At a meager 1:22, “Treatz”, a track off of the Atlanta-based punk outfit Lowbanks’ new EP The Dogs, doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. Fitting, then, that the tune dives straight into a haze of shouted vocals, fuzzy distortion, and ear-piercing guitar leads right away, making its intentions clear and assertive. The raw punk energy, however, is balanced out with almost poppy production and convivial mood that’s bound to connect with live audiences.
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Spanish born Canadian Iris Campo is a drummer since 1997 of the indie band Roads (Indica Records). Iris will launch her solo career in 2015; her forthcoming EP was written at home in Montréal and three singles produced in Nashville together with Scott Moffatt of The Moffatts.
Long Beach, CA rock trio Bella Novela is one of those bands that is able to pull off the tricky task of sounding like classic rock without merely imitating the genre’s tropes. Frontwoman Jackie Laws’ vocals bring to mind Heart and Pat Benatar, but she also sounds undoubtedly contemporary, her voice coalescing perfectly with guitarist Jacob Heath’s Muse-esque leads. On its newest tune, “Four Walls”, Bella Novela amps up the drama with a chord progression and vocal line that sound ready to be the next James Bond theme. But rather than go for the classic Bond theme pace of slow and sultry, the trio amps up the energy, due in large part to drummer Jannea McClure’s rapid fills. This sense of bombast is a fitting one for the group’s forthcoming LP, Telemetry, a concept album based on a popular Mexican telenovela. The new prog influences on Bella Novela’s music, especially on “Four Walls”, make it a distinctive voice in the Los Angeles music scene.
Eric and Leigh Gibson, the two men heading up the Gibson Brothers name, are elder statesmen of bluegrass, having been active in the scene since the late ‘80s. When the duo topped PopMatters’ Best Bluegrass of 2011 list, Steve Leftridge wrote, “Eric and Leigh Gibson might have, pound-for-pound, the most impeccably fine-sounding traditional bluegrass band on the contemporary scene.” Not content to rest on their clearly established laurels, the brothers Gibson have taken on the mantle of covering the songs of music’s most legendary brother duos for their forthcoming album Brotherhood. The album features finds the brothers taking on two well known tunes and nine other tracks that have never been available to the public before.
“Bye Bye Love” stands out as particularly apt for Eric and Leigh to cover. You need only stream the track below to see how comfortably this duo slips into the sound of one of folk music’s most legendary duos.
Australian singer Adria’s vocals on her new single “Pull Me Under” combine the moodiness of Lorde with the echoey, spacey effects that Lana Del Rey has come to be so famous for. These sonic signposts are hardly surprising, given Adria’s bringing on of producers Matthew Wiggins (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, and Lorde, among others) and Viktor Balter-Lundin (Lykke Li) in the creation of “Pull Me Under”. However, Adria’s writing of the song came not out of the desire for the next Top 40 hit, but something more elemental. She cites her fascination with water as an inspiration for the track: “I’m attracted to its characteristics: strength, calmness, roughness, fluidity. It can be ruthless, yet it can also be still and quiet, which I like. It can take on so many different personalities which I think can be mirrored with human characteristics.”