Nestled in a corner of Los Angeles is Silver Lake, CA. Over the past decade or so it has become something of an artistic haven for DIY, Indie rock artists to live (because it is relatively cheap by LA standards) and isn't affected by most of the Hollywood feel of the rest of the City of Angels. Silver Lake's most famous resident was probably BECK, but others such as ELIOT SMITH and SILVERSHUN PICKUPS were prominent in the scene at different times. So with some time to kill I thought I would look up some of the up and comers from this little enclave.
SEAWOLF has all the makings of the next big thing. They have the sound that combines just enough pop sensibilities with some off kilter instrumentation (violins, accordions, etc) There sound is a little but Pete Yorn and little Arcade Fire. I actually first heard these guys as background for a local Sports Talk Show and was immediately struck by the guitar line in the song "You're a Wolf". There are also moment of hushed acoustics that allow the wounded voice of singer Alex Church to come through. A few of their songs are available here.
DAPPLED CITIES are a little more pop than Seawolf but still remain true to the anything goes aesthetic that is the Silver Lake scene. With a dash of Flaming Lips here and some The Shins thrown together, the band crafts sunny, cheery tunes with a hint of melancholy in the aftertaste.
THE ONE AM RADIO is really just one guy, so he obviously has a bit of a debt to Beck. But here the music is more dreamy folk than the kind of random collection of material that Beck throws together. Most of the music has a bit of a Postal Service feel to it, but with a greater emphasis on the guitar and less of the electronic bent. Several mp3's are available here.
DARKER MY LOVE fore sake the bedroom production that is the stock and trade of most of these artists for the shoegazer style of noise rock. They wear their influences on their collectives sleeves (RIDE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE) but surprisingly it never becomes derivative. (which is the case with so many of the fly by night shoegazer bands.) "Summer is Here" takes the above formula and adds a bit of a Beach Boys tilt to it (kinda like Jesus and Mary Chain), which makes for a very enjoyable bit of noise pop.
PETER WALKER is also front and center in the band EULOGIES. Both projects have the same quintessential Silver Lake feel (somewhere Pete Yorn is listening with a keen ear for similarities to his own music). Walker as a solo artist is a less quirky version of MARK E from the EELS, but has the same lyrical interests (namely early death). As a member of the band, he becomes a bit more adventurous (which is interesting since it usually works the other way around) and at the same time a lot poppier in his sound. Walker could be something special if he picks one personality to focus on and applies himself. But as is the case with most of these artists, I doubt he has an interest in international fame. Which is probably why, like all the other from here, it will most likely happen.