Now Playing @ The Listening Station: Halfbluud, Hands & He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

By Marni Epstein & Nathan Solis

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. Follow Eastsider Music on Twitter for more stories and sounds from the Eastside music scene.

“Come to Know” – Hands

On first listen Hands is instantly familiar and it isn’t just because they headlined Echo Park Rising last year. Singer Geoff Halliday’s voice is an inviting mixture of Muse’s Matthew Bellamy and Bono, replete with the yearning, slight nasal sensibilities and ease of traveling through octaves. Originally a Philadelphia duo, the band hit their stride after moving to Angeleno Heights and rounding out their membership into a quartet.

Perhaps these children of the ‘90s grew up on a heavy dose of U2, because their guitar riffs on “Come to Know” are reminiscent of the psych-lite, rock licks of Achtung Baby. All that, paired with a breakneck tempo and a healthy dose of synths has them being mentioned in the same breath as today’s Foster the People and Tanlines. With an EP out in 2012 and now a full length album, Synesthesia, just released in April, Hands will likely be something you’ll want to wrap yours around. – Marni Epstein

“I Know” – Halfbluud

In the spaces between the floor tiles lies the road map that guides Halfbluud through the city. It’s lo-fi, subtle, and cool. A place to rest one’s head. Textures bloom in restless flourishes with percussions and vocals, settling into catchy grooves that begin as shoe gazing wonder and eventually cascade into charming chorus, this most evident on the track ‘I Know’.

Guitars and synths trade places throughout, while the voice of Halfbluud, Harley Cortez, barks and harmonizes, the horizon lost in the spread of buildings, so the group uses the echo of their voice to find their way home. It’s a departure, it’s an arrival and it’s exciting to see what this new group has planned for the rest of the year in their native Echo Park digs. Their next gig, July 2 at The Satellite, is an album release show. –  Nathan Solis

“Nobody Dances In This Town” – He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

The party’s just starting, the singalong is coming up and what do you know?  He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister know all the right words to make the middle of the work week feel alright. This varied folk outfit does not fit into any one particular mold, nor do they aspire to, as they’re constantly jangling, banging and strumming away, each and every member singing as though the bank were about to take the ranch.

Siblings Rachel and Rob Kolar sing  while Lauren Brown utilizes her tap-dancing on a drum skin. Oliver Newell plays an upright bass that’s as big as him, and Aaron Robinson brings up the rear with a slide guitar. This Los Angeles outfit sound like they could be a band of mice, but rest assured that doesn’t matter as long as the tunes are coming out of the hole in the wall. – Nathan Solis


Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries.Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.

Follow Eastsider Music on Twitter for more stories and sounds from the Eastside music scene.

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