Artisanals frontman Johnny Delaware is formerly of Susto, a South Carolina-based band quickly making a national name for itself. The Artisanals (rounded out by Clay Houle, Steven Walker, Jordan Hicks, and Josh Hoover), is very much in the same vein, crafting hooky, personal rock that’s an equal mix of indie and classic rock. Despite being a newly-minted band, they’ve already played shows with Band of Horses, Futurebirds, and Dylan Leblanc.
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On “Paper Mache”, Iris Lune‘s lead singer Ella Joy brings listeners on a vicarious journey through her mind.
As the track progresses, more layers of ornate electronic synth are introduced, and everything becomes wilier and more undone. Still, it’s Joy’s captivating vocals that remain the heart of the song and establish it as a scintillating listen. The story that she presents is dark as her character develops an illusory “paper mache love”, but it never feels hopeless.
San Francisco has long been the home of adventurous music, from the Grateful Dead to Jellyfish, Faith No More and the city’s legendary thrash metal scene. Add the Living to the list of Bay Area bands that defy easy classification but which stimulate the imagination. Broadly a heavy rock with glints of progressive rock apparent, the Living populates new track “Hot Breath” with melodies and rhythms that bring to mind the British New Romantics without losing a scintilla of power. Derek Barnes’ emotionally charged vocals prove as poignant as they are enigmatic; the six-string figures he and fellow guitarist Julian Balestrieri weave are nothing short of masterful.
Chicagoland’s the Safes have been delivering hook-laden anthems since 2003 with brothers Frankie and Patrick O’ Malley’s uncanny pop and pub sensibilities leading the charge. The latest offering, Tasty Waves, treats listeners to 10 tracks channeling Big Star, Guided By Voices and Rockpile. “Mediocre Jokers” and “Nobody Cares Anymore” recall the amphetamine-addled Beatles in their Hamburg days, but filtered through the future tense of New Wave, LSD and the oncoming train of postmodern irony.
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