The Woolly Bushmen – “Weepin’ Eyes”

The Woolly Bushmen have been trucking around Orlando for some time now. The first time I saw them was like four years ago at this really small, shitty bar across the street from UCF. I had just moved to Orlando and was dipping my toes into Orlando’s musical cesspool. That night, I did my best Pulp Fiction-style “dance” moves, while The Bushmen ripped through a set of tunes that sounded like something right off of the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack. That bar, along with the rest of the douche-filled clubs in that strip, is long gone, but The Bushmen are still kickin’. Proof: they’ve just dropped a new song, “Weepin’ Eyes.”

On “Weepin’ Eyes,” I imagine the light organ line accompanying me on a stroll down a long boardwalk. As it keeps a steady pace, Simon Palombi promises the girl he loves solace after her lover deserts her, only to be left alone in his own puddle of tears. Sorrow has never sounded so summery. Enjoy.

Monophonics – “Promises”

San Francisco psych-soul band Monophonics just released a fresh 7″ titled Promises/Strange Love. The A-side “Promises” is James Bond-esque slow burner infused with melodic horn grooves and groovy guitar melodies. Redundancy aside, all of these bright colors are contained by tightly compressed rhythm section that acts as a backbone, bent after copious dance moves. Enjoy.

Catch Monophonics tonight at The Plaza with Galactic.

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.

Bellows: Linear Abstraction & Christmas Sweaters

Editor’s Note: Since this interview, the members of Bellows changed their name to Someday River

This year, no one is more overcome with holiday spirit than Orlando experimental folk rock trio, Bellows. These sonic sculptors have been at it since 2010; and in 2013, Orlando Weekly named them Best Experimental Act. I sat down with Bellows’ lead architect Greyson Charnock to talk about Orlando music, Bellows’ progression, and Christmas cheer. Later, I was able to encroach on the band’s practice space with TVW Photographer, Karina Curto. Somehow, we ended up helping them out with their Christmas cards. Enjoy.

This Saturday, Bellows’ will be playing at Sweater Fest. Come see Orlando’s finest take over The Milk District.

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M: Within the band, do you do most of the songwriting? How does that work?

G: Some of [Bellows’] earlier material was stuff that I had written that we just pieced together and turned into this structural thing. But we’re moving more into like, I might just come up with a little idea and we all just jam on it together. Then we say, “that works, this doesn’t work.” [We] sort of separate it out into a song that’s more grooved-based. Instead of [songs] based solely on transitions, or solely on the vocals, which is something I did a lot in the past.

M: That’s what collaboration does, right?

G: Yeah. We got Sean [Boyle] on drums, and Pat [Dunn] on the bass. And they’ve really helped crystallize the band. We were a two-piece for a while, and I think there’s a lot of being deliberate as a two piece. The idea is so pure. But, now that we have a bassist, I could never go back.

M: You guys have been [playing] for like, five years… almost five?

G: Yeah, five years from our first show is in February.

M: Five years is a long time, especially for a local band.

G: I didn’t have any expectations, honestly. When I first started writing music [after] I moved to college; it took me years to grasp the idea that, “Okay, there’s a next step to this.” Before that, I had no intentions of ever playing for anybody. Even open mics, I never did [those] until Bellows. That was the first time that I ever played live.

M: Really? How did it go?

G: (laughs) It went alright. It takes a long time to get your footing in a community… now it sort of feels like I can just feel the culture building, and it’s kind of cool to be a part of it.

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M: You guys are playing sweater fest. Are people supposed to wear their sweaters to that?

G: Oh yeah!

M: Okay, okay. I have my own, but it drips glitter every time I move.

G: You leave a trail?

M: Yeah. So I feel like in a pit, everyone is going to have glitter on them and be like, “It was that [asshole].”

G: (laughs) I love it. Yeah, you got to bring a sweater and uh… Christmas vibes.

M: Now, you were talking about how you work at the UCF Art Gallery. How does that passion for visual art merge with music? How do those things collide?

G: I use one thing to fuel the other. A lot of the artwork I’ve been doing in the past couple years has been for the band. And my job at the gallery makes [Bellows] possible.

M: What more traditional artists are you into?

G: I’ll just start by saying I have a huge print in my living room that’s framed. It’s a drawing from Da Vinci. I looked it up and it was like a couple hundred bucks, but I got it for like $12 at a thrift store. But there’s something that my professors would say: your competition isn’t like, the people in this classroom. That’s your immediate competition, but your competition to push yourself is every artist that’s ever lived.

M: Wow. That’s a lot of pressure.

G: Yeah, I guess. But I can’t compare or anything like that, obviously. But I like to keep that drawing up as a reminder like, “that’s your competition.”

M: Do you do the same thing with music?

G: I compare recordings. I try not to get stuck on the style of the music… It doesn’t matter if it’s the same genre, but I try to hold myself to the same level as bands I respect. I don’t want to be like, “I would listen to this all day long, but I wouldn’t listen to my shit.”

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M: (runs out of questions) So… is there anything you want to talk about?

I love to paint too. Whenever I paint, it’s not about anything. It’s just about color. You know, working with color and blending. I rarely clean my brush. I just continuously mix colors without cleaning. It’s kind of like that with a song where you want everything to be congruent, but kind of reactive and responding to itself.

M: You guys recently put out an EP [Day Changer].

G: It’s going to be an LP. It’s not released yet. I just released a couple songs off [of it]. We’re going to be releasing one or two at a time every couple months, and then we’ll have an LP come out somewhere, probably Spring 2015.

M: How many songs we lookin’ at for the LP?

G: Well, after we filter out everything, probably 10 to 12.

M: Awesome. Well, I appreciate you sitting down.

G: Yeah, thanks for talking to me.

You Blew It! – “Lanai”

You Blew It! are having very productive 2014. In January, they released their second full-length LP Keep Doing What You’re Doing, an album that I reviewed and loved. Then in August, they dropped an EP of covers celebrating the 20th anniversary of Weezer’s The Blue Album. Today the band gave fans an early Christmahanakwanzika present. The Orlando foursome teased their upcoming EP Pioneer of Nothing with the release of “Lanai.” Here, the song remains the same: sugary guitar riffs, a groovin’ bass line, and Tanner’s emotive lyricism. Enjoy.

Music Video: Flashlights – “Islands”

Flashlights played one of the first shows I went to after moving to Orlando. Since then, the band has done incredible things for themselves. They’ve earned infinitely more fans; their music has continually progressed, and they’ve toured the country. Their latest video is for “Islands,” a horribly conflicted song where emotions of the past crash in a dramatic car accident. The video plays off these emotions. We see an old slide projector. Memories flicker through the lens and into our brains. Our reflections of these events lead to fond nostalgia and cold regret. Sometimes about the same recollection. The video’s film-like warmth adds a personal attachment – it may have actually been shot on with film. The haunting piano that closes the song/video is painful reminder that the past is just that. Enjoy.