In Dee Mail: One Man Band Series with Washed Out, Stuart Newman and Labrador Labratories

washedoutmusicLargely due to the availability of affordable technology and the explosion of the Internet in recent years, independent musicians are finding it easier than ever before to record, distribute and promote their music. In the last installment of this series, we featured Portland’s Channel In, Channel Out. Today, IRC spotlights three one-man bands, including the indie buzz ‘band’ Washed Out, the UK’s Stuart Newman and San Francisco’s Labardor Labratories.

Washed Out is the moniker of a solo musical project by Georgia native Ernest Greene. Washed Out’s debut EP Life Of Leisure is a perfect soundtrack for a lazy afternoon; the EP title suits Greene’s chill, retro lo-fi electronic sound perfectly. Rolling Stone described Washed Out’s music as “impossibly gorgeous pop that mixes up woozy synthesizers, droney shoegaze textures and funky, sometimes danceable beats.”

“New Theory”Washed Out from Life Of Leisure (2009)
“Feel It All Around”Washed Out from Life Of Leisure (2009)

Washed Out on MySpace


Melancholy reigns in the song “51st State” by UK songwriter and musician Stuart Newman. As an unsigned artist, Newman, 22, has total control over every aspect of his music. Many times this turns out to be a good thing, as evidenced by Newman’s debut, self-released album, Single But Defective.

Based in Brighton, Newman’s music is best described as acoustic pop. He cites among his biggest influences Elliot Smith, The Beatles, Paul Simon and Nirvana. Interestingly, Newman is right-handed, but plays exclusively left-handed on guitar and other instruments. He has been featured on BBC6 Music, BFBS Radio and “gas stations throughout Connecticut on the AMP Radio Network.”

Newman’s new album, Single But Defective, is available as a free download, with the idea, he said, to “spread the music far and wide internationally.” Sweet.

“51st State”Stuart Newman from Single But Defective (2009)
“Cry Wolf”Stuart Newman from Single But Defective (2009)

Stuart Newman on MySpace


San Francisco indie musician Labrador Labratories, or “Labra,” creatively mixes influences of Serbian traditional music with dreamy psychedelic folk that conjure up images of a younger Leonard Cohen playing with an European gypsy band. This is apparent on Labra’s newly released EP Open Cage, featuring songs like “Your Arms” and “Butterflies”. Labra lists among the instruments he plays as “guitars, voice, knees and harmonica”.

Labra says he was conceived when a Vegas stripper named Miley went on a trip to Burma, meet a monk and returned home to California two weeks pregnant. When he was six years old, Labra went to live with his Serbian grandmother in West Hollywood where he was home schooled, and became a “devout” Catholic and choir boy.

“Butterflies”Labardor Labratories from Open Cage EP (2009)
“Your Arms” Labardor Labratories from Open Cage EP (2009)

Labardor Labratories on MySpace

In the next installment of In Dee Mail‘s one-man band series, we will highlight the music of a Tampa area experimental ambient folk musician, a Montreal artist who sounds a bit like Prince mixed with Hall and Oates, and an alternative rocker from the lakes region of Michigan.

Yesterday’s Post: The first installment of Halloween Indie Songs was a huge success, featuring songs from Arctic Monkeys, Spoon, Cat Power, Beck, Beach House, Flaming Lips and many others.

The second playlist of that series will feature Halloweenish music from Sufjan Stevens, Pavement, The Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Cut Copy and eight other bands and artists. By Halloween Eve, we’ll have published a total of 13 playlists, each featuring 13 songs.

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