Weekly Roundup: Kendrick Lamar, The Black Ryder, Bouquet, OOFJ

Posted by Billy Gil, February 13, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment

Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker the Berry”

kendrick lamarA razor-sharp indictment of racism in the United States without sounding heavy-handed, “The Blacker the Berry” is one of the best things we’ve heard yet from Kendrick Lamar, which, given the overwhelming quality of good kid, m.A.A.d city, is saying something. The Compton rapper hasn’t yet announced the details of that album’s follow-up, but having heard this track and “i,” we’re betting it’ll be every bit as remarkable.


The Black Ryder – “Let Me Be Your Light”

the black ryderAustralian shoegaze duo The Black Ryder are now Angelenos and have a new album on the way called The Door Behind the Door, due Feb. 24. If you’ve ever fantasized about a collaboration between Slowdive and The Verve, this is for you. Washy guitars, a post-punk bassline and soothing female vocals combine with angelic synths for a song that sounds like what they play when the Pearly Gates open. Go to the light!

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Weekly Roundup: Them Are Us Too, Dunes, Birth Defects, Nic Hessler, Gateway Drugs, Jack Name

Posted by Billy Gil, February 6, 2015 09:17am | Post a Comment

Them Are Us Too – “Us Now”

them are us tooCali duo Them Are Us Too call to mind early Cocteau Twins with a more electronic bent, or School of Seven Bells precursor On!Air!Library!, if anyone remembers that cool band. Kennedy Ashlyn’s vocals dance up and down a ladder scale while Cash Askew’s guitar wails around her and little keyboard notes sparkle overheard. The band’s album, Remain, is due March 24 on Dais.


Dunes – “Circles”

dunesAnother wonderful dream-pop track comes to us from L.A.’s Dunes. True to its name, “Circles” is somewhat elliptical, starting with cascading, layered vocals and reverbed guitars before moving into silky disco beat and prickly post-punk guitar lines. Dunes’ last album was Noctiluca back in 2012. They’re working on new material now and will play with Roses and Moaning Feb. 16 at Harvard & Stone.

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Weekly Roundup: Mikal Cronin, Bouquet, Tennis System, OOFJ, Deerhoof

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2015 08:54am | Post a Comment

Mikal Cronin – “Made Up My Mind”

mikal croninPower-pop master Mikal Cronin has announced his third album, the aptly titled MCIII, which will be out May 5 on Merge. And he’s shared the first song from it. “Made Up My Mind” has one of those great rocketship riffs Cronin does so well, along with some playful piano and Cronin’s weary earnest voice offering bittersweet melodies and lyrics. Cronin played every instrument on the new album, which includes a six-song suite. He’ll be at S.F.’s The Independent April 22 and the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock May 1.


Bouquet – “Stacks on Stacks”

bouquetSometimes you hear just a couple of notes of a song and you know you love it. Such is the case with Bouquet’s “Stacks on Stacks,” which touches on early electronic music with breathy, romantic female vocals akin to Stereolab, Beach House or our dearly departed Broadcast. The L.A.-based duo is composed of guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, formerly of folk-poppers The Finches, and keyboardist Max Foreman of the experimental trio Tenebre. If you’re as curious as I am about Bouquet, check out their In a Dream EP, due March 10 via Ulrike/Folktale, and/or check them out with Zola Jesus Feb. 8 at Santa Ana’s Observatory.

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Weekly Roundup: Jack Name, Tobias Jesso Jr., Vetiver, DVA Damas, Spirit Club, Hundred Waters, Sarah Bethe Nelson

Posted by Billy Gil, January 23, 2015 10:36am | Post a Comment

Jack Name – “Waiting for Another Moon”

jack nameLast week we shared noisy space-rocker “Watcher Talk,” from L.A. lo-fi maestro Jack Name’s new album, Weird Moons, which came out this week via Castle Face. Sample another track via The New York TimesT Magazine, featuring Name’s weary vocals singing existentially about the cycle of life, death and boredom over trumpeting synths. Check it out and the rest of Weird Moons if you’re into the likes of Ariel Pink, John Maus and older White Fence (of which Name was once a member).







Tobias Jesso Jr. “How Could You Babe”

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Weekly Roundup: The Soft Moon, Hanni El Khatib & Freddie Gibbs, Jack Name, Nedelle Torisi, Wand, Sonny & The Sunsets

Posted by Billy Gil, January 16, 2015 11:21am | Post a Comment

Hello! Welcome back to Weekly Roundup. If it’s your first time here, I gather songs and videos by artists from the greater L.A. and Bay Area that have been released over the past week or so. Here’s the first one of 2015.

The Soft Moon “Black” (Trentemoller Remix)

soft moon black trentemoller remixWe’ve already heard the strangely enlivening dark pulse of “Black,” the first single from Oakland artist The Soft Moon’s new album, Deeper (out March 31 on Captured Tracks; preorder now). This Trentemoller remix gives the darkwave track an even dimmer shade, taking it from hedonistic dancefloor jam to musky afterparty track. The Soft Moon will be at S.F.’s The Chapel April 28 and L.A.’s Roxy April 30.



Hanni El Khatib & Freddie Gibbs – “Satin Black”

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