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The Pomegranates’ latest album puts a more mature foot forward while maintaining the sound they pulled us in with, drawing on influences from the Talking Heads to Fela Kuti.
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Wheels is looking forward to this four-day weekend—it will give us plenty of time to sort through the mounds of CDs and digital downloads we’ve received recently. The last third of the year is looking up on our end, so keep sending your picks to click our way: [email protected].

ONE TO WATCH
The Pomegranates
(www.myspace.com/pomegranatesart), a Cincinnati art-pop quartet, came on the scene last year with their debut album, Everything Is Alive. This year, they wow us with their latest release, Everybody, Come Outside!, which we expect will garner similar praise. Music lovers and tastemakers jumped on board with the band early on, as did radio, music blogs and fans. The widespread support propelled the band to land opening gigs for French Kicks and Islands, and both groups were blown away by their dynamic live performances. The latest album puts a more mature foot forward while maintaining the sound they pulled us in with, drawing on influences from the Talking Heads to Fela Kuti. They’ll be on tour throughout the month of September, so check in with the band on myspace and get yourself to a gig.

ON DECK
Lee Charm
(www.myspace.com/leecharmsings; @leecharmsings): Hailing from Jersey City, Lee plans to take the music industry by storm by using his gentlemanly charm and amazing vocals. Lee has impressive vocal chops, and his live performances have been hailed as “electrifying.” The up-and-comer has shared stages with such artists as Sean Paul, Ciara and T.I., among other brand names. He’s currently working on his debut EP, Prince Charming, and will head out on a promo tour to support it. Keep an eye on this one.

BAND/ARTIST UPDATES
Saint Motel
(www.myspace.com/saintmotel) (@saintmotel): Coming off their in-studio on KROQ’s Locals Only this past Sunday, the band is set to start a residency at Spaceland, presented by KROQ and Buzzbands.la. The group will also be releasing their debut EP Sept. 8 through INgrooves. More exciting things are on the horizon for this band, so keep it locked into Wheels (and Twitter) for further updates!

BUZZIN’
Slavic Soul Party
(www.myspace.com/slavicsoulparty) (@slavicsoulparty): Barbès Records announces the new Slavic Soul Party album, Taketron, out on Sept. 22. This N.Y.-based, nine-piece “Balkan Brass Band” will be embarking on a West Coast tour that will take them from L.A. San Francisco, followed by their official hometown record release party in Brooklyn. Their sound has been described as “surf music for the 21st century,” while their Eastern European flavor recalls Balkan Beat Box and Gogol Bordello, making for a cool hybrid of sounds and emotions. Upcoming dates:

9/22 secret event on Release Day, N.Y.

9/23 The Echo, L.A.

9/24 Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz

9/25 The Elbo Room, San Francisco

10/2 Southpaw Brooklyn (official N.Y. Taketron release party), with Watcha Clan

A TICKING HITS LIST
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TIKTOK RESPONDS TO TRUMP'S BAN
The kids are not alright with Trump. (8/7a)
POP SMOKE GAINS, DABABY LEADS OUR SONG CHART
And the streams just keep on coming. (8/7a)
THE BABE & THE MULE
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BTS BRINGS IT
They're so dreamy.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
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