Joel Nicholson’s been working as Butcher the Bar for some time, and in that period, he’s gone from solo to full band and probably back again…but for III, we get the full band pop bombast that’s always lived within the confines of Nicholson’s songwriting. There are straight upbeat pop numbers, and some more pensive tunes here, so just stream it below. You can grab the LP directly from Bobo Integral, and if you’re so inclined, you can read my thoughts about each song below.
For a brief five seconds, you’re tempted to hear this song as some sort of 90s rocker, but soon King Ropes pull away from that, giving off a brief little vocal blurb that resembles that one song from Butthole Surfers that everyone knows. Still, the song’s natural progression isn’t over, it plods slowly, allowing the natural melody in the vocals to build; the guitars and bass still have this ominous tone in the distance behind the voice Dave Hollier. The pinnacle is from the chorus with the line “those California stars they shine and shine;” it’s a sublime pop tidbit amidst a song that avoids the trappings of modern pigeonholing, never staying in one place long enough to bore the listener. This bodes well for Gravity and Friction, out on July 26th!
We first met Jason Morris back in the early days of The Clouds are Ghosts, but over the past few years he’s really been focused on his Lunar Gold project…today we’ve got a new one from said project. Of late, the project has focused on crafting these thoughtful pop numbers, and this one is much the same. Morris’ voice has this angelic tone, accented by layered vocal accompaniment as it hangs gently in the air. Musically, there’s this understated elegance; it reminds me of the orchestral moves that Other Lives made…like a dreamscape that transports you to some celestial world. The band celebrate the release of their new single on June 21st over at Stay Gold!
As we are now in full on summer mode, you should be thinking about building your perfect summer playlists. Today I offer you a great, upbeat summer tune called “High Top Kicks” from Toronto based outfit Fake Crush. The song has a lovely driving guitar with sing a long style vocals and tons of energy to boot. It should be perfect to compete for your best song of summer.
Fake Crush will be releasing a new LP sometime this fall.
Browsing through my emails on a Sunday as an electric storm rolled through Austin, I kept coming back to press play on Sungaze‘s latest single. It’s a tune that seems infinite, as if it’s able to escape the confines of present time; it drifts, casually, spiritually, carrying you on a cloud in and out of consciousness. Dream pop number such as this are rare, but the clear elegance of the band’s songwriting is definitely putting me in this otherworldly mood. Take a minute, or five, from your day, let your mind drift, let those troubles fall to the side and immerse yourself in this journey. I expect Light in All of It to let us all escape the world when it drops on July 19th (with an Austin tour date in one week!).
If ever there was a band I wish more people cared about, it would be the work of The Black Watch. The group, helmed by JA Fredrick has been consistently prolific and consistently changing. Here on their latest single, familiar sounds abound, but Fredrick feels steadier than before, somehow; it’s as if he’s achieved self-awareness, and yet continues to push himself (and the band) forward. However you want to look at it, listening back through the years and playing this track over and over, you just get the feeling that it’s all clicked, it’s all reached this pinnacle moment in the band’s discography. I can’t wait to add Magic Johnson to the collection when it drops in August.
Having been damn near 5 years since we last heard from our Melbourne friend Wilding, I was quite excited to receive some new music from him a few days ago. His latest effort, “Speed King of the Commonwealth” is more of a loud, indie rock pop song worthy of dancing and head banging. It reminds me of early singles from Kaiser Chiefs with it’s chant inducing “la la las” and breezy guitar sound. This song is out now on all formats via Half Cow Records.
Only the beginning, Wilding is currently hard at work on his third album entitled The Death of Foley’s Mall coming sometime later this year.
While not always my personal style of music, I can always appreciate some electronic pop with a solid beat and driving sound. If you can get behind the style as well, I suggest you check out this banging new track called “Turn Back Time” From Swedish based duo Vola Tila. It reminds me of Drive soundtrack music from Cliff Martinez made more accessible with dark, electronic elements of bands like The XX. I am already looking forward to jamming this one as I drive around town today while pumping my fist in the air.
Vola Tila will be releasing their deput EP Personality Apocalypse in the next few months.
The Sour Notes, always adventurous, have decided they’re going to release their new album one 7″ at a time, and today we’ve got the latest single from the series for you to enjoy. This one should come as no surprise if you listened to their ambitious collection This Is Not Our Music; I mean, if you don’t hear Galaxie 500 in here, I don’t know what you’re thinking. I love the softness of Jared’s voice on this, matched up against the heavy riffs that sort of billow in and out of the mix. It’s the sort of slow churning pop music you wish they had at your middle school dance, so you could fall in love and feel totally cool while doing it. Austin folks can get their hand on the new 7″ on June 13th at Hotel Vegas for the release show!
Remember when we released David Israel’s The Year That Felt Like Two? Well, the drummer for that project (Julia [Gulia] Hungerford)is also the drummer behind this gorgeous new Moist Flesh. For starters, Johnny Hillbun’s voice is flooring me as I listen back through it; at times it has this deep operatic tone, while I can also hear this slow churning country sound. Musically, it’s a contemplative album, allowing you plenty of space to let your mind wander, hanging on Hillbun’s notes or those guitar lines that dangle at the end of the world. It’s this broad-sweeping brilliant pop album, the sort I can just feel that Austin will overlook, so here’s to hoping some of you outside our bubble fall in love with Total Erosion of Meaning.