Popheart - More Me Less You: Popheart is a dark pop band from LA. Lead singer Paris Yavuz first got into music because in 2008 his dad was shot and killed in downtown LA, and Paris kept all of his father’s music equipment. Such an emotional entrance into the music industry warrants the kind of brooding, emotional lyrics Paris sings. His songs are about romance, relationships, and ex-lovers. The album starts out with the song “I Never Thought I’d Ever Want to Be Without You,” which sets the brooding tone for the EP. The song features an upbeat dance-y rhythm and then suddenly switches to disheartening low vocals saying “my tears are falling down/ my neck I wish was cut”. The sudden changes of tempo and combination of upbeat, happy-sounding music with really sad, heavy emotional lyrics makes Popheart different from other pop punk bands.
The band is signed with LA record label, Lolipop Records, and they played the festival “Lolipalooza” last summer (not to be confused with the Chicago super-fest Lollapalooza), which is where I first saw the band play. Paris has a really great stage presence live and dances kind of like Samuel T. Herring, the lead singer from Future Islands. So next time you’re feeling punk and emotional, put on this EP and dance all your sorrows away. CHRISTINA
RIYL: Joy Division, Gang of Four, The War on Drugs, Future Islands
Recommended Tracks: “I Never Thought I’d Ever Want to Be Without You,” “Stare,” “Pretend,” “You’re a Parasite”
Slow Hollows - Atelophobia: Holy shit, this post punk band is definitely going places. I personally expect them to blow up similar to LA favorites Cherry Glazerr and Girlpool in the next few years. Slow Hollows is an LA band consisting of four teenagers: Austin Feinstein, Dylan Thinnes, Jamie Atkinson, and Nick Santana. Atelophobia is their first album under the band name Slow Hollows but their second album overall (they released the album I’m Just As Bad As You Are last year under their previous band name, Hollows, “The Hollows” if you’re searching them on Spotify).
They’re your average teens trying to make it in an ageist music industry that often belittles their immense talent, describing them solely as “good for their age.” Rookie magazine, the quintessential youth publication, had an interview with the band on their website about just that (link below). Their fans include Tyler the Creator and Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane, among tons of LA youth. They have an almost cult-like following. There’s even a Slow Hollows Fan Club Instagram account with some great band memes (@official_slowhollows_fanclub check it out!). In addition to making awesome music, members of Slow Hollows have started their own record label, Danger Collective Records, walked in Saint Laurent fashion shows, played on Tyler the Creator’s new album Cherry Bomb,and threw a couple of wicked rad music festivals (Insidelands in 2014 and Runaway Fest this past summer, featuring Antwon, The Garden and tons of other local bands).
This band holds such a special place in my heart. It’s been so great watching them grow. Everyone in Slow Hollows is my role model. They’re making life happen for them now, not waiting around for society to deem them “old enough” or “qualified enough” (i.e. college degree in music). This band is the epitome of everything I love about the LA music scene. Great band, great album, great music, period. CHRISTINA
RIYL: Franky Flowers, Girlpool, Cherry Glazerr
Recommended Tracks: “Watch This Move,” “Dark Comedy,” “Condition,” “The Political Kids,” “Nerves”
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss: Now Chelsea Wolfe really usually isn't in my niche of music. I usually like very gentle purrty things mainly that huge stoners would like and stuff I could brood upon the moors to, but I wanted to try something new. Chelsea Wolfe is super interesting because much of her music sounds super dark and perhaps "industrial", that some songs even Loud Rock might like I think. I could call it "dark pop". Thing is, while much of it has raging distortion and angry melodies, found in between are beautifully dark yet serene harmonies that almost stand as a beacon light in this huge blanket of darkness that is Chelsea Wolfe's music. Her singing reminds me so much of the babe Angel Olsen if she had not gone into country but metal and emo. There are many parts where I was actually very surprised, how through the darkness, Chelsea Wolfe is actually an incredibly talented singer who can kill some awesome vocal melodies over some eerie ass guitar and atmospheric synths. Give it a shot! It took me a listen or two to get used to but its actually really cool. DYLAN
RIYL: Angel Olsen, My Bloody Valentine, Evanescence (lol forgive me actual metal fans if this offends you but she does remind me of them lol middleschool)
Recommended Tracks: Iron Moon, Grey Days, Crazy Love, Simple Death