Sunday, July 15, 2018

Lauren O'Connell- big bite on "In On The Joke" from the "Details" album

Lauren O'Connell is based out of San Francisco by way of Rochester, New York and her band's brand of alternative country pushes indie rock buttons and it has bite. On the song In On The Joke she sings, "If I told you I thought you were the son of God...you would spit in my face with a wink and a nod... let everybody know how you shrugged it off.... but holy shit how good you would look on a cross." The song's big down beats have a 90's post rock vibe and coupled with the smart sardonic words I thought of the band Miracle Mile a bit. This is my first introduction to Lauren O'Connell and I cannot wait to dive deeper into her artistry which is rounded out by band members Olivia Lee and Lauren Grubb. 

In On The Joke is from the 2018 album "Details".

-
Robb Donker


Pastis - indie rock with 80's Brit punk pop flavors on "Amazon"

























Pastis hails from Helsinki, Finland. Their indie rock sound brings to mind 60's Brit pop, 80's New wave / Brit punk pop and 90's post punk all kind of blended together. Last year they released the well received EP "Four Stories" and are set to release their debut full length this fall. Check out the track- Amazon. Pastis is Markus Nymalm (guitar, vox), Emil Inberg (guitar), Sakari Palmroos (guitar), Henrik Vuoksenmaa (bass) and Kelle Valkama (drums).
-
Robb Donker

Out of Norway: Teddy and The Love Gang- explosively cool "Island Universe" from the EP "Kid Forest- Sanctuary"

























Some of the music coming out of Norway lately makes we want to move there for a while to be absorbed in the post punk indie scene over there. I just need to buy some warmer clothes. Take for instance, Teddy and The Love Gang and the track Island Universe which is from their 4 track EP "Kid Forest - Sanctuary." At barely over 3 minutes it wastes no time. It is a full frontal attack of post punk sounds with falsetto vox backing up the over modulated front vox, snappy lead licks and synth melodies that will plaster a big smile on your face. Love this track. Teddy and the Love Gang consider what they do as "weird pop" and are Erlend Kartvedt, Trym Westbye Syversen, "Teddy" and Theo Saenger who says about the track that he found inspiration from a sentence of Aldous Huxley's essay, 'Doors of Perception' : "every person is their own island universe."

-
Robb Donker


NEEDSHES - exuberant big rocker - "Time To See"


























The latest from NEEDSHES, Time To See is a big exuberant rocker hinged on singer-songwriter Otabek Salamov's (Beck) smoothly cool and emotional vocal performance. Salamov moves effortlessly into brilliant falsettos while Ivan Petukhov's staccato riffs create runaway rhythms and Alexey Manakhov pushes heavy drum patterns. The song has got strong indie rock pop hooks although I wish it would of veered off into a deep bridge and was just a longer song. It seems to end all too soon. In the end it still gets under your skin and you want to sing along.

The boys hail from the city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan and it is clear by Salamov's flawless English that he has been in large part influenced by American and Brit pop artists. Time To See makes me think a bit of if Coldplay, the Killers and Muse had a baby and I mean that in a good way. Other inspirations Salamov cite (besides the 3 aforementioned) are U2, David Bowie, A-Ha, Jack White, Red Hot Chile Peppers and Nirvana.

-
Robb Donker


George Hadfield:: Hear the synthy, funky, deep groove title track off of the "Brenda" album

I don't think any one will ever write a song called Robbert. Minneapolis songwriter / multi-instrumentalist George Hadfield has, in fact, written an album entitled "Brenda" and the title track is an R & B, groovy pop, electronic synthy hybrid that is thoroughly engaging in all it's cagey post punk funkadeliciousness. Truly... no lie.

For your information: 

The "Brenda" album is something you want to hear. Listen to Wolf below as well.  Here are some details about the album:

All songs written, produced and recorded by George, Hadfield, Danny O'Brien, Garrett Neal, Stefon "Bionik" Taylor.

George Hadfield (vox, bass, synthesizers, drum machines),
Garrett Neal (synthesizers)
Alexander Young (drums), John Hadfield (piano an trumpet). 
-
Robb Donker 



Danny Downing- "Memories Survive" from the album "When The Lights Go Down"

From the 2018 album "When The Lights Go Down" - the track Memories Survive is a vast indie rock ballad that erupts with harder rock flourishes to tell the story.

Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Danny Downing hails from Saskatoon, Canada and grew up listening to all kinds of music from the Beatles to Nirvana and also steeped himself in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Robert Finch.

-
Robb Donker

NOTE: As of the writing of this post the album is available on Itunes but look for it on other digital platforms as well.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rudy De Anda stirs it up in "Helado"

I first met Rudy De Anda in 2013 as he fronted his band Wild Pack of Canaries a post punk hybrid prog band shoving experimental cross cultural sounds into tight spaces.

Orbiting in and around Long Beach haunts and over the years working with luminary Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (Mars Volta, Jack White) as well as LB local Jonny Bell at Jazz Cats studio (Crystal Antlers, Hanni El Khatib, Day Wave) and (in true DIY fashion) has been part of a Los Angeles artist group called Qvolé Collective (Chicano Batman, Cutty Flam and more) representing progressive Latin music.

His current release Helado cuts a deep dreamy Latin groove with De Anda's chill crafted guitar licks dancing about. You have synthesizer swirls courtesy of Bardo Martinez of Chicano Batman, percussion by Edgar "Meshlee" Modesto of Byepongo and guest vocals by Gemma Castro. 

Rudy De Anda has created such varied and stellar sounds in his different incarnations that I couldn't help to include Visions of Plumerias from his vastly interesting 2015 album "Ostranenie" as well as an interview with Wild Pack of Canaries.

-
Robb Donker





Naivesign: "Lazy Sunday Afternoon" from the EP "Synesthesia" will wake you up






















Pop outfit out of Seoul, South Korea called Naivesign will surely make you get up and dance around. I know it had that effect on me. Check out Lazy Sunday Afternoon from the "Synesthesia" EP

-
Robb Donker

"My Blue Heart" by Coyle Girelli pushes black and white images of cool and darkness

Listen to Coyle Girelli's My Blue Heart and for a couple of minutes you are transported to black and white images, sharp creases in slacks and skirts, healthy cigarettes, chewing gum and turbulent times put away neatly behind white picket fences. You may think of Roy Orbison and maybe even Elvis Presley a bit but there is a tinge of darkness in this song that makes it feel more dangerous.  

My Blue Heart is the second single from Girelli's debut solo album called "Love Kills". It is a big departure from the post punk sounds Girelli fronts in The Chevin (Yorkshire, England).

-

Robb Donker





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kill Joy - potent alt folk pushed through post punk filters - on the EP "Sex Comedy"

Kill Joy hails from Washington DC via Auckland, New Zealand and the track Valentine's Day from her just released EP "Sex Comedy" is an acoustic indie rocker built around potent acoustic guitar poised right on top of the microphone so closely that it becomes both instrumentation and percussion (and I love that). Even though there is jangly electric guitar and added beats it is that aggressive acoustic guitar and Kill Joy's evocative vocals that propel the track forward from the very start. K-Joy's influences are noted as Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow and while that is perfectly fair, to me I would say Joni Mitchell and Fiona Apple. In fact, I feel a strong Apple vibe on the track Not So Well and lyrically there is even that twist the knife aesthetic.  The vocals on this EP with support by her own background vox are so exquisitely engaging. I love this woman's voice so much and love her singing style. Turn the track Sun up loud, as loud as you can take it. Acoustic or not, it is the EP's heavy kind of post punk rocker. Kill Joy's vocal flourishes sound so damn good because they are dripping with emotion. The only thing wrong with "Sex Comedy" is that is so short. It does, though serve as this kind of sonic appetizer leaving you so hungry for more of this woman's art.  Well done.

-
Robb Donker