Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Must Watch! 360° Video from The Zolas for “Swooner”

Photo credit: Steve Bays

Photo credit: Steve Bays

“The four piece pop band from Vancouver are upbeat and undoubtedly having lighthearted fun with their music, and the song is layered in sugary harmonic vocals and melodies for you and your friends to get dark (or drunk) to.” VICE’s Noisey

“a danceable exploration into experimental indie pop” Culture Collide

Vancouver indie-pop darlings The Zolas have released a cutting-edge video for their fuzzed-out, guitar-driven pop anthem “Swooner”, which just reached #2 on the Canadian Alternative Chart this year. The interactive live video was shot on four GoPro cameras mounted in a special 360° tripod that allows the viewer to pan around the room and explore different viewpoints. Make sure to watch on Chrome or Firefox!

The Zolas’ Swooner LP, released this year via Light Organ Records, dives headlong into vibrant, experimental pop, showcased by stirring modern production, highlighted by flashes of grungy hard-panned guitars, Prince-like synth flourishes, eurodance vocals and electric pianos. The band is heading out on a North American tour in June, including a stop at NXNE Festival and Pemberton Music Festival.

Tour Dates:

6/13: San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
6/14: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
6/15: Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
6/16: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
6/18: Toronto, ON, Canada @ NXNE Festival
6/20: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
6/21: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
6/22: Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
7/14-17: Pemberton, BC, Canada @ Pemberton Music Festival

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Listen: The Dan Ryan

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“[A] delightful slice of psych rock, with the seven songs encompassing the album twisting and turning in an exciting new direction.” – PureVolume

“[A]pproaches psychedelic rock from oblique angles, the better to cut through the subgenre’s traditional haze and fuzz, on a solid debut long-player.” – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“[I]t’s a re-imagining of folk music, a la Devendra Banhart, though imagine that being recorded inside a bubble or beneath water” – Austin Town Hall

“[F]eels like a downstream float through a rainbow river.” – FLOOD Magazine

“[Y]ou could zone out to on a transcendental quest to all night long” – Impose

“[T]he perfect dose of laid back psych infused folk rock.” – The Revue

Today, The Dan Ryan’s swirling psychedelic self-titled debut is streaming in full via PureVolume. The Austin-based project of Nathan Dixey is also the first official release of Venice, CA label Cosmic Dreamer Music. The seven diverse tracks flow seamlessly to create a dreamy, kaleidoscopic sonic landscape. You can now stream the album in its entirety via PureVolume and Cosmic Dreamer.

If the Grateful Dead of 1977 started collaborating with the Grateful Dead of 1966 under George Harrison’s supervision in 2014, the result would sound similar to The Dan Ryan. Sonically, the LP is unique, blending pop sensibilities and electronic textures with tender vocals. Experimental and deeply personal, the songs bear a chapter of change with deep lyrical content, yet the music never becomes too dark or overbearing.

The Dan Ryan LP is also the first release from new record label Cosmic Dreamer Music, based in Venice, CA. Cosmic Dreamer is a platform for artistic expression. Founded by visual artists who play music, the label believes in the power of connecting with others through sight, sound, and experience. Future releases include those from Onsen and Allelujah.

Formed in 2011 as a side project of Hospital Ships’ Nathan Dixey in Lawrence, KS, The Dan Ryan is now based in Austin, TX, where the debut LP was home-recorded between December 2013 to July 2014. Psychedelic and deeply personal, these songs bear a chapter of change and evoke the fleeting nature of one’s perspective on life.

The Dan Ryan stretches eleven miles through the south side of Chicago. A clogged artery, the expressway slowly churns its commuters from the city’s heart to the ghettos, outskirts, and suburbs out beyond Northwest Indiana.  Trains shuffle through its enormous median to 95thStreet.  Great iron edifices deliver passengers east and westbound, roaring seventy feet above the freeway’s concrete floor. Tucked in the city’s southwest corner lays a patch of forest bearing the same name.  Carved by glaciers, The Dan Ryan Woods boast Chicago’s highest vantage point.  Climb its light towers to admire her big, broad, shimmering shoulders.  Linger under its giant maples to escape the whirr of the city streets. The Dan Ryan represents the imminent collision between tranquility and transition; an acknowledgement that regardless of ones stature, seat, or disposition, you’re still along for the ride.

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Check ‘Em Out: Silent Pictures

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California psych-gaze group Silent Pictures are announcing their sophomore LP, Let it Begin, via BrooklynVegan with single “Behind the Scenes,” mixed by Ricky Maymi of Brian Jonestown Massacre. A mix of beachy reverb-jangle and swirling strings, the track calls to mind bands as diverse as Allah-Las to the Jesus and Mary Chain.

“Behind the Scenes” serves as a taste of what’s to come, yet the full album drifts from ethereal glam rock to noisy psychedelic shoegaze to pure Britpop, an indication of the wide-ranging experience of the musicians that make up Silent Pictures. The skill level allows for the record to float between genres seamlessly, unable to stick to one certain genre, or even stay under the “psych” umbrella. Certainly Brian Jonestown Massacre comes to mind, as member Ricky Maymi had a hand in production, yet it’s easy to compare tracks like “Twisted Smile” to Britpop trailblazers like the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Stone Roses. Not to be nailed down to one era either, Silent Pictures could be perfectly in line on a bill with more modern bands like Allah Lahs or Kevin Morby.

Every instrument and microphone went live to the board and was mastered in analog with knobs and dials and not a bunch of digital emulations and approximations of what live music should sound like. There is no use of digital vocal pitch corrected by auto tune. What you hear is what you get.

Let it Begin will be released on vinyl and all DSPs on July 15 via Green Fuse Records. The band will be playing three different California based festivals and will be announcing more live dates throughout the summer. For now, you can stream “Behind the Scenes” via BrooklynVegan.

silentpictures

Listen to “Behind the Scenes”

Festival Appearances
SubZero Festival – San Jose, CA – June 4
Desert Stars Festival – Joshua Tree, CA —  Sept. 23-24

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Must Listen: Coleman Hell – “Fireproof”

Photo: Tim Saccenti

Photo: Tim Saccenti

Following the release of his acclaimed single “2 Heads” and self-titled EP which garnered over 100 million streams across platforms, Coleman Hell returns with new single Fireproof. Released on all digital platforms, the track was produced alongside electronic artist La+ch and will appear on his forthcoming debut album via Columbia Records.  Revered for his genre-defying fearlessness, the singer/songwriter/producer has developed a unique style, fusing organic instrumentation with lush electronic textures.

When asked about the inspiration behind the new single, Coleman says, “I was looking through family photos and I came across this image of my parents that immediately resonated with me. That one photo perfectly encapsulates the idea behind “Fireproof.” My parents have been together since high school and have such an old-fashioned relationship. No matter what obstacles came their way, they worked through it because they have this unwavering belief in love, and almost childlike faith in each other which is so beautiful to me. I think growing up around them is what’s made me such a hopeless romantic. I got to witness it first hand so I know it exists. If you love someone enough it really can make you fireproof.”

Anchored by his inspiring and unorthodox approach, the Thunder Bay (Canada) native has forged a prolific reputation as an adventurous outlier with a diverse palate. 2015’s “2 Heads” became a mainstay of multiple streaming and radio platforms, soaring to the Top 5 at US Alternative radio. With an upcoming Columbia Records debut album near completion, new single“Fireproof” signals big things ahead for this burgeoning artist in 2016.

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Must Listen: Klue – Daybreak EP

Klue

This week Sydney singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Klue is excited to share his debut Daybreak EP, featuring two recent singles, “Hiding” and “So Good”, alongside two previously unheard tracks, “Uh Oh” and “My Friend”.

Drawing on a love of Afrobeat, blazing horns, electronic beats and soul, Daybreak is a cultural feast for the ears and mind. Honoring a vast range of influences from Jamie xx, Fela Kuti, Hermitude, D’Angelo, Bonobo, and Fat Freddy’s Drop, Klue delivers on recent editorial predictions dubbing him as an ‘Artist to Watch’ in 2016.

The Soul and Southern African tunes were on living room rotation as a kid and that definitely shaped me musically and how I create.  Having developed my production skills in the hip hop and electronic world, I feel like this is record is the first time I’ve managed to bring all of these influences together in a cohesive way, and in a way that really feels right.”  – Klue

 

Written in part, while touring Africa with his band True Vibenation, Daybreak encompasses some of the spirit of the trip. Specifically working with a variety of musicians, be it professionals backstage at a gig, amateurs, even a barber shop group he jammed with on the street. All those moments helped to influence the overall sound of the EP.

“When I got back from Africa I got to work turning some ideas and drafts into what could possibly be a solid record. During this time I was surrounded by great people and was having a really good time. I had some pretty incredible nights out, and I was catching my fair share of sunrises too” – Klue

The Daybreak EP turned out to be quite a huge process for Klue as he set out to do almost everything himself; he wrote, played, recorded and mixed everything on the EP, aside from the trumpet in “Hiding” which was done by his True Vibenation band-mate Moody, and the mastering which was handled by Sameer Sengupta. In the end, Klue had a four-track collection of tunes that he was really proud of, and couldn’t wait to share with the rest us.

“Daybreak is a pretty remarkable part of the day (whether it’s the beginning or the end of your day), and the process of making my first solo record definitely felt like a beginning, and so that’s pretty much where the ep’s title came from” – Klue

Daybreak EP is available now through etcetc music, and Australian fans can catch Klue as he tours around the country throughout May/June, which also includes a few co-headlining shows with Ribongia in Wollongong, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.

Klue will then be heading to Europe in late-June to perform at Glastonbury Festival with his band True Vibenation, and you can rest-assured that there will be a few impromptu Klue shows and after-parties happening throughout Europe during that time.

Personal Favorite: “Hiding”

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Check ‘Em Out: Luxley

 

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With a sound that is self-described as wildfire dance rock, Luxley combines anthemic dance elements with pop-aesthetics, all tied together with a southern soul. Taking cues from acts like Tanlines, Brothertiger and Beat Connection, Luxley has been featured twice on Spotify’s New Music & Weekend Buzz playlists and charted 5 days on the Spotify US Top 50 Viral chart. Gearing up to drop a new EP this Spring which features official remixes from acts like X-Ambassadors and Magic Man, the Luxley’s funky take on alternative-pop is set to top your playlists. It’s the totally perfect soundtrack for warmer days that lead into never-ending nights.

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Must Hear: Calypso – “Numbered”

calypso

“Numbered” is the impressive debut single from a newcomer out of Tasmania who goes by the name Calypso, giving us the first taste of her upcoming Untitled EP that is due out over the coming months.

Calypso is known by some for her role in a project out of Hobart called S L O W, but what you may not know is that she has also been working on her own solo stuff for a little while, and is now feeling confident and ready to share it with the rest of us.

“Numbered” is the first taste of Calypso’s debut four-track EP, and if this is anything to go by, we are certainly in for a treat. As it opens with the strum of the piano, Calypso’s gorgeous voice starts to tell its tale, when it’s met by an infectious driving-beat and a distant wailing saxophone, right before being swooped up and carried away by an uplifting electro-groove.

“The story behind “Numbered” is quite obvious through the lyrics in the song; it’s about the struggle between two people as their love for each other is coming to an end – the painful experience of wanting to keep somebody close, but knowing that you will eventually have to let go” – Calypso

“Numbered” is available through Spotify, and for a limited time you can also get a free download through Calypso’s Soundcloud.

Over the coming weeks we can expect a sensual and stimulating Raef Sawford-directed music video, just ahead of the Untitled EP’s release on June 22nd.

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Check ‘Em Out: Goldensuns

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Goldensuns are an LA-by-way-of-Utah brotherly trio and their EP is a beautiful mix of indie rock, shoegaze and funk.  Their first single “I Feel This Place” earned the top spot on Indie Shuffle’s “Popular” chart last month and also charted on Hype Machine, giving some buzz to a band that is currently making a solid name for themselves in Los Angeles. They followed up “I Feel This Place” with the premiere of “Give It Up” on Nerdist a few weeks ago. Check out the EP below. “Gold Chains” has vocals that remind me of Empire of the Sun. I think we’re gonna start to hear more about these guys soon.

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New Song from Coast Modern: “Guru”

coastmodern1-1

Coast Modern has been on a roll lately after their debut single, “Hollow Life” hit number 2 and “Animals” hit number 3 on HypeM. Now they’ve released their newest track, “Guru”. They’ve got an extensive tour starting in just a few days….this month they’re with BØRNS; over the summer they’ll be with The Wombats and then The Temper Trap in the fall. Check out all the stops below.

Catch Coast Modern on Tour:
May 22– The Orange Peel-Asheville, NC*
May 23– The National – Richmond, VA*
May 249:30 Club – Washington, DC*
May 25– Terminal 5 – New York City , NY*
May 27– Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA*
June 10– Popscene – San Francisco, CA
June 14– Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY**
June 15– College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT**
June 16– Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY
June 18– Amos’ South End – Charlotte, NC**
June 20– The Music Farm – Charleston, SC**
June 21– Center Stage – Atlanta, GA**
July 8– Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
July 9– Power & Light District – Kansas City, MO**
July 11– Deluxe @ Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN**
July 12– First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN**
July 13– Metro – Chicago, IL**
July 15– PromoWest Fest – Columbus, OH
July 18– The Ready Room – St. Louis, MO**
July 19– Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN**
July 23– Mo Pop Festival – Detroit, MI
August 1– The Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ**
August 3– The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA**
August 5– The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA**
September 2 – Bumbershoot – Seattle, WA
September 19 – Wonder – Portland, OR***
September 21 – Commodore – Vancouver, BC***
September 25 – Gothic – Denver, Colorado***
September 27 – Varsity – Minneapolis, MN***
September 28 – Metro – Chicago, IL***
September 30 – Phoenix – Toronto, ON***
October 4 – Royale – Boston, MA***
October 5 – TLA – Philadelphia, PA***
October 6 – 930 Club – Washington, DC***
October 8 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA***
October 9 – 3rd and Lindsley – Nashville, TN***
October 11 – Granada – Dallas, TX***
October 12 – White Oak – Houston, TX***
October 13 – Emo’s – Austin TX***
October 16 – Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA***
October 17 – Observatory – Orange County, CA***
October 18 – Belasco Theatre – Los Angeles, CA***
October 19 – Warfield – San Francisco, CA***
* supporting BØRNS
** supporting The Wombats
*** supporting The Temper Trap
+ more festivals to be announced

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Check ‘Em Out: Corbu

corbu

“Brooklyn band using chopped-up movie music to create heavy-lidded dreampop” – The Guardian

“A combination of chillingly beautiful synth instrumental sound and introspective whispery vocals, with a lava lamp aesthetic.” – NYLON

New York neo-psyche band Corbu are streaming “Polygon Forest”, the first track from their forthcoming debut album. With its choral harmonies and tribal drumming over shimmering, glacial synths “Polygon Forest” is a glorious and uplifting trip, taken from their album Crayon Soul, out 5th August 2016 via 3 Beat (EU) & Big Picnic (US).

Recorded and produced by the band, Crayon Soul was mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, MGMT). A vivid exploration inspired in part by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Graves’ lucid dreams, Crayon Soul is a truly realised vision. “It’s a journey through a series of “gates”, or events that you pass through with the narrator,” says Graves of the album. “At each event, you change and shift into a new part of the story.”

Extremely visual, Corbu create captivating, kaleidoscopic visuals to accompany their music. Encouraging listeners to paint their own path through Corbu’s world, Crayon Soul includes a colouring book, as well as artwork inspired by each of the twelve songs.

Crayon Soul follows two acclaimed EPs, We Are Sound and Everything You Imagine Is Real, which garnered praise from the likes of NYLON, Stereogum, The Guardian, NME and more, as well as capturing the attention of Jessie Ware, who personally requested the band to remix her song “You & I (Forever)”.

Crayon Soul is released 5th August 2016.

 

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