Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rhys Bloodjoy - and the cold wave psychedelia noise rock of "Poly Brown"

The song Polly Brown by Rhys Bloodjoy (UK) blends punk, industrial rock, electronica and psychedelia into driving alternative rocker. Rhys is a "one man noise machine" crafting his songs with loops and reverb washed vox and electronic ambiance. The result feels as much now as futuristic and at the same time proto punk-ish like it could of been created in some smoke filled Berlin club in 1978. Cool stuff indeed.

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

The Manchester Evening News as “lo-fi brilliance”, the Bloodjoy experience was born in the underground scene in 2013, Rhys has gained in strength and stature, honing his sound to create soundscapes that result in electrifying live performances. Backseat Mafia confirm this when they say, “he’s not just one to watch, he’s one to absorb.”
The journey so far saw Bloodjoy release his AA debut single ‘Broken Window/Scandinavian Girlfriend’ on DIY label Sister 9 Recordings in December 2015. This sold out 7” blood red vinyl single was mastered by Sonic Boom.
Shortly after a successful 10 date tour of Spain First EP Psyche Attack Theories was also released by Sister 9 in December 2016. The EP came in the form of a limited edition download digipak, complete with unique artwork and lyrical content. The concept behind the EP was regarding the fact that unseen, dark forces can play havoc on the human psyche, it was lauded as “brilliantly dark and raucously noisy”.
Love Is a Fucked up Goddess – Part One was Rhys’ second EP released on Eggs in Aspic on limited edition cassette which sold out almost instantly. The release received critical acclaim and was praised as “a shadowy tapestry that’s all at once darkly set and kaleidoscopically mesmeric’.
The end of 2016 saw Rhys retreat into the Spanish mountains, before returning this Spring with Love Is a Fucked up Goddess – Part Two released via Eggs in Aspic and completes the dark duo; this release also sold out.
This brings us up to date and confirms the announcement of the vinyl release of Love Is a Fucked up Goddess – Parts II & I, which features both EPs in full and additional bonus tracks. It is set for release on Sister9 for Friday 21st September, to coincide with the new incarnation of Bloodjoy which will appear for the first time in his spiritual home of Manchester at The Psych Weekender on Sunday 15th.
From the hypnotic, pulsating vibes of ‘Silver Lips’, through to the menacing darkness that exudes from ‘A Banshee’s Lament’ this collection of tracks has something to suit every palette and will attract a new audience into the world of Bloodjoy as well as honour the faithful. Lead single ‘Polly Brown’ will propel the release, with its characteristic onslaught of sound that instantly leaves you breathless and compelled.

Monday, September 24, 2018

"Miscellaneous People" an emotionally complex, sonically dense piece of alt folk - by Kwolek

Kwolek lives in Boulder, Colorado by way of New Jersey.  The song Miscellaneous People is a powerful piece of alt folk densely produced which only makes it feel more harried, more passionate and maybe even more confused. Emotionally complex and dense it soars, takes off and would grace any playlist and make it better. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:   Kwolek lives in Boulder, Colorado, but grew up in New Jersey. He takes forever to write, record and mix songs in his little apartment.
Masks is his 4th solo record. His previous record, Overlord, and his debut, A Simple Story Simply Told, are on all the channels, but his second album, Punch, is super secret - you have to ask for it. He used to be in the band Lima Research Society. He is inspired by world cinema, music that causes friction, and the struggle to be a better human.


Bike Thiefs pounds in your head like punk Pop Rocks on "Destination Wedding"


























The song Destination Wedding by Bike Thiefs from Mississauga, On (Can) is an instant burst of unadulterated crunchy guitar driven rock like punk Pop Rocks in your mouth after a huge swig of soda pop. Lead vocalist Marko Woloshyn (guitar) has a kind of talking singing style like a guy getting in your face at a loud party. The strident sounds made me think of something between Chelsea Light Moving and Metz. Kris Pandeirada provides the big bottom bass and Andrew Fasken kills on the drums. Loving this sound, (damn it) it ends way too soon.

-
Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:

The lyrics from “Destination Wedding” are about a house party that I went to a couple years ago. I was the outlier with a then-girlfriend, and was desperately trying to appease a group of acquaintances that weren’t really into making new friends. And like an episode of Curb your Enthusiasm, i dug myself into a hole and managed to say several wrong things.

I ended up with a group of people who had known each other for years, haven’t really ventured outside of their high school peer group and weren’t ready to have me grandfather my way into their communal experiences or nostalgia. I tried to pretend to be into real estate, computer games and Jimmy Eat World. It was a mess.




Sunday, September 23, 2018

UK's The Hannah Barberas - mod-ified punk pop on "Slow Cooked"

Slow Cooked by UK's The Hannah Barberas and from the EP "Go Go Hannah Barberas" moves on laid back power pop lines and vintage proto punk / Brit pop (even Mod) tones. The pulse of the bass line even made me think of The Jam a bit. The Hannah Barberas are: Damien (guitar and vocals), Lucy (vocals),  Doug (bass) and Matthew (drums and vocals).

-
Robb Donker

Like a dreamy folk blessed mantra - "Holding Pattern" by Suzy Callahan

The dreamy folk blessed Holding Pattern by Suzy Callahan's latest album "Magic" is lush and genuinely patterned in a kind of mantra sort of way. She hails from Maryland and Calahan's songs have been featured on NPR, and appeared on KCRW and TLC's "Breaking Amish."

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Robb Donker 

Canada's Colour Picture Book twist up blues rock infused with prog-funk rock tones on "This Time Around"

























Canada's Colour Picture Book twist up blues rock infused with prog-funk rock tones. For an authentic 7" single they recorded totally with analog machines as front man, singer, guitarist Adam Webster says "I wanted the band to be live off the floor, all in the same room. I wanted the sound to be an analog signal every step of the way, right down to the lacquer cutting head." The track This Time Around (coupled with Amsterdam) brings together all the talents of Adam as well as Matt Webster (bass) and Max Roach (drums, organ, piano) as a tight cohesive free flowing jam band. The musical break with Adam's potent guitar work, tight rhythm section and organ flourishes is feels like blues funk rock bliss.

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Robb Donker




Valid Light - dense folk rock reflections on "A Work Of Reflection in the Age of Mechanical Sentimentalism"

Valid Light is the current musical project of Gregory W. Dyson based out of Philadelphia and the song A Work Of Reflection in the Age of Mechanical Sentimentalism asks as many questions (at least to me) as the long winded titles. One thing that strikes me instantly is Dyson's vocal performance. It is different, it has folk sinew to the sound as well as a kind of slight southern drawl (very slight) and a high register uniqueness. His voice feels, sounds authentic and within the musical framework that has a dense folk rock / indie rock sound I thought of Neil Young kind of twisted and blended with The War On Drugs. 

In another time in rural Connecticut Dyson fronted a folk rock band called Hanging Hills. Of A Work Of Reflection in the Age of Mechanical Sentimentalism he says,

 "This song is about missing an old band that broke up. Years later, picking up an acoustic guitar in your bedroom, sitting down and revisiting the songs, and feeling nostalgic for the places and experiences writing those songs led you to. It was self-recorded at my home in Philadelphia, and I played all the instruments, and drew the album art."

-
Robb Donker


Reema and her reimagining of The Kinks "Sunny Afternoon" will surprise you




















Reinterpreting a classic The Kinks song, namely the 1966 "Sunny Afternoon" is a daring thing to do. The Kinks are one of my favorite iconic bands ever and if you take the purest approach you just don't mess with their work. London native, Berlin based new folk artist Reema (Sarah Reema Kaydar) doesn't only mess with it but she messes with it so much so that it is not until the Ray Davies bouncy melodies (now crooned into long sustains) seeped into my brain that I recognized it. The first reaction was "what the...." but that was only a primal protective punch for a band who inspires me. The second reaction was much more interesting and real because I truly love Reema's inspired and minimalist interpretation and in some odd way this version brings out the lyrics in a different way, revealing them with new emotional connections. Davies' dour lyrics were poised like a honky-tonk drinking song / dark comedy. Reema's version pulls out the cheeky "wink", the self aware "life is not fair" tone (so fuck it) so what felt sort of happy in the original now sounds somber and what seemed like simple declarations now feel more like complex questions really. 

Reema's voice is incredibly controlled and beautiful. She has this in her D.N.A. I suppose. Her mother worked alongside Brian Eno and Roxy Music. Reema grew up around powerful female artists and singers like Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. How, where and when she found her voice and way of looking at things is unknown to me but her approach to this classic speaks volumes. In the end it is an amazing reimagining. I wonder what Ray Davies thinks of it?

-
Robb Donker


Nick Ferrio and the inspired "How Will I Know" rides on a wanderlust beat from the "Have A Nice Day" Album

How Will I Know by singer songwriter Nick Ferrio (and from his upcoming album "Have A Nice Day") is a sprite indie rocker riding on a runaway wanderlusty beat while guitar lines mirror Ferrio's melodic bounce. His vocal performance feels like Americana amped up alt folk but in an inspired way, the cadence and pop is full of hope and fun even. The album is deeply personal reflecting on Ferrio being a new parent, his mental health and life on the road as a touring musician. Of the track, How Will I Know, he says, 

"‘How Will I Know’ is a philosophical song; it’s about my relationship with music and thinking about why I’m drawn to make it, especially in today’s day and age, with the music industry changing. We’ve all heard over and over again about how the music industry is in the pits and how culturally music isn’t as valuable as it once was. I guess the nagging question in this song is, is music still worth something? The answer to that is yes. Music has the power to transform, to give meaning, to create connection, to make change. Ultimately, music is powerful. And because of that, music will survive whatever happens to the music industry."

Nick Ferrio is based out of Canada and "Have A Nice Day" drops on September 28th.

-
Robb Donker


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Lac Belot's abstract alt folk art pop orchestrations on "Friendly Beast" from the upcoming "Abracadabra!" album

The song Friendly Beast from Finnish Lac Belot's upcoming debut album "Abracadabra!" casts evocative imagery in one's mind (at least mine) that are both whimsical, beautiful and somewhat dark depending on how you fill out the metaphors in your way. It is a heady blend of alt folk and full on art pop orchestrations making it both specifically intimate and vast at the same time. This artistic largeness lifts you up in a spacey way and one which makes me want to dive fully into the album (whether it is a collection of songs or a conceptual art piece). 

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Robb Donker