Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

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Marina Allen glides on angelic highs, surfing the husky deep; she is one of the great new voices of her generation. Writing songs that carry notes from other realms; these are kitchen table tales about love and fear, the capturing of the wild heart, sketching the breaking of dawn, bringing real life back to life.

Every song on stunning debut album ‘Candlepower’ is a tick box of influences, asides, inspirations, quickfire theories, storylines and melodic progressions that galvanise a chemical reaction for each dramatic scene that unfolds on this genre-traversing seven song epic.

One listen to opening track ‘Oh, Louise’ underlines the range of Marina’s talent, it’s a filmic play on words, with an arrangement that’s like a Kate Bush dream sequence. It’s the perfect foil for the plaintive strum of ‘Sleeper Train’, a haunting, folky paean fit for Judee Sill brought up to date with some echoey electric guitar; or the conversational ‘Believer’; with a nod to Joni Mitchell in the lyrics it sounds every bit like Simon And Garfunkel at their Big Apple best listening to the ‘7 O’Clock News’ re-imagined on Sunset.

The stuff of legend for a voice that surfs many musical tangents, hovers, and persists, that stings with honesty; morphing from Karen Carpenter’s gentle reverence to Laura Nyro’s soulful grit, moving through the phases like some possessed Dada performance artist before throwing in a melody from Joni at her jazziest or from the close harmonies of the lamented Roches when they flipped out with Robert Fripp.

‘Candlepower’ is a juxtaposition of melodies, an achingly beautiful set of songs set against the clank of the mundane world, a beguiling commentary on the everyday and everywhere. It’s all here, in under 20 minutes… every second counts. 

Releases May 4th, 2021

Beachwood Sparks [Deluxe Edition]

 

Los Angeles’s Beachwood Sparks said that they hated the term “americana” to describe their music . But looking back now, there was something about their sound in terms of the production and energy in it that I think is missing from some of the big names in americana these days. It had that Laurel Canyon country-rock feel of bands like The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield but didn’t feel derivative. There was a buzz about it – the album felt messy but at the same time exciting. And the songs were just crazily good. Those first few bars of opener‘ Desert Skies’ still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Even the cover is one of my favourite album covers of all time. Thank God they were reincarnated into GospelbeacH, but nothing will beat their debut – it’s a record I can’t imagine ever tiring of hearing and it’s great news to hear it is now being re-issued.

If ever a band sounded like the sunbaked children of a partnership between the trippy psychedelic dreamers of the paisley underground and the lonesome cowboys of the late-’60s Laurel Canyon cosmic country, Beachwood Sparks are it. The group’s self-titled debut album is a perfect distillation of the two thanks to soaring pedal steel, winsome harmonies, alternately twanging and swirling guitars, and songs that sparkle like lost gems. The band take care to adorn each sweet and sad melody with note-perfect arrangements that fill every corner of the mix with something good. They coat the melancholy songs in a woody patina of dusky sunlight, surrounding Chris Gunst’s fragile vocals with sympathetic strums and vocal harmonies. “Canyon Ride” is a blue delight, especially when the downcast “doo-doo-doos” come in, “New County” is a lovely laid-back waltz that sounds lifted from a late-’60s Byrds record, and “The Reminder” features some excellent barroom piano and sounds as lowdown and broken as the saddest Gram Parsons song.

The bulk of the album revolves around these tender ballads with the band showing off considerable skill as singers, writers, and players. They balance these moments with a handful that cut loose a little as they kick up some serious dust on rockers like “Sister Rose” or “The Calming Seas,” take a detour to the beach for “This Is What It Sounds Like,” drop some acid-y, guitar-heavy elements into the woozy “Something I Don’t Recognize,” and ramble through some hippie C&W on “Silver Morning After.” No matter the mood or tempo, every song comes across like the band playing at their absolute peak. Most of the members of the group had already been making music for a long time when they started Beachwood Sparks, notably with lo-fi heroes Further, and it shows. They play with confidence and restraint, while still filling the uptempo songs with a sense of joy and the sad songs with tear-streaked soul. Beachwood Sparks might not be the first band to give cosmic country a shot, but their debut album proves right away that they are one of the best.

[The 2020 reissue of the album adds a second disc of single tracks and rarities, including two that were on the Japanese release of the record. Two alternate versions of songs from the album are fun: “This Is What It Feels Like” has an explosive psych-rock coda that doubles its length; “Canyon Ride” leans even more into Laurel Canyon rock with a ripping guitar solo added.

The band’s 1999 Sub Pop single is made up of one of their summeriest tunes in “Midsummer Daydream” and a pleasantly laid-back slice of country-pop titled “Windows 65.” The two tracks from the Japanese album are lovely: “We’d Love to See You” is fine soft rock complete with electric piano; “Surfing Saints” is drifting psych pop that the Rain Parade might have come up with if they were stranded in the desert for a week. Best of all is the previously unreleased song “Morning Light.” It’s hard to see why this jangling, sun-dappled power pop ballad didn’t make the final cut for the album. These extra tracks help tell the complete story of this version of the band and make for an essential addition to what’s already a brilliant album.

Johanna Samuels just announced “Excelsior!”,
Here’s what they say about it: “Before making this record, I felt the furthest from myself that I ever had. There was a lot of cognitive dissonance–wanting to pursue my music while also feeling good about who I am as a person. This record is a lot of me identifying what I don’t want to be & recognizing the importance of listening to each other, understanding that a conversation doesn’t have to end because one person has to be right & the other wrong.

I made it during a very snowy winter with Sam Evian producing at his new cabin studio in the Catskill Mountains. We tracked live to tape, laughed a ton & ate amazing meals. I’ll never forget where I was at when we made it & I’ve learned so much since–through both beautiful realizations & some very painful, disappointing experiences. I’m grateful for all of it because I’ve never felt more like myself. I feel resolute in what I believe & in my musical relationships & friendships. I love the record we ended up making & the personal growth it paved the way for.

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Releases May 14th, 2021

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This week Cherry Glazerr (the Los Angeles-based band led by Clementine Creevy) shared a new song titled “Big Bang.” It marks their first music release of 2021, and is out now on Secretly Canadian Records. Cherry Glazerr shared their first new music of 2021 with a single titled “Big Bang.” inspired by lead singer Clementine Creevy’s time spent listening to DJ Koze, Caribou, Yaeji and Kaytranada. The bass-heavy, atmospheric track is marked by Creevy’s silky vocals and fits of endlessly catchy pop. “I wanted to give it a sort of early ‘aughts pop production feel, with the interplay between the acoustic guitar figure and the bass synth and the 808 hits during the choruses,” Creevy says. “The lyrics came from feeling like I was growing apart from someone who was close to me in my life, and the song is essentially about heartache, but it’s euphoric at the same time. That’s what I like about it — the intensity of those very personal feelings paired with a sort of huge, exposed energy. I feel like I was able to let a lot out with this song. It feels really special to me.” 

Creevy speaks about the song in a press release: “Some songs take on a lot of forms until they finally end up the way they do and this was one definitely one of those. It lived a few different lives for sure, I just kept changing up the rhythms until I was like, ‘oh yeah that’s it right there!’”

She adds: “I wanted to give it a sort of early ‘aughts pop production feel, with the interplay between the acoustic guitar figure and the bass synth and the 808 hits during the choruses. The lyrics came from feeling like I was growing apart from someone who was close to me in my life, and the song is essentially about heartache, but it’s euphoric at the same time. That’s what I like about it the intensity of those very personal feelings paired with a sort of huge, exposed energy. I feel like I was able to let a lot out with this song. It feels really special to me.”

The band released a new song titled “Rabbit Hole” in December of last year. Their most recent album, Stuffed & Ready, came out in 2017 on Secretly Canadian

Milly is a rock band from Los Angeles led by principal songwriter Brendan Dyer and backed by Spencer Light on guitar, Yarden Erez on bass, and Zach Capitti Fenton on drums. In January, 2020, Milly drove to rural Colorado to record their new five song EP, Wish Goes On, with Corey Coffman of Gleemer at his home studio. With its sweet bounce of a melody carved into a wall of dense guitars, “Denial” is the second single released from these sessions. Milly’s new track is sadder and more subdued than their previous Wish Goes On single “Star Thistle Blossom,” which Lizzie Manno described as “the most straightforward rock song they’ve released so far” and a “delectable wash of grunge-tinted shoegaze guitars” upon its October release. “Denial” is more of an off-speed pitch, albeit one with hooks aplenty. “Galaxies wish you well / Come back again, come back alone / Do you wish that you could come back here?” sings frontman Brendan Dyer, longing for something he can’t bring himself to acknowledge that he can’t have. “We’re gonna wish on it,” he insists over a comforting blend of acoustic and electric guitar fuzz, cymbal crashes roiling as the song crescendoes, only to collapse.

‘Denial’ is about the idea of being fixated on something but knowing deep down it’s gone,” Dyer explains in a statement. “I was living in N.Y. at the time I wrote it and was going back and forth between there and Connecticut. I was really trying to capture the feeling of being alone and why it was hard for me to digest how that felt. My hometown spots feeling different after leaving, people moving on with their lives, 

L.A. slowcore quartet Milly’s first new material of 2021 is the second single from their forthcoming Wish Goes On EP, due out April 9 on Dangerbird Records. “Denial” arrived Friday alongside a surreal music video, directed and animated by Mark Cheche.

Official video for “Denial,” from MILLY’s new EP ‘Wish Goes On’ coming April 9th, 2021.

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Los Angeles duo Girlhouse practice the art of surrender on their latest single “the fatalist.” “I think I’ve learned that the only way to feel control in a shitty situation is to find a way to laugh about how we have no control over anything at all,” explains vocalist Lauren Luiz of the bittersweet chugger, which finds a kind of quiet liberation in letting go.

Rising artist Girlhouse, duly reflected through her latest single “The Fatalist”. Not afraid to explore and emote a dizzying headspace, Girlhouse impeccably captures the intimidation of feeling a lack of control over yourself and the world around you–something particularly relatable in everyone’s own personal current contexts.

Confessional in her lyrical style, Girlhouse’s ability to be unapologetically raw elicits a deep catharsis that feels freeing–it’s as if she’s giving everyone the greenlight to follow in her footsteps and be intrepid enough to be brutally honest too. Unabashed vocals that hold a certain authority meet soft-grunge sounds for an apt pairing that feels like they pull inspiration from the past to present a contemporary artifact.

The track continuously builds momentum, leaving you at the four-minute mark not only completely enraptured in the sonic universe of Girlhouse’s deepest cogitations, but also longing for more. With a tenacity that feels almost tangible, Girlhouse is an artist that proves the worth in being your most sincere self and we can’t wait to hear more.

The Orchard Music

100% of Bandcamp profits from “Pictures of Flowers” will be donated to Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational Brooklyn based healing village led by Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, activists and ancestors. The intention of Harriet’s Apothecary is to continue the rich healing legacy of abolitionist, community nurse and herbalist Harriet Tubman.
Written by Jess Williamson
Performed and recorded by Jess Williamson, Meg Duffy, and Jarvis Taveniere remotely from their homes during quarantine
Recorded in Los Angeles, April 2020Jess Williamson – Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Meg Duffy – Electric guitar
Jarvis Taveniere – Bass, Drums, Mellotron

released June 24th, 2020

Published by Orgasmic Bliss

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Phoebe Bridgers knows how to leave an impression. The singer-songwriter made her debut as the musical guest on the February. 6th episode of Saturday Night Live, which was hosted by Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, with a memorable performance.

Bridgers kicked off her two-song set with “Kyoto,” the second single off her sophomore album, 2020’s Punisher. Like in the song’s video, the artist and her backup musicians sport the skeleton onesies while performing the tune, which is up for the best rock song and best rock performance Grammys.

For her second song, the 26-year-old offered up Punisher’s “I Know the End” on a darkened stage bathed in soft red lights, her skeleton onesie gone, though the baubles she wore resembled a rib cage. She once again started soft and dreamy, but about two thirds of the way into the tune, Bridgers let loose, her guitar roaring, the singer-songwriter screaming at the top of her lungs.

Bridgers eventually walked to the front of the stage toward an amp, and for the last 30 seconds or so, repeatedly smashed her guitar against the amp — causing sparks to fly — eventually giving the amp a kick for good measure and finally dropping her instrument to end the set.

Bridgers, who is based in Los Angeles, is up for a total of four Grammys this year. In addition to the two she’s earned for “Kyoto,” the musician is up for best new artist — in which she’s up against Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Ingrid Andress and others — and best alternative music album for “Punisher“. The Grammys are set to air March 14th on CBS.

Musical guest Phoebe Bridgers performs “Kyoto” and “I Know The End” on Saturday Night Live.

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The Paranoyds have made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting Los Angeles bands since forming in 2015, playing festivals like Coachella and touring with the likes of DIIVAlbert Hammond Jr., Sunflower Bean, and BRONCHO. Today the band finally announce their long-awaited debut album, “Carnage Bargain”—a raucous blend of garage rock grit, new wave swagger, classic horror film soundtrack campiness, and a myriad of other left-of-centre influences. The exhilarating ten-track LP released via Suicide Squeeze Records. 

It’s ironic that the band’s moniker winds up being an apt summary of the band’s general outlook on technology and modern culture given that The Paranoyds’ humble beginnings can be traced back to a friendship forged between Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys/vocals) over Myspace in their early teens. Bonded by a shared interest in local underground music, the pair eventually moved their online friendship into the real world. Laila’s childhood friend Lexi Funston was brought into the fold and the first vestiges of The Paranoyds began to take shape. “We would all go to our friends’ shows and it hit us that we could start a band and play shows too,” Funston says. With the addition of drummer David Ruiz in 2015, the band found the perfect personnel for their sonic balance of jubilant energy and foreboding undercurrents.

To celebrate the album announce, The Paranoyds share the record’s lead single “Girlfriend Degree.” A mid-tempo stomper of clap-along beats, fuzz guitar leads, and call-to-arms vocals described by the band as an ode to “being a badass woman who’s taking time to make sure she’s doing things for herself,” “Girlfriend Degree” makes the band’s mission to reject the status quo clear on this initial track. Read a bit more about the track below, and watch the Ambar Navarro-directed (Cuco, Soccer Mommy, Stef Chura) music video. 

“‘Girlfriend Degree’ is a call to arms, a reminder to be a supremely self-loving woman, to just do you. There’s all this pressure about being ‘the ideal woman,’ and it’s easy to get caught up in that—to spend your time trying to be all these things that others think you should be. Getting a ‘girlfriend degree’ is about settling, selling oneself short and not believing in yourself—valuing your partner’s beliefs or opinions over your own. It’s cool to be a girlfriend or wife or whatever, but there’s so much more to being a woman than that. This desire to be above that is also somewhat a telling of how our band came to be. We were all going to a bunch of shows and obviously having a great time and it took us a bit for us to realize that we could also make and perform our own music….and that nothing was preventing us from doing that besides ourselves. We all have power and we should use that power to exercise our own agency.

“We’re living in the dystopian future. Our lives are completely tracked and programmed, our extension of ourselves is a handheld computer with a microphone and camera that stays on while were unaware, and, on top of everything, the extreme right is gaining continuous world power,” The Paranoyds explains of its name. “What isn’t there to be paranoyd about?”

“Carnage Bargain” captures this chemistry perfectly—channelling the genre-mashing weirdness of guitar-and-keyboard provocateurs like The Intelligence on tracks like “Laundry,” the fever-dream kitsch of early B-52s on “Ratboy,” krautrock’s motorik groove on “Hungry Sam,” and the beguiling pop of Blondie on the sweet-and-salty highlight “Courtney.” The band may indeed be paranoid, but they offer a solution to our modern ills through the simple act of being an inspiring, independent, and unflappable musical force.

Pet Cemetery EP came out back in November 27th, 2020, on Suicide Squeeze Records.

Having originally been born as a solo drum machine project by Bert Hoover, Hooveriii (pronounced “Hoover Three”) has now evolved into it’s true final form – a six member band adept at creating their own brand of psychedelic space rock. And after almost a decade in, the band is set to release their sophomore album and debut for The Reverberation Appreciation Society, “Water For The Frogs”. Influenced by Iggy’s The Idiot, Bowie’s Berlin records, and Soft Machine, the LP sees the band creating their own version of prog rock, circa 2021.

In 2019, Hooveriii took their live show to Europe for the first time. Bert Hoover shares, “seeing all the old cities and beautiful landscapes while becoming closer as a band had a huge impact on this album. A lot of our favourite music came from the Krautrock scene in Germany from the late 60’s-70’s, and when we had a day off in Furth, Germany, we spent most of it writing the record,” he continues, “we were able to rehearse in an old German bunker that has been converted to rehearsal space. It definitely had a strange energy that helped give this album light.”

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Releases April 9th, 2021