Curtis’ Prime Slices (4/13 – 4/19): Crumb, Sun Records Curated Vol. 6

Crumb – “Nina” [single] – (indie psych pop)

Crumb has been gaining a ton of attention over the past couple years. Releasing their first EP Crumb in 2016, they now rake in over 1 million listeners with some of those songs now having over 7 million streams. With the release of their new single, “Nina”, and the announcement of their debut full length album, they’ve definitely got a buzz surrounding them. This single gives off remnants of early Tame Impala psych rock which is by no means out of character. The drum beat matched with the bass part creates a trance like groove with the synth being the icing on the cake. Lila Ramani (guitar/vocals) sings a hypnotically catchy melody alongside her soft guitar playing until the very end where she drops out as the rest of the band vamps on an eery three notes. Super excited for what’s in store so check this out!

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Show Review: Dan Mangan at Cafe 939

Award-winning Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan made an appearance at Cafe 939 on March 13, promoting his new album More or Less.

Mangan, who has been coming out with indie folk hit after hit since the mid-2000s, brought a more intimate, stripped-down feel to the Red Room. He didn’t really have a rigid setlist, instead he used a scrap of paper towel with several of his songs scribbled onto it in marker as a frame of reference for what songs he could play, and he had nothing to really back himself musically except his own guitar. While this did limit what songs he could play slightly, with a fair part of his repertoire having a certain level of bombast that could be difficult to capture with a simple acoustic setup, the show being set up that way felt very humble. You could tell that everyone in the room was having a very personal experience.

To me, the concert felt like a conversation or a literal “evening with” just as much as it felt like a performanceDan spent a lot of time in between songs sharing his experiences and background to his music and it felt like every song he played had a story behind it. For example, “Jude” was a song he wrote for his son, and to go along with that, he shared his experience writing it for the film Hector and The Search for Happiness.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (4/6 – 4/12): The Chats, Stef Chura

The Chats – “Pub Feed” – (punk)

This band of Aussies blew up big time when they released their hilariously catchy debut single “Smoko,” accompanied by a video that now has over 6 million views. If you haven’t seen it yet I suggest you do that ASAP. Anyway, after a year, they’ve finally released another song that is just what was expected to follow up. Following the foot steps of “Smoko,” which is slang in Australia for a smoke break, “Pub Feed” is another term for havin’ a pint with your steak, gravy, and chips at the local pub. This group a lads really know how to write good, simple punk songs that are super catchy and funny at the same time. They’ve been packing venues in Australia and are doing a small North American tour this month in only a few cities so if you’re nearby one of them you better buy a ticket!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/30 – 4/5): Field Medic, White Denim

Field Medic – “used 2 be a romantic” – (indie folk)

First up this week we have a brand new single from indie-folker Field Medic. “used 2 be a romantic” is a very personal song about the realities of his musical career. The opening lines set the mood pretty quickly “I need a cigarette, those f***ers talked over my whole set, but I don’t have any time to reflect, I gotta sell some shirts to try and make the rent.” The lyrics have a little something for everyone to relate to with themes of un-appreciation, alcoholism, and financial struggles. The song thrives in its simplicity and gets you with its really hooky chorus. His new album fade into the dawn is set to release on April 19th and it’s shaping up to be a another successful one. Give it a listen!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/23 -3/29): Daniel Norgren, GRiZ

Daniel Norgren – “Let Love Run The Game” – (soul/blues rock)

Waiting to be heard today was this little gem of a song by Daniel Norgren. I knew I had to feature it the moment it started playing. At first it sounds like something that came straight out of Fats Domino’s repertoire, but soon transforms into this anthemic, soulful, and bluesy rock tune. The song sounds like it was recorded live in the same room as you pretty much feel like you’re there with them, which gives off that very ’50s recording sound.  The lyrics are simple and find a place in your head after your first listen. The music video, which is a collection of videos taken by the band during various tours and gigs, solidifies the tune’s sentimentality. It’s a real feel-good song that’ll hopefully get you ready for another week of hittin’ the books. Take a listen!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/16 – 3/22): Sego, CHAI

Sego – “Shame” – (indie punk rock)

For some reason I completely forgot about this song until I went to write these prime slices today. It’s odd since this is definitely my favorite song that’s come in thus far this year. Sego is a four piece from Los Angeles with a really fun, zany, and thumping sound. The vocalist’s style reminds me a lot of Beck but thankfully not in the rip off kinda way. The song is really entertaining throughout and hits hard with the chorus, making it such a good ear worm. This is the first single off their upcoming album Sego Sucks, coming out April 5th on Roll Call Records. It also comes with an awesome music video that pairs with the song really well. Check ’em out!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/9 – 3/15): Pottery, Dirt Buyer

Pottery – “Hank Williams” [single] – (garage punk)

To start this off I’d like to mention that for both bands I have today, these are their first releases which I think is pretty awesome. Coming out of the gate real strong is garage punk band Pottery, hailing from the UK and parts of Canada but stationing themselves in Montreal. They’ve gained over 8,000 listeners on Spotify since the release, and for good reason! This new tune starts and ends with an electrifying amount of energy. The instruments and vocals sound fairly raw and gives that sound like you’re hearing them record right in front of you. Their first album, which includes this track, is set to come out on May 10th which just isn’t soon enough. But in the meantime, do yourself a favor and save this little gem.

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Show Review: Mike Krol at Great Scott

I’d been waiting for this show to happen for quite a few weeks now and did it live up to expectations? Yes, it absolutely did. Although I thought Krol definitely needed a bigger stage for his energy alone, it’s exciting to be up close and personal with an artist you love and he did an amazing job to put on the best show he could. But let’s get into it.

The first opener was Earthquake Party! who I missed sadly, but after listening to some of their music it has a very similar vibe to Krol’s. Definitely worth a quick listen!

The second opener was SAVAK; a four piece indie punk band from Brooklyn, New York. Their first song came out really strong and got me really excited for the rest of the set but all the other songs didn’t live up to that first tune. It seemed like either it was a new song with a new sound they’re going towards or an old song they peaked on. I’d say half their set had some early Devo influence and the other half was a bit more NOFX sounding. Their image wasn’t terribly put together but they had some good energy between them and a solid sound to go with it. After SAVAK’s set,

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/2 – 3/8): The Dip, Benny Sings

The Dip – Delivers! – (Motown / Rock)

This week was one of those weeks that didn’t have a lot to work with. That being said, I’ve been blessed with two solid albums to talk about. First up is The Dip who have created a nice blend of 60’s Motown and rock ‘n’ roll for their second LP The Dip Delivers!. The entire album is packed with high energy, punchy lyrics, and a sweet, sweet horn section. This group of guys have really tapped into a good groove with their songs and it sounds like they have fun playing together. They can put you on your feet with songs like “Sure Don’t Miss You” and “Advertising” but can have you slow dancing on “Atlas” and “Adeline.” This might be one of my top picks for the end of the year, mark my words!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (2/23 – 3/1): CHAI, Big Data,

CHAI – “Fashionista” [Single] – (rock)

CHAI is an all-female Japanese rock band who’ve been around since 2012.  The majority of the time I shy away from any music that isn’t in english because if I can’t understand or sing along to the lyrics then what’s the point? But I’ve been trying to get away from that mindset because I love this track a ton. They have this groovy instrumentation and unique vocal style that isn’t very comparable to anything else. They use a blend of English and Japanese in most of their songs, maybe as way to be more accessible, but with or without it, their music is still extremely catchy. Check out this song and the rest of their discography!

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