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Shoegazer





Wildhoney plays show with fellow Baltimore band/Deli artist of the month nominee Big Mouth TONIGHT at The Penthouse

Quick, let your hot date know there's a change in plans tonight because at 9:30 at The Penthouse Baltimore's total dreamboat Wildhoney will be playing a show on a diverse lineup with bands from Baltimore, North Carolina, and Britain. It's kind of your chance for one of those summer of love dance scenes you've always sneered at in movies but secretly practiced in your bedroom. But if you don't catch them tonight before they continue on their U.S. tour with Spook School, you'll have more chances when they play DC9 Nightclub in DC on 6/25 and Metro Gallery in Baltimore 10/07 (plenty of time to plan for that one). Wildhoney's latest 3-song record, "17 Forever", gets pretty and gritty with the band's swooning, atmospheric blend of lo-fi shoegaze and post-punk. The title fits a collection of songs that glitter and brood through a teenage girl's daydream. Airy vocal harmonies delightfully steer through surrounding storms of percussion, warm fuzz/bass, distancing reverb, and slicing guitars. They've been killing it in the past few months : a tour with Whirr, a new music video, and they've announced their next EP is due out later this year. Keep at it guys, we'll be keeping an ear out!

- Leora Mandel





Huge Cosmic @ the Cavern

Two men, a galaxy of sound. From jazz-fusion to electronic fuzz-rock and back, Huge Cosmic is who you call for ambience and acuity. With songs called “Let’s Talk About The Weather” and “Interviewed By Nardwuar”, the eclectic and electric nature of the band is accepted and accentuated by the energy and intelligence of the music. “Weather” is a prime example of their blending influences and minds. Between the notes of the vocal melody is where the chops of the two take over, switching from tight progressive groove into serene rock’n’roll walls of sound and back again. Serious music listeners would take care to take notice, and keep their eyes peeled. Huge Cosmic is bringing their experimental sound to the Cavern on Saturday, May 30th, so get yourself in front of that stage.-Cody Wright

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Single Lash Has the Chords You're Looking For

Those'd be some seriously 80s, seriously British reverbed chords we're talkin' about, and they come slinking out of popgazers Single Lash, them of the perhaps most perfect pop goth band name what has ever been, on their new eponymous album. Released this April, "Single Lash" follows up on 2014's intriguing "Soft as Glass" with 12 cacophonous tracks with one or two word titles, those sparse words more often than not being from the gloomy romantic side of the dictionary (“Bitemarks,” “Keep It,” “Drown” and “False” start the album off, just to name a few). In fact, a flavor of gothic influenced “lovely, but with death on the mind,” thorned-rose notes percolate through and from the music itself through all of the album, the sound of which comes from the art poprock side of the dark music genrescape.

“Single Lash,” and Single Lash the band itself, are well-done breaks from the idea that dreary must always be dark (or is it vice versa), with the satisfying and even at times near ecstatic prettiness of the album pairing perfectly with the goth- and general 80s-British-Music-informed melancholia of the songs here. Which, truth be told, is just the way any good pain + pleasure thing should go (I guess in a way what I’m saying is that “Single Lash” is the consensual rough sex where everyone involved leaves bruised but happy of music).

As an example of this sweet and sour sound I’m talking about, take track “False,” one of the more outwardly happy, more upbeat sounding tracks on the album. Soaking in the waves of bright, quick shoegaze that wash out of the drack (and not drowning in them, as can happen with many -gaze tracks), one can just make out the words of the song, “There’s nothing here to want/Just bitter nostalgia-/There’s nothing here that’s true.” Second track “Keep It” nails the sentiment in one line, “I am spellbound as the stars go out.“

Speaking of nostalgia, that feeling is an excellent touchstone for this music, the word coming from the combination of the Greek words for “return home” and “pain (apologies to Don Draper fans). When that word was coined, real life medical people actually thought you could die from nostalgia, and listening to Single Lash, you get the sense that the band might not find that concept too outlandish. They pine, they remember, they query the universe about why things are the way they are in most tracks. However, from the bright sounds they blend into their laments and existential requests, I also get the sense that Single Lash is less interested in the idea of despair alone, but maybe more of just a heaviness of all emotion. I get the feeling that if their members died because of grief or existential uncertainty, it would be more of a chosen and beautiful event than a perishing one.

All of that, of course, is just speculation (maybe super happy people are great at sad music? you never know), but what is nothing but sure is that “Single Lash” is a deadly gorgeous album that does not tire from track to track despite its drone-heaviness and which is both fully versed in its influences and yet has also drifted away from them to a nearby space all its own. Listen below, especially if it’s still fucking raining when you find this piece. You could do much worse for rainy day music.





Music Video Premiere: Future Twin - We're Here

The San Francisco based soul-gaze band, Future Twin has produced a music video for their upbeat rock-pop track, We're Here. The video is great. It's always good to see the conceptual expression of helping ordinary people escape what is boring and mundane, and discover what colorful fun life has to offer. We're Here tells a story of three people who are seemingly lost in the monotony and routine of their realities until a strange human lady with a colorful mask appears to break them free of their pain and disenfranchisement.

“"We’re Here” is a song about standing together. About not being broken up. It’s about cohesion. The script and concept that we attempted to portray in this music video center on the daily lives of archetypes of urban life: the office worker, the service worker and the retired elder. In hyper-productivist America, we often ask people when first meeting them, in order to get to know them better, “What do you do?” Playing on this way of defining people, as if our day job equates the very fiber of our being, as if that’s the most interesting facet of someone’s life (what they do to commodify their labor)– we attempted to show the triviality of such things." - Jean Jeanie, Future Twin

We like Future Twin and we like the song, We're Here, so it's a happy experience for us to share a music video that they've been super passionate about sharing with the world. Here it is, check them out and make sure you attend their upcoming Bay Area shows:

Jun 06 SubZERO Festival San Jose, CA
Jul 18 Dissilience Oakland (A benefit for Oakland Fund for the Arts) w/ Jean Jeanie

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Tennis System releases new video "Ungrown," playing The Echo residency in June

Punkgaze trio Tennis System, who built an empire of sound in the DC and LA scenes, released their newest video for "Ungrown," the third track from their 2014 album Technicolour Blind. Produced by and featuring Erica Terenzi of Italy's dreampop team Be Forest, the video matches swerving guitars and sun-blistered vocals with nostalgic memories simmered in psychedelic color. This release comes two weeks shy of Tennis System's long-awaited residency at The Echo. Catch them each Monday night in June with local alternative acts new and old, including United Ghosts, Blood Candy, Teenage Wrist, and THE FLASH HITS.

When interviewed by Free Bike Valet on what to expect for the residency, Tennis System's Matty T said: “We’re going to be trying out new songs, playing a lot off of our latest release Technicolour Blind, some off of Teenagers, and some really old ones. Each week will be different. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can assure you won’t want to miss one. Each one builds off of the week prior.”

Watch the new video for "Ungrown" below, and check out Tennis System on Facebook for more details on their upcoming Echo residency. - Ryan Mo

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