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Friday, Apr 10, 2015
Ritualistic chicken murder and devilish uses of a voodoo doll: these are just a few things found in the music video for the swampy blues rock of the Nashville group Blackfoot Gypsies.

The rock ‘n’ roll of Nashville’s own Blackfoot Gypsies sound as if it emerged from brown-green swamp waters. Add a tasteful incorporation of psychedelia in and you’ve got a potent kind of rock that’s made all the more so when married to the band’s eclectic visual sense, as you can see in the video to “Under My Skin” below. Taken from the group’s forthcoming Handle It LP, “Under My Skin”‘s voodoo-centric storyline finds the members of Blackfoot Gypsies facing a bit of a difficulty during a live performance. Warning: there may or may not be chicken blood involved.


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Thursday, Apr 9, 2015
Billowy clouds of vocal harmonies form the sonic landscape of Jennie Abrahamson's gorgeous "Wild Is the Heart".

Jennie Abrahamson’s “Wild Is the Heart” is a tune that envelops the listener. Yet despite its immersive quality, only two instruments make up this delicate composition: the human voice and a heartbeat rhythm track. Joined by a small choir of women, Abrahamson unfolds a lush vocal landscape, one that’s simultaneously delicate and all-encompassing.


“Wild Is the Heart” comes from Abrahamson’s recently released Gemini Gemini LP. In the past year, she has received widespread support form outlets such as The Guardian, Q, and several channels of BBC Radio. While recording the Gemini Gemini songs in 2014, she toured with a childhood idol of hers, the prog maestro Peter Gabriel.


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Thursday, Apr 9, 2015
Drawing from the wells of classic rock and '80s heavy metal, Casablanca have crafted a cosmic concept album in Miskatonic Graffiti. You can stream the anthemic "My Shadow Out of Time" now.

In case the title doesn’t make it a dead giveaway, Miskatonic Graffiti, the newest LP by the neo-classic rock outfit Casablanca, is a concept album. Not only that, the band describes it as “Ziggy Stardust meets H.P. Lovecraft in Twin Peaks.” If one is expecting grandiloquent, noodly prog, she would be well within reason; however, one spin of the album cut “My Shadow Out of Time” will dispel any such notion. Casablanca’s mindset on Miskatonic Graffiti is indeed cosmic, but their musical tastes are far more visceral than cerebral. Melding together the influences of ‘70s classic rock and ‘80s heavy metal, the group crafts a blissfully retro rocker in “My Shadow Out of Time”, with an energy to match the eccentric vision of Miskatonic Graffiti.


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Thursday, Apr 9, 2015
The jazzy folk noir of "My Hometown" finds singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell paying tribute to her hometown of Boise, Idaho.

With a Brian Setzer-esque inflection in the guitar tone and jazzy minor chords that bring the world of film noir to mind, the tune “My Hometown” is an intriguing homage by singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell. On the one hand, there’s a lovingness here as Jewell pays her respects to her hometown: “If sweetness had a sound / It’d sound like my hometown,” she sings. On the other hand, the desert noir mood evoked by the patient, legato strums of clean-toned electric guitar gives the titular town a strong sense of mystery. These two elements—tenderness and mystique—serve as a reminder that no matter how much we love the places we call home, there’s always a magic ambiance to them that prevents us from being able to fully put into words what makes them so special. A phrase like “If sweetness had a sound” is both evocative and vague; in this way, Jewell invites the listener in to experience her understanding of her hometown whilst simultaneously conveying its ineffability. That paradox, when combined with “My Hometown”‘s lovelily lonely sound, makes this tune a gem.


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Wednesday, Apr 8, 2015
Denver's own Instant Empire bring their full-throttle brand of indie rock blazing out of the gates with the lead single from their upcoming debut, Lamplight Lost.

This summer, the Denver indie rock sextet Instant Empire will release its debut full-length, Lamplight Lost. The LP was recorded and produced by John Vanderslice, who has also worked with Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Mountain Goats. The influence of the former two of those groups can be heard in the music of Instant Empire, along with a smattering of others such as The Hold Steady, Bright Eyes, and Phantom Planet. Quite wisely, Instant Empire avoids the navel-gazing lo-fi stylistics that are still en vogue in the indie world, and instead does well in emphasizing the rock in “indie rock”.


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