MP3 At 3PM: Filo Vals

Filo Vals is a true natural when it comes to singing and performing. He picked up his first guitar at only six years old, moving from his native Rome to London as soon as he turned 18 to pursue music. His first single, “Mr World,” was released in 2017 and was given lots of love by the likes of the BBC and Ford Italy. New single “Dance” is out right in time for summer enjoyment. The carefree and upbeat vibes the song gives off will carry your good mood all through the hot months. Stream and/or download “Dance” below.

“Dance” (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Harp Samuels

Australian artist Harp Samuels combines many emotions on his upcoming album, Breathe. Though the LP won’t be released until September 14, you can check out the title track here. The song is inspired by the recent death of his father as well as the earlier passing of his mother. All of the emotions Harp felt during those tough times were channeled to create this haunting, ambient-folk song. If “Breathe” is any indication, we’re very eager to hear the rest of the nine-track album. Stream and/or download “Breathe” below.

“Breathe” (download):

Normal History Vol. 485: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Trapped Inside Your Heart
Trapped inside your heart
You’re trapped inside your own heart

I am a swarm of possibility
That make him feel good or bad
That’s what he needs to know

Trapped inside your heart
You’re trapped inside your own heart

Invoking passion with false memories
A publically manufactured code

Trapped inside your heart
You’re trapped inside your own heart

The movie runs between my fingers
There’s always trouble when you have to invent yourself

It’s not love that I don’t feel
It is the loss of something that never was

Trapped inside your heart
You’re trapped inside your own heart

It is the loss

“Trapped Inside Your Heart” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):

MP3 At 3PM: The Stubborn Lovers

The Stubborn Lovers’ musicical versatility comes out on their upcoming debut album, Mother Road. Although technically you would classify the fivesome as an indie-rock outfit, the 10-track LP features a country side so authentic you’d think these guys and gals were a honky-tonk house band. The Lovers are based in Portland, but singer/guitarist Mandy Allan is a Tennessee native (her grandfather delivered Johnny and June Carter Cash’s mail), which is where she picked up her love of all things country. Mother Road is out August 17, but in the meantime, you can stream and/or download album track “Porch Light” below.

“Porch Light” (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Kendl Winter

Kendl Winter’s first solo album in five years, Stumbler’s Business (Team Love) is out July 20, showcasing her utterly unique blend of banjo and voice. Although Winter (who also plays in duo the Lowest Pair) grew up in Arkansas, she fell in love with longtime indie hotspot Olympia, Wash., where she not only recorded Stumbler’s Business but also lives on a houseboat called The Dandelion. Stream and/or download “Rise And Fall,” one of the LP’s stellar tracks, here.

“Rise And Fall” (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Mountain Lions

Steven Diaz shifted over from being a member of long-running Cleveland indie-rock band the Lighthouse And The Whaler to focusing his own music and projects. Out of this self-reinvention came a new indie-pop ensemble: Diaz’s North Carolina-based Mountain Lions, who create music with emotion and personal connection. Debut album We Are is due out August 10, but you can stream and/or download “California,” the LP’s first single, right here, right now. Hear Diaz roar.

“California” (download):

Normal History Vol. 484: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

It seems like the type of work I was focused on as a cultural activist in the ’80s and ’90s is again at the fore, but I’m not included as a current figure because I’m regarded as being from a previous era. This is in part how the capitalist music business has functioned from the get go. Bring in the new and the young. Get rid of the old.

And, as a society, we’re not all that interested in women beyond looks and sexualized nuances. We’re still in a “hot or not” mentality, which feels like an accepted tactic to avoid having to give depth to women’s emotional, intellectual and artistic concerns.

Older women who did not achieve a fairly high level of celebrity in their youth are typically not afforded a platform to either continue their work or reinvent themselves.

“Only Heat” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Black Grapefruit

Finally discovering her true and unique voice with the assistance of her 83-year-old mentor, Randa Smith is now ready to share it with us all. Smith and Brian Dekker, the duo known as Black Grapefruit, are set to self-release debut album All My Relations on August 10. Formerly known as SOS, Black Grapefruit created the LP after relocating from Portland to Brooklyn and then to upstate New York, settling into a Lakota sweat lodge there to question their approach to both music and life in general. The result is All My Relations, an ethnically tinged album of glitchy experimental pop held together by Smith’s voice and irresistible beats. Stream and/or download euphoric album track “Mind” below.

“Mind” (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Echo Courts

Echo Courts‘ sophomore album, Room With A View (out July 13 on Refresh), showcases a newly developed sound made by a smaller group, as the Greensboro, N.C., psych/pop outfit trimmed down from six members to four. This fresh new look and feel can be seen up close and personal when the quartet tours the East Coast in August. Until then, you can check out lead Room single “Take Away” right here on magnetmagazine.com. Stream and/or download this perfect summer song below.

“Take Away” (download):

Normal History Vol. 483: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

A poster in the elevator at the hospital caught my eye. One can send a patient an email, and it will be delivered to them by the amazing staff! I had no idea!

Dear Mom (98 … 3 weeks in hospital),

I did not bring you grapes so you could throw them at the nurses.

Yours,
Jean

“Frozen Rain” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):