Right Hear, Right Now: 5 Great New Songs From Phoenix Artists
A screenshot from the music video for Satyr Comma's "Anticipation Ties the Knot."
Holy Fawn - "Colossus"
At the same moment Ryan Osterman announced that Owl & Penny had run its course after two full-length albums of original material, an album of covers, and an EP, he announced a new endeavor, Holy Fawn. The new just released its first song, the five-minute "Colossus." As with everything Osterman touches, this is a work of textured, delicate beauty with a different bent than his previous band — still dreamy and hazy as ever but heavier, somewhat more psychedelic. In Holy Fawn, he is joined by Alexander Rieth (bass), Evan Phelps (guitar), and Austin Reinholz (drums). "Colussus" is an impressive calling card. As with Owl & Penny, Holy Fawn incorporates lyrics that rely heavily on nature imagery. The song (which would be a great soundtrack to walking through the woods) is dense with gauzy layers of atmospheric sound surrounding the angelic vocals. I would expect nothing less from any crew that Osterman is directing, and I have a feeling that this direction has re-enlivened his inspiration, while displaying his talent a bit more overtly.
The Breaking Pattern - "Alaska"
If you want straight-up indie rock with a pop sheen, you may want to check out The Breaking Pattern. I heard of them a month ago, but when I saw that they would be playing the Sundressed EP release party (with Holy Fawn as well), I had to check into their singles again. "Alaska" is the second pre-release single from their forthcoming album, following quick on the heels of "The Rapture" released in June. The Breaking Pattern is Derek Hackman (guitar, vocals), Sam Kjar (lead guitar), Andy Gingerich (bass) and Brandon Dillman (drums). Together they are producing a hell of a sound. The crunchy, angular guitar that opens the song is brilliant, but sadly we don't hear it again. That being said, it doesn't need to return because you immediately become lost in the music exploding in your ears. There are more profound moments, like the quirky break with an interesting guitar line and minimalist percussion after the first chorus. Hackman proves that he has quite a vocal range and comes up with an unexpected and perfect falsetto at one point. All in all, it's a great song, like its predecessor. I will be very interested to check out the full album because The Breaking Pattern is two-for-two. If that consistency carries, their debut will be a compelling release.
Interstate Heroes - "Runaway"
I've seen Interstate Heroes popping up on recent lineups with other bands I like, and I thought I should finally check them out. I was not disappointed. Interstate Heroes' current lineup includes Dara Couch (vocals), Jay Zarecki (guitar/vocals), Ryan Fontaine (bass), and Lou Perez (drums). Couch replaced Madison Avery, who provides the lead vocals on "Runaway," the opening track of the band's debut EP. It's just a perfect punky power-pop song that not only is catchy, but is sexy as hell. An earlier version of "Runaway" was released a couple of years ago, but it doesn't hold a candle to this one and its insistent urgency. The in-your-face but catchy tune is about a girl who loves a boy who wants to run away. She's willing to put up with him as long as they can fool around anyway. It's not a great anthem in a feminist sense, but it's a great rock 'n' roll song. Let's face it, this is not an uncommon happening in uneven relationships. I'm interested in hearing Dara's take on this song in a live setting the next chance I get.
Satyr Comma - "Anticipation Ties the Knot"
It turns out that Jessica Kelley is a multi-talented individual. I was aware of her handcrafted customer jewelry designs, but I was not aware until last week that she also is a musician. Her jewelry brand uses the moniker Satyr Comma and so, too, does her music. I had no idea what to expect when she posted the video for the pre-release single from her forthcoming album, Dendrophobia, a reference to the fear of trees. Not only is the video visually stunning, but the music is utterly fascinating. It sounds like something that would come out of Iceland, a la early, experimental Bjork, with its industrial pounding and unusual percussion choices. Fundamentally, "Anticipation Ties the Knot" is electronica but goes way beyond the genre, with its unique arrangement hypnagogic vocals, and fantastic composition. It may not have a hook, but its unusual direction will stay on your mind. It is clear that Kelley is as artistically minded about her music as she is about her jewelry. Check out the video shot by David Miller, featuring her and the ever-stunning local luminary Luxbot Lacheln in a swimming pool fantasy. In case you are wondering, that is Satyr Comma jewelry in the video. I can't imagine what she will do across an entire album, but I can't wait to find out.
Sonoran Chorus - "Pike"
From the ashes of Leonardo DiCapricorn, Sonoran Chorus has risen. This is great news for fans saddened by the demise of the former band. Damon Dominguez (bass/vox) and Joe Allie (guitar/vox) from Leonardo DiCapricorn have teamed up with Alex LeBlanc (guitar/vox) and Troy Penny (drums) to form Sonoran Chorus. They recently dropped two singles from their upcoming debut EP, produced by Jalipaz at Audioconfusion. I want to spotlight "Pike" because it features Damon on vocals, and it may help DiCapricorn fans ease into the transition. It's fast and furious and never lets up in its two and a half minutes. It's always amazing how many words Dominguez can slam into such a short song, and here he does it again without apology. This, to me, is just pure fun, and both songs hold a lot of promise for Sonoran Chorus, which features three vocalists. Now I just hope they last a bit longer than their previous band. If you like what you hear, you may want to drop by 51 West in Tempe on Friday night where they will be joined by Instructions, Boss Frog, and Captain Samurai.
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