Status: Prime targets for S.F. recruitment.

Mammatus exploits the wonders of its locale in Corralitos, which is nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains, by having a studio nestled into its homestead. The band's new acclaimed release, The Coast Explodes, delves into Northern California mainstays of stiff winds and, you know, dragons. Coastalso offers glimpses of chatty bird interludes, sci-fi folk, and paganistic rambles into the "spirit world" alongside bulky rock sludge. Having just come off a U.S. tour with revered Japanese experimental collective Acid Mothers Temple, Mammatus is poised to join Comets as the next big psychsters from Northern California.

Birds Fled From Me Status: AA but definite AAA potential.

Birds Fled From Me is the nom de MySpace for one Rachel Williams. She's releasing her debut in July, but for now she'll send you a demo if you write her a letter — just one display of the homespun charm she has toward her music. She's an unknown for now — I found her site randomly — but she still bats 1000 with her music. Williams' songs carry an innocent Renaissance Faire-meets-Bjork quality, between her choice of instrument (harpsichord, although she also uses piano and guitar) and her trilling admissions of the romance in "taking kisses." The bedroom recordings showcase Williams' operatic vocals, which are gently overlaid to keep the song structures intimate and allow her occasional whispers to be heard. Time passes slowly on these tracks, and the pace is kept by shakers or knocked about a bit by simple Casio beats. It's perfect music for a town that itself moves to a pace set by the surf, the skaters, and a natural seclusion from the big city.

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