Now Hear This! This week’s under-the-radar collection spans a variety of genres: the indie-rock of Alcoves, the plush soul/pop of Oh He Dead, the visceral alt-rock of LEONE, and the progressive doom of Stinking Lizaveta. Each merits a portion of your time.
We’ll bring you a new post each week, songs from which will regularly be added to our accompanying “Now Hear This” Spotify playlist.
Alcoves – “Raining In July”
Victoria, B.C.-based indie-rock outfit Alcoves recently dropped their first single, “Raining In July.” The band’s sound blends pop production reminiscent of The Japanese House and The 1975, with the charm of DIY indie rock.
Alcoves was formed after Garrett Olson and Joel Jeschke started sharing demos and ideas remotely in 2021. After a friend, Robert Townsend, mixed one of the duo’s songs, Alcoves became a trio.
The trio rented a cabin on Vancouver Island to explore and write; the ideas gathered there would become the band’s first collection of songs.
Suffused with trembling textures atop a finessed rhythm, “Raining In July” simmers with shimmering, contagious surfaces, along with smooth, silky vocals and harmonies.
Oh He Dead – “Lightning Drunk”
Oh He Dead, fronted by vocalist CJ Johnson, has a new LP, Pretty, releasing on September 15th. Pretty comprises 10 tracks of soulful goodness that dare you not to move to the groove. “Lightning Drunk,” a ’70s-flavored bop, just dropped, providing a tasty appetizer for the album.
CJ says, “It’s sublime, funky, sexy-ass pop.” And boy, howdy is it.
Formed in 2015, Oh He Dead released their self-titled debut long player in 2019. Oh He Dead’s sound merges elements of soul and pop with glossy textures, all capped by the lush, seductive voice of CJ Johnson.
“Lightning Drunk” is the kind of song you blast from the speakers in your car while driving to your favorite SoCal beach, singing along at the top of your voice.
LEONE – “GTFOH”
LEONE, the LGBTQ pop/alt-rock group based in Brooklyn, NY, recently dropped their new single/music video, “GTFOH,” a track from their second EP.
Made up of Richie Leone (vocals, guitar), Tarik Merzouk (bass), and Brian Del Guercio (drums), LEONE’s sound is raw and edgy, drenched in dark auras of color.
Talking about the song, Richie Leone shares:
“‘GTFOH’ is my first time speaking about my frustration with the establishment and the world we are living in. How we turn on each other at the flip of a dime and are so easily manipulated by the media and people in power. However, there are so many issues and subliminal messages that are being talked about and I really want the audience to come up with their own opinion and story.”
He goes on, “The vocals are meant to sound like a loudspeaker. It’s my first time using my voice to relay this kind of message.”
Stinking Lizaveta – Anthems And Phantoms
Philadelphia’s instrumental progressive doom band released their ninth album, Anthems And Phantoms, on June 23, an album with range including sinuous slow beauty, dirty stoner rock, and dollops of wild, progressive punk.
Recorded by Steve Roche and mastered by James Plotkin, the album features Yanni Papadopoulos on guitar, Alexi Papadopoulos on upright electric bass, and Cheshire Agusta on drums.
Listen closely and you can hear suggestions of metamorphosized King Crimson and Led Zeppelin, as well as Cream-era Eric Clapton. On “The Heart,” tangs of surf-rock give the tune shadowy, oozing savors, which, when amalgamated with the slow and low doom feel, envelop the harmonics in elegiac auras.