Starting in 2011 when Johnstown, PA artist Jake Dryzal was only 12 years old, Blue Navy was conceived through his love of indie music and surrealism. Crafting fictional stories that dealt with relationship strife or dreamlike circumstances, Blue Navy released several demo EPs between 2011 and 2013. Jake took a hiatus from Blue Navy in 2014 to focus on his post-metal project, Pallor, and later returned to Blue Navy after the breakup with a girlfriend. Influenced by slowcore, dream pop, and shoegazing music, Jake released his debut album, "Mine" in early 2016 to critical acclaim. Another bout of unrequited love hit Jake in early 2017, resulting in the production of his newest album, "Ours," which was released that May.
"Ours" is Blue Navy's sophomore LP - another concept album that covers topics such as heartbreak, loss, and memories following the destruction of a meaningful relationship. Along with introspective, confessional lyrics, "Ours" contains balanced elements of stripped-down acoustic folk, as well as dense layers of lush, ethereal, and reverberated ambient soundscapes.
onj. is an instrumental post-rock band that has been playing in and around Asheville, NC for about 4 years now. The four members of onj. are Marklar Klepac and Joel Wolfe on guitar, bassist Sean McAusland, and drummer Dylan Webb. Their first EP, "Opposition," was released at the beginning of 2014.
Over the past 3 years, onj. have been working on material for the new album, "Alone." The album attempts to capture the various feelings of being left alone while dealing with depression, loss, and separation.
Northwest is one of the most promising musical projects in the independent scene. They gained media attention because of their ethereal and cinematic sound, their nostalgic and mysterious image and their diverse blend of influences (from bands like Radiohead and Portishead to composers such as Debussy and Robert Wyatt).
Northwest was formed in 2015 in the UK by multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Ignacio Simón and visual artist, composer and singer Mariuca García-Lomas They gained attention with three home recorded singles (Reflection, Wind and Look At Me) which were released independently and with very little promotion, accompanied by three artistic videos directed by Mariuca García-Lomas herself.
The duo Northwest moved from Spain to the UK and spent half of the year traveling around England and Scotland. Inspired by these trips, they started writing their debut album in 2016. This album has been almost entirely writen and recorded in less than a year while the artistic couple locked themselves in a country house outside of London.
Northwest has managed to create an original and otherwordly atmosphere thanks to their unique blend of experimental jazz rhythms, ethereal and enigmatic layered vocals, classical orchestration, delicate production and nostalgic lyrics. Their upcoming debut album is one of the most awaited and promising projects of the independent music scene.
NAAL is the surrealist, drone/rock project of Chicago native Dave Mantel. Characterized by a sonic journey taken between more traditional instrumental post-rock, and the fringe elements of ambient, noise, drone, and field recordings, NAAL is a project that wanders freely between elements of all of those genres, while juxtaposing their individual elements to create a unique sonic palate.
Formed in 2013 with the release of the debut project titled Wilderlands, NAAL has released 4 EP's, with a debut full-length announced for a 2017 release. Each of the past three releases, 2014’s “Compass” and “Chaos Monsters,” and 2015’s “TIME” EP, charted as best-sellers on Bandcamp. Beyond his recordings, NAAL has begun to bring a live show audio/visual experience that focuses on the mellower side of the project. Long, texturally complex soundscapes are complimented by an ambient visual experience aimed at exploring dark, metaphysical and surrealist themes.
A703 is a slow, intricate walk through several years worth of dark, complicated emotional landscapes, compiled together to create a listening experience that will both relax and challenge the listener. The slow drones and complex textures give voice to both a deep sadness, and a deep hope. Of the new album, Mantel says, “There's an idea in Japanese that has captured me- 'mono no aware'- which is an awareness of the impermanence of everything. But, at the same time, not letting that overwhelm or immobilize you. It's a gentle sadness of things. But that idea of simple awareness is not where I want this story to end... That is the concept for the album.”
The first full length album from NAAL, A703’s soundscapes are charged with the weight of their author's own emotional darkness. This album is unlike NAAL's past releases in both the volume of work, and the compositional and instrumental restraint involved in the process. Leaving behind the more traditional post-rock vibe of the project's previous releases, A703 fully embraces the “drone” side of the so called “drone/rock” genre Mantel has coined.
The slow moving chord structures made up of layers of guitar and synthesizer textures, combined with bits of field recordings taken over the course of some of these aforementioned defining emotional moments, create ambient and droning atmospheres that are at once intricately complex and utterly benign. Although these 7 tracks are, for their author, ultimately about mortality and the fleetingness of the temporal, in the depth of the music, there seems to be a glimmer of light. In the end, Mantel says, the interpretation remains up to the listener, “That's the beautiful thing about making the kind of music I make. I can write something out of the deepest feelings of sadness and pain, and someone can listen to those same lines and feel hope in the middle of that. That's really all I want from this project. Yes, there is sadness, there is death. But I have to believe that there is also life.” A703 releases on June 30th, digitally everywhere and physically at NaalMusic.com
Mixtaped Monk is a DIY music project by a journalist and music producer (Arka Sengupta) who believes in making music that soothes the mind. This project was started as an outlet for his creative expressions. Under the moniker of Mixtaped Monk, he not only expresses himself as a music producer but also as a writer and a visual artist.
Being socially awkward since childhood, he always loved solitude. And, in his solitude, the thing which he liked to do the most is discovering music. Be it the cassette of Pink Floyd's “Dark Side of The Moon,” which he discovered, in his uncle's old room, during his early teenage, or the first mixtape that he made for a girl when he was a little bit older, music has always been his sole companion. Gradually, he picked up playing the keyboard and the guitar, started experimenting with music and realized that there is a whole world of possibilities for him to explore. That is how the idea of Mixtaped Monk started.
Mixtaped Monk's debut album, "Urban Lonesome," is a very personal and emotional album to Arka. Through sounds, it talks about the different experiences a person has and what he feels when he finally comes back home after spending 5 years in various cities following his passion. The album tries to convey how the person feels when he finds out that the city, and the whole atmosphere around it has changed drastically. He feels like he is stranded in a deserted island; friendless, lonely and anxious.
The album is inspired by Arka's own experiences after he shifted to his hometown recently. Sonically, it borders around Atmospheric, Ambient, Post-Rock and Experimental music.
On Saturday, May 20, multi-instrumentalist and lauded bass player Erik Kramer released his debut studio endeavor, an EP entitled ‘Missed the Boat.’ The Brooklyn-based musician has an especially eclectic sound, one that employs the talent of a slew of musicians: saxophone, trombone, viola, trumpet, back-up vocalists - they’re all there. An experimental record through and through, ‘Missed the Boat’ is an indie record quite unlike anything else that’s come across my desk in recent months.
The Great Long Distance is an audible recollection of the first 12 months of a long distance relationship, including the highs and lows and moments in between. It is a journal without words, each of the 12 tracks representing each month respectively. Inspired by the format of NIN's "Ghosts I-IV", the album is a sonic tapestry of different moods and themes, with various recurring motifs and the subtle melding of synthesizer and samples; the result something not quite classical, ambient or electronic - rather, an eclectic blend of the three. For fans of Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and later Ulver