Bandcamp can sometimes be an intimidating place, full to the brim with promising new music just begging to be discovered. So where do you start? Here are some of the more recent Bandcamp releases to get you going in 2015.
First on the list is Nora Dates, an indie-emo band from Salt Lake City with punctuated and savory doses of blaring punk throughout. Their most recent release, Worth/Fountains, is a name-your-own-price album as of now, and it is very worth a listen.
Dates sings, screams and shouts about stuff like being stoned in the kitchen, inflicting self-harm on the pavement and loss of teenage naivete. They even include a sound byte from Twin Peaks.
On the standout track “Scream like a Nazgul,” they devote the whole song to one line: “I want to talk about flowers but I lack the confidence in myself.”
What makes Worth/Fountains so impressive is how deftly they transition from soft and intricate guitar arrangements into full-fledged pop-punk headbangers.
When I spoke with vocalist Samuel Durrant earlier this year after a show at Diabolique Records in Salt Lake City, he told me that Nora Dates currently has no plans on playing any shows in Portland until the summer of 2015 at least.
Hopefully they can bring their intense and very fun live show up to the Pacific Northwest sooner rather than later.
Mom is a midi-rock solo artist from Toronto, Ontario who released her album 3 last October. The album is also a name-your-own-price on Bandcamp.
Musically, Mom can be a little hard to define at times, sounding like synthy new-wave or a midi-drenched echo of dance-punk from last decade. At other times Mom sounds far more experimental, scuzzy and discordant.
Mom never sounds broken or harsh, though, and there’s something incredibly endearing about the amalgamation of quirky sounds she uses. My favorite thing about Mom, however, is her lyrics.
She’s already pretty fun musically, but lyrically she blurs the line between ironic self-detachment and true earnestness in a way that is both incredibly poignant and sad, but is also laugh-out-loud funny at times. Equally brooding and hilarious, 3 is full of these little contradictions and that’s what makes the music so affecting and fun.
There’s a lot to like in 3, and it makes the anticipation for what Mom does next all the more exciting.
Snow Roller—Another Step In Your Career Ladder
Snow Roller is a local four-piece; a moody, indie-rock group from right here in Portland. Their four-song, name-your-own-price EP, Another Step In Your Career Ladder, is a great overview of where indie-rock has been in the past few decades.
The album incorporates just a little bit of shoegaze and some delightfully fuzzy psychedelic guitar arrangements to make some solid rock and roll tunes.
Snow Roller might be familiar to some around Portland State, as they opened for The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die last November on campus at Parkway North in the Smith Memorial Student Union.
At that show, vocalist
Collin Kritz and guitarist Tyler Bussey told me about their recent transfer from Connecticut to Portland. In fact, Bussey has a pedigree, as he was one of the early members of The World Is A Beautiful Place when they formed in Connecticut in 2009.
Snow Roller certainly has their own sound, but it’s easy to hear the influence at times, especially in the sulky delivery of Kritz. Hopefully Snow Roller continues to jam out around Portland in the future.
Murder Mystery Party—What’s The Deal With The Devil?
Lastly, Murder Mystery Party is another pop-punk band from Salt Lake City whose fast-paced and chaotic songs are bookended with a healthy dose of yucks and shucks, as the two-piece calls them.
Self-described as “stand-up comedy punx,” Murder Mystery Party make some deliciously sloppy, exciting and amusing punk music on their release What’s The Deal With The Devil?, which is also a name-your-own-price album on Bandcamp.
I also spoke with guitarist and vocalist Davey at a gig at Diabolique Records in Salt Lake City about any plans they might have to bring their hilariously rowdy show to Portland, but, unfortunately, that might not happen until the summer of 2015 at the least.
There’s a demonic Jerry Seinfeld on the cover of their album. What else do you need?