Happy Diving is a band from Northern California consisting of Matthew Berry (guitar/vocals), Matthew Yankovich (guitar), Mikey Rivera (bass) and Samuelito Cruz (drums). They formed Happy Diving after certain members left previous projects and decided to start something new. Within less than a month, they recorded with Jack Shirley at Atomic Gardens and are set to release their debut self-titled EP on January 14, 2014.
Running In The Fog is the moniker of San Francisco’s Amanda Harper. Harper’s deep seeded affinity for ‘90s R&B sets the scene for the project’s self-penned soul-infused space pop. Spending the better part of her adolescence singing and playing saxophone in jazz outfits, followed by a cross-country journey that took her to Philadelphia to study music and theater, her eclectic inspirations can be heard throughout everything she touches. On Silver, the six alluring tracks spotlight Harper’s silky vocals and hypnotic production.
Body Parts mobilizes a singularly elegant experimental pop idiom to explore the contours of modern devotion and doctrines of self-improvement alongside the immoderate reverberations of remembrance. Weaving together influences as varied as the rationalist prescriptions of the self-made seeker-healer- Scientology mastermind L. Ron Hubbard, the sensual guitar-scapes of Prince, and the haunting vocals and surrealist melodrama of Kate Bush, Ryder Bach and Alina Cutrono form the group’s core. The vital rhythmic infrastructure and frankly infectious groove found both live and on the album comes thanks to the formidable duo of Raymond Proudfoot, bass and Taylor Dexter, drums. Newcomer Derek Coburn on keys and synthesizer completes their superlative live sound. Body Parts debut album, Fire Dream is out now.
Bent Shapes is Andy Sadoway, Ben Potrykus, and Supriya Gunda. Since forming under the name Girlfriends in 2009, the Boston trio has released a string of cassettes and 7”s full of fuzzy garage, frantic jangle pop, and scrappy post-punk on various labels (including band members’ own imprints). The band’s myriad of influences reference touchstones like Josef K, The Feelies, Jonathan Richman, Billy Childish, and The Fall. Bent Shapes Feels Weird will be available August 20th on vinyl/CD/digital.
The self-titled debut from songwriter Samuel Hill’s project, The Everywheres, summons scrappy yet masterful psych-pop. Glowing garlands take shape from a cocktail of Davies odes, Brian Jonestown candidness and nomadic adventures. Swirling guitar wanes smooth to build a delicate, jewel-toned backbone from which peyote induced tambourines and blissed-out harmonies stem. Hill started making music as The Everywheres in the summer of 2012. The notorious drifter found himself back in his native Halifax, Nova Scotia, more specifically in the basement of his childhood home. It was there (along with time spent along the ocean shores in LaHave) that Hill was inspired to recount his journeys thru the power of song. He shacked up with his Tascam 4-track and every instrument he could get his hands on, laying down what would become The Everywheres’ debut.
Saskatchewan began as the project of Orlando, Florida based multi-instrumentalist Chandler Strang, whose inspiration was culled from the passion and intensity of muses like Tears for Fears and Phil Collins. Strang began collaborating with several other Orlando based musicians to further develop the dreamy aesthetic of his initial solo material. After the release of several EPs, the now full-fledged band, who has toured with Gauntlet Hair, Mister Heavenly, Hundred Waters, and Levek, amongst others, has released their debut album, Occasion.
Cocktails, San Francisco’s best kept after hours secret, have stepped into the sunlight with their self-titled EP. Recorded over three days in the summer of 2012 at Fuzz City with Matthew Melton and Rob Good (of Bay Area bands Warm Soda and Bare Wires,) Cocktails is the first official offering from the self described “slop pop” quartet. Their energetic power-pop punch hits somewhere between late 70s punk and fuzzed out 90s alt (think Teenage Fanclub or GBV anthems combined with the disarming honesty and pent-up aggression of This Year’s Model era Elvis Costello). They crank out big melodies, loud guitars, and loads of sticky sweet boy/girl vocal harmonies that will surely kick some pep into your step. Cocktails’ 4-song 7” EP is available digitally and on virgin black and “blonde” (limited to 150) colored vinyl.
Losing Face is the debut 5-song EP from Brooklyn, NY quartet, Leapling. Leapling began as home recordings, written by singer/guitarist Dan Arnes over the course of several months. From there, Dan and drummer, Yoni David, edited the tracks down to what would ultimately become Losing Face and also assembled a live band, which includes bassist R.J. Gordon (who also mastered the EP) and Joey Postiglione on lead guitar. They are the hearts and minds behind the Bushwick DIY venue/art space Big Snow Buffalo Lodge and the artist collective known as American Buffalo Recordings. You’d be hard pressed to find a group of people more committed to the local music community than these four dudes.
Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille began writing songs together in 2009 while living in Brooklyn, NY. In 2011, the duo packed up their lives, moved to Portland, OR and realized that it was time to put a name to the new project — Pure Bathing Culture was born. Through various serendipitous connections, multi-instrumentalist and producer Richard Swift heard their early demos and immediately invited them to record with him at his National Freedom studio in Cottage Grove, OR. Pure Bathing Culture’s S/T EP is an elegant collection of four beautifully crafted songs, constructed with smooth melodies embodying the nostalgia of soft soulful 80s pop but with a freshness all of their own.
High School Lover is the new 7″ from Santa Monica, CA’s Oregon Bike Trails (now known as Cayucas). Zach Yudin originally created OBT as a solo project but has since expanded to a full band. The bass-y strut on “High School Lover” gets your head bobbing and at the same time, recalls a certain nostalgic nod to pop songs of the 1960s. The B-Side “Cayucas” is a previously unreleased track that is sure to bring to mind summer weekend trips with friends, riding to the beach in a fire red Thunderbird convertible with the top down. The 7″ is pressed on white vinyl and comes with an instant digital download.
Mutual Spirits is split 12″ with Holy Spirits (New York, NY) and Mutual Benefit (Boston, MA). Mutual Benefit’s quirky and youthful arrangements are a welcomed companion to the textured delicacy of Holy Spirits. Mutual Spirits is pressed on gorgeous cream swirl vinyl with album art designed by Nathaniel Whitcomb of Think or Smile, limited to 250. Each 12″ purchase comes with an instant digital download.
David Levesque aka Levek has been crafting some incredible a capella meets Afrobeat meets Disney vibes for a while now and we became instant fans at first listen. This 7″ includes two new tracks — “Look on the Bright Side” and “Slow” and is pressed on red vinyl (limited to 500). Every order comes with an instant digital download bundle including both songs on the 7″ + 3 bonus tracks.
Skin is the first 7″ from Burlington, VT’s tooth ache. (aka Alexandria Hall). tooth ache. perfects her masterfully crafted downer pop on the 2-song 7″, available now. Skin is pressed on clear vinyl, limited to 500 and comes with an instant digital download.
Dream Talkin is the debut 7″ from Brooklyn’s Family Trees, available now from Father/Daughter Records. The trio cranks out delicious, pocket-sized beach pop jams that leave you thirsty for more. The vinyl is pressed on clear wax, limited to 500 and comes with immediate digital download.