By Dave Hughes

During last year’s drought of live music, many local bands and artists seized the opportunity to take to the recording studio. The result is an abundance of local offerings across a diverse range of genres. Here is a small sample of just some of the more recent releases you can easily find online at all major streaming platforms and online music retailers.
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Renewal (February 2021)
Timmy G

Known by many locals as the front-man to the cover group “The UnOriginals,” Walnut Creek native Timothy Patrick Garry, (Timmy G) is a man who is passionate about 2 things: music and travel. His first full length solo album, ”Renewal,” encompasses both of these passions without saying a word.
The journey across this eclectic instrumental album features an array of instruments played mostly by Timmy G. He’s joined by some very talented musicians on violin, trumpet, trombone, accordion, keyboard, Tibetan chimes, and drums. While elements from around the world appear on Renewal, most on display is his classical guitar work; specifically Latin guitar.

Last Thoughts (February 2021)
Hear in Color

In a recent interview Hear in Color described their sound as “Indie, Alternative, Shoe-gaze, Dream-pop, with hints of emo & post-rock.”
Their latest release, Last Thoughts, is a 5-song EP recorded and produced here in Concord. The tone of the EP is set by an ethereal atmosphere, made up largely by way of synthesizers, delay guitar, and other hypnotic effects. The reverb-soaked vocals by singer Faith Donithan might remind some of the 90s group Mazzy Star, while others might appreciate Donithan’s distinct texture and committed delivery. Hear in Color doesn’t stay in dreamworld throughout the album, with one song taking on a jazzier waltzy feel and a couple of other songs ratcheting up the intensity of the rock elements.

The Wee hours (April 2021)
Jubal Jake

The debut offering from Jubal Jake – the melancholy outlet for Jeremey Swayne of Benicia’s psyche-rock group Sunfellow – is a 6-song EP with some light piano and string accompaniment.
“Plagued by insomnia, as well as stress and anxiety (both personal and financial) due to the pandemic this past year, I was able to find solace and escape in periodic bursts of creativity,” explains Swayne who wrote The wee hours during the very late evening or early morning. He continues, “These songs touch on this anxious longing, the mysterious spirit world, and nostalgic ambiguity.”

Sasscrotch (May 2021)
Sabertooth Unicorn

In their 5th release this year (yes, you read that correctly) Concord’s Sabertooth Unicorn offers more strangely uplifting cynical tunes, this time in anthemic rock form.
Originally formed as a duo, Sabertooth Unicorn has taken full advantage of the group’s current 6-piece format on Sasscrotch. The fast-moving 5-song EP features typical rock band instrumentation, plus a horn section, and giant backing vocals that at times sound almost like an at-capacity stadium is singing along. As with the rest of the band’s catalog, you can expect lyrical elements of nihilism, child-like wonder/curiosity, depression, and love.

“In Decline” (April 2021)
My Evergreen Soul

Greg Fogg has been the driving force behind My Evergreen Soul for the better part of the last decade. Known as the local violin virtuoso, the Concord native is in fact a multi-instrumentalist, skilled singer-songwriter, and disciplined sound architect.
The new single, “In Decline”, is a storm of a rock song with dynamic bursts that quiet into calmer verses, carried by a hurried beat and driving Radiohead-esque guitar rhythm. New layers come with each verse. And yes, the listener is indeed treated to some of that much loved violin work by Fogg.
The release of “In Decline” is part of a GoFundMe campaign to help cover costs of professionally recording the next My Evergreen Soul album. It’s now available on all major streaming platforms and online music retailers.

“Oh Brother” (April 2021)
Box of Matches

“Oh Brother” is the most recent single from Martinez indie rock group, Box of Matches. The garage rock revival band delivers what any fan of the indie subgenre might expect: medium-paced rock drums, guitars with dry distortion, catchy melodies, and assertive vocals mixed in a semi-low-fi manner. While the overall sound is reminiscent of groups like the Strokes, the artistry of Box of Matches that’s easy to appreciate is in the subject matter of the lyrics.

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