A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
“HEY NEIGHBOR / CAMPAIGN”
Two weeks, four Chet Vincent songs. We’re really pushing the boundaries of journalism here, right?
Just ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, Chet Vincent has released his own Woody Guthrie-esque contribution to the pantheon of American political folk, though this time around Vincent leaves his band behind and lets his guitar sing alongside him, building up harmonies of rich, crisp notes.
The content of “Hey Neighbor / Campaign” strays from Vincent’s normal repertoire, as well. As has everyone, the singer/songwriter has been seemingly consumed by political fervor, though Vincent’s songs expand past this season’s “Trump is Orange Hitler; Clinton is a reptile in a wolf in sheep’s skin” tropes.
Vincent’s newest release is a showcase of his individual songwriting talent, and one that may stand out as the black sheep in his catalogue. The two tracks contained within “Hey Neighbor / Campaign” are composed proof of an artist confident in his execution, prose and sound.
Hot track: Campaign
Arbitrary emoji rating: 3.5 out of 5 ballot boxes
“SOMETHING NEW FROM RFA”
Meet RFA, a young indie-pop quartet of Philadelphia that has consistently churned out quality content over the past three years, picking up influences and songwriting experience along the way.
What separates “Something New from RFA” from the rest of their material is a dedicated effort to manufacture layers and layers of sound, building from the drums on out. The end result is a stocked kitchen of digestible, poppy indie heavily influenced by classic rock standards.
The album has a finely tuned sound – RFA’s guitar tones are clean and appropriately implemented, and the upbeat tracks are the clear gems on this album. For whatever reason, the quartet seems to play on their heels when they decide to turn inwards.
But RFA hits the next gear when they add a hop to their songs. Part Arctic Monkeys, part Neil Young with Crazy Horse, this band sounds like the next logical evolution of the indie-pop explosion of the mid-Oughts Nova Scotia alternative scene. “Something New from RFA” is quite possibly the launching pad that these young men need to make it on the national stage.
RFA is playing at Hambone’s in Lawrenceville on Nov. 5.
Hot track: I’m Not Telling You
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4 out of 5 pieces of shortcake
WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST LISTEN TO?
Bandcamp allows any artist to upload whatever they want to the site. Some artists take that idea and run with it. Here’s the weirdest thing from Pittsburgh on Bandcamp this week.
“CRUISIN’ IN THE HEARSE”
Everyone who makes the unfortunate decision to host a Halloween party at their house (Why are there so many feathers to clean up??) all face the same problem about an hour into hosting – what can you play after listening to Monster Mash and Spooky Scary Skeletons on an alternating loop?
My answer? “Static Age” by the Misfits. It is the perfect album to fit the aesthetic of Samhain. However, if you’re WRONG and don’t like the Misfits, then I recommend Boss Freak’s conveniently timed album as an alternative.
“Cruisin’ in the Hearse” is a 1950s-rock throwback that doesn’t get distracted by the frills (or progress) of modern music and just zeroes in on what makes a Halloween album good. The whole album is driven by rockabilly drums and bass lines, and a classic Wurlitzer organ completes the spooooooky aesthetic.
So thank you, Boss Freak. I guess.
Hot track: Cruisin’ in the Hearse