On Monday (April 18), The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts presents new works by this year’s graduating class with Soundstream 2016. The concert event, now in its third year, takes place at the legendary West Hollywood music venue The Troubadour. Ten bands, ensembles and performers bring a night of forward-thinking and genre-defying music.
Experimental art rock band Ackland‘s acoustic instruments, haunting vocals and live electronic effects is inspired by Björk, Feist and St. Vincent. Ackland is led by vocalist and songwriter Molly Pease, with Sarah Fylak on violin and vocals, Luc Kleiner on piano and vocals, Caleb Veazey on guitar, Ben Levinson on bass and Nick Hon on drums.
Vocalist and harpist Nailah Middleton and bassist Alex Hamberger are Bashful Creature, serving up equal measures of jazz, synth pop and folk-inspired melodies. Their debut album, out this summer, intertwines introspective lyricism with colorful textures and harmony.
Above: Listen to Yvette Cornelia’s ‘Open it Up.’
Electro-acoustic experimental folk act Ben & Kat is soprano Kathryn Shuman and bassist Ben Finley, fresh from a recording of their haunting adaptation of Samuel Barber’s Sure on this Shining Night at Capitol Records. They will be sharing their latest explorations into an array of electronic, acoustic and improvised creative music.
Yvette Cornelia’s nine-person ensemble features female vocal harmonies, folky strings and clarinet against traditional jazz or rock instrumentation. The band started playing as part of a surrealist storytelling show, and in that spirit, the music’s lyrical themes explore the mysteries of nature. Yvette Cornelia is Yvette Holzwarth, Shuman, Elsa Lund, Rachel Iba, Patrick Behnke, Daniel Gonzalez, Finley, Veazey and Hon.
Schuman and Chuck Gloria make a unique blend of experimental alternative folk under the name Gardenbird Thunderclub. They are currently developing an EP and are expanding their instrumentation.
Above: Listen to Justin Jackson’s ‘Voodoo.’
RnB, neo-soul and hip-hop artist Justin Jackson fuses the line between vulnerable and brave as his vocal melodies cascade over soulful yet jazzy chords.
Abby Lyons is a singer-songwriter from Chicago who writes songs in a folk/pop style. Her music creates a world of positivity, honesty and cleverness. The band features Lyons on piano and vocals, JP Yépez on lead guitar, Giancarlo Aruz on bass guitar, Michael Ohlinger on drums, Iba on violin, Henry Webster on violin and viola, Luigi Polcari on cello and Zach Onett on small piano-like instruments.
Known for its unique sound and style, Maryama Band, founded by award-winning performer-composer Maryam Mirbagheri (Maryama), showcases a fusion of soul, jazz and rock, mixed with Persian and Middle Eastern sounds. The band currently features Mirbagheri on guitar, vocals and sehtar, Julian Karahalios on bass guitar, Marcelo Bucater on drums, Ohlinger on world percussion, Maleke Clemmons on piano and Lyons and Lund on backing vocals. Their debut album Where the Mermaids comes out late this year.
Above: Listen to Abby Lyons’ ‘It’s So Easy to Fall in Love.’
Violinist Webster, guitarist Aidan Gould and percussionist Kyle McCarthy make up Tunefolder. The experimental electronic trio makes ambient and dance music accompanied by interactive visuals.
Wistappear is a Southern-Californian indie rock project by Ian Lipson and collaborators Evan Jiroudek, Dylan Rodrigue and Marcus Högsta. Their upcoming album Knack for Whatever, produced by Drew Vandenberg of the band Of Montreal, Toro y Moi and Kishi Bashi, comes out this year.
CalArts Soundstream 2016 is free, but RSVPs are encouraged.