R&B | Rodrick Cliche

Zero Point Energy, the latest release from keyboardist Rodrick Cliche, is everything you could want from the Four20s bandleader. It’s an expansive deluge of sounds and a collision of genres all in that unique vein listeners should expect from the man that helped create Syne. Cliche dances between future funk (“Clouds”), downtrodden soul (“Dodging Bullets”), avant-garde ambience (“Phrase”) and too many other influences to count on this 14-track LP. Despite the dense volume of tunes and tones, the songwriter says science and spirituality formed the album’s music more than other artists. Cliche studied the Pyramids, Nikolai Tesla, extraterrestrial experiences, John Hutchinson and plenty of other topics, finding free energy to be the correlating factor. “This research started changing me,” Cliche said. “I left practicing what I knew of music and replaced it with conjuring the feeling when I play.” There’s no denying Zero Point Energy is full of passion. Cliche utilizes his deep understanding of songwriting and performance while following his whims and muses to ensure it isn’t too strict or academic. Plus, a rotating lineup of Lowcountry heavy-hitters (Wolfgang Zimmerman, members of the Four20s, Charlton Singleton and others) give fresh perspectives to each of the album’s tracks. Zero Point Energy is all Rodrick and it’s anything but cliche. —Heath Ellison

POST-PUNK | Candy Coffins

Candy Coffins, a troop of Columbia-based post-punks, have a thousand-yard shoegaze on their latest EP, Somehow Misplaced, released on Spotify on April 23. From the hypnotic opener “Russian Sleep Test” to the dark and sweet pop rock closer “Double Drunk,” the band makes an approachable goth and post-rock album that pays tribute to the moodiest parts of the ’80s and early ’90s. Candy Coffins was created in 2018, announcing their formation with two singles, “Images on the Screen” and “Axis Tilt and Spin.” Somehow Misplaced largely recreates the sounds found on those early tracks, albeit with a little more of an edge. Songs like “Negative Wish” and “Again” don’t bring a groove like the earliest material, but they make up for it in raw feeling. Like a lot of those great goth and sad-boy post-punk bands of the ’80s, there’s a dry romanticism pervading every statement. Even simple lyrics like “Let’s celebrate this time/ let’s celebrate this crime,” are sung like they came from a little black book written by a disaffected poet. To hear Somehow Misplaced in all of its goth glory, head over to —Heath Ellison

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