You ever hear a song and it just feels like it belongs in a really well shot film? Like everything about it screams montage? That’s the feeling I got the first time I pressed play on this gem from Tiny Ruins. The New Zealand group is well on their way to releasing their upcoming third LP, Olympic Girls, and “School of Design” is their latest lush single. I think the cinematic feel comes Hollie Fullbrook’s velvet vocals and detailed storytelling. Apparently the track was recorded live–which makes this track even more haunting, as it feels so very polished and perfect. Take a listen for yourself below.
Oh man, do I love a good quiet melancholic bedroom pop track. Maybe it’s the cold snap we’ve had here in Austin that draws me in so deeply to “Tomb,” but most likely it’s the fact that Angelo De Augustine just knows how to craft a solid tune. While I’ve been a longtime fan, he’s made a big wave in the indie rock world as of late for sharing a live version of his tune, “Time” with Sufjan Stevens’ help on piano. That’s a gorgeous tune, but it seems like he’s really outdone himself with this video for “Tomb,” as you can peek below. Augustine has these impossibly beautiful vocals that float in with a falsetto whisper. Couple that with brilliant songwriting (“You’ve been living your life from the outside / like a stranger inside of your own mind”) and you get the devastating, Elliott-Smith reminiscent, “Tomb.” Safe to say I’m very excited for the full-length this track is taken from. Pre-orderTombbefore its January 18th release date on Asthmatic Kitty.
I’m a few days late to the party on this one, but that doesn’t mean you should be like me and miss this lovely track from Mk.gee. It’s a pretty low-key one, but totally fits the gentle vibe that seems to be hitting the spot for me with the fall. Mk.gee is the moniker for Michael Gordon, who is making delicate tunes that sound like they’re coming to you from the bottom of a lagoon. Echoey instrumentation and vocals kind of waft your way in waves on “New Year,” as he ruminates on the passing of time and that hollow feeling that comes with ringing in another year. This track is from Mk.gee’s new EP, which will be out this Friday, 11/16.
This track may already be Cool Music Blog certified, but I like it, so I’m going to share it with you anyways, dear reader. And The Kids sure have a hit on their hands, and I expect this isn’t the last you’ll hear from this crew of Massachusetts indie rockers. “Champagne Ladies,” harnesses the energy of frustrations not into apathy, but something quite catchy. With a chorus of “Life is a bastard/Life wants to kill you/don’t get old,” you’ll be remiss not to sing along. Personally, what really tipped the scales for this one for me was the sick electric guitar riff that hits around the 2:30 mark. Not to mention, this crew has put together a solid video that is both quirky and earnest, with front person Hannah Mohan belting their heart out with a fierce and steady glare directly at you. And The Kids just announced their debut LP,When This Life Is Over, which will be out Feb. 22.
Now, Mac-Demarco-wave is by no means a new genre, but trust me when I say I’m here for it. This Alfie Templeman track, “Like An Animal” has certainly been influenced by twang-King Big Mac, but it doesn’t really come across as a copy cat imitation. The guitars, yes, very Mac, but in the vocals, you get a bit more MGMT- disco vibe to the song. It’s not the most complex of tracks lyrically speaking, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a catchy-as-hell number. Fairly impressive, as this lad is a mere 15 years old. Check out the silly video below.
Homeshake has been making chilled out indie pop meets R&B tracks for a solid chunk of time now, so it’s no surprise that his latest track “Like Mariah,” is yet another slice of solid work. On the heels of the announcement of his fourth LP, Peter Sagar, clearly knows a thing or two about making a proper track. “Like Mariah” has this funky/almost crunchy bass sound that perfectly juxtaposes Sagar’s falsetto vocals. Sagar sings of thinking about what could have been, and the emptiness of the instrumentation matches that emotion quite well. Take a listen and then prep for the coming of Helium, which will be out February 15th of next year on Sinderlyn.
This track is a big mood. That’s what the kids these days say, right? Anyways, “Rats” is a splash of cold water to the face, a no-nonsense, cut and dry guitar-driven ripper that is made to leave the confines of your earbuds and be blasted at full volume. Richard Vain is a band, not a person. While it initially began as a solo effort, it is now a three piece, featuring ex-members of the Ponys and Bare Mutants. It’s quick and to the point: punk drums, grunge-y guitars tearing it up, vocals not quite at a shout, but spat at you with proper conviction. Perhaps you’ll be like me and turn this one up loud and pretend the world doesn’t exist, if only for two minutes. Night Jammers, Richard Vein’s debut LP, will be out on December 7th on Big Neck Records.
J Fernandez will be releasing what will surely be a lovely collection of pristine pop this Friday via Joyful Noise, and just dropped a new track/video for “Volcanic Winter.” This song shows off how subtleties are Fernandez’ game and he is indeed the master of said game. A simple bass line and easy drum beat greet you before the track really launches in on its covert attack on your attention. You get some gentle twangy guitar and then a squeal of synth rises in sound and Fernandez’ vocals enter. His vocals have this warm, yet hollow, quality to them; you hang on every word as he paints a picture of a desolate landscape. These twinkling synths patter in and out of the heavily layered mix, and you’re simply hooked. It’s a grand track that presents itself meekly at your feet–prepare for repeated listening.
Occasional Din willbe out this Friday, 11/9. Grab your copy here.
I don’t care if you’ve already seen this video, I’m pretty much obsessed with it, so I needed to share. Tōth is the project of Rubblebucket’s Alex Toth, who is making some lovely tunes under this moniker. The latest of these tunes is “No Reason,” which is accompanied by this incredible illustrated video from artistAmanda Bonaiuto that I could honestly, and have, watch all day. Bathed in pastel colors and sychronized animals, the video is utterly captivating, as is the song that Tōth has crafted. It begins as a slow march, with twinkling subtle piano, light strumming, and these silky falsetto vocals that bathe the whole track in this easy calm. Calm, yes, but also utterly engaging lyrically, as we’re serenaded about a longing for bliss and sincerely this track gives that very sensation. About halfway through this lone trumpet chimes in and its solitary, muddy sound is so striking in the mix before it’s joined by the rest of the elements, including choppy hand-clap-esque percussion, for its orchestral climax. Take a peek and fall in love.
Rude Dude and The Creek Freaks, out of Savannah, GA, have a new video out just in time for the beginning of Spooky month of October. The track, “Lost My Head,” is a blistering surfy – psych, electric guitar driven number and the accompanying video is a fast paced trip in the woods. This video is taken from the band’s most recent Graveface Records release, which came out about a month ago. Take a peek of the video and then go stream the rest of the album.