In Highland Kites’ new single “This War Inside”, vocalist Marissa Lamar certainly sounds as though she’s battling all manner of demons trying to assert their dominance from the inside. Her voice is vulnerable yet increasingly determined as the music swirls with a steadily building tension. With rapid-fire drums from Neil Briggs, the rhythm and percussion ratchet up momentum to give weight to Lamar’s confessional lyrics.
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Among the slew of rising Michigan artists in the music industry, Grand Rapids’ Watching for Foxes are the ones with the most to prove. Reworking their process as a band from the bottom-up over the past year, the seven-piece folk outlet revitalized and refreshed their music into a brand that they’ve called “flannel rock”, pulling from influences such as Arcade Fire, Father John Misty, and Mumford & Sons to craft an amalgam experience not quite exactly like either of the aforementioned.
They have met their respective local music scene with a verve that had not previously been detectable since this latest realization, which has naturally brought a lot of interest to their upcoming album, Undone Bird, due out June 10. The band is premiering Undone Bird ahead of its release exclusively to PopMatters.
Charlie Faye and the Fayettes may be a girl group and play soul/pop, but their music is no Motown retread. In fact, it’s Memphis and Muscle Shoals where their hearts are. That and the eclectic musical melting pot that is Austin, Texas. Charlie Faye has had a successful career on the Americana scene, but she feels that with the Fayettes, she can finally make the kind of music that she’s been dreaming about. The group’s first record releases this Friday and we’ve got a great track from the self-titled LP to share with you today.
Matt Haeck was born in the West Indies and his parents were both Christian missionaries. As a result, he was expected to follow the path to the ministry and indeed he did until it really didn’t make sense anymore. The title of Haeck’s new album releasing tomorrow June 3rd via Blaster Records is Late Bloomer and it couldn’t be a more appropriate moniker, given that it took Haeck 30 years of life to really begin discovering his own voice. Once he did though, he was on his way. Haeck says, “I’ve never been a prodigy. In the years just after college, where I studied classical voice, I began writing and performing songs of my own, but due to a background in which I was taught to follow rules, I had the damnedest struggle discovering my own voice as a writer and a singer.”
The brainchild of Echo Park-based singer-songwriter Sharaya Mikael, BANTA is a four-piece indie rock band that has gained a lot of ground since their 2013 inception. Packing the Satellite to full-capacity, Mikael landed a record deal with eOne Music and the rest is history. They’ve since performed along the likes of bands like French Style Furs and the Mynabirds, gaining a good amount of repute throughout 2015 leading into the release of their upcoming debut album, Dark Charms. In an exclusive to PopMatters, the band are premiering Dark Charms in all of its bittersweet grit ahead of its release on June 3.
// Notes from the Road
"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.READ the article