Wildcat! Wildcat! go way back…oh, let’s say fifteen years. Lead singers Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson and drummer Jesse Carmichael all share more than a few strong common bonds…a propensity for making music being the obvious. Over the span of years the guys have played together in one fashion or another, but didn’t delve into this project until 2011, when it just felt like time. Ever since, they’ve been meeting weekly at their Downtown LA recording studio/loft space, popping PBR tabs, and creating that indulgent indie/electro/pop/sexybeats you hear today.
“Wildcat! Wildcat! has their name wrong. It should be Wildfire! Wildfire!, because that’s how quickly the Los Angeles trio’s first two singles have spread across the Internet. The pop concoctions of Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson and Jesse Carmichael fall squarely onto the plate of today’s now-fashionable indie R&B — lush melodies, falsetto vocals, arching harmonies, all done produced with admirable restraint. There’s nothing minimalist about the emotional uplift of their two singles, though…” – BuzzBands.LA
“It was their Royal Tenenbaums-inspired calling card and flawless aesthetic that first caught our eye, but it wasn’t long before the trio’s technicolor serendipity pop had us hook, line and sinker…Wildcat create a bristling soundscape like no other. Multi-tiered synths build up and crumble like sovereign empires, with smoke breaks in between to recharge the self-destructive cycle, flawless production leaving the whole affair shining resplendently throughout.” – Neon Gold
Rio Bravo started in the winter of 2009 with a similar story to that of many bands. It all started with a couple of 18 and 19 year old friends in a garage playing music. In the beginning it was Christian on drums, Ed on Bass and Micah on vocals and electric guitar. Almost immediately Bryan was added on electric guitar and background vocals. Once they had a few songs they went into the studio and within a few months of the band’s inception they had their first EP of 5 songs. Over the next year they played out, gained a following and wrote for their first full length album. In the summer of 2010 production started for their freshman album, later to be titled “Fences” as a result of all the hurtles and trials they faced as they worked on finishing the record. After going on a few tours, and getting a few lucky breaks Rio Bravo had turned into one of the biggest and best bands in Wilmington, NC. Rio Bravo is now entering the first stage of recording their sophomore album. This album, to be released sometime in the first half of 2012, will mark how far they have come and also how much further they have to go. This is truly a band that has everything; talent, drive and potential and will never stop or be satisfied in their hunger for art, success and growth.
Upon releasing their six-song debut EP Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever online for free last fall, Los Angeles’ NO had the city abuzz. Now with a slew of much-talked about performances and local acclaim under their belts, NO will be releasing the EP on 12” vinyl on February 14 through Origami Vinyl. Limited to 500 copies, pre-orders are available now through the Origami Vinyl Online Shop. Local tastemaker Buzzbands LA exclaimed: “Judging from the gravitas in NO’s first single “Stay With Me”…. redemption is but a life-affirming anthem away.” Yvynyl declared: “Bradley Hanan Carter’s vocals seem to fill the bowels of Echo Park, Los Angeles. The deep timbre announces the romantic vision of yearning with conviction in the same fashion of baritone voiced Matt Berninger of The National.”
Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever is currently available as a free download via the band’s website and the lead single “Another Life” is available as an MP3 to post and share. NO will be touring the west coast in February in support of the album. In March they will return to their hometown LA for a month-long Monday night residency at The Echo before heading to Austin for the SXSW Music Festival. All shows are listed below.
The romanticism and desolation of Los Angeles breeds restlessness in its people. It’s a brooding temperament best captured by Echo Park’s NO – a band that feels it in their bones, with the kind of fevered anticipation for something more. Frontman Bradley Hanan Carter’s baritone vocals speak to the tension between the wanting and waiting, waiting for love or for some kind of order or sense to how it all works. Their track, “Stay With Me” is a ballad of calculated pleas one of slow, delicate movements. It’s being in love with someone, and hoping for some kind of stillness in the unpredictability of love. He asks, “Wasn’t there a place for me/inside your heart?” It’s all the words you’d ever want your lover to say, the fantastic notion of running away, the return to youth, when everything was uncomplicated and wonderful.
NO began as a response to the limiting idea behind the word – in an effort to reclaim it and reinterpret it as more than just an antithesis to possibility. These are sing-along songs, hymnal and anthematic; born out of a desire to connect with the greater collective of young people seeking their truth, adventure, love. There are remnants of odes to Bill Callahan, The National, and Arcade Fire—epic, atmospheric drums that pulsate, buttered bass tones, melodic choruses.
It’s not about naivety; it’s about not being calloused by a city of strangeness and strangers. Something the band knows quite well. The band itself is composed of near-veterans, all claiming a vast history with various bands, solo efforts, defunct projects, cities-travelled, loves made and lost. The core of NO first emerged mid 2010 when through a chance meeting at a local breakfast diner, Sean and Bradley started sharing songs they had both been working on. Shortly after Joseph started coming around too, and after many months of creating, and finding Reese and Mike, it seemed there would be no choice not to finish whatever it was they were starting.
NO marvels at the growing pains of a vibrant city, in all of it’s aching limbs and veins that run down dead ends. The interplay between hope and despair weaves itself throughout the collection of six songs in their debut EP Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever a sentiment that suggests that wherever “here” might be, it’s a good place to start.
The Union Line
The Union Line has been together since 2008, releasing their self titled album independently that same year. They happen to be good friends with Local Natives, releasing a split single with them that same year. Since then they have been touring hard, preparing some new music and new releases.
"With its sound rooted in the soulful rock and roll grooves of those who may or may not be god-fearing people on their own time, reaching into a feeling that connects those souls with something so naturally resounding and moving, brings out in its music a proper inspiration of gripping mortality and a denouncement of the piddling needlessness of empty, heartless efforts or existences." - Daytrotter