Christmas Comes Early for Greenville Music Fans With a Wave of New Releases

  • By cvbizz
  • December 9, 2020
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Brett Barest

We normally use this space to look at what shows are awaiting us in the week ahead but, if we are going to  take a complete look at the Upstate music scene, we also have to consider recorded material from time to time. That time is now, mostly because it seems like every time I sit down at my computer or scroll through my social media feed, I am stumbling upon fresh releases from our favorite local artists. Apparently all that quarantining gave way to some creative energy, thus putting a bright silver lining on the black cloud of 2020.

First, I need to restate what I mentioned in last week’s column about Salti Ray’s release of the EP The Right Thingit is a damn good recording. Sure, the album dropped in September but it still feels fresh and relevant in my mind after they had the official album release show this past weekend at The Radio Room. The four song release captures the energy they bring to the live stage and packages it up for your listening convenience at any given moment. It is the best reflection of their live set that I have heard from them yet and I cannot wait to hear what happens when they record a full album.

Next up, Brother Oliver just dropped a three song recording of their own last week with Command Shift EP. I have been following these guys since Brother Oliver was just Andrew Oliver performing solo while his brother finished up college, but I have known all along that they were on to something special. Command Shift EP’s opening track “Who Shot the Music?” is everything we have come to expect from this psychedelic-folk ensemble and it just keeps getting better with every release.

Pauley Francisco (AKA 888Shiva) also released his album F8 last month and fans of the local hip-hop scene are in for a treat. The opening track “Holy Hell” makes me want to blare it from my car stereo with the windows down, right up until I realize I am 43 and drive a Kia. So, it is all headphones in the home office for me but, however you choose to consume it, Pauley continues to put out straight heat.

Mourning Dove threw me a curveball with their release of a four song Christmas EP, Silent Night. To be honest, I typically have no use for Christmas – or seasonal holiday music in general – beyond Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” and Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” so I did not know what I was getting into with this release. The fact is, however, that Lisa Stubbs voice is straight magical and, Christmas music or otherwise, Mourning Dove is always worth listening to.

Phat Lip also just released Bembona, which is packed full of all the Latin rock flavor we have come to expect from Kelly Jo and company over the years. I am just now giving it my first listen as I write this but this is Phat Lip at their finest and I look forward to repeated listens in the week ahead. The inclusion of the 2019 single “Coyote” is reason enough to keep this recording on repeat as I maintain that it is one of the best singles I have ever heard come out of the local music scene.

Finally, the crew at LOZ are working on a new project, Nitegazer, which just released their debut album Lampryidae. The album had been releasing one track a week through November but now can be heard as a whole package on all streaming platforms. Give the full album a listen and look for their live debut next Friday (12/18) at Gottrocks with the Black River Rebels.


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