NEW MUSIC: Empasse – Ultraviolet

Let’s kick off the new week with some really nice post-rock sounds out of Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) in New Zealand. If you dig the type of music created by Mogwai and Jakob then this will be your kind of thing. ‘Ultraviolet’ is moody, dark and ominous even when it’s not heavy. It’s cinematic too, but still operates in a compositional rock format.

Empasse is the work of Nick Johnston, a local government bureaucrat by day and musician by night. Some of Nick’s previous bands include post-rock band Sora Shima, and indie pop bands The Changing Same and Dynamo Go.  

Nick describes the Ultraviolet EP as a “soundtrack to a story that is not well known in New Zealand outside the Waikato Region where I live” – the story of the town of Rotowaro, a former mining village that was entirely removed in the 1980s to make way for an opencast coal mine. The mine fuelled the Huntly Power Station, the largest thermal power station in New Zealand which has been identified as responsible for over half of New Zealand’s carbon emissions from electricity generation. 

“Ultraviolet is about the damage and wounds that we cannot see – in this case, it is the rural communities that have battered over many generations to grow and power our larger cities, as well as the carbon emissions damaging the health of our planet.” 

NEW MUSIC: Koalra – Dear Daylight

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Hailing from Chicago Illinois, Koalra cut some fine indie rock shapes on this single ‘Dear Daylight’. There’s the rough and tumbling guitars – part jangle, part visceral screes – post-punk rhythms and a voice that hollers and sings with a beautiful melancholic angst. It all fits together just right on the single, one of many great tracks on their EP Surprise Lights.

Koalra call themselves a noise punk band and there’s undoubtedly that in the abandon and frantic pace of their songs, but they also dial into that sweet spot between energetic flailing and clever, twisting guitar shapes, in the lineage of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and No Age.

NEW MUSIC: Dei Lucrii – Devil’s Thumb / Scathe By The Bull

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Dei Lucrii are a psychedelic noise-punk quartet based in Los Angeles California who’ve just released their new EP Devil’s Thumb.

Below you can check out the first two tracks from the release, both of which hit the accelerator and burn ominous rubber across the melting highway bitumen. There are shades of stoner rock and punk, with a dark and heavy underbelly, in their sound. You can also hear the desert influence, giving it a western-noir vibe amid the distortion and weighty rhythms.

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NEW MUSIC: Blue Canopy – St. Albans

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Here’s a really nice slice of 60s-tinged, indie guitar pop from Portland-based artist Alex Schiff who records under the name Blue Canopy. The vocal layering in particular grabbed our attention with their tripped-out Beach Boys vibe. ‘St. Albans‘ comes from his debut EP Mild Anxiety which is out now.

“St. Albans is about an old friend who I lost touch with, but consistently visits me in dreams. It’s probably my only falling out (outside of romantic relationships) that felt like a breakup. The relationship was a little toxic, but we were very, very close. We were also songwriting partners through college, and when I decided to end our band, he decided he didn’t want to ever speak with me again. The song is part reminiscent/memory lane and part my feelings about it now after all these years. I showed him the record (we communicate a little bit now) and that was his favorite song! It’s also a little bit Beatles-esque which is his favorite band, so that’s a little bit of a nod to him.”

NEW MUSIC: BastienGOAT – Hexane

 

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There’s a great blend of cold industrial percussion and hot-blooded bass tones throughout this new track but US electronic producer BastienGOAT. Hailing from Pinole, CA, he’s just released his new Fumes EP – two tracks that carve some hard pummelling rhythms with haunted sci-fi sounds. A nod to the dynamics of drum & bass but firmly placed in the techno realm. There’s also a playfulness amid the heavy bass and moody atmospherics.

 

NEW MUSIC: Champ Major – Enjoy

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Madison Major of Brooklyn, New York is Champ Major, an experimental folk artist who’s aesthetic is one of creating a sonic environment to match her songs and stories. In the case of ‘Enjoy’ from her EP Receipe For Baking Two Humans Together, it’s a thick and foggy sound, akin to a radio transmission from a distant time and place. Acoustic guitar and a yearning voice is all Champ Major needs to convey her imagery and emotions.

NEW MUSIC: Anonymous Friends – Amos

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Anonymous Friends – straight outta Somerville, Massachusetts with their debut EP Anonymous Friends Start A Band. Great sound too – shades of Fugazi, Polvo , Girls Against Boys, Bailter Space and the like. ‘Amos’ does the loud quiet loud thing well with a tight rhythm section and some noisy Pixies six-string racket smeared across the top of it all.

NEW MUSIC: Tiger Mountain – Structures

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Glistening, glitchy bleeps and pulsing waveforms abound on this track from Tiger Mountain, the work of duo Boris Skalsky and Paul Wood. It comes from their five track EP of the same name and the title piece dives into a sci-fi, semi-industrial filmic world where insistent rhythms anchor the music in driving synthetic motion.

For fans of Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Zombi