Gamblers Play “Corinthian Order”

Happy/sad indie pop from Brooklyn, NY’s Gamblers. It’s “Corinthian Order”, an anthem not so much to a dramatic break-up as it is about the slow death of a relationship. Here’s the video, friends.

Time to watch.

Gamblers is fronted by Michael McManus, who in another life is an accomplished hip-hop producer. That stream of musical interest seems pretty far away from this (to my ears) eighties-influenced post-punk pop song with a breathy lead vocal full of resignation. Gamblers’ line up is rounded out by Gary O’Keefe (lead guitar, backing vocals, production), Boris Palacios (guitar, keyboard, production), and Evan O’Donovan (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals).

The video was shot in a defunct DIY venue Suburbia, and seems to be a character itself in the story of a bereft man cast appropriately in literal blue through out whose life as he knows it is slipping away from him. It was shot by filmmaker Tyler Walker who started working with the band after overhearing them talk about music videos in a cafe that McManus’ family has owned and operated since 1936. Walker was serving tables at the time, including the band’s that night. Right place, right time strikes again!

This song is the title cut from their upcoming EP Corinthian Order, out now.

Get more insight on Gamblers at their official site. Be sure to check out the animated video for another song on the new EP, “We’re Bound to Be Together”, also directed by Tyler Walker.

Happy listening!

Pack of Three: The Matchstick Skeletons, Teenage Wedding, Saint Slumber

Lemmy-meets-James-Brown blues rock. Dreamy, spacey indie pop. Acoustic and ambient pop balladry.

This is your Radio Free Lightning Bug pack of three for the week, friends.

Lend me your ears.

***

“I Told Ya So” by The Matchstick Skeletons

Name: The Matchstick Skeletons

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sound: Fuzzy and minimalist blues rock with a whiff of the funk that kicks your musical door in.

Story: This Vancouver-based duo comprised of singer/multi-instrumentalist Neu Mannas and drummer Matty Carolei is well-traveled and their sound hard-won. After recording and travels abroad with original outfit Head of the Herd, not to mention work in film composing and sound engineering on the part of singer and multi-instrumentalist Mannas, the two musicians set to work on becoming the kind of band they needed to be; one full of funk-inspired and metallic blues-rock underpinnings. This is their debut single.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

***

“Wow! Signal” by Teenage Wedding

Name: Teenage Wedding

From: Victoria, BC, Canada

Sound: Breezy and jangly indie rock that sidles up to you and demurely asks if you’d like to dance to the Stereolab song that just came on.

Story: Active on their native (and as it happens, my native) West Coast playing shows with Wolf Parade, The Courtneys, and others, Teenage Wedding throws all of their interests into a big melodic and lyrically quirky pot; science fiction, Broadcast, religious mythology, Sonic Youth, Carl Sagan, Jungian psychology all make appearances. This song, taken from their second record The Sophia of Teenage Wedding (out now), is about a dance craze beamed from outer space that results in the next stage of human enlightenment. How can you not get behind that?

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

***

“Infinite” by Saint Slumber

Name: Saint Slumber

From: “The suburban sprawl between Philadelphia and New York City”, USA.

Sound: Acoustic meets ambient pop with a bank of melancholy clouds in a late, early evening summer sky.

Story: Serving as the final track and third single on their upcoming EP Youth/2 (due out September 14th), this song is the result of a concentrated effort in getting back to basics with their sound; acoustic guitar, voice, minimal percussion, and a wash of electronic sound in the background. This song is their first “ballad”, also a concentrated effort to expand their range as they build momentum with increasing streaming of their music, and appearances at festivals alongside Dashboard Confessional, and others.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

***

What do you think, music fans? Have you found your new favourite band today?

Tell me all about it, old school, in the comments.

And as always,

Happy Listening!

Pack of Three: Alice Merton, Slothrust, Thirsty Curses

Fiery new wave disco rage pop. Crunchy stream of consciousness folk-punk. Jaunty, fun-loving indie pop.

That’s what we’ve set up for you in this week’s Radio Free Lightning Bug Pack of Three. Knock ’em down one by one by listening here.

***

“Lash Out” by Alice Merton

Name: Alice Merton

From: Berlin, Germany (by way of many points on the map)

Sound: Upbeat guitar pop with a hint of PJ Harvey bite and Florence Welch attack, ready made for the dance floor

Story: Alice Merton was formally trained in composition in Manheim, Germany, although she spent her early life in Canada, with stops in the US, England, and Germany with an English dad and a German mum. How’s that for an international sensation? Recently, she’s done the rounds on North American TV appearances including Kelly & Ryan, and The Late, Late Show with James Corden, and has been listed as “one to watch” in Rolling Stone. This song featured on her latest EP No Roots, is about resisting the pull to fall in line with the expectations of others, instead forging a path of one’s own.

Links:

Official site

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

***

“Birthday Cake” by Slothrust

Name: Slothrust

From: Boston, MA, USA

Sound: Folk-influenced alternative rock infused with punk rock spirit and stream of consciousness flow.

Story: Originally premiering on Consequence of Sound, this track from Bostonian-bred, LA-based indie rock band Slothrust (Sloth-rust as opposed to slo-thrust, friends), this cut as taken from the band’s upcoming record The Pact (out September 14, 2018). It’s one of a selection of singles that serve as a harbinger to that release. You can read this interview on Billboard magazine with creative lead Leah Wellbaum who talks about the new record, among other things. You can then hear yet another single of theirs, “Peach”.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Spotify

***

“Dimlit Cathedral” by Thirsty Curses

Name: Thirsty Curses

From: Raleigh, NC, USA

Sound: Cheeky, bouncy indie pop that doesn’t take itself so goddamn seriously, but seriously gets in your head all the same.

Story: “The only way to get these songs out of your head is with a bullet” says Thirsty Curses front man Wilson Getchell during the recording of the band’s newest record All Shook Up, which is out right now, friends. That’s kinda dark, maybe. But this tune helps to illustrate the point by its brightness, buoyed up by frenetic playing and affable delivery, not to mention a kaleidoscopic animated video that matches with the childlike energy of the music. The song and the rest of the record was produced by none other than Mitch Easter, he of Let’s Active and the early production chair occupier for a little band called REM.

Links:

Official site

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

***

Which way do the musical winds blow for you, gentle wayfaring music fan? Tell me your tales in the comments!

Happy Listening!

The Shakes Play “With Every Moment”

Orange County, CA’s The Shakes mix indie-pop hooks with ambient textures, certainly evidenced by this track “With Every Moment”. The song just happens to be the title track to the band’s most recent EP With Every Moment, released last month. The song is inspired by real-life, and even shocking events, initiating a reassessment of what’s most important.

Listen here.

The inspiration for this song began with a traffic accident in which Sean Perry of The Shakes was indirectly involved, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. A car streaked past him on the right through an amber light. Another car collided with it, flipping the car over multiple times; the loudest sound he ever heard. With ensuing police and other emergency vehicles on the scene, and after answering questions, Perry made his way home with a new perspective on moments as they unfold.

As a result, the song concerns itself how each one is precious. This is not in a trite sort of way, but rather in the way that one comes to realize as one grips a steering wheel and looks out into an intersection full of metal and glass. The precious nature of moments is part and parcel to the reality that things can change suddenly from one moment to the next, sometimes with tragic consequences.

The 4-track With Every Moment EP is available now.

***

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

iTunes

Spotify

 

Pack of Three: The Almighty Rhombus, Scratch, Astari Nite

Very hooky guitar pop from up north in nickel country. Languid and compelling psych rock from two continents at once. And a subterranean dark wave excursion from the grim shores of … wait… Miami, Florida (???).

This is what it is to experience this week’s pack of three here on RFLB, friends.

Get your ears on!

***

“Last Century” by The Almighty Rhombus

Name: The Almighty Rhombus

From: Sudbury, ON, Canada

Sound: Ebullient, guitar-driven indie rock with an audible smirk on its face, but always with your best interests in mind re: hooks a-plenty!

Story: An agenda is set with this song, the lead track off a new EP called Swish: to kick ass, which it does. There’s certainly a reason for that, given that Sudbury, Ontario’s The Almighty Rhombus has spent the last few years touring, experimenting with new approaches to writing songs, and road-testing material. This one is a band favourite, produced by Ian Blurton (The Weakerthans, Change of Heart, Jeen, et al) and is a clear reflection of their own amalgam of styles that range from punk to new wave to psych. Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of this band for years, folks.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Twitter

 

***

“I Don’t Mind” by Scratch

Name: Scratch

From: New York, NY, USA and Perth, Australia

Sound: Slow-burn psychedelic and hazy jam rock that takes its time working its way into your brain.

Story: What’s a few thousand miles between bandmates? Not much, according to Scratch members Ruzbeh Irani who calls Perth, Australia home and Avinash Lalwani who resides in New York. Thanks to technology and other means, these two childhood friends are able to make the kind of music that sounds just like a band that’s right there in the room with you. This song, one of their earliest compositions and a personal favourite of the duo. It’s one of two released recently (the other is “The Key”), both of which will feature on their upcoming debut record coming out sometime this year.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Instagram

 

***

“Sunday Queen” by Astari Nite

Name: Astari Nite

From: Miami, FLA, USA

Sound: Retro guitar and synth dark wave drenched in requisite late-seventies, early-eighties reverb.

Story: Incredibly not from a northern industrial town in Britain, but rather from sun-drenched Miami, Florida, revivalist post-punk trio Astari Nite pull out all the stops on a Peter Murphy/Bauhaus and early Cure-inspired sound. They have indeed shared stages with the aforementioned Murphy, plus the Psychedelic Furs, Andy Rourke, and Modern English. This is the lead track and single off of their new record Midnight Conversations, out now.

Links:

Facebook

Bandcamp

Twitter

***

What do you reckon, dear listeners? Have you discovered your new favourite band? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Happy Listening!

Pack of Three: Frøkedal, Valley Queen, The Suffers

Overcast optimism from Norway. Jangly aural sunshine from SoCal. Effervescent funk-soul from Houston, Texas. It’s time for this week’s pack of three, everyone.

Prepare your ears for some heavy weather!

***

“David” by Frøkedal

Name: Frøkedal

From: Oslo, Norway

Sound: Yearning Nordic folk-rock meets shimmering, wintry dream pop, cast in distinct shades of melancholic blue.

Story: Anne Lise Frøkedal’s newest single from her upcoming album How We Made It seems elegiac, pervaded with wintry gloom. But there’s hope to be found in its lines, and purposefully so. While recording the album, Frøkedal knew she needed a bit of light to shine through to complement the shades of grey. Recorded in part during a session in a remote location at the top of a hill overlooking an amazing vista below, “David” is a reflection of the hope we sometimes miss in our own lives. The new album, How We Made It is due out August 31, 2018.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

***

“Chasing The Muse” by Valley Queen

Name: Valley Queen

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sound: Anthemic indie pop with a splash of longing reminiscent of The Cranberries and The Sundays.

Story: With a sound led by singular vocalist/guitarist Natalie Carol, Valley Queen provides an equally sunshine-soaked and deeply contemplative anthem, featuring Carol’s uniquely cadenced vocals matched with an sparkling pop jangle. The song is a highlight on their newest record, Supergiant. The album is named after celestial bodies and a subtle reminder that we are all, in fact, made of stars. The new record is out now. Valley Queen will be playing a show in their native LA on July 28 at The Moroccan Lounge, the beginning of a North American tour through the summer and into the Autumn of 2018.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

***

“Do Whatever” by The Suffers

Name: The Suffers

From: Houston, TX, USA

Sound: Earthy, horny, seventies and eighties-style breezy funk-soul with a smooth jazzy lilt.

Story: Established in 2011, this eight-piece Houstonian soul band makes music for all frames of mind and for a wide range of human experience. Since their formation they’ve toured extensively, gathering adoring fans all along the way, including one David Letterman who, after their performance on his show, once declared: “if you can’t do this, get out of the business”. High praise indeed! Their newest record Everything Here is out now. For readers local to the lavish offices of Radio Free Lightning Bug, you can catch The Suffers at this year’s Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival.

Links:

Official site

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

***

How did those tunes appeal to your musical sensibilities, friends? Pretend it’s 2009 and tell me in the comments section! While you contemplate that request:

Happy Listening!