5 songs to discover in San Diego in November
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Our KPBS arts producer and editor, Julia Dixon Evans joins me today to listen to five new songs from San Diego musicians. In fact, two of these bands will play live shows this weekend. Julia's here to talk us through each track. Welcome
Speaker 2: (00:14)
Julia. Hi Jane. Thanks for having me on. So first
Speaker 1: (00:17)
Out you have a track by a new young local band called Koshin. Tell us about
Speaker 2: (00:21)
Lyla. Yeah. So just out in early October, this is the second single they've put out this year, and they've only been writing songs together since March Laila is it's really fun. Their sound is equal parts, surf rock and indie pop, and it has a lot of grip to it. It's sort of beachy sort of grungy too. And Layla is kind of a simple tune, but still really expressive. And it can be a little melancholy. I love the chorus, the repeated name, Laila and singer Caitlin Thomas. His voice has a ton of nineties nostalgia.
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Koshin performs at a brand new all ages venue bridges for the first show there. This venues partnering with soda bar and Casbah for booking. And it's just really great to have a new all ages space in town, especially after the ironic closed. A few years ago, bridges is on Balboa and Clairemont Mesa, and it's an, an old mid century church. And the show is Friday, November 5th, with Fox tide headlining
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That's Laila by the band Koshin max let's switch gears to jazz local trumpet players, deaf Richards paired up with piano player, Joshua wind for a brand new album. Tell us about this
Speaker 2: (01:57)
Staff. Richard is professor of music at UC San Diego and is such a prolific composer. This is her fourth album in as many years, and she paired up with local jazz piano player, Joshua White for this, which is a really magical combination. Richard's jazz is really experimental and she's known for her brainy and complex compositions and white adds such a great component to these tunes. So Zephyr is a sort of poetic word for wind. And this album is basically a journey through myths and mysteries of the natural world like ancient oceans, cicadas for us, and even the Northern lights. And I love this track sacred sea Zephyr, which is the opener. This is wild, like all the others, but it's sort of in a moody subdued way. Like the sea is in shrouded in a Misty fog and the track opens with solo fuzzy trumpet from Richards, and then the muted piano arpeggio kicks in
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It also has a beautiful music video for this track just released a couple of weeks ago. And Steph Richards is currently wrapping up an east coast tour, but Joshua White performs with a quartet of his own disease on November 20th.
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That's sacred seed Zephyr from a new jazz album from local trumpeters Def Richards and PNS, Joshua White hip hop duo 18 scales released a new album this summer, what to stand out track for you?
Speaker 2: (04:11)
Yeah, so they released a new full Lang, um, 18 scales did called for function only, and the album is everything I expect and love from 18 scales. It's fun. It's weird. It's disruptive. And also sonically lush and complex. And my favorite track is involved, which Laura's is in with a sort of loungey trumpet motif. It's kind of a nice chaser to draws out of that jazz trumpet that this track has such an easy groove and the vocals are kind of a layered staccato style, but really strong that's from Rick scales and producer Ralph crazy.
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This album it's jam packed with fast paced songs. There's nine tracks in total that are runtime of barely even 25 minutes. So you can do it all. In one sitting, I recently caught 18 scales performing, and they're both super talented and just really genuine performers. They have no shows planned in the near future, but keep an eye on them because they do perform locally fairly often
Speaker 4: (05:27)
Less conversation. But the [inaudible] before this sit down and lay down,
Speaker 1: (05:39)
That's involved from a new album by local hip hop duo 18 scales. Plosives is a brand new band with new music. And their first show is this weekend, but listeners may recognize many of its members tell us about plosives and their first single hit the breaks.
Speaker 2: (05:56)
Yeah. Plus if are what we'd call a super group. Every single member has a bunch of bands in the resume. Most of which saw success outside of San Diego, even there's John Reese from hot snakes drive like Jay, who and rocket from the crypt. There was Rob CRO from Penn back and heavy vegetable drummer.
Speaker 3: (06:14)
Adam Willard was from against me and the offspring and also basis. Jordan Clark was from Mrs. Magician. This track hit, the brakes starts with, with a wall of rock and roll sound and it doesn't let up. I even had to turn it down right away, which I probably shouldn't admit. And I did eventually turn it back up [inaudible]
Speaker 2: (06:47)
But it's high powered noise and energy from the get-go. And it's aptly named draws on a feeling of things being too much, too fast. And this desire, which possibly goes unresolved to let up to hit the brakes. And they also play with the spelling and all the homophones of brakes. And it works implicits will play their first local show. This Saturday at courtyard outdoors with shades McCool opening for them
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Speaker 1: (07:39)
That's plosives with their first single hit. The brakes finally local Valentine burn has paired up with real J Wallace on a track from her new album. Tell us about the song. Don't say you love me.
Speaker 2: (07:51)
Valentine burn is astonishingly talented. She just put out her first EAP earlier this year, it's called baby on a wall and it's an instant hit for me. It's really cohesive as a whole, but each song is still somehow surprising.
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The production is lush. The song writing is really tragic and she wrote, performed and produced every single note of every instrument herself with the exception of two guests, including rapper real J Wallace on this track, don't say you love me musically. This piece is haunting and evocative, and I love the way it starts out with just the repeated word. I like a note sung in unison at high and little octaves, something really menacing about it. And the rest of the track just keeps up that great combo of power and heartache. And we'll J Wallace, who is otherwise known as local arts hero. Ramelle Wallace who hosts creative mornings. And he's also on the board of directors for the San Diego African-American museum of fine art. And he also contributed to the SD state of mind anthology earlier this year and his rap verse here really leans into the dysfunction of the song. And it's also really melodic
Speaker 5: (09:23)
Our breaks. How long does it take the philanthropic enough to fill my heart on
Speaker 2: (09:29)
Burn is one to watch for sure. And it's just adds magic to whatever project he touches.
Speaker 1: (09:35)
That's Valentine burn and real J Wallace with don't say you love me from burns new EAP baby on a wall. You can find links to listen to each of these tracks, plus a Spotify playlist and kpbs.org. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans. Julia.
Speaker 2: (09:53)
Thanks. Thanks so much, Jane.
Speaker 3: (09:55)
We're listening to new music from local acts Kocean, Steph Richards with Joshua White, 18scales, Plosivs and Valentine Byrne with Real J. Wallace.
'Laila' by Kocean
Performing at Bridges (all ages) Friday, Nov. 5
First, a moment of appreciation for the birth of a new all-ages venue in San Diego, Bridges, a renovated old church in a strip mall in Clairemont Mesa. Friday will be the first show in the new space, featuring Foxtide, Big Fun, Gone and Kocean. Kocean are a San Diego-based duo, with splashes of surf rock and indie pop with a lot of grit. They just put out a new track Oct. 3, "Laila," which is muted at turns with a riotous chorus, repeating the name "Laila."
It's a simple tune but expressive and melancholy, and singer Kaitlyn Thomas' voice delivers a bit of '90s nostalgia. I kind of want to be in the crowd when everyone is singing along with the "Laila" on the chorus.
'Sacred Sea: Zephyr' by Steph Richards with Joshua White
"Zephyr," the full-length album from local trumpeter Steph Richards and jazz pianist Joshua White is a journey through the myths and mysteries of the natural world. From ancient oceans to cicadas, forests and the Northern Lights, these pieces are effervescent, experimental and utterly captivating.
Richards' trumpet performance is wild in and of itself — the UC San Diego professor of music is known for her experimental sound and complex, brainy composition — but some of these tracks have a moody restraint. It feels no less wild, just maybe enshrouded in misty fog or a blanket of night. White's piano is subtle at first, especially on the opening track, "Sacred Sea: Zephyr," which begins with a solo, fuzzy trumpet until his eerie piano arpeggio kicks in at the 40 second mark.
A new music video for "Zephyr" pairs the track with hypnotic ocean footage from director Vipal Monga.
Steph Richards is currently wrapping up a tour on the east coast, but you can catch Joshua White performing Nov. 20 at Dizzy's on Morena.
'Involve' by 18scales (explicit)
18scales put out a new full-length album, "FFO Vol. 1 'For Funkn Only,'" this August. The whole album is solid and everything I expect out of an 18scales release — fun, weird, disruptive and sonically lush and complex. "Involve" lures us in with a loungey trumpet motif, easy grooves and strong, layered staccato vocals from Ric Scales and producer Ralph Quasar.
Exactly a year ago, we invited Scales to contribute to this list (they recommended "Look Over Your Shoulder," by Busta Rhymes feat. Kendrick Lamar), so it's great to see them back here this month with some new music.
The album has 9 tracks but each is just a few minutes long; total run time on the album doesn't even crack 25 minutes. Other standouts are "Fly Shit" and the Odessa Kane guest track "House Shoes."
'Hit the Breaks' by Plosivs
Performing at Quartyard Saturday, Nov. 5
Freshly formed, San Diego's newest supergroup Plosivs are one of those bands where we list some sort of "of [XYZ band]" for every single member: John Reis of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and Rocket from the Crypt; Rob Crow of Pinback and Heavy Vegetable; Atom Willard of Against Me!, The Offspring and Angels and Airwaves; and Jordan Clark of Mrs. Magician and The Frights.
Not to show my age or lack of coolness, but the first thing I did when "Hit the Breaks" started was turn the volume down a touch. Eventually, I turned it back up, but brace yourself for a wall of high-powered rock noise from the get-go. The track is aptly named — playing with all the homophones of "breaks" — and draws on a feeling of too much, too fast, and a desire, possibly unresolved, to let up and connect.
'Don't You Say You Love Me' by Valentine Byrne with Real J. Wallace
The astonishingly talented Valentine Byrne put out her first EP earlier this year, "Baby on a Wall." With the exception of two guests (including Real J. Wallace), she performed every single instrument and wrote and produced every last note. The EP is an instant hit for me, cohesive as a whole but each track is still somehow surprising ("Sleep Like You Mean It" is another standout). The production is lush, the songwriting is complex and tragic, and Byrne's dreamy voice is full of depth.
"Don't You Say You Love Me" starts out hauntingly, suggesting a heartache-in-progress. Wallace (also known as local arts hero Ramel J. Wallace of Creative Mornings and a board member of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art), provides a rap verse that leans into the raw dysfunction of the track. Byrne is one to watch for sure, and Wallace seems to add magic to any project he touches.
If you're purchasing any of these songs, don't forget that Bandcamp will continue their "Bandcamp Fridays" program through the remainder of 2021. The first Friday of each month (i.e. Nov. 5), Bandcamp will waive their cut of the proceeds, so more money goes directly to the artist.