Sonoma County folk group Rainbow Girls are making some of the North Bay’s most heartbreaking acoustic harmonies these days. Last spring, they drove this hardened reporter to tears during a performance at the Next Level showcase in Santa Rosa, and they continue to do so with their new batch of tunes, set to be released on the upcoming album American Dream early next year.
Such is the case with “The Folk Singer’s Contract,” a wistful rumination on a tangled web of a relationship. The above video of the song was recorded live along the New Orleans waterfront on a recent trip. Supported by gentle waves in the background, the trio shows off their vocal chops and emotional resonance on the new song. Just be prepared to grab a tissue for your tears.
In January, Rainbow Girls are taking the new songs on the road for a “Backwoods Tour” with soulful folk singer Caitlin Jemma that takes them from Bolinas to San Diego. Click here to see their upcoming dates and keep your eyes and ears peeled for news of American Dream‘s release.
Petaluma folk-rock quartet Trebuchet are finally out of the studio and ready to start unveiling their new sophomore album, Volte-Face, due out early next year. First up, Trebuchet premieres the album’s lead single, “A Confession,” which finds vocalist and songwriter Eliott Whitehurst delving deep into family memories and bringing back with him a questioning spirit.
Bolstered by harmonies from drummer Paul Haile, keyboardist Lauren Haile and bassist Navid Manoochehri, Whitehurst’s newfound lyrical longing is brought to life with slow-building acoustics expanding into a mellifluous choir. If “A Confession” is any indicator, Volte-Face looks to be a mature and introspective reckoning of an album.
Listen to the new single below, and see Trebuchet play a release show on Sunday, Dec 11, at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. That show also features new Bay Area band Mare Island, featuring members of Loma Prieta and The New Trust, and all proceeds will go to a benefit fundraiser for the victims of the recent Oakland warehouse fire. Next week, on Dec 18, Trebuchet plays their annual “A Very Trebuchet Christmas” concert in Petaluma, featuring them and several other North Bay acts performing Christmas covers and more.
Oakland indie-pop band Sugar Candy Mountain describe themselves as the Beach Boys on acid, and by the sound of their latest offering, that sums it up quite nicely.
The band’s sophomore album, 666, is due out in July. In advance of that beastly release, they’re letting us in on the record’s title track. It’s a head trip of sublimely drugged out and jangly laidback guitars and vocalist Ash Reiter – a Sebastopol native – singing an ode to Satanic summers in an ethereal tone.
Sugar Candy Mountain performs this Saturday, June 4, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol with Salt Suns and Indianna Hale. Get details here, and click on the box below to listen to “666” now.
Singer and songwriter Emily Jane White’s mysterious new album, They Moved in Shadow All Together, is already out in Europe, but fans here in the states have had to wait patiently to hear the latest from the darkly experimental Oakland-based artist and Fort Bragg native.
Until now, as White this week unveiled the lead single from the new record, “Frozen Garden.” The song is a lush and melodic journey through dense layers of instrumental textures, with White’s voice acting as a guiding light breathlessly leading the listener ever deeper into the tangled brush.
They Moved in Shadow All Together will be released in the US on June 10 through Talitres Records. Get your copy by clicking here.
Sonoma County songwriter Neem Wood mixes together shimmering electronics, soulful guitars and heartfelt lyrics for a compelling, emotional blend of indie rock and pop under the name Become the Villain.
Wood has a new album due to be released this weekend with a show at HopMonk in Sebastopol, and he has a preview of his latest work in the form a new single, “Slip Away,” that’s available to listen to right now.
Stylistically and sonically sophisticated, “Slip Away” features Wood’s soaring vocals and dark percussions with strong pop hooks and a cathartic chorus. Click on the track below; and catch Become the Villain tomorrow, Saturday Jan 23 at HopMonk, with other local luminaries Lungs and Limbs, Horses Heaven and Charley Peach. Details are here.
Last November, we went deep into the mind of alternative songwriter and longtime Sonoma County local John Trubee who’s spent a lifetime making music on the fringes of popular culture. Since the early 1980s, Trubee and his band the Ugly Janitors of America has challenged the masses and expressed an outsider view of a sick sad world with hilariously avant garde lyrics and sophisticated rock and roll melodies.
Living a self-prescribed heretic lifestyle in Santa Rosa, Trubee regularly records albums of material, yet he rarely performs live. So, it’s exciting to hear that Trubee will be emerging from his hideout and playing with the Ugly Janitors of America live, on the radio.
Stanford University radio station KZSU hosts the Ugly Janitors of America tomorrow night, Wednesday, Jan 20, for an in-studio performance that’s being billed as “Nifty Space Music & Outasight Surprises for the NOW GENERATION!”
Tune into the station via the world wide web at 9pm PST to hear Trubee and his cohorts get weird and wild. Unfamiliar with Trubee’s irreverent rock and roll? Get a taste by clicking on the box below.
Trubee Records can be found at johntrubee.com. To contact John Trubee about anything, email [email protected] or send snail mail to PO Box 4921, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Trubee reliably answers all inquiries.
Brand new North Bay electronic rock ensemble Night Shade made their offical aural debut this morning when they released their first-ever single, the haunting and hypnotic “Mother,” on their bandcamp page.
Made up of long time music makers Darwin Meiners, Emily Jane White and Derek Owen Doss, Night Shade’s dark, glassy synths and densely layered vocals here perfectly float over a swirling beat and single strained guitar chord.
Lyrically, “Mother” is longing and emotionally penetrating, as maternal figures are taken over by the mythos of patriarchy. Musically, the song builds in scope and urgency throughout with an ending that leaves you wanting more.
Hopefully, more is on the way soon from Night Shade. Stay tuned.
Northern California slacker-art house garage band the Imperfections fall somewhere between the Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth in the underground rock spectrum. Their heavy distortions screams rock and roll, yet their tight rhythms and addictive hooks display a pop sensibility that’s practically (college) radio friendly.
Active since 2013, the band already has two nicely fuzzed and noisy albums under their belt, and last month, the Imperfections released their latest single, “Maureen.” An upbeat and lo-fi ditty, this throwback power pop song is toe-tapping and sunny with an awesomely off-kilter guitar solo that gets slightly shoegazing.
Tonight, the band plays Spancky’s Bar in Cotati with fellow North bay acts Flyover States and Bucc Nyfe. You can get more details of the show by clicking here. And get in the mood by listening to the single below.
Since moving to Oakland, songwriter Ezra Furman has become a popular, though often enigmatic figure, in the Bay Area. As the leader of Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, or any of the many other collaborations the artist engages in, Furman delights with great songs and heartfelt delivery.
With a new album, Perpetual Motion People, released two months back on Bella Union, Furman today unveils a cover of the song “Androgynous” by the Replacements, one of five cover songs recorded for a special edition of the album that’s due out later this year.
Since Furman personally identities as gender-fluid, this new take on the classic 80s song written by Paul Westerberg speaks volumes about finding happiness any way you can. Listen to the track below, a simple shot of guitars and vocals that absolutely nails the emotion of the original.
I just couldn’t get going this morning. Between the cloudy skies and my comfy bed it took all my might to move. So, before I even ground up the coffee, I put on Bucc Nyfe.
The Santa Rosa punk rock trio gets my blood pumping and head rocking with their high energy rock and roll. Tight beats and heavy distortion shake the sleep from my eyes, while the emotionally-driven lyrics and nostalgic themes take me back to the days before I needed coffee to get going in the morning.
If you’re still sleepy, hit the track below and thank me later.
Tonight, Bucc Nyfe headlines an electrified show at 775 After Dark in Sebastopol with the help of rockers Bang! Bang! and Bumblin’ Bones. 7pm. $4.