San Francisco has long been the home of adventurous music, from the Grateful Dead to Jellyfish, Faith No More and the city’s legendary thrash metal scene. Add the Living to the list of Bay Area bands that defy easy classification but which stimulate the imagination. Broadly a heavy rock with glints of progressive rock apparent, the Living populates new track “Hot Breath” with melodies and rhythms that bring to mind the British New Romantics without losing a scintilla of power. Derek Barnes’ emotionally charged vocals prove as poignant as they are enigmatic; the six-string figures he and fellow guitarist Julian Balestrieri weave are nothing short of masterful.
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Chicagoland’s the Safes have been delivering hook-laden anthems since 2003 with brothers Frankie and Patrick O’ Malley’s uncanny pop and pub sensibilities leading the charge. The latest offering, Tasty Waves, treats listeners to 10 tracks channeling Big Star, Guided By Voices and Rockpile. “Mediocre Jokers” and “Nobody Cares Anymore” recall the amphetamine-addled Beatles in their Hamburg days, but filtered through the future tense of New Wave, LSD and the oncoming train of postmodern irony.
Tristan Douglas a.k.a. Antwood released one of last year’s most intriguing electronic albums, Virtuous.scr, which showed him to be a deep-thinking producer with immense compositional skill and imagination.
Now, Antwood is back with his second record for Planet Mu. Sponsored Content takes a slightly more melodic approach and Antwood heavily edited his work to reduce any extraneous elements. The music is focused and lean with aural white space giving the songs space to breathe. Like Venetian Snares, Antwood is creating his own musical vocabulary.
Los Angeles folk-pop group Arrica Rose & the ...‘s touch on everything from rock to pop to Americana within their sound. In fact, “the ...‘s” refers to Rose’s penchant for shaking things up and bringing all sorts of collaborators and genres into their creative work. On the band’s new album, Low As the Moon, Rose stretches her wings further with the addition of some gentle electronic elements that help keep the mood warm and welcoming. Meanwhile, Rose’s dreamy and occasionally sultry vocals take center stage and seduce the listener.
// Sound Affects
"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.READ the article