Harry the Nightgown on debut album, cringy influences and analog purists

Photo: Courtney Melahn LA/San Francisco-based Harry the Nightgown is the creative union between Spencer Harting and Cherry Glazerr bassist Sami Perez. Both producer-musicians worked at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone— it’s no surprise that their technical skill as producers are immediately obvious. Even across the three singles, there’s a ton of variation in the sonic palette and plenty of interesting production choices for the listener to pick through. In a feat that speaks to their talent as both producers and musicians, Perez and Harting are able to draw from all kinds of sounds and styles and still end up [...]

Ultra Q’s Jakob Armstrong talks ‘In a Cave in a Video Game’ long distance recording, inspirations

Photo by Andrew Diaz Oakland’s own Ultra Q are back with a quick 15-minute EP, entitled In a Cave in a Video Game. The band, featuring Jakob Armstrong on guitar and vocals, Enzo Malaspina on guitar, Kevin Judd on bass, and Chris Malaspina on drums, picks up where their debut EP We’re Starting to Get Along (2019) left off. With their hyper-compressed drums and riff-driven guitar leads, the band captures a lot of the same deadpan, contrarian energy from the early 2000's post punk revival movement and injects it with speed and moshability. Malaspina and Armstrong’s guitars are [...]

Galore releases “Deja Vu” off debut album out June 1st

If you didn’t know better--and if the camera didn’t occasionally glimpse a new model of car--you might think that Galore’s music video for new single “Deja Vu” was released in the 90's. Beyond the DIY camcorder shots, the music itself feels like a revival of a bygone era. Jangly guitars and detached vocals evoke The Aislers Set and many other Slumberland Records bands. Galore has absolutely done their sonic predecessors justice with their debut self-titled record, due out June 1st. This release marks the third single and music video from Galore’s self-titled debut album, and features the band (who are [...]

Erik Jourgensen releases melancholic EP ‘Total’

Erik Jourgensen, the musician who co-composed the score to “The Infiltrators,” in 2019, released latest EP, Total, on May 20th. Working with a variety of synthetic and organic sounds, Jourgensen’s offerings are smooth and rich. Often forgoing traditional percussion entirely, much of the EP relies heavily on melody and the natural percussive elements in his synths. “DFAM Fender,” the third track on the EP, is particularly percussive while still forgoing any recognizable drum sounds or samples. A glass-like synthesizer sets the tempo for the lush and cinematic melodies and sharp bursts of noise in the latter half of the song [...]

Little Shrine are sparkling and confrontational on ‘The Good Thing About Time’

Last Friday, San Francisco’s Little Shrine released their sophomore LP, The Good Thing About Time. On it, bassist and singer-songwriter Jade Shipman thoroughly explores the past while simultaneously interrogating the present, taking it to task with an unapologetically feminist ethos. Instrumentally, the album draws from the rich canon of trailblazing folk punk bands like Mischief Brew, but Little Shrine bucks folk punk tradition and does not relish in their own sloppiness. From the lush string arrangements to the driving bluegrass backbeats, The Good Thing About Time is precise and measured, betraying a barely suppressed anger and resentment of the status [...]

Half Stack’s Pete Kegler talks ‘Wings of Love,’ quarantine music and country roots

Photo by James Juarez Cowboys have long sat at the center of the mythos of colonized America, serving simultaneously as a relic of the past and a potent symbol of self-reliance. In a chaotic time, it would seem that the collective consciousness has also sought refuge in the dusty past. Even five years ago, the general wisdom was that cowboys were a conservative symbol. But in recent years those judgements have softened, and with them the animosity towards country music. I spoke with Pete Kegler, the lead singer of Oakland’s Half Stack, who agrees that country music is [...]

Zelma Stone releases music video for “Fly” off ‘Dreamland’ EP

Photo by Nikki Pratchios Last Friday, February 28, Zelma Stone released their music video for “Fly.” The track is punishingly tender, interrogating darkness by throwing open the curtains and forcing the light to pour in. Chloe Zelma Studebaker, lead singer and songwriter of Zelma Stone, recorded her track at Tiny Telephone, a local studio who you may remember from previous coverage of Abe Hollow and Ryan Von Gonten, and the whole affair is bathed in the signature analog warmth that defies specifics. The track and video are all self released, but their softness betrays none of the rough [...]

Smoke Jumper releases ‘Slammed’ EP, show at Spats

If you’re looking for late-night dancing and pumping house beats, look no further than the upcoming Smoke Jumper show this Saturday, February 29. Along with labelmates Lavender Persuasion and Disfu, Smoke Jumper will be rocking the ever-grimey and ever-charming Spats until two in the morning. Smoke Jumper has been playing shows around the Bay Area and Berkeley for the past few years, while releasing a handful of singles which show mastery of musical builds and cathartic release. Last month, Smoke Jumper released a two-song EP Slammed after spending the summer living around Europe, immersing themselves in the local house scenes [...]

Pom Pom Squad brings Brooklyn grunge to Bottom of the Hill

The grungy Pom Pom Squad are making their West Coast debut, co-headlining with Rosie Tucker at Bottom of the Hill as a part of the 2020 Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco. Bringing stereotypical New Yorker surliness to their sound, lead singer Mia Berrin alternates scoffs and wry grins through her lyrics. Their sound is in stark opposition to their cheerleader-inspired visual aesthetic, which serves to highlight the power in femininity while simultaneously critiquing the restrictiveness which comes part and parcel. Dubbed “quiet grrrl” punks, the band’s lyrics focus on both inter- and intrapersonal relationships, brashly attacking [...]

Sunset Lines releases “Unresponsive” music video

With the help of SilverCat Sound Labs, groovy synth-pop band Sunset Lines released a flurry of videos last week to accompany a few tracks off their upcoming album, including one for “Smoke Signals” which premiered with The Bay Bridged last June. The most recent video, for the new track “Unresponsive,” dropped in tandem with an intimate but packed show in San Francisco. Filmed and recorded live at The Complex, the recording space is comfortably cluttered and evokes a home-like quality, serving to underscore the straightforward and familiar lyrics. During the chorus, Liz Brooks, the lead singer, sings plainly about an [...]

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