The Hudson Branch tells PopMatters that “Kina Ze Swah is the idea that you can build something from nothing. It’s something we’re trying to figuring out. It’s an ongoing conundrum that we think we solve and then forget how we arrived at the answer.” Four suburban siblings—Cobey and Corey Bienert and Matthew and Jacob Boll—are the Hudson Branch and their long familial history gives them an edge as musicians, as they’ve had a very long time to work on their sound. Folk pop, ‘60s pop, ‘80s electronic pop and ‘90s indie are all equal parts of the band’s sound.
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Galaxies separate, the universe expands and more and more cosmological redshifts occur. As the wavelength of light broadens, we are left more alone than ever by the growing sidereal distances. What is there beyond the redshift? Swedish post-metallers Cult of Luna have been wondering this very question for months and they have come to the conclusion that the future is, well, uncertain. At least for them. The ensemble behind brilliant albums like “The Beyond” (again!), “Salvation” and “Vertikal” will go on an indefinite hiatus later on this year, but before that happens, they will curate a one-day festival in London on 10th May.
It’s appropriate that the video for Ela Stiles’ “Kumbh Mela” features footage of cascading waves, because her meditative, sublime voice is a force of nature. And it has to be, considering that the Sydney-based Stiles goes a cappella to conjure up the art-pop mysticism of the likes of Bat for Lashes and Julianna Barwick on her eponymous debut. Ela Stiles comes out 2 June, via Bedroom Suck Records.
Carsie Blanton‘s sexy, enigmatic vocals are ideally suited to the American popular songbook, a.k.a. pop music written for adults in the age before youth so thoroughly dominated popular culture. She treats each note like another flirtatious look towards the object of her affection as the lazy notes flutter down gently and easy. Like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Fred Astaire, she pays careful attention to the dramatic phrasing of each word. Impressive and leaves the listener wanting for much more.
Steve Goldberg (a.k.a. Resistor) grew up middle class in suburban New Jersey searching for meaning through art. After working with bands and slogging through clubs, Goldberg had a year where he had little money, but still possessed the urge to make music. So, with Resistor, Goldberg worked with a synth and his voice at home, updating classic new wave sounds for the new millennium. Goldberg titled his new album First World Problems in recognition that his concerns and those of many young Americans are very much those of a wealthy, first world society.