Everyone knows that Malmo is a hotbed of musical activity for the masses, and let’s just add Julia Rakel to that list. She’s just released the single below, which shows her crafting this unassuming bedroom pop. It moves in slow over sampled beats, letting Rakel’s voice shine early on before it brings in light percussion that adds a touch of rhythm to the track. The song itself has Julia using the line “Please Don’t Fall In Love With Me,” to drive home the song’s thematic element, with Rakel calling it a ‘a sad one, with happy wrappings.” Look for a debut EP in March via Rama Lama Records.
Don’t you want to find a song that feels familiar almost immediately? If so, then perhaps you should spin this Dark Tea tune right away. It’s a seemingly simple ditty, with quick strumming and a feathery melody letting you sort of float about in midair. Of course, there’s some string flourishes and a nice little distorted jam in the middle, flexing the song’s muscles as it carries on; I guess it sort of reminds of the poppier stuff the Dead pushed out in that sort of friendly campfire fashion. The self-titled album is out March 22nd via Fire Talk Records.
It’s been a few years since Lady Lamb has popped up on our radar, but today comes news that she’ll be releasing her 3rd full length, Even in the Tremor. Through the first minute of the song, there’s little more than Aly’s voice and this pulse/beat, letting her voice and lyrics do the work. But, as we saw with After, her song’s grow with power and that emphatic burst at the 1 minute mark as the song continues to develop. I love how the song sort of dips and dives, recedes beneath itself then jumps back through your speakers; it gives off the aura of a live performance, which is something at which to marvel. Even in the Tremor is out April 5th via Ba Da Bing, with a nice little tour to coincide with the release.
We’ve been raving over Fanclub since there was a Fanclub. And now, we want you to turn your attention to the band’s new All the Same EP, which is streaming on the Interwebs today. It contains the huge hits “Leaves” and “Strangers,” as well as bringing in a few new songs we hadn’t heard…at least in the recorded fashion. For a pigeonhole, imagine if Pains of Being Pure at Heart peeled back the distortion, added a little more danceable stomp and then traded Kip for Leslie. Those new songs are definitely destined to be as popular as the preceding singles; I love the dreamy quality that “Swear” offers up. You can head HERE to grab the latest release from Fanclub.
I know everyone’s hooked on that G. Nash single from Friday, but something else that dropped last week via Forged Artifacts is a little bit Texas, so let’s turn our attention towards Get a Life. This whole record reminds me of what we might have got if Jason Lytle kept leaving Grandaddy in a more pop oriented direction. It employs the same usage of layering notes, while still creating this hook that pulls in the listener. Chase deMaster has this calm voice that rides the melody of the track from start to finish; it’s really one of the keys to the success of the song. Our Band Could be Your Life or Debt drops February 7th via Forged Artifacts/Artificial Heart.
We all had hints that a new Chris Cohen record was on the horizon, and I’m just grateful that it’s closer on the horizon than I expected. I’ve been infatuated with Chris since Overgrown Path (2012), and this new single strikes a similar chord. Chris writes with such simplicity, or seemingly so, that you end up being caught up in the song’s emotional pull rather than focus on the instrumentation. We have that here, though the melodies Cohen pulls from his voice are so sublime that they pull you in like tractor beams. The next album is self-titled and it will be released by Chris’ longtime label Captured Tracks on March 29th.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten to know Dan Francia’s new Come Back to Life album pretty well; I’ve written about several of the tracks on the site, hoping you’d take a listen. Well, even better is we reached to Dan with a few questions and he kindly took the time to respond. Plus! You can stream the entirety of Come Back to Life below. Read more
Way back in September I urged everyone to keep an eye on Durand Jones and the Indications as they swept into Austin for ACL. I followed that up by supporting the next single, and now here I am, sharing the album’s opening track. I actually spent yesterday afternoon with my daughter spinning around the living room listening to this tune; it has this natural vibe that makes you want to move your body. It features this bounding piano, with horns that add this subtle melody and the soloing guitar gives just a bit of a punch to the track. But, that doesn’t even go in to consider the message from Durand, which seems to paint a bleak picture of America as it stands. Look for American Love Call on March 1st via Dead Oceans/Colemine Records.
We started off this year focusing on small labels and their side hustles, and one such label was Citrus City, so I wanted to revisit the label and their most recent release, Heater by True Blossom. It’s a pop album from start to finish, but one that avoids stereotypical genres. There’s the slinky synth pop of “Me and U,” moving right towards the melancholia of “Grave Robbers,” and trucking forward to the disco-flavored “Heater.” It’s a wondrous adventure from start to finish, and a must listen for those willing to flex their pop muscles. It’s available right now fro Citrus City, but only a few physical copies remain, so you better hurry!
While moving from Austin to Chapel Hill, John Waldo Wittenmeyer had to find a new creative outlet, despite the recent success of his band TOMA. He wanted to explore the same thematic references, with music’s evolution as a sign of personal and spiritual growth, and that led to Table Tennis Dreamer. Below we’ve got the first single from the new project; it’s build more electronically than previous stuff we’ve heard from Wittenmeyer, but you can hear the ebbs and flows of his own recent travels from within the confines of the song; I love how there are layers upon layers of vocals, main and backing, almost creating this wall of melody that surrounds the listener. Keep an eye out for new music, as Randall, Vol. 1 is on the horizon.