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Now Hear This! #020 – Equipment, Eternal Storm, Kassi Valazza, Cat Valley

Now Hear This! This week, we present four new artists/bands: Equipment, Eternal Storm, Kassi Valazza, and the surf-punk of Cat Valley.



Now Hear This! #020 - Equipment, Eternal Storm, Kassi Valazza, Cat Valley
Now Hear This! #020 - Equipment, Eternal Storm, Kassi Valazza, Cat Valley

Now Hear This! The year 2023 is now in the history books. This is the first Now Hear This! of 2024. And never fear; we will continue to ferret out the best new under-the-radar music throughout 2024. This week, we present four new artists/bands we believe are worth your time and attention: Equipment, Eternal Storm, Kassi Valazza, and the surf-punk of Cat Valley.

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:

Equipment – Alt. Account

Toledo, Ohio, pop-punk outfit Equipment released their album, Alt. Account, in September, an album probing into frontman Nick Zander’s decision to pursue music while his friends are all in high-paying jobs.

While writing the album, Zander was diagnosed with bipolar II, which he has since gotten under control. Samples from a 12-year-old Zander appear on the album, talking about LEGO stop-motion and Sega Genesis, revealing the multiple versions of self we all go through during our lives.

Made up of Zander (guitar, vocals, keys, synths, samples), Jacob Scott (guitar), Ellie Hart (bass), and Jake Pachasa (drums), Equipment pumps out refined pop-punk highlighted by a graceful balance of sound.

Entry points include “Hot Young Doctors” and “Perfect Temperature Cofee.”

Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall

On February 10, 2024, Spain’s melodic death metal band Eternal Storm will drop their album, A Giant Bound to Fall, following on the heels of their 2019 debut album, Come the Tide.

After four years of effort, with A Giant Bound to Fall, Eternal Storm has produced a worthy successor – an album that’s darker, more nuanced, and multilayered. Full of raw, piercing emotions, the music still retains the band’s immersive, atmospheric sensibility.

Eternal Storm’s lineup comprises Etern Daniel R. Flys (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass), Jaime Torres (guitar, vocals, bass, fretless bass), and Daniel Maganto (bass, guitar, vocals). Session drums and percussion on the album were performed by Gabriel Valcázar.

Of the four tracks currently available for listening on Bandcamp, “Dim Illusion” and the title track stand out.

Kassi Valazza – Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing

Country singer-songwriter Kassi Valazza recently released her latest album, Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing, a collection of drawling, drifting songs reminiscent of Patsy Cline.

Valazza’s voice, with its delicious twangy vibrato, is simultaneously crystalline and inimitable, flavored with aching tones and specific phrasing. There’s a Southwestern tang to her vocals, sweet, solemn, and melodic.

Following the release of her 2019 debut album, Dear Dead Days, and her surprise 2022 EP, Highway Sounds, Valazza has shared the stage with Melissa Carper and Riddy Arman.

Encompassing 10 tracks, there isn’t a lackluster track on the album. Some are slow and simple, while others add dollops of soft, buoyant colors. But it’s Valazza’s distinctive voice that causes listeners to pause and take note.

Cat Valley – Bingo Queen

Whitney Flinn (guitar, vocals), Abby Hegge (guitar, vocals), Kristen Stanovich (bass, vocals), and Melanie Sehman (drums) make up surf-punk outfit Cat Valley, whose latest EP, Bingo Queen, reflects bratty punk laced with hints of garage-pop.

Bingo Queen thrums with hardcore punk distorted guitars, bellowing vocals, and driving tempos as it rages in the face of political oppression and explores themes of trauma, aging, and self-love.

Produced by Erik Takuichi Wallace and recorded at both Champion Studios and Shibusa Sound, Bingo Queen was created gradually over the last two years as Flinn and Hegge, who first met in their early twenties, grappled with the life changes that have come with getting older.

Tracks like self-loving “Mean Girls” and the patriarchy-bashing “Not Me” embrace the greatest gifts of getting older—a strong sense of self and a take-no-shit attitude. The darkly visceral “Imposter” roils with grungy punk tones and heavy lyrics.

“Choke it down or I’ll just choke / I’m just the punchline of your stupid joke / Can’t shake the feeling that I don’t belong / Inside I’m screaming that I’m doing it all wrong / Cause I’m a fucking Imposter.”