South Africa’s Bad Knights Share Their New Alternative Rock Album

Bad Knights are the South African alternative and soft rock band making waves with their poignant debut album Letters to Everybody.

Bad Knights draws upon life’s raw, messy, and beautiful tales that reveals what we can see in ourselves, that epitomize the human condition in all its brilliance and with all of its flaws. Any story worth telling has both its monsters and its miracles, its joys and its sorrows – a perfect dance between becoming and overcoming. “We long for stories that bring us hope, the ones that remind us that our dreams are powerful and that instill within us the courage to keep moving forward,” shares the band.

Letters to Everybody encapsulates the depth and complexity of human nature and our existence. Lead singer and dummer, Stig, delivers a soulful and Bruce Springsteen meets Eddie Vedder-esqe vocals over blues licks and rising organ choruses with droning synths and explosive drumbeats amid sparkles of angelic backup vocals.

In their debut 15 track first offering, that is as diverse in its genre as it is in its subject matter, Bad Knights presents something instantly gripping while remaining serious, mature, and refined in their expression. The tracks are thoughtfully worded, complex, and meticulously placed. Each component, instrument, and tone plays its role in bringing together a sound that keeps you hooked.

“I’ve played guitar for years, but have no formal music education really, couldn’t read music to save my life,” shares Stig. “I’ve seen more bars under broken neon lights in dodgy towns than I’ve seen bars on music score sheets. But I’ve always liked observing the world, sometimes writing about it, which naturally evolved into song-writing. Music, if anything, presented an avenue to explore a new form of storytelling.” His lack of any background in musical theory, allows for a more free-spirited, almost rebellious approach to song writing and gives Bad Knights it’s unusually unique, musical aura.

Connect with Bad Knights via:
Instagram / Spotify / Soundcloud

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‘Jill’s Psychedelic Sunday’ is Pulp Opera Songwriter Paul Shapera’s Best Yet

Paul Shapera is a pulp opera writer who’s albums span a 180 year period of his fictional city called New Albion. The fantastical story element of his work is what drives the popularity of his music. It’s reminiscent of the old school radio plays, but far more entertaining. “My work is very much like an epic science fiction book series, but told in highly emotive music, like an opera cycle made with various forms of popular music.”

Paul’s newest album, Jill’s Psychedelic Sunday, is a continuation of the character Jill’s story from previous albums, The Dolls of New Albion and The Post Human War series. Differing genres of each album represents a certain time and place within the 180 timespan. Jill’s Psychedelic Playlist explores the many sides of psychedelic music ranging from 60 psych folk to Floyd, 90s rave to jam bands, and creepy tech to Space Rock. Overall, we take a journey with Jill as she takes some sort of psychedelic as part of an initiation ritual.

What makes Jill’s Psychedelic Sunday so unique is that the story is non-linear, unlike Paul’s other albums. You can listen to any song and understand the story because it’s just snapshots of Jill’s wired mind. The spoken snippets in each song guide you so that the listener is never lost, no matter what song you listen to.

“This album more than any other in recent memory was made because it was the album I wanted to listen to,” shares Paul. “Other albums are the story I want to tell right then, or the music that I feel I need to express, or the style I most want to explore. This one was the one I just simply wanted to listen to.

Connect with Paul Shapera via:
Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud

The Progressive Rock Fusion Band Siren Share Their New Album ‘Beyond the Rainbow’

American band Siren has released their brand new album Beyond the Rainbow.

This is an album that you can truly become immersed in; raw, authentic, contemporary metal rock. The opening track “Lawless Life” starts with a progressive metal guitar riff. The lyrical “High Wire” and “Sympathetic Response” are more laid-back rock songs, written by Mike and Rob Phillips.

Many songs on this album are unexpected, in the sense that musically it is extremely tight and well written, as well as experimenting with different musical concepts. Siren have really gone the extra mile with this new release. 

¨When we began writing Beyond the Rainbow, we would write as a group with the exception of ‘High Wire.’ ‘Empty Ocean,’ and ‘Sympathetic Response,’ which Mike and I wrote. Normally Mike and I will bring the songs to the band, and let them work out their parts. A process we have gone back to for our upcoming material, as it seems to work much better for the writing process.”  – Rob Phillips

When Phillips had sought to reunite the band back in 2005 with drummer/engineer Mike Cupino, and a new musical direction, the band did release their first Siren album called “Don´t Mind”. It wasn´t until much later, as three new band members joined the group, that the musical sound developed even more. 

Today, Siren exists with the same lineup as previous releases, except for the lead guitarist. Todd Grubbs replaces Leo Boland as the lead guitar, and brings a guitar virtuoso which really makes the band stand out with a progressive, fusion style. 

The first track on the album, “Lawless Life” was released earlier this year as a single to much critical acclaim, together with a music video produced by Nathan Mowery. With influences such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Foo Fighters, it is hard not to enjoy this eclectic blend of progressive rock. 

Stay current on Siren´s Website and social media channels Instagram and Facebook. Stream music on YouTube , Spotify and Soundcloud

Premiere: Alt Pop Artist Tara Novak Premieres Her New Album ‘Layers of Identity’

Tara Novak is a trained classical violinist turned alternative pop artist who dropped out of music school to explore who she was without the violin. She spent the next two years bartending and discovered yoga, music festivals, and fine dining. She read many books – from beat poets to business manuals and opened the floodgates to the rock, pop, folk, and dance music she had deliberately shut out in the past.

Tara’s music is deliberate and specifically crafted to create empathy. She uses music as a healing tool for herself and listeners. “I write songs because it allows me to process the world I observe,” shares Tara. “Music opens our hearts and minds.”

She just released her new album Layers of Identity. The 10 song alternative and orchestral pop album bleeds of human nature, who we are as individuals and as a society, and encapsulates the blended way we see the world. Her style is ballad-like with each song giving off a “Candle in the Wind” vibe. She is backed by violins, the piano, and an electronic beat found in contemporary pop songs. 

Every song brings their own story to the table. “Just Me & You” was inspired by a homeless girl  she saw begging for change and she thought “what determines our paths in life?” It’s a reminder that we are not all that different. “My Heart Was Jumping” is a playful song that blends the sounds of Eastern and Western styles of music. This is what emerges when a long-time touring violinist pens a song about the ups and downs of a relationship. In “A Place Called Purpose,” the most orchestral song on the album, is actually an epic written by Tara about a young girl’s attempt at finding a place called purpose. 

Connect with Tara Novak

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud

Real Estate Announces New Album

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People don’t always think very much of New Jersey, especially when its standout celebrities right now are the cast of Jersey Shore. Real Estate proved that not all that comes out of the Garden State is terrible with their first self-titled album released in 2009. Can they keep it up? We’ll find out on on Tuesday October 18th, 2011 when they release the follow-up, Days, which was recorded in Upstate New York through the late winter/spring of 2011 with Kevin McMahon.

For now, we know the album is made up of nine new recordings and a revisit of last year’s standalone single “Out of Tune.” You can listen to the first single off the record, “It’s Real,” HERE. It’s due out on September 27th in the US and October 10th in the UK. In the meantime, the band is touring around the US and Canada for the rest of July so check below to see if they’re headed near you!

Neon Indian’s New Album Gets A Release Date

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After earning practically universal critical adoration for his first album, Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian mastermind Alan Palomo is finally ready his second offering.

Neon Indian’s sophomore album, Era Extrana, will be released September 13th. Here’s a video for the song “Heart: Decay” off of the upcoming LP.

NEON INDIAN – HEART : DECAY from gorillavsbear.net on Vimeo.

While understandably pressed for time due to performing at massive festivals like South by Southwest and Bonnaroo and touring with the Flaming Lips, Phoenix, and Massive Attack, fans can’t help but be antsy for new material.

To create the newa lbum, Palomo holed up in an efficiency apartment in Finland and cobbled it together from journal entries he made during the time. The album has Neon Indian treading darker waters and exploring a little more somber territory.

Following the album release is a full tour, which has Neon Indian traversing the nation. You can see the new material live here:

 

9/15 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church

9/16 Washington DC – Rock n Roll Hotel

9/17 Carrboro, NC – Moog Festival

9/19 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

9/20 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree *

9/21 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks *

9/22 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds *

9/23 Austin, TX – The Mohawk

9/24 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater

9/26 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress

9/27 San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern *

9/30 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour *

10/1 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop * ^

10/3 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge *

10/4 Vancouver, BC – Venue *

10/5 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe *

10/7 Boise, ID – Reef * ^

10/8 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge * ^

10/10 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater *

10/12 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar * ^

10/13 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry * ^

10/14 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall * ^

10/15 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop * ^

10/16 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick * ^

10/18 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace * ^

10/19 Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa

10/20 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall ^

10/21 New York, NY – Webster Hall ^

 

* w/ Com Truise

^ w/ Purity Ring