Noura Mint Seymali
Noura Mint Seymali =
Traditional West African griot vocals + The Doors
Noura Mint Seymali is an extraordinarily talented vocalist from Mauritania, descended from a long line of well-known and celebrated griots. She carries on the tradition as a griot herself—a highly regarded individual who is a kind of historian and performer, a storyteller and keeper for the community. Her husband accompanies her in a less traditional way, playing electric guitar riffs that have enough psychedelic twang to remind me of sweet ’60s/’70s-era bands. Funky drumbeats continue to add a modern twist to Seymali’s traditional storytelling vocals. Personally, I’m fascinated by the cultural differences in traditional chords and songwriting. I was particularly intrigued by the material, and I definitely think this is a great album for anyone to listen to and perhaps expand their regular musical horizons. It’s quite a unique and enjoyable take on the traditional performance. –Ischa B.
Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts
Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts = The Velvet Underground + The Clash + Night Beats
Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts play raw, psychedelic punk rock. Their EP Launch, recorded and engineered by the band DIY-style, reflects their experimental punk mentality. It’s not polished—it’s rebellious. The recording makes me imagine a thrashy live show—guitars being broken, beers being spilled. Ya know, a good ol’ fashioned mind-fuck punk show! The EP includes four songs to give you a taste of the experience, so listen up and then see ‘em live! –Ischa B.
Dream Drops Red
Dark Harvest Records
Riksha = Soulfly + Tool + Killswitch Engage
Riksha plays heavy, hard, shiny metal, and their new release, Dream Drops Red, is a neatly executed album of exactly that. The music is loud, mean and beautiful. The growling vocals range from creative to devastating. The band is comprised of talented local musicians who have been rocking out for a long time, so it’s no surprise that they are finding success with sponsorships and making tour plans. If you love metal, you will love Riksha, so hop on and enjoy the ride! –Ischa B.
Candy Warpop = Hole + Mazzy Star + PJ Harvey
Candy Warpop is sugary-sweet, pop punk goodness, with a delicious and flexible female vocal and a musical sensibility that suggests a variety of top-notch influences. Tool, The Meat Puppets and Veruca Salt all come to mind, and even Mogwai, as demonstrated in my favorite on the album, a whispery track called “Afterlife in Dreams.” The band isn’t just talented at putting together a quality release—they are highly connected with their fanbase as well, with two successfully funded Kickstarters under their belt. They’re based out of Las Vegas, but with the new album out, I’m hoping they’ll add SLC to any tour plans they might have and treat us to the real-deal experience. Yummy. –Ischa B.