Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cursed Arrows' theatrical sway of "Near Death Daydream" is simply dreamy





















Near Death Daydream from the "Rebirth" album by Cursed Arrows feels like a baroque pop diorama full of dramatic cut outs held up by orchestral flourishes and art rock motif's. The theater of it all may mute the emotional weight (a wee bit) but who gives a damn when it sounds so exquisitely cool. Cursed Arrows are Ryan Stanley (guitars, vocals, drums, piano), Jackie (vocals, guitars) and Scott Gray (drums, guitars, bass, melodica) and they conjure up their magical sounds blending post punk, alt folk, blues psyche art rock in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.

-
Robb Donker




Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Fourth Wall - sonic reflections on "Infinite Other"

Infinite Other, the title track of Portland based band The Fourth Wall's latest album is a song that dreamily slow dances until it becomes one of those infinite hugs that you do not want to end. The emotional cues throughout the song are expressed in swaying bass and drums, pearly explosive guitars, ambient unworldly synth sounds and Stephen Agustin's beautiful falsettos. The album, "Infinite Other" turns on a breakup with a long time partner as Agustin reflects, “It’s an album about otherness. I was reading a lot of Foucault and Hegel in school, and thinking about how much of my identity was this reflection of myself through another person.”

Reflections can be many things. Pristine and beautiful, dark and mysterious. Both introspective, cinematic and sometimes breaking into the Fourth Wall.

-
Robb Donker


Dreamy, groovy "Found Out" by Kip Nelson floats happily along

Kip Nelson's dreamy chill track Found Out will soothe whatever ails you and if it doesn't then listen again. Acoustic based set to a chill ambient groove and organic vox just floats happily along. It is the second single off of the singer songwriter's debut EP "Waves After Work."
-
Robb Donker


Monday, August 27, 2018

AMERICAN PANCAKE's FIRST Ever Spotify Playlist- Enjoy- Share - Repeat

Yippie Kai Yai Yay it is a beautiful day because I am sharing our first ever American Pancake Spotify Playlist. YES- I am late to the table. I had some issues with Spotify as a kind of artist myself but in the end, the artist I cover want to be on Spotify and so incorporating their awesome songs (that have been featured at AP) along with other songs that strike my fancy is only a good thing. I am pretty stoked about this first one. PLEASE share it around and enjoy the hell out of it. 
-
Robb Donker

HIT THIS LINK: https://open.spotify.com/user/americanrobb/playlist/5G8OoE6nWK8ti5JRJa8hff


Sway under Holly Redford Jones' "Big Blue Sky" and feel the love

























Big Blue Sky by singer- songwriter Holly Redford Jones is sultry, bluesy, chill, dreamy, dressed in jazz and so damn inviting. Jones has a sort of huskiness to her vocals that wraps around you and makes you feel wanted. Rumor has it that she found her way to Nashville, Tennessee by way of Chesterfield, Oxford (UK) and while I don't know this for a fact, I do know that she recorded her debut single in Nashville. Big Blue Sky is on all digital platforms with an EP to follow later this year.

-
Robb Donker



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mia and Jonah - "Spin as One" - Americana folk to bring us all together

Spin as One (the title track of their upcoming album) by Mia and Jonah is Americana folk rock drenched with the kind of self assured awareness that comes with knowing each others voices and aesthetic like knowing themselves. Since meeting in San Francisco in 2003 Mia and Jonah have crafted earnest roots music and been involved with eclectic other musical flavors as well. Some where along the way their journey has taken them to L. A. where they now reside. "Spin as One" (the album) comes out on September 7th and features the talents of bass player Seth Ford-Young (Tom Waits, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), and drummer Steve DiStanislao (David Gilmour, CSN, Kenny Loggins), with banjo by Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters), and violin by Alan Grubner. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:
Mia Mustari and Jonah Blumstein (originally from Hawaii and the East Coast, respectively) met in San Francisco in 2003. Their debut album, Shine I, appeared in 2005. In 2008, Rooms for Adelaide was released and Mia and Jonah toured nationally in support of the well-received album. A residency with The Earth Harp Collective brought Mia and Jonah to Venice, California in 2011, resulting in the album and multimedia project, The Golden Ass.

The couple’s daughter, Rose, was born in 2012. Spin as One’s lyrical themes reflect on family life—overcoming struggles through love and care of one other—as well as Mia and Jonah’s wishes of soulful self-discovery and a collective coming-together for our world to find its way back home.

Mia and Jonah are joined on Spin as One and for live performances by a world-class group of backing musicians: Steve DiStanislao on drums (David Gilmour; Crosby, Stills & Nash), Seth Ford-Young on bass and vocals (Tom Waits; Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros), noted violinist Alan Grubner, and Grammy-winner Chris Pandolfi on banjo.


Moontwin and the comely heaviness of "Lose You"






















Moontwin never ceases to amaze me. Singer- songwriter Maple Bee (aka Melanie Garside) and XRadydio founder Zac Kusmanov craft these delicious sounds from different galaxies (well not quite but between Bulgaria and London) and the result (from past posts here and here) have been so engaging eliciting descriptions like "feral porch blues" and "barbed wire and blooming flowers existing together" as they cast out sounds with heavy post punk influences in kind of gothic rock ways (filtering Baroque pop and art rock) in such interesting ways. On the track Lose You they shape shift once again. The use of more traditional keys (in nontraditional ways) feels vast and dreamy and more pop. There is a deep sultry groove, hints of funkiness too amid the comely melodies. Slow burn sexiness in that Bowie vein. Lose You gives a decidedly new meaning to bedroom pop. 

-
Robb Donker



The stark, haunting "Go Easy" from dark dream pop songstress Chirpy

Chirpy  (the moniker of Rebecca Shannon) - singer songwriter / producer from Dublin, Ireland crafts kind of dark dream pop / folk and, in fact, the opening to Go Easy feels like gothic rock (ala Metallica) but when the song opens up with Shannon's somber yet beautiful vocal performance the song flows down dark rivers. With the subtle piano keys and vast guitar lead the song also takes on an almost baroque horror pop sound as well. It is all complex within the stark production resulting in a truly haunting sound. Go Easy is from her self titled "Chirpy" EP. Her debut EP entitled "Real Life" released last summer blew up on Irish I Tunes download charts. No wonder. 

-
Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:
Introducing singer and producer, Chirpy - a dark, dream pop / indie-rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dublin, Ireland. Her debut six track demo EP which was released last summer went straight to No. 1 on the Irish iTunes download charts and received widespread critical acclaim in the tastemaker sphere. Born Rebecca Shannon, she has been better known as a session musician (voice, guitar, bass, keys) and collaborator performing most notably with the Irish International set-up, Anúna (where many well known artists such as Hozier started their careers). She has toured Ireland, the UK, Europe, the US and Asia as a singer and performer. 
Chirpy’s self titled debut album was released on 29 June 2018, and was recorded in Dublin, London and Lucerne (Switzerland). Drawing on a noticeable classical music background with contemporary electronica input, combining a sweep of cross-genre influences from predecessors including Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush and Björk, to the contemporary sounds of Stina Nordenstam, Jessie Ware and Lali Puna.

"Anything" from Caleb Kopta's rock album "Burning House" - wanderlust, young glint in the eye hope and restlessness

There are a lot of trends in music and people who jump on them and then there is just Americana rock and roll that since it's inception (one can argue about it's glorious birth date) has been a constant and will be around forever. Caleb Kopta is from Cochranton, PA and crafts that kind of rock, that kind of earnest sound that is not pushed through filters and, in fact, the description on his Facebook simple says Rock. No need for genre's like post punk, punk, indie rock, surf rock, noise rock, garage rock, Kraut rock just good ole' fucking Rock and there is something refreshing about that.

The track Anything from the "Burning House" album with it's upfront drums and big room vocal sound feels like an anthem from the beginning and then classic sounds wrap around the starkness at it's core. You get a sense of classic artists like Springsteen, Bryan Adams and more current bands like Bleachers who have adopted this type of Americana rock and pop sound as well. The song bristles with wanderlust, young glint in the eye hope and restlessness. Best listened to in a white T shirt and Levis with holes in them.

-
Robb Donker

Listen to “Burning House” here: https://open.spotify.com/album/16ktf8w5zyXVrYYzAMgmHT?si=pY9BjM_bTsueDJ5dKyhaaw



Casey Chandler's solo project as Galapaghost goes electronic on "Sootie" - hear the single "Jellyfish"

Sometimes when an artist, a musician, a singer songwriter like Casey Chandler from Austin Texas (by way of Woodstock, NY) switches from his primary instrument to another magic happens. This is the case with Casey and his solo project Galapaghost where he purchased a Roland GAIA synth for his first entirely electronic album (besides bass guitar on some tracks) called "Sootie". Listen to the latest single Jellyfish and it is clear that his intuitive choice was such a great one. The simple evocative production spills over you in such a dreamy embracing way. Love the sound and how every emotional musical cue is downplayed which only serves to make it feel more emotional. Casey wrote, recorded and mixed the album all by his lonesome. I am looking forward to delving into "Sootie" in it's entirety.

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:
Casey Chandler hails from the small hippie town of Woodstock, NY. He toured Europe and North America with John Grant for 6 months in 2010, which included a prestigious slot on Later...With Jools Holland. He has released three albums. The first two albums "Runnin" and "Dandelion" were released on a small Italian label called Lady Lovely. He self-released his 3rd album "I Never Arrived" in 2016 and it has already received 1.5 million streams on Spotify and many rave reviews including press from Paste Magazine, Substream Magazine, The Big Takeover and many others. He recently finished recording his 4th album called "Pulse". He recorded it in Italy and was released in early 2018. His songwriting pulls from many different influences from Midlake to Low Roar to Espers.

Casey Chandler now live in Austin, TX where he continue to write music and play frequent shows. His music was recently featured in a major Italian film called Il Ragazzo Invisibile. It was directed by Oscar winning director Gabriele Salvatores. Salvatores also commissioned him to write a title song for the movie, which was featured on the official soundtrack. The movie was released in many countries and won many awards including a David Di Donatello award (the Italian Oscars). Find Casey here: Spotify: goo.gl/NvQXRs -- Website: www.gpghost.com -- Facebook: www.facebook.com/Galapaghostatx -- Instagram: www.instagram.com/Galapaghostatx -- Twitter: www.twitter.com/Galapaghostatx


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Warrender Chase -- 80's gilded "All For Nothing" from the "Ghost Receiver" Album

Warrender Chase is the latest project from Greg Adams of Brooklyn band, Swim Club and after binge consuming old Elvis Costello and Jags records AND true crime shows like Snapped and Forensic Files he penned All For Nothing, the first single for the Warrender Chase album "Ghost Receiver" and while I can hear those influences I also feel a strong 80's Joe Jackson vibe which is always a good thing. The album, by the way, is kind of drenched in an 80's pop sound and I felt the ghost of The Cars on a couple of the other tracks. Lovely stuff.

Warrender Chase has indie cred, consisting of Greg Adams (vocals/guitar), his nephew - Royal Coke's Jared Adams (bass) and Aaron Smith (drums) of Scientific Maps.

-
Robb Donker



Ceramic Animal and their "CTF" sound on "Patiently 4 U"
























Ceramic Animal is one of those bands that my neighbor Earl would describe as "cooler than fuck" and I have to agree with him. Making garageee post punk psychedelic fare in Philadelphia family style (3 brothers and an honorary one) are Warren Regan on vox and guitar, Elliot Regan on keys and vox, Erik Regan on drums and Dallas Hosey on bass and vox. Upon my first listen of their "ctf" track Patiently 4 U a smile naturally appeared on my face. A drum beat, distorted amp ambiance a playful guitar squeal and an "uh oh" belonging to (and followed by) Warren Regan's vocal performance that sits squarely and slyly between Wayne Newton and Brooks Neilsen. In fact, the "Growlers" ghost is felt here almost right away although it is only a ghostly presence as Ceramic Animal tones / cadence and aesthetic feels a lot more well dressed just like the band itself. By that I mean, that even though the Growlers have shifted towards more kind of glammy art rock / indie pop I still think of that vagabond barbiturate drip feel (which I love) but Ceramic Animal aesthetically and musically feels rooted in R & B pushed through psych rock / post punk / tropical punk filters. The sound is sharper, more dynamic and, in the end, all their own. Loving this track.

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Robb Donker



Comprador- galaxy building on "Flower Parts" from the Double LP - "Downstream"
























Some songs feel less like songs and more like sonic environments complete with their own terrain, atmosphere and even stars and planets that orbit in interesting ellipses. This is the case with Comprador's track Flower Parts from their double LP "Downstream" released in May of this year. It is not that Flower Parts is unstructured but the blending of sounds, the dreamy squared piano chords, sustaining guitars, art rock aesthetic, percussive push / pulls, the vocals implanted within the swirl of instruments in a noise rock sort of way (hard to distinguish really until the chorus comes in) makes this track alluring and magnetic. It may cast images both intimate and vast imagery in your brain. At least it does for me. Besides the overall impact of the music, those somewhat hard to discern words are poetic, obtuse and only add more atmosphere, more jagged ledges to the sonic terrain. Loving this and eagerly delving into the album. 
-
Robb Donker

Press Notes: Comprador is a psych rock quartet in Cincinnati, Ohio. Started by multi-instrumentalist and live drummer/singer Charlie D’Ardenne in 2013, the band includes Brianna Kelly on guitar/keys/voice, Jon Delvaux on guitar & voice, and Corey Waddell on bass. The band released a full-length album entitled ‘Pollinator’ in 2015 via In Store Recordings, as well as self-releasing three EPs. First conceived as a Wipers/Dinosaur Jr. style power trio, the band has recently expanded with the addition of Brianna’s keys, Corey’s slide guitar and Charlie teaching himself to play piano, flute, and bass clarinet, all of which appear on the 2018 Double LP ‘Downstream.’





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"Top Man" by De'Wayne Jackson bend of rap and punk is intoxicating

De'Wayne Jackson on the track Top Man blends rap with grunge / punk / garage rock flavors. The result is tightly intoxicating and you will find your self mirroring the chorus with yelp and all. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

De’Wayne Jackson spent his formative years in a small suburb outside of Houston, immersed in a city that was fast becoming known for its burgeoning hip-hop culture. Now 22 years old and not satisfied with the limitations of a suburban life, De’Wayne made the move to Los Angeles shortly after graduating high school and was exposed to an existence that was worlds away from his life in Spring, Texas.
In May 2017, De’Wayne released his first project, the “Don’t Be Afraid” EP, which got acclaim from publications including: Interview Magazine, Pigeons & Planes, Fader, Alt Press, VFILES, High Snobiety, Mass Appeal, Milk, The Source and more.  



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Beta Waves out of Dundee, Scotland and the addictive "Love Love Love"


























Dundee (Scotland) based ambient electronic synth duo Beta Waves have got deep hooks. On their track LoveLoveLove you feel transported into a New Wave time machine steeped in iconic sounds reminiscent of artists like Yazoo and Erasure blended with more modern tones of bands like Tame Impala and Empire of the Sun.

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Robb Donker



"American Dream" by Crooked Teeth casts a dark and light reflection

American Dream by UK's Crooked Teeth rides on synth notes on top of defiant beats and bass lines. The vox melodies feel incredibly somber albeit beautiful. Midway the song swells up in an almost orchestral way as the vox fill you up with their passion. A blending of derision, disappointment, love and hope paint the between many of the  lines:  "Bless these walls with pace, you bless the American Dream for you. Blistered by the screen, salute the lone star’s what you do boy. Southern by demand, god speed your John Glenn for you boy. Hit and hope in hell, you bless the American Dream for you boy." 

While American Dream is a reflection of many times in America (and maybe the world) is seems more poignant during the "Bizarro World" of Trump and, after all, maybe the look from London is a clearer view. About the song, the lead singer says:

 “Growing up in the Nineties, we were spoon fed this prophecy of a Western utopia of wealth and uniformity. This song is just a reaction to that mirage and is driven by the effect that thousands of events like Oklahoma and Columbine have had on us.” - Robert Armstrong - Crooked Teeth.

-
Robb Donker


Sunday, August 19, 2018

"In Your Hands" by There's Talk can fill your heart and break it at the same time
























In Your Hands by There's Talk feels like synth dreams from some later time or space. Sometimes with hazy confections that lie in between shoegaze and dream pop artists get lost in the haze. This is not the case here, the song swells with exquisite emotional highs and lows that has the ability to fill your heart and break it at the same time. There's Talk began as a project by Oakland based multi-instrumentalist Olivia Lee (vox, synths, programming, guitar) in between other collaborations. Into the lush fray came Kellen Balla and Young Lee providing shoegaze guitars and dreamy synths. 

-
Robb Donker


Emilee South - surf punk-ish throw back rock n roll of "Heartbreaker"

Emilee South out of Melbourne, Australia churns out earnest throwback rock n roll drenched in surfy guitars and pushed through psychedelic rock filters. Check out the 50's dance party sound of Heartbreaker. 

-
Robb Donker





New York's Wet Leather and the audaciously cagey "Party"

Wet Leather out of New York call their brand of sounds "anxiety pop" which is perfectly fine. I don't care what anyone calls it but if the track Party is any indication at all of their overall sound I must say it is just wildly audaciously "good" in so many, man ways. This is a band that I will check out more and a band who I would love to talk to about influences because Party has such a rich multi era sound.

From the onset it feels extremely self aware and cagey in an art rock kind of way. The open spaces in the verses are golden and then when the big chorus comes in... HOLY fuck- the aesthetic feels like late 80's new wave meets dance pop meets Britpop. To top it off the bridge dives headfirst into this art rock / punk thing and the lead is superchunky fucking good. I love this blendo aesthetic and the wild abandon aesthetic taken here. Great vox. Holy fuck indeed.

-
Robb


Devin Santi - indie pop soul searching on "I Hope So"























Ok, this is time to be utterly honest. I approved this track by You Tuber Devin Santi called I hope So. I know I did this because it is in my approved box and listening now I have to admit I am a bit surprised. Maybe at the time that I approved I Hope So there existed in my old flesh and bones a tiny iota of youthful wide eyed innocence and feeling of trying to find oneself (albeit in the form of bubble gum pop) and I can live with this even though since that moment of "youthful clarity" my cynicism has crept firmly back in my heart. I guess what I am saying is that it is a pretty cool pop track.

Check out Devin Santi's track I hope So- accompanying video below too.

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Robb Donker

"FOA" by Wwoman (a project of Pittsburgh artist Gi Smee) is indie pop perfect.

























FOA by Wwoman (a project of Pittsburgh artist Gi Smee) is indie pop perfect. Riding on a cool beat and a kind of whimsical dreamy vocal sound it floats along erupting in blasts of rockiness from time to time. Press Notes indicate that Gi Smee is currently being held in a rehabilitation center and while this maybe true or not I hope wherever he is he is allowed to tinker.

-
Robb Donker



"Pink Thoughts" by the Bay Area's Topographies is so many things.
























Pink Thoughts by the Bay Area's Topographies is so many things. The foggy haze of shoegazey sounds propelled by the stoic beat and tight lipped guitar licks give the feeling of intimacy yet being emotionally distant. Brooding comes to mind a kind of hall mark of 90's post rock shoegaze and when the song explodes in walls of sound it is heavenly. The official video cast in shades of gray match the song and as directed by Julian Gabriel Bendana it is a trippy affair as a blend of overlaying images that at times feels like ghosts floating in spaces which press notes suggest maybe a nod to "Pink Thoughts" oblique lyrics about death and communicating with loved ones in dreams. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:


Topographies formed by Gray Tolhurst (Gray Tolhurst), Jeremie Ruest (Cerf Volant, Your Friend, Lavender Blush), Justin Oronos (Solip), and Lauren Grubb (Minipop, To The Wedding) in 2017, the band meshes the crushingly loud guitars and hushed vocals of 90’s shoegaze with the urgency and mechanical rhythms of post-punk. Their debut EP was recorded and produced at New, Improved Recording in Oakland, California by Alexis Berthelot (Gojira, Wolfgang Tillmans, Enablers) in late 2017.



Saturday, August 18, 2018

"Rock The Deer" by Lulu Lewis steam rolls over you with a kind of kitsch horror movie intensity

The track Rock The Deer by Harlem, New York's Lulu Lewis steam rolls over you with a kind of kitsch horror movie intensity (think of the manic sensibility of the Evil Dead) filtered through proto punk tropes. Dylan Hundley's possessed vocal performance grabs you by the throat and the punk bravado of that Farfisa-esque organ / guitar sound musical break is mind blowingly fun. The punk brevity is a damn shame but then keeping it short will surely lessen the chance of a bruised cheek or poke in the eye during the mosh pit that surely must break out during live performances. 

Lulu Lewis are (at their core) Dylan Hundley (vox, songwriter) and Pablo Martin (multi-instrumentalist, songwriter) and with too many accomplishments to mention (Tom Tom Club- are you fucking kidding me??) they bring a myriad of artistic influences to their table which most likely is slightly tilted. Listening to them made me think of Devo and Butthole Surfers and like those bands between the experimental art punk happening there are diatribes, social and political commentary happening too.  Press notes below is a must read on this one. I am off to find more of their music. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:


The creators of Lulu Lewis are Dylan Hundley and Pablo Martin. They bring forth a multilayered approach to their music and visual art. Post punk, soul, psychedelia, garage and experimental film are the most easily identifiable markers as to their overall style.
Pablo Martin, from Buenos Aires, Argentina (multi instrumentalist, songwriting) is the producer of the music as well and plays guitar live. His numerous credits include lead guitar of the Tom Tom Club and the recently critically acclaimed funk outfit The Du-Rites. Dylan Hundley is from New York (lead vocals, songwriting), is the producer / director of the visuals and has an extensive background in film and production as an actress and producer. They are backed live by William Harvey on bass (Urban Verbs, Danger Painters) and Jay Mumford on drums (J-Zone, The Du-Rites). 
In the past 6 months they have been featured in numerous zines, blogs, podcasts and radio including Please Kill Me, Spill, Impose, The Devil has the Best Tuna, YabYum, Atwood Magazine, The Deli,Vanishing Ink, Vinyl Distict, WPKN with Chris Frantz, Bushwick Garage and Radio Free Brooklyn. The will be opening for Richard Lloyd of Television in April in NYC.
Music, Videos, Bios, Press Links can be found at - www.lululewismusic.com



Jailbox's track "Bird Rib" is a beautiful jigsaw puzzle

























Jailbox's new track Bird Rib feels deceptively simple and comfortable but is full of jigsaw puzzle pieces of sound that fit together making a picture that is fully clear from a distance. I love how certain notes are repeated as glue to hold this evocative piece of music together and the selection of whether those notes are on guitar or piano or something else feels more random and organic than planned. Beautifully dynamic production around a somber story drenched in longing inside the very sweet vocal performance.

-
Robb


"Caveman" by Dean & the Dagumn Space Villains is a dreamy exploration

Caveman by Dean & the Dagumn Space Villains is a dreamy piece of music simply wrought but infinitely beautiful like space itself. I love the references to spaceman and caveman in the same passages as we are all on personal explorations after all. Not a lot of information on this artist and the track is very low in volume but definitely worth turning up. 

-
Robb Donker


Calan Mai's "XO" is a chill piece of wanderlust with Polaroid experiences

Calan Mai hails from the Gold Coast, a small town in Queensland, Australia and his track XO bristles with movement, of covering terrain and having Polaroid experiences. Love Mai's voice which is just best bud cool and coupled with the addictive cadence and almost tropical chill vibe this song is an instant classic for summer and all year. No wonder that Rolling Stone praised it. 

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Robb Donker


"Shadowland" by Montreal artist Baby Fuzz is a self protest song






























Shadowland by Montreal artist Baby Fuzz is one of those songs that embraces you from the beginning but then starts holding you tighter. When singer songwriter Sterling Fox starts belting out the words passionately it feels like a cry for help. When audience screams are filtered into the mix it feels like art theater and whether those screams are directly tied to the song or an effect it works. Baby Fuzz aka Sterling Fox says that the song is a protest song but he is protesting against himself after moving back to the US from Canada as he says: 

 "In 2017 I moved to Canada for a year. Eventually, my passport ran out and I came back to the US. 'Shadowland' is a protest song about myself. I'm protesting my hypocrisy, my lack of empathy, my greed, my loneliness, and my complicitness to everything my taxes go toward. It's easy to protest other people or institutions. Look in the mirror and protest yourself. That's 'Shadowland.'"

-
Robb Donker



"10/6" by the dangerously enticing Meggie Brown feels like feral punk rock (London)



























10/6 by the dangerously enticing Meggie Brown feels like feral punk rock with serious proto punk bones. Love the lit fuse aesthetic and how the open spaces in the song make everything else sound so potent and on the edge. When this intimate punk song explodes the sound feels cavernous. Love this. Meggie Brown is based out of London and her debut physical release new single "10 Out Of 6" is available as a 7 in vinyl via Hate Hate Hate Records.

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Robb Donker


Dog In A Man Suit - "Shock Treatment" has bite and bark


























Shock Treatment from Dog In A Man Suit's self Titled EP is tight fisted bare bones rock and roll with post punk / garage rock tones offset by more alt folk meets blues rock girl / boy vocals. The double (or is that triple lead lines) add art rock flavors to the already super dense sounds. These guys hail from the Northeast, U.S.A (thinking NYC).

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Robb Donker



Django Haskins' dark evocative "So It Is Ever" from the album "Shadowlawn"

From the onset Django Haskins' So It Is Ever paints dark imagery over a kind of down home roots rock meets porch psych folk blues. The beautiful melodies both vocally and musically offset the dark center and the result take your mind away from whatever crushing weight is on your shoulders. So It Is Ever is from the trippily narcotic SHADOWLAWN album (see below).

-

Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

A songwriter based in North Carolina, Django Haskins has fronted the pop-noir band, The Old Ceremony, since 2004. He also forms one half of the psych-folk duo Au Pair with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris. He has toured. He has been written about. In 2016 he received the NC Arts Council's Artist Grant in recognition of his extensive creative exertions. He has been a part of the traveling circus known as Big Star's Third since its inception in 2011. He has released a dozen albums of his songs in various guises.


SHADOWLAWN is his first solo record in 17 years. It began as a series of experimental recordings in his newly built studio, and eventually evolved into a kind of late-summer song cycle full of meditations on death, love, fear, wanderlust, and exploration of interior worlds. The 1966 Nancy Sinatra recording of "Bang Bang" and Angelo Badalamente's work with David Lynch provided sonic touchstones for the album, with their extensive use of negative space and simultaneously lush and spare atmospheres. As twenty-some songs were whittled down to eleven, banjo and baritone guitar alternated with piano in accompanying the unusually exposed vocals, leaving plenty of space for listeners to fill in the spaces with their own imagination.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Visc waxes poetic about Internet Trolls on "Merciless"

Feelings are sometimes hard to define and when I listen to the track Merciless by Visc that bounds like a Samurai horseman with sword raised my eyebrow raises and the sides of my lips edge up into a quizzical smile. Merciless is about "the relationship between an Internet troll and their revenge seeking prey" and between the addictive opening lead licks riding on a galloping beat and Visc's (the moniker of one Dylan Fellows) smooth vocal performance there is something off and ultimately unique about this whole aesthetic. At least, to me, it feels like art punk run through a pop filter with poetic lyrics that run dark but the darkness is hidden just like that Internet troll. The result feel almost kitschy in a sort of really good way. To me Fellows looks at the world with equal parts cynicism and romance (yes, romance) and I like it.

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Robb Donker


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tar and Flowers ride the rails with "Ten Ton Heart"

Ten Ton Heart by Tar & Flowers out of Chatsworth, California has a wanderlust beat and folk country melodies. I thought of Beachwood Sparks, The Band and even Kris Kristofferson. 

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Robb Donker

The Sultry Rock Theater of M. Rivers' "Don't Drink The Water"

























M.Rivers' Don't Drink The Water has a seductive shuffle and feels like poised art rock with post punk / blues rock bones. River's vox is also is framed in such an art rock way with glam rock accoutrements for added allure.  Dripping with cool. It is no wonder that M.Rivers has amassed a huge and loyal fan base. From Ontario, Canada but currently based out of Los Angeles.

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Robb Donker




The Hannah Barberas and "Girl Is Gone" from the EP "The Hannah Barberas Are Here At Last"

Thank God they found her!

As stripped down and kind of porch punk rock as The Violent Femmes I am liking this bands sound. All recorded at home on an 8 track.

The Hannah Barberas (UK outfit) and Our Girl Is Gone from the EP: The "Hannah Barberas Are Here At Last".
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Robb Donker


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Emanuel Patterson a pop gospel lullaby in "Dreams" from the album "The Silver Story, A Starry Night"


























Emanuel Patterson is a visual and musical artist and pianist stirring up his own universe of songs in Minnesota. The track Dreams from his 15 track album "The Silver Story, A Starry Night" feels like a pop gospel lullaby. Like a fractured snow globe there is beauty to be held with the story clouded in a mysterious air. The perfectly imperfect cadence makes the song feel a bit child like which only adds to the whimsy. 

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Robb Donker


Dreaming Of Islands and the sonic cloud bank called "Dunes"

Dreaming Of Islands from Malmo, Sweden debut Dunes a song that swells with sounds and then lifts off. The organs, percussion, bottom heavy synth bass and pearly distorted guitar notes orbit around a pressing drum beat and what feel like sci-fi vox. 
Cool track. Band is a mystery.

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Robb Donker



Analog Saint punk rock with power pop bones - "Mexico (Lonely Man)" from the "New World" album

Los Angeles' Analog Saint churn out punk rock with power pop (even slightly glammy) bones. Their raw, dirty meets clean sound exists somewhere between the 70's punk of the Dictators and the 80's power pop of the Plimsouls. Paul Orea's sand paper voice sounds so perfect for this kind of stuff and while on their debut album "New World" they keep the songs pretty straight forward on songs like Messiah On Fire and Mexico (Lonely Man) they get more cagey and, in fact, I thought of Jane's Addiction a bit. Per their Facebook page, Analog Saint is Paul Orea (vox, guitar), Michael Orea (vox, drums) and Jarrod Moore (bass, comedian).

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Robb Donker

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Low River - "The Man That Death Forgot" feels like folk punk















The Man That Death Forgot sounds like a gritty novel, maybe a dark mystery or some illuminating revelation story. It is a song by UK's Low River (aka Paul Bardsley). The song feels like a punk folk song, down home, raw, a runaway beat and a glass cuts vocal performance. This song is the first release from Low River's third album "One Cat - Many Claws."
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Robb Donker


Animal Waves righteous rock sound on "WTF"

WTF by Animal Waves is saturated with the kind of basic rock and roll meets garage rock meets blues rock meets psychotropic drugs that makes teenagers head-bang in whatever decade they exist in. It is a familiar sound birthed by bands like Detroit's MC-5 infecting scads of bands like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, The Stooges, The Dictators, The Velvet Underground. That sounds has been reshaped and re-interpreted as of late by bands like Ty Segal, Jack White, Sic Alps and more. Animal Waves carries the whiskey infused torch and it sounds so fucking good.  

Animal Waves is the lovechild of Robert Wayne Davis, an underground LA session player and former guitarist of Lauryn Hill. Animal Waves released the thunderous contemplation, "WTF," the first track from debut EP1, set for release on September 28.

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Robb Donker