In Dee Mail, Vol. XXIII – The Gifted Children, Berry, Roaming Herds of Buffalo, Hot Einstein, Kelsey Brown, Brides of Christ
The Unique Recordings of The Gifted Children
Let’s kick off with The Gifted Children, the first and only band on the new Tinhorn Planet independent record label, one of the most interesting, and talented, little-known bands indie bands around. The band, which is more accurately described as a collective of musicians, deliver a deliciously diverse buffet of sounds from straight pop to lo-fi, psychedelic rock to acoustic folk persuasions accented always by cuts and splices of sounds, shorter than usual tracks and unconventional means of recording and mixing their work – running the gamut of everything from old recording equipment to the newest devices not often considered recording equipment, like the iPhone. Altogether, there were 17 musicians who contributed to the collective’s 2009 11-song album, My Museum Pieces. The album is full of ecletic, wonderful songs that are sometimes epic, other times funny and even melancholy.
In addition to the dozens and dozens of songs the band has recorded and released over the years, The Gifted Children have also recorded a selection of Christmas songs every year for the past few years. You can listen to and download Christmas songs via The Gifted Children’s songs page, as well as other recordings.
“The Coalition Breathing Down My Neck” – The Gifted Children from My Museum Pieces
“Weathervane Alliance” – The Gifted Children from My Museum Pieces
“If You Get There” – The Gifted Children from My Museum Pieces
Pennsylvania Band Very Americans Drop Debut 7″
Very Americans are a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania indie/alt rock band who sent in their debut 7″ single Back From The Dead/Fast Planes To Rio a while ago, but that did not supply us much information about the band – and still haven’t despite our attempts. They signed with Ship Out Recordings only a few months after forming in 2012. We think the A-side and B-side of this 7″ release are terrific tracks that we’ve played numerous times in the cafe.
“Back From The Dead” – Very Americans from Back From The Dead 7 Inch
“Fast Planes To Rio” – Very Americans from Back From The Dead 7 Inch
Roaming Herds of Buffalo – Seattle, Washington
Roaming Herds of Buffalo is the exciting pop music project of Seattle songwriter, singer and musician Scott Roots. The idea behind this project is to set short science fiction stories to pop and rock music with the collaboration of musicians from other Seattle bands like The Torn ACLs, Skeletons with Flesh on Them, and Stencil. With his previous bands, like SWFOT, Roots shared the stage with Aqueduct and The Lonely Forest and “a lot (and I mean a lot) of bands not many people have heard of.” His major musical influences include Okkervil River, Beulah, Pavement, The National, and Guided By Voices.
“All of Them” – Roaming Herds of Buffalo from Roaming Herds of Buffalo
“Repaired” – Roaming Herds of Buffalo from Roaming Herds of Buffalo
Chicago DIY Indie Band Berry
Berry is a Chicago based experimental indie pop band that remind us a bit (note ‘bit’) like Apples in Stereo mixed with They Might Be Giants. In 2011, the nearly decade-old band set out on a 12-state, 20 set tour by train. You don’t hear of many bands who specifically go by train to tour (if there are more of you out there, please let us know). In fact, the only time we can remember any musicians touring by train was the across-country tour through Canada featuring the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, and that was, well, four decades ago (there’s a documentary about the trip as well).
Fantastic songs like “Floundering” (“our punk rock song,” the band said), from the self-released EP, Flounder, and from the Recovery EP, the song, “Alma Mater,” are only a couple of out of some 100 songs the band recorded in a seven year time span. Of the approximately 30 to 40 that we have listened to, and downloaded, we can say that the band has a lot of ideas flowing for song themes, chords, rhythms and lyrics. If you like what you here, there is plenty of more Berry recordings available via their official website.
“Floundering” – Berry from Flounder
“Alma Mater” – Berry from Recovery
Texan Indie Artist Kelsey Brown
This next artist is one that, like Berry and a few other bands featured in this post, was put into a draft post a long time ago as an artist we eventually planned to feature on IRC. There are many dozens of artists and bands that we have never had the time – due to other priorities in coverage – to profile until now. Nearly two years ago, we received a few demos In Dee Mail from Texas singer/songwriter Kelsey Brown. Now after having listened again to the songs he sent in, our antennas Immediately went back up; Brown is a talented artist that we would have hoped by now would be known more universally. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Brown sang with her grandfather’s bluegrass band at a young age and moved to Texas in 1997. She has been classically trained in voice, but began writing music and taught herself piano in 2007 and ukulele in 2009. Kelsey attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. She lists among her influences Regina Spektor, Joanna Newsom, Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Beirut, Laura Veirs, Tegan and Sara, Camille, and others. *
“I’m A Creep And I’m Proud” – Kelsey Brown from Kelsey Brown
“Piccadilly Circus” – Kelsey Brown from Kelsey Brown
*Note: We have not yet heard her newer material
DIY Singer/Songwriter and Musician David Seume from Kansas City, Missouri
The following are some great tracks that we recently found in an old draft post that we never got to share at the time dating back to 2010. David Seume os a Kansas City singer, songwriter and musician who has garnered critical acclaim for his infusions of sweet melodies, gospel, soul, pop, rock, and Motown in his music. We are still big fans of his self-titled debut LP that includes his first single, “Will Ya Be My Friend.” You can hear more current songs via his official website .
“Will Ya Be My Friend” – David Seume from s/t debut
Hot Einstein – Oakland, California
Oakland band, Hot Einstein, headed by musician Matt Berkeley, is a five-piece rock band formed in 2011 when a number of musician friends got together and recruited a couple others to pour their creative aspirations into recording songs and playing live, adding plenty of experimentation, heavy bass and keys, reverb-laden vocals and programmed beats to their hallmark pop rock sound. The band’s musical influences range from vintage Bowie to King Curtis, Nina Simone and Led Zeppelin. Hot Einstein began with Berkeley’s primordial urge to form a classic rock and roll band. He states: “We felt that ‘rock’ has strayed to far from its roots in rhythm and blues, as Nick Lowe said…it lost the ‘roll’ somewhere along the line.”
After touring around the country, Hot Einstein eventually set up residence at Oakland’s Disco Volante, working on their original material and classics by Booker T. & the MGs, Talking Heads, The Pretenders, and D’Angelo. “We learned so many covers not to be a cover band, per se, but to feel like a legitimate band that knows how to play together, and has a repertoire beyond a handful of original songs.”
Produced by Berkeley and Joe Bagale, Hot Einstein’s eponymous debut album was recorded at Richmond, California’s Bird and Egg Studios. Hot Einstein is a nostalgic rock band whose members engage in experimenting with sounds and influences from the 1960s and 70s, including tambourine, vintage keyboards, and vocal harmonies. Their debut LP spans rootsy acoustic genres, electronic and groove characteristics, as well as traditional rock and roll elements.
“Too Soon on You” – Hot Einstein from Hot Einstein
“Perfect People” – Hot Einstein from Hot Einstein
Brides of Christ – Los Angeles, California
Brides of Christ is the solo project of Los Angeles musician Kirk C. Naylor. Formed during his final year as a student of music composition at UCLA in 2010, Brides of Christ is heavily influenced by a wide variety of music and art. His songs are dark, beat-driven and bombastic, drawing from influences like goth pioneers Joy Division, with aspects of pop and dance, and drone and ambient music in the mix, alongside hard loops, experimental self-sampling and heavy-handed beats to “hold the chaotic elements together.” Drawing inspiration from imaginative artists John Cage, Yoko Ono, Abe Vigoda, and Freddy Ruppert, Brides of Christ is an act of pure creation, as Naylor describes, and ultimately “turns inward upon itself and gazes into darkness,” describing his sound more simply as ‘maximal minimalism.’ Despite this introspective attitude, Naylor maintains that at the heart of it this music is pure pop. “The viscerality of music and it’s meaning are infinitely detached,” Naylor said. Other artists that are major influences on BOC’s music include My Bloody Valentine, New Order, Xiu Xiu, Animal Collective, and Bright Eyes.
“Sihaya” – Brides of Christ from Woman Is Throne EP
“Ready to Die Now” – Brides of Christ from Woman Is Throne EP
…And More Great Songs from Under-Rated Bands
The following is a random sampling of other indie tracks that were part of other posts that never got published, or are songs from previous years’ draft posts that were never posted for one reason or another. We hope you’ll find a couple of tracks that are worth downloading to your own playlist or just bookmarking to come back here and listen to them again since we don’t delete song files after a couple of weeks/months as most other indie blogs do. The only time a song file (aka, mp3 link) doesn’t play is when the artist or the record label that originally posted the song removes it, which we obviously have no control over.
“Wondergirl” – Orange Avenue from Small Victories
“Make It Better” - The Knocks from Make It Better
“Basement” – Run, Forever from Settling
“I’m Sure” – Twin Cabins from I’m Sure
“Rise and Fall” – Andy Yorke from Simple
“Muscle Memory” – Most Thieves from Stolen
“John From New York” - Pan from These Are The Things I Love and I Want to Share Them With You