Experience Shadow Basket’s new single, “Thunder”

Santa Cruz-based folk and indie rock outfit Shadow Basket released their new single "Thunder" on April 24. "Thunder" is an artfully crafted song weaving an extremely strong vocal performance, rich harmonies, intricate guitar work, unique composition, and evocative lyrics. Beginning with a nautical field recording and comprised of stridulating crickets and the lulling hush of waves ebbing and flowing, an impressive fingerpicked guitar invites you into an oneiric fable where Jacey LaManna sings: Backed into the corner is an eight legged master / I am one of many eye / She built a strong line between actual walls that keep [...]

Ann James Jr releases new single, “The Rain”

On February 1, San Francisco's Ann James Jr released a lyrical new single, "The Rain." Urgent and raw in composition and instrumentation, the music grounds a lyrically charged and melancholic story shared by singer-songwriter Kevin Waylonis. In "The Rain" there are no gimmicks or affectations, just a poignant existential narrative accompanied by a charismatic vocal performance. https://open.spotify.com/track/7N0QeW21qZ1REozV6SPQHr With musical interludes serving almost as scene changes in a play, the music cools into a patient indie-pulse to feature breathtaking lines like "and times, you hardly look me in the eyes / that's alright / I'm afraid to know what you'd find [...]

By |February 16, 2021|

Elliott Ok’s first single “Snap! (The End)”

On February 5, Santa Cruz's Elliott Ok released his first single "Snap! (The End)." With an arresting vocal performance, catchy melodies, and lush production, this song's a compelling announcement of Elliot Ok's emergence as a singer-songwriter in the Bay Area Americana and indie music scene. "Snap! (The End)" certainly does not reflect the startling fact that this is his first recording — at least one shared with the public. It evinces a real sense of craft that would typically be found in a well-seasoned songwriter. Yet, having served as a multi-instrumentalist in many prominent Bay Area acts throughout the years, [...]

By |February 16, 2021|Tags: |

Petticoat’s new single “Stretch” weaves synthscapes

Having released a new single "Stretch" on January 28, San Francisco/LA artist Petticoat (David Halsey) is starting 2021 on an endearing and reflective note. "Stretch"'s '80s new wave, hyperpop synthscapes and motivational bass lines bed an alluring vocal performance akin to 1975. Balancing emotion and control, the oceanic, oneiric music complements Halsey's waking musings of a lover's hangover: "I stretch out into other worlds with you / I'm stressed out underneath my sheets at noon. Don't fall in love before you take her home / You think you love her when you really don't." "I love the music from eras that [...]

By |February 15, 2021|Tags: |

Mickey Newball is “Betting on Bad Weather”

Photo: Katie Small Released on November 30, Mickey Newball's soulful "Betting on Bad Weather" is a compelling and charismatic announcement of his entrance to the Bay Area music scene. Appropriately self-aware, Mickey Newball's debut single and video allude to a complex reality beneath the entertainer. "Betting on Bad Weather" evinces a maturity not only in his sardonic existentialism but in how to craft a quality song. Based in Santa Cruz, Mickey Newball writes and records tunes in his home studio on the California coast. Explaining his music, Mickey says, "Each song provides a window into the circus of my mind; [...]

By |November 30, 2020|Tags: |

Wolf Jett perform “Garden of Pain” in CZU fire rubble

Sometimes loss, like beauty, is ineffable. No words can convey what's captured in music and film. On Nov. 7, Santa Cruz/NY Americana band Wolf Jett released a breathtaking music video for their original song "Garden of Pain." The song is a live performance with the accompaniment of the T Sisters, set in the ashen remains of the home of drummer Jon Payne, which was lost to the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. Before the fire, Chris Jones and Jon Payne (both members of local stalwarts Scary Little Friends) had been laboring ceaselessly to create a music community, performance hall, recording studio, [...]

By |November 12, 2020|Tags: |

Premiere: Joe Kaplow’s “Little Sleep”

Quirky yet artful; cute yet clever, Santa Cruz singer-songwriter Joe Kaplow’s new single, “Little Sleep,” arrives almost a year after the release of his dynamic and captivating album, Time Spent in Between. Mercurial, curious, and playful, Kaplow is trying on a new hat in this song. This observant and teasing indie jam engenders an elegant balance between the attentiveness of his lyricism and composition, and their interchange — like two lovers, what's lost and what's gained. https://soundcloud.com/joekaplow/little-sleep/s-kRji9D5fVNx She got motion in her smile, and, summer on her breath, Kaplow sings, aware of synesthetic nature in listening to “Little Sleep.” New melody [...]

By |October 30, 2020|Tags: |

Worthitpurchase’s new single and video, “Dizzy Age”

Worthitpurchase, a two-piece art pop outfit from San Francisco, released a new single and video, "Dizzy Age," on August 14. This richly atmospheric song is in anticipation of their forthcoming album, Dizzy Age, to be released October 2 with Wiggle World Records. Self-recorded in a series of late-night sessions at the legendary Tiny Telephone studios, "Dizzy Age" is a nice balance of gentleness and subtle darker tension that only an oneiric, late-night recording experience can discover. "When we started making the record I was still an intern at the studio and me and Nicole were going in at night to record [...]

Bobcat Rob + the Nightly Howl’s new single, “Drain Pipe”

On Friday, August 12, Santa Cruz's Bobcat Rob & the Nightly Howl released a new single entitled "Drain Pipe." Much like a bobcat in a riparian woodland, the song is oneiric and mysterious. As an offering for those who often shy from the transcendental or mythical, "Drain Pipe" is a chance encounter. There in the bedraggled mulch is a rusted drain pipe: this strange alien thing to be sniffed. https://open.spotify.com/track/6Uc3Y75BewsnlNT4vH48gx?si=vx-YfhPWTsSw6YcWj2I5Tg "Drain Pipes," in the leagues and languages of the legendary Lambchop, is another by Bobcat Rob in a series of ethereal tunes released this year. Rich in textures and [...]

Hear the premiere of Tell Me Tell Me’s “Before”

On Friday, the Oakland-based dance-garage band Tell Me Tell Me premiered their new song "Before." Full of vitality and honesty, the song elicits the type of nostalgia that stops you in your tracks on a busy street or breaks conversation with a group of friends: Where were they before? / What did we do before? / Where did we go before? / How did we know before? Before by Tell Me Tell Me With an urgency and verve, the song keeps the listener alert and concentrating on the next clue to these lingering questions, perhaps to answers that could never be had. There's [...]

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