Category Archives: Indie

New Single: Right Place, Right Time by Inspired & the Sleep

We interviewed Inspired & the Sleep a few weeks ago, and the band has now released a new song called “Right Place, Right Time”.Right Place, Right Time is a new sound for the band, and it seems like they may be headed in a new musical direction. The song has a very chill vibe, which goes along with the theme from the song of forgiveness. Here is what the band has to say about the new single:

Right Place, Right Time is our anthem for forgiveness and heartbreak. It recollects a period in my life where I was deeply in love with an individual that, simply put, didn’t feel the same way about me. I spent so much time, energy, and thoughts into resenting this girl and whoever she wound up with. This song is about the introspective dialog of predicting/hoping for the perfect time and place to communicate my apologies and best wishes. Letting go is ultimately the only answer in order to move on.”

Concert Review: Birdtalker at The Great Scott in Allston, MA

Had the chance to attend the Birdtalker show last week at The Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts. The Great Scott was neat a venue. When you walked in it looked like you were walking into a bar, but looking further back there was a open space and a stage. It was my first time at the Great Scott, and once I walked in I knew that the concert would be  an intimate experience later in the evening.

When waiting for the concert to start, I saw some of the Birdtalker band members milling around. The bassist,  Jesse Baker, sat next to us at the bar for a few minutes.

Birdtalker started the night with the upbeat hit “Graveclothes”. They played many of the songs off the new Album release “One”, but also played older songs from the first EP “Just This”. Dani Green shared that she wrote “Autodomesticated Animal” when she was very angry about how women are viewed and treated. Throughout the night, Dani shared how grateful and overwhelmed she and the band were by people knowing their music and singing along, all the way up in Massachusetts. Each member seemed like a genuinely good person and like they were having fun together, which made it a very cool experience.

The band finished off their time on stage with another upbeat hit, “Free Like a Broken Heart”. The crowd cheered for the encore, and as a fan of Birdtalker I feel like we got more than we asked for. The band came out looking like they were headed for the merch table but asked for the fans to clear some space in the middle of the floor. Everyone stood in a circle around them. They then belted the powerful song “Want” with no instruments and just vocals, just like the studio version. My favorite lyrics “Count the beggar man’s life precious as my own/ Offer my back for my brother’s load/ I want to have eyes of love” were even more powerful when I could see Zach Green singing them. The intimate experience that I expected when I walked into the Great Scott was more than I could imagine. The powerful lyrics, the small crowd, small venue..it all just seemed right.

Exclusive Interview with oblio: New Single Announcement, East Coast Shows, and more!

Had a great time speaking with oblio, an alt-rock trio from Long Beach, California last week. The guys, Alex, Blake and Free, broke some news about upcoming music that they are working on, discussed the new single they released this spring “Batting Cages”, and talked about the upcoming shows on the East Coast this August. Excited to see what is to come for this band!

What was the inspiration behind your new single “Batting Cages”?

Blake: Lyrically, I have a hard time articulating the meaning of “Batting Cages”. The lyrics have no linear story or moral, which is unusual for us. Its kind of a series of satirical vignettes, meant to jab at contradictions in our relationships. It usually gets a good reaction from fans, which is really rewarding.

We love a lot of punk and hardcore, and lately that’s been seeping in to our sound quite a bit. Musically, I think Free came up with the idea for the main riffs and verse, and I came up with the chorus later… At some point we just decided to play it all fast and heavy. We wrote it just before Alex joined the band, but he did contribute really badass bass lines to the final recording.

 

What does the name “Batting Cages” come from?

Free: Mostly from the “punny” nature of this song, the “hedgehog’s dilemma” of not allowing people too close to you, and lines in the chorus: “I don’t want to be a bearer of rage, I would rather be a batter in a cage. Throw your heart at me.”

 

You guys are playing two shows on the East Coast after primarily playing on the West Coast. Are you excited to come to the East? What led to the shows on the East Coast?

Free: Oh yes. Super excited! Originally, Blake is from the LA area, and I’m from Boston. After a previous band we were in, we got together and wrote a full album in the basement of my family’s house. Things felt really natural and we were churning out songs, so eventually I moved out to LA to fully commit to the band. Thats the short version of how oblio was formed. Blake and I are cousins (Alex & Blake were childhood friends), so we actually have a lot of family and friends on the East Coast that have never even seen oblio play live yet.

 

When can your fans expect another single or new album release?

Blake: We’ll be putting out a new standalone single titled “The Quiet Song (That Fades Out)” in just a week or two!

Free:  We’ve been kicking it around for a while. We never found a place for it on a full album or EP, so its been through a few creative edits to get it right.

We’ve also been at work on our 2nd full-length album for about a year, and we’re almost done recording it. Hard to say anything about it at this point, but I will say it’s a stronger “rock” record. Where our previous release “Autophobia” spread across a really surprising gamut of genres and stylistic endeavors, this next release feels like a solid punch of songs that fit together “stylistically”, instead of “conceptually”.

 

What is a lyric from your music that sticks out to you?

Alex: It’d be from the song Shunned; “Jesus is my only friend and I treat him sh*t, but his hand’s on my glass turning water to gin…”

Free: From the song Wisdom, off our first LP Autophobia: “With a mouth that has none to oppose, truly wisdom is knowing: the self is the greatest of foes”

Blake: There’s another line in our song Shunned; “I act so broken, I just might break.” Simple, but I’m really proud of the honesty in that one. We all love the lyrics in that song. Hahah.

 

What is your favorite song right now?

Alex: “Easy Love” by Wood Lake.

Free: I went through a huge Ghost phase recently, a little late to the party, I know, but I’ve been recently ingesting their entire discography up until the recent new album, and though Blake was listening to this on repeat about a year ago, I still can’t shake the feeling that the massive rhythm in Ghost’s “Cirice” is going to stick with me a while longer.

Blake: “Steph” by Headbed. They’re probably the coolest band I know in our local LA scene. We’ve played shows with them a few times, and they’re just wonderful. Definitely check out their EP “Tremble”.

 

Lastly, what is one of the most memorable experiences that your music has taken you?

Alex: I have a vivid memory of taking turns showering in a truck stop sink and only having two shirts to wear because all my clothes got stolen on the first night of tour (Someone broke into the van). It was a long tour but people were so helpful. Also some employees at a Starbucks heard our story and gave us a ton of free food and stuff.

Free: We got pretty drunk one night and carved our names into the back of the black Fender Tele that serves as oblio’s “main guitar”. It’s nice to see that carving when we pick it up to play.

Blake: We did a show once where the people up at the front started all dancing together to our song. Any musician would say “that’s why we do what we do…” It was a beautiful moment.


If you are interested in seeing oblio on the East Coast,  check them out on:

Friday, August 3, 2:30 pm – Inside Out Stage at Soulfest in Gilford, NH

Thursday, August 9, 7:00 pm – The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA

 

 

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Inspired & the Sleep

Recently, I had the privileged of interviewing Max from the San Diego indie rock band Inspired & the Sleep. The band released a new single this spring called “First Time”. The track is very personal to the band as it is about a DUI in a relationship and how it brought the couple closer together. Here is Max from Inspired & the Sleep:

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would your dream location be? (This can be anything from a beach that you love or a huge arena or Red Rocks, etc).

Oh man, I mean there’s tons of venues and places I would wanna play. Not sure if I could give exactly one dream venue cause I’d like to play them all and I feel like you could have just as an amazing experience playing a some basement house show over some huge arena. I will say I would like to play other countries, we’ve been talking about getting over to Europe and I’ve always wanted to play Japan I hear that’s a surreal crowd.

Where do you look for your inspiration when writing songs?

It’s not really tangible. It just comes when it comes. And I would say it all comes from the human experience. One thing I will say is I tend to write about past events in my life years after they happen for some reason.

The single “First Time” was released in April, do you have any other new music you are working on?

We do! Can’t really disclose what’s to come or when, but there will be new music this year so look for that 🙂

You guys were the winners of the 91X San Diego Battle of the Bro-Am competition and are playing at Bro-AM this weekend in Encinitas, California. Congrats! Are you pumped for that experience? Have you attended Bro-AM before?

That show was amazing! There’s so much love and positivity going around with Switchfoot’s crew, fans, and causes. It’s truly inspiring. The event saved over 250k for charity towards kids in need in San Diego which is just insane. Also I’ve been a huge fan of Sure Sure for sometime now and it was an awesome experience to share the stage with them and meet those dudes :). And yes, I’ve been to the Bro Am many many times starting back when I was in high school.

What is a lyric from your music that sticks out to you?

‘And there’s that night that we drove drunk, you went to jail and my heart sunk. Cause it’s my job to keep you safe’ – That’s probably my favorite lyric from ‘First Time’ just because it’s straight honesty. Not trying to hide behind metaphors or complexity. Just truth.

What is your favorite song right now?

Hmm well that’s always just changing, but I would say ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ by Sampha is this week’s favorite jam.

Lastly, you guys have been making music for a couple of years now, what is the memorable experience that your music has given you?

I would say my most memorable experience isn’t defined by a single event, but rather the ongoing experience of being able to make art. Music is what gives me purpose in my life and If I didn’t have that outlet I don’t know where I would be.

 

We look forward to this new music by Inspired & the Sleep, and here is the new track released in April, First Time:

 

 

 

New Single about Parenthood: Traumatized by Grouplove

The indie rock band Grouplove has released there second single “Traumatized” off of there upcoming album “Hot Mess” coming out on September 9th.

The song starts out with a punk feel, and has more pop vibe when the chorus hits. Christian Zucchini told the Rolling Stone, “‘Traumatized’ is about becoming a parent, explores what my parents sacrificed when I was born, and shares the fear, excitement and bliss of being alive.”

The band is also starting a world tour this upcoming fall, with shows across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

 

Two New Singles by Judah & The Lion

Nashville based indie-folk band Judah & The Lion have released two new singles this week, Stockholm and Take It All Back 2.0. The band also released a music video to Take It All Back 2.0, showing live footage of performances and background shots of the band.

Stockholm has a similar sound to Mumford and Sons, with a powerful chorus and a rhythmic beat.

Take It All Back 2.0 is a different adaptation of the original track, which was featured on the album Folk Hop N’ Roll, released earlier this year. The new version has a faster paced strumming on the banjo, and enhanced vocals. This is definitely seems like a song that would be incredible live.

Judah & The Lion are only gaining more popularity. Their music is fun, upbeat, and high energy. I have not attended one of their concerts yet, but it is something that is definitely on my bucket list.

 

New Acoustic Album: The Great Outdoors by The Rocketboys

To the surprise of their fans, Texas based rock band, The Rocketboys, released an acoustic album this week featuring acoustic versions of songs from previous EP’s and albums titled “The Great Outdoors”.
The album takes a different twist on many of the rock driven songs that The Rocketboys are known for. The acoustic versions of the tracks bring a sense of rawness, and soulfulness that seems to amplify the range of the original studio versions of these tracks. “The Great Outdoors” has a vibe that makes you want to be outside by a campfire sing with friends. The musicianship is excellent, with guitars, pianos, shakers, multiple vocals, and more.
I saw The Rocketboys open for Relient K a few years back. I remember my friends and I were blown away by the performance, and the quality of their music. Immediately after they finished the opening act, we rushed to the merch table and bought shirts.
“The Great Outdoors” shows the wide range and huge amount of talent that The Rocketboys possess.
The band has also announced that they have are almost finished working on their third studio album, some very exciting news.