Sounds Of RVA Presents: On the Horizon June 2014

by | Jun 25, 2014 | COMMUNITY

How do you balance your intake of new music versus timeless classics? This was a question posited by blogger yvynyl on Twitter the other day, and he brought up a struggle that we all feel.


How do you balance your intake of new music versus timeless classics? This was a question posited by blogger yvynyl on Twitter the other day, and he brought up a struggle that we all feel.

Music journalists aren’t the only ones who need to be ahead of what’s next, but also we need to continue building the long-term music knowledge in there as well. This might sound strange from a column that’s meant to bring you the best in what’s new, but you’ve got to remember to delve into the past a little bit. Sometimes you need to relisten to that self-titled Black Sabbath record or put on that Avail album you love. The point is not only to experience a sense of nostalgia but for you to keep learning and building on where the sounds of today have happened before, or why the sounds are what they are today.

Let’s get to the sweet summer jams:

Goldin has been especially prolific of late, and his VHS Music album is hitting the scene really hard. His flow is supreme, clean and clear yet dirty in subject matter. Definitely NFSW if you’re into blasting beats in the open in your work environment. I’m not gonna quote anything, but you’ll see what I mean.

Black Water Gold just released a three-song EP recorded at River City Recording Studios by Justin Black and Mark McDonald. Black played guitars, bass, and provided vocals while brother Parker Black played drums. The lo-fi analog sound combined with the tender acoustic tunes create a sound that is both comforting and depressing at the same time. It’s bleak yet lush.

Get ready for Dr. Con, a high-energy funk and soul experience with a side of glam space rock. Recorded at Minimum Wage Studios, this Southern rock album features a five member band who does not apologize for possible pregnancy after hearing or witnessing their live set. Fans of Red Hot Chili Peppers will enjoy the bluesy funk and vocalist Josh Ryder’s Anthony Kiedis-like flow.

If you’re not hip to Jellowstone Studios, the recording haven for Reeverb Entertainment, get ready to have a new favorite collective. Devonne Harris, aka DJ Harrison is the master behind the boards (and drums, keys, bass, etc.) and he conspires with many different hepcats from all different genres from hip hop, soul, funk, jazz, and more. He has recently released a mixtape, Booster Pack Vol. 1: Jellowstone Sampler, showcasing some of the different acts that he lets roll through there. PaceCadets begins the disc with No BS Brass Band/famous people/guru Reggie Pace plus DJ Harrison and Marcus Tenney. If that’s not enough, Butcher Brown, the infinitely cool jazz band headed by Harris, trips some minds through some progressive funk and jazz dirty fusion. “Forest Green” will blow your mind and reel it back just before you go over the edge. If you hangeth, they will bringeth.


photo by Brian Hamelman

Mirror Kisses, a synthpop darkwave electro band, has released a new single via Stereogum. Originally from Richmond and now partly in Harrisonburg, Mirror Kisses is the project by George Clanton. He clearly reveres the Cure, 80s moody blues and dark goth synth elements. He creates a pop atmosphere, with a catchability factor and complexity while remaining allegiant to a simple structure. Plus, one of the original logos is from AOL back in the old days, a triangle housing some sort of obelisk.

You have a new favorite band, and they are called Black Naked Wings. The trio just released $ Bill Sessions recorded by Bill Walker. From the beginning, the band plays with genres, exploring and experimenting with spaghetti western (“Interlewd”) among other things. The first track, “Infinity” sounds like it was written by a super-Wayne Coyne, because the normal, regular one couldn’t have gotten the jams this far. The seven tracks are infused with grungy garage guitars which sometimes feel like a humming. Is there a horn in there (“Tomorrows Gone”) in unison with the guitar? It gives off an almost kazoo sounding effect without the cheekiness. I can’t wait to bump this all summer long.

BLAND is a hip hop project by Terrance Bland, and he just dropped the Smooth and Soothing EP. His music is ANYTHING but “bland.” The five-song album features Bland rapping over some kicked-back smooth jams and boom bap drums. “Lounge” starts everything and while the R&B reaches almost Kenny G territory, the elevator music chills the saxophone out. Check out the beat in “Wonder” which has the swagger of 2Pac and a smoothwave vibe.

The new album by Griff’s Room Band came out recently, and the band’s form of acoustic pop and Americana goes down clean and smooth. With subject matter like people-watching (“Corner Booth”) and spending time having fun (“Daylight Fades”), the band is all about “good vibes.” The trio, originally from Williamsburg, approaches folk with a modern touch. Multi-part vocal harmonies, moments of country fiddle, and a variety of percussion set these songs apart from today’s neo-folk stars.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner




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