We forgot how much we liked eclectic neo-folk band The Ragbirds when we first heard them years ago on OurStage. It was a nice surprise to see their new video debut today on AXS-TV. Directed by frontwoman Erin Zindle, the video for “Breakdown,” from their new album The Threshold & The Hearth, has a lush, international flair that matches the music perfectly. Hard to believe, but this is the band’s first ever video. Zindle discusses the album and video in a detailed interview with AXS, and you can watch the video below.
OurStage stalwarts (and 2013 Intel Superstars Rock winners) Pullman Standard were in Louisiana, with their trailer parked in a residential neighborhood, when the entire trailer was stolen. The trailer itself turned up. Of course it was damaged, and, of course, it was emptied of the at least $25,000 worth of equipment and merchandise it had contained.
The band has launched a GoFundMe just to be able to get back on their feet and able to perform again, with a modest goal of $5,000. Every dollar will help.
The Upset Victory, current fan favorites on OurStage who have racked up repeated monthly wins and chart placements, and who have been featured several times on our Amazing Radio show, recently dropped a new single. In keeping with their existing body of work, “Don’t Give Up The Night” is a slice of driving, hook-laden, modern pop rock. It’s such a piece of ear candy that it takes a couple of listens to recognize the clever and careful arrangement, which ebbs and flows, using subtle production techniques to slowly build to exploding choruses before drawing way back when you least expect it. Well done.
Here’s the official lyric video.
In advance of the release of his newest EP, the highly-anticipated Sometime In New York City Vol. 2, the great Ciph Boogie, a one-time Artist of the Week here, and winner of our ESPN Main Event competition, has dropped the single, “Hatlow.” It’s a pulsating loop with a vintage vibe that sets the scene for Ciph’s fireworks flow. He came here to make some noise, my people, let’s go.
“Hatlow” was produced by Chris Prythm, and we’ll have more on the EP when it comes out.
Pioneers of heavy duty alt rock Therapy? today released a new EP, Tides. The four-song collection follows 2015’s excellent Disquiet LP, and leads with that album’s third single (the title track, “Tides”), followed by two new B-sides and a remix of “Insecurity,” a different version of which also appeared on Disquiet.
Regarding “Tides,” Therapy?’s Andy Cairns recalls:
When I lived in Dun Laoghaire in Ireland I used to live near the harbour, and some nights I’d stay up all night to try to get inspiration for songs and I often ended up going down to the pier and just looking out at the waves. Later on I found out that Samuel Beckett used to get a great deal of influence from that as well… I took that low point in my life and how I managed to dig myself out of it as an inspiration.
Originally Tides was written kinda like Die Laughing or Nowhere off Troublegum, with a catchy Husker Du-influenced chorus, but we took a bit of influence from bands like My Bloody Valentine with the brief section of warped guitar.
YND – yes, it’s short for Young & Dumb – is a new addition to OurStage. It’s a whole new project, in fact, and the duo of Mike Harris and Caleb Baker are reveling in the freedom afforded by a kind of naïveté: “As a band, YND hopes to always stay young & dumb enough to believe that they can change the world with hope and joy and always reaching higher.” As for the music, it’s actually a pretty sophisticated combination of hip-hop, pop, and R&B. They’ve got two songs up already, which you can listen to below.
After a very quiet 2015, Jae Apollo is making up for the downtime with some really compelling new material. In January, we got his “Last Run,” a defiant mission statement of sorts, and a message to fans. Last week, he dropped a new single; a similarly introspective track called “All The Way Up,” which you can hear below. The haunting hook lends even more edge to the rapper’s current creative journey, which seems to have an as-yet-unknown destination.
It’s not as though Chris Pureka has been sitting around baking bread or indulging in a lost weekend. In fact, as we once noted, she’s been something of a road warrior over the past few years. So it’s a surprise to realize that she hasn’t released an album since 2010’s How I Learned To See In The Dark. It’s cause for celebration, then, that she’s just released her sixth album, entitled Back In The Ring. You can call it a comeback, if you like; as the title track’s lyrics reveal, Pureka seems to be emerging from some dark place, determined and at the top of her game. NPR has the single here. And below is one of our favorite older tracks, “Wrecking Ball.”
One of our favorite recent discoveries here on OurStage is Little Lapin, whose song “Go!Stop!Go!” we featured on February’s ‘OurStage on Amazing Radio‘ show. The UK singer-songwriter has a classic, airy sound sometimes belied by the slightest of dark edges. To wit, her lovely new single “Californian Sun.” It’s the debut from her upcoming album Holding Out For The Kicks (preorder here), which follows the acclaimed Remember The Highs. I love this stuff, you should too.