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Saturday, March 23, 2024

New indie music: Carsie Blanton, Bryan Hansen, Lightning Bug, Basement Revolver, Joywave

Our picks this week are all by indie artists, hailing from New Jersey (Carsie Blanton, Bryan Hansen Band), Brooklyn (Lightning Bug), Rochester, N.Y. (Joywave), and Hamilton, Ont. (Basement Revolver). All within a 9- to 10-hour drive. Let's go!

Carsie Blanton: Right In The Middle Of It

Her latest album, After The Revolution, encompasses the various strains of the singer-songwriter-bandleader's writing: political protest, humor, romance and - in this song for example - friendship. "When it don't work out / Well you know who to run to ... I'll be knocking at your front door / Cause that's what a friend′s for." Produced by Tyler Chester, the album features Blanton's regular bandmates - bassist Joe Plowman and keyboardist Patrick Firth - along with Griffin Goldsmith (Taylor's brother) and Sean Trischka (Tony's son) sharing drum/percussion duties, plus other guests.

Bryan Hansen Band: Poison

Ahead of an album expected later this spring comes this funky lament about "poison in the water, poison in the air" and other symptoms of environmental degradation. "What do I tell my grandkids / About the world we gave them?" The quick tempo aside, it brings to mind Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me."

Lightning Bug: Opus

This single from the upcoming album No Paradise is based on a ghost story written by band member Audrey Kang. "We imagined ‘Opus’ as a dystopian folk song written for a post-apocalyptic fantasy saga," the group says. "Or maybe it’s for the saga we’re all living in, as every year our humanity resigns itself to a world turning faster towards destruction." The track has hints of the flavor of '60s English folk rock, mixed with harder-edged guitar and electronic effects.

Basement Revolver: Red Light

This band was formed in 2020 by bassist-keyboardist Nim Agalawatte and guitarist-vocalist Chrisy Hurn, joined by lead guitarist Jonathan Malström and drummer Levi Kertesz. They say this song was inspired when Hurn got a traffic ticket "which was extremely frustrating because it was for a greater amount than their recent paycheck." Says Agalawatte: "Hopefully we’ve all learned to be a little more careful while driving!"

Joywave: Scared

About this lead single from the trio's upcoming fifth album, Permanent Pleasure, vocalist Daniel Armbruster says: "When I was growing up, every song about intimacy from the male perspective was oozing with confidence and sexual prowess. That just never felt honest or real to me and I wanted to make something for the next person growing up. ... There’s not something wrong with you."

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