The Singing Limbs – San Francisco, California
ROLLERS – San Diego, California
The Pulltops – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Candace Leca & Michael Paglia – Toronto, Ontario
Vantana Row – Oakland, California
Miles Recommends – Melbourne, Australia
Barricades At Night – Huntsville, Alabama
Brady Toops – Nashville, Tennessee
The Singing Limbs – “Stay”
Competition among bands in a city like San Francisco is fierce, but for the past year or so, mixed-genre alternative rock band The Singing Limbs have been staking their claim in the city’s music scene, attracting growing crowds to performances at landmark venues like The Great American Music Hall and Slims.
After a successful past year, the band is set to drop its five-track debut EP, Mint, on March 31st, with the premiere of the first single here on IRC. The song, and opening track, “Stay,” is a catchy, funky, pulse-driven track with a soulful groove and rhythm throughout – where alt. rock and indie meet funk and R&B.
The second half of the track is a total all out jam, where the band’s talented musicians show off their individual, and group, skills in effortless fashion. For those who have been lucky enough to hear the entire EP before its release date, we can say that you’ll want to make sure to pre-order the EP on the band’s Bandcamp page.
The Singing Limbs was founded in 2014 initially as a duo by guitarist and vocalist Cameron Gibbons and percussionist Mike Deluccia. Soon after, the duo expanded into a quartet after recruiting bassist Dominic Columbini and keyboardist Josh Greenberger, thereby finalizing the formation of the band, and realizing the vision of the initial duo.
The EP, Deluccia says, is “inspired by influences from psych to surf, soul to rock.” And Gibbons adds: “Our studio recordings offer nuanced pocket grooves, while live shows burst with energy and ambitious improvisation.” Having heard both, we can definitely agree.
The band members consider among their biggest musical influences include Dr Dog, White Denim, My Morning Jacket, Black Sabbath, Radiohead, Steely Dan and Led Zeppelin.
ROLLERS – Somewhere Along The Way
Life-long friends and former band mates, singer/songwriter Erik Mullin and guitarist TJ Royer, better known as ROLLERS, reunited recently to record their long-overdue debut EP, Somewhere Along The Way. The EP is a collection of truly indie rock songs that lean more to pop-heavy Americana songs and blends of reggae, blues, rock and country.
Mullin and Royer grew up together as kids in the suburbs of Long Island, and performed at “every backyard party and dive bar” they could find. After graduating high school, they moved out to San Diego.
Over the ensuing decade, the pair formed the band Grow, which became popular on southern California college campuses. During those seven years, the band landed slots on the famous Vans Warped Tour, and “lived together, played hundreds of shows and toured the country in the back of a cramped van.”
MP3: “Nobody Else” – Rollers from Somewhere Along The Way
Now, years later, their debut EP as ROLLERS demonstrates the value of all of those years of hard work on the road and in the studio, resulting in well-honed, high caliber songwriting, musicianship, and production. The band’s biggest influences include Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones.
As the band says: “the album is not just a random mix of songs; it’s the soundtrack for our unique and indelible journey.” Standout tracks include the infectious, Elvis-Costello-like power pop love song, “Nobody Else,” and the riveting rocker, “Going Nowhere.” The duo have shared the stage with bands like Incubus, Matchbox 20, The Romantics and Louis XIV. Listen to this EP and keep an eye out for ROLLERS.
The Pulltops – Live En Route
Influenced by a range of rockers from modern day Foo Fighters to the 80’s rock queen Joan Jett; from the prog rock of Pink Floyd to the suburban garage rock pop of Cheap Trick, Milwaukee alt. rock band The Pulltops recently released the album Live En Route, featuring a mix of rock and power pop with a punk vein running throughout.
The track, “Along The Way,” is one of notable singles from Live En Route and a bombastic retro theatrical rocker. Another track from the album that is getting play on the web and radio is “Destination” – rockers take note.
Even more notably is the band’s recent release of the single, “Fly Away,” a lo-fi mellow acoustic love song featuring a B-side of a gorgeous cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s hit single, “Scarborough Fair.”
Live En Route and “Fly Away/Scarborough Fair” are releases in honor of celebrating the band’s 15th anniversary since their power pop-focused debut, 8-Track. The band members are Mark Pierret, Tom Crowell, and Steve Kerwin.
Candace Leca & Michael Paglia – “Morning Never Comes”
Based in Whitby, Ontario, indie pop vocalist Candace Leca and multi-instrumentalist Michael Paglia are producers and writers for a popular YouTube channel that has amassed nearly one million views in the past couple of year, with a growing fan base in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The duo recently released their debut EP, Bridges, and are now presenting the music video for their debut single, “Morning Never Comes,” premiered on Canadian music channel, MUCH, in collaboration with iHeartRadio Canada.
The duo have previously opened for artists like Mike Tompkins, Bryan Lanning, and Andrew Huang, and are most influenced by Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, and Metric.
“Our most popular videos include covers of The Lumineers’ ‘Ho Hey’, A Great Big World’s ‘Say Something’ and a Bob Marley Mashup of 6 Marley song’s in 2.5 minutes,” says Leca.
Vantana Row – 4ourIver
Screaming, screeching, hoarse, and even demonic female – and male, at times – vocals with ‘chiptune trapunk’ hip-hop beats, Nintendo-core flourishes, and glitch-like instrumentation are the mainstays of the music of Oakland husband-and-wife duo Volly Blaze on vocals and Jamey Blaze on drums and production.
The duo are known as Vantana Row and they just released the album, 4ourIver, chock full of their own crazy, experimental and very different trapunk-inspired tracks under one and two minutes long – including memorable tracks (can’t really call them songs) like “Residing At Currently Homeless, California,” “Sweden X,” “Spiritual Aviation Gun,” “If U Can’t Fem Em, Men Em” and “On Wednesdays I Am Going To Make It.” Vantana Row also has an active YouTube channel.
While at first Vantana Row may be disarming, chances are if you have an open mind, are into experimentation of beats, alternative music and other radical sonic arrangements, this albummay just grow on you in weird and lasting ways.
MP3: “Spiritual Aviation Gun” – Vantana Row from 4ourIver
In the Easy Bay Area, the duo, who perform live out of their custom van, support an informal writing collective, which encourages the local community (both online and in-person) to submit “unfinished lyrics, prized poetry, or soon-to-be songs to be made an official Vantana Row tune.”
Miles Recommends – Extended Play
Founded in the streets and music clubs of Bangkok, and now based out of Melbourne, indie band Miles Recommends is comprised of the Australian songwriting and music production duo of multi-instrumentalist Des Atkinson and vocalist Lou Cadell.
The duo’s debut EP, Extended Play, features a wide range of rock, folk, pop, blues, country and jazz influences, with frequent layering of guitars, organ, piano, French horn, strings, drums, and harmonies “as a backdrop to the dissection of social norms,” Atkinson says. “In a life full of contradictions, Miles Recommends likes to ponder some of the bigger questions.”
MP3: “Just Wanted You” – Miles Recommends from Extended Play
The album’s standout single, “Darkness,” features Cadell’s smoking, haunting vocals awash in a cacophony of Atkinson’s grinding organ, twinkling piano, bumping bass, thundering drums and full-throttle guitars.
Atkinson describes it as “a hurricane of desperate and depressive rage.” Then there are counterpointing tracks like the dreamy melodic acoustic guitar hooks and gentle piano keys of “Just Wanted You.”
Barricades At Night – VOIDS
Musicians Ryan Beard and Justin Markland second full-length album, VOIDS, is brewing with song after song of alternative rock the way it’s supposed to be.
The Huntsville, Alabama duo, formed in 2011, have been receiving some solid reviews and plays for singles from the album like the energetic alt. rocker, and lead single, “Polaroid,” and the evocative “I Guess,” among other decidedly alt. rock tracks on the band’s second outing.
BAN dropped their debut EP, Something To Tell, in 2012 and their self-titled, debut album in the spring of 2014. They are most influenced by a blend of modern and alternative rock, including artists like Oceansize, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, and Stone Temple Pilots.
The band’s namesake, according to Beard, comes from when Markland was homeless during college, and slept under desks at night on campus. He would set up cardboard barricades around the desk openings – thus ‘barricades at night.’
Brady Toops – Brady Toops
Nashville folk artist Brady Allen Toops has made a name for himself in the area for his evocative, heartfelt music. His debut studio album, Brady Toops, was released by Underspoken Records, and features the new mellow folk single, “Carolina,” featuring Toops’ smokey mid-range voice and backup chorus.
MP3: “Carolina” – Brady Toops from Brady Toops
Previous to that Toops dropped his first single, “Can’t Stop Lovin'” DIY-style in 2010, followed in 2011 by another single, “A Little Love”, both of which received some radio love.