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.
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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.
Melodic hard rock act Station returns with the hook-laden “All You Need Is a Heartbeat”, a song that recalls an era of refined harmonies, guitar solos you could sing along with as easily as any chorus and cannon fire drums. Though it’s become fashionable to dismiss or parody the genre, Station carries out its mission with sincerity and passion, the sense that the era that launched Honeymoon Suite and Night Ranger mattered as much as any other. It did, of course, because it kept the tradition of smart songwriting alive while keeping pace with the times.
Patrick Kearney’s impassioned vocal delivery and Chris Lane’s impeccable guitar figures are built on the same foundation partnerships such as Bon Jovi/Sambora and Schon/Perry: A singer who can reach all the appropriate emotional heights and a guitarist who can spur him on to more. If the music is built on the past, it doesn’t necessarily live there. Station’s songs speak to timeless emotions and experiences, ones that transcend hairstyles, music charts, and amp settings.
// Moving Pixels
"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.READ the article