Sunday, April 21, 2019
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Reality Jockey is the new album from Chicago singer/songwriter William Steffey. The eleven tracks occupy a neverland between indie rock and adult contemporary alternative. With a sound that is both retro and new, the album while good, doesn't seem to fit well in any accepted corner of the medium. Those into indie rock will find it too tame stylistically and emotionally and those into adult contemporary alt rock will find it too lacking in the formula sound or classic rock cliches. This is a talented artist who seems to be stuck in a place akin to the early sixties pop singers after the emergence of British rock. Good sound, talented, but no safe harbour. Stream and buy Reality Jockey at the link below.
Monday, April 15, 2019
Vancouver duo Porteau have released their debut album Water's Gate. The ten tracks have the enviable qualities of being both highly original, yet familiar sounding. This is an album that delivers highly stylish and smartly arranged compositions, with Victoria Williams' vocals transcending all to become a musical focal point so compelling as to draw one into the rocks like mythical Sirens. Rarely does a debut album come along with such maturity of chops and accomplishment on display. Flawless production and stylistic taste are displayed throughout an album that is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Water's Gate at the link below.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago artist Kate Schell has released her debut album Past Present Future. The ten tracks are very stylish indie pop, with elements of Bjork and Lana Del Rey, melded to an original synthpop vibe. Schells voice is alluring and the arrangements give it an intimate edginess that is compelling and engaging. This is an album that starts good and then delivers all the way through. The more one gets into it, the more it impresses. An absolute must have. Stream and buy Past Present Future at the link below.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Toronto's Hush Pup have released their new album Panacea. The eleven tracks are reverb drenched dream pop that manages not to sound like the multitudes of bands that have gone before them. The vocals are spritely and atmospheric, while the crisp clean guitar keeps things moving along coupled with minimalist bass and a nice set of beats. The album is equal parts Beach House, Mazzy Star and Lush. For us there's not quite enough stylistic diversity as the songs tend to run together with a bit of an unwelcome sameness. A good enjoyable album, that would have benefited from more outside producer input and a bit of stylistic adventurousness. Watch the video for album track Oasis, then stream and buy Panacea at the link below.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Seminal Scottish band Jasmine Minks are back with a new single Step By Step b/w Gravity. The two tracks recall the early 80's comeback of The Searchers, but also bands from a wide range of the 80s new wave seen. The two songs are retro gems that have that Rickenbacker guitar sound down perfectly with wonderful melodic lines and low fuzz. For those that look at this period as some of the best music to come out of the UK, these two songs will stand as testaments and will stay on repeat until our new fangled listening devices have long since been replaced by the next new medium. This is a definite must have. Watch the video for lead track Step By Step, then stream and buy the single at the link below.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Dragon Welding is the S/T album and moniker of UK based Andrew Golding, multi-instrumentalist for Wolfhounds. The eleven tracks are an original take on the aural space occupied at the fusion of post-punk and progressive folk. The songs are darkish and compelling, with a sound that instantly engages and pulls the listener deep into the mist. This is an album that entices with simple complexity, original sounds and accomplished musicianship. No shortcuts here, the songs challenge and engulf ones senses in an aural orgasm of sonic goodness. This is a great record and an absolute must have. Watch the video for album track The Builders, then stream and buy Dragon Welding at the link below.
Monday, April 8, 2019
Monochrome is the new single from Johannesburg based husband and wife duo Academie. The tracks is stylistically varied, recalling much of indie music, but yet exuding its own unique identity. Vocals summon aural images of Bjork and Polica, while synths and guitars play out a counterpoint of melodic passages that transport and transcend, with the whole track instantly engaging the listener. It's all propelled forward by a minimalist beat which leads one through a track destined to stay on repeat for a long time. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Monochrome at the link below.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Gothenburg based band Beverly Kills have released their latest single track Revellers. The song is a jangly uptempo piece that shares the sonic space with artists like Vivian Girls, The Raveonettes and Best Coast. Lite, fun and fast, with plenty of reverb, the song will easily find its way onto repeat. At the same time though, it's a bit more of the same without any distinguishing characteristics to set it apart from the pack. Stream and buy Revellers at the link below.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
King Time is the third album from Athens (Greece not Georgia) artist The Man From Managra. The ten tracks have an instant familiarity, but yet are totally original and unique. This is singer/songwriter music that touches the soul with style, depth and a bit of swagger. The arrangements are instantly engaging and allow the songs to transcend genre. While firmly adult contemporary in sonic vibe, there is a stylistic drama that will draw the listener in depp and keep the album on repeat for a long time. Stream and buy King Time at the link below.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Sparrow & Swan is the new album from Melbourne based singer/songwriter Rob Snarski. The nine tracks redefine adult contemporary music, with a stylish blend of Americana styles that recall the best eras of folk, lounge and smooth jazz. This is an album that defies both categorization and expectations as one gets farther into it and finds a totally compelling aural experience that refuses to let them go. Everything about the music seems to creep into your very being, holding you like a lost love rediscovered anew. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Sparrow & Swan at the link below.
Monday, April 1, 2019
Drenched is the new EP from London duo She Made Me Do It. The four tracks are a cross between the old of bands like X and the new on the order of Sleighbells, but not as punk as the former or as metal as the latter. As you might expect, you'll get pop female vocals paired heavy guitars, a smattering of synths and a solid drum track. This EP seems to have found the perfect in between ground and comes across as a thoroughly engaging romp through rock theatrics. A definite must have. Stream and buy Drenched at the link below.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Toronto based Galaa have released their debut album, The Speech. The band is comprised of Adam Hogan and Josh Ward of acclaimed Canadian band Hey Rosetta and Aley Waterman and Ashley Chalmers. The ten tracks are thoroughly engaging dream pop, with a lush atmospheric sound, pristine production and smart arrangements. The band carves out an original niche of intimate compelling music in a crowded synthpop field, where glitz often overpowers songcraft. This is a strong release that will stay on repeat. Stream and buy The Speech at the link below.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Pulsing is the sophomore EP from Rhode Island singer/songwriter Fred Abong onetime bass player of seminal band Throwing Muses and Grammy nominated Belly. The six tracks are darkish, minimalist prog folk, with a bit of a lofi vibe and some unexpected very heavy guitars. Interesting guitar sounds and noisy ambience give a nice edgy framework to showcase Abong's vocals. Rather than the self-absorbed, pretentious route taken by many singer/songwriters today, Abong delivers a raw, intimate look into his songwriter psyche. This is an EP that is unique stylistically, original and compelling. Stream and buy Pulsing at the link below.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Pittsburgh based punk band Action Camp bring us a dark imaginative concept album, Death Discs. The ten tracks are live recorded covers of some of the best teenage angst death sagas ever written. Action Camp bring their own punk aesthetic take to such unforgettable classics as Leader Of The Pack, Laurie (Strange Things Happen), The End Of The World and Last Kiss. This album is one of those rare times when a band has an idea that is so cool, it transcends mere music and becomes a cultural phenomenon. This is a band of imagination, talent and vision. Make the scene, or be as dead inside as the protagonists of these songs. Steam and buy Death Discs at the link below.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
French artist Spiryt has released his S/T debut album on Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings. The 14 tracks are guitar based ambient, electronica, with a dark sheen and atmospheric textures. The tracks employ repetitive instrumental phrases to build pieces that at times play out as spatial imagery and at other times as dense foreboding landscapes. With a distinct orchestral vibe and complex musical stylings, the tracks are engaging beyond mere ambient aspects. Stream and buy Spiryt at the link below.
Monday, March 25, 2019
Path Of Totality/Rapture Drugs is the first advance track from the upcoming album Dead Roses, Digged UP Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats, by Memphis based electronic/noise collective Nonconnah. The track has a dark sinister sheen, with omnipresent heavy drones. Laced with noisey appendages and a siren like scream, it tempts the listener to be impaled on the sonic rocks hidden in the aural spectre. The music is deep and complex adding to its devilishly dark sonic imagery. This is very cool stuff as we have come to expect from this accomplished group. Stream the track and buy the album at the link below.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Tremolo Charm Forever is the latest release from Alabama based, FZB favorite, Llarks. The fourteen minute extended track is a sublime passage through ambient forests of spritely pitches, droning textures and overlapping lines of melody. The work has a decidedly otherworldly vibe, invoking visions of pan flute playing specters, complete with dancing elves, hovering creatures of light and an all encompassing scene of aural imagery. This is a musical excursion that engages the senses and imagination. Stream and buy Tremolo Charm Forever at the link below.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Archive is the debut album from Berlin based composer Antilophobia on Chez Kito Kat Records. The eight tracks encompass a dense set of darkish drone and ambient textures. Deep, with an atmospheric vibe and subliminal passages, the album plays out as an immersive sonic experience sharing the kind of mental engagement one finds in abstract expressionist painting. Stream and buy Archive at the link below.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
French producer S.H.I.Z.U.K.A. has released his sixth album Infinite Eyes on Chez Kito Kat Records. The nineteen tracks, presented as a series of short aural Haikus, are a journey through a wide ranging landscape of electronica. Employing ingenious synth pads and textures, the tracks exist in a space between ambient soundscapes and fully formed songs, with aspects of both present. What one finds is a highly original and unique listening experience that challenges the listener with its length and depth. This is very cool stuff that any electronic music aficionado will relish. Stream and buy Infinite Eyes at the link below.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
A Small Box Over A Global Goal is the new album from UK electronic auters Broads. A longtime FZB favorite, Broads' new album serves up 11 tracks of inspired synth programming and orchestration. The duo of James Ferguson and Mark Jennings have always taken a melodic approach to their music, never satisfied to grasp quick cliched sounds or simplistic stylings, they continue to deliver music that engages the imagination with a varied palette of aural imagery. This is an album of depth, musicianship and beauty. A definite must have. Watch the video for album track, A Safe Space In Us, then stream and buy A Small Box Over A Global Goal at the link below.
Monday, March 18, 2019
Under Your Spell is the new single from Zurich based band Annie Taylor. The track is a nice romp through retro psychedelic forests of fuzz, reverb and jangle. Atmospheric vocals and a good beat are enjoyable, but the song lacks that spark either musically or lyrically to engage with the listener strongly. A good listen, but not something likely to find it's way onto repeat. Watch the video for the track, then stream and buy Under Your Spell at the link below.
Friday, March 15, 2019
San Francisco based artist Derek Schmidt has released his new album Major Arcana. The album is a major work of 22 songs which encompass Schmidt's interpretation of the 22 trump cards of the Tarot. The sheer breadth of a work comprising a 22 song cycle is daunting and one could expect that the songwriting might suffer or there would be shortcuts taken. Nothing could be further from the truth as respects this album. The songs have a wonderful prog folk character reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, melded together with imaginative synth pads, enticing stylistic qualities and engaging lyrical depth. Schmidt has risen to the occasion to deliver an album of sublime beauty and accomplishment, yielding an absolute must have. Stream and buy Major Arcana at the link below.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
London based artist Evi Vine has followed up her single, Sabbath, with the release of her new album Black//Light//White//Dark. The six tracks are dark, deep and haunting ballads, blending sensual vocals with heavy, metal based instruments and orchestral elements. Taken together, Vine weaves and intense, edgy vibe of moody and highly original music that defines her as an artist of stylistic intensity, unafraid to deliver music that is both engaging and challenging. Eschewing formula and sameness, Vine entices with a musical liturgy destined to build a fiercely loyal following ready to embrace her raw rock alter. A definite must have. Stream and buy Black//Light//White//Dark at the link below.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Atlantis B/W Saints is the new single from Applescal on Amsterdam indie label Atomnation. The two tracks are inventive and engaging electronica, with the new lower BPM that is becoming more prevalent in the clubs. The tracks are sonically compelling, with a simple complexity that is intoxicating. The production is flawless and delivers an aural palette of intertwining melodic lines and inventive synth pads. This single is a must have. Stream and buy Atlantis B/W Saints at the link below.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Hole in Whatever is the debut album from You Should Get To Know Us. This Dutch band give us twelve tracks that are a little bit The Searchers, a little bit Freddie and the Dreamers and a little bit every Mersey beat band that ever existed. All of it wrapped into a thoroughly modern take and redefinition of everything that made the 60s UK scene great. This could possibly be the most brilliant interpretation of the 60s ever recorded. At once familiar, but not derivative, with great songs, a truck full of musicianship and as much enjoyment as can be packed into one album. This is a great band performing great music and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Hole In Whatever at the link below.
Monday, March 11, 2019
Fifteen is the newest album from FZB favorites SPC ECO. The UK based project of father/daughter team Dean Garcia ( Curve, Eurythmics) and Rose Berlin, with contributions from Jarek Leskiewicz (Opollo) have delivered fifteen tracks of superbly crafted and stunningly compelling synthpop. Forget all you believe and have heard in this genre, with every release SPC ECO transcend all that has come before, even their own recordings, redefining the heights their music and art can reach. They are quite simply the best the genre has ever produced and are likely to hold that position for a long time to come. Needless to say Fifteen is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Fifteen at the link below.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Cuts is the debut album from Italian duo Lomb. The nine tracks are dark, noisy and edgy, while still being hooky and commercial. This is a very fine line to tread for both an artist and a songwriter. Nine Inch Nails have always excelled at this and from this debut Lomb also seem to have this rare skill. The songs have that kind of sinister vibe musically, like dating someone dangerous, with all sensual excitement that entails. This is an expertly crafted record, that pushes boundaries, displays plenty of chops and is instantly engaging. A definite must have. Stream and buy Cuts at the link below.
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Ba-jesus is the new EP from Liverpool band Ernest Moon. The four tracks are a melding of The Clash with Pulp. OMG we could just stop there, how good must that be. Well even better than you would expect. This is a band that has so much style, they make both the mods and the rockers look like so much Beverly Hillbillies. This EP is a perfectly played hand of bridge, an expertly shaken vodka martini (dirty of course) and a violently fast drive in an Aston Martin on the M1. Buy this record or cower in the corner where you belong. Stream and buy Ba-jesus at the link below.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Gone is the stylish new single from L.A. singer/songwriter Johanna Chase. The track showcases her totally compelling voice, that is both subtle in it's complexity and powerful in its depth. The song itself is so damn good we could see it on repeat till we collapse from exhaustion. It's rare to have such a completely perfect sound embodied in only one track. Please, please get your arse in the studio and give us an album. We'll beg if we have too. Watch the video for the track, then stream and buy Gone at the link below.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
On Your Corner is the new single from Melbourne singer/songwriter Skyscraper Stan. The track has a Nick Cave meets Chris Isaak vibe. It has a soulful swagger and a twangy rock personna blended together to deliver a dark saga of a ballad, with rich imagery and engaging lyric. If cool could be personified in song, this is it, with the mock indifference of Arthur Fonzarelli packaged along side the endearing concern of Morticia Adams. This track has it all, angst, the blues and a troubadour's tale. Stream and buy On Your Corner at the link below.
Monday, March 4, 2019
Tumbleweed is the new album from Maryland singer/songwriter matt Pless. The twelve tracks are a rousing romp through a stylistic range that melds together Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes days, with doses of the Violent Femmes. Now that ought to wet your appetite for a listen and rightfully so. This is an inspired work that is as broad as it is deep. Clever lyrics and true folk instrumentation is delivered with vocals that are original and engaging. This is an album that one will come back to over and over, and is a definite must have. Stream and buy Tumbleweed at the link below.
Friday, March 1, 2019
Getaway is the new album from Toronto singer/songwriter Abigail Lapell. Right off the, one will be struck with a vocal and stylistic similarity to Cat Power. Now those are big shoes to fill and Lapell steps up big time. This is an album that is completely compelling from the first note. The songs are stylistically catchy, with lyrical depth and are the perfect vehicle for Lapell's sumptuous voice. The album is folky, in the truest sense of that word. You'll get a broad range of feeling and texture that will absolutely keep one engaged until you're calling in sick to work the next day because you stayed up all night listening to it. This is an absolute must have. Watch the video for album track, Down By The Water, then stream and buy Getaway at the link below.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
High is the new single from Boston Duo FGBM. The track is a poppy piece of indie rock, with a nice beat and catchy hook. The lyrics are pure pop pablum for the masses, as is the track itself. This is music best suited for adult contemporary audiences longing for the days of bubble gum beats, simple melodies and sappy radio drive time DJs. A nice track that ultimately will engage at first, but will not stand the test of repeated plays. Stream and buy High at the link below.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Daydream hawker is the sophomore release from Austin based Go Fever. The 5 tracks are superlative indie rock, with the huge vocals of Australian transplant Acey Monaro out front. The band is as tight as a conservative evangelist at a porn convention, with every part in its perfect place, yielding a sound as compelling as anything we've heard. This is one of those extremely rare records that is just perfect in every way from start to finish. Go Fever could well be the best new band we've heard in a long, long time. This is an EP that belongs on repeat till your batteries are dead and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Daydream Hawker at the link below.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
FZB favorites Opollo are back with their new album Heatwaves. The five tracks are a rich collection of ambient/drone soundscapes that span a wide range of stylistic nuance. With deep textures and dense layers of sound yielding to a simple melodic consciousness, the album weaves a smart tapestry of aural experiences and imagery. Opollo continue to deliver masterful sonic landscapes that fully engage the senses. Stream and buy Heatwaves at the link below.
Monday, February 25, 2019
Dublin band Drive-In Music Club have released their S/T debut album. The eleven tracks are sterling bluesy, soulful indie rock. With a sultry swagger and a sensual beat, this is an album as good as sitting alone in a dark room and eating a box of chocolate. This record has everything, from great vocals to instrumental work that would put the best Memphis has to offer to shame. Rarely does a debut record of such depth of musician ship and pure chops come along. This is an absolute must have that everyone needs to be aware of. Watch the video for album opener Trouble, then stream and by Drive-In Music Club at the link below.
Friday, February 22, 2019
Ada Belle is the new EP from A. Harlana. The three tracks have a heavy Bon Iver vibe. That said the comparison in no way takes away from the lush beauty in these three tracks, where the the same overly compelling music one would expect from Bon Iver can be found on this EP also. Packed with simple sounding complexity, supple arrangements and a totally engaging sonic presence, this EP is a rare example where imitation can be just what is needed, with this being a fine record that absolutely stands on its own. Watch the video for EP track Faces, then stream and buy Ada Belle at the link below.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
The Hurt & The Humour is the debut full length from Helsinki based The Fisherman & The Sea, aka the project of singer/songwriter Jon Eden. The eleven tracks are highly original takes on styles ranging from folk to indie rock. Eden shows an accomplishment as both a songwriter and musician well past what could reasonably be expected on a debut record. This record surprises at every turn, with compelling songs, vocals, instrumental arrangements and just plain sonic goodness. Whether it be the stylistic range covered or the pure energy injected into every track, this is an album that is totally engaging and will stand as one of our favorites for the year. An absolute must have. Stream and buy The Hurt & The Humour at the link below.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Death Western is the debut EP from Austin band Om Wahs. The six tracks tread a fine line between post-punk and prog rock. What results is an interesting, if uneven, amalgam that at times sounds like inspired pop punk aesthetics and at other times like jam band pretentiousness. One wants to like this album, but the uneven tenor makes engagement difficult. What your left with is moments of excellence, interspersed with moments where the lack of discipline and direction make you want to hit the stop button. Overall a good example of why successful recordings have a producer, because what this record is missing is someone who had a cohesive vision. Stream and buy Death Western at the link below.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Reflect is the debut album from Denver based band Chemist. The eight tracks are stylish altrock, that are heavy, moody and angsty. Like the preponderance of heavy altrock, this album stays close to the formula, never venturing into anything unique or original. With influences from Tool to My Chemical Romance, the band delivers a solid album that hits the mark for hard rock/EMO aficionados, but does little to try and lift the genre out of its tired doldrums of formulaic music. Stream and buy Reflect at the link below.
Monday, February 18, 2019
If indie and punk had royalty, former Husker Du and Sugar frontman Bob Mould would be seated on the throne. Mould is back with a new album, Sunshine Rock on Merge Records. The twelve tracks deliver everything one would expect from a great artist. The songs are raw, edgy, catchy and expertly crafted. Mould delivers up superlative vocals, lyrical depth and a sound as compelling as sex. Needless to say, the album is an absolute must have. Watch the Sunshine Rock Studio Session, then stream and buy Sunshine Rock at the link below.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Spirited is yet another new release from FZB favorite synthesizer auter Anda Volley. This track was composed for the short film Transmission 1: lady L. by filmmaker Alexis Karl. As is usual with Volley's work, we are once again privileged with her mastery of everything synth, and with her skill as a producer in full flower. Needless to say this is an absolute must have. Watch the film, then stream and buy Spirited at the link below.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Pronounced Fog is the debut EP from Portland band Fog. The two tracks (one a 12+ minute extended work) are interesting blends of 60's psychedelia, noise rock and post-punk. What you get is a highly original sound that is raw, edgy and hypnotic. Slicing through the noise are pristine guitar sounds, a dark vibe and a stylish patina. This is a record that stands on its own as a work of art that transcends mere rock and becomes an almost sinister caricature of what music has become in this era of banal commercialism. Stream and buy Pronounced Fog at the link below.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Long time FZB favorite artist/producer Anda Volley is back with a devastatingly good new single and video Arrival. Volley is an artist of great musical maturity, plying her synths with a stylish reverence for originality and musicality. Her releases have moved from strength to strength, with ever imaginative electronic creations that entice listeners with compelling sounds and moody presentations. Watch the video, then stream and buy the must have Arrival at the link below.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Believe Us is the debut album from Vienna based At Pavillon on Las Vegas Records. The eleven tracks are something rare today, unique, original indie rock. There are a multitude of influences in the music. None stand out apart from the overall sound, having been meticulously subsumed into an original, cohesive sound that completely satisfies on every level. The album is full of catchy songs, compelling arrangements and engaging vocals. This is just a super strong record from start to finish and an absolute must have. Stream and buy Believe Us at the link below.
Friday, February 8, 2019
Brooklyn indie label Wharf Cat Records has released Guitar Dream, the sophomore album from David Vassalotti. The ten tracks are a delightful take on indie rock, with catchy sounds, well crafted lyrics and nice stylistic changes. The album is a bit dreamy, but not overly so and has a multitude of melodic guitar parts acting as a partner to the vocals. All this is paired with unexpected dynamic swings, heavy passages and engaging indie rock music that will satiate even the most jaded aficionado. Stream and buy Guitar Dream at the link below.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Apollo is the latest album from Louisiana based duo Stonerpop. The nine tracks are tasty synthpop, the makes its own path rather than regurgitating the Chvrches, Beach House stylings so prevalent today. Instead, the duo of Maudie Michelle and Jimmie Maneuva, serve up music that brandishes elements of 80's new wave, Nine Inch Nails synthpads and their own edgy, original take on electronica. With a vast array of guitar and synth sounds paired with Michelle's compelling voice, this is a must have album that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Apollo at the link below.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Israeli band OX4 have released a new single Turn Over. The track is an interesting and original take on eighties new wave stylings. With a sound that is club ready, a sultry atmospheric vocal and a glitchy, synthy guitar that is catchy all on its own. This is a band that evokes images that range from Blondie to Human League. The single is just cool. An engaging and a definite must have, which is likely to be on repeat till your battery goes dead. Stream Turn Over at the link below.