Sneaks, Automatic, Red Channel, Automatic

With little more than a bass, drum machine, and deadpan vocals, Sneaks, a.k.a. Eva Moolchan, makes minimalist music that takes up space—something she herself has made a point of doing in the male-heavy Washington, D.C., DIY punk scene that has been her home. Moolchan’s compelling songwriting, along with the fervid energy of her shows, prompted breakout D.C. label Sister Polygon to release her 2015 debut Gymnastics, which Merge reissued in September 2016.

It’s a Myth builds on Sneaks’ playfully stark approach to post-punk, which, as her hometown City Paper described it, causes listeners to go “from curious to provoked to hungry.” Hungry, in part, because the new album clocks in at just 18 minutes of ten taut, captivating tracks (but still a feast compared to Gymnastics’ 14 minutes). It also adds Jonah Takagi and Ex Hex/Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, who recorded the album at Timony’s D.C. studio. “She’s got art in her brain,” Timony has said of Moolchan. “Her brain is making beautiful stuff.”

Automatic

Formed in late 2017, Automatic is a promising band to watch in Los Angeles’ oversaturated scene. Bored with guitar music and traditional song structures, the post-punk trio comprised of Izzy Glaudini (synth/vocals), Halle Saxon Gaines (bass/vocals) and Lola Dompe (drums/vocals) has set off on their own unique path, marrying the avant-garde synth experimentation of Suicide with the driving motorik rhythms of Neu! And Can. Their debut EP, recorded by Richard James and Joo-Joo Ashworth (Froth), quickly made the rounds through LA’s underground, showcasing a Broadcast-inspired pop sensibility as a counterpoint to their aggressive synth-punk approach. In just a few short months, the band has garnered the attention of some of Southern California’s major players, earning them support slots for the likes of Poptone (ex-Bauhaus/Love and Rockets/Tones on Tail) and Surfbort.

Red Channel

Red Channel is a Los Angeles-based band featuring Melody (vocals, synth), Casey (vocals, synth), Bill (bass), Scott (guitar) and Marcus (drums), formed in early 2017. Driven by an urgent interplay of dueling synthesizers and compact, angular drum patterns, their sound combines a post-punk sensibility with Go-Gos-esque harmonies that alternate between serene and severe.

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