the unlikely candidates bring grit and grandeus to alternative pop

the unlikely candidates bring grit and grandeus to alternative pop

After forming together at a high school party, alternative pop band The Unlikely Candidates went on to release three Eps and have since spent countless hours on the road in order to chase after a dream that started so many years ago. While on the road, they had several opportunities to work along-side some of the most well-known names and faces in the industry from Sublime With Rome to Fallout Boy.

Most recently, however, they have released a new lyric video for their single “Oh My Dear Lord,” and are featured on the Dirty Heads’ new song titled, “Celebrate,” which is currently in the Top 25 at Alternative Radio. Clearly, the five members of this band have been hard at work to get their name recognized in the general music community. Clearly, their hard work is paying off in their widespread popularity. This new release has over 17 million combined streams-a number that is sure to continue to climb in the future. One of the most recognizable attributes of this band’s music is their ability to add a certain “grit,” to their pop overtones which allows for a larger fan demographic.

Keep up with the band here.

the new breed of jazz alternative

the new breed of jazz alternative

Formerly known as The Reign of KindoKindo has resurfaced after 4 years with a new single “Return to me” from their latest album “Happy However After” set to be released in April of 2018.
This 6 piece from New York has shown that you don’t need a major label and their money to gain an audience.
Giving the fans a new spin of alternative jazz that is fused with R & B, pop and soul shows that just like topping off your drink, combining old and new, can create something truly refreshing. Not only have they innovated a successful sound, Kindo has also proudly been at the helm of all their recordings.
“Return to me” begins with a rainy day stay in bed piano line. The vocals give a strange appeal to the jazz-ish backing music. Imagine Lenny Kravitz being backed by a piano at a dim lit jazz club applying his pop-rock vocal style and later adding a high gain guitar riff. I am amazed at how Kindoimplements all these musical elements and how they compliment each other. “Return to me” at first listen is calming. Once it sinks in what the lyrics are about it is hard to believe this song is depicting heartbreak. Especially when some of the rhythmic grooves wake you up and influence your body to take the hand of the beat and swing. The atmosphere of musical freedom and exploration is definitely a spark lighting a flame rich with creativity.
Kindo will be touring the Eastern U.S. in March and is surely not a band you want to miss. If they aren’t hitting up your hometown be sure to head over and check out their prior albums which should tide you over until “Happy However After” is released in April.

Keep up with Kindo here.
curling’s “URDoM” is a soul-stirring ode to inner turmoil

curling’s “URDoM” is a soul-stirring ode to inner turmoil

A soft electric riff of a guitar atop steady beats of the drum… It is that awfully calming but lingering aura that really sets this unsettlement within me. A constant motion that desires more. Curling‘s “URDoM” wraps me in its embrace, and I’m overwhelmed by a torrent of emotions.

“URDoM” thrives in its ability to evoke emotions without explicitly stating them. The production elements, such as the subtle layering of instruments and the careful balance between instrumentation and vocals, contribute to the song’s immersive quality. The minimalist yet well-crafted approach allows the listener to interpret and connect with the music in their own unique way. The song’s musical layers are carefully woven together, allowing each instrument to contribute to the overall mood. Distant echoes and subtle reverberations, add depth to the atmosphere, immersing the listener in a reflective space.

Throughout the track, the dynamics build and recede, creating a sense of tension and release that mirrors the emotional rollercoaster the song portrays. The instrumental and vocal synergy reaches its peak during the climactic moments, eliciting a cathartic release that draws the listener deeper into the narrative. The composition’s aural palette leans towards a fusion of alternative and ambient elements, creating a space that is both introspective and ethereal. The instrumentation, consisting of subtle guitar work, restrained percussion, and atmospheric synth layers, works in harmony to evoke a sense of inner struggle and self-exploration.

In the end, “URDoM” isn’t just a song – it’s an emotional journey. It’s a mirror that shows me my own complexities, my own struggles. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone in our battles, that music can hold our hands as we navigate the stormy seas of the heart. Curling’s creation isn’t just a song; it’s a lifeline, a chance to find solace in the shared human experience. And as the last note fades, I’m left with a profound sense of connection, a realization that I’m not alone in feeling alone. 

North American Tour Dates
^ = w/ Nation of Language
8/11: Portland, OR @ Fixin’ To
8/12: Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall ^
8/13: Portland, OR @ Gloomhouse
8/14: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater ^
8/16: Grass Valley, CA @ Unchuch
8/17: Upland, CA @ Hyrule Temple
8/18: Oakland, CA @ Oakland Secret
8/19: Seattle, WA @ Central Saloon
8/20: Centralia, WA @ Space Place House

dreaming in technicolor: luna aura’s psychedelic pop delight, “candy colored daydream”

dreaming in technicolor: luna aura’s psychedelic pop delight, “candy colored daydream”

Step into the enchanting realm of Luna Aura, where cosmic melodies and electrifying beats collide. With her ethereal voice and magnetic energy, Luna defies expectations and creates a sound uniquely her own. Brace yourself for a sonic journey like no other, as Luna Aura’s latest single, “Candy Colored Daydream,” paints vivid musical landscapes that transport you to a world of vibrant imagination. 

In “Candy Colored Daydream,” Luna Aura delves into a realm of self-discovery and empowerment, navigating the highs and lows of life’s journey. The lyrics “The highs, the lows, the fast, the slow. It’s plucking at my feathers, I just wanna let it go” poetically express the emotional turbulence experienced, symbolized by the metaphorical plucking of feathers, as Luna longs to release and find inner peace.

Musically, the song is a masterful fusion of genres, blending elements of pop, electronic, and alternative sounds. Luna’s innovative approach to production and arrangement infuses the track with an infectious energy, making it impossible to resist moving to the rhythm.

The song reflects Luna Aura’s quest for liberation and confidence in a world that can be overwhelming and filled with challenges. It serves as a call to embrace one’s vulnerabilities, allowing for personal growth and the pursuit of authenticity. Through “Candy Colored Daydream,” Luna Aura invites listeners to join her in letting go of burdens and embracing the freedom to be true to oneself.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
9/15 – Wallingford, CT @ The Dome at Oakdale
9/16 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
9/18 – North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
9/19 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
9/21 – Huntsville, AL @ Mars Music Hall
9/22 – Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival
9/24 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
9/25 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
9/27 – Albuquerque, NM @ Marquee Theatre
10/1 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/3 – Riverside, CA @ Riverside Municipal Auditorium
10/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
10/8 – Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival

sunshine convention sparks our interest with release of second single “the spark”

sunshine convention sparks our interest with release of second single “the spark”

Brooklyn’s newest breakout alternative act is Sunshine Convention, led by brainchild and industry veteran Jake Whitener. And it is the most exciting thing we have on our radar right now. After whirlwind inspiration in his home in the last 3 years, Whitener wrote over 300 songs. He was then tasked at whittling down his ideas to just one full-length collection to introduce the music concept. Its first two single releases have more than piqued our interest.

A nostalgic, 60s and 70s psychedelic rock encases your headspace as soon as you press “play” on a Sunshine Convention song. Moments of lazy surf rock and whirring guitar really make both singles have widespread appeal, from the realistic (and often sarcastic) burnouts to the hopeful idealists and everyone in between. With the release of the project’s second official single – “The Spark” – and its accompanying psychedelic music video, our excitement increases tenfold for the full-length, due out this summer. (July 21st, to be exact. Mark your calendars!)

The full-length is being given a super limited first run on CD, with matte Digipak case and two bonus songs. Pre-orders are open now.

divine sweater’s “in the comedown” dives into unknown waters

divine sweater’s “in the comedown” dives into unknown waters

Experience the electrifying sound of Divine Sweater, a boundary-pushing alternative rock band that captivates audiences with its distinctive style. Their latest release, “In the Comedown,” takes listeners on a journey of introspection and self-discovery through haunting melodies, powerful vocals, and a pulsating rhythm section. With a seamless blend of atmospheric textures and explosive energy, Divine Sweater’s raw emotion and thought-provoking lyrics create a musical landscape that leaves a lasting impact. 

Step into a mesmerizing visual realm as Divine Sweater’s music video for “In the Comedown” transports you through a kaleidoscope of captivating imagery and evocative storytelling. It starts off with a blue girl holding a plant. She sees a button that asks if she needs help, and she presses it. Nearby, four individuals riding scooters in suits make their debut. As soon as they pass, the whole she knows crumbles into oblivion…and an ape appears. They board a submarine together and escape that world and into the ocean, signifying a journey or escape from the previous world. The transition into the ocean can symbolize the depths of the unknown or a dive into the subconscious. Overall, this sequence in the music video portrays a surreal and transformative experience, where the protagonist undergoes a significant change and embarks on a new adventure with unexpected companions. 

The sea depicted in the video is described as a colorfully biodiverse environment, suggesting a sense of wonder and awe. The stunning graphics further enhance the visual experience. However, the presence of the scooter-riding individuals casts a shadow on the vibrant surroundings, enveloping them in darkness. This contrast may symbolize the intrusion of external influences or negative forces that threaten to overshadow the protagonist’s newfound adventure and exploration. It could represent the struggle to maintain positivity and overcome obstacles on the transformative journey. The juxtaposition of the beautiful sea and the encroaching darkness adds depth and complexity to the video’s narrative, highlighting the challenges and conflicts faced by the protagonist. 

The girl’s weariness after a game of checkers with the ape suggests a sense of exhaustion or perhaps a realization of a temporary respite from the challenges she has faced. As the submarine emerges from the depths of the waters, they return to dry land, marking a transition back to the familiar world. However, the ape finds his family, leaving the girl alone without companionship. This turn of events highlights a sense of isolation or a loss of the bond that had been formed. In close proximity, the presence of the “Need Help?” button reappears, prompting the girl to realize that it wasn’t her who the ape was helping all along. This revelation introduces a sense of ambiguity and raises questions about the true nature of the connections and support she encountered throughout her journey. 

As the girl finds herself alone after the departure of the ape and the realization that the help she sought was not meant for her, there is a sense of introspection and solitude. It reminds us that personal growth and understanding often come with unexpected twists and turns, where we may find ourselves seeking solace and connection, only to discover that our path is unique and intertwined with the experiences of others. The video’s evocative imagery and symbolic elements invite viewers to reflect on the complexities of relationships, self-discovery, and the profound impact of companionship and support. Ultimately, “In the Comedown” leaves us with a lingering sense of wonder and a reminder that our individual narratives are both interconnected and deeply personal, shaping our experiences and the meaning we derive from them.

river shook expands mightmare in the electrifying “can’t get what i want”

river shook expands mightmare in the electrifying “can’t get what i want”

When confronted with stretching hours alone during the 2020 pandemic, River Shook found themselves in a unique position to explore their own musical voice. Their solo project, Mightmare, was born, as an independent project separate from their country-punk band, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. Now, River Shook releases the first Mightmare single to feature a full musical cast, “Can’t Get What I Want”, with Blake Tallent on guitar and synth, Ash Lopez on bass, and Ethan Standard on drums. 

The lyrics of “Can’t Get What I Want” are immediately accusatory, as the speaker takes issue with the one-sided nature of a problematic relationship. Shook shines light on how the song “highlights a moment of clarity as our protagonist realizes in real time that demanding better treatment from an abuser is like expecting honey from a hornet’s nest.” Indeed, this realization stings with the arrival of the chorus, when Shook shouts the song’s namesake. The lingering dreaminess accompanying the lyrics “I can get anything I want” ends, as the tempo picks up and the rhythm changes to a steady emphasis on every downbeat. Reality sets in, as the speaker escapes fantasy and accepts that their abuser will not make any concessions.

Mightmare plants itself fully into the punk, indie-rock aesthetic, with the wail of its lyrics and head-banging instrumentation. Shook’s first solo album, Cruel Liars, features more of Shook’s punk sound. It’s a departure from the distinct country influences of Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, which is a testament to Shook’s musical versatility. Represented by Kill Rock Stars, this is sure to be only the beginning of Mightmare’s electrifying turn into the alternative scene.

In the mood to be vicariously angry via punk energy? Stream “Can’t Get What I Want” on these platforms now!

cleaning up fashion through policy | a conversation at sxsw 2022

cleaning up fashion through policy | a conversation at sxsw 2022

Moderator Shilla Kim-Parker (CEO and Co-Founder of Thrilling – a marketplace for independent mom n’ pop secondhand and vintage shops across the country) led three panelists through a discussion of what makes fashion’s impact on the environment so dire and what can be done going forward.

Rachel Kibbe, founder of the advisory firm Circular Services Group, addressed the question of why we should care about fashion’s impact on the environment and why it is so problematic? “Apparel/textiles is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States. They are about 7% of our landfills now. In the last 25 years, textile waste has grown 80%, meanwhile, every other waste stream (electronics, food, organics, paper) has only grown about 25%.” In addition to these alarming statistics, she reminded us, “With globalization, it’s kind of been a race to the bottom and a huge supply chain issue – you may be growing cotton in one place, spinning and weaving it in another, dying it in another and cutting and sewing it in another. Just the shipping alone to chase cheaper and cheaper cost of production has become really problematic from an environmental and labor standpoint.”

“We’re also creating garments that aren’t re-sellable, they are disposable. How do we produce for durability, for resale, for repair?” – Rachel Kibbe

Plastics also exacerbate the problem, according to Alexis Jackson of The Nature Conservancy. She serves as the Ocean Policy and Plastics Lead for TNC’s California Oceans Program and is working on how plastics enter the environment from all sources – including the fashion industry where plastic looks like nylon, polyester, and acrylics. “Throughout the lifecycle of all these materials, when they’re being woven, designed into clothes and we’re washing and wearing them, they’re letting off these small fragments which are known as microfibers. That water that we are dying and washing these clothes with, that water can carry these microfibers into the environment”, Jackson pointed out. The microfibers then “end up in our oceans, in our food, and in our bodies”. She stated, “… just from clothes washing. And that’s not even the upstream side of what’s happening in textile mills. It’s opened our eyes that plastic comes in many shapes and forms and what can we do.” Furthermore, “we know that fibers are one of the most prolific shapes of plastic found in the environment that kind of work their way up the food chain – they’ve been found in carrots and apples. We know their impact on smaller wildlife – can impact their reproduction and their feeding behavior.”

Panelist Devin Gilmartin has created a platform for small emerging brands from around the world called The Canvas. Most clothing brands don’t have access to the vast physical spaces that an H&M, for example, might have. In addition, most malls or shopping areas have empty retail spaces and this is where The Canvas comes in – they reach out to landlords and ask them to revenue share with the emerging brands. Each small brand also comes in on the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. In this way, Gilmartin “believes that small brands can help break through the fast fashion barrier.”

The question then becomes, what kind of policy responses have been made to the fashion industry? Although this is a global issue, there is not one global answer. According to Kibbe, “I’ll focus mainly on waste policy because that’s my area of focus and I think I can speak to it best. In France, they have banned the destruction of unsold goods. In Holland, the policy on deck for I believe 2023, where brands would be responsible for paying for the collection of used clothing which is really interesting to me because that’s been a focus in my career – trying to get brands to support the waste management of our used clothing. I know in Scotland, I think they have a similar bill on deck to France that would ban the destruction of unsold clothing. You’re seeing different policies globally mainly coming out of Europe focusing on waste. In Boston, in Massachusetts, they are outlawing textiles to landfills.” In New York, she referred to a bill that is going through the process of public response now that would require any company doing business in New York with revenues over $100 million to disclose their environmental impact maps, about 40-50% of their supply chains, make science based target commitments and track those commitments. When asked, she also said that her dream bill would include a production cap on fashion companies.

“What does that look like to build an innovation contest that allows us to think more creatively about getting the technology on the market or thinking about redesigning clothing the things that we need to get the markets there, and the end goal is that capture component.” – Alexis Jackson

Jackson also believes policy is essential, but it might not be applicable because of the global nature of fashion and how each local and regional area is so different. Her suggestion was a more streamlined approach, like “let’s get policies in place to put filter in washing machines. The policy doesn’t have to be perfect.” Jackson is an advocate of setting goals and letting innovation get there since some of the technology is already on the market, including in the manufacturing space.

When asked what we can do as individuals, Gilmartin had one very concrete suggestion, “From a shopping perspective, I think we need to move away from shopping with the fast fashion giants, I think there are more and more alternatives, yours (Thrilling) being one of them, I think the resale platforms for the issues they’re still figuring out are amazing and growing very quickly and will probably start taking a market share from the bigger companies.” Jackson had a couple of ideas about care of garments: “The first is wash your clothes less often which is not always the most popular solution. Colder loads, shorter loads. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, buying a front loading washing machine. And then you can think about buying a filter to include on your hose capturing some of these microfibers.”

When asked which companies are close to getting it right, Kibbe responded, “Everybody wants to know where to shop and who to shop from. The thing is, I don’t have a great answer because it’s always buy used.” Gilmartin did have a couple of suggestions:

“On the production side, footwear is a huge contributor to these issues and there’s a company based in Germany called Zellerfeld. They are building 3D printing boxes basically where you can scan your foot with an app and in ten minutes, have a perfectly printed pair of shoes custom to your foot. They’re building these amazing printing farms, they’re going to be in the US soon, but when you’re done with that footwear, you’ll be able to send it back to them. They’ll shred it up and create an entirely brand new piece of shoe from your previous shoes. You basically subscribe to their service one time and you’re wearing that same shoe for the rest of your life. I think this is an amazing physical material fashion innovation.

On the media side, there’s a New York-based editorial agency called Monad Agency. I think a lot of the issues when it comes to sustainable fashion is it needs to be aesthetically appealing, it needs to be desirable and Monad is creating great content around sustainable fashion. They’re working with small brands and giving them Vogue-level content production and I think that’s kind of what we need on the media side. More focus and larger reach for the small brands.”

“It will really take all of us working together to solve the problem.” – Alexis Jackson