One ambient, one country, both folk: Maria BC and Mac Cornish release debut albums today
James Wavey to play the next White Crate show on Lower Grand Radio; Brookfield Duece drops "Coordinates" on Grand Nationxl; Rip Room trio brings the post-punk
Next up on White Crate’s show on Lower Grand Radio: James Wavey!
An Oakland-based producer, songwriter, and revolutionary artist, James Wavey (aka Michael Bridgmon aka Alleyes Manifest) seamlessly blends old-timey psych rock, new-school punchy drum machine beats, spoken word poetry that turns into straight up rap and back again, plus a very healthy amount of reverb into a style completely their own. Hear it live: Tune in Thursday, June 2 at 8 PM PT on Lower Grand Radio.
SMOOTH AS GLASS AMBIENT FOLK
(the hyaline) literary a thing that is clear and translucent like glass, especially a smooth sea or a clear sky: through the clear hyaline the ship came sailing.
Weaving together the ambient and the cinematic, field recording with solo guitar, drum machine with synth strings, and voice with silence, Hyaline is the debut album by Ohio-born, Oakland-based artist and songwriter Maria BC. Released on SF label Father/Daughter Records, the album explores “grief, anxiety and wonder” through quiet, potent meditations meandering through liminal sonic spaces. Maria BC plays a release show at Amado’s in SF on Tuesday, June 7.
CITY GIRL, COUNTRY GIRL
It’s a big week for Mac Cornish. Five days ago, they graduated Summa Cum Laude from USF with a degree in Media Studies. Today? Their debut, self-titled album lands on Oakland art collective and label Slang Church. The SF and Portland-based artist writes plain yet pretty, simple but poetic country music, either featuring their bare voice and guitar or larger arrangements with drums, bass, layered guitar, and studio effects. Mac Cornish plays a release show at Amado’s in SF on Tuesday, June 7.
MOSTLY MIDTEMPO, NEVER SLEEPY
“Ima say I’m from the Town, I ain’t never from the Bay.” In the works for more than three years and whittled down from 50 tracks to just 13, Coordinates is the newest album by Oakland rapper Brookfield Duece. Released on Oakland label Grand Nationxl, the album features a long list of guest appearances (including many great local hip hop artists) by LaRussell, Stove God Cooks, JANE HANDCOCK, Mani Draper, Ian Kelly, Passwurdz, Kevin Allen, Dame Drummer, Yusha Assad, Cam Archer, and YMTK.
FLOWS AND BEATS, FLORIDA TO THE BAY
“It’s an art, and I ain’t gotta explain shit.” Channeling the magic, multiculturalism, spirituality, and heat of their respective regions, Bay Area (and part Nicoya) rapper Cold Medina and South Florida producer Matt Kelly teamed up on Knights in Tropicana. With just a couple other rappers featured (Denver Colombiano Papa J. Ruiz and West Oakland’s Nan Fiero), the new album spotlights Cold Medina’s frame of mind and lyrical style, an effortless sparring of Spanglish and storytelling.
COUNTRY ROCK LIVE FROM WOODSTOCK
I literally just learned about this place but it must be a mecca for any country rock musician. Levon Helm Studios, constructed 47 years ago in Woodstock, NY by the drummer and one of three lead vocalists for The Band, is open as a space for everything from writing retreats and private events to recording sessions, rehearsals, and even concerts. It was in this special space in 2019 that SF band Midnight North recorded a set in front of a live audience, and now we get to enjoy it through their newest release Selections from Levon Helm Studios. Straight-ahead, full band Americana with a focus on heartfelt singing, tight instrumentation, and even some jazzy piano.
THIN & PRETTY JANGLE POP
“My songs tend to explore a more visceral perspective, rather than any abstract declaration of love.” Jointly released by Mt. St. Mtn (Sacramento), Safe Suburban Home Records (UK), and Dandy Boy Records (Oakland), Swingshift is a new indie rock EP by R.E. Seraphin. The complete opposite of thick production styles we’re so inundated with today, the music here is delicate and threadbare: wheezed out guitar solos, taut drum patterns, and vocals practically whispered. A sweet slice of jangle.
IN PRAISE OF POST-PUNK
SF post-punk trio Rip Room released their debut full-length album Alight and Resound on Seattle indie label Spartan Records. It’s all here: funky buzzy basslines, angular guitars, vox that give no fucks, and nary a song over three-and-a-half minutes. The perfect thing for fans of Fugazi, Minutemen, Devo, and the Raincoats. (For more on their influences, check out this great Spotify playlist they put together.)
THUMPING, SAD, JANGLY
“Writing depressing poetry together and putting my always slightly broken bass and guitar through only green-colored guitar pedals.” There are so many ways to make a band and an endless stream of songs still unwritten, and no one in SF proves this better than the ever-prolific Glenn Donaldson, who partnered up with Carly Putnam on a new project called HELPFUL PEOPLE. Their first release is the five-track EP BROKEN BLOSSOM THREATS, featuring thumping rhythms, sad (as promised) lyrics, and bright, fuzzy, jangly guitars.