LOS ANGELES, CA- Blurred Culture are big fans of the band Cannons. In fact, we loved their sound so much, we asked them to be one of the first acts to perform at our mini-showcase in Hollywood back in June. They released with their latest EP Shadows on July 12th, but we weren’t able to celebrate the occasion with them at their July 11th gig at Bootleg Theater due to scheduling conflicts. Thankfully, they scheduled a December 11th show at the Hi Hat as part of We Found New Music’s concert series.
The first band on the bill for the evening was Velvet Starlings. Another promising, young band- really young as the band’s founder/frontman, Christian Osbourne is only 16!- Blurred Culture was also able to feature this act at our own Hollywood showcase back in August of 2018.
A lot has changed for the band (Chrisitan now plays with a new drummer and bassist), but the one thing that hasn’t changed is Christian’s rockstar charisma and the energy he brings to the stage. With tons of touring in the past year- especially overseas- you could see and hear how Christian has honed his craft. His classic rock licks are sharper, and his confidence is undeniable.
His youthful fearlessness was on full display when he jumped into the crowd shredding licks from the axe like a madman. While those in the crowd may have feared getting a guitar to the head, I could tell that Christian was fully aware of the space in which he was playing, and that kind of awareness is only attainable to experience. It’s hard to believe that someone so young can be so in tune with his music and surroundings at the same time. This kid’s got a really bright future.
The next act’s music was more in line with the featured music for the evening: the soulful, alternative R&B stylings of the recording artist known as Hux. Currently based in Nashville, TN, this performance was his first back in Los Angeles since he moved across the country to relocate.
His smooth vocal stylings notwithstanding (IMHO, a less hip-hopped out version of blackbear), I particularly enjoyed the confessional nature of his music. Though I wasn’t familiar with his music prior to seeing this performance, I felt like he was revealing a little bit about himself with each song. When I went back home and pulled up his music on streaming services, I confirmed my assumption. Hux keeps it real in his music, using his life as the subject matter and themes of his lyrics. He even mentioned prior to his performance of his newest single “black palm trees” that the song was spawned from his time and struggles in Los Angeles.
Nashville seems to be doing him good as the four singles he has up on Spotify are a solid introduction to his music and him as a person.
The co-headliner for the evening was Brooklyn, NY based indie electronic artist Mothica. After releasing her “Blue Hour” mini-documentary on Youtube a couple of months ago, she has started to release new singles which will eventually aggregate into a full album. Los Angeles was lucky to be the first stop on a short 3 show tour which also hit up New York City and Toronto.
As her mini-documentary reveals, Mothica (nee McKenzie Ellis) has been through a lot in her life, and as she states on her website:
“By telling my story, I let it go. I long to see the beauty amidst all the hurt, and the color my pain has given me is a perfect shade of blue. This is my blue hour, and I’m so grateful to share it with you.”
All of that hurt, and her journey to create something beautiful from it, has proved to be some amazingly powerful source material for her new creative works. I was especially moved by the performance of her most recent single “Hungover” (which was released on Dec 5th I believe). That chorus of “Say goodbye to the comedown, wasted nights, You only leave me hungover, over you” with its punchy bassline sounds good on the recording… but it will put tingles in your spine live. Really good songwriting right there.
So far Mothica has only released three new singles (“Love Me Better”, “Now” and “Hungover”) – four if you count “Chasing Light (Pt.2)”, but needless to say she’s still got lots more music that we have yet to hear or see. Hopefully, she’ll drop those tracks soon and come back out to Los Angeles for a few more gigs.
Cannons have perfected mood music. Are you looking for music to chill to? Are you tired of spinning your “Sade’s Greatest Hits” album and looking for a new sexy fix? You should queue up a Cannons’ playlist. Michelle Joy’s soft, lilting vocals will hypnotize you as Ryan Clapham and Paul Davis keep you entranced with their Stuart Mathewman like grooves. Guaranteed.
Over the past year, Cannons has gained a very loyal Los Angeles following as was evidenced by the packed room that stuck around after Mothica performed. Even Michelle looked a bit amazed by the turnout.
It was late in the evening, and they only played a seven-song set, but they could have easily performed another seven songs as the chants for “one more song” started as soon as they left the stage. There wouldn’t be any encores on this night, but that’s just a testament to this act’s appeal. People are willing to hang around until the house if forced to get the house DJ to start spinning tunes to indicate that the live music for the evening was done.
I would have loved to hear a few more tracks from their new EP, particularly “Love On The Ground” as I totally vibe with the opening bass line, but I supposed I’ll just have to wait for their next gig.