With an electric, Strokes-esque vibe, “City of Culture” finds the Irish post-punk outfit Slow Riot building up the momentum they’ve already capitalized on in the past year. Having supported acts like the Twilight Sad and caught the attention of punk photographer Steve Gullick, the trio is set to release a new EP, Cathedral, later this year. Below you can stream “City of Culture”, which features on the EP.
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If BIlly Joel had fallen in love with soul instead of rock ‘n’ roll before becoming the genre’s resident piano man, he might have ended up sounding something like New York City singer Chris London. With vocals that bring Michael Jackson to mind, London lets his tenor soar on his new single “Stare”, which displays a strong know-how of dynamic building on London’s part. Beginning as a tender piano and voice tune, “Stare” then develops into a powerhouse of a bridge, with a Brian May-esque guitar solo and chanted vocals heightening the personal drama of the song. It’s easy to imagine London belting this one out at a late night New York barroom, hunched over the piano with a few gin and tonics (that’s right, not “tonic and gin”) in his system.
Singer-songwriter Daniel Pearson’s music is so imbued with the rust and dust of the grittier side of America that it comes as a surprise that he’s from Yorkshire, not Alabama. But times are as hard in Northern England as it is in the American South, and the poetry and sadness of Pearson’s work is reflected vividly on his past wok, including 2010’s Satellites and 2012’s PopMatters-approved Mercury State. His third album Alone, Together comes out this summer, and as you can hear on the forlorn “As Deep as Love”, he’s a level of minimal majesty similar to that of Jason Isbell, his tenor voice and forlorn lyrics countered by echoes of distorted guitar.
Under the Tosca name, the duo of Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Hubert has long prided itself on a downtempo brand of electronic music. With their 2014 LP Outta Here, however, Tosca took on a more dance-oriented vibe, although that’s not to say the chill has left the music completely. Take Outta Here opener “Harry Dean”, for instance; although comparatively “dancier” to earlier Tosca tunes, it’s still leagues away from the popular variants of EDM at the present.
In January of 2014, the Oakland-based rockers known as the Tumbleweed Wanderers took to a mansion-turned-home studio to produce what is now called Realize, their latest record. Opening with an invigorating number called “Bad Blood” (between this, Bastille, and Taylor Swift, that title is all the rage as of late), Tumbleweed Wanderers conjure up a dusky, Americana-tinged landscape, captured most distinctly on banjo-led closer “Real Eyes” and the tumbleweed pitter-patter of the snare drum on “Bag of Bones”. The Bay Area may be this band’s home, but their music brings the murky air and scorching heat of California’s Central Valley to mind. Of course, fine music knows no geographical limits, and Realize is no exception.