Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Hypnotic Diagnosis on New Aural and Video Music Releases

As the springtime month of May continues it's journey towards a much-anticipated summer of adventure, DaveCromwellWrites quest for conscientious literary analysis also forges on. Renowned legends with deep discographies (still going strong) share space here alongside trusted labels, emerging artists and debut entries as well. The benefits of heightened listening inspire lucid thoughts on these new sound and visual creations.

Shoredive Records is one of those labels you can always count on to deliver new (or previously unheard) artists of the highest quality. They hit the mark once again with the Australian musical project Hey Calamity. Setting up a studio in a remote location on the South Australian coastline of Millicent (halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide), singer/guitarist and sole songwriter Dave Thomas has released “Lulu,” a full album of exquisite new material. A full track-by-track analysis commences now.

The album opens mysteriously with first track “Underwater” rising up from a submerged world. Dreamgaze stylings are instantly recognizable through shimmering guitars and romanticized vocals. “The Scream” follows with a swirling ambient wash behind busier guitar-bass+drums propulsion. It's a driving rocker that remains fully embedded in the gazier side of things. Lead single “Misfits” bursts out with an instantly-likeable anthemic guitar melody that blends seamlessly with just the right amount of percussive rhythm. Telling the tale of “being young with dreams of days gone by,” spells out a universally relatable story youth on the move. Ear-catching bass-lines and a gorgeous guitar-melody end out cap off this 4 minute beauty.

Check out this dreamy, future-looking video here:

Everest” benefits from a heavily reverbed drum pattern and guest bass-guitar contribution from Maud Platiau-Bourret. The dominating force of distinctive guitar hook, passionate vocals and melodic progression stand out against more ambient open spaces. Shimmering keyboards highlight the romantic progression of “Lines Are Drawn.” Double-voice effected vocals add a swooning touch, as do well-placed power chords and distinctive lead-guitar melody lines. “Making Time” begins the first two tracks that feature lead vocals by guest singer Emily T. Her voice is quite lovely and perfectly captures the lightness of this pop beauty. The chorus is truly magnificent with its perfect chord progression and lyrical sentiment “start making time for yourself.” Additional sinuey guitar work adds one more satisfying element to it all.

The second Emily T contribution “Soft Illusion” builds around piano chords and synthesizer textures. With a descending effects-laden vocal progression, echoes of The Cranberries can be felt here. Guitars are masterfully employed on melodies and leads for maximum results. Ambient wind rushes and cathedral keyboards join the fray for Dave T's lead-vocal return on “The Crunch.” A more straight-forward driving rocker, the downward guitar-riff chorus emphasizes punch over pop. “Tightrope” features a swirling carnival keyboard sound, bright percussion and as always those melodic guitar lines. Vocals come on a bit different this time, unburied and clearer throughout. “It Doesn't Matter To Me” rises up from distant horizons, initially driven by bass-guitar, ambient textures and smooth vocals. Solid drumming eventually works it way into the mix of this fully-formed, melody driven track. Final entry “Saving Grace” layers distinctive orchestrated guitar sections in syncopated, parallel segments. Reversing a well-known phrase into “caught between a hard place and a rock” drives home that feeling we've all experienced at one point or another.

Check out this album, including how to acquire it here:

Follow Hey Calamity on their Socials here:  Facebook  -  Instagram  -  Twitter

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Four years ago DaveCromwellWrites headed down to The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn to check out the live show from pioneering psychedelic rockers The Telescopes. In the midst of their “Exploding Head Tour” (named after their at-that-time-current album “Exploding Head Syndrome”) founder and frontman Stephen Lawrie delivered a wave of swelling sonic drone where the structure of fully complete songs would emerge inside of. The Telescopes are now back with their 15th album release, the fifth for Tapete Records titled “Of Tomorrow.” Created entirely by Lawrie in his studio, the record marks an evolution of the artists overall sound. A track-by-track review follows below.

Opening track “Butterfly” comes complete with a stylish video by Jean De Oliveira & Matilda Reid that features creative manipulation of Matilda Reid's image in an overall cohesive fashion. The track itself is a doom-laden descending-progression that emphasizes a slow burning deep-bass groove. “Oh baby – Oh lover – we'll ride again” Stephen sings, against the pulsating, psychedelic backdrop. A higher-pitched keyboard textures run through the sonic middle, creating an ominous level of tension throughout. Rhyming lyrics “we'll fly again – we'll get high again – we'll thrive again – come alive again” concluding with “we'll hit the sky” drive home the poetic simplicity of songcraft.

Check out this trippy video here:

Follow up cut “Everything Belongs” builds around a basic percussive pattern, clean bass and open note guitar figures. Vocals come on slow and measured, with elongated phrasing for dramatic effect. An unusual flickering can be detected in the mix, creating one more element of surprise.  “Where Do We Begin” rides along an angular bass-guitar progression as eastern-influenced guitar figures lay out an unsettling pattern. “Where does it end” serves as a complimentary bookend to the questioning songtitle.  “Only Lovers Know” slows things down with a twangy western riff, bright shuffling drumming and root-note bass guitar. Vocals are delivered in a drowsy manner that would fit right in a David Lynch film.

The Other Side” pairs buzzing textures with a pummeling rhythm that saws back and forth with trance-like precision. Soporific vocals complete the album title when Stephen sings “On the other side – of tomorrow.” Bonus points for the psych-out guitar solo just past the midpoint.  “Under Starlight” emphasize a time-signature on the 2's as ambient keyboard tones hold firm underneath. Bright percussion shares space with a return of that unusual flickering pattern (similar to the sound a lawn sprinkler makes).  The album's final (and longest) track “Down By The Sea” bobs along a dreamy, slow building rhythm, anchored by hard-slap percussion and floating guitar tones. Measured vocals emphasize longer-held voicings, prolonged in a pensive manner. “Dream with me,” Stephen sings – which sums up the entire mood of this album.

Additionally, the album can also be found on their Bandcamp.

Follow The Telescopes on their Social Media - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

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Finding their way into the DaveCromwellWrites universe is a new Indie Rock band called Sonic Maven. With a sound built from the raw blues of The Black Keys/White Stripes mode, their just released debut single “Look at Me Now” aims to embolden people in the quest to follow their dreams. A careful listen and detailed review of this track is embarked on below.

An introductory chord progression chugs out in clean simplicity, laying groundwork for the layering that will follow. Those notes commence on the second pass through, with rich, buzzing riffs dropping sinuey melody lines that instantly grab your attention. Vocals, bass and drums come in together just after that, with passionate lyrics stating “the stones may break my bones, but your words cut deeper than they every could.” That ultimately leads to the title line “look at me now,” which morphs from an initial unaffected delivery – followed by a reverberated take – and then one fully FX'd with harmonized guitar line alongside. It's a brilliant use of studio savvy, and one that does bring to mind the aforementioned Black Keys.

The initial guitar melody returns in a more energized state, with the drums and bass driving it all along with an animated tension. Another guitar melody emerges over top of that, continuing to surprise and build as the track progresses. “You said I did not have what it would take” are the fiery vocal lines that follow. The protagonist is having none of that however, forcing those who attempt to discourage and crush one's dreams to take a second look. The vocals become more rough and wild as the song goes on, evolving into a scream of defiance. Carefully crafted spaces – as in the singular reverberated vocal drop “Me Now” - followed by more ferocious guitar work show there isn't a single note wasted across the entire 3:34 of this song.

Check out this killer cut here:

Follow Sonic Maven via their Socials - Official Website - Instagram - Facebook

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