As a huge fan of the work that Captured Tracks has done, particularly that of Mike Sniper and Blank Dogs, I’m extremely excited for Gift Wrap. The band is the creation of Brendan Avalos of B Boys, who you know I already enjoy, but this is something quite different. This is soulful electronica. Avalos delivers this heavy vocal, deep in the heart of the mix, contrasting against the vibrant musical touches; I really love the distant vocal effect that comes in around 1:30. If you’ve been missing thoughtful electronica, or maybe even Blank Dogs, then be sure to check out Losing Count, which drops on March 2nd.
I’ve enjoyed the new Suuns material from their album Felt, which is really just one tune, but this brand new one is really something special. The song is a gradual stroll, slowly moving in step with the visual elements here; the vocals almost feel like clouds rolling over the musical element. You’ll easily find yourself captivated by the digital images that step in line with a wonky synth/keyboard element; it leaves you imbalanced in a certain way, which I think sinks you further into the track’s emotional vibe. Felt will be released on March 2nd via Secretly Canadian. They’ll also be here in Austin for Levitation.
For several years I’ve adored Alpaca Sports and their spritely indiepop, so I’m more than excited that they’ve finally got a new LP ready to go for you. In this new single, something’s wrong if the opening guitar lines don’t have you bouncing; you can take cues from the band on the proper indiepop dance steps if you need help. Of course, the band wouldn’t be so delightful if they weren’t spinning lyrics of love and infatuation, like the line “I just need you and summer days in the sun” from this tune. Their new LP From Paris with Love will be released later this year via Elefant Records.
Matt Dowling has done his due diligence in the DC indie scene, playing in the EFFECTS and Deleted Scenes. But, he’s out on his own now with his new project SWOLL; it’s an electronically driven sound that charms, at least on this, the ‘most lighthearted’ track on the record. I love how the programmed percussion builds, with the the repeated vocal of “I’m taking” aiding in that. Then the guitars drop in, the vocals rise and you’re charmed immediately. But, the joy in this track really comes when the female accompanying voice joins up with Dowling to really round out the pop sensation. A promising entry from the self-titled debut, out March 9th via Blight Records.
June Pastel is the project of Venezuelan-American Anthony Pena; he’s crafting this wondrous pop that pays homage to the various roots of the genre, though in doing so, he’s crafting a sound entirely unique. At times, this new tune feels as if it falls into the dreamy realm of bedroom pop, but at other moments it explodes into a euphoric pop number with the various layers all melding to create a natural warmth. The debut album from the project is slated for release this Summer via Native Sound.
There are bits of pieces of this new single from Snoffeltoffs where I’m completely baffled; they juxtapose various genres and styles right next to each other, and all in such quick succession that I just keep going back to press play. Opening with a deep chord being plucked and spoken vocals; seems like a striking solemnity. Suddenly, guitars shuffle beneath your feet and the band’s kicking up their feet and rocking out. The core of this song’s stuck in my head, and I think you’ll be the only one that can get it out. Look for the group’s second LP to drop later this year.
For those of you already looking towards the weekend, you might be struggling a bit to get to the finish line. What better way than to find a spirited electro jam from Gold Casio to lift your spirits and get you through the next 48 hours. Listening through this new single, there’s obviously a huge level of playfulness from the band…from the pulsing beat to the lyrics wrapping around each other. Falling synths with a natural tempo stomp; it’s okay, you can have a little fun today too! The group will be releasing their new Sinners EP on April 20th via Freakout Records.
Spent a lot of time scouring the Internet last night for some solid jams that hadn’t been talked up everywhere, which is how I landed on this stellar LP from Pere Agnes. If you’re daring enough to take the time to delve into the record, you’re going to find some incredible bedroom pop work from songwriter Noah Forslund. The album has some standout moments like “Never Felt That Way Before,” but the whole of the record allows you to just sink into your listening experience. It’s like a great adventure into slowcore where your guide is a huge indiepop fan; look for Love Comes Softly now from L&L Records.
Courtney Barnett has been teasing us all week long with a new album, and today you finally get a chance to enjoy a complete new single. I love how the track opens with her casual guitar work before she blasts into a heavier portion of the tune with her foot stomped down on that distortion pedal. Pretty sure tons of folks will be relishing this song, not to mention the deserved fawning and anticipation that comes with a Barnett album cycle. Tell Me How You Really Feel will be out on May 18th via Mom + Pop/Milk Records.
There’s a million songs a day coming to most of us, so you’ve got to dig a little deep to find some real gems. That’s how I stumbled upon French outfit Rose Mercie, who are preparing for the release of their self-title debut. Some outlets have thrown in comparisons to the Raincoats or The Shangri-Las, and all are fair, but there’s definitely a more modern twist around here. Just listen to the guitar on the track below; its angular and spirited, but presented in a casual fashion…akin to a dozen modern acts over here in the States. If you’re hoping to find some pop music on the unique side of things, then this is where you should go. Their debut is being released by SDZ Recordsand Monofonus Press on March 2nd.