In Dee Mail, Vol. XXX – Canopy Climbers, MISS, Amber Clouds, YUAR, Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation, Silver Blueberry, Ekos

The latest, and the 30th, edition of the long-running indie rock songs playlist series – In Dee Mail – features DIY and small label bands you’ve gotta hear from Norway, Mexico, Pennsylvania, England, Texas, Russia and Arkansas.

One of the cornerstones of how In Dee Mail sets itself apart from other on-going series on IRC rests in the fact that most of the indie rock songs featured were the first songs – whether they were recent drops or from five years ago – that turned us on to each band, and we feel good enough to share with all of you. (A new Fresh Tracks in the works now as well as a new installment of 5 DIY Bands To Watch and the Top 10).

This playlist can be stream uninterrupted by pushing the little play button below or by selecting each track individually – we’ve got it covered. We also include Soundcloud links and have most of the tracks featured for this post on our Indie Rock Cafe’s Spotify channel as well.

In This Installment:

Canopy Climbers – Little Rock, Arkansas
MISS – London, England
Amber Clouds – Oslo, Norway
YUAR – Moscow, Russia
Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Silver Blueberry – Houston, Texas
Ekos – Mexico City, Mexico

Canopy Climbers – Little Rock, Arkansas

From the Arkansas, where there isn’t exactly a thrilling indie scene, the electronic pop trio Canopy Climbers, crossed our radar some years ago with the impossibly infectious single, “Stuck,” from the sophomore album, Miles.

The trio formed like so many bands do – friends who shared similar interests in music decided to make a go for it, with the love of music at the core. The band members are Alan Thomas, Cory Nelson, and Nathan Miller.

While they all live in different cities in the state, that did not stop – thanks to ‘the cloud’ – the band members from collaborating remotely.

As Thomas explained, the trio’s songs “come together at the end of the process” when they are finalized for release and especially when Canopy Climbers play them live.

The band released their debut album, Distances, in 2011 and have opened for artists such as Carousel, Mansions On The Moon, and Deas Vail, and count among their biggest influences bands like Paper Route, Phoenix, Coldplay, Copeland, and Civil Twilight.

MP3: “Stuck“Canopy Climbers from Miles

Canopy Climbers Official Website

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MISS – London, England

Formerly the duo Lights Out Lester, and now the experimental electronic trio, MISS, from London iniitally got our – and many others’ – attention some time ago with the captivating, “Smokescreen,” a rock steady track full of electro embellishments and an unforgettable groove that is also somewhat dark and boozy.

When the song builds up again, the guitar guns come back out and the music gradually develops into a more sinister and tense track that then sizzles away. However, the song would be more effective with stronger jammin’ and lower volumes and reverb on the vocals.

MP3: “Smokescreen“MISS

In 2010, Marty Felton and Benjamin Wade, each multi-instrumentalists and composers, met during their final year at Warwick University, studying film and literature, and math and physics, respectively. They discovered that their musical tastes and aspirations were very similar, and begin working on a set of songs. More recently the band added “Wilson” as a bassist.

While they have somehow evaded being covered in the U.S. music press or blogosophere, the band have been receiving more and more attention from the UK press and the London music scene. Pure M Magazine wrote that Lights Out Lester “dived head-first into the realms of rock/electronic avant-garde and produced some dazzling results” and Gigslutz called their debut singles “intriguing and magical soundscapes.” Both observations are spot on and deserving.

Interestingly, Felton says that Wade and himself have “a history of performing for Foals, Akon! and Vampire Weekend after parties.” After listening to the duo’s songs for a bit, it doesn’t seem that far fetched. But at the same time, we obviously cannot independently confirm the gigs.

The original duo’s major musical influences include artists such as Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Warren Zevon, and James Blake.

MP3: “Ant Vs. Elephant“MISS

MISS on Facebook

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Amber Clouds – Oslo, Norway

Based out of Oslo, Norway, the indie pop/shoegaze band Amber Clouds caught our attention late last fall with the release of their eponymous EP, featuring glimmering post-punk influenced pop grooves and ambient-like guitar melodies and smooth vocals of guitarist Nikolai Grindland on the infectious track, “Need To Know.”

On another standout track, the dreamy space pop, “Date Night (For Young People),” you can actually close your eyes and imagine being under a clear starry sky on a warm summer night feeling like everything is just right with the world for a few minutes. The floating keyboard space rock melodies at the heart of the song complete the transformation.

It was Grindland’s bedroom DIY demo posted on Soundcloud a couple of years ago that caught the attention of some other area musicians who eventually all found themselves together in a studio in 2015 recording as Amber Clouds.

“All of it evolved from a bedroom-demo-DIY project,” Grindland says, “to an actual hard-working band-effort. I think we are different because we have the same influences as many other bands, but express those influences more dynamically than other bands we know.” We will definitely agree with that, and assume others will the same who take the time to listen to the band’s EP.

Speaking of the band’s influences, Grindland cites Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, New Order, The Cure, and Radiohead. The other band members of Amber Clouds are Sondre Fredrikstad on bass; Vetle Arnesønn Bjørnstad on drums; Fredrik Fosaas on guitar and Q-chord and Håvard Bergskaug on keys. We don’t know if the band members are professionally trained, but either way, they’re very tight.

MP3: “Date Night (For Young People)“Amber Clouds from Amber Clouds

Amber Clouds on Facebook

YUAR – Moscow, Russia

Combining emotionally charged, somber vocals, trippy beats and industrial synth instrumentation, and then gradually transitioning to dreamy pop and hazy sunshine, complete with whistling, makes the debut single, “Signal,” a little known DIY gem.

The single is from Israel-via-Moscow pop/rock/electro DIY band called YUAR, influenced by the music of artists like Queen, The Beatles, Bjork, and Nirvana. The B side of the single is the inspirational track, “Miracle.” YURA was formed by friends Yury Poisik (guitar) and Arina Popova (keys, vocals) in Moscow in 2011.

YUAR were featured on the hit show, The Voice, in Russia. Other band members include Dmitriy Lifshitz (drum machines, synths, production); Uri Pindek (bass); Aleksey Sova (violin), and Polina Burshtin (cello). The band name is the combination of the first two letters of Poisik’s and Popova’s first names.

MP3: “Signal“YUAR from Signal 7″

MP3: “Miracle“YUAR from Signal 7″

YUAR on Facebook

Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania indie rock band, the Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation, formed back in 2012 during The Moving Through The Ages recording sessions when vocalist and guitarist Jim Platt and guitarist Scott Ruffner teamed up with a studio bassist, Wild Bill Hankins and drummer Tyler Mcguire.

Together, the four forged a new band, regularly performing shows in the Pittsburgh area. The band’s album, Odyssey, produced uptempo, catchy pop rock songs like “This Is Life” and “Looking Back.”

MP3: “This Is Life“Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation from Odyssey

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Silver Blueberry – Houston, Texas

Based in Houston, Texas, the DIY rock band Silver Blueberry create garage rock music that reminds us of a killer mash of punk and post-punk from the 70’s and 80’s, as heard on the fiercely rhythmic, hand-clapping track like “Walk With Me,” one of the best songs from the band’s 2014 debut, Twin Reverberation.

MP3: “Walk with Me“ Silver Blueberry from Twin Reverberation

Silver Blueberry was formed in the summer of 2013 by twin brothers Tyson Rinker and Shaun Rinker, both of whom sing and play guitar. The duo started by writing and performing rough cut songs in their garage. Shortly afterwards they met a German diplomat, Philipp Kleiner, who loved their songs and decided to join as the band’s drummer.

The brothers then met Jasmine Martinez at a Thermals concert and discovered a common love for raw rock music. Martinez didn’t need a lot of convincing to join Silver Blueberry as bassist after he heard some of the trio’s songs. His inception into the band completed the quartet’s percussive sound and they were off and running, performing gigs throughout Texas and attracting attention from rock fans and the press. They also got the notice of a number of labels, soon signing with the small Austin label BooBo Records.

The band has a range of styles in addition to punk and post-punk incorporated into their overall style, including garage, alternative and psychedelic rock; at times they remind us of a hybrid between Dinosaur Jr., Tame Impala, The Clash and Sonic Youth. Silver Blueberry has opened for Quilt, Sic Pop, and Little Joe Washington. Some of their biggest musical influences include Black Lips, The Thermals, Tame Impala, Ty Segall, and The Beatles.

MP3: “I Land in the Desert“Silver Blueberry from Twin Reverberation

Silver Blueberry on Facebook

The history of Mexico City prog rock band Ekos begins with a difficult task: performing Pink Floyd music live. The band’s tribute to the iconic UK rock royalty has been noted as “one of the best tributes” in the annals of Mexican rock history, according to the band’s publicist, Azu Baeza.

The Pink Floyd tribute endeavor kicked open some doors for Ekos, which has performed at a diversity of locales in Mexico City, such as Teatro Tepeyac, Futurama Cultural Centre, the Christ Church and the Universidad de la Mexico.

Band members Ana Camelo, Jesus Torres, Victor Juarez and Ricardo Castro released their debut album Luz Interna to some noterietay with standout tracks like “Rostro Oculto” and “Obscuridad”. The album sonically explores a universe of musical influences and capabilities in an atmospheric, progressive rock verve. Aside from Pink Floyd, the band consider among their top influences Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Moby, and Led Zeppelin.

MP3: “Rostro Oculto“Ekos from Luz Interna

Ekos official website

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