little dume, waking up

little dume, waking up

Anybody else ready to see an improvement in climate change law and the way we take advantage of our precious baby Earth? Alt-pop collective Little Dume has taken their environmentally conscious thoughts and placed them in their first 5 track EP, Waking Up. Theatrical and intense, the entirety of the release could be found in the soundtrack to a romance novel-turned modern major motion picture. Perhaps it’s their location in Malibu that brings the message of the environment to us disguised within sticky sweet pop sounds, either way we’re falling in love with their musicianship while “Waking Up” to the beauty to be lost.

A true love song, “As Always” showcases a raspier, slightly grittier soundscape. It utilizes the metaphor of natural disaster alongside descriptions of other gorgeous scenery to play with the meaning of love and the collective, it seems. Don’t be disappointed that Beyonce doesn’t make an appearance on “Halo”, the song itself is more Coldplay than anything else sonically (fight me). It’s gorgeous, and plays with the meaning of “bad” and “good”.

For some reason, we get quick flashbacks to music from The Cab with the opening of “That Could Be Me”, another clear love ballad that is hopeful and emotional, vocals that rip to your very core. “Kings and Saints” wraps up the EP smartly. It can be classified as a leisurely then powerful self-reflective and, once again, hopeful song, reminiscent of the energy of recent Top 40 releases. (Cough cough nudge nudge.)

What do you think? Share with us on our Facebook page!

Keep up with Little Dume here.

the innocence mission, see you tomorrow

the innocence mission, see you tomorrow

After making music for over 30 years, Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s The Innocence Mission has yet another hauntingly beautiful album to offer up to the public. The band, led by married couple Kerin and Don Perris, is set to release their twelfth studio album on January 17th via Thérèse Records. The alternative folk band’s newest project is eleven tracks long and includes a rich collection of instrumentation, with guitars, piano, pump organ, accordion, electric bass, melodica, drums, timpani, upright bass, mellotron, and an old prototype strings sampler keyboard all gracing the songs in clever and achingly beautiful arrangements in addition to Kerin’s unique and aching vocals and Don’s well-placed harmonies.
The album’s introductory track, “The Brothers William Said”, is one of the standouts on the album. Soft and sweet piano combined with Kerin’s airy vocals alone carry us through the first half of the song, and her beautiful lyricism could easily be mistaken for poetry. “The kindness of your face / Does not go unrecognized / Has not refused to shine / In this most difficult time” she sings, bringing hope and understanding to a song meant to shed light on those who are often misunderstood due to their quiet nature. “I’m drawn to titles that are phrases, especially ones that seem to be a fragment from a conversation. “See you tomorrow” is the phrase that turns the song around to possibility and hopefulness.” says Karen about the song that yielded the albums title. While the track starts off sparse instrumentally, it builds to include a myriad of beautifully arranged instrumentation before dropping back off to finish the way it started with solo piano.

“St. Francis and the Future”, like many songs on the album, deals with themes of change and the passage of time. In this track Karen sings of how a painting she viewed on a family trip with her children came to represent looming changes that she wasn’t ready to face. In “John as Well”, echoey vocal layering and heavenly background vocals flirt with the lead vocal as the song builds. This track, as well as “At Lake Maureen”, gently but firmly reminds us of the importance of getting to know the true selves of those around us and the necessity of being understood ourselves. The album’s conclusion, “Would be There”,is a twinkly blend of Karen’s light-as-a-feather vocals and skillfully arranged, thickly-textured sections skillfully building to the outro, where the album goes back to basics and ends the same way it started; with a charming piano outro that subtly lets the listener know that it’s time to slip back into reality.

Keep up with The Innocence Mission here.

written by: madi toman
the greeting committee @ uptown theater

the greeting committee @ uptown theater

Not even freezing temperatures and icy roads could stop Kansas City from showing up for their favorite hometown act last Saturday as indie-pop band The Greeting Committee returned home and took the stage for a sold-out crowd at Uptown Theater. The energy in the theater was absolutely electric as fans packed into the venue, eager for an escape from the cold and snowy night. It was delivered.
Addie Sartino, the band’s frontwoman and charismatic shining star, was, as expected by the eager crowd, a force to be reckoned with. It was a constant stream of highs as Sartino led the audience through a whirlwind of emotions throughout the night. The group played fan favorites like “Don’t Go”, “Pull It Together”, and “You’ve Got Me” as an ecstatic crowd danced and sang along with Sartino. She flawlessly demonstrated her talents on every one, not missing a beat and thriving throughout the spirited set.
A notable moment came fairly early on as a nostalgia-inducing “salute to our youth” saw the band bring on stage a large group of local Kansas City musicians for a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” that bordered on spiritual. But the homegrown band was just getting started.
About halfway through the show, Sartino asked the audience to respect her request “human being to human being” as she asked that everyone be completely silent while she performed “Call in the Morning”, a somber track that deals with tragedy off of the band’s new EP. Complete and total silence blanketed Uptown as Sartino traded her typical high-energy performance style for vulnerability and a powerful stillness as she stood center-stage while singing the track. Even in her stillness, her ability to connect to her material shone through. A completely mesmerized crowd couldn’t peel their eyes away from the frontwoman, who encapsulated what it means to put yourself into a performance. Sartino’s demanor shifted as she made it to the song’s spoken word portion, and she frantically ran around the stage as the lights went blue and she yelled out the monologue to a sea of teary faces. “Call the police, drain the bathtub, hide the bleach, call ‘em quick love. I think we’ve lost it” she screamed. “I cannot find another you”.
Sartino threw herself to the floor and pounded her fists along with the heartbeat-like drums as she screamed “Call the police!” over and over again. The song appeared to be pure catharsis for the young performer. The theater went dark as “1-800-273-8255” and “If you’re looking for a sign to stay alive, this is it” appeared on the screen and remained there as the band played the ending to the song softly in the background. 2,000 fans stood unmoving and silent, and many faces were streaked with tears as the audience stared at the dark stage, completely overcome by the power of the moment that they had just witnessed. Uptown was momentarily still as the crowd stood frozen, unsure of how or if the silence should be broken.
But just like that, Sartino was back on stage and better than ever, and the crowd rallied along with their fearless leader. The band took what could easily have been a hard moment to recover from and kept the wonderful moments coming, and it was impossible not to latch on to their infectious energy. The crowd’s spirits climbed through the roof as the show continued to escalate. The back half of the night included a mosh pit during fan-favorite “Hands Down”, and crowd-surfing by literally everyone in the band. The final song of the night, “Gold Star”, got intimate as the band got off stage and played amongst the very crowd that helped them make their largest show to date possible before exiting (while still playing of course) out the front door. It was a full-circle kind of night for the band and fans alike, and, in the words of the guy in front of me who couldn’t stop crying, “That was just special”.

article by: madi toman

the adobe collective, all the space that there is

the adobe collective, all the space that there is

Today is incredible. We made it to Friday, it’s the second weekend of the new year. Whatever trials and tribulations we have experienced in the last few days, we made it through the week and things are looking up! So now it’s time to celebrate, and we see no better way than with the transfixing sounds of Joshua Tree-based The Adobe Collective‘s new album All The Space That There Is.

“Carousel” reels you into the tranquil sounds of the band, while “Blind” begins a bit more frantically, and carries more energy with it. It is here that we realize the album is largely going to be a love piece, with relatable twists and turns and a reliable smooth as honey soundscape, regardless of how much the tempo and instrumentals vary. “To Ourselves” further proves this point, occurring at the pace of a 60s rock track. And that guitar? It melts our souls. But then when “You’ll Never Tell” sets in, it brings with it more of an old western vibe instrumentally, confrontational and beautiful in its message.

“Warm To Me” feels like a beach in the summertime, and we’re pretty sure that was on purpose so we’ll just leave it at that. (Ok we lied. Listen to it if you want to bring that chin up a bit, truly.) “All I Know” follows with more of a quick country clip, a simple and fun song you could certainly dance to. “Sky Starts At The Ground” leads with whirring guitars, and is perhaps the song most likely to be placed in a successful romantic comedy. (So do that.)

“Shine On” is a heavy song lyrically. As positive as it can be in its chorus’ message, the verses take shots at discussing life’s pitfalls. It’s bittersweet in its existence, highly relatable, but perhaps not the song to play at a party. “Taking Time” brings your heart rate back down, well-harmonized and beautifully framing the album, prepping you for the final track “So Happy That It Hurts.” The song’s title is endlessly uplifting. The song is slow, concerted, with very little melodically spoken words, blending into the instrumentals as though all are one, largely. Fragmented in its disposition, it is the perfect way to wind down from something so tragic, beautiful, and inspiring. In that way, it gives us time to reflect on the fragments that make up the whole.

Keep up with The Adobe Collective here.

the orange kyte, carousel

the orange kyte, carousel

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.

Keep up with The Orange Kyte here.

stimmerman, goofballs

stimmerman, goofballs

It’s been out for a hot second, but Stimmerman — the songwriting project of storied bassist and producer Eva Lawitts — recently released their debut 12-track full-length, Goofballs. High energy — even scattered, at times — this collection of tracks feels experimental, cutting edge. While Stimmerman plays with sonic boundaries and far-reaching, impactful vocal abilities, we get a look into the mind of no less than a genius.

Stimmerman has been quoted saying:

The album is more or less about loss and survivor’s guilt- it’s a meditation on a friend’s fatal drug overdose at a young age through that lens.

Side A of the album focuses on looking back at the environment in which our friendship started- pressures imposed on children to be successful, growing up too fast in all the wrong ways, and the often-debauched nature of our great and terrible adolescence here in Brooklyn. Side B, which is home to the song ‘Painted Smile,’ centers me more as an unreliable narrator, and features songs about grief and culpability in a close friend’s death some of which are, I believe, misguided.

With that very specific and captivating take, we dive in to what proves to be one of the most insightful and impactful albums of 2019.

Its story is unique and emotional, and with that Stimmerman brings her own brand of vocal rawness to each track. “Child’s Play” has a soundscape led by crashing cymbals, while “Elaine” builds to that point, beginning almost hesitantly in its pace. Even with the heartbreaking subject matter, Stimmerman only truly slows it down for eighth track “Long Formal Letter”, keeping us on our toes, just guessing where the musical progression will take us next. Single “Painted Smile” has perhaps one of the more chipper sounding ambiances to it, however its bittersweet truth ends the album with an almost cliffhanger feel to it.

It seems we shouldn’t be taking all words at face value. For those of you who haven’t gotten the reference yet, Goofballs isn’t to be seen as a group of silly friends this go around. And that’s OK. Not everything can be carefree. And to take such an intense life experience and be so vulnerable with it? It’s rare to be this seen as an artist, and we’re on board with Stimmerman’s delivery 100%.

Keep up with Stimmerman here.