While the modern era of psychedelia has gotten a bit bogged down with a dime-a-dozen cliched acts, it’s good to see a band like Leather Girls making it entirely their own. The video definitely wears the psych aesthetic, as do the guitars as they work and shuffle atop each other. But, what draws me into the band’s music is their penchant to make it a wee bit grittier, a wee bit more rock n’ roll. Putting this song on you’ll push yourself into territory where you picture yourself frantically spinning and stomping your feet, spinning about uncontrollably as joy overwhelms you. The band are releasing their self-titled album on June 2nd via Yippee Ki Yay Records.
Looks like today’s special is guitar pop, and Kidsmoke are sure to be one of your quick favorites for the day. It doesn’t take long for the song’s vocals to enter the picture, and sweep you away as the guitars dreamily dangle in the distance; it’s almost dreamy, but there’s so much clarity in the recording that you’ll find it hard not to see it as straight-ahead pop music. It kinds of reminds me of our friends in Austin, Shivery Shakes, pulling in some of that sunny West Coast vibes from the guitar lines, while still focusing on the cooling of the vocal display. The band will drop their new EP next month, but for now, just another gem to get your day headed in the right direction.
Kane Strang was high up on my list of must-see artists at SXSW this year, and I was fortunate enough to catch him a couple of times. He has this ability to take the modern indie stylings of Oceanic pop and combine them with really infectious hooks; I heard a lot of nods to early Weezer in his performance. That being said, this song holds steady during the verses, offering a slight energy pick up, which quickly turns into an airy pop dosage that fades with the closing of the song. I promise you that his new album, Two Hearts and No Brain, will be something to make your musical world a better place; it hits on June 30th via Dead Oceans.
I’ve long followed I Was a King, and they’ve been fortunate to work with some great folks, but they’ve upped the ante by forming the No Ones, which includes two members of the band, as well as Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (REM and the Minus 5, respectively). Together, they’ve recorded a beautiful look into the best pop music has to offer. There’s a familiarity to Frode’s voice; it’s been a constant in my listening rotation since I first came upon IWaK. In under two minutes, you’ll find beautifully textured harmonies that hold a natural sparkle, and the only bummer is that it will leave you thirsting for more. You’ll have to wait until June 23rd to hear the whole Sun Station EP on Coastal Town Recordings…with a rumored LP to follow later in the year.
A few weeks ago news started to bubble about Agent Bla, the latest, and possibly youngest, act to bring great music out of Sweden. They recently released THIS VIDEO, which reminded me to go spend more time with their self-titled debut. Still, I’m struck by the band’s early single form the record, “(Don’t) Talk to Strangers;” it has this swirling dreaminess that adheres to my personal pop aesthetic, including powerful vocals that are sure to have you taking notice of these youngsters. Their album will be handled in the US by Kanine Records, who’ve got a pretty good resume with dreamy pop bands like Fear of Men; it hits on June 9th.
In case you didn’t catch on with last year’s Slack Capital release, we’re big fans of Austin’s Critical Dad. Just recently the band uploadedsixbrand new gems you’ll want to enjoy…especially if you’re inclined to rock. I’m personally partial to the furious off-kilter rock of “Symbiotic Relationship,” especially with it’s moment of brief respite near the 2 minute mark before wrapping up things with a ferocious attitude. This is punk rock, blended with a little bit of distortion, a lot of weird and the slightest hint at pop music…it’s all yours for the NYP option!
Imaad Wasif has just announced his third LP and with it shared a new single from said release. “Far East” is a different slice of alt rock, combining various styles like psych, shoegaze, and goth rock to combine for three and a half minutes of solid music. The vocals are high pitched, juxtaposing nicely with the growling guitars and complimenting the twee synths. This track is the first single off of Dzi, which is Wasif’s upcoming release and his first full length in six years. It seems like from this track, we can expect an expansive and experimental album– listen out for more from Imaad Wasif.
Dziwill be out June 16th via Grey Market.
Looks like today’s going to be a day for rock n’ roll, and this poppy bit of punk rock from Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs is perfect. They kick out an anthemic style akin to our local favorites Basketball Shorts, filled with huge hook-laden riffs and lyrics to scream at the top of your lungs. What separates the group from their peers, at least in this number, is the chorus, touching up the tune with just a hint of clarity. They’re releasing their self-titled debut on Burger/Dine Alone on July 28th…and it’ll probably be filled with infectious numbers that’ll stick in your head for some time.
While my love of the last few years has clearly been my fascination with the Aussie scene, the pop music of Scotland has always been near and dear to my cliched heart. Today I’d like to introduce you to True Gents, a new act to my ears that draw from a huge swell of sounds, though most notably the pop sort that you’ll hear on this tune. The opening moments are quite nice, almost with a vibe akin to Arab Strap, though much more positive; there’s some quiet strings and children playing beneath the front of the mix, so keep your ears close to the speakers. A slight pick up comes after the two minute mark, pulling in drums and amplifying the strings just a touch. Look for the band’s new release, Blood Moon, to come your way soon.
Art Is Hard Records continues their run of great hits with their 2017 Postcard Series by releasing this stellar tune from The Golden Dregs. This song hits somewhere in the realm of Bill Callahan or Silver Jews, yet it definitely has its own story to tell. The deep tones of the vocals drew me in immediately, followed by impacting lines like “I wish that I was sacred/I wish that I was right.” The only thing that bums me out about this song is that there’s just one, as I could easily let my day get carried away listening to this band.