Ever wanted to know what it would be like if Radio Dept descended into that cloud of smoke on the cover of Clinging to a Scheme? Well, if they turned that way instead of bubbling into pop (not that I mind that), they’d likely sound like Moon Pics. The project of Brazilian Adriano Caiado, he’s crafting these ethereal pop pieces, these otherworldly musical entities that sweep you away as a listener. Of course, you could also sit back, let the mind be mesmerized by the visual effects working in the latest video too. This is that place where you let your mind go, that place we’re all looking for right now. Go ahead, go.
In my never ending quest to find some new tunes which offer a unique take on older genres, one need look no further than this new track “Doomer” from Melbourne based band Obscura Hail. The group, lead by Sean Conran, take elements of grunge rock and a sludge rock style and pair them effectively with some nice poppier elements and impressive vocal work. I especially love the unique fuzz sound coming through on the guitar throughout the song to give the track some real teeth. You gotta love this one.
Obscura Hail will be releasing a new EP entitled Siren on September 8th via Dot Dash/Remote Control.
A few weeks back we introduced you, or so we hoped, to the new project of Matt Sklar and Federica Tassano named Phantom Handshakes. Tomorrow, they’ll drop their brand new Be Estranged EP, but you can sample it here first!
The opening tracks set the stage for a dream pop meets jangle world; the guitars twist and turn in that angular post-punk dance I dig, while Federica lets her heavenly voice weave in and out of those chords. Still, you get a touch of respite in “At Rest” coming in with more oa subdued pop performance by Tassano; it’s all about her voice, despite the twinkling behind her. Jump ahead to “You Are an Idea” and you’ll find my favorite number of the 7; there’s a purity to the presentation, its clear of all pretense, giving listeners this purely elegant pop song. “Drift Away” is the perfect closing send-off for this EP; both the title and the effect of the song have you sailing away on this pillowy cloud of escapism. Be Estranged will be available on all platforms tomorrow! All proceeds go to Color of Change.
I’ve been a big fan of Cherry Pickles for a bit, particularly since catching their set at SXSW (RIP) a few years back. Today we get news that they’ll be dropping their next album, doing so with this catchy early morning ditty to make you tap your toes. I was hooked by the opening guitar line; it has just the hint of a jangle that I love, then it gets wrapped in a nice dueling line of surfy pop. One of the reasons I’m so into this track is the way they kind of bring it about casually; they’re not rushing things, they’re in no hurry, just letting you get cleansed by the sweet bounce of good old fashioned pop rock. The Juice That’s Worth the Squeeze is out this October via PNKSLM.
After being holed up in my house for the last several months, I won’t deny that I could definitely use something for those at-home dance parties I’ve been throwing with my wife and daughter. This new tune from Haiku Hands definitely is one such track, throwing it back to those catchy little beats from 80s pop tracks; I honestly feel like I’m being transported back to a time when pop music was purely about fun. It doesn’t hurt they get a nice little hook tossed in from Sofi Tukker, who happen to be no stranger to crafting delectable dance treats. Sample this one, and prepare for their self titled LP out on September 10th via Mad Decent.
Jon over at Lost Sound Tapes is always reliable for his tastes, and admittedly, I haven’t been checking in as frequently as I should, which is how these two new releases on the label slid under my radar.
First, you get Daisyworld by Neutral Shirt, which harkens to a sort of sparkling indie rock vibe, taking on these sunny moments, and maybe wearing them with a bit of a heavier sentiment, like “Permanent Blue.” There are some upbeat rockers too that I’ve been taken by, so might I suggest you give “Salton Sea” a listen.
Next, you can enjoy 5 Demos from Boosegumps, the project of Heeyoon Won (Free Cake for Every Creature). Here, they’re offering this super intimate glimpse into their life and writing. Personally, I’ve been really taken by “Perfect Autumn Day;” it reminds me of those blissful moments on the early Rilo Kiley LPs. Give a listen.
In a roundabout way, I’ve been writing about Sleeper & Snake for some time, as its Al and Amy from Terry. In the single accompanying the announcement of their new LP, you get the slightest hint of their quirky pop sensibility, but this outing seems to take on a more experimental purpose. It’s a fairly simplistic approach, using cello, bass and a synced beat to provide rhythm; they layer their vocals and a nice dose of saxophone atop as icing on the proverbial cake. For me, you can hear spots where they could erupt or speed up, but they show restraint, holding you (and the song) in a permanent state of suspense. Fresco Shed will be out on September 25th via Upset the Rhythm.
You know by now that I’m super into the Finnish scene, right? Well, I owe that entirely to my friend Nick, who at one point worked with Gim Kordon on his own Soliti label. But, the band’s own Aleksi has started a new label titled All That Plazz, who will be releasing future music from GK…for now they’re teasing that with a new single. This has a great 90s college rock feel to it, kind of hints at scuzzy, but plays a bigger role with a huge pop sensibility; its the sort of sound that wouldn’t be far out of line with a Merge or Sub Pop, particularly in the late 90s…so you know everyone here is on board. We’ll keep you posted on more, but just wanted to have you dip your toes in some jams from overseas.
This Friday we’re all destined to be in for a treat when Chicago noise outfit Ganser drops their new album, Just Look at That Sky. Today we get the lyric video for their latest single, punishing our ears as we turn the volume all the way up. Guitars cut through speaker, first right then left, knifing their way through discordant noise, with the drums pounding all the while in the near distance. The video perfectly matches up with the vocals in the song itself, delivered in a lecture format that makes me beg to go back to school; I enrolled in Purposeful Noise Rock 101 with Professor Nadia Garofalo. If you’re into it, the LP drops Friday via Felte Records.
For some artists, this whole pandemic thing has been really great for songwriting, like for Glenn Donaldson and his project The Reds, Pinks and Purples. Over the weekend the project dropped two brand new songs, both delightful and required listening for you today. “Pictures of the World” opens with this big guitar strum and these shakers coming around while Donaldson carefully enters, almost frail; I keep imagining this song accompanying a video of a couple in various stages of goofing, probably shot on an outdated camera to give a little bit of a fuzz to the edges. In the end, Glenn has this slight Bob Pollard note…though not sure if he’d enjoy that note. I love the breathy vocal approach that comes out in the second tune, “Tell Me What’s Real” during the choruses; it gives off this timeless pop quality that makes me wish I could just sit around doodling in a notebook while my mind drifts off with the steady beat of the song. You can’t go wrong pressing play on either of these tunes.