Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Which Way" by Will Fox is an utterly beautiful surprise

Which Way by Will Fox starts out simple and kind of sweet. That beginning is deceptive because as the song progresses, it musically and emotionally becomes more dense and complex stirring up sweeping passages of a kind of pop with avant garde leanings. The very synthetic keys combined with the facile guitar work feels cool and proggy and kind of proto punkish and then these pop drenched harmonies will splash over it all. Fox's vocal performance / style is endearing too. He sounds inward and a bit tortured. Oh and the end, wow, the end of the song is an utter beautiful surprise.

Love the aesthetic here. 

After you listen to "Which Way" check out Fox's site here: https://www.willfoxsongs.com/

-
Robb Donker

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PRESS NOTES:


Like many before him in the canon, Will Fox is a vagabond. Born in Houston, TX, raised in London, Paris, and the American South, Fox spent his adolescence moving around, practicing, and playing. His travels even took him to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he studied Bossa Nova, expanding his craft. Back stateside, destined to operate a gristmill near his hometown in the Shenandoah Valley, Fox instead moved to Los Angeles to become a troubadour. After his stint as a member of the now-defunct LA-darlings Los Angeles Police Department, Fox turned his attention to his own pursuits, calling on a community of friends including Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) and Tim Keen (Ought) to help bring his compositions to life. 
In his songs you'll hear his lifetime's array of influences compounded from the intricate fingerpicking of Nick Drake and Leo Kottke, to the romantic croon of Chris Bell. From the songwriting deities themselves like Neil Young or George Harrison, to modern heroes like Cass McCombs or The Clientele. 
Will Fox’s debut EP Cosmic Dusting was released last year through Twosyllable Records via cassette and all digital platforms.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Stoffs' "Call of The Spring" is a shape changing prog rocker

























Call of The Spring by The Stoffs, an indie rock project of Indianapolis based musician Eric Stoff is a kind of jagged puzzle piece of proggy indie rock set pieces. In three and a half minutes a metamorphosis takes place from delicate tightly wound frameworks beneath pretty vocal melodies with proggy musical breaks to a full blown out (different) song entirely. The shift is dramatic and kind of perplexing but in a good way. Indie rock heavy, pretty and pretty complex. 

Press Notes below detail, Stoff's journey to his ambitious album "Little Flock" that you can stream at his website here:  http://www.thestoffs.com/littleflock


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Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:



The Stoffs is the indie rock project of Indianapolis-based musician Eric Stoff.
Eric and his wife Brooke had a turbulent year in 2017. They welcomed their first daughter into the world, experienced unprecedented success in their business, and Eric achieved a life goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
From an outside perspective, it was the best year of their lives. But the Stoffs also experienced financial stress, strained relationships, and the unique weight of caring for a newborn child.
Eric spent the entirety of 2018 writing, recording, and meticulously crafting “Little Flock” in his home. He said it was healing for him as he worked his way through postpartum depression, and it helped him make sense of chaotic previous year.
“Making this record helped me realign my identity on this side of fatherhood,” Eric said. “It made me explore what parts of my relationships - with my creator, my wife, my child and future children. What changed? What stayed the same?”
Released on New Year’s Day 2019, “Little Flock,” details a universal tug-of-war between desperation and hope.


Saint Kodiak pushes and punches on "Like It Is"

Like It Is by Scandinavia based singer songwriter Saint Kodiak rides on a punchy folk engine forever moving forward to it's conclusion. This formidable movement, full of wanderlust and wide eyed stares to the horizon, feels so vast. The vocal performance propelled by cool guitar lines feels passionate but not overly forced, just real and earnest. The folk sway made me think a bit of Kevin Morby. Really like the aesthetic and big sound here. This is the last single before an upcoming album. 

Of the album Kodiak says, "Sometimes we need to thank whoever gives us a slap in the face. My new single is a celebration of the ones who dare to push someone else if that someone else is stagnating and can't see it himself. It is a song about necessary pain. That is why I - in my new single LIKE IT IS - thank the person who sets my house on fire - if that house has become like a jail."

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Robb Donker


Chorus Grant's dark experimental folk presence on "Lives"

Chorus Grant is the musical moniker of Kristian Finne (Denmark) and his first song in five years, Lives feels like dark beautiful experimental folk. The song changes shape many times in deceptive ways. At the onset there are little clues that the song will metamorphosize and once the song falls into Grant's deep almost reticent breath the song seems to walk into a dreamworld inhabited by ghosts, some dark and light from the past. The song still holds onto it's kind of light chamber pop tones but is forever changed. Interesting and superbly complex.

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

Denmark’s Chorus Grant is back with first new song in 5 years - a folk-rock chamber music mutant called “Lives”


Since the release of 2014’s Space, Kristian Finne aka Chorus Grant has released two records and toured with acclaimed duo Cancer consisting of Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild of When Saints Go Machine and Kristian. This past year however, Kristian has focused solely on writing a new solo album as Chorus Grant. The new album revolves thematically around transitions of life, and the liminal space between the old and the new- the “what was” and the “what will be”.
Compositionally working on his own take on a new Nordic sound, Kristian found what he calls "the melancholic major" and the harmonic qualities of this tone inhabits the new songs and leads to the core of emotional life.
Music and songwriting is my most trusted friend. It helps me to understand life and give voice to ponderings that can’t not be articulated in normal conversation. I’ve felt an urgency to write these songs that deal with transition and transformation- floating mid-air between an old and a new life. My hope is that my coming record will resonate with others and serve as a mirror where people can unravel their own lives and find comfort that no one is alone when facing fundamental change.”
The video for “Lives” is made by rising star painter and visual artist Jakob Steen in his studio located in an industrial area of Copenhagen. The friendship and kinship between Kristian and Jakob has previously manifested itself in visuals for the songs "O Everyone" and "Godplans" from before mentioned Space. On "Lives", Steen stages Chorus Grant in a locked setting that leaves no other option than to communicate with eyes, face and voice.
Appearing on the recording is Sebastian Rochford(Polar Bear, Patti Smith etc.) ondrums, Adi Zukanovic (IRAH) on organ and keyboard, Karen Guastavino plays the recorder and baritone saxophone and Mads Brinch plays bass. "Lives" is composed and written by Kristian Finne who also plays guitar and sings.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Spiral Electric's psyche rock explosion - "Hole In My Soul"




Hole In My Soul by San Fran's The Spiral Electric is an ecstatic psyche rock explosion. When the sharply barbed synth (or guitar?) lick hook happens early on and throughout I cannot help but smile. This is the biggest sound I have heard the band produced (I thought of Ty Segall and Butthole Surfers a bit) and I love it. They do beautifully fall into a kind of lovely lull in the middle and it is heartfelt and leads into an audaciously rad crescendo that has so many evocative sounds throughout- the song at this point still heavy as hell takes on an almost art rock motif and I actually thought of Radiohead. Love this song. 

-
Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:


The Spiral Electric initially began in San Francisco as a psychedelic guitar duo consisting of Clay Andrews (vocals, keyboards, guitar) and Nicolas Percey (lead guitar), and has shifted through various lineups over the years, venturing through acid rock with flavours of surf, post-punk, british goth and indie, noise, drone, and stoner rock. Between 2012 and 2018, they have gathered a dedicated international following and toured up and down the US west coast from Seattle to Los Angeles and played festivals like the Desert Stars Festival in Pioneertown CA, Starry Nites Festival in Santa Barbara, Gathering of the Tribes Festival in San Francisco, CA, and the Portland Psych Fest in Portland, OR. They have recorded two EPs at Skylab Studio in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree with producer Tommy Dietrick-- "Upon Your Shore" (released April 2015) and "Ask The Sky" (released December 2016), and are recording a new double-LP at Wiggle Room Studio in Los Angeles with new members Michael Summers (bass) and Matias Drago (drums), and producer Steve Kille (Dead Meadow / Xemu Records).
The sound of The Spiral Electric is one part soaring melody, one part face-melting guitar, one part orbiting synth, one part danceable groove and a heavy dose of west coast psychedelia, shaken not stirred. Drink it straight, no chaser!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Forever On The Fence" by Aadams is a gorgeous alt folk song that might just quietly blow your mind

One minute inside the lovely dreamy track Forever On The Fence by New Jersey based singer-songwriter Aadams I thought instantly of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Aadams' self harmonies are drop dead gorgeous and maybe it is the way he crafts his melodies that made me think of that iconic folk quartet. There is more too like though, it is the almost shoe gaze folk feel, touches of ambience and experimental pop tones, bending vocals electronically in a few spots and a seriously kind of hyper realistic ending pushing the folk envelope even further. Not sure if Aadams self produced this but if he did then he better add another hyphenate to his singer-songwriter descriptor. Amazing work. 

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Robb Donker



"Too Close" by The Modern World fuses romance wave, soul and jazz with an iconic sounding vocal performance

Too Close by The Modern World, the music project / vehicle for London based songwriter / producer Oli James. This beautiful song has so many elements that make you fall in love with it. The guitar work feels glides like slow motion drops of rain on a body of water. The cadence is easy and combined with a bass is the loveliest slow dance. Strings swell and backing vocals sooth in an R & B way... but most of all it might be the soulful vocal performance here that oddly enough made me think of a blend of Andy Bell (Erasure) and Alison Moyet (Yazoo).

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Robb Donker 



PRESS NOTES:

The Modern World is the vehicle for the songwriting of London based producer/songwriter Oli James. Oli was born in London and began writing songs after his family relocated to Spain when he was ten years old. He honed his craft whilst studying English at University College London, and after a two year stint playing the blues scene in Moscow, Russia, Oli returned to London to form a crew of misfits and musical prodigies that make up The Modern World.
Often producing music alone at home, or in snatches of late-night studio time in friend’s studios across London, The Modern World have been recognized for their exhilarating fusion of guitar-pop, soul and jazz, gripping live shows and distinctive visual identity. They have hosted shows in nightclubs, churches, rooftops, and living rooms, and they plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Saint Germain's "Find A Way" psychedelic reflections on this indie rock gem

Find A Way is the third track release by Saint Germain this year. The song rides on psychedelic guitar lines, switched up drum patterns and Germain's evocative vocal strains. Steeped in a kind of forlorn indie rock sound, the musical bridge gets even more dreamy before erupting into an even bigger chorus with a broad pop sweep as well. The only thing wrong with this track is that it seems to end much too soon. 

Saint Germain (Luc St Germain) is from Orangeville, Ontario Canada and Find A Way was recorded with Mike Tompa at Dreamhouse Studios in Toronto. 

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Robb Donker 


Thursday, May 16, 2019

"Remember" by Ian Terry is darkly beautiful

Remember by singer songwriter Ian Terry is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Within the acoustic strains, banjo and layered melodies their are dark metaphors of a dead relationship and haunting images painted within the lilt of Terry's vocal performance. 

Ian Terry records and self produces his lo-fi lovely creations somewhere in Delaware. He has over 20 songs available on Spotify, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. 

-
Robb Donker



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"Spinning Plates" by Smiling At Strangers and from their self titled album (out now) blends styles in wonderful ways

Smiling At Strangers are a British alternative pop rock project centered around singer/ songwriter Marc Halls and their self titled debut LP was just released (May 13th). The track Spinning Plates with it's almost drunken guitar lines, tightly would drums and bass and Halls emotive vocal melodies that dance around it all is multi layered with musical influences. The chorus is big and sweeping, each element filling up the spaces like moments of organ sounds and backing vox that stir the pot in such lovely ways. The sounds, tones have touches of blues, gospel, faint patina of honky-tonk and indie rock all combined in this blendo kind of indie pop sound. Not easy to describe and hard to forget. 

-
Robb Donker

Smiling At Strangers' Self Titled Album is available on ALL Streaming platforms:
Get a Free Download when you follow on Spotify.

Tracklisting
1. States Of Being
2. Edie
3. On My Mind
4. Colourblind
5. Silent Showman
6. Spinning Plates
7. Who I Am
8. Everything After