Mike Schiller: There’s more than a little punk sensibility in the feel of “Waterslides”, not to mention the aesthetic of the video, which is always a good thing when applied to synthpop. That said, there’s a moment at about the two-and-a-half-minute mark where most of the instrumental track drops out and leaves only a seasick synth backdrop, which is kind of a microcosm of the whole song. It never quite gets its bearings, plowing recklessly ahead without pausing to think about what it’s doing, a little bit of a mess that somehow finds itself structured like a pop song. If it were a little less dizzy and a little more catchy, it’d be a classic. [6/10]
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Now, this is Americana! The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers use gospel music as a foundation for their sound with blues, country, soul, folk, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll woven in for good measure. Everything the band does is based on American roots musical forms, and the mixture is astounding. On their latest single, “No Glory”, they start from a spare and bluesy place with a solo vocalist and eventually reach a crescendo of joyous, thrilling gospel rock with a full-fledged choir and exciting guitar riffs.
San Francisco is known as a breeding ground for colorful musical collaborations, so it’s no surprise that newcomer Mare Island hails from the Bay Area. Formed by members of the Velvet Teen and Loma Prieta, the musicians have played together (in various forms) for many years, so it was a no-brainer for guitarists Derrick Chao and Sean Leary to start the band in 2015. Fast-forward two years and they’re releasing their eponymous debut EP on June 23rd, with the lead track, “Alight”, showcasing how their previous “indie pop and post-hardcore” sound helped to create their own brand of lush, maximalist indie rock”. It’s a beautifully anthemic piece that’s sure to invigorate.
Adriane Pontecorvo: A free-flowing piece at the intersection of jazz, prog rock, and classical music made all the more impressive by the fact that the Hidden Orchestra is actually a single person. When the music starts to swell, it sounds like a full group of instruments, with the kind of energy that shouldn’t be possible coming out of one man. The song itself meanders, winding from place to place and sounding almost improvisational at times, and it’s a solid, ambitious track. [7/10]
Cello-playing Americana maestro Ben Sollee has been making waves for years as a musician that seeks to transcend genre boundaries. Ten years ago, he recorded a spare, cello and vocals take on the soul classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” that was a stunningly fresh look at the powerful song from the ‘60s civil rights era recorded first by Sam Cooke and later by Otis Redding and many others. Sollee’s use of quiet spaces within the song helped heighten the dramatic importance of the song’s message.
// Moving Pixels
"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.READ the article