In Notes From Left of the Dial this week, Nooga.com spends time with new music from That One Eyed Kid, Bedroom Eyes, My Evergreen Soul and Oginalii. What have you been listening to recently?
That One Eyed Kid, "Burn Out Right"
Boston-based singer and producer Josh Friedman creates music that owes no particular allegiance to any genre. His work is an amalgam of various musical influences and embraces the darker emotions that we often hide deep within ourselves. He worked with pop-rock band The Fates before devoting himself to his own songs, creating the moniker of That One Eyed Kid as a tongue-in-cheek nod to his battle with cancer that left him without the use of his left eye. He's currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming EP, "Crash and Burn," which was produced by Adam Korbesmeyer and is being distributed by Friedman himself.
On his latest single, "Burn Out Right," Friedman blends a groove-addled burst of soul noise with synth pop aspirations. The beat sends shivers up and down your spine, creating a rolling melody that snakes its way along your nervous system. Wobbly and built from ecstatic pop explosions, this track seems destined to pour from open windows as this winter season heads into spring. Everything seems meticulously planned out, but there's a sense of spontaneous inspiration as the music swells and crowds the air around your head. Beatific string arrangements swirl in the background before pouring from your speakers as his voice rises in tandem, crafting a gorgeous revelation of sound and emotion.
Bedroom Eyes, "After I Was a Kid But Before I Grew Up"
Föllinge is a small town nestled in the Swedish mountains, and it's where musician Jonas Jonsson builds his glittering pop revelations, composed of synth melodies and pop-centric rhythms that quickly settle into the brighter areas of your subconscious. And with the forthcoming release of "Greetings From Northern Sweden" (due out May 12 via Startracks), he looks to further cement his position as one of Sweden's most interesting musical explorers. Having already released two demo EPs online and finding himself the recipient of some notable recognition from outlets such as Rolling Stone and Der Spiegel, his music has covered the lengths of dozens of countries.
With his effervescent new single, "After I Was a Kid But Before I Grew Up," Jonsson offers up a shimmering, melody-laced song that makes it impossible to sit still. It sits firmly in the indie pop camp but exudes its own distinct charms. The propulsive beat and scattered synth lines create a kaleidoscopic pop ruckus, which is fitting, as he isn't afraid to let the feedback creep into the foreground from time to time. It's fascinating to hear an artist so thoroughly enamored of a sound that they're able to discover hidden places where mystery and bare emotion still exist. As a bombastic piece of pop bluster, it's as catchy as it is ready to soundtrack your next road trip.
My Evergreen Soul, "Mind Escape"
Built around the dynamic interplay of Greg and Brian Fogg (and a host of revolving musicians), California band My Evergreen Soul is awash in fuzzed-out guitars, burnished keyboard lines and vocals that bathe in the glow of dense reverb. With the forthcoming release of their first official record, an EP called "Mind Escape," they take all the hard work and effort of the past couple of years of home recordings—not to mention months of studio tweaking—and fashion a multifaceted sound that evokes the celestial motions of the heavens, if all that movement just happened to be based around a ballistic pop reverence.
With recent single "Mind Escape," the band conjures swirling pop and rock patterns that dance nimbly across the sky, etching their starry patterns into a deep rhythmic canvas. Hints of a deeper psychedelia thread themselves through the layered melodies and echo-soaked vocals. Cymbals crash and collide while guitars carry their chords up into the deeper reaches of the atmosphere. As the song unfolds, you're left staring up and wondering where the tendrils of sound that emanate from your speakers might wind up one day. "Mind Escape" encourages these wandering thoughts and entices you to step lightly among the influences that act as steppingstones for listeners as they trace this specific noise back to its creation.
The music of Nashville-based sludge-pop band Oginalii is mired in raw impulse and theatrical guitar riffs—they concoct a heavy and densely packed bundle of classic rock tropes and bluesy tendencies that shuffle through a filter of Southern authenticity. Composed of singer-drummer Karalyne Winegarner, guitarist Sam Hunt, singer-guitarist Emma Hoeflinger and bassist Kurt Krafft, they rattle the bones of these genres to work out the intricate relationships and deeply embedded emotions that stir within these sounds. The band released a self-titled EP last year and is currently working on new material, which is set to come out sometime in the coming summer months.
On "Red," they harness a particularly virulent rock tenacity, one that roars from their home in Nashville to the furthest reaches of the world. And with its accompanying video, the band looks to demolish gender stereotypes and engage in a bit of role-reversal mayhem—all soundtracked to the hum and thrum of their collective guitar barrage. The band isn't looking to prove anything to anybody; they're creating a brash and necessary rock aesthetic that strips the fat and waste away from classic rock's skeleton, leaving the sinews and lean muscle behind. Rising to a heated churn, the track easily deconstructs any expectations you might have had regarding Oginalii's cathartic rock thunder.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.