Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Mercy Stone is a 12 piece ensemble proggy indie rock trippy thing. Hear and see "Above The Towers"























The Mercy Stone is a 12 piece ensemble blending so many musical flavors that it is hard to define them. Founded by composer / guitarist Scott Grady in 2016 with a desire to fuse together a neo classical concert stage sound that a "rock" audience would get into somehow brought together accomplished musician from all over to create a hybrid of classical, rock, pop, raggae, metal, funk, psychedelic and varied world music elements too. The title track off of The Mercy Stone's second album "Above The Towers" feels like some kind of progressive indie rock affair with an alt folk heart. Built on a driving 15 beat rhythmic pattern and lush vocal harmonies it stirs in orchestrations of sound feeling like something between psychedelic chamber music and the quiet before the storm at some 70's YES concert. Their is a hippie chic element here too. It is hard to describe. It is impressive and stirring and very organic. Their first album, the all instrumental "Ghettoblaster" - "where the delicate counterpoint of composers from Josquin de Prez to J.S. Bach  meet the sublime melodic beauty of Nirvana and Radiohead" is supposed to be a bonafide trip and a half. I haven't delved into it but plan on it. In the end, The Mercy Stone might still be relegated to a more concert hall setting than a rock venue but I would find it terribly exciting and so very interesting if they were on a bill at a California post punk rock / indie festival poised between an act like Mac DeMarco and Metz I think the audience would be fully accepting. I think they would eat them up in a good way. 

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Robb Donker





Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Monks In The Wood- passionate and dreamy sounds on "Captivated State"

The track Captivated State rides on dreamy sounds, a deep indie groove and cool passionate vocal harmonies. Peckham (London, England) based five piece indie band Monks In The Woods formed in 2015. Those evocative harmonies come courtesy of Daniel Toone (vox, guitar) and Matt Power (vox, guitar) who with drummer James Oliver left their former band Deltar to follow other creative journeys. The current line up included the talents and musical visions of Laurence Brydges (bass) and Eva Timi (keys).

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Robb Donker

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sonic Blume stir up dreams on "In The Sun" from the "Beach Karma" EP

photo courtesy of James Waltsak

Sonic Blume stir up their dreamy sound in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The track In The Sun (single version) from their most recent EP "Beach Karma" almost gallops along with synth lines mirroring the pretty melodies, guitars crunch chords as the drums bounce along. There is a bit of whimsy in the sound, kind of fable-esque like some provocative blend of Beach House, MGMT and the Neverending Story fused in with somber tones, hope and inspiration too.

Sonic Blume is Max Connery, Daniel Murray, Andrew Phelan and Chase Landgrebe. 

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Robb Donker

"Bear The Waves" by Stray Fossa is a dreamy indie rock song best listened to in the shower

Bear The Waves by Charlottesville, Virginia indie band Stray Fossa has the lead singer spending a long, long time in the shower. We have all done that, let the water wash away what ails us and even let our minds drift off and transport us somewhere else. That would be easy to do if this track was playing. The shimmering guitars, kind of somber melodies, tense downbeats and beautiful harmonies that eventually give way to eruptive guitars hammering two chords over and over again that makes it soar and cry out is pretty fucking dreamy and awesome. Check it out, in or out of the shower. 

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Robb Donker

The dream goth of Blood Blush- see Official Video for "Demon Clout" - and East Coast Dates




























Blood Blush are a three self described dream goth band and the description feels like an apt one. There are both elements here. Check out the video for their latest Demon Clout. The bitter cracked black and white tones scream something between German expressionism and something that David Lynch may of created in his youth. The music (to me) has goth / horror pop elements but throughout pretty melodies float in the haze. This kind of aesthetic churned up in the proto punk stews in the late 70's will continue to engage as dark dreams, as musical art and Blood Blush do it oh so well. These guys haunt the New York / East Coast and playing shows. See Dates below.

On Flesh and Bones Records (USA) and Icy Cold Records (Europe)

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Robb Donker



10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at No Culture (Video Performance - 5pm).

10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at Tree Bar with Master Servos and Child of Night.

10.20.18 INDIANAPOLIS, IN at The Spruce Goose with Tombaugh Regio and Den Dwellers.

10.22.18 HAMMTRACK, MI at The New Dodge Lounge with TBA.

10.24.18 MONTREAL, QE at Mademoiselle with Spring Blades and TBA.

10.25.18 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY at Desperate Annie’s (Super Dark Collective Showcase) with Spell Runner and Bare Mattress.







Friday, October 12, 2018

Gabe Greenland chases love and other worldly things on "Humanish"

Humanish, the first single off of Brooklyn based (by way of Los Angeles) singer songwriter / producer Gabe Greenland's upcoming album "Love & Espionage" twists and turns on alt folk sounds done up in off kilter sounds and lyrics. Inspired by unrequited love, the X-Files and IPhone voice memos. Organic acoustic sounds are offset by MOOG synths and horn sounds that follow Greenland's syncopated vocal performance that veers into a kind  other worldly tones as he waxes obtusely poetic lyrics. Cool and different. 

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Robb Donker


Thursday, October 11, 2018

The avant-garde dream pop creations of HUSSY on "Slayer" is a self stirred intoxicant

Slayer by HUSSY (the dream pop project of South East London based multi-instrumentalist / writer / producer Sophie Nicole Ellison) has a free form post punk flavor to it. Part shoe gaze, part prog punk stretching dissonant jagged guitar lines in all directions, part stream of consciousness rock and all stirred up into a kind of intoxicant fueled by Ellison's self aware kind of scowling vocal performance. I thought of Speedy Ortiz meets Mazzy Star or something like that(?) Very cool, so very engaging and did I mention that Ellison does it all layering the instruments and sounds, producing it just so. Amazing.

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Robb Donker


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Glass Spells creates dark seductive dance punk from sunny California - feel the "Fascination"






















Fascination by the So Cal dance punk band Glass Spells floats on electronic sputtering synth arpeggios, what feels like future disco beats (yes disco never actually died), thumping bass lines and Suz Garza's aloof artistically taught vocal performance (think leather bound dominatrix or cyborg). Spawned out of Calexico (Baja California) and now based out of San Diego (Ca), the band- Anthony Ramirez (with Suz) and Michael Rascon and Mallory Garcia live in sun drenched perfection making sounds that feel more at home in the rain soaked sci fi tableau of Blade Runner or the topsy turvy realm of Stranger Things.

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Robb Donker  


Interbellum creates lush psychedelic waves of romance on "Ready To Dissolve" from the album "Dead Pets, Old Griefs"

Ready To Dissolve off of Interbellum's current album "Dead Pets, Old Griefs" has a wonderful sense of romance and a dream like quality that evokes (to me) 70's Brit pop tones in such a sweet way.  Sonically lush with effected guitars painting pretty pictures. Psychedelic music breaks take the song down enchanted rabbit holes. 

Interbellum is the project of Lebanese singer- songwriter Karl Mattar (aka Charlie Rayne).   Formed in 2015, the project sees him working alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Fadi Tabbal and other musicians from the Beirut music scene. Interbellum started as a lo-fi rock outfit and later expanded into more trippy sounds. 

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES Excerpt:

The album, recorded in Fadi Tabbal's Tunefork Studios in Beirut, features 10 songs that revolve around themes of memory, time, childhood, and loss. Apocalyptic imagery - real, imagined and figurative - permeates the album, and the instrumentation follows suit, warping, distorting and folding on itself. The record plays like a broken music box, its kaleidoscopic melodic songs disjointed and smeared by noise, dissonance and processed sounds. "Ready To Dissolve", one of the softer tracks on the album, features members of Lebanese dream-pop band Postcards (Julia Sabra on synth and vocals, Marwan Tohme on bass and Pascal Semerdjian on drums).


"Black Hole Fusion" by New York based artist, musician, composer Lukka is a shifting dreamy puzzle of a song

Black Hole Fusion is a dreamy progressively dense songs full of puzzle pieces that seem to be shifting. Bass driven sound with a choppy beat the song composed by New York artist, musician Lukka is a heady piece of sound scape and (to me) ends much too soon. It pulled me into the sounds and then faded off making me want more. I will be on the look out. 

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Robb Donker