Saturday, May 5, 2018

Special: FAST 20 FIVE- an Eclectic Mix featuring The Nanos, Papaya Tree, The Caracals, Mess, Deux Trois, Samus David Jr., Bollard, Jed Parsons, Ada Belle and more

There are so many stellar submissions in my email box that have been sitting there way too long and when that happens it is time to offer the a stellar playlist of sorts. In fact, some of you have been asking American Pancake to start constructing playlists on Spotify and I am seriously considering it. Just beg me some more. This collection of songs would make a great one. In no particular order here are our first FAST 20 FIVE:

Kiwi multi-instrumentalist Jed Parsons twists some clever lyrics in Everybody's Stupid about the emptiness of modern life. Expect a full length debut album later this year.

From Orange County, California The Caracals, is the moniker / brainchild of singer songwriter Johnny Cis. The follow up to In the Dark, City Girl is a catchy bi-polar stylized indie pop song. It turns from super pop tones to more forlorn sounds signaled by shifting time-signatures. Catchy yet complex, it has emotional depth drenched onto the double time jubilation.

The track Everything from Jethro Pickett on his upcoming album "France" was recorded late at night in a Dublin with layer guitars and even an Acetone Rhythm Ace Drum machine from 1973. Pickett from Australia certainly has wanderlust in his heart.


Mess' vocalist Allison Gliesman says about the track Cave, "Cave is a snapshot of a toxic relationship. It was written in a tense headspace, characterized by the helpless feelings paired with watching somone you love be controlled." 

From the neighborhoods of Nothern Melbourne the band Bollard makes cagey art pieces of sound. Some Familiar Spectre is big alt rock, spoken word, proto punk sounds all mixed up in a delicious sort of way. From the album "Trawlers".

Rue Snider crafts his retro style indie rock out of Brooklyn and his track Experiment In Love bristles with 80's-esque romantic wave tones. There is a kind of majesty in the storytelling. A reverence for simpler times. 

Of the track Rue says:

"This record is about trying to love an actress and failing. It's about an awareness that the person you love isn't being completely honest but wanting them nonetheless. It's about days and nights spent wandering around Brooklyn afraid of running into the person you're missing, not knowing if it will make you feel better or worse to see them. It's about obsession and the unwillingness to let go."

Brian in the Heartland is less of a musical project than a You Tube Channel / art project full of skits, gear reviews and thoughts as expressed talking directly to the camera. Rain Drops is one of the scores and maybe it will become one of yours too.

Jimmy feels like a performance artist and a bit of a method actor. Not sure how much of his method is madness as you listen to the very obtuse track Smile.

Dreaming Of The Pyramids is an alternative rock band out of Sweden who get their inspiration from classic shoe gaze bands like Ride and Slowdive.

Danish indie rock band Ghost of Belle Starr and their peppy retro power pop song about dying. Now maybe it is just about a relationship dying. I just don't know.

Australian singer-songwriter Tom West tells personal stories in his evocative alt folk rock songs. He weaves tapestries of sound around his melodies in an orchestral way. 

When you hear the Deux Trois track Late Night Girls you instantly feel the proto punk / art rock DNA of bands like late 70's Talking Heads or Human Sexual Response. There is a sense that inside the sultry cum on sound is social commentary about gender and sexual mores and I like that.   Deux Trois hail from Canada. 

Zak Mering runs GunkTVRecords in Brooklyn and he releases music under the moniker Raw Thrills. I like the aesthetic he creates. It kind of feels like romantic wave filtered through post punk filters like if Bryan Ferry were a punk rocker.

UK's Fintan Stack brand of punk pop or pop punk is pure and anthemic-

Vocalist Adam says “I wrote this song about those some of the hopeless moments when I felt like the world was on top of me, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn't face the day and I didn't want to speak to anyone. Most people would turn to the closest people in their life for support but If you're in a relationship where you both struggle with depression then it can be extra difficult. Sometimes it felt like we were wandering through fog, alone but also together, it’s kind of hard to explain. I learnt that even in those darkest moments, you can find the strength to help someone else, even if you can’t help yourself and that’s exactly what we did, it’s really a way of saying “thank you for saving me”, I guess.”

LA's Deep Touch brings out the Japanese Whiskey and all their friends to produce this funky groove, which is off of their upcoming 2018 EP.  

Arms Akimbo pull off a lot of surprises in their sound. The L.A. 4 piece indie rocker stir in alt folk tones with a sense of wonder and vastness.

Dallas born, NYC based singer-songwriter Madeline Jane possesses a cinematic touch when it comes to composing her personal songs.  Her ode to her mom simply called Mother is simply beautiful.

Out of Canada, Century Thief (a six piece band based in Tornoto, ON) on their track 406 create delicate shadow box images full of the emotion inherent in relationships. The terrifying highs and lows. The sounds swell become tender and erupt with emotion.

Samus David Jr. from Denton, Texas drive post punk sounds in such an engaging way in the track Stormy Weather from their "Literal Trash" album.

 The Nanos manage to shoot a video for their track Starting Yesterday at an IKEA. Brilliant.

Jacob Jeffries’ new album "Mother Land", includes 13 new songs with guest appearances by Theo Katzman (Vulfpeck), Arianna Powell (Black Eyed Peas), and Hayley Jane Batt (BORNS). 
Jacob, on titling his new album, “I searched for a common theme. The thread woven through them all, through everything for me, my mom. Some of them written when she was still alive, some of them since she's gone. But certainly without her, these songs couldn't be.”

Jacob Quint kind of chews his lyrics in such a cool way. In Miami Lights the post punk meets funk meets blues rock feels like a dangerous movie.

The track Shadowland by Black feels like a 50's crooner but exists in a foggy lo-fi place. Of the song he says:
"Shadowland is a dreamy song that romanticizes the act of dwelling on your past when you're all by yourself".

Australia's Papaya Tree and the jammy horns infested Radar. The song goes places you don't expect.

Ada Belle creates outer worldly sounds building and layering guitars and voices. The result is ethereal and just makes you float away to places you need to visit.

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