Elza - Pearla - Magic Bronson - Velvet Starlings - Polly Panic

Elza - Endeavor.

Background - Elza is a true maverick spirit who writes and produces all her own work, and isn't afraid to venture to the dark side seeking wisdom and sonic communion. Russian-born, Elza relocated to Israel at the age of 15. It was there she discovered her passion for singing and playing guitar, inspired by a litany of genres mainly composed of 90s alternative acts that fuel her sound today, mixed in seamlessly with her classical piano training in her arrangements.

While in Tel Aviv, she studied audio engineering and sound design while developing her guitar and vocal style inspired by artists like Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Beth Gibbons, and Anneke van Giersbergen. After moving to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2011, Elza began exploring the vibrant local open mic scene, where her music received a warm welcome. She also began experimenting with recording at home with a small computer setup, producing demos and developing her sound, musicianship, and vision gradually and organically.

Finally, though, Elza decided to commit some of her explorations of texture and composition to physical form, spending six months writing, arranging and producing each and every part of her five-song debut EP entitled ‘Glories’, a deeply intimate and personal exploration of harmony and rhythm, with dark melodies haunting each track like chain-rattling ghosts desperate for release from their unfinished business.

‘Glories’ was released in September 2014 to glowing reviews from the local press and showed up on community and college radio charts soon after. From there, she assembled a 7-piece live band to bring her studio-born dreams to audiences around Vancouver, dazzling crowds with her rich, dark grooves. In June 2017 Elza debuted her first instrumental single 'Clear' - an ethereal composition layered with lush strings, keys  and guitar effects.

Elza's debut full-length album is the boldly titled "Nothing's Wrong", due Nov 2nd, 2018. Elza went through an involved process creating the record to achieve her specific vision for the songs. WEBSITE.

'Endeavor' is one of ten tracks on 'Nothing Wrong' Elza's debut album set for release early next month. The featured song gives some insight into the album, the musical production is consistently pleasing, with plenty of variety in the arrangements and a constant flow of melodic hooks. Above all of that are the vocals, which ooze feeling, sometimes with emotional sensitivity, other times with charm or more upbeat energy. Expect originality, intrigue, lyrics to ponder over and more, the album promises all of that.


Pearla - Forgive Yourself / Pumpkin.

Background - Brooklyn-based musician Pearla has released two new singles. The songstress enchanted a packed house at New York City's Mercury Lounge earlier this week and will play Rockwood Music Hall on November 4.

Today's offerings follows "Somewhere," an independent debut that organically stirred a slew of Hype Machine praise for Pearla's gentle power. Pearla is currently working with producer Tyler Postiglione (Rektagon, Strange Loops, Mizuna) and mixer and producer Phil Joly (The Strokes, Ryan Adams and Lana Del Rey) on a full-length album. News to come.

Pearla is the music project of Nicole Rodriguez; she cites her late grandfather, musician Jeff Pearl, as the source of her homage-paying moniker. Fresh but deliberate, she blends elements of tender folk, infectious indie pop and playful psychedelia to create a vivid soundscape for listeners. Her dynamic voice delivers dreamlike lyrics with a delicate whisper one moment and an unwavering belt the next. Equal parts personal experience and imagination, her inventive approach incorporates sonic artifacts from all edges of the world — Tibetan sheep bells, screaming baboons, lap steels, synths and more. The result is a whirling balance of whimsy and emotion, a new world all her own. WEBSITE

'Forgive Yourself' the first of the two singles is gentle, uncluttered and allows Pearla's vocals to shine and enchant as they melodically flow before the piece adds layers of sound and power. 'Pumpkin' is intimate, peaceful and slowly develops with a gorgeous musical backdrop, this really is a delightful pair of songs.


Magic Bronson - Electrify.

Background -  Following up on the release of their dark but strangely sweet previous single "Evil Plans", LA Dynamite Duo Magic Bronson is back with a powerful new release by the name of "Electrify". The song  itself deals with the intensity and  conflicting emotions of fully falling in love while confronting the idea that this new relationship could just sink at any minute; all punctuated by the music in such a way this might as well be party anthem.

Michael Nicastro, from Thousand Oaks, has been Matt Lieberman’s musical other half since they ran into each other at a neighborhood dive bar in 2012. They knew each other by sight: Matt, raised in Agoura Hills, had been playing in a hip hop band, and Michael, a drummer by trade, was in another local group. “We were both looking for something new to do, and his dad is a musician and had a home studio, so we decided to get together and use his dad’s jam room,” Lieberman says.

Together, they turned out to be greater than the sum of their parts.  A classic pairing of opposites, they’re a match made in music heaven. Nicastro is the eternal optimist, and bubbling over with ideas; Lieberman is “grumpy and sensitive” and plays devil’s advocate. “I always tell Michael, ‘Just show up and look pretty’,” Lieberman laughs. Influenced by a gaggle of artists, from Kanye West and The Strokes to Bear Hands and breezy Brit popsters Years & Years, their policy from the start was to ignore genre boundaries.  (Even the band name is a mash-up: “Magic”, from Magic Johnson and “Bronson”, from Charles Bronson – not the actor, Lieberman hastens to explain, but the English criminal.) FACEBOOK.

Fabulous vocals that immediately register with energy and commitment ensure that 'Electrify' is off to a potent start. Rather than ease off the track just builds with passion, intensity and feeling.


Velvet Starlings - Sold Down the River.

Background - The new single from indie rock singer/songwriter Velvet Starlings, is entitled "Sold Down The River". The track features 60s inspired Hammond B3 organ, jangly guitars and raw blues inspired vocals.

Velvet Starlings is Christian Gisborne a 15 year-old indie rock singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.  He is known for a powerful 60s era Eric Burdon influenced vocal style combined with a commanding stage presence.  Velvet Starling's unique performance style has invited media and industry insider comparisons to Jack White, Cage The Elephant, Alex Turner and Ty Segal.  Grisborne's early musical influences were The Beatles, The Who, The Doors, The Kinks and the Rolling Stones which is apparent in his music. 
Already making a name for himself at such a young age, Velvet Starlings has garnered attention from Los Angeles powerhouse KROQ as well as Sirius XM.  His fusion of gritty garage blues coupled with Brit inspired rock has led to high profile festival bookings including SXSW and Summerfest Milwaukee. 

Velvet Starlings’ long awaited self-titled EP on Sound x 3 Records is set for release Fall 2018 and is co written by producer Roger Gisborne and mastered by Brian Lucey Cage The Elephant, Artic Monkeys, Beck, Black Keys.  The six track EP kicks off with leading single and video, “If Life Ain’t Getting You High”.  The single features vintage guitar sounds, driving drums and hard hitting rock vocals.  With introspective lyricism detailing living in the moment, "If Life Ain't Getting You High" is an anthem for the youth of today.  Second single, "Sold Down The River” showcases soulful Hammond B3 organ, gritty guitars and raw blues inspired vocals. TWITTER.

With a spectacularly sixties Hammond B3 organ sound (think The Doors earlier material) 'Sold Down the River' hints that we are in for a retro ride. Well cancel that and think powerful anthem, bags of emotion and a chorus line that will drill deep into your head. Two words - mightily impressive!


Polly Panic - Losing Form.

Background - Cello-shredding rock siren Polly Panic is back with her third studio album 'Losing Form', to be released on CD and digitally via Write Hook Records on November 20. This is Polly Panic's first album in six years, following 'Fragment' (2012) and 'Painkiller' (2006).

Polly Panic is Jenette Mackie, who wrote and recorded the 10 songs comprising this album in 2016-2017, sandwiching the process around time spent rehearsing and touring both coasts with her cello-driven band Rasputina, founded by Melora Creager and formerly including Zoë Keating and Julia Kent.

Arguably the best Polly Panic album yet, this also represents a turning point for this artist, having joined forces with Write Hook Records on the heels of touring as part of Rasputina. Inspired by PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Tori Amos and Nirvana, this is cello-driven art rock with intense, powerful vocals and lyrics that take center stage.

Driven by a nucleus of cello, drums and vocals, these tunes are woven from tales of lustful obsession ('Side Piece'), co-dependent addiction ('Losing Form'), joy in realizing you don’t need who and what you thought you needed ('Hollows'), and a scorned lover’s lethal revenge (the anthemic rocker 'Annie', an ode to Annie Oakley and to women everywhere who live life and experience love on their own terms). 

Polly Panic's uniquely dark and theatrical chamber rock has a sound that’s much larger than one would expect from just one vocalist playing a cello along with a drummer.

“I knew the cello could be everything. Of all the instruments, the cello is closest to the human voice and its capacity for expressing emotion is unparalleled. It was the most fierce and yet the softest most sorrowful instrument I had ever heard," says Polly Panic. WEBSITE.

Raw, determined, committed and with varying levels of passion that at times seem to indicate we are heading for a full meltdown, 'Losing Form' is a roller-coaster of musical imagination that is hard not to be swept away by. The title track goes someway to explaining what I am on about, as the cello and vocals demand you stop everything and engage with Polly Panic.