The Sacramento Sound-A Local Band Review: Face the Horizon and Occupy the Trees


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The Sacramento Sound-A Local Band Review
Face the Horizon and Occupy the Trees

Sacramento boasts of being the birthplace of greats like Deftones, Cake, and Tesla, to name a few. If I try hard enough I can actually picture them on the cluttered stages of small suburban venues, fighting to differentiate themselves from the unceasing shuffle of sound. I am more than excited to be a part of sharing the beginnings of what I hope are the next generation of greats, starting with two bands I have some serious admiration for.

Occupy the Trees: A fun loving Sacramento Alt-rock band with curious deviations into the world of ska with a dash of skate punk

Charlie Sand-vocals guitar
Parker Barnes-lead guitar
Chris London-Bass
Nathaniel Wilson-Drums

Occupy the Trees held an opening slot in a recent local showcase at the Boardwalk; tasked with setting the tone, Charlie Sand and the band did not disappoint. They took to the stage with a gusto born of genuine boyish enthusiasm and it didn’t take long for the energy to catch on. Lyrically the band delivers an entertaining and relatable slice-of-life story full of satirical anecdotes. Sand on lead vocals has a catchy, adaptable style complemented well by a solid walking bass line and whimsical guitar riffs. Favorites of the night were the songs Words Like Bullets and Sorry, the latter was a blast live as the whole band joined forces to get the audience to sing along. Their musical style ranges from an upbeat punk/ska hybrid reminiscent of Sublime to the fast-paced melodic sounds of the early 90’s. Check them out on sound cloud!

https://soundcloud.com/occupythetrees

Face the Horizon: All the things you like from a heavy-experimental sound and none of the things you don’t

Robert Lynn-Vocals
Hal Trevor Williams-Guitar
Keywan Ryland-Drums
Chris Crimson-Bass

Front man Robert is right at home on stage, his charisma and obvious enthusiasm translates to the role of an entertainer well. He’s something like a heavy metal MJ, the passion for his craft is evident in every exaggerated move. Big kudo’s to the nod they gave the late Chris Cornell, pulling off an exceptional cover of “Like a Stone”. Cornell’s renowned range is not an easy one to replicate, let alone pull off with a grit and passion worthy of the man’s legacy. From twangy guitar solos and perfectly timed drum fills to the funk-rock heartbeat of the bass, Face the Horizon succeeds in putting the elements of their music together in a way that complement not competes. All in all they have made my ‘must see’ list and I encourage you to check them out when given the chance, you won’t be sorry. Check out a Face the Horizon original, “Cutthroat” on YouTube!

https://youtu.be/7JTubi_mOVk

-DJ Chy

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s.

The journey each of us takes with music is an intensely personal one, my hope for this series is not to take away from your journey but to share my own. I will work hard to cultivate objectivity in the hope that it lends creditability to my opinion. But it’s just an opinion.

 

Sacramento Local Bands & Shows


Lately, there hasn’t been an influx of recognition for local bands. Support the young and locals! Here are a couple of rad upcoming bands in the Sacramento area:

Rosemother

soundcloud.com/rosemotherr | instagram.com/rosemother

Rosemother is a fun loving Sacramento band. The band is fronted by Haley Junker on the vocals/keyboard/guitar, Carson Junker on the drums, Maddie Edel on the guitar, and new addition Avery Mcpherson on the bass. They incorporate aspects of indie, synth and psychedelic rock into their music. In many of their tracks, you can catch Mac Demarco and Mild High Club influences. A favorite track is “For One Thing”, with catchy vocals and a garage rock sound. Check out their Instagram & Soundcloud for show dates and new tracks!

Pierce and the Gals

soundcloud.com/pierceandsomegals | instagram.com/pierceandthegals

Pierce and the Gals is a funky rock and roll band from Sacramento. Within the past year, they’ve released a new single and self-titled EP. Musically, they’re inspiration comes from Pink Floyd. A favorite track of their’s is “Molly”, a song with funky guitar and melodic vocals. Their next show is with Enjoy and Wyatt Shears from the band, The Garden. It should be a rad show. Check out the info for it below! Check their socials for more details on show & new music.

Destroy Boys

destroyboys.bandcamp.com | instagram.com/destroyboysband

Destroy Boys is a female fronted, garage rock trio from Sacramento that joined together in early 2016. They signed to Uncool Records in August of 2016 and are kicking off their graduation tour this summer as the members graduate from high school. DB’s music encapsulates themes of feminism, relationships and growth during hard times. Check out their Instagram and keep up with their tour info!

Shows you should go to this summer:

Destroy Boys, June 9th @ Honey Hive Gallery, San Francisco

Rosemother w/ 1800 & Weird Fun, June 14th @ Naked Lounge, 1111 H Street, Sacramento (7 p.m.)

Pierce and the Gals w/ Enjoy & Cowgirl Clue, June 29th @ The Colony, Sacramento (4-7 p.m. $10)

 

 

Blog Review: Jackie Gage”Live at The Commons” 3-song EP


If you love Neo-Soul and Jazz, I recommend giving Jackie Gage a listen. Gage grew up listening and singing to icons such as Billie Holiday and Dionne Warwick. She has always been a fan of big bands and odd-structured melodies. To be unique she mixes their modern sound into her own style of what “Jazz” is today.

She recently moved to New York City where she is growing and shaping her craft. Gage has opened for The Brand New Heavies and El Debarge. She has also performed  with Marc Cary. Her music is heard internationally on the airwaves on KCRW, KCSM, Jazz FM in England, and Hawaii’s CUH. She has performed at well-known venues such as Yoshi’s Oakland/The Sound Room in Oakland, The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. She has been seen at annual festivals such as San Jose Jazz Summer Fest (2016, 2013, 2012), Fillmore Jazz Festival (2015), and Berkeley Juneteenth (2015, 2014).

She recorded her 3-song EP at The Commons in San Jose, California in May 2016. She delivers a soulful and smooth sound and vocal. Her first song, “Let me know” consists of herself and William Bohrer. It is an upbeat song with intricate drumming and feel good guitar solos that leave you feeling mellow and chill. She engages the audience with “repeat after me” lyrics.

Her song, “Afro Blue” is the definition of Jazz music. It is my favorite on the EP. The instrumentals encompass all the right instruments, that leave you feeling relaxed and enjoying life. Her vocals are soft and delicate, but delivers a strong Blues vibe.

Her song, “Sweet”, consists of herself, William Bohrer and Timothy Wat. It sounds like a relationship song. Pull at the heart even more, with this song, it will make you reminisce about past loves and hurts, but love is always worth it.

Also, on the new EP is Tim Wat, a Bay Area pianist and keyboard player. Wat has been performing with The Floorshakers for two years now. He is an active member of the Northern California jazz community. Wat plays frequently in San Jose, San Francisco, and the East Bay. His first love is jazz, but also has experience playing rock, pop, R&B, funk, worship, progressive rock, country, classical and even goth music throughout California and the United States.

As well as Wat, William Bohrer is a bass/guitarist, who is known for being a part of 7th Street Big Band from San Jose, California. 7th Street Big Band is an 18-piece jazz band that plays high energy songs that range from Funk, Latin, and Jazz.

Jackie is a well-rounded singer and songwriter that is making waves in the music industry. She is making a name for herself in Jazz music and making Jazz more mainstream and relevant. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Live at The Commons” EP. I think she has grown as a vocalist as I listen to each song. Her range is versatile and unique. You don’t hear her sound everything. I love finding unique artists that bring a new style or ingredient to the table.

You can follow Jackie Gage’s music at her website JackieGage.org.

 

“Matriarch” by Veil of Maya Album Review


 

Veil-of-Maya-Matriarch-artwork-600x600So here I am, chilling in my philosophy class before the professor shows up. I whip out my iPod and check out the channels I am subscribed too. I mostly use YouTube for finding new music and cool skate videos. Browsing through the videos, I noticed that Sumerian Records put out the whole new Veil of Maya album “Matriarch” and I about exploded. I had to sit for an hour and fifteen minutes anticipating the awesomeness of VoM. Luckily, I only stayed in class for about twenty minutes because class today was an optional Final Exam Study session. Who needs to study for finals anyways? I’ll just wait until the day before my finals.

So I had already heard a few songs from the Album and had already been in love. The rest of the album was fantastic as well. I did not even need to listen to the entirety of each song before clicking to the next and welcoming in frission (where you get goosebumps from good music). There was the usual VoM stuff; technical math-core (complicated song structure), drop tuned guitars, and ominous background sound effects. VoM threw in some new stuff such as clean vocals (in comparison to the low gutturals from the “Common Man’s Collapse” Album), guitar melodies in the higher registry, and an overall album theme, hence the name “Matriarch”. Before the album was released, my favorite of the leaked songs was Mikasa, which also had a music video. There was heavy breakdowns, awesome never-before heard clean vocals, and an overall empowering feeling brought forth by the entire band.

Looking at the track listing, each song is named after Matriarchs or powerful women, both fictional and non-fictional. In one of the YouTube comments, someone even mentioned that one of the song names is a very threatening character from an action anime. I took the Youtuber’s word and moved on to the music. I will have to say that my favorite song, other than the leaked ones, would have to be “Daenerys”. I have no idea where the name Daenerys comes from, but it did not spell check me on Microsoft Word, so it is legit. Anyways, the song starts out really light with some nice moving around on the guitar. It then goes into a two-measure guitar solo before the vocalist pops in and the song takes a more serious turn. With some power chords blasting right into a heavy breakdown, Veil of Maya shows off what they are known for. Right after are some clean vocals from their new vocals, which were pretty impressive by the way. The chorus is repeated throughout with some technical instrumentals in the background, before closing the song with a guitar solo build up to more cleans and a mini breakdown. Finally, a guitar playing a riff in the higher register ends out the song.

Most of the time I listen to music on YouTube except for when I really like a whole album, which I purchase to support the band. Veil of Maya, I’m going to support you and buy your new album “Matriarch” when I get home tonight.

Thanks for reading everyone!

I may or may not have a show during finals week due to, well, finals. However, check out www.kssu.com and listen to other DJs do their stuff!

Much Love,

DJGingerbeard

The Zombie 5 Tour Review


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Last Sunday, I went and saw (in order) Secrets, Born of Osiris, Word Alive, and the Devil Wears Prada at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. The name of the tour was the “Zombie Five Tour” because it has been five years since the Devil Wears Prada released their “Zombie Ep”- one of their greatest achievements. There was laughing, crying tears of joy, and a lot of sweat in a human sardine can. Here’s how my night went.

Started off with the usual tradition- Dutch Bros. drive thru coffee in Davis. Got myself a strawberry and lime iced Rebel, which is their trademark energy drink, so I was ready for the long night ahead. Accompanying me was my girlfriend while the rest of my crew was saving us a spot at the front of the line. Walking to our spot in line, I could feel the teenage angst staring me down while everyone is decked out in gear ranging from Goth streetwear to gym clothes with band logos. I myself went in some nice khakis and a windbreaker. After hanging out in line and farting on some teens behind me, we quickly hurried inside the venue when the doors opened.

Usually, Ace of Spades has a band open up for the other bands, but Secrets was the first band to go on. The last time I saw Secrets was also at the Ace of Spades, but when they had their old vocalist. For being the first band, Secrets did great. They played some classics, some new stuff, and even a song that has yet to be released. Aside from some ear-piercing highs from the singing, they did a good job.

Born of Osiris

Born of Osiris came next and they straight up murdered the stage. Stage presence out the ying-yang, sound effects on point, and the heavy/technical guitar skills from Lee McKinney reminded me why Born of Osiris is one of my favorite bands. Born of Osiris was like a shot of espresso after the creamer, started off sweet and escalated to a level of strength that even Goku would be impressed by. Well done BOO, well done once again.

The last time I saw The Word Alive was at Warped Tour, and they were all hyped about their newest release, the “Real.” Album. Some of those songs are pretty light, so I thought, “Aw man, I’m gonna see the same performance twice.” I was proven wrong. The Word Alive played a lot of heavy songs, including oldies like “2012” and “House of Anubis”. Before the breakdown to 2012, Telle Smith (the frontman) split the whole entire front half of the crowd like the Red Sea and told them that when he counts the breakdown in, that everyone run at each other as fast as possible. This is what we call a “Wall of Death” and the last Wall I partook in ended up with my shirt getting ripped in half, fighting some fat guys, and almost passing out in the crowd. Fun fact: that was also during a Word Alive set in that very same venue.devil wears prada

Last but certainly not least, the men of the hour, The Devil Wears Prada. I thought that TDWP would only play their EP and a couple more songs. Then I found out from an outside source that their set list was 16 songs. 16 SONGS. The first five were some classics, then the next five were the Zombie EP all in order, all with the sound effects in between the songs as well. After the EP, I did not stay for the whole set list, but I was okay with that. Also, the stage had crazy light displays, including a giant symbol from their album 8:18. The Devil Wears Prada was the very first band that got me into Metal, and to see them live almost eight years after I heard their first album made the night all worth it. They were the best band up on that stage, and I cannot wait to hear what they have next.

Speaking of that, I heard a rumor (which has yet to be confirmed) that The Devil Wears Prada is back on Rise Records and is going to release a Space Ep.

We will just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading my lengthy memory written onto this blog! If you want to hear more music from these bands and bands alike, or if you know of a band you want on my show, listen in on Tuesday mornings at 8 o’clock on www.kssu.com or contact me via Instagram @gingerbeardthefoot

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


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is a metal-core band the United Kingdom with a unique taste. Some flavors of Djent, Thrash, Death, Pop Punk, and even Electronica float around in this UK Combo. When I first listened to Oceans Ate Alaska, they were a scene/emo kid band performing the class “screamo” music with open note breakdowns. This album “Lost Isles” has been a metamorphosis for Oceans. They started out as puny, long-haired caterpillars and evolved into fire-breathing dragons. Here’s my take on “Lost Isles”.

The intro, “Four Thirty Two” is an instrumental with some radio and television broadcasts on natural disasters playing in the background. Great work done in this song, piece and also in the instrumental interlude. The pure talent and raw sound during these pieces show how the band has progressed in accordance to music theory. Tempo changes, experimental tuning, drum variety, all sorts of vocals (both clean and screamed), and of course some master guitar shredding amplify this bands talent ten-fold. You can tell how much work they put into this album just by these pieces alone.

But wait! It gets even better. Oceans Ate Alaska released three tracks before the actually full length release date, which was February 24th. These songs are “Blood Brothers” (Lyric video), “Floorboards” (Lyric Video), and “Vultures And Sharks” (Music Video). One thing you will notice is how thick the accent is coming out of the front-man. It works really well because with the knowledge of where these guys came from, you can match up the style with the accent. With technical drops, crazy good melodies, and use of techno in the background (but not overdone) made me so excited for the release of the full length. Maybe a little too excited because I listened to “Blood Brothers” about five times a day for a week.

Other songs worth mentioning are “High Horse”,”Linger”, “Entity”, and the debut hit “Lost Isles”. “High Horse” is heavy as frick and is similar to Attila’s lyric style. Basically, we are better than you and will hurt you if you try to take us down. With a little bit of Djent influences, this song made me sweaty and flexed out while just sitting in class, which probably made it uncomfortable for the shy girl next to me. “Linger” and “Entity” cannot be fully appreciated without deciphering the lyrics. I will not ruin the surprise, but your mind will be blown. Also, “Linger” as both clean and distorted guitar throughout, which is strange for metal, but it worked out fantastic! Last but certainly not least is “Lost Isles” which is pretty much everything I have just written, but precisely placed together in one masterpiece. I feel like this should have been on the last song on the album just to give listeners those last tears of joy and bliss before popping the album out their car radio.

To hear some new stuff from Oceans Ate Alaska and a variety of other bands, go listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on http://www.kssu.com Tuesdays at 8 o’clock!

Thanks for reading, DJGingerbeard out.

[Album Review] Andrew Castro – Inside Out [EP]


Andrew Castro Inside Out EPA collaboration of local Sacramento artists Andrew Castro and Casey Groat comes together in this fantastic acoustic pop album from Andrew Castro titled “Inside Out.” The album features six of Castro’s songs, all written by Castro himself. There are no covers here, this is all original work. What Casey Groat (local Sacramento artist and producer) brings to the table is excellent mixing and supporting instruments. Castro himself is a solo acoustic act, but with the help of Groat it adds some great instrumentals including drums, bass, and some extra guitar work. However, this does not take away from Castro’s own talent.

Seeing Andrew Castro live is quite the experience. His voice work is stellar, and his guitar playing on his Martin LX1E, or Little Martin as it is more commonly called. Also for songs “Wired” and “Headlights” (and sometimes “Inside Out”) Castro will use a loop pedal to record guitar loops live. Something that I had never seen before but is, apparently, a common technique. Regardless I still thought that it was fascinating the first time I saw it.

Now let’s focus on the music. To describes Andrew Castro’s sound is to think of him as a local Ed Sheeran or early Jason Mraz. Castro has that bright and fun sound that makes pop very enjoyable to listen to and accessible by a large audience. The songs themselves follow this sort of love song pattern. Not the sappy “Oh I love you and here’s a song” drivel that seems to plague modern pop. It’s more of a “Here’s how you make me feel and I’m going to sound sexy telling you.” The song I’m mostly referring to is “Wired”, the fourth song on the EP. It has this seductive tone to it between the smooth not-quite-spoken-word-but-still-singing and the subtle bass line that really adds to the flow of the song.

The other quality that Castro’s songs have are a sort of story telling element. To use my favorite slower song “Fall” you can picture in your head exactly how it would play out. The lyrics transport you to the world of this song and you can feel yourself connecting to the character as he watches the love of his life walk out. The subject of this song is very relatable which is probably why I found so much beauty in the words. This song is also aided by the wonderful voice of Sandra Dolores who adds harmonies not only to this song, but also “Headlights.” Dolores’s addition gives me chills with how well she syncs with the ambiance of the song. Listening to this song, the best way for me to describe it is “basically asking to be turned into a music video.” Yeah, it’s that good.

So to wrap up this album review, I love this album. I think it’s a great showcase to what local artists have to offer, and, if you listen to my show on KSSU.com you know that I am always for supporting local music. Andrew Castro has earned my support in the effort to bringing great local artists to the spotlight. Andrew Castro’s album “Inside Out” is available on iTunes and through him directly. I’d highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking to get into local Sacramento artists.

DJ Bluebomber (Zach Kaminski) hosts an Alt/Indie music show on Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Pacific Time. If you’re looking for a wide range of music from indie synth pop, to garage rock, to various metal then tune in

“Shred the Gnar” Version 2.0


For those of you who do not know me, my name is DJGingerbeard and I have a metal/random show Tuesday mornings at 8am called “Shred the Gnar” on KSSU. When I started at KSSU, I wanted to play music that people would not typically hear in the mainstream, or music that when it comes up in conversation would make them cringe. Examples are metal, death metal, post-hardcore, Djent, etc. Last semester I found myself sticking to one type of metal and even replaying songs from already popular artists. My original intent on becoming a DJ had vanished. Two events made me realize i must return to my Alpha Form.

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I was checking out some bands on Instagram when I saw a band that I thought was already great and pretty well-known had released a new album. That album is titled “The Night God Slept” by a Southern Californian Metal band called “Silent Planet.” The lyrics are all direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations of the vocalist cited from historical events, intellectual books, and scriptures. I was blown away by the awesome creativity on this album so I looked up an interview with the band. I found out that this album was their first album ever and they just got signed to a record label (which happens to be Solid State Records). That’s when it hit me. One of the things I wished to do as a DJ was to find great bands in the heavy music industry that are not well known and give them exposure.

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The other event that made me realize what I have become was a few days ago in my girlfriend’s car. We were having a nice day going out to eat, when two songs back to back played in her radio from a mix CD. One was from Underoath in their more recent years, so the music was not that heavy. The other was a pop-punk song by a band called “Knuckle Puck”. I loved both songs so i told my girlfriend “I would play this stuff, but it’s too light”. She replied, “You tell your listeners that you play a wide variety of metal and other stuff, but you seem to only stick to a select type of music.” She was right, so now I am changing my ways.

“Shred the Gnar” version 2.0 will not have just metal, but also thrash, djent, hardcore, punk, post-hardcore, electro-metal, pop-punk, and all other sub-genres. Not only that, I will try harder to find not-so-known bands like “Silent Planet” and play them on my show to give them the credit they deserve. I promise you fellow musicians and music lovers alike, Spring Semester for DJGingerbeard will be better than ever.

Listen in for some great stuff at http://www.kssu.com

Tuesday mornings at 8am

Much love, DJGingerbeard

Tomorrow We Die Alive Tour @ The Assembly Music Hall


One week ago, I attended a brutal, skull-crushing, highlighted hair, tight pants wearing, metal concert with (headlining) Born Of Osiris, Thy Art Is Murder, Betraying the Martyrs, ERRA, Within the Ruins, and Before You Fall.

Oh mah gawsh

Let me tell you a story on how my day went.

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First off, I had to drive to Sacramento twice that day; once for school and once for the concert because I had to pick up people from my hometown. We get to the venue called “The Assembly” at 1000 K Street in downtown Sac. The parking is cheap, only $5 for the whole night. While waiting in line, there are some pretty strange, yet welcoming characters. Mothers with vulgar shirts, kids with hair longer (and thicker) than my legs, pentagram shirts everywhere, straightened hair, and a love for brutality- everywhere.

We get inside and the venue is typically bigger, but that night the stage was an extension of the regular stage. This meant the venue was smaller. I hung around in the back with my girlfriend. Normally, I am a pit kind of guy. I go in, throw a few hugs, take a few hugs, then get out and catch my breath behind someone else’s sweaty back. Good times. But that night I was already super tired from school all day, and my girlfriend does not typically go to these kind of shows, so I stayed with her.

The first band “Before You Fall” is a decent band, except when they play live; they were terrible. Everything sounded like mush due to feedback, the clean vocalist was screeching way too high while drumming, and there was a lot of random intense stage presence.

After that disaster was “ERRA” and “Within the Ruins”. Both of these bands killed it, and their vocalists were super ripped! Every time they let out a guttural scream they flexed, and it seemed like even their shirts wanted to fight me!

Then, the moment I was waiting for, “Betraying the Martyrs” came on. I have been a HUGE fan of BTM since their first EP, but I have not seem them live until last Thursday because they are from France. I went berserk, alongside my good friend Ramon. At the last song, Betraying the Martyrs did a “Wall of Death”.

Wall of Death: Separation of the entire front half of the audience, who then all run at each other at the drop of the breakdown.

Ramon, this mexicano delgado, went in. I did not seem him come out.

Afterwards was “Thy Art Is Murder.” The thing is, I thought Thy Art Is Murder was one of those Atheist bands who use pentagrams to be a little heavier.

I was so wrong.

Their vocalist was twitching out like a possessed man, said he was “drawing power” from the audience’s praise, and called out God screaming profanities My girlfriend walked out. Today, I no longer listen to Thy Art Is Murder. I mean, I am Christian, they are Satanic. I can’t get mixed in with that.

Finally, after hours of sore feet, sweaty backs, and a body odor filled atmosphere, Born Of Osiris played.

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They were the best band out of all of them and I love them, but they played 8 songs. Each of those songs, was verb long.

We left after song seven to partake in our usual “After Show” tradition-

We pigged out at Denny’s.

Overall, three people dragged out by security, one fight, two people passed out, and some fantastic memories made at the “Tomorrow We Die Alive” Tour.

 

Thanks for reading, check out my show “Shred the Gnar” on Thursdays at 9am on kssu.com for some Broot Broot Metal!

DJGingerbeard

http://www.kssu.com

Jake Abbott: The Carpenter’s Son EP


jake abott

Jake Abbott and his production team have just come out with a new EP, The Carpenter’s Son. Bluesy, gentle-on-the-ears guitar, and violin with easy, creamy vocals make this EP something you should definitely look into. There are times when the lyrics leave something to be desired, with repetition taking up the largest section of some songs, but the overall style is absolutely lovely. While it is an obscure reference, this EP reminds me a lot of Troy Baker’s band: easy listening with a hint of twang and well deserved conceit.

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