Mega Bog’s seventh album Dolphine gives listeners a ride through an auditory kaleidoscope with abstract and trippy sound coming out in every track. Get ready to picture yourself running barefoot through a field or swimming in a pool of seltzer water as singer Erin Birgy brings incredible vocal control with every song. This album could be played in a coffee shop or on a dance floor with its versatile and ever-changing melodies, giving listeners a hidden gem within the beat of every track.
Opening with “For the Old World” we are sent onto a mystic journey until the 30th second when the song takes a turn towards modern jazz. Then in “I Hear You Listening (to the Bug on My Wall)” we’re slowed down with an acoustic guitar strumming pattern that could leave you in a trance. “Diary of a Rose” is the longest track on the album, driven by the sound of chimes and lyrics dedicated to days of the past. The title track “Dolphine” opens with an upbeat and staccato electronic sound which moves the listener forward only to be swept up by Erin’s angelic and celestial voice. “Spit in the Eye of the Fire King” is the most unique song on the album, standing out among the rest as not only a duet with Ash Rickli but it also features a folk twang to it. “Truth in the Wild” tells a two-part story of a western style love that is broken up in “Shadows Break” where native whistling can be eerily felt next to the fading nature sounds and sad lyrics. In “Untitled (with ‘C’)” we’re transported back to the ethereal world of the tracks of the beginning. “Fwee Again” proves to be just as playful as its name being the only instrumental song on the whole album, and it doesn’t waste any time showing you. Finishing up with “Waiting in the Story” listeners can expect to enjoy a guitar-heavy vibe with harmonization in many octaves from singer Erin.
Saying to have written this album due to, “a myriad of overwhelming emotions” it’s no wonder we get so many different tempos and styles of songs. You can truly expect to be taken on a journey of self-discovery throughout this work. Let yourself float away and enjoy the dissonant and acoustic vibes given to us in this wonderful new album from Mega Bog.
Keep up with Mega Bog here.
For fans of Adrianne Lenker, Shannen Moser, Field Medic, Lomelda, Julie Byrne, Liz Cooper and the Stampede.
Daughter of Swords’ Dawnbreaker spins webs of stretching landscapes, intimate self-reflection, and the solace of a eulogy. Marked by gentle acoustic strumming, the faintest vocal harmonies, and folk storyweaving, the affect of this album soars most in its home-grown familiarity and faithful consistency.
Mountain Man’s Alexandra Sauser-Monnig paces her lyrics with intent, fully forming her own conclusions before speaking out loud. The characters that drift in and out of her stories (see opening track Fellows) could be people she knew, or mirrors through which she talks to versions of herself. Dawnbreaker feels like a faint memory being retold to you by someone else, and the sporadic flourish of gentle harmonies on Fields of Gold texturize Sauser-Monnig’s musings. It is this introspective exploration that distinguishers Daughter of Swords’ storytelling from that of Mountain Man.
Sauser-Monnig creates the perfect balance between indie folk and an Americana dream, be it resting in the tall brush on Grasses or careening through the evening air on a bicycle in Shining Woman. The occasional toned-down electric guitar and textured vocal harmonies lend their curiosity to the flowing breezes, pink clouds, and rising mountains painted on Dawnbreaker.
Undoubtedly, the grittiest Americana track Daughter of Swords delivers is Rising Sun. A classic and undulating electric blues riff peddles along behind a soulful harmonica solo and Sauser-Monnig’s sweeping notes that rise and fall like the Western mountainsides she seems to climb, not searching for anything in particular, but finding all along the way.
While Long Leaf Pine and Gem sparkle with optimism, tracks Easy Is Hard and Human portray the melancholy that heartache, a soaring soprano, and the peppered-in twinkling of a grand piano illustrate so well. The magic of Sauser-Monnig’s lyricism is that even morose moods never feel truly hopeless, rather, they are examples of folk storytelling at its finest: the story sits back, and, accompanied by the ever-reliable acoustic, tells itself.
Lastly, a perfect ending to a folky dream: Dawnbreaker’s title track is arguably the most pensive, featuring comparably deeper, earthier guitar tones than its predecessors. The topic is hazy, but this is where Sauser-Monnig’s heartbreaking warble shines. The final word of the album, a low, oaky utterance of the word “Dawnbreakin’”, invokes finality. The song feels like a eulogy, an acceptance, a forgiving.
Keep up with more to come from Daughter of Swords here:
- Fields of Gold
- Shining Woman
- Easy Is Hard
- Long Leaf Pine
For fans of Hayley Kiyoko, Sia, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX
Punchy, deliberate, and honest: On 6-track EP Uni-Fi, we meet many sides of X. ARI. Never holding back from her truth, X. ARI tells stories of her most confident and vulnerable moments alike over glittery soundscapes full of synth, undulating basslines and pounding club beats. The work covers a handful of essential topics for young people today: mental health, gender and sexuality, and of course, heartache.
Early on in the EP, X. ARI characterizes her “I don’t give a f—“ attitude that many, many artists have learned to embody over the years as a means of making a name in pop. This declaration, paired with a glicthy chorus peppered with onomatopoeic vocals, blast X. ARI through her own video-game-sounding world on track two titled La La La
ARI is well known as a fierce advocate for mental health, and this EP addresses her daily battles directly; specifically on tracksBreak-Point, Uni-Fi (ft. IRA X.), and Yin Yang (ft. IRA X.) The first track, Break-Point, is an effective invitation for listeners to dive into an alt-pop experience that could be characterized as an interpretive dancer’s dream come true.
Title track Uni-Fi feels wistful and hopeful, both sonically and lyrically. X. ARI explains her feelings of displacement, confessing, “I’m a little bit damaged…I’m together in fragments, a mosaic I’m trapped in”; but the tone of this song is optimistic, especially through the resounding chorus. While IRA X.’s contributions on the EP aren’t necessarily overwhelming, they complement X. ARI’s vocals nicely; adding dimension and even more synth, as well as highlighting notions of living in a gendered world. She divulges, “I’ll tell you a story of a girl and a boy trapped in the same body, just fighting for some space”.
The most telling narrative of X. ARI’s personal journey with mental health has got to be Yin Yang, also featuring IRA X. Considering how sensitive and emotional of a topic this must have been for X. ARI to write, one is almost left wishing that the song’s dynamic conveyed just a little bit more of those extremes than it does. That said, sometimes the pen is mightier than the- well, synth, and X. ARI scores a 10 for the vulnerability of Yin-Yang’s lyrics.
Perhaps one of the most enticing melodies on the EP lie in the token heartbreak track of the work, titled Everywhere. Contrasting the thrust of her alt-pop anthems, X. ARI uses a slightly softer vocal inflection and a floaty, oscillating hook that mates perfectly with the twinkly, echoing backdrop. The track is punctuated by muted, reverberating beats that could be a slowing heartbeat, or an explosion off in the distance. The most expressive song by far, it seems that on Everywhere, X. ARI is experiencing the feeling of both.
You can keep up with X. ARI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram below.
Wild Wing’s fourth record New Futures is the epitome of eclectic rock-and-roll. Growing up together in Los Angeles, band members David Gantz, Max Garland, Zach Miller, and Theo Cohn continue to display an unbreakable bond as well as showcase their musical talents as a bonafide rock band.
The record completely redefines the rock genre by including punk, pop, and electronic influences that as jarring as they are the perfect match for each individual song. From the electronica instrumental of “Futures (Intro)” to the screamo sounds of “Triumph” to the rock-and-roll anthem of “Momma’s Got a Brand New Bag” to the country twang of “Ontario,” each song takes you to a whole other place, which is essentially what makes Wild Wing so wild in their approach to music. Their openness towards experimentation allows for New Futures to capture the essence of true rock-and-roll.
Be sure to check out New Futures for yourself, and keep up with Wild Wing here.
Funk artist Boulevards (Jamil Rashad) recently released his brand new fourteen-track stunner YADIG! We learned quickly that this album is going to be included in our stack of favorites for 2019, hands down. From first track “Lord Knows”, there is a sense of absolute comfort in the landscape of this album, a feeling of warmth within its funk-filled tracks.
As Boulevards bounces from topic to topic with the introduction of each new track, we are taken back in time a bit to a sound that is very reminiscent of the 70s. Funk is what Boulevards has mastered, an unconventional type that finds these tracks perfect for a gallery opening, small backyard barbecue, or a wedding day soundtrack. To find something that versatile and this lush is absolutely unheard of, and we’re floored by the artistry of YADIG!
Check it out below!
Keep up with Boulevards here.
Oliver Ray‘s debut album is an audible kaleidoscope that takes you on a winding and beautiful sonic journey, a facet so many recent releases seem to lack. Beginning with “Ol Coyote”, Out Passed Nowhere brings us track after track of subtly impactful songs, a bit of twang and a whole lot of heart added in.
Ray has a bit of a Bob Dylan flare to his vocals, particular songs like “Setting Sun” bring it out in droves, though it seems to add a level of comfort that heightens the already warm landscape. “Tower and the Star” introduces a sound that is both futuristic and of past times, enhanced by endless reverb. For those reasons and many more, it is our favorite gem off of the release.
But what’s yours? “Queen of Never”? “Wise Blood”? Share with us on Facebook!