Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Must Listen: Communist Daughter – “Balboa Bridge”

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“Together, they present a more down-to-earth Arcade Fire and a more gripping Of Monsters and Men while nicely filling the void left by The Civil Wars’ breakup” – Chicago Sun Times

After songwriting comparisons to Bruce Springsteen (“Hold Back”), Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac (“Roll a Stone”), Communist Daughter is debuting another single from the upcoming sophomore album: the misleadingly upbeat “Balboa Bridge.” The gorgeous instrumental melodies and vocal harmonies are comforting at first take, but demand another listen to reveal another meaning.

Frontman Johnny Solomon explains the inspiration behind the song: “There’s this gorgeous park in the middle of San Diego, and there’s a bridge right in the middle of it that runs over the highway. My mom told me that when she was younger, they used to call that Suicide Bridge. I remember the times when I was thinking of that option, and how far away that bridge was from me. All I could think about was that it was this place, so far away from that basement in Wisconsin where I was getting high; it was this magical place in my mind where I wouldn’t feel the way I did anymore.”

October 21st will see the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album The Cracks That Built The Wall as well as a string of tour dates through the Midwest supporting the album – see below:

TOUR DATES:
10/12 – Sioux Falls SD – Icon Lounge
10/14 – Omaha NE – O’Leavers
10/15 – Des Moines IA – Vaudeville Mews
10/16 – Lincoln NE – Duffy’s
10/21 – Minneapolis – Electric Fetus In Store
11/3- Nashville TN – Hi Watt
11/4 Dayton OH – Blind Bobs
11/5 Florence AL – 116 E. Mobile
11/7 Lexington KY – The Burl
11/8 Madison – The Frequency
11/9 Iowa City – Yacht Club
11/10 UW Platteville – Platteville, WI
11/11 Minneapolis – First Avenue

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE

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Crocodiles – “Not Even In Your Dreams”

crocodiles

Today I’d like to share with you a new song called “Not Even In Your Dreams” from Crocodiles upcoming album, Dreamless. “Not Even…” is the finale on Dreamless which is due out 10/21 on Zoo Music.

The San Diego based band is comprised of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell. They’ve earned their place as one of the United States’ most engaging, hardworking and consistent rock and roll bands of the past few years. Dreamless is the pair’s sixth LP, and is, at once, their most exploratory and focused release.

Whereas Crocodiles’ first two albums made their home amongst a stew of fuzzed-out psychedelia, and the following three albums explored Welchez and Rowell’s penchant for placing pop sensibilities against whirring guitars and barbed production, Dreamless sees the duo endeavoring on an artistic departure that positions their guitars in the backseat in favor of a more spacious, synthesizer and piano-driven sound.

“We’ve always been a guitar band and I think we just wanted to challenge ourselves and our aesthetic,” says Welchez. “It didn’t start as a conscious decision but within the first week Charlie’s mantra became ‘fuck guitars’. Only one song has zero guitar but in general we tried to find alternatives to fill that space.”

The title of the album works on both a literal and metaphorical level: “I suffered insomnia throughout the whole session. I was literally dreamless,” explains Welchez. “The past two years had been fraught with difficulty for us – relationship troubles, career woes, financial catastrophe, health issues,” he continues. “In that pessimistic mindset it was easy to feel as if the dream was over.” 

The pair recorded the 10-track Dreamless in Mexico City over the course of 6 weeks. Having become something of a spiritual (and in the case of Welchez, literal) home to the duo, choosing D.F. as the location for recording allowed them to again hook-up with friend and occasional bandmate Martin Thulin (also a member of post-punks Exploded View). Between them, the trio shared instrument duties, with Welchez and Rowell handling the lion’s share of guitar and bass, Thulin and Welchez the live drum work, and Thulin focusing largely on keys.

“Our relationship with Martin will serve as a pivotal point in our band’s history,” comments Rowell. “On this album Martin continued his efforts to help us take our songwriting and aesthetics to further reaches.”

Thulin’s work on Dreamless is in keeping with the exemplary production found on Crocodiles previous releases and reconciles the band’s realigned focus on keys with their experiments of often pairing down the instrumentation to allow lyrical sentiments and themes to cut through to the fore. It’s an approach that has paid off, enabling the band to take more risks, both artistically and emotionally.

And you’ll burn and weep and suffer,” says the chilling spoken-word sample that opens Dreamless“The sample is from a Christian preacher that we found over 15 years ago and used on the first 7” we ever did together when we were still teenagers” explains Brandon Welchez.  “Back then we used it with a sense of humor, laughing at the whole ridiculous guilt trip vibe. But hearing it again in our apartment in Mexico City, within the context of the words we were singing, it took on a different air. It lost the humorous aspect and just seemed like a commentary on life.” 

An unsettling insight certainly, but if Crocodiles did indeed have to burn, weep and suffer in order to write and record Dreamless, then it was damn well worth it.

DREAMLESS – TRACKLISTING
01. Telepathic Lover
02. Maximum Penetration
03. Welcome To Hell
04. I’m Sick
05. Go Now
06. Alita
07. Jumping On Angels
08. Time To Kill
09. Jailbird
10. Not Even In Your Dreams

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Newest Love: Hotel Garuda – “Fixed On You”

hotelgaruda

Hotel Garuda’s unprecedented rise to stardom quickly saw the duo establish themselves as a household name amongst the modern electronic music space. Now the pairing teams up with vocal starlet Violet Days for “Fixed On You,” their highly-anticipated return to the star-studded PRMD Music imprint.

Out today, “Fixed On You” is Hotel Garuda’s follow up to their first official release on the label, “Smoke Signals.” The former was a massive success, streaming over 4 million times and charting in the Spotify Viral charts globally, in the US, and the UK. Their newest single is the latest example of their ability to integrate their sound with artists of varying genres. Violet Days scintillating vocal control is on full display, with her tone and texture not being overshadowed, but being accentuated and brought to life in a way that only Aseem and Chris of HG could accomplish. Coming off a series of tour dates at high profile festivals like Coachella, Shambhala, EDC Las Vegas, BPM Festival, Snow Globe Music Festival, + Miami Music Week and having commissioned official remixes for Lana Del Rey, Galantis, BANKS, and Anna Lunoe, it’s easy to see why Hotel Garuda are touted throughout the industry as a true talent to behold.

Hotel Garuda, composed of DJ/producer duo Manila Killa & Candleweather, have epitomized the DIY culture of modern dance music. Scaling the online tastemaker world with an array of remixes and remakes, their versatile sound has continued to beckon attention far beyond the music forums, garnering them more than 25 million streams on SoundCloud alone. Their 4 official remixes & consecutive #1’s on the Hype Machine charts have also seen Hotel Garuda accompanied by critical acclaim from Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, and Complex.

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New Music From Cliftonia – “I’m Looking For”

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Following on from his recent remix of “Wild Heart” (see below) by Brisbane songstress Romy, Australian house producer Cliftonia has delivered an incredibly infectious dance-floor treat called “I’m Looking For”, which is just the first track off his forthcoming debut ep.

Cliftonia had a goal in mind when he began writing this track, and that was to create a house record with Jersey and future-bass influences, a record with that certain infectious flare that just makes people want to get up and move.

I wanted to make a song that showed my love for House, Jersey, Hip-Hop and Future Bass. I have a huge love for artists like Trippy Turtle, Vices and Brenmar, so when making this track I had those influences in mind, and I feel that I’ve accomplished that with this song – Cliftonia

An infectious future-bass beat takes the lead as Cliftonia draws us in with his house-driven grooves, warm summery sounds and thumping production, while its feel-good vibes get your body in the mood for a bit of a groove.

“I’m Looking For” is available now from iTunes or Spotify, and you can also score a free download via Cliftonia’s Soundcloud, where you’ll also find the above mentioned remix of Romy’s “Wild Heart”.

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Rock Out With Them Bruins

them bruins

Australian raucous rock group Them Bruins will released their US debut EP on August 26 titled No One Wants To Dance With Them Bruins via Old Flame Records. Fashioned into shape in a Melbourne warehouse, their new EP features a new batch of calculated killer hooks combined with their punk rock ethos as a springboard. A wider variety of tunes from their previous material, the songs go back and forth from new found fat fuzzy vibes with emotionally charged lyrics to their trademark jangly guitar sound that pairs so sweetly with a venomous scream along.

Check out their single “Barrenlands” which Baeble described, “This high-octane, ass-kicker of a track takes the fuzzed-out tone of 90s grunge and mixes it in with the swagger and balls-deep confidence of 70s punk rock.”
Them Bruins are the rock ‘n roll itch that had to be scratched by Joel Griffith and Ben Woodmason. After pulling in Ben’s brother Tim and friend Jimmy Campbell, they swiftly recorded their debut EP released in Australia in July 2012. Full of turbo charged hooks and short sharp shouty sing-a-longs, God Bless Them Bruins was released via GAGA Digital with lead single “Black Widow” featured in rotation on Triple J radio with follow-up “Shock Rockets” featured on JB Hi-Fi’s commercial that launched their music streaming platform.
Embarking on several trips up and down the east coast and jumping on support slots to the likes of Calling All Cars, Children Collide, The Bellrays, and Kingswood, Them Bruins played for the following 12 months before entering the studio to record their next offering Outrun The Future released in Australia in September 2013 which was swiftly added to Triple J rotation, held the #1 spot on the Amrap Airit singles chart for four weeks, and has since had over 55,000 plays on Spotify. The band continued to take their 70’s punk showmanship on the road which was descriped by AU’s The Dwarf as “If Peter Garrett fronted Nirvana during their In Utero years, Them Bruins would be the sweat mopped off the floorboards and left to ferment in the bucket backstage.”

Track List:
01) Something Beautiful
02) Heading For The Harrows
03) Walk A Line
04) Coming Out Backwards
05) Ready To Know
06) Outrun The Future
07) Barrenlands

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Falcon Punch – “Higher”

Falcon Punch

Falcon Punch is delivering his first original work as a collaboration with LA-based duo, Wild & Free. After sitting on the instrumental of the song for 3 years, Falcon Punch teamed up with Wild & Free who delivered the vocal performance he’d been patiently waiting for. The combination leads to an easy to love but hard to forget late summer jam.

The cosmic grooves of Falcon Punch are steeped in no particular musical tradition, but rather in a multi-genre background ranging from soul and funk to house and disco. A lifetime musician, producer and DJ Avery Henderson (Falcon Punch) got his start in the electronic/disco scene producing from his tiny dorm room while living in Amsterdam in 2010. The now Colorado based musician, has crafted his sound into what he calls “Dark Island Funk”, a layered guitar melodies, keys and airy vocals, and has had the fortune of spreading it through a multitude of successful digital and vinyl releases.

 

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Must Listen: Yellow Castle – “Restless Creature”

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Indie pop duo, Yellow Castle, formed by Peter Money (19) and Emily Matthews (21) from Perth, WA have released their catchy debut single “Restless Creature” into the wild world of music through The A&R Department. Money and Matthews have been in the Perth music scene for a few years recently branching off from Rich King Matthews to become a duo.

Fans of Rich King Matthews, 44th Sunset, Mumford and Sons, The Kooks, Dresses, Slow Club and The Avett Brothers will remember and enjoy Matthews’ sweet harmonies and jaunty piano riffs combined with Money’s upbeat acoustic guitar and warm vocals.

“Restless Creature” speaks of the calm at the end of an anxious spiral, where the “what ifs” and fears that keep you up at night, are dulled by the support of those you love, and who love you. The track was recorded and produced by Sam Wylde at Dalkeith Road School of Music, who says of the pair, “they deliver a really nice blend of catchy hooks, clever lyrics and smooth harmonies, a super exciting new band.”

Fueled by dreams, chamomile tea and backing of the ones who mean most, Yellow Castle’s future plans include an EP and global touring. They have already dipped their toes into the music scene with a handful of shows in their hometown and a taste of interstate touring at The Horse in Surry Hills. August will bring them a month’s residency at The Good Shepherd in Perth, a slot at the Monkey Bar in Mandurah and everything else that they can get their hands on.

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Must Listen: Tall Heights – “Infrared”

Photo credit: Samantha Casolari

Photo credit: Samantha Casolari

Right around a month ago, I posted a track from Tall Heights called “River Wider” (check it here), and now we’ve got another new track from them called “Infrared”. And again….I gotta say, this one is even better! They just keep getting better!

Interview Magazine premiered the track yesterday —- and you HAVE to go check it out. Their debut major label album, Neptune, will be out August 19th via Sony Music Masterworks.

Interview Magazine’s premiere of “Infrared” 

Also, here’s a video of “Spirit Cold” live, for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Tour Dates

8/20: Schwenksville, PA @ Philadelphia Folk Festival
8/27: Hunter, NY @ Doctorow Center for the Arts
9/14: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
9/15: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
9/17: Ashland, OR @ Brickroom
9/21: Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
9/29: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
9/30: Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
10/5: Washington, DC @ DC9
10/6: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
10/15: Portsmouth, NH @ Word Barn
10/20: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
10/21: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
10/22: Cedar Rapids, IA @ CSPS Hall
10/23: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
10/27: Goshen, IN @ Ignition Garage
12/16: Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
12/18: Albany, NY @ The Egg

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Newest Love: Drop Out Vegas – “Sleep Alone”

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This track from Drop Out Vegas has been hiding in my messages for over a month. Today I finally got around to listening, and whoa! What a hidden gem!

Singer Skyler James explains, “‘Sleep Alone’ is a coming out story of bad relationship and hook up experiences, told in a way to bring a voice to the Tinder & Grindr generation, and to hope for a better day for those with low self confidence.”

It’s so catchy and I LOVE the video, too!!!

Check it out:

(That crescendo at 2:43 though!)

 

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Newest Love: Beginners

Beginners

Los Angeles-based indie-pop band Beginners will release their brand new “white-hot scorcher” (Neon Gold) sophomore EP Pleaser on September 16th. A formidable follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut which garnered over 4 million Spotify streams, numerous TV syncs, and tour dates with artists such as Walk The Moon and Tove Lo, Pleaser features catchy dance melodies with a rock ‘n roll vigor and clever lyrics ranging from feel good to biting. Today, their new single premiered for their underdog anthem “What We Are”.

The sun-soaked indie pop track is “about my childhood in Indiana,” front-woman Samantha Barbera told Interview. “When I was growing up, my mom struggled financially and we were forced to live off of food stamps. Despite being poor in an otherwise wealthy town, she always instilled an impenetrable sense of confidence in me. I still have vivid memories of riding my second-hand bike around my neighborhood, wearing a giant gold medallion from the 70s that I took from my mom’s jewelry box, feeling like I owned the streets. It’s an underdog anthem about being proud of who you are, regardless of what anyone tells you.”

Pleaser is an ode to the thin line between love and hate. Pulsing singles like “Gangsters or Lovers” and “What We Are” leave no choice but to move to the contagious beats and guitar riffs. The Black Keys meet Yeezus in the tongue-in-cheek revenge ballad “I F*cking Hate You” where Barbera’s bluesy vocal melody delivers sultry lyrics with a violent twist. Gritty dance track “Making Love to the Dead” reveals how passion can turn to pain in a soul-sucking industry designed to churn out marketable hits, while hypnotic closer “Melting Into One” evokes the intoxicating power of young love. At first listen, I also immediately heard notes similar to that of Santigold.

Beginners delivers dark garage rock with a shimmery electronic pop veneer influenced by years of cutting their teeth in the LA punk scene. The band’s sound and lyrics ride a line between glossy and gritty, creating hooks that are at once magnetically catchy and unsettlingly honest. Their single “Who Knows” off their first EP launched the band two years ago resulting in buzz from Rolling Stone, Perez Hilton, Huffington Post, and TV syncs on shows including New Girl and commercials for Ray Ban, Skullcandy, and Miller Lite.

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