Every location, every situation, every scene has a “Best Kept Secret“. This past week, a friend said something to me that inspired the idea for this new feature. Each week, I’m going to showcase an extraordinary musician or band that is already doing big and amazing things with their craft. There are superstars in our very own backyard and we might not know it yet. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you in the loop, starting with the indie rock quartet Social Club.
I can still remember the day my mother gave me Coldplay’s Parachutes for Christmas.I remember squinting at the CD and thinking “Who is this?” The same could be said for Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane. Those were my first interactions with bands who would turn out to be amazing forces in the music industry. Everybody has a start, and just like the humble beginnings and initial “ah ha!” moments from those acts, San Diego has a few musicians who could inspire similar feelings of revelation. Little did I know, Parachutes was going to be a this-album-will-change-your-life kind of moment, and Songs About Jane is still a staple on my playlists to this day.
With that kind of introduction, enter So Cal rockers Social Club, the first band that I will feature in this series. When I heard their music over a year ago, I already knew that they were more than just talent. They had the kind of star power and energy that captivates you from the first listen. And in that short year, Social Club has managed to only further perfect their unique take on indie pop rock fusion, as seen on their debut album Gamma Rays. The smart rhythm sensibilities of drummer Jeff Litzman pulls the elements of the band together seamlessly; attention to detail soars through keyboardist Thea Tochihara and bassist James Spratley is right in step with the rhythm, driving the songs forward in an energy that is both listenable and danceable. (And yes, I said listenable. It’s a word and it highly applies in this case!)
Related: Sidewalk Serenades with Social Club
Add in lead vocals from John Levan, who sweetly croons in his upper register one moment while belting his heart out in the next, and you have a combination that I like to call sultry. Sultry is my absolute favorite quality in music, by the way. And Social Club is dripping with sultry goodness.
Their musicianship translates so well live that if you weren’t watching their instruments you’d swear they were playing the CD. And in this day and age, a band is only worth as much as it weighs live. Believe me, Social Club will not only command a stage, but also sound very good while doing it.
I would say I’m biased because I’ve had the chance to get to know these musicians over the past year, but I’m not the only one who sees and hears their talent. They were recently the winners of the MOFILM Texas competition, which sent them VIP style to headline an event at the South by Southwest Music Festival. But commendations aside, the music speaks for itself. Take a listen to Gamma Rays, available on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay. Plus, you can get a free download of their single, “Slow Motion” via their website.
Check out this video for their song “Loosen Up”, produced by Helium Films USA.
- Minus the Bear with the New Limb: Indie Spectacular (theindiesd.com)
- ListenSD Episode 2 featuring Social Club (listensd.com via YouTube)