Katy’s “End of Days” Playlist (Pt. 2)

Here’s my latest update on life. Like many people, this has been a rough patch. A lot of personal inventory has been had along with tough life evaluations, revelations, and epiphanies. It sucks. Luckily, I have had one thing in my life since I was a little kid that always helped me through the hard times. That thing is music. During this time, a lot of things have shut down. However, music keeps going and keeps getting better by the day.

When I was scrolling through Bandcamp today, I needed some new tunes to carry me through this week and the many moods it would surface. Some of this is brand new, some of it came out this month, some of it is just a preview of what’s to come. All of it’s great.

Nick Griffith

7 AM

Wombarra, Australia

https://nickgriffithmusic.bandcamp.com/album/7am

Nick Griffith_4_1_Review

This indie-rock, electro-pop, synth album is the definition of glee. The songs are fun with lots of quirky samples that seem to be centralized around generally peppy things. Griffith’s voice has a soothing sound to it. Not to say it’s angelic, but something about it feels familiar and refreshing. The music is incredible. It’s fast and in-your-face synth-pop with synthesized drums that incorporates romantic feels at points with unexpected instrumentation. Every track on this album had its own thing that made it stand out. 

Favorite Track: Riding On My Bike

Release Date: March 20, 2020

CHROMB!

Le livre des Merveilles

Lyon, France

https://chromb.bandcamp.com/album/le-livre-des-merveilles

Le livre des merveilles_4-1 Review

‘Le livre des Merveilles’ is absolutely insane. It’s every ounce of what you’d imagine a post-jazz, post-rock, avant-garde, power-pop album would be. You never know what to expect. Each track creates an entirely new landscape and mental image. Some tracks, like “Le livre des Merveilles” are shorter and have a poppier feel, almost like Stereolab.  While other tracks like “Le fleuve Brison” start a little more cosmic feeling and take their time building into hugeness. The album maintains is unpredictability throughout splashing in longer experimental interludes featuring instrumentation from synths to strings within the tracks. Also, there are a ton incredible vocal harmonies.

Favorite Track: Le fleuve Brison

Release Date: March 27, 2020

Blankenberge

More

Saint Petersburg, Russia

https://blankenberge.bandcamp.com/album/more

Blankenberge

If you’re in dire need of walls of sound with pop-rock vibes underneath, this is the album for you. Blankenberge has fused together shoegaze, dream-pop, and post-rock together in a way that is astonishing. The instrumentation is saturated in a way that hits you in big emotional waves. One of the guitars sounds super wet and surfy, while the other creates ambiance and space. The songs are still driving and sometimes really upbeat, borderline optimistic-sounding, without being overtly happy. The vocals are super saturated and act as more of an instrument than lyrics to sing along with. There are huge post-rock builds and unexpected rhythmic changes throughout that make each song increasingly interesting. Altogether, it’s really beautiful music that makes ya feel good.

Favorite track: Look Around

Release Date: April 10, 2020

ODDLY

Loaded EP

Kyoto, Japan

https://oddlyband.bandcamp.com/album/loaded-ep

Oddly

“ODDLY is a 3 piece rock band with no bassist. Why we don’t need bass? Cuz we’re louder than that.” I took that from their Bandcamp about section because I thought it was perfect. It perfectly describes who they are and kind of how they sound,. Don’t let their promise of loudness dissuade you. I mean, it’s pretty loud, but it’s intricate and fun with little happy vibes overall. There’s a classic, early 90’s alternative punk vibe to it with apathetic vocals riddled with angst. I love the call-and-response in songs like their featured track, “Loaded”. From beginning to end, this EP is everything it promised to be with its title.

Favorite Track: Loaded

Release Date: March 27, 2020

SPC ECO

4EP April EP

UK

https://spceco.bandcamp.com/album/4-ep-april-ep

SPCECO

SPC ECO consists of former Curve member Dean Garcia and his daughter Rose Berlin. They’ve been doing this project actively since 2007 and have been putting out shorter EP’s the last few months. This EP is very fun and poppy with some really chill electronic songs and some really energetic songs. The dreaminess of this album is almost immeasurable. When you close your eyes and listen to tracks like, “Don’t Mind Me,” the mental scenery is so bright and positive. Other tracks, like my personal favorite, “Who We Are” have a more melancholy vibe to them with experimental textures and synth. This is an alum that you can get hypnotized by and utilize when you’re doing extended outside tasks like walking around, gardening, or driving.

Favorite Track: Who We Are

Release Date: April 1. 2020

Spring Reverb

It’s a Feeling She Don’t Believe In

Portland, Oregon

https://springreverb.bandcamp.com/album/its-a-feeling-she-dont-believe-in

SpringReverb

Okay, so this isn’t an album or an EP, it’s just a single. However, I’ve been obsessed, now listening to this track a dozen times. I can’t tell you what exactly I love about it so much. Is it the excessive use of spring reverb or that classic tone on the organ. I love the fact that it sounds like you’re listening to the track on a warped piece of vinyl. Something about it is so positive at the same time as being so haunting. It has every ounce of a happy day song when you’re driving down the street, wind in your hair, styling some huge fashionable sunglasses while still being ever so slightly unnerving. There’s nothing minor or negative about this jangle-pop track, which is something really great to be able to listen to and really enjoy right now. I can’t wait to hear more from this band.

Only Track: It’s A Felling She Don’t Believe In

Release Date: March 30, 2020

Once again, I hope you all enjoyed this installment of “Katy’s ‘End of Days’ Playlist”. I enjoyed making it. There’s a ton of amazing music coming out regardless of the world situation that can give us all a little comfort right now. Whether you’re into dark, heavy stuff or prefer things to be a little lighter right now, there’s something out there for you to enjoy. You just have to dig a little. Hopefully, these lists help steer you in the right direction.

Things are tough, but you better believe we’re tougher than this. Stay safe and healthy if you’re able to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Reach out to your friends and family and find something to occupy your mind so things don’t feel as dark. I’ve chosen to deep dive into Bandcamp and have found it to be a sanity-saving time consumer.

You are cared about even if it’s by someone or a group of people you’ve never met. We care about you. All of you. We want to help make this time bearable for people who aren’t used to being home all the time and severely want everyone to get through this with as little damage as possible, but we’re also here if you just need to talk to someone. Reach out. We love you all.

Katy’s ‘End Of Days’ Playlist (pt. 1)

Many of us are being ordered to stay at home, which sucks in a lot of ways. It’s easy to get stir crazy or bored. Luckily, we’re facing the apocalypse scenario we were never told about: the one with the internet is still available.

So, being stuck at home has its silver linings, I suppose. Today, I embarked on a quest to find some killer new music to rock out to during this time we’ve come to know as, “The End Of Days.” I spent hours digging on Bandcamp to find some truly exceptional playlist material. All of this has come out in the last week or so and varies dramatically.

Van Shed by Vanished

https://vanishedd.bandcamp.com/album/van-shed

Favorite Track: Voyager

VanShed by Vanished

This seven-track chillwave album is just what I needed today to make data entry seem like a Nintendo game. If you like happy, chill electronic albums, this is perfect for you. When I listened, it gave me a happy swelling feeling in my chest. It felt like what I used to call “optimism”. I can’t tell you anything about this artist other than they go by Vanished and live somewhere in Charleston, South Carolina. Whoever you are though… keep up the good work! This album came out on March 24, 2020.

. by Sharker Knife

https://sharkerknife.bandcamp.com/album/-

Favorite Track: Islands 

SharkerKnife

This album is the opposite of Van Shed. It is dark, harsh, thrashy, grimy, and industrial to a tee. Though the album is mildly unsettling, it fits very well with my lifestyle right now. When I listened through this the first time, I kept thinking about how it made me feel like I needed to stay in stealth mode as I gathered my essentials before heading to the nearest checkpoint. The album has a way of conveying the unnerving aspects of isolation. The weird knocks and creeks, the strange distorted noises coming from nearby. It’s almost sci-fi, but more on the mad scientist angle. This album was released on March 23, 2020.

The Artless Cuckoo Vol. II by DJ Scientist

https://equinoxrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-artless-cuckoo-vol-ii

Favorite Track: Rega, Rega, Rega

DJScientist

This EP comes out on March 27 and I’m super geeked. DJ Scientist is off Equinox Records, the German label out of Berlin. Right now, you can listen to, “Rega Rega Rega,” and “Road To Tashkent”.  Both the tracks that are available to listen to right now are bangers and I’m stoked to hear more. I think I cling to this so much because the samples are all over the place and vary in how they are distorted and effected while still sounding like chill soulful songs. This album is a fun one to listen to when you’re dying for a chill beat to bob your head to while out for a nature walk.

EX NIHLO by Grant Ulysses

https://grantulysses.bandcamp.com/album/ex-nihilo

Favorite Track: safety first

GrantUlysses

When I’m outside playing while maintaining my social distancing as instructed by the CDC, I need something a little more driving and poppy. I stumbled upon this new release from March 24th and felt my heart melt. This instrumental dream-pop album by Grant Ulysses from Toronto has the ups and downs that make the world seem like it has a retro camera filter on. Maybe it’s the tone of the guitar, the catchy riffs, and hooks, or maybe it’s the variance in the drum beats, but this album is fun and uplifting in a much-needed way.

pour celles et ceux qui nous croient condamné(e)s by BLATTE

https://blatte.bandcamp.com/album/pour-celles-et-ceux-qui-nous-croient-condamn-e-s

Favorite Track: L’Écuell

BLATTE

When I was scrolling through Bandcamp’s sub-genres under ‘electronic’, I found out about ‘witch house’ music. This piqued my curiosity, so I clicked the first band under the sub-genres tag and was happily greeted by this amazing EP. If you need a beautiful soundscape with shoegaze and post-rock vibes, this is for you. I got lost in the tracks of this album getting hit was ambient waves of distorted keys, guitars, and drums and I loved every second. This album was released on March 23, 2020.

Departure by Rayne Reznor

https://raynereznor.com/album/departure

Favorite Track: Survivors

RayneReznor

Sometimes you need a good sci-fi playlist. For example, currently, when I have to leave my house, I like to listen to really dark synthwave to set the tone for a post-apocalyptic raid for essentials. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to pay for my groceries, but if I walk in with a tough face on that says, “I’m all outta bubblegum,” no one gets within six feet of me. This album is fantastic if you’re in dire need of killer retrowave electronic montage music. I’m pretty sure I can say this with confidence… we all always need good montage music. This album dropped on March 24, 2020.

The Love you withhold is the pain you carry by Sunsetter

https://sunnsetter.bandcamp.com/album/the-love-you-withhold-is-the-pain-you-carry

Favorite Track: The Love you withhold is the pain you carry

Sunsetter

When I heard the first second of this albums featured track, I knew I was going to love it. This beautiful bedroom pop album is the first album released by Sunsetter since the 2018 album, “Worrybody”.  Sunsetter is the project of Andrew McLeod from Hamilton, Ontario. McLeod describes the last few years as some of the hardest. After fighting a tremendous battle with his mental illness and spending a lot of time isolated while trying to work through things, he describes being at an all-time low, feeling empty and uninspired. After a year without music, he joined the bands Zoongideewin and Deep Bright which got his musical gears turning and got him talking about music with friends again. This new Sunsetter album is so wonderfully deep. It gives you a pit in your stomach at the same time it warms your heart. This album came out on March 20, 2020.

Paranoia by Tenseventeen

https://tenseventeen.bandcamp.com/album/paranoia

Favorite Track: Tag You’re It

tenseventeen

If you’re craving something darker but still along the electronic vein,  this may be more down your alley. Paranoia is much darker and ambient with a beat driving it along, but soundscapes setting the tone. For example, it’s hard not to feel a little creeped out when listening to the tracks when one of the tones sounds a lot like the ominous wind. This album was released on March 20, 2020. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of “Katy’s ‘End of Days’ Playlist. I’ll keep my eyes on the web for cool new stuff coming out during our elongated time at home. Stay tuned for part 2 coming to a computer near you soon. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your damn hands!

Detroit Darkness

I thought I might write a little something close to home. About the glorious music scene in my very own Michigan. I know, I said Detroit. However as anyone from the D will tell you, all white boys from the suburbs claim Detroit even if they currently live in Kalamazoo MI. While doing the podcast with SYZGYX last night I got excited talking about our local scene. Then figured why not share it with all of you 🙂 Lets start with some bands.

East Side

Josie Pace – Nightmare pop that takes top 40 sensibility wraps a rusty chain around it’s neck and chokes the shit out of it. Josie takes singer songwriter hooks then feeds them through a spicy electroclash beat. With an LA aesthetic and a motor city grit.

Schedule IV – Post Punk synth wave with giant sound and piercing powerful vocals from Steph Strange. They do a wonderful live show that is wound tight and full of soul. One of our favorite bands to play with SIV are a must see.

Vazum – Dark Retro dream rock with a flowing minimalist style. I really like their crunchy 90’s grunge style with dark edges. Large thumping drums and Zach’s slippery shifting melodies carry you on a roller coaster of driving fuzz.

Heavy Water Factory – Textural industrial old school that has been a part of the Detroit scene since I was a high school kid in black boots and a trench coat. When it comes to perfect production and beats that take over the floor Jesse McClure is one of the most respected in the business. It’s electric, it makes you dance, it’s the soundtrack of my angry youth. Just out with a new album after a long hiatus, HWF has not lost a beat.

Ritual Howls – The sinister dark rock poets have brought their European style Nick Cave shadow twang to the motor city and continue to spew forth quality content from the void.

The Ruiners – Detroit Gothabilly royalty have been a little quiet as of late. They hold a special place in my heart. I had the honor of playing with their must see stage extravaganza complete with ex Amaranth singer Nina. Her husband Rick Ruiner is Iggy Pop 1977 brought forth and made flesh. There is no party not made better by throwing Ruiners on the stereo.

Siamese – Thicccc bass lines and lovely crooning vocals are the trademark of shadowy retro rockers Siamese. They really blend the synths and rock seamlessly to create that metal gauntlet in a velvet glove.

Detroit also sports one of the United States oldest and best Goth Clubs “City Club

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LelandCityClub/about/?ref=page_internal

Featuring Djs – Jay Itchon, Charles English, with guests like Sandra Katz, and Leo Oakley

As well as Smalls, my favorite Detroit venue for live bands. They also have a badass Industrial night on Fridays and Saturdays.

https://www.facebook.com/smallsbar/?eid=ARAUlR3Gcafk-qUXIzgdn3iotK5_tNdpe9NuJng0HVB1aUMWYzeVNzuRZ-v5fuoab96DgpJwEkr9Zbd3

Featuring : DJ Aaron Hingst, DJ Elektrosonik ,

Suburbs

Audrey Burne – Our dear friends dark fantasy rockers Audrey Burne bring that witchy energy from Bay City. Powerful vocals and intricate construction. They have a wonderful intimate live show.

Damien Done – He toured through Europe doing dark folk. Then returned back to Michigan and reinvented with incredible midnight alternative post punk with a dark humor. Deep, rich voice that just draws you in. Why have I never played with them? 🙂

Ann Arbor also has a great Monday night goth event I have tragically never made it too. I hear great things though. Djd by Jay Itchon and Leo Oakley

https://www.facebook.com/FactoryAtNecto/

West Side

My home town of Kalamazoo MI sports on of the secretly greatest goth scenes in the midwest. Smack dab between Chicago and Detroit this has been a stopover spot and music mecca for many years.

Katy Needs A Life – Synth Princess and S & S contributor these ethereal 80s prom dream waves are always a great show. It’s lovely, pure, and authentic.

Sexy Toxins – Eurotrash disco sex party duo A Toxin and B Toxin take performance art and ass slapping beats that are a guaranteed good time every time you see them. I can think of few live shows in this life I had more fun at.

Nekomata – These doom metal droning sound explosion are so fucking good they make me listen to metal. It’s beautiful sludgy filth. Have you ever had your ass kicked by sound alone, because this is how you do that. Plus Myah is in this video.

Drink Their Blood – Some like their metal with a little more speed and sizzle and Drink Their Blood are furious wizards of the keyboard. Ben Boggs is a vocal experience not to be missed. Plus Saxophone + Metal !!!

Thee Elder Gods – Kalamazoo’s punk rock icons. The play loud, mean, and take no shit off anyone

Deadlight Holiday – High energy goth slush from Grand Rapids Michigan play a wonderful shoegaze darkness and have an electric stage show full of leather, sweat, and fury.

https://kidsaintnothing.bandcamp.com/releases

Kid Saint Nothing – This brilliant new release from my dear friend Reggie left me floored. It’s tender, genuine and full of pop hooks that stick in my mind. It has transported me with a scope that goes from fury to elegance. You must hear this. I can’t wait to see it played live.

Amaranth – we make bullshit goth about Ninjas, Swordfights and Lambos.

Kalamazoo also sports one of the best goth dance nights around Chaos. Anastasia and Asher (Dj Wyrmwood) have created a beautiful and inclusive environment for music and dancing to thrive. Every time I bring someone from a big city to our local goth party they are blown away wondering how is this happening in the tiny hamlet of Kalamazoo.

https://www.facebook.com/ChaosKalamazoo/

I’ll try and keep adding to this. If your city deserves a great write up to celebrate it’s music culture than hit me up and lets tell people why you are excited.