“Scales” by Owel
Not so many moons ago, Asbury’s own Indie-Rockers, Chemtrail, held a record release party at Asbury Lanes for the outfit’s 2011 full-length effort Youth Obsessed Death Culture. Playing the support role that evening was the Boardwalk’s own Grunge-Punks The Obvious and a little known but all too impressive Atmospheric-Rock collective named Old Nick. After landing on SIMGE’s Top EPs of 2011 list with an alluring demo, Old Nick went into hibernation mode and we feared the worst. Thankfully, the band has returned but with a brand new monicker: Owel. The group released its self-titled debut at the beginning of the new year and the 11-track collection was fronted by a single titled “Scales”. Those familiar with the work Old Nick will recognize the sparse and withdrawn opening, however, these subdued instrumentals fade and give way to the hardest brand of music this group has ever produced…which is still more reserved than most, but all too enjoyable. Be sure to check out Owel with West The Defender, and Elephant In The Room at Maxwell’s on January 25th in support of the Garden State’s own Socratic.
“Skyscraper” by Elephant
The musical duo of Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck met in the drowsy distortion of a late night-into early morning loft party back in May of 2010 and have since established themselves in the London underground as a burgeoning Lo-fi Dream-Pop group for the beachcomber under the monicker Elephant. Shortly after Elephant’s formation, the pair found a home on the London-based label Memphis Industries which has distributed works by such well known outfits as Tokyo Police Club, The Ruby Suns, and The Go! Team, among others. However, after the release of a lauded debut EP, Assembly (2011), all was not well as this working relationship turned rancorous establishing an emotional and professional divide that threatened to end Elephant before the group ever got off the ground. After a period of radio silence old wounds did heal as Rivas and Pinchbeck began shaping its debut full-length release, which is slated to drop sometime in 2013. The record is fronted by a new Doo-wop infused single, “Skyscraper”, featuring Rivas’ sultry croon cloaked in a blanket of cavernous distortion and accompanied by a prickly rounded guitar riff turned up in the mix. Pinchbeck’s ghostly howl accents both verse and refrain allowing for a haunting cut both in earworm pleasure and vocal practice. “Skyscraper” is scheduled for a March 26th release with a b-side titled “Spies”.
“The Hardest Part” by Kisses
Kisses is the L.A.-based disco influenced Pop project of multi-instrumentalitst, and Princeton member, Jesse Kivel and fashion blogger Zinzi Edmundson that is currently prepping its sophomore effort Kids In LA. The followup and counterbalance to 2010’s The Heart Of The Nightlife, which documented the hustle bustle of the pair’s prime vacation spot of Palm Springs, will discuss the Winter season and how it transforms this beach towel riddled paradise into an abandoned ghost town. The record’s lead single, “The Hardest Part”, is a melodious bass laden piece of ear candy and will drop with the rest of the collection on May 14th via Cascine.