We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.

Obedient Wives Club – Murder Kill Baby


Artist: Obedient Wives Club
Album: Murder Kill Baby
Released: February 2013
Free To Download?: No
Style: lo-fi surf pop, spectorgaze
For Fans Of: Dum Dum Girls, The Raveonettes

With its reverb-drenched production and dreamy, poster girl vocals, listening to Obedient Wives Club is like taking a step back in time to when diners were a-plenty and everyone’s hair was greased back. The band style themselves as “Spectorgaze” — after legendary producer Phil Spector — and their music does sound very much suited to the girl pop bands of the 60’s. Their earlier stuff is markedly lo-fi, with fuzzed out guitars and vocals that filter through as if from another room. Their latest EP takes advantage of superior production to add more layers to their sound. The doo-wop style backing vocals on ‘Murder Kill Baby’ for example, would be lost in noise in a more lo-fi setting. The lead single which shares its title with the EP is definitely the highlight of the 5 songs featured. Drawing heavily from the same sources as stuff like The Raveonettes and Dum Dum Girls with its instantly catchy melody and simplistic lyrics, the song showcases everything the band has to offer. The satirical name or sinister sounding song titles are a bit misleading considering these songs are a lot less Riot grrrl a lot more twee. ‘Requiem for a Lover’ is a typical song about lost lovers that “Will meet again when the planets align”, and ‘Thousand Tears/Broken Heart’ tugs on heartstrings with its emotive ‘aahhhhhhs’ set against soaring chords. But ignoring subject matter, these songs have that special ability to deal with gloomy themes without sounding particularly gloomy themselves. Obedient Wives Club are still pretty early on in their journey, the 3 EP’s released so far all average just under 20 minutes, which works in their favor, keeping listeners intrigued throughout the short running time. But it’ll be interesting to see how well a full debut pans out.

Choice Cuts: “Murder Kill Baby”, “Requiem for A Lover”

–Leslie Fernandez

R.L. Kelly – Life’s A Bummer


Artist: R.L. Kelly
Album: Life’s A Bummer
Released: February 2013
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Downer indie rock
For Fans Of: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Coma Cinema, Julie Doiron

While Rachel Levy’s previous work as part of Kiss Kiss Fantastic and Teen Porn has been compelling in its own right for its often outre constructions, her newest endeavor finds its strengths in its directness and simplicity. Ditching the swaths of reverb that marked her earlier work in favor of sparse guitarwork and emotive, often personal lyricism. Her cover of Alex G’s nostalgic “Change” is most evident of her sonic shift, delivering layered acoustic guitars and a soft, but distinct, murmur instead of her often hazy, long-syllable-favoring delivery of years past. The nursery rhyme-esque, organ driven “Familiar Haunt” showcases Levy in her songwriting mode, offering a thoughtful, self-deprecating chanty, the lyrics of which defy transcription. That’s really what makes this debut release, featuring 6 tracks at a slight 16 minutes, stand out amongst a legion of confessional songwriters. Levy’s lyrics are simple, but her delivery is so intensely personal that it manages to fly in the face of the simplicity, lending a gravitas far beyond the words as written on the page. Not bad for a first foray into the realm of legible lyricism.

Choice Cuts: “Life’s A Bummer,” “Change (Alex G cover)

–Colin Joyce

Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #8: Alex G, Hella Better Dancer
Bandcamping #7: Weatherbox, Mutual Benefit
Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax