Monday, June 14, 2021

Sunshine & the Blue Moon - "Born 2 Boogie"

Photo by Laura-Lynn Petrick

"Born 2 Boogie" is just a fun, dirty rock 'n' roll song. Sunshine & the Blue Moon claim that the song was inspired by bands like The Doors and The Stooges, and they are definitely not wrong. "Born 2 Boogie" is this slinky garage rocker from the ages before punk was a thing. The lyrics are kinda silly, and it's not a fast song, but it straight up rocks. It's like if The Stooges took one of their eight minute freak out album filler songs, got serious about it, and turned it into a four minute monster. 

In a press release, the band says of the song:

"This track was borne out of ripping around town and rocking out at dingy venues – all the broke people getting together to cut loose at shows.
This one was real fun to record. Getting to sing those silly lyrics and do those over the top screams, it's almost cathartic."

You can watch the video for "Born 2 Boogie" below. Born 2 Boogie is due out June 25 on Majestic Silk Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Sunshine & the Blue Moon, check out the band's website.

Emily Davis and the Murder Police - "Don't Make a Promise"

Photo by Fernie Ceniceros

Emily Davis and the Murder Police are a folk-punk band out of El Paso, TX. Usually bands described as folk punk lean quite heavily on the folk side of that description. On their latest single, "Don't Make a Promise," Davis and band unleash this fiery blast of a song. It sounds like Dolores O'Riordan fronting early Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls or mid 90's Dropkick Murphys. But, you know... southern. This is hard and heavy folk music that forces its way into punk. Plus, Davis' vocals have a little bit of a theatrical metal edge to them, and the band busts out what may be the greatest guitar solo in the history of folk punk.

You can listen to "Don't Make a Promise" below. Never a Moment Alone is due out June 25. You can pre-order your copy via Bandcamp. For more on Emily Davis and the Murder Police, check out the band's website.

Bella White Covers Buck Meek

Photo via Facebook

Just as most artists are winding down at home performances and covers series, Bella White has started one up! This week saw the beginning of her "Under the Covers" series which will see her covering a song from another artist from the comfort of her bed weekly. The debut edition is a cover of Buck Meek's "Candle" from his Two Saviors album released back in January. It's obviously going to be a more stripped down version and missing the steel guitar of the original, but other than that it's quite true to the original. White takes Meek's song and makes it more of a traditionally folk song. It's a gorgeous cover that sounds far better than most bedroom covers, and we can't wait for week two!

In a Facebook post, White explains her choice of "Candle":

"when this song came out in January I found myself listening to it a lot. Perhaps I was relying on it (and the whole album) as a source for escapism to get through the pandemic winter. i hope you enjoy my take."

You can watch Bella White covering "Candle" below. For more on Bella White, check out the artist's website.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tamar Berk - The Restless Dreams of Youth

Tamara Berk started off playing in indie bands in Chicago and Portland. Now she's located in San Diego and has released her debut solo album. The Restless Dreams of Youth is filled with twelve songs that are going to give you 90's singer/songwriter alt-rock flashbacks. These are straight up rock songs along the lines of artists like whitechocolatespaceegg era Liz Phair and Juliana Hatfield. What's truly great is how the album feels like a cohesive collection of songs without being repetitive. "Shadow Clues" is a hard rock song, "Socrates & Me" is still an acoustic rocker, and "A New Case" is a piano driven ballad. All of these songs are sequential on the album and all three are wildly different while still sounding like they all belong. And then "Better off Meditating" is a power pop delight. If you have a certain fondness for mid 90's radio friendly alt-rock, you need to check out Tamar Berk.

You can watch the video for "Shadow Clues" below. The Restless Dreams of Youth is available now via Bandcamp. For more on Tamar Berk, check out the artist's Facebook.

Destroy Boys - "Drink"

Photo by Ash Gellman

The latest from Northern California's Destroy Boys isn't going to make punk purists happy, but I don't think they really care. "Drink" fits into that newfangled punk category that is poppy and almost kinda dancey while still being a rock song. It almost sounds like Mannequin Pussy decided to make a mid 90's power pop song while listening to a ton of Be Your Own Pet. Having a song be this firmly planted in the world of pop while still having a true punk edge is an interesting sound. Somehow, the song comes across as being oddly comforting which is rare in the world of punk.

You can listen to "Drink" below. You can get a copy of the single here. For more on Destroy Boys, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates on the Sad Summer Festival with All Time Low, The Story So Far, The Maine, and more are below the song.

AUG 6, 2021 Heart Health Park Sacramento, CA
AUG 7, 2021 City National Grove Outdoors Anaheim, CA
AUG 20, 2021 The Orlando Amphitheater at the Central Florida Fairgrounds Orlando, FL
AUG 21, 2021 The Masquerade Outdoors Atlanta, GA
AUG 27, 2021The Rooftop at Pier 17 New York, NY
AUG 28, 2021 MECU Pavilion Baltimore, MD
AUG 31, 2021 EXPRESS LIVE! Outdoor Columbus, OH
SEP 3, 2021 Stone Pony Summer Stage Asbury Park, NJ
SEP 4, 2021 The Palladium (Outdoors) Worcester, MA
SEP 5, 2021 Skyline Stage @ The Mann Philadelphia, PA
SEP 7, 2021 Stage AE Outdoors Pittsburgh, PA
SEP 10, 2021 The Rave / Eagles Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
SEP 11, 2021 Crofoot Festival Grounds Pontiac, MI

Jyroscope & Montana Macks - "Frozen In Time"

Photo by Jason Nelims

For the first time in the history of If It's Too Loud..., we may have discovered a hip hop song that fits our aesthetic. Chicago's Jyroscope (I.B. Fokuz, Collasoul Structure, and DJ Seanile) have an upcoming collaborative EP with Montana Macks that is basically about finding the balance between family life responsibilities, work, and your following your art. The first single, "Frozen In Time," is a chilled out old school hip hop song the likes of which I haven't heard in decades. With it's killer horn, it reminds me of Guru joining De La Soul. There's something almost meditative in "Frozen In Time" without it being even remotely dull.

I.B. Fokuz says of the challenge in finding a life balance:

As husbands and fathers, artists... asiatic men. The balance is defined by spinning plates. Managing the day-to-day with our families on our backs. A leap of faith is the dice we roll on our kitchen tables. Still hungry, still crafting our magnum opus. Still men of principle... keeping our worlds intact.”

You can watch the video for "Frozen In Time" below. Happy Medium is due out July 23. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Jyroscope, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Bnny - "Ambulance"

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Jess Viscius started Bnny after someone left a guitar in her apartment. She started teaching herself to play and found songwriting to be therapeutic. The Chicago based artist started Bnny which also features her twin sister Alexa and three of her best friends. The band's newest single, "Ambulance," is amazingly sparse. Viscius' vocals are just over being a whisper with a softly played guitar and minimal bass. Because of this, "Ambulance" feels impossibly intimate and more than a little discomforting despite being beautiful. It almost feels like a friend asking you to listen in to recordings of their therapy sessions with them. The subject matter of the album adds to this, as it was written as Viscius was processing the death of her partner.

Jess Viscius says that the new song "... is about wishful thinking. It’s about guilt and forgiveness. It’s about reconciling with your past. It’s about saying goodbye.

You can watch the video for "Ambulance" below. Everything is due out August 20 on Fire Talk. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Bnny, check out the band's website.

Mia Pixley - "Where You Stood"

Photo by David Pettijohn

Mia Pixley's music is as unique as her story. A transracial child of Nigerian and Venezuelan descent, she was adopted and raised by a middle class white family in Austin, TX. Growing up in all white environments did not reflect her origins. Pixley says of this experience: 
“Nowhere was home. My identity was a weak shell, ill-fed by cultural neglect. This lack of identity was the most shameful and identifying thing about me. Music became my private way of connecting to myself. Music became my secret garden.” 

"Where You Stood" is a folk song that reflects Pixley's roots. Considering that her instrument of choice is a cello, the obvious comparison is Leyla McCalla. That is not inaccurate, but Pixley also adds a more classical element to her folk than traditional folk. "Where You Stood" is a lovely and captivating multi-layered song despite its simplicity. Mia Pixley is going to be an artist you're going to want to pay attention to for a long, long time.

You can listen to "Where You Stood" below. Margaret in the Wild is due out July 23. For more on Mia Pixley, check out the artist's website.

Durand Jones & The Indications - "Love Will Work It Out"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Durand Jones & The Indications have become our favorite neo-soul band and with good reason. Their songs are just consistently great. Even as they slightly play with their sound, the results are fantastic. Their latest single, "Love Will Work It Out," drops the disco we heard in "Witchoo" and brings back more of the classic soul. This time around, classic soul is more along the lines of 70's soul. The groove in "Love Will Work It Out" is front and center, even in front of both Durand Jones and Aaron Frazer. This is the kind of song that would make Barry White and Isaac Hayes proud.

In a press release, the band says of the new song:

“For months into the pandemic and the racial/political chaos that ensued, we found it hard to write. The biggest creative dry spell we'd experienced in a decade. The constant barrage of horrible news felt overwhelming, and songs just seemed inadequate in response to police murdering people in broad daylight. Songs felt inadequate in the face of a virus that decimated communities and kept us apart from our loved ones. We marched, protested, cried, wiped down our groceries, stopped wiping down our groceries, unplugged, breathed, replugged, reengaged. And when music finally flowed, the first song we wrote together was ‘Love Will Work It Out.’ Because conflict and confrontation require bravery, AND so does keeping the faith in the goodness of one another. It's a big part of what so many people are fighting for- the benefit of the doubt, the ability to be seen as whole, the space to love and trust. It’s been a tough year, but we’ve come out the other side steady and hopeful.”

You can watch the video for "Love Will Work It Out" below. Private Space is due out July 30 on Dead Oceans in association with Colemine Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Durand Jones & The Indications, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sat. Sep. 4 - Hershey, PA @ Harrisburg University At The Englewood
Tue. Sept. 7 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club w/ 79.5
Wed. Sep. 8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ 79.5
Fri. Sept. 10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel w/ 79.5
Sat. Sept. 11 - Washington DC @ 9:30 Club w/ 79.5
Mon. Sept. 13 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre w/ 79.5
Tue. Sept. 14 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line w/ 79.5
Thu. Sept. 16 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theater w/ 79.5
Fri. Sept. 17 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Commonwealth Room w/ 79.5
Mon. Sept. 20 - San Diego, CA @ Soma w/ 79.5
Mon. Sep. 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium w/ 79.5
Wed. Sept. 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium w/ 79.5
Thu. Sep. 23 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl w/ My Morning Jacket
Fri. Sept. 24 - Dana Point, CA @ Ohana Fest
Sat. Sep. 25 - Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley w/ My Morning Jacket
Tue. Sep. 28 - Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield w/ My Morning Jacket
Wed. Sep. 29 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Pavilion at Riverfront w/ My Morning Jacket
Fri. Oct. 1 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater w/ My Morning Jacket
Sat. Oct. 2 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater w/ My Morning Jacket
Sun. Oct. 3 - Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Ampitheater w/ My Morning Jacket
Fri. Oct. 8 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Music Festival
Thu. Oct. 28 - Sun. Oct. 31 - Live Oak, FL @ Suwanee Hulaween
Sun. May 22, 2022 - Monterey, CA @ California Roots Festival

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Diamondtown - "Hide"

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Diamondtown are made up of members of Nova Scotia's underground rock elite such as Eric's Trip, Dog Day, and Century Egg. Their new single, "Hide," borrows from the band's influences of 80's goth, shoegaze, and psychedelic pop into a sound they call dream rock. Dream rock is obviously related to dream pop, but the more rock side of it. "Hide" has the feel of psychedelic 60's pop mixed with shoegaze quite strongly. It could be that I'm writing this in the third day of an early July heat wave, but the song just feels heavy and hazy. Plus, it has some of the most gorgeously lazy sounding guitar work I've heard in decades.

You can watch the video for "Hide" below. You can get the single over at Bandcamp via Label Obscura. For more on Diamondtown, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.