Craig Brown Band
The Suitcase Junket
“The Next Act”
“St. Joe’s Spitting Image”
Jane N’ The Jungle
“Country Love Song”
“I Don’t Know”
by Mark Anderson
It’s no secret I get down to my fair share of electronic music.
While I tend not to veer to the more commercial side of things, I have noticed that I find pop songs are a bit more palatable these days as electronica continues to exert more influence over the mainstream.
However, I still prefer my electronic music, like most things in my life really, with a little edge. Some bite, if you will. Something that takes it from everyday to extraordinary. The following tracks, sifted out of the tracks we hear from all around the world, have done just that.
Comin’ straight outta Kazan [Russia], “Last Journey” is the second track off RNBWS new 4-track EP, To The Border & Back. Although the album comes only with the label Techno, don’t let the nondescript hashtag throw you for a loop. RNBWS “work[s] in an experimental direction of advanced electronics.” Their single, “Last Journey”, sends my head spinnin’ every time I hear it with its poly-rhythmic beat that features dark synth sounds and plenty of percussion. Part of the Get Busy! collective, the Label/Party/Clothing line certainly lives up to their name – they’ve released a bevy of EPs lately including new albums from Yung Acid, Gorilya, and Mostapace. Bump “Last Journey” by RNBWS below…
Ricardo Oliva, based out of Guadalajara/Culiacán [Mexico], has me goin’ with his latest track “Anémona”. This piano-led, Future Bass-fueled, Nu-Disco/House track sounds awkward to explain because it is. Mr. Oliva is all about mixing genres, even performing with live musicians during some of his presentations. Funky jazz guitar, intriguing samples, and a killer Deep Trance bridge accompany “Anémona” to fantastic heights. I highly recommend checking out this new single from Ricardo Oliva below…
Have you ever wanted a cute, fun track to listen to that you can also bob your head to all serio at the same time? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” then look no further than “Bubble Tea” by the Animist. In the vein of Japanese artist Ujico, “Bubble Tea” is a Kawaii, Future Bass track featuring music box, deep low end, trap drums, and plenty of vocal, and of course, video game samples abound. Producing out of Charlotte, NC, the Animist is on a personal mission to “Grow Local Brands & Entrepreneurs to a National Scale” through his use of video production, photography, and even comedy. See that kids? Diversifying, that’s the name of the game. Check out his website for more info but not before playing “Bubble Tea” below…
I can’t quite recognize any of the samples in Idiosync’s latest single, “Digital Footprint”, and I guess that’s the point. As stated in his bio: “Field recordings may evoke flashbacks and associations just like a familiar smell might. Modifying these recordings, chopping [them] to pieces and blending them with each other could affect listener’s perception in the most unexpected ways.” And, indeed, they have. What essentially is a solid breaks track has plenty of noise and experimental innovations thrown in to keep things interesting. Off of his recently released Gigbits album, get down to “Digital Footprint” by Idiosync below…
An old-school House vibe pervades on MGER’s latest track, “have you seen her”. Although this song is “mainly constructed from samples around all genres, mostly old stuff,” don’t let that fool you into thinking MGER is stuck in the past. As he states on his SoundCloud, “I make tunes, some bangy, some less bangy.” I honestly enjoy the retro feel of this track far more than the polished trap or hard electronica of his previous releases. With “have you seen her”, MGER has me feeling good things are coming out of Finland. Take a listen below…
Sometimes, it’s all in your approach. As in the case of BasicSexxx and their debut single “FREAKwhensees”, this statement was sent to us along with their song: “If you are able to read this message then you have been chosen as the leader of an elite squad of Earthlings operating on the highest frequency, and we need your help to save the world.” This band knows how to get your attention. But, before you start thinking that Basicsexxx is some chiseled International DJ, they’re actually a couple of Los Angeles-based hiphop artists: Sami Seal on vocals and Rem_OD on production. “FREAKwhensees” is dystopian hiphop this is purportedly “found only in the Space Jazz cafes of Andromeda”. And, what’s more, it actually sounds that way: a spooky future style of production mixed with poetic lyricism certainly has this song sounding like nothing else on Earth. Serving as an introduction to MINT, an EP and novella, “FREAKwhensees” is a single I suggest you dive into immediately.
by Joe Golfen
Nicole Laurenne and Christina Nunez are garage rock machines. Having set Phoenix, and the rest of the world, on fire with their beloved The Love Me Nots, they’ve also graced stages as members of Motobunny, Casual Encounters, Zero Zero and more.
They latest venture into the retro world of rock and roll is The Darts, joined by Los Angeles musicians Rikki Styxx and Michelle Balderrama. While they are mining similar territory, The Darts are somehow even rowdier and raunchier than The Love Me Nots. Their self-titled debut is a finely tuned rock machine, from the caveman beat of “Running Through Your Lies” through raveups like “I Wanna Get You Off” and “Revolution.”
This is breakneck, snarling garage rock, like The Stooges if they rocked the hell out of a farfisa. The vocals are sexy and sharp as knives, and sound just about as dangerous.
As fun as the rockers are, some of my favorite moments on the record are when they slow things down a bit. Taking the tempo down lets the intriguing sense of menace sink in, like the thick-as-molasses chorus of “You Got Me,” or the spooky psychedelic sludge of closer “Kiss of Fire.” This music is so spooky they even grabbed a twitter endorsement from Stephen King.
The Darts prove that if you play it with enough grit and passion, garage rock is a timeless force to be reckoned with. Check out the record here, and catch The Darts with Weird Omen, March 7th at the Rebel Lounge.
Tucson’s Desert Beats hit all the garage rock pleasure centers: echo chamber vocals, reverb soaked guitars, surf beats, fuzzy organs.
But none of that would mean a thing if the songs weren’t there, so it’s a good thing that Desert Beats’ main man Randall Dempsey has songs for days. All those stylistic touches are in service of some great tunes, and Dempsey and his Desert Beats crew throw in enough curveballs to keep things interesting.
Lead track “Rumble” gets things off to a killer start, a distorted organ punctuated by drum rolls and a kinetic, Interpol-worthy guitar line. The guitar playing remains a highlight throughout the album, the playing fluid, complex and really fun. Dempsey starts his first vocals with a great hiccup, and fills the rest of the song with peaked-out shouts.
While the rest of album follows a similar style, the band switched things up with flourishes like the “do-do-do” vocals on “Nothing Without You” or the woozy synth line on “Receive The Dark.” And the great backing vocals and harmonies, especially on tracks like “Lost My Way” and “We Can’t Forget,” are a constant treat.
Dempsey breaks away from his standard style a few times towards the end of the record, including on the rockabilly-indebted “Humble Gun” or the closer “People Hurt,” which veers more towards stoner metal, like King Tuff doing “War Pigs.”
But classic garage is what the band does best, and “Wolfman is Here” is my personal favorite, with its propulsive bassline, police siren guitar, and chorus of yelping and howling. Perfection.
Though it was released in January, sunlaand’s new four song EP is a perfect summer album. Produced by drummer James Hoag, the record captures the haze that sets in on a really hot day, when all you can do is sit in the pool or inside with all the curtains closed.
Lead track “Pillz” starts things off with the kind of crunchy guitar that would make Johnny Ramone smile, while singer Sara Windom coos and smirks her way through lines like “And I popped pills on the bathroom floor/I drink and then I drink some more/but it’s cool though.”
Bassist Michael Chmura takes over vocal duties on the excellent “Death is Happy,” sounding as bratty and confused as early Wavves records while crooning “Nothing is clear to me anymore.”
A crunchy bass line kicks off “TV Dog,” a fun thrasher that is surely a house party favorite. The band closes the album with the best tune “Bummer Baby,” a breezy ode to troubled teenage love, with Windom totally nailing the chorus of “Tonight I’m gonna sneak you out/Don’t be a bummer baby.”
Disaffected, fun and strung-out, Goth Grrl sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a grainy skate video where they miss every trick. Which someone should totally make happen.
The mask-wearing musical duo known as Bad Flamingo doesn’t really seem to have the public-sharing-push of this social media generation. In fact, the details about the musicians behind Bad Flamingo aren’t very forthcoming so we’ll have to let the music speak for itself. Their debut single, and only single to date, has a slick but stripped down style that carries enough of that Western swaggger to pass for a real desert rat, no matter their true home. “Whiskey Lies” is a promising start for Bad Flamingo. Let’s hope more tracks are to follow. Until then, you can start with “Whiskey Lies” below…
Hey, I know a lot of us are going through a rough time emotionally right now. Imad Royal seems to get that too. His new single reminds us that we all need to chill the fuck out. Effervescent energy flows through “Smile” while Imad Royal’s mantra-filled lyrics provide a moment of zen in this chaotic time of human history. The D.C. singer/songwriter/producer is currently out on tour with Louis the Child, but only has a week of downtime before hitting the road again. Give “Smile” a spin below and check here to see if Imad Royal will be stopping in your town. If you dig the single, continue on to the complete EP, Everything Happens, here.
The singer-songwriter known as Venture recently made the move from Portland to Phoenix so Valley residents should put forth the extra effort to get to know this transplanted songbird and her ethereal voice. “Sweet to Me” is the latest single from Venture who released “Diamonds” and “Sober” back in 2016 with accompanying music videos. Venture’s unique aesthetic extends beyond her music to her videos. There’s something a little old-fashioned thrown in with the very NOW that lends a refined air to the urban stripped-down style. Check out “Sweet to Me” below or head here to procure your own digi-download of the track.
There’s a long tradition of songwriters writing music as a response to another songwriter’s work that goes back to poets writing about shepherds and nymphs and probably even before that. “i still love you” was written in response to Jessie Reyez’s viral hit, “Figures“, which came out last year. Both singles can stand alone, each one raw and emotional in its own right, but together, they tell a story of love and betrayal that will tear at your heartstrings. Call Me Karizma will be playing 51 West in Tempe on March 10th so make sure all you locals mark your calendars. Before then, make sure you give “i still love you” a listen below…
This indie-electro artist from Idaho release this new single in February as follow-up to his debut track, “Sold”. Apsley might just be getting his footing under him in the music biz, but these two singles both suggest his future might be far reaching. On”Running”, Apsley layers crisp sounding elements to producing a mellow but still vivifying sound enhanced by his own effervescent vocals. Take “Running” for a spin below or head to iTunes to score your own copy.
Back in January, one of the Rose brothers (I can never tell which) released a new EP called Winter Trash. The title track of that release carries a somber and somewhat dejected air that permeates the entire release, even the kitschy closer, “Zack n Kelly”. Staying true to the lofi-style of the Roses that combines bedroom indie pop tinged with experimental underpinings, Niko Rose gives shape to some truly meditative singles. Check out Winter Trash by Niko Rose here, but feel free to start with the title track below for just a little sample.
Alt-R&B is growing in popularity with musicians like Alessia Cara and a number of new artists. And now you can add L.A.’s Wit to that list. Her chill new single “Love’s Not Enough” combines blues with contemporary permutations in indie pop that provide the launching pad for Wit’s sultry and powerful vocals. This is the second single from Wit so if you dig “Love’s Not Enough” consider checking out “Broken Clock”. Both tracks are available through Wit’s Soundcloud page, but I suggest starting with “Love’s Not Enough” below…
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nader, and I’m a commercial portrait and fashion photographer from Phoenix, Arizona.
How did you get your start?
I started years ago as the buddy with the disposable camera in high school. Yep, disposable. Kodak and Walgreens made some money from me back in the day, haha. As an adult I was doing corporate video production, and decided to invest in a DSLR for the first time in my life. From there, I took a ton of crappy images, but stuck to it and fostered my craft for several years. I’ve been shooting full-time for about 3 years now.
What inspires you?
People and light. It’s really that simple. I love sculpting with light, and I love interacting with my subjects to create.
What do you like about AZ?
I’m originally from Chicago, so my go-to answer used to be the weather. Nowadays, I have to say that Arizona has inspired me to connect with the planet more. Sounds cheesy, but the breathtaking views throughout this state have made this city boy appreciate nature and Earth with all of my heart.
Where can we see you(r) work?
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I want to see as much of the world as I can while engaging with and photographing the wonderful people who inhabit it.
What is your mantra?
Memento te hominem esse.
Brand new band Parlor Birds joined us at the Birdcage, that is, the Radio Phoenix Studios, earlier this month and now the podcast is available for your listening pleasure. We chatted with Mike and Kuhar about the band, what’s coming up, and, as usual, our guests brought along some killer tracks to play on the air. If you like what you hear, check out their second show at Rogue Bar on Saturday, March 4, and tune into the YabYum Music Hour every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 PM only on Radio Phoenix!
Parlor Birds “Lizzards”
Rose Colored Eyes “Deadman”
Treasurefruit “C’est La Vie”
Field Tripp “John Wayne”
Jay Allan and the Uncommon Good “Never Go Back”
Korbe Canida “Bathtub”
The Black Moods “So Good”
The Darts “Revolution”
The Sweet Nothings “Thoughts in my Head”
The Sink or Swim “Revolving Doors”
Wyves “Bitch Has Got Problems”
Recorded live on February 1, 2017
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