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Interview with ARMORS

Who: ARMORS (Olen Kittelsen, Sam Beresford, Kody Buxton, Jacob Berger, Tyler Mathews)

Hometown and Current Location: Orange County, CA

Sounds Like: "Dark alternative infused with R&B sensibilities" 

ARMORS are a 5-piece band based out of the OC, formerly known as Breach the Summit. We met up this weekend for a quick shoot in Echo Park to chat about their new music, 2015 and their Godzilla lyric videos we've been so intrigued about.

What happened to Breach The Summit and what's inspired the new sound?

Jacob: We went to Firefly as Breach The Summit last year. Sam reached out to The Colourist because they're from the OC as well and asked if we could talk to them while we were out there at Firefly.They were super nice: we got to meet them, got to talk to Maya and Adam, then they came to our set..  So after that Adam actually offered to produce a few tracks for us, which ended up being "Old House" and "Parasite". That music was in a very new direction for us than when we  were Breach. So that and definitely Kody (Buxton, bass) coming in to the band helped shape the sound. 

Sam: It was also just a natural progression of our sound and us growing as musicians. It had been  a long time since we'd written any music, so by then we'd all progressed a lot. 

Are you doing anything differently now as ARMORS? Or do you want to be? 

Olen: One thing that's been really cool that Jacob and Katie (who has been working with us in a couple different capacities) have been working on is a street team they got up and going. It's a really cool space for people who have started out as fans but as they came to more and more shows have become super close with us and  very invested  in helping us out. It's funny because it's just people who heard of us randomly, like when we were Breach The Summit playing at a mall, and have stuck with us and really been there for us. 

So what's up with the Godzilla lyric videos?

Kody:  "Old House" is really about broken homes and finding the good in all the negative you have. And for me growing up, something that took me away from the negative in my home was literally Godzilla vs Mothra; I don't know why I used to watch that every day after school. So I was thinking it would be so rad to have the lyrics be the subtitles and try to awkwardly voice these things over. Then we kind of just fell in love with the concept after. 

What do the next six months look like for you guys?

We definitely have plans on releasing an album, but our biggest goal is getting back out on the road and tour. Currently Southern California, and North. Maybe out East.  So hopefully by next year we can be out on our own national tour. 

 

Make sure to buy their latest single  "Old House" on iTunes!

CONNECT WITH ARMORS:

Facebook // Twitter 

#NowPlaying in Andrew Pearson's ears

Andrew Pearson is an artist based in Scotland, UK. We met Andy in December during our trip across the pond. He runs a DIY record label/artist collective called Common Records. In honor of International Women's Day today, Andrew is putting on a show tonight in St Andrews, UK where he's finishing up university.

To get in the spirit, here's some music he's been listening to this week:.

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere

Aneka - Japanese Boy

Cher - Believe

Chrissy Barnacle - Nightride

Lidh - Quite At Ease

Fiona Soe Paing - Tower of Babel

Bit Face - Hyper Novelty

Warpaint - Love is to Die

You Are Plural - Cut Along the Line

Andrew Pearson

Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp

Common Records

Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp

NEW MUSIC: Freedom Fry- Yeah You

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Freedom Fry is a duo based in LA, comprised of Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll. Apparently they've been at it for a few years now, but I only discovered them today with the release of their newest track, "Yeah You", a couple days ago.

The track is everything a California summer is destined to sound like, with wispy vocals, a tambourine,  beachy percussion and a sway that'll make you wish you were driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, windows down, wind blowing. 

It's not even spring but Freedom Fry has got me ready for summer.

Listen here:

CONNECT WITH FREEDOM FRY

Facebook // Twitter 

PREVIEW: My Double, My Brother @ The Satellite 1/12/15

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My Double, My Brother is an independent band based in LA who's  sound I was hooked on to instantly when I heard them for the first time last week. Perfect timing too, since they're playing a free show at The Satellite here in LA tomorrow 1/12/15!

To preview the show, I was able to ask the band a few questions about 2015 and their new album coming out next month. Hit play below and read on. 

For new ears, describe your music in  a few words:

Percussive indie alternative rock.

What's been your favorite show you've ever played so far?

We've played a few shows that have been really fun for us. One that sticks out is several months back we played at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa (before it was renovated into the Wayfarer) and a bunch of people came out who knew all the songs from our first album and were singing along super loud and acting out all the drum parts. It was a ton of fun to see everyone enjoying the music in a very honest and raw way. It made us feel like we were offering something really special to those people as it was a palpable example of people appreciating something that we care about so much.
 

What can you tell us about your upcoming album? 

We put a lot of work and effort into making it sound how we thought it should sound. It's pretty different from the last album, as I've learned a lot about song writing and poetry within the past few years, and we have all grown as musicians. The songs sound more refined and more honest, in some senses, and I think because of that, this album is a lot more effective in conveying a certain ethos. The album has a certain arc to it so that the songs, both in lyrical and musical content, function to play off of each other and contrast each other, not in the sense of telling a story, but more in a sense of creating a space where ideas and emotions become merged together; ideas and emotions that I hope people will be able to feel and think. 
 

How has your sound changed since the band formed? 

I think our sound has had a sort of consistency to it since we started writing music several years ago, but I think throughout the years we've developed more of a sensitivity to pop sensibilities and writing music that is fun to listen to and easy to digest. We've always been very critical with our work and have tried to create music that is interesting and pleasing, but our roots are kind of in more esoteric forms of art and music. I think in the past we really praised more avant-garde forms of art and our music was an attempt to flesh out those ideals, but recently we've attempted to primarily operate under the notion of writing for accessibility and for enjoyability, then expanding on that in the most creative and interesting ways that we see fit.

What else can we look forward to from My Double, My Brother in 2015?

Well, first and foremost, the album comes out February 10th, but then after that we plan to do a series of mini-tours up the coast and what not, and possibly a tour in the summer.


CONNECT WITH MY DOuBLE MY BROTHER

Website // Facebook // Twitter

 

 

NEW MUSIC: Kiki Halliday- Love Notes EP

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

LA artist Kiki Halliday just released her first EP, Love Notes, today. 

The production is simple and straightforward,  highlighting Kiki's soulful songwriting and emotion. The favorite seems to be the title track, "Love Notes", that got everyone singing along with the catchy chorus at her EP Release Show over the weekend. 

My personal favorite though has to be "Beautiful Soul". The harmonies and general arrangement of the song compliment Kiki's emotional vocals and get you swaying along in no time. (I'm all about that sway-ability!)

First releases like this one are always an exciting time for an independent artist, and we can't wait to see what's next!

 

Take a listen here and let us know what you think!

CONNECT WITH KIKI

Facebook // Twitter 

LIVE REVIEW: Soft Swells at The Echo 9/22/14

words and photos by : Shabnam Ferdowsi
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LA-based Soft Swells played their last residency show at The Echo on Monday night 9/22. I'd personally never been to the venue for their renown free monday nights so I had no idea what to expect. 

I got there at 10pm sharp, and already the place was packed: friends hanging in the bar area, couples lounging near the dance floor and solo music-lovers who you could tell where frequent concert-goers. It was that Echo Park vibe that I love and we all know well. 

Soft Swells played what I decided was a dreamy, grooving rock show. I think the sound guys could have checked it better, because the drum levels were a little too overpowering for my taste, but for the live show it only added to the swaying, foot-tapping atmosphere. 

My favorites were obviously "Lifeboats" off their last EP and "Floodlights" off their new album out September 30th (and I say obviously because those are probably their most publicized tracks).

Their month-long tour starts today, so make sure to check them out if you can!

CONNECT WITH SOFT SWELLS

Facebook / Webstie

NEW MUSIC: A.F. Paxton- Our Way

A.F. Paxton just released "Our Way" last week with NY-based Go Rogue Records. The track is part of the label's Young Blood album out today, which is a compilation of edgy electronic pop tracks. 

"Our Way"'s blend of acoustic instruments and digital production creates an extremely cool, dreamy feel.  It's the perfect track to end summer with. My favorite verse has to  be "Nothing can get in our way", the epitome of endless possibilities and a the feels of an unpredictable future. 

Take a listen here!

NEW FIND FRIDAY: Dust & Chrome- Money in the Bank

Dust & Chrome is an LA-based project of Brooklyn native Willie Nedrow. Their track "Money in the Bank", mastered  by Brian Lucey (the Black Keys/Chet Faker/Hanni El Khatib), is a tight blend of traditional songwriting and electronic and analog production styles. There's the folk we all love and the beats we can all groove to. He's got a super fun thing going on here, and I'll be looking forward to more!

Listen here and let us know what you think!

CONNECT WITH DUST AND CHROME

Facebook / Twitter

DISCOVER: I/O

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

"I/O believes human experience can be too beautiful and grotesque, inspiring and abhorrent, heartwarming and traumatic, to put into words."

Who: Tyler Hicks , Mackenzie Tate , Teddy Murphy  , Chatchon Srisomburananont  , Sean Carmago

Where: Boston, MA

It was love at first sound when I took a listen to I/O this morning. They're a five-piece post-rock band and their music is very much in the same vain as Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, Brand New, Hammock and El Ten Eleven. They came out with their first album Saudade back in February, but it's never too late to share great music!

Based in Boston, MA where the band met in college, each member hails from a different corner of the world brought together by their mutual feel for music.

"Mackenzie is from Australia, Chatchon is from Thailand, Teddy is from Ohio, Sean is from Maryland, and [I'm] from Utah. When we met each other it was mostly just us asking what music the other was into and then saying "We should jam sometime." As soon as we started playing together we became fast friends. "- Tyler Hicks

Each track of their debut album has its own feels, from hopeful to nostalgic to warm to gut-wrenchingly blue, and I can easily see I/O writing the soundtrack to my life.  Take a listen to their full album here and if you like what your hear, buy their music on Bandcamp!

CONNECT WITH I/O on FACEBOOK

DISCOVER: Kiki Halliday- One California Day

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Remember Kiki Halliday? She played an exclusive Acoustic Session for us a couple weeks ago and she just released her very first single, "One California Day", off her first EP Love Notes coming out in the fall. 

The single is the perfect summer jam, with the right blend of a beach-y acoustic guitar, a groovy riff and Kiki's soulful vocals. In Kiki's own words: "This is about my everlasting love and fascination of this wonderful place." It embodies Cali culture to the T, and it leaves us wanting more! Summer can last forever with this song.

Recommended: Go for a drive, get yourself to the coast, roll down the windows and blast this tune. :)

Take a listen, and stay tuned for Kiki's EP coming out in a few months!

 

CONNECT WITH KIKI HALLIDAY

Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

Artist Spotlight: The Moderates

Who: Josh Taylor (guitar, lead vocals), Wes Mathison (bass) and Garret Huff (drums)

Where: Long Beach, CA

In One Sentence: "We're an alternative, indie-rock band who is seeking to be the best that we can be; push ourselves, captivate people and make a difference."

How they met

Wes: " I knew Josh in 3rd grade, when we first met. And we just hung out by default because our parents were friends and we were both homeschooled. We just grew up playing music together. And once we got into high school, I met Garrett on the wrestling team and just hit it off right off the bat. [...] I went to his house one day; he had a drum set and I was like, "I have a guitar we should jam!" So we started jamming together, and then we brought Josh into the mix. Then we got that great idea and went, "Let's start a band."

Musical Influences

Garrett: "We listen to all kinds of different things, and when we come together  [...] we put all of our musical influences together into one moderate sound."

Dream Collaborations

Josh: Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. 

Wes: Victor Wooten.

Garrett:  Taylor Hawking of the Foo Fighters.

Dream Venue

Red Rocks in Colorado. "Outdoor, completely natural, [...] carved out of the rock."

Bucket List

Josh: "I say Solar System Tour. Let's play on Mars" 

But in all seriousness, the guys would love to go on a  World Tour. 

CONNECT WITH THE MODERATES

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

DISCOVER: Young Rising Sons- High

Start your week with this feel-good beat from upcoming band form New Jersey, Young Rising Stars. "High" is sure to get you dancing your way to a happy day :)

CONNECT WITH YOUNG RISING SONS

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

DISCOVER: Berlin Bar Hounds- Le Rambles

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

I was listening to a playlist on 8Tracks the other night when this song came on. I didn't look to see who it was, but the second the vocals came in I thought, "Oh, that's definitely The National." Boy, was I surprised when I checked to see the song title!

Berlin Bar Hounds is the solo project of Jacob Borg, based in Bateau Bay, Australia. He's not on Spotify, or iTunes, and he only has this one track he posted a month ago on Soundcloud. Yet this one track is close to hitting 29,000 plays and 400 likes. Lines like "Barcelona leaves a shadow longer than it needed to" capture the nostalgic bass-lines and Borg's deep vocals pull you into the waves.  Fans are hooked and for good reason.

If you like what you hear, you can buy the track here and give the Facebook a like!

I'm really looking forward to hearing more of their music soon.

DISCOVER: Lovelife- Nova

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Lovelife calls their own music "Voluptuous heart wrenching pop that will leave you sobbing and clinging to your diary on the bathroom floor. " They couldn't have said it better.The band just released their newest single, "Nova",  showing hints of the same dark yet head bopping electropop flair. Press play below and read on.

How did you come up with the band name?

Lovelife was formed in the wake of two major relationships. Lee and Ally had just ended long term stints and the music reflected that.

If you could collaborate with any artists, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some really fantastic artists over the last few years, and I think we like to work with anyone that shares the same passion as us. Who knows who we’ll cross paths with in the future… David Bowie? Elton John? 

As a band, what’s on your bucket list?

We’ve played at a lot of festivals around the world, not necessarily together but in other bands, one of which none of us have done is Coachella. We’re really hoping to get over there some time soon. And I guess we want to play in space? Have Muse done that yet? Maybe we could open? 

CONNECT WITH LOVELIFE

Website // Facebook  // Tumblr

Where to Discover New Music

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Tired of the radio? Stuck in a rut? Or just simply want more music to add to your library?

It’s so easy to find new music these days; it’s just a matter of knowing how.

As a music blogger and writer, I’m constantly searching for new music. Sometimes I spend hours dedicating my time to finding new tracks and artists. In the past year, I’ve come up with a pretty decent list of outlets I usually hit up during these Discover Sessons:

 

1.     Spotify Related Artists. Spotify has rocked my world.  Hopefully you’re familiar with the application by now, and hopefully you’re using it daily by now. Every artists has their own page, and on each page there’s a “Related Artists” tab that links you to list of other artists with similar sounds as the artist whose page you’re on. This feature has done me wonders.

 

2.     Film/ TV Soundtracks. Have you ever been watching a movie or TV show and, all of a sudden, a ridiculously wonderful song comes up in the background? This has happened to me a lot, especially for T.V. shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C. and Chuck.  The same music supervisor chose most of the soundtrack music for the three shows, which points to why their soundtracks have similar sounds.

 

3.    8Tracks. Most everyone is familiar with Pandora Radio Station by now. You plug in an artist and a station starts playing with similar artists and genres. 8Tracks runs on the same idea, except it’s run on fan-made playlists. Either type in an artist's name, a genre or a mood (i.e. "chill" or "sleep"), and you’ll be linked to dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of playlists made by other music enthusiasts. It’s like hearing about new bands rom friends you’ve never met before!

 

4.     Music Blogs. Blogs have become a huge outlet for newer bands to receive free promotion, so blogs have become one of the main sources to hear about the newest releases, the newest bands and the next big thing. My personal favorites are IndieShuffle and The Burning Ear; both are mp3 blogs, and focus on simply sharing new tracks and albums with fans., through a simple and straightforward layout. 

 

The digital world has created so many opportunities for musicians and fans alike. Getting heard and hearing new sounds are both much easier than it’s ever been before.  Sure, it takes time and a little bit of effort to discover new beats, but hey, it’s a pretty fun hobby if you ask me!