[new]: CHVRCHES – “Leave A Trace”

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2015 — with 1 comment


Today Glasgow electro-pop trio CHVRCHES announced that their new album is titled Every Open Eye, and will be released on September 25 via Glassnote Records. The group recorded the album last year at their own Alucard Studios in Glasgow, the same place where they made their debut.

They followed that announcement with the release of their brand new single “Leave A Trace.” The group don’t seem to miss a beat from their 2013 breakthrough debut The Bones of What You Believe. It’s a song that sounds triumphant as all hell, with the vocals of frontwoman Lauren Mayberry push to the forefront, ready and able to deliver the punchful choruses that will soon be lodged into your brains. I can already see its placement in crucial movie scenes in the immediate future.

Stream “Leave A Trace” below, and check out some tour dates below. The band also announced they will play a special intimate show at Music Hall of Williamsburg next Thursday, with tickets going on sale tomorrow at noon.
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Nature Ganganbaigal – “The Expedition”

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2015

Nature Ganganbaigal

While a good majority of the stuff that we post on the blog fall into the “indie rock” category, we never want to limit ourselves. Meet Nature Ganganbaigal the moniker for Chinese Composer Tianran Zhang. He writes music for film, commercials, games, and more. HisLast year we was the New York University Film Score Competition Winner, and released his new solo effort, To Where Tengger Leads Me.

The album is described as “New Age derived Mongolian Folk” but based on the exploritory and immersive “opening track “The Expedition” it’s hard to really pinpoint just one sound to describe the magic that he’s creating. It’s world music for the soul, a universal piece that will take your mind to a different time and place, and leave you wanting to literally transport yourself. It’s the power of music.

Stream “The Expedition” below and check out the full album over at his bandcamp page.
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Matthew Santos – “Seven Years”

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2015

Matthew Santos

One listen to the vocals of Matthew Santos and you’re hit with a sense of familiarity. You know his voice and don’t even realize it. That’s because he’s been responsible for hooks on such hits as Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar.”

When he’s not stealing the thunder guesting for other artists, Santos is releasing music of his own. This summer he let go of his new record Into The Further. Single “Seven Years” puts his incredible vocals on full display, showcasing his range and pop sensibility as brightly as possible. There’s shades of the great Jeff Buckley in his vocals, which really says it all. Whatever “it” is, it’s evident that Santos has it.

Stream “Seven Years” below.

The Liquorsmiths – “Get Well Soon”

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2015


This August will bring the release of The Book Belongs To, the new release from San Diego folk-rock group The Liquorsmiths. Their american flavored folk rock has a raw and passionate element at work that doesn’t take much to win you over.

Take “Get Well Soon” the 2nd track off the record, a easy going and easy to please folk-rock delight that has a cool and collected summer breeze about it.

Find it posted below, and stay tuned for the rest of the EP next month.

Stream: Day Wave – Headcase [EP]

By Will Oliver, July 14th 2015 — with 1 comment

Day Wave

Throughout the first half of 2015, Oakland’s Jackson Phillips has kept our attention with his new solo project Day Wave, releasing consistently amazing songs such as “Drag” and “We Try But We Don’t Fit In” that have perfectly captured that timeless summer feeling. Phillips has rounded up these tracks for a nice shiny package that will be released this Friday in the form of his debut EP, Headcase.

He recently released the EP’s closer (and title track) “Headcase,” a melancholiac wonder that leaves your mind in a stunning daze. It rounds out his impressive formative release, proving that Day Wave is one of the brightest up-and-comers in indie rock.

Below you can stream “Headcase” individually, along with the entire EP. If you like what you hear, go and support Day Wave and grab the EP over at iTunes. You can also find upcoming tour dates, which includes opening slots for Blonde Redhead, and a stop at NYC’s Mercury Lounge (tickets are available here).


EP Stream:

Day Wave Tour Dates:

8/4/15 San Francisco, CA @ Phoenix Hotel
8/8/15 San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar – Outside Lands Aftershow
8/19/15 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
9/15/15 Seattle, WA @ Neptune *
9/17/15 Vancouver, Canada @ Imperial *
9/19/15 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
9/21/15 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent *
9/23/15 Los Angeles, CA @ Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock *
9/24/15 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar *
* supporting Blonde Redhead

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It took years of waiting, but I finally got to see one of my favorite modern day singer-songwriters perform live. His real name is Kristian Matsson, but you probably know the talent Swedish native as The Tallest Man On Earth.

Throughout the years I have relentlessly obsessed over his heartbreakingly sincere folk-rock songs. Only I never got to see him perform live, as his tours would always stop in New York whenever I was upstate at college, or away at another music festival. The timing was just never right. Earlier this June I finally got to correct this by catching Matsson at the perfectly intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show came after he sold out the much larger Beacon Theater, but for someone who had failed for so long at seeing the man perform, it was really the only choice.

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Things kicked off with a set from Hiss Golden Messenger, who won me over with a wonderful performance that won over the crowd with ease with a great selection of tracks, many off last year’s awesome Lateness of Dancers. It certainly won’t be my last time seeing them perform.

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Earlier this year Matsson released his latest record as The Tallest Man On Earth, entitled Dark Bird Is Home. The record sees him embark on a fuller sound , was was adapted to his live show, with a full backing band at his disposal. While it was impressive to see how rich and powerful of a range he was able to display on command, it was when he returned to his roots for stripped down, solo versions of his best tracks such as “The Gardener” that hit home. The mood of the room changed when it was just Matsson and his guitar, as if it was just playing for you one on one. I don’t think anyone in the room could argue with that.

He mused about getting to play Music Hall opening for Bon Iver in 2008, reflecting on how far they’ve come, and how appreciative that he is for all that has come his way. I appreciated the sentiment, and realized that he deserves every ounce of success that has come his way, and then some.

Find photos from both performances posted below.

Hiss Golden Messenger:

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Tallest Man On Earth:

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Torres at Baby’s All Right (May 27, 2015)

By Will Oliver, July 8th 2015

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Mackenzie Scott, the talented singer-songwriter known simply as Torres, has captured something special with Sprinter, her fantastic sophomore release, which came out this May via Partisan Records.

In late May she played to a packed room at Baby’s All Right, leaving the attentive Brooklyn crowd in complete awe. My only other time seeing Scott perform live was at a early afternoon set at an Austin bar during SXSW 2013¬†where she¬†performed solo with just her guitar. This was a much different approach than the set at Baby’s, featuring a full band, that brought the songs off Sprinter and her 2013 debut to life with power and careful precision.

Torres is fastly rising as one of the most important voices in indie rock and roll, and whether you know it or not yet, you will soon enough.
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In late May hard-hitting rockers FIDLAR and METZ brought their tour to Bowery Ballroom for the first of a sold out two-night run, with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg coming the following night. This was a duel-headlining tour, with the two bands rotating as headliners each night. The show featuring an opening set from Brooklyn’s Honduras, who seem to be opening all the hot shows this year.

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Canadian rockers METZ released their second self-titled album METZ II earlier in the year via Sub Pop, and they brought it’s hard-hitting garage rock jams to life with purpose. The crowd didn’t waste anytime working up a sweat, throwing their bodies willingly into one another, with beer flying in the air almost in cinematic fashion. This was my first time seeing them live since their breakthrough CMJ run in 2012, and they were just as good, if not better, than I recalled.

The fun continued with L.A. punk-rockers FIDLAR, who took the shows reckless nature to even further heights. Their set was a rapturous ball of energy that just begs for bodies to be flying at all angles, with crowd-surfers working together around the clock. Their set had Bowery Ballroom crowd so crazy that midway through their powerhouse set the venue had to put one of their security guards on stage alongside them. I’ve seen countless shows at Bowery, but this was a first.

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It speaks volumes to FIDLAR, who are able to summon this kind of free spirit chaos at a moments notice, making it all seem effortless. But that’s not to say that frontman Zach Carper and the rest of the group aren’t ready to throw their bodies onto the floor in dramatic fashion when need be. They put their all into their performance, and the crowd takes notice and responds.

They’ll return with their sophomore album Too on September 4 via Mom + Pop Music. It’s bound to be the soundtrack to latenight shitshows around college campuses everywhere. And that’s the way it should be.
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TV On The Radio at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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After catching TV On The Radio rock the beautiful Kings Theatre just a few days before, I once again caught up with the Brooklyn rockers at Boston Calling last May.

The festival setting allowed the guys to trim the set to something more of a greatest hits set, starting with “Young Liars” and closing with “Staring At The Sun.” When you get to fill in the rest of a set with “DLZ,” “Dancing Choose,”” and “Wolf Like Me,” you’re in business.
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Vance Joy at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2015

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Rising singer-songwriter Vance Joy made his mark on Boston with a crowd-pleasing performance that proved that he’s a name you’ll be seeing plenty of over the next few years.

This was pretty obvious just based on the nearly constantly radio play of his single “Riptide.” But it was the cheering fanatic fans of Joy’s that made up the front rows of the Boston Calling crowd that made it perfectly clear that Joy is a star in the making. I guess Taylor Swift sees the same thing, as she brought him along as an opener for her current stadium tour.
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