“Take Heart” is the debut single from Melbourne four piece rock group, Viera Hotel. Viera Hotel is a fairly new group who cites The Killers, Interpol, and Joy Division as their biggest inspirations. “Take Heart” is an honest, raw song that has heavy, emotional lyrics next to an upbeat, dance soundtrack. The drums are strong, and the vocals kick in with a nostalgic vibe that brings you back to the 90’s. This song is as pop-rock as they come, and has already been making major waves in the music industry. You can listen to “Take Heart” on all major streaming platforms and on KX 93.5.
The New Pornographers have a rich catalog of music dating back to 2001. Their latest single, “Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile”, is a long-awaited follow up to their 2017 album, Whiteout Conditions. Frontman A.C. Newman describes the upcoming album, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights, as a “concept album”, and explains the ideas behind their latest single,
“ I think it has that element of how do you deal with the ideas of love and happiness in this world right now? When current events are stressful, that makes a stress on people’s relationships, and you’re trying to figure out how to be happy in this loving relationship in this world that seems ugly at every turn.”
The song starts out with a catchy bass line that adds melodies and instruments one-by-one, creating a sense of impending excitement. The lyrics pour over the track, and almost seem just like another instrument among the complex layers of sound. It makes you feel nostalgic for a love you may have never even had. This track is an energetic, poppy version of The New Pornographers and we can’t wait to see what they come out with on their forthcoming album, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights.
The Skullers are the brain-child of successful songwriter Jack Skuller, who found initially found success as a teen through Disney and other outlets. Now, he’s the lead of the three-piece blues-rock group, The Skullers. “Brooklyn Girls” is the newest single off of their forthcoming EP, set for release in October. “Brooklyn Girls” is a melodic, fined tuned track combining rock and classical sound. Passionate, raspy vocals and instrumental backdrop glide over the song while the slow sounds build to the chorus. The chorus sounds bittersweet, with twangy, light guitar sounds and pretty melodies that make the listener feel like their longing for another time. The track remains layered and progresses traditionally to give us a satisfying, well-rounded track. If you like something mesmerizing but catchy, make sure the give “Brooklyn Girls” a listen.
Cari Cari is a Austrian DIY rock duo formed in 2011 by multi-instrumentalists Stephanie Windmer and Alexander Kock. While they’ve found great success in Europe, they are just now starting to gain a following in the United States.
Their latest single, “Summer Sun”, is helping them do so. Off of the album ANAANA, “Summer Sun” starts with a direct, pop-driven baseline with smooth vocals from Windmer glazing over it. When it arrives at the chorus, the drums and guitar kick in, but the vocals remain the same. It’s a decent marriage between pop and rock, as the simple beat lets the listener follow along while enjoying the mellow, twangy guitar sounds. This song is so cool, it feels like entering an ice-cold room on a hot summer day, relieving and relaxing. You can listen to Cari Cari’s full length album ANAANA on any streaming platforms.
“Venus” is the latest single from The Chordaes newest EP, What We Breath In. The Chordaes are a relatively new band to come straight from the heart of New York. The lead singer, Leo Sawikin, describes The Chordaes as “The tendons in your heart that hold the valves to the muscles as it is expanding and contracting.” The Chordaes are obviously sentimental, which is evident in “Venus”. The song starts with a simple beat, followed by bass and drawn out guitar sounds. Sawikin croons over the instrumentals with emotional lyrics that showcase his vocal ability and songwriting skills. “Venus” has a catchy pop-rock melody, and impressive lyrics that make this song stand out among its competitors. You can find similar songs on their newest EP, What We Breath In.
“My Cheating Heart” is the newest and first single to be released by the group Love Fame Tragedy, founded by The Wombats frontman Matthew Murphy. While the Wombats are a well established group, Murphy wanted to create a side project of his own that reflected his own vision.
“My Cheating Heart” is a fast-paced mash up of acoustic and electric guitars, combined with synth and electronic drum beats. It teeters on the line of both pop and rock sounds, following the trend of crossovers and mash-ups that seem to be taking over the charts right now. Murphy pulled musicians from all different backgrounds for this project, including members of The Pixies and Pearl Jam, as well as lesser-known younger artists. In “My Cheating Heart” Murphy declares over power chords that he “Wants it all”, followed by backup vocals confirming he has a “cheating heart”. This song is a refreshing change from what we typically hear from The Wombats, and feels like a step in the right direction for Murphy. “My Cheating Heart” is a refreshing, catchy song that is definitely worth a listen if you’re a fan of The Wombats.
There’s always something exciting about a sold out show. There’s a lot of buzz about the band; how good they must be to sell out the venue and rumors about what songs they might play. Shortly put, there’s a lot of hype around the band. And Khruangbin exceeded the hype surrounding them.
On their April 18th show at the Fox Theatre, Khruangbin had a sold out show with over 2,000 attendees. Khruangbin had just come off a long tour playing all over the US and Europe, and played the first and second weekend of Coachella. Even with a hectic schedule, Khruangbin still made time to jam out with The Marias in Pomona.
The crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of the first band. As the Marias took the stage, they were accompanied by screams and cheers. The five piece band played a set full of dream-pop hits. The lead singer, Maria, had a very soothing voice reminiscent of Kali Uchis or Lana del Rey, and her accompaniment combined a mix between 90’s pop and modern psychedelia such as Tame Impala. While most of the songs seemed to blend together, the crowd cheered on and sang along to almost every lyric, showing just how large their fan base is.
After they ended their set, fans restlessly waited for Khruangbin to take the stage, watching each disco ball go up with anticipation. 30 minutes later, the lights went down and the crowd rallied as Khruangbin unassumingly took the stage.
When Khruangbin took the stage, they quickly greeted the audience and dove directly into their first song, Dern Kala, off of their 2015 album, The Universe Smiles Upon You. Laura Lee, the bassist of the group, made each song look like a breeze; effortlessly playing each note as she swings her hips back and forth in a sparkly pink tulle dress. As the vibes transcended, Laura Lee and guitarist, Mark Speer, grooved into perfect synchronization. Wearing matching wigs, the two played around even more by swigging matching liquor bottles together.
While many of their songs have simple riffs and chords, they have just as many songs that are very complicated and impressive, but you wouldn’t know it by watching them play, as they don’t miss a single mark and make the most challenging songs look like nursery rhymes.
About halfway through their set, they played their hit ‘Evan Finds The Third Room”, off of their 2018 album, Con Todo El Mundo. Lee used a telephone microphone for this song, as the lyrics are emulating a telephone operator droning on about what buttons we should press for more info. This energetic shift transferred to the crowd as everyone was begging for the next song.
After a few more jams, Khruangbin went into a series of snippets of cover songs. They did about thirty second covers of popular 90’s hip-hop songs, before moving into the next one seamlessly, which the crowd loved. After a few hip-hop hits, they even did a cover of “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak. The brief yet fun segment came to a close, and the band eased into their final song, Maria Tambien, an upbeat, funky song off of their latest album. This fan favorite was a great way to end the show, but by the time they left, people were shouting for more. The crowd waited anxiously for an encore, cheering their name and stomping. After what felt like an eternity of waiting, their drummer, Donald Ray “DJ” Johnson Jr eventually reclaimed the stage. He sat in silence for a few minutes, hitting the drums softly and patiently. With a five minute solo, the lead guitarist and bassist joined their mate on the stage and played three more songs, including their biggest hit, “White Gloves”, also off of their 2015 album, The Universe Smiles Upon You.
When the show was said and done, the room was still buzzing with satisfaction. Khruangbin’s laid back, unconventional music brought amazing energy to Pomona, with one of the best shows the Fox Theater has ever seen. In a world full of repetitive, recycled music, Khruangbin stands out as an exceptional talent. Khruangbin delivered rock n roll to a new audience in a fresh, funky package.
When The Buttertones take the stage, all eyes are on them. All five of the members have an individual vintage aesthetic that fits in perfectly with their nostalgic sound.
The five piece band creates a unique, rockabilly sound that combines quick, nostalgic beats with romantic lyrics reminiscent of the 1950’s. Each member of the band plays an essential piece in the puzzle of The Buttertones. They have an enormous fan base that extends across the country, but their biggest fan base is here in Southern California.
Their April 5th show at the Observatory was packed, with well-over a thousand fans in attendance. While fans cheered them on, The Buttertones went into their first song, “Delincuente,” a lesser known track off their 2016 album, American Brunch. While the band is fairly new, formed in 2012, they have a large library of releases and three studio albums.
Their fast-paced sounds work well with a live audience. The crowd starting rocking back and forth like a wave through every song, controlled by each beat the band played. This energy transferred between the crowd and The Buttertones for four of five songs, resulting in a symbiotic relationship where both sides were feeding off of one another. This energetic back and forth slowed down once the band reached “Baby Doll,” a slower romantic tune in their setlist.
A standout of the set was “Daks Back,” a song off of their 2015 album, American Brunch. The song was written by the lead singer, Richard Azaria, and references their guitarist, Dakota. The lyrics are over-the-top and describe Dakota to be a rough and tough rockabilly man straight out of The Outsiders. While many of their songs share a similar fast-paced, surf-rock sound, this song has fun guitar solos and a personal element to it that makes it enjoyable for the band to play.
Towards the end of the set, The Buttertones played their most popular song, “Orpheus Under the Influence,” off of their 2014 album. “Orpheus” has a very catchy pop baseline and changes between differing upbeat time signatures, making it easy for fans to dance and sing along to.
During their encore, The Buttertones came back with three last songs, the final one being a cover of Ritchie Valens’s 1958 “La Bamba.” The band’s drummer, Modeste “Cobi” Cobian sang and added a rougher punk element to the song. This classic hit was a great way to end the show as their cover energized the crowd and had everyone singing along to the well known song. By the end of their set, the crowd was still cheering their names and didn’t stop until they had to go home.