Led by singer and songwriting genius Emil Hewitt, New York’s Emil & Friends don’t fall easily into one musical genre. This is because they do it all, and they package it perfectly without ever breakin’ a sweat. So, whether it’s whimsical synth rock, classic jazz or funky disco, at the end of the day you’re in for a genre-bending treat that’s always built atop a strong pop foundation. Take for example “Rain Check,” with its punch of quirky fun and theatrics, or “Royal Oats,” and its cool electric vibes. The band’s always surprising and never disappointing.
Rough work day? Maybe a headache that won’t let up? Check out this new instrumental track from Evil Needle, a French producer who’s been making electronic music for over a decade. “Falling Leaves” is a soft, subtle journey, its gentle synths and piano work coaxing us to let go of the here and now for just a moment. The song surfaced as part of a compilation called Robot Soup, put out by the fine folks at Potholes Music.
Treasure Island Music Festival has long touted itself as an intimate and authentic experience in San Francisco music and culture. Attendees are rewarded well in advance with a promise from the event’s coordinators that the eclectic lineup will be devoid of all scheduling conflicts between the festivals two main stages, both adjacent to the city’s bay shoreline. Therefore, eliminating any potential for those tough decisions while budgeting your time between favorite bands, food trucks, a silent disco and all other festival amenities one could hope for.
With that being said, the two-day fall music and culture getaway was a delight for all the senses as this Ninja was happy enough to document the best and worst of the weekend in the hopes that Treasure Island will be on your 2013 calendar. Read it all after the jump. However, if you’re in a hurry, take a look at the line up above and a short, “best of” playlist below.
There is a mental process of classifying music where after listening to a song, one automatically can place in its corresponding category. Le Trouble, the indie rock-fueled band from Montreal, is a completely bizarre case in a category of their own. No two songs are alike on their 2012 release Reality Strikes EP. At times, it almost feels like they are not even the same band and it is this talented property of a having such a wide musical spectrum that has us infatuated with their music.
The band came together by an unlikely meeting between Quebec-born guitarist/songwriter and a freshly arrived Australian singer from the city of Jamberoo, supported by a group of young friends from Montreal eager to change the way we listen to indie rock. And in many ways they have.
Reality Strikes is the title of the EP, but also serves as symbolism for their in-your-face guitar driven attitude. Withing minutes of the first track “Mission Bell”, Le Trouble sets the tone with an aggressive but equally charming instrumentation, with the vocals following the same style of pull and release. It isn’t until later in the EP that we are exposed to their soft ‘gooey’ core with the beautiful and breathtaking ballad, ‘Fine Line’. Just as the title suggests, Fine Line is a delicate place of carefully woven guitar melodies with sincere vocals that begin to unfold our hearts, reminding us if only for a brief moment of the disparity between love gained and love lost.
‘Real Talk (Part 2)’ quickly pick things up again carrying the catchiest chorus of the entire album, and showcases the explosive nature the band. Other stand out tracks include, ‘Red Shirt’, ‘To The Wire’ and ‘The Mean Ones’. From start to finish, Reality Strikes is an astonishing polished body of work from a promising indie rock band, deserving much more exposure. There are very few albums we fully endorse on this site but we grantee that picking up Reality Strikes will be the best $5 dollars you will spend this week. Purchase it today on their bandcamp page here.
There’s something very wild and worldly about Adios Ghost. Their indie rock style — full of crazy exuberance, tribal-esque percussion, and howling vocals — reminds me of a hybrid of Local Natives, Fool’s Gold and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. Not a bad genetic makeup. I accidentally stumbled upon the Brooklyn four-piece while on Bandcamp late last night and it’s been such a great and rewarding find. Below I’ve included two songs off their new, debut 6-song EP. Adios Ghost were kind enough to make the entire thing available as a free download. Make sure to show them love on Facebook, too.
Unsigned indie vocalist Indiana flew under our radar for a few months, but we’re happy that she’s popped up into our view. The Nottingham based singer released this soul gripping track just a few months back on her SoundCloud page, and even more recently, released this video. The track focuses mainly on Indiana’s sultry vocals, and emotion-evoking lyrics. She has a gorgeous vocal range, and is sure to start gaining attention with tracks like this.
They say too much time in LA changes a man, and this release proves it.
LA has definitely played an influence in Bass Kleph latest single, proving to be much aggressive and darker than some of his previous releases (perhaps he is in Halloween mode?). With “Make Me Forget”, Bass Kleph premieres his very own vocals but they are quickly overshadowed by its polished production and dynamic structure. Combining many dance elements together, “Make Me Forget” does cover a lot of ground with enlightening house build ups, thumping dutch-like basslines, all wrapped up in an overall progressive electro house ambiance. The release comes with the complimentary remix of LA locals The EC Twins, both of which you can stream below.