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Makin Waves Record of the Week:
"Beach Karma" by Sonic Blume


originally published: 08/15/2018

Makin Waves Record of the Week: "Beach Karma" by Sonic Blume

The young Jersey Shore dream-pop, shoe-gaze band Sonic Blume’s have released their sophomore EP, “Beach Karma,” on Asbury Park-based MOTO Records before their 18th birthdays! It features five songs and four interludes that recall the grand old Brit sounds of alt-rock pioneers The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode and Joy Division. PHOTO BY JAMES WALTSAK

If you haven’t heard Jersey Shore-based Sonic Blume yet, you’re going to love the young dream-pop outfit if you’re a fan of 1980s alternative-rock pioneers The Smiths, Joy Division, Depeche Mode and The Cure. At times, they emulate that great and greatly unsung style of music complete with a faux British accent.

Their latest on Asbury Park’s MOTO Records, “Beach Karma,” a nine-track follow-up to last year’s five-song self-titled debut EP, features another five songs, as well as four interludes, all entitled “Door” and numbered 1 to 4. The interludes mainly focus on the effects of 17-year-old synth player Max Connery, who also handles lead vocal and some guitar duties, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

“Beach Karma” opens with an alternative dance beat ala Depeche Mode but devolves into a wonderful dichotomy that features a lush, sweltering atmospheric wash of keyboards juxtaposed with choppy rhythms into a dissonant guitar squall. A staccato beat and guitar jangle throughout is reminiscent of The Cure.

After the quirky, hypnotic pulse of “Door #1,” Andrew Phelan’s jumping baseline and Chase Landgrebe’s cascading guitar bounce on “Sunflower Bean” also recall The Cure, particular “Just Like Heaven.” Both players, as well as drummer Danny Murray, also are only 17. All four, who met at Count Basie Theatre's Rockit Academy, defy their age musically and composing-wise and are aided greatly by the rich production chops of Erik Kase Romero (The Front Bottoms, Deal Casino) via Lakehouse Recording Studios. The studio is related to MOTO, a division of the artist program at Lakehouse Music Academy.   

“Door #2,” a simple piano-driven water-like interlude that quotes FDR’s “Nothing to Fear” speech, segues into “Palms.” If the melancholy of The Smiths and Joy Division was the ice crushed in a shoe-gaze/dream-pop blender, you would have the music smoothie that is “Palms.”

An acoustic guitar and night sounds, such as crickets, are added to the synths of “Door #3.” That leads to a cacophony of effects from Connery and Landgrebe mashed up against the punk-style drums of Danny Murray on “All Things You Say.”

The final interlude is the only one with vocals, which hauntingly match an eerie synth, like Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom of Hogwarts.

Like they did with “Going Home” on their debut EP, Sonic Blume close “Beach Karma” with an epic dreamy jam, “In the Sun.” Recently crafted into a video that will be released soon, the standout track features the same hypnotic, pulsing tone as “Door #2,” but with a different melody and rhythm. The jam is kind of like a fifth interlude that will please the shoe-gaze and dream-pop fan, while turning older fans of such bands as Modern English onto those styles.

Sonic Blume will open for popular Asbury two-piece Brick + Mortar on Aug. 22 at Hemingway’s in Seaside Heights. They’ll also play Aug 26, The Downtown, Red Bank, with Skyeline; Sept. 2, Chubby Pickle, Atlantic Highlands, with Cranston Dean; Sept. 3, with The Shoobies and Mandala, and Oct. 19, with Covey and I/O, both at The Saint; Sept. 20, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Sept. 22, Asbury Lanes, for Tor Miller’s album release, and Nov. 16 at Asbury Park Yacht Club for the Second Annual Makin Waves Hunger Benefit for Food for Thought with The Cold Seas and Wetbrain.





 

Bob Makin is the reporter for www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at makinwaves64@yahoo.com. And like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.







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Alabama Brings 50th Anniversary Tour To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Country music Hall of Famers, Alabama, are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a tour stopping at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on Saturday, January 19 at 8:00pm.  
Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer
(NEWARK, NJ) -- On Wednesday, October 10th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Rutgers-Newark hosts a Jazz Research Roundtable Presentation: Celebration of the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Art Farmer - A View into his 50 year Career in Jazz.  The presentation will take place in the Dana Room of the John Cotton Dana Library 4th Floor.  Admission is free.
State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.


An Experience to Remember: Choir! Choir! Choir! LIVE! at Ocean County College
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Canadian musical duo that travels the world conducting live concert events where audience members learn original arrangements of pop music hits, practice them, and perform them live on the internet for the world to enjoy!
From the Ballpark to the Concert Stage: Bernie Williams LIVE! at The Grunin Center
Fans of sports and music are lining up outside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Saturday, September 8, 2018 for a concert by four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist/composer Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band!
“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.










Event calendar
Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018


MUSIC

Cafe Tacvba with special guest Ruen Brothers – Niu Gueis Tour 2018 @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Gonzo Conference" @ Donald G. Drapkin Studio at Lewis Arts complex, Princeton - 8:00pm

Joan Baez @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Record Club: Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


KIDS

West End Festival of the Arts- Children's Storytelling @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 4:00pm

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