Hailing from California, Banks‘ music is everything but sunny. But that doesn’t mean it’s not pleasant to listen to. On the hazy, sweet-voiced R&B spectrum she can be situated between Jhene Aiko and Jessy Lanza; grittier than the former but less electronic than the latter. The Fei-Fei’s Feided remix of “Brain” resonates in all the same ways as the Shlohmo-produced original, as all the essential parts remain intact with just the addition of some electro sheen weaved on top of it’s already-brilliant stitching. Check it out below and get tickets to her show at Underground Arts on June 7th here.
Local electro-pop duo City Rain are continuing to have a big year. The success of last year’s hit single and music video for “The Optimist” helped earn the band first place in the MTVU Freshmen contest, and a whole lot of exposure along with it. Now, the electronic duo is gearing up for the release of their new album Songs for a High School Dance, due out May 2, with an album release show at Underground Arts May 1 and two free downloadable tracks via the band’s Soundcloud page that didn’t quite make the final cut.
The instrumental first track, “One Million Shades”, combines spacey electric guitar melodies with bass heavy synths, bringing to mind a loaded up, beat infused version of Explosions in the Sky (the fact that it’s an instrumental undoubtedly contributes to this). “Nephew” features Ben Runyan’s signature hearty vocals over a faster, up-tempo beat, never without piercing guitar melodies.
Be sure to check out City Rain’s residency stint at Ortlieb’s on Wednesdays throughout May. Get tickets for the album release show at Underground Arts when they become available here, and stream the free tracks below.
This month’s edition of Communion Club night at Underground Arts gets a seductive R&B makeover tonight with a set from newcomer Johnny Stimson. Flaunting an effortless falsetto range, Stimson’s voice is soulful even as it accompanies more upbeat, dance tracks. Also on tonight’s lineup is folksy singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse who recently released a dreamy video for “Spider At the Gate”. Dig into tracks from both artists below and get tickets here.
It’s pretty clear that The Lawsuits, along with generations of bands, are inspired by folk legends Fleetwood Mac. The Philly four-piece recently covered “The Chain” live in Richmond, VA last month and revitalized the energy that’s embedded in the 1977 classic. Led by Brian Dale Strouse and Vanessa Winters’ impressive dual harmonies, the band hits the mark with their lively rendition of the track. The Lawsuits play at Underground Arts tomorrow night for this month’s Communion Club Night alongside Johnny Stimson, Sturgill Simpson, Banned Books, and Gretchen Lohse. Get tickets here.
Philly alt rock/ electronic duo Galvanize have released a free downloadable track titled “Voices” via the band’s Soundcloud page.The track comes in anticipation of their upcoming debut album, Gold Rush Ritual, which is set to be released in collaboration with the GET LUCID! Activist Dance Party happening at Underground Arts Saturday, April 5. Get Lucid! has gathered a multitude of artists and musicians to perform at the fundraising event in support of Hollaback! Philly, a group fighting to end street harassment.
Galvanize’s track “Voices” combines heavy guitar riffs and percussion that we’ve come to expect from Galvanize, with electronic/ synth undertones most prevalent in the intro of the song. You can pre-order Gold Rush Ritual on iTunes here, and stream “Voices” below. For tickets and more information on the GET LUCID! Activist Dance Party and Galvanize Album Release show click here.
There are albums we hate, albums we like, albums we love, and then there are albums that meld sound and lyric so perfectly that it transcends those labels. It was in the right place at exactly the right time, maybe if it was from another era, we may not care so much, but it was just right. While history may not regard it so highly, for us, it is one of THE albums.
In 2002, hot off the heels of my love affair with techno and hip-hop, I was starting to rediscover a love for rock that I had dumped in the late 90s. I felt as it hardcore and emo were my (current) true calling, and could there be a more emo name than …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. So, I sat at a listening station in Tower Records and had my world shattered. This wasn’t metal, it wasn’t punk, it was just rock. Epic freaking ROCK!!! I listened to the entire Source Tags & Codes CD front to back in that torn faux leather bar stool. I drove around for at least a few hours afterwards, blasting it in my car (I lived with my parents so my car was the only place I could blast music). Portions or all of it have been on every mix CD I ever made and on every iPod I’ve ever owned. It’s never out of reach.
So, there we were. 2014. Trail of Dead reached the skyrocketing heights of popularity. Shows that were epic in scope and execution at venues with thousands of people. But, fame and popularity wane, even if the talent doesn’t. So, there we were. In the basement of some lofts, a few hundred of us, Conrad Keely taking inventory at the merch stand. In a short while, we would all be in the thick of it again. THE album.
If the crowds have shrunken, their love of them has not. While maybe not the best at the small talk shtick, when the instruments to the talking, everyone listens. Diving right in to “It Was There That I Saw You” Conrad, Jason Reece, Autry Fulbright, and Jamie Miller screamed and beat their way 12 years in to the past. The mildly frantic drumming of “How Near How Far” became downright desperate, while the howls of the “Electric guitar hanging to my knees” on “Relative Ways” was less lamentable and more a battle cry. The highlight, though, came on “Days Of Being Wild.” Jason decided that the planned theatrics were not going to do, stopped the song a minute in to the first part, put his guitar down, and started at the beginning while inciting a mosh pit, not taking no for an answer from anybody in the vicinity.
Yeah, there were some other songs played, they’re in the setlist below. They were good, but as the final chorus hits of the title track disappeared from my ears, not much mattered. I heard THE album.
The rigorous rhythms and party atmosphere of Red Baraat stole the show at last summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, and they’ll return to town tonight for their Festival of Colors show at Underground Arts. Part of the band’s mission is celebrating bhangra music and introducing it to new audiences, and the motivation behind the Festival comes from a similar place. With featured openers Mandeep Sethi and Falu, Red Baraat wants to shine a spotlight on less-heard / less-seen South Asian artists in general. Read more in Shaun Brady’s writeup on the Festival, and get tickets and information at the XPN Concert Calendar.