Monthly Archives: September 2012

Introducing: Bears and Dolls

Bears and Dolls, Bears and Dolls band, Mr. Wolf, Mad As Me, Perth music

People, there’s a new group out of Perth called Bears and Dolls. What’s even better is they pretty much kill it on a regular basis. Indie-pop is their game and they are every bit as strange and quirky as their tumblr page would lead you to believe. No, literally, their posts leave me terrified, bemused, and full of giggles – all in the same instant. I can only imagine hanging out with these guys is a constant battle of one-upmanship in the epic game of WTF!?

It’s this sort of approach that makes their music shine. As a six-piece ensemble, they cover just about every instrument grouping you could imagine, often all in just one song. Their sound is uber creative and melds perfectly with Brooke Wilkie’s ethereal vocal delivery. She must be like some kind of human bear angel doll hybrid. Just spit-balling here, guys. Back to the music. It’s crisp and never predictable. I’ve listened through all of their stuff about a dozen times and every go around, it’s like I’m hearing the songs for the first time. I know that reads like a greeting card, but back off, it’s true.

You can download these two singles of the Bears and Dolls Facebook. Make sure you follow them in all social outlets to be there when this band inevitably goes global on us.


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Paul Banks – The Base

Paul Banks, Julian Plenti, Interpol, The Base, Paul Banks Band, Matador

I have already shared this track unofficially and everyone seems to agree, it’s certifiably the shit. Paul Banks is the head man for Interpol and was previously shopping a solo venture under the name Julian Plenti. Whatever he feels like calling himself, Banks will do just fine if he continues to build upon the infectious momentum he stroked with The Base.

This track is beautiful. At first, you won’t be able to realize it’s like three songs in one. There is some organized chaos going on behind the scenes which is all tied together in one diamond encrusted package. Seriously, this shit glitters.

Paul Banks – The Base
[audio http://www.matadorrecords.com/mpeg/paul_banks/paul_banks_the_base.mp3]

It’s not fair we only have one track after such a tease. Luckily the album is not too far around the bend, with an expected release date of Oct 22 via Matador; pre-order now. And thank the stars I decided to write this up because Banks has just posted some fall tour dates. For all my DC loves, he’s hitting the Howard Theater Nov 9. Swoon!

Opening Discoveries: JBM

Everyone please welcome Opening Discoveries to the RIF lineup! This segment will focus artists discovered as opening acts for shows in the DC area. I attribute many of my finds (Milo Greene, Dry the River , etc.) to checking out opening acts before going to a show. This week I’d like to introduce JBM, who will be opening for alt-J this weekend (9/15) at Rock N Roll Hotel (sorry, tickets sold out).

Jesse Merchant is the man, the mystery behind JBM. Stray Ashes is the sophomore album from Merchant released through Western Vinyl. JBM’s songs of love and loss will leave your heart aching for every person/memory/moment that you’ve ever missed. All of the sudden you’ll smell their hair and feel the breeze. In that instant, some distant past drives back to the forefront bringing old bruises along the way. The stories in Merchant’s songs are powerful and painful yet delivered with a warming tenderness.

I absolutely love the intimacy that comes through Merchant’s delivery. I can’t help but draw comparisons to My Morning Jacket as I go through Stray Ashes. Check out the a live studio recording of Winter Ghosts about and be sure to catch JBM whenever they stop through your town. Keep on discovering!

JBM – Winter Ghosts

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