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Alt-folk duo NewBalance releases debut album, performs at The Smell

“...Quiet songs with minimal arrangements.”

Jeremy Leasure describes the aim of his tandem debut with Brittany Beppu, Thoughts on Future Hindsight, concisely. As NewBalance, the duo draws something different from Leasure’s older project, Canyons, of which Beppu occasionally contributes to. They're more influenced by songwriters like Scott Walker and Townes Van Zandt, Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn. Poignant and noble.

Beppu's voice stands out in the album’s tape scratch “Shirley Temple”. At first the lyrics are cryptic, but the songs emerge as individual character sketches, says Leasure—an attempt "...to understand how we cope when things don't go the way we imagined they would." He hopes that the songs provide the same comfort to his audience as they did for him. NewBalance’s next performance on the 19th at The Smell with Tone in Georgia, Hannah and minimall. Listen to the opener "Cartoon Captions" off Thoughts on Future Hindsight, out now. - Kaitlyn Tang

Live Review: Miya Folick at Non Plus Ultra 8/13

We clapped for a man who had eaten four hamburgers, someone from deep in the crowd. Loko Ono’s drummer Jason Adam picked him out.

That was after vōx’s (pronounced “wokes”) opening set, which the audience gave a wide berth for. She ended on the floor after escaping from a sheer curtain, shadows of lancet arches blocking out flowers as she became a voice and nothing more.

And in the end, Jason and Kathleen Adams ended on the floor too, turned into some jumbling mess of limbs after recalling tales of a primitive world. A rhetorical question fell on self-conscious ears—most people were not willing to dance. But that didn’t undermine Loko Ono’s performance; it was quite clear they did not give a fuck either way.

By the time Miya Folick carved out her stage, fans were lining the ramparts of Non Plus Ultra. Formalities first: Folick revealed the music video for “Pet Body”, which also debuted at 2015’s CMJ Music Marathon. She watched on from the sidelines with her crew and Nick Ventura (Froth, HOTT MT), subbing in with his faded fiesta red Jaguar.

Minutes later, Folick was staring at the sea of strange darlings, head submerged in tessellations of light. We nearly suffocated on neighbors’ small talk until she cranked the fuzz way up and blew the room out. Made it sound large and vast like the ocean. She had no trouble adjusting; it was clear as the first time we saw her that the singer was in her element no matter the crowd. All she needed was a crowd.

You get a second chance next week at Girlschool Collective’s collab with San Pedro’s Third Thursdays Live, minus Loko Ono/plus Gavin Turek, Dot and DJ Suzie Strong. - Ryan Mo, photo by Rachel Collins

Bishop Briggs releases electropop single "Pray (Empty Gun)"

Following her appearance at Ontario's WAYHOME festival, Bishop Briggs (fka BISHOP) releases her new single "Pray (Empty Gun)" to much blog fanfare. The net-banger pits In Return-era  Odeszian synths strained through recuperated trap beats, courtesy of producer duo MJ&iRoK, with the cosmopolitan voice of LA-transplant Briggs.

Bishop Briggs plays her next show with Coldplay at the Rose Bowl on 8/20. Listen to Pray (Empty Gun) below. - Photo by Chad Kamenshine

 

Springtime Carnivore announce new album Midnight Room, tours the US

Springtime Carnivore, the nom de plume of singer-songwriter Greta Morgan, was going through some significant changes after the release of her self-titled debut. A number of unfortunate life events, from a devastating breakup to becoming a first time solo-dweller, turned Morgan's world upside down, except that she took from those learned experiences to fuel her spirit and settle her mind as well. This self-actualization can be heard on her latest single "Face in the Moon", off of her upcoming follow-up Midnight Room, a bouncy, finger-snapping number that highlights Morgan's sweet and tender croon as she confronts the loneliness that overtakes her. In spite of this, the effervescent mood of the track symbolizes a rejuvenating place of sweetness and light.

Morgan recently anounced a fall tour supporting friend and collaborator Katy Goodman (of La Sera). The tour will kick off on October 7 at Pomona, and will continue across the US before wrapping it up with a hometown gig at Bootleg Theter on November 5. Midnight Room comes out on October 7 on Autumn Tone Records. - Juan Rodríguez

Live Review: Save The Smell Fest 8/6

When The Smell was given notice to close for demolition, news spread like wildfire and galvanized Southland's music comunity into action. Organizer/musician Gregory Cole (Crescendo) scrapped plans for his summer DreamGaze Festival and concentrated efforts to raise funds for the legendary venue. But he was not alone in that endeavor—Cole reached out to two active veterans for help: Top Acid's Chris Gonzalez and guitarist/singer Sophie Negrini (Janelane).

"Gregory messaged me out-of-the-blue because he had read a post of mine [where] I wrote about how much The Smell meant to myself and the rest of the community when the building first received its demolition notice," Negrini recalls. Even though the three ran in different scenes, the DIY venue's monumental influence brought them together. 

With owner Jim Smith's blessing and months of planning and outreach, over 30 bands joined with hundreds of fans on August 6th in a converted warehouse space near the San Antonio Winery. The three were rarely in sight—always running from stage to stage, prepping backlines, moving equipment, and keeping the cross streets free of pedestrian traffic and litter. Crowds moshed and nodded in solidarity. Despite minor issues with sound and schedule (it's never picture-perfect when you're DIY), the festival came up with over $15,000 raised.

"This is the teamwork & togetherness that saves The Smell. I have no doubt in our community's ability to achieve [The Smell's] permanence of address for generations of music lovers of all ages," says Cole in retrospect.

Gonzalez was even impressed by the results. "I think that’s just a huge indicator and a true testament to how much respect everyone has for Jim and the sober scene he’s created at The Smell."

Check out our photo recap of Save The Smell Fest on our Instagram @TheDeliLA. - photo by Rachel Collins

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