Straight from the heart of Boston, MA, meet the infectious sounds of HARRIS HAWK. The group has just premiered their riotous new single, “Make the Fonz Bleed,” from their latest record Mutes.
Harris Hawk was formed in 2012 when Anne Warnock (vocals, guitar) and Oliver Hinds (guitar) realized they both liked weird, loud bands. Together they demoed a few songs, found them sufficiently weird, and sought other people to play them loudly. Steve Shannon (drums) and Mike Sullivan (bass) eventually came on board, and liked these unusual songs that Warnock and Hinds had created.
With one record already under their belt with the 2013 debut, FEEDER, the group released their latest effort, Mutes, in June 2014.
Mutes was tracked and mixed in four days by the wizards at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, RI and mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering. The album proves to be a louder, quieter, hookier, and weirder record, meant to intrigue on the first listen and continue to surprise into the tenth.
Harris Hawk “Make the Fonz Bleed” : https://soundcloud.com/citybirdpr/harris-hawk-make-the-fonz-bleed
The Fall is always my favorite time to discover new music. Perhaps it has something to do with the relaxing feel of the cooler weather, but it seems to get me excited for new music and new bands. Recently I have been falling for the indie pop sounds of Latimer House. The group have just released a phenomenal 7-inch single for “Birdcage Walk,” with the b-side “Until Then,” which you can purchase on translucent red vinyl.
Upon first listen to “Birdcage Walk,” I was already head over heels. Singer Joe Cook’s Prague accent is very prominent, which is a nice departure from the norm. They remind me of a foreign Bishop Allen, which I adore. The guitar hooks are vibrant and memorable and the mandolin makes a perfect add-on in the song. Getting into the b-side “Until Then,” Latimer House provides a bit of a different approach, with punchy guitars and a few sing-talk lines. Making its way into the track is a slight horn section, that gives the song an extra ‘oomph,’ so to speak. The song’s sonically alluring tones are definitely an added bonus.
Latimer House have recently released their new record, All the Rage,
via their own label Honk Records. Be sure to check out the Summery / Strokes-esque track “Splash!,” as well when you head over. Chiming guitars and heavenly harmonies. What more can you ask for? It is well worth the listen!Check out Latimer House “Birdcage Walk,” HERE.
Check out Latimer House “Until Then,” HERE.
Grab the latest record, All the Rage, via Bandcamp
Immediately drawn in by the name, meet QVALIA. Newcomers to the New York scene, the group formed in 2014, and have just released their debut album, This Is The Color Of My Dreams, earlier this week. My ears were certainly pleased, that’s for sure. 7-tracks fill the record, and my only regret is that there aren’t more songs…just yet at least.
Invoking a bit of CHVRCHES flare, QVALIA sure does deliver. The catchy and brilliant piece “Sound the Alarm,” kick off the record with a powerful force of synths, pianos, and ASTONISHING vocal work from singer Michael Hazani. Tracks such as “Breach,” offer a new twist on a nostalgic 80s sound. The musicianship seems extremely smooth and appears to come naturally to the band.
“Stardust,” takes the record down with darker undertones which are wrapped in the arms of sugary harmonies and heart-wrenching vocals. “I Won’t Let Go,” brings the dance party back into full force, which is a track I have been blaring endlessly from my stereo speakers. The instrumentation is stunning on every level and it is almost hard to believe the band have only just begun. This is the work of seasoned musicians. “The Feel of Not to Feel It,” and “White Bones” evoke the sounds of the 80s without hesitation as it recalls powerhouse synths that are prominent and unforgettable. Closing out the record is “150,” a slow and heartfelt way to end the collection of songs. Check out QVALIA’s This Is The Color Of My Dreams, as it will not disappoint.
Grab the album on Bandcamp HERE
Watch the album trailer HERE.
Recently I have discovered a stellar group hailing from Chicago, IL by the name of Rival Empire. Creating a synth-pop meets indie rock meets electro dance sound all of their own, the group takes a page from such bands as Cut Copy, The Killers and Friendly Fires, with a dab of Duran Duran to boot. Rival Empire have recently released their video for “Reagan’s Rancho Del Cielo” which had me immediately hooked and ready to dive into the recent self-titled full length.
On Rival Empire, the record features 13 electrifying tracks that subtly blend genres, to create a dance party on its own terms. The record opener “Cameo Crush,” stopped me dead in my tracks. The vibrancy of guitars and synths that blend are surrounded by singer Steve Rivera’s smooth and prominent vocals. Songs like “Casio Crush,” which bursts with modern sounds and 80’s nostalgia respectively, helps set the tone for the record.
An immediate stand out song and favorite proves to be “Calling Me,” which takes the record to a whole new level. The dreamy vocal combinations with slight harmonies are heavenly and is laced with melodic hooks. Songs like “Good Love,” “Tidal Wave,” and “Open Fire,” add a deeper, darker element to the album, while “Reagan’s Rancho Del Cielo,” and “High Fashion,” take you on wild musical journey. “Call the Adapter,” and “Paybacks a B___h” adds a funkier element into the album, making a nice transition in to blending genres. Something that Rival Empire does flawlessly. “Calling Me (Orchestral Remix)” closes out the record, making Rival Empire, an album to remember for 2014.
Grab the album on BANDCAMP
Check out the video for “Reagan’s Rancho Del Cielo” HERE.
Hello Echo is a captivating indie band that takes the reigns from Boston, MA. Recently releasing their new album, Echo, the band immediately drew me in with their retro indie-radio sound that I grew up with as a teen. Their songwriting is proficient and captivating within every track on the new record. Pieces like “Growing Old and Sleeping In,” take center stage with dreamy vocals from Sean Aylward, which brings back memories of Modest Mouse, Built to Spill with a dash of The Pixies.
The 12-track record features a lot of highs, all melodically brought to life by perfect instrumentation, with Aylward’s voice itself proving to be an important instrument. This is prominent in pieces such as “Under a Spell,” and instant favorite, “A Drop Is An Ocean.” Hello Echo brings the best parts of indie’s past and brings gives them a whole new life and outlook. Slow songs such as “And We Both Know,” provides the dreamiest vocals you will ever hear, which plays off of faster tracks such as “Coffee Cups.” Hello Echo has quickly proven that they are one of the best bands to come from Boston in a long time. You can quote me on that.
Listen to Hello Echo’s Echo on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/helloechomusic
The Mercy Alliance are ready to release the upcoming record, Some Kind of Beautiful Story, out September 9th. Filling the record is 9-phenomenal tracks that will hit you in the face with an explosion of sound. This album is ready to bring you into autumn with punchy guitars, alluring harmonies and dark yet appealing vocal tones. Right off the bat, opening song “Washington,” reminded me specifically of Matt Pond PA. The tone of voice, the lyrical choices, the instrumentation. They create their own sound and vibe, while drawing from a band that is very near and dear to my heart. Standout tracks on the album include “Angel of Mercy,” which include drop dead gorgeous vocals, and “I Can’t Do It,” which pull at your heartstrings with a hint of orchestration bringing up the rear. Closing piece “Drifting In,” is gorgeous on every level, bringing to close an album that will open the ears of many listeners. Singer and brainchild Joe Rathbone has a real talent inside of him, and to be honest, I can’t wait to hear what more he has to offer, as Some Kind of Beautiful Story, is perfection.
Check out The Mercy Alliance Below:
Watch the music video for “Washington”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-N1Ps0ldYg