Premiere: Rose Room's New Single “Fighting Feeling" Will Dig Into Your Bones

By: Julia Talen

Self-proclaimed “electronic soul duo” Rose Room recently finished up recording 7 singles, which they’ve been periodically issuing. In their latest release, “Fighting Feeling,” the Boulder/L.A.-based pair, Thomas LaFond and Dmitry Bolotny, have sculpted an alluring tune with delightful influences (think Childish Gambino and Glass Animals). 

The single opens up with LaFond’s smooth, breathy vocals, backed up by Bolotny’s funky, electronic keys. When the chorus hits, LaFond’s sexy vocal range shines through, as instrumentals pick up and the song takes off with the catchy lyrics, “Some inclinations bout the world you built for them/ you took too much/ you took too much.” 

Rose Room.

Rose Room.

The song unfolds into a narration about feelings; addictive feelings that entice and strangle. The track seems to follow a subject, and a voice hangs about which offers commentary that the subject is running from something. That sort of inner voice resounds throughout the tune instrumentally, as LaFord and Bolotony layer and escalate their instrumentals and vocals incorporating all sorts of stirring and soulful nodes.

After the second chorus, the song dives into a bridge that pulls listeners under. It’s murky and feels like we’re submerged below water, coming down from something. As the song continues, we swim up and the instrumentals and crescendo toward a soulful choral burst of air, booming the lyrics from that inner voice, “I know just what you need.” Is it a reprieve from the feelings? Is it facing the feelings? The track leaves this ambiguous, but its groovy vibe traverses many musical terrains and digs deep into your bones. You’ll want to listen again right away, so don’t be afraid to hit that repeat button.

The track’s out today! Keep up with Rose Room here.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The End of an Era: Warped Tour Comes to a Final Close at California's Shoreline Amphitheatre

By: Nathan Sheppard

It’s hard to put into words what Warped Tour has meant to so many people over its 25 years of hot summer days in parking lots around the country. Founder Kevin Lyman saw an opening to start a new type of festival to highlight less mainstream acts and ended up launching artists like No Doubt and Katy Perry to stardom, and opening doors for punk rockers like Blink-182 to become one of the biggest bands in the world.

Circa Survive.

Circa Survive.

For two generations of punk, rebel, and emo kids, Warped Tour was a place where they could come together as a community and listen to their favorite artists. It’s essentially the music equivalent of running away to the circus for a day, or for a summer for some. Kevin Lyman said that for the final WT shows of 2019, he wanted to, “Bring the atmosphere of a classic Warped Tour show, but on a scale that our fans simply could not get with a national tour. The bands, the special attractions, everything – we want to bring back elements that have made the Warped Tour, Warped Tour, over the past 25 years.” And he did just that.

For the final shows in California this month, Lyman stayed true to his word and transformed yet another parking lot into a classic Warped Tour by bringing back two of the original acts from the first ‘95 tour, Face To Face and Quicksand. Many of the artists that were pushed into the mainstream thanks to Warped Tour joined for the finale show as well, including Simple Plan, Sum 41, and Silverstein. Warped Tour still maintained its discovery roots though, booking lesser-known artists like The World Over and Street Drum Corps along with WT greats. It was truly the best way to end such an iconic and meaningful part of people’s summers, and it goes without saying that Warped Tour has left a legacy and had a major impact on today's music and festival culture. While it was the ending of Warped Tour in name, here’s to hoping that it might be resurrected in some form, what Lyman decides that may be. And if it is, you bet we’ll be there.

See more photos from the festival here.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Music Festival Returns for a Second Year to Perris Beach, CA

By: Benjamin Tillis

After a successful inaugural year of the Southern California music festival, Same Same But Different (SSBD), we are excited to see that the two-day arts and music event is returning for a second year. Taking place September 20 and 21 at Perris Beach, CA, which IS 90 minutes from both Los Angeles and San Diego, SSBD just released its funk and jam focused musical lineup, and now we simply cannot wait to attend.

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The weekend’s headliners are Baauer and Beats Antique, and they will be joined by Turkauz, Exmag, Cofresi, Megan Hamilton, and CAPYAC. Beats Antique is a favorite on the list, an electronic trio that incorporates sounds from all over the world with a focus on Middle Eastern beats. David Satori, who plays guitar among many other instruments for Beats Antique, also performed at last year’s Same Same But Different as part of his other musical project, Dirtwire.

There are other names from last year’s lineup that are returning this year, and we’re not sad about it! Those names include, CAPYAC, an LA-based funk band that plays to a beat of its own, Fashion Jackson, a San Diego-based garage pop group who gained our fandom last year when they played their rock-heavy but humorous song “Gossamer,” and MDRN HSTRY, another group out of San Diego that plays surf rock.

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With just one band or artist playing on one of two stages at a time, SSBD is unique in that you can truly see every artist if you want to. And the crowd is very small, so you never have a bad seat or feel too crowded. On top of that, Same Same takes place on a beautiful beach under the California sun. What else can you ask for from a music festival?

We are very excited about this year’s festival and are already counting down the days! For more information, visit the fest’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Emissions Festival in Belden Town, California Was Full of Surprise Vibes

By: Taj Leahy

When a friend decided that I simply must join her at a so-called “bass festival,” I at once figured it was not where I wanted to be. Why? I judged the whole thing to be a hyper-masculine meat market with a shitty sound system and profanities on perpetual loop. But surprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed. It was nothing like that at all. In fact, I had the time of my life, and this “dirt rave” was one of the best parties this old raver has been to in a long time.

Emissions Festival.

Emissions Festival.

With a rocksolid vibe and a fairly insane sound system, Emissions Festival is a gem of an event. Held in the old mining and logging town of Belden, CA, the setting is idyllic as well. The Belden Town Resort is a sprawling building with a restaurant, mercantile, and hotel. The lengthy bar has surely seen and heard many a story, though I didn’t get to add any of my own. Most of the “town” seems to be held up by this single lodge on the banks of the mighty Feather River.

Oddly enough, this oft-used festival site is also a known stopover on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It’s not hard to imagine taking to foot in this lush country. Everywhere you look is either soaring canyon walls, rivulets making their way to the Feather, or some other natural feature reminding you of nature’s enormity and grandeur. It’s little wonder that this area was chosen to be a part of the PCT, though it’s hard to imagine a hiker on a months-long trek pulling into a dirt rave like Emissions. They’d find everything but a respite. The bass cranks all night long; it rattles your waking hours as well as your dreams. Pots and pans vibrate off of stoves. It’s bonkers.

Belden.

Belden.

Another factor that was outside of reckoning was the multitude of Black people at this event. It came as a welcome surprise. Too often, I am one of a handful, and that’s being nice. Honestly, I am more often than not one of perhaps two Black people at a rave. This phenomenon is so normal, and the opposite was so true at Emissions, that when we melinated people did cross each other’s paths, it was hard not to acknowledge it. One Black raver, after commenting on my outfit for the day, pulled down his sunglasses and issued forth a simple and complete statement, “Black people!”

Yes indeed. Judgment be damned. This dirt rave was nothing that I expected, save for the prevalent use of n*gger and b*tch used in the stripped-down and non-melodic music. To be fair, the music didn’t all sound the same, but the genre itself is styled off of Trap music, which is a style of rap with an emphasis on sparse lyrics and a high attention to bass. The funny part is hearing White people play and love this style of music, knowing that it comes from “The Hood” and that it directly contributes to the detriment of Black people, as well as women in general. But I digress.

Speaking of degrading women for sport, the skin at this event was enough to work everyone into a frenzy. But the kicker was that never, not once did this event feel like a meat market, as I had earlier feared. In fact, from the production team to the average partier, everyone I met said that this rave felt “safe.” These days, that’s an important factor. “It’s so good not to have to fight someone off every five minutes,” said one raver to the nods and exclamations of her female friends standing nearby.

Bass. Photo Credit: Audrey A.

Bass. Photo Credit: Audrey A.

Then it hit me: there was something about this party that seemed so good. Partly, I accredit it to being such a small event; they cap the ticket sales at around 600. Coupled with the small area in which the rave takes place, you end up seeing everyone over and over again. It’s ripe for a good time and you can make rave buddies and keep interacting with them for literally days, which took the edge off. Even with the hefty amount of drug use around, most people seemed happy and willing to be there together. Instead of women hiding from men and people lurking, there were spontaneous dance groups and speaker piles, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the 90s. Yes, I’m that old. Yes, I’m still raving.

Rave franz.

Rave franz.

This rave was bliss; ecstasy even. When it was time to go, I found myself sad to leave the new dancer buddies I’d met, which really was a good feeling. The couple of “bromances” I had at Emissions left me feeling very differently than I had expected when first invited to come to this dirt rave in the forest. The plain of it is that I barely want to tell anyone about this festival, but I’ve made an exception for you dear reader. Emissions was such a good party that I’d hate to have it spoiled by too much notoriety.

That said, everyone is welcome, and I myself would love to see Belden from the vantage of a hiker on the PCT. Once again I was reminded of what the raver gods teach us: that all are welcome and that music is life. Life indeed is music, if only we are willing to let it play and be open to its many forms. Everyone is welcome on the dance floor no matter if they have a hiking stick or a Thai stick. Emissions in Belden Town is the place to be.

Learn more about Emissions here.

-Taj

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.    

Joshua Tree Music Festival is an Oasis for All

By: Moriel O'Connor

I was in Youssoupha Sidibe's vintage aluminum artist trailer, listening to the Kora and drinking coffee with Senegalese spice. I had lost my voice from singing higher than ever before. Raspy and sandy, I sat in reflection and recognized the greatness of Joshua Tree, California and their amazing bi-annual festival.

Life at Joshua Tree Music Festival.

Life at Joshua Tree Music Festival.

The night before, the rainbow sherbet skies turned to black as the full moon rose. She shined golden over the vista. The air was cold and crisp, yet still my heart was warm. Everywhere I looked, there was an art installation or mural. I realized nobody was fighting and everyone was friends. There was no room for hate. We stepped, swayed, and sang together to gather all the precious moments we could.  

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The festival was all encompassing and unconventional. For 17 years, it has been run without corporate interests or greed. The music fit this mood, with rebellious acts such as Vintage Trouble, Earth Arrow, Cole Williams Band and Trouble in the Streets. The collection of local bands included Gene Evaro Jr, The Adobe Collective, Megan Hutch and more. Dynohunter brought some Colorado funk, and Oliver Koletzki and My Baby flew in from overseas. Much more than a dance party, there were yoga classes, workshops, children's activities, a  healing village and songwriter sessions.

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The Mojave Desert Land Trust was there as well, educating us on the land and park. The town and national park are named after the Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia). This is the largest species of Yucca, and it only grows in the Mojave Desert. The Joshua Tree and Pronuba Moth are in an everlasting relationship. They cannot survive alone. Sometimes called the Yucca Moth, it is the only insect that can pollinate the Joshua Tree. Female moths collect pollen while laying eggs inside the ovaries. Larvae hatched from the eggs, then use the seed of Joshua tree as a food source. From this kinship, I learned life itself is incomplete without one another. This was a vibe felt strongly among Joshua Tree festival-goers throughout the weekend.

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If you missed the spring fest, the 14th annual fall Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place this October. North Mississippi All Stars and The California Honeydrops are headlining.

To see more from Joshua Tree Music Festival, view this photo album.

-Moriel

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

My Baby Spill the Scoop on Their Shamanistic Saga from Amsterdam to Joshua Tree

By: Moriel O'Connor

My Baby, a mesmeric trio from Amsterdam, journeyed to the USA for Joshua Tree Music Festival this year. Electrifying, funky, and bluesy, their music goes beyond reality. If you have yet to hear them, listen below. Read on for my interview with the trio:

So, whose baby is it anyway?

‘My Baby’ is our shared, imagined muse. So 'our' baby has resulted from our combined imagination.

Amazing. How did your band come together?

Daniel (guitar) met Joost (drummer) in Amsterdam while traveling from New Zealand. They formed a series of bands/formations that were fronted by a then teenaged sister of Joost named Cato. My Baby is essentially a three-piece split off from those earlier groups.

How was your experience at Joshua Tree Music Festival?

Joshua Tree was gorgeous; so much fun. The audience had such a great energy, and [it was] in such a beautiful part of the world to boot.

Being based in Amsterdam has got to be fascinating. What's one way Amsterdam's music scene differs from North America?

Amsterdam has its share of great venues and jazz and art scenes, but have to say, [it’s] nothing compared to the music history and tradition of North America.

My Baby.

My Baby.

Seems like you've been all over the globe with your music. What is your favorite country to perform in?

We do a yearly tour to New Zealand (Daniel's a kiwi) which is a highlight for us, but the U.S. is getting up there pretty quickly as the place to play.

What do you love about your music?

We love the expression of freedom it allows us to delve into, and sharing that experience with an audience.

Your lyrics are incredibly visionary. How do you manage to merge music and story so well?

Our music, it seems is primarily focused on creating a particular mood. A particular mood can quite easily be fitted to accompany some type of storytelling. It also comes from a natural urge to create characters in songs that resemble something or somebody important. And [they] resemble something you can relate to.

What does your songwriting process look like?

We often start with improvised pieces/jams/moods which Cato sings melodies on. Then we look through words that fit, or scenes that fit the mood of the music. Sometimes a storytelling lyric has already been written and can be edited to suit a melody from those jams.

Your album, ‘Mounaiki, By the Bright of the Night’ was released last year. Tell me about it.

For this album we decided to develop a story around the MyBaby character from which to base songs around. The My Baby character is introduced, and named Mounaiki by a fictitious shaman, and a plot develops following the hero’s journey, a traditional mode of storytelling.

It’s also a coming of age type story, where a young girl is trying to find out what the world means to her, spiritually or any other kind of way. We like to describe her as, ‘a girl in the '70s fantasizing about being a flapper girl and dancer in the '20s. So the songs are loosely connected to a storyline that follows the adventures the character undertakes over the course of a night.

Your trio presents such a profound, layered sound without the use of computers or samples. What are some of your favorite effect pedals to use?

Playing without a bass player forced us to experiment with bass octave pedals. Also, we use a lot of delay on both guitar and vocals. Particularly, layering rhythmic delays over each other has became a signature sound of ours.

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And your go-to guitar?

Cato uses a sixties Teisco in recent years, or at times a Guyatone LG50, both Japanese guitars. Daniel primarily uses a Fender Stratocaster or a Supro Ozark from the early fifties.

Your music reminds me of Sister Rosetta Tharpe in a way. Just as she did, you manage to bring the sacred to the secular. What inspires you to perform this way?

Music has such a power to connect people. Spiritual music has such an awesome power. It serves a higher purpose. Music in general serves a higher purpose in many ways. The feeling of being part of that in some way is inspiring.

With such soul-stirring vocals and hypnotic beats, you are sure to set your audience into a trance. Do you find it fulfilling to facilitate that transcendence?

If that's where the music takes us, then for sure.

What's next for My Baby? Any upcoming tours or projects?

We are gonna work on a live record this year, and hopefully an extended visit to the U.S. is in the near future.

I think we could use all the moody, world music we can get here in the States. Nothing says the blues like having to fight for our basic rights. Thank God music heals, because most of us can't afford to see a doctor. Thanks My Baby.

Keep up with My Baby here.

-Moriel

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Real Street to be Orange County's Largest Music Festival to Date

Real Street is a new hip-hop and lifestyle festival set to take place at the Honda Center grounds in Anaheim, CA on Saturday August 10th and Sunday August 11th. The festival, presented by REAL 92.3, is to be the largest music event held in Orange County, and will feature all of the biggest names in hip-hop including Future, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Migos, and more.  

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Inside the Honda Center, Real Street’s new music experience will feature a West Coast Customs car show, along with Big Boy’s Neighborhood, which will include a barber shop, nail salon, and live artist interviews. Outside, there will be three stages for attendees to watch all of their favorite artists perform. Murals and art walls will be showcased throughout the festival grounds, and there will be an artist alley and vendor village. The two-day event will also feature the California Love Thunderdome bar complete with a pyrotechnic display.

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Real Street festival is a summer must, with 2-day general admission tickets currently on sale for $169, and 2-day VIP for $539. Snag your tickets today here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Trouble in the Streets Brought the Beats at Joshua Tree Music Festival

By: Moriel O'Connor

It's 1AM in the Mojave at Joshua Tree Music Festival. On the rim of the crowd, I rest on adobe walls within windows and swoon the moon through metallic umbrellas sculpted above. Shivers. The desert chills are real. Pulling up my thigh-highs, I stand up to move to what could be a soundtrack to a riot.

Trouble in the Streets.

Trouble in the Streets.

Must be Trouble in the Streets. They play the kind of music that makes you feel ready to overthrow the government: Power, Soul, and Rock’n’Roll.

People are stomping up the sand and it smells like liberation. A sparkly hooded creature dances ghostly and gracefully on, then off the stage. Oh sweet mystery. Feeling the rush of my blood and curve of my spine, I wonder, is the earth really shaking? Or is that just the cactus juice? The beat keeps going, and things keep getting weirder. There’s hip hop, punk, neo-soul and more. The sounds are boundless, psychedelic and polyphonic. The crowd is lifted by influential lyrics such as, “Challenge the evidence and take control of your existence.”

This is more than a set, this is a work of art. Nnedi Nebula Agbaroji plays the keys and activates the crowd with compelling vocals. Andy Leonard honors the bass and keys while Bobby Snakes drums for the people. This trio has chemistry, and they are damn not afraid of entropy.

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If you dare, dip into their density, discover Trouble in the Streets yourself. Listen to their Rule Breaker EP then check out Electro Tribe. Be prepared to lose your mind and move your body. Trouble traveled to Joshua Tree from Austin, Texas and is currently touring California with TV Broken 3rd Eye Open. Catch the remainder of their tour this Friday, May 24th at Surfside Venice, or on Saturday, May 25th at WinstonsOB in San Diego. You can also find them home in Austin at venues such as Stubb’s, One-2-One, North Door, or Empire.

-Moriel

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

3 Lasting Takeaways from Lightning in a Bottle 2019

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Monday, May 13, over 15,000 attendees of Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music and arts festival departed their five day home of Buena Vista Lake outside of Los Angeles to return to their regular lives. But not everything is simply back to normal. If other festival goers had a similar experience to what my camping group and I had, which I’m sure they did, then they not only returned home with countless great memories, but also a new vibrant energy and attitude on life.

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

I was lucky enough to attend the festival as part of a 20-person camping group, many of whom I had never met before. But by the end of the weekend, and really by day two, there was a distinct and strong bond between everyone, and it’s no fluke.

It’s because if you were to remove from LIB the great music, the learning workshops and yoga, the delicious food, and the parties, you would still be left with something special: thousands of people coming together around art, creativity, mindfulness, compassion, and fun! The festival creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that makes meeting new people and building on current relationships easy and natural.

Campsite times. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Campsite times. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

And of course, the music and other activities are why we’re all there in the first place. It’s what we create these amazing experiences around. Most importantly, I believe it’s the following three aspects that make LIB the amazing festival that it is, and allowed me to become so close to, and have such an incredible time with, the group I attended the festival with.

Dance dance. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Dance dance. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

1. The Music and Dancing - Lightning in a Bottle curates an incredibly diverse musical lineup. It opens you up to different music tastes and styles, and introduces you to types of music you would never listen to. In addition to that, no stage is ever packed with people, and the crowd is so welcoming that you feel zero pressure or judgement when you dance. More so than any other festival I’ve attended, people are moving to the music however they see fit. Dance is a way for us to interact and communicate with each other in a purely physical sense. It lets us feel things and play with one another. Through dance, one can create a unique bond with a total stranger, or get to know a close friend in a different way than usual. By cultivating a space that welcomes all sorts of dance and movement, LIB made it easy for us to go out of our comfort zones and get down!

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

2. The Workshops and Art - During the daytime, Lightning in a Bottle hosts countless speakers and workshops on an endless amount of topics. Researches and teachers who are leaders in their respective fields of research share ideas and thoughts that you’ll have never heard before. In addition to that, there are amazing art installations throughout the festival. One notable one was a duo who deconstructed a piano and turned it into a new musical instrument that resembled a harp. You could go inside of it and have others strum the strings, creating a really cool experience for the person inside the instrument.

Typically, the time we spend with our friends is purely social. Being able to learn new ideas with each other and experience artistic creativity can be a new experience that helps you learn more about one another.

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

3. Camping and Nature - Buena Vista Lake is beautiful. The festival grounds have green grass and there's a gorgeous lake and pretty sandy beaches. And when you’re camping with a large group, you’re there as a team! Different people contribute differently to the group, and everyone is valued. Essentially, you are surviving as one unit, and that will naturally bring people closer. We cooked breakfast for each other in the morning, cooled down and washed off in the lake, and prepped for the evening activities with fun pre-games. It felt like we were all part of one tribe. All of this said, LIB is something that could absolutely be enjoyed solo. I spent most of my Sunday roaming the festival alone and I made new friends quickly. In fact, it could open one up to make new connections more than someone who’s already surrounded by a crew of friends.

I understand now why festivals like Lightning in a Bottle are referred to as “transformative”. I feel like I’ve gone through noticeable growth and have a better understanding of myself and my old and new friends. Truth be told, I’ve been on a complete high ever since the festival, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Don’t miss out on the incredible time next year, and stay tuned for news on early bird tickets here!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lightning in a Bottle Is One Transformative Experience You Shouldn't Miss

By: Benjamin Tillis

Lightning in a Bottle (LIB), Southern California’s hidden gem of a “transformative” music festival, took place last weekend from May 8-12 at Buena Vista Lake, a few hours north of Los Angeles. This year was the first time LIB took place at this venue and not on Memorial Day Weekend, which led to attendees being wary about what to expect. But it is safe to say the festival was a huge success. Lightning in a Bottle continues to be one of the best music festivals out there and something that truly everyone should experience, and here’s why:

The Music

If you look at Lightning in a Bottle’s lineups, you will definitely see names you know and love. This year, those names included Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Santigold, Flying Lotus, and Toro Y Moi. But more than other festivals, LIB curates music that is so diverse and exciting to listen to- and watch.

Flying Lotus. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Flying Lotus. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

The festival is made up of 7 main stages. Some of the most popular are Lightning Stage and Thunder Stage, where most headliners play. But then there’s Woogie, a bass-lover’s paradise. There are people who come to the festival with full intentions to be at Woogie for the entire festival. And on the other end of the spectrum is my personal favorite, Grand Artique. Grand Artique is the brainchild of a thrift shop in San Diego and has become a staple at LIB. It is so much more than a stage for music. Grand Artique creates a setting that takes you back to the early 1900s and has a distinct “Western” feel. They host one-of-a-kind jam bands and this year that included Ozomatli and WC Thornbush & The Great American Show, as well as talent shows and interactive theater and games.

As opposed to other music festivals where hype is built around certain artists, it seems like discovering new music is what is really encouraged at Lightning in a Bottle. It is safe to say that my three favorite acts were ones I hadn’t heard of and didn’t plan to see. The group that stole the show out of nowhere for me was My Baby. Closing out the night until 4:00AM at Grand Artique, this trio hailing from The Netherlands got the whole crowd going wild. They brought a new energy to psychedelic rock, and people were dancing like crazy.

Clozee and Hellmana. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Clozee and Hellmana. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Other great acts were Clozee, the French DJ who spins incredibly exotic music. Clozee played alongside Hellamana, a fire eating group of acrobatic dancers.

Elohim. Photo Credit: JLB

Elohim. Photo Credit: JLB

Also very fun to watch was, Elohim, an electro-pop DJ and singer who relates to her fans by getting real about mental illness with her lyrics, while also singing incredibly upbeat songs with hooks like “I got love f*ck your money,” “I just wanna go where love is alive,” and “Don’t half love me, love me all the way.” It’s notable that these three best performers (in my opinion) are all females or projects led by a female. The festival does a great job of diversifying their lineup in regards to gender, where artists are from, and genres of music.

The Workshops

During the day you can roam around the festival grounds finding endless music and entertainment. But if you want to go a different route, there are plenty of workshops and classes taking place. This is what truly makes LIB the transformative festival that it is. There are 11 “Arts and Culture” tents/stages that host amazing experiences like a Cacao Ceremony, meditations, and classes on things like painting, keto diets, hula-hooping, and the list goes on. On top of this, there were two tents hosting yoga throughout the weekend.

Vibes. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Vibes. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

One of the most impactful and unique workshops I experienced was Psychedelic Breath & Meditation, lead by Anne Marie Kramer. Just through breathing exercises and partnered activities, a group of around 100 people who hadn’t known each other before became very connected and vulnerable together. It was something I had never experienced before, and it set me up for an incredible last day of the festival.

These countless workshops allow one to really grow over the weekend at LIB. They’re a great way to meet like-minded people or really put yourself out there to learn about something new. These are highly recommended for those who attend next year’s Lightning in a Bottle!

The Atmosphere

The past several years of Lightning in a Bottle took place at Lake San Antonio, about halfway between San Francisco and LA. The grounds had rolling hills that really made you feel disconnected and free from the real world. Many long-time LIB attendees feared the new grounds would take away from this feeling. But this year, we learned it’s not the venue that gives LIB its special vibes, but the people and artists. For five days straight, LIBers roamed the grounds with smiles on their faces and positive attitudes. People came to share a new experience with new people. It was easy to open up, meet new people, dance how you want, and roam freely without any judgement.

Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

On top of that, although it lacked the typical hills of LIB, the new venue was beautiful. There’s a giant lake with plenty of beachy shoreline with breathtaking hills in the distance and green grass on the grounds. During the hot, sunny days, you could go to the lake and party with new friends. Or you could go to the stages and dance alongside people who couldn’t be happier to be there.

Even when it rained the first night, everyone was there working as a team, providing shelter to those who needed it, while many didn’t let the weather get to them and just kept dancing in the mud and wetness. It was a site to see!

Photo Credit: JLB.

Photo Credit: JLB.

Days after leaving the festival I still feel like I am on cloud nine. LIB allows you to get to know yourself and others better than you could imagine. It gives you a better sense of self. And a stronger connection to those around you.

Lightning in a Bottle truly is a transformative experience filled with amazing art and people. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind event, LIB is for you. Look out for details on LIB 2020 at https://lightninginabottle.org.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


The Japanese House Left Us Dreaming in L.A.

By: Elsa Lee

Amber Bain is one of those multi-talented, effortlessly poised artists who can command a stage with the sort of gentle presence that draws you in without you realizing it. The Japanese House is the moniker of her solo indie-pop act, hailing from the UK and now based in London. She has recently risen in popularity after releasing four EP’s: Pools to Bathe In, Clean, Swim Against the Tide, and Saw You in a Dream, as well as touring with The 1975. The release of the latest full length album Good at Falling resulted in a sold-out victory lap tour.

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The LA show was no less of a success for Bain, as a sold-out house at the Fonda echoed with cheers. Greeting the audience like they were old friends, she and her band started out with a rendition of “Cool Blue” from her 2015 EP Clean, and then segued effortlessly into tracks from her new album including “Follow My Girl”, “We Talk all the Time”, “Lilo” and “You Seemed So Happy”. The entranced crowd was reminiscent of a high school art class- equal parts hipster and artsy nerd, caught torn between dreaming and dancing by Bain’s smooth ethereal voice and mellow electronica beats.

The inspiration behind the Japanese House’s music was evident during the performance. The project’s name came from an experience Bain had as a child while staying at a property called the Japanese House, previously owned by actress Kate Winslet. As a child she presented herself as a boy to a neighborhood girl and earned her affection, but the girl was heartbroken when she learned of Bain’s “true” gender identity. The experience led her to question gender identity and sexuality more, and to seek an almost “androgynous space” for her music.

Amber Bain of The Japanese House.

Amber Bain of The Japanese House.

Bain is graceful as a performer and artist; she accepted a bouquet of roses from a fan and danced with them for a song before bashfully starting over when her most popular track “Saw You in a Dream” began in the wrong key. Her voice is one of those rarities that sounds even better in person. The setlist ended with the track “Worms”, and Bain’s smooth singing and encouragement to “invest yourself in something worth investing in.”

The Japanese House is currently on tour in North America. Tickets and more info here.

-Elsa

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Crywolf's Current Tour is an Emotional Journey

By: Elsa Lee

In the dark, cavernous space of Los Angeles’ 1720 venue downtown, the lights went out, ambient chords played over the speakers, and a countdown started ticking on the screen. Excited cheers echoed through the crowd. BolderBeat was lucky enough to catch Crywolf (aka Justin Taylor Phillips) on the last stop of his U.S. tour for his latest album, widow [OBLIVIØN Pt. I], and the night proved to be an unforgettable experience.

Crywolf.

Crywolf.

As the countdown ended and the room went pitch dark again, Crywolf took the stage and began to play the first haunting notes of the album’s opening track, “ATHETOSIS [here’s the lullaby you made me promise never to write].” And so began a tumultuous journey into the psyche of an artist whose specialty is taking listeners through a whirlwind of deep emotions.

Crywolf himself has evolved immensely over the years, from his start as a melodic dubstep artist and the release of his first Ghosts EP in 2013 when his recognition in the music world began. Over time his style grew and changed as he came to develop an emotional sound that straddles both the indie and electronic genres.

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As an artist who deals with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, music has always served as an outlet for Crywolf. widow [OBLIVIØN Pt. I] is an even further testimony to this fact. The album is largely inspired by the inner turmoil he experienced after getting his hard drive and thousands of dollars of equipment stolen in Chile. Flinging himself from piano to drums to guitar laced with his soulful falsetto, listeners got to experience a sliver of the passion that fuels his work.

His frenzy soon slowed as he stepped down from the stage and walked into the crowd. Haunting melodies that make up tracks like “Anachronism”, “Akureyri”, and “Slow Burn” from the debut 2015 album Cataclasm rang through the space and delighted his older fans. Attendees also got to hear a rendition of “Halloween, 1987”, a surprise to fans as he has said previously that he would never play that particular track live again. The crowd also got to watch a part of Crywolf’s recently debuted music video for “CEPHALOTUS”, which was shot completely underwater and features Phillips actually holding his breath for four minutes straight. He stated the inspiration behind it came from a desire to visualize his internal pain and struggle.

Crywolf’s fans are the very definition of what one would call a “cult following”, with every voice singing along ‘til the last note, and every face uplifted to the leader of their pack. Any person who wasn’t already converted left baptized in a turmoil of emotions.

We can’t wait to see where he takes us next. Keep up with Crywolf and stream widow [OBLIVIØN Pt. I] here.

-Elsa

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Kaleidoscope Experience Is the One-of-a-Kind Psychedelic Wonderland Experience You're Looking For

By: Benjamin Tillis

Walt Disney once said, “Adults are only kids grown up.” And last Friday, The Kaleidoscope Experience, an event hosted at The Globe Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, proved Walt right. Marketed as “a whimsical playground for adults,” The Kaleidoscope Experience was a one-of-a-kind event that transformed The Globe Theatre into a psychedelic wonderland that sparked creativity and innocent wonder for all those who attended. The experience began the moment you walked into the theater, where funhouse mirrors and fog turned the hallway entrance of The Globe into a trippy maze. A multi-sensory, magical, make-believe land awaited once you completed the maze.

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It was impossible to stay focused once you were inside. On stage was a Pink Floyd cover band, playing with Alice in Wonderland projected behind them. But that was hardly the main attraction. In the middle of the crowd there was a pyramid covered in chocolates and sweet snacks and a wheel for attendees to spin. Depending on your spin, you could take a snack, or even better, press a button to make popcorn explode from the volcano-looking structure. It was glorious!

On the sides of the venues were treehouse structures you couldn’t see into, so you had no choice but to explore. In them, you encountered someone dressed as a rabbit who did nothing but offer you lollipops and tell you to “write your hopes and dreams” on sticky notes and add them to a wall that was already filled with hundreds of these. Also on the same floor as the live music, there was a bottomless tater tot buffet. It was a junk food paradise.

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The Kaleidoscope adventure continued downstairs with countless attractions. There were inflatable horse races, a tunnel maze that led to a secret pillow fort, and a close-up magician. Most notable, though, was the silent disco, which is usually a guaranteed good time. There was a dance floor decked out with lasers and glow sticks, and it was a fun escape from everything going on to dance to either the EDM channel, or a channel playing 80s and 90s classics.

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Although the designated dancing area was fun, it was a whole new experience walking through the rest of the event with silent disco headphones on. Another attraction on the main floor was a free-play arcade. Competing in stand up arcade games like Mortal Kombat and Crazy Taxi while jumping and dancing to your favorite songs was exhilarating!

Later in the night, the band switched to a Led Zeppelin cover group, which performed alongside the original animated version of Lord of The Rings, a cherry on top of all the ridiculousness that took place at Kaleidoscope. I sat in the love sacks in the general admission area and enjoyed the handful of songs they played until the end of the event. And then I headed home happier than I’ve been in a while! Keep your eyes open for The Kaleidoscope Experience coming to your city. For more information, check out out their website!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lightning in a Bottle Releases Incredible Lineup, Offers Much More Than Just Music

By: Benjamin Tillis

Now taking place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles, Lightning in a Bottle will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th this year, instead of its typical Memorial Day Weekend dates.

After festival creator DoLab announced a new date, location, and capacity for their “transformative festival,” LIB fans were anxious to see the Phase 1 lineup released February 15th. It is safe to say people were pleased.

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The biggest names on Lightning in a Bottle’s Phase 1 lineup for its Lightning, Woogie, and Thunder stages include Disclosure, who went silent after releasing their last full album, 2015’s Caracal, along with Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, and Polish Ambassador.

This year the festival also seems to appeal to a more indie jazz vibe with musicians like Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

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There are still two stage lineups that have yet to be announced, Pagoda and The Grand Artique, which bring one of a kind musicians and theatrical acts you won’t see at any other festival.

DoLab does a great job year after year of bringing in unique and up and coming artists, but they also curate a festival with so much more than music. With a focus on sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression, there is so much to experience at Lightning in a Bottle, including yoga classes, sound baths, and creative workshops. It truly creates its own culture that encourages you to express yourself however you feel.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, check out LIB’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Desert Hearts Creates Love with Late-Night Los Angeles Party

By: Benjamin Tillis

This past Friday night, following Valentine’s Day, Desert Hearts hosted a cupid-friendly event at The Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, titled Let’s Make Love. Desert Hearts is a music festival and record label located in Southern California. More recently, they host parties like Let’s Make Love and many others around the country. However, to call this event just a party would be a huge understatement.

Let’s Make Love. Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald

Let’s Make Love. Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald

With two stages on two different floors at the historic Belasco Theater, all you had to do was climb up a couple flights of stairs to switch from a music festival DJ set vibe to an underground warehouse party scene. The music was primarily house and techno. On the main stage upstairs, fans gathered with lights and Valentine’s Day-themed decorations to dance to Marbs, Lee Reynolds, and Desert Hearts’ staple Mikey Lion.

Meanwhile, the smaller stage downstairs was hosted by Sublevel, a DJ who also goes by the name Doc Martin. Sublevel played a set following satisfying shows by Aunton Tumas, Mr. Koolaid, and Jeno.

Desert Hearts knows good music, but their biggest draw is the crowd their events appeal to. There is a culture of acceptance, giving, and being yourself, and as a result, you meet people who are happy to be there, decked out in crazy outfits and grooving with new and old friends. It’s an incredible atmosphere that even extends in the common area outside. When you’re tired of dancing, it’s easy to start conversations there with other party goers.

Like most Desert Heart events, the party went until 4 AM, satisfying the dancing needs of all the nocturnal animals of Los Angeles.

Check out DesertHearts.us for more information on parties in your area and the Desert Hearts Festival which takes place April 26th-29th just outside of Los Angeles. You’ll be glad you did!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Yaeji's Current 'One More' Tour Is As Explosive As the Beats She's Dropping

By: Elizabeth Lee

It’s 10:23 PM on a Friday night in downtown Los Angeles, meaning there is no shortage of sweaty bodies swaying on the crowded floor of the Regent. The crowd is a strange spectrum of sunglass-wearing hipster chicks and nerdy teens, mixed with everyone in between. But that’s the thing about Yaeji. She is an enigma that straddles the border between cool and obscure with both her music and quirky style, proving that music knows no constructs. Tonight is her second of two sold out shows in LA on her current One More headlining tour.

Yaeji.

Yaeji.

Born Kathy Yaeji Lee, but known in the music world simply as “Yaeji,” the 25-year-old Korean-American singer, DJ, and producer has been seducing the electronic music world beat by layered beat. Her music is a mix of 4x4 traditional house rhythms mixed with hip-hop influences, laced with her half-whispered Korean/English vocals. She first started making music in her home state of New York while she was in college, after being introduced to Brooklyn’s underground music scene and throwing techno parties with her friends. Fast forward a few years later and Yaeji is in god mode after releasing two EPs and playing major festivals like Coachella and Sonar.

The crowd’s raucous screams as she finally appears onstage are as loud as ever, a testimony to the cult following she’s built over the years. Her live show brings a kind of magic that you can’t get simply by listening to a track. Experiencing a Yaeji set is like following her into one of the hazy Brooklyn basement parties where she traces her roots. She opens with beat-heavy tracks like “Feel it Out” and “Guap” to invite you to dance with her, then puts you under her spell with feelsy, quiet vocals in tracks like “New York 93,” “Feelings Change,” or her popular cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit.” She saves her most well-known track “Raingurl” for last. Her audience is so entranced that they try to scream the lyrics, even though they’re in Korean and it comes out as gibberish for most attendees.  

What many of them don’t realize is that a lot of Yaeji’s music is heavily influenced by her feelings of isolation and culture clash as she was growing up, and her eventual discovery of freedom and belonging in music. Onstage she is unpretentious and almost goofy, with her slightly awkward dancing and infectious smile. She serves as an inspiration to her fans or other aspiring artists, being one of the few Asian-American females in the electronic music scene.

Yaeji is currently on her One More in North America and still has shows scheduled through 2018. Keep up with her here.

-Elizabeth

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Why Rock'n'Roll Won at This Year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

This past weekend, KAABOO Del Mar Festival returned for its fourth year of bringing Southern California music fans together to celebrate and dance to musicians of all genres. Katy Perry brought the pop, Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone brought the hip hop, and Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power brought the funk. But even with these star-studded artists, it was evident that rock’n’roll stole the show this year to make the point that while your streaming service might disagree with us, rock’n’roll is alive and well.

Friday, the first day of the festival, Jimmy Eat World took the stage and set the precedent that although there were a handful of bands performing at the festival that haven’t seen a huge hit in the last decade or so, it does not mean they’re no longer making great music and giving one-of-a-kind live shows. Of course Jimmy Eat World stirred up plenty of energy in the crowd when they played classics like “Sweetness” and “The Middle,” but the group still received plenty of positive reception when they played their 2018 release “Love Never,” a song that seems to captivate everything people love about the band while still providing something new and never-before-heard.

Later on in the day, Calabasas, California band Incubus began their late afternoon set with zero apologies. Lead singer Brandon Boyd opened with arguably two of Incubus’ most rambunctious songs: “Anna Molly” and “Megalomaniac.” The energy stayed constant thereafter. For a group that has released only 40-minutes of new music in the past six years, it was surprising that the younger attendees of the festival were jumping and singing as if it was their favorite band growing up. It goes to show that these rock legends have created songs that remain memorable in the collective consciousness of American rock music.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

To close out Friday night, Nirvana-alum-turned-Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl embodied rock’n’roll throughout the band’s set. It wasn’t just the classics he was playing that proved his incredible reign as a rock lord- originals like “Learn To Fly” and covers like Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust” were heard- but the sheer confidence and appearance that he was hardly trying, yet epicly succeeding in firing the crowd up really amped things up. At one point, teasing at his legendary status, Grohl yelled to the crowd, “We have 35 minutes left to play 116 songs!” At another point in the band’s set, a train loudly passed by, distracting the band and fans. Seizing the moment, the band played a one minute blues-sounding song just for kicks. It was just another example that proved these performers are professionals, and are still as lively and fun as ever.

Saturday was another rock-filled festival day, and this time with more of a focus on rock that is currently popular. Early in the day, Austin groove rock band Mamafesta brought a completely new style to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With a hint of funk and plenty of jam band qualities in their sound, this melodic four piece group is one to definitely watch out for in the near future if you’re not already!

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Closing out the second night were international stars Imagine Dragons. It seemed that the band played hit after hit for a full 90-minute set. Not only was the music good, but lead singer Dan Reynolds was simply inspiring. Speaking out about mental illness and suicide prevention, he acted as a true leader to the younger fans in the crowd. After his words of wisdom, once again the group got the crowd jumping with the epic number “Believer.

Sunday closed out with, you guessed it, even more rock, this time both new and old. Many fans stayed at the “MGM Resorts Grandview” stage from 3:00PM to festival close to see bands like The All American Rejects, Alice In Chains, and Robert Plant.

The All American Rejects did a great job of not taking themselves too seriously. Although the band played fan favorites like “Gives You Hell” and “It Ends Tonight,” they joked between songs that while they may not getting much radio play now, in the early 2000s, it was “hard to escape our music if you walked in a TJ Maxx.” Still, the group gave it their all and played new songs that they were clearly proud to perform.

Following All American Rejects was Alice In Chains, a band that had a larger crowd considering the KAABOO attendees were a bit older than other festivals. Alice In Chains did not disappoint, and it is safe to say that their hit song “Rooster” had the loudest-singing crowd of the festival.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

As exhibited by a large number of KAABOOers walking around sporting Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant shirts, it was clear that Plant was the most anticipated act of Sunday, even while competing with Katy Perry during the headlining time slot. It was no surprise that Plant payed homage to Led Zeppelin by opening up with the tracks “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Lemon Song.” His 13-song setlist was filled with impressive guitar solos and a little headbanging. Closing with an artist from the iconic Led Zeppelin was the nail in the coffin that rock stole the show this year at KAABOO, and a sign that this genre will hopefully continue thriving at this festival!

Dates for 2019’s KAABOO have already been announced for the weekend of September 13th-15th. Get your early bird tickets and festival passes here! 

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Festival Bringing New Vibes to Lake Perris This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

As this year’s music festival season comes to a close, Southern California is graced with yet another music filled weekend. Same Same But Different, taking place 90-minutes east of Los Angeles and San Diego at Lake Perris this weekend September 22nd and 23rd, boasts much more than just music. They’ve got “camping, hiking, yoga, swimming, and interactive art” planned for the weekend as well.

With headliners Lettuce, The Floozies, and Boombox, the festival is bound to attract more free spirited and dance-loving festival goers, which should make for a fun and open experience. Other musical artists include Dirtwire, a country/dance fusion group that includes members from Beats Antique, and LYFTD, the Colorado-based electro-funk group. And although the music ends at 2:00AM both Saturday and Sunday, the dancing will go all night, with a late night dance party beginning right after the fest’s final headliner sets.

The visual artists whose work will be featured throughout the festival include Hannah Rowan and Krystal Dyer. Yoga and mindfulness workshops will also be taught by leaders in the community.

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It will be very interesting to see how having a lake in the middle of the grounds shapes the festival. It is very likely that most of the attendees will be taking it easy on the beach or in the water during the performers that they may not know as well, making this festival a great combination of a party and a relaxing vacation.

Bolder Beat can’t wait to attend this festival this weekend to get the inside scoop on what Same Same But Different Festival has to offer, and we are confident it will not disappoint. Tickets still available here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: NIGHTS New Single "Over & Over" Stands Out From the Haze

By: Julia Talen

Blogger, fashionista, poet, and musician Mel Denisse has been growing her latest musical project NIGHTS since the start of the year, first with her single, “Hollow” released in January and then the followup single “Gone,” which has a new music video. Just recently, her latest tune “Over and Over” dropped. The track, which was produced by Carlos de la Garza (Teenage Wrist, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World), has already snagged a spot on Spotify’s “New Rock” playlist.

NIGHTS alt-rock vibe radiates from her latest track, but the intensity of this song’s shoegaze elements differentiates it from her first two gripping singles. “Over and Over” starts off with a soft, balanced melody incorporating electric guitar and bass as well as a steady drum beat. But as the song moves forward, the residual sounds of the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals carry subtly through the track, amplified in the catchy refrain. It finishes off with nearly twenty seconds of thick amp echoes that slowly fade, a poignant compositional choice. All of the haziness embedded in the track mirrors the lyrics and themes of the song-the inescapable and nebulous rumination of the mind “over and over” again.

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Additionally, for each of Mel Denisse’s singles comes exquisitely photographed album art. For ”Over and Over,” Denisse stands amongst mist, fog, and haze in several photos that have been layered, reiterating the tune’s ideas and concepts.

With the intriguing content in her latest single and the talent evident in all of her music this year, it’s no doubt that NIGHTS career is just beginning to bloom and flourish.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

We're Sponsoring Dandu's Los Angeles Show So We Caught Up With Them On Their "What Are Friends For?" Tour

BolderBeat is proud to be presenting our first show in Los Angeles at Ham & Eggs Tavern next Friday, August 31st from 8PM-Close. The show will feature music by The Colour Out of Space, Neon Clouds, BREATHERRR, and headliner Dandu. Dandu, a Denver-based band who experiment in the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk, and prog rock, are currently on their “What Are Friends For?” West Coast tour. We recently sat down with frontman Sean Dandurand to hear more about the band’s time on the road, their latest EP, and this upcoming L.A. show:

We’ve noticed you’ve toured a lot throughout 2018. Tell us about that.

Well, we starting touring last June, when we released our first EP Caught Between. Touring is always something [member] Ben Weirich and I have been interested in ever since we started playing music together six years ago. We’ve been on four tours in the last year; twice to the West Coast and twice to the Midwest. It’s pretty crazy booking and promoting a tour yourself; it’s a lot more work than I ever imagined. Some of the highlights have been playing in Chicago, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, and Santa Fe. Though it’s fun to play in big cities, small towns are always some of the best stops on tour. One small town that sticks out is Redding, California. That town showed up on a Monday night [for us] and was one of our favorite stops on our last West Coast run.

What’s your current tour shaping up like?

We’re doing 12 shows in 13 days starting in Taos and ending in Boise. This L.A. show is the third stop of the tour. We’re hitting some of our favorite places to play, including Phoenix, L.A., Portland, Seattle, and so many more. I’m really excited for the show in Seattle. I got one of my all-time favorite musicians on the bill: Skerik. He’ll be doing a solo saxophone/noise set. Also, in Portland we’re playing with our friends Human Ottoman, and Korgy & Bass will no doubt be a highlight.

Dandu. Photo Credit: Charla Harvey

Dandu. Photo Credit: Charla Harvey

Have you played at L.A.’s Ham And Eggs Tavern before?

We have not played this venue yet, but, always have such a great time in L.A.

How did you connect with the other bands on this bill?

Our good friend Mikey Smith from Denver is playing with his group Neon Clouds. So that’s a special thing for us. It’s always nice to go to a different city and know some of the musicians you play with. BREATHERRR is a performer I’m excited to see. Our friends in Rubedo put us in touch with him. The other group on the bill is The Colour Out of Space, who we connected with through our good friend and L.A. local Linda Kite. The lineup is eclectic, and full of amazing talent. Should be a great gathering!

What’s your favorite way to pass time on the road?

Sleeping is definitely one of the best ways to pass time. We also love to listen to podcasts, and of course to listen to music from our friends at home, as well as the bands we meet on tour! [Member] Dylan Johnson always finds a way to play some 90s hit that we haven’t heard in years. Sometimes Alanis Morissette is the best thing to get you through Kansas.

We really dig your latest EP ‘What Are Friends For?’ Can you tell us more about the production behind that and where you recorded it?

We recorded the EP in three days at Youth on Record. Our good friend Felix Ayodele was gracious enough to let us use the space. All the songs were recorded with the three of us in one room picking the best take of each song. The only overdubs we did were for solos and some of the crazy loop textures you hear. For this session, our goal was to make a recording that sounded like we do live. We had our friends Grant Stringham, Felix, and Steele Kempton engineer the session. Grant produced and mixed the EP; he mixed our previous EP as well. We had our buddy Clark Smith (Dynohunter) do the mastering.

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Do you have plans for another release anytime soon?

At the moment, we don’t have another release scheduled. But our goal is to have a full length album ready in the next year. We’re going on a writing retreat the last weekend of September. We’ll be spending time up in a cabin for four days, with the intent of writing enough material for a new record.

Make sure to come down to Ham & Eggs Tavern next Friday, August 31st with Dandu, The Colour Out of Space, Neon Clouds, and BREATHERRR. There’s just a $5 suggested donation at the door- we’ll see you there Los Angeles!