Allie & Ivy - Slothrust - The Ramona Flowers - Rips

Allie & Ivy - Money.

Background - Money is the latest indie jam from Sydney electropop singer-songwriter, Aleisha (Allie) Conlay who goes by the musical pseudonym, Allie & Ivy. This three minute pop gem boasts Allie & Ivy’s signature summer vibes, with sunshine-bright melodies, shimmering synths and chant-like vocals.

But what might initially seem to be a shallow money-loving anthem actually has a deeper meaning once you realise it is, in fact, Allie’s tongue-in-cheek way of getting the opposite point across: “Money is a sarcastic commentary on the consumeristic, money-centric society we live in right now, and the idea that we spend well beyond our means when it comes to material possessions,” Allie explains. “Greed is now normal and acceptable in our society. This song is an attempt to ridicule the status quo.”

Allie & Ivy’s fresh sound and penchant for catchy hooks and infectious melodies have gained accolades both in Australia and internationally with success in the International Songwriting Competition (2016 & 2014) and the Unsigned Only Music Competition (2016 & 2015). With new songs scheduled for release throughout 2017 and a debut EP underway the year is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting one for Allie & Ivy. Website here, Facebook here.

I had great pleasure in featuring Allie & Ivy a couple of times last year and the new song 'Money' is just as fabulous as the previous tunes. Top quality pop music with a pertinent message, this really does stand out from the crowd!

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Slothrust - Pigpen.

Background - There is a new video for Slothrust's single "Pigpen", the final track off their 2016 album 'Everyone Else'. When talking about the video, lead singer Leah Wellbaum said, “We wanted to make a music video that stands on its own as a piece of art. Everyone who worked on this had an extreme focus on compelling, surreal imagery and concepts. Our intention was to make a type of music video that we haven’t made before, and don’t see very often.”

Slothrust is Leah Wellbaum (Vocals,Guitars), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums). The trio first staked out their unique strain of jazz- and blues-afflicted rock as students at Sarah Lawrence College. The band’s 2012 debut Feels Your Pain, and its successor 2014’s Of Course You Do, established the band as a breed apart, serving up deceptively clever epics that veer satisfyingly between incandescent riffing and pop hooks, winsome anxiety and powerful heft.

“People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that,” says Wellbaum. Even the band’s name inspires a beat of thoughtful consideration as the eyes take in the letters and the brain makes its snap judgement: Slo Thrust? Slot Rust? Slo Trust?  Sloth-Rust.

We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock,” she continues. “Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing. I am drawn to musicians a bit further outside of the rock tradition, such as John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotten, D'Angelo, and Portishead. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B and classical music. And musicals."

Slothrust will tour North America this summer including a performance at Lollapalooza on 8/4, dates can be found on Beehive Candy's tour news page. Facebook here, Bandcamp here.

Last years 'Everyone Else' album remains worthy of a full listen at the very least. So the new video for the excellent song 'Pigpen' gives me another chance to recommend Slothrust, something I do, without any hesitation. The video is a fine creative work, if you like the song, then please checkout the album.


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The Ramona Flowers - If You Remember.

Background in Q&A form - Why The Ramona Flowers. “We named our group after the female lead (Ramona Flowers) played by the American actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the movie 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World’. Ramona Flowers is capable of traveling through sub-space and has 7 evil ex-boyfriends (The League Of Evil Exes), We’re big fans of Canadian cartoonist Brian Lee O’Malley’s work. “Other contenders before we decided on a name were- Winter Wolf, Wolf of Millions. For some reason we had a wolf fetish going on”.

Proud to be from Bristol. “It's just a seriously cool city to live in. It has it's own unique vibe and undercurrent, a soul that gets under your skin. Bristol is a vibrant, multicultural city with a thriving music and arts scene, amazing nightlife. It was voted the best city in Britain to live in. Not to mention, it also won EU's European Green Capital Award.

"If You Remember" (the new single). It's about two lifelong friends and one of them has hit complete rock bottom. The one friend reminds the other of better times to try to help pick him back up emotionally. The main melodic hook of the song was written in the garage. “We were playing around with operatic voices on the computer. Skipping past Pavarotti, we found a less dramatic female lead and the song progressed from there.”

When a song is played live for the first time in front of an audience. “It's exciting to release a new song into the world and to see the reaction, but it can also be a bit terrifying! When you play a song for the first time, we have a lot of stuff going on onstage - you’re trying to remember all the parts, while trying to perform and this is all mixed with adrenaline rushes and a little trepidation. Something can always go wrong.” Website here, Facebook here.

I was seriously considering moving to Bristol about fifteen years ago (for work rather than pleasure) so there's a tenuous link to The Ramona Flowers, if ever there was one. 'If You Remember' is a very catchy indie pop/rock type of song, that clearly demonstrates some of Bristol's vibrant music scene belongs to this band.

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Rips – Delay.

Background - Brooklyn based Rips have quickly built a reputation amongst NYC showgoers, winning them over with their virtuous melodies and sheer ferocity amidst an endless flurry of shows. 

Their songs may channel late ’70s New York City bands like Television and The Feelies, but Rips propels these references into something new. Their self-titled debut, produced by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts, is eleven tracks of buzzing guitar riffs driven by a charged rhythm section, all set under lyrics that are actually worth a damn.

Rips (the record) takes cues from the moonlighting era of rock, while delivering a set of songs distinctly fit for the modern age. Once described as a “hyperreal rock n’ roll group,” the phrase “borne forward ceaselessly into the future” is more what they’re going for here.

So break an old habit. Let your hair down (or up). Rips will take you there. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured Rips just over a month ago, stating at the time that their album was on my want list. 'Delay' is our second opportunity to feature the band, and I am pleased to say, the album is now in my possession and all ten tracks, are as solid and good, as the two we have been able to share.

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