*Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required for entry*
SPANISH LOVE SONGS
“When you’re young, you just want to be heard,” opines Dylan Slocum.
The singer and guitarist of LA-based punk quintet SPANISH LOVE SONGS is referencing his band, but he could just as easily be talking about himself. Since forming in 2014, Spanish Love Songs certainly have been heard, from legions of underground audiences at The Fest and South By Southwest to outlets like NPR, who hailed the group’s 2018 album, Schmaltz, as a “wellspring of big ideas, bigger riffs and the biggest possible feelings about love, war, fear and existential crisis.”
Schmaltz was an album colored by guilt and self-doubt, an insular collection of soul-searching songs that found the singer amplifying his grief while kicking back at a world that seemed to be doing its best to keep knocking him down. It was a cathartic album, one that admittedly took a lot of Slocum’s soul to create. (“I don’t want to be the band where each album is me complaining about myself for 40 minutes,” he says.)
So instead, Slocum decided to look outward for Spanish Love Songs’s third album, BRAVE FACES EVERYONE, due out February 7, 2020 on the band’s new label, Pure Noise Records. Steeped in the same detail-rich storytelling of Bruce Springsteen, The Menzingers and Manchester Orchestra and filtered through the band’s sweat-soaked punk fervor, the songs on BRAVE FACES EVERYONE represent the situations Slocum and his bandmates — guitarist Kyle McAulay, bassist Trevor Dietrich, drummer Ruben Duarte and keyboardist Meredith Van Woert — experienced during 30-some weeks of rigorous touring during the Schmaltz album cycle.
These are character stories set in small-town America and anxious urban jungles alike, unfurling heartbreaking tales of addiction, depression, debt and death juxtaposed alongside looming societal bogeys like mass shootings, the opioid epidemic and climate change. They’re all at once personal vignettes and universal truths of life in the 2010s, the lines blurred between Slocum’s own experiences and those of his friends and acquaintances. Because, as he sings in “Beachfront Property,” “Every city’s the same/Doom and gloom under different names.” These are the things that affect us all.
Save Face are a band who have always prided themselves on taking risks and the New Jersey band have doubled down on that sentiment with their sophomore album, Another Kill For The Highlight Reel. In that spirit, the follow-up to 2018’s debut Merci sees the band mastermind Tyler Povanda taking his songwriting, lyrics and conceptual skills to the next level to create an album that’s more interested in building worlds than adhering to genre conventions. While the songs’ inspiration is firmly rooted in the screamo/post-hardcore scene that was so pivotal for Povanda, the album also features piano, full string sections and horns he arranged himself. “As soon as I started working on [recording software] Logic, it opened my mind to all of these different sounds and I just started putting everything in there,” he says of his creative process. “I just trusted myself and kept going deeper with every song.”
You know that feeling you had when you finished the last day of school before summer break? You had the whole vacation ahead of you and the possibilities were endless. Camp Trash is the audio form of that feeling. They wrap playful vocal hooks around crunchy guitars and driving rhythms that make you feel like you can do anything.