Introducing: Lewis Del Mar and their debut single

tumblr_inline_nqgkzgjS7L1to7rqz_1280Debuting only a few days ago comes this brand new single, “Loud(y)”.

Produced by Andrew Maury (Panama Wedding), it’s origins are somewhat low key, it’s emergence a bit of a mystery, but its arrival is set to invite and engage..

..’Can you please sit the fuck down?’…This is the opening line and what better way to grab your consideration?  This is how the New York duo, Lewis Del Mar’s debut single kicks in, no holds barred, this is what they are and this is what they want, your undivided attention.  I think it’s fair to say that this track clutches at your ears the minute it begins regardless of the first line.

Driven by rollicking rhythms, this track initially begins with the gentle, unhurried strum of a guitar before deviating into something far more energetic and dynamic.  The beats are full of intent and the drums utilised to the max as they steer the course of the song into gathered momentum.  Vocally the is extremely satisfying, the mix varies from soaring highs to spoken lows, not too dissimilar to the early days of Placebo’s ‘Lady of the Flowers’.  It gives depth to the track and the transition is captivating… Compared to Alt-J, it is also easy to detect a touch of Ry-X in the mix, one thing is for certain, I am certainly enjoying this discovery..

You can follow Lewis Del Mar on twitter here

Check out their website here

Posted in Electronic, Experimental, Experimental indie, Indie, Indie Rock, Rhythm-based | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al Berkowitz releases sophomore LP – free download available now

a0776787194_10Driven by the determined desire to sit back and slow down today, I have found the perfect musical accompaniment to escort me through…

Al Berkowitz are an Art-Rock ensemble led by the composer and producer Ignacio Simón, who were founded in 2006 after the Spanish psychedelic band, ‘The Inhabitants’ merged with the American beatnik Aldous Berkowitz.

Their sound delicately blends experimental rock and psychedelic folk which is then gently fused together with a proportionate helping of baroque pop.  The result is both enticing and original, with strong compositions and lush harmonies emerging from this joining of forces.

Between the Autumn of 2011 and the Spring of 2012, Al Berkowitz self-produced their 2nd studio album which was to be their first release since 2009.  Titled “A long hereafter/Nothing beyond”, this album was recorded in Cadiz and Madrid receiving critical acclaim throughout Spain and Europe upon its release.

In April this year a revised version of this album was re-released and is now available worldwide via the independent indie-folk label Tempel Arts.  Drawing upon named influences such as Robyn Hitchcock, Grizzly Bear, Charles Ives’s and Takemitsu, this album takes you to a place where experimentation thrives.  This is a place where folk meets psychedelia, where the contrast of dreamy landscapes and dark melancholic tones collide with intensity.

It is easy to hear the influence of Grizzly Bear in tracks such as ‘Farewell, My Lady’ where the big expanse of sound booms out with mighty force but, whilst it is easy to detect these comparisons, Al Berkowitz maintains their own original sound throughout.

As described in a press release,                                                                                                       ”A Long Hereafter/Nothing Beyond’draws a genuine and unclassifiable musical universe, where every little detail seems to fit in neatly. It features crushing harmonic affluence and expressionist, yet delicate, arrangements. The album’s eight tracks maintain a sincere and honest essence through opposing spirits and styles”.

This album is now available as a free download and is definitely something to be explored and savoured, it is both original and unique.

Download ‘A Long Hereafter/Nothing Beyond’ from their Bandcamp page here

Posted in Alternative, baroque pop, Dream Pop, Dreamy landscapes, Electro pop, Experimental, experimental folk, Experimental indie, Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Psyche Pop, Psychedelic | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dakota Blue – New single release “After Dark” (plus mini interview!)

daota-blueThere’s a whole lot of tenderness and feeling packed into the words and music of LA based singer/songwriter, Dakota Blue.

Dakota Blue is a recent discovery for me, I was fortunate enough to came upon this emerging artist whilst browsing the pages of a blog called Killer Ponytail (also a new discovery).

The opening paragraph of Killer Ponytail’s review was something I could totally relate to when I first heard the music of this new and emerging artist and read as follows,

“Sometimes, this hectic life can become a drag. The hum-drum of work, relationships and whatever else you’ve got going on can pile up and begin to turn into a seemingly insurmountable sum of their parts. What’s needed at times like these is an escape. Something capable of casting a bit of perspective on things. What’s needed is an antidote.”

What is needed are the pensive musings of an artist who can create a sound that is both dreamy and wistful, someone who can tap into the minds of anybody wishing to escape to a better place.  If only for a few borrowed moments, Dakota Blue does just that.

There is a stillness to his sound, something that grounds and soothes, something that allows a momentary snippet of escapism and it is with this ability that Dakota Blue will leave you wanting more, it is very easy to become attached to his music.

With only two tracks released so far, debut single ‘Tennis At Dusk’ came out on 27th March this year and makes for a  superb introduction with its laid back, steady beat and all encompassing, insightful vocals; it’s not hard to hear echoes of Daniel Rossen amidst the music of Dakota Blue either.

Second single “After Dark” was released three days ago and is a song of searching, longing and the desire for someone who is always just ‘out of reach’.  It is a song of unrequited yearning, a tale of nocturnal roaming and the need to connect, the desire to breakdown a wall that,  ‘just like a force field’, ‘stood in the way’.  The hushed rhythm of this song encompasses a haunted melody where it is all too easy to emphasize with the lyric, ‘I think too much and it’s hard to sleep’…

I was lucky enough to get in touch with Dakota Blue and asked him a few questions, here is what he had to say:

How long have you been playing music and are you signed?                                  I’ve been playing instruments since I was 5. Car rides to preschool generally had Nirvana and Neil Young playing in the background.  I am unsigned.

What are your influences?                                                                                                         As far as influences go and what I listen to, Elliott Smith, Cocteau Twins, Tom Waits, Brian Eno, Yukihiro Takahashi, Portishead, David Bowie, Gil Scott Heron, and aside from those folks plenty of 50s fingerpicked guitar, solo classical piano, and a ton of world music.      

Any plans to release an album?                                                                                                ‘After Dark’& ‘Tennis At Dusk’ are the first singles of full length I’m calling ‘Charades in the Mirror’ that I plan to put out sometime soon.  I spent the last year and a half writing and recording it all on cassette. Mainly all taking place in the evening. Aside from the listed musical influences, driving aimlessly around LA at night and watching Jim Jarmusch films definitely played a role.                                                                                                                

Dakota Blue is one to keep an eye on and can be followed here on twitter

You can also listen to his music and purchase it from here

Posted in Alternative, Atmospheric, Experimental, Indie, Indie Folk | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New album “Apartments” due out this week!

0004796653_10When music instantly grabs your attention there is no better feeling than being sucked into its tuneful vacuum.  The music of Iles has done just that.

Tristan Johnston (aka Iles – pronounced Giles without the ‘G’) is a LA-based songwriter who creates his very own melodic, dulcet sounds with a lo fi, Indie edge.

After the release of his first single ‘Tents’ in March this year, follow-up single ‘Little Notes’ continues in the same ‘instantly likeable’ manner.  With its DIY-sounding, loose fitting structure, this infectious indie track is held together by simple yet effective beats and an airy, catchy little melody to boot.

First single, ‘Tents’

New single, ‘Little Notes’ 

Iles’s forthcoming debut album ‘Apartments’ (which has been six years in the making) is due out on the 26th of this month and, if his first two singles are anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait.

Coming out via Forged Artifacts Iles’s new album can be pre-ordered from here

Follow Iles here

 

Posted in Alternative, Experimental, Indie, LA songwriter, Singer/Songwriter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Henry Canyons – ‘Post-Modern Man’ feat. Open Mike Eagle & Zoe Rose

a1880743251_10Henry Canyons is an LA-based rapper whose music bends and skews the typical boundaries of hip-hop.

The self-described Brooklinite-French-Jew  took to music at a very young age and was already trained as a jazz saxophonist before he even reached his teenage years.

With a focused mind and the determination to pursue his passion for music he left the West Coast in 2005 to attend Lewis and Clark college in Portland, Oregon.  After graduating Canyons moved to LA where he has since worked on multiple projects.  In 2014 Canyons released his very own solo EP ‘One Thousand Plateaus’ which came out via the Brooklyn based label, Backwoodz Studioz.

Canyons has come far with his music and has received plenty of well deserved attention from the media as a result, collecting over 30,000 views on youtube alone.  He has shared stages with the likes of Macklemore, Tash, Open Mike Eagle (who features on Canyons second single, ‘Post Modern Man’), Blue Scholars amongst many other talented LA artists and is set to release a brand new album, ‘Canyonland’ on the 16th June this year.

Produced by the french producer Keor Meteor, “Canyonland” has been described by Henry Canyons as:

“Canyonland is not a mythic, unworldly place or a complete invention of my imagination. It is rather, the encapsulation of my experience that became my world five years ago; that of a half-French, Jewish Brooklynite transplanted in Los Angeles. The canyon is the point of the vista. From the top you see where you stand in respect to where you’ve come from, and where you’re going. Canyonland is my experience getting adapted to this environment, struggling to do so, finding my personal and professional spheres, further embracing my identity, my challenges and success with women, witnessing a completely different lifestyle with its various breeds of people, and the place where “dreams come true.” This is my journey through the desert in the hopes of finding the oasis.

Second single taken off “Canyonland” is the memorable “Post Modern Man” which features the additional hook-line vocals of Zoe Rose as she soulfully quotes The Who’s ‘My Generation, (‘‘talkin’ ’bout my generation”), through the closing bars of the track (listen out for more quotes that crop up in other songs too).

Post Modern Man features as today’s song of the day on my pages here

Listen to more tracks and follow Henry Canyon on his bandcamp page here

Posted in Experimental, hip hop, rap soul, Soul | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Godblesscomputers – New LP ‘Plush and Safe’

a0114290529_10It’s always interesting to discover the story behind the creation of an album and what it is that inspires an artist to write…

Lorenzo ‘Nada’ is an Italian DJ and Producer who now resides in Berlin and goes by the name of Godblesscomputers.

Having produced many albums, EP’s and mixtapes over the years, all under various names and guises, he now performs, produces and writes as Godblesscomputers, this being his own project born in 2011.

Describing his sound as “wood, metal and microchip”,  ‘Plush and Safe’ is Lorenzo’s latest album which was released on the 12th of this month via La Tempesta International/FreshYo! Label.  For the first time Godblesscomputers will release a full-length album, it’s 12 tracks marking his arrival at La Tempesta.

The title ‘Plush and Safe’ was a semi-quote by from from the early graffiti period of American artist, musician and producer, Jean Michel Basquait Basquait.  This sentence resonated within Godblesscomputers and defined the constant clash between the pursuit of safety and control and the acknowledgement of its futility and impossibility.

‘Plush and Safe’ is a deeply autobiographical album reflecting the complex issues that Lorenzo experienced both professionally and personally after the release of his last work “Veleno” which came out in April 2014.  The need for a sense of security reflects in Godblesscomputers latest works and his choice of collaborators only reinforces this fact with help coming from that of friends and acquaintances.

This is an album that is very pleasing to the ears with its experimental and lightweight vibe.  Understanding the origins and thought processes behind it only enhances a greater connection between artist and listener which adds yet another dimension to this fresh new sound.

Listen and purchase this album from here

..in the meantime, take a listen to a great track off this album titled “Leap in the Dark”

THIS TRACK FEATURES ON MY SONG OF THE DAY PAGES, CHECK OUT MY OTHER SONGS HERE

Posted in Electronic, Experimental, Soul | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Howling debut LP ‘Sacred Ground’ – Due out tomorrow

JBe2672-08ret_JonBergman-588x606Someone commented the other day that there seems to be far too much Electronic music bandying about at the moment but I would have to disagree, or at least suggest that there can never be too much of something that is constantly evolving.

The beauty of electronic music is the sheer diversity of sound it creates, the incorporation and cross-over of styles seem to conjure almost limitless possibilities for new directions.

Boundaries are there to be stretched and skewed and this is exactly what eclectic duo ‘Howling’ are doing with their new experimental project.

Forming in 2012, the pair met through a mutual friend and consist of Australian folk-pop singer/producer, Ry X (The Acid), and German producer/live electronic artist and label owner, Frank Wiedmann,(Ame).  Originating from complete opposite sides of both musical and geographical spectrum’s the pair now bridge this gap through a meeting of minds, their destination one and the same.

It is a collaboration based on a mutual understanding and appreciation of one another, a connection that finds both intuition and improvisation the seal that binds these two artists.  As stated by Ry X:

“Our process was very, very organic. For both of us, it’s just about the creation. Each song has a little journey of its own. The vision’s beautiful between us because there’s a lot of trust. It’s a very intuitive process where we fall in love with one element of the song or one element of a thought, and we follow that until both of those ideas have been met.” – Ry X

Tomorrow sees the release of their debut album ‘Sacred Ground’ which will come out via Monkeytown Records and Counter Records  ,(an imprint of Ninja Tune).

Their first single ‘Signs ‘ is a perfect representation of what Howling’s album is all about with its melding of Frank Weidmann’s deep layered productions and Ry X’s beautiful and free-flowing vocals; the compositon is effortless and free from complex structures giving it an approachable, Electro-pop sound.

A stand out track for me is the single ‘Short Line’ with its dreamlike vocals layered over striking synths.  It is a track that is built on a developing soundscape of experimental sound effects and lightweight, free flowing lyrical structures.

To pick up your copy of ‘Sacred Ground’ visit Howling’s bandcamp page here

Posted in Alternative, Atmospheric, Electro pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk Pop, Minimalist, Ry X | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

APRIL SONGS OF THE DAY – MONTHLY PLAYLIST

April has been an interesting month for discoveries and now the latest playlist is out and ready for a listen! Feedback is always good so feel free to leave a comment!

Read all about April’s songs and discover more on my page right here

Posted in Acoustic, Afro beat, Alternative, Alternative rock/blues, American Folk, April songs of the day, Atmospheric, Dream Pop, Electro pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Folk Pop, Indie, Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Psychedelic, Rhythm-based, Seattle, Singer/Songwriter, soundcloud | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Memories of an understated artist – Gavin Clark

gavinclark170215-616x440I first discovered Gavin Clark’s music way back in 1996 after I had heard one of his songs in a Shane Meadows film.

I went out and bought the single straight away for which I still own, I don’t think time has aged this track or indeed any of his other music for that matter.  Titled ‘Monkey Dead’ this track was taken from Clark’s first and only album to be released with his first band, Sunhouse.  Lasting for just over a year and based in Nottingham, the 4-piece were disbanded by the time their debut album “Crazy On the Weekend” was released.

I’d be lying if I said that I loved album from the start, the tracks were heavy in places and didn’t reflect the driving pace of ‘Monkey Dead’ but there was something magic about this album, something so real and comforting that it grew on me.  I still can’t put my finger on the moment of transition, the moment when this album became so much more than just a couple of songs I’d skim through before moving onto something else, but it did…and it will always be.

The connection between Shane Meadows and Gavin Clark went far beyond the realms of music, they were also long-term friends who originally met when they were both working at Alton Towers.  A few years after their initial meeting Meadows contacted Clark to ask if he would provide songs for the soundtrack to his low budget film, “Small Time” and from that moment on the pair continued to work together.

Clark went on to form a new band called ‘Clayhill’ in 2004 and also continued to compose music for a number of Shane Meadows films, including The Smiths ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ for the closing of This Is England.  The pair also went on to make the 2009 film, The Living Room, which documented their friendship.

Gavin Clark had the kind of voice that was effortless and beautiful, with a distinctive tone that was to be his trademark, unmistakable and bold in it’s brilliance.

On the 16th February this year Gavin Clark died at the age of only 46.  This was only a recent discovery for me but I now join all those who are touched by the untimely passing of this wonderful and talented artist

There is no doubt in my mind that Gavin Clark was a hidden gem, one that I was lucky enough to stumble upon all those years ago…there are plenty who will remember him for his haunting, haunted vocals and precious songwriting.

..as said by Shane Meadows on Clarks facebook page,

“His music elevated my early work from student tat (in the early 90’s) into something resembling art, he’s penned at least one unforgettable song for pretty much everything I’ve ever made and his latest, as yet unreleased songs, are his greatest and have once again become the emotional heartbeat of my latest project.

..Anyone who knows his work, knows his pain, anyone who met him, will never forget him and for those that saw him play live, his voice remains tattoo’d in their heart. No PA system could contain him, no recording could capture him and I know I will never meet anyone like him again. Gavin I love you so much brother and I miss you like frikk already.”

Posted in Folk, Indie, Indie Folk | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ministry of Plenty – Debut Single due for release this week

a2538819453_10Embracing all things experimental, Ministry Of Plenty are an Australian 4-piece originating from Melbourne.

Formerly known as ‘Pallet Town, original band members consisted of Kieran Stubbs (guitar/vocals), Harry Reid (bass/vocals) and Oli Whelehan (drums/backing vocals).  After five years of playing together the band are now joined by the latest member, Jim Monaghan Duong (guitar, synth/backing vocals) who, the band anticipates, will “make their live sound twice as big and super exciting!”

Their musical influences are both extensive and eclectic, including bands such as Animal Collective, Radiohead, Dearhunter, Grizzly Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Joy Division, Tame Impala, and Flying Lotus to name but a few; the list goes on but what is evident here is that their sound has plenty to draw upon.  Lyrically they have been described as thought provoking, whilst musically their intelligent and comprehensive arrangements are complimented by satisfying hooks all of which creates the ideal blend of experimental and accessible music.

Their first single was released This week.  Titled “What I Gave You”, this track demonstrates superbly their ability to create an instantly catchy sound, with its walking bass line strutting along to the funky beat of the drums; distorted guitars give the song an almost punk/reggae feel too…

Recently signed/managed by new label Wigwam Records , Ministry Of Plenty are to launch their debut single today, (download this from their bandcamp page) and also plan to release another single in two weeks time with their debut EP out later this May.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a band to watch out for..

Posted in Alternative, Alternative rock/blues, Electronic, Experimental, Psyche Pop, Psychedelic, Rhythm-based | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment