“Hourglass” – S U R V I V E
Known in the Unknown
After being invited to Levitation Fest, I immediately checked the line-up and began to listen to all the artists I’d never heard of before. S U R V I V E (Survive) was one of the first groups I sampled and the sound was strikingly familiar! I couldn’t figure out why I felt that I’d heard their sound before until I did some research. Low and behold.. this is the same group that created the infamous “Stranger Things” theme song.
Photo by: Ansley Lee
Synthesizer Live Sounds
SURVIVE is an experimental synth band from Austin, Texas that has been making music since 2009. Their music has a dark and retro outer space age sound that you can easily identify. I personally have no idea how synthesizers work or what it takes to operate them. However while I gave SURVIVE a listen in preparation for this festival, I wasn’t imagining what their live set would be like. I personally just kept thinking about the experience of hearing their type of music live. It’s interesting that with this type of electronic genre, it’s more about the experience the band or artist provides while listening. Survive could easily hit play on a sound system but that’s not what SURVIVE does.
The four men of SURVIVE performed live on stage operating their synthesizers. Their set featured a light show and psychedelic visuals that corresponded with their music. As an audience member whose never been to a synth concert, I can say it was cool to be around people who were there to listen more than watch. I tried to edit their live performance in a way I felt reflected their music as best as possible. Having the opportunity to see SURVIVE live was something I’ll never forget. If you’ve never listened to any of their music besides the Stranger Things soundtrack, please give SURVIVE a listen. “Omniverse” and “High Rise” are probably my two favorite tracks if you want to give them a try.
Greensky Greenlake – Dead Meadow
Dead Meadow is Alive
Dead Meadow is a band that makes music under the genre of psychedelic rock. The music is inspired from blues, heavy metal, dark occult books, psychedelics, and more! Dead Meadow was formed in 1998 and I discovered them in 2018… That’s significant proof that if music is good, it’ll never die.
The older I grow, the more I discover music I’d never thought I’d listen to. Dead Meadow is one of the first psych rock bands that turned me on to the genre. I didn’t grow up with this type of music in my household but god damn, I’m happy as hell it’s finally in my life. Dead Meadow’s music may not be something that’s played on the radio every hour but it’ll definitely make you feel what you’re listening to. The band’s sound has remained genuine, authentic, and pure to its influences since its humble beginning. Dead Meadow will make you appreciate their sound in modern times because unfortunately not many people play it anymore.
Thanks Dead Meadow for keeping the sound alive.
Live Music vs. Recorded Music
Having the opportunity to see Dead Meadow perform live at Levitation Fest 2018 was one of the greatest music experiences I’ve ever had! It felt as if I was in a garage or in someones backyard just listening to them jam. The music felt real and in this type of genre there’s room for creative spins while performing live. A guitar or drum solo can easily be added during a set to showcase a musicians talent. That’s one of my favorite aspects of music is hearing something being played live versus a recording. During a live set, you can see and hear passion while it’s being played. Hearing Dead Meadow live should be shared, experienced, and rewatched as many times as possible.
“Sugar for the Pill” – Slowdive
Who is Choir Boy?
Choir Boy is a unique indie synth-pop music group that resides in Utah. To be quite honest, I’d never heard of the group before I knew of them touring with Death of Lovers. Once the tour was announced, I immediately had to give Choir Boy a listen and you definitely should too! After hearing a few songs, it was easy to understand why the band’s name is Choir Boy. Adam Klopp the lead singer and creator has an angelic voice that is implemented throughout his music in an uncommon way in this day and era. Choir Boy’s sound is something we could’ve possibly heard in the 80’s but here it is beautifully flourishing in 2018.
Choir Boy’s first album ‘Passive with Desire‘ was released in 2016 and features songs that exude a nostalgic presence. His music is soft with contrasts of heartbreak and mental health issues in the lyrics. Giving Choir Boy a quick listen captivated my soul and I was even more excited to attend the Death of Lover show. Here is a clip I recorded while at the show on January 21, 2018.
“Sunday Light” – Choir Boy
Live Performance at The Echoplex
Seeing Choir Boy perform live for the first time sounded as if I was listening to his pre-recorded album. Not only is his music amazing, but the bands talent is even better live! One of my favorite aspects of music is being able to listen to it in different mediums. For example, listening to an album through headphones, car speakers, record player, or hearing it live. My favorite medium is hearing music performed live and Choir Boy’s performance was phenomenal. Looking over the video I recorded of this performance, I was inspired to make something out of it. Hopefully Choir Boy doesn’t mind the visual edits.. Lol!
If you have never heard of this band, give them a listen on Spotify and check out their Youtube channel!
Death of Lovers
As my music interests have been constantly evolving, I came across the band Death of Lovers a few months back. My discovery was shortly after their latest album, “The Acrobat” was released in November 2017. I was stoked to find another really good 80’s post punk alternative band! The funny thing about discovering them was a friend from Texas previously introduced me to another band called ‘Nothing’ before I moved to California. Little did I know, Death of Lovers and Nothing are the same band! The two bands sound completely different but yet are both so good!
Death of Lovers sound is modern but has hints of 80’s synth-wave sound bits and dark undertones that are comparable to bands like The Cure, Joy Division, and more. I wasn’t able to recognize any similarities in their music that could possibly link Nothing and Death of Lovers together. My mind was officially blown upon learning that. However, both bands are incredibly good and if you’ve never heard of them give them a listen!
Death of Lovers has only announced 3 shows for 2018. Luckily, I had the opportunity of seeing Death of Lovers in Los Angeles at The Echoplex this past Sunday. I won’t give away their set list. However, I can hint they played some of my favorites such as “The Lowly People” from The Acrobat and “Buried Under a World of Roses” from their first EP!
Death of Lovers – “Perfect History”
Sharing is Caring
Being a new blogger, I’ve begun to experiment more often with my creativity in sharing my interests. Recording an amazing band on my iPhone and editing it was not in my plan during the show. Normally, I don’t like to take my phone out or have a camera present while listening to a band perform.
Despite my own ideologies, I realized this moment needed to be shared and preserved because of how rare the performance was. I began to think about how many people that won’t get to experience the same feeling. Ya know, the feeling of seeing a band you really like for the first time and that band rarely tours. That feeling. Living in Los Angeles gives me opportunity to see bands like Death of Lovers and many others that don’t tour often. Good music should always be shared and I think that’s one of my purposes. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the live performance. Give Death of Lovers & Nothing a listen on YouTube, Spotify, and their website!