Halcyonaire shares ‘Vol. 1’ ahead of show at Brick and Mortar tonight

Oakland trio Halcyonaire has one of the more distinctive sounds around the Bay, combining lead singer Chris Damien's unique voice with a wide-open, western sound. As they prepare to release new material, they've just shared an interesting EP/single, Vol. 1. They shared two versions of two songs, "Sonneteer" and "Weeping Canopy", each recorded at different locations and stages of their career. The first version of "Sonneteer" was recorded at Tiny Telephone, and features a continuous, upbeat rockabilly rhythm driving the song, while the second version recorded at Different Fur slows up the tempo, adds some horns, and expands some of [...]

By |June 28, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: listen to Fellow Wolf’s “Tulsa Springs” before their release show tonight

San Francisco's Fellow Wolf is set to release their debut EP on vinyl tonight at Thee Parkside, and we're pleased to give you the first listen of one of the singles from the album. Fellow Wolf's Christopher Drellow explains the origin of the song: "I was at the beach a couple of years ago when I overheard maybe the greatest conversation two young children have ever had. It was a boy and a girl, clearly siblings. The girl, the older sibling, was begging her parents to bury her in the sand. She was getting more and more upset that they [...]

By |June 23, 2016|Tags: |

Emily Jane White releases lushly dark “Frozen Garden” ahead of record release show

Oakland-based songwriter Emily Jane White is soon to have five records under her belt, yet with each album, she manages to explore and craft fresh musical and thematic ideas in her songwriting. She's set to release her fifth record They Moved In Shadow All Together on July 8th via Talitres Records, but we can hear now the intimate, dark single "Frozen Garden." When recording this record at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone Studios over two years, she's said to have utilized its echo chambered-rooms as an instrument in itself. At first listen, "Frozen Garden" is an experiment in balancing White's hauntingly [...]

Oakland’s Marbled Eye debut concise and effective post-punk

(EP cover. design: Michael Lucero) Marbled Eye's debut comes at a time when uninformed critics have used Silicon Valley's Bay migration and the subsequent displacement of local artists to question the state of the area's music scene. Although initially conceived by Chris Natividad and Michael Lucero, Marbled Eye's members also perform with Meat Market, Unity, Useless Eaters, Golden Drugs, and Creepers. The groups self-titled EP serves as another reminder that the Bay's scene is far from uninspired. The songs are concise, well written, and consistent. There's the immediacy of opener "Coated," the cutting, pensive leads on "Primrose," and perhaps the EP's most memorable track, closer [...]

By |June 22, 2016|Tags: |

Rexx Life Raj to hold ‘Father Figure’ listening party at Midsummer Studios in Emeryville

The other night I spent (probably too much) time talking with a friend about the importance of hip-hop and rap being geographically contingent. West Coast hip-hop doesn't sound like East Coast hip-hop. Rap from the South sounds nothing like rap from the Bay Area. But each artist uses creative embellishments and stylings to tell a story about their hometown, and to musically map the place they grew up. Because of this, it's no wonder that Bay Area hip-hop and rap have charted themselves onto the map for decades. We recently did a post highlighting over a dozen new Bay Area rap and hip-hop artists, and the [...]

By |June 17, 2016|Tags: |

Nikolas Escudero releases honest debut album ‘100’

At times it's easier to keep a tough persona rather than really sink into those feelings you've grown to find embarrassing. They are not embarrassing. Everyone feels alone, hatred for themselves, and confusion about what's going on in their own personal lives. It's not embarrassing, but when you are raised in a society that has made it out to seem so, it becomes braver to be honest than to be stoic. Nikolas Escudero is mostly known as the bassist for Never Young. In the last couple months, he released not a only a whole book but on June 1, 2016 he [...]

Summer Peaks release ‘Color in the Shade’ and help you float back down to earth

On June 8, 2016, Summer Peaks released their new record Color in the Shade via Wave Dweller. It felt like it had been a long time waiting, but when you finally hit play, you begin floating away with the timeless melodies. When you hit that play button, you remember why you waited in the first place, and nothing really matters in the time it takes you to listen to all 12 songs. It's no secret that every single member of the band is unbelievably talented, from Zachary Elsasser to Melina Duterte to Daniel Mandrychenko and Dylan Allard, and if you get the [...]

By |June 10, 2016|Tags: |

Oakland croonwave band Introflirt unveils murky, throbbing single “Frozen Lace”

Put on that darkest shade of lipstick and eyeliner, folks: Oakland's Introflirt are ready to send you down a moody dance spiral. We highlighted the trio of Vafa, Ben Benjamin, and Brendan Dreaper (then a duo) in a mixtape earlier this year, and they're back in full force with their sophomore album Temporary Heaven out late this summer and its first single "Frozen Lace" officially out today. If Kavinsky was the soundtrack to Ryan Gosling's brooding antics in Drive, then this song would follow his character getting lost in a dimly-lit nightclub. Dark, pulsing synths bring the darkness from the [...]

By |June 10, 2016|Tags: |

Get To Know: 1988

From its beginnings as a bedroom project fronted by Luis Gutierrez, 1988 has since grown into a 5-piece band with a couple of albums, hundreds of unreleased songs, and a pair of June shows. The 1988's music is dark, murky, and oh so spooky. But somehow, it retains a serenity and is simply pretty at times. "We started wanting to write horror sound tracks and then kinda morphed into a mutant pop band," explains Gutierrez, who is also a member of Religious Girls. "It's Nahuatl horror pop." The reverb heavy lyrics are sung mostly in Spanish, making them even more intelligible [...]

By |June 10, 2016|Tags: |

Dogcatcher debut “My Sunshine,” plan third full-length for summer release

It’s hard to pin down a specific style on Mountain View four-piece Dogcatcher. Just a quick rundown of their first two records, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively, only emphasize this confusion. The first, KILR, is a contemplative folk-rock record with occasional Herb Alpert flairs. The second, It’s Easy, is a feel-good, jazzy groove-rock album. That brings us to their third, soon-to-be released self-titled album. This record might prove that Dogcatcher indeed have a sound, as it’s not a departure from their last record, but an evolution on the dance-rock sound they were going for the last go around. “On [...]

By |June 8, 2016|Tags: |
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