San Diego duo Gloomsday make an appropriate soundtrack for barreling down a desert highway in a classic car with one too many people in the backseat. The self-described doom pop band, composed of Justin Cota on baritone gutiar and Lori Sokolowski on drums, has been making the circuit of San Diego’s smaller venues, together shaking the walls with every unrelenting cymbal crash and gripping guitar rhythm, providing a fine balance between gritty punk and cantankerous noise pop. The duo is currently in the studio working on a follow-up to last's year's self-released Believe the Hype 'Cause It's All You're Got. In the meantime, enjoy their infectious, college-radio approved "Oh La La Hey". - Jaime Gamblin
We've tallied the results for the Open Submissions stage of our LA Area Year End Poll. All of the submissions were ranked by Deli Editors from other scenes, and the list of acts that have advanced to our Readers’/Fans’ Poll phase are below. We will also be releasing the list of nominees chosen by our local "scene expert" jurors very soon.
Thanks to all the rad folks who submitted their heart and soul to us - we never received as many submissions from LA as this year! Our open submissions pool was truly a celebration of the LA Area's talent and diversity.
Total submissions from the LA Area Scene: 85
Qualified to the final phase of the Best of LA Area Poll:
Early in 2012, the avant-indie foursome, Little Red Lung, released their debut self-titled EP, helmed by songstress Zoe-Ruth Erwin, who tucked herself away in the foothills of East Tennessee to gain inspiration. The result is a sound that is pristine and crisp; organic instruments mixing with ambient soundscapes, to create a lush, ethereal atmosphere. Erwin’s effortless vocals bend at times towards folk, and at times more operatic, but with an ominous bite that leaves you with a sense of dread, as if there is something sinister looming underneath the beauty.- Jacqueline Caruso
Abrasive, grunge-influenced, but with a pop accessibility, Fake Furs, are an electro-tinged, pop/rock band. They make music so loud, aggressive and gritty, you don’t even notice they’re a bassless band. Emotional and glittery enough to appeal to the fourteen year-old girl inside you, but modern and danceable enough to call forth the grown woman who wants to party so hard she feels fourteen again. - Jacqueline Caruso
The Morning Birds make anthems for a glass-half-full lifestyle. Intricate, layered pop that compels you to take the journey with them. Surrender to This, their most recent release, is a mixed-bag of sixties psych-folk, modern day electro-pop, laid-back hip-hop rhythms, and reggae swagger. This is music for those looking for a good time. - Jacqueline Caruso
Darlings of the east side indie scene, there aren’t too many weeks that go by that you can’t catch So Many Wizards playing somewhere. From their Echo Residency earlier this year to their involvement in The FMLY’s underground events, and everything in between, this dreamy foursome hailing out of Long Beach are some of the hardest working musicians around. Their debut full length, Warm Nothing, released on JAXART Records, is an extremely well-crafted and thoughtful album filled with beach-hazed pop gems. - Jacqueline Caruso
I Hate You Just Kidding is a feel-good folk-pop duo drenched in the never-ending sunshine of SoCal. Their debut full length, Days Grow Longer, has all the charm of a bedroom recording, while still maintaining all the joy of well-crafted pop fit for an iTunes ad. Their cat and mouse vocals ooze with charisma and chemistry, leaving you with a sense of familiarity, as if you’ve just spent the last twenty-five minutes with dear friends. - Jacqueline Caruso
From the first notes of the melodic guitar riff on the single, “Island Universe,” to the moment frontwoman, Jessie Jones opens her mouth to intoxicate with her otherworldly voice, the magic of this young band, Feeding People, is undeniable. It’s so rare, I almost forget it’s possible to discover music so special it seems to harken from another world, age or galaxy. While it’s obvious the influences from which this four-piece is culling, they are successfully channeling the divine energy of the rock greats of the 60s in a way that excites passion instead of mere nostalgia. It’s no surprise they have quickly been picked up by LA-based Indie, Innovative Leisure, which boasts acts from Nosaj Thing to Nick Waterhouse. To our delight, they will be playing for free every Monday Night in January at the Echo. Each week is jammed packed with up and coming garage/psych-leaning bands like, Blackfeet Braves, Colleen Green, and The Blank Tapes. A vinyl LP is in the works, but in the meantime, give “Island Universe” a listen, and catch the fever. - Jacqueline Caruso
VUM, the duo of Jennifer Pearl and Christopher Badger, have released a new single, “Back to Sleep,” in anticipation of their forthcoming full length album titled, Blood Horses. This track leans more towards their trance-inducing darkwave side. The droning, repetitive arpeggiated bass line that runs throughout the entire track acts like one of those black and white hypnotic swirls, subliminally calling upon your higher senses. All the while, Pearl’s vocals woo like a deadly siren calling you deeper into their mystical universe. “Back to Sleep” is the perfect track to tease the full album. Much like previous releases, VUM manages to create music that can be left on repeat without realizing you’ve been lost in it for hours. See them live tonight as they join 9 other ‘Bands to Watch’ for 2013 at the Echo as part of the Origami Vinyl-curated FOMO Fest, which I’ve recently been told translates to “Fear of Missing Out.” I recommend purchasing tickets online ahead of time, as this is sure to be a packed out event. - Jacqueline Caruso