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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
The Retinas
"chaba
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Post-garage rockers The Retinas' new EP chaba is an unexpected essential for surviving the dog days of summer. Chock-full of lo-fi backbeats and skull-buzzing riffs, the five track stunner transforms the grit and grime of urban summers, late nights, and complicated feelings into memorably evocative songs worth dancing to alone or with friends.

 

Opening with the trippy hiss of “Accident,” chaba’s first track is seeped in xanax-coated romance and the sort of self-awareness that made great’s like Daniel Johnston iconic. The song's lyricism hums with recognizable disenchantment that is bound to resonate at an instant with listeners. Tom Mchugh’s diction brings to mind the cinematic apprehension of Andrew Bujalski’s mumblecore masterpiece Mutual Appreciation meshed with the emotional imprint of “Tame the Sun” by Male Bonding. “Accident,” much like it’s namesake, ends abruptly without warning, leaving its listener to cope with its passing before “Aries” begins.

 

chaba’s second anthem paints a familiar portrait of the post-adolescent malaise of cynical dreamers with earnest hearts. Lo-fi in all the right ways, “Aries,” like a mirror, reflects reality without pretense. Like the less anxious version of Happy Birthday’s “2 Shy,” the charm of “Aries” is undeniably sincere. The oscillating intro of “Cheesepuffs” quickly evolves into a surf-pop banger - reminiscent of The Jacuzzi Boys; the track’s fervent riffs and fuzzed-out screams serve as the perfect preface to the notably catchy “Beat It Out”. The energy of the song doesn’t falter, keeping the momentum of chaba as cymbals crash and Mchugh croons - “Cause you chew my bones, acid soul/I've been off time with myself, I don't mind” - a sentiment that is echoed in the EP’s final track “Hey Julia.”

 

After listening to The Retinas' latest record, you will find yourself hungry for more. - Dianca London


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Free Energy

New Track: "Dream City" (Bim Marx Remix) - Free Energy

It’s always interesting to hear a familiar song from an unfamiliar angle. Yesterday, DFA Records shared this previously unreleased Bim Marx (Duane Harriott & Jorge Velez) remix of Free Energy’s  “Dream City” off their 2010 LP Stuck on Nothing.
 

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Free Download: "Somebody's Baby" (Jackson Browne Cover) - Free Energy

Free Energy is doing a residency this month at The Echo in LA. To celebrate the occasion, the band will be recording covers of some of their favorite songs. Here is the first by Jackson Brown called "Somebody's Baby," which originally appeared on the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack in 1982. You can listen to and download the track for free below.

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Free Energy Hosting Deap Vally at North Star Bar May 4

The aptly named Free Energy is bringing their guitar-driven power pop to the North Star Bar tonight. With upbeat rock that makes you want to groove, the band has toured with the likes of Mates of State and Weezer, now in support their latest LP Love Sign, which was released earlier this year via the group’s own label. There’s something about Free Energy’s carefree lyrics and punchy guitar riffs that make the music so much fun and perfect for this gorgeous weather. It doesn’t hurt that they know the cure for rock ‘n’ roll fever is more cowbell. Also featured is the LA-based duo Deap Vally, who Free Energy have been roaming the landscape of America with. These two ladies have their own energy to share with their grungy, blues rock ensuring the night to be a rollicking good time. Also ready to help the crowd freak out will be locals Prowler. North Star Bar, 2369 Poplar St., 9pm, $12, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

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New Track: "Love Sign" - Free Energy

Below is a previously unreleased B-side from Free Energy called "Love Sign." The band is beginning their tour this evening in Chicago, and will be joining The Darkness and Deap Vally later on down the road. They'll be performing next in Philly on Saturday, May 4 at the North Star Bar.

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New Track: "Wild Life" - Free Energy

Below is a previously unreleased track from Free Energy called "Wild Life." It appears on the B-side of the band's upcoming Record Store Day 7" single for "Girls Want Rock," which will only have 500 copies available. Free Energy will also be heading on tour with Deap Vally, and they'll be making a stop in Philly on Saturday, May 4 at the North Star Bar.

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