If you have yet to happen upon the immense talents of Connor McLaren, now is your chance. The Indianapolis-based musician just released his first full-length with the indelible Ben Kweller’s label The Noise Company. Today, we get to peep the music video for the single “Candy Rain.”
A casual, meandering pace opens the track as we delve into the love story that is “Candy Rain.” While his romantic interest is metaphorically compared to this tasty concept, momentum builds and instrumentals are layered. The song becomes more of a quintessential rock ballad than originally expected, with a hint of grunge/surf rock influence in the whirring guitars. McLaren’s voice has the same appeal as your favorite 90’s crooners, giving all of his music what seems to be an unintentional – but completely genuine – layer of added nostalgia.
By the song alone, it is quite obvious that McLaren’s musicianship and professionalism far surpass the expectations normally associated with his ripe age of 21. But diving into the music video is a whole other treat. (See what we did there?)
The artist takes an artful approach to this visual release, with isolated color palettes dancing around his shadow profile in some frames, playing with natural elements like the textures in mother nature and the sun in others. Shots of the curly-haired crooner performing in earnest, surrounded by bubbles. Then covered in paint. Then avoiding a literal candy downpour under an umbrella.
The video is a kaleidoscope dream you won’t soon forget.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES: August 17 – New York, NY – The Footlight August 26 – Normal, IL – House Show August 31 – Bloomington, IN – The Atrium September 2 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s Apartment September 9 – West Lafayette, IN – House Show September 12 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East September 14 – Boone, NC – TApp Room September 21 – Chicago, IL – Bookclub October 14 – Charleston, SC – House Show November 10 – Appleton, WI – Appleton Beer Factory December 22 – Indianapolis, IN – HiFi **Homecoming show – TICKETS
SONG CREDITS Lead Vocals – Connor McLaren Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Alec McLaren Bass and Drums – Ben Kweller Backing Vocals – Connor McLaren and Ben Kweller **Written by Connor McLaren, Alec McLaren, and Benjamin Kweller and published by Weed Funded Songs (ASCAP), Charity Chase Songs (ASCAP) and Twelve Sided Die (ASCAP)
Tell all your friends that MagicBronson is back with another single off their upcoming album. “Surfin” is a spacey four-minute break-out track from the Long Angeles based duo. Matt Lieberman and Michael Nicastro have made waves in the indie-pop rock scene, gaining attention from names like Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who used the duo’s song, “Nervous”, in an Instagram ad for their fashion line. MagicBronson is breaking boundaries while delivering powerful and unique music.
They are not afraid to switch things up, giving us different combinations of sounds to create a discordant soundscape. Although you can get lost in the pop-rock beats in the track, it is important to listen to the lyrics. The duo has a way of writing lyrics that fit perfectly together with the beats. With “Surfin”, it gives you the perfect vibes for a trip to the beach, although the lyrics don’t deal with actual surfing. If you’re just finding out about MagicBronson, they’ll have you wondering where have you been all my life.
Though his musical prowess spans years of experience in the Los Angeles music scene, Spencer Robinson’s latest indie/alternative folk project – Spencer Robinson and The Wolf Spiders – focuses on a darker sound. And they’re preparing to release a new eight track album on November 24th, so we sat down to listen to it so you can get a feel for what’s to come.
It’s a lot of darkness, but a lot of fun.
Steady percussion begins first track “Drink Gasoline, Spit Fire”, splintering into a 70s rock feel. Once Spencer’s vocals hit, the tone of the song becomes more mysterious than before, as he sings with a jaded attitude – it is essentially a Sons of Anarchy drinking song – that would suggest a true old soul might live “beneath the surface.” While “Killer on The Farm Tonight” might have a title that seems a little off-kilter, it can be a very real fear for people who live in rural areas. (Especially after viewing particularly scary movies.) Still, the lyrics allow it to be a little bit more of a fun song. “Bleed Me” gets pretty vulnerable, as Spencer sings of pulling poison out of his body, a process that can get intimate. Really, if we’re looking for a widely translatable approach, he’s singing about ridding himself of demons and negativity of the past.
But don’t allow yourself to get enveloped by talks of blood, as you’ll soon have to come up for air just to “Enter the Void”. An introspective track, lines like “Are you lost inside your head?” and “What’s it all about?” allow you the distinct pleasure of pondering those thoughts as the song slowly meanders along. And though “September” is now long gone, we don’t have a substantial answer for Spencer’s question as to where it actually went. He goes on to sing about darkness – the coming of shorter days, it seems – and the loss of time, which he spins into having a lack of his own faculties before an abrupt end as he takes his “last breath.” And you won’t be finding any warm fuzzies in “Take Me To The Killing Floor”, but you will find yourself intrigued with the details as the track unfolds. Seventh track “10 Years of Fire” lightens the entire album up instrumentally, replete with chimes. He’s taken ten years of transgressions and thrown them on a contrasting backdrop, while simultaneously allowing even the most ethereal sounds to spin you wildly out of control. He rounds it all out with “Teenage Supernova”, a track that feels slower, like it retrieved more inspiration from California surf rock than a grunge or folk scene. The guitars match that feel, and almost gives off a positive – certainly less-than-jaded – feel of confidence.
If only we could all be Teenage Supernovas…
Beneath The Surface is out November 24th via Rusty Knuckles. Keep up with Spencer Robinson and The Wolf Spiders here.
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.
On Thursday, March 16th, Colony House brought their Cannonballers Tour to The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri. Pop trio Little Image opened the event, bringing the energy up high enough that the crowd was jumping up and down in unison halfway through the set. For a mid-week show in the midwest (in the snow, mind you), that was enough to have me convinced that even the opener has some lasting power.
Colony House took the stage to a warmed-up crowd, many of whom seemed to genuinely know every word of their music. From the first chords of “Landlocked Surf Rock” through the honest lyricism in “Learning How to Love,” and through on into “Man on the Run,” the crowd was 100% engaged in the performance. (Not even the building blizzard seemed to bring them down.) Fan favorite “One of Those Days” felt a bit anthemic, as the crowd came together in vulnerability and a sense of togetherness.
The 22-song set list was to die for at best, and inspiring at worst. About midway through the event, they did an endearing rendition of Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit,” a song it seems the crowd – aside from just myself – will never quite tire of. Nostalgic surf rock favorite “You Know It” was the perfectly placed last performed track, allowing the band to assure us that they will be back again.
Tennessee-bred indie rock outfit Colony House – expertly comprised of artists Will and Caleb Chapman, Scott Mills, and Parke Cottrell – celebrates the release of their new full-length The Cannonballers today. Equal parts thrilling and entrancing, the album is a wild ride from the intro of the initial track “Landlocked Surf Rock” to the very last notes of “I’m Not Dyin’.” Chapman’s vocals are smooth, the lyrics are relatable, and the indie rock edge is cut slightly with high production quality.
Admits the band: “We tried to stay away from getting stuck on a theme, but I think being back home for such an extended period of time after traveling so hard for the last ten years informed a lot about this album.”
In fact, their home base served as the main inspiration for the album. Says frontman Caleb Chapman: “We got to see the seasons change and experience our home again for the first time in a long time. I think I was falling back in love with Tennessee, and I started revisiting some old memories and old relationships in my head that pertained to certain geographical locations as well as just emotional places I had spent my most formative years.”
We suggest melting into tracks like “One of Those Days” and “Don’t Give Up on Me” when in a contemplative mood, and turning up the volume on tracks like “Landlocked Surf Rock” and the beach-worthy title track.
Eugene, Oregon singer, songwriter and producer khai dreams debuts an acoustic version of their latest track, “Good Advice”. Half Vietnamese and 21 years of age, khai dreams has been releasing music since 2017. Their sound is an eclectic blend of influences ranging from contemporary hip-hop and R&B to modern indie, surf rock, and neo-soul. This dreamy brand of intimate pop has helped them amass more than 490 million career streams and a dedicated online following. With such an impressive background and fan base, there’s still something so humbling about “Good Advice”. With just vocals and strings, khai dreams sets a tone for the listener to just breathe. This acoustic version and accompanying video is such a comforting, feel good vibe that seems to give you a hug as you take it all in. Bittersweet and honest lyrics catch up to you quickly though with this verse,
“And you seem to think that we got time / But we never seem to get it right / Everyday I’m wishing there was more.”
Take our advice and listen to this song today, and listen to even more sweet melodies and indie masterpieces by khai dreams from their spotify.
Indie-pop/alt-rock act Cannibal Kids announce their new track “Voicemail”. This release is in anticipation of the band’s upcoming album deadheads, set to be released Feb. 21, 2020.
“Voicemail” brings back some youthful energy to the indie scene. The surf rock influenced sounds come heavily from the band’s hometown of Florida. They channel the feelings of bright, sunny, and face-paced Florida to create songs like “Voicemail” with sensuous guitar lines and pulsating baselines.
Cannibal Kids write songs about love, heartbreak, and their reality. Most times the lyrical context is a juxtaposition to the beachy vibes of the instrumentation.
On December 13th, Irish-Canadian collective The Orange Kyte unveiled their latest offering, Carousel. Resplendent in nature, the album is a well-rounded ball of energy, bringing the band’s specific brand of psych to the masses without missing a (literal) beat. Impressive reverb, charming percussion, and a rock mentality drive this album from the start with upbeat tracks “Masquerade!”, “The Modern Dar Saints”, easing into the more moderately paced “Distractions”. The song itself feels like a mild distraction, melancholic in sound, but is just as gorgeous as its predecessors.
“C.O.P.” picks it back up, injecting a certain amount of surf rock influence into the guitar. “Little Death Balloon” also operates quickly, though you almost expect it to come in with more of a My Chemical Romance-leaning rock ballad sound. Nope, it’s very 60’s and very alluring. “Demonstration Garden” is the leisurely track to follow, a song best suited for the background of your next dinner party. “Sea of Love/Ocean of Hate” comes in frantically, a true toe-tapper if ever there was one.
If the saxophone intro in “Infinity Rope” were any indication that the gorgeous climax of an 80s rom com were about to take place, we wouldn’t be surprised. The song itself is one of our favorites on the album, so definitely take a moment to appreciate its layers. Though “Downfall” has a very heavy title, the soundscape is light, experimental almost in nature. The opening sounds very other-worldly, and constant whirring in the background makes it all feel very technical and almost futuristic as well.
“Captain Ron” keeps the party going, slowing the pace a bit in the middle of the track, so that your heart rate can revert to its normal pace in time. So much excitement in one album is a lot to handle, but is an absolute pleasure to experience.