Montreal indie label, Chez.Kito.Kat Records is celebrating their twelfth birthday by giving everyone a gift. Kit Sounds Eight is the 8th edition of their compilation series and is available as a free download on Bandcamp. The album features seventeen of the label's artists and ranges from analog techno to psychedelic rock, ambient, breakbeat, experimental and electronica. This is a great way to grab over an hour and a half of music from this fine indie label and is a definite must have. Stream and download Kit Sounds Eight at the link below.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
British guitarist and Silber Records artist, Jon Attwood, has been making pristine instrumental music under his Yellow6 moniker for 20 years. To mark this milestone, he brings us a truly epic work, the 5 CD set, Reflect. This massive artistic undertaking is all new music and stands as a testament to a guitarist that rises above mere genre and stylistic formats to create music of superlative depth and sublime beauty. It is almost unfathomable to try and conceptualize the sheer magnitude of an undertaking, that is surely the artistic equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. What the listener will find in this gigantic compendium, is an incredible array of instrumental chops, an inspired sense of composition and arrangement, crisp production and an abundance of damn fine music. This collection is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Reflect at the link below.
After releasing the devastating single, PSA, in December, Toronto punks Burner are back with their S/T debut EP. The seven tracks are thrash aristocracy, showcasing the band's hardcore roots. This is music that accepts no bounds and takes no prisoners. Punk is meant to challenge and Burner is the school bully kicking the arse of all the lame pussy pop in its territory. You'll get enough edge to slit tires, the kind of rawness that will make your parents worry and all of the attitude that gives full authenticity to the punk aesthetic. A definite must have. Stream and by Burner at the link below.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Our friends at North Carolina's Silber Records bring us two new EP releases, Internecine Vampires, the latest EP by Luka Fisher and Live Flaying, by Konbanwa. The five tracks on Internecine Vampires continue Fisher's penchant for dense freeform ambient music. Combining melodic drones, with dark sonic imagery, dissonant passages and bits of noisy shading, Fisher again pushes the boundaries of ambient forms. On Live Flaying, Konbanwa, aka Rowland Yeargan, delivers an extended 22 minute work employing a wide selection of instruments, synths and textures to develop a piece that spans the world with an ambience and drone persona of originality and uniqueness. Silber continues to be the leading purveyor of experimental music and we look forward to continued releases from this fine label as we move into this new year. Stream and buy Internecine Vampires and Live Flaying at the links below.
Hatteras Surf Buzz is the fourth single since November from Virginia based Box of Moxie. Once again the group underwhelms by releasing their fourth lackluster track as a single. We have to wonder if they even know what a single is, or if their raison d'etre is just to make lame forgettable music? In truth this track is better than the previous three, the music is nice and actually seems to work with the vocals, which at best are an acquired taste. However, the song itself is terrible. It's poorly written, lacking any vestiges of songcraft or interesting lyrical content. At this point all we can hope for is that a bolt of lightning strikes them and they emerge with newfound savant abilities. Stream and buy Hatteras Surf Buzz at the link below.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Cavalier is the sophomore album from Wyoming based singer/songwriter Rod Gilstrap. the eight tracks are superlative Americana. The songs are well written, though overly cliched, well played and well performed. That said, the album is very hard to listen to. The vocals are so loud and harshly EQ'd in comparison to the rest of the each track, that the overall effect leaves the tracks almost painful to listen to. This is a very good record totally compromised by bad production. Sometimes an artist needs a producer to save them from their own egos by simply telling them to turn the vocals down. We hope there are a trained set of ears in the room on this artist's next release. He is too good to be consigned to obscurity by lack of production taste. Stream and buy Cavalier at the link below.
Love is the latest album from UK singer/songwriter Luke De-Sciscio. The seven tracks are a modern take on the folk music one would have expected to find in Greenwich Village in the 60s. The music is minimalist featuring guitar, piano and the occasional percussion. With two extended tracks , De-Sciscio explores subjects with literary flair and personal intimate messages. The album is edgier than one would expect for the genre and the music has an engaging aesthetic, that draws you into the songs and the depth of their messages. this is an altogether strong record, with surprising elements and a compelling persona. Stream and buy Love at the link below.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
After an eight year wait, Toronto singer/songwriter David McFarlane has released his sophomore album Fieldwork. The eleven tracks are engaging folkrock, with plenty of fuzz, nice arrangements and some towering harmonies. The production has a bit of a lofi feel, which at times comes across as overly harsh. There's plenty of dynamic variety and the whole album works, though with such a long span between releases, one would expect something truly great, which this album is not. The biggest question then becomes, is this artist credible given the eight years between albums. This would be an overly long hiatus for an established artist, but for an indie artist with only one previous release, it calls into question whether one should invest in engaging with the artist if no new music will be forthcoming in a timely manner. We appreciate any artist's need to see their musical vision realized, but with the sheer amount of artists struggling to be heard, one must question whether the music press should devote any of its limited space to an artist with such a gap in releases. Stream and buy Fieldwork at the link below.
French band Bottle next have released Bonus & B-Sides, the followup EP to their 2014 EP and January 2017 debut album. The first thing that comes to mind, is that if all you can manage to release in 4 years is an EP and an album, you should come with your best new material, not rebrand the stuff that didn't make it to the album. This EP is what one would expect under those circumstances, a lack luster affair full of dated hard rock. The six tracks are bar band fare, offering nothing original or engaging. Stream and buy Bonus & B-Sides at the link below.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
On Moose Island is the sophomore release from Chicago band The Thin Cherries. The ten tracks have a nice progressive tinged indie rock feel. We hear all kinds of influences from Brit pop to California indie folk, with some helpings of prog rock giving the whole album stylistic depth. The songs are expertly crafted, arranged and produced, showcasing a band at the height of their collective powers. The album is enjoyable, engaging and musically satisfying; a definite must have. Stream and buy On Moose Island at the link below.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Code Blue is the debut album from Chicago based artist I Ya Toyah. The ten tracks have an experimental edge coupled to more IDM leaning melodies. The album is deep, complex and engaging. There is plenty of industrial aesthetics to give the tracks a raw dynamic, which plays nicely with the ethereal, atmospheric vocals. The album is thematically heavy, with plenty of artistic intensity to draw the listener into the totality of the album's immersive experience. Stream and buy Code Blue at the link below.
Post Lovers is the solo project and S/T debut album from Athens based singer/songwriter Eleni Karageorgou on Inner Ear Records. The thirteen tracks are smart, engaging musings of indie folkrock, with nice touches of a post-punk aesthetic. The songs have a sublime lyrical depth and varied instrumental palette. This is an album of excellence and accomplishment, showcasing an artist displaying a musical maturity way beyond what is expected of a debut release. A definite must have. Stream and buy Post Lovers at the link below.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Dallas Artist, Tate Chasers, has released Extras, his two song followup to his debut album released last spring. The tracks occupy a bit of a no mans land stylistically, with elements of commercial rock, altrock and a hint of modern commercial country. Both songs employ ample guitar chops, strong vocals and crisp production. The songwriting is well crafted and hooky, making both pieces radio ready. We see this record appealing to an older listener base into classic rock and finding a home on adult contemporary stations. Stream and buy Extras at the link below.
Friday, January 4, 2019
Electronic artist Sam Goku brings us his new single, Swallows Flight, on Netherlands indie label, Atomnation. The extended track, totalling over seven minutes, is a masterwork of cool metallic synth pads, interspersed with atmospheric melodic passages. Taken together they build the distinct sense of movement and spatial complexity, tying the track name into imagined imagery. The track is catchy, engaging and altogether wonderful in its depth and richness, a definite must have. Stream and buy Swallows Flight at the link below.
It's All Too Beautiful is the fourth album from Chicago band The Differents. The ten tracks have a very retro late 60's pop rock vibe, with the obvious comparison to Chicago, but also with ample helpings of Small Faces and The Replacements. Unfortunately, the album is completely retro, lacking a connection with today's music in any way. There's plenty of chops on display, but at the same time, the album is best suited as a release for people who stopped listening to new music long ago. This is a good record that will find it difficult to resonate in the indie market past their established fan base.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Liverpool based The Room In The Wood are back with The Mars EP, their third release this year. The four tracks are catchy post punk tinged progressive folk. The EP offers up plenty of stylistic variety, with an ample supply of instrumental chops, paired with vocals reminiscent of Nick Cave. The trio of Dave Jackson, Paul Cavanagh and Colin George Lamont, deliver an EP that shows their prolific output does not come at the expense of quality. What you get is a band of depth flexing its creative muscles and turning out good music at every turn. Watch the video for EP track Mars (Won't Save Us), then stream and buy The Mars EP at the link below.
Only One Left is what appears to be the debut album from Daniel Isaiah. We say appears, because this is an artist who has nothing, and we mean nothing, on their Bandcamp page. No info, location, credits, release date, bio...nothing. It's cool for an artist to build a mysterious persona, it's another to be so obscure as to seem disinterested in engaging with an audience. The nine tracks are interesting indie rock, with a varied palette stylistically. The songs are descent, but lack the compelling vibe that engages deeply. A good album that is worth a listen, but likely will not find its way onto repeat. Stream and buy Only One Left at the link below.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Wide Awake is the debut single from Toronto band The Fame. The track is an expertly crafted piece of indie rock. The song is strong, the vocals are strong and the arrangement is strong. This is an engaging track that shows rock still has some dynamic legs to stand on. The track has a nice raw, edgy sheen, towering harmonies and is destined to be on repeat. This is a top notch debut and we ca't wait to hear more from this band. Stream and buy Wide Awake at the link below.
Gorge is the new album from Lowlands, on Austrian indie Wilhelm Show Me The Major Label. The eight tracks are avant garde takes on a post-punk aesthetic. The album is dissonant and free-form, and will appeal to those that like their music experimental. Commercial song structure is nonexistent and the overall effect is as raw and edgy as a dead razorfish. This is music that is meant to challenge the listener, to shakeup one's perception of what music is and where songform is going. Not everyone's cup of tea, but yet imaginative and risky. Stream and buy Gorge at the link below.