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DOGWOOD TALES

    Out of the Shenandoah Valley blossoms the debut album from Dogwood Tales Too Hard To Tell. Recorded at the Fidelitorium in North Carolina (Wilco, Avett Brothers, Mandolin Orange) on 2 inch analogue tape, this organic Americana/Alt-Country record hits like a contemporary take on Neil Young'sHarvest. In 2016 they released an EP and toured heavily building a strong fan base. This promising debut full-length is sure to expand on the solid foundation they've built over the past few years.

  Benjamin Ryan and Kyle Grim are the duo behind Dogwood Tales. They began playing together in high school and became friends playing in pop-punk bands in bordering towns. Naturally they cultivated a more roots oriented pallet, echoing the classic sounds of their home in the Valley. Their discovery of the great country duos of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris and more recently Mandolin Orange gave them a broader view of the valley music they would set out to create. 

  The Tales' songs have a spiritual aspect that derives more from the Blue Ridge Mountains than the Church. Their lyricism grows out of a serious commitment to literature and specifically the Southern-Gothic canon. Too Hard To Tell carries the weighted stories and one-liners often found in the songs of American folk music with a special attention to tone and emotion. The songs speak of scenarios and heavy stations of life and death in small town America. There is a different aspect of time that exists in these places, a slowness yes, but also an immediate and daily reality of birth, life and death. Dogwood Tales have captured something akin to a lightning-bug in a mason jar on this ethereal and rich debut effort. 

Dogwood Tales' "Too Hard To Tell" comes out February 22, 2018.

 
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Saw Black

Saw Black's follow up to the acclaimed "Azalea Days," is due out in Spring 2018.

Azalea Days marks the debut of Saw Black, whose songs from the heart tell the story of a once boundless love and the realization of that love's decay. Tracked in his basement studio by the James River on a mostly-working 8-track tape machine, the Richmond, Virginia-based self-taught multi-instrumentalist and songwriter recorded the songs over the course of a year, coming to life as the relationship they chronicled came to an end. 

An art handler by trade, Saw Black is also producer and co-owner of Crystal Pistol Records who lives with his dog Birdie in the South Side of Richmond. He began playing music when his grandfather, a jazz piano player, gave him an electric guitar at the age of 11. Now 28 and having taken on every role within the recording process, Saw Black releases his first collection of self-produced songs in Azalea Days. 

There are nods to Neil Young and Sparkle Horse, a tongue-and-cheek love song to weed from a state where it's criminalized, and of course the omens of a relationship that's fizzling out. Self-reflective as all get-out, Saw Black sings in "Kiss" about taking out his problems on those closest to him, and even prophesizes about "screaming on the pavement" nights before a traumatizing bicycle accident on a bridge

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DHARMA BOMBS

Dharma Bombs' debut full length, "Old Time Romance", encapsulates thoughts of falling in love, substances, seduction, war, destruction, post-apocalyptic wastelands and peace. On the first single “Pack Your Bags” featuring guest vocalist Allie Smith, the band contemplates the traditional advice of never running away from your problems. Rejecting that notion, "Pack Your Bags" offers an alternative, run toward the westward skyline and allow time and space to replace your woes. -SC

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Pete Curry

Night Logic is Pete Curry’s super concentrated, full-length dose of Eighties dance-pop. On opener “Voicemail From a Bill Collector,” vocals of a sultry melancholy obsessively yearn while providing creative pronunciations for states Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Infectious rubber band synthesizers bound overhead and a face-melting guitar solo jet-skis across the lucid neon plain. It’s all enough to makeVangelis weep tears of joy.

The electropop aesthetic holds court for the entire album, exploring a multitude of moods and hooks. “Look All Around You” is a smooth but energetic flash lightning dance anthem. “The One” offers heartbeat pulsing drums, a grandiose synth melody, and an anthemic emotional core. “Final Boss (Money)” turns into a night cycle race with a flickering falsetto riding sidecar. Lovely crystalline instrumental interludes provide pit stops throughout the journey.

The lyrics are occasionally obscured by all the spectacle, allowing the listener to interpret many of the tracks however they would like. Who needs fully intelligible words when you can just dance? Ultimately, Curry creates a bionic being of a work, full of heart and circuitry, all of which serves his impressive vocal talents. All proceeds from Bandcamp purchases will be donated to the ACLU. Available on cassette. -Whurk

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VVUUMM

VVUUMM's (Fka Ashes) "Mybadyergood" has been taking Richmond by storm with it's heavy noise-rock and synth induced tones. Andrew Harrison fronts this project and his gnarling vocals crack and hiss through the seams of this wall of noise. A seriously powerful live performance and a few recent tours have these guys propped up to rule the world. This record was recorded by the guys from Doctor Collins and mixed by Pete Curry, so all around this is a Crystal Pistol production..from the underground.

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Deathbirds Surf Club

Death Birds Surf Club blends surf, pop and punk. Think Beach Boys meets the Ramones, but they actually surf. Their catchy lyrics sear like blisters after a long day at the beach- NO SUNSCREEN! Bangers like "Surf Babe" and "Half-pipe Girl" make you want to grab a board and get gnarly. Brothers Adam and Bean Weatherford write songs about what they do when they're not writing songs...SHRED! Tapes are available now on our webstore and locally at Steady Sounds.   www.deathbirdssurfclub.bandcamp.com

 

 
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The You Go Girls

The You Go Girls are a thrash punk band hailing from Richmond, VA via Danville. These girls are primed and ready to rock the pants/panties off of any crowd clad in black leather and fish-nets. Shawnis Yougo fronts YGG with a raw and heated attitude; sure to turn you on. Backed by a chorus of demons their songs have a call and response form in the hooky parts then de-rail into a rock and roll oblivion. "Teeth," their second release is out now and available online and on cassette (in our webstore and in local RVA shops). 

 

Doctor Collins

Rolling in with a new sound, Doctor Collins blends the taste of sci-fi horror B-movies with synthy psychedelic garage rock. The band is made up of four individuals united around the creative mind of Ed Miller. "Cowboys and Synthesizers", the band's latest album, was single handedly recorded by Eddie in the depths of his own basement in Richmond, Virginia. The album teeters on happy pixels and futuristic wild west love affairs, while the band's live performance is nothing short of a fully charged energetic rock and roll experience.

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R Micklos

R Micklos' "A Brighter Birth" on cassette (out now via bandcamp) is Ryan Micklos' debut full-length. Recorded in his basement, this airy synth and guitar based album is full of catchy hooks and swift left turns. It was written and recorded during his wife's pregnancy and dedicated to his first son Rune. This record explores sounds in a way that is both surprising and soothing. We're still trying to figure out who this is influenced by or sounds like but we love it! Look out for another release by Micklos in 2017. Ryan is now living in Austin, Texas and remaining a true badass. 

www.rmicklos.bandcamp.com