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5 Rad Albums From Local Artists You Might Have Missed Last Month
We’re highlighting some of the best albums that have been released by L.A.-based artists over the past month, from the Eastside’s thriving garage-rock scene to South L.A.’s hotbed of alternative hip-hop.
Winter - Supreme Blue Dream
Supreme Blue Dream may or may not be named after a pretty wonderful strain of weed, but this isn’t just music for stoners. It’s a gorgeously dreamy set of shoegazing tunes, courtesy of Brazilian-born, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Samira Winter and her band. Winter’s watery melodies are wonderful to get lost in, but individual moments stand out, like the dazzling electronics on “Someone Like You,” lonely balladeering of “Some Kind of Surprise” and Portuguese-sung orchestral pop of “Expectations/ Exigências.” Fans of Mazzy Star, The Concretes and L.A.’s Best Coast will find a lot to love here. As the band sings in the sparkling “Waiting for Summer,” we’re ready to kick back, spin Supreme Blue Dream and let the summer come (even if spring doesn’t really exist in L.A.).
Tyler, the Creator - Cherry Bomb
The kingpin of the South L.A.-based Odd Future collective (which includes artists like Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt) suddenly dropped his third official album this month with little fanfare (as seems to be the way these days), and perhaps appropriately, Cherry Bomb is weirder and more experimental than its predecessors. “Deathcamp” highlights Tyler’s underheralded skills as a pure rapper, throwing surrealist wordplay and funny one-offs (“I'm going harder than coming out the closet to conservative Christian fathers”) over a production reminiscent of N.E.R.D.’s “Lapdance” (Tyler even calls out their In Search Of… album in the lyrics). His production talents make themselves known on the dizzying, hyper-distorted synths of “Pilot” and bombed-out electronic noise of the title track. And Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne show up to trade verses on the excellent “Smuckers”—we’re especially fond of Kanye’s “Richer than white people with black kids/Scarier than black people with ideas.” We’re less fond of the same ol’ lothario come-ons on tracks like “Blow My Load,” and Tyler’s continued ease with casually dropping gay slurs is troubling to say the least. Tracks like the sensitive, jazzy electro-R&B of “Find Your Wings” speak to what Tyler can do when he drops the more juvenile stuff. It’s as maddening as anything he’s done, and taking the good with the bad, also as strong.
Peach Kelli Pop - III
Allie Hanlon and her cohorts bash through these 10 garage-pop nuggets like kids on a sugar rush. Hanlon tears through odes to spending your youth in front of the NES (“Princess Castle 1987”) and covers the “Sailor Moon” theme song as easily as she sneaks feminist sentiments into these candy-coated gems, calling out dudes for wanting perfectly obedient girls (“Plastic Love”) with perfect hair (“Shampoo”). III’s carnivalesque guitars, headlong beats and singalong melodies blow by quickly, but you’ll just want to replay it the second it’s over. Fighting evil by moonlight, she is the one named Peach Kelli Pop.
LA Font - Hangtime Vol. 1
LA Font might be the hardest-working band in L.A., continuously playing shows and recording material such as this latest EP of power-pop goodies. “Outside” pairs wailing guitar lines with frontman Danny Bobbe’s wiry, shivering vocals. “Step Stone” delivers the power-pop goods with hooks for days and fist-pumping beats. “Miss Miami’s” piano-led arrangement finds inspiration in The Replacements, detailing a dangerous lady with a thing for Dan Marino. Single “Whisperer” moves from a creeping groove to a full-on assault by the end, while “Wash Cloth” is a lovable singalong about throwing off a deadweight lover. All of this in five songs. (Full disclosure: LA Font bassist Greg Katz is a contributor to LAist.)
Children - Great River
Long Beach fivesome Children make psych-pop worthy of the tag on their debut LP. The album covers a lot of territory across its 11 tracks. Mostly recorded at a house in Mississippi, Great River seems to pull from both regions for inspiration on tracks like “Salamander,” taking blues notions and warping them through copious reverb and a sunny, surfy feel that is distinctly ours. “All to Myself” is a ’50s-style ballad floating in a sea of reverb. Meanwhile songs like the epic “Vigil (Strange Gods)” and jangling “Doowaddadoo” feel like something from across the pond, calling to mind European cult bands of yore like Orange Juice and Felt, with a bit of Pink Floyd’s brain-bending explorations thrown in for good measure. Yet Great River is an entirely cohesive set that doesn’t feel like an unnecessary look backwards—it’s far too lovely for that. The kaleidoscopic guitarwork and analog haze that spills over everything on Great River is masterfully executed, filling a deep pool of lush sounds to dive into.