Released just over a decade ago, the debut full-length from Americana fiddle rockers Lexington Field featured their take on classic traditional Irish tunes like “The Wild Rover” and “Molly Malone,” as well as original songs. Subsequent recordings have continued their contemporary reimagining of Irish classics, as well as developing emerald-tinted folk-punk originals that take their sound from tin whistles and twee into full-on mosh pit madness. Known for constantly gigging, whether or not they have a current release, a new holiday single debuted last December, “Christmas at the Pub,” but they’ve since maintained a somewhat low profile, as the entire music industry awaits a plan for restarting the concert circuit. Their upcoming EP Win the Day, recorded earlier this year in Rancho San Diego at Clarity Recordings with Sean Tolley, debuts October 2. “We wanted to tap into the reality of our current lives, some past experiences, while still capturing that true fiddle rock sound,” says singer-guitarist Beau Gray. “We kept with the catchy theme throughout the record, and found a really good balance throughout all six songs.” A music video is streaming online for the first single, “Dear Sorrow.”
Jin Salamack, bassist-singer for Wanted Noise, was originally from Hawaii before relocating to San Diego and hooking up with SDSU and UCSD grads Taylor Wagner, Suri Sherman, and Caleb Atkins. The surf-skate band’s main inspiration is the vintage pop-punk sound of Blink-182 stirred up with a beach-bro vibe cut from the same tropical terrycloth as fellow locals Pepper, Unwritten Law, and Sprung Monkey. Their seven song EP Plate Lunch was released in 2017, after which the band embarked on their first tour. They just dropped a new single and lyric video for a track called “Go Get” that Salamack says was named after an inspirational phrase his high school track coach used to yell at practice, “If you want it bad enough, you need to go get,” intentionally leaving off the “it.” “I swear he knew that it would spark a song title one day,” says Salamack. “This single speaks for the youth and adults who never grew out of doing what they’re passionate about. Not giving up on your dreams by giving in to what society thinks is best for us. This song also speaks for this band. We met in college, got our degrees, but at the end of the day, we still would much rather be on stage sharing our experiences with our fans.”
20 year-old Jelani Aryeh got his start making YouTube videos of himself rapping original lyrics over instrumental tracks poached from other artists. Once he felt he’d developed a knack for lyrics, he bought a midi keyboard and began moving in more of an R&B direction, developing his vocals as a soft rock crooner inspired by meditation and yoga, but set to an urban beat. He was still a teen when his seven-track EP Suburban Destinesia (an alternative reference to San Diego’s initials SD) debuted in 2017. Last year’s Helvitica was somewhat of an autobiographical concept album, with several songs making serious online inroads across the major tastemaker sites, including “Patagonia” (which Rolling Stone wrote up for its “Song You Need To Know” column), “Union Station,” and “Decide.” Jelani Aryeh is featured in the San Diego installment of the Verizon Staycation Road Trip, a web series allowing travelers to virtually explore cities across the country, along with the artists, small businesses, and local attractions of each featured city. Aryeh is seen performing his latest single, “Stella Brown,” an indie rock anthem with over a million streams on Spotify, and Lt. Col. Brandon Newell discusses MCAS Miramar.
“We’ve missed live shows,” says Belladon, who recently taped a two-song Halfway Home session that can be viewed online. “This was filmed back when things were opening up. It was great to do our thing again, [including] a slow version of ‘Haisa’…our single ‘Shoot’ off our EP Dreading got placed on some major Spotify. We’ve had 9,800 plays so far!”
The performance of “Haisa” was taped August 2, with the members seen individually in black and white clips, keyboardist masked, the dual female vocalists in opposing locales: one indoors, rain fogging up the windows behind her, while the other stands in an open doorway, an apparent forest visible just outside her doorstep. Both harmonize beautifully as they plaintively sing “How am I staying alive, trapped in my soul, not my body?” Even the band seems momentary taken aback at the end, as one understates how “That felt nice, I’m happy with that.” Their performance of “Shoot” takes the rocking anthem into full-on jam band mode. Other locals with Halfway Home sessions available for streaming include the Petty Saints, Nicely, Quali, Wild Wild Wets, Secret Fun Club, and Weatherbox.
Dark dance duo ADULT. says that they seek to harness “the perverse aspects of the late ’70s analog dystopian post-modernism.” A similar description could also be applied to San Diego’s Planet B, featuring Justin Pearson (the Locust, Dead Cross, Deaf Club) and Luke Henshaw (Sonido de la Frontera), who say their music “lays somewhere just out of reach of genre, with aesthetics rooted in hip-hop, hardcore punk, turntablism, and ’70s-’80s horror movie scores. It is catchy, heavily percussive, and eerie all at once.” Planet B and ADULT. recently collaborated on a track called “Release Me,” which they say “encapsulates the ethos of both, allowing the duos’ similar mindsets to collide. Nicola Kuperus’s hypnotic vocals add an occult aura, mysteriously alluring and supernatural, in contrast to Pearson’s more aggressive style. Henshaw and Adam Lee Miller’s sampling, sequencing and synthesizing entangle and diverge seamlessly, providing a dance-driven soundtrack fit for an apocalypse. The track ebbs and flows, pulls, and pushes, begs to be released, and yet remains throbbing in your head long after it ends.” Planet B’s previous single, a cover of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” was released earlier this year.