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 Slick R&B Tracks

Domenico

“Real Good Thing”

Domenico is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer – all talents he demonstrates in his new single, “Real Good Thing”. If that weren’t impressive enough, this artist is only 18-years-old. The mellow permutations on this track will be sure to initiate sway while you’re listening and the subtle layers of vocals throughout the song suggest a strong understanding of song construction. Domenico is definitely a young artist you’ll want to keep an eye on. Listen to “Real Good Thing” here…

Ben Zaidi

“On Saturday”

Ben Zaidi combines pensive lyrics with minimal electronica created in his Seattle bedroom. The result is memorizing. “On Saturday” possesses a subtle beauty like rain on a window or dust particles dancing in a beam of sunlight. The track is more along the lines of future soul in the vein of James Blake than a traditional R&B track, but I would argue that Zaidi’s new single is both soulful and uniquely grafted to its rhythm. So there. Whatever genre you want to cram “On Saturday” into, take a moment to get chill with the music of Ben Zaidi.

Kyle Thornton & The Company

“Fly Girl” 

The Boston-based act known as Kyle Thornton & The Company released a new track from their sophomore (and forthcoming) effort. “Fly Girl” presents a funky, fresh style that reminds me a little of Bad Rabbits. Combining elements of HipHop, R&B, and funk, “Fly Girl” will help you get your jam on. If you dig what you’re hearing, delve further into the online musical offerings from Kyle Thornton & The Company. This is a talented bunch.

Chris Jamison

“Truth”

This is not Chris Jamison’s first rodeo. As a contestant and third place finalist on The Voice, Jamison has already seen some of the ugly in-and-outs of the industry. After being signed to Republic Records, Jamison is ready to move out on his own and “Truth” is the first single from his independent music venture. R&B isn’t just about make-out vibes. It’s also about problem solving in a relationship, then making out. If you dig “Truth” consider checking out the artist’s debut EP, I Am Chris Jamisonhere.

The Marcus King Band

“Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That”

Once you give “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That” a spin, you won’t be surprised to discover that The Marcus King Band comes to us from Greenville, SC. Infusing blues with funk and Southern Rock, The Marcus King Band has their own R&B style; something a little gritty and a lot of fun. “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That” comes to us from the band’s new album, due out on October 7th, so if you like what you’re hearing, you can join us in the wait for the full release.

 DecadeZ

“Loved”

This smooth single from DecadeZ is the title track from his forthcoming release. The Bay-area emcee/producer creates a chill vibe before laying out some serious relationship goals in the lyrics. “Loved” is a promising introduction to DecadeZ new release which is due out later this year. Check out the new single below and join us in the wait for Loved, the full release.

Sabrie Tramble

“Not the One” 

R&B artist Sabrie Tramble started recording at age 13 so you can be sure that by the time she dropped the vocals for “Not the One”, she was ready. With influences including Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige, she had some pretty big shoes to fill, but I feel she lives up to the job. Sabrie’s vocals are on point on “Not the One”, classic and refined while retaining their soulful edge. The production is stellar too, sounding like a classic throwback jam you should know the words to. Released by the 2621MusicGroup out of Houston, Sabrie’s keeping her eye on worldwide recognition. Preview “Not the One” below, then purchase the jam for your personal collection here.

Ever So Android, Always So Evolving

ever so andoid 01by Chris Nunley
Staff Writer

When the news was handed down that this mag would be expanding their coverage outside of the southwest region, I immediately set my sights on Ever So Android.

This is a band that I’ve been dying to write about for some time now, and the timing couldn’t be any more perfect. Thanks to a successful crowd funding campaign supported by rabidly loyal fan base, ESA have dropped their newest EP, The Civil, on the masses for consumption. But to fully appreciate this release, one must go back to the band’s primordial days of grit before taking in the polished version of today.

Armed with a looping pedal of beatbox rhythms and glitching feedback, Drew Murray (guitars, programming) would set an uneasy mood that sang harmonically with his electro-bluesy riffs. Now enter Hope Simpson (vocals), a tall yet tiny chanteuse with a voice big enough to fill a church hall during Saturday night mass.

The chemistry and dynamic between the two is undeniable. But it’s the synergistic three-way between man, woman, and machine that drives their sound with an eerie balance of give and take. What they produced on their 2013 self-titled EP were melodious offspring swirled in battery acid.

Fast forward three years later to The Civil, and we can hear the evolution and maturation of their sound. Taking on new member Ben Hilzinger (drums, samples), the songs get a Terminator-esque upgrade from rubber skin to real flesh folded around the Android core. The symmetry within these musical cyborgs couldn’t be any more perfect.

Chunky guitars and driving rhythms provide the nuts and bolts while Simpson’s vocals and saturated sequences keep the machine oiled on tracks like “Pretty Teeth” and “Sons and Daughters”. Producer and musician Bill Rieflin (King Crimson, REM) provides the extra elbow grease and screwdriver work, giving the EP a sheen that retains the heart and soul of the band.

If the band’s first two releases see them as crawling then walking, where will the next evolution take them? Although human, they are inhumanly patient with their art.

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Listen to The Civil by Ever So Android below.

7 Stellar Singles from Singer-Songwriters

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

COTE

“London”

I’ve been bitten by a terrible case of wanderlust of late. Thankfully, New York’s COTE recently released “London”, a dreamy number that brings to mind cobbled streets and foggy English weather. The song was composed over a period of two years and delves to new introspective depths, all set to a pensive pacing that gradually builds energy. The addition of synths adds an electropop hue to “London”. Let’s hope this debut single will be followed up many more tracks from COTE. Give “London” a listen here…

Dillon Tucker

“Hologram”

Damn, Dillon Tucker, how’d you get to be so cool? From the aloof vocals to the slinky melody, “Hologram” is undeniably cool and establishes Dillon Tucker as one of those artists I intend on continuing to follow. His sound is gentle yet gritty; dark yet comforting. This L.A.-based artist has additional tracks available through his Soundcloud page (here) which I plan on delving in full. You should do the same, but start below with “Hologram”. You won’t be sorry you did.

Melody Federer

“Standing”

Although she currently resides in Los Angeles, Melody Federer got her start busking the streets of Paris. With her lithe and powerful voice, I can see her making a pretty penny performing for strangers on a street corner with just a guitar. “Standing”, her latest single, demonstrates a strong lyrical sensibility and proves you can do a lot with a little. Melody lends her voice to the track and is accompanied by only a guitar until the addition of some soft strings comes in partway through the track. Preview the track below and then head here to procure your own digital copy.

Dean Sullivan

“Idioms”

Nashville singer-songwriter Dean Sullivan released this mellow gem over the summer. “Idioms” is brooding and beautiful. Dreamy layers of sound surround the listener while Sullivan’s voices rides those sound waves with perfect fluidity. Dean Sullivan is definitely a songwriter to watch. Check out “Idioms” below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, head here to procure your  own copy of his forthcoming album, For My Ever-Loving Heart.

Anna Elizabeth Laube

“Please Let it Rain in California Tonight”

Anna Elizabeth Laube is a songwriter from Seattle with a voice of simple yet resounding beauty. She matches her vocal gifts with lyrics so sincere they could melt my cynic’s heart. Maybe. “Please Let it Rain in California Tonight” comes to us from her album, Trees, and I already know what you’re thinking, dear reader – What is this hippie shit? – but stay with me on this: Laube has a voice that will stay with you and, if we’re lucky, it might even warm the world-weary cockles of you heart. “Please Let it Rain in California Tonight” is somber and ruminating as it calms and uplifts. Listen below…

Joe Bray

“Two Broken”

Joe Bray divides his time between Boston and Pittsburgh (depending on the season or school year), but we hope he makes his way westward for an Arizona tour stop sometime. Bray’s latest single, “Two Broken”, is more than a clever play on words: it is heartbroken meandering through a failing relationship. Joe Bray also credits as a producer on this track and you can sample some of those skills in the song’s thoughtful construction and transforming soundscape. Listen to “Two Broken” here…

Jason P. Krug

“The End of Mystery”

Jason P. Krug keeps things raw and mystical on his new track, “The End of Mystery”. The song demonstrates a lyrical prowess while the slightly aggressive slant of Krug’s voice forces the listener into an introspective space. It actually closes out his whopping 16-track LP which can be heard in full through Bandcamp, but first make sure you give “The End of the Mystery” a spin below…

7 Eclectic New Singles

Virgin of the Birds

“Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty”

The Seattle three-piece known as Virgin of the Birds is gearing up for the release of their sophomore album this coming Fall. In prelude to this much-anticipated event, the band released “Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty” which might be new favorite song of the week. Jon Rooney, songwriter for the trio, has a David Berman-esque propensity for witty, obscure lyrics that can be heard in this track. And the lo-fi garage pop sound has a summertime feel I can definitely get behind. The album drops in October, but you can hear “Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty” before that here…

Danielle Grubb

Glue

Never underestimate the power of sounding different. All day, everyday, we’re inundated with submissions. It takes a lot to stand out in that sea of sound. Danielle Grubb, originally from Plano, TX and now residing in New York, did just that. The infectious (but not annoying) beat and smooth vocal style of “Glue” had me hooked from the get-go…

Banshee Speak

“In the Commons”

Banshee Speak, currently of Flagstaff, takes a sample from The Ronnettes and creates the perfect song to encapsulate the college years. It brings me back to lighthearted antics of that era with a playful sound that can’t be crammed into any one genre. At just over two minutes in length, my only complaint about “In the Commons” is that it’s simply too short. I need more Banshee Speak. Good news, however, I just discovered the Flagstaff band dropped an EP in August (here) so I know how the rest of my weekend is going to play out. Before you dive into the EP though, check out “In the Commons” below…

Decent at Best

“Sideways”

“Sideways” is the first single from the debut release of Tacoma’s Decent of Best. The track features the talents of Sean the Shaman for some slick rhymes to shake up the band’s indie pop sound. Not that Decent at Best is any stranger to hiphop infusion in their music. They will not be confined to any one genre. Pop? Electronica? R&B? It’s all coalesced into one form here. Check out “Sideways” below. If you dig what you’re hearing delve further into Retroactive Stimulation, also available through Soundcloud.

Weslynn

Strange Feelings

Phoenix’s Weslynn crafts a blithe pop style in this new single, “Strange Feelings”. The track came out in July in prelude to the band’s August release of their new EP, Black + Champagne. Love is a strange feeling, especially when it is brought on by a stranger, or a photograph found in a book, as the song addresses. At the same time, love can be blissful, much like this Weslynn track. Listen to “Strange Feelings” here and, if you like what you’re hearing, check out Black + Champagne here.

Arms Akimbo

“Little Insensitive”

The Los Angeles-based indie-alt act known as Arms Akimbo released their single “Little Insensitive” several months back and, if you missed this one, you might want to backtrack a little ways to give it a spin. Arms Akimbo combines the talents of Peter Schrupp, Christopher Kalil, Colin Boppell, and Matt Sutton. Together, the band creates uplifting, radio-ready numbers to sing along with in your car. If you dig “Little Insensitive”, I suggest digging deeper into the band’s musical offerings either through Soundcloud or Spotify. But, first, enjoy the single from Arms Akimbo below…

Anna Dellaria

Sudden

This Anna Dellaria track was an unexpected gem at the end of a seemingly endless stack of music submissions. Fusing R&B and pop for something that calls to mind Alicia Keys, Dellaria flashes some real vocal prowess on “Sudden”. And, at only twenty years of age, the L.A.-based musician quickly distinguishes herself as a rare talent, one I’ll definitely be keeping an eye (ear) on. Listen to “Sudden” here…

3 Rad New Releases You Don’t Want To Miss

dogbreth 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Dogbreth

Second Home

There is something a little sad that stirs inside me when I notice that Dogbreth’s Bandcamp page is now tagged “Seattle” instead of “Phoenix”, but I know that our dusty desert will always hold a special place in the hearts of the band even though they’ve moved onto their Second Home. One might be quick to assume that this album is about place – that search for the place one can call home – but as I moved through the tracks, I realized Second Home is about a different kind of home, a home for the heart. Dogbreth crafts a sound of summertime and skateboards and garage jam sessions. Vocal responsibilities are more divided on this album than on previous releases. I’m personally partial toward Tristan’s vocal offerings, but Erin has an unrefined energy well suited to the band’s overall sound. You’ll find some seriously romantic pinings tucked away in Second Home from the dulcet song, “Sleeping”, to the upbeat “Stunner”. I wish I could say these heartfelt leanings find an amicable end, but the album’s closing track, “Hoarder House”, suggests otherwise. The emotions are earnest and tinged with innocence, much like the band’s overall sound. Second Home is definitely an album I’ll continue to spend time with in the months to come. Check it out here…

All Things Blue

Duende

All Things Blue out of Los Angeles provided that gem of an EP I stumbled across back in July. I was immediately taken with Duende, a musical melting pot of varied influences. “Braindead” opens the six-track EP, adding a hazy fog to their own brand of garage pop. “Sweet Release” follows and the listener can really begin to discern the R&B tinges that help shape the ATB sound. “Condition” gives the female vocalist a chance to show off her growl before “Sleep” submerges the listener in a psychedelic soup. “Strange” just might be my favorite track on the album, but I’ve always been partial to somber. The closing track, “What’s Mine”, didn’t really stand out for me which is a shame because the rest of the EP is fucking stellar. All Things Blue is definitely a band that has my attention. Listen to Duende here and consider making that purchase (here).

J.H. Friedrick

I AM OVENBIRD

J.H. Friedrick out of Silverton, OR has a smart lyrical style that resonates throughout his recent LP, I AM OVENBIRD. Indie-folk is one of those genres that’s just inundated with artists right now and it’s difficult to stand out. Friedrick does just that – stand out – with a stripped down sound. The songs are compelling and the music has variance within the framework of his indie-folk sound. My one complaint is that “Guns”, the opening track (and albeit a solid one) is not one of the strongest on the album so I wish I AM OVENBIRD kicked off with a different number. This song is just a little too pop on an otherwise pensive collection. “I’m still going on & on…” has a funky, jam-band vibe and, for once, I don’t mean that in a bad way. “Lady-vain” (my favorite track) offers an earthen sound, something tough and a little worked over, before “Good Enough” turns up the energy and the angst. Things get befittingly bluesy for “Typical Blues” before “Oregon” mellows things out again. “Pumpkin Pie” is a breathtakingly beautiful end to the album. Make sure you spend sometime with I AM OVENBIRD.