What I'm Listening To: West Coast Tunes

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Balancing my Spotify Playlist Challenge and still having the time to listen to new music has been ... a challenge. Sometimes the Playlist Challenge (currently bouncing between the Hip Hop, Pop, and Decades playlists) allows me to discover music that is new to me but old to everyone else. But this week's entry is all about the new music -- we've got three artists based out of the West Coast of the U.S.: Pretty Sister, Radiation City, and Golden Daze.


Pretty Sister (né Zak Waters) had a viral hit with his cover of Ginuwine's "Pony," but now he's back with a couple of original songs of his own. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he spent two of his formative years in Toronto, and decided to write "DRIVE" from the perspective of a person has just moved to Los Angeles for the first time. His song "California Girl" is a cool, sexy response to Katy Perry's "California Gurls," complete with that same early '90s sound.


The Portland quintet Radiation City recently released their third album Synesthetica, which is full of lazy dream pop. You can stream the entire album here. I'm particularly smitten with the songs "Butter" and "Separate," which has a intercontinental (French, surf) '60s pop feel to it.


Not dissimilar to Radiation City, Golden Daze's new album (released February 19) has a '60s sound. Unlike Radiation City, which borrows from the decade, Golden Daze's self-titled debut album sounds like it was plucked straight out of 1960s Laurel Canyon. This Los Angeles-based duo (Ben Schwab and Jacob Loeb) actually hail from the Midwest, but the album is as sun-drenched and sleepy as you might expect.

Photo: Radiation City's Facebook page

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