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Rig Rundown: Hermanos Gutiérrez

Witness how this Ecuadorian-via-Switzerland duo evokes everything that’s beautiful and bleak from the desert, using hollowbodies, a serendipitous Strymon, and rhythmic hypnosis to paint an Ennio Morricone soundscape.

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On his solo work, Fertita channels the inspiration he gets from his various projects, from Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age, of which he’s a member, to projects with artists such as Karen O and Iggy Pop.

Photo by Andreas Neumann

With the encouragement of his pal Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and Dead Weather multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita pulls together a decade of material for the psych-pop extravaganza Tropical Gothclub.

For multi-instrumentalist and A-list side musician Dean Fertita, a sophomore solo release has been a long time coming. The anticipated Tropical Gothclub, released in late 2022, is his first record since his 2009 debut, Hello=Fire. Fertita can’t help but nod to the lapse of time between then and now. “The song ‘Double Blind,’ I wrote that for my daughter before her first birthday,” he says about the album’s dreamy, Flaming Lips-like second single. “She just turned 11, and that’s the oldest song of the bunch.”

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Photo by Claire Marie Vogel

The breakout songwriter-guitarist revels in her truest self on Revealer, staying playful and curious through experimental tunings, a rubber-bridge guitar, and other tone toys, while keeping the essence of the song paramount—a treasured approach she gleaned from the influence of Joni Mitchell.

For Madison Cunningham, the greater good of the song always comes first. But while the song itself is always king for the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/guitarist, her tunes are rendered with striking features that can’t help but draw the ear deeper. Whether you’re snared by her poetry, her beautiful voice, her wonderful sense of melody and composition, or her dexterous and often unexpected guitar playing, Cunningham’s songs tend to contain multitudes. She is the rare breed of artist who pens earworms with the kind of depth and intrigue that musos go crazy for. It’s a magic trick that’s earned her comparisons to the legendary Joni Mitchell (who Cunningham cites as a key influence), and it’s also earned her four Grammy nominations and plenty of famous fans as a songwriter’s songwriter.

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