5 Eclectic Indie Electro Singles You Should Hear

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Yelle

“Interpassion”

If you’re planning a Postmodern rollerskating party this summer, YELLE will provide the playlist. The French Electropop songster creates a lush but breathable sound space for that ultra hip vocal delivery that has marked YELLE’s music thus far: sorta disimpassioned yet super fun in the same breath. But the message is often positive and carries its own passion and “Interpassion” is no different. Give the single a spin below or get your own digi-download here.

Me Not You

“Kill the Noise”

The NY duo of Nikki Taylor and Eric Zeiler is known as Me Not You and together they create the simultaneously grungy and ethereal sound you’ll hear on their single, “Kill the Noise”. There’s a bit of super cool 90s sound mixed into this totally modern indie/electro soundscape that will have you hooked. Gritty instrumentation bolsters the radiant vocal layers on “Kill the Noise”. Listen for yourself below or head here to score the two-single from Me Not You that includes this track as well as their song, “Bulletproof”.

EXES

“Cain”

Prepare to have your heart broken. The L.A. duo known as EXES dives down deep to unearth the raw emotional force of loss for their new single, “Cain”. The electro-dream-pop pairing of Allie McDonald and producer Mike Derenzo bring this personal story of heartache to vibrant life on “Cain”. From McDonald’s celestial vocals to the instrumental support of Derenzo as it moves from embracing to uplifting, “Cain” is powerful and that force won’t diminish on repeated listens. I know. I’ve tried. Give “Cain” from EXES a spin below or head here for the digi-download.

Orchards

“Darling”

The vibrant hook-heavy math-pop of Orchards blasts the listener with an August breeze on that first spin of “Darling”. Intentionally erratic and totally catchy, “Darling” just might the song that stays with you all summer. The Brighton band just wrapped up a tour with PWR BTTM but don’t be disappointed if you missed them live. Hopefully, Orchards will find time to shape out some new shiny new singles on their reprieve from the road. Get your own copy of “Darling” from Orchards here, but you can preview the single below first.

Clean/Cut

“Bring Down the House”

Clean/Cut throws a slick HipHop rhyme over the electro-inspired beat of “Bring Down the House”. This single comes to us from the San Diego duo’s 2017 EP, The Line, which came out in March. “Bring Down the House” has all the charge of a club hit but keeps just enough chill in the atmosphere for a poolside playlist. Check out the single from Clean/Cut below or head here for the full EP. Plenty of bangers in the mix there.

RINNGS

“Cutting the Cloth”

The London-based electro duo known as RINNGS brings together the work of multi-instrumentalists Karl Zine and Nai Jannson. As RINNGS, the pair moved away from traditional instrumentation to create richly textured tracks using only vocals and percussion. RINNGS describes their sound as “expressive alt pop” and that phrase really rings true on their debut single, “Cutting the Cloth”. The pair sample from a variety of sources from sacred choral music and Indian cartoons to the beats of the 1959 Wurlizer Sideman for this layered production. Give “Cutting the Cloth” a listen below or head here to snag your own copy of the track.

7 Funky Fresh Singles to Add to Your Playlist

fresh new singlesby Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

Lately I’ve been thinking to myself, “Gee Mark, what sort of hiphop-R&B-jazz artists really move you these days?” I actually didn’t have an answer. Luckily, we receive volumes of submissions and I was able to discover exactly what I set out to find. Check out these 7 brand new tracks I just can’t seem to stop playing…

Bad Poetry Club

“The Words”

“The Words” by the recently formed Northeastern crew, Bad Poetry Club, pretty much epitomizes what I love in hiphop: high quality flows, some serious melody (that sax!), and beatboxing. That’s right, “embossed beatbox aptitude” to be exact. I mean, who’s doing that these days?? Bad Poetry Club, that’s who. Featuring Michael Wilbur (Moon Hooch instrumentalist), Tonio Sagan (producer, lyricist, and grandson of astrophysicist Carl Sagan), Honeycomb (beatboxer, producer), and Sotorios (Political Animals frontman) Bad Poetry Club is basically a super group and “The Words” is their inaugural, must-listen debut. Shout-out to Garrett Sawyer for that fat bass line as well on this first single off their upcoming, eponymous, debut album. If you dig what you’re hearing you should also check out their brand new song “Look Up In The Sky.” But first, start with “The Words” below…

Brother Ali

“Own Light (What Hearts Are For)”

The Minneapolis MC Brother Ali is back with his first studio album in five years, All The Beauty In This Whole Life, featuring the stellar first single and theme song off the new album “Own Light (What Hearts Are For)”. As Brother Ali states about “Own Light”, “Healthy hearts house the light that animates all that we are, and everything we do. The light in our hearts is what allows us to hear, heal and be whole.” Featuring production on the entire album by Atmosphere’s Anthony “Ant” Davis and dropping May 5 on Rhymesayers, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of All The Beauty In This Whole Life. Until then, be swept away with Brother Ali’s fantastic new single “Own Light” below and catch him at Club Red on May 19.

Smokey Joe & The Kid

“Mister Nice Guy” ft. MysDiggi

Smokey Joe & The Kid, two producers out of Bordeaux, France, have released a electroswing/hiphop classic with “Mister Nice Guy”. Utilizing multiple areas of production from MPC to live, “Mister Nice Guy” is straight fire and features the vocal stylings of MysDiggi, the London-based, world-touring MC. This track is MysDiggi essentially arguing that he is a nice guy despite the fact that he might get a little “savage on attack” when he hears the right kinda’ beat. We’ve all been there. This track has been on repeat for weeks now and I’m really digging what Smokey Joe & The Kid are putting out. Listen to “Mister Nice Guy” right now.

ARMORS

“Kerosene”

ARMORS’ latest single “Kerosene” starts with a West Coast drop before resolving into an acoustic intro that evolves into a stellar future bass rhythm. And that’s just the beginning. This Orange County pop band certainly blends heavy amounts of R&B into their music and “Kerosene” shines as the result. The unabashed modern truth of the hook, “If I don’t make it/I’m taking the world with Me/Swimming in kerosene/I’m taking everything” is so good it makes me hit repeat every damn time. The entire production is solid full of great verses, a highly repeatable pre-chorus/bridge, and a stellar breakdown of “slowly we disintegrate.” I highly recommend checking out “Kerosene” by ARMORS below.

Mogli the Iceburg

“You Can’t Hold Me Down”

Mogli the Iceburg’s new single “You Can’t Hold Me Down” is a conscious car-banger and is already making waves in the hiphop conversation with its often unheard perspective of racial dynamics. As Mogli states: “Got grandpa that was German/Got grandpa that’s a Mexican/But don’t you say that round him/Get corrected, we American.” Having to constantly check your privilege and be mistaken for the wrong ethnicity certainly can’t be easy and Mogli the Iceburg deals with these realities and frustrations head on throughout the entire song. The third track off his new album Tumultu – which drops everywhere on April 14 – check out “You Can’t Hold Me Down” below.

flowers de moon

“Scifi Pulp ’72”

Jazzy as fuck, flowers de moon’s new track “Scifi Pulp ’72” grooves from the very start. Then that hook drops and you’re like “Damn.” Then THAT SAX drops and you’re like “Oh no they didn’t.” Comprised of vocalist Olivia Price and producer Doug Fraley I’m definitely digging what these Pittsburgh cats are bringing. Self-described as combining “poetic and mesmerizing vocals with trippy electronic melodies to create a unique sound that is intricate and technical without losing any emotional edge” I simply couldn’t have written it better myself so I didn’t. Listen to “Scifi Pulp ’72” by flowers de moon below. Props to Kevin Vose on the sax as well!

AhLWYS

“up2U”

Chris Anderson and Jordan Robertson comprise AhLWYS, an experimental hiphop/R&B collective based out of New Orleans. “up2U” is a kick-back track, perfect for both late Friday nights and early Sunday mornings. Although it may be tagged with an agreeable “R&B & Soul”, I certainly hear some of the current “*wave” effects within their music and I like it. With extensive backgrounds in studying and performing jazz music you can certainly hear that influence in their arrangement of “up2U”. Featuring guitar by Freddy Banker, give a listen to “up2U” by AhLWYS below.

7 Rad New Singles

radCocoRosie

“Smoke ’em Out”

CocoRosie is hard at work on a new album, but they unleashed this single in January to combat the cultural malaise that seems to be the marker of 2017. I’ve been a fan of this Paris-based duo ever since La maison de mon rêve came out back in ’04 so I was super excited to hear a new album is on the horizon. “Smoke ’em Out” features guest vocalist, and fellow “Future Feminist”, ANOHNI. If future freak folk is your thing, I definitely suggest checking out the new single from CocoRosie below. Or, if you’re like me, you’re going to want to add this to your personal library (available here).

Draa

“Even in My Dreams (All My Life)”

All you Draa fans should start getting excited now. The PHX 4-piece are gearing up for the release of a 7″ which features this brand-spanking-new single, “Even in My Dreams (All My Life)”. This dreamy post-pop number addresses the feelings of uncertainty that can arise in these unmapped lives of ours, but it does so in soothing way so as not to give rise to any additional anxiety. The 7″ will be released on March 10th through Funeral Party Records. The Deluxe Edition comes with a cassette of Draa’s Part Time Punks Sessions (previously unreleased) but that bonus is limited so get on that pre-order now.

Tashaki Miyaki

“Girls on T.V.”

This is another musical duo, but this time out of Los Angeles. Tashaki Miyaki has a dreamy lofi sound that has me totally enamored. “Girls on T.V.” came out in January as a little sample of the duo’s recently released album, The Dream. As you drift along on the lithe vocals, the garage-tinged indie sound will begin to dissolve into some heavy texturing before returning to its prior permutations, just to keep things interesting. This is a great single for summertime with its casual, cool kid attitude and easygoing melody. Sink into “Girls on T.V.” from Tashaki Miyaki below or head here to peruse the complete LP.

Eli & The Itches

“At Least Not Yet”

Eli Pearl is the man behind the music of Eli & The Itches. A native on the L.A. scene, Pearl grew up in Venice Beach and put in his time honing his chops in the city’s venues before he decided to focus on his own sound. Eli & The Itches is the result of that effort. Pearl assumes a gender-bending persona in the glamrock ballad “At Least Not Yet”. There is an air of drama on this track that Pearl really pulls off without sounding trite. And the music has a supercool swagger to it. Check out “At Least Not Yet” from Eli & The Itches below…

Superorganism

“something for your M.I.N.D.”

So, stay with me on this, Superorganism is a DIY musical project made up of a Japanese teenager living in Maine and seven of her London-based friends. This super chill single marks the band’s recording debut and I’m guessing we’re going to have to wait a minute for the live experience given the ocean that divides the players. “something for your M.I.N.D.” takes mellow electropop to a whole new level of zen with its trippy but unobtrusive instrumental layers. Let’s hope there are more singles in the works from Superorganism. One just isn’t enough. Give “something for your M.I.N.D.” a spin below…

Eli Raybon

“Unsymmetrical”

L.A. transplant Eli Raybon is gearing up for the April release of his LP, Greenwith this catchy new single. “Unsymmetrical” hooks listeners with its rapid fire lyrics while the stripped down production proves you can do a whole lot with just a little. The single has an alt-rock/pop fusion feel with some NYC rock club fuzz thrown in for good measure.  Check out “Unsymmetrical” by Eli Raybon below, then head here to add the track to your personal playlists.

 Christmas Pets

“Glow”

The rocknroll 4-piece out of Cleveland known as Christmas Pets crafted this catchy lofi single set for release on sweet 7″ vinyl on March 15th. “Glow” keeps things simple but nuanced with its unpolished sound and gang vocals. There is a raw energy on “Glow” that feels both intentional and authentic – a rare combination, indeed. I’m definitely interested to see what comes next from Christmas Pets and, thankfully, I won’t have to wait too long because March is just around the corner. Until then, enjoy “Glow” below…

 

7 Lively (and Eclectic) Indie Singles

eclectic indie singles 00

Foresteater

“Big Deceiver”

So, Foresteater is one of those band’s that snuck up on me. I heard about them, but I hadn’t heard them until it came around time to work on the 2016 awards. Only then did I learn about Nightlife of the Exploding Heads. For shame, I know. Thankfully, Foresteater is on my radar so I was very excited to discover “Big Deceiver” – a new single from the band less than a year after their debut EP. This track has the effervescent, dreaming-in-space feel that marked the band’s indie sound back in 2016, but I must say, this might be my favorite Foresteater track ever. Bright harmonies lift your spirits, despite the serious implications of the lyrics, while the catchy melody carries you along. Mikey Pro, the man behind the moniker, is doing good things here. Give “Big Deceiver” a spin below…

COTE

“Cruel”

We featured COTE’s single, “London”, back in September and she’s back to offer up another gem. Cote’s voice is velvet rich, both deep and lithe, and casts out authentic emotive energy on “Cruel” as the instrumentation builds to culmination. There’s a real vulnerability that emerges within the tracks ruminations on loneliness and needful loves. Give “Cruel” a listen below and then head to Soundcloud to check out more tracks available from NYC’s COTE.

Lunch Ladies

“Pick Yourself Up”

The NJ dream pop band known as the Lunch Ladies are releasing their debut LP this coming March, but they dropped this little ditty in prelude to their forthcoming album. “Pick Yourself Up” carries an aloof air within its upbeat indie sound; something cool if not disheartened and a little distant. Listen to “Pick Yourself Up” below and join us in the wait for the Lunch Ladies’ LP, Down on Sunset Strip, which will be released through Good Eye Records next month.

Jillian and the Giants

“Champagne and Pearls”

The Tucson act known as Jillian and the Giants released their sophomore EP, Mr. Airplane, last year and they already have a new single to offer up listeners. “Champagne and Pearls” is a new favorite in my book. Jillian and the Giants is an act known for their amazing story telling skills and this story just so happens to take place on the day the world ends. The indie sound on this single takes on an Eastern European-folk hue – a little different from the band’s buoyant sound. Let’s hope there’s a new collection Jillian is currently cooking up with her Giants. Until then, enjoy “Champagne and Pearls” below…

Yellow Radio

“Cold Cold Shower”

Let’s get a little rowdy with the Parisian duo known as Yellow Radio. “Cold Cold Shower” has all the energy and style you could want from your indie rock. The single comes from the band’s 2016 release, Night Life. The full album offers this listener a lot of variance from track to track. “Cold Shower” is the song you put on when you’re getting ready to barhop on the weekend or that date you hope ends more Showtime than Disney. Give “Cold Shower” a listen below or head here to preview/purchase the complete album from Yellow Radio.

L.A. Spring

“Heart and Soul”

Despite the West Coast suggestion of this band’s name, L.A. Spring is actually a London-based 3-piece. “Heart and Soul” is a radio-ready number with a bit of New Wave appeal that emerges from the band’s exploration of electronic influences. Sometimes, that retro-synth sound can feel a bit played out these days, considering it seems to be the new hotness, but L.A. Spring manages a refreshingly modern sound that is accentuated by the presence of synths rather than overburdened. Give “Heart and Soul” by L.A. Spring a spin below…

Golden Halos

“Page Nineteen”

Here we have another duo going for that New Wave synth sound. “Page Nineteen” keeps the energy up on this post-punk / indie pop mashup, but the tone here is a little more aggressive and a touch gloomier. If Oingo Boingo left an absence in your heart, Portland’s Golden Halos just might be able to fill that hole for you. This song addresses the topic of “narcissism and alienation enabled by modern personal technology and social media” so I think Danny Elfman would approve. I certainly do. “Page Nineteen” comes to us from the band’s 2017 release, Farewell Strange Attractor, and you can check it out for yourself below…

7 Sounds from Around the World

world 000by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

These days, we’re receiving submissions from all around the world and we thought it would be fun to share some of the stellar singles sent to us from afar. Sometimes, the music carries a hint of its geographical origin, but often it doesn’t and these days we can’t discern whether a punk band is from Detroit or the Ukraine just by listening to the single…

Roberto Fonseca

“Afro Mambo”

Roberto Fonseca is a pianist from La Habanna that creates fiery Cuban Jazz that will have you shimmying from the start to the finish of his new single.  Maybe that’s why Fonseca landed on Billboard’s Critics Picks list for crafting one of the 10 Best Latin Albums of 2016.  Check out the music video for “Afro Mambo” and you’ll be sold. Oh, and btw, this single comes to us from Roberto Fonseca’s 2016 release, ABUC, which is available here.

The Curious Incident

“Behaviour Saviour”

The Curious Incident combines the talents of “Kairo (from South Africa) and Diaz (from Indonesia) who found their way to England via The Netherlands.” England, much like the U.S., counts residents from all around the globe. This band fuses styles of eclectic origin into one fluid sound that’s as contemplative as it is dance-able. Give “Behaviour Saviour” a listen below or head here for your own digi-download of the track.

 TanoKalpee

“No One”

Tano & Kalpee and their island-infused sound come to us from Trinidad and Tobago. “No One” could just as easily emerged from an L.A. studio with its slick, stripped-down electropop and superb vocals. Listeners can glean hues of R&B and indie pop in this single. Take “No One” for a spin here…

H3lgeland

“Goodbye America”

Well, this band from Norway certainly doesn’t have high hopes for us and, in the wake of our 2016 election, we get that. We’re afraid too. This single was sent along with the simple explanation, “This is a song about Trump getting elected for president and that nothing will ever be the same again.” We get that too. Thankfully, the band’s mellow electro-indie vibe calms the soul a little, even if it doesn’t assuage the fears. Check out the video for “Goodbye America” from H3lgeland below…

dema

“Control?”

This experimental noise project comes to us from two musicians out of Tel Aviv; Dan Mayo and Tamuz Dekel. “Control?” immediately establishes a steady and dominating rhythm around which the sound waxes and wanes. There is a gritty, edgy quality to the sound of dema that toys with dissonance without entirely abandoning the constraints of structure. For that you’ll have to delve further into love, the EP from dema where “Control?” can also be found. Listen to “Control?” below or head here for the complete release.

Gudrun von Laxenburg

“Revolution”

Austria’s Gudrun Von Laxenburg goes for a hyper-realistic vision of a dystopian future in his music video for the single, “Revolution”. The visual accompaniment is totally befitting for Laxenburg’s style of EDM: futuristic, driving, and a little anxious. Delve into the cinematic experience of “Revolution” below then head here to add the single to your personal EDM collection.

Dojo

“Bethel”

The collective of jazz and reggae musicians known as Dojo includes artists from London, Paris, Nigeria, and Lebanon that achieve a universal sound. The smooth and funky music of “Bethel” delivers a peaceful message from the band’s non-religious spirituality and harmony between all living things. Check out the music video for “Bethel”, directed by Tom Vernau, below or head here to score your own copy of the single.

5 Mellow Singles

mellow singles 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Karima Walker

Lullaby

Ever have one of those days where every song sounds the same? That was my day and then I heard “Lullaby” from Tucson’s Karima Walker. The song had a way of soothing my weary soul (and ears). Mellow and meditative, “Lullaby” is just that, a lullaby. Not the kind you sing your child to sleep with, but maybe. Walker creates soundscapes as painters create landscapes. Her songs belong in a gallery. Drift away with “Lulllaby” then stick around to listen to more offerings from Karima Walker.

Michelle Blades

Te Recuerdo Amanda

You might be thinking, didn’t Michelle Blades move to Paris? Yes, she did, but she often visits and on one such trip she recorded this breathtaking number with Phoenix’s own Eamon Ford this past May. “Te Recuerdo Amanda” is a cover of a Victor Jara song and Michelle Blades brings her own experimental undertones to this rendition. This track is a must-hear single. Listen to it. Listen to it now. And, if you missed her last performance at The Trunk Space, you missed out. Let’s hope this globe trotter has plans on another pass through Phoenix sometime soon.

Saydi

“Lavender Ghost”

If Saydi’s been around since 2010, how come I’m only discovering her now? How did this not get to us through the appropriate channels? Considering this is her first single, I will allow it to pass, but we should have been told. Tempe’s Saydi creates a dreamy dancepop that is totally enamoring on “Lavender Ghost”. If this single is any indication of what’s to come, I would keep an eye (or ear) on Saydi.

Scattered Melodies

Legacy

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Scattered Melodies (for shame), the “band” is actually the musical pairing of Josh Montag (percussion) and Jake Johnston (bass) and a variable cast of musical guests from the local music scene. For their latest single, “Legacy”, Scattered Melodies joined forces with Laura Hamlin (vocals) and Jack Howell (piano/guitar/strings). Josh Montag wrote this song for his mother and debuted it at his wedding for the mother-son dance. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you are cold, downright cold. The song is a divergence from the band’s usual hippie groove to something a little more sentimental. Give it a listen.

gillwire

Tragedy Sells

The coffee-pop act known as gillwire is the brainchild of Jonathan Gil Thwaits. The Chandler band is preparing for the impending release of their debut album by sharing a few rough cuts including the single, “Tragedy Sells”. Combining Ben Folds-esque vocal stylings with an airy alt-pop. Don’t let the name of the track fool you, “Tragedy Sells” is an upbeat number with a bit of lyrical bite. Keep in mind, these tracks are unmastered, but they offer a little sampling of what’s to come. For the finished product, you’ll have to head to Sozo Coffee in Chandler on July 8th (or wait for the digital release).

Closing the Distance: Marianne Dissard

Marianne Dissard 01Closing the Distance is a new series in which we try to expose artists with desert roots who have since moved to other locales. Let’s bring this community a little closer together.

by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

Is it fair to call Marianne Dissard an “International Jet Setter”? Why not?

Having toured the world extensively whether by foot, or donkey, or Trans-Siberian Rail (I’m sincerely hoping jalopy, junk boat, and helicopter too), playing her unique “baroque desert noir chanson” music to thousands of fans, it’s easy to think that the title might apply.

I think I prefer “Adventurer” or “Explorer”. Something more along the lines of Jeanne Baré, Isabelle Eberhardt, Nellie Bly or… Tintin. Forging her own path and creating her own destiny.

When she sent us news about her latest release, Cibola Gold: Best of 2008 – 2015, calling it, “my closing statement as a​ the odd​ ​chanteuse ​out ​in Arizona…a farewell to my beloved Tucson” including a new 24-page booklet of photos and musings she herself designed, I had to take the opportunity to ask some questions about life in Europe, the musical process, and what’s next for Dissard.

Mark Anderson for YabYum: Where in Europe do you currently reside? Please tell us all that you do there.

Marianne Dissard: ​I left Arizona almost three years ago. I first aimed at living in Sicily (Palermo) but wound up spending a year in Paris teaching yoga, on a sabbatical from performing and making my own music. Then I spent a year in a small Italian town called Matera (in the small, quiet region of Basilicata) to write a book of memoirs about my return to Europe. I’ve since been bouncing from Italy to Berlin and London, and Paris depending on where I have shows.

Marianne Dissard 02What were your thoughts on the Tucson/Arizona music scene when you moved in 2013? Did anything in particular prompt the move to Europe? I know you’ve toured there often…

MD: ​I was born in France but left with my parents for Mesa when I was a teenager (yes, I went to school at Dobson High ;). After studying film in LA at USC, I went to Tucson in 1994 to make a film on Giant Sand. I didn’t leave for two decades, sucked in by the music scene down there. I owe it all I’ve become. My collaborations with Tucson musicians – mostly those orbiting around Calexico and Giant Sand – has made my music what it is but it was time to move. I’d been more and more inspired and drawn to scenes beyond Tucson after meeting by chance a DJ from Minneapolis’ Rhymesayers label. This led to collaborations with BK-One and Budo, and a desire to experiment further with my own work.

I’ve heard from various folks that live music seems to be appreciated more in Europe. Would you agree with this? If so, why do you suppose that is?

MD: ​Live music is appreciated differently in Europe than in the States, as is food or coffee. For the kind of music I do, I would say there are more state subsidies and institutionalized support, as well as maybe more affluent fans.

Marianne Dissard 03Please tell us about Cibola Gold. Why did you want to release this collection now?

MD: ​I like to round things up nicely, for my own sake as well as that of my current or future fans and a “Best Of” is a way of guiding them through my work.​ My albums have evolved in style from the first, a more folky, Calexico-tinged venture to the darker, Nick Cav-ish sounds of the latest. It might feel complex to sum it up and it is. BK-One says it best in the essay he wrote for Cibola Gold’s booklet: “Marianne’s music plays effortlessly with contradictions. Tender, yet abrasive. Melodramatic, but vulnerable. Comical and heartbreaking.​”

How and where did you meet Yan Péchin? Please tell us about him. Are they any other members of your band at this time you’d care to tell us about?

MD: ​Blessed in Tucson with such fabulous backup tour musicians​​​ (Sergio Mendoza, Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan…), I was under the gun to come up with European players who could bring the same energy and passion to ​the live shows. I remembered this French guitar player I had seen in 2001 in Paris – and whose skills and style became the benchmark for any guitarists I worked with from that day. I called him up a couple of years ago and we started touring Europe as a duo mostly. He’s just about as dramatic as I get on stage, with expressionistic pedal work I’ve only ever witnessed from Tucson maestro Connor Gallaher.

Being a world-traveler, please relate a favorite place to play that you have experienced. What made it so special?

​MD: A favorite place? Maybe the poolside show I did in 2011 at the Great Wall near Beijing? ​Or the benefit show in Christchurch’s tiny port town (reminded me of Bisbee!) after the major earthquake that wiped its venues? And definitely the shows on my Pyrénées walking tour, when, alongside my gear-carrying donkey, I went from small town to villages of my home region.

Marianne Dissard 04Living in Europe right now, is there a heightened sense of fear or alarm due to terrorism that you yourself notice? I imagine it could be similar to the U.S. where it always “looms in the distance” but perhaps it’s more direct over there. Do you feel as comfortable as in the past traveling the countryside?

MD: ​Yes, I feel safer than in Arizona, less paranoid about walking into a restaurant where a gun-toting madman is eating his tots. I was in Paris when the November attacks happened. The next day’s sounds (helicopters, sirens) reminded me of the sounds of my neighborhood in Tucson and the people’s attitudes for a few weeks following (kinder, calmer) also reminded me that there is another way to live than this stressful, neighbor-hating survival mode we take for normal here – and everywhere. I am spending this month volunteering in Calais, France at the service of the migrants of the Jungle camp. What I’m seeing there is a dream in action, from all the volunteers on the ground, of what Europe could be: open, tolerant, curious, loving. The borders are alike everywhere, from Calais to Nogales. Our responsibilities are the same.

What is in the works for Marianne Dissard? More music videos? New singles? Parts of the world to visit?

MD: ​I’m writing a book (due sometime late this year), will be recording a new album in Paris with producer Budo. I’m also producing an album myself for this great Franco-american artist, Allyson Ezell. And yes, more videos, always. They’re little bits of comic reliefs in my life that I truly enjoy crafting.

~

Preview Cibola Gold: Best of 2008 – 2015 below. I strongly recommend purchasing the Signed Deluxe Edition CD available through her Bandcamp page which includes the aforementioned 24 page booklet – along with the music, the visual stimuli and prose found within imbue a sense totality for the listener. For more info on Marianne Dissard, visit her website.

Marianne Dissard 05

t0rphy & Stembreo: Misty Under the Grifting Tree

stembreo 01Collaboration haunts with recent sound collage…

by Chris Nunley
Staff Writer

What is “music” to you? Or better yet, what do you perceive music is to most people? Is it the presence of melody and harmony? A super-dope-phat digital beat from a laptop? Vocals processed and auto-tuned to the point that the listener can’t differentiate between any two singers? The catchy hook that will be here today and gone in a week’s time? Or is it more about the marketing now? Clever hash tags. Sub-sub-sub genre labeling for “originality”. Instagram, Pintrest, and Twitter. Thanks to the gutlessness of the major record companies and the (cough cough) artists who produce such brainwashing balderdash, they are taking you, the blindly-led consumer, for suckers.

Music by definition is “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” One of the purist forms of this definition can be found in the use of field recordings and sound collage. Throwing out all the traditional elements of music as most know it, “Misty Under The Grifting Tree” takes the listener down a sonic Wonka-esque tunnel with reckless abandon. Layering intricate recordings of nature, samples, glitches and drones, the tandem collaboration between Mesa’s own Stembreo and French artiste t0rphy is sure to challenge any listener with true grit and a taste for the avant garde.

After listening front to back more times that I can count, it seems that this release tells two sides of two stories with one common denominator…relationships with the wrong people. The first tale starts out with “Wedding Cake UFO”, the observations of a Christian couple witnessing their friend’s Pagan matrimonial ceremony in complete shock and horror. “Heterologue” may tell of the teenage daughter that stayed behind with her secular boyfriend “channel surfing” late night television, while eerie sounds surround them both outside the house…and in. The second story begins with the lengthy “The Captor’s Maid”. What could be described as an account of a junkie experiencing the tail end of a drug-fueled video game binge, this song moves similarly in speed, slowing down as the high wears off and plummets the listener into darkness. The final track “Cosmologie” cooks up the next fix with an unbalanced dose of ethereal guitars, screeching drones, and glitchy afterthoughts of games gone by, giving the user a fluctuating state of euphoria and terror while in the depths of addiction.

What makes this album tick from start to finish is the quality of the recordings, whether it be digitally sampled from another source or recorded directly using high-end mics. When the musicians credit instrumentation used like melted CD’s and pool polls, that alone merits a few passes of the composition in my book. And with each pass, you find yourself listening closer and trying to detect any subtle nuance that you didn’t catch before…as the artist intended I’m sure. As for the arrangement, there very well may not have been one. For all I know, these guys could’ve flung each sound on a sonic canvas like Pollock did paint and watched it dry. The result is chilling, moving, and best of all…challenging. But is it music? You be the judge.

5 Fabu Fundraisers – Support the Arts!!

Miami Loco or Bust!

The annual music and arts festival will be celebrating its 6th year, but the musicians & artists that really make this party happen can use a little extra help getting to and from Miami, AZ. According to the event’s organizers, this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever with more than 40 acts, 32 poets and performers and 50 visual artists. Kicking up for some gas means some super cool returns for your investment like posters designed by Nxoeed or comemorative t-shirts. More here

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blog

Help Michelle Blades Record Ataraxia

Though our dusty desert only counted Michelle Blades in residence but a short time, we’ll always consider her one of us. It helps that she always makes time for local gigs when she finds herself stateside. Well, it’s been almost three years since her last full-length release and we’re ready for the next installment, her first official release since relocating to Paris. Blades is raising funds through the international crowd-source option, Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, and offering fans early copies of the album and other rad rewards. More here..

Help Jillian & the Giants’ Debut Album

Tucson’s Jillian and the Giants are ready to record their debut album, Mr. Airplane, but they could use a little help covering the recording and production cost. You might remember Jillian Bessett who we covered last year when she released her solo album Electric Moon (which we loved and you can read about here). Contributing to the cause can land you some signed merch and other rewards. More info here!

Art & Advocacy. I Have A Name.

The I Have A Name project has brought the issue of homelessness to the attention of many and pushed the topic to the forefront of our arts community. Described as “a humble gesture to restore humanity and dignity to those less fortunate among us”, I Have A Name is looking to expand its range of communication through two new murals that will appear on the MonOrchid Gallery in downtown Phoenix. Contribute to the cause (and learn more) here.

Mary Coyle Ice Cream Food Truck

Who misses Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream? We do. Mary Coyle’s ice cream has been part of Valley life for 63 years and has been noticably absentee since they shut their doors last year. Hopefully, our favorite ice cream will be making a resurgence in food truck form. And here’s the best part… Backers can earn free scoops or even an ice cream party. What’s not to love? Make your contributions here.

Mary Coyle - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blog