Artist of the Month

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August 2015
"If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art
With their debut EP If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art, LOUDS hits the nail on the head with its appealing out of the gates energy. Released via Color Theory Records, the Brett Boucher-produced EP instantly grabs a hold of the body’s desire to let loose. 
The group leads with its best foot forward with its debut single and album opener, “Ways.” The standout track has a warm, vamping synth and those dare-you-to-keep-your-hands-still claps, which are melded with the sugary, chiptune sonic blasts. That bubbly, dance-inspiring vibe is cut through and juxtaposed by lyrics that form the picture of a hot and cold relationship. “The love you’ve known sailed from you one evening, months have gone now you don’t feel the same.”
Wisps of light guitar, keys, and gentle percussion converge in the narrative of  “Lying in the Middle” with its upbeat Paul Simon-Graceland vibes. The rolling hills that are ready to break out with exasperations chronicling the fickle courtship. “It’s the wrong way to approach it, but I know that your heartaches after months of feeling kind of confused. One day I’ll be lying in the middle with you.” The song concludes whimsically with Beatles-esque harmonies:  “My arms are tired, I’m half awake, but finally there with you.”
From the alarm bell, to the to the approaching bass and organ tone leading into those sinister strings, anticipation rapidly builds in “Driving Us Together.”Once again, the band dives into the complexity of relationships. Amid that layered fluid instrumentation, which creeps and momentarily bursts, underlies a sincere thought: “I’ve been trying to forget you but I don’t know how. Driving us together don’t erase your doubt.” The song simplifies down to a strumming guitar as echoes of “goodbye” come through before meeting up with the heartbroken chorus.
Strumming sets off into the echo of menacing tumbling keys in the chest-thumping, never-tell tale “It Takes Two.” “We’re alone in your best friend’s basement. You’re the one who brought me down... As we talking my hearts raising, I hope you don’t figure out” leading into the smoothed chorus: “Cause everybody knows it takes two…” That weaving in and out creates a lively yet personal sense.
If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art threads a layered vibrant in-motion musicality with a relatable multifaceted tug and pull aspect of intimacy, zooming in on all sides while never sitting still. The EP is an impressive debut from the fledgling electropop outfit that ends way sooner than you’d like it to conclude. - Michael Colavita

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Indie hard rockers The Milestones played DC9, 8/26, with more shows and an EP to come

Looking for new, versatile jam that makes you jump, dance, and lose your mind? Try on indie hard rock band The Milestones for size; it’s a good fit. They’re a brash and fun quartet from Baltimore with a distinct and diverse sound all their own and their live performances are unmissable.

Their performance at DC9 on 8/26 did not give this writer’s eardrums a break and infected the audience with an energy that didn’t quit, even after the band started tearing down their kit. Their set featured excellent guitar fades and mind-blowing drum solos. These guys know how to interact with the audience given their fun banter and focused showmanship, so make sure to catch them live or miss an experience worth remembering. They have an EP, Honey, coming out later this summer and some shows in NYC this weekend. Leftfield, 8/29 at 8pm and D’Herde East, 8/30 at 2pm. -Jonathan Goodwin


Indie quartet Life in Film rocked the Rock & Roll Hotel, 8/25, and continues headlining US tour

From across the pond comes one of the hardest working indie bands today. Founded in 2012, Life in Film is at the halfway point of their first headlining tour of the US. They just finished opening on the Wombats tour a couple months ago, but they’re back at it again, reaching out to new audiences and sharing their artistry with us Yanks. They also put out their debut album Get Closer in April and have more stuff in the works for a sophomore release.

I watched their performance Tuesday, 8/25, at the Rock & Roll Hotel, their first-ever show in DC and I was wowed from start to finish. I spoke briefly with frontman Samuel Fry before the show, who revealed the band all works together to produce their music and that his favorite part of playing live is the unpredictability, giving new life to songs that had only been written and recorded. While at the show, I certainly found new life in songs I had only heard on Spotify. Literally everyone in the crowded space was jamming to the music, dancing and bopping heads to the rich beats. The thick bass shook my beer bottle and the lefty lead guitarist rocked his glasses right off his face. Life in Film has a sound all its own, not derivative in the slightest. Their stage presence was simple and engaging in its appeal, avoiding unnecessary flash and hitting the essentials for a good time. Catch them at their remaining US shows or miss out on a fantastic experience. -Jonathan Goodwin


Electro-pop duo Smoke Season to grace The Black Cat, 8/27, with infectious dance beats

Need good music for your insatiable dance fix? Look no further than Smoke Season, a Hollywood-based duo specializing in upbeat club grooves and catchy rhythms that cling to the brain like honey to a child’s fingers. Sultry vocals and well-coordinated synthesizers make up the core of their sound, but don’t expect a typical nightclub act; Smoke Season is top-notch. Catch them tonight with King Raam at The Black Cat for only $15, doors at 7:30. -Jonathan Goodwin


Underground pop rockers New Boss open show at 9:30, 9/5, and tease new album out this October

Listening to New Boss is like sending your brain to the beach. Their lo-fi approach is well-executed and carries their sound perfectly, with the right amount of twang and dance beats provided by premium drumming. The melodies are easy to lose oneself in, but they’re hard to leave behind. If you like Yo La Tengo or Belle & Sebastian, you’ll love New Boss, Charlottesville’s premier twee pop outfit. You’ll find them presenting their excellence as the openers for Sleepwalkers and The Dough Rollers at the 9:30 on 9/5 for just $15. Look for the new album Twee Boogie Vol. 1 & 2 this October! -Jonathan Goodwin




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