Unsigned Underground things you need to hear

So I am locked in my bedroom on kitten nurse duty. Bottle of whiskey and cup of tea. Obviously 2020 has been a tough year to find time to write with the my kitties surgery. So lets fire through all the new stuff I am listening to right now and get a few thoughts 🙂

Band: Redwing Blackbird

Written by : Paul Baker

Lets start out with Colorado band Redwing Blackbird and their album “Too Klaus For Comfort”. So I’m not sure what is happening in Colorado but everything I hear from that state is blowing me away. Paul Baker has put together this self aware album full of camp, and spiraling darkness. Almost a batcave goth meets 90’s britpop. The guitars are thick and lofi in the best possible way. The vocals and lyrics are diverse in scope and never settle into a rut. It has a lot of progish complexity to the song writing with a lot of piss and vinegar to keep it real. I think the biggest compliment I can give this record is I can’t quite seem to put my finger on it no matter how many times i listen. Everytime I think the words to describe it are on my tongue it turns into a thousand spiders and slips through my fingers. It’s not clean or overproduced but in this case that works to advantage not defeat.

https://redwingblackbird1.bandcamp.com/album/too-klaus-for-comfort?fbclid=IwAR3_O28e_hY_OEMifpkAq6hmWiSYRG2rowBxTnk63ItFRwGnsHhJiYE7NoI

Favorite Tracks: The Spectacular Death of Margaret Fuller ; Too Klaus for Comfort; Devils Horns.

Band: Bring Her

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Next up is an album I should have already written about by now but have been in love with a while Pittsburgh’s Bring Her. Self titled album is out on digital and LP. The record has a very dark-electro disco feel. Nadine J has this lovely waterfall chant voice. It cuts through the synth waves like a knife and strikes and parries like a fencer. Puts me in mind of Kim Gordan from Sonic Youth. They really succeed in finding the place between obscure pretension and ear catching dance beats. I think it is a record that adds to every party and takes nothing away. It knows just how to fit in it’s own pocket. I love this is another self release underground gem.

Favorite Tracks : Curses Not Promises; Choose Me Move Me; Unholy Awake

Band: Shadows Beloved

Album: The Quiet Machines

Hometown: Maine

https://shadowsbeloved.bandcamp.com/releases?fbclid=IwAR13o8hI_ybB1XA1oZgWcTD8sG-gvxAt4NE2G9zJkC-BWs1MybsxcvNn5Os

Next up is The Quiet Machines from Maine. This one is personal, a dear friend Adrian Auchrome who I learned of as a Dj but was blown away by their original offerings. I love when a vocalist really finds their own path among the standard definition of what is suppose to be goth/industrial. Adrian has this wonderful over the top cabaret feel to the sinister dance vibe and old school goth. Their slushy meandering phrasing lines really carry you through ideas with a lot of emotion and grab hold of your heart strings like a horses reins. This was another 2018 release which I am just writing about now but I have had the chance to hear some of the new releases and they are a amazing progression from this already great concept. I love an artist that leaves everything on the floor and crawls towards you with reckless abandon and that is what Adrian has achieved.

Favorite Tracks: Chemistry (All I need); The Quiet Machines; The Formula

Band: Cliff and Ivy

Album: The Best of Cliff and Ivy

https://cliffandivy.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-of-cliff-and-ivy

Cliff and Ivy from Alaska have been such an essential part of the Goth scene this decade. We have review two of their albums and come to appreciate the way they lift everyone in the scene around them. This latest offering is a compilation of their albums in one steam lined offering of horror punk, goth, poetic glory. I really can’t think of an example of anyone who keeps in as real. They are authentic, brash, fierce, and always 100% in sync. This album really touches on all of their diverse styles and emotional intensity. Ivy is a poet of abstract imagery with her lyrics. This is a great way to experience all of their many masks and hardcore glory.

Favorite tracks: Superclass; Fossil Fuel; In Your Hands

Band: JH-X9

Album: Crime of Science

Hometown: Detroit (represent)

https://jh-x9.bandcamp.com/album/crime-of-science?fbclid=IwAR2A94xfVLu4h4ZRUbh779F3XF0TTlRowywAZ5DiE9E7hj4V1ae6RQvQDNA

Well this is awkward. My friend Victor Montes from Arizona sent me the EP from JH-X9 called “Crime of Science” and they are from my home state MI. This is some first rate dark digital snake slither darkwave. I love the confident spoken word chant vocals and static progression keyboards. Lots of sinister trip hop flow here. Only two songs on the EP but this is full of potential and all over my radar now.

Favorite Track : Crime of Science

In 2020 the music game is changing. We are lucky to have many great labels embracing and supporting bands. Lots of bands choose to go their own way and often it is these that push the boundaries and find new ground. Give a spin to these records and discover some today.

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