Johnny Raincloud – Road Runner
Genre: Indie Rock, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Similar artists: Parquet Courts, Misfits, B Boys
Folks used to try and win the favour of the elements in any way that they could. Who could blame them? The smallest gasps of winds can end your life under certain circumstances. When you add the lack of knowledge of olden times, you can easily understand why some would try and do their best to appease their gods.
Now, once in a while, there are those that respond to this terror with humour, banter, or criticism. Maybe they do it to shock those around them. Perhaps they do it to build strength. Either way, it’s always endearing to see someone making a mockery of potential tragedies and acting as if they believe themselves to be invulnerable.
Johnny Raincloud is that kind of band. They sound like The Misfits and Parquet Courts combined into a perfect avant-horror storm. Road Runner sounds like someone drinking down a bottle of hard liquor, smiling and walking away. It may not be the smart thing to do, but it sure is entertaining to witness it happen.
Reb Fountain – Iris
Genre: Indie Folk, Folk (They also suggested this might be Singer Songwriter)
Similar artists: Nick Cave, Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten
Arguably, pop music hit its peak early, somewhere around the 1960s. Music has surely changed. Unless an artist is purposely making retro-styled 60s-music for modern audiences, the themes and ideas from which they are drawing are very different from those used in pop’s heyday.
On the most basic level, what has changed is a decrease in optimism. Pop music always suits the needs of the times. Humanity isn’t better or worse than it was half a century ago. Average people, however, are more depressed, less connected to things of a spiritual nature and less likely to believe in romance, the main topic covered by 60s music.
Modern times require a new kind of soul music. Reb Fountain’s Iris digs into the collective dread of our current times. What’s being sung about feels like a romance happening on top of a volcano. It may not blow up just yet, but it’s enough just to know that it could. Fountain’s vocals echo the great female singers of the time. Fans of Lana del Rey or Sharon Van Etten should find something here.