Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/4/18

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Zion Rodman

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Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Did Not Wake Up Today,” “Parking Lot,” “Keep Me Away”

Over the course of two-and-a-half years with Crossfader, I’ve been exposed to a lot of music from local scenes. It’s the nature of the beast considering we’re an independent publication, and the quality admittedly runs the gamut, but it’s always a treat to experience the kindred camaraderie in giving unsung indie heroes whatever boost you can muster. But I can state, bar none, no doubt about it, Zion Rodman is at the top of that pile by a midnight mile. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no other independent singer/songwriter I’ve encountered feels this fundamentally there, a voice, songwriting capability, and delivery that demands attention and always squares up to its potential. Musically, DID NOT WAKE UP TODAY is of even further interest, an entirely successful and just-subtle-enough glorification and celebration of late-‘90s, post-grunge alt-rock—The Toadies, Counting Crows, early Death Cab for Cutie, you know the drill. Don’t run for the hills; in the hands of anyone else that would seem like an obvious recipe for disaster, but Rodman catches the ball and runs it far past the finish line. We’ve got blow-the-lights-out choruses, we’ve got a masterful grasp on build-and-release, we’ve got crunchy power chord chugs, we’ve got serpentine arpeggiated guitar licks, we’ve got a voice that’s never flighty and consistently commands the room! DID NOT WAKE UP TODAY is the rare release that sounds immediately comfortable and concurrently like nothing else that’s being released alongside it. In 10 years I will not remember the innumerable troves of soft-spoken sadboys that pass along their lo-fi demos; I will remember the lightning-in-a-bottle energy of Zion Rodman. If Crossfader ever has a record label, I’m coming your way first. You can listen to it here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Swell

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Tiny Moving Parts – SWELL

Genre: Midwest Emo

Favorite Tracks: “Caution,” “It’s Too Cold Tonight,” “Malfunction”

SWELL is a scream and shout for a simpler life from emo family band Tiny Moving Parts. Each song is tonally similar, reveling in the joy of depression on a weekend. Vocalist Dylan Mattheisen speaks, sings, and yells, making an upbeat expression of the existential crisis of unspecific strife in contemporary times. Do Tiny Moving Parts enjoy living life or being aware of their inevitable death? On “Applause,” the repeated line, “I wanna give up,” seems to sum up the hurt and celebration in how hard every breath is. “Caution” exemplifies a similar dichotomy, juxtaposing soft and pleasant moments before loud explosions of screams and guitars crash in. An uncredited female vocalist joins in on “Feel Alive” and the aforementioned “Caution,” a comforting, less aggressive reinforcement of pessimistic nihilism. It’s all mostly a wish and a wonder for freedom, nostalgia for when the most annoying part of life was doing your homework. “Malfunction” is unique on SWELL, involving a different mixing style, using some synth and catchily singing, “Resurrect my aching cells.” Contemplating emotions and being an outcast is cool on SWELL, and all the aggression comes from a good place that sits with an evocative cry for affection. Tiny Moving Parts releases this clarion call, not looking for sympathy, just an audience to triumphantly address and process the pain. Check it out on Bandcamp. [Nikki Reifler]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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