Band To Watch

Narwhal – Narwhal EP

By Will Oliver, January 30th 2013

Narwhal are a psychedelic rock 5-piece from New Zealand. They released their self-titled debut EP last week on bandcamp.

Highlight “SuperSonic Girl” dives deep into the realms of psych-rock live no other, with an exciting range that will wake up the sleeping beast inside you all. There’s also delightful elements of Brit-rock hidden within the DNA of tracks like “Wrong Kind Of Woman” that remind me of acts like Miles Kane, The Music, and of course, Arctic Monkeys.

The closing track “Lysergic Voyage” puts all of these elements at work and creates a fuzzy guitar wet dream.

Scoop “SuperSonic Girl” below, and grab the whole EP for free here.

[mp3]: Narwhal – SuperSonic Girl

Au.Ra – Sun

By Will Oliver, December 30th 2012 — with 1 comment

au.ra

Au.Ra are psych-rock dudes from Sydney, Australia. Ok, get the Tame Impala comparisons out of your systems now. Even so, after one listen to “Sun”, you can definitely see some common threads between the two bands. These guys take a more floaty dreamy atmospheric approach. Impressive vocal offerings that pair up well with the summer-laden atmosphere that they so confidently lay down. I hear a little bit of Beach Fossils here and there.

Impressive first effort.

[mp3]: Au.Ra – Sun

SPLASHH – All I Wanna Do

By Will Oliver, December 30th 2012 — with 1 comment

SPLASHH

SPLASHH are a band from the UK worth keeping a keen watch on. Slept on these guys. My friend Cali showed this to me a little while ago and I’ve kept it close to my chest since then. No need for that, you guys need to get in on this.

“All I Wanna Do” is their gloriously fuzzy debut single. It’s a guitar anthem that will willingly have you in dreamy waves that deliver grand feelings of comfort and relief. Close your eyes, relax the mind, and let these guys do their thing. All purpose slacker rock with loads of heart.

SPLASHH are on the cusp of making a big splash. It’s only a matter of time.

Find more music from them at their soundcloud (everything else is great as well), and watch the video for “All I Wanna Do” below.
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Blackfeet Braves – Vicious Cycle

By Will Oliver, December 13th 2012

Blackfeet Braves

Blackfeet Braves come from L.A. and possibly the 60s. At least that’s what their song “Vicious Cycle” is from. It sounds like the great guitar rock with psych influences that the 60 brought out of the men of the rock universe.

“Vicious Cycle” is the first single from the 5-piece’s self-titled debut, which comes out February 12 via Lolipop Records. It’s a damn infectious tune which is perfectly executed psych rock in all the right ways.

Labeling these guys as a band to watch, for sure.

[mp3]: Blackfeet Braves – Vicious Cycle

Hit the jump to watch the “Vicious Cycle” music video:
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GEMS – All I Ever

By Will Oliver, December 4th 2012

Last month a band from Washington D.C. named GEMS caught my heart with their affectionate dream-pop. Their debut song “Void Moon” was as strong of a introductory statement as one could ask for. They made a great impression, which they have furthered with another fantastic release.

“All I Ever” is the name of their 2nd single, and it’s just as wondrous of a exploration into the waves of dreamy chamber pop as “Void Moon.” The band recorded this at the beach as well. I could totally envision it’s music video featured on a darkly lit beach.

GEMS have a romantic quality about them that is undeniable. Writing beautiful melodies that sound like comforting soft waves is not something that they’re short of so far.

Let’s call these guys one of the acts to watch out for in 2013.

[mp3]: GEMS – All I Ever

Port Isla – Sinking Ship

By Will Oliver, November 24th 2012

Port Isla are a folk group from Norwich, England who make anthematic folk music for lonely castaways, or at least that’s what they say. One listen to their strong “Sinking Ship” have me encouraging the band to continue on this route, because this is great. Definitely an early Fleet Foxes vibe.

[mp3]: Port Isla – Sinking Ship

Like them on facebook & follow them on twitter. They got a bunch of other songs available for download over at their soundcloud.

Catch it’s music video after the jump.
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Isadora – On The Rights

By Will Oliver, November 14th 2012

Isadora is a recently born band from Brooklyn. First single “On The Rights” starts off with a gentle melodic breeze and seems like it will be like that the rest of the way. Not so fast.

They take you down different flights of melodic mood swings and emotions, before leaving you in a different state than when you first hit play.

Considering this is their debut single, I would say this is a good start. Take a listen below via Interview Magazine:

“Barcelona” is another promising track from them that sounds reminiscent of Aloha/early Minus The Bear

They are playing their debut show tonight at Cameo Gallery & will release their debut EP next year.

Band To Watch: HAIM

By Will Oliver, November 13th 2012 — with 1 comment

A lot of my fellow bloggers have been pimping out a L.A. trio called HAIM, which features three sisters: Danielle, Alana and Este Haim. It’s about time that I got on board.

Earlier in the year they released their debut 3-track EP, Forever for free on their website (it’s no longer free). If you like female fronted vocal-pop with added mystique, Haim are your go-to girls. The EP is wonderful in approach and execution. Fans of Bat For Lashes should find a similar ground to stand on with Haim.

One listen to “Don’t Save Me” will serve as a proper introduction. Pop laden vocals sugar coated just enough alongside the electronic battleground, serves as a strong minded pop song. The band just released b-side “Send Me Down”, and it may be my favorite track yet. Ominous industrial effects muddle the background before the sisters incredible vocals kick in and provide natural hooks as if they had been doing this for decades.

Take a listen to both below, and go give that EP a listen. All of this should be enough to hold you over until the bands eventual debut album comes out next year.

Joyce The Librarian – Land

By Will Oliver, November 9th 2012

It’s hard to describe how a good folk song can make you feel. It’s a different type of feeling than say a dance song. There’s more of a human element to folk songs that cannot be reciprocated by most genres. At least not quite in the same way.

Joyce The Librarian made me think about this while listening to their lovely track, “Land”. It’s from their debut album They May Put Land Between Us, which comes out December 3 via Folkwit Records.

The band hail from Bristol, England, but bring forth many attributes that we find in American folk rock. The song finds new avenues to grow and grow as you listen, soaring with every breath. Lovely horns and vocals that are sung too heavenly to be just words.

Here’s the equally mesmerizing “Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You”.

Special stuff, right? Find the band on Facebook & Twitter.

The Kickstand Band – Still Thinking Of You

By Will Oliver, November 8th 2012

Detroit’s The Kickstand Band have this whole power-pop thing down. Quite simply, “Still Thinking Of You” is a damn good track. Lush boy-girl harmonies and big riffs that sound deliciously vintage. It’s a throwback in style, but a refreshing change from the overly-electronic scene that today’s music world seems immersed in.

[mp3]: The Kickstand Band – Still Thinking Of You

It’s off their debut album Puppy Love, which is out now, and streaming at American Songwriter. I’m giving it a spin now, and this thing is gooood.




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