Bi-coastal electro duo Collapsing Scenery attack U.S imperialism aggressively (and grittily) on new single “New World Borders,” channelling longstanding critiques of American foreign policy into a genre-blending political takedown. Enlisting the help of Israeli-Palestinian hip-hop group DAM (whose verses in Arabic and English fit perfectly with the track’s specific criticism of Washington’s ineffectiveness in the Middle East), “New World Borders” is bolstered by a breathless, palpably exacerbated vocal performance over industrial instrumentation. Given that Collapsing Scenery was formed “under a pall of paranoia and disgust,” this particularly acerbic track is but one of the full-throttle condemnations off their recently dropped debut Stress Positions, out now via Metropolitan Indian. Stream it below. –Connor Beckett McInerney
Your weekend playlist can get a boost from the music of Portsmouth’s Max Grazier. The New Hampshire singer-songwriter’s latest EP Warm Enough Not To Care is evenly spread with a sonic marmalade of dynamic acoustic and electric guitar riffs, stupendous vocal harmonies, and subtle drums to sway to, all tinged with a bedroom-production syrup so sweet. All three tracks of Grazier’s new record feel like confessions, not meant to be released, deeply personal, sung with passion, and played to the wave of pseudo-surf guitar ambiance. Pensive weekend mornings just got a lot better, in that kind of moody-basking way, thanks to the music of Max Grazier. The trombone finale in “Paper Eyes” is exquisite, let it build up below. – Rene Cobar
On "Still," Blue Velvet Drapes take a moment to sit back and dial down their internal chaos. The San Fernando Valley sextet’s latest intends to appease one’s anxiety, carrying that loving sentiment over a bittersweet blend of jangling guitars and a buoyant mid-tempo rhythm section. "Hold from break, keep easy," vocalist-lyricist Jessy Juliet Rodríguez sings, bringing out a welcoming warmth through her sweet tone. The band leaves things to open interpretation, better for the listener to develop their own narrative, even if the song’s message touches on their personal story—six high school friends who’ve managed to stay together through troubling times.
"Still" is featured on Blue Velvet Drapes’ recently released EP, Spiral Down. Catch them perform at Silverlake Lounge on July 28. Juan Rodríguez
Amuse-Oreille, Vol. 2, the latest EP from American Trappist, is out today. Joe Michelini and company produce an earnest, incisive viewpoint. Welding a rough-around-the-edges mentality with the ability to iron things out into breezy, easy-flowing storylines, the songs shift from a sun-setting, sand-between-your-toes, intimate sway to a more aggressive, “get the fuck out of my way” stomp. This Saturday at Johnny Brenda’s, American Trappist will be celebrating the album’s release, joined by musical brethren The Vernes, whose latest release Yr of the Rat was produced by Michelini. The album gently cruises in a pleasant progressing though slightly somber contemplative state. The assertive yet poppy, garage-psych trio, Grace Vonderkuhn, lays down the groundwork for a most excellent evening. – Michael Colavita
Other places kickin’ the jams this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT The Vernes, American Trappist, Grace Vonderkuhn
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Lower Wolves, SUN Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, ialive
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Big Nothing/Riot Nerd, SAT Adalie, Seek To Thrill, Skyline The City, Hartline/DJ Hvnlee, Peenness, 1-800 Happy Hour
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT Dominy, Ali Awan, Barney Cortez
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Hellings, Mach22, DJ EBG III
The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) FRI DJ Kaz, SAT Rebel Foster
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Luke O’Brien, The Bul Bey, DJ Royale, SUN (Upstairs) Mirah
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Steal Your Face
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Mark Lanky, A.M. Mills, SAT Julia Rainer, SUN Kiss of the Whip
The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) SAT Children’s Books (Final Show), Head Spell, Jurks, First World Kids With First World Problems, Dear Forbidden
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Presages, RNGLEADER, Sharks With Frickin Laser Beams, SAT Fawziyya Heart (EP Release), The Wallflower Observer, SUN Matt McAndrew, Siobhan McShea
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) SAT DJ Deejay
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Live Band Karaoke, SAT Jac with No K, SUN Rusty Cadillac
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) SAT Super Bonanza
The Tusk (430 South St.) FRI Fad Nauseam, SAT Descendency
Century (1350 S. 29th St.) FRI Hotflakes (Tape Release), Shy Boyz, SAT Mob Mentality, SUN Necrosexual, Fucktomb, Tartarus Horde, Signs of Madness
Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT DJ Ricky Lee, SUN Menace Cartel
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI DJ Chris Urban, SAT DJ Shawn Ryan
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) SAT Naps Past Noon, New Alone, Adam Travis
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Chris Kasper, SUN A Tribute Darryl Ray: Dynagroove, Tommy Conwell
Beautiful World Syndicate (1619 E. Passyunk Ave.) SAT Fast Car Slow Car (EP Release), Body Meat, EM-E
Creep Records (1050 N. Hancock St.) FRI Ashes to Vanity
The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Insignificant Others, SAT Jesse Gimbel, Knightlife, Riverby
Warehouse on Watts (923 N. Watts St.) SAT DJ Lean Wit It
Tralfamadore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT The Skating Party, Bern and the Bastards, Elissa Janelle Velveteen, Miracle Swill, Barry Dwier
Hubris House (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Bug Martin, Sami Rahman, Heck
Anthorna Gallery (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Scyphodemo, Beige Monk
The Waiting Room (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Moonroof, Elaine Rasnake, Rasan In The Heyday (solo)
Free Candy (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Countdown from Ten, Echo Lad
Cousin Danny’s (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Precolumbian
Clark Park Fest (4300-4398 Baltimore Ave.) SAT Selina Carrera, Levee Drivers, Northern Liberties, Beach Bod, goodnight/goodluck, Dr Ketchup, Revolution, I Love You, Instant Bingo, The Mary Veils, Mizloonar and the Truth
This is the Salsa band’s third single, first since 2017, since the release of their 2016 album Prepárate.
You can catch Afinca’o on July 5th at Spirit of Music Garden at Grant Park. They will also be performing at Taste of Chicago on July 12th on the Goose Island Stage.
Just in time for the last weekend in June, Jame Doe has partnered with the Deli to premiere his song “Garden With No Water” and the accompanying music video. The song is motivational pop without being too cloying. It delivers the right amount of sweetness tinged with an underlying darkness, though the two do not work as opposite forces. Instead, it gives you something to ponder as you dance. The video is charming, full of abstractly animated flowers that bloom and decay as Jame sings. He delivers a beautiful and simple performance. We talked to Jame about the inspiration behind his musical style, and what you can find in a “Garden With No Water.”
The Deli: Tell us a little about yourself
Jame Doe: When I was five or six my parents bought “Spice World” on VHS, and they’d put this shimmery, tinsel wig on me and film me singing every word to every song. Those were really my first performances. I had no siblings, and that’s kind of what only children do when they don’t know they’re deeply in the closet… they belt Spice Girls in a rainbow wig. My parents definitely knew I was gay by this point, we fondly look back on this time.
I’m 25 now and that little boy who just loved to sing at his imaginary audience and make them feel something they didn’t know they wanted to feel still drives me. I’ve been performing for about a year and a half as Jame. My real name is Jake, but my initials are JM.. thus Jame. Also rhymes with fame, shame, lame.. my favorite words. I sing about the boys I’ve lusted after, getting older, feeling lost in the big blue sea, and crippling self-doubt. I’m pretty dark pop-oriented but definitely vocally lean towards the big greats that inspire me (Celine Dion, Elton John, Adele, London Grammar.)
Where do you draw inspiration from as an artist?
Drama. I love dramatic and contrasting proportions. In my apartment I have chairs that are three inches wide that have little plants on them. There is a spoon and fork set on my walls in the dining room that are four feet tall. I’m constantly wearing oversized cloaks that drape to the floor. There’s something about distorted proportions I’ve always loved and I like to think that way in my music. I’m inspired by presenting the unexpected.
At the core of my songs I always want there to be beauty.. whether it’s the notes, the lyrics, the instrumentation, the harmonies, something in it should always feel beautiful because I try to find the beauty in every situation I tangle myself in.
Any specific influences we can hear in Garden w/no Water?
Last May, in the middle of the night my longtime music collaborator called me and told me she wouldn’t be working with me anymore because she was moving back to Georgia. I was devastated, really heartbroken to lose a friend in such a bizarre way. I hold onto my friends so deeply. It made sense, deep down why she needed to go, but I play no instruments and I thought to myself, ‘how am I going to write music without her?’
I was just beginning to get good gigs and I thought, shit I can’t make new music. The next day I stood at my boyfriend’s keyboard and wrote this song, including all the piano. Just by figuring it out with some little chord app on my phone. But yeah, she left me feeling like a garden with no water. Here I am with my voice and my lyrics (that I think are beautiful) and no way to cultivate them. The water was in me all along I guess.
I wanted the video to be this fun representation of myself. I’m so inspired by clunky + clashy fashion, and I’ve always loved animations when placed on top of real performances. Two amazing PNCA students, Brian Baird Asiata and Monica McGrane animated the video that Sam Gehrke shot.
What do you hope the audience takes away?
That friends can break your heart in ways you didn’t think they had the power to. But the beauty and the water has been in you the whole time, and if you’re feeling low then dance it out and make a harmony to get over it.
Jame Doe will be playing a show at Holocene on July 3rd with Colin Jenkins and Charts
-By Avril Carrillo
Matching the splendor of the tasteful instrumentation that accompanies her, Boston’s Cindy Latin lets her vocals soar in her latest single “In a Year From Now.” Yes, the drums flash some nearly-acrobatic fills, the bass grooves deliciously, and the trumpets are resonant, but it is Cindy’s passionate expressions that captivate, switching with ease from flowing verses to soulful choruses, she commits to them wholly. Cindy Latin strikes that perfect balance between an elegant soul singer and hardened street lady, similarly as another gal people may know of named Alicia Keys. “In a Year From Now” drips with honest curiosity about the future, and easily creates a narrative that we can all relate to, Cindy Latin channels the message well. Without further ado “In a Year From Now” is streaming below for your listening pleasure. – Rene Cobar
SPOILED, the first full-length album from the quartet of Dreamswell, is out now. The band transports you to its quaking, gauzy underworld, with its latest release. Peaceful/pummeling melodies forge ahead and invite you to follow them to desolate spaces, providing room to explore your own thoughts. On Friday, July 12, Boot & Saddle will host Dreamswell’s record release show, with Witching, Sold, and Stay At Home Dads.
Static in Verona has released their latest album, The Loud Nothing, on all platforms today, June 28th. This is the solo Alt Rock project of Rob Merz, formerly of Ash Avenue and Good Things, and The Loud Nothing is the fifth studio album from Static in Verona.
Nothing against Rob, but for us the standout track is “Daggers”, which features Seraphina of the London-based band Trills. In talking with Rob we found out that the two of them worked on a cover of The Monkees classic “Daydream Believer” a couple of years ago and she left him with an ad lib track that he sampled for “Daggers”
A close second favorite is “Charm of Finches” with what sounds like a blistering cello solo. It was that solo that promoted us to ask Rob who else appears on the album and he released that, aside for the Seraphina sample, the entire album was written, recorded, performed, and produced by Rob himself.
Fans of the lo-fi hip-hop tinged indie sound of Mac Demarco or Anderson .Paak will enjoy the tunes of The High Tides, one of Nashville’s new up-and-coming indie groups, led by Aaron Diebold, Aeris Hennings, Xavier Bond, and Jackson Weippert. The High Tides’ blend of R&B and pop fits right in with the increasingly hot dog days of summer; their new album Thanks For Nothing, which came out in May, has a handful of tracks to cool you down, including the soothing opener "My Perspective" which you can listen to below. The High Tides will open a bill headlined by Atlanta-based hip-hop/rock band The Constellations at The End on July 6th. Recover from your holiday hangover, then go check them out. – Will Sisskind