Indie Rock

VIDEO PREMIERE

Mirror Gazer - Inhale The Sky

By Phillipe Roberts

Sunny, reverb-drenched harmonies collide with grainy neon visuals in Mirror Gazer’s latest music video for the meditative “Inhale the Sky.” A simmering psychedelic jam that sits comfortably in lounge-indebted grooves, the New York-via-Portland songwriter’s track recalls the airy compositional sprawl and phaser-blasted production of Melody’s Echo Chamber. Its spaced-out beach crawl vibe moves through bubbling synthesizers, oceanic field recordings, and a delightfully twangy guitar solo. While it stretches out past the five minute mark, the constantly shifting instrumentation, playful interludes, and sighing “Everyday” chorus build out a groove that stays fresh long after listening.

The self-directed video for the track plays with a bright, retro-minded palette as we follow Mirror Gazer’s Dorian Duvall around his transplanted home of Brooklyn, tracking his every movement with a distorted fish-eye lens. Artfully combined with washed out and collaged drone shots of Coney Island, and cartoonish close-ups of the lead and rhythm guitar parts that tempt you to pick up a guitar and play along at home, the video imagines Kings County as a single interminable fun house, swimming with color and bursting with potential while Duvall breathes in the streets, stores, and shores that he’s learning to call home.

PREMIERE

Bichkraft - Desire

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By Phillipe Roberts

Long before “dystopia” lost its edge in a buzzword death spiral, Urkanian four-piece Bichkraft were conjuring up squalls of noise-forward post-punk that gleefully bit back at the rise of global authoritarianism. Their first three Wharf Cat releases culminated in last year’s liberating 800, which saw the band take a sonic leap towards a tighter, more refined sound. Back in the studio yet again, Bichkraft fashion a subversive new sound on “Desire,” a bombshell in their discography that downshifts on the nervous energy towards a swaggering dance rock track that takes a brutal government to task. 

Lounge-style keys and bouncing percussion cover for lyrics indicting the repressive Ukranian regime for raiding dance clubs to forcibly conscript young men into the military, a relatively common occurrence in Bichkraft’s native Kiev. Vocalist Jenia Bichowski’s anguished delivery of the haunting hook - “Baby, baby it's true / There's no safe place for you” - speaks to the depth of dread churning beneath the surface of their collective minds, poisoning romance with fear. Guitars gleam like knives in the background, shifting between angular melodicism and frayed noise as they stumble, seasick, over each other. With the track careening to a close, Bichowski sings “I’m just hanging on” in a stupor, wounded by the violence he’s seen and anticipating the violence that’s sure to come as men are ripped off the streets. As both reportage and rock n’ roll, “Desire” hits the mark, dead center.

You can pre-order a 7” of “Desire” over on Wharf Cat’s site here.

REVIEW

Alpenglow - Speculator

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By Jordan Feinstein

Alpenglow is a psychedelic indie rock band based in NYC. Their newest single, Speculator–off their upcoming album Oceans in Between–searches the bounds of space and time for a deeper understanding of the self. How focused on the future should you be, if that focus means your present is just passing time at work.

“Yeah it matters where you’re going, [but] take a moment to be out of ticking time,” he sings. Does existing solely in the present make you “adrift,” and does being adrift have value in itself? The song compares the narrator, working a barback job but spending his days out and about living life, with a second character who commutes and works a boring, full time job. More subtle than any conclusions as to who’s living their life correctly are the songs final lines: “Lay your life on my / I’ll give mine to you / Don’t mind if I stare / I know you’re staring too / I know you’re staring into.” Both of these characters wonder about what the other has, both of these characters wonder about what they’re missing. Look at me, it says, and don’t mind if I look at you. Maybe we’d both wonder less if we shared more together.

PREMIERE

0 Stars - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

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Gerard Marcus

Mikey Buishas is a Brooklyn-based artist who has the amazing ability of depicting the emotional energy of passing thoughts. His new single from his project 0 Stars, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” is a one-minute melancholic tale of fear, self-analysis, and love. Buishas says his inspiration for the song was “an immediate response to Leica [his dog] barking herself awake after a baby in the adjacent apartment screamed.” In this short minute, he explains his reasoning for not reprimanding Leica, choosing instead to sympathize with her, understanding that barking in this situation is just her way of expressing fear. And everyone should be allowed to express fear without judgement. The attention of the song then shifts and Buishas turns the lens on himself, using Leica’s fear to analyze his own sadness at driving away someone he loves. But if he’s the reason for them not being there, is it fair for him to depend on them to make him feel better? It’s beautiful, simple songwriting about a complex idea, presenting its emotional weight in a tight package, allowing it to linger long after its short running time is over. “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” is the first single off of 0 Stars debut album, ‘Blowing on a Marshmallow in Perpetuity,’ coming out August 30th on Babe City Records. Pre-order the album HERE.

VIDEO PREMIERE

Melodie Stancato - 42.0209° N, 70.0370° W

By Gerard Marcus

The first time I heard the music of Melodie Stancato I was immediately entranced. Her music felt personal on an almost subconscious level. It’s musical portraiture, trying to capture a sense of place, time, personality, and experience. It’s like finding a stranger’s old journal, or notes left behind in the margins of a used book–a glimpse into the most personal headspace. We haven’t heard a lot from Melodie in a while–it’s been almost two years since the last release from Swoon Lake–but I’m happy to see that in her new single and video for “42.0209° N, 70.0370° W,” the touch of the personal hasn’t been lost.

If you google “42.0209° N, 70.0370° W” it will lead you to Truro, MA. Specifically, Hanging Valley on Longnook Beach, which appears to be where the music video was shot. The video is a simple movement piece performed by Stancato in a single take on the side of a sand dune. The song and dance weave a tale of personal exploration and a search for connection. But an internal one, where you analyze yourself within the world and not the world around you. The beauty of this piece lies there, in a reminder to look inwards every now and again, and to let the outside world just be.