“Cass McCombs writes songs for rainy days. Over the last 15 years, he has perfected a specific style of low-key, dusky mood music suited for long, gray weekends spent indoors with the blinds closed. . . his are songs you sing to yourself, wandering around the house, looking for something to do. And judging by ‘Opposite House,’ the first single from Mangy Love, he may be starting to go stir crazy.”- Pitchfork “Best New Track”
Over the past decade, Cass McCombs has established himself as one of our premier songwriters. It’s a career that’s twisted and turned, from style to subject, both between records and within them. His new record, Mangy Love, ventures into realms of experimental soul, twisted psychedelia, and straight-up rock, resulting in a sound that articulates his live show better than ever before. Thematically, it’s far darker, tackling heavy issues through McCombs’ uniquely cracked lens of (often-times hilarious) lyrical wit and acumen toward subtlety. Hip-hop and Beat poetry influences have never been more evident, with several songs employing a speech-style and clever fast-paced wordplay. There are guest appearances by many fellow musicians of his tribe ranging from Angel Olsen to Blake Mills, under the production of veteran Rob Schnapf, and the overall result is his most immediate and up-beat record to date.
“Angel Olsen’s vocal contribution to ‘Opposite House’ by Cass McCombs is pretty subtle . . . But the result is gorgeous, and makes perfect sense, since they’ve got a shared knack for crafting heart-wrenching rock music on the traditional end of the songwriting spectrum.” - FADER “Songs You Need In Your Life This Week”
“Count your lucky stars that a world now exists wherein Cass McCombs and Angel Olsen are on the same track: “Opposite House”...” - SPIN “Favorite Songs of the Week”
Hailing from the Upstate NY town of Mahopac, the pop/punk indie band Reckless Serenade are all friends from high school, each with unique tastes in music, bringing their different styles to the writing process resulting in upbeat and angst-ridden songs spanning many genres.
Pulling their name from the Arctic Monkey's song of the same name, the 5 piece formed in 2012. The players, Cory Brent - Vocals, Mark Neidhardt - Guitar, Matt Ruggiero - Drums, Rob Crews - Guitar, Will Prinzi - Bass all met at school, and found their musical identities matched their ambitions, and they instantly connected. Since then, they've made enormous strides in becoming more than just a local band.
Their first 6 song EP was released by Fervor Records and has been featured on Fox Sports. The band won the MTVu Freshmen with the single from the EP 'Two Years Too Late'.
Summer 2013 saw the release of their debut full length album Chasing Lights, with each song on the album sounding distinctive, allowing Reckless Serenade's dynamic and versatile sound inspire their audiences at shows across the northeast. Chasing Lights garnered Top 30 successes around the country at College Radio over the summer, as well as commencing a series of east coast dates to support the record. 'Hear Me Out' blogger Luke Helker says: "Chasing Lights is an album full of anthems from start to finish and never has a dull moment. This is good, aggressive, edgy pop-punk music for the pop-punk fan looking for something fresh and exciting.
"On their latest EP, Strange Soul, Reckless Serenade seem to have hit their stride. The pop punkers deliver six cohesive jams just in time for summer and a stint on Warped Tour." - Idobi
RIYL: Motion City Soundtrack, Brand New, Modern Baseball, Braid, Bleeker
TRY: #6, 4, 1
“Sunshine is all monster hooks and full-blown chorus, snarled guitars warping anthemic vocal harmonies." - PopMatters
Trapdoor Social’s Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk met in an Environmental program at Pomona College and bonded over a shared concern for the future of the planet. They started off on a journey to make music and do some good along the way.
The duo introduced themselves with the 2012 EP Death Of A Friend, a driving, emotive alt-rock experience. Produced by Curt Schneider, the EP features Death Cab For Cutie’s Jason McGerr on drums. The EP made waves when “Like You Never” became the #1 listener-requested track on KROQ’s “Locals Only” show, and the second single “Away” enjoyed radio play from a number of major market stations around the US (including regular rotation on Q87.7 in Chicago) and a national Discount Tire/America’s Tire commercial for much of 2014-15.
In May 2014, Trapdoor Social released the Science of Love EP, which explored both sides of Skylar and Merritt’s influences as songwriters. As the boys started work on the EP, they decided to channel their music toward an environmental initiative in their community. They partnered with a few great non-profits and used their unreleased EP to raise $35k of solar roofing, which they are donating to Homeboy Industries. The 6.4 kW project represents 100% of the fundraiser’s earnings and will be installed soon.
Trapdoor Social toured 2 laps around the US in the summer of 2014 with new members Eyal Dahan (drums), Louie Gonzalez (guitar), and Patrick Griffen (bass), with Ben Ebert taking over drumming duties since. The following December, the band toured to Colorado Springs to play RXP1039’s Christmas festival. Having discovered that the local high school (Mesa Ridge HS) marching band program was underfunded, the boys decided to record a song with the band to help launch a fundraiser to help keep the program alive and promote the benefits of music and arts education in the public school system.
“Fine On My Own” was released on April 20th, 2015 and has been on high rotation in Colorado and played in other major markets. The song attained “Hall of Fame” Status on Las Vegas’s X107.5 nightly contest “The Beatdown” by winning ten times in a row. Trapdoor Social toured to Colorado in May 2015 and promoted the fundraiser by organizing and performing a benefit show with the marching band. The fundraiser brought in over $7K for the school.
The band's "Sunshine" single is already seeing success around the country, including being voted #1 on KROQ's "Locals Only" show and winning the KXTE "Beatdown" contest ten nights in a row, qualifying the track for the station's 2016 "Hall of Fame".
RIYL: Arctic Monkeys, Death Cab for Cutie, Young The Giant, Arcade Fire
TRY: #4, 1, 3, 5, 13
Pixl-Visionary is the brainchild of New Jersey musician Joseph DeGroot. A folk project that originally started years ago that has finally been fully realized as more of a full band project with his 2nd full length Shatterskin due out this fall on Mint 400 Records. Produced by Mint 400 Artist Steven Donahue of Young Legs this release is a delicate dream pop masterpiece in the vein of Deerhunter, Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine and more. Joseph has said, “This album explores themes of self loathing, anxiety and how your interactions with other people influence your perception of yourself.” The first single “Before Tonight Disintegrates” is available now everywhere mp3’s are sold and streaming on Spotify.
Carl Broemel (pronounced BRAY-mel) is a member of indie rock stalwarts My Morning Jacket and an accomplished musician in his own right. His new solo album 4th of July is slated for release on August 19 via Broemel's newly formed label Stocks in Asia alongside Thirty Tigers. Co-produced by Teddy Morgan, Bo Koster and Tom Blankenship of My Morning Jacket both appear on the record, with Koster co-writing a few tracks. Guest appearances also include Neko Case, Laura Veirs, Russ Pollard, Shelly Colvin, Richard Medek and Jordan Caress.
Broemel worked on the record between album and tour cycles in Nashville. Without an imposed deadline, he was able to engage his creative impulses within a space absent of all expectation. Lyrically, the album serves as a kind of journal noting thoughts that had been going on in Broemel’s mind while out on tour, but not on stage. The result is an album that examines the passage of time marveling at how different our lives look now from the engrained images of ourselves that we’ve held onto from the past. Lead single "Sleepy Lagoon" was originally conceived while Carl sought sleep on a Transatlantic flight, but floated in a half-sleep dreamlike state, and the outcome is a track that Consequence of Sounds calls “a slow rolling psychedelic number, rocking like a swaying porch swing”.
In addition to 4th of July and My Morning Jacket, Broemel is currently on tour as a member of Ray LaMontagne's band with a full solo tour coming soon.
RIYL: My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Dr. Dog
TRY: #1, 2, 6
(Edits of #1 + #2 available on downloads page below)