Band To Watch: Private Island

If you’re on the lookout for their tour bus rolling into your town, don’t be looking for a normal tour bus. Instead, be on the prowl for a refurbished school bus. Private Island started their fall tour by selling out L.A.’s Roxy Theatre in October and are rolling through to San Diego’s very own House of Blues this Saturday, Nov. 11.

The band’s sound is a culmination of indie rock and surf tones mixed with notes and hues of R’n’B. Where words fail to describe, the band’s songs speak volumes. With tracks such as “Bear Hands” off of their “A Good Look” EP, the band eases into chunky grooves, with drummer Timothy Barbour’s complex yet danceable beats and Roger Mawer’s smooth synth tones.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Private Island’s current sound you’ll find much darker tones, separate from their second EP, “Sunbreak,” which offered listeners a more refined version of the band’s ever evolving sound. The songs “Trouble” and “I Know” from their “Sunbreak” EP can’t be described. You’ll just have to listen to experience the feelings of nostalgia and romanticism the song’s will most likely conjur. Sun-soaked guitar riffs by lead guitarist Cameron Anderson will have you turning up the volume and rolling down your windows as you drive into the sunset.

Produced by Jacob Munk, Private Island’s newest singles will surely have old and new listeners alike intrigued and pining for more drawn out songs drenched in synth-pop undertones. Lead vocalist, Christian Lum, breaks up previously used techniques by having more effects that add to the fresh and dark sound of these singles. Be sure to give “Juvenile” the listen it deserves. This single leaves so much unsaid by Michelle Guerrero, the backbone of the melody, whose subtlety and talent still shines through as a secondary vocalist.

Pro-tip: Check out “Don’t Call Me” from their first EP if you want to hear Michelle have her say. This track that stands out as crowd favorite and is a chart topper all on its own.

Private Island will be playing at the House of Blues in San Diego, so for those of you lucky enough to live in the area be sure to buy your tickets now and don’t sleep on this band.

Featured Image courtesy of  ©2016 Lisa Flory.

Neighborhood Jams: Young the Giant

While waking up for my Tuesday 8:00 a.m. class today I was hit with a reminder that we are in the middle of the semester.  Nights are a little bit longer in the library; mornings are cold and come too soon; and midterms are creeping up faster than finals.  All of this can only mean one thing – we need to take some time for ourselves and our wild sides.  We need good music for our souls, and I know just the band. This week I am featuring a band that is playing two nights in San Diego this week – YES, TWO NIGHTS THIS WEEK! So between all the page flipping and essay cramming, we can definitely take a break – in the name of rock ‘n roll of course.

Young the Giant is an alternative, indie rock band formed in Irvine, CA back in 2004.  Before they decided on their current name they were formerly known as The Jakes back in the day. The band consists of: Sameer Gadhia on lead vocals, Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata on guitar, Payam Doostzadeh on the bass, and lastly Francois Comtois on drums.  Together they have released three albums titled Young the Giant (2010), Mind Over Matter (2014), and Home of the Strange (2016).  In 2011 the band’s two singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” hit charts both reaching to the top five of America’s top alternative music. My personal favorite song is “Cough Syrup”  because when I first heard this five years ago, it was a sound that I was not familiar with.  They are happy and poppy without sounding like a cookie cutout of Top 40 pop.  Their lyrics are different yet meaningful.  For example, my favorite lines are:

“If I could find a way to see this straight
I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now”

 

Two months ago Young the Giant released their latest album Home of the Strange on August 12th and have since been on tour selling out almost every single venue.  You guys can check them out tonight, October 18th, and tomorrow, October 19th, at the House of Blues downtown at 7:00 o’clock.  Tickets are sold out – but you are more than welcomed to stand on the corner and try to scalp some tickets with me tomorrow night.  Until then be sure to check out their Facebook page in order to stay up to date with tours, news, and all that jazz.

 

Photo Credit: Young the Giant

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: STRFKR

Hey-O and happy Wednesday to you weirdos and whatnots. After a long winter and lovely El Niño, I’m back in action here at KCR.  I couldn’t be more stoked, because this girl will be ~blogginq weekly!~(◕‿◕✿) If you don’t know, it’s me, Lala. Nice to meet you. You’ll be seeing me here every Wednesday, and not only do I talk music, I play it too! You can listen to me on KCR, Wednesdays from 3-4pm.

In moving on to more important things, let’s get to the actual music yeah? Today you’ll be receiving a little lesson on a band known as STRFKR. (Yes, you read that right, now sound it out children.)

Formed in 2007 in Portland, Oregon, STRFKR is a four man band full of indie rock with tones and hints of electro pop. After reaching success in 2008 through their self-titled debut album, STRFKR’s other notable album is their most recent release, Miracle Mile in 2013.

Now you might ask me, “2013? C’mon! The wave of indie rock is dead and gone, I want that new new.” But read the next line very carefully.. STRFKR has recently dropped a single called Never Ever. *gasp here* So rejoice! The release of this single should hopefully be an indicator of a 2016 album.

You may be thinking, “so what if there’s new indie rock, it still sucks.” To which I respond: You’re very wrong. The trend of indie rock and pop (RIP 2009-2013) was a time of sugary hooks, washed out vocals, and lots and lots of hand clapping. While it may seem silly, and you may seem too cool; indie rock is FUN. Have you heard Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second? Don’t tell me you’ve never jammed to the catchy tune that helped STRFKR reach their fame.

Some of the most fun I’ve had has been dancing like a fool to funky rythyms from the genre formally known as indie rock. And isn’t music about having fun and enjoying yourself? There is no shame in belting out every intelligible word to the catchy hooks, and clapping to every beat of those random bridges. Which is exactly why you should be hyped for new STRFKR.

STRFKR also came to San Diego last week with Com Truise! The two played at the North Park Observatory on February 12th, and let me tell you, it was a blast. Synthy vibes and a complete evening of jamming, STRFKR may not be the most technically astounding band, but they’re a good freakin’ time. That’s all what we’re really here for anyway, fun times with the tunes.

Below I’ve provided some of the best and new STRFKR tunes, take a listen yo! ❃