Thanks to the inexplicable popularity of my Submit Music page, I always have a digital backlog of albums, EPs, singles and videos awaiting my perusal. Here are the latest submissions that caught my ears and eyes. It’s a good crop: You can get down to the vintage OG funk of top-shelf Boston drummer Tim Carman and his Street 45s. You can get your freak on to the psychedelic grooves of Austin weirdoes Sunglass Moustache. You can get a move on to the stylish globe-trotting hip-hop of KAI. You can get solidly rocked ’n’ rolled by the relentless glam-slam power of Birmingham dudes Tremendous. You can get ghosted by the haunting electronic netherworlds of Roam. You can get eccentric with the endearingly quirky indie-pop beauty of John Greska. And you can get artfully meditative with Sam Miller’s tastefully understated birthday tribute to the influential minimalist composer Erik Satie. At least one of them oughta wax your ’stache. To that end, I’ve included Bandcamp links wherever possible so you can buy the music straight from the source. Tell ’em I sent ya. And if you’ve got something I need to hear, send it my way. If I think you’re half as good as you think you are, I just might include you next time.
Tim Carman & The Street 45s
Live At State Park
HOME BASE: Boston.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Hailed as one of Boston’s most accomplished percussionists, Tim Carman has established himself as a first-call drummer in the local blues, funk, and Americana scenes, playing with everyone from GA-20 to Julie Rhodes. Tim Carman & The Street 45s’ second release comes less than a year after their debut, which earned the ensemble a Boston Music Awards nomination for Jazz Act of the Year. Unlike the first album’s polished space-funk vibe, Live at State Park is stripped down and raw. With just electric bass, drums, percussion, guitar, and organ, the group recorded straight into the board at State Park in Cambridge. Dave Brophy mixed the tracks in just two days, maintaining a live, and in-person quality. “This is an album I’ve always wanted to record,” Tim Explains. Paying tribute to some of his favorite artists of the ’60s and ’70s, the set contains songs by The Meters, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lonnie Mack, and Booker T. & The M.G.’s, among others. Along with a nod to the past, the album includes a previously unreleased original aptly titled Beard Oil. Written by Tim and guitarist Pat Faherty — who you might recognize as the lead singer and guitarist for GA-20 — Beard Oil is a greasy, wah-tinged, funk jam that boasts raging solos by both Pat and Tim. “I didn’t want to overthink or overproduce this release,” Tim explains. “The band rehearsed once for this show and Beard Oil was written the week of. There’s something unique and beautiful about an unrehearsed musical moment, and I wanted this album to capture that unknown and exciting energy.” Live at State Park definitely succeeds at just that—capturing and bottling a raw, honest, and greasy vibe that pays tribute to the soul-jazz and funk monsters of the 1960s and 70s. And at a time when live music is on hold across the country, this is just what we need.”
HOME BASE: Austin.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Sunglass Moustache is an American music band based in Austin, Texas. Their debut album, Peaches, features vibey indie rock with moments of psychedelia. Its retro-futuristic sound is inspired by Berlin-era David Bowie, ’90s Britpop, Richard Swift, and neo-psychedelic bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre. 3/5 of the band is originally from Louisiana and as such draws inspiration from those weirdo pop bands of Elephant Six with Louisiana origins. Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel. The band recorded Peaches at Good Danny’s in Lockhart, Texas and Cacophony Recorders in Austin. Mixed and mastered by Erik Wofford who has worked with groups such as Black Angels, Bill Callahan, My Morning Jacket, and White Denim. Over the past several years the band set out on a series of dive bar tours taking them all over these United States. Along the way they filmed a 35 minute music video/band movie.”
HOME BASE: California.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “KAI is a 20-year-old Taiwanese-American artist. After discovering a passion for music and production, he began to put his music out as xi eleven. Following high school graduation, KAI moved away from his lifelong home in San Jose, California to study in Prague, Boston, and Los Angeles. His debut mixtape Atlas is a genre-bending synthesis of his past, present, and future which blends nostalgia and anticipation in an ever-evolving musical journey. Having grown up surrounded by Asian culture and music, KAI often incorporates childhood influences into his emotion-laden indie pop creations. His biggest artistic influences include EDEN, Kevin Abstract, RM, and Joji. KAI focuses on crafting entire projects and building worlds and universes with his music through various mediums of artistic expression. If you’re looking for infinity, just close your eyes.”
HOME BASE: Birmingham.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Tremendous are here to fill your ears with glitter! Expect some towering rock passion with exuberant guitars and bedazzling vocals. Tremendous features Mark Dudzinski (Guitar/Vocals), Ryan Jee (Bass) and Dave Lee (Drums) The Tremendous name is taken from the catchphrase of the American/Cuban comedian Joey Diaz. The album is dedicated to Mark’s original manager/friend, the late Adrian Millar. He was the manager of the UK band The Babys and known for his work with Black Sabbath. The debut album Relentless was recorded around various studios in London, Birmingham and Sweden with producers such as Gavin Monaghan (Kings Of Leon, Robert Plant, Grace Jones).”
HOME BASE: Toronto.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The Wraith is the story of a young man having the abrupt realization that someone he once had a close relationship with has (without warning) left him behind & moved on, despite the time that had been shared between the two of them. The songs & how they’re sequenced represent that realization, coming terms with that “breakup” & finally coming to a state of acceptance of how transient we can be in the lives of others, before letting go of the ghost (memories) of what that relationship used to be. The album is seeped in sentimentality & nostalgia (heavily inspired by films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, HER & Lost in Translation) while speaking to the contemporary yearning for real mutual connection being experienced by young people who make up the most “connected” generations to ever exist but paradoxically are experiencing a new kind of loneliness ushered in by technology. I also hope that this project can act as a catalyst towards ushering in a more vulnerable masculinity within music as I showcase a multitude of the raw emotions men (especially black men & other men of color) are taught to repress.”
Aiming At The Stars
GENRE: Indie Pop.
HOME BASE: Chicago.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Aiming At The Stars is John Greska’s debut vocal EP that uses instrumental concepts explored in his previous albums to bring a new edge to modern indie pop and alternative music. The EP itself tells the tale of the choice every person has between falling into the pattern of everyday life or risking that routine to follow their dreams. John Greska previously has released work as an instrumental artist, specializing in the fusion of electronic and classical music. Other works include the instrumental albums Day to Day Thoughts and Life as an Ocean.”
GENRE: Chamber Pop.
HOME BASE: Oregon.
THE BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Sam Miller is an American multi-instrumentalist musician, singer-songwriter, and producer. He has released two full-length studio albums, In One Place at a Time (2019) and You Need To Hear It (2014). Sam Miller is a man of unique talents. A rare musical soul who thrives in our modern day of synthesizers and microchips, but who would be equally content playing Bach fugues in a cathedral filled with orangutans. His musical output is driven by curiosity and exploration, noticeably lacking the self-aggrandizing spirit of so much pop music. From the mysterious deserts of New Mexico, Miller is at once a songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a master storyteller, who walks a tightrope pitched between the beauty of life’s complexities and the abyss of the subconscious. His lyrics grow more dynamic and intriguing with each listen. An elegant love song is simultaneously a riddle that would tickle the ghost of Lewis Carroll. “I made an Erik Satie album just in time for his 154th birthday, which was (May 18). Satie might be the only composer weird enough to create a perfect ambiance for our present day.”