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415 // Indie Fascination. Discount Sunset, Hospital, Carousel, Van Common…

Pale Mara – Bird

There are beautiful things in this life. There are beautiful paintings, beautiful cars, beautiful people, and awe inspiring grand demonstrations of natures wonders. And then there’s the voice of Allison Robinson in the musical framing by PALE MARA, in the single ‘Bird’. Can’t say it enough about the warmth and caressing Allison’s vocals exude and perpetrate. Layered along in companion are the instrumentals of which bewitchingly highlight the voice and generated harmonies to outer-bodied extremes. There are lots of beautiful things in life, as they say. Add one other to the that list. Brooklyn based PALE MARA drops their LP on December 14th.

POMPOM – Skull

POMPOM is brings ‘Skull’ to the table and this earthly-dimensional sentient artist does it again with a special single and music video that sums up where she springs. Contrasts are obviously a play-thing for POMPOM, but within the lyrics and the aesthetic elements, there is serious attitude towards the mortal duels in reality. She’s quite a treat. The songstress takes quirk and expounds the nurturing bits to the world and beyond, by the total essence within. Bones and ghosts aren’t just for Halloweeen. And this single, is enjoyable the rest of 364 days of the year.

Discount Sunset – On Paper

Self described resonator of ‘brooding’ indie rock culprits of sound, DISCOUNT SUNSET, cements that distinction. However, listening to ‘On Paper’ our sense of happiness, and what it is to act like a ‘happy person’ becomes clearer. The word ‘effervescence’ comes to play, when ‘On Paper’ comes on the Internets. For it is the understated ‘happiness’ we all generally feel, with the notion that we’d better not become over-joyous, for a curse might jinx us. At the end, all is well, and we can be ‘effervescent’ together – without guilt – without residual pangs. What a great feeling that is. And it could start with this single. Fab.

Hospital – In the Evening

The vision of Egor Berdnikov, then completed with Andrey Tsvetkov and Alexey Shorin, the trio brings the fight to the street-fight in their singles. Scrappy, strong, willing, and always palpable, the Russian artists drop compelling expositions of music nearly every time. ‘In The Evening’ is one of those times, again, where we drop everything to listen – listening for the heart, emotion, excitement, and the promise of a possible future. The trio delivers in spades.

Carousel – Firesong

‘Firesong’ is from CAROUSEL. The band consisting of Thomas Eatherton, Chris Hobart, Sarah Holburn, and Toby Shaer, they quickly became connected by the music they loved and shared in their ambitions to add music to life. The folk-rock band brings it into a delightful combination of harmonies, chords, all laid on top of beautiful stories on lyrics. “Beneath the surface lies an undercurrent that exposes the stigma within mental health and how hard it can be to tell someone that despite how things may appear, that you are not okay. We wrote this song to encourage our friends and family to speak up and to be open and honest about how they are feeling. That there is no shame in experiencing depression or anxiety.” Kudos mates. Kudos. We can’t wait to see what they’ll achieve in 2019.

Sirken & h2the – Howl (ft. Kalli Therinae)

That synth kills it in this single. Electro-pop single ‘Howl’ by James Coleman and Diwon of Bonhom (now Sirken and h2the) continues to sprinkle their brand of tastiness to the cake by adding the vocals of Kalli Therinae. What a combo. Salt Lake City bred artist make for a compelling day of chats at the corner store of ‘Fabulous and Sultry’ in this single. Fresh? Heck yea it is. And the duo are ‘right on point’ again.

N1KI – Give Me A Chance

Niki Neiconi’s project N1KI is a delicate addressing of quaint subjects for the casual passer-by, but heavy with earthly relevance for the befallen. And in ‘Give Me A Chance’ – presented in a raw acoustic strumming with clean electric guitar – has our hearts in mind. It’s like the tides in the bay, we suppose. Love is as ebbing and flowing from this and that, keeping us on pins-and-needles whether we appreciate that or not. But the discomforts of being in love, are made better by the fact that ‘you’re in love’. And sometimes, there’s no rational answer to why we think like the way we do. Can’t live ‘with love’, or ‘without it’. But we sure can live with N1KI. Dig it.

the mockery – how like life

the mockery makes songs like ‘how like life’. And we, life forms living on this world made of earth, love that they do. The surf-rock-pop band makes it very easy to do just that. And in a short time, their upcoming EP ‘Boiler Room’ will take us to that other forest gathering where we had, in a different lifetime, kissed our first school sweetheart in secret. That’s exactly what it feels like listening to ‘how like life’. And sometimes life is just that – the flutter of your heart, getting that first awesome kiss from a crush. What a life.

The Lost Trailers – Smoke Signals

The lyrics for THE LOST TRAILERS’ single ‘Smoke Signals’ has the words ‘Weber grill’. SOLD! And all of that goodness is framed along the what happens when country folk meet imaginations of city folk mash up. Put in a nasty guitar solo, with the sexiness of some fabulous tinge of 80’s hair rock in its sensibilities within the boundaries, you have FIRE. And those flames are from this single. You will be burned, if not careful. Work hard – and someday you’ll own an industrial ‘Weber’ and that country life. THE LOST TRAILERS are chart topping act and demonstrates that they have heat, in their latest EP ‘Between Stages’.

Brandon Pfaff – Half Empty

BRANDON PFAFF puts it this way about ‘Half Empty’: “This song came about as a way to process change. [It] explores the struggle of giving the people in our lives space to feel and act differently than they usually do and explores the realization that we’re all capable of being more than a one-dimensional version of ourselves. It’s about leaning into future, adjusting expectations, and putting hope in the love that surrounds you.” Not only is Brandon ‘deep’ with his philosophizing, but makes total sense in making it so accessible in his musical craft. The construction of ‘Half Empty’ works on the general feeling of ‘uncontrollable’ forces without, that at the end ‘needs to be conquered’. How? That’s where Brandon’s questioning continues, and marinates. Fabulous ain’t it? We think so. Brandon is an awesome singer/songwriter and you should get to know him more.

Van Common – Ghost

‘Ghost’ is a single off of the upcoming new debut EP from VAN COMMON. The impeccable arrangement juxtaposing elements to light and dark, sprinkling brilliance in effervescence, then dowsing the excitement just enough to want more, is what Dutchman Sebastiaan van Ravenhorst has done successfully with this single. It transcends decades, if you think deep about it. It fits any late 20th century pop renaissance, and puts its own residue in permanence, with zeal and fervor. It’s the kind of ‘fervor’ we always love seeing and hearing. Sebastiaan’s been picked as newcomers to watch for 2019. And we think that is under-stating it a bit. The guy’s got ‘game’, if you wanna go to that cultural reference. We’d covered Sebastiaan before in June, and we’d picked his single ‘Moonlight Blue’ as Song Of The Day. Yep. He’s definitely going to leave a big mark, for sure.

Strawberry Mountain – Placebo Jesus

Carter Prince is STRAWBERRY MOUNTAIN, and in ‘Placebo Jesus’ is written to try to explain why such pains were deliberately perpetrated when two close family members died. It’s a discussion between Carter and the perceived Jesus – whom arguably owns and controls everything in this and the afterlife. But as you can hear, the discussion, as in normal life, has a big ‘gap’ problem to deal with. One conversation passes the other in the night, with conclusions already stamped in bedrock. Just accept? Just go on with the next day? Probably as good of an answer, as any. No? ‘Placebo Jesus’ is a fab single from Carter. Thoughtful, introspective, outwardly aesthetic, and delightfully arranged.

Lily Byrd – Don’t Move

LILY BYRD’s EP dropped and is available now. And when Lily sings, we listen. The Boston based electro-folk musician/producer is the package that keeps on giving, with slight of hand sonic musings, contextualized with the whims of a delightful acoustic strum. A strum that is as ‘lonely’ but ‘strong’ as the premise of a soul seeking the ‘truth’ and meanings of her ‘being’. Let’s work with Lily on her journey to the stars and heavens. Let’s listen to her sing. Word.

Blushing – Sunshine

BLUSHING is comprised of two husband and wife teams (Michelle Soto, Christina Carmona, Jake Soto, Noe Carmona), the Austin TX shoegaze quartet makes music like ‘Sunshine’, draped in cascading crystal water falls lined layered with the inbounding resonance of possibilities, yet unfound. Their debut EP ‘Tether’ dropped in 2017, with the followup EP ‘Weak’ in January of 2018. BLUSHING is quite a sight to witness between your ears. Let’s all have a go, shall we?

Mother Night – The Shaman

Get mezmerized by the antics of MOTHER NIGHT and his music. One of his weapons of mass attraction is the single ‘The Shaman’. The new debut album ‘A Lifetime Of Uninhibited Pleasure’ will be out Spring 2019, and from what we know, it should be a fabulous addition to the musical Universe. There will be 9 tracks in the debut album, and we can’t wait for the reaction. One guarantee is that the products of the Outer Hebrides (Island in Scotland) originating artist will be pleasing with a big swath of goodness.

Blesson Roy – No Other

BLESSON ROY is a solo artist moves feelings and souls, from here and around. From contrasts in the worlds which he observes daily, his project has been one of his ways to express such sultry and sometimes, whithering facts of life. Utilizing the stylings of 70’s psych-pop rock elements and haunting harmonies, the artist celebrates love, life, and everything in between. As BLESSON ROY says: “Please open your heart, mind and ears and let the cascading frequencies wash over you.” We shall, BR. We shall.

The West Coast Feed – Sky Pines

Seattle’s own THE WEST COAST FEED is such a fun band. And the result is that they do their best to celebrate the creative engine that exists in their neck of the woods. With ‘Sky Pines’ single and music video, the fun of being a kid in adult clothing is never forgotten. That’s one of the messages to the single, where the sky’s the limit and reaching for the stars should be the normal course for the day. The video was shot at the toy factory and company FUNKO.

Cold Weather Company – Brothers

New Jersey based band COLD WEATHER COMPANY brings their 4th single ‘Brothers’ off of their upcoming (January 25, 2019) 3rd full length album, ‘Find Light’. Guitarist/vocalist Jeff Petescia stated: “‘Brothers’… is about “How in an instant you can start feeling a bit better, but also in that exact instant, something really awful can happen somewhere else that makes you shrug and go, “man, life is weird.” Ain’t it weird? Consequences, on top of coincidences, on top of ‘what ifs’. That’s where ‘art’ happens though, and we embrace it with open arms. Just like we presume Jeff, and crew (Brian Curry and Steve Shimchick) does as well. Word.

Pelican Jones – Love Them Well

PELICAN JONES’ single ‘Love Them Well’ is off of their debut album ‘Coal Sea & Fire’. When looking at a green healthy cactus on your kitchen window sill, you admire the aesthetic wellness of the living organism. You wonder how it look so content, and solid, and ‘neutral’. You wished deep in your heart to be ‘neutral’ sometimes. Should be a better existence, won’t it? Nothing really to think about, worry, or be concerned about. That would be the life. No messy relationship breakups, no bills to pay, no politics to dredge and guess over. But life is about those ‘lows’, in contrast with the ‘highs’ ain’t it? Nothing is more satisfying when losing and then winning, right? Stimulation is not neutral. It’s an active sport, and that cactus is just ‘neutral’. You change your mind and finish up the dishes. PELICAN JONES is fabulous, and necessary in story telling the way he does. The ‘explosion’ of ‘ambitions’ in the single is exactly what we need sometimes. Kudos.

Dear Brother – Animal People

DEAR BROTHER’s ‘Animal People’ is exquisite. It’s a single form their debut EP. We’ve done it before. Looking for meaning or trying to find out what actions to take on a certain existential challenge. We’ve all done this silently lying on the bed looking at the ceiling. Or have done it driving around at night, thinking in patches, working out the calculations on why and how of things that exists – of which perplexes our mental wellness. “Will you love me again?” The Universe doesn’t owe you anything. No promises, no gentle tap on the shoulder. Let’s accept the ‘cold’, and make it a definition for the start line. ‘Animal People’ is, as we’d stated – an exquisite exercise.

The Deep Hollow – Hangin’ On

Micah Walk, Liz Eckert and Dave Littrell make it a mission of theirs to ‘live life to the fullest’. And in ‘Hangin’ On’ the trio delve into what life and becoming older means in the wider context. ‘Get your dancing shoes on’. If you’re not on the dancing floor, you’re not participating and on the sidelines. Let’s not just gripe about what’s not in your control. Let’s get those shoes on and take her hand. Let’s dance to live the life that we have, only once in this Universe. Agreed. Indeed.


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