It’s been a few years since Lina Tullgren shared their debut with the world, but today news comes our way that they’re ready to drop a new LP, Free Cell, in our laps. In the story of the album, it seems that Lina was isolated for much of the writing, forced to grapple with songwriting in their own manner; you can sort of feel that solitude in this very single, though it offers up these bits of light as glimmers of hope hanging in your ears. Personally, I’m really drawn to the guitar work on this; they mess with time signatures and traditional manners of song, particularly in the closing minute. Free Cell already sounds so full of promise that I can’t wait, but I’ll have to, as its not out until August 23rd via Captured Tracks.
I cannot stop playing this new tune from Sarah Bethe Nelson; I know that’s hyperbole, but seriously, I just want to listen to this track all day. It has this light approach to guitar pop that walks a fine line between indiepop and power-pop, though it probably leans more towards the power side of things. Her voice has this warmth to it, while also holding onto this natural sense of freedom; I envision it like that feather in Forrest Gump, rising and falling, blowing wherever it wants to blow. The Weird Glow LP will be released this Friday courtesy of the fine folks over at Burger Records.
It’s barely been a few weeks since Red Sleeping Beauty dropped the highly recommended Stockholm, and all ready the group are turning around a few extra tunes to go with the Tonight EP/Single. I mean, it only takes an instant to be submerged in a pool of refreshing synth pop; the beats are light and playful from the get-go, driving forward with energy as the chorus comes to fruition. This band just continues to offer up these delectable pop treats that are primed for quick consumption; you’re not going to find too many folks crafting better pop than this trio. The Tonight EP will drop July 12th via Matinee Recordings.
Big fan of Cruel Summer over here, and it’s always great to see bands to live recordings and reimagining of their own tunes, especially when it comes to Part Time Punks. The San Francisco outfit just dropped their PTP Session II, and it’s also got a very limited vinyl release you have to get your hands on. In honor of that, we’re sharing a video for Skyless, which first appeared on the band’s Ivy in 2017. I think the video matches the track perfectly, with this sort of dreamy popgaze running in black and white for the first minute twenty-five seconds, then the color jumps in and the track simultaneously runs off; this furious moment sounds like early Sonic Youth being crafted by indiepop nerds (and I mean that in the best way!). Check it below, and if you love it, hurry because only a handful of the 8″ records remain!
Last week Jigsaw Records quietly released Blue Skies Above, the debut EP from Stars on Fire; I trust the label, so I had to go and spin it on repeat in order to fully digest it. Those who follow my personal tastes will realize that this album is everything I love, and yet none of the things I love. Opener “Shutdown” is a fuzzy little shuffle, bordering on jangling, but focusing on the noisier bits; it sounds a little like that first Pains LP. Jump around a bit to find “Model,” which is more of a post-punk rambling; I love the deep tones of the vocals and the natural balance. “Paper Driver” sounds like something our friends in Fanclub would have released, though special in that its mostly instrumental. You see, this is all over the place, and yet its cohesive in that sense…its like a sampling of all the great things about pop music. Stream it all below.
Brooklyn outfit CRV have ties to Austin, so it only makes sense that their sound would hit home with us here at ATH. This one opens up playfully, draping warm vocal waves across trickling guitar bits, jutting right up against the 1 minute mark. But, it’s there that the percussion builds, readying the punky drawl that scorches the rest of the track; it’s here you’ll find the band flexing their musicianship, offering up guitar noodles blended within the confines of indie rock grooves. Then, as if returning to where it all began, the group slow things down, sauntering calmly to the song’s close. If you dig it, the band release Compact Recreational Vehicle this Friday on all the platforms!
I guess when you’re on, you’re on, or so is the case with Flying Fish Cove. The band have only recently released the most excellent At Moonset LP, but now they’ve turned around to prep your ears for a new EP. Their first single from the EP has the band at their best; I think you could compare them to Alvvays here. There’s this natural softness in Dena’s voice that creates this soothing emotion that washes over you, letting you know everything’s alright; she gets a little help from a male backing role, but it’s all her show. The rest of the band sit back, lightly filling in the space with some of the best pop sounds you’ll hear today. You can’t stop the hits coming from this bunch right now, but you will have to wait for the new EP; it drops on June 21st via Jigsaw/Lost Sound Tapes.
Less than a year after the release of the excellent Cactus Country LP, Aussie outfit Cool Sounds return with a brand new single and the promise of a new LP later this year. For now, let’s sit back and let the vibes of this tune really seep deep into our pores, soothing the soul. In the opening, there’s a slight keyboard pulse, but shortly, guitars chime in, circling overhead like a pop vulture awaiting its next victim. I think the vocals change things slightly, almost taking on a sunny disposition as they float through the air; it sort of reminds me of Woods a few albums ago. Another hypnotic piece of pop music from a group with endless talent; we’ll keep you posted on more news of that new records.
What’s that? You missed New Order? Well, luckily, the band have left a lasting impression on many across the globe, and the latest to bring that to mind is from Barcelona outfit, Ultim Cavall. I mean, if you don’t hear the NO in the opening 20 seconds, perhaps I need to first introduce you to them because this is a pretty spot-on homage, albeit one entirely in Spanish. I love the little breakdown just after the two minute mark where the group flirt with the atmospheric side of things before happily bounding back down the hook-laden line. They’ve got a new LP, Alaska, which will be released by Discos de Kirlian this coming October.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard anything new from Devendra Barnhart, though he’s worked on a few compilations in his downtime. But, for me, while folks have their Obersts and their Whites, I’ve always been a Devendra guy; I also feel like he got sort of wrongfully placed in that whole freak-folk category…but, whatever. So, below is this wonderful new single; it’s got some nice little horn accompaniment, giving the song sort of a folk meets swamp boogie vibe; I suggest you wait until after the 3 minute mark for a real nice vocal touch from Banhart. His new album, Ma, will be out on September 13th, with a slew of tour dates slated for the fall, including a (possibly too expensive) show in Austin at Stubbs.