With the release of their second full-length Cry All The Time, Impulsive Hearts delve into darker themes of love and loss, while keeping true to their bright and fierce style of songwriting.
The album opens with “MELODY” is a look at a relationship that fell apart where one knew it was coming and the other didn’t. This uses the idea of creating a melody of music to capture one’s love for the other, “I could build a melody, it’s in a song u would write it down all summer long, oh I would build the world you love, who you waiting on?” and the realization that person wants out of the relationship with: “you took it back what you said / … / you said forget the rest, the rest of what we said.”
The album ends with the track “some heartbreakers” a slower and slightly upbeat tempo track that encompasses the theme of Cry All The Time, love, heartbreak, and loss.
Impulsive Hearts creates music that has a touch of sadness to the world of neo-girl garage rock bands. With Danielle Sines providing captivating vocals and fuzzy guitar, Doug Hoyer (bass) and Dan Julian (drums) hold down the rhythm section bringing each track to its peak moment, and Fallon McDermott (saxophone) and Jess LeMaster (violinist) add a depth to these tracks. All parts come together to create the larger than life sound of Impulsive Hearts.
Cry All The Time comes full circle from its start to finish, with “MELODY” presenting an example of heartbreak and loss while “some heartbreakers” shows that we all have stories of heartbreak, each song on this record is a story of heartbreak.
Trivial Shields is the moniker of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Christian Carpenter for sonic exploration. Now, he drops a collaborative EP titled Levity, featuring vocalists from Bells Atlas, Body Language, and Lip Talk. Levity follows the release of Carpenter’s debut EP Peripheral (2018) and precedes the release of his debut album due out this fall.
Levity centers around the clarity that can be found in the midst of a bad breakup, and does so in three different vignettes. “For the Best”, which features Angelica Bass of Body Language, is a joyful break-up song that recognizes and celebrates the end of a relationship. “Rejection Therapy”, which features Sandu Ndu (vocals) and Geneva Harrison (percussion) of Bells Atlas, is a track that looks at the process of getting over a relationship and working through what it means to let someone go.
The EP features 3 tracks both with features from stellar musicians along with the instrumental versions of the same tracks. This choice allows listeners to hear Carpenter’s words and his instrumental together and separate. The words paint the picture but the instrumentation garners the feeling.
John Ross of Wild Pink is releasing his second album of instrumentals under the moniker Eerie Gaits. Holopaw, much like the area it was named after, is united to a traditional label. These nine instrumental tracks live somewhere genre-less, free of rules that tie them down.
The compositions can float and transition between upbeat guitar strums, bristly fingerpicking, and pensive sections of dense misty synths.
Each track on the record holds a complexity all of its own, setting it apart from each other making it seem that they themselves are untied from the album itself. “The Rainbow Trout and The Wicker Creel” is a somewhat placid indie-rock piece featuring a bobbing baseline, reverb-laden guitar leads, and pockets of synths that accompany the other instruments like beams of sunlight creeping through a window.
Ross attempts to create a place of country peace in Holopaw but will sometimes shift dramatically into foreboding gloominess. Not just in the tracks but in the flow of the album itself. Holopaw starts with “What’s Eating You”, a more upbeat indie-rock sounding track, but as your travel deeper into the record this upbeat vibe slowly starts to fade and appears in little glimmers.
LA indie duo Carrousel continue an incredible year with the release of their new album Magnificent Desolation. This 10-track album examines the dystopian direction of current life and the spiraling process of depression, both in ourselves and the world we live in.
Joel Piedt (songwriter, vocals, production) and Sharon Piedt (songwriter, vocals) craft pop melodies that are more futuristics and lean towards the prophetic. Carrousel’s music seamlessly lives on the plane of several genre styles cohesively.
Standout track “Exile in NY” focuses on the feelings of depression and its toll on the individual and how that affects those around them. By playing with echo and atmosphere, this track feels like it’s being pulled straight from your inner thoughts. With a slow build up by the middle of the song all sounds and feelings overlap to create a state of unrest. Ending the track with recorded voicemails help show separation between the two subjects of this track, as we know see them drift away from one another.
Consistently, the duo creates music that looks to disorient the understanding of the present, and the over-digitization of knowledge, and does so in a way that does not hold back.
Monday through Friday at 6PM PST over on indie-pop band TWIN XL’s instagram, viewers will find a themed live stream. TWIN XL, is a three piece from Los Angeles, consisting of brothers and former members of The Summer Set John Gomez and Stephen Gomez, and Cameron Walker.
These weekday live streams allow for the band to stay connected to fans during these uncertain times. Each day follows a different theme ranging from Q&A’s, talks about the making of one of their songs, games, and play music.
On Monday March 30, John Gomez and Walker tuned into Instagram for one hour to play songs per request of the audience.
Starting off the stream, Cameron played an unreleased song of the band that they have played at shows called “Melt”, mentioning the possibility of the track being released soon. After that, Gomez and Walker would read the chat in the stream taking song suggestions. Some songs they played included “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional, “Love Like Woe” by The Ready Set, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. Gomez even pulled out an oldie and played “Chelsea” from his former band The Summer Set.
The whole stream felt like a jam session between friends. The two did come to the stream with a song they wanted to perform but the rest was up to the fans. As the stream started Walker joked by saying “we are going to ruin your favorite songs”. From the start it was clear that this stream was about having fun, and that is exactly what the stream was, fun.
TWIN XL set up these weekday live streams that have happened consistently for the last two weeks, to give fans one hour a day for some fun and stay connected. As concerts are being postponed or cancelled, bands are trying to find ways to stay connected with their fans, and provide them with some form of content in lieu of a concert.
Brett Newski’s fourth studio album Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down centers around regaining control, and we only have to wait until April 17th to experience it in its entirety. At a time of high depression and anxiety because of the current global health crisis, Newski’s newest album sheds some much needed optimism.
Newski creates a call to arms against the destructive forces one may find themselves battling, which pertains to individual struggles with toxic relationships, low self-esteem, loneliness, and apathy to the global challenges we are already facing in 2020.
Newski and collaborator Spatola blend Newski’s lyricism with Spatola’s up-beat tempo and guitar-driven alternative style to create the sound of this record. Tracks like “Last Dance” lay out the challenge of trying to stay informed and engaged while trying to not consume too much that it negatively affects one’s mind. Meanwhile tracks like “Lousy T-shirt” describes the traps of social comparison in the wake of social media.
Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down is a reminder to not let outside forces negatively affect you. Keep up with Brett Newski here.
Drawing influence in an array of places, Bay area native Chelsea Collins exists in a world somewhere dizzyingly electrifying. With her new track “Used to Be (L.O.V.E.)”, she offers a bold standout. Her appearance and style can be found in the place where anime, gothic aesthetics, and troll dolls meet. This eclectic mix makes Collins alluring in her many visual appearances and voice.
“Used to Be (L.O.V.E.)” is a brash pop song that looks back on past love and where it went wrong. Collins samples Frank Sinatra’s track “Love”, but changes each letter’s meaning to showcase her negative feelings towards this person she once loved.
The track release is accompanied by a music video, which provides another way to showcase Collins captivating aura.
Her independent releases have garnered millions of streams on Spotify, and “Used to Be (L.O.V.E.)” is just one of the few anticipated tracks Collins is set to release this year.
Continuing to cement himself as an artist to watch in 2020, self-taught singer, songwriter, producer, and composer ROSA reveals his newest single, “Phone”. This track follows his debut single “Drunk Girl” released back in 2017.
“Phone” is a hip-hop infused left-pop track that tackles our ongoing fascination and dependency sought after on our cellphones. Nowadays, these hand-held devices connect us to a world far beyond our reach. “Phone” dives into what that means and its impact on our lives.
With musical influences ranging from Phil Collins and Snoop Dogg, ROSA is able to channel an array of sounds and ideas into his music.
In the coming year ROSA is set to showcase his music ability with his debut EP FEMALE. The EP centers around female empowerment and the need for men emotional maturity. FEMALE resembles an auditory diary for ROSA to bare his vulnerability on his personal battles
With “Phone”, ROSA kicks off the theme of expressing vulnerability by welcoming listeners to break masculine barriers and own their your own quirkiness. ROSA is able to powerfully combine undeniable melodies with infectious beats and create music that provokes danceability and deep thought.
Meryem Aboulouafa offers an introduction to herself in the music video for her track “Ya Qalbi” alongside the release of her debut album. “Ya Qalbi” is a magical and stunning Algerian song from the Arab-Andalusian repertoire. With the help of producer Franceso Sanalucia, the addition of modern effect brings the track into the 21st century.
The video is moving art, simply put. The color schemes are lush, highlighting simple visuals layered behind footage of the artist singing in black and white. It packs maximum impact in a quick 2 minutes.
Her debut album excels in the ‘game of reference.’ Being able to track all influences of this album is almost impossible, as she has many. Parallels can be made of her limitless imagination to Kate Bush, her creation of intimacy and emotion to James Blake, and her ability to hypnotize the universal language of music without denying the musical traditions of her origins from Oum Kalsoum.