A nocturnal vibe is palpable throughout Merci Raines’ debut EP. Covering a dark substance with a shimmering veneer, the beguiling five-song record has a full-moon-at-midnight quality. It helps that its dark pop is naturally informed by the mystique of Raines’s hometown of New Orleans.
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We are pleased to premiere “It’s Not Easy” from the new EP by New York’s Dolly Spartans, Time Sides With No One, out March 31 via Blue and Lucky. The song and the record from which it is culled were inspired by personal tragedy. In 2016, Spartans guitarist Christopher Elmer died unexpectedly, spurring guitarist/vocalist Michael Eliran to express his grief through songwriting. That sense of loss and frustration can be heard across the EP and “It’s Not Easy” in particular. The track speaks to the pendulum swing from sadness to celebration and all the spaces in between. As Eliran himself says, “The song is about feeling overwhelmed when adapting to new stages in one’s life”
We are pleased to premiere Shiny Wet Machine’s latest track, “Euphoria”. The track is the latest in a series of songs the duo, consisting of Sizzy Rocket and Alex Fitts (The Kickdrums), has rolled out in recent months. Blending elements of lo-fi and garage rock, Shiny Wet Machine provides listeners with short, fierce bursts of energy that are undeniably appealing.
Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Left Lane Cruiser has built a solid reputation as an undeniable force of rhythm and raw energy over the last decade. You can hear the band in action on “Claw Machine Wizard”, the title track from the duo’s upcoming LP, due May 19 from Alive Records. A blast of pure, furnace-hot energy, the tune bridges the distance between hill country blues and Black Sabbath. Drummer Pete Dio’s playing recalls the powerful, responsive (and jazz-inflected) work of Sabbath’s Bill Ward. Meanwhile, guitarist/vocalist Freddy J Evans IV reminds us that both blues and heavy rock took long crawls from the back streets to the main street, tracking layers of soulful grit in along the way.
We are happy to premiere the Neal Morse Band’s rendition of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” from the massive new Morsefest 2015 set, out today via Radiant Records via Metal Blade/Sony. Morse, who helped renew interest in progressive rock as a founding member of Spock’s Beard, has always had wide-ranging tastes, as demonstrated by this rendition of a song that’s been performed by everyone from Richard Harris to Waylon Jennings to Donna Summer.
// Moving Pixels
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