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Freakout Standouts: Strawberry Mountain

*photo by Travis Trautt 

Strawberry Mountain has been around the way for awhile, just not necessarily as montaña de la fresa. Formerly known as Basement Surfers, the DIY music and art collective are as large with their sounds as they are with their member count. Having played two sets at Freakout this year attendees were able to enjoy them twice over, but their sounds were entirely perfect for the Conor Byrne and its crowd.

Aside from their all-ages "2nd chance" Filson set Strawberry Mountain packed onto the Conor Byrne's stage as festival goers crowded the walkways of the bar-venue, lining up for Will Call tickets and press check-in. Upon their first notes the heads in the room focused with intrigue on their expansive, experimental psych sounds, much of which came from their early 2017 album Human Music.

With that album and everything prior, Strawberry Mountain are definitely ones we'll keep our eyes on.

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Lo-fi Psych project June Bloom release debut EP "Bloomin'"

Boston based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Carr has embarked on a psychedelic solo venture called June Bloom. Carr, a keyboardist and vocalist for the eight-piece funk/soul group The New Review and jangle-pop rockers Brother Toaster, has channeled his fondness of lo-fi dream-pop, psychedelic, and folk music into the delightfully aloof debut EP entitled Bloomin’.

The EP’s jaunty opening track “Ponds” combines the airy charm of a Real Estate guitar riff with the meaty substance of a Fleet Foxes arrangement, while “Shores” roots its traditionally psych songwriting in Ariel Pink’s production chambers. Fans of left-of-the-dial records, from classics like The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle or Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, to the contemporary torch bearers Kevin Parker and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, will be sure to take something great from June Bloom’s Bloomin’. -Charley Ruddell 

 

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Freakout Standouts: Future Shock

 *photo by Travis Trautt

What can really be said about Future Shock? The duo, comprised of futuristic characters RayGun and The Doctor, can put your world down, flip it and reverse it with their sounds. They took over Hattie's Hat the first night of this year's Freakout Festival and in every sense, they definitely ran the place.

Commanding the back room of Hattie's with a creatively confident air, Future Shock were unapologetically themselves; their afro-nu wave-neo soul a force that no one in the audience could really reckon with. An amalgamation to the likes of Kraftwerk, Tribe Called Quest, Bowie and new wave greats, Future Shock, fog machine and bull horn in tow, ran through incredibly dancey tracks like "The Future," "Time & Space" and "Secret Weapon," all of which were very well received. With one of the most captivating and overall entertaining sets of the entire festival, if they weren't on your radar before they definitely need to be now.

They may not play sets very often but it's more than worth it if you're able to catch one. Follow Future Shock's Facebook to see when they're taking the stage next.

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Visual Vices: Sex Park - "Rhyme or Reason"

Post-punk duo Sex Park have remained relatively under the radar with how much they project themselves into the spotlight, but that by no means intimates they aren't deserving of the limelight. In just the two years they've existed the darkwave faction are quickly positioning themselves highly amongst their local contemporaries. With formerly their self-titled debut to offer insight into their creations, they're back at it again with a new video as another teaser to a new album.

"Rhyme or Reason" is the second track to come off their early 2018 full length Atrium. The album was originally scheduled for summer of this year but instead the pair, made of Daniel Blumenthal on guitar and vocals and Paul Burkhart heading synths and drum machines, released one track from it titled "Dignity." To take the buzz a step further, Sex Park released the Dignity - Remixes, which consists of Lust Era, Nathan Stewart and Memory Clap Acid doing their renditions of the track. 

"Rhyme or Reason" is where it's at, though, especially its video. Its aesthetics are mistily on brand with the musical style typically proffers; images of static feedback, flowers and other indecipherable bits mirroring in mesmerizing scene sequences. The video is very easy to get lost in, as it seems will be the rest of Atrium.

Watch the visuals for "Rhyme or Reason" below, and be sure to catch Sex Park's next show at Dante's on 12.22 with Shadowhouse, The Secret Light and White Rooms.

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Hnry Flwr drops new video for "As Above, So Below"

Hnry Flwr is back with a new video for his track "As Above, So Below." With his signature spidery makeup framing his poker-face vocal delivery, Hnry Flwr traverses multiple outdoor landscapes before cutting to footage of deer, altars and other heavily allegorical imagery that the song's title may imply. The result is a dark, challenging clip that's well worth multiple watches. Check out the video streaming below.-Olivia Sisinni

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