With Thiessen’s mesmerizing voice, it’s clear to see that he is becoming quite popular amongst the blues rock scene. Contrast to Jack Johnson and the beachy vibe that his music gives, Thiessen gives you the same feelings, but also gives you accompanying substance to go with his well thought out lyrics. Recently showcased at Winnipeg Folk Festival, Elessar speaks from the soul within A Rainy Week In Paradise. With tracks like “Lover Dear”, painting a picture of the feeling of love, and waving between lapses of melancholy, Thiessen’s album speaks to the soul’s core. Combining the sounds of nature and soft vocal harmonies, A Rainy Week In Paradise makes you pair unexplained feelings and telescopes them with his descriptions in his lyrical genius.
Acclaimed band Boy From The Crowd recently debuted with their EP, “Where The Bees Come To Die”, and needless to say audiences will not be disappointed. Comprising of the duo of Vinny Pianna and Vegas Ivy, the combination proves brilliant. Vinny Pianna contributes as guitarist and keyboardist, and Vegas Ivy accompanies him on drums and percussion within Boy From The Crowd. Carrying an aura of blues and a dash of traditional rock and roll riffs, listeners will be content with the unique sound of Boy From The Crowd. The offbeat talents of Piana and Ivy finds fans on the quest of mystery trying to decipher soul from rock, and settling on the happy medium that the band’s sound delivers.
By my estimation, more music has been made about New York and LA than any other areas combined. Both places are enormous cultural melting pots, a huge draw for artists. But even given the vastness of these cities, the art that comes out of them all too often includes themes of loneliness and solitude. This dichotomy is so clear that people around the world feel intimately connected to these cities, even if they have never once visited. Last year, Canadian songwriter Nicholas Krgovich released an album called On Sunset, about life in the city of angels; the kicker is that, despite how emotional and close the record feels to the city, Krgovich never actually lived here full time. The album presents an impartial view of LA, one that likely benefitted from not having been made here.
Krgovich creates a beautiful story on this album, riddled with disappointment and anguish, told through vivid images of nefarious characters, distant relationships, and regret. It all begins with a failed romance in “The Backlot,” and the self pity and hopelessness that come with it.
“I don’t know what came along and tricked me into believing,
That you’re the only one for me”
It feels as though Krgovich, or more generally, our protagonist, is constantly pulled into the social nature of the city, but he doesn’t connect with that scene. First he is absent emotionally, then physically, when he refers to the attention given to Hollywood for the Academy Awards, as if LA has forgotten him. This vignette, and the several others in the following tracks, are best described as fabricated memories. As detailed as the scene and sentiment, remember that Krgovich conceived this project in the Canadian Rockies. A cold, snowed in artist creating a piece about sunshine isn’t a surprising image, but his love for LA reached an unhealthy level. Rather, he had an obsession with the idea of LA, manifested in his songs, which he never put down for the better part of eleven years. This album might as well be dubbed the Boyhood of music.
His obsession did not stop once the album was complete, either. Krgovich dissected the very record he had just devoted a decade of his life to making, and created a sister record, On Cahuenga. It features the same songs with the same arrangement, but it is stripped down to only vocals and piano. Because of how arrhythmic the piano melodies are, I had assumed it was like a remix record, where he simply deleted the other instrumentation on top of it and called it a day. Well, he didn’t. He went back into the studio to re-record the exact piano and vocal arrangements that he had for On Sunset, and the results are chilling. The lyrics are so clear, and the piano gives a darker and deeper dimension to the story.
Together, both records ache with a home-sickness that I shouldn’t even relate to, but, somehow, I miss LA. And I live here.
Buy On Sunset here. Buy On Cahuenga here. I learned a lot about these albums from this Noisey feature, you should read it. Find more information on Nicholas Krgovich on his website, or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.
After spending three years working on Gemstone, Add Agency brings Gemstone Radar with a very intentional sound. With David Bowie and LCD Soundsystem influences, one can also hear a bit of grunge sound within the album as well. Will Mora , the one man genius behind Gemstone Radar wows listeners with the perfect balance of drums, guitars, and shoe gaze undertones as well on some tracks. With Mora’s sensual voice and intense lyrics, Gemstone Radar manages to set itself apart from new age grunge with a myriad of genres all in one album. Specifically, the track “Set Me Free”, effectively brings the world of grunge, shoe gaze, and glam rock all in one. Mora, for a one man band, you bring a lot to our ears.
Hi everybody! Let’s start with some housekeeping. If you don’t know, I, Zoë, started a new music blog called Sawdust and Gin. I post new music every day, though the posts are far briefer than what I write here. I also make a weekly podcast, and write longer pieces in the form of show, album, and vinyl reviews. Please follow me on tumblr/ Facebook/ Twitter! I also just began writing for Grimy Goods, you can read my first review of the recent Deerhunter show in LA, and there will hopefully be more soon.
Now onto the music. This week, I’ve randomly selected these three tracks from our submissions bin aka email inbox. Indie is not dead, folks, contrary to what some people might say.
The Hermit Kings – “Cashing In”
It’s summer o’clock somewhere, am I right? No? Because the southern hemisphere is in spring and the northern hemisphere is in fall and so that doesn’t make sense? Well it makes as much sense as “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” except at least that expression is true approximately every half hour. Well screw all that logic, and bathe in this bright and calm summer tune from The Hermit Kings. The guitars touch on shoegaze while drums have more of a surf rock tinge, and it all pulls together beautifully.
PS This band has their own Ed, Edd, n Eddy thing going for it, with a Zac, Zack, and Zach. I hope one of them goes by Z and another by Manuel.
Jojee – Unravel Me
If you needed your lush electropop fix, stop your scratching and take a listen to this. Jojee is very dramatic, which I’ll admit is not usually my thing, but the beats that she cuts together are magnificent and hard not to love. And of course, her voice is also gorgeous. “Unravel Me” is great, but be sure to also listen to her previous single, “Think of Anything.”
Sophomore – “Duck and Cover”
Remember that club scene in Black Swan? Or the entire movie Enter the Void? Or any other mind-altering movie experience? This is the universal score for all of that. This song is spatial, but has a rhythm, making it perfect to enjoy with or without visuals. Sophomore has his own aesthetic here, with the grainy maritime footage. Check out his other single, Outcry, here.
Find more information about Sophomore on his Soundcloud.