Release Roundup: 5 New Tracks from Local Artists

Here are the newest releases from Southern California’s best up-and-coming indie bands

Making your way around the local music scene is a no-brainer for emerging artists—where better to start than your own community? Lucky for us, Southern California is home to a host of talented artists whose music ranges anywhere from garage rock to hip hop.

Here’s a collection of the freshest releases from some of SoCal’s finest indie bands and solo acts on the come-up.

“Someone Like U” – Pity Party (Girls Club)

Pity Party (Girls Club) is one of the biggest names in the Inland Empire scene, having worked their way through the backyard show circuit over the past few years. They’ve booked gigs from Illinois to Texas and serenaded crowds of thousands at Tropicalia last November. It’s no surprise that their first single of the year has a uniquely refined sound that you don’t get to hear too much in the local scene. “Someone Like U” is a classic lazy day song fitting for doing your homework just as much as it is for late night drives. Running just below two minutes, “Someone Like U” is just long enough to put you in a trance longing for impending beach days and summer bonfires.

“Catatonia” – Hexed

“Catatonia” is a stand-out gem from Hexed’s newest album “Necronomicon,” which was just released on Dec. 31. Combining velvety vocals with melancholic guitar riffs, this track is four and a half minutes of pure major seven chord heaven. Just as smooth and tender as it is raw, “Catatonia” could just be the hit to launch the Pomona-based psychedelic punk band out of the Inland Empire. It’s surf rock without being too sunshine-y, and psychedelic while remaining catchy.

“Sleep On Us” – The Raven Agent

Pulled from The Raven Agent’s latest album, “Walty,” “Sleep On Us” is a slick, neo-soul throwback to ‘90s rap and early R&B. The Raven Agent is the solo artist alias of Walty from the emerging LA rap collective Negro Galacticus. His phrasing on “Sleep On Us” pays homage to rap world revolutionaries like A Tribe Called Quest and Skee-Lo while the jazzy back beat sounds like it’s straight out of an Anita Baker song. This track may be influenced by East Coast sound, but The Raven Agent makes it his own with goofy cadences that are reminiscent of a young Tyler, the Creator. Bringing originality back to hip-hop without taking himself too seriously, one listen and you’ll be glad you aren’t sleeping on The Raven Agent anymore.

“12pm (Garage Demo)” – Neptuna Run

Released on Spotify last month, “12pm (Garage Demo)” is a stripped-down version of the Fontana-based band Neptuna Run’s biggest track to date, “12pm.” Its muted vocals and lo-fi production quality make it the edgier, angstier and mosh pit-y-er counterpart to the original version released in 2018. Though the lyrics are indistinguishable to say the least, the star of this track is without a doubt the instrumentation. “12pm (Garage Demo) kicks off with a guitar refrain that carries through the rest of the track. The song really starts, though, once the drums come in – cue the headbanging, forget the minor injury – circle pit is a lifestyle. For fans of lo-fi rock bands like The Wavves and Teen Suicide, “12pm (Garage Demo)” is a must-listen.

“Measuring” – Sabrina Is Not In This Chat

Released as a single alongside “Clifford Street” last month, Sabrina Is Not In This Chat’s latest single is a raw cut that opens with guitarist and vocalist Olivia DeBonis decisively declaring, “I don’t do math, but I do measuring.” Hailing from Los Angeles, Sabrina Is Not In This Chat has been gathering momentum these past few months, and can be found booking gigs all across California. Echoing the spirit of the riot grrrls that preceded her, DeBonis’ vocals on “Measuring” are more of a holler than a melody. They carry us through three minutes of tireless guitar riffs that are almost at odds with each other—this is a compliment—and tempo changes that take you on a mosh pit-worthy spin. Here’s my own declaration: 2020 is the year of Sabrina Is Not In This Chat—you heard it here first.