In with a whinny

Wax Tablet

Kyle Gervais
• If you haven't yet summoned your "Horsie Forces," mount up: SUNSET HEARTS' excellent Deco Tech EP is now available for free download on their bandcamp. So, for that matter, is the RATTLESNAKES' Spine, and SPOSE's The Audacity is quasi-free since it was uploaded to Spotify. Three of last year's most hyped records from Maine signature artists at no cost. How radical would it be if you threw them some money anyway?

KYLE GERVAIS, Grand Hotel frontman and co-organizer of this season's Clash of the Titans, is readying a solo record under the name KGFREEZE this spring. Titled Sociopath, it features Derek Gierhan (Endless Jags, Haru Bangs) on drums, and will be engineered by Dominic Lavoie (Dominic and the Lucid). According to the man, it could be the "most pop thing" he's ever done, while he also describes it as a "guitar record for people who hate guitars." Given KG's versatility, penchant for high-energy performances, and the dynamic capacities of that crew, it could literally be anything.

• Since we gushed so hard about her last record in November, it's natural that we'd feel additional tremors at lo-fi folk artist LISA/LIZA's new one, a five-song offering called Humble Noon available on the lady's bandcamp. The recording's got a lot of the same stunning and fragile songwriting, and though the vocals seem to be cleared up to the point where they're less instrumental than Ancient Edge, some might welcome a little more clarity in her songs. As before, her best tracks are those which seem to hover around the heart of the song itself, framing an outline and dodging the sentimental bluster of a folk traditional. "Mystic Apple" is patiently framed by clanging, pointillist chords before a splatter of strumming fills the color in, while the breathtaking "Front Porch Swing" reduces its central riff to an almost jazz-like slipperiness through repetition. Elusive and heart-wrenching with equal doses hiss and twang, this is some exquisite stuff.

• The MAINE ACADEMY OF MODERN MUSIC and PORTLAND MUSIC FOUNDATION have opened registration for this year's MAMM Slam, an annual battle of the bands for young artists. The organizations aim to provide a bright light for young musicians, offering a sort of free, on-the-job training for music business tenets like networking, marketing, web presence, and the necessity of exposure. Registration ends February 14, after which MAMM bands play a series of Survivor-style shows at the Big Easy and the Asylum, the latter with the FOGCUTTERS.

  Topics: New England Music News , Portland Music Foundation, Kyle Gervais, Kyle Gervais,  More more >
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