Indie Rock

SuperKnova "Make Me Feel"

The now NYC based musician SuperKnova (aka Ellie Kim) has released the second single, "Make Me Feel", from her forthcoming double EP "Superuniverse".

The first single, "Later", was released last month, and both singles are outstanding example of the way Kim blends elements of pop and rock to create an addictive sound all her own.

   

Beat Radio feels your pain before rising from the fire on "Real Love" LP

Real Love (Totally Real Records) is the sixth LP by Beat Radio—a musical delivery mechanism for the “heartfelt, literate pop songs" of vocalist/guitarist Brian Sendrowitz with founding member Philip A. Jimenez returning to the fold to hold down drums/percussion in addition to synths, second guitar, backing vocals, banjo and a little bass guitar which I’m just gonna go ahead and assume he played all at once because overdubs are for wimps and then lastly-but-not-leastly Kathryn Froggatt brings some sweet vocal harmonies and bass lines and tambourine rattling to the musical table...

…painting an expansive canvas full of fog-shrouded chamber pop landscapes opening onto vistas of anthemic-yet-not-too-bombastic indie rock classique heavy on the churning mid-tempo rhythmic momentum and stately, stalwart melodies garnished with a dim sum banquet's worth of musical condiments ranging from burbling, buzzy keyboards to backward-masked guitar to reedy saxophone drones to folksy fiddle interludes with the help of a guest player here and there which taken together reinforces the “downtrodden uplift” found in the lyrics…

 …not to mention how “Lowlands” and the title track rescue the banjo from its besmirchment by the likes of Dumbford & Sons and Matchbox Twenty-One, nimbly integrating the instrument into indie-Americana settings without it sounding like Taylor Swift crashing a Yo La Tango concert and perhaps not since the opening strains of Grandaddy’s Sophtware Slump has the banjo (erm, fake “banjo” but still..) been so perfectly incorporated into sad-dad-rock except with Beat Radio there's no robots drinking themselves to death or interstellar space-colony miners placing long distance calls home to no avail with B. Sendrowitz & Co. keeping their emotive, plain-spoken songs more strictly earthbound…

 …which makes sense given that a chunk of Real Love was written in a “fever dream” state during early peak-period pandemic lockdown and indeed the songs read as “locked down” physically and temperamentally flipping between states of emotional devastation and emotional resignation and emotional disassociation which dovetails nicely with the juxtaposition of placid sonic surfaces and stormy musical microbursts with Brian clarifying that on this album “there was nothing to hold back anymore…I went all in emotionally in a deeper way than I was capable of before”…

…like on “Disassociation Blues" a song that confronts some pretty harsh realities head on (“I was hiding since I was child / and the storm was coming all the while […] golden age that never came / dreams that we let slip away”) while seeking to evade and avoid these harsh realities at the same time (“dissociation blues / I don't even know what's true […] emotionally detached / hiding all the evidence”) and here as elsewhere Beat Radio straddles the fine line between huddled-in-a-fetal-position-in-the-bathtub lamentations and cold-shower catharsis…

 …and besides it being a “serious relationship gone seriously wrong” record one could also read Real Love as an extended political allegory especially with it being released near the midterms and especially with all the nature-of-reality-up-for-grabs lyrical moments on Real Love (“I made my own creation myth / trying to prove that I exist” — “Solid Ground”) and in these election denying days but I digress…

…and ok maybe I'm overreaching seeing as the record could as easily be about your grandma's lasagna as about the life of Brian especially in this post-death-of-the-author moment but either way if this sounds at all up your chimney chute and/or if you tend to enjoy the tremulous-yet-tempestuous poptones of The Tragically Hip, Los Campesinos!, Nada Surf, Fountains of Wayne, Waxahatchee and Sebadoh then you may very well enjoy Beat Radio too and finally here's hoping “We Rise From Fire” in the days and weeks and years ahead… (Jason Lee)

   

Many Places "Flower Cycle"

Many Places recently released a new single called "Flower Cycle". This the band's third single since the released of their 2020 Full-length album, Disappearland.

Many Places is Kevin Rieg, Matt Hennessey, Nik Godden, Neil Erker & Geoffrey Dolce

   

Girl K "Proven A Star"

Girl K recently released a new single called "Proven A Star" via Take This To Heart Records.

This is a song that band leader Katherine Patino wrote back in 2017, but has finally found a new life.

You can catch Girl K tonight, November 7th, at Subt open for Lunar Vacation.

 

   

Drive-In wants you to know "This Is Not A Rom-Com" on new EP

--> LISTEN TO "THIS IS NOT A ROM-COM" ON SPOTIFY <--

Drive-In is a musical duo who in their own words “have come together to create a sonic experience that makes listeners want to dance and reflect on their life choices” and while their music provokes more the latter than the former response for this listener I’m not about to tell anyone they can't dance to Drive-In because that’s a highly personal choice (plus their song "Impact" is indisputably danceable, see below) and heck if people can dance to the Grateful Dead's music they can dance to anything even off their tits on hashish, acid, and/or shrooms all of which have proven conducive to noodle dancing at the very least...

…but rest assured multiple tabs of blotter acid aren't required to enjoy Drive-In’s new EP This Is Not A Rom-Com with lead singer/lyricist Ally Rincon having penned “a collection of stories that narrate her experiences with relationships, with people and with herself, with a specific focus on how those relationships have effected her mental health” according to the official press release, a record that "shamelessly wears its heart on its sleeve."

This Is Not A Rom-Com was produced by Ryan Erwin (Particle Devotion, Nice Dog) and on the musical side of things the EP is similarly introspective and emotionally direct or as guitarist/songwriting partner Mitch Meyer puts it: “I wanted this album to be a bit more reflective and a more grown-up way of looking at Ally's lyrical themes, so rather than going full angst, we opted to bring in some folk and Americana elements [plus] a lot of strange guitar intervals and bends that kind of twist with the emotion. Quinn Devlin was a big help in realizing this aspect" all of which sounds pretty Dead-like actually…

…but what's maybe a little less-than-direct with This Is Not A Rom-Com is how any one of these four songs could fit quite nicely on an actual rom-com soundtrack imho like how “The One Before” would be a great fit with Albert Brooks’ classic rom-com Modern Romance or how “Impact” sounds like it’s sung from the perspective of the Biscuit Woman in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster (“I am falling / and landing on concrete”)...



...or how “Overwhelmed” mirrors the self-delusion and mutual deception at the heart of The One I Love starring Elizabeth Moss or how “Narcissist” could soundtrack the, um, narcissism at the heart of Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story a movie that “brings rom-com energy to the agony of divorce” but still I had to turn it off after about 15 minutes due to the insufferability of the main characters not to mention the stilted acting, apologies to Adam and Scarlett because I know they're reading this…

…so anyway you may have noticed the aforementioned films are all very much dark romantic comedies which no doubt is down in part to your humble reviewer’s twisted cinematic tastes but they do fit the Drive-In EP to a "T" with its songs essentially rooted in the hopes and expectations formed around normative heteronormative couplings and the various varieties of misery and insecurity potentially stemming from these normative hopes and expectations which falls outside your typical happy ending rom-com territory…



…but then again your typical rom-com depicts plenty of misery leading up to its happy ending cuz you gotta ratchet up the dramatic-comedic-romantic tension somehow so maybe the songs on This Is Not A Rom-Com could be rom-com soundtrack fodder after all (plus that’s where the big bucks are!) not to mention Drive-In have a knack for combining despairing sentiments with pleasant “gentle folksy indie rock” musical stylings which may likewise help land those movie placements—an amalgamation mastered by the likes of Snail Mail, Lucy Dacas, and Phoebe Bridgers among others—so if you like your rom-coms both sweet and sour then head to the Drive-In and get your groove on… (Jason Lee)