Anna Robins, an indie folk/Americana artist heralding from South Dakota has just put out her brand new record, Chronicle. The 12 track LP was entirely written by Robins as the result of a 2016 Song-A-Week challenge, so the title of her album is aptly named, as it chronicled her thoughts, experiences, and feelings at the time. Not only did Robins songwrite the entirety of Chronicle, but also played mandolin, piano, acoustic guitar, and tin whistle, with accompaniment by several artists’ instrumentals as well.
We love a good overture, and Robins does not disappoint, starting her album with “Intro”. Anything with a musical prologue helps create the tone, and for Robins, sets the stage for what’s to come. Coming right up with the first ‘real’ track is “Pulse”, a yearning, strings-focused song that displays Robins’ musical heartbeat. Foreshadowed in the intro is the next song, “Driftwood”. This one shows the first bit of what Robins can do with Americana, especially in the chorus. Next up, “Thief” amps up the mood with a rollicking, harmony-infused track highlighting some excellent banjo playing. This is the kind of song that gets you stomping your feet and clapping your hands. After the whirlwhind of the preceding track, “Amelia” is a change of pace, a lovely, emotional song. Halfway through the record is the sassy “Burn It Down”, full of attitude and quite a beat; this song is unlike any other on the album.
Following up “Burn It Down” is “Trespassin”, a folk song if there ever was one. Robins again masterfully utilizes harmony and strings to make a well-composed track. “The Fox The Rabbit” starts off acapella, and brings in some well-placed bass and electric guitar to further compliment her vocals. Easily a fan favorite is “A Girl’s Gotta Be Goofy”, an absolutely fun and relatable song. While a satirical song, Robins remains down-to-earth and raw in this one. An Americana album would not be an Americana album without a locale-themed song, and “Destination Colorado” is that song – with a twist. Robins does an excellent job of painting the scene with her lyrics, yet tells the listener that this place isn’t for her.
“Call Off The Dogs” follows up the previous song with heartfelt piano and full of authentic lyrics. Closing out Chronicle with an outro called “Raise Your Glass”, Robins nicely ties up her album with a track that reminisces on what has passed while looking hopefully to the future. Robins does a fantastic job of putting her own spin on what an Americana/folk record sounds like, and we’re eager to see her do big things.
Keep up with Anna Robins
Datarock‘s latest album, Face the Brutality, dropped March 9th through YAP records. DATAROCK is an 80’s recreating synth-rock band hailing from Norway, a place known more for its black metal. The band says the album’s title comes from a phrase they had heard prior and that, “coming from a city of black metal, and with a background in punk and trash metal, we found the title so utterly wrong for DATAROCK.”
Face the Brutality‘s first track, “BMX”, kicks off in good ol 80’s drum machine style. Joined in by an arpeggiated synth line that takes you back in time. I dropped a line to the band and asked,” why re-create that period of time?” Fredrik responded, “Probably just the fact that I grew up back then and have fond memories connected to those kinds sounds.” Seems, he isn’t alone. It’s becoming a trend and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon with aqua net and 80’s fever. There are contemporary sounds in this 80’s mix alongside some spunky lead guitar riffs, old school wah-wah, and some great group back up singers. Fredrik’s voice can range in the stylings of Beck, Sting, and even Sisters of Mercy as you get into the albums 4th track “Laugh in the Face of Darkness”, with its seductive sound. DATAROCK is a surefire for 80’s party like entertainment, not only through audio alone. Their stage show is top notch and made famous by wearing red tracksuits, in which you can purchase through their website. More than just a synth-driven pop band with punk influence the lyrics throughout have a poetic depth that can be thought pondering. When asked what track he was most stoked about Fredrik stated, “Today my favorite is the one named after a soap opera featured in Twin Peaks’s first season – Invitation to Love; a track that reinvents the ballad as a dance floor genre … and puts the reverb back on Kjetil Møster’s saxophone.” The track begins with drum and bass that is smoother than a baby’s butt. Mysterious like a hitman, and as sleek as a leatherette in an 80’s Porsche. The album ends on a punk-ish note with “Darkness at the Edge of the Pit.”
Overall the album hosts a series of hidden gems when it comes to musical diversity. DATAROCK have revamped the 80’s genre and polished it to perfection. When asked about the international reception Fredrik comments,”Over the years it’s been great! Like how we been able to play a thousand clubs and festivals in 36 counties on 5 continents – and how we ended up as 36 on NME’s list of albums of the year, or how Rolling Stone Magazine made Computer Vamp Love 88th beat of the yeast, etc. So far the best international response on the new album has been 5/5 in Music News and 4/5 in Classic Pop.”
In closing, what have we learned, Norway, more than just black metal, they’ve got DATAROCK. Go purchase your copy of Face the Brutality (or a tracksuit) from the bands’ website.
Calagary-based rock-n-roll duo Miesha & the Spanks have just released a brand new record, Girls, Girls, Girls, produced by Paul Rawson and Danny Farrant. Miesha Louie’s guitar and vocals paired with Sean Hamilton’s drums make for a two-piece bursting with energy, volume, and authentic yet unique garage rock. Here’s the run-down of Girls, Girls, Girls:
First Blood – the record starts with a rollicking track, appropriately titled “First Blood”. Miesha & the Spanks waste no time getting the listener comfortable, and immediately introduce their nostalgic yet modern sound.
Motorin’ – picking right up where “First Blood” left off, “Motorin” is one of the most rocking tracks on Girls, Girls, Girls.
“Come Undone” – an unapologetic track with a bit of a retro sound, “Come Undone” showcases Miesha’s vocals magnificently
“Lost Boy” – with a beat that will have you jumping up and down, bass that will take you to another time, and an angsty, lost sound, “Lost Boy” is the band’s garage rock at its best.
“Girls” – the title track of the record, this song is a combination of groovy nostalgia on a punk backdrop.
“Atmosphere” – this is a song for anyone who’s been told to keep it down. One listen and you’ll be hooked by beat, contagious chorus and lyrics. You can also check out the lyric video for Atmosphere that Miesha & the Spanks have already released.
“Be Alright” – an unapologetic, feel-good song, “Be Alright” shows a bit of the lighter side of the duo while maintaining their sound.
“Stranger” – with a bit of a girl-group sound to it, “Stranger” is reminiscent of the days when you looked for a love that no one else had.
“Witch Hunt” – the penultimate song on the record, “Witch Hunt”, is filled with devil-may-care attitude, rocking “yeah-yeah-yeah”s and individuality.
“Summer Love” – the final track on Girls, Girls, Girls, “Summer Love” closes out the album on a bittersweet, lighter note. Just like a summer love, you won’t want this record to end (that’s why you put it on repeat).
Stay connected with Miesha & the Spanks (and maybe catch them on tour!)
Website – Facebook – Spotify – iTunes – Instagram – Twitter
Portland-based Lisa/Liza is the indie psych-folk project of singer-songwriter and guitarist Liza Victoria, joined by Jonathan Downs and Devin Ivy. Having previously released several limited edition cassettes and CDs, as well as a debut 2016 LP Deserts of Youth, Lisa/Liza has now released a brand new EP in late February called Barn Coat.
The five-track EP highlights Lisa/Liza’s ability to capture deep emotion within ethereal, floating vocals and the carefully plucked acoustic guitar.
The track list for Barn Coat is:
- “Vanity Plate”: Liza starts off her EP with a gentle folk song, easing the listener into her style and soft, all-encompassing soundscape.
- “Encounters”: Next up on Barn Coat is a track that takes a more angsty spin on Liza’s sound, utilizing staccato and deeper guitar moments to carry the thematics of the song.
- “The Robins Song”: Capturing the throaty repetition of a bird’s call, Liza matches her guitar pace to the this idea. A track full of longing and wishes, “The Robins Song” is sure to capture your heart.
- “Windows Up”: If you’re needing a new song to roll your hand up and down out the window pretending you’re in a music video, look no further. With mellow guitar and emotional vocals, Liza makes the most of this track, highlighted with some unexpected twists.
- “BC”: Closing out Barn Coat is “BC”, a short (and by short we mean 1:36) track that carries the EP home and wraps it up nicely. Throughout this track, Liza utilizes her clear vocals to pair with her guitar in a combination that was just meant to be.
If you’re a fan of acoustic guitar and minimalist records, this is the EP for you. Be sure to check it out today.
Stay connected with Lisa/Liza
Facebook – Web – Twitter
Bringing funk and innovative songwriting to the forefront of the music scene is Mosie’s Tangerine, which is sure to reign in the weekend vibes like nothing we’ve seen in recent history. This Boston based dynamic due has brought funk back with new and innovative twists that gives the genre a much needed face lift. With the addition of light synth melodies that blossom and bloom throughout the track and the delicate vocals that match the tone of their music perfectly, this group is sure to go far as they continue to create and produce music. Throughout their newest album, this group keeps it light and relaxing with their various instruments and techniques that are rarely married together.
Taking inspiration from the best of 80’s funk and old time crooner’s music, Adrian Brody and Jesse Levines has turned a throwback melody into something totally their own. Their debut album Tangerine tells the story of new-age romance and heartache that is shines a light of Jesse’s dreamy and often comical nature. Although it took some time and difficulties to find each other, the result is something that is out of this world. Mosie’s fresh new look and vocal versatility will being this duo to new heights as they continue to expand their every growing musical repertoire.
Keep up with Mosie here.
Remember the day Beavis and Butthead immortalized the band “Ween” and the song “Push th’ little Daisies?” Half of the group’s mastermind dean ween, aka the deaner, rounded out by Mike Dillon, Bill Fowler (Sound of Urchin), Adam Weiner (Low Cut Connie), Michael Hampton (Parliament-Funkadelic) make up the dean ween group. Their second album, rock2, will hit the drums of your ears March 16th, 2018.
“Showstopper”, the first track off of rock2, is a garage rock classic, a first-hand account of a small space and loud amps. The second track,”Fingerbangin”, is a semi- surf riff driven track with some superb drumming. I’m sure a crowd favorite at concerts.I was about 3 songs deep when I realized Dean Wean, all suggestive humor aside has become a very seriously seasoned musician. The total 180 spawns a sound you’d find on an old Eagles album. Returning to form with “Theme from skinheads kicking your ass” is saturated with horns in the back, anamorphic bass guitar and it’s easy to sing along to because the only word is “Oi.” Pulling more twists and turns to the albums sound is Rock2’s shining moment, “Yellow Pontiac.”
“You are what you eat, and you are what you drive”
This gritty, grungy, roll around in the swamp mud, tear into a solo cup with your teeth, gulp the beverage inside, and spit out what you chewed off, kinda rock song is seriously humorous.
The album ends with one more turn that isn’t as drastic. A dive bar, blues-rock jam “Sunset over Belmar.” Overall there is plenty of Dean Ween’s style of humor as well as a split personality type of musical diversity.
You can preorder rock2 out on March 16th through Schnitzel Records and keep up with the Dean Ween Group via their Facebook page.