Daily Dose: Mike Viola, “The American Egypt”

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.

 

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Daily Dose: Still Corners, “The Message”

 

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.

Daily Dose: Valley Maker, “A Couple Days”

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.