The brainchild of Los Angeles artist Adam Finkel, Alek Fin specializes in electronic music that straddles gentle pop, adult contemporary, with just enough experimentation to give it enough edginess. The twitchiness of Thom Yorke, the smoothness of James Blake, and the crooning of Patrick Watson, if you will.
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On the drive down through the hills on the way to the Austin City Limits Festival, I was reflecting how satisfying it would be to see young guitar slinger Gary Clark, Jr. ride back into his hometown, triumphant in front of 75,000 or so, and take his rightful seat as the new king of the blues. To be honest, it’s been too long since a young, preternaturally talented African American blues guitar player reclaimed that title.
And it was both touching and thrilling.
Starting off with a wicked opening riff nicked straight from Wire, the new track by Los Angeles band the Singles (the real Singles, not the celebrity band formerly known as the Singles) quickly shifts into the kind of hooky garage punk rock ‘n’ roll that they’ve always excelled at. It’s a small taste of what you can expect from their fourth album, which will be released in early 2016.
It was a typically balmy Wednesday night in beautiful Santa Barbara with an atypical headliner at the famed local concert hotspot. The Santa Barbara Bowl doesn’t host a lot of hard rock shows, perhaps due to volume limits in the residential neighborhood, although Incubus is a band known for a dynamic sound that stretches wider than the alt-hard rock genre is generally known for. The beautiful venue had to offer an alluring change of pace for the band after having finished a co-headlining summer tour with the Deftones that hit larger sheds and arenas.
Back in early August we premiered the contagious powerpop title track from A Fragile Tomorrow’s new album. Bearing an endearing similarity to XTC and Big Star (what better bands to emulate?) Make Me Over is a rich and wonderfully catchy album by the South Carolina band, and although it comes out on 16 October, it’s too good not to share a week early. The band agreed, and the album can be streamed below.