Every time I go to cull some classic guitar pop from my record collection for DJing purposes, I always make sure I’ve got Foxheads Stalk This Land is in the bin. So to me, its great that some 30 years on, Close Lobsters are still making great pop music. The rhythm section does a fine job opening this track up to your ears, giving a nice bobbing pulse before the guitars come in and work their own charms. In the vocals, you can still find that sense of promise in the warmth of the melodies; it feels like there’s promise for us all just around the corner. Towards the end, you get some pseudo-spoken word moments working beneath the guitars before a sort of pop mantra rides the song to a close. The band will release their new album, Post Neo Anti via Shelflife/Last Night from Glasgow on February 28th.
I’ve spent a lot of time as of late listening through the forthcoming LP from En Attendant Ana, and I think the diversity of the listen is really going to force people to pay attention to the work of the Parisian outfit. This new single still flirts with the sonic experimentation that’s prevalent throughout the record, but the innate hook in the song is undeniable. The song’s latter half has the repeat of “in/out” that sort of entrances you; it leaves you with a sense of playfulness, while building a textural layer that elevates the band beyond your average purveyors of pop. Juillet will be out on January 24th via Trouble in Mind Records.
Last summer, Cozy Slippers released a delightful 7″ for one of our favorite labels, KUS; we raved about it at the time…and I included it in my year-end indiepop wrap-up. Today, we get another chance to celebrate that release, with the band sharing a video for the B-Side “Will You Disappear?” The video was shot on phone cameras by the band in November as the group toured through the UK. You get a little bit of their journey, bringing you closer to the band, but also some live footage spliced in too! So go on, go on tour with Cozy Slippers and enjoy this little pop tune. Still a few copies of the 7″ that you can grab HERE.
Perhaps the best part about doing what we do here at ATH is stumbling into something randomly and being just blown away. I reckon this wasn’t completely random, as Aaron Beckum‘s forthcoming EP is going to be on Devil in the Woods…though I had no idea who Aaron was when I pressed play. Songs from a Triangle Room was recorded with Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, but it sounds like it could have been performed by that one friend you’ve got who actually knows how to handle an acoustic guitar in all its glory. I love the way Beckum’s notes seem to be emphasized in between heavy strums; you can also hear some light piano touches that really shine brilliantly in the song’s far off distance.
Just in case you haven’t heeded my previous warning, you’re going to want to get to know Xetas this year, if they’re not already on your rock n’ roll radar. They’ve got a new video from their forthcoming The Cypher, and I’m freaking in love with this jam. It opens interestingly, with these jagged chords kind of building this nervous tension; it’s juxtaposed by the calm delivery of Kana’s voice, which quickly turns into an explosive howl as the band meets for the chorus. I think my favorite moment comes around the 2:03 mark with the line “have you ever watched the mountain range, change.” The full album is out next Friday via 12XU.
Accessory is the solo project of Jason Balla, who typically is found playing in Dehd, but they’re working on their sophomore LP, so Jason opted to go and record some work on his own. This tune’s got a heavy feel, primarily through the tones of Jason’s voice. That said, the thematic element of finding that “the world can be beautiful and good” shines right through the track; you can even hear it ever so slightly in Balla’s voice as the song begins to progress. No word on whether the project has long term goals, but as a fan of Dehd, and the band’s label Fire Talk, felt like it was my duty to share this with you!
It feels early in the week to really need a burst of energy, but so be it, I need a good pop rock tune! Luckily, there’s this new tune from Dallas’ outfit, CLIFFFS, which features John Dufilho of Deathray Davies. It’s exactly what you’d expect from one of Dufilho’s project, though this one definitely feels like it’s got some arena rock lineage. The riffs are huge and the chorus can be screamed at full blast; the song itself, even has a harsh little backing vocal to keep the rock n’ roll edge alive here. The group will release their sophomore LP Panic Attack via State Fair Records next month.
I’m totally in love with this brand new track from Pet Shimmers, the UK act who’ve just announced their debut Face Down in Meta. The song began almost immediately, and I was hooked right there. At first, it sort of sounded like a fuzzy indiepop song, which, of course, had my interest. But, as the song unfolded, the fuzz layer began to feel more like a gloss that coated the song, akin to something you’d hear on a Radio Dept. LP. So there it is, imagine a youthful vibrancy spun through the lens of cloudy pop purveyors and you’ve got exactly what you’ve been looking for all your life. Face Down in Meta will be out on January 31st.
In what seems like Christmas all over, the last several days have given me new music from Rosie Tucker…and now Flying Fish Cove. At Moonset was one of the great indiepop gems of last year, followed quickly by the En Garde EP, so being back at it again only means we’ve got more great music for our ears. A buzzy entry and light churning jangle open the scene with Dena’s voice soon joining; it rises up and down on the natural melody of the tune, warming you with its pop sensibility. Perhaps my favorite part of the tune comes in the middle where it’s just sparkling electronic notes and the strum of the guitar…a special moment for sure. The band pair this new single with a cover of Heavenly‘s “Shallow” off the excellent Heavnly vs Satan LP (1991), which you can find below the video.
It’s seems strange to me that we cover so much music from Canada, yet our closest neighbor (here in Texas at least) gets minimal coverage. But, thanks to Devil in the Woods returning, I’ve been turned on to some great tunes, like this new single from Mexico City’s MUUK. It’s an instrumental number that works with sort of four distinct movements. At first, you get sort of a lost radio message, something that seems to hiss at you from the past. Then the song drops in, guitars sharpening themselves over ambient noises, building on the pulse of electronics. We venture into a soft respite with a meandering guitar chord sort of skittering about while the percussive element and soundbites intoxicate the listener. It all crashes down emphatically with the heavier hand coming in the song’s final quarter, releasing all the song’s earlier tension in one final closing moment.