TRAAMS

“That’s it, right there,” I said to myself, “right when the bass line hits, 40-seconds in, the sound grabs you like a hungry beast looking for satisfaction. ” The crunching guitars and driving drums on “Swimming Pool,” the opening track on the FatCat debut of West Sussex trio TRAAMS, is a bodacious opener [...]

Nothing Romantic About UK’s Savages

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“The world used to be silent / Now it has too many voices.”

- Savages (Silence Yourself Manifesto)

As I prepare to see Savages at the Fonda Theatre in L.A. tonight, I look back at my first experience seeing this band earlier this year.

Jerking her head back-and-forth, with sudden and purposeful movements, Jehnny Beth’s dark, piercing black pupils slice through the crowd’s veneer of hipster-euphoria like a Katana sword through a watermelon. Her stage presence is as impressive as Ian Curtis during the genesis of Joy Division, and one day, we’ll all be talking about her ability to own a crowd. So if you weren’t already aware, Beth, the vocalist and lyricist of UK-based quartet Savages, is driven to be taken quite seriously. For her, Savages is fine art; a gallery showcase of her soul, and to be taken seriously as a proper artist is expected.

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The Hipster Gestapo at the El Rey, with their heads spinning as they text their fellow KCRW-listening groupies about the “Next Joy Division,” seem dumbfounded at the monochromatic intensity in the French-born singer’s eyes. As the white lights reveal the wrinkles in their all-black outfits; bass player Ayse Hassan quickly stands out sonically with the pummeling bass line for “City’s Full,” which has the bassist bouncing behind her pearl white P Bass like a possessed beatnik on a pogo stick. The ferocious rhythm section of Savages is the byproduct of Hassan’s experimental punk plucking; smashed together with the outright hydrogen explosion of crashing cymbals and frenetic hi-hat bravado of their drummer, Fay Milton, who is known to have an unconventional warm-up routine that requires isolation and focus. Milton’s virtuosity behind the kit is one of the pillars that will hold this band above their peers, in a different stratosphere, for as long as they wish to occupy the space.

Continue reading Nothing Romantic About UK’s Savages

Coasts: “Wallow”

Coasts continue to bring the goods with their new song “Wallow,” off their Paradise EP, which they will stream in full at the end of June. I’m curious how their music translates live. If they can pull off the energy of their recorded material, watch out. The crescendos burst at the seams.

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Stream Coasts’ new song, “Oceans”

It’s frigid. I’m out on the roof with this pretty girl I met a few weeks ago, her cheeks rosy. We’re picking and licking icicles. I kind of want to buy those neon lights that will make the ice shine so my whole roof is magical. My very own ice castle. I’ll bring her [...]

Bruno Merz

Yes, Bruno Merz is the artist’s name and that’s all I’m going to say on that topic.

I hate to get all depressing on you guys, but Merz, born in New Zealand and currently living in the UK, has dropped a gem of an utmost delicate nature. Best listened to when in bed, [...]

Jonquil & Keep Shelly in Athens (but mostly Jonquil) @ Glasslands

By superstar contributor Caitlin White 

[photo by Tom | GoldFlakePaint]

It seems that everything Hugo Manuel touches turns to gold. From Chad Valley to Jonquil, I am head over heels for this man’s voice, in its myriad of forms. Manuel switches effortlessly between a soft lullabye vocal and the lovable British yell singing that still sounds harmonious, and I got to see this first hand last night at Glasslands. However, Manuel’s pipes aren’t the only thing that made their performance lovely, the entire band was so talented I just stood there dumb struck for a while wondering why I’d never taken the time to really delve into this band before. They seemed to have a really good vibe as a band and worked well together, which sometimes isn’t present in a band that has other solo projects and offshoots involved or that has changed members throughout albums as Jonquil has. This collaborative spirit was even echoed in guitarist Robin McDiarmid’s red guitar in almost the exact shade as Manuel’s keyboard.

Jonquil – “Get Up” [MP3]

Glasslands wasn’t as packed when Jonquil opened, I didn’t make it in time to catch the act who played before them, New Moods, but I arrived right as Jonquil began with “Real Cold” and was surprised that I could work my way right to the front. Maybe the elite music-conscious hipsters of Williamsburg themselves are a bit behind on this Brit pop gem! I’ve never felt more sorry for the in-crowd missing the double trumpet grandeur of Jonquil on “I Know I Don’t Know”. It was truly amazing, both trumpeters switched between trumpet and another instrument, one unknown contributor on a sampler along with the horn and bassist Sam Scott switching between his bass and trumpet.

Continue reading Jonquil & Keep Shelly in Athens (but mostly Jonquil) @ Glasslands

[MP3] Gemma Ray: “Runaway”

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard from Gemma Ray. Not necessarily because she hasn’t produced anything new, because she may have. She also may not have. I didn’t do much research for this post, because it honestly doesn’t matter to me. Feel free to Google it, though. What does matter to me [...]

Coasts

Whoever said you can’t listen to upbeat music in winter is a big fat liar. Because I’m doing it right now. *Obnoxiously sticking my tongue out.*

Coasts are a Bristol-based pop heavy band with driving melodies and peppy vocals. The band is going for a tropical vibe, which is clear through their music [...]

Maggie8

You’ve likely noticed that I’m keen on starting the work weeks with something unique and uplifting. We don’t often (read: never) get Hindi folk submissions, and while at first the distinct sound can be a bit off putting, I think you’ll grow to love it like I have. Maggie8′s complex arrangements and excitable, [...]

Jethro Fox

It’s imperative that we start our weeks off right following the long Thanksgiving break (for many of us). Jethro Fox, out of Liverpool, fits the bill with this bouncy pop gem, “Before.” I can’t find much negative to say about “Before,” actually, except that it leaves me wanting more. In today’s hypercritical society, [...]