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Alt Pop





Dance like nobody's watching to Dream Machine's "Sarajevo"

After sitting around in your house for too long, you might crave for something to get your blood flowing. Dream Machines have a new EP out called Trust/Desire with five tracks to get you out of your quarantine-induced stasis. Jamming out at the intersection of Prince, Hall & Oates, and Queen, Dream Machines take 80s rock and mash it with the future pop sounds of today. "Sarajevo", the lead track, introduces the EP with a heartbeat drum riff to get your body pumping. Then it throws in the energetic vocals of Harry May Kline and Luke Burba, along with some soulful synths and fiery guitars to send a shockwave to your brain. Fans of Ariel Pink, Drab Majesty, and Tame Impala will want to take a listen to "Sarajevo" below. - Will Sisskind





04.15: Alt-country songwriter A.W. opens live-streamed show for Future Teens

Experts say that we may not see another live concert until next fall, but that won't stop the most passionate from chasing their dreams of performing great music. Alt-country songwriter A.W., a major collaborator in the alternative scene, will perform live on Instagram on Wednesday, April 15th as an opener for Philly-based indie powerhouse Future Teens. A.W. has worked with artists and bands such as The Front Bottoms, The Wonder Years, and Chris Farren, and has released three full albums and several EPs of their own original music. As one of the key voices in the rising alt-country scene, A.W. is an act to watch, even if it's on the small screen for a while. Take a listen to their latest track, "Good Luck", which they released under the name Charlie Mtn., and don't miss their show on April 15th at 3:00 p.m. on the Instagram account @SmartPunkRecords. - Will Sisskind





Thurlowood quietly soundtracks the end on “Shells”

Conventional wisdom dictating the world will end not with a bang, but with a whimper, seems to be playing out famously, but at the very least we’ll get some good music out of it. New video “Shells” by New York “pre-apocalyptic electro indie rock” project Thurlowood is the latest to cover Armageddon in a quiet, dignified, and incredibly catchy manner. With the cool keys of a Nord Electro 6 and a rudimentary drum machine backing, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Thurlow Wood sings Cold War-era instructions to schoolchildren on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. Against a music video incorporating archive footage of a 1951 educational film, Wood’s haunting vocal delivery simultaneously emphasizes the futility of such directions were an actual tactical strike ordered on the United States, in addition to the fragility of our continued existence as a human species. Reminiscent of the Postal Service’s similarly depressive earworms and Ra Ra Riot circa 2013’s Beta Love, it’s a beautiful, harrowing single that’s a perfect soundtrack for our increasingly precarious times — give it a watch below, and stream new LP Discontinue Normal Program, out now. Photo by David Yang

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The Q-Tip Bandits are all class in debut record "Ain't It Great"

TGIF! For many reasons, but of the oh so many perhaps there is none as cheerful as the release of The Q-Tip Bandits’ debut EP Ain’t It Great. This sonic triple-threat is as sophisticated as we have come to expect from previous Q-Tip Bandits singles, but the jazz mousse is heavy atop the group’s upbeat indie rock/pop hybrid. The title track opens up with the brass instrumentation that characterizes the group, flowing slowly past the assertive electric guitar riff at the heart of the song, the build-ups bursting to reveal cheery choruses and festive breakdowns. “What’s Your Drug” lets the full bassline of Claire Davis lead the way as Leo Son’s vocals cleave with emotion, and then you know who you are listening to. Dakota Maykrantz' chic drums provide a rhythmic foundation that adapts and delivers though each hit of the snare the passion the music demands. “The Wolf” finishes an indie rock/pop delicacy of an EP that is a glossy calling card for the talented band. Listen to Maclin Tucker (trumpet), and Stephan Tenney (trombone) make their instruments howl in “The Wolf” streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Sophie Park





Wons Phreely + The Horses release new single "Restless To Run"

Wons Phreely + The Horses have created a breathtaking new piece of music for these claustrophobic times called "Restless To Run". The new single, with its crashing synths and singer Justin Wonsly's soaring voice, makes for a great wake-up track, a song to blast during a sanity walk down the block, or music for any occasion that needs a little brightness. The Australian singer-songwriter has come up in the LA scene over the past few years, sharing bills with Gotye and Bright Eyes; the band's videos have earned them spots on year-end best-of lists alongside Beyonce and Childish Gambino. The video for "Restless To Run" keeps things simple, consisting mostly of shots of Wonsly singing while playing the drums, but it does show off his musical prowess. Take a look for yourself down below. - Will Sisskind

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