Now Hear This! Where were we? Oh yeah, talking about how to find new music to listen to. Here are four bands that caught our attention: the heavy metal music of The Frostbite Orckings, with their AI-generated album, Tulsa’s Manta Rays, See Jazz, and Rid Of Me.
We’ll bring you a new post each week, songs from which will regularly be added to our accompanying “Now Hear This” Spotify playlist.
Find all past Now Hear This! installments right here: https://v13.net/features/now-hear-this/.
Frostbite Orckings – ‘The Orcish Eclipse’
Vanity Fair recently ran a great article about AI, and how it will either lead to amazing advances in technology and healthcare, or, like Skynet in the Terminator franchise, wipe humankind from the face of the earth. Before it does that, AI is going to make bands obsolete, supposedly.
Frostbite Orckings will release the world’s first AI-generated heavy metal album on December 22. Entitled The Orcish Eclipse, the album will comprise 10 tracks created by a trained in-house AI. The creative process includes the insights of real musicians. We’re not exactly clear on what “insights” encompasses.
Essentially, it’s similar to a game. However, the animated video needs work as the characters’ movements are stiff and unrealistic. The music isn’t bad. In fact, it’s perfect, which is the problem. Perfect approaches boring because there’s no feeling, no mistakes, no tempo nuances, no personality.
Manta Rays – “Vic”
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based indie rock outfit Manta Rays recently released their new single, “Vic,” a song brimming with jangly guitars and hints of SoCal soft rock flavours.
According to the band, they don’t like being pigeonholed stylistically, explaining that their sound embraces soft rock, yacht rock, chill, and indie.
Made up of Jackson (lead vocals), Britton (bass), Ronnie (drums), and Tristin (guitar), Manta Rays released their debut EP, Bad Faith, in 2015, followed by a series of singles. In 2019, they dropped their debut album, Dust.
See Jazz – “1982”
Bedroom pop band See Jazz recently dropped “1982,” a track lifted from their upcoming album, Is This Anything?, slated for release on November 10.
See Jazz makes music for outsiders, utilizing gleaming, pastel textures on top of textures, resulting in a collage of guitars and earworm vocals. Is This Anything? was recorded in NYC in Queens and Western Massachusetts before and after the pandemic but not during.
“I couldn’t make anything during that time,” says songwriter Aaron Pfannebecker. “I lost someone close to me, and the world was so out of whack. I went into a cocoon.”
Lyrically, See Jazz sings about America now and what it feels like to be lost in it. See Jazz sounds like what would happen if Nick Nicely, New Order, and The The had a baby.
Adam Langellotti plays bass on all the songs but one. Jed Smith plays bass on “Dance With Me.” Zara Bode from Sweetback Sisters sings on “1982” and background vocals on “Heaven Is.”
Rid Of Me – ‘Access To The Lonely’
Philly-based punk/noise rock outfit Rid Of Me released their second album, Access To The Lonely, at the beginning of November.
Highlighted by the snarling, venom-laced voice of bassist Itarya Rosenberg, Rid Of Me merges elements of grunge, noise rock, and grimy punk into thick, bruising sonic concoctions, at once heavy and dripping with dark, edgy energy.
The rest of Rid Of Me includes Mike McGinnis (guitar), Jon DeHart (guitar), and drummer Mike Howard.
Entry points include “Gutted,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Die,” and “Feel You.”