Back from the Dead: San Cisco

Bands can evolve for years, creating new sounds that draw listeners in. However, for San Cisco, this Australian band has reconnected with their roots and put out a new track called “B Side”. The song’s bright, clean guitar sound and catchy melody pays homage to their 2012 self-titled album with popular tunes like “Fred Astaire”, “Nepal”, and “Awkward”. The simple yet infectious clean guitars in “Fred Astaire” give it a 50’s vibe. The synth, on the other hand, adds a modern sound recognizable in Vampire Weekend songs. Other stand-out tracks like ‘Awkward’ with its distinctive groovy bass and thumping drum beats, and “Nepal” with its dreamlike guitar effects has made San Cisco’s debut album a personal favorite. Their second LP Gracetown, on the other hand, takes a subtle but different approach.

Gracetown carries a more mature sound. They ditch the pure indie pop for psychedelic, hip-hop, and disco leanings. Lead guitarist Josh Biondillo adds more complex and creative hooks listeners can groove to. Complimenting the bouncy riffs and melodies, Scarlett Stevens shows off her exceptional drumming and even her pipes in “Magic”. Nick Gardner’s ingenious bass lines bring depth to the songs while Jordi Davieson’s lyricism and dreamy vocals tie every aspect together.

The record opens up with “RUN”. The bass line is an immediate stand out and the jangly guitars are nice changes from the usual clean effect. Including “RUN”, “Magic” and “Bitter Winter” are the best tracks on the album. Nevertheless, in spite of raving reviews, Gracetown fell flat for me. I appreciate San Cisco’s musicianship and maturity as a band, but I also miss the bouncy pop vibe from their debut album.

‘B Side’ takes me back to the self-titled days. The clean guitars, infectious riffs, and Davieson’s melodious vocals gave me a little spring to my step. Even the endearing lyrics in the chorus aren’t cringy at all, but sweet and fun. Overall, it’s a solid track and a solid “B-side” to their new single “SlowMo”. I’m excited to hear their upcoming record so stay tuned for more updates!

It’s DJ Ricky P signing out. Deuces.

Now Listening: TV Girl

Hey guys! If you’re reading this, you’ve somehow ended up on KCR’s blog. So welcome to another week of Now Listening! I hope you all had a groovy Spring Break, I’m sad that it’s over, but I’m also stoked to be back blogging. Today we’re going to discuss what is the wonder of TV Girl.

TV Girl is a local San Diego based trio that produces indie pop. But this isn’t any indie pop, this indie pop has leveled up so to speak, and creates a sound that is hypnotic and mesmerizing. Copying the sounds of the 60’s bubblegum pop and combining it with tone of hip hop beats, TV Girl is unlike any other band on the market.

Formed in 2010, the band has 13 different releases on their Bandcamp and 5 releases up on Spotify. Frontman and vocalist Brad Petering has a voice that’s smooth as silk. Teetering on the fence of sounding almost monotone, Petering sings about relationships, life, past mistakes, and everything in between.

In February of 2016 TV Girl released a full album called Who Really Cares. Ten songs long and 36 minutes jam packed with the coolest of tunes, in this album TV Girl seems to pursue a more electronic sound with lots of vocal morphs, sampling, and of course, keyboards. Pulsating with more electronica and hues of jazz, this album is just as addicting as any previous TV Girl release. Notable tracks include Taking What’s Not Yours and Heaven Is a Bedroom. Each an accurate representation of TV Girl, both songs speak of relationships, lingering of women from the past, present, and future.

A band worth listening to, beware of falling in love, smoking cigarettes in bed, and singing along to every word. TV Girl played in San Diego just last weekend on April 1st at The Hideout. A bar and pseudo venue, This freshly 21 year old blogger cannot be happier to say that this show was my first of many 21+ shows.

TV Girl’s performance was incredible. Just 3 dudes hanging out onstage playing around with keyboards, soundboards, and whatever else they use to create such heavenly sound. Smooth as butter, Brad Petering’s voice is romantically tragic and all around lovely. Traditionally for this band, there’s a dance move invented for every tour. This time around, the crowd got to learn what is known as “picking the apple,” which let me tell you, was bizarre and hard to follow, but entertaining to say the least! If you can, I would 100% recommend seeing TV Girl at your next available opportunity!

Take a listen below, I dare you not to jam along ;-). ❃

 

 

Artist Replay: Echosmith | The Colourist | MisterWives | Wild Party

This week on Artist Replay, we decided to give the little guys a chance. These four artists only have one full length album out so far, and we’re excited to see what they do next.

Coalescing in 2009, Echosmith is comprised of four siblings: Graham, Sydney, Noah, and Jamie Sierota. Most famous for their chart topping “Cool Kids,” Echosmith’s charming brand of indiepop music has been gaining attention across the nation since 2013 after debuting with Talking Dreams and we can’t wait to see what they do next. Ideal for your low key kickbacks, consider throwing “Come Together,” or “Bright” into the mix for some effortless positive vibes.

With the release of their studio debut in 2014, The Colourist, from just up north in Orange County, has started to get some real name recognition in line with bands like Echosmith. Formed in 2009 by Adam Castilla, Maya Tuttle, Justin Wagner, and Kollin Johannsen, this band subverts band norms by placing the drums center stage, letting Maya belt it out while she bangs it out to the sounds of screaming teenagers chanting her name. Consider pulling “Tonight (Young Hearts)” or “We Won’t Go Home” from their self-titled The Colourist for your next party playlist.

Next up, MisterWives. This band has seen a ton of attention thanks to the impressive litany of bands they’ve toured with, twentyone pilots and American Authors, just to name a couple. Formed in late 2012 by Mandy Lee, Etienne Bowler, William Hehir, Marc Campbell, Jesse Blum, and Mike Murphy, MisterWives was picked up immediately by Photo Finish Records and has been pumping out energetic hits since, first with their Reflections EP, then their Our Own House full length album. For some guaranteed bounce check out “Twisted Tongue,” one of their newest singles, or “Best I Can Do.”

Lastly, we’re especially excited to introduce you to Wild Party from San Antonio, TX. These guys have been around for a several years, having first formed back in 2009 with Lincoln Kreifels and Lucas Hughes, but after touring in the UK with The Wombats, the band took a break and came back in 2013 with Ethan Kaufmann, and then eventually added Cary LaScala when Phantom Pop was released physically in 2014. Their twitter reads like a performing arts piece and their songs smack of a surprising depth. Check out “Connect the Dots,” and “Lo-Fi Children” for the group’s self described “face-melting pop.”

You can catch AR on every Saturday from 6-8pm PST.

Artist Replay: Walk the Moon

Stumbling into existence in 2008, rising to notability in 2011, and becoming an indie pop powerhouse in 2015, WALK THE MOON has certainly seen their share of entropy. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, the band was formed by lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca and some colleagues from Kenyon College in ’08, but its current, and so far permanent, lineup of Kevin Ray on bass, Sean Waugaman on drums, and Eli Maiman on guitar coalesced in 2010.

Famous for paint-covered fans and beats dripped in 80s synth, you can never go wrong playing WTM at a party. Their popular dance floor anthems “Shut Up and Dance” and “Anna Sun” are just an introduction to the complex interplay of instruments and surprisingly soulful lyrics that comprise both their self-titled début and sophomore success. Other dance floor highlights: “Tightrope,” “Fixin’,” “Jenny,” and “Work This Body.”

In addition to moving your hips, WTM are particularly skillful at creating memorable lyrics that speak to a deeper human connection; they’re masters at writing songs that give us complex and seemingly real romantic relationships. Consider “Next In Line” that pleads for a lover to “push it honey to the up and right [and] stay shotgun until the day I die,” or the surprising intimacy of “Shiver Shiver”: “You leave these marks up on my neck / And it’s still there… I know but I still check / Thump, thump, the thumping in my chest / As I lose the feeling in my fingertips.” “Lisa Baby,” “Sidekick,” “Avalanche,” “Portugal,” and “Come Under The Covers” are sure to spark listeners’ memories of past flames.

The band’s tight focus on the intimacy between people does not mean they shy away from social commentary—WTM have a lot to say about the world we live in and our role in that world. “Different Colors” reminds us that we’re just “different colors” that “carry each other” while “Up 2 U” acknowledges that “It’s hard enough just making money / It’s hard enough just trying to feel alive / Meanwhile our fever is running / And kings bow down to the dollar sign.” Check out “I Can Lift A Car,” “Spend Your $$$,” and “We Are The Kids” for more on that.

For our complete take on WTM, listen to this recording of March 5th’s Artist Replay. You can catch AR on every Saturday from 6-8pm PST.