An advantage of being far behind on inbox submissions is I can be super-selective. You are going to love what Pseudonym.
First, I shall let this musician introduce himself. From his bio on BandCamp:
“Pseudonym is a band consisting of me, Paul Desjarlais, and other real or imaginary people. Back in Boston a long time ago I used to play bass for The Uncalled Four, and then for Haberland. After that I released a cassette album called Pabz, and later a CD called Pig Tail World. Now I live in San Francisco and I record songs when I get a chance and sometimes post albums online.”
With so many out there with a synthesizer, drum machine, minimal skills, and a computer self-proclaimed a DIY musician, it is a tag line here at Indie Nation… “We listen to bad music so you don’t have to”. Pseudonym is a welcome exception.
Victory Kicks – The Young Flood and More!
A long time ago, in an inbox overstuffed, I was contacted by Victory Kicks. Originally, I was asked to review two tracks which were released back in February. While I enjoyed Smoke and Last Night, it merely served as an enticement to listen to more of their excellent alternative music.
First let us hear what the band says about themselves:
Victory Kicks are an alternative rock band from the Isle of Wight and now based in London. Formed originally as a home recording project by singer/songwriter John Sibley, the band continues to produce and release all its records independently on its own label, Unmanned Aerial Vinyl.
This band has been around for a while and, hopefully, they stay around even longer. Originally a solo project, their Facebook bio states they are now a quartet. A really, really good quartet. Once I listened to the two tracks they requested me to review, I was simply thirsty for more and spent hours doubling back and listening to everything they have released. I don’t often binge listen to a band but this talent is a worthy exception. It was time well spent and I am certain I will be looking for more from them in the future. They now have 7 releases. They also offer their entire discography at 50% off at bandcamp.
Louise Aubrie Late44
This artist splits her time between London and New York. Louise Aubrie pumps out powerful pop with a healthy dose of rock and punk. Her latest release, Late 44 is an excellent ten-track release. Every song entertains from start to finish. Produced at Abbey Road Studio, the producers and the musicians totally clicked to create an amazing sounding work… Superbly done! I honestly can find nothing bad to say about this release. I love it!
The music is packed with powerful guitar and vocals. While all the musicians performed awesome on this album, moving perfectly as one, I was drawn to the guitar work and vocals. They are superb. Check out how well she uses her dynamic and powerful voice, like an extra instrument at times, on Next to Nothing. The punkish guitar riffs on Winter Dolour. The nice crunchy guitar on Tearjerker. Seriously folks, every track on this release is a treat.
Bitter’s Kiss – A Young and Rising Talent
Bitter’s Kiss is an indie pop artist from Weehawken, New Jersey. It is the work of Chloe Baker. She has a pleasing voice, writes great lyrics, uses her voice to deliver them beautifully, backs it with music with a nice touch of variety and is something worth listening to.
I will elaborate further on why I like this young talent soon but, for now, let us hear what she has to say about her work, from the artist’s About Page:
bitter’s kiss, current project of New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Chloe Baker, invites the listener into a world of joy, pain, sorrow and redemption that reflects the humanity in all of us. With a voice that is melodic, delicate and at times haunting, Chloe explores a range of styles as she describes her own observations and experience through music and words.”
Steve Benjamins – Sightlines
Steve Benjamins is a musician from Toronto. His latest release Sightlines is an ear pleasing collection of downtempo and indie pop. While his music does have the sound of these genres, this work is eclectic, unique and fresh. His voice is both powerful and soothing. His compositions leave the listener wishing to hear more. In my opinion, this six track EP, his third release, is his best… I mean that, on discovery of Steve, I listened to everything I could find by him on the web.
Steve’s combination of vocal and musical styles keep it mellow while maintaining steady movement and energy. He keeps it interesting, you won’t want to stop listening.
There are tracks that flow very much like a Philip Glass work with simple almost monophonic repetitive melodies, others layered for an orchestral feel, at times reminiscent of Mike and the Mechanics, even very unique tracks with a discordant battle going on between the instruments and, best of all, doing it all by creating distinct sound of his own.
Alternative, Blues, Rock, Punk, Pop and More – Call it Latimer House
While the headline is about a single, that is just the starting point. I urge you to buy the single but don’t to stop there. Get the full album as well. Birdcage Walk and Until Then are both great tunes but how much can I tell about only two songs?
Let us talk about the album for a bit. Once you check out the album, you will still want the single because the B side is not on the album AND Birdcage Walk is a remix. Personally, I like it when the singles are not the same material you get when you buy an album. You can find all the band’s work discussed in this review at their Bandcamp page.
Let me start by saying that I had brief doubts about this album when I gave it my first listen. It was one of those experiences where it was a bit different and not exactly what I expected. When I discovered the band, they were described as “pop”. While pop may work, they are much more eclectic than just pop. Putting labels on music may help with marketing and sales but it threw me momentarily. The overall experience was one of being unexpectedly pleased. It was better than I expected.
For example, at first, I cared not for This is Pop with simple very popish rhythms and melodies. It was just too popish but… two minutes into the tune, I began to appreciate the sarcasm of the delivery. By the end of the tune, I was loving it. (The video is also very good as well.) In my opinion, it is the best choice of the ten to kick the album off with for it quickly sets the tone… the listener should expect something slightly different, not over the top , crazy different but like a novel new flavor added to coffee, something pleasantly refreshing and not part of one’s daily routine.
The band drives much of their music with guitar rhythms but it is all the interplay that gives them a sound with a bit of an attitude. They syncopate well and in their own style. It is a refreshing break from typical. While I don’t like genres and don’t fully agree that they are pop, I totally believe they should be popular because they are producing great music.
While the ten song collection does fit the descriptions above, it is much more than that. The musicians do a great job of combining material familiar to the listener while spicing it with novel and unique sounds, rhythms and melodies. It is just great music. Toss it into that genre.
This is not just another alternative band. This is not just a pop album. This is not going to be the best album you ever bought. However, it a collection of worth which you will enjoy. This is a solid collection of songs that makes one want to follow the band.