Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Now Playing @ The Listening Station: Bitter Party, Boardwalk & Julia Holter

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]

“Guitar of Hot Springs Village” – Bitter Party

Bitter Party, formed just last year after its members moved to L.A.from Virginia. They are a self-professed celebration of the melancholy. They mix old and new. Eastern and Western. Bitter Party tantalizes with ancient Asian influences that meld effortlessly into distorted guitars of Virginia gentility. “Guitar of Hot Springs Village” could could just as easily set the stage for the alt-country cries of a lover’s lament, as it could the calming, solo falsettos of a Chinese folk song. Bitter Party will be playing Cypress Park this Friday at PS 1010 Road Felt. – Marni Epstein

“I’m To Blame” – Boardwalk

Dreamy is a dangerous descriptor, like a strong drink that can muddle the day if not properly imbibed.Los Angeles duo Boardwalk encompass the ethereal of the dream soundscape, with a brush of warmth that brings their sound back to earth. On “I’m To Blame” an organ invites us in while Amber Quintero’s voice is weightless, intimate, and Mike Edge’s arrangements float about on guitar strings, like a restless bird.

Quintero releases the syllables of her words in a drawn out exhalation, breathy for the sake of preserving the spaces in between. Boardwalk is anchored by their guitar stylings, humming organ, and preservation for analog warmth in the digital age. There is wonder to be found on the ground, there is a limitless sky above, and it all meets at the imaginary line – the horizon, where Boardwalk seem to live. – Nathan Solis

“In the Green Wild” – Julia Holter

Tossed out of the heavens, banned for being too beautifully and frustratingly obtuse, is the avant-garde concoction of “In the Green Wild”. Julia Holter has a flair for the dramatic, and her latest album, recorded in her Echo Park home, “Loud City Song” is no exception as a composition inspired by the scenes from 1958’s Gigi. Holter’s vocals tip toe over the base line, like the spoken-words of a Greenwich Village beatnik. Yet it all cleverly holds together, with just enough parts gum and conventionality that amid the whirling dervish of its final act, you will find yourself leaving the song humming Holter’s refrain.

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.

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