Welcome to The Listening Station, The Eastsider’s dose of must-listens from local bands. Get to know your community by getting to know the music they are making. Feel free to let us know what Eastside bands or performers – in any genre- you are listening to by sending an email to hello@theEastsiderLA.com
1. “The Walker” – Fitz & The Tantrums
If Motown was injected with a dose of HGH and a splash of New Nave, Fitz and the Tantrums is what you would get. A genre whose sound bites a little harder, has a backbeat which swings more aggressively, and lyrically, waxes substantially darker. This Silverlake-based sextet recorded their critically acclaimed 2010 Pickin’ Up the Pieces (released via local Dangerbird Records) in the Silverlake abode of frontman Michael Fitzpatrick after pounding the pavement at Eastside venues. Now with their sophomore album More Than Just a Dream, the band’s acclaim has reached beyond the confines of SunJunct but their ode to The Silver Lake Walker shows their roots are strong.
2. “The Crone” – Many Distant Cities
This Highland Park-based folk outfit brings a playful brand of self-described ‘murder ballads and songs of love and hate’. These multi-instrumentalists played the patio earlier month at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park and features delightful harmonies with horns and surprising tempos which also nod wonderfully at Los Angeles’ Mexican musical heritage.
3. “Heavy Feet” – Local Natives
Once Silver Lake’s best kept secret, Local Natives have been the darling of the indie rock world now for some time. The band’s touchstones are tribal-inspired beats, genuinely haunting vocals, and inescapable, soul-melding melodies which meander for days. Earlier this year they released their second album, Hummingbird and this week embarked on a world tour.
4. “Visions” – Silverhands
This electro-dance duo is one part LA (Liz Wight), one part Frisco (Drew Marcogliese). Eastside mainstay Liz Wight may also be known around town for her previous Love Grenades alter ego, but is now exploring the winding roads of an electro-funkadelic sound-scape. “Visions” is bolstered by Wight’s vocals, a hearty timbre that paints in the boldest of strokes. Envelop yourself in the spell of this transfixing tune.
5. “Let me Back In” – Rilo Kiley
The Silver Lake music scene wouldn’t be what is today without the influence of proto-indie bands like Rilo Kiley in the early 2000s. Though they have since disbanded after a decade together, they recently released RKives, a collection of B-Sides and rarities that track the band’s ascendance from lo-fi, folk beginnings to their status as consummate storytellers and indie’s archetypal rock band. “Let Me Back In (I Love LA)” is Rilo Kiley’s penitent love song to the city that borne them.
Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries.