Still filling out your SXSW itinerary? Head on over to The Palm Door and check out the French vibe of SXSW with the French Waves showcase presented by Zorba. French House (a collaboration between French Tech and French Waves) makes its return to SXSW with a showcase spanning over two days, Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15, and will feature the latest French electronic music, cutting-edge French tech startups, and innovative French virtual reality projects and films.

The official French Waves music showcase will be held on Tuesday, March 14 from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and will feature France’s hottest, up-and-coming producers, Molécule and Jacques. The music showcase will also be live streamed online.

Wednesday, March 15, French House will host the French Waves brunch from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. where special speakers, Molécule, Jacques and Julian Starke, director of French Waves, will guide audiences through a unique musical and visual trip into French electronic music. They will discuss their viewpoints, experiences and anecdotes to share their vision of what French electronic music is today.

Lastly, showcase hosts Zorba and Miala will unveil the first images of Molécule’s upcoming album “Musique Polaire” on Wednesday, March 15 at the Musique Polaire meet-up drink. Molécule spent 34 non-stop days, traveling over 4,986 nautical miles, lugging 200 kilos of music equipment and enduring 13-hour recording sessions isolating himself in one of the most inhospitable regions of Greenland to create an unprecedented sound experience with “Musique Polaire.”

The Musique Polaire meet-up drink will be open to the public and will be introduced by Molécule, Arnaud Meersseman (Miala) and Olivier Mardi (ZORBA).

All events will be held at the Palm Door on Sabine, (located at 401 Sabine St., Austin, Texas 78701) and are open to SXSW badge holders, media and those listed on the VIP guest list.




On the heels of awarding a total $500,000 in grants in just three years, local nonprofit takes 2017 by storm with fantastic lineup of Austin musicians

Austin nonprofit Black Fret is proud to announce the first 18 of its 20 Black Fret Grant Nominees for 2017. They include Akina Adderley, Black Pistol Fire, Bright Light Social Hour, Carolyn Wonderland, Croy and the Boys, Daniel Eyes, David Ramirez, Eric Tessmer, Greyhounds, Jackie Venson, Kinky Machine, Leopold and his Fiction, Los Coast, Mobley, Sarah Sharp, The Deer, Warren Hood and Whiskey Shivers. The top two “Best New Bands” from the Austin Music Awards will be named Black Fret’s final two 2017 nominees on Sunday, March 12.

“Naming our fourth group of Black Fret Nominees after awarding $500,000 in grants in just our first three years feels great,” said Colin Kendrick, Black Fret Founder. “There is such an amazing depth of talent in this town and we are excited to see such great artists year after year supported by our members in such a meaningful way.”

“I am so excited to be a nominee. Black Fret has helped out so many incredible artists and I am so honored to be one of them,” said 2017 Black Fret Nominee Jackie Venson. “I’m ready to put the work in and am pumped about continuing the journey.”

Black Fret sponsors Oskar Blues Brewery Austin and Ben E. Keith Distributors hosted the 2017 Nomination Celebration at their North Austin brewery and tap room where Black Fret members, guests and 2017 nominees enjoyed performances by 2017 nominees The Deer and Warren Hood and a special appearance by 2016 Black Fret Artist Wendy Colonna.

“The community we have seen come together around Black Fret embodies the love and passion Austin has always had for its music,” said Matt Ott, Black Fret Co-founder. “Together, our members, sponsors, Advisory Board, volunteers and musicians are making a real impact on our city and its music. We are honored that so many of our citizens have joined Black Fret to support Austin’s local musicians. And this is just the beginning.”

Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in Austin whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform great new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Together, Black Fret’s limited membership will build an endowed institution capable of sustaining more than a million dollars a year in grants to Austin’s artists. The 2017 “Listening Period” will kick off on April 8 and will lead to the awarding of grants to all 20 of the 2017 Black Fret Nominees by Black Fret members at the 2017 Black Fret Ball on Dec. 9, 2017 at the Paramount Theater.

Over the last three years, Black Fret has awarded $500,000 to local Austin artists. Black Fret grant recipients must create new music, perform outside Austin or perform for other Austin nonprofits to “unlock” their grant funds. To date, Black Fret Artists have unlocked their grant funds through the creation of 190 new songs, 156 studio recordings and the release of 61 finished songs. They have performed 240 U.S. and 31 international tour dates and have held 84 community service performances for other local charities.

This year alone, Black Fret has been covered in national media outlets such as Pitchfork and Forbes and is gaining momentum for what will be growth into other great music cites.

Black Fret will hold two festival events in March which will be open to the public to attend: the Black Fret SXSW Austin Music Showcase on Friday, March 17 and Saturday March 18 from noon to 6p.m. each day at the North Door in Austin, Texas. That will be followed by the Art City Austin festival at Palmer Auditorium on March 31 through April 2 for which Black Fret will curate the Black Fret Music Stage. The lineups for both events will include past Black Fret Artists, 2017 Black Fret nominees and other special guests. The private, members-only Black Fret Listening Season will kick off on April 8. Those who wish to attend private Black Fret events may become a member of Black Fret by signing up at http://www.blackfret.org/join. All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2017 Black Fret events, including the annual Black Fret Ball. For inquiries, please email sustain@blackfret.org and for more info see http://www.blackfret.org.

In addition to their grants, all Black Fret Nominees have continued access to mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board, which consists of 37 of Austin’s top music industry leaders. Newly added advisors include Codey Allen, Evan Blanc, Jen Dalton, Danny Gillespie, Layne Lauritzen, Michael Ramos, Dick Reeves, Chris “Frenchi” Smith and Graham Williams. Existing advisors are Mark Addison, Heather Alden, Roggie Baer, Pat Cassidy, Reenie Collins, Mike Crowley, Wofford Denius, CJ Eiriksson, Jim Eno, Nigel Finley, Will Hoffman, Jennifer Houlihan, Terrany Johnson, Terry Lickona, Weston McGowen, Davis McLarty, Marsha Milam, Matt Noveskey, Tim Palmer, George Reiff, Peter Schwarz, Carlos Sosa, Joe Stallone, Stuart Sullivan, Heather Wagner Reed, Kevin Wommack, Tom Vale and Rusty Zagst. For more information, please see http://www.blackfret.org/category/advisors.

Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as ALL ATX, Dell Inc., Deloitte Consulting, Ben Milam Whiskey, SunPower Inc., GSD&M, Ben E. Keith Distributors, Whole Foods, Personify, Gibson Brands, The City of Austin Economic Development Department – Music & Entertainment Division, KUTX, The Austin Chronicle, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, the Paramount Theatre, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, County Line BBQ, Shady Grove, Verts, Frank, Biggs Electric, Social Flash Media and many more.

For additional information please visit http://www.blackfret.org.

Black Fret SXSW Austin Music Showcase:

Friday, March 17: Black Fret SXSW Austin Music Showcase / 12 p.m – 6 p.m. @ North Door
Saturday, March 18: Black Fret SXSW Austin Music Showcase / 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. @ North Door


Black Fret 2

Article courtesy of Amber LaFrance (amber@juiceconsulting.com)

Photos courtesy of Amber LaFrance and Black Fret (www.blackfret.org)

6th Annual Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion Hosted By Whole Foods Market, March 16-18

Last week, Innovative marketing group Quantum Collective unveiled the full artist lineup for their sixth annual Southwest Invasion concert series, held March 16-18 in Austin, TX. The free, all ages, three-day live music event is hosted by Whole Foods Market, benefiting Whole Planet Foundation. Built around a philosophy of discovery, the Southwest Invasion creates a village of emerging and legacy artists, goods, non-profit organizations and services for an audience of 15,000 people on the rooftop plaza of the Whole Foods Market flagship store on North Lamar Boulevard. This year’s event will feature more than 40 artists on two stages, including Modern English, Hanson, Bridgit Mendler, In The Valley Below, Colony House, Kate Nash, and more listed below.

***The official RSVP is now open at http://southwestinvasion.com.

Quantum Collective co-founders Liz Leahy and Dan Silver said, “Southwest Invasion is about discovery, and every year we aim to bring a new element to the event that fosters eclectic authenticity. For 2017 we’ve continued to develop our relationship with local Austin brewery Hops & Grain, who return as a sponsor for the second year in a row and are creating a special new beer specifically for the event. Hops & Grain will be presenting the Homegrown Stage, an additional stage on the Whole Foods Market rooftop where artists will perform mostly stripped down, real and organic versions of their traditional sets.”

Artists confirmed to perform on Thursday, March 16 include: Desert Daze Caravan artists Night Beats, Deap Vally, Froth, and JJUUJJUU, as well as Youngr, The Skins, GGOOLLDD, The Dig, Durand Jones & The Indications, The Aces, PARTYBABY, Great American Canyon Band, Mail The Horse, Airways, and Darling West.

Confirmed to perform on Friday, March 17: Modern English, In The Valley Below, The Regrettes, Smoke Season, Kate Nash, The Relationship (featuring Brian Bell of Weezer), Warbly Jets, MOON, Adam Torres, Jamie Kent, The Weeks, Muddy Magnolias, Reality Something, Danny Fishman, Blank Range, and Lauren Ruth Ward.

Confirmed to perform on Saturday, March 18: Hanson, Bridgit Mendler, Colony House, Sundara Karma, Angela McCluskey, Lawrence, The Unlikely Candidates, Gutxi Biband, Run River North, Katie Garibaldi, Chinah, Baskery, Yoke Lore, Ariana and the Rose, Tribu Baharu, and Brent Cowles.

In addition to the music, the Southwest Invasion will once again play host to interactive opportunities with goods and services developed by microenterprises and socially responsible brands. Sponsors of this year’s Southwest Invasion include Clif Bar & Company, ZICO, Schwinn, Wells Fargo, Zevia, truRoots, Foodee, Hops & Grain, Califia Farms, OCHO Candy, West Elm, Health-Ade Kombucha, Dang, and Rishi Tea. Supporting partners include Section101, Riptide Music Group, Front Row Center, QSC, Red Boot PR, and Pledgeling.

Whole Foods Market spokesperson Melissa Cannon said, “Quantum Collective’s Southwest Invasion is one of the largest community events we host at our flagship store, pulling folks from all areas of Austin and beyond. Whole Foods Market strives to serve as a destination for the Austin community, and we’re thrilled to partner with Quantum Collective to once again welcome music lovers and foodies to our hometown store.”
Every year, Southwest Invasion aims to benefit the important work done by Whole Planet Foundation, which works to alleviate poverty through microcredit in countries where Whole Foods Market sources product. Guests are encouraged to make a donation to Whole Planet Foundation through Pledgeling on the event’s RSVP page. There will also be a text to donate activation on site during the event.

Additional announcements for this year’s Southwest Invasion will be made soon.

Please visit the event’s website at http://southwestinvasion.com for details.

**Listen to the official Spotify lineup playlist here.

**RSVP for the 6th Annual Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion here.

**BEER! Local Austin brewery Hops & Grain have created a beer specifically for Southwest Invasion! Speakeasy IPA can be enjoyed exclusively on site March 16-18. (Sneak tastes can happen at the annual Pint Night inside Whole Foods on March 14.)

**YOGA! ZICO Coconut Water will be hosting a FREE yoga class on the rooftop plaza at 9am on Friday, March 17th. An instructor from Austin’s Black Swan Yoga will be teaching the class and yoga mats will be provided. Check-in begins at 8:30am. RSVP here.

**RAISING $! to benefit the important work done by Whole Planet Foundation. Donations of $5 or more made online via Pledgling will enter guests to win Southwest Invasion’s coveted “Cut The Line” Passes. With on site donations, guests can enter to win one of two bicycles donated by our sponsor Schwinn.

Talib Kweli Resized

(Talib Kweli 2016 Photo Credit: Clayton Hodges)

MSTRKRFT resized

(MSTRKRFT 2016 Photo Credit: Clayton Hodges)

Deep Valley Resized

(Deep Valley 2016 Photo Credit: Clayton Hodges)

Crowd resized

(Photo Credit: Beck and Hall Photography)

Article courtesy of Laura Goldfarb (laura@redbootpr.com)

Wavves: ‘You’re Welcome’ & ‘Daisy’ Review

Ever since 2013’s Afraid of Heights Nathan Williams (more colloquially known as Wavves) appeared to have abandoned his fuzz punk roots, opting to flirt with the mainstream. Although the band still produced enviable, melodic indie rock, it seemed the magic of the carefree King of the Beach days had long gone. Now with the release of new cuts ‘Daisy’ and ‘You’re Welcome’, the latter being the title of forthcoming sixth studio LP, the band have ditched Warner Bros. in favour of Ghost Ramp, Williams’ own label, who expanded ‘I’d never come in contact with such a poorly run company in my life.’

‘They’re shooting at me, grinning through the teeth, not hitting a thing’ whines Williams on ‘Daisy’ in his characteristically cryptic lyrical style. The track draws from the Wavves playbook; acerbic guitars, high-pitched harmonies and allusions to the sun-kissed beaches of Los Angeles, all whilst embodying the Beach Boys’ melodic philosophies through a haze of marijuana smoke.

‘You’re Welcome’ meanwhile takes the tempo down with distorted drums and a merry-go-round-esque organ conjuring up images of tourist trap pier-based
fairgrounds with a chorus so sickly sweet it induces nausea like a particularly violent rollercoaster.

The two tracks with their layered, disjointed production more closely resemble aborted Zach Hill collaboration, Babes, than previous album V, thus signalling that the band are constructing music on their own terms and are more willing to experiment than ever before. A very exciting concept for Wavves fans indeed.

You’re Welcome’ is out May 19th on Ghost Ramp.

Wavves are set to tour America in April – See full dates below:

04-21 Amarillo, TX – Aztec Music Hall&
04-22 Rogers, AR – Wal-Mart Amphitheater&
04-23 Springfield, MO – Shrine Mosque&
04-25 Pelham, AL – Oak Mountain Amphitheater&
04-26 Charleston, SC – N. Charleston Coliseum&
04-27 Knoxville, TN – Civic Coliseum&
04-29 Charlotte, NC – N. Charleston Coliseum
04-30 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle Music Hall
05-01 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
05-02 Pensacola, FL – Pensacola Bay Center&
05-03 Tallahassee, FL – The Pavilion&
05-04 Orlando, FL – Orlando Fairgrounds&
05-05 St. Petersburg, FL – State Theater
05-07 West Palm Beach, FL – Sunfest&
05-09 New Orleans, LA – Uno Lakefront Arena&
05-10 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
05-12 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
05-13 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
05-14 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg*
05-16 Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry*
05-17 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall*
05-18 Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace*
05-20 Columbus, OH – The A&R Music Bar*
05-22 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi Fi*
05-23 Chicago, IL – The Bottom Lounge*
05-24 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock#
05-25 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar#
05-27 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey#
05-28 Austin, TX – Mohawk#
05-30 Santa Fe, NM – Skylight#
05-31 Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom#
06-01 San Diego, CA – Irenic#
06-02 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram#
06-03 San Francisco, CA – The Independent#
06-05 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile#
06-06 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre#

& with Blink-182
* with Post Animal
# with Kino Kimino





Written by: Matthew Barnard



The Dallas label will take the Capitol by storm with panels, parties and partnerships

Hand Drawn Records is showing no signs of slowing down. Fresh off the grand opening of its state-of-the-art vinyl pressing plant, the Dallas-based, artist-centric label is taking its talents and tips to ATX for the annual South by Southwest festival in March for a panel with Viryl Tech, the innovators behind Hand Drawn’s new WarmTone vinyl pressing machines, and a few official and unofficial showcases. Some of the metroplex’s must-see musicians call Hand Drawn Records home, but the label’s innovate influence extends far beyond the DFW. Hand Drawn Pressing is located at 16420 Midway Road, Addison, Texas 75001.

The label’s manufacturing arm, Hand Drawn Pressing, has been answering the needs of the “vinyl revolution” with unmatched speed: The plant’s WarmTone machines produce records three times as fast as vintage automated record presses, and the team plans to press up to 1.8 million records this year. According to Forbes, “vinyl records are projected to sell 40 million units in 2017, with sales nearing the $1 billion benchmark for the first time this millennium.” Hand Drawn Records is at the center of this business boom, which means their events are a must-see for music fans and aficionados craving an insight into the intricacies of vinyl pressing and music labels in 2017 and beyond.

Hand Drawn’s Austin takeover begins at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15 with a panel featuring Dustin Blocker, the label’s Chief Creative Officer, and representatives from Warner Music Group, Furnace Record Pressing and Viryl Tech-the manufacturer of the WarmTone machines. The panel, moderated by the president of Analog Planet, will touch on the talent and technology powering the vinyl revolution, and will also look ahead to the future.

The festivities continue later that day, when Hand Drawn joins forces with Doc Martens and Twix to release vinyls exclusive to the festival. The artists for these records have yet to be announced, but all who visit Container Bar or Bar 96 during the designated times will have a chance to score the free record from Dallas’ own vinyl- and music-making machine. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at Container Bar, and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. encore at Bar 96. But if you think Hand Drawn would leave the state’s capitol without a bang, think again.

On Saturday, March 18, the label will host a day party to celebrate the opening of Monument House Sound Company’s new studio in North Austin. The event, which features a performance by Brandon Callies, begins at noon and lasts until 5:30 p.m.

Below is a full schedule of HDR SXSW events:

Wednesday, March 15:
Vinyl Panel: 3:30-4:30pm

Wednesday, March 15, Thursday March 16 and Friday, March 17:
Doc Martens @ Container Bar: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
TWIX @ Bar 96: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Saturday, March 18:
HDR Day Party at Monument Sound Studios (Brandon Callies): 12 – 5:30 p.m.

All three events will show Hand Drawn doing what they do best: Bringing music to the masses in new and exciting ways.

“We’re excited to be heading down to SXSW again this year to spread the good word about our scene and of course, give the gift of vinyl to those who need it most,” said Blocker.

As the records keep spinning, Hand Drawn’s events and innovations prove that the revolution will be pressed-on vinyl.

Article courtesy of Amber Lafrance (amber@culture-hype.com)

Sara Jackson-Holman: ‘Run’ Video Review

Sara Jackson-Holman has a voice you may recognize, her eerily transcendent tone is definitely making its way around; featured on the likes of Pretty Little Liars and Orange is The New Black.

Her latest video, ‘Run’, from her LP ‘Didn’t Go To The Party’, is femininity at its finest; with only the strongest love reserved for her friends throughout. It features a mere cameo of the female strength and independence captured in her almost-folk twist on a pop song.

There’s a very French vibe to ‘Run’– but maybe that is just the Marie Antoinette wigs, painted in watercolor. It feels almost like a French disco collided with modern day America, in a seamlessly beautiful conglomeration, too delicately rough to be more than a painting. Or maybe she’s just really into that karaoke, it’s hard to say.

Throughout the video, we’re introduced to her friends…her ‘pastel posse’; who’re presented, to us, with as much valour as a gang of train robbers, but with a touch more aesthetic. There’s an almost-ethereal feel to the girls as they dance across verdant landscapes or sing in neon lit rooms, and it’s only heightened by Jackson-Holman’s delicate voice; it’s relaxing and innocently sweet.

Mellow, I think, is the word for it.





Written by: Megan Matthews

SKATERS: Rock and Roll Bye Bye LP Review

In the past few years garage rock has had a small resurgence with bands like Thee Oh Sees and Parquet Courts embracing the rough around the edges aesthetic. The genre itself essentially spawned from amateur musicians in the 60s aspiring to mimic the rock stars of the day by taking an almost do it yourself attitude; performing in their parent’s garages with rudimentary equipment and enthusiasm reserved only for amateurs.

SKATERS epitomise that garage rock ethic on latest LP Rock and Roll Bye Bye with guitarist Josh Hubbard explaining ‘the philosophy brought to this new project is similar to that of the ‘DIY’ ethos.’ Following 2014’s love letter to New York, Manhattan, the band severed the umbilical chord from previous major label, Warner, and embraced their independent spirit utilizing London-based distributor Believe Digital. Although not breaking any new ground, Rock and Roll Bye Bye plants saplings in SKATERS’ ever-growing forest of sun beaten garage rock gems.

Opener ‘Just Like Your Mother’ laments growing up to be just like your parents over a chord progression ripped straight from Pixies’ Trompe le Monde, not surprising considering the group’s affinity for the alt-rock pioneers. ‘Head On To Nowhere’ juxtaposes stadium-friendly choruses with lyrics that act as a treatise for the dissatisfied millennial, while the film noir narration of ‘Respect the Hustle’ touches on the bands previous affection for the Big Apple with drums that tower higher than any skyscraper, featuring a smoke draped horn solo harvested straight from one of the city’s jazz bars.

Occasionally Rock and Roll Bye Bye teeters on the edge of mediocrity with the uninspired lyrical content of the title track and forgettable ‘Song 19 (Revisted)’ struggling to be heard over the soaring string section of ‘Northern Soul’ and Madchester swagger of ‘Criminal’, and although arrangements are admirable, the slick production can feel vapid at times. Interesting to note that their move to independence sees the band ditching the low fidelity of their major label debut, a stylistic choice that would have given this record additional bite.

SKATERS may not possess the avant-garde musical complexity of Thee Oh Sees or Parquet Courts but that’s not what they are aiming for; they seek to craft fun, melodic garage rock tunes that slide in through your ear canal and refuse to leave. Although the organic sound that so embodies the genre is almost absent from Rock and Roll Bye Bye maybe it’ll encourage a new generation of dreamers to pick up their battered six strings and infuriate the neighbors from the comfort of their parent’s garages.



Written by: Matthew Barnard

dePresno “See You Soon” Review

Norwegian singer-songwriter dePresno channels a unique sound on new single “See You Soon“.

Hailing from Bergen, Norway, a small town with a population of just 250k and an impressive artist-yield ratio; churning out, AURORA, Kygo, Röyksopp and Kings of Convenience, in ‘See You Soon’ dePresno struggles to find his feet among shallow waters.

Alarming synths and rattling cowbells kick off the track creating a funky house aesthetic with Maverick Sabre-reminiscent rasping vocals jarring complimenting against the glitzy instrumental.

However dePresno abandons the tenderness and subtlety that drew attention with tracks such as “Souvenir” for an overproduced and underwhelming hook which falls flat at the feet of the foundations that preceded it. Lyrics of longing and loneliness feel empty when accompanied by that all-too-common wailing kazoo reminiscent sound that so often plagues power pop-house chart anthems. (See Justin Bieber – Sorry)

Revealing the tracks inspiration of being “quite devastated” about the realization his girlfriend would be backpacking in Asia for 2 months, the track treads sickly-sweet territory and demonstrates the naivety that understandably aligns his scarce years.

Citing heroes such as Dylan, Cohen, and Marley, the 19 year-old Norwegian native has a lot of work to do if he aims to emulate his immortal idols. That said, previous projects and verse segments of ‘See You Soon’, do show glimpses of a man with clear talent and artistic intrigue. With time to mature and develop dePresno could blossom into a unique voice in pop music, if he decides to walk his own lane and manages to dodge oncoming industry and label pop-house-pressure traffic.

dePresno tours Germany and Norway in March – See full dates below:

Thu, Mar 16 // Kristiansand, Norway @ Trashpop
Fri, Mar 17 // Trondheim, Norway @ Samfundet
Mon, Mar 27 // Hamburg, Germany @ Häkken
Tue, Mar 28 // Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
Wed, Mar 29 // Köln, Germany @ Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
Thu, Mar 30 // München, Germany @ Milla, LiveClub
Fri, Mar 31 // Stavanger, Norway @ Tou Scene




Written by: George Gould


Hunters of the Alps Debut EP

The year was 1859 when Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi of currant-filled-biscuit fame trudged across the snow-capped peaks in the shadow of the Matterhorn, trailed diligently by his special military corps in the midst of the Second Italian War of Independence. Like his namesake, lead vocalist Mario Giancarlo Garibaldi utilises the moniker of those intrepid soldiers for Peruvian (now Miami-based) synth pop outfit: Hunters of the Alps.

With the vigour and enthusiasm of a potential employee at a job interview, the band launches everything in their arsenal at self-titled EP opener, ‘Time (How to Love).’ ‘Isn’t it a shame we’re wasting time’ muses Garibaldi with Morrissey-esque apathy, over the piercing strums of guitarist Jorge Velásquez and Alex De Renzis’s energetic percussion, while smatterings of melancholic synths gasp for air below the surface.

Elsewhere, ‘It’s You’ pulls Christopher Walken’s portrayal of producer Bruce Dickinson into the studio to shout passionately about the need for ‘more cowbell’ on a bridge that demonstrates the band are at their best when they want you to dance.

Yet for all their musical competency Hunters of the Alps often harken back to other artists, with the wall of sound introduction of ‘Light Away’ evoking the sonic expanses of M83 and the preliminary drum machine of ‘The Pace’ referring back to classic New Order, herein lies the band’s biggest weakness; the lack of a definable voice. That said the EP is a fitting introduction to what the group have to offer and maybe if they keep lumbering across that vast alpine landscape eventually they’ll stumble upon some gold.





Written by: Matthew Barnard


Rambler Playlist March 6th

This week’s playlist is all about attitude with four bold and aggressive tracks to get the adrenaline pumping. The first track comes to us from Cure For Paranoia, a “trippy, soul-infused, hip-hop” quartet out of Dallas’ Deep Ellum. ‘Bad Impression’ is a menacing track with a head-bouncing beat and intimidating lyrics. The rapid bassline knocks as cumbia-esque howls and rings fill the background all wrapped together with a hyper, articulate delivery from frontman, Cameron McCloud and special guest, Topic.

The next track, ‘Mustang Kids,’ comes to us from Zella Day’s KICKER album, one of the most complete albums we’ve come across lately. ‘Mustang Kids’ is a certain kind of special. This passionate and ambitious track featuring Baby E takes Zella’s arousing sound to a ravenous level. ‘Mustang Kids’ is pissed-off pop for a new generation.

I will make no secret of the fact that I’m a huge Mobley fan. This Austin-based, “solo” showman is a straight-up beast that defines post-genre pop with originality and adventurous experimentation. Typically a one-man band, Mobley, collaborated with Houston two-piece rockers, Catch Fever, on his latest track, ‘Dreamers‘. A distorted drum beat and monstrous robotic duet engulf Mobley’s airy vocals texturing this track with an antagonistic overtone. Light and dark battle as the mood of ‘Dreamers’ evolves from brooding and malevolent to progressive and uplifting with the chorus of “are you gonna change or are you gonna die?”

Emily Bell’s latest track is a promising preview from her upcoming Kali EP due out April 21. This tenacious ‘Godess of Destruction’ channels her raw, primal femininity with ‘Can’t Talk Back,’ an  energetic garage rock track with avant-garde flare. Bell hits peak ferocity with the howling chorus of this powerful women’s anthem proving she’s the tremor in our earthquake and sugar in our milkshake. If you like this track, you’ll love the video which features Bell padded in ‘pigskin polyester’ channeling her inner J.J. Watt with the all-female Austin Raiders.