We here at ATH have been waiting to hear what was in store when Xetas much anticipated new LP was announced. Today the whole world gets to hear the power the band brandish with the new of the Cypher. Immediately, there’s this dangerous energy with the rhythm section crafting a steady stomp while the riffs knife their way in and out of the tune. The vocal delivery is almost a call to action in the way its delivered…save for the chorus which brings in just the slightest hint of pop sensibility to the band’s sound. It all fades into a wall of crashing noise, drawing the song to a close. It’s energetic, touching on hardcore and punk, while building in some insatiable hooks; this could be the record that blows the rest of you out of the water. The Cypher drops on January 24th via 12XU.
Having just dropped an EP in April, I was surprised to hear that Winter had another EP in the works for early December via Bar/None Records; I was not, however, surprised by how great a first single they’ve shared. I love how Samira’s songs always toy with the boundaries of shoegaze, though never quite dropping that distortion pedal on full blast, instead harnessing the polish of pop. My favorite bit came right at the 40 second mark where her voice starts to hit higher notes, calmly hanging in the air and adding to the ethereal quality. If the Hazy EP is as great as this song, we’ll all be in for a treat; it drops on December 6th.
Feels like just a week or so ago I was sharing a new Pure Moods tune, and here we are again with a brand new track from the forthcoming Upward Spiral. I loved the last track, but I think this one’s even better; it has everything you want in a pop song: it’s catchy, nice melody and it’s short. There’s that Australian casual attitude in the way the vocals are delivered, as if there wasn’t a care in the world. But, what I’ve been drawn to are the sharp guitar notes; they toy with being jangly, but happily make out their own path until they’re joined by this interesting textured guitar buzz meandering through. Tear Jerk Records release the full LP this Friday.
Monday’s can be a struggle, even on your days off, so you’ve gotta be sure to get something energetic to really get you moving out the door. It’s a good thing we have the latest single from Orthy hanging about; it’s the upbeat dance number I didn’t know I needed. The guitar’s have this angular dance to them, seemingly nostalgic, while offering that frivolity that makes it easy to live your best life. I love the depth of the production on this one too, adding this rhythmic pulse to the tune, only furthering the hook of the guitars. It’s all the Monday you need wrapped in a 4 minute present. Just another reason to get hip to Orthy before the band drops Fable Living in January of next year.
Swedish group Club 8 are forever shapeshifting, though always revolving somewhere in the realm of great pop music. Their latest single is no different, featuring this heavy groove in background while the vocals sort of ride the natural wave of the song’s melody. There’s a slight lift in the vocals during the chorus, soaring just a note or two higher, empowered by the increased tempo of the beat. It’s a short number, and maybe I would have liked another thirty seconds or another chorus, but if you listen below you’ll see what’s before you is more than enough to capture your attention.
While it may be the end for Math and Physics Club, I can’t see the band celebrating their career any better way than with this final single. There’s this fragility in the guitar sound, one strumming and one circling overhead, all leaving plenty of room for the vocal melody to soar throughout the track. There’s a slight push in the energy just after the first 1.5 minutes, though the song still feels like its just pulling at every last emotion we’ve got, particularly with the lyric “I can’t even sing/the words won’t come out of my mouth.” You get choked up in the song and the memory of an incredible pop band. You can order the 7″ from Matinee Recordings right now!
When you talk about prolific indie rock vets, you usually hear Guided by Voices, but around these parts, you always hear me talk about the Black Watch. The band consistently push out great content, forever sounding like themselves, and yet never sounding like they’re treading the proverbial water. On the band’s new single, the track seems almost like a meditation; the lyrics are delivered almost like a mantra, you can tell the care in the way Fredrick puts emphasis on every last syllable, all the way to the chorus line of ‘crying all the time.” Never boring, and never sounding like their finished, the Black Watch will return in January with Brilliant Failures via A Turntable Friend Records.
Silent James first (pop)ped up on my music listening rotation back in 2017 when they released Someday I’ll Write a Nice Love Story via Discos de Kirlian. Next week they’ll release their third LP, Where Have All My Friends Gone, so they dropped one last tune our way. This one has this natural pop bounce to it; it’s this weird world where you can envision British Invasion bubblegum shaking hands with the likes of Jens Lekman. Both nostalgic and pop-forward, the group always has these captivating pop nuggets that make their music hard to ignore…don’t break that trend, listen below!
Andrew Anderson is one third of Proto Idiot, but today let’s talk about his brand new solo record, Clean Yourself. It’s a pretty dynamic listen, and one that’s marked by brief songs, so you’re definitely not going to get bored as Anderson bounces from track to track here. There’s a light-hearted garage rocker in “It’s Not for Me,” but move down the line and you’ll find the frantic “You’re too close.” At times, it kind of feels like Andrew’s channeling Television Personalities, valuing clever word play in spots over musicality, like in “Cannot Repeat;” it feels like the sort of thing I would have expected Jay Reatard to pull off. Oddball pop punk numbers, garage rockers and mini-ballads; Clean Yourself has it all! Grab it as Name Your Own Price via Rigamarole Records.
At this point in the year, we’ve heard most of the great releases, or at least the hints of what’s on the horizon. But, one band that I just can’t get enough of at the moment is Toronto’s Ducks Unlimited. We’re about one week away from the release of their Get Bleak EP, and they just decided to up the ante and drop this charming pop tune. I’m always going to be attracted to that sharp jangling guitar line hanging out there, but there’s something in the vocals that totally blows me away each listen. It feels familiar, like I want to name drop a million bands, but at the same time, sounds undeniably unique. Pretty sure any fan of indiepop or the appreciative side of twee pop will be fawning over this tune for days.