Secret Treehouse Play “Fear of Frogs”

Melancholic indie-synth pop from self-styled “pop orchestra” Secret Treehouse.

This is a single that’s less about amphibian aversions, and more about the kinds of fears that we’re standing in the way of someone else’s journey even though we love them, or perhaps even because we do. It’s all wrapped up in brooding synth lines, soaring vocals, and moody chord progressions.

Have a listen!

Secret Treehouse hail from Bergen in Norway, a well-known hotbed for musical delights that also include Kings of Convenience, Datarock, and so many others.

This single is the lead to their upcoming new record The Big Rewind, which is out right now.

Learn more about the band and the new album at their official site.

Happy listening

Amethysts Play “How It Is”

Happy New Year, Lighting Buggists! Still working on a nickname for you listeners out there, as you can tell.

Never mind.

Opening the doors again for 2019 after a hectic end to 2018, this song by Amethysts, an ethereal dream pop duo from East Anglia, UK, is just the thing.

Listen:

“How It Is” may be your anthem for a new year, being as it is about not accepting things as they are, but rather examining what can be changed for the better. You don’t have to accept how things are all the time. Sometimes, you can change them. So you should when you can.

Not a bad approach to living your life, right?

Meanwhile, Amethysts are making waves in their native Britain, including some definitive showings on BBC1 and BBC6 and with some successful headlining shows in (That) London.

This song is actually one-half of a double A-side single, twinned with “Imitate Me”.

To learn more, simply investigate weareamethysts.co.uk.

Happy Listening, and Happy New Year!

 

Pack of Three: The High Loves, The Room in the Wood, Moist

The holiday season is nearly upon us, RFLB fans! You know, I have to come up with a better name for all of you. “Buggers” probably won’t do.

Anyway!

As a holiday gift all wrapped up in a metaphorical bow until we reconvene in the new year, here’s a selection of three sumptuous tunes to which you can rock out while you get the rest of your shopping done.

Open your minds and ears.

***

“You Already Knew That” by The High Loves

Name: The High Loves

From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sound: Beatles-esque melodic guitar pop with distinct Strokes sensibilities.

Story: This song is a kind of break-up tune, penned by High Loves songwriter Noah Monckton about leaving a beloved someone behind to make space for self-expression and personal fulfillment in making music. You’d be right in thinking that this is autobiographical. The song is a single off of the band’s new EP, Seratonin. It’s out right now.

Link: Stream the EP here

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“Mars” by The Room in the Wood

Name: The Room in the Wood

From: Liverpool, UK

Sound: The spirit of Jim Morrison inhabits the bodies of two Liverpudlians to make a 2018-relevant political statement about the future of humanity.

Story: Stalwart Liverpool scenesters and former members of post-punk purveyors The Room, Dave Jackson and Paul Cavanagh have come together as The Room in the Wood to bring you this comment on our fascination with sexy technology that ultimately solves the wrong problems. This cut is taken from their newest release The Mars EP, out now.

Link: Listen to Mars EP here.

***

“Traces” by Moist

Name: Moist

From: Söderhamn, Sweden

Sound: Icy, wintry electronica that is the sonic equivalent of watching intricate, beautiful frost patterns form on the inside of a window as the snow falls gently outside.

Story: Moist (not to be confused with the Canadian band of the same name) is the creative vehicle for electronica musician and producer David Elfström Lilja. This cut is taken from his newest LP, Lavine, featuring the voice of singer Maria Marcus.

Link: Get the new record and learn more at moist.se.

***

Merry Holidays, you buggers!

(see – needs work …)

Until the New Year, then!

Happy Listening!

 

No Sailor Play “21 Rules”

Effervescent string band pop imbued with acoustic brightness, vocal and instrumental call and response interplay, and good-natured lyrical winks of the eye.

Here’s No Sailor with “21 Rules”

The “No Sailor” moniker is in place as a vehicle for the work of singer-songwriter Kieran Garvey and his collective of indie-folk-pop compatriots. The video you’re watching was shot one evening in a friend’s handmade barn in Pennsylvania, that state being a known hot spot for both handmade barns and acoustically-inclined string bands.

Getting the upright piano into the space for the shoot was a challenge, evidently. Kieran tells the story:

Getting the piano on and off the U-Haul wasn’t too much trouble, but getting it up the bent staircase to the loft space of the barn was PURE HELL. It was an absolute beast to lift. I think we had six or seven guys on it too, all a bit worried we’d die like a cartoon character and get crushed by a piano. In the end nothing but the piano was harmed as a little wheel broke off in the process. We were all super happy we made the extra effort though, as the piano looked great, sounded alright, and our pianist had a hell of a good time playing it and improvising between takes.

All’s well that ends well!

As for the song itself, “21 Rules” is concerned with rules of engagement and sometimes dubious and often on-point lines of etiquette to toe. You decide if the advice is worth taking, Casanova being in agreement notwithstanding.

Garvey and his band are set to release the first full-length No Sailor album in early 2019; Anchor Broken Free. To make sure you get the news on that release and other tidbits, be sure to follow No Sailor on Twitter.

Happy listening!

Kate Lomas Sings “Leave Out the Lows”

Bouncy and positive pop music, full of blippy synths and a subtle reggae feel. Maybe a Lily Allen comparison would be a bit lazy of me to make. But, there it is anyway.

Here’s Wiltshire-bred, London-based Kate Lomas with “Leave Out the Lows”

The song is a single that is the third in a series of collaborations with producer-mixer Guy Britton, demonstrating a lightness of touch to this song about not sweating the small stuff, and giving the people we love a bit more slack when it comes to minor slights. In the era we’re in right now, we have bigger fish to fry. So, leave out the lows, everyone.

The song has garnered some attention in Lomas’ native Great Britain, with BBC1 “track of the week” accolades and BBC Introducing features. In the middle of Brexit chaos and daily Trumpster fires, goodness knows anthems to positivity and the enjoyment of simple pleasures are needed!

To learn more about Kate Lomas, visit katelomas.co.uk.

Happy listening!

 

Destroy Boys Play “Soundproof”

Dual Left Coast rock n’ roll fury with a smirk and a crunch. Oakland, California-based duo Destroy Boys are Lead singer Alexia Roditis and guitarist Vi Mayugba, with a new record insistently titled Make Room out right now.

This is the single, and proof as to why Billie Joe Armstrong is a fan.

Considering themselves as the inheritors of Riot Grrl, the band formed in 2015 and writing their debut single “Think I Should Make Out With Other People” that same year. They proceeded to tour up and down the coast to build an appreciative fanbase. Soon after they found themselves name-checked in Rolling Stone, straight from the lips of the aforementioned Armstrong.

Not bad for a couple of high school students.

Nowadays the band are at college while still maintaining their output and touring schedule, confronting the world that is traditionally hostile to women who wish to forge their own paths, inside the music industry and out.

It all comes out in the songs.

So, what of this song, which is all about singer Roditis’ relationship with the act of singing itself? Well:

“‘Soundproof’ is a culmination of my thoughts and doubts about singing. I used to be skeptical of the praise people would give me and those doubts stick with me to this day. However, I’ve gotten over a lot of those fears, and now I’m sure I sound good. I like to walk around outside before we perform as a way to calm my nerves and get away from people’s attention. It’s a lot! Lots of eyes, judging, and I think “Soundproof” captures my fears pretty well. [New Noise Magazine, September, 2018. Read the whole article]

You can stream the new record on Spotify.

Learn more about Destroy Boys at their website.

Happy listening!

 

Royal Sings “Vessel”

Spare and stark, awash in late Autumn rainy-day melancholy and with a soulful vocal at the center of it all. Vancouver’s Royal (neé Jodi Pederson), lays it bare on this solo acoustic version of a track off of her most recent record, Heart of Shadows, released last week.

The song explores a familiar theme of losing oneself in longing for another, a thread that runs through many of the songs on the record.

Here’s the studio version, which puts a distinct downtempo electronica spin on the song. Yet, that melancholy remains.

For more on Royal, investigate her website.

Happy listening!