It’s not often we get to review the music of artists from Alaska. We’ve written about Paul Jacks before, who comes to us from Anchorage, the capital, whose long, bone-shatteringly cold winters, and closeness to active volcanos, make it a place highly likely to stir up creativity in even the most frozen of hearts.
Late last year we introduced readers to Soft People, a husband and husband duo from San Luis Obispo, almost exactly in between San Francisco and LA. Their song ‘Absolute Boy’, struck us with its deeply personal lyrics, and 80s stylings, and we really enjoyed their sound. So we’re happy to announce that their new single, ‘Tender’, is set for release this Friday July 12, ahead of their performance at The California Central Coast Pride Festival that weekend.
On first listening to ‘Splashdown’ by Heron, I’m reminded of Joe Satriani’s track, ‘Always With Me, Always With You’, from his breakthrough 1987 album, ‘Surfing With The Alien’. There’s also elements that suggest Mark Knopfler’s ‘Going Home’, from the film ‘Local Hero’. There’s maybe even a hint of Tommy Emmanuel there. None of this is to suggest Heron’s piece is derivative, but rather, it’s an indication of the incredible quality of the track.
We’ve had a good working relationship with Peppermint Heaven for several years now, and they even did an Essential Weekly Playlist for us back in 2016. The duo comprising Juno and Spark, based in Los Angeles, are strongly influenced by the likes of Tears For Fears, Pet Shop Boys, Simple Minds, New Order, Howard Jones, Psychedelic Furs…..among others – so it’s no surpise to see a few of those names turn up in their Essential Weekly Playlist.
Percolator, based in Dublin, Ireland, are a three piece group formed in 2009. With influences drawn from such diverse sounds as Krautrock, shoegaze, avant garde, experimental and prog rock, Percolator released their debut album, ‘Sestra’, in April this year. It’s out through Penske-Recordings, a Cork-based independent label which has also released albums from the likes of up and coming Irish bands including The Altered Hours and Magic Pockets.