Jaicee Rentz - Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread - Orions Belte

Jaicee Rentz - Superzoomy Space Ships (feat. Kaleb Schnepf)

Background - Teen singer-songwriter Jaicee Rentz hails from the sunny shores of San Clemente, California where the breezy ocean vibes made an indelible impression on her. Themes of nature and space are often swirling around her lovely rustic-Inspired tunes, influenced by the anthemic dance pop of Carly Rae Jepsen and the earthy acoustics of The Lumineers. 

Jaicee’s debut release, Colors, is a striking calling card for her warm, mature vocals and tactile musings - the kernels of which were all received as midnight downloads, captured as song sketches and later fleshed out into full productions at Roshambo Sound. In the studio, Jaicee multi-tracked keys, guitar and banjo while stamping each track with her punchy, nuanced vocals and oddball sound flourishes. A prodigious musical outpouring, reminiscent of early Beck in its tight grasp of sonic scope and psychedelic turnarounds.

“I want to give away my tiny wisdoms” she admits, deflecting focus from her overt grasp on emotive modern pop. Shrugging away comparisons to other top 40 acts in her age bracket, Jaicee innocently assumes the audience for her debut will probably be limited to ‘grandmas and grandpas.’ The truth is that her dialed-in indie sensibilities and unburdened storytelling play beautifully together and smack with the promise of future expansion.

And while Jaicee certainly harnesses the bloom of youth on such off-the-cuff numbers as “Superzoomy Space Ships”, she sounds equally as comfortable with the aching melancholy of the EP’s title-track. “Mainly, I write about living in the moment, since regret has always been a big teacher for me” she reflects, revealing an awareness beyond her years. “I regret a lot of things I didn’t do and there’s a lot of people whom I never had the chance to tell I love them.” INSTAGRAM.

What a breath of fresh musical air 'Superzoomy Space Ships' is! It's one of four songs on the 'Colors' EP where originality and well crafted material rub shoulders, as Jaicee Rentz allows her imagination to deliver some impressive material.


Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread - Funny In Real Life.

Background - Michael Nau will release his new, full band album ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ through Full Time Hobby on 3rd August. ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ is the follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘Some Twist’ and its extension ‘The Load’ EP.

Following the release of first track 'Less Than Positive' a few weeks back, the band have now unveiled a new single, ‘Funny in Real Life’. “There was a musical language that we created; something without a guiding pattern that you could really just jump into and see where things could go,” Michael Nau says of the process of recording ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’. He’s wildly poetic, especially when recounting his dedication to music, and the work that led to this particular collection of delicately passionate songs. “These things became the vehicle by which we traveled, giving us reason to spend most of our lives in a van of uncertainty.”

The sprawling new album was recorded in guitarist Benny Yurco’s one-bedroom apartment in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Nau and his collaborators had a cool little set up going in Yurco’s spot — drums and bass took over the bedroom, the guitar amp in the bathroom, Nau’s vocals and piano in the living room, and a vibraphone in the kitchen. It’s the first time one of Nau’s records happened all in one place, and “it feels most like a band record than ever before”. Nau and this particular group of musicians held it down together as a true team, which is why Nau named the record in their honour.

The songs on this layered record sound sunny and familiar, like sharing stories and worries with a close friend on a late summer day. In a gorgeous and natural way, he contemplates his own process, those feelings of uncertainty. “Making it too hard just comes easier,” Nau croons on ‘Funny In Real Life,’ an exquisite meditation on creation and self. “Truth is such a beautiful force/And every time we find the chorus/There’s no second-guessing the real/I don’t ever know how I feel.” FACEBOOK.

The musicianship is impressive and provides a gently paced and refined backdrop on 'Funny In Real Life' a song that registers somewhere on the Americana spectrum. Michael Nau's vocals are both distinct and personal adding character and charm, this should have wide appeal.


Orions Belte - Atlantic Surfing.

Background - Fans of krautrock/psychedelic rock should check out the latest single 'Atlantic Surfing' from Orions Belte. ‘Mint’ is the debut album by Norwegian inventors, Orions Belte. When looking at the influences for a band, there are few as eclectic and far-reaching than those of this Oslo-based collective. They describe themselves as equally inspired by Nigerian 70s rock, postcards from the French riviera, Formula One races at the Monza track in Italy, to when Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali in the ‘Fight of the Century’ in 1971. Expansive and unique.

Band members Chris Holm and Øyvind Blomstrøm make a living out of touring and creating for Norwegian names such as Sondre Lerche, Young Dreams, and Nathalie Nordnes, and so are almost always on the road and exploring different sounds wherever possible. When their paths crossed for the umpteenth time in 2016, their mutual dream of starting an instrumental project together finally found a spark. Holm’s companion from the Bergen scene, Kim Åge Furuhaug, was the match, and Orions Belte was born.

Handsomely hazed vocals and inventive melodies combine with rhythmic vocabulary that draws equally and naturally from psych rock, hard funk, and soul. It's the work of an assured craftsman with a preferred set of sonic parameters and shows off the band's skill in a lucid, loose fashion. The lo-fi sizzle and compression gives it the feel of an artefact, a lost treasure transmitted through decades of overdubbed tapes which matches the stunning and occasionally unsettling artwork for the cover by VICE-featured illustrator Steph Hope.

The band have successfully drawn on the psychedelic as well as the electronic and indie - you’d be forgiven for making comparisons to the likes Unknown Mortal Orchestra or Khruangbin here. Orions Belte sound like they’re in their own galaxy - a galaxy where they are soundtracking cosmic movies that haven’t been made yet, where landscapes are coloured in as they’re hurtled past and where music is the only language spoken by everyone. WEBSITE.

With a driving Krautrock orientated beat and moments of psychedelic bliss 'Atlantic Surfing' clearly has it's comparisons, however as for me they are only very good ones, I see no problem with that. As the band are credited with a variety of styles, if they are of this standard, then I can only wait with anticipation to hear the full album.