“Pieces”, “Not Enough” and “Beautiful Things” by Rabid Young

Las Vegas-based rockers Rabid Young premiered their first single, as a prelude to their debut EP, on PopMatters who noted the bands “grandiose synth pop holds nothing back on its cinematic groove.” Check out the PopMatters Premiere. “Not Enough” is off the bands forthcoming, EP 1, which was released on October 2.

Next, their single “Beautiful Things” premiered on A Music Blog, Yea? who branded the single an “infectious electro-pop tune.”

In addition, the band premiered their video for “Pieces” on MySpace. Seriously? Does MySpace still exist?

Have a listen to more of Rabid Young via SoundCloud.

In 2014, Las Vegas musician Eric Rickey (lead vocals, guitar and keys) found himself at the end of a well-traveled road wondering where to go next. That year Rickey’s previous band, Most Thieves, had opened for the Killers through Europe and Canada, playing arenas and getting a taste of international success. Back in Vegas, Rickey joined up with friend and fellow musician Jackson Wilcox (bass) and the two began plotting their new endeavor with fellow Most Thieves alum Bobby Lee Parker (guitar), as well as Matthew Long (drummer for Roky Erickson) and Alex Stopa (Drums). Later, Megan Wingerter (keys) and Mason Bundschuh (guitar) joined the group.

With Rickey’s studio, Electric Animal, at their disposal, the group began experimenting with instrument layering; cutting layers into snippets and looping them into ambient hooks, essentially sampling themselves.

“Pieces” by Rabid Young

“Not Enough” by Rabid Young

“Beautiful Things” by Rabid Young

Rabid Young

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

“Shot in the Dark” by Skittish

The idiosyncratic-sounding quartet, Skittish, from St. Paul, Minnesota have released their newest album, Two Legs Bad. Since their inception, the band has maintained a steady trajectory through the indie wilderness; playing SXSW and Summerfest and opening for some notable acts including The Lone Bellow.

Members include Jeff Noller, Brianna Tagg, Jeremy Krueth and Lazarus Ulysses Clearwater. Skittish began as Noller’s recording side project when his college band reached the end of the line. He was content to explore his potent musical ideas alone in his basement until he met Brianna Tagg, a classically trained pianist and voice major, whose knack for ear wormy melodies offset Noller’s neo-folk sensibilities. Jeremy Krueth and Lazarus Ulysses Clearwater rounded out the band, having been bouncing their rhythm section off the walls of dark Midwest clubs for years.

The title of their newest record, Two Legs Bad, was pulled from a line in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and is one of the many literary, economic and historical references peppered throughout the album.

“Shot in the Dark” by Skittish


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

“I’m Ready” by Patti Yang

As a teenager living in London, Patti Yang found herself smack dab in the early 90’s electronic music bloom. By the time Yang had developed her own musical voice, she was being courted by Sony and Warner Music in Poland. Yang’s impressive CV includes solo support for the Depeche Mode and over 10 major film score credits. Since the early 2000′s, Yang has delivered a steady stream of stunning EP’s and acclaimed remixes that have drawn comparisons to Zola Jesus and Icona Pop.

Yang was introduced as a solo artist in the UK in 2012 when she teamed up with Hurt’s breakthrough producer Joe Cross on two EPs, Wires and Sparks and Hold Your Horses. Shortly after releasing her last EP, she decamped to Joshua Tree, California for several months to write and begin tracking her full-length follow up, War On Love. The album was her first to be recorded partially in the US and the textured soundscapes hint at the psychedelic heritage of the Californian dessert.

Earlier this year she returned to London to flesh out the recordings with her trusted bandmates, combining her electronic sketches with live instrumentation to achieve a lush blend of ice-cool, boundary pushing pop. The release date for War On Love is undecided.

Her newest single, “I’m Ready”, just premiered on Sunset in the Rearview.

You may stream or download the track via SoundCloud. Plus, you may view the video for “Near to God” via YouTube.

“I’m Ready” by Patti Yang

Patti Yang

Publicity Photo by Patrick Duffy De Armas
mp3 courtesy of Jennifer Thorington & Samuel Markus of Working Brilliantly

“The Depths” by Mark Kraus

New York City-based singer-songwriter, Mark Kraus, grew up in the kind of old Massachusetts town that had long past its day. Abandoned factories and turned to strip malls drove him and his friends to seek music as a way out.

Kraus and friends escaped to Boston where they formed the indie folk band Jr. Corduroy. 2002’s I Don’t Want To Be Around When You’re Gone For Good got some solid acclaim, such as a critic’s pick for The Boston Globe’s 10 best records of the year. Kraus moved to New York City shortly after and for close to the next decade began experimenting with different ideas, bands and projects. After the break up of his second band Tsui, Kraus abandoned music for close to five years.

His new album The Story of Everything is a reawakening. It is an immediate, cinematic, and at times heartbreaking solo debut that is both deeply personal and universal. The album was recorded by Kraus in Brooklyn, mixed by David Westner, and mastered at Peerless Mastering by Jeff Lipton. Musically it draws from influences like Wilco, Elliott Smith, Bill Callahan, Leonard Cohen, and Bruce Springsteen.

“The Depths” by Mark Kraus

Download the track via bandcamp.

Mark Kraus Album Cover

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

“I Got Nothing” by Scott Krokoff

With a rich and melodic sound drawn primarily from his love of 60s and 70s singer-songwriters, New Yorker Scott Krokoff weaves elements of folk-rock and country-pop into confessional and compelling Americana.

Krokoff’s college band, Equinox, played heavily throughout NYC in the 90s, releasing four albums before the different members settled into the workforce and “real life” took over. Krokoff, however, held his dream close and began pursuing a solo career. 2007’s A Better Life and 2012’s Realizations and Declarations, Vol. 1 both brimmed with lovely and tuneful revelations, which proselytized the art of taking risks in life.

Krokoff’s newest album Realizations and Declarations, Vol. 2 will be available on August 14, 2015.

Have a listen to “I Got Nothing” via Soundcloud or the player below.

“I Got Nothing” by Scott Krokoff

Scott Krokoff

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

“Slow I Go” by Paul Doffing

Indie-folk musician, 6 and 12 string guitarist, Paul Doffing, is currently touring the United States (and beyond) on a bicycle. His first music/bike tour was the five-month Freedom From Fuel Tour in 2012. In five months he traversed the entire continent by bicycle playing thirty tour dates from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, California. He released his second, self-titled album in October 2013 and continues his tradition of touring without fossil fuels.

A road-worn depth reverberates throughout Doffing’s work. Songs unfold naturally, and a peaceful reflecting point is provided through his virtuosic guitar work and rich, poetic lyricism. The direct, unbridled nature of this music hints at someone who has spent long, contemplative hours harvesting melodies. Doffing’s voice shines as brightly as his guitar work, at times, evoking an otherworldly Neil Young. His lyrical content is reminiscent of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy – expansive, symbolic, and surprising. His music is influenced by his compassionate sense of duty more than it is by any particular artist.

His debut album, Blossom is You, combines graceful finger picking and rich lingering chords with deeply introspective lyrics. Like great cinema, the album has moments of bliss, torture, and melancholy. Doffing spent years in a psychedelic rock band before realizing he needed to go in his own direction. After completing Blossom is You, he set out on a 5,000-mile bike trip across the U.S. to bring his music to a broader audience. “I learned to smile at the challenges, to accept and accomplish the tasks I faced, and to feel safe without a plan.”

Songs of a man reveling in a new facet of his artistry were evident in his self-titled follow-up album. It brought out the lyrical side of his work. His vocal style brings in elements of rock and roll, blues, and folk. Lastly, his latest album, Songs from the (quaking) Heart, was released on May 30. The track “The Legend of Mick Dodge” can be viewed on YouTube. And the Austin Town Hall premier of his newest single “Reason” can be heard on Soundcloud. Plus, have a listen below to another gem from the latest album, “Slow I Go.”

“Slow I Go” by Paul Doffing

Paul Doffing 2

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

“Captive” by Shannon Nicole

Oregon-based songbird, Shannen Nicole, has the innate ability to pen and deliver authentic, emotionally raw songs, maturely delivered and unmistakably soaked in the Beatles-esque vibes from her parents’ record collection.

Nicole’s debut album, Captive, shows her writing about things she or her friends experienced in high school, always captivated by those around her. The album was tracked at Flora Recording in Portland Oregon, a studio that has recently held the likes of The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket and Beth Orton.

“Captive” by Shannen Nicole

Shannen Nicole

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

“No More Hits” by the zzips

Hailing from South of London in the suburbs of Sussex, lo-fi pop impresarios the zzips come baring the gifts of outside observation. Comprised of core duo James Butler and Graham Cupples, the zzips utilize technology and retro gear to create an organic hybrid of blues and electronica, tied together with hip hop riffs and satisfying classic rock leanings.

The lead-off single “No More Hits,” to the album 20 Years Late, recently premiered on Death+Taxes. The magazine noted the duo’s mix of blues and hip hop “calls to mind Odelay-period Beck.” 20 Years Late will be released on July 21. This is the first zzips album to be released but they are sitting on another three.

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“No More Hits” by The Zzips

zzips 20 Years Late cover

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

“Jimmy Dean” by The Morning Birds

Heard on Showtime’s Shameless, check out the early morning, post-bender, hangover-lifting, “Jimmy Dean,” from The Morning BirdsEarly Bird Specials (Select Songs from 2011-2014).

You may stream the album via bandcamp.

The Morning Birds (TMB) are Samuel Markus (vox, guitar), Jennifer Thorington (vox, bass, keys) and Stephen Newman (drums, backup vox). In describing TMB’s sound, Consequence of Sound noted, “…so Beatles circa 1964.” The Deli Magazine said, “a mixed-bag of sixties psych-folk, modern day electro-pop, laid-back hip-hop rhythms, and reggae swagger. This is music for those looking for a good time.”

[audio:Jimmy Dean.mp3|titles=Jimmy Dean|artists=The Morning Birds]
“Jimmy Dean” by The Morning Birds

The Morning Birds Early Bird

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

“He Was A Man” by Kings of the Brushwood Thicket

Mysterious Jamaica, Queens outfit Kings of the Brushwood Thicket has premiered their debut single “He Was A Man” via Austin Town Hall. The publication noted the Bowie-esque acoustic number offers “an extremely pure glimpse at the nostalgic sounds of glam rock. Strip it down a bit, remove modern context, and you have a generous pop tune that will reward listeners from all backgrounds and styles.”

Kings of the Brushwood Thicket’s debut album, The Lies You Leave Behind, will be released on May 5. The album contains a lot of heavy material dealing with death and loss, shrouded in digital ambiance.

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“He Was A Man” by Kings of the Brushwood Thicket

KOTBW The Lies You Leave Behind

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