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Alt Rock





Office Culture get cozy on “A Life of Crime,” play Elsewhere 11.20

New York soft-rock quartet Office Culture liken the experience of listening to their new record to “walking into a beloved old bar in a neighborhood where you no longer live,” but it is more comparable (in this reviewer’s opinion” to a comfortable, rainy Sunday night spent at home, away from the clamor of city streets. Throughout their new LP A Life of Crime, clean synths, an easygoing percussive drive, the occasional wailing horn, and singer Winston Cook-Wilson’s laissez-faire vocal delivery congeal to embed the entire record with a relaxed energy, but there’s never a dull moment. From the moody instrumental interplay on tracks like “Diamonds” and “Hard Times in the City,” to the playful bop of “Home on High” and “Parade,” Office Culture lay down a steady groove that will immediately resonate with fans of classic pop rock outfits like Steely Dan or more contemporary fusion-focused groups like Parcels and Whitney. Stream it below, and catch them on November 20th at Elsewhere supporting Wild Nothing. —Connor Beckett McInerney

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Daniprobably blooms in new record "Conditional Things," plays Cafe Nine 12.09

Exquisitely alternative is the rich mash of confidently-strummed electric guitar chords, sharp snare snaps, and bubble-gum pop vocals that make up the music of daniprobably. The Connecticut-based singer-songwriter’s latest effort, Conditional Things, sets the tone early with Dani’s vocals becoming instantly familiar to the listener in such a way they will likely never be mistaken for someone else’s. It is, in fact, that familiarity in “Blooming,” the opening track, that allows the listener to immerse in the atmospheric song that slowly swells until it bursts to reveal the fierce and fast indie-pop signature track “Run to You.” Where compositions like “Sweeter Than the Truth” move delicately with brilliant acoustic strings resonating and harmonies lingering, other songs such as “ICU” strut confidently along with their plump basslines, cheeky electric guitar riffs, and dope breakdowns. Recorded, mixed, and produced by Addy Edward, Conditional Things captures an artist not just on the rise but more like in full bloom: her style and sound already unmistakable. For those wishing to catch daniprobably live, the opportunity beckons December 9th at Connecticut’s famous Cafe Nine. We are streaming the engaging “Critic’s Favorite,” our favorite track from the new record, below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Kaitlin Anne





Levitation: Chelsea Wolfe Holds Communion at Church

  

 

A dreary Saturday peers in through the stained glass at Central Presbyterian Church. The gothic arches, the ribbed vaults, the red velvet cushions lining the dark pews, along with the incredible acoustics of the church make this one of the most beautiful venues in town, especially for shows worth sitting down. The gothic architecture enhances the dark but sensuous sound. Chelsea Wolfe stood center pulpit in a glowing white dress with puffed glowing sleeves hanging from her shoulder, surrounded by orange burning candles and a paganesque set design of concentric white stick circles looking like bones.

Wolfe opened with “Flatlands;” the familiar opening chords and gentle lyrics facilitated an instant communion of music and spirit. Wolfe’s ethereal voice washes over everyone, the elevated spirit of music through her instructing the spirit of the audience to meet above in the vaulted ceiling.

The acoustic opening song was not the softest of the set, instead it was when she stepped down from her podium to take a comfortable seat to cover Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.” When two festivals collide! Wolfe’s cover gives new life and context to the Mitchell’s golden ode. Woodstock sings about the freedom of rock and roll and the inherent stardust in us all despite the violence and uncertainty of the world outside. As the community and constituents of Levitation, we are still golden we are still stardust and we are still trying to find our way back to the garden.

The church is full of punks and fringe society here to hear Chelsea Wolfe mesmerize with “Mother Road.” A band of blue lights fan behind her like a peacock display, the swirling haze as the eyes of each feather. Geometric shapes dance on top of the stained-glass loops and parabolas. Sargent House holding mass in a dim lit gothic church on a Saturday afternoon was another sweet moment of Levitation magic, and Chelsea Wolfe beautifully expressed herself as an individual and a conduit of the spirit.

- Mel Green

Photo: Casey Holder

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Levitation: Christelle Bofale Brings Local Flavor to Levitation

 


If you’ve been plugged into the local Austin music scene, then you’ve heard of Christelle and you’ve witnessed her graceful come-up. She released Swim Team earlier this year and captivated everyone including the folks at Pitchfork who gave her album a glowing review. Since the album’s release in May, she’s toured, headlined her own show, and played fantastic sets alongside locals acts like Calliope Musicals at the Horror Disco this past Halloween, and now Levitation.

 

Bofale opened Thursday evening at Hotel Vegas, managing to facilitate an intimate performance in the midst a large-scale festival. The room was packed but her omnipresent vocals over the resounding chords made the room feel like a private show. Her songs sing of vulnerability and truth, for example, “Love Lived Here Once, speaks the universal language of heartache. Empathy brings us together, and so does Christelle’s smile. Although her songs transport you to emotional landscapes, her joy is grounding.

 

Catch one of her shows when you can. We can’t wait to see what gifts the universe holds for Christelle and her music in the near, near future. If you haven’t listened to Swim Team yet, listen to it and be the first to show your friends.

 

-Mel Green

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From the submissions: Good Time Mystery Vision detail love and life on "Cala Lillies"

Brooklyn-based psych-rock trio Good Time Mystery Vision detail the stabilizing quality of love and relationships on new track “Cala Lillies.” The band’s second single since their formation earlier this year, the song finds its footing through swelling instrumentation and vocalist David Jacobson’s dynamic vocal delivery; against forlorn guitar lines and various synth accents, Jacobson’s lyrics detail the turbulence of our modern lives, and the buttressing nature those close to us have as we contend with personal problems. While love songs are quick to venture into overtly sappy territory, Good Time Mystery Vision have a knack for maintaining sincerity and massive riffs in tandem. Listen below, and keep an eye out for the band’s next drop on December 4th.

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