KYNAN, the alias of Joel Williams, is one name in a messy web of San Diego music creatives. Under the record label, Grizzly Records, Williams and his friends occupy an extensive amount of internet space with their bands and breakaway solo projects. Listening to any of these groups is almost like being transported to the West Coast. Joel’s band, D/WOLVES, sounds like sunnier extension of part-Californian part-Ohio based WHY?, full of self-conscious lyrics and futuristic sounds.

To complicate things further, KYNAN is also affiliated with Absent Fever, a “free digital release label/music collective” who champion new music online. Weirdly enough, their latest young talent is actually British, Birkwin Jersey, from Brighton. On Absent Fever records, KYNAN released four free and downloadable collections of tracks in 2011. His sound is a mix of trumpet, keys, electronics and fuzzy vocals that proffer an archetype of bedroom-pop, especially with his angsty track names such as ‘Shitty Mood’  and ‘Who Cares If The World’s Gonna Die’. Despite this, Williams’s grade of ambient surf pop is loud and uplifting, especially so on tracks such as ‘Kool Guyz’, his first single released in June last year. Despite being the younger brother of Wavves frontman Nathan Williams, Joel seems to have gone under the radar, especially in the UK. Hopefully this will be the year he finally gets his break.


Hana Teraie-Wood