Best New DIY Releases – Is Paris Burning, Heyrocco, Matt Churchill, The Hyper Actives, No TV Tonight!, Rounds
Embracing the C-86 music style of jangle pop fused with post-punk (even if they don’t realize it), Kansas City, Missouri indie rock band, Is Paris Burning, hits the mark on the catchy new single, “Wild,” from the band’s self-released double single that was released DIY style on Wednesday. The B-side track, “The City,” is just as enjoyable as the A-side, and there are bound to be folks who cannot decide which of the two they like the most. That’s always a good sign for a new band.
Is Paris Burning got together in 2012, and already they’re starting to make inroads on the DIY indie circuits. This is apparently the first time the band has been featured on a major indie site. In addition to having opened for bands like The Features, Rags & Ribbons, and Gold Fields, the band consider among their top musical influences U2, The Smiths and The Maccabees, to name a few.
“Wild” – Is Paris Burning from Wild – Jan. 30th
“This City” – Is Paris Burning from Wild
DIY Radar Band HeyRocco Drop New Single
Heyrocco is a Charleston, South Carolina based group made up of three best friends who decided to delay their college education to pursue their passion for music. Since forming in 2010, Nathan Jake Merli (vocals, guitar), Christopher Cool (bass, korg) and Tanner Cooper (drums, mandolin), Heyrocco has been gradually building a fan base thanks to their unique dark, nostalgic pop songs, and energetic and compelling live performances, opening for popular indie bands like Mutemath, Surfer Blood, Miniature Tigers and The Whigs, among others.
Heyrocco’s sound is often compared stylistically to bands such as The Cure, Nada Surf, and early Strokes, and, according to their bio, “spiked with an experimental blend of Broken Social Scene meets On A Friday.” In April of 2012, they dropped their debut LP, Comfort, followed this week by the release of a new single, “Elsewhere,” from a yet to be announced album supposedly planned for release this coming spring. “Elsewhere” is upbeat, catchy, and bursting with indie pop energy – the kind of song you want to play on a cold, dreary winter day because it sounds like a track for a springtime MP3 mix. Also check out the track, “Rave Monks,” from Comfort. Lastly, Merli’s answer to the ‘What is indie rock?’ question was: “Indie rock is a community of bands and labels that put out honest music. And goddamn does the world need it.”
“Elsewhere” – Heyrocco from Elsewhere single
“Rave Monks” – Heyrocco from Comfort (April 2012)
Stockholm Rock Trio The Hyper Actives
After gaining success in Sweden and across Europe, DIY rockers, The Hyper Actives, released their debut album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again, this past week in the U.S., following the official European release in November of 2012. After having played in different rock and metal bands in Stockholm, musicians Jens Holst (bass, lead vocals) and Jonte Skogsbrand (guitars, backing vocals) began work on The Hyper Actives in April 2008, with a concentration on traditional rock with strong melodies, memorable hooks, speed, intensity and groove. The following year, the duo discovered drummer Danne Berg, and the rock trio was complete.
The band’s fast-driving, energetic, blazing 70s-ish arena hard rock sound is molded in the tradition of bands like Black Sabbath, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top and AC/DC. In the summer of 2011, the band broke out with their first single, “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” which put them on the map in Sweden thanks to generous airplay by radio DJs, that eventually caught on outside of the country’s borders. The band is also planning to release a couple of EPs, and their sophomore full-length album, Top of the World in 2013. Here’s the band’s take on ‘what is indie rock’: “Indie rock is a creative explosion and a celebration of everyone’s possibilities [to] speak up and be heard in this new world, breaking down old hierarchical systems that have existed for many centuries.” Interesting.
“The Promised Land” – The Hyper Actives from Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again – Jan. 28th
“Rock ‘n’ Roller Man” – The Hyper Actives from Rock ‘n’ Roll Lives Again
Lawdan Mazloom’s New Band Drops Self-Titled Album
The Mazloom Empire is a pop-rock outfit from Columbia, South Carolina, headed by the 21-year-old musician Lawdan Mazloom. She started out not long ago playing acoustic solo shows before recruiting guitarist Zac Thomas to found TME. Eventually a full band was put together, featuring respected local musicians like Brett Kent (bass), Marshall Brown (piano), and Steve Sancho (drums). Kyle Petersen of the Free Times recently wrote that The Mazloom Empire is “one of the most talent-heavy lineups in the city.”
Mazloom’s smooth, yet powerful, vocals rise above the edgy, melodic grooves on the standout track, “Crystal Chandelier,” and as well on the more personal, emotive track, “Alison.” Mazloom’s main musical influences include Wilco, Ingrid Michaelson, The Kooks, and Tegan and Sara.
“Crystal Chandelier” – The Mazloom Empire from The Mazloom Empire – Jan. 29th
“Alison” – The Mazloom Empire from The Mazloom Empire
In response to the question (“What is indie rock”) on the submission form, Mazloom answered: “Indie rock is what keeps the world going round. It keeps things interesting. It keeps things different. Indie rock is the soul of music.”
DIY Brooklyn Outfit No TV Tonight! Debuts Split Single
Brooklyn based punk rock duo No TV Tonight! dropped a 7-inch split single on Saturday with fellow Brooklyn band Tin Vulva. Formed a year ago by guitarist and vocalist Jaime Marcelo and drummer Matt Storm, Tearing a page from the DIY principles of punk’s forefathers, NTVT!! does it all themselves with a focus on the music, first and foremost. Their energetic and passionate live shows have already garnered a local following in just a few months following the band’s first show last September. Among other things, an east coast tour in March and the release of their debut full length in the summer are in the band’s future for 2013.
“The Great Panic” – No TV Tonight!! from Split 7″ (with Tin Vulva) – Feb. 2nd
“Murder House” – No TV Tonight!! from Split 7″ (with Tin Vulva) – Feb. 2nd
Indie rock is “music for the love of the music. Independent of ulterior corporate motives. Passionate and honest.” – Jaime Marcelo / Guitar + Vocals
CA-Via-CT Artist Paul Hull Drops New LP
Pat Hull is a soul/singer-songwriter from Connecticut currently based in Chico, CA. His music intertwines melodic vocals and finger picked guitar notes to create a dreamy landscape with unpredictable hooks and interesting turns. Hull’s newest release, Shed Skin, was recorded in Bennington, Vermont, and produced by J.J. Beck and Michael Chinworth, aka, ‘The Mothers,’ who recruited an instrumental ensemble to support Hull’s vocally and lyrically charged performances. His musical inspirations include Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, M. Ward and D’ Angelo. Hull will be touring the east coast for the next two months in support of Shed Skin.
“Full Parade” – Pat Hull from Shed Skin – Jan. 26th
“Shed Skin” – Pat Hull from Shed Skin
Denver’s Eye and the Arrow Embrace Genre Change
A little more than a year old, Denver band Eye and the Arrow is a DIY indie outfit that incorporates a number of genres into their music, without limiting themselves to one or two genres. The band’s new EP, If By Fire, is an amalgamation of musical styles created by long-time friends and collaborators.
“This is our first real release,” says guitarist and vocalist Paul DeHaven, who describes the band as “built on the interplay of the trio, tireless syncopation, and songwriting.” There are odd time changes and witty plays on words. On the single, “Prophet’s Hometown,” folksy earnestness abounds, which percolates with viola and cello arrangements. On the track, “LSD Western,” Mark Anderson’s drumming leads a growing psych-rock war cry that is engaging and compelling.
“This album is an exploration of our potential as a three piece band, of style and song structure through the lens of our collected creativity,” adds bassist Jason Hecker. “It’s derived from the spirit of punk bands that shaped us all in high school, while keeping in step with the emotional and musical complexities that we’ve found in artists like Sufjan Stevens and Wilco.” Eye and the Arrow will be touring in this spring and summer in support of If By Fire.
“Prophet’s Hometown” – Eye & the Arrow by If By Fire – Jan. 26th
“LSD Western” – Eye & the Arrow by If By Fire
London Acoustic Artist Matt Churchill Drops 7″
Matt Churchill is a DIY acoustic singer/songwriter from London who takes inspiration from “the way that people communicate and interact, turning these every day actions into stories.” We don’t know very much about Churchill, but his new self-released double-single, “Radar” displays his fondness for a mix of styles, including acoustic, indie folk, and shoegaze, as evidenced by the title track and the B-side, “Not Enough Feet.”
About playing live, he wrote: “Each set is never the same, with the audience dictating the mood and ambience.” Churchill’s musical influences include Neil Young, Idlewild, Nick Drake, Noel Gallagher, Band of Horses and Buffalo Springfield.
“Radar” – Matt Churchill from Radar – Jan. 28th
“Not Enough Feet” – Matt Churchill from Radar
London Electronic Artist Rounds Releases Debut EP
Rounds is a London-based alternative electronic trio that is not exactly DIY (they are signed with a small indie label, Blind Colour) and has grown a fan base in the U.K. and Austria. Their debut EP, Falter, includes five tracks of richly textured and layered experimental electronic music that is more revealing after repeated plays. Rounds doesn’t opt for gloomy sounds, as much U.K. electronic does, but instead, as the band wrote: “a fusion of The Cure and Radiohead-esque melodic pop and alternative rock; the experimental bass music of bands like Burial or Mount Kimbie, and ambient and deep house laced with glitch, Warp-inspired electronic soul born from a huge range of influences.”
The band consists of Robert Cooper (vocals, synths), Andrew Chapman (guitar, synths), and Ashley Kemp (drums, sampler). Falter is the band’s follow-up to the July 2012 debut EP drop, Escapist, the latter which received positive reviews among British music sites and blogs.
“Falter” – Rounds from Falter – Jan. 28th