The Llama Reviews: Quarantine Classics Vol. 3

There is a lot of great indie rock gems on my playlists this week. But due to circumstances WITHIN my control, I will only have two song reviews, this week. So here are two acts I discovered in 2017 that I’m excited to see return in 2020.

Ginger Root - Out of State Cameron Lew, the Prince of self-described "Aggressive Elevator Soul” has announced his fourth  album, Rikki, set for release in October 2020. If this new single - and the previously released Karoake - is an indicator for the rest of the album, then I expect tunes more fast-paced and upbeat than his 2018 LP, Mahjong Room.  Out of State is a funky bedroom pop track about an unspecific relationship becoming long distance. The track starts as a lo-fi beat with a simple piano chord progression, but blossoms into a synthesizer cuisine held together with the aforementioned drum beat and a groovy bass line. Like Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi, half off this track’s appeal is the silly visuals to match a sound that seems to come from a past era. This time, Cameron takes inspiration from classic martial arts films, training in the art of table tennis verses a mysterious ping pong ball launcher that can only be the grandmaster sent to make the story’s hero the greatest pong warrior to ever visualize his victories before battle. I won’t spoil the ending, but a secret weapon is introduced halfway through the video in the form of a wise janitor. Yes, it seemingly has nothing to do with the song’s lyrics - but man if it isn’t entertaining.  Bottom Line: A counter mood to Mlady’s single Proximity, Ginger Root delivers a long distance relationship anthem with a more upbeat vibe.  “100% of the proceeds from purchasing the song on Bandcamp will be donated to the Elijah McClain GoFundMe.” -Ginger Root -Lyricism: ★★★½ -Artwork/Visuals: ★★★ -Originality: ★★★ -Delivery/Performance: ★★★ -First Impression/Enjoyment: ★★★★★ -Staying Power: ★★★

Final Score: ★★★ Website - Bandcamp - Instagram - Youtube - Spotify - Facebook - Hoops - Fall Back 

After the successful 2017 with the release of an LP and compilation tape under Fat Possum Records, followed by great live performances - including at the Audiotree Festival, the Indiana natives were rumored to be breaking up amongst the announcement of an indefinite hiatus. Fortunately, the indie pop trio has returned, delivering their second single to their upcoming album Halo that doesn’t steer far from their previous surf rock vibes. Fall Back has slightly more polished production than previous records, but still showcases the soft tenor vocals of band founder/frontman Drew Auscherman and the always solid guitar work from Keagan Beresford. 

Bottom Line: We’re stuck inside during a global pandemic, and Hoops just wants me vibe out in this sad summer. I’m pretty sure that I could go to the apartment of any of my ex-girlfriends - or my latest lady friend - and blast this outside her window, asking her to “fall into my arms again”. My "Dank Bois" are back from the dead! -Lyricism: ★★★ -Originality: ★★★½ -Choice of Style: ★★★★★ -Delivery/Performance: ★★★★★ -First Impression/Enjoyment: ★★★★½ -Staying Power: ★★★★★ Final Score: ★★★★

Website - Bandcamp - Twitter - Instagram - Youtube - Spotify - Facebook -

Marc Avery is an aspiring songwriter and producer from Atlanta, Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College. His primary genre is trip-hop; blends of elements from funk, surf rock, chill hop, blues, synthpop, and psychedelic rock/jazz.


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