The whole genre of post-punk can get a little stale at times, so it’s great that we have a band like Australia’s Hierophants to really turn things upside down. We haven’t heard much since 2015’s Parallax Error, but now there’s a new LP on the horizon. This one actually seems more like something you’d get from a chilled pop group, almost as if Hot Chip were really cool all over again; there’s this happy bounce, almost like a slinky club hit that really drive the tune. The vocals are delivered in this very casual matter-of-fact manner, allowing the slightest emphasis on various syllables. It’s also a study of patience, as the group don’t really hang reveal a massive hook; they’re not trying to be catchy, they just want to deliver a tune you’ll come back to again and again, letting it reveal its secrets over time. Spitting Out Moonlight drops May 24th via Anti Fade Records.
I’ll be out dodging the few rain drops hoping for heavy air as Jon Hopkins is going to perform at Scoot Inn tonight. The artist has been on our playlists for a long time, scoring spots in our year end best-of song lists and through collabs with King Creosote. This is a pretty rare opportunity to catch one of the best electronic artists building, layering and unleashing tracks live. Orthy will be performing a DJ set beforehand, but be warned – there has been a low ticket warning on bookface event page, so don’t assume they’ll be available at the door, get tix here.
When I first watched this new video from doubleVee, I was really struck by the video; it has some great artwork within its confines. But, if the song was awful, I could have easily ignored it, and that’s why we’re here after all, right? This tune in particular sort of reminds me of a certain innocent period in indie rock, when it was all about trading vocal duties, building the song into a swelling opus surrounded by huge melodies that were the perfect ear candy for your daily routines. Maybe that’s just me, but if it’s you, be sure to check out the group’s latest release, Songs for Birds and Bats.
As I mentioned in the preview, Wax Trax! had quite a bit of influence on my music in my late teens and early twenties. To that point, metal never flirted with my new wave. Industrial changed that. Wax Trax! was the conduit to the bands that had distribution in Europe, but no outlet in the states. That record store along with venues and musicians in Chicago invited over bands like Front 242, KMFDM, Laibach and others and then incubated new projects like Ministry and Revolting Cocks. Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records documents the rise and fall of one of the most independent labels and record stores. The story goes like this: An openly gay couple, Dannie Flesher and Jim Nash, from the midwest moves to a shady neighborhood in Denver to open an amazing record store, they snap and move to Chicago, grow to love and champion bands via a record label, foster a “sound” and ultimately fall apart because of the necessary, but unpleasant parts of the business before being lost prematurely.
House of Vans hosted an event tied in with Record Store Day in Austin for fans of the label with a screening of the movie, a show featuring Cold Cave and Ministry and brought along a ton of merch from the barn archives (see the movie). Pics from the event, Q&A and performances to follow.
Beauty Queen is the brainchild of San Francisco’s Katie Iannitello, who makes hazy and hooky bedroom pop with a hint of chillwave. Her project, produced by Daywave’s Henry Nowhere, has a new EP out calledOut Of Touch, and it’s filled with the kind of grooves reminiscent of U.S. Girls crossed with the likes of Cuco. It’s all at once dreamy and gritty, which you’ll understand on the title track, “Out Of Touch,” where you’re greeted with twangy riffs and then Iannitello’s whispery vocals coat the whole track in a bit of hazy fog. Then you’re struck by the disco-esque chorus that is catchy enough to secure its place in your brain for the rest of the day at the very least. Head over to Beauty Queen’s SoundCloud to jam the rest of the EP.
This Friday you’ll all be treated to the brand new LP from Bubblegum Lemonade, Desperately Seeking Sunshine. It’s an apt title for anything involving Laz; his songs always seem to be reaching for that light, reaching for that melody on high. His guitar lines in this new single circle about your ear building this swell of pop bravado that’s sent straight to your brain; and there are also some beautiful little backing vocals to aid in that gesture. I’m just not sure how much praise I can pass on to you in order to get you to listen to the great songs on this album. It’s out Friday via Matinee Recordings, so try one more gem.
I love writing about Tim Chaplin; he’s an artist that works at his own pace, crafting his own style from the confines of his own tastes. That said, he’s been quiet since the end of 2018, but now it looks like he’s ready to offer up a new EP. Our first listen has Tim being Tim, offering up this softened vocal, drawing close to the realm of indiepop. That said, the music sits back, filled with guitar lines that sort of seem to be walking on eggshells behind Tim; there are a few instances when the song seems like it’s going to breakout, but it always gets pulled back to focus on melody. Different Currents is the new EP, and it’s available for streaming services.
A little over a year after the excellent You Could Not Have Given the Slightest of Fucks, Glaswegian outfit, Jonny Shitbag & the Smokes, return with a new tape, and a new single for your ears. This is a dark-tinged pop song, plodding slowly to pull your emotions to the surface. Here you’ll find the drums moving slowly, the vocals sort of walking along as an infectious keyboard line takes you on a traveling adventure and distorted guitar bursts jump through to keep you on track. It’s some sort of broad sweeping slowcore pop opus that I can’t get out of my head! You’ll likely find the same; You Know There’s Nothing to You is out May 3rd via Hidden Bay Records.
Over the last several years Ian McCuen has been releasing tunes from a series he’s titled Songs of Fleeting Permanence; these songs are said to be informed by reflection upon his own self-discovery between the ages of 16-24. You’ll need a careful ear when listening, as he’s got this soft voice, like a gentle whisper hanging on in the wind. The style will definitely draw in some Smith comparisons, especially considering the track’s focus on dependency and addiction. McCuen builds upon the simplicity by layering in light percussion and touches of banjo, with a haunting little vocal before the song drops out. Volume II of Songs of Fleeting Permanence will be out this Friday.
Of course, The Black Watch never hold back from writing material; for fans, they’re almost always on your mind, like the fuzzier pop version of Guided by Voices. Today they announced a bunch of cool things, like a new LP featuring the great tune below, but they also seem to have put together a couple of fun compilations, you know, for the collectors out there trying to polish off their collection (one even has the band’s entire catalog on a USB). The guitar sound here is phenomenal, giving plenty of space for Fredrick to cast his hallowed croon while the rhythm section works beneath it all. This song appears on Magic Johnson, which will be released June 21st via Atom Records.