Feel like its been a slow start to 2018 for indiepop fans, but luckily it looks as if Math and Physics Club are ready to give us a cure. Today, the band shared 3 songs, 2 which we haven’t heard yet to tease their latest effort, Lived Here Before; its being released by Matinee in the US and Fika in Europe. The first thing I notice about the two new songs is that they carry a softer tone, almost akin to early Death Cab stuff. I think of the three songs we’ve gotten to hear, “Dear Madeline” is definitely the one keeping my attention this morning. I hear its cold out there, so hopefully this dosage of pop will keep you warm until its release on January 26th.
If you’re willing to brave the cold; it’s going to be warm inside Barracuda tomorrow night…and not just because it’s indoors. You’re going to get a chance to catch Yumi Zouma touring in support of their most recent album, Willowbank; it’s filled to the brim with hook-laden pop music of the electronic pop sort. Plus, the night will also be filled by two of our favorite local acts, Kay Odyssey and Blushing. We heard that Blushing will probably have their brand new Weak EP on hand before it’s street date, so head there and pick you a copy for yourself.
Daphne Tunes is the project of Santiago, who happens to be one of my favorite songwriters in Austin; I like him so much I begged and pleaded to put out his other LP with his band Growl. In this project, Santi favors a softer side with carefully picked riffs and melodic vocal lines. What’s impressive about this song is how it jettisons off in an entirely new exploratory zone, highlighted by monosyllabic vocal notes riding the high of the galloping guitars. The Volume 1 EP will be released at the end of the month by Two Moons.
First, don’t forget that Juan de Fuca is a band, not a man. Second, let’s rejoice in the band’s new record Solve/Resolve hitting shelves today. Having already compared the band to some strange mixture of the Walkmen and Fresh and Onlys, these two tracks further that sonic exploration. Our first tune today has a bit of a discordant drive to it, especially with the way the guitars open things up; it then quickly moves into that falling vocal effect. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a slight Jawbreaker nod in there too. On the latter tune, the New York vibe from the early 00s seems to be peaking out from behind the band; I promise you I don’t mind that at all. It’s clear the group will be swinging for the proverbial fences with this new LP; grab it today from Arrowhawk Records.
Sometimes you’ve got to dig to find the gems, but hopefully at the end of 2018 Linqua Franqa will be more prevalent in everyone’s listening habits. It’s the musical outlet for Mariah Parker, who calls Athens, GA home; she’s kicking back and offering a more linguistic approach to modern hip-hop. I love the soulful vibe that rests in between the verses she’s putting out, not to mention the lines that open and close this track. Ultimately, it’s her flow and her sharp turn of words that elevates this tune above others, offering true poetry at a blistering pace. Nod your head, and revel in all that lays before you as we await the release of Model Minority on February 23rd via HHBTM.
There’s something so pure about the perfectly executed pop ditty that I find it hard to turn such tracks off, just like the Hurry tune below. There’s nothing heavy about it, and in fact, it seems the volume on distortion is perfectly balanced by the usage of acoustic guitar. Cascading guitar lines work their way throughout, cut in half by these rad little vocal harmonies; it’s like listening the greatness of Nada Surf being played with a youthful vibrance. The band’s new album, Every Little Thought, will be released on February 23rd via Lame-O Records.
We wrote about The Late Great awhile ago, and now the band’s Sarah Lane has reached out to share a track from her forthcoming solo effort. For me, the winning part of the track comes from Lane’s vocal performance; it has this vibrance that stands out, even when delivering lines like “I’ve been broken like a tree.” Interestingly, the accompanying video for the single has Sarah laughing off her trials and tribulations, wearing a charming smile all about her home city of Portland. You’ll find yourself captivated by the strum of the guitar, but you’ll circle back again and again to hear that voice. Look for the EP to drop sometime this Spring.
If you were reading many a year-end list, then surely you noticed Jay Som‘s album Everybody Works landing on most. Melina Duerte had originally demoed a few extra songs for the record that didn’t quite fit the flow, so she saved them for you to enjoy on a new 7″. To me, this tune sounds like a dreamier version of something Tegan and Sara would have written, with just hints of jangling guitar and a soft smoky vocal to ride it out. It should be clear after jamming this tune that Jay Som hype actually has substance; look for the new 7″ to drop via Polyvinyl on January 26th.
I listen to more music that I should, and among it all, at the moment, nothing is quite as special as Cats of Transnistria. A wash of atmospherics open this number before strings and curling guitar lines add an ominous tone. That works perfectly to contrast with the angelic vocal performance that floats dreamily atop the sonic landscape crafted by the group. Then the group moves you in an entirely different direction, almost as if you’ve entered some forbidden forest with them before those strings come back to suck you into the realm. You’re not going to find another act operating so beautifully; look for their new album Opium to hit on February 2nd via Soliti.
We’ve written about Dryspell before, and they just dropped this delicious new tune yesterday in preparation for the release of their new EP in March. The song begins as many guitar pop tracks would, distorted guitars fighting one another for your attention. Perhaps the best moment comes in what would be perceived as the chorus, the vocals take on almost a Win Butler-esque quiver just before the group blasts off into their jam. These guys are definitely channeling something special this go round, so keep your eyes peeled for the release of their EP come first of March.