What’s that? You need to eat more Wheaties? No, you need to listen to more Magic Trick. And, what better way to kick off your week then getting two new songs from Tim Cohen’s other project (he’s also in some band called Fresh and Onlys). I’ve written a bunch about his work in the past, and so I don’t really need to tell you much more than that I love listening to him, especially as he’s grown as a songwriter. Below you’ll find two new songs from his forthcoming Other Man’s Blues, which comes out via Empty Cellar Records on August 26th.
Well, you had to know this was coming, and you had to know I was going to be the one to remind you about this new Teenage Fanclub tune. It just popped up yesterday, offering that classic TF sound, bringing heavy distorted guitars into a melodious zone while the vocals carry your heart home. I’ve listened to their new album Here quite a bit lately, and I think anyone remotely interested in the finer side of guitar pop will want to get their hands on it; it’s available via Merge on September 9th.
Are you looking for something that blends the pastoral with bits of psychedelia and shoegaze? Well, you’re in luck because that’s exactly the vibe this new Dead Horse One track is giving off…at least to my ears. This number opens with a wall of noise, cymbals clattering in the background, waiting for more guitar to knife its way through. Then chords bend, opening the way for the soft edged vocals to find a place to reside. Honestly, I’ve been a fan of the band for some time, but this might be my favorite piece from the group yet. Look for their new effort Season of Mist in October via Dead Bees Records.
Melbourne’s Redspencer won me over with their debut EP, so I’m stoked that they’re getting ready to release a proper full-length. They’ve been kind enough to share with us this new single, which takes on the guitar-pop of their early work, but elevates it to the next level. The hooks are still present, and coolly float out, but I think there’s some bits of Blur‘s casualness in the way the lyrics are delivered. So, take some mid 90s Brit pop, add in some textural elements from Aussie guitar pop, and you have this gem of a tune. You’ll find this tune on the group’s debut LP, Perks, which is being released by the uber reliable Deaf Ambitions.
I got turned onto this yesterday, and I think it’s about time you get to hear some of the new music coming from Leicester’s Dayflower. They’ve got a heavy buzzsaw influenced shoegaze sound, although, like the best, they drench it in pop sensibility. Sure, it sounds like PoBPaH just a touch, but remember when you really loved that band? I think those of you fawning for C86 days, or just a great song will find yourselves enjoying this track. Embrace the melody, embrace the wall of noise…and let it carry your mind off.
Man, as The Minders new album nears, I’m finding myself getting more and more psyched to get my hands on the physical version (and the rest of the songs). This track, their ‘break-up’ song, hits hard from the start. It’s not unlike the hits you get from GbV, but this time, with only more hooks and better production. There’s even a bit of a Buddy Holly hiccup in the vocal performance, which for us Texans, is like ear candy. Into the River is the title of the new record, which will come via Space Cassette on September 9th.
One of my favorite labels of late has been Oddbox Records, who quietly keep releasing killer tunes. Checking in on the label I see they’ve chosen to help release this raucous new Surface EP from Hodad. Our first listen is this energetic number, which definitely wears the influence of late 00s British rock…from the colliding guitar sounds to the way the vocals are delivered through your speakers. And just like that, the track ends…and you love it. Look for this new release on September 9th.
Last Saturday, I took myself to the Museum of Human Achievement, treating my ears to a unique album release by Austin’s Quin Galavis. Next week the world will get to hear My Life in Steel and Concrete, but those in attendance were treated to part show, part performance art.
The large stage at MoHA was split in two, one for the performance and one for the musical element. Our evening began with our protagonist working on fixing an old radio, seemingly looking to find friends/survivors in the outside world. Her communication revolved around a voice from above named Marshall. As the lights faded on that half of the stage, we were encouraged to look over at Quin, sitting quietly on a pew, ready to share his voice with those in attendance.
Perhaps the best idea for the entire night revolved around the setting. In such a place, the audience wasn’t there to be cool or to hang out, they were there to see what Quin was offering, and in that, they were completely silent from start to finish. He began his portion with a couple of tracks, accompanied by prerecorded samples. Sitting alone, I think it was then that I first noticed how great his voice truly is. There are moments when he pushes himself, pulls from the nether regions of his soul into more of a polished growl, but for these moments, there was a stark beauty in his delivery.
The scene quickly faded back to the performance, where we encountered a continued battle between our protagonist, the radio and Marshall. I liked the brevity of these scenes, as they came forth as refreshing interludes into the overall production Galavis had mapped out for such a release.
Then we were back to Quin, accompanied for the next few songs by Graham Low on cello; you should know Graham for his work in all your favorite bands about town over the last few years…most recently seen with A Giant Dog. At this point, the depth of My Life in Steel and Concrete began to shine through completely. It became clear that this was an album of emotion, completed by complex arrangements that filled in the space behind the vocals. And then quickly back to the closing scene.
Now, I can’t be wholly certain, but the scenes seemed to involve a sense of isolation and loss, which, when put together with this record, are destined to affect every person that listens…though we were fortunate to see it all together in one interesting evening. And as it ended, Quin introduced his full band who joined him on stage to close the night out.
They ran through seven tracks from My Life in Steel and Concrete, and still, no one said a word. By this point, the heat in the room (no AC on the night) had become stifling, but with just a dimly lit stage, it felt like all the elements aligned perfectly to leave me with a lasting impression.
And just what did I walk away with, besides the beautiful brown double LP? Well, for one, Quin Galavis deserves a ton of credit, both for the completion of this great record and the organization of something that stands out amongst the many other release shows I’ve attended. Musically, the whole night was a journey, and that’s much like the record Quin releases unto you all next week. The performances pieces combined with the musical element created something that is rare nowadays; it’s a collection of songs that begs you to sit down and indulge in listening, begs you to immerse yourself in the confines of the whole album. If you don’t, then you’ll miss out on something that deserves more than just a casual passing.
My Life in Steel and Concrete comes out August 26th via Super Secret Records.
A few months back I was excited for you to hear new music from Shy Mirrors, Sweden’s latest purveyors of great poppy punk rock. Now you can stream the entirety of When Nothing Is Next, their latest album. It’s almost like a pop version of Guided by Voices, employing a lot of similar guitar sounds, only with larger hooks for listeners…akin to Austin’s Slow. There’s not a song on this whole record that I didn’t enjoy, and with short tracks, it’s easy to fall in love, then press repeat to start enjoying yourself all over again. Stream it below and get you some!
A few weeks ago I was introduced to The Chairman Dances, and here I am fortunate enough to share a brand new track with you today. It’s another piece of literary pop, like a unique blend of Mountain Goats and Dent May. And, like all great pop tunes, it’s the texturing and careful touches that make the track; listen through this song for the fuzzy underbelly that leaves ample room for the vocals to really take off. Pop music needs more songwriters like this, both playful and thoughtful all at once. Next week you can grab their new effort Time Without Measure via Black Rd. Records!