Music Alliance Pact (May 2015)

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 UNITED STATESWe Listen For You Johnny Azari - God Damn Blues Johnny Azari doesn't pull any punches with his blues. This is in your face, razor-edge reconstruction of a genre that's gotten soft. His music is the last swig of whiskey after a long night of drinking. The dark alleyway. This is real-life emotion through music and he's not cleaning it up just to make a few casual listeners more comfortable.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie El Gnomo - Suicidas Melodías This new musical project by Martin Reznik (La Filarmonica Cosmica) almost started as a game in 2012, when he recorded several songs on a weekly basis. Some time afterwards, while reviewing the material, Martin realised he had an album in his hands, so he spent the next months polishing the songs and re-recording some instrumental tracks. He also invited musical friends to participate in what became a folk album with a soft psychedelic vibe. Suicidas Melodías is one of these collaborations, in which singer-sonwriter Sofía Viola lends her wonderful voice. You can download the full album from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They? Arvo Tanty - White Hum Valley (Hello) Arvo Tanty is an introduction to producer Michael Dolan's solo material, following his work with electronic outfit Perth. White Hum Valley (Hello) is a grandiose, cinematic Casiotone orchestra track where slow, effacing rhythms pulse and dissolve at surface break. Dolan says the song was inspired by Joni Mitchell, Mort Garson's Plantasia and his yearning to make a "Nintendo soundtrack of some kind".

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado Otis Trio - Montag's Dream Montag's Dream, the opening track of Otis Trio's debut album 74 Club, probably refers to the main character of the novel Fahrenheit 451. The dark jazz they create fits perfectly with the despair related in the book.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo Nina Bowz - Bone Toronto artist Nina Bowz specializes in artful electro-pop that has quirky twists at every corner.

CHILE: Super 45 Urban Monk - Collage The lack of spirituality is a recurring theme of living in big cities, and for Urban Monk this is a starting point in their musical history. After a season in Brazil, Chai got together with Dhanur to bring out the sounds inside their heads. They have followed up their 2013 debut Primavera En Secreto EP with this year's release of A Lua - a mixture of pop, rap, shoegaze and Krishna life by these friends from La Serena.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo Planes (Estudios Universales) - Fue Siempre Lo Mismo Bogota's Planes (Estudios Universales) previously appeared in the Music Alliance Pact in August 2012 and much has happened to them since then. Many trips, festivals, soundtracks and the release of their 2014 debut album Las Americas. In it, they continue their wave of dream-pop with alternative rock, creating a beautiful place in the soul of those who listen to them. Album closer Fue Siempre Lo Mismo is a song that speaks of encounters and disappointments.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian Speaker Bite Me - Uh-Ah This month we try something different, serving up an exclusive taste of a 15-year-old album. Speaker Bite Me's If Love Is Missing It Must Be Imposed was originally released to little critical acclaim, but it has since grown to become a Danish rock classic and now it's out on vinyl for the first time.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria Les Petit Bâtards - Ficción Les Petit Bâtards, with members under 19 years old, have become one of the most acclaimed new bands in Ecuador and are definitely worth keeping an eye on. One reason to believe in them is their intimate, touching first single, Ficción.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda Manos Milonakis - Zyklon Main Theme Manos Milonakis produces modern classical music for films and theatrical plays, as well as for his independent solo work. The original score for Thanassis Triaridis' theatrical play Zyklon Or The Destiny is a magnificent set of 10 tracks awash in textures, atmospheres, moods and emotion. His music winds its way through your mind and moves your soul. You should also check out the main theme for the documentary Drink And Be Merry.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar Answer Sheet - Regretful Season With ukulele, guitar, bass and live loops, Yogyakarta band Answer Sheet bring diversity to Indonesia's indie-pop scene. You might love how these guys sing in English with a slight Javanese dialect.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing Comrade Hat - One Of Them Multi-instrumental, multi-talented member of multiple Derry acts, Neil Burns - known in this particular guise as Comrade Hat - will throw that hat over anything that catches his fancy. One Of Them is a fine example of his work, designed on piano and guitar but constructed using a delicate touch on synths. Think Moby's blissful corners constructed using the Rockies for inspiration. This is out of sync with the zeitgeist and all the better for it.

ITALY: Polaroid Pueblo People - Dog People "As if Raymond Carver got drunk in front of the typewriter while Dinosaur Jr's Green Mind plays on the turntables" - I really like this sentence from the press release for Giving Up On People, Pueblo People debut album. I think it really tells something about the way these songs are written, the spirit behind this raw, powerful music. The guitars are loud, the drum and bass are tight, the vocals are harsh and grasping. Life up against the wall, bad luck, growing up and going separate ways. For sure, one of the best Italian indie-rock albums this year.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies Half Mile Beach Group - Twilight The image that the beach city of Zushi, south-east of Tokyo, has conjured up in recent years has not been particularly positive. It was a rowdy spot and then the local government banned loud music and other fun times from the coast. Thank goodness for outfits such as Half Mile Beach Group, who on Twilight present a windswept and haunting view. It is not quite summer bliss, as the whole thing sounds appropriate for the slow season, but it is a gorgeous representation all the same.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta Mistura - Issa Tard Wisq Mistura is a duo whose songs, exclusively in Maltese, have elements of blues and rock, both electric and acoustic. Debut album U d-Dinja Tkompli Ddur, released in October 2014, is a rock concept record divided into four sections of four songs each. Packed with biting social commentary, especially in relation to local issues, it reflects on the theme of repetition and cycles of life. Antonio Olivari and Malcolm Bonnici are the main members, but they also perform as a full electric band with additional musicians.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika Error.Error - Γ Error.Error is the project of Efrén Valenzuela, a young musician and beatmaker from Hermosillo, Sonora on the north-western desertic corner of Mexico. He is the founder of the netlabel LALALA4e and also operates under the Zonzobot alias. Error.Error recently blew us away with his newest track, written as Γ, an incredibly chilling piece which the artist has branded "reggaetrón". Γ was accompanied with a futuristic, must-see 3D video created by the artist himself.

PERU: SoTB Physic - Never Satisfied Physic began to attract vast attention with only a couple of songs earlier this year, leaving us eager to hear more of their dark post-punk. Fortunately for us, they have just released their self-titled debut and Never Satisfied is one of the jewels of this remarkable album.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco? Beautify Junkyards - Rainbow Garland Beautify Junkyards' first album, released in 2013, contained only covers but it drew the attention of many radio stations and journalists, and they were invited to participate in a Brazilian television documentary along with David Byrne, Devendra Banhart and M.I.A. Their new album of original material, The Beast Shouted Love, was released this month and it is one of the best records I have heard this year. It will please fans of Goldfrapp, Beach House, Melody's Echo Chamber and Foxygen.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop The Great Albatross - Righteous Man Every so often you come across a new song that's so obviously better than anything you've heard in months that it stops you in your tracks and makes you realise how much better life is to have it in it. For me, that special something is Righteous Man by The Great Albatross. The creator of this exceptional acoustic heartbreak is A. Wesley Chung, an American based in Glasgow. Righteous Man (video here) is taken from recent EP Roots, which features Avi Zahner-Isenberg from Avi Buffalo - he and Wesley are former bandmates.

Louisville Scene Report (4.16.2015)


I've always loved Tropical Trash for their in your face loudness turned up to the point of madness. To my surprise, their newest and just down right spectacular new single, "UFO Rot" starts with a more sing-songsy style of punk...but loud lovers have no fear, the song turns on a dime halfway in and fuzzes into oblivion.  This is a track with every inch packed tight with excitement and has this album as one of my most anticipated of 2015.  Out May 26th on Load Records (US) and Riot Season (UK).


The last few weeks have seen an abundance of amazing new albums and EPs that make me proud to call Louisville home.  We have an indie self-release masterpiece from Lydia Burrell, some punk goodness from Blind Tigers, and a throw back 90s sounding album from Twenty First Century Fox that will get you over missing the good old days of Pavement or The Pixies. 


Track of the Day: The Sandwitches - "Play it Again Dick"

San Francisco's The Sandwitches were one of those Spotify finds for me. After a couple clicks I came upon this perversely ethereal song "In the Garden" which seemed to be told from the perspective of a rim job obsessed snake. It's hard not to get captivated by the David Lynchian songs and haunting melodies. This June, the group releases their final album, Our Toast via Empty Cellar Records and the first taste is the whimsically titled "Play It Again Dick." With a menacing downbeat and slow rolling, lilted vocals, "Play it Again Dick" manages what so many Sandwitches songs do -- to live on that rough edge of emotion and irony. Listening to their tracks, you often wonder if the knowledge of your own pain is what makes that fucker hurt even worse.

Music Alliance Pact (April 2015)

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 16-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 UNITED STATESWe Listen For You Lydia Burrell - Carry Our Weight An emotive ticking clock of a song, "Carry Our Weight" bounces in and out between poetic lyrics and a synth that punches in between breaths. This is unabashed music. The lyrics float above melodies that tag behind, both elements reaching higher and higher until the song's fantastic and satisfying conclusion.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie Los Grillos Del Monte - Jaqueline This supergroup formed by Facundo Flores (Onda Vaga, Nacho & Los Caracoles), Tomi Lebrero (El Puchero Misterioso), Martín Reznik (La Filarmónica Cósmica) and Jano Seitún (Campos Magnéticos, Alvy Singer Big Band) has just released their first record. According to the guys, the album sounds like "a bolero who fathered a cumbia, a chorus which is the cousin of the best zamba, and rock music that won't leave us even if we try". MAP exclusive download Jaqueline is our favorite track from the album.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They? Surf Dad - Honey Surf Dad is the production duo of George and Declan Sands, brothers from Barwon Heads, a small coastal town near Melbourne. More than a year after releasing the excellent Unholy EP, the siblings have dropped Honey, a pristine, sensual track featuring horns, bells, woodblock, field recordings from their dad's backyard and their mum, Natisha, on vocals. George had salvaged the vocal recordings from old four-track cassettes that Natisha, an artist herself, compiled in the 1980s. As you might expect from an intimate family collaboration, the boys' woozy, organic production complements her heady performance perfectly. And Mum's reaction upon hearing the track? She cried.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo Dilly Dally - Gender Role Buzz Records is taking Toronto by storm with their incredible roster of artists that include Odonis Odonis, Weaves, Greys, HSY, Anamai and more. Now I bring to you the incredible Dilly Dally, whose "I don't give a fuck" attitude both on and off stage will have you loving them more and more.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo Balancer - Remain Waves Balancer is a trio formed by Colombians and Puerto Ricans, but based in Brooklyn. Gabriela, Felipe and Francisco have released two EPs and an album called Tipsoo. Their music is striking - it's a world influenced by indie-rock, psychedelia and electronics. Remain Waves is the first single released from Tipsoo, which takes us through the waves to the shore with a warm, downtempo sound.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian The Ball And The Wall - Standing On My Own The Ball And The Wall's latest single, MAP exclusive download Standing On My Own, came out in the UK on vinyl in March. The solo project of producer Noah Rosanes, he only puts out singles with guest vocalists. This one features Ida Wenøe and comes with an excellent "20 directors with 10 seconds each" video. The single's B-side is So Good.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria Elia - Hasta El Final Ignacio Izquierdo, also know as Elia Liut or Elia, is one of the Ecuadorian indie-rock scene's most interesting musicians. After being part of Motozen, Ignacio began new project Elia Liut, combining folk, pop and alternative rock music. Hasta El Final is the second single from the Sentir EP, produced by Steven Aguilar (Dave Matthews Band, Moby).

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar HMGNC - Today & Forever Homogenic (stylized as HMGNC) is a trio consisting of Dina Dellyana, Grahadea Kusuf and Amandia Syachridar, who distill their many musical passions down to a few simple concepts, expressed as scientifically-constructed pop music which they refer to as electronic sci-pop.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing MuRli - Both Sides (feat. God Knows) Taken from his Surface Tension EP, Both Sides represents another burst of creative hip-hop from the Limerick-based Rusangano Family collective, of which MuRli is a key member. The vocalist's Togolese origins shine through in a track that deals with diversity with a cutting and memorable honesty. It's a glance at fast-modernizing Ireland delivered through a captivating voice.

ITALY: Polaroid Old Fashioned Lover Boy - Barracudas Old Fashioned Lover Boy's debut album is called The Iceberg Theory - there is a hint of something majestic but also fragile and incomplete in this music. What we see of an iceberg is only a small part of what's really there. These songs may seem thin, just another folk-pop record for Bon Iver or The Tallest Man On Earth fans. But while Old Fashioned Lover Boy is a bedroom songwriter with an acoustic guitar and a few synths, the love in his music is much more than this.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies Tenkiame - Splash! Azusa Suga is a Tokyo musician who keeps himself busy. He plays guitar in rising rock outfit For Tracy Hyde and is also the mastermind behind the chillwave-leaning Shortcake Collage Cake project. His newest outfit, Tenkiame, finds him in the vocalist role, merging driving rock with a touch of shoegaze. Splash! is their best cut yet, thanks to how it drives forward and how Suga pushes his voice to raise the emotional stakes.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika Lawall - Steven The state of Colima, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, is well known for its astounding beaches, but scarcely for its indie music. Enter Lawall, a very young band signed to Mexico City label Rock Juvenil, founded by Centavrvs member Paco Martínez. And what a finding Paco has made. This jangly, nostalgic tune has the sparkle of those 80s tunes crafted by Morrissey/Marr.

PERU: SoTB Indigo - Destino Indigo was one of the most important bands in the development of Peruvian rock at the beginning of the last decade. Their first and only album is essential material. Almost 10 years after their last activity, they've returned with the announcement of a new album, from which we can hear Destino, an amazing song that rouses instant nostalgia as it grows in intensity.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco? The Leeway - If Only The Leeway are a band formed by Pedro Barquinha - a Portuguese living in New York where he attends the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music - and his friend and fellow student Bennett Sullivan. In March 2014, with three other recruited members, they released an EP. If Only is a new track for 2015, with The Leeway releasing one every month accompanied by a video.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop BWANi - Make My Day BWANi first appeared on the Music Alliance Pact as Bwani Junction in November 2010 and released two albums under their old moniker. Conveniently, the rebranded version of the Edinburgh indie-rock band has coincided with their best work to date - the relentlessly anthemic single Make My Day (backed with a barnstorming video). Get addicted to this MAP exclusive free download before it inevitably appears on album number three.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK Cumeo Project - New Day Rising Electronic duo Cumeo Project has already garnered some attention internationally, but it was not until this month that first EP Promised Land came out on US label Shoeboxx Recordings. New Day Rising opens the release brilliantly with great beats and fleeting sounds.

WLFY PREMIERE: Hip Hatchet - "David's Wolves"

The first thing you should know about the music of Hip Hatchet is that every word in every sentence holds extreme weight if the listener is willing to fully invest.  He's a master poet, storyteller, and his vocal emotion proves that the medium of music can elevate the universal unknown to individual understanding.  

WLFY is extremely honored to premiere the newest offering from Hip Hatchet, "David's Wolves" from his upcoming LP, Hold You Like A Harness.  It's a dark and powerful song that puts all the pressure on these snarling vocals that can transition from beauty to anger on a dime.  Unlike a lot of artists who simply propose questions to themes, Hip Hatchet shows his talent to be both personally exposed by the struggle of large life conflicts and at the same time humbly offer up his solutions. Hip Hatchet tells the story of everyone, filtered through one brilliant mind...a beginning, middle, and end...questions and answers...a quest for truth and the calming sanity through song that washes over the stressful thoughts we all hold.

April 10th - Salem Oregon - Vagabond Brewing
April 11th - Yakima Washington - 5 North
April 17th - Portland Oregon - Secret Society (Album Release Show)
April 18th - Bellingham Washington - Green Frog Tavern
April 19th - Seattle Washington -  Sunset Tavern
April 21st - Hood River Oregon - Springhouse Cellars
April 22nd - Long Beach Washington - Adrift Hotel
April 23rd - Long Beach Washington - Adrift Hotel
April 24th - Astoria Oregon - Voodoo Room
April 25th - Eugene Oregon - House Show
April 26th - Ashland Oregon - Oberons
April 27th - Reno Nevada - House Show
April 28th - Emeryville, California - Scandinavia
April 29th - Paso Robles, California - Pine Street Saloon
April 30th - Los Angeles, California - TBD
May 1st - Tempe Arizona - Xtreme Bean Coffee
May 2nd - Flagstaff Arizona - Firecreek Coffe
May 3rd - Santa Fe New Mexico - Sante Fe Sol
May 4th - Taos New Mexico - Taos Mesa Brewing
May 5th - Lubbock Texas - Blue Light
May 7th - San Antonio Texas - Bar 502
May 8th - Austin Texas - Studium
May 9th - Fort Worth Texas - Fred’s Texas Cafe
May 10th - Houston Texas - TBD
May 12th - New Orleans, Louisiana - The Circle Bar
May 14th - Gaitlinburg Tenessee - Sugarlands Distillery
May 15th - Knoxville, Tennessee - Jig n’ Reel
May 16th - Louisville, Kentucky - Haymarket Whiskey Bar
May 18th - Asheville, North Carolina - Jack of the Wood
May 19th - Charlotte, North Carolina - Milestone
May 20th - Greensboro, North Carolina - Blind Tiger
May 21st - Durham, North Carolina - Pinhook
May 22nd - Charlottesville, Virginia - The Garage
May 23rd - Fredrick Maryland - Cafe Nola
June 3rd - New York City - Rockwood Stage 2
June 11th - Kingston, New York - BSP Lounge

Track Of The Day: Jacco Gardner - "Find Yourself"

One of the best tracks of 2015 plays like a daydream twisted through Joe Meek-esq production by way of one Jacco Gardner.  A piercing vintage synth line shakes throughout this laid back, almost slow-motion cruiser of a song that slowly builds and wraps itself up in a gentle understanding that behind all beauty hides a little mystery.  This is one of the first "must-own" 7"s of the year.