Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"Danger danger danger – all the girls in red." - Skinjobs single "Rachael" plays like a dark art rock warning





























Skinjobs new single Rachael bristles with heavy synth lines and Katja Laaksonen's dramatic postured vocal performance. The result feels like something between industrial goth rock pushed through horror punk filters. It feels like the stuff of sci-fi-ish dystopian day dreams and no wonder as the song itself is inspired by The Handmaid's Tale and Blade Runner as written by Laaksonen herself. Her art rock / baroque pop style makes you think Kate Bush and Bat For Lashes and her musical prose is influenced by New Wave, feminist literature and Brit pop styles. 

Skinjobs hails from Helsinki, Finland and are Katja Laaksonen, Arto Alho, Ville Leino, Antti Lustila.

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Robb Donker


Monday, October 29, 2018

Caelo on "All You Need" puts power pop rock and 90's grunge sounds in a powerful blender
























All You Need by the South African alt rock trio Caelo rides a tightrope between classic power pop rock and 90's grunge rock. Tonally, I thought a bit of 90's Aussie powerhouse Silverchair. The band is taking a break from live gigs while front man Joel (guitar, vocals) is recovering from injuries due to a serious motorcycle accident. Caelo hails from Cape Town and are Joel Bronner, Michael Dickens and Mat Winfield. 

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Robb Donker



Sabine Women's - evocative song "Venus Is Burning" feels like a transformative transmission

The song Venus Is Burning feels a bit like a transformative sonic experience in a time machine. The self aware artistic vox, cooing sax lines and sultry romance-wave style has me flashing on late 70's / early 80's artists like Bryan Ferry and ABC. This interesting evocative song comes to us by the Swedish art rock / avant garde /  goth pop outfit Sabine Women first formed last year by Zackarias Persson and Jonatan Södergren. Known for their eclectic and wild shows in the Stockholm underground scene eventually Sabine Women became the solo endeavor of Södergren.  Press notes reveal that "Venus Is Burning" was written while Södergren  watched the Netflix documentary "Paris Is Burning" about the negative segregation of transexuals in 80's New York. It was also inspired by the book "Go Tell It on the Mountain" by James Baldwin. Inspired and uniquely cool in today's musical landscape I look forward to hearing more.

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Robb Donker


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Denver 5 piece indie post punk outfit Knuckle Pups and the forever dreamy "Bottom Baby"

Bottom Baby by Denver 5 piece indie post punk outfit Knuckle Pups cooks along with post punk / post grunge sounds saturated with the iconic feel of bands like the Pixies, Weezer and Teenage Fanclub. The song is from their EP called "San Panino"- a 4 song cassette tape as well as all streaming platforms dropping on October 27th. Bottom Baby is full of dreamy pearls of sound with infectious waves of pristine pop sounds filtered through hazy vocal harmonies. 

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Robb Donker



Dessie Magee and the intimate and anthemic "Castle" wraps around you

The track Castle by Brighton based (by way of Belfast, Northern Ireland) folk / rock singer songwriter Dessie Magee seeps into your head like a dense coastal fog. In talking about the track Magee says "a castle is a safe haven fortified against attack" and he knows about being set upon. After years deep into the Belfast music scene he had to undergo major throat surgery that left him unable to speak for months. Magee is a fighter and after a long rehab began to speak and then to sing. The multi genre rocker who draws on diverse sounds has recently taken softer approaches drawing influences from artists like Ben Howard, Hozier, Nathaniel Rateliff and Fink but leaves his heavier influence ever so close. 

Magee's evocative endearing gritty vocal performance is a big part of Castle which tells stories and has a cinematic tone and arc. The down home feel, earnest and organic sound would feel at home in a pub or in a stadium full of hands holding cell phones high in the air and swaying as one. It feels intimate and anthemic at the same damn time. A sonic shake by the shirt collars and then a warm embrace. 

Brighton based folk/rock singer-songwriter Dessie Magee, hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland where his career began within the heavy underground music scene

(From PRESS NOTES):

... Dessie has gone on to sell out headline shows in Brighton, London and Northern Ireland, appeared at festivals such as The Great Escape and Fringe Festival and has had great success touring America. His debut single ‘Maze’ was picked as BBC Radio 1’s ‘Track Of The Day’, The Unsigned Guide’s ‘Track Of The Month’ and spend over a month in the top five of the French charts.

‘Castle’ is Dessie’s third single and taken from his upcoming debut EP which is set for release this side of Christmas. Dessie explains; “A castle is a safe haven, fortified against attack. ‘Castle’ is about falling for someone when it was in your best interests not to, two hedonists don't make a right.”

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Robb Donker


Good Coffee stirs up beach goth, porch punk vibes in their blend of indie folk on "Mystic" from the "Coral Pink" EP



Good Coffee stirs up indie folk sounds on the track Mystic mixing in beach goth tones and a kind of porch blues punk feel.  The vibe is dreamy conjuring up happy lazy surf treks or hippies against desert horizons. Front man Cole Heathcott recorded tracks while he lived out of his car traveling across the country, "Mystic tells a modern love story in an old western setting." From the "Coral Pink" EP.

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Robb Donker



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Danish band Felines and the dreamy punk doo wop sway of "Outside" from their EP "Saying It Twice Makes It Real"


Outside from the Danish band Felines feels like dream pop pushed through punk doo wop filters. The echoed boomp boomp boomp bop beat could be from a 60's girl band song with big hair and glittery dresses but the melodies while bittersweet don't sound as defeated. The vocal presence is passionate, somber but strong. In the end the song plays and feels terribly earnest and the spartan production has such nice embellishments from bells to lush bending guitar notes that reinforce the story. Very cool sounds. 

Felines are Asta Louisa Bjerre (bass, vocals), Ditte Melgaard (guitar, vocals), Mei Long Bao (drums, vocals), Kristian Bønløkke (synth) and are based out of Copenhagen. Their EP "Saying It Twice Makes It Real" is out on vinyl through Crunchy Frog (DK), with a cassette version on Burger Records (USA). Awesome.

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Robb Donker


Squatcho - and the cinematic "Endless Destinations" from their upcoming album "Out Of Place"






































Endless Destinations by Squatcho feels like a song destined to grace a film. It would be a film with bittersweet moments but a happy ending. The infectious cadence, the mixture of Americana rock, meets country rock, meets a kind of 70's pop, meets wanderlust and life changing moments all collide into a cool production that is slick but doesn't sound like it. These guys hail from the hot, dusty ag and oil lands of Bakersfield, California and their stated influences namely the "orchestrated brilliance of the Beatles, 80’s college radio, and the alternative movement of 90s—bands like Nirvana, Weezer, and Sloan" you can feel on this track. Squatcho is Dylan Geurtsen at the mic and guitar, Johnny Wall on drums, and Don Collins vacillating between lead guitar and keyboards with members Tommy Alexander (bass/guitar) and Granny Wheeler (bass) returning for live performances.

The music biz can chew up talented artists with vision and spit them out and Squatcho has had their fair amount of time being chewed on as their history reveals:

PRESS NOTES:
Their first self-titled EP Squatcho was released in 2000 on Dr. Wu Records, followed by the self-produced LP Horses in 2002. In 2004, Squatcho signed a development deal and subsequently recorded an album with Grammy award-winning producer Dave Cobb. In the midst of a crumbling music industry, the album was never released and the band broke up. After a 14-year hiatus, Squatcho is back with a new album Out Of Place, set for release in winter 2018. Though their home bases now stretch from California to Oregon to Hawaii, advancements in home recording technology and online file transfers have closed the gap in distance and resulted in a sound perhaps even more united now than ever.

I love the sounds these guys make and I love re-births and re-imaginings. Endless Destinations is the 3rd single from their upcoming album "Out Of Place" set to drop in early 2019.

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Robb Donker



"Vampire" by Belaver is sultry, broken and feels like a punk baroque folk waltz with the dead. Perfect for your Halloween playlist

Vampire by Belaver, the solo project of NYC based experimental folk artist B.E. Godfrey sways like a baroque pop waltz. Love the dirty guitar, the horn that floats around like a spirit and Godfrey's on top of the mic vocals. There is a theatricality here. Elements of art rock, the aforementioned baroque pop, post punk and goth folk. It feels like The Dresden Dolls, the Killers and Queens of the Stone Age all smushed together into one bloody pulp. Perfect for Halloween parties everywhere. Vampire will be released in a collection of Belaver songs produced by Texas country singer-songwriter Robert Ellis and ambient electronic musician Kelly Doyle.

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Robb Donker


Friday, October 26, 2018

Darksoft's debut "Mydoom" from the "Brain" album - heavy hazey sadcore under the glitter ball

Darksoft's debut track Mydoom from the recently released album "Brain" has a heavy hard edge blended in with what feels like 90's emo / punk and 2000's sadcore pushed through shoegazey dream pop filters. The melodies are both sad and lovely conjuring up high school heartbreak under a spinning glitter ball. 
-
Robb Donker
PRESS NOTES:
ABOUT "BRAIN"
Distanced through haunted screens, we rely on spooky contact that we don’t fully understand. At times, dark forces lurk on the other end, with a motive to con. Always a silhouetted hooded presence, the hacker has become our modern portrayal of Death; captor to the mind and its web of memories. As we stare deeper and deeper into the glowing comfort of this synthetic deception, trust has become the challenge of our modern paradigm, and the cyberscape the new Great Unknown. Swirling out of this virtual vortex, Brain (2018) is named after the first ever computer virus from the year 1986, with all songs named after infamous viruses that followed.
At its core, Brain is a story not only of the brain, but of the heart, as both confront trust and deception, the real and the synthetic, the mind and the motherboard, and the dark web connecting it all where the matter of our endless identities can be created as quickly as it can be erased, infected, encrypted...or simply revealed for what it truly is, beneath the hood.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Deep Touch - funky vibes and deep grooves on the fun and infectious "Animals"

The track Animals by the female fronted bi-coastal group Deep Touch dances musically between late 70's proto funky punk strains and a current yogurt commercial. The brief venture into what might be an improvisational jam is off the upcoming EP "Weekend" that was written, recorded and produced over a weekend in the tight quarters of a Venice Beach (CA) bungalow. There are no lyrics on this one but the cool vibe and deep funky groove says volumes. I love this. 

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Robb Donker



Monday, October 22, 2018

Responders' jammy "Face Today"- Indie rock pushed through blues filters on self titled EP





































The song Face Today by Boston, Mass based 5 piece indie rock band Responders is hinged on jammy counterpoints and Kelly Bruce's powerfully clean vocal performance. Clean guitar lines erupt into screaming leads while the drum and bass rhythms feel tightly wound. On their self titled EP the band pushes their sound through blues rock filters with hints of proggy jazz undertones. Responders are (the aforementioned) Kelly Bruce (lead vox, percussion, piano), Shane Fitzgerald (guitar, piano, vox), Michael Benjamin (guitar, vox), Damon Ivester (bass) and Eli Kovacevich (drums, vox, piano, percussion).

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Robb Donker

Mel Bryant and The Mercy Makers genre blending indie rock on "In My Head"

























In My Head by Nashville based (by way of Philly and New York) Mel Bryant feels like alt folk rock on high with maybe a faint tinge of country and even a kind of 80's new wave pop buried in there too. Definitions aside, the indie band's name sake and lead singer-songwriter Mel Bryant (vocals, bass) serves up a clean pretty vocal performance with a lot of emotional bite assisted by Conor McCarthy (lead guitar, organ), Aaron Hicks (guitar, vocals) and Brendan Bird (drums).  The band is working on a 2019 debut album. 

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Robb Donker


Singer Songwriter Ian McFarland- and the indie sweetness of "Tell A Lie"

Tell A Lie by L.A. based singer-songwriter Ian McFarland has a cadence that feels like it is riding the rails or maybe a bicycle through small town streets with someone you love. From top to bottom the song is painted with an earnest sweetness. McFarland, originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire has traveled the world playing shows and gathering fodder for his songs. A multi-instrumentalist McFarland plays the bulk of the instruments on many of his solo projects. On Tell A Lie he got a little help from his friends, McFarland handling guitar, vocals, tambourine with engineer / producer Ryan Melone on stomps and claps and Eric Deluca on bass.  Ian McFarland is currently in the studio and planning a move to NYC in 2019.

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Robb Donker



Saturday, October 20, 2018

A song for lovers to fall in love with- "Irish Sea Lover" by Box of Moxie

Irish Sea Lover, the latest by Virginia collaborative Box Of Moxie is an enchanting alt folk song of songs that feels kind of legendary in scope. The kind of legends that become bar sing-a-longs for generations to come. There is this kind of classic appeal here bridged by storytelling and melody and the simple organic nature of the sound. The sound of 60's folk singers or buskers. Front man singer songwriter Stephen Jacques has an affable but dreamy voice and his tone coupled with the cadence and melodies made me think of The Kinks, Lou Reed and Donovan all at once. Enchanting indeed. 

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Robb Donker




PRESS NOTES:

Box of Moxie’s body of work is a collaboration between Virginia band founder and Frontman Stephen Jacques & Nationally recognized Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer & Recording Engineer Alan Weatherhead (The Cardigans, Cracker, Magnolia Electric Co., Camper Van Beethoven, Hotel Lights, Sparklehorse). Alan is an exceptional, prolific & insightful musician with an extensive list of credits in the Music industry. Stephen (vocals, guitar, lyrics) began writing the 1st of over 60 songs & ballads following the crash of the 2009 American Real Estate market. A silver lining of sorts as Moxie was launched out of the starting blocks.
Box of Moxie has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, Folksy Rock, Avant-garde. But mostly, there’s a lifetime of working in the real world that has essentially delivered the goods in terms of the lyrics by Stephen. He spent over 25 years working before the first lyrics were ever penned – as an engineer, custom builder, TV show host, and actor- strumming his Acoustic along the way.

"Put It Into Motion" by Sonic from Bogata, Columbia is an unabashedly positive rock pop song




















The song Put It Into Motion by the band Sonic from Bogata, Columbia is an unabashedly positive rock pop song. It is the kind of song that might conjure a soundtrack to a Disney flick about an underdog group of elementary school soccer players or a Coke commercial that is positively multi-cultural and full of love (and Coca Cola). It is the kind of song that I sometimes stray from. It could feel polyanna but for some reason it does not. Sometimes songs of this nature is what we need and with all the utter bullshit going on in the world right now, it is sometimes the kind of song that might, just might help in some small ways inspire people to go out and do what is right. Hey, is that me being polyanna... maybe but that's ok with me. 

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Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:

The band Sonic (Bogota, Colombia) has announced the independent release of its debut album"One Peaceful Day. The album was produced by Luis Ernesto Walteros in LeFlat Studios, co-produced by SilverFox, and mastered by Grammy-nominated C1 Mastering (Carlos Silva). The band also received special consultation from Grammy-nominated artist/producer Carlos Villalobos.
The album carries you through a sonic and emotional journey, bringing you to edges of modern rock, indie rock, alternative rock, and alternative pop without diving headlong into anyone. The songs deal with social issues like the international refugee crisis, polarization, the voiceless, the fake news epidemic, and depression/anxiety crisis. Yet with songs like Put It Into Motion and the title track, aptly placed at the end...Sonic remains hopeful and welcomes you to embrace One Peaceful Day.
Sonic formed in January of 2017. In less than a year it has been a widely recognized band in the Bogota rock scene, lauded for its diverse membership, stage presence, and song composition. It was one of a select group of local bands to participate in the Hard Rock Rising competition, and advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious Monsters of Rock competition hosted by Subterranica in 2017 and and to the finals in 2018.

Random Saturday Morning -- Check these artists out and if you like them dig deeper










Some Random finds or rediscoveries this Saturday morning. It is cooler, storm seems to be coming and a busy day of site building (PIZZANDFRIES), blogging here, mini-podcast and a movie and dinner. I hope you find this collection of music engaging. I know I do and hope you take time to click on the links and dig deeper into these artists. They are all around you know, artists and creators expressing themselves.

Cheers sweet people
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Robb Donker















Keith Cooper's absurdist punk leanings on "American French Revolution" from the "Rabid Underdogs" album
























The song American French Revolution by singer songwriter Keith Cooper from his upcoming "Rabid Underdogs" album has a free wheeling absurdest punk feel with proto punk bones. Cooper's wide eyed sardonic style and the spartan feel with running bass lines and strident yet not heavy guitars made me think Violent Femmes. Cooper hails from Somerville, Massachusetts. Check out the video highlighted by a "food fight of organic proportions."

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Robb Donker






ABOUT KEITH COOPER

Born in Phoenix, AZ, a gemini, Cooper’s first love was lawn sprinklers. At the age of 6 he assembled his first above ground sprinkler system with pvc pipe, strong smelling waterproof glue, Toro© brand sprinklers and possibly a little help from his father. Changing light bulbs was also an early hobby. He was punished more than once for flicking bulbs within his reach, trying to burn them out. Happily by adolescence music had mostly replaced this destructive habit. Jeremiah Green’s drumming on early Modest Mouse records inspired him to get behind a kit. Being too scared to stand up on stage and read his poetry by itself inspired him to start songwriting. He played in Tucson, AZ based post punk band Overcast Off from 2009 -2012 while attending the University of Arizona. Then, to avoid a dead end job, he moved across the country to Somerville, MA where he learned how to make lattes and have 30 second conversations with no awkward pauses. Hosting a weekly music night at his cafe for 5 years made him a familiar face in the local music community. He released You Didn’t Know Me, a lyrically driven indie rock record, in 2016. A completely DIY local release, no effort was made to promote the record beyond friends and hometown fans.  Rabid Underdogs will be his second full length record and it finds Cooper widening his ambitions. Recorded over a 2 year period of short sessions at the Soul Shop in Medford, MA, and produced by Elio DeLuca (Titus Andronicus), it was funded entirely by slinging coffee.

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