Sunday, October 23, 2016

Now Playing @ The Listening Station: In The Valley Below; Nite Jewel and Warpaint

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

“Burgundy” – Warpaint

The Echo Park group Warpaint command a haunting presence with their atmospheric vocals and percussions, not to mention an amazing rhythm-guitar and bass duo. Don’t worry; their eyes have adjusted to the dark. If anything you look silly batting around for the walls. Relax, rest on your haunches, allow them to weave you a tale.

Emily Kokal’s vocals either come across crystal clear or staccato in some disjointed rhythm, the dissonance she leaves behind chilling and powerful all in the same breath. Her handling of voice a preference, treated with utmost care or deliberate abandon. Theresa Wayman’s guitar work spools in reverse at times, lingering on uncomfortable notes, invoking cicadas to crawl over our skin, while bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg dances on the fringes with her rhythm along with drummer/keyboardist Stella Mozgawa.

There is unending love for the sun, but there also seems to be an adoration for the transition into the dark, the abruptness that seems to envelope their track “Burgundy.”        – Nathan Solis

“One Second of Love” – Nite Jewel

Nite Jewel, aka Ramona Gonzalez, matriculated from Eagle Rock’s Occidental College and has since been a mainstay in the Silver Lake music scene. She is a bright, ’80s synth throwback but what adds intrigue is that hers is not the voice you’d expect to come with such a genre offering. A beautifully clean and calming voice, it might traditionally identify more in the singer-songwriter genre. Her track “One Second of Love” has a base beat that instantly took me back to Madonna’s “Material Girl”. When the song hits its stride, it levitates in the treasure trove of its buoyant poppy flair. – Marni Epstein

“Peaches” – In The Valley Below

In the Valley Below is Echo Park meets LIttle House on the Prarie. Duo Jeff Mendel and Angie Mattson are always in uniforms – he in suspenders, a button-down, and boots; she in an angelic yet parochial floor length ensemble all while exploring some of life’s seedier topics. A little bit ’70s alt bluesy rock, a little bit ’00s folk revival. Prime example: “Peaches”. Probably one of the band’s most up-tempo offerings, complete with catchy hooks, it also delivers their signature haunting sound to go along with the duo’s calculated persona. – Marni Epstein


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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