Don’t miss the Top 10 Songs for March 2017 (based on listeners’ plays/downloads/likes).
Brenyama – Highland Park, New Jersey
Brendan Scott Friel – Windsor, Ontario
Esakoff – Ventura, California
Haydn Rothrock – Tampa, Florida
Mexican Dubwiser – Los Angeles, California
Cloud Tapes – New York, New York
Brenyama – “Things That You Do”
Increasingly known within the New Jersey music scene, the garage rock/indie pop/neo-psychedelic duo, Brenyama, just dropped the debut LP, Euphoria Love, featuring catchy, energetic pop rock with a vintage edge.
The band’s motto “to capture the fun and simplicity of early rock and roll music and the buzz of power pop,” is exactly what they’ve accomplished on standout tracks like the garage rock/pop title track, the guitar ringing, Cheap Trick meets The Ramones-like, “Things That You Do” and the irresistible old time surf rock sound of “Get In The Groove.”
MP3: “Things That You Do“ – Brenyama from Euphoria Love
Obviously heavily influenced by a hodge-podge of eras and genres – from the mid-1960s to late 70s classic rock era, the 80’s synth rock craze and the 90’s grunge/alt. rock movements – the songwriting team of Richard Brenner (vocals, guitar) and Maki Brenner (vocals, keys), supported by the rhythmic and percussive backbones of Brian Fahay (drums) and Luigi Sardi (bass), have something special going on.
Other tracks on the album include the atmospheric ambience of “Inhuman”; the Beatlesque/synth pop hybrid, “Small Talkin’ Head,” and the hard-driving, new wave-leaning, “Waiting For Godzilla,” which sounds a bit like it could’ve been a B52’s track back in the day, and the surprising, “Dreaming In Blue,” which reminds us a bit of The Clash mixed with J.Giels.
Via Soundcloud: “Dreaming In Blue” – Brenyama from Euphoria Love
Brendan Scott Friel – “My Light Is On”
Be prepared to be moved by Friel’s soft, comforting vocals of Windsor, Ontario singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Scott Friel on standout tracks like “Moments” from his newest release, Quiet Cars.
The song, “My Light Is One,” is another track that could be a mini (or mini-plus) DIY hit, especially in singer/songwriter, Americana/folk corners of the web. We also really like the Burt Bacharach-style horns on “I Could Be Brave” – which also has hints of Conor Oberst and M. Ward.
Originally the guitarist for the band The Brilliancy, Friel travelled across the United States and Canada with the band until a bus crash a few years ago in North Dakota nearly took his life. The crash, and frustrations with overpaid producers, spurred Friel to begin a solo career.
He has opened for artists like Mariannas Trench and Big Wreck, and considers John Mayer, Passenger, Ed Sheeran, James Taylor, and Gregory Alan Isakov as his top musical influences.
MP3: “My Light Is On“ – Brendan Scott Friel from Quiet Cars
Esakoff – “Home When I Get There”
Based in LA’s northern suburbs of Ventura, California, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Esakoff’s new self-titled release is his first alt. pop/rock album since the 1980s.
Back then, Esakoff went under the moniker of Mark Freddy, and in between, he concentrated his musical efforts in the world jazz band Chasm that he co-founded more than a decade ago.
Many of the songs, like the heavily melodic lo-fi retro pop rock track, “Home When I Get There,” with its witty melodies and demo-like affect, and others like the wonderful instrumental, “Butterfly Beach,” with its sunny southern California acoustic mystique, slide guitar and wind chimes ambience, or the 70’s glam/Bowie rock of “Found in Paradise,” and the mid 70’s Kinks-sounding, “Peer Pressure,” or Zappa-like “Chesses” – were written years ago while he traveling overseas.
MP3: “Home When I Get There” – Esakoff from Esakoff
“Time and travels have change me,” Esakoff says. “I have a new outlook on my old tracks. The rediscovery of this music sounds better now than when I originally wrote them.”
He also uses the same guitar, an Alvarez 4950, that he originally wrote the songs on, and which is also pictured on the album cover. Back in the 80’s, he wrote and recorded over 40 songs on four different albums.
A self-professed big fan of artists like David Bowie, The Talking Heads, and XTC, Esakoff’s sound is hodge-podge of many different influences, but most notably of the 70’s and early 80’s eras. Listen to the Esakoff on Bandcamp
Haydn Rothrock – “Strawberry Lemonade”
Based out of the Florida city of Tampa, the new version of multi-instrumentalist and DIY bedroom artist Haydn Rothrock crafts poignant, decidedly rich rock songs like his new single, “Strawberry Lemonade” from his solo debut album, Love Equals Pain.
Rothrock is not entirely new to the growing Tampa indie scene; he’s played and recorded over the years in a number of bands covering nearly ever genre from rock to punk and pop to electronic.
MP3: “Strawberry Lemonade“ – Haydn Rothrock
However, his newest solo effort, marks a “huge transformation in my sound after my ex-girlfriend left me,” he says. The single – and to a large extent the album, Love Equals Pain – is a reflection of this difficult time in his life, and a centerpiece of love songs since the beginning of civilization. Whether he has gotten over his girlfriend is not clear as lyrics like “do you think about me love” indicate. Love is a bitch.
Rothrock has opened for artists like Jonatan Leandoer and Wifisfuneral, and lists his top musical influences as Tame Impala, The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Green Day, and Blink-182.
Mexican Dubwiser – “Lecture Me”
Since relocating to Los Angeles from Monterrey, Mexico back in 2001, the eccentric and eclectic band Mexican Dubwiser has been creating what they call a ‘post futuristic/electro-cumbia sound experiments,’ featuring a fusion of electronic dance music with traditional Latin American and Caribbean rhythms – all interwoven with elements of hip hop, funk, rock, and soul.
Compared to their second and first albums, this time around on Border Frequency, the duo – Marcelo Tijerina and Ulises Lozano – has more pizazz and more party-ready tracks with guest spots from Tito Fuentes (on the track “Lecture Me”), Myron Glasper, and Self-Provoked.
There are a good number of catchy dance tracks like “La Gran Ciudad” and “Rock Your Body” and the standout tracks like “Nobody is Perfect” and “Lecture Me” where the duo really show off their skills.
MP3: “Lecture Me“ – Mexican Dubwiser from Border Frequency
Cloud Tapes – “Square Peg”
Based out of New York City, the alternative rock band Cloud Tapes was formed after guitarist and vocalist John Samaras met bassist Sal Pisciotta after Samaras performed at a show in the city. Pisciotta was especially impressed with Samaras’ cover of Elliott Smith’s “Rose Parade.” That meeting led to the two writing and recording together.
In 2015, after nearly two years of work, and recruiting drummer Jeremy Talbott, the trio was ready to start recording the debut album, Familiar Feeling, which dropped that same year and was followed by a string of performances across the city, building that critical first lot of fans.
Now Cloud Tapes follow up release, If There Were a Reason, from which the tantalizing single, “Square Peg” was taken, will drop soon. With strong 90’s influences like Elliott Smith, Built to Spill, Nirvana, and Wilco, the band has a solid foundation of strong artists and bands to emulate, and that shows in Cloud Tapes newest release.
MP3: “Square Peg“ – Cloud Tapes from If There Were a Reason