Beyond the corn and soy fields of Illinois' underbelly is the unlikely home of an intensely focused American rock band. As vicious as they are elegant, The Funs' sounds emanate from 100 year old bricks, rattling the sagging windows of an abandoned funeral home turned artist residency the duo built as their home.The Funs, also known as Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Jerome Lesicko, spent years building Rose Raft, and Alienated is the first album produced in its studio. Recorded by Dave Vettriano, the album's title refers to a feeling of disaffection from the infrastructures that domesticate creativity into monetization. It describes the band’s desire to release sounds into the world without losing its soul to a commercial grind. After more than a decade of collaboration, the psychic connection between Crane and Lesicko radiates throughout Alienated . Songs like "Instinct," "Into The Mirror" and "Forget Me Not" exist singularly in their pop hooks, but also act as puzzle pieces for Alienated as a bigger picture. Thousands of images flash through our retinas every day, but The Funs remind us to close our eyes and listen. "Don't let yourself go numb," says the band, "light your nerves and feel it all."
Florry is a brand new rock band from Philadelphia. Teenage bandleader Francie Mendoschleads her rollicking ensemble (featuring Peter Gill, Theo Woodward, Debbie and Abbie JonesHornburg) through the exuberant, yearning roller coaster tracks of Brown Bunny. There is a directnessto Mendosch's lyricism and playfulness to her song's arrangements that feels anxious andhopeful. When Mendosch says "my fingertips are glowing / but it's not enough to keep me fromblowing up" on "Please," one might believe her. Named in honor of Chloe Sevigny's characterin the film Brown Bunny, Mendosch's songs are about cultivating a sense of self acceptancein the face of social shame and bullying. Brown Bunny is full of startling nuance and diverseemotionality, from the sorrowful melancholy of "Kung Fu Girl" to the anticipatory excitement of"Kanagawa". Brown Bunny is a fully realized portrait of tying the loose ends of adolescence andventuring onwards.