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Released December 31st, Facsimiles’ New “Details” Refreshing Start to New Year

Listening to the entirety of Facsimiles’ latest EP, “Details,” is like watching a film that leaves you quiet and changed by its closing scene. Each track of this anti-folk, gentle pop album has its own feel, its own layering of electro reverberations and changing paces, all accompanied by Rob Voigt’s vocals, which range anywhere from a James Russel Mercer-esq charm to a Jeff Mangum-like backing, but quieter. Opening with the expansive track “Faint Signals,” we’re taken into the landscape of Voigt’s magic: the quiet reverberation of the baseline partners with a guitar plucked crisply as a harp. The next song we’re strummed into offers a much quieter reflection, a solid holding point for the center of the album. The last track, “One Thin String,” is a personal favorite. Filled with catchy little hooks and more of those late 90’s indie rock influences (there’s that Shins feel again), we’re provided an uplifting end to this quiet saga of an album. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

The lovely electric pop of Madeline Kenney’s “Perfect Shapes”

After last year’s debut “Night Night at First Landing,” we were curious what direction Madeline Kenney’s newest album would take. Mercy me, we were not disappointed. "Perfect Shapes" is a multi-genre, multi-layered album with touches of synth infusions partnered with melodic bass lines and touches of shoegazy guitar melodies all grounded by that strong, twang-touched voice. A beautiful key to the success of Kenney’s latest is her ability to keep us moving with her throughout each song’s journey. Empowering snappy songs transition into melodic dreamy driftings that are in a land far away from rock n roll--kudos to the spaceship that flies into “Your Art”--but let’s be clear: this electric pop album is centered around solid musicianship, fantastic compositions and lyrics we can relate to. Brava, lady. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

   

Love at first listen with The Six Seven’s “Watch Your Head”

Yes yes yes! Poppy, punky and some solid rock n’ roll, The Six Sevens are working some justice on their new album, “Watch Your Head.” We’re glad to have snagged them from down in Santa Barbara, whose beachy skater vibes sneak into a couple tracks in just the right way. Influenced by groups like Joyce Manor, The Front Bottoms and The Districts, their songs have funny, youthful lyrics, a refreshing mix of old school harmonies and guitar ticklings that remind us of the Strokes with a touch of Weezer. Shout out to track “San Francisco” for obvious reasons and “Back to the Start” for those killer melodies. It’s an album that’s easy to fall for on the first listen and it was all written, mixed and produced in their garage. We’re glad to have these boys around to play the local scene. Stay tuned for details on their next show in Oakland this January. And ‘til then, crank it. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

Rose Droll sings it like it is, plays it at The Independent

This lady is a force! We feel empowered just listening to Rose Droll. A genre-less wonder, Miss Rose gives us a little bit of a lot of things and we want more more more. Samples are interwoven in tasteful snippets, from Lou Reed baselines to “This Little Light of Mine” lyrics. There are parts we can only describe as coy-strong lady rap, interjected at the perfect moments (a poetic “...so baby, when you gonna give a fuck?” in the same breath as a line from “Ring Around the Rosie”...what the hell? Yes!). There are colorful bursts of instrumental delight--all her own doings--and to accompany it all, is that voice: fluid, lovely and nailing every pitch it tries to reach. Like we said, she’s a class all her own, but in an attempt to compare: if you enjoy Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Tune Yards and badass versions of your favorite nursery rhymes, you’ll probably dig this as much as we do. Come see her at The Independent this Thursday the 13th where she’s playing alongside Pllush, Pardoner and SOAR. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

 

   

Perhapsy's blissful “Kingdom” after a dark journey

Since last year’s lovely-brilliant EP “The,” we’ve been awaiting the next move from Oakland’s own Perhapsy, solo project of artist Derek Barber (Curls, Bells Atlas). The new album, “Kingdom Starlight Bliss,” weaves an energy both soothing and invigorating. A shoegazing lover’s dream, songs are textured with the intricate guitar work that earned Barber his mad respect. Resonating melodies reach an almost intergalactic quality (check out The Curse!). His sweet vocals express emotions that are at times darker than most of his previous work: sad stories sprinkled with tough emotions and epiphanies; references to dooming relationships and dark times ahead. But as Barber puts it, “Kingdom” is an album full of endings, changes, and the eventual sparkle at the end of the tunnel. Give it a listen and check out those sweet images, too (did we mention he's also a cartoonist?)....Enjoy! - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor