Fresh Indie Rock Tracks, December 2016, Vol. II – The Sleeping Tongues, Rio Wiley, The Grenaways, Satellite Citi, Telamor, Jay Elle

Well, another year is winding down. Here is the second installment of Fresh Tracks for this month – featuring indie folk from England; 80s pop rock sounds from Brooklyn; modern, emotive date rock from Phoenix; lashing alt. rock from LA; more 80s’-tinged rock radio from Massachusetts and much more.

The Sleeping TonguesBrooklyn, New York
The GrenawaysCornwall, England
Rio WileyPhoenix, Arizona
Satellite CitiLos Angeles, California
TelamorGloucester, Massachusetts
Jay ElleNew York, New York

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The Sleeping Tongues – The Sleeping Tongues

New York City area band The Sleeping Tongues is comprised of members from completely different backgrounds and locales, including a Queens born and raised Asian drummer and Jui Jitsu expert; a Miami Jewish bassist with cyber security chops, and a Scandinavian born pilot and vocalist/guitarist from Minnesota.

Two other members were born and raised are from Bronx and Brooklyn; so NYC is well represented. This diverse mix of musicians contributes to the band’s eclectic style; earlier this year they dropped their self-titled debut album.

The newest single from the album, “Bullet Train,” is a romping, strutting dance-invoking pop track with a bit of a old skool melodic pop structure reminiscent of 80s bands like Adam and The Ants and The Stray Cats.

We also featured TST this past summer for the terrific track, “Lyra.” The band has already started working on a new album for release next year.

The Sleeping Tongues on Soundcloud

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Rio Wiley – Young Ghost

Based out of the desert southwest capital city of Phoenix, Arizona indie band Rio Wiley (not to be confused with the popular, now defunct, band Kilo Riley) is a new solo indie pop project of songwriter and vocalist Rio Wiley Stinger.

It may be a brilliant moniker, or perhaps confusing for other indie lovers who were already Kilo Riley fans.

Either way, it is the music that ultimately decides a solo artist’s fate. Stinger’s Rio Wiley’s solo EP, Young Ghost, is his first foray of releasing music not performed with his long-time band, I Remember Burning, which was founded in 2012 and have made some waves in the local music scene.

His newest guitar-ringing track, “The Love We Used To Share,” leans more towards the mainstream rock/pop sound than indie, but Stinger really shows promise on this track. It’s almost an irresistible track. Here’s the video.

Stinger’s solo work is heavily influences from various genres of music, but mostly from radio pop rock, as well an occasional acoustic-leaning track, such as “Tired & Done,” featuring Anthony Perre III of DAISY.

Following the tracks release, he began to attract a new fan base. From there, Stinger spent half of a year writing and recording the songs for Young Ghost, “a concept album about losing all sense of your identity, following the loss of someone you love,” Stinger says.

After nearly selling out Crescent Ballroom, alongside other local Arizona artists, Rio Wiley performed a third show/CD Release Party to a sold out crowd last October 29th at the Pub Rock in Scottsdale.

Soundcloud – Stream Young Ghost on Soundcloud

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The Grenaways – Skath Vyghan

Hailing from the southwestern most coast of England in the ceremonial and ancient land of Cornwall, where the Celtic Sea meets the English Channel, the members of the Celtic-influenced indie folk band The Grenaways have just dropped a touching and inspiring EP, Skath Vyghan.

One of the tracks on this profound release, “Rowan,” was written and produced, according to lead male vocalist and guitarist Kris Lannen, “in memory of a young guy called, Rowan Draper, who was killed in a car crash while we were on tour last November. The last time he was seen by his mother was dancing at our gig in Norwich.” Draper was also the cousin of the band’s lead female vocalist, keyboardist and flutist, Laura Garcia.

The song is emotive and melancholy, but as it progresses, the mood changes, subsequently breaking out into a joyous and optimistic song. At times, Garcia’s voice sounds a lot like Dolores O’Riordan‘s of The Cranberries voice.

The folksy, organic track “Old Mast” is “a story an old ship mast that overlooks the sea from a hill above Port Isaac,” featuring musician Joe Lee on an old beat up double bass and Garcia using the church’s mini-grand piano.

“The drums and guitars were recorded in a barn and at the St Peter’s Church in Port Isaac working on the keys, vocals and trumpet,” she says.

Band members also include drummer Henry Cavender; lead guitarist Joff Phipps; violinist Isabelle Roberts (originally from Switzerland) and trumpet player Claude Lamon (originally from South Africa).

The backing vocals on the song “Fisherman” – a song about the struggling fishing industry – were recorded at a packed pub called Cornish Arms located in Pendoggett. The title track, “Skath Vyghan,” (“Little Boat”) and the song “Cornish Girl,” were recorded in the Cornish language.

“It’s been really significant for us as a band, even though none of us are actually Cornish, to explore writing in this beautiful Celtic language and although the arrangements are contemporary, they feel grounded in the ancient.”The band’s song, “Ghost,” is about a butterfly – the Tykki-Duw of Cornish, has received play on Balcony TV.

As a band, they see part of their mission to be one of “adding a sense of their own ties to the region and especially it’s Celtic heritage,” according to The Grenaways website bio. “But, they are a band set for far wider horizons than just Cornwall with a massive and alternative sound billowing through their musical sails.”

Soundcloud: Listen to more music from The Grenaways

The Grenaways on Facebook

Satellite Citi – “Rootless”

In the band-saturated city of Los Angeles, it takes a lot for a band to stand out. But that’s exactly what the alt. rock duo Satellite Citi is aiming to do.

Featuring lead vocalist and drummer Anna Gevorkian and guitarist and backup vocalist Shaunt Sulahian, the duo craft intricate compositions that mix genres – including hard rock, world music, indie and acoustic rock – “to create a truly unique and dynamic atmosphere of sound,” Gervorkian says.

Satellite Citi’s newest single, “Rootless,” does exactly that. The song, she says, is about “being pulled from your roots and feeling stuck.”

“Musically, we had a big vocal melody idea to use for the chorus, giving the song it’s big presence.”

The video includes shoots in and around the Hollywood Hills with the ocean in the backdrop and cool fly overs with a drone. One of the duo’s videos “Rock Bottom” was featured in the Pomegranate Film Festival. Satellite Citi are influenced by artists such as Muse, The XX, Glen Hansard, A Perfect Circle, Massive Attack and Tool.

Satellite Citi on Soundcloud

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Telamor – Good Bad Love

The man behind the Telamor moniker – musician Tom Hauck – has appeared on IRC before with his springy, bright guitar and percussion-driven pop rock songs.

The prolific Boston area (Gloucester, the famous seaport town, to be exact) songwriter has just released his fifth album, Good Bad Love, featuring another batch of mixed 80’s genres like pop, new wave, alt. rock, indie rock, punk elements and even jerking rhythms (“Back and Forth”) influenced by bands like The Talking Heads.

The most likely accessible track on the album may just be a cover of Courtney Barnett’s irresistible “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to The Party.” All the elements of the song come together, and Hauck really captures the 1980’s. It’s interesting, I always felt the track has an incredible likeness to “What I Like About You” by The Romantics.

An astute music enthusiast will probably also pick up hints of The Kinks and The Knack as other clear influences. At times, some songs (“Human Performance” and “That Ain’t For Me”) have the over-the-top theatrical type of rock pop art of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At other times, as with the title track and “Nothing But Hope,” Hauck’s one-man band skills come shining through.

Listen: Telamor’s Good Bad Love

Jay Elle – Rising Tide

During this past summer, New York City singer, songwriter and guitarist Jay Elle made a bit of a buzz on college radio and on Soundcloud with the emotive folk rock song, “Twelve On Sunday,” amassing more than one million plays on Soundcloud alone. That is no small feat in the days of social media and music saturation.

Elle’s new album, Rising Tide, dropped earlier this month, straddling the musical spectrum of acoustic mellow tracks like the title track, the haunting “Twelve On Sunday,” and elements of pop, rock, blues and urban folk.

Rising Tide is rich with track after track of Elle’s soothing and passionate vocals, heartfelt lyrics, mixed genre instrumentation and unique guitar arrangements.

Jay Elle’s official website

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