EP Highlights

Cross-posted at isotria blaring

Now this is catchy. Boyfriend Material has a new EP out on Community Records.

This first song “Small Talk” is absolutely promising. It’s a sort of indie pop/singer songwriter without being too poppy. “Two Steps Back” starts out like a Rainer Maria tune. In fact, this song could be a Rainer Maria song both lyrically and instrumentally. It’s really quite enjoyable.

“Good Graces” tones things down a bit. It’s pretty in a navel-gazing kind of way. Navelgaze should be a recognized genre. Whereas emo has become a certain brand of pop punk which sometimes is great, sometimes really sucks, navelgaze would focus on a certain brand of songwriters like Shauna Healey and Lou Barlow.

Anyhow, the last track is “Absentminded” which features the ukUlele. This calls back more to her earlier stuff (see below). This EP is a very worthwhile listen. The EP in it’s entirety was released on Friday.

This is more of a full band sound. The core of Boyfriend Material is singer-songwriter Shauna Healey. On her first LP “Far From Home”, also on Community Records, her music is very stripped down. It’s that bare acoustic ukulele combined with raw honest vocals that is popular in certain circles these days. I just love this stripped down sound. In any case, there is much to love here.

Cross posted from isotria blaring

When it comes to new music from 2016, this is so far one of my favorites. Jambox is from Turin, Italy. This EP really grooves. It’s shoegaze indie rock. Sometimes I really struggle to describe music. OK, maybe all the time. But here is the thing, this is good music. Worth sharing. Let them describe their own EP:

“Spleen” wants to communicate the sense of anxiety, anguish and alienation that is the result of modern life monotony. The music is characterized by heavily distorted dreaming guitars, a strong rythmic section and almost-spoken vocals.

After giving it a listen, visit their bandcamp page and buy some of it!

OK, we’ve focused a lot on physical releases thus far. But sometimes a great EP comes out digitally that’s great too. And so tonight I want to highlight a brand new digital release from Brooklyn’s Shady Hawkins. This 5 song EP was released last Friday and features 5 great tracks.

Debutante opens the show with a catchy rock tune that reminds me a bit of the Runaways. I guess I feel that it has a classic sound to it; and the vocals are solid in that Joan Jett kind of way where they are almost flat, but in a good way.

XOXO crashes out like something from Downtown Boys. All in on the punk stylings here for one exact minute. Buried (and highly affected) vocals with occasional screams and fast and hard instrumentation.

This album diverges in a consistent way. Next up we get State of Emergency. This has a touch of Kleenex / Liliput influence on it. It repetitively cascades a lot with some high pitched guitar and blunt vocals. Then some start and stop instrumentation into the escalating bridge. And the song never lets up over it’s 3+ minutes. Damn, I like this song.

Do I dare? takes a bit to get into. The first minute is establishing the base which ultimately escalates in a satisfying way. But it does take a minute to get there. Veneer has some seriously reverb heavy vocals. I think the reverb can be a bit lighter but I really like the guitar , bass and drumming on this. It’s a good, perhaps more standard rock tune.

Suzy X’s vocals certainly stand apart and overshadow the instruments at times on this EP. She has a great voice. She can elevate but can also do a more flat effective rock’n roll thing. But a lot of this was in the mix which, like many mixes, elevated the vocals on most tracks. I really liked XOXO a lot for how the vocals are a bit more buried. That’s a bit of a personal preference with most music, but I think they could have been buried a little more on Veneer to make for a stronger melding there. All of this because I think Matt Presto, Sabrina Elba, and Mike Funk are delivering and can get a little more attention in the mix.

In any case, this is a fantastic EP. It’s free (or cheap for the kind at heart) on bandcamp right now. Just follow the links below.