Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Late September Singles 2: Indie-pop and more

October 6, 2017

1. “Salgado” – ALTRE DI B. Somewhere between the punchy riffing of Cage the Elephant and the attitude-heavy enthusiasm of The Vaccines lives this exciting tune. The extended coda is surprising and hopefully indicative of left-turns in the future.

2. “Hold On” – Leisure Club. For those who miss the old Vampire Weekend, look no further for your latest fix. It pushes almost all the buttons and feels so good.

3. “Turtledoves” – Gingerlys. The cloudy guitars of late ’00s SanFran garage rock are put to different use here, paired with pop-punk drumming and relatively straightforward indie-pop vocal melodies. The results are an unusually propulsive haze that collapses triumphantly and unexpectedly at the finish line.

4. “The Lord Giveth and Taketh Away” – Chaperone Picks. Lo-fi guitar strumming a la early Mountain Goats, big overdriven guitar that calls up ’90s indie heroes like Guided by Voices, and a drop-dead end to the two-minute song create a mystical union (a unified belt, if you will) of multiple strands of lo-fi indie.

5. “Oom Sha La La” – Haley Heynderickx. If Lady Lamb weren’t quite so prickly and prone to ’50s vocalizations (either for ironic effect or in true earnestness, who can say?), she could have written this loping, quirky, deeply engaging indie rock tune.

6. “Beholden” – Canon Blue. Anyone missing the chipper tones of Givers or who loves when Lord Huron plays huge pop songs will love this grooving, steel-drum-inflected folk-goes-indie-rock tune.

7. “My Heart, Your Heart” – Trevor Hall. I don’t know how Hall makes such a beats-driven indie tune sound organic and human, but whatever he does, it’s totally effective. This is immersive.

8. “Look Up” – raener. This de-constructed indie-rock tune is one part James Blake silkiness, one part menomena controlled chaos, and one part LCD Soundsystem abstract danciness. Despite its inherent coldness in the choppy, brittle arrangement, there’s an inviting nature to the tune. Very interesting.

9. “Warm (ft. Frankie Forman)” – Speakman Sound. This snaky, slinky, low-slung electro tune has features a real violin, real drums, and layered vocals; it almost sounds like a Local Natives tune, or a very distant cousin to a Fleet Foxes tune. I was astonished by it.

 

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Premiere: The Morning Yells’ “Take Me Somewhere”

October 3, 2017

The Morning Yells (L-R): Curran McDowell, Trevor Smith, Laura Stancil, Phil Stancil. Photo credit: Chase Bescey.

The Morning Yells (L-R): Curran McDowell, Trevor Smith, Laura Stancil, Phil Stancil. Photo credit: Chase Bescey.

The Morning Yells are a band that can appropriate and reinvent the past without becoming constrained by it. “Take Me Somewhere” combines all sorts of ’70s influences with ease: Fleetwood Mac’s mystic dreaminess, The Eagles’ effortless swagger (totally a compliment!), and the laidback California vibes of Jackson Browne.

Yet these are only touchstones–just threads pulled out of the larger tapestry. The six-and-a-half minute song feels totally cohesive and much shorter than its runtime because of the chemistry between the instrumentalists, the confident vocal performances, and the solid production job that puts just the right amount of space around all the parts. It’s a tune that easily stands up to multiple listens. They will take you somewhere, indeed.

The Morning Yells’ Proper Wilted EP comes out October 6. Pick it up here.

You can check out The Morning Yells on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or live:

10/4/2017: Los Angeles, CA @ Good Times at Davey Waynes
10/7/2017: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe (11PM)

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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