Spirits of Leo are a post-punk band founded by singer Ryan Santos Phillips in Santa Rosa, CA and currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by artists like The Cure, The Chameleons and Red House Painters, Spirits of Leo deliver ethereal soundscapes united with driving intensity and immersive performances.
Equinox is the self-produced, forthcoming LP from the band. Written and recorded by Phillips over the course of four years, Equinox is a marked departure from the band's previous discography, exploring darker, more cultivated themes and textures.
"Spirits of Leo started in December 2012, when I was a 19-year-old attending junior college," Phillips explains. "At that time, it felt as if nobody in my immediate vicinity seemed interested in making the kind of music I was desperate to make. I'd always loved the sounds of the New Wave era, having grown up on those kinds of records. I began recording my own tracks one layer at a time, experimenting with various effects and borrowing a friend's microphone, until the songs felt finished, into what would become the first self-titled EP. Much of the subject matter at that time centered on anxieties, nightmares, isolation, and feelings of helplessness. Shortly after being posted on Bandcamp, Spirits of Leo was met with warm reception from my peers and in music blogs overseas. After that, I felt encouraged to pursue a more ambitious project as Spirits, Anastasia (2013), the first full-length album."
"Until last year, Equinox was only a concept, a collection of demos dating back to late 2013. The unfinished album had been weighing on me for years until finally, I decided to fully construct the album, filling-in missing pieces, re-writing, re-recording guitar parts, re-recording vocals, polishing, and mixing. Like the rest of the album, both songs were self-recorded on my two-input audio interface, partially in my parents' home in Northern California and in my room in Brooklyn (apart from the drums, which were later recorded in a professional studio)."
""Eden" was written and recorded in one, overnight sitting. It was a response to a major breach of trust and dealing with that pain, which felt immovable at the time. The lyrics deal with attachment, infidelity, trust, and a world capsized."
The Laytcomers are a collective of ambitious losers, trapped inside a small Bay Area garage with a 4-track. They produce a mixture of noise rock, post-punk and even some elements of twee and Kiwi underground, all showcased on their new track "Population Grave"
"The first time we tried to come up with songs was when me (Ilya) and two of our other friends, who were original members of The Laytcomers, came to Cyes' place in Davis, where he went to college," Ilya explains. "I was hoping we were going to write some music, but at that time no one was really motivated to do anything, until I actually sat down with a cheap microphone myself and played/sang (pretty terribly), forcing everyone to contribute. Most of the sounds from that time were almost unlistenable. For drums we used a Guitar Hero drum set, which we used to write some of our first songs (Coldfront, Coppertone). There weren't a clear idea who does what, I was switching between bass and acoustic guitar, both of which I could barely even play at the time."
"We came a long way in terms of musical development and taste. In recent years our project The Laytcomers started to gain its own identity especially after we got two new members from Craigslist (Sam on saxophone and John on drums). We still walk a line between catchy indie-rock, based on short catchy bass lines and guitar riffs, psychedelic sounds and ear-bleeding noise rock with amp feedback and all kinds of noises."
"Our title song Population Grave wasn't coming along for awhile. We recorded original drum/vocal/guitar version almost five years ago. Something wasn't working out in it until I actually rethought the bassline from the scratch. It turned into a catchy angular post-punk thingy with roots in the no wave and New Zealand noise-rock."
Debutante is the Zurich-based solo project of Chris Zimmermann, in which they blend droney shoegaze music with pop sensibilites and chiptune synths, ending up sounding like an odd blend of Boris, The Microphones and Giles Corey. With deeply personal lyrics about themes such as depression or growing up in a physically abusive household, the music varies between slow, mellow soundscapes and fuzzy, bass-heavy gut punches that capture their energetic live shows perfectly.
A split EP by Debutante with Leeds-based noise artist Feral about gender dysphoria. The Debutante side is a lengthier slowcore track with lots of glitchy synths that gets quite heavy towards the end.
Feral - What's The Worst That Could Happen? - 02:36
Philadelphia noiserockers Cemetery Flowers released their debut EP this week through Glowing Dagger, the Oakland tape label run by Megan Biscieglia of Bad Braids and Dustin Khebzou. Made up of multi-instrumentalists Andrew North and Pat Friel, the record is an intense tapestry of roaring guitars and cold, nervy electronic beats, with North and Friel howling nihilistically. The record is a gripping listen, all the way through the 15-minute closer “vi,” which hammers away in brutal riff repetition but is pretty impossible to turn away from.
Sea Yarns is an unconventional pop/post rock project from Providence, RI.
Sea Yarns - Death of a Giant EP is a modern take on instrumental surf music for places that are not necessarily sunny or sandy. As a fan on old surf music from the early 60's, I wanted to make surf music that is more relevant by todays standards that represent the cold, seasonal, moody, rocky shoreline that I know and grew up next to, rather than the sunny and sandy all the time beaches and surf culture of southern California in the 60's, which I know nothing about.
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.