Just released: WagakkiBand – “KISHIKAISEI” (Back to Life)

Japan’s alt-traditional-rockers WagakkiBand have just released a single for the Rio Olympics, ”KISHIKAISEI” (Back to Life). The track goes on sale later today on iTunes (http://wagakkiband.jp/wagae/news/detail.php?id=1037623) with a video in the works as well.

I happened to find an early release copy on the YouTubes.

The new music follows their recent tour in the US this July with three shows in California as part of their “Deep Impact 1st US Tour.” The shows were a raging success, with new fans and old, chanting for encores with the Japanese band name, “Wagakki” enthusiastically at each show. The word ‘Wagakki’ is not just the band name but a Japanese word about ancient musical tradition, so for the band to hear it chanted marked an exciting and encouraging landmark moment in thier career.

WagakkiBand fuse​ Shigin, poetry recitation rooted in Japanese traditional performing arts, Wagakki, traditional Japanese musical instruments, and rock music to bring a fresh and yet authentically Japanese live show.

Front woman Yuko Suzuhana is the champion of a nationwide Shigin contest. Backing Suzuhana are 7 members playing traditional instruments including Shakuhachi (bamboo flute), Shamisen (3 string guitar like instrument), Koto (Japanese Harp), and Taiko (Japanese drum).

Just released: “First Impressions” by Alejandro Meola

Holy crap, take a listen to the new EP out by blues/rock songwriter Alejandro Meola.

Last summer he was one of our “artists of the day”. We’ve always recognized his innate talent, but his new EP takes everything to a radically new level. Seriously, give it a listen right now.

His band is just getting back to Brooklyn after an east coast tour this spring. Now he’s gearing up for a show at Rockwood Music Hall in August.

Wednesday 8/10
7pm  — free –
196 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

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Thud’s new single: Prime Of Pride

By God, do I ever love this band.

They craft this angelic synth-rock that is delightful on the ears.

Their last video single, “Lime”, was featured on some of our earlier mix tapes.

They’re back in a big way with “Prime of Pride”. It’s everything I love about this band. A big, airy, transcendent sound. Like angels.

In fact I’ve gone back and tracked down “Lime” again.

Kick back and enjoy a transcendent afternoon.

Artist Review – Sheila Govindarajan

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I was invited to the Los Angeles Japanese American Cultural & Community Center last night for their Little Tokyo Concert Series and I swear she has a voice of an angel mixed with Sade so I had to take a listen. Trying to figure out who she was, I was mesmerized by the way how vibrant and beautiful her music was.

Her name… is Sheila Govindarajan.

The warmth of the summer sky mixed with her soothing voice was the perfect mood to set the weekend for me. To top that off, Ms. Govindarajan sang different songs in different languages but still managed to sweep me off my feet.

She is truly a one of a kind artist that everyone should hear.

Click here for a listen soundcloud page:

Artist Review – Deqn Sue

This quirky, vibrant, woman won my soul.

How fitting because the first song I listened to was “Jellybean” and in a way if I could describe her style it would a bag of jelly beans because you never know what flavor you are going to get but it’s a quite a delight. I love her upbeat style and the way she puts views on wax while having that “IGDAF” attitude while doing it.

Something about her music is relatable especially to those to perceiver with being fragile and misunderstood. Deqn Sue lets the world know that it is okay to be the person you truly are and nobody is perfect.

If you don’t know what Im talking about listen to “Bloody Monster”, “Glass”, or my new favorite “Magenta”.

Check her out on her SoundCloud!

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photo credit: Amanda Chapman

Monk Tamony – Leaders

NYC indie duo Monk Tamony has something in their new self-titled EP.

The melodic riffs mixed together with the unique vocals gives that late night Brooklyn feel when you listen to it. Similar to when you put on that cool leather jacket for the first time or when you head home from a great night, that ratification that races through your blood is what I hear when I listen to them.

Their gritty sound contrast that hard working, fearless, never give up attitude a band like them possesses, and it shows in their new single “Leaders”.

Listening to Leaders gives you that extra push when the times are tough. It’s that locker room pep talk for those days you feel sluggish or lethargic. I’d love to hear more from them soon.

Check our their soundcloud here:

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Review: r e l – Factory

REL_Factoryr e l is going to be the next big thing.

Something about that song had me put it on repeat over and over again. Her melodic voice put me in a spell (which I’m okay with) and I cant seem to let go.

I had to make sure it wasn’t just this catchy song so I found more of her songs and covers and let me tell you, I’M HOOKED. That’s why I can say she is the queen of “evoca pop”.

Her cover of Glass Animal’s “Gooey” is a revelation. Makes you think it almost sounds better than the original.

Her single “Plateau” breaks down the softer more chill side of her that I also love.

I can say I’m her #1 fan at the moment and cannot wait for more music from her. So if you read this r e l, I love you and please put out more music!

Don’t believe me, listen to her soundcloud here:

Review: Phoebe Bridgers – Demos

Phoebe Bridgers at TedXI had the great delight to discover songstress Phoebe Bridgers recently. I was magically delivered a burned CD of her old demos, a 4-track EP she’s been giving away on her recent tour.

The disc is, simply put, absolutely wonderful.

She has this honest, beautiful voice and precisely timed folk guitar picking. Her songs are simple portraitures of life and emotion, and her lyrics have “the precision of a surgeon with the passion of a drunkard”. Her own words describe her writing style best.

On the Twitters she is witty and sarcastic, as you would expect an artist to be.

But her songs are very direct and honest, as I said before.

Her disc was on repeat all afternoon today. It’s still cued up in the car’s CD player, so I look forward to digging it more tomorrow as well.

You will too.

More about her here:

http://www.phoebefuckingbridgers.com/

btw – did I mention her awesome URL?

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons: Rhapsody Revival

Ardent folk musicians, teachers and travelers Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons have been working on a movie based on their recent travels around America talking to and playing music with musicians along the USA’s famous Mississippi River.

Last year they traveled the 4th largest river in the world. “We sought out musicians young and old and interviewed them about their lives, music, and heritage. We filmed conversations with a pig farmer, a former inmate of Angola penitentiary, a classroom of sixth graders, a gospel singer, and a tap dancer–to name just a few.”

They’ve been working on a movie based on their travels for some time, and are releasing it this year in a series of concerts. They’ll be filming the concerts in hopes of making a documentary.

Says Joe: “We aim to film this concert series, and use the resulting footage to frame the documentary film.”

We look forward to it on the Netflix!