Grunge Americana From Umm

Umm is a new two piece project made up of husband and wife duo Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin. While they’ve made music individually over the years, Umm marks their first collaborative effort and it’s clear from the track below, “Black Summer,” that they’ve uncouthed something special. This song is a grunge rock track meets americana– you get the fuzzed out guitars, but also the tinkling percussion. Vocally, you get this great male/female back and forth going on that reminds me of The New Pornographers. Take a listen below and discover a great new band.

Dark Pop From Nat Chippy

We wade through the deep trenches of the internet so you don’t have to– today’s discovery is a sure bound hit from an artist that we believe to be called Nat Chippy, according to Soundcloud. “Sea,” the song you should take a listen to below, is a well crafted hazy dark pop track that reminds me a bit of a milder Phantogram with definite influence from The Cure in the twangy guitar distortion. Sleek and simmering, you’re bound to fall for this track. Keep your ear to the ground for more from this artist.

Yesterday’s News: Blisspop From No Vacation

Acquaint yourself with San Francisco’s No Vacation, a five piece who are going to make it to the top of your list of great dream pop bands. This new video that premiered yesterday for “Mind Fields” has been stuck in my head all day and I daresay if you take a listen below, it’ll embed itself into yours as well. There’s the great balance to the track, distilling the gorgeous vocals in these subtly cutty guitars. The song is bedroom pop meets dreamy riffs with a catchy chorus and it reminds me a bit of Hospitality. Check it out below.

 

Four New Music Videos You Should Peep

As we’re in the thick of spring, it seems like we’re approaching peak musical release time and, I know, sometimes it can be a little difficult to keep up with everything as it’s coming at you. Today, I’ve got three music videos that came out within the past week that you should watch/listen to, if you’re trying to stay relevant. They’re all a little different in terms of genre and style, but all worthy of your time, so strap in and let’s get rolling– check them out after the jump.

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Sea Pinks Announce New Album/Share Track

One of our favorite acts out of Belfast have just announced that they’ve got a new album coming out in May, so naturally we’re here to share the new track. “Into Nowhere” seems to pick up right where Sea Pinks left off withSoft Days, reintroducing you to those tightly wound, sun bleached, guitar riffs, and soft vocals. As the song progresses, it seems like the guitar riffs carry on in an endless loop, but they really pick up to drive things home nearing the end of the song. It’s a perfectly breezy indie rock track, and I suggest you take a listen and then get ready for their new album.

Watercourse will be out May 26th via CF Records.

Beach Fossils Step in a Different Direction With “Saint Ivy”

Beach Fossils announced last month that they’ve got a new album on the horizon calledSomersault. Today, they’ve shared a new video for the second single off that release called “Saint Ivy,” which shows off a new sound for the band. There’s flute and strings tossed into the mix, which takes the band’s usual jangly rock to a whole new level. You can check out the interesting video and listen to a different side of Beach Fossils below– I’m stoked for the new album knowing that from these two singles we can expect a blend of old and new sounds from the group.

Somersaultwill be out June 2nd via Bayonet Records.

 

Breezy Rocker From B Boys

B Boys are a Brooklyn three piece making high intensity punk gems, or it least that seems to be the case on this new song/video.The sound on “Energy” reminds me of Ought in a lot of ways– the vocals are a bit detached from the instruments, but their delivery builds over the course of the track, spiraling out of control in to a barrage of quick lyrics in the last thirty seconds. To put it frankly, there’s a lot of Energy going on in the song as well as the video below, guitars cut through the mix with persistent punk intensity while front man spits line after line at you with a tone that only grows more heated. Take a peak below and just try not to feel amped up for the rest of your day.

Dada, the band’s upcoming full-length, will be out June 16th viaCaptured Tracks. Keep your ears to the ground for more from B Boys.

 

The Districts Share Solid Leonard Cohen Cover

It’s not easy to cover a legend– to me a good cover pays homage to the original track while putting enough of a different spin on the sound to prevent the inevitable mental comparison of the listener. The Districts, in my opinion, have struck a pretty good balance on their cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Lover Lover Lover.” What I like about this rendition is that the band keeps the focus on their gritty indie rock sound, but they retain the melancholic tone of the original.

This track is a B-Side off the band’s upcoming Record Store Day Release via Fat Possum Records. Check it out below, then go hunt it down on Record Store Day.

RF Shannon – Jaguar Palace

Rating: ★★★★ ·

RF Shannon, or the project of Shane Renfro, has always been about expansive desert psych americana. Since the origin of the project back in 2013 with the recording of their first demo, Renfro and company have been doing this quite well. With two EPs under their belt, RF Shannon looks to try their hand here at a full length release. The result is, to put it mildly, epic.Jaguar Palace is a record to put on as a soundtrack for traversing a sun bleached desert. be that literal or figurative.

At six songs in length, you may take a look at the track listing and think that you’ve merely encountered an EP, but each song is meticulous and sprawling– a kite let out on its string to a great height, but still tethered to your hand at the ground. Our journey begins with title track, “Jaguar Palace,” which is a perfect introduction to the album. Delicate flute sounds and graceful piano fill your ears with wistful musings for almost two minutes before the guitar, percussion and vocals burst in. This well orchestrated build-up makes the full entrance of the sound huge when it comes along and lets you know you may want to take this album sitting down. Renfro’s vocals are layered and hazy, like a breeze that is gentle in one moment but almost knocks you down the next. Later on, he is accompanied by some female backing vocals that fully flesh out theforce and provide even more texture to the mix. Even one song in, you already know you’ve merely hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of whats in store.

To pick one track out of this collection feels somewhat wrong, as it truly is an album you’re meant to listen to from start to finish, putting ‘single culture’ to shame. For the sake of the length of this review, I’m going to hone in on the heart of the album, “Tell My Horse” and “Had a Revelation.” These back to back numbers show the band hitting their stride with poise and finesse. “Tell My Horse” is a story of wandering alone, whispering tales of your wearisome travels to your animal companion. This is the sort of solitude that is welcomed on Jaguar Palace, embraced even, as the number picks up a nice bit of jam on its way out that carries into the next song. “Had a Revelation” is the shortest track on the record and it’s the song you should play your friends in order to hook them in. Renfro commands the song with his vocals, asking you probing questions: “Do you change with the seasons? Do you cling to the past?” Acoustic guitar carries the track, while slide guitar sneaks in and out, floating over the bouncy percussion.

What’s superbly impressive about the tracks that RF Shannon have delivered here is that while they’re long and sprawling, you don’t notice. On the contrary, each number is careful and poised, akin to the chapters of an epic novel. They serve as gems of their own, but lace together with their counterparts.Jaguar Palacetakes a bit of time to really sink into, but after a few go-rounds of the steady waves of reverb drenched guitar washing over you, you’re fully immersed. If you let RF Shannon, they will hypnotize you into wading in deep and baptize you with their desert psych masterpiece. Get washed clean.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: More To Love From Nightlands

It’s fine– who needs a dollar when you have not one, but three great new tracks from Dave Hartley’s Nightlands? We first got a taste of some of Hartley’s new material a month or so ago, and we were smitten with the pop sensibilities in the new music. Now, we’ve got three more new tracks to ooze over, each of which are pretty great Friday listening. I’m trading off on which song is my favorite at the moment, but the Dion cover, “Only You Know” is currently winning. It’s got this great sort of twee electro-pop vibe to it, but Hartley keeps things lo-fi with his distorted vocals and the tightly knit, jangly guitar riffs.

These tracks below are taken from Nightlands’ upcoming release,I Can Feel The Night Around Me. It’s out May 5th via Western Vinyl.

 

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