Having already garnered attention in her native UK with placement on two BBC Radio 2 playlists for her singles “Crash & Burn” and “Elated”, Scarlette recently made a video—which you can watch exclusively below—of her tune “6ft Woman”, a loving tribute to both rock music and cinematic iconography. Essentially, the video is a snazzy collection of opening credit scenes, with all of the cool fonts that one can see on classic film posters.
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Not long after she finished recording Miracles, her third LP as Lady Lazarus, Melissa Ann Sweat moved to Joshua Tree, located in the California High Desert. The area’s musical legacy is well documented; musicians such as Gram Parsons took quite a liking to the desert’s dry and seemingly mystical environs. For Sweat, the move to Joshua Tree facilitated the enhancing of her already well established artistic profile. As tunes like the lovely “Train Song” evince, Lady Lazarus’ shift from comparatively lo-fi sounds to more potent balladry, due in part to trading out electronic keyboards for a baby grand piano and the addition of strings, French horn, and flute, has proven a boon to her songwriting process.
You can exclusively watch the “Train Song” video below, which adds to the song’s tender piano chords with visuals of Sweat and her partner holding each other close in the desert.
At the start of April, the Chicago progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee will release The London Session. Normally, when session albums are released, their title is in the plural: The Abbey Road Sessions, for instance. However, in Umphrey’s McGee’s case, the singular case is quite deliberate. These reputable prog-jammers had but 12 hours in Abbey Road, meaning that they had to make the absolute most out of a limited timeframe. Save for the vocal tracks, which had to wait until the band’s return to the states (“They are exceptional and efficient, but they are merely mortal after all,” says the album’s press release), these guys recorded a whole LP’s worth of music in those 12 hours. The London Session marks the ninth Umphrey’s McGee studio outing, and it finds these nimble jam-ready musicians playing as sharply as they’ve ever been.
Below you can stream “Bad Friday”, the first song to be released from The London Session.
As countless weather reports and Buzzfeed listicles can attest, the Northeast region of America had a tough winter this year. No better time, then, for the new tune by the Northampton, Massachusetts band Colorway, called “Come Back July”. Written between 9PM 31 July and midnight 1 August of 2014, this simple yet catchy rock number is an honest plea for a time where one doesn’t have to take a Himalayan trek to get outside of one’s own home. For lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter F. Alex Johnson, this is “the time of the year when my little slice of the world feels the most alive—before it leaves us all for another twelve months.”
“Come Back July” is featured on Colorway’s upcoming studio LP, The Black Sky Sequined.
As Autre Ne Veut did with his mind-blowing sophomore outing Anxiety in 2013, Reptar have a way of taking dozens of seemingly disparate sounds, throwing them together, and coming up with some wildly inventive and fun pop tunes. Such is especially the case with Lurid Glow, Reptar’s second studio LP, which is described as “indie-electro-guitar-pop-weirdness” in its press materials. That description isn’t far off. There’s a definite goofiness to this music—after all, a band doesn’t name themselves after a Rugrats character without a bit of tongue in cheek—but it’s that very goofiness that gives a little levity to the at times tricky experimentation. On paper, a track like “Cable” appears nothing more than ‘80s pastiche; filtered through the personality of Reptar, “Cable” becomes something best described as ‘80s workout video music from hell—in a good way, of course. With a Zappa-esque approach to pop music and its possibilities, Lurid Glow stands out amidst the early year crop of releases.