Brief Candles (Milwaukee, WI)
Brief Candles, well these guys have been around for awhile (1998 to be exact) and they’ve been slowly doling out their unorthodox brand of shoegaze, indie rock, kraut, post punk, noise pop since that time. The band started in Peoria, Il when couple Jen Boniger and Kevin Dixon decided to play music together with their friend, Drew Calvetti. They recorded a long playing ep with Paul Malinowksi of Shiner and then decided to move to Milwaukee because, you know, that’s where bands go. They released their first full length “they live we sleep” on Latest Flame records in 2006 and that went over pretty well. They got quite a bit of airplay and listed on top lists etc. People seemed to especially enjoy the song they didn’t write-a cover of Space Age Love song. They dove back into life and shows as usual and 5 years later emerged with the album “fractured days” (guilt ridden pop). A little fuzzier and more produced than their previous work., the album highlighted their live power. Divided up by 3 producers. Adam Pierce (Swirlies, Mice Parade), Neil Weir, and Jeff Zeigler (uniform recordings). It just happened that way (it’s a long story). Next up their long-standing drummer longed for Peoria so they found a Milwaukee drummer they loved who called himself radish beat and who immediately moved away to Colorado. Never ones to make anything easy they decided to keep him and rehearse online. They put out the Newhouse EP (guilt ridden pop recs), played a bunch more shows and toured Italy. Finally they released “retreater”. Retreater finds the band expanding on their unique mess of a sound. Playing through the lean years of shoegaze they find themselves in a world where one would think shoegaze meant remaking loveless and souvlaki for eternity. They’re probably not going to do that. Weird how that works out.
Brilliant Beast (Minneapolis, MN)
Fronted by sibling songwriters Hannah and Jordan Porter (guitars, vocals), Brilliant Beast has been pounding out furious noise since their debut in 2013. Joined by Ronnie Lee (bass) and Eric Whalen (drums), the band blends elements of shoegaze, punk, krautrock and pop to create uniquely fuzzed-out and melodically pulsing rock and roll.
Brilliant Beast released their newest EP Jelly in summer 2017. Jelly was recorded in late 2016 at Blue Bell Knoll by Neil Weir as a follow up to the 2015 LP Dissolve. This new EP offers up five songs that further expand the band's embrace of the warm depths of lush guitars, creamy riffs, and spacious layers of vocals while still maintaining the sharper edges and sinister moods central to the band’s sound.