Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Corey Cunningham has studied his forebears—The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Pale Saints—so well that he could ghostwrite for them. The Magic Bullets and Terry Malts alum returns to his newest solo moniker, Business of Dreams, to pen a collection of could’ve-been singles primed for Britain’s ‘80s synth-pop boom. Ripe for Anarchy amplifies the era’s perennial pop sigh into full-blown existentialism, resulting in songs like “My Old Town” and “N.R.E.A.M,” which spiral outward beautifully under the sheen of glittering synth hooks and breezy acoustic guitar.

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With his new album “Ripe For Anarchy,” Cunningham has honed the songwriting with an eye towards regret, existence, and perseverance. “When I’m gone you won’t cry for me, focus on the moment, be free,” he sings on “Chasing That Feeling.” And that’s the mantra here: it’s time to let go. “The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into.”

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The debut EP from Los Angeles-based rockers finds the perfect balance between a blissful retreat and a fury-filled indictment of society’s ills. While “Lullaby No. 13” and “Headstones” opt for the former, “Generation Sick” and “Decoration/Currency” carry the pitchfork and torch for the latter. “Generation Sick” is a seething punk-pop tirade about men who abuse their power (“I had a dream where I screamed / I don’t wanna see another man in my life / What do you think that means”), and “Decoration/Currency” denounces the superficiality of the entertainment industry.

On the softer side, “Headstones” opens with candy-coated indie-pop, but that sugar is quickly melted by their dogged, collective punk chant. Its crisp melodies and agile motor offer just as much therapeutic refuge as their beatific lyrics of escapism

Band Members
Vera Ellen: Lead Guitar & Vocal
Libby Hsieh: Bass & Vocal
Sierra Scott: Guitar & Vocal
Virginia Pettis: Drums & Vocal

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Connecticut-via-Los Angeles band Milly is the lo-fi slowcore project of Brendan Dyer, and they recently dropped their debut EP on cassette, “Our First Four Songs”, via Dangerbird Records. The EP is a collection of three singles plus a previously unreleased eponymous track, and it’s a slow-drip of steamy guitars, casual yet heartfelt vocals and ephemeral, abstract love songs. “Milly” and “Talking Secret” lean into warped guitar ferocity while “People Are Forever” and “Crazy Horse” embrace crawling tempos and dazed, cinematic lo-fi, their warm-hearted, syrupy rock songs make them a band to watch in 2020.

As the title suggests, this cassette EP contains Milly’s first four songs. The first two songs “Milly” and “People Are Forever” were originally self-released by Dyer in 2018 and the following two songs “Talking Secret” and “Crazy Horse” were originally released by Dangerbird as part of our Microdose single series.

“Talking Secret” is the A-side of Milly’s installment in Dangerbird Records‘ Microdose monthly music series.

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As 2019 winds down, we’re all starting to think about what types of changes we’re looking to implement in our lives to better ourselves in the coming decade, beyond the hollow and overly optimistic cliché of getting maybe a gym membership next year. The return of Best Coast appears to harness this translucent positive energy, strategically announcing their first non-kid’s music LP in nearly five years upon the changing of the decade. With plenty of positivity taking place in the duo’s lives in the interim, “For the First Time” is predictably upbeat both lyrically and instrumentally, with Bethany Cosentino’s lines about learning self-care countering flutey gildings which match the earnest simplicity of Talking Heads’ most zen-like type sound.

Best Coast – For The First Time (Official Music Video)

Band Members
Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno

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Releasing a song with a title as famous as ‘Hallelujah’ takes some real chutzpah, which Haim seem to possess in droves. This week, the Los Angeles-based trio dropped their third single in three months, and it’s a moving tribute to the bond the three sisters share. As with their previous two videos, this one was directed by none other than Paul Thomas Anderson, meaning it’s cinematically stunning by default. Inspired by sibling telepathy, the video depicts what it’s like to have siblings that always have your back.

Filmed on location at The Los Angeles Theatre, Los Angeles, California October 13, 2019 Music video by HAIM performing Hallelujah

Band Members
Danielle Haim,
Alana Haim,
Este Haim

On their third album Modern Mirror, Los Angeles synth-pop duo Drab Majesty sound more majestic than ever. Their futuristic vocals, entrancing rhythms, bittersweet sentiments and lush guitars emit forces of woe and uplift that never feel contradictory. The record was inspired by the group’s trip to Greece, and they take influence from the ancient myth “Echo and Narcissus,” taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. They explore the story of the dangerously ego-driven Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection, but it’s retold through the lens of postmodern triggers for self-obsession like technological proliferation and lack of quiet self-reflection. Drab Majesty’s lustrous synth escapades and intergalactic bleeps are just as slick as their commentary on modern day romance and personal conundrums.

The fourth single “Out of Sequence” off of the new album “Modern Mirror” from LA-based synth pop outfit Drab Majesty. Before Scott died, an idea was formed to celebrate 10 years of their seminal album The Midnight Organ Fight by asking some of their talented buds in music to take a crack at their own versions of a song on the album. The whole album was recorded and was due to be released last summer, but then unfortunately Scott passed away last May. The band have decided they still want to release the record as a testament to the album, and to Scott. It features covers by Biffy Clyro, Craig Finn, Twilight Sad, Ben Gibbard, Daughter, Josh Ritter and more.

Check out their back catalouge too: The first song I heard, and the one I recommend you listen to immediately, is ‘Dot in the Sky’, which is like ‘November Spawned a Monster’ and the Stranger Things soundtrack had a baby with Less Than Zero.The Drabs is all a bit Less Than Zero, a bit 80s, but way better… Put it this way: the 1980s WISH they could lay claim to Drab Majesty. they’re good. And they’ve got a new album out. That’s it Modern Mirror. Go get it after you’ve leapt into the other two, The Demonstration (2017) and Careless (2015).

 

Drab Majesty is on Dais Records with a bunch of other amazing groups like Choir Boy and King Dude. Check ’em out!

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Five artists cover Meg Duffy’s “placeholder” song, with all proceeds going toward the Amazon Conservation Association. Meg Duffy aka Hand Habits has announced the “Wldfire Covers” EP, which sees five artists cover Duffy’s placeholder song “wildfire.” The EP, which is led by Hand Habits’ original, features covers by Angel Olsen, Lomelda, Kacey Johansing, Tara Jane O’Neil and John Andrews & The Yawns.

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releases December 25th, 2019

Meg Duffy wrote “wildfire” during the California wildfires in 2017. In a statement, they said:

Being a touring musician eight months out of the year, you are exposed to a lot of varying degrees of climate change effects in a short period of time. From the gasoline that’s used to fuel touring vehicles, to the massive amount of plastic waste at the end of every show, to the carbon emissions released into the air by all the travel, it’s often not the most environmentally conscious career. I wanted to contribute, even if in a small way, to the efforts at work by the people at the Amazon Conservation Association for being dedicated to preserving such a vast and heartbreakingly crucial part of our ecosystem that has been threatened by wildfires, deforestation, and the effects of climate change. I believe that writing and performing music can be a healing force, used for good, and not always for capitalizing on emotions and commodifying a personality or lifestyle. People need to be able to relate to each other, in times of joy, and especially in times of sorrow or struggle. The Wildfire Compilation, in partnership with Bandcamp and Saddle Creek, will be donating all of its funds raised to the ACA in hopes to lend a helping hand to those on the front lines of fighting climate change in places that may seem inaccessible to those of us unable to travel at length. I chose five artists, Tara Jane O’Neil, Lomelda, John Andrews, Angel Olsen, and Kacey Johansing to interpret and cover my song “wildfire” that I wrote during the California Wildfires in 2017. All of these artists are dear friends and have all taught me a lot about the complexity of emotions in music.

With music occupying a triangle between jangly indie pop, British 80s classics (like The Smiths and The Wedding Present) and 90s college rock, the collective are ready to unleash the track ‘Crying All The Time’. This brilliant offering delightfully foreshadows their new ‘Brilliant Failures’ album, which is slated for release in late January. This music is impeccable, it’s uplifting feeling and clever lyrics recalling so much great music from decades past while feeling fresh and actual today.

‘Crying All the Time’ addresses the cathartic and empathic consolations of crying. The accompanying video was filmed and directed by renowned American director Steve Hanft (The Stone Roses, Beck, Mercury Rev, L7) and stars beautiful actress Katlyn Rodriguez. The theme of this video is inspired by My Bloody Valentine ‘Soon’.

the first single from Brilliant Failures LP on Germany’s legendary A Turntable Friend Records. coming January 2020.

Starcrawler (who released their second album about a month ago) are all under 25, but they make bands twice their age look like frosted cupcakes. They also, in a way, resemble the early incarnation of Alice Cooper, and a lot of other stuff that sounds like rock.

There’s the bass player, Tim, who is what a bass player should be: unassuming, solid, off to the side, and a pit bull enthusiast. Austin, on drums, is the oldest at 24, and is super friendly to people, but very hard on his drums. Besides his guitar, Henri is really into t-shirts, until he gets onstage dressed in a cowboy get up, like a mutated combo of Gram Parsons and Jimmy Page with huge slime beast riffs and demented circus ringleader face. Then there’s Arrow who, when she’s not sitting on the floor, levitates five feet above the stage covered in blood.

Unlike most twenty-somethings, no one in this group really gets hammered on booze or does too much crazy shit. All of that goes into the performance. Not that it’s all pretend. Arrow has on more than one occasion been fucked up by dangerous stage antics. Over the course of the show, a plot unfolds which imagines several inventive ways for a person to destroy themselves. I won’t give away the ending, but there is a lot of blood. Things start with Arrow as a sort of badass demented glam queen until, rapidly and without warning, it all goes downhill in the best possible way. It’s glamour plus destruction, over and over, returning every night like a phoenix from the ashes. Or maybe a chicken.

Starcrawler in a soundtrack?? Now that’s a good sign :0 I love this band, saving rock n roll

Starcrawler’s cover of “Pet Sematary” by Ramones is out now on Rough Trade Records and also features on the ‘Pet Sematary’ film soundtrack.

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For the better part of a decade, Baths‘ elegiac dance floor anthems have embodied F. Scott Fitzgerald’s adage about how first rate minds are those that can hold two opposing ideas in their head at the same time. His latest “Wistful (Fata Morgana)” masters this propulsive duality, balancing strobe light-ready BPMS with emotional pathos. It’s the sort of song a celestial deity would want play at the club after a crushing breakup. The mysterious nexus between loneliness and euphoria.

If the best pop music (and art) contains contradictions, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born Will Wiesenfeld has mastered the art of combining profound sadness with sweaty catharsis. With his seraphic voice, he meditates on “cloudy harbor vapor,” a breeze forlornly running fingers through your hair, and the melancholy of having empty conversations with the wind. His loved one is “still out on a boat somewhere,” inevitably fated to never return. The only solace is the melody, the beat, and the song itself that allows you to drift off into the infinite distance.

released November 13th, 2019

Written, produced, & performed by Will Wiesenfeld