Here’s a Valentine’s Day treat for you from the South Portland, Maine, the indie pop band Amy & The Engine, fronted by irresistibly charming Amy Allen. With two EP’s and an appearance on The Voice on her resume, Allen the her bandmates in the Engine at Berklee College of Music. Continue reading →
Baltimore rock and rollers J. Roddy Walston & The Business released their recent album, Essential Tremors, last September, and they continue to tour and find friends for their Zeppelin/T Rex-esque brand of rock and roll. They were recently announced as part of this year’s Coachella lineup, and have offered a free Sampler EP from NoiseTrade that includes four songs from Essential Tremors, and one from their 2010 self-titled album. Download it below in exchange for your e-mail address.
Los Angeles based Kita Klane has a soulful, sultry voice and musical elements that blend rock and electro-pop for some very mesmerizing results. For musical reference points, she’s a little bit Amy Winehouse and a little bit Shirley Manson (Garbage). Klane released her debut EP, In Love With The Enemy, that’s been gaining steadily increasing buzz for several songs in particular, “The Enemy,” and “Running Circles,” that you can download below. “Running Circles” showcases the bluesier side of Klane, with seductive vocals that wrap around the dulcet melody.
Avers is a new five piece group that includes Alexandra Spalding and Adrian Olsen of HyperColor, JL Hodges of Farm Vegas, James Mason of Mason Brothers, Charlie Glenn of The Trillions and Tyler Williams, the drummer from The Head and The Heart. The roots of the band members in Avers are in the local music sceneo in RVA – Richmond, Virginia. Tyler, from The Head and The Heart, was living in Richmond before he packed up and moved to Seattle to join The Head and The Heart.
Avers came together like many new projects often start in local music scenes; friendships, shared musical interests and the willingness to try something new. In an interview on Richmond.com, the band members tell writer Jessi Coble how they got together:
JAMES: The genesis was when I met Adrian and we had this idea to start a project. And from there we just brought in people we thought would be good for it and it was just magical in terms of how everyone got along and how much fun we had.
ADRIAN: It was really funny for me because we talked about it a long time ago. And then I screwed up and forgot to book time in the studio (Montrose Studio) and so I had all this time so I thought, let’s just do it, get together. We didn’t know who to call. So Alex had expressed interest and JL and James were really tight at the time.
JAMES: JL and I were writing songs for my other band, Mason Brothers, and I was taking a quick break and I heard JL doing something that sounded like some sick psychedelic riff and I had never heard anything like that from him before so I was like, hey, do you want to get into a side project that’s psychedelic? And then Tyler came into the mix after meeting him at Balliceaux.
TYLER: It is funny for me because I was hanging out with Patrick Ball who was our monitor guy for the last couple months for The Head and The Heart and he and I just went out and I instantly saw the two of them and was like who are those cool looking people, they look way cooler than anyone in this room I gotta meet them. So Patrick introduced me to Alex and then Adrian later. A couple weeks after that we went to see Tame Impala and we ended back here (Montrose) jamming.
Avers recorded its debut album, Empty Light in Richmond at Montrose Recording. Their illuminating psychedelia is captured perfectly on “White Horses”, that you can download below. They play Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, January 18th with Geology and Bradford Bucknum, lead singer and songwriter from Oldermost.
Dr. Dog and Saint Rich start a tour together on January 25th in New York and are on the road together through March. WXPN Welcomes Dr. Dog for two shows at the Electric Factory on January 31st and February 1st; Saint Rich is opening the second show and The Districts are opening the first show.
To commemorate the tour, Dr. Dog and Saint Rich have joined digital forces to release the Dr. Dog & Saint Rich Casual Free Fall Tour EP for free on NoiseTrade. The EP includes exclusive tracks of each band covering a song from the other. Dr. Dog covers Saint Rich’s “Dreams” and Saint Rich offers their take on Dr. Dog’s “Rock & Roll.” There is also a song from each band’s most recent album. On their cover of “Dreams,” Dr. Dog turn up the grooves on the rhythm and add some tasty Allman Brothers-like duel guitar lines into the mix.
Birmingham, Alabama singer-songwriter Preston Lovinggood was the driving force behind the band Wild Sweet Orange. When the band was dropped by their label, Lovinggood began a solo career and released an EP including a cover of Paul Simon’s “Duncan.”. He’s releasing his debut full length, Shadow Songs on February 25th. Below, download “Shipwrecked.” It’s a slow building, longing tale of heartbreak that tears at the emotional core of what happens when love breaks down.
Party Supplies are a duo from Brooklyn including singer Justin Nealis (guitar, drum machines), and multi-instrumentalist Sean Mahon. When he’s not creating the smooth classic rock/yacht rock influenced sounds in Party Supplies, Nealis is a producer and has worked most recently with rapper Action Bronson and Danny Brown. Last summer they released their debut album, Tough Love on Fool’s Gold Records. They recently released a new single, “Security,” that you can download below. It’s got a smooth tropical vibe that recalls “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie and “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals but with its own indie-rock insouciance.
One of the most arresting and captivating voices we’ve heard recently belongs to British singer-songwriter Marika Hackman. Raised musically on a healthy dose of classic bands that her parents listened to like Simon & Garfunkle, Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Genesis, she told The Independent:
“It was a good bed of amazing songwriting. I want to make something that grabs someone’s attention like that, and I think that’s why those acts were so important, even though you probably can’t hear them in my music.”
Marika formed her first band as a teenager with her friend, supermodel Cara Delevigne. Hackman herself has modeled, (she was the face of Burberry), but music has always been her main muse. She has two EP’s to her name including the recently released Sugar Blind EP, and her debut EP, That Iron Taste, was produced by Charlie Andrew (who produced Alt-J). The British folkie brings to mind Laura Marling, yet Hackman has her own unique style of sublime and very visual storytelling and sultry, intentionally paced vocal style, a soft finger-picking style of guitar playing and she plays many of the instruments herself on the recordings.
Below, download “Skin.”
Solander are a Swedish folk pop duo including guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Karlsson and multi-instrumentalist Anja Linna. Solander debuted in 2009 and the band is releasing its new album, Monochromatic Memories on February 4th on Tendervision Recording. “The Woods Are Gone” is a beautiful, yet melancholy song, anchored by warm acoustic guitar lines, delicate banjos, perfectly timed drum brushed rhythms and other colorfully layered instrumentation. The band will be in the States in March during SXSW in Austin, Texas, with a U.S. tour to follow. Download it below.