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Rachel Ledesma

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Rachel Ledesma (RachelLedesma)

  • Email: ledesma@chapman.edu
  • Nice Name: rachelledesma
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  • Registered On :2018-06-05 20:39:18
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  • Author ID: 298

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“g.a.t.” is the latest single from Fletcher Shears’s solo endeavor as Puzzle. Featuring Brooklyn-based rapper, Ms. Boogie, the track is the first taste of Puzzle’s upcoming album, X Hail, set for release on Jan. 1, 2019. A prolific musician in both his work for Puzzle and as one half of The Garden, Shears’s evolution as an artist is on broad display in “g.a.t.” which continues to redefine his ever-changing sound. Shears blends a smooth rap beat with hypnotizing synth, interweaving Ms. Boogie’s soft and dreamy vocals with his own punk verses. The result is a hypnotizing and memorable precursor for Shears’s new album and sound that promises to expand upon the ideas he first laid out when he started Puzzle back in 2012. We’re all ears.

Listen here.


For a band that doesn’t leave their garage much, post-punk/synth-pop band, Distractor, is ready to leave the city behind for a simple life on the farm. Hailing from Costa Mesa, the band’s new single, “Moving to the Farm,” is a rejection of modern life and a wish to get away from it all. It’s a desire that the band transforms into an anthem fitting for 2018: “Just repeat this: Fuck this shit, I’m quitting my job and I’m moving to the farm.” Yet, as Distractor finds out in their imagined future, life on the farm isn’t so easy. From issues with cows and the wife, farm life is no walk in the park, but it’s better than the toxicity of life in the city. “Can’t stand the city. Don’t like the lights. Too many people. It’s not that nice.” Though the song is more desire than reality, the idea of serene farm life, of being far away, transcends time and place — something the band known for their songs about exploring the depths of outer space is used to.

Listen here.

It’s been four long decades of rock ’n’ roll for Nancy Wilson, the iconic guitar virtuoso who formed the multi-platinum rock band, Heart, with her sister, Ann Wilson, in the late ‘60s, and has managed to keep the music pumping.

Though Nancy’s still creating music for Heart (2016’s studio LP, Beautiful Broken), she stumbled across another outlet by forming a new band: Roadcase Royale.

“Everybody needs at least one cool rock band, maybe two,” Nancy said.

While watching Jimmy Fallon, Nancy first saw Liv Warfield, a former Prince collaborator, perform. She was immediately drawn to the power of her voice and her magnetic energy. She then contacted Warfield and got her to open for Nancy’s performance at the Hollywood Bowl. 

“We just hit it off and just started talking about music and she was like, ‘I’d love to rock more. I love my soul and R&B stuff, but I loved to see you guys rock, and I want to rock more like that. Mind if I send you some ideas?’” Nancy said.

After that, the pair started exchanging ideas and pretty quickly, they all took a leap of faith and played together along with Nancy’s Heart band members and Warfield’s guitarist, Ryan Waters, for the first time. The next thing they knew they had completed an album, 2017’s First Things First, which fuses soul with arena rock for an entirely new sound.

Nancy’s grateful for the update. Though Warfield was hesitant to cover classic Heart songs like “Barracuda,” Nancy said it’s refreshing to hear her old songs take on new emotions and character.

“Don’t worry, just bring your own voice to it,” Nancy told Warfield.

Warfield took the advice and now performs an authentic version of the song that even leaves Nancy stunned.

“I pinch myself when she’s singing on stage because she has those ethics as a singer to never be a poser or a phony,” Nancy said.

It’s these ethics that Nancy has lived by as she continues to pave a way for female rockers. During an era when females in rock ’n’ roll were scare and looked down upon, Nancy carved a place for women to shine that’s still relevant in 2018.

“There’s always been an undercurrent in the women’s movement and a move towards equality and equal pay and all that kind of stuff that’s always been there, but to see it come more to the surface and to the front in the culture these days is really great,” Nancy said.

Nancy continues to inspire many female musicians and bands like female-fronted indie band, La Sera, and female singer Cecilia Della Peruti’s solo work as Gothic Tropic. It’s a fitting match then, that the two bands will be opening for Nancy at her upcoming performance for Laguna Beach’s only FM radio station, KX 93.5’s, annual KXMas concert.

Nancy said she’s more than thrilled that the two acts will be paying homage to her as a preeminent icon of female rock.

In 2012, Nancy had the chance to play homage of her own to one of her biggest inspirations, Led Zeppelin. At the annual Kennedy Center Honors for the British hard-rock band, Nancy and Ann performed a cover of “Stairway to Heaven” that moved many to tears—most notably  Robert Plant. The video went viral and Nancy is still moved by Plant’s reaction to their performance.

Since then, Nancy and Ann have been working on their own projects, performances and tours. However, talks of an upcoming Heart tour have recently bubbled to the surface.

“You know, I can’t really give anything away exactly quite yet, but I’m excited and I think it looks very, very positive,” Nancy said.

But a Heart tour doesn’t mean the end of Roadcase Royale.

“I have so much joy playing with Roadcase Royale, my friends and my little rock family, and it just would be insanely sad if I could not continue to do that with them,” Nancy said.

What a performance featuring Heart and Roadcase Royale will look and sound like is still in the works, but with Nancy, Anne and Warfield all collaborating and creating together, it’ll continue to redefine rock ’n’ roll.

Until then, Nancy’s focused on her work with Roadcase Royale and excited to perform at KXMas. Talks of performing songs off of Heart’s Christmas album are in the air, but Nancy is certain that jingle bells will be involved.

“December 8! Bring jingle bells!” Nancy said.

2018 has been Ty Segall’s year. The prolific rocker has released four full-length albums from January’s Freedom Goblin to October’s Fudge Sandwich, a covers album.  Featuring renditions of “The Loner” by Neil Young and “Hit It and Quit It” by Funkadelic, Fudge Sandwich brings a new energy to classic rock songs everybody knows and loves, including Segall himself. On “Isolation,” Segall covers John Lennon, bringing a powerful edge to the track while embodying the deep sorrow heard in Lennon’s voice on the original. Not everyone can cover Lennon, or for that matter, deserves to, but Segall approaches the track with awe and respect, as he does for every song on the album. “The sun will never disappear/But the world may not have many years/Isolation,” Segall sings before yelling “Isolation” for the final time, a cathartic release and embodiment of Lennon’s frustration when he first penned the track in 1970.

Listen to Ty Segall’s cover here.

Listen to the original here.

Released last spring, “Hey Kids” is the latest dreamy single from art pop producer and musician, Molina. Based in Copenhagen, the 25-year-old otherwise known as Rebecca Maria Molina worked with Swedish artist and co-writer, Late Verlane, whose vocals can be heard in the track’s hypnotizing second verse. With experimental synth and a steady backbeat, the song is a glimpse at Molina’s many influences ranging from Apex Twin to Miharu Koshi. Mixing these inspirations, Molila offers us a fitting introduction to her expansive sound and mind.

Listen here.

“You wanna know me, well, what’s to know?” asked Jack Tatum, otherwise know as Wild Nothing, the indie pop musical project he started recording under in 2009, releasing promising demos which turned into EPs and then albums, the most recent of which, Indigo, attempts to answer Tatum’s question.

It’s a question Tatum first asked himself in 2012’s Nocturne, an album which garnered him both critical and commercial success, defining a new, polished voice in the indie pop realm. Yet, with Wild Nothing, Tatum continuously expands on sound and influence, experimenting with writing and production, mixing elements of indie rock and dream pop into something else. This something else, difficult to describe without referring to the serene mood it evokes, is what draws listeners to Wild Nothing.

It’s also what drew fans to The Santa Ana Observatory on a night in late October, filling the pit and balcony, all in attendance slipping into a relaxed mood encouraged by faded blue lighting. But excitement found its way across the venue as the lights shifted to a red hue and indie-dance band, Men I Trust, walked onto stage. Hailing from Montreal, Québec, the dream pop trio was meet by cheers before they even picked up their instruments. They thanked the audience and immediately dove into their dreamy, mesmerizing sound, seemingly effortless and incredibly groovy. The Canadian outfit played tracks new and old, showing off their musical versatility as they transitioned between R&B-heavy inspired tracks, to the stripped-down “Show Me How.” As they left the stage and the flood lights turned on, the audience suddenly awoke from the trance-like state the ethereal band had walked them into.

“It’s over?” a concertgoer asked aloud.

Men I Trust

Not for long as Wild Nothing made their way onto stage, comprised of Tatum and his touring band. Immediately jumping into “Nocturne,” the band grooved back and forth with their guitars, dancing in streaks of light, their faces smiling with content at the crowd of swaying bodies below. The band held nothing back, moving from track to track, maintaining an energy as exciting as the 80s-influenced synth-pop most of the songs off Indigo fall under.

Halfway through their set, Tatum adjusted the microphone and stared into the audience, assessing their energy, which was higher than expected as concertgoers shouted out song requests, compliments and questions, one of which Tatum answered. The question came from the back, inquiring what mystery drink Tatum was sipping between songs.

“It’s throat cold tea if you really most know,” Tatum replied to laughter from the crowd.

Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing then slowed things down with “Shallow Water,” a carefully arranged and cleanly produced track that reveals just how far Tatum has come as a musician, while maintaining the distinctive spirit that has set him apart since his very first demos. Nearing the end of their set, Wild Nothing surprised the audience with fan-favorite, “Chinatown,” beginning a three-song encore that had the crowd dancing and cheering throughout. They ended the night with “Shadow,” a warm melodic song about a negative relationship and heartbreak. Played live, the song transformed into a chance for reflection, to slip away into the calm energy of Wild Nothing and take a breath.



A frame of mind can be a lonely place to be, especially when your thoughts and memories seem out of control. So reflects L.A. indie duo, Ruby Haunt, on “Sanctuary,” the second single off their most recent record, Blue Hour. A wistful attempt at clearing a headspace and picking up the pieces of regret, “Sanctuary” touches on the refuge from the outside world that is peace of mind. With melancholic vocals and dreamy keyboard, the track proves the haunting magic of Wyatt Ininns and Victor Pakpour’s collaboration, which has resulted in three EPs and now two albums.

Listen here.

Like a Baby is Lucas Nathan’s latest release as Jerry Paper and his first record since moving back to L.A. from New York City. The move inspired in Nathan the existential theme of human desire and satisfaction, heavy material he explores in the sweet and breezy track, “Grey Area.” Featuring Weyes Blood’s melodic vocals, the laid-back tune centers around life’s in between moments that are neither good nor bad, though not exactly comforting. It’s a realization that hits no matter where you are. In Nathan’s case, the cereal aisle (“Grey area come and find me/In the cereal aisle”).

Listen here.