Alt Pop

Wishyunu Single Release: A Sampler of Psych

Walking in to Mississippi Studios last Sunday, it felt like the three band pairing of Cambrian Explosion, Jackson Boone and Wishyunu would be a strange one. Based on their recordings, it appeared that there was very little to tie all the music together aside from the fact that each band identified with psych music in some way. What seemed to be an evening of mismatched artists turned out to be an ideal sampler of all the variations that psych-rock can take. 

Cambrian Explosion played first, their set a dark dreamscape. Members of Cambrian Explosion appeared introspective on stage, incredibly invested in the music, which didn’t leave the audience with much to look at. However, the intricacy and unpredictability of the music gave the audience plenty to focus on: songs exploding surprisingly into sound, heavy distortion, and instruments blended so expertly it was difficult to decipher who was playing which part.  

Playing second was Jackson Boone whose take on psych is both dreamy and jazzy. Their set seemed like a fitting middle-ground between the dark vibes of Cambrian Explosion and the more pop-centric focus of Wishyunu. Jackson Boone’s specialty seems to be creating psych-pop lullabies that develop quietly into full psych-rock cacophony. “Open” was decidedly the most experimental song they played, straying away from the easy rhythms and soft melodies comprising most of their set. The crowd was receptive and seemed more willing to nod their heads along as the night progressed.

Wishyunu’s set started with some technical difficulty, probably in part because the duo is so busy on stage, with Bei Yan filling the role of guitarist, synth-player, and vocalist. As Yan sorted out her issues on stage, dropping in an out of sound, drummer Tony Bertaccini remained solid on the drums, helping the audience stay engaged as they waited. Wishyunu’s songs are progressive, layering beat on top of beat and then dreamily disintegrating melodies into new ones, catchy hooks giving way to unexpected drum fills. The energy of their set was frenetic, unlike Cambrian Explosion or Jackson Boone, their music made your blood move faster, catapulting you forward with them as they played.

Their new single “Photoplay” is a dark electro-pop song that seemed to show a new direction for the band, less ambient than their older songs and more driven. The other song off of their 7-inch, “Summer Suit” was ethereal and focused, especially compared to the older songs they played surrounding their new releases, again proving that Wishyunu has started refining their vision and sound. You can catch them next in Portland on June 21st at the Holocene. 

-Sarah Eaton

Photos by Lena Knofler

FRANKIE

Harmony so sugary sweet, killer grooves and soft mean beats. FRANKIE ,a 4 piece “twinkle-rock” group from Vancouver, BC. Mixing ambient indie rock attitude and super-clean folk-pop songs. FRANKIE really commands your attention, without really demanding it. The harmonies between lead singer/guitarist Francesca Carbonneau and singer/pianist Nashlyn Lloyd are soothing and exciting all at the same time. Their song “Don’t Be Low” harkens back to old school R&B, with tight flow and catchy rhythms, and top not musicianship from all 4 members. We love the tasteful restraint, which really allows the song to breathe naturally and build dramatically. We look forward to their as-of-yet un-named EP to be released in the near future, and come check them out at The Paddock May 7th. And if you miss these ladies tonight, see them in Hamilton May 10th @ the Sanctuary.-Cody Wright

1977 @ Cherry Colas

Head out this Cinco de Mayo to Cherry Colas and listen to the sweet swaying sounds of 1977. Bright keys, soft guitars that surf into rhythmic vocals that are sweet and sugary. We can’t get enough of “So is the Sea”, beachy vibes that make you want to forget your everyday, jump right in and soak up the sun. The entire EP is a modern take on some ol’school west coast vibes. Get a taste of what’s to come, 1977 is releasing a new album. So head out tonight and stay tuned for new tunes this summer.

Prinze George unveils video for "Upswing"

Even though synthpop trio Prinze George pretends to be still based in Brooklyn, they actually went back to their native Prince George County a few years ago. The guys played at our SXSW show this past March and they just unveiled this video for their single "Upswing."

The Taste

Thrilling people with their 70’s style pop-rock tunes, The Taste is one those hidden gems that we were ever-so-happy to stumble across. Their EP Sea Legs, proves to be a great listen! It is filled with twinkling keys and old-school production elements; mixing a little new with a little old, a tight rhythm connection with smooth vocals and catchy chorus’. These guys are lacing up the dancing shoes for you, and all you've gotta do is groove. "The City" hits vocal heights with a toe tapping melody that takes off with soaring guitars and keys. We bet you can't listen to just once! We can't stop listening at all. Make sure to check out their Facebook for upcoming show dates. -Courtney Chalapenko

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