There’s a good reason major-label music releases taper off in the summer: Most people have better things to do than sit and listen to a jillion albums. With that in mind, here are four recent indie EPs that will feed your new-music jones without taking up too much of your life — or emptying your wallet. Enjoy:
I Serve… A Higher Authority
I get why Kelowna is full of retirees (including members of my own family). I can’t quite grasp why the sleepy little B.C. burg has got so many rockers in its midst. The latest case in point: Cloaker. They look pretty young on their Facebook pic, but clearly these guys know their history. The melodic, propulsive brand of post-punk on display throughout their four-song debut I Serve… A Higher Authority confidently harkens back to the classic surge and crunch of late-’90s / early-’00s emo. I don’t know how well that goes over with the early-bird set, but it should serve them well. You too, for that matter. If this whole Kelowna rock city thing keeps going, I might have to visit the fam soon to see what’s up.
Not all lo-fi indie duos are created equal. Case in point: Northern California’s Junaco, the winning collaboration of singer Shahana Jaffer and guitarist Joey LaRosa. Setting her dulcet vocals and melancholy melodies against his edgy guitar work and shimmery melodies helps separate them from the pack — and smoulderingly intense songs like the ones on their debut EP Awry don’t hurt either. They call it garage-folk. You’ll just call it splendid. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Born in the unincorporated mountain town on the outskirts coastal Northern California, the duo found an escape from musical conventions. Fleeing the rituals of rushing through songs, away from the nonsense of worrying, a budding partnership was found based equally on half-parts progression and melody. Mellow bursts of epiphany and pleas of gentle seduction give way to driving grooves in Junaco’s music, leaving the immediate fan with a delicate, instantly familiar and completely unassailable batch of songs.”
Khanvict gets around. Musically and literally. Hailing from Pakistan but based in Surrey, B.C., the EDM artist crosses and combines cultural influences by blending the sounds of Bollywood and Punjabi music with modern bass and trap. He supposedly got his start performing at luxury Indian weddings in exotic locations such as Thailand and Bali. I doubt he’s making that kind of scratch off this debut EP Kahani, but his loss is definitely your gain. Oh, and it was apparently created during a recent trip to Peru. See what I mean about getting around? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Kahani sweeps the listener into the magic of its rich soundscapes, complete with mesmerizing vocals, unique instrumentals, and modern bass elements.”
Cedric St. Louis
Too many hip-hop artists and rappers sound the same. Cedric St. Louis does not have that problem. The 20-year-old artist is colourfully and proudly idiosyncratic, from his sing-songy vocal melodies and nimble raps to the eccentric but earwormy songwriting showcased on his latest EP Preliminary. As advertised, it’s apparently a lighthearted precursor to a more ambitious release coming this fall. Based on this, the main event should be a knockout. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I started making music in high school and have gotten significantly better over time. This EP is supposed to be fun and experimental while I’m working on my other EP. Music helps me learn more about myself and my emotions and I don’t think it’s something I would ever want to stop making.”