Sunday, April 22, 2018

FAST FIVE: Jeremy and the Harlequins, Galapaghost, Eleckrockrat, Darth Nater, Sheeps

New York rockers Jeremy and the Harlequins latest single California Rock bristles with retro rock tones paying homage to Chuck Berry, Little Richard and early Beach Boys. Jeremy Fury says "The song is about my favorite time capsule, Los Angeles. Contrary to New York where a bank or cupcake shop will have replaced a mom and pop shop by the time you finish listening to this track, one thing I've come to love about LA is its Groundhog's Day-like permanence. Prior to moving to New York, I lived in Echo Park and then Downtown LA for almost three years. This tune is reflective tale.” 





Galapaghost is the solo project of Casey Chandler from Woodstock, New York and the track The American Dream (One Nightmare at a Time) speaks about becoming disillusioned with America after having lived abroad in Europe for two years. The track is off his latest album entitled "Pulse" which was recorded, mixed totally self produced with a friend of his in Italy last summer in just 15 days. Remarkable.



Blacktop Queen - first single "Desert" from upcoming EP

Los Angeles indie rock outfit Blacktop Queen is drummer Nate Lotz (Halsey and Ryan Adams) and vocalist Evan Ambrose.  A fixture in the local LA scene and selling out iconic venues the pair set off to produce an EP. The track Desert is their first new single from the ashes of the creative process.

"We basically recorded an entire EP, and made a trip to Joshua Tree with hopes of finishing it," says drummer Nate Lotz. "It was during that trip that we realized we hadn't made the music that was a true representation of us. We scrapped the entire EP and wrote a song about losing your soul. Blacktop Queen found its soul in the DESERT."
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Robb Donker

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blaire's shoe gazey sounds pushed through punk filters on "Smiling"

From Australia's Gold Coast, Blaire creates shoe gazey sounds pushed through a punk filter. The track Smiling is overflowing with the exuberance and folly of youth when you hold hands and jump off cliffs together not know if the waters below hold danger or not.

"'Smiling is about being really into something, when you know deep down it's probably killing you," says Blaire's lead guitarist and vocalist, Ben Stagg.
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Robb Donker

Yvette Nacer- "Who We Were Before" pristine through a sad haziness

Yvette Nacer's Who We Were Before with it's pure sound feels like pristine 60's pop. The musical and emotional cues are subtle and real. Nothing is overplayed or over dramatic but instead just simply beautiful filtered through a sad haziness. Penned by Yvette and Gustavo Galindo.

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES: 

Cuban-American artist Yvette Nacer has been immersed in a musically diverse world that established her early on as a rare kind of singer/musician that is comfortable in a multitude of genres. Armed with a versatile voice, a unique lyrical perspective, and a raw, unfettered talent that weaves itself effortlessly into her, songs, Yvette Nacer has performed alongside some of the industry's biggest names including Jason Mraz, Ne-Yo, Weclef Jean, Gloria Estefan, Engelbert Humperdink, All-4-One and Justin Bieber among others.
Although her songs have been heard on a variety of films and TV shows, Siruis XM and various features, Yvette Nacer's talent is not just limited to music. The multifaceted artist is also an award winning actress, having landed such coveted roles as Cha Cha in Fox's star-studded cast of Grease: LiveVanessa in the 1st National Broadway tour of In The Heights, and Kiki in the beloved Emmy Award-Winning TV series The Fresh Beat Band, to name a few.


Sleepy Gaucho and the runaway "Sleepless" from the album "Another Time"

Experimental folk rock out of Madison, Wisconsin. Now that doesn't sound weird to me at all. Wherever it emanates from Sleepy Gaucho, the moniker / project of singer songwriter Andy Goitia speaks to me. The track Sleepless (from his album "Another Time") bristles with a sound that feels a bit like late 70's Laurel Canyon garden / psyche rock. The organ drone and what sounds like a jamming Fender Rhodes and walking bass providing the runaway bottomless groove that speaks of late nights in cool, maybe decadent bars and night spots in equally cool and decadent cities.
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Robb Donker

Numb.er - track "A Memory Stained" from the "Goodbye" album

Numb.er is the band / project of L.A. photog and visual artist Jeff Fribourg. When I first listened to the track A Memory Stained there is a thick synth and bass prog that made me think of the Cars but Numb.er veers darker. Plush droning synths and high on the neck bass notes dropping dangerously low with filtered vocals make me feel a homage to 80's synth rock stalwarts like Gary Numan, Cabaret Voltaire, and Killing Joke all blended together (whether it is there or not).  Influences aside, it is evocative stuff that creates a dark brooding aesthetic. Love this stuff. The new album "Goodbye" drops on May 25th. Cool.
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

Fribourg developed his love affair with synthesizers -- and his open-minded approach to music -- as a founding member of LA psych-kraut favorites Froth. However, it was only with the creation of Numb.er that he was able to fully explore his eclectic musical inclinations. Combining elements of punk, shoegaze and post-punk, the project never commits to a singular worldview, allowing Fribourg’s vision to go anywhere without sounding ironic or forced.

With the release of Goodbye, Numb.er offers a genre-defying sonic document that finds them maximizing the creative potential of the studio while always remaining true to their dynamic and arresting live sound. Mixed and mastered by Mikey Young of Total Control, Numb.er takes a carefully orchestrated approach to chaos and adds Fribourg’s own subtle knack for memorable hooks and soft, melodic passages.

Family And Friends- Jubilant Sound- "Peaches"


























Peaches by Family and Friends is full of dense sounds and all inclusive emotions dripping from every sonic element. The sound on this track is jammy and big riding on tom toms, pearly potent guitar lines and rushed waves of vocals. The aesthetic is part indie rock and part alt folk. I can feel intentional or unintentional bows to bands like Of Monsters and Men but also a nod to bands like Japandroids in the sense that this band has a furious passion. Hmmm, maybe Japandroids as a Gospel band (I'm kidding).
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES: 


Hailing from the musical mecca of Athens, Georgia and built on the idea that the sum is greater than the individual parts, Family And Friends has steadily gained a loyal following with their spirited live performances and “good music, good people” mantra since releasing their 2015 EP XOXO. Their new highly anticipated album Felix Culpa, produced by Chicago-turned- L.A. auteur Brad Wood and due out June 8th, is nothing less than an epic coming-of-age tale with a massive sound that amplifies their former indie-folk roots onto a technicolor, Cinemascope screen.
The forthcoming album title, which loosely translates to “blessed mistake," illustrates the notion that while we may continue to search for some semblance of meaning, the fact that we are here at all deserves to be celebrated, and Family And Friends intends to do just that. Felix Culpa focuses on a precipice of life’s journey, as we begin the quest for existential meaning and come to terms with the fact that people, relationships, and seemingly universal truths are more complicated than we perhaps realize. 


Out of Dublin- Motions' "Waiting To Tell You"

Waiting to Tell You by Motions has chill spartan moments but big lush sounds with walls of transient guitars too (love the guitar sound). I am feeling a post rock late 80's new romantic / new wave dance things happening too. Out of Dublin and formed by Tom Daly and Dave Nulty, Motions has recently released their debut EP "The Late Night Calls".
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:
Following a string of singles from their debut “Back To Where I Begun” to “All I’ve Ever Known,” which earned global airplay in the U.S, Ireland, Germany & Australia, the band have recently released their debut EP 'Late Night Calls'. “The Late Night Calls EP” was produced and mixed by Philip Magee. They headline the Workmans Club on Friday April 27th.


Neon Cactus- "Beauty and Self Destruction" from "Beneath the Noise"

Neon Cactus is the alter ego / project of singer songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Tom Bruss. When I listen to the track Beauty and Self Destruction from his soon to be released "Beneath the Noise" album with it's syncopated guitar rhythms and pop drenched chorus filtered through funk undertones I thought of new wavish pop 80's sounds of bands like Simple Minds and later Tears For Fears.

Bruss wrote and recorded the debut album over a two year span in Bristol.
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Robb Donker

Portolo - "I Don't Want To Lose You" from the "Awards" EP dropping April 27

Portolo is the alter ego / project of Erin Roberts.  Her track "I Don't Want To Lose You" feels like an inviting piece of apple pie in a cool diner in the wooded North West.  She has wanderlust in her heart canvassing the areas of Denver, Gunnison, Eugene and Fort Collins drawing inspiration from her locales and those she meets along the way.
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Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:

Porlolo releases Awards EP on April 27, produced and engineered by James Barone (Beach House). Players include Tom Mohr, Anna Morsett (The Still Tide, Brent Cowles), Jake Miller (Esmé Patterson, The Still Tide, Brent Cowles), James Barone (Beach House), and Pat Meese (Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats).