It’s Friday, and I’m totally stressed. Buying a new house, starting teaching again on Monday, so I needed something to mellow me out a bit. Luckily, the good folks at Fika Recordings sent over this great new album from Stanley Brinks and Freshcard; it’s titled Pizza Espresso. The record is full of duets between the two songwriters, offering an indiepop spin on the folk duets one would get from Emmylou and Gram, or more recently, Dutchess and the Duke. It just sort of makes me feel better about the world knowing that we can all detox from mundane activities with tunes like these. If you love what you hear (you should) then go to Fika and pick yourself up a copy!
You know what I respect about Hardly Art? They’re still down to give out a free download now and then. They trust in their product; they know you’ll love what you hear, so you’ll pick it up from them. So, with that in mind, they tossed up the newest tune from S, the project of Jenn Ghetto. It’s much like her earlier singles, showing sonic similarities towards Tegan and Sara; no one is too cool to enjoy a great pop song…well, some of you are, but you’re probably not reading this. She’ll be releasing her album, Cool Choices, on September 23rd through the label; don’t be afraid to enjoy your day listening to this tune.
Download: S – Brunch [MP3]
No! This song is not half-English, half-Japanse. It’s the name of the band, Half Japanese. The legendary outfit is returning with their first record in 13 years, which is probably about the first time I ever heard of the group. Listening to these songs sort of shows me how influential the group has been, though it’d be hard to trace the exact influential lineage. Still, if you listen to a lot of the lo-fi or oddball pop being crafted, it seems like there had to be an origin somewhere; I like to think it was with this band. They’ll be releasing this new album, Overjoyed, via Joyful Noise Recordings in just two weeks!
If you haven’t listened to More Than Any Other Day by Ought, then I’m feeling sort of bad for you now. That record has won me over time and time again, not to mention their live show was pretty stellar, if not better than expected. Fortunately (and unfortunately sort of) they’ve got a new song from a new EP. But, in order to listen to it, you have to stream the two songs before it (or just skip right to the 10 minute mark) from other bands on the Constellation Records roster; you CR folks are tricky! Still, you’ll do well to make sure you’re well acquainted with this act because I’ll probably be raving about them for some time to come.
When I first heard this track from Dark Blue, I had to go back and re-read the information I had on the group. I knew it was a super-group of sorts, so I immediately thought of Calvin Johnson; it’s not Calvin though. It’s actually just a bunch of rad dudes from rad bands like Ceremony, Paint It Black, Strand of Oaks and some others. The lyrical delivery sort of sounds like David Gedge wrote the lyrics and gave the band instructions on how to sing, although the music has it’s own power altogether. There’s distorting guitars shooting off and simple rhythmic pounding. If you like any of the nonsense I name checked here, then pick up the group’s album, Pure Reality, via Jade Tree on October 7th.
Just a short bit ago I posted the early single from Mega Bog, enjoying the albums pop direction flooded by sporadic horn usage. This latest single comes in much the same direction, althoughI feel as if it works differently. Various parts follow great bits of musical space, though there’s a building tension sitting beneath it all. I don’t know; I’m stuck on how much I’m really enjoying the horns here…not to mention the song’s ability of fade in and out of beautiful obscurity. You can grab this album, Gone Banana, on Spetember 23rd via Couple Skate.
Earlier in the week I tossed up one new tune from Art Is Hard Records, but I also neglected to give you the proper warning about White Sands. The group is made up of 1 parts Mazes, 1 parts Male Bonding and 1 parts Novella, so surely someone out there is going to be getting amped for this release. Initially, I was grabbed by the distorted guitars, but then I went back and found myself hooked on the interplay between male and female vocal parts. It’s going to be a special release too, as the label’s doing it on a flexi-disc 7″ with a 20 page magazine and 3 song digi-pack; you don’t get these sort of releases everyday. Pretty sure you’re going to have to order this today; it’s a limited release!
Yeah yeah, this song was everywhere. But hey, I’m not going to jump off the Joanna Gruesome train anytime soon. I love that there’s two sides to this tune, which seems to represent my own personal tastes. The first offering you get is this fast paced riot-girl rock, but they pull back quite a bit to offer a glimpse at the pop sensibility they maintain with ease. This song is 1 of the 4 off a new 7″ that’s being released as a split with popular Perfect Pussy. It’ll be accompanied by a nice comic book too, which is the work of Phil McAndrew (his sister rocks in PP). You’ll want to get your hands on this when it’s released by Captured Tracks, Slumberland Records and Fortuna Pop…a pretty solid triumvirate of rad labels.