Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Callum Pitt's "Knocked The Wind Right Out Of Me" feels like a runaway song from the "Poisoned Reveries" EP

The vast Knocked The Wind Right Out Of Me, the last track from Callum Pitt's (UK) debut EP entitled "Poisoned Reveries" runs away at a fast clip suggesting fleeting images rushing past car windows and when the song takes breathes you feel lovely emotions like out of focus glimmers of light through tree branches. While some of my descriptions might feel cliche, the song itself feels fresh and potent, the sounds carried away off cool indie guitar lines and Pitt's endearing vocal quality.

Pitt who hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, has been building audiences since his bedroom produced creations received airplay from BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio which landed him a gig at Evolution Emerging Festival 2016.

The "Poisoned Reveries" EP is out now.

Robb Donker


Taking influences from The War On Drugs, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, indie-folk newcomer Callum Pitt combines finger-picked folk riffs with a stunning falsetto voice. His first demos, recorded in his bedroom, received airplay from BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio, resulting in a spot at Evolution Emerging Festival 2016 and tour support slots with Meadowlark, Cape Cub and Isaac Gracie.
“['You'd Better Sell It While You Can' is a] catchy, floaty, dreamy number, with some easy-going laid back strings and… falsetto vocal that would put Kate Bush to shame. A blend of harmonies adds warmth, dimension and colour [and] halfway through, the chorus pops up in all [its] melodious glory... There’s lots to like about this song – choppy old style piano playing, catchy guitar Fresh from his packed out show at The Great Escape 2019, Callum Pitt is set to release his debut EP ‘Poisoned Reveries’. Callum’s sound combines finger-picked folk riffs with a stunning falsetto voice and rich harmonies. With support from blogs including DIY, Dork and Crack In The Road and radio play with BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music, Callum’s previous releases have frequently landed on Spotify's coveted 'New Music Friday' playlists across Europe and Asia. 2019 promises to be an important year for Callum on the live side too, with festival appearances at The Great Escape, Deer Shed, Wild Paths and This Is Tomorrow confirmed ahead of a full UK tour in October.
“Callum Pitt… harnesses the lilting nature of Americana, producing some intricate guitar licks and roll-off-the-tongue lyrics that converge into a swelling chorus that sweeps you off your feet.” (DIY)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Loggerheads" by Picsel (side project of Broken Fires) is a post punk pop breeze

The upbeat post punk / pop track, Loggerheads by Picsel (UK), the side project of Broken Fires, with it's ear candy guitar melody and 90's college rock sound feels like something between the The Lemonheads and Weezer. The track is inspired by an episode of Freaks & Geeks where the nerd dates the cheerleader and "it all goes to shit" and as the band offers: "Loggerheads is about two people in a relationship realizing that they are completely incompatible."

‘Loggerheads’ is the first single to be taken from Picsel’s forthcoming debut album ‘Modern Life Discovery’, due out in September 2019.
Robb Donker

One Sentence. Supervisor's tense psyche indie rock "Double You Pt. 2" feels like a fever dream

Double You Pt. 2 by Switzerland's alternative indie rock band One Sentence. Supervisor is a fever dream of a song. Tension builds instantly by the rushed cadence and almost mandolin splashes of electric guitar and rock drone chords amid vocals singing odd words "wire up tongues... wire up teeth... wire up memories." The result is a jagged avant garde post punk jag that goes down like an intoxicating drink that has a serious side kick of psychedelia. As the song moves and twists there are world music appendages of sound. A truly trippy song and I love the aesthetic. The tension builds and builds until it gets absolutely industrial and dirty.

Robb Donker


«Acedia» designates a state of torpor, the exhaustion of one’s soul and beliefs. «Acedia» is the title of One Sentence. Supervisor’s third album. The phenomenon of acedia finds its roots in the pre-Middle Ages. Transposed to our times, it could be described as the dull discomfort one feels when flying to Barcelona for 25 Euros, before randomly ending up in a climate strike on the way to the beach bar. At the end of the day, we all know our lifestyle is a farce and that its price is way higher than what we could possibly imagine. How do we respond to our privilege? And to what extent do we really care about the world?
One Sentence. Supervisor’s activism has always been clever. Today’s big debates find an echo in the questions the band asks, being incorporated in many different ways into their creative output. Their new press pictures, for instance, are a good example of their wit: playing with the depiction of stereotypes that are stock photos, the five musicians pose as a «rock band», as well as «young and successful business people». A way of showing the divide between reality and the way it is portrayed.
Since „Temporär Musik 1-13“ (2017), their previous album, One Sentence. Supervisor have become a five-piece, welcoming virtuoso oud player Bahur Ghazi as a permanent member. Additionally, multi-instrumentalist Sarah Palin (Phil Hayes And The Trees, Boytoy, JJ & Palin, etc.) has replaced Dominik Meuter on the drums. The album was produced by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Hotel2Tango/Jerusalem In My Heart).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Winston Vista's audaciously romantic "Blue Luv" veers to the weird and the wonderful

Sometimes press notes are novel-esque and sometimes you literally know nothing about an artist and while I would prefer something in between these two extremes, in this case, I am content to just let the music do the talking (as they say).

The track Blue Luv by Winston Vista (which sounds like the name of a character in a John Waters film) is a spacy lo-fi affair steeped in a sort of indie film kind of romance. It sways like a slow dance with casio-fied tones, orchestrated synth rock strings, and a somber vocal performance that goes for broken hearted passion... the aesthetic here feels like intoxicated raw declarations rather than perfect tones. The last 30 seconds with the chorus slowed down feels eerie and even more indie / avant garde in that David Lynch sort of way. Interesting and cool. 

Robb Donker

The Brazen Youth and the wide eyed artistry of "I Don't Wanna Take Too Much" from the "15 Billion Eyes" Album

I Don't Wanna Take Too Much by The Brazen Youth is a lot of things. Beginning in an almost wide eyed artistically Off- Broadway-esque meets 70's art rock sort of way, the song steps into askew poetry backed by heavy handed syncopated piano hammered (cooly) in rhythm & blues infused meets baroque pop ways. The lyrics are dreamy and or weird (depending on who you ask) but wildly interesting and the vocal presentation self aware and earnestly serious. That is to say, while the song (material) is steeped in this kind of avant garde pop motif, I get the sense the boys aren't necessarily going for this aesthetic... it just is the way it is. If this is the case, I like that. This is not to say that Nicholas Lussier and Charles Dahike do not have artistic vision, they obviously do and are wildly talented and prolific beyond their years but I get the intuitive sense that they don't over reach for this aesthetic. They are simply cut from the same artistic cloth.

Their Press notes, which I will paste down below, suggest that they met in eighth grade. Building and bonding their friendship and artistic path in Lyme, Connecticut and drawing inspiration from a 300 year old farmhouse. I don't know how many years transpired between grade school and their musical forays and now and such but when I hear stories like this I appreciate how fate shapes art and peoples lives. Their first record called "The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man" came out in 2016. They added their friend Micah Ruben and tours followed.

Their journey (that you can check out more fully in the aforementioned press notes) has lead them to their Album entitled "15 Billion Eyes" due out on September 19th (2019). Awesome.

Speaking to the motivation behind I Don’t Wanna Take Too MuchThe Brazen Youth offer:
“15 Billion Eyes” felt like a humbler approach to a record, and we think the title, “I Don’t Wanna Take Too Much”, speaks to that. In the studio, we stripped back, dropped the metronome, and pursued a live approach. We are each finding our own corners in the band, especially as instrumentalists. Time spent on the road has molded our individual styles and band dynamic — and for the first time, we’re seeing that manifest in a studio setting. 
Robb Donker



The Brazen Youth began with an unlikely union of two eighth graders, Nicholas Lussier and Charlie Dahlke. Based on a 300-year-old farmhouse in Lyme, CT, the pair developed their folk-based sensibilities in a space that was unlimited in creative power. They spent their formative years between the musty bookshelves of the farm, crafting a record that came to be called The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man (2016), which was pure evidence of the ambition and imagination of both songwriters.
With a new surge in online followers, Nick and Charlie’s good friend Micah Rubin joined the band, creating a complete lineup that would tour the United States throughout 2017 and 2018. During this time, the trio was developing a more polished, cohesive LP in their self-constructed studio that would release in 2018, called Primitive Initiative. Following a more expansive period of touring, including dates with friends Spendtime Palace, The Brazen Youth’s forthcoming EP, titled 15 BILLION EYES was completed. Previous works made use of darker textures, 15 BILLION EYES is more inventive, playful, and dynamic than any past work; and the songwriting is more distinct and focussed. Mixed by Sam Griffin Owens (Sam Evian), the record has a unique warmth that is simultaneously familiar and refreshingly new. On the wake of the record release and a long string of tour dates, The Brazen Youth remains a brotherhood like no other – a creative force which constantly seeks to challenge itself and shed its old skin.

Enjune's poignant and beautifully sad "Lost In The Woods" glimmers with light through the trees

Enjune is the musical moniker of independent singer-songwriter / artist Jake Goble based out of Venice Beach, California and the track Lost In The Woods is a sweeping, image inducing, alt folk meets chamber pop ballad. A testament to it's well crafted melodies, poised poetry and ability to push and pull emotions is how quickly it inhabits your psyche... you get lost in the song, in those woods, so much so that it seems to end after mere moments. Time bends and those 3 minutes and 30 seconds as you find your self sitting in a puddle of emotions and you have to push play again. For me, it acts like a sonic Rorschach test and I flashed on current and past personal trial and tribulations of the heart and head. Poignant and dark, beautifully sad with light through the trees, hope does glimmer.

From the artist:

This song is the culmination of my artistic work thus far - the central moment of my debut EP Teal Dreams. Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself - the only way to get what you need is to lose everything else. This is "Lost in the Woods".

The full debut EP "Teal Dreams" dropped 7/12. 

Robb Donker


Enjune is the moniker for Jake Goble’s American Alternative/Indie-Pop music project. Elements of his work have received comparisons to acts such as Bon Iver, James Blake, Coldplay and Hozier. Growing up in Northern California, Goble drew his early musical influences from a variety of sources ranging from a variety of sources ranging from time spent listening to classic rock radio with his dad, Jimmy Buffet and Jock Jam tapes in the car with his mom and boy bands such as NSYNC and Backstreet Boys on his first CDs. Going to shows and playing bass guitar as well as drums in a rock band throughout high school taught him the powerful effect of live music on the human body and mind.
• • • • •
In 2018 Goble decided to move from to Los Angeles to work in event production and as freelance designer after spending nearly five years in North Lake Tahoe. He initially found himself immersed in the electronic music scene, attending parties such as Space Yacht, Brownies and Lemonade, Exchange LA and various secret warehouse parties where he made many his first LA friends in the industry.
• • • • •
Aside from the electronic music scene, Goble was fortunate enough to attend an intimate concert at the private music venue, Winston House, on his second night living in Venice Beach. It was there that he would forge some of the most meaningful relationships of his life. Goble went on to become a production assistant at Winston House and later a vital member of the media team, after he demonstrated his abilities by touring with successful Alt Rock band Grizfolk as their photographer and videographer.
• • • • •
Goble additionally went on to join forces with talented songwriter and visual artist, Chase McBride, where he assisted McBride to develop marketing strategy, oversaw bookings and captured content during the releases of two of McBride’s albums and respective tours to promote them.
“I learned most of what it takes to be a independent artist through Chase. His friendship and the opportunities to work side-by-side with him on his releases have become invaluable to my career as both an artist and a musician.”
Since moving to Venice Beach, Goble has limited his performances to private gatherings and jam/writing sessions with other artist friends. He’s been fortunate enough to share these experiences with the likes of talented LA based singers and songwriters such as: Corey Harper, Emanuel Franco, Flavia, Joesph Luca, Valentina, Grizfolk, Amy West, Ryan Merchant (Capital Cities), talker, Dan Sadin, Andrew Heringer, and most notably Adam Roth, lead singer of Grizfolk, who Goble declares first made him believe in his own abilities and potential in performing/writing on a professional level.
• • • • •
Goble also insists that it was both Sadin (former guitarist of FRENSHIP) and Heringer (Milo Greene/The Guest & The Host) who first took him seriously after he sent out a folder of music demos to select friends who doubled as artists and producers.
“Both Dan and Andrew saw something in me from the start. They each went out on a limb to work with me and helped pull the creative juices out of my blood into something beyond what I thought was possible for me to create. I could not have conceived Enjune without their encouragement as friends and talent as producers.”
Today, Goble continues to write, record and play music in the Los Angeles area. Aside from his musicianship, his other creative endeavors span across projects related to brand identity, web development, event production, photography and videography, all predominantly within the music industry. When he’s not working or creating music, you might spot him in LA at a show supporting friends or checking out other live acts by whom he’s inspired.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Memes' (UK) boisterous feral punk infused rocker "Blah Blah Blah" is a stomper...etc, etc, etc

Blah Blah Blah by Memes (UK) is a thick cut of boisterous feral punk fueled party rock with sprite diversions of art rock insanity mixed in. The Memes' debut landed solidly as Steve Laracq single of the week on Britain's 6 Music. Bloody right.

Robb Donker

The cinematic beauty that is "Cracked Porcelain" by singer-songwriter Kris Kelly from the "Runaways" Album

Kris Kelly's track- Cracked Porcelain is a cinematic beauty of a song. Full fledged in it's musical arc, it feels like an eclipse of something bigger like it was coalesced from a novel or multi-part mini series or some other literary journey, that is how stuffed it feels, full of orchestrated dreams and back stories that you want to know and experience. Kelly who is from Austin, Texas wrote this alt folk masterpiece infused with chamber pop sways. It pushes and pulls you hard in lovely yet powerful ways. 

Cracked Porcelain is from the "Runaways" album to be released in August 2019.

Robb Donker


"Kris Kelly evokes a bittersweet nostalgia of love and hurt in latest indie folk single, “Cracked Porcelain.” The track is the final single ahead of debut album, Runaways, due out August 29th. Kelly self-produced the album, recorded between NYC and LA with an all-star team of musicians (played for Alanis Morissette, Lana Del Rey), with arrangements from John Philip Shenale (Tori Amos, Jane’s Addiction), and mixed by Noah Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Andy Shauf).

A native of Austin, Texas, Kris Kelly moved to NYC to study vocal performance and musical composition at NYU. After years of his original works at storied New York venues, he decided to leave everything behind, packed a suitcase, grabbed his guitar and flew to South America. He traveled for five years through Argentina and Brazil, met his now husband, and experienced the love, loss, and growth that would inspire his upcoming album, Runaways. Parade Magazine and Cool Hunting have respectively described his music as “sweet and soothing,” and “sublime.”
In new single “Cracked Porcelain,” Kelly sings of finding equilibrium between the sacred and the profane, carnal desire and true love, within the freedom of an open relationship. He says, “I think the LGBTQ+ community has a unique opportunity to redefine our relationships between sex and healthy partnerships, but it also comes with a great responsibility, and I think we often fail. I failed at least. And that’s ok, because I realized that if I wanted to be happy, I had to make a change.” 
For all social links, visit

Gamma Dog's- unbridled punchy post punk of "Wa" harkens back in a good way

Gamma Dog hail from Austin, Texas and their punchy post punk track Wa has a spark of Brit pop / rock buried beneath the explosive indie rock tones (at least to me). Maybe it is the big wave of Farfisa-esque synth or the strident guitars or deeply raw bass and drums and Matt Blackwell's husky cool vox but I am feeling shades of late 80's meets 90's college indie rock meets 90's Brit pop rock (Supergrass, Blur). The stew works on so many levels, least of which is just the unbridled joyous garage rock punch.

Gamma Dog is Matt Blackwell on guitar and vox, Trey McKinley on Bass, Kevin Garcia on guitar and backing vox, Kyle Garcia on keys and Shawn Gallivan on drums.

Robb Donker


Gamma Dog’s embryonic first steps date back to 2004 when two highschoolers - lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Blackwell and bassist Trey McKinley - discovered similar interests in music and began hanging and playing music together. It was later in 2009 once reconvening in college in in Austin, Texas that they decided to start a new original band together.
Formerly as Empire Machines, in November of 2011 the band self-released their eponymous debut EP, a six track EP that clearly demonstrated their remarkable talents. Songs like the wonderfully seductive and grooving, “Never Enough,” and the danceable, pop-oriented track, “Sweet Teeth,” garnered enthusiastic reviews online from music lovers, bloggers and radio hosts across the U.S. and around the world.
But Blackwell and McKinley struggled with recruiting and maintaining a consistent lineup of band members who shared their unique vision for the sound they wanted to achieve at a time when their own musical abilities were improving and their aspirations expanding.
The band workshopped a new sound for years with other new bandmates, playing shows in and around Austin and working on many new songs, only to figure out they had gone down a path they ultimately weren’t feeling and decided to go back to the drawing board to figure out what really moved them, and start from scratch. This was the beginning of the 3 track Animal Skin EP, which would be released in 2015.
In 2016, their luck took a turn for the best when they recruited current members Kevin Garcia on lead guitar and back up vocals, and soon after his twin brother Kyle Garcia on keyboards. It was this combination that hit the bullseye, allowing them to pursue unabated the sound and unity they were aiming for, later adding Shawn Gallivan on drums to complete their sound.
Increasingly reflective of the variety of musical influences from bands like Radiohead, The Beatles and Modest Mouse, experimenting more with their instruments and lyrics, and introducing darker and more minimalistic elements in their songs, Gamma Dog continues to forge ahead.
In the ensuing years, the band has built a growing following of loyal fans, been booked more frequently for gigs at top venues, performed for enthusiastic crowds during SXSW, and gained the not-easily-attainable respect as a talented DIY band in Austin’s fiercely competitive music scene. 
The five-piece released the single ‘Scenes’ in 2016, later deciding in late 2017 to take a hiatus from live shows and focus solely on crafting their new full-length record. Now having nearly completed their album, the band has gotten back out playing shows and is ready to begin releasing brand new material on the unsuspecting masses in Spring of 2019.

The all inclusive Neo Soul sound of DI-RECT on "Be Strong" is big and bold, sultry and sweet, dramatic and fresh

The all inclusive neo soul sound of DI-RECT'S Be Strong (based out of the Netherlands) is big and bold, sultry and sweet, dramatic and fresh with sounds that hearken back to 70's to 90's soul / R&B filtered through current indie pop motifs. To someone who often times swims in feral and raw punk indie seas this is different stuff entirely but DI-RECT is so earnest in it's vision of lush soulful pop that their pull casts a wide net. Big rules may not be broken (on this track) but DI-RECT does what they do so exquisitely well giving us all an iconic sound. Front man, lead singer Marcel Veenendall mixes controlled timbres with full throttle high register soulful wails full of grit. The full production is theatrically rich. A full luscious desert with added icing. 

Robb Donker



DI-RECT inventively filter elements of rock, soul, pop, and indie through their own distinct vocabulary, one forged by a decade-spanning friendship and trust. Emerging from the other side of meteoric stardom, identity crises, creative dust-ups and the ongoing challenge of integrating five radically different personalities, this eclectic Dutch quintet has embraced a newfound creative abandon, less preoccupied of what they are, and more with what they could become.
If you take the history between Marcel Veenendaal (vocals), Frans ‘Spike’ van Zoest (vocals/guitars), Bas van Wageningen (bass), Jamie Westland (drums), and Paul Jan Bakker (guitars) into account, it’s a remarkable thing to consider; a collection of colorful individuals that isn’t just operating at the height of their creative powers, but doing so with unprecedented success. They won a Dutch Edison Award for their 2017 album Rolling With The Punches and played their biggest shows yet at Pinkpop and AFAS Live. Ever since scoring a number one hit with ‘Times Are Changing’ in 2009 – sparked by Veenendaal’s charismatic voice – DI-RECT have come to define success as something bigger than just metrics or awards could explain. They are a band perpetually driven by the prospect of ‘why not?’, performing sweeping arena-sized romps and intimate house shows alike. No matter the setting, you can always count on DI-RECT to provide a dynamic, combustible mix of crowd favorites and daredevil experimentalism.
Their latest single ‘Devil Don’t Care’ was recorded last year in Berlin with producer Niels Zuiderhoek and mixed by Cenzo Townshend (who worked with indie pop goliaths Editors and Florence + The Machine). This time, DI-RECT unpacks with a technicolor synth-pop sprawl, gleefully kickstarting it with a familiar-sounding deep note and a powerful mantra: ‘You’ll never exist again’. The accordingly vivid music video and artwork for ‘Devil Don’t Care’ were made by visual artist Jamel Armand, further invigorating en echoing the piercing fortitude of Veenendaal's words. Devil Don’t Care’ truly punctuates DI-RECT’s current mission statement: having the audacity to surrender to the vision of another can lead to an enriching exchange. Live or die, if the only direction left is to go forward, then you might as well embrace all comers.