On Saturday, May 20, multi-instrumentalist and lauded bass player Erik Kramer released his debut studio endeavor, an EP entitled ‘Missed the Boat.’ The Brooklyn-based musician has an especially eclectic sound, one that employs the talent of a slew of musicians: saxophone, trombone, viola, trumpet, back-up vocalists - they’re all there. An experimental record through and through, ‘Missed the Boat’ is an indie record quite unlike anything else that’s come across my desk in recent months.
The most unique quality ‘Missed the Boat’ boasts is its ability to effortlessly hop between genres, all while maintaining an aura of cohesiveness. It’s very difficult to be an artist that pulls influence from so many sonic avenues and keep your sound organized, and Kramer does this remarkably well. The titular track, which opens the EP, has a very Radiohead-infused sound. The soft vocal croons, funky bass riffs, and erratic brass sections all sound like they’re from a ‘King of Limbs’ session.
The following track has much more of a jazz influence, offering a rather beautiful soundscape of piano noodling accented by a fantastic string section. If New York experimental music was written for a late night jazz club, ‘Seagulls’ would be the song that would result from it. ‘One of Many,’ the track after that, is a tune that really lets the brass section shine. There’s more funk and fusion influence apparent on that song, and the more upbeat nature of the track gives Kramer more room to experiment as a vocalist.
The EP’s most easy-listening track is surely ‘Tell You Otherwise,’ a sublime listening experience that washes over the listener in a surreal fashion. The equally enigmatic lyricism matches the instrumentation beautifully, as does the sparse, but effective female vocal backing. Heavy jazz inspiration then returns for ‘The Way It Goes,’ exhibiting some of the collection’s most excellent musicianship.
The finale of the EP, ‘The Light,’ may be its strongest song, at least, lyrically. The story-like lyricism puts the vocal content at the forefront of the song, whereas the rest of the EP usually reverses that dichotomy. At this point, it’s also very much worth mentioning that the production on ‘Missed the Boat’ is incredibly good, too, and Kramer has a superb hand over such a large soundscape of musicians.
‘Missed the Boat’ is an excellent EP from beginning to end, defying genre by jamming together funk, jazz, and experimental influences. It does it in an unpretentious fashion, too, which is rather vital to success in this arena.
“Blinding Sights (Left Me Cold in the Night)” is off Yellow House's brand new EP, 'A Carnival of Fears', which chronicles the severe juxtaposition of expectation and reality in young adulthood. It is an intimate journey through the first contact with love, alienation, disillusion and politics. Emile van Dango (aka Yellow House) wrote, produced, and performed the album's tracks in his home studio by himself.
Compiled through years of home recording and writing, 'A Carnival of Fears' is an "all scars bared" approach to detailing a young musicians journey from teenage folky, to the fruition of a young man settled firmly in his unique unapologetic vision.
Yellow House is the recording project of Cape Town based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Emile van Dango. After years of venturing through the endless genre waves which flood the Cape Town music scene, yet never quite feeling at home, Emile instead opted to dream up his own unique universe.
Yellow House serves as the embodiment of all that Emile could sink his teeth into during his formative years as a young songwriter and producer. Having spent a couple years honing his craft as a folk musician, Yellow House carves out a broader space, a home of artistic experimentation and endless possibility -- a haven which currently exists as the headquarters for Emile’s new dream-pop/psych-soul visions.
After a decade of hiding in the shadows as a sideman and session musician, Erik Kramer is stepping out with a powerful first collection of songs entitled 'Missed the Boat'. The 27-year old Brooklyn resident's bass playing has been featured on records by Endangered Speeches, Sun Cut Flat, Sonnymoon, The Blind Woods, and more. At a time when information travels so fast, 'Missed the Boat' allows the listener to slow down and take a 33-minute journey through this collection of six potent songs, performed by some of NYC's elite musicians. The music is hard to define as it draws on influences from all over the musical and lyrical spectrum, but has a little something for everyone. The album is due out in late May of 2017. Kramer is also currently the bass player for The Undercover Dream Lovers. He also recorded on a track and video for Sonnymoon, and was co-collaborator/songwriter for Sun Cut Flat. He has played for numerous other projects in the performing world, on some notable bills and festivals.
Dream wave duo Lunar Twin release new 'Night Tides' EP via Moon Sounds Records FOR FANS OF: Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, David Sylvian, Massive Attack, Soulsavers, Washed Out, Talvin Singh LEAD TRACKS: Waves, Birds of Paradise, Coral Sea, Prayers of Smoke
The EP literally flows from beginning to end, taking listeners on a journey through lush downtempo, synth and chill wave, and ultimately to the ocean at night. Tracks ‘Waves’, ‘Coral Sea’ and ‘Blood Moon’ seamlessly blend indie electronica and tropical noir, while synth and chill-wave are at their best on ‘Prayers of Smoke’, ‘Birds of Paradise’, and ‘Night Tides’.
A few years after a chance meeting at the Denver Underground Music festival, Bryce Boudreau and Chris Murphy started working under the Lunar Twin moniker in 2013. They derived the band’s name from a theory about earth having possibly had a twin moon. Inspired by space and time, as well as nature and culture.
Boudreau, vocalist and songwriter and also a Los Angeles native, currently resides in Hawaii, while multi-instrumentalist producer Chris Murphy lives in Salt Lake City. In recent years, he has shared the stage with numerous renowned artists, such as Grimes, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Peaches, through other projects he’s involved with.
Astro Tan is a three-piece out of Portland, Oregon, who hail from opposing corners of the continent; they call rural Pennsylvania, urban Seattle, and remote Alaska their homes, respectively. Perhaps their trans-continental allows for what is a genre-bending songbook that places foot in no strict stylistic camp. Primary songwriting responsibilities oscillate between Charles Tern and Sam Wegman (bass and guitars) and an exacting drummer in Jed Overly (also a songwriter). Astro Tan is freshly attune to their creative ambitions, ostensibly due to a mélange of classic and contemporary influences. 'Soma', the freshman effort from the group, demonstrated a keen affinity for lush R&B, soft-jazz and psychedelia. Their latest, just-released album, 'Canary', brings this to the next level with moody orchestral additions.
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.