Over the last few months of writing for Drops of Gold, I've discovered a surprising amount of phenomenal new music of so many different genres right here in the bay area that I'm starting to feel like we're in some kind of renaissance. Even as folks are fleeing the bay and venues and bars are closing, good things are still happening. I saw an amazing show with The She's at the Elbo Room recently, I get to see some of my favorite bands like Waterstrider, Assateague, Once and Future Band, and Sugar Candy Mountain on the reg. And Farallons have even been at Coyote Hearing Studio in Oakland as of late working on their debut album as well. Just recently, an amazing compilation was released featuring Oakland artists by Bandcamp City guides called "Oakland." It's got tunes by Astronauts, etc, Ash Reiter, Raashan Ahmad & headnodic, and a load of other diverse artists. It is definitely worth checking out regardless of where you're from, the vinyl will drop in June.
One of my favorite discoveries has been Trails and Ways, a 4 piece also from Oakland. Their new album, Pathology, drops June 2 on Barsuk Records, and everything I've heard from them so far is great. They're another one of those bands that are mining a variety of contemporary sounds and mixing it with the classic forms they grew up loving. It's floaty and groovy, and on their latest track, Say You Will, they are reminding me a little of the great J-pop band that ruled in the 90s, Pizzicato Five.
In even better news, Trails and Ways will be touring the US on their new album in June and they are taking Waterstrider with them! I will definitely be catching that show at The Independent on June 5. Tour dates are here.
And now, as I am writing this, Waterstrider has released another amazing track today as well called Frayed. One that isn't even on their latest album, Nowhere Now, which is also amazing. I think I've used the word amazing too much.
Anyhow, this track will be featured on another soon to be released compilation of 13 local bands. It will be the debut release, in fact, by the great Oakland record label, OIM Records. I for one could not be more pleased with the way all this innovative music continues to be created and supported in my hometown. Hang in there folks, I know change is here, but things will get better.