©2017 playlistplay

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FEATURES

FEATURES

  • Gallery
    Gallery

    GALLERY: X AMBASSADORS, IRON TOM, OLIVIA FOX (THE MIDLAND / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Andy Braz

    Photographer:
    Andy Braz
    Date:
    Dec. 14, 2017
    Venue:
    The Midland
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri

  • Best Of
    Best OfBest Of 2017Features

    BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 / NICK

    - by Nick Howland

    This year was filled with the good, the bad, the really bad, and the “oh shit, I’m moving to Canada” bad. There were days when we weren’t sure if we were going to wake up and find out that our best friends or family were forced to a different country; one that people thought we belonged in but had actually never set foot in. Hatred, sexual abuse, and lies surrounded us after we thought there was no way this year could be worse than last.

    Insert cliche sentence about “at least we had good music.” While it sounds bogus, the albums below at least gave me something to channel all the emotions I had throughout this year into something that seemed more tangible than the toxic air around us. This is the first year in memory where music both helped and hurt, though. Many of our favorite bands came under fire for previous (or current) mistakes, tainting something we turn to when everything else is crumbling. Bands that we’ve listened to since our formative years, like Brand New, now symbolize a confused and shameful moment in time.

    Through the muck and fire, we all somehow made it though. We’re still here to take another listen to the rough “fuck everything” tones of Run The Jewels 3, soft introspection of Richard Edward’s Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset, and the sympathetic mournfulness of Sorority Noise’s perfect and perfectly titled You’re Not As _____ As You Think.

    At least we have that: another day for another listen.

    30. The xx,
    I See You

    Stream on Spotify

    29. Japandroids,
    Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

    Stream on Spotify

    28. Run The Jewels,
    Run The Jewels 3

    Stream on Spotify

    27. Susto,
    & I’m Fine Today

    Stream on Spotify

    26. Conor Oberst,
    Salutations

    Stream on Spotify

    25. The Menzingers,
    After The Party

    Stream on Spotify

    24. Remember Sports,
    Sunchokes

    Stream on Spotify

    23. Arcade Fire,
    Everything Now

    Stream on Spotify

    22. Queens of the Stone Age,
    Villains

    Stream on Spotify

    21. The Districts,
    Popular Manipulations

    Stream on Spotify

    20. Overcoats,
    YOUNG

    Stream on Spotify

    19. Sylvan Esso,
    What Now

    Stream on Spotify

    18. Field Medic,
    Songs from the Sunroom

    Stream on Spotify

    17. Pet Symmetry,
    Vision

    Stream on Spotify

    16. Hippo Campus,
    Landmark

    Stream on Spotify

    15. Smidley,
    Smidley

    Stream on Spotify

    14. Oso Oso,
    The Yunahon Mixtape

    Stream on Spotify

    13. Emperor X,
    Oversleepers International

    Stream on Spotify

    12. Great Grandpa,
    Plastic Cough

    Stream on Spotify

    11. New Found Glory,
    Makes Me Sick

    Stream on Spotify

    10. Bleachers,
    Gone Now

    Stream on Spotify

    9. Diet Cig,
    Swear I’m Good At This

    Stream on Spotify

    8. Mansionz,
    Mansionz

    Stream on Spotify

    7. Brand New, Science Fiction

    Sexual harassment, of any kind, is not okay. If you are seeking help or are wanting learn more, please visit the website below.

    RAINN.com

    9to5: National Association of Working Women
    1-800-522-0925

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    1-800-669-4000

    6. Cataldo, Keepers

    Stream on Spotify

     

    5. Julien Baker, Turn Off the Lights

    Stream on Spotify

     

    4. Richard Edwards, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset

    Stream on Spotify

     

    3. Phoebe Bridgers, Strangers in the Alps

    Stream on Spotify

     

    2. Manchester Orchestra, Black Mile to the Surface

    Stream on Spotify

     

    1. Sorority Noise, You’re Not as ___ as You Think

    Stream on Spotify

     

  • Gallery
    GallerySofar Sounds

    SOFAR SOUNDS KANSAS CITY RECAP 12/08/17: KAT KING, OLIVIA FOX, INSTANT KARMA!

    - by Sofar Sounds Kansas City
    Photo gallery by Anna Selle, Story by Steven Ervay, Poster by Nick Howland

    Last Friday night, 30 or so music lovers grabbed their wine bottles and beer coolers and headed to a stranger’s house in the South Plaza area. Why? Because Sofar Sounds Kansas City was kicking out another great night of intimate music. The stunning family home was the gathering place, warm and cozy, the patrons steadily streamed in and found their spot.

    Instant Karma! started the evening. This dynamic group mixes everything you love about soul, funk, and rock to create their unique peppy sound. The songs carry a palpable groove to them, accentuated by frontman Colby Bales’ smooth voice and the charming call and responses of the female backup singers.

    Carrying the evening forward, country folk trio OLIVIA FOX hit the proverbial stage. Keys, guitar, violin, drums, and the most beautiful three piece harmonies to hit the Plaza. The relatively new trio has been playing around KC for the past year or so, but we can expect to start seeing them on larger stages.

    Closing out the night was Kat King from Lawrence, Kansas. The singer songwriter – fresh off the release of her new EP “Falling Up” – performed a solid mix of both old and new songs. Folk tinged heartbreak songs for our generation.

    Sofar Sounds KC would like to thank it’s sponsors: Playlistplay, Fine Dining ProductionsDo816, Boulevard Brewing, Virgin Mobile, and Night In Media and the hosts.

  • Best Of
    Best OfBest Of 2017Features

    BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 / SAVANNA

    - by Savanna Howland

    I struggle to find words because the music is too important. It meant too much to describe in my words, in an underwhelming paragraph, in a messy blurb of sentences. Each album on this list shaped who I am, who I’ve become in 2017, and what Playlistplay has become.

    It’s weird how music reaches us where we are. It’s tentacles intertwine with
    our insecurities // our confidence
    .
    our joy // our depression
    .
    the sparkle of a new relationship // the ashes of an old one
    .
    the thrill of being high // how numb it feels to sink.

    We can’t always explain why we feel how we do about a piece of music but all I can hope is that you, too, will get butterflies when you listen to these records.

    10. Japandroids,
    Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

    Stream on Spotify

    09. Run The Jewels,
    Run The Jewels 3

    Stream on Spotify

    08. David Bazan,
    Care

    Stream on Spotify

    07. Angus and Julia Stone,
    Snow

    Stream on Spotify

    06. Aaron Lee Martin,
    Learned Behavior

    Stream on Spotify

    05. Temples,
    Volcano

    Stream on Spotify

    04. The xx,
    I See You

    Stream on Spotify

    03. Julien Baker,
    Turn Out The Lights

    Stream on Spotify

    02. LANY,
    LANY

    Stream on Spotify

    01. Sampha,
    Process

    Stream on Spotify

  • Best Of
    Best OfBest Of 2017Features

    BEST SONGS OF 2017

    - by playlistplay

    2017 is ending and there were more phenomenal songs than we could fit within a simple list. Similar to our other lists, there’s no order here; we can’t regulate our love that much. Peep the team’s top tracks and let us know your own personal year end list in the comments below.

    Overcoats, “I Don’t Believe In Us”

    Heartbreaking lyrics, enveloped by a very primal, beautiful soundscape that would make even the most jaded music fan sway their hips. -Meredith

    Pale Waves, “There’s A Honey”

    The quartet hit their stride with their very first single, displaying glittery 80s synth-pop vibes reminiscent of the 1975. -Meredith

    Whoa Dakota, “Patterns”

    Light as a feather 90’s vibes despite the driven, “no bullshit” lyrics, executed perfectly by the craziest vocal range we’ve heard in awhile. -Meredith

    SZA, “Broken Clocks”

    On her sophomore album, “CTRL,” SZA delivers emotional vulnerability wrapped in biting one-liners over hypnotic melodies. Picking a highlight of the 14 tracks on “CTRL” is not easy, but “Broken Clocks” is equal parts melancholic and buoyant in a way that will bring you back listen after listen. -Anna

    MUNA, “Promise”

    Photo by Anna Selle

    I saw a few (dozen) shows this year, and without contention ‘Promise’ was my favorite song to see performed live. Both in the intimate confines of recordBar in February and in the open-air KC Live Block! Stage in June, MUNA’s introspective bop about romantic self-sabotage rolled with uncomfortable truth through a head-nodding crowd. -Anna

    deer scout, “sad boy”

    Dena Miller aka deer scout has a knack for entrancing sad and non sad humans alike normally with her lo fi melancholy indie folk sound. With ‘sad boy’ Miller leaps into the realm of mesmerizing dream pop, ribbing on self loathing indie rock culture in the process. The single will linger in your earbuds days after (or in my case the latter half of 2017) begging you to play it again to hear Miller flourish in the sadness. -Austin

    Duncan Fellows, “Fresh Squeezed”

    Take a trip through Duncan Fellows past work and you’ll be driving through a ranging indie folk sound forest. Mindful of their roots yet yearning to evolve, ‘Fresh Squeezed’ takes a pit stop to pick up hints of a twangy, burgeoning synth pop helping craft a concoction the Fellows call “cheesy gordita crunch pop”. The buttery, dare I say melty, single should serve as delicious nectar to the ears along the vigorous trip that is their first full length, “Both Sides of The Ceiling.” -Austin

    The Wild Reeds, “Fruition”

    Not long into January 2017, I stumbled upon The Wild Reeds, resurfacing my affixation for empowering harmonic folk music. 4 months later I sold my ticket to a friend’s sold out show, took a 45 minute solo trip to the Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS, and was in awe of the mind bending rhythms and sounds I had so obsessed over since the release of their 2nd LP “The World We Built”. The final act of the album, ‘Fruition’ hits you at your core, as the narrator strives for self actualization, letting you know you’re not alone in your own anxieties and welcome in the world that the Reeds built. -Austin

    Kevin Morby, “City Music”

    Purposefully simple lyrics give way to the full bodied, at times tingly guitar riffs in Kevin Morby’s song ‘City Music’, off the 2017 release of the same name. Best to listen whilst wandering a city, no matter how familiar, as it causes even the most knowledgeable urban dweller to reimagine and rediscover their concrete playground. Don’t fret, the weightlessness you’ll feel is natural, designed to put the pep in your step (or bike wheel if you’re so inclined) as you glide down the rivers that have taken the place of once daunting roads. -Austin

    Richard Edwards, “Lil Dead Eye-d”

    “I got bored of California, bored of the sun that always shines.” Within one line the frontman of cherished acid-folk band Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s summarizes a fairly universal feeling for most of us in 2017: a disconnection from reality. Everything around us making us want to detach further and further, waiting for the next distraction to come along. It’s a calming song that somehow reminds you of how fucked things are while also helping you realize you aren’t alone. -Nick

    First Aid Kit, “You Are The Problem Here”

    This might be the most direct response, musically, to the outbreak of sexual harassment and abuse we have seen this year. The otherwise melancholy Swedish folk duo turns a sharp look towards those abusing others, twisting their beautiful harmonies into stinging accusations. Simply, there are no excuses, it’s not ok, and you need to keep your damn hands off. -Nick

    Young Fathers ft. Leith Congregational Choir, “Only God Knows”

    This one came out all the way back in February and I’m almost certain I’ve played it at least once every week since it came out. It’s fast paced, a fresh take on punk, and is simultaneously hopeful and condemning. It’s a reminder that sometimes, when life is just too dang much, we just need to lift it up. Whatever that means for us as individuals. We can’t know and do everything. It’s just not possible. -Nick

  • Best Of
    Best OfBest Of 2017Features

    BEST EPS OF 2017

    - by playlistplay

    The best EPs of 2017, as approved by the Playlistplay staff. A mass of damn good music of the short playing variety, compiled in no particular order ’cause we love ’em all.

    Goon,
    Happy Omen

    Most bands that lean more toward a vintage surf rock sound don’t just happen to play FADER FORT at SXSW. But this band was a surprise in the lineup, and it was just enough to catapult their “Happy Omen” EP into the ears – and hearts – of many. Featuring six tracks that could just as well be included in a trance mix as they could at an indie rock show – including our favorite “A Window Outside”, “Happy Omen” is the most blissed out release of 2017. Period.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Meredith

    Bishop Briggs,
    Bishop Briggs

    Though she started to garner mass amounts of attention in 2016 (Anyone ever heard “River”? On the Fences trailer? In an episode of The Mindy Project? Elsewhere?), but it wasn’t until this year that she dropped her self-titled 6-track debut EP into our laps. Including fan favorites like “River” and “Wild Horses”, the album takes us on robust vocal journeys through heartbreak with deep bass lines and a very wild, freeing feeling riddled throughout.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Meredith

    Tennis
    We Can Die Happy

    Not only did they release one of 2017’s best LPs, “Yours Conditionally”, indie pop duo Tennis gifted us with the equally lush yet uniquely groovy EP “We Can Die Happy”. Right out the gate, real life married duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, propel you on a 5 song journey with the captivating ‘No Exit’. Moore’s confident and comforting voice moves you both physically and emotionally, shining through best in ‘I Miss That Feeling’, Moore’s “love letter to her constant companion, anxiety”. Press play and let the bewitching melodies gleefully whisk you away from your own reality, which should solidify ‘We Can Die Happy’ as a heavy rotation listen for the foreseeable future.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Austin

    Middle Kids
    Middle Kids EP

    Maybe it’s the heartwarming and soulful voice of Hannah Joy, perhaps the tantalizing progressive basslines from Tim Fitz, or the ripping drum beats provided by Harry Day, but these Middle Kids will not be forgotten any time soon. Ok, those factors plus Joy’s memorable yet charming dancing on stage that resembles a mix between the Funky Chicken and the Charleston. Anyways, their 6 song self titled EP showcases the Australian trio’s incredible knack of delivering infectious hooks paired with their liberating sonic sound. For a group less than 2 years old, the anticipation for their future full length record is palpable. But for now you can find solace in the frenzied yet steady ballads on one of the best EP’s of 2017.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Austin

    The Atlantic
    Desert

    I could gush on this album all day. The powerful riffs, the angst-ridden vocals, the “I-feel-like-I-could-crush-the-world” energy you feel after listening. The words of admiration go on. But I’ll just leave you with this link to my actual review of it.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Stevie

    Pine
    Pillow Talk

    From the capital city of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario, emo quartet Pine blew apart my psyche with Pillow Talk. The first track “Doyla” carries a tone that rips your heart out, spit polishes it, and haphazardly places it back in your chest. The whole album follows suit. There’s a comforting, yet heartbreaking, honesty to these five tracks; all flawlessly delivered by Darlene Deschamps smooth vocals.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Stevie

    ZOMBIE-CHANG
    GANG!

    What a beautifully weird J-Pop album ZOMBIE-CHANG’s “GANG” turned out to be. Admittedly, I have no idea of the lyrical contents of “GANG!”, but I know how it makes me feel! It’s a brilliant album to put on when you’re needing a little pep in that step. Highly recommended for when you need to get some work done. Also, check out the video for “I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP”, trust me on this.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Stevie

    McCafferty
    Thanks. Sorry. Sure.

    As a grown up emo kid, McCaffery’s ‘Thanks. Sorry. Sure.’ is a sum of my teenage feelings as if they grew up with me. The 6 song EP provokes the feelings I had for Blink-182 as an angsty 15 year old but resolves to be a little more mature and relatable 13 years later. For long time fans, the EP is a perfect and natural progression in the band’s discography without leaving anything to be desired. Each track is perfection, especially if you have the chance to scream the words aloud at a McCafferty live show with a crowd of fellow emo souls.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Savanna

    Deer Leap
    Winds & Words

    Is “dreamo” a term we use to describe music yet? You know, like dreamy-emo music? If it’s not I’m coining it on behalf of Playlistplay. “Winds & Words” perfectly fits that. Chock full of whirring and dynamic guitars, driving lyrics, and a whole lot of heart, Deer Leap is back and we’re all paying attention.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Stevie

    Kat King
    Falling Up

    This isn’t the Kat King you know. This is the brand new, highly experimental Kat King; and I’m here for it. Without giving up her signature charm, King takes “Falling Up” to the next level with heavy use of samples, looping, droning keys, vocal harmonies, and so on. I’ve never felt more at ease while having my heart beat up before. Listen with good headphones, there’s little treasures all over this EP.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Stevie

    NVDES
    LA NVDITE Vol 1.

    In their sophomore EP, NVDES finds a luminescence reminiscent of their homebase, Los Angeles. Buoyant electro-pop riffs accompany tongue-in-cheek lyrics to create licks that will float in the space between your ears all day if you let it. Both saccharin and bittersweet, ‘LA NVDITE Vol 1.’ will have you losing yourself in sugary rhythms one minute and questioning the fabric of your existence the next.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    Syd
    Always Never Home

    Although technically considered a ‘single,’ this three song release carries the weight of a full-length album from the opening track to the last chorus. ‘Always Never Home’ is the unexpected follow-up to Syd’s debut solo album, which hit audiences with hypnotic melodies in February. Examining the transience of life on the road and the slow development of modern relationships, Syd breaks down some difficult realities of the dichotomy between love and attraction.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    Welles
    Codeine EP

    I imagine at some point, maybe 1987 or 1988, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, some unsuspecting music lover stumbled into a bar and was shocked and amazed having personally discovered Nirvana for the first time. Surely that person must have known that something truly magical was unfolding in front of them. This is exactly how I describe the first time I saw Welles. As soon as frontman Jehsea Welles began to play and sing “Hold Me Like I’m Leaving” I was so immersed, I couldn’t help but think that he had no idea how much power he truly held in that moment, I was captivated. It comes as no surprise that ‘Codeine’ EP so artfully carries the raw emotion that Welles portrays live. You’ll be transported to a special place and you’ll never want to leave.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Savanna

    Hembree
    Had It All

    The highlight of what’s been a career-making year for Hembree, ‘Had It All’ hit streaming platforms in early November and took off with a momentum that surprised no one. The KC-based indie rockers spent their fall touring alongside Jr. Jr. and on a run of headlining shows. The budding community of Hembree superfans is just one of many indications of the success we expect for this group to see in 2018.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    TWINKIDS
    Boys Love

    LA-based duo TWINKIDS introduced us to their intoxicating brand of laptop pop this year with their debut release, ‘Boys Love.’ In an interview with KC-based music publication ‘HearQueer,’ TWINKIDS’ Matt Young noted his love for the transient nature of electronic music; that it brings you to an unnatural dimension in an ‘impossible and non-human’ way. ‘Boys Love’ does as it’s intended to: elevates the listener to an experience beyond the norm. Echoing melodies paired with artistically constructed beats create soundscapes the are both grounding and multi-dimensional.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    Sleigh Bells
    Kid Kruschev

    Since their 2010 debute, ‘Treats,’ Sleigh Bells has refined and developed their specific recipe of distorted guitar-heavy riffs, trap beats, and lyrical hooks. This year’s 7-track ‘Kid Kruschev’ sees the duo diving into more dynamic melodic structures and subject matter that feels more vulnerable than previous releases. Alexis Krauss’s heart-stopping vocals have become a focal point of every Sleigh Bells song, the soul encased in guitarist Derek Miller’s instrumental body.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    Mess
    heartswithholes

    An “extro-spective” examination of human relationship dynamics, Mess’s debut EP heartswithholes is as an ode to the dynamics in your youth and early adulthood that eventually shape the person you become. Lyricist/vocalist/instrumentalist Allison Gliesman stepped outside of themselves to write songs that embodied aspects of the human condition that transcended their own personal experience. The band quickly sold through their stock of vinyl pressings of the album; a piece that we assume will one day be a treasured rarity.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Anna

    Rubblebucket
    If U C My Enemies

    Bouncing and bubbly, Rubblebucket’s latest effort since 2014’s Survival Sounds is a reminder to breathe, dance, and forgive. After a year of immense letdowns and heartbreaking surprises, this EP as well as the title track reminds us that, in order to move forward, we have to confront our problems through understanding and occasional forgiveness. We have to meet our enemies eye to eye and no drop to their standards. And sometimes it’s ok to just not open our eyes for a while.

    Stream on Spotify

    -Nick
  • Gallery
    Gallery

    GALLERY: HOLY WHITE HOUNDS (THE RIOT ROOM / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Meredith Schneider

    Photographer:
    Meredith Schneider
    Date:
    Dec. 01, 2017
    Venue:
    Riot Room
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO

    On Friday, December 1st, Holy White Hounds made their first appearance in Kansas City in over a year. The guys rocked out on stage at Riot Room, entertaining the crowd with their bizarre one-liners, quirky impressions, and all-out rock n’ roll prowess.

  • Gallery
    Gallery

    GALLERY: CIRCA SURVIVE, THRICE (UPTOWN THEATRE / KANSAS CITY, MO

    - by playlistplay

    Photographer:
    Lucas Carpenter
    Date:
    Dec. 05, 2017
    Venue:
    Uptown Theatre
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri

  • Reviews
    Reviews

    LIVE REVIEW: THE WRECKS, BRICK + MORTAR, LOVELYTHEBAND (THE BOTTLENECK / LAWRENCE, KS)

    - by Steven Ervay

    Sunday is still the weekend, and reminding us of that was the mission of the electrifying lineup of artists at the Bottleneck on December 3rd. Walking in, I had only heard a song or two from the night’s performers. But leaving the venue left me with the thirst to get more from all three acts.

    lovelytheband kicked the night off in the most brilliant way. The LA-based trio brought with them a wave of sunshine and longing for summer. Their bare-boned lyrics paired oddly well with the swell of peppy, summery sounds coming from the stage. lovelytheband is who you want playing on a nice May afternoon with all your windows down on the highway. It was hard to come to terms that we were in Kansas during the set.

    Following them was Brick + Mortar. The New Jersey duo blended all the right elements of garage with all the right elements of electro-indie pop. That’s a lot of things to blend, but they mastered it. The band carried with it an immense amount of energy, and not necessarily in a traditional manner. A projector with wildly entertaining and straight up weird images played for the duration of the set. And there was a hype-man. When was the last time you saw a band with a hype-man? Dressing as a prescription bottle for One Little Pill, dawning giant gloves, puppets, and more, the crowd was hooked from first note to last.

    It’s hard to think that anyone could follow up the show-stopping action of Brick + Mortar. Enter The Wrecks, an LA quintet. The second they hit the stage the venue truly came alive. The band must be made of rubber, bouncing up and down and left and right and projecting that wild energy straight on to the crowd, who too couldn’t stop moving. We saw our first stage dive on the second song of the headlining set. And despite frontman Nick Anderson’s sickness – divulged after the first song – the group never missed a beat. Suffice it to say, this may be the last time The Wrecks will perform on a stage this size in KC or Lawrence.

  • Features
    FeaturesNew MusicPremiere

    VIDEO PREMIERE: PAUL CHERRY “LIKE YESTERDAY”

    - by Meredith Schneider

    How many of you are eager to continue the commentary on male dominance in the entertainment industry? Sadly, it’s a fact in today’s society, but the movement toward equality has taken a turn as of late. The good news? Men are getting it. And incredible artists – like jazz pop musician Paul Cherry and his bandmates Mathew Roberts (drums), Shubu (keys), Andrew Adams (synth), Joe Faught (bass), and Justin Vittori (auxiliary percussion) – are even including commentary in their new tunes and music videos.

    Today, we have the exclusive premiere of the music video for “Like Yesterday”, the first single off Paul Cherry’s upcoming 2018 debut album Flavour. Directed by Paul Cherry and Brooke Lord, the video addresses male dominance in music as we follow around Cherry’s alter ego Paul Scary while he partakes in his usual riotous and unaware behavior.

    But what happens when a musician who has basically had it all easy from the get-go realizes not everyone loves his music? What happens when he doesn’t get everything handed to him with a smile and a wink? While the song seamlessly and beautifully meanders along, we get to see everything unfold with a humorous and charming twist. Documented on 25mm disposable cameras and VHS camcorders, additional VHS production was provided by Joshua Patterson and Diana Bowden. The effect is stellar, and you get to be the first to witness it.

    Flavour is due out Spring 2018. Keep up with Paul Cherry here.

  • Features
    FeaturesReviews

    ALBUM REVIEW: MOTION CNTRL, ‘ENVISION’

    - by Bayley Cawthon

    Motion CNTRL’s new EP, Envision, is arriving on a wave of synth December 1st. The electronic-based album is a reminiscent mixture of Wolf Alice 1980’s synth, bringing to mind that dark, life-inspired music that reverberates from every aspect of the two. This record is built for electric minds. Can you handle it?

    The first song, “Night After Night,” carries a classic 80’s pop melody. Slowed down and layered with a tempestuous beats and echoes, it holds the same traits of the top sultry underground hits. Speaking to listeners of the inability to break free of something that was once so pure, Motion CNTRL allows listeners to flow with them on a river of uncontrollable distraction and destruction. The lyrics whisper, “Time after time it’s clear, we’re resting on a memory”, as the singer apologies for the loss of love and begs the other to wait for her until she is ready. The songs overall craving for things outside its reach resonates in listeners, speaking to their own longing.

    “Across The Divide” has a lot more of a ‘Stranger Things’ vibe to it’s roots. As the song introduces itself, the heavy 80’s notes creates a brilliant setting for the rest of the tune. The heartbeat rhythm that carries this melody of fantasizing love and possession hypnotizes listeners to the things they treasure most. Continuing on its own path, softer notes come to life, aiding the growing and encapsulating lyrics that are reminiscent of Wolf Alice’s signature attractive, smoothed chaos. Alternatively, Motion CNTRL’s calm and collected rhythms neatly flows from one tune to another.

    The EP’s single, “Into The Dream,” integrates a new and irregular drum beat, bringing this tune down from the clouds. The almost asymmetric rhythm of this melody provides a comforting yet unsettled rock to listeners, while its synthetic boasts appearing periodically throughout the song brings an eerie, chills-up-your-spine reaction. The creation echoes the uneasy feeling that comes with the songs subject matter: unwilling to let go, yet unable to stay still; existing only in a dream. The twisted mix intensifies when the drum accelerates, but falls back to origins at its end, leaving listeners with an almost euphoric and tribalistic high.

    “In Another Life,” the end to this rollercoaster EP, Motion CNTRL plays their first pop-y tune on the EP. The heavy synth opening brings out a nostalgia for the 80’s synth jazz that has come to be so coveted. Escalating to a steady beat, the first male vocals on the EP make their appearance just in time. The sentiment that all would cascade together perfectly in ‘another time’ permeate the song, finalizing the desire and existential longing that had followed listeners through Envision in the first place.

    Envision reflects off diamonds, sending different versions of that same desperate need for another into the universe. Motion CNTRL’s ability to transform something beyond words into a tangible thing hits home to listeners in a way that cannot be explained within the working English language.

    The EP will be released soon, but until then, take a gander at Motion CNTRL’s previous hits at their website, Spotify or Soundcloud. Be sure to keep in touch through Facebook—You won’t want to miss anything.

  • Gallery
    GallerySofar Sounds

    SOFAR SOUNDS KANSAS CITY RECAP 11/26/17: FOSHEE, CARLILE, CARSWELL & HOPE

    - by Sofar Sounds Kansas City
    Photo gallery by Anna Selle, Story by Steven Ervay, Poster by Nick Howland

    It’s unseasonably warm in KC. And though the locals have taken notice, it never really hit us until we walked into Horticulture KC, greeted by the warm scents of the season and a plethora of Christmas Trees and Santas. It’s a bit unusual for 150+ people to gather at such a place on a Sunday evening, but on this evening in particular, it made sense. Sofar Sounds Kansas City just turned one!

    The crowd packed into an upstairs loft space in anticipation for the night. Carswell & Hope hit the stage first, sharing 4 songs full of intense dynamics and some of the best, most 70’s-ridden harmonies in KC. The act, performing as a three-piece, is working to regain their foothold in the KC music community, and it’s safe to say they won over the attendees.

    By way of Chicago, Carlile was up next. Carlile’s bio reads, “Nu pop from Chicago. Lyrically inquisitive, sonically evocative.” And why reword something that so elegantly describes what we witnessed at Sofar. Carlile made use of samples, looping, strong bass riffs, and raw emotional energy to woo the captivated audience.

    Closing the night was Foshee – the country/folk project from frontman Andrew Foshee. Foshee performed his quaint set with veteran musician Damon Bailey, both men absolutely crushing the guitar and dual vocal work. The conviction and charm in Foshee’s songs lulled the whole room, who fell silent for the whole set.

    Without a hitch, the night dwindled. Crew, artists, and attendees all leaving happy. As our poster so eloquently stated: Sofar Sounds Kansas City has been doing cool shit for one year,” and we can’t be anymore excited for the future.

    Sofar Sounds KC would like to thank it’s sponsors: Playlistplay, Do816, Boulevard Brewing, Virgin Mobile, and Night In Media and the hosts, Horticulture KC.

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY: JOYWAVE, HEMBREE, THE ACES, MAYBIRD (THE TRUMAN / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Anna Selle

    Photographer:
    Anna Selle
    Date:
    Nov. 25, 2017
    Venue:
    The Truman
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri

  • Features
    FeaturesReviews

    LIVE REVIEW: PALE WAVES (RECORDBAR / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Meredith Schneider

    Bursting through the doors at the recordBar in Kansas City, MO on Monday, November 20th, you would have thought a giant party was in full swing. Music flooded the speakers, the room packed tighter than your average weeknight – almost as full as we have seen on Saturdays with more established acts – excited chatter filling the air. Manchester’s latest thrilling up-and-comers Pale Waves – who have really earned more than just the “up-and-coming” status at this point – were making their first official appearance in Kansas City, and their dedicated fanbase showed up in full force.

    That being said, scraping your way to the front was almost impossible. We enjoyed the show from a side pillar – an obstructed view, but we were able to see all four band members – where we were able to see the first few rows of bright, exuberant fan faces while they rocked out and belted the lyrics to every single song like their lives depended on it. It was certainly a sight to see and, coupled with the band’s energetic-yet-laid-back performance style, it definitely left an impression.

    Lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie has eyes that would lead anyone to believe she could have Cobain blood running through her veins, while her goth-punk appearance is probably what induces that laid-back feel, as everything comes so naturally to her onstage that she almost seems unamused. It’s alluring at worst, all-encompassing at best, so there is no downside. And while no one member of the band has the same aesthetic, they all seem to rock a similarly unamused yet fierce attitude on stage.

    This isn’t something that has changed in the days since they started making music, as early articles from 2015 and beyond depict Baron-Gracie and drummer Ciara Doran – who spend time bonding over music as roommates – with the same intense stares and seemingly punk attitudes. What has changed is the lineup around them but the quartet that made such an impressionable appearance at recordBar seemed to be a well-oiled machine. With just a glance, they had their stage presence down, entering quietly and exiting as they came, choosing not to fill their set with banter. Instead, it was solely about the music, a beautiful and unexpected evening of pure sound.

    When the band’s debut Dirty Hit single “There’s A Honey” was released in early 2017, out of the loop consumers may have linked their sound to another UK favorite, The 1975. That thought would be the correct one, as their sound is a familiar – yet fresh – one due to the fact that they signed to the same label as the popular band and that coveted first single was produced by The 1975 band members Matt Healy and George Daniel. The rest of the music released this year has had the same feel, making their sound like an infectious siren call for the teens and young adults.

    But it wasn’t just the tots out for this show, to be sure. In fact, that might be what was the most confusing aspect of it all. If you had no knowledge of the band itself, it almost seemed like a family reunion. People of all demographics – all ages, races, sexual orientations, styles, etc. – roamed the floor at the venue. Which made us remember one very important thing: an enigmatic act can move the entire world.

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY + PORTRAITS: SCOTT COLLINS (THE RINO / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Anna Selle

    Photographer:
    Anna Selle
    Date:
    Nov. 21, 2017
    Venue:
    The RINO
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri

  • Features
    FeaturesReviews

    LIVE REVIEW: NVDES (STUBBS INDOOR / AUSTIN, TX)

    - by Maddie Wise

    NVDES kicked off their Better Places tour with Pierce Fulton at Stubb’s in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, 11/14. Their self-described laptop-punk music was accompanied by their colorful visuals from LA NVDITÉ, Vol. 1 – THE VISUALS, and more, creating a playful atmosphere as frontman Josh Ocean danced around the stage, alternating between singing, rapping, and messing around with his instruments. He encouraged the crowd to do the same and to “get nude” with ourselves, i.e. to be real with and get to know ourselves better. The set included a Bernie Sanders shoutout, a call for positivity, and the pleasant surprise that the DJ, Audrey Vignoles, is also the vocalist on “Do Ya Think About Me.” The energy was that of a living room jam sesh with your close friends, who just so happen to be real-life touring musicians.

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY: KATY GUILLEN AND THE GIRLS, JULIA HAILE (FOUNDATION / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Meredith Schneider

    On Saturday, November 11th, Katy Guillen and The Girls celebrated the release of their new album at the gorgeous, ambiance-filled event Foundation event space. Opening for the trio was Kansas City’s own Julia Haile. Check out some moody highlights from the weekend above.

    Photographer:
    Meredith Schneider
    Date:
    Nov. 11, 2017
    Venue:
    Foundation
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY: BEACH SLANG (RIOT ROOM / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Meredith Schneider

    Shrouded in a cloud of smoke and dark lighting Beach Slang made a mind blowing performance on Sunday, November 5th on one of the stops on their Drunk or Lust Tour 2017 at Riot Room. Check out some of the artsy silhouette photos we were able to nab during the high-energy set above!

    Photographer:
    Meredith Schneider
    Date:
    Nov. 05, 2017
    Venue:
    Riot Room
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY: THE SOCIAL ANIMALS, VIOLENT BEAR, CHASE THE HORSEMAN (THE RINO / KANSAS CITY, MO)

    - by Meredith Schneider

    On Wednesday November 8th, fans gathered at The Rino for a wild time. Chase the Horseman and Violent Bear opened for the absolutely phenomenal The Social Animals on the last day of their tour. We’ve got some highlights from the night above!

    Photographer:
    Meredith Schneider
    Date:
    Nov. 08, 2017
    Venue:
    The Rino
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO

  • Features
    FeaturesGallery

    GALLERY: UGLY GOD, YUSEE, JOOBY TRUTH, KING JAMZ, YUNG GRANDPA (THE GRANADA / LAWRENCE, KS)

    - by Andy Braz

    Photographer:
    Andreas Braz
    Date:
    Nov. 10, 2017
    Venue:
    The Granada
    Location:
    Lawrence, Kansas