Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hoax - the disco gene pools and glitter ball love of "Grow"


Hoax (NYC) have a knack for blending indie rock, pop, R&B, hip hop and soul all pushed through alternative filters and sprinkles of positive fairy dust. On their latest Grow they are not afraid to get personal and dip into the musical gene pool. In this case stories from "mom and dad" talking about the disco era and their love for wah wah pedal sounds. Coupled with the bands recent Bee Gees binge, Grow grew out and up and bloomed into what it is now. The song has funky elements and is so unabashedly disco flavored I imagine that Napoleon Dynamite might do an interpretive dance to it. Tucked in the tight dance grooves their is a depth of lyrical content - "You and I should be human beings... and not just pieces in a puzzle we can't read" and then when you think the vibe is strictly glitter ball stuff it falls into a dreamy lush bridge that feels more like the New Wave (Romantic Wave) tones of bands like Roxy Music. Very cool and oh so funky in the best possible way. 

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Robb Donker


Sun Brother's cool and wanderlusty folk rock track "Unsewn" moves in magical ways

Sun Brother is the moniker of Wilmington, Delaware singer-songwriter Billy Toulson (vox, guitar) who along with Grace Bates (vox), Bobby Steinfeld (keys), David Estes (bass) and Andrew Rahm (drums) create such an earnest, cool and wanderlusty folk vibe on the track Unsewn (Nashville Cut) that you can't help but sway to the embracing sound. Toulson's vocal performance is free and goosebumps inducing. This short track makes me want to hear more. Lucky for me and you that the 7 song album "Meta Fascination" drops tomorrow, October 19th. 

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Robb Donker


The big brash guts and glory sound of "Wasteful" from River Fury's EP "Five Year Plan"

The track Wasteful from River Fury's forthcoming EP "Five Year Plan" is an all guts and glory song. The London based (Melbourne grown) band churns out a big post punk assault with a tight heavy cluster of sounds and then douses it with a screaming fanning lead guitar embellishments that take it over the top. Love the aesthetic here. River Fury are Patric Nutton (vox, guitars), Dan Howe (vox, guitars), Callum Hayes (bass, vox) and Andrew Gallop (drums).

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Robb Donker


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Mercy Stone is a 12 piece ensemble proggy indie rock trippy thing. Hear and see "Above The Towers"























The Mercy Stone is a 12 piece ensemble blending so many musical flavors that it is hard to define them. Founded by composer / guitarist Scott Grady in 2016 with a desire to fuse together a neo classical concert stage sound that a "rock" audience would get into somehow brought together accomplished musician from all over to create a hybrid of classical, rock, pop, raggae, metal, funk, psychedelic and varied world music elements too. The title track off of The Mercy Stone's second album "Above The Towers" feels like some kind of progressive indie rock affair with an alt folk heart. Built on a driving 15 beat rhythmic pattern and lush vocal harmonies it stirs in orchestrations of sound feeling like something between psychedelic chamber music and the quiet before the storm at some 70's YES concert. Their is a hippie chic element here too. It is hard to describe. It is impressive and stirring and very organic. Their first album, the all instrumental "Ghettoblaster" - "where the delicate counterpoint of composers from Josquin de Prez to J.S. Bach  meet the sublime melodic beauty of Nirvana and Radiohead" is supposed to be a bonafide trip and a half. I haven't delved into it but plan on it. In the end, The Mercy Stone might still be relegated to a more concert hall setting than a rock venue but I would find it terribly exciting and so very interesting if they were on a bill at a California post punk rock / indie festival poised between an act like Mac DeMarco and Metz I think the audience would be fully accepting. I think they would eat them up in a good way. 

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Robb Donker





Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Monks In The Wood- passionate and dreamy sounds on "Captivated State"

The track Captivated State rides on dreamy sounds, a deep indie groove and cool passionate vocal harmonies. Peckham (London, England) based five piece indie band Monks In The Woods formed in 2015. Those evocative harmonies come courtesy of Daniel Toone (vox, guitar) and Matt Power (vox, guitar) who with drummer James Oliver left their former band Deltar to follow other creative journeys. The current line up included the talents and musical visions of Laurence Brydges (bass) and Eva Timi (keys).

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Robb Donker

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sonic Blume stir up dreams on "In The Sun" from the "Beach Karma" EP

photo courtesy of James Waltsak

Sonic Blume stir up their dreamy sound in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The track In The Sun (single version) from their most recent EP "Beach Karma" almost gallops along with synth lines mirroring the pretty melodies, guitars crunch chords as the drums bounce along. There is a bit of whimsy in the sound, kind of fable-esque like some provocative blend of Beach House, MGMT and the Neverending Story fused in with somber tones, hope and inspiration too.

Sonic Blume is Max Connery, Daniel Murray, Andrew Phelan and Chase Landgrebe. 

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Robb Donker

"Bear The Waves" by Stray Fossa is a dreamy indie rock song best listened to in the shower

Bear The Waves by Charlottesville, Virginia indie band Stray Fossa has the lead singer spending a long, long time in the shower. We have all done that, let the water wash away what ails us and even let our minds drift off and transport us somewhere else. That would be easy to do if this track was playing. The shimmering guitars, kind of somber melodies, tense downbeats and beautiful harmonies that eventually give way to eruptive guitars hammering two chords over and over again that makes it soar and cry out is pretty fucking dreamy and awesome. Check it out, in or out of the shower. 

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Robb Donker

The dream goth of Blood Blush- see Official Video for "Demon Clout" - and East Coast Dates




























Blood Blush are a three self described dream goth band and the description feels like an apt one. There are both elements here. Check out the video for their latest Demon Clout. The bitter cracked black and white tones scream something between German expressionism and something that David Lynch may of created in his youth. The music (to me) has goth / horror pop elements but throughout pretty melodies float in the haze. This kind of aesthetic churned up in the proto punk stews in the late 70's will continue to engage as dark dreams, as musical art and Blood Blush do it oh so well. These guys haunt the New York / East Coast and playing shows. See Dates below.

On Flesh and Bones Records (USA) and Icy Cold Records (Europe)

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Robb Donker



10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at No Culture (Video Performance - 5pm).

10.19.18 COLUMBUS, OH at Tree Bar with Master Servos and Child of Night.

10.20.18 INDIANAPOLIS, IN at The Spruce Goose with Tombaugh Regio and Den Dwellers.

10.22.18 HAMMTRACK, MI at The New Dodge Lounge with TBA.

10.24.18 MONTREAL, QE at Mademoiselle with Spring Blades and TBA.

10.25.18 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY at Desperate Annie’s (Super Dark Collective Showcase) with Spell Runner and Bare Mattress.







Friday, October 12, 2018

Gabe Greenland chases love and other worldly things on "Humanish"

Humanish, the first single off of Brooklyn based (by way of Los Angeles) singer songwriter / producer Gabe Greenland's upcoming album "Love & Espionage" twists and turns on alt folk sounds done up in off kilter sounds and lyrics. Inspired by unrequited love, the X-Files and IPhone voice memos. Organic acoustic sounds are offset by MOOG synths and horn sounds that follow Greenland's syncopated vocal performance that veers into a kind  other worldly tones as he waxes obtusely poetic lyrics. Cool and different. 

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Robb Donker


Thursday, October 11, 2018

The avant-garde dream pop creations of HUSSY on "Slayer" is a self stirred intoxicant

Slayer by HUSSY (the dream pop project of South East London based multi-instrumentalist / writer / producer Sophie Nicole Ellison) has a free form post punk flavor to it. Part shoe gaze, part prog punk stretching dissonant jagged guitar lines in all directions, part stream of consciousness rock and all stirred up into a kind of intoxicant fueled by Ellison's self aware kind of scowling vocal performance. I thought of Speedy Ortiz meets Mazzy Star or something like that(?) Very cool, so very engaging and did I mention that Ellison does it all layering the instruments and sounds, producing it just so. Amazing.

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Robb Donker


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Glass Spells creates dark seductive dance punk from sunny California - feel the "Fascination"






















Fascination by the So Cal dance punk band Glass Spells floats on electronic sputtering synth arpeggios, what feels like future disco beats (yes disco never actually died), thumping bass lines and Suz Garza's aloof artistically taught vocal performance (think leather bound dominatrix or cyborg). Spawned out of Calexico (Baja California) and now based out of San Diego (Ca), the band- Anthony Ramirez (with Suz) and Michael Rascon and Mallory Garcia live in sun drenched perfection making sounds that feel more at home in the rain soaked sci fi tableau of Blade Runner or the topsy turvy realm of Stranger Things.

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Robb Donker  


Interbellum creates lush psychedelic waves of romance on "Ready To Dissolve" from the album "Dead Pets, Old Griefs"

Ready To Dissolve off of Interbellum's current album "Dead Pets, Old Griefs" has a wonderful sense of romance and a dream like quality that evokes (to me) 70's Brit pop tones in such a sweet way.  Sonically lush with effected guitars painting pretty pictures. Psychedelic music breaks take the song down enchanted rabbit holes. 

Interbellum is the project of Lebanese singer- songwriter Karl Mattar (aka Charlie Rayne).   Formed in 2015, the project sees him working alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Fadi Tabbal and other musicians from the Beirut music scene. Interbellum started as a lo-fi rock outfit and later expanded into more trippy sounds. 

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES Excerpt:

The album, recorded in Fadi Tabbal's Tunefork Studios in Beirut, features 10 songs that revolve around themes of memory, time, childhood, and loss. Apocalyptic imagery - real, imagined and figurative - permeates the album, and the instrumentation follows suit, warping, distorting and folding on itself. The record plays like a broken music box, its kaleidoscopic melodic songs disjointed and smeared by noise, dissonance and processed sounds. "Ready To Dissolve", one of the softer tracks on the album, features members of Lebanese dream-pop band Postcards (Julia Sabra on synth and vocals, Marwan Tohme on bass and Pascal Semerdjian on drums).


"Black Hole Fusion" by New York based artist, musician, composer Lukka is a shifting dreamy puzzle of a song

Black Hole Fusion is a dreamy progressively dense songs full of puzzle pieces that seem to be shifting. Bass driven sound with a choppy beat the song composed by New York artist, musician Lukka is a heady piece of sound scape and (to me) ends much too soon. It pulled me into the sounds and then faded off making me want more. I will be on the look out. 

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Robb Donker


Sunday, October 7, 2018

TOLEDO - title song off of debut EP "Hot Stuff" when that one person means the universe to you

The song Hot Stuff by Boston based indie band TOLEDO is the title track off their debut EP. It starts with what sounds like a door opening and falls way to cool somber and forlorn vocals. This song is drenched in hopeful youthful pain. That kind of lovesick pain that feels magnified during those crucial years in high school or thereabouts when that person means everything to you, literally means the universe to you and to them you may feel like just one city block (and not even in the best part of town. I love the injection of phone conversations with the one glimmer of hope at the end. 

Toledo centers around life long friends Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn. 

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Robb Donker

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Lylyly skin is melting off on "Undead" from the upcoming "Kill The Introspection" album





































Undead by LyLyLy the music project of Philadelphia songwriter and visual artist Emily Mineo feels like something in between a Muppets song ala Sesame Street and 1978 proto punk ala X Ray Spex. Yes that is a wide spectrum I know but this statement is absolutely true. There is something too squeaky clean about Mineo's aesthetic here to feel super punk but the kitsch horror pop thing has a dark charm. Lylyly's debut album "Kill The Introspection" will be released early 2019 and promises both raw garage rock and sparse orchestral arrangements. I am so curious. Cool.

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Robb Donker



Moontwin seductive track "The Storm" feels like a dark romantic grunge movie

Moontwin releases another seductive track called The Storm. You might get a cramp in your face from smiling. There is something about Maple Bee's (Melanie Garside) and Zac Kusmanov's voices that just sound so compelling together. The cool almost aloof bass line suggest The Doors, the spaghetti western guitar suggests Garbage and the kind of icy production makes me thing of some imaginary dark romantic grunge movie that takes place in the high sun baked California desert as directed by Baz Luhrmann but that's just me. 

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Robb Donker


Thursday, October 4, 2018

London's The Magic Lantern and the beautifully wrought "Albatross" moves in magical ways

The song Albatross by London based The Magic Lantern (the moniker of Jamie Doe) moves in magical ways on top of a candent somber bass and beats, double time piano and Does exquisitely beautiful vocal performance. His melodies and the way he even phrases words is a thing to behold, just the way he says "fragile" is completely his own artistic prose.  When the song give way to silence, it feels like a sad yet romantic sigh. Amazing song with light jazz tones like Fred Astaire tiptoeing on stairs to Heaven, Albatross is a wonderful love affair of a song. 

Albatross if from the upcoming "To The Islands" Album due to drop on November 2nd on Hectic Electric Records. 

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Robb Donker



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The multi faceted "Another Goalkeeping Question For Peter" by London's Alt-rock trio Organised Scum




























The song Another Goalkeeping Question For Peter by London's Alt-rock trio Organised Scum is a multi-layered bit of indie rock with a kind of pop heart. The double time rhythm feels light although Tom Duggins' vocal performance is indie rock edgy and big. Throughout there are also big down beats with rock guitar and a deep groove cut throughout provided by Sean Canty on drums and Tom Williams on bass. Their indie rock / alt pop sounds will command a wide audience. 

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Robb Donker


Brooklyn based The Sofas and the post punk goodness of "Nothing Major" from the "Chop Water" album

























The Sofas hail from Brooklyn, New York and their current single Nothing Major from their latest album "Chop Water" is an energetic post punk rocker. The jangly rhythm almost feels laid back at first  with a cool aloof vocal performance until the first chorus and then that laid back guitar erupts into strident sounds, bass is more active with drums in tow. Eventually even bigger eruptions occur into this fanning jagged sonic chaos. Something about their sound made me think of Yuck (prior to Daniel Blumberg's departure) and I also thought of Chelsea Light Moving. There is something in The Sofas' noise rock-ish sound that harkens back to the 80's NYC experimental no wave art and music period and that is a great thing. 

3 piece The Sofas are Don, Myles and Will and "Chop Water" (on Jurassic Pop Records) is available on Spotify and other streaming platforms. 

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Robb Donker