Saturday Sampler for April 9th has a little bit of almost everything. Whether you’re looking for psychedelic folk, garage rock, indie folk, or even goth-punk, we’ve got it. Some of the names will be familiar while others will be brand new. Regardless, they are all bands worth checking out, and as sampling we have their latest new tunes.
Aloha – “Faraway Eyes” (Cleveland, OH, USA)
Indie prog-pop veterans Aloha want to take you to a distant place on their new song, “Faraway Eyes” – specifically, to the 1980s where today’s indie genres began. The shimmering synths and percussion are influenced by New Wave, so this track feels like the soundtrack to a time warp. It’s upbeat and infectious – two hallmarks of most ‘80s-era modern rock. But “Faraway Eyes” isn’t solely inspired by the ‘80s: there are traces of ‘60s-era psychedelic rock and modern indie garage rock. This song offers something for every music fan, so crank it up for maximum enjoyment.
Aloha are: Tony Cavallario (vocals, organ, guitar), Cale Parks (vocals, drums), Matthew Gengler (bass), and T.J. Lipple (percussion, keys).
Grace Joyner – “Real” (Charleston, SC, USA)
For a couple of years, singer-songwriter Grace Joyner has quietly been tantalizing music fans with her intimate songs. With her second album, Maybe Sometimes in C, on the horizon, the Charleston, South Carolina native is set for indie stardom. The lead single from the album is “Real”. The song is one part Eleanor Friedberger and one part Lady Lamb, but the sum of its parts is a gripping song about taking for granted someone’s love.
Maybe Sometimes in C will be released on May 20th via Hearts & Plugs.
Great Lake Swimmers – “Condition White” (Toronto, Canada)
One of Canada’s most beloved indie-folk bands, The Great Lake Swimmers have enchanted fans with their stirring and gorgeous music for over a decade. Last year, they released A Forest of Arms, and they’ve quickly followed with a new EP Swimming Away, which could be considered a b-sides to the full-length. From the EP is “Condition White”, a hauntingly beautiful song that sees the band return to its cinematic roots. The story depicted in the song is equally crushing, describing an ill-fated day that could only be described in a Alejandro González Iñárritu film.
Swimming Away is out now via Nettwerk Music Group.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – “Soul Mechanic” (Lincoln, NE, USA)
Nebraska funk/blues/soul act Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal blends the best elements of multiple genres to create a grooving finished product. On this new single from the band’s third album, Running From Love, Hoyer sticks to the basics: big, bold vocals and funky, R&B-infused jazz riffs. “Soul Mechanic” has some of the sweetest sax we’ve heard since Clarence Clemons put the E Street Band in the spotlight. The swampy arrangement here has a rich New Orleans vibe that all but begs for a live collaboration with Big Easy funk masters Galactic. “I feel so broken down / I got to get up to get down,” Hoyer grunts and howls on the chorus, and get up on it he does. James Brown would be proud.
Kikagaku Moyo – “Kogarashi” (Tokyo, Japan)
Just as Ravi Shankar was celebrating his 96th birthday, Tokyo band Kikagaku Moyo is preparing for the release of its new album House in the Tall Grass. From the forthcoming LP is the beautiful and serene “Kogarashi”. It doesn’t matter if you cannot understand what the band is saying (it is in Japanese), just simply listening to this psychedelic-folk track will remind you of the sweeping and alluring effects of the great sitar player and influential songwriter’s music.
House in the Tall Grass will be released on May 13th. Pre-order it here.
Kin Camino – “Clues” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
There isn’t a better place on the planet than Sweden at producing bands making really great pop music. Take Gothenburg band Kin Camino‘s new single, “Clues”. Building on Sweden’s trademark of lush music, “Clues” is a soaring, euphoric gem, whose effects are revitalizing yet breathtaking. The stunning harmonies and the gorgeous, piano-led melody recall Keane during their heights, but even more atmospheric than anything the English trio has released. And this sound was created by a duo, as Kin Camino are Fredrik Gustafsson and David Gustafsson.
Mutual Benefit – “Lost Dreamers” (Brooklyn, USA)
Mutual Benefit (the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and singer Jordan Lee) knows how to craft a song that exudes luxurious softness. On his latest track, “Lost Dreamers”, the mellowness is imbued with layers of hazy strings and gentle intimacy. This is a modern astral-folk lullaby on par with John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” mixed with a bit of Flaming Lips for an extra dose of psychedelic buoyancy. Let your mind float to a dreamy place with this song. It’s from the Skip a Sinking Stone album due out May 20th from Mom+Pop Records with pre-orders from his Bandcamp page, Amazon, iTunes, and the label’s online store. Mutual Benefit’s European spring tour begins April 22 in Berlin with a North American tour through May and June.
NVDES – “The Other Side” (Los Angeles, USA)
Get your dancing shoes on because LA collective NVDES have returned with another great tune. Echoing the edgy, bustling street music of the ’80s and ’90s, “The Other Tune” is an exuberant track (although the song’s lyrics are about a cheating or two-timing friend). Play this track, turn the volume way up, and watch a street party form outside your home. This track has that kind of drawing power.
The Proof. – “Bang Bang” (Los Angeles, USA)
We last featured Los Angeles blues-rock band The Proof. back in October when the emerging four-piece group released their debut single. We fell hard for their gritty, funkified sound but had no details about when they would release a proper album. It looks like our waiting days are over now that they have finished their EP. “Bang Bang” is the first track from the album of the same name. It has all the soul of the first single with a grooving bass line that brings out your inner badass. The five-track EP is available now from their website.
The Proof. are: Drew Dolan (lead vocals, keys), Geramie Laufersky (vocals, guitar), Ian Murray (bass), and Lucas Crouch (drums).
Traitrs – “Witch Trials” (Toronto, Canada)
As Traitrs, Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker are a most welcome addition to the Toronto indie scene, and their latest single “Witch Trials” is a brilliant introduction to the band. Originally released in the fall of 2015, “Witch Trials” is a dark but cataclysmic display of goth-punk. The crystalline guitars that shimmer throughout the track, the crippling vocals, and the stark melodies give the song its sinister, haunting soul. While there are elements of The Cure and Bauhaus in the song, Traitrs’ sound approaches the majesty of Eagulls, who two years ago contributed to the reemergence of this great genre.
“Witch Trails” is from Traitr’s forthcoming, debut EP, Rites and Ritual, which released June 24th via Pleasance Records.
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