One thing I’ve learned about Stone’s Throw Records, is that you should always trust Stone’s Throw Records. Their ever-expanding line-up is solid for a reason.
From the very first listen of those wavering synths followed by such a light and dreamy guitar line, I knew my ears were in for quite the treat when I hit play on Boardwalks’ debut single, “I’m To Blame.” Amber Quintero’s hazy vocals drift ever so naturally over the entire production.
I’m also pleased to say, we’re not left with just one lonely single. Their full length is more than just hazy lo-fi. Leading track, “I’m Not Myself,” has a steady rhythm and such rich guitar – I could play this song on loops for days. Less is more in this case and Boardwalk shows fabulous restraint from adding too much to the mix.
What I think makes me love these guys more is their backstory. From a simple introduction from mutual friends, the two decided to test their quickly-accelerating chemistry via the open road. From there, “I’m Not Myself,” was born, and so was the rest of a hopefully long-lasting musical relationship.
This is one of my most favorite times of the year. Summer jams are in full force and I couldn’t be any happier.
I’m a sucker for a good pop anthem, some well placed synths, and catchy, driving choruses that remain in your head for days. A five piece consisting of L.A. based expats, WALLA bring power-pop to another level. I love the brit-rock guitars, loads of lo-fi, and bouncy percussion – these gentleman make up quite the combination.
Listen to their newest single, “Nature,” below and stay tuned, their forthcoming Nature EP is set to release on June 4, 2013.
I am totally admittedly and regrettably late on Sir Sly, an impressive little trio out of Southern California.
After catching only one track of their’s I knew the next 15 minutes were going to be spent clicking through and through. Their single,“Gold,” sounds like that more-beat driven indie rock such as what The Neighbourhoodproduces. It’s incredibly tight instrumentation, melancholic like Local Natives yet very smooth, and just a touch of electronic manipulation. Very LA sounding, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
I really can’t believe Coachella is upon us in less than 2 weeks. In 11 days I will be finding myself under the Indio sky among the lush polo grounds with music all around me. It’s a pretty incredible experience.
Another group I’ve stumbled upon during my annual pre-Coachella research period is LA’s Vintage Kicks. A group that sounds like a rougher Michael Kiwanuka with crunchier guitars and a hell of lot more percussion. The rock and soul sound is recorded incredibly tight in their album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, which is the culmination of a 3-day long sessions recording many of the songs straight through. If this is how their chemistry translates in such a short amount of time, I can only imagine the bond I’ll witness on stage.
Listen to the album below and be sure to check out the video for their song, “Blues Hand Me Down.”
Power-pop, when I’ve been craving it the most. Thank you Young Empress, great timing.
An LA-based indie-pop group that’s bursting from the seams, I really dig their driving guitars, accompanying violin, and dueling girl/boy vocals. There’s elements from a mixture of different things this 5-piece brings together and it simply just works.
Listen and grab your very own copy of their quick 2-track self-titled release they dropped mid-2012. So worth it.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the rambunctious rock that L.A.’s FIDLAR seem to so effortlessly produce. It’s raw and full of that “I don’t give a shit attitude” and certainly has enough fuzzy lo-fi to warm you up in the coldest of places.
With a few EP releases under their belts, the group are slated to release their debut self-titled LP early 2013 via Mom & Pop. For fans of King Tuff, Bass Drum of Death, and JEFF The Brotherhood, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this. Plus, any group that lives by the motto, “FUCK IT DOG LIFE’S A RISK,” is completely cool in my book.
There’s a lot of things I really like about California’s So Many Wizardsbut, I’ll keep it nice and short. Lo-fi vocals, sunny melodies and a nice thumping bass line that’s ideal for those expansive highway trips home for the Holidays is what really makes me smile.
Grab the washed-out track, “Lose Your Mind,” for free below and head on over to JAXART for your copy of the group’s debut EP, Warm Nothing.
Ever since I heard their debut album, Gorilla Manor, I was absolutely enamored with Local Natives. Their content was melancholic and their vocals were distinct, I enjoyed a lot of different things about their sound.
Their new single, ”Breakers,” starts out just like any one of their other songs but unexpectedly breaks wide open after the 30-second mark. I love the push and pull tension and the minimal layers the gradually add more and more instrumentation to build up to such a powerful chorus.
Slated for a late January release, Hummingbird, is now available for pre-order. If you can’t get enough of “Breakers” then be sure to grab the newly printed 7” available here. I just cannot get past those “oohh oohh’s,” too damn good.
Sometimes from the unlikeliest places, solid folk-rock can certainly stand its ground.
L.A.-based Northern Youth have a fantastic, easy sound. Luke Messimer’s debut album Home feels like an 8-track comment on life, past and present. Sunny melodies, a folky foundation, and the right amount of twang – a solo project now turned into a full, performing band. I’m excited to see what this emerging group’s next move will be.
Until then, grab a limited free download at their bandcamp page and be sure to listen to Home below.