The Brillboard is a curated list of fresh, new tracks by independent and up-and-coming artists. Tracks on the Brillboard fit a mood – sometimes broad, sometimes very specific, always useful to you. Follow for the soundtrack to your life, by artists you wish you knew.
This week’s Brillboard focuses on water.
Dirty Water – Yoshi Flower
When it comes to music, this isn’t Josh Smith’s first rodeo. Formerly one half of Detroit duo Gosh Pith, Smith now lives in Los Angeles, creating a new set of sounds under the name Yoshi Flower. It’s been roughly a year to the day since Smith’s latest moniker first came on the scene, making quite a splash with debut single “Movies”. Since then, Yoshi Flowers has never really left the indie spotlight. Extremely prolific and collaborative, he’s released a full-length album (AMERICAN RAVER), lent his vocals to Quinn XCII (“Werewolf”), and dropped a duet with close friend and roommate Elohim (“Panic Attacks”). Most recently, Yoshi Flower marked his first solo work of 2019 with “Dirty Water”, an exploration into the troubled waters of an old romance. Juxtaposing grungy vocals on the hard-hitting verses with some light guitar strums on the downbeat bridge, Flower makes an emotional melange. He brings us both the ups and the downs of this complex, murky relationship.
Wishing for Rain – j ember
Joe Chusid has been making music for nearly a decade, and he’s damn good at it. At 23 years young, the Toronto native writing under the name j ember has a musical versatility that’s far beyond his age. From acoustic guitar and harmonica (“nothing left”) to funk and synth (“parallel”), no two songs are alike. j ember’s latest track, “Wishing for Rain”, is an indie rock jam session that is easily his best work so far. More poem than song lyrics, j ember talks about the power of water to heal the metaphorical and internal fires of ones life, all while nailing that alt-indie sound. With its strong snare, layered vocals and catchy chorus, “Wishing For Rain” is an impressive feat that will make you nostalgic for the older, better Portugal. The Man. Each j ember record cover is packaged with his signature logo in the upper-right-hand corner like a bow on top. There aren’t many of these singles yet. Take each one for the gift that it is, and let’s hope Christmas comes early this year.
dewdrops – slenderbodies
It’s finally May, and this year those April showers have brought us something extra special. “dewdrops,” the latest single from LA’s slenderbodies came out today, and it is fluid, groovy, and all things spring. Capturing the duality of springtime – a season both teeming with life and yet blissfully peaceful – “dewdrops” is simultaneously pulsing with energy and yet oddly soothing. The rapid plucking of a guitar accompanies slenderbodies’ trademark falsettos through the song, but so does the occasional light trickle of what sounds like bells or a slowly moving rainstick. The pulsing vocals calmly echo at the beginning yet come rapidly at the end. Even the lyrical imagery oscillates between the cool of water and the flare of the sun. One verse paints a picture of “pleasance” and “something sweeter” while the next talks of “[the] crackle from the fire” and desires melting from the sun’s heat. “dewdrops” gives us a “timeless feeling” because it gives us the feeling of springtime, a transitional, ephemeral, and dual-natured season. The psychedelic-indie brainchild of Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack, slenderbodies constantly astounds by releasing track after track, never comprising their staple sound or quality. “dewdrops” is yet another beautiful success for this groovy duo. As the lead single from their forthcoming album, it’s a bud of what promises to be a beautiful flower.