Posts Tagged ‘California’

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This is the 2nd album by Black Needle Noise with our friends Zialand, Kendra Frost, Andrea Kerr, Jennie Vee, Mahsa Zargaran (Omniflux), Mimi Page, Ana Breton, Bill Leeb, Sivert Høyem and Dr Strangefryer

The brillant music of legendary artist-producer John Fryer is released under the moniker of BLACK NEEDLE NOISE with the album ‘Lost in Reflections’.

He is best known for producing and shaping the sound of Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, and numerous other artists from Mute Records, 4AD and Beggar’s Banquet and later on Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets, Cradle of Filth, and many more. But he is also known as 1 of 2 founders of 4AD legacy-group This Mortal Coil, together with Ivo Watts-Russell. This new album continues that legacy, with John Fryer teaming up with a series of brilliant vocalists for this collosal project.

This album arrives on the tail of news of John Fryer’s release with legendary David Lynch muse Chrysta Bell (also starring as Special Agent Tammy Preston in the new Twin Peaks series). They have paid “homage to the infinitely haunting and enduring music of Twin Peaks” in the form of a cover of ‘Falling’ by Julee Cruise, Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch.


There’s an interesting mix going on with Los Angeles quartet The Black Watch. On the one hand their new single ‘Way Strange World’ starts out with a indie rock  sound . On the other hand, their vocalist John Andrew Fredrick brings a gravity and intensity to thier sound.

As bouncy as the track gets, it never loses an essential depth that keeps the track on the earnest straight and narrow. This is mirrored in the music video, which with its sepia tone and faux Super 8 appearance creates a nostalgic and emotional counterpoint to the song.

Leading the band is the multi faceted and talented John Andrew Fredrick. Spending his time making music, writing books, working as a university English lecturer, playing tennis and painting, Fredrick is a real paragon of creativity. When I saw he writes books I don’t just mean for the laugh either. His new novel Your Caius Aquilla was released on April 11th and his first non-fiction title Fucking Innocent: The Early Films of Wes Anderson is set to be released on July 11th.

“The response to the new LP has been overwhelming, to say the least, especially considering we had quite modest expectations going in to the studio and a very casual approach to recording it,” notes John Andrew Fredrick. “I imagine its significance has to do with the astonishing guitar work of new lead guitarist Andy Creighton, and my incapability of stopping writing indie pop songs, despite the fact that all last year all I did was listen to classical!”


With Untouchable, Kelly has raised the stakes even more than his previous album “Goes Missing”, now fully embracing some of the more outwardly power-pop sensibilities he’d hinted at in previous records.

Kelly has become synonymous with L.A. fuzz-punk contemporaries like Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, and has played in projects with both men. What’s remarkable about Kelly, though, is his confidence in his voice, and it’s a primary focal point throughout Untouchable. Kelly’s vocals are amped up to the forefront, a move that makes for more memorable, hummable moments, as is evident right out of the gate on LP opener “Broken Record.” The song’s slow-burn guitar progression is just monotonous enough to invite Kelly’s meandering melodies to enchant the vibe, as he sings “I took to making circles round the world/every time I run through/I take to making circles round some girl/Like a broken record I hear myself put it in a tune.”


Continuing onto the fantastic “Real Enough to Believe,” Kelly homes in on a perfectly proportioned ‘60s pop format, fully welcoming the dreaded “derivative” song. Rather than being careful to avoid direct aural influences from his favorite styles of music, Kelly embraces the nuances of decades of rock ‘n’ roll and reinvents it in his own smorgasbord of cool. “Real Enough to Believe,” against all odds, rivals the brilliant standout track “Be What You Are” from Goes Missing, a feat that once seemed near-impossible.

Untouchable revels in a generally lo-fi mix that sits well with the record’s found-sound ambiance, in another nod to Kelly’s nomadic muses. “That’s When It’s Over” writhes in a mid-song homage to “Hey Joe,” with Kelly’s scintillating guitar solos saluting both Hendrix and the wormy noodling of the Dead. Perched in the thick of the album’s more thoughtful tunes, “That’s When It’s Over” is a juggernaut of energy that perfectly splits the record into two parts. The song’s breakneck riffing explodes with a full head of steam, chugging along atop motorik drums and Kelly crooning, hooting and hollering to a repeated refrain of “In the heart of her heart, she don’t care.”

In its more tender moments, Untouchable unloads heavier pseudo-ballads like the titletrack. With little more than a reverb-y acoustic guitar and a plunky bass backing, Kelly lets his gorgeous voice take even more of a central role, stripped of the blistering leads that permeate most of the album. “Will It To Be” follows suit near the end of the record, a twisted ballad that finds Kelly cooing “I’m holding back now/but I’m getting closer/I am pretending I don’t need to know or even care at all.” The song’s moody, Velvet Undergroundian darkness comes through despite its Fleetwood Mac facade, with rhythmic instruments set deep and foreboding under Kelly’s fluttering melodies.

The magic moments found on Untouchable speak to Kelly’s swaggering confidence—as if that weren’t perhaps alluded to enough in the album’s very title. As a result, the ambitiousness of his work seems increasingly more destined to join the canon of timeless pop from which The Cairo Gang’s songs find their roots.

The spiny tingle of excitement, the building anticipation of ritual! Chord progressions in the key of the heart! Star-crossed breakthroughs and guitars cross-talking with a bejeweled ennui throughout interrelationships .


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It’s been a minute since we last heard from the Los Angeles-based Miya Folick, whose slow but steady stream of folk- and punk-infused releases have amounted to some well-deserved buzz and anticipation towards a full-length debut. You’ll have to keep being patient for that one, but in the meantime, Folick has put together the “Give it to Me” EP, its a follow up to the  2015 “Strange Darling” EP.

The new project Miya Folick’s first release on Terrible Records also takes a page from that decade, though here it’s a decidedly louder, more ruthless one, a la last year’s standalone releases like “Pet Body” and “God Is a Woman”—to say nothing of her and her band’s shredded-up live shows.

You know a song is great when you want to hear it again straight after your first listen, Miya Folick’s “Trouble Adjusting,” , is one of those songs, and that recall might have as much to do with its unhinged grunge hooks as with its subject matter .

“No underwear / I went to the laundromat / I just stood and stared / I’m sorry Mom / I’ve lived alone for so long / but I’m still having trouble adjusting,” she sings, her quiet anxiety unraveling into screams. “How am I to do it again / If I can’t recall how I was in the beginning?”


Here’s what Folick says about the new song and EP, due out later this summer:

“I was writing an album and realized there were a group of songs that didn’t seem to fit, but were also songs that I had been playing live with my band for a while,” she says. “I wanted a proper documentation of the particular sound and energy of our live show, to share but also for myself. My life has changed a lot in the last couple years and that has so much to do with these songs and the people who have been playing them with me. I didn’t even consider myself a musician two years ago. This song is probably a bit of a reaction to that—new people, new environments, new experiences all flooding into my life at top speed, and me trying to navigate them without losing myself. I’m very grateful for the life I have, but sometimes I’m not very good at living it.”

Listen to the Miya Folick’s “Trouble Adjusting” below.


Newly signed to the Anti- label, Los Angeles-based Ryan Pollie – better known under his moniker of Los Angeles Police Department – sets out his second, self-titled album on April 28th.

The follow-up to his 2014 debut (also a self-titled effort), was produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (Whitney, The Lemon Twigs) and mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Foo Fighters), Pollie describes the album – which addresses suicide and addiction, anxiety and bereavement – as “a coming-of-age story.”:

“You always think of coming-of-age stories as something that happens to kids, something like Stand By Me or Catcher in the Rye, but in my twenties I realized that I was always going to face this vulnerability and this anxiety. I’m never going to be that wise old person who’s cold-hearted and knows everything. So this record is about learning to face up to those fears and be emotionally responsible.”


Music & Lyrics by: Ryan Pollie
Produced by: Jonathan Rado

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There are those of us simply cannot sit still, the type of person who must always be doing something. Others might be jealous of these constant achievers, wishing they themselves could be equally motivated. But the grass is always greener, and those movers can be just as envious of the serenity of stillness. It’s that perfect balance that’s so hard to find, and one Los Angeles singer-songwriter Gold Star seeks


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Up and coming dream-pop artist Hazel English is from Melbourne, Australia by way of Oakland, California, but her new music video for “Fix” is a fantasy of a perfect all-day date in summertime Los Angeles. “I want to feel alive,” English croons as her new beau pushes her in a shopping cart and feeds her mango with chili and lime. “Tell me you want / Me to stay the night,” she sings, and it’s hard to know if the video is supposed to represent real events, or the fantasy of the young woman who first appears alone with her copy of Tank Girl.

Hazel English’s newly announced double EP “Just Give In / Never Going Home” is out May 12th via Polyvinyl. The Never Going Home half was previously released;

Fix is the first single of my 2 x EP Just Give In / Never Going Home out May 12th


1. Other Lives, 2. Fix, 3. Birthday, 4. Love is Dead, 5. More Like You

Includes Bonus Track – That Thing

6. Never Going Home, 7. Make It Better,8. Control,9. It’s Not Real, 10.I’m Fine

There are inescapable feel-good encounters and there are others which lead you into energetic engagements but there are very few which has the body and spirit engaged in a full on party mode “Whiplash Splash” is one of the few.

Uncaged by Californian duo The Dollyrots, its the band’s sixth studio album, Its a new wave of bubblegum flavoured pop infested punk ‘n’ roll. A year ago, the pair invaded a new plateau in their sound with the “Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out” EP, itself continuing the new bloom of growth started by the bands previous album “Barefoot and Pregnant” two years before that.

Now the ‘invader’ has become the conqueror, Whiplash Splash owning the new level of creative maturity in the pair’s sound leaving the body exhausted and emotions flying in its wake.

If last year was a truly busy time for the couple of vocalist/bassist Kelly Ogden and vocalist/guitarist Luis Cabezas, with the release of the EP and a sold out UK tour with Bowling For Soup backing up the birth of their child, 2017 has the potential of being even hungrier on their time and virulent revelry with Whiplash Splash leading the way. As Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out, the crowd funded album was produced by John Fields with the duo.

With the album’s title, imagery, and writing spun from Ogden’s passion for and longing to be a mermaid, as well as working as a metaphor for the band’s spilt time living in downtown Los Angeles and coastal Florida, Whiplash Splash just rips itself from the speakers with opener “I Do”. A squeal and coaxing beats hit ears before a swaggering stroll of Ramones like riffs and further tenacious rhythmic exploit punk instincts led by the catchy vocal lures of Ogden and the equally enticing throb of her bass. Feet and hips are just as quickly involved as too voice and appetite, the song simply punk pop devilry.

The following Babbling Idiot is just as virulent, Ogden’s harmonic romancing warming the angular surge of guitar and the sparking of solitary rhythmic seduction before it all boils up into another seriously addictive and physically persuasive chorus. The song has a slim seventies/eighties scent to it, occasionally bringing thoughts of bands like The Photos and The Waitresses, but roars with a punk ‘n’ roll .

Next up is Mermaid, the song is pure seduction from its harmonic caresses and flirtatious hooks to a sonic blaze fuelled by just as forceful bait. It is a creative collusion built for the listener’s slavish captivation, success captured within a handful of breaths with similar rewards sought and found by Just Because I’m Blonde straight after. With Cabezas’ guitar jangle the first chain of temptation, Ogden’s probing bassline the second, the track quickly prowls the senses with a lively confident swagger and a throbbing almost salacious backbone. Again hooks escape from each creative twist with B52s inspired keys just adding to the drama.

From its first breath, continuing its manipulation in fine style with Squeeze Me. Its initial rockabilly hued bass groove is alone enough to tempt submission, an almost taunting tempting soon fondled by sonic invention and subsequently joined by Ogden’s vocal saunter.  As words and song make an increasingly pop punk proposal no red blooded rocker can refuse, kinetic dynamics ensure class ‘A’ catchiness before This Addiction serenades ears with its own boisterously infectious swing and harmonic invention; its croon sliding melodic caresses across the senses like a sultry lover inflamed with lust borne energy.

Dance Like a Maniac more than lives up to its title as a persuasion, its bold and bruising punk rock a bully for feet and body swerves driving song and listener into zealous union while Saturday Morning with a great opening bass groan offers its own headstrong physical temptation. Riffs and rhythms alone are sparks for instinctive compliance and only assisted by the blend of hard and pop rock surging through the song’s tapestry of sound.

Both tracks leave lungs gasping for breath and pleasure over flowing, yet still get slightly eclipsed by the hip swinging incitement that is City of Angels; imagine The Runaways and Bikini Kill mixing with The Go-Gos and you have a sense of its mighty romp before things mellow out with the graceful Jump Start This Heart, a song lined with an electro pop shimmer and bound in melancholic beauty as a sonic fire burns in its heart.

The rawer pop ‘n’ roll of Pack of Smokes steps forward next, bouncing along as a caustic air hugs its fiercely catchy enterprise and energy, and though it does not quite match those before it, the song leaves satisfaction pumped before the outstanding Other Trucker with its reggae hinted, attitude soaked summer canter again has pleasure brimming over. As throughout, Cabezas’ vocal backing and unity with Ogden’s is superb, often understated but always a complimentary hue to her almost siren-esque presence, especially on this treat.

The album closes with Walking on Sunshine, The Dollyrots giving the Katrina and the Waves classic their distinctive craft and energy. To be honest, it is a song which has never lit our fires but that does not stop the twosome causing bodies to bounce in the office as the album ends in fine style.

Ogden and Cabezas have hit another high with Whiplash Splash, their loftiest yet in all aspects and fair to say, when put together by The Dollyrots pop and punk has never been more tempting.

Valley Queen front woman Natalie Carol leads a band reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and My Morning Jacket with evocative vocals. Neil Wogensen (Bass & Vocals), Shawn Morones (Lead Guitar & Vocals) and Gerry Doot (drums), enrich the songs with energy, excitement and emotion.
In 2016, the band released the singles “In My Place” and “High Expectations” on Canvasback Music/Atlantic Records to wide acclaim, and have played lauded shows at an array of venues,
Pranav Trewn from Stereogum praised that Valley Queen has “never sounded better than they do on “In My Place,” and Bob Boilen from NPR’s All Songs Considered believes that “Valley Queen comes from the Neil Young school of great music.”
March 2017 marks the debut of Valley Queen’s premiere EP, featuring their newest songs produced by Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Nikki Lane, Fool’s Gold, FIDLAR). The songs show the band’s sonic evolution since their first release, and will set the stage for an exciting year to come.


Valley Queen are,

Natalie Carol – Vocals/Guitar
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Gerry Doot – Drums