Sun Angle

Sun Angle is an avant-garde rock outfit from Portland, Oregon in the USA, comprised of Charlie Salas-Humara (vocals/guitar), Marius Libman (bass) and DavidPapi” Fimbres (drums).  

Sun Angle - Dream rock from the USA

Sun Angle – photo © Todd Walberg

Charlie Salas-Humara you are thinking – yes he was reviewed as a solo artist, also by Robbie earlier today.

Released on May 7th, the trio’s debut album Diamond Junk is a fusion of styles and experimentalism while still managing to remain cohesive and enjoyable.

The opening track Raspberry is a marvellous mixture of fast-paced drumming, psychedelic guitar work and convoluted vocal melodies. A wonderful start to an album, Raspberry also features a glorious video which contains memorable and hideous scenes from movies played out in a line-art style, which works well with the music to deliver a creepy experience not to be missed.

Thankfully the album doesn’t let up on the quality and craftsmanship afforded by the first track, and each one really is strong and unique in its own right. The slinky bass-lines and frenetic percussion of title track Diamond Junk are soon joined by jagged, dissonant and playful guitar runs, daring the listener to delve deeper into the sonic vistas of Sun Angle. At the end of the album lurks Vague Light, a track which comes across as the dreamy love-child of Tame Impala and a vintage tape delay machine, before ending on a frantic crescendo of guitar and synth.

I recommend Diamond Junk to anyone with a taste for experimental rock which gets to the point and doesn’t stray too far up its own arse. Each track is a tight composition with its own character, and the production is very crisp.

This band is something of a “supergroup” of artists local to the Portland area, as all three are well known within the locale: Salas-Humara is recognised for various projects including Panther, Grapefruit and The Planet The; While Libman is the man behind electro-pop outfit Copy and Fimbres is better known for the experimental electronica he produces under the name Paper/Upper/Cuts. I hope to hear more from Sun Angle soon and perhaps see them perform if they cross the pond to the UK… Or I find myself with a ticket to the US!

website

Diamond Junk – Sun Angle is available on iTunes*

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best in Dream Rock.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.

 

 

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a solo project from highly motivated musician Charlie Salas-Humara. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, in the USA, Salas-Humara is also known for his dance/math hybrid The Planet The, chaotic pop creation Panthers, the experimental Regular Music and hyperactive trio Sun Angle. There is an EP and three albums on the artist’s Bandcamp page, all under the Grapefruit moniker for the exception of one – Pinks Quieter, a name which functions both as an artist and album title. Salas-Humara explains this distinction is due to the Pinks Quieter material being so different from Grapefruit, which it most definitely is. Anyway, enough of the boring stuff – let’s get down to business.

Grapefruit - dream rock from the USA

Grapefruit

Thanks again to Robbie for the review –

Experimental, infectious, dark and dreamy; these are the first four words that come to mind when describing 2012’s Pinks Quieter, the first album from Salas-Humara available on Bandcamp.


From its exciting sampled drumming and meandering melodies, there’s definitely something special about this release, which manages to be both beautiful and twisted in equal measure. Each song is distinct in its own right, requiring just a few seconds before they work their way into your soul. The percussion in the album is reportedly ripped from YouTube videos, and relate to a genre of music known as “go-go”, which is essentially a highly syncopated form which originated in Washington DC during the mid-1960s.

This material comes across to me as somewhat dub-influenced, and reminds me of De Facto’s hypnotic blend of dub and psychedelia. Equal parts psychedelic, ambient and wistful, Pinks Quieter manages to sound fresh yet somehow familiar. Of note is the opening track Zero Zero, which features psyche guitar licks (at least I think it’s a guitar) and a lovely off-kilter drum beat before layers of droned vocals brings things to a close.

Next up is Twin Reflections, released a mere two months later than the last. Continuing with the electronic vibe but dropping the sampled go-go percussion, the album is not as immediately striking as the last but stands on its own as a quest into the joys of electronica. Synth is the order of the day here; from fluttering melodies and repeating arpeggios there are enough layers here to happily float away to on a warm Summer’s day. At times the music is reminiscent of a soundtrack, with Being and Nothingness giving off that feeling of epic discovery which would go perfectly with a videogame or sci-fi TV series.

There is a lot of emotional depth present in these pieces, with On Her Majesty suggesting an air of loneliness and melancholy with a touch of the futuristic about it, a strangely satisfying combination for me at least.

Finally there’s Escaper, which was released June 2013 and once more eschews the samples of Pinks Quieter in favour of purely electronic escapades. In certain tracks there are more percussive elements as can be witnessed in the  eponymous opening track and Colour of Water, the latter of which features a tribal beat which works well with the overlaid dreamy synths.

Both Twin Reflections and Escaper feel like two halves of the same whole, enjoyable though for me not as distinctive and gritty as Pinks Quieter.

I would recommend Grapefruit to anyone with an interest in dreamy electronic music, this is definitely the kind of material you want to melt away in the background while you write essays or do the washing up. And there’s no excuse for not checking it out as all of the material listed is available for free online. Have fun!

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best in experimental electronics.

The Brown Bottle Flu

The Brown Bottle Flu from Bloomington in the USA is the New Wave trio of Alex Molica (Guitar / Vocals), Jared (Bass) and Sharlene (Percussion / Vocals).

The Brown Bottle Flu - new wave from the USA

The Brown Bottle Flu

A delight….. is how I will start of this review of The Brown Bottle Flu and well, this is going to take me some time to write as I have to take a minute or two away from the keyboard each sentence to wrap my head in the music. A perfect setting for early Friday evening as I type, sumptuous percussion and bass slither across the room, testing the very foundations of the building. A slightly distorted guitar splays across the material like a back spatter bloodstain, accompanied by underlying vocals which are delivered as a head-snapping double punch.


I could waffle about CBGBs for a while and even throw in Anti-Pasti, but to make comparisons is to declinate from the absolute joy and currency of it all. Smartly composed songs breathe of vitality and the listener is lifted on to their feet to join in with the music. I can even forgive them the odd cover here or there which they do manage to rework with some degree of originality.

The Brown Bottle Flu is absolute joy to discover and with a release Felt Up beginning to gain some traction I would anticipate will become far better known and a band I suggest is worth spending plenty of time with…. It has taken an hour for these 250 words and I will be heading back to replay the LP once again as soon as I finish.

website

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best in New Wave.

Nodigga

Nodigga from Los Angeles in the USA is the solo lo-fi electronica creator Nick Cardinal.

Nodigga - lofi electronica from the USA

Nodigga

A fascinating conceptual idea which could only emerge out of the home of lo-fi – Los Angeles. On hitting play you will be convinced your speakers have broken, such is the distortion, but be assured all is well, this is the creativity of Nodigga.


By fusing what are normally crystal clear pitches with instrumental and earth tilling turns of the fork the listener is left in a space which captivates. Compositionally there is nothing out of the ordinary, it neither seeks to tear open the edges of the envelope, nor does it attempt to be user friendly from the off, but what we are left with is something of incredible value as the creativity of a lively mind which expresses the individuality and perspective in a surprising way.

The material demands concentration to gain maximum value and that is easy to give as Nick Cardinal offers the audience an opportunity to give it a moment or two to make sense, or reach for the off button in even less time. In my opinion, there is a fascinating journey to discover with Nodigga and certainly a concept that will remain on my watch list. The frayed edges of the notes which ripple across the room in broken fragments add a luxuriant psychedelic osmosis to the sounds being delivered to the ears.

I could and will spend many an hour in this space.

website

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best new bands from around the world.

 

Hobart W Fink

Jayk Gallagher (Vocals / Guitar), Marie Bollinger (Vocals), Brendan Kelley (Bass), Luke Harvis (Lead Guitar) and Byron Pagdilao (Drums) make up the Los Angeles, USA based indie rock band Hobart W Fink.

Hobart W Fink - indie rock from the USA

Hobart W Fink

I wondered whether the switching between vocalist by Hobart W Fink mid-track would grate and become nothing more than a confusion after a while, but they use the changeover particularly well and the music gains perspective through it and the more you hear the better it becomes. Fairly lengthy tracks (well over four minutes typically) gain resonance and intrigue as the voices tell different parts of the story.


The accompanying instrumental, I just enjoy for its carefree attitude which complements the two voices with their more studied off key vicissitude and the whole sound in combination fully wraps the listener in  tight grasp and joining in with the chorus.

There is undoubtedly a capable songwriter involved in the band as the stylised compositions have a tonality which keeps the audience in full focus and whilst easy for the ear to engage with, the tracks are far from easy to play as tempos switch up and down, along with keys, whilst retaining an animate flow.

I look forward to hearing more of Hobart W Fink who as an entity is just over a year old, as they have much to add to the world of music and with experience and confidence have the potential to be of even greater significance.

The name of the band is just a joy as don’t you like me, just need to do a wikipedia search to find out about this man- who must have been an eminent surgeon? In time I am hopeful we will find this entry is filled in with the details of these guys from Los Angeles, not, as I write – a void.

website

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Facebook for more of the best new bands.