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Music Submissions roundup: Bird Prey, Kidsmoke, Lost Gloves, Laura Distasi, Vajra

In the last few weeks, CMJ shows and Stomp Box Exhibit preparations didn't allow us to check out the digital submissions bands post for consideration here. They are piling up scarily... let's deal with some of them, with the last bit of energy we have left this week.

Bird Prey live in the future - their album "Brighter Sky Now!", according to their Bandcamp profile - was released precisely on December 12th 2011 (2 months from now!). But they also live in the past, since their music is a weird but very interesting psychedelic "thing", that blends some seriously awesome influences: we hear Sonic Youth, Julian Cope, Clinic, Suicide, early Cure, mixed with some out there psych rock band from the UK's late 60s "UFO" scene. These guys could become the new Christal Stilts or something... but they have to create a facebook page first - and take some press pics! All serious hypsters should take a chance on these guys show at Public Assembly on October 23.

Kidsmoke's guitar wall of sound in "Everthing is Gold" falls somewhere between Sonic Youth and... Kyuss maybe? It's pretty impressive actually, but its evil essence is tamed by the fact that this is a super catchy pop song. But going through their other tracks you then realize they are not just a black dressed droney guitar band, but a bunch of guys who like to experiment with ANY sound. There's also a song that could have been written by Simon & Garfunkel ("Sunshine"). Quite surprisingly, it also sounds great! This is a enjoyable record that challenges you with every track, which is something very rare to find. Also, recommended. P.S. Why don't these bands have press shots??

Lost Gloves is a Queens based project that sounds a little bit as Pavement would if Stephen Malkumus was a pianist instead of a guitar player. Crooked melodies in falsetto and pervasive piano parts are this band's signature, and Big Little Death (streaming here) is a fun song.

Brooklyn  Laura Distasi looks a little bit like the Virgin Mary (in a cute wife beater), and plays very mellow singer-songwriter-y pop. She does it gently and stylishly. Tasteful arrangements and a beautiful voice complete the package. She seems to have also a parallel project a little bit more "alt" and "electro" called Measure.

Vajra was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self imposed exile in India, and you can indeed hear an exotic influence in her songs, which though carry a very western tension and darkness. Overall her uptempo music could be described like an alt-rock version of Dead Can Dance. We are sure there is a numerous group of teenagers somewhere in the US suburbs who can fall in love with this lady and her tenebrous music.


The Drowning Men set to re-release The Beheading of the Songbird on October 25

As The Drowning Men are currently on their 23-date U.S. tour alongside The Airborne Toxic Event, they are gearing up for the release of their full-length, The Beheading of the Songbird; initially self-released, but will receive its official retail release on October 25th. The album has an interfusion of folk and roots Americana, Eastern European ethnic folk and other awesome randomness parallel to Arcade Fire, The Decemberists and My Morning Jacket. - Nicole Dawley


Weekly Feature: Superhuman Happiness

If the band’s penchant for bright costumes doesn’t draw you in, Superhuman Happiness’s peculiar yet enchanting genre fusion will. The band’s mastermind Stuart Bogie’s roots in Antibalas are evident as he leads the group into a an ever-changing musical adventure through funk, afrobeat, pop, folk, jazz and rock. This dabbling in various genres may have to do with the impressive laundry list of artists Bogie has worked with including TV on the Radio and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. - Read Nancy Chow's interview with the band here.


Weekly Feature: Huff This!

At times the jaded lover you might remember hearing in PJ Harvey's music, at other times claiming Patti Smith's righteous indignation, Alison Clancy's music project Huff This! is a rare combination: a strong voice with a light touch. Backed for the most part by a solo piano, Clancy's modest intensity makes a band feel completely unnecessary. On tracks like "Seahorse," I keep forgetting I'm only listening to a piano most of the time, as her work frequently sounds large and orchestral. There's a serious weight to this deceivingly laid-back music that can take multiple listens to really settle in, but your time will be aptly rewarded. - Read Mike Levine interview with Alison Cnancy here.


Drool Brothers Halloween a Go Go

Drool Brothers are bringing their sardonic, fuzzed out groove rock to Fenix 5-4 to celebrate their new EP, "Decoupage". The Whittier, CA band are known for their exciting but unique live shows at unique places. They like to cross pollinate artistic mediums with their art rock by playing museums and galleries, and try to include artists from different mediums on the bill. Given this, Fenix 5-4 is an upcoming eastside venue whose artistic yet circus atmosphere compliments the Drool Brothers frenetic colorful music. The Drool Brothers will have copies of their new EP on hand, which includes “Tube Tops and Go Go Boots” and a cover: a warped, fuzzed out version of Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You.” Also available, colored vinyl giveaways and over 100 varieties of beer. Don't miss all the frenzy at Fenix 5-4 on Friday, October 28.