In Dee Mail, Vol. X – Night Manager, Ghastly City Sleep, The Vain, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Teenage Lesbians, Is Shepherd
As we continue to sift through hundreds of music submissions we receive in the mail – thus, the title, In Dee Mail – we continue to highlight singles from that most people have never heard of, including ourselves. The fact that most of the bands are rarely known makes this particular music mixtape series all the more interesting, because it is unlikely you’ll hear these artists anywhere else. A saying that we’ve had for a long time goes: “Some of the best music is that which you haven’t even heard yet.”
A few people asked about the In Dee Mail series because they haven’t seen a IDM post in a while. The main reason for this is because we’ve been fusing what would otherwise be bands for the In Dee Mail series into many other regular posts like the weekly Best New Releases and S-25 Mix, plus, 7 Bands You Gotta Hear, Fresh Tracks, and others. However, it’s time to start saving more of the bands that contact us directly for just the In Dee Mail series.
In this installment of In Dee Mail:
Ghastly City Sleep
I Believe in Hotpants
The Teenage Lesbians
Let’s start off with two bands from Brooklyn that caught our attention after sending us some tunes. However, not only are both bands from Brooklyn, they each also just released a new album a couple of weeks ago. Ordinarily, in this case, we’d be publishing these band profiles and songs to the Recent Releases We Almost Missed posts, but they are so much more fitting as the top two bands to kick off this mixtape.
The Brooklyn “doo wop/grunge” band Night Manager released its new album, Fire Talk, on July 5th. In this case, we are definitely not instrumental in ‘breaking out’ a new band because Night Manager have already been featured on blogs like Pitchfork, The Fader and Altered Zones. However, this is their first time being featured on IRC. As far as the biographical information, this is literally all they provided us: “Three dudes and one girl from Paris making fuzzy, surfy, grungy pop in a bedroom in Brooklyn.” And really, it’s not a disservice to keep it that simple since the focus is on the music.
Opened For: Tennis, Bass Drum of Death, and Reading Rainbow.
Musical Influences: Nirvana, Leslie Gore, Sam Cooke, Total Slacker
“Pizza Pasta” – Night Manager from Fire Talk
“Blackout Sex” – Night Manager from Fire Talk
Another Brooklyn band, Ghastly City Sleep, sent in the single “Being; Or, What You Will” (whatever that is supposed to mean), that demonstrates the bands post rock indie roots. The track is a meandering, lo-fi psychedelic track that reminds us a lot of Melpo Mene on shrooms. However, we only received one track from the band, so we don’t have much to go on.
Still, the track at least shows promise. But is that enough? This is the same question that always arises with an apparently talented band with true potential residing in Brooklyn. Because there are literally thousands of artists and bands in Brooklyn, and without question hundreds over the past decade that have gone beyond the NYC borough to national and even international acclaim, it’s not good enough for a band based in Brooklyn to be just good, or talented, or promising.
Yet, take that same band – Ghastly City Sleep or Night Manager – and plop them down in the middle of the music scene of another city somewhere in the U.S. (with exceptions of Austin, Portland, S.F. and L.A.), and the chances greatly increase they will stand out.
That aside, GCS is made up of former members from Virginia hardcore/emo/post-rock bands such as City Of Caterpillar, pg. 99, Majority Rule and Gregor Samsa. After moving to Brooklyn 2005, they’ve released two records – their eponomynous debut EP in 2007, and a widely-praised full length, Moondrifts, in 2010.
“Being; Or, What You Will” – Ghastly City Sleep from Lunic Driftwood: Remnants & Remixes of Moondrifts
Opened For: Pygmy Lush, Wires Under Tension, Hooray For Earth
Musical Influences: Bear In Heaven
“Close To The Fire” – The Vain from Panda
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya – Lansing, Illinois
by Sterling Forest
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya has an aesthetic expressing a goofy outlook on being sexual. This brought images of Skerrit Bwoy in the “Pon De Floor” music video to mind. But unlike Major Lazer, Ogbonnaya’s new album, Rotissabooty, lacks a sharp and serious tone in attitude, album art, sound, and lyrical themes. This difference makes it seem like Ogbonnaya made Rotissabooty as a joke – which is confusing because of the difference in the level of intricacy in the song structure and instrumental choices, and the lacking attributes named above.
On the other hand if the style of the album art were altered to cater more to the dump.fm community, I could see this music finding a niche there. As for me, it feels like something I could send to a friend because they may find it funny but that might be as far as the novelty goes.
Buxter Hoot’n – San Francisco
San Francisco DIY band, Buxter Hoot’n, released its third, and self-titled, album back in May. The lead single “Blue Night” demonstrates the band’s influence of Americana root rock, together with “Rolling Stones swagger, pop sensibilities and honest lyricism.” The band, whose name references a baroque era composer as well as family folklore, claims to have “created its finest and most mature album to date.”
Their sophomore album, In Another Life, debuted as the #5 most added album for the Americana Music Association, as well as charts for the Roots Music Review chart and reached #8 in the Jambands.com chart where it was in the top 10 for three consecutive months. The band’s disciplined musicianship and the vocals of Vince Dewald and Melissa Merrill, indicate to us a band that deserves even more credit and recognition then they’ve already received. Buxter Hoot’n infuse an array of sounds that span from haunting violin and banjo, to Allman Brothers style electric rockers, to psychedelia.”
“Blue Night” – Buxter Hoot’n from Buxter Hoot’n
I Believe in Hotpants – Nashville, Tennessee
I Believe in Hotpants is a Nashville trio who claim to create music that “we’d listen to if we were the types who liked listening to ourselves.” In addition, or despite, the wacky band name, this Nashville indie band crossed our radars after sending us a few tracks from their latest album, The Teenage Pregnancy Party. In the bio the band presented, they wrote: “…listening to our music probably provides a more insightful bio than we could ever write while trying to create one.” That’s pretty much all the band offered in their bio section of the submission form.
We’re always a bit perplexed why bands don’t offer more 411 when they should be aiming to create a stand-out profile – marketing which is not particularly what musicians are known for. The flip side, however, is that there is currently a trend on where bands don’t wish to seek much publicity, and that trend would make it much easier to use the word “indie,” which is such a broad and multi-dimensional phrase these days.
“Is That You, Fr. Payeras?” – I Believe in Hotpants from The Teenage Pregnancy Party
“An Outclassed Song Title” – I Believe in Hotpants from The Teenage Pregnancy Party
Opened For: None
Musical Influence: The Beatles, The Dandy Warhols
The Teenage Lesbians – Helsinki, Finland
From Helsinki, Finland, The Teenage Lesbians, are not lesbians at all, but in fact a four-man indie rock band. They could be men who like woman and desire to be women themselves. The band are working on an album about Canada, titled Canada Unlimited, even though the band members have never actually set foot in Canada. The songs are based on travel guides, newspaper stories, Googling and wild guesses.
While the band said the album is due out some time this year, they still have not announced a release date. However, we have two of the Canada-centric songs from the album, including the catchy pop track, “Vancouver Skyline” and “Sasquatchawen in Ruins”. The Teenage Lesbians released their debut limited edition 12″” LP Black Dress Day in 2006. Get more info at http://canadaunvisited.wordpress.com/
The band describes “Ruins in Sasquatchawen” as a “post apocalyptic vision of Saskatchewan, after mankind has vanished from the face of the earth” where “wild animals have taken over our deserted librarys, malls and highways.”
Music Influences: Neil Young, Stooges, Sonic Youth
Opened For: None
“Vancouver Skyline” – The Teenage Lesbians from Canada Unlimited
“Ruins in Sasquatchawen” – The Teenage Lesbians from Canada Unlimited
Is Shepherd – Various Locales, England
The band members of Is Shepherd hail from various locales in the U.K., including Newcastle, Tyneside, and Englans. The release of their new album, Songs For Sons, on June 6th, has gone largely overlooked on music blogs, even among those in U.K.
Upon listening to the first two songs the band sent below, we were not blown away, but something made us continue to listen. While the songs sound like demo versions, that might be part of the appeal, and what prompted us to listen to these two songs a few times. We think Is Shepherd has laid the foundation of their potential as a band with the release of Songs for Sons. But, of course, we’re most interested in what you think.
“Pine Box” – Is Shepherd from Song for Sons
“Forever More” – Is Shepherd from Song for Sons
Music Influences: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen; Yo La Tengo, Low, Wilco
Opened For: Josh T. Pearson