Fast Romantics - Miranda Lee Richards - Samsaruh - Tombstones In Their Eyes - Lo Tom

Fast Romantics - Everybody's Trying to Steal Your Heart.

Background - Toronto-based indie rockers Fast Romantics have shared their new video "Everybody's Trying To Steal Your Heart". The band just released their latest LP American Love. Produced by the dynamic duo of Gus Van Go and Werner F (Arkells, Wintersleep, Hollerado), American Love is the follow-up record to Fast Romantic’s 2013 release, Afterlife Blues.

Written and recorded over two years, alternating between Toronto and Brooklyn, American Love is a nod to the type of cinematic storybook romance American pop culture has conditioned us to search for, but also explores the realities at play off the silver screen that can wreak havoc on burgeoning love. We live in a time of political and social turmoil, and the twelve songs on American Love don’t deny this, each one marked by poignant references of the time and place in which they were conceived.

Hailed as an ‘Artist to watch’ in 2017 (Google Play), Fast Romantics is comprised of Angus, Jeffrey Lewis (bass), Kirty (vocals, acoustic guitar, synth), Kevin Black (guitars), Lisa Lorenz (keyboards) and Nick McKinlay (drums). Since reforming the band in 2013, the band has released one full-length LP. Known for their incredible live shows and songwriting prowess, Fast Romantics have received many accolades, including ‘Pop Group of the Year’ at the Sirius XM Indies (2014) and more recently their song “Julia” won the prestigious ‘SOCAN National Songwriting Prize’ in 2016.

Fast Romantics are also kicking off their US, with dates available on Beehive Candy's tour news page, website here, Facebook here.

The music video sets grand expectations prior to the song beginning, however you know the budget will never allow this and a song as wonderful as 'Everybody's Trying to Steal Your Heart' can easily settle for less. It turns out however that both the video and music work perfectly well together, that said the song is just as wonderful with our eyes firmly closed.


Miranda Lee Richards - The Wildwood.

Background - The Brian Jonestown Massacre collaborator Miranda Lee Richards releases new electronic-pyschedelic track The Wildwood from her upcoming album Existential Beast out on June 16th on Invisible Hands Music. 

Recording her first demo in Kirk Hammett of Metallica's basement, Miranda's record was passed to Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and she became a regular collaborator with the band. Having moved out to Los Angeles in the 90's, Miranda became part of the the seminal rock documentary DIG! on the Dandy Warhols and has toured with the band several times since.

Now releasing her fourth album Existential Beast, following the success of 2016's Echoes Of The Dreamtime which received 4* in MOJO & 8/10 in Uncut); Miranda's effortless, 70's influenced psychedelia is evident in the new single - Existential Beast is a political album, examining the issues of our time, but with intent of tackling these difficult and sometimes taboo subjects in a poetic and heartfelt manner. The title is also a mash-up of terms, referencing the existential crisis that has in turn arisen.

“In varying degrees, we are all still working with the animal urges of fear, competition, survival, and sexuality that are deep-seated and manifesting in different ways, depending on where people are at. Perhaps a more endearing outlook is to see this as an assignment in working with the inner child, who can at times behave like a wild beast. But like it or not, these tendencies have been revealed, within our leaders, our countries, and ourselves; it is indeed a pivotal and transformational time.” Miranda Lee Richards. Website here, Facebook here.

'The Wildwood' is the second track we have featured from Miranda Lee Richards 'Existential Beast' album due for release later this week. This is a vibrant, uptempo song with Miranda's vocals taking centre stage, and surrounded by some admirable musicianship, it's another powerful reason to check the new album out.


Samsaruh - Golden To Thrive.

Background - Melbourne based 18 year old singer-songwriter Samsaruh today releases her debut single 'Golden To Thrive'. Despite her young age, Sam is already an experienced artist having worked with Peking Duk, Way of the Eagle, Just A Gent and performed at Splendour in the Grass while still in High School. 'Golden To Thrive' was written by Samsaruh and her producers Nightflare (Joel Dowling and Tim Coghill -  core members of Matt Corby's band) and mixed by Sean Tallman who recently mixed the Banks record.

On the track, Samsaruh said, "When I was writing ‘Golden To Thrive’ I stumbled upon the reality that stigmas and stereotypes are always going to exist and you’ll never really have control over them. But instead.. we have the power to prove the unknown and the disbelieved. So this song is my power."

From first listen Samsaruh has a musical maturity well beyond her years, performing and writing music for over 5 years now while simultaneously finishing her year 12 studies. At 16 years of age she realised her debut EP ‘Orenda’ which featured singles 'I See', 'Wicked Games’ and 'La Di Da’ - hitting 1, 2 & 3 on triple j unearthed Top 100 chart as well as being added to triple j unearthed radio rotation. Samsaruh also featured on the acclaimed Just A Gent EP track ‘Sounds of her Mind’ and took time out from her year 12 studies to perform with him at Splendour in the Grass as well as his sold out ‘Just A Tour’ late last year.

Despite her age Samsaruh is already an in demand artist, having also worked as a featured vocalist and songwriter with the likes of Slumberjack, FØRD, Kuren, Styalz Fuego and many more. Facebook here.

Just as the saying "never judge a book by it's cover" goes, We could add "never judge an artist by their age". 'Golden To Thrive' showcases Samsaruh's vocals, which exude a maturity I would relate to someone a good few years older. As for the song, it's catchy, the music and production is high calibre, and another artist arrives firmly on our radar.


Tombstones In Their Eyes - Fear EP.

Background - Los Angeles’ rock outfit Tombstones in Their Eyes have announced the upcoming ‘Fear’ EP, to be released via Send Me Your Head Records. With this five-track release, the four-piece manage to embrace a wide range of influences, from the stoner rock of Kyuss to the warped neo- psychedelia of the likes of Spacemen 3 to the cavernous and doom-laden sounds of Electric Wizard and beyond.

Tombstones In Their Eyes’ currently line-up is John Treanor (guitar, vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Josh Drew (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Mason (bass, guitar) and Stephen Striegel (drums). Their musical influences include The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elliott Smith and The Melvins. Recorded at L.A.’s Kitten Robot Studio with Paul Roessler (Nina Hagen, The Deadbeats, The Screamers, 45 Grave), this EP follows up their huge sounding ‘Bad Clouds’ EP (2016) and debut album ‘Sleep Forever’ (2014). “Paul knows exactly where I’m coming from and intuitively knows how to make what I’m feeling come through the speakers,” says John Treanor.

The band began life as a demo swapping exercise between John Treanor in L.A. and his childhood friend James Cooper, now in New York, but soon coalesced into a full fledged band. But collectives are always more than what you see on the surface. In John’s case, writing and performing songs is also a way of dealing with severe anxiety and depression, a way of talking about the subject without being the centre of the conversation, and a way of being subliminal rather than direct.

While such a starting point could easily see the music devolve into melancholy and self-absorption, here Tombstones in Their Eyes instead manage to move beyond that place and create music laced with celestial grandeur and a fuzzed out psychedelic majesty that looks out into the universe just as much as it looks inward toward the soul.

This music is also designed to connect rather than be insular. As Treanor says, “Everybody goes through hard periods in their life, and I hope that these songs make them feel less alone.” Tombstones create walls of sound, which are simultaneously sonorous and hazy. These are cavernous, stoner lullabies that descend into post-rock soundscapes and are wrapped in dark shoegazing dreamscapes. The cover design, created by well known psychedelic artist Darren Grealish, brings just the right image to such a mercurial collection. Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

The new 'Fear' EP explodes into action with the powerful riff's that open up 'I Want To Fly'. The EP slips form Alt rock to Shoegaze with ease, it also add in more delicate refrains, whilst throughout the power is always simmering and awaiting it's inevitable chance to return.


Lo Tom - Overboard.

Background - The members of Lo Tom have a combined 125 years of experience playing in random bands, both together and apart. The group is made up David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Trey Many (Velour 100, Starflyer 59), TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion, The Soft Drugs), and Jason Martin (Starflyer 59), friends who started playing music together when they were still pretty much kids. The band will release its self-titled debut LP on July 14 on Barsuk.

A conversation with these seasoned musicians about the new album they made together is an exercise in light-hearted brevity:
“These songs were painstakingly honed over the course of… um… two weekends. Then we sat on them for a while.
“We just wanted to make music together and have fun.
“Nobody is in charge… The album cover is pink.”

While many bands are a collaboration between artists with a message, a shared vision for a record, or an idea of a sound they want to create, Lo Tom is a group of friends who missed making noise together and wanted to hang out. The off-hand — almost dismissive — way they talk about the experience of making their self-titled debut masks the excellence of the music they’ve written and produced together as Lo Tom, but perhaps their casual approach to the whole endeavor is part of why it came out so great.

Recorded over two different sessions when they could find the time to spare, the four friends gathered with half-formed riffs and beats to see what would come out of it. The album’s thematic direction is loose and conceptual. The melodies recall Pedro the Lion and TW Walsh, the guitars sparkle with hints of Starflyer 59, and the songs hurtle through the major keystones of guitar rock – tight conversation between percussion and guitar, heavy fuzz, and some genuinely joyful breakdowns that give way to catharsis. Lyrics were mostly written by Bazan, who would take a melody and make up words quickly, then finish them over time.

What makes this record special is not just how it’s built on melodies and riffs and songs with the looseness and ease of four friends who have been making music together for decades, but how vibrant and energetic and smart and funny and fun it is. For fans of a particular brand of indie-rock founded in the seventies and eighties and honed in the nineties and oughts, Lo Tom is one of the best things to arrive in a very long time. Website here, Facebook here.

'Overboard' is the second of eight tracks on the self titled album. As the above background makes clear, this is a band with a wealth of collective experience. The featured song typifies the quality to be found within this collection. As a whole the album comes across as sincere without any self indulgence, it's musicians doing what they love and enjoying the experience, something the listener can easily join in with, and feel welcomed in doing so.