IN THIS EDITION: Discover the art pop of Roar; a DIY Corner featuring the lo-fi folk of Contron and post-punk of Is Paris Burning; and videos from Bombay Bicycle Club, Shearwater and Candice Gordon.
Art pop is often thrown out there when describing music that maintains the structure of pop, but maybe it’s a bit off-kilter for the mainstream. Yeah, the melody is there, drilling its way into your hypothalamus, but the mainstream sugar eaters have a problem because it’s not bathed in chocolate like every other candy bar. Creativity is its hallmark, and Roar mines that element well in two releases I’m Not Here To Make Friends and I Can’t Handle Change.
Roar is the nom de guerre of Owen Evans, who is based out of Phoenix, AZ. Roar cites 60s music, the Beach Boys and girl groups as influences. I would add ELO too, who were also influenced by the power pop of the 60s and the Beach Boys. Roar has broken through the radar at times, most notably in a Daytrotter Session where he performed with Thomas Hughes from the Spinto Band. Roar has also toured with Andrew Jackson Jihad, Laura Stevenson and the Cans, Minibosses, and Carol Cleveland Sings.
We’re streaming the album and title track from I Can’t Handle Change, below. It’s loaded with layers of tracks and soaring harmonies that wallow in the dark demons of self doubt. The theme is omnipresent throughout the album, but Evans deftly avoids the trap of redundancy by masterfully meandering in style and arrangement. It is also a lot of fun, so one never feels mired in the mood. After hearing Roar, you’ll be wanting more. The wonderfully imaginative and fertile mind of Owen Evans is on full display. Go on and enjoy.
Roar – “I Can’t Handle Change”
Stream/Purchase – I Can’t Handle Change EP from Bandcamp
As an added bonus we’re streaming “Poor Grammar” from I’m Not Here To Make Friends
The DIY Corner
Giving some love and recognition to do-it-yourself and bedroom artists. Here are two from our latest batch of submissions with more to come in the future:
Contron is the pseudonym for Connor Parker out of Florida. He records with Cobalt CO9. His process is spontaneous and it screams stream of consciousness. It’s lo-fi, slacker folk that we find priceless.
Check out: “cuz girls like you don’t like boys like me”
Check out: “thank god for those ppl…”
Get more Contron on Bandcamp.
Is Paris Burning
Is Paris Burning is from Kansas City, MO. They formed in 2012, working to form a definitive post-punk sound. Earlier this year, the trio recorded a DIY single, “Wild” b/w “This City in a friend’s basement. They returned to another basement to record three tracks using a M-Audio Fast Track and 2 mics to get drums, then overlay guitars, and vocals. It was recorded mostly with Audacity, and they are calling these tracks their “Basement Sessions.”
Check out: “Wild”
Check out: “Revolution” from the Basement Sessions
Download: both Wild and The Basement Sessions on Bandcamp.
Videos, videos, videos…
Bombay Bicycle Club – “Carry Me”
single from an upcoming February 2014 release
Frenetic ear assault that uses at least 12 tracks, so much for simplicity.
Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley Oh”
from Fellow Travelers
released November 2013
An emotive and guitar dominated Xiu Xiu cover from an album full of covers.
Candice Gordon – “John, I’m Only Dancing”
A great arrangement on a classic Bowie tune.