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The pure folk of Suzanne Vallie

If you feel the need to be soothed today, take a little listen to the latest by Suzanne Vallie. Any song off the album is equally as pleasing as the last. Tracks feel like folk lullabies: gentle guitar plucking, Vallie's sweet voice, soft harmonies. Based out of Big Sur--and maybe that's where the nature-inspired songs come from--Vallie pops in and out of the Bay Area for shows with different bands, including Range of Light Wilderness, and her solo works. In fact, she'll be playing Hotel Utah this August 14. Come in for some soothing purity. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

 

   

Lady Lazarus’ “I Know What it Feels Like” video

Santa Cruz-based Lady Lazarus just released her single “I Know What it Feels Like” and it is a mystical, gentle journey. The accompanying video is mesmerizing and almost nerve-wracking in a “what’s about to happen” type of way. It’s dreamy folk pop, with quiet keys and vocals and a touch of that warm synth feel. She’s playing Hotel Utah on August 14 and you should join the night. Hypnotize yourself with her video then come feel the happy daze at her next show. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

   

Throwin' Bo's brings Max Gardener, Half Stack, Chelsea Rose & Easy Love

This Friday August 2, the Milk Bar is the lucky host of another Throwin’ Bo’s night. Those boys sure know how to put a bill together. The night will feature a couple of Bay Area favorites and some sweet LA gems. From the Area we have Half Stack, those fun and funny folk music folks that know how to tickle a guitar. There’s Max Gardener, whose gentle dreamy bedroom folk will make you bat your lashes and tap your fingers. Tied for best former Summer Twin we have Chelsea Rose with a true and lovely voice and delightful presence--see video demonstration below--and Easy Love, that 60's inspired indie pop that hits just the right spot. Me oh man, what a night! – Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

Talkie’s Everything Matters an album of substance

This May San Francisco’s Talkie released their latest, Everything Matters and it’s a refreshing and impressive album of good ol’ rock and roll. They’ve got a Strokes thing going on with some softer surf rock, dream pop moments (check track “Proper Way”). The album sounds great, too. Mixed, produced at Headfone Audio; mastered by Jerry Ososkie, the drums had the right amount of punch, vocals are invitingly warm and harmonies are touched in just right. Speaking of which, unless their Bandcamp is lying, one of the musician’s parents may or may not include their vocal harmonies on some tracks. Must be a musical family because mom n pop sound great. I’m an extra big fan of track “Summer Bummer.” What’s not a bummer is that Talkie will be playing at Bottom of the Hill on July 27. Now go listen to “Eraser” and feel impressed with those vocals.  - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

Ariel Wang to release second single “House Upon a Hill”

This August 3rd at the Starline Social Club, Ariel Wang releases her second single, “House Upon a Hill,” off of her forthcoming album Bridges. The set will feature her string chamber orchestra, The Composer Arranger Performer Orchestra (CAPO). Wang's music has simple folk melodies with an orchestral feel and although the vocals are at times not the strongest component of these songs, they are enveloped by a warm chorus of violins, booming cello and compelling drumlines. Wang’s music feels like the soundtrack to a powerful moment and listening, watching, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed in the right kind of way. Join the band at Starline, where they’ll be opening for Meerna’s album release. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor