The God Themselves – Seattle, Washington
OFF ORBIT – Miami, Florida
LAST GIANT – Portland, Oregon
Abby K – Seattle, Washington
Jeff Beadle – Toronto, Ontario
Matt Hutson – Columbus, Indiana
The Gods Themselves – “Cool”
For a couple of years now, Seattle genre-blending trio The Gods Themselves have been producing edgy tracks that incorporate swaggering, punk-influenced guitar riffs and wha-wha pedals, sexy grooves and disco-wave beats to create a truly original sound that has been winning the band praise from CMJ to Paste Magazine.
Apparent from the sounds and visuals of TGT’s newest music video, “Cool,” the band members are all seasoned Pacific Northwest musicians, featuring Astra Elane on guitar and vocals; Collin O’Meara on drums, and Dustin Patterson on bass and vocals.
“‘Cool’ is one of my favorite songs on the album,” Patterson tells IRC. “The funky disco bass line, the breathy seductive harmonies; we were aiming at a ‘Blondie vibe.'”
The video was filmed during a five-hour shoot at The Ballroom in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle with director Rick Walters “the debauched noir vibe” the band was aiming for, according to Patterson.
Influence makers KEXP designated the band’s 2015 single, “Tangerines,” as Song of the Day. It’s apparent from TGT’s new video that there is good reason to spin the band’s new LP, Be My Animal.
OFF ORBIT – “Lil B”
Founded by brothers Moises (vocals, bass, keys, harmonica) and Marcos Jimenez (lead guitar), Miami band OFF ORBIT continues to hone and evolve its genre-mixing sounds on the new EP, Plug N Play.
Last summer, they added drummer David Meritt and keyboardist Mike Rodriguez to the lineup to get a more “full band sound” for the EP.
The Jimenez brothers craft bluesy psych, funk and rock, complete with hypnotizing percussions and soul-soothing guitar rhythms and melodies influenced by some of their favorite bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, CCR, The Black Crowes, and Grand Funk Railroad.
All of these elements come together in the irresistibly uptempo, hard-hitting funky, groove-heavy track, “Lil B.” The track also blazes with guitar and keyboard jams.
The EP is considered a live recording as it was all recorded as the band played in the studio – no mixing.
It’s a good measure of any band that can play this well live in the studio as a full band, rather than tracking. OFF ORBIT definitely have a unique sound, with an underlying psychedelic verve that folks who enjoy genre-blending rock should give a listen. They also shared the stage with artists like Weezer and The Avett Brothers.
LAST GIANT – “Living In Photographs”
On the heels of LAST GIANT’s acclaimed debut album, Heavy Habitat, and two years on the road, the Portland band has already dropped its sophomore album, Memory Of The World, featuring what they describe as “an inwardly-drawn collection of 11 electrifying tracks.” This is true. There is electricity from start to finish.
With a fusion of deep and nuanced 1970’s rock arena verve and prog rock embellishments on notable tracks like, “Living In Photographs,” the band has demonstrated a tighter, more uniformed rock album.
The band members include vocalist and guitarist RFK Heise, bassist Palmer Cloud, and drummer Matt Wiles. The album was engineered and co-produced by Larry Crane (Tape Op, Elliott Smith), mixed by Paul Malinowski (Shiner, The Life and Times) and mastered by Mike Nolte (Of Montreal).
If you get a chance, also check out tracks like the strutting, shaking Cheap Trick-inspired, “Captain My Captain,” and the Detroit-rock influenced sounds of “Mountain Time.”
Bonus Track (via Soundcloud): “Captain My Captain” – LAST GIANT from Heavy Habitat
Abby K – “Heart-Shaped Rock”
Another Seattle artist, Abby K, who draws influences from her Kentucky roots, but she is not country, not folk nor pop, as she likes to point out. Instead her music is “nostalgic and modern in the same breath,” a sound that she likes to refer to as ‘heart-shaped rock.’ Abby is an avid collector of heart-shaped rocks, which are a rare find.
But most notably is Abby’s wonderful songwriting, vocals and instrumentation on her new release – her sophomore album, Heart-Shaped Rock, features standout songs like the title track, which Abby K explains is a song about a journey and “not merely a new path” while “having the courage to follow it and pursue it.”
“Songwriting for me is about discovering simple everyday stories,” she tells IRC. “I have infinite gratitude for the freedom life affords me to create these stories and for countless family members, friends and fellow musicians, who have carried me along the journey and inspired me to compose beautiful music from simple observation.”
Such characteristics are realized throughout the album, on heart-tugging moments like the title track; the standout, Patsy Cline-inspired “Silhouette Blues”; the lamenting, “You Never Know,” the uptempo bluegrass and folk-inspired “Follow You Anywhere,” and the acoustic, whimsical, “You’re My Moon.” The 12-song album was produced and engineered at Seattle’s Cobra Studios.
Jeff Beadle – “Gone Before Sunrise”
Canadian folk singer/songwriter Jeff Beadle is the every man’s basement recording artist. After a day of working on cleaning pools for the rich, Beadle shifts gears and writes deeply emotive songs with lyrics of love, loss and longing. His newest single, “Gone Before Sunset,” is a perfect expression of this songwriting and instrumental skills.
After a decade of writing and recording as a folk artist, and receiving praise in blogs in Europe, Beadle has reinvented himself, starting up an indie band, and releasing his tracks online, immediately attracting attention from music lovers on YouTube and Soundcloud.
Matt Hutson – “Pop Music of the Future”
With a love for bands like Big Star and early 1990’s alternative rock and pop, Columbus, Indiana songwriter musician Matt Hutson produces jangly and riff-heavy guitar-drive rock with a flair for production and attention to detail that sounds effortless on songs like the mellow, more folksy track, “Pop Music From The Future,” from his sophomore album, TV Star.
Hutson sound is a diverse mix of rock and power pop influences, featuring mostly guitar driven tracks enhanced with piano, drum machines and electronic effects – merging new and old sounds. Hutson is heavily influenced by 70’s pop rock band Big Star. His music explores deep, personal themes from drug addiction to troubled relationships.
Hutson’s music ranges from dark with driving guitars to sunny harmonies and warm synths. He was also a member of the band The Selects, which released the album, Fast Times at Hammerheads, last year.