Monday, February 18, 2019

The curious titled "Wind Telephone" by Bruce Enloe calls back to 70's rock

The curious titled track Wind Telephone by singer songwriter Bruce Enloe who hails from Ontario, Canada (by way of San Francisco by way of Austin Texas) is a free and breezy pop song that for me has a decidedly late 60's / 70's rock feel. I thought of Nazz (Tod Rundgren's original band) almost immediately and of more contemporary artists like The Sleepy Jackson.

The rock pop early 70's sound is earmarked by softer melodies, earnest presentation and almost always some inspired subconscious or overt lineage push pin to push pin with yarn mapped out connection to the Beatles in some way. And I hear some of that with Enloe. His latest album, "A Perfect Cliché" that dropped in January of this year and was co-produced ,by Ben Mullin and Brad Sucks) calls back to his eclectic art rock roots and is described as a 'fake concept album', complete with a nonsense narrative, his own art design, and music that combines indie rock, pop & folk, with dashes of electronica, psych and noise.

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Robb Donker


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Laveda are perfectly poised on their lo-fi dream pop affair "Dream. Sleep"

Dream. Sleep by Laveda starts with what sounds like a cassette player's play button being pushed. The clunky tactile sound gives way to a dreamy Lo-Fi Dreamy pop affair punctuated by a runaway beat, deliciously active bass line, double time guitar flourishes, droning synths and cooing female vox filtered through a hazy wash. The result is totally infectious and a total throwback to 80's new wave and 90's shoegaze tones. There is so much to pull you into the fray here, popping hooked filled synths and an industrial electronic jagged sound near the end that crescendos the song until it ends with that cassette player's switch being pushed again. The effect acts as a time machine or remembrance and I love it. I love the entire aesthetic here.

Laveda was founded in 2017 in Albany, New York and is Ali Genevich and Jake Brooks. There songs have morphed, taken shape from singer songwriter styles to the evocative sound they have now. Their Spotify debut "If Only", recently released under Soave Records of The Netherlands, was written by Laveda and morphed by artists Conki (Poland) & Nexeri (Russia) to create a Chill House/Dance track. Laveda has been focused on further developing their own style out of Brooklyn NY. They plan to release their first record in Spring of 2019.

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Robb Donker




Friday, February 15, 2019

La Loye and the pure beautiful heaviness of "To Live Underwater"

The track To Live Underwater by La Loye (the Netherlands) appropriately floats on stair stepping guitar notes pure and sleepy and singer songwriter Lieke Heusinkveld's tender vocal performance. The subtlety of everything that is happening makes the song sound like a simply beautiful lullaby but there is so much lushness here, so much instrumentation that feels almost too polite to not step up front too much. The melodies enhanced by the intimacy of Lieke's voice (often times held up by graceful what sounds like organ strains and acoustic guitar) are so beautifully intimate and sometimes heartbreaking. Water like love, like life can be pristine, pure, an essence you swim, drift through but you can be crushed by it's weight too or suffocated by it. To Live Underwater is a dreamy affecting stunner of a song. 
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Robb Donker

 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Den Sista Resan" by Errka Petersson featuring Sara Öberg is a sweeping post rock affair

Den Sista Resan from Swedish Hammond organ player and music producer Errka Peterssons' debut album "Silverhöken" and featuring Sara Öberg is a sweeping orchestral post rock affair that veers into almost 70's chamber pop tones. Featuring a syncopated piano bed full of down beats punctuated by drum highlights and droning violin sounds, the vocal melodies sung in tandem riding on ethereal words, (translated) "Weightless on our escapade, We're never coming back....You and I, we turn the page...We're always going to be endlessly free."

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Robb Donker


ATREM hovers and then beautifully crashes on it's dreamy organic and synthetic "Slicer"

Ryuichi Shima and Yusuke Kamiura as ATREM (Japan) create instrumental landscapes incorporating organic and electronic sounds built and programmed in and around loops that sometimes seem to burst out, recoil and turn inside out. The track Slicer is floats on beautiful ambient tones and vocals turned into keyboard notes until if falls deeply into a chaotic stew of industrial electronica.


Robb Donker


"Tiger Owl" by Drew Pinchotti- a song for the starry eyed among us

Singer songwriter Drew Pinchotti based out of Chippewa, Pennyslvania crafts a big unabashedly inspired ballad, a gratitude song really written for a friend who needed strength. Tiger Owl has stars in it's eyes and, if not so earnest, might feel over melodramatic or even filled with orchestral fluff but the production filled with whimsy and an almost baroque pop sense of wonder is the real deal. A song for all the starry eyed among us. 

Tiger Owl will be on Pinchotti's upcoming debut EP "Million First Times"

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Robb Donker


Swine Tax's punk foray "Hold Your Own" has bark and bite

Swine Tax's track Hold Your Own is punk foray into the chaos of living in today's world where our economic conditions and happiness sometimes seems to be controlled by puppet masters. The strident guitar driven progs amplified by punchy bass and drums are all wrapped around each other in the best possibly way. At times, I thought of the most fervent Pixies' songs like Something Against You. The vocal performance feels fevered with tones of confusion and biting cynicism. Press Notes indicate that the song is a commentary on precarious employment and endemic loneliness within the U.K and that is the thing with Swine Tax, these boys incorporate their personal views about societal issues and how those issues trickles down on the common man, stuff all that angst into their music combining their potent sound with pile driving musicality and a wink and snarl vocal performance. Their punk diatribes carry the tradition of the genre battering against social and political constructs. Whatever this Tyneside trio (Vince, TK and Charlie) are putting out I want to hear and feel it. 

Following a home-town headline show at Star and Shadow cinema on March 22 nd, Swine Tax will begin their European tour in April 2019; this will culminate on April 20 th at Motel Mozaique Festival, Rotterdam.
Further dates to be announced shortly.
Swine Tax are currently working on new material for release in the spring of 2019.

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Robb Donker


Saturday, February 9, 2019

"Evil Parts" by Kerchief is crafty post punk with deep grooves and proggy hooks

Evil Parts by 3 piece alt rock outfit Kerchief cuts a deep groove of post punk flavors with equally deep pop hooks. At it's core, the Tennessee based Kerchief is propelled by singer songwriter Britt Hill whose rock compositions are dynamic and densely crafted with cagey jagged rock progs that stair step, skipping steps along the way. Her vox blending sometimes in unison with her male counterpart is cool and sometimes askew in the best possible way. 

After ending her previous band, Vanity Theft, Hill started the then solo project Kerchief in 2014 with a self produced "Demonstrations" EP and a debut full length called "Machines And Animals" in 2015. Shows and touring followed with a rotating cast of back up musicians and two more EPs ("Corner House" 2016 and "Rinse" 2018) blending in electronic elements. Fast forward to 2019 and Kerchief is returning with their sophomore LP, "Fluke" on March 1st with the addition of brothers Tommy and Trevor Nicholson on bass and drums.

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Robb Donker



Solar Estates - tender moments on "Shape"
























Shape by Solar Estates is a dreamy indie rock affair filtered through a kind of shoe gaze meets alt country meets alt folk tones. It feels sweet and tender leaving the space to swell up with big soft crescendos of sound, droning synths and trancy guitar lines. The bass and drums anchor the song while keeping it moving rock steady as singer Aric Jeffries waxes poetic with a tender grounded vocal performance. 

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Robb Donker

Solar Estates is a genre-bending indie band born out of the bustling and self-determining music scene in Chico, California. From shoegazing alt-country to atmospheric guitar pop, the band’s interest in genre is broad yet grounded in good songwriting and the prominent, frenetic styling of vocalist Aric Jeffries. Listen if you’re a fan of Hovvdy, Big Thief, boygenius, (Sandy) Alex G, The Hotelier, Sun Kil Moon, The Microphones, Slowdive, and Low.

Earthquake Lights' gravitational pull of major triads and minor extensions on "Moonlight"
























The sultry track Moonlight by NYC's indie rock / chamber pop quintet Earthquake Lights is a moody somber affair full of jazz tones spilling major triads with minor extensions creating spaces that feel like steps that float in mid air before coming down to earth. Within the jazz flavors exist dreamy synth tones with hints of R&B and even ambient (dream) pop feels. Comprised of college grads who back in 2010 /2011 would slip into their Alma Mater's music building to practice and compose. On keys and singing lead, Myles Rodenhouse; the drummer, Stephen Helms; playing electric bass, James DiGorlamo; on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Cam Underhill; and on lead guitar, Evan Douaihy.

Their musical journey and hard work has found them with musical successes tied to commercials and TV shows and leading them to recording their debut full-length, "Distress Signals". The band recruits some Broadway musicians to play brass parts. Soon enough, Earthquake Lights find themselves at world-famous Abbey Road Studios recording strings with a professional orchestra. A dream come true but dreams don't just happen, they are made by offering emotional art that people want to orbit around. Listening to Moonlight I can feel Earthquake Light's gravitational pull.

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Robb Donker