I really love how the new stuff from this forthcoming Hecks record has me guessing at every corner; they easily have me outsmarted. I spent the first minute and a half of this new single think this is what Shellac would sound like if Steve wanted to write a dance record. But, eventually, the synth work sneaks into the song, sort of washing out the balance of this angular riffs and smoothing out the vocals into this retro R&B vibe from the MTV era. Then all of a sudden it becomes this eccentric jam breakdown throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) into the mix and coming out on top with this funky coda. This is the 3-in-1 pop song that has you coming back for more; it’ll be on My Star, dropped by the kind folks over at Trouble in Mind on October 11th.
It’s been a hot minute since Katie Malco has released any new music, but perhaps her recent touring exploits in the UK with Julien Baker got her back in the saddle. She’s just dropped this new tune and signed with 6131 Records for forthcoming releases. This tune’s got a heavy hand to it, with these huge riffs backing up Malco’s voice; she manages to offer up a gentle delivery atop the strong guitar lines, pulling in the perfect contrast. Just before the 2 minute mark, the track recedes a little bit, bringing in the a quieter moment to the tune. This is a really great return, and my fingers are crossed that this only hints at a great LP in the super near future.
Those of you paying attention to the musical underground will surely have heard rumors of the participants in Unhappy Fly; you’ve got Xentos Bentos and Richard Dudanski (heavyweights!) joined by Sarah Washington and John Glyn (not the astronaut!). Today they announce a brand new realm for powerhouse label, Emotional Response, and what a gem. It has this pastoral semi-folk opening for the first few minutes…then things get switched to this swirling indiepop ball of energy…and back and forth we go. That’s all before we get to John Glyn’s sax solo to space the song out and give your ear a little break from the delectable ear treats. But, don’t sweat it, they bounce back in with one last chorus to charm you before closing the tune down. Brilliant pop with a flare of artistry; the self-titled LP will be out on September 27th.
About a month ago we helped introduce you to Chicago based band Future Silence and their take on dreamy, quiet, pop music. Today we have another new single to share entitled “Ealing Broadway” coming off of the band’s upcoming debut EP. While this single is again focused on dream pop, the band pumps in some quirkier elements with electronics and a sparse horn piece. This band stands firmly in an ever rising Chicago scene.
Future Silence will release their debut, self-titled EP on Friday via Half a Cow Records.
There’s all sorts of beautiful nostalgia in every little note being crafted by Mike Naideau for his Alibi project; I think of bands like Arab Strap, Bedhead and a slew of bands on early Saddle Creek. Of course, this sound is one that’s quite personal, one that sometimes is best experienced in the quiet of your bedroom. That’s an interesting experience, as it almost feels like Mike’s recorded this tune in that very manner, layering vocals to build in some fragile intimacy. In that, it feels like Naideau is celebrating life’s little imperfections, all the way down to the ambient soundbites that fill in some of the song’s negative space in the song’s latter half. Then the song returns to round things off with these half-hearted drum rolls and softened vocal notes before fading into the ether. This song has all the feels; it’ll be included on his new record Become Your One, out on Epifo Music later this Fall.
I don’t know how many of you are paying attention, but if you’re not listening to Benjamin Woods and his project, The Golden Dregs, then you really are missing out on something special. The last single from the forthcoming Hope is for the Hopeless has him channeling something darkly beautiful, something along the lines of Cohen or Cave…and its not just the baritone speaking. My favorite line comes around 2:30: “and the Jesus on the dashboard is shaking/cause he knows there’s no way home.” But, this isn’t all clever word play and idealistic homage, there’s some incredible craftsmanship, particularly in the way the tinkering piano moves into the more prominent performance just after the 3 minute mark. The LP is out on September 27th and you’ll be sorry you don’t have it, if that happens to be the case.
Jonathan Bree has been on my radar for several years at this point, but I feel like he’s finally starting to get a name going for himself over here in the States. He was top of my list of last year’s SXSW performances, for both sound and the spectacle of the performance itself. This video offers a precise glimpse at what listeners will get when they catch Jonathan on his first official North American tour; it’s an orchestral pop song performed by a band without a face (the band has no face), which certainly grabs your attention in the live setting. He’ll be in Austin for Levitation, but will spend much of October and November throughout the continent, so if he comes near you, I assure you that won’t want to miss this.
Sasha Bell has a remarkable resume; she’s been a key part of Ladybug Transistor, Essex Green and The Sixth Great Lake…and now she’s stepping out on her own with Love is Alright. There are definitely some musical elements that will sound familiar; the first thing that stuck out to me was the dreaminess of the guitars churning in the background, combining that sparkling jangle with crisp notes that ring out in step with her vocals. I was really drawn to the space the song allowed around the 2 minute mark, allowing some air to sort of breathe into the song, giving off this celestial quality you won’t forget. Of course, the power of Bell’s vocals can mesmerize you as well; I love the way certain notes get curled from emphatic delivery to understated elegance at the end of syllables. Quite a start to a solo career; Love Is Alright will be out November 8th via Both Sides Now.
Infinite Sprawling is the name of Robert Sotelo‘s forthcoming LP, and the Glasgow based artist just recently put up the album’s title track for our listening enjoyment. There’s two distinctive sounds for you to enjoy within the track’s confines, so lets explore a little bit. The verses have this bright sharpness, using these chords bending around Sotelo’s voice to craft an almost bossanova version of post-punk. The chorus takes on more energy, with the guitars having more force and Sotelo’s vocals taking on more purpose, almost a calmed rush of melody bursting out. The new LP is out next Friday (9/13) via one of my faves, Upset the Rhythm.
There aren’t a whole lot of artists that I think are universally revered, but I know that Jeffrey Lewis has long been one such musician, at least in the circles I run about. He’s a wordsmith at heart with this dry sense of self-deprecating (for mankind) humor, with some similarities to the likes of John Darnielle mentioned often. His new album will be handled under the name of Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage; the Voltage seems apt as there’s definitely some sonic oomph added to this first single; Lewis’ role is much as it’s always been, all the way down to his deliver, but that energetic blast is an interesting twist…or at least one I never noticed before for some reason. Lewis has found himself a US home for the release of Bad Wiring, dropping on November 1st via Don Giovanni.