Mesa Luna – ‘Dispel’

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The last time we encountered Vancouver’s Mesa Luna was with the hypnotic, absorbing singles ‘Ruins’, ‘Don’t Let Go’ and ‘Church Garden’ a few years back – at that time, a duo featuring Justice McLellan and Alex Cooper (now of the PAVEL parish).

Today, Mesa Luna is the one-man dream-pop project of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Justice McLellan who is preparing to release debut LP Lash; out March 22. The album is fronted by lead single ‘Dispel’ which proves Mesa Luna has lost none of its allure, zip and groove. Centred around shimmering synth, immediate riffs and rumbling bassline, ‘Dispel’ is submerged in dreamy, blissed-out vibes. Amid all the hazy atmospheres and dreaminess there is a doleful, melancholic air as the beat quickens – matched step by step by riff, synth and bass – ‘Dispel’ gallops forward leaving only dust (think early Foals and Boxed In). An exquisite and emphatic introduction.

Tune into ‘Dispel’ below and remember Lash is coming out on March 22 via Afterlife Music.

Dilemma Season – ‘Fault Lines’

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Dilemma Season is the musical alter ego of Vancouver, British Columbia-based artist and musician, Scott Hardy.

Through Dilemma Season, Hardy extricates an undeniable talent for evocative lyrics, the craft of songwriting and Americana-tinged alt-folk. ‘Fault Lines’ is an exemplary example of this as it rumbles, rolls and stomps its way into your heart. An irresistible track, Hardy’s distinctive vocals – sounding world-weary and wise – are first to suck you in, only to be joined by a gentle guitar which is intermittently cut with a stomping beat that eventually surges onward with an electrifying guitar and tidy riff work for an uptempo finish. A wonderful tune, with a hint of rawness yet beautifully crafted music. There’s a touch of Wilco, Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst to ‘Fault Lines’, an that is in no way a bad thing at all.

You can listen to ‘Fault Lines’ below. And if you like that, Dilemma Season’s latest record is available to digest here.

Raincity Blue – ‘Keeping Busy’

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Raincity Blue are the wonderfully (and aptly*) named, Vancouver based Neo-Soul outfit.

Formed in 2016, the five piece ensemble – Clare Twiddy, Kaylar Chan, Ryley Kirkpatrick, Jay Schreiber & Chantal Gauthier – draw influence from R&B, soul, psych-rock and funk, to brew something smooth and soulful, that’ll get your feet moving and the heart racing. Their latest release ‘Keeping Busy’ is one such case. It slowly swaggers along, soulfully, with a groove and aura of coolness, before gradually swelling, growing and becoming more impassioned to envelope everything in its wake. Amid this soulful waltz, there is yet more to relish in Twiddy’s luscious, powerful, impassioned and oh so soulful vocal as it rises to soar emphatically atop. ‘Keeping Busy’ has all the key ingredients; magnificent, simple as that.

You can listen to ‘Keeping Busy’ below now & you will be all the better for it.

Raincity Blue released their debut album Stuck on Replay this month – you can check it here.

*Why apt? Anyone who’s been to Vancouver, BC will know how synonymous it is with rain, particularly the winter months.

Introducing: The Psychic Alliance

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The Psychic Alliance are a Canadian band, based out of Vancouver, who excite and enthral with their fuzzy west coast psych.

The Vancouver outfit recently released their third LP, Evil Against Evil – blending psych with stomping sixties garage, b-movie horror tones and touches of The Stooges, MC5, Black Sabbath, Ray Davies & Bowie. Offering a favour of their heady brew is ‘No Fixed Address'; a blistering ’60s garage stormer filled with swinging guitars, scintillating riffs, frenetic organ and percussion; and all delivered with a ‘we-mean-business’ attitude. ‘Yesteryear’ is also full of psychedelic endeavour but offers a more melodic take on their West Coast psych. The organ work is still the driving force, and joined by jazzy drums, spooky feedback and guitar licks a plenty. ‘Yesteryear’ like ‘No Fixed Address’ – something of a feature on their new LP – is prone to full-on psych freak-out at any moment, with a healthy dose of the macabre but with an underlying playfulness or wry humour.

To get a flavour of what The Psychic Alliance are all about, you can listen to ‘Yesteryear’ & ‘No Fixed Address’ below.

Their new record Evil Against Evil is available here.

The Orange Kyte Announce Debut Album; Share ‘Blue Ghosts’

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Vancouver’s The Orange Kyte spent the 12 months of 2016 delighting us with their superb single-a-month project throughout the year.

Centred around Vancouver-based, Dublin-raised Stevie Moonboots and a revolving cast of friends and collaborators, The Orange Kyte treated us to one sumptuous slice of psych-rock after another. Signalling their intentions for 2017, Moonboots and his merry band of cohorts have announced they will release their debut LP The Orange Kyte Says Yes!, this coming autumn. Ahead of the record’s release, The Orange Kyte have provided a taste of things to come with new single ‘Blue Ghosts’ – and its a doozy. A droning organ is front and centre alongside Moonboots’ recognisably sublime vocals. Backed a heady sonic brew of mildly fuzzed-up guitars, bass and fevered percussive assault. It danders nicely along until the just after the midway point, where by it slows, bobbing for a moment or two before exploding to another stratospheric level entirely. The addition of the sax to their arsenal of trippy psychedelic sounds is nothing short of mesmerising. Great to see one of finer musical discoveries of recent times kick on, and no doubt deliver the goods with an LP.

You can listen to ‘Blue Ghosts’ below. Keep an eye out for a definitive date for the album’s release.

In other news, the aforementioned 2016 single compilation Grow it Right is now available for pre-order from Little Cloud Records.

Vancouver’s Cascade Falls Announces Debut LP; Shares ‘You’re the Last One’

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Cascade Falls – aka Devin Miller – is/was one of the finest musical discoveries while residing in the fine city of Vancouver, BC. The array of talent bubbling away under the surface in the city is astonishing and Miller’s project is firmly placed among its elite.

Following on from last year’s Islands EP, Miller is now preparing to release his debut full-length. Clouds Change, Nostalgia Stays the Same on May 13. To get us in the mood, he has shared lead single ‘You’re the Last One’ with us. It’s a wistful electro-indie lament with a warped synth-pop underbelly, as bursts of heavy beats and rippling synth collide beneath beautifully languid vocals from Miller. Laid-back, hazy, warm and somewhat mournful; it is a wonderful and deeply affecting number. Self-proclaimed as ‘hazy marmalade jams’ – Cascade Falls continues to deliver on the great promise from his Islands EP. This is music to get lost in, and importantly, to fall in love with.

Miller’s debut full-length. Clouds Change, Nostalgia Stays the Same is out on May 13. For now, check out lead single ‘You’re the Last One’.

The accompanying vintage-looking video, filmed by Matty Jeronimo, is great too.

Introducing: Bad Pop

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Bad Pop are the Vancouver-based trio of Chris Connelly (vocals/guitar), Catherine Hiltz (bass/vocals/trumpet) & Aaron Klassen.

Self-deprecating titles aside, this Canadian trio are anything but bad – and just a little bit pop. The proof, well, that would be wonderful recent double a-side ‘Same House/Masculism’. It displays two rather different sides of a band with an inherent capacity for the tongue-in-cheek and ace tunes. ‘Same House’ is a sort of hyperactive warped psych-disco-pop that’s as weird as it is wonderful, and catchy as hell. Jerky, art-rock guitar riffs dance with crashing cymbals and to-die-for harmonies. ‘Masculism’ on the other hand, is a hard-rocking stomper; delivering a ferocious brew of pounding riffs, sledge-hammer percussion and raspy vocals. An engaging, addicting and brilliant introduction to a band with exceptional promise.

‘Same House/Masculism’ is out now via Metropolis Recordings. Tune in below.

If the double a-side is to your liking, Bad Pop are playing a few shows in the UK in May: Sebright Arms, London (18/05), Bleach, The Great Escape (TGE), Brighton (19/05) & Canada House, TGE, Brighton (20/05).

 

The Courtneys New Album Out Next Month; Share ‘Tour’

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Vancouver indie trio The Courtneys already teased their aptly titled second album, The Courtneys II with ‘Silver Velvet’ toward the end of last year.

And with the follow up to their marvellous self-titled debut set to arrive on February 17, through Flying Nun, the trio have provided another sneak peak in the form of ‘Tour’. As for the new single, it is catchy-as-they-come. Pitting together driving bass, pounding drums, fuzzed-up, dreamy guitar and sweet vocals; we are invited along an excursion to a fuzzy world of power-pop meets ’90s indie. ‘Tour’ is yet a another promising indication that The Courtneys II is an album to look out for.

‘Tour’ comes with the perfectly timed news that the band will be hitting the road in the next months, for a North American tour. All the dates are here. Meanwhile, soak up the new single below:

Millions Like Us Podcast #21

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Hello! We’re back (again) with another delightful mix of music and chat that is, Millions Like Us Podcast, Episode #21.

First off, apologies for the delay with this one but it was entirely out of our control. Some technical mumbo-jumbo put a spanner in the works but we (and by that I mean Stevie, poor sod) finally pulled it together after a lot of hard graft. Some sound issues remain but hopefully it doesn’t hamper the listening experience any more than usual. 😉

Anyway, back to the Pod. For Episode #21 we – Justin, Barry & Stephen – brave some dodgy internet connections, technological misadventures and timezone challenges, to bring you a bumper 90 minutes plus of music chat and an eclectic, hand-picked selection of superb new tunes.

Thanks for your patience with us with this one, we really appreciate it. We’ve all got the thinking caps on to figure out a more efficient way of doing this so once again, thanks for baring with us and we hope you enjoy Pod #21!

You can subscribe to MLU on iTunes and Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

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The Orange Kyte – ‘Just Like Leningrad’

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Vancouver’s The Orange Kyte is on the cusp of completing a mammoth quest, releasing a single-a-month throughout the year.

Centred around Vancouver-based, Dublin-raised Stevie Moonboots and a revolving cast of friends and collaborators, The Orange Kyte has shared ‘Just Like Leningrad'; the penultimate single in 2016’s single-a-month series. A sprawling five-minutes of spiralling, shape-shifting psych-rock, the droning organ takes centre stage alongside Moonboots’ irresistible vocals as a heady sonic brew of oscillating guitars, throbbing bassline, fevered percussive assault and blistering brass is unleashed to devastating effect. We’ve been treated to some fine music already but this is up there with the very best. The Orange Kyte, the songs and the project has been most enjoyable throughout 2016, but keeping up this level of output in 2017 is probably asking a bit much, eh? Hopefully there is still more to come from The Orange Kyte.

Well, there is one more single before the year is out but for now, why not gift your years the joys of ‘Just Like Leningrad’. And also, The Orange Kyte has announced some Irish shows for December, check them after the jump.

The Orange Kyte: Irish Dates

Dec 28th: The Grand Social, Dublin
Dec 29th: The Kino, Cork
Dec 30th: Sandino’s, Derry