best-emerging-bands-artists

Swerve reflects on a tumultuous year in new single "My Enemy Is Dead"

Los Angeles’ Swerve is pensive yet hopeful in its new track, “My Enemy Is Dead,” which begins softly, with clean electric guitar chords strummed as lightly as the vocals that reflect on a tumultuous year, or era even. As the song progresses and fuzz becomes the ambiance of a track where a warm bass and vibrant drum rhythm become highlights, we realize that music can still help us uncage feelings of sadness, victory, and relief. In its anthemic feel, “My Enemy Is Dead” channels a desire to let go of the trauma, moving forward, well prepared. Stream the new track below, and get lost in the song’s jolting guitar solo. - René Cobar

   

L.A. Witch take a ride with "Motorcycle Boy"

“Skin. It’s like skin. I’m like an animal.” -- Marianne Faithfull

“I love you and your toys. Motorcycle boy.” -- L.A. Witch

If your weekend’s been missing a certain something so far you are strongly advised to drop everything now and witness the music video released mere days ago by L.A. Witch which is really something to see if you haven’t seen it already (dir: Ambar Navarro). It’s called “Motorcycle Boy” and it’ll appeal in particular to fans of Motorcycle Boy(s) but also equally to fans of Motorcycle Girls and to other assorted Wild Ones and Easy Riders, Dead Man Curve-sters and Leader of the Pack-sters, Gum Snapping Pinky & Leather Tuscadero Type Hipsters and Finger Snapping and Swaying Shangri-La Girl Gang Sisters and Marlon Brando Leather Daddy Hat Wearing Kinksters Especially When Accessorized By A Leather Bikini Top That The Wild One Could’ve Never Pulled Off Himself Even In His Prime Years-sters. 

But in truth all that’s required to "dig it" is a love of neuvo-retro rock 'n' roll tunes with enough sexy menace to spare to getcha motors runnin’ even on a sunday.

As a considerable bonus the video opens with a homage to the opening credit sequence of Girl On A Motorcycle which is pretty dang obscure to your average punter today but this blogger happens to know the movie and happens to be quite excited by the homage because years ago said blogger (that being me) came across a VHS tape at a Blockbuster fire sale and there it was in the big bin o' tapes with “Girl On A Motorcycle” on the label but without the original packaging and even though I had no idea what the heck the movie was or even who was in it, the title alone was enough for me, so imagine my pleasant surprise after laying down a few bucks and taking it home and it turns out to be an erotic pseudo-philosophic mind-tripping psychedelic exploitation-cum-art-film from 1968 starring Marianne Faithfull where in the film’s opening moments she wakes from a disturbingly freaky dream and walks over to her closet with nothing but her birthday suit on and pulls out a head-to-toe black leather catsuit and shimmies right into it and leaves her boyfriend behind still asleep in bed and goes outside and climbs onto her motorcycle and rides off into the distance for further adventures that comprise the rest of the movie but not before thinking the following line in voiceover as regards the leather catsuit: “Skin. It’s like skin. I’m like an animal.” (Jason Lee)

 

   

Blood Cultures "Keeps Bringing Me Back"

Blood Cultures is a headtrip whether you’re talking about their music or their music videos and “Keeps Bringing Me Back” is no exception. The song’s electro pulses are APA-approved hypnosis fodder in combination with the raspy flute loop and intensifying beat and introspective vocals and climactic finale and all the other little sonic details apparent on subsequent replays.

Speaking of hypnotic, the music video which features actor and activist Dimitri J. Moïse (pictured above) depicts a Freudian psychotherapy session complete with pocketwatch-induced hypnosis gone horribly wrong or horribly right or possibly both. And then there’s a nice little homage in there too to “Karma Police” as a bonus. If you dig this vid you may also wanna check out their videos for previous singles “Dunk On Me,” “Hard To Explain,” and “Broadcasting”—plus the “Operators Are Standing By” apocalyptic informercial series to fully delve into the heart of darkness of late night channel surfing—which are all equally thought-provoking or thought-revoking depending on where your head's at man.

Finally, when it comes to the thematics of the song and the video for “Keeps Bringing Me Back,” you're encouraged to check out Blood Cultures' official Book of Face page for a thoughtful statement on the artistic and personal reasons for keeping his/their identity shrouded up until now (plus some very cool maskwear featured on their photo feed) and for deliberate self-revelation at this point in time as a proactive political gesture, which revolves in part around the challenging realities of being a Pakistani-American coming of age in a post-9/11 America and of being a rational adult in an age of white nationalist reactionary revolution, but with the opportunity to be agent of change. (Jason Lee)

   

Tim Atlas teams up with honeywhip for syrupy pop single "Peace at Last"

Indie-pop collabs do not get much tastier than ones like “Peace at Last,” a new composition by L.A.’s Tim Atlas that features Tokyo-born, L.A.-based duo, honeywhip, and sounds like a sonic creamsicle melting to the warmth of its groove. Dreamy with trickling keynotes and a treble-heavy bass guitar buzz, the new track celebrates individuality and a new type of quiet. In the song’s jubilant bounce, there is the slick production of Atlas, who crafts a modern pop sound while retaining the edge of DIY; dance away at the intricacies by streaming the new single below. - René Cobar

   

Trace Amount

Trace Amount isn’t really a phrase you want to hear too often as in “your bowl of Lucky Charms may contain a trace amount of toxic heavy metals and/or rat feces” or “you failed your drug test due to the trace amount of THC in your Maui Melon CBD gummies.” The same goes for "trace amounts" of highly contagious and equally toxic sociocultural and biological viral agents, which under the right/wrong conditions have the potential to spread unchecked and infect an entire body or body politic. Not that we'd know anything about any of that lately.

Brandon Gallagher’s industrial music project Trace Amount takes this notion of the toxic trace amount and translates it into sound and image. Following up on his debut 2019 EP Fake Figures in the Sacred Scriptures with a second EP Endless Render released two months ago, Gallagher describes the latter project as “about all of the uncertainties and varying levels of anxiety that were felt during the times of quarantine, the feelings about the recent upsurge in police brutality and political injustice, and first hand encounters of other people’s ignorance regarding basic human rights in general.” 

The track “Pop Up Morgues” is a perfect example of how industrial music, with its characteristic harshness and fatalism and fury, is a good antidote to help with purging at least some of the toxicity hanging everywhere in the air today. As John Lydon once put it, before he was totally embarrassing, “anger is an energy.” But then on the flip side laughter can be good as well for dealing with crazy shit and exposing real-life absurdities. Trace Amount has us covered here too given that Gallagher happens to be a graphic designer/video artist which is a side he brings to the fore in recent collaboration with BTKGOD where they riff on the classic apocalyptic "War of the Worlds" alien invasion scenario whilst bringing an agreeable synthwave vibe to the mix musically.

Speaking of collaborations I’d be remiss not to mention Trace Amount’s latest project that came out just last week, which is a fully re-imagined remix of his first EP undertaken by Blake Harrison, yes that Black Harrison the one from East Coast grindcore legends Pig Destroyer, retitled Under the Skin in its new form. And while listening to the remixed EP may not conjure up Scarlett Johansson in alien form ready to f*ck your brains out and submerge you in oily viscous goo, it does at least include a remix of the track “Scarlett Johansson” (retitled, you guessed it, "Under the Skin") which may at least count for something for all you craven maniacs.

And finally, speaking of maniacs, you should know that Trace Amount/Brandon Gallagher is also one half of grungy-sludgy bi-coastal hardcore-sters Coarse, alongside Ryan Knowles, whose latest EP features “The People of the State of New York vs. Coarse,” a song inspired by the two bandmates being arrested by the NYPD in late 2018 for putting up wheat paste posters around lower Manhattan. And on the musical side the song was inspired in part by the Cure’s epically bleak/seminally goth LP Pornography (1982) which leads us to the perfect outro as witnessed in the video above, Trace Amount’s rather awesome cover of a rather awesome Cure track originally off that very album. (Jason Lee)