Sleepy Jean - Joe Cardamone - Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances - Jeshua
It’s the sound of a song you half remember. A voice from some faraway radio. A glimpse of a now scratched record. You pause, reaching into that dark recess of memory for a brighter recollection, and return with nothing but the gnawing remembrance of something you’re sure you’ve forgotten. No satisfaction can be found: Sleepy Jean’s blend of American standard songwriting and folk sensibilities are unquestionably her own.
Borne from the bones of forgotten nostalgia, Sleepy Jean spent the better part of a decade frequenting tourist traps and hole-in-the-walls alike whilst sneakily sliding her self-penned songs amongst those of her contemporaries and reveries. Her wistful, smoky voice is equal parts Joni Mitchell and Etta James, and is known for that inimitable quality that evokes salty streams of tears and bloody bar fights alike. Her first recorded offering, Idle Hands, makes its way into the world midsummer 2021.
Idle Hands began as an exercise in self-soothing. The dawning of 2020’s Great Slowdown saw Jean watch her regular hustle and bustle as a working musician (playing over 250 dates a year!) disappear within the wink of an eye. In her effort to avoid the realities of global catastrophe, Sleepy turned inwards and spent the majority of her time dreaming up songs that felt comforting, yet addressed the anxieties and idiosyncrasies that peppered her newly empty days. “Hungry,” a sugary sardonic musing on social cannibalism, was the first to surface while “By the Oceanside,” a tribute to the harmonies of the Everly Brothers soon followed. Idle Hands sees Sleepy exploring her love of 1960’s folk music (“Smaller,” “I Don’t Belong”) while paying homage to the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald (“Moonshine,” “Downer.”) The final track, “How’s it All Gonna End,” is both an ode to the Truman Show and an unnerving waltz that swells with a tension filled current as she ponders that titular, existential question.
Sleepy partnered with long time collaborator Dan Serre (Cat Clyde, Shitbats) to record and mix the majority of the 7 song extended play over the course of 2 months within the confines of a spare bedroom. Russ Donohue (Stonehouse Studios) aided in additional mixing, and mastering was completed by Kristian Montano (Montano Mastering) in Toronto, ON. Drums and vibraphone were provided by Marshall Bureau (Great Lake Swimmers, Jill Barber), with additional playing from Kaelin Murphy (trumpet), Phil Bosley (upright bass) and Al Aguilar (synthesizers). A long-play is expected to follow in early 2022.
===================================================Joe Cardamone - Yeshua.
Los Angeles native artist Joe Cardamone has lived a few lifetimes while leaving a wiry dent in the global underground music and film scenes. The band that Joe fronted for 17 years, The Icarus Line, formed in East Los Angeles in 1998. Over the course of six albums the punk agitators became an underground phenomenon and the most dangerous, if not the greatest, punk group of their generation. The cult band the never gave up.
Performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in front of 30,000+ fans, multiple appearances on the legendary John Peel show, criss-crossing the US in a van opening a stadium tour for A Perfect Circle and The Cult and a UK tour with Primal Scream are just some of the “greatest hits” of a legend loaded with nearly mythic live performances and chaos. But it was the death of guitarist/original member Alvin DeGuzman in 2017 following a long battle with cancer, which was the actual end of The Icarus Line (a demise recently depicted in Michael Grodner’s independent film “The Icarus Line Must Die” which is now streaming on Amazon and Hulu).
The following year Joe released his solo debut, the frenzied Holy War album and film on his own imprint American Primitive. Cardamone’s new approach was a modern one man show that forged R&B and crushing electronics with the combative spirit of his formative punk years. While crafting a pair of follow up albums in 2020 the world stopped and the QUARENTINA project emerged in response. Outside of his work as an artrist Joe has produced and collaborated with some of the greatest artists of our time including Mark Lanegan, Ian Astbury, Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) and James Williamson (The Stooges).
===================================================Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances - Glow.
Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances are a POC fronted Toronto punk band that have been described as a raw garage pop band with virtuosic protopunk influences, cheekily modded for today’s listeners.
Their sound falls somewhere between Warhol pre-punk and the Toronto DIY indie that they flowered in. The band’s raucous, rough-around-the-edges appeal is concisely painted.
Raised in the downtown core, the band cut their teeth as young underaged punks playing the original Silver Dollar Room, The Horseshoe Tavern, Lee’s Palace, and any other willing hole-in-the-wall in Canada.
Through relentless mini tours and studio EPs in famed studios 6 Nassau, Candle Recording, and Lootbag Studios, the band gained the cult following that have allowed them to play alongside larger more reputable acts. They are currently on Lootbag Records alongside many great artists.
===================================================Jeshua - Esther.
Glasgow based Dundonian Jeshua (Joshua Gray) is set to release his effervescent debut album Unreliable Narrator on June 4th with the fourth single from the album, ‘Esther’, an ode to the singer’s Grandmother, due on April 28th.
Unreliable Narrator beguiles with layers of delightfully hazy guitar pop, whisking you off you feet with an assured aloofness and a wistful beauty that is only seen rarely in guitar albums these days.
Jeshua’s introspective dream-pop encapsulates the everyday experiences of a fly-on- the-wall shop assistant, drawing from feelings of disconnection and the need for distraction from programmed living.
Singles so far, ‘Feel-So-Alive’, ‘Waste Away’ and ‘IDK’, have gained both local and national airplay, notably being championed by Vic Galloway (Radio Scotland) and Shell Zenner (BBC Introducing/Amazing Radio) and featured on Spotify editorial playlists.
“Each song has a specified meaning and all of them are connected, I think it sums up a ten year period of my life and how I was feeling about life and death, with the lyrics being an exercise of reflection.