches a lot of different weird ideas. Like datura flowers that grew in the canyon near the house that I grew up in, or questioning the effectiveness of praying for god to take away stomach pain of an old friend.”

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Band Members
Kenny Becker , Drew Eccleston, Christian Koons, Caleb Wicker

released March 21st, 2019

In conversations over cheap beer my friends and I were discussing what makes us love or hate a song. Our music tastes overlap a lot but there are a few outliers, the most polarizing being Bruce Springsteen. I’m an unabashed fan and by and large, love his whole catalog. I had never really thought about why a song that really grabs me, but as we talked it became clear that the common thread in most songs I like is genuine emotion. For me to really like a song, it has to make me feel something. I need to believe the emotion in the song.

That’s why if you look through my record collection you will see a lot of music with stories or love, loss, addiction, pain, and often even triumph over these things. Tommy Alexander’s ‘Too Many Miles’ would be right at home amidst albums from the likes of John Moreland, Glen Hansard, and Elliott Smith. The sound of Alexander alone with his guitar captures the feel of the loneliness he is singing about. His voice and guitar playing are reminiscent of John Prine. There’s pain in his singing particularly in the subtle use of vibrato that almost sounds like the beginnings of a sob. It’s real emotion rather than an affectation.  Anyone who has ever been far from those you love, can identify with that loneliness. Though the song is about Tommy’s feeling of isolation, we immediately can put ourselves in the song and it becomes our story.  I’m really looking forward to hearing more from Tommy Alexander and for his upcoming album which will be out in summer of this year.

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This song was inspired by the feeling of being a long way from the ones you love, from your home. Here I am feeling a pull towards introspection and self examination, to get more to the root of my own loneliness. It was  ironic because I wrote the song at my Dad’s house over Thanksgiving weekend,  while visiting the house that I grew up in. I left that home, as many do around 18 years old, and since have spent plenty of time missing my family, missing that home, missing some aspect of a childhood innocence.  In this song I found a small piece to the puzzle of my life.  -Tommy Alexander

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Making it as a musician today can require a heavy helping of DIY spirit, and Tommy Alexander has that in spades. It carried the California born musician all the way to Burlington, Vermont, where he founded Jenke Arts, a nonprofit artists’ collective and record label, and eventually all the way back west, where he found a new artistic home (at least for the moment) in Portland, Oregon. Once in Portland, Alexander connected with producer Mike Coykendall, who has worked with a slew of indie darlings, including M. Ward, She and Him Bright Eyes and Blitzen Trapper. Alexander’s creates a unique, infectious indie rock style all his own. His honest and heartfelt lyricism come to life in his songs which will strike a chord with you the very first listen.

Best news I’ve come across for a long time! Triptides are issuing their brilliant Colors EP for the first time on vinyl (Originally released in 2014 on digital/cassette), The band has teamed up with one of the most exciting labels around for some very limited and completely mindboggling custom Vinyl variants.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; Triptides are truly some of the finest purveyors of sunny psych sounds around! Reverbed licks and hazy vocals, snappy drums and groovy basslines, all perfectly arranged into psyched up pop-pearls that lifts your spirits and sticks that smile right on your face. Their sounds are instantly catchy and easygoing, and at the same time inhabits those small melodic variations in the arrangements that enriches their tunes through repeated listening. Goddamn how much I love this bunch..

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While their whole catalogue (counting 7 album + numerous Eps and singles) is a total bliss, this EP contains some of Triptides’ finest moments. Be sure to check it out underneath, 6 sweet’n salty treats to leave you in the sun gazed haze of a lazy sunday afternoon!,  A miraculous EP with great songwriting and solid pop craftsmanship, probably my favorite by Triptides. “Destiny” is the kind of song that sticks in your head for days and days…

Melbourne’s own Salty Dog Records always takes pride in coming up with the sickest custom variants, and the Brunswick East based one-man operation has really set the bar high with this release.

Glenn Brigman – Vox/Guitar/Farfisa/Mellotron/Bass/Drums
Josh Menashe – Vox/Guitar/Bass

Originally released April 29th, 2014

Recorded and mixed by Triptides at Sun Pavilion in Bloomington, IN.

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Rosie Tucker’s songs can be wry and funny, but they’re always sincere, with a gift for metaphor and a clear understanding of just how precarious life can be. Tucker examines the aftermath of a painful loss in “Lauren,” interrogates a hard-wired tendency to stay quiet in “Habit” and paints a loving everyday portrait of crucial safe spaces in “Gay Bar,” which closes with a pointedly chosen Dusty Springfield sample.

Goodness, this one came out of nowhere and absolutely punched me right in the face. There’s something so engrossing about those moments when everything cuts out and Rosie starts rattling off her pointed observations, memories and/or grievances with old loves that won’t die (and maybe never fully will, honestly). They are my favorite moments in a song so far in 2019.

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If I were Wolfy I’d know how to deliver a disarmingly funny & deceptively heartfelt thank you in ten words or less. Given that I’m stuck being myself, bear with … thank you to Wolfy for being objectively good at art, to Jessica Reed for being one take wonderful, to Anna Arboles for being the Tegan to my Sara and the Brandi to my Carlile. Greg Katz, thank you for insisting that these songs are worth the work. This album wouldn’t have reason to exist without listeners like you. -Ro

Written and performed by Rosie Tucker 
Produced by Wolfy
Guitars by Anna Arboles 
Drums by Jessica Reed 

Released March 8th, 2019

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Texas singer-songwriter Hannah Read is the creative force at the heart of lo-fi folk project Lomelda, who released their third album Thx last year.

My new album ’M for Empathy’ is mostly things said or shoulda said, heard or shoulda. Much of it, and it’s just a lil, came to me, or outta me, outta a deepening silence. Something you can hear a lot of I hope. It let me voice again. It also let me not, and only sing as much as I wanted, which is important too. Making peace with the word in me, just a lil, all my might.
xo, Hannah
released March 1st, 2019

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performed and produced by
Hannah Read and Tommy Read
at Lazybones Studio in Silsbee, TX
January 26-28, 2019

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Adam Melchor graduated college with a degree in opera, but as a singer-songwriter, he specializes in dreamy, harmony-dense, Technicolor folk-pop songs like “Three Hours Ahead,” which celebrates a friendship that transcends time zones. Melchor, who recently moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, sings about what he knows: the search for personal growth and connection, overcoming doubt and holding onto the slivers of the past worth keeping. The relocation proved to be fruitful and has since propelled the singer-songwriter’s career as an artist.

Acoustic singer/songwriter Adam Melchor is also streaming a new song titled “Plan On You.” The track is taken from Melchor’s new Plan On You EP set to arrive on March 20th. Check out the new song below.

With a soft instrumental introduction and Melchor’s delicate indie vocals, “Plan On You” brings us to a nostalgic place. Surrounded by unknown plans, the opera-singer-turned-bedroom-folk-artist sings of the one certainty in his life, crooning, “I don’t have a plan/ I just planned on you.” An ode to the modern love song, Melchor illustrates his brilliant ability to write simple and raw lyrics that resonate with you long after the song has reached its end.

written and performed by Adam Melchor drums by Jon Gilbert

To hear Blushh’s “I’m Over It” is to be transported directly to the ’90s in the span of less than 20 seconds. Shab Ferdowsi knows just how to rip into a fuzzy, rousing chorus with maximum efficiency and force — you can just imagine a stadium full of people rising up in unison to shout along while still conveying universal truths about emotional labor and frustration. “I’m Over It” is there to perfectly sum up your lousy day, while invariably improving it. Sometimes it doesn’t take 3:30. No chaff or endless repetition here. These songs are the perfect length and I wish all 2-minute tracks sounded like this.

The Band:

Vox/guitar: Shab Ferdowsi 
Lead guitar: Arieh Berl 
Bass: Josh Berl 
Drums: Lani Renaldo

“I’m Over It” by blushh New Album ‘Thx 4 Asking’ out 6/15 on Yellow K Records