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The Broken West’s charming indie power pop made them one of my favorite LA bands, but after two full length albums on Merge Records (home to Arcade Fire and Spoon) they called it a day. When I ran into lead singer Ross Flournoy at SXSW earlier this year, he told me he was working on a solo project and was still mulling over the name and a new direction. Then, at the end of October, seemingly out for nowhere, his new band Apex Manor was on my radar.

After a bit of soul searching, Ross got a jolt of inspiration from ex-Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein, who posted a challenge on her NPR blog “Monitor Mix” for songwriters to write and record a song in a single weekend. And voila, the song “Under the Gun” was born. And the rest of become “The Year of Magical Drinking” followed soon after.

Stream and Download “Under the Gun”

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KCRW Exclusive! Stream: “Teenage Blood”

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When I popped it in the player, I was almost nervous, just hoping the catchy indie pop I loved before would still be part of this new venture. And sure enough, it was. So much so, I had trouble choosing a new song to feature, but I went with “Teenage Blood.” It’s just a burst of musical energy.

Now based in Pasadena, Flournoy is part of another local band we can be proud of. Keep an eye out for Apex Manor’s debut CD, out on January 25.

RR

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