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Folk/Country

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Richmond folk duo Sleepy Brother are playing a release show for their new album, "Let in the Light", 7/18 at Sound of Music Recording Studios

Sleepy Brother, a folksy acoustic duo from Richmond, VA released a single called "Glimpse" last month featuring lulling plucks on guitar and smooth vocals explaining an upbringing inspired narrative. This month they are preparing for the full unveiling of their upcoming album "Let in the Light". They will be celebrating this achievment with a performance at Sound of Music Recording Studios on 7/18 accompanied by fellow Richmond based band Ocean Versus Daughter and NC's Bear Stevens. Heather Wiederholt's voice enters the sacharine, her lyrics encouraging nostalgia and optimism, while Nathan Burns brings the grounding keys, guitar, and percussion.

- Leora Mandel     

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Wicked Man Releases Single - Soil Leaking Water

Oakland's Wicked Man is an undeniably unique act with influences ranging from Fela Kuti and Ali Farka Touré to the songwriting prowess of John Prine and Andrew Bird. The group’s new single, Soil Leaking Water is an eclectic blend of bluesy fingerpicking, soaring synths, electronic drums, and darkly haunting vocal melodies.

The track is birthed in sounds of sweltering, trance­-like guitar licks, comes of age in its jazzy­pop­funk groove, and builds strength with eclectic frontman Yonatan Tietz’s soulful vocals, keyboard master Andrew Kunz’s synth work and drummer/percussive coordinator Max Denny’s self­-sampled electronic functions. As a band, their sound has evolved and expanded upon the bold 2014 debut Fingership EP, growing into a more intricate tapestry of fantastically enticing rhythms that leaves us all chomping for more.

Give this track a listen. Hell, give this track ten listens. Put it on at yer July 4th backyard BBQ. It’ll grow on you, that’s for sure. Wicked Man will be releasing their next EP in September and touring the West Coast in the fall. More info is available on their official website, wicked­man.com. - Justin Kohlberg

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We Danced the Night Away with Ezra Bell, The Bevelers and Fanno Creek

Music like the music that Ezra Bell makes is living proof that not all musicians need to hide behind heavy effects: fuzz, distortion, reverb, and even auto-tune to make music that people really enjoy listening to, and that was very apparent at their EP release last Wednesday. They played alongside the Bevelers and Fanno Creek, gracing Mississippi Studios with some deeply beautiful, danceable and heartfelt tunes.

The Bevelers played first as the crowd filtered in, and although the two-piece group has a soft demeanor, it was impossible not to pay attention. The foundation of their whole set is their two beautiful voices creating harmonies so sad and lovely at the same time that you want to get lost in the world that their voices create.

Ezra Bell played second in the evening when attendance was at its peak, kicking off their set with a few familiar songs. Ezra Bell is such a complex machinery of humans and instruments and it seems like having 7 people on stage, something shouldn’t work about their set-up. But everything works. Their music is complicated yet not cacophonous, focusing more on interesting sound pairings than everyone fighting for focus. Even the bass and drums took turns being the lead rhythmic force of a song, which felt uncommon, but was just one of many facets of their music that sets them apart from other folk-pop bands around Portland and beyond.

The audience at Mississippi Studios was stoked to see them, cheering loudly between songs and singing along with their older music, which sounds every bit as tight as their recordings. It’s rare that a local band can get an entire audience to dance along rather than stand stoically, arms crossed, but it’s really hard not to dance when you listen to them.

Fanno Creek ended the night with a surfier, and less folk influenced set by comparison. Ezra Bell was the ideal middle point between Fanno Creek and the Bevelers because unlike the previous bands, Fanno Creek is heavier and more bluesy. They were the perfect choice to end the night though, because, despite a big chunk of the audience leaving, those who stayed were ready to dance and Fanno Creek is dance-y as hell.

Together, all three bands were a match made in lineup heaven, giving the crowd a solid range of folk and pop music to groove along to all night long. You can check out Ezra Bell’s new EP, We Came by Canoe here:

- Photos and story by Sarah Eaton

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Lysten Boston presents: Le Roxy Pro, Elison Jackson, Strangeways and Jack O'Brien @ TT the Bear's TONIGHT

TT the Bear's time in the local Boston/Cambridge music scene may be coming to an end, but there's still plenty of great shows to see before the doors close for good on July 25. Tonight, Lysten Boston presents a bill that will appeal to fans of upbeat, surf-inspired indie rock--just in time for the warm weather. Join Le Roxy Pro, Elison Jackson, Strangeways and Jack O'Brien in paying respects to a long-standing pilar of the Cambridge music community. Show starts at 8:30 PM. $10 cover, 21+ with proper ID.

For more info about the show, check out the Facebook event.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

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Premiere: Owl Paws – Eyes Of The Prey

The San Francisco based avant indie-folk rock band, Owl Paws has given us the opportunity to share their new ballad, Eyes Of The Prey from their upcoming debut full length album, Reservoir. Our recent coverage of Rin Tin Tiger’s new single and upcoming album ties into the endeavors of Owl Paws, as the bands are celebrating together with a double album release show at The Independent on July 10th with Growwler.

Owl Paws' sound and rhythms veer more towards indie rock and less towards folk and country, giving them a crisp and contemporary feel. Their new single, Eyes Of The Prey is a sentimental and honest ballad that sounds airy, but is also mixed with a tinge of loneliness that seems to reflect a bit of the isolating element of modern times. The lyrics are somewhat abstract, but they do reflect the band’s understanding of the depth of human emotion and experience.

The band’s full length album, Reservoir will be released digitally via Bandcamp on July 7th. We’re excited for their new album and hope you’ll support this local band’s art and efforts.

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