NEARLY ORATORIO - "A Comforting Fact"


Nearly Oratorio - “A Comforting Fact”

(Solitare Recordings)

Melbourne, Australia’s Simon Lam, performing as Nearly Oratorio, brings us A Comforting Fact, a six track EP of minimally acoustic meanderings with light folk flavor. This EP creates a wonderfully strange sensation of gentle cognitive dissonance washing over each track in an oddly tangy solution of glossy, smooth overproduction and trace imperfections - gently laid across like synthetic cobwebs on a halloween candy display.

These purposefully bare tracks thrive on walking a thin tightrope between mechanically precise and emotionally present, often relying on generic indie music tropes, only to twist them in an almost playful way. The standout track here is Down to the Minute, which is downright scientific in its execution, yet delicate in its presentation, with the cool and collected voice of Simon Lam never overplaying. I’d expect to see this entire EP absorbed into some streaming playlist with a title like “Songs To Chill Out To While You Weep Uncontrollably”

Overall, I’d advise not to overlook this uncanny work. These sinister concoctions of melancholy are not as easily dismissed as you may think, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you wound up humming some of these tunes to yourself at the most inopportune times.

Gray Lee



Wizard Apprentice - “I Am Invisible”

(Ratskin Records)

Imagine a tender, intimate musical performance in the corner of a small, dimly lit venue. The singer, under a gentle spotlight, artfully lays bare poetic expressions of honesty. You may be picturing someone strumming a guitar. Imagine, instead of a guitar, the singer has an array of electronic instruments.

I am Invisible is a recording that is free from the anesthetized, mechanical styling of today’s popular music, and, despite the synthesized background, the lyrics and vocals that Wizard Apprentice presents are surprisingly candid.

I hurt someone so badly/

and now that I have I'm reminded of the people who have hurt me/

at the times that they did it was impossible to forgive/

it wasn't time for forgiveness/

but now it is.

In the track, A Debt, the free-form thoughts are spread out in an organic way, as if Wizard is speaking to us in a dream. Ambient swells spill emotion into the darkness behind the voice, circling upward until the song dissolves into silence. This music is poetry for the future, expression for a post-existence world.

In the end, I Am Invisible is a half-hour of burgeoning energy that vibrates with emotion and depth that balances basement-cafe-nakedness with engrossing digital composition that serves as a worthwhile introduction to the artist.

Gray Lee

ILLUMINATI HOTTIES - “Kiss Yr Frenemies”


Illuminati Hotties - “Kiss Yr Frenemies”

(Tiny Engines)

L.A. studio whiz and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Tudzin has created an indie jewel with its very own fun and fresh sound.

Kiss Yr Frenemies fuses sounds from complimentary genres like pop punk, lo-fi pop, and skater rock in order to take standard indie fare and make it a cut above the rest.   

On the one hand, Tudzin fills the album with tracks that that are peppy, straight-up indie pop like the hit single (You’re Better) Than Ever.

On the other, tracks like Cuff and For Cheez(My Friend, Not the Food slow burn with ambient, shoegaze guitar work and gentle, whispery vocals before bursting into fiery conflagrations at their respective choruses.

Pressed 2 Death keeps you guessing with fun breaks and surprising musical twists and turns.

Lyrically, her songs deal with the growing pangs of reaching adulthood and finding out no instructions are included. She entertains love interests and struggles with feeling rudderless all the while having a blast with parties, couch surfing and skateboarding.

Illuminati Hotties occupy a special level above most indie bands today thanks to Tudzmin’s fertile musical imagination and studio wizardry. She will keep us waiting with bated breath for her next studio release.

Theron Willis

Check out Illuminati Hotties' Hit Single!!!

POOL KIDS-"Music to Practice Safe Sex to" [Video Included!!!]

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Pool Kids-"Music to Practice Safe Sex to" 

Tallahassee two-hand-tapping troubadours Pool Kids break the genre mold and grind it into dust with their stunning full-length debut Music to Practice Safe Sex to.

This girl-fronted rock band possesses the heart-on-your-sleeve genuineness of good lo-fi indie combined with a technical prowess and precision rare to the genre. In addition, the vocals and overall performance bear a passionate emotiveness that showcases the best of emo.

In a nutshell, indie, math rock, emo and a touch of post-rock intersect and meld together to form a sound that is all Pool Kids and no one else’s.

Case in point, $5 Subtweet kicks off with a start-stop math-rock riff of intertwining dual guitars. A thundering rhythmic accompaniment of drums and bass fuel the tune with pure, crystalline vocals riding high atop the sonic fray. Before you know it, the intricate but frantic melodic melee cuts to a dreamy half-time outro.  A nice steady drum beat and bass line supports a soft, picked out guitar line with gentle, soothing vocals carrying the song into oblivion.

See Pool Kids perform $5 Subtweet in an exclusive live performance!!!

$5 Subtweet clocks in at under two-and-a-half minutes but packs a hell of a punch with energy and variety.

This fantastic little ditty represents the album as a whole; tight and punchy with no frills. Just good, unique music played by a young band with a cohesion and maturity well beyond their years.

Click the link and check out Music to Practice Safe Sex to with no fear of viruses or communicable diseases. The only thing contagious about this release is its catchy songs!

Theron Willis

PS. Catch a special interview and live performance by Pool Kids with The Hoodoo Music Podcast.