Indie-alternative band Blue J return with “Sink Or Swim,” the first new original track since their debut album, A Sign Of Good Luck, was released in 2022. The catchy 90’s nostalgia alt-rock anthem tackles the far too common occurrence of trying to help a loved one struggling with addiction. Lead singer Justice McLellan explains, “the track is a song about caring so deeply about someone who’s struggling that you abandon yourself. I’ve had some of the closest people in my life suffering from addictions, which can take their toll on surrounding people. The chorus leads to a grief ladened admittance of ‘I thought that I had control / that I could help you work it out / but I’m sadly mistaken.’ It’s a reflection on how my interference with someone else’s struggle, although coming from an earnest place, can cause more harm than good.”
Formed in 2017, the band released their debut EP, lovingly titled EP, in 2018 to praise from tastemakers like Northern Transmissions, KEXP,Exclaim, and more. They have made a name for themselves in the indie rock scene touring with SALES, The Twilight Sad, The Zolas, and Jo Passed. Their debut album, A Sign Of Good Luck, was a love letter to Justice’s chosen home, Vancouver, and a look at a life in transition. The album was recorded live over five days at Afterlife Studio with bandmates Lindsay Sjoberg, Mark Whiting, and Adam Fink, plus producer John Raham (Destroyer, Frazey Ford).
Indie Rock stars Colony House are in the midst of their 2023 The Cannonballers Tour across America. They are supported on this tour by indie rock newcomers little image from Texas. While little image are slated to release their debut album “Self-Titled” on May 12th of this year, Colony House released their fourth studio album “The Cannonballers” this past month. Yesterday on March 7th Colony House and little image played a show in New York City’s Irving Plaza.
Written by Andris Jansons
While I did miss little image performance just catching up on last chords of the last song, fans in audience were satisfied by what they saw and heard and let’s say were all warmed up for Colony House, while finding their best attraction in bouncing around the beach ball while waiting for the stage to be set up and wildly cheering up on every successful high bounce.
Stage décor was set heavily to emphasize the new album as the drum set has The Cannonballers written on and in the background band had a big neon silhouette of the boy jumping into the water like a cannonball.
Colony House came on stage with great amount of energy with their smash single “Landlocked Surf Rock” from their new album followed by another single “Would Ya Could Ya”. These two marked two out of eight songs Colony House played from The Cannonballers album, which was only three shy from the whole thing, and maybe I am wrong as I believe they included one more song later in the sort of a medley. Even though these are new songs the crowd sang them along as they would with established hits. Both brothers Caleb Chapman (vocals) and Will Chapman (drums) were performing with attitude of the hard rock band while Scott Mills on guitar and Parke Cottrell on bass were seemingly more laid back.
The rest of their set touched rest of their albums and Rotten Tomatoes EP. For me this was a rare insight into indie rock live show, and I must admit I had a pleasant time. Music and mood are mostly upbeat and positive, which is what we desperately need these days.
Band wrapped up their set with title song from The Cannonballers and their smash hit “You Know It” from their 2017 album Only The Lonely.
There is still a lot more time left to experience Colony House live as the tour will continue into the April.
3/8 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club 3/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts 3/11 – Pittsburgh, PA – Roxian Theatre 3/12 – Detroit, MI – St Andrews Hall 3/14 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues 3/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe 3/16 – Kansas City, MO – The Truman 3/17 – Little Rock, AR – The Hall 3/23 – Houston, TX – House of Blues 3/24 – Waco, TX – Hippodrome Theatre 3/25 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues 3/26 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly 3/28 – Mesa, AZ – The Nile 3/30 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues 3/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco 4/1 – San Francisco, CA – August Music Hall 4/2 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater 4/4 – Seattle, WA – Neumos 4/6 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
Comprised of singer/songwriter Tim Noyes and multi-instrumentalist/producer Eddie Byun, Massachusetts duo Handsome Ghost communes in a creative call-and-response, answering each other’s personal and musical confessions, thoughts, and questions sonically. Underpinned by these two perspectives, the music tempers otherworldly production with organic performances, raw arrangements, and nostalgic warmth with future-facing wonder.
Today, Handsome Ghost shares their new single “Call Me When You’re Pulling Up” via Nettwerk. A blend of upbeat sonics and soft cadences, the band finds the ideal balance of something wholly sentimental. The driving rhythm is propelled by a warm, melancholic soundscape that showcases intricate elements of shoegaze-y guitars interlaced with indie-meets-folk sprinkled rock. Narratively, the song is an exercise in self-reflection, thinking inwardly, and a call to action to pull oneself out of the gutters of feeling unrecognizable to themselves.
Of the new track, Handsome Ghost recounts, “‘Call Me When You’re Pulling Up’ is a song about being down and out – about looking around and realizing that you don’t really recognize where, or who, you are anymore. And it’s a plea to the one person who you think can pull you out of it all and bring you back to what you were before, back when everything was different. There’s a desperation to the whole thing but I wouldn’t say it’s entirely full of defeat. There’s still an element of hope within the song – that things will get better, in time.”
Accompanied by a music video directed by lead singer Tim Noyes’ brother, Nick Noyes, the cinematic visuals and satirical narrative are inspired by the likes of A24 films. In the video, a giant, analog phone chases the protagonist in a remote area, mirroring the ripple effects of false self-presentation displayed on social media. Director Nick Noyes shares this about the visuals, “To me the video is taking a large idea of the dangers of social media and boiling it down to its simplest form, a tongue-in-cheek horror movie with a phone as the villain. The video explores the ‘insta vs reality’ and the role technology has on our lives through a campy lens. The protagonist (played by the fantastic Jessica Morgan) can never quite get away from the phone as it filters and changes her look while forcing her to perform for the camera.”
“Call Me When You’re Pulling Up” follows a trio of 2022 singles including “Figure 8,”“Heaven Isn’t Long For You,” and “Neptune.” “Figure 8” is a darker effort from the band about a fictional day with Elliot Smith and pays homage to the artist’s final full-length album of the same name. The dark lyrics and 90s-style electric guitar underpin the moody feeling of the track. “Heaven Isn’t Long For You,” which was accompanied by Nolan Englund’s directed music video, sets the tone with a delicate twang, layers of mandolin tracks, and acoustic and electric guitars that are perfectly tailored for a campfire sing along. On the narrative home front, “Heaven Isn’t Long For You” bleeds into a diaristic tone, lyrics woven with the idea of an idyllic habitat that seems so close yet couldn’t be further away.
Handsome Ghost reemerged in late last summer with the release of “Neptune,” their first new music since 2020’s Some Still MorningLP. Powered by clean guitars, hushed vocals, and a plush ambience, the recent offering is sonically pieced together seamlessly and effectively. While intricately crafted arrangements and peaceful textures contribute to the song’s alluring grasp, it’s lyricist Tim Noyes’ delicate portrait of an enigmatic woman that keeps you sticking around.
Handsome Ghost’s forthcoming new music via Nettwerk further cements the band in the alternative/indie space and is a beautiful body of work true to their authentic sound.
Los Angeles artist and producer meija shares the official video for his new single, “Time For Us.” The introspective indie rock number, which dropped over the holidays, was placed on Spotify’s covetable New Music Friday playlist and on All New Indie. He explains, “I wrote this song after deconstructing a religion I grew up with. I was in a place of wanting to reject the ‘spiritual’ and embrace the ‘rational.’ I was visiting a dormant volcano in the desert, and on the hike back was writing these lyrics. I was suddenly faced with this otherworldly landscape and was feeling mystified by it, but I was trying to rationalize the feeling. The song is an internal conversation about trying to balance the feeling that nothing matters with the realization that some things just can’t be explained.”
When asked about the video meija adds, “I wanted the video for ‘Time For Us’ to really focus on the lyrics. Something about this traveling songwriter idea (inspired by Inside Llewyn Davis and Bob Dylan) felt like it put the focus on the song. The song’s all about accepting the fact that you can’t control everything. And sometimes you have to let things happen and just go from there, for better for worse.”
“Time For Us” is the latest offering from his upcoming debut album, Do Ya?, out March 3, 2023, via Nettwerk. Twenty-nine-year-old musical prodigy Jamie Sierota purposefully titled Do Ya? a question because the album digs into the gray area that comes with looking deeper into traditions, relationships, parenthood, religion, and even death. Jamie explains, “It’s about looking at life, at death, and just sort of sitting with it, but also, you’re not really okay with it. It’s like push and pull.”
Having launched his career at age 15 in the hit pop band Echosmith, Sierota had to start over again in his early twenties when he stepped away from the sibling band to get married and start his own family in Los Angeles. He then spent the better part of the last decade establishing himself as a writer and producer, eventually working with artists like Adam Lambert, Aly & AJ, JAWNY, and Quinn XCII. Do Ya? was recorded after being inspired by The Beatles’ documentary and digging into his vinyl collection. He decided he wanted to relearn how to write and record in a completely analog fashion and, for the first time in his career, was able to make exactly the record that he wanted to make without any exterior influences.
Under the guise of meija, LA based producer and songwriter Jamie Sierota makes music for our collective inner child. His synth-drenched, indie pop adjacent brand of rock mines the simple moments we tend to ignore, those that tend to mean far more than we’d like to admit. With the release of his 2019 debut EP, So Long Kid, and the 2021 follow-up EP, Premonition, he has explored themes of nostalgia and naive love and what that all means in a messy and sometimes chaotic world. It has gained him a loyal fan following with over 15 million streams worldwide and praise from outlets like Flood, Earmilk, Complex, Ladygunn, KCRW, and more. The upcoming album follows the cheeky EP Side A and includes the synth-drenched, hazy alt-rock singles, “How You Like,” “Matter Over Mind,” “Pull Me To Pieces,” “No More Excuses” and “Not Sure How This Ends.”
Los Angeles-based indie/alternative rock outfit LOUDEN SWAIN released their tenth studio album FEELINGS AND SUCH in November which they celebrated with an intimate hometown release show. Fronted by actor/musician Rob Benedict—who was recently cast on Season 4 of Amazon Prime’s “The Boys” and is best known for his recurring role as “Chuck/God” on the long-running CW hit series “Supernatural”—LOUDEN SWAIN is rounded out by a group of skilled musicians including co-founder/bassist Michael Borja, drummer Stephen Norton and guitarist Billy Moran. The quartet have shared a look behind-the-scenes of the ‘making of’ FEELINGS AND SUCH in the music video for the bracing album single “Wine And Roses.”
“‘Wine and Roses’ is about being quarantined in 2020,” says Benedict. “It reflects on the past few years and struggling to maintain sanity, specifically being isolated in a small room, losing touch with reality.”
LOUDEN SWAIN have developed a unique approach to touring due to Benedict’s fanbase surrounding his role on “Supernatural.” The band appear at fan conventions specific to the show which are held across the globe monthly and see Louden Swain perform as the house band between actor’s panels along with booking a headlining gig that’s open to both convention attendees and the general public. The band are currently in Nashville, TN where they performed a headlining show this past Saturday on the 17th
Marking LOUDEN SWAIN’s25-yearanniversary, FEELINGS AND SUCH combines rock & roll swagger and melodic jangle with emotive, electrifying songs about pushing past challenges and turning one’s struggles into salvation. Its debut single “There’s The Rub” premiered on Popmatters who described it as “a tune that gets listeners up on their feet with its swagger” while praising Benedict’s “hearty vocal delivery” and crediting the band for “fuel(ing) its infectious energy with their instrumental performance.”
Co-produced by LOUDEN SWAIN and longtime collaborator Zackary Darling (The Temptations, John Waite), FEELINGS AND SUCH is an album rooted in trials and triumphs, whipped into shape by a band of rock & roll lifers who’ve had plenty of experience with both. BENEDICT had gone through a divorce, BORJA had recently lost his father, NORTON was battling colon cancer and everyone’s lives had been altered by the pandemic. Yet LOUDEN SWAIN continue to spread their optimistic outlook within its 13 tracks and throughout their upcoming live performances (full dates below).
LOUDEN SWAIN TOUR DATES:
1/14 Las Vegas, NV – The Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino
2/4 Dallas, TX – Plano Event Center
3/4 Atlanta, GA – Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
4/1 New Orleans, LA – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
4/15 East Brunswick, NJ – Hilton East Brunswick
6/3 Chicago, IL – Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
With a sound that can only be described as “landlocked surf rock,” Colony House continues their authentic approach to indie rock with the new single, “Cannonballers,” out September 15, 2022. The song premiered exclusively via SiriusXM Alt Nation Advanced Placement.LISTEN HERE.
In a world that feels more divided every day, Colony House has continued to unite fans under its banner of hope and light. No frills, no gimmicks. Just heart-level rock and roll music. The Colony House catalog is as weighty and intelligent as it is light and approachable. Three studio albums invite the listener on a journey through stories of loss, grief, and heartbreak while welcoming them into the hope that comes on the other side. Their 2014 debut, When I Was Younger, included the instantly popular single “Silhouettes,” which became the #1 most played track on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation for four months straight. The band followed with their sophomore album, Only the Lonely, whose title and demeanor pay tribute to the vintage sounds of Roy Orbison and the Beach Boys. The surf-rock hit, “You Know It,” reached mega-viral status on Tik Tok, and has vaulted to over 100 million streams across all platforms after being featured as the soundtrack to Samsung Mobile’s nationwide ad campaign. The band has performed their songs for worldwide audiences with two appearances on both Late Night with Seth Meyers and CONAN, as well as The Today Show, VH1’s “Morning Buzz,” and MTV Live.
The band’s third effort, Leave What’s Lost Behind, was released in January of 2020, before a global pandemic would challenge listeners to do just that. They managed to headline 40 shows before being forced to pause alongside the rest of the world. Like many artists, they found different ways to continue to create. They produced and directed a full-length feature film, Everybody’s Looking For Some Light, which was an official selection at the Nashville and Knoxville Film Festivals. The movie debuted at a two-day drive-in event, produced by the band at Greystone Quarry in Franklin, TN. Over 2,000 people (in over 600 cars) showed up to watch the film and see Colony House perform.
Last year saw the release of Colony House Live, Vol. 1, and the EP, Rotten Tomatoes. In support of that EP, they were able to return to the road, headlining 30 dates in the US before their first overseas headline tour in 2022. They’ve also recently appeared at numerous festivals including Shaky Knees, Sunfest, VYBE Fest, and WonderBus.
The first offering from Colony House since Rotten Tomatoes, “Cannonballers” was inspired by the thrills of the twists and turns of a roller coaster. “When I stumbled upon the guitar riff that drives the song it kinda felt like a rollercoaster ride, so I began to form the lyric around the first rollercoaster I remember riding as a kid, the Wabash Cannonball at Opryland USA Themepark,” frontman Caleb Chapman says. “It was just a short ride with only a couple loops in it, nice and to the point. As the ride concluded I would already be thinking about getting back in line for another go,” he continues. “The song’s meaning is multifaceted and alludes to the pace of life we all seem to be living at these days… fast. ‘Cannonballers’ is a short ride with a couple twists and turns, but hopefully by the time it ends, whoever is listening will want to hop back in line for another go.”