Los Angeles has always been a destination for music makers, a place where up & coming artists relocate in an effort to make a move towards the Big Time.
Heck, even Motown has been based in LA longer than they were in Detroit!
Surely the numerous record labels headquartered here is a big reason for that, as well as the availability of other local ancillary music industries, such as music supervision.
And the stereotypic nice weather might even play into it some as well.
But it must also have something to do with the supportive and dynamic atmosphere in LA, where both the creative and commercial aspects of art are respected.
We are blessed with concert venues ranging from Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl to the Smell and the Bootleg who celebrate the diversity of musical sounds that get made in this city. (Not to mention engaged radio stations like KCRW who love to share the best of this material with its listeners!)
In recent months, the LA music scene has been invigorated by a migration of artists from Northern California.
In particular, some of the key members of San Francisco’s much-touted new-school garage rock scene, including Ty Segall and John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees fame.
(Editor’s Note: Read Dwyer’s description of the city he left behind)
But it isn’t just that sound that has traveled south.
Former Birds & Batteries frontman Mike Sempert has made the move to LA from the Bay Area and is releasing a solo album that eschews the busier, more synth-driven sounds of his previous band for a more organic take that channels some of the Laurel Canyon 70’s sounds which border on full-bore yacht rock (in the best possible way).
Take, for example, one of the album’s emotional centers, the track “Survival.”
Built around simple piano lines and Sempert’s soaring vocals & sounding like a lost Art Garfunkel gem, it presents a different facet of what makes the LA music scene so remarkable.
We look forward to hearing more of what these artists have to offer as Angelenos!
ERIC J. LAWRENCE