The Plush Monsters exclusive stream

exclusive stream : The Plush Monsters — ‘Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)?’

Orlando indie rock quintet The Plush Monsters played their most recent show in May of 2015. It served as a release show for the band’s latest album, Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)?, distributed to attendees on flash drives. Since then, the band members went their separate ways, playing in other bands or starting new chapters of their lives, and Is It Cool has remained unheard by anyone not at that show. Until now. For some reason, the band chose the The Vinyl Warhol to serve as their baby’s nesting ground ahead of the greater release on February 1. I’m not entirely sure what this release means for the future of the band, but fingers crossed for more. Stream Is It Cool below and read our review. Enjoy.

An album of many colors, Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)? covers a wide soundscape without losing focus. The opener is “Valley Bird.” It’s a journey that is constantly shifting, the tempo speeding and slowing, instruments coming in and out. At 1:57, a triumphant snare builds and builds only to settle in to a chunky, bass-led pace. This, of course, hollows back out into the chorus. This theme of metamorphosis spans Is It Cool?. We are always being shown something new.

At different points, glockenspiel, djembe, and harmonica stop by to take us further into The Plush Monsters’ joyous rumpus. The glock shines in the bright dings that drape “It’s for Real.” The song’s psychedelic lack of urgency acts an extended bridge between the former and proceeding songs. Those two songs, “Ruby” and “Mad Dog Mary Flies The Coop,” are two more sporadic bursts of energy. We visit space for a second a la The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” during the intro of “Mad Dog,” proof that these Monsters can make anything sound good.

“Empty Nest,” the longest slow song on Is It Cool, is the closest the boys get to being sad. Bryan Sherbook’s guitar cries his own version of the blues into the canyons created by Thommy Laverack’s croons. Even here at The Plush Monsters’ lowest, you can’t help but smile when the cartoony harmonica sings along side Laverack.

To further understand The Plush Monsters’ world, look no further than Is It Cool’s cover. Each band member is depicted as a different animal (an orangoutang, a fox, a horseshoe crab), a monster if you will. But these aren’t scary monsters. Dave Hanson (the bear) doesn’t maul his drums like their Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant.  Instead, they’re more akin to the friendly stop-motion characters of Fantastic Mr. Fox. They’re plush monsters…

SALES - "big sis"

SALES – “big sis”

I’m sitting outside with my laptop and a clementine peel. It’s raining, but not pouring. The precipitation is falling perfectly parallel to earth. The droplets are thin, misting the grass. It’s Sunday. I’m listening to the new SALES song, “big sis.” The electric guitar is as gentle as the rain. It creates a warm backdrop for singer Lauren Morgan, whose voice is so comforting, you’d think she was consoling you personally. Even when the rain picks up, I remain at unscathed.

I saw SALES a few weeks back at Uncle Lou’s. The place had never been so packed; people were practically spilling out the front door. At one point, a gang of confused motorcycle-riding neanderthals wondered in, pushing their way through the crowd. The largest member of the collective, who didn’t feel the need to prove himself by shoving small indie kids, stood at the back, gently swaying to the downtempo lulls that had engrossed him. That night, much like today, SALES calmed the storm — even though it was wearing a leather vest. Enjoy.

The Endearing Nature Sounds of Tiger Fawn

Deep in the forests of Downtown Orlando, a creature is stirring. Born out of the earth beneath its feet, this organism pays homage to its surroundings in the form of song. These musical moments seem to come directly from the earth itself. While listening, you feel the forest around you. The being I speak of is not one. It is three. It is Tiger Fawn. Enjoy.

Tiger Fawn full band

I was introduced to the forest folk three-piece Tiger Fawn at this year’s Sweater Fest. While sliding from stage to stage, my cohort and I were transfixed by Tiger Fawn frontwoman Dani Lacerda’s looped vocal melodies and wild, electric blue hair. Bassist Aimee Lindie stood atop an elevated platform with four added eyes painted on her face – a la Jack Sparrow meets Karen O. The other two members of Tiger Fawn had dawned similar tribal paint, and as one creative force, flowed through a set primitive, pop-tastic tunes.

Last week, Tiger Fawn released an EP of five songs titled The Fire Licks the Woods. The collection was finished before the additions of Lindie and drummer Russell Nylen, and therefore explores the personal creativity of Dani Lacerda. Woven throughout the EP are various nature sounds: chirping birds, falling rain, crackling fire, etc. The atmosphere created by these familiar noises is heightened by the soulful voice of Lacerda, who sits perched on a tree branch, sharing her story with the other creatures.

The Fire Licks the Woods however – although beautiful in an intimate manner – feels like a blueprint for something even greater. What I believe to be the true Tiger Fawn – or at least the one who caught my eye at Sweater Fest – is at this point best represented in the band’s live videos on the band’s YouTube Page. Here, their sound stands as the sonic being I described in the introduction. The unorthodox drumming are pounding footsteps; bass-lines evoke rolling thunder; vocal loops serve as the chatter of animals. Tiger Fawn not only recall the natural world, they create it.

If Tiger Fawn has convinced you, fantastic. These three are lighting up Lil Indies on 28th with Henry Toland, Phil Longo, and Kid Eternity. THIS IS FREE 21+ SHOW! Music starts at 9 P.M., and I’ve been promised that there will be face-paint, crazy dances, and jumping around.

Free Throw – “Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer”

Nashville indie rockers Free Throw have succeeded in melting the heart of the grumpiest of Christmas grumps. They went right for the feels with this one. “Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer” has always been my favorite Christmas song about Santa pulling a hit-and-run. If you wish, you can check out the boys original tunes at their Bandcamp. Enjoy.

Future Islands – “Seasons (BADBADNOTGOOD Remix)”

I cannot handle that drum beat. It’s so snappy! The whole track received an excellent shot of cool jazz from Toronto trio, BADBADNOTGOOD. The upstroked guitar provides an exclamation at every swipe. I think I need to pull out my fancy-man tobacco pipe for this one. Care to join? Enjoy.

The original mix:

Track Premiere: The Death Tremors – “Sat In Blood”

I’m pleased to bring you “Sat In Blood”, the latest song from Orlando-area instrumental rock duo, The Death Tremors. What brothers Riley and Patrick Corcoran lack in vocals, they make up for in ear worm riffs and punchy drum beats. The few quips of sound you do hear out of the boys are yelps laced with effects. This addition, although minor, gives the instruments room to breathe, and in turn, highlights each individual layer of sound. You may not be able to sing along with “Sat In Blood”, but after a few listens, I couldn’t clear my mind of that first ethereal guitar melody. Enjoy.

Hear more from The Death Tremors on their Bandcamp!