Melbourne’s always been a hotbed of music, but as of late, it’s become increasingly diverse…so just add Exek to the list of band’s pushing the boundaries. This new single has a darkened un-pop feel; taking pop structures and infiltrating the standard tropes with humor, indifference and a slinking saxophone line. There’s an industrial feeling to the track, in reference to emotions rather than the music); it’s as if the band’s offering this song from the empty innards of an incomplete skyscraper. The band will be releasing Ahead of Two Thoughts on Superior Viaduct on January 26th.
There is already a horde of great albums coming our way in 2018, but one of the one’s at the top of my list is the new record from Totally Mild (they’ll also be in attendance at this year’s SXSW). The group just released their new video for “Lucky Stars,” which is dominated by the performance of songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell. Her voice is powerful, with just a hint of fragility on some of the notes left hanging; she’s all alone in the video with her piano, furthering her role as an incredible force that will surely be heard all over the rest of the year. Look for Her to be released on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
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.
Been a hot minute since I did a HANW post. We’ll start this off with a semi-local favorite, Lou Rebecca. Her self-titled EP made with Mr. Josh Mills is out today on Holodeck, use the link in the previous sentence to make it yours. To celebrate, they have released the official video for “Tonight”, shot in and around Austin (greenbelt and Justine’s) by Daniel Everett Di Domenico starring the singer and ATH Records’ alum Ramesh.
There were a slew of festival announcements. Meh. A ton of overlapping lukewarmers with occasional “oh, that’s cool” in the small print. For instance, ATX friend Roger Sellers will be playing several fests as Bayonne. I won’t echo a recent Uproxx editorial in detail, but I really hope that ACL being in a fairly unique spot in the festival season could pull off a few interesting names, bands not really touring until 2019 or a legit one off surprise (please let it be Bon Jovi so I can win a three year old bet). May the bookers pay homage to FFF and pull in some legit counter-culture to the lawn.
Finally, I am going to PYAITK for a band I listened to late last year a bit but never highlighted. Boy Harsher is amazing. Friends on the left coast keep an eye out, they are booking shows.
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.