Appalachian-inspired Ashville quintet Emma’s Lounge create punk rock roots music, sprinkled with indie electro funk. Prior to launching EM, band spearhead Logan Venderlic was hailed as the Appalachian Tom Petty by The Wall Street Journal and drew comparisons to The Clash from NPR. After a brutal series of events, Venderlic sought refuge in his close knit group of friends who eventually became the brick and mortar of the new band. “Heading For The Hills” finds the outfit in fine form, melding powerful riffs, dynamic backing vocals Springsteen-esque promise land howls. Their newest LP, Confluence, drops next week on October 12th.
Brooklyn, NY-based noise-rockers Russian Baths produce monstrous walls of chiming guitar ambience. One might assume these dense, aggressive tones would require the vocal chords of a screamo front man to penetrate, but in an utterly unique role reversal, we are gifted with the etheric musings of Jess Ress. The combination ends up sounding a little bit like Dolores O’Riordan fronting a Chapel Hill noise pop band, with a dash of 70s space rock for good measure.
San Fran synth pop outfit Be Calm Honcho have delivered a ritualistic video for their their haunting single “Bad Man” which premiered on AV Club earlier this year. Lead singer Shannon Harney penned the track for her younger brother who is currently serving a jail term and the stern yet compassionate lyrics detail a powerful connection that’s become hardened by a tragic situation. The ambitious video features a drill like dance troup who attempts to indoctrinate the weiry heroin with it’s syncopated sexualized advances, finally succeeding in the middle of a muddy baseball diamond. Both the track and video are impressive and we look forward to more solid released from BCH in the 1st quarter of 2017.
Oakland Art Punk group Makeunder obviously enjoys coloring outside the lines with their wayward musical stylings. So it makes sense that after praise from NPR and Vice’s Creators Project, the band has returned with a uniquely imaginative video for their EP’s title track which pairs the perfect set of psychedelic visuals with their Tune-Yards-esque musical gymnastics. Makunder’s spearhead Hamilton Ulmer sees the decision to hand the band’s music off to a visual artist as a natural progression, stating “I’ve always seen music as a visual medium - both in terms of tone color and shapes and structures. So we thought it’d be interesting to give the track to an artist and see what they come up with.” The impressive video is the work of Montreal-based visual artist Carine Khalife.
If Dreamers were the poster boys for youth culture hedonism, “Sweet Disaster” would likely be their theme song. The fuzzed out guitar licks and punchy synth hooks even make the morning after hangover sound appealing. Cheeky retro references of 70’s rock icons spliced with drug lingo and club imagery? Sign me up. It may seem calculated but is never forced and in the end, I’m left in awe of their midis touch for dance-floor pop rock. It provides a sweet rush of vital, albeit synthetic, power… like a Monster energy drink after a night of heavy boozing. Their debut LP, This Album Does Not Exist, is due out August 26th and can be pre-ordered here.
You might think Rabid Young’s arena-ready rock would feel out of place at a low key house party but the Las Vegas collective know exactly how to dial it down while remaining true to their ‘pump-you-up’ sound. That said, “Beautiful Things” quickly becomes much more than background music; its new wave-y production brimming with earwormy hooks that deserve repeat listening. The song also contains a message that has never been more relevant. With the recent bout of ego-inflated Twitter rants and naked selfie controversies, lines such as “beautiful things never ask for attention” and “beautiful things never wait for you to notice them” reassure those of us who are disillusioned with the constant feed of narcissistic indulgence the music world has become accustomed to.
Hannah Lou Clark has had many sides, from her grunge-pop FOE days to her calming solo EP Silent Type. She can bring it all to the table, but it seems she’s leaning more towards her rock days for the time being. It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Hannah Lou Clark, but she’s back with her forthcoming EP, It’s Your Love. The title track, “It’s Your Love”, has some serious traces of her FOE days. The guitar drowns the song in its roughness, but gets combined with the angelic vocals of Hannah Lou Clark to create a perfect rock-pop recipe. It’s Your Love, the EP, will be released April 22. Until then check out the title track below.
Emotion, rawness, and passion are some elements that create the best art and Bryde seems to know that too well. The Brixton-based artist brings her all in her latest release “Help Yourself”. It has a certain intensity and honesty that mesh together in a way that is simply undeniable. Bryde’s vocals make the song even more chilling and provide it with that extra moodiness to give it the perfect result. “Help Yourself” is the second track off her forthcoming debut EP and you can take a listen to it below.
Coast Modern bring early summertime vibes with anthemic single “Animals”. The LA-based duo of Coleman Trapp & Luke Atlas broadcast their tropical blend of indie rock from ever-sunny California and the music they make is informed by the face melting iconography of their surroundings. Their deft blend of pop dynamics, searing guitar flourishes and atmospheric space echo is hard to dislike and sounds surprisingly accomplished for their relatively short career trajectory. In fact this effortlessly cool track is only the second offering from the newly christened group who began recording under the Coast Modern banner in early 2015. They are currently supporting The Wombats on a national tour that wraps up in LA so they can get back to work sound-tracking the rest of our summer.
Dave Wave is currently preparing to release his latest EP Hard to Read on March 4th, so it’s only right that he treats us to a little preview of what’s to come. The first track “Gone” was released a month ago and it’s a catchy yet authentic display of indie-rock. It’s a tune that’ll get any indie fan hooked within moments of turning it on. As if “Gone” wasn’t convincing enough, Day Wave has also released another track today entitled “Stuck”, which gives off a slightly different vibe. It’s a more somber, slow side to Day Wave’s sound and it’s definitely something special. If you’re in the need for some calming indie music, Day Wave has got it. Check out his latest release “Stuck ” and another recently released track “Gone” below.
New York City songstress Sonya Kitchell returns from a seven year hiatus with noirish banger “Mexico”. The mysterious vibe of the track can be chalked up to Kitchell’s ear-wormy knack for mature melodies and her evocative delivery of the alluring lyrics. Sonya subtly sings the pants off this song without making a spectacle of her obvious vocal chops. No need to brandish your talent when you have it in spades, I suppose. Her full length album, We Come Apart, drops later this month.