When the San Francisco-based indie electronic trio There’s Talk first caught the attention of the Bay Area music scene in 2013, their EP Tiny Strands was lauded for its lyrical and melodic complexity. Now, five years later, the group has returned on the EP bathed water moon with the same perchance for intricacy, except with a heavier focus on the dreamy electronic sound that set them apart in the first place. The opening track “Give it Up” (streaming below) is an ode to dreamgaze, drenched in mesmerizing synths and suspenseful builds that leave the listener wanting more—a promise that the rest of the EP expertly delivers on. Despite a recording hiatus, this EP has proven that There’s Talk belongs on the forefront of the DIY electronic scene. Make sure to drop by their next live show at the Rickshaw Stop on March 8th. – Lilly Milman
Late in 2017, NYC based singer-songwriter (and vocalist for Wilder Maker) Katie Von Schleicher came out with a poignant and plaintive album with the not-so-poetic title Shitty Hits. From the very beginning, opener The Image treats the listener to Von Schleicher’s unusual, yet elegant melodies, supported by an unexpectedly noisy production based on a new, intriguing approach to loud/quiet/loud. The results are spectacular. The perfectly controlled, vaguely industrial clangor keeps coming in the following tracks, together with Katie’s incredibly beautiful vocal lines, forging a record that’s as unique as it is enjoyable and moving. Perhaps it’s true, these songs aren’t hits, but, on the other hand, they are definitely art.
Katie is touring the US and Europe this spring, don’t miss the 4.06 show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and her performances at SXSW.
All It Takes To Ruin It All, the forthcoming album from No Thank You, will released on April 6 via Lame-O Records. The trio recently shared the album’s lead single, “Cubic Zirconia”. A rhythmic climb gathers steam as Kaytee Della Monica expresses a sensitive awareness in the face grief. The insight into the flurry of emotion that follows loss is surrounded by an instrumental drive, providing a concise, episodic window. Kung Fu Necktie will be hosting No Thank You’s record release show on Friday, April 6, where they’ll be supported by Narra and Tact. (Photo by Daniel Lidon)
Not many of us keep on the path we stepped foot on in middle school, but SeaTac’s Huey P. definitely did, and it’s worked out for him greatly so far. At such a young age he learned that hip-hop and rap can and should be used for the greater good, and that’s something Huey P. has always tried to do.
Since his debut album Did You Get the Message came out in 2016, Huey P. has been using his rhymes to try and spread positivity, particularly around those he interacts with in his neighborhood and the local music community. Although he was encouraged to leave the Pacific Northwest in pursuit of bigger cities like Los Angeles and New York because of his talents, his allegiance to his city and the people in it are real. "Having someone from the more urban culture in a positive manner, in the right light. It hasn’t been done yet,” he told Bellingham-based What’s Up Magazine.
Huey P. devotion, and flair, aren’t going unnoticed.
Poppy continues keeping it in the family, as Kate Campbell, her husband Brian Campbell (Mt. Vengence), and brother Craig Heim (Scram), once again combine forces. The trio recently shared a new EP Hand In the Lion’s Mouth. Campbell’s spirited vocals lead the charge on “Moomoo & Goadie,” which was engineered & produced by Brian McTear at Miner Street Studios. The united, rambunctious energy sends you enthusiastically out the door.
On new single “Think of the Children,” Kodacrome make a dreamy home out of minimalist electronica. Building over a house beat, Elissa LeCoque slowly emotes with a determined bassline and waves of ambient synth flourishes providing support. LeCoque and musical partner Ryan Casey clearly have a careful ear for sound, choosing only vital elements that accentuate the beat established at the song’s beginning. “Think of the Children” is the title track from the synth duo’s new album, due April 1st, and their first release since 2016. Stream “Think of the Children” below. – Cameron Carr
Love You, Mean It, the debut EP from Terrence Walsh, was recorded and produced by Jacob Ewald at The Metal Shop. Following a folk-rock trajectory, Walsh’s vocals harness a wounded yearning. Specks of harmonica pull one in closer to the personal scenes. The personal-narrative of “Codependent” contains a persistent train-rumbling in the self-awareness, while the serene, swaying simplicity of “Sexinthemorning” carries a loving sadness. Walsh will be performing at Oxford Coma: Last Writes on Thursday, March 22 at Wooden Shoe Books and Records.
*photo by Eric Luck
Of the numerous subsects of punk music, art and dance punk have got to be some of the more fun and fashionably viable for those that choose dapperness over chaos. And though dance punk had a much bigger moment in time earlier in the 2000s, The Gods Themselves rock the genre like nobody’s business. Their incredibly catchy tunes and pristine glam style have landed them on more than just the musical stage, but on tv screens as well.
Their show with Cindy Wilson of The B-52’s wasn’t that long ago, they’ve also been featured on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, showing off their utter charm as individuals and their chemistry as a unit.
Most recently, the Oakland-based group Club Night was early evening support at the famed Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as a part of the 26th Annual Noise Pop Music Festival. Consisting of vocalist Josh Bertram, Rebecca Lukens, Ian Tatum, Josiah Majetich and Devin Trainer, this five piece experiment is the logical conclusion of the Oakland DIY scene to which its members belong. Their latest release, Hell Ya, Club Night balances frenetic riffs and soaring musical moments between abstract punches of rhythm, pop-oriented synths, and guitars. The resulting backdrop is a collaboration that teeters between technical and noisy against which Bertram conjures up an emotive and dynamic vocal performance. Catch them next Friday, March 9 at The Hole, a performing and visual arts gallery/venue combo in Oakland before they hit the road to Austin, TX for SXSW. – Joshua Huver
We stumbled upon the name Barrie while browsing through the list of artists participating in the 2018 edition of SXSW. This is a very new SXSW quintet with only one single under their belt, entitled "Canyons" (streaming below), an intriguing blend of lounge and dream pop with airy female vocals and a bass line that, at times, ventures into groovy disco fluorishes. The band seems to have hit the ground running, since they will be performing at SXSW this March and, the following week, at Baby’s All Right.
Celebrating blackness is something that should happen year round and for those of us that fall under that racial designation, it does. But as far as the rest of society is concerned, February is the one month to give the most recognition. For Mic Capes, this is part of his identity, but in the spirit of Black History Month he’s dropped a new video for his track "Black Pearls."
"Black Pearls" comes off Mic Capes’ debut LP, summer 2016’s Concrete Dreams. It starts out with a spoken word feature from Lauren Steele, before breaking into grooves permeated with R&B as Capes and singer Aaron O’Brian Smith play lyrically and vocally. The actual video itself doesn’t feature Lauren Steele, but subs in visuals of model Teresa Patterson mouthing lines from the poem while surrounded by a waterfalls, rocks and gorgeous greenery. Other shots include a black mother feeding her children, an appreciation of different black hair and fashion styles, a little girl blowing bubbles and a variety of black women smiling, giving the video an overall jovial air toward black culture.
Though Black History Month is coming to its close, our celebration never stops. Watch the video for "Black Pearls" below, and catch Mic Capes perform next at a Soul’d Out Festival-hosted show at the Wonder Ballroom with JID, EarthGang and Brown Calculus in late April.
Stephen Mykal is the artist you’ve likely heard before and didn’t even know it. This is his second year playing SXSW, yes, but the young producer, singer and lyricist has had the fortune of doing some else just as resume building and definitive of his talent – working with Teyana Taylor.
Anyone up on pop culture and the black community knows who Teyana Taylor is. The dancer, choreographer, actress, model and singer is huge in the rap game, which is why Mykal’s feature on her fitness video platform Fade 2 Fit was so important. Mykal produced the music and provided some vocals for the platform late in 2016, showing that his ear for production and his creative capacity are definitely getting the recognition they deserve.
On top of this, Mykal’s soulful performances are an experience to take in. Though much of his output is heavily hip hop based, he possesses the fervor of an emotion-driven r&b singer, bringing an intimacy to him sets that isn’t like many others around.
It’s no wonder SX brought him back for a second year, and hopefully he’ll be back for many more.