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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Discoverer 137: new indie findings

Sometimes, the stars align and the trio of bands proposed are just so good it's a no-brainer for our discoverer series. That's the case today, so we prepared to enjoy!

Witching Waves. Hailing from London, UK, the band is the creation of vocalist/drummer Emma Wigham (Weird Menace) and vocalist/guitarist Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), who joined forces in April 2013 with a first tape arriving at the end of that same year by Supplex Cassettes. Two more tapes followed, a split covers tape with band As Ondas in 2014, and the 'Concrete' single tape that September, which anticipated the release of their first LP, 'Fear of Falling Down', out in December, as well as the signature with the always recommendable Soft Power Records, and the addition of Ed Shellard at the bass expanding the band to a trio. A couple of limited cassettes, including another split, now with Rattle, whom with they toured, has now preceded the arrival of sophomore album 'Crystal Cafe', out just now on Soft Power and our dear friends HHBTM Records. You should check it immediately, because their music is a sonic blast. Early Cure, Wire, Sonic Youth, Buzzcocks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pylon... you name it. Waves of noise, echoes of punk, a relentless urgency, a threatening edge, a fearless attitude, a mystery hiding in fuzz. An early MUST of 2016.

The High Violets. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, this unbeatable named band formed in 1998, from the ashes of the Bella Low breakup. Initially the trio of founder members Clint Sargent, Luke Strahota and Violet Bianca Grace, the line-up changed dramatically with Grace leaving very soon, while the remaining duo recruited Allen Davis of Echoplex and the amazing voice of Kaitlyn ni Donovan, self-releasing their first EP 'Dream Away' in 1999. In 2002 came out their mini-album '44 Down', followed by 'Invitation', another self-released EP, in 2005 and their debut album 'To Where You Are' a year later on Reverb Records. After a remixes album in 2007, the High Violets delivered 'Cinéma', sophomore LP in 2010, out via Comet Rock Records, probably their most celebrated release to date. Now, after another line-up change (Davis left, being replaced by Colin Sheridan) they are back with 'Heroes and Halos', scheduled for early April through Saint Marie Records. A record you shouldn't miss by any chance: a haunting collection of dreampop/shoegaze tunes recalling beloved ones like Slowdive, The Sundays or Soft Science, leaded by the magnetic vocals of Kaitlyn, the layered guitars and lush arrangements. Gorgeous sounds enveloped in haze.

Crescendo. And we end in L.A., California to meet the dreamgaze (half dreampop, half shoegaze) trio formed by Gregory Cole, Olive Kimoto and Jess Krichelle, expanded to a quintet in their latest incarnation (google cres·cen·do if you don't find enough info on them). They debuted in 2014 with self-released album 'Lost Thoughts' but now, with their sophomore release 'Unless', out now via our dear friends of the WWNBB collective, they are bound for greater things. A stomping yet ethereal collection of tunes, urgent and distant, melodic and fuelled by a very tight rhythm and light-years ahead vocals. Like a brighter and accelerated version of Wild Nothing or the Radio Dept, it's the sound of a collision, of a fast and enigmatic voyage, of adventure, rumble and endless excitement. It's the sound of the night, aiming to be lived. A crescendo of sonic wonders!

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