Editor-in-Chief: Umar Khan (Music Director) firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor: Samantha Kosarzycki
Copy Editor: Jackson Sinnenberg
Associate Editors: Katrina Zheleznyak, Kristen Trivelli, Sean Stempler
Writers: Adam Dorko, Allie Prescott (WGTB General Manager), Allison Heymann, Benjamin Perotin, Darnell Bland, Elizabeth Coscia, Elizabeth Fink, Emily Min, Gabe Schuman (Music Director) James Wolfe, Johan Clarke, Joey Goodman, Julian Sena, Leslie Bergmann, Mary Ellen Funke, Matthew Fried, Michelle Zhou, Peter Kelly, Samantha Lin, Sam Wolter, Sarah Butler, Tess O'Connor, Tim Tsai
You may remember our dear friend and DC local musician Long Walks on the Beach, who has played our stage and who has played on our station many many times and who has no doubt played on repeat in your head, in your heart, in the deep recesses of your mind as you’re falling asleep, all thumping bass drums and jingle-jangling guitars, filling the empty dark room, building slowly from a beat, with smooth, even-keeled vocals: slow jam on a Saturday night.
As college students, living in a city like D.C. during the summer is great: we have constant access to incredible restaurants, concerts, art galleries, rooftop pool parties and, aside from our obligatory unpaid internships, very little holding us back from constantly indulging in any and all of these opportunities. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this world of $2 PBR happy hours and mirage-producing city streets and forget that there is a world out there where nature extends beyond the manmade realms of Roosevelt Island and the National Zoo. Read More »
It takes something special to stand out in the ever-deepening sea of mashups, remixes, and revampings that seem to have taken over the airwaves and internet-streams. It isn’t enough anymore just to play a few songs simultaneously—reworking a track is an art that should subtly enhance the original, while also bringing something new to the table, resulting in a unique, superior hybrid. A couple weeks ago when I first heard Labyrinth Ear’s souped-up rendition of Arthur Russell’s “This Is How We Walk on the Moon,” I felt like they accomplished just that. Read More »
Don’t let the name fool you: the music of Oregon Bike Trails’ Zach Yudin is more at home communing with warm breezes and soaking in the SoCal sunshine on the beaches of his native Santa Monica than it is getting tucked away on some backwoods bike trail in the Pacific Northwest gathering moss. Even among the scores of bands riding the beach wave, Oregon Bike Trails manages to stand out, forgoing fuzzed-out guitar riffs and instead getting toes tapping with rumbling waves of percussion and bounding bass. Drawing inspiration from ’60s surf pop groups, he layers on twinkling toy pianos and tambourines and pulls it all together with some tight Brian Wilson-tinged melodies. And, of course, no beachside bedroom project would be complete without a touch of reverb. While hitting the ‘verb too hard is often a means of masking sub-par vocal chops, Yudin’s use is just right. Airy echos complement his light, sunny harmonies without compromising the listeners’ understanding of his candid but clever narratives of lost high school love and lost days in the sand. Watch the video for “High School Lover” and more after the jump! Read More »
I like to say that I’m not really into surf/beach rock, but there’s something about finding tracks so pleasant in the deathly hallows of the blogosphere that is immediately encouraging. To be fair, Teen Daze isn’t a project that exclusively wades in this genre, but as the ever-mysterious Canadian points out on his tumblr, “I really came to fall in love with the whole lo-fi pop scene this summer, and I wanted to see what I could come up with. After writing ‘Let’s Fall Asleep Together’, the last three just sort of happened in the span of a few days.” His EP, now available for download at a price you see fit, holds that fluid, emotive quality of a work completed in a constricted amount of time. There is an uncharacteristic distance between Teen Daze and the listener, but the distance isn’t discouraging, it’s seductive. In the fuzz we find space to observe from safety and approach the material at a pace we’re comfortable with. Give it a try for yourself below:
Just like that triple decker German chocolate cake that your Grandma brings over every year for Thanksgiving, Yellow Ostrich is all about layers. Alex Schaaf, the man behind the bird, carefully builds his songs by laying out a simple foundation and then adding and subtracting different levels of loops to it. Hypnotic chants, tribal drum grooves, and infectious basslines, combine and intersect to create an undeniably catchy blend. Even the repetitive, image heavy lyrics (Whale, swim with me whale/We will go far into the sea) serve as just another organic ingredient adding towards the entire mixture. The listener is left with the choice to either follow these individual strands intently or step back from them in order to hear the songs as a whole. Both paths prove rewarding. Thus, Yellow Ostrich offers us an unique brand of indie pop that is simple and fun, while at the same time deep enough to get lost in. Sorry Big Bird, looks like we have a new oversized feathered friend on the block.
I’ll be honest: I picked Dirty Gold for no particular reason when I was skimming We Are Hunted. But I was glad I did. This San Diego based troupe describe themselves as Afro-Beat, Experimental, and Samba. And that’s pretty much all you’re going to get out of them. They’ve published only tiny, cryptic bits of information about themselves since dropping their single, “California Sunrise.” What is clear about them is that the lead singer has an infectious voice and the band has a subtle sense for percussion that combats the otherwise washed out aesthetic. Where other Surf Rock capitalizes on the cuteness of monotony, there is something soulful about Dirty Gold.
The thing with creating slow, atmospheric music is that it’s a risky endeavor. You ask the listener to step inside a song, not to just listen to it. For three or four minutes, you are breathing the music and seeing only what the song chooses to show you. It can just as easily be a heaven or a hell.
Luckily for Evenings, the Charlottesville based instrumentalist, he creates a world I would gladly spend hours in. The North Dorm EP captures a certain serenity. A peace with the world as it happens, when it happens. It isn’t pop, or even necessarily happy, but it is tensionless. Apathy is when you choose not to care, but Evenings claims there isn’t anything to care about, at least for the duration of these five songs. Just sit down, let the leaves fall, let the waves splash at your feet, and get worked up when there’s something to get worked up about.