Featured Artist: The Y Axes
Alexi Belchere, Devin Nelson, Darryl Kay,Aaron Larson, Jon Lanthier
There is a new and burgeoning San Francisco sound if you will. Varying degrees of garage rock with the added open air texture leaving one to imagine the spaces which these new traditional takes on Rock N’ Roll sounds were made. If you read these pages you know the music makers and albums which are described here.
Another right-on handsome not willing to stay tethered to the Earth group of lo-fi rock are on the very same scene looking to make their mark in your record collection. The Y Axes have an added bonus, keen power-pop sensibilities on their album Sunglasses & Solar Flares. Just like the title implies, the collective brings a mix of far out pop seasoned rock in nice jangly, riffy, vibrant and sensuous packages. Highlighted and often driven by vocalist Alexi Belchere charming unpolished delivery. A delivery at times reminiscent and a band that clearly has their history in 80’s era alt and guitar riff rock.
All in all ya’ll, if you’re in the mood to forget the state of the planet and wanna feel super inside yourself, check out Sunglasses & Solar Flares.
The band has a cool b-horror movie in style video for one of the 7 standout tracks on the album, the song is called Neon Street. A clip that shows the band is having a blast making music, art and downright fun. The GTC asked the seemingly shy and at a loss for words frontwoman, Alexi, about the track and concept of the video.
Neon Street’s music is the result of guitarist Devin Nelson’s attempt to write a simple pop melody. While our objectivity of the song’s simplicity is skewed by our having written it, we are vaguely aware that we have an impossible time writing straight-forward pop without something technical or rhythmically strange mixed in to keep it interesting.
When writing the lyrics for Neon Street, I tapped into the usual Fooly Cooly teenage desperation. It’s a feeling that life is a string of thousands of boring moments in between those exciting times when you’re with your friends, riding in the back of a car, staring out at the night like it is a dangerous caged animal. The usual drama, like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” I also think “Chocolate” by The 1975 captures this pretty well.
During a radio interview, the DJ asked us what Neon Street was about. This was around the time I’d finished reading “The Fountainhead,” and reading that book earns you some very odd looks in public. With Neon Street being this fight against isolation, and daylight for some reason, I thought, what could be more angsty and isolated than a Teenage Vampire who is also a Republican? Devin added that the protagonists are also from outer space. Thus, while explaining the song meaning, the video idea was born.
The video was shot in the style of an old sci-fi/horror B movie, the video follows a group of Teenage Republican Vampires from Outer Space as they drink blood from champagne flutes, play tennis with a bat, distribute political pamphlets, and terrorize one unlucky conspiracy theorist. The conspiracy theorist, played by Kyle Serpa, has struck a little too close to “the truth” for the GOP Undead, and after kidnapping the fellow and performing strange rituals to transport him to outer space, they proceed to drive him insane with a sick guitar solo. Shot and cut by Janet Song. – Alexi Belchere