Travel Check is a four-piece garage rock band out of Paris, France. I stumbled across their Bandcamp page while searching for something new to listen to. Their fuzzy vocals and guitars along with driving beats are quite intoxicating, and grabbed my attention immediately. Check out “La Gravière” (below) to hear their fuzzed-out goodness for yourself.
They just released their newest 7 inch 66$ with Howlin’ Banana Records and on their Bandcamp page. I highly recommend it.
Travel Check – La Gravière from 66$ (2014)
Los Angeles’ HOTT MT tag themselves on their Bandcamp page as “experimental, noise pop, surf, thai, gaze”. Those tags are all right up my ally, and while I don’t really hear the “surf”, these guys have all the “gaze” you could want and then some. HOTT MT have made the rounds in their short career as a band, collaborating with Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and opening for such bands as Django Django, Bats For Lashes, Flaming Lips and Wavves.
HOTT MT’s debut album, I Made This, came out back in May on their Bandcamp page and on cassette with Burger Records. It’s a fuzzy, chilled-out album that will take away the stresses of life – for 24 minutes. Check out the spacey, slow-jam goodness of “Lil Saigon” below, I know you will dig it.
HOTT MT – Lil Saigon from I Made This (2013)
L’anarchiste is one of Salt Lake City’s best bands going right now. What started as a solo project of Rob LeCheminant, has grown into a six-piece multi-instrumental juggernaut. Their new EP, The Traveler, has a bit of everything, from driving rhythms and hand claps, to slow, dark, heavy jams. Check out the slow-build-before-eruption track “Juneau” (below), I guarantee you will dig it. The Traveler is available to stream in full and buy from L’anarchiste’s Bandcamp page. I highly recommend it.
L’anarchiste – Juneau from The Traveler (2013)
I’ve been a huge fan of San Diego’s TV Girl ever since I stumbled upon their self-titled EP on their Bandcamp page back in 2010. Their blend of electo-indie-tropical-surf-lo-fi pop music is very addictive, like eating potato chips, you can’t just listen to one song.
They are realeasing their new EP Lonely Women today. It’s so damn good. It’s been on repeat almost non-stop since they sent it to me. You can sample their coolness below on “She Smokes In Bed”. The driving beat of this song is sure to get your head bobbing up and down. You can buy the new EP digitally or on cassette at their Bandcamp page, I suggest that you do, it may become your favorite release of the summer. Enjoy!
TV Girl – She Smokes In Bed from Lonely Women EP (2013)
Will Courtney’s debut solo release A Century Behind, is a longtime coming for me. I am a huge fan of his other band, Brothers and Sisters, and was bummed out when they went on hiatus back in 2010. Since then, I’ve been cyber-stalking Will, anxiously awaiting the announcement of this new album, which will finally be released in April.
The haunting organ tones, acoustic and surf-rock guitars, along with Will’s smooth vocals make “There’s No Answer” (below) one of the best tracks on the album. Whether you are brand new to Will’s music, or have been a fan of his for years, A Century Behind is a must own. Enjoy.
Will Courtney – There’s No Answer – from A Century Behind (2013)
Will Courtney (Reverbnation)
Will Courtney (FB)
Today’s downloads come from a new EP from an Australian quintet that may find themselves in legal hot water with a certain US-based scouting organization when said organization finishes boiling in its own stew of legal, ethical and PR problems. Cub Scouts formed just over a year ago and have been cobbling together songs on their bandcamp page. “Evie” got lots of spins on Triple J and they’ve been playing around locally, but it may be a while before they hit stateside. That’s OK. They have time to craft another batch of songs while their fellow Aussies in San Cisco test the waters here next year. We’ll see how well Americans take to cute, indie-popsters from down under. I say the more the merrier, especially considering the depth of Cub Scouts’ gems. Did I tell you how great the title track is? I’d hate to tell you I told you so, but I told you so.
Cub Scouts – Told You So
Cub Scouts – Evie
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…
Ghost Lights – Fog Chief
Ghost Lights – A Train is Coming
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)