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by Brice Ezell

30 Jan 2015


Wasted Wine hails from South Carolina, but upon hearing the band’s darkly romantic music, one is transported not to the American South but rather to an imaginary Eastern European cabaret where wine is aplenty—far from wasted. Evoking the macabre hues of Matt Elliott and the Black Heart Procession, Wasted Wine’s minor key-centric songwriting is lush and enveloping, with the ability to fog one’s mind in shadows. This is plenty evident on “Fall Upon Me”, a track from the group’s forthcoming LP Wasted Wine vs. the Hypnosis Center. The song opens with a sensuous and foreboding violin intro, which then gives way to an intense chorus driven by distorted guitars. The video to “Fall Upon Me”, which you can watch exclusively below, only adds to the tune’s air of intrigue, with mysterious gazes and drawn guns creating an opaque narrative.

by Brice Ezell

29 Jan 2015


Together, Topu Lyo (five string cello and effects) and Mike Thies (drums and keyboards) make up Live Footage, an experimental and eclectic outlet of musical exploration that the duo describes as “IDM: impressionistic dance music”. With this intriguing aesthetic, Live Footage have now taken to covering the music of Frank Ocean, namely the track “Lost”, off of 2012’s critically acclaimed channel ORANGE. Lyo and Thies’ dexterous musical skill and crafty ear for tinkering with melody are alive and well in this inspired take on “Lost”.

by Brice Ezell

29 Jan 2015


The folk music purveyed in by the quartet Pawns or Kings is certainly befitting of their native Ozark Mountains in the American Midwest. However, the group’s music takes on a curious light when one considers its origins: Pawns or Kings arose from the prog rock outfit the Race to Olvido. Listening to the former band’s newest album, 2014’s Pomme de Terre, it’s hard to imagine the music coming from the world of Dream Theater-esque shredding, but lo and behold these four musicians pulled the transition off.

Below you can watch the video for the Pomme de Terre tune “Light Over the Ridge”, which was filmed at a transitory moment in the life of Pawns or Kings.

by Brice Ezell

29 Jan 2015


In the press materials for their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, the Los Angeles rock band Prima Donna are described as having a “curriculum [that] includes musical road trips with Eddie and the Hot Rods, Adam Ant, D-Generation and even Green Day, who they supported on two arena tours on two continents.” The influences of those groups are certainly evident in Prima Donna’s music, but on their latest number, “Deathless”, their vocal harmonies bring to mind an influence that few if any rock bands can escape: the Beatles. With this track, Prima Donna tips their cap to their forebears while adding their own driving verve and energy, with some excellent work on the low end by the bass playing of “Lights Out” Levine.

by Brice Ezell

28 Jan 2015


Having already picked up some attention in their native United Kingdom, the all-sibling trio the Rua, comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals), is preparing to bring their music across the pond. The classically trained trio’s debut LP Essence is being prepared for a spring 2015 release in the States. Already, the Rua have earned comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac from publications like Q Magazine, and the association is certainly not off. Emotionally resonant and harmonically arresting, these siblings have put their best foot forward with their debut LP.

While you wait for Essence‘s release date, tune into PopMatters over the next six weeks for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing and recording of the music. Each week, we’ll premiere a video that features the band explaining a particular song on the album. By the end of this series, you’ll have a pretty strong picture of this preternaturally talented young trio. While certain famous UK sibling acts gained their fame through public rivalries, these three use their familial rapport in the service of writing beautiful songs, with nary a hint of sibling competitiveness to be heard.

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