SLEEPING BAG (JOYFUL NOISE RECORDINGS) + ROZWELL KID + TBD
Sleeping Bag http://www.sleepsleepingbag.com
Stripped-down, unblighted, bedroom pop songs about girls. "Women Of Your Life" is the intimately facile sophomore album from indie-slackers Sleeping Bag.
The Bloomington, Indiana based trio is spearheaded by Dave Segedy, who is the group's drummer, songwriter and primary vocalist (that's right: a drummer who writes and sings all the songs!). Specializing in simple and honest songwriting, Malkmus-deadpan vocal delivery, and unusually addictive melodies, Sleeping Bag craft songs that are at once familiar and fresh.
The band's debut s/t album was released on Joyful Noise in August 2011, receiving praise from Under The Radar, Impose Magazine, Village Voice, RCRD LBL, and My Old Kentucky Blog. With their second album, the trio have matured in the ways one might expect: songs are a bit longer, lyrics a bit more personal, and arrangements more developed. But all of Sleeping Bag's signature elements are well represented throughout: the heartfelt ("In The Pocket", "Still Life"), the playful ("Allison Cole", "Saturday Night") and the unbelievably catchy ("Soccer Ball", "Walk Home").
Segedy's effortless melodies, accompanied by the distinctively jangling guitar work of Lewis Rogers and the tastily minimal bass of David Woodruff, combine to form a sound that summons the energy and earnestness of 90s rock, while sidestepping throwback territory. Familiar influences are organically reconstructed into relevant, captivating pop. These are instantly accessible songs which gain surprising depth with each obsessively repeated listen.
"Bloomington, Indiana's Sleeping Bag are into that whole brevity thing. They're a streamlined trio, led by singer/drummer/songwriter Dave Segedy, with a knack for bite-sized bedroom rock bliss-outs that almost stumble their way into incredible catchiness. "Walk Home" is a perfect example of what they do best, riding high simple harmonies and happy whistling anthemic even though its barely got any words." SPIN
Rozwell Kid www.rozwellkid.bandcamp.com + http://www.rozwellkid.tumblr.com
Within the first few seconds of the driving, jet-propulsed opener "Rocket," listeners are taken far off their reservations by Rozwell Kid's maiden, self-titled LP. The name is more than just a moniker taken by West Virginia-native Jordan Hudkins, known otherwise as the drummer for celebrated rock outfit The Demon Beat. It's a stance a refusal to not take oneself too seriously yet never letting you mistake playfulness for a lack of sincerity. According to Hudkins, the idea behind the act is "to create the kind of music I love listening to, release it into the wild, and hope it finds an audience who can relate to my passion for thick, noisy power-pop."
And his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Rozwell Kid's fuzz-filled hooks and unique brand of introspection have garnered attention from publications like The Boston Phoenix, which named Hudkins as one of the "50 Best New Bands in America" in 2010. It is in this collection of tracks an effort years in the making that Hudkins reflects on experiences that range from a two-year touring stint with his other rock act, childhood memories and the film "Coneheads." Recorded by Brian Spragg, mixed and mastered by David Klug, and featuring guest-spots from a host of West Virginia acts including The Demon Beat bandmate Adam Meisterhans, the 10-track record engages with what the Phoenix labels as "heartbroken odes to inner schlubbiness."
Though more than enough to stand on its own, the album recalls the earlier, glory days of acts like Weezer and the more amplified side of Ben Kweller and Spoon. After recovering from the galvanizing effects of "Rocket," listeners are taken through the harmony-driven warning "Dylan, Don't Do It" and a manic, catching trip into "New Mexico." Subsequent tracks round out a cast of sharp yet hardly-controlled rock tunes that provide surprises like the introduction of a scratching turntablist but still reinforce the undeniable power of hooks and handclaps. Rozwell Kid has arrived, and in his own words, hopes you won't leave because of it.
"Few artists today can emulate the ['90s power-pop and punk] sound as well, where the hooks tout a freshness and determinable flow absent from pop music today. The brilliant 'Dylan, Don't Do It' is a precise example of this." Mike Mineo (Obscure Sound)
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