Opening with a fuzzy guitar sound and a heavy strum in the front mix is an easy way to catch my attention…the formula used by The Collect Pond. As I keep listening through, I feel as if Danny Moffat has mastered the art of building two distinctive songs into one. Listen closely and you have this light ballad with Moffat’s voice operating, almost independently. Behind it is all is that aforementioned fuzzy feel, seemingly forging its own path unbeknownst to the front of the mix. It’s clever as it overlaps melodies, creating this sense of wonder that completely sucked me inside. You’ll find this track on the In the Garden EP, out soon!
Thirty years on collecting music as a hobby, and I’m still pretty into following labels. For me, WIAIWYA is one of the premiere indie labels out there, not only because I love most of the stuff they put out, but because, like my own label, I like the diversity. Sure, you can pigeonhole certain aspects, but I feel like the label has a really long arm when it comes to describing their sound. Take, for instance, two forthcoming releases, from Sea Glass and European Sun. Sea Glass seems to have this spectral quality, particularly in the way the vocals overlap time and time again; there’s also this alliteration affect that has the habit of ensnaring the listener. On the other hand, you get European Sun has sort of this Ian Dury/TV Personalities feel, particularly in the playfulness of the lyrics. The Sea Glass album Shifts is out on 8/14, with the self-titled European Sun LP dropping on 9/11. At the very least, enjoy these songs, then go dig deeper into the extensive catalogue.
I first caught wind of Japanese jangle pop outfit Jan Flu via a collection of demos back in 2017. They’ve been quiet since, though out of nowhere they sent us their new Sports EP, so it seems only fair we would encourage you to listen along. “Lacrosse” is a standout hit; it’s the infectious sort of pop music that pulls us in immediately. I loved the bouncing rhythm of “Tennis,” and the way the vocals were delivered on that tune were particularly charming to me. Honestly, the more I listen, the more I’m just excited that this EP exists at all; its such a rewarding listen, I think you’re best suited to spend the rest of your day spinning these 6 songs!
I always feel like The Cradle is one of those overlooked bands that everyone instantly loves when they press play (I mean, does your band have 30 releases?!). The forthcoming album Laughing in My Sleep is a few weeks away still, but this heartfelt ballad seems to hit right at home almost immediately, for me at least. It’s a seemingly simple ballad, pounding on the piano with a nice strum layered on top to add emphatic punch. Songwriter Paco Cathcart is joined here by Lily from Palberta, which creates this soothing feel that washes over the listener. Please invest in this band; Paco’s one of the special voices out there; the new LP is out on August 21st via NNA Tapes.
Daphne Tunes is helmed by one of our dear friends, Santiago; he formerly fronted ATH act Growl (those LPs are $5!). But, don’t let our allegiance to our friends steer you away from the playful video below, directed by Santi himself. Plus, we’re really picky, and we only love the greatest voices out there…so just listen to those pipes and I think you’ll get why we love his work so much. I love the guitar work here too, the way it kind of shuffles up your feet, getting your body swinging naturally from side to side. Right now I’m thinkin’ on a mem, and missing this band’s live sets! If you dig, you can grab Volume 2 from Uncool Records.
Buddie will be releasing their new Diving LP here in a few weeks, but seems only fair they tease us with one more tasty musical treat before the album drops. Starting it off, they tease a slow burner, then offer a slight twist that speeds up the pace just a bit; I thought it was a cool touch illustrating the band’s attention to detail. The dual female/male vocal delivery on this number really captures your ear; it’s the hook that draws you into the tune, naturally. There are several moments when I expected the band to sort of just unleash and bring crashing pop noise down on me, but they push it back, postponing that release until the very last moment; I can imagine how exhilarating that would be in the live set! If you’re into the tune, Diving is out August 4th via Crafted Sounds.
Sometimes you just need to let loose on a Friday, and this track from Bee Bee Sea seems like the perfect way for us to look in on the weekend. I couldn’t help but feel the hooks of this song get me right from the start; there’s almost that sort of Nobunny/Hunx vibe working. It’s gritty and garage-y, but it’s not going to shy away from having one hell of a good time with us all. Let your hair down and have a little fun with this Italian outfit. The tune below appears on their new LP, Day Tripper, which drops in October via Wild Honey Records.
The broad swathe of sound that Steven Adams and the French Drops are releasing has me penciling in the release of Keep It Light as an endearing record destined to be played until I need another copy. We’ve had an upbeat indiepop number, a grittier folk tune, and now we have this folk pop gem. From the bending guitar in the distance to the quiet vocal accompaniment, it seems Steven Adams is breaking out all the stops here; there’s this brilliant moment just before the 1.5 minute mark (also 2.5) that I absolutely love, if you’re looking for my favorite 10 seconds. Keep It Light will be out on August 21st via Fika Recordings.
Had we not been in the midst of a world pandemic I’d place bets on Vintage Crop being the next big thing. They’ve got that sound people keep gravitating towards, combining these sharp guitar cuts with the matter-of-fact vocal delivery you’d expect from a singer stalking the stage. One thing I like is that they’re kind of reveling in the joy of their own song; they’re so in love with this riff that they refuse to push the pace of the song, holding themselves back. In doing so, they allow the natural pop attitude to bleed through the speakers. I promise, this is your new favorite band; they’ll drop Serve to Serve Again on August 7th via Upset the Rhythm.
The Sour Notes are one of my favorite local Austin acts, particularly as they’ve really come into their own over the last few years. But, this is about two of their songwriters using a more electronic approach to exercise their musical muscles as Memory Keepers. Last week they dropped the Forskalii 7″, which features a nice Primal Scream cover (rumored to be praised by the band!). In this video for the A-side, the pulsating synths get mixed with live footage from the band’s last show, courtesy of photographs from Vineet Gordhandas; you’ll also find some great texture work, layering guitar lines and synth lines just beneath the wash of Jared’s vocoder-modified voice. It’s always fun when you try to tie the two bands together, trying to see where their pop sensibilities united in their different approaches to craft. Plus, if you enjoy it and grab the 7″, the band are donating all those funds to the NAACP-LDF…so everyone wins.