It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and iconic L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment.
Shine: Stare Into The Sun
What do you get when you get members of Seattle hardcore juggernauts, Regional Justice Center and New Gods together for a new project? Surprisingly, something quite different from what you might expect. Shine channels the noise and driving aggression of those bands, but through a more playful, Britpop-tinged lens. On their debut EP, Stare Into the Sun, Shine harkens back to the heyday of shoegaze and neopsychedelia, combining elements of Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and Primal Scream. However, they don’t just sound like another reverb-worshipping “nugaze” band; Stare Into the Sun truly sounds like a long-lost release from the early 90’s with fuzzed-out guitar riffs, driving rhythms, and earworm melodies. The EP was originally released both digitally and on vinyl by the band through their Bandcamp page and is also now available through streaming services. The title cut is new on my playlist this week.
For fans of: ethereal reverb drenched vocals, effects pedals and guitar distortion/feedback
Fences: Boot Height
Seattle based Christopher Mansfield has had a diverse ride through the music business, picking up fans in high places along the journey. In 2009, his debut EP, Ultimate Puke, was discovered on MySpace by Sara Quin of the Canadian twins Tegan & Sara, who ended up producing, recording, and adding vocals to his self-titled debut album Fences which later went on to make SPIN magazine’s year-end “Albums You May Have Missed” list in 2010. Mansfield also caught the attention of the rapper and songwriter Macklemore and in 2011 they collaborated along with Ryan Lewis on “Otherside” (remix) and co-wrote “Ten Thousand Hours” from Macklemore’s 2012 album Heist. He followed it up with a full band album in 2014 with Lesser Oceans; which featured another collaboration with Macklemore & Lewis “Arrows” and was produced by a team that included Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie, Jacquire King Of Monsters and Men, and Ryan Lewis.
For fans of: Bright Eyes, Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists.