Friday, 4 December 2015

Friday Four: MRCH - Golden Daze - La Sera - Nightair

MRCH - Spin.

Background - College found the members of MRCH immersed in the worlds of jazz, opera and speciality coffee. Fast forward three years and two bands later, the trio has settled into their own unique brand of electronic indie. With two thirds of the group living in Phoenix AZ and the remainder in Sacramento CA, their songs are crafted primarily through file sharing via Ableton.

Falling musically somewhere between the creative production and ideals of Phantogram and the smart pop of CHVRCHΞS and Purity Ring, 'Spin' is an accessible, cerebral outing from the trio that has seen significant label interest already.

CMJ described their last track, ‘Highway Drivin’ as “…a big, squashy, glitter-glam beat and ice queen crooning”. MRCH holds high the principle of recreating their music live, often performing songs that are still being written, allowing their sound to evolve as “organically as possible.” Though much of their creative process happens remotely, the band plays together constantly – staying as close as their many miles allow.

It comes as no surprise that a song as good as this, is generating serious music industry interest. That the band develop songs through live performance is clearly working. If 'Spin' was released on vinyl it would get plenty of 'spinning' from me (sorry - could not resist).

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Golden Daze - Salt.

Background - Formed by Ben Schwab and Jacob Loeb, Golden Daze is a collaborative songwriting duo. Inspired by 60's melodic rock and contemporaries like Cass Mccombs and Brian Jonestown Massacre, Golden Daze drenches their straightforward earthly pop tunes in ethereal drones and tape flutter. 

The duo, originally from the Midwest (Schwab from Ohio and Loeb from Chicago), are based in Los Angeles and will be releasing their self titled debut LP on Autumn Tone Records on February 19th, 2016.

A good song, the production gives it some real edge, it could be from the sixties, and I guess by the audio quality you know it's more recent. It's the kind of song to get lost in for a while and forget about your worries.

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La Sera - High Notes.

Background - The title of La Sera's fourth album says a lot by saying so precious little: Music For Listening to Music To. So, in other words, "music." After the punky heft and wildness of 2014's Hour of the Dawn, an LP that thrashed against expectation, Katy Goodman returns with a set of songs that double down on solid simplicity - the power of wry lyrics, glorious guitar, driving back beat, and the occasional pump organ groove. And as the record cover gives away, Goodman isn't alone. La Sera is a duo now - that's guitarist/cowriter/new husband (!) Todd Wisenbaker standing up there. And Ryan Adams joins to produce the fruit of their union, La Sera's first live-recorded analog album, featuring 10 tunes about good love, bad love, dead men, and confused kids.

Music For Listening to Music To opens on "High Notes," where rollicking guitar and punk drums chugga-chugga beneath Goodman's assured coo. Her lines deftly wrap the snark of Morrissey inside the sneer of Johnny Cash, and if you ask her what her favourite parts of the new album are, she'll tell you it's the scrappy stuff. "Time to Go," which hurdles out the gate on a rocket of slide guitar and elastic bass, is another one aimed at settling old accounts - just 'cause our heroine is happily married doesn't mean she can't take swings at those who came before.

For a glimpse at the album's genesis, though, pull up duet "One True Love." When it came time to write her fourth full-length, Goodman wasn't sure where she wanted to take the music. One night she and Wisenbaker (a Jenny and Johnny touring alum who joined La Sera in 2012 and produced Hour of the Dawn) did something they'd shockingly never done before: wrote a song together. That upbeat jangle-pop cut was the result, and the rest poured out. Wisenbaker sings on two others as well - the coiffed malt shop blues of "I Need an Angel" and bittersweet rocker "Nineties," which features synth by Adams and Greta Morgan (The Hush Sound, Gold Motel). Nate Lotz (Halsey, Madi Diaz) drummed for the week long PAX-AM studio sessions.

'High Notes' is a feisty song, the single heralds the arrival of a new album next year. Having Ryan Adams on production is a plus, however La Sera is clearly a team effort and the first song is so annoyingly good, that waiting for the album seems remarkably unfair. The album is due out (on Polyvinyl) March 4th.

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Nightair - The Roses.

Background - Nightair is the musical project of Tony Davia, Brandon Miranda, Lucas Connor, and Lauren Potts. Named after the airborne disease from the 19th century, the group formed in 2014 in Orange, CA. The band’s sound has been described by OC Weekly as "honors students explaining the travails of teen relationships in a profound way that even the jocks can understand...harboring influences from acts like The Strokes, Interpol and Bloc Party."  Nightair's debut EP was released November 16, 2015 on Secret Chief Culture.

The band also tell us - After releasing the music video for “Clouds", we put the track up for sale on Bandcamp and donated all the proceeds to Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund to support musicians who are struggling financially due to illness or disability. Amongst other notable accomplishments, we have received very positive reviews from a number of renowned music blogs.

Featured song 'The Roses' is typical of the quality and high standard of their debut EP. The five songs demonstrate some real depth to the band, and whatever the influences may be, the feeling of passion and enjoyment comes through loud and clear. The video for 'Clouds' is on our BeeVids page.

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