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Ears Wide Open: Xelli Island

Xelli Island is the dream-pop project of Lianna Vanicelli, who writes songs about self-realization informed by her blue-collar upbringing as a Filipino-American in Detroit and her experiences paying her dues in the Motor City music scene. After debuting in early 2020 with the songs that would become her “Meet Me at the Waterfall” EP, Xelli Island today releases “Flutter,” her first single for Terrible Records’ Flexible Distribution. In its bright […]

today04/08/2021 2


Stream: Joyeur, ‘End of the World’

L.A. duo Joyeur broke a two-year silence in November with “Motion,” a spazz-tastic song that served as electro-pop therapy for the pandemic stupor. (The extended version, which came out in February, turned out to be even better.) Now the duo of Joelle Corey and Anna Feller are back with a song inspired by the 1-2 punch of the lockdown and last summer’s oppressive wildfires — conditions they assign a vibe […]

today04/07/2021 1


Ears Wide Open: Crisis Actor

Crisis Actor are a throwback punk trio, balancing a bleak worldview with a sense of humor and making songs for the high-speed chase of daily news. The band is comprised of guitarist Tony Knox (whom you might recognize as the host of KXLU’s “No More Heroes”), bassist Zach Crawford (who DJs as Paul Cinnamon) and drummer Jonathan Ihejeto (the hip-hop artist Jet 2). They could cite any number of first-wave […]

today04/07/2021 3


Video: Leland and the Silver Wells, ‘Love Is Blind’

You’d be forgiven for checking what year it is while watching co-stars Brandi Shea and Bart Davenport frolic around Echo Park Lake in the video for “Love Is Blind,” the new single from Leland and the Silver Wells. Larissa Jaks directs the retro-cool clip for the retro charmer, the new single from musician-photographer Leland Ettinger’s chamber-pop project. The song, officially out Friday, is a taste of the second album from […]

today04/07/2021 5


Premiere: Neza Alexander, ‘Poison Berries’

Alternative rap duo Neza Alexander have been laying down gritty, EDM-influenced tracks for about five years, highlighted by their Trump diss “Thizzz’d Out,” the neurotic “Tape Decks” and the 2019 EP “Plum.” The duo — Rwanda-born, Indiana-reared vocalist Neza Rufuku and producer Alexander Halliday, a native of Philadelphia — have been busy as activists, too. Among other things, they donate all the proceeds from their Bandcamp sales to social justice […]

today04/06/2021 2


Stream: Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 195)

Here’s our (slightly tardy) weekend playlist, Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 195), which we’ve front-loaded with loud things. Not that everything couldn’t be played loud, but you know. Press play for music from Garbage, Wavves, the Lassie Foundation, Tennis System, Johanna Samuels, STEEN, Cassandra Violet, Storefront Church, Claire George, Fly Felix, Misty Boyce, Westerner, Cornelia Murr and more. And beneath the player, find links to more info about the […]

today04/05/2021 2


Stream: New albums from Cassandra Violet, Douglas and Hey, King!

Here’s a trifecta of debut albums that came out Friday, from Cassandra Violet, Douglas and Hey, King! … CASSANDRA VIOLET, “Maybe It’s Not Too Late” Cassandra Violet’s debut album, coming after years of releasing EPs and singles and making strong statements about women and their roles, sparkles with personality. Her honeyed vocals slide easily between cosmic folk (“Superbloom”), pop-country (“Last On”), tender balladry (“Swim Test”) and keys-accented indie-rock (“Tick Tick”). […]

today04/05/2021 3


Premiere: Electric Palace, ‘Better Days’

If the collective rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic could be soundtracked by one rock ’n’ roll chorus, Electric Palace has just the thing in its new single “Better Days.” “It’s gonna turn around I promise / Into better times and you’ll find / We can’t go on this long forever / Gonna see better days together,” the bicoastal duo sings with glammy glee, punctuating the words the with a few […]



Stream: Westerner, ‘Nothing Personal’

Impossible-to-pigeonhole L.A. trio Westerner have been prolific the past year, releasing virtually a single every month and sounding, at times, like they want to reinvent themselves with each song. Stylistically, their always-cinematic dalliances range from psych-, post- and prog-rock to spaced-out funk and synth-pop. They sound every bit like the band that got its start with a sci-fi concept album; main man Cooper Bombadil now has bassist Brandon Valerino and […]