7 Stellar Songwriters You Need to Know

songwritersThe SunPunchers

“Screwtop Head”

The SunPunchers released two singles in prelude to their new EP which comes out THIS WEEKEND. These songs have a sticky summer warmth, like laying on a screened-in porch on a day buzzing with mosquitoes. There is an aesthetic here of sun tea and swimming holes brought to life through stunning, and stunningly demure, musicianship. The release show goes down at The Newton on May 20. Once you hear “Screwtop Head” from The SunPunchers, I can’t imagine that there’s anywhere else you’ll want to be this coming Sunday. More info on that event can be found here.

Violetta Zironi

“Half Moon Lane”

Wait until you hear the ethereal voice of 21-year-old Italian singer/songwriter Violetta Zironi. It’s not just her voice that enchants listeners of “Half Moon Lane” but the charming narrative of her songwriting style.  The single has a stripped-down sound reminiscent of those swan-throated folk musicians of the 1970s like Vashti Bunyan. Just part my hair down the middle and wrap me in an afghan and I could listen to “Half Moon Lane” from Violetta Zironi all afternoon. I certainly hope to hear more from this artist soon.

Tuelo

“Saint Margaret”

“Saint Margaret” kicks off with just a minimal guitar line and the soulful voice of Tuelo Minah. That’s actually all you need. But, as the underlying instrumentation picks up, Tuelo continues to drive the single with those powerful pipes of hers. The song pays tribute to Minah’s mother in a way that I find both empowering and tinged with a certain sorrow that I feel many women hold for the experiences of our mothers. “Saint Margaret” by Tuelo is emotionally moving and sonically compelling so I suggest you check the single below…

Luca Chesney

“Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”

There are some really interesting things happening in the subtle sound permutations on “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”; the new single from NYC-based singer, songwriter, and producer Luca Chesney. This alt-electro track is a disembodied but emotionally textured journey. “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life” is the first single from Chesney’s s/t debut EP. I’m hoping to get my hands on that release sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy this new single from Luca Chesney.

Madeleine Dopico

“Me to Bleed”

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the music of Madeleine Dopico in our publication and I’m starting to think that we’re going to build a lasting relationship. The promising young songwriter crafts emotionally powerful soundscapes that she meets head on with her robust voice. On “Me to Bleed”, Dopico creates a haunting atmosphere for her brooding lyrics and manages to throw in just the right amount of dramatic flair to keep things interesting. That’s a combo a mortician’s daughter like myself can get behind in her pop music.

Bradford Loomis

“Drive You Home”

Bradford Loomis (of The Banner Days) dropped his first solo album since 2013 in March. Bravery and the Bell features this gem of a single, “Drive You Home”. Loomis penned the album after learning that his father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The soulful sound of Bradford Loomis’ folk style comes through with an earthy Americana that feels like it could easily find a home in Nashville, but the artist calls Washington (state… not that other one) home. Check out “Drive You Home” from Bradford Loomis here…

 Arpeggi

“Songs Don’t Help”

The Los Angeles songwriter who pens somber ditties under the name Arpeggi released her debut album, Senioritis, around this time last year. On that album, you’ll find “Songs Don’t Help” which delves into those Bell Jar moments when nothing seems to push back the skulking clouds of depression – not friends, not love, not even music (gasp). If you like your indie music stripped down and brooding, I suggest checking out “Songs Don’t Help” from Arpeggi. Or head here for the complete album.

7 Rad Singles You Should Check Out

rad singles 00Jesse Konrad

“Cruise Ctrl”

Tucson’s Jesse Henderson, who records under than moniker Jesse Konrad, undertook this new musical effort following the breakup of his last band, Fischer Kings. Dropping the surname for the middle one, Jesse Konrad follows the indie-folk of the artist’s previous project, but on his single, “Cruise Ctrl”, Konrad achieves deeper levels on introspection that is matched by the emotional charge of the song’s orchestral sound. This track comes to us from Jesse Konrad’s 2016 EP, Masks, which can be found here. I highly recommend taking this single for a spin. “Cruise Ctrl” is an inspiring punch right in the bad attitude.

SISTERS

“Honey Honey”

This just might be my chill summer jam. Right now, I’m imagining myself wandering through my home on a lazy afternoon (dressed entirely in pastels) with a cocktail in my hand (not that I drink) listening to this track on repeat. The cocktail is also pastel. The Seattle duo known as Sisters shape out some seriously stellar electropop on “Honey Honey”. As the single kicks off, you’ll notice the minimal approach on texturing, but the sound slowly swells until you’re in full-on Mod lounge mode. Sleek and clean from start to finish.  Sample “Honey Honey” below or head here if, like me, you need that digi-download.

Mateo Katsu

“The Glow”

So Mateo Katsu is a bit of an editors’ favorite down here at #YabYumHQ. Maybe it’s his raw but never rough sound or maybe it’s the refreshing candor of his lyrics. Whatever it is, we’re hooked.  “The Glow” proves a little more hopeful than other tracks we’ve featured from the musician, but that might have something to do with the song’s subject matter. According to Katsu, “”The Glow” is about life as a participant in various warehouse communities, not unlike the recently departed Ghost Ship in Oakland.” For artists, these communities do stand as a beacon of hope; a place of possibilities. But, as anyone who has actively participated in the rapscallion life of an artist will tell you, it’s not always peaches and cream. Katsu explores some of the frustrations while celebrating the optimism in “The Glow”. Give the single a spin below or head here to procure the album from whence it came.

Killer Dale

“Under Control”

This garage rock quartet comes to us from New Orleans. Killer Dale derived their name after watching Pineapple Express. Yep, that movie with Seth Rogen. And, once you hear “Under Control”, you probably won’t be surprised by the origin of the band’s name. “Under Control” has that summer-stoner vibe that comes through on ambling guitars and the grungy, basement rock sound.  This single first appeared on Killer Dale’s December release, act as if, which is available for streaming or purchase here. But first, check out “Under Control” below…

Loverboy Wanderers

“Ghost”

The Philly 4-piece known as Loverboy Wanderers released their debut s/t dropped last month and the (almost) five minute track “Ghost” can be found there. Although, this isn’t that version. No, the indie rock outfit released an abridged version of their slinky single following the album. “Ghost” starts off with a bit of a brooding atmosphere but that soon gives way to an angsty energy that keeps the song lively rather than sulky. If you dig the abridged version of “Ghost” you can check out the full version on Loverboy Wanders, the album, here which is available for preview and purchase.

Water Color Weekend

“Strawberry (State of Mind)”

Water Color Weekend, an indie act out of Santa Cruz, crafts an effervescent ditty that will soothe then lift your spirits with “Strawberry (State of Mind)”. For those of you that are wondering just what a strawberry state of mind is, the band explains that a person’s strawberry is an “object, action, or anything else that puts you in a place of escape.” Maybe, this song will prove to be your own personal strawberry with its mellow but effervescent energy. Water Color Weekend recently dropped a brand new EP full of fresh sounds (available here), but, first, let the chill vibe of “Strawberry (State of Mind)” surround you in a comforting blanket of sound. Give the single a spin below.

Matt Reagan

“Not a Problem”

Matt Reagan’s new single has a dreamy, psychedelic hue that reminds me of the musician’s bay-side home-base of San Francisco. “Not a Problem” fuses together fuzzy guitars and layered vocals for a richly textured sound that could easily fit in at The Filmore West (tambourine included) or with any modern indie fan. “Not a Problem” even goes so far as to disseminate into a brief jam session in true homage to the psychedelic sounds of the 60s after the two-minute mark. Give “Not a Problem” by Matt Reagan a listen below…

7 Fresh HipHop Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Lucky Dice

“Memoirs”

Boston’s Lucky Dice just dropped his debut LP, M.O.S.A. (Memoirs of a Starving Artist), last week and this chill number comes to us from that release. “Memoirs” sets a vintage soul vibe with its kickback beat (compliments of Berdz) as Lucky Dice lays out contemplative lyrics. Check “Memoirs” from Lucky Dice below and then head here to get your own digi-download of M.O.S.A. (Memoirs of a Starving Artist).

Pwest

“Coast”

The L.A.-based emcee maintains a steady lyrical spit on “Coast” that will bring you current on the the artist’s life and inner workings. Pwest applies an indie slant to his brand of hip hop that reminds me of the Anticon crew from a bit further up the coast. I really don’t know what I like more on this single: the subtle strength of Pwest’s lyrics or the thoughtful lack of unnecessary adornment. “Coast” is a stripped-down single, but that makes it no less compelling. Check out “Coast” by Pwest below…

Big Limn x StarLawd

“Each Day I Rise”

Phoenix’s Big Limn teamed up with the beatmaker out of Tampa known as Starlawd. The result? Third Eye Society: a fourteen-track album of fresh takes including this stellar single. Nimble rhymes ride old school beats on “Each Day I Rise” with a little added horn flavor. Seriously, Big Limn’s rhyme style is straight maniacal with how quickly he can spit out a phrase. Give “Each Day I Rise” a spin below and then head here for the complete LP from Big Limn and StarLawd.

Davey

“White Kids”

Ever wonder what it might be like for a black kid growing up in a predominantly white community? Like Australia? Davey shares his experience with just that on his new single, “White Kids”. Now, white people, please don’t go into this song thinking that you’re suddenly going to be totally woke by the end of “White Kids” and embarrass everyone else. Davey is only offering his own personal narrative here, but he does so in silver-tongue style against a minimal urban beat. Give the single a spin below…

Vidorra & Young Twaun

“No Rolex”

This pretty slick collaborative effort comes to us from UK producer Vidorra and US rapper Young Twaun. “No Rolex” takes the best of both worlds and smashes it together. You get the vigor of Young Twaun’s rhyme style set against the distinctively different soundscape of Vidorra. The DJ, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Birmingham might only be 17 years old, but he’s doing some interesting things in the texturing on this track that other producers would be wise to give the once over.

Treezy

“Burnout”

This new single comes to us from Treezy’s latest album, Phoenix. But all you Phoenicians should hang on for a sec, Treezy is actually from Seattle by way of Louisiana. On “Burnout”, Treezy’s rhyme style is both slinky and slightly aggressive at the same time. He holds to the beat, which is stripped-down, but solid, and proves you don’t need a lot to do a lot. Listen to “Burnout” from Treezy and then head here for the complete Phoenix experience.

Jackson Alexander

“Rolling Stone”

Kansas City musician Jackson Alexander has a unique approach to HipHop or, excuse me, “Folk Hop”. Alexander takes his own unique rhyme style and applies it to some Heartland folk. You know, kind of like Rap-Rock, but a little earthier and, hopefully, a whole lot cooler in its connotation. Either way, “Rolling Stone” by Jackson Alexander pushes those traditional genre boundaries and that’s something we can always get behind. Check out the single below….

7 Funky New Jams

funky 00RILLAKILL & Brandyn Burnette

“The Freshest”

You might be familiar with producer Brandyn Burnette. After all, we’ve featured him on YabYum before so you should know him. Anyway, Burnette wrote this track on his 26th birthday and brought it to Rillakill to help bring the hit to life. “The Freshest” has that slick radio style that immediately gets you dancing and stays stuck in your head for days. Consider that your only warning. The crisp production and catchy hooks of “The Freshest” won’t let go of listeners. Give the single from Rillakill and Bradyn Burnette a listen below or head here for your very own digital copy.

Lucille Crew

“Something”

HipHop, funk, and electropop melt together in this banger from Lucille Crew, an international act that originated in Tel Aviv. “Something” grooves with club energy while the melody sticks to you like glue. Or sweat. The lushly layered monotone vocals really sold me though. Give “Something” from the Lucille Crew a listen below. This single is just a little sampling from their forthcoming album, Respect the Dawn, which is due out this Spring.

Berry Juice & Josh Tobias

“Creature of the Night”

Retro synths and a funky hook really make “Creature of the Night” sizzle. The single was produced in collaboration as an international undertaking combining the efforts of Amsterdam-based producer Berry Juice and Brooklyn-based vocalist Josh Tobias. Part of a two-track single that dropped last December (available here), “Creature of the Night” feels like driving through has just enough contemporary cool to keep the 80s throwback style from inflating your hair. Let’s hope “Creature of the Night” is just one of the many collaborative tracks that emerge from this partnership. Give the single a listen below…

Swindail

“Jussrite”

The Aussie artist known as Swindail has an uncommonly self-effacing attitude for a producer, but you can’t tell that from listening to his slick singles. “Jussright” mixes chill but upbeat energy with all the little textural niceties that take a track from amateur hour to totally pro. The vocal additions from SACHI and Naji help Swindail capture that breezy summertime vibe that defines “Jussrite”. If it’s winter here that means it’s summer Down Under, right? All of us above the equator get a a little while longer to learn all the words to “Jussrite” before we hear this single on those poolside playlists. Give the single from Swindail a spin below or head here to snag your own copy before those temperatures get turned up.

Black Giraffe

“Kansas”

This song is about two days spent driving cross-country to visit a dying friend. Somber, yes, but funky too. The Seattle trio known as Black Giraffe offers up a foxy R&B/rock sound that’s backed by a solid groove. There’s an added experimental layer that keeps things interesting in a modern way.  Give “Kansas” a spin below…

Unified Highway

“Are You That Somebody”

Unified Highway fuses the talents of Eric Rachmany (Rebelution vocalist/guitarist) and Amp Live (producer, DJ, remixer formerly of Zion I). The duo creates a kickback vibe on their new single, “Are You That Somebody”, with the help of a few musician friends. The track has a reggae twist but you can hear a melting pot of styles from electropop to soul and beyond. Meander down that Unified Highway with their track “Are You Somebody” below or get your very own copy here.

Dahj

“Size Up”

Chad Phillips is the Jamaican singer/producer/songwriter who performs under the moniker Dahj. His slinky new single “Size Up” fuses R&B, Dancehall, and HipHop for a fresh sound with island flavor. If you dig “Size Up”, I suggest checking out other singles available from Dahj. He only recently moved from the role of producer to center stage so he only has a few tracks under his belt. But fear not, Dahj is currently hard at work on his debut EP. Until then, enjoy “Size Up” below or head here to get your own digi-download.

3 Rad New Releases

3 rad new releases

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Miss Moody

You Owe Me

What happens when you take the somber yet stellar songwriting of Justin Moody and throw in an ensemble sound? The answer is Miss Moody. Pensive lyricism floats over a fuller sound without sacrificing the minimalism that first enamored us to Moody’s songs. Each track is soft-spoken and beautifully crafted. I can’t even pick a favorite although I tend to vacillate between the dreamy yet subtly aggressive title track and the hauntingly depressive “Strange”. Or maybe “Kisses”, the heart-wrenching closer, will inevitably take the lead. Ugh, choose your own damn favorite. You Owe Me was released through Moone Records and is available for purchase here. Or take a minute (or 20) to preview the EP below…

Funeral Gold

Everything Hurts

This surf-punk two-piece out of Portland released their six-track cassette back in November through Phoenix’s Cat Shit Records. Funeral Gold offers listeners grungy garage rock gold on Everything Hurts. The EP opens with the mellow number, “Breaking Rules/Hanging Out”, but don’t let that woe you into thinking that this is going to be another shoegaze-y groan. The energy gets turned up by the second track, “Work Hard/Play Hard”. There’s enough variance between songs to keep things interesting, but every track is richly (and roughly) textured. Preview Everything Hurts by Funeral Gold below or head here to score your own cassette copy from Cat Shit Records while supplies last.

Ancient Egypt

PLAGUED

The Tempe psych alt-rock outfit known as Ancient Egypt has been making the rounds on the local circuit for several years now. So why are we only covering them now? I.DON’T.KNOW. Somehow the band’s latest EP, PLAGUED, landed on our list, and before I made it through the first track, I was hooked. There’s a 90s vibe to the music and, for once, I don’t mean that in any sort of negative way. Ancient Egypt captures some of that summertime, 90s alt-vibe without sounding dated. That alone is an accomplishment worthy of note. A slightly psychedelic hue permeates PLAGUED, especially on the track “Away” which feels like it’s swimming toward the listener. Favorite songs from the album include “Canned Food” wherein the band stretches out their storytelling skills and “You Don’t Care” which pairs pensive lyrics with a playful melody. But, really, this album is pretty stellar from start to finish. Make sure you give PLAGUED by Ancient Egypt a listen below…

7 Feisty Singles You Should Hear

feisty singles 000Snake! Snake! Snakes!

“Breakdown”

Phoenix’s Snake! Snake! Snakes! headed down to the Old Pueblo to record their new EP with Matt Rendon at Midtown Island Studios. “Breakdown” is the first single from that forthcoming effort. The band’s style certainly has morphed since we first heard them back in 2010. The new single has a garage rock energy with a vintage punk tinge (think Ramones). I’m definitely excited to hear the rest of the EP. In the meantime, “Breakdown” will help me keep the anticipation at bay. Listen below…

Frederick The Younger

“Horoscope”

The five-piece out of Louisville known as Frederick the Younger is gearing up for the release of their debut album early next year with this spunky new single. “Horoscope” starts off with an old school psychedelic rhythm before the vocals of Jenni Cochran kick in and lend a powerful 60s lounge pop feel to the gritty alt-rock sound. Sultry and smokey, “Horoscope” is a promising start for Frederick the Younger. I’ll definitely be watching for Human Child; the band’s debut release which we can expect to hear in February. Until then, enjoy “Horoscope” here…

Yes Babez!

“Round Around”

Once you get past the ironic name, Yes Babez! has an infectuous, high-energy sound that instantly have a vivifying effect on even your most tiring of days. Listeners might be surprised to discover that the band hails from London given that their unique sound seems to fuse a bit of an island vibe with a touch of Southern Americana. I was thinking Florida, but I was an ocean off. “Round Around” is a alt-pop ballyhoo of vibrant animation from start to finish. Give the single a spin below…

Ivey

“Last Week”

I can’t get enough of this single from Ivey. This four-piece from the Gold Coast (and that would be Australia’s Gold Coast, not the other ones) has a roughed-up alt-rock sound that one might expect to hear pouring out of some super hip, back alley bar. These cats aren’t even old enough to drink, but they’ve got slick sound well beyond their years. I particularly enjoyed the vocals on this single which oscillate from brooding monotone into full garage rock growl. “Last Week” is a stellar introduction to Ivey so give it a listen here…

The Soft White Sixties

“Tell Me It’s Over”

The Soft White Sixties have spent much of their time together as a band on the road, but they decided to lock into one locale to focus exclusively on their latest release. The result of that effort, The Ocean Way EP, dropped on December 2nd at Last Exit Live. “Tell Me It’s Over” is the rowdy closer to that release and the EP’s first single. The track starts out with stripped down vocals and a simple guitar melody, but the energy builds gradually with each added layer until the listener becomes enmeshed a stormy sea of sound.  However, the construction remains tight throughout the single. Check out “Tell Me It’s Over” and then continue on to the complete EP (available here).

Tres Leches

“Get Off (My Back)”

Few things are more annoying than strangers encroaching on a dance floor when you’re trying to shake your grove thang. This single from Seattle’s Tres Leches lashes back at those dance floor encroachers with some hot-blooded rocknroll. “Get Off (My Back)” melds garage punk guitar with Runaways-esque vocals for a scrappy sound that will make you want to shout along or, hell, even break some shit. I lean toward the former rather than the latter. This single comes to us from the band’s 2016 EP (titled EP) which came out in October. Check out “Get Off (My Back)” below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, move onto the complete EP here.

The Banter

“Mason Jar”

There’s a tumultuous energy barely contained in “Mason Jar” by The Banter. Fronted by Phoenix singer-songwriter Kim Capria, The Banter fuses Capria’s earthy vocals with a bar rock energy on their debut single, “Mason Jar”. The new track has a catchy, radio-ready vibe that will have you singing along in the car on your way to work. “Mason Jar” is one of two tracks you can find by The Banter on Spotify and I suggest you check them both out. The tracks include appearances from several local musical talents including Chad Martin, Mike Spero, Meliza Jackson, Danny Torgersen, Kevin Wiscombe, and Soraya Dominguez. Give “Mason Jar” a listen below…

7 Fun Fresh Singles

fun fresh singles 00Adejoké

“Dem A Say”

Usually, reggae is not my thing. I usually leave those submissions to the other senior editor on staff, but as soon as I heard “Dem A Say” by Adejoké, I was hooked. Combining elements of soul, indiepop, dancehall, and other disparate genres that fuse together seamlessly into one unified sound, Adejoké crafts a catchy number that will get you dancing and leave you smiling. The track is “written in her Nigerian “pidgin English” which is similar to Jamaican patois and speaks volumes for the impending debut release from Adejoké. Listen to “Dem A Say” below…

Special Thumbs

“Leave Home/Get High”

This single comes to us off the debut EP from Oklahoma City’s indie rock outfit known as Special Thumbs. “Leave Home/Get High” features lush vocals and feel-good energy that makes this the perfect single to blast on your way home from work. Special Thumbs concocts their own brand of indie by combining elements of blues, psych, and maybe a splash of alt-rock. Check out “Leave Home/Get High” here, and if you dig what you’re hearing, move on to the complete EP, Pollen, which is also available through Bandcamp or through iTunes here.

Whiskey Kiss

“I Wanna Know”

Phoenix’s Whiskey Kiss is known for taking a throwback style and makes it all their own. Once you hit play on their slinky new single, “I Wanna Know”, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The smokey vocals vacillate from coy to ploying as the jazz-tinged ensemble creates a 1940s barroom atmosphere that will bring the faint aroma of polished leather booths and gin to mind. “I Wanna Know” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming release, Retro. Revamped. An apropos name, if ever there was one. Listen to “I Wanna Know” below and keep your ears open for the full release next month.

Mateo Katsu

“One Day I’ll Be Your Ears”

It seems very appropriate that this single was recorded at a place called The Church of F.U.N. in Los Angeles. Mateo Katsu crafts a unique brand of quirky folk on “One Day I’ll Be Your Ears”, the opening track from his recent LP, Fourteen Weeks. Katsu achieves a sound that is simultaneously earthy and effervescent. Give “One Day I’ll Be Your Ears” a spin below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, check out the complete LP (available here).

Allen French

“Nova Vida”

L.A.-based artist Allen French takes a multi-cultural approach in crafting a unique sound. “Nova Vida” comes to us from the EP, Novo Mundo, and, for those of us who need to brush up on our Spanish language skills, both names promises the listener some new. French opts for a multi-cultural approach to music-making and adds a Latin spin to his own brand of pop. “Nova Vida” features the vocal stylings of Jessie Clemens and can be heard below. I also recommend checking out Novo Mundo which is available in digi-download form here.

Smokey Brights

“In Demand”

Smokey Brights out of Seattle just released their latest album, Hot Candy, and this ditty comes to us from that LP. “In Demand” combines pop-rock with some funky prog rock for a catchy sound. Pay particular attention to the stellar guitar work on this track that provides grounding for the vaporous vocals. The band is currently out on tour (maybe you caught one of their AZ stops) to promote Hot Candy so check their schedule to see if they might be landing in your city soon. If not, you can listen to “In Demand” below before throwing some support to the band by purchasing their new album (available here).

Color You

“Shine Through”

The L.A.-based act known as Color You shapes out a psych-tinged indie rock sound that surrounds the listener like a warm, ocean-scented breeze. “Shine Through” comes to us from the band’s 8-track release, The Grand Trine, and captivated our interest with its summertime vibe. Give the single a listen below and shake of some of that autumn chill. If you like what you’re hearing, check out The Grand Trine from Color You here.

7 Rad Rock Singles

Elephant Gunn

“Birds”

The new single from Phoenix’s Elephant Gunn might start off with a solid alt-rock slant, but wait for it, the energy goes up. Way up. “Birds” lays it all out. This is a bar band and they have the grit to prove it. The new single comes to us from A Simple Transmission; the band’s forthcoming release. And, considering it’s been two years since their debut release, we’re ready to rock some new Elephant Gunn. Start with “Birds” here

The Green Lady Killers 

“Fire in my Eyes”

The Green Lady Killers might be L.A.-based but they have desert roots. The hard-rocking trio released their new LP, Nightshade, in October. “Fire in my Eyes” is the first single from that album and fans will find that same fierce energy  and shadowy allure that first drew you in. Check out “Fire in my Eyes” and then delve into the rest of the album. The Green Lady Killers craft a fiery rocknroll sound capable of igniting crowds of any size. Check out the single below and you can procure your own digital copy of Nightshade here or a limited edition 4-panel digipak (only 100 pressed) here.

Omega Sirius Moon

“Take My Hand”

Omega Sirius Moon creates a shadowy soundscape on their single, “Take My Hand”. The texturing on this track is richly layered and mildly abrasive (in a good way) while the vocals move from insolent to inviting. So so good. This single comes to us from the band’s EP, Rebels & Romantics; a release I plan on delving into often. You can check out the music video for “Take My Hand” here. And don’t forget to secure your own copy of the full release from Omega Sirius Moon, available on cassette or for digital download here.

Captiva

“Check Your System”

The alt-rock act known as Captiva hails from Kansas City, Missouri, but they almost have a coastal vibe you can hear on “Check Your System”, the first single from the band’s debut LP. I think that Long Beach breeze I’m feeling when I listen to “Check Your System” comes from the funk-rock infusion. Give the single a listen below. Captiva’s full-length, Pay No Mind, drops this coming Winter so keep your ears open for that release. We will too.

Dogstrum

“Ticket Master”

Seattle’s Dogstrum fucking throws down. Their new single, “Ticket Master”, has all the ruckus energy of a nightclub on fire. Crunchy guitars pair with powerful vocals for some seriously stellar rocknroll. This trio has it all for you headbangers out there who miss the hairbands, but not the corniness. If you dig “Ticket Master”, I suggest moving onto Dogstrum’s full EP which came out in July. You can procure their EP, Murtsgod, here.

Skin & Bones

“Act Tough”

The musical duo known as Skin & Bones combines the talents of Taylor Borsuk (guitar/vocals/suitcase drums) and Peter Blackwelder (violin). The pair’s latest single, “Act Tough”, is a barroom classic in the making. Bluesy guitars and smokey vocals meet on this brawler anthem with a decidedly Southern rock swing. The band is rooted in Venice Beach but Skin & Bones has a sound more Tennessee than Cali. Give “Act Tough” a listen below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, you can score the full EP here.

Jobe Himself

“Clover”

The three-piece rock act out of Seattle known as Jobe Himself combines a gritty sound with enough energy to ignite a room full of sleepy bar patrons. “Clover” is intentionally unrefined as Jobe Himself offers listeners a desolate view of life, “a no-leaf clover”, but the band does so with enough raw force to scare off the doom lurking just beyond sight. The charge continues to build toward the end before the guitars collapse in a cacophony of noise. If you like your rock real and real hard, take “Clover” by Jobe Himself for a spin below…

7 Eclectic Singles from Alt to Indie

7 Eclectic Singles 00Feli and the LemonShakers

“Blood in My Veins”

Having a bad day? Feli and the Lemonshakers can cold crush any negative feelings with their tropical-indie sound and vivify your spirits. The L.A.-based band brings to mind palm trees and beaches and rum with their single, “Blood in My Veins”, off their latest release. Feli’s supple voice pairs perfectly with the band’s island sound. “Blood in My Veins” will set your hips to shimmy as your worries melt. This is the kind of song you want to jam to on your drive home from work so consider scoring your own copy of Naïve, the new EP by Feli and the Lemonshakers (available here).  But first, check out “Blood in My Veins” below…

Van William

“Fourth of July”

The debut single from L.A.’s Van William dropped just in time for the holiday in its title, but we’re just getting around to sharing it today… alas. That’s okay. This summery single can still get plenty of playtime around here. William says the song is “about losing your faith and walking away from all the judgement and restriction that comes with it. It’s about the bittersweet feeling of breaking free even though it comes at the expense of losing so much you’ve held dear.” That’s a pretty heavy topic for such an uplifting tune, but the two work together splendidly. Give “Fourth of  July” a listen here…

Arms Akimbo

“Michigan”

This mellow number from the L.A.-based, four-piece known as Arms Akimbo combines breezy harmonies and an ascending energy. “Michigan” offers pensive lyrics tinged with a sense of personal loss and offsets the heartache with powerful guitar work certain to lift even the weariest of souls. Arms Akimbo is quite the enterprising act. Following the release of “Michigan” earlier this year, the band also put out an EP called Vignettes over the summer and dropped another brand-spanking-new single in October. Check out “Michigan” below and, if you like what you’re hearing, consider delving further in the complete body of work from Arms Akimbo.

Luke Rathborne

“You Let Me In”

This single comes to us all the way from Brunswick, ME. Luke Rathborne has a weathered voice that delivers soulful, indie-folk tunes. “You Let Me In” has a crisp, New York chill embedded in the music and lyrics. It’s refreshing in this blistering Arizona heat. Rathborne carries a promise of Autumn in his voice. Listen to “You Let Me In” here…

Sans Genetic

“Heartbeat Louder”

There is an enchanting minimalism that kicks off “Hearbeat Louder”, the latest single from Sans Genetic. The Seattle act crafts a mellow but moving number that falls to the pop side of the indie-spectrum. Rich harmonies merge with an expanding musicality that combines such disparate elements as synth and world music on “Heartbeat Louder”. Listen to the new single from Sans Genetic here…

Castle Pines

“Hollow Cause”

This alt-indie-rock band out of Corona, CA doesn’t have that simpering indie vibe. No, Castle Pines is definitely feistier than that. They’re more for those of you who still harbor a bit of Emo in your heart, perhaps those fans of Arcade Fire or Kings of Leon. That kind of indie. “Hollow Cause” will draw you in with its honest lyricism and crisp guitar work set against a dreamy soundscape. But, be warned, Castle Pines throws down. The energy amps up later in the track. Check out “Hollow Cause” from Castle Pines below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, delve further into the band’s Soundcloud offerings.

Gatsby’s Fiddle 

“Spin Around the Earth”

The West Coast act known as Gatsby’s Fiddle released this single in prelude to the unveiling of their sophomore album, Coincidence Lottery. “Spin Around the Earth” pairs Morrissey-esque vocals with steel drums and an upbeat indie rock sound. The single has an Indian summer feel, ideal for the comfortingly warm, late-October days. Take “Spin Around the Earth” for a spin below (sorry, I couldn’t stop myself)…

7 Rad Rock Singles – From Alt to Indie

rad rock singles 00

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Wiccan Babysitter / Benjamin Galaxy

“Rat”

The Wiccan Babysitter/Benjamin Galaxy endeavor is a bit of a mystery I stumbled across in my unending quest for new music and it reaffirmed my commitment to this aforementioned quest. “Rat” is that instance when your angst grows to despondent proportions and you hit that proverbial breaking point. Suddenly, you’re at peace with dire circumstance. You are the calm in the eye of the storm watching the destruction unfurl around you. And, did I mention that this is a project from Ben of AJJ fame? AND this track also features Sean from AJJ on vocals.** Listen to the track below. The new s/t release from Wiccan Babysitter/Benjamin Galaxy comes out this week so you can score your copy here or through Bandcamp.

**Correction: That’s Ben on vocals, not Sean! We’ll be out back beating up an editor for the rest of the day.

Silver Liz

“Float”

Fusing shoegaze-y alt-rock with bedroom pop, Carrie and Matt Wagner create a sound all their own as Silver Liz. The Chicago-based duo released their two-track single in September. The first song, “Float”, gives the listener the same sensation the name suggests. The vocals lift you gently while the sea of sludgy, hypnotic sounds carry you along. There’s sort of an angelic angst as dreamy vocals merge with fuzzy guitars. Listen to “Float” by Silver Liz below and be sure to check out the second single from their debut available through Bandcamp.

Luau

“Anchor”

The Phoenix alt-indie act has a powerful sound that oscillates between subdued and unleashed on their new single, “Anchor”. Aggressive drums meet stadium-ready vocals on this reminiscent number. This is a track that will translate well to a club setting so all you local readers should head out to the Rebel Lounge in Downtown Phoenix on October 14th to catch Luau performing live. Until then, you can enjoy “Anchor” here…

Raccoon Fighter

“Adderall”

Sean Gavigan, Zac Ciancaglini and Gabe Wilhelm make up the musical trio known as Raccoon Fighter. Although all three players are originally from Jersey, they all relocated to the Big Apple to pursue professional gigs within the music industry and got to work with artists like Blonde Redhead, Willie Nelson, and Ryan Adams. In 2009, they joined forces to form Raccoon Fighter. Since that time, they kept pretty busy and are now gearing up for their third EP, Hover Craft. “Adderall” is the first single from that effort – something a little grunge-y, a little psych, and a lot of garage rock. Listen below and join us in the wait for Hover Craft.

Stoop Kids

“Curious Man”

Stoop Kids describes their sound as an “eclectic mix of soul, hip-hop, surf, jazz, and rock with a psychedelic aftertaste” and I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment. On their September single, “Curious Man”, the New Orleans-based act fuses various influences for an entirely new sound that holds glimmers of popular music of yesteryear while fashioning something entirely modern. Add to that the theme of fluid sexual identity and “Curious Man” is a jam for the new generation. Stoop Kids are a band to watch. Start here with “Curious Man”…

Mojave Nomads

“Creature Double Feature”

This alt-rock band out of Ogden, UT has a sound all their own. To mimic this sound, you should take a handful of NYC pop, toss in sassy falsetto, and mix it up in the garage. “Creature Double Feature” from Mojave Nomads has an angst-y energy that will burrow under your skin and force your limbs to move. Give the single a listen here and, if you dig the track, I suggest checking out Mojave Nomands’ debut, The Black Sheep EP, here.

Le Grotto

Don’t Hide // Sad Story

The 3-piece out of Olympia, Washington known as Le Grotto dropped a new 2-track single through 2060 Records. These alt-rockers have a grunge-y garage sound that I can really get behind. “Don’t Hide” pushes the angst way up while “Sad Story” combines trippy guitars with a touch of sentimentality. This is definitely a band I’d like to hear more from and, thankfully, it looks like they have another track available through their bandcamp page here. But, first, check out the Don’t Hide // Sad Story single from Le Grotto below…

Hundred Plus Club

“Reminders”

This four-piece act out of Buffalo, NY adds some shoegaze-y elements to their unique brand of indie-alt-rock. “Reminders” is the first official single from the Hundred Plus Club’s forthcoming EP due out at the end of September from the indie label, Admirable Traits Records. Edgy guitars meet vocals that oscillate from disinterested to angst-ridden. Hundred Plus Club is a band to watch. And, if “Reminders” is a good indication of what we can expect from the band’s EP, I expect it to be a worthy listen. Give “Reminders” a spin below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, you can download the full EP here.