What I like most about Mike Viola’s music is that it feels unique, a la Elvis Costello. So many songs and albums sound the same these days, and, while it’s clearly influenced by vintage songwriting structures, his approach feels fresh at a time when 80s synth pop is dominating a market that wasn’t alive to remember the 1980s. It certainly feels honest. These are things I appreciate.
If you’re wondering if you should keep listening, maybe his pedigree will intrigue you. Viola co-wrote the theme song for That Thing You Do, and also composed much of the music you heard in Judd Apatow’s Rock Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He’s worked with Ryan Adams, The Monkees, Jenny Lewis, and Rachael Yamagata. These are also things I appreciate.
Greg Hughes and Tess Murray make enjoyable music. I love the synthy, outer space surf western vibes that emanate from this new track; it’s very next-horizon. Their new album, Slow Air, has been on constant rotation when I’m working: the perfect music to make the research less stultifying. I love music, and I love workflow grooves, and Slow Air is the tits.
Californians can see them live this Fall: at the Casbah in San Diego on October 30th; at Resident in Los Angeles on November 1st; and at Neck of the Woods in San Francisco on November 2nd. Go see them.
I love Valley Maker so much I just pre-ordered Rhododendron (set to release 10.12.18) while writing this post. Seattle-based, gritty folk artist Austin Crane wrote his first eponymous album as part of his PhD work in Human Geography. His music is smart and addictive, with its soothing rhythmic inspections into the human core. Now signed onto a new label, Frenchkiss, and in the production hands of Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi) and Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty), I’m excited to see how he expands on this next album.
If you want to see him live, he comes through California in December: at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco on December 10th; Resident in Los Angeles on December 11th; and Soda Bar in San Diego on December 12th. I highly recommend seeing him in any of these appropriately intimate venues.
Other-wordly in its antique beauty.
Nobody does country harmonies better than The Head and the Heart. And, you know, I like libraries and stuff. Perfect combo for a summer Saturday.
This one might be from the closing credits of that 1980s film you can’t remember the name of but remember watching all the time on cable. And it’s gloriously self-aware.