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ALBUM PREMIERE: DAVIA SPAIN “DAWNING”

March 22nd, 2020

It’s tempting to call Davia Spain enigmatic—to call her lush, rhapsodic space-opera ‘otherworldly’—but that’s flat wrong. These songs are more visceral and human than any, plaintive lyrics and lovely rubato melodies laid over music that sounds like the Earth itself. 

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TRACK PREMIERE: BALTO “MAGNET / MIND”

March 18th, 2020

Singer/songwriter Dan Sheron and his band Balto have a backstory that's a better beginning to a beatnik diary-slash-barbaric-yawp than a band bio, culminating in a trans-Siberian railway trip through Novosibirsk, arguably the Detroit of central Russia. (Which is a reverent compliment.) Somehow he made it back to L.A., and now with Balto he's shaking off the cold and distance both.

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TRACK PREMIERE: MICHAEL DAVID “RAIN II”

October 29th, 2019

Michael David is half of L.A.'s sophisticated disco-electronic duo Classixx, and this new solo work "Rain II" is a pocket symphony that glides between genre and style like a bird in flight. It sounds like it was born in a place between AOR and new age, between Japan and Brazil—Hosono's Paraiso and Malheiros' Atlantic Forest, to really specify the geography—and between about 1978 and just about right now. (Steve Hiett's sea of tranquility isn't far off, either.) David works in waves and motion instead of movements and chapters, and "Rain II"'s six minutes flow like a solo night drive, a coral reef dive or a dream of both at once.

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TRACK PREMIERE: ANNABELLE MAGINNIS “MAKE IT LAST”

October 23rd, 2019

Singer/songwriter Annabelle Maginnis' brand-new "Make It Last" is an unpredictable (even jazzy) track with an almost canyon-country feel and melody, but stretched to touch the edges of R&B and pop. Credit in part goes to the impressively smooth production by engineer Rachel White and a razor-sharp set of musicians—the harmonies and guitar are by Kofi Asare-Aboagye, the bass by Hunter Craig, the drums by Tia P. and the keyboard by Smile High. But of course it's Maginnis' voice and vision at the core of "Make It Last," which was conceptualized and written in as remote a place as you might reasonably find.

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TRACK PREMIERE: JOHN CARROLL KIRBY “SANT’ANNA”

October 22nd, 2019

John Carroll Kirby's last album Travel was a trip around the world: "synth-driven exotica that sounds like library music from some other hazy, fleeting reality," said our review. But his coming Tuscany is a deep exploration of a single place, and of the unexpected experiences that come when you just go where the roads take you. Unlike Travel, Tuscany is two side-long solo piano tracks: A-side "Cascata di Malbacco" and the stark second side "Sant'Anna," dedicated to the memory of the massacre in 1944 when Nazi SS troops killed more than 500 civilians and razed the mountain village of Sant'Anna.