Joy Atlas – Dismount [TMN PREMIERE]

atlas joy
Joy Atlas

The past few weeks have provided some deep, introspective thought into the music blogging industry. One of the main currents in every stream we’ve had is how much pride and enjoyment we take in debuting an artist. We’ve done it countless times, agreeing to showcase the very first public sound from an artist, to be honest, there’s nothing quite more gratifying than doing so.

Today we have an infectious future pop tune from Newcastle-based four-piece Joy Atlas. “Dismount” radiates with casual pop influences, yet maintains a quirky, personable, and unique vibe as well. One of the more attractive qualities to this new act is the playful cadence from the lead singer, who is carving out her own style from the get go. Instrumentally, the vocals are carried through with an impressive bassline, a spattering of glowing synths, and some understated percussion.

Overall, it engages in the way that we hope all pop songs do, making us bob our head and sing along. It’s even catchy to the point that this blogger wouldn’t be embarrassed belting it out at a stoplight. And yes, this blogger is a guy.

Check this quote we pulled from the band’s facebook. You can tell they’re excited to get this out to the public, and we’re excited we were the ones to do it.

After months of furious writing (chuffing hummer, we’ve been fuming), vigorous recording (much bonding and bouncing) and many cups of rum-spiked tea (it’s medicinal), we’re finally ready to fling open our musical doors and share new music with you all; we are JOY ATLAS.
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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2015 Round #1)


We admit. It can be pretty hard finding good music sometimes. Even with the saturation of internet, it can feel like you are floating in a big black hole of deafening silence. Until you remember that the Indie Dojo’s got your back. Our tireless ears and bomb ass internet search tactics will be here for you no matter what dark holes you float into. Cause if you didn’t already know, Ninjas do it better in the dark.

Songs of Water
11 Miles
Tyler Lyle
The Floral Wham Trams
Your Own Mind
Mirror Signal
All Along
Baby One More Time
Henry Green
Do You Know
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[Indie] Feed Me Jack – Twice (Little Dragon Cover)

Feed Me Jack
Twice (Little Dragon Cover)
Feed Me Jack
Reelin In The Years (Steely Dan Cover)

As they prepare to release their upcoming EP, Oakland-based Feed Me Jack put out a phenomenal collection of covers last night. With Little DragonSteely DanWeezer and more included, the 5-track project showcases Feed Me Jack’s experimental indie rock and versatile musicianship to perfection. As with all great covers, the songs are complete re-imaginations that take each song to unique and exciting places.

Their take on Little Dragon’s “Twice,” our personal favorite, starts similarly to the original utilizing a beautiful acoustic backing, but around the 1-minute mark expands on that initial melody falling into a blissful guitar jam. It’s the type of song that only gets better the longer you listen–after repeating the chorus it once again erupts into a gorgeously composed outro. Feed Me Jack’s take on Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” another stand-out, transforms the original into an airy, guitar-layered jam session mixed in with flawless horns. Add in some goofy ad-libs, and it captures FMJ’s breezy quirkiness making for a completely different listen than the classic original.

It’s interesting hearing a young band like FMJ, who’s musicianship gives them freedom to take on endless sonic endeavors, truly establishing a sound. It’s even more intriguing that they’re able to do so while covering other artists’ music. Feed Me Jack are currently working on originals for their next EP, which they expect to drop in August. Based on some of the experimentation we’re hearing on this project, we really can’t wait for what they have in store. You can pick up the full covers EP over at their Bandcamp page for free and check out our interview with them from a few months back here.

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[Chill] Oh Wonder – White Blood

Oh Wonder
White Blood

We’re always excited for the first of the month because, besides pay day, it also means there’s new music from Oh Wonder. Since unveiling their debut track back in September and subsequently releasing monthly tracks for a year leading up to their album, the UK vocalists/production duo have been amassing an enormous following, seemingly growing with each release. The fact that they’ve already got sold out shows booked, stands as a testament to the power of the Internet to empower independent artists.

This morning, we get “White Blood,” which continues to expand on their aesthetic. While tracks have varied in tempo, “Lose It” probably being the most upbeat, they’ve all maintained the emotional, duet vocals that make their sound so enticing. Their latest falls more on the downtempo side of things slowly building with gorgeous piano and subdued percussion. Give it a listen above. “White Blood” is tenth track they’ve released thus far meaning we’ve only got a couple more to go before their debut drops on September 4th. As we await the next track, due out on July 1st, we’ll be spending plenty of time on their Soundcloud page.

P.S. Oh Wonder also left a note in the Soundcloud description to learn more about the story behind the artwork for this single provided by Steven Keating at their website.

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[Festival Review] Life on the Incline: Sasquatch!, the Gorge and the Hill’s Eternal Serenity

17496069434_2c6a933028_oThere’s nothing quite like the sensation of sitting sideways atop the slope of the Gorge Amphitheater’s hill at Sasquatch! Music Festival overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Add entrancing music to a background that no picture or piece of art could ever do justice; and, at that intersection, you’ll find the happy place Squatchers look forward to all year. The so-far-past picturesque backdrop sets the tone for the festival but, with arguably one of its best lineups yet, was a far cry from Sasquatch’s only attraction this year. Rather, the main stage’s slope served as the much-needed anchor after a dance party at the Chupacabra tent or Big Foot stage—a place to lie, head up or down, and absorb the collective consciousness of thousands of equally inspired concertgoers.

Music festivals have become such chaotic events and Sasquatch! is, certainly not an exception, but it’s that same comfort felt on the hill that permeates throughout the entire campground. No matter what you’re going through or how you’re feeling, the hill will take your emotional state to serenity, where it belongs.

18009447496_4d9cd9882f_oWords, photos and songs really can’t do justice to just how incredible the Squatch is but we’ve done our best to recap, from our perspective, the musical highlights from the 4 days. For those of you who were there, we hope this brings you back even if just a little bit and for those who weren’t, well, you’re going to want to be there next year after peeping our recap.

Continue reading

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[Indie Rock] Redspencer – Ride It Out

Ride It Out

Melbourne-based three piece Redspencer sure do have a warm, memorable, and iconic sound with their latest release, “Ride It Out.” It calls on associations of so much of that post-punk goodness we came to know and love during our musical discovery phase (which, we’re pretty sure we’re still in.)

Blogger jokes aside, this Aussie trio is the perfect accompaniment to a drive through rainy city streets, winding mountain roads or a sunny California highway. In all actuality, the echoing guitar notes casually flirt with the lead singer’s vocals, making a dreary yet enticing listening experience for whatever situation you find yourself in.

Follow these cats on SoundCloud so you can keep up with everything they have coming up,

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Pearl Lion
Big Sky

Remember that saying “Never judge a book by its cover?” It was ingrained into us at a very early age and with good reason. Today, we have something that exemplifies that, as we dig deep into the music of the unassuming Pearl Lion.

Looking at this independent act’s SoundCloud profile wouldn’t allude to the storied musical history that goes along with it. There are a couple of tracks uploaded, one casually adorned with a unmastered tag, leading the casual browser somewhat uninterested in what this artist has to offer. That is, until our premiere of “Big Sky.”

Jared Scharff, aka Pearl Lion, has a rich history in the world of music. There’s a long, winding, and incredibly action-packed background that has lead him to this point, starting out in his school’s band. Fast forward a few years, we find this youngster at French Woods, a performing arts camp where he met and played with Adam Levine and Jesse Charmichael from Maroon 5. Shortly after graduation, Scharff went to NYU to study music, where he started his stint with a band called Carbondale, who were signed to RCA Records. Eventually leaving the band for personal reasons, he found himself entering into what he’s currently doing now, which is playing for the Saturday Night Live Band. In fact, if you’ve watched a monologue or commercial cut scene in the past seven years, you’ve seen him back there.

SNL isn’t the only thing he’s been up to over the past seven years though. This uber-accomplished musician has also played with Sting, Elton John, Brunce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Bruno Mars, and James Taylor. In addition to that, he was a part of the CBS fashion Rocks House band, where he has performed with have Justin Timberlake, and Beyonce. In addition to that, he has played in the Pete Seeger Clearwater Concert House Band, performing with Pete Seeger, Emmy Lou Harris, Steve Earle, and Arlo Guthrie. And one last notable mention, he subbed for James Valentine in Maroon 5 once. Whew.

So here we are. Pearl Lion is me pursuing a dream I’ve had since I was a kid. A dream to make modern, accessible, instrumental music. I miss the days of the classic guitar heroes that pushed the envelope like Hendrix, Page, Clapton in Cream. And it’s rare to find that these days, with the exception of a few people (Jack White, St. Vincent, etc). So I’m putting my name in the hat to occupy that role. I’ll carry the torch. Ive wanted to my entire life. – Jared Scharff

You see what we mean by not judging a book by its cover? Musical accomplishments aside, today we’re here to highlight Scharff’s personal project, as we bring you a look at “Big Sky.” The song stems from a video he was doing in LA for a new guitar pedal called “Big Sky.” While he was in LA for this shoot, he came up with the main guitar melody, which is why the song is named as such.

It’s a cinematic listening experience, calling on associations of both modern electronic ambient artists such as Tycho or Bonobo, yet bringing elements of more classical style guitar work, like Buckethead. Rich, textural, and enveloping layers create a soundscape that’s easily remembered, one that listeners could easily identify at a live show. Which, to us, is always a strong point of importance when it comes to instrumental acts.

Make sure to keep an eye on Pearl Lion by following him on SoundCloud. With an EP coming out sometime this summer or early fall, he’s an artist you won’t want to lose track of.

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