With a punkish overdrive and energy that brings groups like Ghoti Hook to the brain, “Hai Karate” is a snapshot of the creativity displayed by the Kansas City psych rock group Suneaters. In press materials for the band’s latest full-length affair, Suneaters II: Loving Relationship, they are described as “rightfully claim[ing] that long sought after territory between Hall & Oates and Thin Lizzy.” What that means is anyone’s guess, but that’s part of Suneater’s charm: although they’re clearly a rock group of some sort, they always keep you guessing as to what that sort that is. The manic feel of “Hai Karate” is but one element of the Loving Relationship puzzle; to get the whole story, you’ll have to check the album out once it’s released this summer.
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Between June 2012 and January 2014, the reputable Atlanta indie rock outfit Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ released four EPs: Songs From the Laundromat, Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones; Songs From the Psychedelic Time Clock; and Songs for the Turntable. The band’s newest collection, the forthcoming vinyl release Best of Songs, brings these EPs together, a spin on the aesthetic of the ’70s-vintage K-tel greatest hits album. The cover even looks slightly faded, as if it’s been sitting in a dusty record shop stack for years.
Below you can exclusively stream the tune “Roll Away the Song”, a rollicking number nicely accented with twelve-string guitar and some wicked soloing. The chord progression of the song, which brings Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” to mind, gives it a classic rock vibe.
The tunes of Bruce Springsteen are inextricably bound with his gruff baritone. Yet that doesn’t mean different voices higher on the vocal register can’t do something new with the Boss’ tunes, as evinced by the latest live video from the English trio the Staves, comprised of sisters Emily (vocals), Jessica (vocals, guitar), and Camilla (vocals, ukulele) Staveley-Taylor. Watch them give a unique take on this tune at London’s Wilton’s Music Hall below, where they are joined by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame.
While living life as an expat in Stockholm, John Gladwin—also known as the Last Tycoon—found himself longing for a place a bit removed from the chilly north: the state of Arkansas, his place of birth. No wonder, then, that upon returning to the United States, Gladwin took to Nashville to record Death by Dixie EP, whose Americana roots make Gladwin’s fondness for the South quite plain.
For Death by Dixie, Gladwin was joined by Jim White, who brought to life what were otherwise fairly straightforward Americana tunes through the use of atypical instruments like hammers, gas cans, and children’s toys. With White’s involvement, the tunes on this EP took on another dimension, with Gladwin’s lyrics given additional texture through the varied instrumentation throughout.
For one example of this, stream the Southern ghost story of “Ballad of the Bloodstained Bible” below.
Dimensions, the debut recording by singer and guitarist Dustin Lovelis, was born out of rocky circumstances. Following the disbanding of his former musical outlet Fling, he began starting to piece together what would become Dimensions, through nights of “whiskey, guitar, [and] tape rolling”, to use the words of the L.A. Record. This break-up happened at the same time as Lovelis split off with a romantic partner and lost his job. Thus, it’s easy to understand why when asked by L.A. Record what his most “t-shirt ready positive lyric” is, he replied, “I’m an idiot”. After tough times like that, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve done something wrong.
Fortunately, the music of Dimensions proves that idiocy is no such problem for Lovelis. In fact, the tune “Idiot” itself is one of the brightest moments on the LP. With a ‘60s rock aura that sounds like it could have only been written in Southern California, “Idiot” balances its cynical lyrical matter with the beach-y mood evoked by its music.
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