It’s All Just Pretend finds the Seattle outfit Ivan & Alyosha expanding from a quartet to a quintet, with drummer Cole Mauro joining Pete Wilson (bass), Tim Kim (guitar) and founding members Tim Wilson (lead vox, guitar) and Ryan Carbary (guitar, piano). While the allusion to The Brothers Karamazov in the band’s name might suggest a certain highfalutin literary pretension about their music (a la the Decemberists), but such is not the case. Nor, however, is their music All Just Pretend. As the album cut “Modern Man” (stream it below) evinces, these five musicians are in the business of writing straightforward and honest music. It helps that it rocks, too, as the ‘70s classic rock tone on “Modern Man”‘s guitars evince.
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After two years in the making, All Through the Fire, All Through the Rain EP, by the Liverpool-based Rosenblume, is now ready for the world to hear it. Although he hails from the city that wrought the Beatles, Rosenblume earnestly and successfully channels the multi-varied threads of ‘60s and ‘70s American folk, particularly the scenes in Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon.
The stateside release of Weeping Cherry, Ambrosia Parsley’s full-length debut, has been a long time coming. Parsley is perhaps most well known for her role in the Americana outfit Shivaree, which was active from 1997-2007. Some folks in the world have been fortunate enough to hear her first complete solo statement, as Weeping Cherry received its worldwide unveiling through a French release in 2013. Now, however, this eclectic, singer/songwriter LP—one that bridges the styles and tonalities of indie folk, jazz, and even soul (“Skin & Bone”)—will see a broader United States release next week. Stream it in its entirety below.
The East London group Jingo may be relatively new entries into their local music scene, but they’re already making a considerable splash. Both Amazing Radio and BBC London have given them the tip of the cap. When added to live showings including a successful night at the London DIY open mic night Cable Street Electric and a gig opening for Graham Coxon (Blur), these young rockers have already started paving a solid path for their musical career.
“A.D.D.”, a tune from Jingo’s forthcoming EP, captures the energy they bring to their music. With musical elements that bring to mind mid-‘90s Radiohead, the band tackles an issue that is of no small matter, delivering angst-driven lyrics such as “Your love / is my suicide.”
In the press materials for Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s forthcoming full-length, Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow, the baritone saxophonist’s music is described as “lo-fi experimental folk music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer.” If that description makes anything clear, it’s that Parzen-Johnson doesn’t care much for musical labels, preferring instead to carve out unique sonic spaces that can only be described in oddball terms like the aforementioned genre word salad. Case in point: a new remix of his tune “If You Can’t Sleep, Just Shut Your Eyes”, made by Landlady and Father Figures band member Adam Schatz. Like Parzen-Johnson, Schatz has an acute ear for how to warp sounds; on this remix, he completely defamiliarizes the sound of the instruments, to the point that it’s difficult to say which sounds are coming from where when it’s all said and done. Such sonic experimentation is what makes composers like these two gentlemen exciting as musicians. There’s good reason to keep your ears ready for the June release of Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow.