Saturday, July 28, 2018

Possible Ocean's "Throw The Knife" from the upcoming "Phase Change" EP

The track Throw The Knife from their upcoming EP called "Phase Change" by L.A. based Possible Oceans percolates with vocal lines that run and jump around driving bass and drum rhythms and what feels like translucent guitar lines.

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Robb Donker




Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Swimwear Department - swim into the dance punk of "Submarine"


























I like artists who have a strong focus. The band Swimwear Department out of Houston, Texas solely writes about shopping malls and swimming pools and all the ancillary things around those entities. In fact, their track Submarine is about (in the bands words) "this one is all about Joanne's swimming suit" and it is as simple as that. The track itself has a kind of down and dirty dance punk sound with an infectious organ sound and Matt Graham's punk gymnastic like vox that fills in the spaces between the cool bass and drum lines that I really love. Swimwear Department is finished out by Ned Gayle (bass), Jack Gordon (drums) and Jeremy Grisbee (keys).

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Robb Donker


Asympt Man - Official Video for "Caught In A Fire" from the "Chasing Infinity" EP-

From the recently released "Chasing Infinity" EP, the track Caught In A Fire by UK artist Asympt Man, the moniker for multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter / producer Rob Toulson.  The track has a kind of orchestrated big folk sound with organic bones. Toulson's vocal performance is passionate, bold declarations laced with a soft tenderness. I couldn't help but think of REM a bit. The runaway production gives Caught In A Fire an out of breath urgency. 

The Chasing Infinity EP was released worldwide on all digital music platforms on Friday 20 July 2018. The full digital exhibition, including music, images, films, narratives and lyrics, can be explored at http://www.asymptman.com


Chasing Infinity is also released as an interactive iPhone app, incorporating a unique stems mixer feature, and is available for free download in the Apple App Store on 03 August 2018.


The release will be followed by a short UK tour, including venues in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Cambridge - completing with a headline show at The Water Rats in London on Friday 14 September 2018.

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Robb Donker



Kady Z - cinematic production and tender vocal performance on "Revenge"

L.A. singer songwriter Kady Z blends in different influences into the pop sounds she creates. Her current offering Revenge was born in Nashville with the help of Grammy Award winning producer Tonedef (Green Day, Santana, Chris Isaak) and feels like a gunslinger drifting into a battered old town in the old west. Imagery aside it feels like a southern Americana rock ballad with country tones and while the ambient vintage scratches gives it a kind of spaghetti western vibe, Kady Z's deeply serious emotional vocal performance and stirring production lend emotional weight. An upcoming album and tour coming.

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Robb Donker

Monday, July 23, 2018

Heavenalive - wraps around you - see Official Video for "22 Years"

Heavenalive is the musical moniker / project of LA. multi-faceted film maker / writer / producer Aaron Silverstein. His third single 22 Years feels airy and heavy at the same time moving on a deceptively addictive bass line. Voices and ambient sounds filtered through electronica weave around a percussive beat. A slow burn guitar line feels like it is holding back impending blows as Silverstein's vox push through in a huge way. He carries his emotion in the back of his throat like clenched fists until he let's it all out in a full declarative in your face assault. 

The official video directed by Silverstein is a cool mixed media affair featuring Tray Roundree (who also acted as chorographer).

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Robb Donker


HEAVENALIVE - 22 Years [Official Video] from Aaron Silverstein on Vimeo.

"Ordinary Faces" feels like something between a 60's love ballad and a Bond film theme by collective "Room Six Eleven"

Room six eleven is a soul / funk project from Greece, collaborating with musicians from all over the world. The self titled EP is available on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Itunes, Google music and all major streaming and downloading platforms.

Ordinary Faces written by Aris Androutsos and Kyriakos Mourtzouchos with guest vocalist Kris Lee floats along with a lovely sweeping sound propelled by Lee's cool vox and orchestrated production making it feel like something between a 60's love ballad and a Bond film theme.


Room Six Eleven EP will be released on vinyl record (12' white vinyl, 180grams) on September 2018

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Robb Donker



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cathedrals amp up the electronic sultry groove on "Behave"

Cathedrals are Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin, hail from San Francisco. The sultry shiny track Behave has a 90's electronic edge and (with Mitchell Wilcox on drums and Jonathan Hererra on bass and synths when they perform live) Brodie and Johnny amp up the dance nature of the track with a deep groove, synth hooks and an intimate vocal performance. 

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Robb Donker

categories

The Chewers - the driven off a cliff industrial art punk poetry of "Downhill Calendar" needs to be in your musical library -





















The Chewers are Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, a two piece kind of art punk outfit from the woods of West Virginia now based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Their current offering is the "concept album without a concept" called "Downhill Calendar" and the track Frankie's Downhill Calendar sits almost squarely in the middle of equally disjointed grungy kind of industrial, kind of avant garde, kind of poetry in hell, kind of musical experimentation. The aesthetic here is dark and nihilistic, squinty eyed almost spoken word diatribes set to tribalistic industrial drums and heavy jagged guitar lines. The result is something like NIN, Butthole Surfers, Jim Carroll, She Wants Revenge, The Normal and Bauhaus driven off a cliff and coalesced into this oddly super engaging sound. 

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Robb Donker






Moa McKay- jammy "Another Man" from the jazz neo-soul EP "Illusions Of A Dream"

Moa McKay, singer-songwriter neo-soul artist from Stockholm, Sweden is releasing her first EP "Illusions Of A Dream" in collaboration with guitarist Tristan Banks, drummer Gabriele Gabrin and bass player Per Monstad. The track Another Man blends jazz and soul tones. The song has an air of romantic mystery and trade off jammy flourishes in between McKay's storytelling with a  cool vocal performances that flows in an around horns, fluid guitar, bouncy bass lines and proggy drumming. When the song drops out and to reveal only one instrument and McKay's sultry emotional tones it is mesmerizing. 

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Robb Donker


Humble Digs - labor of love "A Portrait Of Grace" trippy blended impressions in a 150 year old farmhouse

Humble Digs latest labor of love is called "A Portrait Of Grace" and as they note was recorded in Amherst, Mass "on Southeast Street in every one's bedrooms, the pantry, both hallways, the living room and the abandoned silo out back" and fully inhabiting a space (in this case a 150 year old farmhouse) makes sense because the collection of songs feel lived in, immersed in and are, in the end, immersive transformative pieces of sound that seep into you like slow motion raindrops. You will feel this kind of organic elegance on the album's set piece called Portrait. A really special artistically wrought piece of work with orchestrations of  emotional sound  that shape shift as the song moves along. It slowly washed over me in an awe inspiring way. 

Humble Digs blend alt folk, garden rock, dreamy psychedelic rock, pushed through blues and country filters with a patina of progressive rock and jazz tones layered on for good measure. On the track Shame you hear those garden / southern rock strains and to me the song feels like dancing hippies on a large Southern porch. The first track Bloodstream is a kind of free form light folk rock affair that almost flutters around your head. There is this very evocative piano break by special guest player Charles Vadala that  feels like wandering thoughts and then the song spins up and around once more. Uptown / Inbound feels jammy and wanderlusty with blues / Southern strains. The musical break brings in progressive lead runs. The song is a bit all over the place in the best possible way. The very last song has no name. It has a nice sway and has very cool detours feeling like a stream of consciousness piece of music with a sense of experimentation and improvisation. At least that is the sense I get. It covers a lot of territory and gets playfully psychedelic and rockish. The wide eyed run down the rabbit hole is fun and a great way to end. Dive into 9 track album. Please, I implore you. It is a trip worth taking (again and again).

Humble Digs (at their core) are Jake Slater (guitar, vox), George Condon (guitar), Henry Condon (drums), Riley Feeney (bass, vox) and Matt Twaddle (keys) but the band does note that "over the past year we have featured Mtali Banda, Leland Baker and Dave Murphy on saxes, Casey Opal and Luke Tobin on vocals, Ben Young and Lily Sexton on Strings and Ben Beal on keys. We are a BIG Family."
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Robb Donker



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Nashville's The Pink Spiders new album "Mutations" and "I Can't Get Down Without You"


The Pink Spiders are back with their first full length album in 10 years called "Mutations" and one can't help but cheer them on as they have, after all, survived that music machine, an infamous tour bus fire and being signed to Geffen Records. The single: I Can't Get Down Without You has their trademark chunky power pop sound and glam rock falsettos.
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Robb Donker


Aussie dream rockers The Night reflect and declare in "You've Got It Kid"

On the track You've Got It Kid the Aussie dream rock outfit The Night wields intimate admonitions of sound and declarative statements of hope and faith. Their album "Question Everything" is not afraid to do just that and as in You've Got It Kid not afraid to sit in reflective moments of near silence only to erupt in sonic walls of passion. The 6 piece indie rock shoe gazey outfit hail from Sydney. 

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Robb Donker


Racoma's Self Titled album feels organically deep- steep in the tracks "Country" and "Howl" and then love the rest


















From Racoma's self titled 2018 EP the track Country feels organically deep like the sounds were steeped in a brew of garden rock, alt folk and porch country pushed through Americana filters. It helps that Glenn Haider (from New Jersey) possesses a kind of down home sultry voice with earnest tones and the right amount of sandpaper grit to his vocal performance. Hooking up with childhood friend Anthony Hagen (bass, keys and from Cali) and finding another Cali boy, Sean Collopy (guitar) they all collected in Seattle, Washington (eventually) along with native Eliot Stone. Loving their sound, that has no indie pretense whatsoever. It is what it is and it is wonderful. 

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Robb Donker




Meta Forrester - mines family stories from 1970's Taiwan- on "Record Store Girl"

Record Store Girl is the first single off of Meta Forrester's (Scott Hsu's) upcoming EP "FU LONG BEACH."
Hsu was born in Amherst, Mass but is currently based out of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and the EP is directly inspired by his parents living as twenty somethings in 1970's Taiwan. As Hsu (who plays all instruments) says of the album, "It's a 17 minute alt rock/power pop EP about the thrill and naivety of young love. Every song is based on a story they told me about their lives".

The track itself is spartan and the poppy vocal melody rides on opening bass line. It has charm and humor and is about Hsu's dad who dated a girl whose family owned a record store in Taipei. 
As the song expresses, his dad did not fall in love with her but did fall in love with the wealth of music they shared. 

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Robb Donker


Falaises - transient "Boy" has dangerous edges



























Paris based Falaises offer their first single Boy from their debut EP "They Are Here" due out in October (2018).  Mixed by the amazing Stephane Briat (Air, Depeche Mode) the track with it's runaway arpeggios and runaway beat moves even when the song stands still. In these movements of static silence the track feels heavy and embracing until Alice's "hey!" that sends the song reeling as if it is running towards something and from something. The track is mysterious sounding too feeling transient but with dangerous edges but other times has a dizzy jubilant tone as well.  Maybe it is running towards a savior.

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Robb Donker






Sydney based Hurst - supercharged comfort food - "On Purple and Green"


























Sydney (Aus) based Hurst has alt rock bones that veer toward the purity of that iconic 90's / 2000's sounds of bands like Superchunk or The Thermals. That sound that screams more indie rock meets power pop than punk. It is dirty and clean at the same time, guitar hook laden with infectious melodies. On Purple and Green I thought a bit of Better Than Ezra. Ana Veira and the boys seem to be making post punk sounds that charge you up like the best pizza ever after clubbing, musical comfort food that tastes brand new.

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Robb Donker




Rip Junior - alt rock steeped in summer - "One Track Mind"

Out of Jacksonville, Florida - Rip Junior  - churn out alt rock sounds with a decidedly post rock 90's style meets surf rock meets skating in pools, fucking crazy house parties and chopping up 6 foot peelers at Satellite Beach. Listen to One Track Mind and you might see your favorite summer full of fury.




"Unfair" by French Indie rock duo Deleo buried and unburied passion

Deleo is a French indie-rock duo comprised of multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter Denis Navarro and vocalist Mathilde. Their latest offering Unfair is full of passion buried and unburied amid delicate pearly guitars riding on growing beats. When everything drops out except for Mathilde's evocative vocal performance and one guitar the world stops. This might be the most beautiful thing you hear all day. 

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Robb Donker



Neo&Neo's "Behind The Walls" casts ethereal images in your mind

Behind The Walls by Swiss indie folk band Neo&Neo (founded by singer-songwriter Dominik Robin) was written in a Swiss Chalet at 2000 meters above sea level. It is airy and beautiful, pained and imperfect like life itself and within it's melodies you can find your own hidden meanings.

Neo&Neo is Dominik Robin (lead vox, acoustic guitar, piano), Raphael Schneider (electric guitar, backing vox), Yannick Schmutz (drums, percussion, backing vox) and (Live) Benedict Schonenberger (bass)

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Robb Donker



"The Beat" by Jovernanté is drenched in cool

Sometimes I just want to hear a song drenched in cool. That is all I want right now. Listen to the Jena, Germany based indie band Jovernanté and their latest offering The Beat. It is drenched in cool. 

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Robb Donker









   


The Quiet Giants - and the cinematic "Reflections"

The title track off of The Quiet Giants debut EP "Reflections" begins with synthetic ambiance giving it a cinematic tone right from the start. It then is a big vast kind of alt rock ballad with art rock and Brit pop leanings. Adam Uscilowicz vocals propel the drama nicely. It could become more sweeping and pained but then ends all too soon. The aesthetic makes you think these guys might be from Manchester or Newcastle (UK) but, no, they hail from Bridgewater, New Jersey (USA). 


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Robb Donker


Friday, July 20, 2018

Delafaye's - "These Days" indie enchantment

Delafaye is working on his self titled album due out late this year and is sharing the track These Days. I love Delafaye's vocal performance. Tender but sandpaper rough around the edges, it is the cement that holds the musical frame work together that ambles along in such a chill kind of somber way with a tropical punk vibe.

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Robb Donker


Beachdust - retro electronica meets jazz psyche rock - "Cleft / Lovetrip"

The track Cleft by Long Beach, Cali's Beachdust feels like surf psychedelia meets funk meets R & B. It makes me think of low riders on Whittier blvd on one hand and the Light House Cafe in Hermosa Beach on the other. It is one chapter of a sweet 3 piece connected musical stories called "Cleft / Lovetrip." The boys create cool visions that mix retro electronica and jazz psyche rock flavors into a sticky sweet syrup. Love it and it is, indeed, a trip. 

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Robb Donker


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Somewhere in the UK Matthew Barton creates cool bedroom pop like "Costume"

Somewhere in the UK Matthew Barton creates cool bedroom pop recorded to 4 track tape. The song Costume percolates around a simple acoustic folk progression that sounds a bit like Laid by James turned on it's head. Evocative lyrics and vocal performance set this song on fire. 

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Robb Donker



Pardans wide eyed musical debauchery on "(Hookers with ) Hidden Depths"


























Put yourself smack dab in the middle of the beautifully off-kilter (sometimes seemingly discordant) jazz punk sounds of Pardans' latest offering (Hookers with) Hidden Depths from their upcoming full length "Split And Image" album (due out in October 2018) and you feel stuck in parallel planes of time and space. It feels like a intoxicated walk through dark streets in and out of smokey clubs in Germany or New York in another time (maybe 1947 or 1978) encountering deviations of sound and maybe deviants too.  The cagey, mysterious stalking nature of the bass line, bent and twisted lines of sax and guitar patterns while keys and drum stage alternate parties and Gustav Berntsen spews out a vocal performance as provocateur at a carnival or burlesque stage. It is a fun tightrope and I thought of Talking Heads, Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Frank Zappa tones and copious amounts of Vodka tossed in a blender and put on puree.

Of the album Gustav says:

“Spit and Image revolves around dirty deeds and wishful thinking of adolescence” explains Gustav. “I think it contains some quite dramatic characters, some in and out of love, some of privilege, lacking integrity, some on the edge of moral decline appearing as depraved monsters overwhelmed by debauchery; some insecure about their skin, some learning about intimacy and trust, to love and respect by the guiding hand of a patient partner. Some are frustrated with the current state of our world making sail for a better place, leaving their peers behind. They hold their breath collectively, while some dance with rapture.”

Pardans hail from Denmark and are: Gustav Berntsen (Vocals), Oskar Dinesen (Drums), Rasmus Hastrup (Bass), Patrick Rathbun (Viola, Piano, Guitar), Daniel Honore (Saxophone). On Spit & Image Rasmus Skovmose is also contributing on guitar.

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Robb Donker


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ExWives - three piece punkified alternative rocker "In The Other Room"

The track In The Other Room by Oklahoma City's ExWives and from their EP "You Called Me" is a punkified alternative rocker that instantly feels down and dirty. It is an addictive track and the 4th time around you hear nuanced elements like layered guitars, piano keys hammered on and ambient synth sounds giving the track an even wilder abandon. I also love the over modulated lead vox and sonic guitar licks. Cool stuff. 

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Robb Donker


Lenny Zenith - trans punk artist still making waves on "Suddenly Someone" from the "What If The Sun" album

Suddenly Someone from the album "What If The Sun" by trans punk art rocker Lenny Zenith pulsates with a kind of late 70's proto punk meets 80's new wave with deep pop hooks around the edges. If I have to cast out one respectful critique it is that the song ends much too soon. Still absolutely love the aesthetic here.

Zenith's three decade career as a trans punk artist is an inspiring one. Fronting punk band RZA in the early 80's who opened for the likes of U2, The Replacements, Iggy Pop, XTC, Gun Club, X and more as well as fronting the acclaimed noise-pop band Jenifer Convertible in New York in the 90's (James Murphy recorded three of their songs at DFA's original Plantain Studios (pre-LCD Soundsystem!), which were released as the bands' Car Song 7 inchZenith has been able to shape shift as an artist while shifting attitudes in the process. 


Check out Zenith's solo full length "What If The Sun" and a memoir "Before I Was Me" is in the works. 

This man does not stop.

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Robb Donker





Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Swine Tax - emotionally rich indie rock on "Thorns"

Swine Tax hail from Newcastle upon Tyne (England) and their latest offering Thorns is such an awesome piece of free spirited indie rock. It is so stuffed full of musical emotions it feels like a celebration of sorts. Sometimes 3 piece bands ironically feel the most dense and this is the case here. The ultra active base lines and drumming that is constantly erupting in fills around exuberant post punk guitar lines is something to behold. Not to mention the vocal performance that is cool but passionate (if not a bit pained). For whatever reason (and other sounds may come to you) I thought of elements of varied bands spanning different eras like Human Television,  Pavement, the Replacements, Sonic Youth and (oddly enough) Built To Spill because of some of the delicious potent guitar lines. I fucking love this song. 

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Robb Donker


Monday, July 16, 2018

Starry eyed feel to "Midnight" by Gina Cimmelli

Midnight feels like something between a 60's tortured teen pop ballad and kind of dream punk strains. It is big and intimate at the same time. Has big hopeful admonitions but a broken heart too.

Gina Cimmelli is from Brooklyn and Midnight is from her 5 track EP "My Little Lies."
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Robb Donker


The Little Miss - chasing the "American Dream"

There is something strange about The Little Miss (the moniker of Hayley Johnson) or maybe to be more clear something strange about her music. Her aesthetic on American Dream which is this kind of 60's folk / country and western meets the American songbook (or something like that) is done with such an earnest tone it is hard to discern if she is embracing that time or shooting barbs at it. Her vocal presentation is engaging but again pulls in retro tones. It is the kind of yearning for simpler times although from a Geo-political aspect, from a Civil Rights aspect those times were not so rosy and let's not even get into how women fared. There was darkness behind some of those white picket fences and part of me thinks that The Little Miss taps into the irony of it all. It is that kind of parallel shift that would make it feel right at home in a Wes Anderson movie or even as a song in Handmaid's Tale to punctuate the utter horror presented. Maybe I am looking way too deeply. I do love her sound and aesthetic so much. Maybe I should just enjoy The Little Miss's  American Dream. In it she is still, after all, chasing freedom.

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Robb Donker


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".

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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).
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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."

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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.

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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). 
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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.

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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.

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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

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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).

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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.

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Robb Donker


UK- Superego -- release single "Sleep" and it is dense and delicious

Midlands, UK based four piece Superego just released their single Sleep. It has a big rock audacity with post punk postures and an Albini like grunge heaviness in it's groove. Cam Potts' vocal performance is over modulated cool punk croons with poppy indie rock tendencies. Superego is rounded out by Tom Richards, Luke Joseph Harley and Samuel Beckingham.  Rock on.

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Robb Donker



Monday, July 9, 2018

Swedish post punk indie rockers and "2:42" from the "Cult" EP

Swedish post punk rockers Eldoradio's track 2:42 from their mini album "Cult" clocks in at a mere 2 minutes and 27 seconds and the boys don't waste one second of it. Unrelenting beat, stair stepping progs and the guitar lines that starts off the chorus are so incredibly drenched in youthful passion. The vox have a perfect punk art posture, "paranoia's got a hold and it's choking me" and "I don't know what I'm running from." You can feel the bodies pushed against each other moshing against the stage in some small club as the dense sound penetrates the air. 

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Robb Donker


Ocean Potion - pushing sounds you want to hear in "In The Grass" (Official Video)

























In The Grass by Ocean Potion (Canada) has synth sounds that feel other worldly and whispery self aware vox that feel almost child like, dreamy sounds pushing vintage sci-fi buttons which itself is just so fascinating (I love old imaginings of the future). The kind of drums / bass / guitar / spacey synth sounds as a sort of twisted orchestra is magnetic. The result, to me feels like something between MGMT and /or Unknown Mortal Orchestra and /or Flaming Lips and / or  Caandides but thoroughly in the end their own self.... (want to make that clear). 

I am in love with this song and Ocean Potion's aesthetic here. OP is a new band made up of a member from Yukon Blonde and a member of fellow Canadian rock band Zeus. The official video for In The Grass is a trip. Most likely mined public domain footage (or PSA) and I have so many questions to ask about it but for now I will just keep that all to myself and enjoy Ocean Potion's sounds.

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Robb Donker




Sunday, July 8, 2018

Kimono Drag Queen - cranks up the psychedelic volume on "Acid Reign"

Kimono Drag Queens. I have to say, don't like the name. I don't know why but putting those words / concepts together (?), well... that is just a hell of a lot going on in my brain. Does the name try to hard, maybe... (that's just me) but in the end a band name is just a fucking band name. Actually not as important as one might think because the name becomes what the music is, what the music makes you feel.

So KDQ is a seven (yes, seven) piece alternative rock outfit from Sydney, Australia and the track Acid Reign is a gem. It cooks on a guitar / bass hook with streams of psychedelic lines crisscrossing over the sounds. When it slows down it feels extra trippy and you can feel a think coat of hallucinogens hanging in the air like a Doors song but it only lingers in this multi-colored haze for awhile until that beautiful metal / meets deep blues rock riff cranks up again. The song trades off between trippy and cranking. The guitar sounds are deliciously heavy and dense. There is a sense of post punk metal mania that is just incredibly fun and engaging. The sounds pay homage to some great gods of rock in the same way that (let's say) a Ty Segall mines some of the best of those riffs but still puts his own spin on the milieu (like on Emotional Mugger). I feel that happening here to and I absolutely love it. The only negative thing I could say about Acid Reign is that it feels too short. I like to bask in this kind of sound a lot longer. What the hell... that is what the repeat button is for.

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Robb Donker


The Ruralists - "The Birth Of Birds" alt folk on high and "Ghost"

Ghost by The Ruralists begs for your faith. Like a fighter beaten down, Luke Hawley and the boys crawl to the top of the mountain again and again until finally reaching the top. Their brand of Americana folk rock has a reverent tone as the song reaches crescendos multiple times, first small then bigger and then so explosive that you are ready to give yourself up to the sound. Hawley's vocal performance is raw and passionate with Mid-Western tones. I thought of classic garden rock / American roots rock bands like The Band (though born in Toronto / Ontario, Canada) as Ghost wrapped around me.

The Ruralists are based out of Sioux Center, Iowa and their debut album, "The Birth Of Birds" is available on all platforms. They are Luke Hawley (guitar / vox), Ben Lappenga (eletric guitar), Laremy De Vries (electric guitar), Jake Miller (bass) and Titus Landagent (drums).

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Robb Donker

Find out more about The Ruralists here: www.fullyruralized.com


Maps Of - New York collaboration on "Maps Of The Invisible City" art rock from alt folk footings

All The Right Sounds by New York based Maps Of feels like colors of sound cast from a prism twisting on a string. Pearly crisscrossing guitars, rapid elusive bass lines, changing time signatures, raw alt folkish vox that will fall head first into jammy proggy bursts of sound. The turn from alt folk footings to more art rock flavors happens throughout the seven track album "Maps Of The Invisible City." These different approaches is what makes the record so engaging. Different artistic visions coalesced into one by three artists. Maps Of centers around singer songwriter Nick Perlman (lead vox / guitar) and his collaboration with Andy Porta (drums) and Seth Nicholson (bass). Fall into the emotional musical fray of All The Right Sounds and Anything At all and then discover the rest.

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Robb Donker