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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Smoky and nocturnal, the title track off of the New York City-based Allies for Everyone's Bunker EP is a sharp blend of catchiness and moodiness.

Synth-pop bands are a dime a dozen these days—hell, maybe even less than a dime at this point. One might say that the Brooklyn/New York City synth and indie scene has hit its economies of scale moment, if it hadn’t done so already. For that reason, when an artist or band pulls off a particularly memorably catchy take on synth-pop, it’s hard not to notice. Such is the case for Allies for Everyone, a project by the New York City musician Brian Suarez, whose new EP Bunker displays both pop smarts and the textural prettiness that many bands of his ilk fall far short of. The EP’s title cut particularly stands out; with a great hook, an earwormy three-note ostinato, and layers upon layers of atmospheric synths, it’s a track that does what good synth-pop should do.


“Bunker” now has an equally atmospheric music video to accompany it, featuring plenty of smoky visuals that enhance the already distinct nighttime mood of the tune.


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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
The newest tune by this pop collective features contributions from the recently departed Small Faces member Ian McLagan.

Going on strong for over 20 years now, the pop collective the Minus 5, helmed by Scott McCaughey, has been crafting solid pop tunes in the vein of classic ‘70s rock and pop. The word “collective” here is not purely rhetorical; part of what makes the Minus 5 distinctive is that they bring on new players for each new recording, a fact that remains true on their newest studio affair, Dungeon Golds.


Below you can stream the audio of the album track “In the Ground”, which features the recently departed Ian McLagan, of the legendary Small Faces fame.


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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
The penultimate installment of PopMatters's six-week series on the UK sibling trio the Rua zeroes in on "Into the Crowd", one of the edgier numbers on the trio's forthcoming LP Essence.

The all-sibling trio called 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), has already caused a splash in its native United Kingdom with its debut album, Essence. With that LP about to see its United States release, the Rua are offering listeners a chance to go behind the scenes of the making of the music on a track-by-track basis. The Rua’s knack for gripping melodies, in addition to their background in classical training, make them a rising talent to keep an eye out for.


There’s only one week left after this installment of PopMatters‘s six-week series on Essence. This week, the band explains a bit about the track “Into the Crowd”, which Jonathan describes as one of the “edgier” moments on the record.


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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
Washed in psychedelic visual hues that complement the song's classic rock vibes, the music video to "Loose Ends" is a tastefully retro good time.

The Nashville rock outfit Willie and the Giant pull off a balance that many lesser rock bands would utterly fumble with: they at once sound like a product of their own time and an earlier one, in this case, the ‘70s. Rather than slather their retro-minded brand of southern rock in a layer of pastiche effects (cf. the Black Keys as of late), these guys unfussedly fit the mold of groups like the Allman Brothers and even those a bit later down the timeline, such as the Black Crowes.


This Tennessee quartet will release its debut self-titled LP in April. Below you can watch the psychedelia-tinged video for the Willie and the Giant cut “Loose Ends”.


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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
The UK group Dry the River strips down its anthemic indie rock sound for a cozy performance for Sofar New York City.

Last August, PopMatters premiered a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album Alarms in the Heart by the United Kingdom band Dry the River. Unsurprisingly, the group’s sweeping and anthemic brand of indie rock has started to take a hold on crowds across the world, as captured in the music video for the band’s newest single, “Rollerskate”.


For the below performance of the track “Vessel”, however, this quintet strips things down, taking on a mostly acoustic setup. The result is a lovely performance highlighted by gorgeous piano chords and lead vocalist Peter Liddle’s Bon Iver-esque delivery.


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