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Dec 7

Saint Pepsi

One of the great strengths of Ryan DeRobertis aka SAINT PEPSI (whom we named a Band To Watch) is his sheer enthusiasm for music. If you look at SAINT PEPSI’s Facebook page you’ll find more links to other artists’ songs than his own. Sometimes the posts can be hints as to what’s influencing him, but usually it’s just something he loved and felt compelled to share. That enthusiasm sticks out so strongly, and as this new single “Unhappy” proves, it connects with his own music beautifully.

While his stunning re-imagining of “Call Me Maybe” turned a fun, flirty pop song into a desperate lonely plea, the folk-electronica of “Unhappy” does the reverse with ’90s emo-legends American Football. American Football’s “The Summer Ends” is a total heartbreaker, one of the best tracks in their all too short discography, yet SAINT PEPSI turns it inside out. DeRobertis finds just the right moments to loop, tweak, and warp to make his track into a blissful, hopeful piece of music. It’s an excellent song and only has me excited for what he’ll do next. Listen below.”



Total Slacker

“The usual rule of thumb when you see a band getting the shoegaze tag is that they’re going to sound pretty, and ethereal, and gauzy. None of those things apply to recent Black Bell signee Total Slacker. Their new single, “Sometimes You Gotta Die,” is anxious, creepy, and ugly even as it whips itself up into these mountains of guitar noises. Tucker Rountree and Dave Tassy’s guitars take turns dive-bombing into one another over a rhythm section (courtesy of bassist Emily Oppenheimer and drummer Zoë Brecher) that’s all slasher-movie menace.

It’s a brutal song and one that makes it impossible not to think of Terence Connor, the band’s former drummer who was killed in a hit-and-run almost exactly one year ago. Rather than letting the tragedy break them up, the band reconvened less than two months later and began recording Slip Away, a record that sounds like it’s carrying all of the pain from that event, but without sacrificing their humor (the band still lists itself as “slimegaze” on Facebook). The full album won’t be coming out until next year, but this track is a promising sign of what’s to come.”


Diamond Bones

“Influenced by dreams of past and future, Diamond Bones creates something in between psychedelic electro & shoegaze pop music, rooted in raw emotion. Their songs invite you in with hypnotic rhythms and gripping melodies, and charm you with haunting lyrics that convey unfeigned experience.”