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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Shoreline Dream: Waitout EP

Latenight Weeknight Records has released Waitout EP, a foreshadow of things to come from Colorado-based trio A Shoreline Dream, who expect to be announcing their debut vinyl release shortly.  The original drummer recently reconnected with the duo, and a volcanic wall of sound has burst forth as the result.  Full of hypnotic energy and imagination, this progressive shoegaze album functions like a dream sequence with saturated, reverberating vocals and lead guitar washing over the listener.  The fourth and final song on this EP gives a little contrast and context to the rest of the album, leaving listeners looking forward to their next release.  Stream and buy Waitout EP at the link below.

Dear Youth: You Could Wish Me The Best

Canadian band Dear Youth are back with a new EP, You Could Wish Me The Best on Anchor Eighty Four Records. The five tracks are formula altrock, with all the best bits up loud and driving. Think the best of the EMO bands like Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance, and that's exactly what you have here. Perfectly executed radio rock, with flawless precision and production. Every track a teenage angst, heart throbbing, A side killer. Stream and buy You Could Wish Me The Best at the link below.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Bijou Noir: We Are Alone Together

GIVE/TAKE Records has released We Are Alone Together - the debut album that Minneapolis-based Bijou Noir, aka Augustus Watkins, spent ten years recording, perfecting, and producing all across the world.  He calls it a breakup album - breaking up with an entire state of being.  While largely energetic and upbeat instrumentally, the vocal delivery traverses lands playful, sultry, suspicious, accusatory, and dismal; which gives an interesting juxtaposition until the accompaniment temporarily takes a dark turn about halfway through the album.  Crafty melodies and mysterious hooklines and lyrics characterize his sound.  Just when you start to think you can anticipate his next move, he throws a curve-ball that draws you back in.  Stream and buy We Are Alone Together at the link below.

Steve Hewitt: Steve Hewitt Live @ Magpie Studios EP

UK-born and based artist Steve Hewitt releases his sophomore EP in anticipation of releasing his debut LP later this year.  This EP showcases Steve's percussive guitar playing and emotionally-charged lyrics and vocal delivery, to the point you might even forget that there's no other instrumentation present - just a man, his guitar, and something important to say.  He exhibits warm, expressive vocals and energetic guitar lines accompanied by excellent use of dynamics and song form.  Some artifacts of post-production are a little distracting at times, but it's possible to get past that and enjoy a delivery that is, overall, exciting, raw, and endearing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Rainbloom: Thought Streams

Rainbloom, a Japan-based duo signed to Step Pepper Records, recently released their debut album Thought Streams, an electronic fusion of jazz and hip hop with lots of spinning sounds and glitchy beats. The first half of this album features pretty groovy beats and hooks, but the hooks aren't repeated enough to really get stuck in anyone's head; maybe that's the point, reflecting back to the album title's implications.  That may also explain the largely indecipherable lyrics floating around in the songs, similar in style to Melody's Echo Chamber.  Seemingly randomized sounds characterize the second half of the album.  Rainbloom have left themselves some room to develop musically as they show potential with creative ideas in blending styles, however this first album feels a bit caricatured and cliche.  Stream and buy Thought Streams at the link below.

Cult Fantastic: I Love My Selfie

LA artist Cult Fantastic has released his debut EP, I Love My Selfie. The four tracks are an interesting mix of styles, think Parliament/Funkadelic meets The B-52s. The EP is fun, funky and a bit lofi, with tongue in cheek lyrics and enough energy to power your house. The arrangements are a bit on the simplistic side and the whole thing comes off as a novelty record, but maybe that's the point. Fun for a spin, but not something that will likely be on repeat. Watch the video for EP track Screens, then stream and buy I Love My Selfie at the link below.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Small Life Form: Fragments

Another release from our friends at Silber Records is Fragments, by Small Life Form. The album is a collection of studio works recorded from 2012 to 2014 in a live rig environment, supplemented by sound sculptures, to yield an album of foreboding, sci fi soundscapes. With over an hour of dark and  dense sonic enigmas, the music plays out like the background for a stranded astronaut suspended between the reality of his predicament and the solitude of the experience. A truly experimental work that will satisfy the most intense ambient scrutineer. Stream and buy Fragments at the link below.

P.D Wilder: Remember To Remind Me

North Carolina's Silber Records brings us Remember To Remind Me, the new album from ambient auteur P.D.Wilder. Armed with a guitar and a suitcase full of effects pedals, Wilder delivers five tracks, totalling over an hour of music. Dark, ethereal and noisey, the pieces drone through ebb and flow of dense melodic sounds, that permeate the sonic space. In many ways we find ambient music the purest of aural art forms, free of formula and cliche, structurally diverse and experimental by definition, the sounds created take on an individual life with each listener, free of any preconcieved notions of mental imagery. Stream and buy Remember To Remind Me at the link below.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fred Abong: Homeless

Homeless is the debut solo EP from Fred Abong, bass player for influential indie band Throwing Muses and Grammy nominated alt-rock band Belly. Abong also has a PhD in Humanities, so one would expect something special from a solo release and something special is what one gets. With lyrical depth, imaginative musical arrangements and Abong's raw, stylish vocals. The album is beautifully produced with every nuanced aspect clearly present, enhancing the range of musical phrases and subtleties. One has to look at debut albums from Leonard Cohen and Connor Oberst to find the kind of lyrical accomplishment and vocal edge present on this release. Stream and buy this absolute must have at the link below.

Moon: Extinction

Extinction is the third album release for Chicago's Moon. The eight tracks conjure visions of Sunny Day Real Estate, Circa Survive, Mogwai and given the vocal range the inescapable comparison to Rush's Geddy Lee. This is a band that melds post-punk rawness and edge, with math and prog rock precision. The songs are compelling, their musical chops are enormous and the stylistic depth is impressive. This is a band at the height of their powers and maturity, delivering a confident and accomplished record that demands attention. An absolute must have. Stream and buy Extinction at the link below.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bizzare: Necro

Estonian indie Seksound Record Label is the home to the recordings of seminal Estonian band Bizzare. Having previously released the bands first two albums, the label is releasing Necro a collection of tracks that have not been previously released in an album format. Recorded and mixed through 1997 and 1998, the ten tracks are a blend of shoegaze and dreampop, laced with the occasional dance beat and ambient touches. The recordings are flawlessly produced and performed, with smart styling and an inviting sonic presence. More than just historical works, these are tracks that stand the test of time and fit a contemporary sound and format, making for a strong new release in their own right. Stream and buy Necro at the link below.

Hologram Teen: Between The Funk And The Fear

Between The Funk And The Fear is the debut album from L.A. based Hologram Teen, the solo project of longtime Stereolab keyboardist Morgane Lhote. With such a sterling pedigree, one would expect much from a solo album and Lhote delivers. The eleven tracks bristle with inventiveness and experimental zeal, while crafting songs that are engaging and totally listenable. The album takes a glitchy approach to making inspired electronic music that uses both retro sounding synths and new pads to deliver an album of depth and character.This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Between The Funk And The Fear at the link below.

Monday, July 23, 2018


Brooklyn based artist/producer Searmanas, aka Niabi Aquena, has released her S/T debut album. The seven tracks are lush atmospheric dreampop, with industrial touches, imaginative synthpads, dark ambience and understated beats. Though mainly instrumental, vocally the album recalls the sounds of Mitski, Polica, Bjork and Bat For Lashes, with deep intimate phrasing, alluring aural quality and subtle strength, together with the electronica weaving a captivating tapestry of warm tonal depth. This album is an artistic gem and a definite must have. Stream and buy Searmanas at the link below.

Tiny Stills: Laughing Into The Void

LA powerpop band Tiny Stills have released their new album, Laughing Into The Void. The ten tracks are hard edged, punk tinged gifts, that have a unique twist with the somewhat mousy and perfectly placed vocals of frontwoman Kailynn West. This is an album full of A sides that are made for indie and altrock radio. Reminiscent of Jenny Lewis' work in Rilo Kiley, this is a band that is tight, powerful and totally compelling. Stream and buy Laughing Into The Void at the link below.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Four Star Riot: Daylight

Daylight is the sophomore album from Florida based band Four Star Riot. The ten tracks are catchy indie rock, with influences from Spoon, Foals and Arctic Monkeys. The tracks are spirited power pop gems with a radio ready vibe, nice changes and plenty of chops. The production is crisp and the whole album works from start to finish. This is straight up indie rock for those who like their music familiar but still engaging. Watch the video for album track Slayed Pretender, then stream and buy Daylight at the link below.

Croatia: Half Dreams

Half Dreams is the new EP from British Columbia band, Croatia. The five tracks are stylish, radio ready indie rock. With equal amounts of melodic guitars and intriguing synths, strong vocals and engaging arrangements, the EP unfolds with a sonic vibe that is captivating. Croatia have found a sound of their own that is both commercial and artistically satisfying, showcasing a wealth of talent and imagination. This an EP that will stay on repeat and is a definite must have. Watch the video for the title track, then stream and buy Half Dreams at the link below.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Foreign Films: The Record Collector

Back in January, we reviewed the first side release of the coming triple album vinyl release The Record Collector, by The Foreign Films, aka FZB favorite Bill Majoros. That side one landed Foreign Films #3 on our Top 10 Artists of 2018 So Far published on the blog the last Friday of June. Now we have the entire triple album and Majoros has delivered a project who's style and musical depth match the hugeness of this 31 track extravaganza. In this age of single song releases, not many artists would have the balls to release such a massive collection, yet alone have the songwriting and musical chops to actually carry it off. Majoros has climbed a musical Mount Everest and firmly planted the Foreign Films flag on the summit. This is an album for the ages and an absolute, absolute, absolute must have. Stream and buy The Record Collector at the link below.

Needs: Limitations

Vancouver indie label FileUnderMusic brings us Limitations, the sophomore album from hardcore band Needs. The twelve tracks are punk rock at its basest, primal, raw and filthy best. This is music that mocks the meek and sneers at the pop trendy. Music that is meant to be experienced in animalistic frenzy, disturbing, dirty, scathing and perfect. Lock yourself in your room, turn this album up so loud it threatens structural integrity and makes your parents desperately call for help. Oh yes!!! Watch the video for Eat the Rich...People's Leftovers, then stream and buy Limitations at the link below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

STFU: Yum 1 & Yum 2


Yum 1 and Yum 2 are a double sophomore release from STFU, the collaboration of Dean Garcia (Curve, SPE ECO) and Preston Maddox (Bloody Knives). With each album having ten tracks, the dual release marks a supreme statement of shoegaze prowess. These are accomplished musicians and songwriters that have already stood the test of time and are still at the height of their powers. The albums demonstrate that great extended works can still exist in this immediate gratification world of single song releases. These albums are master works, that need to be in everyone's collection and are absolute must haves. Stream and buy Yum 1 and Yum 2 at the links below.

Sunset Wrecks: False Patterns

False Patterns is the third full length from Sunset Wreck, the collaboration between Jarek Leskiewicz (Naked On My Own, Opollow, Blurred City Lights) and Martin Anderson (Dopedrone, Yeti Island). The eleven tracks are explorations in deep, intricate, and melodic instrumental music, that spans genres from shoegaze to post-punk to post-rock. With an orchestral quality that occupies a huge aural space, and a complexity of form that exhibits prowess at both songwriting and musicianship, this album towers over empty sonic space like the full moon does in a clear night sky.This is music as art; immersive, conceptual and heavy. Stream and buy False Patterns at the link below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ourfathers: Funeral Pyre

Funeral Pyre is the debut full length from San Francisco based Ourfathers. The twelve tracks are dark, heavy indie rock in the vein of bands like The Used and Senses Fail. This is hard rock at its mightiest, with dynamic swings from a whisper to an explosion. While the songs are a bit too formulaic and cliched, the band in nonetheless tight and driving, with enough energy to ignite fires in its wake. This is a very solid record and will make hard rock lovers yearn for more. Stream and buy Funeral Pyre at the link below.

Jubl: Thinking Sweet

Thinking Sweet is the three song debut EP from Jubl, the collaboration of Rudy Tambala (A.R.Kane) Maggie Tambala and Andy Taylor. The songs have a shoegazy, post-punk feel and a dreampop sheen, with the EP delivering a smooth, yet edgy vibe. As one listens, it is clear that every note is there for a reason, and though only three tracks, this is a fully realised artistic work. Tantalizingly brief and longingly compelling, the EP leaves one wanting and needing much more of this music. Watch the video for the EP below, then stream and buy Thinking Sweet at the link below.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Dfactor Pop: Nostalgia For Now

Nostalgia For Now is the new album from Phoenix based Dfactor Pop, aka Dave Murrow. The eleven tracks are retro sounding ditties ranging from powerpop to garage rock. The songs are short minimally produced and fun. This is goodtime music meant for partying with a few friends or listening by the pool on a hot summer day. Nothing fancy or pretentious here, just simple rock for simple times. Nice, catchy and enjoyable because music can still be made that way. Stream and buy Nostalgia For now at the link below.

Coping Skills: Worst New Music

Worst New Music is the Sophomore album from Philadelphia's Coping Skills, on Citywide Records. The duo of Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca serve up twelve tracks of compelling indie rock, that share similarities with the many Kathleen Hanna projects and bands such as Weezer. Stylish, tongue in cheek, but yet real and heartfelt, the album delivers strong songwriting, paired with eminently tasty music. This is an album marked by originality, that has enough coolness and swagger to put the best to shame. One of the best records we've heard this year. Watch the video for album tracks I'd Rather Not (Yeah) then stream and buy Worst New Music at the link below.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Therese Lithner: Therese Lithner EP

Swedish indie label Lazy Octopus Records have released the debut S/T EP from Theresa Lithner. The four tracks share similarities with Polica, Mitski and the unavoidable Bjok comparison, but stand on their own as stylish, compelling affairs. The EP has infectious beats, a nice post-punk aesthetic and alluring vocals. After spending time in bands like Vakan and A Sound of Silence, Lithner shows that her move to a solo artist is the right move and she rewards listeners with a stunning debut that will stay on repeat with its engaging strength. Stream and buy the Therese Lithner EP at the link below.

Zachary Carrol: Medicine Mouth

Medicine Mouth is the new EP from Sonoma, CA singer/songwriter Zachary Carrol. The six tracks are nice indie folk, that are unfortunately marred by bad production. One can tell that the songwriting is enjoyable and the minimalist arrangements fit well, but the EP as a whole is muddy, with all the parts trying to inhabit the same set of frequencies. There is obvious goodness to what this artist is doing, but he is not served by his DIY approach, which leaves the listener never really being able to hear what could be there. Stream and buy Medicine Mouth at the link below.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trinity Ward: Incoherent Light

The emphasis in Trinity Ward’s latest album, Incoherent Light, falls on hypnotic melodicizing and an enjoyably peculiar evolution of sounds and instrumental voices throughout.  The seven tracks execute musical ideas with excellence, holding the listener’s interest with varying approaches to the genre of electronica, including greatly varied tempos and stylistic feels. Tasteful integration of instruments and structural contour throughout the album play as a strength; synthesized instruments of almost every kind share the spotlight, from vocals, keys and pads, to drums, sitar, and harmonica.  The album is delightfully out-of-the-box, taking recognizable acoustic instruments and applying them in new and unusual ways. Mixed well and produced well, the clear instrumentation and musical ideas throughout make this album engaging to listen to and invites the listener to simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Stream and buy Incoherent Light at the link below.

John Michael Hersey: Dreamtime

NYC singer/songwriter John Michael Hersey has released his new album Dreamtime. The fourteen tracks are retro sounding pop that is straight from Top 40 radio. The album is nice enough for what it is, but this not music that is relevant in today's world. More so, it is an amalgam of every hit pop artist one would care to name. Try to envision a top 40 cover band that happens to be doing all original music, but that still sounds like a bunch of covers. The album is played well, the songs are decently crafted, but it's all been heard before, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Boz Scaggs, it's all there. This is an album by an obviously talented artist, but also one who needs to find their own voice. Steam and buy Dreamtime at the link below.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sanderlings: Sanderlings

Sanderlings is the S/T debut full length from the Santa Barbara band. After two highly enjoyable EPs, the band steps it up with eleven tracks of radio ready indie rock. Taking a page from band like Weezer and Jimmy Eat World, the album is catchy and fun. The songs get you moving, with smart arrangements, tight musicianship and interesting phrasing. At the same time, it's all a bit too practiced and comes up a little short on any real edge or energy. Like music from War On Drugs, Sanderlings deliver precision and craft, all which is fully enjoyable, but it would be nice to have a bit of just how good a band they really must be when they let loose in a live environment. Mind you, they do give flashes of that, but this is radio music through and through. Watch the video for album track Stories stream and buy Sanderlings at the link below.

Two Meters: Two Meters

Indie label, Very Jazzed, has released the debut S/T EP from Florida based Two Meters, aka Tyler Costolo. The five tracks are dark, reverby and challenging to listen to. The vocals have a noisy cacophonous sheen, that creates a tense discordant feeling in the listener. This is out of keeping with the music which could see a more reasoned vocal treatment making this an engaging release. As it is, we just don't get it. The vocals are unlistenable and destroy the EP. The label has been hyping this EP with repeated press releases for like 3 months and then they deliver a work whose only distinction is that it is the first release that this blog has called just a plain bad record. With so much good emerging music out there, this is one to avoid. Stream Two Meters at the link below.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dad Brains: Dad Brains

California band Dad Brains have released their S/T debut EP. The five tracks are hardcore punk in the vein of Circle Jerks or Buzzcocks. The band describes it as music about dads, made by dads for everyone. Make no mistake though, this is not music for suburbia. This EP is the real deal, authentic punk the way it's meant to be, loud, unapologetic, in your face and brutal. Call all your wimpy neighbors over for a basement party...then lock them in and play this full blast. Don't let those wimpy f*ckers out till this has played five times. If everyone did this, the world would be a much better place. Yes, yes it would. Stream and buy Dad Brains at the link below.

Synthesizer: Synthesizer Sessions #1

Israeli artist collective Synthesizer have released Synthesizer Sessions #1, a stylish compilation of emerging artists that are being shepherded in the collective accelerator program. The twelve tracks were recorded live and span a few indie genres, with the whole album being full to the brim with great music. Here at the blog we love being able to discover incredible music from all over the world and incredible music is what this album delivers. If this album is any indication, the Synthesizer program is going to be serving up sonic goodness for a long time to come. This compilation is an absolute must have. Watch the video for album track Army Song, then stream and buy Synthesizer Sessions #1 at the link below.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Palm Ghosts: Architecture

Nashville based Palm Ghosts have delivered their third album, Architecture. The nine tracks showcase the band's own unique brand of dreampop and indie rock. Nashville is a songwriters town and any artist out of Nashville should rightly expect that a high standard be applied to their songcraft. This album stands out against such scrutiny with strength and style, as well as imaginative arrangements and interesting musical passages. Palm Ghosts show themselves to be a band with deep talent and a highly developed artistic sensibility. This album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Architecture at the link below.

Standard Legal: Mercury

Mercury is the debut EP from Los Angeles based artist Standard Legal, aka the solo project of Andrew Siegel. The five tracks are stylish synth & guitar pop, that shares a more post-punk space like James Blake. Bordering on the experimental, Siegel uses dark sonic imagery and stark production to deliver an EP strong on the sound of foreboding visions and noise influenced industrial leaning. Deep and dense, this is music that demands engagement from the listener and will reward the casual listener with indifference. Are you worthy? Stream and buy Mercury at the link below.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Poptone: Poptone

Rarely does a debut release engender the type of anticipation seen with the S/T release by L.A. group Poptone. The anticipation is well earned as this is no mere new band, but the continuation of the musical journey of Bauhaus, Love and Rockets and Tones On Tails founders Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins, joined by Haskins' daughter Diva Dompe. With a sound that pays homage to the aforementioned bands, the album delivers a dark, compelling vision of the future for these artists that shows they will continue to innovate and excite. Watch the live video for album track Go!, then stream and buy Poptone at the link below.

Night Nail: LA Demons

California & Berlin collaboration, Night Nail, are back with their new album, LA Demons on Cleopatra Records. The seven tracks are dark, atmospheric takes on a post-punk, darkwave mix. With a mix of foreboding styling with more dreampop type clean guitar lines and deep atmospheric vocals, the band carves out their own unique sound, while still sounding familiar and alluring. What you get is an original combination of genres that will hold the listener in its grasp. Stream and buy LA Demons at the link below.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Almighty Rhombus:

FZB favorites, Ontario band The Almighty Rhombus are back with their third release, the Swish EP. The four tracks continue the band's crisp melodic style of indie rock that sees them delivering a smart, engaging mix of songs guaranteed to please. This is rock that's meant to be fun to listen to. The songs are unpretentious, dynamic and we dare you to try and sit still while listening. This is music that will get your arse moving and you'll be glad it did. A definite must have. Stream and buy Swish at the link below.

Cold Transmission: Zeitgeist Vols. 3 & 4

Frankfurt based net label Cold Transmission Music brings us two huge compilation volumes, Zeitgeist Vols. 3 & 4. The 29 tracks on the former and 28 tracks on the latter feature as many different artists each for a sprawling look at the labels international music spectrum. Spanning post-punk, darkwave, shoegaze, new wave, coldwave and goth, these compilations standout for both the huge amount of music and moreover for the quality of the music featured. You get  hours of some of the best music we have heard in a long while. These releases are an absolute must have. Stream and buy Zeitgeist Vols. 3 & 4 at the links below.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jamison Isaak: EP 2

Instrumental music auteur Jasmison Isaak is back with EP 2, his second release of the year. The four tracks are piano explorations that inhabit a broad sonic space. With lush melodic passages, ambient textures and drones, Isaak delivers an EP the envelops one in the music, with a sonic experience that engages the senses with wonderful aural imagery. Flawless production brings an atmospheric sense of an expanded space, where tones and melodies intermingle in harmonious splendor. Stream and buy EP 2 at the link below.

In Her Eye: Change

Change is the new album from Milan based shoegazers In Her Eye. The eight tracks see the band chanelling influences from The Cure and New Order to Swervedriver and Sonic Youth. Atmospheric and melodic, with nice raw interludes, the album plays out in a way that seems familiar, yet still new. Lush and reverby, with a slight lofi edge, the band deliver a perfectly balanced work that excites dynamically and challenges musically. We love really good bands and on this album In Her Eye make it clear just how good a band they are. Treat yourself to that goodness, stream and buy Change at the link below.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Stella Diana: 57

57 is the new album from Naples based post-punk band Stella Diana. A long time FZB favorite, the band return with eleven tracks of dark atmospheric music destined to become one of the years best. With accomplished musicianship, strong vocals, interesting lyrical excursions and stunning production, 57 sees the band at the height of their powers. This album is dreamy yet raw, smooth yet edgy, and totally compelling. This is a band that offers much and will take the listener along on an intimate sonic journey of discovery. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy 57 at the link below.

Dose: Furniture

UK based noise rock band Dose have released their debut 7", Furniture b/w Opaque, on A Turntable Friend Records. The two tracks are dense and dark, with dissonant passages, some very tasty guitar sounds, and inventive song structure. Drawing heavily from post-punk artistically and minimalism in vocal treatment, the tracks are fanciful and original. While the label calls these a two A-side single, make no mistake, this is not music that will find its way onto commercial radio. This is music that is adventurous and experimental. Watch the video for the track Furniture, then stream and buy Furniture b/w Opaque at the link below.