E.P. Review: Flying Rabbit – Eclectic Playground

Artist: Flying Rabbit

EP: Eclectic Playground

Genre: Psychedelic Rock/Jazz/Garage Rock

Label: Self-released

Rating: 8/10

 Describing “Flying Rabbit’s” debut E.P. Eclectic Playground is difficult. On one hand the music is contemporary “Psychedelic Rock”  breathing new life into the stagnant genre. The soaringly theatrical vocals with immense personality are a great addition to a genre that tends to breed “Beatles” worshippers or obvious “King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard” influenced bands trying desperately to emulate their sound. On the other hand the music is just as Jazzy as it is psychedelic with frequent double bass and horns that will teleport you to a big city Jazz lounge. Eclectic Playground is the perfect title for this E.P. The band have built a world rich in eclecticism for us to play in, and they have no interest in being pigeonholed. Based in Oslo, Norway, “Flying Rabbit” combines the members’ various influences in a successful way that doesn’t sound scatterbrained or incohesive, all while maintaining a frequent “Psych Rock” style with enough acid soaked trippiness to make you wanna light up some incense and open up the curtains for your suncatcher. However, at the same time, the music even laughs at its reflection like on the opening track “New Age Witch.” There’s no doubt New Age spirituality is something that the band knows a thing or two about. “New Age Witch” comments on the claims of individualism from people who delve into metaphysical spirituality when ironically the lifestyle is more commonplace than ever. However, the track by no means shines a negative light on the lifestyle, instead, it informs those who feel like they can become this person overnight that it takes a lot of work and time to fully immerse yourself in the lifestyle and you won’t always find the answers to life by simply meditating or doing yoga. This track could have easily been heavy in gatekeeping elitism, but instead is quite thought provoking and insightful. The following tracks undoubtedly offer the same energy of genre blending and bending with powerful and at times zany vocals that playfully guide us through shifting emotions ranging from dark, to comedic, and to tongue-in-cheek like on the track “Don’t Oppress Me,” which is sung from the point of view of a self-absorbed brat who thinks they’re brilliant and never wrong. This track definitely has the most fun instrumental while the fusion of “Jazz” and “Psychedelia” erupts into an all-out finger-wagging jam. Tracks like the environmentally conscious “Keep on Digging” that forces us to think about how we’re truly making things worse by damaging the planet, which is based on a poem written by lead singer Emily C. Brannigan’s father, and the upbeat “Garage Rock” groovy “Running From Water” offer the variety the band promises us. They definitely deliver on that promise. The band are currently working on their debut full-length album, so this is merely a taste of what’s to come. 

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Dare Above Nemo Announces New E.P. “Mimic,” Shares New Single “Everything’s A Countdown”

“Dare Above Nemo” is the Project of singer/songwriter Ethan Attwood-Summers, and following the release of two dreamy tracks that combine the lush and watery guitar tones of “Dream Pop” with minimal but infectious electronics, (one of the tracks being a cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey”) he has released a new track titled “Everything’s A Countdown,” and it’s just as irresistible as its predecessors. The track, alongside with his previous single “Be Here Now” will appear on his upcoming debut E.P. Mimic, scheduled to be released on February 12th. You can listen to “Everything’s A Countdown” below:

Album Review: Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz

Artist: Viagra Boys

Album: Welfare Jazz

Genre: Post-Punk/Jazz/Blues/Synth-Pop

Label: YEAR0001

Rating: 7/10

 It’s been clear from the start that Swedish Post-Punk outfit “Viagra Boys” don’t take themselves too seriously. I mean, just their name alone is an indication of that, but that isn’t to say their music doesn’t have its place in contemporary Rock. Ah yes, “Rock.” What does that name mean anymore? It’s a vague term indeed. In this day and age where fusions and genre bending are commonplace, there’s enough proof for me that this is the most exciting time for music, and contrary to popular belief, I feel that “Rock” music and its countless sub genres are doing something exciting spawning younger bands drifting further and further away from traditionalism and music elitism. The spirit of “Punk” resides in “Hip Hop” in this day and age, the days of pristine and clean pop stars are fading away and now we’ve reached a more realistic “Pop” world that isn’t afraid to celebrate sexuality in its many forms, and just about anyone can produce their own music in the comfort of their own home. How is that not exciting? “Viagra Boys” in spirit are a celebration of modern music. However, I highly doubt the band see themselves as that. The band that once was considered the resurgence of “Punk” are so “Punk” that they don’t give a flying fuck about “Punk.” They just want to make noise, and making noise is what they do best, so that’s why it’s no surprise that they explore new territory on their new album Welfare Jazz, combining their signature rough and raw dive bar Art Punk with elements of “Jazz,” “Electronic” music, and “Country.” This album truly represents the idea of genre bending. Their uncompromising “Post-Punk” is still present, but the band cleverly incorporate elements of “Jazz” with woodwind instruments, dominating bass grooves that are both bluesy and funky, and southern twang that surprisingly fits quite well in the chaos, even going as far as covering John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves” with Amy Taylor of “Amyl and the Sniffers.” This album can even be considered the band’s most mature effort yet. Lead singer Sebastian Murphy gets a little more personal lyrically, jumping into self-realization and working out the flaws of someone who recognizes his wrongdoings. “I’d  stop drinking and gambling to earn back your love,” laments Murphy on “Into the Sun,” and following this up with the synth-heavy “Creatures” is a moment that perfectly sums up this album. Likening his old self to a creature, he views himself as someone who’s at the bottom of the barrel. It takes courage to be completely honest about yourself like that. I don’t know the man personally, but whether or not he really was this person, or if he’s just singing from the point of view of a character he’s created, it’s impactful either way. As mature as this album is, well, whatever “mature” means in “Viagra Boys” world, this album is still fun from beginning to end, because at the end of the day, we do need to frequently work on ourselves yes, but we can’t forget to have fun. I think the band even knows that when they reach a point where they take themselves too seriously, that’s when it’s time to call it quits.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Shame Share New Single “Nigel Hitter”

Shame are set to release their upcoming album Drunk Tank Pink On January 15th via “Dead Oceans,” and the band have given us one last teaser as the release date approaches. Today the band released a track off the album titled “Nigel Hitter,” and according to the band is a pivotal track off the album that touches on daily routine and normalcy in life after extensive touring, and how adapting to that can be a difficult task. The band have also shared a music video to accompany the track, directed by Maxim Kelly, and features old footage that focused on the development of children, while the band make a rather comedic appearance disguised as scientists. You can watch the music video for “Nigel Hitter” below:

BLISS MY HEART Shares New Music Video for “Latigo Canyon”

2020 was undoubtedly a strange year, but out of the ashes of what used to be the norm pre-COVID, arose a resurgence of fresh new talented artists to discover in the midst of an uncertain and panic-driven way of living that has forced many of us to stay home, so what better way to stay hopeful than to discover new music with all of this free time? French artist BLISS MY HEART is one of the exciting up and coming artists who has garnered much of our attention thanks to her superb E.P. Morningstar, a release that showcased her unique voice and immense attention to detail with immaculately produced “Electropop.” It’s hard not to feel a sense of relief or comfort when hearing her music, and her new single “Latigo Canyon” is no exception. With a beautiful contrast of melancholia and melodic upliftment, the song is a powerful ode to her grandfather, and her new music video for the song powerfully reflects the positive energy of the track. She has also partnered with “Green Ticket Mx,” an environmentalist organization dedicated to helping our environment flourish with reforestation. After each 150 views, 1 tree will be planted in Mexico, so tell everyone you know about this video so everyone can listen to good music for a good cause. You can watch the music video for “Latigo Canyon” below:

Ready, Steady, Die! Share New Music Video for “Vent”

We’re already in December and it seems like just yesterday I had the incredible pleasure of listening to the debut album of “Ready, Steady, Die!”for the first time. Their debut album Pleasure Ride was released in the beginning of January, which seems like ages ago considering it was a time when we had no idea we were all about to experience a pandemic like no other. The album hasn’t lost its impact though, and in some ways has become even more relevant mirroring our shifting moods due to our moments of isolation, uncertainty, and various coping methods bad or good. Today the band have shared a new beautifully shot in black and white music video for their track “Vent.” The video encapsulates our current state during this pandemic that doesn’t seem to have an ending. Both members Sam K and Morgan Visconti appear in the video but are distant from each other in which i’m assuming is in their own personal homes, but in the video they’re doing what many of us have been doing to stay sane, venting it out with their music and creativity. You can watch the music video for “Vent” below:

CMON Share New Single “Blu-ray Saturday”

It’s not exactly Saturday, but for some, everyday feels like a Saturday being cooped up at home due to social distancing. What do we do with all of this free time to ourselves? Well, some of us like to relax and watch movies all day, and if we’re lucky enough, with our loved ones. Some of us are losing our damn minds just aching for human interaction. Well, whatever your case may be, just remember you’re not alone. Listening to CMON’s new single “Blu-ray Saturday” captures that lazy but content feeling of being in the zone watching movies and relaxing. It’s definitely some of the band’s most laid back work with “Psychedelic” guitars, a very minimal beat, and soothing vocals that will make you want to stop living so fast and just enjoy the moment. This track is good for all moods. You can listen to “Blu-ray Saturday” below:

https://confusingmixofnations.bandcamp.com/track/blu-ray-saturday

U.S. Girls Share New Single “Santa Stay Home”

It’s the truth many of us don’t want to hear, Christmas is a tradition that needs re-evaluation. U.S. Girls have brought this to light with their new single “Santa Stay Home,” which was co-written by Rich Morel. Leader Meg Remy advises Santa to stay home and think about this Holiday based on consumerism and the damage it does to our environment. We need more Christmas songs like these. You can watch the music video for “Santa Stay Home” below:

Poppy Announces New Christmas E.P. “A Very Poppy Christmas”

Like a regular Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas music normally makes me cringe. Sorry guys, but Christmas isn’t my thing, if it’s your thing then more power to you, i’m just more of a Halloween guy, (yeah I know, big surprise) however, when an artist puts their own spin on the holiday spirit and offers something much more than “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” I can’t deny the creativity. Poppy, who has had one Hell of a year, releasing music that showcases her ambition and shapeshifting nature will drop a Christmas themed E.P. on December 1st via “Sumerian Records” titled A Very Poppy Christmas. Today, she has released a track off the E.P. titled “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas,” and it’s a soothingly dreamy lullaby of a track. You can listen to “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” below:

Quick Track Review: Borito – My Kind of Love

Artist: Borito

Song: My Kind of Love

Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock

Label: Self-released

Hailing from Tel Aviv, “Borito” are focused on rewinding things back a bit to Summer with their new single “My Kind of Love.” Well, at least the Summers we had before our current pandemic where we could enjoy the sunny days without fearing for our lives. “My Kind of Love” is a sugary and undeniably catchy ear worm with it’s jangly and dreamy guitars and sense of playful fun. It’s sure to make anyone’s Summertime playlist. The track will appear on the band’s upcoming debut album “What We Have Now” for which a release date has yet to be unveiled, but it’s looking like the album will drop soon at a time when we need a sunny escape the most.

Written By: Steven Sandoval