Promote This is a long-running NadaMucho.com feature wherein we write about songs and videos by emerging and unsigned bands. Send submissions to @nadamucho with hash tag #PromoteThis. This installment includes Below Blackstar, Los Angeles Police Department and The Ugly Cousin Bros.
Below Blackstar – “Delightfully Condescending”
Seattle’s Below Blackstar aren’t afraid to take their time. A couple songs on their recent collection Under a Concrete Sky stretch beyond 13 minutes, and we’re not dealing with electronic “soundscapes” or solo-filled jazz. On the nearly-7-minute “Delightfully Condescending,” the band blends acoustic strumming with epic power chords and post-punk vocals that evoke an impassioned David Bowie. Now, there’s still work to do for Below Blackstar. Though the arrangement does well stay on theme, it does meander a bit. A decent song comes off as an aimless jam. – Abe Beeson
Los Angeles Police Department – “She Came Through (Again)”
While this band’s name has made its way into my social media feeds via Stereogum’s announcements of their album stream and general daily chatter in my timelines concerning overlooked musical gems, I hadn’t stopped to give Los Angeles Police Department my attention until now.
Based on this single, the band (okay, actually a one-man band fronted by Californian Ryan Pollie) seems to pay homage to 70s-style folk and modern bedroom pop in equal measure. The laidback tone and overriding intimacy form the kind of song that could feasibly soundtrack a crestfallen montage of Michael Cera, which can mean whatever you want it to mean. I’m not sure what to make of the video since it seems to be a random compilation of flowers mixed with soft beverage commercials, a cool ripple effect, and a slew of etc’s, but musically, this song isn’t overly ambitious or noteworthy. – Cameron Deuel
The Ugly Cousin Bros – Sideshow Life
Ever wanted to listen to some Americana/folk and not be judged as a bearded, 30-something hipster? May I suggest The Ugly Cousin Bros? On their debut album Sideshow Life this Woodinville, Washington duo (pictured above) exhibits solid acoustic guitar skills, adequate, cartoon-like vocals and, best of all, some heartfelt, sometimes humorous stories about finding and losing love. The stand out track is “Fish Soup,” possibly because the addition of a fiddle fills out the group’s sound in comparison to the rest of the songs, which seem a bit sparse. The Ugly Cousin Bros won’t be filling up the Tractor like the Maldives or The Head and the Heart anytime soon, so this is a safe bet if you want to check out some local folk music but don’t want to be lumped in with the backlash against Seattle’s innumerable “Indie folk” bands that have risen to prominence in recent years. – TBASA