Tag Archives: indie

Check ‘Em Out: Ayo River

“…Weston calls back to the earlier days of indie rock, with sharp strings that cut through smokey vocals.”  – All Things Go

“…Taylor has found an engaging channel of expression with Ayo River, a musical outlet that has allowed him to find organic balance in the often overbearing push through modern existence.” – Under The Radar

Atlanta-based, indie pop project Ayo River announce their debut LP, Failed State, out now. Here, I’m sharing Ayo River’s second single and video, “Mercedes.” Lead single, “Porcelain,” premiered on Under The Radar, who described the track as “a lean and flowing example of Ayo River’s music, akin to early Death Cab for Cutie.” The album was recorded over a span of two years in Athens, Georgia, where songwriter Weston Taylor elicited the production and engineering skills of multi-instrumentalist Matt Martin (Faye Webster), who also performs drums and bass on many tracks. The album was produced at Chase Park Transduction Studios (Deerhunter, Bright Eyes, Queens Of The Stone Age, Animal Collective, REM). The LP was mastered by TW Walsh (Sufjan Stevens, The Shins, Cold War Kids, Death Cab For Cutie).

Ayo River, a moniker used by songwriter Weston Taylor, is a project that deeply intersects his personal narrative with the constant underlying relationships and connectedness of the modern world. Taylor’s artistic passions have been displayed through various mediums throughout his life, but his desire to tell stories remains a constant in all his art. As a teenager, Taylor’s was highly influenced by the hip hop scene of Atlanta. Once in college in Athens, Taylor dabbled in rapping, writing rhymes and lyrics to ripped off instrumentals from Youtube, sending lyrics off to Lil Wayne while he was locked up in Rikers. Soon realizing he was not the best rapper, Taylor took a step away from music and begun drafting short stories and novels, sending them off to publishing houses with hopes of being published. His extreme inclination to tell stories, express his thoughts lyrically and relate to others through writing was finally realized through his position at a children’s music school, where he found that pop music was the perfect medium for telling his own personal experiences and narratives.

Failed State is about a moment when something stops working and it becomes apparent that there must be change to move on. It’s about the feeling when the party of your youth is over, when the relationships you once held dear have disintegrated, but the Internet won’t let you look away. It’s about feeling like life is everyone vs. you. It’s a collection of songs containing poignant stories and experiences from his life – a car crash that awoke him from an existential coma, a breakup that made him sick in the street and his personal relationship with hip-hop in Atlanta.

Making frequent weekend trips to Athens, Martin and Taylor furiously recorded the album late into the night, angering many roommates and neighbors. Eventually, Taylor and Martin took the  record’s bare bones to the studio, where they recorded with Josh Crusa (bass) and Evan Seeds (drums), who had begun performing in Ayo River’s live band. Lead single, “Porcelain” was the first song recorded in the studio, and presents an ominous, stewing brew that transforms halfway through, almost like a spell, ending up brighter. Album track, “White Dress,” is Ayo River’s ode to Atlanta hip-hop, featuring producer Taylor Roarbaugh, who played a key role in finding the perfect sonic elements to incorporate with Ayo River’s dark lyrical themes.



01. Porcelain
02. Jolts
03. Mercedes
04. White Dress
05. Porches + Patios
06. Waking Up
07. 11 Likes
08. Tantrum pt. i
09. Tantrum pt. ii
10. Snakes
11. Failed State


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Check ‘Em Out: Colt.22

Los Angeles alternative indie-rock band Colt.22 will release their highly-anticipated debut album Freedom/Freewill on indie label Elite Frequency Group with distribution by The Orchard on Friday, August 25th. Colt.22 is a collaboration between two experienced music producers and writers, John “Fingazz” Stary and Travis Pavur.

Their mission is to draw upon influences of the past and fuse them with the sound of now. This fusion has a powerful reaction, like the recoil of a gun, firing out lyrical content like bullets of self-awareness and knowledge. They blend Stary’s gritty emotional vocals and driving beats with Pavur’s solid rock guitar riffs. A compilation of 11 songs, Freedom/Freewill is an exploration of blues, rock, and electronic music that uses heavy anthemic chants layered with harmonies.

Pre-order Freedom/Freewill – http://apple.co/2t32elP

The video for the album’s first single “Call To Action” is a tribute to cult classic films like Kill Bill and Sin City. Following Los Angeles parkour stunt group Substance Over Hype, “it’s got gunfights, martial arts, and car chases and is generally bad ass” (Ghettoblaster Magazine).

Both, Fingazz and Pavur, met in 2011 while working on a project for Interscope Records. Fingazz is a platinum award certified hip-hop producer best known around the globe as one of the few masters of the “talkbox,” which has been featured on records by Snoop Dogg, Mike Posner, Far East Movement, Flo Rida, Tyga, Bryson Tiller, Just Blaze, and many more.  His sound can be described as “Future Funk” and his song “Winning” won on So You Think You Can Dance.

In contrast, the New Orleans-born Pavur is a rocker through and through. He has recorded and produced countless up and coming rock acts from his own Los Angeles studio, Golden Beat Recording. Currently, he is an engineer at the historic Valentine Recording Studios as well, working with acts like Lana Del Rey and Eagles of Death Metal. During their time at Interscope, the two lived together in a Hollywood Hills music collective. They immediately hit it off and began working together with an intense focus to fuel the world with a new alt rock sound. Enter: Colt.22.

Another track, “Find Your Pride” has been featured in the promos for Showtime’s show Billions.

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Check ‘Em Out: YAWN – “Day Trip”


Listen: YAWN – “Day Trip”

Chicago psych-pop band YAWN will release its new Day Trip EP on August 21st via FeelTrip Records & Old Flame Records.

They’ve shared the title track, which Consequence of Sound calls “this year’s weirdest and most eccentric summer jam.” You can stream & share “Day Trip” — one of the band’s sunniest, most pop-leaning songs yet — via Soundcloud.

YAWN mixes off-kilter psychedelia with infectious pop hooks for a sound that’s simultaneously unconventional and accessible. The band’s own brand of electro-infused psych pop features buzzing guitars, warbling synth, and hazy, blissed-out melodies, and their energetic live show has landed them tours with bands like Tame Impala, The Kooks, Yuck, and Mates of State.

For another taste of the upcoming EP, you can stream the previously-released single “Overflow” and check out its accompanying video

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Check ‘Em Out: Wallflower



Listen: Wallflower – “Fabricated”

The first single off their debut EP and direct lyrical follow up to their breakthrough single “Ambien”, “Fabricated” is hand claps, oohs and ahhs, silky guitars, signature skeez and the realization that life can be a bit shit sometimes, but that’s okay.

Formed late in 2013, Wallflower have gone on to become a marquee act of the Canberra music industry and a hidden secret of the capitals leafy streets. Falling somewhere between Kanye West, Jinja Safari and Coldplay, Wallflower are an eclectic band carving their own sound and have already built a dedicated and ever growing fan base.

Named as one of Triple J Unearthed’s top 10 bands you missed in 2014, it’s time for Wallflower to leave the comfort of Canberra and become the band square in the middle of the nation’s consciousness for 2015.

Having spent months between the iconic Studios 301 in Sydney, Abbey Road in London and Studio Sixty- Eight; “Fabricated” is a patchwork creation from renowned producer Simon Todkill (Matt Corby, The Griswolds), Matt Barnes (Coda Conduct, PJ Michael) and front-man Henry Waldren.

“Fabricated” is ultimately a polished, intricate track full of depth and dancing driving rhythm. So volume up, just listen and dance.


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Palaye Royale – “Get Higher”


Check out Palaye Royale, a fashion art rock, Las Vegas based band that’s currently unsigned. They won MTV’s Musical March Madness, beating out Coldplay, Linkin Park and U2. Their song “Get Higher” is also featured on a Samsung Galaxy commercial which you can check out below, followed by the music video for the song in it’s entirety.

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Listen: Monogem – “Follow You”


Listen: Monogem – “Follow You”

“Jen Hirsh’s indie pop outfit is a groovy blend of funky beats, dreamy melodies, and a stirring, soulful center.”  – NYLON

“Our indie fever spiked when we first heard the second track off of Monogem’s debut EP, The Glow” – Elle.com

“With a fully blossomed hook and whimsical atmosphere, “Wait and See” is a charming new addition to Monogem’s small catalogue” – Billboard

“…Will renew your love for arm-warmers, high-waisted athletic pants, leotards and fierce-ass moves.” – Paper Mag


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Setting Sun & Quitzow

Last month I posted about Setting Sun and their new album Fantasurreal. I also posted a link in March to their video for “Driving.”

WELL, they’ve released a new video for “Make You Feel” and have announced tour dates including one here!!! Hooray!!!

Click to watch the new video for "Make You Feel"

Setting Sun is touring with Quitzow, another band who share four band members between them and Setting Sun. Kinda cool, huh?

Click to watch Quitzow's video for "Cherry Blossom"

Setting Sun + Quitzow Summer Tour Dates:

 7/15 Philadelphia, PA  @ Milkboy (All Ages)

7/16  Washington, DC @ TBA

7/17 Greenville, NC @ Tipsy Teapot (All Ages)

7/18 Chapel Hill, NC @ TBA

7/21 Columbus, GA @ Soho (All Ages)

7/22 Atlanta, GA  @ Wonderoot (All Ages)

7/24 Memphis, TN @ Murphy’s

7/25  Little Rock, AK @ Rev Room

7/27 Norman, OK @ The Deli

7/28  Amarillo, TX @ The 806 (All Ages)

7/29 El Paso, TX @ Zenmeister  

7/30 Tucson, AZ – Solar Culture (All Ages)

7/31 Phoenix, AZ @ The Dressing Room

8/2 Los Angeles, CA @ Viper Room

8/3 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop

8/4 Eugene, OR @ Muse Lounge

8/5 Portland, OR @ The Woods

8/6 Seattle, WA @ The Comet

8/7 Monroe, WA @ Eddies Trackside

8/9 Boise, ID @ The Bouquet

8/10 Salt Lake City, UT @ TBA

8/11 Denver, CO  @ TBA

8/12 Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room

8/13  Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews

8/14 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Music Joint

8/15 Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn

8/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks

8/17 New York, NY @ TBA

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New Mates of State

This summer, Mates of State will be releasing their first album that’s full of covers, called Crushes.

From their website (which you can also get a free download of “Laura” off the album):

We are happy to announce some details on our latest recording.   The new album is called CRUSHES (THE COVERS MIXTAPE) and will be released this summer.   This is our first full length recorded and produced by ourselves,  and our longtime collaborator Peter Katis (The National, Swell Season, Interpol, etc.) mixed the record.   We’ve been talking about doing a covers record for a long time.  We’d hear a great song at 2 AM while driving the straight line from one part of Texas to the next, and all we’d want to do is play that song as if we had written it.  There are so many artists we considered, some for the mere fact that they wrote a perfect song, some for nostalgia’s sake, some because more people need to hear them, some for the challenge, and some to shed a whole different light on a song: Our light… make it a duet, more optimistic or maybe less traditional.  

And here’s the tracklisting: 

(I’m excited to hear how some of these will sound!)

1. Laura (Girls)

2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)

3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)

4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)

5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits

6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)

7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)

8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)

9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)

10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)


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Newest Love: Deluka

Deluka is the new sensation from the UK. Led by Ellie Innocenti, their songs have already gotten attention all over the place, including on MTV’s “The City” and the 2009 VMAs. Deluka are an English electronic, indie band, whose sound has been likened to nearly every genre from Punk to Disco, Electro to indie and New Wave to No Wave. Deluka’s fresh new sound is the eclectic evolution of Birmingham’s storied pedigree, a perfect storm of fluid electronic beats and hailing rock riffs, pulsating bass and breathtaking vocals.

NME calls it, “Girl-charged electro-skuzz punk, akin to Ladytron snacking on The Killers for brunch.”  

They’re set to play a couple shows here in the US this year, and their debut album will be out soon. BUT, until then, click here to listen to the track “Cascade”

The Viper Room
Brooklyn Bowl
Harper’s Ferry
The Warehouse


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For the Love of…Jump Clubb


When you look up any information about Jump Clubb, you’ll find the same press release posted everywhere. Why no other pertinent details? Because Jump Clubb, based in Beverly Hills, wants to remain anonymous. Amazingly, they (whoever ‘they’ are) don’t want to become famous, despite coming from the Hills. Their twitter bio reads: “We make music. That is all you will know.”

So, given that’s all we’ll know, all that’s left to talk about is their music. Their new album The Love of No Dance dropped last month. Comprised of 7 tracks, right now the only place to get it is iTunes. BUT, JC has made a mixtape for us and this mixtape has 5 out of the 7 tracks from the album on it. For the Love of…Mixtape is available through their website for free. It’s about 14 different snippets of tracks and full length Jump Clubb songs all put together in a mix, all coming in a teensy bit shy of a half hour. It’s fantastic.

At first listen, the beginning of the mix failed to intrigue me. The intro and Beat Happening’s “Indian Summer” portion didn’t seem to mesh very well. But, once we got into the Friendly Fires remix, I got into it and stayed into it…almost to the end. Twenty minutes in when the mix hits “Sunlight” by Eric’s Trip, I wondered ‘what the hell’ it was doing in there. Whoever Jump Clubb is must really like that song and wanted to throw it in the mix somewhere. That’s my only conclusion. In between there’s a lot of good stuff, though. I particularly enjoy Peter Bjorn and John’s “It Don’t Move Me” remix by one of the latest phenomenon’s Miike Snow. As far as Jump Clubb’s tracks themselves, I like them all. At least there seems to be something for everyone somewhere in the mix. Here’s a complete listing to For the Love of…Mixtape.

1. Intro
2. Flo Rida – Jump ft. Nelly Furtado (Designer Drugs remix)
3. Beat Happening – Indian Summer
4. Friendly Fires – Jump In The Pool (Thin White Duke remix)
5. Jump Clubb – I’d Rather Be Played
6. Peter Bjorn and John – It Don’t Move Me (Miike Snow remix)
7. Jump Clubb – The Love of No Dance
8.  Passion Pit – Sleepyhead (Wake Up! Remix)
9. Jump Clubb – Green Light
10. Major Lazer – Hold The Line (The Unik & Tambour Battant Remix)
11. Jump Clubb – Lets Crush This Party
12. Eric’s Trip – Sunlight
13.  Wolfmother – New Moon Rising (Yacht Remix)
14. Jump Clubb – A Frozen Hug

Oh wait, you wanted to read that press release everyone’s put out there for the world to see? Okay, here it is:

“Meet Jump Clubb. A band from Beverly Hills whose music combines dance, disco, and electronic styles with indie mentalities and vocals straight from the height of the lo-fi era.  Think LCD Soundsystem meets Beat Happening.  Or Hot Chip meets Eric’s Trip.  The juxtaposition melds an interesting style of music that Jump Clubb has coined “No Dance”.  On one hand you have the upbeat soul and funk influence that aims at getting anyone and everyone up and dancing. This mixed with lo-fi and low energy vocals which describe tales of heartbreak and Jump Clubb’s own view of their insecure and superficial hometown creates a wonderful style that urges you to rethink your next trip to the dance floor.  “No Dance” is a musical statement that transcends their city’s physical and mental boundaries and questions the current state of the music listener from LA celebrity to Brooklyn hipster.”

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