CT / Philly indie rock songwriter Dave Otto has been slowly building an impressive musical resume over the past few years, playing in various bands such as Slam Donahue and Motel TV, and contributing various bits of music for commercials. Developing on those projects, Otto has continued steadily honing his craft over a series of solo releases. Earlier this winter, he dropped his solo debut full length Deep Clean.
Like any of his previous fronted efforts, Deep Clean is carried by Otto’s characteristically breathy tenor and subtle pop-sensibility. While earlier projects like Slam Donahue and Motel TV found Otto in more of a brash garage rocker mode, Deep Clean is more of an armchair record, a pleasant pause of breezy, mid-volume, mid-tempo numbers.
That being said, the album is anything but middling. Opening with a one-two-three punch, “Celebrate The Band” kicks off the record with the same distorted crunch found in Otto’s earlier highlights, “Motel TV” (a very clear homage to his disbanded group) and “Grey Song” are decorated with warm acoustic strums and gorgeous vocal harmonies. Even as the album remains focused in a general aesthetic, contributions from friends such as drummer Isaac Civitello help diversify and invigorate songs like “Black Skies” and “Body Snatchers” with memorable percussive accents.
Listen to Deep Clean by Dave Otto below:
Pageant Dove is the acoustic indie pop project of Stamford, CT singer-songwriter Elizabeth Trojanowski and friends. Earlier this year, Pageant Dove released their self-titled debut EP, a short but sweet collection of four song sketches that feel both familiar but also uniquely reflective of Trojanowski’s nuanced songwriting.
Despite it’s (very) short duration of 9 minutes, the Pageant Dove’s first run is substantial, often expanding its acoustic guitar progressions with light keys, warm strings, and just enough rhythm to make the music something you could dance to while still relaxing with a cup of coffee. Trojanowski is a particularly pleasant vocalist, enlivening the instrumentation with subtle shifts in verse and narrative.
“Still Water” has been added to the CT Scramble 2017 Indie Playlist.
Listen to the Pageant Dove EP by Pageant Dove below:
By Phil Rieth – Contributor
Samuel Sandoval is a singer-songwriter out of Meriden, CT who records freak-folk songs out of his basement. On his strong debut LP Garden Noise, Sandoval comes with a thoroughly developed sound and a promising reason to look forward to future releases.
Garden Noise’s opening track, “Seasonal Thoughts,” perfectly defines the sonic palette present throughout the record: smooth, meticulous finger picking, stuttering, sparse drums, and playful electronics accompany nearly every track. Sandoval’s reserved baritone, backed by his aching falsetto, gives the tracks a melancholic feel, especially with the slight delay in backing vocals. These songs are at once painstaking and relaxed, and create a rewarding experience for both close and casual listening.
This sound is most successful on standout track “Big Frame, Small Spirit.” The song begins with a seemingly basic chord progression, but Sandoval’s melody and subtle electronic work build to something bigger. The track beautifully resolves with the emergence of a female vocal (provided by Sandoval’s sister, Gaby).
Clocking in at just over 31 minutes, Garden Noise is a quick yet revealing snapshot of what Sandoval has to offer. While the record may seem indebted to albums like Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs or Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, Sandoval’s detailed lyricism and dense instrumentals prove that he has a wholly original sound that is worth the time of any music fan.
Stream Garden Noise on Bandcamp and Spotify below.
It has been a busy year for New Haven singer-songwriter Xavier Serrano. Earlier this year, he and his main band Kindred Queer released the excellent Child EP. Now, he is quickly following up that EP with a solo release of his own: Pierpont St. Ad Libs.
While Pierpont St. Ad Libs runs very much on the same frequency as Child, it is still more obviously a solo outing. Instead of weaving the numerous chamber pop arrangements around Serrano’s songs (as KQ utilizes), these songs benefit from their simplicity, resonating between Serrano’s smooth vocal catharsis and acoustic guitar pickings. Now liberated from speaking as the voice of a five-piece, Serrano’s steps away from the cryptic narrative of previous work to speak his mind more freely–with perhaps more interesting lyrical results.
Listen to Pierpont St. Ad Libs by Xavier Serrano below:
New London singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin has shared a new song in her recent cover series. This time she takes on “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak with western Mass singer-songwriter Jonah Tolchin.
Martin comments on the cover series: “This cover is the third release in the second series of covers between albums, both to give my audience something fun and new while I’m developing the originals with my band, and as a tip of the hat to other artists I love. Playing other people’s songs is definitely a way to throw yourself out of your comfort zone, learning new chord voicings and progressions that you might never have reached for in your own knowledge, and a great excuse to push limits of time, key and instrumentation to make it your own.”
Martin is currently working on her fifth album of original music, Scared Fearless. Set for Spring 2018 release, it’s up for pre-order at GoFundMe with lots of bonus goodies.
Daphne Lee Martin’s last album release was 2015’s Fall On Your Sword.
Stream “Wicked Game” below:
Who: Samuel Sandoval
What: Garden Noise
Where: Meriden, CT
Styles: Singer-Songwriter; Freak-Folk; Acoustic
Last month, Hartford singer-songwriter Ashly LaRosa released her debut album View From Inside under the moniker Figurine. Recently, Figurine has shared a live video of the full band playing View From Inside highlight “Made Lonely.” Check it out below.
Listen to View From Inside by Figurine below.