Artists expand sounds with epic, lush tracks

A good song is like a good book — both are able to transport you to a totally awesome world of wonder and impossibility … at least for a few minutes.

The best songs are the ones in which you can actually feel the energy, the mystery or the fun of what the artist is trying to express. It’s really pretty amazing how a series of manipulations of instruments and computer buttons can create an entire world of its own, resonating with people everywhere.

Luckily, many musicians are great at executing this, including those featured in this week’s New Noise.

Whether it’s dark, light, homegrown or somber, these new tracks are examples of bands that use music to create an aural world of epic proportions.

LVMRKS: “Valentine”

After Neil Busch left powerhouse psychedelic post-punk outfit …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead in 2004, fans of the band’s early sound wondered what would become of idiosyncratic styles of both Trail of Dead as a group and Busch himself, as his bass, vocals and songwriting were instrumental to the band’s foundation.

Fast forward nine years later, and all can rest assured that both are doing just fine. Trail of Dead just released its eighth studio album last October, and Busch has been keeping busy throughout the years with his own projects, including his latest venture, LVMRKS.

The supergroup features Busch on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Dave Clifford (Red Sparowes, The VSS) on drums and Jonathan Hischke (Broken Bells, Hella) on bass.

The band’s debut album, Pale Fairytale, is set to be released in May. The album’s sound is dramatic and gothic, with black metal styles and solid guitar riffs making up a majority of the songs.

“Valentine,” one of the album’s singles, is one of the more upbeat tracks from Pale Fairytale — the song builds up like a sea of guitars pushing against a 15-watt amp before it finally blows up, making for some nice suspense. There’s an early Trail of Dead sound in the music and fans of that band will definitely dig Busch’s new project.

Monks of Mellonwah: “Sky and the Dark Night, Part 2 — Control”

These Sydney-based alt-rockers are starting to make waves in the indie-rock scene. The band has already won awards from Artists In Music and the LA Music Awards, and its early EPs garnered critical acclaim.

The band is planning to tour later this year, and its latest single presents a more experimental direction than heard in previous songs. “Sky and the Dark Night” is an eight-minute-long song that literally takes the listener on an intense journey of ups, downs, speeds and stops.

Experiencing to the entire eight-minute long single is like reading a chapter of a book — there is a clear story complete with an introduction, a conflict, a climax and a denouement (and violins!). The second part of the (mini-)epic song is “Control,” a heavy tune with dark and enigmatic undertones.

Regarding the inspiration for the track, lead guitarist Joe de la Hoyde told the media: “We are each riddled by our own curses and battle our own demons. There are diseases and syndromes, and many things that we can’t understand, let alone hope to control. ‘Sky And The Dark Night,’ to me, is the journey from the beginning of our battles to their fruitless ends; the ups and downs, the triumphs and the failures. It is the undying hope that maybe somewhere along the way, we might find ourselves.”

So basically, if there could be a soundtrack to epiphanies, “Sky and the Dark Night” would probably be on there somewhere.


After all of your catalysts and epiphanies have dropped courtesy of Monks of Mellonwah, you’ll probably want a sip or 10 of something to bump up your mood.

Well, My Woshin Mashin is here to save the day. The Russian-German band has a unique blend of electro-dance-punk/synth-pop-on-crack music that Russian Billboard magazine actually described as being “better than amphetamine.” Now, that’s pretty legit.

Bibi Tulin’s also got a voice that is most likely one in seven billion and My Woshin Mashin was officially born after she partnered up with her friends Hugo Simons and Wolfgang Scherman (who apparently wears a crocodile mask because, well, you have to when your name is as awesome as “Wolfgang Scherman”).

April 30 is the day the band drops its debut album, succinctly titled EVIL MUST DIE, and “They Live” is the third track of debauchery featured on the record. Talk about moods – “They Live” will most definitely make you wonder where you left your head. The song delves into a universe of intricately controlled chaos, with menacing synth riffs bouncing along to a hard beat that forces your body to start moving.

After the song is over, you’ll probably be left wondering what you accidentally spiked your drink with, but don’t worry — it’s just My Woshin Mashin making your day.

Slim Loris: “Visions of Tomorrow”

We already made one pretty sharp turn with My Woshin Mashin, so let’s keep up the total lack of direction and head over to Slim Loris territory.

You know that saying “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”? Well, Slim Loris is here to prove us all wrong.

The band looks and sounds like a homegrown, national treasure of bona fide Americana. The guitars twang in all the right places and the drums play all the right beats. This is where a band’s creation of an atmosphere and a different world offered to the listener comes into play. But though Slim Loris is straight up Easy Rider music, the dudes are from Sweden.

The band’s second album is titled Future Echoes and Past Replays and is set to drop on May 19. “Visions of Tomorrow” is a perfect example of the American classic-rock sound and ’60s stylings of the band’s music. Instead of being futuristic with embellished production, “Visions of Tomorrow” is simple and effective, and Slim Loris flawlessly captures the sound of a geographic region in the music.

Take a listen and be prepared to throw that duck theory out the window.


Rishbha Bhagi  is a graduate student pursing a degree in communication management. Her column “New Noise” runs Wednesday.