I’m gonna open up this next review with a simple comparison, a comparison that’s going to date me something fierce, but it’s just so spot on. And I can’t get it out of my head, so here goes: Laurie Anderson meets The Lilac Time. Old and obscure, unfortunately. Like Anderson, Thorpe’s rich, multi-layered vocals playfully haunt your brain as they weave back and forth between your ears (headphones strongly encouraged) and the banjo and tempo remind me of the upbeat moments of Stephen Duffy’s work with The Lilac Time. Of course my 16-year old thinks this track sounds like Mumford & Sons, but he’s never heard Peggy Honeywell. Thorpe is literate, politically astute, and crafts siren songs around her dreams and visions with everything from a synth to a ukulele. The results will brighten your day as does her album’s sparse, bold cover.
Darker than Devo, faster than Depeche Mode, denser than Killing Joke, but sharing the apocalyptic atmosphere of those artists, San Francisco trio King Loses Crown releases their new single today, “My Revenge.” We reviewed an earlier demo version of this song a few years back, but the band has since added a member, beefed up production and further honed their sound. And as luck would have it, their sonic assault met its visual match in visual effects director Jim Mitchell (Harry Potter, Sleepy Hollow, and Jurassic Park III). Mitchell directed the video, also released today, a documentary style, sci-fi look into the future where our technology catches up with us and our darkest impulses.
It’s not everyday that a full-fledged Hollywood filmmaker produces the video for an emerging band, so I checked in with Mitchell to see why he decided to get involved with King Loses Crown. He told me that a friend invited him to see the band at the Elbo Room and he was “blown away by the intensity and energy of their songs.” Mitchell had been developing a robot character and when he heard “My Revenge” he realized the song’s theme was “similar to what [he] was imagining for the world of the character.” He edited a few of his robot animations to the song and “couldn’t believe how it just seemed to naturally sync up like they were meant to be together.” The band agreed. So do I. You probably will too.
My Revenge from You Can’t Escape EP, February 2013
Ghost Lights make perfect music to fall asleep to. And I mean that in the best possible way and not because I’m in bed snuggled up to my laptop. The subdued yet lush instrumentation hits you like a muscle relaxant and you’re off to dreamland. The effect isn’t accidental. The artist behind Ghost Lights, Noah Cebuliak, disappeared into Canada’s wilderness and discovered emotions that can’t be transmitted by mere words or waking logic. Who is the Canadian equivalent of Thoreau? I nominate Cebuliak (Canada’s answer to Neil Halstead at least). He went into the woods, with a guitar, to see if he could learn what it had to teach. These songs are his lessons learned and the only way you’re gonna benefit from them is by checking out of the rat race, unplugging, and letting yourself drift toward the lights, the Ghost Lights…
We have an Indian summer happening out here in Utah. It’s a wonderful thing. The leaves are changing, the mountain ranges are colorful, and it’s still in the 80’s. With Autumn on the doorstep, Ghost Wave is the perfect band to help hold on to summer no matter what the temperature outside is.
Ghost Wave is a 3 piece band out of Auckland, New Zealand. They play a 60’s style, surf guitar pop similar to bands of yesteryear like The Ventures, and current musicians like Ty Segall, and Wavves. They released their debut S/T EP last month, you can snag it on iTunes. “On A Breeze” (below), with it’s jangly surf guitar, is my favorite song from the EP, and is a great example of how good this release is. Enjoy.
Ghost Wave – On A Breeze from S/T EP (2012)
What do you get when you take a stack of old records and sample bits and pieces in order to create new music with a psychedelic, tropical, surf, hip hop vibe to it? The answer, my friends, is Monster Rally.
Monster Rally is the project of Ohio-resident Ted Feighan. His music has a warm, lo-fi, crackley, organic feel to it. It’s put together so nicely, it almost sounds like a full band recorded these songs directly to tape. Since 2010 Monster Rally has released quite a bit of music via his bandcamp page, and is set to release a new full length album, Beyond The Sea, on June 19. Below are just a few tastes of Monster Rally’s music for you downloading pleasure.
Monster Rally – Jaguar from Beyond The Sea (2012)
Monster Rally – Lone Rd from Crystal Ball (2011)
Monster Rally – Siberian Girls from Deep Sea EP (2011)
Monster Rally – Maori Mai from EP (2010)
Keeping with the genre that Sean just posted, I present for your listening pleasure, The Spyrals. I stumbled upon this San Francisco trio the other night while browsing through bands on bandcamp. They play a very similar brand of 60’s lo-fi/dirty/garage rock, like the said previous post. Their music is irresistible to these ears, it’s almost like they saw me coming. They were kind enough to provide the track below. You can stream or buy their new S/T album on their bandcamp page, and I highly suggest that you do.
Utah has always had a pretty cool underground music scene, and Salt Lake City’s Albino Father is just one of the bands making the scene as cool as it is. They released their debut album AGE in 2011. Their style is all over the map, mixing it up with almost every song. In an attempt to sum up their style, I would say that they play a psychedelic/garage/lo-fi/rock hybrid. Check out the tracks below, then head over to their Bandcamp page and make their music part of your collection.
Albino Father – Meth Truck from AGE (2011)
Albino Father – Gorilla Cat Lady from AGE (2011)
Albino Father – The Light from AGE (2011)
The Devil Whale is a great band out of Salt Lake City. The music they play is a blend of 60’s and 70’s era folk, garage, and pop. They self-released their new full length Teeth at the end of May. It’s an excellent album as you can hear from the taste provided below, it has been on constant rotation since I got it. After enjoying the song we have shared, head on over to their bandcamp page and give the entire album a try, you will not be disappointed.