For a few years now, the In Dee Mail series has been a popular on-going feature because it introduces music lovers to obscure, but talented, alternative and indie rock artists. For many of the musicians it is their first exposure by a often for the first time, to alternative and indie rock music fans. The series gets it’s name from a play on words. Because all of the artists featured in the series sent in their music for review (although we now have a submission form on the About page), rather than calling it “In The Mail,” to change it to “In Dee Mail.” The other characteristic of In Dee Mail is the fact that the featured album releases, and the singles they spawn, are not published based on the date they were originally released, as the weekly Best New Releases playlists are.
Fast-forward to the present; it’s hard to believe we’ve posted almost two dozen In Dee Mail installments since 2010, including this newest edition. It has been a while since the last In Dee Mail was published, but in the coming weeks and months, there will be a number (others in the pipeline now) of new In Dee Mail features. A lot of time and planning goes into sorting through hundreds of submissions to pick the artists and bands, and of course the songs they submit, for the In Dee Mail series – as is the case with other regular post series, such as Artist of the Week, 7 Bands You’ve Gotta Hear, DIY Bands to Watch, Top DIY Releases, among others.
Soviet – Garland, Texas
The Garland, Texas DIY rock trio, Soviet, released a number of demos last November, ahead of their planned 2013 full length debut LP, which has yet to be titled or given a release date. The tracks showcase the band’s progressive rock ‘stonegaze’ sound, which has helped make them a fairly popular band in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, and earned them spots opening for indie heavy-weights, and IRC favorites, such as New Jersey punksters Titus Andronicus, and Cleveland indie rock band Cloud Nothings, in addition to shared bills with artists like Future of the Left, Stardeath and White Dwarves.
Soviet features singer/songwriter and drummer John Spies, guitarist Richy Brown and bassist Tucker Masten. With the release of the demo recordings featured below, Spies said the band “departed” from their “pop punk roots” to create “gloomier areas of stoner grunge rock,” (aka, ‘stonegaze’) and as a result, “found the back door out of teenage hell.” The majority of their songs are instrumentals. Soviet counts amongst their biggest musical influences bands such as Rush, Pallbearer, Nile, Weezer, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. It’s a little surprising that the band did not list Built to Spill as a musical influence since their songs, especially “I Wanna Die,” is so BTS-ish.
“This Is the Day” (Demo) – Soviet from single
“I Wanna Die” (Demo) – Soviet from single
Odd Hours – Detroit, Michigan
Odd Hours is a noisy, loud, art rock trio that is Natasha Beste (vocals, keys), Tim Jagielo (guitar, loops), and Mike Legue (drums, vocals). They have played Detroit’s major bar circuit, and Detroit’s famous festivals including Dally in the Alley and Metro Times Blowout. Jeff Milo (Detroit Metro Times) described Odd Hours style as “evil-ing up new-wave, griming up glam, and Frankenstein-frying a disarmingly melody-keen post-punk,” on their most recent EP, Solar Plexus Power of Babooshka.
The first track, “Electric Soul,” has more potential with a better overall production value, and improvements on the vocals in the parts of the songs were the vocals are lacking. The second song, “Insomnia in Color,” is more fragmented and would definitely benefit from some re-working, again, there is progress to be made on the relationship between the vocalist and the other band members, but we can see how some folks will still enjoy it anyways, especially after spinning both tracks a few times. That said, our vote goes to the first song.
“Electric Soul” – Odd Hours from Solar Plexus Power of Babooshka
“Insomnia in Color” – Odd Hours from Solar Plexus Power of Babooshka
Krejad – Kansas City, Missouri
Impasse is the debut album from Krejad, the musical project of Clinton Houseman, who has played in several bands in the Kansas City and Joplin areas since 2006. Yearning to strike out on his own, Houseman launched Krejad in 2009 following the disbanding of his teenage-founded band, Media Frenzy.
While Houseman wrote, recorded and produced the album, as well as performed most of the instrumental and vocal parts, several musician friends also contributed. The self-produced album was recorded mostly in Clinton’s home and at a grimy downtown rehearsal space. It definitely has the feel of a lo-fi recording. The band will surely benefit from more practice and perhaps the help of a good producer. The following tracks are from the band’s new EP, Oasis, released on January 13th.
“Oasis in the Sandhills” – Krejad from Oasis EP
“Undercloud” – Krejad from Oasis EP
The Goodbye Radio – Huntington, New York
From Huntington, New York, DIY independent rock band, The Goodbye Radio, features four friends who are committed to creating stand out music. The band has many musical influences, including Beach House, Teenage Fanclub, Paul Simon, and Wilco, to name a few, but they stand firm in their affirmation that they want to remain independent with “no interference.”
“I Don’t Mean A Thing” – The Goodbye Radio from The Goodbye Radio
“Boiling River” – The Goodbye Radio from The Goodbye Radio
Curious Quail – San Jose, California
Curious Quail caught our attention after they were awarded the ‘Best Song’ in the Silicon Valley Music Awards for the track, “The Glow,” and were named one of the Top 20 new bands in the Bay Area by San Francisco’s legendary radio station, Live 105 (105.3FM KITS). Additionally, Death and Taxes blogger Ned Hepburn wrote that Curious Quail “might just be the Bay Area’s next big hope.”
San Jose DIY multi-genre indie band Curious Quail started off as the one man acoustic solo project of singer/songwriter and musician Mike Shirley-Donnelly. Beginning in 2008, he started writing tracks and recording them at home on guitar with a laptop and loop pedal. Over the ensuing four years, Curious Quail created a collection of songs and set out to recruit a full band that now includes two guitarists, a bassist, two violinists (one who also performs on a keytar), a keyboardist “who dabbles in accordion and harmonica,” and a drummer who “plays anything that’s left over when the drum machines kick in.”
The numerous band members, Donnelly writes, “are all over the map genre-wise.” An alternative rock band at heart, with screaming fuzzy guitars hearkening mid-90’s Smashing Pumpkins, they can also strip down to a folk element more along the lines of Damien Rice. Then those drum machines kick in, evolving their sound into something The Postal Service would feel proud of. They sometimes create their own drum machine samples from strange sources, such as an army of twenty or so film camera’s shutters and clicks.
They’ve been known to live-stream private “house” shows on the internet and have Q/A sessions with fans afterward, taking questions from twitter or e-mail. The Quails are also avid video game enthusiasts and can be found streaming their escapades via Twitch.tv – several of the members play Starcraft competitively under the banner “Team Quail.” He’s opened for OK Go and Neon Trees.
“Disappointed Smiles” – Curious Quail from single
Gates – New Brunswick, New Jersey
Gates is an ambient rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey formed in 2010. In the past couple of years, Gates has released two albums, closed a vinyl deal with Devildance Records, and toured throughout the United States and the UK. The band has opened for artists like Moving Mountains, Pianos Become The Teeth, Fallacies, Gifts From Enola, and Rival Schools.
“Like This You Mean” – Gates from You Are All You Have Left To Fear
“The Sound Of Letting Go” – Gates from You Are All You Have Left To Fear
Koniac Net – Bombay, India
David Abraham, who lives in Bombay, India, performs under the moniker Koniac Net, and records DIY style in his bedroom. The entire album is a tribute to the indie & alternative genres, as well as the artists that influenced Abraham, such as Swervedriver, The French Kicks, Catherine Wheel and The Stills. After songs off the album were played on radio stations in over 30 countries globally, and it was suggested that Abraham perform his material in these countries, and thus, his solo project transformed into a five-piece band. Friend & guitarist, Jason D’Souza, who mixed the album, was the first to be recruited. In the short time they have been together, the band has been asked to play at some of the best events India has to offer, including Bacardi NH7 Weekender Festival, Ragasthan Festival, Live from the Console Festival, among others.
The Koniac Net has also been voted as Band of the Week on Indie Music Bus, Band of the Month on AlternativeAddiction.com, Best Original Band by Converse & Rolling Stone India, and have been featured in three episodes of Australia’s comedy-drama series Flat Whites. The band is currently working on new material, and concentrating hard on somehow getting a sponsor for an international/world tour.”
“This Time Around” – Koniac Net from One Last Monsoon – Feb. 8th
“Bricks” – Koniac Net from One Last Monsoon
Vague-à-Bonde – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nicole Brenny is a Minneapolis-based producer and DIY bedroom electro artist known as Vague-à-Bonde. Last August, she released her debut album, Involution/Evolution, featuring songs constructed with lushly layered vintage synths, crisp vocals and computer programmed beats. Unafraid to experiment with various musical influences, Brenny creates tracks using both hi-fi & lo-fi production techniques. The sound rests somewhere between Fleetwood Mac & K-Pop. “Evolved” was the first single off of the album and co-produced by Chris Heidman(former member of Sukpatch). She has previously opened for some great bands, like Porcelain Raft, Diamond Rings, and Night Moves.
“Evolved” – Vague-à-Bonde from Evolve – August 31, 2012
In Dee Mail Mentions
If there was a long lost cousin of the Arctic Monkeys – some might say more like a copy cat artist – Jonny Rumble‘s stake to that claim would not be considered completely out of the ballpark, since his aggressive guitar rock style reminds us a lot of the old Arctic Monkeys (not the new sound AM has evolved to in recent years). Lo-fi distortion, screeching feedback, exotic bongo beats and wailing, feedback-laden electric guitars and vocals are used to create this short psychedelic number from the band Campfires. Musician Jonathan Clancy, who records under the moniker His Clancyness, is a musician who lives in northern Canada. On the track, “Ottawa Backfired Soon,” Clancy incorporates the drumming style of the Ronettes with icy xylophone playing that has a wintertime feel to it. He has also worked with the band Banjo or Freakout.
“Brzrkr” – Jonny Rumble
“Tired Old Sun” – Campfires
“Ottawa Backfired Soon” – His Clancyness