Published on March 1st, 2021 | by Robert Barry Francos


The Feedback Society’s Week in Music

Robert Barry Francos goes through some of the indie singles he’s been listening to, bringing you some dang hot recommendations to fill your earholes with.

Elise Davis
“Yellow Bed”
Tone Tree
Nashville singer-songwriter Davis released her single, “Yellow Bed,” from her third album Anxious, Happy, Chill. I have seen a few of her videos performing live in her bedroom or on stage, and she is really amazing. Her songs are poignant, such as this one about relishing time with her husband. That being said, I had a bit of trouble with this song, recorded in a studio. The sound is very flat and electronic, including the processing of her voice via reverb, which makes it lose its beautiful tone, giving it a kind of impersonal feel when the song should be emotional. I hate saying this since I like her and I enjoy her voice, but it is the production here that squashes her sound. I believe if I saw her do this live, I would enjoy it a lot more. I say go seek her out, find her videos and enjoy. This is the only song off the album I have heard and I’m hoping the rest of it is more loyal to what she has to offer.

Half Waif
“Orange Blossoms”
Anti- Records
The first single by Half Waif – aka Nandi Rose – is quite lovely, albeit sad. As described by her press, it is “a desperate plea to be rescued from wrestling with everything.” In a voice perfectly suited for the song, the protagonist is in urgent need for help kick-starting her life at the moment, asking repeatedly for “someone” to do things like answer an email, or “make me think I’m worth something.” Thematically, it reminds me of The Allen-Ward Trio’s “I Need a Friend,” but rather than folk, this is more modern singer-songwriter. Yes, she’s listed as alt pop, but I would not personally put this song in this category. There is some lovely harmonies snuck in, backed by an electric piano in the forefront. It’s a powerful, lovely tune and is both bleak and, at the end, hopeful. It’s a keeper.

Lost Horizons, featuring Marissa Nadler
Lost Horizons is the collaboration, among others, of Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and Richie Thomas (Dif Juz), and this single is included in their new album, In Quiet Moments, Part 2. They are joined by Marissa Nadler to front it (other songs on the double album are voiced by different singers). As one might expect from Raymonde and Thomas, the song is strongly studio-enhanced, moody and I might add gothic. The shadowy reverb is ramped up and it almost sounds like a ghost is singing it. Nadler has a good voice, somewhere in there, and I would have liked to have actually heard it clearer through the production. The song itself is a quiet, slow, and soft footed ballad, reminiscent of XTC’s “Somnambulist.” After a couple of listens, it is starting to grow on me, more for Nadler, honestly. Because of the production, I couldn’t make out much of the lyrics; however, it sounds melancholic.

Thee Sacred Souls
“It’s Our Love”
Daptone Records; Penrose Records

Hailing from the San Diego area, this soul trio (perhaps they could have called themselves “Three” Sacred Souls?) fit somewhere in the post-Motown category with the likes of the Ohio Players (sans horns) and Al Green. Vocalist and lyricist Josh Lane uses his falsetto voice to lull the listener about his love in a Barry White ballad speed. Soul is not my forte, honestly, but I was charmed by the sound here, as Sal Samano and Alex Garcia skillfully back him up with their rhythms (guitar and drums).

 “Seize the Power”
This track is listed as “Dark Alt Pop with Heavy Riffs” on their Facebook page. That feels accurate. It’s definitely modern, with heavy production and added with some pop fusion. It’s like if Lady Gaga’s style was thrown in a blender with some electronica and white rap, fed through some anger and entitlement. It’s decent, as even the rappish parts aren’t too stereotypically done. The positive behind it is its power, as Theresa Jarvis forcefully infuses her lyrics with drive, almost yelling above the British band’s studio-infused minimalist melody.

“Upstairs Room”
Not to be confused with the Yiddish “Zaydeh,” nor the city in Croatia, their publicity calls them “scathing post punk [sic] from Philadelphia,” sounding like Sisters of Mercy. Really? This song is essentially based on a dissonant B-52s-type rhythm played electronically over an over, with Fred Schneider-style vocals without the charm. Even the lyrics are repetitive and kind of monotonously mundane. I’m not a fan. But then again, I was bored by Sisters of Mercy, as well.

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About the Author

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has lived in Saskatoon for over a decade, having spent most of his life in New York City. Part of the New York punk scene from nearly its inception, he has been known to hang out with musicians, artists and theatrical types. His fanzine, FFanzeen, was published from 1977 through 1988, giving him opportunity to see now famous bands in their early stages. Media, writing and photography have been a core interest for most of his life, leading to a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. This has led to travel to Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Israel and Egypt, and recently he taught a university class in media theory in China.

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