Music slumps are serious business. Only the freshest, synth-tastic, moving and/or funkiest of sweet sounds can dig you out of the black pit of despair that comes with a lack of enthusiasm for any new music out there. Friends don’t let friends get stuck in music slumps. This is why I’m ever so grateful for friends (or lovers – Oooh la la) who’ve passed along the following gems that’ll cure the the most lonely, stagnant and discouranging of music slumps:
Mortar and Pestle is an “avant pop” trio from Oakland, California who exude funk and bring deliciously sweet synth and dark beats to life on stage. The near-and-dear to my heart musician/audio producer/engineer, Bryan Lovett was mixing Mortar & Pestle at San Francisco Magazine’s 2013 “Best of the Bay” party when he sent me their details and exclaimed, “Think you’d really dig ’em!” And just a few days later to our pleasant surprise, Mortar & Pestle opened for Prince Rama, the electrotastic, weird, wild & whacky sister duo from Brooklyn. Both bands put on ridiculously fun and energetic shows, and I danced harder than I have in a long time – Way to bring it! We snatched up Mortar & Pestle‘s recently released and self-titled debut which can easily and obsessively be repeated. Find Mortar & Pestle on Facebook, Bandcamp, and/or Soundcloud.
Prince Rama also debuted their musical masterpiece of a film (that was created thanks to Kickstarter) featuring songs from their album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World – It’ll leave you thinking, “Am I on drugs right now, or are they?” Both bands are a must-see live, especially if you’re in the pits of musical apathy.
Mortar and Pestle – U.V.
Mortar and Pestle – Pristine Dream
Shortcircles is the electro-pop project of Oakland, California-based (way to represent East Bay) producer, Matt Tammariello. Lovely friends and music aficionados at Professional Fans recently held one of their up-and-coming new music showcases here in San Francisco featuring Shortcircles and I was instantly hooked. Luckily for us, Shortcircles released his sophomore album, Between Waves (via Plug Research Records) for our listening pleasure. Enjoy:
Shortcircles – All I Can Be for You
Hospital Ships is a Lawrence, Kansas-based indie-folk-pop group and “bedroom project” of Jordan Geiger. I heard Hospital Ship‘s hauntingly addictive jam, “Remaining Light” on friend, music writer and radio host, Anthony Carew’s weekly two hour Melbourne, Australia-based radio program, International Pop Underground – An amazing source of ecclectic music discovery. Their latest LP, Destruction in Yr Soul was released June 18th via Graveface Records. Have a listen for some all-Americana jams – perfect timing for USA’s Independence Day:
Hospital Ships – Remaining Light
Hospital Ships – If It Speaks
Last week, Arthur Ashin aka Autre Ne Veut, the 80s/90s R&B electro ‘bedroom’ artist and Brooklynite, released his highly anticipated album, Anxiety.
This week, we’re graced with the premiere of Autre Ne Veut’s sexy new music video for “Play by Play,” the opening track on Anxiety. The video, produced by Urban Outfitters and directed by Geremy Jasper and Georgie Greville of LEGS, features an emotionally charged Ashin belting lyrics like, “You make me crawl/and make me harder” amongst a meta of karaoke videos. It’s trippy, lustful, moving and totally intense – Enough to make you wanna watch it on repeat 10x, then take a cold shower.
Autre Ne Veut – Play by Play
Thank God for fresh goth-pop! The dark, deep, sultry, industrial, synthastic electro beats that make up goth pop seem to have been slightly dimming in the limelight as of late (okay, by like, a few months). However, the hype-worthy Brooklyn based group, Azar Swan, is reviving goth-pop to blinding proportions.
The duo, Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn (formerly of Religious to Damn) don just two songs: “Lusty,” their latest and appropriately titled release, and “Amirka,” their cult-like following inducing debut single, which thrust the band onto the blogosphere’s radar late last year.
Azar Swan recently opened for Tamaryn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and rumor has it, their debut album is due out sometime this spring – Eagerly looking forward to it! In the mean time, find Azar Swan on Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud.
Azar Swan – Lusty
Azar Swan – Amrika
As corny as it may sound, I have this tremendously special place in my heart for Javelin, hence, when I see a new track release (i.e. “Nnormal“), I’m filled with complete and utter glee.
In 2009, I had stumbled upon Javelin and was immediately blown away by how fresh and unique their tracks were. I searched everywhere for their music and really only came across their Myspace page… ‘cus you know, people used Myspace back then. I contacted the Brooklyn-hailing cousins, George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk, and asked how I could get my hands on their ridiculously addicting sounds. Tom replied, “Thanks for asking! You could paypal us and we’ll send you a folder of mp3s. What do you think??” I wound up paypalling $7 and was graciously given (what then consisted of) four album/EPs worth of Javelin jamz (2009’s LP Jamz n Jemz, 2010’s LP, No Mas, 2012’s EP1 and EP2). This is why I’ll forever love and be an avid Javelin fan, aside from the fact that their sound is funkier than most.
“Nnormal” is Javelin‘s latest release from their forthcoming album, Hi Beams, out March 5th via Luaka Bop:
Javelin – Nnormal