Skyline Hotel: Sparks of Light



Skyline hotel is a indie pop/rock band from Washington, D.C. From the very first notes of this EP, there’s a magnetic pull, with polished, emotional love songs reminiscent of bands like Passion Pit, Bag Raiders, or any band topping the indie pop charts. Over the last 20 years or so, there has been a significant decline in the level of skill and care taken into crafting a hit song. Where there has been sloppy, by the numbers production that seems to be doing everything possible to seem genuinely emotional and sincere, Skyline Hotel has everything that a sleek California producer could spend years trying to manufacture. The vocals show an incredible range, the instrumentation is as timeless as every song on this EP. There’s something about good, independent pop music that keeps it from ever going out of date, or getting less interesting. I listened to every song on Sparks of Light several times, and with each repeated listen I found something new to be in awe of.

What is often considered pop music, in my opinion, should be shunned and ignored for the incredible, somewhat obscure genre that is indie pop. For every manufactured talent, masked and caught up in the vast and vacuous cesspit that tramples our collective consciousness with poorly thought out and ill conceived ideas about love, Skyline Hotel is the beating heart that will make you love pop music again.Sparks of Light is an EP that is full of the brightest subtle beauty. I’d say more, but I think it’s all in the music. That feeling, that indescribable sensation will be available January 19, 2016. Don’t miss out on this experience. In my ideal world, Skyline Hotel and East West Hwy would play a show together and make the D.C. Indie Pop scene an unstoppable, concrete force.


Listen Here:

Skyline Hotel: Sparks of Light

Interview: Owl Like Creature


On Thursday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Christopher Wallace and Andrew Pendergrast of Owl Like Creature about their project and upcoming EP release.

W: Can you tell me how long you have been playing, and when you started Owl Like Creature?

C: I started when I was 19, back in 2009, so I’ve been doing this for about 6 years. I started out recording with headphones, and just figuring out music in general. It just kind of grew.

W: Did you call yourself Owl Like Creature then?

C: I went through so many names! It was like, 21 Century Daydream, or Sailing Day… I was just going through names like crazy, but I finally decided on one.

A: It goes with the hat!

C: Yeah, I normally wear this owl hat at shows. It keeps me nice and cozy.

W: Do you have any major musical influences?

C: Yeah. I listened to a lot of Japanese bands, especially one called the Novembers; strictly their shoegaze/hardcore stuff. And then Radiohead. Who are my influences? I listened to a lot.

A: It may not be a conscious influence, but I can always hear a little bit of Eliot Smith, especially with the D tuning and finger style.

C: Yeah, Eliot Smith, definitely. And another Japanese band, Asian Kung-fu Generation. They’re really cool. They’re like the Beatles of Japan. And yeah, the Beatles too. A lot of influences.

W: So, you are working on a new EP currently. What is the name of that?

C: Actually this one is self titled. It is the EP I really want people to listen to, because after all these years of not knowing what I’m doing, I feel like this is the one that starts to define Owl Like Creature. And I got Andrew to play keyboards!

A: Yeah! When he asked me about it, I had heard him play live shows before. Then we got into recording, and he has a really cool DIY approach to recording that I super dig. So it was a lot of fun. It was a chance for me to do something a little different.

W: Can you tell me about your content, like what you write about? Especially for this project.

C: Oh man. Well, a lot of bad memories, like past bad stuff… Like ex-roommates and falling out with friends, and also personal experiences. Insomnia, depression, and all around stuff like that.

W: Do you feel like that’s a good way to release those?

C: Yeah, definitely. If I can’t feel sad then I don’t know how I can continue living, as weird as that sounds. But you need that emotion, that’s what I think. I’m not saying you need it all the time, but it helps my writing a lot.

W: So are you planning an album release show?

C: Yes, next month. It’s going to be at The Sea Lab, where Andrew’s other band, The Sea Lab- who you should totally check out, they’re amazing- basically has their headquarters.

A: It’s a DIY venue in DC that has shows pretty regularly. Actually we have a show there tomorrow with The Sea Lab.

W: Do you help run that?

A: I help, barely. The guitarist lives there, and he definitely does most of the work around the place. But we practice there, so sometimes I help with shows.

W: Are there other good local DIY spots you like to play?

A: The Bathtub Republic is a cool one, Above the Bayu is one of my favorites. There’s been a rotating set of music loving residents who have always been willing to throw shows there. It’s really cool, there have been a lot of great shows.

W: Do you feel the DC scene has been very supportive of this project, and your other musical endeavors?

A: The DC DIY scene does not get nearly enough credit. I mean, you think of a place like Philly as having a great DIY scene, but DC has it too. There is always a great turnout at DIY shows. The scene is awesome, and I encourage everyone to go out and get involved with it. That’s how we met.

C: Yeah, I moved here from Greensborough, NC and thought, I’ve got to be a part of this local music scene, so I went to a random show at The Sea Lab.

W: What are some favorite local acts that you like to see or play shows with?

C: Well definitely the Sea Lab! I can’t express that enough. I  like you guys, the Meer. And what was your old group? Wind Divine!

W: Can you tell me about the writing/recording process? Andrew, what was it like to work with Chris?

A: He had these songs totally written when I came in, so it was like, how are we going to change the texture of these songs? It was a lot of exploring different settings and figuring out what effects to use. I just got a new keyboard that I’m totally in love with, so it was a fun way to see what it could do in a different setting than my band.

W: What would you say is your favorite… Do you like performing, recording or writing?

C: I’d say it’s probably writing. Performing is fun, but I’m always stressed out. I just want to do it, and have fun with it, and have it be over. And recording is like a kick in the ass sometimes. But I have a lot of fun writing, because it’s like putting a puzzle together. Order of preference would be writing, performing, recording.

W: What are your future plans for Owl Like Creature?

C: I’ve been working on a couple of new songs. I’m trying to explore different genres. I’m really into shoegaze, and jazz. Expect to hear more weird stuff. I’d like to record another EP with more people involved… I’d love to have a full band, I just have to find the right people.



by Wanda Perkins


Interview: Owl Like Creature

Kai Orion: Pots & Pans



Kai Orion is an artist from Frederick, MD and the Washington, DC area. This is not like anything I’ve ever heard. Every song on this album has been recorded with found objects, found sounds, field recordings, and household items. That in and of itself is a great accomplishment. The amount of creativity and work that has gone into creating Pots & Pans is astounding. Kai Orion has taken the sounds from life and turned them into something beautiful.

Each Track on Pots & Pans is formed from a different part of the human experience. There are 7 tracks, which vary from household sounds, traffic sounds, to industrial sounds and much more. The idea itself astounds me. Writing music often comes from life experiences, but Kai Orion has brought that to another level. The common experiences of life, from a doorbell ringing to a dog barking, are the basis for the songs. To me this would seem to be an insurmountable task. Life can be sporadic, random and confusing. From that loud chaos, there is an order. Just as the earth rotates, as the sun fades into darkness, the sounds of the world come together and form a coherent sound.

Beyond coherent, it has become an amalgamation of our collective human experience. As I was listening, I looked forward to every new song, to hear what sounds would be in the song. To see what I would be able to recognize, and recall times in my own life where I would hear these sounds, and bring up the memories of what was happening in my life when I heard them. Pots & Pans is like nothing I could have ever even thought of, and it continues to astound me.

Kai Orion: Pots & Pans

Collar Bones: Self Titled

Collar Bones

Collar Bones is an experimental psychedelic band with a light touch of surf rock from Washington, D.C. This EP has a very light flow from the first few notes, and that’s something I really appreciate about this music. There are many bands out there doing their great experiments and trying all sorts of new ideas, forming entirely unique styles. I find that the creation of something entirely new with electronic sound has been the foundation of countless groups worldwide, and an endless stream of new innovation. Collar Bones not only innovates, but manages to blend the ambient with the structured in a way that the sound of the synth crashes into you. Waves, come from the ocean and deliver unto the sand new life, and wash away to the sea the stagnant sand. Listening to Collar Bones, for me was a very introspective experience.


Surfhorse, the second of this three track release, shows how Collar Bones can say so much without using words. The build, the way the song gains momentum and captures the mind and senses is quite captivating. It’s the kind of song that gives you room to explore your own mind. It seems over to soon. There’s a serenity to be found in the space given in this song. A peaceful place where nothing can get in. The world can be a harsh, unforgiving, and cold. Listening to Collar Bones fills me with warmth, inspiration, and a strong desire for a full length album. I am eagerly awaiting more, and highly recommend giving this a listen. It won’t even take ten minutes to get through this release, but it will seem like time has stopped. Let yourself be drawn in.

Collar Bones: Self Titled

Caustic Casanova: Breaks

breaks cover

Caustic Casanova released Breaks September 25th, 2015

Breaks is an album that has the sound of a timeless classic. Its heavy, rhythmically driven sound pays tribute to earlier doom metal and blues rock bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram, but still comes across as authentic and original. The occasional spacey, atmospheric guitar sounds balance the cutting guitar and bass unison riffs, and the drums and bass are played together with the kind of precision that comes from years of musical dialogue. It is a well rounded sound, abrasive in all the right ways.

Listening to Breaks paints pictures of an epic adventure, fighting fire breathing dragons and carrying swords across dark mountains. The vocals are mixed back, sounding like cries through a dungeon wall. The three main characters take turns in the lead, each one vital to the sound. I have to say as a bit of a minimalist, I appreciate that there is nothing extra here. Every note and every beat is necessary, even with a bit of effected guitar. It is a bold statement in the face of the DC scene, which can become so cerebral and saturated with sounds of indie and dream pop that it loses a bit of the visceral, primal energy that is essential to good rock music. Caustic Casanova brings that energy in droves with the slow-heavy  Breaks, and they do it right.

You can listen and download the album via Retro Futurist here:

Catch their next show at Guido’s in Frederick, MD on November 28th, and look for more upcoming show dates here:

by Wanda Perkins


Caustic Casanova: Breaks