indie rock

NEW MUSIC:: Two Cheers- Splendor LP

words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Two Cheers could not have chosen a better name for their sound. Their new record, Splendor just came out today and I can't stop smiling listening to it. Splendor was recorded and produced entirely in vocalist/founder Bryan Akcasu’s apartment during the fall and winter of 2014. It makes makes me feel like it's going to stay summer for forever, the sun will never set and nothing can bring this feeling of splendor down. My favorite track is "Brinka", whose lingering taste of nostalgia still brings in good vibes and hope at the chorus.  

All I need to do now is throw a pool party, invite all my friends, and play this record loud until sunrise. 

Listen to the LP below, and make sure to buy it if you dig it!

Buy the record on iTunes!


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NEW MUSIC: Kori- Melancholic Debauchery

Who: Kori

Currently: Paris, France

What: dark, indie rock

Kori is a dark indie rock band formed by Ori Di Vincenzo, a guy who writes songs about loneliness, fantasies and bizarre stories. Having released a new album "Melancholic Debauchery" the band is now touring Paris and is planning a move to a dirty basement in the UK.

I was instantly attracted to the fluttery feels of Kori's low bass and deep vocals. With hints of lo-fi guitar riffs, I was transported underground into a disco-ball lit cave filled with sensitive creatives writing feelings and painting abstract expressionism. Think Darks Waves meets The National in an underwater bar. It pulls at your heart in a way that'll have you swaying yet stomping, feeling subtle emotions yet wanting to scream.

Now all I have to do is find a way to get these guys to come play in LA! Or maybe I'll just go meet them Europe. 

Listen to their latest album and swoon below:


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Local Spotlight: Soft Swells

"Sun drenched indie rock in the vein of classic songwriters with modern sounds."
- Soft Swells

What has been the best part about your residency at The Echo?

Besides getting to hang with our new friends Fenech-Soler every week I really have loved playing all these new songs. It's been great fun discovering what will work live and what won't. Christopher Pappas, Kyle Fredrickson, Jack Lawless and I have really tried to keep our set uptempo and high energy. It's also been rad to see what people who liked the debut record think of the new record - as it's so different.

What’s one thing you want your fans to take away from your music, specially the new album?

I want both new fans and old fans to take away a sense of hope from Floodlights. A lot of the record is about the journey we all go through in life and the perspective we choose to give it.

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

As a newish band we would really love to play venues we grew up loving like 9:30 club in DC, Newport Music Hall in Columbus (where I went to HS) and The Wiltern here in LA. We would also love to tour Japan and the UK next year - fingers crossed on those two!!!

What are you looking for in your upcoming tour?

We are really looking forward to exposing a lot of new people to our band, our new record Floodlights, and winning new fans over one by one every night. We have all toured and played in other bands before and know that as people consume and dispose of new music quickly it's important to make a one on one genuine connection with everyone we meet. (and we will do just that!)

Soft Swells is playing their last LA residency show at the Echo on Monday 9/22, you won't want to miss them before they head out on tour!



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An Interview with Soft Swells.


You know, not every band born on the sunny shores of the west coast winds up sounding like the Beach Boys. Take for instance the indie-pop surf-inspired Soft Swells. Named after the smaller, smoother waves Tim Williams (the singer/songwriter behind the LA based band) looks for when he is surfing, Soft Swells is an upbeat, poppier take on indie music. You could attribute Tim “falling in love and finding true happiness” as the reason for the hopeful slant on his newest release, an EP entitled Lifeboats. Perhaps you are already familiar with the song and EP, as they have been featured in a recent nationwide ad campaign for Best Buy (if you skip fast-forwarding commercials on the TiVO once in a while, you’d be amazed what you can learn). Mostly recorded in Tim’s Los Feliz apartment and producer Dave Lynch’s studio in Lewes, England (as well as some pick-up sessions in Hollywood and Ann Arbor, MI) Soft Swells recordings are achieved by Tim and Dave “sending parts back and forth.” Sure Tim does all of the writing, but this puddle jumping collaboration works amazingly well for the band. Tim creates the songs, then off to Dave for some sound rounding-out and polish. The new EP features a remix of the original “Lifeboats” track by Jon Visger (Absofacto, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), a few more original tunes and even a cover of T-Rex’s “Children of a Revolution.”

Having released three solo albums with NYC based Dovecote Records, Tim wasn’t sure what he would do next with his music when circumstances moved him from NY to Nashville to his current place in LA. Without a band in mind, he started writing songs again, and after playing them for Chip and Erin Adams at Modern Outsider, was convinced that he should head into the recording studio. In February of 2012 Soft Swells released their first album to the acclaim of everyone from MTV to TIME magazine and USA Today to Consequence of Sound. Influenced by the Brit-pop he loved growing up (Definitely Maybe was the first album that hit him in the chest) his obvious love of melodies, hooks and sentiment shine through with each track. Soft Swells plays to consistently packed houses in LA with an incredible live band featuring Kyle Fredrickson, Matt Mayhall and Christopher Pappas that brings to life the meticulous studio sound perfected by Tim and Dave. And keep an eye out (or two if you can spare ‘em) for the video for “Lifeboats,” directed by Anthony Garth and featuring O’Neill surf team member Bree Kleintop.

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth has said “once the music leaves your head it’s already compromised.” That’s fine if you feel like music is an entirely personal endeavor for the artist. Tim certainly doesn’t feel that way. “I don’t think a song or recording is completed until it hits someone’s ears… The experience is only complete when a listener gives their input – a smile, a head nodding or whatever reaction a person has.”

Soft Swells’ lead singer, Tim Williams, was awesome enough to answer a few questions for us!

Why do you make music?

I don’t have a choice. I make music like I breathe, eat and sleep. It is something that is so engrained in my being that I need it to live. 

How did you find your style?

A lot of people describe us as surf rock but I don’t necessarily think our location equates to our sound. That said, when I was recording solo records under “Tim Williams” while living in NYC the music was less sunny. I definitely think the sound/style of the band is largely due to my ongoing collaborations with English producer Dave Lynch.

Who/What inspires you (in songwriting and in life!)?

My new wife Sabrina is definitely the most inspiring thing in my life. Her creativity knows no bounds and pushes me to work harder when I write songs for Soft Swells. 

What’s the next big thing coming up for Soft Swells we should know about?

We just got back from recording and playing shows in England!!! Our new record is in the mixing phase and will be coming out early next year. STOKED!!!

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Spotlight: Feral Conservatives

I love the sound of the mandolin, and i love indie rock. 

Feral Conservatives have brought these two sounds together in perfect harmony all the way from Virginia Beach.

Check them out! :)