West Coast Beats: New Music From Rockabillys Kim Lenz

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Rockabilly goddess Kim Lenz is gearing up for the release of her fifth album Slowly Speeding, out February 22, 2019.

Lenz is a songwriter, performer, bandleader, engineer and producer who pores over every nuance of her music to ensure maximum potency. The ten songs on Slowly Speeding brim with growling vocals, clever turns of phrase and heightened musicianship that services both the songs and the emotional intent behind them. As the first song written for the project, “Slowly Speeding” sets the pace for what follows — a gauzy, Western Gothic gaze into the heart of a woman who has abandoned her walls and inhibitions, falling so deeply in love that the universe itself seems unreal. 

Lenz released her debut album in 1998 as Kim Lenz & the Jaguars, via Hightone Records. Heralded as the “Flame-haired keeper of the rockabilly flame” by Allmusic, Lenz reached the highest heights of the 90’s rockabilly revival. At the same time, she established her own distinctive voice as an artist who inhabited the musical and aesthetic traditions of a classic era, even as she subverted them. 

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For Slowly Speeding, Lenz pulled the most essential elements of the past forward into the present and gave her own voice to it. Lenz’s sonic vision for the project was to combine her favorite tones from her most-treasured records, regardless of genre or era, and co-producer DH Phillips was the perfect partner in crime. They looked to early blues, classic country, and old-time gospel harmonies. ”The idea was to try to use all the ingredients that made up rock & roll, but shift around the time frames,” she offers. “I started out in the ’90s making traditional rockabilly music,” she continues. “But in my journey to understand how rockabilly and rock & roll came into being, I found blues, rhythm & blues, gospel, Western swing, and country music.”

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West Coast Beats: New Single From LA’s Acclaimed Activist Musical Collective – Trapdoor Social

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Trapdoor Social is a Los Angeles based independent rock band with a mission.

With it’s origins in a college environmental studies program, the band has a record of fundraising and activism to promote sustainability. Starting in 2015 Trapdoor Social branched off from the usual mix of club/radio/college shows and began producing outdoor, solar-powered concerts and events around the US, including Sunstock Solar Festival, which is takes place in Los Angeles annually. Their other projects combining music with activism have benefitted Homeboy Industries, Mesa Ridge High School, and Kids Cancer Connection.

The band’s music is energetic and passionate, with lyrics that play with love, philosophy, and social critique. Several of the band’s songs— “Away”, “Fine on My Own,” “Sunshine,” and “Wining as Truth” – have received significant airplay around the country, a national TV ad placement and success on Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’.

Since Sunstock ’17, the band has been working on an LP that will be their fourth release.

Their new single “Hold Me Down” blends surf rock and captivating indie pop featuring anthemic melodies and jangly guitars. Trapdoor Social is set to release a full album following around the new year, and a national tour in the spring of 2019.

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PHILLY BEATS: New Music From Rockers Mo Lowda & The Humble

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Philadelphia rockers, Mo Lowda & the Humble have released their new video for their new song “Card Shark

Card Shark” comes off of Mo Lowda’s sophomore album, Creatures , released earlier this year. The track is a slow, booming, yet bouncy song – drop C tuned guitar drenched in reverb, bellows over an assertive, forward moving bassline and stomping drums as shouty vocals tell the tale of a man who loses everything he loves due to a gambling addiction. Gang vocals sing an ironically joyful melody in the sub-bass driven choruses. The third person account was written by Jordan Caiola (lead vocalist, guitarist) on his flight home from a post-college graduation trip to Las Vegas with some friends. Caiola shares, “We were only playing $5 tables out there for fun but, even so…I saw how easy it could be to get caught up in that, especially if the stakes were higher and desperation played a role.

“We really wanted to dig into the psychology of our hero, and the struggle he faces between his home life, with his wife and child, and his gambling addiction,” says director, Kirby Sybert. “There’s a frightening power involved with addiction that can really tear lives apart. Whether it’s gambling, drinking, drugs, money, power, whatever the vice there are real world consequences attached. Most times core relationships are disrupted. Jordan had come to me with the idea earlier this year and so the band and I really paid attention to the moments that felt real and visceral. We wanted that internal struggle of our hero and his detachment from his surroundings due to this addiction. When it came to shooting we went in with cinematographer, Skyler Jenkins, and shot everything in that one day. It was one of those shoots where everything falls into place and it just feels right. It’s that feeling where we knew we had captured some magic.”

The trio, known for their progressive songwriting and energetic live performances, will be kicking off a fall North American tour this Friday in Columbus, and have announced their first-ever European tour for early 2019.

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