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La Armada "La Fé No Abasta"

Hardcore punk group La Armada has released visuals for the fifth single, "La Fé No Abasta", from their forthcoming album Anti-Colonial Vol. 2 which is due out on February 11th via their own label Mal De Ojo Records.

For the video the group enlisted the expertise of Director Jamezz Hampton to bring to life the song that bluntly paints a picture of a world with out hope and faith.

   

Jaewon "Magnus"

Indie Psych Rock musician Jaewon recently released his debut album Magnus. The album's first two singles, "Blue Lips" and "Hard Pressed", were released this fall.

Jaewon is currently planning an album release show for February 7th with details to follow.

Photo by Trevor Jay Prickett

   

Track-by-track: Ok Cowgirl's "Not My First Rodeo"

When I first heard the band name "OK Cowgirl" it made me think oh cool sounds like if you crossed Patsy Cline (the O.G. Cowgirl and Queen of Country Heartbreak) with Thom Yorke and Radiohead (because “OK Computer” natch) but really what are the odds of this actually being the case?

As it turns out, pretty darn good. Because “Patsy Cline meets Radiohead” isn’t the worst description for OK Cowgirl’s music—given how well lead singer/lyricist/guitarist Leah Lavigne excels at writing songs about romantic longing and heartbreak, and from the perspective of a queer-identifying person to boot (worth noting here: in the years since her passing, Patsy Cline has gained a major LGBTQ+ following setting the course for “queer country” artists like k.d. lang and the Reclines) and with a voice capturing a similar mix of raw vulnerability and raw power. And then on the Radiohead side of things, the band’s music (Leah is joined by Jase, Jake, and Matt on record and on stage) spans the indie rock spectrum with a strong knack for chiming yearning melodies, not to mention that Leah knows her way around a keening falsetto and is prone to existential musings in the lyrical department.

Which is all brought to bear on OK Cowgirl’s new record (it's called Not My First Rodeo but it *is* their first EP) and as a public service, dear reader, I’ve provided an off-the-cuff Hot Take™ track-by-track listening guide below, keeping it relatively brief because hot takes don’t stay hot for too long.

TRACK ONE: “Unlost” starts off quiet and intense but soon builds to a pleasant mid-tempo chug with lyrics describing what it’s like to unexpectedly find the person who centers you (“I stopped rowing and the river disappeared”) a pleasant sensation that really comes across during the song’s extended outro which floats off in a dreamlike haze with a swirling emotive undertow and a wordless celestial falsetto but then it all kinda implodes at the end which is maybe a sign of things to come.

TRACK TWO: “Her Eyes” strikes me as the “I Fall To Pieces” of this EP, a straight up adoring ode to, well, her eyes and to the potential they hold for banishing loneliness. 

TRACK THREE: “Across the Room” is where things finally go romantically right for our narrator, and then just as suddenly go horribly wrong, all in the space of about half of a verse (“it was only a few months / ‘til we ended so suddenly”) which for my money is simply good songwriting technique because nothing kills a listener’s buzz like a dull descriptions of domestic bliss with most-likely dull music to match. (note to songwriters: contentment kills!) Instead, we get a song describing the awkward moment where you spot a recent ex across the room at a party, which leads to Leah repeating the phrase “sit and think” a dozen times or so in an ever-more ragged voice, pretty accurately conveying the self-contained-circling-the-drain mental-cul-de-sac headspace of the recently jilted (who hasn't been there ammirite?!?) all reflected by the intensifying musical backing as the song progresses, ending with a neat little off-kilter country-ish guitar lick.

TRACK FOUR: “Deer in the Headlights” opens with the lines “I’ve been going to the bar alone / order myself a well whiskey and Coke” so clearly we're back in Patsy Cline-ish territory here. Or maybe more like Sharon Von Etten-ish territory but you get the idea. And just listen to how Leah sings the phrase deer in the headlights and the entire chorus really, and how she bounces back-and-forth between normal vocal range and falsetto range which is something like yodeling in slow motion, which really captures the state of disorientation that an actual deer in the headlights must feel (or so I'd guess I've never been in the head of a deer) not to mention there’s something inherently queer about this approach to singing (in the best sense) in refusing to adhere to any one single vocal range or pre-conceived category of being. 

TRACK FIVE: OK Cowgirl ain't gonna just leave you hanging, satnding out there in the middle of the road staring blankly ahead like a doomed deer in the headlights, so instead they conclude the EP by taking you on a "Roadtrip (Till the End of Time)" which is a lovely redemptive number (though bittersweet natch) with the sweet parting thought (though bittersweet natch) that they'd gladly "give it up in a heartbeat all for you." (Jason Lee)

   

Frank Okay "Vacation Forever"

Multimedia artist Frank Okay has released a series of singles over the last few months, but the stand out is the instant earworm "Vacation Forever".

The single is accompanied by the highly stylized video below.

   

Lunar Statues "Meditations in an Emergency"

Ego Mechanics frontman Seth Arp recently released his solo debut album, Meditations in an Emergency, under the moniker Lunar Statues.

This is a collection of breathtakingly beautiful instrumental ambient music. The album opens with a couplet of tracks called "Dusk" and "Skyline" that were released as a time lapse video last month.