Author Archives: rarityinform

District Spotlight: Luray

Luray, Luray band, music, dc music, The Wilder, Promise of Lakes,

There is so much to be excited about in the DC music scene these days and I have no doubts in my mind saying that Luray will be at the forefront of the next wave of great DC artists. Anchored by DC-based singer/songwriter Shannon Carey, Luray are poised to take the next big leap with their upcoming debut LP, The Wilder (Aug 27).

Carey has bounced around the US throughout her musical career, adding depth and maturity to her sound with every stop. The end result is a breathtaking, banjo-laden, indie folk/rock that will be melting hearts for years to come. Luray takes their name from the Virginia town of Luray situated within the stunning landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley; an area that I have spent many years and left with countless memories. Carey’s time in Luray had a profound influence on the making of The Wilder.

“Promise of Lakes” has me floored. The rolling mood behind the track has dark beginnings which transform into a triumphant exclamation of hope. Carey’s vocals float like a mist, swirling in and out as the song progresses, eventually becoming the force that drives everything home.

I’m really hoping that “Kalorama” was inspired by the DC neighborhood right up the street from me. Carey’s country influence is heard the strongest on this track and the banjo truly shines within Luray’s brand of experimental indie folk. Luray will be playing an album release show in DC @ Sixth and I on August 24 and will be joined by the stellar DC/MD band kindlewood. You really cannot afford to miss this show. Enjoy!

Luray: Website | facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Tour


District Spotlight: GEMS – Sinking Stone

GEMS, GEMS band, Sinking Stone, dc music, new music, music

If you weren’t already sold on GEMS, Sinking Stone should have you more than convinced; this group has arrived, full throttle. The most recent single from this DC duo could very well be the cornerstone of their already impressive lineup. Sinking Stone has incredible, core-rattling depth that is driven ever deeper into the recesses of your soul via Lindsay Pitts’ dark and enchanting vocals. Stunning.

I highly recommend giving a listen to GEMS entire library of songs. In the sphere of the “chamber-pop” movement, I guarantee you will not find a band anywhere near this level. Hell, forget genres, GEMS are poised to be one of the best new bands of 2013. Being from DC, I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot from GEMS in the near future. Catch them on their mini east coast tour this month.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

July 20 – Philadelphia – Johnny Brenda’s *
July 22 – Washington, DC – Black Cat *
July 24 – Allston, MA – Great Scott *
July 25 – New York, NY – Pianos

(* = with Indians)

GEMS: Website | facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Tour

Introducing: My Body “New Cat”

My Body, My Body band, new cat, music, portland, brooklyn

It’s acceptable to fall in love with a song, right? K, good. Through lush synths and blissful vocals, My Body create a warming, dreamlike aura of sound. They may only have one song out right now, but I’m hooked.

New Cat, ambles along like a stroll through a moonlit beach tide. My Body’s debut single cradles you into a your own private moment of swoon… and I’m forever in love.

My Body, a product of Portland has since relocated to Brooklyn. They will be touring the west coast this summer to showcase their debut EP. Can’t wait for more from these guys. Enjoy!

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Free Download: Charity Children “Empty Vicious Nights”

Charity Children, Charity Children band, music, Empty Vicious Nights, Elizabeth

A few months back I was raving about Charity Children and their stunning debut single. Elizabeth went on to win Best Song at the Berlin Music Video Awards and has been breaking hearts ever since. The wait for another song has admittedly kept me up nights; but worry not, it’s here.

Empty Vicious Nights is another deeply personal message which touches on the feeling internal dread as a relationship silently spins out of control. The lyrics amplify the mind running wild with dark thoughts as suspicions turn into an enclosed madness. I think the band’s summary really drives the meaning home:

Worse than the pain of knowing, is to not. ‘Empty Vicious Nights’ is a tale of a housewife’s descent into madness as she questions her husband’s fidelity. Thick, pulsating strings and hypnotic beat drive the anguished vocals to crescendo – as the song builds, sanity departs.

Chloë Lewer and Elliott McKee have found something in each other. Something rare and beautiful. In a time of cookie cutter bands with rented sounds, Charity Children do more than break the mold. Their synergy drives their sound and any thought of genre or type is lost once you hear the music.

Empty Vicious Nights is the second single from Charity Children’s debut LP The Autumn Came, due out July 11 via Berlin’s Money Records. If the first two songs are any indication, we can expect more heartbreak and soul-searching ahead. You can preorder the album over at bandcamp. Something I strongly encourage everyone to do.

Charity Children: Website | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

San Fermin – Sonsick

San Fermin, San Fermin band, Sonsick, music,

If you don’t already know about this band, you will, very very soon. San Fermin is the brainchild of Brooklyn composer/songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone and is described as “a pastiche of post-rock, chamber-pop and contemporary classical composition.”  Indeed! San Fermin create a charming balance within all of these areas of influence to deliver a sound that is equal parts addicting and ambitious.

Granted, I only have this one track for reference. But if anything is to be hinted at from Sonsick, I’m sure we’ll be hearing big things from San Fermin in the immediate future.

They are opening up for Villagers in a handful of upcoming shows on the east coast; including DC at Rock N Roll Hotel Thursday June 13. Tickets! Their debut, self-titled album will be out via Downtown Records this fall.

Generationals – Heza

Generationals, generationals band, Heza, Put a Light On, music

The air surrounding Generationals music can only be described as a utopia of bliss. With seemingly little effort, this duo from New Orleans combines contrasting areas of the indie soundscape into a mastery of uninhibited swoon. I’m not altogether clear on what that means but listen to the album and tell me I’m not right.

Heza is a pysch-pop trailblazer driven by airy guitar riffs crossed ever so pleasantly with genre bending synths. This album essentially achieves the opposite of heavy; resulting in an experience that literally leaves your mind tingling. You Got Me and Put a Light On pack a one-two punch that spreads energy throughout the entire album. Seriously. Watch this video and there’s no way you’re not dancing like the whitest person you know in seconds. Welcome to the shortlist for album of the year, Heza. Tell your friends.

Luckily, for my local readers, Generationals are playing shows in Richmond and DC this month. Catch them at Strange Matter (RVA) and Rock N Roll Hotel (DC) 4/16 & 4/17, respectfully. Heza is out now in the US via PolyVinyl. Get your copy here!

Generationals: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tour

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor)

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, If you didn't see me you weren't on the dancefloor

The year+ following Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr’s 2011 release of It’s A Corporate World was filled with all sorts experimental forays into different musical mediums. Whether it was DJ’ing or dominating the remix, all of that time has led up to this very exciting next step for the dynamic duo out of Detroit.

If You Didn’t See Me bombards us with DEJJ’s trademarked charm and energy. All of their basement mix mastering has clearly payed off here. This song has the feel of love and care that only comes from years of perfecting a craft. Layered and looped and ever-changing, it’s likely we won’t here anything better than this all year… at least until the next single.

This is addicting. Like, I just got an advance on my next pay check to score as much of this song as possible. So please pardon my brevity in this review as I will likely be huddled in SoundCloud for the next few days waiting for more Jr Jr.

Having already seen DEJJ live four times, I already cannot wait for them to tour with the new material. Keep posted to their site for tour updates and news on their upcoming EP Patterns, due out April 16!

Website | Facebook | SoundCloud | Tour | Twitter

The Magnetic North

The Magnetic North, Magnetic North band, Orkney, Orkney symphony, music

This band has me some kind of addicted. I’m on a two listen a day pace for this album and I don’t see that letting up anytime soon.

I aimlessly stumbled upon The Magnetic North and was instantly mesmerized by the dynamic reach exhibited through their sound. The symphonic aura that builds and cascades throughout is met with staunchly unpredictable twists in direction that blew me off my feet. Well, I was likely already seated, but let’s just say that would be the safer way to listen to this beautiful compilation.

Orkney: Symphony of the Magnetic North is painstakingly etched with haunting melodies that paint a mood of mystery and wonderment. The namesake for the album is inspired by the homeland of the band, the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. Having almost zero geological knowledge of Orkney, I have to assume it is a majestic and unpredictable land, fraught with a frightening beauty.

As far as headphone candy goes, there are few recent releases that will top this album. Might I add that Hannah Peel puts my anxiety at ease with her heavenly soft voice. As always, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. The Magnetic North’s sophomore album is out now via UK’s Full Time Hobby records.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Label

Charity Children – Elizabeth

Charity Children, Elizabeth, Berlin, Charity Children Band

Blog mates over at Alphabet Bands may have introduced me to one of the breakout bands of the year and the next big thing… I just had to share with my readers. Oh mighty wind!! Charity Children have that immediate chemistry that cannot be explained. And I’ve had this feeling before; when I first heard bands like Of Monsters and Men, Bon Iver, alt-J. See a trend? Yea, they’re all blown up or currently blowing up.

This song… ahh! Elizabeth is certainly one of the more heartbreaking experiences of recent memory; one that is sure to resonate deeply and painfully with so many. The strained harmonies of Chloë Lewer and Elliott McKee combine with an ambitious wave of instrumentation that hits with such astonishing force you will literally feel the breath escaping from your gaping mouth. Sincere and transparent lyrics are driven by a sweet, folky energy that captures what it means to be alive. Life’s difficult lessons are not lost in Elizabeth, yet are belted in a triumphant exclamation.

Charity Children are based in Berlin and will surely be spreading their reach far across the globe in the coming months. Currently, all we have from these two is the distinct privilege of enjoying this truly beautiful song over and over again. Though, I do not expect this group to remain quiet for long. Elizabeth is available for free download from the group’s SoundCloud page.

Stellar music video ATJ…

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