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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Latest from Grand Splendid, Sharon Lia Band, Brooke Annibale, Sunflower Bean, Less Than Jake

Grand Splendid: You Are the Universe

This band has been part of the Montreal indie-rock scene for years and released an EP (Numbers) in 2013. Now comes the first single from an upcoming full-length album. They describe their music as featuring "upfront electric guitars and soothing vocal melodies," and both are featured on this track. In an interview with Montreal Rocks, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Julian Buchbinder said his early influences included The Beatles, The Cure and R.E.M. This song, he said, "is very personal to me. I wrote it when my son was born and my whole perspective of life changed completely. Maybe the fact that I was sleep deprived at the time could have something to do with the psychedelic feel of it." 

Sharon Lia Band: The Sum Of Us

Released several months ago but just reaching our ears, this anthem of unity provides a fine introduction to the Philadelphia alternative-progressive rock band fronted by singer and pianist Sharon Lia. The song "is about the conflict within ourselves, the tragedy of giving up, the victory of rising when we fall, the symphony of realizing our potential, and the philosophy that every single one of us contributes to the sum of us all,” Lia says. 

Brooke Annibale: Home Again

Also released several months ago but just finding its way to our New Music bin is this love song to the singer-songwriter-guitarist's future wife. Their wedding was planned for this summer, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Annibale decided to mark the date by releasing this track as a single. "It’s a song about figuring out how to communicate our love for one another and ultimately build a life and make a home together."  

Sunflower Bean: Moment in the Sun

The Brooklyn-based trio is out with a bouncy single that Consequence of Sound calls "quite a departure from the glammy ’70s rock of their Twentytwo in Blue sophomore record or last year’s King of the Dudes EP. It’s firmly in the indie pop sphere, modern synth intersplicing jangly ’80s pop guitar lines on the chorus." The band says the theme of the song is "finally recognizing what is important in one’s life, the people you decide to spend it with.”  

Less Than Jake: Lie to Me

Photo by Paris Vison
Still ska-punking after all these years, this band from Gainesville, Florida is bringing out a new LP, Silver Linings - its first since founding member Vinnie Fiorello moved on and Matt Yonker took over on drums. Chris DeMakes (vocals, guitar), Roger Lima (vocals, bass) and Buddy Schaub (trombone) remain from the lineup that debuted with 1995's Pezcore, along with early addition Peter "JR" Wasilewski. "We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel with this [album], it’s still undeniably Less Than Jake," says Lima. "Just a bit punchier and in-your-face."

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