August 2014
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“What The Devil Don’t Know” by Sassparilla

Longtime Portland band Sassparilla has released not one but two albums via Fluff & Gravy Records. A listen to the pair of platters — Pasajero and Hullabaloo — reveals two very different approaches. Pasajero is a studio-driven, atmospheric record with rock flourishes and careful craft; Hullabaloo is rawer, rootsier, and rustier, bearing the traits of the band’s boisterous live show.

Songwriter and front man, Kevin Blackwell, has simple reasons for making two different records, yet packaging them together — to provide fans two distinct experiences: A studio record, and a “come as you are” record. With Hullabaloo, the band left behind a proper studio for Blackwell’s attic. The two albums also showcase the breadth of the Sassparilla experience: one moment beautiful, the other falling down the stairs. Pasajero starts with “Overture,” a saxophone-driven, beat-infused burn with a late-night, blurry-eyed Kerouac sprawl to it. Proclaiming, “If it doesn’t burn, it was never alive.” The band’s infectious groove sets the stage for the rest of this dark, yet melodic collection.

While they may be two completely different records, they compliment each other implicitly. Please have a listen to “What The Devil Don’t Know” from Pasajero below.

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“What The Devil Don’t Know” by Sassparilla

Album Cover (resized)

Image and mp3s courtesy of Alex Steininger of In Music We Trust PR

"You're Cold" by The Black Tibetans

In Los Angeles in 2011, Dinst (guitar/ vocals), Tammi Tibetan (bass) and Ryan KH (drums) merged their talents to form The Black Tibetans. Recently, the band teamed up with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys for their latest EP, The Nashville Session. Recorded in Nashville, the record is the band’s 3rd release, following their 2011 self-titled debut album and a 7-inch EP in 2013.

The Black Tibetans have been on countless tours and have shared the stage with bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Eagles of Death Metal, Brody Dalle (The Distillers), Social Distortion, and The Supersuckers.

Visit vimeo to view a preview of “You’re Cold.” Plus, stream the track via the player below.

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“You’re Cold” by The Black Tibetans

The Black Tibetans

Image courtesy of The Black Tibetans

mp3 courtesy of Amanda Blide, Director of Publicity at LaFamos, Marketing & Publicity Department

“The Letter” by Keeton Coffman

Visit Youtube to view the official video for “The Letter” from Keeton Coffman’s forthcoming EP The Ghost.

Coffman’s friends Jack, Jackson, and Dietrich Potts (Father and sons) helped him shoot it. That’s Dietrich in the truck. They shot the video in Spring, Texas at John’s land — another one of Coffman’s friends. John has these great trucks from the 1950s and a barn that is hand built. According to Coffman, “It’s incredible out there.”

The Ghost EP will be released on August 14, 2014.

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“The Letter” by Keeton Coffman

Sleeve ECO

Image and mp3 courtesy of Keeton Coffman

“Tunnels” by Hearts of Oak

Portland, Oregon-based shoegazer country act Hearts of Oak are celebrating the release of their third, and first nationally-distributed full-length New England (Deer Lodge Records).

Fronted by singer-songwriter Nate Wallace, Hearts of Oak has been referred to as “a singer-songwriter with a druggy, psychedelic backing band.” Engineered and produced by Ezra Meredith, the band’s guitarist, at Meredith’s Deer Lodge Studios in Portland, Oregon, Hearts of Oak is rounded out by the rhythm section of J Lever on drums and Keith Richard McCarthy on bass, as well as Ezra’s brother Joel Meredith on pedal steel.

Entitled New England for numerous reasons, including the fact that Wallace is from there, the album chronicles tales of love, loss, and longing, a theme that commonly runs through Hearts of Oak songs, but is prevalent on this album, which Wallace attributes to the constant struggle he feels of being pulled back home.

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“Tunnels” by Hearts of Oak

Hearts of Oak Cover Art (resized)

Image and mp3 courtesy of Alex Steininger of In Music We Trust PR

“Peace” by Western Education

Los Angeles, CA’s Western Education have debuted their first full-length album, Let Your Secrets Out, along with the new single, “Peace.” Formed on the UMass Lowell college campus, the band was established by keyboard and lead-vocal member Greg Alexandropoulos as he spread flyers throughout the campus in search of like-minded artists.

Western Education brings a modern indie-alt, dance sound that resembles popular artists such as The Killers and Muse. The album’s lead single “Peace,” penned by Alexandropolus, is about a haunting experience. It’s about accidentally hitting someone with a car, and praying that person is not dead. In this particular true-case scenario, the subject ended up being okay. The broader message of the song is one that anyone can relate to — sometimes bad things happen that you didn’t intend on, or that were not your fault, but you are forced to live and deal with it.

The track “Peace” can be streamed on Soundcloud, or via the player below.

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“Peace” by Western Education

Western Education

mp3 courtesy of Alex Savino of LaFamos, Marketing & Publicity Department

Image courtesy of Facebook profile pictures

"Pretty Girls" by Eric Frisch

NYC artist Eric Frisch has recently released his first self-produced full-length album entitled Goodbye Birdcage. The album merges modern indie pop with 50′s and 60′s pop to create it’s own unique sound.

A throwback to 50s and 60s pop productions, Frisch created an album that was true to his biggest influences like the Beatles and the Beach Boys and reminiscent of the classic Motown sound. His other influences range from Sam Cooke and the Four Tops to Bob Dylan and Jackie Wilson. Frisch wrote all of the songs in a two week span, and each track tells a story. For instance, the title track is about Frisch leaving his home in Toronto behind and moving to New York City to pursue music.

Frisch has performed at venues like Rockwood Music Hall, the Bowery Electric, the Living Room, and the Studio at Webster Hall. A talented artist and performer, he writes songs that are original, catchy, and memorable.

The album can be streamed in full via Soundcloud. Plus, visit Youtube to view the official videos for “Pretty Girls” and “Learn to Swim.”

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“Pretty Girls” by Eric Frisch

Telephone Press Photo

Image and mp3 courtesy of Matt Bacon, Intern at Independent Music Promotions

“Bloom” by The Morning Birds

The new EP from LA’s The Morning Birds is a collaborative concept album titled BLOOM (via Funky Island House Records). The album contains one original song and five remixes by diverse DJ’s from around the globe, designed to reflect the seasons of the year. The DJ’s are Dimond Saints, Alex Zelenka/Invisibles, Knife & Fork, Prizm Prime, and OptiX. The album is set for national release on August 12, 2014.

This EP represents the evolution of the remix and touches on different electronic genres including Future Bass, Dub, Techno/Trance, House, Down-Tempo – with the original song being a jazz-infused indie track with that signature Morning Birds’ sound.

Have a listen to the title track via Soundcloud. Plus, a pre-order of the full album is available on bandcamp.

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“Bloom” by The Morning Birds

Beautiful lilac clematis

Image and mp3 courtesy of Jennifer Thorington & Samuel Markus of Working Brilliantly

“Neptune’s Grave” by The Hydrothermal Vents

John Tielli (vocals, guitar, midi programming) and Tessa Kautzman (vocals, bass), the charismatic Montreal duo known as The Hydrothermal Vents, boil with a chemistry that pulls listeners deep into their imaginative world. Both members have extensive personal music history, from a mutual love for the Pixies to North American tours and solo collaborations with heavy hitters like Arcade Fire. The Hydrothermal Vents are characterized by an experimental spirit, dreamy lyrics and inventive vocal interplay.

The duo released their debut full-length, Secrets of the Deep!, on July 5, 2014. The album expands on the theme embodied in their band name: a mysterious life-giving energy and a source of light in the darkness.

On stage, Tielli and Kautzman perform with energy and precision, using inventive vocal interplay including rounds, spoken word, ghostly howls and tight harmonies to recount their fantastical tales of the deep. Thoughtfully crafted backing tracks add layers of infectious beats and synth hooks.

Have a listen to the recommended track, “Neptune’s Grave,” via Soundcloud, or stream the full album via bandcamp. Plus, check out the new live music video for “Neptune’s Grave” here.

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“Neptune’s Grave” by The Hydrothermal Vents

CD Cover (resized)

Image and mp3 courtesy of Matt Bacon, Intern at Independent Music Promotions

“In The Shade” by Dog Society

The renown NYC pop-rock collective, Dog Society, showcase their prowess in their newest studio album, In The Shade. The band’s third full-length album is chock full of psych rock, Beatle-esque harmonies and huge, catchy hooks.

The band was formed in 1991 and their debut, Test Your Own Eyes, was released in 1993. The Washington Post praised the album for its “catchy melodies, Beatlesque harmonies, alternately droning and jangly guitars, and a nod and a wink to The Who and other fab Brits.”

After a 19-year hiatus, the society returns with In The Shade. Speaking of the hiatus, band member, Rich Guerzon said, “The break was just life taking us on different journeys. I knew we would cross paths again someday.”

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“In The Shade” by Dog Society

Dog Society In The Shade

Image and mp3 courtesy of Jennifer Thorington & Samuel Markus of Working Brilliantly

“Into the Light” by Salvador Santana

Born into a life of music, Salvador Santana first began playing the drums at the age of three, under the direction of his father, Carlos Santana. It was his experimentation with the drums that eventually led him to begin taking piano lessons at the age of six, and eventually, studying at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and Cal Arts. He has worked alongside iconic artists, such as Money Mark (Beastie Boys) and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, and has co-written with his father. There’s no doubting that he has become an expert at his craft. On an EP titled Rise Up, Santana found his voice through a message of positivity and empowerment.

His empowering style is evident on the epic, cinematic track “Into The Light” — a song that encourages listeners to think for themselves and fight for what they believe in. “Into the light,” calls out the beautiful vocals of Alex Nester, in an absolutely breathtaking build that allows her voice to rise up above the harrowing instrumentation.

For a free mp3 download of the single “Rise Up,” visit Santana’s Soundcloud site. Plus, preview the official video for “Rise Up” here.

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“Into the Light” by Salvador Santana

Salvador Santana

Image courtesy of Sera Roadnight of M T Press

mp3 courtesy of Soundcloud