At a time when it is challenging to seek out bands hailing from regions outside of the musical mecca of NYC, Oklahoma-based group Psychotic Reaction bring forward progressive and mind-numbing sounds. The band crosses the traditional barriers of garage rock and psychedelic tunes and reintroduces subcultural drones of Lou Reed and the Stooges. While their instruments aggregate a concoction of multi-layered guitar snarls, the group constructs a type of narcotic energy that makes the listeners believe and remember the power of rock and roll.
The Native Sibling has just unleashed their gorgeous new video for “Here With Me.” The stunning black and white piece is as haunting as it is beautiful, evoking the very spirit of the song. “Here With Me,” is the newest single from the Santa Cruz brother-sister duo of Ryan and Kaylee Williams. The track is from their brilliant new release, Letters Kept to Ourselves, which was out June 24.
A couple of years ago, Kaylee was exploring a scholastic pursuit in a quaint town in rural Ireland. Already an accomplished singer, she found herself quickly assimilating with local musicians and singing traditional acoustic folk music at local pubs. Ryan, taking a break from his normal grind as a touring and session guitar player, came for a visit not knowing what to expect from new and unfamiliar territory.
These two siblings had clearly missed one another, and needed an outlet to rekindle their closeness. What happened next was a spontaneous flurry of songwriting that neither had anticipated. Inspired by their new surroundings, they spent many late nights crafting songs and discovering how seamlessly their voices harmonized into a singular sound and vision. “When I came to visit, it was the first time we had ever performed together. The foreign and musical environment sparked our curiosity to play a few songs together at a pub. It felt as if we had been singing for years,” said Ryan.
It was obvious to both that they should continue making music together, so they brainstormed a fitting moniker. “Ryan and I had finally met in a place where we wanted to make the same kind of music. The response assured us that our journey needed to continue as a combined effort,” said Kaylee.
Growing up beside the inspiring backdrop of the Santa Cruz mountains, Ryan and Kaylee shared a childhood blessed by a nurturing family, but also marred by tragedy of their mother’s death just five years ago. They credit her for instilling in them a passionate spirit and a love of music. Ryan and Kaylee are also heavily influenced by Joy Williams (of the Civil Wars), who was once their nanny and still serves as an inspiration.
After releasing their first EP, recorded by a close friend in Santa Monica, the duo toured up and down the coast, which served to tighten their bond and hone their abilities. In an effort to build upon their momentum, they started a Kickstarter campaign and sought out New York producer Daniel Mendez (Noah Gundersen, Dashboard Confessional, Heart) to make their first full-length album. Ryan and Kaylee took a leap of faith and holed up at Mendez’ Brooklyn studio for a full two months. Fortunately, it was the precise chemistry they had been looking for. As Ryan explains, “Daniel listened to what we do naturally, found the best parts and brought them to the forefront of this album. He gave us the perspective to realize what we are capable of creating. I’ll never forget him saying, ‘If I do my job right, nobody will know I was even here.’”
The result is the meticulously crafted and sonically beautiful Letters Kept To Ourselves. The 10-song album is minimal in its acoustic instrumentation, but lush with harmonies and endlessly rich with emotive lyrics. The music seems to conjure up diverse images of sun-drenched California days, the vastness of the ocean and the emptiness of a cold, windy day in Ireland.
Life in the sticks can be seriously strange. From Myxomatosis-stricken rabbits to agoraphobic house parties, Postcards From Jeff offers a brutally honest perspective of looking out from windswept valleys to neighboring city lights. Making a U.S. launch with the single, “A House,” the song is taken from the melodic explorer’s recent self-titled debut EP.
Recorded in the heart of rural Yorkshire between producer duties for other artists, Postcards From Jeff plays, records, and mixes his songs himself. His identity is that of a skilled musical manipulator engineering cinematic songscapes from old synths, electronic and organic drum kits, and heavily processed guitars into stunning ‘postcards’ that blinker on the horizon like Morse code messages to the outside world.
“A House” appears alongside four further tracks on the EP, with a full length album slated for early 2015. “Ninety percent of the songs came from me experimenting with ideas early in the morning whilst I was half awake,” he explains. “I think that dream-like state contributes a lot to the general mood.”
Musically speaking, Postcards From Jeff’s boundaries are limitless. Across each track far flung folk, electronica, country, krautrock and pop are seamlessly brought together through a sonically curious adventure owing as much of a debt to Weilheim band The Notwist as to Ohio’s The National or even as far as Canada through channeling Neil Young. With praise and plays from the likes of John Peel and Steve Lamacq behind him, as well as video plays on MTV2 for past musical endeavors under another guise, Postcards From Jeff’s musically inquisitive mind comes with a newfound confidence, and this EP is just the start of what’s set to become an exciting new journey.
California based Bür Gür have just launched their debut video for “Orchard Hearse,” via The Vinyl District. The track is from their upcoming release Alligator Cheesecake, due out August 19 via HABITS’ label, How to Be a Microwave.
Made up of duo Corbin Clarke and Makan Negahban, the band brings their psychedelic sound to the screen with the captivating and vibrant new video. Swirling colors blend flawlessly with the music, creating a hypnotic experience. The sounds of their sonically alluring tones will captivate your ears, one synth at a time. Acoustic guitars sweep through to bring a whole new vibrancy into the track, which is something Bür Gür is known for. Their knack for brilliant vocal harmonies carry throughout adding the perfect Summery tone to the piece, which fits perfectly into the grainy, retro laced video.
Surrounding the release of Alligator Cheesecake, Bür Gür will be playing shows in and around Los Angeles, with more West Coast dates to follow.
August 9th – Luna’s Café – Sacramento, CA
August 22nd – Album Release Show – Can U Not Vintage – Santa Ana, CA
AERS is Tasha Abbott and Zack Nestel-Patt, currently based out of Brooklyn, New York. Their stunning arrangements liken the sounds of Grizzly Bear and Sigur Ros, channeling both as influences. The group has just premiered the dreamy, lustworthy track, “Blue Tempest,” via Redefine Magazine.
“Blue Tempest,” is a gracious first glimpse into AERS’ upcoming record due out later this Fall. The debut EP release, Blue Tempest, sets the scenery for the band’s haunting tones that grace the record throughout. On “Blue Tempest,” Abbott’s voice lingers with dreamy lyrics, which paints a bold and sultry soundscape. Powerful yet graceful, her voice captivates delving deeper into the track. Nestel-Patt helps to build the song with layers of dark textures, bringing the piece to fruition. The sound of AERS will stop you dead in your tracks; be prepared to fall in love with every listen.