In the midst of the American garage rock scene, we’ve seen several acts in recent years bubble up towards the top of the indie pop radar. Artists like Courtney Barnett and Speedy Ortiz have found repute for their grungey, pop-accessible sounds, and now New York’s Gladshot is following in their contemporaries’ footsteps.
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Cajun music is alive and well in 2017 thanks to long-time artists like Beausoleil and Zachary Richard, but the scene is made richer by a host of younger musicians and bands bringing this unique Lousiana cultural form to all corners of the globe. Lost Bayou Ramblers is one of those important groups that can perform straight-up traditional Cajun music alongside newer approaches that up the intensity, tempo, and rock ‘n’ roll quotient in the songs and bring in other genre influences.
Austin’s Jean Caffeine had led an exciting musical life having played drums in the all-woman punk band the Urge back in the ‘70s and drumming for Pulsallama in the ‘80s in New York. Like many of the original punk rock musicians, she has worked in the alternative country arena as well, fronting Jean Caffeine’s All Nite Truckstop.
OxenFree’s latest single, “Machine”, demonstrates the Brooklyn outfit’s ability to create music that deftly walks the line between tuneful and angry, channeling primitive angst but doing so with musical sophistication. Culled from the group’s Another Land EP, due out 13 October, the song’s dance between the primal and the evolved isn’t entirely accidental, as member Jeff Doyle points out.
Portugal’s Sinistro returns with its trademark austere, emotionally-charged brand of dark, atmospheric rock. “Pétalas”, culled from the outfit’s album, Sangue Cassia, slated for a North American release of 5 January 2018, spotlights Patricia Andrade’s unmistakable vocals, as she further distinguishes herself as a formidable presence. Her deeply emotional and highly resonant delivery will invariably draw comparisons to Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, but she also proves those comparisons will be short-lived. With this release, she shows that she is far more an innovator than follower.