We were more than thrilled to help Gabe Hascall, formerly of the Impossibles/Slowreader, get his last solo record Thousands of Thorns out there into the world. But, since its Bandcamp Friday and all, we figured we’d announce we’re doing another great record with Gabe, titled Realize What’s Real. The record is dropping in May, but we wanted to give everyone a heads up and share the first great single for you…in case you wanted to grab it before your friends! Artwork is done by Austin’s Antonio Bond, and as always, is really special. Press play and enjoy!
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Thanks for having us ATH. Its a real honour to be allowed to take over the hall for a day! Our home – in rural Kent, England – is a
We’re back with another fresh tune from the forthcoming Phantom Handshakes LP, No More Summer Songs. As I listen through this, I have a feeling that the band are sort of at the pinnacle of dream pop; they’re utilizing these crisp guitar notes, faintly fading into the dreamscape. The drum work is steady, almost like a metronome keeping the time so everything can swirl melodically around it. Federica Tessano’s voice has the perfect tonal quality to seep into your skin; just let your body absorb those melodic notes and cool your soul. Not quite sure this genre gets much better than this! No More Summer Songs drops on April 30th via Z Tapes.
Sixteen years later, and I knew I was waiting for this exact tune from the Deathray Davies! A few seconds of toying with me, then it drops right into this huge wall of pounding power-pop, pumping out these catchy riffs and tasty little melodic treats. I won’t lie, this reminds me of all the late 90s college rock, the catchy sort that somehow made it onto normal radio stations that Suburban kids like myself could record and put on mixtapes for their friends. It’s that brand of pop rock where you think you’re too cool for it, but then you decide, nah, I’m going to crank that shit up and rock out. Their new LP, Time Well Wasted, is out this April.
You ever listen to some sort of exuberant indie rock, like early Broken Social Scene or even the Flaming Lips; its over the top emotionally, almost beating you down with layer after layer of hooks. Well, Tearjerker do the exact same thing, except, they’re doing it in a different fashion, retreating back to the quiet corners of their songwriting, begging you to follow as they move in and out of these joyous passages. You’re not going to find something loud and boisterous, but the emotion pull still lives inside their work; you’ve got to peel away the layers, dig beneath the surface, and there, waiting for you, is that little nibble of happiness you’ve been seeking. You’ll find this tune on the band’s Deep End EP, out March 19th.
While I get that few people on this side of the pond have probably heard of Mope City, I kind of wish that would change, mostly so I could talk to someone who loved the band’s work as much as I do. At times, I feel like I’m listening in on some private late night whispering between Matthew and Amaya, but at other times, I’m taken aback by the barrage of feelings their work creates. Every time I look for pigeonholing, I can only come with references to the likes of Low, Lift to Experience or Bedhead/New Year…but maybe with like this quieted charm you might have picked up on a Moldy Peaches record. There’s really nothing like this Aussie outfit; look for Within the Walls on April 30th via Tenth Court.
None of This Makes Me Worry was a great introduction to Sweden’s Melby, but the pandemic has allowed the group to sort of rearrange their approach in crafting songs, turning practice pieces they would normally tour behind into concrete songs. Listening to “Somewhere New,” it seems like the group’s focus has never been sharper, but their willingness to sort of let songs meander on their own time also has become more apparent. This song begins in a very modern indie rock vein, with Matilda’s voice dominating the early part of the performance, particularly the way she toys with syllables. But, somewhere along this musical journey the group really begins to just let go, really let their song take on a life of its own, riding into this sort of psychedelic proto pop, both energetic and sonically explorative. I’ll keep an eye on the band’s label, Rama Lama to be sure you’re up to date with the group, as they’re on to something exciting here.
Kevin Hairs is a true artists, not only writing songs, but also creating the own album art for each release, as well as other artistic endeavors. Today, lets rejoice that there’s a new collection of Hairs tunes titled Dad of the Universe; it’s the perfect musical gift for pop fans, with the majority of the tracks just barely stretching beyond the 1 minute mark this round. It’s almost as if the songwriting process was like chewing shitty bubblegum. Get all that sweetness that you can out of each song, then move onto the next piece, and do it all over again. “Dad of the Universe” is a spectacular song, twisting these great guitar chords and light jangling around Kevin’s vocals; I love how the mix has those two elements sharing the limelight. “The Who Heard the Who” has this heavier guitar feel that I’m totally digging on too, kind of sliding down the scales in this continuous musical free fall. If you like your pop guaranteed, spend some times with Dad of the Universe.
It doesn’t seem like Summer of the Mosquito was released almost 2 years ago! Alas, Mark Monnone, formerly of the Lucksmiths, is at it again with a brand new 7″ under his Monnone Alone moniker, and hinting at an LP later in the year! Feuding guitar sounds open the tune, one bringing in fuzzy edges and the other a light-hearted beach stomp, giving off this sort of bewildering pop sensibility. And, while I love the steadfast pop quality, I think the true winner here is Mark’s vocal performance; he doesn’t seem to miss a note, almost as if he’s singing at some beachside lounge resort, making all the kids scream and swing about as they spill their Mai-Tais in the sand. You want to take a bite out of some truly great pop music? Then give this one about 12-13 spins; I know I certainly have. Like the Beach Boys, but honestly, better. The 7″ is out at the end of March via Lost and Lonesome/Emotional Response/Meritorio/Royal Mint. Here I go skipping down the hallways of our school screaming and bouncing “I’m going to lose my mind!”
I first got into Belinda May last year when they shared a tune via Fastcut Records, but this is the latest single from the Japanese outfit, paying homage to My Little Lover. It’s got all those crisp jangling guitar notes that make me swoon, plus it packs this huge hook-laden punch by using dual vocals to harmonize throughout the song. You could maybe drop in some heavier guitars and have a beautiful shoegaze sound, but as always, this bunch prefer to keep things wholly in the pop realm, letting melody and dreaminess lull you into sedation. Enjoy this one!
After dropping Alone at Last to critical acclaim, I’m pleased to let you know that Tasha isn’t resting, instead choosing to drop this devastating new tune in your lap. The first 2 minutes of this song just wash over you, go straight to every little emotional firing synapse; I love the light wash of water in the song’s distance here too. Then you cross that 2 minute mark and the song erupts, with Tasha belting out her voice as heavy strings raise the bar altogether. I mean, shit, how do you listen to this song and not feel moved? And that’s not even touching on the lyrical content, which is highly relatable. The single’s available everywhere tomorrow via Father Daughter.