Words by Russ SkelchyPhoto by Alejandro Lomeli In the hierarchy of music scenes in California cities, Sacramento often lags behind the massive urban sprawls of the Los Angeles/Southland […]
Fritz Montana is a San Francisco based indie blues rock trio laying the foundation for up and coming independent artists in the Bay Area. With uplifting jams and vocals that aim right for your heart, Fritz Montana has mounted a successful career including airplay on San Francisco’s LIVE 105.3 Soundcheck program and a slot on the 2015 BottleRock Napa lineup.
Inspired by their recent growth as musicians, Fritz Montana returns in 2017 with their first EP in two years titled ‘Father Mother,’ detailing concepts of loneliness, confusion, hopelessness, naivete, and an enthusiasm to keep moving forward; the same emotions that drove them to play music. Staying true to their roots, these men have dedicated their lives to the betterment of American music and the creation of heart-melting soulful jams.
Take a listen to two new tracks from their upcoming album, Blood on My Lip and Evil Ways:
San Francisco Bay Area-based six-piece The Seshen release the third single, “Right Here”, from their latest album ‘Flames & Figures’ on 14th July via Tru Thoughts. Announcing along with some solo shows and a co-headline West Coast tour with James Supercave, The Seshen’s single boasts the synth-pop gem “Right Here”, a lovers-rock Wrongtom remix of the first single “Distant Heart”, instrumental and a cappella.
In the punchy synth-pop gem “Right Here”, singer Lalin St. Juste tears back layers of non-reality as she searches for her true self. Told by St. Juste, the narrative of the track looks at the illusory spaces that are created for us and how we wrestle with the identities and experiences that grow out of those creations. St. Juste explains: “In Right Here, I’m recognizing the lies that my life is built on, the lies that feel like truth and create a veil of disillusionment. I’m dealing with silence. I’ve lived within it my whole life and I’m ready to break out of it. I’m digging inside to find what’s underneath, beneath the invisibility of my existence and the pain. There is me, there is “us”.” Awash with bursting synth layers, the defiant pop-hooks in “Right Here” come unstuck from the confines of a daydream to revel in a new and honest space.
Until the 4 track single is officially released, take a gander at The Seshen’s music video for "Colors Collide":
Oakland punk band, NOPES released their new EP, Fun Limbo, on May 26 via Magnetic Eye Records. The group, who dubs its sound "weird core", grinds out sneering spazz-rock incorporating melodies and extended instrumental passages not typically found in straightforward punk. Fun Limbo is the follow-up to NOPES’ full-length LP, Never Heard of It, which was named as one of the "Best Underground Garage Punk Albums of 2016" by Pitchfork.
While the majority of today’s "punk" bands come off as far too polished and safe, NOPES sound like a collision of early Hüsker Dü and The Replacements with nods to The Stooges and fellow Oakland rabble-rousers Lecherous Gaze. The band bases their grimey sound in the low, lumbering crunch of bands like Unsane and The Cows while demented vocals rant over the top of the crumbling racket. The sound of NOPES is one of a band playing by their own rules and having fun doing it.
Take a listen to their new EP below!
San Francisco-based psych folk act DONCAT has just shared their new video "LA in ’83".
Duncan Nielsen has sported the moniker ‘DONCAT’ since 2013. Since then he’s lived in a vista-abundant neighborhood in San Francisco, CA, just south of Haight-Ashbury. From almost anywhere in his house the eye can reach the eastern edge of the city, as well as downtown. On most days, just on the shoulders of the hill behind the house, fingers of heavy fog quietly creep in. While most would consider the view an inspiration, Nielsen finds it to be a distraction. He focuses his sights inward.
As a teen, he spent the lion’s share of his time channeling classic rock and folk. In junior-high, he gifted Led Zeppelin I at a birthday party and was ostracized. By the time he entered high school, he found himself as the token kid-with-a-guitar: loved by all and known by none. This bolstered his penchant for writing iconoclastic songs, as well as skipping high school to surf alone.
Enjoy DONCAT’s new music video, LA in ’83.
The Oakland based band, The Tambo Rays are gearing up to release their new album, Recharged. In examining the sound, story and circumstances injected into Oakland-based indie-pop-rock band The Tambo Rays’ new EP, you would be hard pressed to come up with a more fitting title than Recharged.
With Recharge, The Tambo Rays craft buoyant, sun-soaked pop-rock as Sara’s infectious vocals and energy spring out like the prismatic light structures their father was famous for creating in the 70s. The EPs five life-affirming tracks respond to the uncertainties we all face with radiant positivity and saccharine, driving pop-rock reminiscent of golden-era Blondie. The EP also marks the band’s first release with Lisa Weiss (keys) who joined in 2016.
Recharge will be released on July 17th on OIM Records. Listen to the album’s latest single, Get It Right Now.
Z Space teams up with local legends Tricycle Records to bring you PUNCH BOWL, a tasteful concoction of musical genres. Amid the towering ambience of Z Space’s lobby, experienced Bay Area musicians as well as diamond-in-the-rough up-and-comers meet to showcase their music, get in touch with collaborators and fans, and be part of a music community. Music lovers of all stripes get to witness all of this amazing new music with interesting people, and can enjoy a drink at our Z Bar.
The Total Bettys are a four-piece, queer, feminist pop punk band from San Francisco, California. Songwriter Maggie Grabmeier and guitarist Bri Barrett joined forces in March of 2015; they came for theface melting girl-power, but they stayed for the friendship. Soon after, the pair met their beloved bandmates Chris Nolasco (drums) and Chloé Lee (bass).
Grabmeier uses her and her bandmates’ regimen of self-care and self-doubt in developing the Total Bettys’s lovable and self-deprecating lyrics, including topics ranging from love, addiction, anxiety, how it feels to love someone who is difficult, and how it feels to be loved even though you are difficult. The album deals heavily in the fear of messing things up, but tucked between the declarations of awkwardness is sincerity about the importance of friendship, vulnerability, and expressing compassion.
Take a listen to the band’s newest album, Peach!!
Bay Area punk duo Street Eaters, who following the release of their last album ‘Blood: Muscles: Bones” are releasing upcoming ‘The Envoy’ via their own label Nervous Intent Records on 5/12. A concept album inspired by recent political events and based on dystopian, gender revolutionary author Ursula Le Guin, The Envoy features the signatures of the band- driving bass, heavy hitting drumming from Megan March, and dual vocals- but more analytical songwriting.
Street Eaters will be celebrating their album release show at Octopus Literary Salon May 25th.
Slavazza is a multi-instrumentalist who, after years of working in biotech, decided to focus on music, working for the Magik*Magik*Orchestra as an arranger and production director, as a production manager for the award winning Pop Up Magazine, and Zoo Labs music incubator and recording studio, releasing his debut EP, Guilty Steps, last year. The songs contained on TRSR ISL are about that feeling of being isolated in the midst of constant activity. Inspired by straddling the tech of San Francisco and the earthy scrappiness of Oakland and the East Bay, he’s crafted this collection of songs with California always in mind. The series of snapshots that make up each story are strung together with soulful, swooning ebbs amidst marching high-energy rhythmic flows.
San Francisco-based band NRVS LVRS is the dreamy darkwave project of husband & wife duo Andrew Gomez and Bevin Fernandez. Today the band revealed their new single, I Am Almost Perfectly Awake from their sophomore album Electric Dread out June 30th.
"’I Am Almost Perfectly Awake’ is inspired by Clive Wearing, a musicologist who suffers from severe amnesia and experiences life anew from moment to moment, as if he is waking from a coma every twenty seconds. The title was taken from a line he repeatedly wrote in his diary, and we kept coming back to the phrase and how searching & sad it sounded. Trying to imagine living life with no memories had us trying to unpack so many different thoughts: how our identities are tied to our memory, how scary it must be to wake up not knowing who or where you are hundreds of times a day, and how the loss of a memory is a kind of death. While writing the album, we were dealing with quite a bit of death and loss in our own lives, so the idea of someone who is still physically present yet missing their identity resonated as a mirror image of the grief we were experiencing."
NRVS LVRS’ record release show is in San Francisco at Bottom Of The Hill on June 30th.