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May 2015
Pop and Obachan
"Dream Soup
"
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Dreaming has always been a prerogative of the young. But seeing the raising wave of dreamy NYC based bands, we start to wonder if dreaming becomes a necessity for those who choose to settle in that post-industrial wasteland that is "non affluent Brooklyn." Or maybe it's the other way around: would anobody who doesn't have a dream to nurture settle in a place like Bushwick? Whichever the answer, that gray urban ugliness is producing many colorful psychedelic flowers. One of them is Pop and Obachan, a duo that, in just over a year of existence, released two EPs that show a radical metamorphoses - one that veers towards dreaminess. Their debut EP 'Unfurl' was a modest, sparse and sleepy alt folk record featuring just voice, ukelele and acoustic guitar. Its melodies and chord progressions owe a lot to the roots of American music. But this year's 'Dream Soup' sees the band entirely transformed - and for the better. An enriched instrumentation - now featuring also drum machine, keyboards and electric guitar - supports, through inventive arrangements, some truly imaginative and personal dream-pop songwriting. The highlights are opener 'Holly' and 'Dry Land,' with their impressionistic sound, beautifully whimsical melodies, and perfectly balanced production. If this is what "non affluent Brooklyn" can do to a band in one year, there's definitely nothing wrong with it, no matter how expensive the rent is.

 
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The Stone Foxes Release New Album February 12th, Rock SXSW March 15th

The Stone Foxes Release New Album February 12th, Rock SXSW March 15th

Like contemporaries The Black Keys, The Steepwater Band, and The Black Angels, SF’s The Stone Foxes summon the days of hard-driven blues-rock.

Their full-length album Small Fires, set to release February 12th, is suffused with fuzzy guitar riffs, heavy, seductive vocals and dark, simple choruses. Their single “Everybody Knows” alludes to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” weaving a sinister theme into a hard-hitting, disconsolate song. Small Fires delivers as pure a dose of rock as can be found today—gritty, spacious, and to-the-point.

Check them out at Amoeba Records on the 12th or in Oakland at the New Parish Music Hall on the 13th. - Tina Aita

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