This Black Friday, the world will get a chance to spin a 7” vinyl of a long-lost track by the oft-overlooked Twin Cities, Minnesota soul outfit the Valdons. The two-track vinyl release features two takes on the track “Just How much Can One Man Stand”: one recently recorded, the other a demo from 1971. Those looking to delve into some history related to the fertile Twin Cities funk scene will have much to learn from the Valdons, who during their heyday in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s were among the most popular groups in their local scene.
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At a meager 1:22, “Treatz”, a track off of the Atlanta-based punk outfit Lowbanks’ new EP The Dogs, doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. Fitting, then, that the tune dives straight into a haze of shouted vocals, fuzzy distortion, and ear-piercing guitar leads right away, making its intentions clear and assertive. The raw punk energy, however, is balanced out with almost poppy production and convivial mood that’s bound to connect with live audiences.
Spanish born Canadian Iris Campo is a drummer since 1997 of the indie band Roads (Indica Records). Iris will launch her solo career in 2015; her forthcoming EP was written at home in Montréal and three singles produced in Nashville together with Scott Moffatt of The Moffatts.
Long Beach, CA rock trio Bella Novela is one of those bands that is able to pull off the tricky task of sounding like classic rock without merely imitating the genre’s tropes. Frontwoman Jackie Laws’ vocals bring to mind Heart and Pat Benatar, but she also sounds undoubtedly contemporary, her voice coalescing perfectly with guitarist Jacob Heath’s Muse-esque leads. On its newest tune, “Four Walls”, Bella Novela amps up the drama with a chord progression and vocal line that sound ready to be the next James Bond theme. But rather than go for the classic Bond theme pace of slow and sultry, the trio amps up the energy, due in large part to drummer Jannea McClure’s rapid fills. This sense of bombast is a fitting one for the group’s forthcoming LP, Telemetry, a concept album based on a popular Mexican telenovela. The new prog influences on Bella Novela’s music, especially on “Four Walls”, make it a distinctive voice in the Los Angeles music scene.
Seattle by way of Kansas City singer/songwriter Devin Sinha just dropped his newest LP, The Seventh Season. Of the many tunes that exemplify his rock and pop-tinged folk style on the album, “Lone Elm Road” stands out in particular. Sinha filmed a video for the track, which can be viewed below.