Tag Archives: French Vanilla

The Best Punk on Bandcamp: June 2019

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Bandcamp has long been a home for DIY punk and hardcore from around the world, touching all of the myriad subgenre styles and helping to translate the simple effectiveness of cut-and-paste to the digital age. For June’s edition of the best punk releases on Bandcamp, Kerry Cardoza features the artsy post-punk of French Vanilla, the wild dissonance of Kansas City’s Warm Bodies, the brutal sounds of Monterrey’s Heterofobia, and much more. Continue reading

Certified: French Vanilla’s Cathartic Dance-Punk

Certified is a series on Bandcamp where we spotlight artists whose work we think is worthy of additional attention.

When the four-piece group French Vanilla first met around 2010, the queer punk scene in Los Angeles was flourishing. Acts like Sister Mantos, Little Debbie, Xina Xurner, and Big Bugs were creating space for traditionally marginalized voices, and building a welcoming community among like-minded bands. To the members of French Vanilla, it felt like a refuge from the “bro-y surf rock” that was en vogue in the wider L.A. underground. “Being able to see amazing performers who didn’t care at all about how many people were in the audience, but were [instead] confident in their work, was very inspiring,” recalls guitarist and bassist Ali Day. In love with the energy and inclusivity of that community, Day, vocalist Sally Spitz, saxophonist and bassist Daniel Trautfield, and drummer Greg Shilton soon decided to form a band of their own.

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Disco Punk, House, Ambient and More

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Welcome to Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend crucial new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #60 – 41

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We’ll be revealing the full list, 20 albums at a time, this whole week.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are the Best Albums on Bandcamp in 2017.

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French Vanilla on the Los Angeles DIY Scene

French Vanilla

Photo by Adam Sandor Nagy.

French Vanilla are here to change your mind about Los Angeles punk. The forward-thinking, radical quartet are invite you to shake a tail to songs that make strong statements about the dominant structures of power that dominate both the mainstream and underground spheres.

Made up of vocalist Sally Spitz, guitarist Ali Day, saxophonist and bassist Daniel Trautfield, and drummer Max Albeck, and formed while Day and Spitz were students at UCLA, French Vanilla have steadily built up a fanbase with their uncompromising and thoroughly infectious music, which is just as much informed by performance art as it is by the post-punk music they set out to emulate (Day learned to play guitar specifically for the band and still doesn’t know basic chords.)

Though they didn’t plan it this way, French Vanilla are part of a new crop of LA artists making a distinct turn away from the garage and psych music that has dominated the city in recent years for music that is as much about the message as the medium. The band’s chosen subjects, ranging from global warming and feminism to the embarrassment of adolescence and patriarchal ideologies, may be challenging but their music is not, hallmarked by groove-laden, danceable rhythms, Day’s quirky guitar lines, Trautfield’s crisp saxophone blasts, and Spitz’s wailing, powerful vocals and whirling dervish live presence. Their new music video for “Evolution of a Friendship,” which we premiere here, was filmed in various  locations around Los Angeles, including famed DIY venue The Smell, perfectly encapsulates the band’s humor, visual sensibility, and connection to the LA underground music scene.

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This Week’s Seven Essential Releases

Seven Essential Releases

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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