A woolly, all-too-familiar bassline is the backbone of Head in the Clouds, instantly providing the image of an unkempt vigilante with a thirst for justice. There's a sense of mystery, the song marking its territory with each lingering chord. And then the soft, fairly indistinguishable vocals of Tim Foley and Kate Betuel come into view from afar, coating the grainy surface with a sparkling glare. Cobalt Cranes create an expansiveness without actually dwelling upon it, and opts to charge headfirst into battle instead of endlessly building into a rising action. This is the first taste off their debut LP of the same name, which drops on April 9th via Anticc Records.
While Los Globos, the two-story nightclub in Silverlake, has had its' ups and downs in recent months, they are moving ahead in 2013 with a strong team and solid calendar. Starting tonight, January 14, and every Monday for the remainder of the month, the newest supergroup on the block, Maximum Hedrum, will be holding their Residency at the club. Featuring DJ and Producer, Sam Spiegel, (who just happens to be the younger brother of Spike Jonze), whose previous duo, N.A.S.A. released an album featuring guest appearances ranging from Kanye to Tom Waits, is now teaming up with Sepultura frontman Derrick Green. Only in LA could forces as diverse as these come together to form a psychedelic dance and funk-inspired collaboration. The duo has released two singles in anticipation of the debut album set for a March 5 release - one of which features George Clinton. Strange as it may all seem, the strangeness is exactly what makes it appealing. Besides, the quality of the production is undeniable. They’ve made it impossible not to go back for a second listen. I can’t even imagine what the live show experience will be like. Check out the single, “Synthesize,” below, and head to Los Globos tonight, and every Monday in January, to see for yourself. - Jacqueline Caruso
For the first week of the new year, The Satellite hosted free shows in partnership with Moheak Radio, Grimy Goods, and Downtown Lobby. A great way to lure fans in on cold nights usually spent recovering from overeating and the doldrums of returning to the nine-to-five grind. I ventured out on Tuesday to check out Midwest transplants, Line & Circle, whose anthemic indie rock is drenched in nostalgia. They played an impressive set that proved that while they may be new to LA, they came prepared. Lead singer, Brian Cohen’s vocals harken back to an era before whining was proof of a frontman’s vulnerability, with a haunting quality that at times evoked Robert Smith. Bass player, Nathan Gammill was working so hard, he vacillated between standing eerily still while his fingers danced like lightning across his fretboard, to a mere bob of the head. The theme of the night was maturity - in skill level, and in the feeling evoked through the music. Somehow, their songs give you the sense that they are lamenting heartbreaks and lessons learned from a youth long past, while it’s clear they are right in the midst of it all. But, don’t mistake me, this was not simply a buttoned-up masters class in rock. When Line & Circle hit the stage, they brought the energy up to eleven, and kept it there without hesitation throughout the entire set. A solid set of Indie Rock tunes, just the way you want them - without irony, gimmicks, or arrogance. The duo, turned studio five-piece, recently released a 7” on White Iris Records, which boasts the likes of Beast Coast, Electric Guest, and NO. Check out the single, “Roman Ruins,” below, and keep your eye out for these up-and-comers. Rounding out the night, Blonde Summer brought their slacker pop to the opening slot, while The Ross Sea Party closed it out to a packed house, proving they are one to watch. - Jacqueline Caruso
The garage revival got to hit its full stride in 2012, so it's no surprise that many higher profile indie labels are acquiring some of the genre's most noteworthy newcomers. But Dead Oceans' newest acquisition isn't just any hyped-up fluke - San Fernando Valley sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin have been trailblazing the LA scene as Bleached ever since they reunited after venturing in different projects, most notably the all-girl punk band Mika Miko. With a release date of April 2nd, "Ride Your Heart" hopes to deliver on the promise of a high-octane, rollicking record that's spearheaded by the sun-speckled ripples of vintage surf rock. Their first single "Next Stop" get the point across without adding any bells and whistles - it's a carefree, tough as nails cut that's sweetened by the sisters' harmonic concordance.
San Diego duo Gloomsday make an appropriate soundtrack for barreling down a desert highway in a classic car with one too many people in the backseat. The self-described doom pop band, composed of Justin Cota on baritone gutiar and Lori Sokolowski on drums, has been making the circuit of San Diego’s smaller venues, together shaking the walls with every unrelenting cymbal crash and gripping guitar rhythm, providing a fine balance between gritty punk and cantankerous noise pop. The duo is currently in the studio working on a follow-up to last's year's self-released Believe the Hype 'Cause It's All You're Got. In the meantime, enjoy their infectious, college-radio approved "Oh La La Hey". - Jaime Gamblin
We've tallied the results for the Open Submissions stage of our LA Area Year End Poll. All of the submissions were ranked by Deli Editors from other scenes, and the list of acts that have advanced to our Readers’/Fans’ Poll phase are below. We will also be releasing the list of nominees chosen by our local "scene expert" jurors very soon.
Thanks to all the rad folks who submitted their heart and soul to us - we never received as many submissions from LA as this year! Our open submissions pool was truly a celebration of the LA Area's talent and diversity.
Total submissions from the LA Area Scene: 85
Qualified to the final phase of the Best of LA Area Poll:
Early in 2012, the avant-indie foursome, Little Red Lung, released their debut self-titled EP, helmed by songstress Zoe-Ruth Erwin, who tucked herself away in the foothills of East Tennessee to gain inspiration. The result is a sound that is pristine and crisp; organic instruments mixing with ambient soundscapes, to create a lush, ethereal atmosphere. Erwin’s effortless vocals bend at times towards folk, and at times more operatic, but with an ominous bite that leaves you with a sense of dread, as if there is something sinister looming underneath the beauty.- Jacqueline Caruso
Abrasive, grunge-influenced, but with a pop accessibility, Fake Furs, are an electro-tinged, pop/rock band. They make music so loud, aggressive and gritty, you don’t even notice they’re a bassless band. Emotional and glittery enough to appeal to the fourteen year-old girl inside you, but modern and danceable enough to call forth the grown woman who wants to party so hard she feels fourteen again. - Jacqueline Caruso
The Morning Birds make anthems for a glass-half-full lifestyle. Intricate, layered pop that compels you to take the journey with them. Surrender to This, their most recent release, is a mixed-bag of sixties psych-folk, modern day electro-pop, laid-back hip-hop rhythms, and reggae swagger. This is music for those looking for a good time. - Jacqueline Caruso
Darlings of the east side indie scene, there aren’t too many weeks that go by that you can’t catch So Many Wizards playing somewhere. From their Echo Residency earlier this year to their involvement in The FMLY’s underground events, and everything in between, this dreamy foursome hailing out of Long Beach are some of the hardest working musicians around. Their debut full length, Warm Nothing, released on JAXART Records, is an extremely well-crafted and thoughtful album filled with beach-hazed pop gems. - Jacqueline Caruso