West Coast Beats: Oakland’s Surf Rock Band Babewatch

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Comprised of guitarists/singers Peter Kegler and Callum Beals, bassist Chase Eiseman, and drummer Eli Lyons, Babewatch has been described as “energetic, almost spooky psych rock” by The Bay Bridged. From folkloric odes likes “Brian,” to the reflective ennui of “No Sleep” and “Wasted Time,” the subject matter of their newest album has become more refined with their evolution.

Over the past years, Babewatch has played extensively in California and toured throughout the West Coast. They’ve supported acts such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, La Luz, Diarrhea Planet, and many others. While they still retain the surf tinged sound of their early days in Santa Cruz, their newer sound has become more influenced by the garage and post-punk sounds of the Ea​st Bay Area. W​asted Time, an eleven song LP, is the culmination of this.

You can preview and purchase their latest, Wasted Time over at BANDCAMP.

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Americana Artist Allison Pierce Goes Solo

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Allison Pierce was born in Birmingham, Alabama to a family of creative individuals. In their teens, Allison and sister Catherine formed the acclaimed duo The Pierces who released five full-length albums, most recently on Polydor/Universal.

In 2007 Rolling Stone magazine named the sisters as a Breaking Artist to watch. The duo’s songs have been placed in various network TV shows including the song “Secret” which has been the theme song for the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars for the run of the show. In live performance the sisters have toured as the supporting act for Coldplay and Lissie among others. Allison Pierce now steps into the spotlight as a solo artist with her solo debut Year of the Rabbit.

This album feels like the most important creative outpouring of my life so far,” Allison Pierce says of her solo debut, Year of the Rabbit (Sony Masterworks), produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Paul McCartney). “It feels like the most genuine expression of who I am, musically and personally.”

The new album is Allison’s first as a solo artist, following two decades of recording and performing with her sister Catherine as The Pierces. The duo’s five albums and constant tours brought them critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase, especially in Britain. But as the years passed, each longed to express herself unfettered by the other, and in August 2015, The Pierces decided to take a break, whereupon the sisters launched solo careers.

“When you’re in a group with another person, there’s always compromise,” says Allison. “There were amazing times, and there were some really challenging times—probably some of the most challenging times in my life. You know that saying from Proverbs, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another’? That’s what it felt like. Now, we’re both free to finally express exactly who we are.

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A Sound Recommendation: Austin Rockers Swimming With Bears

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Prior to releasing their debut EP, the Austin based four-piece, Swimming With Bears, had been working tirelessly to hone in on their unique alternative soul sound. Following a run of residencies in several Texas cities, as well as appearances at some of Austin’s most renowned venues, the band was invited to open for Weezer and Panic! At The Disco in early June. With a newly released, self-titled EP, the band is set to embark on their first ever national tour this summer.

The EP, which features lead single “Shiver and Crawl,” was produced by Matt Novesky (Blue October).

Swimming With Bears consists of Joe Perry (vocals/bass), Alec Conte (guitar), Jon Kerr (guitar) and Ryan Hannasch (drums).

“Releasing this EP is a long awaited dream come true for us as a band and we’re excited for people to finally hear it. Especially ‘Shiver and Crawl’”, says Perry. “A lot of our music is about the good times, or about love both gained and lost, but ‘Shiver and Crawl’ takes a more serious look at how we all struggle. We had no idea that we would be releasing it in the wake of all the recent tragedies, but we think it carries a message that people really need to hear and can relate to.”

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Rediscover The Voice’s Blues Rocker Lane Mack

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Born & Raised in Cajun Country, Lane Mack knows a thing or two about letting the good times Rock and Roll! From present day stepping off of season 11 of NBC’s Hit singing show The Voice as a member of Team Miley Cyrus; From the past, fronting a garage rock band at the young age of sixteen Lane Mack has graced the stage with numerous national recording artists such as Robert Randolph, Marc Broussard, and Royal Teeth as well as co-founding the band Sons of VooDoo along with his brother. Lane Mack owns the stage with masterful guitar licks and a vocal range that surpasses many. After years of playing and writing with other musicians Mack has finally stepped out on his own to show the world a unique Louisiana Swamp Rock brew he’s been perfecting for years. With a catalog of original songs and classic blues, its a good thing he’s brewed enough for everyone to taste.

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New Music from Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

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The sisters’ first album together includes covers of Merle Haggard, Jessi Colter, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, The Killers, Nirvana, etc., plus an original song, “Is It Too Much”.   

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Not Dark Yet was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016. The album provides a potent look at the sisters’ individual and collective artistry through eclectic song choices from writers ranging from the Louvin Brothers, Nick Cave, Kurt Cobain, and back to Jessie Colter. Shelby and Allison wrap their arms around the past, plant their feet in the present, and nod toward what’s around the bend with a co-written Is It Too Much to close out the ten-song set.  The album was produced by British folk artist Teddy Thompson.

A Sound Recommendation: Boston’s Alt Folkies Tall Heights

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Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston progressive-alt band Tall Heights. And singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright have had one hell of a journey, starting from playing simple acoustics on the streets of Boston to reaching Sony Masterworks, for which they have released their biggest, brightest, and riskiest work thus far. Neptune is the band’s latest step in the ongoing evolution of their sound and style.

Neptune is backed with pristine vocal harmonies and splattered with surprises: there’s subtly chugging electric guitar and a spare descending bass line on “Iron in the Fire,” ethereal synthesizers and a spacious drum part on “Spirit Cold,” a brittle splash of percussion to open “Backwards and Forwards” and feedback created by two cellphones on “Cross My Mind.” The album is clearly the product of a long journey, but whether it’s Tall Height’s final destination remains unclear. “I can hear the evolution happening,” Harrington says. “I feel like we’re walking across a bridge from one place to another, and maybe I’ll always feel that way, but I’m really happy with how we’re moving.”

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Nashville Beats: Country’s Coolest Band -A Thousand Horses

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Dubbed “Country’s coolest band” by Rolling Stone Country, A Thousand Horses serve up a helping of Southern rock and contemporary Country mixed with rowdy jams. Their first single “Smoke” went to #1 on both the Mediabase and Billboard Country Airplay Charts after making Country Aircheck history as the highest debut for a new artist’s first single.

They also became the first band (with at least three members) to send a debut single to #1 on Billboard Country Airplay Charts this decade.

The band was nominated for a pair of ACC Awards including Group/Duo of the Year, an ACM Award for New Vocal Group of the Year and a CMT Music Award for Group Video of the Year for their hit single “Smoke.”

Their first album on BMLG Records, Southernality, blends the influence of The Black Crowes, Southern rock and Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street era. With Michael Hobby leading vocals, Bill Satcher and Zach Brown on guitar and Graham Deloach on bass, the quartet possesses a unique sound making its way across Country radio.

Their deluxe EP, Bridges is available now.

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