7 Rad Indie Rock Singles

rad indie rock singles 00Hollow Coats

“Fold”

There seems to be a holy trinity of musicians that sits at the center of Austin’s Hollow Coats but additional players help flesh out the sound on the band’s new single, “Fold”. And the sound here is fleshy: opulently layered and packing a hefty punch on the production. But, what really sold me on “Fold” were the atmospheric vocals and the haunting beauty of the lyrics they delivered. This is the debut single from Hollow Coats so let’s hope more releases are in the works – and soon! Give “Fold” a spin below…

The Ricky Fitts

“Nightmare”

This indie/alt act from Phoenix is making some waves in our dry desert. Yes, The Ricky Fitts only launched their sound only last year and they’ve already scored some pretty notable gigs since their inception. That might have something to do with their slick, radio-ready sound. “Nightmare” comes to us from the band’s debut LP, The Great Beyond, which dropped at the end of January. Infusing electropop and alt-rock elements with a hefty splash of revivalist New Wave, The Ricky Fitts craft out a fun sound on “Nightmare” that has enough of a dark overtone for all you brooders that still want to dance. Take the single for a spin below or head here to check out The Great Beyond.

Soft Animal

“Stay with Me”

“Stay with Me” is the opening track from Soft Animal’s concisely titled EP1 which they released last month. This single has a lofi psych-rock sound with a little bit of garage grit that will come in more as you continue through the full EP. The sound descends into moments of intentional disarray before meandering back to a more structured, but never too structured, sound. Check out “Stay with Me” from Soft Animal below or head here for that digi-download of EP1.

Bryde

“Less”

I really loved the grrrls of the 90s alt-rock scene and Brixton’s Bryde just might fill that hole in my life. On “Less”, Bryde moves between breathy angst to full on fury over grungy guitars. All you PJ Harvey fans should definitely spend some time with Bryde. If you want to delve further into what this artist has to offer, I suggest moving on to “Back to Believing” – a new, and gentler, single that is really quite enamoring. Get your growl on with Bryde below…

Bucolic

“Cold Clean”

If you like your post-rock with an extra heap of melodious sorrow, Bucolic is for you.  “Cold Clean” sets a somber scene that reminds me of a street lined in freshly fallen snow on a morning you have to be at work before 5 AM. Sure, it’s beautiful, but one’s inability to pause and really take in that moment lends an existential anguish to the biting cold. “Cold Clean” is beautiful, but it kicks you when you’re down… and I, uh, mean that in the best way possible. Bucolic is the brainchild of NJ artist Seth Carpenter and this single is part of an impending release that is due out in April so get on that Bucolic bandwagon sooner rather than later. Start with “Cold Clean” below…

St. Tropez

“Democracy”

The band known as St. Tropez is not actually from St. Tropez but Amsterdam. Their lively new single, “Democracy”, clocks in at under two minutes but there’s a lot of energy crammed into that time. The texturing gets heavy, but not in a full-on post-rock way. No, the vibe on “Democracy” stays more NYC scene rock than secret warehouse show. This single opens Debate, band’s 2017 EP, which (btw) does go full-on post-rock at moments. St. Tropez has enough of an experimental edge to keep things really interesting without ever totally abandoning form entirely. And, there’s a bit of a political slant that those of us in present-day Amerika can really appreciate. Give “Democracy” by St. Tropez a listen below…

MYFEVER

“Golden”

The alt-rockers from the ATL known as MYFEVER are gearing up for a new recording effort with the release of their latest single, “Golden”. Though the trio calls Georgia home, you might get a bit of a L.A. or Long Beach vibe from “Golden”. And, when I say Long Beach,  I’m talking in the alt-indie vein of Cold War Kids… not Sublime. MYFEVER will hopefully be hitting the studio soon to lay down Born for Spaces, their next album. Until then, spend some time with “Golden”.

7 Chill Music Videos

Venture
“Sober”

Chymes
“Oracle”

The Ghost of Helags
“Under My Skin”

Andrew Goldring
“Cosmic Dance”

Erin McCarley
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DYAN
“Reality”

Belle Noble
“Instinct”

YabYum Seven: David Dauncey

david dauncey 03Who are you and what do you do?

David Dauncey: I am an Englishman, I studied ceramics at University, as well as fine art. Eventually I moved into panting full-time and held positions at a couple of Art companies before starting my own business.

I paint de-constructed portraits, full of imperfections, surface quality, doubt, mistakes and love. I know more of myself through the people I paint and each day before I paint with nothing in my pocket, no wedding ring on my hand, no watch in my waistcoat. I enjoy painting to music each day. New gray hairs appear and if only one then that qualifies as change and growth. I try not to look too deeply into the eyes of my influences, but by no means do I exclude them from my lexicon of marks.

Artists are very often Magpie’s stealing glittery little bits from others to line their own burgeoning mindscapes. I love to paint, and at times I love to ignore it and refresh to get my hands dirty in the cactus beds.

How did you get your start?

I was studying to be a mechanic of sorts, but two good friends of mine encouraged me to apply to art school. Obviously they had little faith in my mechanical ways.

david dauncey 04What inspires you?

The walls of foreign countries, music, my peers, those that have come before. I think there is a crop of female artists based in Arizona at this time who can give any state a run for its money. So many inspirations: Kathe Kollwitz, Larry Rivers, Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud, Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Mitchell, Bonnard Soutine, Diego Velasquez, Antonio Tapies, as well as many current artists such as Daniel Segrove, Paul Christina and Razvan Boar.

What do you like about AZ?

I love that my wife is from here, that my children were born here, the cacti (exotic looking, to a kid from middle England), orange blossoms, my friends, the stubborn landscape, adults that ride children’s bikes, the strong Hispanic flavor and food, the mountains of the North.

david dauncey 01Where can we see you(r) work?

I am represented by Costello-Childs Contemporary in Scottsdale, as well as several art consultants, mainly in the Western U.S. You can come ‘round for a visit to my studio and have coffee and discuss what you would like to buy ☺

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

To see my kids do better things then I. To watch them become even more amazing would be priceless, uncountable. To buy a small farm in France, to visit many of the great grounds of European soccer that I have not visited. To master an instrument, to fully speak French and Italian, to still be regarded with a loving eye by my wife, to walk in more fog and more woods, to own a keen axe for wood-chopping.

What is your mantra?

“Everything in moderation” and “Adopt, Adapt, Improve”

~

david dauncey 02

7 Singer-Songwriters for an Easygoing Afternoon

7 singer-songwriters 004Ben Zaidi

“Irene”

Ben Zaidi certainly has as promising a start as any artist could hope for. After growing up in Seattle, Zaidi moved to New York City before attending Harvard University to study music and creative writing. The new single from the artist, “Irene”, is soulful and soft-spoken. The minimal texturing keeps the track’s focus where it belongs: on Zaidi’s subtly emotive voice and the poetic narrative within his lyrics. This is definitely a songwriter to watch. Give “Irene” a spin below and, if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into Ben Zaidi’s online musical offerings through Soundcloud here.

Julia Lucille

“Eternally”

Singer-songwriter Julia Lucille might be a California native, but she spent time in Portland studying music at Lewis and Clark College before moving to Austin, where she currently resides. I can definitely see Lucille’s ambient-folk sound doing well in any one of the aforementioned locations. There is a desolation that can be heard on “Eternally” that denotes a Western sensibility – something a little mystical yet still a little hopeless. “Eternally” comes to us from Julia Lucille’s forthcoming album, Chthonic, which comes out on April 7th so mark your calendar. Before that happens, sink down into “Eternally” below…

Jordan Prince

“Woman (One of These Days)”

Jordan Prince made the jump over the Big Pond, bringing his Louisiana folk all the way to Munich, Germany. His new single, “Woman (One of These Days)”, comes to us from Prince’s upcoming ep, No Manual. I love the simple, earthy sound and easygoing attitude. The lyrics don’t really describe your typical romantic sentiments, as the title might suggest. Instead, the author suggests the subject delves even further into “man’s perverted obsessions, and how he can’t control or forgive his own guilt as he becomes self aware of his action.” Despite the weighty topic, Jordan Prince keeps his melody lithe. Listen to “Woman (One of These Days)” below…

Stevie Talks

“Pollyanna”

This Costa Mesa artist has a distinctly coastal vibe in his indie-folk sound. Stevie Talks claims “Pollyanna” is about “a girl [he] cannot stand” but I think the songwriter might be a little conflicted on that particular point. In the same breath, “Pollyanna” comes across as anguished and wistful, but with enough bounce to keep the mood light. Give the single a spin below and, if you like the summery sound of Stevie Talks, you can move on to his previous single “LYM (Leave Your Man)” which came out a few months back. Let’s hope more songs are on the way.

Sasha

“Gracious”

The North London singer-songwriter who goes simply by the moniker Sasha creates ambient dreamscapes of sound. On her new single, “Gracious”, Sasha sets her nimble voice afloat the gentle current of a stark yet beautiful arrangement. “Gracious” is the perfect song for a mellow and meditative morning. Or perhaps you can find four minutes to zen out with the single before launching into your litany of tasks for the day. I can almost guarantee a calmer sense of being will stay with you throughout the rest of the day. Listen to “Gracious” below…

Alessandra

“Your River”

The Swedish musician known as Alessandra not only wrote and performed her new single, but she also produced the track. That’s rather ambitious for any young artist, but Alessandra pulls off the feat with great success. On “The River”, powerful vocals are met with equal energy from the underlying soundscape. “Your River” marks the first single from Alessandra’s soon-to-be-released debut EP.  This emotive number centers on an experience of bittersweet summer love. And, for anyone who’s been there, you feel the sudden return of those heart-wrenching highs and lows as you listen to “Your River”. Which you should do. Right now.

Carmen Rosa

“Wild One”

London singer-songwriter Carmen Rosa is gearing up to release her debut EP with this new single. “Wild One” combines smokey vocals with an aural landscape that has a cinematic feel. I can easily imagine this song playing as a dramatic scene carries out on the silver screen with slinky satin dresses and plenty cigarette smoke. This is a promising start for the EP to come from Carmen Rosa which should be available next week (March 31) through Hometown Records. Until then, enjoy “Wild One” below…

7 Awesome Americana Music Videos

Courtney Marie Andrews
“Put the Fire Out”

Bad Dad
“Sum Bunny Gun Love Me”

The Rayo Brothers
“Coronet”

Lydia Ramsey
“Ghosts”

Jill Brown
“Loaded Gun”

The Settlement
“Clean Trouble”

Bart Budwig
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Date Night with the Arizona Theatre Company

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The weather’s warming up and, for Arizonans, that often means hibernation season is almost upon us. But, we at YabYum say NAY to that. Instead, we’re going to start offering you some cool locales to check out until it’s safe to venture outdoors once again. To kick things off, we went to Downtown Phoenix for the Arizona Theatre Company’s production of Albatross at the Herberger Theater.

DeSoto Central Marketdate night 01

Of course, under the pretense of “Date Night” I insisted we start with dinner at DeSoto Central Market. This really should be the date spot, especially for those couples who a prone to bickering when deciding where to go for dinner (see Couples Fight). Contained within DeSoto’s inviting sprawl is a foodie haven where vendors provide an array of options, from burgers and contemporary Southern cuisine to Latin American-Asian fusion, an oyster bar, and more. I opted for the delightful fresh (and locally sourced) offerings of RADISH, and not just because they had a cold-pressed juice called Citrus Clouds (see Citrus Clouds, the band). But, I’m certainly not going to say that wasn’t part of my decision making process.

DeSoto Central Market is a great place to stay and relax for a long evening with good company. Cocktails, craft beer, and coffee can all be found on site so you can grab a table (or a couch) and really settle in. But, on this particular evening, we were off to the Herberger Theater to catch the ATC’s production of Albatross

date night 02Arizona Theatre Company

And, just in case you’re wondering, the albatross of the title is that albatross. The one you were probably forced to read about in high school. I, for one, love Coleridge and his great epic, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but I know I’m that annoying person in your lit class that read the suggested reading list over summer break, like, the entire list.

So when I learned that two clever playwrights had taken Coleridge’s poem and transformed it into a one-man, one-act play, I was excited. My companion for the evening, and fellow YabYum editor, was not quite as excited about the prospect. Turns out, he was in for quite a surprise. Benjamin Evett, as that ill-fated mariner, captivated the audience with his tale of anguish and adventure and then more anguish with some laughter thrown in for good measure.

Albatross continues through this weekend if you’re still hashing out your itinerary. You might want to leave the kiddos at home for this one, however. That sailor swears like a sailor. The Arizona Theatre Company has two more shows left of their 2016/17 Season and both look like real gems: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash and a Holmes & Watson mystery. I suggest looking into them.

The Grand Central Coffee Companydate night 03

Of course, Albatross left our small party feeling contemplative so we went to The Grand Central Coffee Company which might be my new favorite place in Phoenix. The Grand, as the regulars call it, was designed to emulate “an old Victorian train station” in direct opposition to the “present day dystopia”. In addition to the coffee mentioned in their official title, The Grand boasts a full bar. How cool is that? Rumor has it, The Grand will soon be opening their kitchen and extending their already extensive hours of operation to the full 24/7. Yes, folks, Phoenix might finally get a real open-all-night coffee shop.

~

Don’t be a stick in the mud and hide from the sun all summer by yourself. Get out there and engage the world around you. And there are some pretty sweet air-conditioned spots that beckon you to explore the city. Be bold.

7 Contemporary R&B Music Videos to Help You Chill Out

Oyinda
“Serpentine”

Justina Valentine
“Crushin on You”

Eliza Nercessian
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Issa e
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Rellie
“Link”

Ako
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Jae Franklin
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7 Singles for a Mellow Morning

mellow 000Daniel Trakell

“Paradise”

Hey Melbourne, I think someone needs to hug Daniel Trakell. Or maybe several someones. “Paradise” is the most beautifully depressing, elusively suicidal thing I’ve heard since Elliott Smith’s posthumously released New Moon – I can’t stop listening and it breaks my heart every single time I hear it. There is a sublime peace at the core of “Paradise” that is carried in Trakell’s voice. The artist sought a “deliberately funereal feel” and I guess it was a success. I want this song played at my funeral. The complete EP, which shares its name with this single, comes out on March 24th. Before that happens, listen to “Paradise” below so you can share in the anticipation.

Candy Cigarettes

“Stockholm”

The Portland indie act known as Candy Cigarettes released this single earlier this year and I’ve amassed quite a few listens since then. “Stockholm” kicks of with an indie-folk sound before moving into more dream pop terrain and back again. The song presents a strange sense of isolation or, maybe not so strange, considering Candy Cigarettes is the solo effort of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Lane Mueller. As you move through “Stockholm” it will probably surprise you when you remember that this track is the creation of only one artist. This song isn’t quite as brooding as others, but it is no less meditative. Check out “Stockholm” from Candy Cigarettes below…

Willetta

“Books”

Willetta released a collection songs earlier this month, and if you haven’t already taken a swim through the cool, murky waters of Frisson, you should. “Books”, the middle child of this three-track, proved my favorite, and for more than just the personal obvious affinity for its title and narrative. On this single, Anna shares both a gravitas weight and gossamer lightness which her voice is capable of in full splendor. Implementing both aspects helps give to shape the emotionally complex soundscapes that define Willetta’s drone-folk sound. This song, like others from Willetta, present more of a thinkpiece rather than a traditional “single” so plan on repeat listens. Sink into “Books” below and then check out Frisson (available here). 

Timid, the Brave

“Alice”

I don’t know what I found most compelling about this new single from Ontario’s Timid, the Brave: the understated beauty of the music or the emotional depth of the lyrics. Tim Selles, the musician behind Timid, the Brave, wrote the song “Alice” after his grandmother passed away. According to the artist, “Alice” is “a song about love and life and death, and finding a way to fight through the varying levels of devastation that we all experience.” That seems like a hefty order to fill, but Timid, the Brave does just that with such grace you won’t even notice the sorrow that’s carved out a chink in your chest. At least, not immediately. This track comes to us from the album Firesale which Timid, the Brave released on Feb. 24th through Other Songs, an independent label based out of Ontario.

 Jesse Jo Stark

“Driftwood”

L.A. lass Jesse Jo Stark might be a relative newcomer on the scene, but she’s been locking down new fans fast with her single, “Driftwood”. Stark’s voice clambers from brooding depths to uplifting heights with the easy grace of a mountain goat. There is something earthy and authentic that one might not expect from the likes of a longtime La La Land resident. Rather than going for the glitz, Stark keeps it simple and honest as she delves the seemingly aimless intentions of love. Stark co-wrote “Driftwood” with Jonathan Rice who you might know from his work with Jenny Lewis. Rice also produced the single. I’m certainly hoping this song only marks the beginning for Jesse Jo Stark and more tracks follow soon. Until then, give “Driftwood” a spin below…

The Elephants

“I Can Feel You”

This indie-rock duo from the Ukraine crafts out a dreamy but melancholy sound on “I Can Feel You”. The instrumentation on this single has an ethereal air that is met with muted vocals. Nothing grating or jarring will abscond your sense of inner peace as you float on the gentle waters of “I Can Feel You”. This single comes to us from The Elephants’ 10-track LP, Colors, which is available here. Give “I Can Feel You” a spin below and  follow up the full release.

Skin & Bones

“Lightless Star”

We dig the roots rock music of Skin & Bones and first featured them back in November last year. And now, the Cali-duo is back with a new number. “Lightless Star” still has that blues-rock feel that drives the band’s sound, but this single is a little more mellow and a little more passionate. I guess one should expect as much from a song somewhat inspired by the poem “For the Anniversary of My Death” by W.S. Merwin [see here]. Give “Lightless Star” a listen below…

7 Rad Rock Videos from Alt to Post

KAIS
“Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

Jesus on Heroine
“Musasabi”

The Effecter
“Back for a Moment”

Greenhouse
“Greenhouse”

Dog Trainer
“Graffiti”

Haárps
“Open Ground”

Fluid Notion
“Think We Lost”