Tuesday, June 19, 2018

L.A.'s Squid Cult - stir dreams in "Baby Blue"

Baby Blue by L.A.'s Squid Cult feels like a story that might exist in the early 60's amid the big dreams and small minds of some Americana town. The indie rock is pushed through lush country folk rock filters. The divine guitar lead elevates the song more. The feeling is cinematic escapism. Dreamy and forlorn.

Squid Cult is Daniel Talton (guitar / vocals), Karter Mycroft (bass / keys), Csongor Erdélyi  (lead guitar) and Max Pretzer (drums / vocals).
-
Robb Donker




Iuliano turns organic sounds into twisted dreamy apparitions on "Who Knows"

Living in Bangkok, Iuliano has had music coursing through his veins for what feels like forever. Born in Italy and forged on jazz, soul and progressive rock he played in clubs usually on keyboards backed by sequencers. He eventually made his way to the United States in Boston enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. Always a producer in his head his journey lead him later to produce all over Southeast Asia later managing a small label in Malaysia.

As his own artist he writes on guitar and piano. The track Who Knows floats on acoustic guitar, layers of vocals and organic sounds twisted and bent into dreamy apparitions. In the end it feels like a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole on a tropical island.
-
Robb Donker


Are You Having Fun Yet- hear "Lads Prayer" from their album "Are You Having Fun Yet"

From Oslo Norway- Are You Having Fun Yet have just released their debut album of the same name.
Hearing the track Lads Prayer makes me want to hear the entire album and I will. Their sound is big and bright with soaring guitar lines and vocals mixed in with a kind of somberness too. I really like the drum sound, dreamy synth sounds, strident bass lines and when the guitar strikes on the downbeat happen it is heavenly.
-
Robb Donker


Monday, June 18, 2018

Dave Sheinin's album "First Thing Tomorrow" is indie pop sweet and emotional - hear "Talking To Myself"

The track Talking To Myself from Dave Sheinin's debut album "First Thing Tomorrow" feels like post 90's rock filtered through 60's pop rock tones somewhere in between The Replacements and White Fence but with an overall softer side. Don't let "softer" dissuade you. The songs are earnest and emotional at their core. All this from a guy who has been covering baseball and writing feature stories for the Washington Post since 1999. The tracks throughout the album are earnest and full of catchy melodies.
-
Robb Donker




Yip Yops create their own musical universe on "SHE"

Oh my... what can I say about the track SHE by Yip Yops who create their own unique musical universe in the Coachella Valley (California)? Instantly there is a feeling of 80's art pop pushed through more modern punk flavors. For some reason I thought about early Cure and Yazoo. I also thought about Interpol and New Order and Ziggy Stardust, not Bowie but Bowie's creation Ziggy Stardust. It is not that Yip Yops sound like Bowie but SHE is kind of drenched in a glam thing and is highly postured music. What I mean by that is that you can almost see front man Ison Van Winkle's artistic movements. The vocal performance has a highly art pop / art punk posture to it. It feels like a glam rock carnival in town. It is tightly dressed up and so very cool.

Yip Yops is lead singer and guitarist Ison Van Winkle, drummer Ross Murakami, bassist Jacob Gutierrez and keyboardist / vocalist Mari Brossfield.  Barely out of high school, the quartet are creating an enduring fan base and have done their thing on stages at Cali festivals like Coachella, Chinatown Summer Nights and Echo Park Rising. They just finished a tour supporting Lauren Ruth Ward. Awwww, the future looks bright.

-Robb Donker


Hear Basement Revolver's beautiful anthemic waltz "Baby"

Hamilton, Ontario's Basement Revolver must be starry eyed dreamers. They have to be to be able to conceive, to write, to feel, to perform their latest beautiful, anthemic waltz Baby.  The song is compressed full of sounds and emotions. Vocalist / guitarist Chrisy Hurn's vocal performance feels somber and tortured, yes, but there is also a touch of defeat that brews under the surface which makes the tone even sadder.  I love how the drums played by Brandon Munro also have a somber touch in between the eruptions of emotion. Nimal Agalawatte's bass ( and synth) pushes a dramatic bottom on this track. Baby's melodies will bury inside your head and heart. Basement Revolver's debut album "Heavy Eyes" drops August 24th (2018).

-
Robb Donker


Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Compensators- Love Drags- pushes early rock circa tones (65 to 75)

The Compensators' track Love Drags does not.... drag that is, in fact, it does quite the opposite. The band hails from Brooklyn and the tones, the attitude, feels like R & B infused rock circa 65 to 75. Think old school rockers like Spencer Davis Group or Mitch Ryder kind of smushed together with modern retro roots rockers like the Black Keys. It is a cool rock sounds with pop sensibilities.

Check it out-- rumor has it that a full album is in the works-

-
Robb Donker


Norway's Izakaya Heartbeat dense post punk on the track "Descend"

From Norway: Izakaya Heartbeat's track Descend from their upcoming third full length "Subterranean Sunset" is an ultra dense post punk rocker with layered guitars and jubilant melody lines twisted askew. I though of the Pixies and Unknown Mortal Orchestra kind of smushed together. It plays well as a sunny pseudo soundtrack for friends on a collective high about something, some victory. That is what it feels like to me.

-
Robb Donker


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Get lost in Ratnang Singh's "The War"

The title track from New Delhi singer- songwriter Ratnang Singh's album "The War" burns slowly and then catches fire. The sound is mysterious floating on Singh's evocative vocal performance and acoustic guitar while deep heavy sultry bass / drums provide the grit. Add keys and electric guitar sounds filtered through an almost surfy spring vibrato and you have an atmosphere that is both lush and beautiful to get lost in.

The album is available on Bandcamp and streaming on Spotify.
-
Robb Donker


"Electrical" by Los Angeles' The Pretty Flowers breaks through

The track Electrical by L.A. band The Pretty Flowers immediately has a breaking through feel. A sense of punching walls or the sky or your chest and letting frustration go by championing all the defiance you can muster to break through something. The heaviness with post 90's rock guitars and hopeful cries wraps around you like intoxicated friends there to help out with whatever is troubling you. I really love this tone and think you will as well.

The Pretty Flowers are Noah Green, Sam Tiger, Jake Gideon and Sean Johnson and Electrical is from the "Where Trains Crash" album.
-
Robb Donker