Levitate - "Remember-Skyline"
Levitate band, from San Jose, California, is led by guitarist/composer Jorge Faustmann. Jorge is a self-taught guitarist who has produced 6 albums and has composed over 70 original songs. His music is influenced by his Spanish heritage as well as his exposure in his youth to great artists such as Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi and many other talented musicians. Also on guitar is Fred Malouf, who is a Berklee College of Music graduate and has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He has performed in diverse musical settings with improvisation being the central component. Rounding out the group is Marty Honda on upright bass and electric violin. Marty's bass and violin bring to the group his wide range of musical influences from numerous jazz artists as well as late 60's rock groups and classical composers.
Dearly Divided - "Paper Dragons"
Jamie Cairns-Lead Vocals/Guitar, Aaron Bates-Lead Guitar, Brett Mathews-Bass, and Aaron Bruski-Drums/Backing Vocals are Dearly Divided; a melodic punk rock band from Oakland, CA.
Beth Ditto - "We Could Run"
It’s tempting to set up a grand introduction for Beth Ditto on the occasion of her solo debut after disbanding the Gossip, but this native Arkansan can say so much in a few swaggerful lines over a pounding kick drum and bone-rattling bass guitar: “Two sisters, four brothers/Hard worker, like my mother/Not bitter, so sweet/Strawberry ca-ca-canned peach!” Those lyrics (from the Jacknife Lee cowrite “Oo La La”) contain the fundamentals of Ditto’s album Fake Sugar: family strength, punky grit, unabashed Southernness and the rural-rags-to-rock-royalty story of our hostess, who here turns strive and strife into music that is honeyed and familiar. Over an overhauled mashup of driving blues, malt-shop pop, swooning rock and countrified soul produced by Jennifer Decilveo (Andra Day, Ryn Weaver), Ditto approaches love, loss, looking back and moving forward with all the sexiness, poignancy, power and beauty you’d hope to hear from such an iconoclastic artist. To say Fake Sugar was born of change is understatement. “It’s my divorce, isn’t it?” asks Ditto. “I was going through a breakup with the loves of my life. Gossip was the longest relationship I’d ever had.” At the same time, she got married, literally, to her best friend since she was 18. And while Ditto and her new wife did settle somewhat into domesticity at home in Portland — their two cats, Tofu and Butters, and Ditto’s crochet habit are well documented on Instagram — the singer was busy doing much more than singing. Sure, she recorded with Blondie, disco legend Cerrone, and drumstep DJ Netsky, and even moonlit as a wedding singer with Cat Power, but Ditto also made strides into fashion. She launched her eponymous plus-sized luxury line with a Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration, posed in an Alexander Wang portrait series, modeled for Marc Jacobs on the runway and in print, and appeared in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated Nocturnal Animals. “I don’t think about that stuff like, ‘This is good for my career.'” says Ditto. “It’s like, ‘This’ll be hilarious fun.'”
Kelly Lee Owens - "Throwing Lines"
Even in the increasingly crowded field of electronic music, Kelly Lee Owens’ self-titled debut album arrives as a wonderful surprise. An album that bridges the gaps between cavernous techno, spectral pop, and krautrock’s mechanical pulse, the 27 year old Londoner has made a debut album brimming with exploratory wonder, establishing a personal aesthetic that is as beguiling as it is thrillingly familiar.
La Bien Querida - "Dinamita"
La Bien Querida is Ana Fernández Villaverde, David Rodríguez, Manuel Cabezalí, and Nieves Lázaro. La Bien Querida is a pop band from Madrid, Spain. La Bien Querida's new release entitled, “Fuego” (fire, in Spanish), corresponds to the south, to red, to summer, to the heart - the fire of passion, of love and hate, the fire of the spirit and intuition. The creative universe of the band is immense and is used to having to outdo itself, handling a wide range of references and enjoying the process of erasing musical and lyrical limits. And “Fuego” is a kind of self-reconfiguration, a rediscovery. This is all represented on the incredible album cover photo by Pablo Zamora, with the artistic direction of Pepe Leal and most of all an idea from Ana herself based on the “Things Organized Neatly” movement. The photo shows her surrounded by instruments, pencils, paintbrushes, albums, and everything that has led to the creation of her own universe. Ana explains it so well: “The melancholy that seeps out of my songs always includes a positive side that has allowed me to rely heavily on life, and this album more than ever shows that positive side. I have tried to see the bright side, the glass half-full. This album talks about the desire that defends life, pleasure self-fulfillment, freedom. The process of living through our desires, which are not dark or confusing but light and clear”. “Fuego” opens with “Dinamita”, a song about putting all the cards on the table.