Pack of Three: Transistor Girl, Lightning Echoes, Cubicolor

An interior tale of (literal!) quiet regret delivered in a late night, post-rock package. A hopeful tune in times of trouble. And a polyrhythmic electronica excursion that draws all the right comparisons.

It’s Radio Free Lightning Bug’s weekly Pack of Three, friends.

Find your favourite below!

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“Quiet Regret” by Transistor Girl

Name: Transistor Girl

From: Geneva, Switzerland

Sound: Quietly brooding and compellingly tense and atmospheric post-rock awash with electronics and echoey guitar.

Story: Some songs tell grand narratives of high drama. Others tell stories that happen only in the most fleeting thoughts and collected emotional geography. No points for guessing where this track falls, kids. This song touches on themes that the title only teases at, with the slow build of the music bringing it to fruition via movie soundtrack influences and smoky, downcast vocals. This is one to listen to with the headphones on, lights out.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Vimeo

Spotify

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“In Circles” by Lightning Echoes

Name: Lightning Echoes

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sound: Optimistic and texturally varied folk-pop with earnest, hopeful lyrics sung in real, untreated voices.

Story: In an increasingly uncertain world, having some encouraging and hopeful anthems is welcome – even necessary. This is certainly one of them from producer/performer/multi-instrumentalist duo Kaitlin Deavy and Alejandro Zarazúa who go by the name Lightning Echoes. The two met while studying music technology and production, with their partnership flourishing out of creating work for their portfolios, and based on a common love for smart pop music that goes beyond the expected. “In Circles” is their debut single.

Links:

Official site

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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“Counterpart” by Cubicolor

Name: Cubicolor

From: London, UK and Amsterdam, Holland

Sound: Haunting electronica with jazzy flourishes, ominous strings, and quietly menacing textures.

Story: Radiohead and Massive Attack comparisons abound with this trio made up of Dutch producers Ariaan Olieroock and Peter Kriek, and British producer / lead vocalist Tim Digby-Bell. Those comparisons are ultimately pretty justifiable. On this track, their newest single, they deliver the sonic richness contained within aural environments that are equal parts compelling and foreboding to easily place them in that company. The single is a follow-up to their debut album, 2016’s Brainsugar.

Links:

Soundcloud

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Time to round up your impressions, everyone. What are your thoughts? How have the above rocked your world, or kept it from rocking in the best possible way?

Do tell, and as always,

Happy Listening!

Klammer Play “Spiral Girl”

Klammer are a four-piece band from Leeds, UK putting out music that is unabashedly tied to the golden age of post-punk and in the traditions of Gang of Four, Wire, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Killing Joke.

Here’s their latest single, “Spiral Girl”, the second from their third and latest record You Have Been Processed due out on vinyl and CD on August 10, 2018.

Listen and watch.

With such a sonic affiliation for 1979 as evidenced here, maybe it’s surprising to learn that the band formed in 2014,  comprised of Paul “Poss” Strickland (voice, guitar), Steve Whitfield (guitar, producer), Bruno Almeida (drums), and Mike Addy (bass). Whitfield’s background as sound engineer, particularly in his work with The Cure and The Mission, coupled with the other members’ interest in the stark and subterranean post-punk sound helped to provide a template for the band.

Putting out records like this in the 2010s when musical eras are pretty fluid thanks to the unprecedented access that streaming services present to music fans only helps to strengthen their cause. These days, 1979 isn’t a year or era so much as it’s a musical approach, when sounds can be sourced from any point on the pop music spectrum. What the band is doing registers with modern fans, championed by Steve Lamacq on BBC6 radio among others. That’s led to appearances on the same stages as The Skids, The Undertones, Rocket From the Tombs, and The Membranes, proving that what Klammer are doing resonates with original fans of the post-punk era, too.

“Spiral Girl” is a prime example of how well that sound translates into a modern era, featuring echoey guitar and reverb-soaked production with a hint of the Middle-East in the melody lines. This compositional approach is not unlike those in the Bunnymen’s “The Cutter”, but with a distinct appeal of its own; angular and with a sense of disquiet meandering in and out of an otherwise accessible pop structure. All in all, this is the appeal of post-punk in general, mixing guitars-bass-drums with elements that bypass the blues and include ingredients listeners don’t always expect instead.

Klammer prove that the tradition is alive and well, escaping the bonds of history and finding a place in the present to excite audiences native to all eras.

The “Spiral Girl” single was released on July 13 on vinyl and download. Buy it on iTunes, Bandcamp and stream it on Spotify.

Expect the new album, You Have Been Processed, on August 10, 2018.

Happy Listening!

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Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

 

 

Pack of Three: Miss Eaves, Ume, Painted on Silent Blue

A feminist anthem that doesn’t beat around the bush (or does it?). A love song about the equally creative and destructive nature of love and the spirit of youthful abandon. And a song about what it’s like to be front and centre while wishing for solace.

That’s what’s up for your listening pleasure in this week’s Pack of Three, friends.

So, do not hesitate! Open yer earholes!

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“Bush for the Push” by Miss Eaves

Name: Miss Eaves

From: Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA

Sound: Electroclash and hip-hop with a head full of feminist vigour and an ass meant for shakin’.

Story: Miss Eaves (aka multimedia artist Shanthony Exum) delivers this political celebration of what’s down below, and gets a little hairy while doing so. Full of hip hop dexterity and bounce matched with blippy, dreamy electronics, Miss Eaves sings an ode to that which grows wild on the mons pubis. Narrow-mindedness and even scorn around the subject of hair particularly as it relates to sexuality has always been a burden placed on women. But this song reminds us that the hair down there can be about freedom, too. This track is taken from her ME AF EP coming out August 3, 2018. Miss Eaves kicks off a DIY summer tour beginning on July 21 in the UK and including some dates in continental Europe into August.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Spotify

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“Crushed” by Ume

Name: Ume

From: Austin, TX, USA

Sound: Ethereal, anthemic, and edgy post-punk that fans of Metric should really hear.

Story: “Crushed” is the second single from this band’s newest and upcoming record Other Nature (July 20, 2018), a tune that was written in dedication to lead vocalist Lauren Larson’s daughter. It touches on the transformative nature of love, with destruction and re-creation characterizing the whole. That spark of youthful vitality is also a touchpoint here, with Larson’s memories of front row Fugazi concerts as a guide to its creation, an event inspiring her to make music of her own. Working with producer Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, Loretta Lynn, Modest Mouse), that’s what she’s done with her bandmates with the new record, their follow up to 2014’s Monuments. Catch them on tour starting on July 13.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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“Niemandsland” by Painted on Silent Blue

Name: Painted on Silent Blue

From: Vienna, Austria

Sound: Gentle, lilting, light-as-air dream pop – in German!

Story: This song, translated “No Man’s Land”,  is an introvert’s anthem as penned by an actual introvert; frontwoman Katrin Kisza. This cut is for anyone who’s ever resented the ringing of a phone while in the middle of a personal reverie, but also for herself using that same impulse to wish the world away that inspired many a session at the piano to write. The song is the second single taken from the band’s newest record, Heaven Is, their third.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Bandcamp

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So there it is, friends. What are your thoughts on these musical treasures? Do tell! Otherwise,

Happy Listening!

Colour Film Play “Open Road”

Matthew de Zoete (duh-ZOO-tuh) is a singer-songwriter based in southern Ontario, Canada who puts out music under the name Colour Film, which was also the title of his third record and its title track. (Ed: In another life, I even wrote about it!).

Since 2006, he’s been an active recording artist, songwriter, and live performer, appearing on stages with the best Canadian talent including Great Lake Swimmers, Serena Ryder, Whitehorse, and others. In 2016, he released the EP Super 8, featuring the centrepiece single, “The Money’s on the Dresser”.

Now, he’s released his newest single “Open Road”, featuring Caroline Brooks of folk-pop paragons The Good Lovelies.

Watch the video right here!

The song was inspired by a bike ride with de Zoete’s wife and two young daughters. They had pulled up ahead and a distance away from him at one point during their day out, inspiring de Zoete to think of his family as a kind of road to take him on a good journey.

To keep things authentic, the video (shot by Nathan Fleet) reproduced that ride, taking the same route that inspired him to write the song the day after the trip. This time is was Brooks who handled the bike duties.

With “Open Road” there’s a common thread that’s found in a lot of de Zoete’s music, particularly brought out in the video; Super 8 footage and the kind of gauzy memories of home movies captured on that vintage medium that has been the source of inspiration to de Zoete for many years.

With the wistful folk-pop of the song itself serving as soundtrack, the video seems to replicate that same gauzy and grainy quality of our favourite memories as we commonly experience them; as emotional impressions that we carry with us on our journeys. They are not always clearly defined, yet they shimmer with their own kind effusive beauty that somehow remains constant no matter where our journeys take us.

The song itself evokes the realization that we’re constantly leaving moments behind us, and that those moments ahead of us with the ones we love are all the more precious because of it. “Open Road” is a love song firmly planted in what’s most important to us when the distractions of our lives are set aside in favour of those things that give the journeys we take the most meaning.

It’s also about the people with whom we travel for however long we can, cherishing their company, and intertwining our memories with theirs. This can lead to journeys of other sorts, with their love for us and ours for them becoming a road that takes us to places inside of ourselves we never would have thought to go.

Happy listening!

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Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

CD Baby

 

Pack of Three: Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit, Chris Kelly and Nicole Gibson, Greg in Good Company

Pop music is a broad church, friends. It certainly spans our range of emotions, appealing to the varied reaches of our brains and souls. It almost makes you think that music in all of its forms is a human requirement or something.

Huh.

That’s for something to chew on as you listen, right?

And what have we got for you this week? Some growly and hard-edged blues rock with plenty of flames and leather, a soaring radio-friendly love song, and a rootsy and wistful tale of gratitude.

How can you resist?

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“Undertow” by Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit

Name: Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit

From: Austin, TX, USA

Sound: Hard-edged and soulful blues rock with a touch of hellfire-preacher menace.

Story: Featured on their most recent album Judgement Eve released at the beginning of June 2018, Sam Pace and co. continue to delve into the shadowy side of the blues with plenty of rock wattage as fuel to the fire. There is literal fire to this song as evidenced by the video, of course. But there’s also a Nick Cave-like biblical-scale end-of-days fire knitted into the sinews of this cut, too. Watch out for the next upcoming single, “Love and Anger” coming out later this month.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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“Swim to You” by Chris Kelly and Nicole Gibson

Name: Chris Kelly & Nicole Gibson aka “Kelly and Gibson”

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sound: Anthemic and melodic pop rock that was made for mainstream radio, if only mainstream radio knew what it was doing (which it doesn’t).

Story: Centered around the songwriting and voices of the principle two who once met at a merch table while in different bands, and having since built themselves up from their roots as a YouTube duet machine, Kelly and Gibson is now a five-piece band. This is their newest single, a love song about powerful connections and the efforts it takes to keep them. They had the good sense to shoot the video in the outlying areas of Vancouver where mountains and sea have formed a love bond of their own. This song sounds like it fits right in.

Links:

Official site

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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“Carrie’s Song (Told Me to Sing)” by Greg in Good Company

Name: Greg in Good Company

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sound: Soulful roots rock with an irresistible, mile-wide streak of cinematic melancholy.

Story: Performing as a unit in Southern California for a few years, Greg in Good Company have kept their options open when it comes to genres, with rock, pop, folk, funk, and even punk finding their way into the mix. This cut is a single that will feature on their upcoming album American Way that’s set for release on July 20, 2018. You can hear the raw gratitude and wistfulness in the lines, bolstered by an ah-ah vocal hook in the chorus that will set up shop in your head. Just let it happen, friends.

Links:

Official site

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

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So, what vibes are you feeling on these, friends? How’s your summer playlists coming? What’s the last track you heard that you now cannot live without?

Let’s talk about music!

Happy Listening!

PS – Happy 4th of July, Americans! Remember to vote in the mid-term elections November, especially if you’re 18-34 and not a fascist! It’s a ways away, I know. But don’t forget!

Ana Egge Sings “Dance Around The Room With Me”

The best music touches us where we live, in an emotional place. Sometimes though, we get tied up in our emotions to the point where we can’t even identify how we’re feeling. That’s what this song from singer-songwriter Ana Egge is about; finding the strength to cut loose from that, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, and becoming more aware of ourselves as a result.

Now, she’s passing that same spirit of bravery, emotional honesty, and independence on to her now four-year old daughter, embodied in this song, “Dance Around the Room with Me” taken from her newest record White Tiger.

This kind of liberation was instilled in the songwriter from early on. Egge was raised by free-spirited parents and encouraged to explore her possibilities from childhood to the time the music bug seriously took hold. From there, she built her own guitar (which she still plays today) while apprenticing under a luthier, and set out on a musical journey of her own design.

Since her first record in the late 1990s, she’s shared stages with Lucinda Williams (who once called her “the Nina Simone of folk), Shawn Colvin, and Texas Swing legends Asleep at the Wheel, with whom she collaborated in the studio. She’s appeared on albums by Ron Sexsmith and Joel Plaskett, and has worked with producers Steve Earle and Martin Terefe, among others.

Photo: Shervin Lainez

With this song, she builds from a folk-pop musical base comprised of her warm acoustic guitar and light-as-air vocal. She throws in a few sonic surprises too with some ambient keyboards and subtle strings that make this song wistful and joyous all at once. And that “opens up, opens up your heart” hook will stay with you, friends.

It could be argued that this is a children’s song, dedicated as it is to Egge’s daughter and featuring a video that centres around children too. But an important takeaway here is that the sentiments of being free to feel one’s emotions as they are is a challenge set before all of us. This makes this song something of a defiant anthem in an age that seems to proudly tote “fuck your feelings” sentiments on the reg.

“Dance Around the Room With Me” is an antidote to that brand of callousness and disregard for the feelings of others, and ultimately our own feelings too. That makes this song pretty easy to love, and proves too that we have lots to learn about ourselves no matter how old we are.

Ana Egge is about to embark on a tour of the east coast of the US, with select dates in Canada and the UK, and some dates opening for Iris DeMent. Her new album White Tiger is out right now.

Happy listening!

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Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Pack of Three: Not Of, The Soft Underground, Welles

Sometimes, as Twisted Sister once said, you wanna rock.

That’s what we have for you all today, friends. In this edition of Pack of Three, our weekly (or close to it!) series that puts the spotlight on three stand-out acts presenting new music for the masses, we focus on the RAWK side of the musical spectrum.

Who have we got to listen to, stomp to, smash up the seats to, today?

Find out below.

Indulge yourself! Plug in!

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“Astoria Jack” by Not Of

Name: Not Of

From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sound: Post-punk inspired and riff-centric noise-rock that goes off in unexpected directions.

Story: Featuring on their upcoming record Hypocratic Oath (released on July 20, 2018)this Toronto duo recently spent an unexpected length of time in the studio as a songwriting frenzy took hold of them. This song, “Astoria Jack” was one of the products of that series of sessions, a tune that runs like a monstrous syncopated engine and, frankly, makes you want to break things. In  good way.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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“Rachel” by The Soft Underground

Name: The Soft Underground

From: New York City, NY, USA

Sound: Nineties grunge meets seventies stoner rock with a generous dollop of sixties heavy psych.

Story: New York’s The Soft Underground channel classic Temple of the Dog/Stone Temple Pilots vibes on this cut, a harbinger for the band’s newest release Morning World (dropping July 27, 2018). This is a fuzzed out assault that includes a face-melting guitar solo about halfway through. You know how hard it is to write up a band after they’ve melted your face? Well, I do!

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

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“Hold Me Like I’m Leaving” by Welles

Name: Welles

From: Ozark, AR (now based in Nashville, TN, USA)

Sound: Cobainesque delivery meets a decidedly southern-fried rock tendency, complete with a cheeky Beatles reference.

Story: Certainly allied with a new classic rock movement (if that’s a thing!) as typified by Greta Van Fleet and The Sheepdogs, and bringing some southern swagger along with it, Welles (aka Jeh Sea Wells) lives and breathes rock music rooted in its sixties and seventies FM radio traditions. This cut quotes The Beatles’ “Can you take me back” outro on “Cry Baby Cry” from The White Album and builds a solid sonic fortress from those sturdy melodic foundations. Welles’ newest record, Red Trees and White Trashes is out right now.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

YouTube

Instagram

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Now that the room you’ve listened to these tracks in is completely trashed and on fire (not your fault, it was the tunes!), give me your impressions, friends!

Happy listening!