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Artist of the Month
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March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
"
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Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London Potts

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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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