Radio Phoenix Podcast: LUAU

luau radio phoenixLUAU stopped by the Radio Phoenix studio a few days before their Gone EP album release. We talked the release show, Phoenix music subreddits, and Crescent Ballroom burritos among other hot topics. Plus, the band brought down a ton of great Valley (+ Las Cruces!) bands to play live on the airwaves. Check it out.

Make sure to tune in every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 PM for each live episode of The YabYum Hour, only on radiophoenix.org.

Complete Playlist:

LUAU “Anchor”

Snake! Snake! Snakes! “Washed Out”

Saddles “Tarot”

Huckleberry “Tether”

Sun System “Overblown”

LUAU “Darling”

Celebration Guns “Have it Your Way”

El West “Half to Death”

Fairy Bones “Pink Plastic Cups”

B.O.T.S. “Lil’ Smokey Fangers”

Sorrytown “Let’s Pretend”

LUAU “Keep Talking”

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Recorded live on April 5, 2017

7 Rad Rock Music Videos

No Volcano
“Take My Chances”

Citrus Clouds
“Shapes and Things”

Dead!
“Enough Enough Enough”

Doesn’t Rhyme With King
“Can’t Tell the Difference”

Heavy Heart
“Fruitfly”

The Head
“Tea Colored Radio”

Lulu Lewis
“All Just Pretending”

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 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 Eclectic Indie Music Videos

Billy Moon
“I W K”

moonweather
“Burn Me”

Livingmore
“Dead Fruit”

Phantom Party
“Tunnel of Love”

Bad Flamingo
“Valley of Fire”

Black Lime
“Fight or Flight”

Folly Tree
“My Emptiness”

Crystal Cities: Who’s Gonna Save Us Now

crystal cities 01by Joe Golfen
Staff Writer

The debut EP from Sydney trio Crystal Cities is a dreamy affair, even if some of those dreams turn pretty dark.

The great lead single, “Who’s Gonna Save Us Now”, is one of those troubled dreams, built on dark synths and minor key guitar lines. But it also has a sense of the majestic to it, with insistent drums and breathy vocals from Geoff Rana.

Despite this dark opening salvo, the Australian group’s EP is actually a pretty sunny affair. Musically anyways.

“Cut Me Loose” takes the album in that direction, with the noodly guitar twinkle and soft falsetto of a Real Estate record. The sense of worry always permeates all that sunshine however, like when Rana sings “Words come out wrong/when I’m with you,” dropping the falsetto into his real voice for that second line, adding a great sense of menace.

“Good Life” keeps the mellow vibe going, this time adding a great fuzz guitar and the kind of chorus that lasts for days. “Talking To Myself” keeps the trend going, maybe one song too many like that in a row.

“Tell Me Know” is a welcome change of pace, a slick, driving britpop number that sounds a bit like The Kooks, and Rana going back to that breathy register. The chorus finds the return of that noodly guitar work, but in this different context, it turns out to be an interesting twist.

Closer “Binary Eyes” sounds like classic U2, though where you’d expect a world-conquering chorus, Crystal Cities takes things in a mellow, dreamy direction. Though the chiming build up in the last minute of the song would definitely make The Edge proud.

With their first EP, this Aussie three-piece has set themselves up for success, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that they end up being huge sometime soon.

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joe golfen 100Joe Golfen has been writing about music since 2007, appearing in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times and Tone Audio Magazine. He also plays guitar and sings for desert psych band The Lonesome Wilderness, and plays the organ in power-poppers The Breakup Society.

7 Super Feisty Singles

super feisty singles 0003by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

El Sonida De Reposa

“Jupiter”

Ugh, if you aren’t already on the El Sonida De Reposa train, you might have really missed out. The band released Jupiter – Through Thorns, a limited edition lathe-cut 7″ single, at the end of January and it’s already completely sold-out! Thankfully, you still can get a hold of the digital version of this collection if you find yourself a little late to the game. “Jupiter” kicks off the 4-track single with some brooding, psychedelia-tinged, garage rock that will have you bouncing around in no time. Give “Jupiter” a listen, but you’re really going to want to delve the complete release (available here). This single is but a mere sample of the El Sonida De Reposa sound spectrum.

Dead Blonde Girlfriend

“Letters Home”

Joie Blaney of NYC’s Dead Blonde Girlfriend jumped coasts and reformatted DBG as a solo project. When “Letters Home” kicks off with a mellow (and somewhat melancholy) feel, don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of peace. The energy gets turned up and then turned up again until you’re in a full on punk-rock rage of homesickness. Ambition is a good thing to have, but it can be a real trial to sacrifice some of one’s NOW for something as ambiguous as the future. Blaney, we feel you on this one. Give “Letters Home” from Dead Blonde Girlfriend a listen below.

French Girls

“G.F.”

Back in 2016, French Girls offered up the single “Couples Skate” and now, almost exactly one year later, fans can get their grubby mitts on the newly released “G.F.” from the Phoenix 4-piece. The thing I like most about the French Girls’ sound is the DGAF attitude that comes through in the band’s often playful lyrics and the pop punk glaze French Girls smear over their rowdy garage rock sound. Both of those qualities come through in high shine on “G.F.” This track just might give you the extra bit of chutzpah you need close the door on that bad relationship. Or, if not, it will definitely add some kickass to your day. Give the single a spin below…

Knifey

“Tanlines”

Hey all my fellow desert dwellers, as it keeps getting hotter outside, let’s take a moment to remember that there are people who long for sunlight and the warmth it offers. The surf-punk rock of Knifey seems to have a little more angst than those sunny SoCal pop punk outfits. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that they reside in Toronto rather than, you know, Long Beach. “Tanlines” expresses a longing for sunshine, for cruising around in cars, and, ultimately, for winter’s end. The band describes the track as a “nostalgia-fueled chronicle of better, warmer – and more naked – times.” While many of us in Arizona might not really get this sentiment, we can follow it as a metaphor certainly.  This single from Knifey dropped last week so it is freshy-fresh. Spin “Tanlines” below…

White Demons

“Humiliation”

White Demons recorded the songs for their latest LP back in 2015, but it was just this March that Bleed It Out hit audiences everywhere. “Humiliation” is an early favorite from the new album. The single packs a rocknroll punch: the kind that can rile up a packed house, whether bar- or arena-sized. White Demons continues the too-oft-overlooked musical tradition of rowdy rock bands like AC/DC and sound like they might set fire to the drums and spew whiskey at the audience. They won’t – they seem much too nice for such nonsense – but they have that sound down. Give “Humiliation” a listen below and then move on to the complete LP, Bleed It Out, available here.

Orange Drink

“Horror”

What to say about Orange Drink? Perhaps I should let him say it for himself: “Orange Drink is a one-man band created by Drew Fernando, who is a gay, vegetarian, straight edge, Sri Lankan-American in an intergenerational same-sex marriage, living in Wisconsin.” As Orange Drink, Fernando likes to experiment with different styles of music from punk to folk to dance and well beyond. “Horror” takes listeners through some primal screamo therapy for all our anxiety-driven aggression which plays over NYC-club-scene-style indie rock. It’s a fun combination for all that inner rage you might be carrying around with you. Orange Drink undertook a weekly-single-challenge so expect new music to keep coming from this Wisco artist. Check out “Horror” from Orange Drink below…

Girl in Synthesis

“The Mound”

This London-based post punk trio released their debut single, “The Mound”, on March 17th and it looks like they’re coming out of the corner swinging. There’s a gritty dissonance that texturizes the aural landscape here, something a little apprehensive and very much NOW. And, from what I’ve heard, this band puts on quite the stellar live performance full of weird experimental noise permutations and plenty of feedback. If that sounds up your alley, Girl in Synthesis just might be for you. Give “The Mound” a listen below…

7 Rad Indie Rock Music Videos

Fairy Bones
“Pink Plastic Cups”

Weslynn
“Black”

The Happy Few
“Running on Empty”

Jet Black Alley Cat
“Golden”

Curse of Lono
“Pick Up the Pieces”

Bat House
“Alright, Spaceboy”

The Leisure Principle
“You’ll Never Know”

Nightair Premieres New Single “Jamie”

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

We first featured Nightair last October with their single “Supernova” from the band’s 2015 EP and then again a couple months later for their music video, “Clouds”.

This year, the O.C. act is gearing up for a brand-spanking-new EP this summer. And, in prelude to that release, they decided to offer up a little sample of what’s to come with an exclusive premiere of their new single, “Jamie”.

“Jamie” provides a shining example of Nightair’s spirited air sound – just the slightest smudge of garage grease on that crisp retro rock vibe. Check out the single below and then keep scrolling for our Q&A with Nightair!!

YabYum: Do you mind telling me a little about the concept behind the lyrics on this single?

“Jamie” deals with the concept of wanting someone for what they are rather than who they are. The song follows a girl, Jamie, who attends an 80s high school – something straight out of a John Hughes’ movie. Her ex-boyfriend is the narrator, who explains to her new boyfriend that Jamie wants him for what he is, “a shiny new toy to be used”. He’s a popular dude, but “she [doesn’t] really care about [him]” as much as what he represents in the social food chain. The chorus is spoken directly to the girl, making a crude joke about how she’ll never be sexually satisfied by her new boyfriend. The reason for the tongue-in-cheek lyrics is to capture the position of the narrator, who is also immature and having trouble dealing with the loss of his girl. The lyrics definitely come from a place of naiveté, and I thought that making them any less crude and explicit would be dishonest storytelling.

The music video, which comes out on February 14th, aims to directly explain the lyrics and set you in Jamie’s world. I think it will paint a more vivid picture of the scene than my words can.

This track is from a forthcoming release. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Is there a release date?

This will be the first single off an EP coming out this summer. Working title is Sunsets and Cigarettes: The Sad Boy Struggle, for obvious reasons.

Can you tell me little bit about the band? How did Nightair come into being?

Lucas (Bass) and Tony (Vocals) started the band in high school. They put out our first single “Clouds” in summer 2014. After the release, Brandon (Guitar) joined the band. We’ve had drummers come in and out (6 of them – it’s bad…we know), and we’ve been playing tons of shows throughout the lineup changes.

Do the members of the band share musical influences? Or do you guys diverge when it comes time to music preferences?

We definitely all appreciate the same music. We just like good music of any genre. Outside of Nightair, Tony releases ambient music as Statuetoe, Lucas has a proclivity for hip hop and raps under the alias Hop Louie, and Brandon produces EDM as BB Gun. So it would be fair to say that our collective taste could seem a little all over the place from the outside.

I thought it was funny that the band specifies that they are not garage rock. I wouldn’t call Nightair’s buoyant indie sound garage rock, but why the effort to distance yourself from that label?

[Haha] I’m glad you asked about that! When someone asks what kind of music our band plays, it’s always hard to respond. Cause like, what do you say? Rock? Indie? No labels seem to be relevant anymore since we’re the product of modern music technology and are making music in a completely new way. At this point, the best way to define our genre seems to be just saying what we’re not rather than what we are. We definitely do not consider our music garage rock, which bloggers seem to enjoy labeling us as. Hopefully that narrows it down a little.

What’s next for Nightair? Touring? Etc?

The music video for this song on Valentine’s Day. We’ll also be playing some shows around OC/LA, and hopefully up the coast in San Fran, hyping our upcoming EP. We need a booking agent, so if you’re reading this and thinking ‘damn these guys sound cool’ you should probably email us at nightairband@gmail.com. C’monnnnn, we’d look so good on tour.

Additional Links for Nightair:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Soundcloud

Youtube

7 Eclectic Indie Music Videos

Gutxi Bibang
“System of a Gun”

Modern Diet
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Keels
“Surrender”

Crystal Cities
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Golden Halos
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Crow’s Feet
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