Archive for April, 2017

April 29, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/319622542/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Boy, oh boy, we Bay Area residents are such lucky music fans. There is an endless assortment of enrapturing talent that inhabits the Bay alongside us, and as you well know by now, Oakland’s Hazel English has been one of our favorites for the past couple of years (but where does time go?). Her genuinely endearing, unpretentious guitar pop continues to steal my heart away on Love Is Dead, an utterly infectious, dreamy jangling tune that may be one of her best yet. If ‘love is dead’, then what is this overwhelming admiration I feel for this song? The song is one of the new treats from Hazel English’s forthcoming double EP Just Give In / Never Going Home, and it’s a Day Wave meets Pains Of Being Pure At Heart must. Its strange how sad the song is, yet how soothing it can be. Love Is Dead feels like the end of summer, except, I usually don’t enjoy the end of summer. Pre-order Hazel English’s Just Give In / Never Going Home 2xEP, here.

April 29, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/319208124/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

And Mine Alone billows so easily and effortlessly, I feel like I’ve been blown right off my feet as I close my eyes and drift my towards faded memories of the past, steeped in naive youthfulness. Welsh band Kidsmoke is responsible for this swathe of dreamy pop and drafty rock, which is the second track taken from their new EP out next month. It’s more than apparent that The Smiths serve as some sort of inspiration here on the tune, whose surfy jangliness and laid back charm also evoke DIIV, The Drums, and Beach Fossils.  

April 29, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/318912586/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

California went through quite a lot climate wise in the past few years. First, we had that nasty drought. Then, we had a spectacularly stormy season that even drove dams to near failure and left sections of the Pacific Coast Highway completely collapsed. For the most part, I think we’re done with rain for now. But we can make room for one more ‘raindrop’, courtesy of (and opportunely named) Hot Flash Heat Wave, especially since their latest song is such a chugging charmer of a surf rock jam. The San Francisco garage rockers, who I’m more than excited to see play the local stage at Live 105′s BFD festival come June, are quickly becoming one of my favorite Bay Area bands with their scuzzy hooks and confident riffs. They get some mega brownie points for reminding me of one of my all time favorite bands, the Pixies, with new song Raindrop, too. Sunlit twangs and saccharine 60′s feels make Raindrops an irresistible preview off Hot Flash Heat Waves’ sophomore album Soaked, due out June 2nd on OIM. Pre-order from Bandcamp, here.

April 28, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/319430233/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

If humans were superorganisms, I’d probably be pretty screwed, since I spend so much of my time as an individual unit, listening to music, writing about music, and obsessing over music. I gladly do that now as I sublime into the glitchy psychedelic electronica and pop on It’s All Good, a song from a collective of musicians located in both Maine and London. In their own words, “we are eight and multiplying, we have become sentient.” Suddenly, the project’s name makes perfect sense. Superorganism lands on our radar with endearing and electic eccentricity It’s All Good, a song you simply cannot file under any classification easily. Despite its peculiar bubbling, burbling constitution, It’s All Good feels warm, earthy, and sincere. The experimental alt/indietronica single is out on all major outlets, here.

April 28, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/318566369/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

I can’t get enough of the new Phoenix since it dropped yesterday. It’s literally left me smiling for hours on end. The French rock heroes are more lustrously vibrant than ever on J-Boy, a new wavey, italo disco-y, hyper jubilant, feverish glinting spectacular. It sparkles and twinkles, shimmers and swirls, twirling us around within its whirlpool of dizzying euphoria. J-Boy brings to mind some of M83′s tunes off recent album Junk. As it turns out, the long time, much loved French house purveyors have described their forthcoming album Ti Amo as being related to “summer and Italian discos”, so the M83 Junk comparison isn’t too far off the mark. A summer of effulgent italowave and retro disco sounds more than splendid to me. Ti Amo arrives on June 9th. 

April 28, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/313107766/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Boston project General Crush, who caught our attention last year with the singer songwriter and producer’s genre bending lilter With You, continues to crush it with languid drawling Beautiful Day. This mesmeric piece is like NoMBe’s dreamscape mixed with The xx’s spacey mellow atmosphere. General Crush gently and eloquently paints a picture of said ‘beautiful day’. We feel welcomed and invited into a cherished moment in time, overcome by the very nostalgia that inspired this gauzy intoxicating alt track. Beautiful Day is gorgeously soothing and leisurely endearing. Visit General Crush’s excellent prior songs on Soundcloud, here.

April 28, 2017
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/319857923/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

I’m definitely feeling and moving to this debut from new breakout L.A. band Neil Frances. Dumb Love’s slick falsettos and psychedelic skipping aplomb immediately reminds me of Portugal. the Man, but softened with a bit of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s light feathery soul, injected with a sliver of early Little Dragon groove, and scantly painted with some of Beach House’s dreaminess. Dumb Love was recorded in 2016 at the group’s personal studio space Death x Vibe Studios in downtown Los Angeles, and the song speaks to the apathy of long-term, long-distance relations. Neil Frances will be releasing new music throughout the remainder of 2017, fine news if you ask me.

April 28, 2017

The good news continues to roll in this week as my favorite American psych rock band (who’ve proven themselves to be expert troubadours in far more than just psych rock) release details regarding their next full length album. Woodstock will be Portugal. the Man’s eight studio album, and it drops on June 16th. The Alaskan outfit lead by John Gourley is already responsible for one of my favorite tracks of the year in the form of funky strutting Feel It Still. They now follow it up with a sleek new taster from Woodstock by giving us steady stomping, sooty spiraling Number One Number One featuring Richie Havens and ever talented Philly man, Son Little. The genre bending alt track is an instant grat download if you pre-order Woodstock (as I’m about to) from major outlets, here.

April 28, 2017

Rumors of a new HAIM album have been floating around forever, but the Haim sisters have taken their time to deliver any details or present any new material. That all changes this week as the pop rock four piece from LA drop new song Right Now via a video directed by esteemed Hollywood director Paul Thomas Anderson. The understated fashion in which Right Now begins, and the austere studio setting of its video, makes it feel like we’re in that room with HAIM, experiencing Right Now live and in the flesh. It’s as if HAIM has shaken off some of the glamorous pop frills of yore on this version of the song to fully focus on stark instrumentals and powerful vocals. In fact, Right Now reminds me of Lorde’s Liability and how that felt more like a stripped down performance, too. Right Now’s spartan guitar strums, soft high hats, and slow building chords even evoke Jack Antonoff, who worked with Lorde on Liability. HAIM has always reminded me of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and the comparison is immensely applicable here. I can’t help but wonder what the album version of Right Now sounds like, even though I find myself much enthralled by the one we’ve been shown in the interim. HAIM’s sophomore album Something To Tell You will be released on July 7th. 

April 28, 2017

X Ambassadors’ popularity sure shot skywards at a meteoric pace in 2015 when they released their platinum selling sophomore record VHS. They’re more than poised to sustain that lofty trajectory now that they’ve released a powerful new anthem in the form of gospel and blues imbued Torches. This rousing number immediately evokes both Cold War Kids and AWOLNATION, though in a far more slow simmering, poignant lamenting manner. Purchase Torches from major outlets, here. Come fall this year, X Ambassadors will be returning to their hometown of Ithaca, NY to host an outdoor concert and city wide weekend festival. The inaugural Cayuga Sound Festival is scheduled to take place on September 22-23rd.