Emerald Portal - Joseph Eid - Archie and The Bunkers - The Phantom Sound - Beta Days - Natalie Bouloudis - Leather Girls

Emerald Portal - One Hundred Twenty (Radio Edit).

Background - Emerald Portal is the brainchild of Thomas Ouziel and Brad Rundblade, two musicians, who at a young age immersed themselves into all aspects of art. As a sound designer and screenwriter, respectively, their music is heavily influenced by their cinematic backgrounds. Emerald Portal seeks to make engaging music that not only tells stories, but transports listeners.

Born in Europe, Thomas from Paris, France and Brad from Crete, Greece, both grew up learning how to play piano and guitar. They each spent years playing music before entering the film industry. Upon meeting on the set of a music video in Los Angeles, where the duo currently live, they found they had a mutual interest in creating music and began working on a number of songs. After a period of creative activity they had written enough material for an album. Each song on their first LP, Beyond The Edge of Reason, was a glimpse into different worlds and stories that all culminated into a grander, overall universe. Using their background in film, the duo created music videos for six of the songs from the album.

Emerald Portal works in various artistic fields often collaborating with directors, musicians, and artists to expand their vision and sound. They’ve received numerous awards for their music videos (LAIFFA, Orlando Film Festival, Los Angeles CineFest) and have a new EP, Trouble In Paradise ready for release in 2017. The ambitious band is currently working on three separate concept albums, each another glimpse into the many stories populating the Emerald Portal. Website here.

There are a few artists getting a second feature on Beehive Candy tonight of which Emerald Portal are one. 'One Hundred Twenty' is a slick alt rocker, where the smooth vocals are accompanied by an increasingly powerful and atmospheric soundtrack. If they can continue this momentum, I look forward to featuring them a third time.


Joseph Eid - Watch It Fall - EP.

Background - Americana-singer/songwriter, Joseph Eid has been writing poetry and dreaming of a career in the arts as long as he can remember. He grew up in the suburbs of New York.  Raised in a strict and traditional home, the arts were only supported as a hobby and never as a career.  During his college years, Eid studied psychology and pre-med.  After his first semester at med school, his dream got too big to hold and Eid made the bold choice of dropping out to move to New York City to pursue music. 

While in New York, Joseph Eid picked up a guitar, joined a band, and the songs poured out of him like rain.  His journey then led to Los Angeles where he started playing regularly at open mic nights and showcases.  Shortly after, he began working with world-renowned guitarist/songwriter, David Lamar, honing his songwriting at weekly showcases at the Stone Bar. This lead him to write over 30 new songs as well as record a debut EP, Cardiac Output, followed by a full-length LP, Human.

Known as a dynamic solo performer, Joseph Eid has brought his one-man live show to many of Los Angeles’ premiere music venues, including stints at Room 5 and El Cid and residencies at The Stone Bar, Crane’s Hollywood Tavern, and Bar Lubitsch. He has also toured the West Coast including a handful of house concerts as a part of the Concerts In Your Home series. 

Since the release of his Human LP, Joseph Eid has been garnering considerable buzz. He has been featured in American Songwriter Magazine’s “Best New Music” column and was recently named as one of the 100 Hottest Live Unsigned Artists by Music Connection Magazine. His latest EP, Watch It Fall, is released today.Website here, Facebook here.

It was a case of which song to feature from Joseph Eid's brand new EP 'Watch It Fall' having carried the title track back in February. Thankfully we can embed tho whole piece which comprises of six Americana meets modern folk material, written and performed to a delightfully high standard throughout.


Archie and The Bunkers - You're My Pacemaker.

Background - Straight from the city of Cleveland Ohio- the home of The Electric Eels, Albert Ayler, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins- comes the newest sensation in Rock n' Roll. This new sound will make you shake, shiver and smash things up. Teen Punk, by teenagers, for anyone who will listen. This is the real deal, this is HI-FI Organ Punk!

"You're My Pacemaker" is a freshly cut track off Archie and The Bunkers' upcoming new LP set to be released in the fall of 2017, on a record label brand that can't be disclosed at this time. To promote their five week European tour next month, they have decided to give the fans a stunning visual taste of the long awaited follow up of their smashing self-titled debut album, released on Dirty Water Records in late 2015.

Almost overnight, the band hit a fever pitch that immediately propelled them from a local basement band gigging around Cleveland, into National and International Punk superstars. They embarked on their first ever tour last spring in Europe playing six countries in two weeks, played at the exclusive Gonerfest in Memphis, and were also invited to play at Third Man Records in Nashville. ( Which some selected tunes ended up on a live 7" single just released on Jack White's World famous imprint).

The duo will be hitting all the prime Summer festivals and club circuits over the five week journey including appearances at This Is Not A Love Song Festival, Festival Beat, Slap Festival, Relâche Festival, and Eurockéennes Festival. They will be sharing the stage and spotlight with bands such as The Mummies, 5,6,7,8's, The Gories, and even Iggy Pop. Live dates on Beehive Candy's tour page, website here, Facebook here.

I received a promo for Archie and The Bunkers a few months back, and am still puzzling as to why I didn't feature them, at that time. This is savagely potent, raw rock'n'roll. Energised and insane 'You're My Pacemaker' is a vibrant modern punk type song, with a timeless feel.


The Phantom Sound - Voices.

Background - The Phantom Sound is Marisa Schlussel a Los Angeles native and now London based solo artist whose new song 'Voices' has already been championed by the likes of tastemakers 91X FM in San Diego. 

The single will appear on Marisa's upcoming second album which sees her working with her long term collaborator, producer Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, and R.E.M.). The album features Dale Crover of The Melvins and Nirvana (Bleach album), and Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls and Scarlet Sails) and sees The Phantom Sound moving into a harder, edgier territory. 'Voices' provides the perfect introduction to what promises to be a heartfelt, personal and sometimes politically charged Punk Rock record.

Marisa is a musician that rises to a challenge. After taking some time out from music, she returned to songwriting and recording in an industry that in some ways had changed beyond recognition, but her accomplished musicianship and songwriting ability led her to her working with artists who have not only influenced her own work but who have also shaped the creative output of many others around the world.

On working as The Phantom Sound Marisa says “My interpretation of it is that it’s a sound that you hear within a mix of other sounds. It may not even actually be there, but your brain just hears it, almost like you are hearing voices… But, in the bigger picture, to me, it personally means a new discovery, something that was lost, and is now found, but in a more beautiful and significant way.” Facebook here.

There are layers of refined sound and emotive and passionate vocals as 'Voices' begins to unfold. Then the whole thing kicks into gear and an earnest rock song urgently demands your attention, and certainly got mine.


Beta Days - Settled for Gold.

Background - Beta Days released their glittery new single, "Settled for Gold", from the upcoming debut album, S.T.T.  Beta Days is the one-man project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bill Bierce.  The project evolved from Bierce's late night writing sessions that would start around 3 AM, as it was the only time neighboring bands at his practice space weren’t around to drown him out. 

Sadly, Bierce's mother passed away during the album's mixing, while simultaneously his father occupied a long-term hospice stay from a head wound which had left him in a vegetative state a few years prior. Everything was cast into doubt, but Bierce stayed the course and completed the record mid-2016. The end result is a hazy reflection on idealized youth, relationships, isolation, and the drudgery of adult life. All of this is presented through a prism of evasive lyrics and tightly arranged instrumentation, leaving the listener to draw their own meanings from the songs.

Bierce expanded the project into a live band shortly after completing the record, including his ex-Wandas bandmate Keith McEachern on bass. The group has enjoyed the contrast of raw energy with more guitar-oriented live performances. Beta Days debut full-length LP, S.T.T. will be released everywhere June 23rd, 2017. Website here, Facebook here.

'Settled for Gold' is a lo-fi rock song where high calibre musicianship and a sophisticated arrangement, make the perfect backdrop for Bill Bierce's enticing vocals and intriguing lyrics.


Natalie Bouloudis - Whirlwinds.

Background - Natalie Bouloudis goes beyond heartbreak with the bluesy theatricality of Whirlwinds, a  captivating cut from her Dead Sea Scripts EP . ‘Whirlwinds’ emerged out of a break-up song which I decided to go back and revisit once feelings had subsided.  

I liked the idea of looking back at something which had once felt raw but through time and disassociation I became an editor or an archeologist finding dinosaur bones and putting them back together; never knowing what it really was like when it was alive so it takes on it’s own new story. I also wanted to capture the anger and the crazy storm of heartbreak. The vocals swell into highs and lows like the motion of the howling wind. The song is a heavy blues jam and the most dramatic sounding song on the EP.

A native of East Sussex, Natalie Bouloudis first got her musical education in childhood, having played clarinet in jazz bands and had a few guitar lessons at school. From the age of seven she started writing her own music and has been (till recently) a secret songwriter ever since. Having lived in London for the better part of the last decade, she decided three years ago to launch her music into the public sphere under the name Aurora Harbinger. She soon played venues like Servant Jazz Quarters and The Victoria in Dalston, quickly building a loyal fan base that enabled her to successfully crowd fund her debut record. 

For Natalie, playing live is an important consideration in the songwriting process, a process which focuses centrally on generating atmosphere and intimacy. Her debut EP is her first proper recording and it was all recorded live at Wax Studios in London and produced by Robert Strauss. For Natalie, getting the EP right was dependent on how precisely she could evoke the feelings she had in mind. Though armed with encyclopaedic knowledge of narrative songwriters across the spectrum of folk, rock and jazz, Natalie brings to the table her own brand of atmospheric storytelling. It’s folky in its arrangements, but in terms of sheer vocal delivery she’s a soulful rock and roller, at times calling to mind the visceral and lurching tones of Patti Smith or Etta James. ‘Burning Pier’ may only be her first single, but already it reveals an artist in the classic sense: thoughtful, precise, and led by instinct and imagination. Facebook here.

Third time around on Beehive Candy for Natalie Bouloudis this time with the bluesy 'Whirlwinds' a fabulously passionate and rhythmic piece. It's a little like Natalie Merchant with the energy levels turned up, however having heard her other material this Natalie is definitely carving out her own beautiful sounds.


Leather Girls - Arabian Daze.

Background - Leather Girls first unleashed their ferocious style of garage rock upon their hometown of Austin, Texas in 2015 after Erik Camacho (guitar/lead vox) and Mike Garrido (guitar/vox) bonded over their shared affinity for Tropicália, Los Dug Dugs, and Billy Childish. Dillon Fernandez soon got added into the mix (drums) shortly followed by Deborah White (bass/vox).

Once a fully gelled unit, they quickly garnered a reputation for their high energy live show and blistering fuzz accentuated with a hint of Texas twang - sharing bills with legends like Holly Golightly, The Dictators, Mr. Airplane Man and becoming a favorite show partner with local heavy hitters Ringo Deathstarr and Holy Wave.

Their highly anticipated self titled debut album will be released on June 2nd via Yippee Ki Yay Records, and delivers a range of raw, airy, raucous, high energy rock sounds - much like a brick of $8 firecrackers set off in a metal trash can and then shoved in the trunk of a Chevy Nova that had to be saved up for. Facebook here, live dates on Beehive Candy's tour page.

One of thirteen tracks on the forthcoming album and 'Arabian Daze' signals ahead that you shouldn't expect to sleep any time through the collection. Besides the energy levels, the band create some catchy hook laden songs, in a natural, unpretentious and very addictive manner.