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Electric Owls – Cullowhee EP Review

When I Was a Flood Electric Owls’ new Cullowhee Songs EP was released on Vagrant on Nov 9 digitally and on vinyl via the band’s website (www.ElectricOwls.com). If you are unfamiliar with them, Electric Owls is a side project lead by Andy Herrod of The Comas.  The Electric Owls project, was recorded in Asheville, NC with Herrod, and some friends.  Written over the last few months that also served as a home recording experiment, there are guitars, banjos, beats, ukuleles, synths, accordions, horns, pianos, xylophones and bells. Simply put, the EP is just too damn short, four songs are just not enough.…

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Telekinesis – Car Crash

Car Crash Seattle power pop outfit Telekinesis announced they will release a second album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, February 15 via Merge.  The single from the upcoming album, entitled “Car Crash” has that same power pop punch that you’d expect from Michael Lerner.  It’s totally fun, got a great hook, and some sing-along harmonies that will get you humming along.  This might be the quickest two and a half minutes of your life. Lerner and bandmates will hit the road in February, just after the album release, check the dates below and see them when they come to your city. Telekinesis tour…

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Tennis – Take Me Somewhere

Take Me Somewhere Indie pop duo Tennis are set to release their debut LP, Cape Dory, January 18 via Fat Possum. Check out “Take Me Somewhere”, a light summery song that may not match the season,  but airs that 60’s sun soaked pop vibe that we heard from their earlier tracks, like Baltimore, and Marathon. Preorder Cape Dory.

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Show Review – Dawes at the Royale – Boston, MA

How Far We’ve Come
When My Time Comes

If you haven’t heard of Dawes, now would be the time.  A fusion of country and rock, Dawes (not a last name but a middle name) pays homage to musical influences from CSN to  Dylan.  They’ve got a dusty, timeless feel to them; but anyone that has experienced their live shows knows they put on a show that is nothing but electric.  Listening to their recorded album, North Hills, you can get a sense of what these guys are all about.  An americana feel with excellent writing, written mostly by frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

After seeing what could have been the best set at Newport Folk Festival this past summer, I was expectedly excited for an evening with Dawes at the Royale here in Boston.

The energy in the room was great, and apparently Dawes cashed in on their success at Newport, there were plenty of people in the crowd eagerly awaiting them to take stage.   Crowd pleasers like, “My Girl to Me,” and when drummer Griffin sang “How Far We’ve Come” took the crowd by the metaphorical horns.  Griffin was surprisingly fantastic from behind the kit echoing his inner Levon, bringing the crowd into a 500 person harmony.   New track “Fire Away,” which one can assume will be on the forthcoming album was warmly received by the excited fans, but as the night came to an near end, the band dropped “When My Time Comes” their most popular song, a boisterous yet ruminative track about life and death.  The crowd all standing on their toes singing along at the top of their lungs, it was exactly what they had been looking for.

On the encore, the sing-along “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which left us all in bliss back in Newport, was epilogue to a fantastic night that won’t soon be forgotten, in the end, “it’s gonna be alright.”

You can truly see these guys have something special, and are hands down one of the best young bands out there today.

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Black Dub – I Believe In You

I Believe In You Check out the first single ‘I Believe in You,’ from Black Dub,  the new quartet helmed by  guitarist and Grammy award-winning producer Daniel Lanois. They are hitting the road this November in support of their self titled debut album. The tour will kick off November 15 in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club and finish up in Minneapolis on November 24.  Black Dub combines tripped-out soul with flourishes of rock ‘n’ roll and Jamaican dub for a sound that’s elegant and entrancing. The band features Lanois on guitar, New Orleans virtuoso Brian Blade, a seasoned musician who has…

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Junip at the Royale with Sharon Van Etten

Playing to an ecstatic crowd, Junip hit the Royale last night for their first stop on a cross-country tour. An intimate evening of music was the perfect way to spend this cold Boston night.

First up was the relatively unassuming Sharon Van Etten. To date, I had only heard a small sample of her music, specifically her track Don’t Do It. For fans of acoustic guitar singer-songwriters, Van Etten has a great expressive voice and plays a traditional folk style. But on this night, she was backed by a band, plugged in and, as her mom puts it, “rocking out.” Carefully tuning between songs, she seemed a bit nervous with the silence of the room. Song after song, gaining rapport with the crowd, she became more at ease. The crowd loosened, and soon everyone was sold on her talent.

When Junip’s members arrived on stage, the crowd sure did multiply. It got a lot more packed in, and people were chomping at the bit to hear Jose Gonzalez’ smooth vocals and the ambient sounds of his band. Backed by Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), and Elias Araya (drums), Gonzalez began the set with a single strum of his guitar, opening with Rope & Summit from their new album Fields. Instantly recognizable, the crowd hung on every one of Gonzalez’ gossamer words. The band filled in the sound with atmospheric keyboards and light bongos, and the room came to life. Minutes into their set, Junip’s ability to simply and elegantly layer together latin jazz guitar, electronic keyboards and percussion shone.

The crowd totally ate it up, even with the band’s calm, chill demeanor. Everyone was fully with Junip. The entire crowd swayed and bopped through an hour-long sonic journey capped off by a three-song encore including breakout single, “Chickens.”

Although their success is slightly hinged on Gonzalez’ popularity, these guys put together a sound that is unlike anything out there. Last night was the first stop on their North American tour; they will cross the continent twice, deploying their special brand of electronic and latin-infused folk, and are certainly worth the price of admission.

Listen to Junip’s Always, or buy the album here
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Check out Junip in your neck of the woods:

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