Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Long Way Home's red and raw "Throat Rot" from the "As Usual" EP

The Long Way Home is a post punk / punk band based out of Annandale On Hudson, New York and Throat Rot from their "As Usual" EP (2019) seems particularly relevant to me as I have been battling a gnarly throat situation after a business trip (damn circulating crappy air on planes) and while the pulsating fusing of blues rock and punk tones on Throat Rot with the bad ass guitar and Emily Tomasi's strident smirking vocals "I get sick when I'm in a bad mental state, look at my mouth and see the mess that you made" and "I'm living in my own rot" might have more to do with relationships that go bad (putridly so). I can relate. Of the track, Tomasi offers: "I got really gnarly pneumonia coincidentally after a betrayal from a friend; this song's about that! I've always loved old country and blues music so I wanted to take that love and channel it into punk instrumentals."

The punk rock here is spartan and cleanly cut and Tomasi who shares vocal duties with Jeremy Coppola (who seems to be the main lead vocalist on the EP) has a lot of character to her voice, to her tortured wail. Other Coppola voiced tracks like Pretty Little People and Martyr Complex feels like touches of prog rock stirred into proto punk sounds with an askew sense of composition and acerbic thoughts (and humor) in between the lines. Love the leaning to classic proto punk distilled post punk but served in their own unique way. Me likee. 

The Long Way Home is: Jeremy Coppola (guitar, vox), Emily Tomasi (bass, vox) and Jacob Cummings (drums, moral support).

-
Robb Donker

THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

One winter night in 2015, new friends Jeremy and Emily started talking about how much they love playing music and were both looking for people to start a band with. The conversation went nowhere because Emily was too shy to take it further and Jeremy thought he had a bassist but it turned out the guy didn’t know how to play the bass, he just owned one.
Months later, they returned to the topic and decided playing music together would be a pretty great idea, and thus The Long Way Home was born.
They were introduced to Jacob in 2017, who brought a ray of West Coast sunshine into their music, which previously had a level of angst only achievable by living in states that actually get cold.
With music that can only be described as “well at least they have personality”, the members of The Long Way Home pride themselves on their high energy live performances and taking influence from a wide range of music.


Jayomi's surf psyche rock "Tropical Wasteland" inspires Britney Spears dance moves and Whoppers

It is not often that you hear a vast surf rock song that begins with a dramatic violin that if presented cleanly could be the beginning of a classical piece but dirtied feels more like something from a 1970's Italian horror movie. This is the case with Jayomi's Tropical Wasteland as drums rumble in and the violin does a rad power slide as the song descends into dirty surf rock guitar while that violin (in a wash of reverb) provides a dreamy and melodic background. Jon Wu's vocals provide the storytelling in an almost measured art rockish way while the music whirls around it. Tropical Wasteland is an interesting mix of flavors and time frames. With the violin lines, yet heavy surf rock sound and flourishes into punk pop filtered through a kind of art rock / psyche rock aesthetic I thought of the iconic Moody Blues, Spindrift and Thee Oh Sees all rolled up into one. The Official Video for Tropical Wasteland features Britney Spears dance moves and Whoppers fed to Wu like grapes. What's not to like?

Jayomi hails from Seattle and are Jon Wu (guitar, violin, vox, Lizz Slabaugh (bass, vox), Casey Hudlow (drums) and Francisco Solis (guitar). 

-
Robb Donker

Monday, July 22, 2019

Gon Von Zola is the perfect art punk provocateur with the off-kilter "100% Risk Of Death"





























100% Risk Of Death by Gon Von Zola based out of London by way of Leipzig, Germany, Zola and writing cohort(s) naturally veer toward askew forms of art and crafting upbeat art punk songs with a sense of wit and wonder. 100% Risk Of Death (as reflected in the Official Video) has a crazy carnival on high tone pushed by punk synth swings, pogo pushed drum beats, sparring guitar and bass framingG Zola's glam vocal performance with lyrics that seem to reflect the futility of life and the dark comedy inherent in uncertain times all told through lines that are rich with jagged humor. 

-
Robb Donker 


THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

Combining his laid back, whacky public persona with a no strings attached song writing style and production sound, Third Culture Kid Gon Von Zola and his multi-diverse gang of misfits are keen to reveal their new single '100% Risk of Death' to the masses!
As a follow up to the previous single “Concrete Heaven” GVZ once again take a break from their occasional antics to bring you an upbeat and high powered tune all the way through that delivers themes of humanity dying out under an ironic layer of optimism.
'100% Risk of Death' orchestrates perfectly the ‘less is moreʼ attitude with a concoction of lyrical stabs, synth FX and pulsing guitar that goes hand in hand with a prodding and punchy bass/rhythm section.

Carnival Kid's demons play in the poignant "What Keeps Us Going"

Carnival Kid (Germany) is the indie / alternative solo project of Christian Stezycki and What Keeps Us Going from his upcoming record "All The Easy Places" (A 6 track EP including Blackout At The Kindergarten and Magic Trick) is a mid-tempo poignant acoustic ballad. The chord progression has a tortured alt folk goth pop tone with nice staggered flourishes propelled by Stezycki's appropriately tortured vocal performance. While the lyrics are poetically drawn they are not vague and while one could describe the song as a love song, it feels to me, more like a song about obsession... (unhealthy or not). I love the line, "we all are searching for someone who's demons play well with our own" and I love the absolutely stunningly beautiful last third of this song, a tear inducing slowly ramping down diminuendo.

Often times I either see images in my head when I listen to music and I can't help but see scenes from the movie Under The Silver Lake that I saw recently. In it Andrew Garfield's character Sam is searching for his obsession, Sarah (played by Riley Keough) and, YES, there are many, many demons to contend with.

-
Robb Donker

 


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Stray Fossa's shiny indie rock sound of "Eyze" feel like new wave in a parallel universe

Stray Fossa are a garage pop / indie rock band based out of Charlottesville, Virginia and their latest track Eyze came to be when the drummer surreptitiously arranged vocal harmonies around a bass hook without telling the bassist. Turns out the band liked the result and forged a head to develop a kind of retro new wave / old wave sounding track. That bass line sounds organic and lush and the combination of analog and electronic sounds works so well. I, like a lot of people have been binge watching the new season of Stranger Things and this track seems to fit that serie's retro motif. The vocals are hushed and simply alluring and I love when at around 1:30 in, the beat drops out letting the song breath in pretty ways. Then striking guitar rhythms happen that lights a fuse to a dizzying building fire of sounds. Love the groove, production and everything about this song. 

-
Robb Donker


Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Whalers' post punk / surf punk sound on "Keep It Quiet" jams
























Keep It Quiet by Austin, Texas based The Whalers starts off with a swelling sound that for some reason has a Polaroid 60's vibe. When the choppy guitar, drums and bass explode around it, along with Gus Smalley's evocative vox the post punk meets surf punk tone is stamped firmly on the song... and then it happens. About 1 minute and 12 seconds in, and right after the chorus, the bottom drops out and you hear that swelling sound again this time with an incredibly infectious guitar hook. A hook that will stick to, wrap around your brain for days. The post punk / surfy sound makes me think of a blend of The Cosmonauts, Tijuana Panthers and The Buttertones (early versions). By the way, while I might think of surfing at Huntington Beach and ripping up rooster tails at Sunset as I listen to this song, lyrically Keep It Quiet is based loosely on one night when Smalley was invited to a house party only to be threatened with physical violence. Oh, not cool but the song is.

The Whalers are Gus Malley (vox), Dan Martin (guitar), Todd Horner (bass), Milos Bertram (drums) and Kyle Rother (guitar).

-
Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES:

Whalers has grown up in the ten years since its formation, but the group hasn’t forgotten the infectious, boyish vitality that helped carry them out of the rehearsal space and onto some of Austin’s most reputable stages. From a collection of towns around Texas, the five men of Whalers rallied together in Austin in 2009 and have released two EPs (2010's How the Ship Goes Down and 2011's Paddle Easy) and released their first full-length album, Submarine Sun, in 2014. 2015 saw the release of the Death Drive - EP, a collection of B-sides from the Submarine Sun sessions.
Though their recordings are packed with an untouchable energy, Whalers’ contagious vigor is best felt in their live performances. The group’s music is a striking blend of power-driven rock, complete with strong riffs from Dan Martin and Kyle Rother (guitars), and smooth, dreamy surf rock, reminiscent of bands like Real Estate and Wild Nothing. Gus Smalley (vocals) and Milos Bertram (drums) stitch the two sounds together seamlessly, and bold lines from Todd Horner (bass) drive the band’s collection of songs forward with every beat.

Bachelor Paradise's track "Clark, I'm Sorry" folk infused punk out of Sacramento

Bachelor Paradise emanates from Sacramento, California and their track Clark, I'm Sorry feels like folk infused punk rock, heavy on lyrics and on story. Billy Felix's chews on his words and the chunky, crunchy guitar and vibrant bass and drums moves the story, the song along at a nice clip. This kind of folkster vibe meets punk reminds me of The Babies (Kevin Morby / Cassie Ramone's devastatingly good band) and the raw rock, back alley sound that draws direct lineage from Lou Reed and John Cale. Rounding out the band are Phillip Wingett on drums and Lewis Beck on Bass.

Clark, I'm Sorry is from their album "I Made a List of Real People."

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Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

Bachelor Paradise is a garage rock band from Sacramento, CA. Originally the solo project of Billy Felix, it now includes Phillip Wingett on drums and Lewis Beck on bass. They have drawn comparisons to 60's psych rock, 90's indie rock, and the guy who sings the songs in There's Something About Mary. They like to think they are nice guys. 

Single from the new album "I Made a List of Real People", out July 12th.


Brett Gleason's art rock-esque "The Strong and The Silent" shining through baroque pop filters

The Strong and The Silent peaked my interest instantly, or at least a nano-second, in due to the piercing Moog Synth line that feels at once kind of gothic baroque pop meets space art rock. Coupled with the pounding angular piano chord structure and the heavy down beat / off beat cadence and syncopated breaks all framing New York City's Brett Gleason's strident vocal performance. The song's cagey beats eventually take a breath shifting into a dreamy bridge. I love the tonal change and the melodies wrapped up in synth giving it a glam rock edge . 

The Press notes mention that Gleason's early life in Long Island he was hampered by a speech imdiment which lead to a somewhat isolated childhood and his immersion in the arts and eventually leading to a mastery of a multiple of instruments. Well he is not isloated or quiet anymore. Rock on.

-
Robb Donker


 


ALL THE FACTS THAT WE KNOW - PRESS NOTES:

Brett Gleason is a piano-based alternative songwriter from New York. Both an outspoken bi-polar advocate and out gay artist, Gleason knows what it’s like to live a life of intensity outside the mainstream and his unique music reflects this. Brett' upcoming single 'The Strong & The Silent' is a call for radical vulnerability in the face of digital isolation - out June 7th. His first two albums debuted in the Top 100 of the iTunes Alternative Charts with videos reaching number #1 on MTV Logo’s ‘The Click List’.
From Brooklyn by way of Long Island – 

Brett's early life was hampered by a speech impediment, leading to a solitary childhood immersed in the arts. His struggle to communicate led to a mastery of muliple instruments and a composition degree from the New School. 

From Diesel Park West's ninth studio album "Let It Melt"- the rock and roll patina of "Scared Of Time"


I cannot imagine being in a band (full of artists) for 15 years straight, let alone 30. It must be a wonderful feeling despite all the obvious heartaches that any long relationship survives. If it is meant to be then it is. Diesel Park West (UK) were meant to be. They just released their ninth studio album, "Let It Melt" and as the lyrics in the track Scared Of Time express, "And my arms, my legs don't move like they used to.... and my hair, my skin doesn't shine like it used to..." their battle worn scars may show but it only adds an emotion and deeply engaging patina to singer, songwriter and guitarist John Butler's vocal presentation. It is wonderful and the track with it's emotional guitar lines, chasing beat, and vast organ way in the back is one of those songs that feel so comfortable and classic even the first time you hear it. You feel that nucleic acid of bands like The Stones, The Beatles, Mott the Hoople and more, yeah, that ilk and that is something to be reckoned with.

Speaking of sticktuitiveness and surviving the music industry, Butler says We’ve never lost the spark,” says singer, songwriter and guitarist John Butler. “We’ve never stopped writing, recording and gigging. We’ve never let the setbacks encroach on our creativity. We’ve only ever judged ourselves by the standard to which we are performing. And we’ve pushed on through.”


Diesel Park West is John Butler (lead vox, guitar), Rich Barton (guitar/vox) and Geoff Beavan (bass) and Rob Morris (drums), who joined 15 years ago.
"Let it Melt" is released on Palo Santo, an independent label located in Dallas, Texas.

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Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES;


The first time most people may have heard of the band would have been around August 1987 when the indie single 'When the Hoodoo Comes' started to get played on night-time radio, leading to a full session later that year which really got tongues wagging.
By late 87 the band had become available hot property in London with the major record labels all forming a disorderly pack of signature chasers. Overnight sensations? Not really. There had been some formative years grimly holding on to principles while music in the UK was being led by some seriously transparent early-mid eighties "artistes". In fact, strange as it might seem now, the guitar's position as the pivotal popular instrument looked to be at an end.
There were guitar bands of course and the worldwide success of U2 ensured that record companies were constantly looking for something similar, but the influences of the previous decade (with a few exceptions) had largely been unhelpful. By early '88 however, things were starting to change a little and Food records were signed to EMI Records in order for the label to get its hands on the Indies latest band ... Diesel Park West. Now with major backing, the band started to record the debut album which was soon to have a considerable impact, Shakespeare Alabama. Although the album never delivered a huge breakthrough hit single, it did generate enough influence on the times and create such a buzz about the band to ensure them a special place in the bigger picture.
Three whole years, however, were to slip by until the second album Decency was to surface. In true major label style, there had been a lot of executive positioning ready for the inevitable massive breakthrough. Like all dead certs it never quite worked out the way it was meant, and despite an almost hit single 'Fall to Love' in early 92, the band were divorced by EMI and seemed set to follow the well-worn path of other major-label victims ... thank you and goodnight. Well no! Not at all, in fact for a variety of reasons the creative rivers were really starting to flow at this point.
The band had forged a strong musical identity onstage, drawing upon its own musical influences - Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape, Big Star, the Brian Jones era Stones and Love - all considered outdated & largely irrelevant by the UK 'taste-makers' at the time. As rock has grown older with an unexpected dignity, these bands are now widely acknowledged as being seminal. Free to operate within its own taste, Diesel Park West have so far gone on to release six independent albums which have all maintained a high critique for the band.
The band entered the indie sector with The Corporate Waltz in 1993. The hugely (then) influential Q Magazine stated that 'when the marketing department at EMI hear "The Cats Still Scratching" it will have them eating the carpet.' And so it proved because that song remains the only Diesel Park West song ever to be play-listed on UK national radio (a vital ingredient for a UK hit single). Evidence that if the band been retained by EMI a breakthrough would have indeed followed? Maybe! The album swirls and delves directly into the heart of the band's subconscious vision with songs 'Where Will The Birds Sing', 'Good Times Liberation Blues', 'Old Mans Bluff', or the great pop swing of 'Vanity' leading the way.
It's a given in rock n roll lore that second albums can often be a bit awkward or difficult to get right because of various energies used by the writers being syphoned off for the actual process of promoting a debut record. This, a largely unacknowledged factor in the Diesels' camp, is what happened between late 89-90. It speaks well of the band that they nevertheless delivered tracks of quality such as 'While The World Cries Decency' and 'Fall To Love' for Decency, the "difficult second album".
It is, however, The Corporate Waltz which provides the clear white light of proof that this group from the English Midlands should have dominated rock for at least a good decade. Sonically it carries the perfect balance of pure spirit mixed with a deliberate and knowing rock edge, a combination often spoken of but rarely achieved by many bands. Food/EMI label-mates Blur broke through with their third album Parklife and so it could have been with Diesel Park West but fate, having decreed otherwise, decided they were to run through the jungle fully laden without maps or support. The band proved to be more than tough enough for the task!
Starting in 1995 the album Freakgene kicked off a run of three official releases up to the year 2000. It was followed by Hip Replacement (1998) and Thought For Food (2000). All these recordings were done at the band's own Barkby Road studio and all received the by now familiar Diesel Park West five star media critique. The 1998 release even had the Guardian describe Diesel Park West as "the most relevant band of that year" which considering their debut was by then nine years old was a remarkable comment.
In 2005 EMI re-released Shakespeare Alabama and a new 'best of' Left Hand Band - again both prompting very favourable retrospective reviews. Although live shows were not numerous the band always played two or three London shows every year, along with a handful of hometown and northern dates. People who saw these shows usually came away bewildered that such a high-quality live act was not enjoying a much higher live profile. Nevertheless, the Diesels returned to the studio in 2007 to record the outstanding Blood And Grace album which actually got some radio support based around the shining single 'There's A Grace'. The record confirmed the band's creative staying power and was followed in 2011 with the release of the beautifully named Do Come In Excuse The Mess.
Eight albums is a substantial body of work for any band but for one which has struggled to survive in an increasingly impossible environment, it is all the more remarkable. It would be foolish to regard the eighth as the final one.


Robin and The Modest with the guitar driven "Rakentenfaust" goes vroooom

Robin and the Modest, the musical alter ego of composer, multi-instrumentalist Tobi Vogel (Germany) create soundtracks and one such creation named Rakentenfaust is a guitar driven rocker that grinds out heavy metal affectations in a pretty much timeless way. I mean the rock progs here could exist from 1975 and on but then the shape changing starts. Elements of art rock tones and electronica come in from musical on ramps and I say that because the imagery of cars driving down futuristic roads is heavy on this one. I wonder if you are seeing the same thing. There is an alien, futuristic tone here happening. It is cool. Simple as that and I can't wait to listen to this in my car. 

Rakentenfaust is from the "Playground" album (2019).
-
Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES:

Ready, steady, get lost in music
It’s a soundtrack, it’s a soundtrack! It is obvious that the man behind Robin and the Modest brings home the bacon composing film music, which is a good thing in itself. It can only mean that he understands something of the trade. With Eftychia Tobi Vogel presents us with a truly exquisite instrumental album. Don’t be scared, it’s the good kind of instrumental. The kind from the 70ies, when music was able to take the time to tell a story. And by that, the debut from Robin and the Modest sneaks its complex and masterly way into our ear and subsequently into our hearts. Sounds grossly exaggerated? It should be. Albums like it are rare theses days. First-class craftsmanship and an aim for the sophisticated recipient. So if anyone thinks, there should be music, here it is. Typically North German without the babble. Truly the sound for every situation in life. With it, we can orchestrate our own history each and every day. Because, it’s a soundtrack, it’s a soundtrack. Namely our own, which we listen to in the car, when other people just go to work. It takes us away for a little time-out from our desk or keeps us in a good mood while jogging to Somewhere over the Rainbow. Committing Carl-Michael Grabinger as a drummer, who already has been fine-tuning the groove of Freundeskreis or the Henrik Fleischlader Trio, is further proof, how comprehensive the musical selection of the project is. The Russian orchestra musician Maria Grigoriyeva played the string part in the title track and ballad Little Bird. The saxophone was contributed by Tim Köhler, who, as part oft he Bigband hellway2high, was recently presented with the WDR Jazz price. And when a second guitar was needed, Johannes Bert, who is normally at home with The Fabolous P-Boiz, filled the void formidably. The whole rest derives from one extremely capable source. That way one can avoid the creative discords and the nervracking top dog behaviour typical for a band. Then something truly good can happen. For example something like Eftychia. This overflowing cornucopia of musical gems, with which the man behind Robin and the Modest builds an effective wall against the paralysing boredom from the consensus laboratories of the major labels. Many thanks for that by the way.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Von Bismark and the whirlwind that is "Moth"

Moth by Von Bismark is a whirlwind of sounds anchored to a deep groove, syncopated lush, lush bass cementing the vocal performance to your brain. Jonathan Smith's voice is self aware, internal, sultry and conflicted. The guitar riffs that almost feel more like radio blips out in space give the whole proggy rock affair a kind of trance like feel. A meditation oh high. 

-
Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

Von Bismark is new project out of Oakland, Calif. produced by Jeff Saltzman (The Killers, Green Day, Two Gallants) and headed by Jonathan Smith, formerly of indie dance outfit The Hundred Days. The band teased out a single, "Rocket Ship" in late 2018.
A recent east bay transplant from SF, Smith discusses how the move affected his sound: “After being in an indie dance rock band for years, touring nationally and overseas,, I decided to refocus on what made me happy as an artist: writing good songs. It was intimidating, but moving to the east bay has made me a better and more honest songwriter.”
The project is expected to start live production summer of 2019. 
DD

The Titos and their unbridled road worn scarred story of "Leandra"






























The track Leandra by The Titos who I think are based in (and maybe out of) Atlanta feels like a song / story that is lived in, road worn, scarred and fueled or impaired by swigs of Tequila and or Whiskey. The strain, galloping cadence, nicotine stained rhythm and blues cut rock, haphazard and loose and badass true sound propped up by a stellar vocal performance that is dripping with a beat up wise yet battered character is formidable. The story is inviting in a dark way but ends much too soon. I want to know more about her, Leandra that is. 

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Robb Donker


Heaviness lives and dies in J Lind's worldly track "For What It's Worth"

























J Lind's worldly track For What It's Worth feels like the cadence of life and death on a South African plain. Interwoven through the tom tom beats and teeming sounds, Lind's voice is folkish and Americana, stoic yet passionate. The song reminds me a bit of Phil Collins' Air Tonight both in it's emotional tone and cagey push and pull around the beats. I can't tell if there is an anti-hero in this life and death story or if the true meaning here is just the interconnectedness of all of us in the life and death drama that is life itself. 

This song is the title track of Lind's forthcoming record which draws inspiration from three years of experiencing the world of hospice care. 

"It is Lind’s hope that the project will serve to catalyze formative conversations on grief, loss, and acceptance."

-
Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES:


Born and raised in Phoenix, J Lind learned early on that inspiration can be found in unlikely spaces. Even so, Lind’s latest project—a record based on the reflections of hospice patients—is unconventional, to say the least.
Lind’s unusual approach to songwriting developed during his time as a student at Princeton. A frequent collaborator, Lind opened for the Grammy-nominated rapper, Big Sean, in the spring of 2015 and participated in songwriting seminars with artists ranging from Steve Martin to Rosanne Cash. Following the release of his debut EP in 2017, Lind studied philosophy at Oxford before continuing his work as a hospice volunteer in New Delhi, India.
J Lind’s forthcoming record, For What It’s Worth (2019), is a careful reflection on three years of experience in the world of hospice care. Supported by a Princeton fellowship, the record draws on the diverse soundscapes of artists such as Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel while invoking the direct, narrative lyric of acts like Passenger and Dawes. It is Lind’s hope that the project will serve to catalyze formative conversations on grief, loss, and acceptance.

Callum Pitt's "Slow My Heart Rate Down" does quite the opposite

Callum Pitt's track Slow My Heart Rate Down does quite the opposite. As you listen to the orchestrated mayhem woven around beautiful piano and vocal melodies, your heart races and you might even feel dashes of anxiety. The track builds in a cinematic way and after it ends you feel a little bit emotionally spent. Beautiful, moving stuff. 

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



Thursday, July 18, 2019

The poetically drawn "Eyes To Monochrome" by Nova Peaks is so cool

The track Eyes to Monochrome is trippy and cool dressed up in a wave of synthetic full color palette of avant garde shapes and machine like grooves. It is at once wondrous and charming and build like a childhood dream.

Nova Peaks is the moniker of Dylan Jongbloed, a producer based in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Robb Donker


Partly Sorry by Tipling Rock feels like a mellow party song for the ages

























Partly Sorry by Boston Beach pop band Tipling Rock is so chill and feels like time less mellow party pop rock that could transverse decades from 1976 to now.

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Robb Donker


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


THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

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.
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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.

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Robb Donker




THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM BUT MAY NOT UNDERSTAND THEM- PRESS NOTES:

«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 FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM - PRESS NOTES:

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






THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES:

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



THE FACTS AS WE KNOW THEM- PRESS NOTES:

"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 www.kriskellymusic.com