"Flowers on the Moon" is more complex that it might seem on the surface. It's not just a dreamy pop song-- it's an invitation to imagine what we can't see. All of these different flowers-- visions, colors, and perspectives-- could exist together like they do in my dreams, but that's a world we have to build ourselves, from the ground up. We need to imagine, first, in order to create.
The Kenyan born and now Seattle based artist has received wide spread recognition being featured on NPR. In "Beautifully Human", Wachira highlights issues of human equality, especially when it undermines the divine sacredness of those who are different. Her sophmore album "Songs of Lament" she describes, ‘was born out the many tragic losses we’ve witnessed globally."
Los Angeles-based collective Salt Petal is invigorating audiences and critics alike with a tropical surf-dance sound in a category all its own. A cross-border combination of Argentinian folk, Brazilian tropicalia, cumbia and up tempo surf rock blurs ethnic and musical boundaries, bringing to mind Blondie, Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, and 60′s rock and roll. The band’s sound is one of the freshest to come out of Los Angeles, showcasing deep South American rhythms with vibrant indie pop harmonies and textures.
Founding members, Autumn Harrison and Rodrigo Gonzalez started the band after a trip to Buenos Aires, where their late night singalong sessions turned into the beginning of their first record. After performing in small cafes and receiving positive responses from musician friends, they began to play bigger stages and soon became one of the most sought after festival bands in Los Angeles.
Salt Petal has played high profile venues and festivals such as SXSW, Los Angeles Times’ Festival of Books, Echo Park Rising, Chinatown Summer Nights and Make Music Pasadena, performing alongside well-known artists including Lila Downs, Grimes, Robert DeLong, We Are Scientists, La Santa Cecilia, Chicano Batman, members of Blondie, Jane’s Addiction and more. Not only have their videos been featured on MTV Tr3s and the band written up in Billboard, but they recently won an international songwriting competition voted on by representatives of the BBC. The musical collective has also performed a special in-studio for Seattle’s acclaimed NPR station KEXP, broadcasted internationally.
Salt Petal’s latest release, Rare Hearts was recorded at the famed London Bridge Studios in Seattle with producer Eric Lilavois (Saint Motel, Atlas Genius) and mixed and mastered by Raymond Richards (Local Natives, Avid Dancer). The album aims to be a constant reminder for humanity to have faith and love in ourselves, in order to continue to get through difficult moments. The central theme is “exploring the fight everyday against yourself to be able to see what you have around you” reveals Harrison.
Their sound is heavily influenced by the adventuresome explorations of South America's music revolutions in the 60s and 70s, such as Tropicalia, Gonzalez confides,"Tropicalia had such a great philosophy of taking things on, consuming and devouring what was available and experimenting with it in a boundary-less way, in the search of a new identity." Salt Petal aspires to do the same, with their new release Rare Hearts. They write from loving a variety of sounds found in California, with rhythms and sounds from across the Americas considered on equal footing with rock, soul, and blues. The musical collective describes their sound as subconscious and a natural extension of who they are and hope that Rare Hearts will inspire people to be passionate, courageous and of course to dance!
Leading single ‘Telephone’ is a mixing pot of surf rock and 60’s psych, a dance anthem for the millennium. While the single ‘Disco Rats’, successfully showcases Salt Petal’s diverse musical sound. Rare Hearts features heavy trombone, funky bass lines and surfrock guitar riffs, paired with Harrison’s vocals creating a colorful and vibrant musical journey.
Joel Porter started playing music at an early age, starting with violin and then moving onto french horn (5th grade), guitar and bass (6th grade), and songwriting in high school. Porter and Eric Hillman (producer + 1/2 the band Foreign Fields) recorded everything on 'Mountain Twin' in the Dark Heart studio by themselves, covering violin, guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, french horn, and vocals, as well as any electronic samples you might hear. the Porter explains that Mountain Twin' EP is about growth. Over the course of four folk-based, painstakingly carefully crafted songs, which include a song he co-wrote with his musician parents, he illustrates the nature, feelings, memories and what it means to seek for the truth. You can easily feel yourself being in the desolate plains, where the snow is falling, the river is flowing and the mountains howling.
We All Die! What A Circus! Is the solo studio project of João Guimarães from Portugal and was created in 2013. It all started with the release of the EP Drowning Gives Meaning To Breath (June, 2013) which consisted of soundscapes (synths, samples, field-recordings) mixed with post-rock and "folk" guitars with a minimalist approach focusing on the atmosphere. The song "Drowning Gives Meaning to Breath" was featured on the RibsOut Compilation 6 and the song "Hold" was featured on the compilation The Best of Portuguese Post-Rock 2013 made by the Portuguese website Planeta Post-Rock.
In September of 2014 the first full-length "Until The Cosmos Takes Me Back"was released featuring more drone elements, intricated guitar-work and a more layered sound, featuring two singles: From India To Gaza I, one of the highlights of the album with a strong guitar-lead dwelling in the air with its simplicity, and Old Village In Space which combines a sense of nostalgia with an eerie slow-pace solo. The album was considered one of the best Portuguese albums of the year by the website Bandcom and the song "Our Dust Turned Into This" was featured on the compilation The Best of Portuguese Post - Rock 2014 by Planeta Post-Rock.
Between 2015 and early 2017 the new self-titled album was recorded expanding the sound of the project with a different concept, including elements of dark jazz, modern classical all warped up by reverb-drenched drone soundscapes and also post-rock guitar featuring drums for the first time.
The album was released on March, 3, 2017. Conceptually it deals with the existential issues of human life, the need for a meaning of life and/or the lack of it; and how time and space wraps our own existence. It was inspired by the thoughts of philosophers and writers like Emil Cioran and Charles Bukowski (his famous poem Bluebird is recited on that song) and is a homage to them. Sound-wise this album makes heavy use of drone synths and field-recordings processed with various effects setting the atmosphere; some elements of dark jazz and classical modern piano; post-rock guitars for the lead melodies and harmonies and a sparse use of drums, mostly downtempo. Some said it resembles Angelo Badalamenti and Bohren & der Club of Gore making post-rock.
The Great Long Distance is an audible recollection of the first 12 months of a long distance relationship, including the highs and lows and moments in between. It is a journal without words, each of the 12 tracks representing each month respectively. Inspired by the format of NIN's "Ghosts I-IV", the album is a sonic tapestry of different moods and themes, with various recurring motifs and the subtle melding of synthesizer and samples; the result something not quite classical, ambient or electronic - rather, an eclectic blend of the three. For fans of Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and later Ulver
In order to excel in the independent music industry, an act has to define itself as especially unique with a sound quite unlike anything else in the community. This is a tall order, one that isn’t easily filled by acts entering variations of rock music due to the immense amount of bands flooding the scene right now. Palehorse/Palerider, a “doomgaze” trio from Denver, has released an EP entitled ‘Burial Songs’ that does a surprisingly superb job at separating itself from the pack. Let’s delve into it.
Even though the independent rock scene is quite inundated with new acts, there’s always a welcome place for an outfit that changes the formula enough to be consistently interesting and worth taking notice of. The New York-based alternative rock group Voices from Deep Below attempts to do just that, fusing together a variety of styles into a surprisingly coherent sound. Their new record, “I Want to Stand Where the Sun Himself Shakes with Fear”, is a five song album that navigates alt-rock, experimental, and borderline metal and progressive influences all at the same time.