Lilac Sun: Shadow

Liliac Sun

Lilac Sun is an experimental bedroom pop band from Harrisonburg, VA. First and foremost, this is a beautiful collection of songs. Brutally honest, brimming with sincerity and sadness, Lilac Sun is one of the most unique and interesting local acts I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. These songs are complex and layered, full of emotion and a passionate, wistful longing. Lilac Sun delves into the unspoken and ugly truth of life. The frailty of existence, and acknowledging the isolation of modern life. These are my favorite kinds of songs. Written out of necessity, to silence the howling storms that keep us awake at night. There’s also a subtle reassuring quality to Lilac Sun. The vocals work is astounding. The harmonies harken back to the smooth psychedelia of the late 60’s and 70’s, it takes a lot of expertise to compose songs that feel like instant classics on the first listen. Lilac Sun is a band worth admiration, the determination and brutal vulnerability they bring to the local music world will not soon be forgotten.

 

Listen here: https://lilacsun.bandcamp.com/album/shadow

Lilac Sun: Shadow

Herschel Hoover: High Grade Migraine

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Herschel Hoover is an indie rock band from Washington, D.C.

As this recording begins it seems to be more on the gentle or mellow side. That’s really not accurate though, as this album goes on it starts to become ominous, introspective and otherworldly. Every song on High Grade Migraine has a serene and impassioned mood.  Herschel Hoover expertly builds the intensity and magnitude as the tracks go on, it’s quite well orchestrated, it’s clear that Herschel Hoover is a very creative songwriter. The music is upbeat and exciting throughout, but still has its moments of serenity and sorrow.

One of the standouts on this is “lush”. It is a stellar song, peaceful and laid back. There are so many well written songs on this album, and there are so many differences between them it’s worth listening to High Grade Migraine more than once to take everything in. There are some emotional peaks and more quiet and introspective motions, but that makes the whole thing feel more cohesive and original. In some cases, the more difficult music is to define, the more artistic and creative tends to be. Herschel Hoover has all the sadness and anger of the punk and indie rock scene while being different and weird enough that his music still feels distinct and contemporary. The fury is earnest in the many heavy breakdowns of the latter half of these recordings, there’s real emotion stands out in a profound way.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to see Herschel Hoover perform live, and he puts on a great show every time.

For show listings and more information about Herschel Hoover, visit http://www.herschelhoover.com

Herschel Hoover: High Grade Migraine

Tomato Dodgers: Standing In The Soup Line (Featuring Antihero)

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Tomato Dodgers are a psychedelic funk prog who even knows anymore band from College Park, MD. Ketchup Chemtrails is an old favorite at Glory In Sound, and something I still listen to regularly. There’s a timeless quality to this band, it’s something about the brutally honest mixture of pain, excitement, and a giant party.  Standing In The Soup Line confirms what many longtime T.D. fans already knew, Tomato Dodgers have an endless well of talent and creativity that they can pull from. Sometimes as bands go on through the years the passion starts to fade, but it seems that time has made Tomato Dodgers better, more innovative and sophisticated while still somewhere on the boundary of psychedelic and psychotic. As expected, every musician playing on this single destroys their line. At the time of writing I’ve listened to this song at least 6 times, and there’s still more to hear.

Any great work of art, be it in the medium of paint or music, deserves to be looked at again and again. The guest vocals add another layer of intensity and excitement to Standing In The Soup Line, it’s an captivating way of mixing things up and building intensity. The lineup for this single shows a new direction for Tomato Dodgers, but it’s all moving in a satisfying direction. Asher’s slightly psychotic vocals are still the stand out in this track, building to a raucous chorus of distortion and fuzz. Tera absolutely destroys in her backing vocals on this song, her voice is dynamic and comeplling. There’s no divide in the level of vocal talent and instrumental talent. This single is exceptional. It’s cheap, insanely catchy, and the imaginative inventive nature of Tomato Dodgers is astonishing. If you can, support Tomato Dodgers and their work. They host a lot of great shows, support touring bands, provide a safe place for people to have a good time and even have their own label. They bring people out to shows, tour regularly and a multitude of other undertakings. There’s no doubt about their passion and work ethic, and with that in mind I am eagerly waiting for more from Tomato Dodgers. There’s a lot to look forward to.

 

Listen here: https://tomatododgers.bandcamp.com/

Tomato Dodgers: Standing In The Soup Line (Featuring Antihero)

The Duskwhales: Sorrowful Mysteries

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The Duskwhales are an indie pop band from Washington, D.C.

Upbeat and full of dynamism, I’ve never heard a band quite so jubilant about feeling dismal. It’s not  an unexplored territory in the indie pop scene, but The Duskwhales come across such with a palpable honesty in their writing and composition. The hooks on this album are infectious, and have the potential to stay with the listener for a long time.  The songs are well composed musically, with exemplary percussion, keys, and guitar lines in every song.  This band just feels so together. It’s clear that The Duskwhales are experienced composers, and this album highlights all of their skill and hard work. The architectural structures of the melodies are dazzling. The vocals are forceful and symphonic. Sorrowful Mysteries also has a really pleasant flow as the album goes on.

The Duskwhales have taken all the good pop and indie sensibilities of the last forty or fifty years and condensed them into an album. It’s safe to say that there’s something for everyone on this album. It’s very easy to get absorbed in this music, spellbound by tenderness and melancholy. If you’re into Alt-J, Passion Pit, countless 80’s new wave, Tame Impala, or just looking for some good party music, look no further.

The Duskwhales are one of the more prominent local acts from the D.C. area. and are quite prolific with both the amount of shows and touring they go through. They have also been around for a long time, putting out their first release back in 2012. If you haven’t heard Sorrowful Mysteries, give it a listen soon. Then listen to it again when you can’t get, “In the Year of Jubilee,” out of your head. Also go see them live, they have many many shows all up and down the east coast and I’m sure they would love to see you there!

 

Listen here: https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/

 

Review by: J.O.

The Duskwhales: Sorrowful Mysteries

Little Lungs: Self Titled EP

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Little Lungs is an indie rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. There’s something about this release that makes it stand out. It’s all about feeling, and thoughts. The expressions of love, pain, rejection, and hope. The second track, “Parliament,” is one of the most magnificent songs on this release. It really has an exceptional sound. The way the guitar leads flow with the vocals in this song, makes for a stunning composition. There’s a lot to be said about knowing when to step back, the ebb and flow of these songs. I think that can partially be attributed to the fantastic mixing on this release. Little Lungs sounds tremendous from start to end. There’s an impressive amount of variety on this EP, no two songs sound the same. Each track is it’s own story, a chronicle of pain, irritation, and tenderness.

What I’m reminded of most when listening to Little Lungs, if I were to compare it to something mainstream would be a combination of My Morning Jacket and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They definitely have their own voice though, and the unique resonance that can only come from authentic, passionate songwriting. As remarkable as anything else on this album, the compositions in every song stand out. They are all quite memorable and . All the tracks on this EP have very tight hooks and melodies, while  also maintaining that organic feeling of being quite intimate. Every member of this band is extremely capable, proficient, and precise. Little Lungs is the kind of band that you’ll be in the mood to listen to several times. “Parliament,” was my favorite track. Everything from the lyrics, the drums, the bass  and the arrangement is so satisfying to listen to. Check out Little Lungs if you haven’t already, and support their talent!

Listen here:  https://little-lungs.bandcamp.com/album/little-lungs/

Little Lungs: Self Titled EP

To The Moon: Travel Music

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To The Moon is a three piece instrumental band from Baltimore, MD. Travel Music of 2017 will be their second release, and first with the current lineup. The album opens with space and mystery, building to a forward sound driven by the drums and bass. The minimalist sound lends to an atmosphere for clarity; each player is heard unmistakably, and contributes something invaluable to the sound. The songs are curious and experimental, adventurous and bold.

There is something on the edge of heaviness in songs like “Blood Orange,” and in the title track. These march at a steady, driving pace, determined to get some mission accomplished- possibly incognito. Some tracks could be in scenes of a modern day spy or action movie where the characters are definitely wearing sunglasses. Travel Music is goofy at times and very straightforward. But the guitar effects and edgy bass lines contain subtle dark undertones throughout, hinting at something thrilling and dangerous that is just beneath the surface. “Aliceanna” layers that with guitar and bass harmonies, and a screaming guitar solo that is so right.

Listen here: http://tothemoonband.com/

-W.P.

To The Moon: Travel Music

Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima: God Bless America

twelchTristan Welch is an ambient, free jazz drone project from Washington, D.C.  I have never heard any kind of music like this before. It’s always an exciting feeling of discovery, to open your ears and mind to a new sound. People sometimes can become jaded, feeling that with all the songs already written, it’s not worth going out of one’s comfort zone. Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima have developed a sound that’s hard to stop listening to. It’s bold, creative and at times mesmerizing. Ron Oshima plays jazz inspired Saxophone over the dark and menacing guitar by Tristan Welch. The languid soundscapes provided by Tristan add more than just a background. He is holding the rhythm, building the foundation of everything boundlessly.

Something that stands out right away, before the music even starts is that this release only has three songs. Not out of the ordinary for an EP, but it’s the length that caught my attention. Each song lasting somewhere between 11-14 minutes. It made me curious, and by the time I had moved from “God,” to “Bless”, I felt very relaxed. “Bless” has a more relaxed feeling than the first track (God). This album is all about movement. The way the songs move in key, the way the saxophone moves in step while being played with professionalism and unreserved skill.

As the album closes with the serene aloof patterns only the key of A can give, I realized something else. This music makes me think about my life. About my own creativity,  and how to be brave in composition. Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima have made an album that has a broad appeal. God Bless America, by the time I had moved all the way to the end left me feeling halcyon and placid. It’s an experience worth having.

 

Listen here: https://tristanwelch.bandcamp.com/

Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima: God Bless America