Los Angeles-based indie pop duo Grad Party – expertly comprised of Carlo Ladd (keys, vocals) and Ian Bowers (guitars, vocals) – are hitting 2018 hard after the success of their 2017 EP Speak. Though university brought them together – they met when they attended Brown in Rhode Island – it is clearly the music that has kept them thriving together creatively. “Pretty Boy” is calculated in its sound, timid but beautiful from the beginning. The track is vulnerable, yet quirky with its staccato instrumentals, though the message holds true, the lyrics giving light to the meaning of it all. Love who you love. “Pretty boy, don’t you care what they think.”
Be sure to give this track some love in the comments!
Oakland-based indie pop collective Felsen – expertly comprised of guitarist Dylan Brock, singer/guitarist Andrew Griffin, bassist Christian Hernandez, and drummer Art McConnell – is preparing for their fifth release, a full-length titled Blood Orange Moon set to drop on January 26th. The album – comprised of eleven insanely intricate and mesmerizing tracks – was written entirely in the fall of 2014 leading into the winter of 2015, inspired by Andrew Griffin’s experiences as an 11-year-old cancer survivor. The album has a lot of heart, but the soul of the group had already spoken for itself before this one came along, to be sure.
Our first impression? Easy-going. The tempo is slow, but purposeful. The lyrics are introspective, built into the song coated in reverb. The combination of vocals and instrumentals actually makes the listener feel as though they are floating in a nostalgic kaleidoscope, with peeks into prior decades, tickled slightly by modern references. It’s beautiful, and something you can’t exactly describe. (And that heart-melting guitar toward the end. WOW!)
“Vultures On Your Bones” is available now. Keep up with Felsen here.
Sheetal Singh – former bassist for San Francisco noise pop wonder The Stratford 4 – is going in a different direction with her music, revving up to release a self-titled mini-album under her moniker Forest Bees. Originally driven by her desire to incorporate her familial history into her work, Forest Bees morphed into this beautiful – punk pitchy in its presentation, but almost earthy in tone – piece that gives the listener the impression that the musician is simultaneously experiencing an awakening of sorts.
And perhaps she did. She transformed while creating this art, and you can hear it in the soundscape. “Independence Day” is a bit of a dance track, while “Hollow Bones” fills a deeper, more primal, place in your body with differing instrumentals. While “Golden Dream” is void of the vocal warmth we would otherwise deduce from the title, we’re mesmerized by how she can still evoke a beautiful instrumental section amidst the rough, almost static, sounds that overlay the entire track. “Off Color” comes in from left field, with a hard-hitting percussion section that comes off as wonderfully experimental in tone, though the song feels more mainstream-headed than its predecessors, and we do not mean that as a negative connotation. Singh expertly rounds out the album with “Dust”, perhaps the most alluring of the five tracks. Composed of several differing tempos, this song could be equally enjoyed on a long drive, sitting with friends during wine night, and dancing in a basement club in The Village at 2am.
Forest Bees’ record release show will take place The Hemlock, San Francisco on January 25th with N. Lannon and Alexsarah. Tickets are available here. Forest Bees is available for preorder now.
Frigs. A dirty, grungy, punk sounding band from Toronto Canada that has applied the perfect amount of monotone “don’t care” attitude with catchy choral melodies. The music itself is a little hard to define or pigeonhole into a specific genre. So those of you who when asked, “What kind of music do you listen to?” and refrain from spewing out genre after sub-genre after made-up genre, and respond by saying, “everything”, this is for you.
The subtle amount of heated amplifier tubes follows suit with my description of sounding dirty and grungy, however, there is a subtle aspect of experimental musicianship that demands respect. I doubt it’s accidental talent that there are overtones applied to this track that isn’t taught in music theory but should be. Leonard Bernstein stated that a single pitch contains an infinite number of pitches. Within those pitches lay a hidden key that allows music to convey emotion.
Frigs has hit that key allowing them to not only capture a distinct sound but create an atmosphere for the listener. “Talking pictures” starts dark and dreary yet the chorus has that steady hi-hat tapping that you will find your head bobbing in sync with.
For those of us who were waiting for Courtney Love to learn how to sing (still waiting), we can now give up and turn our focus to Bria. She goes right where Love fell flat. The best part is when you think this girl just sings, you get a guttural scream, “Do you see it?” It doesn’t make this track heavy, it is what is, a boldly stated question. Here Frigshas laid out a soundscape and painted a mental picture. I saw it. “Do you see it?”
Side Note – According to their website Frigs will be on tour starting March 2018 in Canada and some states in the U.S. My only complaint is this, there is no stop in Phoenix, Arizona.
However their album Basic Behaviour comes out Feb 23, 2018. Keep up with Frigs here.
Mankind Is Obsolete, often referred to as “MKIO,” is a female-fronted electro-rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2002 by drummer Jon Siren and vocalist Natasha Cox. Our focus is on the track “On fire again” from the bands’ 5th release titled Mobius Loop. “On Fire Again” begins with music that could be the perfect theme song for those who have ever felt beaten down by life, love, or any other element, and have reached that point where the light begins to shine through the crack in the wall and you feel strength return to every muscle in your body. The chorus acts as the first verse and with good reason. With such a powerful start, it’s amazing that the song stays just as strong when the verse begins and the only sound is provided by the bass and drums. Natasha’s voice comes through and it seems as though the words and intent would still be the same even if she were humming along. You not only hear the words and comprehend their meaning, you feel it in the way she is singing.
The song as a whole will give you that motivating feeling of wanting the excitable exhilaration you get when your crush becomes love, or when you take your favorite drive and there is no other obstacle stopping you from just punching the gas. “On Fire Again” is definitely a driving force that needs to be added to your playlist.
If you’re looking to be the fan of an act that truly looks and feels 70s, something to really throw you back in time? Rock collective Lovehoney – expertly comprised of Alysia Quinones, Tommy White, Thomas Gehlhaus, and Matt Saleh – is your next muse, and we can all but guarantee that. They recently released their brand new music video for the entrancing single “Feelin’ No Way”, though the video truly gets us a glimpse inside their live performance chops.
Recorded live at Site B Studios in the epicenter of music – New York City, New York – “Feelin’ No Way” allows us a peak at how the band operates on stage, and the vocals, the hard guitars, the outfits, the tapestry, the jewel-toned lighting and shots of an old camera… everything about it just captivates us and brings us back in time. Check it out, then let us know what you think in the comments!