Los Angeles’ the Dustbowl Revival has been around for ten years delighting audiences with their upbeat American roots music, and now the group has a new album on tap that sees them expanding their sound into new areas. Previous recordings have seen the ensemble explore New Orleans jazz and old-time folk, but their latest self-titled album releasing June 16th on Signature Sounds sees the Dustbowl Revival adding a serious dose of soul and funk to their wide-ranging music. Bright Stax-style horns now punctuate the songs’ rhythms and add an element that’s likely to bring show audiences to their feet.
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Shred the Master Design is the brand-new release from Playing to Vapors. The Columbus, Ohio’s unique brand of shoegaze-cum-prog rock is on full display across this new effort. “The Perfect Weapon in Human Form” takes a page from the rock and world influences heard in peak era Talking Heads with particularly deft work from guitarists Mike Stokes and Daron Mackenzie while the brawny rhythm section of Zackary Cramp (bass) and Josiah DePaso (drums) gives us a glimpse of its powerful breadth.
Drawing from an abundance of diverse influences—including the Decemberists, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Saves the Day, Nirvana, Eisley, and Deftones—experimental indie rock trio Sonnder (vocalist Ryan Wiedman, keyboardist Kat Stein, and drummer Mike Liszka) is easily one of the most popular and idiosyncratic bands in Philadelphia. It’s not difficult to hear why, either, as their blend of dreamy instrumentation, honest lyricism, and pleasant vocals yield a sound comparable another local darling, Circa Survive (albeit with less punk frenzy and more 1960s pop lavishness). Their newest video, “Along the Way (I’ve Been Alive)”, captures that vibe perfectly, offering a sweetly humble visual to complement its titular sentiment.
Adriane Pontecorvo: Desiigner takes an uncharacteristically straightforward approach to Mura Masa’s beats on “All Around the World”, a simple track with a lot of good heart. His vocals refreshing and sometimes even sweet, Desiigner sounds happy to be here, and it’s infectious. It’s a song that embraces the good parts of life, a much-needed break from the national and global stress that heals the soul. [8/10]