Pom Poms is the collaboration between vocalist/songwriter Marlene Gold and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler (Awolnation, Liz Phair, Kelly Clarkson, Macy Gray). With a love for the great singers and writers from years gone by, this project transcends time and fads with grand martini-infused arrangements and melodies which set them apart from their dance pop contemporaries. The entire world of Pom Poms was built, if not in a day, then out from that moment 'Betty" was born. The mercurial task of harnessing a sound so distinctive so soon in the life of a group (let's not call them a band) is rare. If one was to blend references for the sake of enticement, we call upon fans of Quentin Tarantino, Ernie Kovacs, Roy Orbison, The Twilight Zone, Wes Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard, Yves Montand, Connie Francis, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline. And that's just "Betty." The single is the maiden release for Square Foot Records, also founded by Billy Mohler. Pom Pom's recently released their full length record “Turn You Out” on Make Records.
Ramonda Hammer is a Los Angeles grunge band who's name comes from a lady featured on the early 2000s reality television show Cheaters. The show is funny and sad, kind of how front-woman and band founder Devin Davis writes her songs. "Davis is the queen of grunge” (KSPC), playing with quirky chord progressions, and dynamic, biting vocal melodies. The other three fourths of Ramonda Hammer - Andy Hengl, Justin Geter, and Mark Edwards - turn these songs into fully flourished anthems, "crunchy, grungey, no-B.S. ’90s-style alt-rock” (Buzzbands LA). The band self-released their debut album Whatever That Means in the spring of 2016, and received critical acclaim from Impose Magazine, EARMILK, PureVolume, Fuse TV, and many other notable music publications. The band then signed with indie label New Professor and released the hit single “Zombie Sweater” that fall, gaining recognition from BrooklynVegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture, and more. Ramonda Hammer was named one of "LA's hardest-working bands of 2016" (Oh My Rockness), and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017” (The Deli Magazine). They will be releasing a new EP in the summer of 2017 and touring all over the U.S. and Canada. Visit RamondaHammer.com for tour dates and follow Ramonda Hammer on all forms of social media to be a part of the journey!
With enchanting dream goth/ shoegaze tracks, Brass Box takes listeners on a journey through life, death and the darkness that swells beneath the surface. The band is comprised of Ammo Bankoff and Neil Popkin. The duo originally met several years prior at an underground new wave/ goth party in Los Angeles. The bands in which Bankoff played (Tête, Black Flamingo) occasionally shared bills with Popkin's bands (War Tapes, Rituals). Due to their musical connection both musicians naturally collaborated. Popkin then brought in guitarist Matt Bennett (War Tapes) and drummer Pablo Amador (Rituals), to round out the heavy sounds of Brass Box. Since joining forces the quartet has assembled lush compositions of melody and noise while recording in their Downtown Los Angeles home studio. Some describe the sound as a mix between My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins, but you can decide for yourself.
There’s an innately youthful feeling on “Tilt-A-Whirl,” the lead single from LA-based band Alyeska’s debut EP Crush — a fresh, untouched quality, like that of newly fallen snow. That’s its only connection to winter, though, as the song is filled with summer imagery bound to cause pangs of nostalgia. A jumpy bassline leads vocalist and guitarist Alaska Reid into a sort of conversation with a boy, telling him to speak now or never if he’s really got a crush. Lightweight guitars and mentions of the county fair and summer sky set the stage for the starry-eyed chorus,”think about me while we’re young.” Reid shared some background on the track:
“Tilt-A-Whirl” is an ode to the small county fair in my town. My friends and I would look forward to going every year, we’d see boys we had crushes on, and scream about the creepy carnies or the way your feet turned black with dirt in your yellow flip flops. We would giggle uncomfortably at the porno posters the carnies hung in their booths and the rotting state of their teeth. And then there were the rides — The Zipper, The Hurricane and my favorite, the Tilt-A-Whirl. The dirt in the midway was pocked with pools of vomit and discarded glow sticks and the carnies would spray you with giant squirt guns, trying to lure you into playing their game.… It was sort of a running joke, that it was your “coming of age” if you got squirted in the chest by the carnies. I just wanted to convey the sparkle and the excitement of when I was young against the neon glow of the county fair as well as the grit and the darkness lurking around the edges. Listen to “Tilt-A-Whirl” below, and check out last year’s single “EverGlow” if you missed it.
Crush is out 3/3 and was produced by indie rock veteran John Agnello. According to Alyeska’s publicist, it was the last thing recorded at the Magic Shop, the NYC recording studio where David Bowie did Blackstar and Arcade Fire recorded The Suburbs.
by Kim Ilkowski