When the Background Action officially formed in the fall of 2019, it was because of a prescient offer from lead singer Emilio Tognelli. He was directing and acting in a film that required backup musicians, and it seemed obvious that he should reach out to a few friends who had formed a three-piece months prior.
Singer/songwriter and multi-faceted artist Claire Cotrill, who performs under the name Clairo, leaves the crowd feeling enchanted with her delicate voice, warm stage presence and bubbly personality. With the accompaniment of her band and undeniably cool set design, the night was charmingly memorable.
The highlight of my middle school days were flipping through channels in the 900s range on Cox Cable. I would spend countless hours listening to music on the Music Choice channels. The service accompanied an endless range of genres from Rock to Soul, and with it, I was constantly immersed in new hit sounds.
The influence of Black culture on music in the past 100 years is not only obvious, but priceless. From Robert Johsnon to Bad Brains and Duke Ellington to Thundercat, Black musicians across the globe have time and time again influenced the trends and directions of music, like Coltrane’s solo on “Giant Steps” and Hendrix’s use of the dominant 7 sharp 9 chord.
The newest single from The Dune Flowers, a D.C. based project created by songwriter Tyler Drager, may at first seem like a departure from their characteristic sound. Where songs off their self-titled album rely on clean guitar tones and easy going, catchy ear-worms, “Tired of Being Nothing” employs more electronic elements and experimental production. Despite the track’s novel sound, Drager’s succinct and heartfelt songwriting style remains the same.
Death Plumes (formerly known as Rocket Vomit) have taken the opportunity over the past few months to play gigs big and small. From the concrete steps of VCU’s Commons, to DIY home venues, and more traditional settings like the Camel, the three-piece have managed to make a name for themselves with their fervently abrasive punk sound that blends the traditional bluntness of the genre with a refreshingly heartfelt sensibility.
Philly shoegazers Nothing tore up Richmond Music Hall on Tuesday, December 7th. Highlights of the show included a guitar- specifically a newer-model Fender Jazzmaster- being thrown into the audience, cheesy dad jokes while frontman Dominic Palermo fixed his pedals, and yours truly getting right up in the band members’ faces for pictures.
Giving artists their flowers while they can still smell them
Over the past semester, pop-up shows around campus have served to showcase the diverse range of talent, originality, and passion that exists in Richmond’s music scene. If you haven’t been to any of these shows, you’ve almost certainly seen their promotional posters taped to lamp posts, hanging on bulletin boards, or posted to social media. They have all been completely free, accessible, and have provided a space for artists to share their music in a welcoming environment that fosters creativity and individuality.
The Driver Era knows how to dazzle the crowd with their electrifying energy. The Driver Era, genre–fluid, band leaves the night *feeling confident* on their 12th day of tour at The NorVA. Their fifth time being back at this venue and they are as energetically inspiring as ever.
British alternative rock band Wolf Alice left a night to remember with their sonically powerful arrangements and high energy as performers.
Wolf Alice recently released Blue Weekend in the summer, four years after their second album Visions of a Life entered the music world in 2017. Listening from beginning to end of the new album, it really proves they carved out space to really craft their narrative within those years. Notably, they’re back with an unmatched talent with their storytelling.
Whether you’ve only caught a fleeting glimpse of their flyers, been to every show, or you’re just hearing of them now, Wallpaper is the sound on the street that no one can seem to turn away from. The band started last year at the height of quarantine and has managed to amass a dedicated fanbase, put on unique live shows, and spread their music through the streets like wildfire. I got to sit down with the band members, Andrew Milhorn, lead guitarist and singer, and drummer Jack Lwin to ask how Wallpaper has become the experience it is and what they plan to do next.